MLB Picks August 21: Phillies host Giants in headlined match up

The MLB season is down to the last quarter and numerous teams are still in the hunt for postseason play. Two-thirds of the teams are in action for Monday, August 21 with the Phillies hosting the Giants set as our featured game.

San Francisco Giants versus Philadelphia Phillies

The top two teams in the NL wild-card race face off. The Phillies look to increase their lead in the race. They are 3-3 over their last six and come in “average” versus “ice cold down” against the Giants who are 2-4 during that stretch. The Giants owned the Phillies in a three-game sweep in San Francisco earlier this season. Picking the over/under will be difficult with the teams trending on opposite sides of the line. The Phillies come in with an edge on the Power Ranks Indicator.  I’m learning the way of the Score Predictor, which has the Phillies bouncing back by a convincing 8-2 margin. It’s time to put the Giants in the rearview mirror. Go with the Phillies to win this series at home.

New York Mets versus Atlanta Braves

Many thought this match-up would be key to the playoff race, but the Mets have folded, sitting an extremely distant seven games out in the wild-card race. Atlanta is arguably the best team in the league. Both teams are coming in “burning hot” and are a combined 9-3 over the last 12 games. The Braves have won eight of 10 against the Mets this year including a 21-3 shellacking on August 12. Atlanta has been among the most stable teams in the league. There will be no surprises here. Expect an easy win by the Braves in a game “over” the line.

Boston Red Sox versus Houston Astros

Houston is battling in the wild-card and the AL West divisional race, while Boston is trying to claw their way into the wild-card picture. Houston is 7-3 over their last ten and are sitting pretty with a 92 percent chance of making the playoffs. Boston is 4-6 and their playoff hopes are at a mere 10 percent. Both teams are trending in games “over” the line and the Score Predictor has the Astros by a 9-5 margin. This is the first meeting between the teams this season. Be aware that the Red Sox are woefully inconsistent with regard to their favorite/underdog status. I see the Astros getting their game into playoff mode and would be shocked to see a Boston win. Go with Houston and “over” the line.

Cincinnati Reds versus Los Angeles Angels

Cincinnati is tied for the final playoff spot in the NL, while the Angels are just looking to get back to .500. The teams haven’t been playing lights-out ball, going a combined 5-7 over the last 12. Expect plenty of runs in this one with the teams trending in games “over” the line. Cincinnati has a +10 to +8 edge on the Power Ranks Indicator with each team on a sharp downward decline. Normally I would like the Angels at home but the Reds will have more motivation to keep pace in the playoff race. I like the Reds in a slugfest.

Miami Marlins versus San Diego Padres

Miami is deadlocked with the Reds and Cubs for the final playoff spot in the NL, while the Padres are five back after a dreadful 3-7 stretch. The teams are just 5-7 over the last 12. San Diego comes in “ice cold down” on the Team Strength Oscillator and Miami has a slim +17 to +15 edge on the Power Ranks Indicator. It’s best to pass on the over/under bet with the teams trending in games on opposite sides of the line. The Padres took two of three against the Marlins in Miami earlier this season, outscoring them by a combined 20 to 7. I expect more of the same considering the Marlins are 26-32 on the road this season. Go with the Padres in attempts to spoil the Marlins run at the post season.

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