Free MLB Picks for Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Are you aware that there hasn't been an Opening Day where every team in the majors played on it since 1968? True fact. It was supposed to happen last year but two games were postponed by weather. It is scheduled to now happen again next March 26 as Major League Baseball stupidly released its schedule on Monday. I say stupidly because MLB was aware that the NBA schedule was also being released on Monday, so the baseball version got hugely overshadowed. Why not wait until Tuesday? The March 26 Opening Day is the earliest ever if you don't count any international games. This year, the Mariners and A's opened March 20 in Tokyo. Two things stood out pretty clearly on the new schedule: The Cubs and Cardinals playing on June 13-14 in London (St. Louis the home team) and the Chicago White Sox "hosting" the New York Yankees at the Field of Dreams field in Dyersville, Iowa, on Aug. 13. MLB is building an 8,000-seat stadium to host it. Good luck getting tickets to that one!
Rangers at Blue Jays (-110, 10.5)
A 12:37 p.m. ET first pitch on the MLB Network. When the Rangers traded reliever Chris Martin to the Atlanta Braves around the deadline, they got back 21-year-old pitcher Kolby Allard, a one-time top prospect in the Atlanta organization. A low-risk, potential high-reward deal for the Rangers. Allard made his Texas debut Friday in Milwaukee and allowed two runs and three hits over 4.1 innings in a no-decision. It's one of Toronto's former top pitching prospects in 23-year-old Sean Reid-Foley (2-2, 2.36). He upset the Yankees in his last meeting, allowing one run over five innings. This start will come one year and one day after making his big-league debut. Reid-Foley hasn't faced Texas.
Key trends: The Blue Jays are 4-1 in their past five games vs. lefties. The "over/under" has gone under in five of the Rangers' past six vs. right-handers.
Early lean: Blue Jays and under.
Orioles at Yankees (-235, 11)
A 1:05 p.m. ET first pitch. Yankees players and fans will probably be quite bummed after this game. Why? It's the Yankees' last this season against the Orioles, and they have just destroyed Baltimore pitching this year at a historic level. The Bombers get to tee off on Dylan Bundy (5-12, 5.04) in this one. He allowed two runs over six Friday against Houston and has a 6.23 ERA in three starts this year against New York but no decisions. Aaron Judge is 4-for-15 with three homers off him. New York lefty JA Happ (9-7, 5.48) was hammered for six runs (three homers) over five innings last time out in Toronto. Happ has given up a career-high 29 homers in 2019. He's 1-1 with a 7.79 ERA in four starts this year against the O's.
Key trends: The Orioles are 1-6 in Bundy's past seven against the Yankees. The over is 5-1 in Happ's previous seven against Baltimore.
Early lean: Yankees on runline and over.
Twins at Brewers (-120, 10)
YouTube streaming game at 2:10 p.m. ET. The Twins lose the designated hitter, which would normally be Nelson Cruz, one of the AL's top sluggers. However, he was lost to the injured list over the weekend with a wrist issue. That won't help the Twins in their fight with the Indians to win the AL Central. Minnesota's Kyle Gibson (11-5, 4.24) was knocked around for six runs in 4.1 innings Thursday vs. Cleveland. His six walks were a career high. Mike Moustakas is a career .314 hitter off him with a homer in 35 at-bats. Milwaukee lefty Gio Gonzalez (2-1, 3.20) comes off a no-decision vs. Texas (5 IP, 1 ER). The Twins' CJ Cron is 2-for-6 with a homer against him.
Key trends: The Twins are 1-6 in Gibson's past seven vs. the NL Central. The under is 13-3 in the Brewers' previous 16 vs. AL teams with a winning record.
Early lean: Brewers and under.
Reds at Nationals (-143, 9)
Looks to be the pitching matchup of the night between All-Stars. Cincinnati's Trevor Bauer (10-8, 3.74) has made two starts since being acquired from the Indians. His first wasn't great but on Friday he dominated the Cubs, giving up one run and three hits over seven. The Nats' Adam Eaton doesn't hit him well, going 4-for-24 with four strikeouts. Washington's Stephen Strasburg (14-5, 3.72) comes off a no-decision at the Mets (7 IP, 3 ER). Strasburg in the game passed Steve Rogers for the most strikeouts in franchise (Nationals/Expos) history. Strasburg has been tagged for five homers over his past two, both Nationals losses. Joey Votto is 6-for-18 with two homers off him.
Key trends: The Nats have won four straight Strasburg starts vs. the Reds. The over his 4-1 in his previous five against them.
Early lean: Nationals and under.
Cubs at Phillies (-115, 9)
ESPN prime-time game. Cubs lefty Cole Hamels (6-3, 3.09) makes his return to Philadelphia. Of course, he began his career there in 2006 and played with the Phils until midway through the 2015 campaign when he was traded to Texas. He hasn't pitched in the City of Brotherly Love since the trade. Hamels comes off a rough outing vs. the Reds where he allowed five runs and eight hits over three innings. Bryce Harper is 9-for-37 career off him with eight strikeouts. New Phillies ace Aaron Nola (10-3, 3.67) lost at the Giants in his most recent outing, allowing three runs over five innings. He hadn't been beaten since June 21 vs. Miami. He's 2-1 with a 5.11 ERA in four career starts against the Cubs. Anthony Rizzo is 4-for-9 off him with two homers.
Key trends: The Phillies are 13-5 in Nola's previous 18 vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 7-1 in Hamels' past eight.
Early lean: Phillies and under.
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