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Look below to find our free MLB Picks for the five best games on today’s schedule!
St Louis Cardinals @ Chicago Cubs – 2.20PM ET
A pair of NL Central rivals will kick off their three game weekend series on Friday afternoon when the equal first placed Cubs host the second placed Cardinals at Wrigley Field.
Chicago recently concluded a west coast road trip with a series victory over the Padres in San Diego. The Cubs dropped the opening match of the three game set on Monday, however they then won games two and three 7-1 and 3-1. Chicago will now return home where they have an impressive 21-10 record.
As for St Louis, they recently brought an end to their six game losing streak. The Cardinals won the second and final match of their two game set against Cleveland 8-2, leaving them three games behind the division leading Cubs/Brewers.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 9, 2021
St Louis will give Johan Oviedo the ball for his sixth start (seventh appearance) of the season. Oviedo is 0-2 with a 5.25 ERA, 1.54 WHIP and 20 strikeouts from 24 innings this year. The right hander has thrown 10.1 innings in his last three starts, allowing seven earned runs on 10 hits in that time.
Although it is not confirmed, Kyle Hendricks is expected to take the mound for his 13th start of the season on Friday. Hendricks is 7-2 in 2021, to go along with a 4.59 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and 56 strikeouts. In his last outing, Hendricks held the Giants to three runs on seven hits in 6.1 innings.
With six losses from their past seven games, we haven’t seen enough from the Cardinals recently to suggest that they are capable of winning a series opener on the road against the division leading Cubs. Especially with Hendricks, who owns a 2.81 career ERA against St Louis, giving Chicago an advantage at the mound over the inexperienced Oviedo. As well as that, Chicago have the best home record in the National League and their lineup is averaging 5.6 runs per game from their last five matches at Wrigley Field.
San Diego Padres @ New York Mets – 7.10PM ET
The two best pitching teams in baseball will face off in New York on Friday when the Mets host the Padres for the first game of their three match series.
Having lost Tuesday’s game 3-10, the Mets only managed to split their two game set against the O’s. However, New York will be looking to carry over the form from their most recent game, having defeated the Orioles 14-1 in Baltimore.
New York’s lineup, who have struggled this season, scored a season high 14 runs on Wednesday, largely thanks to a three run, three hit and five RBI performance from Billy McKinney and a three run, three hit, three RBI performance from Pete Alonso.
As for the Padres, they will hit the road after missing out on a series victory from their most recent set against the Cubs at home. San Diego won Monday’s series opener 9-4, however they were then outscored 2-10 in their following two losses, which has seen them slip to third in the NL West.
Blake Snell will take the mound for the Padres on Friday when he makes his 13th start of the year. Snell is 2-2 with a 4.83 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 80 strikeouts this season. The southpaw threw seven scoreless innings in his last start, however he has conceded 12 earned runs in his last three appearances with the ball.
The Mets will counter with Cy Young favorite Jacob deGrom. deGrom is 5-2 from his nine starts this season, owning a league best 0.62 ERA, 0.57 WHIP and 93 strikeouts from 58 innings with the ball. deGrom has allowed four earned runs combined throughout the entire season.
Seeing as the Padres lineup has been held to three runs or fewer in eight of their past 10 games and two runs or fewer in seven of their past 10, we are going to take the Mets at home in this matchup. Quite simply, Jacob deGrom is not the pitcher that you want to come up against in the middle of a scoring slump. As well as that, New York are at home and coming off their best offensive performance of the season.
Baltimore Orioles @ Tampa Bay Rays – 7.10PM ET
The worst team in the AL East is on their way to Tampa Bay to take on the best team in baseball on Friday night, as the Rays are set to host the Orioles in a three game series.
The Rays will enter this series having recently split their two game set against the Nationals at home. Tampa Bay won game one on Tuesday 3-1, however they then lost game two 7-9 in an 11 innings epic. Although they split the series, the Rays 39-24 record is still good for the best record in baseball.
As for the Orioles, they recently improved out of the worst record in baseball thanks to a 5-2 record from their past seven games, including a series split from their most recent games against the Mets in Baltimore. The Orioles backed up an 18 run performance on Sunday with a 10 run outing in their game one win against the Mets on Tuesday. However, Baltimore then lost game two 1-14.
Ryan Yarbrough, Painting. 🖌️🎨 pic.twitter.com/2HSuMJBMq8
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 3, 2021
Keegan Akin will look to continue the O’s form resurgence when he makes his third start (seventh appearance) of the season. Akin is yet to register a win or loss in 2021, however he owns a 3.60 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 18 strikeouts from 20 innings of work this year. The southpaw has conceded just three earned runs in his last three starts, throwing 12.2 innings in that time.
Ryan Yarbrough will make his ninth start (12th appearance) for the Rays in Friday’s series opener. Yarbrough is 3-3 this year to go along with a 3.95 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 53 strikeouts from 66 innings of action. The lefty has allowed no more than three earned runs in any of his last six starts.
Although Yarbrough is coming off a 113 pitch count, nine innings performance in his last start, we are still going to pick the Rays lineup to get them over the line in Friday’s series opener. Baltimore may have won five of their last seven, however this is the same team that was on a 14 game losing streak just a week ago and we can’t see them upsetting the best team in baseball on the road with Keegan Akin at the mound. Especially, when considering that the Rays lineup are averaging 4.95 runs per contest.
Pittsburgh Pirates @ Milwaukee Brewers – 8.10PM ET
The division leading Milwaukee Brewers are about to host the last placed Pittsburgh Pirates in a battle between NL Central rivals.
As a result of their 7-2 victory on Thursday, Milwaukee took a 2-1 series victory from their three game set in Cincinnati and moved back into the shared lead of the NL Central with a 35-27 record. The Brewers now have eight wins from their past 10 games.
Pittsburgh will be looking to bounce back after being swept in their three game home series by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Pirates were outscored 7-13 during the three losses, which has extended their active losing streak to four consecutive games.
Chase De Jong will look to snap Pittsburgh’s losing streak when he makes his third start of the season on Friday. De Jong is yet to register a result this season, however he owns a 5.40 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 10 strikeouts from his 10 innings this year. The right hander has thrown five innings in each of his two starts this season, allowing three earned runs in his season debut and seven in his most recent outing.
The Brewers will counter with Brandon Woodruff. Woodruff has been phenomenal this season, owning a 4-2 record, 1.42 ERA, 0.74 WHIP and 92 strikeouts from 76 innings across 12 starts. The right hander has allowed just two earned runs in his past three starts, throwing 19 innings in that time.
With a 14-4 record from their past 18 games, we can’t go past the division leading Brewers to pick up a win at home in the first game of their series against the last placed Pirates. Milwaukee’s lineup are scoring 4.72 runs per outing across that 18 game stretch and the Brewers have won each of Woodruff’s last four starts by two runs or more. As well as that, Pittsburgh has the worst scoring offense in the league (3.49 runs per game) and De Jong can’t compete against Woodruff in the matchup between the two starting pitchers.
Texas Rangers @ Los Angeles Dodgers – 10.10PM ET
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers will close out our Friday night MLB schedule with the first match of their three game series at Dodger Stadium.
Los Angeles recently wrapped up a six game road trip with a three game series sweep over the Pirates in Pittsburgh. Mookie Betts set the tone for the day in game three, clubbing a leadoff homer in the first. The Dodgers lineup then built on that lead with a three run third innings to set up the victory.
Julio Urias allowed three earned runs in six innings with the ball and the pitcher also contributed with the bat, hitting a two run single at the top of the third. Los Angeles outscored Pittsburgh 13-7 in the three game series.
As for Texas, they recently concluded their five game home stint with a 2-3 record thanks to a 4-3 victory in their most recent outing against San Francisco. The win gave the Rangers a 1-1 split series from their two games against the Giants.
— MLB (@MLB) June 10, 2021
Mike Foltynewicz will take the mound for Texas on Friday when he makes his 13th start of the season. Foltynewicz is 1-6 with a 4.75 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 46 strikeouts from 66.1 innings of work this year. The right hander has given up seven earned runs in his last two starts, throwing 10.2 innings in that time.
The Dodger will give Clayton Kershaw the ball for his 14th start of the season. Kershaw is 7-5 with a 3.66 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 86 strikeouts from 76.1 innings this year. Having allowed 10 earned runs in 12 innings across his last two starts, the southpaw has underperformed so far this season.
Seeing as the Dodgers are at home and their 5.26 runs per game average is good for the second best in baseball, we are going to take the reigning champions to open up this series with a win against Texas. The Rangers are 9-23 on the road this season, including 15 consecutive losses outside of Texas, and even though Kershaw hasn’t been at his best this season, we like him to outperform Foltynewicz in the pitching matchup.
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