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MLB Betting News and Notes Thursday, April 11

MLB Betting News and Notes Thursday, April 11

MLB Weather Report

More rain in Detroit and Cleveland with some possible showers in Boston. Here are the projected weather reports for Thursday's MLB games:

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Detroit Tigers (+126, -137, 8)
There will be an 80 percent chance of rain at game time. Temperatures will be in the mid 30s. Winds will blow around 19 mph from left field to right field.

New York Yankees vs. Cleveland Indians
There will be a 90 percent chance of rain and thunder at game time. Temperatures will be in the low 50s. Eleven mph winds will blow from right field to left field.

Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox (+106, -115, 9.5)
Temperatures will be in the mid 40s and there will be a 40 percent chance of showers.

Chicago White Sox vs. Washington Nationals (+143, -155, 8)
Skies will be cloudy and temperatures will be in the low 70s. Winds will blow in from right field at 13 mph.

MLB Baseball Weather Analyzer

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Re: MLB Betting News and Notes Thursday, April 11

Thursday Late Tips
By Kevin Rogers

Things slow down on the Thursday baseball card with just eight games to wager on. However, three solid matchups take place on the West Coast, including a pair involving AL West teams. The Mariners continue their homestand against the Rangers, while the A's go for a series victory over the struggling Angels. We'll begin in Southern California with a pair of NL West rivals wrapping up their three-game set at Petco Park.

Dodgers at Padres

San Diego grabbed a victory in its home opener on Tuesday, 9-3 over Los Angeles, equaling its run output from the previous four games combined. The Padres blew things open with a five-run eighth inning, while Will Venable and Nick Hundley each went deep for San Diego. The Dodgers evened up the series last night by edging the Padres, 4-3, as San Diego scored a pair of runs in the ninth inning to make things interesting. The series concludes on Thursday as the Padres will look to beat one of the game's best pitchers, who makes his first road start in Dodger blue.

Zack Greinke (1-0, 0.00 ERA) dominated the Pirates in his Los Angeles debut, scattering two hits and striking out six in 6.1 innings of a 3-0 shutout. The former Cy Young Award winner faces another weak lineup on Thursday, as Greinke makes his first career start at Petco Park. The Padres have scored three runs or less in six of eight games this season, while posting a 3-1-1 mark to the 'over' in contests listed with a total of 7½ or less.

Veteran right-hander Jason Marquis (0-1, 3.00 ERA) takes the mound for San Diego, coming off a 5-2 loss in his season debut at Colorado. Marquis allowed five runs in six innings, but only two of those runs were earned, while giving up a pair of homers. After coming over from Minnesota last July, Marquis failed to win each of his first four starts at Petco Park. However, the Padres managed to win each of his final three home outings, including the last two in the role of an underdog.

Athletics at Angels

After its late surge to close 2012, maybe Oakland is for real. The A's stunned the Rangers to grab the AL West title before eventually losing to the AL champion Tigers in the ALDS of the playoffs. Oakland has jumped out to a 7-2 start, this coming off of consecutive losses to Seattle to begin the season. Tonight, the A's seek their eighth straight victory, while the Angels try to figure out what is going wrong through the first week.

Oakland beat Los Angeles for the second straight night on Wednesday, 11-5, while plating five runs on singles. The A's cashed as an underdog thanks to four scoreless innings from four relievers, as Oakland improved to 5-0 on the highway. A.J. Griffin (1-0, 3.00 ERA) cruised in his season debut, shutting down Seattle in an 8-2 triumph as a $1.60 home favorite. Griffin allowed just two earned runs in six innings of work, as Oakland won his fifth straight start dating back to last season. The right-hander silenced the Angels' bats in his lone outing against Los Angeles in 2012, beating the Halos, 4-1 as a $1.20 'dog by tossing eight scoreless innings.

Former Mariner Jason Vargas (0-0, 1.59 ERA) picked up a no-decision in his Los Angeles debut, a 3-2 setback at Texas. Vargas allowed only one earned run in 5.2 innings of work, but the Rangers managed to score a pair of runs on the L.A. bullpen to pick up the win. The southpaw has plenty of experience against Oakland, splitting six starts last season while in the Seattle rotation, but only one of those outings came in the role of a favorite.

