The weekend is finally here for everyone to cash in on some Major League Baseball action with their MLB baseball picks. On Saturday everyone has a full slate of games to choose from starting with the Toronto Blue Jays taking on the Minnesota Twins at 2:10pm ET. The game we are looking forward to watching gets underway at 4:10pm Et between the Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros.
These two teams enter this contest at different ends of the American League standings. The White Sox have struggled for most of the 2015 campaign while finding themselves in last place in the Central division with a 21-25 record. The Astros on the other hand have the best record in the American League as they sit atop the West division at 30-18.
Now as we look at these two teams they each recently wrapped up a trip to Camden Yards. The Astros opened up the week in Baltimore losing two of three as all three games were within three runs. The White Sox rolled in on Thursday to make up a double header taking game one behind a strong pitching performance from Chris Sale before losing the back half.
The key to this matchup will come down to how well the starting pitching does for both teams. The White Sox will send left hander Jose Quintana to the mound while the Astros send their ace Dallas Keuchel. Both of these starters are coming off disappointing losses in their last outing
Quintana went six innings for the White Sox allowing six earned runs in the team’s 8-1 loss to the Twins. The loss dropped his season record to 2-5 while his earned run average jumped up to 4.67. Keuchel on the other hand suffered his first loss on the season allowing two home runs and four earned runs over eight innings. Unfortunately the Astros offense couldn’t get much going for them only managing to score one run.
For the White Sox starter he will have to find a way to keep the ball in the ball park against an Astros team that is first in home runs but second to last in all of baseball in batting average. For Keuchel this will be his third career start against the White Sox as he sits with a 1-1 record and a 3.97 earned run average.
As we look at the trends from this matchup the one that stands out is the fact that the White Sox are 4-0 in Quintanas last four starts verse the Astros. The White Sox are also 5-0 in their last five contests against the Ameircan League West division. For the Astros they have won their last six games on Saturday as well as six of their last seven games at home.
For us anytime we get to watch Keuchel rock the beard and take the mound for the Astros we tune in!
The Houston Rockets put together a nice effort in Game 4 of the Western Conference championship series to stay alive against the Golden State Warriors, but now they have to do it all over again. And again. And again, if they want to advance into the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. This time around they have to do it at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, with game time at 9 PM ET.
The Rockets needed a big effort from James Harden, who had thrown up some bricks in a Game 3 humiliation. And he came through, with 13 for 22 from the field (including seven triples) and 45 points. He wasn’t without support either; Josh Smith added 20 points, even though he was successfully “hacked” and missed nine of his twelve free throws. And Houston got a nice effort off the bench from Terrence Jones, who had 14 points and five rebounds essentially spelling Smith.
The Warriors got a scare when league MVP Stephen Curry went crashing to the floor, practically on his head, suffering a contusion though not a concussion. He actually returned to the game, although a lot of people thought that was unnecessary. He had his worst shooting game of the series (just 7 of 18).
In the NBA playoff odds posted on this game at BetAnySports, the Warriors are favored by double digits:
Golden State Warriors -10/Houston Rockets +10
Over 217 points -110/Under 217 points -110
It is highly doubtful that the Rockets would come out with such fire that they could affect a 23-point first quarter lead, as they did on Monday night. But they are going to have to have enough intensity at the start to hold off what should be a bunch of angry Warriors. How will the “inside-out” approach do for Golden State? Draymond Green was very effective before he fouled out (21 points, 15 rebounds), but Andrew Bogut was shut out of the scoring in almost 21 minutes of play. That is a reversal of field from where he had been in the previous two games.
We are probably not expecting that these teams will throw up 78 three-pointers between them, making 37 (a playoff record). But let’s not forget that Houston attempted more triples, as a percentage of their overall total, than anyone in the NBA (38%) and the Warriors had the two top guys in terms of three-point volume (Curry and Klay Thompson).
Dwight Howard was not suspended by the NBA, despite being called for a flagrant foul after elbowing Bogut, an infraction that seemed a lot more violent than the one that got Atlanta’s Al Horford ejected in Game 3 of the series with Cleveland. So the Houston center, who had 14 points and a dozen rebounds on Monday, is in action. And he had better keep Golden State off the offensive boards.
All Star point guard Kyrie Irving may or may not be a scratch with the Cleveland Cavaliers as they line up for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Atlanta Hawks. Not that it really matters that much, because this series has become the Lebron James Show, as if it was not already. James pulled off the kind of exploits that they write about in the history books on Sunday, as he rebounded from a 0-for-10 start to score 37 points and complete the triple-double with 18 rebounds and 13 assists. And the Cavaliers took advantage of the ejection of Atlanta center Al Horford to score a 114-111 victory in overtime. Now they go for the clean sweep at 8:30 PM ET at the Quicken Loans Arena, where they have won 25 out of their last 27 games.
