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|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|06-12-13||Detroit Tigers v. Kansas City Royals UNDER 7.5||Top||2-3||Win||101||7 h 38 m||Show|
I'm playing on Detroit and KC to finish UNDER the total. These teams were involved in a pitcher's duel yesterday, Detroit winning 3-2. The previous day, the shoe was on the other foot. KC won by an identical 3-2 margin. I'm expecting another well-pitched affair this afternoon.
Shields, who has dominated Detroit over his career, has been a cash cow for "under" bettors all season. His last two starts have had scores of 4-2 and 4-1. Shields went seven innings in each of those games, allowing just three runs over the 14 combined innings. For the season, the UNDER is now 9-4 in his 13 starts, Shields compiling a 2.81 ERA and 1.097 WHIP.
Shields, 5-1 vs. Detroit noted: "Whenever you have some success against a team, you always have some confidence ..."
Shields is backed by a KC bullpen that has a combined 2.36 ERA here.
Admittedly, Verlander hasn't been quite his usual self this season. He's "only" 8-4 with a 3.71 ERA. However, he's still a pitcher capable of dominating every time he steps on the mound.
The Royals know all about Verander's capabilities. Indeed, Verlander is 15-2 with a 2.67 ERA in 24 starts against them. In 14 starts here at Kauffman Stadium, his ERA dips to 2.49.
The UNDER is now 10-2 in KC's last 12 games. It should be mentioned that 16 of the Royals' 22 day games have also dipped below the number, those games averaging just 6.8 combined runs.
Given the pitching matchup - and the history of success both starters have enjoyed against today's opponent - I believe the number is generous. 10* blue chip
|06-09-13||New York Yankees v. Seattle Mariners -140||Top||2-1||Loss||-140||14 h 30 m||Show|
I'm playing on SEATTLE. The Yankees have taken two of the first three in the series. With their ace on the mound, I expect the Mariners to salvage the series split.
Hernandez checks in with a 7-4 record to go along with a stellar 2.58 ERA and 1.048 WHIP. He averages seven innings per start and has 95 Ks (17 walks) in 90 innings. That includes a 41/5 K/W ratio here at Seattle.
While most pitchers dread facing the Yankees, King Felix is 7-2 with a 2.14 ERA over his last 11 starts against them.
Phelps was sharp last time out, despite walking four batters. However, he got hammered in his previous start and he's not in the same class as Hernandez.
While it might be tempting to want to back the Yankees as an underdog, note that NY is only 6-15 (-6.8) the past couple of seasons, as a road underdog in the +125 to +150 range.
Overall, these teams are now 3-3 against each other. With Hernandez doing his thing, I expect the M's to take the season series for the first time since 2002. 9* personal favorite
|06-05-13||Minnesota Twins v. Kansas City Royals -145||Top||1-4||Win||100||14 h 38 m||Show|
I'm playing on KANSAS CITY. With yesterday's loss, the Royals have now dropped 11 straight at home. Enough is enough. I expect them to finally stop the bleeding today.
Walters may be 2-0. However, he's got a mediocre 4.50 ERA and a poor 1.667 WHIP. In 12 innings pitched, he's already given up 18 hits.
By comparison, Guthrie has only allowed 21 hits in 29 2/3 home innings. He's 3-1 with a 3.03 ERA and 0.91 WHIP here. Last time out, he limited the Cards to two runs through six innings, striking out six and walking one. He didn't factor in the decision but the Royals win 4-2.
Guthrie, who already beat the Twins back in April, is 5-2 with a solid 3.57 ERA and 1.056 WHIP in eight starts. vs. Minnesota.
Walters got rocked in his lone start vs. the Royals. He lost 10-5, compiling a 13.50 ERA and 2.25 WHIP along the way.
Even with yesterday's loss, the Royals have still won four of their last five games, when hosting the Twins. This season, they're still 9-7 vs. divisional opponents. I expect them to bounce back. 9* personal favorite
|06-05-13||Chicago White Sox v. Seattle Mariners UNDER 7||Top||7-5||Loss||-115||11 h 30 m||Show|
I'm playing on Seattle and Chicago to finish UNDER the total. After a 4-2 Seattle win in the opener, the bats came to life yesterday, the Mariners winning by a score of 7-4. I expect this afternoon's game to more closely resemble the opener.
Iwakuma is off a gem last time out and is having a superb season overall. He tossed 7 2/3 shutout innings en route to earning a 3-0 victory. For the season, he's 6-1 with a 2.13 ERA and 0.871 WHIP. In five home starts, he's 2-0 with an outstanding 1.34 ERA and 0.594 WHIP.
In 33 2/3 innings here, an average of 6 2/3 per start, Iwakuma has 33 K's vs. only two walks. Not surprisingly, the UNDER is 3-1-1 when he's taken the mound here.
Axelrod also pitched well last time out. Like Iwakuma, he was involved in a game which finished with a score of 3-0. Through seven complete innings, Axelrod allowed two runs on just four hits. He had seven K's and didn't walk a batter.
Axelrod faced the M's exactly two months ago. He allowed just one unearned run, on only three hits.
The Sox have now lost eight straight. They're batting below the Mendoza Line during that stretch, connecting at a mere .197 clip.
Excluding "pushes," the Sox have seen the UNDER go 10-7 in day games. The UNDER is now 68-50 in their afternoon games the past few seasons. During that stretch, the M's have seen the UNDER go 65-48 when playing during the day. This season, both Chicago and Seattle are hitting .235 or less in the day (.235 and .227) both averaging 3.7 runs or less.
Given Iwakuma's dominance here and given Chicago's current skid, the Mariners are fairly heavily favored. Therefore, its worth mentioning that the UNDER is 15-3 the past couple of seasons when the Sox were underdogs in the 150 to 175 range. I expect those stats to improve here. 10*
|06-03-13||OAK ATHLETICS v. Milwaukee Brewers -105||Top||10-2||Loss||-105||23 h 27 m||Show|
I'm playing on MILWAUKEE. I successfully played against the Brewers yesterday. That was on the road against Cliff Lee though. Back home and with a far more favorable matchup, I believe they're providing us with very fair value today.
While this season certainly hasn't gotten off to a great start, the Brewers are still an outstanding 123-75 (+26.8) at home the past few seasons.
During the same stretch, the A's are 91-105 away from Oakland. That includes a 15-25 mark when the A's played a road game with an O/U line of nine or 9.5 and a 19-28 (-11.8) mark when the A's played a road game with a money-line that ranged from +100 to -125.
Estrada took the loss last time out. However, a closer look shows that he was actually pretty solid. Through seven complete innings, he allowed four runs. He had five K's and didn't walk a single batter.
In his most recent home start, Estrada allowed just four hits and one run, also lasting seven complete innings, this time winning 2-1. He had 8 Ks and didnt walk a batter.
On the other hand, Millone gave up four runs in five innings in his last start, walking three and serving up two home runs. In his previous start, Millone gave up five runs on eight hits, again giving up two home runs.
The Brewers haven't hosted the A's in many years. Catching the A's off a trip from out West, I expect the Brewers to jump out to a 1-0 series lead, stopping the bleeding here at home with a much needed victory. 10* best bet
|06-01-13||Washington Nationals v. Atlanta Braves UNDER 7.5||Top||1-2||Win||100||11 h 26 m||Show|
I'm playing on Atlanta and Washington to finish UNDER the total. With yesterday's 3-2 victory, the Nationals have seen four of their five visits here this season stay below the total. I expect another well-pitched affair here.
Gonzalez wasn't that good in his last home outing. However, he allowed just one run on only four hits in his last road start, lasting 7 1/3 innings.
Hudson wasn't that good in his last road start. However, he's 3-0 with a 2.97 ERA and 0.989 WHIP in five home starts.
Admittedly, Gonzalez didn't fare too well here earlier this season. However, he did allow less than three earned runs in two of his three starts here last season.
As for Hudson, he's 16-5 with a stellar 2.55 ERA and 1.107 WHIP vs. the Nats. He's faced them twice this season and allowed just one run in each start, going seven complete innings each time. Facing a Washington lineup which averages 3.2 runs per game (.216 batting average) on the road, he should be poised for another big effort. All things considered, I believe the number is very fair. 10* blue chip
|06-01-13||Los Angeles Dodgers v. Colorado Rockies -125||Top||6-7||Win||100||8 h 7 m||Show|
I'm playing on COLORADO. I'm 4-0 playing on/against the Dodgers the past four days, successfully playing on them twice and against them twice. I believe that this afternoon should be a good spot to go against them.
I successfully played against the Rockies in Chacin's last start - they lost 3-2 at Houston. However, Chacin pitched very well in that game, as he allowed just two runs on five hit, in seven innings, striking out nine. That was preceded by a quality start vs. Arizona, a game in which he allowed only three hits in 6 1/3 innings.
On the other hand, Greinke has been roughed up in back to back starts. Last time out, he gave up six runs (4 earned) and 10 hits, lasting just four innings. In his previous start, Greinke also went just four innings, allowing five runs on nine hits. Over that 2-game stretch, he's had only three K's, walking four. Clearly, he hasn't been "the Greinke of old" in those games, compiling a 10.13 ERA.
In five starts vs. the Rockies, Greinke's ERA is above five. Meanwhile, while he didn't fare too well in his lone start against them last season, Chacin has a solid 3.16 ERA in 11 starts vs. the Dodgers.
The Rockies are averaging 5.2 runs per game here, batting .276. Their relievers have a combined 2.60 ERA and 1.109 WHIP here.
On the other hand, the Dodgers' relievers have a combined 4.81 ERA and 1.445 WHIP on the road. The Dodgers are scoring 3.7 runs per game on the road, 3.5 overall. They'll be without Kemp again here.
The Rockies are 30-19 (+4.3) their last 49 as home favorites in the 125 to 150 range, going 7-1 (+5.8) their last eight in that situation. They're also 4-1 (+3.6) the last five times that they were off three or more consecutive losses. I believe that the price is fair and I expect them to bounce back with a much needed win. 10* personal favorite
|05-31-13||Toronto Blue Jays v. San Diego Padres UNDER 8.5||Top||3-4||Win||101||11 h 33 m||Show|
I'm playing on San Diego and Toronto to finish UNDER the total. This O/U line has climbed since it first came out. I believe we're getting very fair value.
The Jays haven't hit well away from Toronto. They're averaging 3.9 runs per game on the road, hitting .234.
The Padres average 3.9 runs per game here at Petco Park, allowing 4.2.
While Marquis won't be winning the Cy Young any time soon, he does have a 6-2 record to go along with a respectable 3.70 ERA. In his last start here, he allowed only one earned run and just three hits, through six complete innings.
Jenkins, who has a respectable 3.60 ERA through two starts, will have the advantage of facing the Padres for the first time. The former first round pick should also benefit from pitching on regular rest, after going 13 days in between his previous starts.
Toronto relievers have a solid 3.65 ERA and 1.308 WHIP on the road. San Diego relievers have an excellent 2.56 ERA and 1.058 WHIP here at San Diego.
I look for a relatively low-scoring affair. 10* best bet
|05-31-13||Los Angeles Dodgers -143 v. Colorado Rockies||Top||7-5||Win||100||19 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA DODGERS. I successfully played against the Dodgers each of the last two days, after successfully playing on them the day before that. With what should be a significant edge on the mound, I believe this will be another good "play on" spot.
What more can you say about Kershaw? Through 11 starts, he Dodgers' ace has a 1.68 ERA and 0.871 WHIP.
In his last road start, Kershaw went the distance, allowing three hits and one run.
In his most recent start vs. the Rockies, Kershaw tossed eight shutout innings, striking out 10. The Dodgers won 8-0.
On the other hand, Garland is 0-3 with a 5.62 ERA and 1.937 WHIP his last three starts, the Rockies losing by a combined score of 18-7.
For the season, Garland is 3-6 with a 5.05 ERA and 1.614 WHIP.
All things considered, I feel the price on Kershaw and the Dodgers is reasonable. 9* personal favorite
|05-30-13||Oakland A's v. San Francisco Giants -104||Top||2-5||Win||100||14 h 53 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN FRANCISCO. The A's have taken the first three games of this series, both in Oakland and last night's here at San Francisco. I expect the Giants to have the edge this afternoon though.
Zito gets the call and he's been unbeatable here at home. Literally. In six starts he's 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA. The Giants were 6-0 (+6.3) in those games.
Griffin, on the other hand, is 3-2 with a 4.31 ERA on the road.
Its true that Zito's career stats against the A's are too impressive. However, he is 2-0 his last two starts against them.
While the A's are 8-11 (-4) in day games, the Giants are 12-10. Yesterday's loss notwithstanding, the Giants have been outstanding in home games with a line in the +100 to -125 range in recent seasons. I see them bouncing back here. 10* best bet
|05-29-13||Milwaukee Brewers v. Minnesota Twins UNDER 9||Top||1-4||Win||100||12 h 55 m||Show|
I'm playing on Milwaukee and Minnesota to finish UNDER the total. Both games at Milwaukee finished above the number. With the "series" shifting to Minnesota, I expect a lower-scoring affair this evening.
Estrada gets the call for the visitors and he was very sharp last time out. Through seven innings, he allowed just four hits and one run. He had eight K's and didn't walk a single batter. The Brewers won that game by a score of 2-1.
While that was at home, Estrada has done his best work on the road. In five road starts, three of which stayed below the total, he's got a very solid 3.09 ERA and 1.125 WHIP.
Deduno did not pitch well last time out, which was his season debut. That was at Detroit though vs. a powerful Tigers lineup. If you remember from last season, Deduno was much better when pitching at home.
Last season, Deduno was 2-4 with a 5.71 ERA in eight road starts. Opposing batters hit .306 against him. He allowed seven home runs and he had more walks than K's.
However, when pitching at home, Deduno was 4-1 with a 3.08 ERA and more than a strikeout per inning. He allowed only three home runs in seven games here, opposing batters hitting a mere .163 against him. He allowed three earned runs or less in six of seven starts here and four in the other one.
Deduno is backed by a Minnesota bullpen which has a 2.99 ERA and 1.173 WHIP on the season.
The Brewers don't hit well away from Milwaukee. They're averaging just 3.5 runs on the road, batting just .240 in those games. Their bullpen has been solid on the road though. Milwaukee relievers have a combined 2.81 ERA and 1.162 WHIP away from home.
While many will likely be expecting another "slug-fest," I expect a relatively well-pitched affair. 10* best bet
|05-29-13||Cincinnati Reds v. Cleveland Indians -133||Top||2-5||Win||100||11 h 52 m||Show|
I'm playing on CLEVELAND. The Indians are stuck in a losing streak. With Masterson on the hill and returning home, I expect them to turn things around today.
Masterson didn't fare too well at Fenway last time out. However, he's having a great season and he's been dominant at home. In his last start here, Masterson struck out 11 Mariners through seven shutout innings, en route to a 6-0 win. In his previous start, Masterson tossed a complete-game shutout vs. the Yankees, en route to a 1-0 victory.
For the season, Masterson is 4-1 (Clev is 5-1) with a 2.47 ERA and 1.053 WHIP here at Cleveland. In 43 2/3 innings here, an average of better than seven per start, he's got 44 K's vs. just 11 walks. During that entire time, he's surrendered just a single home run.
Arroyo, on the other hand, is 1-3 with a 3.71 ERA in four road starts.
Arroyo got rocked by the Indians in each of the last few seasons. Last year, he lasted just four innings against the Tribe, giving up five runs and losing 8-1. The previous season, he was worse. In 4 2/3 innings, he gave up eight runs, losing 8-2. The year before? He allowed four runs in five innings, getting beaten 5-3. Over that 13 2/3 inning stretch, he's gone 0-3 and allowed as many home runs (7) as he has strikeouts!
Masterson opposed Arroyo each of the past two seasons. While Arroyo was getting hammered, he was dominating. Through 17 innings, he allowed only two runs and just one of them was earned. He had 14 Ks and walked a single batter.
The Indians average 4.8 runs per game here, compared to Cincinnati's 4.2 on the road. The Indians relievers have an ERA of 3.83 here while the Reds' relievers have a 4.43 mark away from Cincy. All things considered, I believe that this price is more than fair. 10* personal favorite
|05-27-13||MIN TWINS v. Milwaukee Brewers -130||Top||6-3||Loss||-130||6 h 20 m||Show|
I'm playing on MILWAUKEE. Both teams are struggling. Both starters are struggling. Both lineups are struggling. I believe the Brewers currently bring more to the table though and I look for them to be the team which breaks through with a victory here.
While the Brewers have had serious trouble vs. southpaws, they've quietly gone a respectable 15-12 (+3.1) vs. right-handed starters, moving to +16.2 (vs. the money-line) vs. right-handers the past few seasons.
This season, Milwaukee is averaging 4.7 runs vs. right-handed starters.
On the other hand, the Twins have been terrible vs. right-handers. Even before yesterday's 6-1 loss, they were averaging 4.1 runs vs. right-handed starters, hitting .239. They're 16-24 vs. right-handers on the season, dropping -37.9 units (vs. the moneyline) vs. right-handers the past few seasons.
While the Brewers are quite familiar with Correia, the Twins will be seeing Peralta for the first time.
The Brewers are still 123-73 here the past few seasons, banking nearly 30 net units of profit. That includes a 4-2 (+0.9) mark against the Twins here. I expect them to improve on those stats this afternoon. 10* personal favorite
|05-27-13||Colorado Rockies v. Houston Astros +1.5||Top||2-3||Win||100||6 h 10 m||Show|
I'm playing HOUSTON on the run-line (+1.5 runs). With the Rockies favored fairly heavily on the money-line, we're able to get the Astros at an excellent price on the run-line. Considering that I expect them to have an edge on the mound, I believe that's providing us with excellent value.
