MLB Madness: Four Thursday Underdogs to Bet

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This past week has been the week of the underdog in Major League Baseball. On Wednesday, five underdogs won their games outright, and then two more covered their run line bets. On Tuesday, eight teams won their games outright, including a +195 (White Sox) and a +245 (Marlins). Let’s take a look at four underdogs today that have a chance to defy the odds.

Texas Rangers (+110) vs. Cleveland Indians, 2:05 EST Start

Mike Minor, with a 6-4 record and a 2.63 ERA, has been the ace of the Rangers staff.

After losing the first game of the series 7-2, The Cleveland Indians spring offense sprung to life in games 2 and 3, scoring 10 runs in both of those games. Standing on the mound for the Rangers today, though, is their ace Mike Minor. When people think of the Texas Rangers, you normally do not think of great pitching seasons. Mike Minor, however, is putting together a great season this year.

Since getting hammered by the Cubs in his opening start this season, Minor has given up three runs or less in 13 of 14 starts (he gave up two or less in 10 of those 13). He has struck out at least six batters in seven of his last 10 starts and currently sports a 2.63 ERA.

Minor’s counterpart on the hill today is Shane Bieber. Bieber has been hot and cold over his past seven starts, giving up two or less in four of those starts, and giving up sixteen runs combined in those other three starts (five, six, and five). The Rangers will need to get to Bieber early if they want to salvage a 2-2 split in this series. Look for the Rangers offense to rebound today, and for Mike Minor to pitch a strong game to lead the Rangers to victory.

Cincinnati Reds (+125) @ Milwaukee Brewers, 8:10 EST Start

The Reds will send Tanner Roark and his 3.63 ERA to the mound in Thursday’s series opener against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Cincinnati Reds have quietly placed themselves within striking distance of the Central Division leaders. They are currently 5.5 games behind the division leading Cubs, and have won their last four games (including a three game sweep of the Houston Astros). They could be playing their best baseball of the year so far, but will have to enter a hostile Miller Park on Thursday to keep their winning ways going.

The Milwaukee Brewers are coming off a dismal 2-6 road trip. After splitting a two game set with the Astros to start the trip, the Brewers lost two of three games in San Francisco, and then got swept in San Diego. Luckily for them, they are returning to Miller Park, where they are currently 22-13. They are playing very inconsistent baseball however, and may be catching the Reds at the wrong time.

In a very under the radar sense, the Cincinnati Reds have posted the third best team ERA in all of baseball (3.53). They are also tied for the lead in fewest runs allowed in the National League (265 runs with the Dodgers). The third place team in that category in the National League is the Chicago Cubs, who has given up 308 runs.

Today’s pitching match-up pits Tanner Roark of the Reds against Jimmy Nelson of the Brewers. Nelson has been unimpressive in his two starts since returning from the Injured List. He has given up eight runs in his seven innings over those two starts. In contrast, Tanner Roark has been very consistent this season. In his 14 starts, Roark hasn’t given up more than 4 runs in any start, and has given up less than three runs in half of those 14 starts.

This will be a very interesting series with two teams that may be headed in opposite directions. Look for the Reds to spoil this series for the Brewers, take a flier on them today.

Miami Marlins (+165) vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 7:15 EST Start

Zac Gallen, 23 years old, will make his major league debut on Thursday night.

If you have been betting the under in this series, you have won all three games. Over the first three games of this series, a total of fourteen runs have been scored (seven by each side). The Cardinals have won two of these three games, and tonight’s match-up pits youth vs. experience.

The Cardinals are bringing back Adam Wainwright off of the IL to start tonight’s game. Wainwright has been very inconsistent this season, sporting a 4.46 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. He has been very good at home this season (2.31 ERA), but has over a 7.00 ERA this year in starts coming off more than five days of rest.

The Marlins are responding with rookie Zac Gallen on the mound tonight. He is making his first career start, and is one of the prospects the Marlins received from the Cardinals in the Marcell Ozuna deal. Gallen has been dealing in the minors this season, going 9-1 with a 1.77 ERA and 112 strikeouts in Triple A this season. Look for Gallen tonight to get his revenge on the team that traded him, and get the upset win over the Cardinals.

San Francisco Giants (+160) @ LA Dodgers, 10:10 PM EST Start

Max Muncy, after hitting a home run against Madison Bumgarner 11 days ago.

It is time for Muncy-Bumgarner round two, 11 days after Max Muncy homered off of Madison Bumgarner in a highly-publicized event. How will round two of this affair go down tonight in Los Angeles?

The Dodgers will send Julio Urias to the mound to square off against Bumgarner, but he isn’t expected to pitch too long, as he hasn’t pitched more than three innings since the month of April. This could be troubling, as the Dodgers’ bullpen had extended work last night, with Rich Hill having to leave the game after the first inning due to an injury.

Bumgarner has made 34 career starts against the Dodgers, and has a 2.52 ERA in those games. Even though the Dodgers have the best record in baseball (50-25) and the giants have the second worst record in the NL (31-41), go with the proven and angry experience tonight; take a flier on Bumgarner to rack up another career victory against the Dodgers.

For more quality betting content, check out today’s Odds article

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