MLB Free Pick of the Day — Wednesday, July 24

By: Al Walsh – Follow him on  Twitter @14AdotWalsh
* 2019 MLB Record: 153-126-7 (55%) *

Hey, everyone! SpreadKnowledge going with a new format for our free article/mailer from here on out. We’ve teamed up Covers and started posting our picks to their site — For our highest-rated picks, you can sign up here or at

We’ll be posting one pick here in this space each day for free. Know that it does have 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!

[8:10 p.m. EST] Under 9 – Miami Marlins at Chicago White Sox
MIA: Zac Gallen – R (0-2, 3.63 ERA/1.48 WHIP)
CHW: Reynaldo Lopez – R (5-8, 5.76 ERA/1.50 WHIP)

Our free pick today comes to us from the land of The Windy City, as the Marlins wrap up their three-game series against the White Sox. The SpreadKnowledge system has a B+ grade on the total going under in this game, considering the current form of the two starting pitchers and the two offenses. Chicago’s offense has posted two runs or fewer in eight of the last 12 games, while Miami’s offense has done the same in six of the last 10.

Zac Gallen has managed to holt the fort down in all five of his starts this season, allowing no more than three runs any time out – all against quality opponents. We’d like to see him cut down the walks (14 in 22 1/3 innings), but it could work his benefit against a free-swinging White Sox team that has the second-lowest walk-rate (6.5%) in MLB this season.

Not to mention, the White Sox offense has absolutely dreadful advanced metrics against right-handed pitching over the last 21 days — .305 weighted on-base average, .125 ISO (power metric) and 30.4% K-rate.

The team that’s dead-last in walk-rate (6.4%) will be facing Reynaldo Lopez, who has looked absolutely fantastic over his last two starts. Over 13 innings in those outings, Lopez has allowed only nine hits, three walks and two runs while striking out 15 batters. It hasn’t been the most glamorous season for the young righty, but we have seen flashes of dominance from him before and best to strike while the iron is hot.

Miami is either dead-last or right around it in terms of advanced metrics against right-handed pitching this season, so look for Lopez to have one of his best outings to date.

Weather conditions at Guaranteed Rate Field shouldn’t do the offenses any favors tonight, with the winds blowing in slightly at about 5 mph. Obviously, that won’t keep all the balls in the yard, but with the way these two youngsters are hurling it shouldn’t hurt them.

* Final Score Prediction * Chicago White Sox: 4 – Miami Marlins: 2

MLB Betting Value Picks for Sunday, July 21

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

* 2019 MLB Record: 148-122-7 (54.8%) *

[1:10 p.m. EST] Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay Rays (1.5-run line: -114)
CHW: Dylan Cease – R (1-1, 5.73 ERA/1.55 WHIP)
TB: Blake Snell – L (5-7, 4.55 ERA/1.27 WHIP)

Enough is enough already for the Rays, who have lost five straight games, including the first two of this series against the White Sox. Tampa Bay had a great shot to win yesterday, but it was not meant to be as Chicago engineered a late comeback.

I find it very difficult to believe the visitors will come in here and sweep this series, considering the matchup on the mound today. That’s why we’re rolling with the Rays on the 1.5-run line at -116, as opposed to the massive -270 number on the moneyline.

After a few rough outings, Blake Snell has gotten back on the good foot. The electric lefty has now allowed a total of four runs over his last three starts, with two of them coming against the vaunted Yankees. It does speak for volumes today for the optimism of Snell, considering the White Sox have the lowest implied run total (3.0) of any team on today’s schedule.

Over the last 21 days, the White Sox have an anemic .306 xwOBA (quality of contact) against left-handed pitching. Look for this lineup to struggle once again versus Snell – the current roster owns a massive 39.4% K-rate in 71 combined plate appearances.

Dylan Cease has only made two career MLB starts and the latest one didn’t go so well, allowing eight hits and six runs (four earned) over six innings. Despite the Rays’ recent offensive woes (against a good majority of quality starting pitchers), this is a great spot for them to get back in the win column. Tampa Bay owns the eighth-best wRC+ (108) in baseball against right-handed pitching and they should be able to manufacture some runs against the youngster.

All in all, this is a spot where a team lets their ace go out and do their thing in order to stop a losing streak and avoid the sweep. Look for Snell to have a huge day on the mound and the Rays to get to Cease early.

* Final Score Prediction * Tampa Bay Rays: 6 – Chicago White Sox: 2

 [4:10 p.m. EST] Los Angeles Angels (ML: -170/1.5-run line: +110) at Seattle Mariners
LAA: Dillon Peters – L (1-0, 4.15 ERA/1.50 WHIP)
SEA: Yusei Kikuchi – L (4-6, 5.01 ERA/1.46 WHIP)

The SpreadKnowledge system has all the California love today – cue Dr. Dre and Tupac music. In fact, the Angels moneyline (-170) and 1.5-run line (+110) are the second- and third-most likely outcomes in the SK system for the entire day. We’ll play it safe on the moneyline, but just know that the 1.5-run line is certainly there for the taking as well.

Look no further at the reasoning than to Yusei Kikuchi, who has gotten absolutely blasted by Los Angeles this season. Get ready for this one – in four starts against the Halos this season, Kikuchi has allowed 31 hits, 11 walks, 20 runs (19 earned) and six homers over 15 2/3 innings of work. Wow, wow and wow! Seattle has struggled to win ball games when Kikuchi is on the mound, with a 1-8 record over his last nine starts.

We saw the Mariners’ defense cost them last night’s game on an absolutely horrific error on an infield pop-up with two outs in the ninth inning – the Mariners proceeded to give up four runs after that mishap. I have no idea how they pick themselves up off the floor after losing a game in heartbreaking fashion, especially when this team has already had their spirits broken many of times lately.

Dillon Peters will be recalled from Triple-A to make today’s start. He hasn’t done a lot of great things at the MLB level, but it’s not like the Mariners have been consistently putting up big numbers either. Despite Friday’s 10-run outburst, Seattle has scored three runs or fewer in six of its last seven.

