Free MLB Picks for Friday, June 14, 2019
I always found it interesting how some all-time greats like Cal Ripken Jr. and Derek Jeter could avoid injuries, while others seem to land on the injured list at least once per season. I mentioned Ripken and Jeter on purpose as they were shortstops, and that brings me to Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager. Don't get me wrong, Seager is a million miles from an all-time great, but he sure showed that type of talent in winning NL Rookie of the Year honors in 2016 when he played 157 games. Might that season be the high point of the 25-year-old's career? Seager slipped to 145 games the following year and wasn't quite as good. Last year, his numbers were down in 26 games before being lost for the year due to injury. And now, Seager is expected to miss several weeks with a hamstring strain suffered Tuesday. Seager was hitting .278 with eight homers and 38 RBIs this year but had really come on of late, batting .425 in June. Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez are likely to fill the void at shortstop. The Dodgers are deep enough that they won't need to make a trade to fill the void until Seager returns.
Diamondbacks at Nationals (-180, 7.5)
Here's guessing this game features more strikeouts than any other on Friday with two of the nastiest pitchers in the majors on the mound. It's lefty Robbie Ray (5-3, 3.54) for Arizona. He's third in the National League with 101 strikeouts and whiffed 10 last time out in beating the Blue Jays. Ray has allowed more than three earned just twice all season. The Nats' Brian Dozier is 3-for-10 with a homer and two Ks against him. Washington's Max Scherzer (4-5, 2.83) leads the NL with 126 strikeouts and has whiffed 14 combined in winning back-to-back starts and allowing just one run and nine hits over 15 innings. So he's back to normal. Arizona's Adam Jones is a rare big-leaguer to hit him well, batting .371 with four homers in 35 at-bats.
Key trends: The Diamondbacks have lost Ray's past five against Washington. The "over/under" has gone under in three of Scherzer's past five at home.
Early lean: Nats on runline and under.
Angels at Rays (-171, 7.5)
Polar opposite franchises here in that the Angels vastly overpay guys and underachieve, while the Rays are frugal but overachieve. Mike Trout's new contract is probably worth almost nearly half the entire Tampa Bay franchise. It's lefty Andrew Heaney (0-1, 5.40) for the Halos. He got a late start to the season due to elbow inflammation and has made three starts - each worse than the last. He was tagged for five runs over 5.2 innings last time out vs. Seattle. Heaney has allowed two dingers in each start. Tampa lefty ace Blake Snell (4-5, 3.50) won in Boston on Sunday, allowing one run and striking out seven in six innings. Trout is 0-for-4 off him with two strikeouts.
Key trends: The Angels are 2-8 in Heaney's past 10 road starts vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 9-2-1 in the Rays' past 12 vs. teams with a losing record.
Early lean: Rays on runline and under.
Phillies at Braves (-127, 9.5)
Braves southpaw Max Fried (7-3, 3.75) hasn't won his past three starts, although Atlanta did get a W in two of them. Fried allowed three runs over six Sunday in Miami in a no-decision. He helps his own cause with an RBI double. In his young career, Fried is 0-1 with a 1.13 ERA in four career appearances (eight innings) against the Phillies. JT Realmuto is 1-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs off him. No current Phillies have homered against Fried. The Phillies' Nick Pivetta (4-1, 4.93) comes off the first complete game of his career, allowing one run and six hits against the Reds. He has been much better in three starts since being recalled from the minors. Atlanta's Freddie Freeman is 6-for-20 off him with two extra-base hits.
Key trends: The Phillies have dropped five straight Pivetta road starts. The over is 7-3 in Pivetta's past 10.
Early lean: Braves and over.
Yankees at White Sox (-115, 9.5)
ESPN has a Cy Young predictor and has Chicago's Lucas Giolito fifth. That seems too low, although I can't really argue with Justin Verlander and Charlie Morton at Nos. 1-2. Giolito (9-1, 2.28) won his seventh start in a row on Saturday, shutting out the Royals on three hits over 7.2 innings. It was his third time in the past four outings not allowing a run and fourth straight going at least 7.1 innings. The last time the White Sox lost a Giolito start was when he left early due to injury on April 17 vs. the Royals. The Yankees' Aaron Hicks is 1-for-3 with a homer off him. Yanks lefty CC Sabathia (3-3, 3.96) lost his second in a row Saturday, allowing four runs over five in Cleveland. He remains one win shy of 250 career and blanked the White Sox on one hit over five on April 13.
Key trends: The White Sox are 0-4 in Giolito's past four at home vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 6-1-1 in Sabathia's previous eight vs. AL Central teams.
Early lean: Yankees and under.
Cubs at Dodgers (-147, 8)
Again, not on national TV which just shocks me - although it is on the ESPN+ service. It's Cy Young contender Kyle Hendricks (7-4, 3.00) for the Cubbies. At one point, Hendricks was 1-4 with a 5.33 ERA. He comes off a win against the Cardinals, allowing one run over seven. Hendricks missed the Dodgers at Wrigley earlier this season. Justin Turner is 3-for-8 with a homer against him. L.A. lefty Rich Hill (3-1, 2.40) won his second in a row Saturday, giving up two runs over five in San Francisco. He also missed the Cubs earlier this season. No Cub has more than three at-bats against Hill in the regular season and none have homered.
Key trends: The Cubs are 7-3 in Hendricks' past 10 on the road. The under is 10-1-1 in the Dodgers' previous 12 overall.
Early lean: Cubs and under.
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