MLB Betting News and Notes Friday10/5

MLB Betting News and Notes Friday10/5

Wild Card Action
By Kevin Rogers
VegasInsider.com

Friday is the first elimination day of the MLB playoffs as two teams will be sent home after 163 games. Two of the clubs participating are one year removed from playing in Game 7 of the World Series as the Cardinals and Rangers are scratching and clawing just to advance to the League Championship Series. St. Louis heads to Atlanta, while Baltimore makes the trip to Texas for the night-cap. We'll start at Turner Field with the Braves looking to wipe out the defending champs.

Cardinals at Braves

St. Louis knocked out Atlanta in last September's Wild Card race, erasing a 10 ½-game deficit en route to a title. Now, the Braves have an opportunity to exact revenge with the hottest pitcher in baseball taking the mound, as Atlanta is riding a 23-game winning streak when Kris Medlen (10-1, 1.57 ERA) starts dating back to 2010. The Braves have compiled a 12-0 record in Medlen's starts this season, including seven victories coming at Turner Field.
   
The Braves finished the season at 94-68, four games behind the Nationals inside the NL East. If Atlanta can pull off a win on Friday, Fredi Gonzalez's squad will face Washington in the NLDS. However, the Braves need to get past a Cardinals' team that clinched a playoff berth on Tuesday night after the Dodgers lost to the Giants. St. Louis owns the worst record of any postseason club at 88-74, but the Cardinals won the World Series in 2006 with just 83 victories, while claiming the title last season with 90 wins, which were the fewest among playoff teams.

The Redbirds are without Tony LaRussa and Albert Pujols for this championship chase, as St. Louis will depend on right-hander Kyle Lohse (16-3, 2.86 ERA) for a trip to the NLDS against Washington. Lohse was perfect in April, but the Cardinals won just two of his final five starts of the season. The Braves battered Lohse in his only start against Atlanta in late May, scoring five runs in five innings, while picking up eight hits in a 10-7 victory by the Braves. In three playoff starts last season, Lohse allowed 11 earned runs in 12.2 innings, as the only win came in Game 3 of the World Series against Texas in which the Cards scored 16 runs to get the right-hander off the hook.

The Braves captured the season series by beating the Cardinals in five of six meetings, while all six games finished 'over' the total. Atlanta scored five runs or more in each victory, as the lone Cardinals' win came in the opener of a late May series at Turner Field, an 8-2 triumph as +120 underdogs.

Orioles at Rangers

There was no chance Texas would be a Wild Card team when it led Oakland by 13 games in the AL West in late June. But a monumental meltdown by the two-time defending AL Champions has now put them in a do-or-die situation against the upstart Orioles, who are in the postseason for the first time since 1997.

The Rangers were one win away (twice) from taking the World Series crown last October, but lost the final two games to the Cardinals. The complacency set in for Ron Washington's club down the stretch, as Oakland beat Texas five times in the final week to grab the AL West title, while the Rangers now have to depend on rookie Yu Darvish (16-9, 3.90 ERA). The right-hander is coming off eight consecutive quality starts, as the Rangers won six of those outings. Darvish finished the regular season at 10-2 in 14 home starts, while losing twice in the favorite role. The former Pacific League standout didn't face the Orioles this season, as the Rangers took five of seven meetings from Baltimore.

The Orioles will turn to recently acquired Joe Saunders (9-13, 4.07 ERA), who came over from Arizona in late August. The southpaw compiled a 3-3 record in seven starts with the O's, while allowing three earned runs in each of his last three trips to the mound. The Orioles and Diamondbacks combined to go 5-9 in his 14 starts this season as a road underdog, as Saunders looks for his first victory in Arlington in seven tries dating back to his days with the Angels.

The 'over' cashed five times between the Rangers and O's, but the 'under' went 2-1 in Arlington. One of the bigger stories this season came when these teams hooked up in early May at Camden Yards as Josh Hamilton knocked out four homers and drove in eight runs in a 10-3 Texas victory. Since sweeping the Rangers in Arlington back in July 2010, the Orioles are just 1-5 the last six visits to Texas.

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2012 Playoffs

Braves won five of six games vs St Louis this year, but all six games came in May; all six games went over the total. Cardinals lost two of three here in last week in May. Overall, St Louis won 12 of its last 16 games, five of last seven on road. Braves won 10 of last 11 home games, eight of last 11 overall. Lohse is 2-0, 3.32 in his last three starts; he lost 10-7 here May 30, giving up five runs in five IP. Atlanta won Medlen's last 23 starts; he is 9-0, 1.18 in his 12 starts this season. He didn't start against St Louis in 2012.

