For any resources you could need like sports handicapping odds, handicapping stats, schedules, or handicappers free picks and tips please click on any of the links on the right hand side of this page.
CLICK A CAPPERS NAME TO SEE THEIR PREMIUM DAILY EXPERT PLAYS + PREDICTIONS!
WANT FREE SPORTS PICKS to your inbox? | Newsletter Sign-UP!
|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|07-11-09||New York Yankees v. Los Angeles Angels UNDER 10||Top||8-14||Loss||-105||6 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on the Yankees and Angels to finish UNDER the total. This line has moved from 9.5 to 10 at several shops and I feel that's providing us with excellent value.
These pitchers faced each other back on 5/1 with that game finishing with a wild 10-9 final score. That was at New York though and this afternoon's game will be played at LA. Big difference.
Pettitte has struggled at New York this season. However, he's been fantastic on the road. In seven road starts, he's gone 4-1 (team is 6-1) with a 2.79 ERA and 1.286 WHIP. Five of those seven games stayed below the total. He's allowed a total of 14 home runs on the season but only two came on the road.
Likewise, Weaver has been much better here at home. In fact, he's been dominant. In nine starts here, he's gone 6-1 (team is 7-2) with an outstanding 2.05 ERA and 0.894 WHIP. He's averaged better than seven innings in his home starts with the UNDER going 6-2-1.
The UNDER has gone a profitable 66-43-6 the last 115 times that the Angels played during the afternoon. With both pitchers in their "preferred environment" (Weaver at home, Pettitte on the road) I expect those numbers to improve this afternoon *TV TOM
"The following information is intended strictly for the private use of the subscriber. Any re-distribution of the information in any form without the written consent of SportsDirect Inc. will be considered a violation of the subscriber agreement, and also subject to the laws of the jurisdictions involved."
|07-08-09||Baltimore Orioles v. Seattle Mariners -135||Top||5-3||Loss||-135||6 h 22 m||Show|
I'm laying the price with SEATTLE. After the Mariners grabbed Monday's opener, the Orioles responded with a big victory yesterday. I expect the M's to bounce back with a convincing win of their own this afternoon.
Vargas gets the call and he's been superb here at SafeCo Field. Indeed, in four home starts he has an outstanding 1.82 ERA and 0.973 WHIP. Not surprisingly, the M's have won all four of those games. Averaging better than six innings per start in those games, Vargas gave up one earned run in three of those games and two in the other. Dating back to his time in the NL, Vargas' teams are now 7-1 his last eight home starts.
David Hernandez has made two road starts, one of them here at Seattle. The M's won that game 8-2 with Hernandez giving up 10 hits and five runs in just 5 1/3 innings. Including that poor effort, he's got a 6.00 ERA and 1.583 WHIP when starting on the road.
Note that Vargas is supported by a much better bullpen than Hernandez. Prior to yesterday's game, the Seattle relievers had a combined 2.31 ERA at home. Conversely, the O's' relievers entered yesterday's game with a horrible 5.62 ERA on the road.
In addition to their edge on the mound, the M's have been the much better team when playing during the afternoon. Seattle comes in with a profitable 16-11 (+6.3) record during day games. On the other hand, Baltimore enters today's action with a horrible 6-16 (-9.4) mark when playing during the afternoon. Looking back further and we find the O's at a money-burning 33-76 (-41.8) in afternoon games over the past few seasons. During the same stretch, the O's are also just 48-75 when facing a southpaw starter.
Even with yesterday's setback, the Mariners have still won five of their last seven vs. the O's and 10 of their last 13 home games overall. I expect them to bounce back and close out the series with a victory. *"Getaway Day" GOM
|07-07-09||St. Louis Cardinals v. Milwaukee Brewers -145||Top||5-0||Loss||-145||10 h 33 m||Show|
I'm laying the price with MILWAUKEE. After winning big on Sunday, the Cardinals were idle on Monday. They're 1-4 (-3.8) this season when playing with a day off and I expect them to have some trouble in this evening's series opener.
In addition to their strong 22-13 record against divisional opponents, the Brewers have been at their best when playing the league's better teams this season. In fact, Milwaukee is an impressive 21-9 this season when playing a team with a winning record.
The Brewers lost 8-2 on Sunday afternoon game. Note that they've been much better in the evening, going 32-22 in night games this season.
The Brewers' starting pitcher, Yovani Gallardo, has also excelled in night games in his career. Gallardo is 14-5 under the lights. Gallardo is currently enjoying his most dominating stretch ever. In June and July he has allowed a total of just nine earned runs in 39 2/3 innings. That's a 2.04 ERA!
In his first start this month, Gallardo allowed just five hits in seven innings. In June, opponents hit just .172 against him. That was also all they could manage to hit against him in April too. Note that on May 25th, Gallardo held the Cardinals to just two hits in eight shutout innings. That was the first time he'd faced them since 2007 and he out- dueled Carpenter en route to a 1-0 victory.
With 58 K's in his last 45 innings, Gallardo is arguably one of the most dominant hurlers in the league right now. For the season, he has 114 K's in 104 innings overall to go along with a stellar 2.47 ERA at home.
Adam Wainwright gets the start for the Cardinals Tuesday. Even though Wainwright has some solid overall numbers this season, he's not been the same pitcher on the road that he's been at home. Wainwright is 5-1 on the road this season but he's compiled a 4.80 ERA, 1.578 WHIP and a .298 BAA. It isn't just this season, either. In his career, Wainwright's ERA on the road is more than a full run higher than what he's produced at home.
Wainwright is coming off of a nine inning effort against the Giants in his last start. St Louis won that game in extra innings and Wainwright threw 122 pitches. That type of effort could easily have him "running out of gas" earlier than usual in this game.
With Gallardo continuing his recent dominance, I look for the Brewers, already 4-2 vs. the Cards on the season, to earn an important victory, moving into a tie for first place in the division. *Personal Favorite
|07-05-09||Chicago White Sox v. Kansas City Royals -118||Top||3-6||Win||100||4 h 38 m||Show|
I'm playing on KANSAS CITY. While many tend to think otherwise, when a team has a lengthy winning streak snapped - like the White Sox did yesterday - it can be tough to immediately bounce back. The White Sox had won seven straight games before yesterday's loss. Conversely, when a team snaps a losing streak - as the Royals did yesterday - it can help create some "positive energy." The Royals shifted the "momentum" for both teams with yesterday's 6-4 win and I expect them to have the advantage this afternoon.
Brian Bannister has lost three straight starts but he's deserved much better. The right-hander gave up just 18 hits in 21 innings in those games. During that stretch, he managed a 3.43 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. Bannister has a stellar 2.87 ERA at home and opponents are hitting just .233 against him at Kaufmann Stadium. Note that Bannister is a remarkable 15-6 in day games in his career and that this season, he's got a super 2.38 ERA and a .224 BAA in five daytime starts. He'll be happy about today's early starting time and he should finally get at least a few runs to work with.
Clayton Richard is expected to get this start for the White Sox and he's given up 11 earned runs in his last 11 and 1/3 innings. Even though Richard's overall numbers are still somewhat respectable, he really hasn't been shutting down teams of late and there's a good chance of him giving up at least a few today. Even though Richard has averaged less than five innings through his last six games, he's still given up at least three earned runs in five of them.
While he did beat Bannister earlier this year, Richard still has a poor 6.35 ERA and 1.677 WHIP in two starts vs. the Royals, who have hit .306 against him at Kaufmann Stadium. It's also worth noting that righthanded hitters have hit .313 against Richard in his career and that he'll be seeing very few lefthanded batters in the Royals lineup. Additionally, in day games in his career, Richard has a 5.59 ERA and a .319 BAA.
I expect Bannister to outpitch Richard, avenging the earlier loss, and look for the Royals to build positive momentum from yesterday's win, closing out the series with a victory. *Sunday Main Event
|07-04-09||Tampa Bay Rays -135 v. Texas Rangers||Top||4-12||Loss||-135||10 h 38 m||Show|
I'm laying the price with TAMPA BAY. The Rangers grabbed yesterday's series opener but I fully expect the Rays to bounce back and even things up today. This game featured a pair of southpaw starters and Tampa's has proven to be much better.
David Price goes for the Rays and he's got a respectable 3.93 ERA through his first seven starts, four of which have resulted in Tampa victories. Price brings some momentum into today's game, as he was excellent his last time out. In that outing, he allowed just two hits and one run through 6 1/3 innings, earning a 5-2 victory over the Marlins. Note that Price is supported by a Tampa bullpen which has an ERA a full run lower than the Texas bullpen.
Derek Holland goes for the Rangers and he's 1-5 with a poor 6.20 ERA on the season. That includes an 0-4 mark as a starter. He's been particularly brutal here at Texas. Indeed, in three starts here, he's gone 0-3 with a terrible 8.62 ERA and 2.234 WHIP. The Rangers have lost those three games by a combined score of 22-8. Last time out, in 5 2/3 innings he gave up a whopping 13 hits, allowing seven runs, six of them earned. That was against the light-hitting Padres, too. Now, he'll face a much more potent Tampa Bay offense, a lineup which will be highly motivated for a "bounce back" performance. Note that the Rays lead the majors with 443 runs.
After Price and the Rays beat the Marlins last week, Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Price: "..He's a good one..." I expect Price, who had a 1.93 ERA in Tampa's World Series run last year and who was the #1 overall pick in the 2007 draft, to build from that outing and for the Rays to bounce back with a convincing victory. *"Independence Day Massacre"
|07-03-09||Chicago White Sox v. Kansas City Royals -143||Top||5-0||Loss||-143||9 h 5 m||Show|
I'm laying the price with KANSAS CITY. While the White Sox have been rolling, the Royals have been struggling. They lost again yesterday. However, with their ace on the mound, I feel that this will be an excellent spot to get back on track, at least for a night.
After his first tough stretch of the season, Zach Greinke now appears to be back in a groove, as he's resumed the type of form he had displayed in starting the season 8-1 with a 0.84 ERA. Greinke has won his last two starts and allowed just three earned
runs in 14 1/3 innings. Note that Greinke is 2-0 in his three starts against the White Sox this season with an outstanding 1.23 ERA. After blanking the Sox in his first two starts against them, he received a no-decision in a loss vs. Danks just over a month ago - although he did outpitch Danks. That should provide Greinke with some added motivation here, as will the fact that KC badly needs a win. The Sox are hitting just .218 against him this season.
The Royals have been swinging the bats somewhat better than what their recent run totals would lead one to believe, as they've managed 38 hits in their last four games. After scoring just one run on 12 hits Wednesday, the Royals then hit three double plays on Thursday. After struggling against Mark Buehrle of the White Sox last night, KC gets an opportunity to bounce back against John Danks. While he's admittedly been quite sharp of late, the White Sox southpaw has still lost three of his last five outings. In his start prior to his current 2-3 stretch, Danks got a no decision but he arguably deserved a loss. That was a game at Kansas City where he was pounded for four earned runs on nine hits in just 5 1/3 innings. The Royals are getting a second shot at Danks in a span of about five weeks and they should be able to hit him well again. Even though Danks has a 4-2 record on the road this season, he also has a poor 4.99 ERA and a .274 BAA in those games. Additionally, in night games, Danks is just 4-6 with a 5.00 ERA so far this season.
