MLB weekly betting preview: Cease to bounce back vs. Pirates
We had a tough weekend with our MLB picks, but we're still riding a 30-18-2 run into this week's slate. Here are our best bets for the week.
Twins under 4.5 runs (-120) vs. Reds
June 21, 8:10 p.m. ET
The Twins' once elite offense has looked anything but in 2021. Minnesota has plated fewer than five runs in 59.2% of their games this season and in five of its last seven contests, with the two outliers coming against Justus Sheffield (5.65 ERA) and Mike Foltynewicz (5.59).
That success won't come easy against Reds starter Tyler Mahle, who has been mowing through opposing lineups in his last five starts. The fifth-year righty has posted a 2.15 ERA in that span and allowed two or fewer runs in four of those five starts - including in his last start against the Brewers when he allowed four baserunners and struck out 12 across six innings.
Cincinnati's opponents have combined for 10 runs in those five Mahle starts, with just one team notching five runs. Expect that to continue against the Twins.
Braves-Mets under (TBD)
June 22, 7:10 p.m.
Few pitchers have been more consistent this season than Mets starter Marcus Stroman, who has lasted at least six innings in eight consecutive outings with seven quality starts in that span. He's posted a 2.50 ERA across those games with at least six punchouts in four consecutive starts.
Opposite him will be Braves veteran Charlie Morton, who carried a no-hit bid into the seventh inning of his last start versus the Cardinals to lower his ERA to 3.15 over his last eight. Four of his last five starts went under, as this one projects to do if these two hurlers continue their recent success.
Pirates under (TBD) vs. White Sox
June 23, 12:35 p.m.
How will Dylan Cease bounce back from one of his worst starts of the season? The White Sox flamethrower allowed a season-high seven runs (six earned) through 3 1/3 on Thursday against the Astros. It was the third time this season that he's allowed more than three runs; he followed the last two with a combined 13 innings of one-run ball with 20 strikeouts to three walks.
He'll have a chance to post similar numbers against the Pirates, who rank dead last in wOBA (.287) and have struggled mightily to score in recent weeks. Pittsburgh has plated two or fewer runs in five of its last seven games and scored three or fewer in nine of its last 13.
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