Texas won five of seven vs Baltimore this year, winning two of three here in late August. Five of the seven games went over total, with two of three going under in this park. Rangers lost seven of last nine games to lose division title, they lost six of last ten home games. Orioles went 12-5 in last 17 games, 5-2 in last seven. Saunders is 1-2, 3.58 in his last four starts; he didn't pitch against the Rangers this year. Darvish cost the Rangers $100M to sign; he is 4-0, 2.06 in his last six starts. He didn't pitch against Baltimore.

Armadillosports.com

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NL Wild Card Game Betting Preview: Cards at Braves
By Covers.com

St. Louis Cardinals (88-74) at Atlanta Braves (94-68)

The final season of Chipper Jones’ Hall of Fame career will last at least one more game. Jones and the Braves will host the defending World Series-champion St. Louis Cardinals on Friday in the National League's one-game wild card playoff. After being overtaken for the wild card by the Cardinals on the final night of the 2011 season, the Braves will be looking for some payback when Kris Medlen takes the mound opposite Kyle Lohse.

Atlanta made a strong run at first place in the National League East over the final week before ultimately falling short. The Cardinals have been in playoff mode for at least the last two weeks, fighting off the Los Angeles Dodgers until finally clinching the No. 2 spot on Tuesday. The Braves set up their pitching for a deep playoff run by having a “bullpen game” in the regular season finale on Wednesday and have made sure that Jones is well-rested by giving him just one at-bat over the final two games. St. Louis, which dropped five of six to Atlanta this season, set itself up similarly by letting rookie Shelby Miller make his first start on Wednesday. The clubs have not met since May 30 and both come in having won seven of their last 10 games.

LINE: 153, -163 TOTAL: 6.5 - The line varies considerably for this game, depending on where you get it. Some offshore sites have the Braves as high as -180 and you can get them as low as -160 in Las Vegas as of Thursday.

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Kyle Lohse (16-3, 2.86 ERA) vs. Braves RH Kris Medlen (10-1, 1.57)

Lohse put together the best regular season of his 12-year career by relying on pinpoint control, issuing only 38 walks in 211 total innings. Lohse struck out nine and walked one in his regular-season finale but was charged with four runs on eight hits in six innings against Washington. He matched his shortest start of the year at the Braves on May 30, yielding five runs on nine hits in five innings. He did not factor in the decision that time and is 3-1 with a 4.97 ERA in 10 career starts against Atlanta.

The Braves have won a major league-record 23 straight games started by Medlen, who has not lost since joining the rotation at the end of July. The right-hander, who turns 27 on Sunday, has allowed more than two runs only once in 50 total appearances in 2012 and capped his regular season by surrendering one run (unearned) on three hits in six innings to beat the New York Mets on Sunday. One of Medlen’s roughest appearances came out of the bullpen against St. Louis on May 28, when he was reached for two runs on four hits in 2 2/3 innings.

BETTING TRENDS:

Eight of the 10 meetings played over between these teams this season
Under is 23-5-1 in ATL last 29 home games.
Cardinals are 8-19 in their last 27 road games vs. a team with a winning record
Braves are 4-0 in their last 4 games with the total set at 6.5 or lower
Braves are 25-1 in Medlen’s last 26 starts
Cardinals are 1-5 in the last 6 meetings
Medlen ranks 4th on the Covers starting pitcher money list with a profit of $1200 this season for his backers
Lohse ranks 21st on the money list with a profit of just over $700

WALK-OFFS

1. Atlanta 2B Dan Uggla suffered a laceration to his right hand during the playoff clinching celebration but returned to the lineup despite swelling on Wednesday.

2. Due to the nature of the one-game playoff, neither team will need to carry multiple starters and could stock the bullpen or carry 16 position players if necessary.

3. Jones slumped his way to the finish, going 2-for-19 over his last seven games. He is 6-for-13 with six walks, a home run and five RBIs in his career against Lohse.

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AL Wild Card Game Betting Preview: Orioles at Rangers
By Covers.com

Baltimore Orioles at Texas Rangers (-187, 9)

The first-ever American League Wild Card game will be contested by two teams that owned at least a share of first place in their respective divisions with three contests remaining in the regular season. The surprising Baltimore Orioles were tied with the New York Yankees atop the AL East entering the final three-game series of the year. But while New York was sweeping the Boston Red Sox, Baltimore dropped two of three against the Rays in Tampa Bay following a 25-10 run and wound up settling for the second wild-card spot.

