SpreadKnowledge MLB Free Pick of the Day – Thursday, September 12

[8:10 p.m. EST] Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros (1.5-run line: -130)
OAK: Homer Bailey – R (12-8, 4.87 ERA/1.35 WHIP)
HOU: Justin Verlander – R (18-5, 2.52 ERA/0.77 WHIP)

The SpreadKnowledge MLB Free Pick of the Day comes to us from the A’s-Astros game. We like Houston to cover the run-line in this one.

This series has been absolutely crazy, as the Astros opened with 15 runs and the A’s answered back the next night with 21. Oakland even took last night’s meeting, giving them a 5-2 record against Houston over the last seven meetings. It’s time for the Astros to take one back – in convincing fashion.

Justin Verlander has faced some weak competition of late, but he didn’t make the schedule. In fact, he’s done his job and then some, allowing four hits or less in five straight starts. Verlander has simply owned Oakland this season, posted a 2-0 record and 1.29 ERA in three starts – a span of 21 innings. Look for him to do the same tonight.

It won’t be easy for the A’s, considering they’ll be facing one of MLB’s best. Even more evident is how much they’ve struggled against him, scoring only three runs in 21 innings.

Homer Bailey has been effective in his last few outings, but his last against the Astros – not so much. In that outing, he allowed nine runs in two innings en route to an 11-1 win for Houston. While Bailey has gotten away with facing lesser teams, the Astros are certainly not one of them.

Right-handed batters are hitting .304 (compared to .220) against Bailey this season, and the Astros have plenty of them. Guys like George Springer, Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman can get the party popping in no time. Look for them to hop on Bailey early and often, just as they did last time they faced him.

We’ve got plenty of narratives to foresee the Astros clubbing the A’s tonight. Look for them to get to Bailey early and often, giving Verlander more than enough run support.

* Final Score Prediction * Houston Astros: 10 – Oakland Athletics: 2

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

You can sign up to grab the best analytics in the business at SpreadKnowledge.com.

SpreadKnowledge MLB Free Pick of the Day – Tuesday, September 10

By: Al Walsh – Follow him on  Twitter @14AdotWalsh
You can sign up to grab the best analytics in the business at SpreadKnowledge.com.

In order to get access to those same picks that were once in this space, sign up at the link above. 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.

Also, we’re happy to announce that we’re reducing prices this week before the start of NFL season. The prices on our packages are now going from:

Member + AI Boost: $90.00 to $60.00/month
Member: $30.00 to $20.00/month
BRAND NEW FREE PACKAGE: (find details on website)

* Use the Promo Code (SK15OFF) for an additional 15% off your subscription for the next 6 months *


[8:10 p.m. EST] Over 10 – Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros
OAK: Tanner Roark – R (9-8, 3.86 ERA/1.35 WHIP)
HOU: Wade Miley – L (13-4, 3.35 ERA/1.26 WHIP)

The SpreadKnowledge MLB Free Pick of the Day comes to us from the A’s-Astros game. Houston absolutely clobbered Oakland by the score of 15-0 last night, taking an 11-0 lead after two innings.

Each of the last two Astros’ games has been quite silly, to say the least. The AL West leaders have now scored a total of 36 runs over the last two games, outscoring their opponents 36-1. Yikes!

While the A’s got destroyed last night, they do hit left-handed pitching well and did post a double-digit number of runs in two games late last week.
Tanner Roark has been outstanding since coming to Oakland, but fly-ball pitchers don’t tend to do well with the small dimensions at Minute Maid Park. Just as we saw last night, the Astros jumped all over a very good pitcher in Mike Fiers, and tonight’s matchup against Roark is another one they can certainly take advantage of.

Wade Miley has done a great job against the A’s this season, posting a 1.83 ERA in three meetings. However, Miley didn’t even record an out in his last start against the lowly Mariners, and that has to be a cause for concern heading into a matchup against a desperate team looking to rebound.

You can make the argument that Houston will cover 10 runs all by itself. Taking the Astros has plenty of value here, but it’s tough to fully trust Miley after that last start against the Mariners. We should have more faith in runs being scored, with a few homers being hit in the process.

* Final Score Prediction * Houston Astros: 10 – Oakland Athletics: 5

SpreadKnowledge MLB Free Pick of the Day – Tuesday, August 27

By: Al Walsh – Follow him on  Twitter @14AdotWalsh
* 2019 MLB Record: 222-171-10 (56.5%) *

SpreadKnowledge is going with a new format for our free article/mailer from here on out. For our highest-rated picks, you can sign up at SpreadKnowledge.com.

