August 14th 2013 - Posted 05:50 PM Eastern Time


There are 3 bets risking a total of 6% tonight.



#1: Take New York Yankees on the Money Line (-126) against LA Angels risking 2% (Nova and Weaver must start)

Tonight's match-up will pit two of the leagues' current hottest pitchers against each other but while both pitchers have recently done very well, the teams themselves are seemingly headed in opposite directions. The New York Yankees will seek their 4th straight win as the try to make a late run for the playoffs. The Angels however have dropped 8 of their last 10 and are simply looking forward to the end of the season.

Ivan Nova will get the start for the Yankees. After struggling early in the season, Nova has turned things around and posted an impressive 1.60 ERA since rejoining the rotation back on July 5. Nova has hurled 6 quality starts in a row and what I find even more impressive is the fact that he has only allowed one home run over his last 43 innings pitched! Even with a 1.60 ERA, Nova is just 3-2 since the beginning of July due to the fact that he had received just 5 runs of support over his last 4 starts! That may well have changed however since his team exploded for 14 runs over the Angels last night.

Jered Weaver has been solid since the beginning of July but there may be a little chink in his armor as he has did surrender 2 home runs in his last start after allowing just 2 over his last 8 starts prior to that. That could spell trouble tonight since the Yankees have seemingly found their offense and had 3 home runs in last night's game. While Weaver has been solid at home, on the road he hasn't been as reliable. In 7 road starts this season Weaver is just 1-3 with a 3.74 ERA. Weaver has also not had the greatest outings against the Yankees in the past as his lifetime ERA against the Bronx team is 5.21! The Yankees have won 5 of the last 6 games when hosting the Anaheim club and will look for the series clincher tonight.

While Weaver may still be quality pitcher, the Angels are not a quality team this season. The Halos have dropped 13 of their last 18 games overall and are just 2-9 in their last 11 on the road! The motivation factor could essentially come into play tonight as the Angels really have not much to play for at this point. Their bullpen has been disastrous recently as they struggle to hold on to wins even when their offense has produced. Playing in New York, in a hitters park against a team like the Yankees is never an easy feat. Playing a motivated Yankees team who are on a roll while you have nothing to play for is an even bigger one.

Robinson Cano is just one home-run shy of hitting 200 for his career and will no doubt be out to achieve this milestone. The Yankees need to win this series and know their best chance of doing so is tonight since tomorrow's pitching match-up pairs CJ Wilson against the struggling Phil Hughes. The Halos are only 2-6 on the road when Weaver won his last outing and are currently dealing with some knocks and injuries. Howie Kendrick remains on the DL while short-stop Erick Aybar left yesterday's game with cramp. He'll probably feature tonight but likely won't be 100%. Take the better more motivated team at this cheap price.



#2: Take Boston Red Sox on the Money Line (-144) against Toronto Blue Jays risking 2% (Lester and Rogers must start)

Even though Jon Lester has been inconsistent this season, I still believe there is a mismatch on the mound tonight when Lester takes on Toronto's Esmil Rogers. Rogers was actually supposed to be demoted to bullpen duty given his struggles in the starting role. Rogers has an awful 8.50 ERA over his last 7 starts which puts him near the very top of the list for worst ERA in the majors during that span!

An injury to another struggling Jays pitcher (Josh Johnson) has thrown Rogers right back into the starting role and tonight he will have the task of facing an offense that leads the league in total runs scored! Rogers is 0-3 with an astonishing 16.05 ERA in his last 3 starts. To say he's been struggling would be an understatement! Needless to say, I don't expect him to be confident when he takes the mound tonight and another poor performance is the more likely outcome.

Lester has struggled in the mid part of the season but something that he does have going for him is the fact that he has seen Toronto quite a bit in his career. Lester is 14-7 in his career against Toronto which includes making 4 starts against them this season alone. Lester has dominated Toronto this season and has an excellent 3-0 with a 2.79 ERA against the Blue Jays which is almost a full run shy of his overall ERA!

The Blue Jays can be a good hitting team most of the time but their roster boasts a lot of left-handed power hitters. That is one reason they haven't fared well against southpaws and since Jon Lester is a lefty, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him contain the Blue Jays. The Red Sox are 4-1 in the last 5 meetings between these two teams and Toronto is only 18-31 when facing a division rival this season. One stat that is even more intriguing is that when playing against a team with a winning record, the Blue Jays are a horrible 1-13 at home in the second half of this season.

The Red Sox showed last night that they have the ability to win the game with any batter in their lineup at any given time. All season long they have scored runs and won games whether it be through grinding them out in extra innings as they did last night or winning with ease. Against a pitcher that just 5 days ago lasted only 3 innings giving up 7 runs, the Red Sox should score easily tonight. Colby Rasmus missed yesterday's game and will likely be out tonight as well. Back the better team with the better pitcher.



#3: Take Washington Nationals on the Money Line (-147) against San Francisco Giants risking 2% (Zimmermann and Lincecum must start)

The Washington Nationals are on a roll winning 4 straight games and the outcome of tonight's game is of importance to them since as win tonight would tie the Nationals' longest winning streak of the season. The Nationals have given themselves a chance recently but at two games below .500 on the season, each and every game for this team must count if they want to meet their expectations. This is the time of year where quality teams stand out and make a late-season push towards the playoffs. The Nationals are in a position right now where they absolutely need to win the types of games that they should and that includes tonight's home game against the struggling SF Giants.

Tim Lincecum is not the same pitcher that he was. The former 2-time Cy Young award winner appears to be a mere shell of himself. Although he recorded a no-hitter earlier in the year and he has posted a couple of quality starts in a row, a majority of his struggles (much like his team) have come on the road this season. Washington is no stranger to Lincecum as they have been able to hit him and hit him hard in his career. Lincecum is just 1-4 lifetime against the Nationals with an inflated 5.68 ERA and finds himself in a difficult situation tonight as he has not fared well after a loss. He is just 1-12 on the season following a loss! The Giants as a team are just 7-17 over the last 2 seasons when Lincecum starts in a road night game.

Jordan Zimmermann has struggled after the All Star break but is still a quality All-Star pitcher and has been stellar at home. In 14 home starts, Zimmermann is 9-2 with a 2.90 ERA and his team is 11-3 when he has started at home this season!

Last night's victory means the Nationals are 7-1 against San Francisco over the last 3 seasons when hosting them. Washington has simply dominated these home series and I don't see any reasons why it shouldn't continue tonight. Washington is the team playing better baseball at the moment while the Giants are simply waiting for their season to end. The Nationals have scored a total of 27 runs over their last 4 games and their bats should do enough to grab another win against Lincecum tonight. Take the hotter team as they still have a lot to play for and know there is little margin for error at this stage of the season.



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