• Rick

Rick’s MLB Plays 8/1

New York Mets @ Washington Nationals (7:05 ET)

Favorite: Mets -250

Total: 8

Pitchers: Max Scherzer (2.09 ERA, 0.90 WHIP) vs. Patrick Corbin (6.49 ERA, 1.76 WHIP)

I‘m not sure you can have a more stark difference in pitchers than what we have here tonight. Patrick Corbin’s ERA only seems to get worse as he‘s now registered 14 losses on the season and 20 earned runs over his past 16.2 innings pitched. Scherzer is coming off of another outstanding performance, throwing 7 shutout innings against the Yankees in the Subway Series. The Nationals’ offense has been better but given the matchup plus the uncertainty around Juan Soto, I don’t see an avenue for them to get anything out of this game. This is going to be the chalkiest play I make of the season, but the Mets are rolling and I don’t think Patrick Corbin stands in their way. Take the Mets with the rest of the public and don’t overthink it.

Pick: Mets F5 -.5 -145 (1.5u) & Mets TT o4.5 -125 (1u)

Frank Franklin II - AP

Baltimore Orioles @ Texas Rangers (8:05 ET)

Favorite: Rangers -165

Total: 8

Pitchers: Spenser Watkins (4.03 ERA, 1.41 WHIP) vs. Jon Gray (3.62 ERA, 1.14 WHIP)

The Orioles finally look human again after losing their weekend series in Cincinnati, but their record and run are no fluke. This team is not breaking up before the trade deadline and the morale around the clubhouse is higher than ever. They’re overperforming at all three levels and have the backing of the city now, feverishly cheering them on and tuning into every game. Spenser Watkins is one of the overachievers and he’s looked exceptional in his five starts since his injury. With a 1.93 ERA over his last 28 innings he’s dominating batters, allowing more than 5 hits only once in that span.

The Rangers responded to their series sweep in Seattle by taking 3 out of 4 against the Angels in impressive fashion, including winning their matchup with Shohei Ohtani. At this point in the season we know what the Rangers are — a consistent team that is slightly below average on offense and defense. They will never roll over and hand wins to teams but also aren’t good enough to dominate and impose themselves. Much like Watkins, Gray had a phenomenal July but his two shutout performances were against two of the worst offensive teams in baseball. He allowed at least 3 runs in each of the other 3 outings and given how the Orioles are swinging it right now I expect we could have another instance of that. I’ll take Watkins and company to do enough to keep this game at least tied through 5 innings.

Pick: Orioles F5 +0.5 -115 (1u)

Greg Fiume - Getty Images

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