Free MLB Picks for Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Why is Mickey Callaway still the manager of the New York Mets? He was reportedly close to being fired a few weeks back after an embarrassing sweep against the Marlins, but new GM Brodie Van Wagenen gave him a public show of support, which frankly is never a good thing. On Sunday, tensions were reportedly high in the Mets' clubhouse after the team blew a late lead and lost at the Cubs. Callaway melted down and cursed out Mets beat reporter Tim Healey of Newsday, while veteran pitcher Jason Vargas reportedly threatened to fight Healey. Callaway apparently was ticked off by a series of questions from reporters on his decision not to go to closer Edwin Diaz in the eighth inning. Instead, Callaway struck with Seth Lugo, who gave up the winning three-run homer. There was some talk that might be the last straw and Callaway was going to be fired Monday, but that didn't happen. There was some internal discipline for the manager and Vargas, and the Mets put out a statement saying they don't condone that type of behavior. Here's guessing Callaway's leash is very, very short going forward.
White Sox at Red Sox (-335, 9)
Boston ace Chris Sale (3-7, 3.59) faces his former team in this 1:05 p.m. ET matinee. In three career starts against Chicago, Sale is 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA. Sale rather amazingly hasn't won a home start yet this year despite a 3.79 ERA at Fenway Park. He wasn't overly sharp last time out, lasting just five innings and allowing four runs and seven hits in a no-decision. Only the second time in his past 10 outings that Sale didn't whiff at least 10. Chicago's Reynaldo Lopez (4-7, 6.23) has been very hit or miss all season. He missed on May 3 vs. Boston, allowing six runs and eight hits over five in a loss. Rafael Devers is 3-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs against him.
Key trends: The White Sox are 2-6 in Lopez's past eight road starts. The "over/under" has gone under in five of Sale's past seven.
Early lean: Red Sox on runline and under.
Blue Jays at Yankees (-265, 10)
A 1:05 p.m. ET first pitch on the MLB Network. Toronto's Trent Thornton (2-5, 4.25) was solid in Boston on Friday, giving up two runs with just one walk over 6.1 innings and took a no-decision. The rookie also took a no-decision on June 5 against New York (5 IP, 4 ER). Thornton has been better on the road (2.96 ERA) than at home (6.39). Gary Sanchez is 2-for-3 with a homer against him. Yankees lefty James Paxton (5-3, 3.75) was a little shaky in his first couple of outings off the injured list, but has been good the past two. He beat Houston on Friday in surrendering one run over five innings. Paxton lost in Toronto on June 5 (4.2 IP, 4 R). Randal Grichuk is 3-for-5 with a homer off him.
Key trends: The Yankees are 5-1 in Paxton's previous six at home. The over is 5-0-1 in Thornton's past six on the road.
Early lean: Blue Jays on runline and over.
Dodgers at Diamondbacks (+130, 10)
This was to be the turn in the rotation for rising Dodgers star Walker Buehler, who was magnificent last time out with his first complete game and a career-high 16 strikeouts, but the team apparently wants to get him some extra rest after going the distance. So the Dodgers' No. 4 overall prospect and No. 1 pitcher, Tony Gonsolin, will be recalled from Triple-A and make his debut. The 25-year-old has a 2.77 ERA in eight minor-league starts in 2019 and missed a month earlier with an injury so he's not all that stretched out (five innings probably a limit). Arizona's Taylor Clarke (1-3, 6.48) was ripped for six runs in three innings in his last outing against the Giants. Over his last five starts he is 0-2 with a 10.00 ERA. Cody Bellinger is 1-for-2 with a triple against him.
Key trends: The Diamondbacks are 6-1 in their past seven in Game 3 of a series. The over is 6-1 in Clarke's past seven.
Early lean: Diamondbacks and over.
A's at Cardinals (TBA)
St. Louis likely will be without fire-balling closer Jordan Hicks (3.14 ERA, 14 saves) for quite a while as an MRI on Monday showed a torn UCL in his pitching elbow. The team hasn't ruled Hicks out for the season yet for surgery, simply saying they are "determining the next course of action." Surgery seems inevitable. John Gant, Carlos Martinez, and Andrew Miller could all be in the mix for saves with Hicks out. Oakland, which lost ace Frankie Montas to an 80-game drug suspension over the weekend (goodbye wild-card chance), goes with rookie Tanner Anderson (0-2, 4.20). He has yet to last six full innings in his three outings this year. A couple of Cardinals have seen him as Anderson pitched briefly last year with the Pirates. St. Louis' Adam Wainwright (5-6, 4.50) returned from a brief injured list stay Thursday and allowed three runs over 5.1 innings in a no-decision vs. the Marlins. Only a few A's - they lose the DH - have seen him.
Key trends: The Cards are 44-19 in Wainwright's past 63 at home. The over is 4-0-1 in his previous five interleague starts.
Early lean: The A's haven't made Anderson official yet but it should be him. Like St. Louis in a rout.
Rays at Twins (-115, 9.5)
The pitching matchup of the night around baseball with both guys as Cy Young contenders and potential starters for the American League in the All-Star Game. Probably comes down to these two, Houston's Justin Verlander and the White Sox's Lucas Giolito right now. The Rays traded Jake Odorizzi to Minnesota in February 2018 for a minor-league shortstop. Huge win for the Twins as Odorizzi (10-3, 2.58) is having a breakout season. He wasn't quite as good Thursday, though, allowing four runs in a season-low four innings of a loss in Kansas City. Odorizzi blanked the Rays on three hits over six on June 2. Tampa's Charlie Morton (8-1, 2.31) leads the AL in ERA but hasn't won his past two outings. He beat the Twins on May 30 (7 IP, 2 ER).
Key trends: The Twins are 13-3 in Odorizzi's past 16 at home. The under is 5-2 in Morton's previous seven on the road.
Early lean: Twins and under.
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