Thursday sees a nice split slate of games, with five games taking to the field in the afternoon, before the larger evening slate. Let’s see where we can find some value on both of these slates today.
Here are Today’s MLB Picks:
Philadelphia Phillies @ Cincinnati Reds
Aaron Nola blowing up in my face was not what I expected yesterday, but what it did was demonstrate that this Reds lineup is feeling strong right now. That has led me right into today as they face off against Jason Vargas, who has not pitched much on the road since joining the Phillies. However, he largely struggled on the road with the Mets and owns a 5.23 ERA when pitching away from home. He has also struggled in the second half, with a 5.01 ERA in 55 2/3 innings. In contrast Sonny Gray has an ERA under 3.00, and a brilliant 1.62 ERA in the second half after allowing just three earned runs in total in the entire month of August. As unbelievable as this would have been to me before the start of the season, give me Sonny Gray and the Reds -1.5 in this one.
1u – Cincinnati Reds -1.5 @ +120
Chicago Cubs @ Milwaukee Brewers
This is a much-anticipated matchup between two very good teams that are still fighting to assert themselves in the NL playoffs. Jose Quintana will take the mound for the Cubs with a 3.65 ERA on the road and coming off an August in which he had a 2.02 ERA. Chase Anderson will be on the mound for the Brewers, and while he is coming off a tough August in which his ERA was over six, his season numbers at home have been solid, with a 3.63 ERA at home. This game is a virtual playoff game for the Brewers at the very least, and I expect this one to have all the tight back-and-forth that you expect from two solid pitchers in a crucial spot.
1u – Under 9.5 Total Runs @ -118
Washington Nationals @ Atlanta Braves
Now this is a pitching matchup to look forward. Stephen Strasburg and Max Fried have 31 wins between them this season, and relatively respectable 3.47 and 4.01 ERA’s this season. Both are prone to the odd blip on the mound, but the under has been dominant in SunTrust Park the last three games and I expect to see it in play once again today. The Nationals have tended towards the under on the road with totals over eight seeing the under go 27-20-3.
1u –Under 8.5 Total Runs @ +105
Seattle Mariners @ Houston Astros
It seems a long time ago that the Seattle Mariners were whacking pitching left right and centre to open the season. At one point this offense was the one you almost locked the over in without even thinking about. Well as many expected things look very different as we reach the home stretch of the season. Now it feels like they are scrapping for every single run, and against a pitcher in Wade Miley who owns a 2.22 ERA that is a dangerous place to be. In their last games the Mariners have scored over three runs just twice, so backing their team under seems like a solid play here.
1u – Seattle Mariners Under 3.5 Total Runs @ -117