We’re now over one month into the 2021 MLB regular season and our daily free MLB picks are continuing to deliver!
Look below to find our free MLB Picks for the five best games on today’s schedule!
Los Angeles Dodgers @ Chicago Cubs – 7.40PM ET
The Cubs are set to host the Dodgers on Monday for what will be the first match of their three game series in Chicago, as both teams will be looking to bounce back from a recent series loss.
Things are not running too smoothly for the reigning World Series champions in 2021, having recently suffered their third consecutive series loss. As a result of dropping three of their four games against San Diego, two of their three games against Cincinnati and now three of their four games against Milwaukee, Los Angeles have won just four of their past 14 games.
In their opening three games against the Brewers, the Dodgers were outscored 7-11 before winning the fourth and final game of the series 16-4. As a result of their recent drop in form, Los Angeles have slipped from the No. 1 team in the league when looking at batting average to the 15th ranked team, hitting at .233.
Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Will Smith and A.J Pollock all scored twice in Sunday’s 12 run victory. However, Matt Beaty (3) and Chris Taylor (5) were the stars of the offense, combining for eight runs.
Two innings. Two grand slams.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 2, 2021
Similarly, the Cubs have won just three of their past 10 matches, most recently going down 12-13 against the Reds in Cincinnati. The one run loss handed the Reds a 2-1 series victory.
Ian Happ (3) and Kris Bryant (2) combined for five runs in the 25 run shootout, however Trevor Williams allowing six earned runs in his 2.2 innings with the ball proved to be too costly.
On a positive note for the Cubs, they have recently improved on their 30th ranking in the league when looking at team batting average, making their way to the 25th ranking as a result of collectively hitting at .218.
As Chicago’s Kyle Hendricks will enter this matchup with a 7.54 ERA in 2021, Los Angeles will have an advantage at the mound. Combined with the fact that the Dodgers are still the superior batting lineup and are fresh off a 16 run performance, we like Los Angeles to win this one on the road.
Texas Rangers @ Minnesota Twins – 7.40PM ET
The Rangers and Twins will kick off their four games series in Minnesota this Monday, with both sides looking to continue their solid recent form.
Texas recently wrapped up a four games home series against Boston with a 5-3 victory. The win gave the Rangers a 3-1 series victory over the American League leaders.
Isaiah Kiner-Falefa scored two of Texas’ five runs on Sunday, however Mike Foltynewicz’s performance with the ball was the key to their success. Foltynewicz allowed just two earned runs in his six innings at the mound.
Similarly, the Twins recently capped off a 2-1 home series victory over the Royals, outscoring Kansas City 25- 16 in the set. Minnesota won Sunday’s final game 13-4, as Luis Arraez (3), Josh Donaldson (2), Nelson Cruz (2) and Andrelton Simmons (2) combined for nine runs with the bat.
Minnesota have now won three of their past four games and are scoring an average of 8.75 runs per game in that time. Given the form of the Twins lineup, this will be a tough matchup for the Cubs.
Dane Dunning will take the ball for Chicago on Monday, having allowed 9 runs in his last 7.2 innings with the ball. Combined with the fact that the Cubs bullpen ranks near the bottom in MLB, allowing a .253 batting average and 17 homers this season, the high scoring Minnesota Twins are our pick for this encounter.
Cleveland Indians @ Kansas City Royals – 8.10PM ET
A pair of AL Central rivals will face off on Monday when the Kansas City Royals host the Cleveland Indians for the first game of their four match series.
The Indians wrapped up a 2-1 series victory over the White Sox in Chicago on Sunday, winning the third and final match 5-0. Cleveland outscored Chicago 13-10 in the three game series.
Cesar Hernandez scored twice for the Indians in the win, however Zach Plesac was the standout performer of the game. Plesac allowed just three hits in his 5.2 scoreless innings at the mound, collecting six strikeouts in that time.
Zach Plesac, 95mph Fastball and 89mph Slider, Overlay pic.twitter.com/8xwG4M9Yt4
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 26, 2021
Similarly, the Royals participated in a three game series decider on Sunday, however Kansas City were defeated 4-13 by Minnesota, resulting in a 1-2 series loss. Ace pitcher Brad Keller took the loss with the ball on Sunday despite allowing just two runs in 4.1 innings with at the mound. However, the Royals bullpen allowed a further six runs in just 3.2 innings, which ultimately led to the defeat.