The White Sox have struggled as road underdogs in this range the past few seasons. On the other hand, the Royals are 7-1 (+5.8) as a home favorite in the -125 to -150 range this season. Going further back, the Royals are 19-8 (+8.2) in this role over the last three seasons. Behind another quality effort from their ace, look for them to bounce back with a much-needed victory. *Personal Favorite
|07-03-09||Atlanta Braves v. Washington Nationals +115||Top||9-8||Loss||-100||8 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. While I didn't necessarily anticipate the sweep, the fact that the Braves fared well vs. the Phillies didn't come as a shock to me. I successfully backed the Braves in Game 1 and stated how important a series it was for them to win. After that big sweep, the Braves have suddenly become a popular pick - particularly when facing the lowly Nationals. However, I believe that the Nats will have some advantages.
For starters, the Nats have both the schedule and the venue in their favor. The Braves recent sweep came at home. Now they're on the road, where they've won just five of their last 16. Additionally, while the Braves have dominated the Nats at Atlanta, they've had trouble against them on the road. In fact, they lost two of three earlier this season and are just 1-8 their last nine here.
It should also be noted that the Nats had yesterday off while the Braves played. Off a sweep vs. the defending champs, the best team in the division, a "letdown" vs. the worst team won't surprise.
Atlanta's Kenshen Kawakami does bring better overall stats to the table than does Washington's Ross Detwiler. However, a closer look shows that Detwiler's home numbers are much better than Kawakami's road numbers. Detwiler has a 3.64 ERA and 1.18 WHIP at home. Conversely, Kawakami has an ugly 5.29 ERA and 1.732 WHIP on the road.
Detwiler has the advantage of facing the Braves for the first time. On the other hand, Washington will be seeing Kawakami for the third time already this season. The Nats were beaten by Kawakami at Atlanta but returned the favor by beating him at Washington. For the two games, Kawakami had a combined 1.636 WHIP, showing that the Nats were having no trouble getting runners on base. It should also be noted that Kawakami hasn't pitched since June 24th, as he was hit by a line drive in the neck. Kawakami was quoted as saying: "...I'm alive. At first, I was worried that it might have hit a bone. I'm glad it didn't."
Even with yesterday's victory, their fourth straight, the Braves are still a money-burning 17-23 (-13.6) the last 40 times that they were coming off three or more consecutive victories. I expect their troubles here at Washington to continue for another day. *Top July Dog
|07-01-09||Chicago White Sox v. Cleveland Indians -120||Top||6-2||Loss||-120||9 h 34 m||Show|
I'm playing on CLEVELAND. Having lost the first two games of this series by a combined score of 17-7, the Indians are looking to avoid getting swept in front of their home fans. Note that Cleveland has only been swept at home two times this season and that the White Sox have only swept one road series so far. I expect "the Tribe" to have an edge on the mound and I look for them to bounce back in a big way.
Jeremy Sowers gets the call for Cleveland. Sowers' overall numbers are disappointing. However, a closer look shows that he's allowed two earned runs or less in five of his last seven starts, while pitching at least five innings in six of his last seven.
Last time out, Sowers allowed just six hits and two runs in seven innings. He didn't allow any home runs and he had six K's to just one walk. That's certainly the type of start that a pitcher can "build" from. Sowers has admittedly had some trouble beating the Sox. However, he hasn't gotten much help either - he's held them to a .253 batting average overall - most recently holding Chicago to two earned runs in six innings but getting no run support and losing by a score of 4-2. I expect the Indians to provide Sowers with considerably more support this evening.
The White Sox, who are just 29-48 as a road dog of up to +125 over the last three seasons, send Jose Contreras to the mound. Contreras gave up five runs (4 earned) last time out, losing 5-4 vs. the Cubs. Including that result, the White Sox have lost eight of the ten starts that he's made this season. Dating back to last season, they're a money-burning 2-10 in Contreras' last 12 starts & 2-8 his last 10 on the road. Contreras, who has walked 24 in 37 career innings at Cleveland, has a 4.97 ERA on the road and a 4.80 ERA in night games. Both of those numbers are inferior to what he's produced at home and in day games. This season, he's 1-4 with a 6.43 ERA and 1.501 WHIP away from Chicago. Additionally, Contreras is 1-5 in night games this season while compiling a 6.61 ERA under the lights.
Despite the results from the first two games, the Indians are still 98-78 (+6.4) against divisional opponents over the last three seasons and 8-6 the last 14 in this series. During that stretch, they're also 20-14 after allowing double-digits in their previous game. I expect them to bounce back and improve on those stats with a much-needed victory. *Personal Favorite
|06-30-09||Philadelphia Phillies v. Atlanta Braves -130||Top||4-5||Win||100||9 h 39 m||Show|
I'm playing on ATLANTA. Both teams were off Monday. History would indicate that's an advantage for Atlanta, as over the last few seasons, this situation has benefited the Braves much more than it has the Phillies. Atlanta is 34-17 (+17.2) when it has had a day off. Philadelphia is a much more modest 29-21 (+4.8) when it has had a day off. That's not why I'm backing the Braves though. Rather, I'm playing on them because I feel that this is a critical game for them and because I expect them to have the edge on them mound.
On Sunday the Braves snapped their four game losing streak and the victory gives them some positive momentum to take into this important (arguably, critical) home series against the defending champs, a division rival with a five game lead on them in the standings. Note that Hamels (Philadelphia's ace) is expected to go tomorrow, making tonight's opener that much more important.
While some of the local Atlanta media would have one believe otherwise, it hasn't been all "doom and gloom" for the Braves recently. Before their four game losing skid, they'd won four of their last six and they had outscored their opponents by a combined score of 21 to 2 in the four wins. Atlanta, which is hopeful of having both Escobar and McLouth back in the
lineup, (both currently questionable) after the day off allowed for extra healing time.
The Phillies won the final two games of their series with Toronto. However, keep in mind that the champs had previously lost 11 of their last 13 games. Philadelphia's bullpen has not been nearly as reliable as it was last season. Closer Brad Lidge's health is a question mark. While they've put up big numbers in a couple of their wins, the Phillies have been held to three runs or less in seven of their last 11 losses.
Blanton, formerly of Oakland, pitched relatively well in his return to the American League, during Interleague play. However, the Phillies didn't give him any run support and are 0-4 in his last four starts. Blanton, who has a 5.06 ERA on the season, is also winless in three starts against Atlanta. He has an awful 9.64 ERA (1.714 WHIP) in those games and Atlanta has hit .323 against him. This will be the third time that the Braves have seen him already in the past few months, an advantage for the hitters.
The Braves are sending Derek Lowe to the mound to open up this series. Lowe admitted that he was "terrible" in his most recent start, an 11-7 loss vs. the Yankees. However, he was solid in his previous start, holding the Red Sox to three runs in 6 1/3 innings at Fenway and he's 5-1 against the Phillies in his career. Lowe has a 2.61 ERA and 1.053 WHIP against Philadelphia and has held the Phils to a low .218 BAA. Note that Lowe's best start this season came against the Phillies, as he shut them out over eight innings and allowed just two hits. That was the only time that he faced them this season.
In addition to faring better against today's opponent, Lowe has better numbers than Blanton both this season and for his career. He knows the importance of this game, arguably much more important for Atlanta, and he'll be highly motivated to bounce back from his poor effort last time out. I expect him to continue his success against the Phillies and look for the Braves to start the series with a much-needed victory. *June GOM
|06-29-09||Los Angeles Angels v. Texas Rangers -130||Top||5-2||Loss||-130||10 h 32 m||Show|
I'm playing on TEXAS. The Angels, who have won 12 of their last 15, come in as the "hotter" team. That said, I feel that this will prove to be an excellent spot to go against them.
Vicente Padilla has been throwing extremely well ever since the trade rumors started circulating. As soon as he realized he had been put on the trading block and there were no takers, it seemed to fire him up. Indeed, Padilla has given up just six earned runs on 21 hits in his last 25 innings. Last time out, he outpitched Dan Haren, en route to a 2-1 win at Arizona. Padilla would allow just one run through seven complete innings. Padilla is now 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA his last three starts and he's now produced a quality start in seven of his last nine outings.
After Padilla was 14-8 for Texas last season, the Rangers are now 9-4 in his 13 starts this season. Including a win against them here last month, Padilla is 6-3 in his career against the Angels. The Rangers won his last two starts against them by a combined score of 17-4. Additionally, it's worth noting that Padilla's best month throughout his career has been June, where he has a record of 20-10 in 57 games (34 starts).
Sean O'Sullivan of the Angels is making just his third career start. After a sparkling debut, O'Sullivan was much less effective in his second start. This isn't uncommon with young rookie pitchers and I won't be surprised if he has some trouble this evening. Note that O'Sullivan walked three and gave up two homers while lasting just five innings in his second start.
The Angels are just 5-8 as a road dog of up to +125 this season and they're 9-12 against divisional opponents this year. Conversely, the Rangers are 13-3 against divisional opponents this season, including a sweep of the Angels here last month. Despite dropping last night's game, the Rangers are also a respectable 10-4 when listed as a home favorite in the -125 to -150 range. With tonight's o/u line currently listed at 10.5, note that Texas is also 17-6 this season when at home and the total is either 10 or 10.5 In that same situation over the last three seasons, the Rangers are a highly profitable 60-37.
While the Angels are the team playing with 'revenge,' this game is arguably even bigger to the Rangers. I expect them to bounce back from last night's loss and for them to grab the opener of this important series. *Personal Favorite
|06-28-09||Los Angeles Angels v. Arizona Diamondbacks -122||Top||12-8||Loss||-122||6 h 54 m||Show|
I'm playing on ARIZONA.The Diamondbacks never trailed in yesterday's game until, with one out and nobody out in the top of the 9th, Mike Napoli hit a home run. That was the difference as the Angels squeaked out a tight 2-1 win. Arizona is now playing to avoid getting swept in front of the home fans, which should ensure a highly motivated effort. Note that the Diamondbacks have been swept at home just once all season. More importantly, I believe that they'll have the advantage on the mound.
Max Scherzer has been "money" for Arizona over the last month and a half. Indeed, the Diamondbacks are 7-2 in Scherzer's last nine starts. He's allowed two earned runs or less in nine of his last 13 starts overall, including each of his last three. Over those three starts, he's gone 3-0 with an outstanding 1.83 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. Arizona won those three games by a combined score of 22-7. For his career, Scherzer has a very solid 3.33 ERA and a .245 BAA. Additionally, he's fanned an impressive 48 in his last 41 1/3 innings on the mound, an indication of what he brings to the table. While he did throw a career high in pitches last time out, I expect Scherzer to be "just fine" again this afternoon.
Matt Palmer of the Angels has a 6-1 record but a poor 4.70 ERA. In five career road starts, he's got an ugly 6.93 ERA. He got pounded last time out, allowing six earned runs in 4 2/3 innings vs. Colorado. The Angels lost by a score of 11-1. After he walked five in that game, Manager Mike Scioscia was quoted as saying: Matty gets out of sync a little bit and gets behind (in counts..." That gives Palmer a 6.35 ERA his last three starts to go along with a terrible 1.941 WHIP. Speaking of "terrible WHIP's," Palmer also has a 1.81 WHIP in his career against left-handed batters. That could prove to be an issue against this Diamondbacks team.
