Free MLB Picks for Tuesday, May 7, 2019
I had the good fortune of attending a baseball game in the Dominican Republic, and it was a phenomenal experience. The fans were totally into it with noisemakers, drums, singing, etc. It felt like I imagine a major international soccer match would be like (a Premier League match is next on the list). I bring this up because MLB wrapped up its Mexico Series for 2019 over the weekend with the Astros and Angels playing at Estadio de Béisbol Monterrey, which is the current home of the Sultanes de Monterrey of the Mexican League. MLB also had the Rockies and Diamondbacks play there this spring and the Cardinals and Reds as well last month. I believe baseball will beat the NBA and certainly the NFL in terms of placing a full-time team in Mexico. It just makes too much sense because Latin Americans generally prefer baseball to any sport outside of soccer. In addition, MLB needs to promote the type of passionate fan support in every stadium to wake up this boring game. The Marlins opened a section called Comunidad 305 where the team allows noisemakers, but no one goes to Marlins games. Every club in the majors should do something like this. International play isn't over for 2019, though. The Yankees will face the Red Sox in London from June 29-30.
Mariners at Yankees (-160, 8.5)
The Yankees lost another key player in starting pitcher James Paxton to the injured list over the weekend but did see the return of third baseman Miguel Andujar. And outfielder Clint Frazier is expected to be activated either Monday or Tuesday. The Bombers start Masahiro Tanaka (2-3, 3.92), and he loves facing the Mariners with a 7-0 record and 2.02 ERA in eight career starts against them. New Mariner Edwin Encarnacion has a good history against Tanaka, going 11-for-25 with two homers. Seattle lefty Marco Gonzales (5-1, 3.28) comes off his worst start of the year, lasting just 1.2 innings vs. the Cubs and allowing six runs (three earned). He walked a season-high three. Andujar is 2-for-3 with a homer off him.
Key trends: The Mariners are 1-4 in Gonzales' past five vs. teams with a winning record. The "over/under" has gone under in six of Tanaka's past eight vs. the Mariners.
Early lean: Yankees and under.
Reds at A's (-133, 8.5)
Cincinnati, which released Matt Kemp over the weekend, adds the designated hitter for this interleague matchup. Monitor the status of Oakland slugger Khris Davis. He left Sunday's game against the Pirates with a hip contusion while making a sliding catch - that's why Davis usually is at designated hitter. Might make things easier for Tyler Mahle (0-4, 4.09) if Davis is out. He allowed a run over five innings Thursday in a loss at the Mets. Mahle hasn't faced Oakland. The A's go with Mike Fiers (2-3, 6.81). He has been a bit better of late but Oakland has dropped his past three. The Reds' Joey Votto is 3-for-11 career off Fiers with a double.
Key trends: The Reds are 1-10 in Mahle's past 11 starts. The under is 5-0-1 in his previous six.
Early lean: A's and over.
Nationals at Brewers (+100, 8.5)
Milwaukee outfielder Lorenzo Cain left Sunday's game after being hit on the hand with a pitch, and that often leads to a fracture. However, X-rays were negative so Cain shouldn't be out too long. Cain is hitting .259 with four homers and 14 RBIs. The Brewers start Freddy Peralta (1-1, 8.31) here. He came off the disabled list Thursday and wasn't good, hammered by nine runs (six earned) in four innings vs. the Rockies. It was the third straight start Peralta allowed two homers. Washington's Juan Soto is 1-for-2 off him with a homer. The Nats' Stephen Strasburg (3-1, 3.45) beat the Cardinals in his last outing, allowing one run with nine strikeouts over 6.2 innings. The former No. 1 overall pick has a 1.25 ERA over his past three. Yasmani Grandal is 3-for-10 with a double and homer against him.
Key trends: The Brewers are 1-4 in their past five at home vs. teams with a losing record. The under is 5-1 in the Nats' past six vs. the NL Central.
Early lean: Nationals and over.
Marlins at Cubs (-175, TBA)
ESPN+ game. The Marlins are clearly the most anonymous team in baseball and you might not even be able to name three players on the team. Every club in the majors gets at least one All-Star, and the easy early leader for Miami is lefty Caleb Smith (3-0, 2.00) - which means Derek Jeter probably trades him for pennies on the dollar. Smith is working on five straight quality starts, allowing one run or fewer in each of the past four. Smith's 0.83 WHIP is second in the NL. He has made one career start vs. the Cubs and allowed a run in 5.1 innings. Cubs lefty Jon Lester (2-1, 1.73) hasn't allowed more than two runs in a start yet this season and shut out the Mariners on one hit over seven on Wednesday. Curtis Granderson has seen him by far the most of any Marlin, batting .294 with 15 strikeouts in 51 at-bats.
Key trends: The Cubs are 43-19 in their past 62 vs. a lefty. The under is 4-1 in Smith's past five.
Early lean: Marlins on runline (and probably under unless wind blowing out).
Mets at Padres (+120, 7.5)
What Mets starter Noah Syndergaard (2-3, 5.02) did in his last start was rarer than a perfect game. "Thor," who had been struggling this season, threw a complete-game shutout against the Reds, allowing four hits and 10 strikeouts. He also hit a solo homer in the 1-0 victory. It was only the seventh time in major-league history that a pitcher homered and threw a 1-0 shutout, and the first time it had been done by a Met. The last to accomplish the feat was Bob Welch of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1983. Someone needs to give what Syndergaard did a name. Touted Padres pitcher Cal Quantrill (0-1, 3.18), a 2016 first-round pick, made his MLB debut Wednesday in Atlanta and allowed two runs and six hits over 5.2 innings. Solid enough, but he took the loss with no run support.
Key trends: The Padres are 2-5 in their past seven on Tuesday. The under is 4-0 in the Mets' past four.
Early lean: Mets and under.
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