Free MLB Picks for Thursday June 5, 2019
The Cleveland Indians have been one of the major disappointments in the majors this season, partly due to injuries. But ownership didn't add any major pieces this offseason essentially because they said they were at their limits spending-wise. Thus, this team's title window might have closed for a while. If things don't get turned around fairly soon, one of the hottest commodities on this summer's trade market would be Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer. He's one of the most unique personalities in the game; in fact, he says he will never sign a long-term contract and that he wants to go year-to-year: "Why would you lock yourself in a situation that may not make you happy? I think that's highly inefficient. Everybody is afraid of risk. Everyone is scared." Good for him. Bauer is set for free agency after next season and "only" makes $13 million this year, so any contender could afford him. He takes the mound on Thursday.
Giants at Mets (-143, 8)
First game of the day at 12:10 p.m. ET and on the MLB Network. San Francisco rookie Shaun Anderson (1-1, 4.09) makes his fifth big-league start and comes off getting that first win. He went a career-high seven innings and allowed two runs and five hits in Baltimore. Anderson will get to face a former University of Florida teammate here in good-looking Mets rookie slugger Pete Alonso. New York's Zack Wheeler (5-3, 4.68) has gone at least seven innings in three straight starts and the Mets have won each of them. Wheeler is 2-2 with a 3.03 ERA in six career starts against the Giants. Brandon Belt is 4-for-12 off him with a double and three walks.
Key trends: The Mets are 5-2 in Wheeler's past seven at home vs. teams with a losing record. The "over/under" is 5-1-1 in his previous even at home.
Early lean: Mets and under.
Braves at Pirates (+115, 9.5)
Atlanta's Mike Foltynewicz (1-4, 6.10) gets the call in this series finale. He was an All-Star last year but clearly hasn't gotten it going yet in 2019 as he got a late start to the season due to a spring injury. He was tagged for five runs (there homers) over five innings last time out vs. Detroit. Foltynewicz has allowed 13 homers through 38 1/3 innings, just four fewer than he surrendered in 183 innings last year. Pittsburgh's Josh Bell is 2-for-5 with a walk off him. The Bucs go with Chris Archer (2-5, 5.66). He snapped a personal five-game losing streak Friday in allowing four runs over seven against Milwaukee. Atlanta's Josh Donaldson might get this one off as he's 6-for-38 with 17 Ks vs. Archer.
Key trends: The Braves are 1-8 in Foltynewicz's past nine. The over is 4-1 in Archer's past five.
Early lean: Pirates and over.
Twins at Indians (-114, 8.5)
If Bauer (4-5, 3.87) has a strong finish to this season, he will probably seek at least $20 million on a one-year deal for 2020 in arbitration. The Indians simply can't afford that. However, Bauer is costing himself some money right now. He entered May with a 4-1 record and 2.43 ERA in his first seven starts but has gone 0-4 with a 5.65 ERA since. He allowed six runs (two earned) over seven last time out at the White Sox. He won at the Twins in his season debut March 31, allowing just one hit over seven. Eddie Rosario hits .308 off him in 39 at-bats. Minnesota's Jose Berrios (7-2, 3.27) allowed three runs at Tampa Bay over the weekend in 6.2 innings of a no-decision. He shut out Cleveland on two hits over 7.2 innings on March 28. Francisco Lindor is 5-for-17 against him with six RBIs.
Key trends: The Indians are 7-2 in Bauer's past nine vs. the Twins. The under is 5-1 in his previous six against them.
Early lean: Indians and under.
Orioles at Rangers (-144, 10.5)
Another guy likely to be traded this summer is the Orioles' Andrew Cashner (6-2, 5.04) as they are years from contending again. Cashner wouldn't bring much back other than a low-level prospect and some salary relief. He allowed six runs over five innings in his most recent start vs. the Giants but got the win. Baltimore has scored at least six runs of support in eight of his 12 starts this season. Cashner pitched for Texas in 2017. Rougned Odor is 2-for-3 off him with a double. The Rangers' Ariel Jurado (2-2, 2.43) got his first win in more than three weeks last Friday, allowing two runs over six against Kansas City. He has allowed two runs in five career innings vs. the Orioles.
Key trends: The Orioles are 1-6 in Cashner's past seven vs. the AL West. The over is 8-2 in his previous 10 overall.
Early lean: Rangers and over.
Yankees at Blue Jays (+169, 10)
ESPN prime-time game. Somehow, we are two months into the season and it's the first meeting between the AL East rivals. Meanwhile, the Yankees already have played the Orioles like 30 times (or so it feels). It's lefty J.A. Happ (5-3, 4.83) for New York. He was traded by the Jays to the Yankees last summer. Happ beat the Red Sox in his last start, giving up a run over five innings. Toronto's Randal Grichuk is 1-for-4 with a homer off him. The Jays' Edwin Jackson (0-3, 13.22) has pitched for an MLB-record 14 teams … but the Yankees aren't one of them. This might be Jackson's last chance with the Blue Jays as he was destroyed for 10 runs over 2.1 innings in Colorado last weekend and is getting worse. Aaron Hicks is 2-for-2 with a double and homer off Jackson.
Key trends: The Yanks have won Happ's past six vs. teams with a losing record. The over is 6-1-1 in his previous eight on the road.
Early lean: Yankees on runline and over.
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