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MLB Handicapper Free Play: Cleveland Indians at Houston Astros

04.20.2013     08:10 AM     Andrew Lange     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Andrew Lange blog entry.
Cleveland (Kazmir) -105 at Houston (Humber) O/U 8.5
Recommendation: Cleveland

I've watched enough of Philip Humber over the years to know that it's going to be extremely hard for him to have sustained success. When you are right-handed and your average fastball (which is down a tick or two from last season) hovers in the high 80's in becomes very difficult to turn over lineups in the American League. Humber also has a horrible track record vs. Cleveland (22.2 IP, 22 ERs, 8.74 ERA) in part because the Tribe has a ton of lefties and Humber has strong lefty/righty splits: 2013 - vs. L .387, vs. R .122; 2012 - vs. L .400, vs. R .238; 2011 - vs. L .266, vs. R .200. The Tribe hasn’t exactly been ripping the ball of late but this serves as a good opportunity to turn things around.

Cleveland's Scott Kazmir is getting one last chance to prove he can be a MLB pitcher. I've heard less than flattering stuff about Kazmir's off-the-field habits in the past but in reading about his Read more

Tags: MLB Cleveland Indians Houston Astros Andrew Lange

NBA Playoff Betting Preview: No. 8 Milwaukee Bucks vs. No. 1 Miami Heat

04.19.2013     12:03 PM     Andrew Lange     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Andrew Lange blog entry.
Eastern Conference First Round
No. 8 Milwaukee Bucks vs. No. 1 Miami Heat

Series Schedule
Game 1 - Sun April 21, at Miami, 4 pm PT
Game 2 - Tue April 23, at Miami, 4:30 pm PT
Game 3 - Thu April 25, at Milwaukee, 4 pm PT
Game 4 - Sun April 28, at Milwaukee, 12:30 pm PT
Game 5 * Tue April 30, at Miami, TBD
Game 6 * Thu May 2, at Milwaukee, TBD
Game 7 * Sat May 4, at Miami, TBD

Series Price (CRIS)
Miami -20000, Milwaukee +7500

Season Records
Miami - 66-16 SU, 46-36 ATS, 42-39-1 O/U
Milwaukee - 38-44 SU, 37-45 ATS, 39-41-2 O/U

Season Series (Miami 3-1 SU, Split 2-2 ATS, 1-3 O/U)
4/9 - Miami (-6.5) 94 vs. Milwaukee 83 - Under 197.5
3/15 - Miami (-5.5) 107 at Milwaukee 94 - Under 202
12/29 - Milwaukee (+4.5) 104 vs. Miami 85 - Under 199.5
11/21 - Miami 113 vs. Milwaukee (+9.5) 106 OT - Over 202.5

Sportsmemo Handicapper Andrew Lange’s take:
I’m not going to try to scrounge up some convoluted theory on how Milwaukee can win this series. In Read more

Tags: NBA Miami Heat Milwaukee Bucks Andrew Lange

Sportsmemo Handicapper Andrew Lange gives the scoop on betting baseball

04.17.2013     01:05 PM     Andrew Lange     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Andrew Lange blog entry.
Someone on Twitter sent me a direct message asking how I go about handicapping baseball so I figured I'd share some of my methods here in the blog.

For starters, I try to keep things as simple as possible. Yes, that's a broad statement but there are a ton of factors when it comes to breaking down a baseball game and in my opinion if you try to include them all you inevitably end up with legitimate arguments for both sides – something that can be extremely frustrating. So I’m basically looking to isolate two or three things that I feel with have the biggest impact on the game – one of which is starting pitching which we’ll get to here in a bit.

