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Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week – August 14th, 2023

By Hank Blaine

The Tampa Bay Rays are a good team but they continue to take major hits. First it was Cy Young contender Shane McClanahan suffering a season-ending injury and now star shortstop Wander Franco might be in some legal trouble. Here’s a look at their series opener on Monday and another big early-week matchup.

Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week (August 14th, 2023)

Tampa Bay Rays vs. San Francisco Giants

  • When: Monday, August 14, 2023, 10:10 PM ET
  • Where: Oracle Park, San Francisco, CA
  • Radio: WFAN 101.9 FM (Rays) // 95.3 WDAE (Giants)
  • Live Stream: MLB.tv
  • MLB Betting Odds: Rays (+150) // Giants (-165)

Franco didn’t play in Tampa Bay’s home game Sunday vs. Cleveland and didn’t fly out with the club afterward to San Francisco because the Rays and MLB became aware of disturbing social media posts about Franco earlier Sunday. Essentially, they posts alleged that the 22-year-old engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a minor.

The posts went viral basically as soon as Sunday’s game got underway. By the final out, Franco’s name was the top sports trending topic on the X platform, formerly known as Twitter.

“I’m aware of the speculation. I’m not going to comment any further on that,” Manager Kevin Cash told reporters on Sunday, saying that was simply a day off for Franco as he had played 20 straight games. No one believes Cash because Sunday was a Wander Franco Snapback Hat giveaway for kids 14 and under at Tropicana Field. The Rays called up Osleivis Basabe, one of their top prospects, from Triple-A Durham to start in his place.

Franco signed an 11-year extension with the Rays in November 2021 and was selected to his first All-Star Game this season and is hitting .281/.344/.475 in 112 games.

Even with all these distractions, the Rays are about a lock to be a playoff team, either by winning the AL East or earning a wild card spot. They start Tyler Glasnow (5-3, 3.15) on Monday. The 29-year-old right-hander hasn’t pitched since July 31 due to back spasms. The team originally was hoping for this past Saturday but he wasn’t ready. Glasnow has thrown 7.0 innings in a career-high-tying three straight starts.

He has made two career appearances (one start) against San Francisco, throwing 8.0 scoreless innings. In his lone start in April 2019, he worked 6.0 innings, scattering three hits and one walk with six strikeouts.

The Giants are likely using an opener and then lefty Sean Manaea (3-3) as their bulk guy. Over his last five appearances, Manaea has given up one run, four hits and two walks while striking out 14 over 11.2 innings. He’s at a 5.10 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 94:29 K:BB through 77.2 innings overall.

MLB Betting Pick: Giants

Los Angeles Angels vs. Texas Rangers

  • When: Tuesday, August 15, 2023, 8:05 PM ET
  • Where: Globe Life Field, Arlington, TX
  • Radio: KLAA Angels Radio AM 830 (Angels) // 105.3 The Fan (Rangers)
  • Live Stream: MLB.tv
  • MLB Betting Odds: TBA

This is a huge series for the Angels and their slim wild-card hopes, while Texas continues to lead the AL West. If LA doesn’t get hot essentially very soon, it will miss out on postseason baseball yet again and almost surely lose superstar Shohei Ohtani to free agency. He was supposed to pitch Tuesday vs. Texas but will not go due to arm fatigue.

Manager Phil Nevin stressed that he isn’t injured, but that Ohtani had asked on Saturday to skip just one turn through the rotation. Ohtani will now pitch against the Reds at Angel Stadium on either Aug. 21 or Aug. 22. Ohtani, the heavy frontrunner to win AL MVP for the second time in three years, has been pitching well recently. He hasn’t allowed an earned run over his past three starts, totaling 19 innings. He will of course remain in the lineup but no longer leads the majors in homers. He has 41 homers, two behind Atlanta’s Matt Olson.

Trade acquisition Lucas Giolito (7-8, 4.37) will pitch here. He earned the win last Tuesday, allowing three runs on three hits and three walks over six innings against San Francisco. He struck out seven. Giolito claimed his first quality start since July 9 (four appearances) and managed to bounce back from an awful start to his tenure in Los Angeles following a trade from the White Sox. In his first two outings with the Halos, Giolito surrendered 12 runs and five homers over nine innings while mustering up just seven strikeouts.

The Rangers go with their own trade acquisition in lefty Jordan Montgomery (7-10, 3.38), who came over from St. Louis at the deadline. Montgomery took the loss Wednesday, allowing two runs on seven hits and one walk over six innings against the Athletics. He struck out five. Montgomery has now logged three consecutive quality starts, though he’s just 1-2 over that stretch. He’s also given up at least six hits in four of his last five outings.

Keep in mind the Angels remain without star outfielder and former AL MVP Mike Trout. He suffered a broken hamate bone against the Padres on July 3. Sounds like it will be at least another week.

MLB Betting Pick: Rangers

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*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.

READ MORE: Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week – August 21st, 2023