Once again with Wednesday largely being the travel day in the majors, we have a reasonably small slate for our Thursday. There are just two afternoon games, before eight games in the evening. Value is not easy to come by today, but there are a few matchups which caught my eye as potential pitcher duels.
Here are Today’s MLB Picks:
Cardinals @ Reds
This should be an interesting game as we have two pitchers with interesting storylines around them. Sonny Gray is finding redemption in Cincinnati with a 3.10 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 127 2/3 innings. He has been extremely impressive this season and his recent form has seen him throw 13 shutout innings against the Cubs and Braves. Michael Wacha has been a little more up and down this season, but outside of a few performances has not been blown up massively this season. His biggest issue recently has not been going late into games, but the Cardinals bullpenis solid enough to handle this, especially after having a quiet couple of nights in Kansas City.
1u – Under 9.5 Total Runs @ -110
Astros @ Athletics
This is a surprisingly exciting pitching matchup. Mike Fiers has an 11-3 record, a 3.30 ERA and has allowed just five earned runs in his last four outings. His home form this season has been particularly outstanding, with a 2.54 ERA and a .211 batting average against. As for Aaron Sanchez, well his Astros career is off to a good start. 11 innings, three hits, five walks, 12 strikeouts and just a sngle earned run. I do not see why that would not continue in this outing against an Athletics team whose strength has been against left-handed hitters rather than righties.
1u – Under 9.5 Total Runs @ -105
White Sox @ Angels
This one is a little more of a gamble, but I am looking at the recent form of the pitchers and backing them. Andrew Heaney returned to the Angels with a one earned run allowed performance in Boston, and now gets to face a much lesser offense in a better pitcher’s park. Reynaldo Lopez has been very impressive since the All-Star Break. Since returning he has a 2.13 ERA, 37 strikeouts in 38 innings, an opposing batting average of just .225 and has cut his BB% to 5.5. It has been an extremely impressive set of performances and I see no reason it should end today.
1u – Under 9 Total Runs @ +100
By Ben Rolfe