Rick’s MLB Plays 6/7

Arizona Diamondbacks @ Cincinnati Reds

Favorite: Reds -145

Total: 10

Pitchers: Tyler Gilbert (5.02 ERA, 1.05 WHIP) vs. Graham Ashcraft (1.53 ERA, 0.96 WHIP)

The Diamondbacks offense has hit an all-time low as of late. They’ve scored 9 runs over their last 5 games, with 8 of them coming in one game. That means between the other 4 games, they’ve mustered only 1 run. They’ve registered merely 10 hits over their last three outings, and it’s not like they’re facing Mets or Brewers pitching. It’s been against the Pirates and Reds.

Graham Ashcraft takes the mound for the Reds tonight and has electrified early onto his MLB career. Batters are getting the barrel to his balls only 1.8% of the time, good for 98th percentile on the majors, and his average exit velocity is 97th percentile. He’s creating incredibly soft contact this year. Pair that with an inept offense of the Diamondbacks and we should have another brilliant outing for the rookie.

Pick: Diamondbacks F5 TT u2.5 -135 (1.5u) & Reds -1.5 +135 (1u)

Kareem Elgazzar

Detroit Tigers @ Pittsburgh Pirates

Favorite: Tigers -130

Total: 7

Pitchers: Tarik Skubal (2.15 ERA, 0.95 WHIP) vs. Jose Quintana (2.33 ERA, 1.21 WHIP)

We’ve covered the Tigers a lot so far this year, and sadly were on them to break through into the playoffs. I’ve lost all faith in this Tigers team, in particular their offense. They have shown no signs of life and continue to hang out at the bottom of all statistics. Even with Tarik Skubal on the mound, with as good as he’s been, they are merely a short favorite.

Some of that can be attributed to Jose Quintana, who has been exceptional this year for the Pirates. He’s allowed just 4 runs over his last 26.1 innings, and that’s against quality competition including the Dodgers twice. While this Pirates team is struggling, they’ve shown a grit about them this year to hang tough in close games and pull them out. Expect a tight, low-scoring affair today and for the Pirates to break through late.

Pick: Pirates ML +108 (1u)

Matt Freed

Oakland A’s @ Atlanta Braves

Favorite: Braves -245

Total: 9

Pitchers: Cole Irvin (2.96 ERA, 1.23 WHIP) vs. Kyle Wright (2.41 ERA, 1.07 WHIP)

Two teams that are finally beginning to play true to form, the Athletics travel to Atlanta on a six-game losing streak, while the Braves enter as winners of their last 5. For as good as Cole Irvin has been this year, he receives little to no run support, and likely won’t get any today as he faces this year’s ace in Kyle Wright. Allowing just 4 runs in his last 24 innings, expect Kyle’s solid start to be enough, as the Braves should tack on a handful of runs once the shaky A’s bullpen (5.80 ERA L14) enters the game. The Braves should win this game somewhere in the realm of 5-1.

Pick: Braves -1.5 -120 (1u)

Todd Kirkland - Getty Images

New York Mets @ San Diego Padres

Favorite: Padres -125

Total: 8

Pitchers: Taijuan Walker (2.88 ERA, 1.25 WHIP) vs. Yu Darvish (4.03 ERA, 1.09 WHIP)

We’re going back to the well tonight until the Padres show me any differently. They got one homer late last night to make the score look decent, but they’re bullpen immediately got shellacked afterwards. The Mets offense is looking unstoppable, and the Padres seems anemic. They’re saved by good pitching often, but tonight won’t be the case. Taijuan Walker will shut down Machado and co., while the Polar Bear will launch at least one dinger tonight. Expect the Mets to run away with this one.

Pick: Mets ML +105 (1u) & Mets -1.5 +170 (0.5u)

Al Bello

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