It was another 2-1 night last night with my free MLB picks as we’re off to a fine start to the 2020 season.
Our first winner came in this same series between the Blue Jays and Nationals. I had the under 10.5 runs and that hit with ease as the Blue Jays’ pitching staff held the Nats to a single run while Toronto mustered four of their own in a 4-1 win that fell well under the total, earning us a unit profit.
Our second winner of the night came slightly later in the evening, but it was a close one between the Mets and Red Sox where I had the under 11.5. It didn’t look good as the Mets built a 7-1 lead into fifth inning, but that was all the Mets would score while the Red Sox added three more in a 7-4 Mets win that fell just under the huge 11.5-run total.
Finally, we dropped 1.25 units on the Tigers as they dropped one to the Royals. Things looked excellent early as the Tigers jumped out to a 5-1 lead, but from there on out the Royals teed off on the Tigers bullpen and kept on scoring runs in what turned into a 14-6 blowout of their division rival.
At the end of the day, the 2-1 night netted us 0.75 units as we are profitable on both nights of my free MLB picks to this point!
Season Record: 4-2
Now let’s take a look at another free MLB pick featuring the Blue Jays vs. Nationals from Nationals Park in D.C.!
Blue Jays vs. Nationals Betting Odds
- Blue Jays (+129)
- Nationals (-139)
- Blue Jays +1.5 (-150)
- Nationals -1.5 (+130)
- Over 10 (-113)
- Under 10 (-107)
Blue Jays vs. Nationals MLB Pick Breakdown
Pitching Matchup: Roark (TOR) vs. Voth (WSH)
Tanner Roark – signed by the Blue Jays this offseason as veteran rotation depth – will take the ball tonight to make his Blue Jays debut against the team he spent the first six and a half years of his career with.
One of the more underrated pitchers in the game, Roark has brought consistency to the table throughout his big-league career, even if he isn’t the flashiest of pitchers.
He’s posted an ERA of 4.34 or above in each of the last three seasons, but Roark is the owner of a career 3.71 ERA/4.02 FIP while displaying quality command in the form of a 2.57 BB/9. His 7.28 K/9 for his career leaves something to be desired, but he actually cranked that number up to a career-best 8.60 mark just last season between the Reds and Athletics.
Roark owns a career 3.72 ERA in 443.1 innings at his former home in Nationals Park while current Nationals hitters have hit a combined .159 against him with a measly .525 OPS to boot. He was tagged for four runs in six innings in a loss to the Nationals last season, however.
Right-hander Austin Voth, formerly a well-regarded Nationals prospect, gets the ball to kick off his own 2020 season tonight after he worked to a quality 3.30 ERA/3.79 FIP with a 9.07 K/9 clip in eight starts and nine appearances for the big club a season ago.
Both also made 12 Triple-A starts last season, but didn’t fare as well with a 4.40 ERA/3.85 FIP with an increased 9.98 K/9 clip across 61.1 frames of work.
Voth, now 28, has just 43 career MLB innings under his belt but certainly took a step in the right direction last season and won the fifth starters job after Joe Ross opted out of the 2020 season.
The four runs the Jays scored in last night’s win might not stand out as a big number, however they flexed plenty of muscle in that one as all four runs came via the long ball, each a solo shot while projected leadoff man tonight, Teoscar Hernandez, found the seats twice.
That’s a similar story to the Jays offense of 2019 as they finished as a bottom-10 club in terms of wOBA but a top-10 club in terms of power and their ISO figure.
They are smack-dab in the middle of the pack with a .313 wOBA that ranks 16th to kick off the 2020 season while their four home runs from yesterday doubled their total from their entire season-opening three-game weekend set with the Rays.
Bo Bichette, who was a late scratch from last night’s contest with left hamstring tightness, is questionable for tonight’s game while Hernandez will likely retain the leadoff spot if he’s not ready to go again tonight.
The Nationals hit five home runs in their season-opening set with the Yankees, but were stymied last night by six different Blue Jays pitchers, but mostly the bullpen as they squandered the right hits they got off starter Trent Thornton in four innings.
The Nats would record just three more hits – and zero runs – over the final five innings of the game.
Numbers can be skewed in early-season small sample sizes, and that would appear to be the case as Washington’s propped-up offensive numbers are largely due to their shellacking of Yankees left-hander James Paxton on Saturday – a game in which Washington scored nine runs and hit three home runs.
Otherwise, the Nats have been held to two runs or fewer in their other three games of the season as the loss of all-world third baseman Anthony Rendon begins to take its toll on a Washington offense I suspect will regress in 2020.
It was a banner night for the Jays’ bullpen to open the series as A.J. Cole, Ryan Borucki, Jordan Romano, Rafael Dolis and Anthony Bass combined to work five innings of scoreless baseball, allowing just three hits and two walks in the process.
Cole earned the win out of the ‘pen while Anthony Bass earned the save after closer Ken Giles was placed on the IL with elbow soreness. It appears Bass will be in line for the majority of save opportunities moving forward.
The Jays’ bullpen struggled some over the weekend against the Rays, but were clearly much improved against the Nationals on Monday. Interestingly, the bullpen has all four decisions so far this season, going 2-2 in that time.
Coming off a 29th-ranking bullpen ERA from last season, the Nationals endured some early-season ‘pen struggles as Will Harris and Sean Doolittle combined to blow a 2-0 lead to the Yankees on Sunday.
That said, the bullpen did a nice job last night to keep the Blue Jays in check as three Nationals relievers combined to pitch four innings of shutout baseball while allowing just one hit and two walks.
The Nats added Harris to help bolster the back of the bullpen that features Doolittle and former Blue Jay Daniel Hudson as the team look for big-time improvement behind their elite starting pitching this season.
If you’ve read any of my leadup pieces to this season, I’m largely bearish on this Nationals offense.
When Juan Soto returns is up in the air – he’s apparently close and maybe even tonight – is one thing, but I continue to beat the drum on the impact of the loss of Rendon.
The club itself should hang in there behind the three-headed monster of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin in the rotation, but it would not be surprising to see the offense scuffle with Rendon now a member of the Angels.
The Blue Jays hit four homers last night, but without Bichette in the lineup the Jays are no doubt far worse off then they are with his dynamic skill set atop the lineup.
Hernandez did a fine job with two long balls in his stead last night, but he also owns a career .304 on-base percentage, not exactly ideal for a leadoff hitter.
I like the consistency and reliability Roark brings to the table and the strides that Voth made last season intrigues me as a possible late-blooming breakout candidate this season as a full-time member of the Nats’ rotation.
If it wasn’t already obvious, I’m once again looking to go under a large run total tonight from D.C.