We have a busy Thursday on our hands with 15 games on our hands. Those games are fairly evenly spread across an afternoon and evening slate.
Here are Today’s MLB Picks:
Arizona Diamondbacks @ New York Mets
I have flip-flopped on this series so far this week, picking the Mets twice and the Diamondbacks once. Well today I am flip-flopping back to the Diamondbacks as they look to avoid a costly series sweep. Marcus Stroman is on the mound for the Mets and has a 5.05 ERA and just one win to two losses since arriving in New York. In his last two home starts he has allowed eight earned runs and taken the loss on both occasions. Meanwhile Alex Young has been strong for the Cardinals this season, with a 3.38 ERA and a 7-3 record. His last two road starts have seen him allow just one earned run in 13 1/3 innings, and he has allowed just 11 earned runs in his last five starts combined (28 2/3 innings). I will take the value with the underdogs in a must-win game to avoid being swept by a playoff rival.
1u – Arizona Diamondbacks ML @ +125
Washington Nationals @ Minnesota Twins
This is another series I have ridden this week, mostly focusing on the value presented by the totals. Today I am going to stay away from the under, because Kyle Gibson has allowed 21 earned runs in his last five starts. Instead, I am going to look at the Nationals to sow this one up with Patrick Corbin on the mound. Corbin struggled on the road at the start of the year, but has allowed just three earned runs in his last three road outings, as well as just seven earned runs in his last five outings overall. He has been on fire since the All-Star break with an ERA of X.XX, and I expect him to step up for the Nationals here and clinch a crucial series on the road for the Nationals.
1u – Washington Nationals ML @ -111
Tampa Bay Rays @ Texas Rangers
At some point we need to start taking young Rangers started Kolby Allard seriously. Allard is a very talented pitcher, and apart from blow up allowing six earned to the Angels he has been really good, allowing a combined eight runs in his other five starts. My only concern is that that blow up came when pitching in Arlington, and despite bouncing back against Seattle last time out at home, his best performances have come on the road. However, his opponent is Brendan McKay who has struggled for the large part recently. His ERA currently sits at 5.03 and prior to shutting the Blue Jays out over 3 2/3 innings last time out he had allowed 19 earned runs in his previous five outings, spanning 19 2/3 innings. I am pleasantly surprised to be getting the Rangers as underdogs in this one, especially given they have won 58% of home games and 55% of games coming off a win the previous night.
1u – Texas Rangers ML @ +135
Oakland Athletics @ Houston Astros
I had to think long and hard about whether I wanted to take the under in this game. Both of these offenses have been in pretty strong form over the last few days. However, Justin Verlander is on the mound for the Astros, and he has been impressive recently, allowing just one earned run in his last three outings, and striking out 25 in 21 1/3 innings. Homer Bailey has also been solid for the Athletics recently, allowing just eight earned runs in 30 2/3 innings. After both offenses calmed down a little bit last night I am hoping for a pitching dominated game in this one.
1u – Under 8.5 Total Runs @ -105
By Ben Rolfe