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|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|06-12-21||Padres v. Mets +1.5||Top||1-4||Win||100||9 h 14 m||Show|
N.L. Run-Line Game of the Month. My selection is on New York +1.5 runs over San Diego at 4:10 pm et on Saturday.
The Mets got the better of the Padres in last night's pitcher's duel (we won with the 'under') and I expect a similar story to unfold on Saturday.
Joe Musgrove will take the ball for San Diego. He's off to an incredible start this season and of course already has a no-hitter to his credit. However, he has struggled in four daytime starts, posting a 4.50 ERA and he averages just north of five innings per start on the road. Musgrove has already faced the Mets once this season and it was one of his worst starts of the season as he allowed three earned runs on eight hits over just five innings (he did strike out 10 along the way). While the Padres bullpen working behind him has posted excellent overall numbers this season, I still feel it's an overworked group, having already pitched 271 innings (prior to last night's game). We've seen some regression from the Padres relief corps in recent weeks and could certainly see more of that should they get extended today.
Marcus Stroman will counter for the Mets. He didn't allow a single earned run over 6 2/3 innings when he faced San Diego on June 6th. Stroman checks in sporting an impressive 2.02 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in four home starts this season. He's lasted at least six innings in six straight starts and behind him is one of the best bullpens in baseball, particularly here at home where the Mets relief corps has posted a collective 1.69 ERA and 1.11 WHIP (entering last night's action).
We'll grab the insurance run here but hopefully won't need it. Take New York +1.5 runs (10*).
|06-11-21||Rangers v. Dodgers -1.5||Top||1-12||Win||100||15 h 23 m||Show|
MLB Interleague Run-Line Game of the Year. My selection is on Los Angeles -1.5 runs over Texas at 10:10 pm et on Friday.
The Dodgers are showing signs of getting rolling again, coming off a three-game sweep of the Pirates in Pittsburgh. I look for them to win in convincing fashion with Clayton Kershaw on the hill against Mike Foltynewicz on Friday night.
Foltynewicz is a somewhat familiar face to the Dodgers from his days in the National League. In six career starts against them, he's posted a 6.11 ERA and 1.71 WHIP. Of course, that's pretty much par for the course for Folty as so far this season he owns a 5.40 ERA and 1.52 WHIP in four road starts, with the Rangers winning just one of those games. While he has worked seven innings in two of his last three starts, he's still averaging just 5.5 innings per start this season which is concerning as the Rangers bullpen has been awful on the road, posting a collective 5.58 ERA and 1.57 WHIP.
Clayton Kershaw is coming off back-to-back rough outings but should get back on track here. He has posted a 3.55 ERA and 0.95 WHIP in six home starts, with the Dodgers winning four of those games. Note that he's absolutely owned the opposition in three previous interleague starts, recording a sparkling 0.92 ERA and 0.56 WHIP in 19 2/3 innings of work. While the Rangers have hit better against left-handers this season, better is a relative term in this case as they're still averaging just 4.1 runs per game and hitting .241 against southpaws. With Kershaw averaging around 6 1/3 innings per start here at home, the Dodgers bullpen may not have to factor in too much, but it's worth noting that they've recorded a collective 2.75 ERA and 1.02 WHIP at home this season. Over their last seven games (entering yesterday's action) they've posted a 2.60 ERA and 0.90 WHIP with no blown saves. Take Los Angeles -1.5 runs (10*).
|06-05-21||Nationals +1.5 v. Phillies||2-5||Loss||-165||10 h 15 m||Show|
My selection is on Washington +1.5 runs over Philadelphia at 4:05 pm et on Saturday.
The Nats' are a small underdog (at the time of writing) on Saturday, allowing us to grab the insurance run in a spot where I believe they have an edge. Joe Ross will get the start for Washington. While he's struggled for the most part this season, day games haven't been an issue as he's posted a 1.75 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in five afternoon outings. Ross averages less than five innings per start but behind him is a Nationals bullpen that has also fared very well in day games, recording a collective 2.49 ERA and 1.16 WHIP with four converted saves compared to just one blown. Spencer Howard will counter for Philadelphia. He has made just two starts this season and has yet to work beyond the fourth inning. Note that the Nationals will be getting their second look at Howard since last August. We're likely to see plenty of the Phillies 'pen on this day, and that relief corps has struggled here at home this season, posting a 5.14 ERA and 1.38 WHIP. Take Washington +1.5 runs (10*).
|06-01-21||Rays v. Yankees +1.5||3-5||Win||100||10 h 40 m||Show|
My selection is on New York +1.5 runs over Tampa Bay at 7:05 pm et on Tuesday.
This is a classic case of two teams heading in opposite directions but I look for the Yankees to potentially turn the tide on Tuesday night in the Bronx. Tyler Glasnow gets the start for New York. The Yanks will be getting their second look at him this season after chasing him from a start here in New York after only five innings back in mid-April. In fact, Glasnow has failed to work beyond the fifth inning in any of his last three starts against the Yankees and has only managed to last six innings against them once in eight career starts. That could be key here tonight as the Rays bullpen has been average at best on the road this season, posting a collective 4.31 ERA and 1.32 WHIP (entering yesterday's action). Domingo German will counter for New York. He has also struggled to work deep into ball games against the Rays although he did go six solid innings in a 6-2 win in his most recent start against them here at home. Note that German has been pitching well, having recorded a 1.45 ERA and 0.91 WHIP over his last three starts. He also owns a 2.25 ERA and 0.96 WHIP not to mention a perfect 4-0 team record in four nighttime starts this season. Behind German is a terrific Yankees bullpen that has posted a collective 2.96 ERA and 1.16 WHIP at home this season (entering yesterday's game). Take New York +1.5 runs (10*).
|05-19-21||White Sox v. Twins +1.5||2-1||Win||100||4 h 44 m||Show|
My selection is on Minnesota +1.5 runs over Chicago at 1:10 pm et on Wednesday.
