Welcome to WagerBop’s Daily Double! Our new hardball blog includes previews and picks for at least 2 Major League Baseball games every day, updated nightly with Las Vegas odds and expected starting hurlers.
MLB Vegas Odds and Previews 9/20
Mets Ready for Final Sprint, Favored in Cincinnati
The New York Mets are playing good baseball, winning twice as many games as the club is losing down the stretch. But other National League Wild Card contenders are prevailing often too, and time is short. The Mets are looking forward to a potential 4-game sweep of the woeful Marlins next week to set everything right with the world, but before then comes a 3-game swing through Cincinnati. The betting odds present a conundrum as expected host hurler Luis Castillo has a far-superior stat line to anyone New York is prepared to put on the mound on Friday night. But gamblers are liking a motivated ballclub to prevail over the dead-in-the-water Reds, helping to give the Metropolitans a (-140) moneyline in a contest with a falling (7.5) Vegas total.
Pick: Reds to win
Lo and Behold, Gamblers Shy of Dodgers at Home vs Rox
The Mets-Reds ballgame’s betting line-movement shows that speculators value motivation in the early autumn. If a contender is playing a dead fish (or THE Fish) it’s usually not long before the favorite’s moneyline begins to shrink. But the L.A. Dodgers have moved from (-330) to (-315) for Friday’s late-night ballgame against the visiting Colorado Rockies, who were eliminated from the pennant race weeks ago. Why? The Bums just won 2 series in a row before splitting with the dangerous Tampa Bay Rays, so it’s not a question of the club dialing things back as opposed to shooting for best-record in the National League after 162 games. Expected starter Clayton Kershaw is the culprit, an ace who has been playing in a comfortable 6-days-rest cycle but who was blown out of the box early in a pair of recent outings vs Arizona and San Francisco.
Pick: Dodgers to win ((-1.5) Run Line if available)
Apologies for the delay on today’s picks. This time it was a WordPress glitch and not explicitly the author’s fault…1st time for everything! Enjoy a couple of previews of tonight’s ballgames on short notice.
Tribe Gets an “Astros” Moneyline vs Detroit
The Cleveland Indians are in the thick of the American League postseason chase, and have a double-digit winning streak going against the Detroit Tigers. Mike Clevenger is 11-3 on the season with a sub-3.00 ERA and will start on Thursday night opposite 3-12 Daniel Norris of the Tigers. Everything seems set for the Tribe to win yet again in the series closer, but MLB gamblers must remember the Houston Astros losing to Detroit on a (-500) moneyline this summer. Not that anyone seems to care – the Cleveland line-to-win has shrunk to (-420) after opening at around 1-to-3 payoff odds. A falling O/U total of (8.5) seems to portend anything but an Indians blow-out.
Pick: Indians Run Line (-1.5)
Cards, Cubs Evenly Handicapped at Wrigley Field
The Chicago Cubs are running out of chances to catch the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central race. Chicago looked ready to storm down the stretch following a 3-game sweep of Pittsburgh and an 8-2 victory over Cincinnati on Monday in which the bullpen shined in relief of Cole Hamels. Then the other shoe dropped as the Reds came back to win 2 in a row to end the series, including a 3-2 result in an extra-innings closer that saw only 4 hits from the Cubbies. Still the team is just 3 games out and has a shot to surpass the Redbirds with a 4-game series sweep at Wrigley Field. Kyle Hendricks will hurl against visiting Jack Flaherty on Thursday night in a ballgame with evenly-matched (-110) moneylines and a plummeting (7) run O/U total.
MLB Gamblers Just Love Nats vs Redbirds in St. Louis
Profound line-movement doesn’t occur on every ballgame, and bettors have been proven right quite a few times this year with rushes on MLB moneylines and Over/Under totals. Do the high-rollers have it correct again? Betting has surged on the Washington Nationals in Wednesday afternoon’s rubber match with the host St. Louis Cardinals, shrinking the Nats’ Vegas line to (-170) with half a day’s wagers to go. Adam Wainwright, who seems to pitch every game for the Cardinals, gives the Redbirds a solid scheduled hurler to start the 1st inning. But visiting starter Max Scherzer’s kingly ERA of 2.65 outweighs his 10-6 record in gamblers’ eyes, and Washington’s bats appeared to come alive late in Tuesday’s 6-4 victory despite the club having gone under .500 in the previous 10 ballgames.
Pick: Cardinals to win (+150) or Over (7.5)
Houston Gets Stunning Moneyline vs Unbeaten Hurler
The Houston Astros are having a terrific 2019 so far, but suffered a minor ignominy earlier in the season upon losing to the Detroit Tigers on a (-500) moneyline. Could it happen again on Wednesday night? Against an unbeaten pitcher, no less? Kolby Allard will start for the visiting Texas Rangers following a 4-1 win by the ‘Stros on Tuesday – the 22-year-old 1st-rounder is 4-0 on the season to date. Allard did have a mediocre day against the Tampa Bay Rays in his previous start, possibly helping to push the Vegas line even further in Houston’s direction. But he’s been solid otherwise. Gerrit Cole is certainly a tough nut to crack for the Ranger lineup and will pitch in the 2-game closer, though you’ve got to believe at least a few high-rollers will be skeptical of getting burned again by the 1-to-5 market despite the Astros competing for their 100th win of the campaign and 1st-place overall in the American League.
Pick: Under (8.5)
Regretful Red Sox Are Popular Favorites on Tuesday Night
It is time to declare a post-mortem on what has been a disappointing 2019 campaign for the Boston Red Sox. The ballclub sits at more than 10 games out of a Wild Card slot in the American League with only 2 weeks to go. A number of Beantown batters have had impressive seasons, such as DH J.D. Martinez who leads the Red Sox with 35 home runs, and infielder Rafael Devers whose .311 batting average is the best among Boston’s full-time starters. But a disastrous 6-11 campaign from hurler Chris Sale ended in injury, and closer Brandon Workmon has only posted 14 saves. Still the sportsbook gamblers of America are happy to take wagers on the failed contender, with the Fenway Park hosts shrinking to a (-190) line to beat San Francisco on Tuesday night in a game with a (10.5) Vegas total.
Crucial L.A. Nightcap Pits Stripling vs Snell
The Tampa Bay Rays are in fine position to embark on a final stretch-run to a postseason bid. Tampa nearly swept the L.A. Angels in a 3-game series over the weekend, and face a favorable schedule in the late-going with series against the dead-in-the-water Red Sox, the Yankees (who may be served by fielding a Triple-A lineup by 9/24), and finally the miserable Toronto Blue Jays. First, however, the Rays must battle through an interleague series with 1 of the better ballclubs to come along in a while – the 2019 L.A. Dodgers. Betting action on Tuesday night’s opener is nearly even as the Bums are only a (-125) wager, and visiting starter Blake Snell could easily be a match for host hurler Ross Stripling. Perhaps gamblers are thinking that Tampa Bay has more to play for in this scenario – but the Dodgers can seal 1st place in the National League with a few more wins and a couple of Braves losses.
Pick: Rays to win
Nats Start Soul Crusher in Bid to Stay Atop Cubs
The Washington Nationals needed a win in a series closer with Atlanta on Sunday, and the Nats got their wish with 6 runs to spare, shutting-out the Braves while Howie Kendrick connected on 3 out of 4 at-bats. Now the club heads to St. Louis to play the NL Central-leading Cardinals in a series that could prove fateful for both cities with Chicago in hot pursuit in the Wild Card and division races. The Redbirds are hanging on to a 2-game advantage having lost consecutive 3-game series, and will start 15-7 Dakota Hudson in Monday evening’s opener. But the “Soul Crusher” Steven Strasburg is slated to pitch for Washington (-140) and was solid in his last outing against the Twins.
Pick: Nationals to win
Matz and Mets a Popular Moneyline Pick in Denver
Massive Over/Under totals at Coors Field are nothing new, but perhaps Monday night’s (13.5) Vegas run total for the 1st of 3 in Denver has as much to do with ability as thin air. Big Apple bats have looked plenty alive prior to the Mets taking on the L.A. Dodger pitching staff, and the host Colorado Rockies just finished scoring 31 total runs in 3 straight victories over San Diego. Meanwhile the Rox don’t have anyone ready to start on the mound except the 9-10 Antonio Senzatela, while the Metropolitans are going with 10-8 Steven Matz. New York is a popular (-160) favorite thanks to the somewhat favorable match-up but also has a lot more to play ball for than the mathematically-eliminated home team.
Tribe and Twins See Mixed Action on Sunday Tilt
The Cleveland Indians have 1 real shot at catching the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central – which is to whip the visiting front-runners in the current 4-game series at Progressive Field. That hope has gone a’glimmer as the 1st ballgame was postponed and then followed by 2 victories for Minnesota. The Tribe is will be desperate to stop the bleeding, but gamblers still prefer the Twins to maintain the momentum as Sunday afternoon’s guests are a popular (+120) wager. Shane Bieber will pitch against visiting Jose Berrios in a contest with a falling (8.5) Vegas run total, indicating bettors’ respect for quality fielders in addition to excellent starting hurlers from both clubs.
Pick: Indians to win
Mets Still Hanging On, Face Key Rubber Match on SNB
Another falling O/U total of (7.5) runs reflects what should be a tense atmosphere at Dodger Stadium on Sunday Night Baseball. L.A. still hasn’t closed-out Atlanta for tops in the National League, and looks to regain form after suffering brief swoons late in the season. The visiting New York Mets are alive in the postseason chase and playing good baseball, looking forward to a winnable stretch of ballgames against clubs like Colorado and Miami. But only a victory in the rubber-match closer will give the Mets momentum and a shorter climb to catch the Wild Card leaders. The Dodgers are a (-147) favorite behind Walker Buehler as Zack Wheeler prepares to pitch for the Metropolitans.
Braves Clobber Nats, Made Into Vegas Underdog Anyway
Did the Atlanta Braves just spoil their own reason to play hard in a road series? With a 5-0 win over the host Washington Nationals in D.C. on Friday, the NL East leaders essentially sealed the division while forcing the Nats to watch out for the Wild Card hopefuls behind them – namely Arizona, Philly, and Milwaukee. Gamblers trust Austin Voth of Washington to make more of his scheduled start than guest hurler Mike Foltynewicz in Saturday’s follow-up, marking the Braves a thin (-106) underdog in a ballgame with a (10) run Vegas total.
Pick: Braves to win
Why is Texas Such a Sexy Saturday Pick?
The Texas Rangers opened as a 1.4-to-1 underdog to beat the Oakland A’s on Saturday night, but gamblers are flocking to the Rangers’ line as if the club wasn’t below .500 and headed home right after the regular season. The Athletics have won 4 ballgames in a row and plan to start Mike Fiers on the mound, typically a sign of impending victory. But speculators think the streak is bound to end quickly and are comparing scheduled host hurler Mike Minor favorably with the visiting ace. Also, fireworks are expected with a (10.5) run total, adding the kind of chaos-element that plus moneyline gamblers like. Too bad Texas’ line isn’t “plus” anymore – the Rangers have shrunk to a (-104) wager.
Action Points to Redbird Relapse at New Busch
Here we are wondering if the betting public thinks Washington D.C. is cursed (well, of course, that goes well beyond baseball) and ignoring the voodoo-hex that Las Vegas has drawn around the Gateway City. The St. Louis Cardinals are 4 games in front of the NL Central and snapped a surprise sweep-attempt by the Colorado Rockies on Thursday as hurler Miles Mikolas grabbed a W in a 10-3 victory. But the Cards’ moneyline is expanding prior to a series opener at Busch with the 2nd-place Milwaukee Brewers (+110) as speculators believe the unorthodox methods of the Redbirds will finally spell doom against the Brew Crew. Adam Wainwright will throw against visiting Adrian Houser in Friday night’s crucial ballgame, which comes with a dropping (8) run Vegas total.
Relevant is Not the Word for Rays at Halos
There are few relevant ballgames on Friday’s late-night MLB schedule. The Diamondbacks are playing the Reds, but Arizona must simply win and win down the stretch no matter who the opponent is. The Mariners and White Sox are having a Consolation Series, and the Giants are favored over the Marlins at home. But intrigue is running high in Los Angeles, where the Tampa Bay Rays – fighting for a postseason chance in the American League – are not a shrinking (-140) wager to beat the Angels. Visiting starter Charlie Morton has the O/U settled at (8) runs, but somehow enough bettors feel that the proud Halos will rally behind 4-4 hurler Andrew Heaney despite the club’s poor September form.
Pick: Rays to win
Curses! All year I’ve worried about something knocking-out a full day of Daily Double research and picks, and lo and behold a hardware crash (followed by storms) rendered this handicapping office inoperative for 48 hours.
Never fear, we’re back on the prowl for those winning moneylines and O/U markets…and don’t expect any more sequels of Twister interfering with our brand of Major League.
Do Gamblers Finally Believe in Washington?
A senator once wrote an editorial in which he claimed the Washington Nationals’ eternally poor record was a blessing, since it took the pressure off and allowed fans to enjoy the atmosphere. That was then, and the Nats have grown up into a major factor in the National League postseason chase as the decade winds down. However it has taken gamblers a while to forgive Washington for a slow start this spring – Vegas lines on the Nats have expanded rather than shortened more often than for several comparable contenders. Finally the Nationals are a popular (-125) pick in a road rubber-match against the Minnesota Twins on Thursday despite visiting hurler Patrick Corbin’s meager W/L record compared to opposing Kyle Gibson of Minnesota.
Pick: Nationals to win
Verlander Holds Astros Lines in Place
You might think it’s the perfect setup for an underdog ML pick, but there’s rarely a perfect setup for any pick. The Oakland A’s are a 3-to-1 ‘dog at Minute Maid Park on Thursday night after falling twice in 3 tries in what has been a wild series so far. Houston has dominated the league in 2019 and could always use another series win, but doesn’t really need it like Oakland desperately needs a 2-2 result. Homer Bailey takes the mound for the Athletics with designs on tamping the ‘Stros attack down further, but it’s Justin Verlander on the other side who is keeping Houston’s odds-to-win short and the Over/Under at (9) total runs.
Pick: A’s to win (+300)
9/10 & 9/11 – No Picks
Gamblers Really, Really Like Brew Crew in Magic City
It’s not exactly common to see a Las Vegas MLB line shrink by 4 dimes on the dollar in the limited time American hardball games are allotted on the betting board. But the Milwaukee Brewers opened as a 1-to-1.65 line to beat the host Miami Marlins in a series opener on Monday and are now a (-205) moneyline at Bovada. Unusually the line-movement is not primarily based on mound analytics, as Miami starter Robert Duggar is capable of a decent outing, and the Brew Crew plans to trot-out Jordan Lyles who is just 10-8 on the year. Milwaukee is in the thick of the NL Wild Card race, though, and just whipped the Cubs in 3 out of 4 ballgames as newly-acquired Tyler Austin led a 5-run 4th inning on Sunday. In contrast Miami is a sorry outfit with a 29-45 record at Marlins Park.
