Free MLB Picks for Thursday April 11, 2019
You know the old saying about when you "assume" something, but I'm now going to assume the Yankees are going to be without ace Luis Severino for most if not all of the 2019 season, which cripples their World Series chances. Severino has been out after missing most of spring training following being diagnosed with inflammation of the rotator cuff in his right shoulder. He recently progressed to long-tossing but apparently didn't feel great and had an MRI on Tuesday. That revealed a lat strain, meaning he won't throw at all for another six weeks. I guess it's good news that it's not more rotator cuff problems, but they could be related. Severino has not pitched off a mound since experiencing shoulder discomfort following a warm-up pitch before his first start of spring training on March 5. His original timetable to join the big club was May 1, but that's clearly a pipe dream now. Severino perhaps wisely agreed to a four-year, $40 million contract extension in February.
A's at Orioles (+119, 10)
First pitch of 12:35 p.m. ET from Camden Yards. I'm purposefully holding off talking about the historically bad Chris Davis of the Orioles until he actually gets a hit. Did I mention he's still owed $110 million through 2037 (with deferred payments)? That's comical. Baltimore goes with inconsistent Dylan Bundy (0-0, 7.36) here. He has made two starts this year, both against the Yankees, and allowed three runs in 3.2 innings of each. Which means he'll probably dominate Oakland because Bundy tends to pitch to extremes that way. Oakland's Aaron Brooks (1-1, 4.09), whom we assume is no relation to the ex-NBA or former NFL players of the same name, was dominant in his first start of the year but allowed five runs and nine hits over five last time out in Houston.
Key trends: The Orioles are 1-6 in Bundy's past seven at home. The "over/under" has gone under in four of Brooks' past five on the road.
Early lean: A's and over.
Dodgers at Cardinals (+125, 8.5)
MLB Network game at 1:15 p.m. ET. L.A. got some potentially bad news on Monday when injury-prone starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu left against the Cardinals with a left groin strain. The lefty tore that same muscle in May of last season, and it wound up costing him over three months of action. It's not thought to be that bad this time around, but those can linger. It's young star Walker Buehler (1-0, 6.75) for the Dodgers. He was shaky in his first start but allowed one run over five in Colorado last time out. Buehler threw 15 scoreless innings vs. St. Louis last year, striking out 18. The Cards' Michael Wacha (0-0, 1.54) has allowed one run in each of his two starts but walked a combined 12. He is 1-4 with a 5.46 ERA in six career starts versus L.A. A.J. Pollock is 5-for-10 off him with a homer.
Key trends: The Cards are 7-3 in Wacha's past 10 at home. The under is 9-2-1 in Buehler's previous 11 overall.
Early lean: Dodgers and under.
Blue Jays at Red Sox (-198, 9)
The struggling Red Sox should be just fine, but be aware the past 18 World Series winners declined an average of 6.7 wins. Even if that happened to Boston, it would still win 101 or 102 games in 2019. The Sox go with Nathan Eovaldi (0-0, 8.10) in this series finale. He has lasted just five innings in both starts, allowing nine runs and 12 hits. The only Blue Jay with more than two at-bats off him is Justin Smoak, who is 0-for-8. Toronto's Aaron Sanchez (1-1, 1.64) allowed two runs over six last time out in Cleveland. Sanchez has a 4.06 ERA in 19 career appearances vs. Boston. Mookie Betts is 7-for-26 off him with a homer.
Key trends: The Jays are 1-4 in Sanchez's past five vs. Boston. The under is 5-1 in his previous six against them.
Early lean: Blue Jays on runline and under.
Pirates at Cubs (-146, TBA)
MLB Network prime-time game. It's lefty Jose Quintana (0-1, 10.29) for the Cubs, and if it wasn't clear before this season it sure is now that Theo Epstein got robbed by the White Sox in the Quintana deal during the summer of 2017. Quintana is yet to last more than four innings in his two starts this season. He does have a 2.89 ERA in five career starts vs. Pittsburgh. Starling Marte is 2-for-12 against him. The Pirates' Joe Musgrove (1-0, 0.00) has pitched nine innings this year, two in relief, and not allowed a run with just three hits - both against Cincinnati. He was 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two starts against the Cubs last year. Kris Bryant is 1-for-5 with a homer against him.
Key trends: The Pirates have lost five straight Musgrove starts. The over is 6-1 in the Cubs' past seven vs. a right-hander.
Early lean: Pirates.
Rockies at Giants (-101, 7.5)
The two bottom teams in the NL West - expected of the Giants but not the Rockies. San Francisco goes with Jeff Samardzija (0-0, 2.79). He was solid in his debut in San Diego but allowed three runs over 4.2 innings last time out against Tampa Bay. "Shark" was 0-1 with a 5.87 ERA in two starts last year vs. the Rockies. Nolan Arenado is a career .394 hitter off him but hasn't homered in 33 at-bats. Colorado's Jon Gray (0-2, 5.68) apparently is just never going to put it all together. The stuff continues to be there but so does the inconsistency. Gray had an 11.45 ERA last year in 11 innings vs. the Giants. Brandon Crawford is 4-for-11 off him with three RBIs.
Key trends: The Giants are 1-6 in their past seven series openers. The over is 4-1 in Gray's past five vs. SF.
Early lean: Rockies and over.
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
Get all of Today's MLB Picks
Get all of Today's Guaranteed Expert MLB Picks