**Additional plays may be tweeted out by @RickHHSports due to the extent of afternoon games**
Colorado Rockies @ Miami Marlins (12:10 ET)
Favorite: Marlins -140
Pitchers: Kyle Freeland (4.46 ERA, 1.40 WHIP) vs. Braxton Garrett (4.85 ERA, 1.54 WHIP)
Two lefties take the mound on an early summer afternoon in Miami. One a veteran in the big leagues, the other still bright eyed and bushy-tailed. Kyle Freeland (unsurprisingly) has been much better away from home, posting a 3.00 ERA outside of the thin-aired Rocky Mountains. Braxton Garrett has had some tough offensive opponents thus far, facing the Giants, Mets, and Astros in his 3 starts. He’s had mixed results, but the jury is still out on him.
The difference in this game is simple. How does each team perform against lefties? Well, the Rockies are 4th in OPS, while Miami is dead last at 30th. Given how good Freeland has been on the road and how poor the Marlins are hitting lefties, paired up with Braxton being a relative unknown, I’ll take the Rockies as first five dogs.
Pick: Rockies F5 +0.5 -125 (1u)
San Francisco Giants @ Atlanta Braves (12:20 ET)
Favorite: Braves -155
Pitchers: Alex Wood (4.32 ERA, 1.29 WHIP) vs. Kyle Wright (2.94 ERA, 1.10 WHIP)
The Braves look to close out the series with a win and take 3 of 4 from the NL West Giants. Kyle Wright takes the mound coming off of his worst outing, but the Vanderbilt alumnus has been nothing but brilliant aside from that. He’s in the top third in almost every advanced category and pitches better at home. Alex Wood has been pretty average this season, but has been better as of late. In June he’s posted a 3.42 ERA And 1.01 WHIP. He doesn’t get hit hard but he does get hit often, not making batters whiff often.
Given Alex Wood is a lefty, let’s take a look again at OPS against lefties again. The Braves rank 2nd in the league and are as hot as any team in baseball at the moment. As this game gets deeper, the braves have the better bullpen to deal with it and I think they take it home and register an important series win in their chase of the Mets.
Pick: Braves ML -155 (1u)
Curtis Compton - AP Photo
Los Angeles Dodgers @ Cincinnati Reds (12:35 ET)
Favorite: Dodgers -220
Pitchers: Clayton Kershaw (2.08 ERA, 0.85 WHIP) vs. Hunter Greene (5.26 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)
I’m going to isolate the Cincinnati offense against Clayton Kershaw in this, starting with Kershaw. Since coming back from injury, he’s barely missed a step. In 9 innings he’s allowed just 11 base runners and 3 runs. The concern is that they’re not letting him throw deep into games just yet. He’s going 4, maybe 5 and they might have to rely on the bullpen, especially if he allows a few. The Dodgers‘ pen hasn’t been kind to their starters lately either as they have posted a 4.16 ERA in June, good for 19th in the league.
The Reds offense has been very nice lately with an OPS good for 10th in June, but here’s where it gets interesting. Their team total is 3, just 3. In their last 10 games, they’ve gotten 3 runs in 9 of them, and have managed 4 in 7 of those games. They’re consistently able to get runs on opposition, although their pitching has let them down. Expect Kershaw to give up 1 or 2, and the bullpen to offer up a couple more and the Reds to cash.
Pick: Reds TT o3 -125 (1u)
Dylan Buell - USA Today