Aaron Civale is expected to get the ball for the Indians for what will be his sixth start of the season. Civale comes in with a 2.94 ERA, 0.921 WHIP, nine walks and 26 strikeouts over 33.2 innings of work this season. As for the Royals, they have moved Jakob Junis (3.47 ERA) from the rotation to the bullpen, allowing top pitching prospect Daniel Lynch to debut on Monday.
Although the Royals are sitting on top of the AL Central division with a 16-10 record, Civale has been terrific in his first five starts this season, racking up four victories in that time. As well as that, Cleveland’s lineup has been solid recently, having scored 5+ runs in five of their past seven games. The Indians on the road are our pick for this game.
Toronto Blue Jays @ Oakland Athletics – 9.38PM ET
The A’s and Blue Jays will kick off their four game series in Oakland on Monday.
Oakland began their 10 game stint at home with a 1-2 series loss to Baltimore over the weekend. The A’s dropped both their first and second encounter against the Orioles, going down 2-3 and 4-8 on Friday and Saturday.
However, the A’s won Sunday’s final game 7-5 to avoid a sweep at home. Ramon Laureano and Matt Olson scored two runs each in Sunday’s victory.
As for the Blue Jays, they recently completed a three game sweep over the Braves. As a result of their 7-2 victory on Sunday, Toronto outscored Atlanta 26-12 over the weekend. Bo Bichette scored three runs in the sweep over the weekend, while Alejandro Kirk recorded four runs in just two appearances.
Toronto’s lineup received a boost over the weekend with George Springer making his long awaited debut for the Blue Jays. Springer hit a pair of homers on Saturday, while Teoscar Hernandez returned from a three-week COVID absence.
Frankie Montas will be taking the ball for Oakland on Monday, currently boasting a 6.20 ERA in 2021. This gives Toronto an advantage at the mound, with Steve Matz (4.00 ERA) getting the start for the Blue Jays. Toronto are 4-1 in Matz’ starts this seasonl while their bullpen ranks fourth in the league for team ERA with a 2.72 ERA average.
With a slight advantage at the mound and a rejuvenated batting lineup, we like Toronto to get the W on the road in this encounter, as Oakland are starting to return back down to earth after a superb stretch of wins.
Pittsburgh Pirates @ San Diego Padres – 10.10PM ET
A pair of National League rivals will kick off their four game series in San Diego on Monday when the Padres host the Pirates.
Pittsburgh were brought back down to earth over the weekend since surging to a .500 record, dropping each of their three games against the Cardinals in St Louis, resulting in a 0-3 series sweep.
After losing Friday’s game 3-7 and Saturday’s game 5-12, Pittsburgh suffered a shutout 0-3 loss on Sunday. Will Crowe took the loss with the ball, allowing three hits and just three runs in his five innings at the mound. However, the Pirates lineup failed to score a run despite winning the hit count 5-4.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) May 2, 2021
The Padres are also entering Monday’s match after a loss in their last game, having gone down 1-7 to the Giants in the final game of their series. Thankfully for San Diego, they won the opening two games of the set against San Francisco 3-2 on Friday and 6-2 on Saturday.
San Diego have now won six of their past nine games, scoring an average of 4.8 runs per game in that time.
Pirates left hander Tyler Anderson will make the start for Pittsburgh on Monday night having thrown at least five innings in each of his five of his starts this year while not allowing more than three earned runs in any of those outings. As for the Padres, Miguel Diaz will return to the majors for his fourth career start and first MLB appearance since 2019, currently boasting a 6.62 ERA through his 47 game career.
Seeing as the Padres are beginning to return to their strong early season form and the Pirates look to have regressed to theirs, we like San Diego to win this game. With a better lineup and home field advantage, the Padres should win this one comfortably.
If you need more news, information and predictions, head over to our MLB hub page for all your baseball needs!
Want more picks? We have just launched our Premium Picks service, and for a limited time only, it is free! *T&Cs Apply.
*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.