I’ve returned from Las Vegas and we are back ready to get into the swing of things. Chris will be going with some MLB picks today, but unfortunately won’t be posting again until after the Weekend (Monday). Make sure to check back. Good Luck this weekend…
Atlanta Braves +155 @ Philadelphia Phillies -175 (Total: 7)
Brandon Beachey (3-1, 3.23 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay (11-3, 2.44 ERA)
For all the talk this week about who should and who shouldn’t be all-Stars, there is little debate over Roy Halladay’s standing in the game. The only question with Halladay is if he will be the All-Star Game starter.
Meanwhile his counterpart from the surging Atlanta Braves is having an impressive introduction to the major leagues, continuing what seems to be the never-ending parade of impressive arms in Atlanta. Beachey has registered just four decisions, but has been impressive in his 11 starts, posting a fantastic 1.06 WHIP. If he can get a little more run support, he would be flirting with a realistic chance to win 15 games in his rookie season.
Run support might be a little difficult to come by tonight with Halladay on the hill. Roy has pitched fantastic all season long, and has been even better over his last three starts, posting a 2-0 record and a tiny 1.86 ERA. His WHIP, 1.03 on the season, has also dipped over the last month with his 0.86 June.
It’s hard to bet against Halladay and the Phils, but -175 is a steep price to pay. However, if you are willing to take the cagey veteran over the impressive youngster on the road, you can get the phils at +130 at -1.5. That’s my play tonight, as I like Philly at home with Halladay on the mound pretty comfortably.
Arizona Diamondbacks +115 @ St. Louis Cardinals -125 (Total: 8 )
Ian Kennedy (8-3, 3.38 ERA) vs. Kyle Loeshe (8-5, 2.97 ERA)
The Diamondbacks and Cards kick off an interesting weekend series with a nice pitching matchup tonight. Arizona is a somewhat-surprising contender in the NL West, and the Cards, despite the injury to Albert Pujols, actually gained ground in the standing and now sit atop a crowded NL Central.
Arizona sends Ian Kennedy and his 8-3 record to the mound, in search of a quality start to get him back to his strong early season form. Over his last three starts, Kennedy is just 1-2 with an ERA of 5.38. The runs haven’t been cheap either. He has allowed 26 hits over 16 innings, and posted a WHIP of 1.58.
Loeshe also enters losing 2 of his last 3 starts, but it is a little harder to assign him the blame. He has posted a respectable ERA of 3.44 and a WHIP of nearly 1. Runs were just a little harder to come by for the Cards the past few weeks. That shouldn’t be a problem tonight, with Pujols back and Lance Berkman continuing his surprising renaissance to MVP-form the Cards offense is clicking this week. Add in Matt Holliday (another MVP candidate), and that is the most fearsome 3-5 lineup in the National League.
The Cards have fared well as the favorites of late, winners of 11 of 14 when they are “expected” to win. Meanwhile, Arizona has struggled a bit on the road and with playoff-caliber teams. Both of those factors hold true tonight, tipping the scales in the Redbirds favor.
At just -125, it’s a pretty fair price to pay to back the Cards tonight, and a nice value play.