Michael Wacha (9-1, plus-8.23 units) is back in action Thursday night, which means it's time to add the St. Louis Cardinals to our latest three-pack of MLB picks.
Jason's 2015 record as of June 3: 26-18, plus-8.01 units ML; 0-3, minus-3.30 units Total
Well, we were bound to have a market correction at some point. Last week's Thursday trifecta went 0-3 against the MLB odds, as Nick Martinez and Shelby Miller both failed to cash in for their respective teams. Stuff like this will happen a non-zero percentage of the time. We've got two more hot pitchers on the schedule this week, so it's once more unto the breach, dear friends, and may the sphere be with us.
Baltimore at Houston (2:10 p.m. ET)
The Astros are still the best thing going in the AL West, and on Thursday, they send the impeccable Dallas Keuchel (2.89 FIP) to the mound. Keuchel is fourth on the MLB money list with 6.30 units in earnings on a team record of 9-2. The crafty southpaw is coming off a complete-game shutout of the Chicago White Sox, his second of the 2015 campaign. Buyer beware: Kuechel has a .220 BABIP and has stranded 81.7 percent of baserunners.
Baltimore responds with Wei-Yin Chen (4.54 FIP), who's split his 10 starts down the middle at 5-5 for a deficit of minus-0.85 units. The Orioles have lost three of his last four starts; bad luck is part of the problem, as they've given Chen just 3.4 runs of support per game, down from 4.2 runs overall. We kept trying to push the O's as a potential value MLB pick, but they've failed to live up to their earlier level of play, and now their plus-0.1 SRS looks pretty disheartening.
Free MLB Pick: Take the Astros
Minnesota at Boston (4:05 p.m ET)
We also tried our best to give Steven Wright (5.35 FIP) some love last week against the Texas Rangers, but our love for knuckleball pitchers and '80s stand-up comedians came back and bit us. Wright allowed three runs in 5.2 innings as the Red Sox (+106 away) lost 7-4; Wright is now one betting unit in the red on a team record of 1-2. He also has a large seashell collection that he keeps scattered on beaches all over the world. Maybe you've seen it.
Kyle Gibson (4.40 FIP) is due up for Minnesota, and he's done quite well for himself thus far, earning 3.16 units on a record of 6-4. That includes five wins in Gibson's last seven starts, during which he gave up a total of eight earned runs. That's a spicy meatball. Again, there's been some luck involved: Gibson has stranded 83.1 percent of baserunners. But the Twins have also given him just 3.80 runs per game of support, so we'll call it even.
Free MLB Pick: Take the Twins
St. Louis at L.A. Dodgers (10:10 p.m. ET)
It's time once again to break the piggy bank and unload the college fund on Michael Wacha (3.78 FIP). He's the No. 2 man on the money charts, grabbing 8.23 units for the Cardinals on a team record of 9-1. But is Wacha already starting to see regression? He allowed four runs to the Dodgers in his last start, lasting just 5.2 innings as L.A. (+121 away) rolled to a 5-1 win. Wacha has a .228 FIP and has stranded 82.3 percent of runners on the season. We might have to abandon this bandwagon soon.
Carlos Frias (3.90 FIP) was the winning pitcher in that victory, holding the Cardinals to one unearned run on five hits over seven innings. That levels his team record at 3-3 (minus-0.71 units), but otherwise, we're not sure what to make of this converted reliever. His 89 mph change-up is faster than some guys' fastballs; however, Frias is a bit scatter-shot, and he rarely makes it past six innings. We'll keep fading him for now.
Free MLB Pick: Take the Cardinals