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|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|05-26-15||Texas Rangers v. Cleveland Indians -152||Top||4-3||Loss||-152||22 h 26 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Cleveland Indians as my 10* Personal Favorite.
|05-25-15||Seattle Mariners v. Tampa Bay Rays -148||Top||4-1||Loss||-148||25 h 13 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Tampa Bay Rays as my 10* Personal Favorite.
|05-24-15||Texas Rangers v. New York Yankees -126||Top||5-2||Loss||-126||24 h 53 m||Show|
I’m playing on the New York Yankees as my 10* Main Event.
|05-23-15||Milwaukee Brewers v. Atlanta Braves -125||Top||2-3||Win||100||18 h 48 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Atlanta Braves as my 10* Personal Favorite.
|05-23-15||Philadelphia Phillies v. Washington Nationals UNDER 7||Top||8-1||Loss||-115||18 h 33 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Under in Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals as my 10* Blue Chip.
|05-21-15||Milwaukee Brewers v. Atlanta Braves -118||Top||1-10||Win||100||23 h 23 m||Show|
MILWAUKEE at ATLANTA
|05-21-15||Los Angeles Dodgers -123 v. San Francisco Giants||Top||0-4||Loss||-123||20 h 49 m||Show|
I am playing on the DODGERS. L.A. is a great bounce back team with a winning percentage of 64.3 in games following a loss. I think they'll earn the win to finish the series off strong against the Giants after failing to score a run through the first two games.
|05-19-15||Chicago Cubs v. San Diego Padres -117||Top||3-4||Win||100||28 h 60 m||Show|
I’m playing on the San Diego Padres as my 10* National League Personal Favorite.
The Padres try to get their season back on track after dropping three of four games against the Washington Nationals this past weekend. San Diego welcomes the Chicago Cubs to Petco Park and are getting solid moneyline value as the host Tuesday. The Cubs haven’t played many games away from the Friendly Confines this season, with just 16 road tilts. They hit the West Coast for this matchup with the Padres boasting a collective 5.07 ERA away from the Windy City and are coming off a loss to Pittsburgh Sunday. The Padres give the ball to new staff ace James Shields, who has started the season 5-0 with a 3.91 ERA so far this year. San Diego has given his tremendous run support, especially at home.
I’m playing on San Diego as my 10* NL Personal Favorite.
|05-19-15||Texas Rangers v. Boston Red Sox -135||Top||3-4||Win||100||25 h 58 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Boston Red Sox as my 10* American League Personal Favorite.
The Red Sox are back in front of the Beantown faithful at Fenway Park, hosting the Texas Rangers in Game 1 of this three-game set Tuesday. Boston broke even on a 10-game road trip, with the offense falling off the pace toward the end of that extended trek. Some good ole fashion Fenway home cooking will jump start the Red Sox’s bats. Boston has played just 16 home games this season, and has had much more success at the plate as hosts. The Red Sox send Wade Miley to the mound, coming off a solid performance against Oakland. The lefty limited the A’s to just five hits through 6 2-3 innings of work. Texas counters with righty Yovani Gallardo, who won his last start but dropped the four prior outings. He hasn’t received much support from the Rangers bats. Those sluggers struggle on the road, hitting just .221 BA as visitors. Boston has won five of the previous seven clashes with Texas heading into Tuesday.
I’m playing on Boston as my 10* AL Personal Favorite Tuesday.
|05-19-15||New York Yankees v. Washington Nationals -137||Top||6-8||Win||100||25 h 54 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Washington Nationals as my 10* Annihilator.
The Washington Nationals enjoyed a day off before returning home to DC to face the New York Yankees Tuesday. The Nationals dropped Game 1 of their four-game set with San Diego last week, then promptly took the next three games – outscoring the Padres 24-6 in those contests. Washington’s offensive is blasting the cover off the ball, hitting .318 BA and averaging 8.3 runs a contests over the last seven days. The Nats give the ball to starter Gio Gonzalez, who has only made two home appearances this season with a slim 1.38 ERA inside Nationals Park. The lefty had a tough outing against Arizona in his last effort, but in the three starts prior, Gonzalez fanned 17 batters and issued only three walks. The Yankees are stumbling on this current road trip, losing five of their last seven games.
I’m playing on Washington as my 10* Annihilator Tuesday.
|05-18-15||Cleveland Indians v. Chicago White Sox UNDER 7.5||Top||1-2||Win||100||26 h 9 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Under in Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox as a 10* Blue Chip.
|05-18-15||Arizona Diamondbacks v. Miami Marlins -134||Top||3-2||Loss||-134||25 h 10 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Miami Marlins as my 10* Personal Favorite.
|05-17-15||Detroit Tigers v. St. Louis Cardinals -144||Top||1-2||Win||100||23 h 46 m||Show|
I’m playing on the St. Louis Cardinals as my 10* Main Event.
|05-17-15||Toronto Blue Jays v. Houston Astros -142||Top||2-4||Win||100||17 h 48 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Houston Astros as my 10* Personal Favorite.
|05-17-15||San Francisco Giants v. Cincinnati Reds -117||Top||9-8||Loss||-117||16 h 50 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Cincinnati Reds as my 10* Breakfast Club.
|05-16-15||Washington Nationals v. San Diego Padres UNDER 6.5||Top||4-1||Win||100||23 h 58 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Under in Washington Nationals at San Diego Padres as my 10* Blue Chip.
|05-15-15||New York Yankees v. Kansas City Royals UNDER 7.5||Top||1-12||Loss||-120||23 h 13 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Under in New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals as my 10* Blue Chip.
The Yankees and Royals open a three-game set in Kansas City Friday and both clubs send their big arms to the mound. The Bronx Bombers, who have been more about precise pitching than power hitting this season, hand the ball to starter Michael Pineda. The right hander is 5-0 with a slim 2.72 ERA, and coming off a one-run, six-hit, 16-strikeout performance in a win over Baltimore. He’s tied for eighth in the majors with 54 Ks and boasts a 1.01 WHIP, going six or more innings in five of his seven starts. The Royals go with lanky veteran Chris Young Friday. He has a diminutive 0.78 ERA in 2015, splitting time between starting and the bullpen. In his last start, Young allowed only one run on three hits through six innings and in his only other home start the 6-foot-10 hurler checked the powerful Tigers for five innings of no-hit baseball. The Under has been the hot play when these teams meet in KC, going 9-20 Over/Under in their previous 29 games inside Kauffman Stadium.
I’m playing on the Under in NY Yankees at Kansas City as my 10* Blue Chip Friday.
|05-15-15||Milwaukee Brewers v. New York Mets -150||Top||7-0||Loss||-150||22 h 13 m||Show|
I’m playing on the New York Mets as my 10* Personal Favorite.
We’re getting a great price on the Mets in this matchup. While the Brewers are playing better than they did in April, that isn’t much of an improvement when you consider just how bad they’ve been. New York is mired in a four-game skid but is back home facing Milwaukee, owning a 13-3 record at Citi Field this season. The Mets give the ball to right-handed veteran Bartolo Colon, who has been a big surprise to start the year. He’s 3-0 with a 2.18 ERA at home this season and owns a career 3-1 record with a 3.97 ERA against Milwaukee. The Brewers counter with Kyle Lohse, who lugs an ERA north of 7.00 into this series opener. The righty picked up a win in his last start but still allowed four runs on seven hits through just five innings.
I’m playing on the New York Mets as my 10* Personal Favorite Friday.
|05-13-15||St. Louis Cardinals v. Cleveland Indians -118||Top||0-2||Win||100||12 h 55 m||Show|
ST. LOUIS at CLEVELAND
|05-11-15||Toronto Blue Jays v. Baltimore Orioles -118||Top||2-5||Win||100||22 h 58 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Baltimore Orioles as my 10* American League Personal Favorite.
Baltimore is back home and looking to get its season back on track after dropping five of its last six away from Camden Yards. The Orioles are 8-5 as hosts this season, hitting an MLB-best .327 BA and averaging 7.1 runs over 10 home stands. Baltimore uses that rejuvenated offense to backup starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who toes the rubber against the Toronto Blue Jays Monday. The right hander has also been impressive at home, not allowing a single run in two home outings so far this season. Jimenez has given up only four hits with 14 strikeouts through 14 innings of action inside Oriole Park. He debuted with a seven-inning, one-hit shutout against Toronto on April 11 but followed that with a four-run, six-hit effort through six innings in Toronto on April 22. We expect a return to Baltimore to not only spark Jimenez but the Orioles' bats as well. The O's have won six straight home games with Jimenez on the hill, going back to last season.
