The MLB regular season heads into the final week of May with quite a few intriguing matchups kicking things off for the Memorial Day Holiday. Bovada has released its three-game series prices in advance of the start of these new MLB series, and oftentimes you can find some tremendous value in the betting odds if you know how and where to look.
The following is a brief handicapping breakdown and free picks for my top three series prices for this week's action.
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Seattle Mariners(-105) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (-125)
Seattle has had mixed results in its previous three series against a team from AL East with a 5-5 record against Boston, Baltimore and Toronto over the past two weeks. The Mariners did take two of three from the Blue Jays this past weekend on the road, but overall their record this season in road games is just 9-13.They are ranked near the bottom of the AL in scoring with an average of 3.7 runs per game, and their pitching staff is stuck in the middle of the rankings with a team ERA of 3.91.
The Rays currently have a slight 1.5-game lead over New York in the AL East at 24-21, and they are coming off a 2-2 split with Oakland this past weekend. Tampa Bay has not been the most consistent team, either, with an identical 5-5 record in its last 10 games, but the reason I like the Rays' chances to take this series is a favorable matchup in Monday's Game 1 as -140 home favorites. They will have Jake Odorizzi on the mound with his solid 2.43 ERA. Tampa Bay will have to face Seattle's Felix Hernandez in Wednesday's series finale, but I still like the home team's chances to take two of three this week.
Chicago White Sox (+140) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (-170)
Chicago has hit a bit of a rough patch with just one win in its last six games following a solid six-game winning streak earlier this month. The White Sox have really struggled at the plate during this current slide with an average of just 2.2 runs per games as opposed to a season average of 3.6 runs that is already ranked last in the AL. Making things a bit worse for Monday's Game 1 is right-hander Hector Noesi getting the call. His ERA stands at 5.60 as both a starter and in relief. The White Sox will go with John Danks in Tuesday's game, and he has not been all that much better with a 5.11 ERA through eight previous starts.
This is a golden opportunity for Toronto to work its record closer to .500 on the year after going 20-26 through its first 46 games. Despite this record, the Blue Jays are still just 4.5 games off the pace in the AL East. They come into this series as the highest-scoring team in baseball with 236 total runs, so their starters in this series can afford to not be at their absolute best in what has a chance to be a major mismatch on the scoreboard. I am going with the higher risk/reward on the Blue Jays' moneyline in this series given their favorable odds to win Monday's Game 1 as -168 favorites at home.
San Diego Padres (+140) vs. Los Angeles Angels (-170)
The Padres come into this interleague matchup with a record of 11-23 against an AL team when closing as underdogs. They have been listed as +123 road underdogs for Monday night's Game 1. Tyson Ross is slated to get the start for San Diego in that game, and his team is just 4-11 in his last 15 starts on the road as an underdog. The Padres' lineup has done a good job at scoring runs this season with an average of 4.3 a game. However, taking away the 11 runs they pounded out in Sunday's win against the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego has only managed to score a grand total of 13 runs in its previous eight games while going 1-7.
The Angels dropped two of three to Boston over the weekend, but going back over their last 13 games they are 8-5 with an average of 4.1 runs per game. This is another high risk/reward situation given Los Angeles'moneyline to win this series, but not only do I think it will outhit the Padres over the next three games, I like the matchups on the mound. Jered Weaver will get the start in Game 1, and while his ERA stands at 4.37 on the year, he has now allowed a total of four earned runs over his last three outings. The Angels should also have a huge edge in Wednesday's Game 3 with Zack Greinke getting the call. Through nine starts this season his ERA is a miniscule 1.48.
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