The 2021 MLB season is winding down, and our MLB Weekend picks are here to guide you through a fun weekend of baseball betting. BetRivers.com has a wide variety of MLB game lines, team futures and player markets for you to choose from. Longtime Poker broadcaster and sports bettor David Tuchman is here to preview the notable games and make his MLB Weekend picks for Friday, August 27 to Sunday, August 29.
RELATED: VSIN Weekend Betting Guide
As the summer fades, the end of baseball season is in sight. With that, a few teams are positioning themselves for a postseason run while others might be taking a look at the future. In either situation, there will be value to be had – you just need to look for it.
We went 3-1 last weekend, but 1-2 during the week, bringing our season-long tally to 60-38.
MLB WEEKEND PICKS: FRIDAY, AUGUST 27
SAN FRANCISCO GIANT (83-44) at ATLANTA BRAVES (68-58), 7:20 p.m. ET
PITCHERS: Kevin Gausman (SF. 12-5, 2.47) vs. Max Fried (ATL. 11-7, 3.49)
MONEYLINE: Giants +110 ML, Braves -129 ML
SPREAD: Giants +1 (-143), Braves -1 (+120)
OVER/UNDER: 8.5 runs (-109/-109)
At 82-44, the Giants have the best record in baseball. I guess it’s time to start taking them seriously. Buster Posey is the elder statesman, leading the way, hitting .314-15-39, .925 OPS. Brandon Belt is back and healthy, hitting .242-19-40, .896; all-star SS Brandon Crawford, is raking at .299-19-73-10, .896 OPS, and Mike Yastrzemski has 20 HR and 50 RBI. The Giants are deep, too, as the bench has Wilmer Flores (15 HR, 44 RBI), LaMonte Wade Jr, (17 HR 43 RBI), and Darin Ruf (.276-14-33, .954). At the trade deadline, they picked up Kris Bryant from the Cubs, and he’s hit .273-5-11 in 20 games. Overall, he’s hitting .268-23-62, .861 OPS in 2021.
On Friday, Kevin Gausman (12-5, 2.47, 174 K in 146 IP) takes the hill. Simply put, Gausman has been lights out this season. The Giants bullpen has also been a huge edge, with closer Jake McGee (29 saves, 2.63 ERA) leading the way, while Tyler Rogers (11 saves, 4-1, 1.92 ERA), Jose Alvarez (4-1, 2.13 ERA), Zack Littell (2.84 ERA) and Dominic Leone (1.53 ERA) form a solid bullpen core.
Atlanta is also in first, 68-58, and SP Max Fried has been solid after a terrible start and DL stint. Overall, he’s 11-7, 3.49. But closer Will Smith has had his troubles, despite 28 saves, with a 3.74 ERA, and six losses on the year. The Braves really miss Ronald Acuna in that lineup, and while Freddie Freeman (.296-27-70, .903 OPS), Ozzie Albies (.257-22-84), Dansby Swanson (.267-25-77), and Austin Riley (.301-27-77) give the Braves a historic infield, (No infield has ever all hit 30+ HR, they have a shot to do that) The outfield is struggling. Heredia, Almonte, and Pederson are hitting a combined .227
I feel like I’ve been waiting for San Francisco to fall apart all season. Keep waiting – the Giants and Gausman are the play here.
The Pick: San Francisco Giants
NEW YORK YANKEES (75-52) at OAKLAND ATHLETICS (70-58), 9:40 p.m. ET
PITCHERS: Gerrit Cole (NYY. 12-6, 2.92) vs. Sean Manaea (OAK. 8-8, 3.77)
MONEYLINE: Yankees -148 ML, Athletics +125 ML
SPREAD: Yankees -1 (-121), Athletics +1 (+102)
OVER/UNDER: 8 runs (-10/-112)
The Yankees (74-52) are the hottest team in baseball, winners of 11 straight. In fact, they haven’t lost since a walk-off homer in the Field of Dreams game v. the White Sox on August 12th. On Thursday, they take on the A’s in a four-game series in Oakland. These teams faced off in New York in June, when the Athletics were the hot team, and yet, the Yankees still won two of three. While the Yankees are red hot, the A’s are 2-8 over their last 10, and .500 (10-10, 15-15) over their last 30.
On Friday, the Yankees will turn to their ace, Gerrit Cole and he has been dominant. 12 wins, a 2.92 ERA, 191 K in 142 IP, a 0.97 WHIP, and an astounding 4.9 WAR. The Yankees hot hitters going in are Aaron Judge (6 HR 17 RBI in August), Giancarlo Stanton (.320-6-19 in August), and Luke Voit (.320-4-17).
If you’re a fan of history, the Athletics are 9-1 in Oakland against the Yankees, dating back to 2016. But the Yankees are playing too well to bet against them right now. With Cole on the mound, the Yankees are the pick.
The Pick: New York Yankees
SATURDAY, AUGUST 28
KANSAS CITY ROYALS (57-70) at SEATTLE MARINERS (69-59), 4:10 p.m. ET
PITCHERS: Carlos Hernandez, (KC. 4-1, 3.97) vs. Taylor Anderson (SEA. 5-8, 4.35)
The Royals are floundering at 56-70, while the Mariners are just a game behind the Athletics and six games behind the Astros in the West at 69-58. The Royals have no business winning a road game against the Mariners. But these are the kind of games you can look for where you can make the right upset pick and really clean up. The Royals are turning to Carlos Hernandez, a 24-year-old rookie prospect to see what he can give them going forward, and so far, he’s been pretty good, going 4-1 with a 3.97 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, and 60 K in 59 IP.
