Another full slate of Major League Baseball games tonight, and from first glance several match-ups look like obvious choices. But before you put your entire bankroll on some of the heavy favorites, remember there is no such thing as a sure thing. Let’s take a look at a few of the games that may seem like obvious choices tonight, along with two of my favorite plays for value.
Twins: Gibson (0-5, 6.05) at White Sox: Quintana (5-7, 3.04)
The Chicago White Sox have gone 6-0 against the Twins this season and even as a -165 favorite may look like a steal tonight. Twins starter Kyle Gibson will only be making his third road start on the season, he’s 0-2 with a 12.38 ERA on the road so far. Overall the Twins are 2-5 when Gibson starts. The Twins are also only 9-26 on the road this season, so you may think that the obviously play here is Chicago of course. Well, there are a few positive signs for a Twins upset here that are worth considering.
Current White Sox hitters are only hitting .176 against Kyle Gibson all time over 125 career at bats. In seven career starts against the White Sox, Gibson is 4-1 with a 2.06 ERA. He is also a perfect 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA on the road at U.S. Cellular Field. There is no other team that Gibson has had more success against than the White Sox.
After getting off to a 5-1 start, Jose Quintana he is 0-6 with a 4.50 ERA in his past eight starts, however all six losses have come against teams with winning record.
I honestly cannot feel confident in telling anyone to put their money on the Twins here, despite Gibson’s past success against the White Sox he is still winless this season. However after Tyler Duffey’s two hit performance in a 7-1 Twins win against the Yankees on Sunday, I am respecting what Gibson and the Twins maybe able to do and staying away from the White Sox as well.
Indians: Kluber (7-7, 3.59) at Braves: Wisler (3-7, 4.22)
The Indians are the hottest team in baseball right now. Corey Kluber is 10-2 with a 2.30 ERA in inter-league play. Braves pitcher and Ohio native Matt Wisler has pitched much better than his 3-7 record indicates, but the pitching match-up still definitely goes to the Indians and Kluber. Even at -177, I like the Tribe to win here. They are playing so well right now.
Cubs: Lester (9-3, 2.10) at Reds: Lamb (1-4, 4.78)
The Cubs are 7-1 against the Reds this season and the Over is 7-0-1 in those games. Lester has only allowed more than three earned runs in one start this season. John Lamb is 1-1 with a 3.10 ERA in the month of June, which includes a very strong start on June 1 at Colorado. Despite the chances of a pitchers duel on paper, the Reds bullpen is not very good and these teams have not played a single game that has gone under yet. My play here is Chicago to win but -235 is a lot of juice to lay down.
Pirates: Niese (6-5, 4.93) at Mariners: Iwakuma (6-6, 4.45) over 8 runs (-115)
Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma has a 5.37 ERA in six home starts this season. Opponets are also hitting .297 off on him at home.
Pirates starter, Jonathon Niese has posted a 1-3 record and 5.97 ERA over five June starts. Current Mariners have a lifetime batting average of .311 against Niese.
The Pirates games have gone over the second highest percentage of times than any other team in baseball this seasoon. Only the Minnesota Twins have had more games go over.
Orioles: Jimenez (4-7, 6.97) at Padres: Johnson (0-5, 8.54) over 8.5 runs (-122)
This is a pitching rematch from June 22, when Ubaldo Jimenez only allowed two earned runs over six innings, resulting in a 7-2 Orioles win against the Padres and Erik Johnson.
In five starts this season Erik Johnson has never allowed less than four earned runs. In four of those starts he has allowed five runs or more. The Orioles have scored at least five runs in six straight games. I would be surprised if the Orioles do not score often here.
Ubaldo Jimenez is 0-5 with a 10.13 ERA on the road this season. I highly recommend betting over 8.5 runs here.
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Tuesday June 14 MLB
14 games tonight, most with competitively balanced odds. Here is a preview of some of the match-ups and four free picks.
Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals
Cubs (Lackey 7-2, 2.63) Nationals (Gonzalez 3-5, 3.93)
After getting off to a great start this season, Gio Gonzalez ran into some struggles. Gonzalez was solid in his last start against the White Sox, however he allowed five runs or more in his three starts prior. Gonzalez has also last his last four decisions overall.
John Lackey has allowed three earned runs or less in eight consecutive starts. In seven of those starts he allowed two runs or less. The Nationals have won four games in a row, but I have more faith in Lackey then I do Gonzalez. I am betting that the Washington winning streak ends tonight.
My Pick: Money line Cubs -116
Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox
Tigers (Zimmermann 8-3, 3.30) White Sox (Gonzalez 1-1, 3.57)
Several key Tiger hitters have enjoyed good success against Miguel Gonzalez in past match-ups. Miguel Cabrera, Nick Castellanos, Jose Iglesias, Ian Kinsler, James McCann and JD Martinez are a combined .392 in their careers against Gonzalez.
Expect Jordan Zimmerman to get back on track after a poor start in his last outing. Zimmerman should also pitch deeper into this game then Gonzalez. Both teams went deep into their bullpens in Monday night’s 12 inning White Sox win, and could use a quality start here.
My Pick: Money line Tigers -112
Cleveland Indians at Kansas City Royals
Indians (Tomlin 8-1, 3.48) Royals (Young 2-6, 6.37)
The Kansas City Royals and Chris Young are much better at home than on the road. Young is 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA at home over 19 2/3 innings at Kauffman Stadium, opposed to his 0-5 record and 9.70 ERA on the road. The Royals are 20-7 and have won seven straight games at home.
Indians pitcher Josh Tomlin is 4-0 with a 2.91 ERA and is 2-0 against the Royals this season, both wins however came in Cleveland.
My Pick: Under 8.5 runs -110
Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics
Rangers (Perez 5-4, 3.22) Athletics (Surkamp 0-3, 6.41)
Texas starter Martin Perez has won his last four starts but has not gone past six innings in any of them. He is 3-5 with a 5.81 ERA in his career against Oakland.
Oakland starter Eric Surkamp has only made it through five innings in one of his six starts.
Three of the four games between these teams this season have gone over.
My Pick: Over 8 runs -120
June 11-Betting on the “Mismatches? “ The Favorites I like vs. Fool’s Gold
Always remember that there is no such thing as a sure thing when betting on sports. Friday night was a very good night for those betting on big underdogs. The Atlanta Braves win paid out a very rewarding +180 to those who were brave enough to pick Atlanta over the Chicago Cubs.
The St. Louis Cardinals cashed in with a +150 win over Pittsburgh, the San
Diego Padres came through with four runs in the top of the 9th inning for a +190 win at Colorado and the Miami Marlins pulled out a +140 win at Arizona.
Overall the teams that were underdogs by at least a +140 margin were 4-4. This means that $100 a game player could have won $260 if they bet all of those underdogs despite going only .500. Obviously big underdogs are underdogs for a reason, but by picking the right ones, you can turn a nice profit long term even without a winning record. If you chase the wrong favorites and only play favorites, you will probably see a dip in your bankroll long term
On Saturday the two biggest underdogs are San Diego +200, Atlanta +255 and Arizona +165.
Favorite I love most: “Boston Red Sox- 137 over Minnesota Twins”
Before thinking too much, let us first remember the Red Sox are a much better team than the Twins. The Red Sox have a winning record on the road (16-13) and the Twins have a losing record (11-20) at home. Both teams are also sending young pitchers to the mound. The Twins are hitting .236 with a .704 OPS against left-handed pitchers this season, while the Red Sox are hitting .291 with a .837 OPS against right-handed pitching. Since the Red Sox are sending Eduardo Rodriguez to the mound the juice is not over whelming which is why against Kyle Gibson I like the Red Sox here.
Favorite I like the least: “Colorado Rockies”
The Rockies are -205 money line favorite, but the odds are significantly better if you pick the Rockies to win by more than one run (-115). The Rockies are only 4-8 in one run games this season, so you would think that if the Rockies win it will probably be by more than one run. Tyler Chatwood (7-4, 2.79 ERA) has been a different pitcher at home versus on the road. Chatwood who will be pitching at home is only 2-4 with a 5.30 ERA at Coors Field. The Rockies have only won one of Chatwood’s six home starts by more than a run this season. The Padres are sending Erik Johnson (0-2, 6.94 ERA) to the mound who has struggled in his first two starts at home. We would expect Coors Field could be a rude awakening for Johnson, but the run support could be there for him today. This could be a wild game at home and who knows what the Rockies bullpen may do tonight.
Favorite I like second “Miami Marlins -180 over Arizona Diamondbacks”
Jose Fernandez has pitched 41 innings over his last six starts and only allowed only three earned runs over that span. Even on the road this season Fernandez is a very impressive 3-1 with a 2.61 ERA.
Zack Godley will be making his first start for the Diamondbacks this season, he was 4-5 with a 3.61 and 1.31 WHIP in the minors this season which are his totals between going 2-0 in AAA Reno and 2-3 at AA Mobile. I understand Goldley was 5-1 with a 3.19 ERA last season for the Diamondbacks; however he has never gone past six innings in a MLB game. I will take my chances with Miami and Jose Fernandez here against Goldley in his 2016 big league debut.
As for those “Chicago Cubs”
Atlanta sends Matt Wisler (2-6, 3.98 ERA) to the mound and the Braves have lost nine of his 11 starts this season with seven of those loses being by
two runs or more. As bad as these numbers sound, Wisler has actually
been solid most of the season but the run support has not been there. Wisler is coming off of his worst start of the season where he allowed eight earned runs in four innings against the Dodgers. Current Cubs hitters are 6 for 15 with 3 homeruns against Wisler for this career.
The Cubs have now lost Jake Arrieta’s last two starts after winning in
his previous 23 starts. It sounds like the Cubs should get back on track behind Arrieta, but before you run out and bet on the Cubs money line (-281), keep in mind that a $100 bet will only win you $ 35, meaning that if you bet a game with these odds you will need to win about 75% of the time in order to profit long term, and the profit will not be huge. If you pick underdogs as big as the Braves (+255) are today, you will need to win only 29 % of the time to turn a profit.
If you bet the Cubs here, the play is for the Cubs to win by more than one run where you can get the odds to -153, which is not a bad bet. The other option is to be a take the risk and be brave enough to take Atlanta.
Previous trends show that the Cubs should win this game by more than a run. However Wisler is perfectly capable of keeping this game low scoring and giving the Braves a chance. I have seen odds as high as Chicago +325. Matt Wisler is no scrub and even though Chicago should win, the value in the Cubs as a money line pick is simply not worth the risk, unless you use the Cubs as a part of a parlay.
Wednesday June 8 MLB Day Game Preview
Early weekday games can sneak up on you before you have time to truly evaluate your best options. There’s a full slate of baseball later tonight along with a huge NBA finals game. However there’s equal opportunity to improve your bank roll this afternoon. Here is a preview of today’s early games in Major League Baseball, and my thoughts if you want to get your bets in early.
Cubs at Phillies
The Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies will play in the rubber match of their series at 1:05 EST. The Cubs are favored as always, but at -180 money line odds. Phillies starter Vince Velasquez (5-2 , 3.67 ERA) has not pitched beyond five innings in his last four starts. This includes his May 29 start at Wrigley Field where he allowed nine hits and seven earned runs over 4 2/3 innings.
John Lackey (6-2 , 2.88 ERA) is 2-1 with a 4.55 ERA on the road this season due to two rough starts in April, but he is 3-0 with 1.57 ERA in day games this season.
If you decide to bet the Cubs you will have to lay down plenty of juice, but there are not enough reasons to confidently bet on the Phillies. My recommendation is to take Chicago.
Blue Jays at Tigers
The Detroit Tigers will look for their second consecutive series sweep when they host the Toronto Blue Jays. With Jordan Zimmerman on the mound, I like the Tigers chances.
Jordan Zimmerman has allowed more than three earned runs only once this season in 10 starts. The Tigers overall are playing their best baseball of the season and the offense will be a challenge for RA Dickey. Dickey is 4-1 against the Tigers since 2013 with a 4.15 ERA and Tigers hitter have a mixed history against him.
Right now the Tigers are finding ways to win and I like them as a -125 moneyline favorite.
Braves at Padres
I expect a good pitchers duel between two bad teams when the Atlanta Braves take on the San Diego Padres. The fact that Juilo Teheran is only 1-6 despite having a 2.92 ERA and 1.05 WHIP tells the story of how pathetic his run support has been this season. The Braves have managed to score more than three runs only once in the 12 starts made by Teheran this season.
With the Padres sending left handed pitcher Drew Pomeranz (5-5, 2.22 ERA) to the mound, don’t expect for Teheran’s run support to improve. Pomeranz has fallen on some hard luck as well, finding himself on the losing end of two 1-0 games this season, along with winning a 1-0 and 2-0 game. Pomeranz has a 3-1 and 0.73 ERA at home this season. At even money I would lean towards the Padres to win this game, but San Diego is a -150 favorite. So you have to ask if yourself if you really want to lay down -150 on the San Diego Padres against a pitcher as good as Teheran? Playing for under 7 runs is my recommendation here.
Rays at Diamondbacks
Overall this is a pretty even match-up on paper.
Jake Odorizzi (2-3, 3.33 ERA) has been pitching well for the Rays over his last four starts allowing no more than two runs in any of those starts. Archie Bradley (2-1, 4.94 ERA) is coming off of a very strong start against the Chicago Cubs where he only allowed one earned run over six innings with 10 strikeouts. The 8.5 over/under is also right where it should be. Nothing would surprise me in this game, and it is hard to trust the Diamondbacks at home where they are only 10-21 despite winning last night.
Personally among the four early games, this would be my least favorite to bet on.
Colorado Rockies at Los Angeles Dodgers Preview June 7
Colorado Rockies (Eddie Butler 2-3, 5.65) at Los Angeles Dodgers (Julio Urias 0-1, 9.39)
The Colorado Rockies continue their three game series Tuesday night as a +174 underdog against promising Dodgers rookie pitcher Juilo Urias. Although Urias seems to have a promising career ahead of him with electric stuff, he is still only 19 years old.
The Rockies can hit, even away from Coors Field. Colorado is third in the National League with 38 home runs on the road this season. They are also tied for second with 21 home runs against left handed pitchers.
Rockies starter, Eddie Butler is coming off of two poor starts against the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants. Overall he is 2-3 with a 5.65 ERA. He has not pitched more than six innings in any of his six starts this season.
Julio Urias is unlikely to pitch more than five innings tonight, which means that both bullpens could have a decisive role in this game. If the result is decided by the bullpens, there is a strong advantage for the Dodgers, which is why they deserve to be favorites.
The key for the Rockies will be to get to Urias early and get a lead for Butler. Eddie Butler will need to protect the lead and then hope that the Rockies bullpen can hold on.
The Los Angeles Dodgers need to provide Julio Urias with run support. If Urias can get strikeouts and provide the Dodgers with at least four solid innings with some offense behind him, the Dodgers have the advantage.
Overall, I love this game to go over eight runs and feel very confident in this play. I do not see both starting pitches and bullpens pitching great tonight, so it is hard for me to see either team scoring anything less than three runs.
I love the eight run over most, but I also really like the value in the Rockies as a +174 money line underdog. Even if the Rockies lose, if we get the over/under there is nothing lost. I would stay away from the Dodgers as a -168 favorite. The better value is with Colorado.
