971 Texas Rangers at 972 Cleveland Indians, 6:10 p.m. CT
This is a great spot for Cleveland’s offense. In his last start, Texas right-hander Ariel Jurado surrendered four runs (three earned) on seven hits with three strikeouts and two walks in a no-decision versus the Mariners. He allowed two home runs in that game and has now allowed three dingers in his last three starts. Jurado’s peripherals are nasty, as he’s allowing hard contact at a rate of 43.1%, is striking out batters at just a 16.9% rate and has a fly-ball lean with a ground ball rate of only 43.5%.
The Indians were shut out last night and have been an inconsistent offense this season. That said, before posting a goose egg on Monday night, the Tribe had scored a combined 20 runs in their previous three games. Francisco Lindor (0.261), Carlos Santana (0.275), Yaisel Puig (0.224), Franmil Reyes (0.296) and Roberto Perez (0.232) all have individual ISOs of over .220 against right-handed pitching.
While we’re unlikely to get ninth-inning at bats out of the Indians since they are a big home favorite, I still like the Tribe to score 6-plus runs tonight against Jurardo. The Pick: Indians Over 5.5 Runs (-125) = Risking 1.25 units to win 1.0 units
967 Kansas City Royals at 968 Boston Red Sox, 6:10 p.m. CT
These two teams cashed the over (11 runs) last night when Bubba Starling hit a three-run home run in the eighth inning. Given the pitching matchup tonight, I see the over hitting again at Fenway Park.
Jakob Junis has allowed 10 runs on 16 hits with three home runs in his last two starts. Andrew Benintendi (4-for-6 with a double) and Rafeal Devers (3-for-6) have had success against Junis, albeit in a small sample, and Boston scored six runs in just 4 2/3 innings versus the Kansas City starter on June 5.
On the other side, Andrew Cashner has just one quality start in his first four starts for the Red Sox. He was hammered by the Rays in his last start, allowing seven runs (six earned) over 5 2/3 innings. The over cashed in three of Cashner’s first four starts for Boston.
The over has also been extremely profitable when these two teams meet. In the last 31 meetings between the Royals and Red Sox, the over is 21-7-3. In the last 13 meetings at Fenway, the over is 8-3-2. Throw in a home plate umpire (Brian Gorman) that is hitter-friendly (the over is 8-3 in his last 11 games behind the dish) and the over should hit.
The Pick: Royals/Red Sox OVER 11 (+100) = Risking 1.0 unit to win 1.0 units
957 Washington Nationals at 958 San Francisco Giants, 8:45 p.m. CT
As it turns out, the Giants’ surge immediately preceding and following the All-Star break was sustainable. Who knew?
After holding onto ace Madison Bumgarner and All-Star closer Will Smith at the trade deadline, the Giants have gone into a funk. They’ve scored just two runs in their last 18 innings, with nine of those 18 frames coming at hitter-friendly Coors Field. This offense was all smoke and mirrors during the Giants’ July run, but that smoke has dissipated over the past two weeks, revealing San Francisco’s true light-hitting ways.
Anibal Sanchez is projected to start tonight for the Nationals and while he was targeted for four runs on 10 hits in his last start, that outing game against the Braves. Needless to say, the Giants don’t have Atlanta’s offensive firepower and I expect Sanchez to rebound tonight.
Meanwhile, Connor Menez is likely to start tonight for the Giants. The left-hander turned in a solid debut last month, allowing just two runs on three hits over five innings while striking out six Mets. With the benefit of pitching at spacious Oracle Park with umpire Gerry Davis (under is 4-1-1 in his last six games) behind home plate, Menez should hold his own against an inconsistent Washington offense.
The under is 10-2 in the last 12 meetings between these two teams in San Francisco and is 23-9-2 in the last 34 meetings overall.
The Pick: Nationals/Giants UNDER 8.5 (-105) = Risking 1.05 units to win 1.0 units
2019 Betting Results:
MLB First Half: 59-50-4 (+2.55 units)
MLB Second Half: 11-13-1 (-3.80 units)
NHL Playoffs: 2-0 (+2.0 units)