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Wish I had time to do some more, but headed to work and will not be home until 6:00
MLB Top 4: Best runline bets in baseball
When a team like the Baltimore Orioles jumps out to a 17-9 record to begin the season, baseball bettors are anxiously waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Maybe the O’s are this year’s miracle team and the 11.94 units they’ve earned for moneyline bettors so far is just a taste of the vast riches to come in 2012.
Or maybe, the rest of the American League gets smart to their staff – which boasts the second-lowest team ERA (2.79) - the second and third time through. And maybe, the big bats, which have hit 35 home runs (third most in the bigs), suddenly shrink as the season wears on.
The nearly 12 moneyline units won by Baltimore are impressive, but the 14.37 units it’s earned on the runline are even sweeter (19-7 vs. the runline). And while the Orioles may start coming up on the short end of the scoreboard, they could maintain their value with baseball’s version of the spread.
Here are three other clubs that are paying out on the runline while leaving moneyline bettors a bit shortchanged:
St. Louis Cardinals (10.46 runline units/3.89 moneyline units)
The Cardinals' offense wasn’t supposed to be better with Albert Pujols soaking up the sun in California. But the defending World Series champs are tops in the majors in offense, averaging 5.46 runs per game and hitting a collective .286. Carlos Beltran, who was brought in to soften the loss to Pujols, has seven home runs. Pujols has none. Oddsmakers undervalued St. Louis’ remaining parts, giving it terrific value on the runline.
There have been some weirdo facts and figures during this red-hot runline rip. The Cardinals, who have played only six one-run games – fewest in the National League Central – are just 1-5 in those nailbiters. And, outside of a single-game opener with Miami, St. Louis hasn’t ventured outside its division through the first month of the season. It takes its first steps beyond the NL Central in Arizona Monday.
The Astros and Cardinals are facing each other this weekend, posing a tough task for runline bettors. Houston’s 12-14 record is much better than most expected, and its 18-8 runline record is simply shocking.
The Astros are leaning heavily on their offense right now, scoring 4.73 runs a night while watching their team ERA slowly swell, sitting at 3.89 heading into Saturday. The biggest difference maker for Houston’s runline backers has been the bullpen, which has kept the team close in the late innings. The Astros' relievers ranked eighth in baseball as a group, boasting a 2.97 collective ERA.
Chicago White Sox (7.55 runline units/-2.46 moneyline units)
The White Sox were locked atop the American League Central before losing back-to-back games to Cleveland and dropping the series opener with Detroit Friday. Chicago’s 12-14 record isn’t too far off its 15-11 runline record, but the difference in profits speak for itself.
Friday night’s ninth-inning collapse to the Tigers stung moneyline backers like a swarm of killer bees, while the runline fans suffered only minor swelling – in their wallets – after Detroit won 5-4 but failed to cover the 1.5-run spread. Chicago has just two wins in the last eight games but has managed to salvage a 5-5 mark versus the runline.
Lynn gave up two runs for the first time this season in his last start, improving to 5-0 with a 12-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The win made him the NL’s first five-game winner as he struck out six and walked one while sitting down 15 consecutive Pirates at one point. With five pitches in his arsenal, Lynn’s giving batters fits right now.
Ted Lilly, Los Angeles Dodgers (3-0, 1.38 ERA)
Lilly had to leave his last outing early with a strained oblique, but is expected to be 100 percent for Monday’s date with the Giants. His 1.38 ERA puts him fourth in the league. The 36-year-old veteran lefty has just 15 strikeouts compared to nine walks this year.
Francisco Liriano, Minnesota Twins (0-4, 9.97 ERA)
Liriano returned to the rotation last week after the club skipped his turn before that, but couldn’t snap his winless skid. He looked great at times, but also allowed a pair of solo homers and walked three while putting the leadoff batter on base in five innings during the 4-0 loss to the Angels.
After getting pounded by the Cardinals, Gallardo managed to throw six quality innings against Padres. However, he still took the loss in a 5-0 decision, and is winless in five starts. He gave up four home runs in his first start of the season, but hasn’t allowed another since then.
NBA: The San Antonio Spurs are 37-10-4 ATS in their last 51 games overall.
NBA: The over is 5-1 in the Clippers’ last six overall.
NHL: The under is 5-0-5 in the New York Rangers’ last 10 overall.
NHL: Phoenix is 12-3 in its last 15 overall.
