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Rick’s Juneteenth Holiday Plays

Detroit Tigers @ Boston Red Sox (7:10 ET)

Favorite: Red Sox -190

Total: 9.5

Pitchers: Alex Faedo (4.28 ERA, 1.40 WHIP) vs. Josh Winckowski (4.50 ERA, 1.75 WHIP)

Two rookie pitchers meet up as the Tigers travel to Boston coming off of back to back wins against the Rangers. Boston is still continuing their recent dominant stretch after completing the series win against the playoff-bound Cardinals. Lets start by dissecting the Tigers. Their bats are as hot as they’ve been all season after scoring 21 runs in their last two against the Rangers. This is likely a blip however, as they registered just 2 runs in their 4 games prior combined. While Boston is a hitter friendly park, I don’t expect those batting trends to continue for a team who still ranks 30th in OPS in June even after that explosion. Faedo has been solid for the Tigers. His last outing was by far his worst, allowing 7 runs, but that was the first time he’s allowed more than 2 runs all season. There have been signs it was coming though, as teams are starting to get more tape on him throughout the season.

Boston is one team you don’t want to mess around with. Behind MVP candidate Rafael Devers and two .300+ batters in J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts, this lineup is littered with people that know how to get on base. The Red Sox have scored 6 or more runs in 5 of their last 6 games, and are getting hits from everywhere in their lineup including Jackie Bradley Jr. If you know anything about the Red Sox, if even Jackie is hitting you’re doomed. He’s hitting .256 in June, and others like Bobby Dalbec are starting to pick it up too. Winckowski only has two starts under his belt, allowing 4 in his debut followed by 5 shutout innings in his next one. Expect the Red Sox to outscore the Tigers no matter how many runs are scored here and cruise to a victory in Fenway.

Pick: Red Sox -1.5 Even (1u)

Stan Grossfield / Globe Staff

San Francisco Giants @ Atlanta Braves (7:20 ET)

Favorite: Braves -155

Total: 8

Pitchers: Logan Webb (3.43 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) vs. Max Fried (2.90 ERA, 1.03 WHIP)

It’s bewildering to me that these two teams have virtually the same record (Giants 37-28, Braves 38-29). It feels like the Giants pitching has regressed and their bats haven’t been up to snuff aside from Joc Pederson, but they continue to crank out series wins with consistency to stay in the NL West race. I’m sure we’re all aware of the Braves recent win streak that finally got snapped by back to back losses in Chicago. They were able to bounce back yesterday, shutting down the Cubbies in a 6-0 win in Wrigley and return home to Atlanta with Max Fried on the mound. His last outing against the Nationals was poor, allowing 4 runs in in 5.2 IP, but in his 4 games prior he allowed 4 runs combined. Expect Fried to bounce back and lean on his ability to not allow free runners and dominate lefties. He gets batters to chase at an elite rate, and expect him to do similarly today against a Giants team that is striking out at the 3rd worst rate in June.

Logan Webb has started to regain what made him so dominant last year. He’s creating soft contact with consistency again and it‘s beautiful to watch. He‘s good to allow a couple runs each outing, but that’s because he tends to go deep into games. His WHIP is on the decline and he’s been improving, but he still has some chinks in his armor. He’s been much better in the pitcher friendly park in San Francisco than on the road (4.25 ERA) and is bad against lefties, which the Braves sport a handful of. Expect the better offensive team to get it done behind their Ace in Max Fried today at home.

Pick: Braves ML -155 (1u)

St Louis Cardinals @ Milwaukee Brewers (8:10 ET)

Favorite: Brewers–170

Total: 7.5

Pitchers: Miles Mikolas (2.62 ERA, 0.97 WHIP) vs. Corbin Burnes (2.52 ERA, 0.95 WHIP)

This game should be the most watched game of the evening as it’s between the two top dogs in the NL Central and two NL Cy Young contenders. Corbin Burnes won it last year and is hitting stride this year. He’s been dominant lately but Mikolas isn’t slowing down anytime soon. He’s allowed just 5 baserunners in his last 16.2 innings and looks to continue against an average Milwaukee offense. These pitchers should have great outings and cancel each other out, so I think the difference will be made on the offensive end of the field, where there’s a distinct advantage for the Cardinals. They’ve scored 4+ runs in 8 of their last 9 games and rank 9th in OPS this month. On the contrary, the Brewers rank 22nd and before sweeping the Reds they were 2-10 in their last 12. Expect the Cardinals to bounce back after a close series with the Red Sox and take game one as a sizable dog.

Pick: Cardinals ML +150 (1u) & NRFI -130 (.5u)

Jeff Curry - USA Today Sports

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