Monday’s Results: Last night was a loser. While the Rays came through with an 8-run night, the Braves mustered only three runs despite perfect hitting conditions in Atlanta and the Astros apparently didn’t even pack their bats for their trip to Minnesota. The 1-2 night put me 11-5 on the year for +5.25 units.
Moving to Tuesday night, can we capitalize on the Cards’ hot bats?
951 St. Louis Cardinals at 952 Washington Nationals, 6:05 p.m. CT
It took the Cards a few innings to figure out Patrick Corbin’s slider but once they did, they wound up scoring six runs at Nationals Park on Monday. Tonight they’ll face Anibal Sanchez, whose 6.00 ERA matches his 5.87 SIERA through five starts. He also owns a 15.4% strikeout rate, a 12.3% walk rate and faces a STL lineup that feasts on right-handed pitching. The Nats also have issues in their pen and with the Cards playing on the road, we’re guaranteed ninth inning at bats. Even though he has struggled to start the year, I’ve got Matt Carpenter down for a home run as part of a two-hit night.
The Pick: Cardinals Team Total Over 4.5 -135 (1.35 units to win 1.0 units)
971 Detroit Tigers at 972 Philadelphia Phillies, 6:05 p.m. CT
Spencer Turnbull draws the start tonight for the Tigers with Tyson Ross on paternity leave. He’s only made eight starts over the last two seasons but thus far, he’s allowed a 40-percent hard-hit rate to left-handed batters. Granted, four out of the Phillies’ first five batters are right-handed, but the one lefty is Bryce Harper, one of the best in baseball. Plus, it’s not as if Andrew McCutchen, Jean Segura, Rhys Hoskins and/or J.T. Realmuto can’t ruin Turnbull’s night. Turnbull will benefit from pitching in a National League park where he’ll face the opposing pitcher, but Citizens Bank Park is one of the most hitter-friendly parks in baseball. Unlike the Cardinals, the Phillies are at home and are large money line favorites. Thus, we probably won’t get ninth inning bats from the Phillies, but if they can’t jump Turnbull, the Tigers’ pen is exploitable. Out of my three plays tonight, I feel like this is my biggest risk but I also felt that way about the Rays last night, who wound up being my only win.
The Pick: Phillies Team Total Over 4.5 -130 (1.30 units to win 1.0 units)
975 Pittsburgh Pirates at 976 Texas Rangers, 7:05 p.m. CT
The boys in Arlington will need to do some heavy lifting to get over the 11-run total but if any game on Tuesday’s MLB slate has the potential for offensive fireworks, it’s this one. Two average pitchers will take the mound in Texas, with Jordan Lyles (PIT) and Adrian Sampson (TEX) facing hitters in hot and humid conditions. Lyles has pitched well to date, but he also gives up a lot of hard contact and will face the DH with the Pirates playing in Arlington. Sampson, meanwhile, has a low strikeout rate and a high fly-ball rate. This Pittsburgh lineup doesn’t scare many opposing pitchers but they jumped Rich Hill’s ass on Sunday in L.A., so the Bucs are capable. The over is 11-5 in the last 16 meetings between these two clubs.
The Pick: Pirates/Rangers OVER 11 (1.10 units to win 1.0 units)
MLB: 11-5 (+5.25 units)