For the second day of June we have three pitching storylines to follow to help you with your MLB picks and see what damage you can do against the sportsbooks betting odds tonight.
In one contest we have a top line pitcher returning from injury, in another an older hurler with a great deal on mileage and what seems to be an odd money line given the present form of the two starting pitchers and their teams. Let’s begin to understand as MLB baseball handicappers.
Red vs. Phillies: Cueto Back for Cincinnati
If Twitter or teams reports about Cincinnati contend there is a bounce in the Reds players steps before tonight’s game, this should come as no surprise. Cincinnati just swept what was a smokin’ hot Washington outfit, is 4-1 of late and has their ace back. Johnny Cueto (3-4, 3.03 ERA) saw his ERA rise from 1.95 over his past three starts and was placed on the DL with elbow inflammation. An MRI showed no structural damage and Sunday’s bullpen session confirmed he’s at least healthy and ready to resume normal activities.
Cueto seemingly could not have handpicked a better opponent in Philadelphia who is on a seven-game losing streak, plating only 12 times in the process and is a hard to image 7 for 48 with runners in scoring position lately.
Phillies starter Sean O'Sullivan (1-4, 4.81) is not accomplishing much, but has been better at home with 2.65 ERA. This has the feel of a slam dunk winner for the Reds but Cueto is 1-5 with a 5.15 ERA versus Philadelphia and granted it was against far better teams than this Phils crew. However, with Cincy a -160 choice at Wagerweb.ag and Cueto a rock solid 21-7 as a favorite of -110 or higher the last two seasons (Reds Record), hard not like them for MLB picks.
Advantage – Cueto and Cincinnati
Yankees vs. Mariners: What Does Sabathia Have Left?
It was not that many years ago C.C. Sabathia (2-7, 5.67) taking on a rookie pitcher, even on the road would have meant a minimum -150 money line on the Yankees. But those days are gone and the aging lefthander is a short underdog against the MLB odds to somebody named Mike Montgomery, who Seattle just called up from Triple A. For all Sabathia’s woes, he’s been even worse in his past two outings, surrendering 11 runs and 15 hits in 8 1/3 innings, both New York setbacks.
"I threw the ball well," said Sabathia after his last misadventure. "Now I've just got to tighten up on a couple of pitches and get the ball to the back of our bullpen." While it is wonderful to think the glass is still half full, the Yankees are 3-7 in his 10 starts this season and 2-10 dating back to last year if coming off a victory.
Maybe Sabathia can return to his past having not thrown in Seattle in four years. He has won his last five starts at Safeco Field with a 0.71 ERA and is 8-1 with a 2.09 ERA in 11 total starts in Coffee Town. With the Mariners having lost three in a row again, Sabathia possibly can take advantage of their weak spots and hope Mark Teixeira stays hot, having homered 10 times while batting .347 in his last 23 games in Seattle.
Slight Advantage – Sabathia and New York
Twins vs. Red Sox: Odds are Peculiar in this Confrontation
Minnesota went 20-7 in May for its most wins in a month since going 22-6 in June 1991 and among the reason for their success has been a steady Mike Pelfrey (4-1, 2.77). Throughout his career, Pelfrey and consistency are almost never used in the same sentence, yet he’s found a comfortable spot wearing a Twins uniform.
Pelfrey will take confounding Buchholz (2-6, 4.33) who has a quality 1.99 ERA in his last three efforts. Unfortunately for him, he’s failed to win those starts and in fact Boston has dropped all three because they scored one run in each.
Taking it one step further, Minnesota is on a 7-1 run while the Red Sox are 1-6 in their last seven, yet Boston is a -175 favorite. I must be missing something, because backing the BoSox sure seems foolish.
Slight Advantage – Pelfrey and Minnesota