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MLB Betting News and Notes Friday, April 5

MLB Betting News and Notes Friday, April 5

Cliff Notes - Friday Baseball
By Dave Essler

San Diego at Colorado: Padres playing an afternoon game on Thursday, then flying to Colorado, while the Rockies lay in wait after taking two of three in Milwaukee. Clearly the tendency is going to be to hop on Francis in Colorado's home opener. But, in Coors Fiels last season opponents hit .342 against him, so there is little or no chance of taking the Rockies at any number, other than to play the RL. And Marquis and the Rockies haven't meshed well, either. Perhaps the over, but that'll be adjusted for Coors Field, and it IS supposed to be mild with a helping breeze. If you like the over, grab it sooner rather than later. Started this before lines were out. Opened at 11 (the total) and now 10.5. Was obviously hoping for less than that. At -140 if that many runs might be scored, the Rockies might be worth laying the number.

St. Louis at San Francisco: Both teams with Thursday off, and the Cardinals cannot be feeling too good about themselves after that 10-9 loss in Arizona. Obviously the Giants home opener, who DO have to be feeling great about taking two of three from the Dodgers. Most of the Cardinals have fared well against Zito, but if I can find a way to trust HIM, we clearly trust the Giants pen more that the Cardinals. Westbrook has been hit pretty hard by the Giants over the years, and the only case I could make is that he had a great April last season. Other than than, the only bet I could make is the polyclinic over. Fairly mild, but cloudy (better vision for the hitters) and slight breeze helping. But, it'll probably reflect what we already know.

Miami at NY Mets: Miami probably looking forward to leaving the Nationals pitching staff behind, and both teams playing day games on Thursday. Miami's a little later, so they probably won't get into NY til 10 PM. Clearly the Mets have gone from a laughing stock to a huge chalk bases on a couple of wins over the Padres and the Fish losing to the Nationals. Without even looking too far, I can tell you that I think Hefner is not worthy of -170 to many teams, and that because the Mets haven't seen Sanabia, that the Fish are the ones with clear value here. They may not be good, but they were made to look worse by Washington's pitching.

Washington at Cincinnati: Well, the pressure may be on Haren after the first two performances, but honestly there may be less than he's used to, being a #4 starter. Now he'll face a Reds team that hasn't seen much of him, and sans Ludwick, who has hit him, my initial lean is to the Nationals. Both pens beastly here (usually) and if the Nationals don't utilize much of theirs against the Fish, possible advantage Washington, since the Reds' pen has been used, and as I type their gonna get used more in the next three innings. I have a tough time backing a pitcher named "homer" but in this case the Nationals haven't seen much of him. What I would expect given these two offenses and the #4 starters AND in Great American is a total that might be too high. Leaning Nationals and under.

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MLB: Streaks, Tips, Notes

Pittsburgh Pirates at Los Angeles Dodgers

Greinke makes his Dodger debut Friday against visiting Pittsburgh Pirates and Jonathan Sanchez. Los Angeles ridding a 10-2 stretch vs Pittsburgh last two years including 6-1 at Dodger Stadium have opened a whopping -$2.20 favorite. Little wonder, Greinke is 4-1 with a 5.70 ERA life-time vs Pirates with his teams (Brewers/Royals) 5-1 over the six career starts. On the other mound, Sanchez by far one of the worst pitchers last season posting a 1-9 mark with a 8.07 ERA over 15 starts with Royals/Rockies is 3-6 life-time vs Dodgers all with San Francisco (5-8 TSR). Betting favorites of -$1.90 or more can be a dangerous proposition at the best of times. Greinke nursing a minor elbow ailment that threw him off schedule the smart play if your backing Dodgers is a run line (-1.5 +$1.05). Dodgers were 9-3 (+$260) at home last year laying -$2.00 or more outscoring visitors 4.8 to 2.2.