I’m playing on Baltimore as my 10* AL Personal Favorites Monday.
|05-10-15||Baltimore Orioles v. New York Yankees -152||Top||2-6||Win||100||15 h 49 m||Show|
I’m playing on the New York Yankees as my 10* Personal Favorite.
|05-09-15||Texas Rangers v. Tampa Bay Rays -153||Top||2-7||Win||100||19 h 4 m||Show|
TEXAS at TAMPA BAY
|05-08-15||Miami Marlins v. San Francisco Giants -127||Top||0-6||Win||100||25 h 45 m||Show|
MIAMI at SAN FRANCISCO
|05-08-15||Houston Astros v. Los Angeles Angels -135||Top||0-2||Win||100||25 h 36 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Los Angeles Angels as my 10* American League Personal Favorite.
The Halos are presenting major value today against the Houston Astros, sending ace Jered Weaver to the bump at a discounted price. Houston did win Game 1 of this series Thursday but was swept in three games by Texas the series before. We see the wheels wobbling on their hot start and Los Angeles will take full advantage of that Friday. Weaver is coming off a disastrous start in which he was hit for five runs on 10 hits in just five innings. The righty hasn’t pitched up to standards this season but this home stand should help him shake off that poor start. Weaver was 10-4 with a 2.68 ERA in Anaheim last season. Houston counters with Roberto Hernandez in Game 2 Thursday. In his last performance against the Angels, he was hit for three runs on three hits through six innings on April 17. He gave up five runs on eight hits in his last start, earning a no-decision against the Mariners. Houston has provided solid run support in his starts this season but that offense has gone flat the past four games, with the Astros totaling just eight runs in that span.
I’m playing on L.A. Angels as my 10* AL Personal Favorite Friday.
|05-06-15||Chicago Cubs v. St. Louis Cardinals UNDER 7||Top||6-5||Loss||-120||21 h 11 m||Show|
CHICAGO CUBS at ST. LOUIS
|05-05-15||Seattle Mariners v. Los Angeles Angels -137||Top||4-5||Win||100||24 h 10 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Los Angeles Angeles as my 10* American League Personal Favorite.
|05-05-15||Philadelphia Phillies v. Atlanta Braves -147||Top||0-9||Win||100||21 h 5 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Atlanta Braves as my 10* National League Personal Favorite.
|05-04-15||New York Yankees v. Toronto Blue Jays -124||Top||1-3||Win||100||25 h 18 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Toronto Blue Jays as my 10* American League Personal Favorite.
|05-04-15||Miami Marlins v. Washington Nationals -153||Top||4-6||Win||100||25 h 17 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Washington Nationals as my 10* National League Personal Favorite.
The Nationals are beginning to play like the club we thought they were, winning five of their last six games after struggling to start the schedule. Washington just sent a message through the National League with a series victory over the New York Mets and we like the Nats to role that momentum into this series opener with Miami Monday. The Nationals offense wasn’t all that impressive during that four-game set with the Mets but we expect a return to DC to jumpstart the bats. Washington sends righty Jordan Zimmermann to the hill. He’s coming off a solid seven-inning, three-run, four-hit effort in a win against the Braves. Zimmermann allowed just two runs on six hits through six innings at Miami the start before that. The Nationals are a dominant 9-3 in his last 12 starts versus Miami.
I’m playing on Washington as my 10* NL Personal Favorite Monday.
|05-03-15||New York Yankees +122 v. Boston Red Sox||Top||8-5||Win||122||25 h 46 m||Show|
NEW YORK YANKEES at BOSTON
I am playing on the YANKEES. The Yankees are simply on fire right now after winning 12 of their last 15 games and I think they complete the sweep of this three-game weekend series against the Red Sox Sunday night.
New York is pitching the lights out lately, allowing a stingy average of just 2.6 runs over the last 15 games. The Yankees ranked fifth in the majors in ERA (3.13) and first in strikeouts (221) heading into Saturday's contest and they are getting clutch hitting when they need it, too.
