Free MLB Pick: Keuchel To Continue Rays Home Offensive Woes

Mark Lathrop

Sunday, June 12, 2016 11:00 AM GMT

Sunday, Jun. 12, 2016 11:00 AM GMT

Our handicapper likes this situation to fade a line for his MLB Pick as the Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Rays play the rubber match of their three game series. 

The Houston Astros try to stay relevant in the AL West race on Sunday afternoon, as they continue their three game series in Tampa Bay and play the rubber match as each team has won one game so far this weekend. With Dallas Deuchel on the mound for the Houston Astros the visiting team is favored by -134 on the moneyline at BookMaker. The O/U total opened up at 7.5. runs on the MLB Odds board, but has since gone up to 8 runs at every book except for Heritage.

These teams met on Saturday afternoon with the Houston Astros winning that game 4-3. The game was in the lurch at the end of the 9th inning, as the Rays had runners on 1st and 3rd base with one out, but Astros reliever Will Harris was able to induce a ground ball double play to end the game. The win brought the Astros to within 9 games of the first place Texas Rangers, but also slightly improves their terrible 13-20 away win loss record. The game went under the the 7.5 run total posted for the game and Houston won as a moneyline underdog. It was just Houston’s 3rd win in the last 8 games as they have lost a handful of games in the last week by very close scores.

Dallas Keuchel takes the mound for the Astros on what should be one of his worst stretch of games in his career. Keuchel is 3-8 on the season and has posted a 5.44 ERA, 72/27 K/BB rate, 1.44 WHIP, and .281 batting average allowed over just 82.2 innings pitched. There is a bit of unluckiness with Keuchel’s statistics so far, as the left-hander has put up a pitching independent ERA (FIP) of 4.01 to go against his ERA in the mid 5’s. Keuchel has lost almost 2 mph on his fastball and cutter, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Keuchel has been getting a little wild within the strike zone versus painting the corners early in the season.

Matt Moore gets the start for the Tampa Bay Rays in an effort to improve on his 2-4 record on the season. So far, Moore has put up a 5.56 ERA, 63/22 K/BB rate, 1.48 WHIP, and .288 batting average against in 69.2 innings pitched. Moore has had a bit of a dinger issue in the last few games and has given up 8 home runs in his last 28.2 innings pitched. On the season, Moore’s 16.5% HR/FB rate is the worst mark he has put up in his career so far.

Houston has some strong team trends coming into this game and is 20-12 on the season O-U on the road. Unfortunately for them, it is because they are giving up 5.3 runs per game on the road and a .275 batting average, not because of their road offense. Just to the opposite of the Astros, the Tampa Bay Rays have been terrible on offense at home this year, averaging just 3.3 runs per game and going 8-18 O-U at home. Tampa Bay is 10-5 against left handed starters though and are averaging 5.3 runs per game and a .272 batting average.

Tampa Bay is also 7-1 against Houston straight up in their last 8 games at home coming into Saturday night, while 11 of 14 games have gone under the total between these two teams in the last three seasons. I like that totals trend when compared to Dallas Keuchel pitching better of late and his last three games coming in under the total as well. I’m going against the line move in this game, and taking Under 8 runs -117 at Intertops as my Sunday afternoon MLB Pick.

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Free MLB Pick:  Under 8 -117
Best Line Offered:  at Intertops
YTD MLB Record: 23-11-2, +11.69 Units

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