Thursday MLB games are tricky as there's usually an abbreviated amount of games as teams get a day off and are awaiting their weekend series'. I've found a couple of interesting games to use as my MLB picks of the day.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Texas Rangers
Texas pitching has been on point as of late and the betting total is listed at 10.5 runs for one reason, the starting pitching matchup. The Rangers have allowed only one run in their last 3 games (all wins) and last night were lucky to steal a game from Arizona starter Wade Miley, 1-0.
Taking the mound for the Rangers will be Scott Feldman (0-5, 6.39), and he'll be opposed by right hander Daniel Hudson (2-1. 6.06) for the D'Backs. Both of these pitchers have had poor seasons thus far, but have shown ability in the past to get the job done. Hudson was a 16 game winner last season and Feldman was a 17 game winner in 2009.
Scott Feldman had an acceptable outing against the Giants in which he pitched 5 1/3 innings and gave up 2 earned runs and struck out 7. Daniel Hudson's earned run average is somewhat deceiving. He's only started 6 games this season and in his last outing gave up 6 runs and 8 hits in just 1 2/3 innings. Before this, Hudson had 3 straight quality outing in which he averaged 7 innings per ball game while giving up 2 runs per game. It's a matter of "one bad performance inflates the ERA".
The Rangers are a powerful offensive team led by the likes of Josh Hamilton and Ian Kinsler. They rank first in offensive categories such as runs per game (5.27), batting average (2.83), and OPS (.804). This is also a team with a lot of pop as they rank 4th in the league in home runs. To sum it up, they're a dangerous offensive team and can explode at any time.
The Diamondbacks are defined as barely average in every offensive and defensive category with no definitive superstar.
Even though the Rangers are a real offensive threat, their bats have slowed down in the last week, averaging just over 3 runs per game. If Daniel Hudson can shrug off his last outing, he can hold the Rangers lineup in check.
Hudson is a much better pitcher than his ERA expresses, and Feldman should be capable of dealing with the Diamondbacks non-threatening lineup. Look for a competitive low scoring game and expect Hudson to improve as the season goes on.
Look for this game to stay under the total. 10.5 are too many runs in this situation in coming off of a 1-0 Rangers win on Wednesday.
Pick - Texas/Arizona UNDER 10.5Philadelphia Phillies at Minnesota Twins
Despite not having Ryan Howard and Chase Utley in the lineup, I'd kept thinking that the Philadelphia Phillies are going to snap out of it. I've come to the realization that the Phillies are going to be a cellar-dweller all season.
There's a problem when Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey is pitching like Cy Young and Roy Halladay is pitching like Anthony Young (had 27 consecutive losing decisions for the Mets in the 1990's). Not to mention, Halladay is on the 15 day disabled list with a shoulder injury. Luck isn't on the side of the "Fightin Phils" in the 2012 season.
Joe Blanton (5-6, 5.40) takes the mound for Philadelphia, and he'll be opposed by Scott Diamond (5-1, 1.61) for Minnesota. The Twins have a major edge in the pitching matchup as Diamond has pitched lights-out this season. He's given up no earned runs in his last two starts, which covers 13 innings, and hasn't given up more than 3 runs in a start all season.
For Philadelphia, Blanton has been atrocious as of late. He's given up 30 runs and 44 hits in his last 26 1/3 innings which covers just 5 starts. None of these starts has been recognized as "quality".The Phillies are coming off of a 9-8 victory against the Twins
in which they got off to a quick start with 6 first inning runs and were able to hold on for the victory. However, Minnesota is a legitimate threat with hitters like Denard Span, Joe Mauer, and Josh Willingham.
Willingham is coming off of back-to-back home run games and is having a boarderline superstar season with 13 HR, 44 RBI, and a .290 BA. Willingham is just 2 for 12 lifetime against Blanton but the way that each player has been playing lately, I wouldn't be surprised if Willingham goes deep again.
The starting pitching is a slam dunk for Minnesota; that gives them a decisive edge in this game.Pick - 2 BetsMinnesota -138 and Minnesota -1.5 +145
( You can feel confident with this bet. Blanton is an instant-fade and Diamond is pitching at a high level)
Good Luck everyone!