In order to get access to those same picks that were once in this space, sign up at the link above. 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.

Also, we’re happy to announce that we’re reducing prices this week before the start of NFL season. The prices on our packages are now going from:

Member + AI Boost: $90.00 to $60.00/month
Member: $30.00 to $20.00/month
BRAND NEW FREE PACKAGE: (find details on website)

* Use the Promo Code (SK15OFF) for an additional 15% off your subscription for the next 6 months *


[8:10 p.m. EST] Under 7.5 – Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros
TB: Charlie Morton – R (13-5, 2.85 ERA/1.06 WHIP)
HOU: Justin Verlander – R (15-5, 2.77 ERA/0.81 WHIP)

The SpreadKnowledge MLB Free Pick of the Day comes to us from the Astros-Rays game on Tuesday night. We’re going with the under in this game, considering Vegas adjusted the game total from 8.5 to 7.5, with both sides getting significant IRT (implied run total) decreases – Rays: -0.7, Astros: -0.4.

Justin Verlander has endured some of the worst possible luck in recent starts, but he’s still pitching at an elite level. In fact, the electric righty has now posted double-digit strikeout games in each of his last seven outings.

Although it was all the way back in March, Verlander dazzled the Rays in seven innings of one-run ball while striking out nine batters. Tampa Bay comes into today’s game after losing two straight games to the Orioles, followed by on off-day, so their bats and minds are still likely to be in a funk on Tuesday night.

Charlie Morton returns to the city that basically reinvented his career, and got him a World Series ring. The veteran righty has talked in recent days about loving it here in Houston and having all the respect in the world for his old teammates, but he’s got a job to do – and more importantly, the Rays are still fighting for that second AL Wild Card spot.

This is a matchup between two of the best arms in baseball, so we should definitely expect these guys to feed off one another. It’s worth noting, many opposing pitchers have done the same in trying to match Verlander, as six of his last seven starts have resulted in the game total reaching seven runs or fewer.

* Final Score Prediction * Houston Astros: 3 – Tampa Bay Rays: 2

SpreadKnowledge MLB Free Pick of the Day – Saturday, August 24

By: Al Walsh – Follow him on  Twitter @14AdotWalsh
* 2019 MLB Record: 217-164-10 (56.9%) *

SpreadKnowledge is going with a new format for our free article/mailer from here on out. For our highest-rated picks, you can sign up at SpreadKnowledge.com.

In order to get access to those same picks that were once in this space, sign up at the link above. 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] Los Angeles Angels (ML: +180) at Houston Astros
LAA: Dillon Peters – L (3-1, 3.92 ERA/1.40 WHIP)
HOU: Wade Miley – L (12-4, 3.18 ERA/1.20 WHIP)

The SpreadKnowledge MLB Free Pick of the Day comes to us from the Angels-Astros game. We’re taking the Angels as a massive underdog here, considering they’ve been given a +0.6 IRT (implied run total) increase while Astros have been given a -0.1 decrease.

Wade Miley takes the ball for Houston, and he’s been getting absolutely ripped over his last two starts – in a span of nine innings, the lefty has allowed 19 hits and 10 runs (six earned), and this came against the Tigers and White Sox. The IRT increase we discussed at the top certainly has a lot to do with that.

Dillon Peters has done most of his best work since getting back into the starting rotation. That last outing against Texas didn’t go according to plan, but he did have three straight quality starts – two of them coming against solid offenses like Boston and Cleveland.

When looking at the Astros over the last few weeks, they haven’t played their best ball – and some of that came against cellar-dwellers like the Orioles and Tigers. As we come down the homestretch of the season, we’ve already seen some of these top teams take it easy since they know they’ve got huge leads in the division and easy paths to the playoffs.

There will be nights when these teams simply mail it in, and that’s what Vegas is expecting from the Astros. Look for the Angels to pull the upset win, and bettors of theirs to make a nice profit in the process.

