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Orioles vs. Reds Pick – April 19th

There are a lot of good NL pitchers on the mound tonight, Kershaw, Bumgarner, Tehran - but tonight's pick focuses on a promising rookie in the Baltimore Orioles and Cincinnati Reds game.

We notched another winner last night as Max Scherzer baffled the Braves bats in Atlanta and dealt the Braves their first-ever loss in their new home ballpark.  Atlanta made us sweat it a little bit as they tallied their lone run in the bottom of the ninths and had some people on base before falling 3-1.  Since we had muscled up on the -1.5 runline, we cashed a near-even money winner with exactly enough breathing room to spare.

Elsewhere in the NL, the Giants and Cardinals got much-needed wins by the same 2-1 margin.  Neither is hitting, but you can’t help but think if they can weather this early-season storm, they will somehow be in contention in September like always…

And the Cubs finally snapped their slide and got back to .500, winning a wild 9-7 game over the red-hot Brewers.  The Cubs win actually increased the Cincinnati Reds lead in the NL Central as they romped all over the Baltimore Orioles 9-3 thanks to a second-inning grand slam from Adam Duvall.

There’s some nice pitching matchups on the slate tonight including Madison Bumgarner trying to finally notch his first win of the season, Julio Tehran trying to keep his early season ERA under 1.00 and Clayton Kershaw trying to keep his Dodgers on pace with the streaking Rockies.

But my pick today focuses on one of the brightest young emerging pitchers in the National League, and a somewhat surprising one…

Today’s MLB Pick:

Baltimore Orioles -101 at Cincinnati Reds -107 (Total: 9.5)
Ubaldo Jimenez (0-0, 10.38 ERA) vs. Amir Garrett (2-0, 1.42 ERA)

I wrote it before his last start and cashed a winner, I’ll write it again; I do not think Amir Garrett is a fluke.  The former St. John’s power forward is a dynamic athlete and has electric stuff.  He has good mental makeup and he is attacking hitters with uncharacteristic calm for a rookie who wasn’t expected to be in the bigs this soon.  Vegas is obviously skeptical, both making the Reds basically even money AND the run total set at 9.5, but I am a believer in this kid as a legit MLB starting pitcher.

I’m not sure why Vegas thinks the O’s are an even matchup with Jimenez on the mound.  He has been brutal so far this season, and we have seen the good year/bad year movie with Jimenez for the last six years.  It is perfectly reasonable to be concerned that he is headed for more struggles.   At some point, the Reds will come back to Earth a bit offensively.  Cozart isn’t going to hit .450, but balancing out the fact the Joey Votto isn’t really going good yet, it isn’t unreasonable to think the Reds can hang close to .500 for a while as long as their pitching stays healthy (injuries are already an issue with three starters on the DL).

I’ll take the hotter pitcher and the hot team at a fair price tonight in Great American Ballpark.

Today’s Pick:  CINCINNATI REDS TO WIN -107

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