Free MLB Picks for Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Hard to get too excited about any MLB series with how long the season is and especially this early in the year, but Yankees-Astros clearly has the spotlight early this week for their three-game set in Houston - New York's only visit. The teams play four games in the Bronx from June 20-24, and that's it, although it would surprise no one if a playoff series was on the horizon come October. Both clubs have underachieved a bit thus far; the Yankees have an excuse with a handful of key players on the injured list, while Houston really doesn't have one. Carlos Correa and free-agent addition Michael Brantley haven't started hitting yet. They will. On the 5Dimes futures odds , the Yankees are +560 World Series favorites with the Astros are +565.
Indians at Tigers (+135, 7.5)
First game of the day at 1:10 ET from Comerica Park. Sometimes, a great pitcher has a bad outing and you just shake your head and move on. Tribe ace and two-time AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber (0-2, 5.23) had been 13-4 in his career against the White Sox and hadn't lost to them since July 24, 2015, but was terrible last Wednesday against them, allowing six runs and eight hits over 3.1 innings. Kluber was 3-0 with a 1.16 ERA last year vs. Detroit. Miguel Cabrera is a .365 hitter off him with six homers in 63 at-bats. Detroit's Jordan Zimmermann (0-0, 0.66) has allowed just one run and seven hits over 13.2 innings vs. the Yankees and Jays but obviously got little run support with no wins. Cleveland's Hanley Ramirez is a .357 hitter against him in 28 at-bats.
Key trends: The Indians have won Kluber's past five vs. Detroit, while the Tigers have lost Zimmermann's previous six vs. the Tribe. The "over/under" is 5-2 in Kluber's past seven in the series.
Early lean: Indians and under.
Blue Jays at Red Sox (-230, 8)
Nothing beats nationally-televised weekday baseball to bet on. We get it here with this 2 p.m. ET game on ESPN. It's Boston's home opener, so I'm sure there will be a World Series banner raised at Fenway and the rings given out. Some members of the Patriots will be involved as well. Red Sox lefty Chris Sale (0-2, 8.00) was awful in his season opener in Seattle but much better in Oakland last time out, allowing just one run and three hits over six. Just the one strikeout is a tad worrisome. Sale was 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in three starts a season ago vs. Toronto. Randal Grichuk has had moderate success against him, going 3-for-8 with a double and homer. Toronto's Matt Shoemaker (2-0, 0.00) has only been the best bitcher in the AL so far with 14 scoreless innings and four hits allowed. Then again, he faced the weak Orioles and Tigers. Boston's Mitch Moreland is 3-for-7 with two doubles and a homer off him.
Key trends: The Jays are 1-10 in their past 11 in Boston. The over is 6-0-1 in Sale's past seven series openers.
Early lean: Blue Jays on runline and over.
Rays at White Sox (+124, 8.5)
Start time of 2:10 ET. Chicago took a flier on veteran Ervin Santana back in late February, signing him to a one-year deal wort $4.3 million if he made the big club. He was an All-Star with the Twins in 2017 (started AL wild-card game at Yankees) but was terrible in just five starts last year, hampered by surgery and then more issues on his right middle finger. Santana makes his White Sox debut here, and obviously Chicago is hoping to flip him later this summer to a contender. Former White Sox Avisail Garcia has easily seen him the most of any Tampa Bay player, going 7-for-27 with two homers. Charlie Morton (1-0, 1.64) has been very solid in his two starts as a Ray. This will be his first on the road.
Key trends: The Sox are 1-7 in their past eight at home vs. right-handers. The under is 7-3 in Chicago's past 10 vs. the AL East.
Early lean: Rays and under.
Twins at Mets (-225, 6.5)
Minnesota loses the DH for this interleague matchup, which is usually Nelson Cruz. He can play the outfield but not very well. This game is all about Mets ace and reigning Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom (2-0, 0.00). He brings in a career-best 26-inning scoreless streak dating to last year and has had 27 straight quality starts, tying the legendary Bob Gibson (1967-68) for the MLB record. DeGrom struck out a career-high 14 and allowed just three hits over seven last time out vs. Miami. Only a few Twins have seen him. Minnesota's Kyle Gibson (0-0, 9.64) has made one start thus far in 2019 and allowed six runs and eight hits over 4.2 innings of a no-decision in Kansas City. The Mets' Wilson Ramos is 3-for-6 off him with two doubles.
Key trends: The Mets are 2-5 in deGrom's past seven interleague starts. The over is 6-1 in Gibson's past seven against the NL.
Early lean: Mets on runline and under.
Yankees at Astros (-167, 8)
ESPN prime-time game. If Houston's Gerrit Cole reaches free agency this winter, as I believe he will, the Yankees probably will be at the front of the line as bidders after losing out on Patrick Corbin this past winter and with CC Sabathia retiring. The Yanks already gave up their top pitching prospect to Seattle in the James Paxton trade. Cole (0-2, 3.00) has struck out 19 over 12 innings with just nine hits allowed but been a bit unlucky and received no offense. It's his home debut, where he was 8-2 with a 2.99 ERA last year. New York's Jonathan Loaisiga (0-0, 2.25) is in the rotation because of injuries to Luis Severino and Sabathia. Loaisiga went four innings in his season debut last week vs. Detroit, allowing one run. He has never faced Houston.
Key trends: The Astros are 13-3 in Cole's past 16 at home. The over is 8-0 in the Yanks' past eight on the road vs. a right-hander.
Early lean: Astros and over.
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