July 3, 2018
There are two picks tonight.
#1: Take Boston Red Sox (+107) on the ML against Washington Nationals risking 3% to win 3.21%
(Johnson and Roark must start for wager to have action.)
Left-hander Brian Johnson may be a primary a relief pitcher, but the Red Sox may be reconsidering that given how well he has performed in the starting role this season. Johnson is 1-0 with a 1.80- ERA in 10 innings logged this season. Most recently he went 4 innings, giving up a single earned run and just 3 hits against the LA Angels. The Red Sox have won 7-straight when Johnson has taken the mound in a starting situation.
Tanner Roark will take the mound for the Nats and Washington has lost each of Roark’s last four starts and six of his last seven. The right-hander actually deserves better than his 3-9 record, as his 4.10 ERA is hardly terrible, but he has been enduring a streak of six straight starts giving up at least two earned runs, including six runs in 4.1 innings against Philadelphia on June 22. The Red Sox are one of the more potent offenses in the league and should be able to score some runs off Roark tonight.
Washington continues to struggle as a team and are just 6-15 in its last 21 overall and 6-games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East. They have also struggled against left-handed pitching this season, going just 8-16 in 24 opportunities this year. In 58 games this season that have not been game opening matchups, Boston is 40-18 which is tops in the league. We expect another closely contested matchup tonight, but the value is with the Red Sox tonight as underdogs.
#2: Take Texas Rangers (+160) on the ML against Houston Astros risking 3% to win 4.80%
(Bibens-Dirkx and Keuchel must start for wager to have action.)
The Houston Astros travel to Arlington tonight to take on the Texas Rangers in a series that we believe could be played much closer than expected. The Houston Astros have been one of the top teams in the league for a majority of the season, however, they have looked somewhat flat recently, dropping three straight to the Tampa Bay Rays. Houston has also not been hitting as well as usual, averaging just 2 runs per game over their 4.
Dallas Keuchel will take the mound for the opener tonight and he is not having the kind of season that we are used to seeing from him. The Houston rotation has really stepped up this season, but Keuchel has underperformed. He is just 4-8 in 17 starts with a 4.22 ERA. June was especially tough for him, leaving the month with a 5.72 ERA and most recently gave up six runs in five innings his last time out. The Texas bats have come alive recently and could cause problems for Keuchel tonight, should he continue to struggle.
Texas is expected to give the ball to Austin Bibens-Dirkx tonight. While he has only started four games so far this year, he had a tremendous month of June, allowing just one run in 11.2 innings over his two starts. Given the Astros struggles at the plate recently, if he can build on the momentum he gained last month, he will put his team in a great position to win this series opener.
Houston is undoubtedly the better overall team; however, Texas is playing the better baseball at the moment. There is a lot of value backing the home team as significant underdogs in this contest and we believe they pull off the upset and reward their backers tonight.
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