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|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|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
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