It could certainly be argued that this game means a little more to the Twins than it does to the White Sox. Minnesota is wrapping up a six-game homestand and needs a victory today to salvage a 3-3 record. Meanwhile, the White Sox are sitting comfortably atop the A.L. Central standings and haven't lost consecutive games since April 15th and 17th. I'll grab the insurance run with the Twins here, as I don't think we'll see Chicago score enough to cover the run-line in this spot. The White Sox have scored four runs or less in six of their last seven games and are without one of their best hitters in Jose Abreu for this series. By contrast, Minnesota has scored four runs or more in four straight games, crossing the plate 20 times over that stretch. Note that Chicago is averaging just 3.9 runs per game in 16 daytime games this season. Meanwhile, Minnesota has gone a miserable 8-16 in day games despite averaging 5.1 runs per game. Expect some positive regression to the mean record-wise in that department for the Twins moving forward. Lucas Giolito gets the start for Chicago on Wednesday. The Twins faced him three times last season and knocked him around for 12 earned runs in 14 2/3 innings of work. Giolito has certainly been off of his game this season, posting a 7.02 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in four road starts. Twins starter Matt Shoemaker has been just as shaky although there is reason for encouragement after he worked six innings for the first time since his 2021 debut last time out against Oakland, and two starts back tossed five shutout innings against the Tigers. Shoemaker should bring some confidence to the table against the White Sox having allowed just six earned runs over his last three starts against them, spanning 20 1/3 innings. Chicago does own a slight bullpen edge in this matchup but it's worth noting that the Sox 'pen has compiled a collective ERA north of five in day games this season. Take Minnesota +1.5 runs (10*).
|05-13-21||Yankees v. Rays +1.5||Top||1-9||Win||100||13 h 43 m||Show|
A.L. Run-Line Game of the Month. My selection is on Tampa Bay +1.5 runs over New York at 7:10 pm et on Thursday.
I really like the way this one sets up for the Rays as they try to avoid the series sweep at the hands of the Yankees on Thursday night. Tampa Bay has run into a couple of hot pitchers over the last two nights, unable to get anything going against Jordan Montgomery and Gerrit Cole. Here, it will benefit from facing what I would consider the weak link in the Yankees rotation in Jameson Taillon. The Yanks are just 2-4 with Taillon on the hill this season and he's posted an ugly 10.56 ERA and 1.83 WHIP in two road starts - both losses. We did see Taillon work into the seventh inning in his most recent start, but that was at home against the light-hitting Nationals and New York still lost the game 11-4 (we won with the underdog Nats in that game). Crafty veteran Rich Hill will take the ball for the Rays tonight. After a rough start to the season he has righted the ship over his last three starts, allowing just two earned runs on five hits over 15 innings of work. Hill has already guided the Rays to a victory against the Yankees this season, 10-5 back on April 9th. Hill's 4.66 home ERA is slightly misleading as he's recorded a stellar 0.98 WHIP here at Tropicana Field. Despite losing the first two games in this series, Tampa Bay is still 12-9 at home against New York over the last three seasons, and 5-3 overall against the Yankees here in 2021. I'll grab the insurance run with the Rays here as the very reasonable price warrants such a play. Take Tampa Bay +1.5 runs (10*).
|05-05-21||Astros +1.5 v. Yankees||3-6||Loss||-154||11 h 31 m||Show|
My selection is on Houston +1.5 runs over New York at 7:05 pm et on Wednesday.
The Astros couldn't contend with the Yankees (or their fans) last night, falling in blowout fashion in the series-opener. I do look for Houston to bounce back on Wednesday, however, as they send Luis Garcia to the hill against Jordan Montgomery. Garcia has been a bit of a mystery to opposing hitters during his young big league career, holding them to a collective .184 batting average in 32 1/3 innings of work. Here this season he's made five appearances, three of them starts, and has posted a 2.70 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. Garcia has recorded a 34.6% hard-hit ball percentage and 86.3 mph exit velocity off opposing bats not to mention better than MLB average strikeout and walk percentages. Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery has been good but certainly not great during the early going this season. His strikeouts are down and his walks are up while he's also posted an inflated 4.6% home run percentage here in 2021. While the Yankees bullpen has been terrific, I'm confident the Astros can scratch together enough offense against Montgomery to keep this one close at the very least. Take Houston +1.5 runs (10*).
|05-04-21||Rangers +1.5 v. Twins||6-3||Win||100||12 h 18 m||Show|
My selection is on Texas +1.5 runs over Minnesota at 7:40 pm et on Tuesday.
We saw a tight ball game between these two teams in last night's series-opener as the Twins prevailed by a 6-5 score. I expect another close game on Tuesday with the Rangers having a good shot at evening the series with Kyle Gibson on the hill. Gibson had a terrific spring and he's picked up right where he left off during the regular season, posting a 2.16 ERA and 1.14 WHIP through six starts, spanning 33 1/3 innings of work. The former Twin hasn't been doing it with smoke and mirrors either. He's recorded a 32.3% hard-hit ball percentage and a 53.1% ground ball percentage. While we're bound to see some regression over time, I do think he's well-positioned to turn in another fine outing on Tuesday. J.A. Happ will counter for Minnesota. He had a miserable spring but has posted a 1.96 ERA and 0.83 WHIP through four regular season outings. I do think there's some reason for concern, however. Note that Happ has recorded a 40.3% hard-hit ball percentage and 90.9 mph exit velocity off opposing bats - both worse than the MLB average. His 40.3% fly ball percentage doesn't really line up with his 2.3% home run percentage, noting that he's been worse than the MLB average over the course of his career in terms of home run rate. With all of that said, he's held opposing hitters to a collective .150 batting average - I'm expecting some considerable regression in that department moving forward. While the Rangers are 13-16 overall, they've gone 9-4 against left-handed starters, outscoring the opposition by 1.0 run per game on average. Take Texas +1.5 runs (10*).
|04-30-21||Royals +1.5 v. Twins||Top||1-9||Loss||-154||12 h 44 m||Show|
MLB Division Run-Line Game of the Month. My selection is on Kansas City +1.5 runs over Minnesota at 8:10 pm et on Friday.
