I split my picks yesterday, with the Dodgers continuing their hot play, beating the Rockies 10-8. The game went well over the 9.5 run total with the Dodgers eclipsing that number by themselves, so I walked away with a split. We’ll try to celebrate the 4th in style today with a pair of winners.
Today’s Free Picks:
Detroit Tigers -125 at Toronto Blue Jays +115 (Total: 8.5)
Justin Verlander (8-5, 3.77 ERA) vs. Esmil Rogers (3-3, 3.12 ERA)
Vegas is still behind on this seemingly blasphemous fact. Justin Verlander isn’t pitching very well this season. At this point, he is a very average pitcher.
Look, it isn’t that he can’t get back on track, and by no means do I think Verlander is done, but to the midpoint of the 2013 season, it is time to stop automatically chalking up a win whenever this guy takes the mound. He has a winning record personally at 8-5, but his team is only 9-8 in games he has started. His 3.77 ERA ranks 19th in the American League. His 1.40 WHIP is 39th. His opponent’s batting average against of .263 ranks 27th. Those are all pretty average marks.
That makes positive money and the Blue Jays in Toronto tonight a pretty good value wager. Toronto can put up some runs and has a good chance with the underrated Esmil Rogers on the mound. I won’t be surprised when Verlander wakes up and starts pitching like an All-Star again, but for now, I’m going to take the value of wagering against him and an inflated price. He is 0-1 with a 5.50 ERA in his last three outings. I’ll take the Jays to make it a fourth straight rough outing.
Free Pick: Toronto Blue Jays to WIN +115
Los Angeles Dodgers +112 at Colorado Rockies -120 (Total: 10)
Chris Capuano (2-5, 4.72 ERA) vs. Jhoulys Chacin (7-3, 3.59 ERA)
This pick is strictly a gut-feel pick. I usually pour through stats and pitching matchups, especially how starters have pitched against the opponent and over their last few outings. By using the statistical methods, I understand WHY Colorado is favored tonight. Chacin has pitched fantastic over his last three outings, with both and ERA and WHIP of just 0.76. That’s pretty outstanding stuff, but I’m not sure it carries over tonight against the scorching-hot Dodger lineup.
Puig and Hanley Ramirez are both hitting over .400 in the last two weeks, and the runs just keep tallying in Los Angeles. I’ll make them my second high-value underdog pick of the day and take them to make it a 12th win in 13 tries.
Free Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers to WIN +112