Once again, I feel like last night’s loss will have the Mariners in a world of hurt and that they won’t be able to rid. Look for the Halos to take advantage early and often.

The Angels are a whopping 23-5 over the last two seasons when being favored on the road by -125 to -175, while the Mariners are 12-37 versus teams with a winning record this season.

* Final Score Prediction * Los Angeles Angels: 13 – Seattle Mariners: 2

[4:10 p.m. EST] Miami Marlins at Los Angeles Dodgers (1.5-run line: -152)
MIA: Jordan Yamamoto – R (4-0, 1.59 ERA/0.94 WHIP)
LAD: Walker Buehler – R (8-1, 3.44 ERA/1.00 WHIP)

The SpreadKnowledge system has the Dodgers moneyline (-280) as the most likely outcome of the entire day, while the 1.5-run line isn’t too far behind. In order to keep things civil, we’ll take the Dodgers on the 1.5-run line and save nearly $170 to lay, in order to win $100.

Walker Buehler has had a couple of funky outings recently, but we really don’t see that being the case today. After all, he’s taking on a Marlins team that either dead-last or bottom-three against most advanced metrics against right-handed pitching. Looking at the Marlins recent games, only one starting pitcher has allowed more than two runs against them over the last seven contests.
Buehler has been particularly good at home, posting a 3-0 record and 3.16 ERA in eight starts there this season.

Here’s where things get interesting. Jordan Yamamoto has actually been a great find by the Marlins in the Christian Yelich trade. The rookie righty is 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA in six starts this season, but this will certainly be his toughest test of the season.

It was a bit peculiar to see the game total increased from 8.0 to 8.5 and the IRTs (implied run totals) – Dodgers: +0.4, Marlins: +0.2 – do the same. To me, that’s a big knock on Yamamoto, considering we all know damn well those increases aren’t speaking to Buehler.

There’s a scenario where this game could come down to the bullpens, and if that’s the case, you have to like the Dodgers chances even more.

* Final Score Prediction * Los Angeles Dodgers: 6 – Miami Marlins: 2

MLB Betting Value Picks for Tuesday, July 16

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

* 2019 MLB Record: 140-113-6 (55.3%) *

[7:10 p.m. EST] Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians (1.5-run line: -134)
DET: Ryan Carpenter – L (1-5, 8.36 ERA/1.75 WHIP)
CLE: Zach Plesac – R (3-3, 4.00 ERA/1.18 WHIP)

It has been a rough go of things for the Tigers against the Indians, losing nine of the 10 meetings this season, including each of the last eight. In fact, Cleveland has outscored Detroit by a total of 63-27 in those contests. Tonight’s -260 moneyline number for the Indians matches their highest of the season, so I feel comfortable taking the 1.5-run line here and saving some money to lay.

Things won’t get any better for the Tigers tonight as they send Ryan Carpenter out to the hill. The lefty has a 7.95 ERA/1.73 WHIP in 14 career MLB appearances, including a 12.38 ERA/2.50 WHIP in two starts against the Indians. Carpenter has allowed at least seven hits in six of his eight starts, and that’ll be a dangerous proposition to do such a thing against such a talented lineup.

Since the beginning of July, Cleveland has posted seven runs or more five times, with all of those big totals coming against lesser-talented teams – just like the one it’ll see tonight. Detroit’s bullpen owns the fifth-worst ERA (5.01) in baseball and the team, as a whole, has allowed exactly eight runs in three of its four games since the All-Star break.

On the other side, Zach Plesac has been excellent to start his MLB career, allowing two runs or fewer in five of his first eight starts. The rookie right-hander had a great outing against the Tigers back on June 23, allowing five hits, one walk and one run, while inducing a season-high 10 ground-ball outs over seven innings en route to an 8-3 Indians’ victory.

The Tigers’ offense has been struggling all season, but especially against right-handed pitching, as they own the second-worst wOBA (.286) in baseball in that split – just a fraction above the MLB-worst Marlins.

* Final Score Prediction * Cleveland Indians: 8 – Detroit Tigers: 2

[8:15 p.m. EST] Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals (ML: -175)
PIT: Dario Agrazal – R (2-0, 2.81 ERA/1.31 WHIP)
STL: Jack Flaherty – R (4-6, 4.64 ERA/1.23 WHIP)

We’ve had glimpses of Jack Flaherty displaying the type of dominance he’s capable of, but he hasn’t done it consistently. If that last outing before the break – allowing two hits, one walk and one run over seven innings – against a red-hot Giants lineup is any indication of where Flaherty is heading, we’re in for a treat tonight.

Not only has Flaherty pitched better at home this season, but he’s also done well against the Pirates lifetime. The righty has a 3-1 record to go along with a 2.48 ERA/1.00 WHIP in five career starts.

The Pirates have lost four straight since the All-Star break, while the Cardinals have won their last three games. Not to mention, Pittsburgh has only scored a total of 10 runs in those four games.

Dario Agrazal has been great for the Pirates since making his debut on June 15. However, he’s shown a huge weakness early on, allowing right-handed batters to hit for .353 average, compared to lefties hitting .148. The Cardinals lineup will have plenty of right-handed power coming at Agrazal tonight, so look for the rookie to take the first loss of his career.

All in all, we’ve got two teams heading in opposite directions. We like the Cardinals to continue their winning ways over a struggling Pirates team. Vegas did give the Cardinals a nice +0.4 IRT (implied run total) increase, which is actually the highest for any team on tonight’s slate.

* Final Score Prediction * St. Louis Cardinals: 6 – Pittsburgh Pirates: 2

[8:15 p.m. EST] Under 10.5 – Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals
CHW: Dylan Cease – R (1-0, 5.40 ERA/1.60 WHIP)
KC: Glenn Sparkman – R (2-5, 5.18 ERA/1.40 WHIP)

Whenever the Royals and White Sox have gotten together this season, runs have not been showing up on the scoreboard. In fact, nine of the 12 meetings between the teams have gone under the total – just as it did last night. We’re looking for more of the same tonight, as the SpreadKnowledge system has the total going under in this game as the top-rated play on the entire slate.

