Double Play: Padres to Light Up Pittsburgh's Nova

ivan nova pirates

Mark Lathrop

Friday, May 18, 2018 11:42 AM UTC

Friday, May. 18, 2018 11:42 AM UTC

MLB handicapper Mark Lathrop looks to keep adding units to his season record by picking two totals that look a little low. Read on as we attack the Friday betting lines to find the best value.

2018 MLB Record: 77-51-7, +22.69, 16.81% ROI

*Note: Record includes official Twitter selections (@mlathrop3)

Detroit Tigers (19-22 O/U) @ Seattle Mariners (25-17 O/U)Free MLB Pick: Over 8 RunsBest Line Offered: 5Dimes

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The Detroit Tigers squeaked by the Mariners yet once again with Seattle's Marco Gonzales on the mound on Thursday night, 3-2, in a repeat performance of their game last week. Another repeat matchup will occur Friday night as the Tigers will face Felix Hernandez again, while Michael Fulmer looks to atone for a terrible performance in a 9-5 loss in the 2nd game of their double-header last Saturday. Unfortunately for the Mariners, what looked like a dominant win last week has the telltale signs of a lucky outcome with how the peripherals of Hernandez are looking. Felix is rocking a 5.60 FIP right now and a 4.01 BB/9 rate that is the highest it has ever been in his career. If his hard-hit rate chart was a stock on Wall Street, I’d be buying it as it is making new highs every game.

Michael Fulmer of the Tigers has hit a significant rough patch on the season, giving up 11 runs over his last 10 innings pitched over 2 starts. He’s been bitten by the long ball against left-handers – not a good sign against this Mariner lineup again – and has a .505 SLG against southpaws this year. Fulmer also has his highest hard-hit rate and HR/FB rate in his career. He throws a great mid-90s fastball, but it must have lost its movement over the last few weeks. With both of these pitchers having question marks I like the value given by the total here and will take Over 8 runs at even money as one of my Friday MLB picks.

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Surging Bucs edge Padres for 3rd straight win. #RAISEIT

RECAP: https://t.co/2RCBE4X7DN pic.twitter.com/vWJiraZaTQ

— Pirates (@Pirates) May 18, 2018
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San Diego Padres (19-23 O/U) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (21-16 O/U)Free MLB Pick: Padres F5 TT OverBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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The Padres look to take the middle game of this road series with the Pirates and have their best pitcher on the mound in Tyson Ross. Ross has a nifty 3.27 FIP and 10.01 K/9 rate this year, which is right up there with his very successful campaigns from 2013-2015. Ross has yet to win a road start this year, but with a 3.42 ERA against the Astros, Diamondbacks, Rockies and Giants that is definitely something that should be commended.

The Pirates will face struggling Ivan Nova, who is coming off of his third disappointing start in a row. Nova is giving up a .333 BAA against lefties on the season, and he won’t get a reprieve with the Padres able to put 5 southpaws in the lineup. We can’t say that Nova’s struggles have come against good competition, either, as the White Sox and Giants aren’t exactly hitting the lights out. But Pittsburgh’s bats are quite hot as the team is 8-2 SU over their last 10 games, so I don’t like the prospect of fading them at the moment. I think the best value here, given that the full game total is sitting at 7.5, will be to take the over on the Padres first five innings team total to fade Nova specifically. That will be one of my Friday MLB Picks.

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