Free MLB Picks for Thursday May 2, 2019
We should see history in baseball at some point this week - might have happened on Wednesday night - with the Angels' Albert Pujols, an obvious first-ballot Hall of Famer, expected to join the 2,000-RBI club. Thing is, he will either be the fifth member or third depending on where you look. Most major MLB statistical sites say there are four other members: Hank Aaron (2,297), Babe Ruth (2,214), Alex Rodriguez (2,086) and Cap Anson (2,075). However, MLB's official statistician, Elias, doesn't consider Ruth or Anson members of the club because RBIs didn't become an official statistic until 1920. Doubt Pujols plays long enough to catch Aaron, but he could track down A-Rod late next season if Pujols stays healthy (big if).
Reds at Mets (-170, 7.5)
With the early start (12:10 p.m. ET) and it being getaway day, probably see a couple of regulars take a seat. It's Noah Syndergaard (1-3, 6.35) for the Mets, who looks more like the Fat Thor in "Avengers: Endgame" than the usual Thor this season. Syndergaard, who has that nickname, was not great again last time out, allowing five runs and a season-high 10 hits over five innings in a loss to the Brewers. He hasn't topped five innings in his past three. No one seems to know what the problem is. Cincinnati's Joey Votto is 2-for-14 career off him with six Ks. The Reds' Tyler Mahle (0-3, 4.50) also has struggled in his past three, all losses, allowing 13 runs over 17 innings. He's 0-1 in his career vs. the Mets with a 6.75 ERA.
Key trends: The Reds are 1-9 in Mahle's past 10 starts. The "over/under" is 6-2 in Syndergaard's past eight at home.
Early lean: Reds on runline and over.
Padres at Braves (-123, 8.5)
A 12:10 p.m. ET first pitch. Second start of the year for 2018 All-Star right-hander Mike Foltynewicz (0-0, 6.00) of the Braves, who began the season on the injured list. The fire-baller allowed four runs and six hits (two homers) over six innings over the weekend against Colorado. Folty missed most of spring training because of a bone spur in his right elbow. San Diego's Manny Machado is 4-for-6 against him. The team to no surprise has put star rookie Fernando Tatis Jr. on the injured list. Padres lefty Matt Strahm (0-1, 3.04) was pushed back a day simply to help conserve some innings this season. He comes off a no-decision in Washington, allowing two runs and four hits over six innings - his second straight quality start. Atlanta's Freddie Freeman is 1-for-2 with a homer against him.
Key trends: The Braves are 1-9 in Foltynewicz's past 10 vs. the NL West. The under is 5-0-2 in Strahm's past seven on the road.
Early lean: Braves and under.
Cardinals at Nationals (-155, 8.5)
MLB Network game at 4:05 p.m. ET. It's young right-hander Dakota Hudson (2-1, 5.63) for the Cardinals. He might be pitching for his job, in the rotation anyways, as he has yet to last more than 5.2 innings and has given up at least three runs in three straight outings. Hudson on Thursday should already surpass his innings total as a rookie last season when he was solely a reliever. He has thrown 2.1 career innings vs. Washington, allowing two runs and three hits. The Nats have put star third baseman Anthony Rendon on the injured list with a left elbow injury. Washington's Stephen Strasburg (2-1, 3.82) has been excellent in his past two. He took a no-decision Saturday vs. San Diego, allowing two runs and four hits with nine Ks over seven innings. Strasburg has not faced the Cardinals since the 2016 season. Marcell Ozuna hits .342 career off Strasburg with two homers in 38 at-bats.
Key trends: The Nats are 14-3 in Strasburg's past 17 vs. the NL Central. The over is 6-2 in his past eight overall.
Early lean: Nationals and over.
Red Sox at White Sox (+146, 9)
MLB Network prime-time game. Starts a seven-game road trip for Boston. The Red Sox go with lefty David Price (1-2, 3.60). He comes off a quality start vs. Tampa Bay (6 IP, 2 ER, 7 Ks) but took the loss against one of his former teams. Price has a 5.29 ERA in three road starts this year. Chicago's Jose Abreu is just 3-for-21 off him with four strikeouts. Inconsistent Chicago youngster Lucas Giolito (2-1, 5.30) looked like he was locked in on April 17 vs. Kansas City as he threw 2.2 shutout innings with five strikeouts and no hits but left with a hamstring injury. He's expected to be activated for Thursday after no issues following a bullpen session Monday. Giolito has made one career start vs. Boston, taking a no-decision and allowing one run and two hits over 6.1 innings.
Key trends: The Red Sox have won nine of the past 13 in this series. The under is 9-1 in the previous 10.
Early lean: Red Sox and over.
Blue Jays at Angels (-135, 8.5)
Only late-night game on the schedule as the Halos are the lone West Coast team playing at home on Thursday. Assuming Pujols plays, he's 2-for-6 career with an RBI against Blue Jays starter Aaron Sanchez (3-1, 2.32). Sanchez looks more like the guy he was in a stellar 2016 season than the struggling, injury-prone guy of the past two years. Sanchez isn't allowing many hits but still too many walks: 20 in 31.0 innings. That has kept his innings down. Angels lefty Tyler Skaggs (2-2, 3.15) comes off his best start of the season, throwing five shutout innings in Kansas City in a return from the injured list. It was his longest scoreless start since June 3, 2018. Toronto's Justin Smoak is 2-for-9 off him.
Key trends: The Jays are 16-6 in Sanchez's past 22 vs. teams with a losing record. The under is 5-0-1 in Skaggs' past six.
Early lean: Jays and under.
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