MLB Picks: Free Baseball Picks & Predictions

Steven Suarez

Monday, April 15, 2013 11:51 AM GMT

Monday, Apr. 15, 2013 11:51 AM GMT

With only nine games on the baseball schedule today, let's make sure we make some smart choices with our sports picks.

Philadelphia Phillies (Lee) vs. Cincinnati Reds (Arroyo)

The Phillies are on a roll at the moment, winning four of five to get themselves to an even 6-6 on the season.

Tonight they start a series with a Cincinnati team that's dropped five straight, a streak that includes a sweep at the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

When you consider the Reds' struggles, as well as the fact Cliff Lee is on the mound for the Phillies, it's really no shock to see Cincinnati as the underdogs despite being at home here. MLB odds makers have them listed at +110 at 5Dimes to win, while Philadelphia is at -120.

With our MLB picks, however, we are gravitating towards a total play. Our inclination is to play the UNDER, as we expect Arroyo to come out with somethig to prove following a couple forgettable starts to begin his 2013 campaign.

Arroyo has had a hard time locating his best stuff, but we look for him to rise to the occasion against Lee, who's been terrific so far. The southpaw has given up two earned runs in 16 and 2/3 innings and was one out away from a complete-game win over the New York Mets his last time out.

Lee was even better on the road (2.83 ERA) than he was at home (3.52 ERA) in 2012, and it's rare to see him get shellacked. While he may not dominate like he did in his first two outings, he should still do enough to keep the Phillies competitive tonight.

If the UNDER is to come through for us, we need Arroyo to recover his 2012 form. It's rare to see a pitcher of his caliber struggle three starts in a row, so the chances are looking good for a much better showing out of the right-handed veteran. 

MLB Pick: UNDER 7.5

[gameodds]3/224847/43/us[/gameodds]

Washington Nationals (Zimmermann) vs. Miami Marlins (LeBlanc)

After getting humbled in a major way by the Atlanta Braves, the Nationals will try to bounce back with a good start to their road series with Miami.

Jordan Zimmermann gets the call, with Washington favored in the -175 range despite being away from the nation's capital. The total for tonight's game is at 7 runs, though TheGreek is one of the only online sportsbooks to have 7.5 listed.

Zimmermann has enjoyed a fine start to his 2013 season, winning both of his first two outings quite easily. He's 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA, having allowed just three earned runs through 13.0 innings of work. 

The right-hander has already gotten a look at this new-look Marlins lineup this season and he didn't have much trouble at all. He scattered eight hits and gave up one run in six innings of a 6-1 win for Washington.

This will be Zimmermann's first road start of the season, but that's not scaring us one bit. He was fantastic away from Washington in 2012, going 7-5 with a 2.36 ERA, far better than his 3.54 ERA in 16 home starts. 

Wade LeBlanc, conversely, has struggled with his command so far this year. He needed 93 pitches to get through five innings in his first meeting with the Nationals, and he certainly hasn't gotten much help from Miami's terrible offense.

The perfect cure for a struggling Washington team? A three-game set with arguably the worst team in the bigs. We see the Nationals playing with a lot of urgency tonight, leading to a win by two or more runs.

MLB Pick: Washington Nationals -1.5 (-110)

[gameodds]3/224848/43/us[/gameodds]

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