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June 27, 2015 (Posted at 3:00 PM ET)

There are 3 picks today! 

Sunday's wagers will be posted at noon (12:00 PM ET).
 

#1: Take San Diego Padres (-126) on the Money Line against Arizona Diamondbacks risking 3% of bankroll.
(Cashner and Hellickson must start for wager to have action)

The Friars outhit Arizona and brought us a comfortable win last night and we expect them to do the same tonight. Tyson Ross was on the mound in that game and it'll be Andrew Cashner tonight. Much like Ross, Cashner's win-loss record doesn't do him justice as he's actually pitched much better than that number suggests. His ERA is decent and yet he currently sports an unfashionable 2-9 record. He and the Padres have unfinished business against Hellickson and the Diamondbacks since an ugly 7-run inning undid them in the same matchup last week. Cashner lost his composure in that outing after the umpire called a few pitches that should been strikes, balls. He let that get to him and that led to a big inning for Arizona, one in which even the pitcher Hellickson got on base and scored.

San Diego had some good at-bats yesterday and yet their biggest offensive weapon, Justin Upton, had a poor game. We expect him to be more effective in this contest and prove his worth as he has all season. The Diamondbacks have a good offense but their pitching leaves a lot to be desired. Hellickson has been hit hard by some of these Friars in the past and could struggle again today. And once he's pulled from the game, the Arizona bullpen can't be relied upon. They have struggled all season long and recently blew another lead late against the Rockies in the series finale with Colorado. Their confidence is shaken and San Diego will look to take advantage of that.

The Padres have the opportunity to overtake the Diamondbacks in the NL West standings with a victory and will be motivated by that. Time is running out for this ambitious club to make a run and they know that. This is an expensively assembled squad and one that is starting to gel together. They have a lot of talent and can play most teams when on their game. The fact that this is also one of the final home series for San Diego before the All-Star break will provide them with further motivation to do well and close the gap. The odds should be closer to -140 in our opinion and the fact that it is nearly 15 cents cheaper on the dollar means it should be taken advantage of. The D-backs made some fielding errors last night and could be short on confidence heading into this game.
 

#2: Take Oakland Athletics (-144) on the Money Line against Kansas City Royals risking 3% of bankroll.
(Kazmir and Young must start for wager to have action)

The KC Royals are no doubt a quality team. They are one of the most balanced squads in the league and their strong blend of quality pitching; timely hitting and stellar fielding are a huge reason why they are first place in their division. Having said all that, if there has been one weakness of this KC ball club it has been left handed pitchers! The Royals have been baffled by southpaw's going just 11-13 against lefties but more importantly their scoring output drops by almost a full run. This afternoon could prove to be a struggle as they are going to have to go up against one of the (at least statistically) best southpaws in the American League in Scott Kazmir.  

The Royals are also in the midst of an extended road trip that still has six more games to go. While this may seem insignificant, it is actually a very important point. Baseball is a very "mental" game and being away from home and on the road does take a toll on a player both physically and mentally. A lot can be said about players not only playing in familiar settings, but also living their lives in familiar settings. Sleeping in their own bed at night instead of in a hotel or on a plane, eating somewhere that’s not a fast food place or unfamiliar restaurant are things that can affect a person mentally. While it is nice to take a break from daily life and get away once in a while, too much time away can often take a toll on a person. This is a tough series playing inside the Coliseum and if the Royals come in just a bit mentally unprepared, that could be just enough for the A's to capitalize on. 

The Oakland Athletics have seemingly found their groove and are back to being the team that many expected this season. They have now won 9 of their last 12 games and as we mentioned they will send left-hander Scott Kazmir to the mound who is coming off an impressive outing in his last trip to the hill as he gave up just 1 run on 6 hits, while striking out 6 in a win against the LA Angels. There is no doubt that Oakland will be motivated and looking to avenge last night’s loss which happened to snap their recent 5 game winning streak. We believe they will give KC everything they can handle this afternoon.  

