MLB Picks: Highlighting Thursday's Starting Pitchers

Doug Upstone

Thursday, April 30, 2015 3:17 PM UTC

Thursday, Apr. 30, 2015 3:17 PM UTC

With fewer games to choose it does not mean fewer things to talk about when it comes to reviewing the MLB odds. Today we will research the top two contests of the day, plus an ace pitcher.

In addition, we will offer our opinion as to what to look for and possible outcomes for MLB picks.


Mid-Rotations Starters Lead off Tigers vs. Royals Series
For sports fans there is a plethora of sports news and intrigue starting today with the NFL Draft and going thru the weekend. For MLB baseball handicappers, they are also very interested in a four-game series between two of the best teams in baseball in a divisional battle.

Sportsbooks like have changed Detroit from a -115 to +105 road underdogs at Kansas City. The Tigers are 7-2 on the road (+5.1 units) and will use Alfredo Simon (4-0, 1.65 ERA) who has made the transition in changing leagues with ease and is the first Detroit pitcher to win his first four starts in 27 years. Simon is a rarity, becoming a full-time starter last year at 32 years old for Cincinnati and was traded to the Tigers. Simon altered his three-quarters delivery which gave his 93 MPH fastball more sink and tightened his curveball for more late-breaking motion.

Kansas City is back home where they are 7-2 (+4.4) after .500 divisional road trip and trails Detroit by a half game. Danny Duffy (1-0, 4.15) will be called upon to silence the Tigers bats and after a poor initial outing, the lefthander has a 2.70 ERA in last three contests, with the Royals winning twice. Duffy does reach the mid-90’s with his fastball and can be brutal on lefty hitters when he drops down and has tight curve and a firm changeup he like to toss just off the plate. Duffy gets into trouble when rushes his delivery and everything flattens out.

Though the K.C. is home, Duffy is just 1-6 against the Tigers and with Simon is unflappable at this time, this provides Detroit a small edge in the opener for sports picks.

Grade – C (For Detroit)


Sox Sale is the Real Deal
Chris Sale (2-0, 2.37) of the White Sox appealed his suspension for his part in the fracas with Kansas City last week, but in truth is only putting off the inevitable. Minnesota wished the commissioner had enacted on the suspension to take place already and they would have missed Sale who is 4-0 with a 2.88 ERA and has 43 strikeouts in 34 1/3 innings in his last five starts against the Twins.

Chicago is a -150 favorite on the MLB odds and the Sox lefty hides the ball with his messed up delivery, which appears like all arms and legs flailing, until he uncorks a mid-90’s heater or a big sweeping slider.

The Twins Trevor May (1-1, 4.91) beat Chicago twice last September, but his team is 7-30 vs. an AL starting pitcher whose ERA is 3.20 or better.

Grade – B (For Chicago)


Strasburg vs. deGrom – What is the Right Choice?
The Washington offense has perked up and arrives in the Big Apple after hanging 13 runs in back to back wins in Atlanta. With the Nationals offense coming around, it might be time for Stephen Strasburg (1-2, 4.88) to do the same. There is a general feeling in the betting community that Strasburg is – play against – material. Last year Washington lost 16 of his 35 starts for -6.3 units and this season with opposing hitters batting an unsightly .317 against HIM, the Nats have dropped three of four. Strasburg is 3-2 with a 2.55 ERA versus the Mets.

Even off a bad last outing, Jacob deGrom (2-2) still has a 2.96 ERA. He and his Mets mates have to feel very good about returning home where they are 10-0 this season, in addition, the New York righthander has become a big fan of Citi Field with a 7-0 record and a 0.95 ERA in his last eight starts there.

Washington has won 16 of 20 at the Metropolitans, but has not faced a Mets team this good in that time and we have Pick (-105) line.

Grade – C (For New York)

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