Sunday MLB Picks: Three Games Predicted To Go 'Under' The Total

Matthew Jordan

Saturday, April 23, 2016 5:32 PM UTC

Saturday, Apr. 23, 2016 5:32 PM UTC

With all this talk surrounding Bryce Harper, we have to shift focus to Stephen Strasburg, who is also off to the best start of his career. Check out my top totals MLB picks inside.

Minnesota Twins vs. Washington Nationals
On Tuesday's 'over/under' picks story, I looked at Washington's game in Miami, which had a total of seven. I recommended the 'under' there because Strasburg was on the mound in south Florida. He certainly did his part, going a season-high eight innings and shutting out the Marlins on three hits, whiffing a season-best 10.

Alas, that total pushed as Washington won 7-0. All seven runs came in the seventh inning. Strasburg is using a cutter/slider more this season than any before -- it gives the right-hander a pitch that moves right to left, away from righties and in on lefties -- and in tandem with his 97 mph fastball, it's working. This season, Strasburg is 3-0 with a 1.25 ERA and 21 strikeouts against seven walks and hasn't allowed a homer. Since Aug. 8, 2015, Strasburg is 9-2 with a 1.74 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 88 innings. He's finally living up to the hype. Strasburg was at 105 pitches through eight innings and new Manager Dusty Baker didn't want to risk injury by letting him pitch the ninth. Of course Strasburg had Tommy John surgery a few years ago.

I seriously would not be shocked if we saw our second no-hitter of the week -- the Cubs' Jake Arrieta did the deed on Thursday in Cincinnati -- as the Twins are not a very good offensive team, lose the DH in this interleague matchup and no Twin has faced Strasburg in a regular-season game. Minnesota was to counter with Ervin Santana (0-1, 3.15) but he was scratched due to back stiffness. So it will be Tyler Duffey, who was recalled from Triple-A. He was 5-1 with a 3.10 ERA in 10 big-league starts in 2015. 'Under.' It is 4-1 in Strasburg's past five overall.

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Free MLB Pick: Under 7.5
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker


Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees 
While Arrieta's no-hitter was obviously the best outing of the week in the National League, the best in the AL probably was by young Rays left-hander Drew Smyly (0-2, 2.91), who starts this game for Tampa. He was brilliant at Fenway Park on Tuesday, holding the Red Sox to one hit over eight innings with 11 strikeouts -- Smyly's second straight start with 11 punchouts. The Sox were held to one hit in a game for the first time since Aug. 30, 2014. Smyly got a no-decision against the Red Sox and lost the previous game with 11 Ks against Cleveland. Come on Rays, score this guy some runs.

Smyly missed a large chunk of 2015 due to injury but did make one start at Yankee Stadium and got a no-decision, allowing two runs and four hits over six innings. Alex Rodriguez is 1-for-6 career off him with five strikeouts. Mark Teixeira is 1-for-8. Chase Headley is 1-for-4 with a home run. New York counters with Michael Pineda (1-1, 5.29). He threw a second straight quality start Tuesday, allowing two runs and seven hits over six innings against the Oakland A's. Pineda struck out a season-high seven. He is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA in seven career starts vs. the Rays. Evan Longoria is just 2-for-20 off him. Steven Souza Jr. is 4-for-9 with a homer. I backing another 'Under' here as my MLB pick. It is 10-1-1 in Smyly's past 12 on the road. The 'under' is 7-3-1 in the Yankees' past 11 at home vs. a lefty.

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Free MLB Pick: Under 7.5
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


Texas Rangers vs. Chicago White Sox 
When the sportsbooks released Cy Young odds this spring, you wouldn't have found the White Sox's Mat Latos anywhere among the AL options. And why would you? Latos was an afterthought signing this spring after struggling with the Marlins, Dodgers and Angels in 2015. Well, Latos has looked like a Cy Young contender through three starts as he's 3-0 with a 0.49 ERA. If you say you saw this coming, you are lying. Latos shut out the Angels over 6.1 innings on two hits on Tuesday. He hasn't allowed more than three hits in a start yet. Amazing.

Latos pitched 1.2 innings vs. Texas in 2015 and allowed two runs and two hits. Roughned Odor is 1-for-1 off him with a solo homer. Prince Fielder is 1-for-8. Texas counters with lefty Derek Holland (2-0, 2.70). He beat Houston on Tuesday, allowing two runs and five hits over five innings. The only American League team Holland has never beaten is the White Sox. He's 0-2 with a 7.98 ERA against them career. Dioner Navarro is 2-for-4 with a homer off him. Melky Cabrera is 4-for-15 with a double. Make this play an Under 8.5 and be sure to shop around on the MLB odds boards for the best deals. It is 4-1 in Holland's past five Sunday starts. 

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

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