Our free MLB Picks are out for Tuesday, August 31st, 2021! Make sure you check our MLB Picks before the action kicks off.
Look below to find our free MLB Picks for the five best games on today’s schedule!
St Louis Cardinals @ Cincinnati Reds – 6.40PM ET
The St Louis Cardinals dominated the opening game of this series, defeating the Cincinnati Reds 3-1. Not only that but the Cards recorded eight hits to two in a comfortable win that cut the gap between the two teams in the standings to just 2.5 games.
I’m taking the Cardinals to win a second straight over their NL Central counterparts. I went with the Reds in the opener and was disappointed by their output, managing just one run off two hits compared to the Cardinals’ three runs off eight hits. I’m wary of the fact that St Louis is starting Miles Mikolas, who has pitched in just three games this season, but he has an impressive 2.70 ERA and despite showing a 0-1 record, he allowed just two runs across five innings in a game that his offense didn’t score at all, which is very unlucky. Meanwhile the Reds are starting Sonny Gray, who is just 2-4 with a 4.75 ERA from 11 games at home. In saying that, his last two games have seen him pitch 13 innings for no runs, indicating that he may have found some form, but his offense needs to back him up and they don’t look like doing that at the moment, given they have scored just one run in each of their last three games.
Tim’s MLB Pick: St Louis Cardinals (+136)
Jon Lester is the first @Cardinals pitcher 37 or older to retire 16 batters in a row since Chuck Finley on 8/27/2002, also at Cincinnati.
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) August 31, 2021
The Cardinals go into the second game of this series with a spring in their step after winning the first game, 3-1. Both teams have a similar recent record, winning five of their previous 10. The Cardinals have won five of their previous seven when it comes to the second game of a series and have won only six of their previous 19 games on the road when playing a team with a winning record. Looking at the Reds now, they have won only one of their previous six when it comes to the second game of a series, and they haven’t won any of their previous four games played on a Tuesday. I’m going to go with the Cardinals for this one as I think Mikolas can help get the job done for the team. I’m also going to add in the under for some extra value. The under has hit in all five of the Cardinals previous games on a Tuesday and in six out of their previous nine in total; and has hit in all the Reds past five when it comes to the second game of a series and eight out of their previous 10 games when playing a right handed starter.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: St Louis Cardinals / Under 8.5 (+420)
After losing their first game to the Cardinals, the Reds need a win to maintain their playoff hopes. The Reds are in the midst of a 3 game losing streak and have lost 5 of their last 10. Average play down the stretch is not a good sign, especially against poor competition. In order to claw back and win the next matchup, the Reds are turning to Sonny Gray. Gray has a not great 3.91 ERA but has 124 strikeouts in 103.2 innings. To counter, the Cardinals are employing Miles Mikolas, the underplayed journeyman with just 13 innings pitched this season. However, Mikolas has been good in limited playing time, posting a 2.70 ERA. Statistically the Cardinals have the edge over Reds but, I think Mikolas will plummet back to his career average 3.79 ERA, meaning the edge really doesn’t exist. Team wise the Reds are better and I think if the batting unit returns to some semblance of form the Reds win.
Mike’s MLB Pick: Cincinnati Reds (-162)
Baltimore Orioles @ Toronto Blue Jays – 7.07PM ET
Despite both sides recording six hits each, the Toronto Blue Jays took care of the Baltimore Orioles at home in the series opener, winning 7-3. Toronto are still just 4.5 games back from a Wild Card slot and will want to add some pain to their AL East rivals.
This should be a very comfortable game for the Blue Jays, who are looking for a fourth straight win whilst looking to give the Orioles a fifth straight loss. Toronto managed to get over the top last night, 7-3, despite playing average baseball and having the same amount of hits for the game. I’m expecting them to have more of a lopsided result in both hits and runs in this one, especially with Baltimore starting Keegan Akin. Through 19 games, 12 of which were starts, Akin has just a 1-8 record along with an ERA of 7.26, which is BAD. When pitching on the road this season, he is 0-5 with a monster 8.25 ERA and across his last six starts, three of which were on the road, he has given up 23 runs. Given that Toronto has a top five batting lineup and explosive hitters throughout, this could get ugly.
