Pirates O/U 3.5
Since Ke’Bryan Hayes returned to their lineup two games ago, the Pirates have had a bit of a pep in their step. Yes, I understand, it has only been two games. And yes, both of those games have been played against the Marlins. That said, Hayes has been electric going 4-8 with a home run and triple. The Pirates as a team have scored five and nine runs respectively.
Today though, they will have their hands full facing rookie phenom Trevor Rogers (6-3, 1.87 ERA). Although not highly touted as a prospect, Rogers has been out of his mind this season. His 1.87 ERA ranks fifth-lowest in baseball. His FIP of 2.48 isn’t far off. Coming from the left side, Rogers’ mid-90s fastball paired with both a nasty slider and changeup has helped opponents hit .209 against him. Watching Hayes face Rogers will be a treat. The key for the Pirates in this game will be to make Rogers work and get to the bullpen early. They have had success against the bullpen so far in this series. In Rogers’ 11 starts this season, he has been five innings or less five times. For the Pirates to hit the over, this is a must.
Pick: Pirates over 3.5 runs (+110, DK)
John Means O/U 5.5 Strikeouts
Overall this season, John Means (4-1, 2.05 ERA) has been sensational. Over his past four starts though, his strikeout figures have not been especially high (18 total). Over his past three starts, Means has struggled by his standards, allowing nine earned runs over 18.1 innings.
Today though, he gets to face Cleveland and their subpar offense. By wRC+ standards, Cleveland has the third-worst offense in the game (84). Although they don’t strike a ton compared to other teams (their K rate of 23.3 percent is middle of the pack), if a starter can rack up innings against them, the strikeouts will come. That is what I think will happen with Means today. I believe Means will go seven or eight strong. He may not strike out nine or ten, but he doesn’t need to. He needs to strike out six.
Pick: Means over 5.5 strikeouts (-118, DK)
Twins at Royals Money Line
In this pitching matchup, we have Jose Berrios (5-2, 3.36 ERA) going up against Mike Minor (4-2, 4.65 ERA). In one start against the Royals this season, Berrios was touched up for four runs over six innings. Lucky for him, his offense supplied 13 runs in an easy win. Today will be Minor’s first start against Minnesota.
Although I’d give the Twins an advantage in the pitching matchup, I like the Royals in this game. Both of these teams are trending in different directions. A week ago, it looked as though the Twins were turning things around when they had won five of six. Since then, they have lost five of six including four straight. Who helped the Twins end their 14-game losing streak? The Twins did. At 22-35, this once playoff aspiring team looks to be dead.
The Royals, on the other hand, have been stacking wins. They are winners of five straight and six of their last seven. In those seven games, the offense has been humming averaging eight runs per game. Today, I believe they will have success against Berrios and pull out a win.
Pick: Royals ML (+102, DK)
Nathan Hursh Overall Record: (17-33-1)
Net Money (assuming all wagers are $100): –$1,638.61
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)