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Free Sports Picks: Nick Pivetta, Philadelphia Invade Camden Yards

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Oskeim previews the interleague baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday, May 15. Oskeim recommends taking the Phillies as one of his free sports picks.

Oskeim also provides sports bettors with updated injury news throughout the major leagues so be sure to scroll down beyond the free sports picks.

Philadelphia right-hander Nick Pivetta takes the mound with a 4.15 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 3.24 FIP and 3.56 xFIP through his first eight starts in 2018. The 25-year-old has underperformed his underlying peripherals due to an unsustainable .330 BABIP, meaning that the talented hurler is due for positive regression.

Pivetta boasts 25.6% strikeout rate and has done an excellent job of suppressing hard contact (24.5% Hard%).

Pivetta is backed by a very good Philadelphia bullpen that owns a 3.28 ERA and 1.28 WHIP, including posting a 2.99 ERA and 1.29 WHIP at night, and a 0.93 ERA and 1.03 WHIP versus American League bats.

Technically speaking, the Phillies are 10-2 in Pivetta’s last twelve starts and 5-0 in his last five outings against .499 or worse opposition.

Baltimore veteran Andrew Cashner toes the rubber with a 4.84 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 5.74 ERA and 4.89 xFIP in eight starts this season. Cashner has struggled with control issues (4.23 BB/9) and the long ball (2.01 HR/9).

Unlike Pivetta, Cashner has actually outperformed his peripherals and is a candidate for regression. Interestingly, the right-hander finished with a 3.40 ERA in 2017 despite posting a 5.30 xFIP and 5.52 SIERA.

Cashner is no longer excelling at keeping the ball on the ground (career 48.6% ground ball rate vs. a 38.8% GB% this season), which is a recipe for disaster inside the batter-friendly confines of Camden Yards. The 31-year-old finds little support in a subpar Baltimore bullpen that enters tonight’s game with a 4.57 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in 155 2/3 innings of work.

The Orioles’ relief staff also owns a 4.72 ERA and 1.43 WHIP at night and a 5.16 ERA and 1.68 WHIP in its last seven games. Technically speaking, the Orioles are 1-5 in Cashner’s last six starts overall and 1-4 in his previous five home outings.  Take the Phillies as one of Oskeim’s free sports picks for Tuesday, May 15.

Oskeim’s Free Sports Picks for Tuesday, May 15:

  • Philadelphia Phillies (-111) over Baltimore Orioles
  • Cleveland Indians (-133) over Detroit Tigers

Major League Baseball Injury News:

  • Angels’ closer Kenyan Middleton was officially placed on the 10-Day disabled list. Expect Blake Parker, Justin Anderson, Cam Bedrosian & Jim Johnson to form a closer by committee system.
  • Good news for the St. Louis Cardinals: Alex Reyes threw a minor league rehab assignment yesterday, throwing five innings & striking out 12. He threw 51 of his 80 pitches for strikes & was consistently hitting 95-99 mph on the radar gun.
  • Lucas Duda was placed on the 10-Day disabled list with plantar fasciitis, giving former top prospect Hunter Dozier a chance. Dozier was a top 10 pick in the 2013 draft.
  • Alen Hanson was placed on the 10-Day disabled list w/ a hamstring injury. The 25-year-old former top prospect owns a .298/.346/.638 slash line with 4 home runs & 3 stolen bases.
  • DJ Lemahieu was placed on the 10-Day DL with a thumb injury. Both Ryan McMahon and top prospect Brendan Rodgers have been playing second base in the minors so the Rockies have two viable options to replace Lemahieu.