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Beware big baseball favorites in August and September
By JASON LOGAN
August is looming on the calendar which means MLB clubs in the playoff hunt are giving their all and teams outside the October picture are planning their offseason vacations.
That disparity in motivation can lead to some of the bigger odds baseball bettors will deal with all season.
When a public team like the New York Yankees hosts a lost cause like the Minnesota Twins in August or September, it’s not surprising to see moneylines as big as -250 and sometimes even -300. But despite the massive price tag, these chalky favorites are anything but a sure thing.
Over the past five seasons (2011-2007) favorites priced -200 to -249 are just 261-129 (67 percent) in the months of August and September.
In that same span, moneyline favorites between -250 and -299 are 65-25 (72 percent) in August and September. They went 11-4 in 2011 – their best record since going 11-2 in 2007 – but still would have left you at least -5.6 units in the hole.
And the kicker: MLB favorites of -300 or above are a bankroll-busting 15-8 (65 percent) in August and September, meaning the very most you could win betting each of those 15 victories was five units. But that would quickly get washed away by the -24 units – at the very least - walking out the door on those eight losses.
Last year, baseball bettors only had one team tagged with a -300-plus moneyline in the final two months of the schedule. The Philadelphia Phillies were -310 favorites with Cliff Lee on the mound versus the Miami – then Florida – Marlins on September 15. The Phillies squeaked out a 2-1 win in extra innings on Ryan Howard’s RBI double in the 10th, giving any one nuts enough to lay the hefty chalk on Philly an aneurysm.
On the flip side of it, the Marlins were tempting +287 road underdogs at Citizens Bank Park for that game. While they didn’t win, they did provide some solid value on Sept. 15 – value that should be easy to spot as the MLB season rolls into its final two months.
Keeping a close eye on underdogs playing out the schedule and ones giving up on the year is key to cashing in on those plus-money odds.
The Red Sox haven’t been able to count much on their rotation but at least Buchholz is keeping them in games. The talented right-hander began the campaign in a major rut but has dug himself out nicely over the last nine weeks.
Buchholz owns a 2.47 ERA since May 27 and the Red Sox are 6-1 in the 27-year-old’s last seven starts. Total bettors will be happy to know that the under is also 6-2 in his last eight trips to the bump.
A.J. Griffin, Oakland Athletics (3-0, 2.25 ERA)
This 24-year-old rookie hurler has got to be wondering what the big deal is about the big show. Griffin has made six starts and all of them have been quality ones. He’s pitched six innings in each appearance and he’s allowed two or fewer runs in five of those six outings.
He’s facing one of the best pitchers in the game on Monday in David Price, so the price should be nice for underdog bettors.
Ricky Romero, Toronto Blue Jays (8-7, 5.75 ERA)
The one of the few Blue Jay hurlers who’s actually healthy sure is pitching like something’s bothering him. Romero gave up eight earned runs in just 1 and 1/3 innings work last week against the A’s. It was the fourth time in his last six starts he’d allowed six or more earned runs.
The Jays are 0-6 in Romero’s last six turns in the rotation and the young lefty sports an ugly 29 to 30 strikeout to walk ratio over the last two months.
The results haven’t been absolutely dreadful for Trevor Cahill but it would certainly be fair to say the 2012 campaign has been a disappointment for this former 18-game winner.
Cahill, who came to Arizona in an offseason trade with Oakland, 2-4 in his last six decisions and the Diamondbacks were favored in five of those six starts. The righty has just one quality start among his last seven outings.
Lookin' to August
July 27, 2012
By Joe Nelson
August Schedule Outlook - American League
September may be when playoff spots are earned but August is a critical month in the baseball season. Teams are looking to make moves in late July to make a final push and August is where teams will either hold on and stay in the race or fall out of contention. The top teams also may have an opportunity to pull away in the standings. Here is a look at the American League schedules in August and which teams have the best and worst slates ahead.
New York Yankees: The first place Yankees own the largest lead in any division in baseball and that gap could grow even further in August even with some of the recent injuries for New York. The Yankees will play a fairly even home and road split with 15 home games and 13 road games but none of the travel is significant, with Chicago being the furthest destination. Only 13 of the games in the month will come against teams with a winning record right now and the biggest games come at home with a four-game set with the Rangers followed by three with the Red Sox. The Yankees get home games with the Mariners and Blue Jays and also have 10 games against the AL Central for a relatively light slate for the month.
Baltimore Orioles: Many expect Baltimore to fall off the map at some point and while the Orioles have slipped from the strong early season pace they are still hanging around in the playoff picture and sitting in second place in the division. If Baltimore does start to fade further in August, the schedule won't be to blame as Baltimore draws one of the more favorable paths in the AL. Seventeen of the 28 games will be at home and only four of those home games will be against winning teams. The Orioles do have some tough road games with two in New York, as well as three-game sets in Tampa, Detroit, and Texas but if the Orioles take care of business at home they should enter the final month with plenty to play for. Getting seven games with the Mariners and Royals early in the month could provide a boost in Baltimore.
