It is always a tough pill to swallow when you lose by .5. The Baltimore Orioles downed the Boston Red Sox in extra innings last night 5-4, and in the process, downing my OVER 9.5 wager. There have been a few instances this season where I had the under, and they ended up scoring a bunch to push it over the number. It wasn’t to be this time, as the bats went cold after the Red Sox tied it up in the 7th inning. I was positive that we were able to get another 2 runs before the contest was finished, but all we received was a Chris Davis single to bring home a run in the 13th. Let’s put that in the past, and start the weekend off on a positive note.
Free MLB Pick:
Detroit Tigers -135 at Minnesota Twins +126 (Total: 9)
Rick Porcello (3-3, 4.86 ERA) vs. Scott Diamond (4-5, 5.19 ERA)
Whoever had the Tigers a couple days ago suffered a bad beat of their own against the Kansas City Royals. The Tigers took a 1 run lead into the 9th, but couldn’t hold on, giving way to a blown save by Jose Valverde. It is a familiar scene with Tigers’ fans by now. After a perfect season two years ago, saving 49 out of 49 save opportunities, Valverde has been on a slippery slope downwards since. The problem for the Tigers is that they don’t have much better to offer. If they continue to stick with Valverde deep into this season, it may very well be the end of them.
The Tigers thankfully have a big bounce back opportunity staring them in the face Friday night. They will have a glorious change to beat up on another lefty. A well below average left hander at that. The Tigers are one of the best in the business at mashing the ball against them, posting a gaudy .285 batting average. Diamond has had his fair share of problems this season, and doesn’t get a nice draw for his start tonight. He has a 5.87 ERA in his last three starts, which is pretty consistent with his entire 2013 campaign. Diamond is particularly bad at home with a 6.41 ERA. He pitched wonderfully in his last home start against the Mariners, but that is the Mariners, and he tends to get into trouble against offense heavy teams. For instance, his two home starts prior to that, he allowed 6 runs to the Red Sox and Rangers.
Porcello’s numbers don’t tell the whole story, outside of a disastrous first inning against the Angels, surrendering 10 runs in an inning, he has been fairly good. In fact, Porcello has an ERA of 1.80 in his last three starts. He will look to build on his solid starts against a team that has trouble handling right handed pitching. The Twins hit .237 against righties, compared to .246 against lefties.
The Tigers should come back from a tough loss the other day and start this series on the right page with a victory. I also like the Tigers to go OVER the posted team total of 4.5. I like the moneyline, but the value of the RL at +120 looks tasty as well.
Free Pick: Tigers -135
Philadelphia Phillies +106 at Colorado Rockies -116
Kyle Kendrick (6-4, 3.22 ERA) vs. Juan Nicasio (4-2, 4.61)
Given the state of the Rockies heading into tonight, I like the Phillies as a nice value play with plus money. The Rockies suffered multiple blows to the meat of their lineup last night with injuries to Carlos Gonzalez, Dexter Fowler, and Troy Tulowitzski. Take out Tulowitzski from the roster and you have a completely different team, take Fowler and Gonzalez as well, and you have yourself a AAA club. Tulowitzski was placed on the IR, with Fowler doubtful tonight, and Gonzalez is questionable. Needless to say, Gonzalez is the only one we may see tonight.
The pitching matchup favors the Phillies as well. Kyle Kendrick has asserted himself in the Phillies rotation as a reliable option. Conversely, Nicasio is a wildcard, one inning it appears that he’s going to pitch a 1 hitter, then the next he’s allowing 5 runs. Give me the consistent pitcher in this spot pitching against a banged up Rockies squad.
Free Pick: Phillies +106