On the Hump Day betting board,sportsbooks betting odds have nine games listed at -150 or higher, making a number of undesirable underdogs available or run line action.
For our purposes, today we will investigate the trio of contests with the shortest MLB odds and look to determine if you should be playing for or against the favorites with your MLB picks today. As a baseball handicapper, I have been a pretty good resource of late with a 18-9 record.
Cardinals vs. Diamondbacks: STL are small Favorites in desert with Lackey's Lackluster Numbers
St. Louis has taken the first two games over Arizona in this four-game series and are 5-0 against the Diamondbacks this season. While most teams would relish the chance to be 35 games over .500 for the season, with last night's victory it was the 13th time the Cardinals have accomplished this in 125 or fewer games.
St. Louis has been a around a -120 favorite in the first two contests and are down to -110 at Heritage for tonight's tilt. The reason is their starter John Lackey (10-8, 2.99 ERA) has been lacking on the road. The Cards are 10-3 when the former Angels and Red Sox hurler pitches at Busch Stadium, yet are 3-9 when he throws on the road. And this is all on Lackey, as his home ERA jumps from 1.91 to 4.40 in away games. Also, it is not a lack of run support , as the Redbirds actually have scored more often on the road for Lackey than at home (4.52 vs. 4.40 RPG).
Arizona will counter with Patrick Corbin (3-3, 4.09) who has not suffered a defeat in five starts but his ERA has been steadily on the rise. For MLB picks, going to back the Redbirds because they are still the better squad and factor in the odd stat about the Snakes, who since April 25th, when they are one game below .500 like today, are 3-15 in the next outing.
Advantage - Lackey and St. Louis
Giants vs. Cubs: SF need a Peeved Peavy to Slow Down Cubs
There was speculation the Chicago Cubs after having to give up an off day Monday to play a makeup game, would be flat traveling out to Frisco for the opener of their three-game series. So much for speculation, as the Cubs ran off to an 8-0 lead and won by three runs.
That leaves San Francisco eight games behind Chicago for the final wild card, leaving their best option to hunt down the Los Angeles Dodgers who they trail by three in the loss column.
With the Cubs on their best spurt in 77 years with a 21-4 record, manager Bruce Boche turns to Jake Peavy (3-6, 4.35) to grind down Chicago. If you remember the playoffs last year, Peavy was maniacal on the mound, seemingly very angry and fired up at the same time. While this is a regular season contest, it still has a great deal of meaning and if the Giants are to defeat Chicago, Peavy has to be a stud with his club at -110 or less depending on the sportsbook. While my heart says take the San Fran, why buck the hotter team who is 10-0 in August when Kyle Hendricks (6-5, 4.03) is their starter since last season.
Slight Disadvantage - Peavy and San Francisco
Astros vs. Yankees: The NYY try to take Series over Houston with returning Pineda
New York has been outscored by 15-2 in this series yet is tied 1-1. This is deceiving since the Astros won 15-1 last night, yet that also shows the Bronx Bombers offense has gone chilly like a late October evening. The Yankees will try to breakout versus Collin McHugh (13-7, 3.96), who has been on top of his game with recent 1.67 ERA in four starts.
Joe Girardi counters with Michael Pineda (9-7, 3.97), who is off a DL stint due to a forearm strain and who has been either been very good or very bad all year. New York has tumbled 20 cents on the money line to -125 and with their offense having scored only 16 runs in six games and McHugh sharp, what will Pineda bring to the table?
Definitely a tricky choice with Houston 5-17 on the road of late, yet they are 14-4 after a win by six runs or more since last season and have a real shot at battering Pineda like a piñata and manage a win.
Slight Disadvantage - Pineda and New York