|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|09-17-19||Mariners +123 v. Pirates||Top||6-0||Win||123||16 h 24 m||Show|
Mitch Keller is the Pirates' top pitching prospect. He has yet to show it, though. Pressed into service due to the Pirates' multiple pitching injuries, Keller is struggling to solve big league hitters with an 8.29 ERA and 1.87 WHIP. He has a 10.97 ERA in his past three outings. Keller has given up at least one homer in four of his last five starts. The Mariners rank ninth in homers and expect to activate power-hitting outfielder Domingo Santana from the injured list in time for this game. Santana is second on the Mariners in RBI's. I'm not buying Keller as a favorite in this matchup of two bad teams. The Mariners are throwing their No. 1 pitcher, lefty Marco Gonzalez. If you discount his recent starts against the powerful Astros, Gonzaez has surrendered three or fewer runs in seven of his last eight starts. He was solid in his past start, a 5-3 home victory against the Reds this past Wednesday. Gonzalez held Cincinnati to two runs on five hits in seven innings. Pittsburgh is 14-25 versus lefty starters this season. Seattle is 4-2 in its last six games. The Pirates are home for the first time in nine days. They just were swept three games by the Cubs getting outscored by 32 runs in that series. Pittsburgh has dropped 19 of its last 27 home games.
|09-12-19||Braves -125 v. Phillies||Top||5-9||Loss||-125||16 h 28 m||Show|
If it weren't for Washington's Dave Martinez, I would select Philadephia's Gabe Kapler as the worst manager in the National League if not all of baseball. The Phillies haven't made the playoffs since 2011. Kabler hasn't changed that in the two years he has been manager despite management getting him a lot of talent. Kapler's bizarre in-game decisions, poor bullpen management and lack of communication have hindered the Phillies. So if I can find a reason to fade the Phillies, I usually will. In this matchup there are several major factors working against Philadelphia, beginning with the starting pitching matchup of Julio Teheran versus lefty Drew Smyly. Teheran is very reliable. The Braves are 16-7 in his last 23 starts. During these past 23 starts, Teheran has a 2.67 ERA. He's allowed only three runs during his past four starts spanning 25 innings. Opposing batters are hitting just .167 against him during this time frame. It took a while, but the Braves' high quality relievers they picked up at the trade deadline have settled down and are pitching well. Atlanta is one of the hottest teams in the majors having won 19 of its last 23 games. The Braves have won 67 percent of their games, too, when drawing a lefty starter this season going 22-11. Smyly was terrible with Texas this year going 1-5 with an 8.42 ERA and 1.91 WHIP. He pitched better initially since coming to the Phillies on July 21. But aside from his last start against the Mets this past Saturday, Smyly has reverted back to his terrible American League form giving up 21 earned runs in his previous six games. Smyly failed to go six innings in any of those six outings before his last start. The chance to back the hot Braves with the stronger pitcher at a reasonable price has me taking Atlanta.
|09-11-19||Braves -124 v. Phillies||Top||3-1||Win||100||10 h 24 m||Show|
There is a class and pitching difference here that makes this a worthy investment to back the Braves. Dallas Keuchel is a "B" level pitcher, who has been throwing like his past Cy Young days. The lefty is 4-0 with a 0.87 ERA during his last five starts spanning 31 innings. The Phillies are 16-22 against lefty starters and going with Zach Eflin, who is a bottom of the rotation type starter at best. Eflin has really struggled against Atlanta this year surrendering 12 earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. Philadelphia can't beat a good team when Elfin starts. The Phillies are 2-12 the past 14 times Elfin has faced an above .500 opponent. Atlanta has been one of the hottest teams in baseball winning 18 of its last 22 games and seven of its past nine.
|09-04-19||Mets v. Nationals -117||Top||8-4||Loss||-117||10 h 25 m||Show|
Less than 24 hours after suffering their most brutal loss of the season - and one that realistically dents any playoff hopes - the Mets must play the Nationals on the road again with this day time start. The Nationals took out Jacob deGrom and the Mets by rallying for seven runs in the ninth inning to pull out a highly improbable 11-10 victory against the Mets on Tuesday night. Before this game, teams with a six-run lead in the ninth were unbeaten this season at 274-0. That loss was the Mets' eighth in their last 11 games and puts them five games behind the Cubs for the last wild card spot in the NL. The defeat also might have sealed the fate of Mets manager Mickey Callaway. The shell shocked Mets are in no shape mentally to face the Nationals in such a short turnaround. Washington is red-hot going 20-6 inits last 26 games. The pitching matchup is Zach Wheeler versus Anibal Sanchez. Wheeler is 0-2 with a 7.94 ERA in four starts against Washington this season. The Nationals have scored seven or more runs in 13 of their last 16 games. Sanchez has a 3.80 ERA compared to Wheeler's 4.41 ERA. Sanchez is 8-0 with a 3.21 ERA in his last 16 starts.
|08-31-19||Twins -130 v. Tigers||Top||7-10||Loss||-130||11 h 38 m||Show|
The Tigers are home. That's great news for the Twins since Detroit is 17-47 at home. The Twins are one of the better teams in baseball. They could break the single-season record for home runs during this series. That's how powerful they are. At this low road price, the Twins are a bargain versus this opponent. The pitching matchup is Martin Perez versus Matt Boyd. These two just faced each other six days ago in Minnesota. The Twins got to Boyd for seven earned runs in six innings, while Perez held the Tigers to two earned runs in six innings. Boyd still is getting some respect from the oddsmaker. He's perceived as Detroit's top pitcher. This isn't saying much. Boyd also hasn't been respectable like he was earlier in the season. He's allowed 19 earned runs in his last four starts spanning 21 innings. Boyd's ERA during his last 13 starts is a fat 6.05. He's also given up an average of 2.6 homers per nine innings in those last 13 outings. The Twins' power hitters should feast on him. Perez, by contrast, has allowed just four earned in his last three starts spanning 17 innings. The Twins' bullpen has been very good this month. Detroit has lost six in a row, averaging 2.8 runs per game during this losing streak. The Twins have won six straight. They are averaging 8.6 runs a game during their win streak. So, yeah, at this bargain price the Twins are worth laying road chalk.
|08-27-19||Indians -131 v. Tigers||Top||10-1||Win||100||17 h 33 m||Show|
If you can't beat righthanders you're not going to have a very good record. Detroit has the lowest winning percentage in baseball. One reason for this is the Tigers losing 45 of the past 55 times against a righty starter. Cleveland is going with righty Adam Plutko. He's settled into being a solid No. 4 type pitcher for Cleveland with a 3.53 ERA in his past six starts. The Indians are 11-4 in Plutko's last 15 starts. The Tigers are going with Spencer Turnbull, who hit the wall a long time ago. Detroit is 1-10 in Turnbull's last 11 home starts. The Indians were idle Monday giving them an extra day to stew about a tough 9-8 Sunday loss to the Royals. Cleveland should take out its frustrations on its favorite patsy as Detroit is 1-12 versus the Indians this season.
|08-26-19||Dodgers v. Padres +147||Top||3-4||Win||147||22 h 45 m||Show|
I don't normally go against the Dodgers. But they are 34-28 on the road. That's certainly respectable, but nothing like their mind-boggling 52-18 home record. The Dodgers have trouble when facing Eric Lauer. San Diego is 5-1 in Lauer's six career starts versus the Dodgers. Laurer has a 1.72 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in these appearances. The Dodgers are batting only .175 against Lauer this season. Lauer has a 3.10 home ERA on the season. The Padres are 5-2 in his past seven starts at Petco Park. The Dodgers have been in a scoring slump scoring three or fewer runs in seven of their last eight games. Dodgers rookie Dustin May has a high ceiling. But he's up-and-down right now. May last pitched eight days ago in relief. He gave up four runs on three hits and a walk in two innings versus the Braves. The Padres went up against May on Aug. 2 getting to him for four runs - three of which were earned - and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings. The Padres have already set a franchise-record for home runs in a season with 190.
|08-21-19||Angels v. Rangers -121||Top||7-8||Win||100||16 h 19 m||Show|
I don't know if this is a case of giving Patrick Sandoval too much respect, or All-Star Mike Minor getting too little respect. It's likely a case of both. Nonetheless, the bottom line here is the Rangers are underpriced. Minor is worthy of being a much stronger favorite pitching at home against the Angels, who aside from superstar Mike Trout just aren't very good. Minor is 3-1 with a 2.67 ERA and 1.19 WHIP during his last four starts. The lefty is 5-3 with a 3.25 ERA in a dozen home starts. He owns a 2.08 ERA and 3-0 mark the past two years in five starts against the Angels. LA is 17-25 versus southpaw starters on the season. The Angels also have dropped nine of their last 12 road matchups. Sandoval is one of those young Angels starters being force fed to major league hitters due to injuries and the untimely death of Tyler Skaggs. The lefty has a 5.79 ERA. He isn't ready, in my view, to be in a big league starting rotation. The Rangers are 6-2 the past eight times they've gone against a lefty starter.
|08-19-19||Nationals -120 v. Pirates||Top||13-0||Win||100||19 h 55 m||Show|
The Orioles and Tigers are the two worst teams in baseball. Since the All-Star break, the Pirates can join those two teams in the discussion of who is the worst. Pittsburgh is 7-27 post All-Star break. Washington is 9-3 in its last 12 games. The Nationals have the third-best record in the National League. Yet we have a very low opening line lay price for the Nationals. Why is that since the Nationals clearly are at least two levels higher than Pittsburgh? Trevor Williams gets the start for the Pirates. But that doesn't answer the question since Williams hasn't been very good with a 6.92 ERA in his last seven starts spanning 39 innings. The Nationals are swinging extremely hot bats averaging 9.4 runs during their past seven games. The answer then may lie in who Washington is starting on the mound: Joe Ross. His season numbers show a 5.91 ERA. That is misleading, however. Ross has been the Nationals' top pitcher if you go by the past three starts. Ross has fixed his mechanics and made key adjustments. These changes have helped him go 3-0 with a 0.50 ERA in his past three starts spanning 18 innings. The Pirates have the better closer, Felipe Vazquez. The Nationals have upgraded their middle and setup relief, though. It's doubtful if the Pirates will even get to use Vazquez. Pittsburgh is averaging only two runs per game during its last four games. It's also a bad situational spot for the Pirates as they had to play in the Sunday night game, which was played in Williamsport, Pa., against the Cubs in the MLB Little League Classic.
