Expert Baseball Picks
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The Braves have been struggling as of late losing six of their last eight games, and they were swept in their previous series, which was at home no loss. The D-Backs have also not played their best baseball lately snapping their four-game slid with a shutout win in their last game. Sanchez has been pitching well for the Braves in his last few starts but has not received much run support. That will continue in this game facing Greinke, who had a great start in his only one facing Atlanta this season. The Diamondbacks will win this game, which will be their 5th in a row facing the Braves when Greinke has gotten the starting nod.
The Rays are trying to stay in the playoff race winning five of their last six games. Their pitching has been great in the two games of this series only giving up one run. Glasnow has pitched pretty well since coming to Tampa Bay, but he has not received much run support in his six starts for them. He will have another good outing in this game and for a change get some help from the lineup. The Rays have totaled 11 runs in the first two games of this series, and their lineup will put up some runs facing Sanchez, who has given up 11 earned runs in his last two starts. Tampa Bay will win this game in a low scoring affair and complete the series sweep keeping their faint playoff hopes alive.
So, the Red Sox have won Porcello's last 12 interleague starts, and the Braves have lost Newcomb’s last four interleague starts. Look for those trends to continue, as it is hard to go with the Braves considering Newcomb has given up at least five earned runs in three of his last four outings. Porcello did not have the best last start either, but he has the best lineup in the Majors backing him up. That lineup will get to Newcomb in this interleague game, and the Red Sox will take Game 2 and go for the series sweep tomorrow.
A great pitching matchup in this NL game with deGrom and Wood both pitching well as of late. Both have also not had much run support in their last few starts, especially deGrom, who has only received two runs of support in his last two outings. This game will be a solid pitching duel, and it will be the same old song and dance for deGrom, who will have another solid outing but get little help. Wood will also have a good outing and while he may not get the better of deGrom the L.A. lineup will get to the Mets' bullpen. In a low scoring affair, the Dodgers will take this game and win their 4th in a row.
The Rockies are in the heart of the playoff race, and they have their best pitcher in the mound in Freeland. They have won his last five starts where he has only given up a total of six earned runs in 32 1/3 innings of work. Freeland is a lefty, and the Padres have lost their last five home games against a right-hand starter. Look for that trend to continue in this game. Freeland will have another solid outing, and while the Rockies have only totaled six runs in the three games in this series, they will surpass that total in this game. Colorado will pick up the win and salvage a series split.
While these teams have the fewest wins in the Majors, each has been playing pretty well as of late. The Orioles have been solid at the plate in winning two in a row, and the Royals have allowed only two runs in each of their last two games. Keller has had three straight good outings while Cashner has given up eight earned runs in his last two starts, which were both Baltimore losses. Not only do the Orioles have the worst record in baseball, but they also have the fewest road wins. Keller will have another good outing while Cashner will not, and the Royals will take the first game of this series winning their 13th home game in their last 15 facing the Orioles.
While the Nationals are surging as of late winners of four of their last five games, they have lost their last eight road games when Gonzalez has gotten the starting nod. On the other side of the coin, the Phillies are slumping and have lost Arrieta’s previous four starts even though in two of them he pitched well. Arrieta will have a good start in this one while Gonzalez will not, and the Phillies will take this game and avoid the series sweep.
The Rays are hot winners of eight in a row and while they have lost seven of Stanek’s last eight road starts he will be facing a Braves team that has lost their previous four home games. However, that streak will end in this game with Teheran getting the starting nod. Since July 30th Teheran has held opponents to a batting average of only .155 and has a pretty solid ERA of 2.93. The Braves have only scored five runs in their last three games with four of them coming in their last one. They have not given Teheran much support in his last three starts, and that will happen in this one. However, just like in Teheran’s earlier start against the Rays he will have a good outing and lead Atlanta to a win snapping the Rays eight-game win streak.
