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St. Louis at Pittsburgh: Pirates have been home while the Cardinals have been fighting the Brewers. Have to wonder if there isn't some sort of mental letdown for St. Louis. McDonald has certainly been someone we could get behind in the past. Freese and Beltran rested Sunday. McDonald owned the Cubs and was owned by the D-Backs (in Arizona). Truth is somewhere in the middle. But, he's pitched well against most all the Cardinals, save Molina, whose due a day off. He's caught about 6-8 straight games. Lynn also crushed by the D-Backs and was lights-out against the Reds, and at a time when the Reds were hitting. Given the struggles of the Cardinals bullpen, and the non-struggles of the Pirates relievers, you certainly have to lean Pittsburgh, I would think. As I type the Reds are out early, so we'll wait and see what happens like we always do.
Philadelphia at Cincinnati: I suppose if I'd been paying attention I'd have faded the Phillies in their last game against the Fish, strictly because of THIS game. Well, maybe. That games' just started, but it would have been a reason to think about it. A little hard to fathom the Reds being home dogs to many people, especially the perceived light hitting Phillies. For that reason (sounds like Shark Tank) I would have to think seriously about taking Philadelphia. Reds coming home from Pittsburgh would be yet another reason. Arroyo hasn't been walking many, but he's been very hittable. He's always been much tougher on RHH, and last I check Howard, Utley, and at least Brown hit from the left side of the plate. Votto's about the only Red that's had REAL success against Lee, so I do in fact lean Phillies and probably under here, although I have not checked weather and Sunday's impacts aren't known yet.
Washington at Miami: Similar situation here in that the Nationals have a big division series against Atlanta, and don't fare well in, I might have to think there's some emotional discomfort in their clubhouse. We'll see. Simply not laying -185 on the road, and could consider the RL either way. One of these days Miami will score, but still have only scored more than three runs once in there eleven games, Sunday pending. LeBlanc has actually pitched fairly well, and these two teams already faced each other in the season opening series. If LeBlanc is the one to make adjustments, who knows. These two pitchers faced each other in that series as well, in a game won by the Nats (duh) 6-1. He's been nothing short of consistent, but in what is probably a low scoring game (again) I could make the case fairly easily for the Fish RL.
Mets at Rockies: Colorado in a first game back after being in San Diego (nice weather) and it's supposed to be chilly, rainy, and wind blowing in hard in Colorado on Monday. Clearly the Mets should think this is summer after being in Minnesota on Sunday, and having a game "wintered out". Hence, they are also rested. Gee pitched well against the Padres but was simply hammered in Philadelphia his last start. Rockies really haven't seen enough of him to say one way or the other. Nicasio's first home start, and he's either walked the park or been hit when he does throw strikes in his first two games at Milwaukee and the Giants. The Mets have never seen Nicasio at all, so even though it's a tough spot for the Rockies, perhaps a first five inning bet. Doubt they're worth -135 against a rested team, and can't quite see 10.5 runs happening, given the weather.
San Diego at Dodgers: Los Angeles only averaging a little over three runs a game, and since the first homestand their bullpen has been simply awful. Only Billingsley's second start, and the first one was also against these Padres, a team that's done very little against him over the years. It is the Dodgers flying back from Arizona and playing the next night, which is always at least a yellow flag. Stults was lit up by the Dodgers in Petco last week, and inasmuch as I like to find a way to take the Padres, I probably can't. I suppose it's possible that we could consider the RL at -135, which I suspect might be more expensive later. Hard to say, but certainly not enough value at +115 for me to take the Dodgers RL either. If anything, I might wait til the total hits 7.5, if it does, and take the obligatory under in Dodger Stadium at night.
Tampa Bay at Boston: I won't touch this game, being played right before the Boston Marathon ends.
Every week we take a look at the hottest and coldest teams as well as the best over and under bets in major league baseball.
For the week of April 8-14
HOT Team: Atlanta Braves
Last week: 6-0
Upcoming schedule: vs. Royals, at Pirates
Skinny: The Braves swept the Marlins and Nationals this past week to extend their winning streak to nine game games.
COLD Team: Minnesota Twins
Last week: 0-5
Upcoming schedule: vs. Angels at White Sox
Skinny: The Twins have dropped five consecutive games and have been outscored 33-12 during the skid.
OVER Team: Detroit Tigers
Last week: 5-1 OVER/under
Season: 8-3-1 OVER/under
Upcoming schedule: at Mariners, at Angels
Skinny: The Tigers piled on 44 runs in six games (7.3 runs per game) this past week, much to the delight of their over bettors.
UNDER Team: Texas Rangers
Last week: 0-5-2 over/UNDER
Season: 3-8-2 over/UNDER
Upcoming schedule: at Cubs, vs. Mariners
Skinny: The Rangers’ lineup doesn’t have the same potency as it did last season with Josh Hamilton in the middle of the order and their pitching staff held opponents to 18 runs (2.5 runs per game) in seven contests this past week.
No pennant was ever won in April, but Atlanta is setting the early pace in the National League.
The Braves have won nine in a row and are the hottest team in baseball after finishing the weekend sweep of the Nationals in Washington Sunday.