Norris has been a bright spot for the Astros, at least here at Houston. In six home starts, he's 3-1 with a stellar 1.93 ERA. While he has had to deal with a bit of stiffness in his back lately, he still tossed six shutout innings last time out.
Speaking of back problems ...
Chacin got off to a hot start this season. However, he then missed a few starts with a back injury and he's been terrible ever since. In fact, since returning to the rotation, he's 0-3 with a 6.85 ERA in four outings.
With yesterday's loss, the Rockies are now a dismal 44-80 (-43.2) in day games the past few seasons.
The Astros are 10-8 in Norris' last 18 home starts. Considering that four of the losses came by a single run, they'd be 14-4 his last 18 here, if getting +1.5 runs each time.
The Astros have won nine of 14 over the Rockies at Minute Maid Park. I expect AT LEAST a "cover" this afternoon. 10* best bet
|05-27-13||Baltimore Orioles v. Washington Nationals -135||Top||6-2||Loss||-135||6 h 39 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. The Nationals are starting to roll again and I expect them to have the advantage in the opener of the "Beltway Series."
While the Nats, who have had at least 10 hits in three straight games, are off a big win, the O's are off a devastating loss. Baltimore closer Jim Johnson allowed four runs in the ninth inning yesterday, blowing his fourth save in his last five tries.
Johnson noted: "We should be getting on the plane with three wins here, but I can't hang my head too long. It's going to hurt for a little bit, and it should."
Conversely, Washington shortstop Ian Desmond noted: "Things are starting to unfold. We're starting to play the game better."
Today's two starters are in vastly different form right now. Gonzalez has a superb 1.29 ERA and 0.857 WHIP his last three starts. On the other hand, Hammel has a terrible 8.80 ERA and 1.956 WHIP his last three.
For the season, Hammel has a very good record but hasn't pitched that well. Indeed, he's 6-2 but has a 5.37 ERA and a 1.526 WHIP.
Gonzalez doesn't have the same record but his overall numbers have been much better - and the Nats are still 7-3 (+3.4) when he takes the mound. In five home starts, Gonzalez has a 2.61 ERA and 0.839 WHIP.
I expect Gonzalez to continue to roll and for Hammel's good fortune to come to an end. *10
|05-26-13||Pittsburgh Pirates v. Milwaukee Brewers -125||Top||5-4||Loss||-125||14 h 25 m||Show|
I'm playing on MILWAUKEE. Today's starters, Rodriguez and Gallardo, have already opposed each other twice this season. In each case, the the pitcher who was in his home park came away with the victory. I expect that to be the case again here.
The most recent meeting between these starters came on 5/15. Both pitched well. Through six innings, Gallardo gave up only three hits and two runs. Rodriquez outlasted and out-dueled him though, allowing six hits but only one run, through seven innings. The Pirates won by a score of 3-1.
The game here at Milwaukee was a different story though, although Gallardo's stat-line was pretty similar. Once again, Gallardo allowed just three hits, this time lasting seven innings. Once again, he allowed only two runs - however, this time, only one of them was earned.
Rodriguez, on the other hand, got rocked in the game at Miwaukee. In that 4/29 contest, he allowed seven earned runs in just 3 2/3 innings. Gallgardo and the Brewers came away with a 10-4 win.
Rodriguez getting rocked here is nothing new. He's 3-8 with a 6.46 ERA in 13 starts at Miller Park. His teams (Pitt and Houston) are 2-10 his last 12 starts here.
The Pirates know all about how tough Gallardo can be. They've faced him 16 times and they've only won two of those games. Both the wins came at Pittsburgh too. They're 0-9 against Gallardo here at Milwaukee. Gallardo is personally 6-0 with a 2.80 ERA in those games, allowing three earned runs or less in eight of nine.
Admittedly, the Brewers aren't scoring many runs these days. However, I agree with manager Ron Roenicke when he says: "That's still a good offense we're putting out there. I look at the lineup, right it down every day and when you look at it and you look at some of the numbers that we're putting up, I expect us to score runs. It's puzzling."
The fact that the Brewers (and Gallardo) have struggled lately has kept this price very reasonable. In fact, its far lower than the price on any Gallardo home start vs the Pirates, prior to this year.
Given Gallardo's record against the Pirates here - and Rodriguez's struggles here at Miller Park, I'm going with the home team to take this afternoon's rubber game. 10* personal favorite
|05-26-13||New York Yankees v. Tampa Bay Rays -128||Top||3-8||Win||100||3 h 27 m||Show|
I'm playing on TAMPA. Some may be surprised to see the Rays favored over the Yankees when Sabathia is on the mound. However, I believe the Rays are favored for good reason and I expect them to bounce back with a much needed win.
Sabathia is 4-3 with a respectable 3.43 ERA and 1.325 WHIP on the season. However, Cobb is 5-2 with a 2.73 ERA and 1.129 WHIP. They both average 6.6 innings per start and both have a very similar K/W ratio. (Sabathia has 56Ks vs. 15 walks. Cobb has 54 K's vs. 14 walks. )
When you look at the home/road stats, Cobb has the edge though. He's 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA in five starts here. Sabathia is 1-1 with a 3.70 ERA in four road starts.
Cobb is also in much better form. He allowed just three hits and one run through 6 1/3 innings last time out. That was his exact stat-line in his previous start, too. The Rays are now 8-2 in his last 10 home starts. Cobb has allowed three or fewer earned runs in 12 straight here.
On the other hand, Sabathia gave up 11 hits and four runs last time out and 10 hits and three runs (two earned) in his previous start. That's a lot of hits in back-to-back starts, 21 as compared to Cobb's six.
One might expect New York to have the better hitting lineup. However, the Yanks remain very banged-up at the moment and the Rays actually have the offensive edge. Tampa averages 4.8 runs, hitting .258. The Yankees average only 4.3 runs, hitting a mere .246.
The Yankees may have taken the first two games of this series but this is rarely a favorable venue for them. Indeed, the Rays are still 15-8 against NY here the past few seasons.
The Rays are also an outstanding 19-8 (+12.1) the past few seasons, after losing their previous three games. They typically fare well as home favorites in this range and I look for them to get it done today. 10*
|05-25-13||Colorado Rockies v. San Francisco Giants -123||Top||5-6||Win||100||9 h 22 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN FRANCISCO. The Rockies are red hot right now and they took yesterday's series opener by a score of 5-0. The Rockies also beat the Giants by a 5-0 score when these same two pitchers opposed each other last week. I expect Zito and the Giants to return the favor this afternoon.
Yesterday's loss notwithstanding, the Giants have dominated the Rockies here. They're still 17-5 the last 22 as a host vs Colorado.
Speaking of dominating here, Zito is 3-0 with a 0.55 ERA in five starts here this season. Not surprisingly, the Giants are a perfect 5-0 in those games.
On the other hand, Nicasio has a 5.19 ERA and 1.538 WHIP in five road starts.
Note that the Rockies are an ugly 44-78 (-41.2) in afternoon games the past few seasons. During that stretch, they're also 48-68 (-20.3) vs. southpaw starters.
Last week's loss at Coors Field notwithstanding, Zito has owned the Rockies. This season's lone home meeting against the Rockies saw Zito toss seven shutout innings, en route to a 10-0 win. All things considered, I feel the price on the home team is very fair. 10* personal favorite
|05-24-13||San Diego Padres v. Arizona Diamondbacks -139||Top||2-5||Win||100||22 h 52 m||Show|
I'm playing on ARIZONA. The Padres took two of three meetings at Petco earlier. However, I look for the Diamondbacks to have the advantage this evening.
While the Dbax are a modest 12-11 at home, the Padres are only 8-13 away from San Diego. Going back further finds Arizona at 107-82 here the past few seasons, including a 65-42 (+9.1) mark when playing here with an O/U line of nine or 9.5.
While the Padres are a money-burning 24-53 (-20.6) the past few seasons, as road underdogs in the +125 to +150 range, the Dbax are 29-17 (+6) as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range.
Admittedly, Stults has pitched well lately. However, McCarthy has been even better. In fact, over his last two starts - a span of 17 innings - he hasn't allowed a single run. Over his last three starts, he's got a stellar 1.16 ERA and 0.900 WHIP, averaging nearly eight innings per start.
While Arizona is familiar with Stults, McCarthy will have the advantage of facing the Padres for the first time. I expect him to continue his recent strong pitching and the home team to start the series with a victory. 9* personal favorite
|05-23-13||Baltimore Orioles v. Toronto Blue Jays -127||Top||6-12||Win||100||9 h 27 m||Show|
I'm playing on TORONTO. The Jays got a big win yesterday and I expect them to carry the momentum into today's contest. Bautista was 4 for 4 with two home runs and all four RBI's. One of his home runs was a walk-off shot in extra innings. That was the Jays' first walk off home run this season and I believe it will prove to be just what the doctor ordered, for this talented but under-achieving team.
Morrow was very sharp in his last start here at Toronto. He allowed two runs, on only three hits, through eight complete innings, winning by a score of 10-2. The Jays also won his previous start here, although Morrow who allowed three runs, didn't factor in the decision. In 24 1/3 innings here, he's got 27 K's. The Jays are 2-0 his last two starts against Baltimore.
While he took the loss at Yankee Stadium in his last start, Gibbons said this of him: "I thought Morrow threw the ball really well, he really did."
Gausman is one of the Oriole's top prospects and brings an impressive K/W ratio to the table, from the minors. However, this is his major league debut and he'll be facing a Toronto team which has quietly won five of six at home. All things considered, I feel this price is very fair. 10* personal favorite
|05-21-13||Seattle Mariners v. Los Angeles Angels -150||Top||0-12||Win||100||27 h 11 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA ANGELS. While the Angels had the day off, the Mariners are off a heart-breaking 10-inning loss yesterday. Those type of losses can be difficult to bounce back from. After that game, they had to fly across the country from Cleveland.
Williams is off back to back quality starts. He's 2-1 with a 3.05 and 1.097 WHIP on the season.
On the other hand, Harang is 1-4 with a 7.30 ERA on the season. That includes an 0-2 mark with a 8.43 mark on the road.
While Williams is 3-1 in four starts vs. Seattle, Harang is 0-2 with an ugly 6.11 ERA and a terrible 2.037 WHIP in four starts vs. the Angels. Note that Harang missed his last start due to back stiffness.
Before yesterday's "explosion," the M's were batting .226 on the road, averaging 3.5 runs. The Angels are averaging 4.6 runs per game at home, hitting .276.
While the M's took three of four meetings at Seattle a few weeks ago, the Angels have won 13 of the last 20 series meetings here at LA. I expect them to have the advantage here. 9* personal favorite
|05-19-13||Washington Nationals v. San Diego Padres -124||Top||4-13||Win||100||8 h 45 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO. The Nationals took the first two games of this series. However, the Padres won yesterday and I look them to salvage the series split this afternoon.
Admittedly, Haren can be tough. However, he's only 1-3 with a 4.63 ERA on the road this season.
On the other hand, Cashner is 2-0 with a superb 0.68 ERA and 0.975 WHIP in two home starts, averaging 6 2/3 innings. Overall, he's got a 2.51 ERA in his five starts.
Cashner, who may not have to contend with Bryce Harper, has never started against the Nats. However, he has faced them five times in relief and has a 0.00 ERA and 0.53 WHIP in those 5 2/3 innings. He's recorded six K's, walked one and allowed two hits.
Note that the Padre bullpen has a combined 2.10 ERA here this season.
The Padres have quietly won 10 of their last 13 games here. They're also an outstanding 66-57(+22.4) in day games the past couple of seasons - a MUCH better mark than they have at night. I believe the price is fair and I expect them to "keep on rolling" here for another day. 10* personal favorite
|05-18-13||Chicago White Sox v. Los Angeles Angels -129||Top||9-12||Win||100||8 h 46 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA ANGELS. The Sox have won the first two games of the series and enter this afternoon's game on a roll. I expect the Angels to bounce back with a big win today though.
Off a 3-0 loss yesterday, note that LA is 17-9 (+4.8) off a shutout loss the past couple of seasons. During that stretch, the Sox are only 12-15 (-5.5) off a shutout win.
While the Sox are averaging 3.4 runs in the afternoon, the Angels are averaging 4.5.
Admittedly, Blanton has been inconsistent. OK, at 0-7, he's been worse than that. A 29/11 K/W ratio shows that he's still got the tools though. I feel this is a good matchup for him. Although he hasn't faced them for some time, Blanton is 3-1 with a 2.59 ERA vs. the Sox.
While Santiago has impressive numbers, he's still only made a few starts and he gave up two home runs last time out.
I expect the Angels bats to come alive and for Blanton to finally break through with a "W." 10* personal favorite
|05-17-13||Chicago White Sox v. Los Angeles Angels OVER 7||Top||3-0||Loss||-120||15 h 47 m||Show|
I'm playing on Chicago and LA to finish OVER the total. Many of you may recall that I just successfully played on the "under" when these same two pitchers squared off against each other on Sunday night. That one finished with a score of 3-0. However, there are a few reasons why I'm expecting to see more runs this evening and why I believe that the value has now shifted the other way.
For starters, the hitters just saw these same pitchers less than a week ago. That can often provide an advantage to the batters.
Also, Sale hasn't been nearly as sharp on the road. Indeed, he's 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA at home but 1-2 with a 4.56 ERA on the road.
On the other hand, Wilson has a higher ERA (4.00) at home than he does on the road.
Entering the series, games here were averaging 9.9 runs. Not surprisingly, the OVER has been a cash cow here all season. With the O/U line having dropped from its opener, I expect that to be the case again tonight. 10* Blue Chip
|05-17-13||Cincinnati Reds v. Philadelphia Phillies -111||Top||3-5||Win||100||10 h 49 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. The Reds are rolling. However, they're stepping up in class considerably here and I expect their win streak to come to an end.
Lee was dominant last time out. He tossed seven shutout innings, en route to a 3-1 victory. In his previous start, he allowed two runs in eight innings, a 6-2 victory over the Giants. For the season, he's 4-2 with a 2.86 ERA. He averages better than seven innings per start and has a 43-9 K/W ratio.
Of course, Cingrani's numbers are also very good. That said, he only lasted four innings last time out, giving up two home runs in that span. In fact, that was the second start in a row that he's permitted two home runs. That's four home runs in just two games, as many as Lee has allowed in all eight of his.
Lee has been dominant against the Reds in recent seasons. Indeed, he's 3-0 with a 1.83 ERA in his last five starts against them.
While the Reds may have better overall offensive numbers, they're only hitting .233 and averaging 3.9 runs per game away from Cincinnati. The Phillies average 4.2 runs and hit .251 here at Philadelphia.
The Phillies' reliever have a rather mediocre 4.31 ERA at home. However, the Reds' 4.98 ERA on the road is worse.
Speaking of relievers, it should also be mentioned that the Reds had to play 10 innings yesterday while the Phils had the day off.
Manager Charlie Manuel said this of his team: "For some reason we seem to win a couple, get within one or two games of .500, then all of the sudden we fall back three, four, five. Then we win a couple more, and we're yo-yoing back and forth. We definitely need to put a streak together, play sound baseball and run off a six-to-10 game winning streak."
Behind another big game from Lee, I expect Manuel's crew to take the first step towards that goal tonight, improving to 10-4 the last 14 times that they were off a game in which they allowed 10 or more runs. 10* personal favorite
|05-16-13||Detroit Tigers v. Texas Rangers UNDER 7.5||Top||4-10||Loss||-104||10 h 41 m||Show|
I'm playing on Detroit and Texas to finish UNDER the total. While both lineups are certainly very capable, I'm expecting a pitcher's duel here.
While he's got a modest 4-3 record thus far and admittedly wasn't his best last time out, Verlander remains among the best - if not the very best - in the game. He's got a 1.93 ERA on the season and that number dips all the way to 1.08 in four road starts. In his last road start, he tossed seven shutout innings. In 25 road innings, he has yet to give up a home run, striking out 34 and walking eight.
Darvish is no slouch either. Indeed, he's 6-1 with a stellar 2.73 ERA and 0.911 WHIP. With a chance to go head-to-head vs. one of the game's best, I expect him to bring his "A Game."
While we think of high-scoring games here, the UNDER is 10-4 here on the season, opposing teams averaging a mere 2.7 runs and hitting .217.
Darvish is 3-0 vs. the Tigers. Verlander is 8-3 with a 2.50 ERA in 13 starts vs. the Rangers, the UNDER going 8-4-1. His two 2012 starts vs. Texas had scores of 2-1 and 3-2. Verlander allowed a single earned run through 13 complete innings. More of the same this evening. 9*
|05-15-13||Boston Red Sox v. Tampa Bay Rays -123||Top||9-2||Loss||-123||10 h 59 m||Show|
I'm playing on TAMPA BAY. The Red Sox still have the better record. However, its the Rays who are currently playing much better baseball.
With yesterday's victory, the Rays are a perfect 6-0 their last six. While the Rays are 8-4 in May, the Sox are only 4-9. That includes a 0-3 mark their last three.
The fact that this game features a pair of left-handed starters figures to favor Tampa. The Red Sox are hitting .249 and averaging 3.9 runs vs. southpaw starters. Conversely, the Rays are batting .273 and averaging 5.3 runs vs. left-handers.
The Sox are a mediocre 65-55 (-1.2) against southpaw starters the past few seasons. During that time, the Rays are a lucrative 68-48 (+19.5.)
