It seems like everything in baseball is back to the way we expect things to be. For example, the Marlins are losing games in the ninth inning courtesy
terrible closers; the Mets/Yankees subway series got a little testy last night, despite either team having a real stake in any playoff race; the Tigers
are putting it all together like we are used to seeing; and the Blue Jays are slugging home runs with regularity once again. However, there are still
some sights MLB fans are not used to seeing such as the Giants struggling mightily and the Cardinals having terrible pitching. It has been a weird year
in the majors this year, and thankfully there are only eight weeks left before the season wraps up and we get into playoff baseball!
The worst-case scenario for any bettor is going winless on any given night. Thanks to the Detroit Tigers heroics in the bottom of the fifth inning, I was able to stave off my 0-for and break even. The Tigers put up six runs in the inning on route to an 11-5 win over James Shields and the White Sox. Unfortunately for me, however, the Cardinals couldn't quite get their job done, as terrible pitching reared its ugly head in a terribly-played 7-5 Cardinals loss. The good thing is tonight being another night and there are a few different angles I like and will be looking to take advantage of.
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Ohh Thursday. It's getaway day in the MLB, and this leaves us with only a handful of games on the night cap to choose from. There are five intriguing afternoon tilts, with the most anticipated taking place at Comerica Park in Detroit. The Tigers welcome Jordan Zimmerman back to the rotation, and he takes on Jose Quintana. The most intriguing game in my mind for the night card takes place in Baltimore as the Orioles go for a sweep against the American League favorite Texas Rangers. Despite the additions of Carlos Beltran and Jonathan Lucroy, the offense has failed to score more than two runs in their last two games.
These props are based on the First 5 Inning lines, and I have the utmost confidence in what I expect to happen. As always, odds and lines are courtesy of 5dimes.
Toronto Blue Jays @ Houston Astros
Starting pitchers are the single most important position in the game of baseball, and the Blue Jays send one of the American League's best pitchers to the mound tonight in hopes of getting a much-needed series win. The Jays come into tonight's game fresh off a 3-1 victory last night in which Marco Estrada's four-hit gem was aided by a trio of home runs, two by the reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson. The Jays now have the luxury of trotting out J.A. Happ against his former team. Happ is 14-3 on the season with a 3.16 ERA and boasts a 3-1, 3.50 line in six starts against the 'Stros.
The Blue Jays line up, minus the loss of Troy Tulowitzki, is in a better position to succeed. The Astros have been ravaged by injuries and have been unable to make up any ground against the sputtering Texas Rangers in the AL West. The Jays are only one game out of first place in the AL East and can't afford to lose the types of ball games where they are the better team on paper.
Astros' starting pitcher Mike Fiers is a soft-throwing righty who boasts a 7-4, 4.42 record on the season. He has started just once against the Blue Jays and is 1-0, pitching an eight-inning gem. The Astros have lost seven of the last nine games and haven't scored more than three runs in their last five. Something is missing with this team, and I will be looking to take advantage of their unfortunate run and make some money.
Pick: Toronto Blue Jays -0.5 - First 5 Innings (+115)
Los Angeles Dodgers @ Colorado Rockies
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it" That's my motto for this game.
The Colorado Rockies are essentially playing playoff baseball in August to try and afford themselves a playoff position. They have won 11 of their past 13 games and are a major league-best 14-5 since the All-Star Break. They are tied for fifth in the battle for the two NL wild-card spots, but they are only three games out of that coveted spot. The Rockies come into tonight's game after laying a smackdown on the Dodgers last night to the tune of 12-2. That was a follow up of a 7-3 win the night prior. I fully expect tonight to be a sweep and another blowout win.
Pitching for the Rockies is Tyler Chatwood, who is 10-6 with a 3.50 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP so far this season. He will be taking the mound seeking his third consecutive win. In his latest outing, he allowed three hits and one run in seven innings against the Mets in a 6-1 victory. The Rockies' starting rotation as a collective group is 10-0 in their last 13 starts with an amazing 2.00 ERA in those games.
The Dodgers, on the other hand, are always a circus it seems. They just went through the whole Yasiel Puig to the minors/he went AWOL debacle, which seemed to affect the clubhouse momentum. The Dodgers have been gifted every chance to catch the NL West-leading Giants thanks to their slump, but they have only been able to make up one or two games and the deficit still remains two games.
The Dodgers are 5-5 in their last 10 games and have lost three on the trot. They will rely desperately on Kenta Maeda tonight, and he needs to give them some innings. The bullpen has been worked and worked hard during the first two games of this series. Maeda is 9-7 with a 3.23 ERA, and in his Coors Field debut in April, he went 6 1/3 scoreless innings. I fully do not expect the same outcome today.
You simply have to take the better team today.
Pick: Colorado Rockies -0.5 - First 5 Innings (+165)
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