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Free MLB Pick Friday

#928 Seattle Mariners (Leake) +115 over Los Angeles Angels (Richards) 9:10 PM CT

Mike Leake has a 6.48 ERA but he has three wins and one terrible outing is skewing the numbers. His FIP is more than a run lower than his ERA and he has had some bad luck with a high BABIP and a low strand rate. His strikeout rate won’t impress anyone but he also rarely walks batters and he has been a far better pitcher at home. Leake had a 3.38 ERA at home last season and his career numbers at Safeco Field are very solid.

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Garrett Richards has been all over the place this season with a few dominant showings to help produce a 12.0 K/9 but his ERA is up to 4.88. Richards has completed six innings just once in six starts and he has allowed 19 walks in nearly 28 innings of work. Richards has generated a lot of ground balls which has been the norm in his career as things could get worse for Richards in his first sustained MLB action since 2015.

The Angels lead the AL West and have generated plenty of early season headlines but Seattle is just a half game behind at 18-12 despite far less fanfare. The offensive production for these teams has been similar and the 11-2 road mark for the Angels isn’t sustainable. Richards has just two career wins in Seattle and the Angels are just 6-9 the past 15 games after the great first few weeks of the season. Seattle has quietly won seven of the last nine including four straight series wins and the marginal home record is due to only facing Cleveland, Houston, and Oakland so far this season.

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Free MLB Pick Wednesday

#925 Baltimore Orioles (Bundy) +140 over Los Angeles Angels (Heaney) 9:05 PM CT

The Orioles have been a disaster this season at 8-21 but the offense has posted four or more runs in five of the past six games and the lineup has hit about 20 points higher vs. left-handed pitching this season. After a hot start the Angeles have cooled off losing four of the past five and the offense has failed to top three runs in seven of the last eight games as this looks like an overvalued team.

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Dylan Bundy may be 1-3 but the other numbers make it clear he is one of the AL’s top pitchers. His ERA of 2.97 coincides with an even low 2.81 FIP and his K/9 of 10.9 is an elite figure. Bundy allowed seven earned runs in his last start after allowing a total of just five earned runs in his first five starts and a bounce-back outing should be in store in Anaheim with Bundy featuring a 1.54 ERA on the road this season.

Andrew Heaney has struggled in three starts for the Angels despite facing the struggling offenses of the Royals and Giants in two of his outings. His ERA is 6.91 and while his .429 BABIP is sure to go down he has received few groundballs and isn’t likely to keep up his current strikeout pace. Heaney hasn’t had sustained MLB success since a brief window in the 2015 season and he looks like a high risk favorite at this price with a lineup batting just .193 in the past 10 games behind him.

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Free MLB Pick Tuesday

#921 Kansas City Royals (Vargas) -125 over Detroit Tigers (Sanchez) 6:10 PM CT

Jason Vargas has fallen off his brilliant early season pace but he has still delivered a great season and is a candidate for a good outing tonight with the Royals still in AL Wild Card contention. Vargas had dramatic home and road splits early in the season but those numbers are almost identical now as he has allowed just 11 runs in his last four road starts spanning 22 innings. Facing Cleveland in two of his last three starts has worn on his numbers but tonight he gets to face a depleted Detroit lineup.

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The Tigers are 7-22 since early August riding a current five-game slide with just 11 runs scored. Detroit has a .727 team OPS the past 13 games with just 3.5 runs scored per game. Kansas City picked up a big series win over the weekend in Minnesota and won Monday to start this series. A four-game home stand with the Twins starts Thursday as a golden opportunity is ahead for Kansas City.

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The Royals have outscored the Tigers by 15 runs in 14 games this season and the offense has picked up the pace with a .751 team OPS the past 24 games. Anibal Sanchez owns a 6.95 season ERA and after some mild midseason success he has been a disaster of late with a 9.55 ERA his last five starts, allowing 38 hits in 21 innings. The Royals knocked him out in the fourth inning a few weeks ago and Detroit has had brutal bullpen results all season.

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Free MLB Pick Tuesday

#923 Washington Nationals (Lopez) +145 over Baltimore Orioles (Gausman) 6:05 PM CT

Reynaldo Lopez might be a wild card for the Nationals down the stretch as the 22-year old has impressed through four starts with a 10.3 K/9 rate and a 3.32 FIP. He has benefitted from facing Atlanta twice but he is facing an Orioles team that has been erratic offensively of late and the once owners of the best home record in baseball are just 2-5 on the current home stand even after last night’s 4-3 win. Kevin Gausman couldn’t buy a win early in the season despite very effective numbers but he has been less effective down the stretch. Since mid-June his ERA is 4.70 with a corresponding 4.42 FIP and while he is generating strikeouts he has allowed 74 hits in 67 innings in that span including 13 home runs allowed. Gausman has far better numbers at home where the Orioles are 6-3 in his starts but a Washington lineup coming off back-to-back one-run losses will be ready for this matchup. The Nationals have an eight-game lead in the NL East as there is not great urgency but on the season Washington is 125 runs superior to Baltimore in run differential even with the Orioles staying in the playoff chase. Washington is 26-13 this season in the second game of a series and over the last 10 games the Nationals are batting .281 with 7.5 runs per game vs. right-handed pitching. Washington is 5-4 in the last nine games as an underdog and this is a favorable price on a talented young pitcher that should be well supported.

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