After a somewhat false start on Thursday with just one game, baseball returns with a bang on Friday. All 30 teams are in actions, with games stretching from 2:10 pm right through the evening and into the night on the East Coast.
Here are Today’s MLB Picks:
Rays @ Orioles
One of the first games I look for on any slate is the Orioles, because they are just frankly awful this season. Only one team is worst against the spread at home in major league baseball than the Orioles 33.3% cover rate. In contrast the Rays cover the spread on 58.1% of their road games and have the so far impressive Yonny Chirinos on the mound for this one. The pitching discrepancy is highlighted by the Rays ranking first in the majors in team ERA, while the Orioles rank dead last. At the same time the Rays offense ranks in the top-half for most statistics, with the Orioles buried deep in the bottom third. Dylan Bundy at home this season has a 4.99 ERA, 12 home runs allowed and a .528 slugging percentage against.
1u – TB Rays -1.5 @ +105
Blue Jays @ Yankees
The Yankees have been so impressive this season, and at home they cover the spread 60% of the time. This game sees a mismatch both on the hitting and pitching sides of the game. Domingo German has a 3.67 ERA, compared to Aaron Sanchez and his 6.16 ERA, rising to 6.75 on the road. On the hitting side of things the Yankees rank in the top five in most statistics, while the Blue Jays in the bottom third of everything except home runs (14th). This should be a comfortable matchup for the Yankees juggernaut offense, against a struggling pitcher, so taking them to cover is the option here.
1u – NY Yankees -2 @ -111
Astros @ Rangers
The Astros have very strong this season, but one place they have issues is against the spread in certain situations. For example, following a loss they cover the spread just 36.4% of the time. That is particularly an issue when facing one of the best teams at covering the spread overall (59.3%, 1st), at home (57.5%, 3rd), and after a victory (62.5%, 2nd). The pitching matchup in this game favors the Astros with Gerrit Cole on the mound, against Jesse Chavez for the Rangers. However, Cole has had his issues this season in Texas, allowing 11 earned runs in 10 1/3 innings. This rivalry game should be a close one and given their record in these games I trust the Rangers to keep this one within two runs.
1u – TEX Rangers +1.5 @ +112
By Ben Rolfe