July 6- Reds at Cubs and Tigers at Indians

Wednesday has a slate of day games that maybe beginning before you take your lunch break. We’ve been on a pretty good run lately and there are two early games where I believe the underdogs are worth the risk to pick up some extra units.

Remember, when betting on underdogs going only 50% can turn a huge profit. For example if you bet on a +115 underdog you will profit if you can pick at a 47% success rate. When betting on a +160 underdog you only need to hit 39% of the time.

Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians (12:10 pm est)

Tigers (Fulmer 8-2, 2.17) Indians (Tomlin 9-1, 3.21)

 

The Indians dominance of the Tigers this season has been astonishing. The Tigers are still four games over .500 despite being 0-11 against Cleveland. Josh Tomlin will be making his fourth start of the season against Detroit, so far he is 3-0 with a 2.61 earned run average against the Tigers. Tomlin is also 3-0 with a 3.24 ERA in day games and Cleveland is 13-2 overall when he has started this season.

The Tigers will counter with rookie Michael Fulmer who is one of the biggest snubs off of the American League all-star team. The Tigers are 10-2 when Fulmer starts this season with one of those loses coming to Cleveland on May 5 in his second career start. Fullmer has allowed a total of three earned runs over his last eight starts, good for a 0.53 ERA over that span. For all you sabermetrics guys out their, Fullmer is also ranked third among all American League pitchers this season with 3.16 wins above replacement.

I came across an interesting stat that was quoted by ESPN’s David Schoenfield. Schoenfield stated, “ If we hypothesize that these teams are otherwise equal (Detroit’s winning percentage when not playing the Indians is over .600), the odds of one team winning 11 in a row over the other would be .00049 percent.”

I’m taking a chance here and going with the underdog Detroit Tigers +115 to finally break their losing streak to Cleveland.

The Indians have not allowed more than four runs as a team in Tomlin’s last six starts. The Tigers have allowed more than two runs as a team only once in Fulmer’s last seven starts. Even though both of these teams games go over more than 54% of the time, I am also leaning towards under 8.5 runs due to the pitching match-ups, although the bullpens could put this at risk late.

Cincinnati Reds at Chicago Cubs (2:20 pm est)

Reds (DeSclafani 2-0, 1.78) Cubs (Warren 3-1, 4.56)

The Cubs are 10-2 against the Reds and not one game has yet gone under; the overs are 10-0-2. The Reds snapped a five game losing streak to the Cubs yesterday with a 9-5 win as a +260 underdog. The Reds are never going to be favored over the Cubs, but I think today is a great time to take a chance on Cincinnati +160.

The Cubs are sending Adam Warren to the mound who despite his 3-1 record will be making his first career big league start. He did post a 4.15 ERA in two Triple-A starts this season over 8.2 innings.

Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his five starts this season.
Betting on the Reds is always a risk, but at +160, I feel that this is a risk worth taking.

Good luck today. I know that both the Tigers and Reds have struggled against their opponent this season, but I like both of their chances to break the trend today.

 

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Miami Marlins at Atlanta Braves- July 1 Prediction

Marlins (Nicolino 2-4, 5.17 ERA) Braves (Teheran 3-7, 2.46 ERA)

Julio Teheran has had tough luck at home this season. The 25 year old right hander is winless in nine starts at Turner Field his season where he is an 0-4 record despite a 2.80 earned run average. Teheran will come in carrying a 23 consecutive scoreless inning streak. Teheran has 1.72 earned run average in his last 13 starts.

Marlins starter Justin Nicolino had a 6.89 ERA in three June starts, but he has had past success against the Braves. Nicotine is 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA all time against the Braves.

Obviously the Braves offense has been a huge problem this year, which is why Teheran has a 3-7 record. The Braves production against left handed pitching this season also is a cause for doubt. However, I like the value here and I’m taking Atlanta -113. I think Teheran will be lights out once again and the Braves will provide enough run support to pull this one out.

 

My other free play for tonight: Detroit Tigers Money line -115 over Tampa Bay

Pick Cleveland +112 as the “Dog of the Day”

Indians (Tomlin 9-1, 3.32) Blue Jays (Stroman 6-4, 5.33)

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins
Apr 27, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Josh Tomlin (43) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Indians are the hottest team in baseball and hotter than they have ever been since 1951. That is the last time the Tribe had a 13 game winning streak. The last seven Cleveland wins all came on the road. Of course no team can win everyday in baseball, so odds markers may think this is the perfect time for the Tribe to stumble.

Value is very important in baseball betting when you can find it. Think about a stud pitcher like Clayton Kershaw who is usually favored -250 to -325 everytime he pitches. If you ride Kershaw each start it only takes one loss to wipe out your profits from two and maybe even three of his previous wins.

 

Currently the Cleveland Indians are +112 underdogs to Toronto. How often do you get to take a team on a 13 game winning streak as an underdog? With those odds you would expect a decisive advantage for Toronto on the mound, but this is not the case.

Marcus Stroman has allowed four earned runs or more in five of his last six starts, his overall earned run average during this span is 8.44. Stroman has a 5.90 earned run average in eight home starts this season and a 5.27 earned run average in the nine day games he has started. As a team Toronto has dropped seven of their past 11 games.

Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin is 5-0 with a 2.76 earned run average on the road this season. Current Blue Jays have a career .214 batting average against Tomlin.

Cleveland is 9-6 against the American League East on the season. Toronto is 5-9 against the American League Central.

Maybe Friday will be the afternoon that the Indians amazing streak finally comes to an end. But as hot as the Indians are right now, I don’t see taking the Blue Jays as favorites as the right play.

Here is a chance to pick an underdog that is on fire who is also coming in with the starting pitching advantage. Take Cleveland as the money line +112 underdog here.

 

 

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Tuesday June 28 MLB Preview

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.

Better values:

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

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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.

 

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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.

 

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