It’s another busy Saturday of Major League Baseball action with all 30 teams taking the field for 15 games across the nation!
Look below to find our free MLB Picks for the five best games on today’s schedule!
Texas Rangers @ Toronto Blue Jays – 3.07PM ET
The Rays and the Blue Jays will kick off our Saturday afternoon MLB schedule with game two of their three match series at Sahlen Field in Buffalo.
With Hyun Jin Ryu giving the Blue Jays an advantage at the mound, I can’t go past Toronto to win this matchup on Saturday. Ryu has an 8-5 record this season and is fresh off a victory that saw him allow just one earned run in five innings in his last start.
Seeing as Ryu will be pitching to a Rangers offense that is scoring just 4.1 runs per game, I like the Blue Jays more prolific lineup to hit the winning score. Toronto have scored 5.1 runs per game this season and they will be coming up against the struggling Kolby Allarad, who is 2-6 this year and has allowed nine earned runs on 14 hits in his last three starts.
Jesse’s MLB Pick: Toronto Blue Jays -1.5 (-130)
The Blue Jays picked up a massive 10-2 win over the Rangers yesterday and things don’t get any better for the road team in this one. Kolby Allard is scheduled as the starting pitcher for Texas and last time out, he gave up five hits and four runs over six innings.
Tonight’s game has concluded. pic.twitter.com/L3E2OKdxzq
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) July 17, 2021
Given that Toronto are 2nd in OPS and fifth in runs, the home side should be very happy with this equation. While Toronto are just 20-20 at home this season, they are 20-9 against teams below 0.500 this year and I like them to stack it on again here.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Toronto Blue Jays -1.5 (-130)
This should be an interesting clash between the Rangers and the Blue Jays, both teams have only won four of their last 10 games, but the Blue Jays were very dominant in the first game of this series. Looking over a longer period of time, the Rangers are only 17-37 in their previous 54 games.
Also if you look at the Rangers games on the road versus a lefty starter, their record is 19-42 in their previous 61. The Blue Jays have a pretty decent recent record on Saturday, at 5-1 of their previous six, and they are 10-4 in their previous 14 game two of a series. Back the Blue Jays.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Toronto Blue Jays (-255)
Cleveland Indians @ Oakland Athletics – 4.07PM ET
A pair of second placed teams in the American League will look to make up some ground on their respective division leaders when the AL West’s Athletics host the AL Central’s Indians for game two of their series in Oakland on Saturday afternoon.
With Sean Manaea taking the mound for Oakland in this matchup, I like the A’s to defend their home field with a win in game two of this series on Saturday. Manaea has a 6-6 record, 3.19 ERA and 108 strikeouts this season, and he should give the A’s an advantage in the pitching matchup as the Indians are giving Cal Quantrill the ball.
Quantrill tried to fill the void left by the injured Shane Bieber and Aaron Civale this season, however I don’t believe that the young right hander is capable of leading Cleveland, who have a 3-9 record from their last 12 games, to an upset win on the road.
Jesse’s MLB Pick: Oakland Athletics (-178)
The momentum of a two-run ninth innings, come-from-behind win should carry Oakland to another victory tonight. That was the A’s third straight win and they moved to 28-22 at home for the season. Their record against teams that are above 0.500, 27-29, isn’t ideal but Cleveland’s is just 15-26, which is really terrible for a side fighting for a wildcard slot.
The Indian’s bullpen is middle of the ground but have Cal Quantrill starting tonight and Oakland should be able to take advantage. Quantrill allowed three runs off five hits in six innings against the lowly Royals in his last start, and with Oakland averaging nearly six runs per game over their current three-game winning streak, they could be on again tonight.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Oakland Athletics / Over 9.5 Runs (+250)
What a thrilling game! The Athletics scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to steal the win, 5-4. Both teams are serious contenders for the AL wildcard spots, and as we enter the back half of the season, wins become even more critical.
The Indians do not have a good recent record when it comes to playing on the road or playing teams who have a winning record, they are 0-5 and 0-8, respectively. I just can’t see how the Indians can get the win over the Athletics in this game.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Oakland Athletics -1.5 (+112)
Milwaukee Brewers @ Cincinnati Reds – 7.08PM ET
The two top teams in the NL Central will continue their three game set in Cincinnati on Saturday night when the second placed Reds host the first placed Brewers for the second game of this series.
The Reds will look to pick up where they left off prior to the All-Star break when they continue their series at home against the division’s first placed Brewers. Seeing as Cincinnati closed out the first half of the regular season with three consecutive wins against the Brewers in Milwaukee, it is hard to go past the Reds at home in this matchup.
Especially when considering that Cincinnati will be starting Luis Castillo on Saturday. Castillo has thrown 12.1 innings for just two earned runs across his last three starts, and he will be throwing to a Brewers offense that has scored just four runs across their last three games.
