The biggest news this week is July 4. America’s Independence Day should be a wild one for those looking to take a day off in the middle of the week. For us MLB handicappers, the opportunities, at least for me, happen later in the week.
On Thursday, Arizona battles the Dodgers. Can AZ take it to LAD at Chavez-Ravine? Then, on Saturday, NL Central rivals Pittsburgh and Chicago throw down. Who wins when Pittsburgh ace Ivan Nova battles Chicago star pitcher Jake Arrieta? ESPN’s Sunday night game has Detroit taking on Cleveland in Cleveland. Can Corey Kluber show up for the Tribe?
Bet Baseball July 3rd-9th
Arizona at L.A. Dodgers
When: Thursday, July 6, 2017 at 10:10 pm ET
Where: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Listed Pitchers: AZ-Zack Greinke vs LAD-Rich Hill
Analysis: The Dodgers have been en fuego. L.A. is a ridiculous 20-4 straight up in their last 24. The Dodgers are easily the best team in the NL right now.
But, that doesn’t mean they don’t find it tough versus Zack Greinke and the D’Backs on Thursday. Greinke turned in a fantastic performance in his most recent start. He gave up 2 earned runs off 3 hits in 7 innings while striking out 8. The D’Backs beat the Rockies 6-2.
The Dodgers do bat .269 versus Greinke. Plus, Greinke faces LAD on the road. Should that open the door for Rich Hill and the Dodgers?
I believe it might. Hill has pitched 14 combined innings in his last 2 starts. He’s allowed a total of 3 earned runs off 8 hits. He’s struck out 18. Hill has finally got onto somewhat of a roll this season.
I like the Dodgers as possible home dogs.
Pick: L.A. Dodgers moneyline
Pittsburgh at Chicago Cubs
When: Saturday, July 8 at 7:15 pm ET
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Listed Pitchers: PIT-Ivan Nova vs CHC-Jake Arrieta
Analysis: Jake Arrieta has always pitched well versus the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates only bat .221 versus Arrieta. He’s faced Pitt batters 226 times. So, the batting average is legit.
The problem with backing Arrieta is relying on the Cubs’ pitcher to throw great in 2 straight. That hasn’t happened often this year. He blanked Cincinnati this past Sunday.
Pittsburgh pitcher Ivan Nova has maintained an excellent 3.08 ERA. His WHIP is a terrific 1.11. The last time Nova faced the Cubs, he gave up 3 earned runs off 6 hits in 7 innings. He pitched well enough for Pitt to beat the Cubs 4 to 3.
Chicago should be the favorites on Saturday. I believe Pitt is the play. I don’t think Jake throws another great game while Nova has been solid all-season long.
I like the Pirates.
Pick: Pittsburgh moneyline
Detroit at Cleveland
When: Sunday, July 9 at 8:00 pm ET
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH
Listed Pitchers: DET-Michael Fulmer vs CLE-Corey Kluber
Analysis: Detroit pitcher Michael Fulmer has become the Tigers’ ace. His 3.19 ERA and 1.13 WHIP are better than Justin Verlander’s ERA and WHIP. Sunday is the first time this season Fulmer battles Cleveland.
I think Fulmer pitches a great game. Forget last season’s numbers versus his opponents. Fulmer has changed some things up this season to account for the excellent ERA and WHIP. He should be right as rain against the Tribe on Sunday.
The key on this game is how well the Tigers bat against Corey Kluber, Cleveland’s strike-out machine of a pitcher. Kluber’s ERA is 3.02. His WHIP is 1.00.
Surprisingly, Kluber, who should be a big favorite over Fulmer in this match up, allows the Tigers to bat .296 against him. That’s close to ridiculous.
I’m taking a shot on Detroit. I know the Tigers have been awful lately. But, I think this game sets up for Fulmer and the Tigers.
Pick: Detroit moneyline