MLB Picks - May 3, 2021
Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles Angels
First pitch: 9:38 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Tyler Glasnow (3-1, 1.67 ERA) vs. Shohei Ohtani (1-0, 3.29 ERA)
Let’s pursue what may be the highest-profile pitching matchup from this 10-game Monday slate. There’s an American League Cy Young candidate in Glasnow facing off with the rock star that is Ohtani.
Some may be thinking it’s a little too early to be crowning top contenders but in the case of Glasnow, how could you not? He’s seemingly picked up where he left off last October by stitching a stellar April, which saw the 27-year-old churn out a 1.67 ERA and 0.80 WHIP in his six assignments.
As great as those numbers sound, they’re not even the best part. Glasnow has been rolling by nearly maintaining his remarkable strikeout rate of a year ago (14.28 K/9), when that career-best mark led all starting pitchers. This season, he’s registering a still-outstanding 13.38 K/9.
Not only that, the Tampa Bay ace is holding opponents to a microscopic .144 batting average, ranking him first in the AL. The last few years have really seen Glasnow establish himself as a dominant pitcher, yet his BAA hasn’t been this low.
Unquestionably, Glasnow will have one of his biggest challenges to date in the form of the Angels lineup. At the same time, he’s achieved success against this club, yielding no runs in two previous meetings.
One of the hitters Glasnow must contend with is actually his counterpart as well despite this being an AL matchup. Ohtani, making his second start, is a factor in the lineup, too, along with the usual suspects.
While it remains to be seen how those encounters go, we can also appropriately invest in Ohtani from his main responsibility this evening — pitching.
Ohtani looked real sharp after being limited to a pair of concerning starter early last year in his return to the mound from Tommy John. This season, however, the prized Japanese import is looking in rhythm, as evident in the three solid outings he’s enjoyed thus far in 2021.
Ohtani’s most recent effort last week saw him allow a season-high four runs but it was an otherwise dominant outing in which he racked up nine K’s. That’s been a prevailing theme for the man also known simply as Ohtani-san, as he’s notched at least seven punch-outs in each time out.
His strikeout rate is sitting at an absurd 15.15 K/9 — even higher than Glasnow’s — and though that’s in a small sample size, it’s still telling of his effectiveness.
The Rays are a manageable foe for Ohtani to stifle. Banking on that opposite the usual work from Glasnow is the plan here.
The Pick: UNDER 8 @ -111 (Click to bet)
Monday's MLB Leans - 5/3/21
Pirates-Padres Under 8
2021 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 15-14-2, -0.75 unit
Yesterday’s Result: Cardinals-Pirates Under 8.5 (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit