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Another 2-1 day yesterday with the White Sox not covering the run line. I’ll take it, and you should too. Here are the best bets for Thursday.
Phillies vs. Diamondbacks
Zack Wheeler is apparently the NL Cy Young favorite right now. So, it must be a really bad year for NL pitching, or people think that WAR is the only thing that matters. Wheeler leads the NL in strikeouts but is just seventh in ERA. I’m incredibly confused by it all. He is moving up as a favorite, even though he has given up four or more earned runs in four of his last seven starts. In any case, this afternoon he faces the Diamondbacks. Madison Bumgarner on the other hand has quality starts in five of his last six starts. He has also held Phillies hitters to just a .153 average against him in their lifetime. Betting on the Diamondbacks isn’t a very profitable endeavor, but I’ll take my chances in this one with +172.
Twins vs. Yankees
I’m not sure if the Twins are trying to make John Gant into a starter again, or they are using him as an opener. Regardless, I don’t expect him to go deep into this game. The Twins also have one of the worst bullpens in baseball – they have a 4.72 ERA, which is seventh worst in all of the game. Only one Yankee hitter is familiar with Gant – that’s Anthony Rizzo, who has six hits in 12 at-bats. Jameson Taillon for the Yankees has had success against the Twins, holding them to just a .152 batting average. Taillon has also pitched well lately, posting eight straight games with surrendering three or less earned runs. I don’t like most of the options available on this game, but I will take the Twins under four runs at -122. Two other plays to consider – the Yankees leading after the first inning is +210, I think there is a good possibility of this happening. The Yankees leading after three innings is also -122. Finally, Rizzo is +600 to hit a home run today.
Brewers vs. Cardinals
Jon Lester is coming off his best outing as a Cardinal, posting one run over 5.2 innings. The biggest question is, can he use the momentum to keep the Cardinals competitive against the Brewers who are running away with the division. He has faced the Brewers once this season giving up one run over four innings. Their hitters are very familiar with him as he pitched for the Cubs for years. They are hitting .260 against him. Brandon Woodruff left his last start after just three innings pitched. Against the Cardinals hitters, he has been as dominant as anyone, holding them to just 16 hits in 93 at-bats. I think the Brewers win this game with ease. Play the game on the runline at -115.