After calling a pair of winners Monday night, we’re going to keep the ball rolling with a Tuesday trio of MLB picks of the day.
Texas Rangers +260 | Edinson Volquez (0-0, 6.23 ERA ) vs New York Yankees -290 | James Paxton (11-6, 4.39 ERA), 6:35 p.m. ET
Yankee Stadium, The Bronx NY
Rangers 75-64-0 ATS Yankees 76-60-0 ATS
The Yankees are coming off their first shutout in 220 straight games, which was the second-longest streak in MLB history. It was their first shutout loss since June 30th, 2018, when they got manhandled by the Red Sox 11-0. The Bombers offense still has them winning games both straight up (90-49) & ATS (76-60) and the Rangers don’t have much in the way of pitching to stop them from making up for Monday night’s doughnut. Needless to say, don’t expect a quiet night from the Yankees bats.
The Yankees are averaging 5.8 runs per game and have won 6 of their last 8 contests and are 17-0-3 in their last 20 home series. If they lose tonight they would drop their first home series since losing 2 of 3 to the White Sox back in early April. It’s safe to say the Yankees are in a prime position to continue their winning ways at home.
James Paxton takes the hill for New York and has been on a bit of a hot streak lately, posting a 3-0 record in his last three starts, including fanning 11 last week in Los Angeles. He will attempt to match his career-best by winning his seventh straight start tonight after going undefeated since July 26th. In his last start Paxton allowed two runs on a single hit over five innings in a 7-3 win at Seattle. The southpaw is 2-4 with a 4.66 ERA in 13 career starts vs Texas but he is pitching with a hot hand right now so I’m inclined to ignore his struggles with the Rangers.
The Rangers will trot out Edinson Volquez to try and keep the Yankees bats quiet tonight, a task I don’t think he is up for. Volquez has been an absolute disaster so far in his young season, pitching just 8.2 innings over 3 appearances, earning him a 6.23 ERA and gag-inducing 2.19 WHIP. Now Volquez is just pitching an inning or two to start off and will likely cede the mound to Ariel Jurado at some point early on. Jurado is 2-1 with a 0.84 ERA in 11 appearances out of the bullpen and 5-9 with a 6.21 ERA in 17 starts this season. His last appearance against the Yankees he gave up six runs and seven hits, including 4 home runs, in just 5 innings of ‘work’.
Run line bettors can feel confident in the Yankees today, even if the price is a little steep at -160. While Jurado’s numbers aren’t that bad, they don’t tell the whole story and at the moment his story is taking a downturn. Ariel has failed to produce positive results in his last 3 starts and will likely earn a 4th straight loss in the Bronx this evening.
Best Bet: New York Yankees -1.5 (-160)
Houston Astros -145 | Zack Greinke (14-4, 2.99 ERA) vs Milwaukee Brewers +135 | Jordan Lyles (9-8, 4.55 ERA), 7:40 p.m. ET
Milwaukee Park, Milwaukee WI
The Houston Astros’ (72-67-0 ATS) newest ace, Zack Greinke, will look to snag his 15th win of the season Tuesday night in game 2 of an interleague series with the Milwaukee Brewers. This will be a homecoming of sorts for Greinke, who called Miller Park home from 2011-12 as a member of the Brewers. Greinke has seen a fair amount of success pitching there, posting a 16-4 record with a 3.32 ERA in 29 starts, which bodes well for Astros backers. Since coming over from Arizona the former Cy Young winner is 4-0 in five starts but is coming off a brutal no-decision which saw him surrender 5 runs off 2 home runs in 5 ⅔ innings. It is also worth noting that Greinke has struggled against the Brew Crew, sporting a 1-4 career record with a 3.86 ERA in 9 starts. Fear not Astros bettors, Greinke is elite and should snap back into form tonight.
The Brewers (65-72-0 ATS) look to counter with right-hander Jordan Lyles, his first career start against his former team. Lyles has been impressive since coming over from the Pirates earlier on in the season, posting a 4-1 record in six starts. He has managed wins in his last two starts and allowed a combined one run and six hits over his last 12 innings, compiling 14 strikeouts along the way. The move has turned out to be a great one for the Brewers as Lyles has a knack for pitching well at Miller Park, posting a career ERA of 3.03 and allowing just two earned runs in 18.1 innings there this season.
I see this as a real pitchers’ duel today with Greinke a true stud and Lyles at least pitching like one when in Milwaukee. Both have strong under trends that line up well for this game. The UNDER is 10-4-1 in Greinke’s road starts, a 71.4% win percentage. Meanwhile, the UNDER is hitting in 69.2% of Lyle’ starts as an underdog. The Brewers have a strong offense, including two of the best bats in the league, but have been stymied by Greinke this season, hitting just .222 in 158 total at-bats. With the total at 9.5 and a pair of strong arms on the mound, the under seems like the play tonight.
Best Bet: UNDER 9.5 runs (-115)
Los Angeles Angels +150 | Jaime Barria (4-7, 6.10 ERA) vs Oakland Athletics -170 | Mike Fiers (13-3, 3.40 ERA), 10:07 p.m. ET
Oakland Coliseum, Oakland CA
The Oakland Athletics (76-60-0 ATS) look to shrug off back to back walk-off losses on Tuesday night when they face off against the Los Angeles Angels (72-66-0 ATS) in the first of their three-game series. Oakland will put its best foot forward with their ace Mike Fiers toeing the rubber against a Los Angeles squad that has struggled to score runs of late. Facing off against Fiers is righty Jamie Barria, who will look to pull the Angels out of their current tailspin which has seen them lost 8 of their last 10 games, including 5 straight losses on the road.
Los Angeles really needs to step it up in the scoring side of things if they have any hopes of snapping their road losing streak. No one player is to blame but many critical eyes have fallen on last season’s rookie of the year, Shohei Ohtani. The 25-year-old Japanese phenom broke out last year as not only an ace pitcher but also a world-class hitting talent. After undergoing Tommy John surgery in October the Angels decided that Ohtani would be a DH in 2019, and for good reason. He hit .285 with 22 home runs and 61 RBIs in 326 ABs, joining Babe Ruth as the only MLB players with 10 pitching starts and 20 home runs in a single season. But 2019 has not been kind to Ohtani, as he has just 16 home runs this year, a season which he can focus solely on hitting. Technically, the Angels are still in the playoff race, but they are really skating on thin ice and are in must-win mode for the rest of the year.
Jaime Barria has not done the Angels any favors of late, posting an abysmal 8.24 ERA on the road compared with a 2.38 ERA at home. On the season, Los Angeles has yielded -2.4 units in games in which Barria starts away from home and -2.2 units when LA is an underdog. Considering his struggles away from home, losing his last 4 games away from LA and the last 5 overall, it is hard to have any faith in the Angels Tuesday night.
The Athletics will counter with Mike Fiers who is absolutely cruising right now, having allowed just 2 runs or fewer in 6 of his previous 7 starts. He is on an 11-game win streak and the Athletics have triumphed in Fiers last 6 starts. In stark contrast to Barria’s numbers, Fiers has yielded +8.2 units as a home favorite and is in line to continue his dominance in Oakland.
The Athletics are priced very reasonably here at -170 considering the pitching matchup and LA’s inability to plate runs at the moment. The Angels look hard-pressed to beat anybody right now, struggling on both sides of the plate and are a safe be-against tonight.
Best Bet: Oakland Athletics -170 ML