There are no game odds released yet for this weekend’s Major League Baseball games, but it’s easy to project which teams will be favored on the moneyline. Here are three intriguing pitching matchups for the weekend and my picks on projected betting lines.
Taking a Closer Look at the SU MLB Betting Picks for the Coming Weekend (Jun 18-19)
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) June 17, 2016
Washington Nationals at San Diego Padres (Saturday, June 18th)
It seriously wouldn’t surprise me if the Nationals’ Max Scherzer throws a no-hitter here against the lousy Padres offense. Scherzer had two of them last year — against the Pirates and Mets — and a record-tying 20-strikeout game earlier this season against the Tigers. Those offenses are all way better than the Padres’. Scherzer (8-4, 3.40) was dominant against the Cubs — the best team in baseball — in a 4-1 win Monday, allowing just one run on two hits while striking out 11 without a walk over seven innings. Scherzer’s on a roll at the moment, with just three runs allowed and 28 strikeouts over his last three outings. He has a 2.75 ERA in six career starts against the Padres and a 2.12 ERA in three career starts at Petco Park. The Padres counter with Colin Rea (3-3, 5.37). Rea was lit up for eight runs (six earned) on nine hits and two walks as he lasted just 2.2 innings in a loss Monday to the Marlins. Rea hasn’t held an opponent to fewer than three runs since May 5 against the Mets. He has just three quality starts in 12 starts all year. I would take Washington on the runline here — I’m that confident.
Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals, (Sunday, July 19th)
The Tigers will be favored behind Jordan Zimmermann (9-3, 3.46). Zimmermann allowed six runs (four earned) on eight hits and a walk with three strikeouts in a win Tuesday over the White Sox. Zimmermann got 10 runs of support in the first four innings and was able to pound the zone and cruise to the finish line. The last time Zimmermann pitched in Kansas City, on April 20, he shut out the Royals on seven hits over 6.1 innings with eight strikeouts. The Royals go with the tallest player in MLB, Chris Young (2-6, 6.15). Young showed improvement in his last start. Against the Indians, he surrendered two earned runs in 4 1/3 innings, and unlike the two starts prior, he didn’t let it get out of hand. Take Detroit here as Young is the weak link of the Royals rotation.
Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs, (Sunday, July 19th)
This is the ESPN Sunday Game of the Week. I won’t recommend betting against the Cubs, the World Series favorites and team with the best record in baseball, often. They will certainly be favored here, but I’d go Pittsburgh on betting lines. Why? Because of young right-hander Jameson Taillon, one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. The Cubs have never faced him. Taillon (1-0, 1.93) earned his first major-league victory Tuesday, allowing just two hits and a walk while striking out five over eight shutout innings in a 4-0 win; Taillon no-hit the Mets for six innings. This guy is the real deal. Chicago goes with Kyle Hendricks (4-6, 3.05), the weak link of its rotation. Hendricks allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits with four walks and four strikeouts over 5.1 innings pitched in Monday’s loss at Washington. Pittsburgh is good underdog value here.