The Rays just keep on winning… but the question remains, will the Red Sox keep on losing? As tight as things have gotten, Boston still holds a three game edge with 14 games left to play. An enormous four-game series begins in Boston on Thursday, but just how tense that series will be rests largely on today’s and tomorrow’s results.
Without further adieu, let’s get to today’s free picks.
TODAY’S MLB PICKS:
Tampa Bay Rays -215 @ Baltimore Orioles +195 (Total: 8 )
D. Price (12-12, 3.40) vs. A. Simon (4-8, 4.83)
The Rays keep winning so I’m going to keep picking them, at least until a compelling reason to do otherwise emerges. Much like Milwaukee’s torrid streak in July, sometimes you can ride a hot team to a nice consistent payday if you just settle in an give an extra few bucks in juice.
Tampa is 21-5 in their last 26 games as the favorite, while Baltimore is a major league worst 23-48 over their last 71 games. That is a difference of almost .500 in the record column, a difficult margin to even wrap one’s head around.
The Rays are 6-2 in David Price’s last eight starts against the Orioles, so pitching in Camden Yards shouldn’t be the least bit intimidating tonight. Even better, all nine of the Rays wins over Baltimore this season have come by two or more runs, making the run line an enticing proposition again tonight,
All the numbers, not to mention the pitching matchup and momentum favor to the Rays, so why try to outsmart anyone tonight? Lay the juice and take the Rays for another victory. That is my official pick, though -1.5 at -135 is an enticing offer as well.
Cleveland Indians +140 @ Texas Rangers -150 (TOTAL: 9)
J. Masterson (11-9, 3.01) vs. M. Harrison (11-9, 3.50)
Texas still has a lead in the West, but their 11-12 play over the past month hasn’t given them the breathing room they’d like to have. With Anaheim/Los Angeles still right on their heels, every game becomes magnified in importance. Tonight, despite the seemingly large advantage over Cleveland, they have a difficult pitching matchup tonight with Justin Masterson.
Masterson struggled a bit in his last two outings, posting a 4.74 ERA and a WHIP of 1.58. However, on the season his ERA just recently poked over 3.00 and his WHIP has been a very respectable 1.23. Cleveland has been pretty good when Masterson is on the hill, winners of seven of his last nine starts.
Texas has dominated the season series with a 6-1 record against the Indians, but they will need a much better pitching effort from Matt Harrison than they have gotten of late. In his last three starts he is 1-2 with an ERA of 6.74. Texas has the offense to bail out a few less-than-stellar starting pitching efforts, but he will need to give them a little better effort tonight to get the win.
The Indians are 6-1 in Masterson’s last seven road starts, five of those six wins coming against teams with a winning record. That is a huge stat, because it makes +140 starts to look like a real bargain. I like the value of the Indians tonight, getting plus-money in a pick-em type game.