MLB Top Betting Games: Shohei Ohtani has spent the last three years putting on an historic display in Major League Baseball. One of the game’s best hitters and pitchers, he transcended the divide that the game has insisted players respect. Pitching every sixth day and DHing on the other days, he pounded home runs and also shut down the opposition. However, he tore a UCL in his pitching elbow in Game 1 of a doubleheader on Wednesday and will not pitch for the rest of the season. He batted second in the nightcap. He might need a second Tommy John procedure on that UCL, but it sounds like he will continue to bat for now and see if rehab will work. With free agency looming, we will see what happens. Players who have two Tommy John surgeries within five years do not have a promising prognosis for coming back to pitch again. Going into the weekend, let’s look at some primo MLB betting picks.
MLB Top Betting Games for the Weekend at the Week 20
» August 26-27, 2023
MLB Top Betting Games | San Diego Padres at Milwaukee Brewers
When: Saturday, August 26 at 7:10 pm ET
Where: American Family Field, Milwaukee, WI
Projected Pitching Matchup: Pedro Avila (0-0, 1.17 ERA) (SD) vs Freddy Peralta (10-8, 3.97 ERA) (MIL)
Pedro Avila got called up from the minor leagues in July and has worked as a long reliever with one previous spot start, back in August 1. In that outing, he held the Colorado Rockies to a single run over four innings, notching seven strikeouts. He has two scoreless long relief outings since then, holding the Arizona Diamondbacks scoreless over eight combined innings on August 12 and 17. He takes the spot of Rich Hill in the rotation for Saturday’s game in Milwaukee.
Freddy Peralta has won four decisions in his last four starts, posting a 1.82 ERA over 24 ⅔ innings in that span. He held the Texas Rangers to a run on four hits over 5 ⅔ innings on Saturday, striking out 11 of the 18 Rangers who would whiff in the Brewers’ 6-2 win. Peralta is cruising right now, and the Padres are still looking for consistent offense. Brewers to win.
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MLB Top Betting Games | St. Louis Cardinals at Philadelphia Phillies
When: Saturday, August 26 at 7:15 pm ET
Where: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
Projected Pitching Matchup: Dakota Hudson (5-0, 3.95 ERA) (STL) vs Zack Wheeler (9-6, 3.70 ERA) (PHI)
Dakota Hudson moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation on August 2, and he has made four starts since then, posting a 3.75 ERA. He has finished five innings each time and made it through seven once. The Cardinals have had his back on offense, scoring 26 runs in those four games, and he has not permitted more than three earned runs in any game. He has allowed five home runs already, but his walk total is comparatively low (5 in 24 innings).
Zack Wheeler has only permitted more than three earned runs in a game twice since June 25, and during this stretch, he has held opponents to a single run three times. He did get knocked around a bit on Sunday as the Washington Nationals got to him for four runs on seven hits over seven innings in a 4-3 loss. He has the stuff to settle down the St. Louis offense, and given the small size of Philadelphia’s stadium, the Phillies should be able to hit Hudson hard enough to take this. Phillies to win.
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MLB Top Betting Games | Cleveland Guardians at Toronto Blue Jays
When: Sunday, August 27 at 1:37 pm ET
Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON
Projected Pitching Matchup: Noah Syndergaard (2-6, 6.42 ERA) (CLE) vs Yusei Kikuchi (9-4, 3.52 ERA) (TOR)
It certainly looks like Thor is on the downside of his MLB career after the Dodgers dealt him to Cleveland. He went on the shelf from June 7 to July 31 and has allowed five earned runs in two of his five starts since coming east to join the Guardians. He looked better against the Dodgers on Tuesday, allowing three runs on four hits, including a home run, over six innings.
Yusei Kikuchi had not allowed more than a run in six straight starts dating back to July 6 until Tuesday, when he allowed three runs on seven hits over 4 ⅔ innings, but the Blue Jays would roar back and beat the Orioles, 6-3, in ten innings on the road. His ERA was a season-worst 4.24 on July 6 and has steadily declined since then. Blue Jays to win.
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