MLB Picks of the Day: Pair Of Underdog Home Teams Worth A Wager

Joe Musgrove

Friday, August 12, 2016 4:33 PM GMT

One thing that certainly stands out on this Friday is the lack of quality pitching and a lot of inexperienced pitchers. That said, the value remains immense and we'll see how this affects our MLB Picks of the Day.

Houston Astros vs Toronto Blue Jays  

Hitting Out of the Their Cleats
When it comes to basically crushing or being crushed, there's no team that defines this status more than the Houston Astros (60-55) as they have the ability to score 15 runs one day and then 0 the next. The Astros feature baseball's hottest and most underrated hitter in Jose Altuve. I don't expect Altuve to slow down as he's hit over .430 on the road this season. That said, Jose Altuve and the Astros could have a tall order as they face a hard-hitting Toronto Blue Jays (65-50) team that's currently leading the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East Division by 1/2 game.

Francisco Liriano get's the start for the Jays and after a disappointing season with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Liriano has a new life, so to speak, and pitched well in his first outing as a member of the Blue Jays. The question is, are the Houston Astros good value here as they've been just tearing the cover off of the baseball lately?

 

Little Man, Big Numbers
Although just 5 foot 6, Jose Altuve is putting up "Big Boy Numbers" as he's just impossible for the opposing pitcher to get out. Baseball is a game in which the pitcher has the advantage, but in Altuve's case, he has the advantage.

He leads the MLB with a .365 batting average along with 19 HR and 71 RBI's. Altuve is getting on base an amazing 43.1% of the time and a team can't possibly ask for more than that. Altuve has been a beast in the month of August, hitting .452 with 1 HR and 9 RBI and is 13 for his last 24 at-bats. Francisco Liriano must pitch cautiously to Jose Altuve or this game could get out of hand.

Speaking of getting out of hand; the Astros have outscored their opponent in their last two games 25-9! Carlos Correa is another player to keep an eye on. He's hitting .385 with 3 HR and 10 RBI in this past week alone.

In the end, one start doesn't change a poor season for Liriano in just one start and he's proven to be inept. We're going to stick with the hot team in the Houston Astros as our MLB pick.

 

Free MLB Pick: Astros +115
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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Atlanta Braves vs Washington Nationals

Any Team Can Win at Any Given Time
That's the thought process that we're taking into this game as the Atlanta Braves are a +245 underdog, facing Stephen Strasburg (15-2, 2.80 ERA) and the National League East Division leading Washington Nationals. Everybody who wants to lay a large amount of juice will be siding with the Nats, but I'm going to take a shot here with the Braves as Strasburg is coming off of his 2nd loss of the season in which the Nationals lost to the San Francisco Giants, 7-1. Strasburg allowed 4 runs on 8 hits in 4 2/3 innings to the Giants and the strikeout is an overrated statistic.

The Atlanta Braves are a much better team on the road than they are at home. They're 25-33 on the road and Freddie Freeman is starting to be a leader again. This is the one player, aside from Matt Kemp, on the Braves squad, that can change the complexion of a ball game.

 

"Strasburg-Friendly"
Although Freeman hasn't been as hot as Jose Altuve, he's 8 for his last 23 at bats with 9 runs, 3 HR, 6 RBI, and 8 BB. Don't discount the walks as Freeman is getting on base often. Freddie Freeman has also owned Stephen Strasburg, hitting .387 off of Strasburg in 31 at-bats with 3 HR, 9 RBI, and 6 BB.

I expect Strasburg to "proceed with caution" and this will be a tough game for the Braves, but I'm willing to place a small bet on the underdog Atlanta Braves as Strasburg has had moments of not playing up to par and Bryce Harper has had a miserable season in 2016 after being the best player in baseball last year. Take the Braves with MLB odds showing +245 at Pinnacle.

 

Free MLB Pick: Braves +245 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle 

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