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MLB Weather Report

A look at notable weather for today's games around the majors. In all likelihood, the dome roof at Rogers Center will be closed for a fourth straight game.

New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers
Clear skies with temperatures in the low-40s. Seven mph winds headed out center field.

Los Angeles Angels vs. Texas Rangers
Temperatures in the low-60s and five mph winds blowing in from right field. The over was 13-9-2 in the 24 games in 2012 when the wind blew in from right field in Arlington.

Minnesota Twins vs. Baltimore Orioles
Clear skies, temperatures in the high-50s and winds between 10-13 mph blowing in from left field.

Kansas City Royals vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Partly cloudy skies, temperatures in the mid-50s and winds blowing in from center field at 13 mph. The Phillies were 1-4 in 2012 when the wind blew in from center field.

San Diego Padres vs. Colorado Rockies
Temperatures in the low-70s with winds blowing to center, but moving towards right field at nine mph as the game goes on. The Rockies went 1-4 in 2012 when the wind blows towards right while the over went 4-1.

St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Francisco Giants
Winds picking up slightly throughout the game, going from seven to nine mph early into the game.

Washington Nationals vs. Cincinnati Reds
Winds blowing out to right field at six mph, with temperatures in the mid-50s. The Reds were 3-0 at home in 2012 when the wind blew out to right field.

Miami Marlins vs. New York Mets
Temperatures dropping into the mid-40s as the game progresses, with winds blowing in from left field at 15 mph. The under was 7-3 in 2012 when the wind blew in from left field.

Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves
Winds blowing in from center field at eight mph with temperatures in the high-50s. The average batting average in seven games at Turner Field when the wind blows in from center was .255 and an average of 1.71 home runs were hit per game.

Seattle Mariners vs. Chicago White Sox
Winds blowing in from left field at seven mph, with temperatures in the mid-30s. The White Sox were 10-2 in 2012 when the wind blew in from left field.

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Slight winds blowing towards center field at three mph, with temperatures in the low-60s- to high-50s. The Dodgers were 25-19 in 2012 when the wind blew out to center field.

MLB Baseball Weather Analyzer

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MLB Odds and Picks – Expect Some Offense in Cincinnati
By: The Linemakers

LAS VEGAS -- We should be in for a slugfest when the Reds and Nationals meet in Cincinnati tonight, despite each team scoring only 11 runs in its first three games. The big reason to expect an offensive explosion is that each lineup gets to face No. 4 starters, and both of tonight’s No. 4s are coming off of awful springs.

Dan Haren makes his Nationals debut, and the hope here is that the Reds pile on enough runs early before the Nats bullpen – one of the best in the game is called upon. Haren has been in a steady decline the last year-and-a-half. That says a lot, since he routinely struggled for the Angels in the Orange County air, where pitchers usually thrive.

Beyond what Haren did last season, his performance during spring training, the worst of his career, has us expecting the Reds to pummel him tonight. It’s not so much that he went 0-4 with a 6.39 ERA in his six starts, but rather what he did in the final tune-up sessions over his last three starts. He allowed 14 runs in 16½ innings of work, and worse, allowed seven home runs including four in his final start against the Marlins.

The Great American Ballpark isn’t the best place for a starting pitcher serving up homers to work things out.

Homer Bailey (2-1, 6.35 ERA) wasn’t much better in spring than Haren, but he did pitch well in his final start, going six strong innings and allowing just one hit against the D‘Backs. He showed plenty of control throughout, even in the games he got roughed up.

Another negative for Bailey tonight is that the Nationals have had his number. He‘s 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in two career starts against them.

We initially had a lean on the Reds with the overnight line that had them laying only -110, but bettors jumped all over Cincy – or went against Haren and the price has been pushed up to the Reds -125. We still have a slight lean to the Reds, but there should be enough ammunition between the two starters to produce some fireworks, so OVER eight runs looks like the way to go.

