Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week – August 21st, 2023
It’s not matter a question of if but when the New York Yankees will fire manager Aaron Boone. It makes really no sense to do it before the year is out, but Boone will not be back in 2024. All the Yankees can do is play spoiler at this point. Here’s a look at two important early week games around MLB.
Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week (August 21st, 2023)
Six teams vying for the National League's three wild-card spots are separated by just 3.5 games late. https://t.co/8dcbWlTBDR— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) August 21, 2023
Cincinnati Reds vs. Los Angeles Angels
- When: Monday, August 21, 2023, 9:38 PM ET
- Where: Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, CA
- TV: BSOH, BSW
- Radio: WLW 700 AM (Reds) // AM830 KLAA (Angels)
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
- MLB Betting Odds: Reds (+150) // Angels (-165)
The MLB postseason would be more interesting with both of these interesting clubs in it. The Angels face incredibly long odds and it’s wild card or bust for them. The Reds are in much better shape but may not have enough pitching. Over the weekend, the Reds placed shortstop Kevin Newman on the injured list but that opened a roster spot for the team to call up another touted prospect in Noelvi Marte. He is expected to serve as Cincinnati’s primary third baseman going forward while Spencer Steer takes on more work in left field.
The big news, though, is that the Angels are expected to activate Mike Trout off the injured list. The former AL MVP progressed to facing live pitching Thursday — it was his first time doing so since he fractured the hamate bone in his left wrist in early July — and experienced some soreness afterward, but he went right back to swinging a bat Saturday. That bodes well for his chances of being activated as soon as Monday.
Because of injuries, the Angels over the weekend had to call up their first baseman Nolan Schanuel less than six weeks after taking him with the 11th pick in the draft. His ascension to the Angels just 40 days after being drafted was the fifth-fastest among position players in MLB draft history. .He became the third Angels player to debut in his draft year, joining LHP Brian Anderson (1993) and Danny Goodwin (1975). Schanuel became the 60th different player used this season by the Angels, most in the majors. LAA set a franchise record last year with 66 players used.
This will be the Reds’ first visit to Angel Stadium since the Halos swept a two-game set on June 25-26, 2019. The Angels lead the all-time series 10-6 and are 7-1 at The Big A; the only Reds win at Angel Stadium came on June 8, 2002 (LAA has won six straight home games vs. Reds).
MLB Betting Pick: Angels
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Cleveland Guardians
- When: Tuesday, August 22, 2023, 7:10 PM ET
- Where: Progressive Field, Clevleand, OH
- TV: SNLA, BSGL
- Radio: AM 570 LA Sports (Dodgers) // WTAM 1100 AM (Guardians)
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
- MLB Betting Odds: TBA
Late last month before the Trade Deadline, these teams made an interesting deal: Cleveland dealt shortstop Amed Rosario to the Dodgers in exchange for veteran right-hander Noah Syndergaard and cash. That seemed like a steal for the Dodgers considering Syndergaard had struggled to a 7.16 ERA and the lowest strikeout rate of his career. He also is owed the balance of a $13 million salary and is again eligible for free agency this coming offseason.
It has probably worked out fairly well for both and Syndergaard is scheduled to start against his former team Tuesday.
Syndergaard (2-6) took the loss last Wednesday, allowing six runs (five earned) on eight hits and two walks over 4.1 innings against Cincinnati. He struck out three. Syndergaard allowed just one run through his first three innings before the Reds broke the game open with four runs on a pair of homers in the fourth. The 30-year-old has now allowed 12 earned runs through his first four starts (21.1 innings) with Cleveland. His ERA sits at an unsightly 6.57 with a 1.45 WHIP and 49:15 K:BB across 16 starts (76.2 innings) this season between the Guardians and Dodgers.
“It’s hard to control anything else in my life when my one true love is to play baseball,” said Syndergaard after his shaky outing. “I’m just not having a whole lot of fun right now. Even in the starts when I do have success, it’s still like (a question of) conviction. I’m able to throw strikes, but sometimes I’m not very confident in that pitch.”
It’s ace lefty Clayton Kershaw (11-4) for the Dodgers. Kershaw allowed a run on three hits and two walks while striking out two over five innings to beat the Brewers last Wednesday. He’s at a 2.48 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 111:26 K:BB through 105.1 innings over 18 starts.
“There were some good throws in there, but overall it wasn’t pretty,” Kershaw said. “Really, there’s not a lot to build on. Just pitch better next time and hopefully go a little deeper and maybe get some ground balls and strikeouts and not so many lineouts.”
Kershaw’s next win would be No. 209, which would tie Don Drysdale for No. 2 in franchise history. Don Sutton holds the mark with 233.
MLB Betting Pick: Dodgers
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