Free MLB Picks for Saturday, May 25, 2019
Ah, to be a guy who can throw a baseball in the low-to-mid 90s even if I get hit hard while doing so. That pretty much sums up the career of 35-year-old Edwin Jackson. The guy has a career record of 104-124 with a 4.61 ERA yet he has made approximately $85.5 million. Earlier this month when Jackson made his debut with the Toronto Blue Jays - the A's had sold him to Toronto for cash - he set a record in pitching for his 14 th big-league team. He had been tied for the most at 13 with Octavio Dotel. Jackson made his big-league debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2003 and also pitched for Tampa Bay, Detroit, the Chicago White Sox, Arizona, St. Louis, Washington, the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta, San Diego, Miami, Baltimore and Oakland. He actually was pretty solid in a few of those years, and the Cubs are responsible for a huge chunk of Jackson's career earnings as they signed him to a terrible contract before the 2013 season. He's on the mound Saturday vs. San Diego.
Yankees at Royals (+125, 9.5)
Here we thought that Giancarlo Stanton might return from his long injured list stint this weekend, but the brittle Stanton suffered a setback with a calf injury in minor-league rehab and will be shut down for 7-10 days. Yankees lefty J.A. Happ (3-3, 5.16) was lucky to get a no-decision last time out as he allowed six runs in 3.2 innings in Baltimore - his fourth time already this year facing the Orioles. Kansas City's Alex Gordon is 5-for-16 off him with a homer. Royals lefty Danny Duffy (3-1, 3.45) won his third start in a row last Sunday, allowing a run over six at the Angels. New York's Aaron Hicks is 5-for-13 career off Duffy with three solo homers.
Key trends: The Yankees have won five straight Happ road starts vs. teams with a losing record. The "over/under" is 7-2 in Duffy's past nine at home.
Early lean: Royals on runline and over.
Padres at Blue Jays (+105, 9.5)
San Diego adds the designated hitter for this interleague matchup. Sadly, we don't get to see two very touted rookies and sons of former big-leaguers on the same field in the Padres' Fernando Tatis Jr. and Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Tatis Jr. has been on the injured list since late April, which may cost him a shot at the NL Rookie of the Year. He's close to returning, though. Vlad Jr. is a favorite for the AL award. The Friars go with rookie Cal Quantrill (0-2, 5.40). He had given up two earned in each of his first two outings but allowed five over five last time out vs. Pittsburgh. It's his first look at Toronto. The Jays' Jackson (0-1, 6.30) was OK in his Toronto debut but then allowed six runs Monday over five vs. Boston. In his career against San Diego, Jackson is 1-6 with a 6.05 ERA. The Padres' Ian Kinsler is 7-for-20 off him with two homers.
Key trends: The Jays are 4-12 in their past 16 vs. a right-hander. The over is 8-3-1 in the Padres' past 12 on Saturday.
Early lean: Padres and over.
Diamondbacks at Giants (-115, 8)
Fox Sports 1 national TV game at 4:05 p.m. ET. The Snakes have lost second baseman Wilmer Flores for a while with a fractured right foot - the team originally thought it was a contusion. Now he's likely out until the end of June at least. Arizona starts Taylor Clarke, who will be recalled from Triple-A. Clarke has pitched twice in the bigs this year, allowing two runs and eight hits over nine innings. He hasn't faced the Giants. San Francisco left Andrew Suarez (0-1, 4.50) made his season debut Monday and allowed three runs over six vs. Atlanta. He went 1-2 with a 7.16 ERA in three starts against the Diamondbacks last year. Ketel Marte is 5-for-9 off him with a homer.
Key trends: The Giants are 1-5 in Suarez's past six starts. The under is 7-2-1 in his previous 10 vs. the NL West.
Early lean: Diamondbacks and under.
Braves at Cardinals (+100, 9.5)
Fox prime-time national TV game depending on your market. Your NL Rookie of the Year right now is the Braves' Mike Soroka (5-1, 1.01). He's the first pitcher in big-league history to allow one earned run or fewer in 10 of his first 12 starts and the first Braves starter in the live-ball era (since 1920) to open a season with seven consecutive starts of one earned run or less. Soroka held the Giants to one run and two hits on Monday over eight innings. He blanked the Cards on three hits over seven the start prior. St. Louis' Dakota Hudson (3-3, 4.40) won in Texas last weekend, allowing two earned over six. Lefties are killing him with a .349 average.
Key trends: The Braves are 6-1 in Soroka's past seven on the road. The under is 6-1 in his past seven overall.
Early lean: Braves and under.
Orioles at Rockies (-198, 11.5)
Colorado has placed closer Wade Davis on the injured list with a left oblique strain. Davis has been pretty good this year with a 2.45 ERA and seven saves. Rockies manager Bud Black says Scott Oberg will serve as the primary closer in Davis' absence. Colorado lefty Kyle Freeland (2-5, 6.02) had a breakout 2018 season but obviously hasn't gotten it going yet this year. Freeland has an 8.03 ERA in his last five starts while allowing 28 hits -- nine homers -- over 24 2/3 innings with 14 walks. Only a couple of Orioles have seen him. Baltimore's Andrew Cashner (4-2, 4.14) has thrown three straight quality starts, but the Orioles have lost them all. He was a long-time National Leaguer so plenty of Rockies have seen him. Charlie Blackmon is 8-for-23 with two homers, but he's in doubt after injuring his calf on Thursday (bruise not a strain).
Key trends: The Orioles are 4-9 in Cashner's past 13 on the road. The over is 7-2 in the Rockies' past nine vs. a righty.
Early lean: Rockies on runline and over.
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
Get all of Today's MLB Picks
Get all of Today's Guaranteed Expert MLB Picks