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|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|04-11-15||Houston Astros v. Texas Rangers -131||Top||2-6||Win||100||20 h 22 m||Show|
I am playing on TEXAS. The Rangers disappointed the home crowd in their season opener and I think they'll bounce back with a win tonight against state rival Houston.
|04-10-15||San Francisco Giants v. San Diego Padres -122||Top||0-1||Win||100||13 h 3 m||Show|
I am playing on SAN DIEGO. The Giants come into this matchup with some key injuries and an inconsistent starter and I think it will catch up to them in San Diego tonight.
The Giants have started the season 3-1 despite injuries to Brandon Belt, Matt Cain and Hunter Pence and I'm not sure how much longer they can keep that up. I'm not expecting lefty Tim Lincecum to save the day, who snuck into the Giants' rotation as the fifth starter to begin the year.
Lincecum was demoted to the bullpen during the second half of last season after getting beaten up for an ERA of 9.49 ERA during six starts after the All-Star break. His spring didn't go much better where he posted a 6.27 ERA in 18 2/3 innings and I think San Francisco knows it will probably lose some games to the fifth starter spot this season.
Brandon Morrow gets the start for San Diego after being named late as the fifth starter for the Padres. The National League doesn’t quite know what it has in store with Morrow and I think the Giants will be surprised at how hard this guy can throw and how nasty his curve can be. Inconsistency is his biggest problem but he looked good in spring training and I think he’ll start the season off strong with a win over the Giants tonight. 10* Personal Favorite
|04-08-15||San Diego Padres v. Los Angeles Dodgers UNDER 7||Top||4-7||Loss||-110||13 h 24 m||Show|
I am playing on the UNDER. We have a pair of pitchers in this matchup who tend to keep the runs down when facing today's opponents and I believe this contest will fall under the number.
|04-06-15||Texas Rangers v. Oakland A's -146||Top||0-8||Win||100||28 h 41 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Oakland A’s as my 10* Personal Favorite Monday.
|10-26-14||Kansas City Royals v. San Francisco Giants UNDER 6.5||Top||0-5||Win||100||13 h 58 m||Show|
I am playing on the UNDER. San Francisco held off from putting its ace on the mound until Game 5 and I feel that makes tonight’s World Series contest a great ‘under’ opportunity.
Bumgarner has given up just one run in 22 innings in three career World Series starts and the Royals found out just how good he is in October in Game 1. The Giants lefty gave up just three hits and one run in seven innings in a 3-1 win.
Bumgarner is 4-1 this postseason and has gone at least seven innings in each start. He has 33 Ks against just six walks and he’s given up just 22 hits in his five playoff starts in 2014.
The wind won’t be as helpful for hitters as it was Saturday night in Game 4 when the Giants put an 11-4 beating on the Royals. Gusts were blowing hard to left field in Game 4 but will blow across the field from third base to first base to start the game Sunday and then move out toward the right field post.
I’m expecting the Royals to be squeezing their bats a little tighter tonight too. This inexperienced club just saw a huge momentum shift after they won Games 2 and 3 and I don’t see them getting the upper hand back through hits and runs tonight against the Giants’ ace. 10* Main Event
|10-25-14||Kansas City Royals v. San Francisco Giants -124||Top||4-11||Win||100||12 h 37 m||Show|
I am playing on the GIANTS. Some teams might panic after going down 2-1 in the World Series and after losing their first game at home but I believe San Francisco’s experience will pay off and the NL club will even things up on Saturday.
The Giants are sticking with their planned rotation and sending Ryan Vogelsong to the mound. Vogelsong is a proven posteason performer and won his only World Series start in 2012 against the Detroit Tigers. Prior to the righty’s last game against St. Louis in the NLCS, he’d surrendered just one run in his first five playoff games, the only pitcher ever to accomplish that feat.
Vogelsong’s fastball goes from the low 90s to the mid-90s in the postseason, which he attributes to added adrenaline and it will help that he enters Saturday’s game on nine days of rest.
There is a greater than 70 percent chance of showers for tonight’s game, which I also like working in the Giants’ favor. They’re used to wind, chilly temperatures and changing skies in San Francisco, which should give them even more of a home edge tonight. 10* MAIN EVENT
|10-24-14||Kansas City Royals v. San Francisco Giants UNDER 7||Top||3-2||Win||100||13 h 21 m||Show|
I’m playing on Under in Kansas City Royals at San Francisco Giants as my 10* Best Bet Friday. These World Series contenders have traded haymakers in the first two games of the Fall Classic, but now that the feeling-out process is done these clubs will tighten their belts and limit those scoring chances.
The Royals hand the ball to Jeremy Guthrie in Game 3. The veteran hurler has been stellar in recent starts, including a one-run, three-hit no-decision through five innings versus the Orioles in the ALCS. The righty has allowed just two earned runs over his last 25 1/3 innings of work, with Kansas City staying below the total in three of the four starts in that span.
San Francisco counters with their staff veteran. Tim Hudson is on the bump for his World Series debut Friday, coming off some less-than-impressive outings. However, Hudson’s late-season struggles were due to a hip injury, which Giants manager Bruce Bochy says he’s fought through and is confident Hudson will perform well in Game 3.
A huge switch up in the series is the lack of the designated hitter for the Royals. Kansas City won’t have an extra power bat in the lineup, relying on pitchers at the plate. Compound that with the familiarity of the lineups after two games and pitcher-friendly AT&T Park – ranked sixth-best pitcher park in the bigs – and runs could be scarce in Game 3 of the World Series.
That’s why I’m playing on Under in Kansas City at San Francisco as my 10* Best Bet Friday.
|10-11-14||San Francisco Giants v. St. Louis Cardinals UNDER 6.5||Top||3-0||Win||100||60 h 45 m||Show|
I’m playing Under in San Francisco Giants at St. Louis Cardinals as my 10* Best of the Best Saturday. These two teams have made their way to the National League Championship Series based on solid pitching, and send two postseason veterans to the hill in Game 1 Saturday.
The Giants hand the ball to playoff-seasoned left hander Madison Bumgarner in Game 1. He’s been lights out in the postseason, allowing just two runs on 10 hits with 16 strikeouts in 16 innings of playoff baseball. Pitching in front of a hostile crowd won’t rattle the southpaw, who boasts a 2.22 ERA on the road this season.
St. Louis counters with ace Adam Wainwright, who is eager to put a rough outing against the Dodgers in the NLDS behind him in this series opener. Wainwright was knocked around for six runs on 11 hits in just four innings of work. But in the two starts prior, he pitched 16 innings of shutout ball, giving up only 10 hits and striking out 15 batters. The Cardinals righty stymied the Giants for only one run on four hits through seven innings in the 2012 NLCS.
Neither team has been ripping the cover off the ball, with San Francisco hitting just .236 BA and averaging only 3.4 runs per game while St. Louis has done a touch better at the plate, hitting .238 BA. The Cardinals and Giants went a combined 1-7 Over/Under in their league divisional series.
Runs are going to be hard to come by in Game 1 of the NLCS, which is why I’m playing Under in San Francisco at St. Louis as my 10* NL O/U TOTAL OF THE YEAR.
|10-06-14||Los Angeles Dodgers v. St. Louis Cardinals UNDER 7.5||Top||1-3||Win||100||25 h 7 m||Show|
I’m playing Under in St. Louis as my 10* Main Event Monday. The first game of the National League Divisional Series was an offensive explosion, but Game 2 saw both clubs settle down in a close-fought 3-2 Dodgers win that played Under the total. I expect this to continue as the series swings to St. Louis Monday night.
This is the third go-around in the NLDS for the Dodgers and Cardinals, so both clubs have plenty of tape on each other’s lineup. This is also the 10th time these NL heavyweights have played each other this season, with six of those previous nine games going Under the number. St. Louis hit just .214 BA in the seven regular season games versus L.A. while the Dodgers were held to one run twice in their four games inside Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals hand the ball to a seasoned playoff veteran in John Lackey, whose nerves won’t be rattled by the October stage. Lackey had his ups and downs this year but closed the regular season with two strong showings, giving up only three runs on 11 hits while striking out 13 in his last 14 1/3 innings – both of those games finishing Under the total. As mentioned, Lackey has plenty of postseason experience with two World Series rings and an impressive 3.03 ERA in 19 playoff games, 13 of those as starts.
Los Angeles goes with left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu Monday. While he’s been dealing with some shoulder ailments recently, Ryu is ready to roll for Game 3 after sitting out the home stretch of the schedule. He was hit for four runs on five hits in just one inning in his final regular season outing, with the shoulder injury hampering his performance. However, before getting hurt, he went eight straight starts allowing no more than three runs and posted a 2.24 ERA in that stretch. He’s rested and ready to pick up where he left off. Ryu also has two postseason starts on his resume, including a seven-inning shutout effort versus the Cardinals last October.
Those strong starters and the familiarity between the Cardinals and Dodgers will keep runs at a premium in Game 3 of the NLDS, which is why I’m playing Under in St. Louis as my 10* Main Event Monday.
|10-05-14||Baltimore Orioles v. Detroit Tigers UNDER 7.5||Top||2-1||Win||100||42 h 36 m||Show|
I am playing on the UNDER. Don’t be shocked to see the Orioles up 2-0 in this series. They are one of the most balanced teams in baseball and they carry a youthful confidence that now has the veteran Tigers on their heels.
What is a little surprising is the fact we’ve seen a combined 28 runs through two games in this series. That’s a stray from the Orioles’ propensity to fly under the oddsmakers’ totals this season when they finished the regular campaign as the third biggest ‘under’ team in MLB behind only the Yankees and Padres.
I’m anticipating Game 3 to return to a run total we’re more familiar with in Baltimore games and there’s a big reason for that. The Tigers send David Price to the mound coming off two sparkling starts. He tossed a combined 16 innings and gave up only three earned runs while striking out 16 hitters in those outings.
More importantly than that, Price loves to pitch deep into games which is clear by the fact he led the majors in innings pitched with 248 1/3 this season. That’s crucial for the under play here because Baltimore has been beating up on Detroit’s dismal bullpen without mercy.
The O’s scored seven of their 12 runs against the pen in Game 1 and four of their seven runs against relievers in Game 2. It’s been the sore spot for the Tigers all season and I fully anticipate them to leave Price in as long as humanly possible in Game 3 because of that. That makes for a great opportunity to cash in on the under.
10* O/U Opening Round GAME OF THE YEAR
|10-03-14||Kansas City Royals v. Los Angeles Angels -146||Top||4-1||Loss||-146||11 h 26 m||Show|
I’m playing on the LA ANGELS. The Angels lost a tough one last night but I like their chances of bouncing back here.
If you haven’t followed this team, Shoemaker has been outstanding all year. He’s 14-3 with a 2.89 ERA and 1.071 WHIP. The Angels are 16-4 (+12) when he takes the mound. Shoemaker has been particularly dominant at home. He’s 7-2 with a 2.06 ERA and 1.043 WHIP in 11 starts here. He won his last two starts by identical 8-1 scores; he didm’t allow a home run OR walk a batter in either game.
While his numbers aren’t as dominant, Ventura has also been very solid this season. He may be a little out of rhythm here though - and his confidence could have taken a hit - after giving up a huge 3-run HR in relief on Tuesday. He was also shaky in his last start. He lasted only four innings in that one, giving up eight hits, one of them a 2-run HR, and four runs.
While they’ve thrown a very similar number of innings, Ventura has walked 69 batters (40 on the road and 5 his L2 games) this season compared to just 21 for Shoemaker.
Given the Angels also scored considerably more runs than the Royals this season, I expect them to even the series. 10* personal favorite
|10-02-14||Kansas City Royals v. Los Angeles Angels UNDER 8||Top||3-2||Win||100||23 h 28 m||Show|
I am playing on the UNDER when K.C. visits Los Angeles Thursday night. The Angels send a solid Jered Weaver to the mound to face a weary Royals squad against an over/under number that is the highest opening total of these young playoffs.
Weaver went 3-2 with a 3.66 ERA in the month of September, which isn’t bad, but those numbers are skewed higher by the fact he gave up three home runs and four earned runs in his final outing, a meaningless game for Los Angeles. Weaver is also 2-1 with a 2.61 ERA in six postseason appearances (three starts) and loves pitching at home where he’s 10-4 this year with a 2.68 ERA.
He’ll face the fatigued Royals who arrived to their hotel in California at 5:45 a.m. local time on Wednesday after an emotional 12-inning win over the A’s in their playoff-opening wild-card game Tuesday night. With that in mind, I don’t expect to see their best bats on Thursday.
To make the under even more enticing, the Angels have scored just 12 runs over their last 5 games. 10* Best Bet
|09-30-14||Oakland A's v. Kansas City Royals -123||Top||8-9||Win||100||38 h 24 m||Show|
I'm playing on KANSAS CITY. I expect emotions to be high at Kauffman Stadium Tuesday night as the Royals host their first playoff game in nearly 30 years. While emotion alone can't carry the home team to victory in the American League Wild Card matchup, I believe James Shields can and will.
Oakland was among the worst teams in baseball over the last month of the season. That's certainly not the way you want to go into the postseason. Lately, they struggled to even beat the bad teams. They lost five of seven games to the last place Rangers in the last two weeks.
The A's are not a great, or even good, road team. They are the only American League team in the playoffs that doesn't have a winning road record. That makes going into a hostile environment even more difficult.
They (Oakland) have also been terrible as underdogs this season. They were 3-18 when not favored on the money line. The Royals are 19-7 as a home favorite of -125 or less.
Kansas City went 5-2 this year against the A's, all of those games coming in the second half of the season. Much will be made of the fact that Jon Lester was the starter in both Oakland wins and will be the starter in this winner take all matchup as well. But it's not like Lester was lights out in either of those outings. He allowed three runs both times, in 12.2 innings, and 15 hits.
Given the lack of hitting for Oakland down the stretch, three runs here might be too much to overcome. In order to get Lester, the team had to give up Yeonis Cespedes. Ever since then, the lineup has suffered. The team has hit only .233 since the All Star Break and has just 48 home runs.
Two years ago, the Royals traded for James Shields so that they could have a front line ace. He hasn't disappointed. He finished 2014 with a 14-8 record in 34 outings. He had a 3.21 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 180 strikeouts in 227 innings. He had a 2-0 team start record vs. Oakland.
Defense and the bullpen are two big advantages for Kansas City. They have a number of Gold Glove-caliber players in the field and catcher Salvador Perez may be the best defensive catcher in baseball. If the Royals have the lead going into the late innings, then its probably over as setup men Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis have each posted scoreless streaks of more than 30 innings. Closer Greg Holland is the reason the team lead the AL in converting 82 percent of all save opportunities.
But if Oakland has the lead going into the late innings, the Royals are not out of it. The A's bullpen blew 21 saves this year. 10* main event.
|09-26-14||San Diego Padres v. San Francisco Giants -149||Top||4-1||Loss||-149||23 h 57 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN FRANCISCO. The Giants very nearly went from "sure winner" to "painful loser" last night. I had them and was feeling pretty good when they took a 6-0 lead after five innings of play. But then, inexplicably, San Diego would score eight times over the next two innings. Fortunately for me and my clients, San Francisco responded with three of their own in the bottom of the seventh and would hold on for a 9-8 victory.
Though they actually went into last night's game already having clinched a playoff spot, that obviously didn't lessen the Giants motivation one bit. There's still work to be done, namely earning homefield advantage for the NL Wild Card game of which they are guaranteed to be a part of. Coming into Friday, the Giants are one game back of the Pirates, who right now would be their Wild Card opponent. Pittsburgh plays in Cincinnati this weekend.
San Francisco's offense had been in a slump going into yesterday. But knocking around the Padres best pitcher, Andrew Cashner, has to be a confidence boost. You'd have to figure that after handling Cashner, it should be more of the same tonight against Ian Kennedy.
Kennedy did beat the Giants last weekend. For a second straight start, he will go opposite Ryan Vogelsong. Now that Vogelsong gets to pitch in his home park, I'd say the advantage lies with him and his team. Vogelsong has a 2.76 ERA and 1.05 WHIP at AT&T Park. Kennedy has a 3.57 ERA and 1.32 WHIP on the road.
The Padres simply are not a good road team either. They have the second worst road record in baseball at 28-50 and have lost 20 of their last 28 outside of Petco Park with the starting rotation posting a 5.12 ERA. That's a far cry from the kind of pitching we see from San Diego at home.
The Giants are 16-5 their last 21 games as a home favorite and won seven in a row here over teams that come in sporting a losing record. 10* GAME OF THE YEAR.
|09-24-14||Philadelphia Phillies v. Miami Marlins -122||Top||2-1||Loss||-122||8 h 23 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. The Marlins took the opener of this series, beating Cole Hamels 2-0. It's reasonable to think that if they can beat the Phillies best pitcher, then they certainly shouldn't have much trouble following up with a win against Kyle Kendrick tonight. At least that's the way I see it.
Though Kendrick has had some success in the past against Miami, his 2014 season has not gone well overall. He has a 3-7 record on the road (6-9 TSR) thanks to a 5.12 ERA and 1.36 WHIP. He made it only five innings the last time we saw him and gave up three runs in a loss at San Diego.
