Mining the Diamond: Road Chalk Rules & Big Bats Cash Tonight

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, April 20, 2017 3:42 PM UTC

Thursday, Apr. 20, 2017 3:42 PM UTC

Mining the Diamond previews the MLB odds and identifies the two best games on the slate based on historical trends and pitching matchups. We have found a pair of gems to include in our MLB picks for Thursday night.

Nationals (9-5, +1.4 units) vs. Braves (6-8, -1.1 units)
  • Atlanta is 22-42 (-18.2 Units) in night games at home over the last 2 seasons.

  • Atlanta’s starter R.A. Dickey is 8-20 (-13.1 Units) against division opponents over the last three seasons. (Team's Record)

  • Atlanta is 2-5 (-2.1 units) after a loss this season.

  • Atlanta is 77-118 (-16.2 units) after a loss over the past three seasons.

  • Washington is 5-1 (+4.0 units) in night games this season.

  • Washington is 102-61 (17.3 units) against division opponents over the past three seasons.

  • Washington is 31-9 (+16.5 units) over the past three seasons.

The visitors have taken the first two of this three game set, including last night’s 14-4 thrashing of the Braves, and look for the series sweep tonight. The Nats’ Stephen Strasburg (1-0, 3.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP) had a solid performance in his last outing in which he allowed two runs on five hits over seven innings in Washington’s 3-2 victory over the Phillies. The oft-injured Strasburg last pitched against the Braves on September 7th of last year when he left the game with an elbow strain, effectively ending his 2016 campaign after pitching 2.3 innings, which ultimately resulted in a 5-4 Washington victory. Atlanta will counter with ageless veteran R. A. Dickey (1-1, 3.86 ERA, 1.33 WHIP) who relies heavily on a sinker but when it doesn’t sink, the Braves are sunk. Let’s back the heavy chalk as one of our MLB picks tonight and watch the Nationals rout the Bravos.

MLB Pick: Nationals -165Best Line Offered: at BetDSI

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Royals (7-7, +0.9 units) vs. Rangers (5-10, -5.4 units)


  • Texas is 49-27 (+23.3 Units) when the total is 9 to 9.5 over the past two seasons.

  • Texas is 139-104 (+49.4 units) in night games over the past three seasons.

  • Texas is 190-157 (+51.4 units) in all games over the past three seasons.

  • Texas is 10-4 (+7.4 units) against the Royals over the past three seasons.

  • Kansas City is on the road when the money line is +125 to -125.

  • Kansas City’s starter Danny Duffy 1-1 when starting against the Rangers with an ERA of 5.31 and a WHIP of 1.622.

This is the first of a three-game series for these AL rivals and if history proves us correct the Rangers should come out on top. Texas is 6-2 (+4.4 units) at home against KC and 10-4 (+7.4 units) in all games against the Royals over the past three seasons. The MLB odds makers have installed Kansas City as the road favorite in this one but their starter Danny Duffy (2-0, 1.80 ERA, 1.05 WHIP) has gotten lit up by the Texas offense in the past while the Rangers’ counter with Andrew Cashner (0-1, 5.07 ERA, 1.50) who boasts a 2.70 ERA in his two appearances against Kansas City. Though the Royals have played well up to this point, we see an opportunity to back a big Texas offense (tied for 2nd in the American League with 72 runs) at an underdog price versus a Royals team with the fewest runs (41) scored in the Major Leagues.

MLB Pick: Rangers +109Best Line Offered: at Skybook

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