* Final Score Prediction * Los Angeles Angels: 7 – Houston Astros: 4

MLB Betting Value Picks for Monday, July 22

By: Al Walsh – Follow him on  Twitter @14AdotWalsh
* 2019 MLB Record: 151-122-7 (55.3%) *

[7:05 p.m. EST] Cleveland Indians (ML: -170) at Toronto Blue Jays
CLE: Mike Clevinger – R (3-2, 3.57 ERA/1.05 WHIP)
TOR: Ryan Borucki – L (season debut)

The SpreadKnowledge system has the Indians moneyline (-170) as the third-most outcome on today’s slate, making them one of three teams to receive an A-grade. Cleveland owns a 28-11 record since June 4, which is best in MLB over that span. Not to mention, the Indians swept a four-game series against the Blue Jays earlier this season.

After a couple of rough outings coming off the injured list, Mike Clevinger has gotten back on track with three starts of allowing one run or fewer. In those outings, he pitched a total of 17 innings and allowed only two runs and a 1.00 WHIP while striking out 27 batters.

The Blue Jays 3.9 implied total is the third-lowest on today’s entire schedule of games. For whatever it’s worth, Clevinger pitched five innings of shutout ball against Toronto back on April 7 and struck out 10 batters in the process.

We don’t have much to go on for Ryan Borucki, who has been limited to four minor league rehab outings this season. He will, however, run into a Cleveland offense that has a .366 weighted on-base average and .225 ISO (power metric) against left-handed pitching over the last 21 days.
Look for the Indians to keep rolling over a Blue Jays that finally gets to come back home after a tough 10-game road trip to open the second half of the season.

* Final Score Prediction * Cleveland Indians: 6 – Toronto Blue Jays: 2

[8:10 p.m. EST] Oakland Athletics (ML: +217) at Houston Astros
OAK: Homer Bailey – R (8-6, 4.69 ERA/1.40 WHIP)
HOU: Gerrit Cole – R (10-5, 3.12 ERA/1.03 WHIP)

The SpreadKnowledge system is ranking the A’s as one of the most valuable plays on the board tonight at +217 on the moneyline. It won’t be easy, as the Astros send Gerrit Cole to the mound, but there are a few reasons to think Oakland can pull off the upset on Monday.

Homer Bailey had a solid outing in his first start with the A’s, and he’s certainly capable of a repeat performance in this matchup, albeit against an Astros team that is as good as any in MLB. It is worth noting, though, that Bailey is 4-0 with a 1.46 ERA/0.92 WHIP in eight career starts against the Astros.

The A’s will need to be on top of their game if they plan of making up any ground in the AL West race, sitting 6.5 games behind the Astros. They’ll have to go through Cole, who has been on top of his game recently. But there is reason to think we could see him falter a little bit against a talented A’s lineup.

Oakland has zaftig .393 weighted on-base average and .282 ISO numbers against right-handed pitching over the last 21 days. Not to mention, the A’s have a 21-7 record since June 17, so we’re getting tons of value on a quality team here tonight.

* Final Score Prediction * Oakland A’s: 4 – Houston Astros: 3

[9:45 p.m. EST] Chicago Cubs (ML: -112) at San Francisco Giants
CHC: Alec Mills – R (0-0, 4.50 ERA/1.00 WHIP)
SF: Shaun Anderson – R (3-2, 4.87 ERA/1.50 WHIP)

The SpreadKnowledge system has the Cubs moneyline (-112) as the second-most likely outcome on tonight’s slate. After all, Chicago is 9-3 over the last 12 games and we’re getting an extremely good price on them in a matchup they should excel in.

Shaun Anderson takes the mound for the Giants, and he’s been getting hit around with great regularity. Over his last 13 1/3 innings, Anderson has allowed a total of 22 hits and 13 runs. The Cubs have been finding most of their success lately from the pitching, but this is a great spot for the offense to have a big night at Oracle Park. It’s really been the key players (Schwarber, Bryant, Rizzo, Baez) in the zone for this team lately, and a couple of good performances from these guys should have them comfortably in the lead for most of the night.

Alec Mills made his season debut on Tuesday, going six innings and allowing three runs. It wasn’t a performance worthy of hanging on our hat on tonight but looking at Mills career numbers, the 1.17 WHIP and 33 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings show that he’s off to a good start.

The Giants had a string of games where they were pounding the baseball, but their advanced
metrics against right-handed pitching took a big dip upon returning back to their home ballpark. Look for Mills to keep the San Francisco offense at bay for most of the night, and ultimately get the win.

