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May 13, 2016

There are two picks tonight.
 

1: Take LA Dodgers (-125) on the ML against St. Louis Cardinals risking 3.75% to win 3%.

Clayton Kershaw not only won the game for the Dodgers last night, he did his best to improve their chances of a 'W' the following night as well. That's because Kershaw was nothing short of dominant yesterday, throwing a complete-game shutout! For him to go 9 strong innings and get all 27 outs meant the relievers got the night off! That means the Blue Crew will have its best bullpen arms ready to be called into action tonight while the same isn't true for the Redbirds.

The Cardinals left Angel stadium with a win last night but it was a somewhat costly one. In a high-scoring slugfest that took nearly 4 hours to be completed, they had to use no less than 6 different pichers and their very best arms! Not only are guys like Broxton, Oh and Siegrist tired and perhaps not available tonight, Siegrist and Rosenthal have now been used on consecutive days. Managers don't often like to utilize a pitcher 3 days in a row to reduce the possibility of overworking them and causing injuries. To say Mike Matheny may have a bullpen dilemma when Michael Wacha is taken out of the game would not be inaccurate. It's also worth noting that Seth Maness and closer Trevor Rosenthal's confidence took a big hit last night. Maness gave up 3 runs while notching only a single out while Rosenthal failed to get even a single out while issuing 3 walks! Even if those two guys are available to pitch tonight, last night's events may still be fresh in their memory and that'll prevent them performing at their best.

Given the different state of each bullpen, we expect the home side to have the advantage in the latter innings as it either closes the game out with guys like Kenley Jansen who were rested yesterday or to perhaps rally and mount a comeback if the team is trailing. Dodger stadium will be buzzing and they'll want to see their team win back to back games, something that they haven't witnessed enough this season. Kershaw's stellar outing meant they finished the series against Mets 2-2 and with that out of the way, we believe they'll open this series with a victory.

The LA bats have faced Michael Wacha before but no Cardinal has prior plate experience against Ross Stripling! The talented righty is new to the Majors this season and St. Louis has not yet seen his stuff. It'll likely take the Cards a couple of orders through the lineup to get comfortable with his delivery and release point. Stripling has had an advantage over many of the teams he's faced this season and that has often led to good results. He even had a no-hitter against the Giants earlier this season before Dave Roberts decided to take him out of the game due to a high-pitch count. He's growing more comfortable at MLB level with each start and it wouldn't surprise us if he limited the Cardinals to just a couple of runs. He had a very solid outing against the dangerous Blue Jays lineup last time out and should pick up where he left off. Even if he doesn't, however, the relievers may well come to his rescue.
 

2: Take Seattle Mariners (-145) on the ML against LA Angels risking 4.35% to win 3%.

The Los Angeles Angels will travel to Seattle to take a division rival in the AL West leading Seattle Mariners tonight. The Angels are currently in one of their worst slumps of the season as they head into this contest having lost 6 straight games! They still have not been getting a lot of production at the plate from anyone other than Mike Trout and are currently in a tailspin. Their confidence is not only at a low point, but the injuries are now starting to pile up which will only add to their struggles.

Andrelton Simmons is the best defensive short-stop in the Majors in our opinion but he'll be out of action for at least another 6 weeks at best after injuring his thumb. Their depth has already been tested but in yesterday's matchup both Yunel Escobar and Cliff Pennington also had to exit the game. Due to all of the moving pieces in their lineup, there is no wonder for their struggles at the plate, but it is also starting to carry over onto their defense as they are making an above average amount of costly fielding errors due to all the inexperienced players on the field.

The Angels will send Nick Tropeano, who will be making his 7th start of the season, to the mound tonight. Control has certainly been an issue for Tropeano this season. Even though he has 37 strikeouts on the year, he has also issued 17 walks leading to an average of 4.8 walks per 9 innings! This could be an issue against a hard hitting Seattle team that has shown their ability to put runs on the board.

Robinson Cano has been outstanding this season and has recaptured his old form. He leads the Majors in a number of offensive categories. Cano is not the only one seeing the ball well for the Mariners. Ketel Marte is much improved, now in his 2nd year in the Majors and is feeling more confident as well. New acquisition, Leonys Martin was supposed to be a defensive upgrade but has been excellent with the bat as well to start the year after coming from Texas. Then there is the power of Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager for Tropeano to think about as well. There are numerous bats in this lineup that could cause damage if allowed a free pass to first base.

The Angels will also likely need to see a quality outing from Tropeano in this contest as their bullpen has been working overtime recently. Their bullpen got another heavy workload yesterday in a high-scoring loss to Cardinals when Weaver went only 4 innings. Something to keep in mind is that this is a bullpen that was already missing closer, Huston Street who's on D/L list. While the Angels would certainly like to see an extended outing from their starter, we are not so sure that will happen as Tropeano has failed to make it past 6 innings even once this season!

The Seattle Mariners will send Nathan Karns to the mound tonight. Karns has been coming into his own recently. In his last 3 starts he is 2-0 with an impressive 1.86 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 19 innings. The Mariners lost his first start of the season, but since then they have won 5 straight when he has taken the hill. He had his best start last time out where his fast-ball frequently reached 95 mph and he had good command of it. We expect him to build on that quality start tonight against another struggling team.

At the end of the day we believe that the Mariners simply have too many advantages in this game. From starting pitchers, to fresh relievers that were rested yesterday, to momentum, we believe that the oddsmakers should have realistically priced them around the -165 mark! To get them at discounted odds shows exceptional value and we believe they will come away with the victory. 

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Mariners are 5-1 in their last 6 home games!
  • Mariners are 25-12 over the last 3 seasons after a day of rest!
  • Halos are 4-19 as a road underdog of +125 to +150 over the last 3 years!
  • Halos have lost twice as many games to right-handers (14) as they've won (7) this season!



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