Early weekday games can sneak up on you before you have time to truly evaluate your best options. There’s a full slate of baseball later tonight along with a huge NBA finals game. However there’s equal opportunity to improve your bank roll this afternoon. Here is a preview of today’s early games in Major League Baseball, and my thoughts if you want to get your bets in early.
Cubs at Phillies
The Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies will play in the rubber match of their series at 1:05 EST. The Cubs are favored as always, but at -180 money line odds. Phillies starter Vince Velasquez (5-2 , 3.67 ERA) has not pitched beyond five innings in his last four starts. This includes his May 29 start at Wrigley Field where he allowed nine hits and seven earned runs over 4 2/3 innings.
John Lackey (6-2 , 2.88 ERA) is 2-1 with a 4.55 ERA on the road this season due to two rough starts in April, but he is 3-0 with 1.57 ERA in day games this season.
If you decide to bet the Cubs you will have to lay down plenty of juice, but there are not enough reasons to confidently bet on the Phillies. My recommendation is to take Chicago.
Blue Jays at Tigers
The Detroit Tigers will look for their second consecutive series sweep when they host the Toronto Blue Jays. With Jordan Zimmerman on the mound, I like the Tigers chances.
Jordan Zimmerman has allowed more than three earned runs only once this season in 10 starts. The Tigers overall are playing their best baseball of the season and the offense will be a challenge for RA Dickey. Dickey is 4-1 against the Tigers since 2013 with a 4.15 ERA and Tigers hitter have a mixed history against him.
Right now the Tigers are finding ways to win and I like them as a -125 moneyline favorite.
Braves at Padres
I expect a good pitchers duel between two bad teams when the Atlanta Braves take on the San Diego Padres. The fact that Juilo Teheran is only 1-6 despite having a 2.92 ERA and 1.05 WHIP tells the story of how pathetic his run support has been this season. The Braves have managed to score more than three runs only once in the 12 starts made by Teheran this season.
With the Padres sending left handed pitcher Drew Pomeranz (5-5, 2.22 ERA) to the mound, don’t expect for Teheran’s run support to improve. Pomeranz has fallen on some hard luck as well, finding himself on the losing end of two 1-0 games this season, along with winning a 1-0 and 2-0 game. Pomeranz has a 3-1 and 0.73 ERA at home this season. At even money I would lean towards the Padres to win this game, but San Diego is a -150 favorite. So you have to ask if yourself if you really want to lay down -150 on the San Diego Padres against a pitcher as good as Teheran? Playing for under 7 runs is my recommendation here.
Rays at Diamondbacks
Overall this is a pretty even match-up on paper.
Jake Odorizzi (2-3, 3.33 ERA) has been pitching well for the Rays over his last four starts allowing no more than two runs in any of those starts. Archie Bradley (2-1, 4.94 ERA) is coming off of a very strong start against the Chicago Cubs where he only allowed one earned run over six innings with 10 strikeouts. The 8.5 over/under is also right where it should be. Nothing would surprise me in this game, and it is hard to trust the Diamondbacks at home where they are only 10-21 despite winning last night.
Personally among the four early games, this would be my least favorite to bet on.