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Diamondbacks vs. Cardinals, 7:45 ET
The Diamondbacks are my team and if you’re a regular reader, you know that. I faded them yesterday and they cost me some money. I tell many people that closing line value means nothing if it doesn’t win. Sure, over time it might work out for the best, and you always want the best number available. We had it yesterday, turns out it didn’t matter as we lost anyway. If there is any solace in the result, it is that the Marlins cost us $1.10 instead of $1.30 that the game closed at.
Arizona isn’t the best team in baseball, and this nice start is a tad bit misleading because they currently are sitting in first place in the division – one that has two of the stronger teams in the Dodgers and Padres. Their hitting probably will be the downfall for the Diamondbacks if anything does them in this season. For example, the team is hitting .254 which is solid. However, their on base percentage is just .299 which is concerning. They have the wonderful Merrill Kelly taking the ball for them today. This is Kelly’s fourth start of the season and thus far the Diamondbacks are only 1-2 in his starts. They are wasting some decent starts from him. Maybe we shouldn’t count much of the first start with a 3.2 inning outing against the Dodgers. The good news is he’s only allowed 12 hits in 15.1 innings. The bad news is he has allowed 12 walks in the same stretch and four in all three games. I’m a bit concerned that this is going to be a trend for him.
The Cardinals are another one of the teams that I’ve invested a lot into. I believe they will win the NL Central. To this point, they look pretty rough to start the year. On the season, they are just 7-9, and while they aren’t going to win the division in the first month, this year could be pretty difficult if they let this get out of hand. The Brewers are playing good baseball, too. That doesn’t help. Pitching wise, they have fairly similar results to the Diamondbacks, but they are allowing opponents a .282 batting average. The Cardinals hitters are doing well overall but it isn’t translating to many runs. In fact, the Diamondbacks have actually scored more runs than the Cardinals on the season. St. Louis has Jack Flaherty pitching for them today. The Cardinals may be a little cautious with him as they’ve only allowed him to throw five innings in each game. In fairness, walks were part of the reason that he struggled to get through these innings. He has allowed 14 walks – 13 of them came in the first two games – and just nine hits.
This game features two pitchers that are solid and not allowing a lot of hits. The biggest issue is the walks. If they can prevent those, there is no question this game should be under through five innings. At 4.5 I think even if they do give up walks, they probably need to just avoid a hit which they’ve done a good job of at this point. I’ll back under 4.5 through five.
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