Thursday brings a reduced slate, which almost entirely takes place in the afternoon. There are nne afternoon games and just the one evening game.
Here are Today’s MLB Picks:
Rockies @ Pirates
This is a big leap of faith on the Pirates starter Jordan Lyles, because all of the number scream not to trust the Pirates to cover the spread. As favorite the Pirates only cover the spread 37% of the time and at home it is as low as 35%. In contrast the Rockies cover the spread 67% of time on the road and 62% of the time as underdogs. However, Lyles has been unbelievable this year with a .197 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings. He has not allowed more than one earned run in his last three outings, pitching 19 2/3 innings in that time, with 21 strikeouts. Meanwhile Rockies starter Senzatela has allowed 11 earned runs in his last three outings and owns a 4.89 ERA.
1u - PIT Pirates -1.5 @ +162
Phillies @ Cubs
This all comes down to the pitching matchup and the odds. Right now, one bookmaker has the Phillies as big underdogs and this pitching matchup is to close for those odds. If you just look at the numbers, then yes Jon Lester and his 2.09 ERA is significantly better than Aaron Nola and his 4.47 ERA. However, Nola’s numbers are inflated because of a bad start to the season, when he allowed 16 earned runs in his first four starts. Since then he has taken the mound six times and allowed a total of 10 earned runs in 33 innings. Meanwhile Lester allowed five earned runs last time out and has allowed an average of nine hits per game in his last three starts.
1u – PHI Phillies ML @ +100
Twins @ Angels
This game was postponed Wednesday but with the same pitchers taking the mound on Thursday, the same logic applies to this today’s game.
Go back a few years and tell someone you are backing a team with Martin Perez starting against a team with Matt Harvey pitching and they would look at you in disbelief. However, Perez has a 2.89 ERA and has allowed over three earned runs just once in seven starts. In contrast, Harvey has a 6.35 ERA and has allowed over three earned runs four times. Add in how potent this Twins offense has been, ranking first in runs and second in home runs and slugging, and it is very hard to pick against them right now.
1u – MIN Twins -1.5 @+125
By Ben Rolfe