I released three baseball picks to clients on Tuesday. As always, these are the same plays I put my own money on. That’s how it should be, but sadly that’s not the case for many in this business of professional sports handicapping. But I digress.
My first play was on the Tigers run line -1.5 at -140. This marked only the second time all season that I bet on the -1.5 run line. I’m now 0-2. Detroit took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth and I was feeling very good. Not only did we have a run to give, but Chicago hadn’t scored against Price at all. Manager Brad Ausmus opted to keep Price in for the ninth inning and let him go for the complete-game shutout. He ended up in the game long enough to allow the White Sox to tie it at 3 apiece. At that point, we needed a walk-off homer with at least one runner on base to win it. Didn’t happen. Tigers win 4-3, but we lose a bet that looked so good with only three outs left. As I mentioned, I rarely play the -1.5 run line. Below is the analysis I provided with this play:
The Tigers got shut out by these White Sox, 2-0, last night. I’m expecting a big bounce-back tonight. Detroit has been shut out nine other times this season & they averaged 6.3 runs in their next game. Put Detroit at home this season off being shut out and that 6.3 rises to 7.3 runs per game. They just faced Chicago’s Scott Carroll on 8/29 & they tagged him for 7 runs (3 earned) on 10 hits in just 5 innings. David Price gets the ball for Detroit and he is in a bounce-back spot tonight as well. In his last start, Price allowed 5 runs on 8 hits & 3 walks in just 5 2/3 innings at Minnesota. This season, Price owns a team record of 8-2 when coming off a start in which he allowed 4 or more runs. They won those games by an average of 2.6 runs & their opponents were held to just 2.8 runs. Also this season, Price owns a team record of 4-1 when coming off a start in which he issued 3 or more walks. They won those games by an average of 2.4 runs & their opponents were held to just 1.4 runs. Price clearly brings his A-game when coming off an outing like he had last time out. I’m calling it Detroit 7, Chicago 2.
My next two baseball picks were tied together. We had the Milwaukee Team Total Under 3 -120 and we had Milwaukee-Cincinnati Under 6.5 -125. My analysis for the full-game Under bet includes reasons why I also bet the Brewers Team Total Under.
The obvious is that we have two top-notch pitchers on the mound in Mike Fiers and Johnny Cueto. I love that neither guy walks many batters and they both have more strikeouts than innings pitched. That greatly helps an Under bet. Fiers owns a 1.71 ERA & 0.95 WHIP on the road, while Cueto owns a 1.79 ERA & 0.85 WHIP at home. The Reds hitters haven’t faced Fiers in two years.
Milwaukee is not scoring runs. They’ve scored 2 runs or less in 5 straight games & the only reason it isn’t 6 straight is because they scored 3 runs in an extra-inning game. The Brewers have played 6 straight Unders and 10 of their last 11. Since May 20th, Milwaukee has seen a total of 6.5 or less and they went Under all five times, averaging exactly 1 run per game. These two clubs went Over the total in their last meeting, the final game of a 3-game series just 8 days ago. They had played 8 straight Unders prior to that.
Johnny Cueto is in a bounce-back spot tonight. In his last start, Cueto went 5 2/3 innings, giving up 6 runs & walking 5 batters. This season, the Under is 8-1 when Cueto is off a start in which he walked 3 or more batters. The average score of these games was Reds 2.6, opponents 1.6. This is right in line with how Cueto pitches against these Brewers at Great American Ball Park, as he has held the Brewers to 2 runs or less in his last 6 home starts against them. UNDER is the play.
Cueto pitched very well as expected and Fiers pitched well in his own right. This game played out pretty much how I expected and, as a result, we cashed both tickets. An overall winning day, but it could’ve been so much better had Price & Detroit held that multi-run lead in the ninth. Enough looking back. Time to find that next winner.