Rangers at Mariners

Texas travels to Safeco Field for the start of a four-game set tonight after winning each of its first three series. The Rangers were shut out by the Rays on Wednesday, 2-0, as Texas won three of five games last season after scoring no runs. Coincidentally, two of those victories came over the Mariners, as Seattle looks to get on track with its ace taking the hill in the opener.

After winning the series opener on Monday, the Mariners were stunned in the final two games against the lowly Astros. Felix Hernandez (1-1, 2.57 ERA) lost his last start as a road favorite at Chicago, 4-3, as the former Cy Young Award winner allowed all four runs in 6.1 innings. King Felix lost his final four starts at Safeco Field to close last season, but the ace stymied the Rangers' lineup in two home victories by giving up just one run in 17 innings.

The Rangers send out right-hander Jason Grimm, who makes his first start since last June. Grimm takes the place of Matt Harrison, who was placed on the disabled list on Wednesday with soreness in his lower back. The last time Grimm started, the Tigers tagged the former University of Georgia standout for six earned runs in just one inning of work in an 8-2 home loss. Tonight is the first career road start for Grimm, who was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock.

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Re: MLB Betting News and Notes Thursday, April 11

MLB Odds and Picks
By: The Linemakers

Imagine the anticipation of kids at a birthday party as they await their turn to be blindfolded and hit the pinata. They may take a few whiffs, but they confidently know they’re going to eventually connect and hit the candy jackpot. That’s the same kind of eagerness a few teams have to feel today as they get to face a couple of starting pitchers that have had trouble getting hitters out since spring training started.

The Cubs’ Scott Feldman and Nationals’ Dan Haren have had a rough last eight weeks, yet in Haren’s case, the price doesn’t seem to reflect his woes. Haren’s price at -155 against Dylan Axelrod and the White Sox looks as though we’ve turned the clock back and it’s 2008 when Haren was in his prime.

Haren is well past those good years and we’ve seen his gradual decline over the last year-and-half. Between having the worst spring of his career and allowing six runs in four innings during his Nationals regular-season debut last Friday in 15-0 loss to the Reds, it’s hard to understand him being such a big favorite today. He looks even worse than the pitcher last season when the Angels chalked up only one win in his first nine starts.

It’s understandable to make Haren a slight favorite just because the Nationals (6-2) are considered one of the favorites to win the World Series and are loaded with a talented lineup, not to mention one of the best bullpens in baseball, but his opponent today isn’t that bad, which offers a nice opportunity to get almost 3-to-2 odds returned on the investment.

Axelrod had a good spring, both starting and working out of the bullpen, and then carried that into his first start when he went 5.2 innings without allowing an earned run against the Mariners. He didn’t get the decision in the White Sox's 4-3 win, but he more than held his own, scattering three hits and walking two.

The White Sox are hitting only .244 through their eight games (4-4), but they’ve hit 13 home runs, which is three fewer than the MLB-leading Oakland A’s. The Sox like to go deep, and Haren should oblige. He served up four long-balls to the Reds in his first start, the same amount he gave up his final spring tune up.

The Giants and Ryan Vogelsong had originally been penciled in as a short -130 favorite over the Cubs and Feldman, but the overnight move to -150 -- a proper move -- has out-priced him for us, which is too bad. Feldman had one of the worst springs of any starter in baseball going 0-3 and allowing 25 runs in 20 innings during his six starts. Opposing hitters scorched him for a .396 average. That poor spring carried over into his first start against the Braves when he lasted 4.2 innings, allowing four runs, walking four and striking out only one. He got tagged for the loss, one of many we expect from him this season.

The Blue Jays’ Josh Johnson had a great spring, but got a no-decision in his team's 6-4 loss to the Red Sox last Friday. Although allowing three runs in six innings, Johnson still had great velocity and has the look of being a dominant pitcher this season if staying healthy. Today, he’s a +125 underdog to Doug Fister (1-0) and the Tigers, which presents great value. If Johnson stays healthy and pitches the way we think he will, we won’t get many opportunities at getting plus-money with him this season.

Thursday's plays:

White Sox (Axelrod) +145 at Nationals (Haren)

Blue Jays (Johnson) +125 at Tigers (Fister)

Season-to-date record: 21-5 (+1799)

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