Pittsburgh Pirates (Locke) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (Hamels)
The Phillies won a close one last night and are favored to the tune of -150 to make it two out of two in the series. The total for tonight's game is at 7.5.
After getting swept by Cincinnati, Philadelphia is starting to build up some momentum, as they've won three of four to improve their overall record to 9-11.
Tonight Cole Hamels will try and earn his first win of the season and we're siding with him to do so. The southpaw hasn't exactly had his best stuff this season, but he has been able to post two quality starts in a row heading into this matchup with Pittsburgh.
Though he owns a 0-2 record and 6.46 ERA right now, let's not lose sight of Hamels' career numbers. He's 91-62 overall with a 3.39 ERA and 1.14 WHIP, so it's only a matter of time before he rights the ship completely.
In 14 home starts in 2012, Hamels went 7-3 with a 2.98 ERA and we think he'll be able to have success against a Pittsburgh offense that ranks #24 in team batting average (.233) and #22 in runs scored (70).
Jeff Locke will pitch for the Pirates and he's struggled out of the gate this season. He's posted a 5.17 ERA and has more walks (9) than he does strikeouts (6) thus far.
We thought about simply backing the Phillies on the ML, but we would be sacrificing a ton of value. When it comes down to placing our MLB picks, we have enough confidence in Philadelphia in this spot for them to win comfortably, so we'll take them on the run line.
Free MLB Pick: Philadelphia Phillies -1.5 (+140)
New York Yankees (Hughes) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (Price)
Again we're adding a play on the run line to our free picks, this time on the Rays, with their ace on the mound, against the Yankees. As you'd expect, Tampa Bay is a heavy favorite at -175, while the total has been bet down from 7.5 to 7.
Believe it or not, Price has still yet to get a win through four starts this season. He's 0-1 with a 6.26 ERA and 1.57 WHIP, but it's only a matter of time before he turns things around and reverts back to his dominant form.
That could come tonight against the Yankees. Not only did Price go 7-2 with a 1.81 ERA at home last season, but he was a very solid 3-1 with a 3.06 ERA in five outings against New York – in two home starts against the Bronx Bombers he gave up just three earned runs in 13 and 1/3 innings.
New York turns to Phil Hughes tonight, a pitcher that's had his fair share of struggles early on in 2013 as well. Hughes is 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA and 1.79 WHIP, but pitched his best outing of the season (7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K) his last time on the mound.
In his one appearance against Tampa Bay in 2012, Hughes was decent (5 hits and 2 ER allowed), but wasn't able to get out of the fifth inning in a 3-0 loss. The Rays bats will try and make him work for each and every out once again tonight.
Tonight's game sees two teams that are going in different directions at the moment. New York has lost three of five, while Tampa Bay has won four in a row to get ever so close to the .500 mark.
The Rays are a very healthy 7-3 at home this season and we foresee them getting another win tonight, with Price looking to notch his first winning decision of 2013.
Free MLB Pick: Tampa Bay Rays -1.5 (+125)[gameodds]3/225487/43/us[/gameodds]