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April 15, 2016

There are 2 baseball picks tonight. The NBA Playoffs start tomorrow!

1: Take NY Yankees (-135) on the Moneyline against Seattle Mariners risking 4.05% to win 3%.
(Severino and Karns must start for wager to have action)

Luis Severino is one of the most promising young pitchers in the league! The talented righty forced his way into the rotation in the second half of the season in 2015 and will be a permanent fixture of it going forward. Like any young pitcher, he's not immune to mistakes or inconsistencies but all in all, there's a lot more to like than dislike about him. Given that the M's have never faced him before, we believe they'll find it tough to score runs. He knows how to mix his pitches up and has the type of delivery that takes a bit of time to get used to. The Mariners do have some good hitters in their lineup but can choke with runners in scoring position and it wouldn't surprise us if they didn't fully capitalize on their opportunities tonight.

Nathan Karns will toe the rubber for Seattle tonight and as a former Tampa Bay Ray, the Yankees have faced him quite a few times before. That prior experience is invaluable as the 28-year old righty won't exactly 'surprise' them much. They know his arsenal and what he brings to the table and that is a determined and gritty character that doesn't give up. The Bronx Bombers have put men on base against him in the past only to see him get out of jams by inducing groundball double-plays. Despite that, his team is 1-3 against NY when he starts on the mound. 

It is no secret that the Yankees have an outstanding bullpen! Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller in particular form the perfect 1-2 punch in the final two innings! Given that both got the last 2 days off to rest their arms, having not participated in either of the two final meetings against the Blue Jays, we expect them to be ready to get called into action tonight. The New Yorkers rarely give up leads in the final innings and often even hang in there for the first 5 or 6 before finding a way to win it. We believe Severino is likely to win the starting pitching matchup but even if he doesn't, the NY relievers always give this team a chance to rally and clinch a 'W'. Look for Betances and Miller to once again act as a shut-down unit as the Yankees give their passionate fanbase something to cheer about.

The fact that Joe Girardi's bats know they'll be stepping up to the plate against 'King' Felix Hernandez tomorrow night makes this particular matchup against Karns even more important to win. Facing Hernandez is a daunting task and leaves little margin for error. CC Sabathia will get the ball in Game 2 of this series and the veteran is certainly past his best. Realistically, NY has a much better chance of winning this game than Saturday's contest and that will bring them added urgency tonight. Brian McCann is currently leading the AL in batting average and will be behind home plate at his usual catcher spot. Look for the Yankees to get snap their 2-game losing streak and get a much needed victory! This should be a closely contested game but the home field advantage and the superior bullpen and coaching of Girardi compared to newcomer Scott Servais should give them the edge. Seattle has a lot of new moving parts that are tryin to fit in and also lacks speed on the bases.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • New York has won 8 of its last 10 games against Seattle! 
  • Mariners have swiped only one bag this season while getting caught 4 times! 
  • Mariners are just 15-28 over the last two seasons when the total is set at 8 or 8.5 runs!

2: Take Cleveland Indians (-118) on the Moneyline against NY Mets risking 3.54% to win 3%.
(Anderson and Colon must start for wager to have action)

The New York Mets come into this contest batting an MLB-worst .194 through their first 8 games of the season! To say that their offense has been struggling would be a severe understatement. They have scored just a total of 20 runs in 8 games and only 2 homeruns thus far! To make matters worse, their most powerful bat, Yoenis Cespedes, is questionable for this contest and may or may not play due to knee problems and even if he does play he will certainly not be at 100% which will likely impact his ability at the plate. Ultimately however, this isn't about Cespedes but the Mets as a whole struggling at the plate.

For a struggling offense that is clearly not seeing the ball well at the moment, their challenge becomes even great tonight considering they will be facing a talented young pitcher that they have never faced before in Cody Anderson. Anderson has showed good control and has made well timed decisions with his pitch selections. He is somewhat of an undervalued commodity simply because he is on an Indians team that is already loaded with talented starters in the likes of Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. Anderson isn't a big strikeout pitcher like the aforementioned; however he doesn't need to be to have success. In fact, no current pitcher in league that fans fewer than 4.4 batters per 9 innings has a lower ERA (3.05) than him since the start of last season! His stock will certainly grow in the upcoming seasons, but right now is where the value is at its peak, before he becomes a household name.

Meanwhile, Bartolo Colon will take the mound for the Mets and while he has had somewhat of career resurgence, he is still an aging pitcher at 43 years old and his velocity is not what it once was. Even though this is an Inter-league matchup, many of the Tribe bats have faced him multiple times in the past and know what to expect when he is on the mound. One player in particular who has a lot of success against him has been Marlon Byrd. Byrd has an outstanding .500 on-base percentage against Colon in his career and could be in for a big night against him!

The starting pitching matchup should favor the Indians but so should the offense as Terry Francona's side has shown a lot more speed and power than their counterparts. Cleveland has been extremely proficient this season in getting runners on base and swiping bags at an impressive clip. The Tribe also has the much more solid and rest bullpen in this matchup as well. Carrasco went a strong 8 innings two nights ago and then Salazar and company shut out the Rays yesterday in what was another quality and lengthy outing. The Tribe's closer, Allen will be ready after getting the night off yesterday.

The Indians will have an advantage in nearly every facet of the game in this contest and should be able to come away with the victory. We believe they should have been priced in the -145 range as significant favorites. Given the fact they are priced much more reasonably, shows a ton of value and we expect them to come away with the victory tonight.

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