Picks of the Day for Monday, May 1st

Mark Lathrop

Monday, May 1, 2017 12:40 PM UTC

Monday, May. 1, 2017 12:40 PM UTC

MLB handicapper, Mark Lathrop, made his way through the unpredictable month of April above .500. He's looking to start May strong with two pitching matchups that lead to strong totals predictions on Monday.

[/]{"component":"video", "type":"youtube", "url":"https://www.youtube.com/embed/wuQKe5TPC9o", "videoSize":"Large" }[/]  New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves


Two slacking offense meet up in this NL East matchup between the Mets and the Braves, and our handicapper thinks only an average starting pitching performance will be enough to take this game Under the listed total.

Robert Gsellman, who starts this game for the New York Mets, gets his second chance at the Atlanta Braves in a row on Monday night. The first go-around did not go so well, as the right-hander gave up six runs, five earned, over just 4 innings pitched. Sloppy defensive play and errors got his pitch count early though, which is just the kind of thing that FIP picks up that ERA does not. On the season, Gsellman has accrued a very respectable 3.69 FIP versus a lackluster 6.23 ERA over just 21.2 innings pitched.

Julio Teheran also gets a back-to-back start against an opponent, as he beat the Mets just a week ago. This is actually the third start for Teheran this early in the season against the Mets, and they have all been very good. Over his first two starts, Teheran has allowed only two runs over 12.1 innings pitched. Walks have been a bit of an issue for him, but he’s been able to limit the long ball to keep those mistakes from costing multiple runs. The Wednesday game ended 8-2, but I think without the errors Gsellman can put together a better performance, which is why I am taking Under 8.5 runs in this game as a Monday MLB Pick.


Free MLB Pick: Under 8.5Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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   Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros


Our MLB handicapper turns to the AL West for another divisional matchup with familiar Texas foes. Read on as he breaks down why this game could get out of hand early for the Rangers

Andrew Cashner starts this game for the Rangers, and he has been everything except predictable so far this season. He has a serious problem with control as his 8/13 K/BB rate suggests. Cashner has also gotten lucky with balls in play and has an FIP at 6.19 even though his ERA is just 2.93. Don’t take that bait, as the peripherals suggest a pitcher who is struggling mightily with his stuff. To add insult to injury, Cashner’s average fastball velocity is down to 92.0 this year versus 93.5 last year and 94.8 in 2014. As a result of diminishing velocity, Cashner’s fastball usage has dropped from 71.1% in 2014 to just 56.6% this year, and his use of a “changeup” at an average in the mid-80’s has skyrocketed. This is a pitcher in transition who should not be trusted.

Starting for the Astros is Lance McCullers, who has struggled against left-handed batters so far this year. He is allowing a robust .321 batting average against southpaws, which has been taken advantage of throughout his five starts. The Rangers can put 6 left handers in the lineup at any given time, so I like the prospects of McCullers giving up a few runs. I see the Over of 3.5 for the first five innings available, which I will be taking as one of my Monday MLB selections.


Free MLB Pick: Over 3.5 F5Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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