In order to better serve you, I decided to avoid all the betting odds for the day games because they would only be up a short time for your purposes, making sports picks.
Instead, we will take a look at three of the five contests which will be regionally shown on FOX at 7:15 EDT and review the pitchers and their teams for tonight. So enjoy the day and night as we celebrate these United States on the Fourth of July and hopefully I as a baseball handicapper can help you beat the MLB odds.
Twins vs. Royals
Thus far pitching has dominated the first two battles of the clubs with the best records in the AL Central, with each team winning one game by scores of 2-0 and 3-2. Tonight two pitchers who never made it to the third inning in their last start will meet up.
We warned you a while ago to keep an eye on Minnesota's Mike Pelfrey (5-5, 3.81 ERA), who was pitching at level he almost never has in his career. In his last start Pelfrey had nothing, allowing nine hits, three walks and eight runs in two+ innings and now is 0-3 with an 8.85 ERA in his last four starts. Kansas City manager Ned Yost understands he's playing with a firecracker in Joe Blanton (2-1, 3.14 ERA), who has not been an effective starting pitcher for years and was slammed for five runs in 2 2/3 innings his last time out after a better than expected beginning in 2015.
Though the Royals have the better team, seeing them around -175 to -179 at most sportsbooks is like watching the Nathan's Hot Dog eating contest, kind of makes you sick to your stomach knowing Blanton is pitching and K.C. is not scoring (2.4 runs per game in L7). If you think Minnesota has a shot it because it offers real value for MLB picks, take it, the only concern is that the Twins are 7-16 in the land of barbecue since 2013.
Slight Advantage - Blanton and Kansas City
Marlins vs. Cubs
I don't understand what Chicago sees in Clayton Richard, who they brought up from Triple-A to start tonight against Miami. The left-hander hasn't been in the majors since having shoulder surgery in 2013 while with San Diego. Richard is 46-47 lifetime with a 4.33 ERA, a WHIP of 1.40 and at 31 years old, he has no upside.
The Marlins will counter with Jarred Cosart (1-3, 4.12 ERA), who will make his first start since mid-May. The right-hander came off the disabled list June 25 after a bout with vertigo and pitched in relief one time since.
This is another confrontation in which it seems that any scenario is possible and Chicago is a -130 Wrigley Field favorite (-125 at WagerWeb when I checked) and we will back a system which says Play On teams like Miami after three straight one run wins against an opponent after scoring one run or less. In the last 18 years clubs like the Fish are 36-15 in this exact spot.
Slight Advantage - Cosart and Miami
Mets vs. Dodgers
New York might not be doing much scoring, plating 25 times in 15 games, but they beat the Dodgers last night 2-1 and tonight sets up to be another pitcher's battle. Zack Greinke (6-2, 1.58 ERA) will start for Los Angeles and he hasn't allowed a run in 20 2/3 innings and he has a 1.89 ERA in his last three starts against the Mets.
Grienke will be opposed by Matt Harvey (7-5, 2.99), who has been somewhat inconsistent over the first half of the season, but is in a good groove right now with two total runs surrendered in a trio of starts covering 19 2/3 innings. The Mets are big +170 underdogs and are already profitable for the series after yesterday's +225 payday, but Greinke is 30-9 if his team is off a loss the past three years (Team's record) and L.A. is 15-2 after a game where they had four or less hits since last season.
Advantage - Greinke and Los Angeles