May 6, 2017
There is one MLB pick tonight.
Take Philadelphia Phillies (-120) on the ML against Washington Nationals risking 3.6% bankroll to win 3%.
(Velasquez and Cole must start for wager to have action)
Vincent Velasquez isn't off to a good start this year but is capable of turning it around. The towering right-hander has good stuff and can baffle opposing lineups when on his game. We expect him to deliver a quality start tonight and give the Phillies a chance for a meaningful 'W' against the division leaders. The former Houston Astro has struggled with command at times this season but has shown flashes of brilliance as well. He can rack up K's like few others and get out of jams when necessary.
Bryce Harper won't be part of the action and his absence takes Washington's best player out of the game! It's not only his incredible prowess with the bat that'll be missing but also his outstanding defense in the outfield. As the face of the franchise and a former MVP, he gets a lot of attention from opposing hurlers. Even when he's not excelling, his mere presence helps teammates like Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon get better pitches to hit. That's because pitchers are very mindful of him doing damage and often try to work around him! Without Harper in the lineup, it wouldn't surprise us if the Washington bats struggled a bit tonight.
Velasquez may not have recorded too many quality starts so far this season but at least he's been a mainstay in the rotation. The same can not be said about A.J. Cole, who's making his first big league start of the year! Cole does have 9 previous Major league starts under his belt but those were far from impressive and it remains to be seen whether he has what it takes to pitch at this level. AJ Cole has an unsightly 5.8 ERA over those nine previous big league starts and has already been lit up by these same Phillies! It should be also be noted that he logged only 40 innings in the span of those 9 starts, for what is an average of less than 5 frames! To suddenly expect him to record a quality start is a bit of a stretch. He may do it but the odds are not in his favor.
Philadelphia has played much better at home than on the road and will be keen to bounce back after losing yesterday. Meanwhile, the Nats might very well look past them and be complacent in this matchup. After all, Nationals are 20-9 on the year and own the best record not only in the National League but in the Majors! They might look at the standings and see a Phillies side with a losing record, far below them, and wrongfully assume this will be a walk in the park. If that is the case, they're likely to pay the price. There's a reason the hosts are installed as small favorites despite a far inferior record against the division leaders today!
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