The second half of the MLB regular season is in full swing, and Bovada has just released a set of new series prices for the best-of-three matchup for many of this week's series. While most sports bettors tend to focus on the individual games, sometimes betting on the series price odds is the best way to maximize the value in the numbers.
The following are my top three bets to cash in this week's best-of-three series price betting odds as provided by Bovada.
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Chicago Cubs (-130) vs. Cincinnati Reds (+100)
I went with the Cubs as -145 series favorites this past weekend against Atlanta, and they came through with two crucial victories after losing Friday's opener 4-2 as -127 road favorites. They have now gone 5-1 in their last six road games to improve to 24-21 on the road this year. Chicago has been listed as a slight -102 road underdog for Monday's series opener with Clayton Richard getting the start. The Cubs will go with Jason Hammel on Tuesday and Kyle Kendricks in Wednesday's all-important Game 3.
The Reds are well off the pace in the NL Central race at 40-49, and they are coming off a 2-1 interleague series loss to Cleveland this past weekend to kick off the second half of their season. Cincinnati has now lost its last three series price bets, and it is 4-8 in its last 12 games. With Raisel Iglesias penciled in as its starter in Tuesday's Game 1 followed by Mike Leake on Wednesday, this sets up a golden opportunity to ride Chicago again in this road series. It also helps that the Cubs are 7-2 this season against their division rivals.
Miami Marlins (+105) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (-135)
You know things are bad when you lose three straight games to Philadelphia, so it's safe to say that Miami is officially riding out the string after such a dismal start to its second half. The Marlins were outscored 17-11 by the worst-scoring team in the majors this past weekend, and they now have just three wins in their last 11 games. After dropping those three games to the Phillies on the road, Miami is just 2-11 in its last 13 road games as part of an overall record of 14-31 this season.
Arizona's current losing streak reached six games after losing three straight to San Francisco at home this past weekend. Before this slide, the Diamondbacks were actually 7-5 in their last 12 home games in series that included both the Los Angeles Angels and the Dodgers. Overall this season they are 22-24 at home as part of an overall record of 42-48. Arizona has been opened as a -141 home favorite for Monday night's series opener, which adds even more value to an already-favorable series price. I will go with the lesser of two evils in this matchup with a play on the Diamondbacks.
San Francisco Giants (-115) vs. San Diego Padres (-115)
San Francisco has once again gotten hot with a six-game winning streak after struggling to a 1-8 record in its previous nine games. It helps that both series were against Philadelphia at home and Arizona on the road, but momentum is momentum, and that is exactly what the Giants need to keep the Dodgers within striking distance in the NL West Division race. One of the main reasons for the even series price on both teams is a 7-2 record by the home team in the last nine meetings, but San Francisco comes into Game 1 as a slight -115 road favorite with Tim Hudson on the mound. I also like the fact that it has Chris Heston starting Tuesday's Game 2.
The Padres had Game 3 of this weekend's home series against Colorado postponed after extending their winning streak to four games with victories in the first two meetings against the Rockies as favorites. San Diego will go with Ian Kennedy in Monday's Game 1, but the right-hander has not had his best stuff in his last two starts, and he has actually lost his last four outings. Tuesday's starter is right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne, which also adds value to the Giants' -115 betting odds as my pick to win this NL West series matchup.
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