MLB Monday: Underdogs and Favorites (6/24)

Another day of baseball, another respectable day for the statistical underdogs. Of the 15 games that were played on Sunday, seven of those 15 games were won by the team that was a statistical underdog at some point before Sunday’s games. I have worded it this way because the Cubs were even money (and the underdog) when yesterday’s article was written, but Sunday morning money flowed towards the Cubs and they were a very small favorite at the time of the first pitch. Before looking at three underdogs and two favorites to take on Monday, let’s see how we have done recently.

For all of the previous days listed below, all calculations for money are done with the bettor betting $50 on each game that we picked.

June 20: We went 3 for 4. The bettor would have ended up $150 on the day

June 21: We went 2 for 5. The bettor would have ended up $9.50 on the day, even though they only won 2 games. Thanks to Miami for being +210 and taking care of business.

June 22: We went 3 for 6. The bettor would have ended up $75 on the day

June 23: We went 4 for 6. The bettor would have ended up $154.50 on the day

Here are three underdogs to consider betting in Monday’s Major League Baseball action.

Atlanta Braves (+119) @ Chicago Cubs, 8:05 PM EST Start

Julio Teheran gets the ball tonight in the first of a four game set against the Chicago Cubs.

On Monday night, the current leaders on the National League East and Central divisions will square off in a highly publicized four game series. These two teams have been going in different directions as of late. The Chicago Cubs are 4-6 in their last 10 games. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Braves are 7-3 in their past 10 games, including winning two out of three games on the road against the streaking Washington Nationals.

The Cubs will send Jon Lester to the mound in the opening game of the series. Lester has won three of his last four starts, but there are some troubling statistics that have accompanied Lester’s starts this season. In his last three starts, he has given up seven home runs. He has given up more hits than innings pitched in seven of his last nine starts. He has thrown over 100 pitches in four of his last five starts. His season numbers of a 4.13 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP are both over his career numbers, and with the streaking Braves coming to town, a quality start from Lester is not a sure thing at all.

The Braves will send Julio Teheran to the mound in the first game of the series. Teheran was hit very hard in his last start, giving up six runs in only four innings of work. Prior to that start, however, Teheran had been on an absolute tear. He had given up one earned run or less in eight consecutive starts. In his previous five road starts, he has given up a total of five runs in 28 and 2/3 innings of work. Teheran will need to maintain good control during this game, as he has allowed at least three walks in six of his last seven starts.

The Atlanta Braves currently sport the best road record in the entire National League (22-15). Due to their great road record, their recent hot streak, and the phenomenal pitching of Teheran in May and June, expect the Braves to take game one of this series. Bet the Braves with confidence.

New York Mets (+120) @ Philadelphia Phillies, 7:05 PM EST Start

Steven Matz will look to extend the Philies losing streak to eight games on Monday night.

The Mets and the Phillies are limping into this important divisional series. The Phillies are 1-9 in their last 10 games and have lost seven straight, while the Mets are 4-6 in their last 10 games. The Mets just split a series in Wrigley Field against the Cubs, meanwhile the Phillies were swept by the Marlins at home. The fan bases of both of those teams have been frustrated this season, but I think there is much more frustration in Philadelphia right now. 10 games ago, the Phillies were only 0.5 games behind the division leader, the Atlanta Braves. Now, the Phillies find themselves 6.5 games back.

The Mets are sending Steven Matz to the hill in the first game of this set. Matz is 5-5 on the season, with a 4.28 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. On the bright side, Matz has given up three runs or less in seven of his last ten starts. In addition, all five of Matz’s wins have come against teams that are currently over .500 (Philadelphia, Atlanta, Milwaukee, LA Dodgers, and Colorado).

The Phillies are sending Zach Eflin to the mound to get the Phillies back to their winning ways. On the year, Eflin has great numbers (2.83 ERA and 1.16 WHIP), but his record is only 6-7. He has given up three runs or less in each of last five starts, and in eight of his last nine as well. His career numbers against the Mets have not been good though. He is 2-4 in his career against the Mets, with an ERA of 5.40.

Due to the recent poor play of the Phillies, take the Mets tonight to win game one of the series and extend the Phillies losing streak to eight games.

Chicago White Sox (+158) @ Boston Red Sox, 7:10 PM EST start

Lucas Giolito will look to overcome his last start, and get back in the win column Monday night at Boston.

In what was arguably the most shocking series result of the week, the Boston Red Sox lost two out of three at home against the Toronto Blue Jays. They had entered the series 7-1 in their last eight games, but the Blue Jays fought hard in each game of the series and were able to steal a series win from the Red Sox. Now, the Red Sox welcome the White Sox to town.

The White Sox have been up and down in the month of June. After splitting series with Yankees and Cubs, the team started to show signs of life and that they were coming of age quicker than expected. Even though they are 5-5 in their last 10 games, many White Sox fans would argue that they are playing their best ball of the season.

The Red Sox are pitching Eduardo Rodriguez in game one of the series. Rodriguez is 8-4 on the season, with a 4.71 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. He has won four of his last five starts, with all four of those coming on the road. In his last two home starts, Rodriguez has given up nine runs in 11 and 2/3 innings of work.

The White Sox are sending their ace, Lucas Giolito, to the mound in the opening game of the series. Giolito is 10-2 on the season, with a 2.74 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. He had won eight consecutive starts, until his cross-town classic start against the Cubs last Wednesday. Giolito was not himself, hanging his breaking ball, and missing locations with his fastball. Look for Giolito to shake off his sub-par start against the Cubs, and rise to the challenge against the Red Sox. Bet the White Sox tonight.

Here are two favorites that have really good value in Monday’s baseball action.

Los Angeles Dodgers (-133) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks, 9:40 PM EST start

The Dodgers had three consecutive walk-off victories against the Rockies this past weekend.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been masterful so far this season, and their recent play has been indicative of that. They are 8-2 in their last ten games, and had three walk-off winners in their weekend series against the Rockies.

The Diamondbacks have been struggling of late, going 3-7 in their last 10 games. They are also currently tied for the second worst home record (15-21) in the National League, and are 2-7 in their last three home series.

Monday’s pitching match-up is a classic match-up of elite starting pitchers. The Dodgers send Clayton Kershaw to the hill (7-1, 2.85 ERA), while the Diamondbacks send Zack Greinke (8-3, 2.91 ERA) to the mound. Greinke will be looking to overcome a terrible outing he had against Los Angeles to open the season, in which seven runs and four home runs in under four innings of work.

The Dodgers are often heavy favorites in their games, so there are not many opportunities where they are this close to even money. Due to the Diamondbacks recent struggles at home, bet the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw tonight with confidence.

Colorado Rockies (-113) vs. San Francisco Giants, 10:05 PM EST start

Jon Gray looks to get his first career win against the Giants on Monday night.

In a National League West battle, the Rockies and Giants open up a three game series on Monday in San Francisco. Both teams are 5-5 in their last ten games, and both teams are rebounding from tough losses on Sunday afternoon.

The Rockies will send Jon Gray to the mound, who has never beaten the Giants in his career. Gray is 7-5 on the season, with a 4.18 ERA. Gray has won four of his last six starts, giving up eight earned runs in 25 and 2/3 innings of work in those four starts (2.80 ERA).

On the other side, the Giants send Drew Pomeranz to the mound, who has never lost to the Rockies. Pomeranz is 2-7 on the season, with a 7.09 ERA. Pomeranz has not been able to go longer than five innings in any of his last eight starts, and has given up five-plus runs in four of those starts.

Even though Gray has a bad history against the Giants, trust his recent pitching performances and bet the Rockies with confidence tonight.

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