Seattle Mariners (Hernandez) vs. Houston Astros (Peacock)
For the first of our free picks we head to Seattle, where Felix Hernandez and the Mariners begin a series with the lowly Astros. MLB odds for game one have Seattle favored at roughly -170, while Houston is +160 to get the series off to a flying start. The total is at seven runs.
As usual, King Felix has been outstanding this season, though he continues to get little run support. He's rocking a 2.20 ERA on the year but has only one win to his name through four starts.
His last time out on the mound, Hernandez tormented Detroit's bats, allowing just four hits and one unearned run in eight innings of work. He had 12 strikeouts and didn't walk a batter in the no decision.
Almost all of Houston's hitters have yet to get a look at Hernandez' stuff, so they could be in for a long night here.
Take a look at Jeff Grant's free picks for this matchup.
This season, the Astros have been middle-of-the-road offensively, but they've been an utter disaster when it comes to pitching. They're #30 in ERA (5.40), #30 in quality starts (4), #30 in WHIP (1.58), and #30 in batting average against (.283). Yikes.
Brad Peacock will try to improve on those numbers this evening, but his control has been a problem so far this season. He's yet to pitch more than five innings and has posted a 5.27 ERA in three assignments.
If the Mariners can get some runs on the board tonight against the inexperienced right-hander, we see no reason why the Mariners won't be able to cover the run line with their ace on the mound.
MLB Picks: Seattle Mariners -1.5 (-105)
Arizona Diamondbacks (Miley) vs. San Francisco Giants (Vogelsong)
Another road team is catching our eye tonight. We're picking the Diamondbacks to score a win over San Francisco as a +106 underdog on the MLB odds board.
You may be thinking that Ryan Vogelsong at home translates into an excellent shot at a victory for the Giants, but we advise you to be careful.
Vogelsong has been unable to find his best stuff for quite a while now. He was 7-4 with a 2.36 ERA in the first half of 2012, but after the All-Star break he logged a 4.78 ERA – he posted a 6.32 ERA in August and a 6.46 ERA in September.
The early stages of 2013 haven't been much better. Vogelsong is 1-1 with a 5.89 ERA and 1.47 WHIP through three starts and was beaten up badly in his only home outing (5.1 IP, 9 H, 5 ER vs. St. Louis).
His splits against Arizona last season also give us reason to be wary. He went 0-1 with a 8.56 ERA in three starts versus the Diamondbacks and they hit a combined .333 against him in 13 and 2/3 innings.
Wade Miley gets the call for Arizona tonight and he's been a model of consistency thus far. He's allowed three or fewer runs in each of his three appearances (2-0, 2.79 ERA), with two of those quality outings coming away from home.
The Diamondbacks were able to close out their series with Colorado by getting a win and we think that'll give them some momentum here. Arizona will know their best chance of getting a victory in this series comes tonight, with Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner taking the hill on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. Let's back the Diamondbacks as dogs with our MLB picks, as they look to take advantage of a struggling Vogelsong.
MLB Pick: Arizona Diamondbacks +106[gameodds]3/225417/43/us[/gameodds]