The Blue Jays had been solid at the dish in their five-game win streak before only scoring three runs in their last game. Kendrys Morales has gone yard in seven straight games and can tie a Major League record with a HR in this game. Gaviglio’ snapped his 15-game winless streak with a win over the Orioles in his last start while Hess took another loss in his previous start, which was facing the Blue Jays, even though he had a solid outing. All streaks come to an end, and two will end in this game. Hess will finally get some run support while having another solid outing and the Orioles will win snapping their eight-game losing streak and also snapping their 10-game losing streak against the Blue Jays.
The Nationals' lineup has not scored in their last three games, but they lit up Matz the last time they faced him. He was decent in his last start and will be decent again in this one, and luckily he will be facing a struggling Nats' lineup. While New York has only scored three runs in each of the first two games of this series their lineup will get to Rodriguez, who is coming off a less than impressive last outing. Like the first two games of this series, this will be a low scoring affair, which the Mets will win and they will complete the sweep.
Hard to go against the stacked Red Sox, but while they have the best record in the bigs, they have not played their best ball as of late and faced Tampa's Ace in Snell in this series finale. The Rays are hot and at home where they are 16 games over .500 as opposed to eight games under .500 on the road. In Eovaldi’s first two starts for Boston he did not give up any earned runs, but he has given up four of them in two of his last three outings. He did pitch well in his three home starts before being traded to the Sox, and while he will have a decent outing in this game, Snell will have the better one. Snell will be the main reason the Rays win this game, as he will shut down the Boston lineup and Tampa Bay will get the W and complete the three-game sweep.
Stephen Strasburg may have an excuse for his last two starts with the neck issue which did have a big impact on his home ERA number, although he hasn’t been all that sharp at home this season overall registering a quality start in just 37.5 of his home outings. Strasburg does have excellent numbers against the Philadelphia team holding the forecasted lineup to a career .226 batting average in 124 at bats. Zach Eflin has one career start versus the Nationals, and that came in June where he held them to two runs over five innings in a 12-2 laugher. They did bang him around a bit in that game with four doubles, but he kept them in the park which has been his biggest issue this season as of late. Both bullpens got a workout in the series opener so we’ll need the starters to log some solid innings for this to cash, but the total seems like the bet for this game.
A nice battle tonight at Dodger Stadium with the rookie Austin Gombre taking the mound to make his fourth career road start and Los Angeles countering with Alex Wood. The rook has looked OK in his three previous road starts with a 1-0 mark and 3.79 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. In a combination of relief and starts Gomber has walked 11 in just 19 innings pitched, and that is a concern going against the Dodgers who lead the Majors in walks this season. LAD starter Alex Wood was decent in his return from the DL pitching five innings of three-hit ball allowing just one run, but he’s been dealing with leg issues on and off all season and may not be at his best right now. Historically he doesn’t have a lot of experience against the forecasted starters with the “lion’s share” 22 of 34 at bats by Marcell Ozuna who has hit .273 versus Wood. The Cards do hit lefties well with a nine-inning average of 5.01 runs which is over a half run over their numbers against right-handed pitchers. The Dodgers have been on a tear at the plate over their last four with 31 runs put on the board and likewise for the Cards who scored four or more in ten consecutive games before being held to one run on Sunday.
The Mets have been playing better as of late with a positive record on this road trip including two wins over the Phillies this weekend. That said, the starting pitching edge by Philadelphia is enormous in this game. NY Mets starter Jason Vargas has been dreadful all season with 7.7 QS percentage, and while he did pick up a QS in his latest, it was against the Orioles weak unit so we'll have to see if it's a reliable indication of the reversal of form. The Phillies starter Nick Pivetta is pitching the best he has all season with three earned allowed over his last three starts getting QS in all three games. He hasn't had the most success against the Mets team, but he was facing tonight's projected starters holding them to a .182 batting average over 22 at bats. I think there is value in playing this game two ways in case Vargas has a good outing I’ll add a total bet, but even if we get a pitchers duel, I think the Phillies have a big enough edge in the pen to get the win and the cover.
