Padres vs Mets
Padres +167 at 5Dimes
Scott “The Bulldog” Rickenbach MLB Game #957 Monday Free Pick San Diego Padres Money Line (+) @ New York Mets @ 7:10 ET – As regular followers know I went with the Mets and Jacob deGrom yesterday against the Yankees and that game got rained out. At first glance, one would be surprised to see that I am now going against deGrom the very next day. However, the differences here are huge and there is solid reasoning for going against the Mets here. First off, deGrom was hyped up to face the Yankees in the Subway Series and got all “geared up” for last night’s start only to be letdown when it got rained out. Secondly, the Mets were a big dog yesterday and now they’re a big favorite in this spot. Thirdly, the Mets will now be facing a southpaw today and would have been facing a right-hander yesterday. This certainly holds significance here as the Mets are dead last (#30 out of 30) in BOTH batting average and slugging percentage versus left-hand pitching this season. The Padres played a double-header yesterday and, prior to getting shutout in Game 2, San Diego had averaged scoring 6 runs per game in their 5 prior games. They’ll have Eric Lauer on the mound for this one and this is his first start against the Mets which gives him an edge over hitters who haven’t seen much, if any, of his offerings. Lauer is off of a poor start versus the Cubs but note that the Padres lefty had compiled a solid 2.33 ERA in his 8 prior starts! This is a tremendous value spot for San Diego. The Padres are 21-15 (+$14,100!) when off of a shutout loss! The Mets are 6-12 this season in home games with a posted total of 8 or 8.5 runs! Free Pick SAN DIEGO
Red Sox vs Orioles
Orioles +170 at MyBookie
1* Free Pick on Orioles +170
The betting public wants nothing to do with Baltimore right now. The Orioles own the worst record in baseball at 28-72. They followed up their All-Star break trade of Manny Machado by getting swept in a 3-game series at Toronto. I think it has Baltimore showing some decent value here as a huge home underdog against division rival Boston in Monday’s series opener.
Boston has a 5-game lead in the AL East and I think it’s going to be tough for them to get up for this game against one of the worst teams. The Orioles will struggle to find motivation the rest of the way, as they have nothing but pride to play for at this point, but I expect them to give it all they got against the Red Sox at home.
The other key here is this feels like a good spot to fade Boston starter Rick Porcello, who posted an ugly 7.80 ERA and 2.000 WHIP in his final 3 starts before the All-Star break. Porcello is also just 5-11 with a 4.86 ERA in 19 career starts against the Orioles. Baltimore will send out Kevin Gausman, who has been up and down this season, though he has posted a strong 3.26 ERA in 11 night starts. Porcello on the other hand has a 4.66 ERA in 15 night starts and a 4.97 ERA in 10 starts against division opponents. Take Baltimore!
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Dodgers vs Phillies
Dodgers -136 at pinnacle
My free play is on the LA Dodgers at 7:05 ET. The 55-44 Los Angeles Dodgers have won six of eight as they get set to open a three-game road series in Philadelphia against the 55-43 Phillies. Los Angeles edged Philadelphia in the Manny Machado ‘sweepstakes’ and can now showcase the team’s new ‘toy’ in this series. Machado has paid immediate dividends for the Dodgers, going 5-for-13 since being acquired from Baltimore while extending his on-base streak to a career high-tying 22 contests. Despite a poor 16-26 start in 2018, the five-time defending NL West champs have righted the ship and currently lead the division. However, the D’backs are just 1 1/2 games back of LA and the Rockies sit a mere two games back (the hated-Giants are within shouting distant as well, only five games back). The Phillies came into the 2018 season off six straight non-winning years and had averaged 95.3 loses per season the last three. However, Philly has been a major surprise all season and have emerged victorious in 12 of 18 to sit atop the NL East, although their lead is just one game clear of the equally surprising Atlanta Braves.
Two pitchers with surprising success will square off in tonight’s series opener. LA’s Ross Stripling is 8-2 with an excellent 2.08 ERA in 14 starts, although LA is a modest plus-$200 against the moneyline in his outings in going 9-5. Stripling scattered six hits over six scoreless innings in a 3-2 triumph over San Diego on July 12 to win his second straight start heading into his first career All-Star appearance. He owns a 4-2 mark with a stingy 1.81 ERA on the road while limiting the opposition to a .235 batting average in seven starts.
Zach Eflin (7-2, 3.15 ERA) will get the ball for Philly and they are 8-4 in his 12 starts, going plus-$605 vs the moneyline. The 24-year-old has become a reliable arm in the rotation this season by allowing two ERs or less in nine of his 12 starts. Eflin posted a 6-0 mark with a 2.32 ERA from June 5 through July 9 in his last seven starts (team was 6-1) before missing his scheduled turn in the rotation due to a blister on his pitching hand. He comes off the disabled list prior to Monday’s contest versus Los Angeles, against which he suffered his last loss on May 30 when the Dodgers blitzed him for five runs in four innings of an 8-2 setback. Eflin is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in three career starts against the Dodgers.