Admittedly, Lester has pitched very well. However, Price has really been coming around of late.
True, Lester was dominant last time out. However, he did have a 5.60 ERA in his previous three starts.
True, Lester was very sharp against Price and the Rays last month. However, he'd lost his previous four starts in the series, recording a horrible 7.71 ERA.
On the other hand, Price is 2-0 with a 2.21 ERA in his last five starts against the Sox. While he didn't factor in the decision, he was also very sharp in last month's game.
Price has made six home starts against the Sox since 2010 and he's allowed three earned runs or less in all six. During that time, he recorded 45Ks vs. just 11 walks. Not surprisingly, the Rays won the last three of those games, including both here last season.
Given the current form of the teams and Price's history in the series, I feel this price is more than fair. 10* personal favorite
|05-14-13||Atlanta Braves v. Arizona Diamondbacks -132||Top||0-2||Win||100||13 h 31 m||Show|
I'm playing on ARIZONA. The Braves took yesterday's opener. I expect the Dbax to return the favor this evening.
The Dbax are a perfect 7-0 when Corbin has taken the mound. During that 7-game stretch, he has an outstanding 1.75 ERA. At home, that mark dips to 1.42. In 19 innings here, he has yet to allow a single home run.
The Braves have also been winning when Teheran has pitched. However, that's not really all his doing, as he's got a poor 4.84 ERA and 1.528 WHIP. In four road starts, he's permitted four home runs.
Manager Kirk Gibson said this of Corbin: "We're not surprised. That's why he's on the team. We've got complete confidence in him. He's thrown the ball this way all year. He's got a great head on his shoulders. He's a total pitcher, total ballplayer."
The Dbax are 28-17 (+5) the last 45 times that they were listed as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range. With Corbin getting the better of Teheran, I expect them to improve on those stats tonight. 10* personal favorite
|05-13-13||Texas Rangers v. Oakland A's -122||Top||1-5||Win||100||13 h 8 m||Show|
I'm playing on OAKLAND. After a disappointing road trip, the A's should be happy to be back home.
While they struggled to score runs recently, the A's are averaging a healthy 4.9 runs per game here at Oakland - more than the Rangers average on the road. I expect them to score some runs this evening.
Grimm has come back down to earth his last two games, losing both. In 11 2/3 innings, he's given up eight earned runs. During that stretch, he's given up 14 hits and walked seven. That's a lot of baserunners (1.8 WHIP!) and I expect it to catch up with him again here.
For the season, Grimm has a 1.43 WHIP, 1.5 in three road starts. (Griffin's WHIP is 1.209.)
While he received a loss, Griffin didn't pitch poorly last time out - as he allowed three earned runs in 6 2/3 innings. In his previous start, he shut out the Yankees through seven complete innings, out-dueling Sabathia en route to a 2-0 Oakland win.
Griffin has made 12 career starts here, going 4-1 with a solid 3.39 ERA. The A's were a dominating 10-2 in those games.
The A's, who are typically at their best against divisional opponents, have had success when hosting the Rangers in recent seasons. I expect them to start this series with a much needed victory. 10* personal favorite
|05-12-13||Los Angeles Angels v. Chicago White Sox UNDER 8||Top||0-3||Win||100||24 h 42 m||Show|
I'm playing on Chicago and LA to finish UNDER the total. Yesterday's game was low-scoring (3-2 LA) in nature and I expect that to be the case again tonight.
Sale has made seven starts this season and he's seen the UNDER go 4-1-2. Both "pushes" finished with exactly seven runs too. In other words, six of his seven starts have finished with less than 7.5 runs.
A closer look shows that Sale has had one bad game (at Cleveland on 4/13) and that all six of his other starts were of the "quality" variety. He went at least seven innings in all six of those starts too.
While he's been very strong in his last two starts, which were both on the road, Sale has been at his best at home. In three home starts, he's got a 2.08 ERA and 1.061 WHIP, averaging 7.2 innings.
Sale's lone start vs. the Angels happened to come against Wilson. Sale was very sharp (1.69 ERA) in that game, allowing one run while striking out more batters than he allowed hits/waks combined. That game, which occurred last May, finished with a score of 6-1.
Wilson wasn't as dominant as Sale in that 5/17/12 contest. However, he does still have a stingy 2.25 ERA in three overall starts vs. the Sox. All three of those games stayed below the number, producing seven, six and three combined runs.
Wilson, who had 12 K's in his last start, has allowed three or fewer earned runs in five straight starts. Going back further finds that he has allowed three earned runs or less in 13 or 14 of his last starts. (He allowed four in the other.)
While the Angels are only hitting .241 on the road, the Sox are batting a paltry .217 here at home. Over their last seven games, the Sox are hitting just .211 while averaging a mere 2.9 runs. Six of their last nine have dipped below the total and I expect that to be the case again this evening. 10* main event
|05-11-13||New York Yankees v. Kansas City Royals -137||Top||3-2||Loss||-137||10 h 39 m||Show|
I'm playing on KANSAS CITY. The Yankees come in as the hotter team and they took yesterday's series opener. I expect the Royals to have the advantage this evening though.
Admittedly, Pettitte has better career numbers against today's opponent than Shields does. However, Shields is the pitcher in better current form.
Shields was dominant last time out. He tossed eight shutout innings, allowing a mere two hits. He also had nine K's, walking only two. Through seven starts, Shields now has a 2.52 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. He's averaging better than seven innings per start and has a 4/1 K/W ratio.
In three home starts, Shields has a superb 1.87 ERA and an outstanding 0.625 WHIP.
Pettitte got off to a great start. However, he's started to show his age of late. Over his last three starts, he's 0-2 (Yanks are 0-3) with an ugly 7.05 ERA and 1.761 WHIP. Last time out, in a span of only five innings, he walked four and gave up two home runs. In his previous start, he gave up 10 hits to lowly Houston, in just 4 2/3 innings.
The Yankees are off to a strong start this season. However, they remain banged-up and they're only 6-14 (-5.8) the last 20 times that they were listed as road underdogs in the +125 to +150 range.
The Royals, 10-6 at home, are 9-4 (+6.8) off a loss this season. Behind another solid effort from Shields, I expect them to bounce back. 9* personal favorite
|05-11-13||Atlanta: P Maholm v. San Francisco: Bumgarner UNDER 7||Top||1-10||Loss||-115||6 h 17 m||Show|
I'm playing on SF and Atlanta to finish UNDER the total. One big inning (6 SF runs in 4th) doomed the "under" in last night's 8-2 victory for the Giants. However, I expect a lower-scoring affair this afternoon.
While he wasn't at his best last time out, Bumgarner is having an excellent season. Through seven starts, he's 3-1 with a 2.31 ERA and 0.943 WHIP. Averaging 6 2/3 innings per start, he's got 43 K's vs 11 walks. Six of his seven starts have fallen below the total. Prior to his last start, he'd allowed two or fewer earned runs in all six starts.
Bumgarner is backed by a SF bullpen which has a 2.21 ERA here at San Francisco.
After a shaky outing at Detroit to close out April, Maholm has allowed two earned runs in each of his two May starts. On the season, through seven starts, he has a solid 3.09 ERA and 1.076 WHIP. He's got 38 K's vs. 15 walks and has only allowed two home runs all season.
Maholm is supported by an Atlanta bullpen which has a 2.78 ERA and 1.144 WHIP.
Dating back to last season, the UNDER is 7-1 the last eight times that Bumgarner took the mound. Those eight games averaged only 4.625 runs. I expect another well-pitched affair. *10 Blue Chip
|05-10-13||Atlanta Braves v. San Francisco Giants UNDER 7||Top||2-8||Loss||-121||12 h 11 m||Show|
I'm playing on Atlanta and SF to finish UNDER the total. Yesterday's series opener finished above the total, continuing an extended "over" streak for the Braves. With a couple of highly capable starters on the mound, I expect that streak to come to an end tonight though.
True, Cain's numbers aren't very good yet. However, we saw him return to form last time out, as he allowed just one run on only five hits, through 7 1/3 innings.
Cain hasn't allowed a single earned run in either of his last two starts vs. the Braves. In seven starts against Atlanta, he's got a 2.68 ERA.
Meanwhile, Hudson has a 3.00 ERA in 18 starts vs. the Giants. In his last three starts against them, he's allowed just five combined runs in 22 1/3 innings.
Overall, Hudson has a 3.10 ERA and 0.935 WHIP his last three starts.
Both bullpens have been excellent. Atlanta relievers have a combined 2.72 ERA and 1.166 WHIP. San Francisco relievers have a 2.66 ERA overall, 2.25 at home. I expect a well-pitched affair. 9*
|05-10-13||Atlanta Braves v. San Francisco Giants -115||Top||2-8||Win||100||12 h 4 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN FRANCISCO. The Braves took yesterday's series opener. However, I feel that the Giants should have an excellent shot at evening things up here.
Despite coming up short yesterday, the Giants remain a profitable 28-18 (+7.2) the past few seasons when playing at home with a line in the +100 to -125 range.
Its not all that often we get Cain at home at that price though.
True, Cain's numbers aren't very good yet. However, we saw him return to form last time out, as he allowed just one run on only five hits, through 7 1/3 innings. He got the "W" in a 4-3 SF win.
Cain hasn't allowed a single earned run in either of his last two starts vs. the Braves.
Admittedly, Hudson is also tough. However, he hasn't been nearly as sharp on the road - the Braves are 4-0 when he pitches at home but 1-2 when he pitches away from Atlanta. He's got a 5.29 ERA in those three games, allowing four home runs in 17 innings.
The Giants are 90-73 (+7.5) off a loss the last couple of seasons. I expect Cain to build some momentum from his last game and for him to lead his team to the win. 10* best bet
|05-08-13||Miami Marlins v. San Diego Padres UNDER 7.5||Top||0-1||Win||100||6 h 19 m||Show|
I'm playing on San Diego and Miami to finish UNDER the total. This has been a low-scoring series. The first two games have both finished with six or fewer combined runs. The Marlins have managed only a single run in both games combined. I expect another relatively low-scoring affair this afternoon.
The Marlins are now averaging less than three runs per game (2.9) on the season while hitting a mere .226.
By comparison, the Padres 3.9 runs per game and .247 average looks pretty good. That's not the case though - as those numbers are still pretty feeble.
The Padres stats get even worse when they've played an "afternoon" game. In 11 day games, they're hitting .209 and averaging three runs per game.
Marquis has turned in back to back quality starts. He held Arizona to three runs in six innings after limiting SF to two runs through 6 2/3. He's allowed just two runs in each of his last three starts against the Marlins, most recently facing them in 2011.
Nolasco faced the Padres once last season and he allowed just two runs through seven innings. That was here at Petco and he was also very solid in his previous start here, back in 2010.
Looking at some long-term stats and we find that the UNDER is now 100-62-1 the last 163 times that the Padres were listed as home favorites in the 150 to 175 range. Another low-scoring affair won't surprise. 9*
|05-07-13||Atlanta Braves v. Cincinnati Reds -122||Top||4-5||Win||100||11 h 49 m||Show|
I'm playing on CINCINNATI. The Braves took yesterday's opener. However, I expect the Reds, who are 30-19 (+8) the past couple of seasons when playing a home game with a line in the 100 to -125 range, to have the edge today.
Bailey has made three home starts and the Reds have won them all. He's averaged 6 2/3 innings in those starts and has an outstanding 0.90 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP.
Bailey is also 2-0 (Reds are 3-0) in three starts vs. Atlanta. Bailey had a 2.41 ERA in those games, going six or more innings in each. The Reds won them by a combined score of 20-6.
Medlen, who has a 5.40 ERA from his lone start vs. the Reds, has admittedly pitched better than his 1-4 record suggests. However, he does have a 5.40 ERA and 1.637 WHIP his last three starts, which isn't very good - all three of them Atlanta losses.
The Braves are hitting .247 on the road, averaging 4.3 runs. The Reds are hitting .264 at home, averaging 5.4 runs.
While they lost yesterday, the Reds have still won three of four. They're a profitable 95-67 (+18.7) the past few seasons off a loss. I expect them to bounce back here. 10* personal favorite
|05-06-13||Oakland A's v. Cleveland Indians UNDER 9||Top||3-7||Loss||-100||7 h 15 m||Show|
I'm playing on Cleveland and Oakland to finish UNDER the total. I waited to release this selection as I was hoping that the O/U line would climb higher from its opener. As expected, it did so. That being the case, feel that we're getting very fair value.
If you take a look at the season-long number from both of these starters, its not surprising that the O/U line climbed. Indeed, both starters have very poor overall numbers.
Sometimes, we need to look a little deeper than just overall numbers though.
In this case, both starters are coming off a win in their last game and both bring positive momentum into today's contest.
Jimenez was dominant last time out. All he did was throw seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits.
Manager Terry Francona said this of Jimenez's last start: You're always looking to be encouraged. I think we flew past encouraged and got excited."
Note that both of Jimenez's starts against Oakland have fallen below the total.
Parker wasn't as dominant as Jimenez but he still delivered a quality start. He was quoted saying: "I felt good. I was able to forget about what's done and focus in on each pitch. There's a reason for my success and I didn't want to get away from who I am. I didn't want to fight myself."
Parker, who had a 3.46 ERA vs. Cleveland, was also very sharp in his last road start, losing 1-0. He's got a 2.80 ERA in two road starts overall.
Both bullpens have been effective this season. Cleveland relievers have a combined 2.69 ERA and 1.151 WHIP. Oakland relievers have a 2.95 ERA and 1.209 WHIP. On the road, those numbers dip to 2.38 and 1.103.
With the UNDER at 15-4-1 the last 20 times that these teams faced each other, I'm expecting a relatively low-scoring affair. 10* blue chip
|05-05-13||Los Angeles Dodgers v. San Francisco Giants UNDER 7||Top||3-4||Push||0||13 h 34 m||Show|
I'm playing on SF and LA to finish UNDER the total. Yesterday's game produced 19 combined runs. I don't even expect half that many tonight.
Ryu is off back-to-back excellent starts. He's given up just three combined runs in 13 innings, permitting only six total hits in that time. His last road start had a final score of 3-2. Overall, Ryu is 3-1 with a 3.35 ERA and 1.142 WHIP. With 46 Ks (10 walks) in 37 2/3 innings, he's clearly got impressive stuff.
Ryu's lone start vs. SF resulted in a 3-0 final. He allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings but only one of those was earned. He had five K's without walking a batter.
Don Mattingly said this of RYU and what he did last time out: "He changes speeds, hit spots. He had a good curve, a slider. He didn't use changeup as much. That's a sign of a guy who uses what he needs to. He's a tough matchup."
Admittedly, Cain's numbers are pretty ugly. However, he's a proven winner and his last start here was a "quality" one. I expect him to be just fine. His 32 K's (in 34 2/3 innings) vs. 10 walks remains strong.
Note that Cain's last three starts vs. the Dodgers all stayed below the total. They had scores of 4-0, 3-2 and 3-2. Cain allowed just four total earned runs in 18 1/3 innings. This season's lone start vs. LA saw him toss six shutout innings, striking out eight and walking one.
Going back further finds that Cain is 4-0 with a 2.00 ERA in his last 10 starts against the Dodgers. He's also 2-0 with a 1.55 ERA in four starts at AT&T Park vs. LA.
Its also worth noting that Cain is backed by a SF bullpen which has a combined 1.77 ERA and 1.095 WHIP at home.
Add it up and I'm expecting a well-pitched affair. 10* main event
|05-05-13||Seattle Mariners v. Toronto Blue Jays -135||Top||2-10||Win||100||21 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on TORONTO. With their top two pitchers on the mound, the Mariners have taken the first two games of this series. I expect the Jays to have the advantage on the mound this afternoon though and for that to lead to a much needed victory.
Morrow gets the call for the home team and he should be happy to see Seattle. Not only are the M's typically quite light-hitting, they're also Morrow's former team. Taken in the first round (5th overall) by the M's in the 2006 draft, Morrow pitched for Seattle from 2007 to 2009.
Since coming over to Toronto in 2010, Morrow has enjoyed plenty of success against his former team. In four starts vs. the M's, he's 3-1 with a 3.04 ERA. In 23.2 innings, he's recorded an impressive 32 K's, walking just six. (That's his best K/W ratio against any A.L. club.)
Morrow's overall numbers aren't that great yet. However, he has allowed three or fewer earned runs in three of his last four starts, including each of his last two.
Saunders has been an entirely different pitcher at home than he's been on the road. In three starts at Safeco Field, he's 2-0 with a superb 0.81 ERA and 0.76 WHIP. However, in three road starts, he's 0-3 with a terrible 12.51 ERA and 2.63 WHIP. Opposing batters are hitting .173 against him at Seattle but .429 against him on the road.
Saunders had this to say: "I don't know what's going on. I pride myself on being a good road pitcher, and haven't done that well this year."
Even with yesterday's loss, their fourth straight, the Jays are a profitable 28-24 (+8.8) the past couple of seasons, after losing three or more consecutive games. I expect them to improve on those stats here, closing out the homestand with a badly needed victory. 10*
|05-03-13||Boston Red Sox v. Texas Rangers -120||Top||0-7||Win||100||11 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on TEXAS. The Rangers are 13-6 the last 19 times that they hosted the Red Sox, most recently taking two of three against the Sox here last season. They outscored Boston 15-6 in that series, winning the opener by a score of 9-1. While this season's Red Sox are certainly playing much better baseball than last season's team, I expect the Rangers to again have the advantage in Friday's all southpaw series opener.
