Welcome back to Friday Night Lines, your weekly home for casual baseball bettors or even baseball fans just enjoy making picks for fun. Many of you have gone through a long week at work and now it's time to kick back with some of America's pastime on a Friday night with a beverage of your choosing.
In the last five weeks, I've gone 8-7 with some really bad beats, such as losing the Dodgers -1.5 last Friday due to a Trevor Bauer throwing error. It was especially frustrating because I was right that the Dodgers were going to rough up the Giants in that series. Bauer's in the FNL doghouse for that throw, I tell ya!
Regardless, we're gonna stay the course and win some money this time around. Keep the faith and remember it's a marathon, not a sprint.
Season record: 10-11 (1-2 last week)
All lines are courtesy of William Hill Sportsbook.
And as always, best of fortune to our gambling friends.
The Padres are underdogs here and, as best I can tell, it's because they are on the road. The Astros are a much better team at Minute Maid Park than they are away, as they are 16-10 this season at home compared to 11-12 on the road. The Padres, though, are good everywhere. They are 14-9 on the road. They are also going really well right now, having won 14 of their last 17 games, running a ridiculous +70 run differential in those games. Yes, they are averaging a win by more than four runs per game in their last 17. That's a wrecking crew, baby.
And they are underdogs!
Lefty Framber Valdez gets the ball for the Astros for the first time this season, so perhaps there will be some rust. Lamet starts for the Padres and though he's been dealing with a slow climb back from an elbow injury, he's been excellent this season after being a Cy Young contender last year. Plus, the Padres have the best bullpen ERA in the league at 2.52.
Pick: Padres moneyline, +105
Cardinals at Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m. ET
The first thing that sticks out to anyone when viewing the game is the pitching matchup. There's a reason we list it here. It's the most important factor in a game, but it's far from the only factor.
I say this because Bumgarner is the better pitcher here but everything else points to the Cardinals. The main thing is the Diamondbacks are terrible. They are 4-21 in May, having been outscored by 61 runs. They've lost 11 in a row. Meantime, the Cardinals feast on inferior opponents, having gone 21-10 against sub-.500 teams this season.
Even if you like Bumgarner to throw well here, I'm not seeing him throwing a complete game. He hasn't thrown more than seven innings this year and has yet to reach 100 pitches. The Diamondbacks' bullpen has a 5.23 ERA this season. For extra comfort, the Cardinals are much better against lefties than righties, too.
And yet, due to Bumgarner vs. Oviedo, the Cardinals are underdogs here. Let's take the action.
As a bonus, we're 3-0 in picking the Cardinals (twice to win, last week to lose). They could be our lucky charm.
Pick: Cardinals moneyline (+120)
Bubic has really only had one bad outing this season and it came against the Twins. He's seen them three times in his career and allowed them to hit .390/.468/.585 against him, good for an 8.31 ERA.
Having won six of their last seven, the Twins are showing signs of great life recently and it looks like they are attempting to salvage the season and contend after a horrific start. Something to consider: They are above .500 in nine-inning games. They are 1-5 in seven-inning doubleheaders and 1-8 in extras. They are 18-16 in traditional games. As such, my gut feeling that this is actually the superior team here is backed up, from a certain point of view.
I like the Twins and we can get some good action on the run line. I'm not expecting a blowout, but they'll avoid extras and win by multiple runs.
Pick: Twins -1.5 (+120)