Friday is finally here and with it comes a 15-game even slate, which includes some very good pitching matchups.
Here are Today’s MLB Picks:
Indians @ Tigers
When you look at the ERAs of the pitchers in this game the initial instinct will be over all the way. However, as neither have played in many games the ERA does not tell the full story. Ryan Carpenter has had struggles this year, but he also had a stretch of three games against the Met, Orioles and Rays in which he threw 17 innings and allowed just six runs to score. The Indians offense will be one of the worst that he has faced this season, ranking 25th in runs, 24th in home runs and 26th in slugging. As for Adam Plutko, his 5.19 ERA is a product of a terrible outing against the Rays. In his other two starts he has allowed three runs to score in 12 innings. The Detroit offense is worse than the Indians, and both teams score on average under four runs per game at home and on the road respectively. The wind blowing in from right field only serves to cement this as an under pick for me.
1u – Under 9.5 Total Runs @ -111
Pirates @ Marlins
Outside of gambling I am not sure there are many reasons to find to watch this game. However, fortunately the situation means that there is reason to take the under in this game. The Pirates and Marlins rank 20th and 30th respectively in runs scored and slugging percentage, as well as 26th and 30th in home runs. Additionally, the two pitchers in this game have been pretty good. Steven Brault has allowed just seven earned runs in his last 24 2/3 innings, across five outings. Trevor Richards has been equally as good, allowing just six earned runs in his last five outings, in which he has thrown 31 innings. The Pirates last four games have hit the over, and the Marlins have seen the over hit three of the last five, but this game is a completely different world, as the Marlins average just 3.2 runs per game at home, and the Pirates just 4.18 runs per game on the road.
1u – Under 8.5 Total Runs @ -102
Phillies @ Braves
This game is a story of two pitchers trending in very different direction. Nick Pivetta’s start to the season was a nightmare. He allowed 17 earned runs in 18 1/3 innings in his first four starts and was dispatched to the minors. Since returning from the minors he has looked a different pitcher altogether, including a complete game last time out against the Reds. In his three starts since returning he has thrown 20 innings, striking out 21, walking just two and allowing just four earned runs. Meanwhile Max Fried started the year like a man possessed but is coming back down to earth. In his last four starts, he has allowed 14 earn runs in 21 2/3 innings, striking out 20, but walking eight. Not a disastrous run, but certainly not the same pitcher he was in March/April and early May. This contest between the two NL East favorites is very evenly balanced, and therefore, I lean towards the underdog to spring a surprise.
1u – PHI Phillies ML @ +120
By Ben Rolfe