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Sunday’s Free Sports Pick: Arizona Diamondbacks at Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves (-145) over Arizona Diamondbacks

Analysis: Arizona right-hander Trevor Cahill has been a major disappointment this season as he is a money-burning 3-9 with a 4.29 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. Cahill has also struggled away from home where he is 2-5 with a 4.74 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. More importantly, Cahill takes the mound in terrible form as evidenced by his 6.17 ERA and 1.63 WHIP over his last three starts, including allowing a combined 8 earned runs on 13 hits in his last 10.7 innings of work on the road. Let’s also note that Cahill is 0-2 with a career 6.75 ERA and 1.59 WHIP versus the Braves, including an outing last year at Atlanta wherein he yielded six runs on 4 hits and 4 walks in just five innings.

While Cahill struggles on the road, Atlanta southpaw Paul Maholm is one of the best hurlers at home where he is 4-2 with a 1.80 ERA and 1.07 WHIP this season. Maholm also benefits from facing a scuffling Arizona offense that is batting just .258 with a .324 on base percentage versus left-handed starters (3.8 runs per game) and .236 with a .298 on base percentage over the last ten days (3.0 runs per game). Maholm is also supported by one of baseball’s best bullpens as Atlanta relievers boast a 2.70 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 2013, including a 2.17 ERA and 1.00 WHIP at home, a 2.31 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in day games and a 0.93 ERA and 1.03 WHIP over their last seven games. I also like the fact that Maholm has limited the Diamondbacks to a mere one earned run over his last thirteen innings pitched at home against the Snakes.

From a technical standpoint, Atlanta applies to 43-9 (+31.7 units) and 53-14 (+32.5 units) systems of mine that invest against certain road underdogs seeking to avenge a loss. In addition, the Braves are a profitable 26-12 (+12.4 units) versus teams allowing less than 4.4 runs per game, 66-50 (+15.2 units) versus teams with a winning record, 25-10 (+15.3 units) after scoring eight or more runs and 50-22 (+17.9 units) at home with a total between 7 and 7.5 runs. Finally, today’s home plate umpire, Fieldin Culbreth, represents a 70.6% winning proposition for home teams this season. In fact, home teams are averaging 4.9 runs per game with Culbreth behind the plate, whereas road squads are averaging just 3.3 runs per game. With Atlanta standing at 27-11 at home this season, including 7-1 in this series, take the Braves and invest with confidence.

Paul Maholm - Atlanta Braves v Los Angeles Dodgers

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