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Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers Pick – April 17th

Week Three begins in  Major League Baseball with five fresh new National League series.  Today's pick focuses on the two best offenses to date, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers.

We notched our eighth winner in ten MLB picks yesterday as the Cardinals and veteran Adam Wainwright’s struggled continued mightily in the Bronx with a 9-3 loss.  Wainwright’s ERA is still hovering in the mid-sevens after three highly ineffective starts, and the Cardinals could be looking at a difficult and painful decision.

Elsewhere, the Pirates capped off a sweep over the Cubs at Wrigley, the Reds dropped three of four to the Brewers and the Diamondbacks beat Rich Hill and the Dodgers 3-1, leaving ten of the fifteen teams in the National League separated by two or less games.  We are just two weeks in to the long season, but will this week be the week we start to see some separation as the pretenders begin to fade back to the pack and the contenders kick it in to gear?

The Brewers take their hot streak to Wrigley, the Diamondbacks look to solidify their hot start against the division standard-bearer Dodgers and the Cardinals will look to improve their league-worst record with three home games against division rival Pittsburgh.

Let’s see if we can keep the hot start rolling into Week Three of the season.

Today’s MLB Pick:

Arizona Diamondbacks +140 at Los Angeles Dodgers -145 (Total: 7)
Robbie Ray (1-0, 2.19 ERA) vs. Brandon McCarthy (2-0, 1.50 ERA)

The Dodgers are the expected National League West champs, but through two weeks they are getting intense competition from a few less-expected places.  Currently, the Rockies and Diamondbacks are in first and second in the division thank to better than expected pitching and strong offensive outputs.  But a look at run differential, which is the biggest factor in expected record calculation shows the Dodgers off to a far better start than their rivals.  Los Angeles is at +23, the best mark in the NL, while Arizona is just +5 and Colorado is -7.  Don’t be surprised if things begin to regress to the expected mean over the course of the next few weeks.

Of course, tonight’s beginning of that process will require Dodger’s starter Brandon McCarthy to continue to be better than expected.  He is a perfect 2-0 on the season and has allowed just 2 runs in 12 innings.  However, he has walked four batters and struck out just eight hitters, so perhaps the balls in play will begin finding a few more holes.  Arizona leads the league in runs scored, so expect some pressure on McCarthy today.

Meanwhile, Robbie Ray has been very good so far this season as well.  He has allowed three runs and struck out an impressive 14 batters in just 12 innings.  However, he has walked eight, so command has been an issue.

Tonight has the recipe for a game going OVER the total.  Two pitchers who have gotten away with some runner on base without allowing runs this season, keeping their ERA’s low enough to indicate a pitcher’s duel, when in fact, we could be looking at the opposite. Add in the two most potent offenses so far in 2017, and I think this game could see at least one team tally five or more runs.

I’ll take the over tonight in a fun game at Chavez Ravine.

Today’s Pick:  RUN TOTAL OVER 7.5 (+105)  **  it’s also possible to get Total 7 at -120, I’m muscling up on the +105 tonight.

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