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MLB Picks: Friday, August 14

MLB Picks: Friday, August 14

Happy Friday, baseball fans! Let’s kickoff the weekend with some MLB action.

We went 3-1 with our last write-up on Wednesday and will look to continue our winning ways this evening.

All lines are provided by PointsBet

Rays -1.5 (+100)

Tanner Roark has unsurprisingly struggled during his first season pitching in the AL East. Trevor Richards, his opponent, is a fellow NL East -> AL East migrant, and has never been a world-beater, either. The difference is that the Rays have streamlined his pitch mix and only asked him to pitch two times through the order before turning the game over to their bullpen. Toronto is technically the home team, but are playing home games at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, NY, which is shaping up to be an extreme hitter’s park.

The Rays should neither have problems establishing a lead, nor keeping it. I think they’re an easy pick to win tonight. With the moneyline hovering around -160, there’s enough confidence and value here to bet them to cover the run line.

Red Sox +2.5 (-121)

Let’s be clear – I expect the Yankees to win. Gerrit Cole hasn’t been untouchable this season, but he is still in elite form and should have a strong start again tonight. Boston is countering with a bullpen game. Even without Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton in the lineup, the Bronx Bombers should have no problem scoring a few runs tonight.

That said, this is baseball’s fiercest rivalry and these odds are comically lopsided. Did you know that almost 1/3 of MLB games are decided by one run or fewer? I did and I’m seeing decent odds on a 3-run spread at PointsBet. This line also opened around -360 and has since dropped to -310, despite the majority of bets going towards the favorites. I’m onboard with following the sharp money here and taking a flier on the Red Sox to stay within 3 runs.

Phillies (-125)

New York’s Walker Lockett is not a major league-caliber pitcher. Philadelphia’s Sepencer Howard did not appear to be major league-ready in his first start, but has multiple elite pitches and a strong pedigree. The Mets are giving breathers to a number of regulars tonight, including Jeff McNeil and J.D. Davis, and just don’t have any clear advantages in tonight’s matchup.

I’m not sure whether this will be a shootout or blowout, so I’m not comfortable with the over, which is sitting at 10.5. I am, however, comfortable with picking a Phillies win. 

Braves-Marlins under 9.5 (-140)

Marlins (-115)

I believe in Pablo Lopez. I believe in the Marlins home ballpark factor.

I do not believe in Kyle Wright, but I do believe he’ll pitch serviceably tonight. My projections agree, too.

I know that Ronald Acuna and Ozzie Albies are still out for the Braves. They’re not in the lineup and it’s going to be all the more difficult for the preseason NL East favorites to scratch together enough run support to win tonight.

I love the under. I like the Marlins. Bet accordingly.

Indians -1.5 (-131)

Reds -1.5 (-105)

Aaron Civale grades out as one of the best starters tonight, while Ivan Nova is one of the worst according to my projections. Cleveland’s 25-year-old emerging ace looks to have found a sustainable formula for success, while Detroit looks to be regressing to expectations after a hot start to the season.

I’m not over-thinking this one. The Indians will win, and they should cover the run line.

My analysis for Pirates-Reds is quite similar, with Sonny Gray returning to his pre-NYY form and Chad Kuhl playing the role of Ivan Nova has a hittable sinker-baller. Rain is in the forecast, though, so here’s hoping that one happens.

Rangers (-131)

If you love offense, then boy, do I have a game for you. Tonight’s Rangers-Rockies tilt in Coors Field boasts a spectacular 12.5-run total and I’d expect for it to hit if I didn’t have confidence that Lance Lynn will be able to hack together a quality start for the visitors. The right-hander continues to increase velocity year-over-year and his arsenal shouldn’t be as affected by the altitude as others.

Texas will score at-will against Rockies rookie Ryan Castellani. They won’t have problems tacking on a few more against Colorado’s bullpen. I can’t say the same for the hosts. Lock in the Rangers to win the wildest game of the weekend.

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