Baseball Handicapping Articles
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Thursday, May 17, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/16/2018
Seattle's Robinson Cano suffered a broken bone in his hand on Sunday and was going to miss quite a while. That we knew. What we didn't know was that Cano already had failed an MLB drug test and been suspended 80 games but had appealed. The broken hand, in one regard, came at an opportune time because news broke Tuesday that Cano would sit 80 games after he decided to drop the appeal. Cano tested positive for the diuretic Furosemide (also known as Lasix), which he said was prescribed to him by a doctor in his native Dominican Republic for a legitimate medical condition.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Wednesday, May 16, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/15/2018
Have we seen the end of St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright? If we have, the big right-hander belongs in not quite the Hall of Fame but the Hall of Very Good with his 147-84 record and 3.30 ERA. From 2008-14 he was clearly one of the best pitchers in baseball, but then injuries hit and Wainwright, except for a brief part of 2015 (limited to 28 innings), hasn't been the same since. His ERA in 2013 was 4.62 and then last year in 123.1 innings it ballooned to 5.11.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Tuesday, May 15, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/14/2018
Many thought the Washington Nationals vastly overpaid when they traded three excellent pitching prospects to the Chicago White Sox a couple of winters ago for outfielder Adam Eaton. There's no question the White Sox have won that deal so far only because Eaton hasn't been able to stay on the field for Washington. He has played a total of 31 games for the Nats due to injuries (torn ACL last year) and just underwent arthroscopic ankle surgery last Thursday. It was performed in Green Bay by the Packers' orthopedist, Dr. Robert Anderson, an expert in the field of ankle injuries.
MLB Betting Trends: Totals Report for Hot Over and Under Teams
by Aaron Smith - 5/11/2018
After a series win over their rivals, the New York Yankees have matched the Boston Red Sox for the best record in baseball at 26-11. The Cleveland Indians are only 18-18, but that is good enough for first place in the awful American League Central. The Chicago White Sox have the worst record in baseball at 9-25. The American League West appears to be the most improved division in baseball. The Angels are tied with the Astros for the lead in the division. Oakland is no longer a bottom-feeder.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Saturday, May 12, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/11/2018
What justifies calling a player an all-time great in franchise history in the four major American team sports leagues? Does he have to be in the Top 5? If so, then Andrew McCutchen isn't an all-time Pirate because he's behind at minimum guys like Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente, Paul Waner, Willie Stargell and Barry Bonds. Probably Arky Vaughan and Ralph Kiner too. That said, McCutchen was one of the best Pirates of this century, no question, and for a five-year stretch from 2011-15 was one of the top all-around players in baseball.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Friday, May 11, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/10/2018
I have zero rooting interest in the Oakland A's overall, but they now have a player on the big-league roster whom I'll be rooting for in a big way. That would be rookie Dustin Fowler. Unless you are a true-blue Yankees or A's fan, you might not know of him. The promising outfielder was called up late last June by the Yankees and played his first game June 29 at Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the White Sox. Before Fowler even got to bat in the majors, he suffered a gruesome knee injury after he crashed into the wall in foul territory chasing a ball hit by Jose Abreu with two outs and the bases empty in the first inning.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Thursday, May 10, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/9/2018
If you read this column daily, you know the drill: Any time a pitcher throws a no-hitter, I have to lead with his next start in the hopes we see consecutive no-hitters for the second time in MLB history. Except, this wouldn't really be the same. That's because Dodgers highly-touted rookie Walker Buehler lasted just six no-hit innings in Mexico last Friday. L.A. isn't going to ruin this prized arm - Buehler also had Tommy John surgery three years ago not long after being a first-round pick - by allowing him to throw 125 pitches or something just for a no-no.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Wednesday, May 9, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/8/2018
The San Francisco Giants haven't gotten much positive injury news this season, but this qualifies as some: Johnny Cueto will "only" miss 6-8 weeks with some elbow troubles. That's great news, actually, because Cueto went to see Dr. James Andrews, and that often means Tommy John surgery and more like 12-16 months on the sideline. Andrews told Cueto that he didn't have a torn ligament in the elbow and that rest should solve the problem.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Tuesday, May 8, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/7/2018
We saw some history made on Friday when future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols of the Angels (his Hall of Fame cap will definitely be Cardinals) became the 32nd member of the 3,000-hit club and just the fourth of the 3,000-hit, 600-homer club along with Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Alex Rodriguez. This is the fourth straight year we've seen a player get his 3,000th career hit, following Adrian Beltre in 2017, Ichiro Suzuki in 2016 and A-Rod in 2015.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Saturday, May 5, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/4/2018
Maybe when I'm a senior citizen, I'll consider Mike Trout the best baseball player I saw in my lifetime. Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Roger Clemens were three of the best players ever without question - but we all know the cloud that follows them around. Right now, I consider the best all-around MLB player I saw to be Ichiro Suzuki. And it appears his player career is over. Ichiro has decided to stop playing this year - he was a reserve with the Mariners - and transition to the front office. Ichiro didn't officially say he was retiring, but it's pretty obvious.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Friday, May 4, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/3/2018
This past winter, the Giants' Johnny Cueto had an interesting decision - one you and I would never even consider. When Cueto signed with San Francisco in late 2015, he got a six-year, $130 million deal but with a player opt out after two seasons. Needless to say, if Cueto had two good years and stayed healthy, he would have opted out and gotten a bigger contract or at least another six-year deal. Cueto was fantastic in 2016 but struggled and dealt with some injuries last year and decided to stay in the contract.
