Free MLB Picks for Thursday May 9, 2019
Last week, we saw the very rare occurrence of the Mets' Noah Syndergaard throwing a complete-hit shutout while homering in a 1-0 victory. It was just the seventh time in big-league history that a pitcher accomplished both in a 1-0 win. On Monday, we saw something even more rare - but also more flukish. Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval became the first major-league player since 1905 to hit a home run, steal a base and post a scoreless outing in the same game. He pitched in mop-up duty because the Giants were routed by the Reds. Ironically, in 1905 it also happened for a Giant vs. the Reds: Hall of Famer pitcher Christy Mathewson threw nine shutout innings, hit a homer and stole a base in a victory on May 23, 1905. Seriously, who keeps track of this stuff? Only in baseball.
White Sox at Indians (-225, 8.5)
Chicago just can't keep some of its good young pitching healthy as reports are that Carlos Rodon has been told he needs Tommy John surgery but will get at least one more opinion before going under the knife. The Sox are really thin in the rotation right now, which is the only reason lefty Manny Banuelos (2-1, 5.96) is in the rotation. He might not be much longer after allowing nine runs and 10 hits, three homers, last time out in a blowout loss to the Red Sox. Banuelos has never faced Cleveland. The Tribe's Carlos Carrasco (2-3, 5.60) has allowed four earned runs in each of his past two outings. All four were on solo homers last time out vs. the Mariners. Chicago's Jose Abreu hits just .186 career off Carrasco in 43 at-bats.
Key trends: The Indians have won Carrasco's past seven in this series. The "over/under" has gone under in six of those.
Early lean: Indians and under.
Reds at A's (-139, 8.5)
MLB Network game at 3:37 p.m. ET with Cincinnati again adding the designated hitter. Oakland has activated first baseman Matt Olson and will designate DH Kendrys Morales for assignment - he was acquired early in the season from Toronto. In addition, All-Star closer Blake Treinen is dealing with an elbow injury but expected to avoid the injury list. It's Chris Bassitt (1-0, 2.12) for the A's, and he has been a godsend in three starts since being called up. He hasn't faced the Reds. Cincinnati's Tanner Roark (2-1, 3.82) beat the Giants on Saturday, allowing two runs over 6.2 innings - his first quality start of 2019. Roark has given up five runs in 15.1 career innings vs. Oakland.
Key trends: The A's are 4-9 in Bassitt's past 13 vs. teams with a losing record. The under is 10-1 in Cincinnati's past 13 on Thursday.
Early lean: Reds and under.
Mariners at Yankees (-167, 9)
MLB Network game at 6:35 p.m. ET. It's lefty and one-time Mariner J.A. Happ (1-3, 4.93) for the Bombers. Happ has generally alternated bad starts with good one this year. He wasn't great last time out, allowing four runs and seven hits over 5.2 innings vs. the Twins. Homers have been an issue as he has surrendered nine in seven starts. Seattle's Ryon Healy is 3-for-6 with three homers career off him. The Mariners' Mike Leake (2-3, 4.91) hasn't won since April 6. He was OK last time out, allowing three runs over six in Cleveland. New York's DJ LeMahieu is 5-for-12 off him with a double.
Key trends: The Mariners are 1-5 in Leake's past six vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 8-2 in Happ's past 10.
Early lean: Yankees and over.
Braves at Diamondbacks (+105, 9)
Available to stream on ESPN+. The Braves are loaded with young pitching, and one of the most touted guys is 21-year-old Canadian Mike Soroka (3-1, 1.14). He didn't allow an earned run over a season-high seven innings on Saturday in Miami. Still a bit wild with eight walks in four starts but batters are hitting just .182 off him. Soroka's season debut was April 18 when he lost to Arizona despite allowing just one run over five. The Diamondbacks' Luke Weaver (3-1, 3.29) was a touted Cardinals prospect who came over in the Paul Goldschmidt trade. Weaver surrendered one run and three hits over seven in Colorado on Saturday. He won opposite Soroka on April 18 (five scoreless innings).
Key trends: The Braves are 2-6 in their past eight series openers. The over is 10-2 in Arizona's previous 12 in a series opener.
Early lean: Diamondbacks and under.
Nationals at Dodgers (-135, 7.5)
MLB Network late-night game. The Dodgers looked at lefty Patrick Corbin (2-1, 3.71) on the free-agent market this offseason, but the Nationals' bid blew everyone else's out of the water. Corbin has largely been good for the Nats and comes off a no-decision in Philadelphia, allowing three runs over six. The former Diamondback was 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA in four starts last year vs. the Dodgers. Justin Turner is a .414 hitter off him with two homers and three RBIs in 29 career at-bats. L.A. lefty Rich Hill (0-0, 3.60) started the season on the injured list and has made two starts. He has faced Washington just once since 2016. Adam Eaton is 1-for-1 with a triple against Hill.
Key trends: The Nats are just 7-21 in their past 28 series openers. The under is 6-2 in the Dodgers' past eight vs. teams with a losing record.
Early lean: Nats and under.
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