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June 9, 2018

There are two picks today.


#1: Take St. Louis Cardinals (-105) on the ML against Cincinnati Reds risking 3.15% to win 3%.
(Wacha and Castillo must start for wager to have action.)

There are few teams in the league that have enjoyed more success over a division rival than the St. Louis Cardinals. St. Louis has owned the Cincinnati Reds in recent meetings, having won 12 straight matchups after last night's 7-6 victory in extra innings. They have also dominated the Reds at the Great American ballpark, having won 10 consecutive meetings in this venue.

With their past dominance aside, the Cardinals should have a significant edge on the mound in this contest as Michael Wacha takes on Luis Castillo. Wacha has been nothing short of dominant in the rotation for the Cardinals this season, with a 7-1 record and impressive 2.41 ERA over 12 starts. Over his last three appearances he has been nearly unhittable, going 2-0 with a minute .084 ERA. During that span he has only allowed a total of 2 earned runs on 7 hits! Wacha is also 10-1 with a 2.88 era in his career against the Reds.

Luis Castillo, on the other hand, hasn't been nearly as sharp this season. He is just 4-6 with a 5.46 ERA over 13 starts. Over his last 15 innings of work, he has given up a total of 10 earned runs. On the season, he has allowed 42 earned runs, which is more than double what Wacha has allowed this season. He has also struggled with giving up the long ball, having allowed a homerun in 8 of his last 9 starts. He hasn't had much success against St. Louis in his career, going 0-2 with a 4.76 ERA in his two career appearances.

Cincinnati is a dreadful 0-8 this season against the Cardinals and have given up 23 runs in those meetings. There is no question that the Cardinals dominance will not continue forever, however, after a deflating extra-innings loss last night, the quick turnaround in this contest and the fact that Wacha is on the mound for the Cardinals, all signs point to another St. Louis victory in this matchup. This is a very generous price to lay with the Cardinals this afternoon.


#2: Take Arizona Diamondbacks (+128) on the ML against Colorado Rockies risking 3% to win 3.84%.
(Koch and Bettis must start for wager to have action.)

The Arizona Diamondbacks are a prime example of how long and volatile a baseball season can be. They raced out of the gate with a blistering start which put them atop the NL West division. Fast forward a couple of months later and a lengthy losing streak saw them plummet down the division rankings. Now, over the past few weeks, they have seemingly broken out of their slump and are playing quality baseball once again, having taken wins in 7 of their last 10 games. A big reason for their turnaround has been the elevated play of Paul Goldschmidt. Goldschmidt had struggled early on, posting a .144 batting average over 27 games last month but is hitting .241 overall and has collected hits in 10 of his last 14 at-bats, including going 3-or-5 in last night's victory over the Rockies.

The Rockies are a lot like the Diamondbacks in that they are now mired in a slump of their own, having dropped 6 of their last 8. They have struggled against Arizona in recent meetings as well, losing 6 straight and 7 of the last 10 head-to-head. Coors Field can be a daunting place for opposing pitchers to play, but this season, it seems that even the Rockies pitching staff has been struggling as well. Over their last 5 games at Coors Field, the Rockies pitching has given up 7 or more runs in each of those contests. While that trend will end at some point, we don't believe it will be in this contest.

Chad Bettis will be taking the mound for Colorado and to say that he has been struggling would be an understatement. Bettis is coming off a rough outing against the Los Angeles Dodgers, when he gave up five runs over 5 2/3 innings and he has now allowed a total of 10 runs on 17 hits over 11 2/3 innings in his last two starts. Bettis has struggled against Arizona in his career, going just 1-2 with an ugly 8.44 ERA in 11 career games, including a 10.13 ERA in five contests at Coors Field.

Matt Koch will take the mound for Arizona and has been pitching well recently. Koch recorded his second straight victory, allowing just three hits over seven scoreless innings against Miami. The 27-year-old rookie has pitched much better on the road this season than he has at home. In 3 appearances on the road, he has posted a 2.03 ERA compared to a 4.32 mark in six outings at home in Chase Field.

This game could be a high-scoring affair, however, given the struggles of the Rockies pitching staff at home and the utter dominance of Arizona in this series, there is a lot of value backing the road team in this contest at this price. The value is on Arizona today.

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