Free MLB Picks for Friday, August 30, 2019
The New York Yankees could have two All-Star pitching reinforcements on the way very soon as they push for the best record in the majors and the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs. Those guys would be starter Luis Severino and set-up man Dellin Betances. Severino, out all season with various injuries, threw two simulated innings on Tuesday and is scheduled to throw two innings in a true rehab start with Double-A Trenton on Sunday. Probably unlikely to expect Severino to immediately regain the form that made him the AL Cy Young favorite at the 2018 All-Star break, but he can certainly help. Betances also has missed all season and is one of the best eighth-inning guys in the business, owning a 2.18 ERA, 14.9 strikeouts per nine innings and a .160 opponents' average in 219 career appearances in the eighth inning. Betances faced hitters for a second time on Wednesday, so he seems closer - plus, he wouldn't need to be stretched out like Severino.
Brewers at Cubs (-143, TBA)
Per usual when Cubs at home on Friday, it's the only matinee and a 2:20 p.m. ET start on the MLB Network. This could be trouble for the struggling Brewers if they get swept. It's left-hander Jose Quintana (11-8, 4.05) for Chicago. He had been in the midst of his best run as a Cub but then came back to earth last time out, allowing five runs and seven hits over four in a home loss to Washington. He's 1-2 with a 7.08 ERA in four starts this year vs. the Brewers. Ryan Braun is a career .268 hitter off him with five homers in 41 at-bats. Milwaukee's Chase Anderson (6-3, 4.34) shut out Arizona last weekend on three hits over five. He has allowed three runs in eight innings vs. the Cubs. Javier Baez is just 1-for-17 off him.
Key trends: The Brewers have lost their past five in Chicago. The "over/under" has gone under in Quintana's past six at home in the series.
Early lean: Cubs.
A's at Yankees (-146, 11)
MLB Network prime-time game and potential ALDS preview. New York's offense is set for a boost on Friday with the return of first baseman Luke Voit from the injured list. He has been out since July 30 due to a sports hernia, which doesn't sound pleasant at all. Voit was hitting .278 with 19 homers and 54 RBIs. New York goes with big lefty CC Sabathia (5-8, 4.99). He has lost four straight starts and hasn't faced Oakland in 2019. A's lefty Brett Anderson (10-9, 4.08) comes off a no-decision against the Giants, allowing three runs over six. He hasn't seen the Yankees this year. DJ LeMahieu is 5-for-13 with a homer off him.
Key trends: The Yankees have won seven straight at home vs. lefties. The over is 10-2 in Sabathia's past 12.
Early lean: A's on runline and over.
Mets at Phillies (-150, 9)
Wild-Card elimination series? Could almost be if one team is swept. New York starts Zack Wheeler (9-7, 4.46). He was very good his first three starts after the All-Star break but has gone 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in the following three starts. Wheeler is 1-2 with a 3.60 ERA in four 2019 starts against the Phillies. Bryce Harper is a .216 career hitter off him with 14 strikeouts in 37 at-bats. Philly's Aaron Nola (12-4, 3.53) has had three straight quality starts, going seven innings in each. He's 1-0 with a 3.06 ERA in 17.2 innings this year vs. the Mets. Rookie stud Pete Alonso is 2-for-8 with a homer vs. Nola.
Key trends: The Phillies are 7-1 in Nola's past eight vs. the Mets. The under has hit in six of those.
Early lean: Phillies and under.
White Sox at Braves (-195, 9.5)
Chicago will lose the designated hitter in the National League park. The Sox use a couple of guys there. It's Ivan Nova (9-10, 4.37) for the Pale Hose. If there was still an Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline, he'd surely be going somewhere because Nova has been excellent since mid-July. At one point, he was 4-9 with a 5.86 ERA. Nova hasn't seen the Braves in 2019. Josh Donaldson is 9-for-23 career off him. Atlanta lefty Max Fried (14-4, 4.03) hasn't lost since July 6 to rise to second in the National League in victories. He has gone five shaky innings the past two times out in no-decisions. Fried hasn't faced the White Sox in his career.
Key trends: The Braves are 5-1 in Fried's past six at home. The under is 5-0-1 in Nova's past six vs. teams with a winning record.
Early lean: White Sox on runline and under.
Reds at Cardinals (-125, 8.5)
St. Louis was known to have interest in trading for Cleveland's Trevor Bauer at the deadline but of course the Reds landed him. Bauer (10-11, 4.34) has been incredibly inconsistent in his five starts with the Reds, allowing eight, three, nine, one and three runs. It's his first 2019 look at St. Louis and only a few Cards have ever faced. Young Cardinals right-hander Dakota Hudson (13-6, 3.47) might start getting some Cy Young votes as he hasn't allowed a run in three straight outings spanning 18.2 innings. He's 2-0 with a 3.71 ERA in three starts this year vs. the Reds. Eugenio Suarez is 3-for-8 with a homer off him.
Key trends: The Cardinals have won 11 straight Hudson starts vs. teams with a losing record. The under has hit in his previous eight at home.
Early lean: Cardinals and under.
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