It was a relatively successful today for us yesterday as the Cubs easily beat the Pirates at Wrigley and then the OVER in the Red Sox/Tigers game also narrowly hit the mark. Our recommended plays today concern Cubs vs. Pirates and A's vs. Rays.
Today there's a lot of great pitching on offer, including
Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Dempster, Justin Verlander, and Jered Weaver. Are we taking any of these aces with our baseball picks?
Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Cubs were so kind to us yesterday that it seems only
fair that we put our hard-to-earn faith right back into the ballclub today.
Ryan Dempster gets the call amid trade speculation, though
the offers have become more scarce after that failed deal with the Atlanta
Braves. Still, Dempster would be a great pickup for any team as he owns a 2.25
ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 16 starts this season.
He may be 0-2 against the Pirates on the year but, to be fair, he's received practically no run support. In over 13 innings against them, he's
only allowed four runs, striking out 12 and walking just one.
We feel the offense will back Dempster up a little more
today as they'll be up against A.J. Burnett, who, despite solid numbers overall, has an ERA of 5.70 in eight road starts this year. He's been almost
unbeatable at PNC Park (7-0 with a 2.00 ERA), but Chicago's coming off a 14-run
explosion last night at Wrigley and will be aiming to do similar damage against
the experienced right-hander on their own turf.
Don't be fooled by that 43-58 overall record. The Cubs have
won three straight and are 10-6 so far in the second half of the season, while
sporting a 27-22 overall mark at home.
Baseball odds makers still aren't giving them much love despite all
this, but we will. We're adding the Cubs as our first MLB pick of the day.
Play the Chicago Cubs -106
Oakland Athletics vs. Tampa Bay Rays
We're playing another small home favorite tonight, the surging Athletics, who continue to grind out win after win however
The A's won in the bottom of the fifteenth inning last night,
and that kind of victory should do their confidence wonders, especially since
they've got Tommy Milone on the mound tonight.
Milone is young but very talented. He's been fantastic for
Oakland despite a 5.77 ERA on the road. How come? Because Milone is completely
dominating opponents at The Coliseum this season, to the tune of a 5-1 win-loss
record and incredibly impressive 0.91 ERA.
Just look at some of his performances so far for reference.
He's given up a mere two total runs against the Yankees in close to 14 innings
of work, allowed one run in a complete-game win over the Dodgers, and also
surrendered two runs or fewer versus the White Sox, Angels, Royals and Mariners.
All of that was at home.
In addition, we're just not sold on James Shields. He's been
nowhere near his 2011 self when he went 16-12 with a 2.82 ERA and 1.04 WHIP.
His numbers this season are worse across the board, and not just by a little
The Athletics are quite simply on a roll right now, and we think
this value on Milone at home against an inconsistent Shields is too good to
the Oakland Athletics -109