With yesterday's rainouts and suspended contests, we have 17 games to choose for MLB picks today. We are motivated to improve on 10-3 record this week with these 3 run-line plays.
Red Sox vs. Rays: Tampa Bay Slays Boston with Archer
Chris Archer(9-4, 2.01 ERA) is not only one of the best pitcher's in the American League, but in all of baseball. Archer leads the league in ERA and ranks among the leaders in strikeouts (123), innings (103) and opponent batting average (.198). Since losing to Texas on May 7th, the right-hander is 6-0 in eight starts with eye-popping 1.61 ERA. In that stretch of starts he has a 7-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio.
Justin Masterson (2-2, 6.37) returns after six weeks on the DL with right shoulder tendinitis. What Boston can expect out of him is anyone's guess, but history shows him at 2-7 with a 7.16 ERA in 11 starts against the Rays, which includes a May 6th 5-3 loss to Tampa Bay.
Though both clubs feature weak offenses, the Red Sox are 7-15 after two or more consecutive Under's this season, losing by 1.6 runs a contest.
MLB Run-Line Picks: Rays -1.5
Rockies vs. Giants: Complete Pitching Mismatch on the Bay
Madison Bumgarner (7-4, 3.04) is an exceptional big game pitcher and while his stats do not always rival that of other top line hurlers, few managers would not relish the chance to have him be their starter in crucial confrontation. Today against Colorado, this is not a big game, but the lefty has a 2.11 ERA in nine lifetime starts against the Rockies at AT&T Park and knows how to contain them.
The word -contain- and Kyle Kendrick (3-9) are seldom if ever used in the same sentence these days with his enormous 5.96 ERA. The season is not quite half over and has already been taken yard a shocking 21 times. As bad as this is, Kendrick against the Giants is even worse with a 8.68 ERA in his past three starts against them.
This is why as a baseball handicapper I'm not willing to pay the price of San Francisco as -230 money line favorite and instead will only risk -105 on the run line in this pitching mismatch. The situation certainly does not set up well for Colorado who is 5-37 as a road underdog of +150 or more the last two seasons, losing by 2.4 runs per game.
MLB Run-Line Picks: Giants -1.5
Cubs vs. Cardinals: St. Louis to Rip Through Cubbies
With St. Louis' 8-1 throttling of Chicago last evening, they moved to 50-24 (+22.6 units) and are the first team in 10 years to reach 50 wins before playing 75 times since the White Sox, who went on to win the World Series in 2005.
It is hard to imagine the Cubs ever win at Busch Stadium, because it's difficult to come up with them winning eight times there in last 26 tries off the top of the moment. The Cardinals have won five of six this season against Chicago at home which is in correlation with them posting an amazing 28-7 mark with The Arch as a backdrop.
While you cannot help but be impressed with how well the Cubs Jason Hammel (5-2, 2.65) has pitched, the Cards Carlos Martinez (8-3, 2.89) has hardly been a pauper, sporting a 1.55 ERA in his last eight trips up the hill.
Though he's been there not quite half a season, even manager Joe Maddon's understands the biggest difference between the teams. "We have to get over the hump, and it's more a mental hump than a physical hump," Maddon told MLB's official website.
Mental, physical whatever it is, St. Louis knows they are the superior team and I have no problem taking the Redbirds on the run line for MLB picks at +175, knowing they are 9-2 against a NL starting pitcher whose WHIP is 1.050 or better, winning by three runs a game.
MLB Run-Line Picks: Cardinals -1.5