Free MLB Picks for Tuesday, July 16, 2019
With the Padres and Marlins opening a series in Miami on Tuesday night, it's as good a time as any to remind por Marlins fans (all 500 of them) that things can turn around suddenly if you have smart management. Entering this season, the Padres hadn't reached the playoffs since 2006 and won more than 77 games just once since. However, they hired the right general manager in A.J. Preller and through smart trades (stole Fernando Tatis Jr. for James Shields) and wise drafting, the Padres are clearly on the rise and have the majors' top farm system. They are going to be good for years. Alas, the Marlins and their boss, Derek Jeter, have largely busted on the trades of star players like Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton. Miami's farm system ranked as one of the worst entering 2019 and had just one player ranked in Keith Law's updated Top 50 prospect list as pitcher Sixto Sanchez was 39th. Maybe Jeter is getting better at his job, though, because he insisted on Sanchez as the key piece in the JT Realmuto trade to Philadelphia this past offseason.
Dodgers at Phillies (-174, 9.5)
MLB Network game and could be a playoff preview. It's young All-Star Walker Buehler (8-1, 3.46) for the Dodgers. He hasn't lost since May 18 in Cincinnati. The 24-year-old comes off a no-decision vs. Arizona, allowing three runs over seven with nine Ks. He's 1-1 with a 7.94 ERA at Citizens Bank Park in his brief career. JT Realmuto is 2-for-6 off him. Philadelphia's Vince Velasquez (2-5, 4.63) hasn't won since May 24 and is 0-2 with a 5.94 ERA in his past four starts. Might be pitching for his job as Velasquez already has been demoted to the bullpen once. L.A.'s David Freese doesn't always start but probably will here as he's 3-for-7 with two homers off Velasquez.
Key trends: The Phillies are 1-10 in Velasquez's past 11 on Tuesday. The "over/under" is 5-0-2 in Buehler's past seven vs. the NL East.
Early lean: Dodgers and over.
Diamondbacks at Rangers (-155, 10.5)
Arizona adds the DH for this interleague matchup. The Rangers are in the Wild-Card race because they made some great under-the-radar free-agent signings this offseason. One of those was Lance Lynn (12-4, 3.69), who got "only" a three-year, $30 million deal. He's becoming a Cy Young contender and leads the AL in wins. Lynn hasn't lost since May 27 and dominated the Astros last Thursday, throwing seven shutout innings with 11 strikeouts. He's a former NL guy so plenty of Diamondbacks have seen him. Arizona lefty Alex Young (2-0, 0.68) makes his third start and fourth big-league appearance. It's his first look at an American League club.
Key trends: The Snakes are on a nine-game Tuesday losing streak. The under is 5-2 in Lynn's past seven at home.
Early lean: Rangers and under.
Mets at Twins (-140, 10)
New York adds the DH for this interleague matchup. Could be the last start in a Mets uniform for Zack Wheeler (6-6, 4.69), who is heavily in demand - the Red Sox are known to be in talks with the Mets for the right-hander but may not pursue him any longer after landing Andrew Cashner over the weekend. Wheeler is Top 5 in the NL in innings and strikeouts. He was hit hard last time out, though, allowing six runs over five innings in a loss to the Phillies. Wheeler has never faced the Twins. Minnesota's Michael Pineda (6-4, 4.56) has won back-to-back starts, allowing one earned over six in each. The Mets' Robinson Cano is 6-for-12 off him with two homers.
Key trends: The Mets are 1-5 in Wheeler's past six on the road vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 4-1-1 in Pineda's past six vs. teams with a losing record.
Early lean: Twins and over.
White Sox at Royals (+105, 10)
It's the second big-league start for the White Sox's top pitching prospect and one of the best in baseball, 23-year-old Dylan Cease. He was perhaps a bit nervous in his debut vs. Detroit in allowing two first-inning runs but settled down and got the win, surrendering three runs and four hits with six strikeouts over five. Obviously his first look at Kansas City. The Royals' Glenn Sparkman (2-5, 5.18) hasn't been great in his past three, allowing 17 runs and 25 hits over 14.2 innings. He's 0-1 with a 7.04 ERA in two starts this year vs. the Pale Hose. Yoan Moncada is 4-for-6 with a homer off him.
Key trends: The Royals are 2-6 in Sparkman's past eight. The over is 5-1 in Kansas City's previous six vs. teams with a losing record.
Early lean: White Sox and over.
Giants at Rockies (-135, 14)
Should be lefty Drew Pomeranz (2-9, 6.42) for the Giants simply because they don't have a better option and the team had a doubleheader on Monday. He hasn't pitched since allowing four runs over four innings vs. St. Louis on July 5. Pomeranz was available in relief if needed on Sunday but wasn't used. He's 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA in 10 innings vs. the Rockies in 2019. David Dahl is 1-for-3 with a homer against him. Rockies rookie Peter Lambert (2-1, 6.67) makes his seventh start and first against San Francisco. He has gone more than five innings only once. Lambert's ERA at home is 9.17 compared to 3.00 on the road.
Key trends: The Rockies are 5-2 in their past seven in Game 3 of a series. The over is 4-1 in Lambert's past five.
Early lean: Rockies and under (14 total! That I believe ties high for season).
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