Memorial Day weekend is upon us and BetRivers.com is here to provide our MLB weekend picks for an exciting and patriotic weekend of pro baseball. Longtime Poker broadcaster and sports bettor David Tuchman is here to preview the notable games and make his MLB Weekend picks for Memorial Day Weekend, beginning with a Diamondbacks team as the surprise favorite at home against the Cardinals, and ending with a Sunday night matchup between the Braves and the best pitcher in baseball.
Time to crack open the BBQ and slap the dogs on the grill. Memorial Day weekend and as far as I’m concerned, summer is here. No better way to enjoy the weekend than with an ice-cold beverage and bet online on some baseball.
Last week I promised I’d go 4-0. Sorry. An extra-inning loss away from it, but no excuses. 3-1 is not 4-0. 19-13 on the year is certainly nothing to sneeze at though. There are some very easy games this week and some really tough matchups as well. I’m inclined to go with some toss-ups or underdogs this week, to try to make some more money on longshots that aren’t that long if you look under the hood
Some low-hanging fruit if you’re interested, however: The Yankees face the Tigers, The Blue Jays face the Indians, and the White Sox face the Orioles. That’s 9 games that the favorites should win 7-9 out of 9. As always, if we’re only betting favorites, the line won’t be favorable, so we’ll want to sprinkle some dogs in there.
As for MLB Weekend picks, here we go …
MLB WEEKEND PICKS: FRIDAY, MAY 28
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (28-22) at ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (18-33), 9:40 p.m. ET
PITCHERS: Johan Oviedo (0-2, STL) vs. Madison Bumgarner (4-4, ARI)
MONEYLINE: Cardinals +132 ML, Diamondbacks -139 ML
SPREAD: Cardinals +1 (-120), Diamondbacks -1 (+120)
OVER/UNDER: 9.5 runs (-103/-117)
Click here for the full list of Diamondbacks-Cardinals odds.
Well, here’s the opposite of low fruit, as I’m picking a Friday night shocker. The Cardinals are in first place in the NL Central at 26-22 while the Diamondbacks are terrible and in dead last in the NL West, at 18-31. The Diamondbacks have no business coming close in these weekend games and I do think the Cardinals win two out of three. But…Friday night…
The Diamondbacks have Madison Bumgarner going and he’s far from the Madbum that excelled on the Giants years ago. He’s pitched to a very mediocre 4-4 mark, with a 4.53 ERA, 1.08 WHIP (decent) and a 3.87 FIP (also decent). He’s whiffed 56 in 53 IP, which is also good. But Bumgarner has given up just 2 runs or less in six of his last 7 starts. (the only outlier is his last start in Colorado.) The Cardinals are giving one of their rookie prospects, Johan Oviedo, another look in this one. Oviedo was up earlier this year and had control issues. He gave up 12 hits and 9 BB in just 15 innings.
It’s a very risky play, but sometimes you gotta go with your gut. The Cardinals can hit. The D-backs can’t. But they won’t have to if Oviedo has control issues again. I’m betting Madbum pitches a gem and the D-Backs beat the Cards on Friday night.
The Pick: Arizona Diamondbacks -139 ML
Reds @ Cubs
CINCINNATI REDS (22-26) at CHICAGO CUBS (27-22), 2:20 p.m. ET
PITCHERS: Vladimir Gutierrez (0-0 CIN) vs. Adbert Alzolay (2-4, CHC)
MONEYLINE: Reds +155 ML, Cubs -186 ML
SPREAD: Reds +1 (+112), Cubs -1 (-134)
OVER/UNDER: 6.5 runs (-109/-109)
Click here for the full list of Cubs-Reds odds.
Here’s a nice NL Central battle between the Cubs (25-22) and the Reds (21-25). The Cubs have been playing much better lately, trying to keep pace with the Cardinals, while the Reds have slumped. But these two teams always play each other tough, especially in Wrigley Field.
