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MLB Pick: Larry Ness betting the Tigers -144 odds over the Rangers on May 20th 2017

Texas Rangers vs. Detroit Tigers
MLB Pick: Detroit -144 odds (May 20th 2017)

There is no denying that the Rangers are currently MLB’s hottest team, as last night’s 5-3 win over the Tigers in Detroit gives Texas 10 consecutive wins. The Rangers were just 13-20 after a 5-1 loss at San Diego back on May 8 but Texas has averaged 6.4 runs over its last 10 games (all victories) while also getting some solid pitching. The Rangers go for 11 in a row tonight in Detroit, looking to stay within striking distance of the Astros, who own MLB’s best record at 29-13, giving them a 6 1/2-game lead over Texas. The Tigers fell to 2-2 on their current six-game homestand and are a 5-7 over their last 12, leaving them 20-20 but just two games back of the first-place Twins in the AL Central.

Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature A.J. Griffin (4-0, 3.15 ERA) and Justin Verlander (3-3, 4.47 ERA). Griffin failed to earn a win in his last start, when he was reached for four runs on seven hits in five innings against the A’s. Texas won 6-4 with Griffin settling for a no-decision. That ended a string of four straight wins, a stretch in which he twice did not allow a run (four ERs allowed over 26 innings in that span, giving him a 1.38 ERA).

Verlander had a string of three straight quality starts come to an end last Sunday, when he was tagged for four runs on five hits and five walks in six innings by the Angels in Los Angeles. The former Cy Young Award winner and MVP is struggling a bit with his control, issuing 20 walks in his last five starts. His walks (25 in 48.1 IP) are part of why his WHIP is 1.43, compared to his career WHIP of 1.19.

Texas is a perfect 6-0 in Griffin’s starts this season, giving him MLB’s second-best moneyline mark at plus-$697. However, got an 8.53 ERA and 30 hits allowed in just 19 innings in his career vs the Tigers! Meanwhile, the veteran Verlander is 10-6 with a 2.98 ERA in 19 career starts against Texas (Tigers are 11-8). Texas is long overdue for a ‘hiccup,’ as is Griffin. Take the Tigers.

New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays Prediction from Teddy Covers: May 19th 2017

New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays
MLB Prediction: Yanks -123 odds (May 19th 2017)

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The Yankees red hot lineup got cooled off by Danny Duffy last night, but I’m not expecting any sort of longer term decline.  A squad that leads the majors with 17 games this season in which they’ve produced seven runs or more is live to do it again tonight in Tampa against Rays spot starter Erasmo Ramirez.  This is a lineup worthy of support following a loss in which they got shut down completely; 8-2 in their last ten games on the highway.

And the Yanks are catching Tampa in a ‘fat and happy’ spot, returning home off their first winning road trip in nearly a year.  The Rays just hit ten home runs in Cleveland in their three game series, now returning home to the Trop where the ball just doesn’t carry as well as it does in most other ballparks.  This Rays lineup is not primed to batter Luis Severino and the elite Yankees bullpen behind him.

Severino’s advanced metric stats are truly stellar.  His xFIP is sitting at 2.87, nearly a full run lower than his ERA.  Severino has an excellent 50% ground ball rate and he’s striking out more than ten batters per nine innings while walking only two.

Severino held the Rays to two runs on five hits while striking out 11 batters in a dominant seven inning performance in his lone start against Tampa this year.  His numbers this season and for his career clearly show that the best place to back Severino is on the highway, because he just doesn’t allow many home runs in pitcher friendly venues like this one.

Behind Severino, the Yanks rank #2 in MLB in bullpen ERA, suffering only three bullpen losses all year.  The Rays bullpen has suffered ten losses already and they rank outside the top half of MLB in bullpen ERA.  That’s bad news with Ramirez on the hill, because he’s not going to eat up many innings, lasting only five in his lone previous start this season and coming off a 28 pitch effort out of the bullpen on Sunday.  Short road chalk worth laying!  Take the Yankees.

MLB Pick: McMordie betting the Diamondbacks -134 odds on May 19th 2017

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Diego Padres
MLB Betting Pick: Arizona -134 odds (May 19th 2017)

At 10:10 pm, our complimentary selection is on the Arizona Diamondbacks over the San Diego Padres.  Taijuan Walker was given a fresh start this season when he was shipped off from Seattle south to Arizona and the National League.  The results so far for the 24-year-old RHP have been mixed as Walker is 3-3 with a 3.91 ERA through his first eight starts, and those numbers are pretty much in line with what Walker has done throughout his career.  There’s plenty of time for improvement, and perhaps his second start against the Padres as a member of the Diamondbacks will kick start the rest of his season.

Walker’s best start of the season so far was easily the one he had vs. this team back on April 27 when Walker threw 104 pitches through eight innings, allowing just two runs on four hits while striking out 11 and walking none.  Walker also did well in his two previous starts against San Diego as a member of the Mariners (1-1 with two earned runs on five hits in 12 innings with 13 K’s and one BB).  The D-Backs are 8-3 in the last 11 meetings with the Padres while San Diego is 0-8 in RHP Jered Weaver’s last eight starts.  Take Arizona.  As always, good luck…Al McMordie.  And don’t miss my RED-HOT Preakness Stakes Winner, as I’ve cashsed the Preakness each of the last 3 years (including a $124.40 Exacta in 2015 and an $18.20 Exacta in 2014).  Or, better yet, join for a week or month today to get all of my award-winning plays in hockey, hoops, baseball and horse racing.

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