MLB Bets Today: Free MLB Expert Picks for Friday, May 20

MLB Bets Today: Free MLB Expert Picks for Friday, May 20

This article is part of our MLB Picks series.

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Season 54-61-1 +9.17

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals 6:35 pm EDT

Zach Thompson vs. Adam Wainwright

The Pirates are 5-5 in their last 10, but 4 of those were against the Reds in which they went 2-2. They have only scored 20 runs (2 per game) in that stretch. Wainwright has owned the Pirates and is 5-0 in his last five against them with a 0.25 ERA, 35 strikeouts, and two walks.  Thompson's last two starts were against the Reds and he has not pitched well outside of those starts. Much like I did with the Rays/Tigers earlier this week, I will look to play this game as many angles as possible.

MLB Picks For Cardinals-Pirates

  • Cardinals -1.5 runs for 1 RW buck (FanDuel +105)
  • Under 9 for 1.18 RW buck (FanDuel -118)
  • Pirates under 4 runs for 1.28 RW buck (FanDuel -128)

Detroit Tigers vs. Cleveland Guardians 7:10 pm EDT

Tarik Skubal vs. Aaron Civale

The Tigers have been awful this year, but Skubal has been one of the best pitchers in baseball. He is in the top 3 in WAR at 1.5. Civale, meanwhile, has been one of the worst pitchers in baseball with a 1-3 record and 9.85 ERA. This could be his last outing before a demotion. Because both teams are not playing the best baseball, I will look at the under and F5 on the Tigers as the plays.

MLB Picks for Tigers-Guardians

  • Tigers F5 for 1.18 RW buck (FanDuel -118)
  • Under 9 for 1.15 RW buck (FanDuel -115)

Washington Nationals vs. Milwaukee Brewers 8:10 pm EDT

Erick Fedde vs. Eric Lauer

I have picked on the Reds the most this year, but the Nationals are probably right behind them. They are a team with a few hitters at the top of the lineup but a terrible pitching staff.  The Nationals are 13-26 overall and 9-21 in their last 30. The results have been a mixed bag for the Brewers lately, but Lauer has been one of the most improved pitchers in baseball with 49 strikeouts in 34.2 innings.

MLB Picks for Brewers-Nationals

  • Brewers -1.5 for 1.02 RW buck (FanDuel -102)
  • Bonus Bet: Eric Lauer over 9 strikeouts for 0.1 RW buck to win 4.2 (FanDuel)

San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants 10:15 pm EDT

Sean Manaea vs. Jakob Junis

Normally I always look for ways to play the under in Giants' home games, but in this case I have to lean on recent trends. The Giants have scored 75 runs in their last 11 games for an average of 6.8 runs per game. When you take a sample size like this, context is everything. The games were against the Rockies/Cardinals and split between home/road which means no outliers. The scary part about the Giants is their strikeout to walk ratio. They have the highest walk rate, 4th lowest strikeout rate, and 6th highest wOBA in May.

MLB Picks for Giants-Padres

  •   Giants over 4 runs for 1 RW buck (FanDuel +100)

MLB Parlays Today

3 TEAM PARLAY – Cardinals, Tigers, Brewers; 0.1 RW buck to win 6.5 (FanDuel)

3 TEAM PARLAY – Pirates u4, Giants o4, Tigers/Guardians u9; 0.1 RW buck to win 5.9 (FanDuel)

MLB Best Bets Recap

  • Cardinals -1.5 runs for 1 RW buck (FanDuel +105)
  • Cardinals-Pirates:Under 9 for 1.18 RW buck (FanDuel -118)
  • Pirates under 4 runs for 1.28 RW buck (FanDuel -128)
  • Tigers F5 for 1.18 RW buck (FanDuel -118)
  • Tigers-Guardians: Under 9 for 1.15 RW buck (FanDuel -115)
  • Brewers -1.5 for 1.02 RW buck (FanDuel -102)
  • Eric Lauer over 9 strikeouts for 0.1 RW buck to win 4.2 (FanDuel)
  •  Giants over 4 runs for 1 RW buck (FanDuel +100)

Before you place your bets, be sure to use all of RotoWire's MLB resources, like our MLB Lineups page, MLB Weather page, and the best batter vs. pitcher stats.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Rathburn
Known as “Rath” in the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) community, he has helped run operations for two prominent daily fantasy sports startups. Michael has taken his insider knowledge and expertise in daily fantasy sports to the content side. Rath won the 2016 FSWA "Baseball Article of the Year, Online" award and was a finalist for the FSWA Best Baseball Series in 2011.
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