SpreadKnowledge MLB Free Pick of the Day – Wednesday, September 11

By: Al Walsh – Follow him on  Twitter @14AdotWalsh

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[7:05 p.m. EST] Atlanta Braves (1.5-run line: +112) at Philadelphia Phillies
ATL: Dallas Keuchel – L (7-5, 3.47 ERA/1.32 WHIP)
PHI: Zach Eflin – R (8-11, 4.31 ERA/1.34 WHIP)

The SpreadKnowledge MLB Free Pick of the Day comes to us from the Braves-Phillies game on Wednesday. We’re taking Atlanta to cover the 1.5-run spread in this matchup, considering the mismatch of starting pitchers.

Dallas Keuchel has tossed five straight quality starts (all ATL wins), and this coming at the right time as the Braves head down the stretch. His only outing against the Phillies this season went well on a personal level, allowing two runs over seven innings, but the lefty did take the loss in that one.

If Keuchel does have a knock, though, it’s his performance on the road – 3-4 record/5.26 ERA in seven starts, compared to 4-1 with a 2.10 ERA in eight starts at home.

Zach Eflin has pitched well in his last three starts, albeit against lesser competition. That won’t help him tonight against a Braves team that has absolutely roped him this season for 14 hits (4 HR, .467 opposing batting average) and 17 runs (12 earned) in only 5 2/3 innings.

Eflin’s problems have mostly come against left-handed batters, and the Braves have plenty of pop from that side of the plate. In fact, lefties are crushing Eflin this season to the tune of a .529 slugging percentage and .876 OPS.

Six of the seven Braves’ wins against the Phillies have come by two runs or more, including each of the last five. Not to mention, Atlanta has won six of its last nine meetings with Philly.

* Final Score Prediction * Atlanta Braves: 6 – Philadelphia Phillies: 3

SpreadKnowledge MLB Free Pick of the Day – Wednesday, August 28

By: Al Walsh – Follow him on  Twitter @14AdotWalsh
* 2019 MLB Record: 224-173-10 (56.5%) *
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Under 9.5 – Atlanta Braves at Toronto Blue Jays
ATL: Mike Foltynewicz – R (4-5, 5.68 ERA/1.40 WHIP)
TOR: Jacob Waguespack – R (4-1, 3.63 ERA/1.17 WHIP)

The SpreadKnowledge MLB Free Pick of the Day comes to us from the Braves-Blue Jays game. We’re taking the total to go under in this one, considering nine of the last 10 Braves’ games have done just that.

Jacob Waguespack against the Braves is the key matchup here. The rookie right-hander has been absolutely magnificent since the final day of July, allowing two runs or fewer in four of those five starts – the only misnomer coming against the almighty Yankees. In Waguespack’s last start, he pitched seven innings of shutout ball, allowing only one hit and one walk while striking out five.

We mentioned these Braves’ games hitting the under a lot lately, but it’s their recent travel schedule that should have these guys in a funk for yet another night. After finishing a three-game series over the weekend in New York, the Braves had to travel out to Colorado for a make-up game before heading all the way up to Toronto for this two-game series.

Obviously, the Braves are well on their way to the postseason, so it makes plenty of sense that they’d be going through the motions at this point.

Now, the wild card to this whole operation is Mike Foltynewicz. After making the All-Star team last season, Folty had a brutal start to the 2019 campaign and was actually sent down to the minors for a little over a month. Since returning, he’s calmed down quite a bit with a 2-0 record to go along with a 3.91 ERA/1.35 WHIP. We’d love to see the walks come down, but it’s worth noting the Blue Jays own the fifth-worst walk-strikeout ratio in baseball against right-handed pitching.

The Braves’ bullpen does own the eighth-best ERA (3.74) in baseball over the last 14 days – hence, why we’ve seen so many unders from their games lately.

* Final Score Prediction * Atlanta Braves: 4 – Toronto Blue Jays: 3

MLB Free Pick of the Day for Friday, August 9

By: Al Walsh – Follow him on  Twitter @14AdotWalsh

* 2019 MLB Record: 197-139-8 (58.6%) *

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We’ll be posting one pick here in this space each day for free. Know that it does have a high value, but it just won’t be the highest-rated one from the SK system. Continue to follow us along in this journey, because there are plenty of good things on the way!

[7:10 p.m. EST] Under 8 – Atlanta Braves at Miami Marlins
ATL: Julio Teheran – R (6-7, 3.46 ERA/1.30 WHIP)
MIA: Caleb Smith – L (7-5, 3.35 ERA/1.05 WHIP)

We got whacked over the skull last night by taking the under as one of our premium picks, but we’re confident that it’ll come through for us tonight. As no surprise, the Marlins do have the second-lowest IRT (implied run total) of any team on the slate.

Julio Teheran will look to cool off a Miami team that posted nine runs last night. Where it came from? I have no idea, but last night’s lineup should all have to get their urine tested before tonight’s game.

