Free MLB Picks and Predictions For Tuesday, 4/25
After nine games on Monday night, we have a full 15-game slate of baseball action set for Tuesday. The Astros and Indians will get things going to kick off the night from Progressive Field in a potential ALCS preview. Houston has come out of the gates hot, boasting a 13-6 record through 19 games. Considering they won just seven games last April, it’s safe to say they’re back to being an elite club this season.
The Indians will have to deal with Dallas Keuchel, who looks a lot like the pitcher that won the AL Cy Young Award two years ago. We have a few other aces taking the hill around the league tonight, including Clayton Kershaw, Danny Duffy and Felix Hernandez. How will the night’s MLB action play out?
- Dallas Keuchel (3-0, 0.96 ERA) vs. Josh Tomlin (1-2, 11.68 ERA)
- Moneyline: Astros -116, Indians +106
Dallas Keuchel looks to remain ablaze on Tuesday night, when he heads to Cleveland to battle Josh Tomlin and an explosive Indians offense. Keuchel has been lights out to get 2017 rolling, but it’s worth noting four of his five starts have come at home, where he’s historically dominated.
We can look back to 2016 (5-7, 5.42 ERA) to see Keuchel tends to be a different ace in stadiums he’s not totally comfortable in. He naturally could be on high alert against a powerful Cleveland offense that ranked 6th against southpaws in batting average a season ago.
While Keuchel could have a stiff challenge in this spot, he may benefit from facing the ever volatile Josh Tomlin. Tomlin stepped up his game during the playoffs last year, but has otherwise continued to be a home run fiend (36 a year ago), while this year he’s more specifically just giving up a lot of contact. How he performs in this matchup could be pretty key, considering the Astros have destroyed right-handed pitching (3rd) early this year.
Cleveland is a dangerous offense and they should be feared at home, but the Astros can fire up runs and have the pitching edge. The offensive upside could promote the Over here, but we’ll just take the Astros, straight up.
- Erasmo Ramirez (2-0, 3.07 ERA) vs. Wade Miley (1-0, 1.89 ERA)
- Moneyline: Rays +133, Orioles -143
Fans of the Rays and Orioles can appreciate two things on Tuesday: a nice AL East rivalry game and a bunch of home runs. Erasmo Ramirez was actually plenty fine in his first start of the season last week, but he could be in a dicey spot against a very deadly Orioles offense.
Ramirez was actually great against the Orioles in 2016, posting a strong 2.13 ERA over 12 frames of work. Baltimore’s offense could dish out some revenge at home, though, as they come in ranking 12th in BA against right-handed pitching and 10th in jacks.
Baltimore doesn’t have the best pitcher on the mound to defend them, of course, as the shaky Wade Miley is no stranger to giving up the long ball and was just passable last year versus these Rays. it’s worth noting that he’s really been on top of his game through his first three 2017 starts, however, giving up just 8 hits and 4 runs.
At some point the bottom should drop out for Miley, but he’s been delivering strikeouts and keeping balls out of the stands. With an elite offense supporting him, it’s tough not to love him and these Orioles on Tuesday. The offensive upside should also promote the Over.
- Wei-Yin Chen (2-0, 3.94 ERA) vs. Vince Velasquez (0-2, 7.20 ERA)
- Moneyline: Marlins -105, Phillies -105
We could potentially have a pitcher’s duel on our hands in Philly on Tuesday, as Chen and Velasquez both look to go to work in a Marlins vs. Phillies battle. Chen has been serviceable on the young season and was masterful in his last outing – a shutout of the Mariners in Seattle.
Whether Chen can deal like that on the road in consecutive games is fair to ponder, as the 31-year old lefty delivered mixed results on the road a season ago. He also wasn’t great when facing these Phillies, posting a terrible 5.51 ERA across three starts.
Chen could still be in a decent spot, though, as K monster Velasquez has not been on top of his game to get 2017 going. Velasquez remains a threat to dish out 10+ strikeouts every time he toes the rubber, but he’s gotten blasted more often than not this year (12 runs allowed) and didn’t deliver the heat (2 Ks) in his last start. It’s possible things don’t get a whole lot better against a Marlins team ranking 6th against right-handed pitching in 2017.
Pitching could end up being a wash, and if you ask Vegas, it seems this entire game is a toss-up. Because of that we’ll go with a more potent Miami offense and hope Chen can last 6-7 innings. The pitching is fine enough here, but both teams have some power and the Over should be in play.
- Kyle Hendricks (1-1, 6.19 ERA) vs. Gerrit Cole (1-2, 4.70 ERA)
- Moneyline: Cubs -111, Pirates +101
Gerrit Cole will look to get a big home win on Tuesday, where he’ll battle the rival Cubs. Chicago remains stacked offensively, but oddly enough has performed inconsistently in that department this season. The Cubs will force veteran hurler Kyle Hendricks onto the mound, as he tries to turn his stellar home production into a rare road win.
This is obviously a troublesome spot for both pitchers, as Cole has a talented lineup to contend with and Hendricks simply doesn’t fare very well away from Wrigley Field. Hendricks could benefit from the Pirates being a middle of the pack unit against righties, while PNC Park isn’t a negative shift from his home stadium, either.
For Cole, he gets round two with a Cubs offense he stifled (two runs on 6 hits) for the most part back on April 14th. Provided he can keep the long ball in check (5 homers allowed already), he could be in a solid spot.
Ultimately, we don’t trust Hendricks and Chicago’s offense has run hot and cold. Pittsburgh could be in solid shape to sneak out a tight divisional game at home, while the pitching might lead to the Under.
- Luis Severino (1-1, 4.05 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (1-2, 5.32 ERA)
- Moneyline: Yankees +122, Red Sox -132
That classic Yankees vs. Red Sox battle erupts on Tuesday, as Luis Severino and Rick Porcello will both hope to tame two talented offenses. Severino might have the initial leg up, as he’s two straight gems (21 total Ks) and looks to be in a serious groove. On the other side we have Ricky P, who was a stud at home a year ago (13-1, 2.97 ERA). He also more than held his own in three starts versus these young Yanks, posting a staggering 2.05 ERA.
Porcello hasn’t really been the same guy this year, however, as he got blasted by the Rays at home (8 runs) in his last appearance at Fenway Park and overall has been quite hittable in 2017. Facing a hot Yankees offense with plenty of power, this doesn’t feel like a spot we can fully trust him in.
That isn’t to say we should back Severino, either. As hot as he’s been, he’ll be letting pitches rip in a very hittable park against a loaded offense. In fact, he did not pass the eye test versus the Bo Sox in 2016, sporting a regrettable 7.30 ERA across 12 innings of action.
Porcello remains tough to trust, but both of these guys give up contact and the Red Sox are usually at their best at home. We’ll favor Boston here by a small margin, while the Over is extremely playable.
- Felix Hernandez (2-1, 3.65 ERA) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (1-1, 5.94 ERA)
- Moneyline: Mariners -108, Tigers -102
We could get a gem in Detroit on Tuesday night, as Felix Hernandez hopes to pile on the strikeouts against a powerful Tigers offense. On the other side, Jordan Zimmerman will try to hold his own in search of his second victory of the young season.
Both pitchers could have their work cut out for them, as Hernandez has had issues with hard contact to get 2017 rolling and Zimmerman has gotten knocked around in his last two contests. Hernandez could hold the early edge, seeing as the Tigers have a depleted and inefficient offense at the moment.
While it could be easy to get behind Felix and an explosive Mariners offense, Seattle has simply not gotten it done (2-9) away from home this year. That could have the offense sputtering, which may open the door to a strong start from Zimmerman.
Seattle has been impossible to trust on the road, but their offense has been more cohesive and they have the better arm on the mound. This could be a great spot for them to snag a rare road win. Either offense could fire off in this one, but the pitching could be pretty steady. Due to that, the Under is in play.
- Julio Teheran (1-1, 3.52 ERA) vs. Robert Gsellman (0-1, 5.09 ERA)
- Moneyline: Braves +120, Mets -130
MLB fans will want to consider shooting for the Under in this Braves vs. Mets clash at Citi Field. Teheran is one big reason why, as the Braves ace has been largely sharp so far this year, save for a face-planting in his last outing against the Nationals.
Teheran could bounce back against New York, who he shut out in his 2017 debut and also obliterated (0.90 ERA) over four starts in 2016. He might not come out and deal at quite that rate, but the Mets are slipping (4 straight losses) and have not fared well (4-8) at home for some reason.
New York does have Gsellman on their side, who has done a solid job making batters miss over his last three starts (19 Ks). Gsellman has still been knocked around a bit, but draws a matchup with a Braves offense that lacks reliable power.
While Gsellman could rise up in this one, Teheran gives the Braves the obvious edge. If Matt Kemp and Freddie Freeman can show up, we like the Braves as an upset value on the road. Due to the pitching involved, the Under is a solid target, as well.
- Scott Feldman (1-1, 2.38 ERA) vs. Zach Davies (1-2, 8.24 ERA)
- Moneyline: Reds +115, Brewers -125
We needn’t waste much of your time with this one, as this NL Central battle is a total toss-up with two very potent offenses and atrocious pitching hitting the mound. Scott Feldman has somehow looked passable to start 2017, but he’s not a great pitcher and could be in a serious jam on the road at Miller Park. This will be his second showdown with the Brewers, too, and his first go around wasn’t great with five walks and two earned runs.
I expect Feldman to unravel even more with this one being on the road, but I’m not entirely sure we have a reliable arm in Zach Davies, either. Davies is a talented, young pitcher, but he continues to struggle with control and gives up too much contact. That’s got disaster written all over it with a date against the explosive Reds in a hitter’s park.
Fire up the bats in this one, as we don’t trust either arm and we should easily target the Over. Overall, we tend to favor the Brewers at home.
- Ervin Santana (3-0, 0.64 ERA) vs. Andrew Cashner (0-1, 2.38 ERA)
- Moneyline: Twins -104, Rangers -106
If the season ended today, 34-year-old Ervin Santana may be the frontrunner to take home the American League Cy Young Award. Who could’ve seen that coming? While the fact that he’s pitched well isn’t too surprising, it is noteworthy that his ERA is well below 1.00 through four starts. He’s allowed one earned run in two outings and no earned runs in his other two starts.
Of course, it’s worth noting that Santana hasn’t exactly been facing the Cubs or Rockies. He’s done this against lackluster Royals and White Sox (twice) teams, with his most recent start coming against the Indians. Cleveland is great, of course, but they haven’t truly hit their stride with the bats quite yet. Going into hitter-friendly Globe Life Park to face a powerful Rangers lineup will be his most daunting task so far.
Former TCU Horned Frog Andrew Cashner will make his third start as a Ranger. He was roughed up a bit in his first outing in Seattle, but rebounded with a fine game last time out against KC. Cash went six shutout innings, allowing just three hits along the way. The walks have been problematic (seven in 11.1 innings), but if he can rein those in he has a decent shot at locking down a rotation spot in the long term.
Ervin Santana is good, but he’s not this good. We’re not exactly going out on a limb here, but this will be his toughest outing yet. Both pitchers will struggle with the longball and we’ll get some fireworks down in Texas.
- Danny Duffy (2-0, 1.32 ERA) vs. Dylan Covey (0-1, 7.84 ERA)
- Moneyline: Royals -148, White Sox +138
If there was any doubt coming into the season that Danny Duffy was capable of being the ace in Kansas City’s rotation, it’s safe to say that’s been put to bed. Duffman has picked up right where he left off during his 2016 breakout campaign. His velocity is down a tick, but that hasn’t stopped him from pitching at least six innings in all four outings and giving up no more than two runs in any of them. In his most recent start, he shut out a potent Rangers offense over the course of 7.1 innings in Arlington.
He’s in a good spot again tonight going up against one of baseball’s weakest lineups in the White Sox. Chicago will pin their hopes on the young right arm of Dylan Covey in this one. After doing a solid job in his MLB debut (5.1 innings, 1 ER), Covey was crushed in his last start against the Baby Bombers. The Yankees touched him up for eight runs on 10 hits in just five innings last week, including three homers.
The Royals’ lineup doesn’t offer nearly as much power as the Yankees’, but KC does have a distinct advantage on the mound here with an in-form Duffy toeing the rubber. So far this season, the White Sox as a team are hitting .211 (28th in MLB) overall and have hit just two home runs against lefties (25th). The White Sox are bad, and Danny Duffy is very good. This isn’t hard to figure out.
- Marco Estrada (0-1, 2.63 ERA) vs. Michael Wacha (2-1, 2.41 ERA)
- Moneyline: Blue Jays +128, Cardinals -138
In his last start, Marco Estrada essentially matched Chris Sale pitch-for-pitch. He went six shutout innings against the Red Sox while striking out seven in an eventual 4-1 extra innings defeat. The veteran has picked up right where he left off last season, and that makes two consecutive scoreless outings for the Mexico native. Estrada isn’t exactly overwhelming, but he has a way of eating innings and keeping Toronto in games just about every time he takes the hill.
He’ll be facing a Cardinals team that’ll be countering with right-hander Michael Wacha. He hasn’t drawn many headlines yet, but he’s pitched very well to start 2017. Still only 25, the Cardinals are hoping he can rediscover the form we saw just two years ago when he went 17-7 with a 3.38 ERA. He’s historically been more of a ground ball pitcher, but to start this season Wacha has excelled in getting hitters to pop out weakly.
These have been two of the most disappointing teams in baseball to start this season, thanks largely to lackluster offenses. Toronto is 25th in the league in runs scored so far, while STL is 22nd. With a couple of solid arms going here, it looks like a fine spot to take the under. We’ll give the Cards the nod here because they’re at home and the Jays got in late last night after having to a night game on Monday in Anaheim.
- Joe Ross (1-0, 3.68 ERA) vs. German Marquez (2017 debut)
- Moneyline: Nationals -139, Rockies +129
Joe Ross will be making his second start of the young season for Washington opposite Colorado’s German Marquez. Marquez was just called up to take the spot in the rotation vacated by Jon Gray, who was forced to go to the disabled list last week.
Ross pitched well in a blowout win over Atlanta in his first outing, hurling seven innings and surrendering three runs while striking out seven. He’s shown solid strikeout stuff in his brief time in the majors to this point, though pitching in Colorado is a different animal than any other ballpark. This will be Ross’ first career outing at Coors Field, and it could be a rough one.
Marquez pitched in six games last season, including three starts, for the Rockies. In 20.2 innings of work at the big league level, the 22-year-old Venezuelan allowed 12 runs on 28 hits, including a pair of home runs. He’s been excellent in three starts in Triple-A so far this season, as he’s racked up 18 strikeouts without a walk in 10 innings of work.
Colorado comes into this one on fire with the sticks, so it could be another tough night for Washington’s young right-hander. Neither of these arms has proven himself yet at the big league level, so the bats could be in for another big night in this one.
- Clayton Richard (2-2, 3.04 ERA) vs. Patrick Corbin (1-3, 3.27 ERA)
- Moneyline: Padres +133, Diamondbacks -143
These two southpaws went toe-to-toe last weekend in San Diego, and Richard and the Padres wound up getting the better of Corbin and the D-Backs. Richard did allow nine hits in 6.2 innings, but held Arizona to just a run while striking out eight. We can’t expect him to have that much success inducing swings-and-misses again, but keeping the ball on the ground in a park like Chase Field will be key. The ball flies in that yard, so if Richard can keep the hard contact down he could give San Diego another six innings or so.
Corbin has largely been the victim of some bad luck. He’s gone six innings in three consecutive outings and hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his four starts on the young season. The eight Padres he struck out last week were by far his highest total so far this year, and we know San Diego is prone to whiffing.
The Diamondbacks have been lights-out at home this season, while the Padres have been largely atrocious away from Petco Park. Corbin has posted a tidy 1.80 ERA in his two starts at home thus far in 2017, and we think the D-Backs’ hitters will give Richard more problems than they did in the last meeting.
Give us the Diamondbacks in something of a blowout.
- Jesse Hahn (1-1, 3.00 ERA) vs. JC Ramirez (2-2, 6.46 ERA)
- Moneyline: Athletics +114, Angels -124
Jesse Hahn has quietly given the A’s three strong outings to start 2017. He’s gone exactly six innings in each of his outings to this point, and has given up just six earned runs. Hahn has done a fine job of inducing weak contact to this point and thus far he’s stifled hitters swinging it from either side of the plate.
He’ll lead the Athletics into Anaheim tonight to take on an Angels team that has been terrible for the better part of the last two weeks. JC Ramirez will continue to occupy Garrett Richards’ spot in the rotation. Ramirez actually pitched very well in his most recent outing against the Astros, striking out nine over 5.1 innings, but wound up taking the loss as the Halo bats failed to solve Dallas Keuchel. Tonight he’ll do battle with an Oakland lineup that has quietly been hitting the ball well of late.
The A’s have the look of a team that’ll be giving the teams atop the division problems all season long, while Anaheim hasn’t looked like much of a threat at all out of the gates. This should level off at some point, but at first glance Oakland seems to have a clear advantage on the mound in this one. We’ll side with the Athletics.
- Clayton Kershaw (3-1, 2.54 ERA) vs. Ty Blach (0-0, 4.76 ERA)
- Moneyline: Dodgers -230, Giants +212
This was originally slated to be an ace-off between Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner, but MadBum evidently decided riding a freaking dirt bike through the Rocky Mountains would be a good idea in the middle of the season. Good work, ace. Anyway, we still have a matchup of southpaws, only one team will come into this one at a severe disadvantage.
Clayton Kershaw remains Clayton Kershaw. He’s won three of his first four starts of the season and boasts an insane strikeout rate of over 30 percent and a miniscule walk rate under 2 percent. He has uncharacteristically allowed four homers to this point, but it’s far too early to look for any sort of trend there. The fact that he’s on the mound tonight makes the Dodgers one of the heaviest favorites on the board, even on the road.
Instead of Bumgarner, the Dodger bats will have to deal with young southpaw Ty Blach. This will be his first start of 2017 after making seven appearances out of the Giants’ pen to start the season. We know lefties give the Dodgers issues, and Blach was stellar in a start against LA last October 1st. In a must-win game, Blach delivered eight scoreless innings while surrendering just three hits. His opponent that day? You guessed it: Clayton Kershaw.
That game aside, it’s going to take a lot for us to bet against the Dodgers whenever baseball’s best pitcher is on the mound. We don’t love the Dodgers to come out and smash Blach in this spot, either, but they should be able to do enough damage to help Clayton get over the top in this one.