MLB Betting: Tuesday-Thursday Series Predictions
by Matt Severance - 07/07/2009
Hopefully we can have a better week forecasting our MLB series than last, where we missed on three of the four. Of course, we are always going to go with the underdog, because that's where you can make some money, and we did nail the Mariners at +190 against the Red Sox.
With that said, here are the best bets for the dogs to pay off in series that begin tonight (all odds from BetUS):
St. Louis Cardinals (+130) at Milwaukee Brewers: How can you go against any team that Albert Pujols is on the way the potential Triple Crown winner is hitting right now? Pujols is batting .404 with eight home runs, six doubles, 22 RBI and a .530 on-base percentage in his last 16 games. He leads all of baseball with 31 homers and 82 RBI, a .460 on-base percentage, .739 slugging percentage, 51 extra-base hits, 66 runs scored, 66 walks and 207 total bases.
Yes, I know the Cards are just 2-4 this year against the Brewers and have just three wins in the past 14 games against their Central rivals. And, yes, Pujols is batting just .235 against the Brew Crew this year.
But St. Louis is hoping to get back Mark DeRosa for this series; he has played in just three games since coming over from Cleveland after injuring his wrist. That should help make up for the struggles of guys like Chris Duncan, Ryan Ludwick and Rick Ankiel.
I also love Adam Wainwright in Game 1 for the Cards.. He struck out a career-high 12 and pitched nine innings in his previous start. Wainwright has a 2.72 ERA in the past 10 starts, and a 1-1 record with a 1.20 ERA vs. Milwaukee this season. The Cards are 8-0 in Wainwright's last 8 road starts vs. a team with a winning record.
Of course, Brewers Game 1 starter Yovani Gallardo also is coming off a start with 12 strikeouts and has a 1.70 ERA in his last eight starts, so this one should be low-scoring - the over/under for Game 1 is the only one in baseball tonight that's under 8.
The problem with forecasting this series is that as of this writing, the Brewers, who have lost four of five games, haven't named their starters for Wednesday and Thursday. It probably will be Jeff Suppan in one of those two, with either Manny Parra or a Triple-A call-up in the other. Don't know about you, but none of those guys inspires much confidence for me.
The Cards start Todd Wellemeyer (7-7, 5.44) on Wednesday, and he is coming off his best outing of the season. Joel Pineiro (6-9, 3.39) goes Thursday. The Brewers are only 5-12 in the past 17 against right-handed starters.
St. Louis is a solid road team, and the Brewers just OK at home. Cards take two of three.
New York Yankees at Minnesota Twins (+105): A second-place team is an underdog at home? I have to take that. The Yankees are no doubt playing well, but Minnesota is just one of those stops that always seems to get them as the Twins won four of the final five matchups at the Metrodome last year (by comparison, New York has won 23 of the past 26 against the Twins in the Bronx). Plus, the Twins remember that four-game sweep in the Bronx earlier this season - three of the losses coming via the walk-off variety, all in games in which Minnesota led.
"We definitely need some revenge," Twins closer Joe Nathan said.
Also, Minnesota first baseman Justin Morneau is raking right now. He was just named American League Player of the Week on Monday, after batting .480 (12-for-25) with four home runs, eight RBI and 26 total bases in six games. He has struggled some against Yanks Game 1 starter CC Sabathia, however. Sabathia is 5-1 with a 1.76 ERA in his past six starts at the Metrodome, all with Cleveland. The Twins counter with Scott Baker, who has been very good of late with a 4-0 record, 3.20 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in June.
A.J. Burnett (7-4, 3.83) opposes Glen Perkins (4-4, 4.38) on Wednesday, while the Yanks have not yet announced who will take Chien-Ming Wang's spot on Thursday - although it probably will be Sergio Mitre. Minnesota starts Anthony Swarzak (2-2, 3.90).
The Twins have won four series in a row and have just lost two series since June 1. Minnesota is 6-0 on the past six Tuesdays and 4-0 in their past four as a dog. I think the Twins steal Game 1 from Sabathia and then win Thursday's game against the New York fill-in starter.