Nonetheless, over the last 21 days, the Marlins have posted a dreadful .260 weighted on-base average, .158 ISO (power metric) and 23.3% K-rate against right-handed pitching. It’s no secret, but they own league-worst or near-league-worst numbers in nearly every single advanced metric in this split against righties.

After a rough finish to the end of June, Teheran got back on track against this same Marlins team by tossing six innings of scoreless ball, and then followed that up with five stellar outings before tonight. Teheran has been excellent against the Marlins this season, with a 0.78 WHIP and no runs allowed over 18 innings.

I like my Caleb Smith at Marlins Park, which is exactly where he’ll be tonight. The splits are truly something else, as he owns a 5-1 record, 2.66 ERA, .181 opposing batting average and 4 HR allowed – compared to a 2-4 record, 3.95 ERA, .210 opposing batting average and 14 HR allowed.

It’s very odd to see the Braves struggling against left-handed pitching over the last 21 days, as they own a .284 weighted on-base average and 29.4% K-rate. Obviously, last night’s lack of offense was unexpected after hanging double-digits in back-to-back days in Minnesota, but it’ll be interesting to see if those struggles continue once again.

All in all, we’re expecting both of these starting pitchers to bring their A-game and keep this total under eight runs for all of our loyal customers. Godspeed!

* Final Score Prediction * Atlanta Braves: 4 – Miami Marlins: 2

MLB Betting Value Picks for Monday, July 15

By: Al Walsh – Follow him on  Twitter @14AdotWalsh

* 2019 MLB Record: 139-111-6 (55.6%) *

[7:05 p.m. EST] Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees (ML: -155)
TB: Blake Snell – L (5-7, 4.70 ERA/1.29 WHIP)
NYY: James Paxton – L (5-4, 4.01 ERA/1.43 WHIP)

Blake Snell has certainly not lived up to the billing in the season after winning the AL Cy Young award. This has been especially true against the Yankees, and this will be the fourth time they’ve seen him in a span of 11 starts. We’ve talked about this more than a few times – the more a team sees a pitcher, the more comfortable they get.

While he does have 26 strikeouts in 17 innings against the Yankees this season, Snell has also allowed 17 hits, nine walks and 10 runs in four starts. Not to mention, the lefty’s 2-4 record and 6.48 ERA on the road has been much worse than his 3-3 record and 3.17 ERA at Tropicana Field. In fact, Snell’s last four road starts have seen him allow a total of 25 hits, eight walks and 20 runs over a span of 14 innings.

James Paxton has a fantastic matchup against a Rays team that owns the third-highest K-rate (26%) and ninth-worst wOBA (.310) against left-handed pitching this season. That was never more evident than in Paxton’s last start when he fanned 11 Rays and only allowed two runs over six innings.

Paxton had an uncharacteristically-bad start against the Blue Jays back on June 26, but four of his last five starts have seen him allow two runs or fewer.

The Yankees are on an excellent run, winning 18 of their last 23 games. They also have a 31-10 record against AL East opponents and a magnificent 15-2 record at home when favored by -125 to -175 on the moneyline this season.

According to our graded picks today, the Yankees (on moneyline or 1.5-run line) have the best trends on today’s entire schedule of games. It also likes the total going under, considering Yankees’ games have done that in seven of the last nine while Rays’ games have done the same in four of the last six.

* Final Score Prediction * New York Yankees: 5 – Tampa Bay Rays: 2

[8:10 p.m. EST] Under 10 – Atlanta Braves at Milwaukee Brewers
ATL: Max Fried – L (9-4, 4.29 ERA/1.41 WHIP)
MIL: Adrian Houser – R (4.01 ERA/1.45 WHIP)

With two talented offenses going up against one another, it may seem like a crazy idea to take the under, but that’s exactly what we’re doing here. And Vegas is on our side, decreasing the game total from 10.5 to 10.0, with both sides having their IRT (implied run total) decrease by -0.3 runs, which is tied for highest on today’s entire slate.

When the teams faced off in May, two of the three games went under the total. Also, Braves’ games have gone under the total in 14 of the last 20 while the Brewers offense has just been sputtering since the end of June.

Max Fried wasn’t effective in his last two starts before the All-Star break, but he’s a young kid and the time off could certainly do him some good. The lefty has looked sharp for the most part this season, and his May 17 performance against these same Brewers was nothing short of masterful. In six innings, Fried allowed only two hits and two walks while not coughing up any runs.

The Brewers’ offense hasn’t been great recently against lefties either. Over the last 21 days, Milwaukee owns a very pedestrian .321 wOBA, .145 ISO and 27.2% K-rate against southpaws.

Adrian Houser probably won’t be the reason this game goes under the total, but he can sure help us out a bit. The righty’s splits have been unbelievably tilted, with him posting a 1.88 ERA at Miller Park, compared to a 5.08 ERA on the road. While the Braves have been winning a lot of games, they have scored only four runs or fewer in four of the last six.

Atlanta has been playing a lot of low-scoring games lately, so that plays right into our hands and exactly what Vegas is thinking with the decreased game totals and IRTs.