Doubront goes for the visitors. Coincidentally, he also pitched for Boston in the opener here last season - taking the "L" in the 9-1 loss. Including that debacle, he's 0-2 with a 10.32 ERA and 2.29 WHIP in five appearances (two starts) vs. the Rangers.
True, Doubront is 3-0 this season. However, he's only got a mediocre 4.24 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. He's also walked four or more batters in each of his last three starts. On the road, Doubront's ERA climbs to 4.50 and his WHIP goes all the way up to 1.70. Opposing hitters are batting a mere .156 against him at Boston but .325 against him away from Fenway.
Unlike Doubront, Holland's numbers are better than his record suggests. He's made five starts, going seven or more innings in four or them. He allowed only seven earned runs in those four games combined, never more than three. For the season, he's got a 3.38 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. Opposing batters are hitting only .195 against him on the season and he's got 28 K's to just nine walks. At home, his ERA dips to 2.40.
Holland is also 4-1 with a 3.00 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in five starts vs. Boston. I'm going with Texas. 9* personal favorite
|05-02-13||BOS RED SOX v. Toronto Blue Jays UNDER 9||Top||3-1||Win||100||10 h 42 m||Show|
I'm playing on Boston and Toronto to finish UNDER the total. The first two games of this series have both been high-scoring. I'm expecting this evening's finale to be considerably lower-scoring.
Dempster is off a strong start last time out. He allowed only four hits and two runs, striking out 10. For the season, he's seen the UNDER go 3-2 while compiling a 3.30 ERA and 1.133 WHIP. Through 30 innings, he's already got 43 K's, walking 14.
A Canadian, Dempster will be making his first start at Toronto and his first start in Canada in a decade. (He's 5-0 in nine starts in Canada, all while visiting the Expos.)
Happ, who had a respectable 3.86 ERA on the season, is off back to back quality starts. Last time out, he limited the Yankees to three runs through six innings. In his previous start, he held the O's to a single unearned run through six innings.
Happ has seen the UNDER go 2-0 in his two home starts, one of those a 5-0 win against Boston. He allowed only one hit in that game. I look for this one to also prove lower-scoring than expected. 10*
|05-01-13||Los Angeles Angels v. Oakland A's UNDER 8.5||Top||5-4||Loss||-111||7 h 31 m||Show|
I'm playing on LA and Oakland to finish UNDER the total. The Angels and A's have both been profitable "over" teams so far this season and the first two games of this series have been extremely high-scoring. I expect a much different type of game this afternoon though.
Millone gets the for the A's and he's been terrific at home. In three home starts, he's 2-1 with a 1.77 ERA and 0.983 WHIP. He's averaging 6.8 innings here and had 15 K's to just two walks.
Last time out, Milone allowed only a single unearned run in 6 2/3 innings but got no run support.
After that outing Milone noted: "I have high expectations for myself, and outings like this are what I'm looking for every time, so it's good to get it."
While this season's stats are still mediocre, CJ Wilson has been coming around lately (2-0, 3.64 ERA and two "unders" in L3 starts) and he's another pitcher who enjoys playing here at Oakland. Indeed, he's 3-1 with a stellar 2.40 ERA in his last five starts here. In six career starts here, he's never allowed more than three earned runs in a game and he's allowed two or less in five of those. As a team, the A's scored three runs or less in five of those.
Angel afternoon games are only averaging 6.9 runs this season and the UNDER is 56-39-9 in their day games the past few seasons. I expect the bats to finally cool off and those stats to improve this afternoon. 10* blue chip
|04-29-13||San Diego: C Richard v. Chicago (N): Samardzija -155||Top||3-5||Win||100||22 h 10 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. Both these teams are playing well. The Padres have won four straight while the Cubs have won four of six. I expect the Cubs, 5-1 the last six times that they hosted the Padres, to have an edge on the mound in this evening's series opener.
Samardzija may not have the record to show it but he's been pitching well. Last time out, he was on the wrong side of a 1-0 loss. On the season, he's 1-4 but has a 3.03 ERA and 1.142 WHIP. In 32 2/3 innings, he already has an impressive 39 K's against only 10 walks. He's permitted just three home runs.
Richard also has a poor (0-2) record. However, in his case, its deserved. He checks in with an ugly 7.94 ERA and 2.00 WHIP. In 17 innings, he's walked 11 and struck out nine, permitting four home runs. His road ERA sits at 14.55. Last time out, he gave up six runs in 1 2/3 innings.
Neither team has hit well overall. However, a closer look at the stats reveals that Chicago is hitting a lot better at home than the Padres are on the road. The Cubs are hitting .271 here at Wrigley, averaging 4.6 runs per game here. On the other hand, the Padres are only hitting .234 away from Petco, averaging a mere 3.2 runs.
These pitchers went head-to head against each other last August. Samardzija pitched very well but Richard was even better. San Diego won 2-0. That was at Petco Park though. Tonight's game is at Wrigley and as noted, Samardzija is currently in much better form than Richard. Even with that hard-luck loss last August, Samardzija is still 2-1 with a 2.20 ERA in four games (two starts) against the Padres.
While the Padres are 22-50 (-20.4) as road underdogs in the +125 to +150 range the past few seasons, the Cubs are a surprising 17-7 (+7.6) as home favorites in the same range. I say its payback time for Samardzija tonight . 9* personal favorite
|04-28-13||Atlanta Braves v. Detroit Tigers UNDER 8||Top||3-8||Loss||-125||12 h 11 m||Show|
I'm playing on Atlanta and Detroit to finish UNDER the total. The first two games of this series have both been high-scoring, each producing double-digits in runs. While I certainly respect both offenses, I expect a considerably lower-scoring affair this evening.
Minor has made four starts, three of them finishing below the total. During that 4-game stretch, he has a terrific 1.80 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. He's allowed only one home run in 25 innings, striking out 21 against just three walks. He's supported by an Atlanta bullpen which has a combined 1.96 ERA.
Fister has been every bit as good. Through four starts, he's got a 2.00 ERA and 1.074 WHIP. Over his last three starts, he's got a 1.23 ERA and 0.955 WHIP, not permitting a single home run over that time. Last time out, he gave up 0 earned runs in seven innings, a 4-3 game at LA.
Expect a well-pitched affair. 10* blue chip
|04-28-13||Milwaukee Brewers v. Los Angeles Dodgers -153||Top||0-2||Win||100||8 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on LA. These teams have split the first two games of this series. I expect the Dodgers to have the edge in this afternoon's rubber game.
Both these starters have been very sharp to begin the season. However, I feel that Kershaw gives the Dodgers an advantage.
Kershaw is off to a particularly dominant start here at LA. In three starts here, he's 2-1 with a superb 1.27 ERA and 0.844 WHIP. That brings him to 36-18 with a 2.32 ERA in 82 starts here.
Lohse may have gotten off to a strong start on the road this season, however, he's still 57-67 with a poor 4.88 ERA on the road for his career. (His home stats are much better.)
It should be noted that Lohse dislocated his pinky last game. Granted, the injury is on his non-pitching hand. Still, it could have an effect, if only mentally.
Either way, note that Lohse is only 2-3 (teams are 3-5) in eight starts vs. the Dodgers and that he got hit hard his last time here in LA. That 5/20/2012 start saw him give up 11 hits in just 5 2/3 innings. Note that his previous start against the Dodgers happened to come against Kershaw. Lohse was on the wrong side of a 13-2 blowout, giving up eight runs in three innings.
Note that the Brewers are an ugly 6-20 the last few seasons, as road underdogs in the +125 to +150 range.
During that time, the Dodgers are 58-47 (+9.9) in day games and 68-44 (+12.4) when playing a home game with an O/U line of seven or less. With Kershaw again getting the better of Lohse, I expect them to improve on those stats this afternoon. 9* personal favorite
|04-27-13||Colorado Rockies v. Arizona Diamondbacks -150||Top||2-3||Win||100||11 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on ARIZONA. These teams have both gotten off to strong starts this season and they've split the first two games of this series. The Diamondbacks should enjoy a significant edge on the mound this evening though and I expect that to provide them with an advantage.
Miley checks in with a 2-0 record and a stellar 2.77 ERA and 1.077 WHIP. His lone home start resulted in a 10-2 victory.
Miley is also 4-0 with a 3.11 ERA in six games - five starts - against the Rockies, going 2-0 with a superb 2.49 ERA in three home outings against them.
Miley is backed by an Arizona bullpen which currently has an outstanding 2.03 ERA and 0.975 WHIP here at home.
While Miley has been terrific, Francis has been brutal. He's 1-2 with a terrible 8.44 ERA and 2.25 WHIP. While he's only pitched one game on the road, it sure didn't go well. Francis lost that game by a score of 10-0, compiling a 21.56 ERA and 5.389 WHIP. (That's not a typo!)
Francis, who has a 4.42 ERA vs. Arizona, is backed by a Colorado bullpen which has a 4.74 ERA and 1.475 WHIP on the road.
Note that the Rockies are a dismal 43-61 (-19.4) against southpaw starters the past few seasons.
During that time, the Diamondbacks are 28-13 (+7) when listed as home favorites in the -150 to -175 range. All things considered, I feel this price could easily be higher. 8* personal favorite
|04-26-13||Cincinnati Reds v. Washington Nationals -116||Top||0-1||Win||100||10 h 2 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. I successfully backed the Nationals in yesterday's opener and I'm going back to the well again here.
Zimmerman gets the call and he's been excellent. Through four starts, he's 3-1 with a 2.67 ERA and 1.074 WHIP. In his two home starts, he's 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA.
It should also be mentioned that Zimmerman is 2-0 (team is 3-1) in four starts vs the Reds, sporting a stingy 1.88 ERA. In two starts against them last season, he allowed just two runs through 14 complete innings. He permitted only eight total hits and had 12 K's to just three walks. The Nats won both games by identical 2-1 scores.
Bailey has also been solid and he did beat the Nats in his first start this season. However, that was at home, where both he and the Reds have been much better. In his lone road start, he lost by a score of 10-0, giving up seven runs in five innings. In those five innings he gave up nine hits, three of them HRs, while while walking three. That translates to a 12.60 ERA and 2.40 WHIP!
Bailey has made two starts at Washington and neither of them went well. In fact, he lost both of them, giving up eight runs in eight combined innings, allowing 14 hits and walking five. In two home starts vs. the Reds, he ha a 0.71 ERA.
The fact that the Nats have already had a look at Bailey this season while the Reds haven't seen Zimmerman since last May, could easily work in Zimmerman's favor.
Note that Bailey is backed by a Reds' bullpen which now has a 8.47 ERA and 1.941 WHIP on the road. Overall, the Reds are now an ugly 1-6 away from home.
The Nats are now 102-75 at home the past 2+ seasons. That includes a 27-18 (+6.2) mark when playing here when the line ranged between +100 and -125. I expect them to build off yesterday's big win by recording another one today. 10* personal favorite
|04-25-13||Cincinnati Reds v. Washington Nationals -124||Top||1-8||Win||100||20 h 42 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. After getting swept by St. Louis, the Nationals should be happy to start a new series. I feel that they'll have an edge tonight and I look for them to bounce back and return to the .500 mark.
Admittedly, Gonzalez hasn't been at his best the last couple of starts. He has been much better at home than on the road though, as he's got a 1.25 WHIP here compared to a brutal 2.25 mark on the road. Opposing hitters are batting .294 against him on the road but .224 here in the nation's capital.
Lets not forget that Gonzalez won 21 games last season and that he had a 2.38 ERA in 14 home starts. A matchup against the Reds should be just what the doctor ordered.
Indeed, Gonzalez has 25 Ks in 19 innings vs. the Reds, compiling a spectacular 0.95 ERA and 0.842 WHIP in three starts. He tossed seven shutout innings in his last home start vs. Cincinnati, striking out seven (walking none) while allowing a mere two hits.
While the Reds have been great at home, they're only 1-5 on the road.
Arroyo is 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA on the road. He's supported by a Reds' bullpen which has a 8.40 ERA and 1.933 WHIP on the road. In his lone start here last season, he gave up up four runs, on 11 hits, in just five innings.
I expect Gonzalez to get the better of Arroyo here, as the Nats bounce back and the Reds' road woes continue for another day. 10* personal favorite
|04-21-13||Minnesota: S Diamond v. Chicago (A): G Floyd -138||Top||5-3||Loss||-138||4 h 20 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. The Twins took yesterday's game and have won three straight. I expect their winning streak to come to an end this afternoon though.
Diamond goes for the Twins and he got roughed up (8.31 ERA, 1.848 WHIP) in his lone start. That 4/13 outing saw him give up eight hits and four runs, in only 4 1/3 innings.
Diamond's last two starts vs. the Sox saw him allowed 10 earned runs in 10 1/3 innings. The Twins would end up giving up nine runs in each of those games.
Floyd checks in at 0-3. However, his 3.00 home ERA, to go along with a stellar 0.833 WHIP, show that he was solid in his lone start here at Chicago. That game saw him allow two earned runs through six innings, giving up only four hits and one walk, striking out five.
While he doesn't have great career stats vs. the Twins, Floyd has been tough (1.38 ERA) his last two starts against them. He won both those games, giving up only two earned runs through 13 complete innings.
Both bullpens have had success thus far but the Sox combined 1.63 ERA (1.59 at home) and 0.987 WHIP is superior to what the Twins bring to the table
The Twins are only 11-15 (-2.1) the past couple of seasons, after winning three or more consecutive games. During that stretch, they're a dismal 46-77 (-22.2) when playing in the afternoon. Over the same period, the Sox are 64-53 (+3.6) in their day games.
Speaking of day games, Floyd has been much in his career during the afternoon, as his daytime ERA is nearly a full run lower than his ERA under the lights. He's got a 29-21 afternoon record. I expect him to get the better of Diamond as the Sox bounce back with a much needed "W." *9 personal favorite
|04-20-13||Detroit Tigers v. Los Angeles Angels -102||Top||0-10||Win||100||7 h 8 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA ANGELS. The Angels put it all together yesterday, earning an 8-1 victory in the series opener. I expect them to have the edge again this afternoon.
LA is now playing with confidence at home, having won three straight here. The Angels have scored 17 runs during that stretch. While Pujols has struggled on the road, he's now hitting better than .400 here at home. Note that after last night's 3 for 5 performance, he's batting a remarkable .458 in 21 regular season games against the Tigers.
While not "spectacular," Garrett Richards has been "solid." His 4.22 ERA is only mediocre but a 0.93% WHIP shows he's now allowing many baserunners.
Although they do have a potent lineup, Richards should be happy to see the Tigers. Indeed, he's got a 2.53 ERA in five games against Detroit. While four of those came out of the bullpen, his lone start vs. the Tigers resulted in a 13-0 victory. Richards allowed a mere three hits in seven shutout innings.
On the other hand, Porcello has a 5.80 ERA in seven career starts vs. the Angels. In his only start here at LA, he allowed six runs in 4 1/3 innings.
Arguably Detroit's weakest starter, Porcello has a 6.10 ERA and 1.549 WHIP in two starts this season. He hasn't made a start since 4/10, due to having worked out of the bullpen, so may be a little out of rhythm here.
While the Tigers are 94-92 the last 2+ seasons away from Detroit, the Angels are 94-75 at home. Despite those numbers, we're getting a line in the "pick'em range." I feel that's providing plenty of value and I look for the Angels to keep rolling for at least another day. 10* main event
|04-19-13||New York Yankees v. Toronto Blue Jays -107||Top||9-4||Loss||-107||10 h 15 m||Show|
I'm playing on TORONTO. I won with the Jays yesterday and I feel that this will be another good spot for them to earn a victory.
While the Jays are off a momentum-building win right here at Toronto, the Yankees are off a deflating 12-inning loss vs. Arizona.
Morrow has made three starts, pitching well in two of them. Last time out, pitching at KC, he allowed two runs through six innings. In his lone home start, he allowed only one run through six innings, recording eight K's along the way.
Brandon Morrow has also enjoyed plenty of success against the Yankees, going 5-2 against them over his career. In his last two starts against the Yankees, both of which were here at Toronto, he didn't allow a single run through 15 combined innings. The Jays won those games by scores of 3-0 and 6-0.
Admittedly, ageless Andy Pettitte has pitched well in his two starts. However, he missed his last start due to back spasms and the Yankees are 0-2 his last two starts at Toronto.
While Pettitte may not have to deal with Bautista, the Yankees remain without a lot more regulars than that. All things considered, I feel getting the Jays at this price is a bargain. 10* best bet
|04-18-13||Chicago White Sox v. Toronto Blue Jays -119||Top||1-3||Win||100||10 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on TORONTO. After taking the first game of this series, the Jays have dropped each of the last two. A narrow 4-3 (9th inning) loss on Tuesday was followed by a 7-0 shutout loss yesterday. I expect them to bounce back and salvage the series split this evening and believe that the current price is more than fair.
Fans of the Jays breathed a collective sigh of relief when Dickey pitched last. After really struggling in his first two starts, the reigning NL CY Young winner responded with a very strong effort, limiting the Royals to a single run through 6 1/3 innings.
With the "monkey off his back" and now back in the groove, I expect Dickey to follow it up with another solid performance here.
Dickey was quoted saying: "My posture was a little better for my mechanics, and that's something I feel I can build on. I still wasn't as sharp as I can be. I'm not all the way there, but I'm pretty close."
KC Manager Ned Yost was more flattering. He said this of Dickey: "We never could muster a consistent attack against Dickey. His knuckler was really dancing. We never could get any consistent momentum."
