Double Play: Battle of Coles Belongs to Houston Over Texas

Mark Lathrop

Friday, April 13, 2018 11:21 AM UTC

Friday, Apr. 13, 2018 11:21 AM UTC

MLB handicapper, Mark Lathrop, spots some games with huge value on the board for Friday night. Read up and follow along as he makes his MLB Picks of the Day.

2018 MLB Record: 15-7-2, +7.05u (1 Pending)

Oakland Athletics (6-6 O/U @ Seattle Mariners (7-3 O/U)Free MLB Pick: Over 8 Runs Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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The Seattle Mariners return to Safeco Field for a 7-game homestand after very cold trips to Minnesota and Kansas City, and I’m looking for their bats to keep heating up as well. They’ll face Andrew Triggs in this game, who has a career 5.90 ERA against Seattle and a perfect 'Over' record in 2 games started. That isn’t much to go off, to be honest, but the splits don’t indicate that Triggs will be able to shut down the lineup that Seattle will put out Friday night. He’s been good in his first two starts of 2018, but his 2.95 FIP is completely overperforming his previous good stretches of play.

Starting for the Mariners is Mike Leake, who happens to have a terrible record against at least 5 batters that he will see from Oakland on Friday. He’s put up 2 very lucky performances to start the year and collected some winning decisions, but also has a 3.00 ERA against a 5.94 FIP. That looks awfully like a regression candidate to me, and his 5.25 BB/9 rate tells the story. I’ll take the combination of both Triggs and Leake as regression candidates and take Over 8 runs here as one of my Friday night MLB Picks.

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There's just something right about a Friday night spent at the ballpark.

See you tomorrow. https://t.co/QV73VzAnJE pic.twitter.com/7yXzDiSkEX

— Mariners (@Mariners) April 13, 2018
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Texas Rangers (4-10 SU) @ Houston Astros (9-4 SU)Free MLB Pick: Houston Astros -1.5 -110Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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The Houston Astros come into this game losers of two in a row after a short road trip to frigid Minnesota. They’ll be glad not to have to wear the balaclavas under their baseball caps, and also to be facing the equally as cold Texas Rangers, who have lost 4 in a row. They’ll face the remnants of Cole Hamels, who has not fared well against this Houston lineup and has already lost once to them this year. Eight of the 9 expected starters in the Houston lineup get on base at greater than a .318 clip vs. Hamels, with many higher than that. Runners on base equal runs, and Houston should snap out of their funk in a big way. For the record, Hamels has a 5.92 FIP and 38.5% HR/FB rate over his first three starts of the season.

Starting for Houston is Gerrit Cole, who is coming off a dominant performance against the Padres on Saturday where he struck out 11. He’s obviously enjoying his switch to the American League, and a winning team, as he has put up a 14.14 K/9 and 1.93 BB/9 rate over his first two starts. His 1.48 FIP doesn’t exactly suck, either. Even if Cole is due for negative regression, an average performance coupled with Houston’s offense should be enough to put them over the top of Hamels and the Rangers at home. I’ll take Houston on the run line as another Friday MLB Pick of the Day.

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