Afternoon MLB Odds Update
Have the sportsbooks left us some valuable MLB betting opportunities tonight? Let's examine the odds one last time before the action starts.
Justin Masterson and Andy Pettitte are about as reliable as they come. Masterson has been a thorn in New York's side recently, while Pettitte's experience could come in handy against a Cleveland lineup that's as solid as they come.
Even with both pitchers capable of shutting down opponents, Joe Freda has decided that the best bet is to go with the OVER 8 runs. There will be a lot of great hitters on show, so this isn't too wild of a pick in the slightest.
Again one of our MLB cappers is recommending a play on the OVER, only this time it comes in St. Louis' series opener at home against Arizona. The O/U is at 7.5 runs, while the Cardinals are -150 favorites.
Both of these offenses are highly productive. They rank in the top ten in batting average and are also in the top half in runs scored and on base percentage. Willie Bee doesn't feel comfortable making a play on a side, so he's looking for a lot runs to be put on the board instead.
Here's another series that we're eager to keep following throughout the week. The Braves and Pirates are playing excellent baseball, but Atlanta's (-120) the side that's favored to win in tonight's series opener at Turner Field.
A.J. Burnett, who's enjoying another fine campaign in 2013, will be hoping his team can finally back him up with some runs. But, when it comes to makes his final sports picks, Willie Bee is banking on another pitcher's duel, meaning the UNDER 7 runs is the play.
Switching gears, we head out west for a battle between two National League ballclubs that are below .500. San Diego still has the edge over Los Angeles in the NL West though and, given they have the superior pitcher on the mound, are appropriately listed as favorites tonight.
The Dodgers would have likely had a better chance of a win if Chris Capuano (triceps) was able to go, but he's been scratched and will be replaced by Stephen Fife. L.A. is dealing with some injuries and are not playing well by any stretch of the imagination, so Ron Patrick's certainly not going to be the only one who backs the Padres at -110 in the MLB odds.
Would you believe the Astros are one win away from a four-game sweep of the Angels in L.A.? Well, taking into consideration how disappointing the Angels have been this season, it's probably not that unthinkable.
Still, Houston's hot streak hasn't swayed oddsmakers from making them staggering underdogs (+165) for tonight's series finale. Joe Freda is touching a moneyline play – he's instead picking the UNDER 9 runs, as both Erik Bedard and Joe Blanton have settled down a little bit as of late.
Neither of these teams inspire much confidence when trying to decipher the best betting value with your MLB picks, but Ron Patrick has decided that Seattle is the best play for tonight's ballgame at Safeco.
John Danks hasn't impressed much since returning, while Joe Saunders has done extremely well at home this season. So, with his sports picks, Ron is backing a Mariners win at roughly -110. The total, if you're interested, is listed at 7.5 runs.
Biggest ML Favorites
Philadelphia Phillies (-190) vs. Miami Marlins
Los Angeles Angels (-180) vs. Houston Astros
St. Louis Cardinals (-155) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Cincinnati Reds (-135) vs. Colorado Rockies
Atlanta Braves (-120) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Indians (Masterson) vs. Yankees (Pettitte)
The Yankees lost their series finale against the Red Sox yesterday, but will begin a new set against another good American League team in the Indians tonight. Cleveland is 30-26 overall and 12-14 on the road this season.
Though New York is starting to get healthy again, this is going to be a very tough series, especially in game one with Justin Masterson (8-3, 3.07 ERA) pitching. Still, we can't forget about Andy Pettitte's veteran savvy and oddsmakers still obviously respect the left-hander – the Bronx Bombers are -123 favorites.
Diamondbacks (Cahill) vs. Cardinals (Lynn)
This should be one heck of a series between two division-leading teams, which is why Willie Bee will be following along for the ride. The Diamondbacks are 32-24, 2.5 games up on San Francisco and Colorado in the NL West, while the Cardinals are 37-19 with a similar lead over Pittsburgh and Cincinnati in the NL Central.
Trevor Cahill (3-5, 2.88 ERA) and Lance Lynn (7-1, 2.91 ERA) are unlikely to disappoint in the opener, but it's St. Louis that's been installed as a hefty favorite. The Cardinals are trading at -160, which is one of the highest chalk numbers on the MLB odds boards Monday night.
Pirates (Burnett) vs. Braves (Medlen)
The Braves continue to play great baseball and have now built up a 6.5-game lead in the NL East. They're 34-22 overall and have gone 18-7 at Turner Field, which will play host to tonight's game against Pittsburgh.
It's not like the Pirates have been playing poorly either. They've gone 6-4 over their last 10 and are breathing down on the Cardinals in the division. With the way A.J. Burnett's been pitching, Pittsburgh could very well steal an upset in the opener, though Kris Medlen and Atlanta (-140) are still the clear favorites.
Padres (Stults) vs. Dodgers (Fife)
Chris Capuano has been scratched from his start due to a triceps strain, meaning Stephen Fife will pick up a spot assignment against San Diego tonight. In his sole outing this season, he surrendered seven hits and four earned runs in 4.2 IP.
The Padres will be countering with Eric Stults, who has really settled down after a horrible month of April (5.67 ERA). In six May starts, the southpaw went 2-2 with a 2.66 ERA, while batters hit .222 against him. Be sure to check back with us later to see what the MLB odds look like, as well as Ron Patrick's free picks for this game.
Astros (Bedard) vs. Angels (Blanton)
Just when it appeared as if the Angels were starting to turn things around, they dropped each of their first three home games to the Astros. They had gone 10-3 in their last 13 before the series started, but now they're in danger of getting swept by the team with the second-worst record in baseball.
You've got to give a ton of credit to this gritty Houston ballclub though. They've won five straight and will look to make that six up against Joe Blanton, who's 1-8 with a 5.94 ERA on the year. However, the Angels are -190 favorites and we're anxious to see what MLB picks Joe Freda comes up with.
White Sox (Danks) vs. Mariners (Saunders)
The Mariners have opened up as -110 favorites for this home affair against the White Sox. Chicago has been terrible lately, losing six in a row to put them at 24-30 overall for the season. Coming in, the White Sox have gone 11-19 on the road.
John Danks will be making his third start of the season for Chicago – he's given up three runs in each of his appearances so far. As for Seattle, they'll have Joe Saunders taking the bump, and he's actually put up some solid numbers at Safeco in 2013, though his overall performances (5.57 ERA) suggest anything's possible.