Urgency For Wins Add Value To Orioles & Nationals In Saturday's MLB Picks

Joe Catalano

Saturday, August 20, 2016 4:09 PM UTC

Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016 4:09 PM UTC

See if will we ride the teams that are feeling a sense of urgency with the season dwindling down with our coveted MLB Picks of the Day for Saturday's baseball card.

Houston Astros vs Baltimore Orioles

A Perplexing Ball Club
The Houston Astros (62-60) have to be the most difficult team to figure out with their lack of inconsistency. They have one of the most potent offenses in baseball and always seem to be putting up huge numbers on teams like they did in their 15-8 victory over the Baltimore Orioles yesterday and yet they're a mere 2 games over .500. A team with George Springer, Jose Altuve, and Carlos Correa should be much better as they chase a wild card spot. Tonight, the offense will need to be at their best as they face Chris Tillman (15-4, 3.46 ERA) of the O's. Along with a lot of wins, Tillman has had a lot of run support. Will he keep Houston in check is the key to this game.

Jose Altuve
This player can't be praised enough as he never get's the credit that he deserves. With a 3-for-6 day yesterday in which he had 1 HR and 5 RBI and Altuve is up to .365 with 20 HR, 80 RBI, and 26 RBI. In my opinion, he's been the best player in baseball, but you never hear his name in where the media is concerned. Altuve's splits are amazing. He's hitting an unconscious .423 on the road this season and is 10 for his last 26 at-bats (.385) with 1 HR, 7 RBI, 4 doubles, and a triple.

Although he's dominated all season long, Jose Altuve is just 2 for 14 against Chris Tillman. Both teams really need this game. Altuve's play will be key because when he play's well, Houston usually wins and dominates.

Starting To Wake Up
You look at Mark Trumbo's .257 batting average and think that he's had an average season hitting-wise. This hasn't been the case as he's been a major force for the O's that had gotten into a major batting slump.Trumbo has hit a mere .164 in the month of August but is finally starting to wake up as he has home runs in back to back games. For the season, Mark Trumbo has 36 HR and 89 RBI. Much like Jose Altuve, the Orioles usually win when Mark Trumbo plays well and he's a game changer with his power. 

Look for Chris Tillman, who has pitched 7 out of 8 recent quality outings, to be the difference in this ball game and Tillman pitches relatively well at Camden Yards.

Free MLB Pick: Baltimore Orioles -130 
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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Washington Nationals vs Atlanta Braves

Biggest Mismatch of the Night
Max Scherzer (12-7, 2.95 ERA) and the National League East Division 1st place Washington Nationals (72-49) get a very easy matchup against a bottom-feeder in the Atlanta Braves, who can't seem to win at home. The Braves are just 18-43 at Turner Field and without Freddie Freeman and possibly Matt Kemp, they're a shell of a team. Washington is a heavy -261 betting favorite in a game that they should win playing at 75% of their ability.

Max Scherzer
He's coming off of a disappointing outing in a no-decision against Colorado in which he allowed 4 runs on 7 hits in 4 innings. However, we have to remember that this game was played at Coors Field and Coors Field can make any pitcher look bad. Scherzer has held the opposition to a mere .194 batting average and has 211 strikeouts in 167 2/3. He's a workhorse that get's the job done in a commanding manner.

Making His Move
Bryce Harper, who is supposed to be one of the top 3 players in the game, is finally making his move after a disastrous season. Harper is hitting just .241 with 21 HR and 64 RBI's in 377 at-bats. The positive that can be taken away is that he's feared and carries an OBP % of .384. Not only that, Harper is hitting .381 in his last 21 at bats with 1 HR and 7 RBI. Look for Bryce Harper to make a late run and salvage this season as his team has a chance to win it all.

Lay the juice as the best is playing the worst and with Max Scherzer cruising through this game, the only thing that can stop Washington would be the weather.

Free MLB Pick: Washington Nationals -261 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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