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May 19, 2018

There is are two picks today.

#1: Take Atlanta Braves (+110) on the RL (-1.5 runs) against Miami Marlins risking 3% to win 3.3%.
(Newcomb and Urena must start for wager to have action.)

The Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves have been polar opposites this season, with the Braves being one of the top teams in the National League and the Marlins being ranked near the bottom. Despite the differences, the Marlins actually find themselves coming off a (somewhat surprising) 2-0 road victory over the Braves and we believe that sets Atlanta up for a strong bounce back performance tonight.

Not only were the Braves defeated on their home field last night, but they were also blanked on the scoreboard. That isn't going to bode well for the Marlins tonight and we expect to see the Atlanta lineup will be looking to make a statement and try to put this game away early. They should have a good chance to do so as they will be facing a winless Jose Urena on the mound. Urena has yet to win a game this season and the Marlins have not been giving him a ton of run-support, providing just 6 runs of offense over his last 4 starts. Urena currently ranks 1st in the Majors in losses, eighth in hits allowed (51) and ninth in earned runs surrendered (25). He also just faced this lineup a little under a week ago and gave up 3 runs on 4 hits last Sunday. The Braves are familiar with him and we expect they will put some runs on the board against him tonight.

Meanwhile, Atlanta will send their best starter to the mound in Sean Newcomb. Newcomb is in the midst of the best stretch of his young career in his second season, having not allowed a single run in 19 innings across his first three May starts. Newcomb has struck out 20 while allowing just five hits in his past three starts, victories over the Mets, Tampa Bay, and the Marlins. He has already shown that he can navigate this Miami lineup and if he continues to pitch the way that he has been, his offense should give him enough of a cushion to pick up the win.

Miami was fortunate to win last night, but we believe their luck will run out tonight. Turner Field is a tough place for opposing teams to play and we simply cannot see Atlanta dropping two straight at home to a lowly team like the Marlins. The Braves have a significant edge on the mound and are the better overall team. They are 12-4 off a loss this season and after being shutout yesterday, we expect them to make a statement on offense in this contest. There is not a lot of value at these odds to back the Braves to simply win the game, however, given the situation and mismatch on the mound and at the plate, it's highly likely that if they do win that they do so convincingly and by more than a single run.


#2: Take Detroit Tigers (+242) on the ML against Seattle Mariners risking 3% to win 7.26%.
(Fiers and Paxton must start for wager to have action.)

The Detroit Tigers and Seattle Mariners square off tonight in Game 3 of their 4-game series and the oddsmakers have made these odds almost laughable. The Tigers find themselves as nearly a 2.5 to 1 underdog in this matchup and we believe they can win this game outright.

These odds are skewed simply due to the recent perception of Seattle's James Paxton. Paxton has pitched well this season and is coming off a no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays two starts ago. While that is quite an accomplishment, we believe Paxton has been pitching over his head for a majority of the season. Now, we don't expect that he will completely regress to be a terrible pitcher, however, there are things about his progression and historical tendencies that show he is not quite worth all the hype and is not as invincible as these odds suggest.

Paxton is just 2-1 this season and has six no-decisions under his belt. What that says is that despite how well he pitches on the mound, he is not as big a contributing factor as to whether Seattle wins the game or not and therefore, his team cannot be relied upon at these hefty odds.

Mike Fiers also should not be overlooked in this matchup and is pitching extremely well at the moment. Fiers notched his second victory in as many trips to the mound after allowing just one run (on a solo homer) and three hits against Cleveland last Monday. The 32-year-old has not walked more than one batter in any of his seven turns and is averaging a career-low 15.1 pitches per inning. He has been very efficient with his pitch selections and just recently threw a career high 92 pitches in his most recent start.

Detroit has been playing solid baseball in the last week winning five of their seven contests. During that time their lineup has been slashing .268/.320/.417 to go with 21 extra-base hits and 31 RBI. All it takes is one-swing of the bat to change the outcome of a baseball game, which is why these odds are so inviting. This series is tied at 1-game apiece thus far and both games have been decided by just a single run. Detroit actually had the lead in the early going of yesterday's matchup, before the Mariners rallied in the 7th to ultimately 'steal' the victory from the Tigers. While it was a tough way to lose for Detroit, we believe that will only add to their motivation in this contest. We expect another close game tonight in this contest, which could come down to the later innings of the game. Even if Detroit does not win this contest, at these odds, there is certainly value backing them and the reward greatly outweighs the risk.

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