While Dickey improved significantly last time out, Sale has been going the other way. He pitched very well in winning his first start and was also solid in his second one. (Both those came at home.) However, last time out, making his first road start, he got rocked. Indeed, he lasted only 4 1/3 innings, giving up eight runs on eight hits (2 HRs) and two walks. (That translates to a 16.63 ERA and 2.309 WHIP.)
While its rarely wise to read too much into a single start, it is worth noting that Sale has been much better at home than on the road his entire career. We saw that again last season when he had a dominant 2.30 ERA at home but a much higher (although still solid) 3.77 mark on the road. Dating back to last July, Sale is 2-6 with a 6.32 ERA on the road.
The Jays are 12-7 (+7) the past 2+ seasons off a shutout loss. While they may well still be without Bautista, I expect them to bounce back and improve on those stats here. 10* personal favorite
|04-11-13||Texas Rangers v. Seattle Mariners -145||Top||4-3||Loss||-145||23 h 32 m||Show|
I'm playing on SEATTLE. The Mariners didn't fare too well over their last two games, as they were pounded by the lowly Astros. Tonight, however, King Felix is on the mound. That should give the M's a significant advantage and I expect them to bounce back with a big win.
Hernandez (2.57 ERA, 0.86 WHIP) dominated the Rangers last season. In two 2012 starts against Texas, he allowed only a single run through 17 innings, striking out 19 and walking only two. The M's won those two games by a combined score of 13-1!
While last season's victories both came against Darvish, Hernandez is up against Justin Grimm tonight.
Grimm's numbers were pretty grim last season. Indeed, he had an awful 9.00 ERA in five games - two starts. He's only here due to the injury to Matt Harrison, otherwise he'd be at Triple-A Round Rock.
Last season, opposing batters hit .367 against Grimm.
Ron Washington said this of Grimm: "I just expect him to come and keep us in the ballgame. He's a strike-thrower, and he understands how to use those strikes. It doesn't have to be a no-hitter, a perfect game, none of that. Just keep us around."
"Just keeping us around" might work against other members of the Seattle stuff - but isn't likely to be enough against Hernandez. 9* AL West GOM
|04-11-13||Oakland A's v. Los Angeles Angels UNDER 8||Top||8-1||Loss||-103||10 h 11 m||Show|
I'm playing on the Angels and A's to finish UNDER the total. The first two games of this series have both been high-scoring. I expect tonight's finale to have a much different feel.
Vargas sports an excellent 1.59 ERA, after allowing only a single earned run in his first start as an Angel.
A California native, Vargas has limited the A's to two runs or less in his six of his last seven starts against them. During that stretch, he's 3-1 with a 2.01 ERA. Five of those seven starts produced eight or fewer combined runs.
Griffin wasn't quite as good as Vargas in his first start but he still pitched well. Through six complete innings, he allowed two runs.
Griffin was also dominant in his lone lone start vs. the Angels. That came last September, here at LA and saw him toss eight shutout innings, en route to a 4-1 victory.
Despite the first two games of this series both topping the total, the UNDER remains a profitable 14-6-2 when the A's have visited here the past few seasons. I expect things to return to "normal" tonight. 10* blue chip
|04-10-13||Oakland A's v. Los Angeles Angels -124||Top||11-5||Loss||-124||12 h 23 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA ANGELS. The Angels badly need a victory. With Blanton up against his former team, I expect them to get it.
While Blanton wasn't exactly sharp in his Angels' debut, he'll have the advantage of facing the A's for the first time.
Note that the six current Oakland players who have seen Blanton before are a combined 5 for 36 (.139). That includes Coco Crisp going an ugly 2 for 15.
While Blanton had a tough matchup (at Cincinnati) in his first start, Milone had the advantage of facing Seattle in his first start. I expect him to have more trouble against a desperate and very capable LA lineup.
Note that Milone had a 2.74 ERA and 1.05 WHIP at home last season, holding opposing hitters to a .240 batting average. However, on the road, he had a poor 4.83 ERA and 1.52 WHIP, opposing hitters batting .316 against him.
Milone got rocked the last time that the faced the Angels, giving up five runs on 10 hits, while lasting only three innings.
The Angels are 31-19 (+4.8) the last 50 times that they were listed as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range. I expect them to bounce back with a much needed victory tonight. 10* personal favorite
|04-09-13||Toronto Blue Jays v. Detroit Tigers UNDER 8||Top||3-7||Loss||-105||5 h 25 m||Show|
I'm playing on Toronto and Detroit to finish UNDER the total. You might be surprised to learn that the UNDER is a perfect 5-0 since 2011 when the Jays have played here at Detroit. That is indeed the case though. In fact, going back to the start of the 2010 season, the UNDER is 8-1when the Tigers were a host in this series. I'm expecting another relatively low-scoring affair this afternoon.
Both these starters were quite sharp in their season opener and I respect both of them.
Morrow checks in with a 1.50 ERA after allowing a single run through six complete innings, striking out eight along the way. He didn't factor in the decision of a 3-2 loss.
The same was true of Sanchez. He also failed to factor in the decision of a 3-2 loss. It certainly wasn't his fault though as he allowed a mere two hits through five shutout innings.
Sanchez has seen each of his last two starts vs. the Jays dip below the total, those games finishing with scores of 3-2 and 5-1. I expect more of the same here with the UNDER improving to 34-21-3 the past few seasons when the Jays played a road game with an O/U line of eight or 8.5. 10* blue chip
|04-08-13||New York (N): M Harvey v. Philadelphia: R Halladay -114||Top||7-2||Loss||-114||11 h 7 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. We haven't been able to play Roy Halladay at home in this price range too often over the years. In fact, he's rarely available this "cheaply" at any venue. Yet, because he got rocked in his first outing, we're able to do so. I believe that's an over-reaction and that the current line is providing us with excellent value.
True, Halladay is no "spring chicken." However, although he may be growing a little long in the tooth, he's still an extremely competitive person. His Cy Young days are likely a thing of the past but I'm not ready to believe that he's a write-off yet either. After getting rocked in his first start, with his team badly needing a victory and now facing a team which he has long dominated - I expect the ultra-competitive Halladay to bring his A-Game.
While he certainly didn't fare too well overall, it should be noted that Halladay had nine K's in 3 1/3 innings in his first start. To me, that shows that he's still capable of blowing hitters away.
For his career, Halladay is 9-2 with a 2.86 ERA and 1.094 WHIP vs. the Mets. That includes a 9-1 record and 2.36 ERA his last 11 against them. In four starts vs. the Mets since the start of the 2011 season, Halladay has allowed a combined three earned runs in 29 innings. That translates to a 0.93 ERA. During that stretch, he's struck out 25 Mets while walking only four.
After his rough first outing, Halladay commented: "I'd rather get beat 20-0 and pitch eight innings than pitch 3 1-3. That's got to change."
Admittedly, Harvey has good stuff and he did pitch well in his opening start. However, that was against light-hitting San Diego. Now, he'll be facing a much tougher Philadelphia lineup, one which banged out 15 hits yesterday.
While Harvey has had some success in his two starts against the Phillies, note that this is the first time that he'll face a team for the third time in his career. In other words, the Phillies are more familiar with him than any other team is.
While the Mets were a respectable 81-81 on the road the past couple of seasons, the Phillies are 94-74 at home, during the same period. I expect Halladay to bounce back with a much better performance, en route to leading his team to a much-needed win. 10* Main Event
|04-07-13||Oakland A's v. Houston Astros UNDER 8||Top||9-3||Loss||-102||5 h 27 m||Show|
I'm playing on Houston and Oakland to finish UNDER the total. The first two games of this series have both topped the total. I expect a lower-scoring affair this afternoon.
This O/U line was originally 7.5 but climbed to eight. I feel thats providing us with excellent value.
Both starters check in with a 0-1 record. However, neither can be blamed, as both pitched well. Both just happened to be matched up against another starter who dominated.
Anderson, who will have the advantage of pitching against Houston for the first time, was sharp in his first outing, giving up only two runs on four hits, through seven innings. However, he lost 2-0 against Felix Hernandez and the Mariners.
Meanwhile, Harrell gave up just one run through six innings but got no run support as he was up against Darvish, who nearly threw a perfect game.
Manager Bo Porter said this of Harrell: "Lucas was outstanding. Even the time he got into jams, he was able to make pitches to make the double play to get out of them."
Harrell faced Oakland once, back in 2010 when he was with Chicago. He gave up only one run in six innings.
The A's have scored some runs in recent days but are still not one of the more potent lineups in the American League. The Astros, who have been striking out a record pace, have hit .183 as a team the last four games. I expect a well-pitched affair. 10* blue chip
|04-05-13||Boston Red Sox v. Toronto Blue Jays -163||Top||6-4||Loss||-163||12 h 34 m||Show|
I'm playing on TORONTO. The Jays' bats finally came to life yesterday. With that first win under their belts and with their new "ace" on the mound, I expect the Jays to follow it up with another win today. (Some are considering Dickey to be the team ace but I prefer Johnson.)
The manager of my beach-front condo on Indian Shores Beach (near Dunedin, spring training home of the Jays) happened to manage the place that Johnson stayed in too. She looked after his dog while he was in Orlando and also was able to hook us up to get Johnson to autograph a ball for my son. That's not why I'm backing him here though.
Johnson's been a star for years but hasn't received much attention, due to playing for the Marlins. Now he's got a quality team to support him. The Jays are expecting big things from him and so am I.
Johnson had more wins (5) in spring training than any other pitcher in baseball. He finished with a stellar 2.70 ERA and a superb 0.75 WHIP. In 20 innings, he had 23 Ks vs. only three walks.
Doubront had a respectable 3.00 ERA in the spring. However, his 1.44 WHIP was nothing to write home about.
Johnson made one start against Boston last year and he was dominant. In seven innings, he allowed only four hits and one run, striking out seven and walking one. He got the better of Beckett and earned a 4-1 victory. (His previous start against the Sox came back in 2006 and he also delivered a quality start in that one.)
On the other hand, the Jays are very familiar with Doubront and they rocked him each of the last two times they saw him. Doubront was 0-2 in those games, giving up 17 hits (4 HRs) in 10 innings. He gave up 12 runs, 10 of them earned, losing 7-5 and 9-6.
The Sox are just 76-93 (-42.7) off a loss the past couple of seasons and they were only 4-10 (-3.6) as road underdogs in the +150 to +175 range, during that time. Going back further finds them at 32-63 (-11.5) their last 95 in that role.
All things considered, while the price is a little steep, I believe its more than fair. 9* personal favorite
|04-02-13||Seattle Mariners v. Oakland A's OVER 7||Top||7-1||Win||100||13 h 40 m||Show|
I'm playing on Seattle and Oakland to finish OVER the total. With King Felix on the mound, these teams saw last night's opener produce only two runs. Seattle won 2-0. I'm expecting to see considerably more runs in tonight's rematch.
Parker was 0-2 with an ugly 7.45 ERA in five spring starts. While he had a solid season overall, Parker had a poor 5.40 ERA in two starts against Seattle last season.
Iwakuma is capable but he's not exactly a Cy Young candidate. After having to contend with Hernandez yesterday, the A's should be happy to see him. Iwakuma was 0-2 with a high 6.14 ERA in two starts vs. Oakland last season.
With the M's listed as small-mid sized underdogs, note that the OVER is 22-14-3 the past couple of seasons, when listed as road underdogs in the +125 to +150 range.
The A's saw the OVER go 18-11-1 after a shutout loss the last couple of seasons.
I look for the bats to come to life and believe that this number will prove to be a little low. 10* blue chip
|10-28-12||San Francisco Giants v. Detroit Tigers -139||Top||4-3||Loss||-139||5 h 9 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. After losing with the Tigers a couple of times, some will call me stubborn (or worse) for backing them again. While I do always try and learn, I don't let my previous results, win or lose, effect my judgement the next day. In this case, I'm willing to give the Tigers one final try.
While Cain is off an excellent start and is obvious a top tier pitcher, Scherzer is in even better form. He's got a 0.60 ERA his last three starts, striking out 21 in 15 innings. For the season, he was 8-3 here (Tigers were 11-4) recording a commanding 116 K's (and only 24 walks!) in 87 2/3 innings.
While I don't normally pay much attention to a team's record on a given day of the week, the Tigers 57-26 (+28.3!) record on Sundays the past few seasons is pretty impressive. That includes a 20-9 (+7.6) mark this year. (Giants were 13-15, by comparison)
The Tigers were 8-4 (+2.8) off three straight losses this season. Coming back to win the series is obviously going to be tough but I do expect the Tigers to at least rise to the occasion and avoid getting swept. *8
|10-27-12||San Francisco Giants v. Detroit Tigers -146||Top||2-0||Loss||-146||8 h 23 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. While the Giants are certainly rolling these days, there's much to like about Detroit here, in my opinion. The Tigers are back home, where they're a much better team. They're facing a right-handed starter, albeit a good one, which means that they'll be able to put their best hitting lineup out there. The pitchers won't have to hit, which will take away what has been a big advantage for the Giants in these playoffs.
Sanchez has a 1.37 ERA and 1.068 WHIP his last three starts. Last time out, he blanked the Yankees through seven complete innings, giving up just three hits.
Sanchez is also 3-1 with a 1.98 ERA and 0.881 WHIP in five starts against the Giants.
I expect the Tigers to bounce back, improving to 8-1 when playing a home game with an O/U line of seven or less. *9 Main Event
|10-25-12||Detroit Tigers -122 v. San Francisco Giants||Top||0-2||Loss||-122||10 h 51 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. As you surely saw or heard, the Giants won in convincing fashion yesterday. Beating Verlander was obviously huge for SF. I'm not counting the Tigers out yet. Not by a long-shot. I liked the defense I saw from Detroit late last night. Down and out, the Tigers were still making great plays. I expect them to have an edge on the mound here and I look for them to bounce back and even the series.
With a 3..29 ERA and 1.206 WIP, Fister could easily be better than 10-10. After all, Bumgarner has a worse ERA (3.66) yet is 16-13. I'm more interested in the current form of these guys than their overall season W/L records though.
While he didn't get the win in either of his lasts two starts, Fister is off back to back gems, each of them Detroit victories. Last time out, he tossed 6 2/3 shutout innings at Yankee Stadium. In his previous start, Fister allowed two runs through seven innings vs. Oakland. Note that he didn't allow a home run in either of those games.
On the other hand, Bumgarner has really struggled of late. He got rocked for six runs in just 3 2/3 innings last time out. He's now 0-3 with an awful 10.50 ERA and 1.917 WHIP his last three starts. He gave up a minimum of four earned runs in all three of those starts and failed to go five innings in any of them. Over that 12 inning stretch, he gave up 15 runs (14 earned) and allowed five home runs.
While Fister will have the advantage of starting against the Giants for the first time, the Tigers got to face Bumgarner last July. To his credit, Bumgarner did pitch well in that 7/1/2011 game. However, as noted, he's currently in poor form - and the Tigers having some familiarity with him should help.
While they're hot right now, SF hasn't been a team that has reeled off too many extended winning streaks this year. Even with the victory last time, the Giants are still only 11-16 (-7.8) after having won three or more consecutive games. Conversely, the Tigers are 43-32 off a loss.
You'll likely hear about this during the game ... Fister, who now has a superb 1.75 ERA in four playoff starts, actually grew up in California and was a Giants' fan and dreamed of pitching a World Series game here. He was quoted as saying: "Growing up, don't tell anybody, I was a Giants fan, and being able to come to a couple games when I was little, it's always been a dream and a goal for me, and now it's happening. It's definitely special being able to come into the ballpark and play in a World Series is something that obviously is a moment that will never be forgotten."
Look for Fister's dream to come true and for the Tigers to come away with the win. *10
|10-24-12||Detroit Tigers v. San Francisco Giants UNDER 7||Top||3-8||Loss||-130||9 h 32 m||Show|
I'm playing on the Under in Game 1. I played on the Under in Game 1 of last year's World Series (3-2 final) and I'm expecting another low-scoring affair out of the gate here. Not much needs to be said about Verlander. If he's not the very best in the game, he's right there. The Tigers' ace has sure stepped up his game of late too, going 3-0 with a 0.74 ERA and 0.617 WHIP his last three starts, all three of them staying below the total. For the season, he's 20-8 with a 2.47 ERA. The Under is 23-11-2 in Verlander's 36 starts, 11-6-2 on the road. Obviously, Zito isn't in Verlander's class. However, he's full of confidence after a dominating 7 2/3 shutout innings at St. Louis on 10/19. He's only faced the Tigers once the past few seasons (last July) and he tossed six shutout innings. While the number may seem low, note that the UNDER is 15-4-2 when the Tigers have played a game with an O/U line of 7 or less (many of those when Verlander pitched) including a profitable 9-2-2 on the road. The Tigers saw the UNDER go 12-6 against NL teams this season and I look for another pitcher's duel tonight. *9 (Note that I recommend laying the extra juice and playing at 7, if available.)
|10-21-12||St. Louis Cardinals v. San Francisco Giants UNDER 7||Top||1-6||Push||0||8 h 46 m||Show|
I'm playing on St. Louis and SF to finish UNDER the total. Some shops have moved from 6.5 to 7 here. While we do have to lay a little bit of extra juice to play at seven, I feel that's where the value is.
These pitchers squared off against each other earlier in the series. The O/U line was 6.5 and the game produced eight runs. Vogelsong was very sharp but Carpenter was not. Carpenter is a proven winner though and he's ultra competitive. I expect him to bounce back with a much improved effort.
Even with the sup-par effort on 10/15, Carpenter still has a super 2.61 ERA on the road, a span of four starts. In his previous playoff start, he blanked Washington for 5 2/3 innings. He's got a 1.86 ERA overall.
Note that Carpenter was money when pitched two clinchers last October and won both. When asked of his shaky last outing, he was quoted as saying: "...I had some nice work in between that start and this start, I feel good and I'm looking forward to getting back out there.''
Meanwhile, Vogelsong now has an outstanding 1.06 ERA and 0.882 WHIP his last three starts. In 16 home starts, he's got a 2.75 ERA and 1.174 WHIP, the UNDER going 10-5-1.
After some high-scoring games early in the series, two of the last three finished with five or fewer runs. I look for another well-pitched affair. *10
|10-19-12||San Francisco Giants v. St. Louis Cardinals UNDER 8||Top||5-0||Win||100||9 h 5 m||Show|
I'm playing on St. Louis and SF to finish UNDER the total. This is the highest O/U line that we've seen in this series. I believe it will prove to be too high.
Its true that both these pitchers struggled last time out. However, both have proven to be capable and I expect to see a bounce-back from each of them.
Lynn struggled in his road playoff start. He was 8-3 with a 3.33 ERA (1.233 WHIP) in 12 home starts in the regular season though and is anxious for a much better effort.
"I'm as strong as I've ever been all year, and the playoff start was good to get,'' Lynn said. "Wish I could have done better the first one, but I've got a lot to learn from that one.''
While Zito struggled last time out, note that he won his final seven regular-season starts.
Bruce Bochy said this of the veteran southpaw: "You don't win as many games as he's won this year if you aren't throwing the ball well. He's earned this. And we have all the confidence in Barry tomorrow.''
Prior to yesterday's breakout game, the Cards were only batting .198 in the NLCS. Meanwhile, the Giants have managed only four runs in two games here. Posey is hitting 2 for 14 in the series while Pence is 2 for 15.
As Bruce Bochy noted: "They've been shutting us down."
Look for the final score to prove lower than most will be expecting. *10
|10-17-12||San Francisco Giants v. St. Louis Cardinals UNDER 7||Top||1-3||Win||100||6 h 54 m||Show|
I'm playing on St. Louis and SF to finish UNDER the total. Each team enters on an 'over' streak. The Cards have seen three straight games top the total, dating back to the final game in the Washington series. Meanwhile, the Giants have seen four straight games finish above the number, dating back to their series in Cincinnati. I expect that t change this afternoon and pitching to steal the spotlight.
Lohse was 8-1 with a 2.33 ERA at home this season. The UNDER was 10-6 in his 16 starts here. He's only made one start against the Giants the past few years. In that 4/10/11 game, he allowed just one run and only five hits, through eight complete innings. He didn't walk a single batter either.
At 17-6 with a 2.90 ERA and having started the All Star game, Cain is clearly one of the best in the game. Admittedly, he didn't pitch well his last time here. However, he's had previous success against the Cards and I expect him to pitch well this afternoon. Note that he was 7-0 with a 2.88 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in day games this season.
I expect a pitcher's duel and feel the final score has a better chance of finishing with less than seven runs than it does of finishing with more than seven. *10 Best Bet
|10-14-12||St. Louis Cardinals v. San Francisco Giants UNDER 7||Top||6-4||Loss||-120||10 h 43 m||Show|
I'm playing on SF and St. Louis to finish UNDER the total. Yesterday, I noted that Detroit's visits to New York were often high-scoring. The opposite has often been true of the Cardinals' recent visits to San Francisco, however. Since the start of the 2010 season, the UNDER is 6-2 when the Cards have played here. Five of those eight games finished with five or fewer runs. I expect Game 1 to also result in a low-scoring affair.
Admittedly, Bumgarner wasn't too sharp vs. the Reds in the opening round. He was 10-4 with a 2.61 ERA and 1.051 WHIP at home this season though and I expect him to be much better here.
Lance Lynn figures to be happy this is an evening game. He had a 4.88 ERA in 15 daytime appearances this season but a stellar 2.96 mark at night. In his last road start, he allowed one run through seven complete innings. With a 17-5 record on the season, I expect him to be ready.
The way these playoffs have been, this series may eventually see some fireworks. I just don't think it'll be tonight. *10
|10-14-12||St. Louis Cardinals v. San Francisco Giants -1.5||Top||6-4||Loss||-100||10 h 36 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN FRANCISCO. While the Giants did get stuck in limbo having to wait to see where they were going to play, eventually being forced to re-fuel when learning they were coming home, I like how the schedule sets up for them. Both teams are off an emotional series.
The Cards figure to be exhuasted. Daniel Descalso acknowledged as much. He was quoted saying: "It was a long night for us. It's nice we had this day off to kind of regroup and get a little rest. But it's hard not to be excited after a game like last night, the way that game ended, and to get on a plane and fly all the way across country. We're still recovering.''
Lynn has a great record but his 3.92 road ERA doesn't compare favorably to Bumgarner's 2.61 mark at home.
The Giants were 13-7 as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range. I expect them to improve on those stats this evening. *9
|10-14-12||Detroit Tigers v. New York Yankees -130||Top||3-0||Loss||-130||5 h 30 m||Show|
I'm playing on NEW YORK. The Yankees are down 1-0 and now they're without their leader, Derek Jeter. With Kuroda on the mound, I expect them to dig deep and to respond with a victory this afternoon.
While he's being forced to pitch on short rest, Kuroda is much tougher at home. He limited the Orioles to two runs through 8 1/3 innings last time out. Prior to that, he held Boston to two runs through seven innings.
For the season. Kuroda was 5-5 with a 4.23 ERA and 1.41 WHIP on the road. However, he was 11-6 with a stellar 2.72 ERA and 1.01 WHIP at home. Opposing batters hit only .219 here, as compared to .292 on the road.
Given today's early starting time, it should also be noted that Kuroda is much better when pitching during the afternoon. Indeed, in eight daytime starts, he's got a 1.99 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. Pitching out of the shadows doesn't hurt.
Many are counting the Yanks out. While it won't be easy, I'm not writing them off yet. This is a team that has dealt with adversity all year and which has scratched and clawed its way here.
That said, knowing they're up against Verlander (at Detroit) next game, this is essentially a "must win" for New York.
As Girardi noted: "We have to find a way to try to get it done," Girardi said. "I think some people left us for dead when Mo went down and here we are in the ALCS."
Backs to the wall, I look for them to "get it done." *8
|10-13-12||Detroit Tigers v. New York Yankees OVER 7.5||Top||6-4||Win||100||4 h 11 m||Show|
I'm playing on NY and Detroit to finish OVER the total. This number has fallen since it came out. As I write this, some 7.5s are starting to pop up. That's the line I'm playing on and recommending. However, if unavailable, I also think Over 8 at "plus money" offers solid value.
With all due respect to the pitchers, lets not forget that both these clubs can really hit. The Yankees average 4.9 runs per game. Led by the Triple Crown Winner and the "Home Run King" from the All Star game, the Tigers manage 4.4. Add that up and you're looking at 9.3 runs. For the season, Yankee home games are averaging 8.9 runs.
Pettitte was solid but not spectacular in his last start. He gave up three runs in seven innings. He hasn't faced the Tigers since 2008, getting rocked the last time he did face them.
Fister had a 6.52 ERA in two division series games against New York last year, although did get a win by allowing one run in five innings here in Game 5. He allowed only two runs against the Yankees in August but gave up eight hits in six innings - so, was far from "unhittable."
The OVER is 9-3 the last 12 times that the Yankees hosted the Tigers. A closer look reveals that ELEVEN of those 12 games produced at least eight runs. Those games had pitchers like Verlander and Sabathia going too. Look for this one to also prove higher-scoring than many will be expecting. *9 Best Bet
|10-12-12||St. Louis Cardinals v. Washington Nationals -132||Top||9-7||Loss||-132||11 h 48 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. Down to one final elimination game, I feel that playing at home will serve he Nationals well. I like the fact that they're coming off a momentum-building walk-off home run AND I really like the fact the Gio Gonzalez will be on the mound.
Longtime regulars will recall that I've been successfully picking spots to back Gonzalez since long before he ever even came to Washington. With a 21 wins, 200+ Ks and a 2.89 ERA, he's now recognized among the best in the game. Yet, at least in this case, we're still able to get him at a very reasonable price.
Its true that Gonzalez battled real control problems in Game 1. That's obviously not something you want out of your starting pitcher. However, when he's had control problems during the season, its been on the road. When he returns home, his control tends to return with him.
After allowing nine combined walks (five and four) in back to back road starts in September, Gonzalez returned home and issued just one free pass in seven innings, easily beating Milwaukee. Previously, after serving up five walks on the road on 7/29, Gonzalez returned home and had 10 Ks with 0 walks in his next start.
In 14 home starts this season, Gonzalez had nine wins and a superb 2.38 ERA and 1.00 ERA. Opposing batters hit only .202. In 90 innings here, he had 92 Ks against only 24 walks. He gave up just three home runs here.
Gonzalez's "love of home cooking" is nothing new. In 2011, he had 10 wins and a 2.70 ERA at home, opposing hitters batting .220. In 2010, he was 8-3 with a 2.56 ERA at home, opposing hitters batting only .199.
While he's certainly a capable pitcher, like Gonzalez, Wainwright was much better at home this season. In 17 home starts, he was 10-6 with a 3.73 ERA. However, in 15 road starts, he was just 4-7 with a 4.20 ERA.
With homefield and momentum in their corner, I look for the Nats to get it done. *10 Main Event
|10-11-12||Baltimore Orioles v. New York Yankees -149||Top||2-1||Loss||-149||10 h 46 m||Show|
I'm playing on NEW YORK. With all those extra inning victories, Baltimore has obviously been a very resilient team all season. Last night's loss figures to be devastating though. Winning in the bottom of the 9th. The Yankees pinch-hitting for A-Rod, seemingly beaten. Then, still fighting, only to lose in extras. Seeing that extra-inning streak come to an end has to feel like "the magic is over." With the momentum now squarely on their side, I expect the Yankees to "smell the blood" in the water and for them to come out and take care of business.
I won't claim that Hughes is an elite pitcher, as home runs were an issue this season. He did win 16 ball games this season though and he had 165 K's to just 46 walks, while recording a 1.26 WHIP.
Hughes was also at his best at home. In fact, in 16 starts here he was 11-4 with a 3.74 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, opposing batters hitting only 1.19 against him. That's much better than his 4.76 ERA and .279 average against when on the road.
With this being an evening game, it should also be noted that Hughes' night-time ERA (3.59) is nearly two runs better than his daytime ERA of 5.54. He beat the O's the last time he faced them, allowing three runs (2 earned) through six complete innings.
Saunders came through with a big start for Baltimore last time out. I can understand the decision to go with Saunders. based on his last start - but if I were Baltimore, I still might have gone with Tillman here. Keep in mind that he was 9-13 during the season though and he's got a 5.82 career ERA against the Yankees.
Remember, prior to the loss against Chen a couple of games ago, the Yanks were 27-19 against southpaw starters, averaging 5.4 runs per game. I expect their bats to come to life and for them to close things out in convincing fashion. *9 Personal Favorite
|10-11-12||St. Louis Cardinals v. Washington Nationals UNDER 8||Top||1-2||Win||100||18 h 47 m||Show|
I'm playing on Washington and St. Louis to finish UNDER the total. After a low-scoring opener, the last two games of this series have both finished above the total. Monday's game did so easily. Yesterday's did so barely. I expect a lower-scoring affair Thursday and feel that an O/U line of 8, the highest of the series thus far, is generously high.
Lohse got the win (against Medlen) in the "Wildcard Rd," allowing six hits and two runs in 5 2-3 innings. He was 16-3 on the season. While he did allow four runs in a 9/29 start against the Nats, he also had nine Ks vs. just one walk. So, he was having no trouble getting Washington hitters out.
Detwiler struggled at St. Louis in his final regular season start. However, he should be happy to be pitching in an early home game. Not only does he have a stellar 2.84 ERA in eight daytime appearances, he's also got an excellent 2.59 ERA at home, much better than his 4.38 mark on the road. In his last start here, Detwiler allowed just three hits and one run, through six innings. A closer look reveals that three of his last four starts here have finished below the total and that he's allowed three earned runs or less in nine straight home starts. Look for a well-pitched affair. *9
|10-09-12||San Francisco Giants v. Cincinnati Reds UNDER 8||Top||2-1||Win||100||8 h 54 m||Show|
I'm playing on the Giants and Reds to finish UNDER the total. The first two games of this series have both finished above the total. (Note that the first game finished with only seven runs but that the total was 6.5.)
With a recent no-hitter under his belt, Bailey enters today's game in excellent form.
Ditto for Vogelsong. After a tough late summer stretch, he's picked up with a 2-0 with a superb 0.53 ERA and 0.882 WHIP his last three starts.
Neither Bailey or Vogelsong have great career numbers against today's opponent. However, both pitched well last time that they matched up against the hitters they'll see today.
Vogelsong's last start vs. the Reds saw him allow only two runs through seven complete innings. He gave up just three hits and walked a single batter, striking out five.
Bailey has only started against the Giants once the past two seasons. He allowed just two earned runs through 6 1/3 innings in that 4/26/12 start.
Vogelsong has the support of a solid (3.61 ERA) SF bullpen. Bailey has the support of a dominant (2.28 ERA at home) Cincy bullpen.
Even with the last two games, the Reds have still seen the UNDER go 22-10 their last 32 games played in the month of October. During that stretch, they've also seen the UNDER go 70-44-5 when off a shutout victory. Look for this one to prove lower-scoring than most will be expecting one again. *10
|10-05-12||St. Louis Cardinals v. Atlanta Braves UNDER 7||Top||6-3||Loss||-120||22 h 31 m||Show|
I'm playing on Atlanta and St. Louis to finish UNDER the total. Everyone knows about Medlen's amazing winning streak. He's actually got some pretty good Under stats too. Not surprising, given his overall numbers.
At 9-0, Medlen has an amazing 0.97 ERA and 0.801 WHIP. The UNDER is 8-3-1 in his 12 starts this season.
While one of his losses did come against the Braves, Lohse was 16-3 with a stellar 2.86 ERA. His loss vs. Atlanta came early in the year and he's lost only once since June 15th. And that only came by a score of 3-2.
On opening night, with no other games on the major league schedule, Lohse dominated on national television, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning. With a win here, if he moves to 17-3, Lohse will have the best winning percentage for a pitcher with that many wins, in St. Louis Cardinals' history.
While these teams have played some high-scoring games against each other this season, they've both been involved in low-scoring games since the calendar flipped to October. Both teams enter this afternoon's game off three straight games which finished below the total. Both are off a shutout victory in their final game. Playoffs/Wildcard games are a different animal than the regular season; I expect the recent trends to continue and expect to see a much lower-scoring game than we saw during the "regular" season.
I'm personally playing this one at 7, instead of 6.5. Under 7 is my play. Seven is a very common final score and I'd prefer to push if that final score does happen to come up. However, for those so inclined or for those unable to get a seven, I also feel that getting "plus money" at Under 6.5 is offering excellent value. You never know in October, it could turn out to be the opposite, but I see a 2-1 or a 3-2 type of final. *10 Best Bet
|10-03-12||Chicago White Sox v. Cleveland Indians -113||Top||9-0||Loss||-113||8 h 14 m||Show|
I'm playing on CLEVELAND. I feel the Indians have more to play for and that they'll want this game more. I also expect them to have an edge on the mound.
Cleveland's interim manager Sandy Alomar Jr would love to close out the season with a 2-game "winning streak" to potentially help improve his chances of returning next season. (Both Alomar and Terry Francona interview for the job next week.)
Like Alomar, Huff is trying to make a good lasting impression. He wants to be back in the starter's rotation next season. He's also off back to back solid outings, getting the win in each. Last time out, he allowed three runs in six inning, striking out five without walking a batter. n his previous start, he allowed only one run and just three hits, en route to earning a 15-4 victory. In seven appearances, five starts, he's got a 2.86 ERA and 1.091 WHIP.
Floyd should also be motivated to pitch well as he'd like to finish with a winning record. However, with a 4.47 ERA and 1.391 WHIP, he's been very mediocre. He got a win last time out. However, he also walked five batters in five innings. That's more walks than Huff (who has a 17/3 K/W ratio) has allowed all season.
While the Sox haven't faced Huff this season (he pitched a quality start but lost in his lone start against them in 2011) the Indians pounded Floyd the only time that they saw him. They recorded 10 hits and scored five runs against him, in just five innings.
Having been so close but coming up short, the Sox figure to be deflated. Alomar Jr. gets his win and the fans go home happy. *9
|10-03-12||Texas Rangers -110 v. Oakland A's||Top||5-12||Loss||-110||5 h 46 m||Show|
I'm playing on TEXAS. Give the A's credit for a great season and for putting themselves in position to win the division. A victory this afternoon and they become just the fifth team to win a division or pennant after trailing by more than 12 games. I don't expect the Rangers to let it happen.
"No one said it was going to be easy," said manager Ron Washington, whose team had held sole possession of the division lead since April 9.
"We started out to play 162 games and now - tomorrow - it's 162. And we'll see what happens. We take it no different than we have been approaching it. We just haven't put our game together yet. Tomorrow we have to put it together.
Griffin is off a strong start. That was against light-hitting Seattle though. In his previous two starts, he allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings, and before that, he allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings. Overall, he's got an awful 6.32 ERA and 1.723 WHIP his last three starts. He was very sharp against the Rangers back in June. However, as evidenced by the recent stats, he's not currently in nearly as good form. Also, the Rangers will now be seeing him for the second time.
