Well, when you are hot, you are hot! Our week of nailing underdog winners continued last night when we picked up our sixth win in seven games this week. Anytime you can win 85% of your picks in a given week, it is reason to celebrate, but when five out of those six wins come on outright money line underdogs, you know you are really doing something right.
Last night we took a shot on the Tampa Bay Rays as road underdogs against the Cleveland Indians. The Rays starters had been dominating the Indians in the series, and Tampa Bay starter Charlie Morton hadn’t lost a decision since last August. I expected Morton to mow through the weak Indians lineup and took a shot at another jumbo payout.
Morton did not disappoint as he spun a gem, throwing six innings, allowing just one run on only three hits, and striking out ten. The Rays were able to touch up Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco for six runs, five of them earned, and won this one going away. The Rays were powered by homers from Brandon Lowe, Tommy Pham, and Ji-Man Choi. It was a great cap to what has been a very profitable week. Today we head out looking for more value when we head to Milwaukee for game three between the Brewers and Phillies.
The Philadelphia Phillies are in Milwaukee Sunday, looking for the sweep in game three of a three-game set with the Brewers. The Phillies have broken out the bats in this series as they have clubbed five home runs, including four in yesterday’s game. The Phillies have won seven out of their last nine games and find themselves in first place in the NL East Division, with a two and a half game lead over the Atlanta Braves.
For Milwaukee, the Brewers have lost their way a bit recently as they have lost five out of their last seven, and that run has seen them drop into second place in their division, the NL Central, as they trail the Cubs by two and a half games.
Starting for the Phillies today is Zach Eflin (5-4 2.76 ERA), and for the Brewers, it is Brandon Woodruff (6-1 3.51 ERA). The game total over-under is set at eight and a half runs. The Brewers are big -166 home favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 11:10 AM PST from Miller Park in Milwaukee.
Zach Eflin is starting to establish himself as a go-to starter for the Phillies this season. In a rotation that is stacked with talent including guys like Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta, it is always going to be hard to stand out, but that is just what Eflin is doing right now.
Eflin’s sub three-run ERA puts him right up there with the best in the National League right now, and things are only getting better as the season wears on. Eflin has allowed one run or fewer in four out of his last five starts, and his ERA in May is a cool 2.00. That one rough start in his last five? That came May 16th against these very same Milwaukee Brewers where he allowed four runs in five innings of work. He will look for his revenge today.
Brandon Woodruff is enjoying a great start to his season as he has a stellar record of 6-1 and has won five straight decisions. The Brewers have won eight of Woodruff’s ten starts on the year. He has been especially good in May as he is 3-0 1.44 ERA in four starts. One of those starts came against the Phillies and he shined as he tossed six, one hit, shutout innings against the Phillies.
It is hard to deny how great Brandon Woodruff has been recently. The kid is pitching his brains out. But you have to remember, this kid is in his first full year as a starter in the big leagues, and he isn’t going to be this good all year long. Woodruff worked mostly out of the bullpen last season for Milwaukee, and while he was quite good, but he hadn’t shown any ability to do what he is doing right now.
This is one of those games where the Brewers are rightly favored. They are at home, where they have one of the best home records in the National League, and Woodruff has been great recently. But this Philly team is really heating up, and between their strong bats and Eflin’s solid pitching, I think they have a shot to knock the Brewers off tonight and pick up the sweep.
When you can get a price like +156, you don’t need to win that many times to be profitable. If the Phillies could even win this game, let’s say, twice in five tries, you would show a long-term profit. Now, this is baseball, and they aren’t going to let us play this one out five times, so variance is always going to come into play. But if you deem the Phillies “could” win this game, and I think all the relevant data says they certainly can, they are worth a play at this inflated price.
So, I will make another heat check bet today, and back the red-hot Philadelphia Phillies, picking up all kinds of dog money today in game three against the Brewers. I suspect that this game will be a tightly contested affair that could go either way. But, knowing that I am on the value side, picking up all the juice, I know I am gambling on the right side of things. Give me the Philadelphia Phillies as road underdogs getting +156!