Thursday sees a relatively quiet slate with 18 teams taking the field. However, in that reduced slate there are some absolutely superb matchups, including the Yankees in Boston and a face off between Jose Berrios and Lucas Giolito in Chicago.
Here are Today’s MLB Picks:
Rockies @ Nationals
This is a fascinating game because of the contrast in the two pitchers. Jeff Hoffman and his 6.75 ERA goes up against the fantastic Max Scherzer and his 2.30 ERA. It is always kind of fascinating to see a game with Scherzer pitching having a line this high. Realistically this line is all about Hoffman and the fact he has allowed four or more earned runs in four of his seven starts this season. However, his last two outings have seen him allow just two earned runs in 7 2/3 innings, so things have been improving a little. When you throw in that the Nationals average just 4.4 runs per game in their last four then the under starts to look a little juicy. What about Scherzer? Well he has allowed a total of six earned runs in his last eight outings. In fact, I am going to be a little ambitious here and bump a full run off the line to get some majorly positive odds.
1u – Under 8.5 Total Runs @ -113
Yankees @ Red Sox
This game is a repeat of the disaster in London. In that game neither of these starters got out of the first innings, and in fact, they only combined to get three outs. Now that is unlikely to be the case again, but it does appear to have rattled these two starters. Prior to that game Masahiro Tanaka had allowed just 35 earned runs in 98 innings (3.21 ERA). Since that start he has allowed 11 earned runs in 18 1/3 innings (5.40 ERA). As for Rick Porcello, well just wow. Porcello headed to London with a semi-respectable 4.52 ERA. Since returning he has allowed 16 earned runs in 16 2/3 innings, an 8.64 ERA. A total set at 11 feels like a lot, but the Yankees bats are red hot right now, having taken the Twins pitching for 30 runs in three games. This game could realistically hit that total by the fifth innings if these two offenses are ready to come out of the gate firing against these two pitchers.
1u – Over 11 Total Runs @ -115
Twins @ White Sox
Now this is the matchup of the night for me. Jose Berrios and Lucas Giolito have for the large part been fantastic this season. Berrios has had some troubles on the road in his last four road starts, but still has only allowed an average of 2.75 earned runs per start. As for Giolito, well his 3.12 ERA is a little misleading. This season he has allowed 39 earned runs in 112 2/3 innings. However, two of his starts, both against the Cubs have yielded 12 of those earned runs. That means against everyone else he has allowed just 27 earned runs in 104 1/3 innings, giving him a 2.33 ERA. It is hard to go against the under for me here, especially when you throw in that the last time a Twins game went under Berrios was the starter.
1u – Under 8.5 Total Runs @ +100
By Ben Rolfe