Yesterday's loss marked the 15th time this season that Philadelphia has been shut out. That puts them among the top seven in all of baseball for number of times being blanked. They've failed to average even three runs per game while losing 11 of their last 16 and are hitting just .214 during this time.
Miami still sports a winning record at home, even though they were swept over the weekend by Washington. They are 5-2 vs. the Phillies in their home ballpark this season, shutting them out twice in the last three games played here.
The two starting pitchers we'll see tonight faced off against one another not too long ago. In Philadelphia, Kendrick outdueled Brad Hand in a 2-1 victory. I'll call for Hand to get revenge though as he allowed just two runs in six innings 11 days ago.
There are numerous trends going against the Phillies here, but one that sticks out to me is that they are 0-6 after allowing 2 runs or less in their last game. Miami is 4-0 its last four in the same situation. 10* personal favorite.
|09-23-14||Arizona Diamondbacks v. Minnesota Twins -128||Top||3-6||Win||100||11 h 21 m||Show|
Two teams that are out of it, playing a pretty meaningless interleague series, isn't going to attract a lot of attention. But I feel this Tuesday night matchup between Arizona and Minnesota offers significant value. I just can't see the visiting Diamonbacks coming in and winning two in a row, even if Twins starter Kyle Gibson has struggled of late.
Arizona had lost six straight before last night. They had been swept in Colorado over the weekend and outscored 35-13. They bring in the worst run differential in the entire National League at -124.
It was basically one big inning last night for the Diamondbacks as they scored five in the top of the fifth. That was more than enough as Minnesota just couldn't seem to figure out Josh Collmenter, who was unfamiliar to them. Also unfamiliar will be tonight's starter Andrew Chafin. But again, I go back to the notion that I can't see Arizona winning back to back road games.
Gibson actually got the win against David Price in his most recent start. Since then, the team has dropped three of four. But Gibson will be starting on five days rest in this spot and that's key because the team is 7-3 when he does so.
The Diamondbacks have lost 25 of their previous 35 games and are just 4-13 their last 17. They haven't won consecutive games on the road since the 3rd and 4th of this month, almost three weeks ago. Look for Minnesota to give the fans something to cheer about. 10* personal favorite.
|09-19-14||Cleveland Indians v. Minnesota Twins -121||Top||4-5||Win||100||22 h 53 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. Cleveland continues to keep its faint playoff hopes alive as they just took three of four in Houston, including a come from behind 2-1 win last night that took 13 innings. But I don't like their chances so much tonight and will back the Twins in this spot.
Playing a 13-inning game is always tough when you have to play again the next day, but in this instance the Indians are at a real disadvantage. Not only do they have to travel, but Minnesota was off Thursday.
The Twins have been reduced to playing the spoiler role at this point and just took two of three from the first place Tigers. When you have a last place team favored on the money line against a playoff contender this time of year, that speaks volumes.
Of course, the main reason Minnesota is favored to win tonight's game is because of who they have on the mound. Phil Hughes leads all of baseball with an 11-1 KW ratio and comes in with a 2.45 ERA and 0.84 WHIP his last three starts. Hughes has owned the Indians with a 1.67 ERA his last four starts against them, including a 4-1 win here at Target Field just last month.
True to form, Hughes struck out eight and didn't walk anybody in the win.
Cleveland has been living and dying with its pitching of late. They have hit just .196 with runners in scoring position the last eight games while scoring only 21 runs. That doesn't bode well for facing Hughes.
Meanwhile, Indians starter Trevor Bauer has struggled on the road with a 5.22 ERA and 1.53 WHIP. He owns a 1-5 record pitching away from home and the team has lost each of his last three starts overall.
Even after winning their last three games in Houston, Cleveland is still only 34-43 on the road this season. This game just does not set up well for them. 10* personal favorite.
|09-17-14||Chicago White Sox v. Kansas City Royals UNDER 6.5||Top||2-6||Loss||-110||21 h 19 m||Show|
I'm playing the White Sox and Royals to finish UNDER the total. Chris Sale vs. Yordano Ventura just has the sound of a pitcher's duel and looking at the way recent starts for both have gone, an Under seems likely here.
The last two times Sale has pitched, the final scores for the games have ended up being 1-0 and 2-1, one in the White Sox favor and the other not.
The 1-0 game was the last time we saw him as he delivered eight shutout innings of two-hit ball in a win against Oakland.
The last two times Ventura has pitched, the final scores for the games have ended up being 2-0 and 4-2, again one in his team's favor and the other not. He did allow all four runs vs. Boston on Friday, but the Under remains 6-0-1 his last seven starts.
For the year, Sale has an ERA just below 2.00 (1.99) and he's certainly had Kansas City's number through the years. In 12 career starts, his ERA is 2.36 against them and he's allowed a total of only one run the two times he's faced them in 2014.
Ventura has a 2.47 ERA his previous eight starts. He has faced Chicago just one time this year and it was back in May. He did allow four runs, but there have been only two instances of him allowing more in a start this season.
Both pitchers have 20 quality starts to their credit. Ventura has made 27 starts total while Sale has 24 under his belt.
While Sale has the better overall numbers, including a 0.86 WHIP his last three turns, Ventura has seen the Under go 17-9-1 in his 27 starts.
The Under is 21-4-2 in the Royals last 27 games following a loss. 10* blue chip.
|09-11-14||Pittsburgh Pirates v. Philadelphia Phillies UNDER 7.5||Top||4-1||Win||100||20 h 28 m||Show|
I'm playing Pittsburgh and Philadelphia to finish UNDER the total. Final meeting of a four-game set here and so far it's been the Pirates winning two of three. Last night, they held the Phillies to just four hits total for the entire game and with a strong starting pitching matchup all around, I believe the value is on the Under for tonight.
Francisco Liriano gets the nod for Pittsburgh in this one. He's been outstanding in his last three starts with a 0.95 ERA and 1.05 WHIP, particularly the last time we saw him as he threw six shutout innings of three-hit ball. He finished with nine strikeouts as well. Interestingly enough, the Phillies have never faced him.
Liriano has consistently pitched well on the road this year with a 2.08 ERA his last nine starts there. Each of those last three starts have seen the Under cash, and in fact the Under is now 9-1 in his last 10 starts overall! That's even though only one time did the O/U line close higher than 7.5 runs. He's allowed two runs or fewer nine times during that stretch. Opponents are now batting just .225 against him.
Liriano will be opposed by his former teammate AJ Burnett, who also looked good the last time we saw him. It was last Friday and there he threw seven strong innings, giving up just one run. Burnett has generally not been that successful this year (12-18 TSR), but his numbers show that maybe he's been a bit unlucky. At home, he's got a 3.41 ERA and 1.274 WHIP.
Burnett has faced Pittsburgh just one time this year and was effective, allowing only three runs and five hits over 7 innings.
In the six games these teams have played this year, Philadelphia has scored only 17 runs total. That's an average of less than three per game. With the Pirates also 11-5 to the Under their last 16 overall, the play here is on the Under. 10* blue chip.
|09-10-14||St. Louis Cardinals v. Cincinnati Reds UNDER 7.5||Top||2-4||Win||100||15 h 24 m||Show|
I'm playing the Cardinals and Reds UNDER the total. Cincinnati was a nice winner for me last night as I took them on the run line and they beat St. Louis 9-5. Still though, with an offense that hadn't done much previously, I'd be worried about taking them again, run line or otherwise. Therefore, I'll be playing this one Under the total.
We actually have two of the worst offenses in MLB facing off here. Cincinnati is 28th in runs scored and ranks in the bottom five in pretty much every other offensive category. St. Louis now ranks 20th in runs scored, but it wasn't too long ago that they were even lower than the Reds, in 29th place only ahead of the Padres.
It's been a recent surge that has elevated the Cardinals up the offensive rankings (they're now 20th), but keep in mind that there's only 17 runs difference between them and Cincinnati in total # of runs scored for the season.
The Reds have actually given up the fewest number of runs in the division. The Cardinals are second in that department. Even though both of tonight's starters are off poor performances, I don't see many runs being scored tonight.
Cincinnati was shutout on Monday and the nine runs they scored yesterday were only one less than what they pushed across the plate in the previous four games combined.
Since coming over from Boston, John Lackey has delivered five quality starts in seven tries for St. Louis. He and Alfredo Simon faced off back on August 19th and while the final score was 5-4 (in favor of the Cardinals), two of the runs Lackey allowed were unearned.
Keeping an eye on umpires is always a good idea. Tom Hallion will be behind home plate for this game. The Under is 6-1 his last seven behind the plate. 10* blue chip.
|09-06-14||Toronto Blue Jays v. Boston Red Sox -125||Top||3-4||Win||100||25 h 40 m||Show|
I'm playing on BOSTON. It was a back and forth game and took an extra inning, but I was able to get my win on the Red Sox last night. For the team itself, it had to be a relief. Previously, they had lost eight straight games at Fenway Park. I see another win coming their win Saturday.
These teams have played some wild games recently with three of the last four going into extra innings. Three different times last night the Red Sox had to rally from a multi-run deficit. That includes the 10th inning itself as Toronto scored twice in the top half of the inning before Boston struck for three and the win. The Sox also trailed 2-0 after the top of the 1st inning and 6-3 entering the bottom of the eighth.
Losing the game was bad enough if you're the Blue Jays, but the loss of Melky Cabrera to a season-ending pinkie injury may be the straw that breaks the camel's back. They are now 10 full games back of Baltimore in the AL East and a once promising season is all but over.
I like Boston's chances with Clay Buchholz starting Saturday. Buchholz's 10 career wins vs. Toronto are his most versus any team and it was only two starts ago that he threw 8.1 innings against them. That was another of those wild Red Sox-Blue Jays games as Buchholz entered the bottom of the ninth with a 3-0 lead, but was charged with three runs after reliever Koji Uehara could not protect the lead. Boston wound up winning anyway 4-3 in 10 innings.
Buchholz ended up finishing the deal in his last start, going the distance and allowing only three hits in a 3-0 win over Tampa Bay. So basically he hasn't allowed in 17 of the past 18 innings he's worked.
Toronto is just 1-5 in starter JA Happ's previous six road outings. 10* GOM.
|09-05-14||Toronto Blue Jays v. Boston Red Sox -112||Top||8-9||Win||100||10 h 51 m||Show|
I'm playing on BOSTON. After losing two of three to the Yankees, Boston continues its tour through the division when it faces Toronto for a second time in 2.5 weeks. Their previous series with the Blue Jays saw them take two of three and I feel they will be able to "steal" tonight's opening game as well.
The Blue Jays just swept the Rays in Tampa. But last night's game clearly could have gone either way as they prevailed 1-0 in 10 innings. They had only five hits total for the game, but were bailed out by an excellent pitching performance from Mark Buehrle. I should mention that Tampa Bay had runners at the corners with no one out in the bottom of the ninth, but failed to win the game.
Somehow Toronto has managed to go 6-0 at Fenway Park this season. That about typifies the Red Sox recent struggles at home as well. They have lost eight straight games at Fenway going back to August 17th. Call me crazy, but I don't see this run continuing. The team should be fired up to snap the losing streak after playing its last three series all on the road.
You also have to remember that before the Tampa Bay series, Toronto had been struggling for wins themselves. They lost 11 of their last 17 games in August.
Boston will be starting Allen Webster, who is admittedly coming off a pair of rough showings. But the Red Sox get a break in that they are facingDrew Hutchinson, who is just 1-5 with a 7.65 ERA his last seven road starts.
Another lift for the Red Sox tonight is the probable return of Dustin Pedroia to the lineup. 10* best bet.
|09-04-14||Toronto Blue Jays v. Tampa Bay Rays -127||Top||1-0||Loss||-127||19 h 17 m||Show|
I'm playing on TAMPA BAY. The Rays have lost back to back games to Toronto and will be looking to avoid the sweep here. To be honest, neither of the two previous games have been that competitive. Tuesday it was an 8-2 game, then yesterday 7-4. The key so far has been the Blue Jays hitting five home runs. But coming off a strong performance in his previous start, I'll look for Jake Odorizzi to keep them in check tonight.
On Saturday, Odorizzi threw seven shutout innings of one-hit ball as the Rays beat the Red Sox 7-0. I was on him. As I said there, Odorizzi has pitched much better at home this season, posting a 2.92 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. He has not faced Toronto since July when he picked up an easy 10-3 victory after allowing just two earned runs in 6.2 innings. That's actually his only start against them all season.
One important trend to keep an eye on here is that the Rays have won four straight times after dropping the first two games of a series. So sweeping them has not been easy.
Remember when Mark Buehrle was off to that great start for Toronto? The veteran southpaw has tailed off considerably since then and his ERA and WHIP over his last three starts are 5.10 and 1.36 respectively. Tampa Bay is 9-4 its last 13 games vs. a LH starter, including 4-1 at home.
Buerhle has just one win to his credit since June 1st. At the same time, he's taken eight losses since then. His durability has been a slight question mark as he has failed to make it through the seventh inning the last 10 times he's taken the mound.
Success at Tropicana Field is not something the Blue Jays are used to. They'd actually failed to win any of the 21 previous series they played here dating back to '07. 10* personal favorite.
|08-31-14||Washington Nationals v. Seattle Mariners -140||Top||3-5||Win||100||15 h 29 m||Show|
I'm playing on SEATTLE. The Mariners have lost the first two games of this Interleague series with Washington. But pitching today will be Hisashi Iwakuma, who is having a wonderful year. Iwakuma will lead his team to victory here and thus Seattle avoids the sweep.
Iwakuma didn't pitch well the last time we saw him. But that was against Boston, who he always seems to struggle against. Also consider that the Mariners still won that game, their fourth straight win overall with Iwakuma on the mound. Iwakuma had previously allowed two runs or less in 9 of 10 starts, so his chances of bouncing back are good.
In fact, he was actually working on a 17.2 inning scoreless streak going into the Boston start and was 3-0 with a 0.42 ERA his previous three starts.
Iwakuma has not allowed a run in 22 innings when facing a NL opponent. Just two starts ago he threw eight scoreless innings of four-hit ball vs. Philadelphia. His last five starts at home, he's 4-1 with a 1.73.
I don't see the middle of Seattle's order (#3-6) going 2 for 16 at the plate again today. They also combined for nine strikeouts yesterday. The team is a strong 10-1 after scoring two runs or less in its last game.
Washington has a big series with the Dodgers on deck, starting tomorrow. Do not be surprised if they are looking ahead to that one. The Nationals are 18-39 their last 57 Interleague games in which they were they underdog. They were favored Saturday.
Overall, the Nats aren't very good as dogs. They are 19-41 last 60 in that role on the road. They have lost four of five as road dogs with today's starter Tanner Roark pitching.
The Mariners have one of the better records in baseball in day games, going 26-17. I'll go with them today. 10* personal favorite.
|08-27-14||Colorado Rockies v. San Francisco Giants OVER 7||Top||2-4||Loss||-117||26 h 6 m||Show|
I'm playing Colorado and San Francisco to finish OVER the total. Last night's game featured only three runs, all from the Giants. For the Rockies, it featured only one hit - and it didn't come until the eighth inning. But Madison Bumgarner can't pitch two night in a row and considering that, I feel this game goes Over.
San Francisco didn't exactly have a strong night at the plate either. They had just five hits and were held scoreless through five innings themselves. But tonight they have should have their chances against Franklin Morales.
Morales hasn't had a very good season to begin with; he has an ERA of 5.49 and WHIP of 1.648. Those numbers, which are obviously poor, stay pretty constant on the road. Lately though, no matter where he's pitched, he's been slightly worse. He allowed six runs in just four innings the last time we saw him, which was at home vs. Miami. The Rockies lost that game 13-5.
Tim Hudson had a great start to the season for the Giants, but has since regressed. Before a decent showing the last time we saw him, he had a 4.71 ERA over eight starts. He's actually pitched worse at home (3.60 ERA) than on the road (2.37) this season. His 4.35 career ERA vs. Colorado is his second highest vs. any National League opponent.
How do the Rockies typically perform offensively after being shutout in their previous game? Well, they hadn't been blanked since August 3rd. Their next game they scored five runs. Twice they've scored 10 runs in this situation this year. Overall, they are averaging 7.0 runs per game after being shutout this season.
What about the Giants after they shut their opponent out? Well, the results aren't actually as favorable. But this total is low. Consider that for Rockies' home games, the number is often 10.5. Take advantage. 10* blue chip.
|08-26-14||Milwaukee Brewers v. San Diego Padres -121||Top||1-4||Win||100||26 h 57 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO. The Padres really got it handed to them in yesterday's opener, losing 10-1 to the Brewers. It was their 8th loss in the last 11 games. But tonight, I'll look for them to bounce back behind All Star Tyson Ross, who is working on a franchise record 12 consecutive starts.
While ultimately it may not have mattered given the final score, San Diego did blow numerous chances in Monday's game. They had two runners that were either picked off or caught stealing. They also managed only one hit in eight at-bats with runners in scoring position.
With Ross, they should absolutely expect better pitching tonight than what they got last night from Eric Stults. Ross has gone at least six innings in 21 of his previous 25 starts. He's lasted seven in 13 of those. At home is where he's done his finest work. His 1.94 ERA is the fifth best at home among all starting pitchers. In his last four starts at Petco Park, he is 3-0 with 0.96 ERA. The Padres have won all four games.