Pick: Over (8.5)
How Hard Will Pads Fight in San Diego on Monday?
Remember how virtue-signalling color analysts always stuck-up for discretionary hurlers in the “manual intentional walk” era? “Well,” they’d say as boos rained over the ballpark, “the Anywhere Browns are in a pennant race.” Now that intentional walks are going the way of the Dodo, it becomes an even more-subtle art form to handicap a contender vs a roster of ballplayers bound for golf courses and fishing boats later in September. Managers’ tactics are looser with a nowhere team, and dugout psychology is often hard to get a bead on. For instance the underdog San Diego Padres (+135) are a talented up-and-coming club that fell short this season but which has fought nobly to win 2 of its last 3 series. The Chicago Cubs (-155) are visiting for the 1st of 4 on Monday night with designs on the postseason, however, meaning that skipper Joe Maddon will hold absolutely nothing back. .500 pitchers Cal Quantrill of the Pads and Kyle Hendricks of the Cubbies will start in a ballgame with a falling (8) run total.
Pick: Cubs to win
Atlanta Threatens Sweep While Icing NL East Race
Few series results in 2019 have been as definitive as the Atlanta Braves’ tour de force vs National League East division-rival Washington over the past 3 ballgames. Worse yet for the visiting Nationals, it’s not over yet. The Braves won their 2nd straight 1-run result over the Nats on Saturday, threatening a 4-game sweep that would not only put a bow on ATL’s likely division crown but muddy the postseason outlook for a formerly-hot D.C. ballclub. Washington is a popular (-130) moneyline pick to avert embarrassment on Sunday afternoon, but a falling O/U total of just (8) runs is a sign of gamblers’ respect for scheduled Atlanta starter Mike Soroka, who will pitch against stingy Max Scherzer at SunTrust Park.
Yankees and Red Sox Battle on National TV Once More
Sunday Night Baseball has enjoyed plenty of ratings-winners with the storied New York Yankees vs Boston Red Sox rivalry, so why not stick with a good thing? This week’s installment catches up with the BoSox and visiting Bronx Bombers at Fenway Park with Beantown in crisis-mode at 6 games out of a Wild Card berth. Boston has managed to split the opening 2 ballgames of the meeting, thanks to a nice Friday outing from Mitch Moreland and a by-committee effort on the pitching mound in the 6-1 win. The Yanks took revenge with a 5-1 triumph on Saturday and stand as a (-116) ML favorite for Sunday evening, as Masahiro Tanaka will start the bottom half of the 1st for New York against Red Sox starter Rick Porcello in a game with a healthy (11) run Vegas total.
Pick: Red Sox to win
Wish we could tell you that the mysteriously unreported (and fateful) O/U line on the A’s Friday ballgame was only (9) or (8.5) but alas, it was (9.5), and we missed the Over by a run. Nailed it on the Snakes, however.
Cardinals Look to Rebound Through Key Stretch
Nothing comes easy for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2019. The Redbirds began the season floundering, spent most of the summer scoffed-at by hometown pundits, and recently pulled into a narrow lead in the NL Central only to find things not exactly going to plan once there. A pair of series against the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates and struggling Colorado Rockies provides an opportunity to expand a (2.5) game lead with less than 2 dozen ballgames to go in the regular season. But the Cards (-140) lost the 1st of 3 to Pittsburgh at PNC Park and will try old hand Adam Wainwright on the mound against Steven Brault on Saturday evening.
Pick: Pirates to win
‘Stros Huge Vegas Favorites for a Reason
It sure seems like the front-running Houston Astros are at the minus-end of a lot of whopper moneyline markets this season, and sure enough, the ‘Stros are an eye-popping (-400) gamble to beat the woeful Seattle Mariners in the 3rd straight on Saturday night. Houston defeated Seattle for the 2nd outing in a row on Friday and the visitors to Minute Maid Park may have spent all of their remaining competitive juice in an extra-innings loss in the opener. Even the pervasive “bet against the sweep” philosophy isn’t drumming-up much action on the last-place M’s, but action is tight on an O/U total of just (8.5) runs.
Snakes Make a Popular Wager at Great American Ball Park
Typically when an MLB Vegas line moves sharply after opening, gamblers have their eyes on the pitching mound. Starting hurlers are probably part of the reason that the Arizona Diamondbacks have become a (-125) favorite to win an opener in Cincinnati on Friday, as 12-7 Robbie Ray of the Snakes is slated to throw against 2-10 Tyler Mahle of the Reds. But don’t overlook that the Diamondbacks are a hot baseball club. Arizona is coming off a pair of terrific series performances in which the club won 3 out of 4 ballgames with the L.A. Dodgers and followed-up by sweeping the San Diego Padres, putting the final nails in the coffin on San Diego’s up-and-down campaign. The O/U total is holding steady for the game in Cincy with a (9.5) number.
Pick: Diamondbacks to win
Athletics Hope to “Homer” Again After Sweeping Halos
We try to include at least 1 late-night/west coast 1st pitch in every Daily Double, but the pickings are slim on a Friday night of David vs Goliath ballgames. The San Francisco Giants made an heroic charge at the postseason that appears to be falling short, and the Dodgers are a near-prohibitive favorite to beat Gigantes in Friday’s opener. San Diego is in even worse shape and will host the Colorado Rockies in another snoozer. Things could get interesting in Oakland, however, where the A’s look to keep a streak going after sweeping the L.A. Angels in 3 ballgames. The woeful Detroit Tigers are coming to NorCal, marking the Athletics a (-240) moneyline wager in Friday’s opener. The run total could prove a suspenseful outcome, though, because visiting starter Spencer Turnbull’s 4.45 ERA belies his 3-14 W/L record, while expected A’s hurler Homer Bailey has actually posted a less-impressive number of 4.96 despite winning a dozen ballgames for Oakland so far.
Cubs, Brewers Head Into Crucial 4-Game Division Rivalry Series
Last week we previewed a series between San Francisco and San Diego that would help to determine which club would emerge alive in the Wild Card race. This week, the Milwaukee Brewers host the Chicago Cubs in a 4-game tilt that could go a long way in determining who stays relevant in the NL Central. The red-hot Redbirds are atop the division with the Cubbies in pursuit, but the Brew Crew still stands 6.5 games out and could begin a charge at the pennant with a sweep at home. If the Cubs win 3 or 4 games, they could threaten for the division lead over the weekend. Vegas odds are tight with Chicago (-125) a thin moneyline favorite behind Jose Quintana, scheduled to start against host hurler Chase Anderson in a ballgame with a steady (9.5) Over/Under total.
Nats Celebrated, But Not Perfect Headed Into Opener in GA
The Washington Nationals are more than a hot National League club vying for a playoff spot with 24 ballgames left in the regular season. As of this week the Nats are an historic team, having put together an almost unheard-of 9th-inning comeback to beat the New York Mets 11-10 on Tuesday after trailing by 6 runs in the final frame. Juan Soto and Kurt Suzuki slugged 7 RBIs and Max Scherzer was spared a loss despite the ballclub’s numerous errors. Look more closely at the D.C. vs NYC meeting, though, and the Nationals were actually beaten 2 games to 1. Thursday’s series opener in Atlanta pairs Washington (-122) against the NL East-leading Braves, a team that has just completed consecutive sweeps against the dregs of Major League Baseball. Max Fried will pitch against visiting Stephen Strasburg in a battle of excellent pitchers, but respect for both batting lineups (and an enhanced 2019 baseball according to 99% of MLB hurlers) is keeping the O/U total at (9) runs.
Pick: Braves to win
Another AM update from Las Vegas, ‘Boppers…but in plenty of time as we’re looking at a couple of late ballgames on Hump Day.
Batting Lineups Hold Sway in Over/Under Line on BoSox-Twins
Las Vegas’ MLB Over/Under totals have been climbing upward on-average throughout the Year of the Home Run. If there was going to be a single-digit O/U line based on a pair of starting hurlers, it would seem like the Boston Red Sox (-140) vs the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night would be a likely candidate. Jose Berrios is scheduled to begin the 1st inning for visiting Minnesota, while expected host hurler Eduardo Rodriguez has only lost 5 games on the season. But Nelson Cruz and Max Kepler have been taking turns swatting balls out of the park for the Twins, while DH J.D. Martinez is 1 of 4 Red Sox batters with a slugging % over .500, helping to keep the Vegas total at a healthy (11) runs for the 2nd of 3 at Fenway Park.
Pick: Twins to win and/or Under
Gamblers Think Ryu is Vulnerable vs Rox
We’ve picked an underdog in the ballgame above, is it time to pick a favorite with the line lengthening? The L.A. Dodgers are threatening a 3-game series sweep of the visiting Colorado Rockies following a 16-9 blow-out on Monday and a 5-3 win on Tuesday in which catcher Russell Martin and the entire bullpen shined. Hyun-Jin Ryu is scheduled to start for the Bums in the closer on Wednesday night, and the ace will face an 8-9 hurler in Antonio Senzatela. System gambling seems to have taken over as Colorado (+260) is taking all kinds of wagers while trying avoid a sweep…but I’m only inclined to take that bait on better teams (like the Phillies on 9/1) playing at home.
Pick: Dodgers to win
Redbirds Heavily Favored Over Giants on Tuesday
It’s no surprise that the St. Louis Cardinals are a (-270) favorite to beat visiting San Francisco on Tuesday evening. The Giants are in a late-summer slump that will probably cost the club any chance to contend in the Wild Card race, while the Cardinals have swept the Rockies, then prevailed in series over division-rivals Milwaukee and Cincinnati to pull into a nice lead in the NL Central. Finally, Monday’s series opener at Busch Stadium resulted in a 3-1 win as Adam Wainwright went 7 shut-out innings against Gigantes. Tuesday’s expected starting hurler Jack Flaherty is above .500 on the season, but it’s Flaherty’s solid ERA of 3.31 that has bettors sticking with the Cards over Dereck Rodriguez and the Giants in a ballgame with a rising (8.5) O/U total.
Are Halos Moneyline Gamblers Just Being Sentimental?
Given the cult status of cities’ “other” franchises such as the New York Jets, Chicago White Sox, and Brooklyn Nets, it’s no wonder the L.A. Angels inspire sentimentality in baseball fans – and don’t forget that the team went through a heartbreaking tragedy earlier this season. Cheering interest has to come 2nd in sports gambling, however, leading to somewhat of a mystery as the Halos’ underdog line shrinks to (+146) headed into a series opener against the Oakland A’s in NorCal. Nothing sets up well for L.A. going into the road contest, as the Angels haven’t won a series since mid-August and will start 4-7 Jamie Barria vs Oakland ace Mike Fiers. A stiff 13 MPH breeze is expected to blow against batters but the O/U total is stubborn at (9.5), presumably because run-total speculators aren’t confident in Barria but have too much stock in Fiers to allow a double-digit number.
Pick: A’s to win
So an editing error appears to have cut a “Phillies to win” pick yesterday – scout’s honor. (If anyone thinks that’s made-up for the purpose of “sneaking” a 1-1 daily record, understandable, but please reread the final lines of the 9/1 preview carefully in context of the “fade the sweep” system mentioned often on Daily Double. It was a gimme.) Anyway, further apologies to loyal readers in this space – double-checking that crucial bold font from now on. Happy Labor Day!
Mets, Nationals Meet With Postseason Hopes on the Line
Despite neither ballclub residing in 1st place in the NL East, there is no more crucial series in baseball than the upcoming 3-game tilt between the Washington Nationals and New York Mets in the nation’s capital. The Mets appear to have broken a costly August slump that has left the team’s unexpected playoff push in jeopardy, winning 2 out of 3 games over the Philadelphia Phillies prior to continuing the road trip south. But the Nats are absolutely on fire, having casually swept the Miami Marlins 3 games to 0 just to warm up for the more-anticipated meeting. New York is an unlikely (-113) favorite for an early-afternoon start on Labor Day as Joe Ross pitches against visiting dual-threat Noah Syndergaard in a contest with a (9.5) Over/Under total.
Pick: Nationals to win
Dodgers a Big Favorite to Win 3-Game Rox Opener
The best kind of late-night “bailout” wager doesn’t cost much and comes with a big payoff. The Colorado Rockies are a 3-to-1 moneyline pick to upset the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 3-game opener on Monday night, and would erase a lot of gamblers’ Labor Day losses with a victory. L.A. has won only 4 of its last 10 ballgames, and Colorado brings dangerous contact-batters with power such as Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story. However, the Rockies are in an awful slump that has taken the team out of respectable position into the cellar of the NL West. The Bums are at least jockeying for all-time home ballpark advantage in fall while we question just how much motivation the Rox are taking with them to Dodger Stadium. Even if motivated, the visiting club will be fielding behind scheduled starter Peter Lambert while ace Walker Buehler pitches for the powerful hosts.
Pick: Over (9)
Happy September, ‘Boppers! The Daily Double didn’t enjoy quite as many winning stretches in August as in July, but we’ve survived the dog-days slump and remain well above water moving toward autumn.
Gamblers Confident in Darvish, Cubs vs Brew Crew
A National League Central race that looked weak and overblown just a few weeks ago is starting to heat up for the home stretch. The St. Louis Cardinals have cured batting and fielding issues enough to soar into 1st place by a comfortable (for NL Central standards) margin, and the Chicago Cubs are well-within striking distance at 2.5 games behind while the Milwaukee Brewers lurk in a tight 3rd place. Chicago and Milwaukee have split the 1st 2 games of a 3-game meeting at Wrigley Field with a key rubber match on Sunday, and a scheduled start from host hurler Yu Darvish has helped the Cubbies’ moneyline shrink to (-177) while bettors mostly avoid wagering on 2-2 starter Gio Gonzalez and the Brew Crew.
Pick: Cubs to win
Snakebitten Hurlers Fight to Win NL East Closer on SNB
The New York Mets are dominating a crucial 3-game series at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. We touched on Todd Frazier’s monster outing at the plate on Friday, and the infielder shined again on Saturday with 3 hits in a ballgame New York won 6-3 without ever trailing. Sunday Night Baseball will be full of fanfare as the Metropolitans try to complete the sweep, and a pitcher’s duel is not out of the question considering that scheduled host hurler Zach Eflin and visiting turn-taker Marcus Stroman each hold reasonable ERA numbers that belie losing W/L records in ’19. But the Over/Under total is a healthy (9.5) runs, and the Phillies (+100) will surely do everything in their power to get across home plate and avoid 0-for-3 embarrassment against a division rival.
