By: Al Walsh – Follow him on Twitter @14AdotWalsh and listen to Al on 104.9 FM’s “The Horn” today at 11:30 p.m. EST talk about these picks and more!
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* 2019 MLB Record: 70-44-4 (61.3%) *
[1:20 p.m. EST] Milwaukee Brewers (-125) at Atlanta Braves
MIL: Brandon Woodruff – R (6-1, 3.72 ERA)
ATL: Mike Foltynewicz – R (0-3, 8.02 ERA)
We’ve got two pitchers heading in absolutely different directions. The Braves did take the first two games of this series, so naturally, I’m expecting the Brew Crew to avoid the sweep today. You know me and my affinity for teams in that scenario.
Brandon Woodruff has allowed a total of three runs over his last four starts, all NL East opponents – and not one of them was the Marlins. So, what’s adding another team to the list?
Mike Foltynewicz has gotten ripped in every outing this season — no sugar coating it. The righty has allowed 23 runs (19 earned) and eight homers in a total of 21 1/3 innings. Not to mention, the opposing team has scored at least nine runs in every one of Folty’s starts this season.
Milwaukee has one of the best lineups in baseball and should take advantage of the struggling Folty early on today.
* Final Score Prediction: Milwaukee Brewers: 9 – Atlanta Braves: 4 *
[3:05 p.m. EST] St. Louis Cardinals (-150) at Texas Rangers
STL: Jack Flaherty – R (4-3, 4.34 ERA)
TEX: Drew Smyly – L (0-3, 6.85 ERA)
The Cardinals have been right around league-average against left-handed pitching, but Drew Smyly is no average pitcher – he’s much worse. The aging lefty has allowed at least four runs in four of his last five starts, and that’s while only making it out of the fifth inning once — yikes! Not only that, but Smyly has allowed five homers and a massive 1.69 WHIP over those last five starts.
I’m not in love with Jack Flaherty’s road numbers (1-2, 7.23 ERA in four starts) but he’s much better than Smyly and whomever the Rangers’ bullpen has coming out behind him. Flaherty was supposed to have a massive 2019 campaign, so perhaps the beginning of that comes alive today.
St. Louis does have some serious right-handed power at the top of its lineup and ultimately, I feel like that’ll be the difference — especially early on — today.
* Final Score Prediction: St. Louis Cardinals: 11 – Texas Rangers: 5 *
[4:00 p.m. EST] San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks (1.5-run line: +120)
SF: Drew Pomeranz – L (1-4, 5.93 ERA)
ARZ: Robbie Ray – L (3-1, 3.14 ERA)
The Diamondbacks have the second-best wOBA (.367) and ISO (.229) against left-handed pitching. Sure, MadBum had a solid start against them last night, but Drew Pomeranz is a far worse lefty – and if you want to look at judiciously, MadBum was reeeeeally good practice for Pomeranz. The lesser lefty, Pomeranz, has been hit hard in three of his last four outings before heading to the injured list.
Robbie Ray has been strong over his last five outings. Even in a start at Coors Field back on May 3, only one of five runs he allowed were earned. The Giants have not fared well against left-handed pitching this season, ranking second-worst in wOBA (.264) and fourth-worst in ISO (.114).
The analytics are certainly there – a solid lefty (Ray) going up against a team that sucks against lefties and a shitty lefty going up against a team that is great against lefties. Now, the D-Backs and Ray just have to go out there and do their job.
Last but not least, the total on this game has dropped all the way down to 8.0, thus giving the indication that Ray should be on his A-game today.
* Final Score Prediction: Arizona Diamondbacks: 6 – San Francisco Giants: 1 *