|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|09-18-23||Orioles v. Astros -147||Top||8-7||Loss||-147||22 h 12 m||Show|
I respect the heck out of the Orioles. But the timing and pitching matchup are heavily against them in this one.
Baltimore clinched its first playoff berth since 2016 on Sunday with a walk-off extra inning home win against division rival Tampa Bay. The Orioles did plenty of celebrating following their achievement.
I doubt the Orioles will be at peak efficiency when they go on the road for the first time in eight games. The Orioles are also missing a couple of key injured players: closer Felix Bautista and slugger Ryan Mountcastle, who is fourth on the team in homers with 18 and fifth in RBI's with 67.
Lefty John Means will be making just his second appearance for the Orioles starting this game. Means had been out the entire season up until this past Tuesday because of Tommy John elbow surgery. He made this first start six days ago against the Cardinals, giving up three earned runs, including two homers, in five innings in a 5-2 loss.
The Orioles are hoping Means has the rust off when the playoffs begin. So Means is likely to have a longer leash than normally expected for someone on the comeback trail. The Astros rank in the top-four in many offensive categories against southpaws, including batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and OPS.
The Astros are clinging to a 1 1/2-game lead in the AL West Division. They are expected to pitch future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander, who is 11-8 with a 3.39 ERA. Verlander's home ERA is 3.14.
|09-15-23||Phillies -137 v. Cardinals||Top||5-4||Win||100||9 h 19 m||Show|
Aaron Nola isn't having a good season by his lofty standards. But he dominates the Cardinals. That was on display on Aug. 27 when he threw seven shutout innings giving up only one hit with nine strikeouts and one walk.
Nola is 6-3 with a 2.41 ERA in 10 career starts versus St. Louis.
The Phillies are 14 games better than the underachieving Cardinals, who have been on the road for their last nine games. This is St. Louis' first home game since Sept. 3. So this isn't a good situational spot for the Cardinals.
Zach Thompson goes for St. Louis. He's 5-5 with a 4.06 ERA. The Cardinals' bullpen has the eighth-highest ERA in the majors.
The Cardinals have a couple of injuries, too. Nolan Gorman is out and Wilson Contreras is questionable. Gorman leads the Cardinals in homers, while Contreras is fourth on the Cardinals in homers and RBI's.
|09-06-23||Orioles -134 v. Angels||Top||10-3||Win||100||11 h 3 m||Show|
Maybe the Angels get Shohei Ohtani back in their lineup. Maybe. But even if Ohtani returns from oblique tightness, the Angels are a near auto-fade while the Orioles continue to be a play-on team. The lay price is low enough to back Baltimore.
The Orioles have the best road mark in the American League at 45-25. They are 32-16 against lefty starters and going against southpaw Patrick Sandoval.
Baltimore has won four in a row. The Angels have dropped five straight and eight of their last nine games. The Angels are 11 games below .500, their worst mark of the season.
Kyle Gibson goes for the Orioles. He's 13-8 with a 5.15 ERA. The Orioles get back their best relief pitcher, Yennier Cano, with closer Felix Bautista out for possibly the season. Cano didn't pitch last night because of previous high usage.
Sandoval is 7-11 with a 4.19 ERA. The Angels are 4-13 in his last 17 starts. Baltimore ranks in the top-10 versus lefties in batting average, slugging percentage and OPS.
|09-05-23||Red Sox v. Rays -152||Top||6-8||Win||100||19 h 10 m||Show|
Some teams just can't play at funky Tropicana Field. The Red Sox are one such team. Boston plays outdoors on grass at Fenway Park. The Rays' Tropicana Field is just the opposite - a dome stadium with artificial turf and the smallest seating capacity in the majors.
The Red Sox are 1-13 in their last 14 games at Tropicana Field.
Expect Boston to be 1-14 following Tuesday's game with a pitching matchup of Kutter Crawford versus Zach Eflin, who would become the AL's first 14-game winner with a victory.
Crawford, who has a losing record, already has thrown a career-high 103 innings. He could be hitting a wall with a 5.93 ERA in his last three starts. Crawford has a 5.29 night ERA.
The Rays have the top combination of speed and power in the American League. They rank in the top-four in runs, homers, OPS and steals.
Eflin has pitched his best at home where he's 10-4 with a 3.05 ERA. He's in excellent current form, unlike Crawford, with a 1.47 ERA in his last three starts.
The Red Sox could still be missing Alex Verdugo, one of their top-six hitters. He's been out since Sunday with a hamstring injury.
|09-01-23||Orioles -113 v. Diamondbacks||Top||2-4||Loss||-113||12 h 38 m||Show|
The Diamondbacks got a cold reality check. They just got swept on the road by the Dodgers losing all three games by a 23-5 margin.
Now the Diamondbacks return home to take on the Orioles, who have the same elite record as the Dodgers at 83-50.
The Orioles just finished 18-9 in August. They are 41-24 on the road. The price is short to lay with the superior team - Baltimore. Arizona is not nearly in this class.
The pitching matchup is Cole Irvin, 1-3, 4.78 ERA, versus Arizona's Zach Davies, 1-5 with a 6.93 ERA. I prefer the crafty lefty Irvin. The Diamondbacks rank in the bottom-10 in batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage against southpaws. Irvin has a 2.81 ERA in his last three starts.
Baltimore ranks seventh in runs. Davies is a fly-ball pitcher, who has surrendered 20 or more homers in five of the last eight years.
|08-30-23||Brewers -109 v. Cubs||Top||2-3||Loss||-109||12 h 50 m||Show|
The Cubs snapped the Brewers' season-high nine-game win streak, 1-0, last night. Justin Steele outdueled Corbin Burnes in a great pitching matchup. But the Brewers were victimized more than the Cubs by 20 mph winds blowing in.
This time there will be just a slight wind blowing out. So weather shouldn't play a part. Given a level playing condition, I like the Brewers to return to their winning ways in a matchup of righthanders Brandon Woodruff versus Kyle Hendricks.
Woodruff is 3-1 with a 2.65 ERA. Woodruff is a stud pitcher when healthy - and he's back healthy. He's allowed more than two earned runs only once in six starts. Woodruff struck out 11 Padres batters in his last start this past Friday, a 7-3 Milwaukee victory.
Backing up Woodruff is a rested Devin Williams, an elite closer.
Hendricks is an average starter, nothing special. He's pitched worse at home where he's 2-4 with a 4.84 ERA. The Brewers have done far better against righties than southpaws. Milwaukee is 57-37 versus righthanders this season.
|08-28-23||Astros +111 v. Red Sox||Top||13-5||Win||111||18 h 5 m||Show|
The Astros have scored 26 runs in their last two games. Those games were at pitcher-friendly Comerica Park. Now Houston gets to play at Fenway Park, one of the best hitter's parks, against a lefty starter. The Astros are 25-15 versus southpaws this season for 63 percent.
The pitching matchup is Christian Javier versus lefty Chris Sale.
Houston ranks second in slugging percentage and OPS against southpaw pitching. The Astros are fourth against lefties in batting average and OBP.
Sale has struggled since coming off the injured list. This will be his fourth start since then. He's 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA in this span. He's averaged fewer than five innings. The last time Sale went more than five innings was way back on May 20.
Boston's bullpen is below average ranking 18th in ERA.
Javier moved his record to 9-2 when he beat Boston, 9-4, as a minus $1.20 home favorite last Monday. Now the Astros are underdogs.
Doesn't make sense to me. Sale has yet to show he's regained any semblance of his one-time dominant pitching form. The Astros have the stronger bullpen and could catch the Red Sox minus their best power hitter, Rafael Devers. He leads Boston in homers and RBI's. Devers missed Sunday's loss to the Dodgers after getting hit in the wrist during Saturday's game.
|08-22-23||Reds +121 v. Angels||Top||4-3||Win||121||19 h 20 m||Show|
On paper, the Angels are justified being home favorites with a pitching matchup of Graham Ashcraft opposing Lucas Giolito.
Reality is different.
The Reds have the hotter pitcher going and are the more motivated team.
Cincinnati harbors postseason hope. They have a lot of exciting youth. The Angels have fallen out of realistic playoff contention having lost 13 of their last 18 games.
Ashcraft has a 4.89 ERA. However, he has pitched much better during the second half of the season. Ashcraft hasn't surrendered more than three earned runs during each of his past nine starts. His road and night splits are much better than his home and day time pitching numbers.
Ashcraft could catch the Angels' hitters rusty from not having played the last two days.
Giolito is having a second straight down season. He's been especially bad for the Angels since coming from the White Sox. Giolito has made four starts for the Angels and is 1-3 with an 8.14 ERA.
The Reds' 33-27 road mark is better than the Angels' home record.
|08-21-23||Giants v. Phillies -143||Top||4-10||Win||100||8 h 8 m||Show|
After a fun Sunday playing the Nationals in the MLB Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pa., the Phillies will be taking this game very seriously, especially after getting upset by Washington last night.
As well as they should.
The Phillies are just two games ahead of the Giants for a wild-card berth.
I like the Phillies' chances here. They've won eight of their past dozen home games and hold a huge pitching edge with Aaron Nola facing Scott Alexander in what shapes up as a bullpen game for the Giants.
Nola pitches better at home where his ERA is 3.59 compared to 5.26 on the road.
The Giants have lost 10 of their last 14 games. They just placed shortstop Brandon Crawford on the injured list leaving them with a huge gap at a key defensive position.
San Francisco's bullpen is stretched, too. Giants relievers had to pitch 7 1/3 innings to edge the Braves, 4-3, on Sunday after starter Jakob Junis pitched just 1 2/3 innings.
That was just the Giants' second away victory during their last 14 road games.
|08-17-23||Mets -115 v. Cardinals||Top||4-2||Win||100||19 h 35 m||Show|
Not only could the Cardinals be down four key starters here against the Mets, but they are pitching Adam Wainwright.
Wainwright has a shot at being a Hall of Famer, but he should have retired at the end of last season like his future Hall of Fame teammates Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina.
Instead Wainwright chose to return this year. He shouldn't have. It's been embarrassing. Wainwright has given up three or more runs in 14 of his 15 starts. He's 3-7 with an 8.78 ERA. St. Louis is 2-9 in his last 11 starts.
Not only is Wainwright an auto-fade now, but the Cardinals could be missing four important players facing veteran and former Cardinal Jose Quintana, who is in good form having allowed three or fewer runs in each of his last five starts. Quintana has a 3.03 ERA on the season.
Nolan Gorman has missed St. Louis' last three games with a lower back injury. Catcher Wilson Contreras has sat out the past two games due to a hip injury. Then on Wednesday, centerfielder Lars Nootbaar and shortstop Tommy Edman left with injuries. After Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, these could be the Cardinals' next four best players.
The Cardinals have underachieved all season, particularly at home where they are 27-34.
St. Louis management doesn't want to embarrass Wainwright. But no way should he still be in the rotation after surrendering eight runs on nine hits, including two homers, in just one inning against the Royals this past Friday. That's up there for the worst pitching performance of the season.
The Mets have been a major disappointment, too, but they are swinging hot bats averaging 6.5 runs in their last four games.
|08-11-23||Reds +100 v. Pirates||Top||9-2||Win||100||8 h 19 m||Show|
After playing 27 games in 28 days, the Reds received a much needed day off on Thursday. I see them coming up big against the Pirates today with good-looking rookie lefty Andrew Abbott and a finally fresh bullpen that has a lower ERA than Pittsburgh's bullpen.
The Pirates could be in a letdown mood after splitting four exciting games against the Braves at home.
Abbott is 6-3 with a 2.93 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. He has 74 strikeouts in 70 2/3 innings. The Pirates rank 27th in slugging percentage versus left-handed pitching.
Pittsburgh starter Johan Oviedo is 6-11 with a 4.18 ERA and 1.30 WHIP.
|08-09-23||Giants v. Angels -130||Top||1-4||Win||100||11 h 59 m||Show|
Shohei Ohtani is healthy enough to make this start. So the price is right to back the Angels and Ohtani.
Just two starts ago, Ohtani threw a complete game one-hit, shutout against the Tigers. Ohtani has a 2.97 home ERA. The Giants have a below offense and don't steal bases ranking second-to-last in the league.
San Francisco also leads the National League in errors and its bullpen carries a high fatigue rating. That matters because this shapes up as a bullpen game for the Giants.
Giants starter Ryan Walker hasn't pitched more than three innings in a game all season.
Mike Trout isn't back yet for the Angels, but underrated Brandon Drury just came off the injured list. He had three hits and scored three runs for the Angels last night.
|08-04-23||Diamondbacks +119 v. Twins||Top||2-3||Loss||-100||19 h 48 m||Show|
I see a wrong favorite here. The Diamondbacks have the better record, have the superior starting pitcher going and have a rested bullpen since they were idle on Thursday while the Twins weren't.
Merrill Kelly is 9-5 with a 3.23 ERA. He's been at his finest on the road and pitching at night. He's 6-1 with a 2.74 road ERA. His night ERA is 2.63.
The Twins are going with Bailey Ober, who is off his worst start of the season. He was hammered by the Royals this past Saturday giving up six earned runs on 11 hits, including two homers, in four innings. The Royals rank second-to-last in the majors in runs.
Ober may be hitting a wall as he's already thrown a career-high 98 innings. He pitched 56 innings last season.
The Twins could be without their home run leader as Byron Buxton has missed the last two games due to a hamstring injury.
|08-02-23||Tigers -118 v. Pirates||Top||6-3||Win||100||14 h 47 m||Show|
Not many pitchers would turn down a chance to go from the Tigers to the Dodgers.
But Eduardo Rodriguez did. He used a no-trade clause in his contract to void a deal that would have sent him to the NL-West leading Dodgers. His Detroit teammates have to respect the heck out of him for doing that.
I see the Tigers playing exceptionally hard here to support Rodriguez, who is a much better pitcher than Pittsburgh starter Osvaldo Bido.
Rodriguez is 6-5 with a 2.95 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. The lefty has a 2.68 road ERA. The Pirates rank in the bottom-seven versus lefties in key batting categories, including batting average, slugging percentage and OPS.
Bido has a 4.50 ERA and 1.53 WHIP.
The Tigers were held to one run on Tuesday. But in their previous four games, they averaged five runs per game.
|07-26-23||Orioles +101 v. Phillies||Top||4-6||Loss||-100||9 h 45 m||Show|
The Orioles have the second-best record in baseball with a .614 winning percentage. Maybe the oddsmaker forgot about that. Because Baltimore opened an underdog to the Phillies in a pitching matchup of Kyle Bradish versus lefty Ranger Suarez.
I'm not going to turn down the Orioles. They have the most road victories in baseball and also the best record in the league against southpaws. Bradish also is a better pitcher than Suarez and Baltimore owns the superior bullpen.
The Orioles are 32-19 away from home. They are 23-10 against left-handed starters.
Bradish remains below-the-radar. He's allowed two earned runs or fewer in his last seven starts. He has a 0.93 ERA in his last three starts. Baltimore's bullpen has the fifth-lowest ERA in the majors.
Suarez is in terrible form giving up 15 earned in his last four starts spanning 22 innings. He's permitted 33 hits and 13 walks during this time frame.
Wrong team favored.
|07-25-23||Mets -116 v. Yankees||Top||9-3||Win||100||17 h 17 m||Show|
I could understand Justin Verlander being priced this low if the Yankees were any good. But they are not. The Yankees are just 14-17 in their last 31 games and their record would be even worse if they didn't just sweep the pathetic Royals three games at home. During their past 31 games, the Yankees have played 39 percent of their games against the Royals, Rockies, Cardinals and A's. Those four teams have a combined mark of 141-263.
It's obvious the Yankees are much worse without Aaron Judge.
The Mets also are just 14-17 in their last 31 games. But they are 3-1 in Verlander's last four starts. They also beat the Yankees when future Hall-of-Famer Verlander last pitched against them on June 14. Verlander gave up one run to the Yankees on three hits in six innings in that game.
Verlander has surrendered three runs or fewer in six of his past seven starts. He held the White Sox to one run on three hits in eight innings during his last start this past Wednesday. He is 9-7 with a 3.37 ERA in 24 career starts against the Yankees.
Domingo German goes for the Yankees. He pitched a perfect game against the A's in Oakland on June 28. But he's a mediocre pitcher. Since then, he's 0-1 with a 4.41 ERA in three starts. On the season, German is 5-6 with a 4.52 ERA.
|07-24-23||Cardinals v. Diamondbacks -141||Top||10-6||Loss||-141||3 h 38 m||Show|
The Diamondbacks are a good team, but in circle-the-wagons mode after concluding a 2-7 road trip with a loss on Sunday to the Reds. I expect the Diamondbacks to get back to their winning ways as they draw the Cardinals, one of baseball's biggest underachievers this season, at home. Arizona is 12 games above .500 with a winning home record. St. Louis is 12 games below .500 and has a 22-30 road mark. Morale can't be good for the Cardinals with the Aug. 1 trade deadline looming and rumors they'll be big sellers. The strongest part of this handicap, though, is Adam Wainwright coming off the injured list to get the start for St. Louis. Wainwright is 41. He needs to finally call it quits. Before he went on the DL he could have had the worst three-game starting sequence of any pitcher this year. During his last three starts - spanning just eight innings - Wainwright gave up 17 earned runs! That's a 19.12 ERA. He yielded 24 hits, six walks and four homers during this eight-inning stretch. Ryne Nelson is expected to start for Arizona. His numbers are 6-5 with a 4.82 ERA. Nelson, however, has pitched well in four of his last five starts giving up two earned runs or fewer. One bad outing against the Mets skewed his season numbers.
|07-19-23||Padres v. Blue Jays -113||Top||2-0||Loss||-113||17 h 43 m||Show|
The Blue Jays are 26-19 at home and have Jose Berrios starting for them. Berrios has been very good at home this season with a 2.83 ERA. Toronto is 8-2 in his last 10 overall starts. Berrios has given up only one run this month in 12 1/3 innings.
The Padres are 20-27 on the road and have Yu Darvish going for them. Darvish has been quite mediocre this season posting a 6-6 record with a 4.85 ERA. He's pitched worse on the road where his ERA is 5.52. Darvish has permitted 18 runs during his past 27 1/3 innings.
The price is right to back the Blue Jays at home here.
|07-14-23||Brewers -116 v. Reds||Top||1-0||Win||100||18 h 43 m||Show|
This series is a battle for first place in the NL Central. But it's hard to take the Reds fully seriously. The reason why? Graham Ashcraft.
Ashcraft gets the start here for Cincinnati and he's not very good. The Reds have trotted him out for 16 starts this season. Ashcraft's record is 4-6 with a 6.28 ERA. His ERA at home is 7.95. Ashcraft has made four career starts versus Milwaukee and is 0-3 with a 10.13 ERA. He last faced the Brewers on June 3 and was rocked for 10 earned runs on nine hits in four innings.
The Brewers are going with their ace, Corbin Burnes. He is 3-1 with a 2.80 ERA in 16 career appearances versus the Reds. Burnes isn't having a Cy Young Award-caliber season like before, but he's still a far, far better pitcher than Ashcraft.
So the short lay price on the Brewers makes them a worthy investment.
|07-09-23||Cardinals v. White Sox -119||Top||4-3||Loss||-119||15 h 25 m||Show|
There's a huge pitching mismatch here not reflected in the line where White Sox righty Lucas Giolito is only a slight home favorite against Cardinals lefty Steven Matz.
The White Sox play better at home and they hit better against lefties where they have above average statistics in batting average and slugging percentage versus southpaws.
Matz is 0-7 with a 5.02 ERA. He's pitched his way out of St. Louis' starting rotation. This is Matz's first start since May 24.
Matz has been at his worst on the road going 0-3 with a 7.14 ERA.
Giolito is 3-2 at home with a 2.43 ERA. He has a 23-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his last three starts spanning 19 innings.
|07-08-23||Mariners v. Astros -128||Top||2-3||Win||100||10 h 35 m||Show|
The Mariners have surprised the Astros in Houston winning the first two games of this series by the lopsided margin of 15-2.
Look for that nonsense to end today. Houston is 12-2 the past 14 times after dropping the first two games of a series. The Astros also are 10-1 following a home loss.
The Astros have the stronger offense and better bullpen. They also hold a big starting pitching edge. Seattle is going with rookie Bryan Woo against Framber Valdez, who has a 2.49 ERA and has dominated the Mariners during his career. Valdez is 5-0 versus Seattle with a 1.94 ERA in nine career appearances.
|07-02-23||Yankees -110 v. Cardinals||Top||1-5||Loss||-110||12 h 25 m||Show|
The Yankees are nine games above .500. The Cardinals are 14 games below .500.
The Yankees have Gerrit Cole going against Jordan Montgomery.
The Yankees' bullpen has the lowest ERA in the majors by a considerable margin at 2.80. The Cardinals' bullpen ERA ranks in the bottom-10.
Yet this game is priced near the pick range. That's tremendous value on Cole and the Yankees.
Cole is 8-1 with a 2.78 ERA. He's amazingly solid with a 2.50 ERA in his last three starts, a 2.70 road ERA and a 2.77 day time ERA.
Montgomery, who pitched for the Yankees from 2017 to 2022, has a 4.14 home ERA. The Cardinals are 3-11 in his last 14 starts.
|06-30-23||Rays -132 v. Mariners||Top||15-4||Win||100||12 h 28 m||Show|
Shane McClanahan says he feels good and is ready to go. That's enough for me to back McClanahan and the Rays at a fair price against the Mariners.
Tampa Bay has the best record in baseball at 56-28 and McClanahan is the Rays' best pitcher if not the best pitcher in the league. He's held opponents to two or fewer earned runs in 14 of his 16 starts. McClanahan last pitched on June 22 against the Royals, but was pulled after 3 2/3 innings because of back tightness. He said he's fine now and eager to make this appearance. McClanahan is 11-1 with a 2.23 ERA and 1.12 WHIP.
Seattle has lost four of its last five games, dropping three games below .500. The Mariners are 7-21 the last 28 times they've faced a starter with a WHIP of less than 1.15.
The Mariners rank 27th in batting average and 24th in OPS. The Rays, on the other hand, have a lethal combination of power and speed. They rank No. 3 in homers and first in stolen bases. Tampa Bay also is second in runs and third in OPS.
The Rays are going to be a difficult challenge for rookie Bryce Miller, who has a 3.88 ERA and was shelled by the Yankees and Rangers during two of his last five starts.
|06-28-23||Yankees v. A's +137||Top||11-0||Loss||-100||19 h 35 m||Show|
The Yankees won't mind seeing the A's move to Las Vegas. The Yankees fare horribly in Oakland. They are 5-14 in their last 19 games at Oakland's Alameda County Coliseum after losing there on Tuesday.
The Yankees are a power team. However, Oakland is a huge pitcher's park. The Yankees rely on Aaron Judge, but he's out. The Yankees haven't been good against lefty starters particularly on the road. They face southpaw J.P. Sears and he's been highly effective during seven of his last eight starts.
New York is pitching Domingo German. He's been terrible during his past two starts.
So I don't mind holding my nose and backing the home underdog A's here.
Let's get into specifics starting with Sears. He's hiding below-the-radar having given up two earned runs or fewer in all but one of his last eight starts. Opponents are batting just .199 against him during this span.
The Yankees are 4-9 in their last 13 road games versus a lefty starter. They are hitting only .221 against southpaws, which ranks 28th.
New York doesn't command the same respect minus Judge. The Yankees are 7-11 since losing Judge to a toe injury. The Yankees are averaging a mere 2.3 runs in their last nine games.
German is going through a brutal two-game stretch having surrendered 15 earned runs in his last two outings spanning just 5 1/3 innings. He's allowed 15 hits, four walks and five homers in this time frame going against the Mariners and Red Sox. German has permitted at least one homer in each of his last five starts.
|06-27-23||Astros -110 v. Cardinals||Top||2-4||Loss||-110||18 h 15 m||Show|
Given their talent, the Cardinals could be baseball's biggest underachieving team at 32-45. Along with the Riddle of the Sphinx, Stonehenge and the Bermuda Triangle it is one of the great mysteries of the world why Oliver Marmol remains manager of the Cardinals.
I'm not going to look away from this gift horse. The Astros have Framber Valdez, perhaps the most underrated pitcher in the league, going against the Cardinals. Losers of six of their last seven home games, the Cardinals could be suffering from jet lag having just played the Cubs in London during the weekend.
Valdez has the second-lowest ERA in the majors behind only Shane McClanahan at 2.27. Valdez is in top form, too, with a 4-1 record and 1.50 ERA in his last six starts. Valdez has made 15 starts this season. He has surrendered two or fewer runs in 11 of those games. The Cardinals have never faced him.
Lefty Jordan Montgomery is in line to start for St. Louis. The Cardinals are 2-11 in his last 13 starts. He is 0-1 with a 4.38 ERA in five career starts versus Houston. The Astros are 12-8 versus southpaw starters.
This is an action play for me just in case Montgomery doesn't start.
|06-25-23||Brewers -107 v. Guardians||Top||5-4||Win||100||11 h 17 m||Show|
Cleveland should remember Corbin Burnes. The last time Burnes faced the Guardians in Cleveland he combined with Josh Hader to throw a no-hitter. That was two seasons ago.
Burnes faces the Guardians today and the price is right to back him. Burnes hasn't performed at his Cy Young Award level of the past couple of seasons. But he's still darn effective with four straight quality road starts and a 1.15 season WHIP.
The Guardians are last in homers, 27th in runs and have the lowest rate of hard-hit balls. Burnes is backed by elite closer Devin Williams, who is rested.
Cleveland starter Aaron Civale has a 2.67 ERA. However, that hides Civale's current form - which is not good. Civale has given up seven walks and three homers during his past two starts spanning 10 1/3 innings. This was against the A's and Padres. Oakland is last in runs, batting average and OPS. San Diego has a below average offense, too.
The Brewers had outscored the Guardians by 26 runs in winning four straight against them until losing, 4-2, on Saturday.
|06-21-23||Red Sox v. Twins -124||Top||4-5||Win||100||19 h 38 m||Show|
The Twins are reeling. Fortunately they have Sonny Gray on the mound.
Gray has a 1.96 ERA in eight home starts this season. He's surrendered just one home run in 76 innings.
Minnesota is the better defensive team and has a lower bullpen ERA than Boston.
Garrett Whitlock draws the start for Boston. He's been pitching better, but he's at his worst when pitching on the road at night. His away ERA is 5.31. His night ERA is 5.24.
So look for the Twins to find their way here thanks in large part to Gray.
|06-20-23||Mariners v. Yankees -115||Top||1-3||Win||100||9 h 42 m||Show|
George Kirby is a nice young pitcher for Seattle. But he's trumped by Gerrit Cole. The price is right to back Cole and the Yankees at home.
The price on the Yankees is so low because New York just got swept by the Red Sox in Boston. That was the Yankees' fourth straight loss.
But following yesterday's off-day, look for the Yankees to be up for this game with their ace, Cole, on the mound.
Cole has held foes to two runs or less in 12 of his 15 starts. He is 6-3 lifetime against Seattle with a 2.25 ERA in 11 career starts.
The Yankees' bullpen has the lowest ERA in the league at 2.96 and is rested.
The Mariners are playing their first road game in nine days. They have lost 10 of their past 13 away games. The Mariners also have a dismal history at Yankee Stadium losing in 12 of their last 16 games there.
|06-19-23||Blue Jays v. Marlins +139||Top||0-11||Win||139||18 h 1 m||Show|
The Marlins are playing well. They are 16-5 in their last 21 games. That's pushed them up to a season-best 10 games above .500.
Now the Marlins return to Miami where they have won 11 of the last 13 times. They draw the disappointing Blue Jays, who are 3-6 in their last nine games. Toronto is off a demoralizing Sunday loss to the Rangers in which they blew a six-run lead.
This will be Toronto's seventh straight road game. The Blue Jays will be starting righthander Jose Berrios, who is pitching much better lately. Berrios, however, has been more effective when pitching at home where his ERA is 2.37 compared to 3.79 on the road. The Blue Jays also are likely to be minus injured catcher Alejandro Kirk.
The Marlins are 14-3 (82 percent) during their last 17 interleague games when facing a righty starter.
Bryan Hoeing is set to make his third start of the year for Miami. He has a 1.54 home ERA. Hoeing will be backed by setup man Tanner Scott and closer A.J. Puk, both of whom were rested on Sunday.
|06-17-23||Guardians -110 v. Diamondbacks||Top||3-6||Loss||-110||12 h 8 m||Show|
Come on down because the price is right to back the Guardians and their ace pitcher, Shane Bieber.
Bieber is back to his elite ways, giving up only one run on eight hits during his last two starts spanning 12 2/3 innings. He shut out the Astros for seven innings during his last start this past Sunday in a 5-0 victory. The Diamondbacks are 0-4 the past four times they've faced a righty starter at home.
The Guardians get to face southpaw Tommy Henry, who has a 4.86 ERA. Unlike Bieber, Henry is not in good form. Henry has surrendered 10 earned runs on 14 hits and four walks during his last two starts spanning nine innings. The Guardians are 7-1 in their last eight games against a lefty starter.
Cleveland also carries a huge bullpen edge ranking No. 2 in relief pitching ERA at 3.04 compared to Arizona, which is 17th at 4.09.
|06-15-23||Guardians +124 v. Padres||Top||8-6||Win||124||12 h 56 m||Show|
The Padres can take their place among the baseball underachievers this season. San Diego is below .500 on the year and below .500 at home.
|06-14-23||Phillies v. Diamondbacks -127||Top||4-3||Loss||-127||21 h 38 m||Show|
Kudos to the Phillies for halting the Diamondbacks' six-game win streak on Tuesday.
But I see Arizona starting a new win streak today pitching Merrill Kelly against Ranger Suarez.
The Diamondbacks are one of the hottest teams in baseball - and they have been all season tied for the third-best record in the league.
Arizona is 7-1 in Kelly's last eight starts. Kelly is 8-3 with a 2.92 ERA and 1.10 WHIP on the season.
Suarez has started to pitch better, but he's a bottom-of-the-rotation type starter not in Kelly's class. Suarez has a 4.70 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. The Diamondbacks faced Suarez last month and got to him for five runs in five innings. Suarez has a 6.35 ERA in 28 1/3 career innings versus Arizona.
The Diamondbacks rank in the top-five in runs, batting average and OPS. They have scored at least five runs in seven of their past eight games.
Even with their Tuesday victory, the Phillies are just 14-23 on the road. They are 4-13 during their last 17 games at Arizona.
|06-05-23||Cardinals v. Rangers -132||Top||3-4||Win||100||20 h 5 m||Show|
How good have the surprising Texas Rangers been this season? Try 38-20 with an MLB-best plus 152 run differential.
The Rangers have won 12 of their last 15 games. They have Martin Perez starting for them against Adam Wainwright and a slumping, underachieving Cardinals team that is 10 games below .500 and has dropped five of their last six games.
Perez has been brilliant at home with a 3-0 record and 1.93 ERA. He's also been great during interleague competition with a lifetime 1.59 ERA in nine starts. St. Louis is averaging 2.4 runs in its last 10 games.
Wainwright is showing his 41 years. He has a 6.15 ERA, which balloons up to 7.59 when pitching on the road. He faces a Texas lineup that leads the majors in runs and batting average while ranking No. 2 in OPS.
This is a huge mismatch not fully reflected in this low lay price.
|05-26-23||Nationals +110 v. Royals||Top||12-10||Win||110||21 h 9 m||Show|
Patrick Corbin may have been the worst starting pitcher in the majors last season. This season that dishonor can be bestowed on Jordan Lyles.
The two are scheduled to tangle on Friday. Lyles is favored for the first time this season in 11 starts.
Mark me down for Corbin and the underdog Nationals.
Not only are the Royals 0-10 in Lyles' 10 starts, but all but one of those defeats have come by more than one run. Lyles has permitted four or more runs in nine consecutive games. He has a 7.15 ERA. He's surrendered 14 homers, most in the league. Lyles can't expect to be bailed out by a Kansas City bullpen that has the fourth-highest ERA.
The Nationals are going to put the ball in play. They have the lowest strikeout rate in the league and the fourth-highest batting average. Washington is averaging 5.2 runs during its past 10 games.
Corbin has bounced back from being a laughingstock to gaining some of the respectability he had five years ago. Corbin has a 2.88 ERA in four starts this month going at least six innings in each outing with a 13-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Corbin encounters a Royals team averaging just 2.7 runs in their last nine games. Kansas City ranks in the bottom-five in runs batting average and OPS.
|05-22-23||Rangers -122 v. Pirates||Top||4-6||Loss||-122||15 h 28 m||Show|
Remember that 20-9 start by the Pirates? Yeah, I don't either anymore. Pittsburgh has reverted back to its losing ways going 4-13 in its last 17 games.
I don't see the Pirates getting back to winning either taking on the much improved Rangers.
Texas is 29-17. That's tied for the third-best winning percentage in baseball. The Rangers have a plus 108 run difference, which is the second-best mark. They rank No. 1 in runs and batting average and are second in OPS. They also have a hot Corey Seager back after he missed 31 games with a strained hamstring.
This isn't pleasant news for Luis Oritz, who gets the start for Pittsburgh. He's 0-2 with a 5.63 ERA and a hideous 2.38 WHIP.
The Rangers are going with Dane Dunning, who is 4-0 with a 1.69 ERA and 0.88 WHIP. The Pirates have scored three or fewer runs in 15 of their last 18 games.
|05-19-23||Twins -119 v. Angels||Top||4-5||Loss||-119||10 h 16 m||Show|
I like the Twins here and the price is right to back them. Minnesota has its new-found ace, Joe Ryan, going with a rested bullpen. The Twins were idle Thursday. They stay in Los Angeles having just faced the Dodgers, while the Angels concluded a seven-game, seven-day road trip with a one-run victory against the Orioles on Thursday.
Ryan is in early Cy Young Award competition with a 6-1 record, 2.16 ERA and 0.84 WHIP.
Angels starter Reid Detmers is 0-3 with a 4.89 ERA and 1.51 WHIP in contrast to Ryan's outstanding numbers. Detmers faced the Twins last season and was 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA.
|05-16-23||Guardians -116 v. White Sox||Top||3-8||Loss||-116||11 h 35 m||Show|
The Guardians are seven games better than the disappointing 14-28 White Sox and have their ace going, Shane Bieber.
Bieber is off to a good start with a 3-1 record and 2.61. The same can't be said for the White Sox, who are 9-20 in their last 29 home games and could be starting Lance Lynn, who has been awful with a 1-5 record, 7.51 ERA and 1.60 WHIP.
The Guardians, who have a winning road record, rate a strong edge with Bieber on the hill no matter who the White Sox pitch today. Bieber is 8-4 with a 2.64 ERA in 17 career starts versus the White Sox.
The White Sox have been dealing with injuries to key players all season. Out for the White Sox are Elvis Andrus, Eloy Jimenez and possibly Yasmani Grandal.
|05-13-23||Angels v. Guardians +112||Top||6-8||Win||112||9 h 46 m||Show|
The Angels nipped the Guardians, 5-4, Friday night by scoring twice in the ninth inning. That was just their second road win against the Guardians in 23 games in Cleveland during the past eight years.
Now the Angels face another long-standing angle - beating Cal Quantrill. The Guardians are 21-3 for 88 percent in Quantrill's last 24 regular season starts. Quantrill is off his best performance of the season, too, shutting out the Twins for seven innings while giving up only one hit.
The Angels are starting Reid Detmers, who is 0-3 with a 5.10 ERA. This will be Detmers' sixth start of the year. He's turned in just one quality start.
|04-29-23||Phillies v. Astros -120||Top||6-1||Loss||-120||15 h 30 m||Show|
The Astros host the Phillies in the middle game of their 3-game World Series rematch. Aaron Nola beat the Astros, 3-1, in Friday night's opener.
It has been 18 games since the Astros dropped consecutive games. They have won by an average of 5.3 runs following each of their past six losses.
Even with that victory, the Phillies are just 12-28 in their last 40 interleague road games. The Astros are 66-31 in their last 97 home games.
The Astros have the far superior bullpen and I give them the checkmark, too, in starting pitchers with a matchup of Zach Wheeler versus Christian Javier.
Wheeler is off to a slow start with a 4.73 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. Javier has a 3.21 ERA with a 1.07 WHIP. Houston is 4-1 in Javier's five starts.
The Astros have the fifth-lowest bullpen ERA at 2.90. Philadelphia relievers rank 25th in bullpen ERA at 4.65.
|04-25-23||Rangers -144 v. Reds||Top||6-7||Loss||-144||16 h 13 m||Show|
This is my MLB Game of the Week.
The Texas Rangers lead the AL West with a 14-8 record and have their second-best pitcher, Martin Perez, starting for them today. The Reds have the third-worst record in the National League at 8-15. They are starting Luke Weaver, who is on the comeback trail and has a long way to go to regain respectability following a serious arm injury.
It's actually an advantage for the Rangers to be playing at Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park because it's one of the best hitter's parks in baseball and the Rangers have the far superior offense.
Texas has scored the second-most runs in baseball. The Rangers also rank fifth in batting average and are eighth in homers. The Reds have a bottom-10 offense. They have the third-fewest homers, too.
Perez is a late bloomer. The 31-year-old earned his first All-Star honor last year after 11 years in the majors. He hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of his four starts. The Rangers' bullpen blew Monday's game to the Reds in a 7-6 loss. But that shouldn't happen again. Texas entered this series with the second-best bullpen ERA.
The Reds had lost six in a row prior to Monday. This will be Weaver's second start of the season after throwing just 35 2/3 innings last season, mostly in relief. Weaver gave up four runs in six innings against the Pirates in his start this year, giving up two homers.
Look for the Rangers to bounce back here behind Perez and underrated offense.
|04-19-23||Blue Jays v. Astros -105||Top||1-8||Win||100||10 h 30 m||Show|
Three main reasons why I want the Astros going for me here: Line value, Houston home off a loss and fading Jose Berrios on the road.
The Blue Jays beat the Astros, 4-2, on Tuesday. The Astros have won by 4, 7, 6 and 7 runs following their past four defeats. Long-term, the Astros are 42-15 after losing their previous game.
Berrios had a 6.36 road ERA last season. He has an 11.17 road ERA this season in starts against the Angels and light-hitting Royals. Berrios has a 4.81 ERA in seven career starts versus Houston.
The Astros are going with Luis Garcia, who has a 4.00 career ERA against Toronto in three starts.
|04-18-23||Braves -127 v. Padres||Top||8-1||Win||100||11 h 23 m||Show|
The Braves have won seven in a row. They are the best team in the National League. The Padres are 2-6 in their last eight games. They've scored three or fewer runs in five of their last six games.
The starting pitching matchup heavily favors the Braves, too.
So I like the Braves a lot here.
Spencer Strider goes against lefty Blake Snell.
Strider is an emerging star in his second season. His career numbers are 13-5 with a 2.76 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and a 229-to-54 strikeouts to walk ratio.
Snell traditionally begins slow. He's really struggling this season. Snell has given up 11 runs, 10 of which were earned, on 18 hits and 10 walks in his last three starts spanning 13 innings. Opponents are batting .327 against him during this span. The Braves are 5-1 versus lefty starters this season. They have the second-highest batting average against southpaw pitching at .324.
The Braves just saw Snell 12 days ago and got to him for four runs on six hits and four walks in 3 2/3 innings.
|04-06-23||Dodgers -148 v. Diamondbacks||Top||5-2||Win||100||20 h 18 m||Show|
The Dodgers aren't likely to match their major league-best 111 wins of last season. They don't have departed Trea Turner, Justin Turner and out for the season injured star pitcher Walker Buehler.
But you know what? The Dodgers are still darn good and they still have outstanding starting pitchers. They are a team either worth playing on, or passing.
I'm on the Dodgers here in this early revenge spot
Dustin May is a perfect example of the Dodgers' deep starting pitching staff. He goes against the Diamondbacks and Merrill Kelly. It's a repeat of the team's game from last Friday when the two starting pitchers went up against each other.
May, on the comeback trail after missing much of the past two seasons following Tommy John surgery, displayed his vast potential throwing seven shutout innings allowing only three hits. Kelly couldn't get out of the fourth inning having allowed three hits and four walks.
Yet the Diamondbacks won, 2-1, thanks to a two-run eighth inning homer by pinch hitter Kyle Lewis against Dodgers reliever Alex Vesia.
The Dodgers were minus $1.87 in that game. Now the price is more reasonable to get the vastly superior team.
Clayton Kershaw has had trouble with the Diamondbacks, but LA is 20-7 during its last 27 games played at Arizona.
May could be an emerging monster now that he's finally healthy. Kelly is a decent pitcher. However, he's facing a Dodgers offense that ranks No. 2 in the majors in homers with 13 in six games, is first in OPS and has scored the third-most runs.
The Diamondbacks, by contrast, rank 25th in runs, have hit only four homers and are batting just .224.
|04-02-23||Phillies v. Rangers -123||Top||1-2||Win||100||9 h 24 m||Show|
Minus Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins, the Phillies are off to a slow start.
The Rangers should be improved this season. They are off to a fast start pounding the Phillies, 11-7 and 16-3, during the first two games of the series. The Rangers did this against Philadelphia's top two pitchers, Aaron Nola and Zach Wheeler.
Now the Rangers get to drop down in class to face Bailey Falter, while having Martin Perez go for them.
Perez was an underrated 12-8 with a 2.89 ERA last season. He was Texas' top pitcher last season. Perez is backed by an upgraded Texas bullpen, too.
|10-21-22||Padres -108 v. Phillies||Top||2-4||Loss||-108||18 h 42 m||Show|
It usually takes a red-hot pitcher for a playoff team to advance to the World Series. The Padres have that in Joe Musgrove. And for good measure the Padres also have a sizzling closer, Josh Hader.
The pressure is on the Phillies in this Game 3 as this NLCS goes from San Diego to Philadelphia. The Padres came back from a 4-0 deficit to even the series at one apiece with an 8-5 victory this past Wednesday.
San Diego is 18-4 following an off-day. The Padres have Musgrove and a rested Hader going for them in this Game 3 matchup. Musgrove went 10-7 with a 2.93 ERA during the regular season. He's been absolutely dominant during the postseason with a 1-0 record and 1.38 ERA in 13 innings against the Mets and Dodgers. Hader is back to being an elite closer. He's struck out the last eight batters he's faced.
Phillies starter Ranger Suarez and Philadelphia's bullpen can't match that. Suarez has one playoff start, which came against the Braves. Phillies manager Rob Thomson pulled him in that game after 3 1/3 innings after Suarez had given up three hits and five walks.
|10-14-22||Dodgers v. Padres +115||Top||1-2||Win||115||25 h 20 m||Show|
The Dodgers are the best team in baseball. But I don't think they should be favored in this game with a pitching matchup of Tony Gonsolin versus Blake Snell.
Gonsolin had a great year with a 16-1 record and 2.14 ERA. However - and this is a big however - he's thrown only two innings in the majors since Aug. 23 when he went on the injured list because of a shoulder injury. Gonsolin figures to be rusty and on a pitch count putting a lot of pressure on a Dodgers bullpen that is largely untested in postseason action.
Snell is a solid pitcher. He enters this game in outstanding form with a 1.88 ERA and 17 strikeouts during his last three starts spanning 14 1/3 innings. He has allowed only four earned runs during his last five starts spanning 28 1/3 innings. Snell has a 2.50 ERA and 1.13 WHIP with 56 strikeouts in 39 2/3 lifetime innings against the Dodgers.
The Padres gained much needed confidence against this opponent by defeating the Dodgers in LA on Wednesday to even the series at 1-1.
|10-12-22||Phillies v. Braves -125||Top||0-3||Win||100||19 h 5 m||Show|
There's no secrets at this late stage of the baseball season. The teams and pitchers are all good.
I just see a short lay price on getting the Braves at home down 1-0 in their National League Division Series.
The last time the defending world champion Braves lost on consecutive days at home was way back on April 23-24.
The Phillies got to a weakened Max Fried on Tuesday building a 7-1 lead. Yet the Braves almost pulled it out before losing, 7-6.
The pitching matchup today is Zach Wheeler versus Kyle Wright. This pro-Braves play isn't directed against Wheeler. Both are excellent pitchers.
It's based on the resilient Braves in bounce-back mode at what I see is a shorter-than-expected lay price. Atlanta is 42-13 in its last 55 home games.
|10-05-22||Cubs -117 v. Reds||Top||15-2||Win||100||13 h 39 m||Show|
Just five days ago, Adrian Sampson faced the Reds. He held them to one run on three hits in seven innings. The Cubs won, 6-1. Chicago has won during each of Sampson's last three starts. His ERA is 1.42 during this span.
Sampson is flying below-the-radar. He's yielded only six earned runs during his last six starts.
The Reds managed a 3-2 victory against the Cubs on Tuesday. Cincinnati is 62-99. The Reds don't want to finish with 100 losses. But the Reds are in this position for a reason - they're terrible. The Tuesday win against the Cubs was just the Reds' third in their last 12 games.
Cincinnati hasn't broken the 3-run barrier in each of their last dozen games. The Reds are averaging two runs per game during this span.
So the Reds are likely going to need a tremendous pitching performance from starter Graham Ashcraft. I wouldn't count on that. Ashcraft is really struggling down the stretch with an 8.10 ERA in his past three starts. Ashcraft shouldn't expect much help from a Reds bullpen that has the fourth-highest ERA in the majors.
|10-04-22||Diamondbacks -110 v. Brewers||Top||0-3||Loss||-110||17 h 8 m||Show|
It's going to be difficult for the Brewers to get excited about this game. They just got eliminated on Monday from playoff contention.
Milwaukee also is facing Zac Gallen. He's been one of the top pitchers during the second half of the season. Gallen is 12-3 with a 2.46 ERA. He's given up two earned runs or fewer in nine of his last 10 starts. Gallen's ERA during his last three starts is 2.21.
Contrast this with Brewers starter Eric Lauer. He has a 7.84 ERA during his past three starts. Gallen is an ace. Lauer, who is 10-7 with a 3.83 ERA, is a bottom-of-the-rotation type starter.
The Brewers have been mediocre for quite a while now going 28-31 in their last 59 games.
|10-03-22||Twins +110 v. White Sox||Top||2-3||Loss||-100||20 h 40 m||Show|
Flying back home from the West Coast after a series with the Padres, the White Sox can't be too excited to wrap up a very disappointing season with this series against the Twins.
The White Sox are 3-9 in their last 12 games. They have lost seven in a row at home.
Minnesota is in an excellent situational spot to beat the White Sox and their 36-year-old starter, Johnny Cueto, who has hit the wall with a 7.71 ERA in his last three starts.
The Twins are going with Bailey Ober, who has been below the radar. Ober has given up two earned runs or fewer in six of his last nine starts. He has a 1.56 ERA in his last three starts and has dominated the White Sox in two starts this season with a 1-0 record and 0.73 ERA.
|09-28-22||Orioles +116 v. Red Sox||Top||1-3||Loss||-100||8 h 8 m||Show|
This has been a crazy series so far with the Orioles winning, 14-8, on Monday and the Red Sox prevailing, 13-9, on Tuesday.
That was just the Red Sox's third win in their last 10 games.
The Orioles have lost seven fewer games than the Red Sox, who are headed for this first losing season under Alex Cora.
Orioles starter Dean Kremer could restore order. He's been fantastic in his last five starts with a 3-0 record and 2.16 ERA.
The Red Sox are going with Rich Hill, who is 2-4 with a 6.07 ERA at home. The 42-year-old Hill could be hitting the wall. He has a 5.96 ERA during his last five starts.
Wednesday Free Play
Tigers minus $1.25 hosting Royals
The Tigers stayed hot coming from behind to beat the Royals in extra inning last night. Detroit is 6-1 in its last seven games and has won four in a row. The Royals are 17-36 in their last 53 road games.
I'm going to ride the Tigers at this fairly low price in a pitching matchup of Daniel Lynch versus Matt Manning.
Manning is the better pitcher. He has a 3.43 ERA. Lynch is 4-11 with a 5.06 ERA. Lynch has faced the Tigers three times this season and the results haven't been pretty. He has an 8.53 ERA in those games allowing 12 earned runs in 12 2/3 innings, while giving up four home runs.
The Tigers stayed hot coming from behind to beat the Royals in extra inning last night. Detroit is 6-1 in its last seven games and has won four in a row. The Royals are 17-36 in their last 53 road games.
I'm going to ride the Tigers at this fairly low price in a pitching matchup of Daniel Lynch versus Matt Manning.
Manning is the better pitcher. He has a 3.43 ERA. Lynch is 4-11 with a 5.06 ERA. Lynch has faced the Tigers three times this season and the results haven't been pretty. He has an 8.53 ERA in those games allowing 12 earned runs in 12 2/3 innings, while giving up four home runs.
|09-16-22||Yankees -119 v. Brewers||Top||6-7||Loss||-119||19 h 31 m||Show|
Teams can't help but have high and lows during the long baseball season. The Yankees were experiencing a low point, but have since rebounded to win eight of their last 10 games. They are averaging eight runs a game during their last four games, all victories.
The Brewers looked like a solid playoff team entering August. But they are a scuffling 19-20 in their last 39 games.
The Yankees hold a starting pitching edge here with Frankie Montas facing Adrian Houser. New York also has a strong bullpen advantage. Yankee relief pitchers have a 2.94 ERA. That's the second-lowest ERA in the majors. The Brewers' bullpen ERA is 3.94, which ranks 16th. The Brewers' relief corps isn't nearly as good minus closer Josh Hader. Devin Williams is now their lone dependable reliever.
Oh, yes, the Yankees also have the most dangerous hitter in baseball, Aaron Judge. He leads the majors by a wide margin with 57 homers. Judge is batting .462 during his last 52 at bats and is on a 15-game on-base streak.
Montas has settled down after a rough patch when he first came to the Yankees. He has a 3.89 ERA. Houser is a borderline bottom-of-the-rotation starter with a 4.61 ERA.
Both teams were idle Thursday. The Yankees' bullpen is fresh. New York is 21-8 following an off day.
|09-14-22||Orioles -132 v. Nationals||Top||6-2||Win||100||8 h 27 m||Show|
I'm going to get behind the Orioles at a reasonable price facing Patrick Corbin, who has been one of the worst starters all season.
Corbin has done more than his share to saddle the Nationals with the second-highest ERA in the majors at 5.06. Corbin is 6-18 with a 6.30 ERA. Washington has a bottom-10 bullpen.
The Orioles are starting Tyler Wells, who is 7-6 with a 3.91 ERA. Wells is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two appearances against the Nationals, including one start. Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said he won't be afraid to use Austin Voth and his top bullpen arms to secure this win since the Orioles are idle on Thursday. Baltimore has the sixth-lowest bullpen ERA in the league.
|09-04-22||Twins +111 v. White Sox||Top||5-1||Win||111||12 h 48 m||Show|
The White Sox are feeling pretty good about themselves after humiliating the Twins, 13-0, on Saturday. Dylan Cease nearly threw a no-hitter coming within one out of the feat. It was a highly emotional victory for the White Sox because of Cease's great effort.
Kudos to Cease for his outstanding effort and tremendous season. But the Twins aren't facing Cease today. They draw Lucas Giolito, who has been one of the more disappointing pitchers this season with a 5.27 ERA. The White Sox are without a number of key batters, including Tim Anderson and Yoan Moncada. It remains to be seen if Luis Robert will return to the lineup. He's been in Florida for the birth of his second child.
The Twins are going with Dylan Bundy, who runs hot and cold. Bundy, though, has dominated the White Sox with a 6-0 career record. He's 2-0 versus the White Sox this season with a 2.35 ERA in three starts.
Giolito is in terrible form with a 7.98 ERA in his last three starts.
|08-30-22||A's +105 v. Nationals||Top||10-6||Win||105||18 h 1 m||Show|
When the worst team in the majors is chalk, I'm seriously looking at the underdog even if that team is the A's. On closer examination, Oakland should not be the underdog. The A's have fared better on the road and are playing much better than Washington right now.
Oakland is 5-4 in its last nine games. Oakland's last two games were victories against the Yankees. The Nationals are 2-5 in their last seven games. They have scored three or fewer runs in nine of their last 10 games.
The A's have the superior starting pitcher going, too, in a matchup of Cole Irvin versus Erick Fedde.
Irvin is 6-11 with a 3.16 ERA. He has a 2.71 ERA in night games and is coming off a brilliant start against the Marlins this past Wednesday throwing seven scoreless innings while allowing just three hits and striking out 11.
Fedde is 5-8 with a 4.88 ERA, which climbs to 5.70 when he pitches at night. This is only his second August appearance after coming off the injured list last week.
|08-28-22||Guardians v. Mariners -141||Top||0-4||Win||100||14 h 25 m||Show|
Cleveland defeated the Mariners in Seattle for the first time in six games Saturday night. The Mariners' bullpen let them down in that loss.
Look for the Mariners to bounce back today in a pitching matchup of Aaron Civale against Robbie Ray.
Civale has yet to fulfill his promise. He's 2-5 with a 5.37 ERA. That ERA shoots up to 6.56 on the road.
Ray isn't having the Cy Young Award season he had in 2021, but he's in excellent current form with a 2.37 ERA in his last three games - all Seattle victories. The lefty is 5-3 with a 2.69 ERA when pitching at home this season. The Guardians rank 25th against lefties in batting average and are 29th in slugging percentage versus southpaws.
Seattle has been one of the hottest teams in the league during the second half of the season winning 40 of its last 59 games.
|08-23-22||Rangers v. Rockies -115||Top||6-7||Win||100||20 h 12 m||Show|
The Rockies are Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde when it comes to their home/road splits. Colorado is 35-31 at Coors Field and 18-39 away from home. The Rockies have the highest home batting average in the majors at .285. That's 20 points better than the next closest team. Colorado also is No. 1 at home in OPS and No. 2 in slugging percentage.
So I find this lay price cheap to back the Rockies against the Rangers at Coors in a pitching matchup of Dane Dunning versus German Marquez.
Dunning is 3-6 with a 4.06 ERA. He's 2-0 with a 2.60 ERA during his last three starts. Note, though, those outings were against weak-hitting teams the A's, Mariners and White Sox. All of them were home, too. Dunning has been much worse on the road where he's 0-5 with a 5.08 ERA.
Marquez is 6-10 with a 5.05 ERA. Marquez, however, has been pitching better lately giving up two earned runs or fewer in five of his last seven starts He's gone six or more innings in each of his last eight starts. Marquez has a 2.92 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in four career starts against Texas.
|08-16-22||Cubs -153 v. Nationals||Top||7-5||Win||100||21 h 31 m||Show|
The gift that keeps giving is back. Stuck with a huge contract they gave to Patrick Corbin four years ago, the Nationals keep trotting him out. Never mind that Corbin has become the worst pitcher in the National League if not all of baseball.Corbin is 4-16 with a 7.02 ERA and 1.82 WHIP. He's given up four or more earned runs in each of his last six starts. Washington is 0-9 in Corbin's last nine starts. The Nationals are bad enough without Corbin, owners of the worst record in baseball at 39-78. They are 16-40 in their last 56 games. The Nationals have the highest ERA and WHIP and have committed the third-most errors. Unlike the Nationals, who dealt their two best players - Juan Soto and Josh Bell - at the trade deadline the Cubs held on to their key players, including Wilson Contreras and Ian Happ. The Cubs are in rebuild, too, but their undertaking isn't nearly as massive as the Nationals. The Cubs are a respectable 12-10 in the second half of the season. Justin Steele will oppose Corbin. Steele has been exceptionally sharp lately with a 1.26 ERA in his last three starts. He has a 25-to-2 strikeout-to-ratio during these past three starts.
|08-05-22||Rockies v. Diamondbacks -122||Top||5-6||Win||100||22 h 57 m||Show|
The Diamondbacks are a respectable 27-27 playing at home. Colorado plays much worse on the road with a 17-34 away mark.The price is short enough to back the Diamondbacks here especially having this strong of a pitching edge. Colorado starter German Marquez is having a terrible season with a 6-9 record and 5.29 ERA. The Rockies' bullpen carries a high fatigue rating. Arizona starter Madison Bumgarner has pitched much better at home where he's 5-3 with a 3.03 ERA. The Diamondbacks were idle on Thursday so they have a fresh bullpen. The Rockies finished a five-game set against the Padres in a high-profile series due to San Diego getting Juan Soto at the trade deadline. The Rockies are much weaker offensively away from Coors Field. They rank 28th in slugging percentage and 26th in OPS on the road. Arizona has won six of its last eight home contests. The Diamondbacks swept the Giants when they last were home.
|08-04-22||Blue Jays -120 v. Twins||Top||9-3||Win||100||18 h 17 m||Show|
The Twins have an above average offense and a solid starter going in Sonny Gray. But they are trumped in both of these areas by the Blue Jays, who lead the majors in batting average, are third in runs scored and sixth in homers. They also have stud Alex Manoah on the mound.
Gray enters this month off a poor July where he posted a 5.92 ERA in five starts. Manoah is 11-5 with a 2.43 ERA. That ERA shrinks to 2.37 on the road. Minnesota is averaging 3.4 runs in its last four games.
Toronto is 11-3 in its last 14 games. The Twins are stepping up after hosting the Tigers for three games. Minnesota defeated Detroit, 4-1, on Wednesday. The Twins, though, have lost 22 of the past 28 (78 percent) times following a victory.
|07-31-22||Orioles +111 v. Reds||Top||2-3||Loss||-100||14 h 44 m||Show|
These are two terrible teams, right? Well that's halfway correct. The Reds are 22 games below .500. But the Orioles actually are an above .500 team. They have been the most profitable team by far for bettors in the majors this season.
Once again, the Orioles are mispriced. They should not have opened underdogs to the Reds.
Baltimore is 16-6 in its last 22 games and 27-15 going back to its past 42 games. The Orioles have pulled out 23 come from behind victories, which is the second-highest in the American League.
The Reds are bad and likely to get worse being already active as the Tuesday trade deadline approaches. Gone is Luis Castillo, their best pitcher. Tyler Naquin also has departed. More veterans could be following. That can't help the Reds' concentration, nor team morale.
I certainly don't see why the Reds should be favored from a starting pitching standpoint either with Austin Voth facing rookie Nick Lodolo. Voth is not going deep into the game. He's made six starts and 23 relief appearances. The Orioles are 7-1 in Voth's last eight appearances.
I'm fine with a Baltimore bullpen game. The Orioles have the third-lowest bullpen ERA in the majors at 3.00. Lodolo will be making his fifth start since returning from a 69-day stint on the injured list. He has a 4.08 ERA in those starts. That ERA becomes 7.56 if you count just day games, which this matchup is.
One more thing. The Reds have the highest bullpen ERA in the majors at 5.21.
|07-27-22||Angels v. Royals -128||Top||4-0||Loss||-128||13 h 34 m||Show|
Since a 27-17 start, the Angels have been in free fall. Even with their 6-0 win against the Royals on Tuesday, the Angels have lost 15 of their last 19 games. The Angels are without Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon. They are bad again on the road this season going 18-29 in away games.
The Royals were averaging 5.6 runs and 12.6 hits in winning three in a row until Tuesday's loss to the Angels. Look for Kansas City to get back to winning in a pitching matchup of Janson Junk versus Brad Keller.
Junk's minor league ERA is 3.88. Keller has a 4.16 big league ERA, but pitches better at home and during the day. His home ERA is 3.88 and his day time ERA is 3.05.
|07-26-22||Yankees -105 v. Mets||Top||3-6||Loss||-105||18 h 44 m||Show|
The Mets have been outstanding this season at 59-37. But they are trumped by the Yankees, who are 66-31.
The Mets scored eight runs in their last game this past Sunday against the Padres. However, the Mets had scored only 10 runs during their previous five games for an average of two runs per game. The Yankees have scored 5 or more runs in 12 of their last 16 games. The Yankees are No. 1 in runs and homers. Aaron Judge has a MLB-high 37 homers with 81 RBI's and 80 runs scored.
The Mets can't compete with the Yankees' power. They rank 19th in homers. The Mets' offensive numbers go down when they face left-handed pitchers, which is the case here with southpaw Jordan Montgomery going against Taijuan Walker.
Walker has been superb with a 7-2 record and 2.55 ERA. But Montgomery has been very consistent for the Yankees with a 3.24 ERA. Montgomery is backed by a superior Yankees bullpen that ranks No. 2 in the league in bullpen ERA.
The Mets are well below average against lefty pitching ranking 21st in batting average, 22nd in OPS and 23rd in slugging percentage.
The Yankees have too many edges. The price is right to back them.
|07-25-22||Rangers v. Mariners -137||Top||3-4||Win||100||21 h 9 m||Show|
Until running into the Astros, the Mariners were the hottest team in baseball winning 14 in a row. Now the Mariners go from losing three straight to the 64-32 Astros to the 43-51 Rangers, who just lost two of three to Oakland, the worst team in the American League.
Expect the Mariners to get back on track in a pitching matchup of Glenn Otto versus Chris Flexen.
Otto hasn't proven he is big league caliber with a 5.40 ERA. Otto has given up 18 earned runs in his last five starts spanning 21 1/3 innings. Texas is 0-5 in those games. The Mariners just faced Otto eight days ago and put up three earned runs on five hits, including two homers, in six innings during their 6-2 road victory. Seattle is 20-7 the last 27 times facing a righty starter.
Flexen's 3.79 ERA ranks 19th in the American League. He's been especially hot lately going 2-0 with a 1.10 ERA during his past three starts.
The Rangers have lost 42 of the last 58 times on the road against above .500 opponents.
|07-24-22||Rangers -125 v. A's||Top||11-8||Win||100||15 h 34 m||Show|
The A's are going for their first home sweep of the season having won the first two games of their series against Texas. Don't expect the A's to achieve this.
Oakland has the worst record in the American League. A big reason for this is a 14-32 home mark. The Rangers are eight games below .500. But they have a plus run differential. They are a superior team to the A's and have the better starting pitcher going Sunday.
Martin Perez versus Paul Blackburn may seem like a starting pitching draw. It isn't.
Perez is 7-2 with a 2.68 ERA. He's been terrific on the road with a 3-0 record and 2.52 ERA in eight away starts. Texas is 12-2 in Perez's last 14 starts. Both losses came to the Mariners. The A's have the worst offense in the majors ranking last in batting average and OPS, second-to-last in runs and third-from-the-bottom in homers.
Blackburn started the season off extremely well, but he's run out of gas posting a 6.46 ERA and 1.60 WHIP during his past six starts spanning 30 2/3 innings. Blackburn also has a terrible history against Texas with an 0-2 record and 10.54 ERA in four appearances.
The Rangers just saw Blackburn 11 days ago getting to him for five runs in six innings. Blackburn gave up four walks in that game, throwing just 55 strikes out of 101 pitches.
|07-23-22||Blue Jays -125 v. Red Sox||Top||4-1||Win||100||15 h 17 m||Show|
It's hard not to overreact to the Blue Jays destroying the Red Sox by 23 runs on Friday. Toronto pounded out 29 hits in winning, 28-5.
Of course it was just one game. But it may take more than a day for the Red Sox to get rid of that embarrassment. But what really puts me on Toronto today besides its four-game win streak and hot hitting is the low lay price in a pitching matchup of Alek Manoah versus Kutter Crawford.
Cutter has a 4.50 ERA. That ERA goes up to 5.09 when he pitches at Fenway Park. Cutter's daytime ERA is 6.43. Manoah has become one of the most dominant pitchers in the American League with a 10-4 record and 2.28 ERA. He's faced Boston twice this year and is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA against the Red Sox.
The Red Sox could be without J.D. Martinez for a second straight game due to back pain, while George Springer could return to Toronto's lineup after sitting out Friday's game to rest a sore elbow.
|07-22-22||Cubs v. Phillies -125||Top||15-2||Loss||-125||20 h 20 m||Show|
The Phillies have played their best ball since firing Joe Girardi going 27-14. The Cubs come out of All-Star break losers of nine of their last 10. Chicago has failed to break the three-run barrier in 10 of its last 11 games.
Kyle Gibson tamed a weak Marlins offense in his last start. He's certainly capable of taking advantage of the struggling Cubs, who are averaging 1.6 runs in their last six games. Gibson has 0.94 WHIP in his last three starts.
The Cubs are starting Justin Steeler, who is 3-6 with a 4.15 ERA and 1.40 WHIP.
Short price to lay with the superior home club.
|07-14-22||Astros -151 v. Angels||Top||3-2||Win||100||19 h 35 m||Show|
The Astros lost in embarrassing fashion in their showdown game against Shohei Ohtani on Wednesday. But I see Houston bouncing back in a much more favorable pitching matchup of southpaws Framber Valdez versus Reid Detmers. Houston has won 46 of its last 65 games. The Astros are 12-3 during their past 15 games. The Angels are 2-8 in their last 10 games. They have lost 16 of their past 23 home contests. Valdez has been tough on the road with a 5-2 away mark and 1.75 ERA. He has a 1.64 ERA in his last three starts. The Angels rank among the bottom six against lefthanded pitching in slugging percentage, batting average and OPS. Detmers isn't in Valdez's class. He's not in good form either with a 5.52 ERA in his last three starts. The Astros have hit the fifth-most homers against southpaws in the league. The Angels still could be minus Mike Trout. He left Tuesday's game due to back spasms and did not play on Wednesday. The Angels had indicated Trout may need to miss a couple of games because of the injury.
|07-12-22||Red Sox v. Rays +110||Top||2-3||Win||110||17 h 55 m||Show|
Chris Sale can't be expected to go deep into this game having not pitched in the majors this season because of a rib stress fracture. Sale's rehab in preparing for his season debut was just 11 1/3 innings of minor league work with Boston's rookie league team, Double-A team and Triple-A team.
Rays starter Corey Kluber isn't the dominant Cy Young Award winner of years past. But he's still solid with a 3.62 ERA. The Red Sox know this first-hand. Kluber just faced Boston six days ago at Fenway Park and threw six shutout innings, giving up three hits with no walks and five strikeouts in a 7-1 victory. Kluber is 2-1 with a 3.08 ERA when pitching at Tropicana Park this season.
The Red Sox entered this series in a letdown frame having just taken two in a row from the Yankees, including a big 11-6 home win in the Sunday Night ESPN Game. The Rays, on the other hand, had much to prove returning home after being swept three games by the lowly Reds in Cincinnati.
|07-11-22||White Sox v. Guardians +104||Top||4-8||Win||104||18 h 15 m||Show|
Lance Lynn has yet to show anything since coming off the injured list. He has a 5.33 ERA. He just gave up five earned runs in five innings against the Twins during his last start this past Wednesday. So I don't get him opening as a road favorite against the Guardians and Cal Quantrill.
Quantrill is a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter with a 3.86 ERA. He has been better at home where he's 3-0 with a 3.24 ERA.
The White Sox offense has been a disappointment this season ranking 20th in runs and 27th in homers. The White Sox entered the weekend with the highest swing rate in the American League at pitches outside the strike zone at nearly 36 percent.
|07-05-22||Cardinals +130 v. Braves||Top||1-7||Loss||-100||17 h 1 m||Show|
I guess the Braves have to be favored at home here in a pitching matchup of Cardinals rookie Andre Pallante versus Ian Anderson.
But based on the current form of these two starters, St. Louis is the team that should be a hefty favorite.
Pallante has been brilliant with a 2.10 ERA. His road ERA is even better at 1.31.
Anderson, on the other hand, has been terrible with a 7.82 ERA in his last three starts. His home ERA this season is 6.28. The Braves are without their star closer, Kenley Jansen, too.
So you would be Thick as a Brick if you backed Ian Anderson in this spot.
|07-03-22||Cardinals v. Phillies -150||Top||0-4||Win||100||9 h 30 m||Show|
The Phillies have been bet up in this Sunday night ESPN matchup for good reason.
Zach Wheeler is pitching at home. Wheeler has a 1.85 home ERA this season. He's been at his best, too, in night games with a 2.06 ERA in evening games.
Cardinals veteran Adam Wainwright is having a solid season, but he won't be throwing to his batterymate of 17 years with Yadier Molina out due to a knee injury. The Cardinals not only lose Molina's Hall of Fame-caliber defense, but his replacements can't hit. Rookie Ivan Herrera is batting .111 and Andrew Knizner is hitting .185.
St. Louis has lost eight of its last 11 road games and has lost six of its past eight games in Philadelphia.
|07-02-22||Diamondbacks v. Rockies -133||Top||7-11||Win||100||19 h 15 m||Show|
The Diamondbacks are finding out what the White Sox knew: Southpaw Dallas Keuchel is washed-up. Keuchel has an 8.31 ERA and 2.08 WHIP. He has just four more strikeouts than walks. Keuchel isn't going to get well pitching against the Rockies at Coors Field. The Rockies have the highest home batting average in the majors. They also rank No. 1 in OPS at home and No. 2 in slugging percentage. The Rockies are at their best when playing home against below .500 teams having won 36 of the past 52 times against them for 69 percent. Arizona stomped on Colorado in the opener of this series on Friday. I don't expect the Diamondbacks to repeat that today. The Rockies had just taken two of three from the Dodgers at home. Even with that loss, Colorado still has defeated Arizona seven of the past nine times at Coors Field. Colorado starter Austin Gomber is overdue to come in with a big home game. The lefty went 5-1 with a 2.09 ERA in nine home starts last season for the Rockies. Arizona is 21-43 in its last 64 games when facing a southpaw starter.
|06-30-22||Reds v. Cubs -118||Top||7-15||Win||100||18 h 2 m||Show|
Laying a short price against the Reds on the road rarely is a bad thing even when the home team is the Cubs.
Cincinnati is 14-25 on the road this season. The Reds are 3-9 in their last 12 games.
The Cubs are 4-3 in their last seven games. During this span they are averaging 6.2 runs a game.
So I feel confident backing the Cubs here. The pitching matchup is Reds rookie Graham Ashcraft versus crafty veteran Kyle Hendricks.
Ashcraft has been impressive with a 4-1 record and 3.27 ERA. He limited the Giants to two runs in eight innings during his previous start this past Friday. Prior to that, however, Ashcraft was battered for 10 earned runs in his two previous starts spanning 9 2/3 innings. During that two-game time frame, Ashcraft gave up 17 hits, two walks and two homers.
Hendricks also is coming off an excellent start. He threw 7 1/3 shutout innings against the Cardinals this past Friday. Hendricks' night ERA is a respectable 3.78.
|06-29-22||Astros -120 v. Mets||Top||2-0||Win||100||12 h 59 m||Show|
Never mind that Justin Verlander is 39. Don't worry about Verlander coming off Tommy John surgery. Verlander is as dominant as ever. He proved that again this past Friday beating the powerful Yankees by giving up just one run on four hits and one walk in seven innings. Verlander is 9-3 with a 2.22 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 84-to16. The Mets are 3-5 in their last eight games. They've lost six straight to the Astros, who are 9-3 in their last 12 games. Mets starter Taijuan Walker also has been good this year with a 6-2 record and 3.03 ERA. His last three starts, though, have come twice against the Marlins and Angels, both of whom have below average offenses. Walker is not in Verlander's stud class and the Astros' relief staff has an ERA of nearly a run lower than the Mets' bullpen. It's rare to be able to back Verlander at this low of a price range. So I'll take it.
|06-27-22||Rangers -132 v. Royals||Top||10-4||Win||100||9 h 18 m||Show|
Kansas City has the second-worst record in the American League in front of only Oakland. One reason for this is you have to go back to April 19-21 to find the last time the Royals won a home series. I don't see the Royals getting off to a good start in the opening game against the Rangers today.
It's a battle of lefty starters, Martin Perez versus Kris Bubic. That favors the Rangers more than the betting line shows.
Perez is having a career season with a 5.2 record and 1.96 ERA. Perez is in stellar form allowing just one run in his last two starts spanning 13 innings. Kansas City ranks 27th in runs and homers.
Texas is 15-10 versus southpaws this season, including 7-1 the past eight times facing them. The Rangers should be in line for a strong offensive performance as Bubic has a 7.41 ERA and 1.79 WHIP in 34 innings this season.
The Rangers have won in 10 of their last 14 visits to Kansas City.
|06-26-22||Dodgers -113 v. Braves||Top||5-3||Win||100||18 h 33 m||Show|
This series has taken on added significance with Freddie Freeman returning to Atlanta. The Braves got past the Dodgers, 5-3, on Saturday. Prior to that, though, the Dodgers had won five of six, winning those games by an average of 4.8 runs.
LA has a huge edge in this matchup, not reflective of this short line with a pitching matchup of Tony Gonsolin versus rookie Spencer Strider.
Gonsolin has been the Dodgers' best pitcher with a 9-0 record, 1.58 ERA and 0.82 WHIP. The Dodgers are giving up the fewest runs per game, while scoring the most runs per game.
The league is starting to figure out Strider, who was clobbered for six earned runs in just 3 2/3 innings against the Giants during his last start this past Tuesday.
|06-23-22||Astros v. Yankees -121||Top||6-7||Win||100||18 h 28 m||Show|
The Yankees are in their own tier in the American League. They are the best team in baseball with a .739 winning percentage. The Yankees are going for their 19th win in their last 22 games at home against the Astros. I see no reason not to get involved with the Yankees at this short home lay price.
The Astros are good. But they aren't as strong as the Yankees. New York is first in runs scored. Houston ranks 17th. The Yankees have won 81 percent of their home games. They have won 11 of their last 16 home contests against Houston.
Houston is going with Framber Valdez on the mound. I like Valdez. But I also like Yankees starter Jameson Taillon, who is having a huge season with an 8-1 record and 2.70 ERA. New York has better bullpen depth than the Astros, too.
This represents a rare opportunity to back the Yankees at more than a fair price.
|06-19-22||Royals -130 v. A's||Top||0-4||Loss||-130||16 h 53 m||Show|
You know the Royals must be playing a really bad opponent with a terrible starting pitcher to be installed as road favorites in this range.
Well, they are: Oakland.
Dumpster fire is too kind of a description to call the A's at home. Oakland is 3-22 in its last 25 home games, including losing its last eight. The A's have lost 15 of 17 overall, which now gives them the worst record in baseball with a .333 winning percentage.
Still think this price is too high to lay?
I certainly don't with a pitching matchup of Brady Singer versus Jared Koenig.
Singer is 3-1 with a 4.24 ERA. That ERA shrinks to 3.38 when he pitches on the road. Singer has had only one horrendous start this season. That came against the Astros, a far stronger hitting club than the A's, who rank in the bottom-two in runs, batting average and homers. Oakland has been shut out in 12 percent of its games.
Koenig has made two starts spanning a total of eight innings. He's allowed 14 hits, including two homers, and four walks during this span for an 11.25 ERA and 2.25 WHIP.
The Royals have shown improvement lately unlike the A's, winning five of their last nine games.
|06-15-22||Guardians v. Rockies +100||Top||7-5||Loss||-100||19 h 22 m||Show|
The Rockies are a strange team. They are bad on the road, but tough at home especially against lefthanded pitching. The Guardians are weak versus southpaw pitchers. Colorado has these edges going and the price is right to back them in a pitching matchup of lefties Konnor Pilkington versus Austin Gomber. Pilkington has a 3.57 ERA and 1.54 WHIP. His last three outings have occurred against three weak-hitting teams - Royals, A's and Tigers. The Rockies hit .282 against lefties. That's the second-highest mark in the majors. Pilkington draws them at Coors Field, the premier hitting park in baseball. Gomber has proven he can pitch effectively at Coors with a 3.50 lifetime ERA there in 15 starts and an impressive 1.17 WHIP. The Guardians are 23rd in batting against lefties. They also rank second-to-the-bottom in slugging percentage against southpaws.
|06-14-22||Brewers +142 v. Mets||Top||0-4||Loss||-100||18 h 47 m||Show|
I don't feel the Brewers should be underdogs to the Mets here. I see no starting pitching edge to the Mets with Andrian Houser facing Chris Bassitt. The Brewers hold a big advantage on the mound in the later innings with setup man Devin Williams and ace closer Josh Hader.This is the Mets' first home game since a 10-game West Coast trip that concluded this past Sunday. So the spot isn't ideal for the Mets. Houser is one of the better bottom-of-the-rotation type starters. He has a 0.00 ERA against the Mets lifetime in 3 1/3 innings. Houser's ERA in night games this season is 2.08. Bassitt broke into the big leagues eight years ago. He had spent his entire time in the American League until this season. National League teams have figured him out as Bassitt has allowed 22 earned runs in his last five starts spanning 26 innings. During this 26-inning span, Bassitt has given up 31 hits and 11 walks. These starts all came against NL teams. The Brewers are 5-1 the past six times they've been road 'dogs. They also have defeated the Mets in 20 of the past 28 games.
|05-31-22||Reds v. Red Sox -140||Top||2-1||Loss||-140||17 h 29 m||Show|
I'm not sure why, but Luis Castillo still commands some respect from the oddsmaker. Otherwise why else would the Reds only be midsized road underdogs?
So I find this to be that rare spot where there is value on the home favorite. The Reds have the worst road record in the majors at 7-19. They have the worst pitching in the league and rank 26th in batting. Cincinnati is below average in just about every offensive category.
The Red Sox rank third in batting and have scored the fifth most runs. I don't see Castillo, an underachiever given his high ceiling, stopping Boston at Fenway Park. Castillo is off to a slow start again this season with a 1-2 record and 4.35 ERA.
Boston is off an embarrassing, 10-0, Memorial Day home loss to the Orioles yesterday. The Red Sox certainly shouldn't lack motivation following that stinker. Before that loss, though, the Red Sox were 9-3 in their last 12 games while averaging 8.6 runs during their previous five games. The Red Sox have won the opening game in five of their last six series.
Boston starter Michael Wacha has looked good with a 3-0 record and 2.83 ERA. He dominated the Reds during his years with the Cardinals going 12-2 with a 2.81 ERA in 23 career appearances.
|05-30-22||Braves v. Diamondbacks +105||Top||2-6||Win||105||19 h 41 m||Show|
Perception doesn't match reality here.
The perception is the defending world champion Braves are good and the Diamondbacks, losers of 110 games last year, are terrible. This isn't right.
Atlanta is 23-25. Arizona is 23-26. Note, too, that nine of Arizona's losses have occurred to the Dodgers, who have the best lineup in baseball. The Diamondbacks are 18-13 outside of the NL West Division.
Not only are the Diamondbacks home, but they have a huge edge in starting pitchers with rookie Spencer Strider opposing Zac Gallen. This will be Strider's first big league start. His 11 appearances this season have all come in relief.
Gallen has been an underrated monster this season. He's made eight starts. All have been excellent except one. Gallen has held opponents to one or fewer earned runs in six starts and two or fewer runs in seven of his eight starts. Gallen has a 2.22 ERA and 0.83 WHIP.
Gallen faced the Braves once last season - his only appearance against them - and tossed seven shutout innings of one-hit ball. The Diamondbacks are much better this season while the Braves have yet to get in gear.
|05-27-22||Blue Jays -105 v. Angels||Top||4-3||Win||100||19 h 9 m||Show|
The Blue Jays' dangerous lineup has underachieved this season - up until now. Toronto is averaging seven runs in its last two games.
The Blue Jays got to Shohei Ohtani for five earned runs in six innings, including smacking two homers, in a 6-3 victory against the Angels Thursday night. Now Toronto draws rookie Chase Silseth.
Silseth has a 2.61 ERA during his first two big league starts. Both of those starts, though, were against the weak-hitting A's, who are last in batting average and second-from-the-bottom in runs.
But what really attracts me to Toronto is the low lay price with Alek Manoah pitching. He just may be the most underrated pitcher in baseball. Manoah hasn't allowed more than two earned runs during any of his eight starts this season. His 1.62 ERA is the third-lowest in the majors.
|05-24-22||Mets v. Giants -127||Top||12-13||Win||100||19 h 29 m||Show|
Enough is enough. I want the Giants off an embarrassing 13-3 home loss to the Mets with their best pitcher, Logan Webb, going for them.
The Mets have been a nice surprise, but their offense lacks consistency. They ranked 21st in homers and have scored three or fewer runs in four of their last eight games.
Webb was brilliant last season with a 2.97 ERA. The Giants have won six of his eight starts this season. Webb is at his best pitching at home where he has a 3.13 ERA. He's only given up two homers in his eight starts.
Mets starter Chris Bassitt is a decent starter. But he's not in Webb's elite class.
|05-16-22||Astros +106 v. Red Sox||Top||3-6||Loss||-100||20 h 45 m||Show|
If there's any explanation why the Red Sox opened a favorite against the Astros, I'm all ears. Because I sure don't see it.
OK, the game is in Boston. Red Sox starter Garrett Whitlock has pitched well for much of the season so far. But these factors don't come nearly close enough to bridge the gap between the Astros and Boston. The Astros are superior in every category.
The records bear this out. So does current form. Houston is 12-1 in its last 13 games. Boston is 6-14 in its last 20 games.
Both starters, Jake Odorizzi and Whitlock, are right-handed. The Astros are 8-1 in their last nine games versus a righty starter. The Red Sox are 9-19 in their last 28 games when facing a righty starter.
Odorizzi isn't splashy. He's just a solid veteran, who has a 2.65 ERA in his last three starts.
Whitlock, a converted reliever, has a 4.09 ERA in his last three starts. Only once has he even pitched into the fifth inning this season.
|05-03-22||Nationals v. Rockies -148||Top||10-2||Loss||-148||19 h 22 m||Show|
The Rockies' strength is beating bad teams at home. That was proven again this past weekend when Colorado swept three games from the Reds. Now the Rockies get another bad team, the Nationals, and get to face a horrible starting pitcher - Erick Fedde.
Colorado starter German Marquez is due for a good game. The same can't be said for Fedde, who shouldn't be in a big league rotation. Fedde had a 5.47 ERA last season and he's been even worse this year with a 6.00 ERA.
Fedde is 0-2 career-wise against the Rockies with a 9.00 ERA in four appearances, including three starts. He hasn't gone more than five innings during any of his four starts this season so a bad Washington bullpen also figures to be involved.
Washington defeated the Giants in their last game this past Sunday. Prior to that, however, the Nationals had dropped nine of their last 10 games.
|05-02-22||Mariners v. Astros -119||Top||0-3||Win||100||19 h 6 m||Show|
After playing six games in Florida, the Mariners remain on the road crisscrossing to Houston.
I don't like the Mariners' chances against the Astros. The price is short enough for me to back Houston.
I'm not enamored with Houston's veteran starter Jake Odorizzi. But I am interested in fading Seattle lefty starter Marco Gonzales at homer-friendly Minute Maid Park. Gonzalez surrendered 29 homers last season. He's given up four so far this season. Houston is 7-2 versus southpaw starters this year.
Jose Altuve is expected to come off the IL and start for the Astros.
|04-30-22||Cubs v. Brewers -160||Top||1-9||Win||100||17 h 55 m||Show|
The Brewers' Eric Lauer may be the least appreciated starting pitcher in baseball. Lauer came on strong last season and he's continued tough this season with a 1-0 mark, 2.20 ERA and 1.04 WHIP.
Lauer has a great bullpen behind him, including a rested Josh Hader.
Milwaukee's bats have started to awaken, too. The Brewers are averaging 7.2 runs in their last four games.
The Cubs and their starter, Justin Steele, shouldn't stand in the way of another Brewer victory. Steele has a 5.40 ERA and 1.73 WHIP. It's questionable if he should even be in a big league rotation.
|04-29-22||Reds v. Rockies -112||Top||4-10||Win||100||10 h 19 m||Show|
The pitching matchup is Cincinnati rookie Hunter Greene versus Antonio Sezatela. Green has a 5.27 ERA. I don't think he's fully ready yet for the majors. But this is an action play for me with the major handicap being a fade on the Reds.
Cincinnati is the worst team in baseball right now with a 3-16 record. The Reds are 6-21 in their last 27 road games, including 2-9 this year.
The Rockies are a much better team when playing at Coors Field where once again they own a winning record.
The Rockies should take care of business at home against a Reds squad that has the worst run-differential by a wide margin at minus 14. The Reds have scored the third-fewest runs in the league and are last in ERA at 5.83.
Cincinnati is a total mess. This is an easy lay number to fade the Reds.
|04-14-22||Cubs v. Rockies -118||Top||5-2||Loss||-118||19 h 57 m||Show|
The Rockies are tough at home. The Cubs are weak against lefty starters. So a combination of Chicago playing at Coors Field and facing southpaw Kyle Freeland does not bode well for the Cubs. Colorado is 50-34 in its last 84 home games. The Cubs are 9-21 in their last 30 games when going against a southpaw starter. They have lost 13 of the past 17 times (76 percent) taking on a lefty starter on the road. The oddsmaker is giving too much respect to Justin Steele, who looked good for the Cubs in his first start this season but has yet to prove anything in the majors. Freeland is a reliable starter for Colorado and he knows how to pitch at Coors Field. The Cubs have been held to seven runs during their last three games.
|04-11-22||Padres v. Giants -139||Top||4-2||Loss||-139||21 h 42 m||Show|
Remember Nick Martinez? Can't blame you if you don't. He pitched for the Rangers from 2014-2017 before going to Japan. Martinez, who was 17-30 with a 4.77 ERA for the Rangers, is back in the majors and getting the start here for San Diego. I much prefer the Giants at home going with Alex Wood. San Diego is stepping way up in class going from playing the worst team, the Diamondbacks, to the best. San Francisco had the most regular season wins in the majors last year. They are 44-18 in their last 62 games when favored at home. The Padres are 9-23 during their last 32 road games. Wood has been very solid. He was 10-4 with a 3.83 ERA last year. Wood was tremendous last September in his final four starts posting a 1.38 ERA during that span. Wood won't have to deal with Fernando Tatis Jr., who is out with a wrist injury.
|04-10-22||Marlins v. Giants -120||Top||2-3||Win||100||15 h 22 m||Show|
This is my Max Unit Sunday Special. The Giants won a franchise-record 107 games last season. While I don't believe the Giants can match that mark this season they still rate a strong edge against the Marlins, who were 67-95 last year. Miami has been terrible on the road going 14-42 in its last 56 away games. The pitching matchup is southpaw Trevor Rogers versus Anthony Desclafani. The Giants were 27-20 against lefty starters in 2021. Rogers has potential, but I like Desclafani better especially now that he's away from Cincinnati and throwing in a pitcher's park. Desclafani had a career season in his first season in San Francisco last season going 13-7 with a 3.17 ERA. He was at his best at home, too, going 8-3 with a 3.10 ERA.
|04-07-22||Mets v. Nationals +120||Top||5-1||Loss||-100||18 h 14 m||Show|
The Nationals are a home 'dog to the Mets. That's not surprising considering New York has Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer. Neither of those two studs is pitching, though.
Instead the Mets are going with second-year Tylor Megill, who was 4-6 with a 4.52 ERA in 18 starts last year.
I'm projecting a nice comeback season for Washington starter Patrick Corbin.
So I'm going to take a plus price with Washington. Corbin was terrible last season. But the southpaw appears to have straightened things out looking great during his two spring training starts posting a 0.00 ERA. Corbin struck out 10 in nine innings while permitting just six hits.
The Mets were 18-33 versus lefty starters last year.
The National League is using the DH now. The Nationals signed one of the best DH's in Nelson Cruz.
|10-31-21||Astros -111 v. Braves||Top||9-5||Win||100||17 h 18 m||Show|
Maybe the Braves will beat the Astros and win the World Series. But I don't see it happening here in this Game 5. The Astros have the best offense in baseball having led the majors in runs scored, batting average and on base percentage. Yet Houston has scored only two runs during the past two games, unable to break through against Atlanta's bullpen. The Astros are ready to bust loose. They left 11 men on base in Saturday's 3-2 loss, including eight in scoring position. This is the fifth game in six days and third straight. The Braves' bullpen has fatigue concerns and are forced to use their relief pitchers a lot in this game. While the Astros have Framber Valdez starting, the Braves likely are going to need Tucker Davidson and Drew Smyly to eat the bulk of the innings in this Game 5. That favors the Astros more than this opening number indicates.
|10-20-21||Astros +112 v. Red Sox||Top||9-1||Win||112||8 h 51 m||Show|
By stunning the Red Sox with a seven-run ninth inning last night, the Astros have regained momentum in this AL championship series. I believe Houston should have opened the favorite. So I'm on the Astros at a plus price. The Red Sox have pounded the ball during the postseason. But the Astros have the best offense in baseball. Houston is averaging 6.9 runs in its last 11 games. The pitching matchup is Framber Valdez versus Chris Sale. Those two pitched against each other this past Friday and Houston won, 5-4. Valdez is 3-1 with a 3.19 ERA in six career playoff games, including five starts. Valdez is 2-1 with a 1.59 ERA in four lifetime appearances against the Red Sox, including two starts. Sale hasn't been effective down the stretch. He has a 14.73 ERA in the playoffs this season and a lifetime 6.91 ERA in six career postseason starts. Sale's big name and past accomplishments don't come close to matching how poorly he's pitching now.
|09-28-21||Nationals v. Rockies -133||Top||1-3||Win||100||19 h 51 m||Show|
The Rockies have been outstanding in one role this season - that as a home favorite where they are 24-7. I like the Rockies as home chalk in a pitching matchup of Patrick Corbin versus Kyle Freeland. Corbin has been among the most disappointing pitchers this season with a 9-15 record and 5.92 ERA. Corbin's night ERA is even worse at 6.28. The Rockies average 5.6 runs at home. Freeland is experienced pitching at Coors Field. He's been solid in his last three overall starts with a 3.50 ERA.
|09-21-21||Royals v. Indians -138||Top||1-4||Win||100||18 h 31 m||Show|
Given the pitching matchup, the Indians are priced way too low. Cal Quantrill remains below the radar. He's 6-3 with a 2.89 ERA. Quantrill has been at his best at home, too, where he's 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA. Quantrill didn't allow an earned run in 6 2/3 innings during his last start, which came against the Twins. The Royals are pitching Daniel Lynch, who is 4-5 with a 5.34 ERA. Lynch last started against the A's this past Thursday. He was pulled after two-plus innings because of tightness in his left calf. He had allowed three runs (one earned) on two hits.
|09-17-21||Padres v. Cardinals -130||Top||2-8||Win||100||17 h 12 m||Show|
The Padres' season could be on the line here. So who do the Padres call upon? Vince Velasquez. Ouch! That's the best the Padres could do was go to the junkyard to pick up Velasquez and his 5.95 ERA following injuries to Blake Snell and Chris Paddack. Velasquez faces a hot Cardinals team that has won seven of eight, including the last five. Miles Mikolas, who was outstanding last season, gets the start for St. Louis. He's rounding into shape after being out several months due to a forearm injury. The Cardinals have a rested bullpen after being idle on Thursday. San Diego has lost 11 of the last 13 times it has been a road 'dog.
|09-15-21||Indians -104 v. Twins||Top||12-3||Win||100||18 h 32 m||Show|
This one is simple. The Indians have the much better starter and superior bullpen. The low price gets me involved. Cal Quantrill is flying below the radar. He's 5-3 with a 3.04 ERA. He just faced the Twins six days ago and held them to one earned run on four hits, two walks with five strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. Quantrill was the winner in that 4-1 victory. Griffin Jax gets the call for Minnesota. He's 3-3 with a 6.72 ERA. The Twins have a bottom-10 bullpen. The Indians have won 13 of the last 17 times they've been favored.