Adam Warren, who takes the hill for the Yanks Sunday, is coming off his best start of the season. He struck out six and gave up just one earned run and no walks against Tampa Bay in a 4-1 win early in the week, which was New York's third straight win with him on the mound. I think we'll see a fourth straight victory in this matchup. 10* Main Event
|05-02-15||Colorado Rockies v. San Diego Padres -130||Top||2-4||Win||100||23 h 43 m||Show|
I’m playing on the San Diego Padres as my 10* Personal Favorite.
|05-02-15||Philadelphia Phillies v. Miami Marlins UNDER 7||Top||0-7||Push||0||18 h 16 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Under in Philadelphia Phillies at Miami Marlins as my 10* Early Blue Chip.
|05-01-15||Colorado Rockies v. San Diego Padres -145||Top||3-14||Win||100||24 h 10 m||Show|
COLORADO at SAN DIEGO
|05-01-15||Toronto Blue Jays v. Cleveland Indians -125||Top||4-9||Win||100||21 h 11 m||Show|
TORONTO at CLEVELAND
|04-27-15||New York Mets v. Miami Marlins -117||Top||3-1||Loss||-117||20 h 23 m||Show|
Do not make this selection.... wrong entry
|04-26-15||New York Mets v. New York Yankees -134||Top||4-6||Win||100||23 h 11 m||Show|
I’m playing on the New York Yankees as my 10* Personal Favorite.
|04-24-15||Cleveland Indians v. Detroit Tigers -133||Top||13-1||Loss||-133||21 h 17 m||Show|
|04-23-15||St. Louis Cardinals v. Washington Nationals -124||Top||4-1||Loss||-124||12 h 17 m||Show|
I am playing on WASHINGTON. There's not a whole lot to overthink for this game. Max Scherzer is on the mound for the Nationals seeing great value and anytime he is strolling out to the bump, you have to like Washington's chances of winning.
|04-22-15||Miami Marlins v. Philadelphia Phillies -118||Top||6-1||Loss||-118||20 h 4 m||Show|
I am playing on PHILADELPHIA. The Phillies could use a series against a team that seems to be struggling even worse than they are right now and I like them to take Game 2 against the Marlins on Wednesday.
|04-21-15||Texas Rangers v. Arizona Diamondbacks -140||Top||7-1||Loss||-140||23 h 34 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Arizona Diamondbacks as my 10* Personal Favorite.
Arizona rides the momentum of a series victory over the San Francisco Giants into this interleague matchup with the Texas Rangers Tuesday. The Diamondbacks are also home for the first time in the past seven games as we like the value they’re showing in Game 1 of this series.
Arizona got its bats going against the Giants and, outside of a 4-1 loss in Game 3, scored 21 total runs in its three wins against San Francisco. The Diamondbacks started the season with a strong showing at the plate in six home games, averaging 4.5 runs in that season-opening home stand.
Texas backs into this series off two straight losses to the Seattle Mariners, including an 11-10 loss in the series finale Sunday. The Rangers lug a 4.70 team ERA into this game, which ranks 27th in the majors.
The D-backs send Chase Anderson to the mound Tuesday. The righty worked six innings and allowed just two earned runs on eight hits against the Padres in his last start. Anderson went 7-3 with a 3.42 ERA in 12 home starts last season, with Arizona winning five of his last six starts as a home favorite.
The Diamondbacks’ hot bats and Anderson at home are why I’m playing on Arizona as my 10* Personal Favorite Tuesday.
|04-19-15||Arizona Diamondbacks v. San Francisco Giants -135||Top||5-1||Loss||-135||19 h 39 m||Show|
I am playing on SAN FRANCISCO. Even though the Giants are struggling this season, they hold a clear advantage in the pitching matchup on Sunday and I think they'll get a much needed win on home field against the Diamondbacks.
|04-16-15||Tampa Bay Rays -104 v. Toronto Blue Jays||Top||4-2||Win||100||20 h 46 m||Show|
I am playing on TAMPA BAY. The Rays are sending the far better pitcher to the mound today and are getting great value on the road so I'm taking them to beat the Jays in the final outing of this four-game set.
|04-13-15||New York Yankees v. Baltimore Orioles -122||Top||6-5||Loss||-122||21 h 5 m||Show|
10* AL PF analysis to come shortly.
|04-12-15||San Francisco Giants v. San Diego Padres -134||Top||4-6||Win||100||19 h 41 m||Show|
I’m playing on the San Diego Padres as my 10* Personal Favorite Sunday.
|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
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