Here's our take on a couple of Tuesday's Cactus League games, with a few free picks for the taking.
Spring Training Picks: 3-3 (- $30)
Padres at Giants (10 pm ET)
San Diego, 8-9 this spring, heads over to Scottsdale to take on the 6-7 Giants. Freddy Garcia and his 13.50 spring ERA is expected to start on the mound for the Padres against Tim Linecum for San Francisco.
The Padres beat Oakland Monday 10-0, as San Diego hitters banged out five doubles and three homers while Padres pitching held the A's to four singles. The victory broke a three-game losing streak for San Diego.
Meanwhile, the Giants beat the Rangers Monday 2-1 for their second win in a row following a four-game losing streak.
So far this spring the Padres are averaging better than five and a half runs per game, and own a .354 team OBP.
San Fran is averaging a little better than five RPG, but has only scored a total of 24 runs over its last seven games.
In trying to earn a spot on the Padres pitching staff Garcia has allowed 10 ER and 12 hits in 6 2/3 innings this spring.
Lincecum, meanwhile, in his only previous start this spring got nicked for four hits and three runs in an inning and a third vs. the Dodgers two weeks ago. He's since been dealing with some blister issues and hasn't pitched.
The Giants took the season series from the Pads last year 12 games to six.
As for motivation for this game San Diego would probably like to beat its National League West rivals just to try and set a mood for the upcoming season series with the Giants. San Fran, on the other hand, is just trying to get to April without getting any of their key players hurt.
So despite Garcia's shortcomings, we're leaning toward the Padres, even though the MLB odds makers have given them the underdog tag, for Tuesday's game.
Free MLB Pick: Take San Diego at the +116 offered at 5Dimes.
Dodgers at Reds (10 pm ET)
National League Central pre-season favorite Cincinnati, just 4-11 so far this spring, plays host to the 6-7 Dodgers at Goodyear Ballpark. Cincy's Mat Latos is slated to start against LA's Josh Beckett.
LA lost to Milwaukee Monday 3-2, snapping a two-game winning streak. Cincy, meanwhile, rapped out 13 hits in beating the White Sox 7-3.
Cincy is averaging five RPG this spring, but its team OBP is just .332 and its team slugging percentage is only .416.
The Dodgers' team OBP this spring is .368, and they own a team slugging percentage of .425.
Beckett has started twice this spring, throwing five innings of two-hit, shut-out ball, walking one and whiffing six. Latos, meanwhile, has started once this spring, tossing two innings, giving up a hit and two walks but allowing no runs.
Beckett's overall numbers last year were terrible, but he was alright for the Dodgers after coming over in the trade with Boston, posting a 2.93 ERA over seven starts for LA.
Last year the Dodgers took four of six games from the Reds.
Cincy owned the best bullpen ERA in baseball last year at 2.65.
Beckett is off to a good start this spring for LA and its collection of All-Stars. On the other side of this match-up it's apparent the Reds are using Spring Training like a likely regular-season contender should, taking a look at guys fighting to make the last few spots on the roster and keeping their key people healthy. We expect Cincy to continue along those lines, and for that reason we are backing them as the second of our MLB picks.
Free MLB Pick: Take the Dodgers at the +108 being offered at 5Dimes.