I'll grab the insurance run with what I consider to be the superior team in this matchup (for now at least) as the Twins continue to deal with some key absences early in the season and struggle to find their footing. Brady Singer will take the ball for Kansas City. He's made some nice progress over his rookie campaign, which was impressive in its own right. Singer has done a nice job of keeping opposing hitters off balance this season, recording a 33.9% hard-hit ball percentage while also posting a ground ball percentage a shade over 55% after recording a 53.7% in that department last season. His walks are down while his strikeouts are up compared to last year and he's held opposing hitters to a collective .210 batting average. Michael Pineda is off to an up and down start to the campaign and draws a tough Royals lineup here. Pineda has once again had a tough time keeping the ball down, leading to a 32.3% fly ball percentage and a 4.6% home run percentage in the early going this season. He has held opposing hitters to a .193 batting average but we can certainly anticipate some regression to the mean in that department as he owns a career .248 opponents BA, not posting a number lower than that since way back in 2014. With a 43.5% hard-hit ball percentage and an exit velocity off opposing bats nearly 90 mph, look for the Royals to enjoy a solid night at the plate and keep this one within arm's reach at the very least. Take Kansas City +1.5 runs (10*).
|04-29-21||Red Sox v. Rangers +1.5||Top||1-4||Win||100||11 h 4 m||Show|
MLB Run-Line Game of the Week. My selection is on Texas +1.5 runs over Boston at 8:05 pm et on Thursday.
Two clubs heading in opposite directions will meet on Thursday night in Texas as the Red Sox travel from New York to face the Rangers, who just wrapped up a series with the division-rival Angels. Boston enters riding a three-game winning streak thanks to some outstanding pitching. Here, I'm not sure they'll get such a positive performance from former Ranger Martin Perez. Opponents are hitting .290 against Perez this season, bumping his career opponents batting average all the way up to .283 - 31 points higher than the MLB average. His walk rate is up again after a miserable 2020 campaign in that department, while his strikeout rate remains well below the MLB average. He has always done a fairly good job of keeping opposing hitters off balance and limiting his hard-hit ball percentage but his ability to induce ground balls has dropped off considerably in recent years. So far this season he has recorded a 38.2% ground ball percentage - nearly 6% lower than the MLB average. Kyle Gibson will counter for Texas. He's enjoying a resurgence of sorts, building off an encouraging spring to post a 2.30 ERA and 1.17 WHIP through his first five regular season outings. Gibson has always been a good ground ball pitcher and he's on track for another solid year in that department having recorded a 53.2% ground ball percentage through 27 1/3 innings of work. Gibson's fly ball percentage is all the way down south of 14% so it's no surprise that he's yet to allow a home run this season. Also note that Gibson's strikeouts are up and his walks are down compared to last season and he's held opponents to a .235 collective batting average. While he won't be able to keep it up forever, I do like his chances of keeping the Rangers in the game in a bounce-back spot here tonight. Take Texas +1.5 runs (10*).
|04-25-21||Royals v. Tigers +1.5||4-0||Loss||-135||7 h 48 m||Show|
My selection is on Detroit +1.5 runs over Kansas City at 1:10 pm et on Sunday.
The Royals have had their way with the Tigers in this series, adding to Detroit's misery in the midst of a 1-8 slide. I'll back the Tigers with an insurance run on Sunday, however, as they look to salvage the final game in this series. Danny Duffy will get the start for Kansas City. After a shaky three-year stretch from 2018-2020, he's pitched well in the early going this season, at least as far as his 0.50 ERA and 1.11 WHIP would seem to indicate. The Royals are paying Duffy $15.5M this season so he obviously has a bit of pressure on his shoulders to live up to expectations in the fourth year of his contract. Those numbers I mentioned certainly aren't sustainable when you consider Duffy has recorded a 45.8% hard-hit ball percentage and 90.0 mph exit velocity off opposing bats, not to mention a 39.6% line drive percentage and below average 29.2% ground ball percentage. Duffy hasn't posted lower than a 3.1% home run percentage (the MLB average is 2.9%) since 2017 but that number stands at 1.4% this season. I believe it's only a matter of time before we start seeing some balls leave the yard with Duffy on the mound. Michael Fulmer will counter for Detroit. If you've followed my plays regularly you know that I'm fairly high on Fulmer, this season at least. It's easy to forget that he was the A.L. Rookie of the Year in 2016, finishing top-10 in A.L. Cy Young Award voting that year. He followed that up with an All-Star campaign in 2017. He's looking to make his way back to respectability now following a tough stretch and he's been effective so far in 2021. Fulmer has recorded a 36.4% hard-hit ball percentage and an 86.4 mph exit velocity off opposing bats while inducing ground balls at a solid rate, with a 52.3% ground ball percentage. Opposing hitters are batting a collective .186 against him. While he has allowed three home runs in just 16 innings, I expect that to even out as he's been better than MLB average in terms of home run percentage over the course of his career. Take Detroit +1.5 runs (10*).
|04-24-21||Marlins +1.5 v. Giants||Top||5-2||Win||100||13 h 19 m||Show|
National League Run-Line Game of the Year. My selection is on Miami +1.5 runs over San Francisco at 9:05 pm et on Saturday.
