Friday's Top Trio of MLB Picks Too Good to Pass Up!

Doug Upstone

Friday, April 17, 2015 2:28 PM GMT

The biggest news of the day is the Cubs are calling up Kris Bryant. While this is exciting news, those assembling MLB picks are looking for more than one opportunity against the betting odds.

Maybe Bryant will help Chicago win today by hitting four home runs and everyone can forget about Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds, but those of us who would enjoy Bryant doing well are also interested in making money as MLB baseball handicappers. With that in mind, here are my Top 3 selections to start the weekend.

 

Brewers will not have key to unlock the Pirates Locke
Milwaukee and Pittsburgh were the top scoring teams in NL Central a year ago. To date, both offenses resemble water reservoirs in California which are dry. The Brewers are averaging 2.6 runs per game, and the Pirates are nominally better at 3.2 RPG.

Milwaukee will start Jimmy Nelson, who threw seven shutout innings against the Bucs last Friday and this started a drought for the Pittsburgh offense which has put up a zero three times in their past five contests. However, there is nothing in Nelson’s past to suggest he will have the same kind of success and let’s be honest; Pirates hitters have to be incredibly embarrassed over the last week.

Jeff Locke is the Bucs starter and in his past four starts against Milwaukee he has allowed seven total runs in pitching 26 innings (at least six in each start) and given the Brew Crew’s offense, no reason to think this will not continue. Sportsbooks have Pitt at a modest -125 home favorite and with I’ll take them to lock up a win over the Brewers with this MLB Pick.

MLB Pick – Pittsburgh -125 at BetDsi

 

Cardinals Own Cincinnati in St. Louis
I have to admit, I looked at every possible scenario to take Cincinnati in the series opener. The Reds lost a home series last weekend to St. Louis. The Reds are still hot about what they perceived was an unnecessary slide by Jason Heyward into Reds third baseman Todd Frazier, which caused manager Bryan Price to express his unhappiness and that he and his players will not forget. Add in Johnny Cueto is pitching for Cincinnati and the Reds at +115 looks too tempting to pass up. Until it doesn’t.

The Reds and Cardinals are always mad at each other and somehow St. Louis has won eight straight series at Busch Stadium and 20 of the past 22. Cueto is one of the best starting pitchers in baseball, yet is 2-3 (Reds 4-5) with a 5.80 ERA in nine starts at St. Louis. Even if Cueto pitches well, if the game is tight late, Cincy is 4-18 in road games vs. a bullpen that converts on 75 percent of more of their save opportunities the last two seasons. Finally when the Redbirds suffer a minor power outage, they are 19-4 at home after two straight games with no home runs since last season. The fact is the MLB odds favor St. Louis to win again, no matter how angry Cincinnati is.

MLB Pick – St. Louis -125

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The Price is Right with Detroit
With rare exception, I look to avoid money line favorites that are over -150 until after the All-Star break. Nevertheless, sometimes certain contests have the look of a “sure thing” and they are too tempting to pass up even against my better judgment. This is one of those games with the struggling White Sox in the Motor City.

Detroit has the best record in baseball at 8-1 and will have their ace David Price on the mound. Price is only 4-5 versus Chicago, but most of those defeats were at U.S. Cellular and in four home starts, the lefthander has surrendered seven total runs.

To this point, the White Sox offense has looked pale in scoring 3.0 RPG and Jeff Samardzija has pitched like he did for the Cubs prior to 2013 with his current 6.23 ERA. Yes, the Tigers at -173 carries baggage, but Detroit and Price are home, Samardzija is 4-12 in recent road games (team’s record) and I like their chances.

MLB Pick – Detroit -173