* Final Score Prediction * Chicago Cubs: 6 – San Francisco Giants: 3

MLB “Back from the Break” Betting Value Pick for Thursday, July 11

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

* 2019 MLB Record: 131-110-5 (54.4%) *

[8:05 p.m. EST] Under 10.5 – Houston Astros at Texas Rangers
HOU: Frambler Valdez – L (4.57 ERA/1.37 WHIP)
TEX: Lance Lynn – R (11-4, 3.91 ERA/1.22 WHIP)

Lance Lynn was actually tied for the most wins (11) of any starting pitcher in baseball at the All-Star break with Lucas Giolito of the Chicago White Sox. And that win total isn’t necessarily a product of run support either, as we’re looking at a guy that has allowed three runs or fewer in 14 of his last 17 starts.

It has been quite a resurgent 2019 campaign for Lynn, who has pitched at least six innings in each of his last 13 outings – 11 of those were quality starts (at least six innings pitched, three earned runs or fewer allowed).

Lynn is 4-2 in seven lifetime starts against the Astros, with a 2.25 ERA and 1.18 WHIP, while the total has gone under in five of those games.

Frambler Valdez takes the ball for the Astros. After starting the season in the bullpen, his last four outings have come as a starter. Those outings have seen mixed results, but the one constant in the quality starts was that Valdez racked up a total of 15 strikeouts, as opposed to only five in the other two.

Well, strikeouts shouldn’t be a problem for Valdez tonight, as the Rangers struck out at a massive 37.4% clip against left-handed pitching in the 21 days before the All-Star break. In fact, eight hitters in the projected Texas lineup tonight have a K-rate of at least 27% against lefties over that same time frame.

At his best, Valdez has gone six and seven innings in his most effective outings. We’re certainly banking on that tonight, given how poorly the Rangers are making contact against left-handed pitching.

Behind Valdez will be the Houston bullpen, which has the fifth-best ERA (3.88) in all of baseball this season. In general, the Astros have held the Rangers to four runs or fewer in six of the 10 meetings this season.

Seven of Lynn’s last nine starts have produced a single-digit run total, and it’s quite telling that Vegas has adjusted the initial 11.0 total down to 10.5. Perhaps, they got a look at the numbers after releasing the line and thought, “Oh my, this Lynn guy isn’t so bad.”

The SpreadKnowledge system likes the Rangers in this game with Lynn on the mound, so we’ll give them the win in the final prediction. However, the play that really stands out here is the total going under 10.5 runs.

* Final Score Prediction * Texas Rangers: 5 – Houston Astros: 4

MLB Betting Value Picks for Monday, June 17

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

* 2019 MLB Record: 110-91-4 (54.7%) *

[7:05 p.m. EST] Over 10 (-108) – 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)

Vegas is loving some runs in this game, elevating the IRTs (implied run totals) for each team – Nationals: +0.7, Phillies: +0.3.

Jake Arrieta has not been at his best of late and the 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. The road has not been kind to Arrieta either, 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 been brutal. Over his last three starts (12 2/3 innings), the lefty has allowed 22 hits and 20 runs (16 earned) – yikes!

According to the advanced metric xwOBA, 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.

FYI: This game might get off to a late start with a 50% chance of rain in the forecast from 7-9 p.m. I don’t see that causing any issues for either offense.

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

[7:05 p.m. EST] Under 9 (+100) – Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees
TB: Yonny Chirinos – R (7-2, 2.88 ERA/0.93 WHIP)
NYY: Masahiro Tanaka – R (4-5, 3.58 ERA/1.18 WHIP)

While Yankee Stadium isn’t exactly the place we usually look for the total going under, there is a nice matchup of dueling righties on the mound tonight.

The Spread Knowledge Trend Confidence rating has the under on this game as the highest grade of the evening. A big reason is that nine of the last 13 Rays’ games have gone under the total. Also, the total has dropped slightly from 9.5 to 9.0, and the Yankees’ IRT dropped from 5.2 to 4.8 – usually a good sign for the under.

Masahiro Tanaka hasn’t been at his best lately, but he does have fantastic lifetime numbers (0.96 career WHIP) against the Rays. That includes 13 innings of work against them this season, allowing only eight hits and one run while striking out 13 batters. In his last six starts against the Rays, Tanaka has allowed two runs or fewer in five of those – one run or fewer in four of them.

Yonny Chirinos has made a smooth transition to becoming a legit starter, and he’s allowed two runs or fewer in six of the last seven outings – one run or fewer in four of the last six. The electric righty has done a fine job of limiting runs against the Yankees, allowing no runs in two of his four career meetings – the latest coming at Yankee Stadium.

