There are some important series this week in MLB. Boston and Baltimore throw down again. Who will enforce their will in the AL East? Not to be outdone, Toronto has a series with the New York Yankees next Sunday. Can Toronto continue to make its case as the best team in the AL East? In the other Sunday game, St. Louis takes on the NL Central winning Chicago Cubs.
MLB Free Picks Sept 19-25
Boston at Baltimore
When: Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 7:00 pm ET
Listed Pitchers: BOS-Clay Buchholz, BAL-Yovani Gallardo
Analysis: Save for a 6 earned run, 4 hit disaster versus Toronto on Sept. 11, Boston’s Clay Buchholz has been great on the mound. In his 3 prior starts, he hadn’t given up more than a single earned run. He’s even come off the bench for an inning or 2 of relief here and there. Versus Baltimore, it’s a different story. Buchholz has a .333 ERA. The Orioles have 55 hits, 8 of them home runs, from 210 at-bats versus Buchholz.
The good news for Boston fans is that Buchholz should get some help in this game. Yovani Gallardo gave up 6 earned runs to Tampa Bay in his last start. He was good for 3.1 innings before Baltimore pulled him. Boston only bats .258 versus Gallardo.
But, Buchholz is in much better form. It’s worth taking a shot on the Red Sox to beat the Orioles on Wednesday.
New York Yankees at Toronto
When: Sunday, Sept. 25 at 1:07 pm ET
Listed Pitchers: NYY-Michael Pineda vs TOR-Marco Estrada
Analysis: On the surface it looks like Michael Pineda has settled down some. He hasn’t given up more than 2 earned runs in any of his last 3 starts. Dig deeper, and the reason why is evident. Pineda has been yanked before the end of the 4th inning in each one of his last 3 starts.
Without a doubt, Marco Estrada has the upper hand in this battle. Estrada’s 3.78 ERA and 1.15 WHIP are both decent. In his last 3 starts he’s had some issues with control. Facing the Yankees next Sunday might help. Estrada allows Yankee batters to hit .274 against him. But the player that beats him up the most, Starlin Castro, is day-to-day with an injury.
I’m willing to give up 2 runs in this one and ride Estrada and Toronto to a run line win.
Pick: Toronto run line
St. Louis at Chicago Cubs
When: Sunday, Sept. 25 at 8:00 pm ET
Listed Pitchers: STL-Carlos Martinez, CHC-Kyle Hendricks
Analysis: The Cards take on the Cubs in one of the greatest rivalries in sports on Sunday, Sept. 25. St. Louis sends Carlos Martinez to the mound. Martinez has a 3.15 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. The Cubs bat .269 against him.
Chicago counters with one of their aces, Kyle Hendricks. Hendricks’ numbers when pitching at home are absolutely brilliant. His ERA at Wrigley Field is 1.21. His WHIP is an amazing .85 at home. The last time that Hendricks faced St. Louis, on Sept. 8, he threw for 8 innings, yielding a single hit, which turned out to be a home run.
The Cubs beat the Cards 4 to 1. There’s no reason to not jump on the run line in this game on Sunday, Sept. 25.