In terms of price, I tend to stick with short favorites, underdogs, and totals. Value is value whether the price is -105 or -180 but it takes a while for oddsmakers and the betting markets to figure out a lot of these pitchers and teams. In some instances, there is no real mystery – Clayton Kershaw is pretty damn good, and the Houston Astros are awful. But for the first month of so of the season there are a lot of unknowns and as a result a lot of games are mispriced. I see pitchers and teams Read more

Tags: MLB Andrew Lange

MLB Handicapper Free Play: Kansas City Royals at Atlanta Braves

04.16.2013     12:16 PM     Andrew Lange     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Andrew Lange blog entry.
Kansas City (Guthrie) +165 at Atlanta (Medlen) O/U 7
Recommendation: Kansas City

I may be in the minority but I think Atlanta's Kris Medlen is going to struggle at times this season. Last season's numbers were outrageous and while Medlen did pitch well, he was also fortunate – very fortunate in fact with a .261 BABIP and 85% left on base rate. He's back at it again this season with a 1.50 ERA through two starts but I thought he struggled some against the Phillies (5 IP, 4 BBs, 3 Ks, 2 ERs) and like a lot of starters was able to cruise past the woeful Marlins. I know the Braves are the hottest team in baseball but to see Medlen as high as -180 vs. an American League team and a viable arm in Jeremy Guthrie seems a little steep. It's early but I like that the Royals have shown a decent amount of plate discipline (5.5 Ks per game vs. 6.7 in 2012). They've hit an AL-low four home runs but the power production will eventually come – it's the offensive approach that will Read more

Tags: MLB Atlanta Braves Kansas City Royals Andrew Lange

MLB Handicapper Free Play: New York Mets at Minnesota Twins

04.13.2013     07:38 AM     Andrew Lange     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Andrew Lange blog entry.
NY Mets (Harvey) -130 at Minnesota (Diamond) O/U 7
Recommendation: New York

So the word is out on New York's Matt Harvey being one of the premier young arms in the game. In two starts, the big right hander racked up 19 strikeouts and allowed only four hits. I wasn't big fan of the Mets extending him last time out – they were up 7-1 and Harvey was at 95 pitches prior to sending him out for the seventh inning. This is not the type of arm you want to mess with. But for the time being we have a premium arm that in a few more starts will be commanding a premium price. Minnesota sends Scott Diamond to the hill. He had off-season surgery and was brought along slowly during spring training. With cold weather and a pitch count I'm not expecting a top notch performance from Diamond. Also note that shadows have a big impact on early season mid-afternoon games at Target Field. It is expected to be partly cloudy but if the sun peaks in, hitting Harvey could be damn near impossible. Read more

Tags: MLB New York Mets Minnesota Twins Andrew Lange

MLB Handicapper Free Play: Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals

04.10.2013     06:31 AM     Andrew Lange     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Andrew Lange blog entry.
Minnesota (Hendriks) +134 at Kansas City (Davis) O/U 8.5
Recommendation: Minnesota

Last season in Tampa Bay Wade Davis enjoyed a lot of success pitching out of the bullpen. The combination of a starters' command and an increase in velocity resulted in 87 strikeouts and a 2.43 ERA in 70.1 innings of work. Now with the Royals and asked to be a starter, I see Davis as no better than a fringe American League arm (see: 4 IP, 9 hits, 4 ERs in first start at Philadelphia). Keep in mind Davis had shoulder issues during spring training and may need longer to rebuild his stamina. Like Davis, Minnesota's Liam Hendriks isn't going to wow you. His minor league numbers were really good (2.82 ERA in 245.7 innings) but he's struggled at the major league level. The Twins believe he could stick as a starter but after his first outing (4.2 IP, 4 ERs) there are rumblings he could be sent back down. I expect his best effort tonight as the Twins look to avoid the sweep. Value play here as Davis isn't Read more

Tags: MLB Minnesota Twins Kansas City Royals Andrew Lange

MLB Handicapper Free Play: San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies

04.07.2013     07:19 AM     Andrew Lange     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Andrew Lange blog entry.
San Diego (Volquez) at Colorado (Chacin) -145 O/U 10.5
Recommendation: Colorado

