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August 9, 2016

There are 2 picks today.

#1: Take Arizona Diamondbacks (+118) on the ML against NY Mets risking 3% to win 3.54%.
(Greinke and Matz must start for wager to have action)

It's a battle between two struggling teams as the Arizona Diamondbacks take on the NY Mets in Game 1 of their 3 game series. A big struggle for the DBacks this season has been their lack of consistent pitching as heading into this series, they own a Major League worst 5.10 team ERA. That being said, they will be receiving an upgrade to their rotation as Zach Greinke makes his return from a brief stint on the DL. Greinke was having a stellar season prior to his injury with a 1.85 ERA on the road. He has outstanding numbers in his career against the Mets, going 4-1 with a stifling 2.40 ERA in 40 career innings pitched! Even though it may take him some time to adjust on the mound, the Mets offense has struggled behind the plate and if Greinke can get past the first few innings with limited damage, he should be able to hold the New York bats in check.

Steven Matz will take the mound for the Mets in this contest and even though he is having a solid season, he has not looked good in his last couple of starts and it could be a sign that fatigue is starting to set in the later part of the season. He was completely clobbered by a Yankees offense who has struggled for the better part of the season, in what was arguably his worst start of the year. Over his last 8 starts, he has a 5.08 ERA and it will be interesting to see how the youngster bounces back mentally from his rough outing against the Yanks. Even if he does manage to gain some of his composure back, he could have some issues tonight given the fact that the Diamondbacks have hit a collective .276 against left handed pitchers this season!

Arizona's struggles on the mound have taken center stage this season so it would be easy to forget that this team is actually a very decent team offensively. They are averaging 4.43 runs per game, ranking them 17th overall, and have a collective .261 team batting average. Jake Lamb continues to produce at a high level for the Diamondbacks, and has hit three home runs with six RBIs in his last five games played. The 25-year old third baseman is hitting .287 with 24 home runs and 72 RBIs and leads the Majors with eight triples. He could be in for a big night once again tonight if Matz continues to struggle on the mound.

While it certainly is difficult to back either one of these inconsistent teams, we do believe that the DBacks have the edge both on the mound and at the plate. The odds have clearly shifted in favor of the Mets, but we believe that shift is mostly unwarranted which has opened up a good amount of value on Arizona. Greinke, even coming off the DL is a much better pitcher than Matz; the Arizona offense is playing much better than New York's and this is a rare game where the DBacks have the advantage across the board.

#2: Take Texas Rangers (-108) on the ML against Colorado Rockies risking 3.24% to win 3%.
(Griffin and Chatwood must start for wager to have action)

The Rangers are once again rolling and have now won 7 of their last 10 games. They opened a series with the Colorado Rockies last night and managed to take Game 1 in dramatic fashion. Down 3-1 in the top of the 9th, the Rangers' bats rallied to score 3 runs to take a 4-3 lead and ultimately 'steal' the victory away from the Rockies! That seemingly has been the story of the Rangers all season long. They have one of the most explosive lineups in all of baseball and are never truly out of a game as they have the ability to pile up hits and score runs right up until the final out. Their come from behind victory last night will no doubt motivate them and put momentum on their side for this early afternoon contest.

The Rockies, meanwhile, have somewhat cooled off this past week after what had been an impressive winning streak. Colorado is just 1-4 in their last 5 games and their pitching has appeared to once again become a liability for them. The Rockies undoubtedly have a capable offense; however, their pitching has been less than stellar over the course of the season and a big reason for their struggles. They did manage to get some quality starts out of their rotation over the past few weeks, however it looks like things are starting to slowly regress back to the mean. After a heart breaker of a loss last night, it will be interesting to see how the Rockies bounce back in such a short turnaround and we expect their defeat to have some lingering effects in this contest.

Tyler Chatwood will take the mound in this contest and while he has been one of the very best pitchers on the road this season, at home he has certainly struggled. He is just 4-7 at Coors Field this season with a 5.72 ERA and WHIP of 1.712. Thirty-nine of his 47 earned runs have been given up in this venue along with 8 of the 9 homeruns that he has surrendered. Chatwood has also been terrible against the Rangers in his career going 0-3 lifetime with an 11.17 ERA and 3.102 WHIP! Needless to say, when he has taken the mound, his team is 0-3 versus Texas. While we don't necessarily expect an incredibly poor outing from him in this contest, we find it hard to believe he comes out on the mound and pitches an absolutely gem against this lineup.

Colorado’s bullpen has also been less than reliable this season. They have a combined 6.05 ERA at home this season and just a 64% save rate when heading into a save situation which shows that teams have been able to come from behind and take the lead numerous time against the Rockies pen this season. They have also been a team that has struggled in interleague matchups as they are just 20-37 over the last 3 seasons, while their opponents have dominated the National League this season.

Given the way that last night's game played out and the fact that the Rangers are swinging the bat extremely well, gives them a significant advantage in tonight's contest. With the oddsmakers listing the number of expected runs to be 12, we believe this will favor the Rangers as they will spark just enough offense to pull off another close win in this series.

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