|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|09-27-22||Phillies v. Cubs +1.5||Top||1-2||Win||100||11 h 60 m||Show|
The Phillies are hoping for one of the three Wild Card spots in the National League, but have not helped themselves recently by losing 7 of 10. Now all but one of those seven losses came at the hands of the Braves, who are one of the best teams in baseball. But the team Philly is facing now swept them back in July and I see an excellent opportunity to back the Cubs +1.5 at home in the series opener.
The Cubs have won five of their last six games, so they come in as the hotter team. When they went to Philly two months ago, they ended up outscoring the Phillies 25-7 in the three-game sweep. Now they get them at home. The Phillies have not been a good road team in 2022, especially of late, dropping 12 of 17 and four straight away from home.
Cubs’ starting pitching has the third lowest ERA (3.15) in MLB since the All Star Break. Marcus Stroman is on the hill tonight and looking to make it three consecutive quality starts. Against Miami and Colorado, Stroman allowed just four runs and eight hits in 13 innings. He’s pitched better than his record shows with a 3.80 ERA and 1.162 WHIP and has a 2.49 career ERA against the Phillies.
Meanwhile, Zach Wheeler hasn’t been great for Philadelphia recently, posting a 5.87 ERA and 1.37 WHIP his last three starts. It may be a short leash tonight as Wheeler only worked four innings last Wednesday in his first start in almost a month after being bothered with a forearm issue.
Give me the Cubs on the run line tonight as they’ve already proven they can dominate the Phillies and are in better form entering this series. 10*
|09-26-22||Cowboys +1 v. Giants||Top||23-16||Win||100||10 h 35 m||Show|
The 1-1 Cowboys face off with the 2-0 Giants in a highly touted MNF game. Sorry Giants, but I am not sure that 3-0 is a real possibility. First off, I am not sold on Jones nor the Giants ability to protect him on Monday. Jones was well under 200 yds passing, with very short yds/comp and was sacked multiple time. This against 2 relatively poor pass attacks. The Cowboys’ pass defense has been formidable, top 5 in most categories, and a passer nightmare in both games. The Giants also saw the run game (Barkley) fall off significantly in week two after a fine and much publicized effort in Week one against a weak defense. The Cowboys’ rush defense was much better in week two, holding Mixon and the Bengals to 89 yards.
On defense the Giants have not really impressed. The run defense struggled against the Titans as expected but allowed nearly 120 yds against Carolina. They are 30th in yards per completion, again vs. two sub-par passers.
Perhaps the biggest question in this game surrounds the Dallas offense after the loss of Prescott. The Cowboys have a very good two pronged running attack. Rush threw for more yards and had a higher passer rating than Jones in week two. He has been well protected and has brilliant targets available. Even with injury returns, the Giants will likely struggle to get to Rush this week. The rest of the Dallas team will have Rush in about in as good a position to succeed as could be hoped for.
The Giants are a small favorite. Take the Cowboys to steal this one on the road.
|09-25-22||Falcons +1 v. Seahawks||Top||27-23||Win||100||4 h 49 m||Show|
The Falcons have held their own against 2 tough opponents, scoring 26 and 27 points and covering in both games. They have a solid rush offense to date, and Mariota has put them in a position to win both games. The 1-1 Seahawks were lucky to win their first game and lost badly last week. They are close to the bottom in many offensive categories, including time of possession and points scored. They have no run game to speak of. Geno Smith has been accurate but unable to generate points or yards.
|09-25-22||Nationals +1.5 v. Marlins||Top||6-1||Win||100||3 h 57 m||Show|
The 5-5 Marlins have been tough against the Nationals in Miami for some time, have won two straight against the Nats, and are a surprisingly big favorite today. The Nationals have struggled lately at just 3-7. Right handed veteran Sanchez starts for Washington. While his record may not show it, he has pitched well lately, with an ERA of 2.10 over his last 7 games. He faced Miami in his last start, giving up just 2 runs over 6 innings, and has a road ERA of 2 runs less this season.
He faces another right-hander, Miami's Cabrera. Cabrera is 6-3 for the season, but has not been quite as sharp, with a worse ERA than Sanchez's at 3.49 L7. He hasn't pitched past the fifth lately and has also given up 5 home runs in his last 4 starts.
Both teams have been getting very good relief pitching; the Nationals pen has oddly been better than Maimi's. The Marlins have been hitting better just lately, but are generally a poor bet against a righty. The odds seem very high for weak team like Miami. The Nationals took two of three from the Marlins in their home series. Take Washington on the run line today at + 1 1/2.
|09-25-22||Ravens -2 v. Patriots||Top||37-26||Win||100||25 h 22 m||Show|
It was just the one quarter... Like the old joke, the Ravens’ 4th quarter soured a fine game from Lamar Jackson. And yes, the Patriots’ won last week, but against a Steelers team with not much of an offense. The Patriots do not have the receivers, nor can Jones run and gun with Jackson. Not to mention, the Ravens blitz and Jones is very susceptible. Both teams have been solid vs. the run, but NE hasn’t faced a QB who can scramble like Jackson. The Ravens lack of rushing offense, other than Jackson, is a concern, but that may change today. New England does have two solid running backs.
Jackson’s QB rating is right up there, Jones is 18th. Jackson has thrown just 1 interception; Jones 2. Neither passer was sacked last game. NE may be missing their top receiver in this game, a situation they can ill afford.
I am wagering on the Ravens this week and expect them to bounce back from their ugly loss in week two. I also expect the Ravens' defense to be on their very best behavior and make the necessary adjustments, and had success backing the Browns' defense to respond this week. Jones has yet to prove himself this year; Jackson will be the game breaker. The line has dropped below a field goal. Jump on the Ravens to win and cover.
|09-25-22||Chiefs -5.5 v. Colts||Top||17-20||Loss||-110||22 h 26 m||Show|
The 2-0 Chiefs face a struggling Colts team in Indianapolis on Sunday. The Colts game in week two could hardly have gone worse, but the line has drifted in the Colts’ favor. I am unsure why. KC and Patrick Mahomes have looked very good in their opening two games. Mahomes has adapted comfortably to his new circumstances, and we are seeing some timely running from this pass-centric offense. Mahomes has had great protection, hasn’t thrown an interception, and has a monster QB rating.
The Colts’ offense has been a shambles, and were shut out last week. Taylor only carried the ball 9 times, which is incomprehensible. Ryan does not look settled, and has been very poor under pressure, of which there has been lots as the Colts’ O-line has struggled. Ryan threw 3 interceptions, was sacked multiple times, and ended with a miserable 34 passer rating. He may benefit from the return of a quality target, but that is still an unknown.
Kc did not defend well vs the pass last week but faced a much tougher opponent in the Chargers. They have been more successful applying pressure to the passer than the Colts, but haven’t faced a top running back like Taylor this year, so will need to work to contain him.
The Colts would have to make a huge adjustment to come within a TD of the Chiefs and there really is no sign of that in week three. To add to their problems, the Colts will miss a pair of key people on defense this week. I am on KC to win and cover on the road on Sunday.
|09-25-22||Eagles -6 v. Washington Commanders||Top||24-8||Win||100||13 h 49 m||Show|
The Eagles collectively improved from week 1, and manhandled the Vikings in a complete game winning effort. Hurts looked poised and produced in the air and, of course, on the ground. The Eagles’ running game is on fire with Sanders averaging 88 yds a game and 5.9 yds/carry. Hurts has “chipped in” with 147 yards to date, ahead of all passers. On defense, they limited the Vikings’ run game to 62 yds and all but shut down the highly touted Jefferson in the air. The Vikings’ offense was on the field less than 40% of the time.
The Commanders lost to Detroit, but Wentz made it interesting in the second half. He has thrown for over 300 yards in the first two games, but also had 3 interceptions and was sacked 6 times to date. Wentz had better be good as Washington has had no appreciable running game to date. The Commanders’ defense has struggled against the run, at or near the bottom in yds and yds/carry, and giving up 191 yards to the Lions last week. They’ve also given up considerably more yards in the air than the Eagles.
I am big on the Eagles this year, but was concerned with their defensive play in Week one. Week two showed real improvement against a possible play-off team. There is much talk about a revenge game for Wentz this week. That sentiment goes both ways as Russell Wilson found out in his first game back in Seattle. Take the Eagles to win and cover. 9*!
|09-24-22||Stanford +14 v. Washington||Top||22-40||Loss||-110||55 h 45 m||Show|
This is a massive letdown spot for #18 Washington, who beat Michigan State 39-28 last week to move into the polls. The Huskies were an unranked favorite over a Top 25 team in that game. They are one of just five schools to be 3-0 ATS and favored in every game.
Now they’re laying double digits to a conference rival.
Following a loss to USC, Stanford had last week off. Going back to last year, the Cardinal haven’t covered a spread in nine consecutive games, tying them with Colorado State for the longest streak in the nation. But a bye week coupled with the fact they played USC tougher than you might think, have me believing they will stay inside the number this week.
Stanford is 5-1 straight up vs. Washington when the Huskies are ranked in the Top 25. I know that QB Michael Penix Jr (transfer from Indiana) has been a difference-maker for UW, but this spread seems too high after a marquee win like the one the team had last week. I’m not THAT sold on the Huskies just yet.
As for Stanford, after a bye, they figure to go “all out” in this game as they look to avoid an 0-2 start in Pac 12 play. The spread is up to two touchdowns and I just do not see the favorite winning by that kind of margin. Washington is only 2-9 ATS its last 11 conference games and 3-7 ATS the last 10 times it has been off a straight up win. 10*
|09-24-22||Maryland +17.5 v. Michigan||Top||27-34||Win||100||45 h 4 m||Show|
Few are going to give Maryland any shot of pulling the upset Saturday in Ann Arbor, even though the Terrapins come in at 3-0. It has not been a good run against Michigan the last several years with the Terps both losing and failing to cover each of the last six meetings.
Maryland did have a nice win last week (at home) against SMU. So it’s not like they haven’t played anyone. The same cannot be said for Michigan who has faced three of the worst teams in the country, Colorado State, Hawaii and Connecticut. Give the Wolverines credit for winning those three games by a combined score of 166-17. But they were also favored to win the three games by 132 points. All three lines were -31 or higher with the last two averaging -50.5!
I know that Maryland was a bit lucky to get the win last week over SMU. But I think they’ve got the goods to stay within 17 this week. QB Taulia Tagovailoa is completing 77 percent of his passes and has accounted for seven touchdowns. This will quite obviously be the best offense Michigan has faced thus far.
So let’s see how Michigan does once they actually “get punched in the mouth.” My view is that the weak non-conference slate did wonders for “stat-padding.” However, the team is likely now overconfident as they hit the Big 10 slate. The Wolverines are just 3-7 ATS their last 10 games vs. a team with a winning record. 10*
|09-23-22||Boise State v. UTEP +16.5||Top||10-27||Win||100||11 h 0 m||Show|
UTEP isn’t going to get a lot of love from bettors here, especially with the Miners coming in at 0-4 ATS. But the Boise State team that comes to El Paso Friday night just isn’t as strong as we’re used to seeing. In their only “real” test thus far, the Broncos got run off the field in an embarrassing first half showing at Oregon State, a game they’d go on to lose 34-17.
Now Boise has bounced back with a couple of wins, over New Mexico and Tenn Martin, but that doesn’t convince me they are worthy of laying double digits on the road. The Broncos are 0-2-1 ATS in 2022 and pushed two weeks ago with a similar spread at New Mexico. I realize that UTEP just lost to New Mexico - by 17 - last week. But they turned it over SEVEN times in that game, one of them an INT that was returned for a TD.
The UTEP defense has not been bad the last two games, giving up 313 total yards to New Mexico State and just 299 to New Mexico. Yes, those are two bad teams, but Boise State’s offense just isn’t what it used to be. Broncos QB Hank Bachmeier has been inconsistent and was shaken up in last week’s game. On other side of the ball, two starters in the Boise secondary also got hurt last week. So there may be hope for a couple of big plays in the passing game from this UTEP offense after all.
Boise State’s offense seems content to play “slower” compared to years’ past, so I do not see them running away with this game. For the record, the Broncos are 2-10 ATS following a straight up win, 0-5 if that win was by more than 20 points. Also, they could be looking ahead to next week’s game at San Diego State
For UTEP, this game will be treated as “their Super Bowl.” It’s a rare national TV game (CBS Sports) on a Friday night against a fairly marquee opponent. I had success with an "ugly dog" last Friday (Wyoming), so grab those points again. 9*
|09-23-22||Astros v. Orioles +1.5||Top||0-6||Win||100||20 h 6 m||Show|
The young upstart Orioles knocked off the Astros, something very few teams have been able to do. The Orioles have been a good home team this season, and have one of their better starters on the mound. Kremer has been very sharp, going 3-1, 2.79 in his last 7 games. He faced Houston in late August, pitching 7+ innings and allowing just 1 run on 4 hits.
The Astros have looked nearly unbeatable, but have clinched, so the pressure is off. Urquidy starts on Friday and he has been struggling in his last 2 starts, giving up more than a run an inning to the A’s and Angels. Urquidy faced the Orioles in Late August and was out-dueled by Kremer, giving up 3 runs over 5 innings.
Can the Orioles knock off the Astros two straight? Their bats had been slumping but they have been hitting right-handers well of late. Their bullpen, dependable all year, had also been slipping but has bounced back recently. The Astros have been doing most things right, good offense and superlative relief pitching, but can still be stymied by strong pitching. Take the Orioles on the run line at +1 ½.
|09-22-22||Steelers v. Browns -4.5||Top||17-29||Win||100||26 h 41 m||Show|
Thursday Night Football brings you an odd match-up this week featuring a team that can’t score vs a team the apparently can’t defend. We have heard about the Browns’ defensive debacle endlessly, but there were high points in that game for the Browns. Jacoby Brissett looked pretty good, and significantly better than the previous week. He was accurate, threw for 221 yds, had a passer rating of 98.5, and was protected well by the Browns’ O line. The Browns’ rush attack was overpowering, and is first in the league, with 184 yds last week and a potent two pronged attack from Chubb and Hunt. The Steelers have yet to face a good running team, but are still 23rd in yards allowed. They are also 30th in passing yards allowed, still missing Watt, and had zero sacks last week.