Both of these teams have incredibly-talented bullpens, so I certainly won’t bet against them. Look for this to be a low-scoring game that comes down to the very end.

* Final Score Prediction: Tampa Bay Rays: 4 – New York Yankees: 3 –*

[7:10 p.m. EST] Under 8.5 (-112) Houston Astros at Cincinnati Reds
HOU: Wade Miley – L (6-3, 3.14 ERA/1.16 WHIP)
CIN: Luis Castillo – R (6-1, 2.20 ERA/1.09 WHIP)

It’s a fantastic matchup of arms, as Wade Miley and Luis Castillo go up against one another, in a ballpark that usually makes pitchers weep. The total going under in this game is also one of the highest grades on the SK Trend Confidence rating.

Let’s start with Castillo, who has allowed one earned run in each of his last three starts. It’s quite telling that the Astros are underdogs, given that they’re 1-4 when having that label this season. Obviously, Castillo and his dominance play a big part in tonight’s line, but Houston is also coming off a 12-0 shellacking at the hands of Toronto yesterday. Sure, the Astros’ lineup is missing some key pieces, but you can’t be getting beat by the Blue Jays like that.

If, for some reason, Castillo doesn’t make it too deep into this start, no worries. The Cincy bullpen is leading a number of categories in advanced metrics over the last seven days.

Miley has been a pleasant surprise for the Astros this season, especially of late, allowing two runs or fewer in seven of the last nine starts. I don’t see him being as dominant as Castillo tonight, but certainly enough to not let this run total get out of hand. I’d be willing to bet that someone like Eugenio Suarez or Yasiel Puig tag him for a long ball, and that’ll ultimately be the difference.

I’m giving the Reds the win in this one, on the strength of a dominant performance from Castillo. It’s also a good sign for him that Houston loses its DH playing in the National League park.

* Final Score Prediction: Cincinnati Reds: 4 – Houston Astros: 1 *

[10:07 p.m. EST] Baltimore Orioles at Oakland Athletics (1.5-run line: -114)
BAL: Andrew Cashner – R (6-2, 4.63 ERA/1.38 WHIP)
OAK: Mike Fiers – R (6-3, 4.63 ERA/1.14 WHIP)

We’ve got trends galore in our favor for the A’s over the Orioles tonight – listen up!

Oakland is favored by its highest moneyline of the season tonight at -230. The A’s have been favored by -200 or more only twice this season, winning both games and scoring a total of 20 runs. Vegas knows what they’re doing.

The A’s will face Andrew Cashner, who they’ve beat up on a consistent basis. The veteran righty has a 6.83 ERA/1.69 WHIP against Oakland lifetime, and a lot of the hitters on the current roster have fantastic BvP numbers against him.

Mike Fiers has been fantastic over his last nine starts, allowing three runs or fewer each time out. He’s been even better against the Orioles, with a 3-1 record and 2.08 ERA/0.88 WHIP lifetime. Fiers also has great numbers at home this season, going 4-2 with a 0.95 WHIP. Over the last two seasons, Fiers’ team is 19-5 when he pitches at home and 16-7 when he pitches against teams with a losing record.

Oakland has been relaxing here on the West coast, while Baltimore had to travel across the country yesterday for tonight’s game. Look for them to experience plenty of jet-lag and the A’s to get a comfortable victory.

* Final Score Prediction: Oakland Athletics: 7 – Baltimore Orioles: 2 *

MLB Betting Value Picks for Monday, June 3

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

* 2019 MLB Record: 93-74-4 (55.7%) *

[10:00 p.m. EST] Under 7.5 – Philadelphia Phillies at San Diego Padres
PHI: Aaron Nola – R (6-0, 4.18 ERA/1.48 WHIP)
SD: Eric Lauer – L (4-4, 4.45 ERA/1.26 WHIP)

The two most-sought-after free agents from this offseason will go head-to-head for the first time with their new ball clubs. Each of these teams will also be looking to get back on the good foot after losing some games recently – the Phils with four straight and the Padres with five in their last seven.

Aaron Nola has been a solid mix of good and lucky with the number of walks he’s allowed, but tonight’s outing should veer more to the side of dominant. The Padres have struggled mightily against right-handed pitching over the last 14 days, with a .294 wOBA, .166 ISO and 30.2% K-rate. Nola has allowed exactly one run in five of his last seven outings, so the Padres could be in for trouble once again.

