Free MLB Picks for Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Is New York Yankees lefty CC Sabathia a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 2025? A player must be retired for five seasons to land on the ballot for the first time, and Sabathia has said 2019 is his last season. That Sabathia gets in eventually seems nearly certain. He has a Cy Young, 247 wins and likely will become the third left-hander in MLB history - joining Hall of Famers Randy Johnson (4,875) and Steve Carlton (4,136) - with 3,000 career strikeouts on Tuesday in Arizona. The last pitcher to join the 3,000 club was Hall of Famer John Smoltz, who struck out his 3,000th hitter April 22, 2008. Smoltz is one spot ahead of Sabathia on the all-time strikeouts list at 3,084. Sometimes it depends on who is in the class with you, but I'd say that Sabathia does get in come 2025. His career WAR (Baseball Reference) of 62.2 is 47th all-time and better than several of Hall of Famers.
Reds at Mets (+115, 8)
Monitor the status of Mets second baseman Robinson Cano after he left Sunday's game following being hit on the hand by a pitch. Cano was hitting .270 with three homers and 11 RBIs. X-rays were negative, so that's a good sign. It's lefty Jason Vargas (1-1, 7.20) for New York. He kills the bullpen every time out because he just doesn't last long. Only 4.2 innings Wednesday vs. the Phillies. The Reds' Eugenio Suarez is 4-for-7 off him with two doubles. Cincinnati's Luis Castillo (3-1, 1.23) leads the NL in ERA. He hasn't allowed more than two runs in a start yet and blanked Atlanta over six last time out. No Mets player has more than five at-bats against him.
Key trends: The Reds are 5-2 in Castillo's past seven vs. the NL East. The Mets are 3-7 in their past 10 vs. teams with a losing record. The "over/under" has gone under in 10 of Castillo's past 11.
Early lean: Reds and under.
Orioles at White Sox (-162, 8.5)
The White Sox have placed AL Rookie of the Year candidate Eloy Jimenez on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to April 26, with a high right ankle sprain. He's going to miss well more than 10 days. The 22-year-old was hitting .241 with three homers and eight RBIs. The Pale Hose start Ivan Nova (0-3, 8.42), and as you can see by those numbers a return to the American League hasn't worked out too well for him. Nova was smashed for nine runs and 11 hits (four homers) over four innings last time out in Baltimore. Chris Davis, who is actually hitting now, is a career .316 hitter against Nova with five homers in 38 at-bats. The Orioles' Andrew Cashner (4-1, 4.18) held these White Sox to a run and five hits over seven last Tuesday in a victory. Jose Abreu is 6-for-11 off him with two doubles.
Key trends: The Orioles are 2-7 in Cashner's past nine road starts vs. teams with a losing record. The over is 7-3 in his past 10 on the road.
Early lean: White Sox and over.
Yankees at Diamondbacks
New York loses the DH for this one. Sabathia (1-0, 2.40) entered last Wednesday's start at the Angels six strikeouts shy of 3,000, and you know he wanted to get it there as Sabathia is from the L.A. area and had plenty of friends and family in the stands. Alas, he had his worst of three starts this year, allowing five runs and six hits with three strikeouts in five innings. He thus only needs three more for 3,000. Here are the pitchers Sabathia would join with 250 wins (presuming he wins three more times this season) and 3,000 strikeouts: Walter Johnson, Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens, Steve Carlton, Don Sutton, Nolan Ryan, Phil Niekro, Gaylord Perry, Tom Seaver, Randy Johnson, Bert Blyleven, Fergie Jenkins and Bob Gibson. All are Hall of Famers except Clemens. Arizona's Zack Greinke (4-1, 3.72) has not allowed a run over 13 innings in his past two start with just five hits. Oh, and he's absolutely raking at the plate.
Key trends: The Yankees are 20-7 in Sabathia's past 27 interleague starts. The under is 5-1 in his previous six vs. the NL.
Early lean: Yankees and under.
Rockies at Brewers (-113, 8.5)
Reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich left Sunday's game against the Mets due to lower back discomfort, and obviously if he lands on the injured list that would be crushing to the Brewers. Yelich was playing at an MVP level in the early going, hitting .350 with an NL-leading 14 homers and 34 RBIs. It's not thought to be IL-worthy, though. Perhaps one fewer worry for Colorado starter German Marquez (3-1, 2.54). He went seven and allowed three runs in a win over Washington last Wednesday. The Brewers' Orlando Arcia is 4-for-8 with a homer against him. Milwaukee's Jhoulys Chacin (2-3, 6.35) lasted only four innings in St. Louis in his most recent outing. He doesn't resemble his 2018 self whatsoever yet. Colorado's Daniel Murphy is a career .364 hitter against him with two homers in 22 at-bats.
Key trends: The Rockies are 12-5 in Marquez's past 17 vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 13-3 in Chacin's past 16.
Early lean: Rockies and under.
Cubs at Mariners (+133, 8.5)
Chicago adds the DH for this one - almost surely Kyle Schwarber. Last time out, Seattle's Felix Hernandez (1-3, 3.91), who is probably another Hall of Famer but not first ballot, had his best outing of the year, allowing one run and three hits over seven but lost 1-0 in San Diego. With eight strikeouts, Hernandez passed Hall of Famer Don Drysdale to move into 36th place on MLB's all-time strikeouts leaderboard at 2,488. Christy Mathewson (2,507) should be the next guy King Felix passes. Hernandez has a 2.57 ERA in two career starts vs. the Cubs, the last in 2016. Ben Zobrist likely to get this one off as he's just 6-for-39 off Hernandez with 12 Ks. Chicago lefty Cole Hamels (3-0, 3.16) went 5.1 innings in his most recent outing vs. the Dodgers, walking a season-high six. Seattle's Mitch Haniger is 4-for-8 off him with two homers.
Key trends: The Mariners have lost five straight Hernandez interleague starts. The over is 10-1 in Seattle's past 11 vs. a lefty.
Early lean: Cubs and over.
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