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MLB Bets for Wednesday, May 19: Take Cleveland as Public Backs Angels and Ohtani

SI Gambling analyst Roy Larking breaks down Wednesday's MLB betting action with the two top picks on his baseball betting card.

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Chicago vs. Minnesota – Early Bird Special

Prior to breaking down the two main MLB picks, here is a look at early Wednesday action between Chicago and Minnesota. The White Sox and Twins end a three-game series with a 1:11 p.m. ET start in Minnesota. Prior to blowing a 4-0 fourth inning lead, and losing 5–4 last night, Chicago rolled to lopsided wins during the first four meetings this season. The White Sox outscored the Twins by a 42–17 margin. Both pitchers have struggled, as RHP Lucas Giolito (2–4, 4.97 ERA) vs. RHP Matt Shoemaker (2–4, 6.62 ERA) is the mound matchup. Bet on the White Sox posting a high-scoring win.

MLB Prop Pick: Chicago White Sox / OVER 8.5 total runs (+190)

Betting Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook – Early Game Time at 1:11 p.m. ET

Betting Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook – Early Game Time at 1:11 p.m. ET

Cleveland Indians at Los Angeles Angels

Playing a rubber match contest, Cleveland and Los Angeles close out a three-game series. Game time for the Indians vs. Angels matchup is 8:08 p.m. ET at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Cali. This is the third of six meetings as these teams will play again in Cleveland in August. The Angels jumped out to a 6–1 second-inning lead and cruised to a 7–4 win in the series opener. After the Indians scored five first-inning runs, Josh Naylor hit a solo home run in the eighth and Cleveland posted a 6–5 win last night. Prior to this series, Cleveland was riding an eight-game winning streak versus Los Angeles.

Cleveland (22–18) is currently 6.5 wins above expectations as they were listed with an 81.5 win total on Opening Day at DraftKings. They sit 2.5 games behind first-place Chicago and have a 6.0 game lead on Kansas City in the AL Central standings. Cleveland was streaky early in the season as they had an 8–11 record on April 24. A combination of solid hitting, plus shutdown pitching, followed during a 13–3 winning streak. They limped into Anaheim after getting outscored 19–12 during a 3–1 series loss in Seattle. Cleveland scores 4.07 runs per game and allows 3.87 runs.

Los Angeles (18–23) opened with a 13–12 record but the Angels have slumped during a 5–11 slide over the last 16 games. The Angels returned home following a pair of 2–1 series losses in Houston and Boston. Los Angeles posted a 5–4 win before losing 5–1 and 9–1 to the Astros. After losing 4–3 and 9–0 to the Red Sox, the Angels avoided a sweep with a 6–5 win. A blow to the Halos’ offense, AL MVP favorite Mike Trout suffered a right calf strain on Monday and is expected to miss 6–8 weeks. Los Angeles scores 4.51 runs per game, but their 5.61 runs allowed is the highest in the league.

An intriguing pitching matchup is featured as Angels phenom RHP Shohei Ohtani (1–0, 2.10 ERA) faces Indians stud RHP Aaron Civale (5–1, 3.40 ERA). Ohtani has allowed six earned runs and 11 hits, over 25.2 innings, during five starts. He has 40 strikeouts and has issued 20 walks. Civale enters this contest following his first loss of the season. He allowed five runs and seven hits, over 6.2 innings, during a 7–3 loss in Seattle on May 14. The Ohtani hype is justified but this start was pushed back due to fatigue. The Indians will take command of a close contest once they get to the Angels bullpen.

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Pick: Cleveland Indians (+114) moneyline

Betting Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook – Game Time 8:08 p.m. ET

Betting Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook – Game Time 8:08 p.m. ET

Houston Astros at Oakland Athletics

Familiar foes meet when Houston and Oakland play the second of a three-game series. The first pitch for the Astros vs. Athletics contest is slated for 9:41 p.m. ET at the RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland, Cali. This is the third series already this season, and the ninth of 19 contests between these American League West rivals. Oakland scored four runs, one in each of the final four innings, and posted a 6–5 victory in the series opener last night. After Houston won the first five games this season, Oakland has battled back with three straight victories. The Astros are thin chalk on the road.

Houston (24–18) sits second in the AL West standings. The Astros trail Oakland by 1.5 games and have a 5.0 game lead on third-place Seattle. Prior to the loss last night, Houston had won six straight and were riding a 9–2 winning streak. The Astros are on the road following a 10-game homestand that began with a 2–1 series win against the red-hot Blue Jays. That was followed by a 2–1 series win against the Angels and a 4–0 sweep of the Rangers. The Astros won by a 65–37 margin over those 10 games. Getting taunted relentlessly, during their 2021 Heel Tour, the Astros are 9–9 on the road.

Oakland (26–17) was crushed 59–19 during their first eight games and opened the season with a 1–7 record. Pitching and hitting improved dramatically after that though, as the Athletics won 13 straight by an 81–36 margin. Following a 5–7 slide, Oakland has won seven of their last 10 games. The Athletics returned home following a pair of 2–1 series wins in Boston and Minnesota. Oakland won twice, 3–2 and 4–1, prior to losing 8–1 to the Red Sox. In between 6–1 and 7–6 wins by the Athletics, the Twins avoided a sweep with 5–4 win. After losing the first six games, Oakland is 14–11 overall at home.

RHP Zack Greinke (3–1, 4.18 ERA) is making his tenth start for Houston. RHP Frankie Montas (5–2, 4.93 ERA) makes his ninth start for Oakland. Greinke scattered three hits, over 6.0 scoreless innings, during the Astros 8–1 win on Opening Day in Oakland. Montas allowed one run and six hits, over 6.0 innings, during the Athletics 7–3 win in Houston on April 10. Oakland scores 4.20 runs per game and Houston is averaging 5.26 runs. The Athletics allow 4.37 runs on defense and the Astros give up 3.95 runs. Trusting Greinke, a little more than Montas, bet the moneyline and back Houston.

Pick: Houston Astros (-110) moneyline

Betting Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook – Game Time 9:41 p.m. ET

Betting Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook – Game Time 9:41 p.m. ET

2021 MLB Regular Season Betting Record: 26–30 (-2.64 Units)