Saturday, July 16, 2011

Back in the saddle...

So after not doing this blog for a long time, not that any reads it anyways, I've decided to come back to try and make this a daily blog about the world of sports betting.  The goal is to try to post before each days action starts or at least the games I want to comment on begin.  As it gets closer to football season, I will be doing some college previews, and once the season begins, 90% of this blog will be dedicated to football with a little baseball and basketball mixed in when it warrants.
A little bit on the format of the blog.  My picks will be given in either 5, 10 or 20 point selections. 5 being the weakest, 20 being the strongest plays.  I also hope to keep a running tally on here.  Like I said, I understand very few people read this but I am basically doing this anyways, so might as well write it down so I have something to go back on.  Enough of that stuff and on to the games.

Cleveland Indians (Carrasco) @ Baltimore Orioles (Simon) 6pm CDT -- Over 9.5 total - 10* play
 This is the 3rd game of this series with Cleveland in control 2-0.  Baltimore did show some signs of life last night but putting up 5 but once again, couldn't keep Cleveland in check and lost 6-5.  Cleveland on the other hand, has had hot bats these first 2 games since the All Star break putting up 14 runs in 2 games.

Starting for the Indians tonight is Carlos Carrasco who is a RHP with an 8-6 record and 4.28 ERA on the year.  He has posted an impressive 2.58 ERA on the road this year but his last 3 games (2 h, 1 A) he has a monstrous ERA of 8.36.  Before that stretch he pitched very well in June but that was a long time ago in the world of pitchers. Still young (24),  I feel the season and batters are catching up to him.  He has a very good fastball and keeps his walks down which is a negative when looking going over 9.5 but like I said, has struggled mightily as of late.  As for the Baltimore's hitters, they are missing Luke Scott and Vlad Guerrero which are two important components.  However, they still have been able to put up 9 runs in 2 games against the Tribe.  ALso, Baltimore has several veteran players on their team who are solid fastball hitters.  If they jump on Carrasco early, it could spell a lot of runs.

As for Baltimore's pitcher, Alfredo Simon (1-2, 4.85 ERA) has been primarily used out of the pen.  A journeyman at age 30, he has been rocked in the month of July pitching 9 innings and giving up 8 ER.  Not a lot of walks, just getting shelled with hits for the most part.  Sure his last 2 games were at Bos and at Tex which helped to balloon that ERA but if the O's had more confidence in him, they wouldn't use him as a spot starter.  Simon also has some sort of legal obligation he must go back to the Dominican Republic to deal with on Sunday according to reports, so if his mind is away from the game it wouldn't be a total shocker.   This is also only his 2nd start of the year and 2nd since April 2009.   Simon has pitched much better at home this year but he has been put in positions where the game has already been decided yet someone needs to finish the game.  Not exactly a ringing endorsement from a team on the ropes.  Also, 2 Baltimore relievers are facing suspension to an already dismal bullpen. 

Cleveland had struggled at the plate before the ASB but have since found life against the spiraling O's.  Asdrubal Cabrera has been an absolute monster with big and timely hits for a young SS.  Grady Sizemore even decided to join in the party last night with a HR.  The bottom of the order has struggled but have still found a way to sneak in a run here and there.

As for trends, the Indians have gone over the total in 5 of last their last 7 while the Orioles have gone 9 of 11 games over the total while losing 10 of those games.  While a moneyline play on the Indians could be warranted with the struggles of the Orioles as of late, I think the Over is a better play. Both pitchers have been getting shelled as of late and both teams do have some "pop" in their bats.  

Texas Rangers (Wilson) -$105 @ Seattle Mariners (Hernandez) 9 pm CDT

Texas Moneyline -$105 -- 10 * 

This is also the 3rd game of this series with Texas in complete control. Seattle hasn't scored a run in the first two games even though Texas had put out 2 pitchers who had been not pitching their best.  The Rangers bats on the other hand have been extremely hot, putting up 11 runs in the 2 game series thus far.

Seattle's starter tonight is Felix Hernandez who has been having another great year.  He brings to the table and ERA of 3.19 with a lot of K's but his record is only 8-7.  That speaks to the fact that the Mariners have a very solid pitching staff, but can't put up any runs to back them up.  Hernandez had generally pitched very well against the Rangers allowing 2 or fewer ER his last 3 starts against the Rangers.  However, Seattle is currently on a 6 game losing streak in which the are struggling to put up any kind of offense.   In fact, the Mariners haven't put up over 4 runs in the month of July.   On the flip side of that, Texas has only been under 4 1 time in the month of July, a 2-0 win over Oakland last Sunday.  The Rangers also average almost 5 runs per game against righty starters.

When looking at Texas starter CJ Wilson (9-3, 3.20 ERA), there is good reason to be optimistic in this game.  He has pitched pretty well this season generally going at least 6 + innings giving up 2-3 runs.  The Texas bats have also supported him well, hence his 9-3 record. Seattle has also struggled to hit leftys, only putting up 2.7 runs a game against leftys at home.  Wilson has already had 2 good starts against Seattle this year, going 2-0 with an ERA a little north of 1.50.

Hernandez almost always delivers a solid game but so does CJ Wilson. It comes down to which lineup can put up runs.  Clearly that is Texas. 1-9 they have hitters who can get on base or put the ball out of the park.  From Elvis Andrus to Josh Hamilton to Endy Chavez, the Rangers are stacked.  On the other side of that coin is the Mariners. Ichiro has been a mainstay at the top of their lineup for years, is now showing signs of age batting only .188 the month of July and .264 on the year  Dustin Ackely (.289 avg)  is the only person from other than Ichiro batting over .260.  That's rough.  Texas only has 2 players under .260, Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler, both very good players still. 

After taking after thing into account, I think the Rangers win a close one tonight.  Seattle just can't put in runs despite great outings from their pitchers.   

Todays Picks   10*-- Indians @ Orioles over 9.5      10* Texas Moneyline (-$105)

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