It is Friday and the weekend is almost upon us, usually I look ahead to some leans for the Saturday and Sunday games but I see great Friday value on the MLB schedule and I run the rule over three games and give three picks.
10* graded play on Philadelphia with Cliff Lee on the hill taking on the Miami Marlins set to start at 7:10 PM ET. Five-time all star second baseman, Chase Utley, is back for Philadelphia
and former MVP Ryan Howard begins a minor league rehab assignment in Lakeland, Florida Friday. Although, the return of these two elite players will add significant punch to the fifth ranked batting team in the majors, the Phillies will still need to solve their seventh and eighth inning relief problems if they are to make a run at a wild card spot.
It's interesting, though, that the St. Louis Cardinals were in the same boat last year and made the July trade deadline moves that earned them the World Series Championship. I will be providing some insight early next week as to some of the possible options the Phillies may have as the July trading deadline approaches along with evaluations for each divisional contender.Supporting system
Supporting this graded play is a system that has produced a record of 44-29 for 60.3% winners and has made 30.2 units per one unit wagered since 2006. Play on all national league favorites with a money line of -110 or higher with a starting pitcher whose ERA is 3.70 to 4.20 on the season and with a hot starting pitcher posting an ERA less than 2.50 over his last five starts.Most impressive is that this system has averaged a +135 dog play.
I wonder always what the MLB odds would have been before the season began
that one of the best left-handed starters in all of baseball would be winless entering his last start in June. As hard as it is to believe, Lee is an imperfect 0-4 with a 3.72 ERA and a 1.134 WHIP and averaging 7.1 innings per start this season. He has been roughed up recently, posting an 0-1 record with a 6.30 ERA and a 1.550 WHIP over his last three starts.
Lee is an elite starting pitcher and these ‘down’ periods have never last long for him
. I fully expect him to pitch well enough to finally get his first win of the season.
Josh Johnson has been impressive over his last three starts posting a 1.80 ERA and a 1.050 WHIP. However, he is now going against a rising offensive Philadelphia attack and a lineup that is going to be very difficult for him to get through more than twice. Moreover, Johnson has allowed a horrid .297 batting average to the current members of the Phillies in their respective careers spanning 219 at-bats. Jimmy Rollins, who is already swinging a very hot bat, has batted .333 (11-for-33) and Shane Victorino .342 (11-for-36) against Johnson. Marlins as a team are imploding and the Phillies will win this game and the series. Take the Phillies Friday night with Cliff Lee on the bump.5* graded play on the Dodgers as they host the Mets in the second of a four-game series set to start at 10:10 PM ET, Friday.
The Dodgers ended a horrific 33 inning scoreless streak, but a 3-2 loss to the Mets, Thursday, dropped them from the National league West lead. I expect that they have hit the nadir of this apparent bottomless pit of scoring and will get to Dickey tonight and earn a much needed win.
Supporting this graded play is a system that has produced a record of 35-15 for 70% winners making 30 units per one unit wagered since 2006. Play on home dogs with a money line of +100 or higher with an on base percentage of .300 or worse over their last 10 games and now facing an opponent with a hot starting pitcher, who has posted a WHIP 0.800 or less over his last three starts. The average line of this dog playing system has been +128.5* graded play on the Cardinals in each of the three games against the Pirates starting Friday night.
In the first game the Cardinals will send Adam Wainwright (6-7) to the hill to face the Pirates Correia (3-6). The line opened with the Cardinals installed as -215 favorites, but the public has bid the line down to -185 and several shops. In my opinion, anything less than -200 is a bargain for this game.
In Game 2, the Cardinals will send Lynn (10-3) against Karstens (0-2) in game set to start at 2:15 PM ET. Karstens was terrible in his last start in Philadelphia and marked his first start since coming off the DL with a hip and shoulder injury. His fastball was in the low 90’s periodically, but was flat with limited movement. He was hit hard even on batted balls recorded as outs.
In the finale, Sunday, the Cardinals will send Westbrook (6-6) against the Pirates Bedard (4-8) and I expect the cards to be installed as modest favorites in this game. Although difficult to sweep a divisional opponent on the road, this is a setup where I think the Cardinals can pull off the trick and I look to them to complete my MLB picks