MLB Baseball Betting Picks, Dodgers vs. Cubs Predictions

MLB Betting

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs Series MLB Betting Preview

By Mike Rose

Off a near sweep of the Cardinals in St. Louis, the Chicago Cubs return home to the “Friendly Confines” of Wrigley Field in search of a second straight series win. Up next on the docket will be the Los Angeles Dodgers outfit that took them out behind the woodshed and served up a good ‘ol fashioned beating when the teams last met in last year’s NLCS. LA has held the upper hand of the recent rivalry in winning eight of the last 10 meetings with all but two of those games combining for low scorers.

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs
Dates: Monday, June 18 – Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Location: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL

Dave Roberts’ squad got out to a wretched start to their 2018 campaign, but since the calendar turned to the month of June, Los Angeles is playing like the team many envisioned at the outset of the season. In winning 11 of their 14 June games ( $655 ), the Dodgers enter this series to be held in Wrigleyville only 1.5 games in back of the front running Arizona Diamondbacks. That deficit was close to 10 only a short month ago!

Chicago had a shot to take over sole possession of the NL Central lead on Sunday night, but came up short in yet another shutout. Putting zero runs on the board is something Joe Maddon’s troops have done a bunch over the last week. Of their six played games against Milwaukee and St. Louis, they were shut out three times! That said, Anthony Rizzo and his mates combined for 26 runs in the other three.

Game 1 Probable Pitchers – Monday, June 18, 2018, 8:05 p.m. ET ( Local TV )

Kenta Maeda vs. Tyler Chatwood

The book on Maeda has been easy to read this season. Back him in Chavez Ravine and fade him till the cows come home when toeing the visitor’s bump. Within Dodger Stadium, the righty checks in 2-3 with a 3.41 ERA. When on the road, his ERA jumps up to 3.86 and ground ball to fly ball ratio down to 1.62. Those numbers would be even worse if his last four road starts didn’t take place in Miami, San Diego, San Francisco and San Diego again. He owns a lifetime 4.44 ERA on the road and has never pitched at Wrigley Field in hot weather. Chicago’s sticks should eat Monday night.

Regardless of whether the Cubs offense gets going once again, they might need to hang a crooked number on the board just to come out on top with Chatwood on the bump. The righty has been a huge disappointment since being signed as a free agent this past offseason. He’s 3-5 against the MLB betting odds with a 4.12 ERA and .233 BAA. Not terrible. However, his numbers would be so much better if he could figure out a way not to issue free passes. Chatwood’s walked and struck out 58 batters through 63.1 innings – that’s an 8.2 BB/9 people! How the over has only cashed in seven of his 12 starts is beyond me.

Game 2 Probable Pitchers – Tuesday, June 19, 2018, 8:05 p.m. ET ( Local TV )

Rich Hill vs. Mike Montgomery

Hill is set to come off the DL for this start, again. The veteran has been on and off the designated list all season. When healthy, he’s been nothing to write home about in going 1-2 with a 6.20 ERA and .303 BAA. In other words, he wasn’t missing bats evidenced by the 30 hits allowed through 24.2 innings. Though he registered better than a K per inning, he also issued 13 walks. The lefty last took to the starting bump back on May 19, and the last thing a rusty arm wants to see right out of the chute is an offense that leads the league in runs scored per game against southpaws ( 6.4 ).

Montgomery is making it known that he deserves a spot in the Cubs starting rotation. The spot starter/long man has been nothing short of a godsend for Maddon since Yu Darvish hit the DL. In his four starts made since, Montgomery has conceded a grand total of 13 hits and 3 ER with as K/BB ratio of 14:3 through 23.2 innings. He came one out away from throwing a quality start in each outing! He haw however had a rough go of it versus LA evidenced by his career 4.15 ERA and 1.62 WHIP.

Game 3 Probable Pitchers – Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 2:20 p.m. ET ( MLB Network )

Ross Stripling vs. Jon Lester

Like Montgomery for Chicago, Stripling has been the same type of saving grace for Los Angeles. The righty is 6-1 with a miniscule 1.76 ERA and opponents are only batting .224 against him. Since getting blown up in his first start after getting yanked from the pen due to Clayton Kershaw’s injury, Stripling has tallied quality starts in five of his eight made starts. He allowed two or less ER in each of them, and the Dodgers have come out on the right side of the scoreboard in each of his last six made starts.

