MLB picks: A's vs. Rays, Phillies vs. Cardinals
A busy MLB Monday sees 11 games on the docket, but we’ve narrowed things down to our two best bets of the day.
First we’ll preview a rematch of the 2019 AL Wild Card Game as the Oakland Athletics visit the Tampa Bay Rays. Then it’s onto Busch Stadium for the series opener between the Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals.
Mon, April 26 2021, 11:10 PM
The A’s amazing 13-game winning streak was brought to an end on Sunday, but they can start a new one as they visit the Rays at Tropicana Field on Monday night.
Sean Manaea – riding a streak of three straight quality starts – gets the nod for Oakland. He’s limited the Houston Astros, Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins to three combined runs over 19 innings while boasting a 18-2 strikeout/walk ratio.
Manaea is backed by an A’s bullpen that’s sixth in the majors in ERA (2.61) over the last two weeks.
Starting for Tampa here is Rich Hill, who’s been consistent in 2021, but not in a good way. He’s made four starts in his 41-year-old campaign and surrendered four runs in each of them while averaging just over four innings per start.
Hill has limited experience against this Oakland lineup, but he’ll have to be wary of Matt Olson. The A’s first baseman had a nine-game hitting streak going into Sunday, batting 15-for-34 (.441) with five home runs and 11 RBI in the process.
Mon, April 26 2021, 11:45 PM
Bettors should expect plenty of runs to be produced in Monday night’s meeting between the Phillies and Cardinals.
Zack Wheeler starts for Philadelphia, and he’s had trouble keeping traffic off the bases through four starts, as evidenced by his 1.31 WHIP. Unfortunately for him, St. Louis is second in the majors in OPS with runners on (.839) in 2021.
Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt have decent numbers against Wheeler (6-for-20 combined, three walks, three strikeouts), but Paul DeJong might be the most dangerous man in a Redbirds uniform to the Georgia native. He’s 3-for-6 lifetime off Wheeler with two home runs.
Bettors should also note that the Phillies’ bullpen has a league-worst 6.44 ERA over the last two weeks.
Adam Wainwright (5.03 ERA) counters for the Cardinals, and he’s off to an uneven start on the year. Bryce Harper has a chance to break things open early for the Phillies, as he’s 11-for-23 (.478) all-time against “Waino” with a homer and four RBI.
The Over is 8-3 in Philly’s last 11 road games against right-handed starters.