Double Play: Kuhl Picks to Consider as Rays Face Cobb

Chad Kuhl

Mark Lathrop

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 12:45 PM UTC

Tuesday, Apr. 24, 2018 12:45 PM UTC

MLB handicapper, Mark Lathrop, got lucky yesterday in that his wager on Atlanta was based on a listed pitcher that didn't start. He'll add back that pick as a bonus to two more Tuesday MLB Picks explained within.

2018 MLB Record: 27-18-2, +8.07u

Detroit Tigers (9-11 SU) vs Pittsburgh Pirates (12-10 SU)

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Free MLB Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates -1.5 +140 Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

This series completes a home and home interleague matchup between the Tigers and Pirates, with the Pirates sweeping the first series three weeks ago at Detroit. Both of the starting pitchers we will see tonight pitched in that series and Detroit starter Jordan Zimmermann was the one that came out with a loss. Red flags abound for Zimmerman this year, with one being a further decrease in velocity from his days as a dominant pitcher with the Nationals. He’s changed his pitch mix as a result, and now throws his fastball 36.2% of the time versus 70.3% of the time in 2014. So really, we have Jordan Zimmerman in name only this year and his miniscule ground ball rate of 29.4% in 2018 is what we should expect going forward.

Going up against Zimmerman is Chad Kuhl of the Pirates, who has started the season very consistent as compared to his career stats. He’s had some issues on the road, including his win at Detroit in his first game of the year, but has been fantastic at home in putting up a 2.45 ERA and .225 BAA. This split plays right into Detroit’s weaknesses, as the Tigers bat just .193 on the road this year while averaging 3 runs per game. That gives me no choice but to fade the Tigers here again and I will take Pittsburgh on the run line at plus odds to gain some additional value with my Tuesday MLB Pick.

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.@RealCarlosGomez's relationship with his bat:

"It's complicated" pic.twitter.com/dFPsXfqN1T

— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 23, 2018
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Tampa Bay Rays (8-13 SU) vs Baltimore Orioles (6-16 SU)

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Free MLB Pick: Tampa Bay Rays +105Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

The Rays will get their first look at Alex Cobb as an opposing pitcher on Tuesday, and even though they haven’t faced him, they will have the book on him. With Tampa Bay coming into this game with momentum and the Orioles limping in losers of 8 of their last 10 games I like how this sets up for Tampa Bay. Cobb has struggled with his new team and has put up an 8.44 FIP and 27.3% HR/FB rate over his first two starts. That’s not much action, but what is immediately apparent is that Cobb is using his fastball more and it is not fooling anyone. Cobb is allowing a batting average of .500 against opposing batters this year.

Tampa Bay starter Jacob Faria has shaken off an absolute horrid start against the Red Sox in early April to put in two solid outings coming into this game. That bad start is skewing his overall numbers, as his 5.82 BB/9 rate is heavily influenced by the five walks he put up against Boston in under 2 innings pitched. He doesn’t completely get off the hook, but his .239 BAA on the year presents a pitcher that may be undervalued in this position. I’ll take the Rays to beat their struggling division rival and departed pitcher on the moneyline as another Tuesday MLB Pick.

Bonus Pick: Atlanta Braves ML -124

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