As usual we have our end of series Wednesday split slate. This time the slate is split dead even, thanks to a double-header in Washington, with eight afternoon and eight evening games. Therefore, it seems only right to take two of each in my picks below.
Here are Today’s MLB Picks:
Phillies @ Tigers
There is no better opportunity in baseball than picking against Jordan Zimmermann and the Tigers at home. Zimmermann has a 7.51 ERA and has allowed 20 earned runs in his last three starts, spanning just 11 innings. As for the Tigers, well they are dreadful at home. Straight up they are 13-36-1 and against the spread they cover at home just 26.5% of the time. In contrast, the Phillies cover close to 56% of the time on the road. Vince Velasquez is no sure thing, having allowed 10 earned in his past 14 innings, but backed by the better offense in this one the Phillies should win this comfortably.
1u – PHI Phillies -1.5 @ -105
Rangers @ Mariners
This has been a relatively high scoring series so far, with 19 runs scored in the first two games. However, the pitchers on the mound for this start will be the biggest test of the hitters in this series. Mike Minor’s numbers speak for themselves. His 2.86 ERA overall and 2.98 ERA on the road speak volumes about the season he is having. As for Mike Leake, he has been a roller coaster this season, but in his last two home starts have been very good. Across those two starts combined he has thrown 16 2/3 innings, struck out 13, and allowed a total of just six hits and a walk on his way to two shutout performances. The trend in these games in Seattle has been the over, but this game should be a pretty tight affair if both pitchers are on form.
1u – Under 8.5 Total Runs @ +100
Royals @ Braves
My instinct with any Braves home game is look over, but that might be the wrong way to look at this one. The last four Braves home games have all seen the under hit, and this line is officially set at 10. At that line in Atlanta the under is 8-7, and for Royals home games it is 7-3. Throw in just how good Julio Teheran has been this season, 3.61 ERA and five earned runs allowed in his last five starts, and the under becomes even more appealing. What about the Royals starter I hear you cry? Well Brad Keller has had an interesting season. Blow-ups can happen, as evidenced by allowing 13 earned runs in nine innings in Seattle and Toronto combined. However, he has a respectable 4.18 ERA on the season, and has allowed just four earned runs in his last 20 innings. Granted 14 1/3 of those were the White Sox and Tigers, but I am backing Keller to at least be respectable in this game. The pick here is really because of Teheran, and unless the Braves offense goes barmy this game should stay under 10.
1u – Under 9.5 Total Runs @ +100
Marlins @ White Sox
These two teams are driving me a little bit crazy. The numbers tell me the under is the way to go, with the under hitting in 30 of the Marlins 47 road games. It is a little more even for the White Sox, with the under hitting in 24 of 47 home games. The weather in this one is marginally on the side of the hitters, but the wind should suppress home runs, so it is a bit mixed. Zac Gallen may be 0-2 this season, but he has a 3.63 ERA and has not allowed over three earned runs in any outing this season. Reynaldo Lopez is infuriating, because he has all the talent in the world, but occasionally it all blows up in his face. However, he has brought his ERA down nearly a complete run in the last eight games and has been respectable in four of his last five starts. The Marlins offense is not good, and he should be able to have success against them. The under at 8.5 and +120 looks a very tempting and interesting bet for me here.
1u – Under 8.5 Total Runs @ +120
By Ben Rolfe