The top teams in the NL East — the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies — begin an important three-game series on Friday at SunTrust Park in Atlanta in a matchup that tops the night’s 15-game MLB schedule. The Braves (40-29) enter the night on a seven-game winning streak and with a 1.5-game lead over the Phillies (38-30), who have lost three of four. Max Fried (7-3, 3.75 ERA) takes the mound for Atlanta (-141) against Philadelphia’s Nick Pivetta (4-1, 4.93). Elsewhere in the majors on Friday, the Los Angeles Dodgers (-135), who have the best record (46-23) in the NL, play the second game of a four-game series against the Chicago Cubs. And White Sox ace Lucas Giolito (9-1, 2.28) goes for his 10th win of the season on Friday night when Chicago (-115) takes on the New York Yankees. Fans everywhere will be playing off MLB odds for these games, but before locking in any MLB picks of your own, you need the predictions from SportsLine senior analyst Zack Cimini.

Known as the Contrarian with Chutzpah, Cimini is a Las Vegas handicapper who’s never afraid to buck conventional wisdom. He uses a new-age approach to excel in multiple sports. He entered the 2019 MLB season up $3,067 on a record of 263-218-2 all-time at SportsLine, and he’s on an impressive streak with his selections again, nailing 24 of his last 34 MLB money line picks, returning $1,389.

Now Cimini has studied Friday’s packed MLB slate and has identified his top three picks. If you parlay these together, you could be looking at a return of more than 4-1. But he’s sharing these picks only at SportsLine.

We can tell you that Cimini is going with the Chicago White Sox (-115) against the New York Yankees. He has hit nine of his last 11 picks involving the White Sox and 15 of his last 25 picks with the Yankees. 

Cimini likes that the pitching matchup tilts heavily toward the White Sox. Giolito is 7-0 with a 0.88 ERA and .385 OPS allowed in his past seven starts. He is tied for the major league lead in both wins (nine) and complete games (two).

Meanwhile the Yankees’ CC Sabathia (3-3, 3.96) has struggled recently. In his last three starts, he has allowed a total of 11 earned runs while pitching just 16.0 innings combined. The Yankees lost two of those three games.

“White Sox ace Lucas Giolito has delivered an outstanding first half of the season,” Cimini told SportsLine. “Because of him, Chicago finds itself as an unusual favorite against the New York Yankees on Friday. Meanwhile Yankees starter CC Sabathia has struggled pitching beyond five innings. When you factor in the Yankees’ bullpen use on Wednesday and Thursday, the value sides with Chicago. Grab the White Sox.”

Cimini has also found value on a road team, saying this team is a strong value to return a win at a lucrative money line price. You absolutely need to see what he’s picking over at SportsLine before you make any MLB picks of your own.

So which MLB picks should you make on Friday for a shot at a payout of more than 4-1? And which road team is Cimini backing hard? See Friday’s MLB schedule below, then visit SportsLine to get Friday’s MLB best bets, all from the SportsLine expert who has hit 24 of his last 34 MLB picks

Friday’s MLB schedule (all times ET)

Red Sox at Orioles (+180), 7:05 pm
Diamondbacks at Nationals (-185), 7:05 pm
Rangers at Reds (-161), 7:10 pm
Indians at Tigers (+140), 7:10 pm
Angels at Rays (-167), 7:10 pm  
Cardinals at Mets (-125), 7:10 pm
Pirates at Marlins (-120), 7:10 pm
Phillies at Braves (-141), 7:20 pm
Yankees at White Sox (-115), 8:10 pm
Royals at Twins (-217), 8:10 pm
Blue Jays at Astros (-290), 8:10 pm
Padres at Rockies (-119), 8:40 pm
Mariners at Athletics (-175), 9:37 pm
Cubs at Dodgers (-135), 10:10 pm
Brewers at Giants (+120), 10:15 pm