Atlanta in Game 3 had to see it is a bad sign that the Cavs were still right there in the game despite James’ cold spell. But you have to hand it to a team that hangs in there after losing Horford, who had scored 14 points in the first half, and was already without Kyle Korver, the three-point specialist who also made the East All-Star team. But you also have to wonder whether there is going to be a carry-over of disappointment for the Hawks, who collectively have not really been in a position to handle these situations.
James had to be carried off the court in the end, with his right calf cramping, but he should be all right. Irving was scratched due to his tendinitis in the left knee, and right now Cleveland has to be thinking about just letting him rest as they see what unfolds. Horford, who was tossed out of the game for attacking Matthew Dellavedova, will not face a suspension by the NBA, despite drawing a flagrant-2 foul. .
In the NBA playoff betting odds that have been posted on this game by the people at GTbets, Cleveland is the solid favorite at home, as they try to close things out and move onto the NBA Finals against the winner of the Golden State-Houston series:
Cleveland Cavaliers -7.5/Atlanta Hawks +7.5
Over 194 points -110/Under 194 points -110
One of the keys for the Cavaliers during this series, and throughout the playoffs, is that they have not allowed their opponents very good shots. They had been pretty consistent in holding their foes below 41% shooting, doing that in eight out of the 13 games they played, and they generally keep the scores low (92.9 points allowed per contest). Atlanta was a genuine threat from the three-point arc coming into this best-of-seven, although they had underachieved a little in the post-season. But they have really been stymied by the Cleveland defensive scheme, which has allowed them only 26.6% for the series. All told, the Cavaliers are holding their opponents under 30% from downtown.
Patrons also know that a key move by head coach David Blatt (or maybe it was by Lebron, the REAL coach) was to insert Tristan Thompson back into the lineup at power forward, and he has averaged close to nine rebounds per game. Also, he drew a lot of attention from Atlanta on both ends of the floor, which freed up other players to pull down rebounds, such as JR Smith, who took ten caroms off the bench. The Cavs have out-rebounded Atlanta by more than 11 per game, and that is a “hustle” point that the Hawks have had a hard time compensating for.
Atlanta needs to get back to distribution of the basketball, which we know is difficult with Korver out of the lineup, but Jeff Teague should not be taking 23 shots. The playmaking part of his game was not too bad on Sunday, as he handed out seven assists without turning the ball over. Now we have to see how much Atlanta has in the “gas tank” and the “ticker.”
The 2014-15 NBA season is wrapping up as we prepare to watch game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Friday Night. The Cleveland Cavaliers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the series after pulling away with a 97-89 win in Atlanta in game 1 of the series against the Hawks.
Before we get ready to take a look at game 2 of this series the star of game one was not LeBron James, not Kyrie Irving and not Kevin Love. It was J.R. Smith who finished with 28 points to go with eight rebounds and three assists after connecting on eight three pointers.
Now let’s not completely forget about James who did finish with a game high 31 points to go with his eight rebounds and six assists. Irving on the other hand was limited to just 27 minutes finishing with only 10 points as he continues to deal with an leg/ankle issues.
Fast forward to Friday Night, the Cavaliers who opened as a two point underdog currently sit as the 1.5 point favorite despite being on the road at the number 1 overall seed in the Eastern Conference. Much of the reason for the change in the point spread is due to the fact that DeMarre Carroll is dealing with a knee injury he suffered in game 1.
Carroll was diagnosed with a sprained left knee on Thursday that put his status for game 2 on Friday night in jeopardy. The fifth year small forward out of Missouri has been solid all season for the Hawks averaging 12.6 points per game to go along with 1.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists.
The question now is whether or not the Hawks will test playing him in game 2 against a very athletic team like the Cavaliers. The Cavaliers could elect to rest Irving to allow the tempo to be speeded up to put Carroll at a disadvantage. Carroll will already have his hands full in guarding James for four quarters.
As far as the betting trends for this matchup it is a little misguided in favor of the Hawks. Overall in the last eight meetings between these two teams the home team has covered the spread in six of those contests. Unfortunately these stats don’t incorporate a key injury to either roster.
Along with the head to head trends, the Hawks are also 4-0 in their last four games against the spread following a loss. The Cavaliers on the other hand are 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 games against the Southeastern Conference. The team is also 7-3 against the spread on the road when taking on an opponent with a winning record.
While the trends tend to sit in the middle this game should be an entertaining contest from the tip to the final whistle to open up a great Memorial Day weekend!