Overall Kansas City's starter Brad Keller has the edge with a decent road ERA of 3.63, but his quality start rate of 11.8% makes it likely that the bullpen will be required to pick up maybe more than a few innings. The Chisox Dylan Covey has been awful no matter where he pitches and at home is no different where he’s compiled an embarrassing 1.60 WHIP and 5.44 ERA. The back numbers of both of these pitchers versus the opponent's lineup are poor with the White Sox hitting .33 versus Keller in 42 at bats and the Royals hitting .294 versus Covey. The relievers for both clubs have struggled all season, so I don't expect a committee from the pen to come in and have success. Adding to my forecast is the current form of each team's offense with the Royals scoring five or more in three of their last four and Chicago putting up five or more in five straight matches.
The total appears to be the logical bet in this game. The previous three matches this season all surpassed the total line with each game having a combined total score of 11 or greater runs. Indians starter Mike Clevinger has decent career pitcher vs. batter numbers against the Reds lineup but didn't look sharp in his start versus Cincinnati this season allowing five runs over six innings. The Reds counter with Homer Bailey who brings a 6.44 home ERA into this game. He does have decent historical numbers against the team, but his career stats against the Indians projected starters are mediocre with the line-up hitting .275 in 40 at bats. Both sides have the potential to light up the scoreboard tonight, making the over the way to go here.
There is no doubting the Tigers dominance in this series in 2018, but it must be pointed out that four of their victories were by a single run. Tonight, they send out occasional starter Artie Lewicki to make his third start on the season and fourth in his career. He has yet to prove that he can succeed in that roll throwing a combined 13.2 innings allowing 12 runs (10 earned) in the three outings. Lewicki has never lasted past five innings, and it would be a reach to expect him to go deep in this start even against the weak-hitting White Sox. That causes another problem. The Tigers come into this game with a bullpen that was used extensively in the series against the Twins, and while they do have some rested arms, they won't have a full plate of options should he falter early. The White Sox counter with Reynaldo Lopez who has been up and down this season. His main issue has been with giving up the long ball allowing 20 on the season. That said he has pitched well in his last two allowing just one HR over 17 innings pitched helping him record back to back quality starts. Another thing going for Lopez tonight is he’s facing the Tigers who rank dead last in the MLB in home runs and a team he has owned in the past holding the projected starters to a .218 batting average over 55 at bats with ZERO home runs.
If I were going to fade Boston, this would be a decent spot, but I think that there is better value offered in the total. The Red Sox struggled to put runs on the board when faced against a trio of good arms put up by the Phillies but returned to form (No. 1 offense in the MLB) against the Yankees scoring four or more runs in all four games in their sweep of the Yankees. They will face the Jays up but mostly down starter Marcus Stroman. Stroman looked good in his two games prior to his last allowing just three runs over 13 2/3 innings against lesser but was ripped by the A's for seven runs in his latest in five frames. Historically the Red Sox batters have had a lot of success versus him hitting a lifetime .299. Boston sends out Drew Pomeranz who like Stroman has not had his best stuff this season and brings a 0-2 W/L record, and 6.17 earned run average into this contest. He has decent back numbers against Toronto's forecasted lineup with them as a whole hitting .239, but his last two against the team are not strong allowing eight earned runs over just six innings pitched.
Shane Bieber did not pitch well in July recording one quality start in four outings, and he returns to Target Field where he was less than impressive in his only start there earlier this season. Twins starter Ervin Santana pitched adequately in his return and was exceptional against the Indians last season allowing one earned run in 24 innings over four starts. The Twins have owned the Indians in six starts on this field in 2018 and are worthy of risking a few bucks on today to continue that form.
The Mariners catch the Astros on a down streak losing four straight, but they send out Paxton to make his first start since July 12. Gerrit Cole doesn’t have the best career back numbers against the Seattle line-up, but he was ultra-sharp in his early outing against them this season pitching seven innings allowing one unearned run and comes into this game in good form with two of his last three starts being quality. I’ll take a shot on the visitor getting back on track at a small price.