The Diamondbacks, who have now dropped four straight, are still 7-2 this season after three or more consecutive losses. Arizona is 29-16 (+11.5) the last few seasons in this same situation - after three or more consecutive losses. Coincidentally, prior to yesterday's setback, the last time the Diamondbacks had lost three straight was in Scherzer's last start. They bounced back with an 8-2 win vs. Texas. Behind another quality effort from Scherzer, I expect them to bounce back once again, dropping the Angels to 5-10 when playing on the road with a total of either nine or 9.5. *Personal Favorite
|06-28-09||Colorado Rockies v. Oakland Athletics UNDER 8||Top||3-1||Win||100||6 h 39 m||Show|
I'm playing on Oakland and Colorado to finish UNDER the total. Yesterday's game was an extremely high-scoring one. However, I expect a MUCH lower-scoring contest this afternoon.
Vin Mazzaro brings some impressive stats to the table for the A's. In five starts, he's recorded a stellar 2.56 ERA and 1.074 WHIP. He's gone at least six complete innings in ALL five of his starts and NONE of those games has produced more than five combined runs. Those games had scores of 5-0, 3-0, 3-0, 3-2 and 4-1. Naturally, all five stayed below the total.
Cook gets the call for Colorado and he's been looking every bit like the Rockies' ace recently. Last time out, he limited a tough Angels lineup to a mere three hits and one run through seven complete innings. Including that outstanding effort, he's now 3-0 with a stellar 2.25 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over his last three starts, averaging nearly seven complete innings per outing. He'll face an Oakland lineup which is hitting only .221 when playing during the afternoon.
While Mazzaro will have the advantage of facing the Rockies for the first time, Cook was dominant in his lone start vs. Oakland, which came back in 2006. In that outing, Cook allowed just four hits and one run through eight complete innings. The final score was 3-2.
Yes, the A's gave up 11 runs yesterday. They've seen the UNDER go a profitable 23-10 the last 33 times that they gave up double-digits in their previous game though. They've also seen the UNDER go 16-9 when playing during the afternoon. I expect those stats to improve as this well-pitched affair stays below the number once again. *IL TOY
|06-27-09||Seattle Mariners -129 v. Los Angeles Dodgers||Top||5-1||Win||100||20 h 33 m||Show|
I'm playing on SEATTLE. Many may be surprised to see the Mariners favored over the Dodgers, particularly for a game being played at LA, where the Dodgers have admittedly been very tough. After all, the Dodgers have the best home record in the National League and they pounded the Mariners here last night. However, this is an entirely different pitching matchup, one that significantly favors the visitors.
Felix Hernandez gets the start for the Mariners and he's allowed a mere five earned runs in his last six starts, a span of 45 innings. In that stretch, Hernandez has struck out 42 while allowing just 34 hits. He's got a 1.16 ERA and 0.986 WHIP his last three starts. For the season, Hernandez is 4-1 on the road with a 1.98 ERA and a .210 BAA. In his last road start, Hernandez tossed a complete game 2-hit shutout. Note that June has historically been the best month for Hernandez. He's 10-2 in the month of June in his career with a 2.72 ERA.
Eric Milton is back from the disabled list and he has a very solid 2.89 ERA this season. However, that low ERA doesn't have much "substance" to it, as he's only made four starts. A closer look shows that, after being tough to hit in his first
start, Milton has allowed 21 hits in his next 14 2/3 innings. He's only made one home start and he allowed more than two baserunners (2.079 WHIP) per inning.
Righties have hit Milton, who hasn't started more than six games in a season since 2006, hard in recent seasons, including .333 this year. That's worth noting as the Mariners will have a lineup loaded with right-handed batters. Note that Milton is 1-5 with an awful 9.41 ERA (1.886 WHIP) in his career against the Mariners.
Yesterday's result notwithstanding, the Mariners have been better than the Dodgers in Interleague play in recent seasons and they've hit better against southpaws than against right-handers. The Mariners have also been tough as small road favorites this season. With their ace in top current form, I expect the M's to bounce back and even up the series. *Personal Favorite
|06-26-09||San Francisco Giants v. Milwaukee Brewers -150||Top||1-5||Win||100||10 h 32 m||Show|
I'm laying the price with Milwaukee. Milwaukee has won four straight home games against San Francisco, pounding out eight home runs in those games. Looking back a bit further and we find that the Brewers are 12-2 in their last 14 home games against the Giants, averaging seven runs per game. I expect them to continue that homefield dominance this evening.
Yovanni Gallardo gets the call for the Brewers and he's gone 3-2 with an excellent 1.88 ERA in his last six starts. In his career, Gallardo is 8-4 at home with a 2.63 ERA and a .197 BAA. This season, he's gone 3-2 at home with an outstanding .167 BAA. He strikes out more than a batter per inning. He's 2-1 vs. the Giants, winning earlier at SF this season and winning his lone home start against the Giants, a 5-4 victory in 2007. Gallardo will have the support of a Milwaukee bullpen which has been excellent at home.
Although Matt Cain is enjoying a strong season, he's just 1-2 in his career against the Brewers. In his lone start here at Milwaukee, he gave up five runs, en route to a 5-3 loss. He's also supported by a Giants' offense which is averaging only 3.4 runs per game on the road. The Giants did earn a 6-3 win on Wednesday but in their prior four games, they were just 3 for 33 with runners in scoring position.
While they had some trouble vs. the Twins, the Brewers have "stepped up" against quality competition this season. In fact, they're a profitable 18-8 (+10.2) when playing against a team with a winning record. Behind another strong home start for Gallardo, I expect them to improve on those stats here, dropping the Giants to 3-9 the last 12 times that they were road underdogs in the +125 to +150 range. *Personal Favorite
|06-25-09||Phi Phillies v. Tam Rays -145||Top||4-10||Win||100||9 h 49 m||Show|
I'm playing on TAMPA BAY. After getting blown out in Tuesday's opener, the Rays bounced back with a much-needed victory last night. A win here will give them the series victory vs. the team which defeated them in the World Series last year. While Maddon and the Rays may say otherwise, clearly this is a big game for them. A victory here would allow the Rays to finally put last year's postseason behind them.
The Rays come in as the hotter team. Including yesterday's result, Tampa has won nine of 13. Philadelphia has lost nine of 11.
Andy Sonnanstine is all about precision. When he's able to locate his pitches he can fool most any major league hitter. However, when he's off, things can go bad in a hurry. This is a big part of the reason that Sonnanstine has performed much better at home than on the road throughout his career. As you know, he pitches his home games in the domed conditions of Tropicana Field in Tampa. His career record at home is 13-9 while his career record on the road is 11-17. Sonnanstine's overall numbers this season show a 5-7 record, a 6.60 ERA, and a .307 BAA. However, at Tropicana Field, he's a perfect 4-0 with a much more respectable 4.15 ERA and a .258 BAA to go along with a solid 1.252 WHIP. While Sonnanstine doesn't always get the "W," dating back to last season the Rays are an impressive 15-4 his last 19 home starts.
The Phillies have faced Sonnanstine just once and that came in last year's World Series. Although the Phillies got the better of Sonnanstine in that game, note that it was played in Philadelphia. Naturally, he'll be highly motivated to get some "payback." The Rays hit very well at home and given the current form of the opposing starter, I feel that they're likely to provide Sonnanstine with some decent support.
The Phillies send Antonio Bastardo to the mound and he's quickly come back down to earth after winning his first two starts. Bastardo's first two outings were at pitcher-friendly Petco Park and Dodger Stadium. He followed that up with back to back home outings at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park. Now he makes his first ever start in a dome and Tropicana Field is not exactly "pitcher-friendly." Note that Bastardo has allowed eight earned runs in his last eight innings.
After yesterday's loss, the Phillies are now just 4-10 in interleague action this season while the Rays are a solid 9-5 against the National League. Additionally, it's also worth noting that Tampa Bay is a profitable 7-2 this season as a home favorite in the -125 to -150 price range, going 34-21 (+5.7) in that role the last few seasons. Still bitter about last October, I expect the revenge-minded Rays to build off last night's big win and I look for them to close out the series with another victory. *Personal Favorite
|06-25-09||Bos Red Sox v. Was Nationals +1.5||Top||3-9||Win||100||9 h 36 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON on the run line at +1.5 runs. Smoltz has had a great career and he's a bigtime competitor. That said, at 42, he's growing rather "long in the tooth." While I do think he'll prove to be valuable to the Red Sox this season, keep in mind that he hasn't pitched in the big leagues in more than a year and he'll be limited to 85-90 pitches.
Smoltz will be matched up against a much younger Jordan Zimmerman. The Nationals' rookie was only two years old when Smoltz started pitching in the majors. Despite his youth, Zimmerman already knows how to pitch and has really come into his own recently.
In fact, he's got a 2.16 ERA and 1.02 WHIP his last three starts - two of those coming against other AL East teams. For the season, he's got more strikeouts than innings pitched.
Despite dropping the first two games of this series, the Nationals have still won four of their last six games. Note that two of those games were decided by a single run. As for the Red Sox, they've seen two of their last five decided by a single run. In other words, both teams have been involved in some close ones lately. With Zimmerman in top current form, I feel that this one could also be very tight. With the run-line price having fallen significantly from its opener, I feel we're getting excellent value with the home team at +1.5 runs. *Run-Line GOM
|06-23-09||Texas Rangers v. Arizona Diamondbacks -135||Top||2-8||Win||100||19 h 28 m||Show|
I'm laying the price with the Arizona Diamondbacks. With a record of 14-23 at home so far this season, Arizona has one of the worst home records in the majors. However, I feel that is serving to give us some line value because that's a record that should absolutely start turning around as the season goes on. Keep in mind that the Diamondbacks were a combined 98-64 at home the last two seasons. I expect that they'll start to get back on track at Chase Field, sooner rather than later. For now, it's giving us a nice opportunity to take advantage of some additional line value.
The Diamondbacks are coming off of a tough series sweep at Seattle. That was just fine with me, as I had the Mariners in a couple of those games. However, prior to those three defeats, Arizona had won back to back games at Kansas City by identical 12-5 scores. Without a doubt, the Diamondbacks are thrilled to be out of Seattle and to be back home in Arizona.
They've got Max Scherzer on the mound this evening and they've won six of his last eight starts. The right-hander has pitched much better at the major league level than his 4-8 career mark would lead one to believe. He's got a 3.35 ERA in his career and he's held opponents to a .243 batting average. The Diamondbacks have won four of his six home starts this season. Additionally, he's been particularly stingy of late. In fact, he's gone 2-0 with an outstanding 0.96 ERA his last three starts. During that 3-game stretch, he's averaged better than six innings per outing and has allowed only two combined runs. (He didn't allow a home run in any of those games.)
Scherzer is facing a Rangers team that has been much quieter than usual at the plate this month. Texas, still without Josh Hamilton, has averaged just 3.33 runs per game in June. That's not nearly what you would expect from the Rangers and that's certainly played a key role in them going just 7-11 so far for the month. Over their last seven games, the Rangers are hitting a mere .207, averaging 3.4 runs. Conversely, the Diamondbacks are averaging five runs per game over their last seven.
While the Rangers will be facing a red hot pitcher, their own starter (Matt Harrison) could be in for a rough evening. The Texas southpaw has put up some poor numbers after a strong run in early to mid-May. Harrison has since allowed 15 earned runs on 26 hits in 15 innings. While he was relatively solid in his first start after returning from the disabled list, I feel that this will be a tough matchup for him. That's because right-handed hitters are batting .341 against him this season and the Diamondbacks have a roster built for going heavy with righties when they are facing a southpaw.
