Time to fire up the baseball action for today and see where opportunity lies for MLB picks today against the betting odds. On this day we have two favorites and a home underdog ready to roll.
Your MLB baseball handicapper continues to provide good results with an 18-7 record in MLB picks for this article, so let’s get to it!
Need a Hose to Cool Off Bryce Harper and the Nationals
This afternoon on FS-1 at 4:00 EDT, Washington will host Atlanta and Julio Teheran (3-1, 3.82 ERA) is assigned the task of trying to slow a scalding Bryce Harper. The 22-year old is among baseball's leaders with 10 homers and 25 RBI’s and is 6 for 8 with five homers and 10 RBI’s in his last two contests. Harper can become the first player to have six homers in three games since Hee-Seop Choi did it with the Los Angeles Dodgers a decade ago.
Teheran will have his work cut out for him since a normal Harper is 8 for 19 with three doubles and two home runs off him, let alone one that is in the zone. However, the Atlanta ace is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA in his last three starts in Washington, fanning 20 batters in 20 innings and holding the Nationals below the Mendoza Line at a .197 batting average.
The Nationals will use Doug Fister (2-1, 2.61), who is coming off his best performance since his first start of 2015, yielding five hits in 6 1/3 innings in a 1-0 road win over the Mets. "Location, fastball were the biggest thing," Fister said. "It was really a matter of throwing the changeup to offset the fastball and really locate the fastball."
Sportsbooks like Wagerweb.ag have the Nationals as -145 home favorites and I agree, with Fister and the Nats 9-0 after a game in which he did not walk a better and the Braves 2-16 versus a NL starting pitcher whose ERA is 2.70 or better the last three seasons.
MLB Pick –Washington -145 at 5Dimes
Birthday Boy Leads Phillies to Victory
A few years ago I read an article about how athletes as a group perform better on their birthdays. If you are like me, my mood is always better on my birthday and if I remember correctly batters hit .017 higher than career averages and pitchers lower their ERA’s by 0.20 on their special day.
May 9th is Aaron Harang’s birthday, turning 37 and he will be the Philadelphia starting pitcher tonight. The right-hander is 3-2 with a very sharp 2.35 ERA (4.18 for career) and he could become the first Phillies pitcher in 101 years to not give up a run through his first his first three home starts. The birthday boy has also enjoyed success against New York and has a minuscule 1.04 ERA when facing the Mets in his past four starts (2-2 record).
This will not be as easy as blowing out the candles on a cake since the Mets counter with Jonathon Niese (2-2, 2.40) who is 4-0 with a 1.87 ERA over his last six outings versus Philadelphia, which were all New York victories.
The MLB odds have Philly as a +106 underdog and NL home teams when the money line is +125 to -125, scoring 3.3 or fewer runs a game, against opposing starting a pitcher who gave up one or less earned runs in last outing are 45-19 the past five seasons.
MLB Pick – Philadelphia +106 at BookMaker
Oakland Bullpen Cannot be Trusted
Behind Sonny Gray, the Athletics took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of seventh inning at Seattle last night when they bullpen was called upon to save it. The Mariners promptly scored two runs to tie and won 4-3 in 11 innings. That left the Oakland relievers with a beleaguered 2-9 record, a bloated 5.29 ERA and they have blown six of 10 save chances.
A's starter Jesse Hahn (1-2, 4.33) is not going to pitch a complete game and chances are when he exits Oakland will not have scored enough runs versus A.J. Happ (2-1, 3.51) who is 1-0 with a 1.33 ERA in three starts against the Athletics. To make matters worse, manager Bob Melvin’s team is 1-4 against left-handers this year. The A’s are a +115 underdog and they are 6-23 as dogs of +100 to +150.
MLB Pick – Seattle -125 at Bovada