Free MLB Picks for Wednesday, May 15, 2019
The biggest name likely to be dealt by the July 31 deadline this year - and, remember, there's now just a single trade deadline - is Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner. That franchise isn't going to be good anytime soon, and Bumgarner's contract is up after 2019. He's not quite the mega-ace he used to be but is making just $12 million, and with his playoff resume would surely fetch San Francisco quite a package of young players. Bumgarner can void any trade and has reportedly submitted a no-trade list of eight teams to the Giants: Braves, Red Sox, Cubs, Astros, Brewers, Yankees, Phillies and Cardinals. Now, that's misleading in a way because Bumgarner chose all those contenders strategically. It's not that he won't go play for any of those, but he wants the power to dictate where. MadBum can still approve trades to those teams, but generally players want some form of compensation to waive their no-trade protection. Bumgarner loves to hit and is quite good at it, so I'm a bit surprised the three AL clubs are on there. If I were a betting man, I'd say he lands with either the Braves or Brewers.
Angels at Twins (-140, 9.5)
First game of the day at 1:10 p.m. ET on the MLB Network. The Angels' Trevor Cahill (2-3, 6.35) had been awful for a few starts but was much improved Friday in Baltimore, allowing two runs and four hits over six in a victory. He is 1-3 with a 5.26 ERA in eight games -- six career starts -- against the Twins. The Twins' Marwin Gonzalez is 2-for-11 with a double career off him. Minnesota's Jake Odorizzi (5-2, 2.32) has all off a sudden turned into a stud, not allowing an earned run and just seven combined hits over his past three outings (20-inning scoreless streak). He retired the last 20 hitters he faced in his on Friday against Detroit. L.A.'s Andrelton Simmons is 5-for-9 with two doubles off him.
Key trends: The Twins are 10-2 in Odorizzi's past 12 at home. The "over/under" has gone under in five of his past six vs. teams with a losing record.
Early lean: Twins and under.
Pirates at Diamondbacks (-158, 8)
A 3:40 p.m. ET first pitch. Pittsburgh will activate pitcher Chris Archer (1-2, 4.33) from the injured list for this one. The former Tampa Bay Ray threw a 60-pitch simulated game on Friday with no issues. He hasn't pitched in the majors since April 26 due to inflammation in his right thumb. The Bucs have lost four of his first five starts. Adam Jones has seen him more than any Diamondback by far, batting .286 with two homers in 49 at-bats. Arizona's Zack Greinke (5-1, 3.16) struggled in his season debut but has since thrown eight straight quality starts. On April 25 in Pittsburgh, he shut out the Pirates on three hits over six. Starling Marte is just 2-for-15 off him with six strikeouts.
Key trends: The Pirates are 1-6 in Archer's past seven on the road. The under is 4-1 in Greinke's past five.
Early lean: Diamondbacks and under.
Cubs at Reds (-107, 9.5)
Chicago's Yu Darvish (2-3, 5.40) is so maddening for Cubs fans. The stuff is still electric, but the guy seems mentally weak - when any little thing bothers Darvish, it all falls apart. Last time out vs. Miami, he allowed just one hit but had to be pulled after four innings because he walked six and already was at 97 pitches. He's 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in three career outings vs. the Reds. Derek Dietrich is 2-for-4 with a homer career off him. Cincinnati's Sonny Gray (0-4, 4.15) has failed to last six innings in each of his past four outings. Wildness is a problem for him too with 16 walks in 39 innings. No Cub has more than five career at-bats vs. Gray.
Key trends: The Reds are 3-14 in their past 17 Wednesday games. The over is 5-2 in the Reds' previous seven against a right-hander.
Early lean: Cubs and over.
Cardinals at Braves (-143, 9)
ESPN prime-time game. The Cards' Michael Wacha (3-0, 5.35) is another guy who struggles to find the plate at times with 22 walks in his seven starts. He allowed four runs and nine hits over 5.2 innings last time out vs. Pittsburgh. Wacha has completed six innings just twice in seven starts and has a 6.32 ERA in three starts since returning from a knee injury. Atlanta's Ender Inciarte is 6-for-9 career against him. The Braves' Mike Soroka (3-1, 1.21) has allowed no more than one earned run in any of his five starts in 2019. Dating to last season, he's the first MLB pitcher since earned runs became official in both leagues in 1913 to allow one or fewer earned runs as a starter in eight of his first 10 career games. He hasn't faced St. Louis.
Key trends: The Cards are 3-9 in Wacha's past 12 road starts vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 4-0 in Soroka's past four at home.
Early lean: Braves and under.
Padres at Dodgers (-145, 8)
Only late-night game on the schedule and on the MLB Network. San Diego lefty Matt Strahm (1-2, 3.00) is working on a string of four straight quality outings. He held the Mets to two earned and six hits over 6.1 innings last time out. He has terrific control with only six walks in 39 innings. The Dodgers' Max Muncy is 1-for-2 with a homer off him. L.A.'s Kenta Maeda (4-2, 4.03) shut out the Nationals on one hit over six in his last start. He faced the Padres on May 5 and allowed four runs in six innings, including a homer to Franmil Reyes. Wil Myers is just 3-for-24 career off Maeda with 12 strikeouts.
Key trends: The Dodgers have lost six straight Maeda starts vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 8-2-2 in Strahm's previous 12.
Early lean: Padres and under.
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