San Diego Padres @ Washington Nationals (7:05 ET)
Favorite: Padres -240
Pitchers: Mike Clevinger (3.60 ERA, 1.12 WHIP) vs. Cory Abbott (5.68 ERA, 1.50 WHIP)
It's no secret the Padres have underperformed recently, especially with the additions of Juan Soto and Josh Bell. After losing 5 games in a row to the Dodgers and Giants, they've bounced back with two wins and 20 runs scored in the process and find themselves traveling back to Soto's stomping grounds for a Friday night bash riddled with storylines. Soto and Bell were the two things keeping that offense together and without them they're 1-7 over their last 8 because it's not as though they ever had good pitching to carry them. Cory Abbott doesn't have much of a sample size but was torn to pieces in his last outing against the Phillies. Clevinger has been good against teams he should dominate, and struggled at times to great offensive teams. Expect him to hold the Nationals to one, maybe two runs and the Padres to pour it on. Give me the Padres in the first five innings.
Pick: Padres F5 -.5 -145 (1u)
Baltimore Orioles @ Tampa Bay Rays (7:10 ET)
Favorite: Rays -150
Pitchers: Austin Voth (5.53 ERA, 1.57 WHIP) vs. Corey Kluber (4.05 ERA, 1.15 WHIP)
These two teams could not be more familiar with each other, having faced each other 7 times since July 15th. The Orioles went 4-3 in those games and punded Corey Kluber in the process. They managed 15 hits and 8 runs over 11 innings and unfortunately for Kluber that has been the trend lately. He's had a brilliant season in regards to exceeding expectations since most pegged him to regress massively considering his age, but the length of the season is starting to catch up to him. He's getting blitzed and this Orioles team knows how to hit him.
Voth has been solid in a starting role for the Orioles and in his two appearances against the Rays gave up just 1 run on 5.1 innings pitched. The Rays are struggling mightily with the injuries they have and cannot generate consistent runs at all with their current lineup. They rank 26th in OPS over the past two weeks and are hitting just .218. Until names like Wander Franco, Manuel Margot, and others return there is no chance I'm backing them. Give me the Orioles to bounce back after a close loss in Boston.
Pick: Orioles F5 +.5 -125 (1u)
Minnesota Twins @ Los Angeles Angels (9:38 ET)
Favorite: Twins -125
Pitchers: Tyler Mahle (4.49 ERA, 1.23 WHIP) vs. Patrick Sandoval (3.41 ERA, 1.47 WHIP)
Tyler Mahle had a horrific start to the season but lately has been better than his numbers indicate. He's allowed at least 2 runs in his past five games but in those outings he's only allowed 21 hits over the 29.2 innings. To add onto that, he's faced some of the league's best offenses in Toronto, St. Louis, Atlanta, and streaking Baltimore. He still has a problem with walks but has been much better on the road and against a poor Angels team I'd expect him to have another solid outing.
Patrick Sandoval has been one of the few bright spots this season for the Angels, but he's due to regress. His WHIP is the first factor, and the advanced metrics back it up, putting him in the bottom third of pitchers in xERA, xWHIP, and xBA. He allows contact and is facing a team in the Twins that is riddled with excellent contact hitters. They might not knock Sandoval out of the game, but expect a handful of runs and a still poor Angels offense to continue that way. Give me the rested Twins team to win an important game to get back on track after losing both at the Dodgers.
Pick: Twins ML -125 (2u)
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