By: Al Walsh – Follow him on Twitter @14AdotWalsh
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* 2019 MLB Record: 38-28-2 (58%) *
[4:05 p.m. EST] St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals (-159)
STL: Dakota Hudson – R (2-1, 5.63 ERA)
WSH: Stephen Strasburg – R (2-1, 3.82 ERA)
The Nationals will look to avoid a four-game sweep at the hands of the Cardinals and luckily, Dakota Hudson and his 1.92 WHIP will be taking the mound. Hudson lucked out in his last outing by drawing the lowly Reds offense, but this time he’ll be facing a Nationals team that has plenty of power packed in this lineup, despite missing Trea Turner and Anthony Rendon.
Washington will have Stephen Strasburg on the hill, and he’s been fantastic in each of the last two outings, allowing only six hits, three walks and two runs over 15 innings while striking out 20 batters. This is why the Nats pay Stras the big bucks – to shut down losing streaks like the one they’re on now.
Even with all the turmoil going on in DC, it’s incredibly tough to sweep a team in a four-game series on the road. Look for Strasburg to have a solid outing and save his team from the ultimate embarrassment at home.
* Final Score Prediction: Washington Nationals: 6 – St. Louis Cardinals: 3 *
[8:10 p.m. EST] Boston Red Sox (-1.5, -136) at Chicago White Sox
BOS: David Price – L (1-2, 3.60 ERA)
CHW: Lucas Giolito – R (2-1, 5.30 ERA)
Are the Red Sox fully back on track yet? I wouldn’t go that far, but they did take a big step in doing so by sweeping the A’s in a three-game series. Not to mention, the defending champs are 8-4 over the last 12 games.
David Price takes the hill for Boston, and he does look like someone who is fully back on track. He has now allowed two runs or fewer in each of his last three starts while striking out at least seven in those games. While Price doesn’t have much of a history against this Chicago roster, the lefty has held Jose Abreu in check (3-for-21, 4 Ks) over the course of his career.
Lucas Giolito will be making his first start since straining his hamstring, which led to a 10-day stint on the injured list. Surely, he could have some rust, but this is a Red Sox offense that scored 21 runs over the last three games. Not to mention, Giolito will likely be limited in his first start back, and the White Sox just played a doubleheader yesterday – the bullpen is not coming into this game at 100 percent.
Vegas has already adjusted the IRT for each side, giving the Red Sox at +0.3 increase while the White Sox got a -0.3 decrease. In addition, Boston also had its moneyline increase massively, from -156 to -205 – the largest on today’s entire MLB slate. We should have more than enough confidence to roll with the 1.5-run line at -136, as opposed to the massive -210 moneyline.
* Final Score Prediction: Boston Red Sox: 7 – Chicago White Sox: 3 *
[10:07 p.m. EST] Under 9 – Toronto Blue Jays at Los Angeles Angels
TOR: Aaron Sanchez – R (3-1, 2.32 ERA)
LAA: Tyler Skaggs – L (2-2, 3.15 ERA)
I’m a big believer in Aaron Sanchez, and when he finally gets his control issues in order, we’ll be looking at a pitcher going six innings with ease. Unfortunately, the righty has issued 15 walks over his last 20 innings of work. Hence, why Sanchez has only made it out of the sixth inning in two of his six starts this season.
Aside from a rough outing at Wrigley Field, Tyler Skaggs has been solid in three of his four starts. Tonight, he’ll face a Blue Jays team that ranks third-worst in power metrics (ISO: .109) against left-handed pitching. Not to mention, the Blue Jays had a string of five straight games going under the total snapped last night, but that was because the Angels scored six runs – the Blue Jays only scored three.
I feel like both starting pitchers will keep runs off the board early and most the offense will come against the bullpens, albeit too late.
* Final Score Prediction: Los Angeles Angels: 4 – Toronto Blue Jays: 3 *