A Trio Of 'Under' MLB Picks To Fatten Your Wallet On Thursday

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 7:36 PM UTC

Wednesday, Apr. 13, 2016 7:36 PM UTC

Thursday is a getaway day for many teams traveling out, so don't miss my most valuable MLB picks for tonight's large slate.

Chicago White Sox vs. Minnesota Twins
A lousy season already for the Twins just got worse as All-Star closer Glen Perkins has been lost to the 15-day disabled list with a shoulder strain and it could easily be much longer than 15 days that the lefty is out. It's possible Perkins hasn't been right since the middle of last season. He converted all 28 saves in the first half of 2015 with a 1.21 ERA in being named to a third straight All-Star team. But he had a 7.32 ERA in the second half and eventually lost his job. In two outings this season, he has been throwing only around 91 mph and had a 9.00 ERA and a blown save in two appearances. Kevin Jepsen is the guy now.

The Twins haven't had many leads to protect this season but perhaps they will Thursday in the series finale vs. the White Sox behind Ervin Santana. He's probably the team's best starter. His first outing was two scoreless innings but that's all as Santana didn't return after a long rain delay. Last time out in Kansas City, he allowed two runs and six hits over six innings but didn't get a decision. Santana was suspended half of last season so only faced the White Sox once. He beat them, allowing two runs and six hits over seven innings.

Chicago's Alex Avila, Melky Cabrera and Adam Eaton all have homered off him in their careers. Austin Jackson might get day off as he's just 1-for-17 vs. Santana. Mat Latos goes for the White Sox, the long-time National Leaguer's first-ever start vs. Minnesota. Latos was terrible in 2015 for the Marlins and Dodgers but very good in his White Sox debut, allowing no runs and one hit in six innings in Oakland. This game will provide value as an 'under' in the MLB odds boards. It has hit in five straight Santana starts overall and five of his past seven at home.

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Free MLB Pick: Under 8
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


Baltimore Orioles vs. Texas Rangers
Opener of a four-game series between these division leaders. Will Baltimore have All-Star center fielder Adam Jones back for it? He hasn't started a game since April 6  with discomfort in his oblique. He has appeared as a defensive replacement a couple of times since then but clearly that oblique is preventing Jones from swinging a bat. He's hitting .200 on the season with two RBIs.

The Birds start right-hander Chris Tillman. His first start was cut short by rain and in his second, he went five innings and allowed a run and four hits over five innings vs. Tampa Bay. This will be his first road outing of the season and he was 5-5 with a 5.33 ERA in 2015 away from home. He didn't face Texas last year. Adrian Beltre hits him hard, going 6-for-12 with two doubles, a homer and three RBIs.

Elvis Andrus is a .385 hitter off Tillman. It's lefty ace Cole Hamels for Texas. He is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA this season and hasn't lost since Aug. 7, 2015, not long after being acquired by Texas from Philadelphia. In his past 12 overall, Hamels is 9-0 with a 3.04 ERA. He pitched once vs. the Orioles last year, allowing a run and two hits over eight innings. J.J. Hardy is 4-for-12 with a homer off him. I recommend grabbing this game as 'under' for your free MLB pick tonight. It is 9-0 in Tillman's past nine starts in a series opener. It is 3-0-1 in Hamels' past four in Game 1 of a series.

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Free MLB Pick: Under 8.5
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
One of the big pitching stories of the first week of the season was the performance by Dodgers 26-year-old rookie Ross Stripling, really an afterthought in the organization this spring, in his big-league debut on Friday in San Francisco. He no-hit the Giants for 7.1 innings but was pulled after 100 pitches by first-year manager Dave Roberts. Even Giants fans booed at the move. But Stripling is just two years removed from Tommy John surgery and Roberts didn't want to ruin Stripling's career.

The L.A. bullpen would blow the game, costing Stripling not just history but a win. It was the longest hitless outing in a player's MLB debut in the modern era. Just one guy ever has thrown a no-hitter in his first-ever start: the stellar-named Bumpus Jones for the 1892 Cincinnati Reds. Stripling gets start No. 2 here. For Arizona, it's lefty Robbie Ray. He took a no-decision in his first start against the Cubs, allowing two runs on four hits over six innings. Last year, he made four starts against the Dodgers and was 2-2 with a 2.28 ERA. Howie Kendrick is 2-for-8 with a homer and three RBIs off him. It is 7-1-1 in Ray's past nine on the road, making this a valuable 'under' pick.

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Free MLB Pick: Under 7.5
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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