Free MLB Picks for Saturday, June 1, 2019
At the beginning of every month, I tend to like to check on the updated futures odds at Bovada , and the site is finally starting to take the Minnesota Twins seriously. They have improved to +450 to win the AL pennant, behind the Astros (+185) and Yankees (+260), which seems about right. Minnesota also is now a huge -1000 favorite to win the AL Central. Preseason favorite and three-time champion Cleveland is down to +450. Don't bother betting on the champion of either West Division as Houston is -6600 in the AL West and the LA Dodgers -3500 in the NL West. Not supposed to use the word "lock", but those two are about as close as you can get barring catastrophic injury. L.A. is the +190 NL pennant favorite and appears to be the clear best team in the Senior Circuit with the money to go add whatever might be needed. Think Fox TV might get excited about a potential Yankees-Dodgers World Series?
Tigers at Braves (-215, 9.5)
Detroit again loses the designated hitter in the National League park, and the Tigers could use all the hitting they can get against history-making Braves rookie right-hander Mike Soroka, the clear NL Rookie of the Year leader right now. Soroka (5-1, 1.07) leads the majors in ERA and is the first Braves pitcher with eight straight starts of one earned run or fewer to start a season. It's not like Soroka is an overpowering guy, either, it's just that guys beat his sinker into the ground. He hasn't faced Detroit. Tigers lefty Daniel Norris (2-3, 4.18) lost in Baltimore in his most recent outing, allowing two earned over 5.2 innings. Detroit has dropped his past three. A few Braves have seen him. Brian McCann is 1-for-1 with a homer.
Key trends: The Tigers are 4-17 in Norris' past 21 starts. The "over/under" has gone under in Soroka's past five at home.
Early lean: Braves on runline and under.
Nationals at Reds (-115, 9.5)
In December, the Nationals traded starting pitcher Tanner Roark to Cincinnati for fellow pitcher Tanner Rainer in the first-ever Tanner-for-Tanner trade in big-league history. The Nats apparently felt Roark was expendable with the addition of Patrick Corbin. Roark (4-3, 3.20) was blindsided by the deal and no doubt will be quite motivated when facing his former team for the first time. He blanked the Cubs over five innings in winning his last start. Matt Adams hits his former teammate well, going 5-for-9 with two homers. Washington's Erick Fedde (1-0, 2.18) makes his third start and eighth appearance of the year. He blanked the Marlins over five last Sunday. The only Reds batter to have faced him is Derek Dietrich (0-for-1).
Key trends: The Nats are 1-5 in Fedde's past six against teams with a losing record. The over has hit in five straight of his starts.
Early lean: Reds and over.
Blue Jays at Rockies (-156, 11.5)
Toronto loses the DH for this one, which is usually Rowdy Tellez. Colorado put leadoff man Charlie Blackmon on the injured list earlier this week with a strained right calf. After a slow start, he was up to .300 with 10 homers and 31 RBIs. The Jays' Marcus Stroman (3-6, 2.74) is finally getting some run support and has allowed just one earned run in three straight outings. It's his first career look at Colorado. The Rockies' Jon Gray (4-4, 4.52) allowed two runs over 5.1 innings Monday vs. Arizona before being removed with a "hot spot" on his right middle finger, whatever that means. Apparently he's fine to go here. Not many Blue Jays have seen him.
Key trends: The Jays have won 11 of Stroman's past 15 vs. the NL. The under is 4-0 in Gray's previous four at home.
Early lean: Jays and under.
Mets at Diamondbacks (-105, 7)
Looks to be the pitching matchup of the night between former Cy Young winners. The Mets' Jacob deGrom (3-5, 3.71) hasn't won in his past three starts and allowed two runs over five with only two strikeouts Monday at the Dodgers. He was better in May with a 1-2 record and 2.92 ERA. DeGrom has faced Arizona once since 2016 and won, allowing one run over seven innings. Jarrod Dyson is 2-for-5 off him. The Diamondbacks' Zack Greinke (6-2, 2.78) comes off a no-decision in Colorado, surrendering a run over six. That's 11 straight quality starts. The Mets' Todd Frazier is just 4-for-24 against him with seven strikeouts.
Key trends: The Mets have lost deGrom's past four on the road. The under is 6-2 in Greinke's past eight.
Early lean: Diamondbacks and under.
Phillies at Dodgers (-190, 7.5)
Reports were this offseason that Bryce Harper wanted to play for the Dodgers because he's from Las Vegas and is a West Coast guy, but L.A. never made him a major offer because the team didn't want to venture in to luxury tax territory. Looks wise in hindsight. Harper is 2-for-21 with 13 strikeouts career against Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw (5-0, 3.46). He beat the Mets on Monday, giving up three runs over six. L.A. has yet to lose a Kershaw start in 2019. Philly's Zach Eflin (5-5, 3.02) hasn't been quite the same since a complete-game shutout of the Royals on May 11 as the Phillies have dropped his past three. L.A.'s Max Muncy is 3-for-5 with two solo homers off Eflin.
Key trends: The Phillies are 2-11 in Eflin's previous 13 on the road. The under is 5-0 in Kershaw's past five against Philadelphia.
Early lean: Dodgers on runline and under.
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