Free MLB Picks for Sunday
Might we take a financial advantage of those situations?
Here's our take on three games for Sunday, with free picks for the choosin'.
This Week's MLB Picks Record: 4-1
A's at Astros (2:10 pm ET)
In a new divisional rivalry Oakland shoots for a sweep of Houston at Minute Maid Stadium.
Oakland (4-2) has won the first two games of this series by scores of 8-3 and 6-3. So not only have the A's won as -145 and -135 favorites, they covered the run and a half on the run line both games.
After scoring two runs in losing its first two games of the season, Oakland has scored 28 runs over its last four games.
The Astros (1-4), on the other hand, after scoring eight runs in winning their season opener, have scored six runs total in losing their last four games.
Lefty Brett Anderson starts Sunday for the A's against Lucas Harrell for Houston.
Anderson held Seattle to two runs on four hits through seven innings Monday, a game Oakland lost 2-0. Harrell, meanwhile, held Texas to one run and six hits through six innings Tuesday in a game the Astros eventually lost 7-0.
Runs might be a bit hard to come by Sunday, especially for Houston. We're definitely leaning toward the A's for our free MLB pick on this game. But we're not alone; the price on Oakland rose Sunday morning from an opening -140 or so to -150.
Not to be deterred, we're going to gamble a little and take the visiting team at a better price, giving the run and a half on the run line.
Pick: A's at +113 on the run line at Matchbook for your MLB Picks.
Pirates at Dodgers (4:10 pm ET)
LA goes for a sweep and possibly a series shut-out of Pittsburgh Sunday at Chavez Ravine.
The Dodgers (3-2) have won the first two games of this series by scores of 3-0 (behind Zack Greinke) and 1-0 (behind Clay Kershaw). Oh, yeah, and the LA bullpen has thrown 4 2/3 innings of hitless ball.
So, the Pirates (1-4) have scored a total of six runs so far this season.
Pittsburgh gets a break in that it gets to face LA's No. 4 starter Sunday, rookie H-J Ryu. In his ML debut Tuesday against the Giants the Korean import allowed 10 hits, although just one earned run, in 6 1/3 innings of a 3-0 Dodgers loss.
The Pirates will throw second-year lefty Jeff Locke, who posted a 2.63 ERA in 27 innings this Spring.
It's not easy going with a team that hasn't scored a run in three days, but we like Pittsburgh to wake up and avoid the sweep Sunday. And again, apparently we're not alone. Many books opened this game with the Dodgers favored by -160 or so, then dropped that price to -150.
Pick: Pirates at the +142 offered at The Greek.
Angels at Rangers (8 pm ET, ESPN)
AL West rivals meet for a series rubber match as the Angels and Rangers play the Sunday night game in Arlington.
Texas took this series opener Friday night 3-2, winning as -115 MLB Odds favorites. LA took Game 2 Saturday 8-3, cashing in as +110 dogs.
The Rangers averaged five runs per game last year. Then they lost Michael Young, Mike Napoli and Josh Hamilton. So far this season Texas has scored 20 runs through five games. Yes, it's early, but our guess is the Rangers will have a tough time averaging five RPG this season.
Yu Darvish, who just about threw a perfect game Tuesday at Houston, gets the call Sunday night for Texas against Jered Weaver for the Angels.
Weaver went four-for-five in quality starts last year vs. the Rangers, and LA went 4-1 in those games.
Darvish, by our tough standards, went three-for-six in QS last year vs. the Angels; Texas went 4-2 in those games.
It's hard to go against a guy who damn-near tossed a perfecto his last time out, but in believing LA is simply the better team in this match-up, we like the Angels as an underdog Sunday night.