Dempster's overall numbers aren't dominant but if you take away his games against the Angels, he's been excellent. In fact, not counting games at LA, he's won six consecutive outings while posting a 2.04 ERA.
The Rangers are 45-22 (+16) off a loss. The cream rises to the top and they finish as division champs. *10 Best Bet
|10-03-12||Houston Astros v. Chicago Cubs -125||Top||4-5||Win||100||4 h 41 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. The Astros had the upper hand in the first matchup between 100-loss teams over the last 50 years. They've won the first two games of this series and three straight overall. They swept the Cubs when they first came into the league 51 years ago. Now playing their final game in the National League (they move to the AL next year) the Astros will look to repeat history with another sweep. I expect Travis Wood and the Cubs to have something to say about that.
Wood returned from the All Star Break and promptly went 0-8 in his first nine games back. However, he's put it together "down the stretch," going 2-2 with a solid 3.34 ERA in six September starts. In his last start at Wrigley, Wood struck out seven Cardinals in five innings, allowing two runs. In his previous start here, he struck out nine Pirates in 5 2/3 innings, walking just one.
Wood should be happy to see Houston. In eight career starts against the Astros, he's 3-2 (team is 5-3) with a stellar 1.95 ERA and 0.927 WHIP. That includes a 2-1 record with a 1.29 ERA this season. In his two most recent starts against Houston, Wood has allowed just a single run through 14 2/3 innings.
Admittedly, Gonzalez has pitched better on the road than at home - however, three road starts isn't much to go on. Note that he's got a 6.35 ERA his last three starts. More importantly, he's been in the league since 2003 and has a 5.79 ERA and 1.53 WHIP, opposing hitters batting .299 against him during that time.
Even with the recent victories, the Astros are a brutal 20-60 on the road. By comparison, the Cubs' 37-43 home record actually looks pretty good.
The Astros would obviously like the sweep. However, they've already won the series. I look for the Cubs to want this one a little more, as they'd really like to reward the Wrigley faithful with a last win. With Wood continuing his success in this series, I look for them to do just that. *10
|10-01-12||New York Mets v. Miami Marlins -170||Top||2-3||Win||100||18 h 46 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. Josh Johnson has been pitching very well for the Marlins, having perhaps his best month of the season. In 34 September innings, he's recorded 29 K's while compiling a stellar 2.91 ERA. Unfortunately for Johnson, he's only 1-3 in those games, as the Marlins have provided him with no run support. In his final start of the season, I expect the Marlins to rally around their ace, finally providing him with some much needed run support.
While this will go down as Johnson's worst season, he's still got an excellent 2.96 ERA (1.16 WHIP) in 17 home starts. He's only allowed five home runs in that entire stretch, striking out 100 in 109 innings.
For his career, Johnson is 31-18 with a 2.84 ERA and 1.17 WHIP at home. So, this season's home numbers were right there with what he regularly does here.
Johnson should finally get some run support here. Familia has a terrible 8.64 ERA in seven relief appearances and he'll be making his first start here.
Also, note that Giancarlo Stanton recently returned to the lineup. He's arguably Miami's best hitter. Assuming he's in the lineup, Johnson should be pleased to see his bat back.
Johnson's last game against the Mets saw him allow just one run on three hits, through eight complete innings. That was his seventh consecutive start against the Mets that he allowed three or fewer earned runs. (He allowed less than three in five of those seven.)
Going back further reveals that Johnson has allowed three or fewer earned runs in 15 of his 17 career starts against the Mets and four or less in ALL 17 of those. The Marlins were 11-6 in those games, including 5-1 the last six at Miami. Overall, Johnson is 8-2 with a 2.58 ERA and 1.10 WHIP against them.
While the price may initially seem a little steep, given Johnson's history of success here, his current form, his career numbers against the Mets AND his pitching opponent, I feel that the line could easily be higher. *9 Personal Favorite
|09-26-12||Los Angeles Dodgers v. San Diego Padres OVER 7||Top||8-2||Win||100||8 h 14 m||Show|
I'm playing on San Diego and LA to finish OVER the total. These teams were involved in a low-scoring affair last night. I expect considerably more runs this afternoon.
As you're probably aware, Petco Park is a good pitcher's park. That's factored into the O/U line, the reason that O/U lines are so low here. Last night's low-scoring game wasn't unusual. However, "day" games (this is a 3:35 start, local time) are often higher-scoring.
Over the past few seasons, totals here have been very evenly split, about 50% each way. Excluding "pushes," its been a 115-113 breakdown, in favor of the over. Overall, the Padres have seen their games go 232-227, once again very equal. However, if we isolate just the SD day games, we find the OVER at a profitable 86-66, including a 29-20 mark this season.
Entering this series, SD games average 8.3 runs. Games here at Petco average 7.6 runs. Day games average 8.5 runs.
LA day games have also been higher-scoring than LA night games. Entering the series, Dodger games average 7.7 runs overall but 8 when playing in the afternoon.
Harang and Richard just opposed each other on 9/5. That game only finished with a score of 4-3. However, it easily could have been higher, as neither starter was that good. Richard allowed 10 hits and walked one batter in just 4 2/3 innings. He had just one strikeout. Harang wasn't any batter. He lasted just five innings and gave up seven hits and walked three, also striking out just one. Both were fortunate to allow "only" three runs. Now, the hitters will have had a recent look at both starters and that should help in getting some quality swings.
Neither pitcher was that good last time out either. Richard got the win but gave up four runs on eight hits, in just six innings. He's got a 4.58 ERA his last three starts.
Harang lasted just 4 1/3 innings last time out. Although he gave up just two runs, the nine baserunners (7 hits, 2 walks) aren't a good sign. He's got an ugly 1.80 WHIP (4.20 ERA) dating back to the 9/5 game vs the Dodgers. For the season, his WHIP is a high 1.50 on the road, where he averages just 5.6 innings per start.
Even with yesterday's result, the OVER is still 4-2-1 when the Dodgers have played here this season, 15-9-1 the last 25 here. Don't be surprised when the bats come to life. *10 Blue Chip
|09-25-12||Washington Nationals v. Philadelphia Phillies -148||Top||3-6||Win||100||9 h 3 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. A couple of losses over the weekend really hurt the Phillies' already slim playoff chances. They're still "mathematically" alive though and I expect them to bounce back with a big win today.
After Sunday's loss, Cliff Lee noted: "Obviously, we're running out of games. We really need to win every game. Today was big, but there's nothing we can do now."
Hamels gets the call. Not only is he having an outstanding season, he's also 12-5 with a 2.48 ERA lifetime against the Nationals. That includes a 2-1 record with a dominating 1.17 ERA this season.
Phillies is 15-6 overall and the Phillies are 19-10 (+6.4) when he starts, 3-0 the last three. Hamels has a stellar 2.85 ERA (1.102 WHIP) at home this season, averaging better than seven innings per start here. He's got 91 Ks in 91 innings here, too.
Hamels' lone loss in the season series came at Washington on 8/2, when he was outpitched by today's starter Ross Detwiler. Now, Hamels gets the rematch on his "home turf" though. The last time he faced the Nats here (5/23) he tossed eight shutout innings.
Admittedly, Detwiler is having a strong season and currently pitching well. As I mentioned, he did beat Hamels at Washington. His road numbers don't compare favorably against Hamels' home numbers though. In fact, he's just 2-4 on the road and has a mediocre 3.98 ERA, averaging just 5 1/2 innings.
The Nats will soon be crowned NL East champions. But for now, the Phillies are still the champs, 5-time defending ones. I believe that they've still got the pride that comes with being a champion.
The Phillies are 41-23 (+9.2) the past few seasons, as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range. Even with the disappointing results overall, they're still a profitable 16-9 (+3.6) in that role this season.
Playing a must win game in front of their home fans, I expect the Phils to play like defending division champs, if only for a day. *8 Personal Fav.
|09-21-12||Chicago White Sox v. Los Angeles Angels -130||Top||2-6||Win||100||12 h 58 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA ANGELS. Both these teams are off back-to-back losses. While those losses have yet to hurt the Sox, they've been devastating to the Angels. Desperate for a victory, I expect them to bounce back tonight.
The pitching matchup features Peavy taking on Santana. While Peavy has the better ERA on the season, I expect Santana to out-perform him here.
Santana hasn't pitched since 9/12, when he took a ball off his forearm. He was pitching very well in that game though (1 earned run in 6 innings) and had been great for quite some time. Over his last six starts, he had a 2.70 ERA.
I don't expect there to be any issues with Santana, who has thrown two bullpen sessions. He was quoted as saying: "I feel more energized and have more desire to win now than ever because time's running out."
Santana pitched well in his only start against Chicago this season. He didn't factor in the decision but the Angels won, 6-5. He's got a respectable 3.86 ERA his last four against the Sox.
That's a lot better than Peavy's 5.40 ERA (and 0-2 record) against the Angels.
While Peavy is certainly no slouch, note that the Sox are only 6-9 (-3.5) when he starts on the road.
Keep an eye out for Albert Pujols, familiar with Peavy from their days together in the National League. The former MVP is 10 for 25 (.400) with three home runs against Peavy.
Both teams average 4.7 runs per game on the season. However, the Angels are averaging five per game over their last seven while the Sox are averaging 4.4.
The Angels hit .273 as a team, .272 at home. The Sox hit .256 as a team, a mere .241 on the road. (They average only four runs per game away from home.)
The Sox bullpen has a very respectable 3.19 ERA. However, the Angels bullpen has them beat with a stellar 2.66 mark at home.
While their chances are starting to look rather bleak, I don't expect the Angels to go down without a fight. They stay alive with a big win here. *10 Personal Favorite
|09-21-12||Toronto Blue Jays v. Tampa Bay Rays UNDER 7||Top||1-12||Loss||-102||9 h 6 m||Show|
I'm playing on TB and Toronto to finish UNDER the total. While both teams are off high-scoring games yesterday, this O/U line is low for good reason.
Shields was mediocre last time out. He allowed four runs in 6 1/3 innings. However, in his defense, he only allowed four hits and walked one, (which is pretty good) plus the game was at Yankee Stadium, so he was facing a dominant lineup. Now, he's back home and facing a weak lineup, one that he tends to dominate.
Shields is 4-0 with a commanding 1.11 ERA and 41 strikeouts (in 40 2/3 innings) in five starts against the Jays since the start of last season.
Also, keep in mind that prior to his start vs. the Yankees, he was 6-1 with a 1.90 ERA in his previous eight starts.
Shields has seen the UNDER go 3-0-1 his last four starts. His most recent starts vs. the Jays finished with a score of 4-1.
Villanueva allowed two runs through seven innings last time out. That 3-2 final brought the UNDER to 1-0-1 his last two starts and 8-5-1 on the season. Both his 2012 starts against the Rays have finished below the total. They had scores of 2-0 and 3-2. Villanueva had a stellar 2.25 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 12 innings in those two starts.
The UNDER has been profitable here for years (652-517 L1100+ and 149-82 L3 seasons) and that's continued to be the case this season. The UNDER is 46-26-3 here, entering tonight's action. Note that even with last night's game going over (not until the 9th!) the UNDER is still 33-16-2 when the Rays have faced a team with a losing record.
Both teams average in the bottom four in the A.L. in hits per game. Both are also among the four worst in terms of strikeouts per game. I expect a low-scoring affair. *10 Blue Chip
|09-19-12||Baltimore Orioles v. Seattle Mariners -143||Top||3-1||Loss||-143||12 h 60 m||Show|
I'm playing on SEATTLE. The Mariners were on the wrong side of last night's 18-inning marathon, a game that took nearly six hours to play. Normally, I might stay away from a team that just lost a game like that. However, I like how this one sets up for the M's.
Felix Hernandez goes for the M's. I successfully played on the 'over' the last time that the Seattle ace took the mound, suggesting that "King Felix" may not be at his best. That was for a game at Toronto though and against a Jays team that tagged him for seven runs in his previous start against them. Sure enough, pitching a meaningless (for postseason implications) game, Hernandez struggled again.
Hernandez is back home now though and I expect him to be fired up. He's been among the very best pitchers in the game for years now and he was all summer long. He'll be anxious to atone for his recent sub-par outings and to finish the season strong. I also feel that he'll take tonight's game personally on his shoulders, after last night's heartbreaker - and as Baltimore is right in the thick of the playoff race. Felix would desperately love to be in a pennant race of his own - and for now, this is as close as he's going to get to it.
Seattle's most popular ballplayer had this to say: "I have to do something. The last three starts have been disappointing.''
A couple of recent losses notwithstanding, the M's are still 7-3 the last 10 times that Felix took the mound here. He allowed one earned run or less in five of those and two or less in seven of them. (Remember, it was only a couple of weeks ago that he was on a 9-0 run with a 1.40 ERA.)
For the season, Hernandez has a 2.48 ERA and 1.023 WHIP in 16 starts here. During that stretch, he's got 122 Ks to just 23 walks, allowing only five home runs.
In tonight's case, after last night's marathon, its also important to note that Hernandez usually goes deep into games. He averages 7.3 innings per start here.
Saunders has pitched fairly well recently. However, he's not in Hernandez's class. For the season, his ERA is 4.24 and his WHIP is 1.373. His team is 9-16 (-7.8) when he takes the mound, 4-9 on the road. That's not all his fault - but I don't expect his team to help him out much here.
While the O's have been great in extra inning games, they're beatable the day after. In fact, some of you will recall that we successfully played against Baltimore off an extra inning win just a few days ago. (O's lost 3-2 on 9/14, off a 14-inning win the previous day).
The O's have had plenty of success here but Safeco still belongs to King Felix. Seattle bounces back. *9 Personal Fav
|09-15-12||San Francisco Giants v. Arizona Diamondbacks -146||Top||3-2||Loss||-146||5 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on ARIZONA. The Giants grabbed yesterday's series opener. I look for the Diamondbacks to return the favor here though.
Miley wasn't that good last time out, although he still got the "W." He's been very consistent all season though and checks in with a 15-9 record to go along with a 3.07 ERA and 1.153 WHIP.
Miley's last start (the sub-par one) was on the road. He was his usually stingy self in his last home start though, allowing three runs through seven complete innings. That "quality start" actually hurt his home ERA, as he's been that good here. On the season, he's got a 2.73 ERA and 1.114 WHIP in 12 starts here, averaging better than 6 1/2 innings per.
Zito, on the other hand, has a 4.73 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in his 13 road starts, averaging less than 5 1/2 innings per.
While Zito is 5-8 with a poor 5.13 ERA (1.607 WHIP!) in 18 starts vs. Arizona, Miley will have the advantage of starting against the Giants for the first time. (He did throw four shutout innings in relief against them.) Note that Zito's ERA here at Arizona climbs to a brutal 5.86.
The Giants have won some of Zito's recent starts in the series but he's been less than dominant. Most recently, on 9/3, he allowed four earned runs in five innings but the Giants bailed him out by scoring nine themselves. That's not likely to happen with Miley on the mound though. The Dbax aren't quite out of the Wildcard race yet. Miley's been coming up big for them all year and I look for him to do it again here. *9 Personal Favorite
|09-14-12||Seattle Mariners v. Texas Rangers UNDER 9||Top||3-9||Loss||-110||10 h 12 m||Show|
I'm playing on Texas and Seattle to finish UNDER the total. I successfully played on the Mariners to finish 'over' the total yesterday. However, even at the time, I admitted that they were a light-hitting team. We're getting a far more generous line to work with tonight and we've got pitchers in better current form. I believe the value now lies with the other way.
Darvish has dominated lately. Last time out, while he didn't factor in the decision, he allowed only one earned run and just two hits, through eight innings. He had eight K's and walked only two. That one finished well below the total, a final of 4-2. He's 2-0 (Texas is 3-0) with a superb 1.64 ERA his last three starts.
In his last home start, Darvish tossed seven shutout innings, striking out 10. That one finished with a final score of 1-0.
Admittedly, Iwakuma wasn't his best last time out. However, he's still got an excellent 2.12 ERA his last three starts and a stellar 2.80 ERA in 12 starts overall.
The UNDER is 8-2-1 (or 8-3) the last 11 times that Iwakuma has taken the mound. Ten of those 11 games produced eight or fewer combined runs. I expect this one to do the same.
These pitchers should have some added motivation to pitch well against each other. Not only are they countrymen, they're also friends. (The two helped Japan win the World Baseball Classic in 2009.)
Iwakuma noted: "We are friends, and sometimes we get dinner together and sometimes we talk on the phone. I'm looking forward to pitching against him."
The UNDER is 20-11-1 when the Rangers have played a home game with an O/U line of 9 or 9.5 (and also 17-5 on Fridays.) I expect a well-pitched affair. *10
|09-14-12||Tampa Bay Rays v. New York Yankees -121||Top||6-4||Loss||-121||9 h 23 m||Show|
I'm playing on NEW YORK. There's no denying that Price is having a great season. However, I believe the Yankees are favored for good reason.
While he's dominated at most ballparks, Price, who had his last start skipped due to shoulder soreness, has a mediocre 4.50 ERA here at NY this season.
By comparison, Sabathia has a 2.78 ERA and 0.996 WHIP in his 10 starts at NY this season.
The Yanks come in as the hotter team. They're also catching the Rays off a devastating 14-inning loss at Baltimore yesterday. While they're not out of it yet, that loss may ultimately prove to be the "dagger" and the Rays are well aware of it. It'll likely be hard to bounce back from.
