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Wild Card Wednesday: Best Bets for August 18

If you went to bed early on Tuesday, you missed a heck of a comeback for the totals projections. Things looked bleak with the Reds scoring just one run on the Cubs and the Blue Jays struggling through the early innings, but the Jays then battled back to beat their team total against the Nationals and the Pirates and Earthquakes came through with some solid defensive efforts.

When all was said and done, what looked like a disastrous Tuesday Totals actually turned into a 3-1 result, proving that it’s not over until it’s over. Hopefully, we won’t need to worry quite as much this time. Here are my plays for August 18.


This is all about the pitchers, as Freddy Peralta and Jack Flaherty have been as reliable as they come in 2021. The last time Flaherty faced the Brewers, the under cashed even though it was only 6.5 runs, because Flaherty held Milwaukee scoreless in a 2-0 St. Louis victory. Peralta has held nine of his past 10 foes to under three earned runs, and he’s gone at least five innings in eight of his past nine starts. This is a low total, but there’s a good reason for it.


The Revs haven’t missed a beat despite losing Carles Gil, and they’re now riding a seven-match unbeaten streak as they prepare to welcome a D.C. United side that’s fresh off getting trounced by Nashville. As bad as the trip to Tennessee was, United did come away with two goals in the loss and has scored in eight of their past nine matches. New England has conceded in four of its past five matches, so there’s lots of value in taking both to score and a Revolution win.


I’ve made a nice living off picking against Austin on the road, but Chicago has been even worse away from its home ground. The Fire have gone 17 matches away from Illinois without a victory, and they’ve lost six of their past seven matches away from home, with the only exception being a draw with Philadelphia. Miami has played much better as of late, taking points from four of its past five matches, and the Herons should be strong enough to see off the Fire here. Given Chicago’s problems on the attack, there’s a case for playing Miami to win to nil at +220, but considering that the Herons haven’t kept a clean sheet since May 2, I don’t trust their defense.


The Pirates are playing the Dodgers a lot tougher than they should, as Pittsburgh has lost three of its five meetings with Los Angeles by a single run and has forced the Dodgers into a save situation in all five meetings. But the Pirates are also 0-5 against the defending champions this year, in large part because they can’t solve Dodger pitching. For the year, Pittsburgh has 11 runs against Los Angeles and has yet to score more than three runs in a game against the Dodgers. There’s some juice to pay here, but this should be a cash.


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