We got greedy with a longshot value play last night and came up empty. The Cubs made their intentions known right off the bat when Dexter Fowler made a welcome return to the diamond by starting off the game with a lead-off home runs. And that folks, as they say, was that.
I plan on playing it a little closer to the vest today with a game I really like, but despite the loss, plan on taking some aggressive approaches to the second half of the season by digging deep for some off-the-grid value wagers. We’ve had some pretty good success with the underdogs lurking in that +150 to +170 range, and just one of those weeks can make the need for going any better than .500 on the season unnecessary to scoop up some healthy profits.
Alas, let’s get to work this afternoon on a nice Saturday afternoon of MLB action. The highlights include a fun Jacob deGrom vs. Jose Fernandez showdown in Miami, Johnny Cueto looking to bounce back from a rare rough outing in New York at Yankee Stadium and the Dodgers and Cardinals continuing to jockey for wildcard position.
But for today’s pick, let’s head out to Cincinnati for the Diamondbacks visiting the Reds.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Arizona Diamondbacks at Cincinnati Reds (Total: 9.5)
Robbie Ray (5-8, 4.49 ERA) vs. Keyvius Sampson (0-1. 5.51 ERA *first start of season)
I suppose the Reds figured since Keyvius Sampson struggled as a starter last year, has gotten hammered in the bullpen before being demoted to the minors and has a WHIP over two, he’d be the perfect spot starter to replace John Lamb. As Bill Simmons would have opined, ‘ladies and gentlemen, your 2016 Cincinnati Reds!’
All kidding aside, the single digit run total seems ripe for the picking tonight in Great American Small Park. Sampson has struggled the last two years pretty consistently, and his opponent, Robbie Ray, despite a recent awesome outing against the Dodgers still only has two quality starts in his last ten outings.
Look for the Reds to scores some runs, and allow plenty as well. Joey Votto has raised his average over 50 points in the last month and has homered in back to back games to raise his season total to 17. Don’t be surprised if the early struggling superstar finished the year with a more normal .300/30/100 stat line and look like the former MVP and All Star Reds fans are accustomed too. And as Votto goes, so goes the Reds offense.
It’s a scorching hot night in Cincinnati and two less-than-dominant pitchers get the ball. Expect some fireworks and plenty of runs.