• Rick

Rick's MLB Plays 8/16

New York Mets @ Atlanta Braves (7:20 ET)

Favorite: Braves -150

Total: 8.5

Pitchers: Taijuan Walker (3.43 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) vs. Charlie Morton (4.26 ERA, 1.21 WHIP)

As I write this the Braves are taking the Mets out back, up 13-1 in the 6th inning. Carrasco started poorly allowing 3 runs before a rain delay in the 3rd inning, and reliever Medina allowed 5 in an inning they threw in the towel. Looking to bounce back tomorrow, the Mets throw stud Taijuan Walker who ironically allowed 8 runs in just 1 inning against the Mets 11 days ago. Taking out that clear anamoly of a performance, he has been nothing short of brilliant for the Mets and his opposition isn't quite as good as Spenser Strider. Charlie Morton, king of the Curveball, hasn't had a good time facing the Mets either. He's allowed 9 runs in 10.2 innings against the Mets, allowing 13 hits and 6 walks in the process. To put it simply, Morton is either on or he's off. He'll either get blasted for 4+ runs if his curveball isn't moving like we all know it can and hangs a few, or he'll allow 2 hits through 6 innings in a dominating effort. Given how often the Mets have seen him and how good this team is against the breaking ball, I'll take the Mets to bounce back on the runline here.

Pick: Mets F5 +.5 -120 (1u)

Gary Vasquez - USA TODAY Sports

Boston Red Sox @ Pittsburgh Pirates (7:05 ET)

Favorite: Red Sox -138

Total: 8.5

Pitchers: Nick Pivetta (4.51 ERA, 1.33 WHIP) vs. Mitch Keller (4.25 ERA, 1.41 WHIP)

Mitch Keller is pitching his best ball of the season, dropping his ERA by almost an entire point since June with a 2.61 ERA in July and 3.18 so far in August. He isn't facing the best offenses by any means, but he's looked like a he's finally settling into the Major Leagues and imposing his style on batters. He's complimenting his fastball well with his slider, curve, and changeup and pitches to contact well. Unfortunately, he's facing a Boston team who seems to have found some rhythm after beating a struggling Yankees team and is getting healthy with key cogs like Michael Wacha, Rich Hill, Matt Barnes, and Garrett Whitlock back in the fold and new additions Tommy Pham and Eric Hosmer playing well.

One person who hasn't been good for the Red Sox is Nick Pivetta. Looking like an Ace in the months of May and June with a 2.19 ERA, he's been horrid lately allowing 3+ runs in 6 of his last 7. With that said, he has looked better in his last 2 starts as his Knucklecurve is returning to form. This Pittsburgh lineup, while scrappy, is one of the worst in the Majors and this feels like a get-right spot for Pivetta. If the Red Sox want to have a chance to catch the Wild Card teams, they'll need to win 2 of not all 3 of the games in this series. Expect them to notch a win tonight against the Pirates in a lower scoring affair.

Pick: Red Sox ML -138 (1.5u)

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