TORONTO @ N.Y. METS | 07/24 | 7:10 PM EDT
ANALYSIS: With the quality of today’s two starting pitchers, this is a high total that has value. While Taijuan Walker really struggled in his last start, that is likely a one-off that he can rebound from while well rested today. Walker goes having worked just one-third of an inning in his last start, against Pittsburgh. Each of his eight prior starts went at least five innings. Starters who went more than 3.5 innings less in their last start than in any of their previous three starts have games go Under 55.4 percent of the time.
6:05 PM EST
Phillies -120 over Braves
This is a game between two teams that are pretty similar in talent and both starting pitchers have struggled with their control this year. Atlanta is not a good team on the road and struggles to hit right handed pitching. The Phillies hit left handed pitching well and at home should rip off a lot of big hits tonight. I think Philadelphia will be ahead going into the late innings. Hopefully their bullpen doesn’t blow it. Take the Phillies.
Cory Sandhagen (-185) vs. T.J. Dillashaw (+165): Sandhagen (best bet)
After a two-year layoff, T.J. Dillashaw returns to the cage to take on rising star Cory Sandhagen. For Sandhagen, this is the perfect time to make a statement. Look for Sandhagen to use his range and outstrike Dillashaw. Sandhagen can take this fight to the ground, where he will also have the advantage. As long as he doesn't allow Dillashaw to control the pace and land on top in a scramble, Sandhagen should get the win.
Kyler Phillips (-260) vs. Raulian Paiva (+220): Phillips (best bet)
Kyler Phillips is coming off his most impressive win to date and will be looking to carry that momentum in his fight against Raulian Pavia. Look for Phillips to push the pace, which Pavia will struggle to handle. Phillips will also utilize his striking to close the distance and get the fight to the floor, where he will have the clear advantage.
Miranda Maverick (-135) vs. Maycee Barber (+115): Maverick (best bet)
This a great matchup for Miranda Maverick and a terrible matchup for Maycee Barber, who needs a bounce-back win. Maverick is simply better everywhere and Barber has made no adjustments in her game. Maverick's pressure with her strikes and her strong top ground game should be more than enough.
Julio Arce (-200) vs. Andre Ewell (+175): Arce (best bet)
Julio Arce will be looking to bounce back from his recent loss to Hakeem Dawodu when he takes on Andre Ewell. Arce is the better striker and has the better cardio. He can also lean on his wrestling if needed. Ewell is hesitant and only waits for big moments to strike. Look for Arce to push the pace and disallow Ewell those big moments, as well as neutralize Ewell's power with his wrestling.
Adrian Yanez (-210) vs. Randy Costa (+180): Yanez (best bet)
Two prospects with a high finish rate, Adrian Yanez and Randy Costa are looking to see who is the top prospect in the division. Look for both men to try and impose their will with their striking. Yanez has shown the more accurate striking, while also displaying excellent takedown defense. Look for Yanez to push the pace early and win the striking battle.
Darrick Minner (-160) vs. Darren Elkins (+140): Minner (best bet)
Rising prospect Darrick Minner will be looking to add a big name to his resume in veteran Darren Elkins. Elkins is as tough as they come, but we have seen the damage has taken a toll. Minner will more than likely look to put Elkins on his back and control him. If he does that, he should be safe as he will be the better submission grappler and will avoid a brawl.
Sijara Eubanks (-320) vs. Elise Reed (+260): Eubanks (best bet)
This should be a showcase win for Sijara Eubanks. Eubanks will be the better striker and have a huge advantage on the ground. As long as she stays composed and not overly confident, this is her fight to win.
Aspen Ladd (-185) vs. Macy Chiasson (+165): Chiasson (lean)
Macy Chiasson will be looking to make it four wins in a row when she takes on Aspen Ladd. Chiasson's path to victory is to either keep the fight standing with a high volume of strikes, or to get to the floor and be on top. Ladd is coming off double-knee surgery and a long layoff. If Chiasson can avoid the takedowns of Ladd, I believe she pulls off the upset.
Jordan Williams (-175) vs. Mickey Gall (+155): Gall (lean)
Williams might have the better power, but I believe Gall's experience in the UFC and being the better grappler should help him get the win. As long as Gall doesn't gas out in the latter rounds, I believe he gets it done by decision.
Brendan Allen (-115) vs. Punahele Soriano (-105): Soriano (lean)
Another striker versus grappler matchup. Soriano has been pummeling his opponents and is known for carrying exceptional power in his hands. If he can fend off the takedowns of Brendan Allen and make this a stand-up fight, he should win.
Ian Heinisch (-150) vs. Nassourdine Imavov (+130): Heinisch (lean)
Both fighters have similar styles. They have solid wrestling and power behind their strikes. But Heinisch has the better cardio and has fought better competition. Look for Heinisch to push the pace to tire out Imavov
This is an awesome fight on paper but there is no telling how Dillashaw is going to look after his two-year PED suspension. He was using some serious PEDs, and we have no idea how he will look now if he is completely clean after a long layoff. He could also have spent that time improving different parts of his game. I don't think he wants to test his chin against a guy like Sandhagen, so Dillashaw should be looking to mix in his wrestling a lot in this fight. That is his path to victory but with him off the juice, I have a hard time seeing him be able to wrestle heavily for five rounds. I think Sandhagen is a future champion though and his striking is on a different level, so I am going to lean with him to get a knockout in this fight.