Jesse’s MLB Pick: Cincinnati Reds (+104)
The two top teams in the NL Central face off for the sixth straight time and second straight since the All Star break. The Reds took three of four games in Milwaukee before the break but got smashed 11-6 yesterday, despite returning home. That may be because they are 23-21 at home and just 18-23 against teams above 0.500, despite being 48-43 and second in the division.
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) July 17, 2021
On the other hand, the Brewers are 27-18 on the road this season and that is because of their bullpen. Milwaukee’s bullpen comes in at second for average, sixth for ERA and has Brandon Woodruff starting on the mound. Last time he started, which was against the Reds, he allowed just one run in six innings. In saying that, he did allow nine hits in those six innings and given the Reds still lead the season series 8-6 plus they are the dogs in this one, I’ll take them with the runs.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Cincinnati Reds +1.5 (-110)
It looks like the Brewers are a team that are actually enjoying playing on the road at the moment, they are currently 15-7 in their previous 22 road games. The Brewers managed to get a convincing win against the Reds on Friday night, 11-6.
The Reds, on the other hand, have only scored four or less runs in four out of their previous five games. The Brewers bullpen also looks stronger than that of the Reds. So, for those reasons I’ll be getting on the Brewers for another win away from home.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Milwaukee Brewers (-122)
San Francisco Giants @ St Louis Cardinals – 7.15PM ET
The San Francisco Giants were the best team in baseball throughout the first half of the season and they will look to continue that solid form in their second game against the Cardinals in St Louis on Saturday night.
Although the Cardinals are five games above .500 in St Louis this season, we are going to pick the traveling Giants for the matchup. San Francisco are an impressive 12 games above .500 on the road this season and they will take a lot of confidence in having Anthony DeScalfani on the mound on Saturday.
DeSclafani has a 10-3 this year, to go along with a 2.68 ERA and 99 strikeouts, and he should be able to get on top of the Cardinals lineup, who owned a -40 run differential throughout the first half of the regular season
Jesse’s MLB Pick: San Francisco Giants (-124)
San Francisco picked up their fifth straight win yesterday and I don’t see any reason why they won’t get their sixth tonight. Following a 7-2 win over the Cardinals last night, the Giants have Anthony DeSclafani starting on the mound tonight and he is a big part of why their bullpen is second in ERA and fourth in average for the season.
Last time he started, DeSclafani had a six-inning shutout and given that St Louis has the sixth worst OPS, have scored the third-lowest number of runs and managed just two last night, I like San Francisco to keep their momentum going.
Tim’s MLB Pick: San Francisco Giants -1.5 (+140)
I don’t think many people were surprised that the Giants were able to get the job done against the Cardinals on Friday night, 7-2. It looks like the magic number for the Giants is four, when they can score four or more runs they have won seven of their last eight.
As well as this, the Giants are in an offensive groove at the moment, they have scored 20 runs in their previous three games! Some people will be showing love to the Cardinals because they are playing at home and Hyun Kim has been pretty good as of late, but let them get on the Cardinals, and I’ll get on a nicely priced Giants.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: San Francisco Giants (-124)
Tampa Bay Rays @ Atlanta Braves – 7.20PM ET
The Rays and Braves will close out our Saturday night MLB schedule in Atlanta with the second match of their three game series at SunTrust Park.
With Ronald Acuna Jr. on the sidelines for Atlanta, I cannot see the Braves securing a victory in game two of this series on Saturday. Acuna Jr. has hit at .283 with 72 runs and 52 RBIs this season, while his 24 home runs are more than the remaining Braves outfielders have combined for this year.
Even with Tyler Glasnow on the IL with a partial UCL tear and a flexor tendon strain, Tampa Bay are still the No. 1 ranked pitching staff in the American League with a 3.50 ERA, and I like them to get the better of the Acuna-less Braves on Saturday.
Jesse’s MLB Pick: Tampa Bay Rays (+102)
After Tampa Bay had their six game winning streak snapped just before the break, they got back to their winning ways last night with a 7-6 win in Atlanta. While the Braves, in lue of missing Ronald Acuna Jr, still scored six runs last night, the Rays’ bullpen can focus in on the Atlanta attack, headlined mainly by just Freddie Freeman.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) July 17, 2021
Given that the Rays have a top 10 bullpen this season, that gives them a massive edge in this one and they should be able to win a second game in as many nights in Atlanta.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Tampa Bay Rays (+102)
The first game of this series was an entertaining back and forth affair, with the Rays getting the job done by just one run! Looking forward to today’s clash, the Rays have a 19-7 record in their previous 26 games played on Saturday. On the other hand, the Braves are only 3-13 in their previous 16 interleague games, and when looking at interleague games versus a team who has a winning record, the Braves are at 20-42 in their previous 62.
While the Friday game did go over, the under is 11-4 in the Braves previous 15 when the total was set at 11+. We like the look of the Rays winning combined with the unders.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Tampa Bay Rays / Under 8.5 (+330)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.