Rick’s MLB Plays 6/9

Arizona Diamondbacks @ Cincinnati Reds

Favorite: Reds -140

Total: 10

Pitchers: Zach Davies (4.18 ERA, 1.25 WHIP) vs. Tyler Mahle (5.43 ERA, 1.39 WHIP)

First Pitch: 12:35 PM EST

We’ve discussed the offenses of these two teams a lot recently, right? Polar opposites of the form table, the Reds are batting 2nd in average over the last 2+ weeks, while the DBacks are 26th. OPS and all other metrics are very similar. Arizona was able to pick up their first win in 5 last night, pulling away in a 7-0 victory, and throw Zach Davies tonight. He had a strong last outing throwing 7 scoreless innings against the Pirates, but in the four prior games allowed 15 runs in 17 innings pitched. When batters make contact with Davies, which happens often, it’s not hard but they do tend to make solid contact. If these hot Reds bats connect early, it could snowball into a brutal outing.

Mahle’s numbers look much worse than they are. He’s got an xERA of 3.87 and most of his expected numbers are in the top half of the league. Over his last 12 innings, he’s only allowed 3 runs on 8 hits and is seemingly regaining his form of last year. Expect the Reds to bounce back from being shutout and close out the series win at home.

Pick: Reds ML -140 (1u)

Joe Robbins - Getty Images

St Louis Cardinals @ Tampa Bay Rays

Favorite: Rays -180

Total: 7

Pitchers: Miles Mikolas (3.02 ERA, 1.14 WHIP) vs. Shane McClanahan (2.10 ERA, 0.92 WHIP)

First Pitch: 1:10 PM EST

Two pitchers that have been at the peak of their craft this year against struggling offenses, on paper we should have a defensive, low-scoring ballgame. Starting with the Cardinals, their bats and Mikolas have regressed as of late. Still 4th in runs this season, the Cardinals are 19th in OPS over the past two weeks. They’ve faced great pitching in that span with series against the Brewers, Padres, Cubs and now Rays, so their numbers were naturally going to be down. Mikolas has allowed at least 3 runs in his last 3 outings after allowing no more than 2 in his first 8. He’s due for a bounce-back outing.

There’s no better team on form to face as a pitcher right now than the Rays. 28th in OPS and 26th in wRC+ over the last two weeks, the Rays have sputtered to score and have been relying on pitching and close wins to keep that record improving. Starters like Shane McClanahan have been vital. Posting a 1.15 ERA over May, Shane has been virtually unhittable this season. I expect a close game either way and this line being way too large for my liking, so I’ll play this game in the first 5 innings.

Pick: Cardinals F5 +0.5 Even (1u)

Ben Schwane - Getty Images

Boston Red Sox @ Los Angeles Angels

Favorite: Angels -130

Total: 8

Pitchers: Nick Pivetta (3.50 ERA, 1.10 WHIP) vs. Shohei Ohtani (3.99 ERA, 1.16 WHIP)

First Pitch: 9:38 PM EST

Two teams in completely opposite directions, the Red Sox have won a season-high 7 games in a row, while the Angels have lost a franchise high 14 game losing streak. In their last 10 games, the Angels are batting below the Mendoza line at .199, and it doesn’t help that their pitchers are posting a 5.93 ERA. Ohtani hasn’t had the season he was hoping for thus far with a 3-4 record, but his metrics still have him as one of the very best in the game. In the 100th percentile for velocity and top 10 percent in barrel percentage and xSLG, he’s due to start stringing together dominant performances. It’d be nice if he could get some run support, but with all of the Angels’ injuries it doesn’t seem to be coming soon. Trout, Ward, Rendon, and Fletcher are all out and their lineup hasn’t looked the same since.

Nick Pivetta looks to take advantage of that depleted lineup, and he’s been on a career-best tear as of late. Over his last 7 starts he’s posted a 1.79 ERA, and the bullpen behind him has followed suit. Over the Red Sox winning streak, they’ve only allowed 4 earned runs. Combine all of this with some of the hottest bats in baseball and you’ve got a team pushing hard for playoff spots. Expect more of the same today, as the Angels continue to struggle with no clear way out.

Pick: Red Sox F5 +0.5 -130 (2u)

Billie Weiss - Boston Red Sox

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