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June 23rd 2014 - Posted at 11:00 AM ET

There are 2 MLB picks and one World Cup wager today.
 

#1: Take Chile (+170) on the Money Line against Netherlands risking 2% 

#2: Take Milwaukee Brewers (-119) on the Money Line against Washington Nationals risking 2% 
(Garza and Gonzalez must start)

The Washington Nationals travel to Milwaukee to take on the Brewers in a battle between two first place teams! We successfully backed Washington yesterday as they clinched an important win against the Atlanta Braves and took control of 1st place in the NL East. Today is a much different matchup for them and the Milwaukee Brewers have been playing some great baseball for much of the season. 

Left hander Gio Gonzalez will get the start for the Nationals tonight. Gonzalez will be making just his second start since coming off the disabled list. He is 3-4 with a 4.85 ERA in ten starts this season. He is also 0-3 with a 7.78 ERA in his last four starts! Having just come off the DL, Gonzalez still does not appear to be fully healed. In his first start back, he gave up 4 earned runs on 5 hits at home against an inconsistent Houston Astros offense. Playing on the road has been tough for him this season as he is just 1-2 with a 5.46 ERA! With the Brewers swinging the bats well at the moment, this game could get away from him in a hurry if he doesn't start well.

Milwaukee was considered by many to be a preseason contender in their division and so far they have lived up to if not exceeded those expectations. The Brewers continue to pile up the wins winning 8 of their last 11 which includes a series sweep against the offensive minded Colorado Rockies! Their bats have been the key to their success recently having plated 28 runs over the last 3 games!

Matt Garza will get the start for the Brewers and after somewhat of a rocky start to the season, he has turned things around. He has produced 3 consecutive quality starts giving up 3 or less earned runs in each, dropping his ERA over that span to just 2.61! His offense hasn't provided him with much support in those outings however since he has taken the win in only 1 of those games, but the way the offense has exploded recently, we expect his teammates to help him out tonight. Jayson Werth has just three hits in 10 at-bats against Garza while Ian Desmond is 0 for 6 against him with a walk and three strikeouts! 

The Nationals offense has been inconsistent this season, especially on the road. If Garza continues to pitch the way that he has been, the Brewers should be able to win a close one at home. This is a good price to lay on the capable home team.

Other notable facts to consider: 

  • Milwaukee is 17-7 in its last 24 games when playing at home against Washington. 
  • Washington is 0-4 in their last 4 road games! 
  • Washington is 9-27 as a road underdog of +100 to +125 over the last 2 seasons!
     

#3: Take Cincinnati Reds as +105 underdogs on the Money Line against Chicago Cubs risking 2% 
(Simon and Samardzija must start)

The Reds travel to Wrigley Field to kick off Game 1 against the Chicago Cubs tonight. The Cincinnati Reds have been on quite a tear recently and have finally found their offense. The Reds have won eight of eleven to reach back to .500 and now have their eyes firmly glued on the Milwaukee Brewers and that top spot in the Central Division. The Reds managed to hold off Toronto 4-3 on Sunday behind the arm of Johnny Cueto who survived some uncharacteristically sloppy defense and Toronto's big bats. Todd Frazier had a strong performance with a home run and two RBI's and two runs scored! 

Alfredo Simon will take the mound for the Reds tonight. Simon has quietly become one of the most consistent and impressive pitchers this season and has done so flying mostly under the radar. He kept his hot streak going by beating the Pittsburgh Pirates on the road last Wednesday to picking up his league leading tenth win of the year! Simon has a 10-3 record and has only given up 76 hits in 88.2 innings of work! He is the one of the main reason the Reds have stayed afloat in their division and has a solid 3.05 ERA. He has been throwing the ball extremely well and growing in confidence with each passing game. The Cubs may again find themselves struggling on the offensive side of the ball tonight.

The Cubs actually played the Pirates pretty well in their series this past weekend but at the end of the day their offense still could not get anything going which has been their story all season long. Despite a strong performance on the mound from Jason Hammel who gave up just 2 runs on six hits through seven innings, the Cubs could not provide their pitcher with much support. 

Lack of run support has really hurt the Cubs starting rotation this season and none more so than Jeff Samardzija. Samardzija is scheduled to get the start for the Cubs tonight and has been one of the most consistent pitchers in the league this season. He has pitched some stellar outings and yet he has little to show for it. His record is a paltry 2-6 despite an impressive 2.60 ERA. Samardzija has gotten little to no run support from his team despite his best efforts and the Cubs are 3-12 in his outings. 

The Reds come into this game with a lot of momentum. Samardzija is capable on the mound, but so is Simon and the former is a frustrated figure. Given the Cubs history of struggling behind the plate, we find it hard to believe that they will suddenly mount the offense needed off of a confident Reds team. Cincinnati is playing at a high level at the moment and we expect that to carry over into tonight's series opener. Samardzija is the more well known pitcher and is at home which is why the Cubs are listed as favorites but the Reds have the talent advantage in this game. Todd Frazier is 7-for-22 lifetime against Samardzija in his career with a double, two home runs and two RBI's! Take the Reds at this price. 

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Samardzija is 0-6 at home with a money line of -100 to -125 this season!
  • Cincinnati is 17-2 in their last 19 games when playing on the road against Cubs.
  • Cubs are 6-16 in their last 22 games when playing Cincinnati. 



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