MLB Picks for June 20th – Yankees, Reds and Rockies, Indians

After finishing the NBA season on a tear, Chris is back with his MLB plays.  Check back daily for MLB betting picks from Chris, and enter your first name and email in the form to the left to get email updates and picks we don’t post here.  Enjoy…

New York Yankees +105 @ Cincinnati Reds -120 (Total: 7.5)
Ivan Nova (6-4 4.46 ERA) v. Johnny Cueto (4-2, 1.68 ERA)

Johnny Cueto appears to be fully recovered from his early season injuries, and has been pitching like the #1 starter the Reds envisioned he could eventually become. In his last three starts, he has gone 2-0, pitched 21 innings, and posted a microscopic 0.86 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. Breaking that down, that’s two runs allowed in three outings and only 19 base runners.

If you are looking for a statistical oddity that may or may not mean much, the Reds are 20-8 in their last 28 Monday games, while the Yankees are just 5-17. It may be more coincidence than causal, but it is an interesting note on how these respective teams generally kickoff the series following the weekend.

None of the current Yankees have ever seen Cueto in the big leagues, which should be an advantage for the fire-balling righty. The Yankees certainly have the pop to take advantage of the bandbox in Cincy, but I expect Cueto to do a good job mixing up his pitches and keeping the ball down in the zone to force some groundballs.

When Cueto is sharp with his command, he is an elite pitcher. When he gets a little wild, things tend to unravel quickly. Fortunately from Johnny, that has yet to happen this season. I think he extends that true statement at least one more start; and picks up an impressive win against the Bombers.

PICK: Cincinnati Reds to WIN – 120

Colorado Rockies +105 @ Cleveland Indians (Total: 9)
Juan Nicosio (2-1, 3.37 ERA) vs. Fausto Carmona (4-8, 5.79 ERA)

Three years ago, Cleveland baseball fans might have been equally upset if Fausto Carmona had left as they were when C.C. Sabathia departed for Milwaukee. It would be hard to make anything even close to resembling that statement today.

C.C. has gone on to win a ring, a Cy Young and make hundreds of millions of dollars. Carmona has one of the worst ERAs in baseball for pitchers who have made 10 or more starts. It hasn’t been pretty. In his last three starts, Carmona has posted a 8.32 ERA and is allowing an average of nearly two base runners per inning.

The good news for Cleveland is that the Indian offense enters the game red hot. After firing their hitting coach (the team had a .232 batting average), the Tribe’s bats heated up, batting .260 in the six games since, including a weekend sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Interleague play has been kind to Cleveland, at a perfect 6-0 record.

Colorado has struggled on the road this season, having lost 13 of their last 18 away from the friendly confines of Coors Field. However, the Jake is a decent hitters park, and they face a guy who has been struggling to get people out this season.

It adds up to a pretty favorable matchup for the Rockies, and I like the value pick of getting them at +105.

PICK: Colorado Rockies to WIN +105