Free MLB Picks for Saturday, May 11, 2019
We all need a day or two off each week, so I don't write an Opening Line Report for Sunday's games. Thus, allow me here to address Sunday's Indians at A's matchup because I'm legally obligated to talk about a pitcher perhaps becoming the second in MLB history to throw back-to-back no-hitters - although I'm quite sure it won't happen again in my lifetime. We would be talking about Oakland's Mike Fiers, who is scheduled to take the mound for the first time since no-hitting the Reds on Tuesday in Oakland. Fiers' no-no was the second of his career and the 300th in MLB history including playoffs. Fiers was the beneficiary of two spectacular catches by his defense in the top of the sixth inning. Fiers joined Max Scherzer, Jake Arrieta, Justin Verlander and Homer Bailey as active pitchers with two no-hitters. Fiers' no-no was in some ways the most unlikely ever as Fiers entered the game with a 6.81 ERA this season. That was the highest ERA for any player throwing a no-hitter with at least 25 innings entering the start. Fiers threw 131 pitches, so I'd actually recommend betting against him Sunday as his arm likely will be spent.
Mariners at Red Sox (-185, 10)
First pitch of day at 1:05 p.m. ET and on the MLB Network. Also a matchup of former Cy Young winners, although one's career has been vastly superior to the other. That would be Seattle's Felix Hernandez (1-3, 5.20), although he's not close to what he used to be. King Felix's lone victory came back on April 1, and he was tagged for seven runs and eight hits over five in a loss at the Yankees on Monday. Hernandez is also 0-3 with a 7.43 ERA in his last five starts vs. Boston dating back to 2014. Jackie Bradley Jr. is 4-for-12 off him with a homer and two doubles. The Red Sox's Rick Porcello (2-3, 5.11) was torched in his season debut in Seattle on March 31, allowing nine runs in 2.2 innings. He has been quite good of late, though. Lifetime against the Mariners, he is 6-6 with a 4.10 ERA.
Key trends: The Mariners are 1-4 in Hernandez's past five in Boston. The Sox have lost four straight Porcello starts vs. Seattle. The "over/under" is 6-2 in King Felix's previous eight against the Red Sox.
Early lean: Red Sox and over.
Indians at A's (+125, 8.5)
Fox Sports 1 game at 4:05 p.m. ET. Monitor the status of Oakland's slugging DH Khris Davis. He missed the first few games this week after suffering a hip contusion while playing the field last Sunday, and then Davis had to leave Wednesday's game with lingering effects of the problem. He sat Thursday. It's Aaron Brooks (2-3, 5.74) on the bump for the A's. He might not long for the rotation and lasted just 4.1 innings last time out and gave up five runs vs. Boston. Cleveland's Trevor Bauer (4-2, 3.42) suffered his worst outing of the season Monday, allowing eight runs and 10 hits over five in a loss to the White Sox. It was the first time in 60 starts that he allowed more than four earned runs.
Key trends: The Indians have lost Bauer's past four in Oakland. The under is 6-2 in Brook's past eight.
Early lean: A's and over.
Yankees at Rays (TBA)
The Yankees were hoping to activate outfielder Aaron Hicks off the injured list at some point this weekend, but now it appears it won't happen until Monday. The center fielder, who got a nice extension in February, was shut down in early March with a lower back injury. He wasn't great in a few minor-league games so the team wanted him to play in a few more. It's big lefty CC Sabathia (2-1, 3.20) for New York. He has yet to last more than 5.1 innings and went five Monday in beating Seattle, allowing three runs. Tampa's Kevin Kiermaier is 5-for-16 career off him with two solo homers. When will these sportsbooks adjust and post opening odds when teams like the Rays start an "opener?" I don't think this trend is going away. That's the plan for Tampa in this one.
Key trends: The Yankees are 10-2 in Sabathia's past 12 vs. Tampa. The under is 5-2 in his previous seven against them.
Early lean: Yankees.
Rangers at Astros (TBA)
Baseball is a game of statistics unlike any other and it seems we always are hearing of "firsts." Well, one of the best but also ridiculous statistics I have ever heard happened earlier this week and it summed up modern-day baseball's three usual outcomes: strikeout, walk or home run. The Rangers' Joey Gallo became the first player ever to reach 100 career homers before 100 singles. That's both awesome and sad. Believe it or not, Gallo was the fastest to 100 homers in AL history as it came in his 377 th game. Ryan Howard owns the major-league record, recording his 100th in his 325th game with the Phillies. Gallo is 4-for-16 with three homers and 11 strikeouts against Houston starter Gerrit Cole (3-4, 4.17). Cole is 0-2 with a 9.58 ERA in two starts this year vs. Texas. Rangers lefty Drew Smyly (0-2, 6.63) is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two starts this year vs. Houston. George Springer is a .444 hitter off him with two homers in nine at-bats.
Key trends: The Astros are 13-2 in Cole's past 15 vs. teams with a losing record. The under is 4-1 in his previous vs. vs. Texas.
Early lean: Rangers haven't officially announced Smyly yet but appears to be him. If so, Houston on runline.
Nationals at Dodgers (-140, 7)
Looks to be the pitching matchup of the night between a guy who has won three Cy Youngs and one many believe could be a future Cy winner. The former is Washington's Max Scherzer (1-4, 3.78), whose lone win came on April 1. He's getting little run support. On Monday in Milwaukee, Scherzer allowed one earned and struck out 10 over six but took a no-decision. The Nationals are 1-7 in his eight starts. L.A. star Cody Bellinger is 0-for-8 off him with six strikeouts. Young Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler (4-0, 4.95) went a season-high seven innings Monday vs. Atlanta, allowing three runs and five hits. Opponents are batting .196 the first two times through the order against him but then killing Buehler the third time. Only a few Nationals have faced him.
Key trends: The Nats are 0-5 in Scherzer's past five. The Dodgers have won four straight Buehler home starts. The under is 13-3-2 in Buehler's previous 17 at home.
Early lean: Nats (Scherzer at +130! Rare) and under.
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