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August 6, 2016

There are two picks today.

#1: Take Toronto Blue Jays (-132) on the ML against KC Royals risking 3.96% to win 3%.
(Sanchez and Duffy must start for wager to have action)

The Blue Jays have been somewhat quiet the past few weeks, however that does not mean that they have been struggling, in fact, they have been playing extremely well. While we haven't seen the kind of explosiveness out of their offense that we have all been accustomed to seeing, the Blue Jays have been getting it done recently with their pitching. They are starting to show that they are a very well balanced team that could be poised to make a deep run in the playoffs this year, that is, if they make it. Toronto has won 9 of their past 12 and are currently in a dogfight in a very close AL East race. The Blue Jays need to continue to pile up wins to keep pace with the first place Baltimore Orioles and given the way Kansas City has been struggling, this is exactly the type of series that they need to come away with some much needed wins.

The Kansas City Royals will certainly not be defending their World Series title this season and that realization may have already transferred down to the players. The magic that had made this team special the last few seasons seems to have worn off as this is a team that simply can't do much right at the moment. Their offense has completely disappeared and their lack of homerun threats is severely hurting their ability to plate runs. In the past they have been a strong fundamental team who relied on solid base running and timely hits, however even that has not been working for them. They are a team in disarray at the moment and even though they have Danny Duffy on the mound tonight, even that will likely not be enough in what should be a pitcher's duel.

Danny Duffy has no doubt been one of the few bright spots for the Royals this season. He has pitched spectacularly since coming off injury. His last trip to the mound was arguably the most impressive as he held the Tamp Bay Rays hitless for 7 innings before giving up a leadoff double in the 8th. While that outing was certainly impressive, we do feel that Duffy will be in for a bit of a letdown after that performance. We believe that Duffy will likely need to have a repeat performance and hold the Blue Jays scoreless for his team to come away with the victory tonight. We simply do not see that happening.

The Blue Jays will send out who has been their most reliable starter this season in Aaron Sanchez. Sanchez is an impressive 11-1 on the season with an even more respectable 2.78 ERA. Sanchez is likely in the running for the AL CY Young award and could be in for an impressive outing in this contest against a Kansas City team who has been struggling on offense. While this is likely to be a pitcher's duel tonight, we have to give the edge to the Blue Jays who has been playing the type of fundamental baseball that led the Royals to the World Series last year, while Kansas City simply cannot find their offense.

This will be an entertaining battle between two great pitchers, however we believe the Blue Jays will get the timely hits needed to come away with the victory. This is a decent line to lay with what has been the better overall team this season.

#2: Take Boston Red Sox (+115) on the ML against LA Dodgers risking 3% to win 3.45%.
(Rodriguez and Stripling must start for wager to have action)

The Boston Red Sox are coming off a convincing, 9-0 victory in Game 1 versus the Dodgers and we expect them to carry over that momentum in this contest. The Red Sox have absolutely dominated the National League this season, going an impressive 9-3 in 12 inter-league games. They are also a perfect 4-0 this season after shutting out their opponents. The Dodger's had issues naming a starter for this contest and it was recently released that Ross Stripling will be making a spot start in place of Bud Norris. This short turnaround will no doubt favor the Sox in this matchup.

Stripling has been spending much of his time in relief appearances this season, but for this contest he will be promoted to the starting rotation. The young right hander has struggled as a starter this season, going just 1-3 with a 4.85 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP in his four starts. Against the number 1 rated offense in the league, this could prove to be a disastrous outing for the youngster.

Meanwhile Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez is pitching the best he has all season long. The southpaw has been outstanding as of late allowing only a combined seven earned runs in his last four starts. Left handed pitching has been a struggle for the Dodgers' offense this season as they are two games under .500 against southpaws this season. With neither lineup having much experience against the opposing starter, the edge has to be given to the Red Sox in this matchup.

Both of these teams are currently involved in tight divisional battles, not only for first place, but also for potential Wild Card spots. Given the way that the San Francisco Giants have been struggling as of late, it is likely only a matter of time before the Dodgers catch them. Meanwhile, the Red Sox are currently in a heater battle between two teams in the AL East. Come the end of the season, one of those teams is likely going to be on the outside looking in come playoff time. The Red Sox ultimately need the wins much more so than the Dodgers at this point in time and given the way they performed last night, against a much better pitcher, their offense should be able to do damage against Stripling and help them come away with another victory this afternoon.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Red Sox are 5-1 in Rodriguez’s last 6 road starts.
  • Red Sox are 6-1 in their last 7 games against Dodgers.
  • Dodgers are 1-4 in their last 5 games against a left handed starter.
  • Red Sox are 11-3 in their last 14 interleague games dating back to last season.

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