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MLB Betting News and Notes Monday, April 1

MLB Betting News and Notes Monday, April 1

Monday's MLB Cliff Notes
By Dave Essler

Red Sox at Yankees: Clearly with the Boston and all the talk of their demise, there may well be value, even against Sabathia. Sox would likely start David Ross behind the plate, since Saltamacchia sucks v/LHP, and Ross has hit two jacks off of CC. Throw in Johnny Gomes who typically crushes LHP and I would not rule out taking the Red Sox. But, given the intensity of game one, I can't overlook Youkilis, who bombed off of Lester last year. Obviously can't look at weather patterns yet, but with SP's on a serious pitch count, it's the bullpens who may decide a ton of these early games. the acquisition of Hanrahan could be huge for Boston, and with Bailey out a year we really don't know what to expect. The Yankees are DFL in Spring Training BA at a mere .248. It's been my experience that these things just don't turn themselves around that quickly, and Boston has shown very little power this Spring, so we'll look hard at the under here.

Marlins at Nationals: Without a doubt with Strasburg pitching and the expectations, this ML will probably not be playable. However, last season we did real well taking these dead dogs at cheap RL prices early in the season, and this could be a case of that. Strasburg's probably on a 50 pitch count, lol. Nationals already had a great bullpen with Clippard and Storen, so add in Rafael Soriano and they WILL be tough to come back on. Hard to imagine where Nolasco's heads at since he's already being discussed as a trade-deadline acquisition for someone. He's pitched fairly well against the Nats, save Zimmerman, and unless and until Washington shows they can score (they could not last season) then even the thought of laying -1.5 RL is out of the question, and we rarely do that with a home team that won't get the last at bat if they're ahead by one. With nobody in the Miami lineup to protect Stanton, this is yet another under potential. Actually, most Marlin games will be. Early last season many thought (including myself) that Marlin Park (or whatever they call it) was going to be an over venue. It is/was not. Down the lines it's short, but cavernous from gap to gap.

Padres at Mets: Well, with the entire world hating the Mets, we might have to look at a cheap home team. Without Headley in the lineup for the Padres they'll likely put Forsythe at third, which is simply going to allow people to pitch around Alonso and/or Quentin. Both Murphy and Wright are questionable for the start of the season, so here's another potential 2-1 game. Yes, I know they moved the fences in at Citi Field, but not nearly enough. It's always been hard to wrap my money around Volquez actually finding the plate, but with Bobby Parnell as the Mets closer, that's equally hard to do. Certainly easier matchups to figure out, although the Padres have shown some pop this Spring.

Cubs at Pirates: Well, the Pirates made us a ton of money the 1H of last season, but not so sure they'll be quite as much value on them this season. I certainly don't like Grilli taking over the closing duties from Hanrahan, and the Pirates bring back essentially the same lineup as last year, with the exception of Russell Martin behind the plate. Not sure at his age how many games he can play, though, and with no DH in the NL, we're going to have to pick our spots more carefully with these guys. Travis Snyder will be in outfield against Samardjia and most all RHP, while Tabata will surely start out there v/LHP. With Snyder's pop I would think Pittsburgh may score a few more runs. The Cubs did little or nothing to add to little or nothing (Schierholz does not count). They are going to give up a shitload of runs (O/U for Edwin Jackson is 40 homers) and with Carlos Marmol closing, the O/U for his appearances (in save situations!) is 20! With that in mind, the Pirates may actually be well over the -150 threshold, especially since Burnett is typically better early in the season.

Colorado at Milwaukee: I really do wonder how the Brewers will fare without Corey Hart in the lineup. The first thing that struck me about this game is whatever the total is. Because it these two teams, my guess is that the total will be pretty high for game one, and my guess is the roof will be closed. Then again, the Brewers have one of the worst bullpens in baseball (still) and Gorzellany is probably their best relief pitcher. With everyone healthy the Rockies ARE going to score runs, no matter where they play or what time of year it is. Chacin was scratched from his last Spring Training start, but the team said he's good to go here. He's always been a much better pitcher away from Coors Field (who hasn't) and he's much tougher on RHH, which is what the Brewers are loaded with. I don't usually trust Gallardo a whole lot, and the Rockies have seen and hit him enough for me to think this could be our first live/dead dog of the season.

