MLB picks: Braves vs. Blue Jays, Royals vs. Twins
There are plenty of wagering options for the final Friday night MLB slate of April, but we’ve narrowed things down to our two best bets of the evening!
First we’ll preview an interleague series opener between the Atlanta Braves and the Toronto Blue Jays. Then we’ll highlight an AL Central clash between the Kansas City Royals and the Minnesota Twins.
Fri, April 30 2021, 11:37 PM
TOR Blue Jays
Superior pitching should carry the day for the Blue Jays in their series opener at TD Bank Field against the Braves.
Robbie Ray will toe the rubber for Toronto, and he’s pitched remarkably well through three starts. The southpaw has allowed just five runs through 16 innings in 2021. Ray should relish working against an Atlanta lineup that’s 29th in OPS against lefties this year (.429).
The Blue Jays’ bullpen has been a source of strength over the last two weeks, producing a 2.59 ERA, good for sixth in the majors in that span.
Drew Smyly counters for the Braves, and his season ERA has ballooned to 7.20 following consecutive starts with five earned runs allowed. His bullpen – 26th by ERA (5.01) over the last two weeks – is unlikely to provide much relief.
Marcus Semien has played some inspired baseball for the Blue Jays lately, amassing eight hits in his last 22 at-bats (.364) with a home run, so look for him to lead the way on offense.
Sat, May 1 2021, 12:10 AM
The overachieving Royals are an appealing underdog play against one of the most disappointing teams in baseball this month in the Twins.
Brady Singer gets the call for Kansas City, and he’s allowed just two earned runs over his last 18 innings on the mound. He’s struck out 20 batters in that span while walking only three.
Prior to their 10-run outburst on Wednesday, Minnesota had averaged a modest 2.6 runs per contest over a five-game span. The Royals’ bullpen is a respectable 13th in ERA (3.48) over the last two weeks.
Michael Pineda responds for the Twins, fresh off his worst effort of the season in which he gave up four earned runs in just 4 1/3 innings of work against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Many of K.C.’s best bats have good numbers against Pineda, including Salvador Perez.
The Royals backstop – who recorded a three-hit game against the Pirates when last seen – is 10-for-26 (.385) all-time off Pineda with two homers and five RBI.
K.C. can pile on late against a dreadful Minnesota relief corps that’s 29th in ERA (5.91) over the last two weeks.