While both teams are currently mired in slumps, the Diamondbacks have been the better team at keeping those streaks from getting out of hand. Indeed, the Diamondbacks are 6-1 the last seven (and 28-15 the last few seasons) times that they are on a losing streak of three games or more. Behind another quality effort from Scherzer, I expect the Diamondbacks to bounce back with a much-needed victory. *Personal Favorite
|06-22-09||Chicago Cubs v. Atlanta Braves -150||Top||0-2||Win||100||9 h 31 m||Show|
I'm laying the price with ATLANTA. The Cubs come in as the hotter team. Yet, I believe that the Braves are favored for good reason.
The Braves lost a real heartbreaker yesterday. They left the bases loaded in the top of the ninth in a tie game and then paid for it when the Red Sox got a walkoff homer in the bottom half of the inning. It was a frustrating game all the way around including not only a player but also manager Bobby Cox getting ejected from the game. The Braves came out on the wrong end of the scoreboard yesterday despite outhitting Boston 14 to 10. Before dropping the last two games of their series at Fenway Park, they'd gone through a 6-6 stretch where they averaged nearly seven runs per game in the six wins. After yesterday's game Cox was quoted as saying: "We did everything but win. We had more line shots than we did all year long, at people, with men on, too." The point that I'm trying to make here is that the Braves are currently swinging the bats well.
Atlanta sends Javier Vazquez to the mound tonight and he's pitched much better than his 4-6 record this season would indicate. He's got a solid 3.41 ERA this season and opponents have hit just .219 against him.
Ryan Dempster gets the start for the Cubs. Even though he's an impressive 21-10 the last two seasons, that record has been built up at home. In fact, he's gone just 4-6 on the road during that stretch. Currently, he's got a .270 BAA on the road this season compared to a .200 BAA at home. Also, Dempster has a .276 BAA in night games compared to a .196 BAA in day games. Additionally, despite a strong start against them last season, he's just 2-10 with a 5.31 ERA in his career against the Braves.
Both starters have been victims of poor run support of late but both have pitched well. Vazquez has an outstanding 0.545 WHIP his last three starts though, compared to Dempster's 1.316 mark during the same stretch.
While the Cubs have been rolling, their success has come at home. On the road this season they're just 13-18. Additionally, as a road dog of up to +150 this season, the Cubs are just 2-8 on the year and 4-7 on the road this season when the total is an 8.5 or an 8. I feel that this relatively unusual scheduling situation (make-up from earlier rainout) and taking to the road to face Vazquez will be "just what the doctor ordered" to see their winning streak snapped. *Personal Favorite
|06-21-09||Los Angeles Dodgers v. Los Angeles Angels -133||Top||5-3||Loss||-133||17 h 34 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA ANGELS. John Lackey is a highly competitive big-game pitcher. He's nearly always "up" for inter-league action and he especially gets up for facing the rival Dodgers. Lackey is 5-1 in his career against the Dodgers and has an outstanding 1.50 ERA and 0.925 WHIP against them. The Angels' big right-hander also has held them to a mere .197 batting average in his career.
At this relatively early point in the 2009 season, there is still excellent line value available with Lackey because his numbers include a 6.10 ERA. However, a closer look shows that is numbers this season have been greatly impacted by one bad start where he allowed eight earned runs in just five innings at Tampa Bay. He's only had the benefit of making one home start so far this season and Lackey is 43-28 in his career outings at Angel Stadium. Lackey has produced a quality start in three of his last five outings and, after missing the first month and a half of the season, he now seems to be settling into a nice groove. Note that he struck out 10 in his win at San Francisco on Monday.
The Dodgers are going with Clayton Kershaw Sunday. He's struggled with his efficiency at the major league level as he only averages about five innings per start. Also, Kershaw is a southpaw and he's been much more effective against left-handed hitters than right-handed batters. That may be an issue tonight. Kershaw did have some success against the Angels the first time he saw them but their righty-dominated lineup is now getting a second look at him. Additionally, he's got an ugly 6.75 ERA in six road starts, four of them resulting in LA losses.
Yesterday's loss notwithstanding, the Angels are still 9-2 their last 11 inter-league games and a highly profitable 33-14 over the last three seasons. Behind a big effort from Lackey, I expect them to improve on those stats this evening. *Main Event
|06-20-09||Arizona Diamondbacks v. Seattle Mariners -145||Top||3-7||Win||100||19 h 53 m||Show|
I'm playing on SEATTLE. After successfully playing 'against' the Mariners on Thursday, I came back and played 'on' them yesterday.
For much of the way, that didn't look like a very good call as the M's squandered numerous opportunities and found themselves down 3-0 in the late innings. They didn't give up though and finally strung some hits together when it counted - in the bottom of the eighth. They did it just the way the city and fans of Seattle wanted to see it, too - with their favorite son, Ken Griffey Jr. playing a pivotal part.
I had that game on TV when Griffey came to the plate, as a pinch-hitter, and the entire crowd was going nuts. All the noise and applause seemed to be inspire Griffey, as he wasted little time in hitting a 2-run game-tying blast into the seats. Moments later, the M's had connected with another pair of hits to take the 4-3 lead. David Aardsma (1.67 ERA) came in to close the door in the ninth and recorded all three outs via the strikeout. That's the the type of victory that builds momentum for a team - while on the other side, it had to be a very bitter (deflating) loss for the Diamondbacks.
Now 5-1 their last six at home, needless to say, the M's are thrilled to be back home. They've dominated the Diamondbacks (5-0 L5 and 10-3 L13 meetings) and I expect them to have the pitching matchup in their favor this evening.
Vargas gets the call and despite a sub-par outing last time out (at Coors Field) he's got a very solid 3.56 ERA on the season. That includes a stellar 2.04 ERA and 1.189 WHIP in three home starts, all of them Seattle victories. Vargas didn't get any run support in those games but he didn't need any. The M's won them by scores of 3-2, 2-1 and 3-2. Dating back to 2005, Vargas' teams are now 6-1 his last seven home starts. Vargas, 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in two starts vs. Arizona, will face a Diamondbacks team that is now an ugly 7-13 vs. southpaws on the season.
Vargas should finally get some run support here as Buckner has been rocked in back to back outings. Last time out, he gave up six runs in five innings. In his previous start, he gave up 13 hits and eight runs in 5 2/3 innings. The Diamondbacks lost those games by a combined score of 17-7 with Buckner giving up four home runs. While he has fared better on the road, he's now got an ugly 7.36 ERA and 1.606 WHIP on the season.
In addition to the advantage in the starting pitching department, last night's game showed that the M's also have an advantage in the bullpen. Entering the series, Seattle relievers had a combined 3.23 ERA including an excellent 2.32 mark at home. Conversely, Arizona relievers entered the series with a poor 4.92 ERA.
Now 33-19 the last 52 times that they were home favorites in the -125 to -150 range, I look for the Mariners to build momentum from yesterday's thriller and continue their dominance over the Diamondbacks. *IL GOM
|06-17-09||Seattle Mariners v. San Diego Padres -125||Top||4-3||Loss||-125||12 h 35 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO. I won with Seattle in last night's series opener, noting that the Padres were about to set the all-time record for Interleague futility - they've now lost 12 straight I.L. games. That dubious distinction notwithstanding, they've actually been quite solid at home this season. Even with last night's loss, the Padres are still a respectable 19-12 at Petco Park. That's significantly better than the Mariners' 15-19 mark on the road. Determined to stop the record streak from getting even bigger, I expect the Padres to resume their winning ways at Petco this evening.
San Diego's Chad Gaudin has a 2-5 record on the season and a 6.16 ERA. However, these ugly numbers have been impacted by just a couple of poor recent starts including his last one, where he got roughed by the Angels, at Los Angeles. One would think with such a high ERA that he's been getting pounded all season but that really hasn't been the case. Prior to the loss at LA, he'd allowed two earned runs or less in four of his other eight starts this season. In fact, before his last start, Gaudin had allowed just 41 hits in 46 2/3 innings. He's got reasonably decent stuff and he knows how to manage it at Petco Park, where opponents have hit just .240 against him this season. Facing the low-scoring Mariners here should be much more to his liking than facing the Angels on the road.
As for the Mariners' Garrett Olson, it certainly could be a different story tonight. Even though his numbers are slightly better this season, most of his decent work has come out of the bullpen. Olson has not fared well as a starter this season and his career numbers still show a 6.45 ERA with opponents batting .305 against him. Olson is coming off of his first win in a Mariners uniform and it was a big one, as it came against his former team, the Orioles. That also could lead to a "letdown" Wednesday as there was a lot of build-up heading into that start. Olson wanted that victory badly and he got it. Note that there was a 27 minute rain delay in the middle of that game and Olson came back out and resumed pitching after the delay. That's not part of a pitcher's "normal" routine and there's always a chance that it could affect him negatively here. Regardless of whether that proves to be the case, let's not forget that in his career Olson has a 6.98 ERA on the road and a 6.67 ERA at night. Naturally, the Padres will be happy to see Olson on the mound, instead of Seattle ace Felix Hernandez, who delivered yet another dominating performance last night.
While the Mariners won as a favorite last night, they haven't fared well as small road underdogs, going just 4-8 as road dogs of +125 or less. I expect the Padres to bounce back and even up the series, improving to 6-2 when playing at home with a total of either eight or 8.5. *Personal Favorite
|06-16-09||Seattle Mariners -145 v. San Diego Padres||Top||5-0||Win||100||12 h 49 m||Show|
I'm laying the price with SEATTLE. The Padres currently have an amazing streak going. However, it's one that nobody wants to have. San Diego has lost 11 straight interleague games. To show just how unlikely it is for a team to go through such an anemic stretch, the Padres have now tied an all-time record with their 11 straight interleague losses. Tonight's pitching matchup won't likely help their quest to change things and I expect them to "set the record."
San Diego sends Kevin Correia to the mound while the Mariners will have Felix Hernandez toeing the rubber. Correia managed a surprisingly low ERA in 2007 but things have returned to "normal" for him in both 2008 and 2009. Last season Correia was 3-8 with a 6.05 ERA and a .310 BAA. This season, he's got a 4.80 ERA and a .280 BAA. Born in San Diego, one would think that the Padres right-hander would have produced solid numbers in his hometown park throughout his career. However, Correia actually is just 2-2 in 18 games - nine starts - with a 4.98 ERA (1.527 WHIP) at Petco Park. Known as a pitchers park, Petco certainly hasn't played out that way for Correia. It won't get any easier for him Tuesday, as Correia is dealing with a Mariners team which has won eight straight games here in San Diego.
The Padres haven't just been losing in interleague action; they've actually been getting crushed. Indeed, the 11-game losing streak has come by a combined margin of 72-28. With Hernandez on the mound for Seattle, this one has the potential to be another "mismatch."
