Look below to find our free MLB Picks for the five best games on today’s schedule!
Boston Red Sox @ Detroit Tigers – 1.10PM ET
The Red Sox and Tigers will kick off our Thursday afternoon of Major League Baseball at Comerica Park. This will be the deciding game of the series between Boston and Detroit, with things currently tied at 1-1 after two games.
Although the form of these two teams has been trending in opposite directions, I am going to take the Boston Red Sox to return to their best on the road with Martin Perez on the mound. Perez (4.56 ERA) has leaked runs in his last two outings, however the left hander has had an extra day of rest coming into this matchup and he boasts a 4-0 record in his last four starts after five days off. As well as that, Tarik Skubal (5.16 ERA) has been even more costly in his last few outings, allowing eight home runs in his last four starts. Skubal will struggle to contain Boston’s power hitters, which should give the Red Sox the advantage in this matchup.
Jesse’s MLB Pick: Boston Red Sox (-134)
Boston bounced back last night but I don’t know if this pitching decision gives them the best chance of success in the rubber of this series. Martin Perez and his 4.56 ERA is less than inspiring, especially given he is winless from four starts and in his last start, he gave up six runs from four innings against the Rays. However, they should get the job done as Detroit’s pitching choice isn’t any better. Tarik Skubal gave up four runs from 5.2 innings last time out while his ERA is a massive 5.16. Given the Red Sox have a top five offense and bounced back with four runs against a good pitcher last night, they should score enough in this one.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Boston Red Sox (-134)
The teams go into this final game winning one game a piece in this series so far. The Red Sox have been able to win seven of their previous nine games on a Thursday but have won just one of their previous six when it comes to the third game of a series. Looking at the Tigers now, they have won their previous 16 out of 21 games at home, but have won just 15 of their previous 51 games on a Thursday. When these two teams play each other, the Red Sox have one seven of their previous nine meetings. I’ll be on the Red Sox.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Boston Red Sox (-134)
Rolling back into the win column.
— Red Sox (@RedSox) August 5, 2021
Chicago Cubs @ Colorado Rockies – 3.10PM ET
Next up, the Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs will conclude their three game midweek series at Coors Field.
Given that the Rockies have an impressive 34-21 record at home and the Cubs have a lowly 21-36 record on the road, I cannot go past Colorado at Coors field for this series finale. Especially when considering that the Rockies will be sending German Marquez to the mound. Marquez has recorded a quality start in 12 of his last 15 games and the right hander boasts a 6-2 record and 3.29 ERA at home this season. Contrastingly, Chicago’s starter Jake Arrieta has been nothing short of dreadful against Colorado throughout his career, owning an 0-3 record and 10.43 ERA from three career starts. The Rockies are 21-9 from their last 30 road games and I like them to build on that record on Thursday.
Jesse’s MLB Pick: Colorado Rockies (TBD)
While the Cubs were able to tie up this three-game series last night, I think Colorado will win the series tonight. Chicago is starting Jake Arrieta and father-time has well and truly caught up with the vet, seeing his pitching decline this season. From his 18 starts this season, Arrieta is just 5-10 with an ERA of 6.20 and the Rockies, who scored 13 runs in the first game of the series, should get on top on this one. Especially with the Rockies handing the ball to German Marquez, who is having a blinder of a season with a 3.51 ERA and limited the Padres to two runs from six innings of work with seven strikeouts.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Colorado Rockies -1.5 (TBD)
Both teams are sitting fourth in their respective leagues / divisions, and both teams have won one game in this series so far, meaning it will all come down to the decider on Thursday. The Cubs really look like they are falling apart at the seams, they have won just seven of their previous 26 games on the road. On the flip side the Rockies have won an impressive 21 games out of their previous 26 at home. The Rockies have also won four out of the last five meetings with the Cubs. Give me the Rockies!
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Colorado Rockies (TBD)
Philadelphia Phillies @ Washington Nationals – 4.05PM ET
A pair of NL East rivals will meet for the third and final match of their divisional series when the fourth placed Nationals host the second placed Phillies in the nation’s capital on Thursday afternoon.
After selling off the majority of their 2019 World Series championship team at last week’s deadline, it is hard to take the Nationals in this matchup. Especially when considering that the Phillies are within reach of top spot in the NL East. Washington will be sending Joe Ross to the mound on Thursday. The Nats right hander allowed four earned runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings in his last start and Washington are 1-5 in Ross’ last six starts against division rivals. Seeing as Philadelphia will be starting their ace Aaron Nola, I am going to take the Phillies to complete a four game series sweep on the road and edge even closer to the No. 1 spot in their division.