Pick: Phillies to win
New York Reverses Roles With Philadelphia on Betting Board
The New York Mets appeared to be all but asleep on offense through 7 innings of Friday’s ballgame with the Philadelphia Phillies. Philadelphia would go on to score 4 runs in the bottom of the 9th inning. Does that mean the Mets’ losing streak was extended at Citizens Bank Park? Hardly. NY exploded for 10 runs in the club’s final 6 outs as infielder Todd Frazier slugged his way to 6 RBIs with a pair of crucial dingers. Las Vegas is keen on the upstarts from the Big Apple now that the skid appears to be busted, turning the Mets from a 1.2-to-1 underdog to a (-112) favorite for Saturday’s game with less than a day’s worth of betting action. Jason Vargas will pitch against visiting Steven Matz in an afternoon 1st pitch with a (9.5) Sin City run total.
Odds Tight for Key Follow-up in San Fran
We said at the start of the current 4-game San Francisco vs San Diego series that a 4-0 or 3-1 series winner would be more optimistic about making a run at the playoffs. So far, neither team appears to be on its way to a commanding win in the meeting. Outfielder Manuel Margot and catcher Austin Hedges starred in Thursday’s 5-3 win for the Padres, but the Giants fought back with a nice 8-3 victory on Friday as Brandon Belt belted 3 RBIs and crossed the plate 3 total times while Madison Bumgarner whiffed 9 batters in 7 innings. The Pads will try Joey Lucchesi against host hurler Logan Webb on Saturday, and the comparable skills of each pitcher are holding the Over/Under at merely (8) runs while keeping MLs tight and hovering around (-110) each.
Mets Line Shortens vs Phils After Disappointing Sweep
Given the cynical attitude of many hometown New York Mets pundits, you’d think the negative vibes in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens would filter out to the general public at a time like this. After all, the Metropolitans have now lost 6 ballgames in a row, suffering another sweep-against vs fellow Wild Card contender Chicago. Friday evening’s series opener in Philadelphia looks grim, considering that New York will start 9-7 Zack Wheeler against 12-4 Aaron Nola at Citizens Bank Park. Gamblers are convinced that the Mets are going to snap out of it and get back to tracking for a playoff spot, however, moving the Big Apple’s line-to-win from 1.4-to-1 to (+115) with just hours of action on a game with a falling (8.5) run Vegas total.
Pick: Phillies to win
Another Falling O/U Line as Bettors Fixate on Starting Hurlers
The L.A. Dodgers are only a (-140) favorite to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night. That’s a minor story in itself, since there’s no better ballclub than the Bums in all of Major League Baseball, and since the MLB betting system “pick against underdogs after a win” would seem to be in effect as the Dodgers have spent most of Thursday night giving up runs to the Snakes in the series opener. Tony Gonsolin is expected to have a solid start on Friday, but as usual the reason for the slender Vegas lines is an interesting hurler on the other side. 24-year-old scheduled Arizona starter Zac Gellen has given up a healthy number of hits in his previous 3 starts…but only 5 runs.
Pick: Dodgers to win
Rox O/U Grows Despite Under Result on Wednesday
WagerBop guessed correct on an Over/Under market at Coors Field on Wednesday, can we do it again on Thursday night? Perhaps, but what if a moneyline or a Run Line is a better gamble? The Pittsburgh Pirates are a (-105) wager to beat the Colorado Rockies in a series opener this evening, and it stands to mention that Rox hurler Chi Chi Gonzalez – not to be confused with longtime PGA Tour golfer Chi Chi Rodriguez – has gone 0-5 this season as a starting pitcher and is scheduled to pitch again against the Buccos. Pittsburgh’s road record of 27-40 isn’t giving speculators a real good feeling about keeping Gonzalez’s losing streak going, however, and neither is a scheduled start from visiting Trevor Williams in a game with a gigantic (14) Over/Under line.
Pick: Rockies on the Run Line (-1.5, (+160))
Giants Host Pads in Important 4-Game Series
We published a preview some days ago implying that the San Diego Padres have played their way out of it in the National League, and maybe they have, but it also stands to mention that the top Wild Card contenders aren’t exactly killing it right now. The Chicago Cubs can’t even lead the NL Central, and the Pads could conceivably catch up if the Midwestern club goes cold and SoCal burns rubber. The Padres are headed to visit AT&T Park for a 4-game series with the San Francisco Giants…and it’s safe to say that if either club sweeps 4-0, their fan base will be whistling a hopeful tune while the other side’s ballplayers contemplate golf in October. Dereck Rodriguez will face visiting Chris Paddack for a so-so mound match-up in Thursday night’s opener as the Pads are a popular (-125) wager in a contest with a falling (8) run Vegas total.
Pick: Padres to win
Mets Slipping, Badly Need Win vs Chicago
The New York Mets sat in a pretty good position late last week following an impressive 3-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians. Noah Syndergaard and a Big Apple bullpen combined to give up just 2 hits in 8 innings in a shut-out win last Thursday that left the Metropolitans just 1 more hot series away from being 10 games above .500. Then the other shoe dropped, with the club losing 4 in a row and getting swept by Atlanta in the process. Tuesday’s opener against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field led to more frustration as New York took the lead but lost 5-2. Syndergaard will pitch again on Wednesday evening, helping the Mets to a (-125) favorite’s moneyline. But formidable starter Kyle Hendricks will emerge from the visiting dugout, putting the cork in any pro-NY line movement and helping the Over/Under tick down to a cellar-level (7.5) total runs.
Red Sox Earn Short Moneyline vs Rox
The Boston Red Sox would be in fine position were it not for the impressive number of highly-competitive ball teams in the American League. Even at nearly 10 games above the .500 mark, the Red Sox need all the series sweeps they can get in late summer, and the Colorado Rockies would seem like a likely target after falling behind 0-1 in a quick 2-game series with Beantown at Coors Field. Boston won Tuesday’s opener 10-6 thanks to a 4-run late-inning rally as hard-hitting utility man Brock Holt finished with 3 hits and 2 RBIs. Eduardo Rodriguez will pitch for the visitors against Peter Lambert of the Rox as the Red Sox are a (-166) favorite in a game with a whopping (13.5) O/U total.
Sorry for the AM delay, ‘boppers! Here’s 2 previews of tonight’s big slate of MLB action.
Gamblers Shy to Pick Minnesota Twins vs ChiSox Ace
We haven’t looked in on the Minnesota Twins often enough at Daily Double yet, and the AL Central leaders are coming off a series win over the Detroit Tigers. 1B C.J. Kron starred in a 7-4 win on Sunday as the Twins won their 2nd in a row over the Motor City Kitties at Target Field. Minnesota did not win its previous series against the Chicago White Sox, however, losing a rubber match 4-0 as starter Jake Odorizzi gave up 8 hits in 5 innings. Gamblers are unsure about the pitching match-up of visiting Michael Pineda vs 14-6 Lucas Giolito of Chicago at Guaranteed Rate Field in Tuesday night’s 3-game opener, lengthening the Twins’ moneyline to (-118) in a contest with a rising (9) Over/Under total.
Pick: Twins to win
Giants Getting All Kinds of Action vs Snakes
The San Francisco Giants need to make a charge sometime soon if the club is going to fulfill the impossible dream of making the postseason in 2019. Sunday’s opener against the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks brought more frustration for a ballclub hovering around .500, as the Giants led in the 1st inning but fell 6-4 despite 3 hits from shortstop Brandon Crawford. A majority of bettors prefer San Francisco (-140) in Monday night’s follow-up at AT&T Park however, favoring the Giants in a pitching match-up of Jeff Samardzija vs scheduled Arizona starter Mike Leake. Leake could not contain bats from Gigantes (or the Colorado Rockies) despite pitching at home in his previous 2 outings.
Pick: Giants to win and/or Over (8)
Gonzalez Shrinks Brew Crew Line vs Visiting Cards
Milwaukee has been treading water, but is still within striking distance in a tightly-bunched NL Central. A series win over the St. Louis Cardinals would sure help the cause, but the Brew Crew’s biggest problem in the pennant race is a woeful record on the road. The Brewers’ previous 2 away series are good examples – Christian Yelich solved hurlers 5 times as Milwaukee scored 15 runs in a win over Washington on 8/17, but it was the only bright spot of the series. By the time the Brewers won again, it was 4 days later in St. Louis. Gamblers are undaunted heading into the reciprocal rematch at Miller Park on Monday, shrinking Milwaukee’s line to (-133) as Gio Gonzalez hurls against visiting Adam Wainwright. Don’t overlook the basic numbers and trends as another reason for line-movement – the ’19 Brewers are a heartening 38-27 in front of hometown faithful.
Pick: Brewers to win
Folding Pads Face MLB Leaders at PETCO
How does a team face the mighty L.A. Dodgers after playing its way out of the National League playoff hunt? The 2019 San Diego Padres can probably be pronounced dead-in-the-water at nearly double-digit games under .500, but it will help the Pads to meet the MLB’s top ballclub at PETCO Park in front of a crowd that has been patiently waiting for a young roster to improve. Inspiration will be needed from the pitching mound to ward-off the offense of the Dodgers, however, and 6-8 Eric Lauer of San Diego isn’t giving bettors much hope with a planned start in Monday night’s series opener against the Bums. L.A. newcomer Dustin May gets the nod from skipper Dave Roberts after a 1st big hiccup in ’19 against the Braves in his most recent day on the rubber. That’s the sort of red flag that should be driving the Vegas O/U total (8.5) upward…but it isn’t.
Action Favors Rox to Crack Redbirds
The Colorado Rockies are a popular underdog bet for a date at New Busch Stadium on Sunday, seeing bets on a (+130) moneyline after opening much closer to 2-to-1 in Las Vegas. St. Louis has largely embarrassed the Denver club over the past 2 of 3 outings, causing some “system” gamblers to pick the Rox as a motivated team in the series closer. Dakota Hudson blanked the Rockies in 6 innings on Saturday but speculators are putting less stock in Sunday’s scheduled hurler Michael Wacha, who is only 6-6 on the season despite a solid August. Respect for visiting pitcher Antonio Senzatela has helped the Over/Under tick down to (9.5) runs.
Pick: Cardinals to win
SNB Airs Rubber Match Between AL and NL Leaders
Interleague ballgames in the regular season don’t get much bigger than this. The L.A. Dodgers took revenge for a series-opening loss on Saturday, squeaking past the New York Yankees 2-1 behind a strong start from Tony Gonsolin and 8 Ks from the bullpen. Sunday Night Baseball will hail a rubber match at Dodger Stadium that looks even to the naked eye – deep batting lineups led by Cody Bellinger and Aaron Judge are equally dangerous. But a scheduled start by Clayton Kershaw is helping the Dodgers to a (-175) moneyline even with 16-3 Domingo German scheduled to pitch for the visiting Pinstripes.
Pick: Under (9)
Gamblers Like Gonsolin in Yanks-Bums Follow-Up
Why would the L.A. Dodgers open as a solid favorite and shrink (-150) odds to beat the New York Yankees at Dodger Stadium this Saturday as of Friday afternoon? After all, the 1st contest of the marquee series hasn’t been decided yet, and scheduled host hurler Tony Gonsolin has seen limited MLB action in 2019. But ‘cappers like the 25-year-old righty, whose arm is whippy enough to post a strong WHIP and who recently blanked the St. Louis Cardinals through 6 innings-pitched. Meanwhile expected Pinstripe starter C.C. Sabathia has struggled mightily since mid-July, giving up 15 hits and 12 runs to the Twins and Red Sox in consecutive starts on the road.
Pick: Dodgers to win
Dueling Nightcaps Not Much of a Duel
There are a pair of late games on Saturday night – and not much mystery as to which will get more attention in Las Vegas and elsewhere. The Seattle Mariners will play the Toronto Blue Jays in a battle of cellar ballclubs at T-Mobile Park, but the Oakland A’s will host the San Francisco Giants in a much more-anticipated contest as each team struggles for altitude in respective postseason chases. Saturday is the opener of merely a 2-game interleague series, and the A’s are a (-140) moneyline favorite behind a scheduled appearance from hurler Chris Bassett against visiting Madison Bumgarner. The Over/Under total has shrunk to just (8) runs – not a huge number in this day and age.
Pick: Giants to win
Gamblers Like Nats as ‘Dog at Wrigley
Washington’s line-to-win Friday’s series opener against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field has shrunk to (+105) since opening at nearly 1.4-to-1, not a surprise given the ballclub’s powerhouse showing in the last 2 meetings. The Nationals won a rubber match against Milwaukee by the impressive score of 16-8 before taking 3 of 4 from the Pittsburgh Pirates, with Howie Kendrick starring at the plate late in Thursday’s contest. Don’t go to sleep on the Cubs, who just blanked the San Francisco Giants 1-0 and plan to start Jon Lester on the mound.
Pick: Cubs to win
Mets an Unpopular Pick at Home Despite Fine Form
Much has been made of the San Francisco Giants’ slim chances to make noise in autumn, but keep an eye on the New York Mets, a ballclub which is not seeing much moneyline action at (-180) despite sitting well above .500 and carrying some advantages into a series with Atlanta at Citi Field. The Mets currently have a sweep over powerful Cleveland – pending a held 2-run lead following a weather delay. But another win streak demonstrates the National League underdog’s staying power with sub-3.00 ERA Jacob deGrom preparing to start on the mound against Mike Foltynewicz (bless you) of the Braves on Friday evening. The Vegas total – a solid (7.5) runs – sneers at both batting lineups even as the clubs contend in the NL.
Pick: Mets to win and/or Over
Houston Gets Short Moneyline of the Month vs Detroit
The Houston Astros are beating the Detroit Tigers in a 4-game series at Minute Maid Park, but it’s not coming easy. Monday and Tuesday contests began with the AL West leaders putting up rallies against weak starting pitchers, but Detroit’s bullpen somehow held up late in both ballgames as the Tigers chipped away and had a chance to win each time. Not that the tight outcomes are registering with the gambling public at all – Houston’s (-500) moneyline for Thursday evening’s closer is among the shortest 9-innings betting lines of the month in Major League Baseball. Gerrit Cole will start against 1-8 Jordan Zimmerman in an expected blow-out with a weirdly falling (8.5) total.
Action Slackens on Bums in Cross-Continental Series
It’s no shock that National League-leading L.A. was handed a near-1-to-3 moneyline to beat the Toronto Blue Jays in Thursday’s MLB nightcap. The Dodgers won the opening contest by 13 runs, boast slugging power from Cody Bellinger and half of a dozen other stars, and produce more mean sliders and rug-yanking curveballs from the starting rotation than most bullpens can muster up. But betting action has soured on Los Angeles (-250) headed into the 3rd of 4 ballgames with Toronto, probably because scheduled starter Kenta Maeda is among the few pitchers in the Dodgers’ stable who bettors don’t think they can rely on. Jacob Waguespack is an interesting up-and-comer who will start for the ‘Jays as the Vegas run total rises to (9) after a half day’s action.
