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2014 MLB Betting – Picks For Friday, July 18

Posted by Dale “Skip” Lalonde on 7/16/2014 10:33:00 PM

There’s no slower week in sports than the week of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. On Monday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week, there are hardly any main-event sporting contests on television. That comes to an end on Friday night, as baseball swings back into action with teams starting the push to the playoffs and eventually the World Series.

Game 1: Texas Rangers @ Toronto Blue Jays – Friday, July 18

This game is one in which the immediate numbers of the starting pitchers will lead you to bet in one direction, while the fortunes of these two teams will recommend a different play at the betting window. Yu Darvish is a legitimate ace-level pitcher, not just for the Texas Rangers but for any team in baseball. He has a 2.97 ERA and is an innings-eating workhorse. He gets a lot of tough outs late in games and battles as well as any pitcher you’ll find. Darvish is also doing what he’s doing for a terrible team that has been destroyed by injuries and really hasn’t had a chance to put its best lineup on the field for any real length of time.

R.A. Dickey is the starting pitcher for Toronto. He’s been better than he was in a rough 2013 season, but his 3.82 ERA is still not close to the Cy Young-level form he displayed in the National League as a member of the New York Mets. Darvish is clearly the better pitcher here, which makes a Texas pick perfectly reasonable. However, Texas now has a worse record than the Houston Astros, if you can possibly believe that. The Rangers have turned into a horrible team, not just a slightly below-average one. Toronto is part of a legitimate divisional race. The Blue Jays should be able to find a way to win this game, as long as Darvish is not throwing unhittable stuff.

MLB Betting Pick: Toronto

Game 2: Kansas City Royals @ Boston Red Sox – Friday, July 18

These teams both need huge second halves in order to make the playoffs. Kansas City is just barely above .500, thanks to a bad month of June in which a slight lead over the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central turned into a 6.5-game deficit at the break. Boston went through a miserable first half of the season, getting almost no production from players other than David Ortiz and Brock Holt. The Red Sox, though, know that the American League East is not as strong as it once was. If they can win 55 games from now until the end of September, they can make the A.L. East very interesting.

In this game, James Shields takes the bump for Kansas City with a 3.65 ERA. Clay Buchholz will toe the rubber for Boston with a fat 5.42 ERA. There is enough daylight between these pitchers’ numbers to make Kansas City the uncomplicated and obvious choice.

MLB Betting Pick: Kansas City

Game 3: Seattle Mariners @ Los Angeles Angels – Friday, July 18

The two teams chasing the Oakland Athletics in the American League West begin their big series after the All-Star break with a great pitching matchup. Hisashi Iwakuma goes to the mound for the Mariners with a 2.98 ERA. The Angels will counter with Jered Weaver, who has a very solid 3.45 ERA. The Angels have better hitters, but Iwakuma dominated Oakland just before the All-Star break. If he’s on, the Mariners will have the edge.

MLB Betting Pick: Seattle

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