|08-16-19||White Sox +115 v. Angels||Top||7-2||Win||115||20 h 48 m||Show|
Injuries and the untimely death of Tyler Skaggs have left the Angels force-feeding young unprove pitching prospects. Southpaw Patrick Sandoval falls into that category. Sandoval draws the start here against All-Star Lucas Giolito. Sandoval has a 5.59 ERA in 9 2/3 innings. This will be his second big league start. He isn't ready to be pitching in the majors. The Angels are 4-10 in their last 14 games. They have a burned out bullpen and are extremely weak in the middle infield with underrated shortstop Andrelton Simmons out. Giolito hit a bump in a couple of July starts, but is back on track with a 2.84 ERA in his last three starts in which he has fanned 30 batters in 19 innings. Chicago is 8-3 in Giolito's last 11 road starts. The White Sox are 12 games under .500 on the year. Hence, the Angels opening a favorite despite the huge starting pitching disparity. However, the White Sox are much better against lefthanded starters. Chicago's record versus lefties this season: 23-18. The White Sox are 6-1 the past seven times they've faced a southpaw starter.
|08-11-19||Indians v. Twins -143||Top||7-3||Loss||-143||13 h 45 m||Show|
The Twins are 25-10 the past 35 times Jose Berriors pitches at home. One of those losses, though, occurred the last time Berrios pitched at Target Field. That came this past Tuesday against Atlanta. The Braves blasted Berriors scoring nine runs on him in fewer than six innings. It was one of Berrios' worst days of his career. Prior to that, however, Berrios had gone 12 straight starts without surrendering more than three earned runs. He is an elite pitcher and extremely reliable. His home ERA is 3.15. His day time ERA is 3.20 I trust Berrios to come back strong following that rare humiliation. He's facing rookie Aaron Civale, who will be making back-to-back big league starts for the first time. This will be the toughest test Civale has faced. Minnesota ranks first in the majors in homers and is second in runs. The Indians, by contrast, rate 20th in homers and 19th in runs.
|08-10-19||A's v. White Sox +159||Top||2-3||Win||159||18 h 50 m||Show|
Reynaldo Lopez is flying below the radar screen. Tanner Roark should never be a favorite in this high range. But the two together and you have a strong underdog value play on the White Sox. Lopez has been one of the hotter post All-Star break pitchers going 2-1 with a 2.56 ERA in his last five starts. Lopez has 34 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings during this span. Lopez has tamed the A's during his career, too, with a 1.50 lifetime ERA against them in two starts. Roark is a true mediocrity with a 7-7 mark and 4.14 ERA. Oakland has a losing record in his last seven road contests.
|08-07-19||White Sox -105 v. Tigers||Top||8-1||Win||100||11 h 16 m||Show|
The 1899 Cleveland Spiders. The 1962 New York Mets. The 2019 Detroit Tigers. Yes the Tigers are getting to be historically that bad having lost 30 of their last 35 home games. Detroit is 9-48 in its last 57 games against a righty starter and draw a hot Ivan Nova here. Nova is pitching his best ball of the season and maybe of his career with a 0.90 ERA during his last three starts. He's held the Marlins, Twins and Phillies to two earned runs in 20 innings during this span giving up 11 hits and three walks. The Tigers are second-to-last in runs, have only one decent starter and a terrible bullpen. The result is the worst record in baseball at 33-77. Lefty Tyler Alexander gets the call for Detroit. He has a 4.50 ERA. The White Sox are at their best versus southpaws compiling a 21-17 mark against them. Chicago is 5-1 in its last six road games when facing a lefty starter.
|08-06-19||A's +129 v. Cubs||Top||11-4||Win||129||17 h 41 m||Show|
We have a pair of lefty starters going here - Brett Anderson versus Jon Lester. Anderson has been solid on the road while Lester usually is tough at Wrigley Field. Oakland, though, is 19-8 this season versus southpaw starters, including winning five of its past six away games against them. Anderson's road numbers are a very respectable 5-2 record with a 3.49 ERA. He has limited 11 of his last 13 opponents to three earned runs or fewer. The A's have won Anderson's last six away outings. The Cubs hold a losing mark going against lefthanders. They also have a cluster injury situation in their bullpen and are without a closer. Chicago is minus injured catcher Wilson Contreras, too.
|08-05-19||Phillies -102 v. Diamondbacks||Top||7-3||Win||100||19 h 10 m||Show|
I see the Phillies bouncing back against the Diamondbacks after losing at home to the White Sox on Sunday. Philadelphia is 7-1 the past eight times following a defeat. The Phillies have a pitching edge here both at starter in the bullpen where Arizona is vulnerable in middle relief and doesn't have a closer. Archie Bradley got the save for Arizona on Sunday but he had to log two innings and 28 pitches to do it. Arizona starter Merrill Kelly has been bad for more than a month. The Diamondbacks are 0-6 in his last six starts. Kelly has been racked for 14 earned runs in his last two starts spanning just 8 1/3 innings. He's been tagged for five homers during this short time frame. Phillies starter Vince Velasquez is pitching well giving up two earned runs in his last two starts spanning 10 2/3 innings. The righty has struck out 15 during this span. The Diamondbacks have a losing record against righthanded starters.
|08-03-19||Cardinals v. A's -130||Top||3-8||Win||100||14 h 26 m||Show|
Mike Fiers may be the most underrated pitcher in the American League especially when he pitches at home where he is 6-2 with a 2.61 ERA. Fiers hasn't given up more than three earned runs in a game during his last 17 starts. Only Gerrit Cole has had a lower ERA in the American League since April 26 than Fiers. The Cardinals are playing well. However, the Oakland Coliseum is a tough place for visitors especially those who don't play there very often. Better teams than the Cardinals have gotten tripped up playing in the spacious and weird configurations of Oakland Coliseum. It's not a fluke the A's have won 11 of their last 15 home interleague games. St. Louis also is without three of its key players as Yadier Molina, Marcell Ozuna and Matt Carpenter are all injured. The Cardinals need a strong starting pitcher here and I don't see Dakota Hudson fitting that profile. He is bottom-of-the-rotation quality with a 4.63 ERA in his last seven starts.
|07-31-19||Brewers v. A's -122||Top||4-2||Loss||-122||17 h 29 m||Show|
The Brewers have their strengths. But playing on the West Coast in a big ballpark that negates their power is not one of them. That's the situation the Brewers find themselves in against Oakland. The pitching matchup clearly favors the A's, too, and the price is low enough to back the home chalk. Milwaukee is hoping Jordan Lyles can step up. That's asking a lot given Lyles' current form, which shows 20 earned runs in his last four starts spanning just 11 innings. Lyles has surrendered nine homers during this brief time frame. The A's are 9-2 (82%) in their last 11 home games. They are going with Brett Anderson, a crafy southpaw who can frustrate the Brewers. Anderson has allowed three earned or fewer in 10 of his past 12 starts. Milwaukee is 2-9 in its last 11 away contests versus a lefty starter.
|07-29-19||Diamondbacks v. Marlins -102||Top||6-11||Win||100||15 h 57 m||Show|
What we're getting here is a great price with the superior starting pitcher, home club and an underrated team. The Marlins have actually been better than the Diamondbacks during the last 60-some games. Miami is 30-32 in its last 62 games, while the Diamondbacks are 28-33 in their last 61 games. Arizona starter Merrill Kelly was battered for seven runs in 2 1/3 innings against the Orioles this past Tuesday. He has a 4.68 road ERA. His July ERA is 5.31. Miami starter Caleb Smith is 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA in four July starts. Smith is a strong strikeout pitcher who is at his best pitching at Marlins Park where he is 4-1 with a 2.23 ERA. Opposing batters are hitting less than .200 against him. Discount a nine-run scoring game on Saturday and the Diamondbacks are averaging 2.5 runs during their last four games. They were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position on Sunday in a 5-1 loss to the Marlins. Now they draw Miami's best pitcher.
|07-23-19||Reds v. Brewers -133||Top||14-6||Loss||-133||14 h 5 m||Show|
Zach Davies has been one of the hottest pitchers and he has a now rested Josh Hader in the bullpen. Davies has allowed two earned runs in his last four starts spanning 23 1/3 innings. His ERA during this span is 0.77. Tanner Roark is not in Davies' class. This is the fourth time this season the Brewers get to face Roark, who has a 4.24 ERA versus Milwaukee. He has surrendered four homers to the Brewers in 17 innings. While Hader has the capability of pitching two quality innings in relief, the Reds are unsettled at closer as Raisel Iglesias has given up five runs in his last three appearances spanning 2 2/3 innings, including surrendering three homers.
|07-22-19||Rangers +116 v. Mariners||Top||3-7||Loss||-100||15 h 11 m||Show|
This is a crucial series for the Rangers. Their season is on the line. Texas was a big early-season surprise. The Rangers now, though, are in trouble having lost seven in a row. Seattle has been worse, however. The Mariners have lost 15 of their last 18 games, including going 1-8 in their last nine games. The Rangers had a 30-minute team meeting following their 5-3 loss to the Astros on Sunday. That defeat pushed the Rangers 6 1/2 games back in the wild-card chase. If the Rangers don't fare well in this series, they could start dealing veterans and look to rebuild for next season. Texas starter Adrian Sampson has a chance to rejoin the Rangers' starting rotation again with a good start. He is 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA in four lifetime appearances versus Seattle. The Mariners are going with Marco Gonzalez, who has a 4.48 ERA. The Rangers have won seven of the past eight times against the Mariners.
|07-19-19||A's v. Twins -125||Top||5-3||Loss||-125||12 h 35 m||Show|
In Jake We Trust. Jake Odorizzi is having a monster season for the Twins and is back healthy. Odorizzi is at his best at Target Field where his home numbers are 6-0, 2.27 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. He has struckout 55 batters in 47 2/3 innings at home. Minnesota is 14-2 in Odorizzi's last 16 starts at Target Field for a home winning percentage of 88 percent during this span! While Odorizzi is the nuts at home, Oakland starter Chris Bassitt is at his worst pitching on the road in night games. Bassitt has a 4.43 road ERA and a 5.79 ERA when pitching at night. The Twins have the far superior offense, too, ranking in the top-two in homers, runs and batting average. The A's rank ninth in runs and 18th in batting average. Minnesota should be loose feeling less pressure after halting its three-game losing streak, longest of the season for the Twins, on Thursday beating Oakland, 6-3.
|07-17-19||Mets v. Twins -165||Top||14-4||Loss||-165||11 h 6 m||Show|
If the Twins lose here, it will be their third loss in a row. That hasn't happened all season. I don't see in occurring here especially at home to the Mets. Minnesota is 28-16 at home. The Twins are 27-9 following a loss. The Mets have lost 27 of their last 38 road games. The Twins draw 36-year-old Jason Vargas, who has given up six homers in his last five starts. Minnesota leads the majors in homers and ranks No. 2 in runs. The Mets go against lefty Martin Perez, who is far from outstanding but is reliable enough to keep the Mets in check. Perez is 4-2 with a 3.71 ERA at home this season. The Mets are 9-12 versus lefthanded starters.
