A Pair of Money Line Plays for Thursday Picks of the Day

Mark Lathrop

Thursday, August 31, 2017 12:48 PM UTC

Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017 12:48 PM UTC

A mid-week swoon has our MLB handicapper digging deep to get back to his winning ways as August comes to a close. Mark Lathrop is guaranteed a winning month, but wants to add on as he makes his Thursday MLB Picks of the Day.

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The Braves come into Chicago in a bad spot, even after sweeping their doubleheader on Wednesday against the Philadelphia Phillies. They now match up against one of the hottest teams in the National League on Thursday.

Atlanta Braves vs. Chicago Cubs

Sean Newcomb draws the start in the first game of Atlanta’s series against the Chicago Cubs, one day after the Braves swept the Phillies in a doubleheader on Wednesday. The Cubs are coming off of an easy 17-3 win themselves at home, where starters got to rest and no stress was to be had. It’s a tough place to come in for sure, and my eye is on Newcomb to fade his 5.33 BB/9 rate on the year. He’s been even worse lately, and in August he has a 6.49 BB/9 rate and 5.98 FIP. Those walks will eventually bite him, especially if he is stuck trying to extend a start because of the doubleheader that played out yesterday.

Newcomb will go up against the Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks. He’s got an above average 4.04 FIP on the season and has been great lately with a 2.48 ERA, .391 SLG, and 3.35 FIP over the second half of the season. His hard rate has also plummeted in the second half of the season, with Hendricks limiting opponents to a 28.0% hard hit rate versus a 36.3% hard hit rate in the first half. I’ll take the better pitcher on paper here in combination with Atlanta coming off of the doubleheader with a wager on the Cubs on the run line as one of my Thursday MLB picks of the Day.

MLB Pick: Chicago Cubs RL Best Line Offered Currently at 5Dimes

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With not much to play for both of these teams are looking for positives as we look to September call-ups. In this game, the pitching is too lopsided on one side to even consider taking the underdog Reds.

NY Mets vs. Cincinnati Reds

Jacob deGrom is a great pitcher on a bad team. He’s taken a great leap this year in increasing his K/9 rate from 8.70 to 10.48 on the season. He is also pitching at his highest velocity in his career, with a 95.1 mph average fastball on the year. deGrom’s swinging strike rate is also at his highest in his career at 13.4%. We are talking about a pitcher at the top of his game, and he has a .232 BAA, 1.05 WHIP, and 2.67 FIP in the second half of 2017 to show for it. A bad day for deGrom is a good day for the starter he is opposing today.

The fact that Jacob deGrom is only a -121 favorite to Robert Stephenson of the Reds is fucking ridiculous. Stephenson has a 5.86 FIP on the season and has pitched below replacement level for his last two seasons. He’s been hot over his last three starts, but he still has a 6.11 BB/9 rate and 5.24 FIP over his last 28 innings pitched. Super great that he can throw a fastball in the upper-90’s at times, but I’m not putting any money on it being in the strike zone. I’ll take the proven commodity in deGrom and wager on the Mets on the moneyline as one of my Thursday MLB Picks.

MLB Pick: New York Mets MLBest Line Offered Currently is at 5Dimes

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2017 MLB Record, 183-164-9, +6.57 units

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