I had nearly given up on last night’s MLB pick, but the resilient and offensively-potent Braves rallied back from a 4-1 deficit to edge out a huge 6-4 win in ten innings. The win pushed the Braves record to 9-1 and opens up a two game lead over the also-scorching Nationals. More importantly, it pushes our MLB record at thesportsgeek.com to nine winning days in eleven days wagering and runs the units won/lost record to a nice $720.33 for $100 bettors.
Let’s see if we can keep it going today with another winning day of baseball picks. Just a note for you, our wonderful readers, the first pick is an afternoon game (4PM first pitch, EST) while the second is an evening game, so if you are following along with our picks, be sure to get the first one in early…
OK, Play BALL!
Chicago White Sox -134 at Cleveland Indians +126
Chris Sale (1-0, 1.84 ERA) vs. Zach McAllister (0-1, 3.00 ERA)
Both the White Sox and Indians are off to “OK” starts; just like the entire American League Central which is separated by just 2 games from top to bottom. Chicago started well but has now dropped four straight games (though three of them were on the road against the Nationals, which seem like pretty justifiable losses). Cleveland snapped their losing skid with yesterday’s 1-0 win over the Sox in the series opener.
There’s no better sign for White Sox fans hoping to snap the skid today than seeing their ace Chris Sale on the hill today. Sale has been fantastic so far this season, as evidenced by the 1.84 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. I expect him to pitch well today and tally some nice numbers against a strikeout-prone Cleveland lineup.
The Indians will counter with a young Zach McAllister who has pitched very well in the early going for Cleveland. This could perhaps be a nice day to take the under, but I am going to lean towards the Sox winning the game behind Sale’s solid outing.
Free Pick: Chicago White Sox to WIN -134
Cincinnati Reds -148 at Pittsburgh Pirates +140
Johnny Cueto (1-0, 2.77 ERA) vs. Jeff Locke (0-1, 6.00 ERA)
Because the Pirates skipped the fifth spot in the rotation, they threw their #1 starter, AJ Burnett, against the Reds #5, Mike Leake, last night. The result today is that the Reds have their two aces on the mound the next two days matched up against the middle of the Pirate rotation. That puts a huge pitching advantage in the Reds column for the final two games of this series.
Cincinnati has dropped three games in a row after getting off to a 5-2 start and winning series of Los Angeles of Anaheim and Washington; two of the preseason World Series favorites. I like Cincy to bounce back and end the brief skid today with Cueto on the mound. He has dominated the Pirates in his career, posting a 12-4 record and 2.54 ERA in over 120 innings pitched.
Locke struggled a bit in his first outing, and is going to need to be near-perfect today to beat Cueto. I don’t think he will be. Minus 150 is about my normal threshold for finding value in a regular season MLB game, and this line approaches it. The reason I still pick this game is I assumed Cueto would drive the line to near -180 or more. He remains one of the most underrated starting pitchers in all of major league baseball, both with fans and bettors alike. He has the fourth lowest ERA in all of MLB over the last two seasons; better than Price, Cain, Sabathia, Hamels… the list goes on.
The public’s overlooking is our potential gain. Give me the Reds at a nice value of -148 to WIN, and I’m doubling-up on the runline at +110.
Free Pick: Cincinnati Reds to WIN -148 & Cincinnati -1.5 (+110)