We have all 30 teams in action on Friday. The Padres and Cubs provide the afternoon appetiser, before the main course kicks in to over drive just after 7pm.
Here are Today’s MLB Picks:
Blue Jays @ Tigers
This matchup could be one of the least entertaining of the day. These two teams rank dead last in batting average, and in the bottom-third in both runs and slugging percentage. When these two sides met in a four-game series to open the season a total of 18 runs were scored, and two games went to extra innings. These two actually met on opening day and did not allow a run between them. However, since then Marcus Stroman has continued to pitch well, with a 3.25 ERA, while Jordan Zimmermann’s season has gone badly downhill (7.01 ERA). Toronto are not great covering the spread as favorites, but the Tigers record at home is horrific. They cover the spread just 26% of the time when they play in Detroit. That combined with the pitching disparity has me backing the Blue Jays to win this one with relative ease.
1u – TOR Blue Jays -1.5 @ +104
Athletics @ Twins
I do not really understand this line. Both pitchers have ERA’s under four, and the weather, is only marginally hitter friendly. 10.5 seems extremely high, and in games in Minnesota this year the under is 8-4 when the line has been 10 or above. Chris Bassitt has allowed three earned runs or less in four of is last five road starts, and while Jake Odorizzi has had struggles recently, he has only allowed 10 earned runs in his last four home starts. I would back the under here and even take the line down to 10 in order to flip the odds into the positive.
1u – Under 10 Total Runs @ +105
Rangers @ Astros
This is the matchup that I am super excited for today. Justin Verlander has been his usual brilliant self this season, with a 2.98 ERA and an 11-4 record. However, Mike Minor has been a revelation, with a 2,73 ERA, 8-4 record and 121 strikeouts in 122 innings. The trends are also in the favor of this being a pitching duel. In Astros’ home games with a line set at either 8-or-8.5 the under is 13-8, and in Rangers road games the same line has seen the under go 10-7-1. This should be a lot of fun.
1u – Under 8 Total Runs @ -102
Brewers @ Diamondbacks
So you may ask why I am leaning under in a game between pitchers with a 5.18 ERA and a 6.21 ERA. The reason is that those ERAs have come because of the odd bad outing rather than because they are consistently bad. Jhoulys Chacin for example, has allowed 15 earned runs in his last five road games, but seven of them came in one bad start. In the other four he averaged just two earned runs allowed per game. The story is similar with Taylor Clarke, whose last three home starts have seen him allow 10 earned runs. However, six of those came in a single start, leaving just four in the other two. What is even more impressive is that he shut down the Dodgers offense on those two occasions. This is not going to be a pitching duel that goes down in history, but it has a reasonable chance of being a low scoring affair if these two pitchers have got their stuff.
1u – Under 10 Total Runs @ -110
By Ben Rolfe