After a washout in Philadelphia on Tuesday, Julio Teheran and Cliff Lee will get another day to rest before going at each other in game two of the series Wednesday. The pair of aces hope for sunny weather for an evening duel in Citizens Bank Park. Lee opens as an underdog at home listed at even money. The total opens at a curious 8 flat.
Some early-season numbers suggest that Julio Teheran and Cliff Lee might be taking steps back in 2014, but I tend to think these struggles present the bettor with some April value more than anything. Teheran has a solid 2.84 ERA through three starts after holding the opposition to exactly two earned in each of the three. But the young righty has allowed more hits than he’s used to. After an outing where he gave up ten hits to the Nationals, Teheran’s hit total comes into this game at 20. But his start against Washington was his second in six days and it’s probably just as important to look at Teheran’s ability to hold teams with runners on base at this juncture in the season. No Phillie has more than six career at-bats against the 23-year-old and I figure the young stud to dazzle an underwhelming Philadelphia lineup tomorrow. But a strong outing often isn’t enough against Cliff Lee.
After being roughed up in his opening start at Texas, Lee has settled down a little to pitch better against the Cubs and Brewers. Lee has given reason to assume he is back to his normal, strike-throwing, pinpoint self after firing 13 innings and giving up just three earned runs in his last two outings. And I don’t think there’s any reason to think Lee gives up any more than three against a pretty good Braves offense. Say what you want about Lee, his numbers three games into 2014 or his success in the playoffs, he is one of the best pitchers of this mini era and you have to continue to respect him as one. There’s simply no way you can give a team any more than 3.5 as a total against the Phillies when Lee is on the bump and that’s exactly what Vegas is doing here.
Four runs should win this game. Three might. Either way, the under has tremendous value here.
Free Pick: Under 8 (-120)
2014 YTD: 5-0 +5.00