Top 3 MLB Betting Picks for Monday, August 2nd (2021)

Aug 2, 2021 - 12:11 PM

We had the weekend to process some of the big trade deadline deals, and many buyers should be happy with what they have seen so far. In his first two games as a Yankee, Anthony Rizzo homered and had the game-tying hit in the eighth inning yesterday to help New York sweep a three-game series in Miami. In addition, Javy Baez homered in his Mets debut and led them to a comeback win on Saturday, while Jose Berrios pitched six scoreless innings in a win in his Blue Jays debut. 

There will be other exciting debuts this week, most notably Max Scherzer’s first start with the Los Angeles Dodgers. It will be interesting to see how oddsmakers continue to adjust lines now that so many teams have a different look for the last two months of the regular season. 

Though there are just eight games on a small MLB slate, three wagers stand out the most. 

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: 121-109-5 (-3.19 units)

Toronto Blue Jays -1.5 runs (-140)

The Rogers Centre in Toronto has not always been the best home-field advantage for the Blue Jays, as they were 75-87 there in 2018 and 2019 (they did not play there in 2020). However, it looked like the Blue Jays were happy to be home this past weekend in their first series in Canada, as they outscored the Royals 15-5 en route to a three-game sweep.

Today’s opponent, the Cleveland Indians, gave the Chicago White Sox all they could handle over the weekend in three thrilling games. However, look for this series opener against Toronto to serve as a letdown spot after an emotionally charged three games against their division rival, especially since this is an early afternoon game just one day after they had to travel.

The Blue Jays are 24-12 in day games this year, and the .666 winning percentage is the second-best in the American League. They have arguably their best starter this year going today in Robbie Ray (9-5, 3.04), who has quietly crept up to fourth in the AL Cy Young Award futures odds, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. Ray has pitched to a 2.27 ERA over his last seven starts and has won five of his previous seven decisions. He is looking to continue the momentum from an impressive July where he allowed a .175 OBA and 0.92 WHIP in five starts. He has won four of his six daytime starts and should be able to frustrate a right-handed dominant Cleveland lineup as he had held righties to a .221 OBA this year.

The Indians are winless in their last five series openers, and Ray will lead the Blue Jays to a big victory over a mentally exhausted Cleveland team.

Philadelphia Phillies Team Total OVER 3.5 runs (-145)

The Philadelphia Phillies are coming off a disappointing series against the Pirates as they lost two games and failed to gain ground on the Mets, who lost a series of their own. The one positive is that their offense broke out for 15 runs in the series finale and face a Washington team giving up runs in bunches of late. 

Washington’s pitching staff has allowed at least five runs in seven of their last ten games. Aside from a gem thrown by Max Scherzer in their previous series against the Phillies, Philadelphia scored 21 runs in the other three games. Before that series, the Phillies scored 44 runs in the eight games they played against the Nationals in the first half of the season.

The Phillies face former Dodgers top prospect Josiah Gray, who Washington acquired in the Max Scherzer and Trea Turner deal. Gray (0-0, 6.75) has allowed six earned runs in eight innings over his first two starts and has not lasted longer than the fourth innings thus far. He has allowed four home runs in those eight innings, which spells trouble against a Phillies lineup tied for the fourth-most home runs in the majors in June. In addition, it would behoove Gray to get as many outs as possible so as not to rely on Washington’s 22nd-ranked bullpen with a 4.61 ERA entering Sunday to secure many outs. 

The over is 6-1 in Philadelphia’s last seven series openers, which gives us confidence they will do their part in scoring runs tonight.

San Francisco Giants Team Total OVER 5.5 runs (+105)

The San Francisco Giants totaled 19 runs and 35 hits with seven home runs in their last three-game series against the Astros, despite facing three of Houston’s best pitchers. They now face an Arizona Diamondbacks team that ranked 29th in the majors with a 5.28 ERA entering Sunday. Thus, look for San Francisco’s offensive fireworks to continue. 

Arizona sends Taylor Widener (1-1, 4.42) to the mound, who has not won any of his last seven starts and has pitched to a 5.28 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in that span. Widener has allowed ten earned runs in his last 8.1 innings, despite those starts coming against the Rangers and Pirates, who rank 28th and 30th in runs, respectively. He faces a Giants offense that ranks third in OPS overall and fourth in OPS among all teams in road games. Current Giants have just nine combined at-bats against Widener, but two of their three hits have gone for extra bases, including a solo home run by Brandon Crawford. Crawford has a hit and an RBI in each of his four games since returning from the IL, and he makes San Francisco’s lineup much more dangerous when he is healthy. 

The over has cashed in each of Arizona’s last five home games, and the Giants are 55-27 in their previous 82 meetings in Arizona. Both of these trends make it encouraging to back the over on San Francisco’s team total.

MLB Prop Bets

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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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