Eric Lauer will be pitching on his 24th birthday and he’s been fantastic lately, allowing only three earned runs over his last 18 innings. In fact, Lauer’s only bad outing since early April came at Coors Field against the Rockies’ talented lineup. The home/road splits have been much more in his favor at PETCO Park, where Lauer has a 2.67 ERA, as opposed to the 6.84 ERA he’s amassed on the road.

All in all, both offenses haven’t been great over the last 14 days. Perhaps, the Phils get a couple of solo shots out of the yard tonight, but it appears like we’ll have a classic low-scoring game in San Diego.

* Final Score Prediction: Philadelphia Phillies: 4 – San Diego Padres: 1 *

[10:00 p.m. EST] Over 9.5 – Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners
HOU: Corbin Martin – R (1-1, 5.51 ERA/1.71 WHIP)
SEA: Wade LeBlanc – L (1-1, 6.99 ERA/1.66 WHIP)

The Astros’ offense hasn’t been as dominant without the trio of Jose Altuve, George Springer and Carlos Correa all on the shelf, but they’ll certainly have a chance to do some major damage tonight.

Wade LeBlanc has gotten beat around in the majority of his starts this season, and that has certainly produced a lot of runs in those outings. In fact, the six outings which LeBlanc has started this season have averaged a game-total of 16 runs. Yikes! Bad for the Mariners, but good for us bettors of the over tonight.

One thing always working against the Mariners is their defense, which leads MLB with 69 errors – 22 more than the second-worst team. Seattle’s offense can add some fuel to the over here as well, as its 106 homers rank second-best in MLB and 41 stolen bases rank third.

Corbin Martin hasn’t been that same dominant pitcher that we all remember from his MLB debut on Mother’s Day. In his most recent outing, the Cubs’ offense lit him up for three solo homers in 3 2/3 innings. Speaking on the Mariners’ power above, they should be able to take advantage of Martin’s recent struggles. Sure, Jay Bruce has moved on to Philly (and he probably won’t be the last player on this team to be traded), but they do have enough guys to fill the power void.

The proof is in the pudding when LeBlanc takes the mound – runs go on the board. Martin should serve up a long ball or two, giving us a nice path to the over tonight.

* Final Score Prediction: Houston Astros: 10 – Seattle Mariners: 6 *

MLB Betting Value Picks for Wednesday, May 29

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

* 2019 MLB Record: 82-64-4 (56.2%) * <— includes Monday’s KC/CHW continuation game


[7:10 p.m. EST] Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays (1.5-run line: -124)
TOR: Trent Thornton – R (1-4, 4.42 ERA/1.27 WHIP)
TB: Blake Snell – L (3-4, 3.07 ERA/1.01 WHIP)

The Rays are massive favorites tonight and it comes with plenty of good reasoning. So much, in fact, that their 1.5-run line odds are the highest SK Trend Confidence rating of the evening. Tampa comes in winning five of its last six games, with all of the victories coming by two runs or more.

Blake Snell takes the mound for the Rays and he’s been outstanding of late, allowing a total of four runs and striking out 37 batters over his last 24 1/3 innings of work. That’s bad news for the Blue Jays, who own the third-worst wOBA (.275) and ninth-worst K-rate (25.2%) against left-handed pitching. Snell faced Toronto already once this season and allowed only one hit and one walk while striking out nine over six innings. The current Blue Jays’ roster also has a microscopic .145 batting average and .217 on-base percentage in 68 plate appearances against Snell.

No surprise at all that Toronto has the lowest IRT (2.9) on tonight’s slate, considering their .234 wOBA and .118 ISO marks against left-handed pitching over the last 14 days.

Trent Thornton takes the mound for the Blue Jays and he’ll have a tough task as the Rays rank fourth in wRC+ (116) and seventh in wOBA (.340) against right-handed pitching this season. Control has been an issue for Thornton of late, with nine of them issued in his last 17 2/3 innings of work. Back on April 12, the Rays rocked him in Tampa for eight hits and five runs (three homers) over three innings.

It’s a massive mismatch of starting pitchers at Tropicana Field, so look for the Rays to take the early lead and coast to victory tonight.

