Stephen's Past Picks
This spread is way too low. South Florida went 1-11 last season, changed coaches and brought in more than 40 transfers. The Bulls will need time to build continuity. Meanwhile record-setting quarterback Austin Reed and play-making linebacker JaQues Evans return from a Hilltoppers team that went 9-5 last season. My model says Western Kentucky wins by 26 points so you're getting strong value at this number.
I realize the Astros have dropped three in a row and lost a game on Friday night that they shouldn't have. But they crush lefties and face Tigers southpaw Eduardo Rodriguez. Also Houston rookie Hunter Brown makes his first start in his hometown; I expect him to pitch well. My model says the Astros win 70% of the time, so you're getting strong value at this number.
This is a pretty cheap price on the best team in baseball. I realize Atlanta is facing Logan Webb, but the Braves have won four in a row and seven of eight. They haven't given up a run in their last three games. My model says Atlanta wins 66% of the time, so you're getting value at this number.
Arizona has lost nine in a row and is a -155 favorite? Give me San Diego, which pounded the Diamondbacks on Friday night, scoring 10 runs on 14 hits in a 10-5 win. Arizona has scored more than four runs only once in its last 13 games. The Padres are winning 50% of simulations so you're getting good value at this number.
I realize that Milwaukee has the edge in the starting pitching matchup, but this price is way too good. The Brewers have lost six of their last eight. Over the last 15 days, they have a 4.98 ERA, ranked 24th in baseball. Meanwhile, in its last three series, Pittsburgh has won two, taking down two teams vying for playoff positions (San Diego and Philadelphia), and split a third against Detroit. My model's simulation average money line probability of 42.0% is drastically different from the consensus odds implied probability of 32.5%, which means you're getting strong value at this price.
My Model says the Giants win in 60% of the simulations, so you're getting good value playing them. San Francisco has gone 4-2 thus far on its nine-game homestand, with both losses being by one run and one of them coming in extra innings. Giants RHP Alex Cobb posted a 2.42 ERA over four starts in July and is coming off an outing against Oakland in which he registered nine strikeouts over six scoreless innings. Arizona RHP Zac Gallen yielded five runs over 6 1/3 frames in a loss to St. Louis last time out.
Blue Jays starter Chris Bassitt loves pitching in Toronto; he's 6-1 with a 2.24 ERA at home. He's allowed 16 of his 19 homers on the road. The Blue Jays should tee off on Orioles starter Kyle Gibson, who has a 5.72 ERA over his last 10 starts. Baltimore is also at a disadvantage having to travel following Sunday Night Baseball. The Blue Jays are winning 63 percent of my model's simulations.
My model likes the Yankees to win the rubber game on Sunday Night Baseball. They're cashing in 56 percent of simulations. Aaron Judge homered and singled twice in Saturday's 8-3 win, his second game back since a lengthy layoff due to a toe injury. It was a good reminder of why the team is 10 games over .500 with him in the lineup. New York starter Luis Severino has put together consecutive respectable outings after a disastrous first half.
I realize that Alek Manoah is starting for the Blue Jays, but Toronto has actually won two of his last three starts since he returned from his short stint away from the team. On the other hand, the Angels have lost two of the last three games started by Reid Detmers. My model says the Blue Jays win 60% of the time, so you're getting good value at this price.
Dane Dunning is having an excellent year and I trust him against this Padres lineup, which has more name recognition than actual potency. Moreover, San Diego may not be fully mentally in the game, with trade rumors swirling over some of the team's best players and the prospect of another lost season looming. The Rangers are covering in 69% of my model's simulations.
At first this looks like a tough spot for the Angels, who played a doubleheader in Detroit on Thursday while the Blue Jays rested at home. But my simulations show the surging Halos covering the run line 63 percent of the time. New acquisition Lucas Giolito has allowed two or fewer earned runs in seven of his last nine starts. Toronto starter Kevin Gausman has been terrific all season, especially at home, but Shohei Ohtani, Mickey Moniak and company have put up 76 runs over their last 13 games (5.8 average).
Picking against Justin Steele doesn't feel good, but it's hard not to do it when we're getting this phenomenal price -- and my model has the Cardinals covering in a whopping 77% of its simulations. Steele also saw the Cardinals in his last start, meaning his stuff should still be fresh in the St. Louis hitters' minds. With how much reward is baked in here, this is an easy pick.
The Rockies are 17-35 on the road after blowing a late lead Tuesday, but they've been surprisingly feisty on this road trip so far. My model says there's value on Colorado in MLB's first game Wednesday; the Rockies are winning 52 percent of simulations. Nationals rookie Jake Irvin has allowed six homers in his last five starts and is coming off a season-high 111 pitches last Friday versus San Francisco.
Has Michael Grove started to figure things out? He gave up just one earned run in two of his last three starts, a much better trend for the clearly talented young pitcher. He'll have a fair test tonight in the form of the Blue Jays, but my model likes his chances at keeping the Dodgers in the game. Los Angeles is winning in 66% of the simulations.
The Cardinals appear to have the starting pitching edge with Jordan Montgomery opposing Jameson Taillon, but my model disagrees with this price. In Montgomery's last outing at Wrigley Field on May 10, the Cubs pounded him for two homers and six earned runs in five innings. The Cubs are winning 52 percent of simulations Sunday as they seek a third straight victory.