Free MLB Picks for Wednesday, August 28, 2019
The Minnesota Twins' chances of winning the AL Central just got a lot better. That's because the second-place Cleveland Indians have lost third baseman Jose Ramirez likely for at least six weeks, so his season is probably over. He had surgery for a fractured hamate bone in his right hand on Monday and is on the injured list. Ramirez was hurt fouling off a pitch on Saturday against the Royals. The Indians have won the AL Central the past three years. Ramirez got off to a really slow start this year like most of the Indians but had been coming on of late. He was second in the majors in extra-base hits (32) and third in RBIs (40) in the second half of the season. Overall, he's hitting .254 with 20 homers and 75 RBIs. The Indians are 38-7 when he drives in a run. Had this been last year, the Indians could have still made a trade for a potential replacement, but now that's not an option. Terry Francona figures to use some combination of Mike Freeman and Yu Chang at the hot corner. Chang was just called up from Triple-A Columbus.
Cardinals at Brewers (+130, 9)
MLB Network game at 2:10 p.m. ET. It's Jack Flaherty (8-6, 3.32) on the bump for the Cards. He hasn't personally lost since July 7 at the Giants and was great that day. Flaherty hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in nine straight starts. He's 1-1 with a 9.00 ERA this year in three starts vs. Milwaukee. Ryan Braun hammers him, going 6-for-12 with three homers and a double. The Brewers' Jordan Lyles (8-8, 4.69) has been solid since coming over in a trade from Pittsburgh. He comes off six no-hit innings and a win over Arizona. Lyles was already at 99 pitches so that's why he was pulled. Only one Brewer has ever thrown a no-hitter: Juan Nieves against the Orioles in 1987.
Key trends: The Cardinals are 6-1 in Flaherty's past seven outings. The "over/under" has hit in four straight vs. the Brewers.
Early lean: Cardinals and under.
Yankees at Mariners (+194, 10.5)
This offseason, the Yankees sent a package of prospects led by touted pitcher Justus Sheffield to Seattle for pitcher James Paxton (10-6, 4.43). The two southpaws will face off Wednesday with a 4:10 p.m. ET first pitch. Paxton has won five straight starts and allowed two runs over 6.2 innings over the weekend at the Dodgers. Batters are hitting just .209 off him in this run of victories. Sheffield (0-0, 6.43) made his second big-league appearance and first start Friday against Toronto and allowed three runs and seven hits over four innings. He presumably will remain in the rotation the rest of the year and going forward.
Key trends: The Yanks are 9-2 in Paxton's past 11 with four days of rest. The over is 8-2 in his previous 10 on the road.
Early lean: Yankees and over.
Pirates at Phillies (-135, 10)
Speaking of touted pitchers, it's top Pirates prospect Mitch Keller (1-2, 7.24) on the mound here. Been a bit of a rough go in the majors so far for the 23-year-old. He has made six starts. His best and longest was Friday against the Reds where Keller allowed one run through six innings with a career-best nine strikeouts. It's his first look at the Phillies. They counter with Vince Velasquez (5-7, 4.93). He was lit up in Miami on Friday, giving up seven runs over just 2.1 innings. Velasquez said he was "embarrassed" after giving up a 7-0 lead in the third inning. He hasn't seen the Pirates this year. Starling Marte is 3-for-3 off him.
Key trends: The Phils are 8-3 in Velasquez's past 11 at home. The over is the same record in his previous 11 vs. the NL Central.
Early lean: Phillies and over.
Orioles at Nationals (-390, 8.5)
Baltimore loses the designated hitter, which is usually Renato Nunez. He's quietly having a pretty good year. Seriously could see a no-hitter here from Washington's Max Scherzer (9-5, 2.41) against that terrible Orioles lineup. He returned from about a month on the injured list last Thursday in Pittsburgh and allowed a run over four innings - he was on a pitch count. Scherzer admitted he's still not quite 100 percent from his back/shoulder injuries. Baltimore's Asher Wojciechowski (2-6, 4.67) hasn't won in a month. He lost to the Nats on July 16 (5.1 IP, 3 ER). Matt Adams and Juan Soto went yard off him.
Key trends: The Nats are 8-1 in Scherzer's past nine. The under is 14-2-1 in his previous 17 vs. the AL.
Early lean: Nats on runline and under.
Red Sox at Rockies (+150, 13.5)
Boston loses the designated hitter, which is usually JD Martinez. He can play the outfield, but whom are you going to bench? The Sox have arguably the best offensive outfield in the majors. The Sox start lefty Eduardo Rodriguez (15-5, 3.92), who has surprisingly emerged as the team's ace this year. Rodriguez hasn't allowed a run over 14.1 innings in his past two outings. He took a no-decision vs. Colorado on May 14 (6 IP, 5 ER, 10 Ks). Ian Desmond is 2-for-3 off him. The Rockies' Peter Lambert (2-4, 6.40) has had an up-and-down rookie year. He won his first two starts but obviously hasn't since. It's his first look at Boston.
Key trends: The Sox have own Rodriguez's past 12 vs. the NL. The over is 6-2 in Lambert's past eight vs. teams with a winning record.
Early lean: Red Sox and over.
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