Angels at Reds:
Obviously two of the most public teams early in the season with high hopes, and with Hamilton and Frieri being added to the roster, the Angels may be to expensive to bet on, especially against weaker teams. Getting Sean Burnett from the Nationals might prove to be their biggest acquisition, because the did have some massive holes in the middle to late relief last season. Weaver has not pitched terribly will this Spring. Reds added Sin Soo-Choo, and in Great American he could have a freak show year. After that, it's the same old Reds with a nasty bullpen and the capability of putting up 10 runs on any given day. Since the Reds haven't seen much of Weaver and the Angels have seen less of Cueto, this game may well stay under what will clearly be an inflated total in what's known as an "over" ballpark, but not so much if the weather's typical for that time of year.

Royals-White Sox: Everyone's trendy team, Kansas City. They've no doubt upgraded their starting pitching, but I've never been a big fan of Santana. I think in the summer in that stadium, when the ball carries, he gets crushed. However, it's Shields in this game so we will worry about that later. I still think he's living more off what he did two years ago, and for someone that pitched half his games in the pitcher friendly Trop, he does give up some long balls. He doesn't walk a ton of people, but even Alexi Ramirez has two bombs off him, and I have found that when Alexi hits, Chicago wins. But, Shields IS 9-1 in April the last three years. I just really wonder if we aren't over reacting to the Royals acquisitions and the Spring they're having. They've got essentially the same sticks, so they've typically been a play-on against LHP, and as fate would have it, Chris Sale is a left handed pitcher. I actually remember where I was last May 12th when the Royals beat him 5-0 in Chicago. A sportsbook in Vegas w/@goodfella00 getting in all sorts of trouble. I'll bet Sale remembers that, too. Butler owns this kid, and several other Royals do too. Not sure I like Reed as a closer, and with Crain likely out for the start of the season, that could hurt some. I do like Thornton and Jones, however. Have to lean to the trendy Royals a bit, if for no other reason than they hit Sale in the past and the price will probably be right. Also one of the few games, weather pending, that I could make a case for an over.

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Re: MLB Betting News and Notes Monday, April 1

MLB Opening Day Betting Cheat Sheet

Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees (-120, 8)

Probable starting pitchers: Jon Lester (BOS), CC Sabathia (NYY)

Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson will all be starting the season on the disabled list for New York, leaving veterans like recently acquired Vernon Wells and former Boston star Kevin Youkilis to carry the weight. Yankees ace CC Sabathia owns an 8-9 record with a 4.23 ERA in 22 career starts against Boston. The under is 6-0 in Jon Lester’s last six starts vs. American League East opposition.

Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals (-260, 7)

Probable starting pitchers: Ricky Nolasco (FLA), Stephen Strasburg (WSH)

Giancarlo Stanton, who is 5-for-13 in his career against Stephen Strasburg, is the only player that started on Opening Day last season for Miami expected in Monday’s lineup. The over is 5-0 in Strasburg’s last five starts in the opener of a series and Ricky Nolasco is 11-5 against Washington – the most wins he has against any team.

San Diego Padres at New York Mets (-139, 7.5)

Probable starting pitchers: Edinson Volquez (SD), Jon Niese (NYM)

The Padres were 49-37 in their last 86 games a year ago and hope to build on that improvement. San Diego starts that quest without talented third baseman Chase Headley, who is out a couple more weeks with a fractured left thumb. Edinson Volquez is coming off his best season since 2008, striking out 174 in 182 2/3 innings in his first campaign with San Diego. He is 0-4 lifetime against the Mets with a 6.46 ERA in 23 2/3 innings.

Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates (-122, 7.5)

Probable starting pitchers: Jeff Samardzija (CHC), A.J. Burnett (PIT)

The Pirates were 16 games above .500 on Aug. 8 before going 16-46 the rest of the way to complete their 20th consecutive losing season. Pittsburgh's active roster is a combined 11-for-61 (.180) against Jeff Samardzija, but OF Andrew McCutchen has enjoyed limited success, going 3-for-10 against him. Samardzija won both of his starts against the Pirates in 2012, compiling 14 strikeouts and a 1.06 ERA in 17 innings. Chicago is 5-1 in its last six games in Pittsburgh.

Colorado Rockies at Milwaukee Brewers (-141, 7.5)

Probable starting pitchers: Jhoulys Chacin (COL), Yovani Gallardo (MIL)

Yovani Gallardo is 0-4 with a 5.82 ERA against the Rockies in eight career appearances. The Brewers are 0-7 in Gallardo’s last seven starts vs. the Rockies, who have taken the last four matchups with the Brew Crew. Colorado was the only NL team the Brewers failed to beat more than once in 2012.

San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers (-156, 6)

Probable starting pitchers: Matt Cain (SF), Clayton Kershaw (LAD)

Clayton Kershaw has been particularly tough on the Giants in his career, owning a 1.37 ERA in 16 starts and posting two of his five shutouts. San Francisco 3B Pablo Sandoval has only had two at-bats since March 16 because of a lingering right elbow injury that could force him to sit out the opener. The under is 5-0-1 in the last six meetings.

Los Angeles Angels at Cincinnati Reds (-109, 7.5)

Probable starting pitchers: Jered Weaver (LAA), Johnny Cueto (CIN)

Jered Weaver has thrived in interleague play with a 12-3 career record in 20 starts with a 2.61 ERA. The Angels will rely on Weaver to lead the rotation again this year after he led the American League last season in several categories, including winning percentage (.800), opponents average (.214), WHIP (1.018) and hits per nine innings (7.0). The Angels are 8-1 in last their nine Opening Day games, including four straight wins.

Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins (+176, 7.5)

Probable starting pitchers: Justin Verlander (DET), Vance Worley (MIN)

Vance Worley struggled a bit in the spring, finishing with a 5.73 ERA over 22 innings of work -- striking out 13 and walking only three. Justin Verlander, the 2011 AL MVP, gets the ball for the Tigers in the opener for the sixth straight year. Surprisingly, he has never won in five career Opening Day starts (0-1). The Tigers are 8-0 in Verlander’s last eight starts vs. the Twins. Weather forecasts are projecting chilly temperatures around the freezing mark for this game.

Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox (-140, 7.5)

Probable starting pitchers: James Shields (KC), Chris Sale (CWS)

Chris Sale has earned his first career Opening Day start after being selected as an All-Star in 2012. He went 3-3 with an impressive 3.12 ERA in six starts against Kansas City last season. The Royals counter with their newly acquired weapon James Shields. Kansas City took 12 of the 18 games in the series last season and the under is 4-0 in the last four meetings.

Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves (-122, 7)

Probable starting pitchers: Cole Hamels (PHI), Tim Hudson (ATL)

The Phillies are missing one of their top offensive players to start 2013 as catcher Carlos Ruiz begins a 25-game suspension for using a banned stimulant. Atlanta will also will be without its starting catcher for the first month as Brian McCann continues to recover from off-season shoulder surgery. Philadelphia starter Cole Hamels looks more than ready for Opening Day, dominating in five Grapefruit League starts while going 3-0 and holding opponents to a .172 batting average. But the Phillies are 0-5 in the last five meetings when Hamels faces Tim Hudson.

Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics (-106, 6.5)

Probable starting pitchers: Felix Hernandez (SEA), Brett Anderson (OAK)

Brett Anderson has stymied the Mariners often in his brief career, compiling a 7-3 record and 1.76 ERA in 13 career outings. But he takes the hill against a Seattle squad that smashed 58 homers in 33 spring-training games. The Athletics went 12-7 against the Mariners last season and have taken seven consecutive meetings.

