MLB Best Bets Today May 20

A dozen on the diamond is how we’ll start a new week in the Major Leagues. A getaway day doubleheader in Atlanta can’t make the players on either team happy, but them’s the breaks sometimes during the lengthy MLB season. The weather is a non-factor today, so we’ll get all the games in to get the week started on a positive note.

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Here are the MLB best bets today for May 20:

Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals (-115, 9)

7:40 p.m. ET

AL Central rivals battle it out at Kauffman Stadium tonight with the Tigers and Royals together for the fourth time this season. The Tigers took two of three the first time around, but only mustered 10 runs in the series. Detroit is just 6-10 this month, but the Tigers have a +10 run differential with 70 runs scored and the offense has really picked it up lately.

The Tigers are seventh in baseball with a 108 wRC+ over the last 14 days. Wenceel Perez has been a nice addition and some of the others are starting to hit a bit more, even Javier Baez. This is a better team than the 23-23 record would indicate with a +17 run differential.

Today, they draw Michael Wacha, who has some positive regression signs, but also some other areas of concern. Wacha has a 4.71 ERA with a 3.84 FIP and he’s limited the opposition to a 33.8% Hard Hit%, but he’s had seven straight starts with a single-digit SwStr%. He doesn’t create a whole lot of margin for error on that front. Also, he’s not generating many chases. I don’t think he’ll be able to sustain his current contact management numbers with how many pitches in the zone hitters are making contact on.

Reese Olson’s rotation mate Jack Flaherty has been excellent this season, but it took until this past weekend against the D-Backs to get his first win of the season. Olson has a 2.09 ERA with a 2.56 FIP and he’s winless in eight starts. He’s allowed one or fewer earned runs in six of his eight starts, but the lack of run support has been a problem.

I love the peripherals for Olson with a 55.4% GB% and a 12.6% SwStr% per Sports Info Solutions. He hasn’t translated all those whiffs to strikeouts on a consistent basis, but he keeps the ball on the ground and has the increased margin for error with swings and misses. He’ll also have the support of a well-rested bullpen here and I really do like this Tigers relief corps.

The Royals are playing over their heads a bit in my opinion and I find Detroit to be better than their record. With this pitching matchup and Detroit’s recent hitting prowess, I like them tonight.

Pick: Tigers -105