Baseball Handicapping Articles
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Thursday, June 7, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 6/6/2018
If this were the day after the NFL or NBA Draft, we'd be talking about early Rookie of the Year odds. However, the Major League Baseball amateur draft is easily the biggest crapshoot of them all. The vast majority of the guys taken will not sniff the majors. The Detroit Tigers picked first on Monday - only because Pablo Sandoval hit a walkoff homer on the final day of the 2017 season to drop the Giants to the No. 2 overall pick - and took Auburn pitcher Casey Mize, the consensus No. 1 overall prospect but far from a sure thing like a Stephen Strasburg.
Expert MLB Betting Advice: Best and Worst Road Teams
by Trevor Whenham - 6/5/2018
The teams with the five best road records in the American League in 2017 all made the playoffs. In the National League it was five of the top six - Milwaukee had one more win than Arizona and Colorado but fell one game short of the wild card. It's ridiculous to think that one number can tell you everything you need to know about a baseball team - it's a much more complicated sport than that. But looking at road records is a good short cut to getting a sense of strong and weak teams. It's no surprise why this is - winning on the road is hard, so the better a team is at doing so the better they probably are. So, without further ado, let's look at what we have learned from road records this year:
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Wednesday, June 6, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 6/5/2018
I guess it's time to talk about the Seattle Mariners. I thought their playoff chances were probably dead in the water when star second baseman Robinson Cano was suspended 80 games for PED use. Yet, the team has taken off since then with Dee Gordon more than filling in capably for Cano at second. What has been really stunning of late is how good the rotation has been with Felix Hernandez, James Paxton, Marco Gonzales, Mike Leake and Wade LeBlanc. Would you believe me if I told you that King Felix has the highest ERA of the group?
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Tuesday, June 5, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 6/4/2018
In last Thursday's Opening Line Report, I basically touted the Dodgers as in the midst of their turnaround and soon to take control of the NL West Division they have won the past five years with the return of three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw from a month on the disabled list. Uhh, maybe not. Kershaw lasted five solid innings in his return from left biceps tightness Thursday vs. the Phillies but left with some back tightness; his velocity was clearly down and perhaps that was why. This is obviously very concerning for Dodgers backers.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Saturday, June 2, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 6/1/2018
At the first of each month, the various sportsbooks generally release updated MLB player awards props. Really no surprises on the MVP and Cy Young odds. The Angels' Mike Trout is on pace for the best WAR season in MLB history and is the +200 favorite for AL MVP with Boston's Mookie Betts at +300 and then a huge drop-off. It appears to be a three-man race for NL MVP between Bryce Harper (+400), Nolan Arenado (+400) and Freddie Freeman (+600).
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Friday, June 1, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/31/2018
The Cubs and Mets are playing this weekend, so it behooves me to bring something up I have in previous years: It's much safer & smarter to build your franchise around young hitters than young pitchers. The Cubs did the former and have made three straight NLCS appearances and won a World Series. They found pitching via free agency (Jon Lester) and trades (Kyle Hendricks, Jake Arrieta).
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Thursday, May 31, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/30/2018
Here's hoping you didn't rip up those Dodgers NL West futures tickets back when the team was a season-worst 16-26 and much closer to last place than first in the division. There were never really any questions that L.A. was the most talented team in the West and would turn it around eventually. That has begun and will really get a boost on Thursday with the return of three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw. The lefty has been sidelined about a month by left biceps tendinitis.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Wednesday, May 30, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/29/2018
The 1994 season was one of the darkest times in baseball history because the players' strike wiped out about the final 30 percent of the regular season and all of the playoffs. In a way, though, that might have helped MLB avoid something embarrassing: a losing team winning its division. When the players struck, the Texas Rangers led the then four-team AL West by a game at 52-62. That has been called perhaps the worst division in modern MLB history.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Tuesday, May 29, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/28/2018
Monday was the Memorial Day holiday in the USA. Many consider that the unofficial start of summer and the first time it's really worthwhile to look at the MLB standings because we should largely know what teams are by this point. Since the start of wild-card play in 1995, around 60 percent of teams leading their division on Memorial Day made the playoffs.
MLB Betting Trends: Totals Report for Hot Over and Under Teams
by Aaron Smith - 5/25/2018
It doesn't quite seem fair how good the Houston Astros pitching staff has been this year. They have three starters with an ERA of 2.04 or lower. Their other two starters happen to be studs as well: Lance McCullers Jr. and Dallas Keuchel. The Astros are the team to beat again with this kind of a rotation and a tremendous bullpen as well.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Saturday, May 26, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/25/2018
Angels manager Mike Scioscia just ruined what would have been one of the events of the season in Major League Baseball - unless the decision was made over his head. Shohei Ohtani was set to duel against a guy he probably idolized, Masahiro Tanaka, in a matchup of Japanese sensations on Sunday as the Angels visit the Yankees in a 1:05 p.m. ET start. Ohtani is fine, the Halos just want to limit his innings and are calling the reason for skipping Ohtani's start "workload management."
