Free MLB Picks for Friday, May 31, 2019
The San Francisco Giants and Baltimore Orioles currently reside last in the NL West and AL East, respectively, and almost surely will finish there. Yet not that long ago, these franchises were two of the most envied in the majors with their revolutionary, money-making ballparks. That allowed both to have some of the biggest payrolls in the game, and both franchises were contenders for a while - especially the Giants, who won three World Series this decade. However, they are also Exhibit No. 1 for what happens when you overpay guys and hang on to veterans too long in a last-gasp chance at a playoff spot. Now, both are likely years away from contention with barren big-league rosters and weak farm systems. Thus, there should be plenty of good seats available on Friday when the Giants visit Camden Yards.
Red Sox at Yankees (-119, 9.5)
MLB Network game (naturally). The Yankees' Domingo German (9-1, 3.43) has been one of the biggest surprises in the American League this season. Seemed a bit unsustainable, and the wake-up call might have arrived last time out when he allowed a season-high seven runs and four homers in a loss in Kansas City, which isn't exactly an offensive powerhouse. German hasn't faced Boston this year and no Red Sox has more than three at-bats off him. Andrew Benintendi is 2-for-2. Boston lefty Eduardo Rodriguez (5-3, 5.04) was great in Houston on Sunday, allowing one run and four hits over six. He had been roughed up the previous two times out. The Yanks' Gleyber Torres is 3-for-7 with a homer off him.
Key trends: The Red Sox are 13-3 in Rodriguez's past 16 vs. the AL East. The "over/under" has gone under in nine of his past 12 vs. the Yankees.
Early lean: Yankees and under.
Nationals at Reds (+118, 8.5)
Monitor the status of Reds start first baseman Joey Votto. He missed Tuesday and Wednesday's game with a hamstring he tweaked while scoring on a sacrifice fly on Monday (Reds were off Thursday) but is likely to return here. Votto is struggling this season, batting just .242 with four homers. It's lefty Patrick Corbin (5-2, 2.85) for Washington. He comes off his best start as a National, a complete-game four-hitter vs. Miami. Cincinnati's Eugenio Suarez is 6-for-13 off him with a homer. The Reds' Tyler Mahle (1-5, 4.15) was hammered for six runs and nine hits (three homers) in his most recent outing vs. the Cubs. The Nats' Kurt Suzuki is 2-for-5 off him with a dinger.
Key trends: The Reds are 3-13 in Mahle's past 16 starts. The under has hit in four straight Corbin outings.
Early lean: Nationals and over.
Tigers at Braves (-166, 9)
Detroit loses the designated hitter in the National League park. That's often Niko Goodrum, although he can play all over the diamond so might still be in the lineup. He's not a typical DH in terms of power. The Tigers' Spencer Turnbull (2-4, 2.97) comes off a loss at the Mets, allowing four runs over seven innings. Rather amazingly, this will be his fifth start this season against a National League team. He hasn't seen Atlanta. The Braves' Mike Foltynewicz (1-3, 5.67) has started to round into form as he didn't allow an earned run over six in St. Louis last time out. Only a couple of Tigers have seen him.
Key trends: The Braves are 7-3 in Foltynewicz's past 10 vs. the AL. The under is 7-2 in Turnbull's past nine.
Early lean: Braves and under.
Royals at Rangers (-125, 10.5)
Royals lefty Danny Duffy (3-1, 3.12) had a horrible 2018 season but is starting to look like the guy he was the previous two years. He could be a trade candidate with a reasonable contract and the Royals going nowhere anytime soon. Duffy allowed one earned run Sunday in six innings in a no-decision against the Yankees. He beat Texas on May 14 despite so-so numbers (5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER). Asdrubal Cabrera is 5-for-15 off him with a homer. Texas' Ariel Jurado (1-2, 2.28) went a season-high 6.1 innings Sunday at the Angels, allowing two runs. It was his second start of the year but 11th appearance. He allowed two runs in 2.1 innings on May 14 in Kansas City.
Key trends: The Rangers have won their past five against a lefty. The over is 7-3-1 in Duffy's past 11.
Early lean: Rangers and over.
Indians at White Sox (+155, 9)
If you aren't betting against Chicago every time that Dylan Covey is taking the mound, you are just being stupid. Covey (0-4, 5.47) might not be the American League's worst pitcher, but he's on the short list. He actually wasn't horrible in Minnesota in his last start, allowing four runs in six innings. That's easily the best you can expect. Cleveland's Jason Kipnis is 5-for-12 off him with a homer. The Tribe's Trevor Bauer (4-4, 3.99) has allowed four runs over six innings in his past two outings. He was bombed for eight runs and 10 hits on May 6 vs. the White Sox. Yonder Alonso hits .353 career off him with a homer in 17 at-bats. Yoan Moncada is 6-for-15 with two dingers.
Key trends: The Sox have lost Covey's past four against the Indians. The under is 3-0-1 in Bauer's past four in Chicago.
Early lean: Indians on runline and over.
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