Told you the Angels were struggling and had no business being a 2-to-1 favorite last night. Told you Cleveland’s Justin Masterson owned the Halos. Result: Masterson tossed six shutout innings, and the Indians rolled to a 6-2 victory as a +170 underdog. And that comes on the heels of Friday’s +130 underdog winner on the Padres. In fact, I’ve hit four of my last six baseball plays, all of them underdogs. (Call it my little contribution to Vegas Seven’s current “Dog Days of Summer” issue.)
Sticking with the winning underdog formula, tonight I’m taking a shot with the Nationals as a pup (albeit it a modest pup). Washington hammered the Giants 14-2 last night (racing out to a 14-0 lead before the end of the fifth inning), and with that, the Nats improved to 4-0 against San Francisco this season (scoring 38 runs in the process); 7-1 on their current road trip; and 19-5 in their last 24 overall. Jordan Zimmerman gets the ball in this one for Washington, and all the right-hander has done this season is go 9-6 with a 2.35 ERA overall (the best ERA in the National League and the second-best in all of MLB), including 7-3 with a microscopic 1.87 ERA in 12 road starts (nine of which the Nats have won). Zimmerman has faced the Giants three times since May of last year, and he’s allowed just four earned runs in 21 innings (1.71 ERA), with Washington winning all three games.
So why are Zimmerman and the Nats catching a plus price here, especially with the Giants scuffling a bit (2-3 last five; 3-9 last 12 at home)? Because the oddsmakers are respecting Madison Bumgarner, who has been sensational at home this year (7-1, 1.98 ERA). I respect those numbers, too,
but I also know that when the Nats saw Bumgarner in D.C. on July 4, they lit him up to the tune of seven runs in five innings en route to a 9-4 victory.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆
Monday’s Result: Indians (+170) at Angels (Win)