Free MLB Picks for Thursday May 30, 2019
How much longer can the hugely disappointing Washington Nationals keep Manager Davey Martinez in his job? I'll admit when I was wrong, and boy was I on the Nationals as I actually thought they would win the NL East this season despite losing Bryce Harper because: 1) He's overrated and 2) They added Patrick Corbin to Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg for arguably the best Top 3 of a rotation in the majors. Yet, the Nats are closer to the putrid Marlins in the NL East than they are to first place. Martinez was lucky to make it through last season, his first on the job, as the team also underachieved. The guy is widely respected around the game and learned from Joe Maddon for several years, but some guys just aren't manager material and are better off as a third-base coach or bench coach. Frankly, Washington never should have pushed Dusty Baker out the door.
Cardinals at Phillies (-120, 10)
Already the last meeting of the season between the teams, although a postseason matchup is certainly possible. It's a 1:05 p.m. ET first pitch on the MLB Network. It's Dakota Hudson (3-3, 4.22) for the Redbirds. He's working on three straight quality starts but allowed eight runs (just two earned) on May 7 against the Phillies. Guy is a ground-ball machine and gets into trouble when he's not getting them. Bryce Harper is 2-for-2 with a homer and four RBIs off him. Philly's Jerad Eickhoff (2-2, 3.86) has allowed at least four earned in three straight outings. He had a 1.50 ERA in his first five starts, which included eight shutout innings of the Cards on May 8.
Key trends: The Phillies are 7-3 in Eickhoff's past 10 at home. The "over/under" has gone under in eight of his past 11 at home.
Early lean: Phillies and under.
Red Sox at Yankees (+130, 8.5)
MLB Network prime-time game, because of course it is: It's Red Sox-Yankees. Boston lefty Chris Sale (1-6, 4.19) had his streak of four straight double-digit strikeout games end last time out, allowing two earned over six with five Ks in a loss to the Astros. Sale is 7-5 with a 1.93 ERA in 20 appearances against New York, including the playoffs. Gary Sanchez is just 3-for-20 off him with eight strikeouts. Yankees lefty J.A. Happ (4-3, 5.09) struck out a season-high 10 in Kansas City in a win in his last outing. He took a no-decision on April 17 vs. Boston (6.1 IP, 3 ER). Mookie Betts hits just .189 off him in 37 at-bats.
Key trends: The Sox have lost six straight Sale series openers. The over is 4-1 in his previous five against the Yankees.
Early lean: Red Sox and over.
Twins at Rays (-133, 8)
These two franchises are proof that you don't need one of the biggest payrolls in the majors to succeed. Minnesota lefty Martin Perez (7-1, 2.95) was pushed back a couple of days, which is interesting considering how good he has been. It was partly because fellow starter Michael Pineda landed on the injured list. Perez won at the Angels last Thursday, allowing two runs over five. He has completed five innings in each of his eight starts and allowed three or fewer runs in all but one. The Rays' Guillermo Heredia might get a spot start as he's 10-for-22 off Perez with three doubles. Tampa's Charlie Morton (5-0, 2.54) dominated the Indians on Saturday, giving up one run and three hits with 10 strikeouts over six. Nelson Cruz has seen him by far more than any Twin, going 8-for-26 with two doubles and a homer.
Key trends: The Twins have won Perez's past four on the road. The under is 5-1 in his previous six overall.
Early lean: Rays and under.
Royals at Rangers (-168, 10.5)
Monitor the status of Rangers slugger Joey Gallo after he left Tuesday's game with a sore wrist and got Wednesday off. Journeyman Mike Minor (5-3, 2.55) could be in line for his first All-Star spot if he keeps pitching this well for the Rangers. The lefty allowed one run over six last time out at the Angels, his sixth straight outing giving up three earned or fewer. That includes May 15 in Kansas City (5 IP, 1 ER). Alex Gordon is 2-for-7 with a homer off him. The Royals' Jakob Junis (3-5, 5.58) hasn't won since May 1 vs. Tampa Bay. He had his first quality start since then on Saturday vs. the Yankees, surrendering three runs over six. No Ranger has more than three at-bats off him. Rougned Odor is 2-for-2 with a homer.
Key trends: The Royals have lost Junis' past eight vs. the AL West. The under is 10-4 in Minor's past 14 at home.
Early lean: Rangers and over.
Mets at Dodgers (-225, 8)
ESPN+ late-night game. Rather quietly, the best pitcher in the National League this year has been Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (7-1, 1.65). He's first in the NL in wins, ERA and WHIP (0.83). Wasn't quite as sharp on Saturday in Pittsburgh, tagged for 10 hits but just two runs over six. Ryu's streak of 32 scoreless innings came to an end in the second inning. The Mets' Todd Frazier is 1-for-11 off him with five strikeouts. New York lefty Jason Vargas (1-2, 5.22) held the Tigers to one run over five in his return from the injured list. That's about the best one can expect from him. L.A.'s David Freese may get a spot start against him as he's 8-for-14 with three homers.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 5-1 in Ryu's past six against the Mets. The over is 4-1 in his previous five at home.
Early lean: Dodgers 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