St. Louis Cardinals at Arizona Diamondbacks (-106, 8.5)

Probable starting pitchers: Adam Wainwright (STL), Ian Kennedy (ARZ)

Ian Kennedy is 1-3 lifetime against the Cardinals and lost both starts last season. The 28-year-old is tough to beat at home - he was 8-4 at Chase Field in 2012 (one of the losses was to St. Louis) and 19-6 over the past two seasons. St. Louis was 5-1 against Arizona in 2012, including 3-0 at Chase Field. The over is 7-0 in the Cardinals’ last seven games as road underdogs.

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Re: MLB Betting News and Notes Monday, April 1

Monday MLB Tips
By Kevin Rogers

The Rangers and Astros kicked off the 2013 season on Sunday night in Houston, but the big board of Major League Baseball takes place on Monday. We'll hit on the 12 games on the card, including the solid interleague matchup in Cincinnati between the Angels and Reds. The day begins in the Nation's Capital as the Nationals try to prove that last season's division title was not a fluke.

Marlins at Nationals

These two teams split 16 meetings last season, while Miami compiled a 4-3 record at Nationals Park.
Ricky Nolasco went 2-2 in four starts against Washington in 2012, but tossed back-to-back complete shutouts in the final two outings versus the Nationals.
The Nationals won three of Stephen Strasburg's five starts against Miami last season, while Washington lost three of the righty's final seven outings at home.
Washington is listed as $2.55 favorites, while the total is set at 7, shaded to the 'under' at $1.15.

Red Sox at Yankees

The Yankees took 12 of 16 matchups from the Red Sox last season, while posting a 6-3 mark in the Bronx.
CC Sabathia split a pair of starts against Boston in 2012, as the Yankees struggled with the southpaw on the mound in daytime outings with a 3-6 record.
The Red Sox lost each of Jon Lester's final four starts last season, while going 10-1-1 to the 'under' in the last 12 trips to the mound.
New York is listed as $1.20 favorites, in spite of Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixiera, and Alex Rodriguez out of the lineup. The total is set at 8, as the Red Sox will be without David Ortiz.
Giants at Dodgers

San Francisco grabbed 10 of 18 meetings from Los Angeles in 2012, while winning five of nine matchups at Chavez Ravine.
The Dodgers hit the 'under' in all five of Clayton Kershaw's starts against the Giants last season, as Los Angeles lost two of his three home outings versus San Francisco as a favorite of at least $1.50.
Matt Cain finished last season a perfect 8-0 during daytime starts, while the Giants won 11 of his 14 matinee outings.
Los Angeles is listed as $1.55 'chalk,' while the total is set at 6 (shaded to the 'over' at $1.20).

Angels at Reds

In the first interleague matchup of the season, Cincinnati comes off a mediocre 7-8 mark in 2012 against American League competition. The Angels won 12 of 18 meetings in interleague last season, including a 6-3 ledger on the highway.
Johnny Cueto won 19 games last season, but things finished on a sour note after leaving the opener of the NLDS against San Francisco after eight pitches due to injury. The Reds put together a sterling 15-2 record in his 17 daytime starts, while the 'under' hit 14 times.
Since 2010, the Angels are 6-3 in Jered Weaver's nine interleague outings, including a pair of wins as heavy favorites last season. Weaver lost his only start as a road underdog in 2012, a 13-6 defeat at Texas in which he allowed eight earned runs in 3.1 innings of work.
The Reds are listed as a $1.10 home favorite, while the total is set at 7½.

Phillies at Braves

Atlanta owned Philadelphia last season by winning 12 of 18 meetings, but the Braves went just 5-4 against the Phillies at Turner Field.
Tim Hudson put together a 16-win campaign in 2012, while the Braves won four of his five starts against Philadelphia. His final five starts at Turner Field cashed the 'under.'
One of Philadelphia's three aces takes the mound in the opener as Cole Hamels looks to capitalize off a 17-6 season. The Phillies won nine of his final 10 starts last season, while the lone loss came at Atlanta as the Braves rallied for five runs in the ninth off the Philadelphia bullpen.
The Braves are listed as $1.20 favorites, while the total sits at 7.

