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Free MLB Pick Tuesday

#920 Texas Rangers (Minor) -120 Over Los Angeles Angels (Heaney) 7:05 PM CT

Mike Minor got a three-year contract from the Rangers ahead of this season despite limited success in recent years and the move has paid off for Texas with a 10-win campaign and a steady 4.33 ERA in 24 starts for the left-hander. Minor is well suited for the conditions in Arlington and he owns a 3.30 ERA at home this season with foes batting just .210 against him.

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The Angels continue to fade from a promising April start and Los Angeles is 18-25 vs. left-handed starters this season. The Angels have some big names in the lineup but have posted a .566 team OPS the past 11 games while scoring 3.2 runs per game and on the season the Angels own just a .660 team OPS vs. left-handers. Texas has posted solid offensive numbers with 5.1 runs per game over the past 23 games and while the Rangers are better vs. right-handers Texas should have an opportunity in this matchup.

Texas scored six runs with 10 hits against Andrew Heaney in mid-August in this ballpark and Heaney appears to be running out of gas with the former 1st round pick listing a solid season line but a 5.55 ERA in his last six starts. The Angels have been held to three or fewer runs in eight of the last 10 games and Minor looks capable of another strong outing to keep Texas on a competitive late season run since early August.

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Nelly’s baseball is riding a 16-7 run since early August for a great late season run. We are also 33-20 on totals this season including going 9-1 in our last 10 over/under selections. Join Nelly’s for all picks for the rest of September for just $129 or play through the World Series for just $199!

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Free MLB Pick Friday

#977 Seattle Mariners (LeBlanc) +130 over Los Angeles Angels (Heaney) 9:05 pM CT

Journeyman Wade LeBlanc has been a nice story for the Mariners at 6-1 with a 3.44 ERA. An xFIP of 4.35 lurks beyond the conventional line however and LeBlanc has allowed six home runs in his last five starts. LeBlanc has only allowed 19 walks in over 96 innings and he has pitched fantastic in two starts vs. the Angels with only seven hits and three runs allowed over 12 innings, with a win in both starts. The Angels are a .500 team that is 9-20 on the season vs. left-handed starters. On the season Los Angeles is batting .214 with a .647 team OPS vs. southpaws for some of the very worst splits in all of MLB.

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Andrew Heaney has good numbers on the season with a 3.66 ERA and steady strikeout counts but he isn’t a proven top of the rotation starter that should command this price against a playoff contender. Eight times in his last 12 starts has Heaney allowed three or more runs and while his ERA is solid at 3.53 in that span his xFIP is 4.27. The Mariners have defeated Heaney twice in that span as well with eight runs in 10 innings. Seattle is getting pushed by Oakland in the wild card race but the Mariners prefer to face left-handers batting .262 with a .738 team OPS vs. southpaws for a slight edge over the numbers vs. right-handers. The Mariners have been a losing team in July with a decline in offensive production but they have won seven of 12 games with the Angels while 27-22 on the road this season. Los Angeles has a 4.84 bullpen ERA in the past 10 games and in that span the offense has hit .162 with 2.2 runs per nine vs. left-handers.

Nelly’s has a 2-for-1 offer for $15 Friday night while Bobby Dalton has a 10* Best Bet total! Dalton is on a current 10-3 run with a 23-13 Best Bet run!

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Free MLB Pick Tuesday

#913 Los Angeles Angels (Richards) -105 over Toronto Blue Jays (Happ) 6:05 PM CT

J.A. Happ has conventional power lefty splits with dominant numbers vs. left-handed batters but great struggles vs. right-handers, allowing a .259 batting average against with a .340 wOBA. Happ also has struggled at the Rogers Centre with a 5.40 ERA on the season and his 11.4 K/9 doesn’t look sustainable. Facing a lineup filled with quality right-handed bats Happ could be in line for a marginal start having allowed 14 runs in his past four home outings.

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While the Angels have faded from a hot April pace the team is getting great numbers in a comeback season for Garrett Richards. With a 10.2 K/9 and a 3.47 ERA Richards is looking like the front-line starter the Angels need. He has a very low strand rate but is getting groundballs and strikeouts and he has pitched extremely well on the road where the Angels are actually 14-4.

Toronto has dropped seven of the last eight with the offense topping five runs only once in the past 16 games. Both teams have struggled at the plate and with relief pitching in recent games but the situation may be direr for Toronto with numerous injuries leaving the roster quite thin. The Jays are actually just 11-15 at home this season and this should be a favorable matchup for the superior Angels team.

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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 Friday

#975/976 ‘UNDER 9.5’ Los Angeles Angels (Heaney) at Kansas City Royals (Hammel) 7:15 PM CT

Jason Hammel had a tough luck 2017 season with the Royals, switching back to the American League following winning the World Series with the Cubs in 2016. Hammel lost 13 games and had a 5.29 ERA but his FIP was nearly a run lower than his ERA and he has usual featured a low walk rate. Hammel has made two adequate starts for a struggling Kansas City team in 2018 and his ERA is solid a 4.09 and with a corresponding 2.94 FIP. Both games came on the road and he could be in line for a strong start tonight following up a very good start in Cleveland last Sunday.

