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July 26, 2016

There are 2 picks tonight.

#1: Take Tampa Bay Rays (+119) on the ML against LA Dodgers risking 3% to win 3.57%.
(Archer and Norris must start for wager to have action)

There is no question that the Tampa Bay Rays are sellers this season as the trade deadline approaches and their playoff hopes are all but dashed. What we find interesting for this particular contest however is that their number 1 rumored player to be on the trade block is tonight's starting pitcher, Chris Archer. Not only is this Archer's final chance to bolster his trade and contract value with potential suitors, but the primary team that seem to be in the running for his services is no other than his opponent tonight, the LA Dodgers.

Archer has proven to be a top commodity for the Rays and this is his final chance to audition for who could be his next team. You can expect that Archer would like nothing more than to not only prove to his current team, what they would be losing out on, but also show his potential suitors exactly what they would be getting. Archer is a young pitcher who has some nasty pitches in his arsenal. He has shown his ability to be a strikeout pitcher and baffle hitters at the plate and given the fact that the Dodgers lineup has yet to see him, should give him a decisive advantage on the mound.

The Dodgers will send Bud Norris to the mound for tonight's contest. Norris isn't exactly having a great season posting just a 5-9 overall record with a less impressive 4.56 ERA. He was forced into a relief appearance in last Friday's 16 inning matchup with the Cardinals and interestingly enough took the loss himself. The Tampa Bay bats should find success against the struggling right-hander as Evan Longoria has logged two career homers off him while Logan Morrison, who will be back in the lineup tonight is 4 for 7 with 3 RBIs in his career. Archer should be able to limit the damage cause by the Dodger's bats while Tampa's offense should do just enough to walk away with a close underdog victory.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Rays are 6-1 in Archer’s last 7 interleague starts!
  • Dodgers are 1-4 in their last 5 interleague games vs. a team with a losing record!
  • Dodgers are 1-4 in their last 5 interleague games vs. a right-handed starter!
  • Dodgers are 0-4 in their last 4 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30!

#2: Take Houston Astros (-140) on the ML against NY Yankees risking 4.2% to win 3%.
(Fister and Sabathia must start for wager to have action)

The Astros have been playing extremely well recently and thanks to the struggles of the Rangers have closed the gap and are now just 2.5 games back in contention for the division title. The fact that this is the same team that just a couple of months ago were 12.5 games back in their division shows just how well this team has been playing. The Astros come in putting up a solid 5.30 runs per game in their last 10 games, while on the mound they have an even more impressive 2.31 ERA over the same stretch. What has been most impressive is that they have been getting a ton of production out of their bullpen, combining for a 1.27 ERA from their pen. The Astros now are 3rd in the league in pen ERA and they are also 5th in fewest errors. This is a team that is extremely balanced and arguably one of the most "complete" teams in the league. The fact that this team rarely makes mistakes and beats themselves will give them an advantage in this contest.

The New York Yankees have been playing well as of late, but we don't believe that is something that they can sustain. A big part of their recent success has been due to their stellar pitching. Their rotation and bullpen have been able to limit opposing offenses as of late which has allowed the Bombers from the Bronx to squeak out some low scoring, narrow victories. The Yankees offense has been a big issue for them this season as they enter this game ranked 22nd in the league in scoring, putting up 4.11 runs per game, while also ranking 21st in hitting at .249 and just 20th in homers with 102 on the season. Meanwhile the Astros are 12th in scoring and 9th in the league in home runs. There is no question that the 'Stros have the offensive advantage in this one.

The Yankees will send C.C. Sabathia to the mound and there is no question that the veteran is starting to feel the effects of the season. He has all of the signs of starting to slow down the later into the season his team gets and we believe this could be the instance where things unravel for him. With Houston coming off a narrow 2-1 loss to the Yanks yesterday, we believe they will bounce back and even up the series with a stellar showing tonight. The value is on the home team in this contest.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Yankees are 3-8 in Sabathia's last 11 starts with four days of rest!
  • Astros are 26-9 in their last 35 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30!
  • Yankees are 6-13 in their last 19 road games vs. a team with a winning record!
  • Astros are 10-1 in Fister's last 11 starts following a Quality Start in his last appearance!

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