Double Play: Lousy Rays and Reds Fade-Worthy Friday

Friday, April 20, 2018 11:42 AM UTC

Friday, Apr. 20, 2018 11:42 AM UTC

Fresh off of a Thursday sweep, Mark Lathrop looks to continue the week strong as he finds two teams ready to fade as he makes his top Friday MLB Picks.

<p style="text-align:right;"><em><strong>2018 MLB Record: 23-13-2, +9.35u</strong></em></p><h2 style="text-align:center;"><a href=""><strong>Minnesota Twins (8-5 SU) @ Tampa Bay Rays (5-13 SU)</strong></a></h2><h2 style="text-align:center;"><strong>Free MLB Pick: Minnesota Twins ML</strong></h2><h2 style="text-align:center;"><strong>Best Line Offered: <a href=";book=5dimes" rel="nofollow">5Dimes</a></strong></h2><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3388118, "sportsbooksIds":[19,238,1389,274,118], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>The short-handed Tampa Bay lineup got Thursday off at home before continuing a homestand against the Minnesota Twins. The Rays are struggling at the moment with poor bullpen play as they have a collective 4.84 ERA and 1.50 WHIP on the season. They’ll start Chris Archer here in what may not be a good matchup for the right-hander. The fastball-slider specialist is getting destroyed by lefties this year with a .429 BAA against southpaws to start 2018. The Twins can stack their lineup on that side of the plate and jump on first-pitch fastballs, which is the current scouting report on Archer at the moment.</p><p>Starting for Minnesota is Lance Lynn, who is very glad that Kevin Kiermaier, Matt Duffy and Brad Miller are out of the lineup for Tampa Bay tonight. Those just happen to be the batters whom Lynn struggles against in this lineup, so any team-based statistics that you look at regarding Lynn’s starts against the Rays will be skewed. The Rays won 2 out of 3 from the Rangers earlier this week, but they started 3 lefties in a row. Tampa Bay only scores 2.9 runs per game off righty starters on the season. Lynn’s great starts against the Cubs and Astros offenses this year is fresh in my mind as I back him and <a href="">the Twins on the moneyline</a> here as a top <a href="">Friday MLB Pick.</a></p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;5-1 road trip! We’re coming home. See you tomorrow night at Busch Stadium against Cincinnati. &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;April 19, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><h2 style="text-align:center;"><a href=""><strong>Cincinnati Reds (3-15 SU) @ St. Louis Cardinals (10-7 SU)</strong></a></h2><h2 style="text-align:center;"><strong>Free MLB Pick: Cardinals -1.5</strong></h2><h2 style="text-align:center;"><strong>Best Line Offered: 5Dimes</strong></h2><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3386930, "sportsbooksIds":[19,238,1389,274,118], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>The Reds are an absolute shit show right now and just fired their manager yet are catching some steam in early betting in their matchup with the Cardinals in St. Louis. I’m not buying it, with the Cardinals winning 6 of their last 7 games while averaging 5.6 runs per game. They’ll face Brandon Finnegan in this game, who has only one start under his belt in 2018 – a 4.1 inning outing against these Cardinals a week ago in which he gave up 5 earned runs and two dingers. Backing Finnegan is a bullpen with a team 5.17 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. Cincinnati was swept at home last weekend by the Cardinals.</p><p>Starting for St. Louis is a winner of one of those games over the weekend, right-hander Michael Wacha. He had a little bit of a dip in velocity his first two starts of the season but had it back in his start against Cincinnati on April 12. His hard-hit rates dropped as his velocity went up, with a nearly 20% improvement in that rate to 26.7% against the Reds. With the Reds only hitting .212 against right-handed starters, I like his chances of continued positive regression here and will take the Cardinals -1.5 on the run line at plus odds as one of <a href="">my Friday night MLB Picks</a>.</p>
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