The Marlins have had a tough time through the first two games here in San Francisco, only making things look close thanks to a two-out ninth inning error followed by a two-run home run to close the gap to 5-3. Here, I do like Miami in what figures to be a close affair. Pablo Lopez will take the ball for the Marlins. He was solid last season and has picked up right where he left off here in 2021. Through 21 2/3 innings of work, Lopez has recorded a 37.3% hard-hit ball percentage and an 84.6 mph exit velocity off opposing bats, noting that the MLB average in those departments is 39.2% and 88.7 mph. He's done a terrific job of staying out of danger throughout his career thanks to a 49.0% ground ball percentage and he checks in 47.5% in that category so far this season. His career fly ball percentage is nearly 5% lower than the MLB average. It's also encouraging to see Lopez's strikeout rate climb in each of his last three big league seasons. Kevin Gausman is pitching with a bit of pressure off a solid 2020 campaign as the Giants are paying him $18.9M this season. He's been solid in the early going this season but there is some reason for concern. Gausman's strikeouts are down and his walks are up while he's also recorded a 38.6% fly ball percentage. Opponents are hitting just .185 against him but we're bound to see some regression to the mean in that regard as he owns a career .263 opponents batting average. Rather than back the Marlins outright here, we'll grab the insurance run in what projects as another low-scoring affair in San Francisco. Take Miami +1.5 runs (10*).
|04-23-21||Pirates +1.5 v. Twins||0-2||Loss||-146||12 h 52 m||Show|
My selection is on Pittsburgh +1.5 runs over Minnesota at 8:10 pm et on Friday.
The Pirates are quietly stacking series wins after a slow start to the season and I like their chances of at least starting this series in Minnesota on a positive note on Friday night. J.T. Brubaker is an underrated starter for the Buccos. He didn't post great numbers on the surface in his rookie campaign a year ago but a deeper look showed encouraging signs and he's picked up where he left off here in 2021. After recording a 32.8% hard-hit ball percentage and 86.4 mph exit velocity off opposing bats last season he's just north of those numbers in the early going here in 2021. While we're talking about a small sample size, Brubaker has done a terrific job of inducing ground balls so far this season, posting a 55.3% ground ball percentage and 21.1% fly ball percentage. His strikeouts are up and his walks are down and he's limited opposing hitters to a collective .196 batting average in 15 1/3 innings of work this season. J.A. Happ will counter for the Twins. He's clearly on the downside of his career with the Twins taking a bit of a flyer on him for $8M this season. Happ had a rough spring and he's yet to turn things around through two regular season starts, despite his 3.12 ERA and 1.27 WHIP seeming to indicate otherwise. Happ has recorded a 44.0% hard-hit ball percentage and 91.5 mph exit velocity off opposing bats. His 44.0% fly ball percentage is certainly concerning, even if Happ has by no means been a ground ball pitcher over the course of his career. More concerning is the fact that his strikeout rate is down while his walk rate is up. I don't need to tell you that's a bad combination for a starting pitcher in the latter stages of his career. Take Pittsburgh +1.5 runs (10*).
|04-22-21||Mariners +1.5 v. Red Sox||Top||7-3||Win||100||11 h 49 m||Show|
MLB American League Run-Line Game of the Year. My selection is on Seattle +1.5 runs over Boston at 7:10 pm et on Thursday.
The Mariners head east following a 1-0 loss to the Dodgers two days ago to face a Red Sox club that's fresh off a two-game split against the division rival Blue Jays. I like the way this one sets up for Seattle as it sends Justin Dunn to the mound against Nick Pivetta. Dunn has been a bit of an enigma for the M's during the early stages of his big league career. Command has certainly been an issue as Dunn has recorded an ugly 18.5% walk percentage in 62 innings of work. However, there is reason for optimism as he's held opposing hitters to a collective .168 batting average. We've also seen him improve on his strikeout percentage this season, averaging 8.4 K's per nine innings. Note that the Mariners own a terrific 6-1 record with Dunn on the mound as a road underdog over the last two seasons, outscoring opponents by 2.6 runs per game in that situation. Nick Pivetta was cast away after a brutal start with the Phillies last season. He was fine in a couple of appearances with the Red Sox last season but now we're seeing the same issues creep up again in the early going here in 2021. Pivetta has recorded a 45.0% hard-hit ball percentage and a 91.5 mph exit velocity off opposing bats so far this season - both well north of the MLB average. He has also posted a 32.5% line drive percentage and 27.5% fly ball percentage to go along with a poor 30.0% ground ball percentage - again, all worse than the MLB average. His walks are up and his strikeouts are down so far this season. The only thing that has helped him save face has been the fact that he's kept the ball in the park for the most part, but it should only be a matter of time before that changes, noting that he owns a career 4.0% home run percentage compared to the MLB average of 3.3%. For his career, opponents are hitting a lofty .272 against him - 22 points higher than the MLB average. Noting that the Mariners have gone a perfect 11-0 when factoring in the +1.5 run-line over their last 11 games, we'll grab the insurance run again here with the price warranting such a play. Take Seattle +1.5 runs (10*).
|04-21-21||Braves +1.5 v. Yankees||4-1||Win||100||10 h 5 m||Show|
My selection is on Atlanta +1.5 runs over New York at 6:35 pm et on Wednesday.