The Giants will raise their World Series flag this afternoon and give Buster Posey his MVP trophy, and then they’ll face one of two NL teams they demoralized in last year’s playoffs the Cardinals. Barry Zito, perhaps the most important pitcher in the Giants’ postseason comebacks, will take the mound. Zito pitched the pivotal Game 5 of the NLCS against the Cardinals, a 5-0 Giants win, to force a Game 6 in San Francisco. Zito also got a critical RBI single in the game as well.

The long winter did nothing to cool off Zito behind whom the Giants won 14 straight games, including the playoffs, at the end of 2012 as he kept it going with a strong spring.

Jake Westbrook will take the mound for the Cardinals today. The best reason to go against him is his final start of spring, when he gave up four runs in four innings while walking four and striking out only two. His 12/9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 23 spring innings wasn’t inspiring enough to believe he’ll be at his best today.

We look for the Giants to get the win today, and the price looks rather cheap at -115.

The rest of today’s card looks pretty tough. The games are either too high to lay or not high enough to take. The one exception to our rule of never laying over -140 could be applied today with Josh Johnson and the Blue Jays (-165) against the Red Sox. Johnson had an amazing spring and should have plenty of offensive support from a lineup that finally unleashed its full potential last night.

Friday plays:

Reds/Nationals OVER 8 (EVEN)

Giants (Zito) -115 vs. Cardinals

Season to date record: 12-1 (+1270)

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Red Sox at Blue Jays: What Bettors Need to Know

Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays (-154, 8.5)

An overlooked part of the Toronto Blue Jays’ off-season makeover was the trade of manager John Farrell to the Boston Red Sox. Farrell returns to the place where he managed for two seasons on Friday when the Red Sox begin a three-game road series against the Blue Jays. After firing manager Bobby Valentine, Boston set its sights on Farrell, the team’s pitching coach from 2007-10. The Red Sox acquired Farrell and reliever David Carpenter in exchange for shortstop Mike Aviles.

Farrell has gotten his new team off to a fine start as Boston won two of three on the road against the New York Yankees. The Red Sox may find the going a bit tougher after the Blue Jays’ offense awakened for the first time in a 10-8 victory over Cleveland to avoid a three-game sweep. While some of Toronto’s new hitters are struggling, such as Jose Reyes (2-for-11) and Melky Cabrera (2-for-12), J.P. Arencibia belted two of the Blue Jays’ five homers in Thursday’s win.

PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Felix Doubront (2012: 11-10, 4.86 ERA) vs. Blue Jays RH Josh Johnson (8-14, 3.81)

Doubront emerged from little-used reliever over his first two seasons to a full-time starter in 2012, striking out more than a batter per inning (167 strikeouts over 161 innings). Control was an issue for him as his 71 walks were the ninth-highest total in the American League. Doubront made four starts against the Blue Jays last season, going 1-2 with a 5.91 ERA, but was markedly better in his two outings at the Rogers Centre (1-0, 3.18 ERA).

Johnson overcame the shoulder issues that limited him to nine starts in 2011, but struggled along with the rest of the Miami Marlins in 2012 and set a career high for losses. He was masterful in spring training with a 5-0 record and 2.70 ERA, recording 23 strikeouts in 20 innings while holding hitters to a .164 batting average. Johnson enjoyed one of his finest starts last season while collecting a win in his only outing against the Red Sox, allowing four hits and striking out seven over seven innings.


* Blue Jays are 4-0 in their last four games vs. a left-handed starter.
* Red Sox are 2-7 in the last nine meetings.
* Over is 5-0 in Doubronts’ last five Friday starts.
* Under is 5-0 in Blue Jays’ last five home games with the total set at 7.0-8.5.


1. Farrell compiled a 154-170 record from 2011-12 with Toronto.

2. Cabrera is three hits shy of 1,000 for his career.

3. Six of the 24 homers Doubront allowed in 2012 came against the Blue Jays.

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