Expert MLB Handicapping: Are Atlanta Braves Legit After Hot Start?
by Trevor Whenham - 5/3/2018
Things are getting a little crazy in Atlanta. On Thursday afternoon the Braves absolutely humiliated the Mets, winning 11-0 for their fifth straight victory. That moved them to 19-11 and gave them a game and a half lead in the NL East. Only the Arizona Diamondbacks have a better winning percentage in the entire National League. It's a great start for any team, but for one like the Braves it is kind of amazing.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Thursday, May 3, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/2/2018
Led by former Tampa Bay Rays GM Andrew Friedman, the front office of the Los Angeles Dodgers is one of the best in the business, without question. Yet, if they knew that superstar shortstop Corey Seager was having elbow troubles last year, why not have him undergo surgery right after the World Series? Position players return from Tommy John surgery much faster than pitchers for obvious reasons. The baseball world was stunned at the news Monday that Seager's 2018 season was over due to Tommy John surgery to repair a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right arm. I hesitate to say the Dodgers are toast now, but Seager is their best all-around hitter.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Wednesday, May 2, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/1/2018
You have to hand it to the Arizona Diamondbacks. They are battling Boston for the best record in the majors, and Arizona has tied an MLB record by winning its first nine series in a season. It hadn't been done by any team since the 2001 Mariners, who won a record 116 games but failed to reach the World Series. The last NL team to do it? The 1907 Cubs, who did win it all. Amazing by the Snakes considering they lost slugging outfielder J.D. Martinez this offseason in free agency and are down two starting pitchers (Taijuan Walker and Shelby Miller) following Tommy John surgeries.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Tuesday, May 1, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 4/30/2018
With Tuesday the first of May, it's a good time to check the updated standings. You would think it wouldn't much matter this early in a season which teams are leading their divisions. You would be wrong. Since the advent of the first wild-card spot in 1996, 15 of the 22 World Series winners led their division on May 1. That includes the 2017 Houston Astros. The other division leaders on May 1 last year were Baltimore (missed playoffs), Cleveland (won AL Central), Washington (won NL East), Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee (tied in NL Central - Cubs won that) and Colorado (wild-card team). I tend to think every current AL division leader will take its division; rather doubt any of the three NL leaders do.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Saturday, April 28, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 4/27/2018
Did you actually have the stones to bet on the Miami Marlins over Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday? If you did, congratulations. But, I'm guessing you didn't. In Las Vegas, Miami's 8-6 shocker was one of the biggest upset in MLB in the past decade. The Marlins started a former substitute teacher named Trevor Richards. Behind Kershaw, the Dodgers closed as high as -450 favorites at some sportsbooks.
MLB Betting Trends: Totals Report for Hot Over and Under Teams
by Aaron Smith - 4/27/2018
The Red Sox continue to crush the competition in the early going. Boston is off to a 19-5 start to the season, but the Yankees and Blue Jays look like teams capable of making a run in the American League East as well. Baltimore is a miserable 6-19 on the year, and they are already 13.5 games out of first place. The Angels are 16-9 on the season so far. The Angels are just 5-7 at home, but they are a whopping 11-2 on the road in the early going.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Friday, April 27, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 4/26/2018
I have been writing these MLB Opening Line Reports for a few years, and if you read them daily then you know I'm essentially contractually obligated to mention Johnny Vander Meer when a pitcher has a chance at a second straight no-hitter. Do I think I will see this happen in my lifetime? No. But Oakland's Sean Manaea goes for history on Friday night. On June 11, 1938, the Reds left-hander Vander Meer no-hit Boston, walking three.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Thursday, April 26, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 4/25/2018
Want more proof that the Los Angeles Dodgers are going to be a powerhouse into the next decade? They already have two of the top young hitters in the game in Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager, the past two NL Rookies of the Year. On Monday, we got a glimpse of one of the Top 3 pitching prospects in the sport, Walker Buehler. He was called up late last season and struggled in 9.1 innings but that didn't dim his star. Buehler, 23, made his MLB starting debut on Monday against the Marlins and threw five shutout innings. OK, nothing amazing.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Tuesday, April 24, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 4/23/2018
In this writer's humble opinion, the best and most important baseball game in the past 40 years or so was Game 7 of the 2016 World Series when the Cubs and Indians - the two teams with the longest championship droughts in the sport - played an epic 10-inning affair at Cleveland's Progressive Field; I believe no MLB game going forward will ever approach the TV ratings of that one (all standard TV ratings are decreasing in every genre).
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