Hey there ‘boppers, we’re sorry for whiffing on yesterday’s Daily Double update – and for the mysterious (and winning) “White Sox” pick that was really a misprint. Since we’re still riding a hot July nothing if not honest journalists, the “winning” pick has since been corrected to a (barely) losing pick on the Tigers.
Don’t sleep on those huge underdogs, though – moneylines for the ChiSox and Motor City Kitties almost paid off handsomely on the same day.
Here’s 2 friendly MLB picks for a happy Hump Day, and as Puck says at the end of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, “for Pete Rose’s sake stop waxing poetic about WagerBop’s mistakes and get on with the baseball.” ***
*** Translated from Middle English by Daily Double
Lines Balance for Busch as Gamblers Abandon Redbirds
Adam Wainwright gets the nod on Wednesday night at New Busch Stadium, and brings a generally-solid stat line to the ballpark. Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals will be facing Adrian Houser of the visiting Milwaukee Brewers, another solid hurler but hardly a legend in his own time. Still the gambling public largely passed on an opening favorite’s moneyline for the Redbirds to win the series closer. It’s not as if St. Louis bats aren’t live – the club is still leading the NL Central and is threatening to sweep the Brew Crew as of Tuesday night, when Milwaukee misplayed a pop-up from STL’s Dexter Fowler and turned a slim deficit into a yawning gap on the scoreboard. But speculators don’t think the Cardinals can hit Houser, who has allowed just 2 base hits in his last 2 outings, and have driven the moneylines to matching (-110) payouts while shrinking the O/U to (8.5) total runs.
Yanks a Popular Pick vs A’s Despite B-Grade Start
The New York Yankees have fallen behind in the early innings of a series opener at Oakland, and opened as a plus-moneyline wager to beat the Athletics in a Wednesday night follow-up. Gamblers are leaning toward New York despite the shaky start of a 12-game west coast swing. Lines-to-win are now matched at (-110) each with J.A. Happ visiting the mound against host hurler Mike Fiers, who is provoking fears in opposing dugouts with an 11-3 record in 2019. The Over/Under is stable at (9.5) in spite of live starts from both batting orders in the series, showing that while Fiers is the man to give Oakland a fighting chance against the Bronx Bombers, the Yanks aren’t exactly Happ-less on the mound.
Pick: Yankees to win
Astros Line Shrinks as Sublime Meets Ridiculous in Houston
Anything can happen in the day-to-day world of MLB moneyline and Run Line gambling. but the public has a pretty good idea what’s going to happen in at least 1 ballpark on Monday night, and Las Vegas is not in the mood to pay out very much if the popular wager is correct. The Houston Astros are a (-420) favorite and still taking a flood of bets to defeat dreadful Detroit in the 1st of 4 at Minute Maid Park. Houston’s advantages are numerous – a trio of Astros are gunning for 100 RBIs on the season and DH Yordan Alvarez’s power is off the charts. Wade Miley will start against struggling Edwin Jackson of the Tigers, helping the Over/Under total sink under double-digits at (9.5). Still it bears mentioning that the ‘Stros aren’t having a magnificent mid-August stretch and recently lost 2 in a row to the hapless Chicago White Sox.
Pick: Tigers to win (1 or less units) or Over
Gamblers Flock to Twins After Sweep of Rangers
Minnesota completed a dazzling 4-game series sweep of the Texas Rangers on Sunday, prevailing 6-3 following a 3-run 8th inning. Pitching was a team effort with 4 players leaving the bullpen to take the mound, but shortstop Jorge Polanco shined with a bases-clearing triple that would vanquish the Lone Stars once again. The Twins are now a (-215) moneyline wager to beat the visiting Chicago White Sox on Monday night, and in some ways the gamble on Minnesota could be viewed as a healthy alternative to the all-risk and scant-payoff Houston Astros’ line of (-420) against Detroit. Scheduled ChiSox starter Ivan Nova has been strong for a lousy club in 2019, but he’ll be up against 11-5 Kyle Gibson in a series opener with a plummeting (9.5) O/U total.
Pick: Twins to win
Yanks and Tribe Reverse Roles in Bronx
The New York Yankees opened as a very, very slight favorite to beat the Cleveland Indians in Sunday afternoon’s final ballgame of 4 in the Big Apple. But the Tribe has taken most of the betting action since then, and stands as a (-125) wager to prevail as of Saturday evening. Expected Yankee starter C.C. Sabathia is under .500 on the season and has an ERA pushing close to 5.00 – speculators are weighing his form against a visiting batting order that includes Carlos Santana, Francisco Lindor and 9-deep slugging power. Gamblers are high on scheduled Cleveland hurler Mike Clevinger, however, despite a nasty outing against Boston on 8/13. The Over/Under has ticked down to (10) total runs from an opening 10 and 1/2.
Pick: Yankees to win
Cubs Can Regain Momentum in SNB Rubber Match
Pittsburgh has officially had it for the 2019 baseball season. The Buccos are 20 games below .500, have been swept by the Cardinals and the Reds (and nearly the Mets) in recent series, and scored nary a run against Jon Lester and the Chicago Cubs at BB&T Ballpark on Saturday. The series closer on Sunday Night Baseball will be a rubber match that the Cubs badly need to win for sake of dugout and hometown morale. St. Louis has been making it somewhat easy to catch up in the NL Central, but 4 wins in 11 games is still not enough to surpass the Redbirds. Mitch Keller takes the start for the Pirates after impressing against the Angels in his last outing, and José Quintana’s turn for the Cubbies is helping the Over/Under total shrink to (9.5). Uncertainty as to which hurler will stake his club to a better start is holding Chicago’s moneyline firm at (-155).
Cubs Must Cure Road Woes in Pittsburgh
Strange to see the Chicago Cubs touted as a solid favorite for a road game. Often in 2019, things have appeared peachy for the NL Central contender, and then up jumps the devil in the form of a dreadful away series. Those shots into Wrigley Field ivy that turn into easy put-outs in massive ballparks? That’s nothing compared to the inexplicable lack of quality pitching outside of 1060 West Addison Street, including a collapse by Cole Hamels in a 10-run drubbing at Philly this week. Jon Lester will attempt to provide medicine for travel-sickness with a start on Saturday in Pittsburgh, and the Cubs are a (-140) wager despite scheduled Buccos hurler Steven Brault’s solid stats on the year. A shaky opening Vegas run-total market appears to have stabilized at (10).
Pick: Cubs to win
Quirky Ballgame at Coors Field Highlights Late Slate
The Colorado Rockies are all but out of it in the National League postseason race, and the Miami Marlins – currently visiting Denver for a 3-game series – were out of it a long time ago. Yet the ballgame in the Rocky Mountains could be the most entertaining of Saturday’s late contests, considering that the Dodgers are hosting the White Sox and San Francisco’s stable is shorthanded against the Snakes. Think of it – a baseball manufactured in 2019 (wink, nudge) flying around in thin air off the bats of sluggers facing Miami journeyman Héctor Noesí. The Over/Under is (12.5) total runs and Colorado is a popular wager at (-250), meaning that gamblers do not like the Marlins’ chances to retaliate against starter German Marquez or the host bullpen.
Syndergaard, Mets Visit Missouri at Opportune Time
Several MLB clubs have kept themselves in contention by feasting on poor lineups in 3 and 4-game series, and the New York Mets may think it’s about time to get in on the fun. The ballclub is above .500 and fought the Atlanta Braves in a good old-fashioned fireworks show of a closer on Thursday night. But the less highly-touted of a pair of Big Apple teams needs to post a 3-game sweep in Kansas City this weekend. Fearsome Noah Syndergaard will pitch for the visitors having gone 8-5 and slugged 2 home runs to help his own cause so far. Mike Montgomery hasn’t been feeling it on the mound with the Crowns this season and his presence on the mound for KC helps the O/U total to (9.5) runs in a contest in which New York is favored at a short (-180) price.
Picks: Mets to win and Over (9.5) Total Runs
Verlander – Surprise – Expected to Post Win vs A’s
Oakland’s “moneyball” playoff run of Hollywood lore ultimately had little to do with advanced calculus and mathematical wizardry. Billy Bean’s staff used analytics as means to an end, but the simple goal was to put more baserunners on the diamond with a maximum number of RBI opportunities. Gamblers do not think the Athletics are going to be picking up many RBIs on Friday night, as the American League contenders are faced with a tall order against Houston Astros starter Justin Verlander. Verlander is 15-4 and has a microscopic (by today’s standards) 2.88 ERA while scheduled host hurler Tanner Roark is below .500 on the season. Houston is a (-210) favorite in NorCal in a ballgame with a rising (9) run Vegas total.
Dodgers Hit 80, Push Pedal to Metal in Magic City
A challenge that will face Vegas MLB speculators late in the 2019 season is knowing whether the skipper of a front-running team is going all-out to win a series or giving his lineup room to coast. Manager Dave Roberts and the L.A. Dodgers are making it clear that Major League Baseball’s winningest club has no intentions of slowing down anytime soon, least of all during a 3-game series at Miami. The Bums have crushed the Fish by a combined score of 24-2 over the past 2 games, capturing the season’s 80th and 81st victories in the process. It remains to be seen whether there will be a rush on Miami moneyline bets for Thursday afternoon’s contest at the bargain price of (+220) thanks to the popular home-team-to-avoid-sweep hardball gambling system. Regardless, Clayton Kershaw’s scheduled presence on the mound next to stout Marlins hurler Caleb Smith has the Over/Under resting at a low (7.5), anticipating at last a decent contest in a round of massacres.
No Fiers of an Upset in NorCal
Oakland LF Robbie Grossman had a fine day sparking the A’s batting lineup on Wednesday and has notched 5 hits in his last dozen at-bats. Grossman is a healthy veteran in his prime who hasn’t logged so many MLB miles as to be vulnerable to late season fatigue, and he’s got 8 stolen bases on the season – just the type of sneaky asset ‘cappers love to consider in the Dog Days. But the speculators of Sin City aren’t giving the subtleties of Oakland’s lineup much thought, in fact, they’re ready to ignore even the obvious when a powerhouse club like Houston comes to town. Mike Fiers is scheduled to pitch for the Athletics in Thursday night’s opener in NorCal, carrying an 11-3 W/L record and an impressive 3.18 ERA into the ballgame. Yet the visiting Astros are a popular wager even at (-125) and with Aaron Sanchez on the mound against Fiers. Then again the AL West leaders just pulled a mere 3 wins out of consecutive series against the lowly Orioles and White Sox, so perhaps gamblers think the ‘Stros are due or at least mighty angry.
Pick: Athletics to win
Nationals Right the Ship, Favored to Beat Cincinnati Again
Washington may be a sexy pick to ascend into the NLCS this autumn, but the Nationals need to put more series-sweeps together to potentially vault over the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. How about a 3-game clobbering of the Cincinnati Reds, then? The Nats are 2/3 of the way there, having beaten the NL Central visitors in 2 straight approaching Wednesday’s closer. Monday’s game was especially dramatic as D.C. warded-off a dangerous 2-inning charge from the Reds late after taking a sizable lead courtesy of Trea Turner’s big bat. The hosts are (-140) to turn the trio behind Stephen Strasburg on Hump Day, but a falling (8.5) O/U line also reflects respect for visiting starter Trevor Bauer.
Pick: Nationals to win
Redbirds Line Lengthens for Late Contest in KC
It’s strange indeed for contending ballclubs to be marked on the betting board as underdogs vs lowly opponents, and even stranger to see so many fans being skeptical of the St. Louis Cardinals prior to a ballgame in Missouri. But Wednesday night’s venue is Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, and the Royals have been getting live at-bats (and RBIs) against the likes of Boston, Cleveland and Minnesota in recent series. Expected KC starter Brad Keller is just 7-12 and had a miserable outing at Detroit late last week, but bettors still seem to prefer the Royals’ defense to the Redbirds behind likely hurler Dakota Hudson, shrinking KC’s line to (+107) after the opening odds promised a payoff of 1.4-to-1. The Over/Under total for the 2nd of 2 ballgames is holding at a firm (10) total runs.
Don’t Look Now, But Mets Are On Pace to Make It
The New York Mets are still on a roll, having taken 2 out of 3 ballgames in a series with Washington. The club’s road record still leaves a lot to be desired, and you’d never have known it by the ugly turns of May and June – but it’s August now and come hell or high Hudson River the Mets are at 61 wins and in fine position in the NL Wild Card race. A bonus opportunity comes this week with a 3-game trip to Atlanta, where if New York can somehow sweep, even the NL East division lead would be in sight. Surely Mickey Callaway prefers to take it 1 ballgame at a time, and he’ll trot out Zack Wheeler to face 13-4 Max Fried of the Braves (-120) in a 3-game series opener with a (9.5) Over/Under total.
Pick: Mets to win
Rays Thought Vulnerable in San Diego
Why would the contending Tampa Bay Rays be a (-110) wager to beat San Diego pm Tuesday night with the Padres seemingly slipping out of contention for good? The Floridians are playing quality defensive baseball, and the team’s pitching is solid headed into this week’s series at PETCO Park. Perhaps it’s the offense that has bettors concerned – the Rays lost 2-0 to Toronto earlier in August and needed journeyman Eric Sogard’s solo shot just to pencil-in a lone RBI while shutting-out the Seattle Mariners on Sunday. Meanwhile, expected Tampa Bay starter Brendan McKay has had to pitch his way out of jams in his last 2 outings and gave up 10 hits to the White Sox before that. But his counterpart on Tuesday is Pads hurler Eric Lauer, who is having his own shaky summer, A Vegas total of (8) seems low considering the bats of both clubs.
Bettors Flock to Reds for Tilt in D.C.
A hefty selection of Tuesday night MLB games will be co-headlined by the Washington Nationals hosting the Cincinnati Reds in a 3-game series opener. The Nats opened as solid underdogs, but Monday action has shortened Cincy’s line all the way to (-105) as speculators observe the trajectory of both clubs. The Reds have been showing signs of life, sweeping the L.A. Angels in 2 while standing firm in 4-gamers against Atlanta and Chicago. Erick Fedde will start for Washington at Nationals Park but has given up 15 hits in his last 2 outings, while scheduled guest starter Anthony DeSclafani is above .500 on the season. A rising O/U total of (10) indicates little respect for the hurlers…or for defense in the year 2019.
