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MLB Handicapper Free Play: St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs

07.07.2015     08:31 AM     Drew Martin     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Drew Martin blog entry.
St. Louis (Lyons) at Chicago (Arrieta) -145 O/U 6.5
Recommendation: Chicago

The St. Louis Cardinals boast the best record (54-28) in MLB and look to add to it this afternoon at Wrigley Field. But doing so won’t be easy as the light hitting Cards face one of the top arms in the National League. Jake Arrieta has faced St. Louis three times this season as he held its lineup to a .208 batting average and five total earned runs. He also fanned seven in each of those three outings. Arrieta is having a career year with a 2.80 ERA, 2.72 xFIP, and sparkling 110-23 K-to-BB ratio. He should be good to go against a Cardinals lineup that grades out as NL-average. St. Louis will counter with soft tossing lefty Tyler Lyons who they just called up from Triple-A Memphis. Lyons has a 5.09 ERA in 23 innings pitched at the big league level this year; a far cry from the 3.10 ERA he posted in Memphis. He’s a good matchup for the Cubs who sport the third highest OPS in the National League vs. lefties this year at .732.  Chicago got to Lyons for four runs (three earned) in 4.1 IP back in early May. Pitching mismatch puts us on the home team at the moderate Read more

Tags: MLB St. Louis Cardinals Chicago Cubs Drew Martin

MLB Betting News: Phillies call up walk-prone starter vs. Cardinals

06.19.2015     09:35 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Considering the current state of the Phillies' rotation, being called up in mid-June is probably a good indication you're a "fringe" arm. With Cole Hamels out with a bum hamstring, the Phils called up Phillippe Aumont who sports some pretty crazy stats. To start, Aumont is 6-7, grew up in Quebec, was drafted in the first round back in 2007 (!) and has thrown only 39.2 innings at the big league level. Now let's get to the really interesting part. Aumont has a small issue with control and by small we mean really big. In nearly 500 IP of work in the minors, his BB per 9 rate is 5.6! And of those 39.2 innings in the bigs, he issues 27 free passes. On a positive note, since turning pro, he's averaged over a strikeout per inning. Aumont is a +180 home underdog vs. St. Louis for tonight.

"Walks happen," Aumont said, "happened my whole life. They are going to keep happening. I'm not going to lose sleep over it, but I'm looking to improve on that."

Tags: MLB Philadelphia Phillies

MLB Handicapper Free Play: St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers

06.05.2015     09:13 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers blog entry.
St. Louis (Martinez) +105 at Los Angeles (Anderson) O/U 7
Recommendation: St. Louis

The Dodgers are an injury riddled mess right now.  Key bats like Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford and Scott Van Slyke  are on the DL, while hot hitting second baseman Howie Kendrick is a question mark at best tonight, suffering from a knee injury that could put him on the DL as well.  The pitching staff is banged up too with key bullpen arms Paco Rodriguez and Pedro Baez both languishing on the DL.

LA will be playing their ninth game in the last eight days while flying back and forth across the country.  They’ve gone 9-13 in their last 22 games following a 22-10 start to the campaign.  It’s been even worse against opponents with winning records during that span, with LA sporting a 3-10 mark in their last 13 against above .500 foes.

St. Louis has suffered a handful of key injuries as well; most notably staff ace Adam Wainwright and key left handed bat Matt Adams.  But the Cards just keep winning; 8-2 in their last ten after last night’s blowout victory on this field.   Tonight’s starter, Read more

Tags: MLB St. Louis Cardinals Los Angeles Dodgers Teddy Covers

MLB Handicapping: Brewers' pitchers up against in following marathon win

06.01.2015     08:29 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
It'll be interesting to see how Milwaukee's pitching staff gets through tonight's game vs. St. Louis. Yesterday, the Brewers got past the Diamondbacks in 17 innings. For starters, catcher Martin Maldonado worked the entire game. It's reasonable to think he may get tonight off. If he doesn't play, Juan Centeno will get the call. In seven games (46 IP) this season, Milwaukee's pitchers own a 7.83 ERA with Centeno behind the dish. And the bullpen might be a little thin tonight's as well after eight relief pitchers saw action. Matt Garza chewed up five innings but seven others tossed following 8.2 innings worth of work the previous two days. Also note that starter Mike Fiers was forced to throw on short rest in his last start. He's now on regular rest but has completed six innings in only two of his 10 starts this season. Milwaukee is a +140 underdog vs. the Cardinals.