Detroit Tigers: The Tigers have made a bit of a run in the second-half of the season to get right back into the division race with the White Sox. It was a disappointing first-half but the Tigers are right where they need to be thanks to likely the weakest division in baseball in the AL Central. Detroit has a great opportunity ahead in August to pick up a few games on the rest of the division with arguably the weakest schedule among the five AL Central teams. Detroit will play 17 of 27 games at home and only 13 games will be against winning teams for the month. Detroit does have to play at Texas but the other road games are all against losing teams including the Twins and the Royals. Detroit has a huge four-game set with the Yankees at Comerica Park that should be a good measuring stick to see if this team is really a serious AL contender.
Oakland Athletics: The hottest team in baseball in July has the opportunity to keep it going in August with a favorable schedule ahead. Only 10 of 28 games in the month will be against teams that currently have a winning record and outside of three games with the Angels the home schedule is very favorable. Oakland does have some long travel with trips to Chicago, Kansas City, Tampa, and Cleveland but none of those games look overly formidable. The Athletics don't play the Yankees or Rangers in the month and missing the AL's best two teams certainly is better than the alternative. While Oakland likely won't be able to keep up the current pace, this team is likely to still be relevant in the playoff picture deep into August with this schedule.
Toronto Blue Jays: The Blue Jays are barely below .500 at this point despite being a last place team but it will be very impressive if Toronto can stay close to .500 after what could be a brutal month of August. Toronto opens the month with the final game of a series in Seattle and then all other 28 games in the month will be against winning teams. Toronto will have to play all three current division leaders in the month including six games with the Yankees as well as games with both of the top teams in the AL Central. Texas and red hot Oakland are on the schedule as are the Rays and Orioles. 17 of the last 29 games in the month will be road games including finishing up the west coast trip early in August and even though the Jays have a history of being a better second half team it will be a tough journey this season.
Kansas City Royals: The Royals have to be considered one of the most disappointing teams in baseball this year and the turnaround seasons for Washington, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore only adds insult to the dire situation in Kansas City. While the playoffs are out of the question a positive final two months might be helpful looking forward. Kansas City won't have an easy draw in August as 22 of 29 games will be against teams with winning records, having to play 10 AL East games as well as three-game home sets with the Rangers and Athletics. The AL Central leading White Sox also face the Royals six times in August and 15 of the 29 games will be on the road with two east coast trips.
Minnesota Twins: While the Twins have played a bit better ball in the last two months there is little hope for making a run in what will be a second straight ugly season in Minneapolis. August will likely be a long month with 18 of 29 games on the road including long trips both to the East and West Coast. At one point the Twins will play 17 of 23 games on the road and seven of 11 home games in the month will be against winning teams. Only a four-game home set with the Mariners followed up by a series in Kansas City entering into September looks like a favorable set on the August schedule that features the Red Sox, Rays, Tigers, A's, and Rangers.
Seattle Mariners: The one team not in contention in the AL West will have the toughest slate in August having to play 16 of 27 games on the road. The Mariners do have four off days in the month but that also means they have long travel ahead with games in New York, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Minneapolis. Sixteen of the 27 games will be up against winning teams including twelve of the 16 road games. Nine of those games will be in consecutive road games in a long trip that features the east coast and southern California. Don't expect a late surge from this Mariners team as August will likely bury the team further in the standings.
-- Former Red Volquez is 3-0, 1.99 in his last six starts. Leake is 2-1, 3.04 in his last seven outings.
-- Bedard is 1-1, 1.98 in his last couple starts.
-- Harang is 2-0, 3.42 in his last four starts.
-- Bumgarner is 1-1, 2.57 in his last three starts.
-- Buchholz is 4-1, 2.47 in his last eight starts. Scherzer is 5-1, 2.54 in his last seven starts.
-- Oswalt is 1-0, 1.50 in his last two starts, but he missed his last turn with back issues.
-- Quintana is 3-0, 2.80 in his last eight starts. De Vries has a 2.25 RA in his last couple starts.
-- Price is 5-0, 1.70 in his last six starts. Griffin is 3-0, 2.25 in six starts.
-- Iwakuma has a 2.45 RA in his lat two starts; he was in Japan over weekend for personal reasons, but is expected to start here.
-- Buehrle has a 5.65 RA in his last five road starts. Hanson has a 6.58 RA in his last seven starts.
-- Germano is 8-21, 4.88 in 36 big league starts; he is 9-4, 2.40 in 16 AAA starts this season.