Pick: Reds to win
Hey Fowler, Don’t You Know I Hate Losing to the Pirates
Presumably someone in the L.A. Angels organization hates losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates every bit as much as Pop Fischer from The Natural. You wouldn’t know it, though, from the team’s choice of starting hurler for the front end of a series against the Buccos at Angel Stadium – a series that the Halos must win or else risk slipping out of contention thanks to a Dog Days slump. Scheduled youngster Jose Suarez gave up an ugly 10 hits in 5 innings to Cincinnati on 8/6, but circumstances will compel another trip to the rubber on Tuesday night. Thankfully for the Angels (-145) the Pirates have slated Mitch Keller, a 23-year-old project who has struggled in limited MLB action, to start against Suarez in SoCal. Should we prepare for another massive O/U total? Not quite – the number has ticked down to (9.5) with a half day’s action.
Pick: Angels to win
Astros a Big Fat Favorite at Camden Yards
Even in the unpredictable world of day-to-day hardball betting, bookmakers aren’t opposed to attaching a short betting line to a true prohibitive favorite. The Houston Astros (-350) certainly qualify heading into a Sunday afternoon game at Camden Yards. Houston entered the weekend having not lost a ballgame in August, and jumped out to an early lead on woeful Baltimore on Saturday. An expected start from Justin Verlander is causing the Over/Under to tick down to (9.5), but doesn’t an old-fashioned “correlated parlay” involve betting on a powerful favorite plus the Over? After all, if the final score stays below double-digits it will be because O-Birds starter Asher Wojciechowski has an above-average day.
Matched Odds for SNB as Giants Fight Back
There are 2 cardinal sins a team on the fringes of contention cannot make, which are A) losing to bad teams and B) getting swept by the good’uns. Pablo Sandoval and the San Francisco Giants are recently guilty of both as a Dog Days slump threatens to derail the club’s miraculous charge up the standings. Gigantes are officially showing signs of life once more as of this weekend, however, taking a 2-1 series lead on the visiting Philadelphia Phillies when Evan Longoria slugged a winning 2-run homer early on Saturday afternoon. San Francisco (-110) skipper Bruce Bochy faces an awkward moment in his pitching rotation for the Sunday Night Baseball closer with still-developing southpaw Conner Menez scheduled to start against Jake Arrieta of the Phillies.
Pick: Phillies to win
Halos a Popular ‘Dog Wager at Fenway Park
There appears to be no standard handicapping reason why the L.A. Angels would be a popular underdog moneyline (at (+150) and shrinking) for this Saturday afternoon’s ballgame in Beantown. The Angels have been woeful over the last 2 weeks as Wild Card dreams begin to fade following a brief summer charge. Meanwhile the Boston Red Sox need Ws desperately after only pulling a single win out of a late-week meeting with Kansas City. Of course the pitching rubber can always be the culprit when a Vegas MLB line starts to move, and returning Halo starter Andrew Heaney is helping the O/U tick down to (10.5) total runs thanks to solid outings against Houston in July while gamblers do not trust scheduled Red Sox hurler Rick Porcello’s 10-8 record with an ERA pushing close to 5.75.
Dodgers Considered a Bum Deal vs Young
Saturday night’s Dodgers-Diamondbacks ballgame stands as a rare moment in 2019 when gamblers are unsure about the Bums on their home field. It’s certainly hard to impugn a team that won 5 in a row over the Padres and Cardinals headed into the series opener at Dodger Stadium. The weekend follow-up features Kenta Maeda on the mound for Los Angeles, but he’s below .500 on the season and not close to matching the finest form in L.A,’s rotation. Meanwhile, everyone is mighty impressed with up-and-coming Arizona pitcher Alex Young, and Bellinger’s big bat might be the only thing keeping the Over/Under from sinking below (8.5) runs. The Dodgers opened at 1-to-2.05 but are now merely (-180) after a half day of betting action.
Pick: Dodgers to win
WagerBop was “swept in 3” on Thursday, but the Daily Double is still above .500 on the season! Here’s 3 more picks for a new day and a welcome weekend.
Oakland Steadier Than O/U for Windy City
The Oakland A’s are contending for a Wild Card spot in the American League, and just prevailed in 6 out of 10 games against the NL Central. That, and the fact that Mike Fiers is due on the mound, are enough to make Oakland a (-175) favorite to beat Ross Detwiler and the host Chicago White Sox on Friday afternoon. At the same time, however, gamblers have been keen to notice a flaw in the odds as the opening Over/Under line anticipated a high-scoring ballgame instead of Fiers shutting the ChiSox down. The total has shrunk from (11) to (10.5) with a few hours of betting action.
Bettors Think Yanks Will Be Hapless on Friday
Why would the New York Yankees be an unpopular moneyline wager at any reasonable price? The Bronx Bombers are firmly in control of the AL East and will be visiting the Toronto Blue Jays, who the Yankees already clobbered 12-6 on Thursday, in the 2nd of 4 ballgames at Rogers Centre. An opening 1-to-1.75 market seemed to promise plenty of action until gamblers started flocking to the underdog. J.A. Happ is viewed as a potentially-weak starting hurler against Blue Jay starter Sean Reid Foley. Foley is an up-and-comer who blanked the Royals and Red Sox across 8+ innings of play prior to a less-effective outing vs Baltimore in early August. Young lion meets old, or baby chick meets old Pinstripe at least, on the mound in Canada as the O/U settles at (11) total runs.
Pick: Yankees to win
Bonus O/U Pick: Philadelphia, San Francisco Offenses Get Little Respect
You’d think that the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants would get more respect as worthwhile batting teams. The clubs are locked in a crucial 4-game battle at AT&T Park with San Francisco in dire danger of slipping out of the playoff chase for good. Friday night’s contest could come with fireworks from the plate as batters like Pablo Sandoval go-up against B-list pitching. Scheduled Philly starter Drew Smyly gave up 5 runs in 5 innings to the Chicago White Sox in his last outing and holds a season ERA of 7.01. Host hurler Tyler Beede has also been underwhelming in 2019. Yet the cautious Over/Under line from Las Vegas looks meant for the early leg of a doubleheader between 2 wiffle ball teams when viewed in context of iffy pitching, ticking down to (8.5) runs as moneylines match at (-110).
Red Sox Most Popular Moneyline of Thursday Evening
There are several favorites taking heavy action for Thursday’s slate of 5 twilight ballgames on the East Coast and in the Midwest. Atlanta is seen as a solid pick to win an opener in Miami, the Cubs’ line at Cincinnati has shrunk from (-115) to (-124), and the New York Yankees are expected to keep feasting on poor rosters in an opener at Toronto. None of those clubs are taking the most ML action on short odds though. That honor belongs to the Boston Red Sox, a team that gamblers just won’t give up on despite Beantown’s slowed momentum following another series-sweep by the Yanks. Chris Sale and his woeful W/L record will meet the visiting L.A. Angels and expected starter Dillon Peters in a ballgame in which Boston is the (-255) moneyline favorite (gulp) as of Wednesday night.
Bonus Run Line Pick: Angels (+1.5) (+115)
Matched Odds in Minnesota for Potential Pitcher’s Duel
Only in the Year of the Home Run would a match-up of starting pitchers with a combined 17-6 record result in a (9.5) Over/Under total opening in Vegas. That was the number, though, for a contest of Kyle Gibson and the Minnesota Twins vs the visiting Cleveland Indians and Mike Clevenger. Moneylines are even at (-110) each, and gamblers don’t trust bookmakers’ high score predictions even with lumber-laying studs like Carlos Santana stalking the diamond. The O/U market has ticked down to (9) total runs as the Tribe and Twins prepare for a crucial series of 4 games.
Giants Face Crisis Moment at Home
In every special season there’s a point at which it appears that the club has lost its mojo for good. The San Francisco Giants raced away from the cellar with such ferocity over the summer that Gigantes were listed among the top 10 or 15 World Series futures lines at online sportsbooks. Now the team has dug itself another hole, losing a 3-game sweep to the Washington Nationals. It was the Philadelphia Phillies who originally slowed San Francisco’s momentum, capping a series-win at Citizens Bank Park on the maiden day of August. The Giants must take revenge now or risk falling out of the NL Wild Card race altogether. Another pair of (-110) moneylines marks an opener at AT&T Park with a (7.5) run total thanks to Aaron Nola taking the mound for Philly.
Pick: Phillies to win
Rox a Popular Underdog – Sort Of
Colorado is probably too far below .500 to make any kind of serious run at the postseason. Ballplayers on the team know that, meaning that Rox coaches will spend the next few weeks imploring batters to continue making sacrifice-outs instead of working to improve their averages. But gamblers aren’t ready to count such subtle factors against a 3-to-1 moneyline, and pounced when the Rockies were given long Vegas odds to beat Houston in the 2nd of just 2 ballgames at Minute Maid Park. Action on the ‘dog has dropped Colorado’s ML to (+275) as the Astros prepare to pitch Garrit Cole against visiting Peter Lambert. Surely no one likes Cole to lose the game so much as they’re drawn to a fat payoff line between any 2 respectable teams, but a falling O/U total of (8.5) does indicate some kind of respect for Lambert.
Snakes Favored by Betting Public vs Philly
Gamblers struck fast when the Arizona Diamondbacks (-140) were offered as a near-1-to-1 opening wager against the visiting Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night. There are reasonable explanations for the rush of bets on Arizona – Philadelphia will be playing a series closer 3 time zones from home. Furthermore, the fact that there is no Daylight Savings Time in AZ means that the 1st pitch of a night game at Chase Field feels even later for the east coast club. But you can’t help but wonder if moneyline speculators saw Philly win the 1st outing of the series 7-3, saw the guests go up again in the 1st inning of the follow-up on Tuesday, and decided to place a prior-evening bet on a D-Backs team that could be playing to avoid getting swept-in-3 at home. Zac Gallen will throw for the Snakes against recent Phillies acquisition Jason Vargas in a ballgame with a (9.5) O/U total.
Pick: Phillies to win
Tribe Need Wins, Favored to Snag W on Tuesday
The Cleveland Indians must be frustrated trying to catch the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central, as the Indians are playing good baseball but the Twins are on a streak of their own. Nothing for the Ohio ballclub to do except keep swimming well above .500 and trust in the Wild Card system’s safety net. Vegas MLB ‘cappers like the match-up of Cleveland’s Zach Plesac against visiting Texas Ranger hurler Ariel Jurado in the 2nd of 3 ballgames at Progressive Field on Tuesday evening, and the Tribe opened as nearly a 1-to-2 moneyline favorite to prevail and hopefully inch-up on Minny. However, action has lengthened the hosts’ ML to (-175) as bettors observe how Cleveland has feasted on poor clubs in a lot of the Indians’ recent victories.
Pick: Indians to win
Dodgers Line Shrinks as Kershaw Looms on Mound
You could make a case for handicapping the L.A. Dodgers as a 1-to-1.5 favorite against visiting St. Louis on Tuesday night even if starting pitchers were equally metered-out automatons. The Bums expect to dominate any series they play in, and while the Cardinals must improve their contact hitting, Cody Bellinger and the Dodgers are slugging so many extra-base hits that opposing pitchers get dizzy no matter what the rate of strike-outs. Yet of course when there’s a moneyline like “L.A. (-200)” on the betting board it’s not just a matter of ‘cappers comparing the batting lineups. Clayton Kershaw awaits as expected 2nd-of-3 starter against 7-11 Miles Mikolas of the Redbirds in a ballgame with an (8.5) Las Vegas run total.
Mets Huge Favorites in Lone Afternoon Game
Monday’s hardball schedule is comprised of almost 100% evening and night games, but Vegas MLB ‘cappers and speculators have made a bold statement with the day’s only afternoon contest. The New York Mets are (-320) moneyline favorites to beat the Miami Marlins in the 1st of a doubleheader at Citi Field after crushing the Pirates 13-2 in a rubber match on Sunday. Todd Frazier and J.D. Davis combined for 5 hits and 6 RBIs in the drubbing of Steeltown, and the Mets have only lost once in their last 10 outings. However, expected Miami hurler Sandy Alcantara’s pitiful W/L record and counterpart Jacob deGrom’s fine 2.78 ERA have just as much to do with the ML in a ballgame with a cautious (7.5) Over/Under.
Bums Favored to Beat Frustrated Redbirds
There’s a resistable force meeting a removable object at Dodger Stadium on Monday night. Visiting St. Louis has fallen out of the NL Central division lead by way of getting swept-in-2 by the Oakland A’s over the weekend. Sunday’s loss was especially galling as Adam Wainwright pitched well enough to win and the bullpen gave up only 1 run vs 11 outs, but the batting lineup couldn’t hit it where fielders weren’t in a 4-2 loss. Meanwhile, Monday’s scheduled L.A. starter Hyun-Jin Ryu can’t go in the series opener due to a neck injury, forcing rookie Tony Gonsolin into the slot instead. Gonsolin is a wild card but gamblers aren’t ready to stop buying the Dodgers (-160) against Cards hurler Michael Wacha in a ballgame with a (9) run O/U total.
Pick: Dodgers to win
Not Quite Amazin’ But Still Pretty Good
New York’s Metropolitans had an awful time in late spring and early summer. Those slumps have left the club under .500 and still a long shot in the NL Wild Card race. But the Mets are on a hot streak in the dog days, and fans are enjoying the ride while it lasts. The team put together a 7-game winning streak that the Pittsburgh Pirates snapped 8-4 on Friday, but a sweep of the Buccos at Citi Field accounted for 3 of the victories. New York is a (-130) moneyline favorite in Sunday’s closer at PNC Park as Joe Musgrove hurls against visiting Noah Sindergaard in a ballgame with a conservative (8.5) O/U total.
Pick: Mets to win
Oh Baby, a Bookmaker’s Conundrum on SNB
Even online bookmakers based out of London – those that often beat state-side markets to the punch – hesitated to post Saturday evening gambling odds on this week’s installment of Sunday Night Baseball. For a start, it’s a rivalry series between the New York Yankees and visiting Boston Red Sox. Both expected starting hurlers, David Price and J.A. Happ, are now on paternity leave as they welcome new offspring. They could each return and play, or choose to take up to 3 days off. Finally, the clubs are playing a doubleheader over the weekend. That makes fatigue more of a factor with each team’s pitching staff is already down a man. For what it’s worth the Yanks have dominated the series through 2 ballgames and should be the minus-moneyline next to a healthy Over/Under total.
Update: Perhaps due to Boston being down 0-3 in the series, Sunday morning MLs are now evenly handicapped at (-110) for a SNB with a (10) run total.
Rox Line Lengthens for Saturday Night at Coors
WagerBop whiffed on the Giants yesterday, and the Rockies (-125) are favored to win again in the 2nd of 3 ballgames in the meeting. But the odds have been tightening with the action on an intriguing match-up of hurlers. Jon Gray’s sub-4.00 ERA is terrific for a pitcher who works often in the thin Denver air, and expected Giants starter Madison Bumgarner is no slouch despite a 6-7 record. San Francisco surged mid-game on Friday behind LF Mike Yastrzemski, who is having himself an excellent week (and season). Colorado’s bullpen came up large in the late-going of a 5-4 result but that’s unlikely to happen every night of the series.
