There are only 2 NBA games scheduled
tonight and after careful consideration, we have decided to pass. There
are 3 baseball teams we like tonight however; two small favorites and
#1: Take Boston Red Sox on the Money Line (-118)
against Toronto Blue Jays risking 2% (Lester and Morrow must start)
The Boston Red Sox missed the playoffs the past
two seasons but have come back with a vengeance this year and are right
now technically the "best" team in the league so far. The
Red Sox own a league best 18-7 record and have won 5 consecutive
games! They are 7-3 in their last 10 games, 7-2 on the road this season and they currently have a 3 game lead in the AL East. As a team the
Red Sox are hitting .272 with David Ortiz hitting .516, Dustin Pedroia
hitting .330, Daniel Nava hitting .310, and Shane Victorino is hitting
.292. There isn't a spot in this batting order that isn't capable of
producing hits and getting men on base. The Red Sox this season are
turning into the Yankees of old as they make teams pay for allowing
players on base. Each and every Red Sox batter is a threat to hit it
out of the park and the fact that they have already hit 23 home runs as a team supports that.
The Red Sox opponents are hitting just .221 and
the Boston pitching staff has a combined ERA of 3.39. In seasons past
it has been the pitching that has truly let the Red Sox down. Both Clay
Buchholz and Jon Lester struggled to find any kind of rhythm last season.
This season however, those two have been the stars of the Red Sox pitching
rotation. For game one in Toronto the Red Sox start Jon Lester who has
been on fire thus far this year. For the season Lester has allowed 25 hits and
8 earned runs while striking out 28 over 31.2 innings for a 2.27 ERA! Tonight Lester will look to join both Buchholz and Tampa's Matt Moore
as April's only 5-0 pitchers.
The Blue Jays are a team with a good squad that
has struggled to start the season. The Jays have lost four in a row
and are just 2-8 in their last 10 games! As a team the Blue Jays are
hitting .229 with Melky Cabrera hitting .250, J.P Arencibia hitting
.242, and Edwin Encarnacion hitting .227. The Blue Jays opponents are
hitting .263 and the Toronto pitching staff has a combined ERA of 4.46.
Brandon Morrow gets the start for the Jays tonight and Morrow is still looking for his first win of the
season. Morrow has allowed 33 hits and 16 earned runs
while striking out 19 over 27.1 innings of work for a 0-2 record and
a 5.27 ERA so far this season.
Toronto is 7-20 in their last 27 games against
the AL East and only 6-18 in their last 24 games as an underdog. Boston
on the other hand is 4-0 in their last four road games, 13-3 in their
last 16 games overall, and 7-3 in Lester's last 10 road starts. There is good value backing the Red Sox tonight who I feel are the
better team and have the better pitcher.
#2: Take Philadelphia Phillies
on the Money Line (-110) against Cleveland Indians risking 2% (Halladay and McAllister must start)
The Philadelphia Phillies have been perennial
playoff contenders for the last decade or so and the Phillies name has
been synonymous with the cream of the crop of the National league. Over
the last couple of seasons however, questions have been swirling as
to whether or not this same Phillies team can contend for a playoff
spot this season. After getting off to a slow start to begin the season
they have seemingly turned things around and look to be making a move
in the NL standings. The Phillies have won 3 games in a row! As a team
the Phillies are hitting .251 with Michael Young hitting .352, Chase
Utley hitting .295, Ryan Howard hitting .286, and Jimmy Rollins hitting
.267. The Phillies opponents are hitting .239 and the Philadelphia pitching
staff has a combined ERA of 4.08.
For tonight's game, the Phillies will start Roy
Halladay who after struggling in his first couple of outings looks to
have found some of his old magic once again. Halladay has been nothing short of dominant in
his last 3 starts picking up 2 wins and a no decision while allowing
just 4 earned runs in his last 3 starts. In his last 2 starts, Halladay
has only given up 3 total hits in 13 innings of work. For the season Halladay has allowed 20 hits
and 16 earned runs while striking out 28 over 28.1 innings of work for
a 2-2 record and a 5.08 ERA. Halladay is also 6-2 lifetime against Cleveland
with a 3.56 ERA.
The Indians are a team that had high hopes in
the off-season and recently signed on Terry Francona as the new manager.
Expectations were definitely high but so far the results have been lacking.
