Free MLB Picks for Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Reds-Dodgers probably wouldn't register as an interesting series with the clubs playing three in Los Angeles this week, except the two teams made a very interesting trade this offseason. In what amounted to a salary dump, the Dodgers sent outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp and pitcher Alex Wood (plus a minor leaguer) along with a payment of $7 million to Cincinnati for the worst pitcher in baseball last year, Homer Bailey, and two minor leaguers. Bailey was immediately released by Los Angeles (now in Kansas City) and still earned nearly $23 million. On paper, it looked the Reds completely won that trade when it was made even with Puig, Kemp and Wood set to be free agents after this season. So far, though, neither Puig nor Kemp is hitting a lick (not a shock as both loved the L.A. limelight) and Wood is on the disabled list. Most thought the Dodgers would use the overall savings to go sign Bryce Harper, but instead they opted for AJ Pollock. He has been OK. Perhaps it's just one of those deals that neither team wins.
Red Sox at Yankees (+110, 8)
Nationally televised by the MLB Network because of course it is. Boston has pushed back ace lefty Chris Sale (0-3, 9.00) a day, and it's still too early to worry about him. But that time is coming soon if Sale falters again Tuesday. He's simply not throwing as hard as he did last season and it's not particularly close. For example, in 2018 he had a swing-and-miss rate on his fastball of 28.7 percent. This season: 6.9. It took 83 fastballs this season before a batter finally swung and missed one. Sale was 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA in two regular-season starts last year vs. New York. Aaron Judge is just 3-for-18 with 13 Ks off him. The Yankees' James Paxton (1-2, 6.00) comes off his worst start with his new team, allowing five runs and eight hits over four innings in Houston. While with Seattle, he as 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in four career starts vs. Boston. JD Martinez is 4-for-8 off him with a double.
Key trends: The Red Sox are 4-1 in the past five meetings. The "over/under" is 4-0 in Sale's past four against New York.
Early lean: Red Sox and over.
Pirates at Tigers (-109, 8.5)
Pittsburgh will add the designated hitter for this interleague matchup. The Bucs go with Joe Musgrove (0-0, 0.00), who hasn't allowed an earned run over 15.1 innings this year and just seven hits. Musgrove credits a change to his preparation following offseason surgery. Only a few Tigers have ever faced him. Former Pirate Jordy Mercer is 1-for-2 with a double. Detroit lefty Matthew Boyd (1-1, 2.60) has allowed one earned run in each of his past two starts and leads the AL with 29 strikeouts. Only a handful of Pirates have seen him. Starling Marte is 1-for-5 with two RBIs.
Key trends: The Tigers are 12-2 in Boyd's past 14 at home. The under is 7-1-1 in his previous nine on Tuesday.
Early lean: Tigers and under.
Orioles at Rays (-225, 8)
One of the biggest surprises in the majors on the surprising Rays has been 25-year-old right-hander Tyler Glasnow (3-0, 0.53). He allowed an earned run in his first start and hasn't since, leading the AL in ERA. He whiffed 11 White Sox over six innings last time out, surrendering only two hits. Glasnow is just the second pitcher in club history to get the win in three straight starts and allow one run or fewer in each of them. Baltimore's Chris Davis, who finally got a hit over the weekend, is 0-for-2 against him with two Ks. The Orioles' Dylan Bundy (0-1, 8.76) was roughed up for six runs and four homers over five innings in his last start vs. Oakland. He was 2-2 with a 6.35 ERA in four starts last year vs. Tampa Bay. Kevin Kiermaier is 4-for-9 with two homers against him.
Key trends: The Rays are 0-5 in Glasnow's past five vs. the AL East. The Orioles are 2-12 in their past 14 at the Rays. The over is 5-0 in the past five meetings.
Early lean: Rays on runline and over.
Giants at Nationals (-172, 7.5)
Two of the losers in the Bryce Harper Derby this winter. San Francisco made a late run at Harper and reportedly came up second. He was probably never returning to D.C. The Giants' Dereck Rodriguez (1-2, 4.15) comes off his best start of the year, allowing two runs and four hits over seven in San Diego but was saddled with the loss. He has faced Washington once in his young career and allowed five runs in 2.2 innings. Anthony Rendon is 1-for-2 with two RBIs off him. You never know which Stephen Strasburg (1-0, 5.40) will show up for the Nationals. He dominated two starts ago so naturally was roughed up for six runs in four innings last time out in Philadelphia - but avoided the loss. San Francisco's Buster Posey is 9-for-22 career off Strasburg.
Key trends: The Nats are 1-4 in Strasburg's past five vs. the Giants. The over is 7-2 in his previous nine series openers.
Early lean: Nationals and over.
Diamondbacks at Braves (-140, 8.5)
The Braves has some really good young pitchers in their system, and one of those is 25-year-old lefty Max Fried (2-0, 0.00). He has thrown 13.2 innings - two appearances in relief - this year without allowing an earned run and just six hits. Only a couple of Diamondbacks have seen him. The Braves lost closer Arodys Vizcaino to the injured list over the weekend to right shoulder inflammation, which is nothing new for him. A.J. Minter will likely close in the meantime and could take the job outright. Snakes lefty Robbie Ray (0-1, 3.52) can be dominant when he isn't wild. He was last time out vs. Texas, striking out 10 and allowing just two hits over five - Ray had walked five in each of his first two outings. Atlanta's Ronald Acuna Jr. is 1-for-2 off him with a homer.
Key trends: The Braves are 9-4 in their past 13 series openers. The under is 4-1 in Ray's past five on the road.
Early lean: Braves and under.
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