Friday's MLB Picks of the Day

Cubs vs Pirates

Friday, July 8, 2016 5:37 PM GMT

Friday is a scorcher of a day weather-wise along a lot of the United States. Let's see if or how this comes into play with our coveted MLB Picks of the Day.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox

Teeing Off On Archer?
You can bet that the weather will be hot in Boston as this was one of the areas that I was referring to. The Boston Red Sox (46-38) and Sean O'Sullivan (2-0, 6.61 ERA) square off against Chris Archer (4-11, 4.50 ERA) and the lowly Tampa Bay Rays. While Archer has had a poor season, he's still pitched to an average 4.50 ERA and that indicates to me that the Tampa Bay offense, which consists of very little star power except for Evan Longoria, hasn't provided an adequate amount of run support for Archer as he's on pace for over 20 losses. Now, he has to face an offense that possesses the likes of leadoff man Mookie Betts and 40-year-old David Ortiz. It appears that the Rays are in for a long night, or are they?

Sean O'Sullivan
People are quick to focus on Archer as O'Sullivan is a perfect 2-0, but he's won those games due to run support. One factor that could affect O'Sullivan is his size. He clocked in at 245 pounds and the heat in the dead middle of July can have an effect on a pitcher the size of this. After 3 really poor outings early in the season, O' Sullivan returned on July 3rd and had a fairly decent outing, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits in 5 innings and was lucky to pick up the win. While his control was poor, his luck was high as the Sox supported him offensively and that could happen here. I don't expect O'Sullivan to go more than 80 pitches.

Key Note:
Even though Chris Archer has pitched poorly, he still has some nasty stuff and the betting total of 10 runs is quite high. After going 5 2/3 innings against the Tigers and allowing just 3 runs while striking out 10 batters in a no-decision, I think that Archer will pitch well here.

Longo
I respect the solid body of work that Evan Longoria has put up this season, especially on a poor offensive team. He's hitting .280 with 18 HR and 45 RBI. He's also hitting .346 against Boston with 4 doubles, 1 HR and 4 RBI in 26 at-bats. I just don't have the confidence in the Rays offense aside from Longo. Take the under in this game as I think both pitchers do a decent enough job to keep the MLB odds run total at single digits. This isn't Coors Field.

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Free MLB Pick: Under 10 -110 (2 Unit Play)
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Arrieta vs. Liriano
This is just what the doctor ordered for the slumping Chicago Cubs (52-33) as the Cubbies are just 3-7 in their last 10 games and they send Jake Arrieta (12-3, 2.33 ERA) to the mound. At 44-42 and winning 7 out of their last 10 games, the Pittsburgh Pirates have made up some ground on the Cubs where the National League Central Division is concerned and the Bucs also send Francisco Liriano to the mound, but with the excellence of the reigning NL Cy Young winner Arrieta opposing Pittsburgh, will it be enough for a victory is the question?

Perfect Timing?
I know that the Cubs have master blasters Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, but this game rests upon the shoulders of the starting pitching as Liriano is no slouch and Chicago has been struggling.

For Jake Arrieta, he's having his biggest slump in a year and a half as he's gone 2-1 in his last 3 games and in the 2 wins, he was lucky enough to pick up the "w" as he allowed 9 runs on 12 hits in 10 1/3 innings of work. That said, Arrieta has a remarkable 0.86 ERA against Pittsburgh this season, allowing just 2 runs and 7 hits in 21 innings. In my book, that carries a ton of weight regardless of the fact that he'll be facing Starling Marte (6 HR, 31 RBI, .318 BA, 25 SB), Gregory Polanco (12 HR, 50 RBI, .291 BA), and Andrew McCutchen (12 HR, 32 RBI, .238 BA).

Even though Pittsburgh has been winning a majority of their games lately, the numbers of their "Big 3" have taken a slight drop. My MLB Pick here will be for the Cubbies to squeeze out a win as they always play well for Jake Arrieta.

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Free MLB Pick: Cubs -158
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline