Free MLB Picks for Wednesday, August 7, 2019
That early December 2018 trade by new Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen of Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak and two Top 100 prospects to the Seattle Mariners for Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz and $20 million continues to look worse and worse for the Mets. Cano is back on the injured list, now with a hamstring tear that could end his season, and is under contract through 2023 (when he'll be 40) at $24 million per season. Diaz was actually the supposed prize of the deal after a spectacular 2018 season closing out games for the Mariners but has regressed so much that Manager Mickey Callaway might be close to replacing him in the ninth inning. As of this writing, Diaz has 24 saves, which is fine, but his ERA is an ugly 5.32 and WHIP 1.45. Last year, he had 57 saves, a 1.96 ERA and 0.79 WHIP. Callaway has said that Seth Lugo might start to get some save chances for now: "We have to be open-minded," Callaway said, while adding Diaz remains his guy. The Mets are very much in the thick of the Wild-Card hunt and probably would be leading it if Diaz was just league average this season.
White Sox at Tigers (+102, 9)
A 1:10 p.m. ET first pitch. Entering this week, the Tigers almost impossibly haven't won back-to-back games since late May. That's just an awful, awful team right now and is a LONG way from being a contender again. Detroit goes with Tyler Alexander (0-2, 4.50). He has made four big-league starts thus far, and allowed four runs on 10 hits over 5.2 innings last time out against the Rangers. Chicago's Ivan Nova (6-9, 5.10) has been much better in his past three outings (0.90 ERA), and the Pale Hose have won them all. The Sox would have liked to have seen this sooner so they could have flipped Nova for prospects to a contender. He lost in Detroit on April 18 I6.1 IP, 11 H, 6 ER). Miguel Cabrera is 7-for-23 off him with a homer.
Key trends: The White Sox have split Nova's past five on the road with the "over/under" 5-4-1 in those 10.
Early lean: White Sox and over.
Rangers at Indians (-180, 8.5)
MLB Network game at 1:10 p.m. ET. Cleveland's Mike Clevinger (6-2, 3.07) hasn't lost since June 28 or allowed more than three earned in a start over that span. He held the Angels to one run and three hits over 6.1 innings on Friday. He struggled in a loss to Texas on June 17 (4.2 IP, 5 ER) but that was his first start after more than two months on the injured list. Elvis Andrus is 0-for-9 off him with four strikeouts. The Rangers' Lance Lynn (14-6, 3.71) is second in the AL in wins. He dominated the Tigers on Friday, giving up one run with 10 strikeouts through seven. Lynn beat the Tribe on June 17 (7 IP, 1 ER). Francisco Lindor is 3-for-6 with a solo shot off Lynn.
Key trends: The Indians have lost Clevinger's four career outings vs. the Rangers. The O/U is 1-3 in them.
Early lean: Indians and under.
Cardinals at Dodgers (-140, 9)
Streaming for free on YouTube. Couple of very promising young right-handers on the mound. The Cardinals' Jack Flaherty (5-6, 3.93) showed his talent on Thursday in blanking the Cubs on one hit over seven innings - he hadn't personally won since May 14. It was Flaherty's fifth straight outing allowing two earned or fewer. His first win of the year was on April 10 vs. the Dodgers (6 IP, 1 ER); Flaherty is from the L.A. area. Joc Pederson is 3-for-9 with two solo homers off him. The Dodgers' Dustin May is the franchise's top pitching prospect and "Gingergaard" made his big-league debut last week, allowing three earned runs and nine hits over 5.2 innings vs. San Diego.
Key trends: The Cards are 4-6 in Flaherty's past 10 on the road. The O/U is 5-4-1 in them.
Early lean: Cardinals and under.
Brewers at Pirates (TBA)
ESPN prime-time game. The Brewers might be fading - they really needed to address their rotation by the Trade Deadline but didn't other than landing Pittsburgh's Jordan Lyles (i.e. he's not very good). That they didn't address the rotation looks even worse now as Wednesday's scheduled starter Zach Davies (8-5, 3.74) landed on the injured list Monday with back spasms. Good news is he's not expected out longer than the 10 days. Milwaukee will use a "bullpen" day here why no opening line. Pittsburgh's Trevor Williams (4-4, 4.75) beat the Mets in his last start and is facing the Brewers for the first time in 2019. Last year, he didn't allow a run in 19 innings over three starts against the Brewers. Orlando Arcia is 4-for-12 off him with two doubles.
Key trends: The Pirates are 3-2 in Williams' past five in the series and the under has hit in all.
Early lean: Pirates regardless.
Phillies at Diamondbacks (-123, 9.5)
It's the Arizona debut of former Marlins right-hander Zac Gallen (1-3, 2.72); he was acquired last Wednesday in a unique trade with Miami because you rarely see teams exchange top prospects in a one-for-one deal like that (the Diamondbacks sent out shortstop Jazz Chisholm). Gallen's final Marlins start was a loss to the Twins (7 IP, 2 ER). It's the rookie's first look at the Phillies. Lefty Jason Vargas (6-5, 3.93) made his Phillies debut on Friday following a trade from the Mets and gave two earned over 6.1 innings in a no-decision vs. the White Sox. Arizona's Alex Avila is 5-for-17 with two homers off the veteran.
Key trends: Vargas' teams have lost four of his past six against Arizona and the over hit in all.
Early lean: Diamondbacks and over.
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