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July 30, 2016

There is one pick tonight.

#1: Take Cincinnati Reds (-120) on the ML against San Diego Padres risking 3.6% to win 3%.
(DeSclafani and Friedrich must start for wager to have action)

After bolstering their roster the last couple of seasons in an effort to turn the franchise around; that failed experiment have forced the San Diego Padres to be huge sellers ahead of the trade deadline. They had already traded away starting pitchers Drew Pomeranz and James Shields along with closer Fernando Rodney. They recently parted ways with outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. and again on Thursday, San Diego let go of starting pitchers Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea as they were shipped to Miami. As you can see, the Friars have offloaded a huge amount of talent and they still may not be done. This is a roster and franchise that is in complete disarray at the moment with no player truly knowing whether they are staying or going. It has to be incredibly hard for San Diego, as a team, to completely focus on simply playing baseball. There is no question that upper management has completely given up on this season and it will only be time for that mindset to trickle down to the players.

One of the few remaining pitchers on the Padres’ roster is tonight's starter, Christian Friedrich. Friedrich got off to a nice start to the season but has appeared to hit a wall the later into the season we get. He lasted just three innings his last trip to the mound in Washington, allowing five runs and six hits. He also hasn’t managed to last more than 5.1 innings in any of his past six starts. Coincidentally enough however, his last win was back on June 23 in Cincinnati against his opponents tonight. Even though he did manage to pick up the win, it was by no means a quality outing as he allowed four runs and six hits over five innings. A lot of the 'big bats' in the Reds lineup has had success off Friedrich with Zack Cosart going 3-for-9 career off him with two doubles. Jay Bruce is 2-for-8. Adam Duvall is 2-for-3 with a homer and Joey Votto is 4-for-5. Given the way that Cincinnati has been playing recently, this could be a tough outing for the lefty tonight as they aim for a bit of revenge.

Cincinnati still has to be considered a lower-tiered team by league standards, however since the All-Star Break, this team has been playing extremely well and a big part of that has been due to the emergence of their offense. The Reds are a veteran team who has a lot of talent in their lineup and it appears that multiple players have finally gotten out of their slumps and are performing at the level they were expected to. We find it interesting that the Reds are listed as the favorites on the contest, given their highly public struggles on the highway. They have only been a road favorite once this season and in that contest they managed to come away with the victory. We believe that speaks volumes on how the oddsmakers expect this contest to go.  

The Reds should have the advantage in nearly all facets of the game, especially with their most consistent pitcher, Andrew DeSclafani taking the mound. DeSclafani was roughed up in his last start against the San Francisco Giants, but he is not a pitcher who consistently has back to back poor showings. We fully expect him to bounce back and throw a quality outing tonight. He has already faced this Padres lineup and that happened to be his very best start of the season where he threw 8 innings of shutout ball, allowing only 5 hits. If he even has close to the same kind of outing tonight, it will be tough for the Padres to walk away with the win. These are solid odds to lay on the team that is playing much better baseball at the moment.

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