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Erik Underwood’s MLB Picks 7/23/2012

July 23, 2012

Baseball

We should expect a very good start out of Jordan Zimmerman tonight

Washington Nationals @ New York Mets

This wasn’t a play for me until I read a very interesting statistic on Twitter from @chadnov59 regarding Jordan Zimmerman.  In Zimmerman’s second start against a team he is 4-1, giving up 3 total runs over 32 innings.  This shows me that Zimmerman is a very smart pitcher, who is learning something from his opponents each time he faces them.

Chris Young is looking a little less sharp with each start, and I think before too long we will see a blow up.  Young has lost his last 3 consecutive starts, along with the Mets losing 9 of their last 10.  I’ll fade the cold team and look for a superb outing from Zimmerman.  Good value on this line.

Play: Washington Nationals -120, 1.2 units

The look on Jose Altuve’s face pretty much sums up Houston’s season so far

Cincinnati Reds @ Houston Astros

I have done nothing but dog this terrible Astro team for the last week.  They are pitiful on the road, posting a 10-41 record to date.  Amazingly enough, they are above .500 at home.  They will play at home tonight against division rival Cincinnati, throwing Wandy Rodriguez at the Red’s lineup.  Rodriguez has a one run lower ERA at home, which is where he has always been more comfortable pitching.  The Astros will be facing right-hander Mat Latos, who has been a little up and down this year.

The Astros can’t hit lefties to save their lives, but are hitting right-handed pitching at a respectable .252 clip in Houston this year.  The Astros have to win a game eventually, and I think this one sets up well situationally for them.  I don’t like to fade a team as hot as the Reds, but I like the value I’m getting here and will make a play on the home dog.

Play: Houston Astros +149, 1.3 units

Keep riding the San Fran hot streak with a weak San Diego squad coming into town

San Diego Padres @ San Francisco Giants

The Giants have been on a tear lately, going 7-2 in their last 9 games.  They’ve moved themselves into first place in the NL West, despite a slow start and underperformance from their ace, Tim Lincecum.  Part of the reason they’ve withstood the regression of Lincecum can be explained by the emergence of Ryan Vogelsong.  Vogelsong is 7-4 with a 2.31 ERA.  He’s even better at home, where his 4-2, 1.43 ERA have helped the Giants to a 29-16 home record.

The Padres have played better baseball recently, but many of their wins have come against the bottom-feeders of the league.  I don’t think they’ll do much against Vogelsong tonight, and I look for the Giants to continue to play winning baseball.  I think this will be a pretty low-scoring game, but I still locked in the Giants at -1 to get much better value at -113.

Play: San Francisco Giants -1 (-113), 1.3 units

Erik Underwood is the creator of Saturdays in the Fall.  Visit him at www.saturdaysinthefall.com for these picks and more, and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/erikunderwood

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