Despite going eight innings and allowing just two runs on four hits in his last start, both he and the Padres were unable to win. But that had as much to do with facing Clayton Kershaw as anything else (lost 2-1). The starter that opposes Ross tonight is not nearly as formidable.
That would be Jimmy Nelson, who regardless of what happens tonight is likely to find his way out of the Brewers starting rotation, once Matt Garza comes back. Nelson wasn't particularly sharp in his last start, giving up four runs on nine hits against Toronto. He lasted only 5.1 innings.
San Diego was not favored on the money line last night. They are tonight. That's notable because they have won seven in a row in home favorites. 10* personal favorite.
|08-26-14||Washington Nationals v. Philadelphia Phillies +105||Top||3-4||Win||105||23 h 53 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. There's typically one reason I like to play the Phillies. That reason is named Cole Hamels. I've used him in each of his last two starts. Both were wins.
It also helps that the Phillies have some momentum right now. They might be out of the pennant race, but they're making life difficult for contending teams. After taking two of three games against both Seattle and St. Louis last week (also at home), they just beat Washington Monday.
That's no small feat. The Nationals came into this series on a 12-1 run.
Hamels has been excellent ever since the start of June. In his last 16 starts, he has not allowed more than three runs. The Phillies, despite not being a very good team, are still a respectable 10-6 in those games.
While winning 12 of 13 games is very impressive, the truth is the Nationals had a lot of good fortune during that win streak. Seven of those wins were by one run. Five came in walk-off fashion. Usually, when you see a team experience good fortune like that, things will then turn the other way for them.
Wouldn't you know that last night saw the Phillies win by one run? It was Philadelphia starter AJ Burnett's first win since the All Star Break. The one run margin is a bit misleading as Washington scored one of its two runs in the top of the ninth. They had just two hits through six innings.
Countering Hamels for the Nationals will be Gio Gonzalez. He has a 0-2 TSR vs. Philadelphia this year and allowed five runs to them in just 3.2 innings the last time he faced them. 10* best bet.
|08-25-14||St. Louis Cardinals v. Pittsburgh Pirates -130||Top||3-2||Loss||-130||26 h 51 m||Show|
I'm playing on PITTSBURGH. Though the Pirates lost Sunday, I think they find themselves in an excellent situation to hopefully make up some ground in the NL Central on Monday. If not on first place Milwaukee, then at least second place St. Louis, who comes to town for this three-game series.
The Cardinals also lost Sunday. They are 1.5 games back of the Brewers and 3.5 games ahead of Pittsburgh. A 97-win team in 2013, this year's team is not nearly as good due in part to injuries and the fact there was no way they could match last year's numbers with runners in scoring position. They dropped 2 of 3 games over the weekend against the Phillies, a last place team. Yesterday's result was a 7-1 loss.
Pittsburgh had lost seven in a row and then responded by winning three straight before yesterday's loss. Going into the series with Milwaukee, if you told them they'd go 2-1, they'd probably take that.
The Pirates definitely need Francisco Liriano to bounce back here from a rough outing last Tuesday vs. Atlanta. He gave up 9 runs, 7 of those earned. But prior to that he'd delivered a 2.43 ERA over 10 starts. Tuesday was certainly his worst outing of the year, so I'm counting on him being better tonight.
The Cardinals bullpen was taxed Sunday because starter Justin Masterson only went three innings. So the team will need something from John Lackey Monday. But the problem is that he's got a 6.50 ERA and 1.56 WHIP his last three starts.
Only four teams in MLB have 40 wins at home this year. One of those is the Pirates. They are 20-8 their last 28 games at PNC Park. 10* personal favorite.
|08-24-14||Los Angeles Angels v. Oakland A's UNDER 7.5||Top||9-4||Loss||-120||25 h 33 m||Show|
I'm playing the Angels and A's to finish UNDER the total. I played this one early to ensure that I could get the best possible number (7.5) and would highly recommend that you shop around before placing your wager.
I also played Oakland last night as they won for a second night in a row at the Angels expense. They won 2-1 with the deciding run being scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth. That victory put these two teams in a dead heat a top the AL West. The A's are now 8-3 vs. the Angels in 2014.
But rather than bet Oakland again, I'm instead going with the Under as I'm envisioning these teams playing another low-scoring game. We have what looks to be a solid starting pitching matchup of Jered Weaver vs. Scott Kazmir.
The Under has cashed in each of Weaver's previous three starts and also seven of his past nine. Division games with Weaver on the hill seem to equal an automatic Under play with those contests going 32-13-6 in favor of the Under. Weaver has a solid 2.53 ERA in 28 career starts vs. Oakland.
Kazmir allowed just one run and four hits in his most recent start. The lefty has been pretty outstanding when pitching at O.co Coliseum this year. In 12 starts, his ERA is 2.28 and his WHIP is 0.92. As a result, the Under is 9-3. The Angels are 4-1 Under the last five times facing a LH Starter.
Furthermore, the Angels have gone Under in 8 of their last 10 games. They have scored only four runs this series. 10* blue chip.
|08-24-14||New York Mets v. Los Angeles Dodgers -122||Top||11-3||Loss||-122||21 h 39 m||Show|
I'm playing the LA DODGERS. The Dodgers have taken care of business so far in this series, winning by scores of 6-2 and 7-4. I like their chances at finishing a sweep of the Mets, who are floundering with losses in five of their last six games. At the same time, the Dodgers have matched their high-water mark for the season at 17 games over .500.
Already having scored 13 runs in the series, Los Angeles should be even better offensively today as both Yasiel Puig and Justin Turner return to the lineup after an off-day while Hanley Ramirez is also expected to be back after two week stint on the disabled list. That's potentially a lot of extra offense that the Dodgers probably didn't even need to beat the Mets.
Starting for the Dodgers will be Kevin Correia, who has won both of his starts with the team. He wasn't as good against San Diego as he was at Atlanta, but facing a Mets lineup that's batting just .208 its last seven games is favorable.
Meanwhile, Mets starter Bartolo Colon is dealing with numerous distractions. He missed his last start to fly home to be with his mother, who since passed away. He also could be moved at any time as reports are the team has placed him on revocable waivers. Colon has been mostly subpar on the road this year with a 4.59 ERA.
The Dodgers are 13-2 their last 15 games vs. the Mets and have beaten them six straight times here at Chavez Ravine. The Mets have also lost seven of eight as underdogs. 10* personal favorite.
|08-20-14||Arizona Diamondbacks v. Washington Nationals UNDER 7||Top||2-3||Win||100||22 h 10 m||Show|
I'm playing Arizona and Washington to finish UNDER the total. I was willing to lay the juice on the Nationals Tuesday and got rewarded with an easy 8-1 win. Right now the Diamondbacks have the look of a team that just wants the season to be over. They've lost four in a row (1-6 last 7). But rather than lay the juice again, I'll instead look at the total where I feel there is some good value on the Under.
Coming into last night's game, Arizona was batting just .198 over the last week. They certainly didn't improve those numbers by scoring just one run on three hits Tuesday.
Like Jordan Zimmerman and Stephen Strasburg before him, I don't see any reason why Tanner Roark can't shut this Diamondbacks lineup down. Roark comes in with a 2.93 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. He'd allowed exactly one earned run in five of six starts before giving up three in a win over Pittsburgh on Friday.
The key to this Under play is likely Washington scoring fewer runs than you might expect. Fortunately they can still turn to Trevor Cahill who has a 2.18 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in his last three starts. The team has gone 3-0 and Cahill has given up only five earned runs (six total) in 20.2 innings.
Both starters have been good to Under bettors when working on four days rest. Roark is 8-3 Under in that situation and Cahill is 12-5-1 his last 18.
Look for Arizona to continue to struggle at the plate while Washington's bats get a little quieter. 10* blue chip.
|08-20-14||Atlanta Braves v. Pittsburgh Pirates -120||Top||2-3||Win||100||22 h 56 m||Show|
I'm playing on PITTSBURGH. The Pirates are in a lot of trouble right now. Not only have they lost the first two games of this series, but also seven in a row overall. They were dominated by Atlanta last night, losing 11-3. This despite the return of MVP Andrew McCutchen. But they get another key contributor back tonight and I see the series swinging back in favor of the home team for the final game.
You have to figure that Pittsburgh's offense will start to improve with their best hitter back at the top of the order. McCutchen was 0 for 4 in his return last night, but I'll attribute that to rust. He won't be down for long. After all, this is a .308/.408/.531 hitter.
But perhaps it's pitching the Pirates are in a more dire need of right now. If so, having Gerrit Cole back on the mound should help as well. Cole, who has spent the last month on the disabled list, starts tonight. This is a pitcher that has allowed three earned runs or less in 11 of his 14 starts in 2014. In three of his four starts at Triple A Indianapolis while rehabbing, he didn't allow a single run.
Pittsburgh should be playing better than this at home. They have 39 wins this season at PNC Park. Washington is the only other National League team with that many. Atlanta still has a losing record in road games.
Cole has a 5-2 team start record at home, including 4-1 his last five. 10* personal favorite.
|08-18-14||Cincinnati Reds v. St. Louis Cardinals UNDER 7.5||Top||5-6||Loss||-110||22 h 27 m||Show|
I'm playing the Reds and Cardinals to finish UNDER the total. Cincinnati will be happy to escape the confines of Coors Field after giving up 20 runs Sunday in a doubleheader (10 each game). I expect the games to be a lot lower scoring this week at Busch Stadium, this one in particular. Both of these NL Central teams have gone Under more than Over YTD.
The Reds fell to two games under .500 after getting swept Sunday. It's now becoming a three-team, rather than a four-team, race in the National League Central. This series could be the final nail in Cincinnati's coffin as they have not had much success recently against St. Louis.
Justin Masterson finally pitched well for the Cardinals in his last start. Much of the credit should go to catcher AJ Pierzynski. Masterson threw seven shutout innings at Miami on Wednesday and didn't walk any batters. Even when he hadn't been pitching as well, Masterson seemed to have the support of manager Mike Matheny, so don't be surprised to see him make it back to back quality outings.
On the other hand, Mike Leake had a rough time in his last start for the Reds. But before that he had allowed just three runs his previous three starts, which spanned more than 20 innings. Leake was outdueled by Adam Wainwright the last time he faced St. Louis, but gave up only two runs in six innings.
St. Louis has surprisingly been one of the worst offensive teams in baseball this year. Only San Diego has scored fewer runs. The Under is 6-2 their last eight home games. 10* blue chip.
|08-16-14||Seattle Mariners v. Detroit Tigers UNDER 6.5||Top||2-4||Win||100||17 h 48 m||Show|
I'm playing Seattle and Detroit to finish UNDER the total. Talk about a pitcher's duel. We have one Saturday with Felix Hernandez taking on David Price. The Mariners took the series opener last night by a score of 7-2, but I don't expect a score anywhere near that high tonight.
Hernandez is having maybe his best season yet, which is saying something. He has a 1.95 ERA and 0.86 WHIP in 25 starts so far. As you probably know, he has made 16 consecutive starts allowing two earned runs or less while pitching at least seven innings. That's a major league record.
Seattle's starters have all allowed one run or less in seven consecutive games. Opponents have not scored more than three runs against them in the last 13 games.
If that's not impressive in its own right, King Felix is 9-0 with a 2.68 ERA in 11 career starts vs. the Tigers.
The Mariners are one of the top Under teams in all of baseball. They are 69-47-5 Under in all games this season. They are 40-19-2 Under in their last 61 games.
While Hernandez leads the American League in both ERA and WHIP, Price has the most strikeouts with 205. He too is having a great season. His last start was his first since before Memorial Day where he allowed more than three earned runs.
If you're scared by this low total, don't be. Seattle is 6-0 Under its last six road games when the total is set at 6.5 runs. 10* blue chip.
|08-15-14||Chicago Cubs v. New York Mets UNDER 7.5||Top||2-3||Win||100||16 h 47 m||Show|
I'm playing the Cubs and Mets to finish UNDER the total. The Mets didn't scored very much this week in Washington. I know this because I played both the Under and against them yesterday where they lost 4-1 to the Nationals. The Cubs haven't been any better at the plate of late. They've scored three runs or less in 6 of their last 7 games. Therefore, I'll take the Under in this one.
The Mets scored a total of four runs in three games vs. Washington. Yesterday saw them finish with just one and they had only three hits. They drew only two walks for the series, both of them coming Thursday. That's a pretty wretched job of getting on base for a team that already ranked 22nd in on base percentage to begin with. They are also 29th in both batting average and slugging percentage.
The Cubs have scored just 16 runs total their last seven games, or an average of 2.3 per game. Prior to Thursday, their last five games had all gone Under the total with none of those seeing more than six total runs scored. As is the case with the Mets, this has been a long-term trend for the Cubs. They rank near the bottom of the league in most offensive categories.
It's surprising then to see that the majority of starter Travis Wood's recent starts have finished Over the total. But then in his most recent start, he gave the Cubs six strong innings where all he allowed was an unearned run and four hits.
Mets starter Zack Wheeler has pitched well of late himself. His ERA is 2.79 his last three starts.
The Under is 38-13-3 in the Mets last 54 games vs. the National League Central. 10* blue chip.
|08-14-14||Washington Nationals v. New York Mets UNDER 7||Top||4-1||Win||100||23 h 46 m||Show|
I'm playing Washington and the Mets to finish UNDER the total. There are no guarantees in life. But I'm pretty much willing to guarantee that Stephen Strasburg will pitch better today than he did in his last start. That last start came last Friday against Atlanta. He allowed seven runs in just five innings. In his two prior starts, Strasburg allowed just one run in 14 innings. So, yeah, he'll be better tonight.
The Mets will start Dillon Gee. Unlike Strasburg, he pitched well in his last start, very well in fact. He threw seven innings while allowing just one run and three hits. This after allowing just two runs in his previous start before that.
The Under is 6-0 in the Nats last six games vs. a starter whose WHIP is below 1.15. Gee enters this game with a WHIP of 1.10.
For the Mets, the Under is 5-1 when Gee is coming off a quality start. As I talked about before, he went seven innings and allowed just one run.
That would be a quality start. The Under is 8-2-1 in Gee's last 11 starts overall.
Washington has really had the Mets number at Citi Field. With another win yesterday, they are now 24-4 their last 28 games here. The Mets managed only one run in Tuesday's opener and scored only two runs yesterday.
The Under is also 8-3-1 in the Nationals last 12 road games. 10* blue chip.
|08-13-14||Pittsburgh Pirates v. Detroit Tigers -118||Top||4-8||Win||100||23 h 48 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. Well, the good news for the Tigers is that Kansas City finally lost a game last night. But the bad news is that they themselves lost again. It was their fourth straight loss and sixth in seven games for now second place Detroit. But back to the good news. After losing twice in Pittsburgh, this interleague series now shifts to Comerica Park.
The return home will be welcome for the Tigers went 2-7 overall on the road trip. Offensively, they need to get things going. The good news (sense a trend?) is that Detroit swept the last series it played at home, outscoring another National League team (Rockies) 19-7.
Not good or bad, but the biggest news is that this game will mark the major league debut of Buck Farmer. In a rotation full of former Cy Young winners, it's somewhat ironic that the Tigers would be leaning so heavily on a pitcher who has not started a game above the Double A level. But all the reports on Farmer have been very positive. He was 11-5 in all minor league starts this season.
The Pirates have a losing road record this season including a 3-5 record in American League parks. They have not played an interleague game on the road since late June.
Vance Worley has been a surprise for Pittsburgh, but this will be his first time starting against a non-NL West foe since the All Star Break. It's a limited sample size we're working with when it comes to Worley, so I'm unconvinced.
All things considered, this is a very low price on the Tigers at home. They are 62-19 their last 81 home games against a National League opponent. 10* personal favorite.
|08-11-14||Oakland A's v. Kansas City Royals +113||Top||2-3||Win||113||24 h 3 m||Show|
I'm playing on KANSAS CITY. The Royals are the hottest team in baseball right now. Winners of seven straight, they trail Detroit by only a half game in the American League Central. Oakland is a formidable opponent to start the week, but one that KC just beat twice in three tries last week. This is a very attractive price on a team that's red hot and playing at home.
Also encouraging here is that when these teams played last, the series was in Oakland. Though their road record is actually better than their home record, the Royals did just sweep a series here at Kauffman Stadium against the San Francisco Giants. It's been a very long time since there was enthusiasm this late in the season for Royals baseball. When playing a big series, it helps to have the home field edge.
Kansas City won't be intimidated by facing Sonny Gray either. Yesterday's win against Tim Lincecum was their 5th against a former Cy Young winner this season. Though Gray himself has never won a Cy Young, at times he's pitched like one. Though not in his last start, which was arguably the worst of his career. He gave up seven runs and 10 hits (both career highs) and lasted just 4.1 innings in a 7-3 loss to the Rays.
The Royals beat Gray back on August 1st, 1-0, thanks to a Raul Ibanez home run.
The Royals will send out Yordano Ventura, who has a 3-0 team start record his last three starts. In them, he's produced a 2.79 ERA. Over the last two starts, he's allowed just three runs total.
