07/01/2013 12:16 PM
SportsWagers MLB 7/1/13
Season to Date 121 124 0.00 +33.32
Milwaukee @ WASHINGTON
WASHINGTON -1½ +123 over Milwaukee
Jordan Zimmerman has been untouchable in nine home starts this season, going 8-0 with a 1.09 ERA and 0.83 WHIP in 66 IP. Eight of those nine home starts have been pure quality. Zimmerman has been consistent all season long, evidenced by his 69%/0% dominant start/disaster start split. Enjoying his career best groundball percentage, control, and xERA, Zimmerman continues to build upon an already dynamic skill set. As July opens up, the Nationals are not in bad shape at all. They’re in second place just 6½ games back of the Braves and that’s after a first half of poor hitting but things are starting to fall into place. The Nats went off for 13 runs yesterday at Citi Field and scored six on Friday there as well. Last week in consecutive home games, the Nats scored six and seven runs respectively and over their last seven games they’re hitting .290 while scoring 38 runs. Today, Bryce Harper returns and his presence makes these Nationals instantly more dangerous. Milwaukee was just swept in Pittsburgh for its fifth straight loss. Over that span the Brewers scored 11 times and their frustration carried into yesterday’s 14-inning loss. Can’t imagine the plane ride to Washington was a festive one. The entire team is pressing at the plate and that’s not a good situation to be in when facing Zimmerman. Yovani Gallardo has posted a 1.59 ERA over his past three starts and that may have you believing he’s found “it” again after a tough start. Not so. Gallardo’s hit%, strand% and hr/f% are all pretty normal so it’s not been a case of bad luck. Those three key factors have combined to work against him, resulting in his 5.50 ERA. In retrospect, he’s never had elite-starter control except for the outlier of 2011 and 2013 has been no different with 36 walks in 99 frames. Gallardo’s velocity has declined in 2013, prompting a corresponding strikeout loss and he’s no longer getting swings and misses or fooling hitters within the strike zone. Few pitchers can be successful with a 29% line-drive rate. Gallardo isn’t as bad as his ERA indicates but with his skills slip and pitching for this unmotivated guest, he’s not a good rebound candidate. Let someone else believe the “buy low” hype.
WASHINGTON -1½ +123 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.46)
Detroit @ TORONTO
Detroit +125 over TORONTO
1:00 PM start time. R.A. Dickey is coming off his best game of the year, a complete game, two-hit shutout in Tampa. The Blue Jays have now won Dickey’s last three starts and they’ve won four of his last five but don’t believe that he’s regained the form that earned him a Cy Young Award last season. Dickey's 4.30 xERA over his last five starts and 4.45 xERA on the year is indicative of his volatility and also supports his 4.72 ERA, making him the poster boy of the risk/reward play. Detroit hitters have 39 hits in 105 career AB’s versus Dickey for a BA of .371 and overall this season, the Tigers own an excellent .282 BA and .781 OPS on the road. Lastly, at home, Dickey has been torched with a 6.02 ERA and it’s mostly because he can’t keep the ball in the park, as his 12 jacks allowed in 49 home innings will attest to. Jose Alvarez is Anibal Sanchez’s replacement and in three starts the kid has gone 1-1 with a respectable 3.78 ERA and an xERA of 3.79. He’s shown both good control (4 walks) and a good strikeout rate (13) in 17 innings so far. He also has a strong 46%/18%/36% groundball/line-drive/fly-ball profile. It’s a small sample size and you can’t put much emphasis on what Alvarez has done but know this. Alvarez has his feet wet. He’s survived and he’s passed with flying colors his introduction into the big leagues. That’s something, and he has the talent to continue. Alvarez has thrown 288 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system in 2013, and it reveals that he has five pitches he’ll throw at any time, with his best attribute being that he’ll change speeds constantly. Alvarez uses a four-seam fastball (88-92mph), a change (76mph), a sinker (89mph), a slider (83mph) and a curve (74mph). The Jays have always had trouble with these types of pitchers so Alvarez has a good chance for a very decent game. This play is all about value in a toss-up game that the Tigers have as good a chance of winning as the Blue Jays.
Detroit +125 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.50)