Pick: Giants to win
A’s Touted to Win Opener vs Visiting Redbirds
For a more-popular moneyline pick on Saturday night, look to the Oakland A’s and their series opener against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals, for which Oakland opened as a slim favorite but has seen the line shorten to (-150) with just under a day’s gambling action. The Cardinals are playing well and will be a formidable foe behind Dakota Hudson, and likely opposing hurler Mike Fiers will be challenged by Redbirds batters whose solid RBI total belies the team batting average. Yet pundits and fans in the Gateway City are still beside themselves that St. Louis has not taken over an NL Central division that looks surprisingly ripe for the picking.
Pick: Athletics to win
Gamblers Not Digging Davies as Cubs Host Brew Crew
Fool me once, fool me twice. Despite expected Friday afternoon starter Zach Davies’ excellent 8-4 record on the season, his poor outings for Milwaukee at the end of July have gamblers passing on the Brew Crew as the NL Central club travels to meet the Cubs (-140) in a Wrigley opener. It’s not as if host Chicago won its most-recent series against the Brewers, and the Cubbies lost a series in-between to the St. Louis Cardinals this week. But with Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo having combined for 140 RBIs so far and Jose Quintana starting on the mound, speculators appear to think this is finally the Cubs’ time to shine in divisional ballgames.
Pick: Brewers to win
Rockies, Giants 2 of a Kind at Coors Field
You know that “deuces wild” scenario play-by-play commentators are so fond of, when there’s 2 men on, 2 men out, and the count is 2-2? A gambler’s version is taking place in Colorado on Friday night as the Rockies and visiting San Francisco Giants are each (-110) on the moneyline with both starting hurlers at exactly .500 in the W/L column, and at about the same ERA. All even-up! Of course, it’s harder to earn a decent ERA when pitching in Coors Field, and the Rox are hoping Peter Lambert’s home-field experience tells the tale against Shaun Anderson. Then again, Denver’s baseball franchise is slumping and just about out of it for 2019, while the Giants are among the best stories in the game having roared out of the cellar to contend.
Pick: Giants to win
Popular MLB Betting System Sways Line for Miami
Experienced baseball ‘cappers know there are a few popular systems that a hefty % of moneyline gamblers play, some of which affect the lines in predictable ways. One tactic is to wait for a ballclub to be facing a sweep-against at home, and place bets on the likely underdog to get inspired and fend off embarrassment with a win. That conceit might be kind of stretch in Miami this Thursday afternoon, where the Marlins will try to avoid losing 3 straight against the division front-running Minnesota Twins. Talented hurler Jordan Yamamota has somehow gone 4-2 with the woeful Fishes and will start for the home team, a (+145) market after opening longer. However a decent chunk of the betting public is still with the excellent Twins (-170) to prevail.
Pick: Twins to win
Bad Moon Rising for Padres in L.A.
Thursday night’s final late-night contest may begin after all other Vegas MLB live-betting action has ended, giving the public a chance to focus firmly on San Diego at Los Angeles. However, the series may have promised more drama a while back, when the Padres were making it look like a playoff run might just be in the offing. The ballclub has slumped since then, losing or drawing 6 series in a row since besting the Bums in early July. Since then, even the Marlins and Orioles have been able to overwhelm the Pads. It doesn’t look any better headed into the upcoming series opener at Dodger Stadium, as Joey Lucchesi lays awake thinking about Clayton Kershaw. The L.A. Dodgers are a sturdy (-200) favorite in a game with a plummeting (7.5) Over/Under total.
Rox a Popular Underdog ML in Dodgers Closer
It’s rather uncommon to see any subset of MLB gamblers wagering against the hurler named Ryu. Yet that is the case headed into Wednesday afternoon’s 3-game series closer between the Colorado Rockies and visiting L.A. Dodgers. It’s not as if scheduled Rox starter German Marquez can hold a candle to Hyun-Jin Ryu’s won-loss record or ERA on the season, and the ballgame at Coors Field will be a rubber match…not the classic bet-the-underdog-to-avoid-a-sweep on home turf scenario. Still gamblers have taken Colorado’s ML from an opening 1.4 to 1 to (+117) in just hours of betting action, while a falling O/U of (12) total runs (conservative for a game played in thin Rocky Mountain air) exhibits respect for both hurlers…not just the phenom who’ll pitch the back end of innings.
Pick: Dodgers to win
Brew Crew Also a Popular ‘Dog in Oakland
The Milwaukee Brewers are treading water, in danger of falling substantially behind the Cardinals or the Cubs in the NL Central. Good thing for the Brew Crew that the 2 aforementioned division front-runners are playing each other in a series at the moment, so 1 of the 2 has to lose each day. Milwaukee lost for the 2nd time in as many days on Tuesday, however, falling to the Oakland A’s in a series opener in NorCal. Oakland is sporting such a strong record at home that Las Vegas MLB bookies gave the 2nd-place club nearly 1-to-1.5 odds-to-win the follow-up on Wednesday night. Those numbers have lengthened to (-125) in a hurry as Milwaukee rivals Colorado as an underdog pick in a ballgame with a falling (9) run O/U total.
Yanks Avoid Fenway Sweep, Big Favs Over Snakes
The Boston Red Sox made up some ground with a 4-game series win over the Bronx Bombers at Fenway Park, but the Yankees won yesterday’s ballgame and hope to right the ship against visiting Arizona on Tuesday evening. Neither Yankee starter J.,A. Happ or guest hurler Taylor Clarke have posted sterling ERA or WHIP numbers in 2019, leading to a high (11.5) Over/Under total which has ticked up half a run since opening. Las Vegas MLB ‘cappers have little doubt who’s going to win the series opener though – New York is a strong (-230) favorite to prevail and remain nearly double-digit games ahead in the AL East.
Tight Moneylines for Busch as Cards and Cubs Meet for 3
Tuesday night’s expected Cardinals-Cubs starters Adam Wainwright and Yu Darvish are sporting identical 4.54 ERA numbers in late July, making the Vegas run total of (9) about on-par for a crucial NL Central series opener at New Busch Stadium. But it wouldn’t be surprising to see sluggers take center stage before the 3-game meeting reaches its 2nd chapter. Whenever Wilson Contreras knocks his next bean out of the park, the Cubbies (-112) will have 5 batters with 20+ home runs each. Meanwhile the Cards’ lineup is ravaged by injuries to players like Yadier Molina and Matt Carpenter, but Paul DeJong is responsible for 25 doubles and utility fielder Yairo Munoz is hitting a healthy .280.
Pick: Cubs to win
Nats Favored in Opener After Fighting Off Sweep
Washington is in a solid 2nd place position in the NL East going into a series at National Park against the division-leading Atlanta Braves. The Nats are too far behind in the race to catch up even if they win all 3 ballgames, but have to be feeling better about their chances after a heartening 11-4 win over the L.A. Dodgers on Sunday. Anthony Rendon is batting a healthy .317 and had a 3-for-4 day with a base-on-balls as D.C. avoided a costly sweep at the hands of the Bums. Monday evening’s hosts are (-150) favorites to handle Atlanta as Patrick Corbin throws against visiting Dallas Keuchel in a contest with a rising (9.5) Vegas total.
Strong Pitching Battles Thin Air in Denver
It must be fun to read the betting board alongside a newbie who doesn’t know how weather and air conditions can affect the flight of a baseball. Only in Colorado would a sky-high Over/Under total result from scheduled starts by a pair of quality hurlers. L.A.’s Kenta Maeda is a veteran who can contribute in spot duty or excel as a starter, and Jon Gray has just over a 4-run ERA which is excellent for any pitcher who must deal with the thin atmosphere and resulting slugger’s paradise of Coors Field. Still the Over/Under total is a nuclear (12.5) for Monday’s series opener as the Dodgers’ popular moneyline has shortened to (-140) with several hours’ worth of betting action.
Pick: Dodgers to win
Astros Favored at Busch Despite Hudson’s W/L
Friday’s headline in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports section proudly stated “Cardinals Soar Into 1st Place” in the NL Central. Gateway City fans have reason to be proud – the Redbirds recently swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in 4 games as Paul DeJong’s flawless batting day and a 9-run 2nd inning rally led to a statement 14-8 win on Wednesday. Gamblers are hard sells, though, and Las Vegas is not ready to mark the Cards (+110) as a favorite over the visiting Houston Astros in Sunday’s interleague rubber match between front-running clubs. 10-4 Dakota Hudson will pitch against Houston’s talented Wade Miley in a ballgame with a (9.5) Over/Under line.
Red Sox Favored to Complete Stunning Sweep of Yanks
It’s no surprise that an iconic rivalry ballgame like Boston Red Sox vs New York Yankees would be booked to feature on Sunday Night Baseball. But after watching the Bronx Bombers dominate the American League for most of the season, it’s surprising to see Beantown simply dominate the crucial 4-game series at Fenway Park. Sunday’s closer could result in a series sweep that would leave the Red Sox only 8 games back in the AL East. Yankee pitching has been savaged in the press as Boston (-180) has outscored New York 38-13 over 3 outings. Sunday evening’s contest could be the Yanks’ best chance to gain an advantage on the mound as 12-2 Domingo German takes on 5-9 Chris Sale, who gave up more than a run per inning to the L.A. Dodgers 2 weeks ago.
Pick: Yankees to win
Gamblers Love Twins in Chi-Town
Ivan Nova, Saturday evening’s scheduled Chicago White Sox hurler, has a full name that sounds like a last name, “Ivanova.” Unfortunately gamblers have pretty much spent their last ounce of patience waiting for the 2019 ChiSox to show some sign of life at Guaranteed Rate Field, and while there might be a few partisan speculators still hanging on in the Windy City, an MLB bettor’s middle name is always “profit.” That’s why starting hurler Martin Perez and the powerful Minnesota Twins are nearly a 1-to-2 wager (-180) to prevail over Nova and Chi-Town when the clubs meet for the 3rd time prior to Sunday afternoon’s closer. Minnesota could use a 4-game sweep and has a 2-0 start, but Vegas does not expect a methodical low-scoring win as the Over/Under line is a fat (10.5).
Pick: Twins to win
Rangers and Athletics Meet Again With Lines Tightening
Thursday’s series opener between Oakland and visiting Texas was not a close contest. The Rangers destroyed the A’s pitching staff for 10 runs in the 5th and 6th innings combined as switch-hitter Danny Santana drove shots all over the park in a monster 6-RBI outing. Friday’s ballgame was a somewhat more closely-contested affair, however, which may help explain the tightening moneylines for Saturday evening’s 3rd of 4 in NorCal. Expected starters Homer Bailey of the A’s and Adrian Sampson of the Rangers have fought to remain around .500 on the season, but neither’s ERA is anything to crow about. Still the Athletics are a (-160) ML favorite in Sin City based on the ballclub’s superior record and the Rangers’ lack of live bats and steady pitching over the last 2 weeks. The (9.5) run total is conservative given the so-so records on the mound but stands as a nod to Oakland’s 5th-ranked fielding stats.
Bums Favored in DC After Suffering Unlikely Sweep
L.A. Dodger opponents and “sweep” haven’t clung in conjunction very often in 2019. Leave it to the inspired Angels to pull it off. Though the cross-town rivalry series only lasted 2 games, the Halos still shocked the aristocrats of the National League, beating the Bums in a pair of 1-run outcomes. The Dodgers must now travel to face an improving Washington Nationals club that came within a trout’s scales of sweeping the Colorado Rockies in 4 straight this week. The .500 Nationals hurler Anibal Sanchez will pitch against vaunted visitor Hyun-Jin Ryu on Friday, marking L.A. a (-165) favorite in a twilight ballgame with a (9) run Vegas total.
Pick: Dodgers to win
Giants, Padres Meet Going in Opposite Directions
San Francisco is playing like crazy on the diamond, racing to make up lost ground after sliding into the NL West cellar in spring. The impressive Giants have won several series in a row despite facing tough foes like the Brewers and Cubs. Now, the team travels to meet the San Diego Padres, a franchise watching its postseason hopes dwindle as the calendar approaches August. The Pads are somehow still a (-145) favorite-to-win Friday’s series opener at PETCO Park despite losing yet another series to a below-.500 team in the New York Mets this week. Bookmakers believe that a Friday night start from Joey Lucchesi will stop the bleeding in SoCal, but to paraphrase a line from The Godfather Part III, Mr. Lucchesi would do well to remember that these Giants have very different ideas than the Giants of April or May.
Pick: Giants to win
Mound Mismatch Makes Nationals Huge Favorites
The Washington Nationals have been dominating a 4-game series against Colorado at Nationals Park. Still, handicappers who know the randomness of daily MLB results will tell you that the Nats’ (-310) moneyline for the closer on Thursday afternoon is an extremely short market for a regular season ballgame. As usual we can point to the mound for the impetus behind the number – vaunted Max Scherzer is returning to start for Washington after a brief sabbatical, having only allowed 1 run in his last 15 innings pitched. The Rockies’ 1-3 starter Jeff Hoffman is expected to provide less fierce resistance of an improving host batting order, as shown by the O/U total ticking up to (9) after opening lower.
Hot Bronx Bats Lead to Big O/U Total for Fenway
It’s safe to say that the New York Yankees are batting well. The club beat the Minnesota Twins 14-12 on Tuesday as shortstop Didi Gregorius had a career outing, going 5-for-5 with an incredible 7 RBIs while Aaron Judge and company did the rest to overcome shaky New York pitching. Vegas MLB ‘cappers are taking notice, offering a high (11) run Over/Under total for Thursday evening’s series opener against the rival Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Don’t sleep on Boston (-102) however, as the host Red Sox are slowly gaining ground in the American League and bested the Rays in a 3-game series early in the week.
Pick: Red Sox to win
Vegas MLB ‘Cappers Like Rangers – Bettors Like Them More
The Texas Rangers opened as thin road favorites to beat lowly Seattle in Wednesday’s series closer, but action on the visitors has driven Texas’ moneyline to (-135) already. Each club has had a lousy couple of weeks – the Rangers are hovering at .500 after dropping a number of series following the All-Star Break, and the Mariners have been simply dreadful after starting off with a few noteworthy upset wins in spring. Mike Leake has somehow managed an 8-8 record with a last-place team, and will throw against expected Texas starter Mike Minor. Bettors do not expect either pitching staff to spring more than minor leaks as the total is holding firm at (9) runs.
Halos Happening, But Competition Fierce in Rivalry 2-Gamer
Halo Nation is hoping that the L.A. Angels didn’t run into their cross-town rivals at a bad time. The improving ballclub has been feasting on poor opponents, beating the Seattle Mariners in 5 out of 6 recent outings. But a 2-game rivalry series with the L.A. Dodgers is upon us, and gambling commenced with the outcome on Tuesday’s game still in doubt. No matter – the public has chosen a solid favorite and it’s not the Angels. The Bums’ moneyline has already shortened to (-190) with the NL West leaders coming off a powerhouse sweep of Miami. Ross Stripling will start against visiting Jamie Barria, who is well-respected enough that the total (9.5) is in single-digits despite the looming presence of Cody Bellinger on the diamond.
