Free MLB Picks: New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies at Colorado Rockies
by Alan Matthews - 5/11/2010
New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers, 7:05 p.m.
The line: Yankees -145/Tigers +125 (total of 10; live betting on Bodog available)
How they enter: New York has dropped two in a row, including a 5-4 decision at Comerica Park on Monday night in Game 1 of this series. Johnny Damon homered for the Tigers in his first game against his former teammates. Detroit improved to 10-3 at home and has won six in a row there. The Yankees have yet to drop three straight this season.
Scouting report: Here was a cool stat from Monday’s game: Tigers closer Jose Valverde became just the fifth pitcher to earn a save in a one-run game against the Yankees by striking out the side in the ninth inning. That’s fifth ever! I realize saves haven’t been around all that long, but still. The reason I love this game for Detroit is because the Yanks’ one pitching weak spot, Javier Vazquez (1-3, 9.78), is throwing tonight – yet oddsmakers still favor New York. Vazquez was supposed to start over the weekend against Boston but was pushed back to here because of his struggles. Vazquez hasn’t completed six innings in any of his starts. He is 6-7 with a 4.50 ERA in 13 career starts vs. Detroit and 2-5 with a 6.09 ERA in seven career starts at Comerica Park, but has not faced the Tigers since 2008. Detroit’s Rick Porcello (2-3, 7.50) is in a sophomore slump, having lost three of his last four starts. But both of his wins have come at home.
Key trends: The Yankees are 1-4 in Vazquez’s past five starts.
Detroit is 5-0 in its past five at home against a righty.
The ‘over’ is 10-0-1 in Vazquez’s last 11 starts vs. a team with a winning record.
The pick: Take the Tigers and the ‘over’.
Philadelphia Phillies at Colorado Rockies, 8:40 p.m.
The line: Phillies -190/Rockies +165 (8.5)
How they enter: The Phils have won two games in a row, including 9-5 in Game 1 of this series on Monday night. They Phillies are hitting .297 with 18 homers and 59 runs scored this month. The Rockies are just 7-6 at home and have lost three of four games overall.
Scouting report: The Rockies didn’t have shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (quadriceps) for Game 1 of this series and it’s expected he won’t start tonight either. He was injured Sunday in Los Angeles when he was attempting a double-play relay. Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez remains out of the country to attend a funeral and won’t play tonight. But first baseman Todd Helton, who has only four extra-base hits all season, should play after getting Monday night off. There is cause for concern for the Phils, as they used Jose Contreras to get the save Monday because Brad Lidge had some elbow stiffness. Lidge had offseason elbow surgery and battled stiffness and soreness in the elbow during spring training. The team says it’s not worried, but this is worth monitoring. Remember that Ryan Madson is already on the DL. Still, with Roy Halladay (6-1, 1.45) on the mound tonight, the Phillies may not need their bullpen. Halladay figures to be jacked up tonight because he will pitch in the city in which he was born for the first time. The big righty has thrown shutouts in two of his past four starts. Colorado starts Aaron Cook (1-3, 6.03), who wasn’t very good last time out against San Diego.
Key trends: The Phils are 6-1 in their past seven as a favorite.
Colorado is 4-0 in Cook’s past four home starts.
The Rockies are 4-1 in their past five following a loss.
The ‘over’ is 12-3 in Phillies last 15 road games vs. a team with a losing record.
The pick: Again, strictly speaking on value here, I think if the Rockies can get into that Philly bullpen they can win – Halladay might be too hyped up. Take Colorado and the ‘over’.
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