Seattle is 5-2 in his road starts this season. Away from Safeco Field, Hernandez is 3-1 with a 2.36 ERA (1.16 WHIP) this season and opponents have hit just .232 against him. In eight of his 13 starts this season, Hernandez has allowed one earned run or less. That's how dominant he can be and Hernandez is facing one of the weakest lineups in the league Tuesday. Also, Hernandez has averaged 7 1/3 innings in those eight stellar outings. "King Felix" is his nickname and Hernandez has certainly been living up to that moniker recently, as he has a sparkling 0.94 ERA in his last four starts and a 0.87 ERA his last three. After his last start, a 4-1 win at Baltimore, Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu noted: "Felix was outstanding. He's been that way for a couple of weeks now. He came out and competed." It's also worth noting that Hernandez has a 3-0 mark and 1.85 ERA in his last five interleague starts. I expect him to outpitch Correia and look for the Padres to "set the record." *Personal Favorite
|06-14-09||Minnesota Twins v. Chicago Cubs -135||Top||2-3||Win||100||4 h 3 m||Show|
I'm laying the price with the CUBS. While it is true that the Cubs have lost four straight games and have only scored a total of six runs in those four defeats, it's also true that today's pitching match-up is an ideal one. Not only should the Cubs pound Scott Baker of the Twins but their own starter, Ted Lilly, is capable of handcuffing Minnesota. In my opinion, this is a "pitching mismatch." Yet, the price on the Cubs is a very affordable one, thanks in part to their recent skid. While everyone focuses on the four straight losses, the focus should be on the big edges the Cubs have on the mound here. Lilly has provided quality starts in 9 of his last 11 outings. (A quality start is defined as going at least six innings in a start but allowing three or less earned runs.) Note that Lilly has allowed zero earned runs three times, one earned run three times, and that he had another start where he allowed just two earned. Indeed, the Cubs southpaw is off to a fine start this season and he
|06-11-09||Cincinnati Reds v. Washington Nationals -136||Top||2-3||Win||100||6 h 8 m||Show|
I'm laying the price with WASHINGTON. It's not all that often that you find a team, with a record as poor as the Nationals, favored in this price range. It does happen occasionally though and in this case, I feel that the line, which has now fallen consideraby from its opening number, is actually very fair. That's because, in my opinion, this is a "pitching mismatch."
John Lannan has become a consistent workhorse for the Nationals and after producing a solid 3.91 ERA last season he
|06-09-09||Seattle Mariners v. Baltimore Orioles -130||Top||1-3||Win||100||8 h 22 m||Show|
I'm laying the price with Baltimore. It's true that the Orioles have lost five straight and that they have the worst record in the American League right
now. However, that's a little deceiving when it comes to analyzing this evening's match-up with the Mariners. The Orioles just got back from
a West Coast trip and it was that tough trip that helped lead to the five straight losses. The primary reason their overall record is so poor is that they've really struggled on the road, going 8-20.
Note that, at Camden Yards, the Orioles are actually a respectable 16-13 so far this season. Hidden within that record is a strong 6-3 (+2.7) mark as home favorites of -125 or less. Looking back further and we find them at a profitable 27-13 the last 40 times that they played a home game with a line ranging from +100 to -125. (Note that during the time it takes to do this writeup, this line has now climbed slightly above that range.) One stat which is also worth mentioning (and not dependent on the line) is that the Orioles are already 2-0 this season, when coming off a shutout loss in their previous game.
The real key here, in my opinion, is that O's starting pitcher Brad Bergesen is still "under the radar" right now and that's why Baltimore is
available at a favorable price at home. Bergesen only shows a 2-2 mark in the books but the rookie has been at his best over his last four starts. He's given up just 23 hits in 27 innings spanning his last four outings. During this stretch, Bergesen has shown more
and more composure on the mound and he's also had better command of his repertoire of pitches and this has allowed him to work deeper into games. Last time out, facing these same Mariners (at Seattle) Bergesen outpitched and outlasted Vargas, allowing two runs in seven innings. Bergesen received a no decision though, as the Mariners ended up winning by a score of 3-2.
I expect the O's to turn that result around today. The M's 26-55 road mark last season was the worst in the American League. Trips like this to the East Coast are really tough on them, because they are such a long distance from home. This season Seattle
has gotten off to a better start on the road so far
|06-08-09||Pittsburgh Pirates v. Atlanta Braves -140||Top||6-7||Win||100||9 h 51 m||Show|
I'm laying the price with ATLANTA. The Braves refused to get swept by the Brewers as they fell behind a couple of times yesterday, in the finale of that series, but kept rallying back. They eventually won by a score of 8-7 and I expect them to carry that positive momentum into this evening's tilt with the Pirates.
Kawakami goes for the Braves and he's been excellent of late. In his last three starts, he's gone 1-1 (Braves are 2-1) with a stellar 2.61 ERA and 1.161 WHIP. Kawakami, who has allowed three earned runs or less in six straight starts, will have the advantage of starting against Pittsburgh for the first time.
Duke has also been pitching very well for the Pirates. However, he'll be facing an Atlanta lineup which has been hitting very well vs. southpaws. With yesterday's victory, the Braves are now 12-8 (+3.4) against left-handed starters, averaging a healthy 5.4 runs per game. Duke already faced the Braves this season and he got rocked, giving up 12 hits and six earned runs. The Braves won that game by a score of 11-1. While that game was at Pittsburgh, the Braves are also a solid 13-7 the last 20 times that they hosted the Pirates. I expect the Braves to improve on those stats as they build momentum from yesterday and start this series off with a victory. *Personal Favorite
|06-07-09||Milwaukee Brewers v. Atlanta Braves -135||Top||7-8||Win||100||3 h 9 m||Show|
I'm laying the price with ATLANTA. It's not all that often that you find a rookie pitcher, making his Major League debut, listed as a favorite. It does happen occasionally though and in this case, I feel that the line is actually very fair.
For starters, Tommy Hanson is no ordinary rookie. Indeed, he's considered to be the Braves #1 pitching prospect in years. Check this out. In 11 Triple-A starts this season, Hanson had a 1.49 ERA with an awesome 90 K's in 66 1/3 innings. He allowed just 40 hits. In other words, he's had more than twice as many strikeout as hits allowed. Earlier, he threw a no-hitter at Double-A, while posting a 0.90 ERA at the single-A level. While playing at the (hitter friendly) Arizona Fall League, he became the first pitcher to ever be named MVP, thanks to a a perfect 5-0 record (0.63 ERA!) with 49 K's in 28 2/3 innings.
He'll be opposed by Milwaukee's Manny Parra. The Brewers are just 3-8 when Parra has been on the mound, including 0-3 his last three starts. During that stretch, Parra has a terrible 13.50 ERA and 2.571 WHIP. For the season, he's 2-5 on the road with a very ugly 9.09 ERA and 2.174 WHIP. The Brewers have lost his last two road games by a combined score of 21-6. Looking back further and we find them at a money-burning 2-9 in Parra's last 11 road starts, dating back to last season. Facing an Atlanta team which has hit southpaws well, I expect Parra's road woes to continue.
Look for Hanson to live up to the hype in his debut, outpitching Parra and helping the Braves avoid the sweep. *NL Pitching Mismatch GOM
|06-06-09||Minnesota Twins v. Seattle Mariners OVER 8||Top||1-2||Loss||-100||6 h 50 m||Show|
I'm playing on Seattle and Minnesota to finish OVER the total. Yesterday, these teams saw their over/under line climb from 7.5 up to eight. I disagreed with move and felt that it provided excellent value with the 'under.' The game finished with a score of 2-1.
Today, the opposite has happened as the opening line has fallen from 8.5 down to eight, at least at several shops. Once again, I disagree with the move - only this time I feel that it has now provided us with excellent value on the OVER.
Blackburn has admittedly pitched well recently. However, he hasn't been quite as sharp on the road overall and this will be the third time that the Mariners have had a look at him, in less than two months. Naturally, that's an advantage to the batters. Those previous games, both at Minnesota, both finished with a minimum of eight runs, finishing with scores of 5-3 and 6-5. Blackburn's only other start vs. the Mariners came last August, here at Seattle, and that game finished with a final score of 7-3.
I played on the Mariners to finish 'under' the total in Washburn's last start. He pitched very well and the final score was 1-0. Washburn took the loss in that game though and I've found that pitchers often don't respond all that well to taking a loss after pitching a great game. Three of Washburn's last five starts against the Twins, including two of three at Seattle, have finished with nine runs or more. His most recent home start vs. the Twins also came vs. Blackburn, the 7-3 game previously mentioned.
While the Mariners overall daytime hitting stats aren't very impressive, they pounded the ball in their last afternoon start here at home. That game, last Sunday vs. the Angels, finished with a final score of 9-8.
Even with yesterday's result, the Twins have still seen the OVER go 9-6 this season when playing a game with a total of either eight or 8.5. Looking back further and we find the OVER at a profitable 70-50-4 their last 124 games with a total in that range. Additionally, even with yesterday's result, the OVER is still 18-8 in 26 meetings between these teams, over the last three seasons. I expect those stats to improve as this afternoon's final combined score makes it's way above the relatively low number. *AL TOM
|06-05-09||Cleveland Indians v. Chicago White Sox -135||Top||6-0||Loss||-135||10 h 4 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. After losing the final three games of their 4-game set vs. Oakland, including a 7-0 shutout loss yesterday, the White Sox should be happy to see the A's leave town. Now, they'll face a Cleveland team which has lost five of seven and which is just 11-19 on the road.
Wednesday's loss notwithstanding, the Sox are a profitable 57-39 the last 96 times that they were coming off a shutout loss.
They're also 8-2 the last 10 times that they hosted the Indians. I expect them to bounce back from yesterday's setback with a much-needed victory this evening.
While the Indians currently have better overall offensive stats, the Sox have scored slightly more runs recently. Even after getting blanked yesterday, they're still averaging just slightly more than four runs per game through their last eight - that's definitely not great but it is better than what the Indians have managed recently, as they're averaging less than four per game through their last eight. More importantly, I expect the Sox to have the advantage on the mound.
Danks gets the call and he's got a solid 3.32 ERA in four home starts. Pavano goes for the Tribe and while he's admittedly been much better recently, he's still got a poor 5.79 ERA on the road for the season. Note that the Chicago relievers have much better overall stats than the Cleveland relievers.
Danks will face Cleveland for the first time this season. On the other hand, Chicago batters will have the advantage of having just seen Pavano a few weeks ago - that should be especially helpful for the Sox, as they previously hadn't seen Pavano in a number of years (since 2004) and they've been a team which has struggled against pitchers which they haven't seen before and/or haven't seen in a long time.
Looking at Pavano's last start (5/13 at Clev) vs. Chicago and we find that while he did earn the victory, he didn't exactly fool the White Sox hitters - Chicago had 10 hits and scored four runs against him in 6 1/3 innings. Pavano hasn't started here at
Chicago since back in 2002 - his lone start here resulted in a 13-2 loss which saw him give up seven runs (5 earned) in just 3 1/3 innings.
In addition to their recent dominance of the Indians here at Chicago, the Sox are also a profitable 94-71 (+26.4) their last 165 games against division opponents overall. I expect them to improve on those stats here. *AL Central GOM
|06-03-09||Philadelphia Phillies v. San Diego Padres -120||Top||5-1||Loss||-120||12 h 45 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO. This line has fallen from it's opening number and I feel we're now getting excellent value with the Padres. The Phillies have won the first two games of this series but I expect them to have some real trouble scoring runs in this evening's finale. Chris Young goes for San Diego and he's a perfect 4-0 (Padres are 5-0) in five home starts. While averaging greater than six innings per start and going a minimum of six in each, Young allowed two earned runs or less in four of those five starts and three in the other. His home ERA for the season is 2.25. His WHIP is 1.00 and he's got 28 K's to go along with just nine walks. The Padres won those games by a combined score of 23-9, most recently a 7-2 winner over Lilly and the Cubs.
Looking back further and we find that Young has allowed three earned runs or less in 15 straight home starts, dating back to September of 2007, and 19 of his last 20 here. He went a minimum of six innings in 17 of those 20 games. That includes a 1-0 shutout victory vs. Cole Hamels in his lone home start vs. the Phillies (on 7/19/07) during that stretch. That was Young's only career home start vs. the Phillies. However, he has also made a few starts at Philadelphia. While Young did get roughed up (SD still won) at Philadelphia back in April, the Padres are still 3-1 in his four starts against the Phillies, including 3-0 the most recent three.
