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June 22, 2016

A second pick for a night game has been added.

1: Take Chicago White Sox (+112) on the ML against Boston Red Sox risking 3% to win 3.36%.
(Quintana must start for wager to have action)

The White Sox will once again have a pitching advantage tonight as Jose Quintana is set to do battle against Eduardo Rodriguez. Much like yesterday's matchup, we believe that this is a 'False Favorite' situation as Quintana has proven to be the much more consistent pitcher. He has also has had a huge amount of success containing this Red Sox offense as he is 3-0 with a 1.94 ERA and holding the Sox hitters to just a .184 batting average of 6 previous starts. Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez and David Ortiz as well as Chris Young are all batting less than .167 against him in their careers!

A major reason why perception on Quintana is somewhat skewed at the moment has not necessarily been because of his personal performance on the mound but more so because his unfortunate lack of run support. The White Sox offense has only provided him 5 total runs of support over his last 7 starts! On the season they are averaging just about 1 run of support for game. It doesn't matter how good a pitcher throws, that is simply not enough team support for any sort of success. That being said, we do believe he Quintana will get much more backing tonight.

Over the last two games, this White Sox team has gained quite a bit of confidence and swagger. Their improbable overtime win in the first game of the series carried momentum over into last night's contest as Chris Sale pitched another quality outing becoming the first pitcher in the Majors to record 12 wins. The Pale Hose also have a chance to get back to a .500 record with a win tonight and we believe they will certainly use that as a motivating factor. The White Sox know that this is their best chance to pick up another win, especially with the struggling James Shield taking the hill tomorrow.

While Rodriguez is a young and talented pitcher, he has yet to find his groove since returning to the rotation from that lengthy DL stint. He is 1-2 with a 6.97 ERA in his last 20 innings of work and has struggled immensely! His K:BB ratio is also not that impressive and that could hurt him in this contest. We believe Quintana will win the battle on the mound in the early going and if their bullpen can avoid giving up critical runs late in the game then the White Sox should come away with another nice underdog victory.

2: Take Oakland A's (-126) on the ML against Milwaukee Brewers risking 3.78% to win 3%.
(Mengden and Guerra must start for wager to have action)

Daniel Mengden takes the hill for the Athletics this afternoon and he has been excellent his first two major league starts. The highly-ranked prospect has already shown why he earned rave reviews in the minors and has not missed a beat in making the step-up. His ability to strand runners on base and remain unfazed through tough situations, such as fielding errors by his defense has been impressive to say the least. He seems to have a lot of confidence in himself and his arsenal of pitches and that bodes well for him. In his last start, which was his first at the Coliseum, he went nearly 7 strong innings against the red hot Texas Rangers giving up just 1 earned run! He's looked comfortable out there on the mound and yet sports a 0-2 record despite pitching to a 2.25 ERA! We expect the Oakland offense, which came alive yesterday to finally give him enough run support to help the rookie clinch his first career 'W' at the majors.

Junior Guerra is a 31-year old rookie who has come a long way! Not many gave him a shot to be a major league hurler judging by his career journey which has seen him pitch in different counties and in many different competitions. The problem for him is that he's been very inconsistent on the mound and has either been excellent or terrible. In his last start against the Dodgers, he got a no-decision but was rocked for 5 runs in just 5 innings! His offense bailed him out, in what has been a norm this season but we believe his luck may run out today. All in all, he's pitched well enough to earn a rotation spot for now but with Bob Melvin's side finally hitting well, he should run into some problems this afternoon.

Jonathan Villar is not a household name and yet he has been Milwaukee's most productive player this season and will be sorely missed today. He's getting a rare day of rest and is not in the lineup. It should be noted that Villar has not only been excellent defensively at the short-stop position but has been extremely productive with the bat and on the base-paths. He's not only hitting the ball well, but also taking his walks and has even mixed in a few home runs here and there. The category which he leads MLB in however is stolen bases! That's right, he ranks #1 among all major league players in swiping bags and has created a lot of headaches for opposing pitchers and catchers. His absence from the lineup makes Mengden and Phegley's job a bit easier today. The fact that Villar had played in 51 straight games, with his last off-day coming all the back on April 28th, shows what an integral part of this team he is.

The Oakland A's had the day off on Monday and it was much needed. They came back from that day of rest, fresh and ready to go and responded by getting 13 hits off Jimmy Nelson and the Brewers' pitching staff! They hadn't recorded double-digit hits in some time and had previously lacked swagger when stepping in the batters' box, having been baffled even by the likes of Jered Weaver recently! Now coming off a big game, we expect them to have more confidence in about them, especially players like Marcus Semien who went 3-for-3 yesterday after some tough previous games in June. Billy Burns being in the lineup also means Oakland has a legitimate base-stealing threat in their own lineup and that is especially note-worthy considering that Jonathan Lucroy is getting another day off behind home plate. The excellent catcher will once again be the DH today while Maldonado trades signals with Guerra! Maldonado is not the top-level catcher that Lucroy is and had a 'passed ball' last night. With the A's offense coming to life and even finally getting some crucial runs with 2-outs, we believe their momentum will carry over into this contest, especially given the short turnaround, with this being an afternoon game! Back them at this short price as they are likely to even the season series 2-2 against the Crew.

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