Free MLB Picks for Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Monday was Memorial Day in the United States, and it's considered the first major checkpoint of the MLB season each year. In fact, there's a cliché saying in the sport: You shouldn't check the standings until Memorial Day. Since MLB added the first wild-card spot in each league in 1995, about 60 percent of the teams leading their division or wild-card race on Memorial Day each season wind up making the playoffs. Last Memorial Day, the division leaders were: Boston (AL East), Cleveland (AL Central), Houston (AL West), Atlanta and Washington (NL East), Milwaukee (NL Central) and Colorado (NL West). All but the Rockies and Nationals won their division. Colorado lost a one-game playoff for the NL West to the Dodgers and still was a wild-card team. Washington missed out.
Tigers at Orioles (-109, 9)
Baltimore has placed first baseman Chris Davis on the 10-day injured list with a hip injury. Not much of a loss considering he's hitting .171 with five homers and 57 strikeouts in 129 at-bats. Renato Núñez and Trey Mancini will platoon at first while Davis is out. The Birds start Dylan Bundy (2-5, 4.67) on the mound. He allowed three runs over 5.2 innings last time out against the Yankees but has a 2.28 ERA in four starts this month. Detroit lefty Matthew Boyd (4-4, 3.11) shut out the Marlins on five hits over six in his most recent outing but didn't get a decision. Mancini is 0-for-6 off him with two strikeouts.
Key trends: The Orioles are 1-7 in Bundy's past eight at home. The "over/under" has gone under in six of Boyd's past eight vs. the AL East.
Early lean: Tigers and under.
Cardinals at Phillies (-120, 9.5)
MLB Network prime-time game. Two of the big offseason winners with the Cards acquiring Paul Goldschmidt in trade and the Phillies landing Bryce Harper in free agency. St. Louis' Adam Wainwright (4-4, 4.82) beat the Royals last Wednesday, allowing three runs over five. He didn't face the Phillies earlier this season in St. Louis. Harper is 9-for-20 with a homer and two doubles off him. Jean Segura is hitting .455 in 22 at-bats vs. Wainwright. The Phillies are recalling Nick Pivetta (2-1, 8.35) from Triple-A to make this start. He was bombed in his first four starts in the majors this year, which earned him a demotion. In six Triple-A starts, though, he had a 3.41 ERA.
Key trends: The Cardinals are 6-1 in Wainwright's past seven vs. the Phillies. The over is 5-0 in Pivetta's past five at home.
Early lean: Cardinals and over.
Royals at White Sox (-159, 8.5)
It's official: Lucas Giolito (6-1, 2.77) has become the pitcher everyone projected when he was once a Top 5 prospect in all of baseball. Sometimes it takes a guy a few years in the majors. We recommended backing Giolito and the White Sox last Thursday at around +190 in Houston, and the 24-year-old responded with the first complete-game shutout of his career, allowing four hits with nine strikeouts. It was Chicago's first complete-game shutout since Chris Sale threw a two-hitter in a 1-0 win at Tampa Bay on April 15, 2016. Giolito won in Kansas City on March 31 (6.2 IP, 2 ER). The Royals' Brad Keller (3-5, 4.43) comes off his best start of the year, allowing two runs over seven. He did walk four and leads the American League with 41 free passes.
Key trends: The White Sox are 6-2 in Giolito's past eight vs. the Royals. The under is 5-2-1 in those.
Early lean: White Sox and under.
Brewers at Twins (-120, 9.5)
Milwaukee adds the designated hitter for this interleague matchup. Arguably the best free-agent signing of the offseason was the Twins landing former Rangers lefty Martin Perez (7-1, 2.95) for a song because he was so bad last year. Now he's a Cy Young candidate. Perez allowed two runs over five innings in beating the Angels in his last start. The Brewers' Mike Moustakas is 2-for-5 off him with a walk. Milwaukee's Zach Davies (5-0, 2.43) had been fantastic this season but was roughed up for six runs over three innings last week vs. the Reds. His offense got him off the hook, though.
Key trends: The Brewers are 4-1 in Davies' past five vs. the AL. The under is 5-1 in Perez's past six.
Early lean: Brewers and under.
Mets at Dodgers (-195, 8)
MLB Network late-night matchup. I'm sure every game of this series is nationally televised. The Mets go with lefty Steven Matz (3-3, 3.63). He took a no-decision last Thursday vs. Washington, allowing one run despite 10 hits over six innings. Batters are hitting a too-high .273 off Matz, who hasn't faced the Dodgers since 2017 when he was 0-1 in two starts. Justin Turner is 3-for-12 with two homers off him. L.A. southpaw Rich Hill (1-1, 2.67) took a no-decision last Wednesday at Tampa Bay, allowing a run over six. He made some national news after dropping a bunch of F bombs in the first inning of that one when a Rays batter bunted for a hit at an open third base against the shift. Essentially, it looked like Hill was embarrassing his manager for calling the shift.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 11-1 in Hill's past 12 vs. the NL East. The under is 4-1 in Matz's past five.
Early lean: Dodgers and under.
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