Friday brings us another interesting day of baseball, once again heavily leaning to the evening, with 12 of the 13 games taking place on the evening slate.
Here are Today’s MLB Picks:
Red Sox @ Yankees
The Red Sox and Yankees clash once again this weekend. The series means a little bit less than it perhaps should after the Red Sox capitulation against the Rays at the beginning of this week. However, this pitching matchup really suits the Red Sox right. Eduardo Rodriguez is on a fantastic run of form recently, allowing just nine earned runs in his last six starts. In contrast, James Paxton is somewhat trending the other way, having allowed 22 earned runs in his last six starts. After starting his career as a Yankee at home so well he has struggled recently, allowing 19 earned runs in 21 2/3 innings over his last five home starts. Throw in that the Yankees offense is distinctly average when it comes to slugging, ISO and batting average, while ranking 11th worst in K% against left-handed pitchers, and I give Boston every chance of getting this series off to a flying start.
1u – BOS Red Sox ML @ +115
Tigers @ Rangers
Relatively unknown pitchers at the major league level can be difficult to judge and that is just what we have here. Tyler Alexander of the Detroit Tigers has made just three appearances in his major league career, owning a 3.86 ERA in those outings. However, looking at his Triple-A stats we can get a feel for his potential level, and it is not ideal. In 15 starts this season he has a 4-9 record, allows nearly two HR/9 with an ERA of 5.72. Not ideal when you are heading into the hitter friendly confines of Globe Life Park. The Rangers are averaging over five runs per game in their last five outings, including putting 14 up in two games against Seattle at home. They also have Lance Lynn and his season long 3.83 ERA on the mound. Lynn is prone to the odd blip, but a 13-6 record usually suggests there is more good than bad. With Detroit’s offense offering little the Rangers should be able to storm to this victory.
1u – TEX Rangers -1.5 @ -111
Nationals @ Diamondbacks
Here is the understatement of the month: Joe Ross is not a good pitcher. After two straight seasons of an ERA around five, he currently owns a 9.85 ERA in 24 2/3 innings. That includes allowing 16 earned runs in his last four outings. Robbie Ray on the other hand has a 3.97 ERA this season and has allowed 15 earned runs in his last six outings. He is by no mans a safe bet, but the Diamondbacks should be able to get after Ross enough that Ray can afford to be a little wild. However, he has walked just four hitters in his last 24 1/3 innings, while striking out an impressive 36. I feel so comfortable that the Diamondbacks can get after Ross that I am happy to take this one against the spread and get the positive odds.
1u – ARI Diamondbacks -1.5 @ +133
Padres @ Dodgers
We have another relative unknown on the mound in this matchup with Dustin May making his debut for the Dodgers. However, May has been fantastic in the minors this season, with a 3-0 record and a 2.30 ERA in five starts. He does not strike out as many as you might like, but often in their first few starts these rookie pitchers can take opposition hitters by surprise and have a really nice first outing. We very much know what we have in the Padres start, Eric Lauer, and it is not overly pretty. He has had some nice outings but he has also had some disasters, including allowing nine earned runs in seven innings in his last two road starts. I like the Dodgers to win the second game of this series with a decent advantage, getting their young pitchers career off to the best possible start.
1u – Under 7.5 Total Runs @ +100