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August 22, 2015 (Posted at 2:00 PM ET)

There are 3 picks tonight.
 

#1: Take Kansas City Royals on the Money Line (-140) against Boston Red Sox risking 4.2% of bankroll to win 3%.
(Ventura and Barnes must start for wager to have action)

Coming into this series it was almost unthinkable to believe that the team who has the best overall record in the American League would be down 0-2 in a series with the Boston Red Sox. Not only have the Royals been outplayed by Boston, they have been downright humiliated! For much of the season the Red Sox have struggled due to their inconsistent pitching. Their pitching has actually been borderline awful this season, yet in the first two games, their pitching has managed to silence the Royals' bats. We don't expect that to happen for a third time. It's been no secret that the Royals have struggled against left handed pitchers this season and it just so happens that both Miley and Owens are southpaws which is likely the cause of the Royals’ bats to go cold. Tonight they will face a rookie hander in Matt Barnes and should have much more success in tonight’s contest.

Barnes will be making just the second start of his major league career in this contest. He was tagged for six earned runs in five innings of work in his first career start last time out against the Indians. Barnes has shown issues with his command this season, even in relief appearances and that could be a problem tonight. Last time out he tossed 102 pitches in just 5 innings of work against the Tribe! Against the league's most patient team, that could lead to disastrous results for the rookie tonight. With another lefty on the deck tomorrow night in Eduardo Rodriguez, this likely is the Royals best opportunity to bounce back and pick up a win. The Royals rarely have lost 3 straight games this season, yet alone three straight games to a single opponent. We don't believe their pride will allow them to lose this contest tonight. 

Kansas City will hand the ball to right-hander Yordano Ventura tonight. Ventura had struggled in the early part of the season, however he is coming off of 2 quality starts which have seen him give up a combined 2 runs over his last 13 innings of work! Even though he is still young, Ventura has an experience edge over his counterpart in this contest and that should give his team the edge. He managed to navigate an extremely explosive Angels batting lineup in his last start and should be able to do the same tonight against the Sox. 

Whatever the reason for the Royals struggles in the first two games of this series, we expect them to work through it and figure things out for tonight's matchup. The Royals are far and away the better overall team in all areas of the game over their counterparts. They have the better pitching, the better hitting and the better fielding and this is where we believe they show it. The Red Sox have been a thorn in the side of the Royals for a while now and we believe this is the matchup where the momentum shifts. KC should come out and play like dominant division champions that they are and flex their muscle against the Sox tonight. Boston played well in the first two games of this series, but it's time things reverted back to the mean and we believe the Royals will break out in this contest and pick up the victory. 

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Royals are 38-17 in their last 55 games as a favorite.
  • Royals are 28-17 after a loss this season.
  • Red Sox are 3-7 in their last 10 Game 3's of a series.
  • Royals are 50-27 against right handed starters this season!
     

#2: Take Minnesota Twins as big underdogs (+157) on the Money Line against Baltimore Orioles risking 3% to win 4.71%!
(Gibson and Tillman must start for wager to have action)

The Twins have been a streaky club and are often affected by recent performances and in particular, the manner in which they finished a prior contest more so than other teams. Paul Moritor's side has drawn confidence from come-from-behind wins in the past and we believe has a solid chance of doing so again tonight. Afterall, they rallied in the 8th inning to shock the O's by crossing home plate 3 times in that frame. Then Kevin Jepsen struck out Adam Jones, Matt Wieters and Chris Davis to close the game. Having taken the first game in blowout fashion and clinched a nail-biter in the second showdown, this squad suddenly believes in itself again and has its self-esteem back! After a demoralizing series against the Yankees and dropping below .500, they needed to stop the bleeding and did just that. To have done so against a direct AL Wild Card rival will have given them a big mental boost.

The Orioles are a quality squad and one that will make a run between now and September for the AL East division but they are heavily over-rated in THIS particular contest and should not be such a BIG favorite! Tillman and Gibson are at the same level and the Orioles and Twins are fairly evenly matched up as well. There's no reason for Baltimore to be a -174 favorite tonight! This should be a close battle that can go either way and even if the Twins lose, it'll likely be narrow and due to strange occurences like 'Unearned' runs. There's a ton of value in backing them as such hefty underdogs when they are capable of pulling off the upset. It's worth noting that the Twins are 40-25 over the last 3 season after 4 consecutive games of not committing a fielding error! 

