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May 29, 2017

There is one underdog pick tonight.

Take Atlanta Braves (+119) on the Money Line against LA Angels risking 3% to win 3.57%.
(Teheran and Nolasco must start for wager to have action)

The Los Angeles Angels returned to Anaheim after an extended 10-game road trip! That first game back at home is often the most difficult as players have been away from their families for awhile and have a lot to catch up with. Their minds are often not fully focused on the task at hand and they may even be jet-lagged after such a long travel. What makes this particular situation even tougher for the Halos is that this was not just any road trip, this was one on the East coast! The Halos were in New York to play the Mets before heading to Florida to take on the Rays and Marlins. When it was all said and done, they had to hop on a plane to fly all the way across the country to get ready for this game! We believe that puts them at a significant disadvantage tonight against a Braves squad that took a short flight from San Francisco.

Not only are Mike Scoscia's club in a scenario that gives their opponents several intangible edges, they could also be without Mike Trout. The perennial All-Star hurt his thumb and is scheduled to undergo an MRI. It likely is not that serious of an injury but they may hold out their prized asset for precautionary reasons to avoid aggravation. Even if he does play, he may not be at 100%. Regardless of whether the former MVP takes the field or not, we believe Atlanta is capable of winning this interleague matchup.

Julio Teheran has never pitched against the Angels before and that bodes well for him. One of the best tools that a hurler has is deception and when a ball club has never stepped in the batters' box against him, they don't quite know what to expect. It'll take them a few innings before they get used to his delivery and pitching style and by then it might be too late. The veteran right-hander isn't off to the best starts this season but is ATL's ace and an established Major League pitcher. He has the quality to baffle opposing hitters and could catch a few Halos by surprise tonight. On a side note, catcher Tyler Flowers should be back in the lineup and behind home plate tonight after getting the day off yesterday. He's been hot at the plate this season and will look to keep that going in LA tonight.

Unlike his counterpart, Ricky Nolasco has had plenty of appearances against the opponent. He pitched for the Marlins for close to 7 years and that meant plenty of appearances against Atlanta Braves, given that they both play in the NL East division. The first-hand scouting report on him will be a lot more extensive than the one Halos have on Teheran and that gives the visitors an important edge. Nolasco has been below average in 24 career outings against the Braves, going 6-10 with a 5.11 ERA! It's also worth noting that Atlanta has played very well in series openers, having won 5 of the last 6 such games! Look for them to cause an 'upset' tonight in a game that we believe is a 50-50 at best and yet one side is getting attractive plus money odds. In our opinion, Atlanta in fact should have been installed as small favorites given their numerous advantages. The bookmakers can't possibly install the home side as underdogs against a team with an inferior record, however, and so opened up LA as slight chalk.  

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