Free MLB Picks for Saturday, July 20, 2019
I have no rooting interesting in the San Diego Padres, just an occasional betting interest if I wager for or against them in a certain game. That said, I certainly would like the franchise to get its first-ever no-hitter and do so at home. Earlier this week in Miami, good-looking rookie Chris Paddack took a no-no into the eighth inning before it was broken up by leadoff hitter Starlin Castro. In their 51st season, the Friars still don't have a no-hitter. They are the only franchise without one. How cool would it be to see one of their guys do it at Petco Park this season? Just as a baseball fan and even hating the Mets, I remember well watching the atmosphere on June 1, 2012, at Citi Field when lefty Johan Santana threw the first and still only no-hitter in Mets history, coming against the St. Louis Cardinals. Then again, be careful what you wish for Padres fans: Santana threw a whopping 134 pitches that night and was never the same pitcher again. I feel pretty confident saying that San Diego's Joey Lucchesi won't be no-hitting the Cubs on Saturday afternoon.
Rockies at Yankees (-255, 11)
Colorado adds the designated hitter for this interleague matchup at 1:05 p.m. ET and on the MLB Network. It's Antonio Senzatela (8-6, 5.79) for the Rockies. He has been terrible in back-to-back starts around the All-Star break, allowing a combined 15 runs and 14 hits over 9.2 innings. Only a few Yankees have seen him. Edwin Encarnacion is 0-for-2 with a walk. Masahiro Tanaka (6-5, 3.81) beat the Blue Jays on Sunday in allowing two runs over six innings. Daniel Murphy is the only Rockie with a career hit against him, going 2-for-7 with a homer. Tanaka was originally to pitch Friday but pushed back with the Yankees' game Wednesday postponed.
Key trends: The Yankees are 8-1 in Tanaka's past nine on Saturday. The "over/under" has gone under in 12 of Senzatela's past 16 on the road.
Early lean: Yankees on runline and under.
Padres at Cubs (-128, TBA)
A 2:20 first pitch from Wrigley and matchup of southpaws. San Diego's Lucchesi (7-4, 3.92) has one victory in his past four outings but no losses. He comes off another no-decision last Saturday against Atlanta, allowing two runs and three hits over five. Lucchesi's WHIP of 1.11 is eighth in the National League. The Cubs' Javier Baez is 2-for-3 career off him with a double and homer. Chicago's Jose Quintana (7-7, 4.21) is working on three straight quality starts - which given his Cubs history means he's due for three bad ones in a row. He held the Pirates to three runs over six last time out. Eric Hosmer has seen him by far more than any San Diego batter but is just 13-for-71 with 14 strikeouts.
Key trends: The Cubs are 22-10 in Quintana's past 32 at home. The over is 5-1 in his previous six at home vs. teams with a losing record.
Early lean: Padres.
White Sox at Rays (TBA)
Terrific matchup of two of the best young pitchers in the American League. Reigning AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell (5-7, 4.55) of the Rays has had back-to-back no-decisions despite allowing just one run over five innings in each. He has been much better at home this year with a 3.17 ERA at the Trop. Chicago's James McCann is 3-for-6 with a homer against him. White Sox All-Star Lucas Giolito (11-4, 3.23) is Top 10 in the league in most major pitching categories but has lost back-to-back starts for the first time in 2019. Giolito is 1-3 over his last five starts to go with a 6.48 ERA. Perhaps he's hitting a bit of a wall. Tampa's Travis d'Arnaud is 1-for-3 with a home run against him.
Key trends: The Sox are 5-1 in Giolito's past six vs. the AL East. The under is 5-2 in his previous seven on the road.
Early lean: In typical Rays fashion, they aren't making anything official but it should be Snell. Like Tampa if so as Sox are free-falling.
Cardinals at Reds (-143, 9.5)
Cincinnati is likely to be without closer Raisel Iglesias all weekend as he's on the paternity list. Pretty good closer but has a whopping eight losses on the year. Michael Lorenzen is the best bet for saves in his absence. The Reds go with ace and All-Star Luis Castillo (9-3, 2.41). He won at the Cubs on Monday, allowing three runs over six with 10 strikeouts. Castillo won in St. Louis on June 4 (6 IP, 1 ER). Matt Carpenter hits him better than any Cardinal but landed on the injured list earlier this week after fouling a ball off his foot. St. Louis' Miles Mikolas (6-9, 4.15) comes off easily his best start of the year, a complete-game shutout of the Pirates. He is 0-1 with a 6.30 ERA in two starts this year vs. the Reds. Jesse Winker is 5-for-11 with two dingers against him.
Key trends: The Reds have won four straight Castillo's starts in series. The over has hit in Mikolas' past four against the Reds.
Early lean: Reds and under.
Brewers at Diamondbacks (-140, 9)
One would think that Arizona would have little trouble trading ace Zack Greinke considering he has been one of the best pitchers in the NL this season at 10-4 with a 2.95 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. He's a Cy Young candidate. However, the Snakes might have to add a sweetener simply to give Greinke away because he's owed $32 million each of the next two seasons and has a limited no-trade clause. Greinke comes off a loss in St. Louis (6 IP, 5 ER). Milwaukee's Ryan Braun is 1-for-10 career off him. The Brewers will activate lefty Gio Gonzalez (2-1, 3.19) from the injured list and he will make his first big-league start since May 27 due to shoulder soreness. Presumably, he'll be on a bit of a pitch count.
Key trends: The Snakes have won eight straight Greinke starts on Saturday. The under has hit in seven consecutive Gonzalez starts.
Early lean: Diamondbacks and under.
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