Top 3 MLB Betting Picks for Sunday, May 23 (2021)

We made it to another Sunday, and we have another slate filled with afternoon games. As is the case most Sundays, every team is in action today, with the Cubs and Zach Davies playing Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals in St. Louis as the only night game to close out the week. Will we see another no-hitter today? We aren’t even out of May yet and are only one no-hitter shy of the record for an entire season, and that doesn’t even count Madison Bumgarner’s shortened version. Could Yu Darvish no-hit the Mariners on Sunday?

Here are my top betting plays for Sunday, May 16. Have questions or want to talk baseball or betting? Feel free to reach out on Twitter @mikeMaher.

View the best player prop bets for today’s slate with our MLB Prop Bet Cheat Sheet >>

Brewers-Reds UNDER 8.5 runs (-125)










Even with Christian Yelich back, the Milwaukee Brewers have one of the worst offenses in baseball. Over the last week, the Brewers have batted .210 as a team with a .284 wOBA, putting them in the bottom five in the league. The Reds have one of the better offenses in baseball but will be without Mike Moustakas, who landed on the injured list due to a heel injury. And with Eugenio Suarez still struggling, their lineup isn’t quite as imposing right now once you get past Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos (easier said than done, but the point is that the lineup is top-heavy right now.

The pitching matchup features one starter pitching like one of the best pitchers in baseball against one who was projected to be one of the better pitchers in baseball but is off to a slow start. The Brewers send Freddy Peralta to the mound sporting a 2.40 ERA and 69 strikeouts over 45 innings, and he is coming off two straight appearances in which he has allowed zero earned runs while striking out eight batters. The Reds are countering with Luis Castillo and his ghastly 7.44 ERA, but he is coming off an outing in which he struck out 11 batters over five innings against the San Francisco Giants. If Peralta pitches like he has been this season and Castillo takes another step in the right direction against a bad lineup, this one should cruise to the under.

Most books have this one at 8.0, but FOX Bet still has it at 8.5 as of this writing.

San Diego Padres over Seattle Mariners: -1.5 runs (-103)










Yu Darvish against the Seattle Mariners at home. Can we end the analysis there? Through nine starts this season, Darvish has a 1.81 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, and 69 strikeouts through 54 2/3 innings. The Padres are also 8-1 in his nine starts in 2021. The Mariners are countering with Justin Dunn, who has been solid if not unspectacular with a 3.63 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, and 33 strikeouts (and 22 walks) through 34 2/3 innings. He has also never gone more than 5 2/3 innings in a game this year.

#Mariners starter Justin Dunn has a solid 3.63 ERA and 33 strikeouts through 34 2/3 innings.

But he also has 22 walks and has been getting some luck. He's facing the #Padres and Yu Darvish on Sunday.

Bet the Padres.

— mike Maher. (@mikeMaher) May 23, 2021

The Mariners have already been no-hit twice this season and have a league-worst .172 batting average over the last week. That is unlikely to improve on Sunday against an ace like Darvish pitching as well as he is right now. Give the -1.5 runs to move this line from -235 to -103 on DraftKings and bank on some negative regression from Dunn against a hot Padres team and Darvish shutting down a bad lineup.

Oakland Athletics ML (-112)










The Los Angeles Angels were already underperforming, but they are reeling in the wake of the recent injury to Mike Trout. The Oakland Athletics, on the other hand, are leading the AL West and have one of the best records in the American League. The Angels are sending Dylan Bundy and his 0-5 record and 6.02 ERA to the mound. Bundy has allowed 13 earned runs over his last 7 1/3 innings, though his advanced metrics do point to at least some impending positive regression.

The Athletics are countering with Sean Manaea, whose 4.41 ERA is inflated by one seven-run outing against the Red Sox 10 days ago. He has sandwiched that outing with quality starts against the Astros and Rays, and he should find more success Sunday against a struggling Angels lineup that has batted just .218 as a team over the last week.

This is a case of two teams trending in different directions. DraftKings has his moneyline at -112, which is the best I have seen. Others have it as -115.

That’s it for today. Have questions or want to talk baseball or betting? Feel free to reach out on Twitter @mikeMaher.

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Mike Maher is an editor and featured writer at FantasyPros and BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive, follow him on Twitter @MikeMaher, and visit his Philadelphia Eagles blog, The Birds Blitz.

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