When making smart MLB betting picks, you always want to go with the stronger starting pitcher. That’s the biggest advantage a team can have. With that said, here are a few picks for this coming week that I’m confident about because of one team’s pitcher.
Sharp MLB Betting Picks of the Week
Tampa Bay at Arizona, Tuesday: For a while, it looked like the Arizona Diamondbacks made a big mistake in giving free-agent pitcher Zack Greinke a $200 million-plus contract this past winter. But Greinke is starting to resemble the guy who led the majors in ERA last year and who finished second in the NL Cy Young voting (he won the AL award while with Kansas City in 2009). Greinke gets the call in Tuesday’s game against Tampa Bay and his Diamondbacks will be big favorites on MLB odds. Greinke (7-3, 4.29) was brilliant last Thursday, picking up his seventh win by tossing seven scoreless innings against the Houston Astros. He gave up four hits and struck out a season-high 11 batters. The 0-2 start in April has given way to a 7-1 stretch since, and his stuff is as sharp as ever. Greinke located his four-seam fastball on the corners and was able to walk a tightrope around the Astros’ powers hitters with his off-speed stuff. The Rays go with lefty Matt Moore (2-3, 5.46). After a first month of the season that saw Moore produce quality starts in three of his five trips to the mound, he’s gotten past the fifth inning only once in six subsequent starts. The Rays have lost seven of the last eight games Moore has started. Go Arizona here.
Washington at Chicago White Sox, Wednesday: This will be the White Sox debut of James Shields, but I’m picking Washington to win behind former AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer. The White Sox got Shields over the weekend, sending starter Erik Johnson and minor league shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. to the San Diego Padres. Shields, 34, is 2-7 with a 4.28 ERA in his second season with San Diego. He gave up 10 runs in 2 2/3 innings in his most recent start Tuesday. Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler called out Shields after the outing. Scherzer (6-4, 3.87) pitched eight innings, allowing two runs, five hits and two walks while striking out 11 in last Wednesday’s win against the Phillies. Scherzer has a 2.54 ERA in 23 career starts against the White Sox, who were a divisional foe when he pitched with Detroit.
Houston at Texas, Wednesday: The AL West-leading Rangers start ace right-hander Yu Darvish (2-0, 3.38). Darvish struck out five and gave up six hits, three earned runs and a walk over 5.2 innings in Friday’s 7-3 victory over the Mariners. It’s been relatively smooth sailing for the former All-Star in his comeback from his 2015 Tommy John surgery, as he’s tallied 12 strikeouts over 10.2 innings while issuing only a pair of free passes. He has made nine career starts against the Astros and is 4-3 with a 3.54 ERA. Houston goes with Doug Fister (5-3, 3.51). The Astros have won the last seven games the 6-foot-8 Fister has been on the mound. He has pitched at least six innings in seven of his last eight starts and has won four straight decisions after starting 1-3. Go under on the betting picks total in this game and lean Texas.