Any bettor that placed $100 on each of the Braves' nine games would be up $772.26.
Atlanta is +600 to win the National League and +1200 to win the World Series at online sportsbook CarbonSports.
Atlanta has been winning with pitching during the streak. The Braves have outscored the opposition 46-14, and have yielded more than four earned runs only once. Every starter has gone at least five innings in each game, with the bullpen eating just 22 2/3 innings in the nine ballgames combined.
The Braves are off Monday and return to the diamond Tuesday, when they open a two-game set with the Kansas City Royals. Kris Medlen (1-1, 1.50 ERA) is scheduled to take the hill for Atlanta and will take on Jeremy Guthrie (2-0, 3.55 ERA).
-- Lee is 2-0, 1.62 in two starts this season.
-- Zimmerman is 2-0, 2.07 in two starts this season.
-- Dodgers won last eight Billingsley starts (7-0, 1.76).
-- Correia is 1-1, 2.57 in his last three starts.
-- Milone is 2-0, 4.50 in his first two starts.
-- McDonald is 1-1, 3.75 in two starts this season. Lynn is 1-0, 4.50 in his two starts.
-- Arroyo is 1-1, 5.25 in two starts this season.
-- Leblanc is 0-2, 4.09 in two starts this season.
-- Nicasio has a 4.91 RA in his first two starts this season. Gee is 2-6, 4.81 in his last eight starts.
-- Stults is 1-1, 3.60 in two starts this season (10 IP).
-- Hellickson is 0-1, 6.35 in his first two starts this season. Dempster is 0-1, 5.40 in his first two Boston starts.
-- Floyd is 0-2, 6.35 in two starts this season. Buehrle is 0-0, 11.17 in his first two starts for Toronto.
-- Blanton is 0-2, 9.90 in two starts this season.
-- Bedard is 1-2, 7.85 in his last four starts.
-- Four of last five Pittsburgh games went over the total.
-- Nine of last eleven Cincinnati games went over the total.
-- Six of last eight Washington games went over the total.
-- Eight of eleven Met games went over the total.
-- Under is 6-3-1 in last ten San Diego games.
-- Seven of last eight Tampa Bay games stayed under total.
-- Five of last seven Toronto games went over the total.
-- Six of Angels' last eight games went over the total.
-- Eleven of last twelve Oakland games went over the total.
-- Cardinals won six of their last eight games. Pirates won five of their last six games.
-- Phillies won four of their last five games.
-- Mets won five of their last seven games. Colorado won eight of its last 11.
-- Dodgers won six of their last nine games.
-- Red Sox won four of their last six games.
-- Oakland won nine of its last eleven games, but is 0-2 since Cespedes went on the DL.
-- Reds lost last four games by combined score of 34-14.
-- Nationals lost last three games, scoring five runs. Miami lost ten of its first twelve games.
-- Padres lost ten of their first twelve games.
-- Rays lost five of their last six games.
-- White Sox lost five of their last six games.
-- Minnesota lost last five games, outscored 33-12. Angels lost eight of their last eleven games, but won last two.
-- Astros lost eight of their last eleven games.
The Twins look to take advantage of an Angels' team that is 0-4 in its last 4 games as a favorite of -110 to -150. Minnesota is the pick (-105) according to Dunkel, which has the Twins favored by 1/2 a run. Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-105). Here are all of today's picks.
MONDAY, APRIL 15
Time Posted: 7:30 a.m. EST
Game 901-902: St. Louis at Pittsburgh (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Lynn) 16.197; Pittsburgh (McDonald) 16.739
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-120); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (+100); Over
Game 903-904: Philadelphia at Cincinnati (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia (Lee) 14.800; Cincinnati (Arroyo) 15.078
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-130); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (+110); Over
Game 905-906: Washington at Miami (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington (Zimmermann) 15.756; Miami (LeBlanc) 13.852
Dunkel Line: Washington by 2; 7
Vegas Line: Washington (-180); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-180); Under
Game 907-908: NY Mets at Colorado (8:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Gee) 15.479; Colorado (Nicasio) 15.162
Dunkel Line: NY Mets by 1/2; 11 1/2
Vegas Line: Colorado (-135); 10 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Mets (+115); Over
Game 909-910: San Diego at LA Dodgers (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Stults) 14.075; LA Dodgers (Billingsley) 16.285
Dunkel Line: LA Dodgers by 2; 6
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-180); 7
Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (-180); Under
Game 911-912: Tampa Bay at Boston (11:05 a.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Hellickson) 15.501; Boston (Dempster) 15.186
Dunkel Line: Tampa Bay by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Boston (-140); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (+120); Over
Game 913-914: Chicago White Sox at Toronto (7:07 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Floyd) 14.904; Toronto (Buehrle) 14.524
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1/2; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Toronto (-145); 9
Dunkel Pick: Chicago White Sox (+125); Over
Game 915-916: LA Angels at Minnesota (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Blanton) 14.242; Minnesota (Correia) 14.636
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-115); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-105); Over
Game 917-918: Houston at Oakland (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston (Bedard) 14.291; Oakland (Milone) 16.574
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 2 1/2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line: Oakland (-180); 7
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (-180); Under