Tuesday brings us a bumper 16-game slate, with a doubleheader in New York. 16 games offer us plenty of opportunities to find some value.
Here are Today’s MLB Picks:
Blue Jays @ Orioles
The way the Blue Jays and Orioles are playing this season means that this game will not be on the radar for many people. However, there are some reasons to like the under in this game. Firstly, the expectation is that the wind will be blowing in towards the plate from left field, which will suppress home runs. Secondly, John Means is on the mound to start for the Blue Jays, and he has been superb this season. In his last 10 starts he has allowed three or more earned runs just three times and has a 2.67 ERA on the season. Additionally, those “bad” starts in the last 10 games have all come on the road. At home, in 29 1/3 innings, he has a 1.53 ERA, 26 strikeouts and a .216 wOBA. Finally, this game also sees a matchup between two teams who rank in the bottom third in most hitting categories. All these factors point towards the under being a good play today.
1u – Under 8.5 Total Runs @ +105
Rangers @ Red Sox
This pick is all about value once again. It would be pushing my luck to expect a pick with odds over +200 to land two days running, but the odds seem off on this one. Ariel Jurado has been really good this season, with a 2.78 ERA, and allowing a total of seven runs in 18 1/3 innings over his last three starts. On the other side there is Darwinzon Hernandez, who will be making his first start in the majors. However, at Triple-A this season he has made nine starts, with a 1-4 record and a 5.13 ERA. However, his FIP and xFIP are both below four, suggesting he has had some bad luck this season. In terms of ratios he has struck out over 13 batters per nine but has walked a whopping 7.14 per nine. This Rangers line-up, which ranks second in runs and eighth in slugging is not a group you want to be putting on base for free.
0.5u – TEX Rangers ML @ +235
Reds @ Indians
The battle of Ohio heads to Cleveland this week and it brings a fantastic pitching matchup. Luis Castillo has been lights out this season, with a 6-1 record and a 2.26 ERA. Being on the road has had some effect but he still has an ERA under three. The intrigue is on the other side with Trevor Bauer, who is having a very mixed season. After a by-far career-best season last year, he has come down to earth a little to start this season. He has a 3.93 ERA and a 4-6 record, but most concerningly for this starts he has a 5.61 ERA at home. The positive for Bauer is that the Reds offense ranks 21st in runs scored and 23rd in slugging. In fact, both offenses have had their struggles this season, which is why the under looks such a juicy play here.
1u – Under 8.5 Total Runs @ -110
Cubs @ Rockies
This selection is largely just down to the number itself. A over/under of 12 is such an extreme number that the instinct will always be to back the under. One of the reasons for the over is the Cubs offense against Peter Lambert making just his second ever major league start. Lambert has had mixed success at different levels of the minors, but at Triple-A his ERA has sat around five, with FIP and xFIP that reinforce that ERA. He is also facing the Cubs for the second time in week, so they will have the book on him after an impressive seven innings, one earned run and nine strikeouts. However, that performance provides promise that he can keep the scoring down, especially with the wind expected to be blowing in from center. On the other side is the solid Jose Quintana. Quintana is just the safe, unexciting option that can be relied. There is the odd blow up, but if the over hits here it will not be because of Quintana. Overall, the key factor here is that I believe these two pitchers are better than yesterdays, the weather is also slightly better, and just 11 runs scored in that game. 12 is such a big number that the under is the odds on play here.
1u – Under 12 Total Runs @ -105
By Ben Rolfe