Baseball Handicapping Articles
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Saturday, April 21, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 4/20/2018
Really no surprise that the Cincinnati Reds fired Manager Bryan Price on Thursday with his team off to a 3-15 start. Only the 1931 Reds, who started 2-16, came out of the gate slower than this year's team. Overall, Price's record with the Reds was 279-387. Frankly, the only surprise was that Price wasn't fired either during last season or at least the offseason. My only thoughts would be that: 1) the Reds knew they were going to stink again in 2018 so why ruin some other manager, or 2) the franchise is so cheap it didn't want to pay a guy NOT to manage.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Friday, April 20, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 4/19/2018
With a loaded farm system, the ability to add payroll and a mega-prospect on the way, it's not impossible that the Atlanta Braves stay in the wild-card race all season (depending on Freddie Freeman's wrist injury suffered Wednesday - more on that Friday). However, they do have a glaring hole at third base. (Ryan Flaherty is raking right now but go look at his career numbers. It won't last.) Problem solved? I wouldn't go that far yet, but it's interesting that the team has signed former Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista to a minor-league deal.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Thursday, April 19, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 4/18/2018
Were the San Diego Padres even going to be playoff contenders this season? No chance. But, I thought some decent improvement off last year's 71-win team was doable with the addition of free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer and some really good young talent either already with the big club or on the way. Then, maybe, wild-card contention in 2019. However, one reason for that optimism was good-looking young pitcher Dinelson Lamet. Sadly, he won't pitch at all this year after some elbow pain in his final spring outing.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Tuesday, April 17, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 4/16/2018
If I'm Major League Baseball, I'm mandating that any new stadiums being built - both the Rays and A's are trying to get new ballparks - have a retractable roof. The amount of weather postponements already has been staggering. A whopping six were postponed on Sunday, the most since Sept. 12, 2008, when Hurricane Ike was battering the Gulf Coast. The biggest home game of the Red Sox's season is always Monday's Patriots' Day matchup with an 11 a.m. ET start time, but that was called off Sunday afternoon because the weather is so bad in that area. It's the first time a Patriots' Day game wasn't played since 1984.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Saturday, April 14, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 4/13/2018
With Tax Day imminent in the USA, seems a good time to take a look at Forbes' annual list of MLB team rankings. To no surprise, the New York Yankees are the most valuable franchise in the sport at $4 billion. It's the 21st straight year the Yankees are atop the MLB list. Forbes estimated the Yankees' 2017 revenue at $619 million, which is nearly 20 percent higher than any other team. The late George Steinbrenner, by the way, paid $8.8 million for the team in 1973. The Dodgers are second at $3 billion and bring in $522 million of revenue.
MLB Betting Trends: Totals Report for Hot Over and Under Teams
by Aaron Smith - 4/13/2018
The baseball season is now two weeks old. Not many people could have picked the Mets as the team to have the best winning percentage in baseball at this point. They have had some injuries already as well, but they have continued to play great baseball. The Angels are the other standout early in the season. Shohei Otani has gotten much of the attention (and he's been awesome), but the addition of Zack Cozart has been far more important than most realize as well. The Yankees, Nationals, and Dodgers have all been disappointments so far this year. It's a long season though, so don't get caught up in the standings this early.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Friday, April 13, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 4/12/2018
As expected, the 2020 MLB All-Star Game has been awarded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Even though Dodger Stadium is a legendary park with spectacular scenery, it's only the second time the park will host the game, with the first way back in 1980. Since then, every current MLB team has hosted it at least once other than the Tampa Bay Rays in their crappy Tropicana Field. The game will be in Washington D.C. this year (with hopes Bryce Harper will finally compete in the Home Run Derby) and at Cleveland's Progressive Field in 2019.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Thursday, April 12, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 4/11/2018
Look, I know that some guys become millionaires or billionaires because they know how to take advantage of loopholes in laws. But, man, does it seem like the new Marlins ownership does one weaselly thing after another. The latest? Apparently, the group is claiming corporate ownership in the British Virgin Islands to avoid dealing with a Miami-area judge. The issue at hand is a lawsuit filed by Miami-Dade authorities against former owner Jeff Loria and the Marlins regarding the profits from the sale of the team.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Tuesday, April 10, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 4/9/2018
It's a good thing the Angels won the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes this offseason. The rookie has been truly amazing, both on the mound and at the plate. It's as a pitcher the Angels really are fortunate because the team already has lost three other starters to injury. The latest was JC Ramirez, who left Saturday's start with a right elbow strain - that's often an ominous sign. Especially considering Ramirez did not pitch after Aug. 19 last year after undergoing stem-cell therapy to treat a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He joins Andrew Heaney (left elbow inflammation) and Matt Shoemaker (right forearm strain) on the sidelines. Heaney might be back soon, though.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Saturday, April 7, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 4/6/2018