Oakland lost yesterday at home to the Twins 6-1. They are just 2-6 their last eight road games against teams with a winning record.
Kansas City, winners of 15 of 18 overall, have won five of Ventura's last six starts. 10* best bet
|08-10-14||Washington Nationals v. Atlanta Braves UNDER 7||Top||1-3||Win||100||23 h 46 m||Show|
I'm playing Washington and Atlanta to finish UNDER the total. After snapping an eight-game losing streak with a win Friday, the Braves fell 4-1 in 11 innings on Saturday. They now trail the Nationals by 4.5 games in the NL East. Both games in this series have featured long rain delays, which seems to have "washed away" the Atlanta offense. After jumping out to an early 7-0 lead on Stephen Strasburg in the first game, they have scored all of two runs in the past 18 innings. Like yesterday, I look for a low-scoring game here.
The Braves did not score more than four runs in any of their eight losses on the West Coast. This is not a strong offensive club to begin with as they rank 28th in runs scored. So what we've been seeing lately is really nothing new.
Remember that Washington had only scored one run themselves entering the 11th inning last night as well.
Even though this is the Sunday night game, don't be surprised if last night's very late start has an effect on the hitters tonight. Saturday was the latest start time for any game (10:51 local time) this season in Major League Baseball. It didn't end until 2:30 in the morning. That can disrupt a player's normal routine.
However, I do expect the starting pitching to remain strong in this game. Washington's Gio Gonzalez certainly hasn't pitched well in the past vs. the Braves, but the Under is 4-0 his last 4 road starts. Atlanta's Travis Wood has a solid ERA (2.96), but hasn't gotten much help from his offense lately. Three of the runs he allowed Tuesday vs. Seattle were unearned. Look for the two starters to rule this one. 10* main event.
|08-10-14||Detroit Tigers -134 v. Toronto Blue Jays||Top||5-6||Loss||-134||16 h 48 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. After rallying to take Friday's opener, the Tigers fell in 10 innings Saturday to Toronto. That was a tough one for me as I had Detroit and this time it was they who blew the lead in the ninth inning. But with David Price set to pitch for the second time as a Tiger, I still like the road team in this one.
Price looked as good as you'd expect in his Detroit debut. He came one out shy of a complete game and gave up just three runs. It was the 14th consecutive start for Price going at least 7 innings. It was also the second one in the last three where he went at least eight, struck out 10 and walked zero batters. He continues to lead all of baseball with 199 K's.
Price's first opponent for the Tigers was the Yankees. Toronto is another familiar one for him and he has certainly had their number through the years. Including a 2-0 record in 2014, Price's career mark is 15-2 vs. the Blue Jays and he has an ERA of 2.31.
Being on the road should not be intimidating for the Tigers as they are 33-24 there for the season and Price has won his last seven starts in Toronto.
Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, they have a left-hander that has not looked nearly as good lately. Mark Buehrle was the star of the rotation early on this season, but has since gone 1-7 his last 11 starts (4.73 ERA). Things have gotten especially bad in the last four where opponents have hit .379 against him. Unlike Price, Buehrle does not have overpowering stuff. The proof is in the pudding as he hasn't had more than 5 K's in any of his last 10 starts. He has only one win since June 1st. 10* personal favorite.
|08-09-14||San Francisco Giants v. Kansas City Royals UNDER 7.5||Top||0-5||Win||100||23 h 56 m||Show|
I'm playing the Giants and Royals to finish UNDER the total. These unfamiliar opponents finished Under the total yesterday. With a strong starting pitching matchup scheduled for Saturday, I see this game going the same way.
Starting for Kansas City will be James Shields, their best pitcher. He has a 1.71 ERA and 1.00 WHIP his previous three starts. All three games finished Under the total. He went eight innings in his last one, a 4-2 win at Oakland, and allowed just four hits. August has usually been a good time of year for Shields as he is 26-12 with a 3.15 ERA.
Starting for San Francisco will be Tim Hudson. He's slowed down some after a pretty remarkable start to the year, but is still giving the team solid numbers. The Under is 2-0-1 in Hudson's last three starts and it's important to point out that the one that pushed was with a total of seven, a half-run lower than the number we're getting here. On the road, he has a 2.20 ERA and his numbers have stayed consistent all year.
Aside from a two-run homer he gave up early in his last start, Monday vs. the Mets, all Hudson allowed was one unearned run.
The Under is 5-0 for the Royals when they are going up against a starter with a WHIP below 1.15. Hudson's WHIP this year is 1.12. 10* blue chip.
|08-08-14||Washington Nationals v. Atlanta Braves +102||Top||6-7||Win||102||25 h 0 m||Show|
I'm playing on ATLANTA. The Braves have to be thrilled to be back home. An eight-game West Coast trip turned into a complete disaster for them as they lost every game in the three cities they visited (San Diego, LA, Seattle). With a day off to get over the poor trip and an opponent they traditionally dominate (Washington) coming to town this weekend, I'm betting on the Braves to turn it around Friday night.
The last time these two NL East rivals met, they ended up splitting four games in DC. But Atlanta still holds a 7-3 edge in the season series and they swept the lone series that took place at Turner Field. We saw how badly the Braves struggled out on the West Coast, but this is a team that typically plays much better at home. Their record here is 31-24.
Perhaps having Ervin Santana on the mound will help turn the Braves fortunes around. He was the pitcher of record when they last won a game (July 28th) and pitched well in his last start even though the team ended up losing a 12-inning affair. Over his last three starts, Santana has 1.23 ERA and 1.091 WHIP. He's allowed just three runs in 22 innings and has 27 strikeouts. The only real complaint is that he's walked seven batters.
Stephen Strasburg has pitched very well against two other division rivals in his last two starts, but against Atlanta he's struggled in 2014. He's allowed 10 runs in 10 innings and the Nationals have lost both games. Surprisingly, Strasburg is just 8-9 overall in 24 starts this year (12-12 TSR) and the primary reason for that is a 1-7 record on the road where his ERA is 4.68 and WHIP 1.41. So, homefield could be a very big factor tonight.
A key trend is that the Braves are 4-1 after having the previous day off. 10* best bet.
|08-07-14||Cleveland Indians v. Cincinnati Reds -123||Top||0-4||Win||100||25 h 10 m||Show|
I'm playing on CINCINNATI. This is the final game of a four-game series that saw each team play host for two. The two games in Cleveland saw strong pitching performances - Corey Kluber for the Indians and Johnny Cueto for the Reds - with the teams splitting. Then last night, Cincinnati broke through with an 8-3 victory. I'll look for them to make it two straight at Great American Ballpark, and three in a row overall tonight.
Cleveland didn't even score last night until the 8th inning when they were already down 8-0. Meanwhile, Cincinnati's offense seems to have come alive in the last two games. They have 25 hits in their two wins in this series, many of them coming from unlikely contributors i.e. the bottom of the order.
Overall, the Reds have won six of nine. Homefield has been vital to them through the years in this in-state rivalry as they've beaten Cleveland seven times in a row at GAB. The Indians are not a strong road team to begin with. After last night's loss their record in road games is 23-35.
Pitching for Cleveland tonight will be Trevor House, who is just 1-2 in 10 starts thanks to some pretty poor overall numbers (4.33, 1.56 WHIP). Like the rest of the team, he tends to struggle the most when he's away from home. He's still winless on the road and his ERA is 5.06 while his WHIP is 1.62 in those contests. Making matters worse for him is that Cincinnati is on a 7-1 run vs. left-handed starters.
Then you have Homer Bailey, who has recently picked things up for the Reds. He has a 2.14 ERA and 0.86 WHIP his last three starts overall. His last start saw hime allow only one run on three hits. Somehow, the team has still managed to lose five straight times with him on the mound, but that's due to change given the way he's been pitching. Cincinnati has gone 8-1 their last 9 interleague games as a favorite. 10* personal favorite.
|08-06-14||Baltimore Orioles v. Toronto Blue Jays +102||Top||1-5||Win||102||20 h 40 m||Show|
I'm playing on TORONTO. The Blue Jays certainly did not come into this all-important series with much momentum. They dropped three in a row to the Houston Astros this past weekend and then didn't fare much better in the series opener with the Orioles last night, losing 9-3. They now sit five games back of Baltimore in the A.L. East. Really needing a win here, I think Toronto will get the job done.
Home runs were key for the Orioles in last night's win as they had three of them - all solo shots. Fortunately for tonight, if you're a Toronto fan, is that starter Drew Hutchinson has allowed only four HR's in his last nine starts. He's allowed one in each of his last three, but the Jays have still managed to win the last two.
Toronto missed out on plenty of opportunities to do more damage against Baltimore pitching, leaving 10 men on base Monday. They left 18 runners on base in the Houston series and I say its only a matter of time before this offense gets going again. They are just 4 for their last 26 with runners in scoring position.
The Baltimore offense seems to be real boom or bust. While they lead MLB in home runs, they are also last in the American League since the All Star Break in both batting average (.223) and slugging (.272). I don't think winning is sustainable with numbers like those.
Even with the win yesterday, the Orioles are still only 16-41 the last 57 meetings in Toronto. They are also 0-4 in starter Bruce Chen's last four starts on astroturf. 10* best bet.
|08-05-14||San Francisco Giants v. Milwaukee Brewers -122||Top||3-4||Win||100||27 h 31 m||Show|
I'm playing on MILWAUKEE. Big edge for the Brewers here as they had Monday off while San Francisco had to wrap up its series with the Mets. As you may know by now, I played against the Giants yesterday afternoon, on the run line. It worked out. Here I plan on cashing again, but this time San Francisco will come out on the losing end.
While the Giants took three of four from the Mets over the weekend, Milwaukee lost 2 of 3 in St. Louis. But now they're back at home. In their only visit to Miller Park last season, San Francisco was swept. These two playoff hopefuls have yet to meet this season.
After a strong start to July, Tim Lincecum had a rough finish. The Giants starter has given up a total of 11 runs his last two starts, which lasted just 7 2/3 innings. He went only 4 1/3 vs. the Dodgers and gave up six runs, then was knocked out after just 3 1/3 innings vs. the Pirates, who scored five runs off him. What's key is that the team is now just 1-8 in Lincecum starts if he lasted four or less innings his last trip to the mound.
Prior to arriving in New York, the Giants had really been struggling. They'd in fact lost six straight games. The Mets have a losing record, so that series can't change the fact that San Francisco has now lost 17 of its last 21 games against teams at .500 or better.
Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson has made just four starts this season. Three of them went well, one did not. He will be plenty rested after having his last scheduled start was pushed back because of a blister on his finger. At home, Nelson and the Brewers should handle the Giants. 10* personal favorite.
|08-05-14||Detroit Tigers v. New York Yankees UNDER 7.5||Top||4-3||Win||100||25 h 24 m||Show|
I'm playing on Detroit and the Yankees to finish UNDER the total. This is the much ballyhooed debut of David Price for the Tigers. However, after losing 2-1 to the Yankees last night, pitching probably isn't the issue for the road team in this one. So therefore I'll be playing the Under instead on Tuesday.
Price obviously knows the Yankees well having pitched for the Rays all those years. The last time he faced them, all he gave up was an unearned run and four hits over seven innings. Tampa Bay won that game and they won Price's previous start before that against the Yankees as well. That was back in May where he allowed just two runs in seven innings.
This is a brutal series for the home team as they will be facing the last three Cy Young winners in the American League. They managed to get by Max Scherzer Monday, but Detroit's ability to now throw out Price the following day is a huge advantage. Eventually, the Yankees hitters will wear down and this is a lineup that scored only two runs yesterday.
The Yankees will have a pretty decent starter on the mound here as well. Hiroki Kuroda has allowed more than four earned runs in only one start all year and that was back in April. The Under is 22-4-1 Kuroda's previous 27 starts vs. a team with a winning record, which is pretty incredible.
Not only is the Under 9-3-2 the Yankees last 14 home games but its 8-3 in the Tigers last 11 road games. Detroit is also 9-0-1 Under its last 10 games vs. the AL East. 10* blue chip.
|08-03-14||Atlanta Braves v. San Diego Padres -127||Top||3-4||Win||100||22 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO. The Padres have been pretty kind to me of late as I'm 2 for 2 when playing them this week. The last time was the opener of this series when they beat down the Braves 10-1 Friday. They quickly followed that up by winning a much tighter game last night, 3-2 in 12 innings. I feel they will finish the Braves off with a convincing victory on Sunday.
It's been no vacation for Atlanta out on the West Coast this week. They've dropped all five games so far as they were swept by the Dodgers and now are in danger of the same thing happening to them here in San Diego. The club has yet to win a single series out on the West Coast all season and has now fallen below .500 on the road overall.
The two starting pitchers in Sunday's matchup have experienced much different results over their last three starts. While San Diego's Tyson Ross has a 3-0 team start record, Atlanta's Aaron Harang has an 0-3 TSR. The two may have similar records, but Ross' numbers are better across the board. He has a 0.95 ERA and 1.158 WHIP those last three starts. Petco Park is certainly known for being friendly for pitchers and for Ross that's definitely been the case. He has a 1.86 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 12 home starts this season.
July was a very good month for Ross as he had more strikeouts than any other pitcher in baseball (48) and opponents batted just .194 against him in six starts. He allowed just 28 hits in 41 innings.
Overall, the Braves have lost their last six games in San Diego.
The Padres aren't favored too often, but have now won four in a row in that role. 10* personal favorite.
|08-03-14||Los Angeles Angels v. Tampa Bay Rays UNDER 7.5||Top||7-5||Loss||-115||19 h 24 m||Show|
I'm playing the Angels and Rays to finish UNDER the total. I'm doing so even though the first two games of this series have both gone Over. Last night saw Tampa Bay bust loose for 10 runs, six of them coming in the first two innings. I don't see that happening again.
Just for the sake of comparison, the Rays had scored 10 runs combined their four games previous to Saturday. The last time they scored that many runs in one game was July 12th against Toronto. They immediately followed that up by scoring only three runs the next game. (Even better news is that they also shut out the opponent). Before yesterday, the offense had scored just 50 runs in 12 games.
Saturday saw Tampa Bay be able to take advantage of a starting pitcher (CJ Wilson) that was making his 1st start since spending time on the disabled list. That will not be the case here as they go against Jered Weaver. He may not have pitched very well in his last start, but had looked very good in his four previous starts. So I can certainly see him turning in a quality start today. The Under is 4-1 in his last five starts.
Pitching for the Rays will be Jake Odorizzi and he's had no issues of late. In fact, he's made nine straight starts while giving up three runs or less. In all but one of those, he's allowed two or less. His last start saw him allow only one run in seven innings. The Rays won 2-1, the game obviously staying Under the total.
The trends also indicate that the Under is a strong play in this one. Tampa Bay is 4-0 Under off their previous four wins and 6-1 Under after the previous seven times where they scored five or more runs. The Angels are 5-0 Under off their last five losses. 10* blue chip.
|08-02-14||San Francisco Giants v. New York Mets -136||Top||2-4||Win||100||23 h 27 m||Show|
I'm playing on the METS. New York dropped to 0-4 this season versus San Francisco by virtue of a 5-1 loss yesterday. Having only two hits for the entire game basically ensured defeat. But with the surging Jacob de Grom on the mound Saturday, I look for them finally to pick up that elusive win at the Giants expense.
de Grom is in the midst of an incredible four-start stretch. During this time, he has a 0.66 ERA and if that's not imposing enough he's struck out 30 batters against just five walks in 27.3 innings. He hasn't given up a long ball in nine straight starts. With the Giants coming into this series averaging just 1.9 runs/game and batting .196 their last seven games, you have to like de Grom's chances in this one.
The Giants made a move to bolster their rotation before the deadline by bringing in Jake Peavy from Boston. Peavy lost his final nine starts with the Red Sox and in his first with his new team the result was no different. He allowed four runs - three of them earned - and particularly concerning is his 5.87 ERA on the road this season.
San Francisco has been struggling for some time now. They'd gone just 16-29 in 45 games before arriving at Citi Field yesterday.
Making Friday's result even more surprising is that previously the Giants had lost four in a row as underdogs while the Mets were on a 5-0 run as home favorites. 10* personal favorite.
|08-02-14||Kansas City Royals v. Oakland A's UNDER 7.5||Top||3-8||Loss||-120||20 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on KC and Oakland to finish UNDER the total. Those concerned that the trade of Yoenis Cespedes might have a negative effect on the Athletics offense looked pretty smart after the team went down 1-0 at home to Kansas City Friday. Obviously, you can't have a lower scoring result than that and while there may be a few more runs scored on Saturday afternoon, I still see runs being at a premium in this one.
The player Cespedes was dealt for, Jon Lester, will make his Oakland debut today. Looking at Lester's resume, it's fairly easy to see why A's GM Billy Beane coveted him. Not only does he bring playoff success (something Oakland has lacked for years), but 2014 has arguably been his best season ever. The trade rumors did absolutely nothing to slow him down either. Over his last three starts, Lester had posted an ERA of 1.29 and a WHIP of 0.952.
Of course, there is the issue of the Oakland offense. They were held to one run in a loss to Houston Wednesday and then shutout last night. That's not encouraging if you're an A's fan, but is if like me you're looking to play the Under.
