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Dodgers vs. Braves Over-Under Odds & Pick from Will Rogers: August 3rd 2017

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves
MLB Over-Under Pick: Over 8.5 runs -110 odds (August 3rd 2017)

The set-up: Los Angeles Dodgers lost 5-3 at San Diego on July 2 but have gone 20-3 since. Amazingly, all three losses have come at the hands of the 49-57 Atlanta Braves. The Dodgers lost back-to-back home games to the Braves on July 20 and 21, then lost last night in Atlanta. Tyler Flowers’ eighth-inning pinch-hit HR powered Atlanta to a 5-3 victory Wednesday, snapping the Dodgers’ major-league record streak of 53 consecutive games won when leading at any point. The victory snapped Atlanta’s six-game losing streak and was just the Braves’ second win in 11 games since beating LA in those back-to-back games at Dodger Stadium July 20-21. The rubber match of this three-game series goes Thursday.

The pitching matchup: Alex Wood (12-1 & 2.38 ERA) continues his “career season” when he takes the mound for LA and rookie Sean Newcomb (1-5 & 4.50 ERA) gets the nod for Atlanta. The Braves handed Wood his first loss of the season on July 21 (allowed nine runs, seven earned) but he was able to get the win last Friday over the Giants, despite allowing four runs on eight hits in seven innings. Wood made his major-league debut with the Braves in 2013, going 21-20 in 86 games with Atlanta before being traded to the Dodgers in 2015. In two career starts against the Braves, Wood is 0-2 with an ugly 10.38 ERA. Newcomb has pitched well in his past two starts after struggling in the first part of July, getting no-decisions against the Dodgers and Philadelphia while allowing only four ERs over 11 innings (3.27 ERA). Newcomb will be making his 10th major-league start and has surrendered three ERs or lees in six of his previous nine.

The pick: Wood was tagged for a career-high nine runs (seven earned) in 4 2/3 innings against Atlanta in that 12-3 defeat back on July 21, which remains his only setback of the season. Excluding that outing, Wood has thrown 98 1/3 innings, with 110 strikeouts, 27 walks and a 0.99 WHIP. The opposition is batting .196 against Wood. However, he was hardly “extra sharp” in his follow up start from that loss to Atlanta, allowing four runs on eight hits in seven innings. Is hisseason starting to prove the adage, “regression to the mean?” As for Newcomb, his road ERA (3.43) is almost two full runs higher than his home ERA (5.33). Take the Over.

Mariners vs. Royals MLB Over-Under Pick from Mike Lundin: August 3rd 2017

Seattle Mariners vs. Kansas City Royals
MLB Over-Under Pick: Over 9.5 runs -110 odds (August 3rd 2017)

The Kansas City Royals are well in the mix in the AL Central, sitting second in the division just a few games back of the Indians. I think they’ll need to give newly acquired Trevor Cahill plenty of run support here to have any chance of winning this game.

Cahill (4-3, 4.15 ERA) was tagged with five runs on eight hits with a pair of homers in four innings at Boston in his first start for the Royals since coming over from San Diego. The current Mariners are batting a combined .329 over 82 at bats against the right-hander.

Yovani Gallardo (5-7, 5.34 ERA) will take the ball for Seattle. He was very solid in July posting a 2.37 ERA through 19 innings of work, but note that over is 4-1-1 in Gallardo’s last six starts overall. KC’s Melky Cabrera is 5-for-11 in previous meetings with Gallardo.

The Royals are a very streaky team that played excellent baseball in the second half of July only to score just three runs through their last three games (all at Baltimore). I think their bats will come alive again tonight as they return home to Kauffman Stadium, and my free pick is on this matchup to go over the total.

MLB Pick: Larry Ness betting the Royals +112 odds on August 2nd 2017

Kansas City Royals vs. Baltimore Orioles
MLB Pick: KC +112 odds (August 2nd 2017)

The Royals came to Baltimore having won 10 of 11 (while averaging 7.3 runs!) and were looking to ‘reel in’ the first-place Indians in the AL Central at the expense of the Orioles. However, KC has lost 2-1 and 7-2 Monday and Tuesday. The Royals now look to avoid to avoid a sweep by Baltimore on Wednesday night. The Orioles have suddenly won four in a row to move within two games of .500 (52-54) and close within 3 1/2 games of the Royals for the second AL wild card spot. Baltimore opened 22-10 but it’s been a struggle since but just maybe, the Orioles have a second strong run in them down the stretch.

The Orioles will go for a three-game sweep by welcoming Jeremy Hellickson (6-5 with a 4.73 ERA for the Phillies in 2017) to the rotation on Wednesday, while the Royals counter with All-Star lefty Jason Vargas (13-4, 3.00 ERA), who ranks second to only Clayton Kershaw in the moneyline standings (plus-$1280). Vargas was lit up for six runs in 2.2 innings against Detroit in his first start after the All-Star break but was much better in his last two outings, allowing a total of three runs in 11 innings (both KC wins). Vargas is seeing Baltimore for the first time this season and is just 3-3 in nine career starts against them (teams are 4-5), despite a 1.92 ERA,

Hellickson is the kind of veteran the Orioles hope can stabilize the back end of the rotation but he was kicked around for six runs on seven hits in five innings in his Philadelphia finale against Milwaukee on July 22. The vet has surrendered 22 HRs in 112 1/3 innings for the Phillies, just three shy of tying his career high. Hellickson is 2-2 with a 4.97 ERA in seven career starts vs KC (teams are 4-3).

The KC bats have suddenly gone quiet against Baltimore (three runs on only hits in B2B losses), which makes little sense against a Baltimore pitching staff which owns a ERA on the season. I’m no fan of Hellickson, either. He opened the year with teh Phillies winning eight of his first nine starts but since that red-hot start, the Phillies lost NINE of his last 11 starts! Also, a check of the record book reveals he owns a 5.01 ERA in nine career games (eight starts) at Camden Yards. Meanwhile, Vargas is 6-2 with a 3.35 ERA in nine road starts (KC is 7-2) plus don’t forget his 1.92 ERA in nine career starts against Baltimore. Play the Royals.

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