MLB Picks Today – Free Expert Picks (5/20/2021)

Thursday’s slate of MLB action is split into two, as we’ll see six games during the day and five under the lights. If you’re looking for baseball action on TV, the only game you’ll see is the Pittsburgh Pirates at Atlanta Braves on ESPN+.

Last night, I went 1-2 again to bring my season-long record to 5-10 (-$505). Here are two free MLB picks to get things in order. Hey, at least I won’t be able to go 1-2!

Miami Marlins (+110) at Philadelphia Phillies (-120) – Total: 8

MIA: Sandy Alcantara – R (1-3, 4.06 ERA/1.16 WHIP)
PHI: Vince Velasquez – R (1-0, 3.68 ERA/1.40 WHIP)

I hate to go against my own boys here, but a Marlins win looks inevitable. For one, Miami has taken four of the last five meetings against Philly. This is a matchup that has been incredibly frustrating to be on the wrong end of the fandom. Although, the Marlins have simply been the better team.

Alcantara takes the mound for Miami, and he’ll be looking to rebound from his worst performance of the season. The Dodgers teed off on him to the tune of seven hits and eight runs allowed over a short 1 1/3-inning outing. It was certainly a misnomer against a quality opponent on the road, considering Alcantara has six quality starts in nine tries. Over the last seven days, Phils’ hitters are striking out at a 27.2% clip. In addition, they already own the fifth-highest K-rate (26%) against right-handed pitching.

Every time Velasquez toes the rubber, a prayer is said in my household. Of course, he’s been great in the month of May, but I also know that it could all come crashing down at any moment. A lot of hitters in this Miami lineup have fantastic numbers against Velasquez, so I’d expect them to continue bopping him.

Betting Pick: Marlins (+110)

(7-inning game)

Minnesota Twins (-125) at Los Angeles Angels (+110) – Total: 6

MIN: Jose Berrios – R (3-2, 3.74 ERA/1.14 WHIP)
LAA: Griffin Canning – R (3-2, 4.78 ERA/1.38 WHIP)

Berrios is usually a much better pitcher at home, but the tides have turned this season. In 22 2/3 innings (four starts) away from Minnesota, the righty has posted a 1.99 ERA/0.97 WHIP, holding the opposition to two runs or fewer each time out.

Canning has been a pleasant surprise for the Angels this season, but this will only be his second home start of the season. Apparently, he’s been a much better creature of the night, with a 3-0 record and 3.28 ERA compared to an 0-2 record with a 9.82 ERA during the day. The Indians are striking out at a 25% clip over the last seven days, so Canning could have a big night in that regard- make sure you look into his K-prop, which is currently unavailable on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Betting Pick: Under 6

Al Walsh
Al Walsh Chief Sports Writer