With a handful of Cy Young Award contenders starting on this Wednesday, we may some very low scoring ball games. How and will that fit into tonight's MLB Picks of the Day?
Chris Sale vs. Michael Fulmer
That is all that you need to know as two of the best starting pitchers in the American League square off against each other. While Sale (14-4, 3.17 ERA) has been the frontrunner for the American League Cy Young Award, his status has changed a little bit as there have been trade talks about him as he was suspended to damaging team property (retro jerseys) and that's not fitting for an award winner.
His club is also 51-55 and he's coming off of his 4th loss of the season; a tough 3-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs. Chis Sale hasn't won since July 8th and is 0-2 in his last 2 decisions. Simply stated, he's not happy with his current ball club and he's facing a team of hard-hitters in the Detroit Tigers (58-48). I have no doubt Chris Sale will still pitch his best, but does his team have enough to scratch out a few runs as he faces a superior squad?
Fulmer (9-2, 2.50 ERA) is lucky to be on a team with some serious hitters, but he's more than carried his weight and established himself as a #1 or 2 starter. The combination of Fulmer and the Tigers offense, led by Miguel Cabrera (24 HR, 69 RBI, .306 BA) makes Detroit very dangerous.
The problem with Fulmer is that he's only pitched 97 innings and that has not allowed him to register for any awards, but winning is the name of the game and he's held the opposition in check for the entire 2016 MLB Season. Although not a strikeout pitcher, Michael Fulmer has allowed just 9 home runs this season while holding the opposition to a mere .215 batting average. In his last 9 starts, Fulmer has 8 quality starts. This is pitcher that will keep the Tigers in the game and allow the offense to showcase their skills. Expect another solid start from this stud.
The best hitter in baseball the past two decades is finally starting to heat up and that means trouble for the opponent because nobody comes up with bigger hits than Miguel Cabrera. The splits look spectacular for Cabrera. He's a hitter that hit's .304 with 20 HR and 55 RBI at home. He's hitting .395 with 2 HR and 10 RBI against the White Sox, and Cabrera is 10 for his last 20 at bats with 4 HR and 10 RBI. Normally, I would warn the opposing hitter to be cautious when dealing with Chris Sale, but in this case, I warn Sale to be careful when dealing with this future first ballot hall of fame hitter.
Due to the Tigers offense, the total is high, but the quality of pitching is also high. Take the under in this situation.
Free MLB Pick: Under 8 +107
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle 2 UNIT PLAY
Shooting Themselves In the Foot
The St. Louis Cardinals (56-50) really started to make up some ground on the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central Division, but have since lost 3 straight games and the Cubs have won 3 straight games. Now, the Cardinals find themselves an unmanageable 8 1/2 games behind the Cubbies. For the Cards to be a playoff contender, they know that they have to beat teams going nowhere such as the Cincinnati Reds (43-62). Not only that, the Cardinals have a decisive advantage in starting pitching tonight as Reds starter, Cody Reed, is still looking for his 1st win of the season.
How Bad Is He?
I'm referring to Cody Reed and although he's only pitched 35 2/3 innings this season, it's certainly a good barometer for what you could see if the Cardinals offense has any life to it.
Reed is 0-5 with a 7.07 ERA. In his 7 starts, Reed has allowed the opposition to his .325 off of him and has provided just 1 quality start in those 7 starts. Reed never goes past 5 innings and no pitch count is involved, it's just that Reed get's near 100 pitches halfway into the game. Despite Cincy playing better lately, I don't see them faring well here with Cody Reed starting. The Reds have a paper thin pitching roster and it will hurt them in this game.
The Cards will also be without their best player, Aledmys Diaz, who is on the disabled list. Diaz is hitting .312 with 14 HR and 57 RBI this season. This is a bat that the Cardinals will surely miss but the opportunity to get back on track is there. Yadier Molina has been red hot, going 10 for his last 23 at bats . He's also hitting .375 against the Reds in 24 at-bats. He won't provide power, but getting on base is the name of the game and every run counts here.
Free MLB Pick: St. Louis Cardinals -140
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker