September 25, 2015 (Posted at 2:00 PM ET)
Sports Profit System has won 24 of its last 34 baseball picks! There are 3 MLB selections tonight.
1: Take Cleveland Indians (-118) on the Money Line against KC Royals risking 3.54% of bankroll to win 3%.
(Carrasco and Volquez must start for wager to have action)
One has to wonder why the team with the best record in the American League has been listed as a home underdog to a team who has a losing record on the season! This is a huge tell-tale sign from the oddsmakers. The Kansas City Royals got the news that they had clinched the division and have officially made it to the postseason. At this point in the season there is not much left for them to do but wait and that puts them in what can only be considered a huge letdown spot.
While the Royals have nothing to play for, the opposite is true for the Tribe. Cleveland is not out of the running for a postseason berth and in fact are only 4 games behind in the Wildcard race. Catching the Kansas City Royals in this particular spot may actually help Cleveland as a strong showing in this series would certainly help their position in the standings. With KC in party mode after last night's clincher, the edge has to go with Terry Francona's team tonight.
Carlos Carrasco will take the mound and he has been consistent for the Tribe this season. He has also had tremendous success against this Royals lineup in the past. Alceides Escobar, Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas, Alex Rios and Salvator Perez have gone a combined 14 for 93 against Carrasco in their careers, with no one hitting above .250. While Carrasco has enjoyed success, his counterpart Edinson Volquez has struggled against Cleveland in his career as he is just 2-3 in 6 lifetime appearances and has an extremely unflattering ERA of 8.87 and a WHIP of 2.301.
Sports betting, especially in baseball, isn’t always as black and white as simply taking the better overall team. There is no doubt that the KC Royals are a better team that the Cleveland Indians this season BUT in this particular situation this game means a lot more to Cleveland than it does to Kansas City and that will likely be the deciding factor. Sharp money has poured in on the Tribe in this contest and we believe that's a clear indication of where the value lies in this matchup.
2: Take Houston Astros (-135) on the Money Line against Texas Rangers risking 4.05% of bankroll to win 3%.
(Kazmir and Gallardo must start for wager to have action)
The Texas Rangers have seemingly come from out of nowhere since the All Star Break. At the start of the mid-summer classic, the Rangers appeared dead in the water as they were 8 games behind the then division leading Houston Astros. Houston had led their division for much of the season and a recent slump at the end of the year has really put the pressure on this young team to perform. Currently sitting at 3 games back of the first-place Rangers, the time is now for the Houston to make their move in the West with just two weeks left in the season but to do that will need to find an answer in knocking off a Texas team that has beaten them seven straight times. With such a lopsided result in the past series meetings, there is no doubt Houston will be motivated to turn around their recent misfortunate and in the first game of such a critical series, we believe they will come out looking to make a statement in this contest.
Scott Kazmir has had somewhat of a rough transition into the rotation for the Astros; however he has had tremendous success against the bats of many Texas players. The veteran is also a southpaw which presents even more problems for a heavy left handed hitting rotation for the Rangers. He is 2-1 with a 1.60 ERA in five starts this year versus Texas and Prince Fielder, Shin-soo Choo, Delino DeShields and Adrian Beltre have gone a combined 5 for 39 against him in 2015. If there was a time where his team needed him to step up and have a quality outing, it's this one. Kazmir is still a quality pitcher even though his recent results haven't proved it, but this is a matchup we believe will put him back on track.
The Rangers will hand the ball to Yovanni Gallardo tonight and even though he has a 2-1 record in three starts this season, his unflattering 6.14 ERA shows that the Houston bats have had success against him. He has also failed to pitch long than the 6th inning in each of his last 5 starts. Unlike his counterpart, the Houston lineup has had quite a bit of success against Gallardo this season with players like Jason Castro, Luis Valbuena Colby Rasmus all hitting above .310 against him this season.
This is a must win game for the Astros to keep in the division hunt and keep their playoff hopes alive and even though the Rangers have seemingly had their way with Houston in the past, this is the ideal matchup for them to change that. We believe Houston gets their revenge while also holding onto their lead for the second and final AL Wild Card spot which is under serious threat from the chasing pack.
3: Take Oakland A's on the Money Line (-134) against SF Giants risking 4.02% of bankroll to win 3%.
(Gray and Leake must start for wager to have action)
Bob Melvin's Athletics have dropped 5 consecutive games and yet are installed as comfortable favorites against the defending champions tonight! Some would ask why? But not after careful examination of all facts beneath the surface. The deeper you look into this matchup, the more it becomes evidently clear that the home side have a distinctive advantage in this series opener. These two regional rivals don't meet often given that they are from the National League and the American league respectively. This is an Interleague series hosted by the AL team which means pitcher Mike Leake won't get to use his bat amd the Giants will have to deal with a designated hitter (DH), something that they rarely do. Former Reds pitcher, Leake, is a mediocre one at MLB level but one of the few advantages he has over most of his NL counterparts is that he's no slouch with the bat. He's one of the best hitters among starting pitchers but won't be stepping up to the plate against Sonny Gray tonight. If this game was taking place at AT&T Park under NL rules, then Leake's superior bat to Gray's would be one advantage that San Francisco would have but that is not the case.
