Free MLB Picks for Saturday, August 3, 2019
Now that we have had time to digest what happened at the Trade Deadline, it's clear the Houston Astros are by far the biggest winners, and Mybookie has installed them as the new World Series favorites at +210. In 2017 at the (August) Trade Deadline, the Astros got former Cy Young winner Justin Verlander from the Detroit Tigers for a handful of young players and of course won the first World Series in franchise history. Sure feels like things could repeat themselves this year after the Astros landed another former Cy Young winner, Zack Greinke, from the Arizona Diamondbacks for another package of prospects - and not having to give up the team's No. 1 or No. 2 guys. After trading for Greinke, the Astros now have four of the top 15 starting pitchers by ERA this season along with Gerrit Cole and Wade Miley (Miley doesn't) belong in that group, but whatever). How is any team going to beat Houston when it can roll out Verlander, Greinke and Cole in a playoff series? Did we mention Houston also got former AL ERA champion Aaron Sanchez from the Blue Jays for nothing? To improve the Astros' title chances even more, neither the Yankees or Red Sox did anything at the deadline.
Red Sox at Yankees (TBA)
Fox Sports 1 national TV game at 1:05 p.m. ET and a good pitching matchup. Here's how much these franchises hate each other: Yankees GM Brian Cashman told the media he talked to every single team in the majors about pitching help before the Trade Deadline … other than Boston. Red Sox lefty Chris Sale (5-10, 4.26) continued his inconsistent season by losing to the Yankees last weekend, allowing six runs over 5.1 innings, including his first homer to a lefty since the 2017 season. Sale is 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA this year in three starts vs. New York. The Yankees' Domingo German (13-2, 4.08) was opposite Sale on Sunday and got the win (5.1 IP, 3 ER). The Sox's Xander Bogaerts is 4-for-5 with a double and homer off him.
Key trends: The Yankees have won seven straight German starts vs. teams with a winning record. The "over/under" is 6-0-1 in Boston's past seven on Saturday.
Early lean: Sox haven't made Sale official yet (this is becoming more common for all teams), but I like Yankees at what should be a good price.
Mets at Pirates (+110, 9)
It's the Mets debut of Marcus Stroman (6-11, 2.96), acquired last weekend in a huge surprise from Toronto. Stroman is from New York and wasn't originally thrilled with the deal because he wanted to go to the Yankees. He was great in his final two starts in a Blue Jays uniform, allowing one earned run and 11 hits over 14 innings. Not many Pirates have seen the career American Leaguer. Melky Cabrera is 5-for-12 off him. Pittsburgh's Chris Archer (3-8, 5.58) hasn't won since June 6. Archer has allowed 10 runs over 11 innings in his last two starts and at least one homer in every start this year but one. New York's Robinson Cano might get this one off as he's 0-for-19 off Archer.
Key trends: The Pirates are 4-1 in Archer's past five at home. The under is 5-0-1 in his previous six on five days of rest.
Early lean: Pirates and under.
Royals at Twins (-215, 10)
Stunned that the Twins didn't add any starting pitching ahead of the deadline, although I'm sure they tried. All they did was trade for relievers Sam Dyson and Sergio Romo. Minnesota goes with Kyle Gibson (10-4, 4.10) here. He won at the White Sox on Sunday, allowing one run over six with nine strikeouts. Gibson's top start of 2019 was on June 14 vs. Kansas City (8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER). Alex Gordon is a career .314 hitter off him in 51 at-bats. Royals lefty Danny Duffy (5-5, 4.42) has gone six innings in three straight outings and K.C. has won each. Duffy took a no-decision vs. the Twins on June 22 (season-high 8 IP, 3 ER). Marwin Gonzalez is 7-for-16 off him with two doubles.
Key trends: The Twins are 9-2 in Gibson's past 11 in this series. The over is 4-1-1 in Duffy's previous six at Minnesota.
Early lean: Royals on runline and over.
Reds at Braves (-115, 9)
Atlanta was another big winner Wednesday by beefing up its bullpen, led by Tigers All-Star closer Shane Greene. I believe the gap between the Braves and Dodgers closed considerably in the National League. Atlanta goes with June addition and lefty Dallas Keuchel (3-4, 3.86) here. He has been a bit shakier in the past three, all Atlanta losses. It's his first look at the Reds this year and only a few of them have seen the previous career American Leaguer. Cincinnati goes with new trade addition Trevor Bauer (9-8, 3.79). His last throw for Cleveland was that widely publicized "toss" over the center field wall as he was about to be pulled Tuesday in Kansas City. Bauer was shelled for eight runs and nine hits in 4.1 innings. Good pitcher, but he'll melt down once in a while.
Key trends: The Braves are 13-6 in their past 19 at home vs. a right-hander. The under has hit in five straight Game 3s of a series for the Reds.
Early lean: Braves and under.
Tigers at Rangers (-104, 10)
Detroit is in full tank mode and definitely got worse Wednesday in trading All-Star closer Shane Greene to the Braves and the team's best hitter, Nick Castellanos, to the Cubs. Bit surprised that lefty starter Matthew Boyd (6-8, 3.94) wasn't gobbled up by a contender, but the Tigers can afford to wait as he's under team control for a few more seasons. Boyd deserved to win last time out in Seattle in allowing one run and three hits with 10 strikeouts over six but once again Detroit didn't score for him. Boyd lost to Texas on June 26 (7 IP, 4 ER, 11 Ks). The Rangers' Adrian Sampson (6-8, 5.32) is 0-4 with a 9.12 ERA in his past seven outings and faces Detroit for the first time. Sampson has been much better at home.
Key trends: The Tigers are 2-12 in Boyd's past 14 starts. The over has hit in four straight Rangers home games.
Early lean: Rangers and over.
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