MLB Baseball Odds, Twins vs Cardinals Betting Predictions

Twins at Cardinals Picks

By Mike Rose

Interleague play gets the ESPN Monday Night Baseball treatment when Paul Molitor’s Minnesota Twins invades Busch Stadium for an abbreviated two-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals. These franchises last crossed paths back in 2015 when the Redbirds went into the Twin Cities and got the brooms busted out on them by the Twinkies at Target Field. Both meetings combined for low scorers pushing the under to a lucrative 9-0 in the team’s last nine skirmishes.

Minnesota Twins at St. Louis Cardinals
Date and Time: Monday, May 7, 2018, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO
MLB Odds: Check Back Later
Probable Pitchers: Fernando Romero vs. Carlos Martinez
Twins at Cardinals TV Coverage: ESPN

The Twins got out to a semi-decent start to their 2018 campaign by rattling off wins in eight of their first 13 games. Then they went on to drop eight straight games and completely fell off the mat. Since snapping the losing streak, they’ve managed just one win in their last four tries. Overall, the Twins have proven to be one of the bigger money burners in the league costing MLB bettors upwards of $700 overall.

A bulk of that deficit has been incurred on the road where Eddie Rosario and his mates have secured just three wins through 12 tries ( -$591 ). This is a team that ranks No. 20 in the league in scoring runs ( 4.1 RPG ) and has produced the fewest quality starts ( 8 ). On top of all that, the bullpen sports a sickening 5.93 ERA while the defense has committed 17 errors ( No. 16 ). This team has no doubt taken a step backwards through the first five weeks after qualifying for the play-in game a short season ago.

Since dropping two of three to the Brewers back on April 11, the Cardinals have been one of the hottest teams in the league. Yadier Molina and his mates have rattled off wins in 11 of their last 17 opportunities. In doing so, they currently sit a half game in back of the Brewers for the NL Central lead and rank out as the twelfth most lucrative team to wager on in baseball ( $225 ).

However, nothing about this team jumps off the page when you break it down statistically. The offense is league average in scoring 4.6 runs per game while batting .235 overall ( No. 24 ). The pitching staff has thrown to the No. 4 ranked ERA ( 3.32 ) and amassed 14 quality starts, but the defense is below average in fielding percentage and I’m not sure you can trust the bullpen entirely regardless of Bud Norris currently in good form. Still, the team has protected its house in winning nine of 14 in front of the hometown faithful ( $167 ), and gets the advantage of playing there in the series opener.

Pitching Matchup

Fernando Romero –The youngster impressed in his 2018 debut by tossing 5.2 innings of shutout baseball at the Toronto Blue jays to log his first career win in the big leagues. Though he issued a trio of free passes, he also racked up 5five strikeouts. He’s proven to be a reliable strikeout pitcher at all levels, but will have his work cut out for him in this spot versus a Cardinals lineup that’s been the tenth toughest lineup to punch out. He does have the advantage of St. Louis hitting lefties better than righties.

Carlos Martinez – C-Mart is starting to once again pitch like the ace Mike Matheny had hoped for last season. He’ll enter his eighth start of the year 3-1 with a miniscule 1.40 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. Though his BB/9 average sits at 3.8, he’s offset the free passes by racking up 45 strikeouts in 45 total innings of work. Like his offense, Minnesota has been average against right-handed pitching ( No. 17 ). He’s been nearly untouchable at home where his ERA falls to 1.07 and BAA to .205. St. Louis has won all four of his home starts, and he’s only conceded 2 ER in his last three starts.

Baseball Betting Picks

Twins at Cardinals Picks

As much as I want to believe Minnesota has what it takes to take down the Cardinals ace, I just don’t see it happening. Pitching at home against Toronto is a much different scenario than tossing in hostile Busch in your very first road test at the MLB level. That’s something I don’t foresee Romero conquering in this spot. He looks to be a viable arm that will give Molitor and his staff solid innings down the road, but he’s simply not prepared for this challenge. All things being equal, Minnesota’s only shot of beating the MLB betting lines at the best online sportsbooks would be if St. Louis suffers a major letdown after taking on the Cubs the previous three days. While that’s entirely possible, I’m not willing to bank on it.

