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Rick’s MLB Picks 5/ 21/2022

Chicago White Sox @ New York Yankees

Favorite: Yankees -220

Total: 9.5

Pitchers: Dallas Keuchel (5.54 ERA, 1.92 WHIP) vs. Nestor Cortes Jr. (1.35 ERA, 0.85 WHIP)

The red hot Yankees welcome Chicago to town after having picking up 3 of 4 against them before the Orioles series. 14-4 at home this year, the Yankees have continued to be exceptional across the board behind the slugging power of their lineup and a top tier rotation. To some’s surprise, Cortes has been the best of the bunch, being nearly unhittable this year. In facing the White Sox recently he pitched 8 innings, allowing only 3 hits and 1 run. Impressive considering how good this White Sox team has been against lefties over the calendar year.

The White Sox came into the season as one of the favorites to win the World Series, yet have stumbled out of the gates to a 19-19 record. Behind underperforming pitching across the board and bats that haven’t found their consistent pop, the White Sox are looking to make a run and re-establish themselves at the top of the game. Keuchel has struggled this year but has been fantastic generating softer contact, an x-factor against a Yankees team in Yankee Stadium. I think the White Sox are here for revenge on their recent series and the line is far too great to back the Yankees.

Pick: White Sox F5 +1 -115 (1u)

Ron Vesely/Getty Images

Cincinnati Reds @ Toronto Blue Jays

Favorite: Blue Jays -260

Total: 8

Pitchers: Hunter Greene (6.21 ERA, 1.56 WHIP) vs. Alex Manoah (1.71 ERA, 0.88 WHIP)

Not too much to say here. While the Reds haven’t been as bad as they were on their massive losing streak, they’re still probably the worst team in baseball, throwing one of the worst pitchers so far this year. Greene hasn’t been able to do much of anything right. Even when he allows 1 run on 0 hits, he still loses. For as good as everyone knows the Blue Jays bats are, they’ve been horrible for weeks now and are looking to rekindle their fire. Alex Manoah on the mound allows them the buffer to struggle some this game, but I doubt they need it. The Blue Jays should take this one with ease today, I’m guessing 7-1.

Pick: Blue Jays -1.5 -130 (1u)

Minnesota Twins @ Kansas City Royals

Favorite: Twins -143

Total: 7.5

Pitchers: Joe Ryan (2.39 ERA, 0.96 WHIP) vs. Brad Keller (2.89 ERA, 1.01 WHIP)

The Twins have been a pleasant surprise in the AL Central with their division leading 23-14 record. They’ve done it through gritty wins and solid pitching. Byron Buxton has returned in quite some fashion, but Luis Arraez has been their gem so far, batting .323 So far this season. With Ryan on the mound today against a sub-par batting team in the Royals, he should be able to keep up his excellent form to begin the season. These stats aren’t flukey for him, as his xERA is 3.16 and his advanced stats put him in the top tier of pitchers so far this season.

Brad Keller has had very comparable stats to Joe Ryan so far this season, but with a very different story. Unlike Ryan, who I expect to keep it up, Keller should begin to regress. A 5.39 ERA last year and metrics that place him as a very average starter, I’d expect him to slowly creep up towards a 4 ERA. I think that starts today against the Twins, who have the better bats and bullpen.

Pick: Twins -143 (1u)

AP Photo - Stacy Bengs

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