* Final Score Prediction * Atlanta Braves: 4 – Milwaukee Brewers: 3

[8:40 p.m. EST] Over 14 – San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies
SF: Dereck Rodriguez – R (5.27 ERA/1.44 WHIP)
COL: Chi Chi Gonzalez – R (6.00 ERA/1.89 WHIP)

Well, the first game of today’s day-night doubleheader is certainly where we want to be for the second part. At the time of this writing being released, the Giants are up 16-2 in the seventh inning and the Rockies left German Marquez out there to take a good portion of this thumping.

Nonetheless, the Rockies will likely need to use some more arms to close out this game, and they just announced Chi Chi Gonzalez as the starter for tonight’s game. While he doesn’t have a ton of MLB experience, Gonzalez has issued plenty of walks, and putting numerous guys on base for one of the hottest offenses in baseball doesn’t seem to bode well for his chances.

This is a Giants’ offense that has now scored at least seven runs in eight of their last 11 games. It is truly unfathomable to believe that this could ever happen. Especially, with Evan Longoria on the injured list now.

While the Rockies’ offense looks awful in the first game today, you have to expect them to come back with something strong tonight. Prior to today’s debacle, the Rockies’ offense posted a total of 19 runs over the previous two days against a strong batch of Reds’ arms. Rodriguez has been getting ripped with great regularity this season, so guys like Charlie Blackmon, Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, Ian Desmond and David Dahl can certainly make life difficult on him.

Vegas loves the idea of more runs being scored in the second half of the doubleheader. The game total spiked from 13.5 to 14.0, with both teams’ IRTs (implied run totals) increasing by +0.3. Also, today’s first part of the doubleheader was the third-straight game in which 17 runs (and they’re still going) have been scored at Coors Field.

* Final Score Prediction * Colorado Rockies: 10 – San Francisco Giants: 8

MLB Betting Value Picks for Tuesday, July 2

By: Al Walsh – Follow him on  Twitter @14AdotWalsh

* 2019 MLB Record: 128-110-4 (53.8%) *

[7:20 p.m. EST] Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves
PHI: Aaron Nola – R (6-2, 4.22 ERA/1.36 WHIP)
ATL: Dallas Keuchel – L (1-1, 5.06 ERA/1.78 WHIP)

Vegas already made its statement on this game by giving the Phillies a massive 0.5 IRT increase. Not to mention, the Braves had the second-largest moneyline decrease of the day – not a good sign of things to come.

Aaron Nola has always done well against the Braves, and he comes into tonight’s matchup in peak form. The All-Star righty is 8-3 lifetime against Atlanta with a 2.46 ERA/1.07 WHIP in 14 starts. Nola has allowed only run and an 0.60 WHIP over his last 15 innings while striking out 20 hitters.

Dallas Keuchel takes the mound for the Braves and his return to baseball hasn’t exactly been great. In each of his two starts, Keuchel has allowed eight hits and three earned runs. Not to mention, Philly advanced metrics against left-handed pitching over the last 21 days is something we want a part of. The Phils have a massive .361 wOBA and .226 ISO against lefties in that span of time.

Philly is averaging just under 7.5 runs per game over their last seven, so having that recency bias and Nola with a great history against the Braves makes this bet all the sweeter.

* Final Score Prediction * Philadelphia Phillies: 5 – Atlanta Braves: 2

[10:10 p.m. EST] St. Louis Cardinals at Seattle Mariners
STL: Jack Flaherty – R (4-5, 4.75 ERA/1.23 WHIP)
SEA: Matt Carasiti – R (0-0, 0.00 ERA/1.33 WHIP)

The top rating from the SK Trend Confidence comes to us from the Great Northwest. The over in tonight’s game is looking like a firm position, given how bad the pitching for Seattle has been. Matt Carasiti has been fine in limited work, but he’ll be handing the game off to Wade LeBlanc afterward — and that’s the best possible thing we’re looking for.

For whatever reason, the Cardinals just hit right-handed pitching much better — that’s just how it is. They’ll be able to take advantage of that later in the game, but LeBlanc’s basic style will suit them well early on.

I really like the future that Jack Flaherty has ahead of him, but things just haven’t been working out early on this season. In fact, things have been much worse on the road, where he owns a massive 6.68 ERA. Flaherty is coming off his worst start of the season, allowing nine hits (three homers and seven runs over 4 2/3 innings.

* Final Score Prediction * St. Louis Cardinals: 7 – Seattle Mariners: 5

MLB Betting Value Picks for Friday, June 28


Just wanted to give everyone a heads up, but there won’t be any written articles tomorrow (6/29), next Friday (7/5) and next Saturday (7/6) due to prior commitments. Sorry for the inconvenience. All computer-generated picks will still be calculated and the site will be up and running on those days as usual.


