Free MLB Picks for Wednesday, May 8, 2019
Not sure it will be enough to make the Angels playoff contenders, but the team is expected to activate 2018 AL Rookie of the Year Shohei Ohtani at some point this week (reports are it might have been Tuesday if all goes well). Ohtani had Tommy John surgery late last year, so he will only be a designated hitter in 2019 and not take the mound. Ohtani was a sensation as a rookie, hitting .285 with 22 homers and 61 RBIs in 367 plate appearances while going 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA in 51.2 innings. He proved guys can play both ways in the majors at a high level, and I think we will start to see more of this. It's just too valuable to have one person who can do both. Ohtani's return means the Halos would have to put Albert Pujols at first base, and he's a defensive liability there (and more likely to get hurt). Usual first baseman Justin Bour would largely head to the bench, but he's well below the Mendoza Line so no loss there.
White Sox at Indians (-179, 8.5)
Never know what you will get with inconsistent White Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez (2-4, 6.69). Two starts ago, he absolutely dominated the Tigers with 14 strikeouts and one hit allowed over six. So, naturally, he was bombed last time out, giving up six runs and eight hits over five innings of a loss to the Red Sox. That ended Lopez's streak of three straight quality starts. Cleveland's Jose Ramirez is 2-for-7 with a homer off Lopez career. The Tribe's Shane Bieber (2-1, 3.16) was excellent vs. the Mariners in his last start (7.2 IP, 1 ER, 8 Ks, career-high 114 pitches) but took a no-decision. The Sox's Yoan Moncada is 2-for-3 off him with a double.
Key trends: The Indians are 5-1 in Bieber's past six vs. teams with a losing record. The "over/under" has gone under in four Lopez's past five road starts.
Early lean: Indians and under.
Mariners at Yankees (-135, 9.5)
ESPN game. It's too bad the Mariners couldn't move Japanese rookie lefty Yusei Kikuchi up a day to face countryman Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees as Tanaka pitched Tuesday - I guess the Yankees could have moved Tanaka back too. Kikuchi (1-1, 3.98), whom the Yankees also pursued, comes off his best start in the majors, holding the Indians to one run and three hits with a career-high 10 strikeouts in a no-decision. It's his first look at the Yankees. They go with Jonathan Loaisiga (1-0, 2.70), who is in the rotation due to an injury suffered over the weekend by James Paxton. Loaisiga last pitched April 24 at the Angels.
Key trends: The Yankees are 2-5 in their past seven at home vs. a lefty. The over is 5-1-1 in Kikuchi's past seven.
Early lean: Mariners and over.
Red Sox at Orioles (+220, 8.5)
Has Red Sox lefty Chris Sale (1-5, 5.25) finally snapped out of his funk? He looked great Friday at his former White Sox team, shutting them out on three hits over six innings with 10 strikeouts. Sale didn't allow a hit until there were two outs in the fourth. In his six previous starts, he allowed four or more runs four times. It was Sale's first victory since Game 1 of the 2018 ALDS vs. the Yankees. Baltimore's Chris Davis is just 2-for-22 off Sale with nine strikeouts. The Orioles' Andrew Cashner (4-1, 4.71) comes off back-to-back starts vs. the White Sox, one good and one not. He won in Boston on April 13, allowing three runs over five. Xander Bogaerts is 3-for-8 with a homer against him.
Key trends: The Sox are 6-1 in Sale's past seven vs. Baltimore. The over has hit in five straight Cashner starts.
Early lean: Red Sox on runline and over.
Marlins at Cubs (-220, TBA)
Chicago's Kyle Hendricks (2-4, 3.93) comes off a four-hit complete-game shutout of the Cardinals and needed just 81 pitches to do so, which is nearly impossible. Hendricks became just the second pitcher in Cubs history to throw a nine-inning complete game shutout while throwing 81 pitches or less. The only other was Jon Lieber, who needed 78 pitches to one-hit the Cincinnati Reds in a 2001 game. Hendricks went 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two starts against the Marlins in 2018. Miami's Jose Urena (1-5, 5.45) allowed five runs over six in a loss to the Braves in his most recent outing. Anthony Rizzo is 5-for-11 off Urena with a homer and two doubles.
Key trends: The Marlins are 2-9 in Urena's past 11 road starts vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 6-0 in Hendricks' past six at home vs. teams with a losing record.
Early lean: Marlins on runline.
Reds at A's (-118, 8.5)
MLB Network late-night game, with Cincinnati adding the designated hitter. Cincinnati's Sonny Gray (0-4, 3.89) faces his former A's teammates. It will be his first start back in Oakland since being traded in the summer of 2017 to the Yankees. Gray was 25-20 all-time in Oakland with a 3.50 ERA. He did face the A's last year in New York and wasn't good. Gray hasn't managed to last six full innings in his past three starts this year. Oakland lefty Brett Anderson (4-2, 3.89) won in Pittsburgh in his last start, allowing one run and four hits over six. Joey Votto is 4-for-8 off Anderson with a double and two RBIs. Jose Peraza is 2-for-2.
Key trends: The A's are 9-1 in Anderson's past 10 at home vs. teams with a losing record. The under is 5-2 in Gray's past seven.
Early lean: A's and under.
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