With so few games to choose today, as a baseball handicapper who loves to win I really had to go over the MLB odds with a magnifying glass to find three potential plays on the run line.
I can honestly say this trio of MLB picks far and away are the best choices and it is my job to get them right which I believe will happen. Here we go!
Texas Continues to Hang Around
The Rangers took a 4-2 lead into the eighth inning last night but could not make it hold up as their bullpen failed them in a 5-4 loss at Oakland. They were still a run line winner which we gave out here yesterday and for the afternoon series finale, with sports picks we come right back with Texas on the run line at -150 (+1.5).
Chi Chi Gonzalez's (2-0, 0.00 ERA) debut has already been impressive and he will attempt to become the first Texas pitcher in their history to win his initial first three starts of the season. Gonzalez does not have overpowering stuff but he’s strong-minded and knows how to avoid trouble, which is shown in conceding seven walks in two starts without allowing a run.
Even with the loss, the Rangers are still a baseball best 20-13 (+17.1 units) on the road and 15-9 at Oakland since 2013, with the Athletics ‘improving’ to 10-18 at home last night. The A’s turn to Scott Kazmir (2-4, 3.14) as their starter and he also began 2-0 but has not won since in his last nine starts. Besides not always pitching well, a lack of run support and a pathetic bullpen, Kazmir missed a start due to shoulder tightness.
With Texas 18-4 on the RL in road games versus an AL team with an on-base percentage .320 or worse this season, the MLB odds appear to be in their favor.
Cincinnati Offense Could Carry Then to Win
The Reds have won eight of 12 and if has been their offense which has been doing sparkling work in averaging 5.8 runs per game. While most of the damage has been at home, it would seem at least for one more game there would be a carryover effect even without injured shortstop Zack Cozart.
Michael Lorenzen (1-1, 3.29 ERA) will take on the Chicago’s Tsuyoshi Wada (0-1, 4.19 ERA) and appears to be the better pitcher. The Reds right-hander has a solid three-pitch mix with a mid-90’s fastball, biting slider and developing changeup. While the Cubs did score 12 runs last night, they were shutout the evening prior and on the season have averaged 3.4 runs a game at Wrigley Field.
Wada is merely adequate and his history has been to tire quickly once he hits 80 pitchers. Cincinnati is very comfortable playing at Wrigley with a 14-8 SU record the past three years and are 15-7 on the RL there, thus with sportsbooks like 5Dimes posting -155 (+1.5) run line odds (best I found in researching numbers), the Reds sizzling offense and better starter makes them a winner.
Baltimore Handles Boston
The Orioles go for the series sweep with their struggling ace Chris Tillman (3-7, 5.61 ERA), who won for the first time his last time out after six starts in which his ERA was over six and he failed to post a victory. In his career Tillman is 8-3 with 2.63 ERA against Boston, which sets him up to start with confidence.
Wade Miley (5-5, 4.67 ERA) has come on strong for the Red Sox over the past month with a 4-1 record and 2.73 ERA in five starts, but he’s pitching for a team that has dropped five straight on the road and nine of 10, losing by 2.5 RPG. Though Miley has improved, he still has a 5.10 ERA on the road.
With the total adjusted to 8.5, Tillman and the Birds are 30-12 on the RL when the total is 7 to 8.5, winning by 1.7 RPG and 20-4 when the right-hander is working on five or six days rest since 2013.