By: Al Walsh – Follow him on  Twitter @14AdotWalsh

* 2019 MLB Record: 125-106-4 (54%) *

[8:10 p.m. EST] Over 11 (-102) – Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee Brewers
PIT: Chris Archer – R (3-6, 5.56 ERA/1.48 WHIP)
MIL: Jhoulys Chacin – R (3-8, 5.88 ERA/1.51 WHIP)

The Brewers’ offense surprisingly sputtered in their recent three-game series against the Mariners, but just watching yesterday’s game it was evident that bad luck played a part. Numerous hard-hit balls managed to find leather or landed a few steps from the wall.

Luckily, they’ll be facing a pitcher in Chris Archer who hasn’t been at his best. In fact, the right has allowed a homer in 11 of his 13 starts this season and owns a massive 8.42 ERA on the road. Since coming to Pittsburgh, Archer has allowed at least four runs and two homers in each of his three starts against Milwaukee.

On the other side, Jhoulys Chacin has been getting rocked all season. His last outing against the Pirates (on May 31) was downright brutal, as the righty allowed six hits/four walks and seven runs over 2 2/3 innings.

Good news for the Pirates – and the over – is that Brewers’ reliever Josh Hader pitched the final two innings yesterday to get the save. After pitching two innings the previous day, Hader has not entered the next day’s game once in his career.

The SK Trend Confidence rating has a B+ grade on the over in this game, given how many runs these two teams have put up against each other this season.

* Final Score Prediction * Milwaukee Brewers: 8 – Pittsburgh Pirates: 7

[8:40 p.m. EST] Over 12.5 (-110) – Los Angeles Dodgers (1.5-run line: -134) at Colorado Rockies
LAD: Hyun-Jin Ryu – L (9-1, 1.27 ERA/0.84 WHIP)
COL: Antonio Senzatela – R (6-5, 4.91 ERA/1.57 WHIP)

In last night’s 12-8 slugfest, we saw exactly how helpful these hot temperatures at Coors Field are for the hitters. We’ve got the same conditions for tonight’s game, and that’s why Vegas has dramatically increased the total from 11.0 to 12.5, with the Dodgers (+0.9) and Rockies (+0.7) getting massive IRT increases.

There’s more reason to believe the Dodgers will add more runs to the game total. After all, Antonio Senzatela has been beaten over the head this season, especially at Coors field with a 6.21 ERA/1.59 WHIP. Senzatela did pitch well against the Dodgers last week, but we’ve seen plenty of teams capitalize offensively facing the same pitcher twice in a span of less than a week.

Hyun-Jin Ryu also faced the Rockies in his last start, allowing three runs (one earned) over six innings. However, Ryu has a 1-4 record over his last six start against Colorado, and it’s been even worse at Coors Field. In his last two starts there, the lefty has allowed 15 hits/six walks and 15 runs (10 earned) over six innings.

Just as the case was last night, the two bullpens will certainly be a factor and ultimately decide this one. In the month of June, the Dodgers’ bullpen has the second-best ERA (2.84) while the Rockies own the seventh-worst (5.46).

The SK Trend Confidence rating is strong on the Dodgers tonight in every fashion. After last night’s win, the Dodgers remain a perfect 7-0 against the Rockies this season.

* Final Score Prediction * Los Angeles Dodgers: 12 – Colorado Rockies: 10

[10:10 p.m. EST] Over 9 (-112) – St. Louis Cardinals at San Diego Padres
STL: Michael Wacha – R (5-3, 5.59 ERA/1.67 WHIP)
SD: Eric Lauer – L (5-7, 4.32 ERA/1.32 WHIP)

There has only been a total of 9.0 at Petco Park twice this season, which is quite telling for a ballpark that doesn’t have the stigma of being a hitter’s park. For what it’s worth, both times the total finished on or above the mark. Vegas adjusted the total from 8.5 to 9.0 and both teams obviously got an IRT increase as well – Cardinals: +0.2, Padres: +0.3.

A good reason for the increased total is the Padres’ recent tear of offense, with 28 runs over the last three games. In the month of June, Padres’ games have gone over the total 15 times in 23 games with two pushes mixed in there.

Michael Wacha has been hit or miss lately, allowing six runs or more in three of his last six starts. The Padres will run a mostly right-handed lineup out at Wacha tonight, and he’s been getting crushed from that side of the plate. Opposing righties are walloping him for .338 batting average, .406 on-base percentage and 1.025 OPS this season. Of the 14 homers Wacha has allowed, 12 of them have come from righties.

While the Cardinals haven’t necessarily clobbered the ball of late, facing the Padres can certainly do them some good. Eric Lauer will have to deal with a nearly all right-handed lineup to deal with, including Paul Goldschmidt and Marcell Ozuna, who are both 4-for-5 against him lifetime – Goldy has two homers while Ozuna has one.

If all of that wasn’t enough, San Diego’s bullpen has the third-worst bullpen ERA (6.31) in the month of June – only the Mets and Orioles have done worse.

