I can't be the only person who believes this Conor McGregor stuff was staged, right?
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When last we met, the Free Pick recommended a play on the Pittsburgh Pirates, who were hosting the Reds in an NL Central showdown. The Pirates jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez went 3-for-4 (5 RBI's!), single-handedly powering Cincinnati's comeback win. It's a bummer, but to be honest, after we won that O's-Yanks total on Friday, we probably had this coming.
We've got two value plays today, with both graded at plus odds. Hitting just one of them would put us in the black for the day.
A's at Angels, 4:05 p.m. EST
Kendall Graveman (0-1, 8.10 ERA) vs
Shohei Ohtani (1-0, 4.50 ERA)
The emerging saga of Shohei Ohtani continues today, with Oakland paying a visit to Anaheim.
If you haven't paid attention to the Angels right out of the chute, let me fill you in on LA's plan for the Japanese star. Ohtani gets the day off before or after he pitches; otherwise, he takes AB's as the designated hitter when he's not on the mound. Since Ohtani's first start — a 7-4 win over the A's in Oakland — the Angels are 5-0 when he plays in the game in some capacity, versus 0-2 when he rests.
In between his last start and this one, Ohtani had three straight games with a home run.
Obviously, none of these trends will continue ad infinitum. But today, against a team the Angels are already 4-2 against this season, go ahead and back the Angels. Since three of the four wins against Oakland have come by more than one run, we're backing the runline at Angels +120, rather than back the straight moneyline at -170. Since the A's won on Saturday, 7-3, this game also falls into my MLB bounceback strategy, too.
Pick: LA Angels -1.5 +120
Mets at Nationals, 8:10 p.m. EST
Matt Harvey (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 Start) vs
Tanner Roark (1-0, 1.29 ERA, 1 Start)
This is a straight-up value play. As I've said before, I don't like betting on teams to sweep. But the Nats look to be in an early funk, and the Mets have an unquestionable pitching advantage in this game. Washington's status as a -160 favorite seems to be more predicated on recent history and uncertainty surrounding Mets starters Matt Harvey after a tumultuous 2017 season.
In reality, the Mets are giving me the better pitcher and, at least for this one series, the better lineup. How can I pass on that when it's got an underdog price tag?
Pick: New York Mets +150