MLB: The L.A. Dodgers are 24-7 in their last 31 home games.
NBA: The under is 9-3-1 in Utah’s last 13 games as a home underdog.
NBA: The Memphis Grizzlies are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games.
NHL: The Capitals are 1-5 in their last six games following a win.
NHL: The under is 1-3-1 in the Nashville Predators' last five road games.
MLB: The Mariners are 1-7 in their last eight overall.
22.9 – The Memphis Grizzlies shot just 22.9 percent from the floor in the fourth quarters of their Game 1 and Game 3 losses to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Grizzlies are 0-2-1 against the spread so far in the series and are pegged as 1.5-point underdogs for Monday’s Game 4.
Injury that shouldn’t be overlooked
Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers – Kemp sat out most of Sunday’s game with a tight left hamstring and his status for Monday’s game against San Francisco is uncertain. He did pinch hit in the seventh inning to keep his streak of consecutive games played alive. He leads active big leaguers with 393 consecutive games played. Kemp leads the league in home runs, runs, total bases and slugging percentage. He's hitting .388 with 12 homers and 27 RBIs.
Game of the day
San Antonio Spurs at Utah Jazz (+8, 198.5)
“They’re not happy we’re down 3-1 in this series. When you’re a player and been a good player for a long time, you want to be on the ice. You don’t want to be in the stands, so they’re back in the right mind-set that they can make a difference here.” – Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz on Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn, who have been benched for the last two games after missing curfew last week. Both players are expected to return to the lineup Monday against Phoenix.
Notes and tips
The San Antonio Spurs are averaging an NBA-best 107.3 points per game in their opening round series against the Utah Jazz. The Spurs have covered the number in each of their three wins against the Jazz and look to complete the sweep Monday as 8-point favorites.
Roy Halladay is expected to make his scheduled start Monday against the New York Mets after leaving the team to deal with a personal matter last week. Halladay was shelled in his last trip to the hill, allowing 12 hits and eight earned runs over 5 1/3 innings in a 15-13 loss to the Atlanta Braves.
The Detroit Tigers activated starting pitcher Doug Fister from the 15-day DL and he’ll be on the hill against his former team, the Seattle Mariners, on Monday. Fister was out with a left costochondral strain. He was 8-1 with the Tigers after last year’s trade with a 1.79 ERA.
The Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles depleted their pitching staffs during Sunday’s 17-inning marathon. Both squads ended up using a position player to pitch by the end of the game, which Baltimore won 9-6. The BoSox now travel to Kansas City to begin their series with the Royals, while Baltimore heads back home to face Texas.
-- Rodriguez is 3-1, 1.33 in his last four starts. Zambrano is 0-2, 2.08 in his last four starts; Marlins scored seven runs in the four games.
-- Hanson is 2-1, 2.65 in three road starts. Samardzija is 1-0, 0.63 in his last couple starts.
-- Arroyo is 1-1, 2.73 in his last four outings.
-- Lynn is 5-0, 1.60 in five starts this season. Saunders is 2-2, 1.73 in five starts this season.
-- Volquez allowed one run in 14 IP in his last couple starts. Pomeranz is 0-0, 2.87 in his last three starts.
-- Lilly is 3-0, 1.73 in four starts this season. Zito is 1-0, 2.35 in five starts this season.
-- Matusz is 1-0, 2.19 in his last couple starts.
-- Doubrant is 1-1, 5.57 in his last four starts.
-- Weaver is 3-0, 0.88 in his last four starts, last of which was no-hitter against this opponent.
-- Niese is 0-1, 5.63 in his last three starts. Halladay is 0-2, 6.05 in his last three outings, blowing a 6-0 lead last time out.
-- Gallardo allowed 11 runs in eight IP in losing his last two starts.
-- Stults was 8-10, 4.90 in 24 career starts from 2006-09 with Dodgers; he has a 2.20 RA in five AAA starts this year. Humber allowed 12 runs in 11.2 IP in two starts since he pitched his perfect game.
Tomlin is 0-1, 5.91 in his last two starts. McAllister allowed 16 runs in 17.2 IP in four MLB starts LY; he has a 2.83 RA in six AAA starts this season.
-- Harrison allowed 15 runs in 8.1 IP in his last two starts.
-- JSanchez is 0-1, 5.71 in his last four starts.
-- Liriano is 0-4, 10.80 in five starts this season.