It doesn't help that the Rays can't score many runs. After yesterday's game, Joe Maddon noted the following: "It's just the same old story: We can't score enough runs."
Over the past six games, the Rays are 4 for 37 with runners in scoring position.
Don't expect any sympathy or mercy from the Yanks tonight. They know they can put away the pesky Rays once and for all with a big series and I look for them to start it off with a win here *9
|09-13-12||St. Louis Cardinals v. Los Angeles Dodgers -120||Top||2-1||Loss||-120||12 h 15 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA DODGERS. Both these teams have struggled of late. Both remain in contention for a Wildcard spot though. Needless to say, this is a huge series.
As Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "St. Louis and ourselves, we have let a lot of people back in the race - but it's still in our hands. No matter how bad it has looked and no matter where it has been, it's still right there for us.''
As neither club appears likely to be able to catch Atlanta, the winner of this series will be in good shape. The Cards currently hold a 1-game lead over the Dodgers but I expect them to be tied after tonight's game.
I backed the Dodgers in Beckett's last home start and he rewarded me with a 2-1 win. Beckett allowed six hits and one run through 6 2/3 innings. He had an impressive nine K's and one walk.
At the time, I said this: "While its been a trying season, Beckett can still salvage it with a good final month. Extremely motivated to deliver his best performance, I expect Beckett to bounce back with a much better effort."
Beckett did indeed bounce back with a much better effort. Back at home, in another very important spot, I expect Beckett to again step up his game.
Off a mediocre road outing last time out Beckett noted:, "They didn't bring me here to pitch OK. They brought me here to pitch good."
I don't feel as confident about Lynn. While he won his first six starts and was selected to the All Star team, Lynn has since struggled. In fact, he's been relegated to the bullpen in recent weeks, after compiling a terrible 6.56 ERA in his last five starts, including an even worse 8.74 ERA (1.853 WHIP) his last three. Returning to the rotation in this critical spot may not be ideal.
The Dodgers are a profitable 14-5 on the season as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range. With Beckett getting the better of Lynn, I expect them to improve on those stats this evening. *10 Personal Fav
|09-13-12||Seattle Mariners v. Toronto Blue Jays OVER 7.5||Top||3-8||Win||100||8 h 22 m||Show|
I'm playing on Toronto and Seattle to finish OVER the total. True, these are light-hitting teams. True, Felix Hernandez is among the best in the game. Still, I feel an O/U line of 7.5 is too low for a game between these two teams, at Toronto.
A look at the first three games shows O/U lines of 8.5, 8 and 9.
After a stretch of dominance, Felix Hernandez has come back to earth his last couple of times out. Two starts ago, he gave up five runs on nine hits, four of them earned. He was worse last time out, giving up six runs (5 earned) and 11 hits, lasting just 4 2/3 innings. Hernandez has thrown an awful of innings again this season and it's possible he's starting to wear down a little.
Hernandez last faced Toronto on 4/11/2011. That start didn't go too well either. King Felix gave up a whopping seven runs on 12 hits. The game produced 15 runs, an 8-7 final. He's got mediocre 4.37 ERA in eight starts vs. the Jays.
Alvarez pitched quite well at Boston last time out. He wasn't very good in his last home start though (4 runs in 5 innings) and he's still got an ugly 6.14 ERA his last three starts. On the season, he's 3-9 with a poor 5.02 ERA in 14 home starts.
Alverez has seen the OVER go 4-1-1 his last six starts. Five of those six games produced at least eight runs. Looking back further finds that 11 of his last 14 starts have produced at least eight runs.
Don't be surprised if this one proves higher-scoring than many will be expecting. *9
|09-13-12||Oakland A's v. Los Angeles Angels -138||Top||0-6||Win||100||6 h 44 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA ANGELS. This series has already really hurt the Angels' wildcard chances already. With their ace on the mound, I expect them to bounce back and look for them to earn a badly-needed victory.
Admittedly, the Angels' offense has struggled in the series. They're also up against a red hot pitcher, as Anderson has exceeded expectations, since returning from Tommy John surgery. That said, Anderson still only has a fairly small "sample size" since making his return and this LA lineup is too potent to stay quiet for long.
Note that all four of Anderson's starts have come against teams (Seattle, Cleveland, Boston and Minnesota) that were already out of the playoff race. They included games the two lowest-scoring teams (Seattle and Cleveland) in the A.L.
Of course, with Weaver on the mound, LA likely won't need to score many runs. The Angels' ace is an awesome 16-4 on the season and he's got a 2.86 ERA and 1.029 WHIP. At home, those numbers are even better. In 12 starts here, he's got a 2.62 ERA and 0.833 WHIP.
The Angels are 19-6 (+9) in Weaver's starts including 10-2 (+5.9) here at Anaheim.
True, Weaver has come back to earth a little recently and he also missed his last start. He's back and ready to go now though and I expect him to return to his dominant ways.
Weaver commented: "I'm looking forward to getting back out there."
Considering that he's 2-0 with a 0.38 ERA against the A's this season and 5-1 with a 1.02 ERA against them the last two seasons, I'd be looking forward to getting back out there too!
The Angels haven't been swept in a 4-game series here by the A's in more than a decade. I don't expect it to happen on Weaver's watch this afternoon. *9
|09-09-12||Toronto Blue Jays v. Boston Red Sox -134||Top||4-3||Loss||-134||3 h 58 m||Show|
I'm playing on BOSTON. The Red Sox have hurt me recently and I'll be the first to admit that they're not a very good team at the moment. Even bad teams win games though and I feel this is a good spot for the Sox. I'm willing to give them one final try.
Buchholz is about as good as the Sox have these days and generally gives them a solid shot at a victory. He's gone seven innings in each of his last two starts but has gotten no run support. Despite losing those games, the Sox are still a respectable 14-10 (+2.5) when he takes the mound. Not bad at all when considering their overall record.
Buchholz should be happy to see the Jays. He dominated them this season and he's done so for his career. He's 8-3 with a 2.47 ERA against Toronto.
Buchholz should (hopefully) also finally get some run support. Villaneuva has a poor 5.25 ERA in going 1-3 in four road starts. He's got an even worse 6.97 ERA here at Fenway.
With few willing to back Boston, the price has fallen from its opener. Given the matchup, I believe we're now getting plenty of value. *9
|09-07-12||Oakland: A Griffin v. Seattle: F Hernandz -134||Top||6-1||Loss||-134||12 h 9 m||Show|
I'm playing on SEATTLE. After a red-hot run, the A's just got swept by the Angels. Facing one of the best in the game, I expect their skid to continue for another day.
King Felix finally lost last time out. However, he tossed a complete game shutout in his previous start and he's been red hot for many weeks. In 15 home starts, he's got a superb 2.18 ERA and 0.958 WHIP.
Admittedly, Griffin has also been pitching very well. However, while Hernandez has been pitching like this for several seasons now, Griffin's sample size is much smaller.
Hernandez is 13-5 with a 2.63 ERA in 25 starts vs. the A's. Seattle was 17-8 (+6.7) in those games.
The M's have played well at home for several weeks now. They've won three of four and six of 10. I expect another big effort from Felix and feel they offer very fair value. *9
|09-07-12||Toronto Blue Jays v. Boston Red Sox -142||Top||7-5||Loss||-142||11 h 7 m||Show|
I'm playing on BOSTON. I won with the Jays on Wednesday. However, I feel this will be a good spot to go against them.
The Jays are not a good hitting team right now and haven't been for some time. They've scored four or fewer runs in six of their last seven games. They scored two runs or less in four of those, including getting shutout in two of them.
The Red Sox have not hit well either, as they're coming off an awful road trip. However, at least they had a little bit of an excuse for the lack of run-scoring, as they were playing at "pitcher-friendly" parks in Seattle and Oakland.
The Sox should be happy to return to Fenway, where they average 5.5 runs and hit .285.
They should also be happy to see Alvarez, too. He's 0-2 with a terrible 11.37 ERA and 2.37 WHIP his last three starts.
Admittedly, Doubront hasn't been too good either. However, while the Jays are a money-burning 8-18 when Alvarez takes the mound, the Sox are a profitable 15-9 (+4.2) when Doubront has started.
The Sox scored seven runs in 5 2/3 innings the last time that they saw Alvarez. I expect their bats to come to life again here, en route to a Boston win. *9
|09-07-12||Cleveland Indians v. Minnesota Twins -128||Top||7-6||Loss||-128||10 h 16 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. Both these teams are off a Wednesday loss; each had yesterday off. Both teams have struggled, neither starter pitched all that well last time out and both have poor stats on the season. I like the current Twins lineup better than the Indians one though. Playing at home, I feel that they'll have the edge.
Hendriks was not sharp last time out, although he did strike out five without walking a batter. In his defense, that was on the road. While he has not had a good season, he dominated in his last home start. In that game, he allowed just three hits, while going the distance. Unfortunately, he was up against Felix Hernandez and the Twins couldn't provide him with a single run. He lost 1-0.
Back on his home mound, Hendriks should have some confidence. His 4.15 ERA here isn't great but it isn't bad either. (Much better than his road ERA.) His 1.286 WHIP here is solid. Certainly, those numbers deserve more than an 0-4 home record. Hendriks should receive significantly more support than he did in the 1-0 loss vs. King Felix.
Manager Ron Gardenhire said this of the fact that Hendriks is still searching for his first victory: "His teammates want to see him get it and so do I ... "
Gomez did win last time out. However, he still gave up two home runs in 5 2/3 innings and he's still got a 6.89 ERA his last three starts. He's got a 5.05 ERA on the road.
The Twins are in one of their best roles here. They're 40-17 (+17.2) as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range. They've had success against the Tribe this season and I look for them to finally get Hendriks a win here. *10
|09-06-12||Milwaukee: M Estrada v. Miami: J Johnson -122||Top||2-6||Win||100||3 h 15 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. The Brewers have taken two of the first three meetings in this series. I expect the Marlins to bounce back and salvage the split.
Although neither got a "W," both starters were very good last time out. Estrada allowed one run through seven innings, giving up just four hits. Johnson was every bit as good though; he allowed just one run on only three hits, lasting eight innings.
Johnson's home numbers are much better than Estrada's road numbers though.
Estrada is 1-3 with a 4.74 ERA and 1.526 WHIP in seven road starts, his team losing six of those.
Johnson is only 5-5 at home but he's got a stellar 2.90 ERA and 1.163 WHIP.
While Estrada averages 5.4 innings per road start, Johnson averages 6.4 innings at home.
Estrada's given up six home runs in 38 road innings. Johnson has given up only five home runs at home, despite pitching more than twice as many (96.3) innings.
Estrada has a 7.56 ERA in his two starts vs. the Marlins. His lone start at Miami saw him allow five earned runs in just 2 1/3 innings.
Johnson, on the other hand, is 3-0 with a 3.86 ERA in six starts against Milwaukee, the Marlins going 5-1 (+4.2) in those games. While he didn't pitch well at Milwaukee earlier, Johnson's last home start against Milwaukee saw him allow just one run in seven innings. I expect Johnson to get it done and for the Marlins to close out the homestand with a victory. *10
|09-05-12||Baltimore: M Gonzalez v. Toronto: B Morrow -112||Top||4-6||Win||100||9 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on TORONTO. After getting shut out 4-0 in the opener, the Jays were embarrassed yesterday, losing 12-0. That should provide some added motivation here, as they look to bounce back and avoid the sweep. With an expected edge on the mound, I expect them to do just that.
Morrow gets the call for the Jays. He's a very talented pitcher who had been on the disabled list. After not pitching since June, he came off the DL on 8/25. Not surprisingly, he was a litlte rusty in that start. Facing these same Orioles (at Baltimore) he allowed four runs (2 earned) in 4 2/3 innings. Still, the 7 K's (against just 1 walk) showed that he still had an excellent stuff. Morrow followed it up with a gem last time out, holding the Rays to one run through 6 2/3 innings, en route to a 2-1 Toronto victory.
Including that strong start, Morrow is 8-5 with a stellar 2.95 ERA and 1.056 WHIP.
Morrow's last home start against the O's came on 5/30. He allowed only one run on just four hits, striking out eight. He got the "W" in a 4-1 Jays victory.
Admittedly, Gonzalez has also pitched very well. Give him credit for doing so. However, lets remember that he was an undrafted free agent and that he missed the 2008 and 2009 seasons, because of a knee injury and Tommy John surgery.
He's still had limited major league experience and will be making his third straight road start, for the first time in his career. He's only made two starts against a couple of teams - and won't have the advantage of facing Toronto for the first time here.
Even after yesterday's setback, their fourth straight, the Jays remain an excellent 36-23 the past few seasons, after losing three or more in a row. During that stretch, they're also 15-8 off a shutout loss. They haven't been swept in three games by the O's here in more than seven years and I look for them to bounce back in a big way here. *10 TAL East GOW
|09-04-12||Arizona Diamondbacks v. San Francisco Giants -121||Top||8-6||Loss||-121||13 h 37 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN FRANCISCO. The Giants won a wild one yesterday. After leading 4-0 through the first half of the game, they found themselves trailing 8-5 going into the bottom of the 8th inning. They scored two in that frame though, pulling within a run. The Giants added another one in the bottom of the 9th, before winning it in the 10th. That type of victory can help a team build positive momentum.
On the other hand, losing a game like that can have a deflating effect. Now 2-9 their last 11, yesterday's loss may have been the one that officially killed the Dbax' hopes.
Vogelsong has been very solid all season. He had a rare bad start at San Diego on 8/19 but has bounced back with a pair of respectable starts, both of them SF wins. He's 12-7 with a 3.02 ERA and 1.193 WHIP. At home, his ERA dips to 2.44. The Giants are a profitable 17-8 (+9.6) when he takes the mound.
Kennedy pitched very well last time out, beating Kershaw and the Dodgers. He gave up six runs in 5 1/3 innings in his previous start though, so can be a bit inconsistent. He's got a mediocre 4.27 ERA overall and the Dbax are 7-9 (-1.9) when he starts on the road.
Both starters have fared well against today's opponent. Kennedy has a 2.01 ERA against SF. Vogelsong has an even better 1.89 ERA against Arizona. The Diamondbacks bullpen has been a strength much of the way but has been letting them down recently. The team has blown leads in five of its last six defeats and closer Putz has blown saves in back-to-back games. All things considered, I feel the price on the home team is more than fair. *9
|09-04-12||Boston Red Sox -130 v. Seattle Mariners||Top||4-3||Win||100||13 h 33 m||Show|
I'm playing on BOSTON. The Red Sox certainly haven't been too good lately and they're taking a lot of heat for it in the media. Meanwhile, the Mariners have been rolling. Yet, its still the Red Sox which are favored. That'll likely have a lot of bettors taking a good look at the underdog. I have a feeling the Sox are ready to snap out of it though.
Lester has not had a good season, one of the many reasons why Boston is not where it would like to be. However, his seasonal stats don't tell the whole story on how he's pitched recently.
The Red Sox southpaw did give up five runs last time out, which obviously isn't very good. However, that was against a powerful Anaheim team and Lester did still manage to go eight innings. He didn't give up a single run after the third inning either. So, he did put it together in that game. He was quoted as saying: "After the third, I was able to get in more of a rhythm and slow them down."
Prior to the loss against the Angels, Lester had a stellar 2.25 ERA in his previous three starts, while going 3-0. That included a 2-0 record on the road, as he allowed just two runs in 13 road innings, striking out 16. The Sox won those games by a combined score of 18-2.
Lester has gone a minimum of six complete innings in seven straight starts. He's only allowed two home runs over those seven games and the game against the Angels was the only time (during that 7-game stretch) that he allowed more than four earned runs.
Lester should be happy to see Seattle. Last time against the M's, he pitched a complete game, allowing a single run. Including that 6-1 victory, which came back in May, he's 2-1 with an excellent 2.01 ERA in the last four meetings in the series, recording 40 Ks in 31 1/3 innings.
On the other hand, Beaven is 0-3 with a 6.35 ERA in three starts against the Red Sox. Beaven is fortunate to have a winning (9-8) record this season, as he's got a 4.95 ERA.
Enough's enough. Lester bounces back and Boston gets back on track in a big way. *10 Personal Favorite
|09-02-12||New York Mets v. Miami Marlins -135||Top||5-1||Loss||-135||3 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. The Mets have won the first two games in this series. They haven't swept the Marlins on the road in five years though and I don't expect them to do so this afternoon.
Ageless Mark Buehrle enters today's game in top form. He's 3-0 with an excellent 2.29 ERA and 1.068 WHIP his last three starts.
For the season, Buehrle is 7-4 with 2.91 ERA in 13 home starts, averaging 6 2/3 innings per start. Pretty impressive when considering the type of year that the Marlins have had.
Buehrle has also pitched very well against the Mets. In two starts against them - both this season - he allowed two runs through 6 2/3 innings and two runs through 7 innings. That translates to a 2.63 ERA.
On the other hand, Young got hammered in his lone start against the Marlins this season. In that 8/8 outing, he lasted only 4 2/3 innings and gave up seven runs. Serving up three home runs while walking three batters didn't help matters. Including that 13-0 loss, the team is just 4-11 (-6.7) when Young takes the mound. He's got a 4.79 ERA and 1.532 WHIP in his nine road starts, averaging only 5.2 innings. He's only won once in his last 10 starts and is 0-2 with a 5.91 ERA in his last four.
Although they have been winning recently, the Mets haven't scored many runs of late. At a disadvantage on the mound, I expect their streak to come to an end here. *9
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