San Diego's Edinson Volquez has one redeeming quality – he pitches in Petco Park where on occasion he can be counted on for a quality start. Outside of that, Volquez doesn't offer much upside. He's dealt with mechanical issues for over a year and it's resulted in little to no command. After getting smacked around in his first start Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley was back to the drawing board of trying to get Volquez's mechanics in order. So here we are with a mediocre pitcher struggling with his mechanics and confidence tossing in Coors Field. Colorado's Jhoulys Chacin does has upside so long as he's healthy. And when he's healthy – which he appears to be this season – he's got enough stuff to overcome Coors Field (see: 38 career starts, 4.18 ERA). The Padres have scored 13 runs in their first five games – the last two vs. Jeff Francis and Jon Garland in Coors. I think the Read more

Tags: MLB San Diego Padres Colorado Rockies Andrew Lange

MLB Betting Free Play: Washington Nationals at Cincinnati Reds

04.05.2013     07:31 AM     Andrew Lange     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Andrew Lange blog entry.
Washington (Haren) at Cincinnati (Bailey) -120 O/U 8.5
Recommendation: Cincinnati

Bettors are already aware of Roy Halladay's rapid decline but not far behind him is Dan Haren. In 2009, Haren posted a 3.14 ERA with 223 strikeouts in 229 innings. And as recent as two years ago he was seen mowing down American League hitters to the tune of 192 Ks in 238.1 innings with a 3.17 ERA. But last year's decline (176.2 IP, 142 Ks, 4.33 ERA) was no fluke. Haren lost his velocity and fell in love with his cutter and the results weren't positive. Now in Washington, Haren has a chance to bounce back – and really is a good situation of having three stud pitchers ahead of him in the rotation and getting to toss in the National League. However, reports this spring weren't good. In one game he was 84-87 on the gun and topped out at 89. In his last spring start things were slightly better and one scout said he was "getting close" to regaining his form. I’m still leery and note Read more

Tags: MLB Washington Nationals Cincinnati Reds Andrew Lange

College Basketball Betting Trends: MSG has history of producing NIT semifinal UNDERS

04.02.2013     07:05 AM     Andrew Lange     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Andrew Lange blog entry.
Taking a look at a totals trend for tonight's NIT. I went back to 2006 and spotted that 10 of the last 14 semifinal matchups (see chart below) went under the total, including six straight. And that shouldn't come as a big surprise. For the past few weeks these teams have been playing loose, carefree basketball, in comfortable environments. Now they get to Madison Square Garden and all of a sudden it's a more serious atmosphere in a completely different type of venue. And don't forget the inflation in the betting markets. Secondary tournaments are notorious for going over the total and bettors – myself included – are constantly pounding away at them despite some significant line moves. And why not? In the six games leading up to the semifinals, Baylor and BYU posted an average game score of 161.5 ppg. That makes tonight’s 152.5 seem cheap, no? But there have been plenty of on-paper, over-esque matchups in the past and based on the historical results of these NIT semifinals they simply don’t have a strong track record. I think this trend has some merit and made plays on both games UNDER the total. 

Follow me on Twitter Read more

Tags: College Basketball BYU Cougars Baylor Bears Andrew Lange

MLB Handicapper Free Play: San Diego Padres at New York Mets

04.01.2013     07:21 AM     Andrew Lange     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Andrew Lange blog entry.
San Diego (Volquez) at NY Mets (Niese) -136 O/U 7.5
Recommendation: New York

Last year, San Diego's Edinson Volquez was somehow able to put together a respectable body of work: 11-11, 4.14 ERA. But make no mistake, it was a struggle. He suffered from mechanical issues for much of the season and it led to a career-high 105 walks. His saving grace was getting to toss 100 innings in Petco. When he was forced to go on the road, the results were dismal: 15 starts, 5.60 ERA, 1.65 WHIP. Well it's a new season but I'm reading a lot of the same stuff that plagued Volquez last year. In his last spring training start, Volquez walked six batters and admitted afterwards that once again his mechanics were off. Also note that he threw in the World Baseball Classic (10.1 IP, 6 walks) which is notorious for throwing pitchers off of their normal MLB routines. No question New York's Jon Niese was a bit fortunate last year with .272 BABIP and 76.5% LOB rates. However, I see positives in that he's steadily Read more

Tags: MLB San Diego Padres New York Mets Andrew Lange


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