-- Beavan is 0-2, 5.82 in his last three starts. Fister comes off DL to make first start since April 7, when he blanked Boston for 3.2 innings before getting hurt.
-- Marlins won their last six games, allowing 17 runs. Houston won five of its last six games.
-- Braves won eight of their last ten road games.
-- Cincinnati won five of its last seven road games.
-- Cleveland won five of its last seven games.
-- Orioles won seven of their last eight games.
-- Angels won five of their last seven games.
-- Tigers won five of their last seven road games.
-- Mets lost six of their last eight road games. Phillies are 3-4 in their last seven at home.
-- Cubs are 1-7 in game following their last eight wins
-- Brewers lost seven of their last ten games.
-- Arizona lost four of its last five games. St Louis lost four of its last six road games.
-- Colorado lost six of its last eight games. Padres lost eight of last 12.
-- White Sox lost nine of their last twelve games.
-- Rangers lost five of their last seven games.
-- Boston lost its last five games, allowing 32 runs. Royals lost 12 of their 14 home games.
-- Minnesota lost 11 of its last 13 games.
-- Mariners lost seven of their last nine games.
-- Six of Mets' last nine games went over the total.
-- Ten of last twelve Miami road games stayed under total. Houston's last five home games went over.
-- Ten of Cubs' last twelve games stayed under the total.
-- Under is 4-0-1 in Cincinnati's last five road games.
-- Nine of last twelve St Louis road games stayed under total.
-- Seven of last nine Colorado games went over total.
-- Four of last five games at Dodger Stadium stayed under.
-- Under is 9-3 in Cleveland's last twelve home games.
-- Under is 9-4 in last thirteen Baltimore games.
-- Under is 8-2-1 in Royals' last eleven home games.
-- Under is 12-2 in Angels' last fourteen games.
-- Under is 7-2 in Detroit's road games this season.
The Marlins look to take advantage of an Astros team that is coming off an 8-1 loss to St. Louis and is 1-5 in Wandy Rodriguez' last 6 starts after scoring 2 runs or less in the previous game. Miami is the pick (+100) according to Dunkel, which has the Marlins favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Miami (+100). Here are all of today's picks.
Game 901-902: NY Mets at Philadelphia (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Niese) 14.554; Philadelphia (Halladay) 15.326
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 1; 6
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-200); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-200); Under
Game 903-904: Miami at Houston (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Zambrano) 16.157; Houston (Rodriguez) 14.628
Dunkel Line: Miami by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Houston (-120); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (+100); Over
Game 905-906: Atlanta at Chicago Cubs (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta (Hanson) 14.938; Cubs (Samardzija) 15.912
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-130); No Run Total
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (+110); N/A
Game 907-908: Cincinnati at Milwaukee (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati (Arroyo) 14.586; Milwaukee (Gallardo) 14.887
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-130); 8
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (-130); Under
Game 909-910: St. Louis at Arizona (9:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Lynn) 15.091; Arizona (Saunders) 15.416
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-120); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (+100); Over
Game 911-912: Colorado at San Diego (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (Pomeranz) 13.975; San Diego (Volquez) 14.935
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1; 6
Vegas Line: San Diego (-120); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (-120); Under
Game 913-914: San Francisco at LA Dodgers (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco (Zito) 14.378; LA Dodgers (Lilly) 15.368
Dunkel Line: LA Dodgers by 1; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-145); No Run Total
Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (-145); N/A
Game 915-916: Chicago White Sox at Cleveland (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Stults) 15.723; Cleveland (Tomlin) 14.723
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Cleveland (-140); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago White Sox (+120); Under
Game 917-918: Texas at Baltimore (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Texas (Harrison) 16.665; Baltimore (Matusz) 16.466
Dunkel Line: Texas by 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Texas (-150); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Texas (-150); Over
Game 919-920: Boston at Kansas City (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Doubront) 13.713; Kansas City (Sanchez) 14.908
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Boston (-120); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (+100); Under
Game 921-922: LA Angels at Minnesota (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Weaver) 14.460; Minnesota (Liriano) 14.803
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-185); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+165); Over
Game 923-924: Detroit at Seattle (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit (Fister) 16.113; Seattle (Beavan) 15.149
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1; 6
Vegas Line: Detroit (-140); 7
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-140); Under
Game 925-926: Chicago White Sox at Cleveland (1:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Humber) 15.809; Cleveland (McAllister) 14.693
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Cleveland (-110); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago White Sox (-110); Under