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July 3rd 2014 - Posted at 11:00 AM ET

Two MLB underdogs are worth wagering on today.

#1: Take Philadelphia Phillies (+111 underdogs) on the Money Line against Miami Marlins risking 2% 
(Kendrick and Hand must start)

The Miami Marlins and the Philadelphia Phillies face off in Miami tonight as they close out their series. The Phillies will be looking to avoid the sweep since the Marlins currently lead the series 2-0. 

The Miami Marlins have played surprisingly well in this series and they did so again last night when they beat the Phillies 5-0. They have however been somewhat inconsistent behind the plate. They are a decent all around baseball team but there is nothing spectacular about the Marlins and we feel that they will have a disadvantage on the mound tonight.

The Marlins will send Brad Hand to the hill. This will be Hand's first start since coming off of the disabled list. Hand has been making some relief appearances this season and has appeared in 16 games thus far this season. He's also been in the starting role twice, but has severely struggled in those starts, lasting less than 4 innings in each back in April!  

Being a relief pitcher presents a completely different challenge to being a starter. Hand has not been overly impressive even in relief duty. In 24 total innings this season, he has given up 27 hits and 17 earned runs. He has had control issues as well allowing 16 walks during those 24 innings! Not only is Hand coming back from the DL, but the Marlins are also throwing him directly back into the starting role. This could spell disaster for them and we expect Hand to struggle.

The Phillies forgot to bring their bats yesterday and their offense was completely kept off the board. The Philadelphia offense does have some power in their lineup and we have seen them explode when facing a pitcher that isn't on top of his game. The Phillies are no doubt desperate for a win and having been shut out yesterday, coupled with the fact that they will be seeing a pitcher who has been known to give up both hits and runs; this is their best opportunity to grab a morale-boosting win.

The Phillies will send Kyle Kendrick to the mound this evening. Kendrick has had somewhat of an up and down season thus far, but has been stellar in his career against the Marlins. He is 11-3 lifetime against the Marlins in 18 career starts! His ERA is also a respectable 3.63. Marlins' power hitter Giancarlo Stanton has been poor against Kendrick in his career as the slugger is just is just 3 for 23 against him with 8 strikeouts! Kendrick has lost his last 2 starts and will be keen to get a win against a team that he has historically been dominant against. 

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Miami is 1-9 in Hand's last 10 starts!
  • Miami is 10-28 when the total is 8 to 8.5 over the last 2 seasons. 
  • Philadelphia is 8-4 as a road underdog of +100 to +125 this season
     

#2: Take Baltimore Orioles (+105 underdogs) on the Money Line against Texas Rangers risking 2% 
(Chen and Darvish must start)

The Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers square off in the 4th and final game of their series. The Rangers are nothing short of a complete mess at the moment. They have lost 12 of their last 14 games and have dropped to 10 games below .500! The main reason for their struggles have been their pitching. The Rangers pitching staff that has allowed four or more runs in 13 of their last 16 games. They have nearly the worst ERA in all of baseball at a combined 4.59! Offensively, the Rangers have struggled with consistency as well. Adrian Beltre has been a bright spot in their lineup, but as we have seen, one player cannot carry a team alone. 

The Rangers will send Yu Darvish to the mound tonight. Darvish is normally an excellent pitcher. He has a 2.42 ERA and 128 strikeouts in 104 innings of work. He knows how to punch-out batters. Darvish is also 8-4 on the season, so he is beatable because the Rangers don't always give him the run support needed to win games. He's also struggled a bit recently. He is just 1-2 in his last 3 games and has given up 4 earned run in 2 of those 3 starts. Darvish also isn't always in full control of all his pitches as we have seen his base on balls number increase as the season has progressed. Over his last 3 games he has walked a total of 10 batters, which could be very costly against a potent Orioles lineup!

The Orioles are starting to heat up and are building momentum heading into the All-Star break. Baltimore has won 8 of their last 12 games and is six games above .500. They are currently just one game behind Toronto for the top spot in the AL East. Unlike the Rangers offense who has struggled with consistency, the Orioles continue to produce, scoring 4 or more runs in 10 of their last 12 games. Former Ranger, Nelson Cruz has been a scoring machine as he has 8 RBI in his last 8 games and Adam Jones has been a pitcher's nightmare as he has 16 hits in his last 10 games! 

The Orioles will send Wei-Yin Chen to the mound. Chen is having a solid season and is 7-3 with a 4.19 ERA. He isn't a flashy pitcher but he knows how to get the job done and has had great success against the Rangers in his career going 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA!

Even though Darvish is a strong pitcher and could put forth a solid effort tonight, the Rangers are still struggling on the offensive end. Typically we see Darvish command a much higher price tag than what the odds-makers have valued him at in this matchup. We believe there is a reason for that. This will more than likely be a close game but Baltimore is the team with all the momentum and we believe they will keep it going tonight.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Baltimore is 7-1 in Chen's last 8 starts as a home underdog!
  • Baltimore is 12-4 in Chen's last 16 starts vs. American League West. 
  • The Rangers are 0-4 in the last 4 meetings in Baltimore.



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