MLB Previews and Wicked Wagers (August 21)

by | Aug 21, 2022 | Baseball

Sunday’s baseball action will cap off a week in which we saw the Yankees drop five of six, Mike Trout return from injury, and Albert Pujols inch closer to the elusive 700 home run mark. Baseball is heating up as we hit the final stretch. There will be fifteen games on Sunday to keep your eyes on. That’s a lot of action, so our Wicked Wagers are for just the games with the most betting value.

Let’s start in the Bronx, where the Yankees will be looking to avoid a four-game sweep to the Blue Jays. Then to the sunshine state to see who has the advantage when Zach Greinke squares off with the Rays lineup. Finally, head to Oakland to see if Seattle can bounce back with their ace on the mound.

1:35PM EST Toronto Blue Jays (+105) @ New York Yankees (-125)

Starting Pitchers: Alek Manoah (TOR) vs Nestor Cortez (NYY)

The biggest story in baseball right now is the fall of the New York Yankees.

Since the all-star break, the team is 9-20, after beginning the season 64-28. Fans saw manager Aaron Boone’s frustrations boil over in his postgame press conference after Saturday’s loss to the Blue Jays. Boone stated that the team needs to start playing better, and that the opportunity is right in front of them. The problem is that their opportunity today will be against Blue Jays star pitcher Alek Manoah. Manoah is putting together a phenomenal season and was awarded with his first all-star game appearance. He’ll be going up against a team that has really struggled to score runs as of late. In the past eleven games, the Yankees have only scored more than three runs in one game. The Yankees are 2-9 over this stretch and have lost their last three games, all against the Blue Jays.

The Yankees will have the right guy on the mound to end this streak. Nestor Cortez is having a career year and will be going for his first double digit win season on Sunday. He’ll have to deal with a team that’s been mashing the ball. Vladdy is red hot. His three-run homer against the Yankees on Thursday broke the game open in the second inning. All-star catcher, Alejandro Kirk, has gone 6-12 in this weekend’s series as well.

Sunday’s matchup is going to feature two teams going in opposite directions. Luckily for bettors, the team headed in the right direction is the underdog. We can grab the moneyline for our first Wicked Wager at plus money. Smart money is on the team up north in this one.

Wicked Wager – Blue Jays ML (+105)

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1:40 PM EST Kansas City Royals (+158) @ Tampa Bay Rays (-190)

Starting Pitchers: Zach Greinke (KC) vs Ryan Yarbrough (TB)

The Tampa Bay Rays have won six of their last eight games and will be looking to continue their winning ways in this one. They’ll have Ryan Yarbrough on the mound. Yarbrough got his first win of the year in four relief innings in Monday’s shutout victory over the Yankees. The southpaw has had a shaky season but lowered his ERA by over a run since the beginning of July. The bats should be able to have his back in this one. Yandy Diaz is in a hot stretch. Diaz has picked up multiple hits in his last seven games, including in last night’s 5-2 win over Kansas City.

The Royals will be giving the ball to veteran starting pitcher, Zach Greinke. Greinke is getting older but can still put a good start together on any given night. He’s pitched well in his last two starts. We’ll see if he can turn his team’s recent fortunes around in this one.

Unlike the Rays, the Royals have not been playing well recently. The Royals will be going into Sunday as losers of seven of their last nine. We’ve reached the part of the season where the teams with something to play for take care of the team’s that don’t. This usually begins to happen after the trade deadline.

The Royals, who find themselves 24 games under .500, don’t have anything to play for. The Rays, who are in the thick of the wildcard race, will take advantage of this.

Wicked Wagers – Rays ML (-190) / Full Game o7.5 (-105)

4:07 PM EST Seattle Mariners (-215) @ Oakland Athletics (+185)

Starting Pitchers: Luis Castillo (SEA) vs JP Sears (OAK)

In yesterday’s matchup, the A’s were able to come away with a walk off victory in extra innings. The result would have been seen as a missed opportunity in the Seattle clubhouse. Any loss would be seen that way for a playoff hopeful team after losing to an opponent that’s under .500. The A’s are on their way to their first 100 loss season since 1979. On the other hand, the Mariners are looking for their first playoff spot since 2001. The Mariners can’t afford to lose another to this A’s team that’s got absolutely nothing to play for.

With the Mariners first playoff appearance since 2001 now within sight, the team decided to make a splash at the deadline to make sure they don’t miss out on October baseball again. The guy they acquired will be getting the start on the mound for them today. Luis Castillo has been solid in his first three starts for the Mariners. He’s gone at least six innings in all of them, and the Mariners have won every game he’s pitched. Don’t expect that to change today. He’ll be going up against an A’s team whose offense has been awful. The A’s are dead last in batting average, hitting .215 for the year. A weak lineup isn’t the recipe to beating a star pitcher.

The Mariners couldn’t possibly lose two straight games to a team this bad. Not in a playoff race like this. The veteran leaders in the clubhouse will rally this team to come out with energy in this one. Seattle needs every win they can get. Good thing they’ve got their ace on the mound. It’s hard to picture them dropping this one.

Wicked Wagers – Mariners Run Line (-120)