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Friday, May 25, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/24/2018
Something happened earlier this week that I can't remember ever hearing: a player homered off his brother-in-law. That would be Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford, who went yard off Houston's Gerrit Cole in the Astros' 11-2 victory on Tuesday (I recommended Astros on the runline) - ironically, the ball landed in the Crawford Boxes in left field at Minute Maid Park. Cole is married to Crawford's sister, Amy, a former softball player whom Cole met on his first day of college at UCLA.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Thursday, May 24, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/23/2018
Baseball is probably more of a crapshoot in forecasting potential stars or even major leaguers than the NBA, NFL or NHL. As proof, let's take the case of Jon Singleton, who has been released by the Houston Astros. Singleton was the key piece back when the Astros traded Hunter Pence to Philadelphia in 2011. He immediately became Houston's No. 1 prospect and was Top 50 in all of baseball. The day before making his MLB debut in 2014, the team announced it had signed Singleton to five-year, $10 million extension in order to buy out some arbitration/free agent years.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Wednesday, May 23, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/22/2018
Have you been paying attention to what has been happening with the Tampa Bay Rays of late? You are forgiven if not because the Rays are probably the most anonymous team in the majors after trading Evan Longoria this past offseason. Seriously, name me five Rays players? Over the weekend, Manager Kevin Cash started reliever Sergio Romo in back-to-back games against the Angels. Cash is one of those new-age managers who doesn't really want his starters going through a lineup three times in a game.
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Tuesday, May 22, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/21/2018
Tuesday is likely going to be a rather painful experience for Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona and any other guys who were on his 2016 team as the Tribe visit the Chicago Cubs in interleague action. On Oct. 29, 2016, the Indians won 7-2 at Wrigley Field to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the World Series. All of a sudden, title-starved Cleveland was going to become the City of Champions after LeBron James had led his Cavaliers back from a 3-1 series deficit in the 2016 NBA Finals that June to stun Golden State.
MLB Betting Advice: Studs and Duds for Best Teams to Bet On
by Trevor Whenham - 5/18/2018
At the quarter point of the baseball season it's a good time to look at which teams have been kind to bettors and which teams have been burning money in bulk. So, dear friends, it's time for us to look at the MLB betting studs and duds for the first time this season. For the sake of consistency, we will look at moneyline performance for each team over the course of the whole season. For reference, there have been 14 teams so far that have produced a net profit on moneyline bets on the season, and 16 that have cost money for those who have bet on them in every game.
MLB Expert Handicapping and Betting: Value Pitchers
by Trevor Whenham - 5/18/2018
There are big-name pitchers - the ones who mow down opposing batters and get paid very handsomely to do so. And there are the guys who deliver big value for bettors who back them consistently. Sometimes both of those guys are the same guy. But when they aren't - when the guy offering the big value to bettors is a guy no one is paying attention to - things can really be attractive for bettors. So, it should come as no surprise that our job here today is to look for guys somewhat or completely off the radar who are delivering profits so far this year. Luckily, there is no shortage of guys:
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Saturday, May 18, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/18/2018
Don't you just want to punch overpaid, higher-than-mighty athletes sometimes? The latest is Detroit's Miguel Cabrera, a future Hall of Famer and once the most feared hitter in the game. Cabrera, who went on the 10-day disabled list on May 4 with a hamstring injury, is no longer in any rush to come back because he says he feels unappreciated by fans for when he did play through injuries: "Nobody appreciates you when you play hurt, so I'm going to take my time and play when I'm good. I played hurt a lot of years here in Detroit.
Expert Baseball Betting Predictions: MLB Teams with Nothing to Play For
by Trevor Whenham - 5/18/2018
We are only a quarter of the way through the baseball season. There should still be plenty of hope and possibility - lots that can still happen. For at least six teams, though, none of the games left to play this year matter. Their seasons are over. They are done. Cooked. Finished. Totally without hope. They are a waste of the oxygen that fills their stadiums. Let's look at those poor, pathetic squads, what their future holds this year, and what, if anything, there is to be excited about concerning them. (Odds to win the World Series [like that's happening!] are from Bovada)
Daily Expert MLB Picks: Friday, May 18, 2018, Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/17/2018
Don't kill the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West just yet. L.A., which has won the West each of the past five years, just got two key components back off the DL, but perhaps more important the division-leading Arizona Diamondbacks are fading and just lost arguably their second-most important position player (after Paul Goldschmidt). That would be center fielder A.J. Pollock, who will miss 4-8 weeks with a broken left thumb suffered on an unsuccessful diving catch Monday that resulted in a Brewers inside-the-park home run.
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