Top Plays Feature A Money Line Duo To Start Your Betting Week The Right Way

Pirates' teammates celebrating

Joe Catalano

Monday, August 29, 2016 5:15 PM GMT

Monday's slate of MLB games features a ton of lopsided matchups. Do we look for value or select the chalk? This could be the question for today as we provide you with our very coveted MLB Picks of the Day.

Miami Marlins vs. New York Mets

Jose Fernandez at CitiField
Normally, one would think that a pitcher the caliber of Jose Fernandez (13-7, 2.91 ERA) pitching at a "pitcher friendly " stadium such as CitiField would provide Fernandez with an immediate advantage. Lately, the ball has been traveling and guys like Wilmer Flores have been hitting home runs with ease at this venue. Also, factor in that the Miami Marlins (67-63) and New York Mets (66-64) are fighting it out for a wild card spot as the Fish are currently 1 1/2 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the final wild card spot in the National League and the Amazin's are 2 1/2 games behind the Redbirds. The implications of this game and series are huge. I don't expect Fernandez to just mow down the opposition here.

In his last game, Fernandez defeated the Kansas City Royals, going 7 innings and allowing just 6 hits. That said, in his last 5 starts, he's 1-3 ; whether it's due to poor pitching or lack of run support. On the road this season, Jose Fernandez possesses an unattractive 4.42 ERA. This game is far from a given for the Marlins, but the Mets could be short-handed.

 

"Status Uncertain"
Asdrubal Cabrera left the game early yesterday due to an elbow issue. Normally, a player might sit it out the next game and I was expecting to see Cabrera listed as "out" on today's injury report, but his status is listed as uncertain. This could mean that he'll give it a go and if he play's the way that he's been playing lately, it will enhance the New York Mets chances of playing well against Miami.

Cabrera is a red hot 12 for his last 22 at-bats with 3 HR and 8 RBI and has raised his batting average above the .270 mark for the season along with 16 HR and 42 RBI. The Mets desperately need Cabrera to play as they need offense to combat the excellence of Jose Fernandez. Yoenis Cespedes is another player that's needed to contribute in this offense. Cespedes is the leader of this squad and has been hampered with injuries despite playing well this season. Case in point, he crushed a home run against the Phillies on Saturday to ultimately solidify a victory and the next game he's "injured". Cespedes is a player that I don't count on because I think that he rarely play's hurt as most players often do. 

Due to all of these questions regarding injuries, I'm bypassing taking the Mets and siding with Miami and Jose Fernandez on the road in an important game for my MLB pick.

 

Free MLB Pick: Marlins -151 
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes​

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Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs

Jake Arrieta Day At Wrigley Field
This is my way of saying that the opponent is perceived as doomed as the Chicago Cubs (82-47), who are the best team in baseball, keep sending out one great pitcher after another and if you combine that with the offense of Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Ben Zobrist offensively, this usually spells trouble for the opposition.

In this game, the Pittsburgh Pirates (67-61) are the opponents and they need need this game badly as they're a mere 1/2 game behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the final wild-card spot in the National League. The Pirates have won 4 straight games and seem to be very motivated.

 

Andrew McCutchen
This former MVP has been struggling all season long. Lately, McCutchen has begun to wake up and is hitting .346 in his last 26 at-bats with 1 HR and 5 RBI. He also owns the Cubs, hitting .327 with 4 HR and 12 RBI in 49 at-bats. The Pirates will go as far as Andrew McCutchen will take them. He's still a game changer and is very valuable in the field in his ability to chase down balls that other player can't get to and his ability to throw out runners. I expect him to play well here.

The Chicago Cubs have lost two straight games in which they scored a grand total of two runs. Jake Arrieta has won 4 straight decisions despite not pitching his best, but in his last outing against the San Diego Padres, he dominated, holding the Pads to 2 hits in 8 innings pitched.

Despite being the National League CY Young Award Winner last season and having a possible 20 win season this year, Arrieta doesn't scare me as much as he did last season and this game is much more important for the Pirates. I'm going to side with the Bucs at a great price in MLB odds.

 

Free MLB Pick: Pirates +214 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle​

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