Friday, June 16th MLB Picks of the Day

Mark Lathrop

Friday, June 16, 2017 12:34 PM UTC

Friday, Jun. 16, 2017 12:34 PM UTC

Our handicapper, Mark Lathrop, looks at two dominant pitchers on Friday night that are getting money line value with road games. He breaks down the pitching matchups here and makes his Friday night MLB Picks of the Day.

[/]{"component":"video", "type":"youtube", "url":"", "videoSize":"Large" }[/]  Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers


Tyson Ross comes off of the 60-day DL to start this game for the Rangers, which surely means we will see quite a bit of the Texas bullpen. Our MLB handicapper believes Seattle’s offense will have success Friday night.

I’ve been tailing James Paxton all season with the Mariners, but this pick is all about the fade of Tyson Ross. There is serious uncertainty if Ross can regain his form after having thoracic outlet syndrome surgery where a rib was removed. The Rangers made a six million dollar bet that it would though. However, in his rehab starts in late May, Ross was losing velocity after 40-50 pitches. Those rehab starts averaged 4.2 innings, and Ross put up a 5.30 BB/9 rate. I understand tinkering with pitches and getting hit a bit in rehab starts, but a walk rate that high is alarming.

James Paxton hasn’t been great over his last two starts and has given up 7 runs over his last 9 innings pitched. Still, the tall left-hander is carrying an excellent 2.38 FIP on the season and has kept the ball in the yard to the tune of a 4.2% HR/FB rate. He’s already dominated Texas once this season – a 7-inning shutout performance where he struck out 8 and walked two in April.

With the Rangers having the 29th ranked bullpen in the majors and the Mariners the 23rd I’m opting out of handicapping who will suck worse in that regard. However, I do trust Paxton much more than Ross coming off of the DL, so I will be taking the Mariners in this game on the first 5 inning moneyline as one of my Friday MLB Picks of the Day.

 Free MLB Picks: Mariners F5 -126Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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  New York Yankees vs. Oakland Athletics


Luis Severino has broken out in 2017 and our MLB handicapper looks at multiple metrics that say it is not a fluke. His analysis ends with a pick on the side as the Yankees visit the Oakland Athletics.

Luis Severino has been excellent this year and is 6th in the major leagues in xFIP at 2.98. Severino has improved this year basically because of his increase ground ball rate. In fact, his increase of 16.7% in ground ball percentage to 54.5% is tops in the MLB this year. He’s striking out 27.5% of batters, which is in the top five in the American League. Severino has improved by basically increasing his fastball velocity and decreasing his off-speed pitch velocities. There is always a flex point in effectiveness found at a certain velocity between pitches, and Severino has flown way past it. His whiff rates on the fastball, slider, and changeup have all increased over last year as a result.

Sean Manaea has also had a good season, partly because of the much better location of his fastball versus last year. That fastball location on the inside of the plate to left-handers is one of the reasons for his success against that split, as he allows just a .091 to southpaws. He’s had one DL stint this year though, and his walk rate is about 50% higher than last year. Combined with a basement level BABIP, Manaea is set up for a little negative regression. His best game of the year was 4 starts ago against these Yankees, a 7-inning shutout performance with an 8/1 K/BB rate. He’ll have to be nearly perfect again to beat Severino, who gets his first crack at the Athletics here. I’ll take the overall better team in this matchup and back the Yankees at -137 as one of my Friday night picks.

 Free MLB Pick: Yankees -136Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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