MLB Pick: Bet the Cardinals at BookMaker.eu
MLB Score Prediction: St. Louis 8 – Minnesota 2

NHL Playoff Betting Lines, Penguins vs. Capitals Game 2 Odds

NHL Odds

Stanley Cup Playoff Odds Penguins vs. Capitals Game 2 Picks

By Rock Westfall

“Here we go again.”  That is the cry of Washington Capitals fans and gamblers after a game one disaster that re-opened many old wounds from the past.  With two of Pittsburgh’s top players, Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin, out with injuries in game one at Washington and with the Caps holding a 2-0 third period lead fate finally seemed to be on the side of the home town team.  But once again the arch nemesis of the Capitals cursed them.  The Penguins rallied for three goals in less than five minutes to steal the first game and the initiative.  Washington has lost seven consecutive playoff series to the Penguins.  And now it’s looking more probable that it’s going to be eight in a row for Pittsburgh.  Once again Washington choked on a huge opportunity to seize control against Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals Game 2
Date and Time: Sunday, April 29, 2018, 3 p.m. ET
Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
NHL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Check Back Later
Penguins vs. Capitals TV Coverage: NBC

With their 3-2 win in game one the Penguins lead this best of seven series 1-0.  After game two on Sunday games three and four will be in Pittsburgh.  If necessary game five is back in Washington, game six would be in Pittsburgh, and game seven would be set for the US Capital City.

Injury report

Malkin and Hagelin remain questionable for game two.  Malkin is hobbled with a leg issue while Hagelin has an injured face.  Malkin in particular is a key component for the Penguins as evidenced by his 42 goals and 56 assists with a plus 16 in the regular season.  In the playoffs Malkin has three goals and two assists.  He has played a key role in all three of Pittsburgh’s Stanley Cup championships.

Players to Watch

Pittsburgh center, team captain, and seven time All Star Sidney Crosby is on playoff fire with seven goals, eight assists and a plus eight in seven games.  Fellow center Jake Guentzel has been every bit as good with seven goals, nine assists and a plus 11.  Top defenseman Kris Letang has one goal, six assists with a plus seven.

Washington left wing and team captain Alex Ovechkin catches a lot of heat each spring for the team’s playoff failures but it’s hardly fair.  And so far, this playoff season “The Great Eight” leads the Caps with six goals and four assists.  That being said Ovechkin missed a wide-open net in game one that literally brought him to his knees in frustration.  Top Washington defenseman John Carlson has one goal with eight assists so far in post season.  The Caps do remain strong up the middle with centers Evgeny Kuznetsov (five goals and four assists) and Nicklas Backstrom (two goals and six assists) providing excellent playoff production so far.

Goalie Report

Washington goaltender Braden Holtby began the first two games of post season on the bench.  He rescued the Caps in the first round by backstopping four straight wins after they fell behind 2-0 to begin the series.  Holtby has a save percentage of .924 so far in post season.  He has a mixed record in the past playoff failures of Washington.  In the regular season he actually played himself out of a job.  Game one was a reminder of his worst moments in past playoff years.

Pittsburgh netminder Matt Murray also had a subpar regular season but has more than recovered in the playoffs.  Murray has posted a save percentage of .917 with two shutouts.  Murray backstopped both Stanley Cup titles for the Pens in 2016 and 2017.

Key Stats

Pittsburgh has had a solid advantage over Washington in this head to head series with eight wins in the last 12 meetings.  Five of the last six in this series have gone under the total.  The Penguins have brought considerable value in games at Washington with five wins in their last seven visits.  Five of those seven games have gone under the total.