The Blue Jays have now made it three games in a row after their first game win against the Orioles. The Orioles on the other hand, have now lost four games in a row, and are glued to the bottom of the AL East, sitting a massive 42.5 games behind the Rays. When it comes to games played on a Tuesday, the Orioles have won just 25 of their previous 78, they have also won just 25 of their previous 98 games in total. Looking now at the Blue Jays, they have won eight of their previous 11 when it comes to the second game of a series and they have won 83 of their previous 122 meetings against the Orioles in Toronto. When looking at the recent record between these two teams, the Blue Jays comfortably lead the tally, winning 37 of their previous 54 encounters with the Orioles. It has got to be the Blue Jays for me, I think they can get a convincing win here on Tuesday.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Toronto Blue Jays -2.5 (-106)
The Orioles are bad, like incredibly bad. Other than their two lucky wins against my man Shohei Ohtani, the Orioles have looked hopeless. They have had spurts of batting momentum lately with an average of over 10 runs per game against the Angels and an average of 4.667 against the world champion Rays, so they are always a chance to light up the scoreboard. The Blue Jays are also looking strong, led by the man behind Ohtani in the home run race, Vlad Guerrero Jr. Guerrero had two home runs last night and should do similar damage in this one. The Blue Jays are just the better team but due to the short odds, I’m leaning towards the overs. The fact that the Orioles, despite their poor overall form, have scored 3 runs or more in their last 7 games and have scored 8 runs or more in 4 of those last 7 games, tells me that the batting unit is in form. Combined that with the Blue Jays batting unit and the bad pitchers starting in this game, we should easily be heading over.
Mike’s MLB Pick: Over 9.5 (-112)
Milwaukee Brewers @ San Francisco Giants – 9.45PM ET
The Milwaukee Brewers were able to draw first blood in this divisional leaders showdown, beating the San Francisco Giants 3-1 in Oracle Park. The Brewers were the better team throughout the entire nine innings and now carry momentum into tonight’s clash.
I’m liking what the Brewers are putting on the table right now. One night after starting Corbin Burnes they now dish up Brandon Woodruff, whose ERA of 2.38 ranks him third in the league. Given the Giants have scored just one run across their last two games and face another top level pitcher, I think Milwaukee could get the edge again. While San Francisco are yet to name their starter at the time of writing, Milwaukee has shown that they don’t mind getting in a scrappy, defensive contest and they have some revenge to serve up after getting beaten 1-2 by the Giants in their home field. Tonight could be a statement game from the Brewers and keep their chances of taking the top seed in the National League alive.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Milwaukee Brewers (-120)
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) August 31, 2021
The Brewers have drawn first blood in this clash, winning last night 3-1, and they are now 9.5 games clear in the NL Central. The Giants are at the top of the NL West, and they are just one and a half games clear of the high flying Dodgers, so they can’t really afford any more losses. Let’s look at some key stats for this clash now! The Brewers have won all four of their previous games on a Tuesday and when it comes to the second game of the series, they have won five of their previous six. Looking at the Giants now, they have won 42 of their previous 61 games at home, and they have also won 42 of their previous 58 when playing against a right handed starter. The Giants have very rarely lost two games in a row this season, let alone three, so I’m thinking that will give them the extra desire to win this clash, and the fact that the Dodgers are so close to knocking them off the top spot.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: San Francisco Giants (+116)
After a shock win by the Brewers, the Giants look to bounce back and show the Brewers why they have the best record in the MLB. Milwaukee have shown that they can perform against the best team in the league and they aren’t just good against poor opponents. This bodes well but is it enough for another win? The Giants are now just 1.5 games ahead of the Dodgers for the lead in the NL West, and they need to win this next game against the Brewers to maintain that lead. The Giants have now lost two in a row but the good news is the Giants have only lost more than two games in a row just twice this season. We all know the Giants are statistically a lot better than the Brewers as an overall team but the Brewers are starting Brandon Woodruff who is one of the best pitchers in the league this season. Woodruff has a 2.38 ERA and 0.93 WHIP which are numbers that make him statistically the third best pitcher in the game. In his last game against the Giants this season, Woodruff had eight strikeouts and only allowed one run in six innings. This bodes extremely well for the Brewers, however, I don’t think it is enough for the Brewers to pull out another win.The Giants rarely go into losing streaks and I don’t see them going into one here when the division is on the line.
Mike’s MLB Pick: San Francisco Giants (+116)
Houston Astros @ Seattle Mariners – 10.10PM ET
The Houston Astros piled on two runs in the eighth inning to steal this one from the Seattle Mariners, claiming the first of this three game series. They now face off again with the Mariners’ postseason dreams slipping away whilst the Astros’ continue to push for the top seed in the American League.
