MLB Picks Today – Free Expert Picks (5/13/2021)
Chief Sports Writer
Thursday's seven-game MLB night slate has some great baseball action in store. ESPN+ has the only nationally-televised game tonight, featuring the Cincinnati Reds at Colorado Rockies. That game will be covered in the writing below.
It was a rough start to my MLB season, losing two of the three games in Tuesday's article (1-2, -$85). Just as a reminder, all bets will be made in fictional $100 wagers, with the ongoing count of money being the barometer of success. Here are three more free MLB picks to get things back on track heading into the weekend.
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Table of contents
Oakland A’s (+105) at Boston Red Sox (-115) – Total: 9
OAK: Sean Manaea – L (3-1, 3.07 ERA/1.07 WHIP)
BOS: Garrett Richards – R (2-2, 4.54 ERA/1.46 WHIP)
I’ll have to take the low-hanging fruit with the A’s here on the road. Manaea gets the ball for Oakland, and the guy has been an absolute stud for the most part this season. Since a blow-up start to open the season, the lefty has allowed two runs or fewer in five of those six starts- four of those went for one run or fewer. In addition, the A’s haven’t lost one of Manaea’s starts since that first one against the Astros.
Richards has struggled at times since joining the Red Sox, especially at home. In only 6 2/3 innings at Fenway Park this season, the right-hander has allowed 11 hits and 10 runs while allowing eight walks. The A’s have won four of their last five games, so I wouldn’t expect them to take this opportunity too lightly.
Betting Pick: A’s (+105)
Cincinnati Reds (-140) at Colorado Rockies (+130) – Total: 11
CIN: Luis Castillo – R (1-4, 6.42 ERA/1.63 WHIP)
COL: Chi Chi Gonzalez – R (1-1, 5.97 ERA/1.57 WHIP)
It’s clear that the Rockies are the worst team in MLB this season, as evidenced by the 31 times they have already been listed as the underdog. Of course, not many of those games were covered (nine, in fact), at a success rate of 29%. I think this is the perfect spot to pick on Colorado with the run line.
This could very well be a dream scenario for the Reds, who have scored the third-most runs (178) in the National League so far this season. The Rockies just played a doubleheader yesterday, so their bullpen will not be at its best. That means, Cincy hitters could be teeing off on Gonzalez for longer than usual. The Reds did get a +0.7 increased on their implied run total, which is a great sign for offensive success; that increase is the highest on the day’s entire slate.
Castillo has been an absolute dumpster fire for the Reds so far this season. However, I’m willing to take a chance on him against the worst team in baseball. He did have a sparkling seven-inning, shutout performance against the Pirates, another cellar-dwelling team in the NL.
Betting Pick: Reds run line -1.5 (+105)
Miami Marlins (-120) at Arizona Diamondbacks (+110) – Total: 8.5
MIA: Trevor Rogers – R (4-2, 1.90 ERA/1.08 WHIP)
ARZ: Merrill Kelly – R (2-3, 5.40 ERA/1.44 WHIP)
I’ll be staying with the same theme- teams with increased IRTs. The Marlins got +0.5 boost, which is the second highest on the entire slate. Although, there’s another good reason for backing Miami tonight with Mr. Rogers on the mound. The righty has been spectacular this season, allowing three runs or fewer in all seven starts this season. In Rogers’ last four starts, he has allowed one run or fewer and gotten the win in three of them. Rogers has never faced anyone in the D-Backs’ roster, so the angle of unfamiliarity bodes well in his favor.
Kelly gets the ball for Arizona, looking to get back on track after allowing a season-high five walks in his last start. I actually like this guy as a pitcher and believe he'll be fine at some point, but Rogers is clearly the better option of the two at the current moment.
While the D-Backs rank second in the NL for runs scored (180), it hasn’t been all smooth sailing recently. Over the last nine games, Arizona has put three runs or fewer across the plate in six of them- two or fewer in five of them. Given the way Rogers has pitched this season, it could be another long night for the Diamondbacks.
Betting Pick: Marlins (-120)