Cleveland is 5-5 in their last 10 games, and just 2-6 at home this season, currently they are in 4th place in the AL Central
3.5 games behind the Tigers. As a team the Indians are hitting .251
with Carlos Santana hitting .386, Mark Reynolds hitting .291, and Michael
Brantley hitting .291. The Indians opponents are hitting .243 and the
Cleveland pitching staff has a combined ERA of 4.57.
Zach McAllister gets the start tonight for Cleveland
and he has lost 3 of his last 4 starts! On the season McCallister has allowed 22 hits and 9 earned runs while striking out 20 over 23 innings of work
for a 1-3 record and a 3.52 ERA. McAllister has given up at least 3
earned runs in each of his last 2 starts.
Looking at a side by side comparison between Halladay
and McCallister's ERA, one would assume that because Halladay's ERA
is higher that he is at a disadvantage tonight, that is simply not the
case. The veteran Halladay may be past his best but he's still one of
the better pitchers in the league and is no doubt Philadelphia's "Ace".
Getting him at this price is too good to pass up. Halladay was beat
up pretty bad in his first couple of outings but has rebounded solidly
and is simply in "a groove" right now. Given his past success
and the fact that the Phillies offense have finally woken up and are
scoring runs, that makes this team dangerous tonight. Halladay will
outduel McAllister and Philadelphia should put up enough runs to get
the win tonight.
#3: Take Colorado Rockies as
+130 underdogs on the Money Line against LA Dodgers risking 2% (De La Rosa and Ryu must start)
The Rockies were nothing short of a "terrible"
team last season. This year however, they appear to have turned things
around and are tied for first place with the Arizona Diamonds in the
NL West right now. The main issue for the Rockies last season was not
anything to do with their offense, in fact their offense was one of
the only bright spots for this team as they are near the top of the
league in total runs scored. The issue with the Rockies was their pitching.
They could score themselves but their pitching staff could not stop
anyone else from scoring. Although they haven't completey addressed
all their issues when it comes to pitching, they have certainly improved
it and they owe part of their early success to that.
The Rockies have been mediocre most recently as
they are 5-5 in their last 10 games and 7-7 on the road this season.
As a team the Rockies are hitting .279 with Michael Cuddyer hitting
.333, Wilin Rosario hitting .329, and Troy Tulowitzki hitting .308.
The Rockies' opponents are hitting .259 and the Colorado pitching staff
have a combined ERA of 3.81 which is a drastic improvement from last
season. Tonight the Rockies will start Jorge De La Rosa. De La Rosa is 2-2 on the season (2.86 ERA) and
has been the Rockies' most consistent starter. On the season De La Rosa has allowed 22 hits
, 9 earned runs while striking out 18 in 28.3 innings of work. It's
worth noting that a majority of the hits and runs accumulated were in
De La Rosa's first 2 starts. In his last 3 outings he has only allowed 11 hits
and 3 earned runs in 18 innings of work.
The Dodgers will counter with rookie, Hyun-Jin
Ryu (2-1, 3.41ERA). On the season Ryu has allowed 30 hits, 14 runs (12
earned) while striking out 34. For a rookie, Ryu does have some "nasty"
pitches that he utilizes and it helps that no batters have seen him
this season. However, he has been susceptible to leaving some pitches
dangling over the plate and that has cost him. Tonight he will be facing
one of the tougher lineup in the majors. Ted Lilly who had only started
1 game this season was lit up by this Rockies lineup last night, giving
up 4 earned runs in 3 innings of work. Ryu may be in for some of the
The Dodgers are 5-5 in their last 10 games, 6-6
at home this season, and they are 2.5 games back in the division standings.
As a team the Dodgers are hitting .250 with Mark Ellis hitting .342,
Adrian Gonzalez hitting .337, and Carl Crawford hitting .307. The Dodgers
opponents are hitting .247 and the Los Angeles pitching staff has a
combined ERA of 3.82.
The issue with the Dodgers right now is that they
are simply not giving their pitching staff any run support. They are only averaging 3 runs per game and have scored only 2 runs
in each of their last 2 games. Colorado is one of the most dangerous lineups
in the majors and can go off offensively on any given night (much like
last night). Rookie Ryu has had a good start to the season, however
it is only a matter of time before hitters figure him out. After their
offensive explosion last night I will look for some of that momentum
to carry over into tonight and Colorado could slip past the offensively
challenged Dodgers once again. Take Colorado at the good value as underdogs.
Please refer to the all-important SPS Bankroll System instructions received upon joining.