Baseball Betting Picks: Sunday’s Key Pitching Matchups

Doug Upstone

Sunday, May 31, 2015 1:38 PM UTC

Sunday, May. 31, 2015 1:38 PM UTC

On Sunday we will dissect the MLB odds for 3 games knowing that each case will offer something different to ponder when it comes to making sports picks & evaluating them like a baseball handicapper.

Nationals vs. Reds MLB Picks: Roark vs. Lorenzen
With Doug Fister and Stephen Strasburg both out, Tanner Roark (1-2, 2.49 ERA) will have increased value if he does the job for Washington. It has been a rough series for the Nationals bullpen who were forced to work seven innings on Friday when Strasburg left with injured neck and yesterday after Gio Gonzalez was hit on his left elbow with a pitch, he was not the same pitcher with a 5-2 lead and was taken out in the sixth inning clinging to a 5-4 lead and Casey Janssen was battered like a piñata for four runs in the eighth in 8-5 setback.

Roark not only needs to pitch well for Washington to avoid the sweep but into the seventh inning at least to help the bullpen. He’s certainly capable coming off a 15-10 2014 with a 2.85 ERA. He will take on Reds rookie right-hander Michael Lorenzen (1-1, 3.12), whose been very good in last three starts with a 1.50 ERA over 18 innings.

Lorenzen features a mid-90’s fastball, a biting slider and a developing changeup and shown he’s capable of slowing or even shutting down a big league lineup for around six to seven innings.

Sportsbooks like have Washington as -120 road favorites to avoid being swept and would generally agree with line knowing Cincinnati is 0-7 having won three of their last four games this season.

Slight Advantage – Roark and Washington


Braves vs. Giants MLB Picks: Teharan vs. Bumgarner
Julio Teheran (4-2, 4.91) is supposed to be the ace of the Atlanta staff, which can mean he will often draw the assignment of the other team’s best pitcher. In recent weeks he’s faced Johnny Cueto and Clayton Kershaw and today he draws Madison Bumgarner.

That is a tall assignment for any pitcher, especially one who is only 24 and has been forced to take the mantle on what is a rebuilding or retooling team like the Braves. Teheran has good life with low 90’s fastball. However, this season he’s lacked the ability to place it where he needs to and his normally sweeping slider has too often lacked downward motion explaining why his surrendered 64 hits (10 homers) in just 55 innings over 10 starts.

Bumgarner is simply tenacious and even when he lacks his A-stuff; he finds ways to elicit ground balls and lazy fly balls for outs with cunning and hitting the right locations. Depending on the day and the opponent, the Giants lefthander will add or subtract velocity off his fastball and mixes in cutters and big sweeping curves and completely fools hitters with a changeup.

The betting odds have San Francisco as a chalky -190 favorite and Bumgarner is 5-3 (3.00 ERA) against Atlanta while Teharan is 2-2 with a 3.86 ERA. Though they lost last night, the Giants are still 21-8 for May and Atlanta is 19-41 in road games vs. a starting pitcher who strikes out five or more batters per start the last three seasons.

Advantage – Bumgarner and San Francisco


Tigers vs. Angels MLB Picks: Price vs. Shoemaker
Though Disneyland is just down the street, Detroit has not enjoyed their time in Anaheim, having lost the first three games of the series and six of the last eight. One of the two recent victories has come when David Price (4-1, 2.97) has pitched. On the year the Tigers are 9-1 when the lefty was chosen to start and Price is a perfect 12-0 in road games vs. teams whose hitters draw three or fewer walks a game since 2013. (Team's Record)

The Angels Matt Shoemaker (3-4, 5.44) has not been able to duplicate last year’s numbers (16-4, 3.04 ERA) and has returned to more of what his figures looked like for his entire professional baseball career. Shoemaker has stated it’s a matter of ball placement and he feels he’s turned a corner after he threw seven scoreless innings Tuesday against San Diego.

Detroit has fallen 20 cents on the money line MLB odds to -110 for tonight’s Sunday Night baseball game and this related to the Tigers having lost 16 of 19 at the Big A, including the last six and Price has allowed 12 runs in 13 2/3 innings in Anaheim in previous two starts. However, the Halos have lost all four of Shoemaker’s home starts, thus for MLB picks a wary choice with the visitor.

Slight Advantage – Price and Detroit

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