Good afternoon everyone, it's Chris Bengel back in the saddle with you. When it comes to baseball, I'm happier than Tom Fornelli is. That's because I've been able to enjoy watching my Philadelphia Phillies again, since they have actually been playing well of late.

It was clear that a change was needed and the front office made the right move by firing Joe Girardi. Since elevating bench coach Rob Thomson to interim manager, the Phillies have won 10 of their last 11 games, including an eight-game winning streak to start off Thomson's tenure.

Speaking of baseball, I've got three picks on the diamond for you this evening. Let's not waste any more time and get down to business.

All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook

The Hot Ticket

Astros vs. Rangers, 8:05 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV

Latest Odds: Texas Rangers +105
  • Key Trend: The Rangers are 7-2 in their last nine games as a home underdog
  • The Pick: Rangers (+110) 

This is a battle of two teams that are trending in different directions. The Astros have dropped four of their last five games while the Rangers have won three consecutive contests -- including a 5-3 win against the Astros on Monday. I'm forecasting a similar result on Tuesday.

First of all, Astros starter Jose Urquidy has had his fair share of struggles lately. In his last five starts, Urquidy has surrendered at least four runs in three of those five outings. In addition, the Astros right-hander is coming off a game in which yielded five runs on seven hits in just 4 1/3 innings against the Mariners, including a pair of home runs. In 11 starts this season, Urquidy has a lofty 5.04 ERA, so the potential is there for him to get hit around.

Meanwhile, the Rangers have scored 24 runs over their three-game winning streak. Entering Tuesday, this is a lineup that has the seventh-most home runs (76) in the league. The Rangers also have no problem manufacturing runs, as they lead the majors in stolen bases (55). I'm more than happy to take the Rangers as a slight home underdog in a spot where they've thrived as of late.

MLB Picks


White Sox vs. Tigers, 7:10 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV

Latest Odds: Detroit Tigers +1.5

The Pick: Tigers +1.5 (-105)-- I'm still trying to figure out why the White Sox are heavy favorites in this spot. They've lost four of their last six games and haven't exactly seen much production from their pitching. 

Starter Dylan Cease has pitched well against the Tigers in his career, but I don't expect that to continue on the road. In three of his last four starts, Cease has failed to get through five innings and has issued 10 walks over his last two starts. Meanwhile, Drew Hutchison will serve as the opener on Tuesday and has only yielded runs in three of his 10 appearances on the season.

The Tigers have won 10 of their 14 games at home and also own a 5-2 record over their last seven games against teams with a losing record. While the Tigers haven't been scoring a ton of runs, I think Cease could easily have another brutal outing. The Detroit moneyline is quite intriguing at +165 odds, but I believe that the run line is the safer bet in this spot. 

Key Trend: The Tigers are 10-4 in their last 14 home games

Braves at Nationals, 7:05 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Max Fried Over 5.0 strikeouts (-115) --
 Much like last week, I'm piggybacking off of the Braves' stellar pitching staff in the prop market. Starter Max Fried is in the National League Cy Young conversation due to his 6-2 record and 2.64 ERA.

Fried has tallied at least six strikeouts in five of his last eight starts. In addition, the Braves left-hander is also coming off an eight-strikeout performance against the Pirates. It also doesn't hurt that Fried will be facing the lowly Nationals, who are in the middle of the pack when it comes to scoring runs. Over their past five games, the Nationals have struck out 33 times despite being one of the more disciplined hitting teams in the majors.

If Fried settles into a groove out of the gate, I have no doubt that he will reach the six-strikeout mark that we need.

Key Trend: Fried has recorded at least six strikeouts in five of his last eight starts