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#1: Take Minnesota Twins as +116 underdogs on the Money Line against Milwaukee Brewers risking 2% (Diamond and Figaro must start)
Neither of these teams have been very good this season but just because a team hasn’t been playing well doesn’t necessarily mean there is no value in a particular play. This game is all about match-up and I believe the Twins match up extremely well with the Brewers in this spot.
Milwaukee has dropped 20 of their last 27 games and are just 1-4 in their last 5 home games! What is even more staggering is the fact that Milwaukee is just 1-10 in their last 11 games when slated as a favorite!
Even with Milwaukee struggling as much as they have in May, the line-makers still insist on installing them as the favorites even though they simply aren’t winning. Tonight the Brewers will start mid-relief pitcher Alfredo Figaro (0-0, 3.46 ERA). In 15 relief appearances this season, this will be the first time that Figaro has started this season. This is not the first time a mid reliever has been placed in a starting role this season; various other teams have tried this and very rarely has it panned out well. Most of the time relief pitchers do not understand what it is like to start a baseball game and their lack of experience or at least recent experience doing so becomes their undoing. Their typical role is to throw hard and fast and create outs, the starting pitchers’ role is more finesse than anything. Often times you will see relief pitchers get tagged early on in ball games and that’s what I believe will happen here tonight. The Twins already hit the Brewers hard in last night’s game and it should be even easier for them tonight. Add in the fact that Brewers slugger Ryan Braun will more than likely sit out tonight with a sore thumb and that will truly put this team at even more of a disadvantage.
The Twins will send left handed Scott Diamond (3-4, 4.96 ERA) to the mound tonight. I feel that Diamond is a better pitcher than his numbers are suggesting right now simply because he has been asked to pitch against some of the leagues more potent offenses (Detroit, Boston and Baltimore). Diamond however has been solid in his road starts this season where he is 3-0 with a 2.19 ERA and once again those starts have been against some of the better offenses in the league (Detroit twice and Boston).
With the way that the Brewers are struggling right now, this is the perfect opportunity for Diamond to shine (no pun intended). Keep in mind that the Brewers are a horrendous 4-17 against Left-handed starting pitchers so far this season. Finally, it’s worth noting that the Twins’ bullpen has limited Milwaukee to just 3 earned runs in the last 19 innings, for an ERA of 1.42! Take Minnesota as slight underdogs for the win tonight.