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.
We got off to a rough start, going 2-4 through the first two weeks, but we're rolling now with two consecutive Fridays hitting two of the three picks. Let's keep the good times rolling.
Season record: 6-6 (2-1 last week)
All lines are courtesy of William Hill Sportsbook.
And as always, best of fortune to our gambling friends.
Corbin hasn't had nearly as much trouble this season as his numbers seem to indicate. He was bad in his first start and brutal in his second, but he's pitched to a 3.18 ERA in his last three starts. Those offenses (Cardinals, Mets and Marlins) don't have quite the offensive firepower the Yankees do, though, and the Yankees are going well right now, having scored at least six runs in four of their last six games. They have posted an .803 OPS against lefty starters this season, too.
The Nationals' offense is going through a rough stretch right now and Taillon has pitched better than his ERA suggests, according to underlying indicators (his expected ERA, per Statcast, is 2.91, for example).
The Nationals come in having lost three in a row while the Yankees have won seven of nine. Ride the hot hand and a Yankees offensive outburst wouldn't be remotely surprising. We won on the run line with a Yankees blowout last week, so let's stick with what works.
Also, if you can find a Giancarlo Stanton home run prop, take a look. He's out-of-his-mind hot right now and should eat Corbin alive.
Pick: Yankees on the -1.5 run line (+105)
Reds at Cleveland, 7:10 p.m. ET
How's this for a split?
- Reds at home: .275/.362/.502, 6.88 runs per game
- Reds on road: .202/.267/.333, 2.92 runs per game
Cleveland starter Plesac was roughed up twice by the White Sox, but has otherwise been good this season and he threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings last time out. The Reds haven't seen much of Plesac -- remember, that's generally advantageous to the pitcher -- and the ones who have seen him haven't had much success (Eugenio Suarez is 1 for 6, Jesse Winker is 0 for 5). I like a good outing from Plesac here.
Just a few weeks ago, Cleveland got four runs in five innings against Miley and the Reds' bullpen has had so many issues with leakage, I've actually got some faith in the home team here. I thought about the under (8.5), but there's too much risk of the Reds' pitching staff melting down. It's hard to put a ton of trust in the punchless Cleveland bats, but I have plenty of faith in their run prevention in this one.
Pick: Cleveland wins on the moneyline (-135)
Rockies at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. ET
Flaherty coughed up six runs in 4 1/3 innings in his first start of the season. He's since pitched to a 2.10 ERA in 30 innings and looked every bit an ace. The Cardinals are returning home after back-to-back losses and this is Flaherty's chance to play stopper. He's much better at home than on the road, too, sporting a career 2.71 ERA in Busch Stadium vs. 3.99 on the road.
Speaking of home/road splits, the Rockies are 2-11 with a negative-35 run differential on the road this season. They are a terrible team in general, but well beyond that on the road. They've hit .232/.296/.336 on the road this year. Somehow, they've actually pitched worse on the road than in Coors Field (4.50 home ERA vs. 6.14 road ERA).
The Cardinals were a blowout pick last Friday as well, and it worked out. We're sticking with what works, because all the signs here point to an easy Cards' W.
Pick: Cardinals win on -1.5 run line (+100)