Aces gonna ace! Lester has a down 2017 season. Some might say he was simply hungover and fatigued from the Cubs championship run the year prior. That’s not the case in 2018. The lefty has far and away been the best arm within Chicago’s rotation in going 8-2 with a 2.28 ERA and .207 BAA. Though 17-7 versus left-handers, Los Angeles has only plated an average of 4.0 runs per game against southpaws. He owns a 3.89 ERA and .220 BAA lifetime against the Dodgers, and the Cubs have won five of his six home starts. The finale of this series should play out to an excellent pitcher’s duel.Baseball Betting Picks

Baseball Betting Picks, Rays vs. Yankees Predictions

Baseball Betting Picks

Baseball Betting Odds,  Rays vs. Yankees Picks

By Mike Rose

Blake Snell has made nine career starts against the New York Yankees over the course of his career. He’s managed two wins to go along with three losses and owns a lifetime 4.58 ERA versus the Bronx Bombers. He enters start No. 15 for the Tampa Bay Rays in the midst of his best season at the professional level. He’ll attempt to keep the mojo rising on Thursday night when he takes to the Yankee Stadium bump for the opener of the AL East rival’s extended four game series.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees
Date and Time: Thursday, June 14, 2018, 7:05 p.m. ET
Location: Yankee Stadium, New York, NY
MLB Odds: Check Back Later
Probable Pitchers: Blake Snell vs. Domingo German
Rays at Yankees TV Coverage: FS1

As top heavy the AL East currently is, the Rays have to proud of the fact that they’re currently the best of the worst. At 14 games off the pace, Tampa Bay has no realistic chance of catching either the Yankees or Red Sox, but it does have a shot of finishing the regular season up with a .500 record. It entered Tuesday night’s tilt with Toronto five games under the breakeven point ( -$482 ).

With the club below average overall, it comes as no surprise to find the Rays substandard in a number of different areas. Tampa Bay hits well as a team evidenced by its .257 batting average ( No. 6 ), but it’s only translated into an average of 4.1 runs per game ( No. 24 ). On top of that, the pitching staff has been brutal with the starters amassing a total of 19 quality starts and the bullpen the owner of a 3.88 ERA ( No. 14 ). Stats like that aren’t allowing it to compete within the division.

Then there’s the New York Yankees who sit tied atop the division standings along with the Boston Red Sox. Aaron Boone has had a great go of it in his inaugural season in the Bronx. The Yanks own the league’s top-ranked offense that ranked No. 1 in runs scored per game ( 5.5 ), OPS ( .796 ) and home runs ( 103 ). On top of that, the starting staff has spun 31 quality starts ( No. 8 ) while the bullpen has taken care of business in 18 of its 26 save opportunities.

Heading into Tuesday night’s series opener with the Washington Nationals, the Yankees checked in as the fifth most lucrative team to back this season. Even though Aaron Judge and company are routinely favored by oddsmakers on the betting lines, the team is in the black by nearly $1100. That’s freaking awesome! They’ve taken care of business both at home ( 4544 ) and on the road ( $553 ) which has hurt sportsbook’s bottom line at this point of the season.

Player to Watch

Blake Snell – The series opener will all come down to how well the third year pro handles himself in Gotham. The righty enters start No. 15 the owner of a spectacular 2.30 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. While he’s issuing just over 2.7 walks per nine innings, Snell has left those runners on base due to registering 89 Ks through his 82.1 total innings of work. Since getting bombed in Baltimore back on May 13, the Rays’ staff ace has logged quality efforts in four of his last five starts. He came one out away from making it five straight during that stretch. Bottom line, Snell is in a groove right now and his 0-3 record and inflated 6.55 career ERA at Yankee Stadium will no doubt have the Rays lined as the value side in this matchup.
Baseball Betting Picks
Rays at Yankees Picks

