MLB weekend best bets: Blue Jays' bats to spoil Greene's no-hit encore

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We split our MLB picks Thursday, cashing on another Zac Gallen gem but suffering the wrath of Trevor Story in his breakout game for the Red Sox. Here are our best bets heading into the weekend:

Yankees -1.5 (even) vs. White Sox
May 20, 7:05 p.m. ET

The Yankees are exerting their will, winning 21 of their last 25 games, 14 of which were multi-run victories. I see no reason to bet against that trend in Friday's home tilt with a favorable pitching matchup.

To be clear, New York's bats deserve most of the credit for the team's scintillating run. The Yankees pace the majors in hard-hit rate (46.9%), barrel rate (11.9%), and exit velocity (91.5 mph) by a distance and own the top spot in every expected hitting metric on Statcast. They've been even better across this 25-game run, boasting an .804 OPS with a whopping 44 home runs.

That's bad news for White Sox starter Dallas Keuchel, who survived his last encounter with New York but is still vulnerable to hard contact as a soft-tossing ground-baller with diminishing velocity. Conversely, Yankees lefty Nestor Cortes Jr. threw eight innings of one-run ball in his last start against Chicago - a 5-1 win - and should be in line for another victory here.

Tigers (-110) @ Guardians
May 20, 7:10 p.m.

When Aaron Civale pitches, bad things happen for the Guardians. In his six starts this season, they surrendered a combined 50 runs - 30 of which came with the 26-year-old on the bump.

Civale (9.85 ERA) simply hasn't found his groove this year, allowing at least four earned runs in four consecutive starts - with six runs ceded in three of them. His biggest issue is keeping the ball out of play - he's punched out five or fewer batters in all but one start while allowing at least one home run in five consecutive outings.

Maybe that'll jump-start a Tigers lineup that ranks last in home runs but has the power to turn things around. The Guardians dropped five of their last six games and are fortunate to not be home underdogs here.

Blue Jays team total over (TBD) vs. Reds
May 21, 3:07 p.m.

Reds rookie Hunter Greene deserves credit for engineering the best start of his young career Sunday when he no-hit the Pirates through 7 1/3 innings before exiting after throwing 118 pitches. But that doesn't completely make up his gaudy 7.62 ERA entering that start - or the control issues he demonstrated during it.

Greene walked a season-worst five batters in that one - the fourth time in his last five starts he issued at least four free passes - but Pittsburgh's inept offense wasn't equipped to take advantage. That won't be the case with the Blue Jays, who own MLB's second-highest hard-hit rate (43.6%) and should be able to add to the NL-worst 11 home runs on Greene's resume.

C Jackson Cowart is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on Twitter (@CJacksonCowart) or email him at

MLB weekend best bets: Blue Jays' bats to spoil Greene's no-hit encore
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