Despite some delayed MLB games due to COVID-19, Friday night, 21 Aug,  has a ton of betting value to choose from and Matt has a pair of best picks to end the week a winner.

MLB Daily Picks Aug 21, 2020

Phillies (Aaron Nola | 2-1, 2.05) vs. Braves (Max Fried | 3-0, 1.24)

The Philadelphia Phillies hit the road to Atlanta to take on the Braves in game one of a three-game tilt.  Philly will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak after dropping two in a row to the Blue Jays and a game against Boston.

Fortunately, Philly has their best arm on the hill tonight with Aaron Nola getting the start.  Nola is off to a blistering start to the year with a 2-1 record, 2.05 ERA and 0.65 WHIP.  His last game was a seven-inning three-hit shutout against the Mets en route to a 6-2 victory.  He’s spun 13 scoreless innings in a row and has a stellar 11-5 record and 2.82 ERA against the Braves.

The Braves enter this game one off a loss to the Nats earlier in the week which leaves them with a 14-11 record on the year.  Atlanta currently leads the NL East and would love to put some more distance between them and the Miami Marlins who are just 1.5 games back.

Max Fried gets the ball tonight and is the current club ace with Soroka on the shelf.  In five starts and 29 innings, Fried has a 3-0 record, 1.24 ERA and 0.90 WHIP.  Fried has whiffed 28 batters in those 29 innings and walked nine.  He smoked this team earlier in August, going five innings in an eventual 8-0 Braves win.

This game is screaming low scoring affair with a pair of the NL’s best arms and some overall mediocre lineups.

Nola has an insane 37/4 strikeout to walk ratio while the Braves will be without Acuna Jr, Albies, and Markakis in the order.  Meanwhile Fried has looked equally impressive and the Braves have not lost one of his starts to date.

This game is a real toss-up but I think the home/road splits for Philly are a deal-breaker for a bet on the road team.

Philly has an awful 2-12 record in their last 14 games on the road and 4-10 their last 14 games at Truist Park.

Based on this, and the Braves 5-0 record in Fried starts, I will pick the home team in game one of our Aug 21 Friday night MLB parlay.

Best Bet: Atlanta Braves -105

Rockies (Jon Gray | 1-2, 5.74) vs. Dodgers (Walker Buehler | 0-0, 5.21)

Second, on our betting card, tonight is the Rockies heading to LA to take on the first-place Dodgers.

The Dodgers have the best record in baseball right now and have lost just eight games all year.  Oddly, five of those games came on their home turf but that does little to dissuade me from a play here.

LA was riding a seven-game winning streak before a surprising loss to the Mariners on Wednesday.  They are eager to get back in the win column and add to their four-game lead over the Padres in the NL West.

Meanwhile, the Rockies are five games behind the Dodgers and would love nothing more than to take this game one on the road to set a tone for the series ahead. Colorado is also coming off a loss, their third in a row, and fifth in their last six games.

Jon Gray gets the start and has pitched to a 1-2 record with a sketch 5.74 ERA.  His ERA numbers could be inflated a bit by pitching half his games at Coor Field, but his 16/6 strikeout to walk ratio points fingers elsewhere.

Gray has been struggling with his command and this LA team will jump all over him if he starts hanging pitches again.

Walker Buehler takes the hill for LA and while that is usually a comforting sign, his numbers in 2020 have me a bit worried.

His last game out saw him cough up five runs in just 4 ⅔ innings against the Angels, including a two-run shot my Mime Trout.

Buehler has proven in the past that he really needs time to get going and settled into a season to be truly effective. Much like 2019, Buehler has gotten off to a rocky start after an unconventional preparation period.  This year, obviously the season was delayed and spring training schedules for starters were a mess.

I fully expect Buehler to snap back and finish strong much like he did last year.  He admitted that in a 60 game season he needs to get his act together quicker this year, but feels confident he can do so.

I feel the same and really like this game to be Buehlers move back into ‘Ace’ territory.

The Rockies are a pretty bad team all-around and have their own issues on the mound tonight with Gray a volatile option.  There is little to no value on LA’s moneyline so we’re going to the run line for our second play of the day.

Best Bet:  Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 (-120)

So, there’s my MLB picks and parlays for 21 Aug, 2020. Good luck guys!