From the ten matches on Monday's baseball schedule, this handicapper has honed in on these three as they feature starting pitcher mismatches which afford us opportunity for profit.
Evidently, The Bangles also knew something about what another week of checking out the betting odds besides trying to just get to work on time from their hit song back in 1985.
OK, fine, maybe singer Susanna Hoffs really did not or does not care about the sportsbooks, but I never thought her or the rest of girls really "Walked Like an Egyptian" either.
However, for sports picks, Hoffs and the ladies were dead on about today, as we have three 'manic' matchups involving quality teams or top end pitchers, which seems to have baseball handicappers burning the 'Eternal Flame' by this time of year. Let's get to it!
Twins vs. Yankees: NY Looks to Bury Minnesota
To some extent, tonight's Twins starter Kyle Gibson's season has mirrored that of his teammates, solid first half and very shaky since the All-Star break. Gibson (8-9, 3.75 ERA) since the break is 0-3 with a 7.39 mark in his last five outings and with a arduous road trip ahead, Minnesota desperately needs a strong start, being two games behind Baltimore for the last wild card slot.
The Yankees escaped Toronto with the division lead and is back home where they are 32-21 (+1 unit). New York will start C.C. Sabathia (4-9, 5.23), who has been modestly better since his horrific start to the season. As we have chronicled here, the big left-hander is trying to hang on to what has been a great career, but no longer has the tools to be regularly effective.
Despite Sabathia's problems, the Yankees are still -150 favorites at Wagerweb.ag because Gibson in four starts against the Bronx Bombers has a Big Gulp sized ERA of 10.70 with a 1-3 record. Nonetheless, Minnesota has not lost a road series to the Yankees in three years and has taken four of the last six confrontations.
Slight Advantage - Sabathia and New York
Giants vs. Cardinals: NLCS Rematch Under The Arch
This is the first meeting between San Francisco and St. Louis since last October when Giants took out the Cardinals in five games to win the National League crown and go on to be World Series champions for the third time in five seasons.
San Francisco is two games behind the rival Dodgers in the NL West and begins as rugged a road trip as you can imagine, against the Cards and later this week at Pittsburgh, who only happen to have the two best home win percentages in the majors. The Giants just swept woeful Washington in a four-game series and will utilize Chris Heston (11-7, 3.38) who seeks his first victory this month.
St. Louis counter with Michael Wacha (14-4, 2.93), who's allowed two runs in 20 innings while winning his last three starts. The Redbirds are up to -154 home favorites and will look to improve upon 44-18 record (+18) at Busch Stadium and they are 19-4 at home with a hot bullpen whose WHIP is under 1.20 in the last 10 games this season.
Advantage - Wacha and St. Louis
Athletics vs. Orioles: Baltimore Seeks Sweep in Wrap-Around Series with Oakland
Baltimore has scored 30 runs and banged out 48 hits against Oakland pitching in winning the first three games of the series, which wraps around to the finale on Monday. Chances are the Orioles will not have the same success against the A's ace Sonny Gray (12-4, 2.06) who was supposed to start last Thursday, but was scratched because of back spasms, but threw 25 pitches on Saturday in a session and was declared ready to go.
Gray will take on the O's Chris Tillman (8-7, 4.66), who is 6-0 with a 3.57 ERA in his last 11 starts. Coming off an ankle sprain he was lucky not to lose in allowing five runs in allowing 2 2/3 innings in his previous start. Though the Birds have won 14 of 21 to take over the last wild card spot and are still in position to defend their AL East crown, I prefer Gray and Oakland at +100 for MLB picks, since he's been a sensational 6-0 with a 1.05 ERA in his last seven road starts.
Slight Advantage - Gray and Oakland