Every Monday morning, Bovada releases its three-game series price odds in advance of the start of any new MLB series. While many baseball bettors like to focus on the individual daily matchups, oftentimes you can find some tremendous value in the series price odds if you know how and where to look.
The following is a brief handicapping breakdown and free picks for my top three series prices for this week's action.
Cleveland Indians (+115) vs. Chicago White Sox (-145)
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The Indians come into this AL Central clash fresh off a 2-1 weekend series win against Texas on the road. It was their first series victory in the month of May verses three losses against Kansas City. Minnesota and St. Louis. In five previous games against the White Sox this season, they are 2-3 including a 2-1 series loss on the road back in late April. Cleveland will go with right hander Corey Kluber as its starter for Monday night's Game 1. He looked razor sharp his last time out by allowing just one hit in eight innings against the Cardinals.
Chicago got off to a slow start out of the gate with four straight losses. However, with Sunday's 7-3 victory over Oakland as a +124 road underdog, this team is now 9-3 in its last 12 games. It swept the A's over the weekend by knocking in 18 runs in those three wins, and during this 12-game stretch the White Sox have averaged 5.2 runs a game. While I like Chicago's chances to stay productive at the plate in this series, the main reason I am going with the White Sox in this series is Jose Quintana getting the start in Game 2. He has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his last four starts, and he has already posted a win against Cleveland earlier this year by allowing just one run in six innings.
Oakland Athletics (+100) vs. Houston Astros (-130)
Oakland is buried in the basement of the AL West at 13-26, and it has really hit the skids in the month of May with a record of 4-12 following the weekend sweep by Chicago. The A's have lost Game 1 in their last four series, and they are already 2-4 against the Astros in six previous games this year. They will turn to Drew Pomeranz as their starter in Monday night's series opener. The last time he faced Houston was on April 15, and the left-hander was tagged for four earned runs on six hits in only five innings of work.
Houston remains one of the biggest surprises this season at 25-13, and it just extended its current winning streak to five games with a 4-2 victory against Toronto on Sunday as a -141 home favorite. The last time these two AL West foes met the Astros swept Oakland on the road by a combined score of 21-13 over the course of the three games. Lance McCullers will be making his MLB debut as Houston's starting pitcher for Game 1 of this series, but I do like the fact that Dallas Keuchel is slated to get the start in Game 3. He is a perfect 5-0 on the year with an ERA of just 1.87. This should seal the series for Houston just in case the first two games end up as a split.
Philadelphia Phillies (+100) vs. Colorado Rockies (-130)
This series features two of the worst teams in the National League, but somebody still has to win. The Phillies are actually riding a five-game winning streak following a three-game sweep of Arizona at home this past weekend. It was their first series win since taking two of three from Atlanta in late April. Another plus is Cole Hamels getting the start in Game 1. Philadelphia is 5-2 in his last seven starts against the Rockies, and the left-hander has now allowed just three earned runs in his last two starts while going a full seven innings in both games.
Colorado is coming off a rough road trip to Los Angeles. First, it lost two games to the Angels before going 1-2 against the Dodgers this past weekend. The Rockies are now just 3-14 in their last 17 games behind the highest ERA in the NL at 5.05. They will go with Jordan Lyles as their starter for Monday night. The right-hander has now allowed four or more earned runs in three of his last five starts. Giving the Phillies the clear edge to win Game 1 as -111 road favorites, I also like their chances to win on Tuesday night with right-hander Aaron Harang on the mound. His ERA in now down to 2.03 after allowing a total of just three earned runs in his last 21 innings.
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