The Royals will counter with right-hander Chris Young this afternoon. It will be interesting to see how the tall veteran responds in this outing after having his worst performance of the season his last time out. The Boston Red Sox lit Young up as they scored 7 runs on 7 hits including 3 home runs in just 4 innings. That type of outing can often stick with a pitcher and make them a bit timid or hesitant on the mound with his pitch selection and delivery. A mental mistake and a pitch that hangs too high in the zone is all it takes to make the difference in a game. 

The A's are finally starting to play like the team that many expected this season. We had not given up on them and knew it would only be a matter of time before things started falling into place. This is a team that is high on confidence at the moment and has a chance to take some of their early season frustrations out on a division leader and show the rest of the league that this is a team that is going to contend for the post season this year. There's a reason why the A's not only opened up as the favorites but that the line had moved significantly as well. We believe they get their revenge this afternoon and even up the series at a game apiece. 

Other notable facts to consider:

  • The Athletics are 5-2 in their last 7 home games.
  • The Athletics are 5-2 in their last 7 games as a home favorite.
  • The Athletics are 4-1 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning record.
     

#3: Take New York Mets (-160) on the Money Line against Cincinnati Reds risking 3% of bankroll.
(Harvey and Lorenzen must start for wager to have action)

The Cincinnati Reds were supposed to have the pitching edge last night as they sent out their ace, Johnny Cueto against one of the Mets least experienced hurlers in Noah Syndergaard but came up short in a 2-1 loss. This afternoon the roles will be reversed as the Mets should have a distinct edge on the mound as they send out their Ace, Matt Harvey to pitch opposite Reds youngster Michael Lorenzen.  After a couple of rough outings, it appears that the Dark Knight has risen and gotten back on track. The right-hander has a sparkling 0.66 ERA over his last two starts and this afternoon will face a Reds team that has never beaten him. The Mets will even hold the edge in this contest after they retire the starting pitchers. New York’s bullpen has been one of the best this season as they have recorded 24 saves on the season. We believe the Reds will have trouble plating runs in this contest.

The Mets have struggled in the month of June, however after last night's win, they've now built some momentum and come into this contest on a two game winning streak. This Mets team is one that thrives on momentum and confidence. After a spectacular start by Jacob DeGrom the other night, the Mets carried that momentum into last night’s game and we expect them to keep it going this afternoon. New York surged out of the gate in the early part of the season and performed much better than many had predicted. After a mid-season slump we expect that they will be looking to keep their winning ways going and build even more momentum heading into the All-Star Break. 

The Cincinnati Reds have been playing well as of late winning five of their last eight games. Their offense has been clicking as they have scored 11 runs in their last three games and four or more runs in six of their last eight games; however we believe that will come to an end tonight as they face the Dark Knight. The Reds have also been an extremely poor team away from home and their struggles on the highway have been well documented. Cincinnati has been a bankroll destroying 17-41 in their last 58 games on the road and just 13-44 in the road underdog role! While the Reds have been poor on the road, the Mets have actually been extremely good in the confines of Citi Field and sport an impressive 27-11 home record this season and have won their last 4 straight home games. 

The issue with the Mets has been their inconsistent play at the plate. Harvey has not always gotten the proper run support from his offense to capitalize on his quality performances. With that being said, he should be able to outduel his counterpart on the mound this afternoon and if he does his offense will likely only need to provide him with a couple of runs of support to get the win. Juan Lagares leads this team with 71 hits and 20 RBI while Lucas Duda and Michael Cuddyer have combined for 60 RBI this season and we expect these players to step up in this contest today and help guide their ace to a victory. These are fair odds to get on a pitcher of Harvey's caliber and the Mets should end up coming away with another victory in front of their home crowd in this one. 

Other notable facts to consider:

  • The Mets are 5-2 in Matt Harvey's last 7 home starts.
  • The Mets have won 39 of their last 55 games when listed as the favorite!
  • The Reds are just 9-30 when listed as a road underdog of +125 to +150 over the last 3 seasons!



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