Free MLB Picks for Tuesday, April 23, 2019
How unlucky have the New York Yankees been this season? On Sunday, the team placed slugger Aaron Judge on the 10-day injured list with a strained oblique muscle that will cost him a lot more than the 10 days. The former AL Rookie of the Year is the 13th player on the injured list currently for the Bombers, easily the most in the majors. It's the third significant injury Judge has suffered over parts of four major-league seasons. On Sunday, the Yankees started guys named Mike Tauchman, Mike Ford, Austin Romine, Tyler Wade and Gio Urshela because they are so thin. Seriously, tell me you have heard of them. On the bright side, catcher Gary Sanchez is expected to be activated on Wednesday.
Marlins at Indians (-240, 8)
First pitch of night at 6:10 p.m. ET on ESPN+, and Miami add the designated hitter for this interleague matchup. The Tribe got one of the best, most exciting players in baseball back over the weekend in All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor, so I expect Cleveland to start taking control of the AL Central (barring more injuries) sooner rather than later. Especially if Carlos Carrasco (2-2, 7.41) has found his form. He was very inconsistent his first three starts but brilliant last time out, blanking the Mariners on three hits over seven in Seattle with 12 strikeouts. Only a few Marlins have seen him. Curtis Granderson is 6-for-14 with two homers. Miami's Pablo Lopez (1-3, 5.85) looks for his first quality start of the year. His ERA is 0.00 in the first two innings of all four starts this season but then things tend to go badly. Lopez hasn't faced Cleveland.
Key trends: The Indians are 24-7 in Carrasco's past 31 series openers. The "over/under" has gone under in five of Lopez's past six outings.
Early lean: Indians on runline and under.
Braves at Reds (-106, 9)
Gets underway at 6:40 p.m. ET. One of the more underrated trades last summer was Atlanta landing Kevin Gausman (1-1, 2.75) from Baltimore for basically nothing. Gausman looked reborn with a move to the National League and has carried that over to 2019. He held the Diamondbacks to two runs and three hits with 10 Ks last Wednesday. This will be Gausman's first road start. Joey Votto is 1-for-1 off him. Cincinnati's Sonny Gray (0-3, 2.79) has been pretty solid but getting very little run support in his four outings. Matt Joyce doesn't play every day and is struggling this year for the Braves but may get a start here as he's a .348 hitter in 23 at-bats off Gray.
Key trends: The Braves are 4-1 in Gausman's past five series openers. The under has hit in his past seven against teams with a losing record.
Early lean: Braves and under.
Giants at Blue Jays (-125, 8.5)
San Francisco adds the DH for this interleague matchup. Toronto acquired pitcher Trent Thornton (0-2, 5.40) from Houston last November for shortstop Aledmys Diaz. Don't know if the 25-year-old Thornton will be any good or has a future in the rotation, but I recommend you watch this game if you can simply to see his windup. It's unique to say the least. "My arm goes down, kind of behind my back then shoots up like a slingshot and then releases. It's not the most attractive arm action," Thornton described it recently as. He has yet to last more than 5.2 innings in his four starts, and it's his first look at the Giants. San Francisco's Jeff Samardzija (1-1, 2.91) has had two very good starts and two mediocre ones. The Jays' Eric Sogard is 6-for-11 career off him.
Key trends: The Giants have lost Samardzija's past six on the road. The over is 5-1 in those.
Early lean: Jays and over.
Dodgers at Cubs (+106, TBA)
MLB Network game. The Dodgers' Kenta Maeda (3-1, 3.80) will be pitching on two extra days of rest because of the return of Hyun-Jin Ryu to the rotation over the weekend and the Dodgers' off day on Monday. Maeda rebounded from his worst start of the year by holding the Reds to a run on four hits over 6.2 innings last time out. The Cubs' Kyle Schwarber is 3-for-4 career off him. Chicago lefty Jose Quintana (2-1, 3.43) has pitched seven innings of shutout baseball over each of his past two starts with 18 strikeouts and one walk - by far his best stretch as a Cub. One wouldn't think the team would want to mess with success but Quintana was pushed back from his scheduled Sunday start.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 2-5 in their past seven vs. a lefty. The under is 8-1 in Quintana's past nine after allowing two runs or fewer in his previous game.
Early lean: Cubs.
Twins at Astros (-129, 9)
Pitchers always are going to be a bit inconsistent when coming off missing a season due to Tommy John surgery. That has certainly been the case thus far for Minnesota's Michael Pineda (2-1, 5.30). The big right-hander had been pretty good but was knocked around for six runs and seven hits, two homers, over 3.2 innings last time out in a loss to Toronto. Houston's Carlos Correa hammers him career, going 7-for-13 with three homers and two doubles. Astros lefty Wade Miley (1-2, 3.32) won in Oakland last time out, allowing two runs over six innings. He threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings in his only home start April 6. Former Astro Marwin Gonzalez has seen him the most of any Twin, going 7-fof-15 with two doubles and a homer.
Key trends: The Twins are 1-5 in their past six road games vs. a lefty. The over is 5-1 in those.
Early lean: Astros and over.
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
Get all of Today's MLB Picks
Get all of Today's Guaranteed Expert MLB Picks