Saturday, August 13, 2011

Weekend Update

Once again, sorry for the infrequent posts. Hope to change that in the upcoming week.  I will be on the road a lot so that should help with posting frequency.   It has been a good week since changing strategies to wager on several games instead of only 1 or 2 games.  So in light of changing my strategy, I am going to change the format here as well for a while, at least for baseball.  Instead of posting a * value on a game or two, I will post picks on 4+ games, with a little less incite on each one and valued the same.  Here we go.

Angels (Weaver 14-5, 1.78 ERA -$130 @ Blue Jays (Romero 10-9, 2.94 ERA)

This match up pits a recently suspended Jerad Weaver against a very game Ricky Romero.   Both pitchers have had good seasons, as evidence by their ERA's.  But Weaver is pitching on another level right now.  He has been in the zone for the last 2 months with the exception of a half inning were Detroit got in his head and he decided to buzz a tower and get suspended for six games.  Romero has pitched exceptionally well his last 3 although they were v Orioles, @ Orioles and @ Tampa.

When breaking down the bats for these teams, the edge goes to Toronto.  The Jays are a power team for the most part while the Angels are more of a "small ball" type team.  The Jays haven't seen a pitcher of Weaver's caliber in a long time and I expect them to struggle.  Romero has had the tendency to to give up some baserunners via the walk, which helps to play into the Angels hand.

Both bullpens are mediocre which may not be much of a factor in the anticipated pitchers duel with top end starters on the mound.  The Angels are few games over .500 v lefty starters while the Jays are a few games under .500 v rightys.  The Angels are also still fighting to stay in the playoff hunt. The one thing that makes me a little leary is the Angels haven't faced a lefty starter in 10 days or so. They have a bunch of veterans on the team though and I think they shake off the rust.   Take the Angels moneyline with Weaver on the mound. 

Pirates (Correia 12-10, 4.78 ERA) @ Brewers (Estrada 2-7, 4.80)

This game is a classic hot home team v cold road team.  Pitt is in the middle of a 6 game road trip while the Brewers just returned home after taking 5 of 6 on the highway.  Estrada is coming out of the pen and making his first start since early may for the injured Narveson.  Estrada's numbers aren't very good but largely in part to a poor outing v Atlanta earlier this year.  On the other side of the diamond, Correia has been poor.  He pitched well a few games ago, otherwise his last 2 months have been very Jo Jo Reyes-esque.  If you don't know Jo Jo, just know he hadn't won a game in 2 years until earlier this year.   The Pirates bats caught some fire out in SF but the Giants have been struggling as evidence to their loss to the Marlins last night.   The Brewers bats have been red hot up and down the lineup. Everyone seems to be coming through right now, so Estrada may not be asked to do a whole lot. Also, Correia has been very poor in Milwaukee.

With Correia giving up a bunch as of late combined with a legit playoff team playing very hot, you have to lean on the Brewers to win.  But with a shaky starter in, he'll probably give up a couple.

Two plays on this game,  Brewers moneyline as they take care of  business and over the posted 8.5 although it will probably be 9 by first pitch. 

Astros (Rodriquez 8-8, 3.52 ERA) @ Dodgers (Kershaw 13-5. 2.79 ERA)

I know last time I said go Kershaw, it didn't pan out.   It will today.  Kershaw was in control of his last start, stayed in for one batter too long and gave a 2-run shot to the #8 hitter for his frst HR of the year.  Unlikely Houston will be able to pull off that magic.   The Dodgers middle of the order is solid, although not producing like they have in years past.  The 'Stros have traded away all their bats except and aging Carlos Lee.  The price is fairly high on the game at Dodgers -210 but Houston is the worst team in baseball and they are facing a top 10 pitcher. Despite the big risk, Dodgers moneyline straight to the bank.  Or if the lose, straight to the tavern.

 Sorry for the shortened blog  but I have run out of time.  These are some other games to look at:
Texas moneyline -$125-- Texas has the better bats and have dominated Oakland this year.  Lewis not the best pitcher and Cahill for Oakland has pitched well against Texas before, but Rangers  in playoff hunt and bats just too much.

Detroit moneyline -$135-- The Tigers haven't been playing all the well but neither are the Orioles.  Scherzer for Detroit is solid and Guthrie for Baltimore, although decent lately, is known for getting shelled. Detroit still playing for the postseason, Baltimore struggling to get wins behind an ugly pitching staff.  Even with Boesch out for Detroit, go with the Tigers.

This is still very much a work in progress but take from it what you can.  Thanks for reading and good luck!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Sunday Post

So it's been a while since anything has been posted.  This is due to a few things.  Work and family time have kept me busy enough where I haven't had time to put out a decent  blog, not implying that the blogs were decent before, but at least acceptable.   Another reason has been my attempts to change up my betting strategy with baseball.

Previously I was looking every day for the best game or two that was available for that days card.  I would start with about 8 games and whittle it down to the 2 or so.  It was mildly successful so I decided to try to switch to only betting on "Ace" pitchers.  Sabathia, Verlander, Weaver, Lincecum, etc.  I only stuck with that for a few weeks but it seemed to be heading in the right direction.  Some days you would have a play, other days you wouldn't.  The major downside though is if the Ace loses, the moneyline is usually very high (-$160+) and can set you back when building a bankroll.  

