Free MLB Picks for Friday, August 2, 2019
The most baffling team at the Trade Deadline, non-Mets division, had to be the Cincinnati Reds. They obviously should have been sellers because they aren't going anywhere again this season, and they were able to dump overrated and overpriced outfielder Yasiel Puig on the Cleveland Indians. But why would the Reds also trade one of the top prospects in baseball, outfielder Taylor Trammell, to the Padres in this three-way deal to get Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer for the remaining two months this year and then 2020? Not like the Reds are going to contend next year, either, and Bauer is going to probably earn about $20 million in arbitration this winter. Bauer is a good pitcher but a bit of a hot-head who was leading the AL in walks and was among the leaders in homers allowed. Now he's going to one of the most homer-friendly parks in the majors. The Reds could always flip Bauer next year, but good luck getting a prospect as highly rated as Trammell. That's just another stellar piece the Padres add to their loaded farm system.
Brewers at Cubs (-131, TBA)
Per usual, a 2:20 p.m. ET home start for the Cubs at home on a Friday and on the MLB Network. It's almost crazy how bad the Cubbies are on the road and how good at Wrigley this year. They start lefty Jose Quintana (8-7, 4.47). Chicago has won his past five even though Quintana has been wildly inconsistent in them. He pitched in Milwaukee last weekend and lasted just 4.2 innings, allowing three runs. Yasmani Grandal hits him best of any Brewer, going 3-for-6 with a solo homer. Milwaukee's Zach Davies (8-4, 3.56) was opposite Quintana last time out and hammered for seven runs over five innings in taking the loss. Before that, he had a 2.54 ERA in 15 career starts against the Cubs. Kris Bryant is a .341 hitter off him with two homers in 44 at-bats.
Key trends: The Brewers are 4-10 in their past 11 series openers. The "over/under" has gone under in six straight Cubs home games.
Early lean: Cubs.
Mets at Pirates (+108, 9)
The Mets were surprisingly quiet in terms of being a seller at the deadline (we don't much count Jason Vargas - see below) as nearly everyone expected they would trade Zack Wheeler or maybe even Steven Matz, but the team is apparently pushing for a Wild-Card spot. Matz (6-6, 4.32) comes off the best start of his career, a complete-game five-hit shutout of these Pirates, striking out seven with no walks. It was Matz's first career complete game. Starling Marte is 0-for-10 off him. The Bucs, who kept closer Felipe Vazquez in a minor surprise, go with Trevor Williams (3-4, 4.87). He lost opposite Matz last weekend but pitched well (7 IP, 3 ER). Michael Conforto is 4-for-8 with a double and homer off him.
Key trends: The Pirates have lost their past six vs. lefties. The under is 5-1 in Matz's previous six on the road.
Early lean: Mets and under.
White Sox at Phillies (-190, 10)
Chicago loses the designated hitter for this interleague matchup. The White Sox have lost third baseman Yoan Moncada to the injured list with a hamstring injury. The Cuban is having a breakout season in batting .301 with 20 homers and 59 RBIs. One less worry for lefty Jason Vargas (6-5, 4.01), who makes his Phillies debut after being acquired from the Mets. The 36-year-old won his final three starts with New York, allowing three earned or fewer in each. The Sox's Tim Anderson is 5-for-11 with a homer off him. Chicago's Ivan Nova (6-9, 5.23), a rumored trade candidate, has allowed just one earned over 15 innings in his past two after being awful most of the rest of the year. Bryce Harper is 6-for-13 with two homers off him.
Key trends: The Sox are 5-22 in their past 27 road games vs. the NL. The over is 3-1-1 in Philly's past five at home vs. teams with a losing record.
Early lean: Phillies on runline and over.
Giants at Rockies (+100, 13)
The Giants hung on to franchise icon Madison Bumgarner (6-7, 3.74) to try and earn a Wild-Card spot and the southpaw takes the mound here. San Francisco could always get draft-pick compensation for him after the season if he signs elsewhere. MadBum has gone at least seven innings in three straight starts and is 3-0 with a 3.32 ERA in 19 innings this year against Colorado. Charlie Blackmon is a .359 hitter off him in 39 at-bats. Rockies rookie Peter Lambert (2-2, 5.67) hasn't won since June 11. He took a no-decision on July 16 vs. the Giants (6 IP, 2 ER).
Key trends: The Giants are 10-1 in their past 11 vs. the NL West. The under has hit in five straight Rockies games.
Early lean: Giants and under.
Padres at Dodgers (-185, 8.5)
The Dodgers didn't add a top-flight reliever at the Trade Deadline in a huge surprise, mainly because teams were asking for one of their top two prospects, infielder Gavin Lux or right-handed pitcher Dustin May. The latter, with the spectacular nickname of "Gingergaard" because he's a big dude with flowing ginger locks like the Mets' Noah Syndergaard, makes his MLB debut Friday. May was 6-5 with a 3.38 ERA in 20 starts across Double-A and Triple-A this year. The team apparently is thinking he might be their bullpen addition down the stretch. Padres lefty Eric Lauer (5-8, 4.52) was scheduled earlier this week but pushed back. He doesn't have a decision in 11 innings this year vs. L.A. Cody Bellinger is 4-for-11 off him with two doubles.
Key trends: The Friars are 4-1 in Lauer's past five vs. the Dodgers. The under is 4-0-1 in those.
Early lean: Padres on runline and under.
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