Tags: MLB Milwaukee Brewers St. Louis Cardinals

MLB Handicapper Free Play: Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals

05.31.2015     07:04 AM     Otto Sports     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Otto Sports blog entry.
Los Angeles (Anderson) at St. Louis (Martinez) -110 O/U 7.5
Recommendation: Under

St. Louis’ Carlos Martinez has been sharp of late with only two runs allowed over his last three starts. He lost his way at the start of May with back-to-back rough outings (9 IP, 14 ER) but outside of those two starts, Martinez hasn't allowed more than two runs. There's a lot to like about his profile: big arm, swing-and-miss stuff (9.45 K per 9), and solid ground ball rate (53.8%). As fearsome as LA's offense was to open the season, they've come crashing down to earth with 2 or fewer runs in nine of their last 13 games. Speaking of groundball rate, Dodgers' starter Brett Anderson currently leads all of qualified starters with an incredible 68.4%. Reports said that Anderson had some back issues in his last start but showed no ill-effects (7 IP, 2 ERs vs. Atlanta) and has no problems during his mid-week bullpen session. He shouldn't have much trouble against a fairly weak St. Louis lineup that already lost Matt Adams to the 60-day DL and may be without Matt Holliday (sick) after he left yesterday's game. And coming from the left side, Anderson can better Read more

Tags: MLB Los Angeles Dodgers St. Louis Cardinals OTTO Sports

MLB Handicapper Free Play: St. Louis Cardinals at New York Mets

05.20.2015     10:27 AM     Rob Veno     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Rob Veno blog entry.
St. Louis (Martinez) -105 at New York (Colon) O/U 7
Recommendation: St. Louis

The past couple outings for Bartolo Colon have been shaky at best and look like an indicator to jump in with the few who already are on this “fade train.” As a one-pitch pitcher (85.6% fastballs this season) whose one pitch averages 88 MPH and is constantly around the plate, it’s not tough to see how the aging veteran can be on the decline. What’s most disturbing about the control based Colon’s last couple of starts is not just the fact that he’s given up 15 hits and nine earned runs over the 11 innings, but that 10 of those 15 hits allowed (67%) have gone for extra bases (seven 2Bs and three HRs). Cardinals’ starter Carlos Martinez has run into some trouble lately as well posting a 10.29 ERA, 2.36 WHIP and an extremely high average of 21.0 PPI over his last three starts. However, it seems much more probable that the young righty bounces back in this spot considering the Mets weak .294 OBP and .341 SLG% vs. righties this season. Martinez’s three-pitch repertoire can be overpowering and New York’s 21.7% K rate vs. Read more

Tags: MLB St. Louis Cardinals New York Mets Rob Veno

MLB Handicapper Free Play: St. Louis Cardinals at New York Mets

05.18.2015     08:52 AM     Andrew Lange     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Andrew Lange blog entry.
St. Louis (Lackey) at New York (Harvey) -126 O/U 6.5
Recommendation: New York