So on to my newest strategy.  When I first started, I said I would narrow the games I liked down to 1 or 2 from a group of 8 or so.   Looking back the next day, my record on all games was generally over.500.  This has led to my newest strategy of betting several games in a day.  I have enough background information where I don't have to dig extensively into every team which saves a lot of time.  Moneylines are generally the recommended play.   I have decreased the bet size however while increasing the total number of bets.   This hedges against days with big losses.  Also, not every day warrants this kind of action.  When looking at the days card, maybe only 2 or 3 games look good.  Then my play is the best one of the day,  either winner or loser for the day depending on my #1 rated game.  Or just no play at all sometimes.   Other days by looking at the card, you can get a feel for several games.  That is where this method comes in.  Not sure if this will be sustainable long term, but is at least profitable in the short term thus far.

 As the season moves on....

As baseball approaches the post season, teams begin to feel the urgency or realize they are just playing out meaningless games.  Teams that need to win to keep postseason hopes alive will generally play better than teams that are going home after the season.  Pretty obvious, right?   Playing hot teams right now is also something to look at.  The Phillies are a prime example.  On the road, yet they are tearing it up since acquiring OF Hunter Pence at the trade deadline.  They realize post season is around the corner, they have been there before and it is time to step it up.  Teams like the Angels, Texas,  Brewers, and Cards are other teams to  watch that will be fighting for playoff spots.

As contenders rise to the top, Fall call ups become a reality for several teams.  Fringe players get benched for youngsters with a point to prove.  This can pan out two ways.  The younger player wants to make a name, has actual talent, and makes the most of it.  Other times, the minor league player may not be ready for the Show and can be a major disappoint for the last month or two.  Keep track of the lineups daily but don't be fooled by a .400 batting average. The guy may only have 4 games under his belt against weak pitching and is just waiting for a collapse.

Today's Picks

 Dodgers (Kershaw  13-4, 2.68 ERA) -$110 at D'Backs (Kennedy 13-3, 3.17 ERA) 

Dodgers have taken the first 2 games of the series at Arizona despite Arizona needing to come up with some wins to stay in the playoff race.  The Dodgers, on the other hand, generally don't have much to play. Teams front office in shambles, season is a mess, one of the few motivating factors left to play for ( other than money and pride) is a chance for Clayton Kershaw to get the Cy Young.  Although an outside chance, he has been just filthy. He has won 6 of his last 7 starts and has been striking out fools left and right.  He has 'struggled' his last two, however, giving up 4 ER in 17 innings while striking out only 10.  Also, Arizona has not faced a lefty starter in almost 10 days, not sure Kershaw wants to be the first lefty you see after stretch like that.   In Kershaw's 2 starts against AZ this year, he has gone 14 innings, 0 ER (4 R), and 19 K's.  On the flipside, Arizona's Ian Kennedy has also been pitching very well. He has won 5 straight starts while giving up 3 ER or less in all of them. 
Basically boils down to the LA is playing better and Kershaw has pitched a better than Kennedy, although not by as much as you would think.   Kershaw just too much as I put a 10* value on this play.

Padres (Latos, 5-11, 3.94 ERA) -$110 at Pirates (Correia 12-9, 4.71 ERA)

Very brief overview due to the fact that both of these teams, in the grand scheme, are done for the year.  I look at the Padres moneyline in this game though.  San Diego has absolutely piss pounded the Pirates the last 2 games.  Pirates have lost 11 of 12 after being named ESPN's feel good team of the summer.  So much for that.  Even with the Pirates picking up Derek Lee from Baltimore and Ryan Ludwick from SD, they have gone straight to the toilet.  Correia has been a grease fire at home his last 3 starts, going no more 4 2/3 innings and giving up at least 5 ER in all 3 games.   Ouch.  Latos on the other hand has been pitching fairly well after a rough start.  
After all is said and done, this is the perfect hot team v cold team and even colder pitcher.  Padres with a 10* play.

Reds (Arroyo 7-9, 5.45 ERA) at Cubs (Wells, 3-4. 5. ERA) -$110

Cubs have been red hot as of late, including roughing up the Reds #1 guy in Cueto yesterday.   That was the Cubbies 7th straight win, longest in 3 years I believe.  The Reds have lost 4 of 5 thus far on their road trip to Houston and Chicago.  Not exactly the cream of the crop.  Wells, although he has struggled this year, has traditionally pitched well against Cincy.  I think the big mismatch comes against Arroyo though.  The Cubs bats have been red hot.  And after watching Arroyo in his last few starts, it's amazing this guy still has a stop in the rotation.  He is a 3 run homer waiting to happen. Teams get lots of hits of him and in the 'Friendly Confines", I see Arroyo getting torched. 

The Cubs have burned my ass several times this year, much like the Jets in football last year, but I still feel they are just too hot to stay off of.  Cubs with a 10* play.

Football is Upon Us

Starting soon I will be going into college footballl previews.   I said that before, but then life happened and I have been crazy busy.  The NFL previews will have to wait due to the craziness surrounding the end of the lockout.  I played a few games of NCAA 12 on Xbox 360 and I now have the fever.  Baseball has been great but I only see myself involved with it another week or two.  Football is much more compelling to me and I would imagine many of you.  

Good luck and thanks for reading.