The Reds are rolling the dice with a young Cuban prospect, Vladimir Gutierrez. Gutierrez has pitched well at AAA lately, going 2-0 with a 2.65 ERA and 21 K in 17 IP. But prior to 2021, the kid has struggled mightily. In 2019, in Louisville, the same AAA Team he’s with now, he went 6-11 with a 6.04 ERA. I’m not sure he’s ready for the majors. Meanwhile, the Cubs will go with another promising youngster, Adbert Alzolay. In his last start, he went seven innings against the Cardinals, struck out 6 and allowed just 2 runs. He was a tough-luck loser in that one, but he has pitched very well this year for Chicago. He hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs in 7 of his last 8 starts.
The Cubs can hit, as Javier Baez is hitting .263-11-32 and Kris Bryant is hitting .308-10-28. Anthony Rizzo has his average up to a respectable .258 and is starting to come around. It adds up to a nice win on Friday night for the Cubbies.
The Pick: Chicago Cubs
MLB WEEKEND PICKS: SATURDAY, MAY 29
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES at TAMPA BAY RAYS, 1:10 p.m. ET
PITCHERS: Zack Wheeler (4-2, PHI) vs. Ryan Yarbrough (2-3, TB)
So, here’s a battle of the First Place Rays (as of Wednesday) against the third-place Phillies. But the Phils are just a game and a half behind the Mets for first. The Rays should be favored here. They are the better team. And they’re home.
The Rays will likely go with Michael Wacha as an “opener” here, but don’t expect him to go more than 2-3 innings before the Rays go to the bullpen. Plus, the Rays have been mashing lately. C Mike Zunino has 11 HR. OF Austin Meadows has 29 RBI. OF Manual Margot has 28. And Randy Arozarena is finally coming around, raising his numbers to .277-7-25 on the year. But, I’m going with the Phillies to win this Saturday game. Why? The hot hand. Phillies starter Zack Wheeler is coming off a huge win over the Boston Red Sox. He went 7.1 IP and struck out 12. He’s got 22 K over his last 2 starts (14.1 IP) and has lowered his ERA to 2.38 on the year. He’s also allowed just 3 ER in his last 29 IP.
The Phillies will hope the Rays run into their buzzsaw SP Wheeler and we’re riding the hot hand for the win in this one.
The Pick: Philadelphia Phillies
ATLANTA BRAVES at NEW YORK METS, 7:15 p.m. ET
PITCHERS: Max Fried (2-2, ATL) vs. David Peterson (1-4, NYM)
Saturday brings us to the first place Mets taking on the second place Braves in Queens. The Mets are 22-20 and the Braves are 24-24 (as of May 26th). This simply is not a good matchup for the Mets, as the Braves are facing someone who isn’t named Jacob deGrom in this one – and the Mets are trying their best to look like a M.A.S.H. unit.
The Mets opened the season with Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeill, Kevin Pillar, Michael Conforto, JD Davis and Brandon Nimmo in their starting lineup. They’re all hurt. On May 26, the Mets rolled out a lineup consisting of Jonathan Villar, Brandon Drury, James McCann (at 1B), Tomas Nido, Dominic Smith, Jose Peraza and Cameron Maybin. Just brutal. Big time off-season acquisition, Francisco Lindor has been healthy all year…but he’s hitting just .185, much to the angst of Met fans. In that May 26 game – which the Mets won, 3-1 – their best hitter was…Jacob deGrom, who is hitting .471. So, the Mets will be without their best pitcher and hitter.
Meanwhile, the Braves are led by all-world OF, MVP candidate, Ronald Acuna, 277-15-32, Freddie Freeman (29 RBI), 3B Austin Riley .312-9-21 and 2B Ozzie Albies. They can all hit. Plus, their ace, Max Fried, is healthy and going in this one. Fried opened the season, likely pitching hurt, to an unsightly 11.45 ERA. Since he’s come back, he’s lowered it to 4.63, thanks to a 1.50 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over his last 4 games. (24 IP, 20 K, 4 ER over that span) The Mets counter with David Peterson, who isn’t Jacob deGrom. Peterson is 1-4 with a 4.91 ERA. That won’t get the job done on Saturday.
The Pick: Atlanta Braves