Happ has done a solid job since joining the starting rotation, recording a 3.97 ERA in two starts. However, that's still a very small sample size compared to the type of consistent success that Young has enjoyed here. With the Padres looking to avoid the sweep and the Phillies potentially looking ahead to the Dodgers and Mets - (they play at LA tomorrow and series is followed by one at NY; the Dodgers are currently the top team in the majors and the Mets are the Phillies' primary division rival) - I'm backing Young and the home team. *NL GOW
|06-02-09||Boston Red Sox v. Detroit Tigers -140||Top||5-1||Loss||-140||8 h 1 m||Show|
I'm laying the price with DETROIT. Those who haven't followed baseball closely this season might be surprised to see the Tigers listed as favorites over the Red Sox, particularly with "Dice-K" on the mound for Boston up against rookie Rick Porcello for the home team. However, in my opinion, Detroit is favored for good reason and given the matchup, the price is actually very reasonable.
For starters, the Tigers are a profitable 15-7 (+6.1) at home. The Red Sox are just 12-16 (-6.7) away from Fenway. The Tigers are hitting .275 and scoring six runs per game at home. The Red Sox are hitting .252 and scoring just 4.4 runs per game on the road.
As for Dice K, (Daisuke Matsuzaka) while he did pitch very well against Detroit last year, he's really struggled this season. In fact, that's putting it kindly. Last time out, he lasted only five innings and allowed a whopping 12 baserunners, nine hits and three walks. He also threw four wild pitches. He has yet to pitch past the sixth inning all season. Overall, he's 0-3 (Boston is 0-4, -5) with an awful 8.82 ERA and 2.327 WHIP in four starts. In two road starts, he's got a 12.00 ERA and 3.167 WHIP.
While Boston's starter has struggled, Detroit sends red hot Rick Porcello to the mound. Porcello is 5-0 with an outstanding 1.50 ERA his last five starts, averaging six complete innings in those starts. The Tigers won those five games by a combined score of 35-10. For the season, he's 3-1 with a 3.18 ERA in four home starts, giving up just one home run in those games. He'll have the advantage of facing Boston for the first time.
The Tigers are 11-3 (+8.4) against teams with a winning record this season. With this game being played at Detroit and with Porcello in MUCH better current form than Matsuzaka, I expect them to improve on those numbers here. *Personal Favorite
|05-30-09||San Diego Padres v. Colorado Rockies -130||Top||7-8||Win||100||9 h 6 m||Show|
I'm laying the price with COLORADO. I won with the Rockies yesterday and I look for them to carry the momentum from that victory into this evening's game. Often, a managerial or coaching change provides an initial spark to a team. The Rockies responded to Jim Tracy's first game as manager and I expect them to be improved through the beginning of June. As for the Padres, they'd been playing over their heads and are now ready to come back to reality. Note that even with the recent hot streak, the Padres are still a terrible 7-18 (-8.7) away from Petco Park.
The Padres don't score many runs away from home (4.1 rpg) and their bullpen has a combined 5.74 ERA and 1.737 WHIP on the road. That's not a very good combination, particularly as most of their starters also struggle outside of Petco. The Rockies' home bullpen stats (5.67 ERA, 1.665 WHIP) aren't much better than the Padres' road stats. However, the Rockies do score a healthy 5.9 runs per game at home. While they're below .500 here so far this season, they're still a winner here over the longterm (541-459 L1000 games here) and I expect their home record to improve over the course of the season.
Both Geer and Hammel come off excellent starts. Both pitchers allowed just one run and both won by a score of 3-1. However, Hammel was also sharp in each of his previous two starts while the same cannot be said for Geer. In fact, Hammel has an ERA of 2.65 over his last three starts. Geer, on the other hand, has an ugly 6.45 ERA over his last three.
The Rockies are a profitable 11-7 (+4.7) the last 18 times that they shut out their opponent in their previous game. The Rockies have also now won 14 of their last 21 home meetings with the Padres, including three of four this season. I expect them to continue that homefield series dominance this evening. *Personal Favorite
|05-26-09||Los Angeles Dodgers v. Colorado Rockies -148||Top||7-1||Loss||-148||10 h 13 m||Show|
I'm laying the price with COLORADO. While I lost with the Rockies yesterday, I'm willing to give them another shot today. It's still only May but if the Rockies want to keep their playoff hopes even faintly alive, they desperately needing to avoid falling further behind in the NL West standings. They've also got 'payback' on their minds. Not only have the Dodgers had their way with them this season but they embarrassed them by double-digits yesterday. With Aaron Cook matched up against Eric Milton, I expect a completely different result.
When he's on his game, Cook can be dominant. That was the case in his last game, as he tossed a complete game 4-hit shutout. After that game, Colorado catcher Chris Iannetta commented: "I didn't need to show up today...It was the best sinker I've seen this year."
Opposing catcher Brian McCann was also impressed. He was quoted as saying: "When he's got that sinker with that late movement, it's every bit as good as it gets in this game..."
The recent shutout came on the road (at Florida) but Cook has also been very solid at home, going 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA in four starts. In his last game here, he allowed just four hits and one earned run through six complete innings. Note that Cook is 2-1 with a stellar 2.94 ERA in his last five starts against the Dodgers.
Milton goes for the Dodgers and he's only made one start since being called up from Triple-AAA. He pitched only four innings and walked four batters. He didn't receive the decision but the Dodgers lost by a score of 6-3. His previous start had come back in May of 2007, when he was with the Reds. Including the loss vs. Florida, Milton's teams are now 0-8 his last eight starts and 1-10 his last 11.
I expect Cook to follow up his recent gem with another quality effort and look for the Rockies to bounce back and even up the series. *NL West GOM
|05-25-09||Los Angeles Dodgers v. Colorado Rockies -140||Top||16-6||Loss||-140||4 h 23 m||Show|
I'm playing on COLORADO. The Dodgers bring the much better record to the table. They're 30-15. The Rockies are 18-25. Additionally, at first glance, the Dodgers' starter has better stats than the Rockies' starter. Yet, it's the Rockies which are favored. That will have many quick to back the Dodgers. However, I believe that there's more to the matchup than first meets the eye and that the Rockies are favored for good reason.
While the Dodgers' overall record is excellent, their road record (12-10) is only mediocre. The Rockies have admittedly gotten off to a slow start (7-10) at home. However, in fairness, it should be noted that they've played the fewest home games, so far, in all of baseball. (They're back home for six straight now.) Looking at the last 2+ seasons and we find the Rockies are still a respectable 104-81 here. During the same stretch, the Dodgers are just 89-99 (-11.8) on the road. Already 11 games back of the Dodgers in the NL West standings, the Rockies know that this is an extremely important series, arguably much more so for them, than it is for LA.
Both teams had to travel yesterday. The Rockies played early in the afternoon at Detroit, winning by a score of 3-1. The Dodgers played much later in the day vs the crosstown rival Angels, eventually losing by a 10-7 count. That means it's Colorado which brings some positive momentum into the game, not LA. Rockies manager Clint Hurdle noted: "We're looking for traction right now, and this is the type of win that can help..." While they did lose two of three here last month, note that the Rockies are still a healthy 11-7 the last 18 times that they hosted the Dodgers.
Stults goes for the Dodgers. He's certainly capable as shown by his complete game 4-hit shutout vs. SF two starts ago. However, that came at home and he followed it up by allowing three runs in just five innings in his next start. That was at Florida on 5/15. Stults was supposed to have gone again this past Wednesday but was scratched with a sprained left thumb, which forced him to use a brace. While his home stats are strong, Stults is averaging only 4 1/2 innings per start on the road. Through four road starts, he has a poor 6.00 ERA and an awful 1.889 WHIP.
De La Rosa goes for the Rockies and he's coming off a rough start, getting rocked at Atlanta. He's fully capable of bouncing back though. In his previous start, he held the Pirates to just one run through seven complete innings, recording 10 K's without walking a batter. Additionally, in his most recent home start, he allowed only four hits and two runs through eight complete innings, recording an impressive 12 K's while walking only one batter. He's better than his record shows and has a stellar 0.964 WHIP in three home starts. In other words, he's been allowing roughly half as many baserunners at home as Stults has been allowing on the road.
The Rockies have been solid as home favorites of this size the past few seasons and I look for them to celebrate Memorial Day with an important victory. *Personal Favorite
|05-24-09||Baltimore Orioles v. Washington Nationals -125||Top||5-8||Win||100||3 h 29 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. The Orioles won close games on both Friday and Saturday evening. However, they've been absolutely terrible when playing during the afternoon the past few seasons and I expect them to be at a disadvantage today.
Including an ugly 2-10 (-7.9) mark when playing during the afternoon this season, the Orioles are now a dreadful 29-70 (-40.2) in day games over the past three seasons. In comparison, Washington's 46-58 (+5.1) mark in day games, during the same stretch, looks fairly good.
One wouldn't know it by looking at yesterday's boxscore but the Nationals are actually a relatively solid hitting club. They entered the weekend hitting .275 vs. right-handers, while averaging a respectable five runs per game. Despite having cooled off lately, they've still scored a minimum of five runs in 11 of their last 14 games. Facing Bradley Bergeson, I expect the bats to come back to life this afternoon.
The Orioles lost Bergeson's last start by a score of 9-1. In fairness, Bergeson wasn't all that bad, as he allowed only four runs in 6 1/3 innings. However, he hasn't been good overall. For the season, he's 1-2 with a poor 5.35 ERA and an ugly 1.634 WHIP in six starts. The O's are 0-2 in his road starts.
Shairon Martis goes for the Nationals and he's had much better success. Indeed, he's 5-0 with a 4.53 ERA and 1.343 WHIP. His numbers are particularly solid. Despite a sub-par outing last time out, he's still 3-0 in four home starts (Nats are 3-1) with a stellar 3.29 ERA and 1.061 WHIP. Martis, who tossed a no-hitter in the World Baseball Classic, is averaging nearly seven innings per start in those home games.
It should also be noted that Martis has been at his very best in two daytime starts. He's averaged eight innings in those two games, going 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA. (That's a whole lot better than his 6.25 ERA underneath the lights!) Opponents are hitting a mere 1.32 against him in those two afternoon games. On the other hand, Bergeson has a brutal 7.20 ERA in his two daytime starts, averaging five innings with opposing hitters batting .356.
Note that the Orioles, 3-26 their last 29 Sunday games, have never swept a road series at Washington or Montreal. I don't expect them to do so here. I expect Martis to bounce back with a big game, continuing his "afternoon success" and helping his team avoid the sweep. *IL GOM
|05-23-09||Milwaukee Brewers v. Minnesota Twins UNDER 10||Top||2-6||Win||100||8 h 21 m||Show|
I'm playing on Milwaukee and Minnesota to finish UNDER the total. Yesterday's opener was high-scoring, Minnesota won 11-3. Today's game has a higher over/under line, giving us more room to work with, but I expect it to be signficantly lower-scoring.
Note that the Twins have seen the UNDER go 9-4-1 the last 14 times that they played a home game with an over/under line of 10 or 10.5. During the same stretch, the Brewers have seen the UNDER go 18-10-1 when playing a road game with an over/under line of 10 or 10.5.