Glenn Sparkman may not be the greatest pitcher in baseball, but he certainly knows what he’s doing at Kauffman Stadium. The righty has a 2-2 record to go along with a 2.19 ERA/1.11 WHIP in nine appearances there this season. Sparkman’s last three outings at home have been against quality opponents (Twins, White Sox, Red Sox), and he’s allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of those.

The White Sox offense has been dreadful against right-handed pitching over the last 21 days, with a .292 xwOBA (quality of contact) and .126 ISO (power metric). For reference, we want to see xwOBA in the .350s and higher, while ISO is preferred in the .200s or better. Sparkman won’t get many strikeouts, but perhaps he can see an uptick since the White Sox have been striking out around 25% of the time over that span against righties.

Five of the last six White Sox games have gone under the total, and their offense is a big reason why as they posted no more than three runs in any of those contests.

Dylan Cease made his debut for Chicago on July 3, his only MLB outing up to this point. He allowed three runs over five innings while striking out six Tigers, so there’s not a ton to go off there. However, Cease should certainly benefit from facing a Royals lineup that has similar .293 xwOBA and .137 ISO numbers to his own team’s offense against righties over the last 21 days. Not to mention, the Royals are striking out just over 25% of the time against right-handed pitching over that span.

Four of the last six Royals games have gone under the total, with the only two overs coming against a weak collection of Tigers’ arms.

* Final Score Prediction * Kansas City Royals: 4 – Chicago White Sox: 3

[8:40 p.m. EST] Over 14.5 – San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies
SF: Drew Pomeranz – L (2-9, 6.42 ERA/1.77 WHIP)
COL: Peter Lambert – R (2-1, 6.67 ERA/1.48 WHIP)

We missed the boat on the total going over in the second half of last night’s doubleheader, but Vegas is liking the bats to get back to action tonight. The game total has increased from 14.0 to 14.5, with both teams getting a +0.3 increase on their IRT (implied run total) – usually a good sign that offense is on the horizon. After playing two games yesterday, expect each team’s bullpen to be less effective than usual.

Drew Pomeranz has gotten absolutely ripped away from Oracle Park this season, posting a 1-4 record and 9.76 ERA/1.99 WHIP in seven starts. While he has done a decent job against the Rockies, Pomeranz has yet to face them at Coors Field.

Colorado’s offense has some issues it’s working through, especially after scoring a total of three runs in yesterday’s doubleheader, but this is a great spot to get back on the good foot. The star-studded lineup including Charlie Blackmon, Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story is not built to have long stretches of ineffectiveness.

Peter Lambert goes for the Rockies, and his brief time in the MLB and has been nothing short of miserable. Over his last four starts (17 2/3 innings), the rookie has allowed 30 hits, 20 runs and eight homers.

The Giants’ offense has been rocking and rolling, with at least seven runs in eight of the last 12 games. Prior to the second game of yesterday’s doubleheader, Rockies’ pitching had allowed 45 runs in the previous three contests.

According to the SpreadKnowledge system, the total going over is our second-strongest play of the night. Granted, we’re shooting for a sky-high total, but we’ve got plenty of reasons to know it’ll come through.

* Final Score Prediction * Colorado Rockies: 12 – San Francisco Giants: 9

MLB Betting Value Picks for Sunday, July 14

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

* 2019 MLB Record: 137-110-6 (55.5%) *

[2:20 p.m. EST] Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs (ML: -170)
PIT: Trevor Williams – R (3-2, 4.54 ERA/1.26 WHIP)
CHC: Jose Quintana – L (6-7, 4.19 ERA/1.35 WHIP)

The Cubs will look to complete the sweep over the Pirates today, and if history is any indication, they should be able to do just that.

We’ve talked about BvP (batter vs. pitcher) a couple of times in this space, and everyone has their own opinion on it. I believe in it, and it should help the Cubbies in today’s game.

Trevor Williams got off to an amazing start this season, but it’s been anything but pretty of late. Since returning from the IL, the righty has allowed a total of 26 hits, 18 runs and five homers over 17 1/3 innings in three starts.

Williams’ last start was against this same Cubs team, as he allowed nine hits, three walks and five runs over 5 2/3 innings. In fact, Chicago has done quite well against him in recent history – especially the combo of Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber. Look for these guys to be the catalyst in the Cubbies flying the W flag later today.

Jose Quintana has been simply magnificent against the Pirates this season, allowing only 10 hits, two walks and three runs over 14 innings while striking out 17 batters. The current Pittsburgh roster hasn’t given JQ much trouble over his career, as they own a collective .260 on-base percentage against him in 128 career plate appearances.

All in all, we’ve got two teams heading in opposite directions out of the All-Star break. And it’s nice to have history on our side here as well.

* Final Score Prediction * Chicago Cubs: 8 – Pittsburgh Pirates: 3

[4:07 p.m. EST] Over 10.5 – Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels
SEA: Yusei Kikuchi – L (4-6, 4.94 ERA/1.45 WHIP)
LAA: Jose Suarez – L (2-1, 5.40 ERA/1.52 WHIP)

Nine of the last 13 games between the teams have gone over the total, including each of the first two in this series. Look for more of the same, as the SK system has an A-grade on the over for today’s matchup, the highest of any on the entire schedule. The SK system also loves the Angels on the moneyline and/or the 1.5-run line, but our priority is on the over today.

Yusei Kikuchi has been getting beat up with great regularity, especially against the Angels. In fact, the Los Angeles offense has registered 29 hits (.475 batting average), seven walks, 17 runs (16 earned) and five homers against him in a total of 11 2/3 innings this season.