|07-15-19||White Sox -117 v. Royals||Top||2-5||Loss||-117||6 h 11 m||Show|
Lucas Giolito has become an elite pitcher this season. He has dominated the Royals going 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in four starts this season. Giolito is 6-0 versus the Royals for his career with a 2.13 ERA. The White Sox have won 10 of Giolito's last 13 starts. Royals starter Jakob Junis last won on May 30. He has a 5.33 ERA this year and a 5.34 career ERA against the White Sox in five starts. Chicago is the better hitting team, too. The White Sox have defeated the Royals in five of the last six meetings.
|07-06-19||Rockies +104 v. Diamondbacks||Top||2-4||Loss||-100||15 h 11 m||Show|
Colorado had held Arizona's number winning eight in a row against the Diamondbacks - until Friday night. The Rockies couldn't do anything against Zach Greinke in an 8-0 loss. Look for the Rockies, though, to start a new win streak against the Diamondbacks in a pitching matchup of Jon Gray versus Robbie Ray. Gray has always had a high ceiling and he's been pitching much better with a 2.90 ERA in his last nine appearances spanning 49 2/3 innings. Gray has 52 strikeouts during this span. Colorado is 7-1 in his past eight starts. Gray is 1-0 with a 2.38 ERA in two starts versus Arizona this season, including holding the Diamondbacks to one earned run in six innings at Chase Field on June 19. Gary won't have to worry about injured David Peralta, the Diamondbacks' third-best hitter. Ray hasn't pitched well for more than a month giving up three earned runs or more in six of his last seven starts. His ERA has gone from 3.26 to 4.10 during this time frame.The lefty has a 5.49 ERA in 15 career starts versus the Rockies. Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story have a combined .388 batting average against Ray with 10 homers in 103 at bats. The Rockies rank in the top four in the National League against lefthanded pitching in a number of categories, including batting average, slugging percentage and OPS.
|07-04-19||Twins -131 v. A's||Top||2-7||Loss||-131||8 h 11 m||Show|
Oakland is a tough venue for Minnesota. But a pitching matchup of Jose Berrios versus rookie Tanner Anderson and a fair lay price gets me involved with the Twins. Berrios is a top-five American League starter. He has a 2.89 ERA and is going for his eighth straight quality start. In day action this season, Berrios is 5-1 with a 2.72 ERA. Minnesota has won six of his last seven road starts and 13 of his past 18 overall starts. Anderson had a 6.26 ERA in Triple A. His ERA in the majors is 7.13 in 17 2/3 innings. The A's are 0-4 in Anderson's four starts. The Twins lead the majors in homers and are No. 2 in runs. Anderson is a flyball pitcher and the weather forecast is for wind blowing out at nine mph.
|06-29-19||Diamondbacks -136 v. Giants||Top||4-3||Win||100||17 h 16 m||Show|
This road price is worthy laying in a pitching matchup of Zack Greinke versus lefty Drew Pomeranz. Greinke is 2-0 with a 0.47 ERA in his last three road starts. Greinke loves to pitch at Oracle Park where he is 5-0 lifetime with a 1.37 ERA in seven starts. Arizona has won 72 percent of Greinke's last 47 starts against sub .500 teams. The Giants are seven games below .500 at home. They rank in the bottom five in batting average, runs and homers. Pomeranz is 2-8 with a 6.79 ERA. He probably shouldn't be in a big league starting rotation. Pomeranz is 0-4 with an 8.53 ERA in 10 career appearances versus Arizona, including seven starts. The Diamondbacks have the highest batting average and slugging percentage in the National League against lefthanders.
|06-28-19||A's +122 v. Angels||Top||7-2||Win||122||13 h 41 m||Show|
Oakland is 7-3 in its last 10 games. The Angels defeated the A's, 8-3, on Thursday. The A's have come back and won the past six times following a loss. I like their chances in this matchup. Mike Fiers is 5-0 with a 2.51 ERA in his last nine starts. Fiers, a flyball pitcher, is tough when pitching at spacious West Coast ballparks like Angel Stadium. Fiers is 2-0 in two starts against the Angels this season. The Angels are using this as a bullpen game. Noe Ramirez is expected to pitch the first inning and then be followed by Felix Pena, who is 0-2 with an 11.81 ERA in five career appearances against the A's, including three starts. Oakland is averaging 5.3 runs per game during its last 10 games. The Angels do not have a strong bullpen, ranking 10th in relief pitching ERA, and their relievers have been pitching a lot of innings. I prefer Oakland's bullpen even without injured closer Blake Treinen.
|06-26-19||Nationals -148 v. Marlins||Top||7-5||Win||100||16 h 32 m||Show|
The Nationals have been playing better winning six of their last eight games. Lefty Patrick Corbin dominated the Marlins when he faced them a month ago. Corbin went the distance and shut out the Marlins giving up just four hits and one walk. Corbin was a minus $2.50 home favorite against Sandy Alcantara. This price is far lower so I see value on the Nationals even though they are mid-sized chalk. The Marlins are 17-35 the last 52 times they've faced a lefty starter at home. Rookie Zac Gallen is set to make his second big league start for Miami. He looked good against the Cardinals in his debut. But he is unproven. Corbin isn't. The Nationals have been swinging hot bats, too. If you discount their 2-0 win against the Phillies, the Nationals are averaging 8.3 runs in its last six games.
|06-25-19||Mets v. Phillies -139||Top||5-7||Win||100||15 h 2 m||Show|
The Mets are in disarray with eight losses in their last 12 games. Walter Lockett, a fill-in starer without decent credentials, is not the pitcher to put a stop to it. The Phillies, on the other hand, regained their swagger burying the Mets, 13-7, Monday night. Lockett made his season debut this past Thursday against the Cubs and was battered for six earned runs in 2 1/3 innings in a 7-4 loss. Phillies starter Jake Arrieta allowed just one run on two hits in six innings against the Nationals in his last start this past Wednesday. Arrieta has a career 2.50 ERA against the Mets in 12 starts. New York is 8-23 in its last 31 road games and have lost in five of its past six visits to Philadelphia.Tuesday Free Play Mariners plus $1.55 at Brewers Zach Davies is 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA. He is not nearly as good as those numbers show. The regression has started. Davies has a 7.82 ERA in his last three stars. He gave up five runs on nine hits in 2 2/3 innings against the Padres at pitcher-friendly Petco Park this past Wednesday during his last start. Now Davies draws a hot-hitting Mariners club averaging eight runs a game in their past five games. While Davies is returning to the norm, Seattle starter Marco Gonzales is back pitching well. The lefty is 3-0 with a 2.33 ERA in his last three starts. He hasn't given up more than two earned runs during each of those outings. Milwaukee is 10-13 versus southpaw starters. The Mariners are 5-4 in their last nine road games facing the Angels, Twins and A's during this span. The Brewers have lost the first game during each of their last four series.
|06-23-19||Angels v. Cardinals -130||Top||6-4||Loss||-130||14 h 23 m||Show|
Miles Mikolas loves to pitch at Busch Stadium. Mikolas was 8-4 with a 2.17 ERA pitching at Busch Stadium in his first season with the Cardinals last year. He's followed that up with a winning home mark and a 2.55 ERA at Busch this season. The Angels have managed just three runs during the first two games of this series. St. Louis is 12-4 in Mikolas' last 16 home starts. Tyler Skaggs has been less effective on the road for the Angels with a 5.27 away ERA. The Cardinals have scored four or more runs in eight of their last 10 games.
|06-21-19||Twins -156 v. Royals||Top||8-7||Win||100||15 h 48 m||Show|
Perhaps the Twins felt a bit of a letdown entering Thursday's first game of this road series against the lowly Royals having just hosted a three-game series with the Red Sox. The Royals upset the Twins on Thursday.It was Minnesota's second loss in a row. The Twins haven't lost three straight games all season - and I certainly don't see that occurring here. I like the pitching matchup for Minnesota and the spot as the Twins shouldn't lack motivation and concentration after Kansas City just beat Jake Odorizzi. Kansas City is 5-16 following a victory. The Royals aren't good at home either with a 15-23 mark. The Twins own the best record in the American League. They are 21-6 following a defeat and have won 65 percent of their road games. Lefty Martin Perez faces Jakob Junis. Perez is having his finest season with his best strikeout and hit rates of his career. He has a 3.08 lifetime ERA against the Royals in four starts. The Royals are 8-14 versus southpaw starters. Kansas City ranks in the bottom-six in runs and homers. Junis goes against a Twins offense that ranks first in runs and homers and second in batting average. The Twins have seven players with at least 11 homers. The Royals only have one player in their lineup with more than 11 homers. The weather forecast is calling for 13-15 mph winds blowing out, which favor the power-hitting Twins. Kansas City is without its starting left side of its infield with Adalberto Mondesi and Hunter Dozier both on IL. Mondesi could be the Royals' second best player and Dozier is their second-leading home run hitter. Junis has a lifetime 0-1 mark with a 4.55 ERA in six starts against the Twins. Minnesota just saw Junis this past Sunday. The Twins collected five hits and three walks, scoring two runs in 3 2/3 innings against Junis.
|06-19-19||White Sox +135 v. Cubs||Top||3-7||Loss||-100||16 h 32 m||Show|
Lucas Giolito is an emerging superstar. Jon Lester is on the downside of his career. Stats and current form reflect this. Giolito is riding an eight-game win streak. That's what happens when you have a 0.94 ERA during this span. The White Sox are 11-1 in Giolito's last 12 starts. The 35-year-old Lester already has hit a wall this season with a 7.59 ERA in his last six starts. Lester was battered for three homers and six runs in five innings against the Dodgers during his last start this past Thursday. The price is high on the Cubs because they are home and considered a much better team than the White Sox. However, the White Sox have won 12 of their last 19 games while the Cubs are just 10-15 in their last 25 games.
|06-18-19||Royals v. Mariners -123||Top||9-0||Loss||-123||14 h 6 m||Show|
The buy sign is back on Yusei Kikuchi after the lefty held the Twins - the AL's top-scoring team - to one run on six hits in five innings this past Thursday on the road. The buy sign is never on Homer Bailey, who has a 5.37 ERA. Expect that already-horrible ERA to go up even more as Bailey's ERA has been above 6.00 during the previous three years. Seattle is the far superior offensive team, too, ranking eighth in the majors in runs and No. 2 in homers. Kansas City, by contrast, rates 25th in runs and 26th in homers. The Royals are 7-13 against lefty starters this season. They have won just 28 percent of their last 61 away contests. The Mariners have dominated this series winning nine of the last 10 times, including posting a 4-1 mark this season.
|06-15-19||Cardinals +125 v. Mets||Top||7-8||Loss||-100||6 h 51 m||Show|
The Cardinals are playing much better than the Mets having won nine of their last 14. The Mets have lost three of their last four. Noah Syndergaard was sick earlier in the week and is having a down season. He's been especially bad at night with a 5.88 ERA in evening games. The Mets are 1-4 in his last five starts. New York's bullpen has been terrible, too, even closer Edwin Diaz is having a subpar season. St. Louis starter Michael Wacha looked like a new pitcher in his first start off the DL from a knee injury throwing six scoreless innings against the Marlins. The buy sign is back on Wacha at this underdog price.