Yes, the Brewers gave up 11 yesterday. That's not "normal" though and they rarely get pounded like that twice in row. Looking at their last 20 games and we find that yesterday was the only time that the Brewers allowed more than six runs. Additionally, the Brewers have seen the UNDER go a highly profitable 101-56-13 (64.3%) the last 170 times that they allowed their previous opponent to reach double-digits. The last time that an opponent scored double-digits in runs against them was 4/21, the Phillies beat them by a score of 11-4. The over/under line was 10.5 for the following game, also against the Phillies. Yet, the final score was just 3-1, in favor of the Brewers.
Looper was the starter for that 3-1 4/22 victory and he'll get the call for the Brewers again today. He's coming off a solid start which saw him allowed just three hits and three runs (only one was earned) through six complete innings at St. Louis. He's got a 3.52 ERA on the road for the season and he'll have the advantage of starting against Minnesota (has faced Twins in relief) for the first time.
Anthony Swarzak makes his major league debut for the Twins and he should have something to prove. You may recall hearing about him getting banned for an illegal substance a few years back. That's behind him now as he's managed a 2.25 ERA in seven starts with Rochester this season after recording a perfect 5-0 record and a stellar 1.80 ERA in seven starts last season. Of course, the Milwaukee hitters will be seeing him for the first time.
I expect Swarzak to have a solid debut and look for him to cool off the Twins. Look for the final combined score to prove lower than most are expecting with the UNDER improving to 12-4 on the season, when the Brewers were coming off a loss. *Blue Chip
|05-21-09||Milwaukee Brewers v. Houston Astros -140||Top||4-3||Loss||-140||10 h 30 m||Show|
I'm laying the price with HOUSTON. The Astros got a big win in yesterday's game, evening up the series and snapping the Brewers' winning streak. I expect them to follow it up by closing out the series with a victory. Oswalt goes for the Astros and he's better than his stats indicate. You may recall that he started poorly last season but then caught fire. He's been pitching better than his w/l record indicates and says he feels "...really well." Oswalt should be fired up for a big performance after watching Wandy Rodriguez win again yesterday. Oswalt should also be happy to see the Brewers.
Oswalt last faced Milwaukee last June. In that game, he limited the Brewers to five hits and one run through seven complete innings, recording 10K's (and 0 walks) along the way. The Astros won by a score of 6-1. Including that result, the Astros are 3-0 the last three times that Oswalt started against the Brewers and 14-5 his last 19 starts against them. Oswalt allowed four earned runs or less in 17 of those 19 starts.
Oswalt has been particularly dominant against the Brewers here at Houston. The Astros are 8-1 his last nine home starts against the Brewers and 10-2 his last 12 against them here. He went a minimum of six complete innings in ALL 12 of those games and he allowed three earned runs or less in 11 of them, allowing four in the other.
Suppan is coming off a great game. However, he hasn't had nearly the type of success against Houston as Oswalt has had against Milwaukee and I don't believe that he's as good a pitcher. Note that he's still got a 4.63 ERA and also that he had a 4.96 ERA last season, going 10-10. Additionally, while the Brewers haven't seen Oswalt since last season, the Astros just had a look at Suppan a few weeks ago. Suppan was "ok" in that outing as he allowed four runs through six innings but only three of them were earned. However, he didn't get a decision and it's worth noting that he gave up four walks and two home runs, so things could have been worse. Also, note that in his previous start vs. the Astros that he gave up a whopping eight runs, suffering an 11-6 loss last July. Overall, he's 0-4 with an ugly 6.08 ERA in his last eight starts vs. Houston.
I expect Oswalt to get the better of Suppan this evening and I look for the Astros to improve to 25-15 the last 40 times that they were listed as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range. *Personal Favorite
|05-20-09||Philadelphia Phillies v. Cincinnati Reds -130||Top||1-5||Win||100||9 h 32 m||Show|
I'm playing on CINCINNATI. The Phillies won yesterday's game and come in as the much hotter team. However, as the saying goes: "Momentum is tomorrow's starting pitcher" In this case, I believe that the Reds will have a solid advantage on the mound and I look for them to bounce back with a much-needed victory.
Harang struggled on the road in his last start, allowing five runs. However, he has a stellar 2.77 ERA and 1.088 WHIP in four home starts, averaging greater than six innings during that stretch. He's allowed two earned runs or less in three of those games. Dating back to last season, the Reds have won five of Harang's last seven starts.
Moyer, on the other hand, has a terrible 7.54 ERA and 1.884 WHIP on the road, averaging less than five innings per start. He's 0-2 in May with an awful 13.87 ERA and 2.365 WHIP, giving up seven runs in back to back starts.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel had this to say of his 46-year old southpaw: "I don't think he's right. His command comes and goes. He has a hard time getting a feel for where he wants the ball to go..."
Even with a win yesterday, their fifth straight, the Phillies are still a money-burning 28-34 (-18.2) the past few seasons, when coming off three or more consecutive victories. Even with a loss yesterday, the Reds are still 11-6 this season when coming off a loss and a profitable 10-5 (+6.2) in 15 games against teams with a winning record. I expect Harang to outpitch Moyer and that to lead to the Reds improving on those stats. *Personal Favorite
|05-15-09||Los Angeles Dodgers v. Florida Marlins -130||Top||6-4||Loss||-130||19 h 18 m||Show|
I'm playing on FLORIDA. The Marlins had some trouble on their road trip. They're back home now though. Facing a southpaw and with Volstad on the mound, I expect them to start their homestand off with a victory.
Knowing that they're off to a great start, the majority of the betting public will see the Dodgers as underdogs against a "struggling" Florida team and will be quick to back them. That's particularly true as LA's starter (Stults) brings a better record to the table. However, I believe that the Marlins' starter (Volstad) is actually better and his ERA and WHIP indicate the same. Also, the majority of the Dodgers' early success has come at home. Even with yesterday's victory, they're still just a mediocre 10-9 on the road. Additionally, many don't realize that the Marlins have quietly gotten off to a profitable 8-4 (+4.8) start to the season when facing left-handed starters. That includes a 3-1 mark in home games vs. left-handers. Looking back further and we find them at 13-7 their last 20 against southpaws, dating back to last summer.
Today, the Marlins will face southpaw Eric Stults. Stults' overall numbers are decent and he's admittedly coming off a great game. However, that came at home, which is where he's had all his success. Pitching on the road has been a problem. Indeed, in three road starts, Stults has a terrible 6.23 ERA and 2.077 WHIP. In his last road start, he allowed five runs in just 2 2/3 innings. He's averaging only 4 1/3 innings per start on the road. While this season has still only given us a small sample size, this isn't new for Stults. Last season, he had a 2.75 ERA and a stellar 0.92 WHIP at home. However, he had a 4.26 ERA and a poor 1.74 WHIP on the road.
Volstad hasn't been getting victories of late. However, he continues to be extremely solid. For the season, he has a 2.98 ERA and a 1.134 WHIP. He's averaging a full six innings per start and he has yet to allow more than three earned runs in any of his seven starts. Dating back to last season, Volstad has allowed three earned runs or less in 13 straight starts. Looking at his last 20 starts and we find that he hasn't allowed more than four earned runs in any of them.
These pitchers have both faced today's opponent once. Coincidentally, those starts came against each other. Volstad got the better of Stults that day and the Marlins won by a score of 3-1. Stults allowed six hits, three walks and three runs in six innings. Volstad allowed five hits, one walk and one run, lasting an impressive 8 2/3 innings. The Marlins won by a score of 3-1. I expect Volstad to outpitch Stults once again and look for the Marlins continue their success against southpaws and start the series off with a victory. *GOM
|05-04-09||Houston Astros v. Washington Nationals -137||Top||4-9||Win||100||9 h 38 m||Show|
I'm laying the price with WASHINGTON. The Nationals aren't favored by this much very often. That said, given the pitching matchup, I believe that the price is actually quite reasonable.
Lannan goes for the Nationals and he should be thrilled to get back home to Washington. Indeed, in two starts here, he has an outstanding 0.68 ERA and 0.825 WHIP, averaging nearly seven innings per start. Note that Lannan is 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA in two starts vs. Houston, most recently earning a 8-3 win at Houston last May. In that game, he allowed just one earned run through six innings. Lannan will face an Astros lineup which comes in averaging just 3.4 runs and hitting .243 on the road.
While Lannan hasn't gotten any run support in his previous home starts, he should get some this evening. That's because Brian Moehler goes for the visitors and he's seen better days. You may recall that I successfully played against Moehler in his last start, which was on 4/13 vs. the the Pirates. In that game, Moehler lasted a mere 2 1/3 innings, giving up five runs in that span. Moehler took the loss and the Pirates won by a score of 7-0. In his previous start, Moehler was even worse. In that outing, he allowed seven runs in just 1 2/3 innings. The Astros lost by a score of 11-6.
Note that Moehler went on the disabled list after the loss from the Pirates and that this is his first start since. He would have probably preferred to have chosen a different opponent. While the Nationals (or the Expos before them) aren't typically regarded as one the league's more intimidating lineups, Moehler has had real trouble pitching against them. In fact, he's 1-4 (teams were 2-5) with an ugly 7.42 ERA in seven career starts against the Washington/Montreal franchise. His WHIP was a dreadful 2.044 through those seven games, meaning that he allowed more than two baserunners per inning.
Assuming the weather holds up, I expect the Nationals to start this series off with a victory, providing Lannan with his first "W" on the season. *Personal Favorite
|05-03-09||Colorado Rockies v. San Francisco Giants -116||Top||0-1||Win||100||5 h 28 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN FRANCISCO. Barry Zito's been among the league's most disappointing pitchers in recent seasons. The Giants had really high hopes for him and paid him big money. Last year, the former Oakland star got off to a terrible start and finished the season with a 10-17 record and an ugly 5.15 ERA. Zito, who was once 23-5, is better than that though and he's been showing signs that he's going to be better this year, at least when he pitches here at home.
Last time out, Zito held the Dodgers to just five hits and three runs through 6 1/3 innings. He didn't receive the decision but the Giants earned the 5-4 win. He was even better in his previous start. In that outing, which was also here at home, he tossed seven shutout innings, limiting the Padres to six hits. Note that he had 5 K's and 0 walks. Unfortunately, for Zito, he didn't get any run support. The Giants won 1-0 but once again, he didn't get the decision. Either way, that gives him an impressive 2.03 ERA and 1.05 WHIP at home, averaging better than six innings per start.
Zito should finally get some run support this afternoon, as he'll be matched up against struggling Jason Hammel. Hammel, who struggled in the bullpen, has an awful 12.00 ERA and 3.33 WHIP. In his lone start, he gave up seven hits, three walks and five runs (4 earned) in just three innings. Hammel will be supported by a Colorado bullpen which entered the series with an ugly 5.43 ERA, including 5.44 on the road. That doesn't compare favorably to San Francisco's bullpen which entered the series with a 3.44 ERA at home.
Zito has pitched very well vs. the Rockies over his career, posting a 2.57 ERA in seven starts against them. His team won five of those game. In his last three starts vs. the Rockies, he allowed just five earned runs through 23 innings, which is a 1.96 ERA. Look for the veteran southpaw, highly anxious to earn his first victory of the season, to deliver a highly motivated effort as the Giants grab the rubber game and win their fifth consecutive series. *NL GOW
|05-02-09||Chicago White Sox v. Texas Rangers -125||Top||6-9||Win||100||18 h 8 m||Show|
I'm playing on TEXAS. The White Sox come in with the slightly better record and they grabbed yesterday's series opener. However, yesterday they had longtime ace Mark Buerhle (now 4-0) on the mound, giving them an advantage over the Rangers' Feldman, who came in with a terrible 7.71 ERA. I believe that today's matchup will favor the Rangers and I look for them to bounce back and even up the series.
