Valuable MLB Picks for Thursday Night

Joe Catalano

Thursday, April 17, 2014 1:09 PM GMT

Early season MLB is so great for the fan and bettor alike as there are games all day long. This gives us an opportunity to get a jump on the season when making our picks of the day.

Joe C. Picks
20-18 -3.39 Units
We added a pick in with the Yankees yesterday in the 2nd half of their doubleheader and we’ll do that from time to time to give the maximum amount of chances for the bettor to prosper.


Kansas City Royals (6-7) at Houston Astros (5-10)
Scott Feldman Time?
Feldman is a veteran that has traveled around the majors and although this will only be his 3rd start as a member of the Houston Astros, he’s made a huge splash, sporting one of the best ERA’s in the majors.

This lanky right-hander had some good years with the Texas Rangers and has returned to the Lone Star state and this appears to be a comfortable spot for him.

Unfortunately for the Astros, they haven’t been able to maintain their winning ways after taking 2 of 3 games from the Yankees in their first series of the season.

This is a team with a lot of players that can rise to the occasion, but lack consistency offensively and have a weak pitching staff. This combination spells trouble as they face teams with much larger payrolls.

The “Stros” are 27th in the league in runs, 30th in batting average at just .189, 30th in on-base %, and 26th in slugging percentage. There are actually other baseball teams with a better team batting average than the Astros on-base percentage.

Houston is coming off of a 6-4 loss to Kansas City in 11 innings. Catcher, Jason Castro, is finally starting to get his bat going and if he can add another solid performance with Scott Feldman on the mound, the Astros have a good chance of picking up their 6th win of the 2014 MLB Season.

 

Billy Butler
This is a player that starred at an All-Star Game when it was hosted at Kansas City. This season, Butler will need to adjust his game if he’s to have any chance of making an All-Star team. He’s hitting just .149 on the season and this career .296 hitter is a key missing component that K.C. really needs in order to be a .500 team or better.

You have to stick with the hot pitcher in Feldman, especially when Kansas City has been playing poorly, themselves.

MLB Pick: Houston -115 at Bet 365

[gameodds]3/262176/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Boston Red Sox (6-9) at Chicago White Sox (8-7)
No Swag?
Even though this is practically the same Red Sox team that won a World Series title last season with the exception of the departed Jacoby Ellsbury and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, this team has suffered a few injuries and appears to be complacent with their accomplishment of last season and don’t seem as hungry as they were in 2013.

Not having gamers such as Shane Victorino and Will Middlebrooks has really hurt Boston and the other part of it is, they’re simply not hitting well.

Mike Napoli (.302) is the only player to be hitting above .300. Big Papi is “stuck in the muck” at .237 and arguing with umpires on a regular basis. Maybe this team had has already hit its peak and is in for a long season.

For at least one game, the Sox can feel confident as they send Jon Lester (1-2, 2.57) to the mound. Pitching is all about ERA and Lester hasn’t received a ton of run support.

He might find another game in which he finds few runs as he faces one of the best pitchers in the majors in Chris Sale (3-0, 2.66) of the White Sox. Since making the jump from reliever to starter a few years back, Sale has been one of the few bright spots on an ordinary White Sox team.

This season, Chicago has been a much improved offensive team as they’re 1st in the MLB in runs in runs scored.

 

Alexei Ramirez
The biggest reason why the Chicago offense has been so good has been the play of shortstop Alexei Ramirez. Ramirez, who is currently on a 16 game hitting streak, leads the White Sox in all major statistical categories.

He’s hitting .375 with 4 HR and 14 RBI. If Ramirez keeps hitting like this and Adam Dunn can hit for a respectable batting average, this team can be a contender come September.

You have a great pitching matchup and although Chicago looks appealing, I’m going to lean towards the total and take the under for your MLB picks.

MLB Pick: Boston/Chicago Under 7 -110 at Bet 365

[gameodds]3/262177/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Additional Game
New York Yankees (9-6) at Tampa Bay Rays (7-8)
C.C is Due
Sabathia (1-2, 6.63) had a marvelous spring training after taking off all of that weight. Thus far, in the regular season, he’s been a major disappointment.

Even though the Rays start David Price (2-0, 2.91), the new look Yankees have been the much better team with all of their new acquisitions. Look for New York  and C.C. Sabathia to come up big as a moderate underdog.

MLB Pick: Yankees +156 at Bet 365

[gameodds]3/262175/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]