Mining the Diamond: Dog Day Sunday Afternoon in Our MLB Picks

Swinging Johnson

Sunday, May 21, 2017 2:36 PM UTC

Sunday, May. 21, 2017 2:36 PM UTC

Mining the Diamond has locked on to a pair of premium MLB picks as we discuss the historical trends and game time matchups. Let's get busy making money on Sunday's MLB slate of games.

Nationals (25-17, +0.1 units) vs. Braves (18-22, -0.5 units)

* Atlanta is 44-42 (+16.2 Units) when the total is 8 to 8.5 over the last two seasons.

* Atlanta is 42-42 (+14.8 Units) after a win over the last two seasons.

* Atlanta is 11-6 (+7.0 units) after a win this season.

* Washington is 8-9 (-7.0 units) in days games.

* Washington is 16-27 (-17.5 Units) in road games after a loss over the last two seasons.

* Washington is 8-9 (-5.1 units) in May games.

Lo and behold, the Atlanta Braves have taken the first two games of this three-game set with the Nationals and are looking to sweep the NL East division leaders today. Washington finds itself in a tailspin, having dropped four straight while the Braves have inched their way into second place in the NL East by winning seven of their last nine contests. Today we have the Braves sending Jaime Garcia to the hill whose team's record is 6-3 against the Nationals with a 3.26 ERA in those nine career games versus Washington.

On the flipside, Washington starter Stephen Strasburg's team's record is 12-12 (-5.4 units)  versus Atlanta with an ERA of 3.78 and a WHIP of 1.290 in those 24 career starts. The big issue for the Nationals is that their bullpen is exhausted and they got little relief from Max Scherzer's relatively quick exit last night in the club's 5-2 defeat. In addition, the Braves' lineup just got a bit deeper with lefty bat and first-baseman Matt Adams coming over via a trade with St. Louis. This looks like a golden opportunity for Atlanta to chip even more into the Washington division lead and we love the value being rendered by the MLB odds and will back the home dog in our MLB picks for Sunday.

Free MLB Pick: Braves +162Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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Blue Jays (18-26, --10.5 units) vs. Orioles (25-16, +8.6 units)

* Baltimore's starter Wade Miley's team's record is 1-10 (-11.0 Units) in home games against division opponents over the last three seasons.

* Baltimore is 5-6 (-1.8 units) in day games this season.

* Baltimore's starter Wade Miley is 2-4 when starting against the Blue Jays with an ERA of 5.40 and a WHIP of 1.539.

* Baltimore is 6-7 (-1.6 units) when playing against a team with a losing record this season.

* Toronto's starter Marco Estrada is 4-1 when starting against the Orioles with an ERA of 2.79 and a WHIP of 1.092.

* Toronto is 4-2 (+2.0 units) when playing on Sunday's this season.

* Toronto is 99-75 (+2.3 units) after a loss over the last three seasons.

The eye-popping stat here is Wade Miley's 1-10 team's record when he starts at home against division opponents. That scenario is manifest in today's game and Toronto is still getting tagged as the role of the underdog here. Meanwhile we get Toronto's Marco Estrada and his 4-1 mark against the Orioles and a 2.79 ERA to go along with it. I'm not a big fan of Wade Miley, as the ground ball pitcher can often become unhinged and give up runs in bunches. We say it will happen today and Toronto will get the W.

Free MLB Pick: Blue Jays +110Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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