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August 8, 2016

There are 2 picks tonight.

#1: Take the OVER 6.5 total runs in SF Giants vs. Miami Marlins for 3% of the bankroll.
(Cueto and Fernandez must start for wager to have action)

The San Francisco Giants and Miami Marlins will both send their respective 'Ace' to the mound for the opening game of the series as Johnny Cueto squares off against Jose Fernandez. Both pitchers are having phenomenal seasons and each time they step on the mound for their respective teams, it is almost assumed that they will be in line for the victory. They are a combined 25-9 on the season with each pitcher having an ERA of under 3.00 and a WHIP right around 1.00. It is assumed that not many runs will be scored as these two elite hurler square off and that is where we believe people will be mistaken.

Yes, both of these pitchers are elite and have strong strikeout capability, however, both pitchers have shown some struggles in their recent performances. Over their last 23.7 innings pitched, they have combined to give up 15 runs over that span, which is much more than we are used to seeing either pitcher give up. Also, neither Cueto or Fernandez have had success against their opposing teams as well in their careers. Fernandez is just 1-1 with a 5.25 ERA and WHIP of 1.417 in 2 career starts against San Francisco, while Cueto has a 4.18 ERA and WHIP of 1.416 in 8 career starts against Miami. Both opposing lineups have had success against each other’s pitching in the past and we wouldn't be surprised if that trend continues in this contest.

As a team, the Marlins have been seeing the ball extremely well recently, having scored 25 runs in their last 4 games. The San Francisco offense has been somewhat quiet recently, but they did have a 7 run offensive outburst against another elite pitcher (Stephen Strasburg) over the weekend, which was somewhat unexpected. That being said, San Francisco does seem to have a habit of playing up to (or down) to the level of their competition, so we wouldn't be surprised to see them plate some runs against Fernandez tonight.

With two pitchers who like to pound the strike zone such as these two do, it only takes a single swing of the bat for a player to take the ball yard and alter the course of the game. With this total being listed at just 6.5 runs, a single homerun could be all that it takes to see this total go Over and even if this game happens to be tied 3-3 at some point tonight, that guarantees that our tickets will cash. We expect to see both Fernandez and Cueto give up a couple of more runs than we are used to seeing from them as this total just goes Over the 6.5 run mark. 

#2: Take Seattle Mariners (-120) on the ML against Detroit Tigers risking 3.6% to win 3%.
(Iwakuma and Fulmer must start for wager to have action)

This is an interesting matchup as both the Detroit Tigers and Seattle Mariners have been playing well recently and with both teams currently battling for a potential Wild Card position, this series could have severe implications once the regular season ends. With that being said, we do believe this particular matchup favors Seattle tonight.

The Detroit Tigers took one on the chin last night and suffered a heartbreaking loss in the series finale with the New York Mets. After struggling much of the year, Detroit finally gotten an exceptional performance out of starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez where he went 8 solid innings, gave up just 4 hits and struck out a season high 10 batters. It proved to be a wasted effort however as closer Francisco Rodriguez immediately gave up a 2 run bomb in the top of the 9th to ultimately seal the game. It was a tough way for the Tigers to lose and had to be extremely disheartening on the players. We expect last night's outcome to have some lingering effects on the players, especially given they had to travel all the way to Seattle on such a short turnaround.

This is slated to be a quality pitching battle as Michael Fulmer squares off opposite Seattle's Hisashi Iwakuma. Fulmer has been spectacular this season, especially for a rookie, however we believe that fatigue may be starting to catch up with the youngster at the later stages of the season. While he has been spectacular at home, in his last two contests on the highway, he has struggled somewhat, giving up 8 runs in his last 12.7 innings on the road. He hasn't given up runs often, in fact he has only given up 28 total this season, however it's certainly worth mentioning that 23 of those 28 have come on the road! Given the way the Seattle bats have been seeing the ball recently, we expect that they will be able to score some runs off the youngster tonight.

Meanwhile, Iwakuma is coming off of (arguably) his best start of the season where he blanked an extremely potent Red Sox lineup in his last start at home. At Safeco Field, Iwakuma has been pitching extremely well and has not given up an earned run in each of his last two appearances, a span of 14.33 innings.  What has been most impressive about that is those starts came against both the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros; two teams who have been known to put runs on the board in a hurry. Having had success against two potent offenses recently should give Iwakuma confidence to navigate this Detroit lineup tonight.

This is absolutely a game that the Mariners must win. Not only are they further back in the Wild Card race than their opponents, but Detroit has owned them this season, coming away with a perfect 4-0 mark this season. This is the Mariners’ chance to close the gap even further in the Wild Card race while also gaining a manner of revenge against the Tigers in the process. This should be a very close game, however with Fulmer struggling a bit on the road and the Tiger's bullpen being less than reliable, Seattle should be able to string together the necessary hits to come away with a closely contested victory. At these cheap odds, the value is on the home team in the series opener.

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