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Posted at 11:15 AM EST.
7:07 PM EST. Despite commissioner Rob Manfred’s proclamations to the contrary, there has been a significant decline in parity within MLB during the last few years and it has reached a peak this year. Never have we seen so many bad teams continually losing and perhaps it’s time to start taking advantage. It gets harder to win for bad teams in June, July and August because more runs are being scored in the warmer weather and superior teams are starting to gain traction.
Whether due to tanking or some other factor, the top and bottom of the league are diverging, producing a class of super-teams with near-certain playoff potential and a cellar-dwelling group of also-rans biding their time for future seasons.
Toronto loses almost every day and they don’t just lose, they usually lose by three runs or more. When the Jays score a run it’s a near miracle and we highly doubt they’ll get to the filthy stuff that Masahiro Tanaka (RHP - NYY) delivers. Tanaka’s xERA and overall skills, while never elite, are consistently upper-tier. His first-pitch strike rate is elite, not only supporting his control ratio, but also hinting at possible improvement. Tanaka’s K-rate has surged in the last two years, supported by elite swing & miss numbers numbers due to his increased slider and splitter usage. Tanaka has a BB/K split of 5/29 over his last 31 innings.
In two starts this year, Clayton Richard (LHP - TOR) has walked six batters in eight innings. He’s now 35-years-old with lots of mileage on his worn out arm and body. Richard reportedly pitched through pain in both knees for most of last season before shutting it down in late August. In the off-season, he underwent two surgeries to clean up various issues. This is a starter that has only delivered positive value in one season (2012) during his 10-year career, and his declining velocity plus the move to the Rogers Centre while pitching for the Jays makes another positive season unlikely in 2019. Fading Toronto with Richard starting is on the table for the rest of the year.
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N.Y. Yankees -1½ -113 (Risking 2.26 units - To Win: 2.00)