The Braves bats went silent once again in last night's 3-1 loss to the Yankees but I look for them to salvage a split, or at the very least take this one down to the wire on Wednesday evening in the Bronx. Ian Anderson will take the ball for the Braves. He had a tough spring and he's been average at best through three regular season starts but I look for him to step up in this key road tilt on Wednesday. Note that while Anderson has posted an ugly 4.70 ERA and 1.44 WHIP, there is some reason for encouragement. In keeping with his success a year ago, Anderson continues to induce ground balls at a terrific rate, having recorded a 46.3% ground ball percentage this season. His 12.2% fly ball percentage is even more impressive, yet he's been tagged for three home runs in just 15 1/3 innings of work. That should even out in due time, noting that Anderson recorded a stellar 0.7% home run percentage last season - on his way to finishing seventh in N.L. Rookie of the Year Award voting. Veteran Corey Kluber will counter for New York. He has labored through three starts with his new club, recording an ERA north of six to go along with a brutal 2.23 WHIP. Kluber will eventually figure it out I'm sure but it is alarming to see a 46.9% hard-hit ball percentage and 90.7 mph exit velocity off opposing bats. Also note that his strikeout percentage, walk percentage and home run percentage are all trending in the wrong direction compared to his career averages - no surprise as Kluber is undoubtedly on the down side of his terrific career. Take Atlanta +1.5 runs (9*).
|09-30-20||Reds +1.5 v. Braves||0-1||Win||100||15 h 45 m||Show|
My selection is on Cincinnati +1.5 runs over Atlanta at 12:08 pm et on Wednesday.
The Reds closed out the regular season on a red hot 11-3 run and I look for them to keep it going in the opener of their Wild Card series against the Braves in Atlanta. I'll grab the insurance run with Cincinnati here as the price warrants such a decision. Trevor Bauer will take the ball for the Reds. He has enjoyed a career year, even if we are talking about a relatively small sample size. Note that his strikeouts per nine innings were up and his walks were down compared to his previous best season in 2018 in which he was an All-Star and finished sixth in A.L. Cy Young voting and 22nd in A.L. MVP voting. No other starter gave up fewer hits per nine innings this season. Braves starter Max Fried went 7-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 1.09 WHIP this season but worked beyond the fifth inning just twice in his final seven starts. It's easy to forget that Fried went 17-6 last season. This year he struck out fewer batters per nine innings compared to last year while walking more. Note that he gave up just 0.3 home runs per nine innings, by far a career low number. However, in his final outing he gave up a pair of home runs in just a single inning. Take Cincinnati +1.5 runs (10*).
|09-04-20||Rockies +1.5 v. Dodgers||Top||6-10||Loss||-100||23 h 14 m||Show|
MLB Run-Line Game of the Month. My selection is on Colorado +1.5 runs over Los Angeles at 9:40 pm et on Friday.
I'll take a shot with the Rockies plus the insurance run on Friday night in Los Angeles. Antonio Senzatela will take the ball for Colorado. He has quietly gotten off to a fine start this season. His strikeouts per nine innings are up slightly while his walks are way down, all the way to 1.5 per nine innings compared to 4.1 a year ago. His home runs and hits allowed have also dropped. Dodgers starter Dustin May has posted a solid ERA and WHIP but a deeper look shows that he has regressed slightly. His strikeouts per nine innings are down from 8.3 a year ago to 5.9 this season. His walks have jumped from 1.3 to 2.3. He's also allowing 1.0 home runs per nine innings compared to 0.5 last season. Entering last night's action the Rockies had crept into T10th in runs per game and T7th in team batting average. I look for them to hang around in this one. Take Colorado +1.5 runs (10*).
|09-03-20||Diamondbacks v. Dodgers -1.5||1-5||Win||100||23 h 1 m||Show|
My selection is on Los Angeles -1.5 runs over Arizona at 9:40 pm et on Thursday.
This is an awfully tough matchup for the D'Backs as they run into a red hot Clayton Kershaw while sending a struggling Luke Weaver to the mound. Weaver made his big league debut in 2016 but has pitched just one full season since, that coming in 2018 when he went 7-11 with a 4.95 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. His strikeouts per nine innings are up this season but so are his walks, hits and home runs allowed. The fact is, Weaver has struggled here in 2020 and there's little reason to expect him to turn things around against the Dodgers. Clayton Kershaw is quietly off to a terrific start this season with a 1.80 ERA and 0.77 WHIP. His strikeouts per nine innings are up compared to last season while his walks are down. Keep in mind he was an All-Star once again last year and finished eighth in N.L. Cy Young voting so the fact that he has improved on his numbers says something. I'll lay the extra run to get a more reasonably price with the Dodgers here. Take Los Angeles -1.5 runs (10*).
|08-28-20||Pirates +1.5 v. Brewers||1-9||Loss||-110||9 h 46 m||Show|
My selection is on Pittsburgh +1.5 runs over Milwaukee at 8:10 pm et on Friday.
I'll take a shot with the Pirates with an insurance run on Friday night in Milwaukee. Pirates starter Derek Holland is obviously on the down side of his career but it is worth noting that his strikeouts per nine innings are up while his walks are down compared to last year. He is giving up a considerably higher home run rate but that should diminish with a larger sample size. Brewers starter Corbin Burnes is averaging over 12 strikeouts per nine innings but his walks have crept up to 5.5 per nine innings compared to 3.7 a year ago. Note that the Brewers rank a miserable 29th in the majors in runs per game and an identical 29th in team batting average. Take Pittsburgh +1.5 runs (10*).
|08-20-20||Diamondbacks +1.5 v. A's||1-5||Loss||-141||23 h 28 m||Show|
My selection is on Arizona +1.5 runs over Oakland at 9:40 pm et on Thursday.
It's not easy to go against the A's these days but in this spot, I'm willing to take a flyer on the D'Backs with an insurance run. Alex Young will get the nod for Arizona. He has made eight appearances this season but only one start after 15 of his 17 appearances last year were starts. Note that his strikeouts per nine innings are up while his walks are down considerably. Last season, Young recorded a solid 3.56 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. Sean Manaea will counter for Oakland. He's been one of the most hittable pitchers in baseball this season, allowing north of 12 hits per nine innings. His strikeouts per nine innings are down while his walks are up compared to his injury-shortened 2019 season. While the D'Backs aren't known as a prolific offensive club they did enter last night's action ranked tied for ninth in runs per game and tied for seventh in batting average (MLB ranks). Take Arizona +1.5 runs (10*).
|08-15-20||A's v. Giants +1.5||7-6||Win||100||12 h 48 m||Show|
My selection is on San Francisco +1.5 runs over Oakland at 7:07 pm et on Saturday.