Friday's game saw these teams combine for just nine hits and the lone run scored came via a solo home run. There's not a ton of time in between games for the offenses to recover, so this one should definitely favor the starting pitchers. Kansas City's Jason Vargas hasn't pitched in almost a month, but has a 1.68 ERA on the road.
Not only is the Under now 6-0 the Royals last six road games, but they are 7-1 Under in their last eight visits to Oakland. 10* blue chip.
|07-30-14||Minnesota Twins v. Kansas City Royals -145||Top||2-3||Win||100||12 h 17 m||Show|
I’m playing on KC. The Twins took yesterday’s game. With a starting pitcher in much better current form, I like the Royals’ chances of bouncing back here.
Duffy is in outstanding current form. Despite an 0-2 record his last three starts, he had a superb 0.90 ERA and 0.915 WHIP.
While run support has been an issue this season, I look for Duffy to get some here.
That’s because Hughes has an ugly 7.20 ERA and 1.733 WHIP his last three starts. Over just 15 innings, he’s given up 25 hits and 12 runs.
Duffy has faced the Twins three times the past two seasons. The Royals won those three games by a combined score of 19-4, each win coming decisively. More of the same tonight. 10* personal favorite
|07-28-14||Toronto Blue Jays v. Boston Red Sox -132||Top||14-1||Loss||-132||25 h 1 m||Show|
I’m playing on BOSTON. These teams faced each other at Toronto last week and these same two starting pitchers opposed each other on 7/23. Dickey got the better of Buchholz in that game. I expect the opposite result here.
The Jays are off a back-to-back wins at New York, taking two of three there. While they could potentially build some momentum from that winning that important series, I believe they could also be ripe for an emotional letdown. After all, wins there have been few and far between recently.
On the other hand, after finally snapping their skid yesterday, I believe the Sox should only have positive momentum.
The 7/23 game notwithstanding, Bucholz has arguably been better than Dickey recently. He’s got a 3.43 ERA and 1.095 WHIP his last three starts compared to a 5.21 ERA and 1.263 WHIP for Dickey during the same stretch.
While Dickey's knuckleball is indeed unpredictable, seeing it twice in less than a week figures to help. Note that the Boston bullpen has been much better at home than the Toronto bullpen has been on the road.
Keep in mind that the Jays are still playing without Encarnacion. Lawrie also remains out and Lind has been out with a broken foot. Even if he were to get activated, he hasn’t played for a few weeks.
Buchholz took responsibility for last week’s loss. However, for the fifth consecutive start, he went a a minimum of six complete innings without allowing more than four earned runs. I look for him to get the better of Dickey in this evening’s rematch, the Sox serving notice that they’re still not to be forgotten about. 10* A.L. East GOY
|07-27-14||Chicago White Sox v. Minnesota Twins -122||Top||3-4||Win||100||15 h 55 m||Show|
I’m playing on MINNESOTA. The Twins really struggled with Sale yesterday. No surprise there though, as he’s among the best in the game. They’ll be facing a far less intimidating pitcher this afternoon and I like their chances of bouncing back.
While Sale is nasty, Carroll is not. Last time out, he gave up five earned runs in just five innings. During that 5-inning stretch, he gave up 11 hits while walking two, a 2.60 WHIP. Through 10 starts, he’s 3-6 with an ugly 6.00 ERA and 1.741 WHIP.
By comparison, Pino has been relatively solid. He allowed four runs in 6 1/3 innings last time out, striking out five and walking none. In his previous two starts, he allowed one run in five innings and one run in six innings. In four home starts, despite being 0-2, he has a respectable 3.96 / 1.04 ERA/WHIP combo, averaging better than six innings per start here.
A little over a month ago, Pino limited these same Sox to two run over seven innings. He had seven K’s with just one walk. He didn’t get the “W” but the Twins won 4-2.
The Sox are 1-5 (-4.4) after three or more straight wins. The Twins are 8-6 (+3.3) off three or more consecutive losses. Going back further finds them at a profitable 18-15 (+11.3) the past couple of seasons, off a shutout loss. No sweep today. 10* personal favorite
|07-24-14||Baltimore Orioles v. Seattle Mariners -124||Top||4-0||Loss||-124||14 h 16 m||Show|
I’m playing on SEATTLE. The Mariners are off back-to-back losses. With Iwakuma on the mound tonight (and Hernandez tomorrow) this should be a good opportunity for them to get back on track.
|07-21-14||Los Angeles Dodgers v. Pittsburgh Pirates -108||Top||5-2||Loss||-108||25 h 54 m||Show|
I’m playing on PITTSBURGH. The Pirates are playing well right now. With yesterday afternoon’s victory, they’ve won three straight and four of five. In fact, they’re now 10-2 their last 12 home games, 6-0 their last six here. I believe this one sets up nicely for another win.
While the Pirates played here yesterday afternoon, the Dodgers are off an evening (ESPN) game at St. Louis.
Volquez gets the call for the Pirates and he’s been in outstanding form of late. Indeed, he’s got a 0.90 ERA his last four starts, a span of 30 innings. Volquez allowed one earned run or less in all four or those games. The Pirates were 4-0, winning by a combined score of 25-6.
Ryu has been a bit inconsistent of late. Yes, he tossed a gem last time out. However, he got rocked in his previous start. While he limited them to two runs through six innings, the Pirates had 10 hits off Ryu when they faced him earlier this season, hitting .357. Ryu, who was opposed by Cumpton, got a ton of support in that 6/1 contest. I don’t expect him to be so fortunate here.
The Pirates took two of three from the Dodgers here last season, the lone loss coming against Kershaw. They’re 5-2 the last seven series meetings overall. 10* best bet
|07-19-14||New York Mets v. San Diego Padres -121||Top||0-6||Win||100||13 h 35 m||Show|
I’m playing on SAN DIEGO. The Mets took yesterday’s opener by a score of 5-4. This should be an excellent opportunity for the Padres to even up the series.
Despite a 1-2 record, Ross has an outstanding 1.23 ERA and 0.727 WHIP his last three starts. During that 22 inning stretch, Ross has recorded 24 K’s while walking only one. For the season, he’s got an impressive 2.08 ERA and 0.938 WHIP in 10 home starts.
Admittedly, Gee has some pretty impressive stats of his own and he’s also had success against San Diego. That said, he’s only made one start since May. I believe the 2-month layoff, followed by an extra long break for the All Star game, may potentially have him a little out of his rhythm. It should also be noted that Gee's night-time ERA is nearly two runs higher than his daytime one.
Ross, on the other hand, started last Sunday, keeping him in his normal routine here.
Even with the trade of their closer, the Padres still have a capable bullpen. They’ve been solid as small home favorites the past couple of seasons and I look for them to bounce back with a big win today. 10* personal favorite
|07-18-14||Milwaukee Brewers v. Washington Nationals UNDER 7.5||Top||4-2||Win||100||52 h 31 m||Show|
I’m playing on Milwaukee and Washington to finish UNDER the total. Six of the last nine meetings between these teams, including two of three this season, have fallen below the total. I expect another well-pitched game on Friday.
Strasburg’s home numbers are far better than his stats on the road. In nine away starts, he’s got a poor 4.92 ERA and a mediocre 1.40 WHIP. Opposing batters are hitting .290 against him. However, at home, he’s got a stellar 2.38 ERA and 1.10 WHIP, opposing batters hitting .231.
With this being a night game, it should also be noted that his stats in the evening are considerably better than his daytime numbers.
In three July starts, Strasburg has a 2.21 ERA and 0.93 WHIP. In 20.1 July innings, he’s recorded 26 K’s while walking just three.
Lohse took the loss last time out. However, he still had 8 K’s in eight innings, without walking a batter. He’s allowed four or fewer earned runs in 18 of 19 starts this season, including six straight. For the season, he’s 9-4 with a solid 3.26 ER and 1.09 WHIP.
Lohse, who was better after the All Star Break last season, had a superb 2.08 ERA and 0.85 WHIP vs. the Nats last season. Washington batters hit only .191 against him. His last two starts at Washington have finished with final scores of 2-1 and 4-1, Lohse allowing just two earned runs through 15 combined innings.
With the bullpens well-rested and a few of the hitters potentially a little out of rhythm from the break, I look for another low-scoring affair here. 10* blue chip
|07-12-14||Detroit Tigers v. Kansas City Royals -117||Top||5-1||Loss||-117||11 h 40 m||Show|
I’m playing on KC. The streaky Tigers took yesterday’s game, their fourth straight win. They’ve now seen a 4-game win steak proceeded by a 3-game losing streak, followed by another 4-game winning streak. I look for their latest run to come to an end this evening against what I expect to be a very determined KC team.
The Royals arguably need this game more, as the Tigers are team that they are chasing in the standings. They’re 6.5 back and know this is a very important series. Having lost the first two games of the series, including an embarrassing 16-4 blowout in Thursday’s opener, they should have some real urgency to their play here.
Shields and Porcello have pretty similar overall numbers. Porcello is 11-5 with a 3.61 ERA and 1.175 WHIP. Shields is 9-4 with a 3.71 ERA and 1.286 WHIP. Porcello got the better of Shields when the two opposed each other back in the spring. That said, I still believe that Shields has the higher upside and is more capable of dominating than Porcello. His 102 K’s vs. 27 walks (compared to Porcello’s 64/25 ratio) would tend to support that statement. With his team in need of a win, I expect Shields to step up and deliver a strong performance.
Perhaps more important than the historical numbers, it should be noted that Shields enters this game full of confidence. His last start saw him limit the Rays to three hits, through seven shutout innings, striking out 10 and walking only one. Conversely, facing those very same Rays the previous day, Porcello got hammered: 11 hits, 2 HRs, seven earned runs in 5 2/3 innings, striking out only two. Off that rough outing, Porcello’s confidence could be a little fragile here.
The Royals are 31-21 (+7.4) the last 50+ times they played at home when the line ranged from +100 to -125. That includes a profitable 9-2 (+6.7) mark their last 11 in that situation. I look for Shields to get the better of Porcello in this rematch, the Royals bouncing back with a big and badly needed victory. 10* 1st Half GOY
|07-11-14||Oakland A's v. Seattle Mariners -115||Top||2-3||Win||100||13 h 24 m||Show|
I’m playing on SEATTLE. This is a big game and a big series for both teams, arguably more so for the Mariners. They’ve fallen nine games back of the A’s in the division race, 5.5 behind the Angels. The M's saved their ace for this game and a loss would really hurt. Safeco is going to be packed and will have an exciting playoff-like atmosphere. While its not exactly a playoff game, Hernandez is at least getting to pitch in a meaningful game in July. He’s in outstanding current form and I expect him to rise to the occasion for this big game.
I successfully played on the A’s in Samardzija’s Oakland debut. I’m well aware that he’s having an excellent season, much better than indicated by his sub-500 record. That said, I still don’t think he’s in the same class as Hernandez. “King Felix” has been among the very best in the game for a number of years and this season has the potential to be one of his very best.
Hernandez has gone 10 straight starts in which he allowed two or fewer earned runs, while lasting at least seven complete innings. Consistent dominance. During that stretch, he’s 6-1 with a 1.40 ERA. For the season, he’s 10-2 with a 2.11 ERA. Scary, when considering that he’s often much better in the second half of the season than the first.
The A’s know all about Hernandez. He’s 17-7 with a 2.64 ERA against them. In his last home start against the A's, Hernandez struck out 11, while walking none, giving up just four hits. In his most recent home start overall, Felix allowed one hit through eight shutout innings.
The M’s have had some trouble with sub-500 teams. They’ve been at their best against top competition though, going 19-10 (+13.7) against teams with winning records. With Felix doing his thing, I expect them to bounce back and improve on those stats tonight. 10* personal favorite
|07-08-14||Los Angeles Dodgers v. Detroit Tigers -117||Top||5-14||Win||100||11 h 46 m||Show|
I’m playing on DETROIT. While we’ve got a long way to go, this series sets up as a possible preview for a far more important meeting a few months down the road. While it remains to be seen if either (or both) of these teams make their way to the Fall Classic, I feel the Tigers are providing excellent value in this evening’s series opener.
Verlander has gotten back on track recently and is coming off a win last time out. He’s got a 2.84 ERA and a 1.105 WHIP his last three starts, all of them of the quality variety. During that stretch, he has a dominating 20 K’s vs. just two walks.
Admittedly, Ryu has been very good on the road. That said, he doesn’t face many lineups like this one; the Tigers are batting .283 here on the season. Note that they’re also 18-9 vs. southpaws.
True, the Tigers have lost three straight. This is a team that doesn’t typically allow losing streaks to continue for too long though. The Tigers are 21-10 (+8.6) the past couple of seasons off three or more consecutive losses.
Lets also keep in mind that Verlander is a remarkable 22-2 with a 2.56 ERA in 29 career inter league starts. That includes a perfect 11-0 record and an outstanding 1.78 ERA in his last 13. Verlander has never lost against a National League opponent in Detroit, going 13-0 with a 1.83 ERA in 14 starts, a commanding 1.23 ERA in winning his last six here. Overall, the Tigers are 13-2 their last 15 home games against NL teams. All things considered, I believe the price could easily be higher. 10* main event
|07-07-14||Philadelphia Phillies +105 v. Milwaukee Brewers||Top||3-2||Win||105||12 h 15 m||Show|
I’m playing on PHILADELPHIA. The Phillies badly need a win. I believe this will prove the perfect matchup for them to get one.
Of course, having lost five of six, the Brewers also badly need a win. They’re only hitting .173 while averaging 2.3 runs their last six games though. With or without Braun, (*questionable) I believe they’ll have trouble hitting a tough southpaw.
Hamels may be 0-2 his last five starts, but he’s also got a stingy 2.10 ERA during that stretch. He’s only given up one home run in seven road starts this season and he has a 2.11 ERA in those games. Hamels is 7-3 in 12 starts vs. the Brewers. They haven’t faced him since last May.
It should be noted that the Phillies are 6-2 in Hamels' last eight starts vs. the Brewers. That includes a perfect 3-0 mark his last three starts here at Milwaukee. Hamels allowed three earned runs in 7 2/3 innings his last start here, striking out 10. He allowed two earned runs in each of his previous two starts here, going the distance in one and 6 2/3 innings in the other.
Needless to say, run support has been a serious issue for Hamels again this season. I believe he’ll finally get some help today though. Estrada has a 6.60 ERA and a 1.933 WHIP in three starts against the Phillies, who last had a look at him in late April. While Estrada does have a winning record, he’s been fortunate to get a lot of run support. He checks in with a poor 4.94 ERA in 17 starts. He’s given up 26 home runs in those games too. (As noted, Hamels has given up only one in seven road starts, seven overall.) Marlon Byrd, who’s been hot (5 HR’s in 7 games) lately, took Estrada deep in this season’s earlier meeting.
With they have sub-500 record overall, the Phillies have quietly thrived in this role; they’re 9-4 (+6.6) as road underdogs in the +100 to +125 range. I believe they’re catching the Brewers at the right time and with a better starter on the mound, I like their chances of scoring an “upset.” 10* Underdog GOY
|07-05-14||Chicago Cubs v. Washington Nationals -152||Top||0-13||Win||100||7 h 28 m||Show|
I’m playing on WASHINGTON. Just as the Cubs were on a hot streak, they go and trade away Hammel (yesterday’s winner) and today’s originally scheduled starter, Samardzija. While the deal may be a long-term winner for the Cubs, it doesn’t help them today.
Instead of Samardzija, the Cubs will send Villaneuva to the mound. He hasn’t started for a couple of months. Worse, he’s also 0-2 with a 14.62 ERA and 2.625 WHIP in two road starts. While it was a number of years ago, he got rocked in his lone start vs. Washington.
Not exactly who you want to put up against Gonzalez, a pitcher off back-to-back shutouts, one of them at Wrigley last week.
The Nats are 99-80 (+7.6) off a loss the past couple of seasons. During that stretch, they’re 118-77 (+14.7) against sub-500 teams. I like them to bounce back with a convincing win. 10* personal favorite
|07-04-14||San Francisco Giants -113 v. San Diego Padres||Top||0-2||Loss||-113||11 h 45 m||Show|
I’m playing on SAN FRANCISCO. After losing three straight, the streaky Padres have won four straight. I expect the Giants to cool them off this afternoon.
Admittedly, Cain’s overall numbers are pretty ugly. He also just got roughed up by the Padres (at SF) a couple of starts ago. I’ve got reason to believe the former Cy Young award winner will be significantly better this afternoon though.
For starters, while he still wasn’t rewarded with t a “W,” Cain got back on track last time out. He tossed seven shutout innings against the Reds. That should restore his confidence.
Additionally, despite not always receiving much run support, Cain has always pitched well at Petco Park. He’s got a 2.29 ERA here and the Padres have hit only .194 against him here. He’s got 111 K’s (against just 36 walks) in 102 innings here, allowing only six home runs.
In his last three starts here, Cain has allowed only ONE earned run in 22 innings, striking out 23 while walking only three. He’s allowed two or fewer earned runs in five straight starts here and three or less in nine straight. (Two or less in eight of those.) In fact, he’s allowed three or fewer earned runs in 15 of 16 starts here, allowing two or fewer earned runs in 14 of those! He’s also gone a minimum of six complete innings in eight straight outings here.
