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August 1, 2015 (Posted at 5:00 PM ET)

There are 2 selections tonight.

Picks will be posted at noon (12:00 PM ET) on Sunday.
 

#1: Take Minnesota Twins (-130) on the Money Line against Seattle Mariners risking 3% of the bankroll.
(Gibson and Montgomery must start for wager to have action)

The Twins are one of the few teams currently within the postseason race that didn't make much noise prior to the trade deadline. They weren't buyers or sellers and control their own destiny at the moment. They currently hold a very marginal lead over the Baltimore Orioles in the Wild Card race, but will likely also have to fend off not only in the high-powered Blue Jays but also AL Central rivals, White Sox and Tigers as well. That makes this particular series with the Mariners very interesting. All of the above mentioned teams have the capability to overtake the Twins in the standings, especially given Minnesota's recent struggles but if they're not careful, they may even give Seattle hope! With the series tied at one game apiece, this 3rd game becomes extremely important for the Twins to win. Have been defeated soundly last night, we expect a bounce back effort in this contest as they kill off Mariner hopes and keep the Orioles at bay.

The Seattle Mariners will send lefty Mike Montgomery to the mound tonight. The rookie pitcher has seemingly found a place in the rotation, but has struggled over his last four starts. In the early part of the season he managed to compile 4-2 record to go along with a 1.62 ERA through his first seven starts, however things have started to go downhill for the southpaw since then. Over his last 4 starts he has boasted a 7.09 ERA. He has allowed 16 runs in his last 20 innings pitched. Minnesota has shown their ability to crush left handed pitching and managed to do so in game 1 of the series where they hit lefty JA Happ for 7 runs in just 3 innings of work, 5 of which came in the very first inning. If Montgomery doesn't tread lightly in the early part of the game, he could find himself in a similar situation as Happ. It’s worth mentioning that Brian Dozier is 7 for his last 19 off lefties with two homers and two doubles while Miguel Sano, who homered Friday night, has a 1.073 OPS during a seven-game hitting streak with two doubles, two homers and five walks. The Twins offense will likely also get a boost tonight as Trevor Plouffe who is tied for second on the team with 55 RBIs, is expected to return after missing two games for the birth of his son.  

Minnesota will send right-hander Kyle Gibson to the mound on Saturday night. Gibson has been one of Minnesota’s most reliable pitcher's this season. He comes in with a respectable 3.19 ERA at Target Field this season. The Mariners have shown their ability to struggle to score runs on a consistent basis and may find offense tough to come by against Gibson as he has done well against Seattle in his career having gone 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in three career starts.

The Twins simply can't afford to lose these types of winnable games against what many would consider inferior opponents, especially with many teams currently breathing down their necks for that Wild Card spot. We successfully backed the Twins in Game 1 of this series and this matchup in Game 3 has a similar feel. They are coming off an embarrassing loss having not been able to muster much than 1 hit! We fully expect them to bring their bats tonight against the rookie southpaw. Minnesota still holds an advantage at Target Field this season and has owned the Mariners in recent meetings. At this short price, all of the value is on the home side and we expect them to seal the victory.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Mariners are 1-4 in their last 5 games vs. right-handed starters. 
  • Twins are 9-1 in Gibson’s last 10 starts vs. a team with a losing record! 
  • Mariners have lost 6 of their last 8 games in Minnesota.
     

#2: Take the UNDER 7 total runs in Colorado Rockies vs. St. Louis Cardinals risking 3% of the bankroll.
(De La Rosa and Lynn must start for wager to have action)

The Rockies have always been known as a power hitting team, but that isn't always true away from Coors Field and the landscape has changed since the recent trade deadline with the departure of Troy Tulowitzki. The man nicknamed 'Tulo' is already missed in Denver and has brought his offense to Toronto. Tulowitzki was the unquestioned leader of this team and a huge presence both on the field and in the locker room. His departure was unexpected and almost shocking to some, so there is a question about where exactly that leaves this squad. Everyone knows that baseball is a huge mental game. A player has to be focused at the plate and in the field in order to quickly react to the situations presented. If the players still have not wrapped their heads around the fact that these players are gone, it will certainly have a negative impact on the performance on the field. The Rockies were not truly a great team to begin with, so without these two bats in the lineup anymore, they have essentially worsened as a unit and we expect them to struggle at the plate. 

We also expect both of these pitchers to step up tonight and judging by the total set in this game, so do the odds makers. Lance Lynn will take the mound for the Cardinals tonight and he is having an already excellent season. Lynn has been a victim of low run support all season long, but he’s hardly needed it at home in Busch Stadium, as the right-hander comes in with a home ERA of just 1.77 on the season. Lynn has received less than three runs of support per game on average this season, which has led to a down year in the wins department, despite boasting a slim 2.71 ERA on the year. The Cardinals haven't historically provided Lynn with many runs of support and we don't expect things to change much tonight. He's also had quite a bit of success against Colorado in his career as he is 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA in four starts against Colorado with two scoreless efforts. The Rockies with the most plate appearances against him with are DJ LeMahieu and Drew Stubbs, who have combined to go 1 for 13 with a walk and six strikeouts. We expect Lynn to have a quality showing again tonight and limit the damage by the Colorado bats. 

For the Rockies, they will counter with Jorge De La Rosa. The Mexican veteran is having a down year himself, however he is one of the few pitchers in the league that has performed much better on the highway than at home owning a solid 3.07 ERA on the road. For the most part he has been able to limit the damage by Cardinals bats with Mark Reynolds going just 3 for 20 in his career with 10 strikeouts and Jhonny Peralta going just 5 for 24 while Matt Carpenter is hitless! He's held St. Louis to a lowly .210 batting average and given their struggles against southpaws like him, they could struggle at the plate once again tonight.

We believe that this will be more of a pitchers' duel than people expect which should result in a low scoring affair. St. Louis boasts the NL's best bullpen with a combined 2.32 ERA and received another boost after the club acquired Jonathan Broxton from Milwaukee on Friday. Even when Lynn comes out of the game, the Cardinals should be able to keep this new-look Colorado lineup in check since it features the likes of Drew Stubbs and Daniel Descalso, players who are good defensively but not the best offensively. As long as unearned runs (fielding errors) are not scored, the final score should fall a run or two short of this number and stay under. With the total set at 7, it allows us the possibility of 'pushing' even if the Colorado bullpen gives up late runs and that is an important insurance plan to have.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • The Under is 37-15 at Busch Stadium.
  • The Under is 17-9 when the Cardinals have faced a left handed pitcher.
  • The Under is 11-0 at Busch Stadium since Apr 18th after a win in which the Cards allowed 6 or fewer hits!
  • The Under is 8-2 when the Cardinals have played a team with a losing record in the second half of the season! 



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