When studying MLB odds, anybody making sports picks always gets a twinkle in their eye when they have a home underdog because of the potential value they can provide and hopefully win.
Of course baseball because of its money line does not provide the same inherent advantages of wagering on underdogs as say football or basketball because of point spreads, nevertheless, opportunities still exist and can be exploited versus the sportsbooks. Here is a look at three teams and their starting pitchers for today.
Washington had its eight-game winning streak snapped in the second game of a doubleheader after a controversial rainout on Saturday. During that streak one of the victims was Atlanta, who was swept in D.C. largely due to scoring twice in the three-game series.
In one of those setbacks the Braves Shelby Miller (5-3, 1.94 ERA) allowed one run on three hits and looked like he was going to tagged for the loss, but Atlanta scored their lone run in the ninth inning before falling in extra innings 2-1. That day, like this day, he faced Jordan Zimmermann (5-5, 3.42) who just threw eight scoreless innings against the Braves after being horrific in three previous starts with a 7.63 ERA.
It has been awhile since either pitcher has tasted victory, Zimmermann back on June 2nd and even longer for Miller, going back to May 17th.
Sportsbooks have Miller and the Braves as +110 home dogs and without Freddy Freeman, the offense has few places to turn to generate offense. However, in five starts, Miller has never allowed more than one earned run to Washington and though his team is 1-8 versus the Nationals this season, this seems like they at least have a shot with the Braves right-hander 9-1 at home when the total is seven or less the last two seasons. (Team’s Record)
Slight Advantage – Miller and Atlanta
The betting odds have New York as a rising underdog, up from a Pick to +110 in a contest that has a awkward feel to it. Reports last week emerged the Chicago Cubs are interested in the Mets Jonathon Niese (3-7, 4.12), whom they will face tonight and is on the longest winless stretch of his career at eight and counting and has one win in 11 outings.
Why the Cubs might want Niese compared to Cole Hamels is another article, but at least Niese should have a confident team behind him with his club on a four-game game winning streak compared to Chicago, who was humbled in St. Louis and is on a five-game bender. The Mets lefty has a respectable 3.15 ERA in his past three outings, which is dramatically better than his mound opponent Kyle Hendricks (2-4, 4.46) whose ERA has ballooned thanks to posting a 5.88 ERA in past five starts.