Hockey Betting Picks

Penguins vs. Capitals Free Picks

The definition of insanity is to expect something different from the same set of circumstances.  So goes the old adage that may apply to this series.  Game one reminded all why Pittsburgh is a back to back Stanley Cup champion and the Caps are renowned as chokers.

Penguins vs. Capitals Pick: Bet the Pittsburgh Penguins money line
Penguins vs. Capitals Score Prediction: Penguins 4, Capitals 2

Indians vs Orioles Predictions, Baseball Betting Picks

Baseball Betting Picks

Indians at Orioles Picks

By Mike Rose

After earning a split with the AL Central leading Twins in Puerto Rico, the Cleveland Indians will look to gain some ground in Game 2 of their weekend set with the hapless Baltimore Orioles. The O’s have gotten out to a wretched start to their 2018 campaign managing just five wins through 19 overall tries. One has to wonder just how much hotter the seat can get under Buck Showalter before a change is in order.

Cleveland Indians at Baltimore Orioles
Date and Time: Saturday, April 21, 2018, 4:05 p.m. ET
Location: Camden Yards, Baltimore, MD
MLB Odds: Check Back Later
Probable Pitchers: Mike Clevinger vs. Chris Tillman
Indians at Orioles TV Coverage: FS1

The Tribe’s offense continues to flounder. That was eerily apparent in their 2-1 sixteen inning loss to the Twins on Wednesday that prevented them from surpassing Minnesota in the standings. Though the club enters this series averaging 5.0 runs over its last five games, it gets chopped down to just 3.5 runs over their last 10. None of Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez or Edwin Encarnacion is currently batting their weight.

Thankfully, Terry Francona has gotten a huge boost from his pitching staff. If not, the Tribe would no doubt be hanging out at the bottom of the league standings instead of second place. The staff ranks No. 2 in the quality starts department with 10, while the bullpen checks in at No. 6 with a 2.79 ERA. MLB bettors are still waiting for it to all fall into place.

If things have been bad in Cleveland and the Indians still sit a couple games over the breakeven point, words simply can’t describe what’s going on in Baltimore right now. Save for Manny Machado and to an extent Try Mancini, the Orioles are getting next to nothing from the offense right now. It’s scored three runs or less in six of its last 10 games and ranks No. 27 overall with a .223 batting average.

Unlike today’s opponent, the Orioles are also getting next to nothing from their pitching staff. Dylan Bundy and Andrew Cashner have been reliable, but it’s been nothing short of ugly after that. Baltimore ranks No. 26 in staff ERA ( 5.11 ), No. 29 in WHIP ( 1.57 ) and below league average in strikeouts. Add to the mix a bullpen ERA of 4.72 ( No. 23 ), and it’s clearly apparent the team is struggling in most facets of the game.

Key Stat

13 –Unlucky No. 13 is the amount of errors Baltimore’s defense has committed through its first 19 games. No Bueno! Along with failing to hit for an above average batting average and having next to nothing to rely upon on the bump, the O’s are also making their pitcher’s jobs that much harder by booting balls in the field. This only adds insult to injury for a team that’s only won back-to-back games once this season, and sports an embarrassing 2-4 record ( -$224 ) in front of the hometown faithful.

Baseball Betting Picks

Indians at Orioles Picks

The Tribe made a mockery of this AL rivalry a short season ago in winning six of the seven overall meetings. With Chris Tillman getting the starting nod in this one, Cleveland is going to be in an excellent position to improve upon that gaudy record. The O’s veteran has been peppered relentlessly each of the last two seasons. He enters this tilt 0-3 with a bloated 11.91 ERA and allowed at least 4 ER in his three made starts. Mike Clevinger hasn’t excelled like his fantasy owners would’ve liked, but at least he’s been reliable in allowing just 5 ER over 19.2 innings of work. I don’t foresee it getting any better for the home team in this matchup. Cleveland is by far the better of the two ball clubs, and I thoroughly expect them to show that throughout this series on the MLB betting lines at top online sportsbooks.

