Reds vs. Royals Pick MLB – May 19th

We notched a fourth winner in five MLB plays yesterday, relying on the arms of Chris Sale and Corey Kluber being more Cy Young than the ho-hum they’ve been for much of 2015. The gambit was rewarded with an easy UNDER winner in a 2-1 extra inning affair won by the White Sox. I am sure the Indians are relieved to have Kluber looking like the guy who won the Cy Young Award last year, but the sad fact remains that the team is 1-7 in games he has started and is a distant last place in the American League Central at 14-23, 9 ½ games out of first place and a full five games behind the White Sox to get out of the division cellar. So much for the World Series predictions bandyied about by Sports Illustrated and several other prominent media outlets.

And so much for and World Series dreams for Mike Redmond. The Marlins jettisoned their manager barely a quarter of the way into the season, which makes sense because they had a general manager waiting in the wings who was one heck of a high school coach in Mobile, AL nearly thirty years ago. Yup. You can’t make this stuff up sometimes… Good luck Fish fans. Looks like yet another middle finger from management to your ill-placed loyalty…

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Today’s Free Pick:

Cincinnati Reds +115 at Kansas City Royals -125 (Total: 6.5)

Johnny Cueto (3-3, 2.93 ERA) vs Yordano Ventura (2-3, 5.36 ERA)

I’ve been a pretty ardent Johnny Cueto guy this season, and it has paid dividends on several occasions, including serving as a much-needed slump buster for me personally. Now, he will have a chance to play the same role for his ballclub who enters fresh off a demolition at the hands of the defending champs. The Giants tallied 30 runs in the last three games, so having their ace on the mound is a much-needed respite… hopefully.

The Royals will counter will the talented, yet-struggling Yordano Ventura. The young fireballer had his streak of appearances inducing bench-clearing brawls stopped early this month, but it is always a potential powder keg with him on the bump. And not just in terms of malice, but also in terms of offense surrendered. His ERA is over 5.00, and if he wasn’t getting such tremendous run support, his stat line could be much worse.

Cueto is allowing just a .203 batting average against him this season, so if the Reds can continue the trend of getting runs off Ventura, they should be in business tonight and are a great value at +115. I like any game where I can get the dominant starting pitcher (better ERA by more than two runs) AND plus-money. So I’ll go with the value tonight and take the value.

Kansas City has been the better team this season, but Cueto at plus-money is a good value.

Free Pick: Cincinnati Reds to WIN +115