Two NL Teams Showing Outstanding Betting Value For Today's MLB Action

Jason Hammel getting ready to throw the ball

Joe Catalano

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 4:08 PM UTC

Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016 4:08 PM UTC

There's tons of value on the board as the level of competition is fairly even tonight. Let's take advantage of this as we look for the best edge possible when providing the betting public with our MLB Picks of the Day.

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs

Ready For the World Series?
I know that I mentioned the level playing field tonight, but the Chicago Cubs (84-47) are the exception to the rule as they're simply outclassing the rest of the Major League teams. The Cubs have won 6 straight games and 18 out of their last 21. The rest of the teams in their division are either out of the playoff hunt or looking for a wild-card spot.

At this point, Chicago need's to stay competitive and keep that competitive edge going into the playoffs because teams with outstanding seasons have fallen apart in the post-season before. Chicago has to be really confident as they send out another elite pitcher in Jason Hammel (13-7, 3.21). Hammel was pulled in the 3rd inning of his last outing; a 3-2 ,loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Can he regain his old form or are the Pirates great value in this spot?


Judgment Day
While this isn't judgment day for the Cubbies, it certainly is for Hammel, who has had an outstanding season with the exception of his last 2 starts. In his last 2 starts, he's allowed 9 runs on 15 hits in 5 2/3 innings. He's not a strikeout pitcher, but Jason Hammel isn't fooling anyone at this point and this has to concern the Chicago Cubs. The motivation for Hammel to pitch well is very high in this game as a 3rd straight poor outing would be a major setback as he's been effective all season long. I can't assure the betting public that Hammel will have an outstanding outing, but I think that he'll keep the Cubbies in the game and leave it up to the offense. As long as he does that, Chicago is in good shape as they're playing with a ton of momentum on their side.


Anthony Rizzo
While Kris Bryant has dominated the latter half of the 2016 MLB Season, Anthony Rizzo (26 HR, 93 RBI), .294 BA) has played well, but has had a power outage. That came to an end when he struck his 26th home run of the season in a Cubs 3-0 victory over the Pirates yesterday. RIzzo is hitting for average and getting on base is the name of the game. He's only had 2 dingers in the month of August, but has a .333 BA in that period of time and that's an encouraging sign considering that he also get's a ton of free passes. Look for Rizzo to step it up in the month of September as he's been reliable all season long in this very formidable Chicago Cubs offense.

I know that Jason Hammel has "spit the bit" in his last 2 outings, but 2 outings don't make a season and I like for a bounce back effort from the veteran here.

Free MLB Pick: Cubs -193 
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes 

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Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Cakewalk For D.C.?
While I still believe there's a ton of value, the betting odds are steep here. That said I still consider this game to be value in favor of the Nats as they square off against a very ineffective starter in the form of Adam Morgan (1-8, 6.50). Not only has Morgan been a flat out disaster this season, he's also faced the Nationals before and didn't fare so well. I don't see why we should see something different in this game.


The Ineffectiveness of Adam Morgan
This is a pitcher with a 0-4 mark in his last 10 appearances. He's coming off of a beating against the New York Mets in which he allowed 6 runs on 8 hits in 5 innings. He allowed 3 home runs in that game. Against Washington this season, Morgan has a 6.39 ERA in 12 2/3 innings of play. He's also allowed the opposition to hit .320 off of him this season. Need I say more?


Slowly But Surely
Slowly but surely, superstar, Bryce Harper, is attempting to salvage a season in which he was supposed to be an MVP candidate. Harper finally has his batting average over .250 to go along with 23 HR and 75 RBI. There's been a bit of a power outage for Harper in the month of August, but he's been much more effective at the plate with a .325 BA to go along with his 3 HR and 19 RBI. Harper has also hit the Phillies well this season with 3 HR. 9 RBI's, and a .343 BA. Lastly, Harper has hit safely in 7 out of his last 8 games with at least an RBI in 5 out of his last 6 games. This is too good a hitter to be slumping all season and look for Harper to be a factor in most games the rest of the season and possibly this one as the Phillies have nothing to offer.


Free MLB Pick: Nationals -188
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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