MLB Pick: Bet the Indians at BookMaker.eu
MLB Score Prediction: Cleveland 8 – Baltimore 3

 

MLB Baseball Odds, Orioles vs Red Sox Predictions

MLB Baseball Odds

Orioles at Red Sox Picks

By Mike Rose

The Boston Red Sox are flying high right now having gotten out to a 10-2 start and taking two of three from the hated New York Yankees before their weekend series with the Baltimore Orioles. It’s all set to close out on Monday afternoon when the BoSox host the o’s at Fenway Park on Patriots Day. These teams last met on this day back on April 20, 2009. The Red Sox won that game and stand 4-1 against the division rivals on this holiday for the state of Massachusetts and Maine.

Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox
Date and Time: Monday, April 16, 2018, 11:05 a.m. ET
Location: Fenway Park, Boston, MA
MLB Odds: Check Back Later
Probable Pitchers: Andrew Cashner vs. Brian Johnson
Orioles at Red Sox TV Coverage: MLB Network

How do you go into the Bronx and take three of four from the Yankees and follow it up by dropping a three game series to the Blue Jays? That’s exactly what Buck Showalter’s squad managed to do, and it looks to only be a sign of the times for this struggling franchise. Once Manny Machado is shipped to another team later this season, this team is going to take a major nosedive.

There simply isn’t much to get excited about when it comes to the Orioles. The starting staff has managed to produce the fifth most quality starts in the league, but the fun stops there. The offense has been a flat out joke! Machado is the only bat hitting better than .300. Chris Davis continues to be a strikeout machine and has only gone yard once. Jonathan Schoop is marred in a huge slump. Adam Jones is a shell of his former self. The list goes on and on. Bottom line, the Orioles offense can’t hit its way out of a paper bag right now.

It’s a much different story in Boston right now with the Red Sox getting out to the second best record in the league. In winning 10 of its 12 played games, Boston has lined those that backed them on the baseball betting odds a cool $743 return on their investment. Not bad for a squad that’s gone off the betting board favored in all but two of their played games.

The club has gotten it done both at the plate, on the mound and in the field. Mookie Betts and company are averaging 5.8 runs per game ( No. 3 ) while batting .259 overall ( No. 4 ). The starting staff has produced the second most quality starts ( 7 ), and owns a staff ERA of 3.08. On top of all that, the defense has only committed a grand total of three errors. Add it all up together, and it equals the hottest team the AL has to offer.

Injuries

Trey Mancini –The second year utility player has gotten out to a rough start to the season after shining in his rookie debut. Showalter batting him all over the order hasn’t done him any favors. Regardless, his status for this series is listed as questionable after he took a pitch off his hand. Mancini was actually batting lead-off for a couple games before getting injured. It will be interesting to see the Orioles lineup should he be forced to miss.

Hanley Ramirez – Xander Bogaerts going down with broken bone in his ankle hurt. Especially with the fifth year player getting out to such a hot start. Unfortunately, Han-Ram could likely be headed to the DL as well after taking a pitch off his wrist. A bad bruise developed, so it’s possible management decides to take it slow with their veteran to allow it to heel. If they do, his .357 batting average and team-high 12 RBI will be sorely missed in the meat of the batting order.

Baseball Betting Picks

Orioles at Red Sox Picks

In a season already loaded with disappointment, offseason acquisition Andrew Cashner has proved to be one of the lone bright spots. The grizzly veteran is 1-1 with a 2.50 ERA and has only allowed 12 hits over the course of his 18 innings of work. He enters his fourth starts of the year having logged quality efforts in each of his last two starts against the Yankees and Blue Jays. He was blasted in this venue last season in his first career start at Fenway Park. I expect him to continue throwing well in this one which has me looking the visitor’s way on the MLB betting lines. After taking their hacks against lefty Chris Sale on Sunday, matching up against Brian Johnson’s weak sauce shouldn’t be a tall order. I know its Patriots Day and everything, but I got a feeling Boston’s going down!