While lack of run support has been an issue here over the years, Cain figures to get some this afternoon. Stults is 2-11 with an awful 5.36 ERA and 1.511 WHIP. (By comparison, Cain’s 4.62 ERA and 1.231 WHIP look good.) Stults hasn’t been any better here at “pitcher-friendly” Petco either, as he’s got a 5.27 ERA in eight starts here, averaging just 5 1/3 innings per outing.
While the Padres average 3.0 runs per game at home, the Giants average 4.4 per game on the road. They’ve averaged 4.9 runs per game their last 20 here at SD.
While the Padres are 13-15 (-1.9) in day games, the Giants are a stellar 20-11 (+7.6) when playing during the afternoon. With Cain getting the better of Stults, I like their chances of improving on those stats here. 10* personal favorite
|07-01-14||Oakland A's v. Detroit Tigers -126||Top||0-3||Win||100||11 h 0 m||Show|
I’m playing on DETROIT. While it wasn’t “easy,” I won with the Tigers yesterday. Off that thriller (they hit a walk-off grand-slam to win!) I expect the Tigers to carry the positive momentum into this evening’s contest.
With names like Verlander, Scherzer and Sanchez on the staff, its easy to forget about Porcello. That’s among the reasons, in my opinion, why he often provides with the best value on the entire staff. The Tigers are 11-4 (+7.2) when he takes the mound.
Porcello personally already has 10 victories (10-4, 3.50 ERA, 1.188 WHIP) and he’s currently in outstanding form, full of confidence. Indeed, he enters this game on a 16-inning scoreless streak (off a 3-hitter!) and with a 1.23 ERA (0.955 WHIP) his last three starts. When he does get runners on base, he’s among the best in the league (33.3%) at inducing double-plays.
Note that Porcello is 2-1 with a 2.95 ERA his last three starts.
While the A’s are 2-0 in his two starts, Mills hasn’t been overly impressive. He’s got a 4.36 ERA and 1.646 WHIP. Keep in mind that he was acquired for $1 and that he may not be too long for the rotation.
All things considered, I feel the Tigers have an excellent shot at improving to 17-8 their last 25 against southpaws and that the price is more than fair. 10*
|06-29-14||Arizona Diamondbacks v. San Diego Padres -108||Top||1-2||Win||100||6 h 25 m||Show|
I’m playing on SAN DIEGO. The Diamondbacks have taken the first two meetings of the series. I expect the Padres to avoid the sweep this afternoon.
Despaigne tossed a gem in his debut. All he did was toss seven shutout innings of 4-hit ball. He didn’t walk a single batter either. While one start obviously isn’t much of a sample size, it does show that he’s got what it takes to pitch at this level. It should also give him the confidence to know the same.
Padres manager Bud Black said this of Despaigne: "He pitched great didn't he? Are you kidding me? That was great.”
To his credit, Bolsinger has pitched well since being recalled for his latest stint in the big leagues. However, both his recent starts have come at home. On the road, he’s 1-2 with a 5.74 ERA and 1.532 WHIP.
Bolsinger is backed by an Arizona bullpen which has a 3.74 ERA. On the other hand, Despaigne is supported by a SD pen which has a 2.40 ERA, a 2.14 mark at home.
The Padres are a lucrative 33-29 (+13.5) the past few seasons, after losing three or more consecutive games. Motivated to snap their skid, I expect them to bounce back and improve on those stats here. 10* NL West GOM
|06-29-14||Cincinnati Reds v. San Francisco Giants -112||Top||4-0||Loss||-112||8 h 24 m||Show|
I’m playing on SAN FRANCISCO. The Reds have taken the first three meetings in the series. However, I expect the Giants to have the advantage this afternoon.
Today’s two starters have some similarities. Both bring 7-4 records to the table. Both have had success against today’s opponent. Both are very capable but both have struggled lately. Hudson has been much more consistent overall though.
Even off back-to-back sub-par outings, Hudson's still got a stellar 2.61 ERA and 1.076 WHIP as a starter, averaging 6.9 innings. At home, he’s 5-1 with a 2.59 ERA. Bochy said this of Hudson: "He's healthy. He'll be fine..."
On the other hand, Bailey has a 4.80 ERA and 1.432 WHIP. On the road, those numbers climb to 5.47 and 1.549. Ugly.
While Bailey is 3-0 against SF, he’s also given up 10 runs in 11 1/3 innings, in his last two starts at AT&T Park. The Reds bailed him out by scoring 10 and 12 runs in those games but I expect him to receive anywhere near that kind of good fortune here.
While the Giants got a look at Bailey a few weeks ago, the Reds haven’t faced Hudson since last July.
The Reds bullpen has a 4.15 ERA and 1.429 WHIP. The Giants bullpen has a 2.91 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. The Reds average 4.0 runs per game vs. right-handers, hitting .247. The Giants average 4.2 runs per game vs. right-handers, hitting .252. No sweep today. 10* personal favorite
|06-28-14||Los Angeles Angels v. Kansas City Royals -125||Top||6-2||Loss||-125||8 h 46 m||Show|
I’m playing on KC. The Angels entered the series as the hotter team. However, the Royals took yesterday’s opener and I look for them to have the advantage again this afternoon.
While he lost his last start, Ventura was again sharp. He allowed just two runs through seven innings, topping 100 miles on the radar gun. He’s got a 3.20 ERA and a 1.245 WHIP in 14 starts this season. He’s also 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA (1.143 WHIP) his last three starts, averaging a healthy seven innings per outing. For June, he’s 3-1 with a 2.67 ERA.
One of the many things Ventura has done well is limit the damage when runners are on base. Opposing batters are hitting .208 against him with runners in scoring position.
On the other hand, Santiago is 0-7 with a poor 4.70 ERA and 1.435 WHIP as a starter. That includes an 0-4 mark with a 5.49 ERA and 1.475 WHIP in four road starts. He’s only averaging 4.9 innings in those games too.
That being the case, note that the Angels’ bullpen ranks near the bottom of the bigs with 12 blown saves and a 4.38 ERA. On the road, that number climbs to 4.81 with a 1.446 WHIP. (They picked up Jason Grilli yesterday but the 37-year-old is 0-2 with a 4.87 ERA and 11 saves.)
While Santiago has had some success against KC in the past, the Royals have at least seen him a few times. Meanwhile, Ventura will have the advantage of starting against the Angels for the first time.
The Royals have thrived as small and medium sized home favorites. The recent cold stretch notwithstanding, they’ve had an excellent month. I expect them to make it two in a row here. 10* personal favorite
|06-27-14||Arizona Diamondbacks v. San Diego Padres -133||Top||2-1||Loss||-133||26 h 53 m||Show|
I’m playing on SAN DIEGO. I successfully played against the Padres in their last game - the one where they were no-hit by Tim Lincecum. However, I believe this is a far better matchup for them.
The Padres are back home and they’re in one of their better roles. They’re a solid 25-15 (+4.9) the last 40 times that they were listed as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range.
These same two starters opposed each other back in May, at Arizona. Neither pitched well. Tyson Ross is one of the Padres who always seems to like his home cooking though - that and pitcher-friendly Petco Park. In eight starts here, he’s got a 2.36 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. He’s averaged 6 2/3 innings per start here while striking out more than one batter per inning.
While Ross has been plagued by poor run support, the Padres figure to score a few tonight. McCarthy is 1-10 with a brutal 5.38 ERA. On the road, he’s 1-4 with a 5.40 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. McCarthy has surrendered seven home runs in six road starts, a span of 33.3 innings. By comparison, Ross has allowed three home runs in 53.3 home innings.
True, McCarthy’s lone win came against the Padres. However, that was back on 5/3. He’s got a 6.62 ERA his last six starts, a 6.50 (1.611 WHIP) mark his last three.
McCarthy’s recent comments don’t exactly inspire confidence: "The frustrating thing is I don't have any more answers this week than I did last week or the week before. I don't know what the heck I'm doing wrong. ... It just doesn't seem to be coming together."
Ross has pitched well in both his career home starts against Arizona, allowing just two earned runs through 15 innings. I expect him to out pitch and outlast McCarthy here, en route to a win for the home team. 10* personal favorite
|06-27-14||Los Angeles Angels v. Kansas City Royals -107||Top||6-8||Win||100||24 h 50 m||Show|
I’m playing on KC. I successfully backed the Angels just yesterday, so I’m aware that they’re playing well right now. That said, I believe the value lies the other way this evening.
From a scheduling perspective, KC should have an advantage. The Royals had yesterday off and they’ve been home for a week. On the other hand, the Angels played out West yesterday, before making the trip to the mid-West.
While fatigue on back-to-back days doesn’t factor into baseball the same way it can for sports like basketball and hockey, I do believe the Royals will benefit from yesterday’s off-day. They’d been struggling and the day off figures to have come at the right time.
With a 2.70 ERA his last three starts - all of them of the quality variety - Vargas is in fine form. He’s 7-3 with a 3.16 ERA on the season, averaging 6.8 innings per start and 7.8 his last three.
Admittedly, Shoemaker has also been stingy. He’s 5-0 with a 3.00 ERA and 1.119 WHIP as a starter and 5-1 with a 3.42 ERA overall.
I believe its worth mentioning that this will be the first time that Shoemaker will be starting against a team for the second time. The Royals scored three runs (2 earned) off him in five innings the last time they saw him, banging out eight hits in the process. On what figures to be a warm humid evening, I won’t be surprised if the rookie isn’t quite as sharp as most will expect him to be.
This has been one of the Royals’ best roles as they’re 8-1 (+6.8) when playing at home when the line ranged from +100 to -125. I believe they’ve got an excellent shot at improving on those stats this evening. 10* AL Best Bet
|06-22-14||Seattle Mariners v. Kansas City Royals -140||Top||2-1||Loss||-140||6 h 37 m||Show|
I’m playing on KC. Red hot only a few days ago, the Royals have suddenly dropped three straight. I expect them to bounce back and avoid the sweep this afternoon.
Both rookie starters have similar overall numbers. Elias is 6-5 with a 3.82 ERA and 1.196 WHIP. Ventura is 5-5 with a 3.26 ERA and 1.254 WHIP. I believe there are a couple of things to currently like more about Ventura though.
Elias pitched well against light-hitting San Diego last time out. However, his previous two starts he allowed 10 earned runs in 11 combined innings. He’s still got a 5.50 ERA his last three. On the other hand, Ventura is 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA his last three starts, bouncing back from a poor May.
Ventura has also done a much better job of keeping the ball in the park. He hasn’t allowed any home runs in his last few starts and he’s only given up two here all season. Meanwhile, Elias has given up at least one in each of his recent starts and 11 on the season.
The Royals have thrived as home favorites in this range, going 11-5 (+4.2) as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range. I look for the bats to come back to life as they improve on those stats this afternoon. 10* personal favorite
|06-17-14||Kansas City Royals v. Detroit Tigers -148||Top||11-4||Loss||-148||11 h 31 m||Show|
I’m playing on DETROIT. The Royals are rolling and they beat a former Cy Young Award winner in yesterday’s opener. They’re up against the reigning A.L. Cy Young winner today though. I expect their winning streak to come to an end.
Scherzer is very tough to beat, particularly here at Detroit. Indeed, the Tigers have won each of his last 13 starts here. Scherzer is 10-0 with a 2.38 ERA in those games. That includes a 2.16 mark this season. In 41 home innings, he has 50 K’s vs. just four home runs allowed.
Last time out, Scherzer tossed a complete-game 3-hit shutout.
Admittedly, Ventura has a good arm and he's also been pretty stingy recently. He’s arguably pitched better than his 4-5 record indicates. That said, I’m not sure he’s quite ready to go toe-to-toe against one of the very best in the game.
Prior to yesterday, the Tigers had dominated the Royals here. They’re still 6-2 the last eight meetings here and 15-5 the last 20. The Tigers are also a perfect 9-0 the last nine times that Scherzer started against the Royals, Scherzer allowing two or fewer earned runs in seven of those games including each of the last four. The Tigers were a considerably heavier favorite in most of those games than they are here. I feel this price could also easily be higher. 10* personal favorite
|06-16-14||Baltimore Orioles v. Tampa Bay Rays OVER 7.5||Top||4-5||Win||100||12 h 35 m||Show|
I’m playing on Tampa and Baltimore to finish OVER the total. These teams have both been involved in a number of low-scoring games recently. Both saw yesterday’s game stay below the number. Barely. Those results have worked in our favor as they’re among the factors helping to keep this O/U line so low. I believe that it will prove to be too low.
Odorozzi’s off a gem last time out. However, before getting too excited keep in mind that he’s still 2-7 with a 4.85 ERA and 1.416 WHIP in 13 road starts. He’s averaged only five innings per start. Over his last three starts, he’s still got an ugly 5.75 ERA.
Its true that Chen has been pitching very well in his last several outings. However, its also true that he’s still got a poor 4.70 ERA (1.402 WHIP) in six road starts, four of which have finished above the total. He only averages 5.1 innings per road start.
While their recent string of “unders” occurred at home, the O’s have still seen the OVER go 21-14 on the road. Their road games are averaging 9.6 runs. Tampa home games are averaging 8.3 runs, the OVER going 19-13-2.
Eight of Baltimore’s last 13 visits here have seen at least eight combined runs. I suspect this one will too. 10* blue chip
|06-14-14||Toronto Blue Jays v. Baltimore Orioles +111||Top||2-3||Win||111||10 h 9 m||Show|
I’m playing on BALTIMORE. The Jays blanked the Orioles yesterday. This afternoon, I expect the O’s to have the advantage.
Norris tossed eight shutout innings last time out, limiting the Red Sox to only four hits. "Bud was really good …" notedmanager Buck Showalter. The O’s won 4-0. As the Jays already found out, Norris has quietly been very good at home. In five starts here, he’s 3-1 (team is 4-1) with a superb 2.38 ERA and 1.118 WHIP.
Norris has also delivered quality starts both times he’s seen them this season. He held them to three runs and five hits at Toronto, earning the “W” in an 11-4 Baltimore win. He also tossed seven shutout innings against the Jays here at Camden Yards on 4/12, the O’s winning 2-1.
While Norris has thrived at home, Dickey has been terrible on the road. In five road starts, he’s 1-3 (team is 1-4) with a 6.41 ERA and 1.838 WHIP. That’s nearly two baserunners per inning. Having that many runners on base is particularly hard on the catcher with a knuckle-ball pitcher on the mound.
Note that Dickey has given up 15 earned runs in his last three starts vs. the O's, a span of 18 2/3 innings. Since joining the Jays, he’s got an 0-2 record and a 6.93 ERA in four starts vs. Baltimore.
The O’s are an outstanding 103-77 (+32.6) off a loss the past couple of seasons. That includes a 13-7 (+7.2) mark off a shutout loss. I expect the O’s to improve on those stats here and believe the low price is offering excellent value. 10* best bet
|06-13-14||Colorado Rockies v. San Francisco Giants -121||Top||7-4||Loss||-121||26 h 13 m||Show|
I’m playing on SAN FRANCISCO. I backed the Giants yesterday afternoon and they snapped a 3-game slide with a 7-1 victory. I expect them to carry the positive momentum into tonight’s series opener against the Rockies.
Lincecum shook off a poor start at Cincinnati by delivering a quality effort vs. the Mets last time out. Over his last two home starts, he’s allowed three earned runs in 11 innings. While he’s only 3-2 (3.86 ERA) in eight home starts, the Giants are a profitable 6-2 (+3.4) in those games. Overall, they’re 9-4 (+4.6) when he takes the mound.
De La Rosa’s certainly been nothing special. He’s got a 4.58 ERA away from Coors, going 3-3. He’s off back to back losses, walking seven batters in the process. Last time out, he gave up five runs in 5 1/3 innings.
The Giants have already seen De La Rosa twice this season and they rocked him in the game here at San Francisco. In that 4/11 game, they scored six runs against him in 4 1/3 innings. Going back further finds him at 0-4 with an 8.59 ERA in his last five starts here at AT&T. Needless to say, he doesn’t like pitching here much.
On the other hand, the Rockies haven’t seen Lincecum since last season. The last time he faced them, he allowed just two runs through eight complete innings. He didn’t factor in the decision but the Giants won 3-2.
The Rockies average 3.7 runs per game away from Colorado, hitting .239 as a team. Conversely, the Giants average 4.1 runs per game here at SF, hitting .261.
Meanwhile, the Giants’ bullpen has a spectacular 1.89 ERA and 0.943 WHIP here at SF, considerably better than Colorado’s 3.65 mark on the road.
When also considering that the Giants have owned the Rockies here, going 15-3 the last 18 meetings, I feel the price could easily be higher. 10* personal favorite
|06-11-14||Los Angeles Dodgers v. Cincinnati Reds -117||Top||0-5||Win||100||11 h 52 m||Show|
I’m playing on CINCINNATI. The Dodgers have taken the first two games of the series and they send a hot pitcher to the mound. The Reds have a hot pitcher of their own though and I believe they’ve got excellent shot at bouncing back with a win.
These same two starters opposed each other back in late May, at LA. Cueto took the loss, despite allowing just one earned run and only four hits. Ryu allowed three earned runs but got the win.
