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August 13, 2016

There are two picks today.

#1: Take Seattle Mariners (-130) on the ML against Oakland A's risking 3.9% to win 3%.
(Iwakuma and Graveman must start for wager to have action)

The Mariners will be looking to bounce back tonight after dropping Game 1 yesterday against the Oakland Athletics, which also happened to halt their 6 game winning streak. The Mariners were held in check by starting pitcher Sean Manaea and even though they were silent yesterday, it puts them in a position to bounce back in a big way as they have managed to win 10 of their last 13 road games when coming off a loss with 4 or less hits. We expect the Mariners to find their offense in this contest and atone for their performance yesterday afternoon.

Seattle will be in a great position to pick up the victory as Hisashi Iwakuma takes the mound for this contest. Iwakuma has been white hot over his past few starts giving up just 10 hits and 0 earned runs while striking out 15 in his last 14.3 innings of work. What has been most impressive about those outings have been that they have come against two of the better offensive teams in the league in the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox. If Iwakuma was able to hold those hitters in check, he should be able to do the same against a team that struggles to put runs on the board. Iwakuma is also very familiar with this Oakland lineup, having beaten them twice already this season.

The Oakland A's have been an interesting team the last few series as they managed to have their way with the then AL East leading Baltimore Orioles and now have taken Game 1 away from a team who desperately needs to continue to pile up wins as the end of the season draws near. We believe the luck of the A's happens to run out in this contest. Kendall Graveman has been struggling for the A's and has given up 6 earned runs in just 10 innings of work to the Mariners already this season. Seattle should have the advantage in nearly every aspect of this matchup and with them having suffered a loss last night, these odds show great value to back what should be the more motivated team at a decent price.

#2: Take Pittsburgh Pirates (+129) on the ML against LA Dodgers risking 3% to win 3.87%.
(Cole and McCarthy must start for wager to have action)

The Pirates and Dodgers square off once against this afternoon in Game 2 of their 3 game series. With the Pittsburgh Pirates coming away with the 5-1 victory in Game 1 yesterday, we believe they are exhibiting exceptional value in this particular situation as underdogs. Not only will the Pirates have yesterday's momentum from their victory on their side, but they will also have their 'Ace' and most reliable and consistent starting pitcher this season on the mound for this contest in right hander Gerrit Cole.

Cole has been nothing short of exceptional this season despite what his overall record seems to imply. In 98 innings of work this season, Cole has earned a very respectable 2.93 ERA and owns an impressive 83 to 28 K:BB ratio. He has been the Pirates' most consistent hurler and will actually be in a unique position in this appearance, coming off what can only be classified as an extremely rare poor performance in his last trip to the mound. Cole has only had one other previous start this season which would be considered 'poor' and in his follow up appearance, bounced back extremely well, going 7 innings, giving up just 6 hits and a single earned run while striking out 7! We expect that he will not be pleased with how he most recently performed and will be looking to repeat his previous bounce back performance and we feel confident that he will do just that.

Brandon McCarthy will take the mound for the Dodgers and since returning to the rotation, McCarthy has not been impressive in the least. He has had issues going deep into ballgames, having failed to make it past the 4th inning in each of his last 3 starts. He is also having command issues and has been surrendering an above average amount of walks as of late. He has given up 5 walks in each of his past two trips to the mound and overall has issued 19 free passes in his last 33 innings of work! If McCarthy continues to struggle with his control, it will prove problematic for him against a Bucs lineup that is certainly starting to find their groove.

This is an incredibly important series for both teams in terms of potential playoff spots however we believe that Pittsburgh will have the advantage. Cole has been the more reliable starter of the two this afternoon and has much more experience pitching in these so called 'big games'. He is also 14-2 in his last 16 games versus the NL West and his team is a perfect 4-0 the last 4 times he had taken the mound against the Dodgers. We expect that this will be a close game, but given McCarthy's command issues and his ability to go out early in games, we simply don't see the Dodgers' bullpen being able to shut down the Pirates' offense completely. Cole should contain the Dodgers offense while the Bucs bats find a way to put runs on the board in the later innings and come away with a nice underdog victory.

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