Baseball Picks of the Day: Thursday, April 6th

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Mark Lathrop

Thursday, April 6, 2017 12:49 PM GMT

Thursday, Apr. 6, 2017 12:49 PM GMT

Handicapper Mark Lathrop has found some live underdogs on today's betting card. Follow along as he explains this free picks that can return plus odds in Thursday's night MLB action.

[/]{"component":"video", "type":"youtube", "url":"", "videoSize":"Large" }[/]  Toronto Blue Jays vs Tampa Bay Rays


Tampa Bay has taken their time bringing 1st round pick, Blake Snell, into their rotation. After an up and down rookie campaign in 2016, he gets his first start of the season against the AL East division foes Toronto Blue Jays.

Blake Snell had an interesting 2016, mixing in dominant AAA time with flashes of excellence in his 89 big league innings with the Rays. In AAA last year, Snell struck out an elite 12.86 batters per 9 innings, using a big curveball that sat almost 20 mph slower than his fastball in the mid-90’s. Once in the majors, Snell struggled with the strike zone and saw his WHIP balloon to 1.62 versus 0.95 in his 2015 AAA season. Some of this was luck though, with his BABIP sitting at .356 with the Rays – much higher than his career average. As a reminder, the BABIP statistic is one of the most likely to regress to the mean. Snell’s last start against Toronto was a gem, as he only gave up 2 hits while striking out 7 in 6 innings pitched last September.

Opposing the Tampa Bay prospect will be Toronto starter, Marcus Stroman. Stroman missed most of 2015 with a torn ACL and came back in 2016 to pitch 204 innings of middling baseball. His HR/FB% of 16.5% was a problem, and his hard-hit ball rates increased by nearly a third last year. Stroman has also lost against Tampa Bay in a regular fashion, with his last three games being losses of 4 runs or more while being a -145 or greater favorite. I think this is setting up for Tampa Bay to be a very live home dog here, so I am taking the Rays on the 1st 5 inning money line as one of my Thursday's MLB picks.


Free MLB Pick: Tampa Bay 1st 5 innings Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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   Seattle Mariners vs Houston Astros


The Mariners lost Drew Smyly to the DL for the start of the season and his replacement, Cuban Ariel Miranda, gets a rotation spot in his steed against the Houston Astros.

Ariel Miranda pitched great for the Mariners in the second half of last season, becoming their most effective starter late in the year after putting up a 2.62 ERA in September. Miranda is death on righties, giving up a paltry .198 batting average allowed to that split in 2016. Because of this split, most pundits had Miranda pegged as a left-handed specialist out of the bullpen when he entered the MLB. Looking at the matchup with Houston, neutralizing right-handed batters will do Miranda well. Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and George Springer should all struggle at the plate on Thursday night.

The Astros counter with Joe Musgrove, who pitched very well at home in 2016 in limited innings pitched. He doesn’t nearly have the split that Miranda does for handedness though, so I am expecting the Mariners to have success against him in some fashion. He’s never started against the Mariners either, which I think is advantage Seattle with their aggressiveness at the plate. I am going to side with Seattle on this one, liking them for the first 5 inning line and since a good part of Houston’s lineup will be neutralized, I’m also taking the Under of 8.5.

 Free MLB Pick: Seattle 1st 5 Innings & Under 8.5 Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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