SI Gambling analyst Roy Larking previews Tuesday’s MLB betting action and shares the two top picks on his baseball betting card.
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Washington Nationals at Toronto Blue Jays
MLB interleague action features Washington visiting Toronto for the first of a two-game series tonight. The first pitch for the Nationals vs. Blue Jays contest is slated for 7:07 p.m. ET at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Fla. This is the first of four meetings this season. These teams played a four-game series in Washington last year. Toronto won the first two games, 5–4 and 5–1, before the Nationals earned a series split with 4–0 and 6–4 victories. Both teams enter this series with a 5–5 record over their last ten games. Washington is a favorite on the road for the first time this season.
Washington (8–11) is last overall in the National League East standings, but just two games behind the first-place New York Mets. The Nationals had COVID-19 issues early in the season and their first four games were postponed. Washington opened the year with a 1–6 losing streak but has rebounded somewhat as they are 7–6 over the last 13 games. The Nationals head to Dunedin after getting shutout twice by the Mets, 6–0 and 4–0, during a three-game series in New York. The Nats avoided a sweep with a 7–1 win in between the losses. Washington has stumbled to a 3–6 record on the road.
Toronto (10–11) sits third in the American League East standings and they trail the Boston Red Sox by three games. The Blue Jays are playing regular-season home games at their spring training facility due to COVID-19 border restrictions put in place by the Canadian government. Toronto had a day off for travel yesterday and return to Dunedin following a nine-game road trip. The Blue Jays opened the road trip with a 3–1 series loss to the Royals in Kansas City and a 1–1 series split in Boston. Toronto closed the road trip with a 2–1 series win against the Tampa Bay Rays on the weekend.
Three-time Cy Young Award winner, RHP Max Scherzer (1–1, 1.80 ERA) is making his fifth start for Washington. After giving up five runs over 12 innings, during his first two starts, Scherzer pitched 13 scoreless-innings during 1–0 wins at home against Arizona and St. Louis. He has 33 strikeouts, and has issued just four walks, over 25.0 innings. Toronto is using a bullpen rotation and RHP Trent Thornton (0–0, 1.86 ERA) gets the start. He hasn’t pitched more than two innings during five appearances this season. Back Scherzer and bet on Washington with the moneyline at FanDuel sportsbook.
Pick: Washington Nationals (-126) moneyline
Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox
Teams headed in opposite directions meet when Detroit visits Chicago for the first of a three-game series. Game time for the Tigers vs. White Sox matchup is 8:10 p.m. ET at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Ill. This is the first of 19 scheduled meetings this season. Chicago dominated Detroit last year as they won the season series 9–1. Following a 5–1 win by the Tigers in Detroit, the White Sox racked up nine straight wins and outscored Detroit by a 69–23 margin. Chicago won eight of those contests by at least two runs and eight or more runs were scored in seven of the ten games.
Detroit (7–16) opened the season with a 6–6 record but enter this series on a 1–10 losing streak. It’s going to be a long year for the Tigers. They are last overall in the American League Central standings and sit eight-games behind the Kansas City Royals. Detroit heads to Chicago after losing six of seven games at home. The Tigers and Pirates both scored nine total runs during a 2–1 series win by Pittsburgh. Detroit then struggled on offense as they were outscored 15–5 during a four-game sweep by Kansas City. The Tigers average 3.00 runs per game on offense and allow 4.65 runs on defense.
Chicago (12–9) opened the season with a 6–8 record but they have won six of their last seven games. The White Sox are second in the AL Central and trail Kansas City by two games. Although they score 5.14 runs per game, and allow 4.14 runs, nine of the White Sox 12 wins have been by at least two runs. Following a 2–2 series split in Boston, and an 8–5 win during one game in Cleveland, Chicago returned home and swept Texas 3–0 on the weekend. The White Sox outscored the Rangers by a 19–12 margin. Chicago has been the favorite in every home game and they are 6–3 at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Struggling pitchers meet in the mound matchup tonight. RHP José Ureña (0-3, 4.57 ERA) is making his fifth start for Detroit. He has allowed 11 earned runs, on 19 hits over 21.2 innings, and the Tigers are 0–4 during his starts. RHP Lucas Giolito (1-1, 5.79 ERA) makes his fifth start for Chicago. He has allowed 12 earned runs, on 17 hits over 18.2 innings, and the White Sox are 1-3 during his starts. Giolito was lit up by Boston in his last outing but a game against the light-hitting Tigers should get him back on track. Chicago is on a roll and a sweep of Detroit in this series would not be a surprise.
Pick: Chicago White Sox -1.5 (-109) run line
2021 MLB Regular Season Betting Record: 12–18 (-8.32 Units)
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