Free MLB Picks for Friday, June 7, 2019
Even though the Philadelphia Phillies already have traded for outfielder Jay Bruce from the Seattle Mariners, they are likely in the market for another outfielder after losing center fielder and leadoff man Andrew McCutchen to a season-ending torn ACL. McCutchen injured his left knee in a rundown Monday that was actually teammate Jean Segura's fault for not running out a ball out of the batter's box. It looked pretty bad, although immediately after McCutchen said he didn't think it was a torn ACL because he had one previously (before reaching the majors) and it didn't feel the same. Guess he's not a doctor. McCutchen isn't the NL MVP he used to be but was hitting .256 with 10 home runs, 29 RBIs and an NL-high 43 walks. It's just the second time in his career he has landed on the injured list. The Phillies might have been fine in the outfield with the addition of Bruce, but they don't know when/if Odubel Herrera will play again. He's on administrative leave by MLB after an arrest for alleged domestic assault. For now, top prospect Adam Haseley will show what he can do, but the Phils are all-in this season so they won't hesitate to go get someone.
Cardinals at Cubs (-128, TBA)
Per usual when Cubs at home on Friday, it's a 2:20 p.m. ET first pitch on the MLB Network. The Cardinals' Miles Mikolas (4-5, 4.41) hasn't won since seven shutout innings vs the Phillies on May 6. He did end a personal three-game losing streak with a no-decision last Friday against these Cubs, allowing one run over seven, his seventh quality start of the year. Javier Baez is 3-for-13 with a homer off him. New Cub Carlos Gonzalez is 3-for-7. Cubs lefty Cole Hamels (4-2, 3.62) has lost back-to-back starts. He deserved better in St. Louis on Sunday, allowing one unearned run and two hits over seven innings. Marcell Ozuna is a career .257 hitter against him with three homers in 35 at-bats.
Key trends: The Cards are 4-1 in Mikolas' past five against the Cubs. The "over/under" has gone under in four of those five.
Early lean: Cubs.
Diamondbacks at Blue Jays (-138, 9)
This stadium might be empty opposite Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday night. Arizona outfielder Adam Jones lingered on the free-agent market this winter, so the Diamondbacks got the former Oriole quite cheaply. Jones is having nice season but might miss a bit after leaving Tuesday's game with hamstring tightness. On just a one-year, $3 million deal, he's a candidate to be flipped by the deadline. Perhaps call the Phillies? Jones won't need a trip to the injured list. It's Merrill Kelly (5-6, 4.41) for the Snakes, who add the designated hitter. Kelly comes off perhaps his best start, whiffing 10 Mets and allowing one run over 7.2 innings. He hasn't seen the Jays. Toronto's Marcus Stroman (3-7, 2.84), who is all but a lock to be traded this summer, allowed three earned in Colorado last time out and continues to get no run support. Jones, if he plays, has seen him more than any Arizona player in going 9-for-25.
Key trends: The Blue Jays are 1-6 in their past seven vs. the National League. The under is 4-0 in Kelly's past four.
Early lean: Diamondbacks and under.
Braves at Marlins (+150, 8)
Mike Soroka's historic streak to start a season has ended for the Braves. In his first eight starts, the rookie Soroka (6-1, 1.41) didn't allow more than one earned run. Alas, he gave up three earned over 6.2 innings last time out against Detroit - but still won. It was his seventh consecutive quality start. Since 1981, only six pitchers (Dwight Gooden, Madison Bumgarner, Jose Fernandez, Ismael Valdez, Bret Saberhagen, Fernando Valenzuela) have had a longer streak of quality starts at age 21 or under. Soroka will be 22 in August. He didn't allow an earned run in seven innings in Miami on May 4. The Marlins' Jose Urena (4-6, 4.14) won his third straight start Saturday, allowing three runs over six in San Diego. He was roughed up by the Braves (6 IP, 5 ER) on May 3. Freddie Freeman hits .391 with three homers off him in 23 at-bats.
Key trends: The Marlins have lost six straight home Urena starts vs. the Braves. The over is 4-1-1 in those six.
Early lean: Braves and under.
Orioles at Astros (-340, 8.5)
Looks to be the pitching mismatch of the night. Baltimore's Gabriel Ynoa (0-2, 5.06) makes his third start and 12th appearance of the season. He comes off a loss to the Giants, allowing four runs over five innings - five innings is about his limit right now as it was his career high. Ynoa has never faced the Astros. The Astros' Gerrit Cole (5-5, 3.94) is as dominant as anyone when he's on and leads the majors with 116 strikeouts. He comes off a no-decision in Oakland, giving up two runs over six. The Birds' Keon Broxton is 3-for-11 with a homer and six strikeouts off him.
Key trends: The Astros are 14-3 in Cole's past 17 vs. teams with a losing record. The over is 6-1 in his past seven.
Early lean: Astros on runline and over.
White Sox at Royals (-119, 10)
And this looks to be the worst pitching matchup of the night. Chicago's Ivan Nova (3-5, 6.24) tied his season high in going seven innings over the weekend vs. Cleveland but allowed four runs and two more homers in a loss. He has been tagged for 13 dingers in 12 starts. Nova was solid on May 27 vs. the Royals, surrendering one run and six hits over five in a no-decision. Alex Gordon is 3-for-12 with a double and homer off him. Kansas City's Homer Bailey (4-6, 6.05) hasn't won since May 10 or gone more than 4.1 innings since. He lasted 3.2 innings in Texas over the weekend, allowing four runs. Bailey was opposite Nova on May 27 and pitched decent. Yonder Alonso is 4-for-13 with a double against him.
Key trends: The Sox are 5-2 in Nova's past seven. The over is 10-2 in Kansas City's past 12 at home vs. teams with a losing record.
Early lean: White Sox and over.
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