(Pick is Cory Sandhagen via (T)KO)
Aspen Ladd (-190) vs. Macy Chiasson (+160)
I think Ladd is just a bit better everywhere in this matchup, so I am going to take her to get the job done. I think she should mix in a takedown each round and if she has success doing that then I see her winning 30-27 with some good top control and GNP time.
(Pick is Aspen Ladd via Unanimous Decision)
Kyler Phillips (-260) vs. Raulian Paiva (+210)
Phillips looks like he could make a real run in this division, and I do think he is the better fighter anywhere this fight goes. I think he will be the more active striker and I also think he can have success on the mat. The line started at -188 for him and I would have been all over that, but now we don't have much value at -260, so I would say he is a parlay option only but still favorite or pass for me.
(Pick is Kyler Phillips via Unanimous Decision)
Darrick Minner (-160) vs. Darren Elkins (+135)
I am going to go with Minner in this one. I expect him to be the better fighter everywhere early in the fight and he might pick up a submission because he is dangerous on the mat. Elkins' path to victory would be to weather the early storm and grind out a win by taking over as the fight moves along. Minner did look good the full three rounds in his last fight, though, and training under James Krause should only make that better. I will pick him to get an early submission, but if he doesn't, I think he wins two rounds on the scorecards.
(Pick is Darrick Minner via Submission)
Miranda Maverick (-140) vs. Maycee Barber (+120)
This is a good matchup and I expect it to be a close back-and-forth fight. I do think Maverick deserves to be favored because she is the better wrestler and Barber won't have much to offer off her back if she is taken down. I do think the striking will be very close though and Barber could have success with takedowns herself and she has mean GNP if she can get it there. I am going to take the underdog in this one because I see this being a split decision type fight and I would rather take the + money in that scenario.
(Pick is Maycee Barber via Split Decision)
Jordan Williams (-180) vs. Mickey Gall (+155)
This should be a striker vs. grappler match with Gall being the one needing to get the fight to the mat. Williams hasn't been submitted yet, though, and Gall also hasn't been knocked out. Either of those could happen here, but if this goes to the scorecards, I do favor Williams and he is going to be my pick for that reason.
(Pick is Jordan Williams via Unanimous Decision)
Puna Soriano (-110) vs. Brendan Allen (-110)
This is a striker vs. grappler matchup and if Allen can't get the fight to the ground, then I see him getting knocked out. Allen is a good wrestler and grappler though and he could also have the cardio edge because we haven't really seen Soriano pushed yet and almost all his fights have ended in round 1. I am going to side with Soriano to get another knockout because I think Allen plays around on the feet more than he should.
(Pick is Puna Soriano via (T)KO)
Ian Heinisch (-160) vs. Nassourdine Imavov (+135)
This should be a pretty close fight, but I favor Heinisch on the ground and Imavov on the feet. I don't see either guy dominating in either area, but I do see this fight mainly playing out on the feet. I see Imavov being the longer and faster striker of the two and I will take him to win two rounds on the scorecards.
(Pick is Nassourdine Imavov via Unanimous Decision)
Adrian Yanez (-240) vs. Randy Costa (+200)
I love this fight, but I am very high on Yanez, so I am going to be picking him over any non-ranked guy in this division. He is the more well-rounded fighter with a lot more experience and if he doesn't get knocked out, I see him winning all three rounds with the first being the closest. All of Costa's wins are first-round knockouts against much lower-level fighters than Yanez. He is a dangerous fighter early, but this is a big step up and I think it is early KO or bust for him. Yanez is a very good striker though and I think he will be too much for Costa. I am going to take him to get a TKO here but they are friends, so you never know how that will play into the fight and maybe he doesn't go for the kill if he is clearly winning on points.
(Pick is Adrian Yanez via (T)KO)
Julio Arce (-200) vs. Andre Ewell (+170)
I think this line should be closer to 50/50. This fight should mainly play out on the feet, and I don't see either guy having a clear edge. Arce is dropping to 135 pounds here, though, and Ewell will have a five-inch reach advantage and he does use it well. I liked the improvements I have seen from Ewell in his last couple fights, and I will take him to win a close striking match.
(Pick is Andre Ewell via Split Decision)
Sijara Eubanks (-340) vs. Elise Reed (+270)
Eubanks is making the drop to 125 pounds here and Reed is jumping up from 115. Eubanks should have a big size advantage and I think she can really have her way on the mat because of it. Reed is quick and a high output fighter, but I think her path to victory would be to drag Eubanks into the late rounds and tire her out enough to win rounds 2 and 3. I don't see that happening though, so I will take Eubanks to get the job done.
(Pick is Sijara Eubanks via Unanimous Decision)
Hannah Goldy (-115) vs. Diana Belbita (-105)
I like the underdog in this one. This could be a high-volume striking match from both sides, I just like Belbita's hands a lot more. Goldy seems too stiff for me with all the muscle she has, and I don't see her attacking Belbita's biggest weakness which is the ground game. Give me Belbita to win two or three rounds by being the better striker landing the cleaner shots.