Pick: Dodgers to win
Gamblers Like Archer, Buccos to Beat Cards at Home
Internal conflict at Pittsburgh Pirates headquarters and an on-paper mismatch on the mound helped Steeltown and St. Louis to nearly-matching opening lines for Tuesday evening’s 2nd of 4 ballgames at PNC Park. However, a dose of common sense from gamblers has the Pirates installed as a solid favorite just hours later. Likely Cardinals starter Dakota Hudson is 9-4 and his counterpart Chris Archer is just 3-6, and the Redbird hurler’s ERA is far superior. But Archer pitched well against St. Louis on the road last week, and the Pirates’ 2-game suspension of malfeasant relief pitcher Keone Kela is expected to have little impact on the outcome…especially as the 26-year-old hurler is just returning to the MLB ranks following his recovery from an injury suffered in May.
Pick: Cardinals to win
Giants, Cubs a Tight Handicap Once More in NorCal
The San Francisco Giants are probably tired of thinking of every series as a “must win.” But that’s the mentality it takes to make a run at the postseason after spending spring in the cellar. Madison Bumgarner is expected to start in the 2nd of 3 against the visiting Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night. That forces ‘cappers to compare the night-and-day circumstances of pitching for the lowly Giants in April compared to hurling for the surging Gigantes now. Bumgarner is in fine form having scarcely given up any runs in July, but opposing Yu Darvish is backed up by an elite skill-set and batters like .557 slugger Kris Bryant. A stingy (7.5) Vegas total demonstrates respect for both starting pitchers.
AL Front-Runners Tightly ‘Capped After Disappointments
Neither the AL East-leading New York Yankees or AL Central front-running Minnesota Twins got as much out of their most-recent series as they had hoped. The Pinstripes blew a chance to sweep the Rockies when James Paxton was batted out of the box in the 4th inning on Sunday, and the Twins have spent much of the past 4 days struggling to overcome Oakland while worrying about their pitching depth behind the scenes. Scheduled Twinkies starter Martin Perez can see opposing C.C. Sabathia’s 5-4 record and raise it a few Ws, but are the Yankees a (-120) favorite in Monday evening’s series opener thanks to their bullpen? The Over/Under total is a hefty (11) and handicappers clearly expect both clubs to use a handful of hurlers in the ballgame.
Giants Still Surging, Host Hot Cubs at AT&T Park
Every baseball fan’s favorite episode of M.A.S.H. involves Winchester losing thousands of dollars on Bobby Thompson’s iconic “Giants win the pennant!” home run. Teams that catch up in the pennant race as fast as Thompson’s did may be once-in-a-lifetime. But if San Francisco somehow contends for the NLCS crown this season, it will be an historic comeback in its own right. The ’19 Giants were a laughingstock in spring but have sprung out of the cellar with energy to burn, sweeping the Padres-in-3 and the Rockies-in-4 in July. Only problem is that the latest visitors from Chi-Town as as hot as the Midwestern summer – the Cubs have hardly lost any ballgames since the All-Star Break. Shaun Anderson will pitch against journeyman Alec Mills in Monday’s nighttime Giants-vs-Cubs opener with Chicago a (-112) favorite and the Over/Under set at a conservative (8.5) total runs.
Cards, Reds Offer Only Tight ML of Afternoon
There aren’t many tight Vegas MLB lines set for Sunday’s earliest round of 1st pitches. The Yankees are strongly favored to beat the Rockies, the Red Sox and Rays are shorter than 1-to-2 against the Orioles and ChiSox respectively, and the Indians are expected to feast on the Royals. The St, Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds are the lone well-matched meeting with identical (-110) markets for a 4-game series closer at Great American Ball Park. Cincy appears to be the more-popular moneyline after opening in plus-odds, curious since the Redbirds have stunned the Reds with offense during the series. Friday’s win for STL came with an epic 10-run 6th inning as swift shortstop Paul DeJong finished with 4 RBIs. Action is holding Sunday’s O/U total at a high (10.5).
Steady Lines, Towering O/U Total for Braves-Nats
Sunday Night Baseball figures to see plenty of action as the only MLB ballgame held in prime-time on the Sabbath. High-roller’s handle or not, the wagering on this Sunday night’s Atlanta Braves vs Washington Nationals series closer has not produced much line movement with the Braves a slender (-130) moneyline favorite since midday Saturday. The Over/Under total for SNB is a bold (11) runs as gamblers contemplate Kevin Gausman and visiting starter Austin Voth taking on a pair of dynamic NL East lineups. No contact hitters in the Braves batting order are fooling fielders often enough to crack the .300 mark, but 10+ Atlanta players are batting above .250. Gausman is also returning from injury rehab, another factor that should keep the Vegas total in double-digits.
Pick: Nationals to win
Yankees, Rox Play David vs Goliath in Bronx
Saturday’s MLB slate is full of tightly-handicapped markets bookies are daring each other to open first. The Houston Astros are raising a rabble about their arduous travel schedule, for instance, causing sportsbooks to come in late on a line for the Astros and the Rangers. But there was going to be little question about who plays the favorite in the afternoon’s earliest start. Masahiro Tanaka and the New York Yankees host the Colorado Rockies for the 2nd of 3 at Yankee Stadium as a (-250) moneyline wager. The Rox are taking enough action to move their ML to (+225) on Friday evening, with bettors noting that scheduled starter Antonio Senzatela actually has a slightly-superior W/L record with a much less prolific offense. The ballgame’s O/U has climbed to (11.5).
Subtle Fielding Factor Holds O/U in L.A.
The L.A. Dodgers will host the woeful Miami Marlins for 3 games in SoCal beginning on Saturday night, and gamblers are fairly sure of who’s going to win with the Bums a (-320) favorite. Something more subtle may be happening with the Over/Under total (8) despite the market’s lack of movement. An expected lopsided ballgame that could eventually see the losing skipper cut his losses will often generate more action on the Over. But gamblers are noting that Miami is a strong defensive club that can turn some of Cody Bellinger’s line drives into singles or outs, while L.A. starter Clayton Kershaw will keep Magic City’s offense at bay despite the Dodgers’ weaker fielding.
Cubs, Pads Begin Pivotal Series at Wrigley
It’s hard to think of other instances past the All-Star Break in which 1st-place and last-place clubs are meeting with both in the hunt for a postseason bid yet teetering on the brink of losing-out. Chicago’s grip on the NL Central has felt tenuous, and you can’t say much for the schedule with division rivals like Milwaukee and St. Louis always ready to rumble. As for the San Diego Padres (+145) who will visit Wrigley Field for Friday’s lone afternoon ballgame, it’s now or never to get rolling toward a Wild-Card seed. They’ve got the talent to pull it off, but we’ll see. The 3-game series opener pits visiting Eric Lauer vs Jon Lester, and though pitching staff shuffles have bookies nervous about setting an O/U total, Lauer and Lester are confirmed as scheduled by Major League Baseball.
Pick: Cubs to win
Tribe Basks in Hot Streak, Weak Opponent
The Cleveland Indians have been on fire since losing a pair of ballgames to the Minnesota Twins, and any club looking to overtake Minny in the AL Central could use a few series against cellar clubs once in a while. As if a 4-gamer against Detroit wasn’t enough, the woeful Kansas City Royals visit Progressive Field for an opener on Friday evening, and gamblers are placing a healthy number of bets on the Indians even with a commanding (-275) favorite’s number on the betting board. The total is only (9.5) which indicates some type of respect for visiting K.C. hurler Mike Montgomery. It’s clear that Las Vegas expects Cleveland starter Shane Bieber and a strong batting lineup to produce another methodical win against a patsy without the score getting out of hand.
Bettors Like Yanks in Extended Series vs Rays
The Bronx Bombers are having an astoundingly good season despite numerous injuries in springtime. But it sure seems like they’re stuck playing a tough Tampa Bay Rays club often. The Yankees and Rays played to a 2-2 stalemate in a 4-game series prior to the All-Star Break, and have been paired again for an entire work week’s worth of ballgames and a weather postponement on Hump Day. The eager rosters will try it again on Thursday evening with 11-2 Charlie Morton scheduled to start for visiting Tampa Bay. Gamblers seem to prefer the Yanks (-120) at home despite likely starter J.A. Happ’s pedestrian stat line.
Pick: Rays to win
Improving Giants, Mets Earn Respect from Sin City
Big Apple baseball is largely a 1-team show in 2019, but Mets fans will be frustrated if the club’s post-ASG improvement continues to go overlooked. The New York Mets have won 4 ballgames in a row, including an impressive 2-game sweep of Minnesota in which the AL Central-leading Twins were outscored 14-4 in the 2nd contest. But meanwhile the lines are deadlocked at (-110) apiece for the Metropolitans’ series opener vs San Francisco at AT&T Park on Thursday night. Perhaps the moneyline is less about skepticism of the NL East club and more about the Giants roaring out of the NL West cellar, beating the Colorado Rockies in 4 straight following surprise series-triumphs over the Padres, Brewers, and Cardinals. A falling O/U total of (7) indicates handicappers’ deep respect for starting hurlers Madison Bumgarner and Noah Syndergaard.
Action Moves Braves, Brewers Lines Again
The Atlanta Braves opened as (+110) underdogs to beat the Milwaukee Brewers in Wednesday afternoon’s rubber match at Miller Park. That was understandable enough – the Brew Crew has had a promising-enough campaign so far in a tightly-packed NL Central, and the hosts are in fine position to make a charge for the division lead in late summer despite slumbering out of the All-Star Break. But betting action on the Braves has moved Atlanta’s line to (-115), and why not? The visitors lost 3 times in the last 2 weeks, Freddie Freeman has an immense RBI total of 74 base runners knocked-in, and talented Dallas Keuchel is up in the rotation against Brewers hurler Chase Anderson. Not that the pitching staffs are getting all kinds of love in Las Vegas – the Over/Under line is (10) runs.
Gamblers Shy of Rodriguez and Red Sox…For Some Reason
Perhaps speculators are naturally wary of short-odds moneyline bets on Major League Baseball after a crazy spring full of big upsets. But the dog days are upon us, and it seems strange that bettors are ignoring the crushing advantages held by the host Boston Red Sox ((-250) after opening (-260)) over the visiting Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday evening. Yes, Toronto bats have been alive through a so-far split 3-game series. The ‘Jays won Tuesday’s ballgame 10-8 after a 4-run 9th inning rally as CF Teoscar Hernández finished with 3 RBIs. But expected guest hurler Aaron Sanchez has 1 of the worst stat lines in all of American baseball: 3-13 and a 6.10 ERA. Opposing starter Eduardo Rodriguez may not be an incarnation of Satchel Paige, but he’s pretty solid at 10-4 on the year.
Pick: Red Sox to win
Gamblers Finally Trust Nationals During Hot Streak
Moneyline speculators have been let down by the Washington Nationals at short odds a few times prior to the All-Star Break. However, the D.C. ballclub’s stock is rising in July, and a 1-to-2 betting line on the Nats to beat the Baltimore Orioles (+170) on Tuesday evening is holding as steady as she pleases despite the contest taking place at Camden Yards. A potential pitcher’s mound mismatch of visiting Austin Voth against Asher Wojciechowski (0-2, 6.10 ERA) puts doubt on the underdogs’ chances, while the uncertainty over both pitching staffs has prompted Las Vegas to place an (11) run total on the 2-game series opener.
M’s a Popular Pick Despite Jilted Betting Public
The Seattle Mariners were a hot underdog ML pick early in the 2019 season. Since then, the AL West ballclub has struggled against world-class foes and also-rans alike, and the M’s only have 2 wins in their last 10 ballgames. Still Seattle’s underdog line for Tuesday’s nightcap against the host Oakland A’s is among the more “sexy” wagers on the current MLB betting board, shrinking to (+150) after opening at 1.75-to-1.
Surely, gamblers can’t be thinking of recent history – the Athletics won a series against the Mariners prior to the All-Star Break and swept the Chicago White Sox following the classic in Cleveland.
Pick: A’s to win
Atlanta Overtakes Favorite’s Role in Milwaukee
The Atlanta Braves opened as slight underdogs headed into Monday evening’s series opener against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Vegas handicappers were noting that the Brew Crew is well above .500 at home, and Christian Yelich is just 1 of a few batters in the Milwaukee lineup who could push or surpass 100 RBIs on the season. But an injury to Gio Gonzalez has put strain on the hosts’ pitching staff, and the ballclub is struggling to get traction out of the All-Star Break. The Braves plan to start 9-4 Max Fried against Adrian Houser, and quickly earned a favorite’s ML of (-112) as the more-popular wager following Atlanta’s 3-game sweep of San Diego.
Pick: Braves to win
Bettors Love Underdog Pirates in NL Central Battle
It would take heavy action to make the Pittsburgh Pirates into a Monday night MLB favorite against the host St. Louis Cardinals after the club opened at longer than a 1.5-to-1 moneyline. But a few hours of betting have already helped Steeltown to a (+115) market as gamblers flock to the visitors. Expected Pirates starter Joe Musgrove is only 6-7 on the season, though opposing STL hurler Miles Mikolas has had just as many issues trying to get on track in 2019. Still the majority of MLB gamblers are expecting a dogfight and not a circus in the series opener at New Busch Stadium given the falling O/U total of (8.5).
Falling O/U Total Marks Closer in Cleveland
Fresh off their own Progressive Field hosting the 2019 All-Star Game, the Cleveland Indians have to feel pretty good about where they’re headed. The Tribe is well above .500 at home and on the road, and threatening the Minnesota Twins for 1st place in the AL Central. But the club has been slowed by losing the first 2 ballgames of a crucial series against Minny, and bettors are expecting a Sunday pitcher’s duel as Cleveland (-135) tries to avoid the broom. Visiting Jose Berrios of the Twins will pitch against host Shane Bieber in a ballgame with a falling (8.5) run total.
Pick: Indians to win
Sputtering Dodgers Not Favored for SNB in Beantown
The L.A. Dodgers and Boston Red Sox have split 2 mostly-lopsided ballgames of a 3-game series at Fenway Park, but the greater narrative going into July’s maiden installment of Sunday Night Baseball is that the Bums might be having their only slump of the season so far. The club lost 4 in a row prior to Saturday evening, and Hyun-Jin Ryu will start Sunday night’s closer in an effort to maintain a choke-hold on the NL West with a 2-1 series win. Not that bettors are trusting the ace to deliver against the surging Sawx – a scheduled start from David Price has the teams locked into (-110) moneylines while a healthy Vegas total of (9) portends a few extra-base hits and runs scored in early innings.
