MLB picks for today
New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Well, the New York Yankees are, so far, who we’d thought they’d be heading into this season — Really good. The American League East-leading Yanks now open a series with the team that was supposed to give them the biggest challenge for the division crown, the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Bronx Bombers have been exactly that, leading the majors in runs per game, OPS and home runs while sitting fourth in average. And the Rays haven’t been their dominant selves on the mound in 2020, ranking 23rd in opponents average, allowing them to hit .252.
The Rays hand the ball to former Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell in Game 1. The lefty says he’s 100 percent, but the Rays certainly aren’t pushing him as he’s logged five total innings in his first two starts.
Meanwhile, the Yanks counter with Masahiro Tanaka, who looked OK in his first start since taking a Giancarlo Stanton liner off the head early in summer camp. But Tanaka has dominated the Rays in his career pitching to a 1.79 ERA, a 0.74 WHIP while averaging 7.6 strikeouts per game over his last eight starts against them.
PREDICTION: Yankees (-107)
Cincinnati Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Cincinnati was many people’s favorite betting dark horse heading into the season, but things have not gone the way the Reds and their backers would have hoped early on. Yesterday’s disheartening 13-0 loss to Cleveland dropping them to 5-8, but they’ll try to get back on track when they open a series against the Brewers.
The weird thing about the Reds' struggles is that they’ve been at the dish, not on the mound, and the strong pitching should continue Friday when they hand the ball to Trevor Bauer. The right-hander is off to a solid start in 2020, pitching to a 0.68 ERA and a 0.53 WHIP with 20 strikeouts in 13 1-3 innings.
Bauer faces a Brewers lineup that has struggled through the first part of this shortened season. They are scoring 3.49 runs per game and are hitting just .206 as a team. But most importantly, they rank 28th in strikeouts at nearly 11 per contest.
The hits are going to come at some point for the Reds, their lineup is too good and this is good value for a team with a huge edge in starting pitching.
PREDICTION: Reds (-120)
Colorado Rockies vs. Seattle Mariners
The Rockies are one of the early surprises of this bizzaro 2020 MLB season, leading the National League West with a 9-3 record heading into their series with the Mariners.
Colorado has done what they’re usually known for so far this summer — hit. But what has really made them successful early on has been the return of their pitching staff.
But for our purposes, today we’re going to focus on the hitting, and the Rockies will face Yusei Kikuchi in the opener. The Japanese starter has carried his inconsistent play over from 2019, as Kikuchi was rocked by the Astros in his first start but followed that up with a gem against the A’s.
But now he has to deal with the Rockies, who rank in the Top 10 in runs per game, batting average and OPS. More importantly, they’ve crushed lefties this season, hitting .271 and plating 7.07 runs per game. Then Kikuchi will have to hand the ball to a bullpen that ranks 27th in ERA and 24th in WHIP.
The Rockies should be able to surpass their team total in this one.
PREDICTION: Rockies Team Total Over 4.5 (+106)
Yesterday's MLB record: 2-1
Season MLB betting record: 26-15, +10.54 units
MLB betting card for August 7
- Yankees (-107)
- Reds (-120)
- Rockies Team Total Over 4.5 (+106)