Welcome back to Friday Night Lines, your weekly home for casual baseball bettors or even baseball fans who 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 have an extra-full night of 16 games in store for us.
Gang, it happened. This tweet from last week was solely for the purposes of embedding here for this column …
That would be me reacting to the Giants winning last Friday night, which clinched our first perfect week. Yes, we went 3-0. Now the task is to repeat that to infinity and beyond. Let’s get some!
Season record: 17-16 (3-0 last week) … +661 (7-1 in last eight moneyline picks)
All lines are courtesy of William Hill Sportsbook.
And as always, best of fortune to our gambling friends.
Pitching matchup: Domingo Germán (4-4, 4.17 ERA) vs. Martín Pérez (5-4, 4.32 ERA)
The Red Sox swept the Yankees toward the beginning of the month, but things are different at this juncture. The Yankees are starting to put things together, having won seven of their last nine. The Red Sox, meanwhile, have lost four of their last six and have been pretty mediocre since that series in Yankee Stadium.
Further, for whatever reason, the Red Sox have been pretty unimpressive at home this season, where they are 20-17 with a plus-four run differential. No, they aren’t bad, but they’ve been better on the road and, if anything, this — along with the Yankees being three games over .500 on the road — simply shows that we can mitigate any thoughts about a home-field advantage.
Red Sox starter Pérez has a 6.68 ERA in Fenway Park (eight starts) this season vs. 2.10 on the road (six starts).
Yankees starter Germán has been bad his last two times out, but he allowed just one run in 5 2/3 innings against the Red Sox last time out and the Yankees have gone 4-2 in his road starts this year.
Plus, on the surface, I trust the Yankees’ bullpen more and the Yankees’ righty-heavy offense plays well in Fenway against a southpaw.
Pick: Yankees on the moneyline (-125)
Friday Afternoon Lines?
Yeah, this is too good to pass up. I will continue to make light of this and ride it as much as I can. The Rockies are actually a great team at home, but they are on pace to be one of the worst — if not the worst — road teams in baseball history. They are 6-28 away from Coors Field. What’s more, they are coming off a win, which only makes me feel better about a loss here.
Both teams are coming off a day off after a flight, so there are no concerns there.
Burnes isn’t the world-beater he was earlier in the season, but he’s still good. For whatever reason, Gray has mostly been better in Coors than away and this year is no different. He has a 3.25 ERA at home and 6.75 on the road.
By the way, the Rockies hit .197/.272/.301 on the road.
Even if the Rockies somehow get to Burnes, the bullpen matchup here strongly favors the Brewers.
Obviously, the Brewers are heavily favored, but we can get good odds in picking them to win by multiple runs. They will.
Pick: Brewers on the -1.5 run line (-125)
I’ll send a faux-apology to the Yankees-Red Sox matchup before pointing out the actual best series of the weekend takes place in the best Bay our nation has to offer. The Giants have the best record in baseball while the A’s have the third-best.
A’s starter Manaea comes in one of the hottest pitchers in baseball. In his last six starts, he has a 1.19 ERA with 41 strikeouts in 37 2/3 innings.
Even if you like Manaea, though, everything else tilts the Giants’ way.
The A’s have lost four of six and just split in Texas. They had to fly back from Arlington Thursday while the Giants had a day off after the short flight back from Anaheim on Wednesday. The Giants have also won eight of their last nine.
Cueto is far from a sure thing these days, but he’s much more reliable at home (4-2, 3.38 ERA vs. 1-1, 4.97 on the road) and the Giants’ bullpen has a 1.95 ERA in June. Oh, and the A’s bullpen has a 4.58 ERA this month.
And I just can’t pick against the Giants at home, where they are 24-10 this season.
I’m riding the hot hand. Plus, I picked the Giants last week and they clinched my perfect week, so we’ll stick with what works.
Pick: Giants on the moneyline (+101)
Look, the most likely scenario here is Kyle Schwarber‘s home run tear ends. There’s a reason it’s news. I’m not counting this toward my overall record nor am I laying any money on it, but I’m just putting it out there that this is an intriguing line. Schwarber has homered 12 times in his last 13 games and eight times in his last five. He’s as locked in as it gets. So are the Nationals, having won 10 of their last 11 games. Pablo López is a tough pitching matchup, but the Marlins have lost eight of their last 10.
Simply, if you like gambling and want to root for a home run with a bonus, check this one out.
The bonus pick: Schwarber homers and the Nationals win, +340