* Final Score Prediction * San Diego Padres: 7 – St. Louis Cardinals: 4

MLB Betting Value Picks for Monday, June 24

By: Al Walsh – Follow him on  Twitter @14AdotWalsh

* 2019 MLB Record: 119-103-4 (53.6%) *

[7:05 p.m. EST] Over 10 (-116) – New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies
NYM: Steven Matz – L (5-5, 4.28 ERA/1.37 WHIP)
PHI: Zach Eflin – R (6-7, 2.83 ERA/1.16 WHIP)

This should be quite a game tonight, with both teams facing their own bouts of controversy. The Phils on a seven-game losing streak and the Mets dealing with yet another chaotic situation after Mickey Callaway and Jason Vargas almost came to blows with a reporter yesterday.

Nonetheless, the Phillies-Mets matchups at Citizens Bank Park tend to have plenty of runs scored – and it’s usually the Mets doing most of the damage. You just have to wonder when we’re going to see the Phils pick themselves back up off the floor. Getting swept over the weekend by the Marlins might just be the motivation they needed.

Zach Eflin had one start against the Mets so far this season and allowed four runs (three earned) over four innings. Lifetime against the Mets, Eflin has a 2-4 record with a 5.63 ERA/1.33 WHIP in eight starts.

Steven Matz has two starts against the Phis this season, with one great outing and the other one… ehhhh, not so much. Back on April 16, Matz didn’t even record an out before leaving the game, allowing eight runs (six earned) on two homers, four hits and a walk. In the outing that went well, which was actually his next start after getting whomped by the Phils, Matz allowed one run over six innings. Lifetime against the Phils, Matz is 1-3 with a 5.02 ERA/1.50 WHIP in seven starts.

Then there’s the issue of these bullpens. Over the last 14 days, the Phils’ pen has the second-worst xFIP (5.48) while the Mets own the fifth-worst (5.19). The advanced metric “xFIP” determines the quality of pitching that is independent of fielding – the higher the number, the worse they are.

It’s going to be a gorgeous evening in Philadelphia, with the wind blowing out slightly at 6 mph to center field, making it great hitting conditions at an extreme hitter’s ballpark.

* Final Score Prediction: Philadelphia Phillies: 8 – New York Mets: 7 *

[7:10 p.m. EST] Under 9 (-116) – Chicago White Sox (ML: +150) at Boston Red Sox
CHW: Lucas Giolito – R (10-2, 2.74 ERA/1.02 WHIP)
BOS: Eduardo Rodriguez – L (8-4, 4.71 ERA/1.36 WHIP)

The SK Trend Confidence rating has a very high B+ grade on both the White Sox and total going under in this game.

Granted, Lucas Giolito is coming off a rough outing against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, but I won’t hold it against him. That’s been a tough matchup for most pitchers, and especially for Giolito since coming to Chicago.

The kid’s metrics, which include a 30.9% K-rate and 14.6% swinging-strike rate, are absolutely fantastic. Over the last 30 days, Giolito’s 34.6% K-rate is fifth-best in MLB behind Chris Sale, Gerrit Cole, Max Scherzer and Walker Buehler. Thanks to that note from Brian Tulloch at FantasyCPR. All of you fantasy baseball fans, check out his article from today.

Giolito slipped up in his last outing and I fully expect him to get back on the dominant foot. Sure, the Red Sox are a tough matchup, but Giolito has 15 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings of work against them in his lifetime and only allowed one extra-base hit in 44 plate appearances against the current roster.

Eduardo Rodriguez is slowly starting to come around, and he too had a rough outing last time out against a tough Twins lineup. In most of E-Rod’s starts that he’s supposed to do well, he does. Even though it goes against the thinking of the White Sox winning tonight, E-Rod has an 18-2 record since the beginning of last season against teams with a losing record – it still means that he pitches well when he’s supposed to.

At the end of the day, Giolito is the more-dominant pitcher between the two and we’re getting a huge plus-money opportunity with him on the mound – especially when the Red Sox just struggled over the weekend with the lowly Blue Jays. E-Rod has allowed six homers over his last 25 1/3 innings of work, and that could ultimately be the difference.

* Final Score Prediction: Chicago White Sox: 4 – Boston Red Sox: 2 *

[8:05 p.m. EST] Over 11.5 (-108) – Atlanta Braves at Chicago Cubs
ATL: Julio Teheran – R (5-5, 3.40 ERA/1.26 WHIP)
CHC: Jon Lester – L (6-5, 4.13 ERA/1.35 WHIP)

Ohhh yes, take the over on this game and never look back. 15 mph winds are blowing out to center field with two solid offenses in great spots. Vegas has taken note of the extreme hitter’s conditions and elevated the IRTs for both teams – Cubs: +0.6, Braves: +0.4 – as well as the game total from 10.5 to 11.5.

Julio Teheran was on a nice run of outings, but the Mets abused him for eight hits and six runs to go along with three walks over four innings of work. Back on April 3, Teheran allowed nine baserunners against the Cubs but did manage to get out of that outing allowing only one run. With the conditions not in his favor tonight, some of those opportunities could turn into damage real quick.

The Cubs rank ninth in all of baseball in the power-metric ISO (.194) against right-handed pitching. Also, the Braves bullpen ranks 10th-worst in xFIP (4.78) over the last 14 days.

