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June 10, 2017

There is another big underdog pick today. 

Due to its high risk/high reward nature, this one is a below average 2% wager!
 

Take Cincinnati Reds (+221) on the ML against LA Dodgers risking 2% to win 4.42%.
(
Wojciechowski and Wood must start for wager to have action)

Los Angeles Dodgers are the better team in this contest but not by as much so as these steep odds suggest! This could be a closely contested battle and one that could go either way. And yet the hefty odds on the favorites signify that it is a complete mismatch; a notion we disagree with. Cincy does have certain edges and is capable of stealing one in this particular spot. At such attractive odds, ones that give you more than double the money invested, it's certainly worth a shot.

Alex Wood has had a stellar season for LA but he's unlikely to be at his best tonight. That's because he's missed two turns in the rotation with a shoulder inflammation that landed him on the D/L list! This outing will mark his return from injury and he may not be that sharp. It's not unusual for a pitcher to be a bit rusty in such circumstances and we could see that being the case with him tonight. Especially since he's going up against one of the best offenses in the National League. The Reds have more players with double-digit home runs on their books this season than most other clubs and also have speedsters such as Billy Hamilton who constantly put pressure on opposing pitchers and catchers via the threat of stealing bases! This is one of the few ball clubs that is a legitimate threat both on the base paths and swiping bags as well as going 'yard' and hitting it out of the ballpark! 

It's also worth noting that while Alex Wood has pitched well this season, his numbers currently look better than they should be. His FIP mark for example is higher than his ERA and that is often a better indictor of a hurler's ability given that it's fielding independent. Then there's the fact that he's stranded 82% of those who've reached base against him this season! That is a very high number and one that'll likely regress as the season goes on. Last but not least, if you look at the southpaw's career averages, you'll see that he's a good but not elite pitcher and yet his current pitching metrics this season have him among the elite. We believe that is temporary and it's only a matter of time before he has a rough outing or two. Let's not forget that despite his lowly ERA, he's record a 'quality start' only 3 times out of 8 appearances this season! He's not unhittable and could certainly be more vulnerable tonight given the 2-week layoff. 

Asher Wojciechowski will take the hill for the visitors and while he's nothing special, he does provide an X-Factor for a Los Angeles side that has never faced him. None of the Dodger bats have ever stepped up to the plate against him and that gives the pitcher a distinct advantage, at least the first and second time through the lineup. Wojciechowski showed real improvement in his second start of the season last time out and could use a confence-booster like that before heading to Chavez Ravine. We believe he'll hold his own for the first few innings and that means the Reds have a better chance of pulling out a big upset than the casual MLB fan realizes. Unlike his counterpart, Alex Wood has faced Cincinnati multiple times in his career and that means Joey Votto and company have prior experience against the former Atlanta Braves pitcher. Back the underdog at this generous price knowing that win or lose, all the value is with them.




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