MLB Picks and Predictions for April 19th

Tuesday night features some intriguing pitching match-ups worth tuning into. Milwaukee’s Randy Wolf gets the unenviable tasks of facing his former mates in Philadelphia the same night Roy Halladay takes the hill (2-0, 1.23 ERA).

Meanwhile in Toronto, the prize piece of package the Phillies sent to Toronto to acquire Halladay takes the mound when Doug Drabek (1-0, 1.93 ERA) and the Jays host the 3-0 A.J. Burnett and his New York Yankees.

Finally, in Colorado, Jonathan Sanchez (1-1, 3.24 ERA) and the Giants have a huge series with the Rockies to try and prevent the early season chasm from widening any further. The Rockies, off to a 12-3 start have the largest lead of any team in baseball, and have already jumped 5 games ahead of the Giants. Taking the hill for the Rockies will be ace Ubaldo Jimenez, who will be looking to rebound from an injury shortened Opening Day stint in which a cut cuticle on his right thumb not only forced him from the game, but sent him to the 15-day disabled list.

It should be a great night around MLB, so pick a few winners and enjoy!

Let’s get to today’s picks….

Today’s Free Major League Baseball Picks:

Pittsburgh Pirates @ Florida Marlins -190 (Total: 7)
Paul Maholm (0-2, 2.33 ERA) v. Chris Volstad (0-1, 5.59 ERA)

The Pirates, for as bad as they have been over the years, are even worse on the road, going a dismal 14-53 over their last 67 road games. That doesn’t bode well for the Buccos tonight in Miami, despite the early season struggles of the Marlins young fireballer, Chris Volstad.

The Marlins played the Pirates well last season as well, taking the season series 6-2. The Pirates will be hustling into Miami late Monday night after wrapping up their odd Friday-Monday four-game split with the division leading Reds.

Volstad has had his struggles early in the season, but should be able to get some momentum against a punchless Pirate lineup which enters the game hitting a dismal .230 on the season. And if the Marlins can make Maholm work a little bit and throw some pitches, things tip even further into the Fish’s favor; their bullpen holds nearly a 3-run ERA advantage over the Pirates.

It all adds up to a pretty easy pick of the Marlins, so to get your money’s worth, go ahead and take the -1.5 run line.

PICK:   Florida Marlins -1.5 (+105)

Arizona Diamondbacks @ Cincinnati Reds
Armando Galaraga (2-0, 6.75 ERA) vs. Sam LeCure (1-1, 2.25 ERA)

Baseball’s a funny game. Galaraga (most famous for the perfect game that wasn’t) has a 6.75 ERA yet sports a 2-0 record, while Sam LeCure has posted a microscopic 0.67 WHIP to go with his 2.25 ERA – yet has only an even 1-1 record to show for it.

LeCure and the Reds should have a good opportunity to push that record to the positive side Tuesday night with the Diamondbacks coming to town. The Reds are 22-10 over their last 32 home games, using a pitching staff that has been throwing a lot of ground ball outs to go with an offense that has been hitting from the #1 spot all the way down to the #8 hole.

Entering the game, the Reds are hitting a blistering .286 as a team and averaging a NL-best 6.29 runs per game. The D’Backs have been a pleasant offensive surprise as well, hitting .271 and averaging close to 5 ½ runs a contest; but they don’t have the punch to trade blows with the Reds – particularly with the starting AND relief pitching advantage possessed by Cincinnati.

Expect the Reds to snap and intention of perfection quickly from Galaraga’s thoughts, and hit their way into a suspect D’Backs bullpen by the sixth inning.

I like the Reds to win at -170, and am not opposed to taking the -1.5 run line at +125 for a little more value on the wager.

PICK: Cincinnati Reds to WIN (-170)

Chris Scheeren / Author

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