|06-12-19||Brewers v. Astros -124||Top||6-3||Loss||-124||16 h 39 m||Show|
The oddsmaker is overrating the Brewers and Brandon Woodruff by making Houston such a short home favorite. The Astros haven't missed Jose Altuve, George Springer and Carlos Correa going 28-8 (78%) during their last 36 games. The Astros have outstanding young talent to fill in while these superstars are out with injuries. Yordan Alvarez and Tyler White, two of these highly promising youngsters, slugged homers in helping Houston defeat Milwaukee, 10-8, on Tuesday. That loss dropped the Brewers to 1-8 in their last nine road interleague games. Woodruff has been pitching well for Milwaukee. But he's trumped by Justin Verlander, who is in the argument for best pitcher in the American League. Verlander is 9-2 with a 2.31 ERA and a 0.74 WHIP. Opponents are batting only .151 against him. Verlander is 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA in two career starts versus the Brewers. Verlander has a 1.35 ERA at home this season. Woodruff has a 4.03 road ERA in five away starts this season.
|06-11-19||Brewers v. Astros -111||Top||8-10||Win||100||15 h 8 m||Show|
It's rarely wrong to back the Astros especially when the price is fair, which it is here. Houston is 27-8 in its last 35 games and is tied for the best winning percentage in the majors. Houston has key injuries, but also has a very strong farm system. Because of that the Astros have been able to cover up their injuries. The Astros are 21-8 in Brad Peacock's last 29 starts. Peacock is one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball. He's overshadowed in Houston by Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole. But he's a tremendous pitcher giving up two runs or less in eight of his 11 starts. The Brewers are 1-7 in their last eight interleague road games. They are a solid National League club, but not at the Astros' elite level. Milwaukee is pitching Freddy Peralta, who has shown flashes but remains highly inconsistent. He has a 6.23 night ERA this season.
|05-13-19||A's v. Mariners -125||Top||5-6||Win||100||24 h 53 m||Show|
Kudos to Mike Fiers on throwing a no-hitter against the Reds in his last start at home this past Tuesday. Fiers also threw a staggering 131 pitches. Fiers is a 33-year-old journeyman with a career losing record and a 5.48 ERA on the season. Prior to his last start, Fiers had a 6.81 ERA. I'm going to fade Fiers in an obvious letdown spot and with the A's taking to the road for the first time in a week. The A's can be dangerous at Oakland Coliseum. However, they are much worse on the road. Oakland is 5-13 away from home this season. The A's have lost nine of their last 10 road games. Fiers pitched against the Mariners opening day in Japan. The Mariners won, 9-7, knocking out Fiers after three innings by scoring five runs. Seattle is starting Yusei Kikuchi, who I consider to be the Mariners' best pitcher. The Mariners haven't been playing well. They just concluded a 2-8 road trip. But they are returning home now where they should be more relaxed.
|05-11-19||Phillies -132 v. Royals||Top||7-0||Win||100||17 h 57 m||Show|
It hasn't been Aaron Nola nor Jake Arrieta. No, the Phillies' best starting pitchers have been Zach Eflin and Jerad Eickhoff. Eflin is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 0.90 ratio during his last three starts.
Eflin gets the start here against Brad Keller. It's a testament on how bad the Royals are that Keller is their best picher and Kansas City is 2-5 in his last seven starts. Keller is not in good form either going 0-2 with a 6.48 ERA and 1.80 ratio in his past three starts.
The Phillies rank seventh in runs scored. The Royals are 16th in runs. Philadelphia has the superior bullpen.
The Royals upset the Phillies in Game 1 of this series Friday. I want the Phillies going for me in this revenge spot.
|05-03-19||A's v. Pirates -110||Top||14-1||Loss||-110||18 h 8 m||Show|
The timing, pitching matchup and price all line up heavily for Pittsburgh here. The Pirates come home bolstered by a two-game road sweep of the Rangers. They catch the A's playing their worst ball, losers of six in a row all on the road having been swept by the Blue Jays and Red Sox. Oakland is giving up 6.2 runs during this losing skid and has lost five of the games by multiple runs. The A's can be dangerous at home, but are not nearly as good on the road where they have lost the past seven times. Oakland is 1-8 in Brett Anderson's last nine road starts. Anderson has failed to complete five innings during his last two starts. He gave up six runs on 10 hits and two walks in just 4 1/3 innings against the Blue Jays during his last start this past Saturday. The A's rely on the power of Khris Davis. However, Davis has gone homerless in his last 15 games. Davis is going to play the outfield, too, because there is no DH in National League parks. Davis is a well below average on defense. Pittsburgh starter Joe Musgrove has the third-lowest ERA in the majors at 1.54 through five starts and one relief appearance. Musgrove pitched for the Astros before coming to the Pirates. He is 1-1 with a 1.33 ERA in seven appearances against the A's, including three starts. A big non-pitching key for the Pirates is the return from injury of star outfielder Starling Marter. Pittsburgh was 1-9 without him. The Pirates are 13-5 with Marte in the lineup.
|04-19-19||Giants -101 v. Pirates||Top||1-4||Loss||-101||17 h 8 m||Show|
The Giants have had good success at Pittsburgh winning seven of the last nine times there. The Giants also catch the Pirates playing at home for the first time in 12 days. So Pittsburgh's concentration and focus may be off. It's not just history and spot why I like the Giants. The price is very good in a starting pitching matchup of Madison Bumgarner versus Jordan Lyles. Bumgarner looked like the elite pitcher he is during his last start, a 5-2 home victory against the Rockies this past Saturday. Bumgarner struck out seven and didn't walk a batter. He has a 2.84 career ERA in seven starts against Pittsburgh. Lyles has made two good starts for the Pirates. But that's not enough to convince me he suddenly has become more than just a fifth starter-type/long reliever. The Pirates are his fourth different team in three seasons. Lyles had a 4.11 ERA with the Padres and Brewers last year. He has a 5.85 career ERA in 19 appearances versus the Giants, including seven starts.
|10-19-18||Dodgers v. Brewers +106||Top||2-7||Win||106||25 h 37 m||Show|
I like the price and I certainly like the Brewers chances of winning this Game 6 of the NLCS to stay alive in the series. Milwaukee went 51-30 at Miller Park during the regular season. The pitching matchup pits Hyun-Jin Ryu versus Wade Miley. Ryu historically has been far less effective away from home. The Dodgers are 2-11 (15 percent) the last 13 times Ryu has pitched against an above .500 opponent on the road. The Brewers saw Ryu in Game 2 at home and got to him for two runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings. Miley started for Milwaukee in that Game 2 home victory and held LA to just two hits in 5 2/3 innings. The Brewers have three dominant relief pitchers - Josh Hader, Corey Knebel and Jeremy Jeffress. All are rested.
|10-05-18||Indians +136 v. Astros||Top||2-7||Loss||-100||14 h 58 m||Show|
It's wrong to disrespect the Indians especially with Corey Kluber on the mound. But that's what oddsmaker have done by opening the Astros this big of a favorite. Kluber had another huge season going 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA. He was 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA in two starts versus the Astros this season. Cleveland has won 70 percent of Kluber's last 23 road starts. A big factor why the Astros opened as such a big favorite in this Game 1 is Justin Verlander. He had an excellent season, too, going 16-9 with a 2.52 ERA. The Astros won all five of Verlander's September starts. He surrendered just four earned runs in 33 innings during September for a 1.09 ERA. However, Verlander was bad in August with a 5.29 ERA in six starts. None of the teams he pitched against in September - Twins, Tigers, Diamondbacks, Angels and Orioles - made the postseason. All had losing records except the 82-80 Diamondbacks. Verlander also has a better road mark where he went 12-2 with a 2.14 ERA compared to 4-7 at home with a 2.84 ERA. Verlander doesn't have a good history against the Indians either. He is 20-24 against them lifetime with a 4.71 ERA.
|10-02-18||Rockies v. Cubs -131||Top||2-1||Loss||-131||19 h 48 m||Show|
I like the Cubs for a number of reasons here and the price is low enough to back them. Both the Cubs and Rockies each lost Monday forcing this one-game Wild-card game. Chicago, though, lost hosting the Brewers. The Rockies fell to the Dodgers in LA so they have had to make a long trip. The Cubs are far more experienced in big games. It was just two years ago when the Cubs won the World Series. The Rockies were one and done in the postseason last year losing a wildcard game to the Diamondbacks on the road. Previous to that the Rockies had not played in the postseason since 2009. I also like the pitching matchup for the Cubs with Kyle Freeland opposing Jon Lester. Freeland has been brilliant this season. Surprisingly, though, he put up better numbers at Coors Field than in his road games. His away ERA is 3.23. Freeland is pitching on short rest, too, having last pitched three days ago. He has a 4.15 lifetime ERA versus the Cubs in two career starts. Lester is in great form and has an excellent postseason history. He is 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA in his past three starts this season. Lester has made five career starts against Colorado and posted a 2.25 ERA. The Cubs have won 74 percent of Lester's past 51 home starts.
|09-27-18||Braves -125 v. Mets||Top||1-4||Loss||-125||18 h 23 m||Show|
The Braves are 6-1 in their last seven games and in pursuit of the Cubs for the best record in the NL. Atlanta's lone loss during this span came on Wednesday to the Mets - and Jacob deGrom. No shame in that as deGrom is the best pitcher in baseball. Now, though, the Braves draw the lowly Mets and Jason Vargas. He hasn't been good since the first half of last season when he pitched for the Royals. Vargas is 6-9 with a 6.25 ERA this season. He has a 6.14 ERA in three starts against the Mets this year. The Braves have gotten to Vargas for 19 hits in 14 2/3 innings.