The Angels’ offense is absolutely clicking on all cylinders, with a total of 32 runs over their last three games. While the bats are rolling, it’s a nice combination to be facing a Mariners’ bullpen, which owns the fourth-worst ERA in baseball – and it’s gotten even worse since arriving in Anaheim.

Jose Suarez takes the ball for the Angels and he’s been allowing tons of baserunners. Suarez faced the Mariners in his MLB debut back on June 9, allowing four hits, two walks and two runs over 4 2/3 innings. We can probably expect more of the same from him today, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing for the over. Suarez has only maxed out 5 2/3 innings, and the Angels’ bullpen has fallen off dramatically after such a great start.

The Mariners’ defense always comes into play when betting the over in their games. Seattle has committed 95 errors, which is 25 more than any other team in MLB. These errors give opposing offenses more opportunities to put runs on the board, and they have certainly taken advantage of that.

* Final Score Prediction * Los Angeles Angels: 7 – Seattle Mariners: 4

[4:07 p.m. EST] Under 10 – Chicago White Sox at Oakland Athletics
CHW: Reynaldo Lopez – R (4-8, 6.34 ERA/1.58 WHIP)
OAK: Brett Anderson – L (9-5, 3.86 ERA/1.30 WHIP)

Reynaldo Lopez isn’t usually a guy we go to when trying to get the total to go under, but today is a new day, my friends. In fact, Lopez has actually done quite well away from Guaranteed Rate Field in each of his last three road starts, the last two coming against quality opponents – Red Sox and Rangers. The righty three runs or fewer in each of those last three road starts.

Vegas has something up its sleeve for this game, giving the A’s IRT (implied run total) a noticeable -0.4 downshift from their initial 6.0 number. Part of the reason could be the weather, which isn’t very typical for July baseball. Temperatures should be in the upper-60s/low-70s, and that’s not good for ball flight. Some of those fly balls that Lopez gives up will likely fall just shy of the wall.

On the other side, Brett Anderson will be going for the A’s. He’s never been a flashy strikeout-pitcher, rather getting it done by spotting the baseball and inducing opposing offenses into ground-ball outs. In fact, Anderson has gotten at least eight ground-ball outs in each of his last nine starts, and a double-digit total in six of them.

Over the last 14 days, both teams’ bullpens have been quite effective. Especially the A’s, whose pen owns a 2.30 ERA over that span – fourth-best in baseball.

All in all, we’re probably looking at a very boring game today and that’s exactly what we want for this bet. The SK system has a B+ grade on this game, ranking just behind the level of confidence we have in the over on the Angels-Mariners game.

* Final Score Prediction * Oakland Athletics: 4 – Chicago White Sox: 2

MLB Betting Value Picks for Friday, July 12

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

* 2019 MLB Record: 133-110-5 (54.7%) *

[7:10 p.m. EST] New York Mets at Miami Marlins (ML: -110)
NYM: Jason Vargas – L (3-4, 3.77 ERA/1.31 WHIP)
MIA: Caleb Smith – L (4-4, 3.50 ERA/1.01 WHIP)

Caleb Smith hasn’t been at his best over the last few starts, but there are a couple of things attributing to that. For starters, he did land on the DL for a month with inflammation in his left hip – that would explain Smith going from utterly dominant to so-so mediocre. The other, is that he faced stiff competition – Braves, Brewers, Nationals and Padres – in each of his last four starts, all on the road… and all solid against left-handed pitching.

In fact, Smith hasn’t pitched a home game since May 15, and he’s been much better at Marlins Park with a 3-1 record and 1.84 ERA/0.89 WHIP. The young lefty has done quite well against the Mets over the course of his brief career, going 1-0 with a 3.24 ERA in three starts, including 23 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings.

On the other side, it’s the Mets. Oh, dear…

Jason Vargas has surprisingly been one of the team’s best pitchers, but the Vegas odds have already spoken. Until tonight, the Marlins have never been favored been against the Mets in 2019. Oddly enough, this is only the fifth time all season that the Marlins have been favored in a game.

Vargas allowed a season-high eight hits against Miami back on April 2 – his first start of the 2019 campaign. We’re not going to push all of our chips in the middle of the table based on that performance alone, but the Marlins have been a pesky bunch since the start of June. It’s a very underrated factor, but Miami has two veteran hitters in Starlin Castro and Curtis Granderson that have done very well against Vargas (combined 13-for-30, 6 2B, 1 HR), and those guys can certainly relay their intel to the rest of the club.

Unfortunately, the Marlins’ record and stats look feeble over that span because they’ve done nothing but face the class of the NL East (Braves, Nationals and Phillies) and most of the aces from those teams. Miami has held its own, though, and there’s certainly some motivation to try and get some wins against New York, who is the only team that is worse than them in the NL.

Last, but certainly not least, the Mets’ bullpen is notoriously known for being putrid. Cover your ears, Mets’ fans: the bullpen has the same number of blown saves this season that they do ACTUAL SAVES! Surprisingly, the only other team that can say that is the defending champion Red Sox.

Let’s take The Fish with favorable odds, an underrated starting pitching mismatch, and yeah… the Mets’ bullpen is always fun to pick on.

* Final Score Prediction * Miami Marlins: 4 – New York Mets: 2

[10:07 p.m. EST] Over 10 – Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels (ML: -154)
SEA: Mike Leake – R (7-7, 4.32 ERA/1.24 WHIP)
LAA: Taylor Cole – R (0-1, 4.32/1.58 WHIP)

Some people look at BvP (batter vs. pitcher) and think it’s a total sham – you could make the argument in a small sample size. However, when looking at a range of 281 plate appearances, there really shouldn’t be any confusion at all.

The current Angels’ roster is absolutely smacking Mike Leake around the ballpark for a combined .341 batting average, .389 on-base percentage and .948 OPS. Granted, Jonathan Lucroy and his .396 batting average will be out of the lineup for tonight (and the near future), but guys like Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Justin Upton and Andrelton Simmons should do just fine without him. Leake won’t have to face Lucroy, but the aging righty still has to deal with the fact that he’s 2-5 with a 5.08 ERA on the road in 2019.