The betting public is expecting Gibson to have a poor showing but he's a smart hurler that knows how to induce ground-out doubleplays and may get himself out of one or two jams like that tonight. Meanwhile Chris Tillman has won 7 straight decision but his luck might run out of tonight against Minnesota which happens to be the only American League club, he has yet to win against. He's 0-3 with a 5.06 ERA and a WHIP of nearly 2 in previous starts against the Twins. Not only have the Minnesota bats seen him quite a bit, they've hit him hard. Gibson, on the other hand, has only had two previous starts against the O's and handled himself well as evident in his 2.45 ERA. 

Minnesota has a 50-50 chance of winning this game and yet they have not been priced accordingly. These odds suggest that Baltimore is very likely to win this contest and we disagree. The Twins have their swagger back and are riding quite a bit of momentum. Not only have they gotten to Oriole starters over the last two nights but they've hit their bullpen arms as well. They are now 5-0 against Baltimore this season and will want to close the gap between the two sides to just one game. A loss would drop them below a .500 record and while that may happen, all the value is on the capable underdogs in this matchup. Take them at this generous price as they surprise the public and the oddsmakers but not the sharps. 
 

#3: Take Washington Nationals on the Money Line (-148) against Milwaukee Brewers risking 4.44% of bankroll to win 3%.
(Ross and Jungmann must start for wager to have action)

There is no question that the Washington Nationals have struggled recently and that has changed fickle fans' opinion of them. At one point they were considered a lock for the playoffs and were in considered a legitimate threat to win the World Series this season. Despite playing well, their recent skid has put them in danger of missing the playoffs completely if things don't turn around. At the moment they have fallen below the .500 mark after dropping 8 of their last 11 and will likely need to catch the NY Mets for the division title if they want to have any chance of making the postseason this year. While many may look at a situation like this and believe they are “un-backable” since they have been poor recently, we view it as an opportunity. The Nationals, at their core, are still a quality club despite not living up to many analysts’ lofty expectations and will soon prove that! They are the much better overall team in this contest and that should not be ignored.

Both teams will send rookie pitchers to the mound tonight as the Brewers will start Taylor Jungmann while the Nats will counter with Joe Ross. Jungmann is having quite a rookie campaign this season and comes in with an impressive 7-4 overall record and respectable 2.23 ERA and is coming off arguably his best start of the season while National’s Joe Ross comes in with a 3-5 overall record and 3.80 ERA and is off two rather poor outings. On paper and looking at the numbers, one would believe that Jungman is the better overall pitcher in this contest; however both of these pitchers have similar qualities and have produced similar metrics this season. Perception is a dangerous thing in the world of sports betting and all too often people look too closely at recent performances and not at the overall body of work. What we find interesting about this contest is that despite the fact that the Nationals have lost 8 of 11 games, including last night’s series opener loss that the oddsmakers have listed Washington as hefty favorites in this contest. Judging by the set number, the oddsmakers believe that the Nationals will bounce back in this contest and we tend to agree.

The Nationals need to start piling up wins if they want to have any hopes of making the postseason. Washington has seen Jungmann once already this season back on June 14th and had quite a bit of success against him. He managed to last just 5 innings giving up 7 hits and 2 earned runs while walking two batters in that contest. With this game now being played on the Nationals home turf and with the team nearly in desperation mode at the moment, we expect them to capitalize on Jungmann's mistakes and get to him early on in the contest.

The Brew crew are enjoying some late season success while the Nationals are going through some late season struggles however these teams are on opposite ends of the spectrum and we expect things to balance out quickly in this contest. Washington isn't a team that gives up a huge amount of runs often. They have given up 10 or more runs only 4 times previously this season and they have a history of bouncing back in the following contest, going 3-1 in the 4 previous occasions. This is the ideal bounce back situation for the Nationals and we believe they will come away with the closely contest win. They have no games to waste and can ill afford to drop more if they want to make the post-season.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Brewers have won just 2 of their last 14 games as an underdog!
  • Joe Ross beat Milwaukee in what was only his 2nd ever MLB start back in July.
  • Nationals are 39-19 in their last 58 home games vs. a team with a losing record.



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