I haven't seen a first manager to be fired prop yet, and it won't be first-year Phillies skipper Gabe Kapler, but one has to wonder if the team is having some remorse over giving Kapler the job over more qualified candidates. He has been front and center of some very unusual/embarrassing moments already - the worst of which when he summoned a reliever who hadn't even been notified to warm up yet. Kapler is almost too analytical as he has made some very crazy bullpen moves. He also believes in shifting more than any manager in baseball; the other day, he instituted an outfield shift that directly led to a two-run triple that cost the Phillies a game.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Friday, April 6, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 4/5/2018
In the 2014 & '15 seasons, Cleveland's Michael Brantley was one of the best all-around outfielders in the American League. He hit for a high average, didn't strike out much, had a little pop and would steal some bases. Alas, injuries have hammered him since with Brantley limited to 11 games in 2016 and 90 last year. Good news for the Indians on Friday as Brantley is expected to be activated for the Tribe's home opener. He had major surgery last October to stabilize ligaments in his right ankle, and the team wanted to give him a bit more time to get ready. If Brantley can stay healthy, the Indians are that much more of a threat to end their long World Series drought.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Thursday, April 5, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 4/4/2018
As expected, the Seattle Mariners have placed slugger and DH Nelson Cruz on the 10-day disabled list with an ankle injury, but the team avoided disaster when an MRI showed no ligament trouble. Cruz started the season with two homers in his first six at-bats - and has at least 39 bombs in each of the past four years -- but slipped on the dugout steps after a two-run homer in the sixth inning of Saturday's game against Cleveland. The move was retroactive to April 1. The M's will likely use Daniel Vogelbach at DH while Cruz is out. That should give you a bit more of a lean toward an under bet in Mariners games if all other things are equal.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Tuesday, April 3, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 4/2/2018
If you are the type of baseball fan who celebrates historic milestones, you are likely to be left wanting this season as there aren't any many major numbers set to be reached. The big one would be 3,000 hits, which the Angels' Albert Pujols should land sometime in early May barring injury. Late in the season, also barring injury, he also should join the very exclusive 2,000-RBI club. Only Hank Aaron (2,297), Babe Ruth (2,214), Alex Rodriguez (2,086) and Cap Anson (2,075) are there. I was surprised Barry Bonds wasn't, but he came up four short - probably because he was walked so often. That's really about it. The Tribe's Terry Francona will reach 1,500 wins, which only 24th other managers have done, but meh.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Saturday, March 31, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 3/30/2018
Look, I don't pretend to know all that goes into making the annual MLB schedule. Every team has requests, and you have certain times that stadiums might be booked for a concert or whatever. That said, why is MLB staging late-March game in cities like Cincinnati and Detroit? Already, one game has been postponed in each city. Yeah, I lived near both: It's crappy this time of year! Try to make the first week or so of games played in all warm-weather cities (every West Division club, Atlanta, Miami and Tampa Bay) or those with domes (Toronto and Milwaukee). I count exactly 15 that would meet the criteria, which is half the league. Just saying.
Free NBA Picks: Saturday, March 31, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/30/2018
If you are a Charlotte Hornets fan, it can get confusing as to franchise records. Of course, the Hornets joined the NBA as an expansion franchise for the 1988-89 season but moved to New Orleans following the 2001-02 campaign and took the nickname with them. However, the NBA recognized what a good basketball market Charlotte was (not sure I agree NBA-wise, but collegiately there are none better) and gave the city an expansion team for the 2004-05 season. That club was nicknamed the Bobcats after then-owner Robert Johnson.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Friday, March 30, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 3/29/2018
I gave my division, pennant and World Series winner in my first Opening Line Report story for Thursday, and now my individual award winners for the season with odds from BetOnline: the Angels' Garrett Richards (+5000) as a longer-shot AL Cy Young winner; the Mets' Noah Syndergaard (+500) for the NL Cy Young; the Orioles' Manny Machado (+2000) as the AL MVP right before he hits free agency and as long as he's not traded during the year to an NL team; and the Nationals' Anthony Rendon (+2500) as the NL MVP.
2018 NL West Expert Predictions with Odds and MLB Betting Picks
by Robert Ferringo - 3/28/2018
Sure, we may have a surprise winner in one of the Central divisions. And there are some teams in both the A.L. and N.L. Easts that can test the frontrunners. But the N.L. West is the lone division that seems prepared to give baseball fans a legitimate, 162-game dog fight for the title.
2018 NL East Expert Predictions with Odds and MLB Betting Picks
by Robert Ferringo - 3/28/2018
While Washington is staring down its own demons - its continuous cycle of postseason train wrecks - the rest of this division may be starting to catch up to the Nats. The Mets, just three years removed from a World Series appearance, have top-line pitching. And the Phillies and Braves are ramping up their own expectations after several years of rebuilding their organizations.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Thursday, March 29, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 3/28/2018
In my opinion, there will be only one decent division race in Major League Baseball this year. The Indians will run away with the AL East, the Astros will in the West, the Nationals in the NL East, the Cubs in the Central and the Dodgers in the West. That leaves only the AL East, where Boston and the Yankees will resume their battle for division supremacy. Whichever finishes second probably gets the top wild-card spot. My other wild-card team in the AL is the Angels, while in the NL it's St. Louis and the NY Mets.
2018 AL East Expert Predictions with Odds and MLB Betting Picks
by Robert Ferringo - 3/26/2018
I know that if you don't live in the Northeast you probably don't give a damn about the Yankees and Red Sox and, by extension, the American League East. In fact, you're probably repulsed by the amount of attention that these two diva organizations swallow up from the national sports media.
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