Brandon McCarthy goes for Texas and while his numbers aren't that great, he's got plenty of potential. As Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen had to say: "Thank God he's healthy. I hope he stays healthy all year because we know he has talent."
McCarthy's ERA took a bit of a hit last time out, as he allowed four runs in five innings. However, a closer look shows that McCarthy was actually cruising in that game as he entered the 5th inning having allowed just one run and with a 5-1 lead. He did give up three runs in the bottom of the 5th but his post-game comments show what type of competitor he is: "I couldn't be more disappointed with what I did in the fifth. They went out and got me runs - I got a four-run lead at that point. It's time to get a shutdown inning.
|04-29-09||Pittsburgh Pirates v. Milwaukee Brewers UNDER 8.5||Top||0-1||Win||100||3 h 33 m||Show|
I'm playing on Pittsburgh and Milwaukee to finish UNDER the total. The first two games in this series have both produced double-digits in combined runs scored. However, I expect to see some much
better pitching in this afternoon's finale.
While they haven't shown it the last couple of days, the Pirates entered this series with the best (2.97) ERA in baseball. Today's
starter, Ian Snell, got roughed up in his first start. However, he's allowed three earned runs or less in each of his last three
starts, recording a 2.50 ERA, during that stretch.
Note that Snell has also enjoyed plenty of success against Milwaukee, going 4-1 with a 2.38 ERA in five career starts against the Brewers. Not surprisingly, four of those five games stayed below the total. That includes a low-scoring (4-1) game in last year's lone start against them.
Snell will be opposed by Yovani Gallardo, who's coming off a complete game 5-hit victory (7 K's, 0 walks) at Houston last time out. Gallardo now has allowed just two runs in 15 innings over his last two starts. That's a 1.20 ERA!
Gallardo has also enjoyed plenty of success against Pittsburgh. In fact, he's 2-0 with a stellar 1.59 ERA in three starts vs. the Pirates. All three of those games finished below the total, with scores of 3-2, 6-1 and 5-1. I expect more of the same this afternoon with the UNDER improving to 6-2 when the Brewers have played during the afternoon. *TOW
|04-26-09||New York Yankees v. Boston Red Sox UNDER 9.5||Top||1-4||Win||100||9 h 49 m||Show|
I'm playing on the Yankees and Red Sox to finish UNDER the total. After Friday's opener slipped below the total, these teams were involved in a 16-11 "slugfest" yesterday. I expect a much lower-scoring contest this evening.
Pettitte has gotten off to a great start for the Yankees and is 2-0 with a stellar 2.53 ERA and 0.938 WHIP. He's averaging better than seven innings per start and ALL three of his games have finished below the total. Those games averaged less than seven combined runs each, with scores of 4-1, 4-3 and 5-3. Its also worth noting that Pettitte is a solid 6-2 with a 3.53 ERA in 15 career games at Fenway. In his last start here, he allowed just one earned run through six complete innings.
Justin Masterson goes for the Red Sox. He's only made one start against the Yankees, allowing only two runs through six complete innings. That game finished with a score of 2-1. Masterson has made one start so far this season and he allowed just four hits and one run (1.69 ERA, 1.126 WHIP) in 5 1/3 innings. Note that he's supported by a Boston bullpen which has a 1.98 ERA at home so far this season.
Both teams have a long history of bouncing back with a low-scoring game, after allowing their opponent to reach double-digits in runs. Excluding 'pushes,' the Yankees have seen the UNDER go 93-74 the last 167 times that they allowed 10 or more runs in their previous game. That includes a 15-10 mark the last few seasons. Meanwhile, the Red Sox have seen the UNDER go 86-67 the last 153 times that they allowed 10 or more runs in their previous game, including a profitable 14-8 mark their last 22 in that situation. Look for those numbers to improve as this evening's contest proves lower-scoring than most are expecting. *AL East TOM
|04-19-09||Kansas City Royals v. Texas Rangers -132||Top||5-6||Win||100||5 h 8 m||Show|
I'm laying the price with TEXAS. The Royals come in as the hotter team and they also bring the hotter pitcher to the mound. While the Royals are going to be improved this year, it's important to remember that its a long season. It's also important not to completely ignore history.
Give Davies credit for getting off to a great 2-0 start. However, he's never fared well vs. the Rangers. His team's (KC and Atlanta) are 0-4 in his four starts vs. the Rangers. He'll face a Texas lineup which is potent at home, yesterday's game notwithstanding, and which will be looking to pound someone, after getting blanked yesterday.
Now 4-4 at home, the Rangers' four home victories have come by a combined score of 48-20. All three victories came by a minimum of three runs and two of them came by eight or more.
Padilla has gotten off to a slow start. Unlike, Davies, he's had some success vs. KC. He's won each of his last two starts vs. the Royals and the Rangers are 3-0 the last three times that he started against them. In his last two home starts against the Royals, he didn't allow a single earned run (1 unearned) through 11 complete innings. He had 13 K's and only two walks and allowed just six combined hits.
Look for things to return to "normal" (at least for this afternoon) as the Rangers bounce back and avoid being swept at Arlington for the first time since 2003. *AL Blowout GOM
|04-18-09||Oakland Athletics v. Toronto Blue Jays -140||Top||2-4||Win||100||3 h 41 m||Show|
I'm laying the price with TORONTO. The A's rallied to win yesterday evening's series opener. I like the Jays' chances of bouncing back with a victory here though.
The Jays send reliever Brian Tallet to the mound, for his first start since 2006. Tallet has proven to be a reasonably capable starter in the past. In fact, he's got a stellar 2.70 career ERA in six career starts. He'll face an Oakland lineup that entered the series batting a mere .206 vs. southpaws.
Rookie Trevor Cahill gets the call for the A's and it's true that he's coming off a terrific outing. In fact, he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. However, he still managed to lose, (not his fault) as the A's gave him no run support. That was impressive. It was at home though and was still just his second start. Cahill wasn't as sharp in his lone road start, allowing three runs (two earned) in five innings. He also walked five in that game. Facing a Toronto offense which currently leads the league with 82 runs and a .307 batting average, I don't expect Cahill to duplicate the success he had vs. Seattle.
I feel that this afternoon's starting time should favor the Jays. Yesterday's game was a regular 7:05 EST start time. However, today's starts at 1:05 EST. That's just 10:05 am in Oakland, where the A's had spent the last week. The A's are 0-3 their last three day games and a money-burning 51-66 (-18.4) in day games the past few seasons. Conversely, the Jays are 63-47 (+12.2) in day games, during the same stretch.
The Jays are 87-70 (+15.1) when coming off a loss the past few years, including a 3-0 mark in that situation this season. Look for them to bounce back and even up the series. *Personal Favorite
|04-17-09||Los Angeles Angels v. Minnesota Twins -120||Top||9-11||Win||100||10 h 30 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. Don't be fooled by their slow start. With their crew of high quality starters, the Angels remain the team to beat in the AL West. They showed that last night as Saunders held the Mariners to three hits and one run through seven complete innings, en route to a 5-1 LA victory. The Angels' problem is that they're not currently healthy. In fact, they're currently missing Kelvim Escobar, John Lackey AND Ervin Santana. That's opened the door for the likes of Dustin Moseley. He'll take the mound for the Halos for this evening's series opener at Minnesota. He'll be opposed by Nick Blackburn and I feel that gives an edge to Minnesota.
Moseley has been fairly solid in his first two starts, going 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA. Note that both his starts came at home and that this will be his first on the road. Before getting too excited about Moseley's stats, keep in mind that he's still got an ugly 5.40 ERA in 63 Major League appearancess, 22 of them starts. He was 2-4 with a terrible 6.79 ERA last season with 10 of his 12 appearances coming as a starter. Opposing batters hit a whopping .343 against him in six road starts.
Due to a sub-par outing his first time out, Blackburn's stats admittedly aren't that impressive yet. However, he was solid in his last start, allowing three runs in six complete innings vs. the White Sox. That's typically about what we came to expect from him, in terms of innings, as he averaged nearly six innings per start last season. In fact, he averaged greater than six innings per start when pitching at home. In 14 starts here, he was 8-3 with a stellar 2.95 ERA.
Blackburn did lose his lone home start against the Angels, which came last April. However, that was hardly his fault. Indeed, he allowed just five hits and one run (6 K's, 1 walk) through seven complete innings. However, facing Saunders, the Twins couldn't provide any support and Blackburn got stuck with a 1-0 loss. With Moseley on the mound, he should get some runs to work with this time.
While I expect the Twins to have an edge on the mound, I also like the scheduling situation. The Twins played here at Minnesota yesterday evening, losing to Roy Halladay and the Jays. Their game was already in the seventh inning before the first pitch in the Angels' game was even thrown. Off that late game, the Angels had to fly from Seattle all the way to Minnesota. Note that the Angels will also be without Vladimir Guerrero, as he returned to Los Angeles with a strained pectoral muscle, in order to see the team orthopedist.
The Twins are 27-17 (+7.6) the the last 44 times that they played at home with a line ranging from +100 to -125. Looking back further and we find them at a profitable 133-98 (+20.5) their last 241 in that role. I expect them to improve on those stats by starting this series off with a victory. *AL GOW
|04-14-09||Toronto Blue Jays v. Minnesota Twins -135||Top||2-3||Win||100||19 h 35 m||Show|
I'm laying the price with MINNESOTA. The Jays have gotten off to a better start than the Twins and they took yesterday's series opener by a score of 8-6. I expect the Twins to have an edge on the mound this evening though and look for them to bounce back and even up the series.
Romero goes for the Jays and he's got a 1-0 record. He was solid (3.00 ERA) but not spectacular (1.50 WHIP) in his first start, which was also his Major League debut. He allowed two runs through six innings, giving up seven hits and two walks. While that was a relatively impressive performance, it came at home. This will be Romero's first road start. I won't be surprised if we see a bit of an 'emotional letdown' from the rookie, after having been so fired up for his first start.
Perkins goes for the Twins and he's got an 0-1 record. That's deceiving though, as he gave up just one run and five hits in eight complete innings in his lone start. Only two Mariners reached second base and Perkins retired 14 of the last 15 hitters he faced. Note that Perkins went 12-4 last season including 7-3 with a 3.84 ERA in 14 home starts.
The Twins have been great at home the past couple of seasons and they've gone 50-34 during that stretch when playing a home game with an over/under line of nine or 9.5. Look for them to get back on track here, improving to 14-7 the last 21 times that Perkins took the mound. *Personal Favorite.
|04-12-09||Pittsburgh Pirates v. Cincinnati Reds -160||Top||0-2||Win||100||3 h 7 m||Show|
I'm laying the price with CINCINNATI. Both this afternoon's starting pitchers come in with an 0-1 record. That's where the similarities end though. Snell went four innings and allowed six earned runs for an ugly 13.50 ERA. Snell noted: "I just didn
Guaranteed Winners or your money back and Free Picks in the NFL football, NBA basketball, MLB baseball, NCAA college football and basketball, Nascar Racing, Arena Football nhl hockey leagues and more.
We are part of the internets Premier Sports Handicappers League with full documentation of all members on this sports betting news and info portal. Free Membership, Join Today and start Winning!
For any resources you could need like sports handicapping odds, handicapping stats, schedules, or handicappers free picks and tips please click on any of the links on the right hand side of this page.