Including that result, Ryu is 7-2 with a 3.08 ERA and a 1.259 WHIP on the season. Cueto is only 5-5. However, he’s got a spectacular 1.97 ERA and 0.792 WHIP. Admittedly, Ryu has been very tough on the road. However, the same can be said of Cueto at home.
While Ryu averages 5.5 innings per start, Cueto averages 7.7. Ryu has 53 K’s in 64 1/3 innings. Cueto has 97 K’s in 96 innings.
Opposing batters hit a mere .160 (.153 at home) vs. Cueto, the best mark in the majors.
Even with yesterday’s setback, their second straight, the Reds are still a highly profitable 103-68 (+25) the past few seasons, after losing their previous game. With Cueto avenging the earlier loss vs. Ryu, I expect them to improve on those stats this evening. 10* personal favorite
|06-07-14||Washington Nationals v. San Diego Padres -129||Top||3-4||Win||100||14 h 57 m||Show|
I’m playing on SAN DIEGO. The Nationals come in on a roll and they took yesterday’s opener. I look for the Padres to cool them off this evening though.
Cashner may be only 2-5 but he's been very good. Through nine starts, he’s got a stellar 2.35 ERA. In five starts here at Petco, he’s 2-2 with a superb 1.67 ERA and 1.083 WHIP. While he’s missed a few weeks, the Padres are confident he’s ready to return.
Cashner, who is supported by a Padre bullpen which has a 2.39 ERA here at San Diego, noted: "Hopefully we don't miss a beat when I come back.”
Like Cashner, Treinen hasn’t received much run support. While his ERA is admittedly very good, he’s got a high (1.606) WHIP. He’s only made one road start and he walked five batters in that game.
The Padres are a respectable 23-15 (+2.9) as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range the past couple of seasons. During that time, the Nats are only 22-37 (-13) as road underdogs in the +100 to +125 range.
Cashner is 0-2 at Washington. However, he’s 1-0 vs. the Nats here at Petco, delivering a quality start against them here last May. The Padres won 13-4. I look for Cashner and co. to bounce back with a win tonight. 10* personal favorite
|06-03-14||Toronto Blue Jays v. Detroit Tigers -137||Top||5-3||Loss||-137||11 h 38 m||Show|
I’m playing on DETROIT. Both teams had yesterday off. Both saw their Sunday game finish in a score of 4-0. The Tigers lost 4-0 at Seattle. Playing at home, the Jays blanked the Royals by a score of 4-0. This game is at Detroit though, where the Tigers have had their way with the Jays in recent seasons. I expect them to have the edge in this evening’s series opener.
The Tigers, who are 6-1 the last seven times that they hosted the Jays, are already 2-0 this season after being held scoreless in their previous game. In each case they responded with six runs in their next game.
Sanchez was very sharp again last time out and is currently in outstanding form. He allowed only three hits and just one run through 8 1/3 innings last time out, recording nine K’s while walking only one. He’s 2-0 with a 1.77 ERA and 0.836 WHIP his last three starts, averaging 6.8 innings per start. He has yet to allow a home run this season and has now given up three or fewer earned runs in 10 consecutive starts.
Note that Sanchez is 2-0 in his most recent two starts vs. the Jays, pitching well in both games.
While he’s been solid overall and while he did manage to pick up the “W," Hutchinson got roughed up last time out. Through just five innings, he gave up five runs. He walked four batters and served up three long-balls. Remember, Sanchez has 14 K’s vs. just one walk his last two starts and that he has yet to give up a HR this year.
The Jays, who are just 12-18 (-7.8) the past 30 times they were off a shutout win, don’t hit quite as well away from Toronto, averaging .255 on the road. The Tigers hit .287 as a team here at home.
All things considered, I feel the Tigers have an excellent shot at bouncing back and that the price could easily be higher. 10* personal favorite
|06-02-14||Tampa Bay Rays -130 v. Miami Marlins||Top||1-3||Loss||-130||23 h 10 m||Show|
I’m playing on TAMPA. Off another loss yesterday, the Rays desperately need a victory. I believe this matchup will provide them with an excellent opportunity to get one.
Cobb got roughed up at Toronto last time out. However, the Jays have been hitting a lot of pitchers hard lately. Even with that sub-par outing, he’s still got a stellar 2.93 ERA and 1.043 WHIP on the season. He hadn’t allowed a single run in either of his previous two starts.
Wolf has only made one start since 2012 and it didn’t go too well. In five innings, he gave up six runs (4 earned) on nine hits. He took the “L” in a 7-1 loss.
While he hasn’t faced them in a number of years, Wolf is 0-2 with a 6.58 ERA and 1.756 WHIP in two starts vs. the Rays. On the other hand, Cobb is 2-0 with a commanding 1.35 ERA and 0.60 WHIP in two starts vs. the Marlins.
The Rays have owned their instate rivals in recent seasons and this has been like a home away from home for them. While the talent gap may have narrowed a little this season, I expect the Rays to have the edge again tonight. 10* personal favorite
|06-01-14||Pittsburgh Pirates v. Los Angeles Dodgers UNDER 7||Top||5-3||Loss||-120||23 h 7 m||Show|
I’m playing on Pittsburgh and LA to finish UNDER the total. Yesterday notwithstanding, the Pirates have been a profitable “under” team on the road this season. They figure to have some trouble scoring this evening.
The Pirates, who average only 3.2 runs per game on the road (and hit only .228) will be up against Greinke. With 11 K’s against 0 walks in his last start, Greinke is very clearly still capable of dominating. He’s 8-1 with a 2.18 ERA on the season, striking out 76 in 66 innings. Greinke’s last home start vs. the Pirates came last spring and resulted in a 3-0 victory. Greinke allowed only two hits, without walking a batter, throwing 6 1/3 shutout innings.
Volquez goes for the Pirates. He may not have the numbers that Greinke does but he’s still seen the UNDER go 8-2 on the season, 4-0 on the road. His last start finished with a score of 4-2. The previous one had a score of 3-1, Volquez allowing only three hits through six innings.
Volquez is backed by a Pittsburgh pen which has a solid 2.86 ERA on the season.
Needless to say, the Dodgers are fairly heavy favorites here. Therefore, its worth noting that the UNDER is 20-10-2 the past few seasons when they’ve been listed as home favorites in the -175 to -200 range. I expect those stats to improve tonight, this one turning into a pitcher’s duel. 10* blue chip
|05-28-14||Cincinnati Reds v. Los Angeles Dodgers UNDER 6.5||Top||3-2||Win||100||15 h 10 m||Show|
I’m playing on LA and Cincinnati to finish UNDER the total. The first two games of this series have both finished above the total. Barely. However, I expect tonight’s finale to be the lowest-scoring of the bunch.
Kershaw was in top form last time out. He tossed six shutout innings, allowed only two hits. He’ll face a Reds’ lineup which is averaging a mere 3.3 runs per game away from Cincinnati, hitting .234. The Reds have already struck out 24 times in this series, managing only 13 hits. Over their last four games, they’re hitting .224.
Bailey’s overall numbers aren’t too impressive. However, he’s off a quality start last time out and he typically pitches well here. He’s got a 2.05 ERA his last three starts here. He went at least seven innings in all three of those starts and allowed two or fewer earned runs in each.
Bailey and Kershaw opposed each other twice last season, both games finishing below the total. The game at Cincy finished with a score of 3-2. The game here at LA finished with a final score of 2-1. I’m looking for another well-pitched affair. 10* blue chip
|05-27-14||Houston Astros v. Kansas City Royals -133||Top||3-0||Loss||-133||11 h 16 m||Show|
I’m playing on KC. While I lose with the Royals yesterday, I’m coming right back with them again today.
I successfully backed the Royals the last time that Guthrie, who has now allowed four or fewer earned runs in 13 of his last 14 starts, took the mound. While he didn’t get the win, Guthrie was tough. He allowed just one run, on only three hits, through seven complete innings. His teams are 4-1 in five career starts vs. the Astros.
McHugh was also strong last time out and he has solid stats overall. That said, he’s still got a 5.16 ERA his last four starts.
Recent results notwithstanding, the Royals still have betting hitting and bullpen stats than the Astros.
Playing in a division that includes the Tigers, the Royals know they need to take advantage of games against teams like Houston, which still has the worst record in the American League.
The Royals have been excellent as home favorites of this size. In fact, they’re 10-2 (+7.3) the last 12 times that they played here when the line ranged from -125 to -150. I expect them to bounce back. 10* personal favorite
|05-26-14||Houston Astros v. Kansas City Royals -157||Top||9-2||Loss||-157||30 h 42 m||Show|
I’m playing on KC. The Royals swept the Astros at Houston in mid-April. They’re 14-5 their last 19 in the series, 6-1 the last seven here at home. I their chances of continuing that dominance in this evening’s series opener.
Ventura has pitched much better than his 2-4 record suggests. Averaging better than six innings through his nine starts, he’s got a stingy 2.80 ERA and 1.134 WHIP. In 54 innings, he’s recorded 56 K’s while walking only 16.
Ventura limited the Astros to two runs (only one earned) through seven innings in a 4-2 win at Houston last month. He allowed just four hits, in picking up his first “W.”
Ventura’s biggest problem recently has been a lack of run support. I don’t expect that to be an issue here though.
Feldman got off to a great start. As a result, his overall numbers still look solid. However, then he got tendinitis in his right bicep and he hasn’t been the same since. Over his last four starts, he’s 0-2 with a 5.57 ERA. Over his last two starts, he’s given up 19 hits in just nine total innings. Throw in a few walks and that translates to a 2.20 WHIP.
Admittedly, the Royals haven’t hit as well as they’d like. They average 3.9 runs per game (4.1 vs. right-handers) and hit .254. That’s a lot better than the Astros though. They average 3.6 runs and hit .232. On the road, Houston averages 3.3 runs while batting a mere .221.
Throw in the fact that the KC bullpen has a respectable 3.48 ERA and 1.292 WHIP compared to the Astros’ 5.27 and 1.523 mark (5.40, 16.26 on the road!) and I believe the Royals could easily be heavier favorites. 10* personal favorite
|05-23-14||Chicago Cubs v. San Diego Padres -130||Top||1-11||Win||100||11 h 50 m||Show|
I’m playing on SAN DIEGO. The Cubs took yesterday’s opener and they check in as the hotter team. However, I look for the Padres to even the series tonight.
|05-20-14||Toronto Blue Jays v. Boston Red Sox -137||Top||7-4||Loss||-137||21 h 38 m||Show|
I’m playing on BOSTON. The visitors come in as the hotter team. However, I expect the home team to have the edge in this all-southpaw affair.
I successfully played on the Jays the last time that Happ started. I felt that was a favourable matchup. Not only were they playing at Toronto but Happ was facing a Cleveland line which hadn’t been hitting well against left-handed pitching. Sure enough, Happ delivered a very solid outing. This matchup isn’t likely to be nearly as good for him though.
While the Sox have struggled to score runs against right-handed pitching this season, they’re averaging a healthy 5.3 runs per game vs. southpaws. They’re 10-4 (+4.5) in those games, improving to 71-52 the past 2+ seasons.
Happ isn’t exactly a Cy Young candidate either. True, he's 2-1 with a solid 3.57 ERA. Nothing wrong with that. However, a closer look reveals a high 1.751 WHIP. That suggests he’s been fortunate to have a respectable ERA and that could easily be worse. He’s got nearly as many walks (12) as K’s (14).
Lets not forget that Happ is 42-43 and that he has a 4.23 ERA and 1.41 WHIP for his career. That includes a 4.91 ERA (1.68 WHIP) against the Red Sox.
Also, keep in mind that Happ only averages 4.4 innings per start and that the Jays’ bullpen has an ugly 5.26 ERA. On the road, that number climbs to 5.77, to go along with a 1.577 WHIP.
Doubront’s career stats aren’t overly impressive either and neither are this year’s stats. However, he has been pitching well recently. His last three starts have all been solid, as he’s got a 2.55 ERA during that stretch. Last time out, he allowed just one run through 6 1/3 innings.
Doubront has pitched well in recent starts vs. the Jays. The last time he faced them was last September. He allowed only four hits and two runs through seven innings, earning a 5-2 victory.
After a steady dose of right-handed pitching, the Sox should be happy to face a southpaw. They’ll be desperate for a victory and I look for them to get one. 10* AL East GOM
|05-18-14||Miami Marlins v. San Francisco Giants -150||Top||1-4||Win||100||10 h 36 m||Show|
I’m playing on SAN FRANCISCO. After winning the series opener, the Giants have dropped back-to-back games. The Giants remain a healthy 96-79 (+11.1) off a loss the past 2+ seasons though. That includes a 14-7 mark when off a shutout loss. The last time that they got blanked, they responded by scoring 10 runs in their next game. They’re 2-0 in that situation this season.
The boxscore shows that Vogelsong gave up four runs in six innings last time out. However, he actually had very good stuff, as evidenced by his 8 K’s vs. 1 walk. Despite facing Atlanta for the second time in three starts, he basically cruised until the sixth inning. He still has a stellar 2.79 ERA his last three starts. Note that he didn’t give up a home run in any of those games and that he hasn’t given up one at home all season. Additionally, note that he’s got a 1.20 ERA in two home starts against the Marlins, allowing two combined earned runs in 15 innings.
Turner got roughed up again last time out. In four starts, he’s 0-1 with an ugly 6.75 ERA and 1.688 WHIP.
Turner, who is 0-10 in 17 career road starts, doesn’t typically last too long (averaging 5.3 innings per start) and the Miami bullpen has a 4.80 ERA on the road. Note that the Marlins are 4-13 in his 17 career road starts.
The last couple of days notwithstanding, the Marlins are still terrible away from Miami. I believe the price on the Giants is reasonable and I look for them to salvage the split. 10* personal favorite
|05-15-14||Cleveland Indians v. Toronto Blue Jays -106||Top||2-4||Win||100||10 h 49 m||Show|
I’m playing on TORONTO. These teams have split the first two meetings of the series. The Jays won the opener by a score of 5-4. The Indians responded with a 15-4 blowout victory in yesterday’s contest. I expect the Jays to have the advantage in this evening’s rubber game and believe that getting them at this price is providing excellent value.
Happ’s ERA took a hit against the Angels last time out, as he gave up four runs in just 2 2/3 innings. Obviously, that’s not too good. (He did have 4Ks vs. just 1 walk. so control wasn’t an issue.) He tossed five shutout innings in his only previous start though, allowing just three hits. He knows he’s fighting to keep a spot in the rotation and facing Cleveland, a team which hasn’t hit well against southpaws, gives him a good shot at bouncing back.
The Indians are only hitting .208 against left-handed starters, averaging a mere 3.3 runs. Not surprisingly, they’re just 4-9 (-5.7) against southpaws.
Happ figures to get some support. The Jays average a healthy 5.4 runs per game here at Toronto and Salazar has a 6.45 ERA in his three road starts, all of them Cleveland losses. In seven starts overall, he’s got a pretty high 1.609 WHIP, averaging only 5.2 innings.
While the Indians have struggled to string together victories, the Jays are a solid 11-8 (+3.6) off a loss. I expect them to improve on those stats here. 10* best bet
|05-13-14||Colorado Rockies v. Kansas City Royals -152||Top||1-5||Win||100||20 h 48 m||Show|
I’m playing on KC. Both these teams will be hungry for a victory here. The Rockies have dropped three of four overall, the Royals have lost four straight here at KC. I expect the Royals to have the edge.
Shields got roughed up by the Tigers two starts ago. However, he immediately bounced back. Last time out, he tossed seven shutout innings, en route to an 8-0 victory. For the season, he’s got a 2.80 ERA.
On the other hand, Morales gave up five runs (4 earned) in six innings last time out. In his previous start, he gave up six runs (5 earned) in five innings. Before that, he gave up four runs in five innings. Add it all up and he’s got a 7.31 ERA and 1.75 WHIP his last three starts.
While Morales has a 4.49 ERA for his career; Shields’ career ERA is 3.76.
The Rockies are only 12-30 (-20.5) in Interleague play the past few seasons. During that time, they’re also 24-37 (-4.1) as road underdogs in the +125 to +150 range. Over that period, the Royals are 27-17 (+3.6) as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range, 6-1 (+4.7) their last seven in that situation.
The Royals got back on track towards the end of their road trip, closing with a victory and winning four of six. With Shields getting the better of Morales, I expect them to bring that positive momentum back home with them. 10* Pitching Mismatch GOM
|05-12-14||Texas Rangers -130 v. Houston Astros||Top||4-0||Win||100||20 h 19 m||Show|
I’m playing on TEXAS. The Rangers have owned their instate “rivals” and I expect them to have the advantage again this evening.
While Lewis’ stats took a hit against Colorado last time out, he’d been pretty solid in his recent previous starts. The Rangers 2-0 when he starts on the road this season.
Lewis should be happy about this matchup, as he's dominated the Astros over his career. In nine appearances, six starts, he’s 4-1 with a superb 1.72 ERA and a 0.68 WHIP. The Astros have hit only .167 against him. He’s allowed two earned runs or less in five of his six starts vs. Houston and one or less in four of those. Since 2011, he’s made four starts against Houston. He’s lasted 28 1/3 innings in those four games while allowing a mere four runs. A closer look reveals that he had 30 K’s vs. only three walks in those games. The Rangers have won his last three vs. the Astros by a combined score of 18-6.
