We took a day off from MLB pick yesterday, but are diving back in with a pair of picks on a packed Saturday with 15 games to choose from. So let’s not waste any time, and dive back in with a pair of baseball winners.
Today’s Free Baseball Picks:
Cleveland Indians +106 at San Francisco Giants -116 (Total: 7.5)
Zach McAllister vs. Tim Lincecum
Zach McAllister has been one of the pleasant early season pitching surprises of April. The highly-touted hurler, who was drafted in 2006, had just nine career wins entering this season. However, after four weeks he has posted a perfect 3-0 record and is toting a 2.28 ERA into AT&T Park this afternoon. He has been even better in his last three starts, putting up a 1.37 ERA and a fantastic 0.93 WHIP.
Opposing him is the seemingly ever-struggling Tim Lincecum. It reminds me a bit of the Barry Zito situation when they kept trotting out their high-priced former Cy Young winner year after year despite the clear inability to get major leagues hitters out on a consistent basis. This is year four of the post-dominant Lincecum era, and it might be time to finally admit that he is not an every-five-days pitcher any longer.
So far this season, Lincecum is 1-1 with a 6.43 ERA. The Giants are getting away with his struggles, thanks to a quick hook, a good pen, and good run support; they are 3-1 in games he has started, but I look at that as more of a short-term statistical anomaly than a long-term strategy. A major league pitcher with an ERA over six and a WHIP near one and a half isn’t going to give a team a consistent chance to win.
That’s the reason I love Cleveland at plus-money today on the road. Could the Giants continue to get by and win with Lincecum on the mound? Sure. But it’s not a good statistical value. I’ll take the far dominant starting pitcher with plus-money nearly every time out.
Texas Rangers +165 at Seattle Mariners -175 (Total: 7)
Colby Lewis vs Felix Hernandez
This is my first true long-shot play of the season, but I see a real potential value in this pick. The Mariners throw King Felix at home, and they are the obvious favorite. But the Rangers have been the King’s kryptonite lately. He is 0-4 with a 6.22 ERA against them in his last six starts. They got away with it earlier this season thanks to their offense scoring 11 runs, but numbers like 0-4 and a plus-six ERA make the Rangers at +165 a good value.
I have two plays going tonight. First, I am taking the Rangers on a big underdog play. I also lthink the OVER 7 is a gimme. Assuming Felix doesn’t make a dramatic departure from his last few months of evidence against the Rangers, the Rangers should be able to notch a few runs. I also think the Mariners will handle Colby Lewis well. I like some runs in this game tonight.