When studying MLB odds, anybody making sports picks always gets a twinkle in their eye when they have a home underdog because of the potential value they can provide & hopefully win.
Here is a look at three teams and their starting pitchers for today.
Nationals vs. Braves: Will it be Miller Time in Atlanta?
Washington had its eight-game winning streak snapped in the second game of a doubleheader after a controversial rainout on Saturday. During that streak one of the victims was Atlanta, who was swept in D.C. largely due to scoring twice in the three-game series.
In one of those setbacks the Braves Shelby Miller (5-3, 1.94 ERA) allowed one run on three hits and looked like he was going to tagged for the loss, but Atlanta scored their lone run in the ninth inning before falling in extra innings 2-1. That day, like this day, he faced Jordan Zimmermann (5-5, 3.42) who just threw eight scoreless innings against the Braves after being horrific in three previous starts with a 7.63 ERA.
It has been awhile since either pitcher has tasted victory, Zimmermann back on June 2nd and even longer for Miller, going back to May 17th.
Wagerweb.ag, has Miller and the Braves as +110 home dogs and without Freddy Freeman, the offense has few places to turn to generate offense. However, in five starts, Miller has never allowed more than one earned run to Washington and though his team is 1-8 versus the Nationals this season, this seems like they at least have a shot with the Braves right-hander 9-1 at home when the total is seven or less the last two seasons. (Team's Record)
Slight Advantage - Miller and Atlanta
Cubs vs. Mets: Will the Mets be Nice with Niese?
The MLB betting odds have New York as a rising underdog, up from a Pick to +110 in a contest that has a awkward feel to it. Reports last week emerged the Chicago Cubs are interested in the Mets Jonathon Niese (3-7, 4.12), whom they will face tonight and is on the longest winless stretch of his career at eight and counting and has one win in 11 outings.
Why the Cubs might want Niese compared to Cole Hamels is another article, but at least Niese should have a confident team behind him with his club on a four-game game winning streak compared to Chicago, who was humbled in St. Louis and is on a five-game bender. The Mets lefty has a respectable 3.15 ERA in his past three outings, which is dramatically better than his mound opponent Kyle Hendricks (2-4, 4.46) whose ERA has ballooned thanks to posting a 5.88 ERA in past five starts.
As a baseball handicapper one cannot ignore the Metropolitans 29-11 home record nor the fact they are 14-3 at Citi Field after two or more consecutive wins. For MLB picks, seems like a hungry home dog is the right choice.
Advantage - Niese and New York
Pirates vs. Tigers: Verlander Tries to Pitch as Good as His Girlfriend Looks
Once one of the best pitchers in baseball, Justin Verlander (0-1, 6.17) has not made the transformation from hard-thrower to having more varied stuff. No longer with a mid to upper 90's fastball, Verlander is 28-25 with a 4.05 ERA since the start of the 2013 season, as his slower fastball has straighten out and his curve no longer has the same bite.
This year and part of last, the Detroit righty has been plagued by injuries and he's more well-known these days for dating Kate Upton than being a major-league hurler. Verlander and the Tigers are +105 pooches at home to Pittsburgh and Gerrit Cole (11-3, 2.16), who is 6-1 with a 2.81 ERA in eight interleague starts and has won all four on the road while posting a 2.39 ERA.
Verlander used to be automatic wager in interleague play with his amazing 25-3 record, but now he is shrouded in uncertainty and the Tigers are 4-12 at home when the money line is +125 to -125 this season.
Slight Disadvantage - Verlander and Detroit