Mining the Diamond: Traveling Teams Show Promise in Sunday's MLB Picks

Swinging Johnson

Sunday, July 9, 2017 2:29 PM UTC

Sunday, Jul. 9, 2017 2:29 PM UTC

Mining the Diamond is a daily MLB picks column that scours the board looking for optimum pitching matchups and favorable historical trends in order to deliver two premium picks each day. Let's see what Sunday's card has to offer.

Red Sox (50-38, +0.6 Units) at Rays (46-43, +3.8 Units)

* Tampa Bay is 2-25 (-5.9 Units) after a win this season.

* Tampa Bay is 11-17 (-5.6 Units) against left-handed starters this season.

* Tampa Bay's starter Chris Archer is 2-11 when starting against the Red Sox with an ERA of 5.14 and a WHIP of 1.634.

* Boston is 25-12 (+8.8 Units) after a loss this season.

* Boston is 9-4 (+2.6 Units) when playing on Sunday this season.

* Boston is 41-30 (+1.9 Units) against right-handed starters this season.

The Red Sox have to feel pretty good about themselves despite dropping a 1-0 decision to the Rays yesterday. The BoSox sit atop the AL East and their $200 million baby, David Price, appears to be rounding into form after beginning the season on the disabled list. Speaking of Price, he will be starting today and is fresh off throwing six innings of shutout ball against the Rangers in what resulted in an 11-4 Boston victory on Independence Day.

Chris Archer takes the ball for the Rays and he has been struggling as of late. He owns a 5.50 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP over his last three appearances and historically he has only been on the winning side in two of his 13 appearances versus Boston. The MLB odds look generous on the Red Sox today and we will watch those silent Boston bats from Saturday turn into thunder today over a floundering Chris Archer and a bullpen that has been a click below average this season.

MLB Pick: Red Sox (-110)Best Line Offered: at YouWager

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Royals (44-42, +7.8 Units) at Dodgers (60-29, +17.8 Units)

* Kansas City is 71-53 (+23.2 Units) day games over the last three seasons.

* Kansas City is 26-19 (+11.5 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.

* Kansas City's starter Danny Duffy's team record is 10-1 (+9.9 Units) in July games over the last two seasons.

We listed no negative trends on Los Angeles or Clayton Kershaw because none of them were particularly relevant to this matchup today. This selection is based solely on the value that the Royals bring this afternoon. There is no reason why the team with a winning record and a starting pitcher like Danny Duffy is getting a +270 return. The Royals rallied from behind in last night's  game only to bow in extra innings by the score of 5-4. We saw grit and determination last night and are hoping that manifests itself again today against the best pitcher in baseball.

Clayton Kershaw is the next iteration of Pedro Martinez. He's a generational pitcher but one who is on a strict pitch count and is often pulled when he demonstrates any degree of difficulty after the fifth inning. The Dodgers are uber cautious of their pitching ace as well they should be. However, Kansas City isn't exactly trotting chopped liver out to the mound in Danny Duffy this afternoon. The 28-year-old Royals' ace returned from over a month's absence with an oblique strain to pitch solid two-run ball against the Mariners in Kansas City's 7-3 win over the Mariners on July 4th. Duffy has a shot this afternoon particularly if the Royals batters can stay in the box and add to Kershaw's pitch count. Simply put, there is too much value on the Royals to refuse which is why KC will be included as one of our two MLB picks today.

MLB Pick: Royals (+270)Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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