Considering Matt Harvey missed all of last season I'd say he's exceeded expectations in 2015. Through seven starts Harvey has produced a stellar 47-7 K-to-BB ratio to go with a 2.31 ERA. I noticed that Harvey has been pretty judicious about using his slider thus far following last year's arm surgery. Prior to his last start he used it only about 10% of the time. Against the Cubs, Harvey threw it 20% of the time and he tied his season-best with 9 strikeouts and posted a season-best 17 swinging strikes. It's scary to think he's still "rounding into form." John Lackey has been solid this season but simply doesn't stack up to Harvey. Lackey's K-rate is currently a career-low 6.04 per 9 and he's been pretty fortunate with the long ball having allowed only 2 in 44.2 innings. This is also a tough spot for the Cards having played late last night on ESPN. Two weeks ago the Yankees capped off a sweep of the Red Sox on Sunday night and looked sluggish the following night in a 3-1 loss as Toronto. Same deal for Kansas City who off an extra inning win over Detroit got blitzed Read more

Tags: MLB St. Louis Cardinals New York Mets Andrew Lange

MLB Handicapper Free Play: Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals

05.04.2015     10:50 AM     Rob Veno     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Rob Veno blog entry.
Chicago (Wood) at St. Louis (Martinez) -140 O/U 7.5
Recommendation: Over

Off of a weekend sweep of the Pirates where all three games went extra innings, St. Louis enters tonight’s contest with a worn out bullpen. Their top five relievers have thrown three times in the past four days, closer Trevor Rosenthal has thrown three consecutive days, lefty specialists Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist are on back-to-back days and they’ve lost setup man Jordan Walden to the 15-day DL with biceps inflammation. Reliable and un-fatigued help in the back third of tonight’s game is a major concern for St. Louis. That puts a lot on the shoulders of starting RH Carlos Martinez who has been a terrific six inning guy in three of his last four and the other saw him throw a strong seven. The hard throwing righty has posted a 1.80 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in his last four starts but his nine walks and four HR allowed leaves the door open for this Cubs lineup to score some runs. Opposite Martinez tonight is lefty Travis Wood who has had zero recent success keeping St. Louis off the scoreboard. In his last five starts against them, the Cards have averaged 4.8 Read more

Tags: MLB Chicago Cubs St. Louis Cardinals Rob Veno

Teddy Covers' Las Vegas Wiseguy Report: National League Preview

04.13.2015     07:23 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers blog entry.
Last week in this space, I wrote a team-by-team overview of the 15 American League squads.  This week, I’ll shift my focus to the National League, breaking down each team from a Las Vegas perspective.  Teams are listed in alphabetical order, by division.

A week ago, the Atlanta Braves were viewed as likely bottom feeders following a massive offseason rebuild that resulted in only six players from opening day last year returning on opening day in 2015; lined in the same range as teams like Arizona, Colorado and Minnesota.  One week later and the market view of Atlanta has changed at least somewhat thanks to a 5-1 record with the best run differential in the NL.  Julio Teheran, Shelby Miller and Alex Wood all hav top-of-the-rotation stuff, but it’s hard to picture this anemic lineup continuing to deliver steady run support.

The Miami Marlins hung around in the wild card race into the dog days of August last year before Giancarlo Stanton’s Read more

Tags: MLB Teddy Covers

Sportsmemo's MLB Betting Preview: St. Louis Cardinals

03.09.2015     06:40 AM     Printer Friendly

Nothing much new in St. Louis as this veteran ballclub is in position to make a run at a fifth straight postseason appearance. But their core group is aging and recent history and current profile suggest there won’t be much betting value.

St. Louis Cardinals
2014 W-L:
2014 O/U: 73-82-7
2014 Profits: +2.0
2015 O/U Wins: 87.5
2015 NL Central Odds: +120
Projected Starting Rotation: Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Lance Lynn, John Lackey, Carlos Martinez
Key Departures: Pat Neshek, Justin Masterson, Shelby Miller
Key Additions: Jason Heyward, Jordan Walden

Handicapper's Take: "Virtually all of last season's 90-win squad is back and they added Jason Heyward who is still only 25 years old. The starting rotation is scary good if it can stay healthy; particularly Adam Wainwright (33 years old) who is almost assuredly due for a decline after tossing well over 500 IP the last two seasons. Expectations are once again there Read more

Tags: MLB St. Louis Cardinals Andrew Lange


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