Sonny Gray had been among the Major league leaders in ERA, WHIP and nearly every other important metric heading into September. Unfortunately for him, Injuries coupled with poor team displays have led to a forgettable month but that doesn't take change the fact that he is one of the most talented hurlers in MLB and should out-duel Mike Leake tonight. Gray often baffles even lineups that have regularly seen him in action so that doesn't bode well for Bruce Bochy's squad given they've only faced him once before. In his lone prior start against the Giants, Sonny Gray was his usual excellent self and severely limited the Giants bats as his team won the game.
Much like Oakland, San Francisco will not be making the playoffs this season. The difference is that the A's have known about that for months while the Giants kept battling and battling only to finally fall short. The fact that they will miss out on the postseason altogether is a great disappointment for this ambitous roster and has lowered morale and motivation in the clubhouse. Unlike Oakland, for them the pain is still fresh and they're likely to be deflated and dejected especially after two narrow 1-run losses to San Diego that pretty much eliminated any slim hopes they had. Unlike the Giants, Oakland hasn't had to travel and since the disappointment of missing the playoffs is old news and no longer stings as much, they are better prepared for this contest. They want to snap their current 0-5 skid in front of their loyal fans and will be determined to get the W against a local rival tonight.
With the Giants' season all but over, key players like Hunter Pence and Brandon Belt will remain out and there have been strong hints by the organization that Nori Aoki, Gregor Blanco and even Buster Posey could all be shutdown soon as well. There's no sense in risking injuries to those banged up players now that they are 8 games back of the Dodgers in the division and that means San Fran will not have its strongest lineup on the field tonight. The A's are 0-3 against the Giants this season and that means they'll be hungry for payback! We expect them to take this series opener and get some manner of revenge while snapping their current losing streak.
Other notable facts to consider:
- Giants have lost 18 of their last 24 road games!
- Mike Leake is just 1-4 with a 4.69 ERA in 7 starts for San Francisco.
- Sonny Gray owns a remarkable 0.977 WHIP in 14 home starts this season!
4: Take Oregon State at +15.5 spread against Stanford for 3% of the bankroll. (Friday ~ released yesterday)
The Stanford Cardinal catapulted themselves back into the national ranking with what some would consider a "stunning" upset of the USC Trojans. The Cardinal seemingly found their offense in that contest and Kevin Hogan returned to the form that had brought him to prominence early in his career. There is no question that Stanford put on an impressive display against a USC team that many had projected had a real shot at possibly making the 4 team playoff this season, but we believe that will hurt them in this contest.
Their win over USC, while impressive, certainly puts the Cardinal in a severe letdown spot in this contest. That victory no doubt raised this team’s stock with the betting public, however the Cardinal have numerous other factors going against them in this particular spot. Not only will could be in line to come out flat in this contest after their big win; this will also be the Cardinal's 3rd road game in 4 weeks. They head into Corvallis, which has typically proved to be a tough place for the opposition to play, and come into a weeknight game on short rest. There is also the fact that Kevin Hogan is currently dealing with an ankle injury. He has been held out of practice on both Monday and Tuesday and his status for this contest is still up in the air. Even though Hogan is likely to play, knowing that he is not 100% certainly add to the value.
While the Stanford offense was impressive their last time out, there are still numerous question marks surrounding their defensive line. Let’s face it; the Cardinal defense is not what it has been in years past. Northwestern was able to move the ball readily on the ground and the USC offensive line was able to pretty much manhandle their front 7 all game. In this contest they will certainly be put to the test against the explosive ground attack of Oregon State.
The Beavers have a dynamic true freshman quarterback that is starting to make a name for himself, but is still underrated. Seth Collins is an explosive player who is not really known (yet) for his passing skills, but he has been able to shred opposing defenses with his legs. He's already accumulated two 100 yards rushing performances just 3 weeks into the season. He's the type of game-changer that many have not yet taken notice of.
Oregon State was manhandled against the Michigan Wolverines in their last game against a Power 5 conference team and many believe that Stanford will be able walk through Oregon State the same way. We don't believe that will be the case. Storm Barr-Woods is an explosive back who wasn't really featured in the Beavers loss to Michigan but in their last game against the San Jose State Spartans, Barr-Woods completely went off coming away with 171 yards on the ground in just 17 carries. Oregon State managed to rack up over 300 yards on the ground and 3 scores against the Spartans. The combination of Barr-Woods and Collins on the ground could prove incredibly tough to stop. With so many question marks surrounding the defensive line, both players could be in line to do plenty of damage at home against the Cardinal.
This will also be new Beaver's Head Coach, Gary Andersen's first Pac-12 conference game and he will no doubt be looking to make a statement! Let's not forget that Andersen is no stranger to this Cardinal team as he played them in the 2013 Rose Bowl after inheriting the coaching job of the Wisconsin Badgers. Andersen has also had a ton of success when getting points as he is 16-3-1 ATS as an underdog of 3 or more points. We believe this game will be a struggle for Stanford and they will be lucky to leave Corvallis with the win, never mind by two touchdowns. Even if Stanford is able to mount in early lead, the fact that the home team is being spotted more than two touchdowns means that there is always a chance for a backdoor cover late in the game. Either way, the Beaver should be the ones cashing the ticket on Friday night. The value is with the generous points in this contest.
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