I was with the Mariners last night and should have played it more safe by going with the spread. Losing by just one run after leading for most of the game is not how I wanted this one to pan out but we dust ourselves off and go again. While I don’t want to just flip to Houston following their win tonight, I like what Lance McCullers Jr can do with the ball in his hand and think he may give the Astros the edge. He hasn’t been as economical as Houston would have liked lately, giving up 12 runs across his last four games, going 1-2 in those, but his season stats of 10-4 with a 3.32 ERA speak for themselves. Considering he is going up against Yusei Kikuchi, who has numbers of 7-7 with a 4.33 ERA and actually performs worse at home, I like Houston to win again tonight.
The Astros were able to get a narrow win in the books against the Mariners in the first game of this series, winning 4-3. The Astros are still at the top of the AL West, by five and a half games, and the Mariners are in third place in the AL West, seven and a half games behind the Astros. The Astros have won 43 of their previous 64 games when they are the favorite, and they have won 37 of their previous 54 clashes against a team in the AL West. On the flip side, the Mariners have won 21 of their previous 64 games on a Tuesday and only one of their previous five games at home. The Astros just have too much firepower at the moment, back the Astros.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Houston Astros (-162)
After a close win against the Mariners, the Astros look to widen their lead over the Athletics in the AL West. The Mariners are continuing to fight down the stretch despite their tiny playoff odds, however this should be a simple matchup. The Astros are starting Lance McCullers Jr while the Mariners are starting Yusei Kikuchi. McCullers Jr has been good this season with a 3.32 ERA, and has also been decent against the Mariners this season. In his past 2 games against Seattle, McCullers Jr has had 16 strikeouts and allowed 6 runs in 12 innings. Although this isn’t bad and will likely win them the game, it isn’t great. It is still a lot better than Kikuchi who has played 4 games this season against the Astros and has allowed 16 runs in 21.2 innings. Overall, the Astros are also a better team, so a combination of a better team and better pitching should net Houston an easy win.
Mike’s MLB Pick: Houston Astros -1.5 (+106)
Atlanta Braves @ Los Angeles Dodgers – 10.10PM ET
The Atlanta Braves may have scored three runs late in the piece, but it was too little too late as the Los Angeles Dodgers enjoyed a 5-3 win last night. A three run third innings broke the game open and now LA will look to add another win as they chase the Giants on top of the NL West. Meanwhile, Atlanta’s lead in the NL East has trimmed down to just 3.5 games and they need every win they can get.
I’m all over the Dodgers to pick up another comfortable win tonight. They were impressive on both sides of the ball last night and I think they will be again in this one. Atlanta’s starter, Charlie Morton, is very impressive in his own right, putting up a 12-5 record with a 3.60 ERA from his 26 starts this season, but it is nothing in comparison to Walker Buehler’s numbers. Not only does his 13-2 record have him ranked third out of all pitchers for wins, but his incredibly low 2.02 ERA has him on top of the charts. He has recorded eight of those 13 wins at home, from 15 starts, and has given up more than just one run in a game in only one of his last seven. Those are some incredible numbers and it should be more than enough to give LA the early edge, much like last night, and see them win again.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers / Under 8.5 (+190)
Welcome to LA where the players play. pic.twitter.com/IlRYlh0RCG
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 31, 2021
The Dodgers got a crucial win against the Braves in the first game, and they are now edging very close to dethroning the Giants at the top of the NL West, thanks to a loss last time out by the Giants, the Dodgers are just one and a half games behind. The Braves are in a battle of their own at the top of the NL East, with the Phillies only three and a half games behind them. Looking at some key stats for the Braves now, they have won five of their previous six games played on a Tuesday and they have won 20 of their previous 26 games on the road. The Dodgers have won 40 of their previous 55 games played on a Tuesday and when it comes to the second game of a series, they have won 44 of their previous 58 games. Morton and Buehler have both had great seasons so far, so I think this is going to be one for the pitchers and defence, I’ll be on the under.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Under 8 (-104)
The Dodgers easily disposed of the Braves and are right on the tail of the Giants. With just 1.5 games separating the two teams, I see no reason why the Dodgers don’t continue their ferocious gameplay. The Dodgers have been a joy to watch this season, especially down the stretch, and they are probably the best team in the league right now. The Braves on the other hand are the weakest division leader in the league with just 70 wins. Unfortunately for the Braves, LA is starting Walker Buehler, who is the best pitcher in the league this season. Buehler should destroy the Braves. In Buehler’s last game he had 8 strikeouts and allowed just 1 run in 6 innings against the 70-win Padres. He should do similar damage to the Braves, who themselves are starting Charlie Morton who has played well this season and has been a strikeout machine. I think Morton plays poorly, despite his decent play this season, as he didn’t do well against the Dodgers with 4 allowed runs and just 1 strikeout in his last game against them. The Dodgers here should win easily again.
Mike’s MLB Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 (+114)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.