NOTE: Manaea starting for Montas for Oakland. The play remains on the Giants +1.5 at a slightly less favorable price. I'll take a shot with the Giants plus the insurance run as they try to bounce back from last night's highly disappointing extra innings loss to the A's. Oakland staged a five-run ninth inning rally in that contest, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat as they say. Here, they'll hand the ball to Frankie Montas and I feel he's become a little overvalued. Note that Montas' walks per nine innings are up this season while his strikeouts are down slightly. Meanwhile, he's yet to allow a single home run, which as we obviously know is certainly not sustainable even if he has had a penchant for keeping the ball in the yard over the course of his young career. Veteran Kevin Gausman has actually pitched reasonably well for the Giants. In fact, he's put together a solid run since joining the Reds late last season, bumping up his strikeouts per nine innings while doing a good job of keeping his walks down (he's issuing just 0.9 walks per nine innings this season). Keep in mind, the A's check in ranked T24 in hits per game and 27th in batting average. Take San Francisco +1.5 runs (10*).
|08-11-20||Marlins +1.5 v. Blue Jays||4-5||Win||100||21 h 45 m||Show|
My selection is on Miami +1.5 runs over Toronto at 6:37 pm et on Tuesday.
I'll take a flyer with the Marlins here as the Blue Jays face some considerable distraction as they play their first "home" game here at renovated Sahlen Field in Buffalo. Toronto continues to struggle out of the gates this season, never really recovering from an early layoff as a result of a postponed series with the Phillies. The Jays will have ace Hyun-Jin Ryu on the hill for this one but I can't help but feel that leaves them overvalued, especially with Ryu coming off a strong bounce-back performance against the Braves last week. Elieser Hernandez looked good in his season debut for the Marlins and I believe he'll be good enough to keep the Marlins in this game as well. Take Miami +1.5 runs (10*).
|07-25-20||Mariners v. Astros -1.5||2-7||Win||100||8 h 37 m||Show|
My selection is on Houston -1.5 runs over Seattle at 4:10 pm et on Saturday.
The Astros have been getting it from all angles ever since the news of their cheating scandal broke so you have to think they're happy to just get back to playing baseball. They certainly have a point to prove here in the early going of this shortened MLB campaign and got off to a solid start with a victory over Seattle last night. I expect them to rack up another lopsided win on Saturday afternoon.
I'm actually pretty high on the Mariners in the long-term picture but given their very difficult schedule and the amount of youth on their roster, 2020 is likely to be a struggle. They'll send Taijuan Walker to the hill on Saturday as he makes his return to the M's after a stint in the National League with the D'Backs. He should find the going a little tougher back in the Junior Circuit and draws an especially tough matchup here against a loaded Astros lineup.
Meanwhile, Lance McCullers Jr. is back on the mound after missing all of last season due to injury. He looked outstanding during Summer Camp and by all accounts is good to go as he makes his long-awaited season debut here in 2020. Going back to Spring Training, he allowed two earned runs over 4 2/3 innings, striking out six and most encouragingly walking only one. If McCullers can keep his command in check he has the potential to be one of the most dominant starters in the American League as far as I'm concerned. Look for him to help guide the Astros to a convincing win here as we'll lay the extra run to get a better price with the home side. Take Houston -1.5 runs (10*).
|07-23-19||Cubs v. Giants +1.5||4-5||Win||100||9 h 24 m||Show|
My selection is on San Francisco +1.5 runs over Chicago at 9:45 pm et on Tuesday.
I have no problem paying the tariff to back the Giants plus an insurance run as they continue their series with the Cubs on Tuesday night. Factoring in the +1.5 run-line, the Giants are now 13-1 over their last 14 games and 24-5 over their last 29 games going back to June 20th. We have a terrific pitching matchup on tap tonight with Yu Darvish going for the Cubs against Madison Bumgarner of the Giants. I do feel that Bumgarner has a bit of a motivational edge here as he tries to help the Giants into the Wild Card hunt while also potentially auditioning for other teams prior to the trade deadline. Behind Bumgarner is one of the best bullpens in the league. With San Francisco suddenly heating up at the dish as well, I'm willing to back them even off a win in the opener of this series last night. Take San Francisco +1.5 runs (10*).
|07-16-19||Blue Jays v. Red Sox -1.5||10-4||Loss||-115||11 h 54 m||Show|
My selection is on Boston -1.5 runs over Toronto at 7:10 pm et on Tuesday.
The Red Sox bounced back from a tough series against the Dodgers, holding on for a 10-8 win over the Blue Jays last night. Boston didn't get great pitching in last night's game but still managed to win by multiple runs. Tonight, I look for it to get a fine effort from newly-acquired Andrew Cashner as he checks in having worked at least six innings in five straight starts. It's also worth noting that the Red Sox will get their second look at rookie Jacob Waguespack tonight, after coming out on the losing end, plating three runs over five innings against him back on July 3rd. I have no problem laying the extra run with the Sox here. Take Boston (10*).
|06-26-19||Padres v. Orioles +1.5||10-5||Loss||-126||8 h 35 m||Show|
My selection is on Baltimore +1.5 runs over San Diego at 3:05 pm et on Wednesday.