Coming off an intense two-game series with the Washington Nationals in a potential World Series showdown, I believe the Yankees will be ripe for the upset on the MLB odds at top rated sportsbooks. Domingo German has done absolutely nothing to make me buy the fact that oddsmakers will have New York lined as decisive home chalk in this matchup. He’s 0-4 with a bloated 5.32 ERA and only just snapped a string of throwing four straight non-quality starts by attaining the minimum against the weak-hitting Mets last time out. I get that the Rays have only logged three wins in their last 10 tries against the division rivals. I’m also well aware that they’ve dropped eight of their last 10 visits to the Bronx. Tampa has the better starter on the bump and the Yankees are in a prime letdown spot. Tampa Bay is as rabid as they come tonight!

MLB Pick: Bet the Rays at BookMaker.eu

MLB Score Prediction: Tampa Bay 7 – New York 2

Baseball Betting Predictions, Astros vs Indians Lines

MLB Baseball Odds

Astros at Indians Picks

By Mike Rose

A possible ALCS showdown is set to go down on FOX Saturday night when the American League behemoth Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians lock horns in the third game of their extended weekend series. A doozy of a pitching rematch is set to go down with Lance McCullers Jr. set to square off against Carlos Carrasco. The righties went at one another last Sunday night in a game the Astros pulled out by a 3-1 final count. Runs could be tough to come by in this one as well.

Houston Astros at Cleveland Indians
Date and Time: Saturday, April 26, 2018, 7:15 p.m. ET
Location: Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH
MLB Odds: Check Back Later
Probable Pitchers: Lance McCullers Jr. vs. Carlos Carrasco
Astros at Indians TV Coverage: FOX

The Astros are one of four teams in all of baseball to have amassed 30+ wins at this point of the season. A.J. Hinch and his staff have done a tremendous job keeping their club level headed so as to not suffer a World Series hangover like many other clubs did before them. Especially with the pennant the first in franchise history.

Houston entered Thursday’s series opener winners of five straight series since dropping two of three to the them smoking hot Arizona Diamondbacks at the beginning of May. The club has gotten to this point by way of owning the best pitching staff in the game that’s backed by an offense that ranks top 10 in runs scored per game ( 4.7 ), batting average ( .256 ) and OPS ( .740 ). Even with the team favored heavily in just about every game, it’s still managed to produce $91 in baseball betting profit!

This season has been a struggle for the Tribe. Terry Francona’s squad did however just secure its first series win in three tries by going into Wrigley Field and taking two straight from the feast or famine Cubs. Maybe the feel good wins will propel this team into playing like the team many envisioned at the outset of the season. Regardless, Cleveland only sits a single game over .500 for the season which has seen them cost baseball bettors nearly $1K of their bankrolls.

The issue has been an offense that doesn’t hit for average ( .247 ) and a defense that’s committed a whopping 29 errors ( No. 18 ). On top of that, the bullpen has been a disgrace with it collectively pitching to an ugly 5.65 ERA. However, Andrew Miller looks to be healthy now and he just came up with his biggest hold to date keeping Chicago scoreless in the 8th inning even though they had runners on first and third with no outs. Him pulling through there could get their beleaguered unit back on track.

Pitching Matchup

Lance McCullers Jr. –McCullers was lights out against the Tribe last time out in Houston. He limited Edwin Encarnacion and company to just one hit and no earned runs through seven innings to log his team-leading sixth win of the season. He also registered 8 Ks! Though Houston has won four of his six road starts, his ERA jumps up to 4.36 as opposed to a nifty 1.73 when at home. He’s 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA and .045 BAA lifetime against Cleveland, but got lit up in his only career start at Progressive Field.

