Free MLB Picks for Tuesday, May 14, 2019
The Miami Marlins are on pace to be one of the worst teams in baseball history. Not a surprise considering how Derek Jeter stripped the team down and got fleeced in trades for the likes of Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich (especially that Yelich deal with the Brewers). However, the fleecing of the Marlins began before Jeter's ownership group took over. The Marlins drafted Texas high school pitcher Chris Paddack in the eighth round of the 2015 draft. In June 2016, in one of those transactions you probably didn't even notice, the Marlins acquired reliever Fernando Rodney from the Padres for Paddack. That's looking like utter larceny right now as Paddack has been not just one of the best rookies but one of the best pitchers in baseball this season. Even better, the dude has personality - he recently called out fellow Mets rookie Pete Alonso and backed it up by striking him out a couple of times. Paddack, 23, is exactly the type of player MLB needs going forward to help build the game with millennials (if that's even possible). He's back on the mound Tuesday.
Indians at White Sox (+170, 8.5)
Lone matinee of the day at 2:10 p.m. ET and on the MLB Network. If this pitching matchup looks familiar, it's because they just matched up Thursday in Cleveland. The Tribe won that 5-0 behind five shutout innings from Carlos Carrasco (3-3, 4.91). He allowed only two hits and struck out six without a walk. It counted as a complete game because it was called after five due to rain. Few White Sox have had much career success against him. Jose Abreu is 9-for-45 with 12 strikeouts. White Sox lefty Manny Banuelos (2-2, 6.67) might not be long for the rotation, although Chicago is rather desperate there right now due to injuries, etc. He allowed five runs and eight hits and walked five in talking the loss vs. the Tribe. Jordan Luplow homered twice off him.
Key trends: The Indians have won eight straight Carrasco starts vs. the White Sox. The "over/under" has gone under in seven of those.
Early lean: Indians on runline and over.
Cubs at Reds (+110, 8.5)
One reason the Cubs are streaking has been the recent dominance of Kyle Hendricks (2-4, 3.19). Three of his past four starts he has not allowed an earned run. That was the case Wednesday vs. Miami, going eight innings and surrendering five hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. Alas, he took a no-decision. Hendricks was 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA in three starts last year vs. Cincinnati. Joey Votto is a career .444 hitter off him with 11 walks in 18 at-bats. Cincinnati's Tanner Roark (3-1, 3.27) shut out Oakland on three hits over six in his most recent outing. Might see the Cubs' Jason Heyward get this one off as he's 0-for-20 in his career vs. Roark.
Key trends: The Cubs are 1-7 in Hendricks' past eight Tuesday starts. The over is 5-1 in his previous six in Cincinnati.
Early lean: Reds and over.
Rockies at Red Sox (TBA)
MLB Network prime-time game and Colorado adds the designated hitter. I think it's fair to say that Red Sox lefty Chris Sale (1-5, 4.50) is back to normal. He pitched a second straight dominant start Wednesday, holding the Orioles to one run and three hits with a season-high 14 strikeouts over eight but took a no-decision. Through the first four starts of the year, Sale had an 8.50 ERA with 23 hits allowed and 14 strikeouts. In his four starts since, Sale has a 1.80 ERA in 25 innings pitched, allowing 15 hits and five earned runs while striking out 42 batters. Few Rockies have seen him. Charlie Blackmon is 2-for-2. Colorado lefty Kyle Freeland (2-5, 5.84) allowed five runs over five in his last start but escaped with a no-decision vs. the Giants. Only two Red Sox have faced him in the regular season.
Key trends: Boston has split Sale's past 10 at home. The O/U is 3-5-2 in those 10.
Early lean: Not honestly sure why an opening TBA, although Boston will be a big favorite. Go Sox on the runline.
Angels at Twins (-123, 9)
The Twins are surprise leaders of the AL Central, and one reason for that has been the addition of free-agent DH Nelson Cruz. He's hitting .270 with seven homers and 22 RBIs but may miss a while. Cruz was set to undergo an MRI on his left wrist Monday after injuring it on a swing Sunday. Perhaps one less worry for Halos pitcher Felix Pena (2-1, 3.21). The former reliever comes off arguably the best start of his career, throwing seven shutout innings in Detroit, allowing three hits and walking none. Cruz is one of just a few Twins to ever face him. Minnesota's Kyle Gibson (3-1, 4.19) also comes off a strong outing, allowing one run and two hits while striking out a season-high 11 in Toronto. Mike Trout is 5-for-14 off him with a homer.
Key trends: The Twins have won four of Gibson's past five vs. the Angels. The under is 4-1 in those.
Early lean: Twins and under.
Padres at Dodgers (-158, 7.5)
ESPN+ game and clear pitching matchup of the night. Paddack (3-1, 1.55) can bring the heat, but his changeup is truly magical. He has allowed more than two earned just once in seven starts and blanked the Mets on four hits with 11 strikeouts over seven last time out. The Padres are going to be scary good starting next year if they stay healthy. Doubtful Paddack keeps this ERA up: The last time a rookie starting pitcher finished with an ERA under 2.00 and qualified for the ERA title was someone named Scott Perry in 1918. In the last 50 years, only five have finished with a sub-2.50 ERA. It's Paddack's first look at the Dodgers, although maybe he saw them this spring. Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 3.31) comes off his worst start of the year in allowing four runs and nine hits over 6.2 innings but still beat the Braves. He took an ND in San Diego on May 3 (6 IP, 3 ER). Wil Myers likely gets this one off as he's 3-for-32 off Kershaw, who has a career ERA under 2.00 vs. the Friars.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 8-2 in Kershaw's past 10 at home in the series. The O/U is 7-3 in those.
Early lean: Dodgers and under.
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