You would be hard-pressed to find many bettors looking to back the Orioles on Wednesday but I'll gladly go 'contrarian' and support them with an insurance run in my back pocket. Padres starter Matt Strahm checks in 2-6 with an ERA approaching five this season. You would have to go back eight starts, all the way to May 2nd to find the last time he was on the hill for a Padres win by multiple runs. Dylan Bundy has been a punching bag for the Orioles but here he faces a San Diego club that owns a losing record away from home, where it allows nearly six runs per contest. I look for the O's bats to keep them in this one. Take Baltimore +1.5 runs (10*).
|06-23-19||Angels +1.5 v. Cardinals||6-4||Win||100||11 h 30 m||Show|
My selection is on Los Angeles +1.5 runs over St. Louis at 7:05 pm et on Sunday.
I'll grab the insurance run with the Angels as they look to avoid the three-game sweep in St. Louis on Sunday night. Note that runs have come at a premium in both Tyler Skaggs' road starts and Miles Mikolas' home starts this season. Both pitchers have seen an average total of just seven runs scored in those settings. The Cardinals are 8-7 with Mikolas on the mound this season but they've actually been outscored by the opposition by an average margin of 3.93-3.87 in those 15 contests. Take Los Angeles +1.5 runs (10*).
|06-21-19||Astros +1.5 v. Yankees||1-4||Loss||-142||8 h 59 m||Show|
My selection is on Houston +1.5 runs over New York at 7:05 pm et on Friday.
The Astros certainly appear to be reeling right now, after starting the week with a sweep at the hands of the Reds they opened their showdown series with the Yankees by dropping a 10-6 decision on Thursday night. I do expect Houston to bounce back here but will grab the insurance run, simply out of respect for the surging Yankees offense. Yankees starter James Paxton is thought of as an elite pitcher but he's been pretty ordinary this season, recording an ERA just shy of four. Astros starter Brad Peacock hasn't been great over his last two outings, but had previously allowed a grand total of five earned runs over a six-start stretch. Take Houston +1.5 runs (10*).
|06-15-19||Blue Jays v. Astros -1.5||2-7||Win||100||18 h 52 m||Show|
My selection is on Houston -1.5 runs over Toronto at 4:10 pm et on Saturday.
The Astros are back in a playable range on Saturday as they aim to follow up on last night's blowout win over the Blue Jays. Few are going to give much thought to backing Framber Valdez here but the fact is his first start of the season was a beauty against the Orioles, even though the Astros fell short. Valdez has posted a 2.73 ERA in 33 innings of work this season. Meanwhile, Jays starter Clayton Richard continues on the downward spiral of his career. He continues to get knocked around and we should see nothing different on Saturday against the hot-hitting Astros. Richards owns a 1-4 team record in his last five starts with all four of those losses coming by at least two runs. Take Houston -1.5 runs (10*).
|05-16-19||Orioles v. Indians -1.5||7-14||Win||100||9 h 19 m||Show|
My selection is on Cleveland -1.5 runs over Baltimore at 6:10 pm et on Thursday.
I don't often lay 1.5 runs regardless of the situation, but I'm willing to make an exception here. Dan Straily really has no business being in a big league rotation. He's been lit up consistently this season. He hasn't lasted through the fifth inning in any of his last three starts, giving up 11 earned runs in his last 8 2/3 innings of work. Now he faces a Tribe lineup that busted out with a 9-0 win over the White Sox last time out to shake out of a bit of a funk. Trevor Bauer goes for the Indians and while he hasn't pitched well against Baltimore over the course of his career, he catches the 14-28 Orioles at a good time. The O's have plated three runs or less in five of their last six games and put up only five runs in their other contest over that stretch. This has the makings of a lopsided affair, as indicated by the run-line juice. Take Cleveland -1.5 (10*).
|06-14-18||Twins v. Tigers +1.5||1-3||Win||100||16 h 33 m||Show|
My selection is on Detroit +1.5 runs over Minnesota at 1:10 pm et on Thursday.
I'll grab the insurance run with the Tigers as they wrap up their series with the Twins on Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park. Lance Lynn will take the ball for Minnesota. He checks in having allowed two earned runs or less in four straight starts. However, he has labored through his last couple of starts, needing 113 and 105 pitches to get through six innings in each outing. It's also worth noting that he has issued 10 walks in his last three starts, spanning 18 innings of work. Michael Fulmer got off to a fine start for the Tigers this season before running into trouble in May. He has shown signs of improvement over his last couple of starts, however, working six and seven innings - both here at home. Last time out he gave up just one earned run over seven frames against a pretty good Indians offense. Note that while the Tigers are just 4-9 in his 13 starts this season, they've actually posted an 8-5 mark factoring in the +1.5 run-line. Take Detroit +1.5 runs (10*).
|05-30-18||Nationals v. Orioles +1.5||Top||2-0||Loss||-100||22 h 2 m||Show|
MLB Run-Line Game of the Month. My selection is on Baltimore +1.5 runs over Washington at 7:05 pm et on Wednesday.
The presence of Max Scherzer on the mound has the Nationals installed as massive favorites in Baltimore on Wednesday night. But here's the thing; Scherzer has really been laboring lately, needing 121 and 114 pitches to get through his last two outings, allowing six earned runs in 13 innings of work. Going back to the start of 2011 he has made six starts here in Baltimore. His teams have won just two of those contests, and neither victory came by more than a single run. In other words, that's a perfect 6-0 mark for the O's grabbing +1.5 runs against Scherzer over the last seven plus seasons. David Hess will counter for Baltimore. The rookie has sandwiched two fine outings against the Rays around a rocky performance against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. It's not as if the Nats' have been tearing the cover off the baseball lately. I expect to see Hess hold his own in this matchup. Take Baltimore +1.5 runs (10*).
|05-25-18||Nationals v. Marlins +1.5||9-5||Loss||-100||22 h 52 m||Show|
My selection is on Miami +1.5 runs over Washington at 7:10 pm et on Friday.
