Entering Sunday, there were five teams (A’s, Yankees, Astros, White Sox, Cardinals) that were in position to sweep their series. The Kansas City Royals also aim for a four-game sweep today, as their series against the Tigers is the only one from the weekend that has yet to be concluded. Those teams were a combined 2-3 yesterday, furthering the point that it is challenging to win three or four straight games against a single opponent, no matter the talent disparity. The most shocking of the three losses was Oakland’s 8-1 loss to Baltimore, as their 13-game winning streak ended seven wins shy of tying their franchise record set in 2002.
Will the Tigers join the Orioles, Angels, and Indians as teams that won in their series finale to avoid a sweep?
Here are my MLB top betting plays for Monday. (Odds courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook):
View the best player prop bets for today’s slate with our MLB Prop Bet Cheat Sheet >>
YTD: 29-18-1 (+8.07 units)
Twins-Indians UNDER 7 runs (+100)
The Minnesota Twins had an opportunity to get their struggling offense going in their last series against a Pittsburgh Pirates team ranked 19th in the league with a 4.33 ERA. However, they scored a measly six runs in the three games combined and have scored more than two runs just once in their last six games. Their 85 runs scored ranks 10th in the American League, and their 21 home runs rank 21st in the league. A poor offense is a big reason for their 7-13 start, which has quickly left them six games out of first place in the AL Central.
Cleveland’s offense is just as poor this season, as they enter this series ranked 28th in team batting average and 29th in OPS. They now face Minnesota’s Jose Berrios (2-2, 3.00 ERA), who has pitched much better than his record suggests. Berrios leads all Twins starters with 30 strikeouts through his first 21 innings. He is 5-3 with a 3.96 in 13 career starts against the Indians and has never lost a game (3-0) in six career starts at Progressive Field.
The under is 46-20-3 in the last 69 meetings between these teams, including a 6-2-1 record in the previous nine meetings in Cleveland. It is the lowest total on the board on Monday, but we still like it to go under.
New York Yankees -1.5 runs (-113)
The New York Yankees got back to their winning ways in Cleveland, taking three of the four games in their series with the Indians. The Bronx Bombers have struggled to hit the long ball this year, but their bats woke up with eight home runs over the four games. The Yankees will look to continue to get right in a ballpark that they have had tons of success in over the years.
In September last year, the Yankees had an 18-game winning streak at Camden Yards and a 19-game overall winning streak against the Orioles, the second-longest winning streak by one opponent over another in MLB history. The Yankees are 142-94 at Camden Yards, and that .602 winning percentage is the third-highest of any visiting team at any ballpark in history.
Baltimore is riding high after ended the Oakland A’s 13-game winning streak yesterday. However, they had ace John Means on the mound for that one, and Matt Harvey is nowhere close to the caliber of Means this year. Harvey has a 1.63 ERA in four career starts against the Yankees, but just one of those starts had come since 2015 when Harvey was the vintage “Dark Knight.” Harvey no longer has that mystique, and his 5.12 ERA through his first four starts leaves something to be desired.
New York’s Deivi Garcia is being recalled from the team’s alternate site to make his first start of the season. Garcia allowed four runs in 4.2 innings in his only career start against Baltimore. However, just five current Orioles faced Garcia in that start. His lack of familiarity with Baltimore’s hitters should keep them off balance through the first two times through the order before he hands the ball off to arguably the league’s best bullpen.
Miami Marlins Team Total UNDER 2.5 runs (+100)
If you are an avid reader of this column, you know that we are infatuated with the start that Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Corbin Burnes has had. Burnes (2-1, 0.37 ERA) does not issue free passes, as his 40 strikeouts with zero walks are the most ever by a starting pitcher. If Burnes records 12 more strikeouts before issuing his first walk, he will break Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen’s record. Burnes does not allow hits either, as his eight hits allowed in 24.1 innings make his WHIP 0.33, which is the best in baseball, and 0.22 better than Jacob deGrom’s 0.55.
How is Miami going to score tonight? The Marlins have scored more than three runs just once in the last five games, and their .303 OBP ranks 11th in the National League. Burnes has gone at least six innings in each of his four starts, which means the bullpen will likely not be needed to record too many outs. Burnes’ 10% strikeout percentage increase is tied for sixth-best in the league over the last two seasons. Four Marlins have a combined six career at-bats against Burnes, so they will be baffled by the electricity of his stuff as long as he is on the mound.
Burnes’ presence makes Milwaukee’s moneyline odds too steep, so opt for the better value with his ability to limit Miami’s run potential instead.
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