Free MLB Picks for Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Wednesday could turn out to be the most entertaining day in baseball this regular season because the Trade Deadline is at 4 p.m. ET. Remember, MLB got rid of that second deadline that had been at the end of August where players had to clear waivers before being traded - Justin Verlander a few years ago was one of those August deadline deals and that worked out rather well for Houston. Because of just the one deadline now, it should be a very busy Wednesday. In 2018, 48 trades were made in July before the non-waiver deadline compared to 24 made in August. The Mets could be the most interesting team to watch with possibly both Noah Syndergaard (Padres?) and Zack Wheeler on the move. Arizona has reportedly made its two best starting pitchers, Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray, available. There are a handful of matinees on Wednesday, and if a guy is a late scratch or even pulled during a game, something is probably up. Greinke, for example, is scheduled to pitch at the Yankees but might not.
Braves at Nationals (+113, 10)
A 12:05 p.m. ET first pitch from D.C. NL Rookie of the Year candidate Mike Soroka (10-2, 2.44) lasted just 4.2 innings last time out as his pitch count was already at 88 - 37 in the fifth inning alone. Soroka has dominated on the road this year with a 6-0 record and 1.19 ERA. He's 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in two starts this year vs. Washington. Trea Turner is 2-for-4 with a double off him. The Nats' Anibal Sanchez (6-6, 3.63) comes off a no-decision vs. the Dodgers where he allowed a run and just three hits over a season-high seven innings. He's 2-0 with a 3.71 ERA in three starts in 2019 vs. Atlanta. Tyler Flowers is 4-for-12 off him with two solo shots.
Key trends: The Braves are 10-1 in Soroka's past 11 vs. the NL East. The "over/under" has gone under in five straight Sanchez starts.
Early lean: Braves and under.
Dodgers at Rockies (+140, 12.5)
With Washington's Max Scherzer having more back troubles, that could pave the way for Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (11-2, 1.74) to win his first Cy Young Award. The 32-year-old gave up one run over 6.2 innings in Washington last time out. His ERA is 1.35 over the past four. By far Ryu's worst start of the year was in Colorado on June 28 (4 IP, 7 ER), and Coors Field has been a house of horrors in his career. Nolan Arenado murders him, going 14-for-23 with four homers and four doubles. The Rockies' German Marquez (10-5, 4.88) has had back-to-back starts of two runs allowed over seven innings. He beat the Dodgers on June 21 in L.A. (8 IP, 2 ER). Cody Bellinger is just 3-for-20 off him, although two of those hits are homers.
Key trends: The Dodgers have lost Ryu's past four in Colorado. The under is 4-1-1 in Marquez's previous six in the series.
Early lean: Rockies and under.
Cubs at Cardinals (-108, 8.5)
ESPN prime-time game. Chicago's Kyle Hendricks (7-8, 3.26) hasn't won since June 9 but has pitched quite well since then. He blanked the Brewers on two hits over five on Friday but once again got little run support. He's 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA in 16 innings this year vs. the Cardinals, including a complete game. Paul Goldschmidt is just 3-for-17 off him. Paul DeJong 3-for-24. The Cards' Miles Mikolas (7-10, 4.19) has allowed three earned or fewer in three straight starts. He's 0-1 with a 3.27 ERA this year in two starts vs. the Cubs. Javier Baez is 4-for-14 with two homers and four RBIs against him. Recently-recalled Ian Happ is 3-for-8 with two doubles.
Key trends: The Cubs are 13-3 in Hendricks' past 16 vs. the Cards. The under is 4-10 in Mikolas' previous four against the Cubs.
Early lean: Cubs and under.
Mets at White Sox (+140, 8)
The clear pitching matchup of the night, with New York adding the designated hitter. The Mets will not be trading 2018 NL Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom (6-7, 2.86) after locking him up to a long extension before the season. He has a 2.10 ERA over his past 12 starts but probably has no shot at this point of repeating as the Cy Young winner. Well, maybe if he keeps shutting people out. DeGrom hasn't allowed a run in his past two. Only a few White Sox have faced him. Chicago's Lucas Giolito (11-5, 3.52) saw his ERA jump nearly a half-run after allowing seven runs (four homers) over five innings Thursday vs. the Twins. Giolito's ERA is 6.38 over his past seven and only a few Mets have faced him.
Key trends: The Sox are 2-6 in Giolito's past eight vs. the NL. The over is 5-2 in deGrom's previous seven on the road.
Early lean: Mets and over.
Brewers at A's (TBA)
The only late-night game on the schedule with Milwaukee adding the designated hitter. I can all but guarantee the Brewers add starting pitching by Wednesday afternoon and I don't mean just Jordan Lyles (acquired Monday). They go with lefty Gio Gonzalez (2-1, 3.48). He went a season-high 6.1 innings Friday vs. the Cubs, allowing two runs and three hits with a season-best nine Ks. Gonzalez spent his first four big-league seasons in Oakland. A's lefty Brett Anderson (9-6, 4.05) was knocked around for five runs over 4.2 innings in his last outing vs. Texas. The Brewers' Ryan Braun is 4-for-7 with a homer off him.
Key trends: The A's have won Anderson's past five on five days of rest. The over is 7-2 in the Brewers' past nine vs. AL lefties.
Early lean: Brewers haven't made Gio official yet but like A's if so.
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