Here is our best MLB Betting Pick of the Day, including the Best Baseball Pick Today, 8/20/21. All odds for August 20 MLB bet picks were obtained from DraftKings.
The weekend is about to begin and we’ve got some new matchups to take a look at. One intriguing series this weekend is between two first-place American League teams in the Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago White Sox.
I’ve got a play for tonight’s series opener for my Best Baseball Pick Today 8/20/21.
- Overall: 31-21 (+6.16 units)
- Team Totals: 12-7 (+2.62 units)
- First 5 IP Bets: 15-8-3 (+5.39 units)
- Moneylines: 3-3 (-0.5 units)
- Totals: 1-2 (-1.35 units)
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MLB Betting Pick of the Day: Best Baseball Pick Today 8/20/21
Chicago White Sox @ Tampa Bay Rays (7:10 p.m. ET)
- Probable Pitchers: CHW RHP Lucas Giolito @ TBR RHP Michael Wacha
White Sox Over 2.5 Runs In 1st 5 Innings (+115)
Wager: 0.9 units
August has been a disaster for Michael Wacha, who’s gotten shelled for 18 runs on 30 hits in 14 innings this month, causing his ERA to rise from 4.79 to 5.91. To make matters worse, all three of his outings were against relatively weak opponents in the Seattle Mariners, Baltimore Orioles, and Minnesota Twins.
Wacha’s been especially ineffective early on in games this year, with a 6.36 ERA through the first three innings and a 5.50 ERA in the middle innings. He’s been getting rocked his first couple of times through the order as well, allowing an .868 OPS his first time through and an .871 OPS his second time through. Not surprisingly, he’s allowed at least three runs in the first five innings in five of his last six starts.
Wacha’s struggles are consistent with how much hard contact he’s allowed this season. According to Statcast, he has a 42.4% hard-hit rate and a 10.0% barrel rate, which explains his career-worst 89.7 mph average exit velocity. He’s also yielded a whopping 27.4% line-drive rate and has a 6.44 xERA.
His woes will likely continue against the White Sox, who rank third in wRC+ (109) and seventh in wOBA (.327. Chicago has a patient lineup that hits the ball hard — a dangerous combination for Wacha. He’ll likely have a tough time against the likes of Tim Anderson, Jose Abreu, Yoan Moncada, Andrew Vaughn, and Luis Robert.
Despite his recent poor performance and their place in the standings, the Rays are letting Wacha pitch. He’s thrown at least four innings in each of his last seven starts, which makes me comfortable with playing the first five over for the White Sox. I want nothing to do with Tampa Bay’s bullpen, however, so I’m sticking to the first five here.