Jon Lester has been getting beat up with regularity, allowing seven or more hits in seven of the last nine outings. To make matters worse, one of the best hitting teams against left-handed pitching makes their way to Wrigley Field. Over the last 21 days, the Braves have a massive .441 xwOBA – the metric that is calculated by quality of contact. For reference, about .335 is average. A lot of those quality-contact balls should be flying over the ivy tonight

Hopefully, you’re watching this game since it’s on MLB TV tonight. You can miss the NBA awards show, I’ll fill you in on Twitter.

* Final Score Prediction: Atlanta Braves: 12 – Chicago Cubs: 10 *  

MLB Betting Value Picks for Sunday, June 23

By: Al Walsh – Follow him on  Twitter @14AdotWalsh

* 2019 MLB Record: 118-101-4 (54%) *

[1:10 p.m. EST] Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians (ML: -200/1.5-run line: -114)
DET: Daniel Norris – L (2-5, 4.40 ERA/1.41 WHIP)
CLE: Zach Plesac – R (2-2, 2.56 ERA/0.98 WHIP)

The Indians are 7-1 against the Tigers this season, and it’s not looking like things will get any better for the visitors today. This will be the 11th time Cleveland is favored by -200 or more, with an 8-3 record in those games.  On the other hand, Detroit has been struggling, with losses in seven of the last eight contests.

Zach Plesac, the nephew of former MLB pitcher Dan Plesac, has lived up to the namesake early in his career. The rookie righty has allowed two runs or fewer in four of the last five starts – one run or fewer in three of the five. Detroit’s numbers against right-handed pitching over the last 21 days are absolutely dreadful — .287 wOBA, .145 ISO and 25.4% K-rate.

On the flip side, Cleveland’s offense has been the exact opposite against left-handed pitching. The Tribe has a magnificent .400 wOBA, .292 ISO and 14.4% K-rate in that split over the last 21 days.

While Daniel Norris hasn’t exactly gotten beat over the head recently, it’ll be tough for him to keep up that level of effectiveness today against an Indians team that is rocking and rolling — pun intended to the city of Cleveland.

Lastly, we’ve got a huge difference in bullpens here, as the Indians own the league’s best ERA (3.21) and the Tigers have the fifth-worst (5.18).

I don’t mind taking the Indians on the moneyline or 1.5-run line here — they get it done either which way.

* Final Score Prediction: Cleveland Indians: 6 – Detroit Tigers: 2 *

[1:35 p.m. EST] Atlanta Braves (1.5-run line: -106) at Washington Nationals
ATL: Mike Soroka – R (8-1, 2.12 ERA/
WSH: Austin Voth – R (season debut)

Mike Soroka has looked a little more human after his unreal start to the season, but it’s still been enough to keep getting the Braves wins. The young Canadian righty only threw 68 pitches in his last outing, so look for him to be fully charged up for this one.

Atlanta is a perfect 10-0 when Soroka starts against teams with a losing record this season and the team also own a 10-2 record on Sundays. The Braves have won the last eight of Soroka’s starts. Also, the Nationals have somehow never seen Soroka before, giving him the advantage of the unknown – it’s a thing.

Austin Voth gets a spot start for the Nationals today, in place of Joe Ross. Washington needed Ross to pitch last night in an emergency because of all the runs that were scored, and the fact that its bullpen has been taxed all week – including the doubleheader on Wednesday. Voth’s season down in Triple-A hasn’t been great, as he’s 3-5 with a 4.40 ERA.

This is all great news for the Braves’ offense today, and Vegas has taken note by elevating their IRT an entire run from 4.6 to 5.6 – the third-highest on the entire slate. Atlanta’s offense also owns a massive .385 wOBA and .260 ISO against right-handed pitching over the last 21 days.

* Final Score Prediction: Atlanta Braves: 10 – Washington Nationals: 3 *

[1:35 p.m. EST] San Diego Padres (ML: -142) at Pittsburgh Pirates
SD: Joey Lucchesi – L (6-4, 3.74 ERA/1.11 WHIP)
PIT: Steven Brault – L (3-1, 4.40 ERA/1.55 WHIP)

The Padres will be looking to avoid the sweep and look to have the right guy for the job in Joey Lucchesi, who is coming off a masterful seven-inning shutout performance against the Brewers. Lucchesi has been solid, allowing two earned runs or fewer in three of his last four starts, and he already stifled this Pirates’ offense a little more than a month ago by allowing only two runs over seven innings.

Not to mention, the Pirates own the league’s third-lowest wOBA (.284) against left-handed pitching. Pittsburgh’s .282 xwOBA against lefties over the last 21 days indicates they’re not seeing the ball well either and with Lucchesi’s herky-jerky motion won’t make things any easier.

It’s certainly an optimistic outlook for the Padres, as this will be their second-highest moneyline odds on the road this season.

Steven Brault goes for the Pirates, and he’ll have trouble against a Padres’ lineup featuring seven right-handed bats. As a team, San Diego owns a massive .256 ISO against left-handed pitching over the last 21 days.

