Baseball Handicapping Articles
Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/29/2017, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 8/28/2017
I suppose we need to talk about Miami's Giancarlo Stanton again. On Sunday, he became the first National League player since 2007 (Milwaukee's Prince Fielder) to hit 50 homers in a season, and the "unofficial" record of 62 is certainly in play. Stanton has 17 home runs in August, becoming the first player with that many in a month since Sammy Sosa hit 17 in August 2011. Barry Bonds also hit 17 in May of that year.
Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/26/2017, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 8/25/2017
You generally only see cross-sport props at various sportsbooks for mega-events. I think Saturday night's Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight qualifies. Does that bout have a realistic chance of being a boring farce? No question, but McGregor having that puncher's chance is why I'll watch. Bovada is offering some cross-sport props associated with baseball games on Saturday. As an aside, I would love a job like that: creating props out of thin air (some books will let you to place a wager). For example, you can get total knockdowns by McGregor at +170 against homers by MLB leader
Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/25/2017, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 8/24/2017
Kudos to the Angels' Albert Pujols, who is widely accepted as good guy who didn't cheat the game - i.e. steroids - to become a first-ballot Hall of Famer five years after he retires. On Tuesday night, Pujols hit the 610th homer of his career to break a tie with Sammy Sosa (speaking of cheaters) for the most dingers ever by a player born outside the United States. Pujols is from the baseball-rich Dominican Republic, though he went to high school and college in Kansas City.
Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/24/2017, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 8/23/2017
Go ahead and forget the Los Angeles Dodgers setting the big-league record with 117 wins. I always thought it was highly unlikely as it's just not worth pushing the guys through September to achieve some statistic. L.A. will still finish with the best record this season and thus get home-field advantage as long as it's alive in the postseason. However, there might be cause for some concern now. Clayton Kershaw is on the DL with back troubles.
Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/23/2017, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 8/22/2017
Interesting note about the Kansas City Royals and third baseman Mike Moustakas. He's about to break the team record of 36 homers set by Steve Balboni back in 1985. What's amazing about that is how such a low total still leads the franchise. For example, nearly half of all homers ever recorded have been hit since Balboni set that Royals record. There have been 580 player seasons of at least 36 homers, including 343 since 1985, not including Moustakas.
Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/22/2017, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 8/21/2017
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman obviously knows more about baseball than I do, but then why did he give Aroldis Chapman an $86.5 million free-agent contract when he had said previously he would never overpay for a closer. Maybe Cubs manager Joe Maddon broke Chapman by using him a ton in last year's playoffs as the fire-balling lefty just hasn't been the same this season and was pulled from his closing role over the weekend by Manager Joe Girardi.
Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/19/2017, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 8/18/2017
I'll be previewing five games from Saturday in this space per usual, but Major League Baseball is doing something interesting for the Sunday night ESPN game (7 p.m. this week) as the Cardinals and Pirates will play in Williamsport, home of the Little League World Series - and plenty of Little Leaguers will be in attendance. In fact, no tickets were officially made available to the public. The 16 teams participating in the LL World Series and their families will be guests. Another 500 free tickets are being distributed to winners of an online lottery.
Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/18/2017, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 8/17/2017
I almost feel obligated to address the scorching-hot Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins in this space again as he's putting on a power display that we haven't seen since the Bonds/McGwire/Sosa steroids era. Being a journalist, I know a handful of voters for the Baseball Hall of Fame, and most of them will never vote for Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire or Sammy Sosa. There are also plenty around baseball who believe that the "real" single-season home run record remains 61 by Roger Maris in 1961 and not Bonds' 73 in 2001. Stanton could surpass Maris if he keeps raking and stays healthy.
MLB Betting Trends: Totals Report for Hot Over and Under Baseball Teams
by Aaron Smith - 8/17/2017
With the trade deadline behind us, the end of the regular season is closer than it may seem. The races for division leads and Wild-Card spots will heat up a lot in the next few weeks. The run the Los Angeles Dodgers are on right now deserves some special notice. The Dodgers were 22-18 after 40 games. There was some talk about it being a disappointing start to the season. How have things gone since? The Dodgers have proceeded to go a mind-boggling 63-16 in their last 79 games. It's not often you see runs like that in Major League Baseball.
Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/17/2017, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 8/16/2017
I'm not saying the Cleveland Indians will return to the World Series this season and end the longest current championship drought in Major League Baseball. I do believe the Tribe have a good chance of getting back to the Fall Classic, though, and they are +250 at BetOnline to repeat as pennant winners. So allow me to take a liberty or two here. I'm just going to assume that if the Indians do get back, they won't have home-field advantage because their overall record is well behind that of the Dodgers and Nationals - and I think the Cubs might pass the Tribe as well.
Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/16/2017, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 8/15/2017
The most important game for the Dodgers on Wednesday has nothing to do with their big-league club hosting the Chicago White Sox. No, that would be a scheduled simulated game by ace and three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw. It's the next step in his recovery from back pain after throwing 35 pitches in a bullpen session on Friday and then 50 on Sunday. The plan is for the lefty to throw a two-inning simulated game at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday. If he's all good after that, the Dodgers think he may need just one true rehab start in the minors.
Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/15/2017, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 8/14/2017
The Washington Nationals' chances of reaching the first World Series in franchise history remain alive. I'm not saying that's going to happen, but I would have felt quite confident in saying it wouldn't have if star outfielder Bryce Harper had suffered a season-ending knee injury. It sure looked bad when Harper slipped on a wet first base in the first inning of Saturday's 3-1 victory over the Giants. While trying to avoid contact with first baseman Ryder Jones before his left foot slipped on the base, Harper's leg buckled, he went airborne and he fell to the ground.
Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/12/2017, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 8/11/2017
You probably shouldn't be backing the Mets very often as it is unless Jacob deGrom is pitching, but I'd certainly consider fading them the rest of the season soon (again, unless deGrom is on the bump). New York traded slugger Jay Bruce on Wednesday to Cleveland for shockingly little: 22-year-old minor-league pitcher Ryder Ryan. He was a 30th-round pick by Cleveland in 2016 and 3-4 with a 4.79 ERA in Class A this season. The Mets couldn't get more for a guy hitting .256 with 29 homers and 75 RBIs? They do save about $4.2 million remaining on Bruce's salary.
Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/11/2017, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 8/10/2017
The Houston Astros are going to win the AL West, the Washington Nationals will take the NL East and the Los Angeles Dodgers shall claim the NL West for a fifth straight season as all three of those clubs have huge divisional leads. What we don't know yet is which other seven teams will join that trio in the playoffs, but MLB has released the postseason schedule. The AL Wild-Card Game will be Tuesday, Oct. 3 on ESPN and the NL game the next day on TBS. Both ALDS will begin on Oct. 5 and both NLDS on Oct. 6.
Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/10/2017, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 8/9/2017
The longest playoff drought in baseball belongs to the Seattle Mariners, and because of two recent pitching injuries you can probably stick a fork in their wild-card hopes this season even though they are still in the race. Over the weekend, the team lost former ace Felix Hernandez and trade-deadline pickup reliever David Phelps to the DL. If both were to miss the minimum amount of time, maybe no big deal.
Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/9/2017, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 8/8/2017
Monday was the 26th birthday of Angels superstar outfielder Mike Trout, who somehow lasted until the 25th pick of the 2009 draft. The No. 1 pick that year was Stephen Strasburg by Washington, and you can't really argue with that as Strasburg was one of the best college pitchers ever. If you are wondering, the Angels also picked 24th that year and took a high school outfielder named Randal Grichuk, who of course is now with St. Louis. At No. 26 overall, Milwaukee took some pitcher named Eric Arnett. Trout is one of just five players to reach his 26th birthday with 190 homers and 500 walks.
Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/8/2017, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 8/7/2017
Kansas City's chances of winning the AL Central or grabbing a wild-card spot took a hit over the weekend when All-Star catcher Salvador Perez was placed on the disabled list with an intercostal strain. He could miss up to four weeks. Perez is probably the most important Royal as he's hitting .278 with 21 homers and 65 RBIs while playing great defense and being a strong pitch framer, etc. He was fourth in the majors in innings caught. It's Perez's first trip to the disabled list since 2012 when he had a knee injury.
Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/5/2017, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 8/4/2017
Here's hoping that Miami's Giancarlo Stanton wins the home run title this season, which he is favored to do at BetOnline, as the sports fans in south Florida could use some good news. It's been a rough calendar year or so down there. The Marlins stink and lost their face of the franchise, Jose Fernandez, in a fatal boating accident late last season. Pitcher Edinson Volquez, who threw a no-hitter earlier this year, was to have Tommy John surgery Friday and potentially miss all of 2018 - while being paid $13 million in the final year of his contract.
Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/4/2017, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 8/3/2017
I'll admit that I'm a Cubs fan, although as a baseball writer I don't let that color my betting choices. My first thought Tuesday night when Washington ace and Cy Young favorite Max Scherzer left early against the Marlins was that the Cubbies were returning to the NLCS if that was serious. The Nationals already have their second-best pitcher, Stephen Strasburg, on the disabled list with a nerve impingement in his pitching elbow, and he hasn't proven able to stay healthy by the end of a season.
Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/3/2017, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 8/2/2017
I just want to remind readers that while the non-waiver trade deadline passed on Monday, that doesn't mean there still won't be deals. Now teams will place most of the veterans on their roster on waivers just to see what happens. Waiver order works in reverse order of standings, and you are going to see guys claimed just to block other contending teams from potentially acquiring them (especially teams in the same division).
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