Blue Jays vs. Rays Pick MLB – June 24th

I didn’t have a pick yesterday as I got home early this morning from a trip. I caught the recap of my pick from Saturday night while driving home (Reds/DBacks UNDER 8) and I thought it was a loser after I heard there were 4 runs scored in the 9th inning, but luckily it appears both starters were magnificent, so we didn’t even need to worry about the bullpens. Have had a fairly busy weekend, but have had some time to take a look at the card. Let’s try our best to kick start the work week with some free cash. I originally said I was going to have a pair of picks for Monday, but the lineup of games is thin for tonight with only 4. I will stick with one pick and have a couple for Tuesday night.

Free MLB Pick:

Toronto Blue Jays +105 at Tampa Bay Rays -125 (Total: 8.5)

Esmil Rogers (3-2, 3.14 ERA) vs. Jeremy Hellickson (5-3, 5.50 ERA)

This game stuck out to me when I took a glance at this small card tonight. I’m going to stick to what I said a couple nights ago, and that’s the majority of my picks are going to be totals instead of sides. No reason to ignore my superb totals record this season. One team that I wish I have gotten a piece of on with side picks is the Toronto Blue Jays. The train has left the station, and I don’t think I am going to jump on the bang wagon at the moment. While I think they will continue to play decent baseball, this streak is bound to get snapped shortly.

This game did jump out at me for a different reason. It isn’t the offense of the Jays that concerns me, but their pitching rotation is not going to bring them too far. No offense to Jays’ fans, but pitching is the difference between a deep playoff run and a disappointing run. I suppose if R.A. Dickey gets back to how he was with the Mets it could get interesting.

The Jays’ starter for Monday night, Esmil Rogers, has been pitching solid enough to warrant some props. He has an ERA of 3.14 this season, and has been quite steady through his last three outings with a 2.04 ERA. What concerns me with Rogers is that he has a WHIP of 1.46. A .46 jump from at home. What it says is that he has gotten out of some dicey situations. His ERA also jumps to 2.77 at home to 3.57 on the road. He was impressive against the Rangers in his last away start though, holding them to only 1 run. Another thing that is a concern is that Rogers does not have much experience as a starter. He was bumped into the starting rotation a couple of weeks ago, so there is the potential for him to finally get his first shellacking of 2013 against the Rays on the road.

The Rays will counter with a definite disappointment on the hump with Jeremy Hellickson. Hellickson holds an ERA of 5.50, 5.79 at home. His performances have looked nothing like his past three years with the Rays. Hellickson’s past three starts haven’t indicated that he is turning things around either, with an ERA of 5.09 over 17.2 innings pitched. Things shouldn’t get any easier for him with the red hot bats of the Jays coming into town. I will take the OVER 8.5 in this spot.

Free Pick: OVER 8.5