Dorcas Diamond Picks: Saturday May 22, 2021by Joel Dorcas May 22, 2021 2 comments
This weekend should prove to be an exciting one for MLB as there are several series featuring highly touted clubs. For today’s rendition of Diamond picks, we will focus our attention on divisional matchups. Let’s hop right into it and make some Diamond Picks!
Betting Odds provided by Jazz Sportsbook. Please gamble responsibly.
Season Record: 16-5
Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays 7:37 EDT
Another contest set at TD Bank Ballpark as the Jays continue their nine-game homestand. It has mostly been an impressive showing of offense at the temporary home for the Blue Birds. The wind and warm weather at this minor league park have given the edge to the bats on both sides. Tonight Toronto southpaw flame thrower Robbie Ray will be given the task of cooling down a Rays team that has suddenly been putting up runs. Ray has been a very valuable starting pitcher for a Jays team that is very thin at the position. He carries a 4.15 ERA at home (slightly higher than his overall 3.79 mark). He has allowed at least three earned runs in his last three games but in those games has at least nine strikeouts. Toronto’s bats have backed him up with at least five runs, winning four straight games that he has started.
Tampa enters this series on a heater having won seven straight. They are averaging a whopping 6.8 runs per contest over their last 10 heading into the series opener. They faced Ray on April 24th nabbing a 5-3 victory. Ray was still very effective striking out nine while giving up three runs over six innings. The Rays rank 21st in wRC+ (91) when facing left-handed pitching. They also strike out at a second-worst 31.5%, so you might want to consider a strikeout prop bet here with Ray. The Rays are hitting. 271 in their last 10, but just .216 off of lefties during the period.
Shane McClanahan, also a lefty, will oppose the Blue Jays. He is averaging 4.1 innings per outing while carrying a 4.67 ERA. This will be his first start against Toronto. The Jays continue to swing the bats well. They are averaging 5.4 runs per game in their last 10 while hitting .302. Toronto is now ranked sixth in the bigs with a 106 wRC+. They hold a slight 2-1 edge in wins heading into Saturday’s game.
This should be an entertaining divisional series between two of the American League’s premier teams. After facing Tyler Glasnow in the opener the Jay’s will be hungry to pounce on McClenahan. The Rays will have a hard time dealing with Ray’s overpowering stuff. Back Toronto in game two.
Diamond Pick: Blue Jays -130 money line
Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals 7:15 EDT
One of the best rival matchups in baseball gets renewed this weekend as the impressive Cardinals matchup against the Cubbies. The Cubs still have a lineup full of big names but are likely not going to play meaningful games once we reach the latter part of the season. They head into the series with just a 6-12 record away from Wrigley Field. Third-year-pro Adbert Alzolay gets the start in game two. Alzolay profiles as a serviceable starter. He faced the Cards twice in 2020 giving up just two earned runs over 7.2 innings of work.
The Cardinals are getting good results from their pitching staff including their relief group which has held opponents to a second-best 1.97 average. Veteran starting pitcher Miles Mikolas will make his long-awaited return. He hasn’t pitched a big league game since October 2019. Since then he had flexor forearm tendon surgery. He appears to be in good form considering he has pitched in three rehab stints with AAA Memphis. In his latest outing, he went six shutout innings ramping up his pitch total to 80. Current Cub hitters are hitting. 287 with a modest .745 OPS versus Mikolas.
Both clubs are statistically middle of the pack against right-handed pitching. Chicago is hitting. 231 with a 97 wRC+ while St. Louis hits .229 with a 92 wRC+. Third baseman Nolan Arenado has never faced Alzolay. He is currently heating up and pacing the Red Birds to the tune of a .366 average with five bombs over his last 10 entering Friday’s matchups.
The Cardinals enter the weekend series with a 14-8 home record. Expect them to be very focused and locked in to give as much run support as possible to Mikolas for this highly anticipated return to the big show.
Diamond Pick: Cardinals +100 money line
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