Free MLB Picks: Wednesday, June 12, 2019, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
What any general manager in baseball hopes for if he's a seller ahead of the trade deadline is that he has a piece - usually a pitcher - that both the Red Sox and Yankees want. That way, those two bitter rivals will boost up the return for said GM because they will continue to try and outbid the other to get said player. It sure seems like both teams need starting pitching this year with the Red Sox recently getting news of a setback for Nathan Eovaldi and the Yankees not knowing whether Luis Severino pitches at all this season (plus Domingo German is hurt now). That could put someone like Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins (Marcus Stroman) or Giants player boss Farhan Zaidi (Madison Bumgarner) in the catbird's seat. It used to be that a team like Toronto would never help out another club in the same division, but that kind of old-school thinking has largely gone out the window. General managers now take the best deal regardless, although there might be a small "tax" to trade a guy inside the division if he has a longer-term contract.
Reds at Indians (-130, 9)
A 1:10 p.m. ET first pitch from Progressive Field, and Cincinnati adds the designated hitter. Cleveland is down three injured starting pitchers, so the team had to call up rookie Zach Plesac (1-1, 1.86) earlier than it was hoping to. Has worked out quite well in three starts so far for the 24-year-old nephew of former long-time pitcher Dan Plesac. Zach has yet to allow more than two earned in a start and has gone seven innings in the previous two. It's his first look at the Reds. Cincinnati's Anthony DeSclafani (2-3, 4.70) hasn't won since May 6 but pitched well last time out vs. the Cardinals (5 IP, 1 ER). He's 1-1 with a 3.79 ERA in three starts vs. the Tribe. Carlos Santana is 3-for-3 with three doubles career off him.
Key trends: The Reds are 2-5 in DeSclafani's past seven on five days of rest. The "over/under" is 4-1-1 in his previous six against the American League.
Early lean: Indians and under.
Cubs at Rockies (+120, 12)
MLB Network game at 3:10 p.m. ET. Cubs lefty Cole Hamels (5-2, 3.24) was in a mini-funk for a few starts but is definitely out of it now, not allowing an earned run over 15 innings and just five hits in his previous two starts. Both were against the Cardinals. Hamels missed the Rockies last week in Wrigley but has a 3.79 ERA in six career games at Coors Field. Daniel Murphy is a career .321 hitter off him in 56 at-bats. Colorado's Antonio Senzatela (5-4, 4.95) has won back-to-back starts and allowed one earned run and four hits over six in each. He missed the Cubs last week. Anthony Rizzo is 2-for-6 with a double and two RBIs off him.
Key trends: The Rockies are 13-6 in Senzatela's past 19 at home. The over is 7-2 in Hamels' previous nine on the road.
Early lean: Rockies and under.
Blue Jays at Orioles (-105, 10.5)
Ghastly pitching matchup here between guys who probably shouldn't be starting in the majors right now. I don't understand why the Blue Jays keep putting veteran journeyman Edwin Jackson (0-4, 11.90) out there. How can there not be some kid the team would rather see? Jackson was clobbered last time out for six runs in 3.1 innings by the Yankees. Jackson does own Chris Davis, though, as Davis is 0-for-17 with eight strikeouts off him. The Orioles at least have an excuse with David Hess (1-9, 7.08) as he's just 25 and still has potential. He comes off a quality start but loss in Texas. The Jays' Justin Smoak can't hit him, going 0-for-11 with eight strikeouts.
Key trends: The Orioles have lost Hess' past 10 on five days of rest. The over is 5-2 in his previous seven vs. the AL East.
Early lean: Can I hope for a rainout? Orioles and over.
Brewers at Astros (-150, 7.5)
ESPN prime-time game. Milwaukee adds the designated hitter. The Brewers go with Brandon Woodruff (8-1, 3.87). That lone loss came back on April 10 at the Angels. He beat the Pirates last Friday, giving up three runs and four hits over six. This will be the 26-year-old's first career look at the Astros. Houston starts ace and Cy Young candidate Justin Verlander (9-2, 2.31). He's among the AL leaders in most major categories, including first in wins, innings (93.2) and WHIP (0.74). Verlander had gotten a decision in 10 straight outings but that ended last Thursday in Seattle as he took an ND after allowing three runs over 6.1 innings. Mike Moustakas is a career .176 hitter off him in 68 at-bats.
Key trends: The Astros have won Verlander's past seven on Wednesday. The under is 10-2 in his previous 12.
Early lean: Astros on runline and under.
Padres at Giants (+140, 8)
Friars lefty Joey Lucchesi (5-3, 4.21) didn't pitch all that great last time out in allowing four runs over five against Washington but won his second straight start. He hadn't allowed more than three earned in his previous five starts. Lucchesi is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two starts this year against the Giants. Evan Longoria is 2-for-8 off him with three strikeouts. The Giants go with rookie right-hander Shaun Anderson (1-1, 4.18) in what will be his sixth big-league start. He's working on back-to-back quality starts, allowing three runs over six last time out at the Mets. Anderson has yet to go more than five innings in three home outings and faces the Padres for the first time.
Key trends: The Padres are 4-14 in Lucchesi's past 18 vs. the NL West. The under is 5-2 in his previous seven against the division.
Early lean: Giants and under.
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