Cardinals at Diamondbacks

St. Louis took five of six matchups from Arizona last season, including a three-game sweep of the D-Backs at Chase Field.
Adam Wainwright makes his first start since signing his $97.5 million extension, as the Cardinals' righty finished 2012 at 14-13 following Tommy John surgery the season before. Wainwright's road record suffered last season at 4-7, while posting an ERA of 4.68 on the highway.
Ian Kennedy's numbers took a dip following a career year in 2011, as the righty posted a 15-12 record. Kennedy was productive at Chase Field with an 8-4 home record, but allowed six earned runs in a 6-1 defeat to the Cardinals last May.
The D-Backs are listed as short home favorites at $1.10, as the total is set at 8½.

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Re: MLB Betting News and Notes Monday, April 1

MLB: Streaks, Tips, Notes

San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers

The first full day of action in Major League Baseball features 12 games highlighted by the Los Angeles Dodgers hosting defending champion San Francisco Giants. L.A. on a spending spree adding a bevy of both pitchers and hitters this could finally be the year the Dodgers reach the World Series. Dodgers starting 2012 on a torrid 9-1 stretch, 16-7 overall in April should get this campaign off on a winning note hooking left-hander Clayton Kershaw against Matt Cain. Kershaw has been solid in his career vs Giants winning eight of twelve decisions posting a 1.37 ERA. On the other mound, Cain given his first Opening Day assignment since 2008 has had trouble solving L.A. The right-hander owns a lowly 4-8 record with a 3.41 ERA over 23 starts. Look for Dodgers to move to 11-6 in Kershaw's career starts vs their division rival and improve their 8-3 stretch as home favorite of -$1.50 or more with the hurler.

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Re: MLB Betting News and Notes Monday, April 1

MLB Odds and Picks – Finding Plus-Money Pitchers on Opening Day
By: The Linemakers

LAS VEGAS -- On the first Monday of April, opening day baseball is usually capped with the NCAA basketball championship game, but this year, MLB alone takes center stage. The season opens with 12 games, including the new addition of daily interleague play.

As always with the beginning of baseball season, there's some culture shock with the betting public. The NBA is closing out the regular season, and the madness of March has taken its toll on bettors with an insane amount of action and data overload that forces most wallets to take a deep breath.

But there's something about baseball that signifies the dawning of summer and a change of betting seasons. The smell of fresh cut grass permeating through the television, coupled with live action on the board in meaningful games, seems to prompt a wager from even those who might not have thought about betting the bases.

Although it's not a national holiday, opening day is about as American as things get. And on a day-to-day basis in Las Vegas, baseball is one of the strongest churns at the sports books that make Tuesdays just as important financially as the weekend, unlike football season.

The best baseball strategy to adhere to throughout the season is finding plays at plus-money. By taking underdogs, hitting less than 50 percent of your wagers can still be profitable.

If you have to lay a favorite, try to not go over -140, and by all means, never lay the run-line. In all my years behind the counter, the most respected baseball bettors I came across never laid the run-and-a-half, but sometimes they would take it. Who needs to sweat that meaningless run on second base with one out in the ninth inning of a two-run game? If the manager, pitcher and catcher don’t care about the "meaningless" run, why should you?

Of all the sports, baseball provides the best opportunity for the bettor to make consistent earnings. It's annually the worst proposition for the sports book, to the point where book directors hold their breath from June – when the NBA season ends – through July and until the NFL preseason starts. Between true odds on parlays and a .10 cent line, if there is one sport for bettors to dissect daily, baseball should be it.

Between today's 12 games, there's plenty of reason to get in line and make a few plays.

Throughout the season, we'll offer advice on pitchers who might produce winning results. For opening day, and the next two weeks, the only valid trends to go off is what happened in spring training. We offered a few pitchers to take notice of last week who might be ahead of the game and a few who have struggled and could provide good bet-against opportunities, and we'll ride some of those spring trends until true numbers are actually produced.

Here's a look at a few pitchers that had solid springs that provide some value today. Good luck, and enjoy the unofficial holiday.

Red Sox (Jon Lester) +125 at Yankees

Phillies (Cole Hamels) +105 at Braves

Mets (Jonathon Niese) -140 vs. Padres

Mariners (Felix Hernandez) +105 at Athletics

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