Is Bud Black in some trouble? That's the word as San Diego is a very disappointing 21-24 and fourth in the NL West despite major offseason additions. Here are my player props picks for 2 Monday games.
Padres vs. Angels
Most Hits, Runs and RBIs -- Matt Kemp vs. Kole Calhoun (both -110)
Total Hits, Runs and RBIs -- Justin Upton 'Over/Under' 2
Total Hits, Runs and RBIs -- Mike Trout, O/U 2.5
Who will Record more Strikeouts -- Tyson Ross (+2) vs. Jered Weaver
The Halos' Weaver wasn't very good in April or his first start this month but has been much better in his past three outings, allowing a total of four earned runs and 13 hits over 23.1 innings -- all Los Angeles wins. The team won just one of his first six starts. Weaver doesn't have much velocity these days so he doesn't whiff a bunch of guys with only 28 strikeouts in 57.2 innings. His season high is six. Ross has been a model of consistency in that he has allowed more than three runs just once all season but at least two in every outing. Control can be a problem as while he has 62 strikeouts in 52.2 innings he also has an NL-high 29 walks. This will be his first start this season vs. an AL club. Kemp has disappointed with the Padres, batting just .257 with one homer (one!) and 22 RBIs. He is 3-for-15 career off Weaver with three RBIs and seven strikeouts. Upton is hitting .284 with 12 homers and 35 RBIs. The soon-to-be free agent is 0-for-3 career off Weaver. Might one of those two be used at DH in this series? Calhoun is one of the more unlikely cleanup men in the majors as he doesn't have much pop with only four homers. He is hitting .287 with 22 RBIs and has never faced Ross. Trout is batting .301 with 11 homers and 25 RBIs. He is 0-for-4 with a strikeout career off Ross. Add him as your player MLB pick here.
MLB Free Picks: Ross at -130 on strikeouts, Calhoun over Kemp and 'under' on Trout and Upton.
Braves vs. Dodgers
Most hits, runs and RBIs -- Andrelton Simmons (-105) vs. Jimmy Rollins (-125)
Total hits, runs and RBIs -- Adrian Gonzalez 'over/under' 2.5
Total hits, runs and RBIs -- Freddie Freeman O/U 2
Total strikeouts -- Brett Anderson O/U 4
This is televised on the MLB Network and thus will have live MLB odds betting at the sportsbooks. The Dodgers are a juggernaut at home with a 19-6 record. Atlanta is 10-11 on the road. Simmons is one of my favorite players to watch -- when he's in the field. The guy is a defensive wizard and literally could be the best defender ever at that position when it's all said and done. A couple of guys whose name begins with O (Ozzie and Omar) might have an argument there. Simmons is hitting .248 with three homers and 18 RBIs. Rollins, the Dodgers' shortstop, needs to retire after this season as at age 36 he's batting just .201 with four homers and 13 RBIs. Gonzalez is probably your NL MVP runner-up right now behind Washington's Bryce Harper as Gonzalez is hitting .342 (second in NL) with nine homers and 32 RBIs. He has never faced Braves starter Williams Perez (0-0, 6.14). No Dodger has. Anderson (2-2, 3.61) has actually managed to stay healthy, although history tells us that probably won't last. The last thing the Dodgers need is another injury in their rotation with the loss of Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy. Anderson has 31 strikeouts in 42.1 innings with a high of eight. Neither Simmons nor Freeman has ever faced him. Freeman is batting .297 with five homers and 22 RBIs on the season. I'm not sure where his power has gone. He hasn't homered since May 5. Anderson has allowed only three homers this season.
MLB Free Picks: Simmons over Rollins, 'over' on Gonzalez, 'under' on Freeman and 'over' on Anderson.