Carlos Carrasco –Carrasco was the tough-luck loser in last Sunday night’s matchup with the Astros. Cleveland’s No. 2 arm tossed 7.2 innings of 3 ER ball to log a third straight quality start. He also tallied 6 Ks and enters start No. 11 with a 63:14 K/BB ratio. Cleveland has split his four home starts where he’s thrown to an unsightly 5.01 ERA and .250 BAA. That said, he’s 3-2 with a 2.83 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and .285 BAA in six career starts against the Astros.
Baseball Betting Picks
Astros at Indians Picks

You can have your NBA and NHL Playoffs. I simply can’t wait to take this installment of ESPN Sunday Night Baseball in after getting a taste of this exact pitching matchup only a short week ago. We were all over the home team last Sunday, and that will once again be the case in this revenge bout. Carrasco’s home/away splits are a bit disturbing, but so too are McCullers. I honestly foresee the Tribe blowing him up this time around, and because of it, I’ll be laying the price with Cleveland the baseball betting lines at the top-5 online sportsbooks on both the moneyline and run-line. Look for Carrasco to go deep and get plenty of run support to allow Miller and Cody Reed to seal the deal.

MLB Pick: Bet the Indians at BookMaker.eu
MLB Score Prediction: Cleveland 9 – Houston 2

Baseball Betting Predictions, Indians vs. Astros Lines

MLB Odds

Indians at Astros Picks

By Mike Rose

The seventh week of the 2018 baseball betting season closes out with a gem when Carlos Carrasco and the Cleveland Indians square off against Lance McCullers Jr. and the Houston Astros on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. This series has recently been dominated by the Tribe who’ve taken each of the last five meetings as well as seven of the last 10 heading into Friday’s series opener. The under holds a negligible advantage cashing at a 5-4-1 clip.

Cleveland Indians at Houston Astros
Date and Time: Sunday, May 20, 2018, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
MLB Odds: Check Back Later
Probable Pitchers: Carlos Carrasco vs. Lance McCullers Jr.
Indians at Astros TV Coverage: ESPN

Let’s face it folks, the AL Central stinks. It’s arguably the least competitive division in all of baseball with no team the owner of a +.500 record entering play on Thursday. That said, the Indians are the cream of the crop having split its first 42 games which has equated to an ugly $1100 deficit for baseball bettors.

Most bothersome is the team’s record away from Progressive Field where its managed only eight wins through 20 tries ( -$861 ). While the offense leads the league in home runs ( 64 ) and has amassed 28 quality starts ( No. 2 ), the bullpen ( No. 30 ) and defense ( #24 ) has left much to be desired. That in large part is why losing clubs like Minnesota and Detroit are hot on their trail for the division lead.

No other team has amasses more wins than the World Series favorite Houston Astros who stood 28-17 heading into Friday’s series opener. Unlike the Cubs last season, Jose Altuve and company haven’t experienced any sort of hangover after winning the franchise its first championship ever a short season ago.

While it sits 11 games over the breakeven point, it’s still cost those attacking the MLB betting lines $201 overall this season. That’s going to happen when you’re installed favorites by the oddsmakers in all but one of your 45 lined games. Though the squad has logged $581 in profit on the road, it’s cost those that backed them at home over $780 overall. Unsurprisingly, they’ll be installed chalk to win this matchup as well.

Player to Watch

Carlos Carrasco – The Tribe’s No. 2 hurler has thrived away from Progressive Field this season in pitching to a 3-1 record and 2.78 ERA. Though he’s 2-1 at home, his ERA is nearly 3.0 runs higher there. For some reason, he’s been more comfortable in hostile than accepting territory. On top of that, he’s excelled versus the Astros in his career pitching to a 3-1 record, 2.67 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. Houston is batting .218 against him lifetime. He’s made a pair of career starts at Minute Maid Park and won each by throwing shutout ball and only five hits through his 15.1 total innings of work. Each of his last four road starts have been of quality.
Baseball Betting Picks
Indians at Astros Picks

As much as I don’t want to get in front of the Houston Astros, they’ve been more susceptible to defeats at home. You seriously never know what you’re going to get whenever McCullers takes to the starting bump. He can give you seven shutout innings with 10 Ks, or he can depart before the fifth with an ugly stat line. His inconsistency has me leaning towards the Tribe in this spot with Carrasco leading the charge. He’s been unbeatable in this ball park, and been at his best on the road. Add Cleveland’s recent dominance of the rivalry into the equation, and there’s no way I can avoid backing the visitors at top-rated sportsbooks. Especially if receiving a plus-money return by linemakers!

MLB Pick: Bet the Indians at BookMaker.eu
MLB Score Prediction: Cleveland 6 – Houston 3

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