In 13 innings against the Angels this season, Leake has also allowed five homers. I think it’s safe to say someone has somebody’s number.

Not to get all philosophical, but this will be the first time the Angels play at home since the death of their fallen teammate, Tyler Skaggs. I really do think the Angels are going to make a nice run in his honor, and if that holds true, tonight is where it all begins.

Mariners’ pitching has been downright awful in 2019, whether it’s the starters, or their bullpen, which has allowed the fourth-worst ERA (5.03) and fourth-most homers (64) in all of MLB this season.

Taylor Cole will be the “opener” for Los Angeles tonight, and he should do just fine in limited work. He will, however, give way to the Angels’ bullpen which has allowed the most homers (25) in MLB over the last 30 days.

The Mariners’ roster has been depleted and will probably continue to have that same fate until the end of July, but these guys are a scrappy bunch that’ll put runs on the board no matter what. Of course, they have to, with the way the pitching has been this season.

Not to mention, no other defense in MLB has committed more errors (92) than the Mariners, and that gives the opposing offense more than enough chances to capitalize on scoring more run. To put that into perspective, the Orioles have the second-most errors in the league… with 68. Yikes!

All in all, the SK system likes the Angels to win this game, but the total going over 10 runs is our best bet of the night.

* Final Score Prediction * Los Angeles Angels: 9 – Seattle Mariners: 5

[10:07 p.m. EST] Chicago White Sox at Oakland Athletics (ML: -179)
CHW: Ivan Nova – R (4-7, 5.58 ERA/1.53 WHIP)
OAK: Mike Fiers – R (8-3, 3.87 ERA/1.10 WHIP)

Ivan Nova might’ve had a solid outing heading into the All-Star break, but let’s not act like all of his wounds have been healed. In fact, his two best outings since June 1 have been against the same Cubs team, while the Twins, Rangers, Yankees and Royals all roughed him up. The veteran righty is allowing a massive 5.58 ERA/1.53 WHIP and an opposing batting average of .318 this season, in addition to 19 homers over the last 78 1/3 innings of work.

Prior to the All-Star break, the A’s owned the ninth-best ISO rating (.187) in MLB against right-handed pitching. Now that guys like Khris Davis and Matt Olson are fully healthy, this is a deadly lineup with its chest puffed out. The 9-3 record that Oakland carried into the second half of the season should be a solid boost of momentum going forward.

The A’s opening IRT (implied run total) of 5.5 is one of the highest on tonight’s slate, and that says a lot about Nova’s impending meltdown, considering this is one of the worst hitting parks in MLB.

Perhaps the best part of betting the A’s tonight is their stud on the mound, Mike Fiers. In each of his last nine outings, the crafty right-hander has notched a quality start — over his last four outings, he’s allowed exactly one earned run each time out. Oakland has won seven of those nine contests, with the two losses (both by one run) coming against powerhouses Houston and Minnesota.

Fiers won’t be getting it done via the strikeout, but it’s important to note that his Statcast data is a better place than it’s ever been over his career.

When looking at the two bullpens in this game, the A’s clearly have the advantage here. Oakland’s pen is the only team in MLB allowing a HR/9 under 1.00 this season and its 3.91 ERA ranks seventh-best.

* Final Score Prediction * Oakland Athletics: 7 – Chicago White Sox: 2

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 Tuesday, June 11

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


* 2019 MLB Record: 101-81-4 (55.5%) *

[7:05 p.m. EST] Under 9 (-116) – Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles
TOR: Trent Thornton – L (1-4, 4.73 ERA/1.36 WHIP)
BAL: John Means – L (5-4, 2.67 ERA/1.07 WHIP)

The highest SK Trend Confidence rating of the day is the under on this Blue Jays-Orioles game. According to the Vegas trends, the Blue Jays are somehow getting more love. It does, however, give me confidence that Toronto’s Trent Thornton will have a good outing on the mound, leading us to the total going under.

Thornton has allowed three runs or fewer in six of his last eight starts. I guess part of the reason for the Blue Jays’ love in Vegas is the Orioles’ anemic .235 wOBA and .067 ISO against left-handed pitching these last 21 days. That’ll typically do it.

The part that really baffles me is that John Means takes the mound for Baltimore, and he’s been nothing short of miraculous at home for this awful team. The rookie southpaw is 3-1 in seven appearances (five starts) at Camden Yards, with a 1.53 ERA and an opposing batting average of .173. Not to mention, Toronto owns the fifth-worst wOBA (.283) and ISO (.146) against lefties this season.

We do have two Blue Jays’ hitters to worry about, though, as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Lourdes Gurriel have both crushed lefties over the last 21 days. If that’s where Means gets beat, it’ll likely be from there.

I don’t get it, but I’ve also learned to not doubt Vegas. I’ll give the Blue Jays the nod, but the total going under looks a lot better, especially with the wind blowing in at about 9 mph.

* Final Score Prediction: Toronto Blue Jays: 3 – Baltimore Orioles: 2 *

[7:10 p.m. EST] Under 8.5 (-118) – Cincinnati Reds at Cleveland Indians
CIN: Luis Castillo – R (6-1, 2.26 ERA/1.10 WHIP)
CLE: Trevor Bauer – R (4-6, 3.93 ERA/1.16 WHIP)

This nightmare has to end eventually for Trevor Bauer – it just has to. He is one of the most talented pitchers in baseball, and it should be noted that there have been glimmers of hope this season.

Speaking of hope, an in-state matchup against the Reds offers just that. No other team in baseball has scored fewer runs (15) since the start of June, and it’s been seven straight games involving Cincy where the total has gone under. The Reds also rank in the bottom-third of MLB in most advanced metrics against right-handed pitching this season.

Four of Bauer’s five career starts against the Reds have gone under the total, as he’s amassed a 1.20 WHIP in those games.