New York has scored thre runs or fewer in seven of its last 11 games. The Braves have scored at least five runs in six of their past eight games. I think it's a cheap price to lay with the much superior Braves. They are starting Julio Teheran and their bullpen has been shored up with the return to health of closer Arodys Vizcaino. Teheran has posted a solid 3.32 ERA during his past 10 starts holding batters to a .177 average in this time frame. He has a 2.42 career ERA in 24 lifetime appearances versus the Mets. Teheran has a 1.69 ERA against the Mets in four starts this year.
|09-26-18||Astros +121 v. Blue Jays||Top||1-3||Loss||-100||4 h 21 m||Show|
This is a crapshoot in a starting pitching matchup of Chris Devenki versus Sean Reid-Foley in what shapes up to be a bullpen game.So why not back the much superior Astros in a 'dog role? Why not indeed. Houston is 25-7 in its last 32 games. Devenski was very good last season in a relief role. He hasn't been healthy this season. He should be OK for a few innings here. The Astros have the superior bullpen and offense even if all of their regulars don't play. There's a possibility the Astros get back Carlos Correa, too.
|09-21-18||Rockies v. Diamondbacks -115||Top||6-2||Loss||-115||20 h 50 m||Show|
Neither Colorado nor Arizona is in top form. The Diamondbacks, though, are home, have Zach Greinke going and are in absolute must-win mode in order to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. The Rockies are 1-5 in their last six games. They have scored nine runs during these past six games and aren't likely to have star shortstop Trevor Story, who is suffering from right elbow inflammation. Greinke is 19-4 at home the past two years. He has a 2.43 home ERA this season. Arizona has won 24 of his past 35 starts at Chase Field. Greinke has faced Colorado four times this season and is 3-0 with a 2.77 ERA. I trust him in this spot. I can't say the same for Rockies starter German Marquez, who has nearly a 4.00 ERA on the year. Marquez has been pitching better, but has struggled versus Arizona with a 4.33 ERA against the Diamondbacks this season in five starts. This is a short lay price to get the better pitcher at home where he has a dominant record.
|09-18-18||Blue Jays -111 v. Orioles||Top||6-4||Win||100||8 h 3 m||Show|
When it comes to giving up home runs, Dylan Bundy resembles Al Bundy. Bundy has surrendered 38 homers. That's not in his career. That's this season alone! No pitcher yields more homers than Bundy. Bundy has allowed at least one homer in each of his last 12 starts. The Orioles are 1-7 in Bundy's last eight starts. The Blue Jays have hit the fifth-most homers in the majors. They have an edge in the pitching department, too, with Aaron Sanchez facing Bundy. Sanchez is returning back into form following a two-month stint on the DL because of a finger injury. He held the powerful Red Sox to to one run on three hits in seven innings this past Wednesday. This will be Sanchez's third start of the season against the Orioles. He is 1-0 against them with a 1.88 ERA. Toronto has dominated Baltimore this year winning 13 of 17 for 76 percent. The price is low enough to fade the Orioles, who have by far the worst record in baseball at 43-107.
|09-12-18||White Sox -130 v. Royals||Top||4-2||Win||100||18 h 31 m||Show|
The Royals have been playing better of late, but they still are a terrible team and 7-21 in their last 28 games versus a lefty starter. Kansas City faces White Sox southpaw Carlos Rodon in this matchup. Rodon had been brilliant before his last two starts giving up two earned runs or less in eight of nine starts. Rodon has not looked good in his past two outings, though. However, he hasn't pitched three poor games in a row all season. I like him here against a Royals team that ranks 28th in runs. Chicago has won 11 of its last 16 road contests. The White Sox draw Eric Skoglund, who had been on the DL with a sprained elbow. He is 1-5 on the season with a 6.45 ERA. Skoguland isn't likely to pitch long and the Royals have one of the worst bullpens in the majors.
|09-11-18||Rockies v. Diamondbacks -119||Top||3-6||Win||100||9 h 23 m||Show|
Arizona and Colorado are involved in a big series. The pitching matchup for Tuesday is Zach Greinke versus Antonio Senzatela. I want Greinke going for me. The Diamondbacks are 7-2 in Greinke's last nine road starts. I regard Greinke at least two levels higher than Senzatela, who has close to a 5.00 ERA and owns a horrible history versus the Diamondbacks with a lifetime 8.27 ERA in six career games. He is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in two games, including one start, against Arizona this season. Greinke is coming off a rare bad start. A bad start for Greinke is giving up four earned runs. Only twice in his last 15 starts as he allowed more than three earned runs. Greinke is 2-0 with a 2.33 ERA in three starts versus Colorado this season. The Diamondbacks have fared well at Coors Field, too, winning nine of their last 12 there.
|09-10-18||Braves v. Giants +107||Top||4-1||Loss||-100||20 h 47 m||Show|
The Giants are in a great position here to put an end to their season-high eight-game losing streak of which the last six losses have come on the road. San Francisco is 39-30 at home. The Giants have defeated the Braves 11 of the last 16 times they have hosted them. The youthful Braves are in letdown mode after rallying for six runs in the ninth inning to beat the Diamondbacks, 9-5, Sunday in Arizona. That victory allowed the Braves to take three of four from Arizona and move ahead of the Phillies by 4 1/2 games in the NL East. It's not just the spot that is ripe for San Francisco. The Giants also have a pitching matchup edge. Sean Newcomb has clearly hit the wall in this his first full season in the majors. Newcomb has allowed 35 hits and 21 runs during his past five starts spanning 23 2/3 innings. Going back to his past 11 starts his ERA registers 5.91. The Giants have nine more hits than their opponents during their last four games. They are pitching Dereck Rodriguez, who has been outstanding. The rookie has not hit the wall like Newcomb as only once in 15 starts has he given up more than three earned runs. Rodriguez has made eight starts since the All-Star break and has posted a 1.97 ERA and 0.87 WHIP during this span. The Braves have never gone against him.
|09-08-18||Dodgers v. Rockies +129||Top||2-4||Win||129||19 h 48 m||Show|
I like Dodgers rookie Walker Buehler. But he shouldn't be a road favorite at Coors Field against Kyle Freeland. The Rockies have won 22 of their last 31 home games. Freeland has been a huge part of Colorado's success at home. The Rockies are 10-1 (91%) in his last 11 starts at Coors Field. Freeland is one of the more underrated pitchers in baseball with a 13-7 mark and 2.96 ERA. He is one of the few pitchers who actually thrives when pitching at hitter-friendly Coors Field with a 2.27 home ERA this season. Colorado is 6-0 during his last six overall starts. The Dodgers are without their closer, Kenley Jansen, for this series. Freeland has gone at least six innings in each of his past six starts. He's backed up by Adam Ottavino, one of the best setup pitchers in baseball, and closer Wade Davis. The Dodgers can't match that late-inning relief with Jansen missing in action.
|09-06-18||Braves v. Diamondbacks -149||Top||7-6||Loss||-149||25 h 8 m||Show|
This is a very tough spot for the Braves, who lost 9-8 to the Red Sox at home on Wednesday after blowing a six-run lead. Now Atlanta takes to the road for the first time since Aug. 26 going cross-country. The Red Sox left the Braves reeling outscoring them, 22-11, in sweeping the three-game series. Atlanta's bullpen had to go 12 2/3 innings during the series and lacks a consistent closer with Arodys Vizcaino on the DL with a shoulder injury. Arizona has been at home since Monday. The Diamondbacks were idle Wednesday so their bullpen is rested. Arizona shouldn't have to rely on their relief pitchers too heavily with Zack Greinke on the hill. He remains a brilliant pitcher with a 13-9 record and 2.97 ERA. Greinke has been his best at home, too, going 6-3 with a 2.16 ERA at Chase Field. He has surrendered two or fewer runs in 13 of his 14 home starts. Arizona is 24-10 in Greinke's last 34 home starts. He should be especially strong pitching with an extra day of rest. Arizona has won 16 of the past 23 times Greinke has pitched on five days rest. The Diamondbacks also are 11-5 following an off day. Anibal Sanchez gets the call for the Braves. He also is pitching on extra rest. However, the Braves are 0-5 the last five times he's gone on five days rest. The 34-year-old has pitched much better than expected, but he could start to be wearing down. Sanchez has only reached the sixth inning once in his last four starts giving up nine earned runs in 22 2/3 innings during this span. He's allowed 28 baserunners in this time frame and three homers. Atlanta is 1-4 in Sanchez's past five starts.
|09-05-18||Yankees v. A's +146||Top||2-8||Win||146||13 h 3 m||Show|
Oakland is 49-21 in its last 70 games. The A's have been a remarkable story and continue to be underrated.
|09-03-18||Mets +124 v. Dodgers||Top||4-2||Win||124||17 h 13 m||Show|
What if I told you that you could get arguably the best pitcher in baseball - the one who has the lowest ERA in the majors and has given up three or fewer runs in 24 straight games - at an underdog price? You would grab it, right, especially when it comes with a huge situational edge? That's what the underdog Mets have going for themselves on Monday in a pitching matchup of Jacob deGrom versus Alex Wood. The Mets can't match the Dodgers at the other eight spots, but deGrom is an absolute monster ranking first in ERA, fourth in strikeouts and sixth in WHIP in the majors. The Mets have won three of their last four games. The Dodgers are playing well, too, but are in a dangerous letdown spot after winning their last three games against the Diamondbacks to take over sole possession of first place in the NL West Division. LA won all of these games against Arizona by the same 3-2 score. The Mets already are on the West Coast having just concluded a series against the Giants in San Francisco. They draw Wood, who has possess a decent by hardly dominating 8-6 record and 3.42 ERA. The Mets are well acquainted with Wood, who used to pitch for the Braves in the NL East. Wood is 1-3 career-wise versus the Mets with a 3.83 ERA. The Dodgers are 0-4 in Wood's last four home starts.
|09-02-18||Rockies -132 v. Padres||Top||7-3||Win||100||13 h 11 m||Show|
Maybe it's because he pitches at Coors Field. Maybe it's because the Rockies aren't a big market team. Whatever the reason, Kyle Freeland may be the most underrated pitcher in the National League. Freeland is 12-7 with a 2.90 ERA despite pitching at Coors. Freeland has been pitching well for quite a while now, but he's been especially dominant during his last five starts with a 1.67 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings during this span. Colorado is 16-5 in Freeland's past 21 starts, 10-1 during his last 11 outings. Oh, yes, Freeland is a southpaw. The Padres have a hideous 13-30 record versus lefty starters this season. That's the most losses against southpaws in the majors. The Padres are in rebuild mode. They are just 27-44 at home. San Diego has gutted its bullpen and is auditioning young starters, sort of throwing darts. Rookie Jacob Nix gets the call here. He has a 4.05 ERA and doesn't miss many bats with just seven strikeouts in 20 innings. Colorado is familar with Nix having just seen him on Aug. 22. The Rockies scored three runs on five hits in five innings against Nix winning 6-2 at home. The Rockies rank in the top-10 in runs and batting average, while the Padres rank in the bottom-three in those categories.
|08-31-18||Red Sox v. White Sox +152||Top||1-6||Win||152||18 h 7 m||Show|
White Sox plus $1.48 hosting Red SoxMichael Kopech isn't just the White Sox's best pitching prospect. He's one of the top ones in all of baseball. Kopech hasn't disappointed during his first two starts allowing just one run in eight innings. Now he draws the Red Sox at home. The Sox are 11-5 in their last 16 games. That's the White Sox, who have compiled that record. The Red Sox actually have lost four of their past five road games. Boston starter Nathan Eovaldi has been cold giving up four or more earned runs in three of his last four starts. Eovaldi has been tagged for nine earned runs on 18 hits during his last two starts spanning only 9 1/3 innings. The Red Sox are down several players because of injury, including first baseman Mitch Moreland who isn't expected to play because of a sore knee.
