Mining the Diamond looks to end the week in winning fashion as we peruse the MLB odds, pitching matchups and historical trends. Below we discuss our two top plays on Sunday's board.

The MLB Picks for today have value up the ying-yang!

Swinging Johnson

Sunday, August 20, 2017 1:52 PM GMT

Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017 1:52 PM GMT

Mining the Diamond looks to end the week in winning fashion as we peruse the MLB odds, pitching matchups, and historical trends. Below we discuss our two top plays on Sunday's board.

Reds (53-71, -7.8 Units) at Braves (54-67, -2.0 Units)

* Atlanta is 2-9 (-9.5 Units) when playing against a team with a losing record in the second half of this season.

* Atlanta is 6-13 (-6.5 Units) when playing on Sunday this season.

* Atlanta is 26-32 (-7.4 Units) in home games this season.

* Cincinnati is 11-8 (+6.0 Units) in August games this season.

* Cincinnati is 10-9 (+1.3 Units) when playing against a team with a losing record in the second half of this season.

* Cincinnati is 2-0 (+2.6 Units) against the Braves in games in Atlanta this season.

The Reds are shooting for a series sweep today and we say they'll get it. Cincinnati has Luis Castillo on the bump today and he has pitched some fine baseball recently but no better than his last stint against the Cubs in which he blanked Chicago through his six innings and allowed just two hits in the Reds' 2-1 win. Castillo boasts a 2.95 ERA with a 1.14 WHIP over his last three starts which is markedly better than Atlanta's starter today, Sean Newcomb. Newcomb is 0-2 with a 4.32 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP over his last three but is 0-7 (-7.7 Units) when the total is 9 to 9.5 this season as it is today.

Let's lay the small number with the visitors as one of our two MLB picks today.

MLB Picks: Reds -110Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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Blue Jays (59-64, -13.6 Units) at Cubs (65-57, -19.8 Units)

* Chicago is 28-29 (-17.6 Units) in day games this season.

* Chicago is 45-47 (-26.6 Units) against right-handed starters this season.

* Chicago's starter Kyle Hendricks' team record is 1-7 (-10.4 Units) in day games this season.

* Toronto's starter Marco Estrada's team record is 7-2 (+4.7 Units) when starting against the Cubs with an ERA of 3.23 and a WHIP of 1.09.

* Toronto is 11-8 (+2.5 Units) when playing on Sunday this season.

* Toronto is 10-6 (+5.0 Units) in August games this season.

Marco Estrada got beat up in his last outing when he surrendered six runs over four-plus innings of work in what resulted in a 6-4 loss to the Rays. Conversely, Chicago's Kyle Hendricks had one of his more impressive starts in his last outing when he sailed through six innings of five hit ball and blanked the Reds in what ultimately became a 2-1 loss for the Cubs. Perhaps that is one reason why we see a line that is really out of whack in our humble opinion.

Toronto's Estrada has had great success in the past against Chicago with a 7-2 team mark and a 3.23 ERA complemented by an impressive 1.09 WHIP. Kyle Hendricks has had only one career start against Toronto but that did not go well as he surrendered four runs and was chased after five plus innings en route to an 11-1 blowout loss. Hendricks has also been miserable in day games this season with a 1-7 team record, yet he is the prohibitive favorite here. The MLB odds are too tempting to refuse a wager on the Jays and so we shall back Toronto in the second half of our top two selections today.  

MLB Picks: Blue Jays +185Best Line Offered: at YouWager

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