MLB Picks: Saturday Baseball Picks

Darin Zank

Saturday, March 16, 2013 2:08 PM GMT

Saturday, Mar. 16, 2013 2:08 PM GMT

Through Wednesday we had managed to get through Spring Training without suffering too much damage with our picks. But an 0-2 Thursday felt like a stiff kick in the wallet.

MLB Betting: Free Picks for Saturday

What can we do other than pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and dive back in?

Here's a quick look at a couple of games for Saturday, with free picks. But again we advise the use of discretion when betting exhibition baseball games, because it can be a crapshoot.

Spring Training Record: 4-6

Mariners at Rockies (4 pm ET)

Many books opened their MLB odds boards with Colorado favored at -120, but that line was very quickly dropped to right around a pick 'em.   

Erasmo Ramirez, who put up some nice numbers in 59 innings with Seattle last year and is off to a good start this spring, is scheduled to start Saturday for the M's against Chris Volstad for Colorado.

Seattle is 13-7 this spring, after beating Cincinnati Thursday 8-7 and the Angels Friday 8-5. The Mariners have scored at least six runs 13 times already this spring.

The Rockies are 10-7 this spring, after topping the Reds Friday 5-1. Over Colorado's last three games, all victories, its pitching has held foes to just four runs total. 

So far this spring Ramirez has thrown six scoreless innings over three appearances, giving up four hits while walking one and whiffing five.

Volstad, meanwhile, was a disaster last year for the Cubs, posting a 6.31 ERA in 21 starts. But so far in three appearances for the Rockies this spring he's allowed just one run and six hits through seven innings. 

The line on this game moved quick against Seattle. Unfortunately, while we don't like going with the flow, in this case we agree with the betting public.

Free Pick: Take the Mariners at the -105 offered at BetOnline for this MLB pick.

[gameodds]3/221608/43/us[/gameodds]

Check out our Fantasy Baseball Picks which include a Mariners athlete.

Astros at Nationals (6 pm ET)

Stephen Strasburg, who threw into the sixth inning his last time out five days ago, is slated to start for Washington against Lucas Harrell for Houston.

Many books we consulted Saturday morning opened Washington at right around -170 for this game, then dropped the Nats a dime, to -160.

The Nationals are 9-9 this spring, after losing to St. Louis Friday 5-1. But of course, winning games is not the top priority for a team like Washington, which is just trying to get to April with all hands healthy and ready for another run at the playoffs.

Houston, meanwhile, is a massive project at the moment, after losing 107 games last year. Props to anybody outside of Texas who can name three guys who play for the Astros right now.

The Astros are 7-11 this spring, with three straight losses, after falling to Pittsburgh Friday 3-2.

Strasburg has allowed nine ER and 15 hits in 14 IP this season. As mentioned above he threw five-plus innings against the Braves Monday; how far he goes Saturday is probably dependent upon how well he's throwing.

Harrell, who managed to go 11-11 last year with a 3.76 ERA for the worst team in baseball, has allowed three runs and 10 hits through nine innings this spring.

Obviously, on paper this game is a mis-match; you don't see many Spring Training games with odds so steep. But despite what Houston is at the moment, we look at this game as an opportunity, albeit not a great one, to get a little of what we lost Thursday back.

Free Pick: Take the Astros at the +152 offered at 5Dimes. 

[gameodds]3/221610/43/us[/gameodds]
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