|08-29-18||Tigers -101 v. Royals||Top||2-9||Loss||-101||12 h 19 m||Show|
Kansas City is 2-9 the past 11 times Danny Duffy has pitched at home. Duffy has been horrible this season. I'm not buying the Royals opening as a favorite against the Tigers when Detroit has its best pitcher, Michael Fulmer, on the mound. Detroit has the superior late-inning relievers, too, and has scored more runs than the Royals.The Royals, in fact, have scored the fewest runs in the majors. Fulmer looked good in his last outing this past Friday. He held the White Sox scoreless for 4 2/3 innings throwing 77 pitches. That was his first start since the All-Star break. He had been out with an oblique strain. Fulmer should go longer in his second start back from the injury. The Tigers have buried Duffy in their two meetings this season. Duffy has given up 13 earned runs in 10 1/3 innings during two starts versus Detroit for an ERA of 11.32. Duffy doesn't have a good history against Detroit with a 7-10 career-mark and 4.63 ERA in 24 outings.
|08-27-18||Nationals -110 v. Phillies||Top||5-3||Win||100||19 h 11 m||Show|
The Nationals really need this game to keep their flickering playoff hopes somewhat alive. I see them getting the win here in a pitching matchup of Stephen Strasburg versus Zach Eflin. Both pitched poorly when they matched up five days ago. The Nationals won that game, 8-7, at home. Strasburg made that start having just come off the DL. He was rusty having not pitched since July 20. Following that game, Strasburg was quoted as saying, "It's a work in progress. I obviously missed a while, so I'll learn some things and take it into the next one (start)." Strasburg has pitched much better on the road where he is 4-2 with a 2.33 ERA this season. He has a tremendous history pitching against the Phillies with a 10-2 mark, 2.48 ERA and 0.89 WHIP. Strasburg's ERA at Citzens Band Park is 1.45 in eight career starts. The Nationals got their bats going on Sunday scoring a combined 14 runs during the final two innings against the Mets.The Nationals pounded Eflin for five runs, four of which were earned, on 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings this past Wednesday. Eflin probably should not still be in the Phillies' starting rotation. He has a 5.59 ERA in his last seven starts. He has a 6.48 career ERA versus the Nationals in two starts. The Phillies are 7-12 in their last 19 games, including losing six of their last eight games.
|08-21-18||Padres v. Rockies -167||Top||4-3||Loss||-167||20 h 54 m||Show|
The Rockies are hot and rested having won eight of their last nine. They should be refreshed to open a six-game homestand having been idle Monday. Colorado is 20-7 in its past 27 home games. San Diego is 29 games below .500. The Padres have dropped six of their last seven and are 6-14 in their last 20 visits to Coors Field. The pitching matchup heavily favors Colorado, too, in battle of lefties with Robbie Erlin opposing Tyler Anderson. San Diego is 3-9 in Erlin's last 12 starts. The Rockes are 12-2 the past 14 times they've gone against a southpaw starter. Anderson knows how to pitch at Coors Field. He has a 1.35 ERA during his past five home starts. He is 1-0 with a 2.55 ERA in three starts versus San Diego this season. The Padres have dropped 26 of 38 games when facing a lefty starter.
|08-20-18||Indians +101 v. Red Sox||Top||5-4||Win||101||21 h 6 m||Show|
There is only one American League pitcher comparable to Corey Kluber. He pitches for Boston, but he's not Rick Porcello. It's Porcello, not injured Chris Sale, who opposes Kluber making the Indians a strong value play at this pick'em type opening price.Cleveland enters this marquee series winning seven of its last eight. Boston was shut out at home by Tampa Bay on Sunday. Normally I'm not looking to go against the Red Sox. But this is a huge pitching mismatch. Kluber and Porcello each have 15 victories. That is where the similarity ends, though. Kluber has a chance to win the Cy Young Award for a second straight year. He has a 2.68 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. Porcello has a 4.04 ERA, which becomes 4.57 when he pitches at Fenway Park. The current Indians roster is batting a cumulative .333 lifetime versus Porcello. Cleveland is 22-8 in Kluber's past 30 road starts. The Indians have revamped their bullpen greatly improving their depth with Andrew Miller healthy and newcomers Brad Hand and Adam Cimber on board. The Indians can match any of Boston's top offensive players with Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor.
|08-18-18||Brewers v. Cardinals -133||Top||2-7||Win||100||18 h 24 m||Show|
The Cardinals are on fire winning nine of their last 10 games and 13 of their past 16. They have their best pitcher going here, Miles Mikolas. The Brewers are banged-up, have dropped nine of their last 10 NL Central Division games and are pitching journeyman southpaw Wade Miley. The Brewers are the fifth different team Miley has pitched for in the last five years. St. Louis is 7-1 the past eight times facing a lefty starter. Miley has pitched surprisingly well for Milwaukee, but appears to be tailing off. He has given up five earned runs in his last two starts spanning 11 innings. During this time frame, Miley has yielded 11 hits and four walks. The Cardinals have a good vibe and momentum. The Brewers are 3-7 in their last 10 games. Mikolas has proven himself to be an elite pitcher, one of the most consistent in baseball. He hasn't given up more than four runs in a game all season. Mikolas is 12-3 with a 2.85 ERA. St. Louis is 7-1 in his last eight starts.
|08-16-18||Diamondbacks -123 v. Padres||Top||5-1||Win||100||20 h 18 m||Show|
This price is low enough to back the Diamondbacks, who have 20 fewer losses than the rebuilding Padres. Arizona has won 21 of its last 31 road games. The Diamondbacks come in with a rested bullpen having been idle on Wednesday. The Diamondbacks have also won 35 of the past 52 times when meeting a foe with a winning percentage below .400. Arizona starter Clay Buchholz has been very good going 5-2 with a 2.67 ERA. The righthander holds an edge against Jacob Nix, who is making only his second big league start. San Diego is 7-20 in its last 27 home games. The Padres have dropped 11 of their last 12 home games when meeting a foe with a winning road mark.
|08-14-18||Nationals v. Cardinals -103||Top||4-6||Win||100||18 h 34 m||Show|
The Cardinals have won six in a row. The Nationals are imploding losing their second straight game on a walkoff homer. Their bullpen is shot and the team has serious chemistry issues. They are seven games out of first in the NL East.St. Louis is 17-9 since Mike Shildt replaced MIke Matheny. The price is right to back the Cardinals again while fading the Nationals. St. Louis ranks sixth in the majors in slugging percentage and OPS versus lefty starters. The Cardinals are 19-15 against southpaws and draw lefty Gio Gonzalez, who is at his worst pitching on the road and at night. That's the case here. Gonzalez is 3-5 with a 4.26 ERA on the road. He's 3-6 with a 4.43 ERA in night games. Washington is 2-8 during his past 10 starts. St. Louis, which is a season-high nine games abovbe .500, is going with righthander John Gant. He's coming off a 7-1 victory against the Marlins where he gave up two hits, one walk and one run with four strikeouts in six innings. He threw just 63 pitches in that effort so he should be strong. The Nationals have lost 16 of their last 22 games when going against a righty starter.
|08-13-18||Nationals v. Cardinals -128||Top||6-7||Win||100||17 h 3 m||Show|
The rejuvenated Cardinals have made a move since naming bench coach Mike Shildt to relace Mike Matheny as manager. The Cardinals have won five consecutive series and sit just two games in back of the Brewers for the second wild card spot in the National League. St. Louis is 16-9 under Shildt and have its best pitcher going here, Miles Mikolas. The Cardinals catch the Nationals traveling after playing in the lone night game on Sunday. Washington could still be reeling from blowing a two-out 3-0 ninth inning lead in a 4-3 road loss to the Cubs last night. The Nationals lost when closer Ryan Madson gave up a grand slam homer to pinch-hitter David Bote. Madson said after the game that he is suffering from back pain and it has affected his pitching. So there's a good chance Madson isn't going to be available. The Nationals already are down their two best relievers with Sean Doolittle and Kelvin Herrera both injured and unavailable. This puts tremendous pressure on Nationals starter Tommy Milone, who is a journeyman and coming off a bad start. Milone had a 4.19 ERA in the minors before getting a call-up for the Nationals. Milone was rocked for seven runs on 10 hits - including three homers - in six innings during his past start, an 8-3 home loss to the Braves this past Wednesday. Washington has lost 18 of its last 26 road games. The Nationals are down mentally, have a weak fill-in starter going and a shot bullpen. Mikolas has emerged as an elite pitcher with a 12-3 record and 2.74 ERA. Mikolas has held six of his past seven opponents to two runs or fewer. He has given up three or fewer runs in nine consecutive games. The Nationals have never faced him. Advantage Mikolas. Washington has struggled at Busch Stadium, too, losing 23 of the last 31 times there.
|08-12-18||Pirates v. Giants -106||Top||3-4||Win||100||14 h 48 m||Show|
It's way past thinking Dereck Rodriguez is some novelty item being the son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez. The younger Rodriguez very well could win Rookie of the Year honors in the National League. Rodriguez and the Giants are very tough at AT&T Park. Rodriguez is 3-0 at home with a 1.99 ERA. He has given up two earned runs or fewer in his last eight starts. San Francisco is 33-26 at home this season and 7-2 in Rodriguez's last nine starts. Opposing Rodriguez is Joe Musgrove, who is 0-3 with a 6.65 ERA in day games this season. The price is right to back Rodriguez and the Giants.
|08-09-18||Dodgers v. Rockies +123||Top||8-5||Loss||-100||19 h 24 m||Show|
The Rockies are very tough at Coors Field where they have won 17 of the past 22 times. They have a favorable spot, too, with LA having played late Wednesday night against the A's in Oakland while the Rockies played a home day game Wednesday. Dodger starter Ross Stripling hasn't been the same pitcher he was before the All-Star Game. He has a 9.35 ERA in two starts following All-Star break. Colorado starter Tyler Anderson has a respectable 3.64 ERA at Coors this season. The Dodgers have scored only 10 runs during their last five games for an average of two runs per game.
|08-08-18||Red Sox -139 v. Blue Jays||Top||10-5||Win||100||8 h 56 m||Show|
The Red Sox dominate baseball with an 80-34 record and they dominate the Blue Jays beating them 24 of the past 33 times, including going 11-3 versus them this season. Boston has had little difficulty either at Rogers Centre winning 16 of the past 20 times there.You usually can't go wrong backing the Red Sox especially when they aren't overinflated which is the case here. The Blue Jays are in a bad state with rumors that their manager John Gibbons will be let go. The pitching matchup is Brian Johnson versus Mike Hauschild and Boston owns a huge bullpen edge. Johnson has a 2.57 ERA in seven starts this season. The Blue Jays picked up Hauschild after the Astros cut him on July 30. Hauschild had a 4.88 ERA in 19 minor legue starts this season pitching for Houston's Triple A team. He has a 6.43 big league ERA in five appearances. He certainly doesn't project to have success against a potent Boston lineup that leads the majors in runs and batting average.
|08-05-18||Yankees +121 v. Red Sox||Top||4-5||Loss||-100||19 h 2 m||Show|
The Red Sox are going for a four-game sweep of the Yankees. I don't see the prideful Yankees getting swept on national television in a pitching matchup of Masahiro Tanaka versus southpaw David Price. Tanaka hasn't allowed a run during his past two starts spanning 15 innings. He's given up just six hits with 17 strikeouts during this span. This was part of a great July for Tanaka, who posted a 1.75 ERA in his four July starts. He is 6-0 on the road this season with the Yankees winning eight of his last 11 away matchups. New York is 20-8 in Tanaka's last 28 overall starts. The Red Sox are down three key infielders - Rafael Devers, Ian Kinsler and Dustin Pedroia. The Yankees have won 24 of their 31 games versus lefty starters this year. The Yankees have taken care of Price in their two meetings against him. Price has yielded 12 runs in only 4 1/3 innings, including surrendering a staggering six homers.
|08-03-18||Tigers +168 v. A's||Top||0-1||Loss||-100||21 h 1 m||Show|
Brett Anderson should not be this high of a favorite. Even against the Tigers. Detroit is underrated especially against southpaws like Anderson. The Tigers are 7-5 in their last 12 games and are 16-13 against lefties on the season. It's not a fluke the Tigers are three games above .500 versus southpaws. They have the highest batting average in the majors when facing left-handed starting pitching at .274. Anderson has made just one home start for Oakland this year. That was against the Astros on May 7 and it was a disaster. The A's lost 16-2 as Anderson was shelled for nine runs, seven of which were earned, on 10 hits in just three innings. Anderson has a 5.46 lifetime ERA against the Tigers in seven games, including six starts. Anderson's ERA on the season is 5.55, which is considerably higher than Tigers starter Blaine Hardy, whose ERA is 3.61. Hardy's career ERA versus the A's is 3.14. He earned a victory against the Indians in his last start this past Saturday allowing one run on four hits in five innings. The Tigers shouldn't lack for motivation having been swept by Oakland at home in June.
|08-02-18||Giants +158 v. Diamondbacks||Top||8-1||Win||158||21 h 13 m||Show|
This sure looks like a 4-3 type of game so I'm very interested in taking a huge 'dog price with Giants ace Madison Bumgarner. Arizona starter Zack Greinke is having a strong season. But his ERA isn't that much lower than Bumgarner's at 2.96 compared to 3.06. So this really comes down to a value play. Bumgarner has a 2.44 ERA in his last seven starts, holding batters to a .191 average in this span. The Giants enter this game with their confidence up having swept the Padres on the road.
|08-01-18||Cubs -112 v. Pirates||Top||9-2||Win||100||18 h 32 m||Show|
Nick Kingham and his 4.80 ERA isn't likely to be in the Pirates' starting rotation too much longer with Chris Archer coming on board. I'm going to lay a short road price with the better team, Cubs, and what I see as a rejuvenated Cole Hamels. Hamels gets a repreive coming to the Cubs from the 46-63 Rangers. Hamels had a bad July. He said his arm is fine. His problem was mechanics, which he said have been straighten out now. Hamels should do better in the National League. The four-time All-Star is past his prime, but he still knows how to pitch and his fastball still has zip as evidenced by 114 strikeouts in 114 1/3 innings. Hamels last faced the Pirates two years ago. He has a 1.22 career ERA in five starts versus Pittsburgh. Kingham is off a bad start against the lowly Mets where he yielded six runs in three-plus innings on seven hits and four walks during a 12-6 home loss this past Thursday.
|07-30-18||Astros -108 v. Mariners||Top||0-2||Loss||-108||21 h 27 m||Show|
The Astros head into this important AL West Division series in a bad state of mind. Houston has lost four games in a row for the first time this season. Perhaps the Astros took the Rangers, who are last in the division, too lightly and were swept by them at home. Whatever. They certainly won't do that against the Mariners and they have a strong pitcher going to make sure of that in Gerrit Cole. Sometimes it is better to go on the road. That could be the case here. Houston is 36-16 in its last 52 away games. The Astros have won in eight of their past last nine games in Seattle. Cole is 10-2 with a 2.54 ERA. He trumps James Paxton, who has thrown less than an inning during the last three weeks because of a back problems.
|07-28-18||Dodgers -124 v. Braves||Top||5-1||Win||100||19 h 45 m||Show|
These teams are going in opposite directions. The Dodgers are 9-4 in their last 13 games and are back to being the team to beat in the National League after acquiring Manny Machado. LA is 21-9 during its past 30 road games. The Braves are 5-12 in their last 17 games. They haven't been competitive during their last three games losing by a combined 15 runs. The pitching matchup is Alex Wood versus Max Fried. Wood has a 2.95 ERA in his last seven starts. He has won his past five decisions. Fried has a 3.92 ERA. He has made only three starts this season and hasn't pitched since July 5 due to a blister. The Braves have a huge gap in their bullpen with closer Arodys Vizcaino on the DL with a shoulder injury.
|07-26-18||Brewers v. Giants -108||Top||7-5||Loss||-108||20 h 12 m||Show|
Dereck Rodriguez is a lot more than just the son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez. He's a legitimate rookie-of-the-year candidate. Rodriguez is 5-1 with a 2.72 ERA. San Francisco is 7-0 in Rodriguez's last seven appearances. He has a 1.23 ERA during his past five starts. Milwaukee has never faced him giving Rodriguez an edge in surprise. The Brewers are going with veteran journeyman Wade Miley, who has a 3.90 ERA in 11 outings versus the Giants, including 10 starts. Miley has had problems pitching in San Francisco with a 4.63 ERA in seven starts there. The Giants are very tough at home going 31-19 at AT&T Park. The Brewers are just a .500 road club. They have dropped their last six away contests and have had problems historically at AT&T Park losing 16 of the past 21 times there.
|07-24-18||Cardinals -111 v. Reds||Top||4-2||Win||100||11 h 37 m||Show|
I'm not sure what the Cardinals are going to get from lefty Austin Gomber, who will be making his first big league start here. But I do know that I want no part of Homer Bailey. The 32-year-old Bailey will be making his first big league start since May 28. Bailey is 1-7 with a 6.68 ERA. He's in the argument for worst starter in the league. He wasn't much better in the minors going 2-2 with a 4.78 ERA. Bailey has a terrible history versus St. Louis, too, with a 6-14 record and 5.71 ERA in 25 career starts. The Reds have lost 18 of Bailey's last 22 home starts. This isn't a huge surprise considering Bailey's ERA in his last 17 home starts is 7.61. Being a flyball pitcher at Great American Ballpark isn't a formula for success especially when the pitcher is washed up, which Bailey is. Bailey will have to deal with the hottest hitter in the league, Matt Carpenter. The Cardinals are high on Gomber, who had good metrics in the minors such as a high swing rate.
|07-23-18||Padres v. Mets -175||Top||3-2||Loss||-175||1 h 31 m||Show|
Huge starting pitching edge. Excellent spot. The Mets have those two key factors going their way here While the Mets were idle yesterday, courtesy of a postponement against the Yankees, the Padres had to play a doubleheader against the Phillies Sunday. As disappointing as the Mets have been, the Padres hold a lower win percentage. The rebuilding Padres have lost 22 of their last 28 games, including seven of their past eight. The Mets are throwing Jacob deGrom, who leads the majors with a 1.68 ERA. deGrom has allowed just one run in his last two starts spanning 16 innings. He has a 1.53 career ERA against the Padres in five starts. deGrom hasn't surrendered more than three earned runs during his last 16 starts. San Diego ranks among the bottom four in many of the major offensive categories, including runs, batting average and homers.
|07-22-18||Dodgers -124 v. Brewers||Top||11-2||Win||100||6 h 45 m||Show|
There are reasons why the Dodgers are road chalk against the Brewers. The two primary ones are they could turn into a superpower with the recent acquistion of Manny Machado and they have the superior starting pitcher going in a matchup of Alex Wood versus Brent Sutter. As an added plus, the Dodgers expect to have Justin Turner back in their lineup today after he had missed five games with a hip injury and have a rested Kenley Jansen. The Dodgers usually respond well to a loss having gone 15-3 the past 18 times following a defeat. They also are 13-3 the past 16 times when playing an above .500 team on the road. Sutter is a No. 5 type starter. He entered the All-Star break with a 5.62 ERA in his last three starts. He holds a 4.87 home ERA and has surrendered a home run in each of his last four starts. The Dodgers lead the NL in homers and now they have Machado, who is tied for ninth in homers in the majors with 24. Sutter last pitched on July 14. Milwaukee is 1-4 the past five times Sutter has pitched with seven or more days rest.
|07-20-18||Astros -113 v. Angels||Top||3-1||Win||100||23 h 13 m||Show|
The American League is governed by super powers these days. The defending world champion Astros certainly are one of those super powers. They lead the majors with a plus 188 run differential. So anytime I can get a low enough price on the Astros, I'm interested. That's the case here. Southpaw Tyler Skaggs is having an excellent season for the Angels. This is far more of a play on the Astros than a fade on Skaggs. However, Skaggs is trumped by lefty Dallas Keuchel. Not only is Keuchel in excellent form with a 1.35 ERA in three July starts, but the Angels are 9-18 versus lefty starters this season, including losing 16 of their last 21 to them. Keuchel is 10-2 lifetime versus the Angels. The Astros have won in each of Keuchel's last seven overall starts. Houston is proven on the road, too, winning 28 of its last 38 away games.
|07-19-18||Cardinals +143 v. Cubs||Top||6-9||Loss||-100||19 h 50 m||Show|
The talent is there for the Cardinals. They just need to wake up. Maybe they have after Mike Matheny was fired this past Saturday. Matheny's relationship with a number of Cardinals had soured. That was a big factor why he was let go. The atmosphere should be better under interim manager Mike Shildt. The Cardinals are 1-0 under Shidt and begin a crucial five-game series with the Cubs today being 7 1/2 games behind the Cubs. The pitching matchup is Carlos Martinez versus Kyle Hendricks. I'm surprised the Cubs opened this high of a favorite. Chicago was hot winning 12 of 15 games leading up to the break. But that could make the Cubs a bit fat and happy since they have now opened a 2 1/2-game lead on the Brewers in the NL Central Division. There's a certain randomness factor involved because each team has been idle for three days. Randomness is a plus when taking a price like this. Martinez pitched extremely well in April, but then he got hurt in May. He wasn't sharp when he returned in June, but lately he has gotten back into an excellent groove surrendering seven earned runs during his last four starts spanning 24 innings. Hendricks is solid, but he's not having a banner year with a 3.92 ERA. He's also not going deep into games having reached the sixth inning only twice in his last nine starts. St. Louis has played better on the road this season than at home going 24-22 in its away games.
|07-15-18||Yankees v. Indians -127||Top||2-5||Win||100||10 h 11 m||Show|
The early action has been on the Indians and I can see why. Cleveland is 30-19 at home and has Trevor Bauer pitching against Masahiro Tanaka.
