Looking for a good value bet? Consider the lowly Chicago Cubs taking a victory at home on Thursday against the defending World Series champions the San Francisco Giants.
The Cubs’ advantage of playing at home in this one is amplified by the scheduling of the game. The Giants will have played a late afternoon contest in San Francisco on Wednesday and then must get on a plane to Chicago and take the field less than 24 hours later.
That type of travel followed by an early game can leave a visiting club flat-footed. Throw in the fact that San Francisco starter Ryan Vogelsong has struggled more throughout his career on the road than at home - example: in 2012, he had a 2.86 ERA at AT&T Park and a 3.87 ERA away - and the Giants are ripe for the picking. (Vogelsong also looked shaky in his opener, giving up five runs in 5 1/3 innings.)
The Cubs started poorly this season going 2-4 in their first six games, but keep in mind they were on the road for those contests. Being at home will suit them in this match up – take Chicago, as the road weary Giants will struggle in this one.
For something a bit safer, the Los Angeles Dodgers should be a lock to win on the road against the San Diego Padres. This is a classic pitching mismatch.
Dodgers starter Zack Greinke is an ace. There was some concern about his elbow during spring training, but he looked healthy in his first regular season start going 6 1/3 innings and allowing just two hits, no runs and no walks, while striking out six.
In contrast, I’m sometimes amazed the Padres starter, Jason Marquis, is still collecting a Major League paycheck. The last time the 14-year veteran had an ERA below 4.00 for a complete season was 2004. He gave up five runs in six innings of work in his first outing of 2013.
The Dodgers may be favourites at 1.58, but this is a good place for a safe bet against the Padres at 2.40.
Best Bet: Back the LA Dodgers to beat the San Diego Padres at 1.58
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