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

There are 3 baseball picks including two underdogs tonight.
 

1: Take Boston Red Sox (-125) on the Money Line against Tampa Bay Rays risking 3.75% of bankroll to win 3%.
(Owens and Moore must start for wager to have action)

The Red Sox and Rays square off for Game 2 tonight from Fenway Park. The Red Sox capped off an impressive come from behind win last night, scoring seven runs in the 7th and 8th inning behind Xander Bogaerts 5 RBIs! It was a huge momentum shift and confidence builder for the Sox, who despite not being in playoff contention; have been fighting to the end. For the Tampa Bay Rays, it was a crushing loss that will likely leave them deflated in this contest tonight. Especially since Bogaerts' grand slam came with 2 outs!

Matt Moore will take the mound for the Rays tonight and this has been a season to forget for him. He's 1-4 in 9 starts with a very unflattering 7.06 ERA! He's also struggled mightily on the road with an even worse 8.64 ERA in 4 starts on the highway. As if that wasn't enough, Moore hasn't had much success at all on the mound against the Sox as he is just 2-5 with a 7.03 ERA in 7 lifetime starts and he's given up 6 earned runs in each of his starts against Boston this season. He admitted in a recent interview that he doesn't like pitching at Fenway Park but is taksed with doing just that this evening.

For the Red Sox, they will send Henry Owens to the mound this evening. Owens is coming off two extremely impressive outings against the Orioles and the Blue Jays. Both of those AL East clubs are known for their explosive offense this season and the fact that Owens was able to hold them to just 9 hits and 1 earned run over 13 innings speaks volumes of the talent this kid has. If Owens was able to have success against those two powerhouse offenses, he should be able to have success against a Rays offense that has been inconsistent at best this season. This will also be Owens' first appearance against this lineup which should give him a slight advantage. With the Rays bats having not seen him before, it should take them a couple innings to become adjusted to his timing and delivery.

These are simply two teams that are heading in opposite direction at the moment. The Red Sox have 4 of their last 5 games overall and 6 of their last 7 at Fenway Park. They overtook Tampa with their late win last night and have a lot of momentum coming into this game. The Rays on the other hand must be dejected after months of battling for a Wild Card spot and yet suddenly finding themselves at the very bottom of the division! They may come out flat and that should see Boston extend its marginal lead over them.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Boston is 6-2 in their last 8 meetings with Tampa.
  • Tampa has won just 4 their last 13 visits to Fenway Park.
  • Boston is 22-14 against a team with a losing record in the second half of the season.
     

2: Take LA Angels as underdogs (+151) on the Money Line against Houston Astros risking 3% of bankroll to win 4.53%!
(Santiago and McCullers must start for wager to have action)

The Angels are the team that we believe are exhibiting the most value on the card today. This is arguably the Angels most important game of the season in what should be considered a must win for Mike Scioscia's team. They are not out of the running for a postseason berth and a win will keep their playoff hopes alive another day. We believe that they are in fact live underdogs in this contest and the oddsmakers have mistakenly mis-valued this team. They will likely give it their all tonight and leave everything on the field to keep themselves in contention and that makes them a serious threat in this contest.

The Houston Astros, while a good team, but they are just 7-12 in September because the pressure of being in a pennant race has gotten to this young group. They have also not fared well against lefties this season and Santiago in particular has held them to just a .165 batting average! While it's true that Hector Santiago is coming off his shortest outing, we believe that he will have a bounce back performance to keep his team's season alive. He's motivated to do well tonight against a club he's had success in the past against. Mike Scioscia and his troops are being written off by everyone at the moment, but they are heavy underdogs with a solid pitcher against a rookie one that is bound to be a bit overconfident.

It is our opinion that the AL West playoff picture isn't just about the two Texas clubs and that LA is still in the picture. Tomorrow's matchup is Tropeano vs. Fiers meaning the Halos are in danger of being swept if they lose tonight so that should give them extra added incentive in this contest. If Trout, Aybar, Kalhoun, Pujols and company want to make the playoffs, it's now or never for them. Unlike AJ Hinch's squad, the Halos are used to being in a September dogfight all the way till the end. All the pressure is on the Astros in this spot and yet the LA Club is the vastly more experienced one. That should help them even up the series and keep their playoff hopes alive. Win or lose, there is a lot of value backing the live underdogs in this one and the reward is certainly worth the risk.
 

3: Take NY Yankees as underdogs (+124) on the Money Line against Blue Jays risking 3% of bankroll to win 3.72%.
(Severino and Estrada must start for wager to have action)

This is as close to a must-win game for the Bronx Bombers as it gets! That's because they are currently 3.5 games behind Toronto and know that it'll be hard to make up ground if they don't pull within 2.5 games tonight. Joe Girardi's side was left baffled by talented lefty, David Price, who is truly one of the best hurlers in the game. They'll have an easier time against righty Marco Estrada tonight and will be extremely motivated to tie up the series and make tomorrow's finale a rubber match! On the other hand, they know that IF they lose tonight, their hopes of winning the AL East division are as good as over. That's because they would then be 4.5 games behind their Canadian counterparts and will even be in danger of suffering another embarrassing sweep since tomorrow's pitching matchup is Marcus Stroman vs. Ivan Nova! The Yankees realize that their best chance of a victory is tonight and will do everything it takes to narrow the gap.

Luis Severino is a rookie that has shown the poise and composure of a veteran! He's a very talented pitcher and one that will go on to achieve big things over the coming years. He was very unlucky in his first appearance against the Blue Jays giving up UNearned runs due to a rare Carlos Beltran error. In his last start against them however, he let his previous frustrations get to him and was beaten up by this potent Toronto offense. We believe he'll be out for revenge tonight much like his teammates and will get the better of a lineup that has still only had a few at-bats against him. It's also worth noting that he's actually pitched better on the road (2.28 ERA) than at home this season. Opposing him on the mound will be Marco Estrada, a solid pitcher that is having a good season but one that the scouting report is much bigger on! He's also coming off a lengthy outing last time out which while impressive sets him up for a let-down spot tonight. He has 4 previous starts against NY in his career and owns a mediocre 4.09 ERA in those appearances.

The Yankees can ill afford to drop another game to their rivals north of the border! They are 5-12 against the Blue Jays this season and will give it their all to turn their fortunes around. This is a much bigger game for them than the Jays. Afterall, Toronto would be in a comfortable position even if they did lose this one, especially since they have an immediate opportunity to pad their lead and win the series in tomorrow's pitching matchup. Short-stop Troy Tulowitzki continues to miss out and while they've fared just fine without him thus far, neither Cliff Pennington nor Ryan Goins nor Kawasaki are in the same class. In a high-pressure game like this, we believe the former Colorado man's absence will be felt more than it has been. This is a 50-50 game that can go either way and yet one side is a signifcant favorite because they are playing at home. Given the urgency and desire that the New York players are likely to display in this contest, we believe all the value is on the visitors. The Yankees still have the better bullpen, despite improvements to Toronto's relief core and should find a way to edge this game and keep the AL East race interesting.




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