• Rick

Rick’s MLB Plays 5/18

A sour 0-3 record yesterday was not how we saw it playing out. After an early Red Sox home run from Rafael Devers, their trusted starter Eovaldi allowed 5 (yes, 5) homers in the 2nd. The Yankees stranded runners everywhere to not cash in against a poor Spenser Watkins. I attribute this to it being part of the sport and the unpredictability of it. Over the course of the season we will see results but there will be blips and outlier results that won’t stray me off-course. With that said, lets get into today’s plays!

Detroit Tigers @ Tampa Bay Rays

Favorite: Rays -175

Total: 7

Pitchers: Eduardo Rodriguez (3.72 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) vs. Drew Rasmussen (2.67 ERA, 0.92 WHIP)

The former Red Sox pitcher “E-Rod” has finally gotten his feet under him in Detroit. After having a 5.33 ERA through his first five starts, he’s allowed just one run in his last 13.1 innings pitched. The lefty has walked seven batters in those games, but is avoiding the home run and giving up minimal contact. The rest of the pitching staff has followed suit, leading the Tigers resurgence to wins in 4 of their last 5. Their bats have improved from league worst, but not by much. In the 5-game span they’re averaging a mere 3.2 runs per game.

Drew Rasmussen is someone I’ve been keen to get behind before, for good reason. He’s been phenomenal this year. Allowing only three runs in his last 21.1 IP, logging a 0.75 WHIP, there isn’t much more that needs to be said. He’s been arguably their best pitcher in what is a very solid rotation. Unfortunate for Drew, their bats have fallen apart lately. With only 3.83 runs per game in their last 6, Tampa is dead last in the league in OPS over the last 10 days, and 23rd vs LHP.

E-Rod has seen this Rays lineup many times over the past few years, and has logged a 1.85 ERA in his last 24.1 IP against them. That’s enough to back the struggling Tigers for me over the first five innings.

Pick: Tigers F5 +.5 -110 (1u)

Arizona Diamondbacks @ Los Angeles Dodgers

Favorite: Dodgers -285

Total: 8.5

Pitchers: Zach Davies (3.57 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) vs. Walker Buelher (2.81 ERA, 1.18 WHIP)

The Dodgers are finally out of their brief slump, and they are rocketing balls off the bat. 2nd in May in OPS. They’ve scored at least five runs in 6 of their last 7 games and with Buelher on the mound it’s easy to understand why they’re gargantuan favorites today. The Diamondbacks have now lost 5 straight, including the first 3 to the Dodgers. Their bats have been good in May (9th in OPS) but not exceptional lately.

Expect the Dodgers to blow this one out even with Davies performing well so far this season. 6-2 would be my guess, but I’ll play it a bit safer.

Pick: Dodgers -1.5 -140 (1u)

San Diego Padres @ Philadelphia Phillies

Favorite: Phillies -150

Total: 7.5

Pitchers: Blake Snell vs. Zack Wheeler (4.26 ERA, 1.26 WHIP)

Blake Snell makes his highly anticipated 2022 debut, and if it’s like much of the other pitchers who had a limited offseason due to the lockout, he could need some time to hit his groove. Coming off of another solid season, Snell looks to bolster a Padres team who has started the season phenomenally with a 23-13 record. Recently, however, their bats have faltered. 26th in OPS in May, the Padres are struggling to create runs like they did at the beginning of the season and with the Phillies pitching Wheeler and being one of the hottest hitting teams, it could be a sour debut for the Seattle lefty.

The Phillies are desperate to kickstart their season after sleep-walking to a below .500 start. If they want to catch the Mets at the top of the division it’ll begin with consistent pitching from their ace in Wheeler. Expect him and the Phillies to bounce back from getting shut out last night and get a much needed win.

Pick: Phillies ML -150 (1u)

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