MLB Picks: Ranking Saturday's Pitchers in Search of the Edge

Doug Upstone

Saturday, May 23, 2015 3:58 PM GMT

In today’s Pitching Report, the focus of our attention will be on three hot pitchers who have been really throwing well and each will be an underdog according to the sportsbooks MLB odds.

Do any of these pitchers and there teams have a realistic opportunity to be used for sports picks and should you as the baseball handicapper be taking a very strong look at these options? Let’s get the shovel and rake and find out.

 

Rangers vs. Yankees
Texas Will Have Shot with Martinez

With the losses of Yu Darvish and Derek Holland and the complete ineffectiveness of Ross Detwiler, somebody among the Texas pitchers had to step or the Rangers would be well on their way to losing 100 games this season. Enter Nick Martinez (3-0, 1.88 ERA) who has developed into one of baseball's biggest surprises with the AL's second-lowest ERA. The 24-year does not have dazzling stuff, with only 25 strikeouts in 48 innings, but he does not beat himself and gives the Rangers a chance for a win having allowed only ball to fly over the fence.

Texas is 7-1 in Martinez’s eight starts, including 4-0 on the road thanks to his 1.52 ERA in away games. In those contests the Rangers have picked up +5.65 units against the MLB betting odds which is a major contribution as to why as of today they are the best road choice for MLB picks at +9.6 units.

Martinez and Texas will again be underdogs in early afternoon at Yankee Stadium, +155 on the money line according to WagerWeb facing a scuffling Yankees club who has lost eight of nine, with C.C. Sabathia (2-5, 4.67) their starter. Having won three in a row and four of five, while Texas might not be the top underdog to choose today, with Martinez they will definitely have a chance for the upset.

Slight Advantage – Martinez and Texas

MLB Picks of the Day: Saturday's Top-Value Money Line Plays on Offer

Mariners vs. Blue Jays
Paxton Hanging Zeros for Seattle

James Paxton (2-2, 3.59) has logged four straight quality starts and owns the majors' longest active scoreless streak at 20 innings. Over his last three trips to the mound the left-hander has a minuscule 0.86 ERA. His mound presentation has been exceptional and with his confidence soaring, his downward angle of his 93 to 97 MPH fastball is very difficult to lift and his hard 12-to-6 curveball cause a lot swings and misses.

Paxton and the Mariners will be +105 to +110 road underdogs at Toronto versus Mark Buehrle (5-3, 5.36). The Blue Jays lefty just threw his first complete game in two seasons and is 8-3 lifetime against Seattle. Though Paxton is certainly a tempting MLB pick in this afternoon affair, Buehrle is 62-17 at home against teams who draw three or fewer walks and the M’s are 2-10 this season having won two of three.

Disadvantage – Paxton and Seattle

 

 

Cardinals vs. Royals
Lackey Not Slacking for St. Louis
Veteran pitcher John Lackey (2-2, 2.96) has long been known for his bulldog determination. With the Cardinals having lost the first game in the much anticipated I-70 series in the Show Me State, Lackey will look to show Kansas City he is in top form. The righty has a 1.80 ERA over his last three starts yet has only won once with the Cards only registering one run in the last two games total.

Lackey is very good as throwing away from right-hand batters with his 88-93 MPH fastball and slider and can effectively run a two-seamer on the hands of lefties. In looking for a weakness in Lackey’s game it has been wearing the road uniforms, as he’s not won since August away from home and over his last 10 road assignments his ERA is 5.31. Going into Kansas City, who is 16-6 at Kauffman Stadium, even being only a +115 underdog, Lackey the past three years is 2-13 in road games after giving up one or less earned runs in previous outing. (Team's Record)

Disadvantage – Lackey and St. Louis