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MLB picks: Diamondbacks vs. Reds, Blue Jays vs. Red Sox

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

April 20th, 2021

It’s another busy Tuesday for baseball bettors, with 16 games on the docket. We took a long look at the slate and came up with our two wisest wagers for the evening.

First we’ll preview a clash between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Cincinnati Reds. Then we’ll dive into a matchup between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox.

Arizona Diamondbacks (6-10) at Cincinnati Reds (9-6), 6:40 p.m. ET

Tue, April 20 2021, 10:40 PM

CIN Reds

Moneyline

-143

Spread

-1.5

Total

O 7.5

ARI Diamondbacks

Moneyline

+123

Spread

+1.5

Total

U 7.5

The pitching matchup between the Diamondbacks’ Zac Gallen and the Reds’ Luis Castillo looks promising at first glance, but Cincinnati clearly has the advantage at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday night upon close examination.

There’s little to knock about Gallen (2.77 career ERA), a third-year starter for Arizona fresh off four innings of one-run ball in his 2021 debut. His experience against the Reds is limited, but Eugenio Suarez should be happy to see Gallen again after going 2-for-2 with two home runs against him when they first locked horns.

Cincinnati’s offense is on a tear, as they’re still tops in the big leagues by runs per game (6.07).

Gallen is supported by a D-backs bullpen that’s produced a 4.91 ERA over the last week, 23rd in the majors.

Countering for the “Queen City” squad is Luis Castillo, who’s off to a rocky start in 2021. But bettors should be willing to excuse “La Piedra,” as he’s authored a 2.94 ERA at home since 2019.

Expect the Reds to keep their first-place status in the NL Central intact.

MLB pick: Reds -143


Toronto Blue Jays (7-9) at Boston Red Sox (11-6), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tue, April 20 2021, 11:10 PM

BOS Red Sox

Moneyline

-114

Spread

+1.5

Total

O 8

TOR Blue Jays

Moneyline

-103

Spread

-1.5

Total

U 8

All signs point to a low-scoring series opener at Fenway Park between the Blue Jays and Red Sox.

Hyun Jin Ryu starts for Toronto, matched up against fellow southpaw Eduardo Rodriguez. Coincidentally, the offenses of both clubs are tied for 16th in OPS (.728) against lefties this year.

Ryu was a force to be reckoned with in his first year with the Blue Jays, particularly on the road (2.20 ERA). That momentum has carried over into this season based on his 1.89 ERA and 0.890 WHIP.

He’s backed by a Toronto bullpen that’s sixth in ERA over the last seven days (2.21) and eighth in strand rate (81.9%).

Rodriguez (3.60 ERA) is off to a respectable start in his first action since 2019, as a heart condition prevented him from pitching in 2020. His 12-1 strikeout/walk ratio through two outings catches the eye.

Despite Fenway being a hitter’s haven, Rodriguez sported a 3.09 ERA and .223 opponent batting average over 105 innings there in 2019.

The Boston bullpen has been even better than the Blue Jays’ lately, authoring a 1.42 ERA over the last seven days as well as a 84.1% strand rate, good for fourth among all clubs in each category.

MLB pick: Under

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