* Final Score Prediction: Tampa Bay Rays: 6 – Toronto Blue Jays: 0 *

[7:20 p.m. EST] Over 10.5 (-106) – Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves (1.5-run line: +120)
WSH: Anibal Sanchez – R (0-6, 5.10 ERA/1.68 WHIP)
ATL: Kevin Gausman – R (2-3, 4.33 ERA/1.22 WHIP)

We just talked about the team with the lowest IRT of the night, so it’s only right to gloat about the team with the highest of the night. Atlanta’s 6.0 IRT tops them all and we get even better news since it increased +0.8 from the 5.2-mark initially set, while they also have the highest moneyline increase of the night.

Folks, I start putting down-payments on yachts when I see movement like this! Sure, the moneyline sounds fun, but getting plus-money on the 1.5-run line here is the Woodstock of sports betting.

Anibal Sanchez gets the ball fresh off the injured list, and that’s good news for the Braves. The aging righty has yet to win a game and the Nats have lost seven of his nine starts this season. I talk about it in this space all the time, but Washington’s bullpen is absolutely terrible and there’s a good chance we’ll see plenty of them tonight.

While Sanchez might not give up a ton of homers, the Braves will likely put plenty of guys on base tonight. Atlanta is tied for eighth in MLB with a .334 on-base percentage against right-handed pitching and Sanchez has allowed more hits (46) than innings pitched (42 1/3), and his 25 walks won’t help either.

Kevin Gausman had some rough outings to close out April, but this is a new month. The veteran righty has three consecutive quality starts and hasn’t allowed one homer since the calendar flipped to May. I’m not expecting a career-defining performance from Gausman tonight but certainly one that’ll give the Braves some breathing room throughout the game.

* Final Score Prediction: Atlanta Braves: 10 – Washington Nationals: 4 *  

[8:10 p.m. EST] Under 9 – Chicago Cubs (ML: -108) at Houston Astros
CHC: Kyle Hendricks – R (4-4, 3.34 ERA/1.18 WHIP)
HOU: Wade Miley – L (5-2, 3.32 ERA/1.16 WHIP)

The Astros suffered yet another devastating injury with the loss of Carlos Correa – he’ll join Jose Altuve and George Springer on the injured list. While they’ve done a fine job of navigating without the latter two, this one might be too much to overcome. Vegas knows the deal, and that’s why Houston’s IRT decreased a whopping -0.6 (5.1 to 4.5) for tonight’s game.

When we look at the two starting pitchers for this game, we might not expect much. But that’s a big mistake.

Kyle Hendricks is the homeless man’s Greg Maddux, in that he’s able to get the job done without ever reaching 90 mph on the radar gun. With a depleted Astros’ lineup, look for them to struggle against getting into a rhythm with this crafty right-hander.

Wade Miley is basically the left-handed version of Hendricks, and he’s coming off a season-high eight-strikeout performance against the Red Sox. The Cubs have top-10 advanced metrics against lefties this season, but Miley has only allowed more than three runs once in his 11 starts.

At the end of the day, I like the Cubs to play some desperate baseball and avoid the sweep with their better top-to-bottom lineup. But it won’t be a high-scoring affair.

* Final Score Prediction: Chicago Cubs: 4 – Houston Astros: 2 *

MLB Betting Value Picks for Wednesday, May 22

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

* 2019 MLB Record: 74-51-4 *

[7:05 p.m. EST] Over 10 (-118) – New York Yankees (1.5-run line -168) at Baltimore Orioles
NYY: CC Sabathia – L (2-1, 2.97 ERA/1.21 WHIP)
BAL: Dan Straily – R (1-3, 8.51 ERA/1.89 WHIP)

Once again, the top SK Trend Confidence rating is the over in the Orioles-Yankees game. And it’s not hard to see why, with Dan Straily taking the mound for Baltimore. The veteran righty has gotten lit up all season, especially at Camden Yards, allowing nine homers and a 2.35 WHIP over 18 1/3 innings. Straily has allowed a total 15 runs over his last 12 innings of work and the opposition has scored at least seven runs in each of his last four starts.

The Yankees’ offense is rolling, with a double-digit run output in each of their last three games. Much like last night, the best value is going with the over, considering the Yanks’ crazy moneyline (-235), but I don’t mind taking them on the 1.5-run line (-166). Whenever we see so much juice on that 1.5-run line, it almost always tends to win.

