MX23RW : Thursday, July 29 14:56:11| >> :600:9003300:9003300:

Which MLB bets should you place this weekend?

With the new MLB season now in full flow, which bets should punters be placing on the next round of fixtures?

With the 2021 Major League Baseball season having only gotten underway at the start of April, every team is still trying to generate some momentum during the early stages of a hectic campaign. However, while punters may find it more difficult to form opinions on particular teams, bookmakers are generally offering more attractive betting odds with lower-quality teams more likely to pull off an upset. With that in mind, which bets should punters be placing on the upcoming fixtures?

Just like punters can benefit from MLB betting odds, Houston Astros will be looking to heap further misery on fellow AL West Division outfit Oakland Athletics. The teams have already squared off on five occasions this season with the Astros winning the lot. Each of those victories have come by at least a four-point margin, meaning that backing the Astros at betting odds of 8/13 should be one of the easiest bets that you place all weekend. As well as succumbing tamely to their next opponents, Oakland have also lost twice to the Los Angeles Dodgers, their only victory in three fixtures coming by the odd point in seven. Punters have every reason to be taking risks on all kinds of bets ahead of Saturday's clash, but it is reasonable to stick with such generous odds of 8/13 and not get too carried away.

Image from Texas Rangers against Toronto Blue Jays on April 7, 2021.© Reuters

Another interesting encounter this weekend sees the San Diego Padres square off against Texas Rangers. Both teams have enjoyed a productive start to the campaign, with the Rangers winning three times in six outings and Padres posting four victories from seven. Rangers begun the season by recording three defeats in four games, but successive triumphs over the Toronto Blue Jays have lifted the team into mid-table in the American League. While Padres have lost three of their last four in the National League, they are yet to succumb by more than a two-point margin. Taking everything into consideration, we feel that there is little to split the sides, and we feel encouraged to take the 17/10 which is on offer for the Rangers.

The concluding fixture on Saturday sees the Cincinnati Reds go up against the Arizona Diamondbacks. While the Reds sit in second place in the National League, the Diamondbacks are down in 13th spot, suggesting that the former should be regarded as the clear odds-on favourites. However, the Reds, who have prevailed in their last five matches, are available at 10/13, and punters should be looking to take advantage before those betting odds inevitably widen in the hours before the game.

Despite that winning streak, Reds have not been the most consistent of sides with their winning margins ranging between two and 13 points against the same opponents within 24 hours of each other. Although the Diamondbacks have failed to register a point in two of their seven games this season, they will take encouragement from the occasional lapse in concentration from the Reds. Nevertheless, we like the 5/7 which is on offer for the Diamondbacks to be reduced to under 4.5 points in this game.

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States14141038
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia811928
Great BritainGreat Britain57618
Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events

· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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