MLB

MLB Betting Guide: Friday 5/21/21

numberFire has built comprehensive algorithms to pinpoint the bets with the highest probability of returning money, whether you are betting on the total, a runline, or moneyline.

For those new to numberFire, we use a five-star system to show which bets you should be targeting on any given night. Stars represent how much you should risk on a wager relative to what you would normally bet. For example, if you would normally bet $110 to win $100 on a -110 spread wager, if we give a three-star ranking, we suggest risking three times that amount: $330 to win $300.

Using our model as a guide, let's take a look at the best bets to make at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Please note that lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated information.

Baltimore Orioles at Washington Nationals

Over 8.5 (-120): 3-Star Rating Out of 5
Orioles +1.5 (-115): 2-Star Rating Out of 5

With Stephen Strasburg making his first start off the injured list, this is a tough game to handicap, but our model favors the Baltimore Orioles and the over.

Strasburg is an excellent pitcher when he's right, but it's highly likely he will be on a short leash today. He went only 4 1/3 innings in his most recent rehab start, so we should see a lot of the Washington Nationals' bullpen, a group which sits ninth-worst in bullpen SIERA (4.05).

On the other side, Jorge Lopez is getting the nod for the O's. While Lopez has been a pretty blah pitcher for most of his career, he's upped his game so far in 2021, amassing a 4.17 SIERA and 22.5% strikeout rate through his initial 34 innings. Both of those would be career-best marks if he can maintain this level the rest of the way, though we're still dealing with a small sample.

Our algorithm projects a 5.41-5.26 win for the Nats, which amounts to 10.67 total runs. We rate the over as a three-star bet, and it's one of only two wagers we give as many as three stars for today (as of Friday morning). We also project the O's to cover the runline as 1.5-run 'dogs 63.7% of the time and give that bet a two-star rating.

Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals

Over 8.5 (-115): 3-Star Rating Out of 5

Jose Urena and Mike Minor are the probable starters in this Detroit Tigers-Kansas City Royals clash.

Since the start of 2020, Urena owns a 5.15 SIERA, 16.2% strikeout rate and 11.0% walk rate. He's surrendering a 40.7% hard-hit rate this season, although his ground-ball rate is 56.3%, which has helped him give up only 0.42 dingers per nine. But in short, Urena is not a good pitcher.

Minor has put up a strikeout rate between 23.2% and 25.9% for three straight seasons, and his 4.24 SIERA this year is pretty solid. He had, however, permitted 12 earned runs across his last 14 2/3 innings (three starts) prior to a good effort last time out.

Our model sees lots of runs in this contest. We have KC winning 5.25-5.06. That's 10.31 total runs, and we have the over winning out 65.1% of the time.

Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds

Reds +1.5 (-164): 1-Star Rating Out of 5
Reds Moneyline (+102): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

The Cincinnati Reds are 1.5-run underdogs at home against the Milwaukee Brewers, but our model likes Cincy to win.

We're getting Jeff Hoffman versus Adrian Houser on the bump.

In his first campaign with the Reds, Hoffman has some positives in his profile. He's giving up just a 32.7% hard-hit rate, and his swinging-strike rate of 11.2% hints at some positive regression for his 20.5% strikeout rate. Hoffman's hard-hit rate and swinging-strike rate are career-best clips.

Houser has a 20.6% strikeout rate despite a mere 7.5% swinging-strike rate, so his strikeout rate should fall over time. His 60.2% ground-ball rate is elite, but his 9.7% walk rate is worse than the league average (8.9%).

Our model projects the Reds to win outright 53.2% of the time. We rate Cincy on the moneyline and runline as one-star plays.