Look for Lucchesi’s big outing to lead the way to a Padres’ victory today.

* Final Score Prediction: San Diego Padres: 7 – Pittsburgh Pirates: 2 *

MLB Betting Value Picks for Tuesday, June 18

By: Al Walsh – Follow him on Twitter @14AdotWalsh

* 2019 MLB Record: 112-92-4 (55%) *

[7:05 p.m. EST] Over 9.5 (-116) – Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals
PHI: Jake Arrieta – R (6-5, 4.31 ERA/1.45 WHIP)
WSH: Patrick Corbin – L (5-5, 4.11 ERA/1.22 WHIP)

Jake Arrieta has not been at his best of late, and his control has been a big reason why. The veteran righty has issued nine walks over his last two outings (10 2/3 innings), despite the Phillies getting the win in each of them. Not to mention, the road has not been kind to Arrieta, as he’s allowed five runs in each of his last two starts away from Citizens Bank Park.

The Phils’ bullpen has been downright awful of late. After coughing up Friday’s game in Atlanta, three of their pitchers combined to give up 15 runs in Sunday’s loss to the Braves. Stretching it out a bit longer, the Phils’ bullpen has the second-worst ERA (9.27) in MLB over the last seven days.

Arrieta could very well find himself in a spot where he’s forced to pitch more innings, even if things aren’t going well.

Aside from a complete-game shutout against the lousy Marlins, Patrick Corbin has not performed well at lately. Over his last three starts (12 2/3 innings), the lefty has allowed 22 hits and 20 runs (16 earned) – yikes!

The top six hitters in each team’s lineup have been making solid contact over the last 21 days against the handedness of starting pitcher on the mound tonight. Not to mention, five of the last six games for both teams have gone over the total.

* Final Score Prediction: Washington Nationals: 8 – Philadelphia Phillies: 7 *

[7:20 p.m. EST] Under 8.5 (+100) – New York Mets at Atlanta Braves (+106)
NYM: Jacob deGrom – R (3-6, 3.38 ERA/1.13 WHIP)
ATL: Julio Teheran – R (5-4, 2.92 ERA/1.19 WHIP)

There’s owning teams, and then there’s straight up OWNING teams. Julio Teheran does somersaults out of bed on days he knows the Mets are on the schedule. The veteran righty owns a 2.16 ERA/1.04 WHIP against them lifetime. New York’s current roster owns a putrid .203 batting average and .266 on-base percentage against Teheran with a 25.2% K-rate.

Teheran has been immaculate over his last eight starts, allowing one earned run or fewer and no homers in that stretch.

That’s how good Teheran has been against the Mets, that I didn’t lead off this game with reigning Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom. After a rough start to the season, he’s rebounded nicely by allowing two runs or fewer in eight of the last nine starts. deGrom also has solid numbers against tonight’s opponent, with a 1.86 ERA/1.02 WHIP lifetime. The current Braves’ roster owns a .235 batting average, .292 on-base percentage and 29.2% K-rate against him.

All of this is great news for the total going under tonight, but the one thing that could derail this pitcher’s duel is the Mets’ bullpen – they have been downright awful over the last couple of days. However, I find it quite intriguing that New York is favored in this game, considering how well Teheran has pitched against them in the past – not to mention, his current form. I do think that means deGrom ends up having a solid performance, but the game could certainly be lost by the bullpen.

Lastly, there are some great trends in the Braves’ favor tonight – or bad luck for the Mets. The Mets are 1-7 after allowing 10 runs in the previous game, 0-6 when deGrom is on the mound after a loss in the previous game and 4-10 in all games that deGrom starts this season. Yikes!

* Final Score Prediction: Atlanta Braves: 4 – New York Mets: 1 *

[10:10 p.m. EST] Under 7.5 (-104) – Milwaukee Brewers (1.5-run line: -102) at San Diego Padres
MIL: Brandon Woodruff – R (8-1, 3.87 ERA/1.16 WHIP)
SD: Logan Allen – L (MLB debut)

Brandon Woodruff has pitched incredibly well this season and the Brewers have won his last nine starts – eight of them coming by two runs or more. Tonight, he’ll face a Padres offense that owns the third-lowest IRT (3.3) on tonight’s slate. Vegas is already telling us that we’re going to see another low-scoring affair, as both teams have seen a decrease in IRTs (Brewers: -0.4, Padres: -0.6) and the game total also went from 8.5 to 7.5. In my opinion, this is all fantastic news for Woodruff in one way or the other.

Logan Allen makes his MLB debut tonight, and he’s more of a needed body, as opposed to someone that deserved a call-up from Triple-A. Allen owned a 4-3 record and 5.15 ERA for Triple-A El Paso, but the Padres’ bullpen was absolutely taxed after a crazy three-game series in Colorado over the weekend.

Luckily for the under, Milwaukee’s bats haven’t been rocking and rolling like they have most of the season. Over the last 21 days, they own a well-below average .315 wOBA against left-handed pitching and did just get shut down by Joey Lucchesi last night.