Gamblers Flock to Blue Jays Despite Weak Starter
It’s not a surprise to see the New York Yankees open as a 1-to-3 wager to beat a struggling MLB club. The Bronx Bombers have won 58 games – many while dealing with serious injury problems – and the Toronto Blue Jays scored nary a run against Domingo German and 2 other NY hurlers in Friday’s series opener at Yankee Stadium. Perhaps the betting public senses weakness in Saturday afternoon’s scheduled starter J.A. Happ who has an ERA of 5.02 despite a winning record. Toronto’s line-to-win has shortened to (+225) with several hours of wagering action, But it’s hard to see how the Jays could find an advantage on the mound with Clayton Richard and a thin bullpen against the AL East leaders.
Pick: Yankees to win
Flagging Mets Get Warm Reprieve in Florida
Meet the Mets! They’re double-digit ballgames below the .500 mark, but at least you can meet them in Miami. New York is a (-145) gamble to win Saturday evening’s 2nd-of-3 contests at Marlins Park, though the Fish pounded Friday’s starting hurler Jason Vargas for 6 earned runs. Noah Syndergaard will give it a whirl against youngster Zac Gallen, and the Over/Under is a stingy (7.5) total runs in Vegas despite Pete Alonzo and other talented batters in the lineup. Even Syndergaard is known to slug a few balls out of the park, though he’s been batting poorly in 2019 as trade rumors swirl.
Pick: Marlins to win
Cubs a Solid Favorite vs Pirates at Wrigley
Major League Baseball was back on the diamond in at least 1 ballpark Thursday, as the Houston Astros turned into a hot afternoon pick despite pitching unheralded Framber Valdez against 11-4 veteran Lance Lynn. Las Vegas seems equally confounded by the hurlers starting in Friday’s lone daylight contest, with bookmakers hesitating on an O/U total for an NL Central opener between the division-leading Chicago Cubs (-160) and visiting Pittsburgh Pirates. Expected Chicago starter Yu Darvish gave up a ton of hits to the Pirates on 7/3, but opposing hurler Chris Archer is doing some soul-searching after clashing with coaches over his tactics in early summer.
Pick: Cubs to win
Action Split on Red Sox, Bums at Fenway Park
Matching (-110) moneylines are the bettor’s conundrum as a marquee series kicks off between National and American Leagues in Boston on Friday evening. The L.A. Dodgers arrive with an MLB-best 60 wins, eager to right the ship after dropping 3 of 4 to San Diego headed into the All-Star Break. The host Boston Red Sox have been set on the mound with Eduardo Rodriguez scheduled as Friday’s starting pitcher, but the Bums dragged their feet before settling on Kenta Maeda fresh from his appearance in Cleveland. The potentially solid performances from the rubber must call into question a high (10.5) Over/Under despite the presence of Cody Bellinger, J.D. Martinez and other big bats aimed at the Green Monster.
(MLB All-Star Game 7/9)
Midsummer Classic Pits Epic Power vs Elite Hurlers
The 2017 and 2018 MLB All-Star Games were decided with 10th inning heroics, setting to rest any notion that AL and NL representatives would no longer play as hard without the promise of home field advantage in the World Series. Will Tuesday night’s Midsummer Classic turn into an epic slug-fest once again, or a cat-and-mouse game between world-class sluggers and hurlers?
Christian Yelich of the Brewers and Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers lead a National League offense that has knocked an amazing 426 home runs out of the park this year, while the American League can counter with big bats like D.J. LeMahieu of the Yankees and Carlos Santana of Progressive Field’s own Cleveland Indians.
Pitching staffs may use slightly disparate tactics to try to prevent big rallies in the contest, as the AL stable is full of fastballers and strike-out kings like Justin Verlander of the Astros, but the NL will feature crafty placement-hurler Hyun-Jin Ryu on the mound with teammates Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler waiting in the bullpen.
Las Vegas currently likes the American League as a slight (-105) moneyline favorite in an All-Star Game with an (8.5) O/U run total.
Pick: National League to win
Halos Bring the Fight to Space City
The final ballgame prior to an All-Star Break is arguably more crucial than most of the other 161 games on a Major League Baseball schedule. Clubs are hoping to go into a well-earned sabbatical with a victory and a positive frame of mind. Houston’s powerful roster is likely to remain confident no matter what, of course, as the Astros are above .750 at Minute Maid Park and are holding a commanding lead in the AL West. But the Los Angeles Angels (+145) have climbed above the .500 mark with inspired performances on the diamond following the untimely death of hurler Tyler Skaggs.
Pick: Astros to win
Cards Try to Solve or at Least Spell Samardzija in Cali
San Francisco is still solidly in the cellar of the NL West, but a number of factors are causing MLB gamblers to move on the club’s underdog moneyline to prevail in a series closer against St. Louis at AT&T Park. Cardinal catcher Yadier Molina is injured, and the Giants are winning more games than the Redbirds in the short term. Furthermore while a pitching match-up of visiting Jack Flaherty vs host hurler Jeff Samardzija might have been seen as lopsided a while back, Samardzija nearly pitched a complete game against the Padres on 7/1 and could be rounding into better form. The Gigantes are a (+105) wager in a contest with a steady (8.5) Las Vegas total.
Slim Majority of Bettors Like Brew Crew at PNC
Line movement on Las Vegas MLB odds can be drastic or subtle. In the case of Saturday afternoon’s ballgame at PNC Park between the Pittsburgh Pirates and visiting Milwaukee Brewers, the latter is the case. Lines appear to have opened with each club priced equally, but slightly more gamblers have taken the Brew Crew to win, driving Milwaukee’s moneyline to (-115). The Brew Crew is in 2nd place in the NL Central but not playing exceptional baseball, while the Pirates’ home record isn’t much better than the Brewers’ dismal road mark. The reason for the betting action could be on the mound – Adrian Houser has a superior ERA to expected host hurler Trevor Williams.
Pick: Brewers to win
Total Falling on Maeda Start in L.A.
L.A.’s record at Dodger Stadium is truly astounding. The Bums racked up another win in front of the faithful in the 1st of 4 against the visiting San Diego Padres in a 5-1 clubbing on Thursday before dropping the next game, a bizarre affair in which the umpire did not call timeout during a 7.1 earthquake that rattled the upper deck. Of course the 60-30 Bums are favored to beat the Padres again on Saturday night with a moneyline of (-160). But the Over/Under total has dropped to just (8) runs. Visiting starter Chris Paddack is no slouch, to be sure, but we’re thinking that an appearance from 7-4 Kenta Maeda of the Dodgers has more to do with it.
Pick: Dodgers to win
Hot Nationals Favored Despite Unproven Hurler
It’s time to check in on the Washington Nationals again, a club that floundered with various slumps and disappointments throughout spring but is now starting to climb prior to the All-Star Break. The Nats are coming off a 3-game sweep of the Miami Marlins, with Anthony Rendon and Gerardo Parra combining for 4 hits and 4 RBIs in a comeback 5-2 victory on Thursday. Unproven 27-year-old pitcher Austin Voth will take the mound for Washington when the team hosts Kansas City in a series opener at Nationals Park on Friday evening. He’s taking on Brad Keller, however, a hurler who has lost more than twice as many ballgames as he was won this season. Will batters produce extra fireworks on the day after July 4th? The surging Nationals are the favorite at (-180) in a contest with a rising (10.5) Las Vegas total.
Giants a Popular Wager to Win 5th in a Row
Is an upset really an upset if gamblers expect it to happen? The San Francisco Giants are in last place in the National League West division and have been going to the plate with wiffle-ball bats for much of the 2019 season. They’re hosting the St. Louis Cardinals in a series opener on Friday night, and Las Vegas’ MLB bookies posted a “reputation”-influenced betting line of (-135) on the Redbirds. Action has quickly driven the ballgame’s moneyline to matching (-110) odds in both directions, thanks largely to the Giants’ 4-game winning streak that includes a series-sweep of San Diego. That’s despite scheduled San Francisco starter Drew Pomeranz being 2-8 with an ugly ERA and throwing against Dakota Hudson. A rising (8.5) total indicates respect for the Giants’ suddenly-solid wood bats or at least the club’s current momentum on offense.
Pick: Cardinals to win
Bettors Reject Tribe For Closer in KC
Gamblers may be in just as patriotic of a mood as the rest of the public headed into the 4th of July. They’re not projecting any good vibes toward the Cleveland Indians, however, a club which opened as a solid favorite and is now only a (-120) wager to win the 3rd of 3 ballgames at Kauffman Stadium on Thursday. Expected visiting starter Zach Plesac is only 3-3 on the season, but why would a far-superior team get downgraded on Las Vegas MLB betting boards after whipping the Royals in 2 straight games? Probably because “system” gamblers expect the lowly hosts to play very hard and try to avoid a sweep-against in their own park.
Pick: Indians to win
Braves Take Heavy Action for Independence Day
If the betting public is most-skeptical about Cleveland’s chances to complete a road sweep of Kansas City, a majority of high-rollers are quite satisfied that the Atlanta Braves will take care of business against the visiting Philadelphia Phillies on July 4th evening. Atlanta has the momentum at 5.5 games ahead of the 2nd-place Phils in the NL East, and rebounded from a series-opening loss to post a 9-2 win on Wednesday in which Josh Donaldson slugged a 3-run blast. Starting hurler Mike Soroka creates a green-light special for moneyline gamblers who have quickly moved the Braves’ line-to-win the rubber match to (-170). But an Over/Under total of (10.5) indicates that ‘cappers are expecting a few “fireworks” at SunTrust Park to go along with those in Washington D.C.
Bettors “Cease” To Take ChiSox Stable Lightly
Major League Baseball’s 2019 All-Star Break is just a week away, and Detroit Tigers closer Shane Greene will be representing the Motor City Kitties in Cleveland. This Wednesday afternoon, however, it’s another hurler who has caught gamblers’ attention as the Tigers visit the Chicago White Sox in an improvised “series opener” thanks to a postponement on Tuesday that forces a mid-week doubleheader. Dylan Cease is a 23-year-old prospect who is getting great reviews from scouts prior to his impending MLB debut with the ChiSox, and bettors are taking heed of the tips as an O/U line that began in double-digits has shrunk to (9.5) total runs.
Pick: White Sox to win
Bums Big Favorites at Home vs Snakes
Oddsmakers play the percentages knowing that many outcomes are always possible. But sometimes, you can tell that a majority of bookies and gamblers have a specific score in mind. The L.A. Dodgers are a (-260) favorite to defeat the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night, and the Over/Under total is rigid at a perfectly-balanced (8) runs. With (-125) on the Run Line, it’s pretty clear that Sin City expects a routine 5-3 victory for the Dodgers. Walker Buehler will start for the hosts and is unlikely to lose for only the 2nd time in double-digit starts, while visiting hurler Merrill Kelly is under .500 but solid enough to frustrate Cody Bellinger and the Bums for at least a few innings.
Cubs, Pirates See Balanced Action for 2nd of 4 at PNC Park
Major League Baseball on Tuesday evening will be played with heavy hearts on the diamond. 27-year-old Tyler Skaggs of the Los Angeles Angels has passed away under mysterious circumstances, leading the Halos to cancel Monday’s planned meeting with the Texas Rangers. Perhaps some hardball gamblers are in no mood to speculate and wager big dollars at the moment – for whatever reason the Chicago Cubs (-120) and Pittsburgh Pirates are seeing balanced action and little line-movement headed into Tuesday evening’s contest at PNC Park. Joe Musgrove will start against visiting Kyle Hendricks in the 2nd of 4 between the NL Central rival as the Vegas run total holds at a steady (9) even.
Yankees Return to America…and Possibly Earth
Playing in a Japanese-style ballpark all the way over in England tends to make hurlers jet-lagged while making power hitters happy. The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox combined for 12 runs in the opening frame of a 2-game series in London, finishing 18 innings with 50 total tallies as the Bronx Bombers won both ballgames by 4 runs apiece. It would be an understatement to say that gamblers don’t expect as many fireworks at Citi Field on Tuesday as the Vegas total is a modest (8.5) for Mets vs Yankees. But perhaps high-rollers are thinking the Yanks will be a little hung over from the triumphant trip, lengthening the visitors’ line to (-140) with just a few hours of wagering action.
Matching Moneylines for Brewers-Reds in Cincy
Many of Major League Baseball’s marquee clubs are sitting out on Monday evening. The Dodgers aren’t scheduled to play, and the Yankees and Red Sox deserve a day off after a wild 2-game series in the United Kingdom. Never fear – the NL Central could provide a barn-burner – or at least a well-matched and entertaining contest – as the 2nd-place Milwaukee Brewers visit a Cincinnati Reds team still trying to work its way out of the cellar. Scheduled host starter Tyler Mahle is 2-8 on the season and may have been a big reason why Las Vegas opened its O/U totals above the 10-run mark, but gambling action has quickly shrunk the line to (10) even to go along with matched (-110) odds-to-win in 9 or more innings.
Pads Hope to Maintain Momentum in Series vs SF
The San Diego Padres have acquitted themselves fairly well in ballgames against stout NL West foes like the Dodgers and the Rockies in spring and early summer. But there’s nothing like a series at home against a weaker rival to help build on recent momentum that has the club surfacing above .500. Vegas action on Monday’s series-opening nightcap between the Pads and visiting San Francisco Giants is intriguing as bookmakers don’t agree on whether the O/U run total should be (8) or (8.5) runs. But more so than San Diego’s superior batting, a potentially lopsided match-up on the mound between visiting Jeff Samardzija and host hurler Logan Allen (2-0, ERA 1.38) has moneyline speculators taking Padres-to-win at (-170) payoff odds.
Pick: Padres to win
Understanding MLB Betting Markets
Moneyline – A moneyline is a wager on which Major League Baseball team will win the game outright. Moneylines are listed in fractions relating to a $100 amount – to win $100 on a favorite you must gamble the number next to the “-“ symbol, while a $100 wager on the underdog will pay off with the amount next to the “+” symbol.
Run Line – This is the traditional MLB “point spread” always set at (+/- 1.5) runs. We will rarely make Run Line picks on the Daily Double, but have included one with our Wednesday launch of the blog just for aficionados of a time-honored betting market.
Total Runs – Occasionally we’ll make a pick on the “Over/Under” or “total runs” market for a ballgame, a proposition on whether more or less runs than the Vegas number will be scored by both MLB clubs combined in a given contest.
To learn more about these daily hardball betting markets (and how to play them successfully) visit WagerBop’s MLB betting strategy portal.
Kurt has authored close to 1000 stories covering football, soccer, basketball, baseball, ice hockey, prize-fighting and the Olympic Games. Kurt posted a 61% win rate on 200+ college and NFL gridiron picks last season. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.