MLB Series Odds with Expert Picks and Predictions
by Dave Schwab - 7/17/2015
Major League Baseball is back in action this Friday following its all-star break with Game 1s of 15 different three-game weekend series. Sports bettors are probably chomping at the bit after four days of no action, and wagering on the series odds for a few of these matchups could be the way to go.
Many times the three-game series odds can offer some great value if you know where and how to look. The following are my top three bets to cash in on this weekend's series price betting odds as provided by Sportsbook.ag.
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Baltimore Orioles (+115) vs. Detroit Tigers (-145)
Baltimore closed out the first half of the season with just two victories in its last 10 games to fall back to an even 44-44 on the year. The Orioles have suffered through a scoring drought during this slide with an average of 2.8 runs a game, but their pitching has held up pretty well by allowing a total of just 32 runs. They will look to quickly return to their winning ways in Friday's opener as slight +105 road underdogs with Ubaldo Jimenez on the mound.
The Tigers had their issues with AL Central rival Minnesota on the road last weekend in a 3-1 series loss that dropped their record to an even 44-44. Detroit is 22-23 at home this season after going 2-4 in its last six games at Comerica Park. It's still one of the top-hitting teams in the American League with an average of 4.5 runs a game, but its pitching staff is ranked second to last with a team ERA of 4.31. I would have to give the edge to Baltimore in Game 1 with a struggling Anibal Sanchez on the mound for Detroit. That is enough for me to go with the series price on the Orioles. The road team in this matchup has won five of the last seven meetings.
Chicago Cubs (-145) vs. Atlanta Braves (+115)
The Cubs are eight games back in the NL Central race, but they are still in the thick of the playoff race at 47-40 on the year. They lost three of their last four games at home right before the All-Star break, and they will head on the road in this series with a 7-5 record in their last 12 road games. Chicago's strength this season has been its pitching with a 3.31 team ERA. It will go with Kyle Kendricks in the opener followed by Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta in Sunday's finale.
Atlanta slid into this week's break riding a five-game losing streak after winning the first two contests in a recent seven-game road trip. The Braves will be looking for a reversal of fortunes at Turner Field where they have gone 7-2 in their last nine home games. This pitching staff has an ERA of 4.04, which is ranked 10th in the National League. With Julio Teheran on the mound for Friday's opener, Atlanta is listed as a +110 home underdog. The Braves have won six of the last seven meetings, but I am going with the Cubs to win at least two of three in the initial meeting this season
New York has done its best to keep pace with Washington in the NL East, and after going 7-2 in its last nine outings it's only two games off the pace at 47-42 on the year. The Mets are just 15-28 on the road, but they were able to win four of six in a recent West Coast road trip against the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants. They come into Friday's series opener as +138 road underdogs with Noah Syndergaard on the mound. New York will turn to Bartolo Colon on Saturday and Jonathon Niese on Sunday as its starters.
The Cardinals (56-33) have been the top team in the majors all season long, but they closed out the first half with five losses in their last seven games, including a 3-1 series loss to Pittsburgh on the road that dropped their lead over the Pirates in the NL Central to just 2.5 games. St. Louis comes into this series with the top ERA in the NL at 2.71, and it will have Lance Lynn on the mound in the opener. John Lackey and Michael Wacha will round out the starting rotation for this series, giving the Cardinals a clear advantage. While I normally would not go with such a heavy favorite in a series price bet, it is well worth the risk in this matchup as St. Louis regains its winning form.
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