MLB & NBA Playoffs Betting Value Picks for Tuesday, May 21


By: Al Walsh – Follow him on Twitter @14AdotWalsh


NBA Playoffs Pick: Under 217 (-110) – Milwaukee Bucks (-2.5, 110) at Toronto Raptors

The two highest SK Trend Confidence ratings (both B+) of the night in NBA are the Bucks and the under.

It took two overtimes for the Raptors to finally defeat the Bucks, and also for the total to go over in Game 3 – what a heartbreaker! However, it’s worth noting how big of a swing the spread is from Game 3 to Game 4, making it a five-point jump in a favor of Milwaukee.

One of the main reasons these Bucks have been so successful is their head coach Mike Budenholzer. It’s true, we typically see Milwaukee get out to slow starts, but we also see this team finish strong. Budenholzer has made the necessary adjustments multiple times throughout these playoffs, most notably after the Bucks’ only loss of these playoffs before Sunday night. Milwaukee came out in Game 2 of the second round against the Celtics and wiped them off the map for the entirety of that series.

The Bucks are 10-2 in these playoffs, covering the spread in each one of their wins. I expect them to remind the Raptors who had the NBA’s No. 1 defensive efficiency rating during the regular season. Budenholzer should have more adjustments to bottle up a fatigued Kawhi Leonard, who is dealing with a slight leg injury.

#FearTheDeer! #BuckNasty!

* Final Score Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks: 102 – Toronto Raptors: 88 *

* 2019 MLB Record: 73-48-4 *

[7:05 p.m. EST] Over 9.5 (-104) – New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles
NYY: Domingo German – R (8-1, 2.50 ERA/0.95 WHIP)
BAL: David Hess – R (1-5, 5.58 ERA/1.29 WHIP)

Whatever the Yankees are doing against David Hess, they need to keep on doing it. In his last two starts against the Evil Empire, Hess has allowed seven homers in 11 innings of work – yikes! Once Hess leaves the game, it doesn’t get any better, as the Orioles’ entire team has allowed an MLB-high 97 homers in 47 games.

OK, great. So, we know where most of the offense is coming from.

The Orioles will likely have a tougher time against Domingo German, but it is their second time seeing him over the last six days. German’s last two road starts (@SF, @TB) haven’t been great, as he’s allowed 10 hits, three walks and seven runs over 11 innings of work. Not to mention, Baltimore has done a fine job offensively against New York in their matchups this season.

Clearly, the way to go here would be betting the Yankees, but their moneyline (-250) and 1.5-run line (-162) odds are a bit pricey. Six of the 10 Orioles-Yankees matchups this season have gone over the total, and we’re looking at a situation where it’ll be seven of 11 at the end of the night.

The SK Trend Confidence rating has an A-grade for the over at 10.5, which is the highest grade of any game on today’s MLB schedule. Luckily for us, the total is actually sitting at 9.5, so that speaks heavy volumes to how many runs we should see tonight.

* Final Score Prediction: New York Yankees: 10 – Baltimore: 4 *

[7:07 p.m. EST] Under 8.5 (-110) – Boston Red Sox (1.5-run line: +100) at Toronto Blue Jays
BOS: Eduardo Rodriguez – L (4-2, 4.89 ERA/1.43 WHIP)
TOR: Marcus Stroman – R (1-6, 2.95 ERA/1.29 WHIP)

Speaking of high grades, the Red Sox and the total going under all both get a B+ for tonight’s game. We’ve got plenty of reasons to believe so.

For one, the Blue Jays’ offense has been brutal lately, especially against left-handed pitching. Against southpaws over the last 14 days, Toronto has an anemic .197 wOBA and .067 ISO. Overall this season against lefties, they rank third-worst in MLB with a .268 wOBA and .107 ISO.

Not only has their offense been bad, but the Blue Jays have been even worse for Marcus Stroman. The righty’s numbers aren’t bad at all, but his team has scored three runs or fewer (mostly fewer) in seven of his 10 starts this season.

On the other side, the Red Sox have won each of the last seven games that Eduardo Rodriguez has started, with six of those wins coming by two runs or more. Despite losing two games to the Astros over the weekend, the Red Sox have seemingly turned the corner with a 14-5 record over the last 19 games.

It’s good news for the under on this game, as the total dropped from 9.0 to 8.5. The Blue Jays’ IRT dropped -0.4, while the Red Sox move slightly downward to -0.1.

* Final Score Prediction: Boston Red Sox: 6 – Toronto Blue Jays: 1 *

[7:10 p.m. EST] Under 7.5 (-126) – Miami Marlins at Detroit Tigers
MIA: Caleb Smith – L (3-1, 2.25 ERA/0.92 WHIP)
DET: Spencer Turnbull – R (2-3, 2.40 ERA/1.25 WHIP)

The moneyline number for this game is quite interesting, considering Caleb Smith is probably the best pitcher in baseball that no one gives a damn about. Nonetheless, Tigers’ starting pitcher Spencer Turnbull should have a solid outing tonight — Hell, mostly everyone going against the Marlins does. All in all, I think the most likely outcome here is the total going under 7.5 runs.

Let’s start with Smith, who has allowed two runs or fewer in all but one of his eight starts this season – that one misnomer, he allowed three runs. Because the Marlins’ offense is so atrocious, the lefty has had to do literally everything imaginable to keep this team in ball games. In fact, six of Smith’s eight starts this season have had seven total runs or fewer scored in the entire game.

Not to be outdone, Turnbull has only allowed five earned runs over his last six starts. As mentioned before, the Marlins’ offense is terrible, and over the last 14 days, they have a .255 wOBA and 30.3% K-rate against right-handed pitching. Overall this season, Miami ranks near- or dead-last in almost every advanced metric against right-handed pitching.

This game will likely come down to the bullpens late, but I’ll say that the Tigers get the win, based on the awkward moneyline in their favor.

* Final Score Prediction: Detroit Tigers: 3 – Miami Marlins: 2 *