Free MLB Picks for Thursday August 29, 2019
I just learned something that I didn't know so I thought I would share it with you. Twice a rookie has won the American League batting title: Tony Oliva in 1964 and Ichiro Suzuki in 2001 when Ichiro also won AL MVP honors - that was the last time the Mariners made the playoffs. No rookie in modern history, though, has won a National League batting title. That surprised me a bit. Could happen this year because two of them are right there at the top in the Mets' Jeff McNeil and Pirates' Bryan Reynolds - not exactly two highly-touted rookies entering the year. Reynolds didn't even start the season with the big club. The former second-round pick of the Giants was the key piece that came to the Pirates in the Andrew McCutchen trade in January 2018. Ironically, neither McNeil nor Reynolds is going to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award. McNeil is being overshadowed on his own team by fellow rookie Pete Alonso, who is going to win it.
Indians at Tigers (+212, 9)
First game of the day at 1:15 p.m. ET as these division rivals wrap up a series. It's also the Indians' final game in Detroit this year. Cleveland's Mike Clevinger (9-2, 3.00) hasn't lost since June 28 but also hasn't gone six full innings in his past three. His lone outing vs. Detroit this year was on July 17 when he allowed one run over six and struck out 12 in a victory. Tigers lefty Daniel Norris (3-10, 4.70) remains on an innings limit and has gone only three innings in his past three outings. He hasn't allowed a run in his past two and is 0-1 with a 7.82 ERA in two starts this year vs. the Tribe. Francisco Lindor is 6-for-18 with a double off him.
Key trends: The Indians are 6-2 in Clevinger's past eight vs. Detroit. The "over/under" is 4-1 in Norris' previous five against the Tribe.
Early lean: Indians on runline and over.
A's at Royals (+165, 10)
A 1:15 p.m. ET first pitch on the MLB Network. Oakland put outfielder Stephen Piscotty on the injured list with an ankle injury and Athletics manager Bob Melvin said that Piscotty could be sidelined for "a while." He's batting .252 with 13 homers and 44 RBIs. Oakland goes with Chris Bassitt (9-5, 3.59). He comes off a no-decision vs. the Giants, surrendering two runs over 5.2 innings. Even though Bassitt is a right-hander, he's dominating lefty hitters (.198 average). He hasn't seen Kansas City in 2019. The Royals' Glenn Sparkman (3-9, 5.52) hasn't won since July 16 and the Royals have also lost every time he has taken the mound since then. Sparkman hasn't faced Oakland previously.
Key trends: The A's have won seven straight Bassitt starts vs. the AL Central. The over is 6-2 in his previous eight vs. teams with a losing record.
Early lean: A's and over.
Cubs at Mets (-170, 7.5)
MLB Network prime-time game and last meeting of the season … although a playoff matchup is possible. Cubs lefty Jon Lester (10-9, 4.49) has been really up-and-down for the past month or so. He was definitely down over the weekend in allowing six runs and nine hits over 4.1 innings of a loss to Washington. Lester hasn't seen the Mets this year so neither McNeil nor Alonso have faced him. New York's Jacob deGrom (8-7, 2.56) comes off a tough-luck no-decision, allowing one run and four hits over seven with 13 strikeouts against Atlanta. DeGrom is 4-0 with a 1.04 ERA since the All-Star break. Kris Bryant is 5-for-14 with two homers off him.
Key trends: The Cubs have won Lester's past five in the series. The under is 5-2 in deGrom's previous seven.
Early lean: Cubs on runline and under.
Mariners at Rangers (-170, 10)
These could be the final few weeks in the borderline Hall of Fame career of Seattle's Felix Hernandez (1-4, 6.09). King Felix will be a free agent this winter and sure doesn't appear to have much left at age 33. Hernandez returned from a three-month stint on the injured list on Saturday and allowed two runs on three hits over 5 2/3 innings against the Blue Jays. He's 7-12 with a 4.53 ERA all-time at Texas. Elvis Andrus has 106 at-bats against him and hasn't homered. The Rangers' Lance Lynn (14-9, 3.85) hasn't won in his past four and has a 4.76 ERA in them. He's 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA in three starts this year vs. Seattle. No Mariner has taken him deep.
Key trends: The Mariners are 7-20 in Hernandez's past 27. The under is 7-3 in Lynn's past 10 at home.
Early lean: Rangers on runline and over.
Dodgers at Diamondbacks (+178, 9)
Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-4, 2.00) might be trying to give the NL Cy Young Award away. He has allowed a combined 11 runs and 15 hits over 10 innings in losing back-to-back starts, albeit against good lineups in the Yankees and Braves. Ryu has dominated Arizona this year, allowing just one earned run and 12 hits in three outings, winning all of them. Ketel Marte is 5-for-17 with a double and two triples against him. The Diamondbacks' Merrill Kelly (9-13, 4.86) was roughed up in Milwaukee (4.1 IP, 6 ER) over the weekend. He took a no-decision in his lone start vs. the Dodgers (6 IP, 3 ER). Cody Bellinger is 1-for-3 with a solo shot off him.
Key trends: The Snakes are 12-5 in their past 17 following an off day. The under is 6-1-1 in Kelly's past eight at home.
Early lean: Diamondbacks in upset and under.
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