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August 20, 2016

There are 2 picks tonight.

#1: Take Arizona D-backs (-125) on the ML against San Diego Padres risking 3.75% to win 3%.
(Ray and Richard must start for wager to have action)

The Arizona Diamondbacks have dropped the first two games of this series to their opponents and we don't believe they will allow a third. The DBacks should have the edge on the mound as Robbie Ray is set to square off against Clayton Richard.

For the most part, Robbie Ray has been widely inconsistent on the season, but the one thing he has going for him is the fact that he has pitched much better on the road this season than at home. He has a respectable 3.80 ERA through 12 starts and is coming off two stellar outings in which he has only surrendered 1 earned run in his last 12 innings of work. Ray will have a chance to redeem himself in this contest as the last time he faced the Padres, he was hit and hit hard, giving up 5 earned runs in under 5 innings of work. This will be a chance for him to atone for that performance and pick up his first win against San Diego and given the fact that the Friars have scored 2 runs or less in 6 of their last 8 games, puts him in a solid position to do so.

Taking the mound opposite of him will be 32-year-old Clayton Richard. Richard made his first start in nearly a year in his last contest and for the most part, was widely effective. We don't believe that will last however as the Diamondbacks rank near the top of the league in offense and have done a lot of damage to left handed pitchers this season. For most of the season, Richard has been reserved to the role of reliever and actually hasn't been very good. In 20 innings of work this season he has posted a 5.75 ERA along with a 1.97 WHIP. Richard is the type of pitcher that gives up a lot of hits and walks, however he has been mostly fortunate to be able to limit the damage by his opponents or his numbers would likely look much worse.

Given the way the Snakes have hit left handed pitching and the fact that Richard is not completely used to being in a starting role, we don't expect him to see extended innings in this contest. That means that Arizona will have a chance to do their damage against a fairly weak San Diego bullpen. With the Diamondbacks having already lost the first two games of this series, we believe that they will do everything that they can to avoid a third consecutive loss. There is a reason why the DBacks are the favorites here and we believe they're the ones who will pull out the victory in the end.

#2: Take Colorado Rockies (+129) on the ML against Chicago Cubs risking 3% to win 3.87%.
(Hoffman and Montgomery must start for wager to have action)

The Rockies managed to come away with a win over the league's best team in an overtime thriller at Coors Field last night. It was a terribly heartbreaking way for the Cubs to lose that game, having scored in the top of the 11th, only to allow the Rockies to rally and essentially 'steal' the game as the winning run scored on 2-base error. It was a deflating loss for the Cubs, but an inspiring victory for the Rockies. We believe the momentum they gained last night will carry over into this contest.

We felt that the Rox were the correct side in Game 1 and were rewarded with a solid underdog victory. Tonight, we believe that the home team holds even more advantages than last night which is why we are coming right back with a play on Colorado. There is no question that the Rockies offense is one of the best in the league. They are able to put runs up against nearly any pitcher. Offense has not been a problem for this team; their pitching has. Tonight however we believe they will get a bit of a reprieve as they will call up one of their top prospects in Jeff Hoffman.

There is not a lot that is known about Hoffman, other than his starts at the minor league level. The Cubs likely have very little in terms of a scouting report and this will in fact be the first time any of these players have seen him. Hoffman has a very well rounded arsenal of pitches in his repertoire that include a fastball, slider and a changeup that he has worked on his mechanics on and has developed into one nasty pitch. With this being his big league debut, we expect Hoffman to come out and show his team what he is capable of against the best team in baseball. We expect him to work the count and use all of his pitches to keep the hitters off balance. We've seen numerous times that young, up and coming pitchers making their debut have had quite a bit of success; we expect the same to happen for Hoffman in this contest.

Meanwhile, the Cubs will send Mike Montgomery to the mound in his third start. This will be a huge test for Montgomery in this contest as Coors Field has been one of the toughest places for opposing pitchers to play in. Montgomery only has one road start under his belt and that was against the offensively challenged Kansas City Royals. We don't believe that the Cubs are sending Montgomery out to completely shut down the Rockies and we assume that they expect him to give up some runs and we feel he will do just that.

At the end of the day, the Cubs ultimately don't need this game as much as the Rockies do. Colorado is still essentially fighting for a potential playoff spot, while the Cubs are a shoe-in for the postseason. This is also a chance for the Rockies to play up to their level of competition and show that they can not only hang with but also beat the best that the league has to offer. The Rockies have gotten a boost with all the young talent that they have started to develop this season and we believe this will be their culmination as they win back to back games against the best team in the league.

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