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Cubs’ Javier Baez  hits a two run home run against the Cardinals on June 7 (David Banks)
Cubs’ Javier Baez hits a two run home run against the Cardinals on June 7 (David Banks)|Associated Press
MLB

MLB Saturday - Frank Picks Mets v Rockies, White Sox v Royals, Yankees v Indians, Cardinals v Cubs, Gray, Matz, Giolito, Plutko, Flaherty

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

Favorite of the Day:
Mets (-112) over Rockies

Next Best Favorite of the Day:
White Sox (-131) over Royals

Run Line of the Day:
Yankees (-1.5) (+105) over Indians

Coin Flip of the Day:
Cardinals (-107) over Cubs

The Skinny:
I’m not normally on this many favorites, but just because a team is favored doesn’t mean there isn’t value in betting them. Sometimes favorites are underpriced and that’s worth taking advantage of . . .

My first pick is the Mets to beat the Rockies today at just over even money. It’s certainly looking like another year where the team is Queens plays second fiddle to the team in the Bronx in the city that never sleeps. However, if there’s one thing the Mets are better than the Yankees at, it’s being inconsistent. Within the last seven days, the Mets have lost two Jacob deGrom starts, including one in Phoenix last weekend where they led, 4-1, but allowed four runs in the eighth. They got blown out to start a series against the lowly Giants on Tuesday, but then blew out San Francisco themselves on Wednesday, and put up a crooked number in the eighth inning themselves on Thursday to take the series against the Giants. But just when it looked like the Mets might be picking up steam, they lost 5-1 last night in another deGrom start. Colorado starter Jon Gray posted a 5.65 ERA in May while the Mets trot out Steven Matz whose May ERA was 3.38. It certainly looks like the rollercoaster week continues for the Mets and they win tonight . . .

Lucas Giolito has been one of the more profitable pitchers in baseball during the season’s first two months and faces a Royals team whose hitters are slashing .157/.239/.339 against him in 127 total at-bats. Collectively, Kansas City is in the bottom half of baseball in several offensive categories and so the White Sox are an example of an underpriced favorite we mentioned earlier. I think this price should be more in the -150 range for the south siders so give me Giolito and company at -131 . . .

Adam Plutko is 27 years old, has thrown a total of 91.2 big league innings and has posted a 5.50 career ERA in that time. That’s who the Yankees are up against today. It’s not exactly a daunting task for a Yankee team that has kept winning in spite of a lot of injuries in the first half of the year and just got Didi Gregorius back last night. Cleveland rookie Zach Plesac just beat the Bronx Bombers on Friday so I can’t see back-to-back losses for the Yankees against inexperienced starting pitchers. Only four teams in baseball are better than New York’s 34-28 run line record so I’ll lay the run and the hook to back the Yankees at better than even money . . .

The month of May was not kind to the Cardinals, but St. Louis has responded in early June like a team that’s going to stick around for the long haul. The Cardinals swept their bitter rival last weekend in St. Louis and are back to just three games behind the Cubs in the loss column. The red birds send Jack Flaherty to the bump on Saturday and he’s held Cubs bats at bay for the most part in his career. Chicago hitters are slashing .192/.344/.359 against the young right-hander in 78 at-bats. In a much bigger sample size (262 at-bats), the Cardinals hitters are slashing .290/.361/.477 against Jon Lester. I’ll take Flaherty to do to Chicago what Cole Hamels did to St. Louis in the series opener yesterday at Wrigley and for the Cardinals to take the second game of the series setting up for an intriguing rubber game tomorrow on Sunday Night Baseball.