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August 10, 2016

There are two picks tonight.

#1: Take Baltimore Orioles (-125) on the ML against Oakland A's risking 3.75% to win 3%.
(Gallardo and Detwiler must start for wager to have action)

The Baltimore Orioles have dropped the first two games of their series with the lowly Oakland Athletics and you can bet that they are not happy about that. The O's are currently atop the AL East division, tied with the Toronto Blue Jays and just 1.5 games ahead of the Boston Red Sox. The East division is the most hotly contested division in the Majors with all three teams fighting for the top spot. This is certainly a series that the O's needed in order to create some breathing room in the standings, however their offense has let them down thus far. We are expecting this to be their bounce back game as we don't believe they will drop three straight games to one of the worst teams in the AL, especially against the pitcher that Oakland has elected to take the mound tonight. Pitching has been a problem for the A's this season as they have a collective 4.66 team ERA, ranking them 26th in the Majors.

We don't believe Oakland's pitching woes will improve tonight as Ross Detwiler will make his first start of the season. Not only will Detwiler have the added pressure of making a big league start in this contest but this will also be his first appearance in an Oakland Athletics uniform, which will only add to his pressure! Oakland has been dealing with numerous injuries to their rotation and recalled Detwiler from the Minors to make the start in this particular matchup. The Athletics acquired him from the Indians last month where he was pitching in a limited relief role and has allowed three runs in 4.2 innings pitched this season. He was used primarily as a starter in the Minors where he was completely lit up, posting a 4.40 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP in 86 innings pitched! It's a well-known fact that the Minor Leagues are much different than pitching in the Majors and given his struggles at the lower levels, he could be in for a rough outing against a potent Baltimore lineup who will be looking to break out offensively. He has also struggled in his career against the Orioles, conceding 14 runs (13 earned) in just 23 innings pitched.

Yovanni Gallardo will take the mound for the O's tonight and while he has been having a mediocre season for Baltimore, he has started to pick up his game as of late. While is overall numbers certainly aren't impressive, he has allowed three or fewer runs in seven out of his last ten starts. Against an Oakland offense that has struggled for a majority of the season, he should (at the very least) be able to somewhat contain the A's offense. If Gallardo gave limit himself to 3 earned runs or less, he should be able to outduel his counterpart on the mound while the O's offense score just enough to carry their team the victory.

#2: Take Minnesota Twins (+122) on the ML against Houston Astros risking 3% to win 3.66%.
(Santana and Keuchel must start for wager to have action)

The Houston Astros managed to tie the series at one game apiece last night which makes Game 3 of this 4 game series an interesting one. Houston's Dallas Keuchel is coming off of what has to be considered his very best start of the season where he pitched a complete game shutout of the Texas Rangers. Despite being labeled as their 'Ace', the left hander has been very inconsistent this season, coming in with a 7-11 overall record with a 4.56 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP in 148 innings of work. His biggest struggle this season has been when he has taken to the road as he is just 4-7 with a 5.85 ERA and 1.525 WHIP. He was roughed up in his last start on the road as he conceded 7 earned runs on 7 hits (2 homeruns). His home to road disparity is quite telling as 52 of his 76 earned runs and 31 of his 45 walks on the season have come on the highway! He also faced the Twins in May and was roughed up, conceding five runs on 7 hits with 5 walks in just 4.1 innings.

Pitching opposite of Keuchel tonight will be Minnesota's Ervin Santana who will be looking for his third straight win. Santana was solid in his latest outing, allowing two runs in 6.3 innings pitched to the Rays and has been outstanding in the few starts. He is 2-1 with a 2.11 ERA and .0985 WHIP in his last 21.3 innings of work. Santana has also dominated the 'Stros in his career, going 3-0 with an impressive 2.20 ERA in 28.2 innings pitched. The Astros' offense has been struggling as of late and has 3 or less runs in 8 of their last 10 games and we expect them to struggle once again tonight given the way Santana has been throwing the ball as of late.

The Minnesota Twins may be labeled as one of the 'worst' teams in the AL, however they have been playing arguably their best baseball as of late. They have seemingly embraced the role of 'spoilers' and have now won 9 of their last 13 games. They have seeming finally found their offense and are averaging just over 6 runs per game during this recent stretch. They currently rank 13th in the league in runs scored and have a combined .257 batting average. given the way that they had roughed up Keuchel back in May when they were not playing as well, they should be able to once again score some runs off the southpaw.

The Twins have been a team that has played up & down to their competition as of late and have shown that they can be competitive with the best teams in the league. They have also had quite a bit of success against left-handed pitching as of late, going a perfect 4-0 the last four times they have faced a southpaw. This is an ideal situation to bounce back from last night's loss and take control of this series. Minnesota is dangerous as underdogs right now and we believe they pull off the victory behind the arm of their most reliable starter tonight. 

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Twins are 5-0 in Santana's last 5 starts with 4 days of rest.
  • Astros are 0-6 in their last 6 games against the AL Central.
  • Twins 5-1 in their last 6 against a team with a winning record.

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