Have you ever watched a game where the team you are betting on comes out completely flat and looks disinterested only for them to flip the switch and perform when the game is already out of reach? Yup, that's exactly what the Yankees did on Tuesday against the Rockies. They were completely shut down for the better part of seven innings and then decided it would be a good time to start hitting and put up a seven-run eighth inning. Too little, too Late. They were already down 12-3.
Why couldn't they have done that against a terrible pitcher or capitalize more efficiently when they had runners in scoring position? There really is no answer, but boy is it ever frustrating.
However, thanks to the Cincinnati Reds, all profit was not lost as they took care of Atlanta and put me at 1-1 for the night. That keeps my record to six games over .500 and on the plus side of the profit line.
Thursday's MLB slate offers up 10 games to bet on, with three afternoon tilts in Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Oakland, respectively. The night card looks pretty juicy, and I see some lines that are begging to be hit hard. Toronto as a slight favorite against Philly? The Mets as a slight favorite against Pittsburgh? What does Las Vegas know that we don't?
These prop bets are all 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 @ Philadelphia Phillies
Sometimes in the world of gambling, overthinking can lead us to blur the line between reality and fantasy. Many handicappers would probably look at this game and right away red flag it as a fishy line, thus further looking into the game and ultimately betting on the Phillies because Vegas "knows something".
Don't be a fool. The Jays bats are hot right now and will be able to hit Phillies' starting pitcher Aaron Nola. Nola is coming off the shortest outing of his career, going only 3 2/3 innings while giving up four runs on seven hits in an 8-0 loss at Washington. In his only start against the Jays, the sophomore right-hander took a no-decision last season despite allowing three runs on four hits in five innings.
As I already mentioned, the Jays are hitting the ball well right now, and they are getting contributions up and down the lineup. They are averaging 7.1 runs per game while winning five of their last six games. If the Jays want to get back in the thick of the AL East race, they need to win these kinds of series against weaker opponents.
The Phillies, who started out well after 40 games, have now dropped to fourth in the NL East and have lost six of their last seven games. Their lineup is full of young players that are looking to make a name for themselves but have yet to hit their potential, and finding their stride against Jays' starter J.A Happ is going to prove difficult.
Happ is having a solid season for the Jays. He is 7-3 with a 3.70 ERA in his second stint with the Jays. His stat line against the Phillies is unblemished as he has gone 3-0 with a 1.56 ERA in three career starts. While Happ hasn't pitched well lately, struggling against Baltimore last time out, he should be able to find his groove and get back on track against the weak-hitting Phillies.
Pick: Toronto Blue Jays -0.5 - First 5 Innings (+115)
Washington Nationals @ San Diego Padres
The Nationals come into this series against the Padres on the heels of a series win against the other best team in the NL, the Chicago Cubs. Washington was able to rally twice last night, in the ninth and 12th innings, to secure a 5-4 walk-off win. That game ended pretty late, and now they have to fly across the country for a night game. Cue the sleepy, lackadaisical play that we see more often then not from teams in this exact same situation.
I understand that the Padres aren't very good and are only 11-24 this season when playing teams with a winning record. However, I hope that trend continues because I'm not picking a side in this game and instead I'm taking the First 5 Inning total to stay "under" 4.5.
I think this line is a gift and there are plenty of reasons to play it. The first reason being Tanner Roark. The Nationals starting pitcher in this matchup is 2-0 with a 0.45 ERA in three career appearances against the Padres, and two of those were starts. Specifically at Petco Park, Roark has given up only one run and four hits over 11 innings and Padre batters who have faced Roark are a combined 4-for-41. Those are stats I want to get behind.
Taking the bump for the Padres is Erik Johnson. A relative unknown, Johnson came to the Padres from the White Sox in the James Shield deal on June 4. He made his Padres debut on Saturday at Coors Field (bad place to make a debut) and was rocked. I am willing to give him another chance, this time in the pitcher-friendly confines of Petco Park.
The Nationals are going to be in letdown mode following the dramatic win against the Cubbies. Taking the "under" ensures that I won't have to rely on the Padres to do any damage offensively (which they never do), while I won't allow the Nationals letdown spot to affect my wager.
Pick: "Under" 4.5 - First 5 Innings (-130)
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