After a pair of winners Wednesday, MLB handicapper Dalton Brown will look to pick up some momentum with two more picks on Thursday's baseball slate.
2:10 p.m. ET: Cleveland Guardians at Kansas City Royals: OVER 8.5 (-120) at PointsBet
The Cleveland Guardians and Kansas City Royals will complete their three-game set from Kauffman Stadium on Thursday afternoon, and I am anticipating plenty of offense against two struggling veteran starting pitchers.
Shane Bieber will pitch for Cleveland, an ace of years' past who has seen his stuff decline and is beginning to experience the negative regression his advanced stats have been calling for all season. Bieber's 4.94 xERA lands him well below average among MLB pitchers, and he's allowed four or more earned runs in two straight starts. The righty has also been significantly less effective on the road (4.58 ERA) than he has been at home (2.21) this season, making Thursday's matinee a prime spot for his negative regression to continue.
Zack Greinke will get the start for the Royals while in the midst of a 9.00-ERA June. Greinke surrendered seven runs in just four innings last time out against Tampa Bay, and hasn't recorded an out in the sixth inning of any of his last six starts. That means that Kansas City's bullpen will likely need to cover at least four frames mere hours after covering 5.1 innings on Wednesday night.
With sunny skies and temperatures reaching nearly 100 degrees Thursday afternoon in Kansas City, expect the ball to fly well and this total to be eclipsed comfortably.
7:15 p.m. ET: Houston Astros at St. Louis Cardinals: Astros First 5 Innings moneyline (-110) at BetMGM
The Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals will play the rubber match of their three-game series at Busch Stadium Thursday night, and I am backing Houston to carry a lead into the game's late innings.
Each team is sending a righty to the mound, but this is more of a pitching mismatch than meets the eye in favor of Astros rookie J.P. France. France has completed at least six innings in five straight starts while pitching to an impressive 3.08 June ERA, a number he's landed at despite facing the Dodgers, the streaking Reds, and the Angels this month. He's been more comfortable pitching away from Minute Maid Park than at home by a significant margin (2.40 away vs. 5.01 home), and should get plenty of run support here.
The Cardinals are sending ancient righty Adam Wainwright to the bump, a pitcher who by all indications should have retired before this season began. Waino has been dreadful, surrendering a 6.82 xERA, at least three earned runs in all nine of his starts, and seven runs on 11 hits in just three innings last time out vs. the Cubs. Houston's offense ranks seventh in MLB with a wRC+ of 111 since May 15, so the Astros shouldn't struggle with Wainwright.