Cliff Lee looks to lead the Philadelphia Phillies against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second game of their series this evening. Find out why I have selected two betting options that I am going to add to my MLB picks tonight.

5* graded sports pick on Philadelphia as they take on Pittsburgh in the second of this three game series set to start at 7:05 PM ET. I also like adding a 5* amount using the Run Line to our MLB picks

Although second baseman Freddy Galvis’ impact on today’s game could be minimal, he is an excellent defensive specialist. His bat has come around as well. The 22-year old made a spectacular defensive play ending in a double play that got ace starter Roy Halladay out of a two-on nobody out first inning jam.

Cliff LeeIn the National League last year, the two most powerful runs scored were the second and third runs. The earlier they occurred in a game, the greater the chances that team would win the game. Teams that scored one run in a game won 9.6 percent of the time. But teams that scored two runs won 26 percent, and teams that scored three runs won just over 40 percent of their games. In other words, preventing a second run increases a team's odds of winning by about 17 percentage points, and preventing a third run increased them by about another 15 percentage points. No other runs moving the scoreboard from 3 to 4, 4 to 5, or 5 to 6  had as much impact on winning percentage as the second and third runs scored.

So, with the Philadelphia Phillies incredible starting pitching that sees Halladay, Lee, and Hamels pitch three of every five days, having Galvis at second base makes all the sense in the world. The problem will arise, and it will be a good one, is what happens when Chase Utley is ready to return. Only time will tell, but with two chronic knees, Utley’s ‘big show’ days may be numbered. If he returns 95% or better then the Phillies have either the second baseman of the future or a great trade bait come the trading deadline July 31.

Simulator Projections

My MLB betting simulator shows a high probability that the Philadelphia Phillies will win this game comfortably. I also like adding a 5* amount using the Run Line as it seems that the MLB lines are in our favor. Pittsburgh was shutout by Roy Halladay and the Phillies defense in their home opener and Pittsburgh is only  6-23 losing 15.8 units per one unit wagered using the money line after getting shut out over the last three seasons. Moreover, Pirates skipper Hurdle is just 5-17 losing 15.3 units per one unit wagered against the money line in home games after a game with a combined score of two runs or less in all games he has managed since 1997.

Phillies starter Cliff Lee

Roy Halladay has tremendous control and one of the best walks-to-strikeouts in all of baseball. However, after a team faces Halladay, they then have to face Cliff Lee, who threw the most strikes, 70% of all pitches, of any pitcher in the majors in 2011. Based on the strike zone along he threw 58% of pitches in the strike zone and this shows that he forced batters to try to hit pitches that were out of the strike zone and the result were routine easy outs. Only Justin Verlander, who went 26-6 and won the American League Cy Young and MVP awards in 2011, and Roy Halladay had better WHIP ratios than Lee.

The current members of the Pirates have batted just .164 in their respective careers when facing Lee spanning 55 at-bats. Rod Barajas is hitless in 17 at-bats in his career facing Lee.

My Pick: The Phillies offense will score far and away more runs than needed to get this win. Take the Phillies for a 5* play using the money line and a 5* play using the Run Line.