The top two wild card teams in the American League — the Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers — collide on Friday at Tropicana Field in the marquee matchup of the MLB schedule. Lance Lynn (9-4, 4.32 ERA) takes the mound for the Rangers seeking his 10th win of the season, which would tie for the major league lead. Yonny Chirinos (7-3, 3.00) starts for the Rays (-147), who have lost seven of 10. Elsewhere on Friday’s schedule, Hyun-Jin Ryu (9-1, 1.27) also attempts to win his 10th game when the Los Angeles Dodgers (-210) play the second of a four-game series against the Colorado Rockies. And 21-year-old Atlanta Braves righty Mike Soroka (8-1, 2.07) is set to start Friday night against Jacob deGrom and the New York Mets (-140) despite being hit by a pitch on his right forearm on Sunday and leaving his start after 2.0 innings. Fans everywhere will be playing off MLB odds for these games, but before locking in any MLB picks of your own, you need to see what SportsLine senior analyst Larry Hartstein has to say.

A former lead writer for Covers and The Linemakers, Hartstein combines a vast network of Vegas sources with an analytical approach he honed while working for Pro Football Focus. He has racked up profits on his MLB picks every year since SportsLine launched in 2015. Entering the 2019 season, he was 306-238 all-time on his MLB money line picks, returning more than $2,000 to $100 players. And he’s on an impressive streak with his selections again, nailing 17 of his last 23 MLB money line picks, returning more than $1,100.

Now Hartstein 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 13-1. He’s sharing these picks only at SportsLine.

We can tell you that Hartstein is taking the Pittsburgh Pirates (+133) on the road against the Milwaukee Brewers. He has nailed 14 of his last 19 picks involving the Brewers and six of his last nine picks involving the Pirates.

Hartstein likes the momentum that Pittsburgh is riding right now. After sweeping the Padres, Pittsburgh took two of three against the AL West-leading Houston Astros. The Pirates smashed Houston, 14-2 and 10-0, in the last two games of the series.

Conversely, Milwaukee is on a bit of a slide, having lost seven of 10. Also, Brewers starter Jhoulys Chacin has struggled in his last five games, allowing 21 earned runs on 33 hits in 22.0 innings. One of those starts came against the Pirates, who hammered Chacin for seven earned runs on six hits in 2.2 innings.

“The Pirates can’t be stopped right now,” Hartstein told SportsLine. “They’ve won six of seven and just stomped the Astros, 24-2, in the last two games. Meanwhile the Brewers have lost seven of 10 and just dropped two of three to the lowly Mariners. Pittsburgh starter Chris Archer (3-6, 5.56 ERA) has underperformed this season, but he’s coming off a quality start (one run, two hits, 5.0 innings) against San Diego. Ride the hot hand.”

Hartstein has found value on another road underdog, 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 payout of more than 13-1? And which road underdog is Hartstein 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 17 of his last 23 MLB picks

Friday’s MLB schedule (all times Eastern) 

Indians at Orioles (+161), 7:05 pm 
Royals at Blue Jays (-120), 7:07 pm 
Rangers at Rays (-147), 7:10 pm 
Cubs at Reds (-101), 7:10 pm 
Braves at Mets (-140), 7:10 pm 
Phillies at Marlins (+123), 7:10 pm 
Nationals at Tigers (+137), 7:10 pm 
Twins at White Sox (NL), 8:10 pm 
Mariners at Astros (NL), 8:10 pm 
Pirates at Brewers (-151), 8:10 pm 
Dodgers at Rockies (+178), 8:40 pm 
Athletics at Angels (-143), 10:07 pm 
Cardinals at Padres (-120), 10:10 pm 
Diamondbacks at Giants (-108), 10:15 pm 

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