MLB Picks of the Day for May 21st

Mark Lathrop

Sunday, May 21, 2017 2:04 PM UTC

Sunday, May. 21, 2017 2:04 PM UTC

Our MLB handicapper is 8-2 ATS over his last ten games and looks to keep things rolling by backing two hot teams on Sunday - one surprising and one not. Read on as he breaks down his Sunday MLB Picks of the Day.

 2017 MLB Record, 75-63-4, +3.83 Units, 2.33% ROI

Arizona Diamondbacks vs San Diego Padres

The San Diego Padres have had a terrible home stand, and even their best pitcher got lit up yesterday in the middle game of this weekend series with the Arizona Diamondbacks. This team is on permanent Fade Watch for me, and another one of their struggling pitchers takes the mound on Sunday afternoon.

One of Clayton Richards’ best games of the season was against the Arizona Diamondbacks a month ago, as the left-hander gave up 9 hits but just one earned run over 6.2 innings. There are a lot of indicators that was as fluke performance though, or that Richards has simply lost his touch over the last few weeks and the league has figured him out. For instance, he has developed a steep split favoring right-handers where he is giving up a .319 batting average allowed and a sky-high 27.8% line drive rate and 24% HR/FB rate. Any team seeing that split will be able to put together a lineup to take advantage of it.

Zack Godley starts for the Diamondbacks in this game, just the 4th of the season for him. He has already pitched against the Padres though, a 5-inning outing in which he have up 2 earned runs. He has had two excellent starts since then and has given up just 2 earned runs in his last 13.2 innings pitched. Even though he has put up a very lucky BABIP number of .186, these Padres are just too hapless now to think they are going to buck that trend. I’ll take young Godley and the Diamondbacks as a small road favorite of -113 at Pinnacle as one of my Sunday MLB Picks of the Day.

Free MLB Pick: Arizona -113Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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  Washington Nationals vs Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves have won two games as heavy underdogs against the Nationals after losing Freddie Freeman to a wrist injury. The rebuilding team has hit an unexpected hot streak over the last week.

Jaime Garcia is tasked with trying to get the sweep for the Braves against the NL East leading Washington Nationals, and there are some indications he could keep them competitive in this game. For one, his batting average allowed of .229 is excellent regardless of his FIP of 5.10 and he has good splits against right and left-handers as well. Garcia’s real issue is command, as his 25/22 K/BB ratio tells us.

Max Scherzer gets the start for the Nationals and by most metrics he should have the advantage here. He is allowing a pretty good split against righties though and a .258 batting average allowed – greater than any of Garcia’s splits. He is also allowing a 40.3% hard hit rate against right-handers, which is a very elevated number for any pitcher. We just need the Braves to continue to be competitive for this wager to cash, so I am taking them on the underdog run line at -110 at home at 5Dimes as one of my Sunday MLB Picks of the Day.

Free MLB Pick: Atlanta +1.5 Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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