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The Royals have scored the fewest runs in baseball with 2.9 runs per game while hitting only 24 extra base hits including only four home runs. That should bode well for Andrew Heaney in his 2018 debut. Heaney impressed for the Angeles in 2015 but lost most of the past two seasons to injury. He was sharp in a minor league assignment last week and looks poised to return to prominence on an Angels team off to a great start.

The Angels have had some success offensively including scoring six or more runs in all five games on the current winning streak but three of those games came in favorable conditions in Arlington. Offsetting the offense is Los Angeles allowing a grand total of eight runs in the past five games with marvelous relief pitching. Cooling conditions with wind and rain are forecast tonight as this game is a risk to be postponed but ultimately 9.5 looks hard to reach if this game does go off as scheduled.

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Free MLB Pick Monday

#966 Los Angeles Angels (Skaggs) -145 over Texas Rangers (Hamels) 9:05 pM CT

Tyler Skaggs has pitched much better than his 1-3 record suggests with a 3.63 ERA and in three outings since returning from a long DL stint he has been very effective with a 2.93 ERA in three outings, posting a solid 8.2 K/9. The Angels have been a great late season surprise at 13-5 in August to stay in the AL wild card race. The offense has been very consistent with five runs per game on average this month.

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Texas is 11-7 this month with 112 runs scored but recent home series with three struggling AL squads skew the numbers, including scoring 59 runs the past two series with the Tigers and White Sox. On the road the Rangers have a season OPS of just .693 for a huge decline in production. Cole Hamels is 8-1 but he owns a 4.52 FIP and he has allowed four or more runs in four of his last six starts. His K/9 is just 5.6 this season and he has an ERA a full run higher in his road starts. The Angels are 33-26 at home this season and this is a team playing with great intensity and urgency for a surprise run at a playoff opportunity.

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Free MLB Pick – Monday, July 18

‘OVER 8’ Texas Rangers (Griffin) at Los Angeles Angels (Tropeano) 9:05 PM CT

After posting no MLB innings in 2014 or 2015 A.J. Griffin has turned in meaningful innings for a 1st place Rangers team in 10 starts but his 4.33 FIP is more than a half run higher than his 3.81 ERA. Griffin has been fortunate to only take one loss as he has allowed runs in every outing and he had a very high walk rate at over 3.6 BB/9. Griffin allowed three runs in Anaheim in his first start of the season and the 40-52 Angels are riding one of the team’s best offensive stretches of the season with five or more runs in six of the last nine games including scoring 16 runs in sweeping the White Sox over three games to start the 2nd half. When these teams last met in May there were 24 runs scored in a 15-9 win for the Rangers and the Angels can’t have great confidence in Nick Tropeano tonight. His 3.12 ERA looks solid but the advanced numbers paint a different picture. Tropeano has a FIP of 4.73 in 12 starts this season and his walk rate of nearly 4.1 BB/9 would rank as the 4th highest in MLB among qualified starters of which Tropeano is currently a few innings shy of qualifying. These teams rate 18th and 29th in MLB in bullpen ERA and neither starter has a track record of going deep into games. In a venue that has averaged nearly 9.0 runs per game these starters don’t look worthy of a total of just 8.0 at many outlets, the lowest in this series in the last seven meetings since an early April matchup of Garrett Richards and Cole Hamels.

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Free MLB Pick – Monday, June 27

‘UNDER 7.5’ Houston Astros (McHugh) at Los Angeles Angels (Shoemaker) 9:05 PM CT

After scoring 26 runs Friday and Saturday the Astros were shut down with just one run Sunday in Kansas City, ending a seven-game winning streak for a Houston squad that has climbed back into playoff contention. Houston’s scoring has been erratic as they have been held to four or fewer runs in five of the last 10 games and on the year the road production features a big decline from the numbers in Houston. Matt Shoemaker has a lousy record for the Angels but he has been on a dominant run since mid-May posting 62 strikeouts in his last seven starts with a quality start in six of those games. Two of those quality starts came against this Houston lineup, posting big strikeouts counts in a 7-2 win and a 3-2 loss. While the Angels scored seven runs Sunday to break a six-game slide this is a team that has topped four runs just three times in the last 10 games. The Angels are one of the worst scoring teams in baseball this year and Collin McHugh presents a tough matchup for the team. After a slow start McHugh has been heading in the right direction in recent weeks and his FIP is nearly a full run below his ERA. McHugh is generating strikeouts at a strong rate while rarely walking batters and he pitched well against the Angels last week in a 3-2 win at home. Both bullpens have capable recent numbers and the ‘under’ is riding a 9-2 run in Houston road games. Over nine runs per game have been scored in Anaheim this season but in 17 of 39 games there has been seven or fewer runs scored and this is a pitching matchup that is much stronger than the season numbers suggest with both starters on strong recent runs.

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