Top MLB Picks Monday: Nats vs. Reds & Tigers vs. Indians

Joe Catalano

Monday, May 19, 2014 1:19 PM GMT

It’s very rare to see just 5 games on the MLB slate for Monday and we’ll look to make the best of the situation with our betting picks and get in the plus side off of a good Sunday. Nationals look to take lead in their division and Tigers to continue their dominance.

Joe C. Record
51-61 -27.90 Units
Sunday was a winning day, highlighted by the Detroit Tigers, who were an underdog, sweeping the Red Sox on Sunday Night Baseball.


Cincinnati Reds (19-23) at Washington Nationals (23-20)
Strasburg Time
After a 6-3 victory over Zack Wheeler and the Mets , the Washington Nationals find themselves just ½ game behind the Atlanta Braves who will be facing the National League Central Division leading Milwaukee Brewers. A win here for the Nats and a Braves' loss can put the Nationals in 1st place of the National League East Division and Washington has the right man taking the mound tonight in Stephen Strasburg (3-3, 3.48).


Unlimited Potential
Now that Strasburg has been given the green light to go 100 pitches, there should be nothing stopping him in achieving success; easier said than done.

Thus far this season, Strasburg has been good, but not great. He’s worked his way down from a 6.10 ERA in his 1st two starts of the season to a very solid 3.48.  A typical Strasburg start this year consists of 6 to 7 innings while allowing 2 to 3 runs and striking out 5 to 6 batters. This is good for any pitcher, but in the past, Strasburg was good for double-digit k’s.

Keep in mind for your MLB picks that with Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche out of the lineup, Washington doesn’t have an offensive threat that will overwhelm their opponent. While Denard Span and Ian Desmond have struggled, Jayson Werth (5 HR, 19 RBI, .296) and Anthony Rendon (5 HR, 24 RBI,.275) have led the way for Washington. This means that Stephen Strasburg must pitch well to get the decision against a Reds team that can be inconsistent at times.

For the Reds, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce have both been a major disappointment thus far, but Votto has been able to get on base via the walk. Although he’s batting just .257 on the season, Votto’s on base percentage is .410. The Reds need for Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips to produce as Jay Bruce is out with an injury and leadoff man, Billy Hamilton, has a problem getting on base.

Good pitching wins games and neither team is hitting well. Take Washington and lay the heavy juice.

[gameodds]3/264291/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]
MLB Pick: Washington -171 at 5 Dimes


Detroit Tigers (27-12 ) at Cleveland Indians(19-25)
Worst Meets First
Fresh after coming off of a sweep of the Boston Red Sox, the team with the best record in the majors, the Detroit Tigers face the last place Cleveland Indians. Detroit seems unstoppable at the moment with 6 consecutive victories and a 14-4 record on the road.


Dominance
With Miguel Cabrera back to his Triple Crown form, the Tigers are unstoppable as they rank 9th in the majors in runs, 2nd in batting average, 5th in on-base percentage, and 3rd in slugging percentage. With a pitching staff that compliments their offense well, the Tigers have to be the odds' favorites to win the World Series.


Corey Kluber
Even though the Tigers are the far superior team in this matchup, Cleveland brings something to the table as starter Corey Kluber has been pitching very well as of late.

In his last 8 starts, Kluber has allowed 3 runs or less in 7 of those starts. His earned run average is steadily decreasing while he’s striking out nearly 10 batters per ball game. This will be a huge test for Detroit, as Cleveland has the pitching edge in this matchup with Kluber starting.

I’m going to go with the hot team in Detroit. Even if Kluber pitches well, look for Detroit to find a way to pull out the victory.

[gameodds]3/264292/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]
MLB Pick: Detroit +102 at 5 Dimes