All in all, we’re looking for a dominant performance from Woodruff once again, with Allen doing just enough to carry us to a low-scoring affair.

* Final Score Prediction: Milwaukee Brewers: 5 – San Diego Padres: 1 *

MLB Betting Value Picks for Sunday, June 16

By: Al Walsh – Follow him on Twitter @14AdotWalsh

* 2019 MLB Record: 108-90-4 (54.5%) *

[1:05 p.m. EST] Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles (ML: +138)
BOS: Brian Johnson – L (1-0, 12.71 ERA/2.29 WHIP)
BAL: John Means – L (6-4, 2.60 ERA/1.10 WHIP)

After two straight games of being massive underdogs, the Orioles find themselves with a much more reasonable number today at +138. And for good reason, as John Means takes the mound for Bird Gang. The rookie southpaw has been simply fantastic at home, going 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA/0.90 WHIP and opposing batting average of .180 this season.

Means has been quite effective against Boston this season, allowing only two runs and a 0.66 WHIP in 12 innings – one start each at home and on the road. The Red Sox really haven’t been that great against lefty pitching and actually own an 8-13 in games where the opposition has a left-handed starter on the mound.

The Orioles have seen a lefty starter in each of the first two games of this series, so they are more than prepared to face Brian Johnson after going against Eduardo Rodriguez and Chris Sale. Johnson will be making his first appearance since early April because of elbow inflammation, so there’s certainly a chance he could be rusty in his return.

Of course, we are running the risk of relying on the Orioles’ bullpen, which has been absolutely ripped to shreds in this series and all season. However, Means should be able to give them some wiggle room, and possibly even get a longer leash than usual to avoid the sweep.

* Final Score Prediction: Baltimore Orioles: 4 – Boston Red Sox: 3 *

[1:10 p.m. EST] St. Louis Cardinals (ML: -122/1.5-run line: +134) at New York Mets
STL: Dakota Hudson – R (5-3, 3.47 ERA/1.50 WHIP)
NYM: Jason Vargas – L (3-3, 3.68 ERA/1.36 WHIP)

It’s a good sign for the Cards, considering the IRTs are moving in opposite directions for these teams: Cardinals: +0.3, Mets: -0.3.

Whatever Dakota Hudson has been drinking or eating since mid-May, he definitely needs to keep it up. Hudson has now allowed two runs or fewer in each of the last five starts, including only one run in each of the last three. The Red Birds will also benefit from Jeff McNeil and Wilson Ramos getting the day off.

Jason Vargas looked human in his last start, and today’s matchup against St. Louis won’t be an easy one. A few of these guys have seen Vargas well over the course of their careers, including leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter, who is 6-for-7 against him lifetime. If Carp is getting on base with great regularity today, that’ll set the tone for the Cards’ lineup.

The 14 mph winds blowing out to right-center field will be a factor here as well. Hudson is an extreme ground-ball pitcher, which won’t affect him that much, while Vargas and his fly-ball ways could be playing with fire here.

I’d feel safer going with the Cards on the moneyline today, but I don’t mind hitting up that 1.5-run line at +134 since the team has won by two runs or more in Hudson’s last five starts.

* Final Score Prediction: St. Louis Cardinals: 6 – New York Mets: 2 *

[1:20 p.m. EST] Over 10.5 (-106) Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves
PHI: Cole Irvin – L (2-1, 5.48 ERA/1.27 WHIP)
ATL: Mike Foltynewicz – R (6.02 ERA/1.32 WHIP)

Four of the five games in this season series have gone over the total – so what’s another one? Vegas likes that idea, as the IRTs have been increased for both sides (Braves: +0.4, Phillies: +0.2).

Cole Irvin had a nice feel-good story, getting the win in his MLB debut on Mother’s Day at Kansas City. Since then, there hasn’t been a whole lot to be excited about, but he has faced some difficult opponents in the Rockies, Cubs and Dodgers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get any easier today, as the Braves own Top-10 numbers in most advanced metrics against left-handed pitching.

There’s not a ton of info on it just yet, but it looks like Vince Velasquez will start the game as the “opener” and then Irvin will come in behind. By the way, the current Braves’ roster owns a .362 batting average, .415 on-base percentage and .993 OPS lifetime against Velasquez.

Mike Foltynewicz goes for Atlanta and this has been a brutal start to 2019. Folty has been at his absolute worst in SunTrust Park this season, going 0-3 with a 7.18 ERA/1.40 WHIP and 11 homers allowed in 31 1/3 innings.

I’ll give the nod to the Braves today, considering J.T. Realmuto and Jay Bruce are out of the lineup. The Phils’ bullpen was outstanding last night, but they still have terrible numbers across the board this season, and completely blew the game on Friday.

All in all, we’re in a great position for runs today at an extreme hitter’s park with mediocre pitching (at best) and questionable bullpens.

* Final Score Prediction: Atlanta Braves: 8 – Philadelphia Phillies: 6 *