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May 14, 2016

There are two picks tonight.

1: Take Arizona D-backs (-130) on the ML against San Francisco Giants risking 3.9% to win 3%.
(Corbin and Peavy must both start for wager to have action)

Earlier this season, the Diamondbacks went to San Fran and swept the Giants in a 4-game series! Bruce Bochy's men have returned the favor thus far by taking the first two in Arizona. Will the home team finally win one in the series between these two clubs? It is likely and we believe it'll happen tonight. That's because the Snakes hold numerous advantages in this particular matchup.

Patrick Corbin is a talented lefty with a high celing. He showed enormous potential a few years ago but after being sidelined for a year with Tommy John surgery, he's a fairly forgotten man. He's baffled this Giants lineup in the past by striking out plenty of them while issuing very few walks. He's not unhittable but after facing two right-handers in Greinke and Miller, we believe San Francisco will find it tough to quickly make the transition to facing a hard-throwing southpaw.

The Dbacks on the other hand have faced veteran righties in Cueto and Samardzija over the past two nights and now get to face another right-handed pitcher, and one that is a lot easier to hit than the previous two. We believe Arizona bats will have more success against Peavy than the Giants will against Corbin. Jake Peavy is still a competitive character but he's way past his peak and is extremely hittable these days. He's been lit up by Chip Hale's squad in recent years, as he's allowed a .348 batting average against this ball club! The Diamondbacks have also had plenty of 'free passes' handed their way as they own an outstanding .417 OBP (on-base percentage) against Peavy! They will have plenty of opportunities against him tonight and if they aren't overly wasteful with runners in scoring position, they should go in to the final innings with a comfortable lead.

Arizona is motivated to bounce back after dropping the first two games of the series to the Giants. They also want to put on a show for the crowd at Chase Field given that they have played much better on the road than at home so far this season which is inexplicable and due to turn around. Peavy hasn't enjoyed prior visits to the hitter-friendly confines of Chase Field and might have another short outing tonight. It's worth noting that as ugly as his 8.47 ERA is, he's been even worse on the road where that mark currently sits at 14.25!

Peavy has lasted an average of just 4 innings away from AT&T Park and we don't expect him to go beyond six tonight. Given the current state of the San Fran bullpen, that does not bode well. That's because a number of their best arms including George Kontos and Sergio Romo are currently sidelined while closer Santiago Casilla and John Osich have been used on 3 consecutive nights and are unlikely to be available. The Diamondbacks' top relief pitchers, Daniel Hudson and Brad Ziegler have had the last couple of nights off, on the other hand, and will be ready to be called into action. This might be a closely contested game but the home side ultimatley has several advantages and should edge it.

2: Take Toronto Blue Jays (-128) on the ML against Texas Rangers risking 3.84% to win 3%.
(Estrada and Lewis must both start for wager to have action)

There is a pitching mismatch in this particular matchup that favors the Blue Jays. While the two starters appear to (on the surface) have similar numbers this season, their current ERA is not truly indicative of how each has performed. Colby Lewis has been arguably the most fortunate pitcher in the majors when it comes to getting out of jams. He has not pitched well in a majority of his outings despite what his numbers say and that is attributed to his 85% strand rate. Lewis' mistakes on the mound have been masked by the defensive play of his team as well as simple luck on the mound. While his numbers may not be affected at this particular moment, we expect to see a drastic change come the end of the season. He has also been hit hard by this Blue Jay's lineup in the past and he has already given up 9 home runs this season! Against a power-hitting team like the Blue Jays, he could find himself in some trouble early.

Meanwhile, it appears that Marco Estrada has pitched well for the Blue Jays, however in his case we believe that he has actually pitched better than his numbers suggest. He has been on the unfortunate side of some no-decisions and that has somewhat skewed the perception on him as of late. He's baffled nearly every bat in this Texas lineup as the Rangers have a combined 9 hits against him in 67 previous at-bats! The Rangers' hitters will also likely find themselves in a rather tough position tonight. Last night they faced veteran knuckleballer R.A Dickey. The knuckleball is one of the toughest pitches to hit because it is an off-speed pitch with varying movement. To go from seeing that type of pitch, to now re-adjusting to an entirely new arsenal of pitches could leave them baffled at the plate in the early going.

Besides the starting pitchers, the Blue Jays also have a fresh bullpen ready to be called into action after Dickey went 8 shutout innings yesterday and the team was off the night before. We believe the Jays will not only hold the edge on the mound with their starting pitcher, but should also hold the edge when their bullpen is called upon.

The Blue Jays have seemingly had the Rangers number as of late as they took them out of the playoffs last season and have gone 4-1 against them already this year. The Jays should have arguably been a much higher favorite in this contest and to get them at this price shows value. If Toronto can capitalize when they have runners in scoring position, which we believe they will, then they should come away with a convincing victory tonight.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Blue Jays are 5-1 as a road favorite of -125 to -150 this season!
  • Blue Jays have a .375 on-base percentage against Lewis in over 100 plate appearances!
  • Lewis has a 5.2 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) which is more representative of how he's actually pitched.

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