Rays Ready to Sting While Astros Prepare to Launch in Friday’s MLB Picks

Swinging Johnson

Friday, August 25, 2017 3:01 PM UTC

Friday, Aug. 25, 2017 3:01 PM UTC

Mining the Diamond is a daily MLB picks column focusing on pitching matchups, historical trends and the value rendered on the odds board. Let’s analyze our top pair of selections for Friday night’s baseball slate.

Rays (63-66, -4.2 Units) at Cardinals (64-63, -9.4 Units)
  • St. Louis is 32-33 (-17.1 Units) as a home favorite of -125 to -175 over the last two seasons.
  • St. Louis is 5-12 (-12.2 Units) in home inter-league games over the last two seasons.
  • St. Louis is 47-52 (-25.8 Units) in home night games over the last two seasons.
  • Tampa Bay is 12-10 (+7.3 Units) as a road underdog of +125 to +175 this season.
  • Tampa Bay is 4-1 (+3.3 Units) after shutting out their opponent this season.
  • Tampa Bay is 26-24 (+4.9 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record.

The name of the game is value and we see it here with the Tampa Bay Rays. Here we have two teams with virtually identical records and two starting pitchers who have struggled recently. The Cardinals’ Michael Wacha is 1-2 with a bloated 7.20 ERA over his last three is battling Tampa Bay’s Jake Odorizzi who similarly totes a 0-3 record with a 6.58 ERA. Yet, St. Louis is being installed by the MLB odds makers as big home chalk here. Too big.

Odorizzi is 1-1 when starting against the Cards with an ERA of 2.08 and a WHIP of 0.92 while Wacha is 0-1 in his lone start versus the Rays with an ERA of 7.20 and a WHIP of 1.60. I say that’s value which is why we will back the big road dog in our MLB picks tonight.

Free MLB Picks: Rays +157Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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 Astros (77-50, +6.4 Units) at Angels (65-63, +9.0 Units)
  • Los Angeles is 7-13 (-5.8 Units) when playing on Friday this season.
  • Los Angeles is 52-66 (-6.4 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season over the last three seasons.
  • Los Angeles is 11-16 (-4.9 Units) after getting shut out over the last three seasons.
  • Houston is 34-17 (+9.1 Units) against division opponents this season.
  • Houston is 40-21 (+13.5 Units) in road games this season.
  • Houston is 22-11 (+10.2 Units) on the road when the money line is +125 to -125 this season.

This game between two teams with disparate records is a veritable coin flip because of LA’s starting pitcher Parker Bridwell. The emerging ace of the Angels rotation has had an impressive season with a 7-1 mark and a 2.92 ERA. We are not here to diminish his accomplishments this year as the second year major leaguer has been getting it done in fine fashion. However, he has never faced the Astros in his brief career and Houston has a decent hurler of their own on the mound in Collin McHugh who pitched six dandy innings in his last start when he blanked the Athletics en route to a 3-0 victory.

The Houston lineup should put enough runs on the board to get the victory today at a price that is simply too hard to resist. Let’s get the best team in the American League with virtually no juice to lay against an Angels’ club that has been orbiting the .500 mark all season long.

Free MLB Picks: Astros -102Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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