When it seems like a team is going to pull a sweep, baseball handicappers like yours truly must weigh the MLB odds to understand the true probability. We've taken on this task in our Pitching Preview.
Reds vs. Padres: Shields Tries to Protect Padres Sweep
Evidently, nothing makes a team feel better coming off a five-game losing streak than a playing Cincinnati, as San Diego has won the first two games of the series and goes for the sweep this afternoon. James Shields (8-4, 3.75 ERA) will climb the hill to do the job for Padres as he is still a subject of trade rumors. It was rather stunning Shields and a few other were not moved because the chances of San Diego even becoming a wild card contender were less remote than Klyie Jenner not posting pictures of herself turning 18.
Shields himself is a bit of a wild card for sports picks, not having won in his last four starts and being taken deep 24 times this season, with way too many pitches left in the zone. This explains bettors uncertainty about him and San Diego falling 10 cents to -130 (Heritagesports.eu has the Pads at -126) even as the Reds offense continues to scuffle. However, day baseball and Cincinnati have not gone together with a 11-24 record and the Friars are 12-3 after a game with a combined score of 15 runs or more the last two seasons. Use the home team for MLB picks.
Advantage - Shields and San Diego
Tigers vs. Royals: Volquez and Kansas City Want Full Payback
Though Mel Gibson has fallen off the map as an actor/director, he played a good part in the 1999 movie 'Payback'. The Royals are in the same position as Gibson, having lost at recent series at Detroit, but are very much interested in slamming the door on the Tigers and their four-year reign as AL Central champions.
Kansas City is hotter than boiling water on the stove, winners of seven straight at Kauffman Stadium and 16 of 19 there. Manager Ned Yost will utilize Edinson Volquez (11-6, 3.11) who has a 2.28 ERA in his last seven starts. "Volky's been really, really good for us here all year long, but especially his last three or four starts, he's been excellent," Yost told MLB's official website.
While Detroit won previous series over K.C., they have not handled the overall situation of being a team just fighting to stay alive for playoff berth, losing seven of last 11 contests. The Royals are chalky -180 favorites with their stellar 39-18 home record and with Volquez 18-6 as a home favorite of -110 or higher the last two seasons (Team's Record), Kansas City is a strong choice for MLB picks.
Advantage - Volquez and Kansas City
Angels vs. White Sox: Chicago to Give Angels a Devil of a Time
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are in their worst road slump since 1993, having lost eight in row. They also have not dropped three in a row on the south side of Chicago in five years.
White Sox pitchers have bottled up and the purely yo-yo offense of the Halos, holding them to two runs thus far. Left-hander John Danks (6-9, 4.79) will try and close the deal for the Pale Hose tonight and he's yielded one run over 18 1/3 innings in his last three home starts, personally winning twice.
The Chi-Sox are +117 home underdogs against the Angels rookie Andrew Heaney (5-1, 2.45), who looks to rebound from his worst start of the season after yielding four runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings while not factoring in the decision. The lefty is 2-1 with a 1.83 ERA on the road this season and the ChiSox are just 12-30 at home after two or more consecutive wins since 2013.
Disadvantage - Danks and Chicago