⚾ Your MLB picks for this weekend August 4 – 6

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Baseball predictions August 4 – 6

Washington Nationals versus Chicago Cubs

Examining this battle between two first place teams, I take a look at overall team trends first. The Cubs and Nationals are nearly equal in terms of Power Ranking Indicator with the Cubs at +26 and the Nationals at +28. The Cubs have been on the increase lately, while the Nationals are holding steady. The MLB Team Strength Oscillator has a slight advantage for the Nationals at +2.92, while the Cubs are at +1.46.  Being the favorite or underdog doesn’t mean much for the Nationals, who are not in the top ten in Team Volatility, while the Cubs rank 8th in that department.

Pitching match ups

Friday, August 4:  Tanner Roark versus Kyle Hendricks

Roard is 8-7 with a 4.93 ERA, but the Nationals are just 3-7 in his last ten starts. Betting on him has been nearly break even, as he come in at +10 on the Profit Oscillator and has generally been down all season. Hendricks has missed considerable time due to injury, but has been an excellent bet at +912 on the Profit Oscillator. He’s allowed two earned runs over 9 2/3 innings since coming off the disabled list. With the wide profit margin and Cubs being a more consistent bet, pick Hendricks and the Cubs in this one.

Saturday, August 5:  Stephen Strasburg/A.J. Cole/undecided versus John Lackey

With the injury to Stephen Strasburg, this match up is much in the air for the Nationals. It’s unlikely Strasburg will be ready to start this game. Is he was healthy and started, there is a clear advantage for the Nationals. One name coming up as a possibiity is A.J. Cole, who is 1-0 in his only  start and comes in at -360 on the Profit Oscillator. Lackey has been an average bet at +42 on the Profit Oscillator, but has been on the rise, going 3-0 over the last three games. The uncertainty of who is starting for the Nationals and Lackey’s solid pitching of late, leans me towards the Cubs in game two.

Sunday, August 6: Gio Gonzalez versus Jon Lester

The final game of the series is a clear advantage for the Nationals in terms of pitching match up. Gonzalez is 9-5 with a 2.66 ERA, but only +24 on the Profit Oscillator. The relatively low number has much to do with the Nationals going only 2-4 in his last six starts, despite his fine pitching. Having said that, Lester has been a much worse bet, at -626 and has always been negative in terms of the Profit Oscillator. While Lester is 3-0 over his last four starts, I don’t see the Nationals getting swept. They are due to play well behind Gonzalez, so I go with the Nationals in the series finale.

Philadelphia Phillies versus Colorado Rockies

It’s not surprising that this is the first time predicting a Phillies series, considering their worst record in the Majors. It’s intriguing, though, since they have played considerably better, over .500 since the All-Star break. The Philles come in at +13 the Power Ranking Indicator, while the Rockies are at +24 and on the decline. Looking at Team Volatility, the Phililes are 3rd in the league, meaning they are consistently winning when favorites (albeit not often), and losing when the underdog. The MLB Strength Oscillator shows the Phillies at +0.99, while the Rockies are at -3.21. Clearly it looks like teams heading in opposite direction at the moment.

Pitching match ups

Friday, August 4:  Vince Velasquez versus Jon Gray

Velasquez is 2-6 with a 4.91 ERA and despite pitching better of late, is 0-4 over the last four starts. He’s been relatively steady on the Profit Oscillator, but he’s been steady a poor bet at -357.  Gray Hasn’t been good either and in fact, worse than Velasquez, with a 5.52 ERA over nine starts. Worse, he is at -534 and declining on the Profit Oscillator. Although the Rockies have the better overall record and playing at home, I’m leaning towards the Phillies in perhaps a slight upset in this one.

Saturday, August 5: Nick Pavetta versus Kyle Freeland

This match up is certainly more clear cut. Pavetta is 4-6 with a high 5.42 ERA and is -252 and inconsistent in terms of the Profit Oscillator. Freeland has been very good, going 3-0 over the last four starts and is 11-7 with a 3.71 ERA overall. More impressive is that he’s been an excellent bet, at +821 on the Profit Oscillator. He’s on the rise and the highest he’s ever been on that scale. Game two goes to the Rockies.

Sunday, August 6: Aaron Nola versus Jeff Hoffman

Nola has been of the best pitchers in the league over the last five weeks. He’s 5-2 with a 1.66 ERA over the last seven. Overall he’s 8-7 with a 3.16 ERA. In terms of profit, he’s pretty much a wash, coming in at +1. Hoffman on the other hand, has been terrible recently, going 0-3 with a 16.38 ERA over the last three. Not surprisingly, he’s been a poor bet at -262 and has always been negative on this oscillator.  One would not expect a last place team on the road against a solid Rockies club to win the series, but that is my prediction here. Go with the Nola and the Phillies in the finale

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