The sports world is all about the Stanley Cup Playoffs in NHL and the NBA Finals. Then, starting on June 15, the entire sports world turns their attention to Russia where the 2018 World Cup takes place. All the while, Major League Baseball continues with one of its most competitive seasons ever.
Check out my MLB Weekend Picks for June 2 through June 3.
MLB Weekend Picks June 2 and June 3
Saturday, June 2
Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros
Red Sox listed starter David Price was so into the video game Fortnite that some believed it’s the reason he’s been terrible this season. Fortnite was to blame for Price’s carpal tunnel issue. Those who believed playing video games was Price’s issue might have been right.
The articles started on May 3 and ended around May 10. Price had a horrible outing on May 3. He lasted 3.2 innings. He allowed 7 earned runs off 6 hits. He gave up 2 home runs and walked 4 batters. The Texas Rangers dominated Price and the Red Sox 11 to 5. What happened on May 17 a week after May 10?
On May 17, David Price showed why he’s been one of the most sought after pitchers the past 5 to 10 years. He threw for a full 9 innings. He allowed 2 earned runs off 5 hits. He struck out 8. He didn’t walk a single batter. The Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5 to 2.
Actually ever since the loss on May 3 Price has pitched well enough for the Red Sox to go 4 and 0 in his last 4 starts. That doesn’t mean he’s torn it up. It does mean that Boston has played well enough to bail out David when things have gone south for him.
Things should go south for Price versus Houston on Saturday. Will the Red Sox bail out their listed starter? Probably not. The reason is because Houston starts Justin Verlander. Verlander’s ERA is a dynamite 1.11. His WHIP is .71. He’s got a 7 and 2 record this season.
Houston has won the last 3 times Verlander has taken the mound. I believe the Astros beat the Red Sox by at least 2 runs on June 2.
Pick: Houston Astros
Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins
As of May 28, the Cleveland Indians are 3.5 games ahead of the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central Division. That makes this weekend series between the Tribe and Twins ultra-important. On Saturday, Cleveland lists Trevor Bauer as their starter.
Bauer has faced Minnesota batters 214 times. The Twins have 50 hits and 24 RBIs off Bauer. They’ve walked 21 times while striking out 49 times. Bauer’s only allowed 2 home runs in the 214 at bats. That means he’s well suited to throw a good game versus Minnesota on Saturday. Bauer’s ERA on the road is fantastic at 1.97. If he shows up with his best stuff on June 2, it should be difficult for the Twins to do much.
That’s especially true because Minnesota is listed as starting Lance Lynn. The former St. Louis Cardinals’ pitcher hasn’t had a great 2018. His ERA is 5.94. His record is 3 and 4 and his WHIP is 1.82. The Twins have gone 4 and 1 straight up in Lynn’s last 5 starts, though.
Is that enough to give the Twins a shot? Nope. Lynn should have trouble versus a Cleveland squad that will be dead set on maintaining their 3.5 to 4 game advantage. I like the Tribe in this match up.
Pick: Cleveland Indians
L.A. Dodgers at Colorado Rockies
Dodgers and Rockies is another weekend series that means something. The Dodgers are only 3.5 games behind the Rockies. The Rockies have, surprisingly, overtaken the Arizona Diamondbacks atop the division.
Los Angeles lists Walker Buehler as their starter on June 2. Buehler could be the next great Dodgers’ starter. The 23-year-old from Crestview Hills, Kentucky, has pitched 41 innings in 7 starts this season. His ERA is an excellent 2.20. His WHIP is a fantastic .90. Buehler’s also gone 3 and 1 in his 7 starts. 48 strike outs in 41 innings pitched means that when Buehler’s got his best stuff working he can lock down batters.
Colorado counters Buehler with German Marquez. Marquez has a 4.21 ERA, a 4 and 5 record and a 1.44 WHIP. He’s struck out 54 batters in 57.2 innings pitched. Versus the Dodgers, Marquez has been okay. He’s allowed 11 hits from 50 at bats. The Dodgers hit .220 versus German Marquez.
Because German Marquez has thrown well versus the L.A. Dodgers, it doesn’t mean that he and the Rockies are the play in this match up. The problem that German Marquez has in this game is that he, like so many other Colorado starters, doesn’t throw well at Coors Field.
German Marquez allows a .344 batting average this season at home. His home ERA is a monstrous 7.54. His home WHIP is a bad 1.99. If Marquez and the Rockes were in L.A. this weekend, they might be the play. Because they battle the Dodgers at home, the Dodgers are the play.
Pick: L.A. Dodgers
Sunday, June 3
Chicago Cubs at New York Mets
Just like last season, the Brewers lead the Cubs in the NL Central before the MLB All Star Game. Milwaukee’s lead is currently 4.5 games. That means the Cubs are, again, working from behind. Although there are 162 games for each team in Major League Baseball, make no mistake, every game counts because everyone plays the same amount of games.
In this case, the Cubs try to secure a win by starting pitcher Jon Lester. Lester remains the Chicago Cubs’ top starter. Lester’s 2.37 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 4 and 2 record scream ace status. He’s had decent success versus the Mets, holding New York to a .222 batting average. The Mets only have 51 hits from 230 at bats.
The Mets counter Lester with Steven Matz. Matz’s 3.80 ERA and 1.29 WHIP imply he’ll be competitive on Sunday. Matz has only faced Cubs’ batter 33 times. The Cubbies have 12 hits off Steven Matz. That’s a .364 batting average. Can we forgive Matz for allowing Chicago to bat over .360 against him?
I believe so. 33 at bats is nothing. Not only that, but the Mets have won the last 3 games where Steven Matz has started. I’m siding with the New York Mets to get the job done on June 3.
Pick: New York Mets
Philadelphia Phillies at San Francisco Giants
Former Cub Jake Arrieta continues to display the consistency that he lacked last season. Arrieta’s 2.45 ERA and 1.15 WHIP make him the Phillies’ ace. Jake’s been an absolute beast versus the San Francisco Giants. He’s held the Giants to 35 hits from 169 at bats. That’s a legit .207 batting average.
The Giants have 2 home runs from 169 at bats off the solid Jake Arrieta. Arrieta’s struck out 40 San Francisco batters. He’s walked 15 batters. But, the Phillies have gone 1 and 4 in Arrieta’s last 5 starts. Not only that, Jake Arrieta’s road ERA is 5.12 this season.
The Giants hope 25-year-old Andrew Suarez keeps Philly batters at bay this Sunday. Suarez is listed as starting. The youngster has a 5.65 ERA and 1.36 WHIP. His record is 1 and 4 while he’s struck out 37 batters in 36.2 innings pitched. Suarez most definitely is up against it on Sunday.
The San Francisco Giants are a terrible 1 and 6 straight up in the 7 games that Suarez has started. Suarez’s recent form implies that he’ll do nothing to help the Giants win on June 3. In a game on May 22, Suarez lasted 4 innings. He gave up 5 earned runs of 7 hits. He struck out 2 and walked 2. The Houston Astros beat the Giants 11 to 2.
In his last start, Suarez lasted 5 innings versus the Colorado Rockies on the road. The Rockies secured 3 earned runs off 5 hits. Colorado beat San Francisco 6 to 5.
Although the Rockies ran Suarez off the mound after 5 innings, Suarez did strikeout 7 in that game. The Phillies haven’t stepped it up for Arrieta in his last few starts. I believe Suarez and the San Francisco Giants can pull off the home upset win on Sunday.
Pick: San Francisco Giants