MLB Thursday best bets: Fade Alzolay, Cubs in divisional clash with Cardinals
Our tough luck continued on Wednesday with another 0-3 mark, but we're still 47-38-2 on the season with our MLB picks. Here are our best bets for Thursday.
These two lineups aren't exactly the ones you'd bank on to come out of the gates hot. But when they're faced with the pitching matchup of this contest, you've got to take a shot.
Luis Patino may be the answer for the Rays someday, but he hasn't been thus far. The former star prospect returns to Tampa Bay's rotation after allowing seven runs (five earned) through 5 1/3 innings in his last start, which was his first appearance lasting longer than four frames all season.
If the Rays try to stretch him out with another long outing, Patino could allow another five runs on his own. If not, Indians arm Cal Quantrill is a liability in his own right with a 6.38 ERA over his last five starts, pitching fewer than five innings on average in that span.
The Cubs have been awful recently, and they're only getting worse. Chicago is an MLB-worst 5-16 since June 25, including three losses to the Cardinals in these teams' last four meetings. Now the Cubs will trot out Adbert Alzolay, who owns a 6.51 ERA in his last six starts with fewer than one strikeout per inning in that stretch.
St. Louis will counter with Kwang Hyun Kim, who has quietly been stellar over the last month. The Cardinals righty boasts a 1.64 ERA over his last seven starts, ceding one or fewer runs in six of those with three consecutive shutout outings. Kim's worth paying the short price in this one.