Our hot streak is quickly turning into a legendary run here to close out the season. We picked up another win yesterday when we backed the Tampa Bay Rays as home underdogs against the Oakland Athletics. This was the first ever MLB game where both teams used an opener rather than a starter. The Rays have been using this technique for much of the season, and the Athletics hoped that a committee bullpen day would get the rotation some much-needed rest down the stretch.
I liked the Rays at home, especially as dogs, and fired on them. The game itself was back and forth and the Rays blew two separate two-run leads early on in the game. But when Tampa posted a three spot on a Jake Bauer three-run blast in the bottom of the eighth to take a 7-4 lead, that was enough for them to hold on and win the game and we picked up another money line underdog winner.
With the win, we pick up our seventeenth win in our last twenty-three bets with ten money line underdog winners. It has been a crazy hot finish to the baseball season as we have picked up over eleven full betting units in just over two week’s time. For today’s pick, I will break down the game between the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals.
The Atlanta Braves are closing in on the National League East Division title and will look for the series win tonight in game three from Atlanta. This series is tied up at one game apiece heading into game three and with a win, the Braves would inch closer to locking up the division title as they hold a six and a half game lead over the fading Philadelphia Phillies. The Nats occupy third place in the division, an insurmountable eight and a half games back.
Starting today for the Braves is Sean Newcomb (12-8 3.82 ERA), and for the Nationals, it is Tanner Roark (8-15 4.37 ERA). The Braves are -130 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at nine runs. First pitch is scheduled for 10:35 AM PST from SunTrust Park in Atlanta.
The Atlanta Braves had won six straight games before dropping last night’s game to these Washington Nationals. That hot streak put them in a position to be very close to clinching this division title with just a handful of games left on the schedule. The Braves are hoping today’s starter Sean Newcomb can get back to how he pitched early in the season where he was one of the best pitchers in the National League.
Newcomb had an ERA in the mid two-run range through June and looked to be a very reliable arm for the Braves. Then the young lefty, still just twenty-five years old, really hit a wall in July and August and struggled. He seems to be pulling out of those struggles somewhat though here in September as he has a 3.48 ERA in two starts this month. In his last start, he pitched very well as he put in six innings of work and allowed just one run on three hits against the San Francisco Giants and came away with the win for his efforts.
In Newcomb’s last two starts against the Nationals this season, he has absolutely owned them. In a combined thirteen innings he has allowed just three earned runs and the Braves won both games. And that was well before the Nationals unloaded some of the best hitters in their lineup at the trade deadline. The Braves are hoping for a similar performance tonight in game three, so they can win this series and help button up that division title.
Tanner Roark has been absolutely terrible for much of the season this year. The guy had an ERA of about four and a half runs through July and had one of the worst records in the majors at 3-12. He seemingly got his act together in August as he went 3-2 with a 2.78 ERA, but he has more than given that little success back here in September. In September, Roark is 0-1 with a 10.24 ERA.
I am not sure what is keeping this number so tight. The Braves are the significantly better team in this one. The Nats have been playing with a decent amount of spunk recently, and that is commendable considered how much they were gutted in trades at the waiver trade deadline. But to see this game anywhere near even money is shocking. Newcomb is the much better start, and the Braves are playing much better right now.
I just don’t see any reason why the Nationals should be valued this highly. So, I will just chalk this one up to just another bad number and pound the Braves in this one. This hot streak has been built on taking advantage of bad numbers, and that is what I am going to do today. Give me the Atlanta Braves as smaller than they should be home favorites today in game three at -130!