Red Hot AL Central Underdogs Look to Keep Momentum Going
Outside of the Chicago Cubs, two of the hottest teams under the radar are in the American League Central. There’s a lot of baseball left to play, but so far the Detroit Tigers and first place Cleveland Indians have shown why the AL Central maybe the most competitively balanced division in baseball.
Both teams gained a push in the standings due to sweeping their fellow division rivals last week. The Tigers swept the White Sox in a three game series and the Indians were very impressive in a four game sweep of the Kansas City Royals.
The Cleveland Indians have the longest current winning streak in baseball at six games, with all six winnings coming against opponents with a winning record. Tuesday’s match-up against the Mariners is hardly a battle of aces. Cleveland starter Cody Anderson is 1-3 with a 6.81 ERA but comes in off of his best start of the season. In his last start on May 23, Anderson held the White sox to one run over seven innings and struck out nine.
Seattle starter Wade Miley allowed nine runs in 4 2/3 inning against the Padres in his last start. There have been at least nine total runs scored in each of his last six starts.
Cleveland is 30-21-5 against the over this season and Seattle is 28-25-4 against the over. Although I am not confident that the Indians can push their current win streak to seven, the Indians have value as an underdog here. Overall, I love the chances of this game going “over eight runs.”
The Detroit Tigers have now won four games in a row with each win being by three runs or more. Detroit came into three of those games as the favorite. The Tigers are 35-19-3 towards the over this season, which is the best percentage of games going over among all teams in MLB.
The Tigers will look to keep their winning streak going when they host the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. The Blue Jays have currently have won nine of their past 12 games, despite losing to Detroit 11-0 on Monday night.
Blue Jays starter, Aaron Sanchez (5-1, 2.99) is 4-0 with a 2.38 ERA on the road this season and current Tigers batters are 2 for 13 against him all time.
The Tigers will send southpaw Andy Boyd to the mound against his former team. For their careers Blue Jays hitters are a combined 6 for 21 against him with 3 home runs. The Blue Jays are 21-35-3 towards the over this season which is more games going under than any other team.
With both teams coming in playing very well lately, I can see this game going either way. Keep an eye on my picks to see if I make an official wager on this game, at the moment I am leaning towards this game going “under nine runs.”
Even without the starting pitching advantage in tonight’s match-ups, bet against the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers at your own risk.
Monday June 6 MLB Picks
New York Mets at Pittsburgh Pirates (Under 8 runs -120)
Mets (Matz 7-1, 2.60) Pirates (Niese 5-2, 4.36)
Jonathan Niese will lead the Pittsburgh Pirates +104 against his former team for the first time. At home this season Niese has a 2-1 record and opponents have a .230 batting average against him. Five New York Met players have faced Niese in their careers. Asdrubal Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, James Loney, Rene Rivera and Neil Walker are a combined 6 for 35 with no home runs off of Niese all-time. As a team the Mets have a .237 batting average against southpaws this season.
Mets starter Steven Matz comes in with a 4-0 record and 1.32 ERA on the road this season. This will be the first time Matz has ever faced the Pirates. Pittsburgh is one of the better teams in MLB against left handed pitching. They are currently 5th in the league in OPS against left handers. I like this game to go under 8 runs.
Chicago Cubs at Philadelphia Phillies (Cubs -1.5 runs, -155)
Cubs (Lester 6-3, 2.29) Phililes (Morgan 1-4, 7.07)
The Philadelphia Phillies +220 are the biggest underdog of the day. The Phillies were swept by Chicago at Wrigley Field in the May 27-29 series, dropping every game by at least three runs. Phillies starter Adam Morgan has a 9.61 ERA in his last four starts.
Cubs starter Jon Lester picked up a win going 6 1/3 innings against Philadelphia on May 27. He has allowed one earned run or less in three out of his four road starts this season. The Phillies rank 28th in MLB with a .226 batting average and dead last this season in runs scored against left handed pitchers.
I like the Cubs to win by more than a run.