San Diego Padres @ Miami Marlins (6:40 ET)
Favorite: Padres -142
Pitchers: Joe Musgrove (2.91 ERA, 1.02 WHIP) vs. Sandy Alcantara (2.01 ERA, 0.94 WHIP)
It's Sandy Alcantara day, and yet the Marlins are still +120 dogs. He goes up against Joe Musgrove who has been a little worse lately, but given the Marlins haven't scored more than 3 runs in now 15 straight games, I doubt he has anything less than a fantastic outing. Sandy should be able to do his thing, going seven or more innings allowing only a handful of runs, but this game comes down to two offenses on polar opposite ends of the spectrum. I trust the Padres, backed by Musgrove, to outscore the hapless, useless Marlins bats even with Sandy on the mound. It's rare you get Musgrove at this short of a favorite, especially against an offense as bad as the Marlins. Sandy might mitigate damages, but you can't do anything but back the Padres in this spot.
Pick: Padres ML -142 (1u)
K.C. Alfred - The San Diego Union-Tribune
Houston Astros @ Chicago White Sox (8:10 ET)
Favorite: Astros -130
Pitchers: Jose Urquidy (3.85 ERA, 1.16 WHIP) vs. Johnny Cueto (2.91 ERA, 1.22 WHIP)
The White Sox are one of the most untrustable teams in the Majors. After losing 3 of 4 against the Royals scoring only 11 runs in that series, they come back to sweep the Tigers (still only scoring 13 runs over 3 games). That type of run support won't get it done against the Astros, even with pickup-of-the-year Johnny Cueto on the mound. For as bad as White Sox starting pitching is (see Dallas Kuechel and Lucas Giolito), he's been a massive bright spot highlighted by that 2.91 ERA.
Much like Cueto has been a godsend, so has Urquidy for the Astros. He was supposed to be the weakness in their rotation, but has exceeded expectations with flying colors allowing more than 3 runs just twice over his last 12 starts. One of those outings was his last time up against the Rangers where he allowed 5 runs in 5 innings. I doubt the White Sox are able to get to him like that as they've struggled again with Tim Anderson back on the Injured List. Give me the more consistent team with all the new toys from the trade deadline (Mancini, Vazquez) to get it done in game one and thwart the mini-win streak of the White Sox.
Pick: Astros ML -130 (1u)
Carmen Mandato - Getty Images