The end of the regular season was even more disappointing for the Texas Rangers, who squandered a five-game lead with nine contests remaining and settled for the first wild card. Texas, which occupied first place in the AL West for 178 days, was swept of its season-ending three-game series by eventual division champion Oakland. The Rangers dropped nine of their final 13 contests, including Wednesday's season finale in which they built a 5-1 lead before allowing 11 unanswered runs.

Texas, which had been in first place in the West since April 9, won five of its seven meetings with the Orioles this season. The Rangers captured two of three at home from Aug. 20-22 after taking three of four in Baltimore from May 7-10.

WEATHER: Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the mid-70s and clear skies at Rangers Ballpark. Winds will blow out to right field at 11 mph.

PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles LH Joe Saunders (3-3, 3.63 ERA) vs. Rangers RH Yu Darvish (16-9, 3.90)

Saunders has pitched well since yielding seven runs against Chicago in his debut with the Orioles on Aug. 29, allowing three earned runs or less in each of his last six starts. The 31-year-old ended his regular season on a high note, giving up three runs over 7 1/3 innings of a victory over the Red Sox on Sunday. Saunders has not fared well against Texas in his career, however, going 3-7 with a 6.48 ERA in 11 starts.

Darvish finished his impressive rookie season strong, winning his final four decisions while allowing three runs or less in each of his last eight starts. The 26-year-old Japanese right-hander finished fifth in the AL with 221 strikeouts and held opponents to a .220 batting average, the third-best mark in the league. Darvish, who went 10-2 in 14 starts at home, will be facing Baltimore for the first time.

TRENDS:

* The over is 6-2 in the last eight meetings.
* Rangers are 7-1 in their last eight playoff games as a favorite.
* Orioles are 1-5 in the last six meetings in Texas.
* The over is 5-0 in Rangers’ last five home games.

WALK-OFFS:

1. Baltimore logged a franchise-record 1,483 innings pitched this season, eclipsing the previous mark of 1,478 2/3 frames tossed by the 1970 Orioles.

2. The Rangers set a club record by committing only 85 errors, two fewer than the previous team low set in 1996.

3. CF Adam Jones became the first Oriole since Miguel Tejada in 2006 to play in every regular-season game.

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ST LOUIS (88 - 74) at ATLANTA (94 - 68) - 5:05 PM

KYLE LOHSE (R) vs. KRIS MEDLEN (R)
Top Trends for this game.
ST LOUIS is 88-74 (-5.3 Units) against the money line in all games this season.
ST LOUIS is 7-15 (-10.9 Units) against the money line when the total is 7 or less this season.
ST LOUIS is 38-43 (-10.7 Units) against the money line in road games this season.
ST LOUIS is 9-17 (-13.6 Units) against the money line when playing on Friday this season.
ST LOUIS is 88-74 (-5.3 Units) against the money line in games played on a grass field this season.
ST LOUIS is 57-57 (-14.7 Units) against the money line against right-handed starters this season.
ST LOUIS is 25-35 (-18.3 Units) against the money line when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
ATLANTA is 94-68 (+17.0 Units) against the money line in all games this season.
ATLANTA is 18-6 (+12.4 Units) against the money line when playing on Friday this season.
ATLANTA is 30-18 (+13.7 Units) against the money line in day games this season.
ATLANTA is 92-67 (+15.5 Units) against the money line in games played on a grass field this season.
ATLANTA is 64-37 (+22.5 Units) against the money line against right-handed starters this season.
ATLANTA is 59-35 (+17.6 Units) against the money line after a win this season.
ATLANTA is 46-37 (+9.3 Units) against the money line when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
MEDLEN is 12-0 (+12.0 Units) against the money line in all games this season. (Team's Record)
MEDLEN is 14-0 (+14.1 Units) against the money line in home games over the last 3 seasons. (Team's Record)
MEDLEN is 12-0 (+12.0 Units) against the money line in games played on a grass field this season. (Team's Record)
MEDLEN is 13-1 (+12.3 Units) against the money line after a win over the last 3 seasons. (Team's Record)
MEDLEN is 10-0 (+11.1 Units) against the money line when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 3 seasons. (Team's Record)
ST LOUIS is 71-47 (+24.2 Units) against the money line when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season over the last 3 seasons.
ATLANTA is 38-51 (-32.4 Units) against the money line in October games since 1997.
ATLANTA is 14-21 (-16.5 Units) against the money line in home games in playoff games since 1997.

