By: Al Walsh – Follow him on Twitter @14AdotWalsh
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* 2019 MLB Record: 40-29-2 (58%) *
[7:05 p.m. EST] Tampa Bay Rays (-1.5, -146) at Baltimore Orioles
TB: Tyler Glasnow – R (5-0, 1.75 ERA)
BAL: Dan Straily – R (1-2, 6.75 ERA)
We’ve got ourselves a good ole fashioned mismatch. Tyler Glasnow of the Rays has been virtually unhittable this season, with a microscopic 0.94 WHIP and allowing two runs or fewer in each of his six starts. Glasnow got the win against these same Orioles a little more than two weeks ago, allowing seven hits and two runs while striking out three over seven innings.
The Orioles are 3-9 over their last 12 games, with all of those wins coming against the White Sox. Dan Straily takes the hill at home for Baltimore and it has not been pretty for him this season, despite pitching a limited amount of innings. A 1.66 WHIP is what Straily has coughed up over 18 2/3 innings of work (five appearances/four starts), and it doesn’t help either that the Orioles’ bullpen has the worst ERA (6.27) in all of baseball.
Tampa’s offense gets a major park upgrade going into Camden Yards and did score 17 runs at home against Baltimore in its three-game series in mid-April. It’s quite intriguing to see the Rays have the highest IRT (5.8) of any team on tonight’s slate, so look for the Rays to continue putting the hurt on Orioles’ pitching in this matchup.
Although it’s a massive amount (-146) to lay on the 1.5-run line, I feel like Vegas is already telling us how big of an ass kicking this is going to be. I have enough confidence in the Rays to win by multiple runs and not be forced to lay -230 on the moneyline. Not to mention, Tampa’s moneyline increase from -190 to -230 is the highest on the entire slate.
* Final Score Prediction: Tampa Bay Rays: 8 – Baltimore Orioles: 1 *
[7:05 p.m. EST] Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies (-1.5, +118)
WSH: Jeremy Hellickson – R (2-0, 5.82 ERA)
PHI: Jerad Eickhoff – R (1-1, 2.12 ERA)
These injuries are starting to take a toll on the Nationals’ offense, which has scored three runs or less in six of their last seven games. Yesterday, they had a golden opportunity to put a world of hurt on a weak pitcher, Dakota Hudson of the Cardinals, and looked like a bunch of damn fools in the process – granted, they got the win (which I called), but it was not pretty. Already missing Trea Turner and Anthony Rendon, Washington was without Juan Soto yesterday for the second game in a row, and there’s no word yet on whether he’ll be in Friday’s lineup.
If Washington couldn’t lay into Hudson, tonight will seem even more difficult against Philly’s Jerad Eickhoff, who has been great since returning from injuries which caused him to miss nearly all of 2018. At Citizens Bank Park this season (vs. MIA, vs. NYM), Eickhoff has allowed only five hits, one walk and no runs while striking out 12 over 11 innings. With or without Soto, I can certainly see the Nationals struggling in any regard against the underrated righty.
One thing I really like about the Phils tonight is their leadoff hitter, Andrew McCutchen. In 19 career plate appearance against Hellickson, McCutchen is 4-for-12 with seven walks – that means he is very comfortable in the batter’s box against him. If McCutchen is getting on base, you can expect the rest of the order to follow suit. The Nationals’ bullpen also has a 5.87 ERA, which ranks second-worst in all of baseball.
* Final Score Prediction: Philadelphia Phillies: 6 – Washington Nationals: 3 *
[8:05 p.m. EST] Toronto Blue Jays at Texas Rangers (-1.5, +120)
TOR: Trent Thornton – R (0-3, 5.08 ERA)
TEX: Mike Minor – L (3-2, 2.88 ERA)
Mike Minor has a 0.91 WHIP and is holding opposing batters to a .179 batting average. Not a good sign for the Blue Jays, who have the fourth-worst power metrics (ISO: .112) and seventh-worst weighted on-base average (wOBA: .287) against left-handed pitching this season. Minor is coming off a dazzling 13-strikeout performance over seven innings in Seattle and, in his last two home starts (vs. HOU, vs. LAA), has only allowed a combined eight hits, four walks and no runs while striking out 14 over 16 innings. Not to mention, Toronto played a very late game in Anaheim last night and will actually lose two hours of sleep time crossing two time zones into Arlington today.
Before his last outing, the Blue Jays had lost five straight games that Trent Thornton started. Tonight, he’ll have the displeasure of facing a Rangers team that is averaging 6.3 runs per game at home this season – tops in MLB.
* Final Score Prediction: Texas Rangers: 7 – Toronto Blue Jays: 2 *
[8:40 p.m. EST] Over 11 – Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies
ARZ: Robbie Ray – L (1-1, 4.18 ERA)
COL: Tyler Anderson – L (0-2, 11.34 ERA)
The Rockies’ offense is clicking like no other at the moment, hanging 11 runs in back-to-back days at Milwaukee. In fact, Colorado has now scored at least seven runs in six of its last eight games. That’s great news for us bettors on the over, getting a hot offense against a pitcher they have clobbered historically. Robbie Ray has only won twice in 10 starts against the Rockies since 2016, and he allowed at least four runs in each of those outings. That’s actually a soft intro because Colorado has posted four runs or more in five of his last seven starts against them. The Rockies’ current roster has a combined .353 batting average, 1.095 OPS and 11 home runs in 153 plate appearances against Ray.
If that wasn’t enough, Tyler Anderson and his 11.34 ERA/2.16 WHIP take the mound for the Rockies this evening. All four of his starts have resulted in the game total reaching double-digits and, in two starts (vs. LAD, vs. WSH) at Coors Field this season, Anderson has allowed a combined 13 hits, six walks and 11 runs over seven innings.
I normally don’t condone grown men wearing baseball gloves to games, but if you’re sitting in the Coors Field outfield tonight, this might be the lone exception.
* Final Score: Arizona Diamondbacks: 9 – Colorado Rockies: 8 *