Bauer finally is getting the due he deserves being named to the All-Star team while Tanaka remains overrated.
I rank Bauer as among the six best pitchers in the American League. Tanaka is nowhere near that level.
Bauer is in tremendous form with a 1.84 ERA in his last 11 starts. He has an amazing 111-to-20 strikeouts-to-walks ratio during this span of 78 1/3 innings. Bauer isn't cripple-shooting either. Cleveland is 8-3 the past 11 times Bauer has gone against foes with a winning record.
Tanaka made his first start this past Tuesday since June 8 having been on the DL with a hamstring injury. He gave up three runs in 4 1/3 innings during a 5-4 loss to the Orioles, who have the worst record in the majors.
Tanaka's 7-2 record is deceiving. He's unbeaten in five decisions on the road, but his away ERA is 4.91. Tanaka has surrendered 12 homers on the road in 47 2/3 innings. The Indians rank No. 3 in the majors in runs scored and homers. They are an outstanding home team and hold a starting pitch edge justifying this lay price.
|07-14-18||Rangers +100 v. Orioles||Top||0-1||Loss||-100||11 h 9 m||Show|
Injuries, lack of talent and constant trade rumors about Manny Machado have taken a huge toll on the Orioles. Baltimore has a mind-boggling 26-69 record. The Orioles may already be looking ahead to All-Star break as they have lost 17 of their last 20 games. They have dropped 33 of their first 47 home games and are 1-16 versus AL West opponents. So, yeah, at this price I'll back the Rangers. Texas isn't a good team either, but the Rangers still are 15 games better than the Orioles. The Rangers have the superior bullpen, average a run more per game than the Orioles and have a veteran edge in the starting pitching matchup with Martin Perez going against rookie Yefry Ramirez. Perez has been sidelined since Aparil 29 because of an elbow injury. He was sharp, though, in rehab going 2-0 with a 0.52 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings. Texas has won 11 of his last 16 starts. Ramirez has made three big league starts. They have not gone well. He's 0-3 with a 3.93 ERA. The Orioles' bullpen is hurting minus injuired setup relievers, Darren O'Day and Richard Bleier. Led by closer Keone Kela, the Rangers' bullpen is having a strong month. Kela is 23-for-23 in save opportunities this season.
|07-13-18||Phillies v. Marlins +135||Top||2-0||Loss||-100||19 h 48 m||Show|
There is far more than meets the eye in this matchup making the Marlins a highly attractive home underdog.The Phillies are feeling fat and happy being the surprise leaders of the NL East and coming off a 5-4 road win against the Orioles on Thursday. The Phillies had to play the Mets in New York on Wednesday. So this marks their third different road venue in three days. Miami was idle on Thursday. The rested Marlins are proving they aren't the bottom feeder many envisioned going into the season. Miami is a respectable 34-40 in its last 74 games. The Marlins are 6-1 the past seven times they've faced a righty starter at home. They draw righthanded Jake Arrieta here. Arrieta isn't close to being the elite pitcher he was during his Cy Young Award-winning 2015 season. He's given up three or more earned runs in five of his last seven starts. He's 3-4 on the road with a 4.64 ERA. Philadelphia is 2-5 during Arrieta's past seven away starts. Arrieta has struggled during his two starts against the Marlins this season with a 9.39 ERA in 7 2/3 innings. The Marlins get back their best player, catcher J.T. Realmuto. He had missed the past three games because of paternity leave. While Arrieta has struggled on the road, Miami pitcher southpaw Wei-Yin Chen has thrived at home with a 1.89 ERA in six starts at Marlins Park. The Marlins have won 12 of Chen's last 16 home starts. Chen is the first lefty starter the Phillies have faced since July 1, a span of 10 games. They have seen only two southpaw starters since June 15. The Phillies are 1-5 the last six times they've gone against a lefty starter.
|07-11-18||Mariners +106 v. Angels||Top||3-0||Win||106||14 h 45 m||Show|
The price is right to get involved with the Mariners. Seattle is 10 games better than the Angels in the standings and own both a starting pitcher and bullpen edge on Los Angeles. Marco Gonzalez was touted before the season as a sleeper breakout candidate and he's come through going 9-5 with a 3.64 ERA. The southpaw is back in good form giving up two earned runs in his last two starts spanning 14 innings with a 14-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio during this span. The Angels really struggle versus lefties losing 16 of 23 times this season when facing a southpaw starter. Jaime Barria goes for the Angels. He's given up 11 earned runs in his last four starts spanning 19 2/3 innings. He's allowed 10 walks and four homers during this time frame. The Angels are 0-5 in his last five starts.
|07-08-18||Dodgers -122 v. Angels||Top||3-4||Loss||-122||17 h 41 m||Show|
The Dodgers have won 13 of their last 17 away games. They are the superior team here and have a pitching matchup edge plus I prefer their bullpen especially with closer Kenley Jansen. Southpaw Alex Wood began the year slow, but has come on for the Dodgers. He's going for his fifth straight winning start. He hasn't given up more than two earned runs during his last five outings. The Angels have yet to ever face him. Along with their current strong road mark, the Dodgers also have won 19 of their past 26 interleague games. The Dodgers are 18-12 against lefty starters this year. They draw lefty Andrew Heaney, who is up-and-down and frequently injuured. Heaney is healthy now, but not in good form. He's allowed nine earned runs in his last two starts spanning 10 1/3 innings. During this time frame, he's surrendered 13 hits, five walks and three homers.
|07-07-18||Cardinals -110 v. Giants||Top||3-2||Win||100||8 h 3 m||Show|
If there is a buy sign on Jeff Samardzija I'm certainly missing it. Samardzija was terrible before going on the DL - a 6.56 ERA and 1.68 WHIP - due to pectoral and shoulder injuries and he was bad while recovering in the minors with a 5.29 ERA. This is his first big league start since May 29. San Francisco is 0-5 in his last five starts. The Giants' bullpen is down closer Hunter Strickland and could get extensive work here. Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez was rusty and shaky when he first returned from the DL. But Martinez is a near-elite pitcher and has looked good in his last two starts holding the Indians and Diamondbacks to a combined four runs in 12 innings. Martinez is pitching on his normal four days rest. St. Louis is 9-2 the past 11 times that has happened. The Cardinals' lineup is bolstered by the return of power-hitting middle infielder Paul DeJong and closer Bud Norris, who was cleared to pitch today after being out the past two days with a finger injury.
|07-05-18||Angels v. Mariners -124||Top||1-4||Win||100||11 h 54 m||Show|
The Angels ended the Mariners' eight-game win streak with a 7-4 win on Wednesday. I don't see the Angels beating Seattle a second straight day in a pitching matchup of rookie Jaime Barria versus lefty Marco Gonzales. Barria started fast, but the league has caught up to him. The Angels, though, have too many pitching injuries to take Barria out of the starting rotation. Barria is pitching today in place of Tyler Skaggs, who went on the DL Wednesday with a right adductor strain. Barria has a 5.65 ERA in his last three starts. The Angels are 0-4 during his past four starts. The Mariners just saw Barria on June 12 scoring three runs on eight hits in five innings against him. The Mariners have won 21 of their last 27 home games. Gonzales has been a solid middle-to-bottom-of-the-rotation starter. He's given up two runs or fewer in six of his last nine starts. At 26 he is in his prime and is further along in his pitching career than the 21-year-old Barria. Seattle has a far better bullpen than the Angels, too. The Angels are 6-15 on the season versus lefties. They have lost 10 of the past 11 times on the road when going against a southpaw starter.
|07-02-18||Rays v. Marlins +119||Top||2-3||Win||119||20 h 53 m||Show|
There are several things to keep in mind about this matchup that go beyond the surface. The first is Tampa Bay being 8-1 in its last nine games. Impressive yes since the Rays compiled this current streak against the Yankees, Nationals and Astros. However, those games all were in Tampa. Now the Rays take to the road where they have lost 11 of the past 13 times. It's a bad spot for the Rays off a 3-2 Sunday win against the Astros and likely to take the lowly Marlins lightly. Miami, though, has a winning record in its last 11 home games. The pitching matchup is Nathan Eovaldi versus Wei-Yin Chen. Eovaldi is coming off a 1-0 victory against the Nationals this past Tuesday in which he allowed just one hit in six innings. Prior to that outing, Eovaldi had given up 16 runs in 23 1/3 innings spanning four starts. Eovaldi is a tease. That's his big league pattern. One great game, three bad ones. The Marlins are familiar with him, too. Eovaldi pitched for Miami from 2012-14. Here is another statistic that is misleading in this instance. Chen has a 6,14 ERA. Yet Miami has won 11 of his last 15 home starts. That's because Chen pitches very well at Marlins Park where he has a 2.30 ERA this season. Сhen is backed by perhaps the most underrated closer in baseball, Kyle Barraclough. He hasn't been scored on during his last 21 appearances spanning 20 2/3 innings. Tampa Bay has scored three runs or fewer in seven of its last 11 games.
|07-01-18||Indians -122 v. A's||Top||15-3||Win||100||6 h 5 m||Show|
I don't see the A's sweeping the Indians. Not with Frankie Montas. The league has figured him out and he has yet to adjust. Montas has a 7,.20 ERA in his last three starts giving up 12 earned runs and 24 hits in 15 innings during this brutal stretch. Cleveland ranks No. 3 in homers and sixth in runs. Mike Clevenger is one of the more underrated pitchers in the American League. He's given up two earned runs or fewer in five of his last six starts and has a 3.03 ERA on the season. The Indians are not a good road team. But they've had two days to get adjusted to the Oakland Coliseum and have a big starting pitching edge here.
|06-30-18||Red Sox -136 v. Yankees||Top||11-0||Win||100||18 h 49 m||Show|
The Yankees may win this series against the Red Sox, but they aren't beating Chris Sale today. Sale is the premier lefty in the American League. He's pitching at his highest level, which is saying a lot. Sale is 2-0 in his last three starts with a 1.35 ERA . He has 43 strikeouts in his last four starts spanning 28 innings with opponents batting .155 against him during this time frame. His fastball is being clocked at a season-best 97 mph this month. The Yankees usually fare well versus lefties. But they have difficulty against Sale, who owns a 1.73 career ERA mark in 16 appearances against the Yankees. Sale is at least two levels, if not three levels, above Sonny Gray, who hasn't been good in three years. Gray is having a below average season this year with a 4.93 ERA. He gave up four runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings during his last start this past Saturday on the road against the Rays in a 4-0 loss. Tampa Bay is 26th in homers and 25th in runs. Boston is first in runs and batting average and second in homers. The Red Sox are 43-18 versus righthanded starters. Gary is 0-3 with a 7.20 ERA versus the Red Sox since joining the Yankees. He faced the Red Sox back on April 12 and was blasted for six runs on seven hits while working a season-low three innings.