Happy 2021 NFL Draft Day! Lots of afternoon baseball to check out before the NFL takes center stage. We split our picks last time, let’s see if we can sweep the board today. Here are my Diamond Picks for Thursday, April 29.
Betting Odds provided by Jazz Sportsbook. Please gamble responsibly.
Season Record: 10-3
Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros (2:10 p.m. EDT)
It seems like it could be only a matter of time until the ‘Stros really get rolling. Up until now, they have been fairly pedestrian when judging by their record. One glance at their offensive numbers suggests that they will be a team to be reckoned with. They rank as a top-five offense in terms of batting average and runs per game while striking out less than any other team in the entire league.
Houston will be matched up against lefty Yusei Kikuchi. Kikuchi has reverted back to his old ways recently giving up five earned runs in each of his last two starts, one of which was against these Astros. Alex Bregman has tagged the 29-year-old to the tune of 5-for-11 and a round-tripper. Slugger Yordan Alvarez is 4-for-8 with a dinger, as well. As a whole, Houston excels versus lefthanded pitching. Their .287 average ranks them second overall. They also sport a ninth-best .337 wOBA.
Diamond Pick: Houston Astros (-160 money line)
Related: MLB Power Rankings
Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox (8:10 p.m. EDT Game 2, 7 innings)
Two teams going in the opposite direction clash at Guaranteed Rate Field. Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd has been a bright spot for the rebuilding Tigers (2-2, 1.82 ERA). The Sox will be present a very tough challenge. Chicago’s offense ranks in the top five in average (.261) and wOBA (.328). They have been known to do damage off of left-handed pitchers as their .457 slugging percentage ranks sixth in baseball. Many of the mainstays in the lineup have thrived in previous meetings versus Boyd. Tim Anderson is 14-for-42 with three taters, while last year’s MVP Jose Abreu is hitting .371 over 35 at-bats with a couple big flies.
Dylan Cease will toe the rubber for Chicago; he enters this one with a 4.15 ERA over four starts. Detroit ranks 28th in runs scored with 74 heading into tonight’s twin bill. They are currently in a major funk as they have averaged just 2.22 runs per game over their last 10 contests. There is some merit to backing Boyd and the Tigers because of the plus price but the matchups are just too good to pass up on the White Sox here.
Diamond Pick: Chicago White Sox (-125 money line)
That does it for Thursday Diamond Picks, best of luck in all your gambling endeavors.
Follow Joel Dorcas on Twitter @Joel_Dorcas6
Main Image designed by Jeremy Guerin @JeremyCGuerin