June 25, 2017
There is one pick today.
Take Pittsburgh Pirates (+132) on the ML against St. Louis Cardinals risking 3% to win 3.96%.
(Kuhl and Leake must start for wager to have action)
We find it interesting that the oddsmakers continue to overvalue the St. Louis Cardinals despite their recent struggles. St. Louis is a historic and storied franchise; however, the 2017 version of this team leaves little to be desired. they have struggled this season and come into this series finale having lost 8 of their last 11 games, including the first two of this series.
The oddmakers are likely expecting an inspired effort by the Cards in this contest as they look to avoid the sweep. While they we agree that they will likely be motivated, we don't believe that will be enough to get the job done. Cardinals' starting pitcher, Mike Leake, had a great start to the season, but has slowly come back to reality. He did pitch a gem against the Philadelphia Phillies in his last start, however, we don't believe that outing carries as much weight as it looks on paper, as the Phillies are not a high scoring or powerful offensive team. In his previous 4 starts however, Leake look terrible. He was on a 4 -game losing streak, posting a 5.28 ERA. Leake has also not has a lot of success at home this season, he only has 1 home win on the year and the Cardinals are just 3-13 when he takes the mound in this stadium!
Chad Kuhl may not be a household name, or a superstar by any stretch of the imagination, however, we believe he is being undervalued by the oddsmakers in this matchup. He has been consistent in recent weeks, giving up 3 runs or less in 4 straight starts. Kuhl has been one of the few pitchers in the league who has actually performed better on the road than at home this season. If you look at his metrics, he has given up less than half of his hits and runs on the road this season. He had struck out more and walked less batters on the highway than at home. He has also been phenomenal at keeping the ball within the confines of his opponents' ballpark, giving up just 2 homeruns on the road this season! Kuhl also finally got the monkey off his back in his last start where he picked up that elusive second win of the season so he should come into this contest high on confidence. He pitched well against the Cardinals earlier this season, going 6 innings and allowing just 3 hits and two earned runs and should be able to duplicate that performance tonight.
Both the Cardinals and Pirates seem to be heading in opposite directions at the moment. Pittsburgh is starting to build some momentum, while the Cardinals appear to be coming apart at the seams. It's no easy task to get the win three straight times against an opponent, however, we believe this is a much more even matchup than the oddsmakers are letting on. The Cardinals offense has gone cold this series and we don’t see that changing in this contest. It will likely be close, but the Pirates familiarity with Leake will likely be the deciding factor as they are able to plate enough runs to come away with a nice underdog victory.
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