Astros vs Pirates Pick MLB – May 18th + Bonus Pick

We notched a win with our only baseball picks last night as the Yankees easily defeated the Blue Jays 5-0.  We will try to keep it going on Saturday with a pair of picks in the late games.

Today’s Free Picks:

Houston Astros +205 at Pittsburgh Pirates -220 (Total: 7.5)

Eric Bedard (0-2, 6.67 ERA) vs. AJ Burnett (3-4, 2.73 ERA)

If you just look at win/loss records, this game isn’t a monumental difference.  Both pitchers have losing records and both teams have losing records when they are on the mound.  But that’s about the end of the similarities.  Eric Bedard hasn’t been anywhere close to rediscovering the magic he had several years ago, and might be on his final chance as a major league starter.  If you can’t cut it for the Astros, there aren’t many places left to go… His 6.67 ERA is terrible.  His team’s 1-5 record in games he has started is even below average for the Astros (who are on pace to be historically terrible), and his 1.67 WHIP is staggering.  His last three starts have been even worse with an 8.25 ERA and 1.91 WHIP in just  12 innings pitched.

Meanwhile, Burnett has pitched well recently.  He has a 1-2 record in his last three starts, but his 2.57 ERA and 0.90 WHIP deserved a better fate.  His issue, as has been Pittsburgh’s issue in their last few seasons, has been run support.  One would think run support shouldn’t be an issue facing Bedard, and eventually the Astros bullpen which has a cumulative ERA of 4.99.

I like the Pirates to win big tonight.  They squeaked out a 5-4 victory last night, but I see them giving up LESS runs tonight and scoring MORE themselves.  Picking the Pirates at -220 isn’t a great value, but I like the runline (-1.5) at just -120.  That feels like a good value for a better team with a very favorable starting pitching matchup at home.

Free Pick:  Pittsburgh Pirates -1.5 (-120)

Bonus Pick:

Washington Nationals -130 at San Diego Padres +122 (Total: 7.5)

Jordan Zimmermann (7-1, 1.69 ERA) vs. Eric Stultz (3-3, 4.67 ERA)

Jordan Zimmermann has been a pretty good bet this season, and right now, although Matt Harvey has more hype, Zimmermann would be a reasonable choice to start the All Star Game for the National League.  His seven wins lead the majors, and his is in the top five in ERA, WHIP and is sixth in oppoenent batting average.

I see him pitching well tonight in pitcher-friendly Petco Park.  I like the Nats tonight to win, and they are a nice value at just -130.

Free Pick:  Washington National to WIN -130