December 9, 2023

Good evening punters, Chris Bengel is back with you after last week’s honeymoon in the Caribbean. It was weird not paying attention to every line the baseball world gave, but I’m happy to be back in the groove.

The most exciting time of the Major League Baseball season is about to be upon us. The All-Star break is only a few weeks away, which means the qualifying races are about to start heating up. Four of the six baseball teams’ races are currently separated by 4.5 games or less. Moreover, having two Wild Cards on hand makes the races more interesting.

I have three MLB picks for this evening, so let’s get to them!

All Eastern Times, All Odds via Caesars Sportsbook

hot ticket

Cardinals vs Braves, 7:20 p.m. | Television: MLB.TV

Latest possibilities:

St. Louis Cardinals +122

  • main trendThe Cardinals are 14-3 in the last 17 games against a first player with a WHIP greater than 1.30
  • Pick: Cardinals (+125)

The Cardinals have lost four of their last five games while the Braves have won three of their last four, so it might come as a surprise that I’m standing next to the Cardinals at this spot. But I am sure of attacking the shooting match.

Brave bowler Ian Anderson made a start on Tuesday after having given up 11 times in his last two games, surrendering seven runs in seven strokes in just two rounds of action against the Phillies in his final start. In three of his last four starts, Anderson has had at least four earned runs and has recorded 11 walks during that time.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals have an explosive crime. This group has the sixth highest batting average (.253), the fifth most RBIs (368) and sixth in terms of total bases (1144). Third star Nolan Arenado has scored 0.529 to meet three home games in his last four matches. With the Cardinals able to put a lot of laps on the board, I expect they can get to Anderson early and have that game on the road.

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Nationals Phillies, 7:05 p.m. | Television: MLB.TV

Latest possibilities:

Philadelphia Phyllis -165

Pick: Phillies (-165): Those odds are a little lower than some had anticipated, but this stems from the uncertainty within Velez’s staff due to the injury. Zach Evelyn and Ranger Suarez are currently on the injured list, which is why Christopher Sanchez dominated the mound on Tuesday.

Despite the uncertainty, I’m riding with the Phillies here. National bowler Paulo Espino started off as he gave up four runs in just 3.2 runs against the Buccaneers with two of those runs across the long ball. The Phillies, on the other hand, are really starting to find their step on the plate — despite the lack of glamor star Bryce Harper. They sit sixth in major competitions in the races at home (103) while also knocking out in 366 runs, which is a good thing for a seventh place all over the league.

It is also worth noting that national team star Juan Soto is likely to be out of the squad on Tuesday as he deals with a calf injury. If Sanchez didn’t have to deal with Soto, that would make things a lot easier for Velez to take a win.

main trend: The Phillies are 4-1 in their last five games against a team with a win percentage of less than 0.400

Angels in Marlins, 6:40 p.m. | Television: MLB.TV
Pick: Sandy Alcantara over 7.0 Strike Out (-120) –
This sounds like a perfect betting storm if you’ve seen one before. Marlins star Sandy Alcantara has blossomed into a favorite to win the National League Cy Young Award. In addition, he is facing the Angels lineup that leads the majors in swipes of the season.

Alcantara has scored at least eight strikes in three of his last seven starts, including 14 strikes against the Braves again on May 28. The faltering team of angels might be exactly what the doctor ordered for Alcantara. It’s a huge number, but if Alcantara can get deep into the game, there’s no doubt that he can score eight hits against a free-swing lineup like the Angels.

main trendAlcantara has scored at least seven hits in four of his last eight starts

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