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MLB Picks for June 24th – Reds Orioles, Rays Astros

Cincinnati Reds -115 @ Baltimore Orioles +100 (Total: 9.5)
Edinson Volquez (4-3 5.61 ERA) v. C. Jakubauskas (2-0, 5.14 ERA)

The Reds will attempt to carry the momentum from Wednesday’s 10-2 win over the Yankees as they travel to face another AL East opponent tonight. Taking the ball is Opening-Day starter Edinson Volquez who will be looking to regain the form that made him an Opening Day starter, as opposed to his recent struggles which earned him a trip down to AAA Louisville.

For the Orioles, Jakubauskas has been solid though certainly not spectacular. The Orioles, however, have fared very well at home during interleague play, winning 8 of their last 10 contests. The Reds are the exact converse, having lost 8 of 10.

Despite the interleague trend, I still like Cincy tonight. Their bats seem to have awoken this week, and they aren’t exactly facing a veteran Cy-Young’er tonight. Expect the Reds to score some runs early, and expect Volquez to be sharp, fully recovered from his brief stint in the minors and at AAA.

I always like when you can get a clearly superior team with a favorable pitching matchup at near even money. The Reds fit those criteria tonight.

PICK: Cincinnati Reds to WIN -115

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Tampa Bay -130 @ Houston Astros +115 (Total: 7)
Wade Davis (6-5, 4.57 ERA) vs. B. Norris (4-5, 3.26 ERA)

Tampa Bay has been fantastic on the road of late, winning 7 of their last 10 games away from the Trop, so a trip to Houston, possibly the worst team in baseball, shouldn’t be so daunting.

You have to feel a bit for Davis, whose solid 3.26 ERA earned him five losses and just four wins. He deserves better.

But he probably won’t get it tonight. The Astros offense has been anemic all season, with a team average of just .228. That isn’t going to get it done at the big league level. Expect Wade Davis to hold the ‘Stros in check long enough to get the ball to their light-out bullpen to take the ball and close the door.

Houston is just 1-7 in their last eight games, and 5-15 in interleague play. Home, away; it really doesn’t much matter – Houston has shown this season they can lose anywhere.

Looking at those stats, -130 seems a pretty slim price to pay if you want to back the Rays tonight. I like that as a good value play, but would shy away from the -1.5 run line given the decent starter on the hill for Houston

PICK: Tampa Bay Rays -130

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