Free MLB Picks for Saturday, April 6, 2019
Think the New York Yankees are regretting not signing Manny Machado right now? Machado reportedly wanted to play for the Yankees so much that he would have given them a bit of discount. However, the suddenly cost-conscious Bombers didn't really pursue him all that hard. They figured they were set at third base with young Miguel Andujar and at shortstop with veteran Troy Tulowitzki filling in until Didi Gregorius was ready to return around midseason from Tommy John surgery. Well, Andujar now might miss the season with a shoulder injury, and Tulo is back on the DL because he's always hurt. He strained his left calf on Wednesday against the Tigers. It's not thought to be overly serious, but this is the brittle Tulowitzki we are talking about. New York surely won't look into any trades quite yet, but if either injury proves long term things could change.
Twins at Phillies (-143, 8)
A 2:05 p.m. ET first pitch, with Minnesota losing the DH (Nelson Cruz). Lot of people like the Twins to take the second wild-card spot in the American League this season after the second-place finisher in the AL East. Not sure if Minnesota has enough pitching for that, and a lot of that could depend on Michael Pineda. The former Yankee missed all of 2018 following Tommy John surgery and made his Minnesota debut last Sunday with four scoreless innings vs. Cleveland in his first big-league game since July 2017. Needless to say, the Twins aren't going to go let him throw 100 pitches anytime soon if at all this year. Only a few Phillies have seen him - Maikel Franco is 3-for-3. Philly's Jake Arrieta (1-0, 1.50) beat the Braves in his season debut despite six walks over six innings on a cold, windy day. He allowed just one hit.
Key trends: The Phillies are 2-5 in Arrieta's past seven on five days of rest. The "over/under" is 5-2 in his previous seven at home.
Early lean: Phillies and over.
Padres at Cardinals (-130, 8)
Starts at 2:15 p.m. ET from Busch Stadium. The Cards are holding their breath on outfielder Marcell Ozuna, who had an MRI on Thursday due to a strained muscle in his rib area. He spent all of spring training strengthening his right shoulder after surgery. Perhaps one thing led to another, and Ozuna has gotten off to a slow start. It's Chris Paddack (0-0, 1.80) for the Friars. He held the Giants to a run over five in his season debut after a stellar spring. The rookie hasn't faced the Cardinals. They start Michael Wacha (0-0, 1.50). He won in Milwaukee in his season debut, allowing one run with seven strikeouts over six. Eric Hosmer has seen him the most of any Padre (4-for-17).
Key trends: The Cards are 7-2 in Wacha's past nine at home. The under is 7-3-1 in his previous 11 overall.
Early lean: Cardinals and under.
Rangers at Angels (-131, 8.5)
Fox Sports 1 game at 4:05 p.m. ET. Monitor the status of young Rangers slugger Nomar Mazara as he left Wednesday's game with a bruised quad and didn't play Thursday. He is off to a fine start, hitting .300 with two homers and seven RBIs entering the weekend. Could be one less worry for Halos starter Tyler Skaggs (0-1, 3.86). The lefty gave up two runs over 4.2 innings Sunday in Oakland on a limited pitch count. Skaggs was 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in two starts last year vs. Texas. Rangers lefty Drew Smyly (0-0, 3.00) was acquired from the Cubs this offseason after missing the past two seasons due to injury/surgery. Smyly allowed one run over three innings vs. Houston. Mike Trout is 3-for-14 off him with a homer.
Key trends: The Angels are 1-5 in Skaggs' past six vs. the AL West. The under is 4-1-1 in those.
Early lean: Angels and under.
Cubs at Brewers (-113, 8.5)
Fox Sports 1 game at 7:10 p.m. ET. If the struggling, flawed Cubs aren't careful, they could find themselves down seven or so games to the first-place Brewers by the end of the weekend. The Cubbies start lefty Cole Hamels (0-0, 9.00), who was very good as an August trade acquisition last year. He wasn't in his season debut at his former Rangers squad, allowing five runs over five innings. Christian Yelich is a .318 hitter off Hamels with a homer in 22 at-bats. Milwaukee's Corbin Burnes - not to be confused with Corbin Bernsen - was a reliever last year (and very good) but is in the rotation for now and allowed four runs over five in his season debut vs. St. Louis. No Cub has more than two at-bats off him.
Key trends: The Cubs have lost Hamels' past four on the road. The under is 6-0 in his previous six vs. the NL Central.
Early lean: Brewers and over.
Red Sox at Diamondbacks (+120, 8.5)
Boston loses the DH, which is usually J.D. Martinez. You want his bat in the lineup, but which outfielder do you sit? Arizona could be without third baseman Jake Lamb for a spell. He left Wednesday's game with a left quad strain. The Snakes already lost outfielder Steven Souza Jr. for the year right before the start of the season. Not going to be a very good team. It's Luke Weaver (0-0, 8.31) for the Snakes. The former top Cardinals prospect allowed five runs over 4.1 innings in his Arizona debut Sunday at the Dodgers. Weaver did homer. Only two Red Sox have seen him - Martinez, a former Diamondback, is 1-for-2 with a homer. Boston lefty David Price (0-1, 6.00) struck out nine in Oakland in his season debut but allowed four runs, three homers, over six. He has never pitched at Chase Field.
Key trends: The Sox have won Price's past seven interleague starts. The under is 4-1 in his previous five vs. the NL.
Early lean: Red Sox and over.
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