MLB Picks May 23: Tampa Bay and Toronto Square off in AL East Battle

A quarter of the MLB season has passed and divisional races are already heating up. There is a full schedule of games for May 23 with the Rays and Blue Jays headlining the action.

Tampa Bay Rays versus Toronto Blue Jays

In the tight AL East, the Rays and Blue Jays conclude a weekend series. Entering the series the Blue Jays have won two of the first three meetings between the teams in 2021. Both teams are “burning hot” on the Team Strength Oscillator and the Rays have a +29 to +26 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator. The Totals Predictor shows the teams on opposite sides of the line, so betting the “over/under” is not a good play. The Scores Predictor gives the edge to the Rays by a 5-4 margin with 51 percent confidence. This game really is a coin toss. I will go with the Rays in a tight game.

Boston Red Sox versus Philadelphia Phillies

Boston comes in at the top of the AL East and the Phillies are second in the NL East. The Phillies have a +17 to +11 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator. Neither team is playing their best ball lately. Boston is “average down” on the Team Strength Oscillator and the Phillies are “ice cold down”. Expect a lower scoring game, according to both the Scores Predictor (6-1 in favor of Boston with 53 percent confidence) and the Totals Predictor. I expect the Phillies to be a bit more competitive but the Red Sox will take this one on the road.

Pittsburgh Pirates versus Atlanta Braves

Pittsburgh is bringing up the rear in the NL Central and the Braves are in the middle of the pack in the NL East. The Pirates have a +8 to +7 edge on the Power Rankinng Indicator and the Braves are “average up” versus “ice cold” on the Team Strength Oscillator. JT Brubaker is scheduled to pitch for the Pirates versus Max Fried for the Braves. Brubaker is 3-3 with a 3.27 ERA, but a poor bet (-276 dollars) on the Pitcher Profit Oscillator. Fried is 1-2 with a 5.46 ERA but +1885 dollars.  Expect a lower scoring game, so betting under is smart. The Scores Predictor gives the edge to the Braves by a 4-1 score with 71 percent confidence. The Braves are the good bet in this one.

Oakland Athletics versus Los Angeles Angels

In this AL West battle, the first-place Athletics face the fourth place Angels. Oakland has a +25 to +3 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator and “burning hot down” versus “ice cold down” on the Team Strength Oscillator. The two teams have not yet met this season. The Totals Predictor indicates both teams are playing in games trending under the line. However, the Scores Predictor has Oakland by a 10-6 score with 71 percent confidence. Go with Oakland and bet “over”.

Chicago Cubs versus St. Louis Cardinals

The top two teams in the NL Central battle for the first time in 2021 in the final game of a weekend series. The Cubs have a +29 to +14 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator. Neither team has been playing their best baseball late, coming in at “average up” and “average” on the Team Strength Oscillator. The Totals Predictor is showing both teams trending in games “under”, so placing a bet in that direction is a wise play. The Scores Predictor gives the edge to the Cubs by a 6-4 score with only 44 percent confidence.  I will go the opposite direction and take the Cardinals and home field advantage.

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