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Thursday's streaking and slumping starting pitchers
R.A. Dickey, New York Mets (5-1, 3.65 ERA)
Dickey didn’t have his best knuckler going in his last start, but still held the Marlins to two runs over six innings to pick up his third win in four outings. He was hit by a pitch on the wrist of his pitching hand, which cut his outing short. He is expected to be fine for Thursday. Dickey said he had a tough time keeping his knuckleball from over-rotating.
Brandon Beachy, Atlanta Braves (4-1, 1.60 ERA)
You’d never know Brandon Beachy was an undrafted free agent by looking at him on the mound now. He allowed just one run on two hits over six innings in a win over St. Louis in his last outing, and has allowed two or fewer runs in all seven of his starts. However, he has walked seven combined batters in his last two outings – half of his season total.
Chris Volstad, Chicago Cubs (0-5, 6.92 ERA)
One bad inning spoiled another Volstad outing last week when he coughed up five runs in the sixth inning against the Brewers, adding yet another loss to his resume. Volstad’s slider has given him the most trouble, but without a win since July 17 of last year, the slump seems to be getting to his head. He might be pitching to save his spot in the rotation here and will be up against Roy Halladay.
J.A. Happ, Houston Astros (2-3, 5.72 ERA)
Happ has surrendered six home runs in his last four starts and owns a fat 7.16 ERA over his last three starts. Manager Brad Mills says Happ’s major problem right now is that he’s leaving some pitches up in the strike zone. He has just one win in his last six starts.
Thursday’s betting tips: Heat-Pacers line flip-flops
Weather to watch
St. Louis Cardinals at San Francisco Giants – 17 mph winds are expected to blow out to centerfield.
NBA: The under is 6-2 in Pacers last eight overall.
NBA: The Spurs are now 13-1-1 ATS in their last 15.
NHL: The Kings are 10-3 in their last 13 home games.
MLB: The Marlins were 11-3 in their last 14 overall ahead of Wednesday's action.
NBA: The Heat are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games.
NBA: The Clippers are 3-7-2 ATS in their last 12 games overall.
NHL: Coyotes are 3-8 in their last 11 meetings with Los Angeles.
MLB: The Rockies are 2-9 in their last 11 overall ahead of Wednesday's action.
13 – The San Antonio Spurs hit 13 3-pointers in Game 1’s win over the Clippers, draining 52 percent of their attempts from outside. The Spurs were the top outside shooting team in the regular season (39.3 percent) and are tops in the playoffs at 43.4 percent.
Injury that shouldn’t be overlooked
Austin Jackson, Detroit Tigers - Jackson left Wednesday's game in the fifth inning with an abdominal strain and is expected to sit out for at least a game or two. He's hitting .323 with three homers, 16 RBI and six stolen bases.
Game of the day
Miami Heat at Indiana Pacers (1, 182)
“They scored a lot, but we stopped everyone else. We never felt like we were the underdogs, you know. This is business as usual.” – Indiana’s Danny Granger on shutting down Miami’s role players in Game 2’s win. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combined for 52 points but no other Heat player had more than five. The Pacers are still set as +300 underdogs to win this series with Miami.
Notes and tips
The Miami Heat opened as 1-point underdogs for Game 3 in Indiana after dropping Game 2 78-75, but the line didn’t hold for very long. By Wednesday evening, the Heat were pegged as 1-point favorites. Miami has covered in four of its last five trips to Indiana.
Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan and defenseman Derek Morris avoided further discipline after throwing questionable hits in Game 2’s loss to the Los Angeles Kings. Forward Martin Hanzal wasn’t so lucky. He was suspended one game for hitting Kings captain Dustin Brown from behind. The Coyotes are pegged as +175 underdogs on the road.
Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie was suspended by Major League Baseball for four games Wednesday following a run-in with umpire Bill Miller. Lawrie also was fined an undisclosed amount of money for what was termed “aggressive actions” towards Miller, including throwing a helmet near Miller during the ninth inning of Tuesday night’s game at Rogers Centre against the visiting Tampa Bay Rays. The Blue Jays are appealing the suspension and Lawrie was in the lineup Wednesday night.
The Pirates look to bounce back from yesterday's 7-4 loss and take advantage of a Washington team that is 1-4 in Jordan Zimmermann's last 5 starts after scoring 5 runs or more in their previous game. Pittsburgh is the pick (+140) according to Dunkel, which has the Pirates favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (+140). Here are all of today's picks.
THURSDAY, MAY 17
Time Posted: 7:00 a.m. EST
Game 901-902: Cincinnati at NY Mets (1:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati (Latos) 15.149; NY Mets (Dickey) 15.826
Dunkel Line: NY Mets by 1/2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-115); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Mets (-105); Under
Game 903-904: Arizona at Colorado (3:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona (Cahill) 13.516; Colorado (Nicasio) 14.813
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 1 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Colorado (-115); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (-115); Over
Game 905-906: St. Louis at San Francisco (3:45 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Wainwright) 14.464; San Francisco (Cain) 15.062
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-120); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-120); Over
Game 907-908: Pittsburgh at Washington (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh (McDonald) 15.694; Washington (Zimmermann) 14.221
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Washington (-160); 6
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (+140); Over
Game 909-910: Miami at Atlanta (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Nolasco) 15.734; Atlanta (Beachy) 17.042
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 1 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-160); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-160); Over
Game 911-912: Milwaukee at Houston (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee (Marcum) 14.591; Houston (Happ) 15.661
Dunkel Line: Houston by 1; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-150); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Houston (+130); Over
Game 913-914: Philadelphia at Chicago Cubs (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia (Halladay) 14.578; Cubs (Volstad) 15.469
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 1; 6
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-180); No Run Total
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (+160); N/A
Game 915-916: LA Dodgers at San Diego (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Harang) 14.822; San Diego (Volquez) 15.620
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1; 6
Vegas Line: San Diego (-125); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (-125); Under
Game 917-918: Seattle at Cleveland (12:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Noesi) 14.756; Cleveland (McAllister) 14.087
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 1/2; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Cleveland (-165); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (+145); Over
Game 919-920: Minnesota at Detroit (1:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota (Walters) 14.355; Detroit (Fister) 14.637
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Detroit (-230); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-230); Under
Game 921-922: Oakland at Texas (2:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (McCarthy) 16.268; Texas (Harrison) 15.321
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1; 10
Vegas Line: Texas (-200); 9
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (+170); Over
Game 923-924: Baltimore at Kansas City (2:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Matusz) 16.003; Kansas City (Hochevar) 16.401
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Kansas City (-125); 9
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (-125); Under
Game 925-926: Chicago White Sox at LA Angels (3:35 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Sale) 15.419; LA Angels (Wilson) 15.013
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-160); 7
Dunkel Pick: Chicago White Sox (+140); Under
Game 927-928: NY Yankees at Toronto (7:07 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Yankees (Hughes) 15.681; Toronto (Hutchison) 14.613
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees by 1; 9
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-115); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (-115); Under
Game 929-930: Boston at Tampa Bay (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Doubront) 16.020; Tampa Bay (Moore) 15.230
Dunkel Line: Boston by 1; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-130); 9
Dunkel Pick: Boston (+110); Over