MLB Pick: Bet the Orioles at BookMaker.eu
MLB Score Prediction: Baltimore 6 – Boston 4

NHL Betting Futures Odds, Blackhawks vs. Blues Betting Picks

NHL Odds

NHL Odds Blackhawks vs. Blues Picks

By Rock Westfall

A do or die month is about to end for the St. Louis Blues.  A three-game losing streak has put The Note one point behind the Colorado Avalanche for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.  The Blues season will end at Colorado on Saturday and their mission is to stay close enough for that game to matter.  For the Chicago Blackhawks it has been a season of implosion.  A concussion to goaltender Corey Crawford served to end their season on December 23.  The Blackhawks lacked the depth of scoring and defense to overcome Crawford’s absence.  The Blues host the Blackhawks on Wednesday.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues
Date and Time: Wednesday, April 4, 2018, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri
NHL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Check Back Later
Blackhawks vs. Blues TV Coverage: NBCSN “Rivalry Night”

After winning eight out of nine with a gun to their head to climb into playoff position the Blues dropped three straight.  Goal scoring has been a sore spot for the Blues all season but has vanished at the worst possible time.  St. Louis scored just five goals during that three-game losing streak.  All three games still managed to go over the total due to Jake Allen’s subpar goaltending.

Chicago will be hitting the golf links next week after nine straight years in the playoffs.  Chicago has lost seven out of their last nine games with just two out of their last nine games going under the total.

Injury report

For Chicago team captain and center Jonathan Toews is probable with an upper body ailment.  Goaltender Corey Crawford remains out for the season after a concussion.

For St. Louis defenseman Jay Bouwmeester remains out with a hip injury.  Players to Watch

St. Louis right winger Vladimir Tarasenko looms large for this one as one of the few goal scoring threats the Blues have.  The Russian sniper leads The Note with 32 goals on the season.  Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo is having his best season with 15 goals and 38 assists.

Goalie Report

Jake Allen was celebrated as the goalie of the future for the Blues when he arrived four years ago.  Instead he has been wildly inconsistent with a .907 save percentage and a 2.72 goals against average.  Backup Carter Hutton has a .930 save percentage but choked down the stretch at the worst possible time with a save percentage of .883 in his last five starts.

Anton Forsberg has gotten most of the starts for Chicago in the absence of Corey Crawford.  Forsberg has a save percentage of .908 with a 2.97 goals against average.  JF Berube has a save percentage of .891 with a 3.93 goals against average in 11 starts.  Collin Delia has a save percentage of .889 with two starts recently.

Special Teams

The Blues power play has been abysmal this year with a ranking of 30th in the NHL.  Their penalty killing ranks a mediocre 17th in the NHL.  If the Blues fail to make the playoffs special teams would be as big of a culprit as any.

Chicago has also struggled on the power play with a NHL ranking of 29th.  Their penalty killing has been a subpar 20th in the league.

Key Stats

St. Louis is 43-30-6 with a home record of 24-16-0.  The Blues have gone under the total in 25 of their 40 home games.  The Blues rank 24th in the NHL for goal scoring but rank seventh in the NHL for goals against.

Chicago is 32-37-8-2 with a road record of just 14-20-4-1.  The Blackhawks have gone under the total in just 15 out of 39 away games.  Chicago ranks 19th in the NHL for goal scoring and 23rd for goals against.

The Blackhawks have lost their last two visits to St. Louis.  The last three meetings between these teams at Scottrade Center have failed to stay under the total.

Hockey Betting Picks

Blackhawks vs. Blues Free Picks

This is the regular season home finale for the Blues.  It may also be the last home game period.  Failure is not an option.  The Blues must win to stay alive for the playoffs.

Blackhawks vs. Blues Pick: Bet the St. Louis Blues money line
Blackhawks vs. Blues Score Prediction: Blues 3, Blackhawks 1