The Nationals have dropped Max Scherzer's last two starts here in Miami and it's worth noting that Washington just wrapped up a six-game homestand in which it posted only two victories. The Nats are going through a bit of a lull right now and I believe we're getting excellent value grabbing the insurance run with the underdog Marlins at a plus-money return. Miami just went 3-3 on its most recent road trip and will hand the ball to Jose Urena on Friday. He checks in 0-7 on the season but hasn't pitched all that poorly. Note that Urena has worked at least into the sixth inning in each of his last five starts. He needed only 72 pitches to get through six innings against Atlanta last time out. Take Miami +1.5 runs (10*).
|05-18-18||Tigers +1.5 v. Mariners||4-5||Win||100||14 h 4 m||Show|
My selection is on Detroit +1.5 runs over Seattle at 10:10 pm et on Friday.
The Mariners have been playing uneven baseball for the better part of the month and losing Robinson Cano to suspension certainly didn't help matters earlier this week. Since that word came down, the M's have gone 1-2, including a 3-2 loss in the opener of this series last night. Michael Fulmer will take the ball for the Tigers on Friday. His overall numbers aren't going to impress anyone this season but I do like the fact that he has at least worked into the sixth inning in four of his last five starts and I expect him to pitch better than he did against the Mariners last week, when he was tagged for six earned runs in just 4 1/3 innings. Note that in two previous starts against Seattle, Fulmer had allowed only three earned runs on eight hits in 11 1/3 innings. Felix Hernandez will counter for Seattle. King Felix checks in with a solid 5-3 record but has seen his ERA balloon north of five. Over his last two outings he has allowed 10 earned runs on 15 hits in just 10 2/3 innings of work. The Mariners are just 2-3 in his last five starts against Detroit. Keep in mind, Seattle has covered the -1.5 run-line in just three of its last 10 games overall. Take Detroit +1.5 runs (9*).
|09-13-17||Astros v. Angels +1.5||1-9||Win||100||12 h 46 m||Show|
My selection is on Los Angeles +1.5 runs over Houston at 10:05 pm et on Wednesday.
I'll grab the insurance run with the Angels on Wednesday night as they host the Astros. Mike Fiers will take the ball for the Astros. He has lasted six innings or more just once since August 6th and checks into this start having allowed 16 earned runs over his last 9 1/3 innings pitched. Despite pitching for a winning club he has only managed to go 8-9 with an ERA of nearly five. Tyler Skaggs will counter for Los Angeles. He bounced back from a string of three straight bad outings, lasting six innings while giving up three earned runs last time out against the A's. He hasn't pitched at home since August 26th, when he was on the hill for a wild 7-6 win over these same Astros. The Angels are 2-1 when Skaggs takes the ball at home against Houston, scoring a combined 16 runs in those two victories. Take Los Angeles +1.5 (10*).
|09-06-17||Cubs v. Pirates +1.5||1-0||Win||100||23 h 49 m||Show|
My selection is on Pittsburgh +1.5 runs over Chicago at 7:05 pm et on Wednesday.
I'll back the Pirates with an insurance run as they host the Cubs on Wednesday night. Jose Quintana will take the ball for the Cubs. He's alternated good and shaky starts and checks in winless in his last three road starts. Note that Chicago is giving him just north of three runs per game when he takes the hill on the road. With the Cubbies having won his last start against these same Pirates by a 17-3 score, Pittsburgh will certainly have its sights set on earning a little revenge in this spot. Gerritt Cole wil take the ball for the Buccos. He has lasted at least six innings in 11 consecutive starts. Despite his personal 2-5 record at PNC Park, the Pirates have actually managed to go 7-6 when he takes the ball at home. I fully expect Cole to bounce back from an outing that saw him allow five earned runs over six innings at home against the Reds last week. Take Pittsburgh +1.5 (10*).
|09-04-17||Diamondbacks +1.5 v. Dodgers||13-0||Win||100||24 h 39 m||Show|
My selection is on Arizona +1.5 runs over Los Angeles at 8:10 pm et on Monday.
We won with the D'Backs against Rich Hill and the Dodgers last week and I won't hesitate to go back to the well with an insurance run in my back pocket again in this spot. Arizona is scoring runs in bunches right now. The same can't be said for the suddenly struggling Dodgers. The D'Backs will hand the ball to Robbie Ray, who has become their ace this season. Ray checks in sporting a 6-1 record and a sparkling 1.49 ERA on the road this season. Arizona is outscoring the opposition by more than two runs per game with Ray on the hill on the road. Rich Hill will counter for Los Angeles. Despite his masterful outing in Pittsburgh two starts back, he hasn't exactly been rolling, having posted an ERA north of five over his last three trips to the hill. As good as the Dodgers have been this season, they've won just 12 of Hill's 20 starts this season. Take Arizona +1.5 (10*).
|08-29-17||Dodgers v. Diamondbacks +1.5||6-7||Win||100||25 h 20 m||Show|
My selection is on Arizona +1.5 runs over Los Angeles at 9:40 pm et on Tuesday.
I'll grab the insurance run with the D'Backs at home on Tuesday night. Rich Hill will take the ball for the Dodgers, who are coming off their first series loss in what seems like an eternity. Of course, Hill tossed nine no-hit innings but still came out on the losing end of a 1-0 decision in Pittsburgh last time out. I believe he falls back to Earth here, however. Note that prior to that gem, Hill had lasted at least six innings in only one of his previous four outings. The Dodgers are just 1-2 in Hill's three starts against the D'Backs since joining the club. Zack Godley will take the ball for the D'Backs. He has split two outings against the Dodgers this season with the loss coming by a narrow 1-0 margin. Note that Godley has held his own here at home, where he has posted a 3.22 ERA to go along with a 5-3 team record. In 13 nighttime starts this season, Godley has recorded a terrific 2.60 ERA. Take Arizona +1.5 runs (10*).