Luis Castillo had some slip-ups recently, but overall this is one of the most talented pitchers in baseball. In night starts this season, Castillo has gone 6-0 with a microscopic 1.50 ERA and 58 strikeouts over 48 innings.

With the Reds’ inability to score runs of late, I’m going with the Indians to get the victory. But the main play here is going under the total.

* Final Score Prediction: Cleveland Indians: 3 – Cincinnati Reds: 2 *

[8:10 p.m. EST] Over 9.5 (-120) – Seattle Mariners at Minnesota Twins
SEA: Mike Leake – R (5-6, 4.30 ERA/1.27 WHIP)
MIN: Martin Perez – L (7-2, 3.72 ERA/1.42 WHIP)

Mike Leake is coming off two consecutive dazzling performances, including a complete-game one-run gem against the Astros last time out. However, most of Leake’s success has come at T-Mobile Park this season, which is not where he’ll be tonight. Instead, he’ll be at Target Field in Minnesota, where the Twins are 67-40 at home since last season (19-9 this season). Not to mention, the Mariners are a horrific 5-25 against teams with a winning record in 2019.

The Twins’ offense has been destroying opposing pitchers of both handedness, but their 35-15 record against right-handed starters this season speaks plenty of volumes. Over the last 21 days, the Twins have a massive .380 wOBA and .316 ISO against righties.

Martin Perez should be ecstatic to get back on the mound at home, where he owns a 3-1 record and 2.51 ERA this season. However, he’s allowed 11 runs (eight earned) over the last 7 1/3 innings of work, and the Mariners’ offense has a robust .366 wOBA and .243 ISO against left-handed pitching over the last 21 days.

We’ve got two more primary facts of evidence going in our favor for the total going over – Each team’s bullpen is getting ripped over the last 14 days and the wind will be blowing out to left field at 9 mph.

The SK Trend Confidence rating is very high on the Twins tonight, with B+ grades on their moneyline and 1.5-run line, but the over is my main play here.

* Final Score Prediction: Minnesota Twins: 9 – Seattle Mariners: 6 *

[8:10 p.m. EST] Washington Nationals (1.5-run line: -116) at Chicago White Sox
WSH: Patrick Corbin – L (5-4, 3.59 ERA/1.20 WHIP)
CHW: Manny Banuelos – L (3-4, 7.36 ERA/1.83 WHIP)

We’ve got a HUGE mismatch of offense against left-handed pitching that we need to exploit tonight. In the words of Ace Ventura, “Alllllrighty then!”

The Nationals own the fourth-best wRC+ (117) and fifth-best wOBA (.354) against lefties this season. That’s terrible news for Manny Banuelos, who has allowed at least five runs in four of his last five starts. Not to mention, the Nats get an extra bat in their lineup tonight because of the DH rule in the American League Park.

Even better news for Washington is its performance against lefties over the last 21 days – about the amount of time their lineup has been mostly healthy. Over that time frame, the Nats have a gaudy .380 wOBA and .200 ISO against left-handed pitching.

The White Sox have been the complete opposite. Over the last 21 days, they have a putrid .258 wOBA and .037 ISO against left-handed pitching. Let’s all give a big YIIIIIKES to the White Sox chances tonight as they go against the very talented Patrick Corbin. Now, it’s worth noting that Corbin hasn’t been at his best of late, but an opponent like Chicago is certainly one which can get him back on track.

All in all, we’ve got stats-overload in our favor, and the Nationals should give Corbin more than enough run support in this one.

* Final Score Prediction: Washington Nationals: 10 – Chicago White Sox: 4 *


* Key terms used in today’s writing:

– ISO = Isolated Power (A sabermetric computation used to measure a player’s raw power. This distinguishes a batter with a .300 batting average and many singles, as opposed to a batter with a .300 average and more extra-base hits… typically, .200 is where you want to be in ISO.)

– wOBA = Weighted On-Base Average (A version of on-base percentage that accounts for how a player reached base. The value for each event is determined by how much it is worth in relation to a run created – Ex: a double is worth more than a single, a triple is worth more than a double, a home run is worth more than a triple, etc… about .320 is league average)

– xwOBA = Expected Weighted On-Base Average (The same thing as wOBA, just removing defense from the equation. An easy way of looking at xwOBA, would be to just imagine there are no fielders on the playing surface.)

– wRC+ = Weighted Runs Created Plus (Runs created + adjusting the number to account for important external factors – like ballpark or ERA… 100 is league average)

NBA Finals and MLB Betting Value Picks for Sunday, June 2

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


[8:00 p.m. EST] NBA Finals – Game 2:
Under 213 (-110) – Golden State Warriors (ML: +112) at Toronto Raptors

Everyone was surprised by the outcome of Game 1, when the Raptors came out and dominated a rusty Warriors squad. It’s interesting to see nearly the same spread in consecutive games, but I’m calling Vegas’s bluff here.

I feel like too many people have already forgotten just how amazing this Warriors team is. They did a fantastic job on Kawhi Leonard, forcing him to give up the ball at nearly every turn. Expect Golden State to continue doing that, while Draymond Green turns up the intensity on Pascal Siakam. As Dray said after Game 1, he has to do a better job of making life difficult on Siakam – and he probably will.

The Warriors didn’t give Stephen Curry too much help in the series opener but expect that to change tonight. Hopefully, the refs let Klay Thompson get away with more of those “seven steps to the hole” moves. Not that they’ll need it though…

SK’s Trend Confidence rating also likes the under in tonight’s game. It makes sense, considering the game total has dropped two points and the Warriors defense should be much better.

* Final Score Prediction: Golden State Warriors: 103 – Toronto Raptors: 99 *

* 2019 MLB Record: 91-72-4 (55.8%) *

[2:10 p.m. EST] Under 8.5 (-116) – Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox
CLE: Zach Plesac – R (0-0, 1.69 ERA/0.94 WHIP)
CHW: Lucas Giolito – R (7-1, 2.85 ERA/0.98 WHIP)

Lucas Giolito has been outstanding for the White Sox this season, with a sub-1.00 WHIP and 69 strikeouts over 60 innings. It’s been so good for Giolito, that he’s allowed one run or fewer in each of his last five starts – all White Sox wins. Not only that, but Chicago has outscored its competition by a combined score of 19-5 over that span.