The Dodgers are 12-5 in July and look to get another win behind Stripling. Stripling beat Eflin and the Phillies back on May 30, going seven innings and striking out nine while allowing one run (he is 1-0 with a 3.77 ERA in four career appearances against the Phillies). Stripling has won eight of his nine decisions since moving from the bullpen to the rotation in early May and owns a 2.01 ERA in 14 starts this season while notching 89 strikeouts in 76 innings in those contests. I’ll back the Dodgers and Stripling in this one.
Nationals vs Brewers
Brewers -101 at betonline
Play – Milwaukee Brewers w/Chacin (Game 962).
Edges – Brewers: Chacin 5-1 vs NL East and 11-3 at night this season … Nationals: Gonzalez 2-5 with 7.12 ERA and 1.98 WHIP last seven team starts .. With that look for Chacin to improve to 7-2 at home this season here tonight. We recommend a 1* play on Milwaukee. Thank you and good luck as always.
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Red Sox vs Orioles
Red Sox -158 at pinnacle
The MLB Comp play is on the Boston Redsox at 7:05 eastern. Boston has won 9 of 10 vs the Orioles and they are 5-0 in game 1 of a series,40-18 vs losing teams, 6-1 on Mondays and 16-5 on the road if the total is 9 to 9.5. The Orioles are 3-7 on Mondays and 1-10 as a home dog from +125 to +175. To make matters worse. Road favorites at -140 or more that are off a road favored win by 5+ runs have won 90% since 2004 vs a team off a road loss that had 0 errors. Procello for Boston is 6-1 vs losing teams. Gausman for Balty is 1-5 vs the Sox and they have lost 17 of his last 22 starts. Play on Boston. On Monday we have another big card led by our MLB Total of the Month and a big 5* Blowout system that is undefeated since 2004. For the MLB Free play. Take the Redsox. #1 RANKED MLB LAST 30 DAYS RV- GC Sports
A’s vs Rangers
Rangers -108 at BMaker
1* Free Sharp Play on Rangers -108
My money is on Texas to cash in a win at home against the A’s. The Rangers defeated the Indians 5-0 on Sunday to avoid getting swept in their first series back from the break and I look for them to build off that strong showing with another win tonight. Texas will have veteran Cole Hamels on the mound, who has pitched well in 2 starts against the A’s this season. Hamels has held Oakland to just 3 runs on 9 hits with 16 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings of work. Texas is 21-9 in their last 30 series openers with Hamels on the mound. The Rangers are also 4-1 in their last 5 at home against a left-handed starter and 6-2 in their last 8 after allowing 2 or fewer runs in their previous game. Bet Texas -108!
PIT vs CLE
UNDER 8½ -110
#MLB FREE PICK FROM MIKE LUNDIN
The Pittsburgh Pirates have won nine straight and produced 40 runs over the last five games alone, but I don’t think runs will come quite as easily here at Cleveland Monday night.
The Tribe will send Corey Kluber (12-5, 2.76 ERA) to the mound. He’ll make his first career start against the Pirates but owns a 2.57 ERA in interleague play. Pittsburgh hands the ball to Trevor Williams (7-7, 4.36 ERA) who owns a 2.05 ERA in seven interleague starts.
Under is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings in Cleveland. Under is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings.
Free pick on UNDER.
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LAD vs PHI
UNDER 8½ +100
10* FREE MLB PICK (Under 8.5)
I’ll take my chances here with the Dodgers and Phillies going UNDER the total of 8.5 set by the books. This is just too good a number to pass up with the starting pitching matchup we have going in this one. LA will send out Ross Stripling, while Philadelphia counters with Zach Eflin. Stripling is 8-2 with a 2.36 ERA in 14 starts and owns an even better 2.19 ERA in 7 road outings. Eflin is 7-2 with a 3.15 ERA in 12 starts and owns an even better 2.58 ERA in 5 home starts. UNDER is 6-0 in Stripling’s last 6 road starts, 7-3 in the Dodgers last 10 road games and 7-3 in LA’s last 10 during game 1 of a series. UNDER is also 10-3 in the Phillies last 13 home games and 6-1 in Eflin’s last 7 starts. Give me the UNDER 8.5!
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Nationals vs Brewers
Brewers -102 at GTBets
DMack’s Free Play for Monday, July 23, 2018 is on the Milwaukee Brewers
The Nats have been mired in a funk for most of the year and truth be told, are little more than a .500 club. Washington’s best back of the rotation guy, Geo Gonzalez is out of sync (0-4, 6.77, L6 starts) and just 2-4 (4.93) against the Brewers. Milwaukee is tough to back in its current 1-8 run but has its best chance of breaking through at home tonight behind “ace” Chacin (8-3, 3.68) who also rocks a LT 3.25 ERA in 8 LT vs. Washington and has 22 Ks in his L15+ innings of work facing the Nats. Take Milwaukee in this virtual pick’em.