MLB Picks - May 21
Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants
First pitch: 9:45 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Trevor Bauer (4-2, 2.20 ERA) vs. Alex Wood (5-0, 1.75 ERA)
Really? A total as high as 7 for this stellar pitching clash in San Francisco tonight?
There’s definitely been inferior matchups from AT&T... err, Oracle Park in recent years that were labeled in the 6.5 range. But oh well, we’ll seek to take advantage.
For some reason, the linesmakers aren’t showing proper respect to the two starters in this series-opening affair. Hell, Bauer is the reigning National League Cy Young and should be garnering over/unders below 7 opposite a quality counterpart when working in pitcher-friendly NL parks.
Bauer has simply been sustaining his dominance of a year ago, when he finished in the top three amongst all qualified Major League starters in ERA (1.73), WHIP (0.79), strikeout rate (12.3 K/9) and batting average against (.159).
Nothing’s changed. The 10th-year right-hander is doing the same thing in his first year as a Dodger after signing that mega three-year, $100-plus million deal. Bauer — aside from being one of the best pitchers in the game — is the type of prideful player to keep justifying that.
Since allowing four runs in his season and team debut, Bauer has entered cruise control, not allowing more than a pair of earned runs in any of those eight outings.
The 10th-year right hander’s high strikeout rate (12.1 K/9) and low BAA (.146) remain, too. Considering this will not only be Bauer’s first-ever taste of the vaunted Dodgers-Giants rivalry, but also his first appearance pitching at San Francisco’s beautiful stadium, that helps ensures he’s on his ‘A’ game, as per usual.
So we have that body of work and rock of consistency facing another talented arm in a serious groove right now, that being fellow veteran Wood. After a delayed start to the campaign — his first with the Giants — he’s really been as effective as anyone.
Wood’s made six starts now in his new colors, and similar to Bauer, hasn’t yielded more than two runs in any assignment. Overall, he owns a pristine 1.75 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and .197 BAA, and while the defending champs could pose a threat to any hurled, remember they’re down Cody Bellinger (calf) and Corey Seager (hand).
The latter just landed on the injured list via hit by pitch on Sunday and since that day (span of five games), LA’s plated more than four runs just once. Opposite an in-rhythm veteran southpaw like Wood, this seems like a vulnerable spot for the lineup.
Be sure to bet this as soon as possible, with a good likelihood the number ticks down a half run. It certainly won’t go up.
MLB Picks and Prediction
Firday's MLB Leans
Red Sox-Phillies Under 8.5
Tigers-Royals Under 8.5
2021 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “23-23-2,” -3.09 units
Yesterday’s Result: Rays-Orioles Under 9 (loss)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit