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Thread: Wednesday 9-13-17 Free Plays / Trends / Betting Info / Etc

  1. #61
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    Power Sports

    San Diego vs. Minnesota
    Pick: Minnesota -148

    It was right here, in this very space, yesterday that I said the DH wasn't hardly enough to save the Padres in this series. Wouldn't you know - They ended up losing 16-0 to the Twins on Tuesday! Maybe it's about time we start taking this Minnesota playoff push seriously as they now have a positive run differential on the season. After the way yday unfolded, I see no reason why we shouldn't expect them to win again tonight, as they have a better starting pitcher going (Ervin Santana). I'll say it again - San Diego is the worst team in baseball (-160 run differential).

    The addition of the DH to their lineup is simply not enough for the Padres to compete here. Their offense ranks 30th (dead last) in runs scored, batting average and OBP. That side of the ledger has certainly been the main contributor to the team's overall run differential, also the worst in all of baseball. But after yday, it's pretty clear to me that the pitching could use some work as well! Minnesota became the first team in MLB HISTORY to homer at least once in each of the first seven innings of a game!

    Now the Padres will have a better starting pitcher going Wednesday. Dinelson Lamet has made three consecutive quality starts, although the team has still lost all of them. But, the road has been unkind to Lamet as his ERA & WHIP are 5.16 and 1.390 respectively. Did I mention that San Diego is just 26-44 in road games this year, getting outscored by 1.4 rpg? While it's true that Santana has been a bit shaky of late for the Twins, this figures to be among his easiest starts of the year while it should be one of the more challenging ones for Lamet.

  2. #62
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    Big Al

    Cincinnati vs. St. Louis
    Pick: St. Louis -158

    There have been some hot teams lately, including -- obviously -- the Indians with their record streak, the Nationals (becoming the first team to clinch their Division) and the D-Backs with their recent victories over the Dodgers. But very quietly the Cardinals have also done their share of winning lately. In fact, you may have noticed that the Brewers climbed within just two games of the Cubs when they swept the World Series Champs in Wrigley last weekend. But you may not have noticed that the Cards are right there with them after going 10-2 in their last 12 games, including a blow-out win in game one of this home series against the Reds last night. 21-year-old rookie RH Jack Flaherty will take the mound for the Cards for just his third MLB start in this critical game tonight. The former first round draft pick (2014) got his MLB career career off to a rough start but settled down in his second start, allowing one run on three hits in five innings. The most important stat however is the 2-0 record that the Cards have in Flaherty's two starts. This will be his home debut and the home team is 7-2 in the last nine meetings of these two.

  3. #63
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    Buster Sports

    Baltimore at Toronto
    Play: Toronto -111

    We are going with the Blue Jays here tonight as the Orioles crushing loss last night might have eliminated them not only statistically but also mentally from this year’s playoff race. Automatic closer Zach Britton who has now blown 2 saves in the last couple of weeks, after having a 60 game consecutive save streak, could have all but ended the Orioles chances for the playoffs. We believe it is going to be very tough for the Orioles to come back today from that loss, especially when they are facing arguably Toronto’s ace in RH Marcus Stroman (11-7, 3.18 ERA). Stroman has had a rough month by his standards but he is sporting a solid 2.76 ERA in 15 home starts. We look for Stroman to have a quality start especially at home. The Orioles will send RH Kevin Gausman (10-10, 4.99 ERA) to the hill and he has pitched well of late for the Orioles. This will be the fifth time Gausman has faced the Blue Jays this year and we believe that will give the Jays a slight edge. With the Blue Jays winning four in a row and the Orioles losing six in a row we have two teams here going in opposite directions.

  4. #64
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    The Prez

    Chicago at Kansas City
    Play: Chicago +130

    The postseason hopeful Kansas City host divisional foe Chicago this afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 2:15 p.m. ET at Kauffman Stadium.

    While the White Sox were sellers at the non-waiver trade deadline in late July the club retained the services of slugger Jose Abreu and slotted their young prospects into the lineup since. Abreu is 10-for-13 and has swatted three home runs, two in the first two of this three game series along with two triples and has eight RBI versus Royals pitching.

    The Royals inconsistent offense and suspect starting pitching has resulted in the Royals being a mediocre crew this season, a .500 bunch, that currently sit three games out of the second American League Wild Card spot behind Minnesota, Los Angeles and Texas with 18 games to play in the regular season.

    Two of the Royals sluggers in the middle of their lineup are not 100 percent, as well, with outfielder Lorenzo Cain (quads) and third baseman Mike Moustakas (right knee) out of the lineup on Tuesday.

    The White Sox send one of their top prospects to the mound at the "K" today in Lucas Giolito (2-2, 2.84 ERA), who will oppose Royals Eric Skoglund (1-2, 10.29).

    Giolito allowed five runs (three earned), three hits and four walks while striking out five in 5 1/3 innings in his last turn versus the San Francisco Giants. Despite his suspect surface numbers in his last outing Giolito has pitched well across his last three starts going 2-1 while posting a 2.25 ERA with a solid 8.17 K/9.

    The same can't be said for Kansas City lefty Skoglund who was hit hard in his last trip to the hill permitted three runs, three hits and three walks in three innings of relief. The southpaw has struggled since being called up and his inability to miss bats and greatly depend on his command makes his a fade today against the White Sox offense who has registered a near .800 OPS over the last week of play.

    It isn't unusual this time of the MLB season, in September, to see the oddsmakers shade the team in playoff contention, and this is the case today with Kansas City's Skoglund who is a buck-fifty favorite in a contest that should be, at minimum, a pick'em affair.

  5. #65
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    SPORTS WAGERS

    Chicago +126 over KANSAS CITY

    Erik Skoglund and Lucas Giolito are both four starts into this season but they are a very different four starts. Skoglund made his major league debut on May 30th after Danny Duffy was placed in the DL. Skoglund tossed a six-inning, two-hit gem in his MLB debut but then two subsequent disasters got him sent him back down to AAA-Omaha where he remained until getting the call again on August 27. He lasted 1.1 innings against the Indians on Aug 27 and surrendered seven runs. He then appeared in relief on Sept 2 against the Twins and pitched three more poor innings, allowing three runs and walking three. All of that adds up to just 14 MLB innings in four starts and one relief appearance. In those 14 frames, Skoglund has been tagged for 23 hits while walking 10 batters and striking out 11. That’s 33 base-runners in 14 innings for a WHIP of 2.36. Skoglund is a decent enough prospect but he’s not the first decent prospect to fall apart at this level once getting here. Some guys can handle it and thrive while others cannot and while it is way too early to put the latter label on him, we’re not going to ignore it either. His confidence can’t be thriving right now either. Incidentally, Skoglund is a lefty and the South Side have been very good all year v southpaws.

    Lucas Giolito’s plight is much different and more promising. He made a brief appearance last season as a member of the Nats and it didn’t go well. He was, however, the key cog in the subsequent trade that sent Adam Eaton over to Washington. After arriving in Chicago, Giolito showed good progress. In the minors this year he was working on his wicked curve and other pitches before his most recent call-up. This top prospect was called up on August 22 and four starts later, he has not looked a bit out of place. With a BB/K split of 8/23 in 25 frames to go along with a 2.84 ERA, Giolito’s small sample size results have the full support of his underlying skills. He has a first-pitch strike rate of 65% to go along with a nifty 12% swing and miss rate. With an xERA of 3.51, Giolito might be here for good. This kid looks very comfortable on the mound and in complete control of what he’s trying to do. He looks very good also. We’ll bite.

    Colorado +134 over ARIZONA

    Patrick Corbin had his best month of the season in August (2.52 ERA, 1.09 WHIP). Those elite stats received some very sturdy support too with 9.6 K’s/9 1.8 BB’s/9, 55% grounders and a 3.27 xERA. Corbin’s elite skills had the backing of an excellent 13% swing and miss rate and solid 34% ball%. He now comes into this start with a 13-12 record and a very respectable 4.16 ERA after 29 starts. However, Corbin was absolutely torched in his last start in San Diego and we’ve been watching this starter get into a funk for an extended period of time for years now. His slumps have lasted a lot longer than his good times have so he could be a fragile pitcher after such a bad outing. Furthermore, the Rocks have absolutely torched him in the past, as current Rockies have a combined .342 BA average against Corbin over 173 combined AB’s.

    German Marquez has gone mostly unnoticed this season in large part due to his mediocre surface stats (4.26 ERA, 1.30 WHIP). Still, there's some interesting speculative potential here. His skills have surged a ton in the second half with 9.9 K’s/9, 2.2 BB’s/9, 42% grounders and a 3.89 xERA. That xERA is especially impressive because xERA does not take park factors into consideration. Marquez is missing a lot more bats too (8% swing and miss rate in 1H, 12% in 2H) and makes for a nice play here against an Arizona team that has dropped four of five and that has only scored nine times at home over its past three games.

    Pittsburgh +147 over MILWAUKEE

    Chase Anderson has been a pleasant surprise in 2017, as he's sporting a tidy 2.93 ERA heading into the final stretch of the season. What has been the key to his success, and is it sustainable? No, as Anderson has had some luck on his side. He has helped himself by adding some whiffs, which can probably be tied to his uptick in velocity. He's gotten his first-pitch strike rate back up to league average, which is where his percentage of pitches in the zone sits as well for the second straight season. There's no reason to expect his control to change much from his current level. His fly-ball rate continues to soar, which does not bode well when pitching at Miller Park, which dramatically increases home runs (+49% LHB, +11% RHB). A low home run per fly-ball rate has helped him maintain a 0.9 hr/9 on the year, including a 1.1 mark at home, but he's at risk of more damage via the long ball in the future. Anderson's numbers are much improved in 2017, but the gap between his ERA and xERA shows he's been extremely fortunate. On the plus side, he's added some zip on his fastball, which has helped him increase the strikeouts. However, his fly-ball tendencies have escalated, which will eventually come back to bite him in a hitter-friendly home park. Anderson should continue to be a serviceable starter but the overall package isn't nearly as strong as his ERA would suggest. Additionally, only two teams in the NL have struck out fewer times than the Buccos, which makes them a live dog whenever a price is offered.

    Tyler Glasnow’s last MLB start came way back in early June against the Marlins. That was the start (4 IP 10H 7ER) that go him sent back down. What this market will see today is a starter that has been in the minors after getting lit up at this level to the tune of a 7.45 ERA with a BAA against of .326 over 12 starts. In four starts last season, Glasnow went 0-2 with a 4.24 ERA over 23 innings. It seems at times like the Pirates are being super-cautious with this top prospect and the reason is obvious: they saw an emerging control issue; as 42 BB in 87 MLB IP confirms. However, his swing and miss and groundball rates are in place and now he just needs more strikes. That's the last piece of this puzzle that might be in place too. Glasnow blazed through Triple-A Indianapolis since being sent down in June, nailing down a 1.93 ERA with 140 strikeouts and only 32 walks in 93.1 innings (15 starts). He's again made several adjustments to his approach, including speeding up his delivery and it appears to be working. This could wind up being a different Glasnow down the stretch than the version who carries a 7.45 ERA into this one. Glasnow’s season-long numbers assures us of a great price here. Remember, this is a pitcher with filthy stuff that is two years in working with the best pitching coach around. His stock could rise very quickly so get in now before that happens.

    Atlanta +248 over WASHINGTON

    The Nationals clinched the NL East on Sunday, had a day off on Monday, got whacked by the Braves on Tuesday and they have the Dodgers coming in on Thursday. This is a team that was never threatened all season, thus they’ve been on cruise control since May. Sure, there have been some big games and series just because the opposition was interesting but for the most part, the Nats march to the division crown has been one without threat all year long. The last thing left for the Nats to do before the playoffs begin is to finish with the best record in the NL in order to secure home-field advantage should the Dodgers and Nats play for the NL Pennant. Washington is 2-games behind L.A. and again, the Dodgers come in here on Thursday. The point is that the Nats intensity level is low and likely won’t pick up until Thursday when the stadium is filled and the Dodgers are the opposition.

    Then we have Max Scherzer, who is the reason for this near 3-1 line. With 238 K’s and a mere 46 walks in 178 frames to go along with a 2.32 ERA, Scherzer is the absolute straight goods and may slay this lineup like he slays most lineups. However, it was unknown if Scherzer was even going to make this start because of a calf injury. As it turns out, he will be and it’s probably not even a concern because if it was, the Nats would not send him out there for such a meaningless start. That said, Washington is much more concerned about October than September, and Scherzer might throw fewer innings this month and especially in this start than we’ve become accustomed to. This, therefore, becomes a decent gamble at a great price.

    Luiz Gohera will make his second major league start after getting whacked in his first start. Pitchers making their debuts are extremely unpredictable because of nerves, anticipation, excitement and all the other things that go with making it to the big show. We never put much emphasis on a poor debut and we’re not going to start now because this is a great prospect with filthy stuff.

    Gohara was acquired from the Mariners in January 2017 and was seemingly just another very good arm in the deep Braves system. He turned himself into an even better prospect after dominating on three levels of the minors. The hard-throwing lefty has always had the ingredients to be a stud bulldog. However, poor conditioning (he was chubby) limited him in the past. He made a commitment to better conditioning last off-season and it’s paid off. While he still has work to do with his large frame, he easily eclipsed his previous career-high in innings. Gohara can reach the 96-98 mph range with his fastball from his three-quarter arm slot. It is a legitimate plus pitch and he’s done a nice job of throwing strikes with it. Adding to his effectiveness is his slider which is now considered a plus pitch as well. It misses bats due to its late break. Gohara is aided by a deceptive delivery which makes him even more dangerous. He has vaulted up prospect charts, as he’s starting to put everything together. In the minors at Triple A before the call-up, Gohara was whiffing 12.2 batters per nine innings while holding the opposition to a .219 average. Even in that aforementioned first start, he struck out six batters in four frames with an 18% swing and miss rate. That alone makes him very worthy of taking back a tag like the one being offered here.

  6. #66
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    Micah Roberts

    Orioles vs. Blue Jays
    Play: Blue Jays -109

    Kevin Gausman has been controlling all three of his starts against the Jays this season, including a 1-0 win 12 days ago in Baltimore. The O's are 3-0 in this games. But he hasn't faced Marcus Stroman yet this year. Stroman has two starts against the O's this season and the Jays won both

  7. #67
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    Wunderdog

    Cincinnati @ St. Louis
    Pick: St. Louis -147

    St. Louis has won four in a row while improving to 41-31 at home after defeating the Reds 13-4 Tuesday night. The Cardinals banged out 14 hits and have scored 20 runs their last two games. Also, St. Louis has won 36 of its last 53 in the second game of a series and Cincinnati has lost 61 of its last 89 games at Busch Stadium and four of the last five meetings overall. Jack Flaherty is making his third start and he bounced back from a bad performance against the Giants by pitching five effective innings at San Diego while allowing just a run on three hits in five innings. The Reds have lost all three of Tyler Mahle's starts, including 7-2 at the Mets on Thursday when he gave up three runs on six hits in four innings. Cincy is 26-47 on the road and destined to finish last in the NL Central while St. Louis is closing in on the Cubs for first place.

  8. #68
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    Larry Ness

    Seattle vs. Texas
    Pick: Texas -102

    The Mariners and Rangers meet Wednesday in the third of a four-game series at Arlington. Seattle won 10-3 last night, just its third in eight contests and remained 3 1/2 games behind Minnesota for the second wild card spot at .72-73. Meanwhile, 72-72 Texas looks to move back above .500, plus hopes to close the team's three-game deficit for the American League's second wild card spot.

    The pitching matchup features Mike Leake (9-12, 4.10 ERA overall) for Seattle and Martin Perez (12-10, 4.81 ERA) for Texas. Leake will be making his third start since being acquired from St Louis and has won each of his first two outings as a Mariner. He's allowed two earned runs in each start, while striking out 12 against one walk in 13 overall innings. Leake is 0-1 with a 2.33 ERA in three career starts versus the Rangers, including two outings at Globe Life Park (0-1, 2.03 ERA).

    Martin Perez will head to the mound tonight looking to match a Texas franchise record by winning his EIGHTH consecutive start. Perez has not exactly resembled Clayton Kershaw during his seven-game winning streak but he has allowed fewer than three ERs in five of the seven victories and owns a 3.15 ERA these last seven games, lowering his overall ERA from 5.46 to its current 4.10. Perez is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in three starts against Seattle this year (Rangers are 1-2) and is 6-3 with a 3.30 ERA in 15 appearances (13 starts) all-time vs Seattle.

    Leake has been everything Seattle could have hoped for (and more) in his first two starts with the Mariners but going against the red-hot Perez makes little sense right now. Take the home team.

  9. #69
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    Bob Balfe

    Phillies -120

    Both teams were involved in a slugfest last night. There will be 95% humidity tonight in Philly and I don’t expect the bats to go cold. Aaron Nola is less prone to give up the homerun ball and the Phillies do have the slightly better bullpen. Look for another marathon with Philadelphia being on the winning side.

  10. #70
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    Bruce Marshall

    Reds at Cardinals
    Pick: Over

    The "total" in this one doesn't look high enough between two young pitchers with only a few MLB games each under their belts. Cincy's Tyler Mahle has had control issues (8 walks in 15 IP in his three starts) and was hit hard by the Mets in his last outing Sept. 7. Meanwhile, the Cards go with Jack Flaherty, making only his third start. The bats are sufficiently warmed up on both sides after last night's 17-run explosion.

  11. #71
    IWS Moderator New York Knight's Avatar
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    M's 1-6 in last 7 road games.

    Rangers 7-0 in Perez's last 7 starts & 5-1 in his last 6 starts vs Mariners.


    SEA -106 / TEX -102

  12. #72
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    Sports Insights ...

    Most Lopsided MLB Games Tonight


    81% on Twins -143 vs SD
    80% on Red Sox -188 vs OAK
    76% on Nats -310 vs ATL

  13. #73
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    Padres 0-6 in Lamet's last 6 vs teams above .500.

    Twins 7-0 last 7 interleague home games & 6-2 in Santana's last 8 starts.


    SD +135 / MIN -150

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