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July 31, 2016

There are 2 selections today.

#1: Take Philadelphia Phillies (-127) on the ML against Atlanta Braves risking 3.81% to win 3%.
(Eickhoff and De La Cruz must start for wager to have action)

It was known that the Atlanta Braves would be making a spot start, likely from their bullpen for this contest and they recently named Joel De La Cruz as their starter in this matchup. It's widely known that the Braves bullpen has been a point of struggle for this team this season and the fact that a bullpen pitcher will be in a starting role for this contest puts them at a serious disadvantage. The Atlanta bullpen ranks 21st in the Majors with a combined 4.21 ERA. De La Cruz himself has allowed 13 runs (10 earned) in just19.1 innings of work this season, giving him a 4.66 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.

Jerad Eickhoff will get the start for the Phillies this afternoon. Eickhoff is having a solid season, despite his less than impressive overall record. A big reason for that is no necessarily because of the way that he has pitched, he has a respectable 3.83 ERA in over 121 innings pitched, but he has been fortunate in not receiving a lot of run support from his offense. That being said, he may not need much help in this contest as he has been nearly unhittable against the Braves. He last face Atlanta earlier this month and pitched a good game, allowing just two runs in 7.2 innings while picking up the win. In 26 innings pitched against the Braves in his career, he has an impressive 1.73 ERA. There is no question that he should have the edge on the mound in this contest.

The Atlanta offense is averaging a Major League low 3.43 runs per game, and they are hitting just .241 as a team. We expect that they will struggle to put up runs in this contest against a pitcher that has owned them in the past. While the Phillies offense isn't known for their explosiveness, Maikel Franco has done some damage against Atlanta this season, going 11 for 47 with five home runs and 12 RBI’s in 12 games, which included a three RBI night in the 7-5 series opening win Thursday night. Franco is in the lineup this afternoon and should be able to do some damage against De La Cruz this afternoon.

The Phillies should have the advantage in nearly all areas of the game this afternoon and unless Eickhoff has an 'off' game and surrenders an above average amount of runs, Philadelphia should be able to generate enough offense off of De La Cruz and the struggling Atlanta bullpen to come away with the victory.

#2: Take the UNDER 8 total runs in St. Louis Cardinals vs. Miami Marlins for 3% of the bankroll.
(Martinez and Cashner must start for wager to have action)

This has no doubt been a very high scoring, offensive series as the St Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins has scored a combined 37 runs in the first three games of this series with all three matchups going 'Over' the posted total. In fact, for each of these teams, the 'Over' has hit in 6 of their last 8 games. Those are strong trends that make it easy to assume that this afternoon's series finale will once again be a high scoring, offensive battle, however we don't believe that will be the case.

St Louis pitcher Carlos Martinez has been one of the best pitchers on the highway this season. In 8 starts away from home, he owns a 6-1 record with a sparkling 1.89 ERA. He's produced 10 straight quality starts without allowing more than 3 runs in any of them. He has been the model of consistency and the way that the Cardinals bullpen has been able to corral opposing offenses this season, with a combined 2.67 ERA on the road; runs could be a premium this afternoon for the Marlins.

For the Marlins, newly acquired Andrew Cashner will make his debut for Miami in this contest. Cashner has been an underrated pitcher, simply due to the fact that he played for such a poor team in the San Diego Padres. Cashner has actually been very consistent having allowed 3 earned runs of less in all but two of his outings this season. He has also completely owned the Cardinals in his career, posting an impressive 1.74 ERA against them and held them to just a single run both times he faced them this season. Just like his counterpart, we expect runs to be at a premium this afternoon for St Louis.

Thus far, this has been a series that has favored the offenses. This particular matchup however we believe will favor the starting pitchers. This has all of the makings of a quality, pitcher's duel with the first team to score 3 runs likely being the winner. As long as the bullpens can somewhat contain the offenses and don't allow multiple runs in the later innings, both starting pitchers should keep this game 'Under' the posted total this afternoon.

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