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Sports BIT: Rockies-Snakes, Yankees-Astros & 2017 Lions

May NBA Cruel To Sportsbooks

It was a mixed back for Nevada sportsbooks in May betting action. They took $96.2 million in action on the NBA but lost $4.4 million. That’s the worst month in nearly 20 years on the NBA. The previous worst was in April 1997 when the books lost $3.5 million. On the bright side, those sportsbooks won $6.6 million baseball in May, a nearly 130 percent increase from May. Bettors kept backing the two World Series teams from last year, the Cubs and Indians, and kept losing on them.

Colorado Rockies at Arizona Diamondbacks

Two of the NL’s most surprising teams open a series in the desert on Friday as Colorado visits Arizona. The Rockies could be fading as they enter on a season-high eight-game losing streak to fall back in the NL West. The Diamondbacks are hanging right on the tails of the first-place Dodgers. Colorado gets back projected No. 1 starter Jon Gray here. He hasn’t pitched since mid-April due to a broken left foot. Gray threw 13.1 innings across three rehab starts. Colorado starters have a 5.13 ERA this month so he’s needed. It’s Robbie Ray for Arizona. He was 13-27 with a 4.32 ERA the past two seasons combined but is 8-3 with a 2.87 ERA this year because he’s using and succeeding with his curveball much more in 2017. “It keeps guys honest, it just makes my fastball that much better. I think mechanically I became more consistent so it became more consistent,” he said.

New York Yankees at Houston Astros

It’s a potential AL playoff preview, and this weekend is the last regular-season meeting between the Yankees and Astros. Houston took three of four in the Bronx back in May. It’s Michael Pineda on the hill for New York. His home run per fly-ball percentage has skyrocketed to 22.4 percent this year. Pineda lost to Houston on May 11, allowing three runs (one homer) over 6.2 innings. Houston’s Lance McCullers Jr. is one of the best young pitchers in the AL and is 7-1 with a 2.53 ERA this year. McCullers won at Yankee Stadium on May 12, shutting out the Bombers on four hits over six.

Deep Dive On 2017 Detroit Lions

Four current franchises in the NFL have never played in a Super Bowl: Houston, Jacksonville, Cleveland and the Detroit Lions. The Lions haven’t won a division title since 1993, the longest drought in the NFC. They were on the way to the North title last year at 9-4, but Matthew Stafford injured his finger in Week 14. He wasn’t the same after and Detroit didn’t win again. Stafford led an NFL single-season record eight fourth-quarter comeback wins. The Lions focused on defense early in the 2017 draft in selecting Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis in Round 1 and Florida cornerback Teez Tabor in Round 2. Linebacker and cornerback were two big needs. So was defensive end as the Lions needed to find one who can play on all three downs opposite Ezekiel Ansah. They don’t appear to have found said player. Detroit is given a wins total of 7.5 for this season.