Updated MLB Picks: Thursday Baseball Odds & Betting Report

Steven Suarez

Thursday, May 23, 2013 11:35 AM GMT

Thursday, May. 23, 2013 11:35 AM GMT

What? Only five games on Thursday? Obviously we better make the most of our MLB picks with today's small slate.

Here's an updated overview of how the baseball odds are shaping up for the rest of tonight's small slate of games. 

The early game featured the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates, with the Pirates going for the sweep at home. Swingin' Johnson, however, was all over the underdog price on the Cubs (+127). 

Check out what else is coming up tonight. 

Indians (McAllister) vs. Red Sox (Dempster) 

Terry Francona returns to his old stomping grounds tonight, with his Indians set to kick off a series with the Red Sox. The MLB odds have stood relatively still, with Boston favored at -140 and the total at 9.5 runs. 

Both Cleveland and Boston have been doing well this season, with the former in first place in the AL Central and the latter just a half-game back of the Yankees in the AL East. The two teams are also both 6-4 over their last 10. 

In the end, Willie Bee has come up with his final play and he's taking on some more chalk and siding with the Red Sox. You may also want to consider a play on the run-line, that is if you really like Boston's chances and want to get more value. 

[gameodds]3/227462/43/us[/gameodds] 

Orioles (Gausman) vs. Blue Jays (Morrow) 

Do we go with youth or experience for tonight's matchup between Baltimore and Toronto? Brandon Morrow has struggled, but we've seen what he's capable of when on his game.

As for the Orioles, they have very promising Kevin Gausman making his debut. He was in college last year and has only featured in 13 games at the minor league level, so one has to question whether or not he's really ready for this next step.

That said, when you've got good stuff, you've got good stuff. And sometimes that's all that matters. But Willie Bee isn't going to focus on a moneyline play – he's rolling with the OVER 9.5 runs, as he expects somewhat of a rough debut for the rookie. 

[gameodds]3/227461/43/us[/gameodds] 

Angels (Blanton) vs. Royals (Santana) 

There has been some up-and-down movement for this game. Originally the Royals were favored at -143, but now they're listed at -128, with there still being plenty of time for further shifts before the first pitch is thrown out.

In terms of pitching, Kansas City seemingly has the clear-cut advantage. Joe Blanton has been an absolute disaster this season, while Ervin Santana has been pitching well for the Royals so far.

If you think plenty of runs will be put on the board tonight, you might want to consider the OVER 8.5 runs, which is at -105 right now. The Angels have started to hit the ball much better as of late, so you never know.

[gameodds]3/227463/43/us[/gameodds]

Twins (Diamond) vs. Tigers (Porcello)

Ron Patrick was tasked with coming up with his favorite MLB pick for Detroit's opening game against Minnesota and he's done so. What's his preferred play? 

It's got to be Detroit or nothing in his estimation. He can't help but feel the price on Rick Porcello and the Tigers is a little too steep on the moneyline though, so instead he's going with a run-line play to get back more value if it hits. 

There's a reason the total is as high as it is (9 runs). Minnesota may not be the most dangerous offensive team around, but Detroit by themselves can put up double-digits in the run department on any given night. Two words: Miguel Cabrera. 

[gameodds]3/227460/43/us[/gameodds]

Biggest ML Favorites 

Detroit Tigers (-160) vs. Minnesota Twins

Boston Red Sox (-140) vs. Cleveland Indians

Kansas City Royals (-130) vs. Los Angeles Angels

Toronto Blue Jays (-120) vs. Baltimore Orioles

 


Let's go over some of the games we are looking at with our MLB picks today.

Indians (McAllister) vs. Red Sox (Dempster)

Despite numerous rain delays, offensive production was not a problem whatsoever in Cleveland's series finale against Detroit last night. They ended up losing 11-7 and now sit at 26-19 overall on the season. 

Now the Indians must turn their attention to the Red Sox, who return home to Fenway after a very successful road trip which saw them go 6-3 against the Rays, Twins, and White Sox. For game one this evening, Boston can be backed at a price of -150.

The Red Sox have Ryan Dempster (2-4, 4.27 ERA) throwing, while the Indians send out Zach McAllister (3-3, 2.65 ERA). Dempster's allowed five or more earned runs over his last two outings – will Willie Bee predict another meltdown for him tonight?

Orioles (Gausman) vs. Blue Jays (Morrow) 

Momentum could be back on Baltimore's side after they took two of three against the Yankees earlier this week. Jason Hammel pitched a solid game in the finale last night, leading to a 6-3 win for the Orioles. 

It's time for Baltimore to head back on the road now after a lengthy home-stand and Willie will be covering this series. They'll have a four-game set against Toronto and then will play two in the nation's capital against Washington. 

The Orioles have called up prospect Kevin Gausman, who was the fourth overall pick in the 2012 draft, to start tonight's game. There's a lot of buzz about this kid, but it's the Blue Jays that are -135 favorites in the MLB odds. They'll have Brandon Morrow (1-3, 5.16 ERA) on the hill.

Angels (Blanton) vs. Royals (Santana)

Don't look now, but the Angels have won four straight games and are eight games under .500. They have four road games coming up in Kansas City and the Royals have been struggling lately after an excellent start. 

Heading into tonight, the Royals have lost five of their last six games and are 4-11 over their past 15 matchups overall. When it comes to the baseball odds, Kansas City is favored at -130, while L.A. is at +120. The total's at nine runs. 

At first glance, Kansas City should be able to get a win here. Ervin Santana has been solid with his 2.77 ERA, while the Angels are sending out the struggling Joe Blanton, who's still yet to win this season. He's got an ERA of 6.62 and WHIP of 1.97.

Twins (Diamond) vs. Tigers (Porcello) 

What's on Ron Patrick's mind for tonight's game? He has to choose between two pitchers that instill little to no confidence for this opener between Detroit (24-19 overall, 13-7 at home) and Minnesota (18-25 overall, 9-12 on the road). 

Both Scott Diamond (3-4, 4.99 ERA) and Rick Porcello (2-2, 5.92 ERA) have been having a hard time finding any kind of consistency.

Right now, most baseball betting shops have the Tigers favored at -170, making them the biggest favorites of the day. You can side with the Twins at +160 if you think they have a reasonable chance of scoring an upset victory.

Cubs (Jackson) vs. Pirates (Gomez) 

If you're looking for some day-time action, look no further than Pittsburgh's series-closing encounter with the Cubs. The Pirates are going for the sweep against a Chicago team that's 18-27 overall this season. 

Pittsburgh is one of the hottest teams in the MLB right now. They've 9-2 over their previous 11 games to get them to 28-18 overall, putting them within striking distance of both Cincinnati (29-18) and St. Louis (30-16). 

We have Swingin' Johnson offering up his free picks for this game. For now Pittsburgh is the favorite at -135, with Chicago quoted at +130.

[gameodds]3/227459/43/us[/gameodds]

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