Head-to-Head Series History
ATLANTA is 5-1 (+4.7 Units) against ST LOUIS this season
6 of 6 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL this season . (Over=+6.0 Units)

KYLE LOHSE vs. ATLANTA since 1997
LOHSE is 3-1 when starting against ATLANTA with an ERA of 4.97 and a WHIP of 1.583.
His team's record is 4-6 (-1.4 units) in these starts. The OVER is 6-4. (+1.9 units)

KRIS MEDLEN vs. ST LOUIS since 1997
No recent starts.


BALTIMORE (93 - 69) at TEXAS (93 - 69) - 8:35 PM

JOE SAUNDERS (L) vs. YU DARVISH (R)
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
TEXAS is 5-2 (+1.9 Units) against BALTIMORE this season
5 of 7 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL this season . (Over=+2.8 Units)

JOE SAUNDERS vs. TEXAS since 1997
SAUNDERS is 3-7 when starting against TEXAS with an ERA of 6.48 and a WHIP of 1.491.
His team's record is 4-7 (-3.6 units) in these starts. The UNDER is 3-8. (-6.5 units)

YU DARVISH vs. BALTIMORE since 1997
No recent starts.

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ST. LOUIS vs. ATLANTA
The total has gone OVER in 5 of St. Louis's last 5 games when playing Atlanta
St. Louis is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing Atlanta
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Atlanta's last 5 games when playing St. Louis
Atlanta is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing St. Louis

BALTIMORE vs. TEXAS
Baltimore is 2-10 SU in its last 12 games when playing Texas
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Baltimore's last 8 games when playing Texas
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Texas's last 8 games
Texas is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Baltimore

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St. Louis at Atlanta
Lohse: St. Louis 9-18 SU away with a total of 7.5 runs or less
Medlen: 14-0 TSR in home games


Baltimore at Texas
Saunders: Baltimore 14-44 SU off BB games having 5 or less hits
Darvish: Texas 16-2 SU at home off BB losses

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MLB Wild Card Odds and Predictions
By: The Linemakers 
Sportingnews.com

Odds and analysis for Friday's MLB Wild Card games. The St. Louis Cardinals play at the Atlanta Braves (5:07 p.m. ET, TBS), and the Baltimore Orioles are at the Texas Rangers (8:37 p.m. ET, TBS).

Cardinals at Braves

Starting Pitchers:
Kyle Lohse vs. Kris Medlen

Line: Braves -168

Total: 7 under -125

The Cardinals come into this game playing a great brand of baseball, winning 12 of their last 16 regular-season games to secure their place in the playoffs. Unfortunately, they have to go against the hottest pitcher in baseball. The Braves have won their past 13 games started by Kris Medlen, who has allowed an astonishing low total of nine earned runs over that span while picking up nine wins.

Kyle Lohse, however, isn’t going to be a pushover. He went 16-3 this season, but the Cardinals have lost three of his past five starts. In his one start against the Braves this season, on May 30, he got roughed up for five runs in 10-7 loss.

Going against Medlen is hard sell, but siding with the UNDER might be the way to go here. Lohse has battled all season long, and Medlen is hot. This has the looks of a 3-1 or 2-1 game.

Prediction: Braves, 3-1


Orioles at Rangers

Starting Pitchers:
Joe Saunders vs. Yu Darvish

Line: Rangers -190

Total: 9 under -120

The Orioles aren’t exactly coming out with their best in their first playoff game since 1997. Sending Joe Saunders to the mound is a big risk. Baltimore acquired him from Arizona on August 26 and has gone 4-3 behind him. But he hasn’t given up more than three earned runs in any of his six starts, which is everything Baltimore had hoped for.

Despite not have an edge in the pitching matchup, the O’s do have momentum going for them, winning 12 of their past 17 games. That’s not the case with Texas. They come in deflated after blowing their division lead by getting swept in Oakland earlier this week. Their bad play didn’t begin there, either. The Rangers have lost nine of their past 13 games.

Perhaps the Rangers have simply been bored, just going through the motions. They have one of the most complete clubs in baseball and fully expected to be in the postseason, but they laid back and kind of got snuck up on. They may be good enough to be able to turn on the switch and say, “It’s Go Time.”

Yu Darvish has pitched his best baseball of the season over his past six starts, and the Rangers have gone 5-1 over that span. In four of the starts, he’s given up one run or less. In the other two, he allowed only three.

Because of the way Darvish has been pitching, the UNDER looks like a solid play here. Despite not being overly impressive, Saunders has controlled the game, and his past four road starts have stayed UNDER the number. Because of the way Texas has played recently, taking the big price with the Orioles isn’t a bad move, but Darvish has been too good lately to feel confident with that bet.

Prediction: Rangers, 5-2

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