But, what’s caught my eye is the last two months for Hernandez. Over his last 31 IP, He’s sporting a 2.03 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP. The Royals have pesky hitters, with Carlos Santana (.228-17-59), Andrew Benintendi (.260-12-43), and Whit Merrifield (280-9-65-37 SB) doing most of the damage.
With the very hittable Tyler Anderson going for the Mariners, (6-8, 4.07, 127 hits, 105 K over 130 IP), the play here is the Royals to upset the Mariners.
The Pick: Kansas City Royals
WASHINGTON NATIONALS (54-72) at NEW YORK METS (61-66), 7:10 p.m. ET
PITCHERS: Sean Nolin, (WAS. 0-0, 9.00) vs. Marcus Stroman, (NYM. 9-12, 2.84)
The Mets were in first place at one point – for quite a long point actually – in the NL East. Now, their fans are in an uproar as they have fallen to third, at 61-65. The wheels are off the tracks. As for the Nationals – They have sold off all their talent, and have dropped to 54-71 as they start a rebuild. So, why bother with this? We like money. The Mets need a win, and while they might win Friday too, I think they’re fairly likely to pull off a win Saturday.
With Joe Ross and Stephen Strasburg hurt, Max Scherzer in Los Angeles and Jon Lester in St. Louis, Washington is down to Patrick Corbin, Erick Fedde, and rookie Josiah Gray at SP. And none of those guys are slated to pitch Saturday. On Saturday, the Nats turn to 31-year-old…(journeyman might be too generous) …Sean Nolin, who, before 2021, last appeared in the majors in 2015 for Oakland. In 2013, Nolin had a 40.50 ERA for Toronto. In 2014, it was 9.00 and in 2015 it was 5.28. So….I guess he’s getting better? This year he’s 0-2, over two starts, with 14 hits and 7 ER over 7 IP – That’s not good.
The Mets will counter with nominal ace (deGrom is on the IL) Marcus Stroman, who’s only 9-12, but with a 2.85 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 129 K over 145 IP. Stroman has been solid but had tough luck.
At this point, I don’t believe in the Mets – This is merely a bet against Nolin.
The Pick: New York Mets
SUNDAY, AUGUST 29
CINCINNATI REDS (70-59) at MIAMI MARLINS (53-75), 1:10 p.m. ET
PITCHERS: Tyler Mahler (CIN. 10-4, 3.69) v. Jesus Luzardo (MIA. 2-4, 6.87)
A little Sunday Funday for you. The Cincinnati Reds are clicking on all cylinders, running their record to 69-59, and while it’s only good for 2nd place in the Central, they are actually leading the second wild-card spot over San Diego, which would be a huge upset.
The Reds have been doing it primarily with, quietly solid hitting and astounding starting pitching. Almost unnoticed, the Reds have become a contender. Tucker Barnhart and Tyler Stephenson have combined to hit .275-16-82 RBI, .800 OPS, out of the catcher spot – over 500+ AB; Joey Votto is back to being Joey Votto, hitting .278-28-81, .941 OPS, Rookie 2B Jonathan India is hitting .273-16-56, .844; Tyler Naquin (CF) is hitting .272-18-66, .818; All-star RF Nick Castellanos is leading the team, hitting .320-23-71, .948 and LF Jesse Winker was hitting .307-24-71, before going down with a minor injury.
The Reds have “aces” Luis Castillo and Sony Gray in their rotation….and they’ve combined to go 12-19, with a 4.20 ERA. Instead, it’s been the 3rd-5th spots that have performed for the Reds – Tyler Mahle is 10-4, 3.69; Wade Miley is 10-4, 2.88; and Vladimir Gutierrez is 9-4, 3.68.
The Reds’ only real – and extremely glaring – weak spot is in their bullpen, where 10 different RP have earned saves. They have no real closer, and a team ERA of over 5.00+.
Meanwhile, the Marlins are 52-75 and going nowhere fast. Last year’s weird wild card berth seems a total anomaly. The fish traded for A’s SP Jesus Luzardo, and he will start for them in this Sunday matchup. At just 23, Luzardo has a world of talent and looked good in 2020, going 3-2 over limited matchups in the shortened season. However, this year he was brutal with the A’s, going 2-4, 6.87 ERA, 1.63 WHIP and 6.09 FIP and 60 ERA+. However, with the Marlins, he’s been…..even worse. He’s gone 2-3, 9.67 ERA, 22 IP, 31 H, 24 ER, 17 BB, 6.84 FIP, 2.15 WHIP and 43 ERA+ !!! His two wins for the Mariners this season, he went 10 IP, gave up 8 ER, 7 BB, 10 Hits, and lasted just five in each game. The Marlins just outhit both teams. They’re not going to outhit the Reds or Tyler Mahle, no matter how bad the Reds bullpen is.
The Pick: Cincinnati Reds
Good luck and Enjoy the games!