It is an interesting slate of games on the split slate Thursday. We have two afternoon games and then 10 evening games, with some fun pitching duels, and a promising rookie taking to the mound for the Marlins.
Here are Today’s MLB Picks:
Indians @ Rangers
This game stood out to me immediately because there is something not quite right about the Rangers being underdogs at home in this one. Yes, they have lost the last two, allowing 20 runs in the process, but their home record sits at 25-14-1 on the season, and Mike Minor is on the mound. Minor has been the revelation of the season in major league baseball, with a 2.63 ERA in 15 starts this season. His opponent is Shane Bieber, who has also been good, but has had some tough outings recently. In his last five starts he has allowed five or more earned runs twice, against the Yankees and Red Sox. He also gave up six earned against the White Sox on May 14th. There have been many good starts mixed in there, but those starts show it is more likely the Rangers get to him than his own hit-or-miss offense gets to the Minor.
1u – TEX Rangers ML @ +114
Marlins @ Cardinals
I am going to ride this train one more time to end the series. However, of all the picks this is the under I am most nervous about. The weather in St. Louis will favour run scoring and the Marlins have a pitcher making his major league debut on the mound. However, there are the same offenses who have averaged under five runs combined in the first three games of this series so far. Additionally, Zac Gallen has been lighting up Triple-A this season, with a 1.77 ERA and an 11.04 K/9. An interesting sub plot is that he was in the minor league system of the Cardinals as recently as 2017, so it will be fascinating to see whether they have the inside scoop on him in this first start. As for the Cardinals starter? Well that is Adam Wainwright, with his 2.37 ERA at home this season. Combine all of that with two teams in the bottom half in runs scored, home runs and slugging and I like my chances with the under once again.
1u – Under 8 Total Runs @ -110
Reds @ Brewers
This matchup sees two teams face off who are in two different runs of form. The Brewers just lost their last three in San Diego, and the Reds will be riding high after taking three games off the Houston Astros. I still place the Brewers as favorites in this one, but there was always going to be some improvement from the Reds at some point this season. The reason I like the Reds to stay competitive is the way Jimmy Nelson has started since returning from injury. In his two starts so far, against the Marlins and Giants, he has allowed eight earned runs in just seven innings, walking six and allowing nine hits. In contrast Tanner Roark has been solid, with a 3.63 ERA on the season, and similar splits at home or on the road. Expect the Reds to hang tough in this one, and possibly even come away with the win if they can tag Nelson early.
1u – CIN Reds -1.5 @ -150
Rays @ Athletics
The West Coast is set to see two impressive pitching duels on Thursday, and the one on Oakland could be the best of them. Charlie Morton comes into the game with a 2.37 ERA and allowing three or more earned runs just twice in his last 10 starts. Additionally, he has a 1.59 ERA on the road after allowing just eight earned runs in 45 1/3 innings. Frankie Montas has been equally as impressive, with a 2.85 ERA on the season, allowing an average of 2.75 earned runs in his last four home starts. Additionally, the under is 12-7 in Athletics home games with a line set at 8-or-8.5.
1u – Under 8 Total Runs @ -111
By Ben Rolfe