That goes to show you how few runs are being scored in some of these White Sox games. In fact, the total has gone under in 18 of the team’s last 25 games. We can also thank their bullpen, who has the fifth-best xFIP (3.72) in MLB over the last seven days.

Zach Plesac did a great job in his MLB debut last time out, allowing one run over 5 1/3 innings to a talented Red Sox lineup. Chicago’s offense has struggled mightily of late against right-handed pitching with .295 wOBA and .113 ISO numbers over the last 14 days. It probably won’t help the White Sox, considering they’ve never seen Plesac before and have limited footage on him. The Indians haven’t necessarily been pounding the ball either and got skilled by Giolito back on May 7 which ended up being a 2-0 White Sox win.

I’m looking for another low-scoring affair like there’s been in each of the last two games in this series. After all, the under has one of the highest SK Trend Confidence ratings (B+) of the day with this game

* Final Score Prediction: Chicago White Sox: 3 – Cleveland Indians: 2 *

[3:10 p.m. EST] Over 12.5 (-106) Toronto Blue Jays (ML: +124) at Colorado Rockies
TOR: Aaron Sanchez – R (3-5, 3.75 ERA/1.52 WHIP)
COL: Antonio Senzatela (3-4, 5.81 ERA/1.65 WHIP)

Vegas has spoken loudly by increasing the total by an entire run on this game, with both IRTs increasing as well: Blue Jays: +0.8, Rockies: +0.3. Just like the IRT increase, Toronto’s moneyline jump (+147 to +124) is the highest for any team on the slate.

The real key to the over today is Rockies’ pitcher Antonio Senzatela, who has a 6.17 ERA and .304 opposing batting average at Coors Field this season. Not only that, but Senzatela has been seen very well by opposing hitters in any setting of late, allowing 18 hits and five walks over his last 9 1/3 innings of work.

Aaron Sanchez will give it a go for the Blue Jays, and he’s been dealing with some finger issues of late. You have to wonder how far Sanchez will be pushed in this game, considering he has thrown 64 pitches or fewer in three of the last four starts. That’d be great news for the Rockies, as the Blue Jays’ bullpen has the sixth-highest WHIP (1.62) in MLB over the last seven days.

The Rockies have been excellent, going 8-1 on this current 10-game homestand, but it’s time for them to drop one to this pesky Blue Jays bunch. Those IRT and moneyline increases for Toronto are just way too telling here.

Toronto games have gone over the total in eight of the last 12, with two of those misnomers being pushes. Colorado games have gone over in seven of the last 11. It also helps that the wind will be blowing out at about 10 mph to left field.

* Final Score Prediction: Toronto Blue Jays: 10 – Colorado Rockies: 7 *

[7:00 p.m. EST] Over 9.5 (-116) – Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees
BOS: David Price – L (2-2, 2.83 ERA/1.03 WHIP)
NYY: C.C. Sabathia – L (3-1, 3.48 ERA/1.26 WHIP)

Hey, if you don’t like NBA Finals basketball… what the hell is wrong with you? Or, if you got two TVs or will find yourself at the local watering hole, ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball is a fantastic game to bet the over on tonight.

The Yankees absolutely own David Price, but luckily, he won’t have to deal with Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton. Unfortunately, Gary Sanchez and Luke Voit are still around and that’ll never be good news for David Price. Lifetime, Sanchez is 6-for-13 with five homers against him, while Voit is 3-for-5 with two homers.

Even though some of these younger Yanks don’t have a ton of experience against Price, rest assured that those vets will relay their knowledge down to them.

On the other side, old age might finally be catching up to CC Sabathia. The veteran lefty has now allowed 11 homers in his last 31 1/3 innings of work. While CC has historically pitched well against the Red Sox, this current version of him is certainly not in peak form.

This ballpark plays well for power hitters, so expect there to be quite a few long balls tonight. I’m not necessarily loving one side over the other, but definitely over the total.

* Final Score Prediction: Boston Red Sox: 7 – New York Yankees: 6 *

MLB Betting Value Picks for Friday, May 31

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

* 2019 MLB Record: 87-69-4 (55.8%) *


[7:05 p.m. EST] Boston Red Sox (ML: -150) at New York Yankees
BOS: Chris Sale – L (1-6, 4.19 ERA/1.06 WHIP)
NYY: J.A. Happ – L (4-3, 5.09 ERA/1.23 WHIP)

Chris Sale has been ridiculous over his last seven starts, striking out 74 hitters in 44 1/3 innings. This matchup has frequently gone well for the lanky lefty in the past, as Sale owns a 33.2% K-rate against the Yankees’ current roster.

While the Bronx Bombers have played well so far this season, they’ve been doing it against subpar competition. Not only that, but the Yankees have really struggled against left-handed pitching, with a .272 wOBA, .143 ISO and 33.8% K-rate over the last 14 days.

The Red Sox have been the polar opposite against lefties, tearing them up for a .368 wOBA and .223 ISO over the last 14 days. Most of J.A. Happ’s struggles have come at Yankee Stadium this season, as he’s 2-3 with a 5.93 ERA and nine homers allowed in 30 1/3 innings. The month of May hasn’t been kind to Happ either, as the lefty has a massive 5.61 ERA.

Look for Steve Pearce to have a big night against Happ because this is a matchup he’s dominated in the past. Pearce is 11-for-35 against Happ with a whopping six homers over his career. It’s also a good sign that three different Red Sox (J.D. Martinez: +210, Rafael Devers: +260, Michael Chavis: +270) have favorable odds on their home run prop tonight.