CC Sabathia has been on top of his game this season, but if there is a knock on him, it’s the 4.70 ERA and .237 opposing average he’s allowed on the road. The Orioles have hit their fair share of homers against the Yanks this season, but it’s not much of a surprise, considering both teams play in extreme hitter’s parks.

Look for the Yanks to continue adding on to the hurt Straily’s been feeling at Camden Yards this season. But, of course, we’re also looking for the Orioles to chip in a few as well on the total.

* Final Score Prediction: New York Yankees: 10 – Baltimore Orioles: 4 *

[7:10 p.m. EST] Under 6.5 (-114) – Washington Nationals at New York Mets
WSH: Max Scherzer – R (2-5, 3.72 ERA/1.19 WHIP)
NYM: Jacob deGrom – R (3-5, 3.98 ERA/1.17 WHIP)

Sure, both guys haven’t been at the top of their games for most of this season. However, the history of each pitcher against the opposition is just too good to pass up and the SK Trend Confidence rating is high on the total going under.

Max Scherzer will certainly be determined to take down the reigning Cy Young award winner and his squad. The Mets’ current roster has a combined .165 batting average, .219 on-base percentage and 38% K-rate against him lifetime. Although Scherzer has thrown a quality start in six of the last seven outings, it’s amazing to believe that the Nationals are only 2-8 in his 10 starts this season.

Jacob deGrom got absolutely waxed in his last start, which came against the lowly Marlins. We can call that bad luck or just a case of Miami having a good history against deGrom, but I’ll be willing to overlook that. Main reason – the Nationals’ current roster has a combined .175 batting average, .212 on-base percentage and 34.5% K-rate against deGrom.

Given the history of these pitchers against each team, we won’t see much scoring in this game. I’ll give the Mets the final advantage with the better bullpen and this odd trend of the Nationals losing the majority of Scherzer’s starts.

* Final Score Prediction: New York Mets: 3 – Washington Nationals: 2 *

[8:10 p.m. EST] Over 8.5 (-106) – Chicago White Sox at Houston Astros (1.5-run line: -166)
CHW: Ivan Nova – R (2-4, 7.42 ERA/1.80 WHIP)
HOU: Gerrit Cole – R (4-4, 3.56 ERA/1.04 WHIP)

Ivan Nova has been absolutely ripped to shreds this season, so it’s not a good sign for him to be facing an Astros team that ranks at, or near, the top of every advanced metric against right-handed pitching. While the veteran righty has allowed at least eight baserunners in each one of his nine starts this season, teams like the Blue Jays and Indians weren’t able to capitalize with runs – don’t expect Nova to be so lucky tonight against the Astros.

Gerrit Cole has only allowed one run over his last four starts, and I would expect that to continue today against a White Sox team that has scored two runs or fewer in four of the last six games. It’s interesting to note, a James McCann and Yonder Alonso have a decent history against Cole, so maybe they can step into one and help us out with the total.

With all that information on today’s starting pitchers and opposing offenses, we should fully expect the Astros to beat Nova over the head and the cover the total as well. With a little luck on our side, maybe (JUST MAYBE!) the White Sox can add a run or two.

* Final Score Prediction: Houston Astros: 9 – Chicago White Sox: 2 *

[9:45 p.m. EST] Under 7.5 (-116) – Atlanta Braves at San Francisco Giants
ATL: Max Fried – L (6-2, 2.86 ERA/1.13 WHIP)
SF: Jeff Samardzija – R (2-2, 3.69 ERA/1.19 WHIP)

We’ve got a heavy trend of totals going under with both sides and they’ll be playing in one of the worst parks in baseball for offense. What a perfect match.

Jeff Samardzija gets a difficult matchup against the Braves, but he has been much better at Oracle Park this season, posting a 2.61 ERA and allowing an opposing batting average of .211. Atlanta’s offense has been somewhat neutralized since coming to San Francisco and its last four games have actually gone under the total. That also makes eight of the last 12 for the Braves that have suffered the same fate.

The key to the under tonight is the California kid, Max Fried, and his matchup against a Giants team that usually always struggles on offense. San Francisco games have gone under the total in three straight and in five of the last six. Fried is coming off one of his best outings of the season, throwing six innings of shutout ball while allowing two hits, two walks and striking out five.

All in all, the ballpark is going to help us more than anything, but the two pitchers certainly help the situation. Look for Atlanta to get the win, with Fried pitching a solid game.

* Final Score Prediction: Atlanta Braves: 4 – San Francisco Giants: 2 *