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Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale delivers against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game on May 19, 2019, at Fenway Park in Boston.
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale delivers against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game on May 19, 2019, at Fenway Park in Boston.|Winslow Townson | Associated Press
MLB

MLB Friday: Frank pitches in and shares his picks: Red Sox vs Astros, Rays vs Indians, Marlins vs Nationals, and Tigers vs Mets

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

Favorite Pick of the Day: Red Sox (-137) over ASTROS

Underdog Pick of the Day: INDIANS (+123) over Rays

Over of the Day: Marlins at NATIONALS 9

Under of the Day: Tigers at METS 4.5 (First 5)

The Skinny: There was legitimate concern surrounding Chris Sale in April. His velocity was down, he was averaging less than six strikeouts per start, and was looking rather pedestrian. His full season numbers might still suggest he’s underachieving, but his May splits have looked much more like Chris Sale. He’s notched double digits in strikeouts in each of his previous four starts this month and walked just six hitters combined in those four outings. He’s getting back to looking like Chris Sale and the Red Sox are facing a pitcher they hit well. Boston’s hitters are a combined 34/103 against Wade Miley which is good for a .330 batting average, .393 on-base percentage and .592 slugging percentage. You’re probably not going to see many Red Sox prices this cheap in Sale starts moving forward, so take it now…Blake Snell’s ERA is almost exactly a full run higher on the road than at home and Shane Bieber is just as good at the moment anyway. Eric Cooper has the plate tonight in Cleveland and it looks as if he has been calling games to play to the home crowd this year as home teams are 7-2 in the nine games he’s worked the plate…The Nationals had to promote 27-year-old Kyle McGowin from AAA to start tonight with Jeremy Hellickson and Anibal Sanchez on the shelf. If you’re 27 years old and still in the minor leagues, there’s probably a reason for that and McGowin’s mundane 4.32 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in eight starts in the minors this year suggest he’s nothing more than a career minor leaguer. Throw in Pablo Lopez’s ERA above 5 and two of the worst bullpens in baseball and the winning team in this game might score nine runs by itself….Winds are coming in strong from left field tonight at Citi Field at 13 mph, it’s historically a pitchers park anyway and Noah Syndergaard has allowed two or fewer runs in all but one of his starts this May. The Mets and Tigers both aren’t considered offensive juggernauts, so we think it’s safe to assume less than one run per inning in the first five in Queens.