* Final Score Prediction: Boston Red Sox: 6 – New York Yankees: 3 *

[8:10 p.m. EST] Over 10 (-110) – Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox
CLE: Trevor Bauer – R (4-4, 3.99 ERA/1.16 WHIP)
CHW: Dylan Covey – R (0-4, 5.47 ERA/1.41 WHIP)

Trevor Bauer has been surprisingly bad more than a few times this season. In fact, he has now allowed at least four runs in five of his last six starts. This includes his last outing against the White Sox, where Bauer allowed 10 hits, eight runs (seven earned) and two homers over five innings back on May 6.

Dylan Covey hasn’t been much better, but we expect that from him. The righty has allowed five homers 13 walks over the last 20 1/3 innings – control issues and getting ripped, yikes!

If you couldn’t tell by now, over 10 runs is the play here. We’ve got 11 mph winds blowing out to left field and the two teams saw their IRTs jump significantly – Indians: +0.7, White Sox: +0.4.

One last nugget that should bode well, is that each of the last five Indians’ games has gone over the total.

* Final Score Prediction: Cleveland Indians: 7 – Chicago White Sox: 6 * 

[8:40 p.m. EST] Over 11.5 (-106) – Toronto Blue Jays at Colorado Rockies (1.5-run line: -156)
TOR: Edwin Jackson – R (0-2, 9.00 ERA/1.64 WHIP)
COL: German Marquez – R (5-2, 3.56 ERA/1.12 WHIP)

Edwin Jackson just doesn’t have the goods to compete with this Rockies’ squad with the friendly hitting conditions at Coors Field — the wind will be blowing out to right-center field at 11 mph. Vegas knows this as well, and that’s why Colorado’s 7.6 IRT is a full 1.8 better than the second-highest mark on the slate. Jackson has allowed a total of 13 runs (12 earned) over his last nine innings of work and things don’t appear to be getting any better tonight. The Blue Jays have lost his last two starts by a combined score of 31-6.

That is a good enough reason to take the Rockies on the 1.5-run line alone. However, the total going over 11.5 runs is quite appealing here as well. The Rockies should do a fine job putting up runs on their own, but their starter German Marquez has struggled more in Colorado this season. These splits are absolutely staggering, as he’s allowed 49 hits and a .327 opposing batting average in 35 innings at home – compared to 25 hits and a .167 opposing batting average in 43 1/3 innings on the road.

We’re going to see plenty of guys on base tonight, and the Rockies will come up bigger in the clutch.

* Final Score Prediction: Colorado Rockies: 12 – Toronto Blue Jays: 6 *

MLB Betting Value Picks for Memorial Day Monday, May 27

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

Alright, last week was just one bad beat after another. Or should I say, one bad error/blown save after the other. Everyone, do your thing that you do – Woosah, Goosfraba, Hakuna Matata… I ain’t gonna judge you. Let’s get the monkey off the back. After all, we’re still 16 games over .500 in this space!

* 2019 MLB Record: 78-62-4 (56%) *

[2:10 p.m. EST] Under 10  (-120) – Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox (moneyline: -114)
KC: Homer Bailey – R (4-5, 6.13 ERA/1.53 WHIP)
CHW: Ivan Nova – R (3-4, 6.96 ERA/1.77 WHIP)

Yeah, looking at those numbers above and seeing that we’re liking the under is probably making you scratch your head. I’m a bit nervous myself, but there is some good statistical analysis to bring us there. The SK Trend Confidence does have more faith in the under than any other outcome, considering 13 of the White Sox last 18 games have gone under the total, while the Royals have scored three runs or fewer in nine of their last 15 games.

For one, White Sox starter Ivan Nova really hasn’t been as bad as usual over the last few weeks. His only blowup outing came against the Blue Jays, who were seeing him for the second time in six days. Nova, despite allowing 10 hits, actually had really good stuff early on against the Astros – a few of those hits found some holes.

It’s also worth mentioning that Chicago has won four of the last five games that Nova has started. Also, our friends over at EV Analytics like him to reach over 3.5 on his K-prop for today – always a good sign.

What really helps Nova today is home plate umpire Bill Miller, who tends to favor pitchers. In fact, Miller has the third-highest K-rate (21%) and second-lowest on-base percentage (.312) of any umpires with at least 200 games under their belt. Vegas has noticed this and adjusted the total to 9.5 on some books – hopefully, you’ll get yours at 10.

The weather should help alleviate some runs as well, as the wind will be blowing in from center field at 10 mph.

All in all, I do like the White Sox to get this win with a good day from Nova.

* Final Score Prediction: Chicago White Sox: 6 – Kansas City Royals: 2 *

[4:10 p.m. EST] Under 10.5 (-116) – Cleveland Indians at Boston Red Sox  (1.5-run line: +110)
CLE: Jefry Rodriguez – R (1-4, 4.08 ERA/1.36 WHIP)
BOS: Rick Porcello – R (4-5, 4.45 ERA/1.31 WHIP)

The SK Trend Confidence rating likes the under as the most likely outcome in this game. And it makes plenty of sense, considering Indians’ games have gone under the total in 14 of their last 18 games. The Red Sox also had a weekend full of unders in three straight games against the Astros.

Rick Porcello takes the mound for Boston, and he’s been outstanding with five quality starts over the last six outings. Over that stretch, the veteran righty has allowed two earned runs or fewer in four of those outings. The Red Sox offense seems to like when Porcello is on the mound, as they give him an average of 6.4 runs of support in his starts this season.

Jefry Rodriguez has allowed seven hits in three of the last four starts – in the misnomer, he gave up six. It’s interesting that the game total jumped from 9.5 to 10.5, considering how well Porcello has done of late. This leads me to believe the Red Sox will jump all over Rodriguez early and coast to victory.

In terms of value, it makes more sense to bet Boston on the 1.5-run line at +110, as opposed to -180 on the moneyline – the Red Sox are 8-2 in their last 10 games against teams with a losing record. Cleveland has lost six of its last seven games, with each of those losses coming by two runs or more.

* Final Score Prediction: Boston Red Sox: 7 – Cleveland Indians: 3 *