The first weekend of the Major League season is in the books, and while there are concerns about the coronavirus, and two games (Marlins-Orioles and Yankees-Phillies) have already been postponed on Monday, the games do go on, and Matt DeSaro gives his top MLB picks of the slate for July 27:

MLB Picks & Parlays July 27

Blue Jays (Trent Thornton) vs. Nationals (Anibal Sanchez)

Each of these teams took a hard L in their opening series and are looking for a bounce-back performance in week 2 of the MLB season.

The defending champs need this series a lot more than the Jays if they hope to show the world that last year wasn’t a fluke and the departure of some key players won’t keep them down.  To be fair, game one was kind of fluky with it ending early due to rain.  But their third loss really hurt and exposed their bullpen a bit.  Spoiling their home opener post World Series win.

Toronto was not without their issue in the pen mind you.  A two-run game-winning triple was their downfall and I don’t have a lot of confidence in their pitching to rebound on Monday.

The Blue Jays will be starting Trent Thornton, who went an ugly 6-9 last year with a 4.84 ERA.  He is also like my grandmother at night when she is driving…sloppy.  His ERA in night games last year was 6.10 with a 3-8 record.

Facing off against him will be the Washington’s Anibal Sanchez.  Sanchez is coming off an 11-8 season with a decent ERA of 3.85.  He does have an awful record against Toronto at 3-5, but I don’t but a lot into team records unless they are in the same season.

My biggest concern for the Nationals is the lack of Juan Soto.  Who is still waiting to make his season debut.

I still trust the Nationals to hit and pitch better than the Blue Jays on Monday night and therefore love their MLB price of -125, so we will go for that as out pick for July 27.  This price would be closer to -150 had they won 2 of 3 from the Yankees in my opinion.  Those games were close enough for me to believe the Nationals are a much better team than the one that rather easily dropped their opening homestand.

Best Bet: Washington Nationals -125

Braves (Mike Foltynewicz) vs. Rays (Tyler Glasnow)

The Atlanta Braves have started the season off just as I had expected them to.  Winning their first series against some tough Mets pitching and scoring 19 totals runs in three games.

A lot of that scoring was in the last game on Sunday night sure, where they smoked the Mets 14-1.  But that is just the game I needed to see from the Braves.

Sure, the Rays had their own big win on Sunday.  Taking a series win over the aforementioned Blue Jays with a walk-off triple.

The big issue I have with betting against the Rays in this game is the pitching discrepancy.

Tampa Bay will be starting Tyler Glasnow who had a shockingly good 2019 season.  Glasnow went 6-1 with an ERA of just 1.78.  Sadly he only managed 12 starts before an injury cut his season short.  But he amassed 72 strikeouts in just 62 ⅔ innings before he ended up on the shelf and could be in for a huge breakout season.

Now, the good news here is that all pitchers so far have been on a tighter pitch count than usual.  This means that Glasnow will likely get the hook early no matter how good he is doing and then the Blue Jays bullpen will have to hold it together for the rest of the game.

I do not see this happening.

The Braves are just too good at the plate and if they don’t get the Glasnow, they will certainly ruin the day of this bullpen.

You might be concerned by the Braves starter Mike Foltlynewicz if you just look at his stats from last season.  The 28-year old righty had the worst season of his career with a 5-3 record and 4.50 ERA.  Full disclosure, his last game out he allowed 10 runs in the first inning of a game five last year.

But fear not.

It’s important to understand that Folty was just rocked with injuries last year.  The nagging kind.  And despite him giving it the old college try, he just couldn’t get healthy enough to stay on the field and get any sort of tempo going.  But please remember, this was a Cy Young candidate in 2018 and he is pitching for one of the best teams in the bigs.

I feel confident that we see the Folty we saw in 2018 and little to nothing from the Rays offense.  The Braves bullpen is much better than the Rays, one of the best in the majors in fact, and I think they hold on and win this game for Atlanta.

Best Bet: Atlanta Braves +140

That’s it for our MLB picks for July 27, good luck with your bets.