Jesse’s MLB Pick: Philadelphia Phillies (-148)
The Phillies have taken each of the first three games of this four game series, winning four straight overall and I like them to take this one as well. They are now just 1.5 games behind the Mets for top of the NL East and they need to keep winning to lock up that automatic postseason spot. With Joe Ross starting for Washington, who allowed five runs from 4.1 innings last time out, Philadelphia should be able to get some runs on the board and continue their run. They are averaging nine runs per game over their streak and the Nationals may not be able to keep up.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Philadelphia Phillies / Over 9.5 (+240)
The Phillies are on a roll, and they have won four games in a row. This game will be the final game of this series, and the Phillies have been completely dominant. The Phillies have won 17 of their previous 22 games when it comes to the fourth game of a series. Whereas the Nationals have won just four of their previous 15 when it comes to the fourth game of a series, and only four games in their previous 13 games overall. When these two teams met in Washington, the Phillies had won five of their previous six clashes.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Philadelphia Phillies (-148)
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) August 5, 2021
Pittsburgh Pirates @ Cincinnati Reds – 7.10PM ET
A pair of NL Central rivals will kick off a four game weekend series in Cincinnati on Thursday night when the Reds host the Pirates. Cincinnati recently split their two game series against Minnesota at home, while Pittsburgh will be looking to bounce back after dropping two of three games in Milwaukee.
When looking at scoring power alone, this is shaping up to be one of the biggest mismatches in the league. Pittsburgh will enter this series with a 3.65 runs per game average, which is the lowest in the league, while Cincinnati’s average of 4.93 runs per game makes them one of the top 10 lineups in baseball. Seeing as the Pirates will be sending Wil Crowe to the mound, I am going to take the Reds’ damaging offense to get the better of Pittsburgh’s right hander. Crowe threw six scoreless innings in his last start, however he still owns a 5.40 ERA on the season after allowing 20 earned runs in his last five starts on the road. I like the Reds to win this one at home.
Jesse’s MLB Pick: Cincinnati Reds (-255)
The Reds have won six of their last eight games, including two over the NL East leading Mets, and should take care of the Pirates, at home. While Cincinnati are just 27-27 at home, Pittsburgh are just 18-37 on the road this season and 22-36 against teams above 0.500. To add to those stats, Pittsburgh is starting Wil Crowe who is just 3-5 from 16 appearances, 15 of which were starts, and has an ERA of 5.40 for the season. Given the Reds have scored 5+ in 11 of their last 12 games, I like them to get this one done comfortably.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Cincinnati Reds -1.5 / Over 9.5 (+230)
The Reds have won six out of their previous 10 games, whereas the Pirates have won just three of their previous 10 games. It should come as no surprise that the Reds are the favorites coming into this match, as the Pirates are sitting dead last in the NL Central, 23.5 games behind the Brewers. The Pirates have won 21 of their previous 66 games on the road while playing a right handed starter and have won just 16 of their previous 55 games when playing a team in the NL Central. On the flip side, the Reds have won 20 of their previous 28 games when playing a team in the NL Central, and have won 25 of their previous 26 at home with the total between 9-10.5.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Cincinnati Reds -1.5 (-125)
Minnesota Twins @ Houston Astros – 8.10PM ET
The Minnesota Twins and Houston Astros will kick off their four game weekend series at Minute Maid Park on Thursday night. Both teams will be looking to string together some more consistent performances, as both the Astros and Twins split their recent respective two game road series.
Having recently wrapped up a tricky eight game road trip, the Astros will be returning to Houston for this series opener on Thursday. Houston are 22-6 in their homecoming games that follow a week long road trip. As well as that, the Astros will be starting the in-form Framber Valdez in this matchup. Valdez is 7-2 with a 3.01 ERA this year and the southpaw has thrown 17.1 innings for just six earned runs in his last three starts. On the other hand, Minnesota is 5-12 in their last 17 road games and I can’t see them upsetting the best offensive team in baseball with Griffin Jax on the mound for this series opener. Jax owns a 6.41 ERA this season.
Jesse’s MLB Pick: Houston Astros (-290)
The Astros are the better team in this matchup and I’m expecting they will turn things on, coming off a loss, and returning home after an eight game trip. Griffin Jax is getting the start for Minnesota and has an ERA of 6.41 this season, which isn’t a good thing against the best offensive lineup in baseball. Houston’s firepower will blow Minnesota out of the water while their starting pitcher, Framber Valdez, has an ERA of just 3.01 for the season and should restrict the Twins in a big Houston win.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Houston Astros -1.5 (-114)
This should be an interesting clash and many will be watching to see if the top of the AL West Astros can blow the bottom of the AL Central Twins out of the water. The Twins have won five out of their previous seven when it comes to the first game of a series, and they have won just nine of their previous 28 when playing a team in the AL West. On the other hand, the Astros have won 13 out of their previous 17 games on a Thursday, and have won 58 of their previous 82 when playing a team in the AL Central. I think the Astros are good enough to get a convincing win here.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Houston Astros -1.5 (-114)
— Houston Astros (@astros) August 5, 2021
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel