Picks of the Day for July 1st

Mark Lathrop

Saturday, July 1, 2017 1:41 PM UTC

Saturday, Jul. 1, 2017 1:41 PM UTC

Our MLB handicapper spots some tasty matchups on the Saturday MLB betting card. Read on as he makes his selections on his way out the door for a holiday weekend.

[/]{"component":"video", "type":"youtube", "url":"https://www.youtube.com/embed/77ab2GQ5yU0", "videoSize":"Large" }[/]San Francisco Giants vs Pittsburgh Pirates

With these two teams in vastly different situations in the standings, our MLB handicapper likes how the pitching and momentum match up for a possible blowout win for the Bucs.

Chad Kuhl gets this start for the Pirates and he has been a fascinating development this year. After averaging 94 mph on his fastball in 2016 and the beginning of 2017, Kuhl has seen a jump to his velocity of almost 3 mph. His fastball averaged 97.1 mph in his June 25th start against St. Louis. With that increase has come a bit of wildness, but that has also started to wane and Kuhl has only walked 4 batters over his last 3 starts. Velocity makes mistake pitches harder to hit, so if he can keep this up Kuhl will be a viable ‘bet on’ starter for the rest of the season.

Starting for the Giants on the road, with their terrible 13-30 road record coming into the weekend, is Matt Moore. Moore has hit a rough patch because his fastball has started getting hit hard. His four-seam fastball ranged from 87 to 96 in 2016 and batters only hit .233 against it. In 2017 that same pitch is ranging from 86 to 94 and is getting hit at a .323 clip! That is not good for a pitch that is thrown more than 50% of the time. Moore is especially getting beat up by lefties, who are hitting .354 off of him and slugging .677. I’ll back the mismatch here in a big way by taking the Pirates -1.5 on the run line at +155 at Heritage as one of my Saturday MLB Picks of the Day.

Free MLB Pick: Pirates -1.5 Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds

A spot starter comes up for the Reds to start this game at home against the Cubs. Our MLB handicapper runs down his chances of having a successful first start in the big leagues.

Quick rising prospect Jackson Stephens has been called up from AAA to get this start for the Reds. I was able to find some video on Stephens and what we have here is a mid-90’s fastball with some good command (except for this year) and average secondary pitches. He’s 6’ 3”, 220 lbs., and looks like one of your gangly cousins from your family reunion. He’s running a 4.68 FIP in AAA, so he’s not at risk of throwing a shutout here, but what is more important is that he is averaging only 5 innings per start. That brings us to the Cincinnati bullpen.

The Reds bullpen is god-awful. They are running a 28.2% HR/FB rate over the last two weeks and a 6.57 FIP. If that wasn’t bad enough they are also walking batters at a 4.75 BB/9 rate. So, even though I’m not high in Eddie Butler for the Cubs I see this as a value spot to fade the Cincinnati bullpen. I’ll take the Cubs here at -113 on the moneyline at BookMaker as one of my Saturday MLB Picks of the Day.

Free MLB Pick: Chicago Cubs -113  Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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