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June 3, 2015 (Posted at 5:00 PM ET)

Sports Profit System has won 12 of its last 18 picks but short term streaks are ultimately meaningless.

Excellent long term results are what have made SPS the best handicapping service!
 

Take Philadelphia Phillies (-135) on the Money Line against Cincinnati Reds risking 3%.
(Hamels and Leake must start for wager to have action)

Heading into last night's contest, the Phillies were on a 7-game losing streak and desperate for a win. Their tenacity and drive to end that skid showed as despite falling behind 4-1 early on, they never gave up. They managed to tie the game in the 8th inning and then hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the 9th to complete the comeback, snap their losing skid and beat the Reds and their Ace, Jonny Cueto! You could see how much that victory meant to coach Sandberg and the players who were in a real slump and we expect those emotions to carry over into this game tonight. 

The Phillies will have a great shot at getting the victory tonight as they send Cole Hamels to the mound. Hamels has owned the Reds lineup in the past including some of their most potent offensive weapons such as the likes of Frazier, Votto, Brandon Phillips and base-stealing Billy Hamilton! Collectively, the Reds have only hit .180 against Hamels historically and have been baffled by his pitches. Hamels has recorded a 28 to 5 strikeout to walk ratio in 111 at-bats. What has been most impressive is that during that span he has allowed only 5 walks and 2 home runs! He has been absolutely dominant against them in the past and should have another quality outing. He is a perfect 10-0 against the Reds with an ERA of 1.36 and a WHIP of just 0.877!

Meanwhile Philly veterans Jeff Francoeur and in particular Ryan Howard have torched Reds pitcher Mike Leake in the past and could trouble him again tonight. Philadelphia's offense was re-ignited last night and they should come out energized in this contest. Leake's club has lost 5 of his 6 starts against the Phillies and he's been hit hard, compiling a less than impressive 7.41 ERA in those meetings! Leake has also been struggling recently as he has allowed 20 runs in his last 14 innings and is currently the subject of trade rumors. This could certainly have a negative effect mentally on Leake and cause him to struggle on the mound tonight. Everyone knows that part of being a pitcher on the mound is the ability to be strong mentally; to not allow emotions and distractions to take over and the importance of remaining focused on the task at hand. When a pitcher loses focus and begins thinking too much about outside influences, that is when pressure mounts and struggles with pitch delivery begins. We could see that from Leake tonight and with a Phillies lineup that is full of lefties and switch-hitters they have the ability to do some damage if Leake does happen to struggle.

The Phillies may be viewed as a poor side but this is a good spot to back them. They'll likely be enthusiastic and confident heading into this game. It's worth mentioning that this is a .500 ball club at home this season so their somewhat unimpressive records shows that their struggles have mainly come on the road this season. At home they have managed to win 4 of last 5 games in Philadelphia. The same can be said for the Reds. Cincinnati is looked at as a quality team, yet they are just 9-17 on the road this season. A majority of their wins have come at home this year which gives a somewhat skewed perception of how good this team actually is. 

The Reds had 2 fielding errors last night which cost them a narrow loss and could be short on confidence and somewhat deflated tonight since they were off an impressive sweep of the Nationals! Meanwhile, the Phillies defense may be somewhat error-prone at times but they do excel in generating double-plays having turned in 55 already this season and with one of the most consistent lefties in the league in Hamels on the mound tonight, who always give his all we expect him force the batters into some ground balls to turn some double plays tonight. It's important to remember that even when Hamels has lost; it’s rarely due to a poor outing on the mound. It's more because of his offense not giving him a lot of run support, but given Leake's struggles recently, that shouldn't be the case tonight. Hamels is a pitcher who can put in a quality start which takes a lot of pressure off of the bullpen. He's lasted at least 7 innings in each of his past 5 starts. Another quality outing tonight should be enough to give his team the victory. 

Devin Mesoraco is out on the DL list and currently injured. The Reds often turn to Brayan Pena as a backup catcher. The issue here is that since Pena is another one of the many Reds bats whom have posted poor numbers against Cole Hamels, Coach Bryan Price is starting Tucker Barnhart behind the plate tonight! This could turn out to be a poor decision by the coach as Barnhart is not nearly as experienced. Everyone knows that a catcher is an important position in the game and this decision could prove costly tonight if Barnhart struggles behind the plate. 

Sometimes teams just need a little spark to get them over the hump or turn fortunes at least temporarily around, Phillies got that last night when they rallied to get a walk-off victory! They will likely be the more enthusiastic and confident team on the field tonight. Even if Mike Leake turns his fortunes around and produces a quality start tonight, the Reds bullpen has a collective 5.25 ERA on the road this season which could give the Phillies and opportunity to score runs late in the game. Philadelphia has several advantages heading into tonight's matchup and should do enough to win.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Cincinnati is 3-9 on the road when the total is set at 7 or less runs!
  • Phillies are 5-2 against the Reds in the last 7 meetings hosted in Philadelphia.
  • The Reds are just 8-26 as a road underdog of +125 to +150 over the last 3 seasons!
  • Leake's club has lost 5 of his 6 starts against the Phillies. He has an ERA of 7.41 in those games! 



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