Pregame

Friday MLB: Philadelphia vs. Oakland

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After going ‘over’ in three of four games in one pitchers’ park in San Diego, we look for the Philadelphia Phillies to go ‘over’ another low total in another cavern when they visit the Oakland Athletics. Much like last night, the Phillies’ starter does not justify this low total as David Buchanan has not pitched as well as his 3.75 ERA. He has a weak ratio of 5.54 strikeouts vs. 2.56 walks per nine innings and has been a bit lucky yielding a .274 BABIP, leading to just a 4.39 FIP. The difference is that the Athletics are starting ace Jon Lester, but unless he tosses a Complete Game, there is always the real possibility of an Oakland bullpen with a 4.44 ERA the last 10 games letting in a few tack-on runs to kill a low total. The ‘over’ is 11-2-5 in the Athletics’ last 18 interleague games.

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Pick: ‘over’ 7

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Thursday MLB: Philadelphia vs. San Diego

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While this game is in a pitchers’ park, these starters should still allow for an ‘over’ at this low total when Kyle Kendricks and the Philadelphia Phillies visit Robbie Erlin and the San Diego Padres, as neither has posted numbers that merit this total. Kendrick is 9-12 with a 4.72 ERA, and while he has two Quality Starts in his last three starts, those are his only Quality Starts in his last seven outings. He has just 5.63 strikeouts per nine innings while surrendering 1.16 home runs per game, resulting in a 4.52 FIP. Erlin was 3-4 with a 4.89 ERA earlier this year and now makes his first start since coming off of the 60-Day Disabled List with an injury to his throwing elbow, and the Padres’ bullpen has slumped to a 4.14 ERA the last 10 games. The ‘over’ is 7-1 in the last 8 meetings in San Diego.

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Pick: ‘over’ 7

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Wednesday MLB: Miami vs. N.Y. Mets

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The Miami Marlins have continued playing hard since losing possible league MVP Giancarlo Stanton, as they had scored 11 runs while winning their previous two games before losing to these New York Mets 9-1 last night. Henderson Alvarez seems like an overlay as a small underdog here as he is 10-6 with a stellar 2.81 ERA and comes off of another dominant performance vs. Philadelphia Friday where he allowed one run in seven innings with the run scoring on a wild pitch. He allowed three earned runs or less on four of his five starts vs. the Mets this year including two scoreless outings, one being a Complete Game shutout. Dillon Gee has had some nice moments for New York but the end result has been a 3.80 ERA with only 88 strikeouts in 125.2 innings vs. 41 walks. The Marlins are 17-5 in Alvarez’s last 22 starts overall.

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Pick: Marlins +107

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Tuesday MLB: Cincinnati vs. Chi. Cubs

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The Chicago Cubs have a chance to escape the NL Central cellar as they trail the fourth place Cincinnati Reds by 3½ games after winning the series opener Monday. We look for Chicago to draw one step closer even against the great Johnny Cueto. That is no knock on Cueto, who is 18-8 with a 2.15 ERA and 0.96 WHIP, but you cannot win if you do not score, and Cincinnati is averaging 2.80 runs in the last 10 games while batting .221 in that span, and the Cubs have a hot pitcher of their own in Jake Arrieta that could keep the Reds’ bats cold. Arrieta is 8-5 for a last place team with a 2.82 ERA and 1.07 WHIP, and he has maintained his form allowing two runs or less in five of his last six starts. The Reds are 7-25 in their last 32 road games.

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Pick: Cubs +100

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Monday MLB: Toronto vs. Baltimore

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Two pitchers in good form square off when Marcus Stroman and the Toronto Blue Jays visit Wei-Yin Chen and the Baltimore Orioles. Baltimore has opened up an 11½ game lead in the AL East and the Orioles have continued to win despite averaging just 3.90 runs in the last 10 games, giving an idea how good the pitching has been. Chen is 15-4 with a 3.59 ERA for the season and he allowed a total of one run and seven hits in 13 innings over his last two starts. The southpaw is facing a Toronto lineup batting over 20 points lower vs. lefties (.241) then vs. righties (.263). The rookie Stroman is 10-5 with a 3.61 ERA and has allowed two runs or less in three straight starts, posting a 1.59 ERA and 0.79 WHIP those three outings. The ‘under’ is 7-2-1 in Stroman’s last 10 starts overall.

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Pick: ‘under’ 7½

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