The Memorial Day weekend has arrived, as we get ready for another great day of baseball action on Friday. For many of us we can’t wait for Friday to get here to have a few days off to enjoy some relaxation as well as three full days of baseball with 45 games taking place. This weekend means even more fun as many of us can enjoy an extra day off on Memorial Day to cook out and watch even more baseball and most importantly make some baseball picks.
That being said lets take a look a few Major League Baseball games on Friday from a sports betting view. The first game we would like to take a look at is the Philadelphia Phillies traveling to the Nations Capital to take on the Washington Nationals. The Nationals sit at -265 bet but are worth considering as they send their ace Max Scherzer to the mound.
Over his last three outings, the Nationals have won all three of those contests as they have outscored their opponents 22-7. In those three starts, Scherzer has went at least seven innings in each of those starts allowing a combined six earned runs. The one game he struggled the team’s offense picked him up.
Overall the Nationals have won five straight games including a three game sweep over the San Diego Padres and a two game sweep over the New York Yankees. The trends are also in the favorite of the Nationals as the Phillies are just 1-4 overall the last five times these two teams have met in Washington.
The second game that we suggest keeping an eye on is the Seattle Mariners taking on the Blue Jays in Toronto. This matchup features one of the games top offenses in the Blue Jays going against one if not the best starting pitcher in baseball in Felix Hernandez.
The Mariners currently sit at -145 while the Blue Jays sit at +135 with an over/under of 7.5 runs. Hernandez has been brilliant this season going 6-1 in eight starts with a 2.30 earned run average. One thing to consider though this will be his only third outing outside of a West division that has struggled with one of those games coming in a loss against the Boston Red Sox.
While many will lean on Hernandez in this matchup the trends lean to the Blue Jays as the Mariners are just 16-37 in there last 53 meetings in Toronto. Overall Hernandez is 4-4 in nine career starts at the Rogers Centre with a 3.56 earned run average.
As far as a few of the other matchups that look to be entertaining look to the Detroit Tigers taking on the Houston Astros. The Astros send 5-1 Collin McHugh to the mound while the Tigers send 4-2 Alfredo Simon to the mound. As far as the trends the Astros are 5-2 in their last seven Friday Night games while the Tigers are just 2-5 against the American League West division.
One of the things that the Houston Rockets suffered from all too much during the regular season was the inability to keep other teams off of the offensive boards. The Golden State Warriors were one of those squads, as in the four meetings between the two, they were able to pull down 29% of all of the available offensive rebounds. Dwight Howard missed two of those games, so one could assume he might have made something of a difference. And he looked like he was on his way to doing just that in Tuesday’s Game 1 between these teams, but in a collision with teammate Josh Smith, he suffered a sprained left knee and was hurting for the rest of the game. We won’t be so quick as to say that Houston’s hopes came crashing down right there – as a matter fact, they were within two points in the waning moments – but moving forward, if Howard has trouble making it into the starting lineup for Thursday night’s Game 2, that is going to open up the door to all kinds of possibilities for the Warriors. Who you like with your NBA picks & predictions?
Game #2 – Golden State Warriors vs Houston Rockets Matchup
Over 220 points -110/Under 220 points -110
Golden State did not cover the basketball pointspread, but they did advance to a 44-3 record at home with a 110-106 victory in the opener. And it’s going to be interesting to see what kind of plan Houston coach Kevin McHale comes up with to deal with the league’s MVP, Stephen Curry, who had 34 points on 13-22 shooting and was not made uncomfortable in the least by the Rockets’ combo of Jason Terry and Pablo Prigioni guarding him.
Here’s the way it stands as of Thursday morning with Howard’s injury, which he describes as “painful”: he had an MRI performed on it and is listed as questionable, which means, in all likelihood, they are going to look at him during the pre-game shootaround and determine whether he can play. Howard is also going to have some input, as he says that his body will ultimately tell them what to do. GTBets Betting Sportsbook customers should know that he is perfectly willing to sit out Game 2, which begins at 9 PM ET at the Oracle Arena, if he thinks he is in such shape that he won’t do this team any good.
If Howard is not in the game, Houston will lack a real defensive presence in the middle, because there is only so much Clint Capela can do. Of course, Terrence Jones can help; he had been the starter at power forward before McHale made the decision to get more offensive versatility into the game with Josh Smith, but Houston is going to have to lean on its reserves to some extent in order to exploit any openings. But Golden State has so much flexibility in the second unit, which includes people like Shaun Livingston, who scored 14 points in the second quarter on Tuesday; David Lee, who has been to two All-Star games, and another former All-Star, Andre Iguodala, along with workhorse Festus Ezeli and Leandra Barbosa. We can’t really imagine the Rockets gaining an edge if they have to go to the bench.
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