On the other hand, Peacock is 0-2 against Texas. Peacock has been killing himself with walks. In fact, he’s issuing 6.7 of them per nine innings. That’s led to a 1.734 WHIP, 1.808 here at Houston.
Peacock is supported by a Houston bullpen which has a 6.21 ERA and 1.662 WHIP. (The Texas bullpen has a 4.40 ERA and 1.348 WHIP.)
The Rangers average 4.4 runs per game on the road, hitting .265. The Astros average 3.6 runs per game here at Houston, hitting .225.
We’re getting a more reasonable price than we would be if the game was at Arlington. However, with the Rangers having won 19 of their last 22 here, its not like the Astros have much of a homefield advantage. I look for Lewis and co. to bounce back with a big win. 10* AL West GOM
|05-11-14||Cleveland Indians v. Tampa Bay Rays -150||Top||6-5||Loss||-150||13 h 25 m||Show|
I’m playing on TAMPA BAY. Momentum can be an important factor for teams. The Rays got back on track with a much needed victory yesterday. That snapped a 6-game slide here at Tampa. I expect them to ride the wave into this afternoon’s game.
Archer should be happy to make his first afternoon start of the season. In 10 daytime starts, he had a 2.73 ERA and 1.10 WHIP last season.
Tomlin pitched very well last time out. However, that was his season debut, as he had some elbow issues, and first start since 2012. Before getting too excited about him, keep in mind that in his last season in the majors, Tomlin had a 7.06 ERA on the road and a 9.00 ERA and 2.00 WHIP in the daytime.
Also remember that for his career, Tomlin’s got a dreadful 6.78 ERA in the day (compared to 4.29 at night) and a 5.64 ERA on the road, much worse than his 4.11 mark at home. He’s 0-2 with a 6.17 ERA here at Tropicana.
The Indians have been horrible away from Cleveland. They’re hitting only .215 on the road, averaging just 3.6 runs. The Rays are averaging 5.1 runs per game here at Tampa, hitting for an average of .279. Having regained some positive momentum, I look for them to close out the series with another big win. 10* personal favorite
|05-10-14||New York Yankees v. Milwaukee Brewers -133||Top||4-5||Win||100||10 h 2 m||Show|
I’m playing on MILWAUKEE. After taking yesterday’s opener, the Yankees have won three straight. Meanwhile, after yesterday’s loss, the Brewers have now dropped three in a row. I like their chances of bouncing back here though.
While I did successfully play against the Brewers the last time that Lohse started, they didn’t lose because of him. All Lohse did was allow two runs through 6 1/3 innings, yet another quality start for him. He’s now 4-1 with a 2.71 ERA. At home, he’s 2-1 with a superb 1.99 ERA and a microscopic 0.706 WHIP.
While I didn’t expect Lohse to get much run support last time out, he should get some today. Sabathia gave up 10 hits and five runs in just 3 2/3 innings last time out. In his previous start, he gave up nine hits and four runs, in five innings. That’s 19 hits and nine runs 8 2/3 innings. Not good. Overall, he’s now 3-4 with a 5.75 ERA.
While Sabathia is supported by a NY bullpen which has a 4.50 ERA and 1.46 WHIP on the road, Lohse is backed by a Brewer pen which has a 2.14 ERA and 0.928 WHIP at home.
While the Yanks are averaging only 3.6 runs (.245 avg) against right-handers, the Brewers are 5-1 vs. southpaw starters, averaging 4.8 runs and hitting .259. All things considered, I believe this price could easily be higher. 10* personal fav
|05-10-14||Colorado Rockies v. Cincinnati Reds -114||Top||11-2||Loss||-114||10 h 58 m||Show|
I’m playing on CINCINNATI. I won with the Reds yesterday and I like them again here.
Both starters have been very good. Lyles is 4-0 with a 2.62 ERA. Simon is 4-1 with a 1.99 ERA. However, a closer look shows that Lyles’ ERA climbs to 3.91 when he’s on the road.
While Simon will have the advantage of starting against the Rockies for the first time, Lyles got hammered in his lone 2013 start vs. the Reds. He lasted only 3 1/3 innings and gave up 9 runs (8 earned) en route to a 10-0 loss.
The Rockies are 19-26 (-4) the past few seasons when playing a road game where the line ranged from +100 to +125. During that time, the Reds were 28-18 (+7.3) when playing a home game with an O/U line of -101 to -125. I expect them to improve on those stats here. 10* NL Best Bet
|05-09-14||Miami Marlins v. San Diego Padres +1.5||Top||1-10||Win||100||12 h 7 m||Show|
I’m playing SAN DIEGO on the Run-Line. (+1.5 Runs) This game isn’t expected to see many runs. In fact, as I write this, the O/U line is only 5.5 at a lot of shops. With runs expected to be at a premium, every run takes on added significance. That said, I believe that getting an extra +1.5 runs with the home team here, is offering excellent value.
Fernandez has proven to be an excellent pitcher. However, he’s not generally nearly as good on the road. This season, he’s got a 0.78 ERA at home but a 4.50 ERA on the road. That was the case last season too. He had a 1.19 ERA at home but a 3.50 mark on the road.
The Marlins are only 6-9 in Fernandez’s 15 career road starts. A closer look shows that all six of those wins came by two runs or less and that four of them came by a single run. In other words, they’d be just 2-13 if being asked to laying -1.5 runs in all his 15 starts.
Ross can pitch and he should be fired up to go head-to-head with Miami’s ace. Like Fernandez, he’s better at home. In fact, he’s got an ugly 5.94 ERA on the road but a stellar 1.67 mark in four starts here at Petco. The Padres have won his last three home starts and they’d be 5-1 his last six here, if getting +1.5 runs in each.
The Marlins are 10-16 (-6.6) vs. the money-line the past couple of seasons, when off three or more consecutive wins. During that time, the Padres are a profitable 28-22 (+11.8) off three or more consec. losses. I expect AT LEAST a “cover” tonight. 10*
|05-07-14||Colorado Rockies v. Texas Rangers -114||Top||9-2||Loss||-114||12 h 53 m||Show|
I’m playing on TEXAS. The Rangers were beaten 12-1 yesterday, the second time in a week that happened. They responded to the previous 12-1 blowout with a 5-1 win in their next game. With that win, they’re 3-0 on the season, after allowing 10 or more runs in their previous game. A couple of weeks earlier, the Rangers responded to a 16-2 loss with a 4-3 win the next day. Also, off a season-opening 14-10 loss against the Phillies, the Rangers answered with a 3-2 victory the next day.
While he hasn’t dominated, Lewis has certainly been respectable, giving the Rangers a chance to win. He checks in at 2-1 with a 4.22 ERA. In 21 1/3 innings, he has 20 K’s against only five walks.
The Rockies are a big hitting team at Coors Field. On the road, however, they’re averaging 4.0 runs while hitting .254.
Meanwhile De La Rosa is 1-3 with a 5.82 ERA in four road starts.
The Rangers are 67-45 (+4.2) against southpaw starters the past couple of seasons and they’re hitting .297, while averaging 6.0 runs per game, against left-handers this season. They’re also a profitable 94-61 (+17.3) off a loss the past couple of seasons. I feel the price is fair and I expect them to bounce back, once again. 10* best bet
|05-05-14||Minnesota Twins v. Cleveland Indians -154||Top||1-0||Loss||-154||18 h 8 m||Show|
I’m playing on CLEVELAND. While they lost a tough one yesterday, the Indians still took two of three from Chicago. Today’s matchup should provide an excellent opportunity to immediately bounce back.
McAllister was forced to pitch on short rest (for the first time) last time out and didn’t fare too well. He’s back on regular rest now and also back at home. That should make him feel good as he’s been exceptional (2-0/1.32 ERA/0.878 WHIP) in two starts here.
McAllister, who is backed by a Cleveland bullpen which has a 2.82 ERA here at home, should also be happy to see Minnesota. He was 2-0 with a 1.53 ERA last year in three starts against the Twins last season. The Indians were 3-0 in those games, winning by a combined score of 18-9.
McAllister should get some support as Gibson has struggled of late. He got hit hard both his last two starts and has an ugly 9.00 ERA and 2.375 WHIP on the road.
While Gibson is averaging four innings per road start, McAllister has averaged 6.8 here at home.
While McAllister will have the advantage of starting against the Twins for the first time this season, the Indians already saw Gibson here last month. He beat them that day but I like the Indians to get some payback this evening. 10* AMERICAN LEAGUE GOM
|05-03-14||Milwaukee Brewers v. Cincinnati Reds -140||Top||2-6||Win||100||11 h 55 m||Show|
I’m playing on CINCINNATI. After the Reds took Thursday’s opener, the Brewers won yesterday’s game by a score of 2-0. With Cueto on the mound, I like the Reds’ chances of bouncing back.
While he hasn’t gotten much support and therefore doesn’t have the record to show for it, Cueto has been outstanding. Averaging nearly eight innings per start, he’s got a 1.15 ERA and 0.766 WHIP on the season. Over his last three starts, he’s posted a 0.35 ERA and a 0.577 WHIP. In his last home start, he tossed a complete game 3-hit shutout, striking out 12 without walking a single batter.
Granted, Gallardo has also been pretty good this season. He hasn’t been as dominant as Cueto though and he also got hit quite hard (5 runs in 6 innings) the last time that he faced the Reds.
The Reds are a perfect 7-0 the last seven times that Cueto faced the Brewers here at Cincinnati, Cueto allowing three earned runs or less in ALL seven of those starts and two or less in six of them. In fact, all eight of Cueto’s career home starts against the Brewers have been of the “quality” variety, Cueto going 5-0 with a 2.25 ERA in those games. Over his last five home starts vs. the Brewers, Cueto has allowed a mere six combined earned runs.
The Brewers aren’t in one of their better roles; even with a few wins in that situation this season, they’re just 15-27 (-6.2) the past 42 times that they were listed as road underdogs in the +125 to +150 range. During that stretch, the Reds are a respectable 36-24 (+3.4) as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range.
The Reds are already 3-0 this season after getting shutout. I expect them to remain perfect in that situation here. 10* personal favorite
|05-02-14||Baltimore Orioles v. Minnesota Twins UNDER 9||Top||3-0||Win||100||9 h 35 m||Show|
I’m playing on Baltimore and Minnesota to finish UNDER the total. Given the high ERA’s of the two starters, many are expecting a lot of runs here. I believe that sentiment is helping to provide us with excellent line value. I also believe that both starters are more capable than their early stats indicate and that both will be confident about pitching here.
After a couple of rough outings, Nolasco should be thrilled to return home to Minnesota. In his lone start here, he allowed just one run and five hits through eight complete innings, good for a 1.12 ERA and 0.75 WHIP.
The O’s haven’t seen Nolasco for a number of years - but he does have a solid 3.00 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in three starts against them. He went seven innings in each and two of the three stayed below the total.
Jimenez should also be happy about making a trip to Minnesota. He pitched very well in both starts against the Twins last season and he was dominant here at Minnesota. In that game, he recorded 13 K’s (against just one walk) while allowing only five hits and one run, through 6 2/3 innings. With both of last season’s games finishing with exactly six combined runs, the UNDER is 5-1 in his six starts against the Twins. I expect those stats to improve tonight. 10* blue chip
|04-30-14||Colorado Rockies v. Arizona Diamondbacks -113||Top||4-5||Win||100||12 h 41 m||Show|
I’m playing on ARIZONA. The Rockies are rolling while the Diamondbacks are struggling. I like the Dbax to bounce back with a badly needed win tonight though.
Collmenter is off a gem last time out. He tossed six shutout innings against the Phillies. He only gave up four hits and didn’t walk a batter.
Collmenter had this to say: "It's great to be able to give the team a chance to win. It’s something as a part of the starting rotation you take pride in.”
Collmenter should be happy to see Colorado. He’s won both his starts while posting a 2.49 ERA in seven home games against the Rockies.
On the other hand, Lyles may not be too happy about a trip to Phoenix. He’s 0-2 in three starts against Arizona. He’s got a dreadful 10.43 ERA and 2.249 WHIP in those games. His team lost all three of those games, the losses coming by a combined score of 31-15.
The Dbax get an off-day tomorrow, before starting a series at San Diego. They’d desperately like a win before that trip and I look for them to bounce back and get one. 10* personal favorite
|04-29-14||San Diego Padres v. San Francisco Giants -158||Top||0-6||Win||100||18 h 50 m||Show|
I’m playing on SAN FRANCISCO. The Padres took yesterday’s opener. However, I expect the Giants to have the advantage tonight.
The Giants are 6-4 (+1.7) off a loss this season, 92-77 (+8.6) the past 2+ seasons. During that stretch, they’ve gone a respectable 69-56 (+11.8) vs. southpaw starters. They’re quite familiar with the one they’ll see tonight.
While he has a 7-4 record in 16 starts against the Giants, Stults has a poor 5.18 ERA and 1.387 WHIP. Sandoval and Posey have both fared particularly well against him.
On the other hand, Cain has a losing record at the Padres, despite having a solid 3.04 ERA and 1.147 WHIP against them. Lack of run support plagued Cain again against the Padres last week, as he allowed a single (unearned) run through seven innings but lost 2-1. (He’d follow it up with a bad game at Colorado.)
Still, if Cain continues to be stingy against the Padres, the wins will eventually come. While Cain hasn’t personally been beating the Padres regularly, the Giants still have been. Even with last week’s loss, they’re still 4-1 the last five times that Cain started against SD. Note that Cain has allowed two or fewer earned runs in six straight starts vs. the Padres and three or less in eight straight against them. In his last four starts against them, he had 33 K’s against just three walks.
After going winless in April last season, the last thing Cain wanted was for it to happen again. He’s pitched very well in recent starts against the Padres and I expect him to be at his best again tonight, giving the Giants an excellent shot at the “W.” 10* 10* NL West G.O.M.
|04-28-14||Colorado Rockies v. Arizona Diamondbacks -123||Top||8-5||Loss||-123||18 h 4 m||Show|
I’m playing on ARIZONA. The Rockies have gotten off to a much better start and come in as the hotter team. However, I believe this will be a good spot for the Diamondbacks.
Miley should be happy to see Colorado. He beat the Rockies a few weeks ago. In that 4/6 game, he allowed two runs through eight complete innings. That brought him to a perfect 7-0 (team is 8-1) in nine starts vs. the Rockies. He’s got an excellent 2.64 ERA in those games, too.
Granted, Morales has pitched well of late. He’s had real trouble at Chase Field over the years though, as he’s got a career 5.51 ERA here. An undrafted player, Morales has spent most of his time in the bullpen. He’s got a losing record (15-19) for his career and a 4.34 ERA. Last start notwithstanding, I don’t believe he’s in Miley’s class.
While both teams have struggled against southpaw starters to start this season, Colorado’s problems go back further. Indeed, the Rockies are a dismal 38-73 (-31.9) against left-handed starters the past few years. During that stretch, note that they’re also 59-89 (-31.6) when coming off a victory.
The Diamondbacks have won Miley’s last four starts against Colorado by a combined score of 28-8. Miley allowed two or fewer earned runs in each of those games, averaging well over six innings per outing. I look for him to get on track here, the Dbax improving to 14-6 the last 20 times that they were a host in this series. 10* personal favorite
|04-27-14||Los Angeles Angels v. New York Yankees -160||Top||2-3||Win||100||11 h 58 m||Show|
I’m playing on NEW YORK. These teams have split the first two meetings of the series. I expect the Yankees to have the advantage in tonight’s rubber match, as the world gets a look at Masahiro Tanaka.
Tanaka certainly appears to be the real deal. He was dominant in Japan and he’s been dominant over here.
I provided his stats from Japan when playing on him a few starts back. Here’s an excerpt from that writeup: “...Tanaka was also dominant in the spring. In 21 spring innings, he recorded 26 K’s while posting a superb 2.14 ERA. In his final spring start. Nothing new for Tanaka, as he was a dominating 99-35 with a 2.30 ERA and 1.11 WHIP over seven seasons in Nippon Professional Baseball ..."
New York manager Joe Girardi had this to say of his new star: "We knew his command was good, but it's been really, really good. He didn't walk people in spring training. We saw that. He's got a real good idea of what he's doing out there.”
To be fair, Richards has also pitched very well. However, his numbers still aren’t as good as Tanaka’s. Richards has a 2.52 ERA. Tanaka’s is 2.15. Richards has a 1.08 WHIP, Tanaka’s is 0.82, 0.733 at home. Richards has 24 Ks vs. 14 walks, Tanaka has 35 K’s vs. two walks.
While Tanaka will have the edge of starting against the Angels for the first time, Richards is 0-2 with a 5.14 ERA in three career outings (two starts) against New York.
While the Angels are 4-12 (-5.6) the past couple of seasons as road underdogs in the 150 to 175 range, the Yankees are 25-14 (+2.5) as home favorites in the -150 to -175 range. With Tanaka doing his thing, I expect the Yanks to improve on those stats tonight. 10* Main Event
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