Top 3 MLB Betting Picks for Wednesday, May 19th (2021)

Oddsmakers have fallen in love with New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom’s start to the season. Futures odds suggest it is his Cy Young to lose, even this early in the season. At DraftKings Sportsbook, for example, his odds to win the Cy Young Award are -143, and just one other pitcher (Corbin Burnes) has odds shorter than +1500. 

For those that do not think the Cy Young race is over at this point, bettors should be glued into Wednesday’s action from a futures perspective. Corbin Burnes (+450), Max Scherzer (+1800), Jack Flaherty (+2200), Clayton Kershaw (+2500), and Trevor Rogers (+3300) are all in the top-12 of the odds list for the National League Cy Young Award, and all are on the mound tonight.

Do any of these starting pitchers warrant a bet in one of our top three wagers of the day?  

Here are my MLB top betting plays for Wednesday. (Odds courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)

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

YTD: 54-41-3 (+7.96 units)

Chicago White Sox ML (-139)

The Chicago White Sox are one of the hottest teams in baseball right now and have separated themselves from the rest of the pack in the AL Central. Chicago is an MLB-best 11-3 in their last 14 games and owns the best run differential (+72) in the majors by 13 runs. With four wins in five games already under their belt against the Twins, they are a bargain at these moneyline odds today.

Lucas Giolito (2-4, 4.97 ERA) has not pitched like the ace of the White Sox staff that he was expected to be at the beginning of the year. He has a 6.75 ERA over his last five starts, after beginning the year with a 2.55 ERA through his first three starts. Giolito is 3-2 with a 4.54 ERA at Minnesota in his career. He has allowed three home runs each to Nelson Cruz and Max Kepler in his career but has held the Twins lineup as a whole to a combined 29-for-126 (.230 BA).

Giolto’s numbers historically are better on the road than they are at home. He has a 3.98 ERA, and a .645 winning percentage in 43 road starts compared to a 4.94 ERA and .371 winning percentage in 51 home games (49 starts). In addition, his ERA is 3.61 in day games compared to 4.93 at night.

The White Sox should have no problem scoring runs against Twins starter Matt Shoemaker (2-4, 6.62 ERA). He has allowed 13 earned runs in his last 14.1 innings and has been burned by the long ball with ten home runs allowed in 34 innings. That is a dangerous combination when facing a White Sox team that ranks second in the majors in runs scored and OPS. Shoemaker is 0-3 with an 8.69 ERA in four home starts this year and thus should not be counted on to win a series for Minnesota  against the White Sox.

Marlins-Phillies UNDER 7.5 runs (-108)

Miami Marlins lefty Trevor Rogers (5-2, 1.84 ERA) has been mightily impressive in his first full season in the big leagues. Rogers ranks fifth in the majors in ERA and ninth with an 11.66 SO/9 rate. He faces a Phillies lineup that ranks in the bottom half of the league with a .727 OPS against left-handed pitching.

If the Phillies were fully healthy, there would be more thought given to their ability to score runs. However, J.T. Realmuto (wrist), Didi Gregorius (elbow), and Scott Kingery (head) were still absent from the lineup yesterday. Thus, Philadelphia does not have the horses to do their part in scoring against a pitcher the caliber of Rogers.

Phillies starter Zach Elfin (2-2, 3.86 ERA) gave his team six innings in his last start, despite a rough first inning where he allowed two home runs and four runs total. That was uncharacteristic of Elfin, who had allowed just one earned run over his last 25.1 innings. He has 51 strikeouts in 51.1 innings this year and is 5-3 with a 4.50 ERA in ten career starts against the Marlins.

The under is 6-1 in the Marlins’ last seven road games vs. a right-handed starter and is 6-2 in the Phillies’ last eight games overall. Look for another low-scoring battle tonight.

St. Louis Cardinals -1.5 runs (+100)

The St. Louis Cardinals snapped a three-game losing streak with a convincing 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in last night’s series opener. Meeting the Pirates was convenient to break a losing streak, as St. Louis has now won eight consecutive games against Pittsburgh. With ace Jack Flaherty on the mound today, a ninth straight win over the Pirates is likely.

Flaherty is the only pitcher in baseball with seven wins, as he is 7-0 through his first eight starts. He is not getting as much hype as one would think, considering he ranks outside the top ten in the majors in categories like ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts. However, wins are wins, even if Flaherty is getting a lot of run support in his starts.

The runs should keep coming against Pittsburgh’s Trevor Cahill (1-4, 5.97 ERA), who allowed five earned runs in 5.1 innings in a May 1st start against the Cardinals. Cahill has pitched to a 4.53 ERA in 15 career appearances (seven starts) against the Cardinals. Current Cardinals hitters are a combined 21-for-57 (.368 BA) with a .544 slugging percentage against Cahill.

The Cardinals are 7-2 in their last nine home games and are 8-1 in their previous eight games as a home favorite. Eschew the steep moneyline odds and have confidence in St. Louis covering the 1.5 runs.

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Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.

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