The Browns are missing key people on defense, which will make a difference, but less so against the Steelers. Trubisky has not been effective, and if anything was worse last week. He is 28th in passing yards, and 26th in QB rating. He was sacked three times last week and has not looked good handling pressure. The Steelers have not mounted a real run game yet, which leads one to wonder what have they been doing on offense? They haven’t had the ball much is the correct response, and are 30th in offensive time of possession.
I expect Cleveland to run up some points, and the defense to be on their best behavior, especially at home. Take the Browns to win and cover.
|09-20-22||Mariners -1.5 v. A's||Top||1-4||Loss||-115||22 h 32 m||Show|
The Mariners lost three straight before bouncing back in a big way against the Angels. They move to Oakland where they have a 10-2 record. They are usually a very good road team, and have an excellent starter on the mound on Tuesday. Castillo was a great pick-up for the M’s, and has been especially sharp lately with 2 shut-outs and a 1.53 ERA in his last 3 starts. He had an off day vs the A’s the last time he faced them, and is a very good bet for a bounce back.
The A’s are a poor home team and just 4-12 in September. They have given up plenty of runs and really struggle against a quality starter. JP Sears is on the mound. He had a good run when first moving to Oakland, but has fallen on hard times in his last two short and poor starts. Sears will get little support from a roughed up A’s bullpen.
The Mariners aren’t hitting for avg. but their power figures are good lately. The A’s aren’t hitting at all.
The A’s can occasionally surprise someone, but the Mariners are in tough in a pennant race and will be motivated on Tuesday. Take the Mariners on the run line. 9*!
|09-19-22||Vikings +2.5 v. Eagles||Top||7-24||Loss||-110||31 h 16 m||Show|
The Vikings off a hug win against the Packers, looked solid on both offense and defense. Admittedly this was not a vintage game from Rogers, but give the Vikings some credit; they sacked him 4 times, and held Rogers to a 74.7 QB rating. On offense, Cousins, Jefferson, and Cook all looked terrific. Cousins was accurate, and ran up 269 passing yds with 2 TDs and a 118 QB rating.
The Eagles put up a bunch of points but were hardly in control against a team much weaker than the Vikings. Hurts struggled in the air but was a force on the ground. The Eagles’ run game is a force to be reckoned with, and it isn’t just Hurts. The Eagles have a very good offensive line, and a solid running back in Sanders. The Eagles cannot afford to expose Hurts to the same degree very often.
The Eagles’ defense was a concern. They were just OK vs. Gough and the pass, but were very poor vs. the run. As talented as it is the defense is, did not look composed or effective. Can they improve significantly in a week? It seems a tall order. I like the Eagles this year, but just not yet. Take the Vikings to cover.
|09-18-22||Reds v. Cardinals -1.5||Top||3-0||Loss||-128||3 h 8 m||Show|
The Reds have lost 3 straight against the Cardinals, aren't hitting, and are just 6-11 in September. They are a very poor road underdog, and struggle against left-handed pitching. Their starter Cessa was hit hard in his last appearance, but has otherwise been average with short starts.
|09-17-22||San Diego State +21.5 v. Utah||Top||7-35||Loss||-110||25 h 37 m||Show|
Utah is out for revenge Saturday night in Salt Lake City, facing a San Diego State team that defeated them, 33-31 as eight-point underdogs, last season. The Utes are much bigger favorites this time, but I think the Aztecs keep it close.
The bloom is off the rose a bit for SDSU as they lost 38-20 at home to Arizona in the opener. But they came back to beat Idaho State 38-7 last week. A well-coached team like this, that can run the football effectively, should be able to control the clock and stay within the generous number.
Let’s not forget Utah lost to Florida. Florida is obviously much better than SDSU, but the Utes defense did allow 451 yards in that game.
I think that the revenge angle has inflated this line. Utah is also just 2-11 ATS in the month of September, not to mention 1-4 ATS following a straight up win of more than 20 points and 2-7 ATS its last nine non-conference games.
And this is a spot where San Diego State typically steps it up. They are 5-1 ATS their last six games vs. Top 25 teams. Going back to 2016, they sport a 13-5 record vs. the number when catching points. 10*
|09-17-22||Oklahoma v. Nebraska +11||Top||49-14||Loss||-110||27 h 52 m||Show|
The second Scott Frost was fired, bettors started piling on Nebraska, who is a home dog for this Noon ET matchup against #6 Oklahoma. I agree with the line move and will be taking the points.
Nebraska may be 0-3 ATS, 1-2 SU, but Frost is gone and the Cornhuskers have actually been pretty good as an underdog in recent years (12-8-1 ATS). Last year, they easily covered as 22-point dogs in Norman, losing by just seven points to OU.
The Sooners did win 33-3 last week, but that’s a little misleading when you consider they were down 3-0 to Kent State with under a minute to go in the first half. Just because they were able to pile it on in the second half there doesn’t mean they can do the same here.
Interim coach Mickey Joseph should have the Blackshirts fired up and ready to go Saturday morning. I just can’t see the home team being blown out here and remember no team has lost more close games the last few seasons than Nebraska has. All we are asking for here is for them to keep it close.
The offense seems just fine in Lincoln, averaging 36 points/game. Oklahoma has yet to face a good offense this year. I also wouldn’t be so certain that the Sooners can make it three straight games without a turnover. Grab the points. 9*
|09-16-22||Air Force v. Wyoming +16.5||Top||14-17||Win||100||11 h 15 m||Show|
Air Force is probably the best team in the Mountain West right now. Going back to last season, the Falcons own the nation’s third longest active win streak at six in a row. They have also covered the spread in all six of those games. But Wyoming has always been a tough opponent and I’m liking the points in this Friday night matchup.
First off, Air Force hasn’t won here in Laramie since 2012. They’ve lost three times here since that last win and conference openers also seem to be a problem for the Falcons. They’re just 2-9 SU in MWC openers the last 11 seasons. They’ve also lost their first road game of the season each of the last three years.
Nobody runs the ball better than Air Force, but the past shows that the Wyoming defense has been fairly adept at slowing down the triple option. The last two years, Air Force has averaged just 186.5 rush yards vs. Wyoming. That still sounds like a lot, however, not when compared to what the Falcons usually rush for.
Wyoming is also 2-0, by the way. I know that an OT win over Tulsa and beating FCS Northern Colorado isn’t going to really impress anybody. But the fact they put up an average of 36.5 points in those two wins is encouraging. The Cowboys should have scored more than 33 last week, but settled for four field goals.
The last 14 encounters between these Mt West rivals have seen an average of just over 42 points/game scored. That’s not very many. So, in what historically has been a low-scoring game, grabbing the points seems like the better option, especially with AF’s past struggles here in Laramie. 10*
|09-16-22||Royals v. Red Sox -1.5||Top||1-2||Loss||-100||19 h 8 m||Show|
The 3-7 Royals have taken over the cellar on offense in the last two weeks. They were swept by the Twins, managing just 5 runs in 3 games. They are very poor on the road, and have really struggled against right-handed pitching. Heasley starts for KC. He has had the rare good start but has struggled lately (2-4, 6.75/L7 starts), and was shelled by the Tigers in his last outing.
The Red Sox are off a pair of losses to the Yankees, but hitting has not been the issue, with a healthy .268/.770 line. They scored 17 runs for Wacha, Friday’s starter, in his last start. As disappointing as Boston’s season has been, they are a terrific 8-0 when favored at home. Wacha has been the Red Sox’s best pitcher this year, and has been solid in his recent appearances. He is unusual, pitching much better in the hitter-friendly confines of Fenway Park. Both teams have been getting good relief pitching lately, but I expect a longer start from Wacha.
It could be a tough day for Heasley in Fenway park. After a long stretch against the AL East, I expect some run production from the Red Sox on Friday. Take the Sox on the run line, at – 1 ½.
|09-15-22||Chargers v. Chiefs -3.5||Top||24-27||Loss||-115||22 h 48 m||Show|
It is the Chargers and the Chiefs in a barn burner of a match-up on TNF. Mahomes and the Chiefs overpowered the Cardinals over 3 quarters, then coasted home while resting starters, which is significant considering the quick turn-around in Week Two. The Chargers prevailed in a much closer match-up vs the Raiders, and were all out until the last series.
|09-14-22||Rockies v. White Sox -1.5||Top||3-0||Loss||-105||15 h 32 m||Show|
The 6-4 White Sox are off a win, and putting the charge in the ball lately, at least top three over the last two weeks. They are hitting lefties especially well. They are just three games back of the division leading Guardians, their only hope for a playoff spot. They are not the best team on the road, but have their ace on the mound on Wednesday. With two shutouts in his last two starts, one of them a complete game effort, Cease is as good as anyone in the league, and boy, has he been getting run support lately, 25 runs in the last 2 games. To make matters worse for the Rockies, Colorado have almost no experience against him. Should he need bullpen support, the White Sox relievers have been solid of late.
While they have won their last two home series, the Rockies are a different animal on the road, and very poor as a road underdog. They are also the second worst team on offense in the league when on the road. Lefty Freeland has had mixed success this year, but he has pitched well in his last three starts, giving up just 4 runs in 16+ innings. As one might expect, his ERA is two runs less when pitching on the road. The Rockies’ bullpen has not been kind to him (or anyone else) lately, as Freeland has come away with just 1 win in those three games. The bullpen has an ERA of 5.20 in their last 10 games.
I have been burned on some run line wagers this year, but even considering Freeland’s recent success, the combination of Cease and a hot White Sox line up makes me wager on the Sox and the run line on Wednesday
|09-12-22||Broncos -6.5 v. Seahawks||Top||16-17||Loss||-115||21 h 21 m||Show|
For the Broncos, it is kind of like starting school with the brand new outfit; new QB, new coach and new plan for the offense. Same old defense, which is a good thing. Rated well into the top 10, the Broncos’ defense allowed the third lowest points last year. They were particularly good against the pass, and in the red zone, but look for a new emphasis on bringing pressure to quarterbacks this year. The Broncos on offense have a powerful rushing duo in Williams and Gordon, and fine receivers. What remains to be seen is how much of an addition Wilson can be to take the Broncos to the next step and how quickly he can do it.
Much is made in the media about the Seahawks and the return of Wilson. It will be very surprising if the Seahawks thrive rather than flounder this year, and the Broncos will be a very tough opening match. As much as the Seahawks know Russell Wilson, Wilson the playmaker, also knows the Seahawks. Emotions aside, this might be the very best place for Wilson and the Broncos to start.
On offense, Seattle hopes that RB force Penny will continue as he finished last year. It is eight years since Geno Smith played as a starting quarterback, so no great expectations there. Smith did not thrive under pressure last year, and while still has some very fine targets, he is a big step back on QB for the Seahawks this year.
Look for the tough Broncos defense to hold things together early and pressure Smith, and possibly more of a running game early from the Broncos. Wilson knows why he is there, is a consummate professional and competitor, and WILL establish a pass attack. Projected scores for this match vary wildly from a grudge win by a vengeful Seattle squad to a Broncos blowout. I expect something in the middle. Take Denver to win and cover. 9*!
|09-11-22||Chiefs -6 v. Cardinals||Top||44-21||Win||100||22 h 54 m||Show|
What to think of the Cardinals this year? The Cardinals didn't make a ton of changes in the off season They face a tough early schedule, and there is definitely friction around Kyler Murray. The Cardinals have a mediocre offensive line and will be missing Hopkins for the first six games as well as 2 other key targets injured or questionable.. Their day one opponent probably couldn't be worse. Mahomes and the Chiefs don't fail on season openers, and are projected to be in the elite in the league again this year. While they lost Hill, they still have Kelce, and have added key receivers for a new look KC pass attack. One thing that hasn't changed is the O-line, and that is a good thing. It served Mahomes very well last year.
The Cardinals started last season as a very good defensive team, but that changed by the end of the season. The lost some key people on defense and haven't appeared to replace them. The Cardinals have a pretty serious injury bill at the moment. They are not especially good vs the run, so we might just see more running game from the Chiefs on Sunday.
Mahomes has something to prove after a difficult (for him) year in 2021. He has by all reports, prepared very well, and the KC offense looked good in preseason. Take the Chiefs to win and cover on Sunday. 9*!
|09-11-22||Eagles -4.5 v. Lions||Top||38-35||Loss||-115||19 h 16 m||Show|
Have the Eagles truly landed? Well, I am on Hurts and the Eagles until I see otherwise. The Eagles have done much to bolster the team in the off season. AJ Brown might not even be the most significant addition as they have significantly added to the defense through free agency and the draft. Hurts needs to take that step forward this season and the Eagles brain trust has put him in the best possible position to make that step. The Eagles now have a trio of top targets for Hurts, a very strong O-line and a dominant run game to boot. Did I mention a top 5 or 6 defense?
Run is a bit of a dirty word for the Lions. They don't have an established run game, and they likely wont defend the run much better than last year. Geoff, like Hurts, needs to make the next step, but the Lions, while improved, don't have the personnel to fully support him. Their offensive line was expected to be a bright spot this year, but the injury bug has struck already. While it likely won't be the rout we say last year, I expect the Eagles to win and cover.
|09-10-22||Virginia +4.5 v. Illinois||Top||3-24||Loss||-110||31 h 15 m||Show|
Even though Illinois is at home, coming off a loss to Indiana, they probably should not be favored here.
Now the Fighting Illini’s season did get off to a great start as they blew out Wyoming 38-6 here in Champaign. But the last second loss to Indiana last week took the wind out of their sales pretty quick. It’s a game the Illini probably should have won, but four turnovers cost them dearly.
Virginia has the best offense that Brett Bielema’s team has seen yet. The Cavaliers are led by Brennan Armstrong, a dual threat QB that can beat you with his arm or his legs. Illinois’ defense will have all sorts of problems trying to contain Armstrong, who has his top three receivers back from last year.
It wasn’t the most impressive final score as Virginia beat Richmond last week 34-17. But the offense had over 500 yards and scored 28 points by halftime. They simply took their foot off the gas in the second half, probably not wanting to show Illinois much.
These teams met last year and Virginia won 42-14 with Armstrong throwing for 400 yards. The line was -10.5 (in favor of Virginia) for that game. I just don’t see how it could be so different here. 10*
|09-09-22||Boise State v. New Mexico +17||Top||31-14||Push||0||14 h 33 m||Show|
Boise State turned in a truly horrible first half performance last week in Corvallis and as a result, found themselves down 24-0 going into the break. Winning the second half 17-10 was of little consequence as the Broncos ended up going down 34-17 at the hands of Oregon State. Based on that performance, I think the number is too high this week in New Mexico.
Not much is expected in Albuquerque this year. But the Lobos did start 2022 with a big 41-0 win over Maine. Now while everyone realizes that’s a FCS opponent, New Mexico did hold the Bears to 118 total yards and just 2.5 per play. UNM gained 437 yards in the game and six per play.
After just one game, there’s already some question as to who will be under center for Boise. Hank Bachmeier threw two first half interceptions last week and thus got benched for Taylen Green, who came in and threw for 155 yards. As of press time, Bachmeier is still listed as QB1. But this uncertainty about the position can’t be good for the offense.
New Mexico’s offense is all about running the ball. Look for them to control the clock, making it difficult for Boise State to pull away. Honestly, based on what we saw last week, there’s no reason to believe the Broncos will run away with this game.
A Friday night home game is a big deal for New Mexico and I’m expecting an inspired effort where they keep the game close. The Lobos seem like they’re a better football team compared to last year. The Broncos are now just 7-7 straight up their last 14 games. 9*
|09-09-22||Reds +1.5 v. Brewers||Top||8-2||Win||100||9 h 14 m||Show|
The 5-5 Brewers are struggling to keep pace and are down a couple of starters. They can’t hit lefties lately. Today’s pitcher, Alexander is a reliever/spot starter, who has pitched two starts recently to mixed results. His starts are short as would be expected. He gave up 3 runs over 4+ innings in his last appearance.
The Reds are off a pair of winning series, are 4-2 in September, and hitting well in recent games. We saw the Reds take off earlier in the season. They don’t usually have much success vs the Brewers, but today could be a solid opportunity for them.
Lodolo, a promising rookie left-hander, has also had some mixed results lately, but is very good when on. He has tossed a pair of 6 and 7 inning shutouts, mixed in with poorer results. Expect much more length from him than from Alexander.
Neither bullpen has been especially sharp lately, and the Brewers will need to turn to it early. With 2 of their last 3 starters lasting only 2+ innings and a double header yesterday, their relievers may be over-extended today. Take the underdog Reds to win or at least stay close today. Reds on the run line at +1 1/2. 9*!
|09-09-22||Louisville +5.5 v. Central Florida||Top||20-14||Win||100||54 h 29 m||Show|
What a letdown Louisville was last week. The Cardinals lost 31-7 at Syracuse in a completely misleading final. I say that not just as “sour grapes” after a bad bet, but knowing full well Louisville came away with seven points on five drives inside the Orange 40-yard line.
Even though QB Malik Cunningham did not play great against Syracuse, the offense still averaged 6.2 yards per play. What happened is they were undone by three costly turnovers.
Central Florida faced a FCS school in its opening game, so we really can’t make “heads or tails” of the Golden Knights just yet. But we do know they lost three of last year’s starters along the defensive line. Louisville should be able to run the ball more effectively and hold up in the face of pressure better than they did in Week 1.
Louisville won this matchup last year, 41-34 as a seven-point dog. It came down to the wire with a pick-six on the final play deciding things. I’m not saying they’ll be able to beat the Cardinals again, but all the Golden Knights need is to stay within a score. I think they do that here.
Cunningham should have a bounce back game (he had 384 yards in this game last year) and we’re getting a ton of value with Louisville being off a loss. The Cardinals are 10-4-1 ATS off a loss. 9*
|09-08-22||White Sox -1.5 v. A's||Top||14-2||Win||100||23 h 5 m||Show|
The Yankees brass must just be chewing their own livers when they see the play of lefty J P Sears in August and September. He has allowed just 8 runs over 27+innings in 5 starts since joining the A’s. What he won’t do is pitch much past the 5th. He is up against a premier starter in the White Sox’ Dylan Cease on Thursday. Cease has a 2.38 ERA in his last 7 starts, and has given up just 2 runs in 17 innings in his last 2 outings. Cease one-hit the As over 6 innings at the end of July.
After winning 6 of 8 games, the Sox still have an outside shot at a wild card spot, especially if they can take advantage of games against teams like the As. The Sox are a good road favorite this season. They are hitting well at the moment, and aren’t giving up many runs lately.
The As have won just 1 of 7 games, and unlike the Sox, are giving up nearly 6 runs a game lately. They have struggled against right-handers all year, and their bullpen has allowed some inflated numbers in recent games.
Sears has shown well recently, but the White Sox are tough on lefties, and Sears can’t match the quality of the Sox’ starter Cease. Chicago needs this game, and has been much better in all regards lately. Take the Sox to win on the run line at -1 1/2. 9*!
|09-08-22||Bills -2 v. Rams||Top||31-10||Win||100||45 h 28 m||Show|
The Bills face the Rams on the road in what is touted as a possible prequel to this year's Super Bowl. So what have these teams done lately? The Bills who were solid on both sides of the ball, upgraded on defense by adding Von Miller and others to an already impressive and well run defense. What did the Rams do? certainly, they lost more than they gained.The Rams had their issues on defense last year, especially early in the season and were never much better than average over the season. I am not convinced that the Rams won't struggle early again.
There is no doubting Stafford's abilities, but he doesn't come without a down side. He threw more interceptions than any one last year, and he doesn't exactly spread the ball around. He gets sacked a not inconsiderable number of times, and there are still some questions around his elbow. Allen and his running ability, and Von Miller, who will likely be in Stafford's face a lot on Thursday ,will be the difference-makers in this game.
The Bills are hungrier and with more to prove. On the road or no, take the Bills to win and cover. 9*!
|09-07-22||Nationals v. Cardinals -1.5||Top||5-6||Loss||-140||9 h 0 m||Show|
The Nationals have played much better in September, winning series vs the Mets and A’s, and splitting the first 2 games of their present series. They haven’t been good as a road underdog this season and have struggled vs. left-handed pitching. The 8-2 Cardinals are very strong at home, and are 3-1 vs the Nat’s this year. Both teams are hitting well lately; the Nationals have the advantage for average and the Cards, for power.
Left-hander Montgomery starts for the Cardinals today. Other than a poor outing against the Braves, Montgomery has been lights out since joining the Cards, winning 5 of 6 games and allowing just 1 run total in those 5 victories. The Nationals have not faced Montgomery before, so advantage goes to the pitcher. Look for a solid 6 innings from him today.
Cory Abbot starts for the Nationals. Usually a reliever, Abbot started 4 games in August, to mixed results. His last start vs. the Cubs, a 2 run, 6 inning effort, was his best and longest appearance.
It would be hard to go against Montgomery and the Cards at home, and the odds-makers would certainly agree. St. Louis has the superior starter and a formidable bullpen at the moment. Take the Cardinals on the run line today. 9*!
|09-07-22||Tigers v. Angels -1.5||Top||5-4||Loss||-105||16 h 19 m||Show|
It has been a long season for the Tigers, and they have continued to struggle in September. They flounder for the season as a home underdog, and have been badly outscored in their last three games. Prior to Tuesday, they had managed less than 2 runs on average over their last 5 games. The starters have been poor, with short starts and the bullpen, overworked.
The 7-3 Angels have looked much better of late, hitting for power and getting very good pitching. In addition to great length from the starters, the relief pitching has been outstanding.
Lefty Sandoval starts for the Angels on Wednesday. He has been excellent everywhere but in the win column, especially lately, with an ERA of 2.63 in his last 7 games. He has pitched well into games, and shut out the Tigers with a 4 hit, 9 inning gem in August.
Sandoval faces the Tigers’ Hutchison, who is also capable of a quality start, and has delivered lately with an ERA of 3.13 in his last 7 appearances. He doesn’t commonly offer the length that Sandoval would.
Offense might not be the name of the game on Wednesday, but if it does come, it will likely be from the Angels. Sandoval is a better bet and the Angels’ pen has been super. They rung up the Tigers to the tune of 10-0 just two games ago. Look for the Angels to win and cover on the run line.
|09-06-22||Mets v. Pirates +1.5||Top||2-8||Win||112||10 h 46 m||Show|
I realize that it’s difficult to drum up any interest in Pittsburgh, a team that has lost four in a row as well as eight of its last ten games. But wait until you hear about the success they’ve had in the past against Mets starter Taijuan Walker!
In three career starts vs. the Pirates, Walker is winless and has a 7.94 ERA.
Now I obviously cannot make a play solely based on that small sample size. But here’s the thing. Walker is a pitcher that you’d want to bet against anyway. His ERA post-All Star Break is 6.10. This seems to be a disturbing trend for him as he carried a 7.10 ERA in the second half of last season.
Walker has made it through six innings just once in his last five starts. This is another problem for the Mets because their bullpen has not been good for the last month or so.
The Pirates are going with Mitch Keller as their starter for Tuesday. Keller has allowed three earned runs or less in 13 of his 16 starts this year and has a 3.19 ERA over the previous nine. So he can keep his team in this one. Before yesterday’s game got rained out, the Mets had suffered back to back 7-1 losses - at home - to the Nationals. Grab the +1.5 in this one. The Mets are overpriced. 9*
|09-05-22||Guardians v. Royals +1.5||Top||6-5||Win||100||20 h 13 m||Show|
The Guardians have picked the wrong time to fall of a ledge, but have now lost 4 straight, and 7 of 9. While they have faced tough pitching lately, their offense numbers are very low, just ERA of over .216/.561 OPS over the last two weeks. While they aren’t hitting they are at least tough to score against, allowing just over 3.5 runs a game /L7. The Royals, 5-5 L10, are just the reverse, hitting .272 /.826 OPS over the last two weeks, but with a struggling bullpen.
Tristan McKenzie is pitching for the Guardians. After a magnificent run, he has taken a slight step back, with an ERA of 3.18 over the last 7 games. That ERA is still more than acceptable, but pales when compared to his hot streak. McKenzie has already pitched more than 150 innings, well above his total from his first full year in 2021. He shut out the Royals when he faced them in July. McKenzie does not pitch as well on the road.
Royals’ right- hander Brady Singer had a rough 4 inning, 4 run start the last time out, but other than that he has been very solid of late with an ERA of 2.45 L7 games. Singer is a much better pitcher at home, and has had good success vs the Guardians.
I would be all over the Royals as an underdog on Monday if it weren't for the KC bullpen, ERA of over 5 in the last two weeks. Singer can often pitch 6 or 7 innings, and the bullpen came through in the last 2 games, however I will temper my enthusiasm and take the Royals on the run line at +1 1/2. 9*
|09-03-22||Kent State v. Washington -22.5||Top||20-45||Win||100||23 h 22 m||Show|
Washington should run away with a victory in their opening game in what promises to be a bounce back season under new coach Kalen DeBoer.
DeBoer did a great job leading Fresno State to a 10-3 record last season. He’s got more talent to work with in Seattle and brought in Michael Penix (transfer from Indiana) to play quarterback.
The Huskies’ defense has experience and there shouldn’t be much of a learning curve under the new co-coordinators DeBoer brought with him from Frenso.
DeBoer will certainly want to make a “statement” in his first game. With a FCS opponent on deck, there’s really no reason to hold back or “hide” anything. Kent State is going to be in a lot of trouble in this late Saturday matchup.
The Golden Flashes have made it to a bowl two of the last three seasons, but there are heavy losses on offense with the QB, both WRs and four offensive linemen having to be replaced. This is a giant mismatch on the Week 1 card.
|09-03-22||Louisville -4 v. Syracuse||Top||7-31||Loss||-110||21 h 52 m||Show|
Louisville and Syracuse each have a head coach on the proverbial hot seat. Scott Satterfield went 8-5 his first year at Louisville, but is just 10-14 since. Dino Babers is still hanging on at Syracuse despite a 29-43 record over six years. A win here is desperately needed for both Satterfield and Babers. Only one can get it though.
Satterfield’s overall results may not be up to snuff. But Syracuse is a team he’s handled all three seasons. The Cardinals have beaten the Orange three straight years, outscoring them 127-37 along the way. The last two years it’s been 71-3.
The Louisville offense should be excellent this year with QB Malik Cunningham back. I think they have the potential to put up 40 points per game. What about the defense? Seven starters are back and eight transfers were brought in. So the Cardinals will be stronger on that side of the ball.
Cunningham has killed the Orange defense in the past with nine touchdown passes in two games. He’s a threat to run (1031 yards last year) and with Syracuse breaking in an entirely new starting D-line, I don’t like their chances against the senior L’ville QB this time either. The third time will not be the charm.
Given the series history, which includes eight straight covers by the team that is favored, you’ve got to like Louisville here. Cunningham is the difference maker with Cuse QB Shrader remains a question mark. 10*
|09-03-22||Bowling Green v. UCLA -23.5||Top||17-45||Win||100||15 h 24 m||Show|
Chip Kelly is only 18-25 in his four years at UCLA. But it was finally a winning season last year at 8-4. With Dorian Thompson-Robinson back for another year, the Bruins’ offense should be explosive and I see them routing Bowling Green in the opener.
Scott Loeffler is just 7-22 in his three years at Bowling Green with four of the wins coming last year. The Falcons do bring back one of the more experienced offenses in the country, however this group was only able to put up 21 points per game in ‘21. They still don’t have enough to keep up with DTR and the Bruins.
The defensive side of the ball was BG’s strength last season. But it still struggled to stop the run and will have to deal with Zach Charbonnet, who had 1153 yards and 13 touchdowns last season.
UCLA averaged 37 points per game last year. Against FBS teams, BG scored more than 26 once.
It’s a big number to lay in the opener. But Kelly is all-too-aware of what’s going on at USC and doesn’t want to lose the headlines in Los Angeles. UCLA has a very easy non-conference schedule and will want to start like they did last year when they blew out Hawaii 44-10 in the first game. Won’t be close at the Rose Bowl. 9*
|09-02-22||Western Michigan v. Michigan State -22||Top||13-35||Push||0||76 h 36 m||Show|
Michigan State probably won’t match 2021’s 11-2 SU record, but they’ll have an excellent defense and should easily overwhelm an inexperienced Western Michigan team in the opener.
Sparty won all six of its home games last year, one of them over a Michigan team that made the CFP Playoff. The six wins were by an average of 13 points and while I need a bigger margin of victory Friday, this Western Michigan team is one of the weaker opponents to visit in East Lansing in quite some time.
The Broncos lose QB Kaleb Eleby and his production will be almost impossible to replace even though the team went a disappointing 8-5 with him at the helm last year. WMU was actually favored in all eight MAC games in 2021. This year, they figure to take some lumps early on.
The offensive line is young and will struggle to protect new QB Salopek, a freshman, against what is likely to be a ferocious Spartans’ pass rush.
MSU covered 10 of 13 games last season and will win here by at least four scores. Last time these teams played it was 51-17 Sparty. Lay the number. 8*
|09-01-22||West Virginia v. Pittsburgh -7.5||Top||31-38||Loss||-105||52 h 49 m||Show|
It’s nice to see this rivalry being revived. This is the first “Backyard Brawl” since 2011 when WVU prevailed 21-20 in Morgantown. The Mountaineers have actually won seven of the last ten meetings, as well as four of the last five, but obviously little of that matters now as more than a decade has passed since the programs last met on the football field.
Pitt’s players, coaching staff and fans should care though. It’s an important game to start the season, not just because of the rivalry, but also because the Panthers have high hopes for ‘22. While they do lose QB Pickett, OC Whipple and top WR Addison, the three top running backs all return and Slovis has transferred from USC to replace Pickett. This Pitt team will again be a force in the ACC, a conference they won last season.
West Virginia hasn’t won more than six games in any of the previous three seasons and figures to be near the bottom of the Big 12 again this year. The defensive side of the ball lost a lot, particularly at linebacker and in the secondary. There’s just 11 returning starters total and the Mountaineers lost their QB, top RB and top WR from a season ago.
With this being a rivalry game, it’s only natural to “think upset,” but I just can’t see WVU hanging with this Pitt team. The Panthers have a decisive edge on defense. Transfer JT Daniels may be in for a long night in his first game in a Mountaineer uniform. The home team is very strong along the defensive line and in the back end.
Pitt is not only 16-4 SU its last 20 games as a favorite, but they’ve covered 13 times. They are 6-2 ATS last eight tries as a favorite of 3.5 to 10 points. WVU is 2-8 SU/3-7 ATS L10 road games. Lay the number. 9* Pitt
|09-01-22||Mariners v. Tigers +1.5||Top||7-0||Loss||-120||13 h 21 m||Show|
Off a home loss, the Tigers are 5-3 in their last 8, surprisingly good as a home underdog, and have a very hot starter on the hill for Thursday. Lefty Rodriguez has only been back for 2 games but has thrown an impressive 1 run over 11 innings in that time. The Mariners don't generally do well vs left handers.
Definitely in the thick of the wild card race, the Mariners have won 6 of 8, but they aren't doing it on their offense. At .200/.663 OPS, they are lucky that the pitching, both starters and relievers, has delivered. Gilbert hasn't matched his first start numbers, is just 0-2 5.55 ERA in his last 7 games, but that ERA is largely a result of a two game beating by the Yankees. He has looked just okay, giving up 2, 2, and 3 runs over 17 innings in his last 3 starts. He does have a very good bullpen to support him.
The Tigers are the worst team in the league on offense for the season, but have hit surprisingly well lately , even climbing into the top eight over the last week. They can't match the Mariners' bullpen pen, but the Tigers' relievers have been solid in support of Rodriguez's last two games.
The M's will have a tough time against E-Rod. He is exactly the kind of pitcher they struggle against; a tough left hander. Gilbert has not been at his best, and the Tigers' offense has been solid. I expect the Tigers to embrace the spoiler role, possibly winning but at least keeping it close. Take the Tigers on the run line, at + 1 1/2.
|08-30-22||Rockies v. Braves -1.5||Top||3-2||Loss||-155||18 h 46 m||Show|
The Braves lost a pair vs the Cardinals and are now 3 games off the lead in their division. The Rockies are 4-6, but only 19-42 on the road, and are playing out the season at this point. Urena, the Rockies’ starter on Tuesday, was crushed by the Rangers in his last start, but has otherwise allowed 3 runs over 5 innings on average in August. The Braves have had their way with Urena in the past.
He faces Atlanta left hander Max Fried, who shut the Rockies out over 8 innings in Denver the last time he faced them. Fried has been as good as usual lately, with an ERA of 2.54 over his last 7 appearances. He generally pitches for length.
In runs scored vs runs allowed there is no comparison lately. The Braves are 6.4 /3.6, with the Rockies nearly the reverse at 3.9/6.3. The Rockies bullpen is also significantly worse lately. The Braves are a very good home team, off a pair of losses, and with an ace on the mound. They should be highly motivated on Tuesday. Can you spell “win on the run line”? Take the Braves -1 1/2
|08-29-22||Dodgers -1.5 v. Marlins||Top||3-2||Loss||-125||8 h 6 m||Show|
Gonsolin, after some trouble in July has bounced back in August in a big way, allowing just 2 runs over 23+ innings. He faces another right-hander off a good start in Miami's Lopez. Lopez has not been as effective in August. He struggled in two of his previous 3 start and has a hefty ERA of 5.06 for the month. Lopez struggles more often at home.
The Dodgers are not in a losing mood, winning 5 of 6 games against the Marlins recently. They couldn't solve Alcantara, but they did get to another fine starter, Cabrera, yesterday, and they have beaten up on the Miami bullpen very thoroughly in their recent games. it is not surprising as the Marlins' bullpen has an ERA of nearly 6 in their last 10 games.
The Dodgers have a formidable offense, the Marlins not so much. The Dodgers runs scored to runs allowed ratio is nearly double that of the Marlins. LA is a big favorite, but a safe bet on the run line. Take the Dodgers at -1 1/2.
|08-28-22||Rockies v. Mets -1.5||Top||1-0||Loss||-145||3 h 19 m||Show|
The Rockies have lost 4 straight, 3 of them to the Mets. Marquez starts for them today, and he has by and large been solid in August, although he was roughed up in his last start to the Rangers. The Mets hit Marquez very well for average when they faced him in May.
The Mets start one of their aces today. Scherzer has had another fine season, and has an ERA of 2.51 ERA in August, although he has given up 4 runs in each of his last 2 starts, albeit against some top offenses. Scherzer is very fine at home this year and I think we can expect a good outing from him today.
The Rockies don’t hit well away from Coors Field, and their bullpen has not shone, so mo support for Marquez there. The Mets offense has been very solid this year and they are getting excellent relief pitching. They are a heavy favorite but I expect them to safely cover today. Take the Mets on the run line.
|08-27-22||Nevada v. New Mexico State +8.5||Top||23-12||Loss||-110||15 h 40 m||Show|
No matter where you look, you will not find a College Football team with less experience than Nevada. I believe this will be a major detriment for the Wolf Pack, who are laying points in the season opener.
The Wolf Pack went 8-4 last year in the regular season with three of the losses coming by two points. But then they were rolled in the bowl game, 52-24 by Western Michigan, and their coach Mike Norvell left for rival Colorado State. First year coach Ken Wilson is stepping into a tough situation in Reno as QB Strong is gone as are the top SEVEN receivers from last year. Only six starters are back.
New Mexico State is again pegged to be one of the worst teams in College Football. They also have a new coach, Jerry Kill, who had previous success at Northern Illinois and Minnesota. While the Aggies are underdogs here, I think the players and coaching staff view this as a very winnable game and will want to get the Kill-era off to a strong start. At home, getting points against such an experienced team, they are the play.
Last year’s NMSU team was a little bit better than you might realize as they led both San Diego State and Utah State at the half. Kill did a nice job in the transfer portal, adding a number of talented players.
Nevada lost its starting right tackle to a season-ending injury and he was the lone returnee along the offensive line. Wilson has never been a head coach at this level and I just can’t see this Wolf Pack team winning by double digits tonight. 8*
|08-27-22||Cubs +1.5 v. Brewers||Top||0-7||Loss||-120||8 h 18 m||Show|
The Cubs won on the road vs the Brewers, which should not be a surprise. They’ve had good success vs. The Brewers in Milwaukee this season. Smyly starts for the Cubs in game two. After a rough month of July, the veteran left-hander has pitched very well in August with a 1.43 ERA, while regularly pitching into the 6th. He tossed a1 run, 7 inning gem against the hard-hitting Cards in his last start. He has actually out pitched his more touted mound rival for the month. The Brewers’ Woodruff has an ERA of 3.38 in August and has allowed 2 home runs in each of his last 3 starts. Woodruff held the Cubs to 2 runs over 5 innings in his last start.
The Brewers are just 8-14 in August and, considering their pitching staff are giving up more runs than expected. The bullpen has not been solid with a recent ERA of over 5.00. They also struggle vs left handed pitching. A heavy favorite today, the odds do not reflect accurately today’s situation. Woodruff’s propensity for the long ball lately is worrying. Take the Cubs on the run line at +1 ½.
|08-26-22||Rockies v. Mets -1.5||Top||6-7||Loss||-150||8 h 27 m||Show|
The Mets lost a rare pair vs the Yankees, but bounced back vs. the Rockies last night. The Rockies are a poor team away from Coors Field, and haven’t won on the road in five games. They don’t hit well as a road team and have allowed twice as many runs as the Mets over their last seven games.
Kuhl returns for the Rockies. He pitched very poorly before a visit to the IL, but was good in a rehab start. However he pitches, don’t look for a long outing.
Bassitt starts for the Mets. Steady most of the season, he has shone lately with good length to his starts and just 2 runs allowed over 19 innings pitched in his last three starts.
Unlike the Mets, the bullpen has not been a plus for the Rockies lately. The Mets, as they have done for most of the season, are hitting well. The Mets are 4-0 vs the Rockies at home and a very big favorite today. Considering the Rockies’ road woes, I am confident the Mets will win and cover on the run line.
|08-25-22||49ers -3.5 v. Texans||Top||0-17||Loss||-110||20 h 19 m||Show|
2022 likely won't be the Texans' year and in spite of their success in preseason, we will start to see that in their third preseason game. It will likely be starters vs starters for a good part of the game. Look for Trey Lance to come out like gangbusters. With a good run in practice and a brief but successful appearance in the preseason, the likely 49ers' heir-apparent and the 49ers' offense still have much to prove and the star-power to prove it with.
In spite of the wins, Mills and the Texans' offense has not looked steady or ready. They are not a match against the 49ers defense and will struggle to move the ball. The Texans' defense has looked solid vs rookies and 2nd stringers in the first two games, but this game will be more of front line conditions.
3.5 points is just not enough against the super-motivated 49ers. Take San Francisco to win and cover. 8*!
|08-24-22||Cardinals -1.5 v. Cubs||Top||1-7||Loss||-125||9 h 17 m||Show|
The high-flying 9-1 Cardinals crushed the Cubs last night. They have fine starting pitching and the hottest offense in the league. Mikolas starts for St. Louis today. He has rebounded well after a 10 run debacle vs the Rockies in Denver, tossing a pair of 8 inning starts and giving up just 3 runs total. He faced the Cubs in August, allowing 3 runs in 6+ innings.
The 6-4 Cubs appear to be short on starters and have brought up Luke Farrell for today’s start. Farrell has some previous experience in the Bigs, but has spent the year in Triple A where his numbers were not overpowering. He hasn’t been a starter this year so don’t expect a lengthy outing.
The Cubs have been up and down in offense this season. At the moment, they are down at just .192/.584 OPS in the last week. Comparing relief pitching, the Cubs’ pen has scrambled lately to an ERA of over 6.00. The Cardinals, you guessed it, are getting fine relief pitching on top of everything else.
All roads lead to a Cardinals’ victory. I am taking them on the run line at -1 ½. 9*!
|08-24-22||Braves -1.5 v. Pirates||Top||14-2||Win||100||14 h 26 m||Show|
The 8-2 Braves have faced tough pitching and are still coming out on the winning side lately. The Braves are tough on the road, 9-3 as a road favorite, 14-7 in August etc., etc. They are also hitting the ball hard at the moment. Kyle Wright starts on Wednesday. Wright has been very steady lately. Other than a 4 HR, 6 run oddball start against the Mets, he hasn’t given up more than 2 runs in 6 starts, lasting 6 or 7 innings.
The 2-8 Pirates are just 7-13 in August and well down the list at 24th as far as offense goes. Keller starts for the Pirates, and his last three appearances have gone in the wrong direction, culminating in a 2inning 4 run start. Keller has shown well at times this season, but struggles against good offensive teams.
The Pirates have lost a pair against the Braves, and are getting half the runs/9 innings over the last two weeks. Add to that a bullpen that has a 5.11 ERA over the same period and a Braves win looks promising. The Braves are a large favorite, but a safe bet on the run line. Take the Braves at -1 ½.
|08-22-22||Rangers v. Twins -1.5||Top||2-1||Loss||-100||21 h 21 m||Show|
The Rangers have taken two straight on the road from the Twins, but Monday’s game might be a little tougher, as they run out rookie right hander Cole Ragans. Ragans started his career in the Bigs with a 5 inning shutout, but has since given up 8 runs over 9+ innings in two starts.
The Twins lost ground this weekend in pursuit of a wild card spot and, needing a win on Monday, look to Sonny Gray to right the ship. Gray was ridden hard by the Rangers in July, but has been much better lately, giving up just 5 runs in 4 starts.
The Twins are very good as a home favorite and tough on left handers this season. The Rangers are not especially good on the road or against winning teams, so their two wins are a bit of a surprise. I expect Gray to out-duel Ragans on Monday. Both bullpens have been ok lately, although the Twins’ relievers failed the team on Sunday. Look for a better game all around for the Twins. Take them on the run line on Monday at -1 1/2. 9*!
|08-21-22||Brewers v. Cubs +1.5||Top||5-2||Loss||-134||14 h 51 m||Show|
The Cubs have been very tough on the Brewers lately, winning on Friday and Saturday, and are 5-1 in their last 6 meetings. The Cubs bats have surged lately all the way to third in the league with an OPS of .770. The Brewers have reverted to last year’s number on offense at .182, .607 OPS over the last two weeks. While the Cubs have won 5 straight, and 8 of 10, they face a tough customer in Brandon Woodruff on Sunday. Woodruff is slightly more fallible than normal with an ERA of 3.44 in August. Opposing batters are hitting .243 against him this month and he has given up a pair of home runs in each of his last two starts. Woodruff is not at his best when pitching on the road.
He faces the Cubs’ left-hander Justin Steele, who has a rock solid ERA of 1.66 in his last 7 games with a pair of shut-outs in his last 3 starts. He faced the Brewers in July, allowing just 1 run in 6+ innings, and is much better at home.
The Brewers are a solid favorite today, based solely on Woodruff’s reputation. I am not so sure of that outcome. The Cubs’ bullpen has been solid, possibly not quite on par with the Brewers’ but there is no comparison on offense, and Steele has been at least as good as Woodruff lately. Take the Cubs on the run line at +1 ½, although an outright win would not surprise me.
|08-20-22||Broncos v. Bills -6.5||Top||15-42||Win||100||12 h 19 m||Show|
Some teams put more emphasis on a competitive preseason. For the Broncos in week two, we will apparently not see Russell Wilson or any of the other starters participate. We will see the Bills treat this game competitively, including Josh Allen. The word is the starters will play "a healthy amount". The Bills have continuity on offense this year, and who better to scrimmage against than the Bill's reworked defense including Von MIller..
No Wilson, second stringers, and a new coaching staff and offense for the Broncos vs a healthy and focused Bills team. Take Buffalo to win and cover.
|08-19-22||Cardinals v. Diamondbacks +1.5||Top||5-1||Loss||-108||22 h 55 m||Show|
The Cardinals have won 4 straight at home, and have a great 1-2 punch at the moment. They have the best offense in the league over the last two weeks, and an .861 OPS at the moment. They are also the toughest team against left handers for the season, and face D-backs’ rookie lefty Tommy Henry on Friday. Henry is just three games into his career, with one very good start and two of the fair to good variety. He gave up 3 runs in 5+ innings in Colorado in his last start. Henry is not without talent but faces a tough opponent in the Cards.
The Cardinals start Mikolas (9-9,3.44) on Friday. Mikolas was embarrassed by Colorado, allowing 10 runs over 2.2 innings, but bounced back with an 8 inning 2 run effort in his last start. He has had a couple of very poor starts and they are usually on the road. His road ERA is 2 runs higher than at home.
The Cardinals are below .500 on the road, and just 8-6 as a road favorite. They have split their games with Arizona this year. The Diamondbacks come off an impressive 4 -3 road trip vs. the Giants and Rockies, and are above .500 at home. They have had very good relief pitching of late; better than the Cardinals, and are getting better than average hitting as well. Henry looked very sharp in his last two starts, and Mikolas’ potential road struggles are a concern. I am looking for the Diamondbacks to surprise the Cardinals, and to win or to stay close on Friday. Take Arizona on the run line at + 1 ½. 9*
|08-19-22||Nationals v. Padres -1.5||Top||6-3||Loss||-154||11 h 7 m||Show|
The Nationals, now 4-6 were something of a surprise winner vs Darvish and the Padres last night, but odds are it won’t happen twice in a row. The Padres usually win when Snell is pitching these days. Snell has found his form and is finally giving the Padres what they are paying him for. The lefty is 5-1, 2.11 in his last 7 starts, and shut out the Nationals over 6 innings with 10 strikeouts in his last start.
He faces right-hander Espino for the Nationals. He was roughed up by the Padres in his last outing. 2 of 3 August starts have been poor, resulting in an ERA of over six for the month. Most starts are of 5 innings or less lately.
The Nationals really struggle vs left-handed pitching over both the long and short term. They are poor on the road, and just 5 and 12 in August. The Padres are definitely under achieving of late, but are better on offense than Washington, especially vs right-handers. Both bullpens have been effective lately, but the Padres’ has been lightly used and are throwing bb’s, with an ERA of just 0.63 in their last five games. The highly- favored Padres will bounce back today. Take them on the run line at -1 ½.
|08-19-22||Panthers v. Patriots -4.5||10-20||Win||100||8 h 47 m||Show|
The 1-0 Panthers nearly blew their first game and were outscored badly in the 4th quarter last week. The Panthers have injuries to deal with and are rumored not to be playing their starters, including QBs, in week two. There has been bad blood between these two teams in joint practices, so play on the field may be more intense than one might expect. The Patriots, 0-1 in the preseason likely will play their starters today, including Jones to some degree. It would be unlike Belichick not to take today’s game seriously, so look much more intensity after a loss last week.
Expect to see almost a full Patriots complement on defense, bad news for the Panthers’ back-ups and youngsters . The Patriots are the favorite today: take them to win and cover against an in-flux Panthers lineup. 7*
|08-18-22||Bears v. Seahawks -3||27-11||Loss||-130||20 h 45 m||Show|
Neither the Bears nor the Seahawks are expected to contend this season, so what can we expect in their preseason match-up? Even though one of the QB wannabees is out for Seattle on Thursday, I still expect another offense-heavy game as the Seahawks look to continue to resolve the quarterback question. For the Bears, it seems that Fields is the heir-apparent, and we may not see much of him yet. We didn’t see much offense from the Bears last week. In spite of a win against KC , they didn’t score until the second half, when it appeared that the Chiefs were very much just going through the motions.
The Seahawks gave up a ton of yards in their last game so hopefully some defensive issues were worked on over the week. The Bears defense this year may very likely be just a shadow of its former glory. This is a very new coaching staff for the Bears, and I expect all systems are still a work in progress.
Seattle is favored this week, and I am playing the favorite. I think Thursday’s game is more meaningful to Seattle, and that there will be opportunities to score some points against an unbaked Bears squad. Take Seattle to win and cover.
|08-18-22||Rockies v. Cardinals -1.5||Top||0-13||Win||100||14 h 54 m||Show|
The Rockies have lost 4 straight, including 2 against the home team Cardinals. Colorado took 2 of 3 in their recent home series vs St. Louis, so look for a little extra motivation from the Cards at home. Colorado’s offense has dropped lately, managing just .159 against right handers in their last five games. The Rockies’ are, of course, a much tamer beast in batting when away from Coors Field, just 26th in the league on the road.
Right hander Senzatela starts for the Rockies. He has been better but not great in August with 8 runs over 19 innings. He is not a strikeout pitcher, and opposing batters, including the Cardinals have hit him hard this season, although that average has dropped to .275 this month. Senzatela has been considerably worse on the road. Of note, the Cards’ Goldsmith has owned Senzatela when they’ve met in the past.
The 7-3 Cardinals start their ageless veteran, right hander Adam Wainwright. Usually very consistent, Wainwright was roughed up badly by the Yankees two starts ago, then pitched a 1 run, complete game in his last appearance. Overall this year he has been as usual, just fine. He is generally more effective at home.
The Cardinals are hitting very well at the moment, and are very good as a home favorite. The Rockies are just 6-19 as a road underdog. The Cards will likely give Senzatela a tougher time than his last opponents. The Cardinals have the much superior pen as well. Take the wildcard-bound Cardinals to win at home on Thursday. The odds are very much in their favor, but they should be good for the extra runs.
|08-15-22||A's +1.5 v. Rangers||1-2||Win||100||9 h 4 m||Show|
The A's haven't won in eight games, but might have a chance today. They are better on the road this season, and have arguably their most successful starter on the mound. Kaprielian has been pitching much better than his season's record, at 3-1, 2.35 L7. He has faced the Rangers twice in a month, shutting them out in one of the games. The A's have had some success against against both the Rangers and today's Rangers starter Glenn Otto this year. Look for the A's to at least stay close in Monday's match-up. Take the Athletics on the run line at +1 1/2.
|08-15-22||Royals +1.5 v. Twins||Top||2-4||Loss||-123||19 h 33 m||Show|
Rumors of the Royals’ demise after the trade deadline may have been exaggerated as they’ve won 6 of 10. Off a win vs the Dodgers they now go on the road vs the Twins. Some of the Royals’ young pitchers are starting to find their form including Kris Bubic. The left hander is pitching much better than his season’s ERA lately, giving up 1,2, and 3 runs over 17+ innings in his last three starts. His ERA is under 3.00 for his last 7 starts.
The Twins are underachieving at the moments and have won just 1 in 7 games. They are not getting much length or success from their starters. Joe Ryan the young phenom, has faltered lately, with 2 of his last 3 starts in the poor category. He has pitched close to a hundred innings to date, so fatigue may be an issue. His starts have been shorter and his ERA has climbed to over 5.00 in the last 7 games.
The Royals are outhitting the Twins at the moment both for average and power. Neither bullpen has been very effective. The Twins have also been particularly ineffective vs. left handed hitching. The Royals aren’t generally a very good team on the road, but are playing with no real expectations of them at the moment. The Twins are falling out of a wild card spot with their poor play lately. The Twins are a big favorite today, but I think the Royals will keep this game close. Take the Royals on the run line, at +1 ½.
|08-14-22||Padres -1.5 v. Nationals||Top||6-0||Win||100||10 h 42 m||Show|
The Padres took a step back on Saturday, losing against the lowly Nationals. They’ll send out another veteran, lefty Blake Snell on Sunday. Snell seems trustworthy these days, pitching much better since the beginning of June, with just poor outing. He has given up very few runs with a five inning start average. Strike outs are up, and walks are down.
The Nationals are just 2-8, with trouble on the pitching side. Espino, a converted reliever had a solid start against the Cubs last time out, but has struggled against the better teams.
It is hard to know if the Padres are a “better” team these day, although they are hitting right handers very well lately. They are still underachieving in spite of big moves at the deadline. The Nationals are a team they need to beat to keep any wild card hopes alive. The Padres’ starter is better, their pen, other than last night, is arguably better and the offense did break out in the previous few games. Take the Padres to win on the road on Sunday. San Diego -1 1/2. 9*.
|08-13-22||Padres -1.5 v. Nationals||Top||3-4||Loss||-165||23 h 42 m||Show|
After being swept by the Dodgers, the Padre’s offense broke out against the Giants in their last 2 games, scoring 20 runs. The Padres have been very tough on right handers lately, and face another one today in the Nationals’ Sanchez. Washington’s pitching, starting and relief, is still in a shambles. Sanchez (0-5, 7.65) gives the Nat’s 4 or 5 innings a start, but opposing batters are hitting over .300 against him. While he hasn’t faced the Padres this year, Machado has owned Sanchez in past meetings.
The Padres start Yu Darvish (10-5, 3.28) Darvish was in tough against the Dodgers, giving up just 2 runs over 6 innings in his last start. We are seeing a rejuvenated Darvish this year, with 3 or less runs allowed in 6 straight starts and some solid length as well.
With little support for Sanchez from the pen, the Padres have an opportunity to extend their string of high run totals. The 2-8 Nationals have not been hitting right handed pitching well at all lately, and on the road against Darvish, it is more a question of how much will they lose by. Take the Padres on the run line at -1 ½.
|08-11-22||Pirates v. Diamondbacks -1.5||Top||3-9||Win||125||17 h 23 m||Show|
The Diamondbacks have won 5 of 7 including 2 at home to the Pirates. They are good as a home favorite and have been hitting better than average, just sneaking in the top 10 over the last week. They have been getting some long appearances from their starters, which helps a not always impressive bullpen. Merrill Kelly, Thursdays starter, is as hot as anyone at the moment with an ERA of 1.49 over his last 7 games, and great length in his appearances. He was effective against the Pirates the last time he faced them. The D-backs have wasted two very fine outings of his, and will likely be extra-motivated on Thursday.
The Pirates, after a surprise sweep of the Brewers are back to their usual at 1-4. They are not a very good road team and haven’t won in Arizona in 6 attempts. Brubaker starts for the Pirates. After a couple of quality starts, Brubaker dropped the ball in his last 2 appearances. He gives up too many hits; 20 over 8 plus innings. The Diamondbacks roughed him up to the tune of 5 runs and 3 home runs over 4 innings.
The Pirates are hitting weakly at the moment, flirting with a sub .600 OPS. All signs point to a D-backs victory. Arizona has had Brubaker's number. Kelly is due to be rewarded by the Pirates. Look for a third straight victory for the Diamondbacks . Take Arizona on the run line at - 1 1/2. 9*.
|08-07-22||Pirates v. Orioles -1.5||Top||8-1||Loss||-100||2 h 20 m||Show|
The young and surprising Orioles' bats are sizzling at the moment, best in the league over the last week. Even after selling at the deadline, they are still a possibility for a wild card spot, and are not giving up. They have a very good record at home, and after winning 5 straight, should not be underestimated. Watkins starts for the Orioles. He has a 2.65 ERA in his last 7 starts and has given up just 5 runs over 16 innings in his last three appearances. The Orioles are still getting very fine bullpen support.
The Pirates had Milwaukee's number but have struggled otherwise. The offense has been an issue all season. After losing the first two games to the Orioles, Wilson (1-6, 6.20) is an unlikely candidate to right the ship today. He won't pitch for length and has had hard contact from batters all season. The Pirates are not strong on the road, and have struggled against right handers lately. With the superior offense, great momentum and a better starting pitcher today, I am wagering on the Orioles, a heavy favorite, to win today. Take them on the run line; this team can hit. 9 stars.
|08-05-22||White Sox -1.5 v. Rangers||Top||2-1||Loss||-100||20 h 30 m||Show|
After a sweep at the hands of the Orioles, The Rangers won a tight game at home vs the White Sox on Thursday. Their bats have just been average of late, and they lost some key pieces on offense at the trade deadline. They’ll have a tough time scoring even three runs on Friday when they face the Sox’ Dylan Cease. Winner of Pitcher of the Month twice running, Cease continued his mastery of just about everyone. He hasn’t allowed more than a single run in 12 starts,. The Sox bullpen has been very good lately, and will be chomping at the bit. After some long starts, they haven’t had much work, but also haven’t given up a run in their last 5 games.
Cease faces the Rangers’ Glenn Otto. After a very poor June, he has steadied into a consistent pattern of allowing 3 or 4 runs over five or so innings. A combination of too many walks and hits leaves Otto consistently just out of the win column. While you wouldn’t have know it on Thursday, the Rangers pen has been struggling with an ERA of 6.23 over their last 5 games.
The White Sox are hitting well for average and power, especially vs. right-handers. Cease shows no sign of cooling off. Chicago has a very good past record vs. the Rangers. I am on the Sox on Friday and so are the odds-makers. Take the White Sox to win on the run line at -1 ½.
|08-05-22||Nationals v. Phillies -1.5||2-7||Win||101||8 h 13 m||Show|
It is Josiah Gray vs Kyle Gibson when the Nationals face the Phillies today. The Phillies are on an 8-2 run and are also 8-2 vs the Nationals this year. The Nationals, while investing for the future, lost a chunk of their offense at the trade deadline. After a very good month of June, Gray’s effectiveness dropped in July, giving up 12 runs over 15 innings in his last three starts. He still got his strikeouts, but base on balls and the long ball have been an issue, as his ERA climbed to 6.75 for the month.
You never know what you’ll get from Gibson lately; either very good or the opposite. He stumbled two starts ago but bounced back with a solid outing vs the Braves. He missed a start so will be well rested.
The Phillies are playing for a wild card spot and hit well for power. The Nationals are a poor road team and have won just 1 of 5 games. I expect one of his better showings from Gibson. The odds definitely favor the Phillies, but they should be good for the extra runs. Take the Phillies on the runline at - 1 ½. 8*
|08-04-22||Brewers -1.5 v. Pirates||Top||4-5||Loss||-140||12 h 16 m||Show|
The Brewers have lost two straight to the lowly Pirates, so watch out for fireworks on Thursday. It is the first against the worst in terms of offense. Brewers are .290/.886 over the last 15 days while the Pirates occupy the cellar at .199/.594. The Brew Crew looks to Woodruff to stop the bleeding. He has been sharp in his last 7 games with a 4-1 record and an ERA of 2.31. He has been even better in his last two appearances, giving up just 2 runs over 12+ innings, striking out 17.
Zack Thompson starts for the Pirates and was absolutely crushed in his last two starts, giving up well over a run an inning with a total of 10+ innings pitched. While he pitched better than that in early July, he still ended up allowing opposing batters a .304 average. The Brewers have hit Thompson very hard in the past.
The Pirates do have a very good bullpen at the moment, but if Thompson continues as he has been pitching, it is likely the damage will have been done by then. Look for the Brewers to be swinging for the fences on Thursday. Take Milwaukee on the run line at – 1 ½. 9*.
|08-03-22||Diamondbacks v. Guardians -1.5||Top||4-7||Win||100||4 h 2 m||Show|
After taking the series opener 6-5 (required 11 innings), the Guardians dropped yesterday’s game to the Diamondbacks by a count of 6-3. I expect the home team to bounce back this afternoon and take this series. Look for a win by two or more runs and take the Guards on the run line.
A pitching change for Arizona seems to have strengthened the Cleveland advantage here today. It was supposed to be Madison Bumgarner starting for the road team. Now it will be Tommy Henry. Henry, who had been on the taxi squad, is being recalled from Triple-A Reno. This is his big league debut.
Therefore, it’s a big-time edge in the starting pitching matchup for Cleveland as they have Shane Bieber going. Bieber has posted a 2.39 ERA at home over the last couple months with his last start here being a complete game.
The last start for Bieber saw him go seven innings, allow just one run and the Guardians got the win, 4-1 over Tampa Bay.
Arizona scoring six runs yesterday certainly surprised me. That will not happen again today. Not versus Bieber. Cleveland has won three of the four times they’ve been -175 or higher on the money line. They’ll win Wednesday by at least two runs. Lay the -1.5.
|08-02-22||Brewers -1.5 v. Pirates||Top||3-5||Loss||-143||9 h 41 m||Show|
The first vs the worst. The Brew Crew are tops in OPS and the Pirates are last over the last two weeks, struggling to a .188/.542 line. To make matters worse for the Pirates, Corbin Burns starts today He has been a strikeout machine lately with 26 in his last three games. He is 4-0, 1.96 ERA in his last 7 games.
He faces Bryse Wilson (1-6, 6.31), who has pitched better in July than his record would suggest. Wilson beat the Brewers when he last faced them, and has a 3.27 ERA over 4 starts in July.
With the way the two teams are hitting, a second win for Wilson is unlikely today. The Brewers are crushing right- handers in the last two weeks and Wilson struggles badly in the first two innings. I am wagering on the Brewers today, a big favorite, but a very good bet on the run line. Take Milwaukee to win at -1 ½.
|08-01-22||Mets -1.5 v. Nationals||Top||7-3||Win||100||18 h 29 m||Show|
The 5-5 Nationals are at home to the Mets beginning on Monday, and will start Patrick Corbin. Every once in a while, Corbin (4-14, 6.49) will pitch like it is 2018 again, but it hasn’t been in any of his last 4 starts. His most recent outing was a “6 run in less than an inning” rout.
He faces Max Scherzer, who has been racking up the Ks since his return and also been very successful in limiting runs. He shut out the Yankees over 7 innings in his last appearance.
The Mets are ‘tops of the bops’ at the moment with a .940 OPS, and off a trashing of Lopez and the Marlins on Sunday. Washington’s bats have been stagnant at .222/.635. They really struggle against good pitching, scoring 2 or less runs in 3 of 4 games. The bullpen has been effective, but the damage has been done by the time the starters (7.10 ERA/L10 games) are off to the showers. Corbin is a lefty, and the Mets have crushed left-handed pitching to the tune of .378 in the last 5 games.
The Mets are a large favorite, but unless we get a retro start from Corbin, they should be fine on the run line at – 1 ½.
|07-31-22||A's v. White Sox -1.5||Top||1-4||Win||100||13 h 19 m||Show|
The White Sox beat the upstart A’s by a narrow margin on Saturday, but it could be a bit easier going on Sunday. Oiler, the A’s right handed rookie has not had a favorable reception in his first season. After five early and ugly starts, he spent time in the minors, and as a reliever before starting a pair of games in July. He lasted 9 innings in the two starts, giving up 6 runs, so if nothing else he is a lot better than he was in April.
He faces the Cubs’ ace Dylan Cease, who has been masterful this season. At 5-1 and with an ERA of 0.63 in his last 7 games, he has allowed just three runs in two months. He hasn’t missed a start and gives 6 or 7 innings per appearance. Can you spell Cy Young candidate? He is even better when pitching in daylight.
The A’s have been hitting much better lately but they were held in check on Saturday and no one has been able to get to Cease. The Sox have been hitting well for average, and are 7-1 in Cease’s last 7 starts. Chicago is a heavy favorite but should be good for the extra runs. Take the White Sox on the run line at -1 ½
|07-30-22||Tigers v. Blue Jays -1.5||Top||3-5||Win||100||4 h 11 m||Show|
The Tigers stole a win on the road vs the Jays on Friday. With Toronto in the hunt for that top wild card spot or better, they can’t afford to lose a pair of games to the Tigers, and those big bats will be hungry after being stymied yesterday. Veteran Ross Stripling has been Mr. Dependable for the Jays, and has filled in very well since they lost Ryu to injury. He has a 3.06 ERA in his last 7 games.
Drew Hutchison (4.80 ERA), another Tigers’ reliever turned starter, has had mixed success this year. He has pitched just 9 innings total in his last two starts, giving up 4 runs in each.
Both teams have had very good stuff from the pen lately, but on offense there is no comparison. The Jays are hitting right handers to the tune of .338 lately, the Tigers just .190. The bats will decide this one. Take the Jays to win on the run line at – 1 ½. 10*
|07-30-22||Royals v. Yankees -1.5||Top||2-8||Win||100||4 h 55 m||Show|
The Royals have lost two straight to the Yankees, 3 if you count Benintendi, who traded sides this series. KC is very poor as a road underdog, and are struggling on offense, with 3 shutouts in 4 games. Heasley starts for the Royals. He is just back from the IL but was not pitching well before injury, at 1-3, 6.00 ERA in his last seven games, so is a bit of an unknown at the moment.
He faces Yankees’ left-hander Cortes (8-3, 3.38) who had a great start to his season, saw his innings and effectiveness drop in mid-June, but has looked much better in his last two starts. He is very effective at home.
The 5-5 Yankees aren’t hitting quite up to snuff, but are still in the top ten. They are a tough out at home, and very hard on right handed pitching. The Royals are missing Witt to injury and now with the loss of Benintendi, are without a good portion of their offense. The Yankees are a huge favorite, but the odds on the run line are still acceptable. Yankees to win at -1 ½.
|07-28-22||Phillies -1.5 v. Pirates||Top||8-7||Loss||-108||19 h 25 m||Show|
You don’t usually need a lot of runs to beat the Pirates these days. They are worst in the league on offense at the moment, scoring 2 or less in 7 of their last 9 games. They face a very fine right-hander in Zach Wheeler who has been very sharp in three of his four July starts. Other than a poor outing vs the Jays, he allowed just a single run over 21 innings, with a 2.45 ERA for the month. The Phillies’ bullpen has been better this year although they blew a fine outing from Wheeler last time out, so should be motivated this time out. The Phillies are middle of the road on offense but consistent, and certainly consistently better than the Pirates. They are a very good road team this year.
The Pirates’ Zach Thompson was very poor in April but has been usually solid since, until his last start when he struggled to 7 runs over 5 innings against the Marlins. It could be a one-off, but he has some very poor starts in his history. Thompson doesn’t usually offer much in the way of length, and Pirates bullpen, while ok lately, is not dependable over multiple innings.
Wheeler and the Phillies’ offense have too much of an edge on Thursday, and are a large favorite. With the number of runs the Pirates have been putting up and the number of runs Wheeler is not giving up, a solid Phillies win could be in order. take the Phillies on the run line at -1 1/2.
|07-27-22||Cardinals v. Blue Jays -1.5||Top||6-1||Loss||-120||10 h 28 m||Show|
Took Toronto on the run line last night and I’ll do so again here. The Blue Jays are really swinging the bats as well as anybody right now. They put up 10 more runs last night and have averaged 9.7 runs/game during a seven-game win streak.
Obviously, Toronto’s offensive numbers are somewhat inflated by that incredible 28-run effort they hung on the Red Sox last week. But even if you take that game out, they are still averaging 6.1 runs/game since making a change at manager.
Kevin Gausman won’t need much offensive support here. He comes in with a 3.00 ERA in 99 innings pitched and has allowed three runs or fewer in each of the last five starts. Gausman should have no trouble shutting down a St. Louis lineup that is without Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt, both of whom are unvaccinated and thus unable to travel to Canada.
St. Louis is really at a disadvantage being down those two players. It also doesn’t help that Adam Wainwright has a 6.97 ERA in two previous starts vs. Toronto. Wainwright also gave up seven runs in his last start.
All signs point to another blowout win by the home team, so lay the -1.5. 10*
|07-26-22||Cardinals v. Blue Jays -1.5||Top||3-10||Win||100||19 h 55 m||Show|
No one is hitting the ball harder than the Jays at the moment, and it isn’t just the infamous Boston series. They are 8-2, settling in with a new manager, and playing a Cardinals team missing 2 key players due to Covid border issues. Berrios starts for the Jays. His results have been very mixed this season, but he appears to have re-found his form, with four straight quality starts in July, allowing 8 runs over 23+ innings, and with a strikeout to walk ratio of 29 to 4. The Jays’ bullpen has been very effective of late, which is not always the case.
The Cardinals have also been hitting well but will miss those 2 very big bats in the line-up, and aren’t the best road team. They have won just 1 of 3 since the break, and send out a very young right hander to start in Pallante. He started the season as a reliever and has just 8 starts under his belt. Pallante was very good in June with an ERA of under three, but has given up a ton of hits in July and seen his ERA climb very significantly.
The Jays are a streaky team, and their lineup is absolutely on fire at the moment, from lead-off right through to ninth batter. Berrios is a very fine starter when right. They are a heavy favorite, which would usually not be warranted against a team like the Cardinals, however the Cards are very much depleted for this series. Pallante may have his hands full on Tuesday. Take the Jays on the run line at -1 1/2. 10*
|07-22-22||Rockies v. Brewers -1.5||5-6||Loss||-115||19 h 52 m||Show|
The Brewers are just 3-7 and will hope to reset after the break. Their starting pitching has been almost to their standard, but they aren’t hitting for power, and their bullpen has not been able to hold leads. Corbin Burns, Friday’s starter, has been exceptional lately. Three premium starts in his last three appearances, 2 runs given up in 20 innings, all packaged with 25 strikeouts. What more can you ask for? Burns does not usually need very much bullpen support.
The Rockies are on a roll, winning 4 of 6 at home, but let’s not forget that they are on the road on Friday. Whats the difference? The Rockies are 15-27 on the road, and .233/.632 BA/OPS compared to .287/.816 at home. Friday’s starter Senzatela (3-5, 4.95) has just returned from the IL and it isn’t his first time he has been injured this season. While he has some effective starts, 3 or 4 runs over 5 innings is a more common line. He can struggle early and has not pitched well on the road this season.
The Brewers with Burns on the mound are a huge favorite. Considering their offense lately, Colorado on the run line would have some potential. Senzatela has been pretty uneven this year and after his return from the IL likely won’t pitch for length. Colorados’ relievers, while acceptable recently, are still one of the worst in the league. I think Milwaukee will get its licks in on Friday. Take the Brewers on the run line at – 1 ½. 8 stars
|07-21-22||Giants +1.5 v. Dodgers||6-9||Loss||-155||11 h 2 m||Show|
The Dodgers were dominant in the first half against most teams, but are just 2-3 vs the Giants this year. They were swept on the road by the Giants in June, but returned the favor at home in April. The 7-3 Giants took 3 of 4 from the Brewers before the break and finally appear to be on the rebound. Giants’ left-hander Carlos Rodon has already faced the Dodgers twice this year. He held them to just 2 hits and 0 runs over 6 innings last time out. SF wasted a strong start from him in their sole loss against the Brewers, however Rodon is 4-1 in his last 7 starts with an ERA of just 1.57 in that stretch. He has masses of strikeouts this year, including 26 in his last three games. Rodon was initially left off the All Star roster and may have a bit of an axe to grind today.
The Dodgers were 9-1 before the break, and 2nd in OPS over their last 2 weeks. They are a very good home team, although not as tough on left handed pitching. Mitch White (1-2, 4.20) is the newbie starter in the lineup and has made just 8 starts for the Dodgers this year. While not pitching for length, he has been mostly effective to date. His last start was also his worst, allowing 6 runs over 5 innings. He does have that potent Dodgers bullpen to back him up.
The Giants’ bats have finally woken up, at least for power, with 64 RBIs and a .784 OPS. While it is tough to play against the Dodgers, Rodon is the proven entity today, and the Giants were getting excellent results from the pen before the break. given their new found offense, I expect them to at least keep this game close. Take the Giants on the Run line at + 1 1.5
|07-16-22||Mets -1.5 v. Cubs||Top||4-3||Loss||-125||9 h 36 m||Show|
Out of the frying pan, and into a high output gas burner. It doesn’t get any easier for the Cubs in the second game of the double header, as they face the Mets’ recently returned Scherzer. Two appearances back from a lengthy stay on the IL, and Scherzer hasn’t missed a beat, tossing two quality starts and allowing just 1 run on 13 innings of ball.
He faces the Cubs veteran Drew Smyly who also missed a start, but wasn’t so lucky on return. He was roughed up for 4 runs over just 2 innings. Smyly seldom pitches for length at the best of times which will put the burden where it is least needed, on the Cubs’ overworked and struggling bullpen.
The Mets are good on the road, and have been getting excellent starting pitching and solid relief. They broke out of their slump in the last two games scoring 15 runs. Let’s see if they will continue with the hot bats in games 1 & 2 today. The Cubs continue to struggle with the bats, and will be hard pressed in the second half of the double header for pitching.
The Mets are a bigger favorite in Game Two, but should be good for the extra runs. Take the Mets on the run line, at -1 ½. 10*
|07-15-22||Mariners -1.5 v. Rangers||Top||8-3||Win||105||9 h 31 m||Show|
Some would say they are overachieving, but the Mariners just keep on winning, now 10-1 in July. They won a close one last night vs the home team Rangers, and go for 2 straight in the series today. Robbie Ray starts for the M’s today, and he looks to have re-found his Cy Young form. Ray now has six straight quality starts allowing 1 run or less, while pitching 6 or 7 innings in each outing. He is, as usual, a strike-out machine.
For the Rangers, the tail end of their starting pitching line-up has really struggled, and with Bush, a reliever on the mound, it will be start by committee today. The only problem is that the “committee” is overworked and sporting an ugly 6.02 ERA.
The Mariners have some pop on offense, while the Rangers have more, but it is pitching that will rule the day today. The 5-7 Rangers have lost and won big in their last ten games, but Ray at the moment is very tough to run up much of a total, and the Seattle bullpen is lights out lately. The Mariners have won more than their share of close games lately, but I expect a wider margin today. Take the M’s, on a huge run and with all the momentum in the world, to win on the run line, at – 1 ½. 10*!
|07-15-22||Braves v. Nationals +1.5||8-4||Loss||-115||10 h 29 m||Show|
The 1-9 Nationals lost again in their home series opener against the Braves on Thursday. They scored 4 runs, their highest production in their last 10 games. They aren’t hitting at all for average and are managing a paltry 2.45 runs per game in their last 10 starts. Their starting pitching is woeful and the pen barely average. Corbin, Friday’s starter, has given them two terrific starts in his last three, allowing 1 run in each of a 7 and an 8 inning start. He did not fare as well against the Braves in his last appearance, allowing 4 runs in 6 innings. Corbin can be very inconsistent, other than that he consistently gives up too many hits. He is a better pitcher at home.
The Nationals face a very tough Braves team, who are dominant on the road, fourth in offense at the moment, and off a series loss against the Mets. Atlanta is getting very fine starting pitching, but Friday’s starter Anderson is not one of their brighter lights. Like Corbin, he can be all over the map. His last two starts have been solid but short, five innings each. Opposing hitters tattooed him in June to the tune of .328, but that number has dropped in July. The Braves have a very strong bullpen in support of Anderson, while the Nationals’ relievers struggle.
As poor as the Nationals have been in the last few weeks, it is of note that 6 of their last 10 games were decided by one run. I am banking on a big game from Corbin, and for the Nat’s to finally get it right. It may be a tall order, but the odds are very favorable. Take the Nationals on the run line at +1 ½. 8 stars.
|07-14-22||Reds +1.5 v. Yankees||Top||7-6||Win||100||8 h 35 m||Show|
The Reds are suddenly on a roll, sweeping the Rays and splitting to date with the Yankees. Meanwhile the Yankees look just slightly vulnerable at 5-5 L10. The Reds are getting solid pitching, starting and relief, and have Castillo on the mound today. Castillo (2.92 ERA) has really heated up in his last three starts, giving up just 2 runs in 20 innings and with some big strike out totals.
The Yankees pitching staff rarely struggles, but they have over the last week, with a collective ERA of 5.61. Lefty Cortes starts today. A few cracks are starting to appear in Cortes' fine season. His starts are shorter and he is giving up more runs (12 in his last 4 starts). Opposing batters' avg. has climbed to .275 in July. Add this to the Yankees' temporarily poor bullpen, and the Reds have a real opportunity for a second series victory. I am wagering on the Reds to keep this one close at least. Take the Reds on the run line, at + 1 1/2.
|07-12-22||Reds +1.5 v. Yankees||Top||4-3||Win||130||12 h 46 m||Show|
On paper, this looks like quite the mismatch. Cincinnati is 32-54 and in last place in the National League Central. The Yankees are 61-25 and not only in first place in the American League, but they have the best overall record in baseball.
But the Reds just did the Yankees a giant favor by sweeping Tampa Bay over the weekend. It was their first sweep of the season and just the second four-game win streak. The Reds might be buried in the standings, but they’ve gone a respectable 29-32 the last 61 games and deserve more respect than what they’re getting from the oddsmakers heading into this one.
Plus, the Yankees have lost two straight and could only manage a 3-3 split against Boston and Pittsburgh.
Ashcraft hasn’t been bad for Cincinnati as he’s allowed no more than two runs in six of his nine trips to the mound. Gerrit Cole allowed five runs in his last start for the Yankees and has given up a total of five home runs in the last three starts.
The Reds should not be this big of an underdog Tuesday. Take them on the run line, which is a tremendous value here at “plus money.”
|07-12-22||Mets +1.5 v. Braves||Top||1-4||Loss||-125||11 h 47 m||Show|
The Mets came in and took the series opener behind seven strong innings from Max Scherzer. I believe they can beat Atlanta again today with David Peterson set to start.
Peterson has a 9-2 team start record, which means the Mets have won 9 of the 11 times he’s started in 2022. His last start was shorter than usual (3.6 innings) with control issues (five walks). But that doesn’t worry me as the two starts before that one saw 18 strikeouts, no walks and only five runs allowed in 13 innings. Plus, the Mets won that last Peterson start anyway.
Atlanta’s Spencer Strider has been very good as well lately. Over his last three starts, his ERA is 0.50 and his WHIP is 0.611. Those are actually pretty filthy numbers. But the Braves are still just 4-4 in Strider’s eight starts this year.
Being that these are the top two teams in the NL East, this would seem to be a pretty even matchup, no? Taking the underdog is the way to go.
Now Strider does deserve our respect, so play the run line. Getting 1.5 runs at this price with a team like the Mets is a good deal. Before losing 4-1 last night, the Braves’ previous two games were both one-run wins against the last place Nationals.
|07-10-22||Cubs v. Dodgers -1.5||Top||9-11||Win||100||5 h 59 m||Show|
The Cubs have lost three straight close games and are now 0-9 vs the Dodgers at home. The Cubs don’t get the job done on the road or against left handed pitching with any regularity. Meanwhile, the 9-1 Dodgers are on a tear, are dominant at home and very tough on lefties. LA left-hander Urias has won four straight games, giving up just 8 runs in his last 6 starts. There is no June swoon for Urias. He has improved as the season progressed, and consistently gives a 6 inning quality start.
Cubs left-hander Drew Smyly (2-5, 3.80) was getting the job done, especially early in the season, before injury. The opposition was hitting .277 against him in May. Smyly rarely pitches for length, but as he is just returning from the IL, that is a given today.
The Dodgers and Cubs are top ten in offense at the moment but the Dodgers have a good sized edge in power stats. Smyly can be prone to the long ball.
The Cubs’ bullpen has been solid lately but few can teams can match the Dodgers relief corps. All roads point to a Dodgers win. In his first game back, Smyly is a bit of an unknown. LA is a huge favorite but the odds on the run line are acceptable. Take the Dodgers to win at -1 ½.
|07-10-22||Tigers +1.5 v. White Sox||Top||2-4||Loss||-120||7 h 15 m||Show|
The Tigers lost on Saturday, but have won 6 of 7, with solid offense, and other than last night, very good pitching. They are not a good road team, but have put up some surprising numbers lately and their bullpen has an ERA of under 2.00 L10. Usually a reliever, Drew Hutchison (4.30 ERA) has started 3 games in the Tigers rotation lately with modest success. His last game was his best, allowing just 1 run over 5 innings. The Tigers will likely be reliant on that bullpen, as he has yet to pitch past the fifth.
The 5-5 White Sox crushed the Tigers on the back of a fine start from Johnny Cuetto, but things are not all roses with the White Sox’ pitching staff. Kopech, Sunday’s starter pitched brilliantly in the first two months, but has fallen off the rails in his last 4 starts. His last outing was his worst, giving up 6 runs in 4+ innings. Walks were always something of an issue, but his home runs allowed have skyrocketed.
The Sox are a very poor home team, but are hitting right-handers well at the moment.
The White Sox are a significant favorite for Sunday, but after four sub-par starts, Kopech’s issues look more than fleeting. The White Sox’ bullpen has an ERA of over 4.2 lately. Hutchison is a bit of an unknown, but the young Tigers team is on an impressive streak at the moment. A win on Sunday wouldn't surprise me, but I do expect them to keep this game close. Take the Tigers on the run line at + 1 1/2..
|07-07-22||Royals v. Astros -1.5||Top||2-5||Win||100||7 h 6 m||Show|
The Royals knocked off the mighty Astros on Wednesday, but don’t count on two straight wins for KC. The Astros are hitting lefties at a .310 clip recently. No disrespect, but Royals starter Bubic is a struggling southpaw at the moment. Opposing hitters roughed him up to the tune of .302 in June. Not a good combo if you are a Royals fan. Bubic doesn’t pitch for length and the Royals’ bullpen has struggled all year, managing just a 5.35 ERA in their last 10 games.
The Astros are tops of the Bops at the moment, hitting for a massive OPS. They are a very good home team, and have Verlander on the mound. It is not like Verlander never has a bad game (he has had two this year), but he is as dependable as any pitcher, and held the Yankees and the Mets to 1 and 0 runs in his last two starts. He pitches for great length, and the Astros relief corps are the best in the business.
The Royals are a very poor road team, and dismal as a road underdog. This matchup is a mismatch, and the odds-makers agree. Anything can and will happen in an MLB game, but I am on the Astros on the run line on this one. Take Houston at - 1 1/2.
|07-05-22||Mets -1.5 v. Reds||Top||0-1||Loss||-115||12 h 16 m||Show|
The Reds/Mets game on Tuesday features a couple of starters just back from the IL. Mets’ very fine right hander Scherzer looked good in his last rehab start, and was great before his injury this season. He has been there and done it all; a sound bet for an easy return.
He is up against Reds’ young left-hander Lodolo who was 1 for 3 as far as quality starts go in his rookie year before injury. He also looked strong in rehab assignments, but is hardly a seasoned vet, so he is much more of a question mark on Tuesday.
The Mets’ struggling starters can use the boost of Scherzer’s return, but their bullpen has been pulling its weight lately. Not so the Reds, whose pen has a wretched collective ERA of near 10.0 /L10 games.
The Reds are a poor home side at just 13-25 to date. The Mets have struggled to get the bats going lately but woke up against the Reds’ Greene yesterday. Tuesday could be the day for a big breakout, especially against the scrambling Reds’ bullpen. Neither starter will likely pitch for length after returning from the IL. Watch the Mets win this one going away. Take the Mets on the Run line at - 1 1/2.
|07-03-22||Yankees v. Guardians +1.5||Top||0-2||Win||100||6 h 58 m||Show|
After being swept in yesterday’s doubleheader, the Guardians now find themselves at 0-5 head to head vs. the Yankees in 2022. Of course, there are many teams that haven’t done well against the Yankees this season. But Cleveland is going to be pretty desperate to avoid the sweep today. Take them on the run line.
Cleveland came into this series off a pair of dramatic victories over the first place Twins (both walkoffs). Even after the poor performance yesterday, the team has a winning record at home and is very much alive for the AL Central pennant.
The Yankees are only 8-8 as road favorites of -125 to -175. Jordan Montgomery is coming off two straight less than stellar outings. He allowed nine runs total and that was against Oakland and Tampa Bay. The Guardians are more respectable at the plate than those teams.
Having Triston McKenzie starting helps Cleveland’s cause Sunday as well. McKenzie has an 8-5 team start record this year, meaning the Guardians have won 8 of his 13 starts. His last two starts were also less than stellar, but both were against the same team (Minnesota).
I think the Guardians should - at the very worst - stay within a run here. An outright upset is a definite possibility. Grab the +1.5.
|07-02-22||Montreal v. Saskatchewan -4.5||Top||20-41||Win||100||9 h 52 m||Show|
It’s a quick turnaround for the teams here and a rematch from last week when Montreal picked up its first win of the season, in shocking fashion, with a 37-13 beatdown of Saskatchewan. Needless to say, I see things going a bit differently this time around.
The Als’ defense stepped up big last week by recording three interceptions and eight sacks. But that was at home and they were coming off a bye. There’s no rest advantage this week and the game is at Mosiac Stadium.
Saskatchewan has already recorded two home wins in 2022. They beat Hamilton and Edmonton by a total of 34 points.
Something that must be pointed out about last week is that total yardage was basically even.
The Roughriders are definitely the better team in this matchup and come from the much stronger division. I believe we’re getting an oddsmakers’ discount here because of last week’s result. Lay those points.
|07-02-22||A's +1.5 v. Mariners||Top||1-2||Win||100||8 h 4 m||Show|
Oakland won Friday’s game 3-1 - as a big underdog - and I think they’re worth a shot again Saturday, albeit on the run line against Seattle. While the A’s had previously lost four in a row, including the opener in Seattle, remember that they were very competitive against the Yankees earlier this week - despite not picking up a win.
Paul Blackburn starting today’s game definitely helps our cause. This right-hander is having a good season, particularly on the road where he’s 5-0 with a 1.44 ERA and 1.060 WHIP. Blackburn faced Seattle once before this season and not only did he pick up the win (4-2), but allowed just one hit in 5.3 innings.
The Mariners have an 18-20 record at home, which has translated into a loss of 5.6 units.
The thing about the A’s lineup is that it has been a lot better on the road. At home they average a rather pathetic 2.3 runs/game. On the road, that average jumps to 4.0, which isn’t all that different from the 4.1 runs/game Seattle averages at home. Again, the run line might come into play here as well.
Or maybe not as George Kirby starts for the Mariners and he has a 5.54 ERA in five previous home starts. Kirby allowed seven runs the last time we saw him and that was versus Baltimore. Take the +1.5.
|06-29-22||A's v. Yankees -1.5||Top||3-5||Win||100||5 h 44 m||Show|
Oakland has been surprisingly competitive in this series. They led 5-3 on Monday, going into the seventh inning, before a six-run Yankees’ rally turned the tide. Last night’s game, where I had the Under, ended up being a 2-1 final. Even though the Yankees have had a bevy of close results recently (five of last 10 games decided by one run), anything other than a blowout win today seems unlikely. After all, this is a matchup of the teams with the best and worst records in all of baseball.
The Yanks are 12-2 in Jameson Taillon starts this year and 6-0 the last six. Taillon’s teammates had to bail him out after a subpar outing last time, but that was against Houston. Offensively, Oakland is last in baseball in just about every major statistical category.
So far the Yankees are 21-5 in June. They are winning by an average margin of 2.1 runs/game at home for the year.
The A’s are 5-19 this month. They lose by an average of 1.4 runs/game for all of 2022. Cole Irvin will start this afternoon for them. Each of his previous eight trips to the mound, the team has taken a loss.
The Yankees are 19-7 in games vs. left-handed starters. Irvin and the A’s are no match for them.
|06-24-22||Pirates +1.5 v. Rays||Top||3-4||Win||100||8 h 20 m||Show|
Don’t look now, but the Pirates are on a roll, winning 4 of their last 5 games. And putting up some decent numbers on offense. Meanwhile the Rays are struggling at just 3-7, and have some very serious injury issues on offense. The Rays are hitting just .228/.646 in the last two weeks, while the Pirates have “surged” to 25th place, with a .646 OPS.
Pirates’ starter Keller (4.72 ERA) has turned his season around in June with three straight quality starts and an ERA of 2.08 over 17 innings. Young Rays’ left-hander Springs had 7 of 8 very impressive starts and an exceptionally low ERA, but returned to earth in his last appearance with a 4 run in 4+ inning effort.
There has never been a bettter time to beat up on the Rays. The Pirates are a very serious underdog today, and with Keller and the team on a roll, I like them to at least stay close today. Take the Pirates on the run line, at + 1 ½.
|06-16-22||Warriors v. Celtics -3.5||Top||103-90||Loss||-110||30 h 25 m||Show|
We’re rolling with Boston here to keep the season alive and force a deciding Game 7 in the NBA Finals. This will be the first time the Celtics are coming off back to back losses since the end of March, which was the regular season. They had been 7-0 SU and ATS in the playoffs off a loss, before losing Game 5 at Golden State, 104-94 as four-point underdogs.
Tonight, I think we’ll see the Celtics shoot a lot better than they did in Game 5. They were just 41.3% from the field on Monday, 34.4% from three. Being back at home obviously helps in that regard.
However, his game being in Boston may help the Celtics out more defensively. They allow only 103.1 points/game at home. Golden State’s scoring defense goes to 108.9 on the road, up from 103.0 at home.
Surprisingly, the Warriors are only 26-24 SU on the road. They will probably shoot better from three-point land tonight compared to Game 5 (when they were just 9 of 40 as a team and Steph Curry was 0 for 9). But that alone does not guarantee success.
The Celtics have not lost three straight games since late December. They are at home, with their season on the line, tonight. When off a double digit loss, they are 10-3 ATS this season. Also, they are a perfect 5-0 SU and ATS in the playoffs when trailing in the series. Lay the points in Game 6!
|06-16-22||Phillies -1.5 v. Nationals||Top||10-1||Win||100||8 h 10 m||Show|
The Nationals were swept by the Braves, giving up an average of 9 runs a game in the series. They now face the high-flying Phillies at home. Washington has serious issues with their starting pitching, with many very short poor starts lately. Their bullpen has not been effective and is overused of late. Thursday’s starter, left-hander Patrick Corbin, has a couple of 6 inning starts at least. If you catch Corbin on a good day, he can give you a quality start, but the reverse is also true. At 3-8 and with an ERA of 6.65, there have been all to many poor outings this year.
The Phillies are a top five offense for the season, and are even better lately, with an OPS of .876. Today’s starter Wheeler (2.83 ERA) is in good form of late, with an ERA of 1.61 in his last 4 starts. He has more than a strikeout an inning to date, and consistently gives 6 or more innings. The Phillies’ bullpen always seems to be sore point, and that is certainly true lately. They are at least rested, and have been able to finish when a starter gives them some innings.
Look for the Phillies’ offense to run up the score vs Corbin and the bullpen to hold on post-Wheeler.
The Phillies are a heavy favorite today, but I am comfortable taking them on the run line at – 1 ½.
|06-16-22||Guardians v. Rockies +1.5||Top||4-2||Loss||-130||8 h 16 m||Show|
The 4-6 Rockies are back in Coors Field after a seven game road trip. The Rockies at home are a different beast. They win more often and their offense is unbelievably better; 4th in the league at home, and a distant 28th when on the road. They have lost 2 straight to the Guardians, and send out right-hander Chad Kuhl to stop the bleeding. Kuhl was badly roughed up in his last start by the Padres, and has been uneven this year, although his two previous starts were each 6 inning quality appearances. Kuhl is the rare pitcher who, so far, pitches better at home in Colorado.
Young right-hander Triston McKenzie starts for the Guardians. His season has been solid, especially early, but can also be uneven. Opponents are hitting just .174 against him, but his June results have been disturbing, especially the HR totals. He has given up 10 dingers in his last 5 games after allowing just 1 in May. Not a good look for a game in Colorado.
The Guardians are just middle of the pack on offense for the season, consistently around the .707 OPS. Their pitching has been very good, including relievers, of late. The Rockies’ pen, usually in the cellar, has been surprisingly effective lately.
While the Guardians are a favorite, I am concerned about McKenzie’s home run totals and his negative trajectory this month. I expect the Rockies to have some success vs McKenzie, and avoid the sweep. Kuhl and the Rockies will at least keep this game close. A Colorado win would not surprsie me. Take the Rockies on the Run line, at + 1 1/2.
|06-16-22||Padres -1.5 v. Cubs||Top||6-4||Win||100||3 h 58 m||Show|
Matt Swarmer, the Cubs’ rookie, has 3 starts under his belt. Two of them were impressive, and then he met up with the Yankees, and gave up 6 earned runs in five innings, allowing, count’em, 6 solo home runs. Swarmer now has given up 9 home runs in 3 games. It will be interesting to see if the rookie can regroup. He can’t look for much support from the Cubs’ bullpen today. They have staggered to an ERA of over ten in their last 10 games
The Cubs face one of the best today in the Padres’ Joe Musgrove. With an ERA of 1.15 in his last 4 starts, he has been all things this year, pitching for effectiveness, consistency and length (20 innings pitched/ L3 starts). The Padres bullpen, good as usual, is clipping along with an ERA of just 2.17 in their last 10 games.
While the Padres aren’t usually the hardest hitting team, they have been tearing it up lately, climbing into the top ten in offense with an OPS of .789, just slightly ahead of the Cubs. On the verge of a sweep, they have outscored the Cubs 35 to 11 in the first three games of this series.
The Cubs are 0-9. Musgrove and the Padres show no sign of slowing down and are a heavy favorite today. Take them on the run line at - 1 1/2. They should be fine for the extra runs.
|06-15-22||Braves -1.5 v. Nationals||Top||8-2||Win||100||12 h 16 m||Show|
The Atlanta Braves have come alive in a big way, and, while their hitting is top notch lately, they’ve also done it with their pitching. Spencer Strider made the switch from reliever to starter in late May. He gave up 3 runs in the first inning of start #1, but has only given up two other runs in 13 innings since. He pitched into the 6th inning and shut out the Pirates in his last start. He likely won’t be fully stretched out, but he’ll get the support of a sizzling bullpen, with an ERA of 1.57 in their last 10 games.
The Nationals were crushed by the Braves in their last two starts and are getting nothing but hard luck from their relievers and starters. Fedde is on the mound for the Nationals, and can pitch well, but has not shown it lately, giving up 13 runs in 12 innings in his last three starts. His last outing was his best lately, but he still gave up 3 runs while pitching into the 6th.
The Nationals have been middling in offense lately, but are dead last in pitching effectiveness. They are 12-20 at home. The Braves are 3rd in offense at .292/.917 OPS in the last two weeks. They have had considerable success against Fedde. Look for them to extend their streak on Wednesday. Take Atlanta on the run line; They will be good for the extra runs.
|06-14-22||A's v. Red Sox -1.5||Top||1-6||Win||100||10 h 15 m||Show|
Boston has gotten itself back into the playoff mix by going 9-2 in June. But they are still only fourth in their own division where they don’t have much chance of catching the hated Yankees. So it’s probably “Wild Card or bust” for the BoSox and they need to continue winning.
Lucky for them, they are facing the A’s to start the week. Out in Oakland, the Red Sox swept a three-game series earlier this month. They outscored the A’s 20-4 in those three games.
Boston has posted four shutouts during their 9-2 run. I know that two of them were 1-0 games and they have two more one-run wins this month as well. But I think we’re “safe” playing the run line tonight. Quite frankly, I don't think this game will be close.
The A’s have just one win in June. They will start Koenig, whose first start saw him give up four runs in four innings. The A’s are also a terrible team offensively, ranking last in average, last in on base percentage, 29th in slugging and 29th in runs per game.
I do think the fact the Red Sox haven’t needed many runs to win lately bodes well. They are hitting .262 as a team at Fenway, so they should put up a decent number tonight. Pivetta should handle the A’s lineup again as he threw seven shutout innings the last time he faced them. In 8 of his 12 starts, Pivetta has allowed three runs or less. He had 11 strikeouts in his last start. Lay the -1.5!
|06-14-22||Braves v. Nationals +1.5||Top||10-4||Loss||-100||12 h 40 m||Show|
The Braves are red hot. They won their 12th straight game last night, beating Washington 9-5. The win streak has last year’s World Series Champs firmly back in the Wild Card mix in the National League.
As for the Nationals, things aren’t looking so good. They are in last place in the East Division and already there’s a six game gap between them and fourth place. I’d be shocked if they escaped the basement.
But surprisingly, my numbers say to give the Nats a try today, albeit on the run line. On the mound, Jackson Tetreault is set to make his big league debut. There's the "unknown factor" here, which may throw Atlanta for a loop. I also really like the odds we're getting, while still being able to play the run line.
Washington hits lefties pretty well, so I expect them to get the job done against Max Fried. Earlier in the year, the Nationals beat Fried as +195 underdogs on the money line.
Note that Washington may change starters prior to game time. I’m rolling with them regardless. I’m more confident in their ability to hit lefties than whomever the starter is. Also, the Nationals’ bullpen has been a lot better at home so far and the Braves just lost All Star Ozzie Albies to a broken foot. Take the run line (+1.5) here as we’re getting solid odds.
|06-13-22||Celtics v. Warriors -3.5||Top||94-104||Win||100||36 h 36 m||Show|
Neither of our two NBA Finalists have suffered consecutive defeats since the playoffs began. If that pattern holds, that means Boston will win this series in seven games. But that would also mean the Celtics win twice on the road. I don’t see that happening. Look for Golden State to take a 3-2 series lead Monday night as they are back home.
The Warriors have lost at home only 11 times all year. Game 1 of this series was one of those 11, but it was also the only home game they’ve lost during the playoffs. They are +10.5 points per game for the year at home and as I’ve mentioned before, defense improves for the Warriors here as they allow just 103.2 points per game compared to 108.9 on the road.
The Warriors have played 11 home games in the playoffs. Not only have they won 10 of them, but eight of those wins have come by double digits. They’ve covered five of the last six.
Steph Curry continues to be other-worldly. He’s averaging 34.3 points per game in the NBA Finals and has made 25 threes in four games. He’s shooting almost 50 percent from behind the arc. Curry’s supporting cast should help out more in Game 5 as role players typically shoot better at home.
This is a huge game where it’s very likely the winner goes on to take the series. I just see Curry and Golden State as being more likely to step up. Lay the points.