A broken clock is right twice a day. All three of last Sunday’s picks went according to plan, bringing my season profit line for these recommendations out of the red. Let’s test that luck with three more wagers to close out the last weekend in May.
Total Runs by Royals: O/U 4.5 Runs
Betting the under on a Royals game worked last Sunday, and they plated five runs in three games after that 3-2 victory. Yet their offense has performed better against the Twins, recording eight runs Friday and five more Saturday.
Kansas City is averaging 4.1 runs per game heading into Sunday. Why bet on the AL Central squad exceeding that mark? For starters, the Royals have received a spark from the returning Adalberto Mondesi, who is batting 7-for-18 with three doubles and a homer in five games since returning from an oblique injury. They also have a great matchup against Matt Shoemaker. Despite making five of nine starts against the Orioles, Pirates, Mariners, and Tigers (twice), the 34-year-old righty has a 5.48 ERA and 6.03 FIP. He can blame the Royals for tattooing him to nine runs (eight earned) on May 1. Salvador Pérez has especially pulverized Shoemaker in their prior encounters, going a blazing 9-for-15 with three doubles and two home runs.
The Royals are nonetheless road underdogs, so there’s another avenue for bettors uncomfortable rolling the dice on a high offensive output in 2021. However, Brad Keller doesn’t inspire much confidence with a 5.72 ERA and 1.73 WHIP. Sunday’s rubber match could resemble yesterday’s 6-5 Twins triumph, and specifying the over for Kansas City presents a greater payout than the -110 FanDuel and DraftKings provides for the game’s 9.5-run line.
Pick: Over (+100 on DraftKings, -105 on FanDuel)
Padres at Astros: Moneyline
Blake Snell has had a frustrating start to his Padres tenure, registering a 4.50 ERA with a ghastly 13.9% walk rate. Because of those control woes, he’s lasted just 4.4 innings per start. After tallying a season-high 11 strikeouts and finally pitching six innings for the first time since July 21, 2019, he surrendered five runs at Milwaukee.
Given his volatility, it’s tough to trust him against the Astros. Led by right-handed stars Alex Bregman, José Altuve, and Carlos Correa, they have the lowest strikeout rate (17.2%) and second-highest wRC+ (121) against lefties this season.
The opposing Zack Greinke is no longer a true ace. He hasn’t fallen off a cliff either, posting a solid 3.97 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. The 37-year-old hasn’t ceded more than four runs in a start since allowing six to the Tigers on April 12, so he typically at least keeps the Astros competitive. The Padres shouldn’t post double-digit runs for the third consecutive day. Instead, look for the Astros to get to Snell early and force the bullpen to work more than San Diego would like following two extra-inning affairs.
Pick: Astros (-108 on FanDuel, -109 on DraftKings)
Giants at Dodgers: Moneyline
This is mostly a matter of chasing the odds. The Giants are massive underdogs despite sending one of baseball’s hottest pitchers to the mound.
Kevin Gausman wields a 1.53 ERA this season after allowing four earned runs over his last seven starts. Anyone who watched the Dodgers erase much of Anthony DeSclafani’s stellar early-season work with a 10-run shellacking might fear regression striking in spades again. While that’s certainly a risk for a 30-year-old who’s lost the consistency battle often in his career, Gausman’s 2021 success is no mere fluke. His 2.31 FIP ranks fourth among qualified starters behind Jacob deGrom, Gerrit Cole, and Brandon Woodruff, and his 15.1% swinging-strike rate places ninth between Cole and Lucas Giolito.
Clayton Kershaw, of course, is also pretty good. But he’ll also have his hands full against a stout offense. The Giants garnered a 108 wRC+ against southpaws before tagging Julio Urías to 11 hits and seven runs on Saturday night. Each NL West bullpen also possessed a matching 3.85 ERA before the Dodgers roughed up Scott Kazmir yesterday. The run line of seven indicates a close, low-scoring contest between two prolific division foes. Los Angeles is a justifiable favorite with an illustrious ace on the rubber and Cody Bellinger back in the lineup, but the line is lopsided enough to put a little juice on a San Francisco upset that’d be far from earth-shattering after winning the last two games at Dodger Stadium.
Pick: Giants (+164 on FanDuel, +150 on DraftKings)
Andrew Gould Overall Record: 14-13
Net Money (Assuming all wagers are $100): +$157.67
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)