graded play UNDER the posted total between the Mets and Phillies in the final
of a three game set. The first
two games have seen each team dominate the other. I strongly
believe this game will be one that is as obvious as it looks as R. A. Dickey
takes on Cole Hamels.
This three game series has seen
two blowout wins by each team and this is the marquee matchup. Hamels is not
placed squarely in trade rumors as Phillies brass decide whether to
rebuild for the future or make necessary bullpen acquisitions to get back into
contention. Cliff Lee got his first win of the season and it took an incredible
13 starts to earn that win. Ryan Howard and Roy Halladay are projected to be back
in the fold once the All-Star break is over. The Phillies have several very interesting and intriguing possibilities
as the trading deadline approaches, and every win between now and Sunday
will make GM Amaro’s job that much more difficult.
The Betting Line
This line opened at 7 -105 at
most shops, but the UNDER has been bet by the sharps. The number has not moved,
but you will be laying -120 or even -125 to get this line at seven runs UNDER.
I do not believe you will see this line move south of seven as there is too
much risk to the books to assume OVER best at 6 ½ along with a UNDER bets at 7.
I think that seven is a very fair line and this does mark one of the few times
recently I am playing an obvious UNDER play.
Supporting this graded play is a
system that has produced a record of 71-33 for 68% winners and has made 34.4
units per one unit wagered since 2006. Play UNDER
with all teams where the total is seven or less and with a bullpen that
averages less than 2.75 innings per game and with a rested bullpen that has
thrown five innings or less over last three games.
This is a showdown between two Cy
Young contenders who may have a significant impact on who does get the award.
Hamels has posted a 3.08 ERA with a 1.099 WHIP, striking out 111 batters in 111
innings spanning 16 starts this season. Hamels ranks third in the National
League with 10 wins, seventh with 111 innings pitched, and sixth with 111 strikeouts.
In the latest update to the trade
rumors involving Hamels, he and Ruben Amaro met and discussed the situation.
Neither would comment on what was discussed, of course, but Hamels did state he
wants to remain a Philly and for good reasons. He stated that "you never
turn your back on people that believe in you. From drafting me with the medical
issues that I had and even all the medical issues I had in the Minor Leagues,
they still believed in me, still trusted me and kept me and pushed me. I've
always been a more honorable guy than anything and I'll always stay that way.”
Now, that is a man of character
that I would want on my team. Moreover, his talent is among the best in
baseball and he arguably has the best changeup of any left-hander in baseball. Batters
are hitting just .181 on this pitch and he throws it 23% of all pitches, 19% on
the first pitch of an at-bat, 23% when ahead in the count, 25% when behind in
the count. All of this shows his tremendous confidence in this pitch and how it
keeps batters off balance not allowing them to sit on a pitch.
Dickey has been amazing and has
only had one poor start that against the Yankees where he gave up five earned
runs over six innings. His combination of knuckle ball and fastball is lethal.
he is one of the few knuckleballers to be able to throw a fastball at 85 MPH.
Given that the knuckle ball travels at about 65 to 72 MPH, the 85 MPH fast ball
explodes on hitters appearing to have a 95 MPH speed. Rarely do you see any
hitter be able to pull his fastball.
This takes on a the scope of a very low scoring
game and I believe that both starters will combine for 14 or even more innings
of work tonight. Take the UNDER