It’s easy to fall in love with the underdog in baseball. More than any other sport, the perception that the little guy can’t compete has been most prevalent in baseball over the last twenty years. So it’s easy to get on board with the Houston Astros, who moved to 14-1 in their last 15 games with their eleventh straight win yesterday and now own a stunning seven game lead in the AL West. But they aren’t the only little guy worth taking note of…
The Minnesota Twins looked like the worst team in baseball the first week of the season. And it was an easy narrative to buy into given their recent performance and expectations. However, they’ve now won 7 of 10 and sit at 13-12 overall. They are scoring runs in bunches and look like a competent ballclub. And what about the Yankees??!? OK, calling them a ‘little guy’ is laughable. But did anyone think they’d be this good? They finished off the Red Sox again last night to move to 16-9 (8-2 in their last ten games) and take a healthy three game lead in the AL East.
The point is that this season is as WIDE OPEN as any in recent memory – so enjoy the parity that is major league baseball in 2015. Perhaps not coincidentally, I haven’t gotten off the start I’d hoped for in MLB picks, but with a month of topsey-turvey results, looking for the best value in lines is more important than ever. So let’s dive in.
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Today’s Free Pick:
New York Yankees +110 at Toronto Blue Jays -120 (Total: 7)
Chase Whitley (1-0, 1.80 ERA) vs. R.A. Dickey (0-3, 5.23 ERA)
The Yankees’ Chase Whitley will make his second start after a solid debut (1 ER, 5 IP) against one of the oldest pitchers in the league, R.A. Dickey. It’s been a tough start to the year for Dickey who enters the second month of the season still searching for his first win. His ERA is up over five and his last three starts he is 0-2 with a 7.23 ERA and a WHIP of 1.45 (which isn’t actually as bad as his other numbers would suggest – at least he isn’t walking a lot of guys!)
The Yankee offense is clicking, A-Rod and the rest of the aging former-starts alike. They’ve tallied four or more runs in six of their last nine games and scored 15 runs in their weekend sweep of the rival Red Sox. They’ve seen Dickey plenty of times before so I don’t think they’ll slow down tonight.
It’s not every day when you can get one of the hottest teams in baseball facing a pitcher with an ERA over five who hasn’t won a game all year at positive money. I’ll take the favorable line and run with it.