-- Norris is 0-7, 7.43 in his last nine starts. Estrada is 0-4, 5.06 in 11 starts.
-- Cahill is 3-4, 6.53 in his last seven starts.
-- Hefner is 1-3, 6.55 in four starts this season.
-- FGarcia is 1-2, 5.00 in his last three starts. MGonzalez is 2-2, 5.32 in four starts this season.
-- ESantana is 0-3, 10.64 in his last five starts.
-- Romero is 0-6, 10.80 in his last six starts.
-- Braves won eight of their last ten home games.
-- Padres are 15-10 in their last 25 games.
-- Cubs won nine of last 12 games at Wrigley. Pittsburgh won nine of its last twelve games overall.
-- Dodgers won eight of their last ten games.
-- White Sox won five of their last six games.
-- A's won 18 of their last 22 games. Rays won four of last six games, allowing three runs in last three.
-- Mariners won seven of their last nine games. Blue Jays won six of their last nine contests.
-- Marlins are 3-8 in last 11 games, but won last two.
-- Phillies lost their last three games, scoring four runs.
-- Astros lost 26 of their last 29 games. Brewers lost nine of their last ten.
-- Arizona lost seven of its last nine road games.
-- Mets lost 14 of their last 17 games. San Francisco lost its last four games, outscored 25-6.
-- Bronx lost six of its last nine games. Baltimore lost five of its last seven.
-- Red Sox lost six of their last nine games. Detroit lost four of last six.
-- Rangers are 4-6 in their last ten games. Angels got shut out last two days.
-- Minnesota lost four of its last six games.
-- Eight of last eleven Miami games stayed under.
-- 10 of last 15 San Diego games went over the total.
-- Under is 11-3 in Cubs' last fourteen games.
-- Over is 9-4 in Houston's last 13 games, 5-2 in Brewers' last seven.
-- Under is 4-1-1 in last six Arizona games.
-- Over is 14-7-2 in Mets' last twenty-three games, 8-4 in Giants' last 12.
-- Nine of last twelve Baltimore games stayed under the total.
-- Under is 7-2-1 in last ten Detroit games.
-- 18 of last 23 Texas games stayed under the total.
-- Seven of last eight Minnesota games went over the total.
-- Eleven of last thirteen Tampa Bay games stayed under.
-- Under is 24-8 in last thirty-two Seattle games.
The Tigers look to take advantage of a Boston team that is 3-12 in its last 15 during Game 1 of a series. Detroit is the pick (+105) according to Dunkel, which has the Tigers favored by 1/2 a run. Dunkel Pick: Detroit (+105). Here are all of today's picks.
MONDAY, JULY 30
Time Posted: 7:00 a.m. EST
Game 901-902: Miami at Atlanta (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Buehrle) 14.243; Atlanta (Hanson) 16.109
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-150); 8
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-150); Over
Game 903-904: San Diego at Cincinnati (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Volquez) 14.824; Cincinnati (Leake) 16.532
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-155); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+135); Under
Game 905-906: Pittsburgh at Chicago Cubs (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh (Bedard) 15.657; Cubs (Germano) 15.283
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh (-140); No Total
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-140); N/A
Game 907-908: Houston at Milwaukee (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston (Norris) 13.850; Milwaukee (Estrada) 14.715
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-180); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (-180); Over
Game 909-910: Arizona at LA Dodgers (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona (Cahill) 15.787; LA Dodgers (Harang) 15.343
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-135); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (+115); Under
Game 911-912: NY Mets at San Francisco (10:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Hefner) 14.542; San Francisco (Bumgarner) 15.311
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 1; 7
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-200); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-200); Over
Game 913-914: Baltimore at NY Yankees (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Gonzalez) 14.699; NY Yankees (Garcia) 15.588
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees by 1; 11
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-180); 10
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (-180); Over
Game 915-916: Detroit at Boston (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit (Scherzer) 15.904; Boston (Buchholz) 15.219
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Boston (-125); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (+105); Under
Game 917-918: LA Angels at Texas (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Santana) 14.897; Texas (Oswalt) 15.188
Dunkel Line: Texas by 1/2; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Texas (-145); 10 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Texas (-145); Under
Game 919-920: Chicago White Sox at Minnesota (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Quintana) 15.859; Minnesota (De Vries) 14.683
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Chicago White Sox (-145); 9
Dunkel Pick: Chicago White Sox (-145); Over
Game 921-922: Tampa Bay at Oakland (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Price) 15.663; Oakland (Griffin) 16.716
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1; 7
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-115); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (-105); Over
Game 923-924: Toronto at Seattle (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto (Romero) 16.041; Seattle (Iwakuma) 15.696
Dunkel Line: Toronto by 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Seattle (-110); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (-110); Under