I’m back on a Sunday with some picks from the betting window…
957 Cincinnati Reds at 958 Chicago Cubs, 1:20 p.m. CT
Oddsmakers must have received enough respected action on the under to move the total from 10.5 down to 10. That said, sharp action or no sharp action, sometimes common sense just has to take over. The conditions at Wrigley Field on Sunday afternoon set up perfectly for the over. It’s hot, the wind is projected to blow out at roughly 10 miles-an-hour, and Homer Bailey is pitching for the Reds. I respect line movement but fading said movement is worth the risk here. A day after posting 10 runs, the Cubs will face Bailey, who owns a low strikeout rate (15.2%), an average groundball rate (40.6%), and gets hit hard (42.6%). Granted, Kyle Hendricks could go out today and shove, which would keep the score down, but he has to deal with the same conditions as Bailey. Plus, it’s not as if the Reds don’t have a few hitters (Eugenio Suarez, Scoot Gennett and Scott Schebler, to name them) that can cause some damage. Oh, and did I mention David Rackley is behind home plate today? The over is 14-5 in his 19 games behind the dish this season. That’s a 73.7% clip for the over in games he’s called.
Prediction: Over 10
959 St. Louis Cardinals at 960 Colorado Rockies, 2:10 p.m. CT
Austin Gomber danced in and out of trouble against the DOdgers in his last start but there’s regression coming. He owns a 2.98 ERA in his five starts this season but his FIP is 4.29 and his xFIP is 5.08 (which is an indication he’s been fortunate not to give up more runs than his ERA suggests). Gomber is pitching at Coors Field and allows plenty of hard hits and fly balls. That’s a bad recipe for run prevention. On the other side is Tyler Anderson, who is also a fly ball pitcher that has already allowed 26 home runs this season. As Cards fans know, their lineup is chock full of right-handers that should give Anderson fits. The series finale between these two teams should be a shootout.
Prediction: Over 11.5
973 Houston Astros at 974 Los Angeles Angels, 3:07 p.m. CT
The Astros have lit up the scoreboard in their last three games, scoring 10, 9 and 8 runs, respectively. The first two games in this series sailed over the total but umpire Mike Estabrook has been an under-cashing machine this season. In his 24 games behind home plate, the under is 7-17 as the average ERA of pitchers in games he’s called is 3.50. There’s likely some sharp action on the under, as 63% of the betting tickets are on the over but 77% of the money is on the under. Framber Valdez impressed in his major-league debut on Tuesday, allowing two hits over 4 ⅓ innings of relief versus Seattle. The Angels are unfamiliar with Valdez and the Astros have never faced Felix Pena. These two offenses could get going eventually but I don’t see the clubs pushing the combined score over the total of 9 runs, which is high.
Prediction: Under 9
Season Prediction Records
MLB: 27-10 (+1,600.00)
*Based on projected $100.00 wagers