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MLB Betting News and Notes

MLB Betting News and Notes

The Best Bets in the Bigs

Every week we take a look at the hottest and coldest teams as well as the best over and under bets in Major League Baseball.

For the week of June 17-23.

Hot team: Toronto Blue Jays

Last week: 6-0
Season: 38-36
Upcoming schedule: at Rays, at Red Sox

Skinny: The Blue Jays have won a franchise record-tying 11 consecutive games heading into a three-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Cold team: Kansas City Royals

Last week: 2-4
Season: 35-38
Upcoming schedule: vs. Braves, at Twins

Skinny: The Royals halted a four-game slide with a 7-6 win over the Chicago White Sox Sunday. They were only able to conjure up two wins behind James Shields last week. Kansas City’s other four starters went 0-4.

Over team: Oakland Athletics

Last week: 5-1-1 over/under
Season: 43-34-1
Upcoming schedule: vs. Reds, vs. Cardinals

Skinny: The A’s averaged 5.3 runs per game and allowed 5.1 in seven games last week .

Under team: St. Louis Cardinals

Last week: 1-5 over/under (not including Sunday night game)
Season: 38-34-3 over/under
Upcoming schedule: at Astros, at A’s

Skinny: Cardinals pitchers held the opposition to an average of three runs per game last week.

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Hot & Not - AL Edition
By Mike Rose

For the last time in the month of June, we're going to be looking at some of the hottest and coldest teams in MLB betting action. This time, it's off to the American League, where many of the 15 clubs have more or less just been treading water and holding serve. Some though, clearly stand out above all else, some for the right reasons, and some for the very wrong reasons.


Toronto Blue Jays (11-0, +$1,331 in L/11) –
The Jays were expected to be one of the best teams in baseball this year, and they have finally perhaps lived up to that prophecy. The problem? How much energy has been put into this 11-game winning streak, one which has only just barely gotten the team back above .500 for the first time all season long?

On Deck: It's going to be tough to keep this winning streak going, and if we're the Jays, we're afraid that we are going to hit the skids at a bad time again. The next 11 games come against the Rays, Red Sox, and Tigers.
Texas Rangers (5-0, +$638 in L/5) – If not for the Jays, we would be talking about the Rangers as the best team in the bigs. Though Toronto has been impressive, no team has made as much money in baseball over the course of the last five days than has Texas.

On Deck: Three in the Bronx is tough for the Rangers, especially since they are just 1-8 in their last nine visits there. However, the next nine after that are all at home, and the only even remotely good team of the bunch visiting Arlington is Cincinnati.

Cleveland Indians (8-3, +$541 in L/11) – Pardon us if we had written off the Indians prior to this nice run that they have gone on. However, for a team that had previously lost 16 of 19, it was easy to essentially write off a team that had been overachieving all season long prior to that point.

On Deck: The problems for the Tribe really came on the road before this winning streak, and that's where they are going for the first time since that point. They have a whopping 11 straight games on the road now, the longest such road stretch of the season.


Chicago White Sox (3-8, -$649 in L/11) –
The White Sox have been on a steady decline into baseball's version of purgatory for the last few weeks, and losing eight of these last 11 games has perhaps been the final blow to their season. We just don't see things turning around even though the AL Central is weak.

On Deck: The South Siders do get to come back home for the next nine games, but the Mets, Indians, and Orioles are all pretty darn hot. After that, it's off to Tampa Bay and Detroit. Perhaps 20 out of the next 26 games will come against teams with winning records.

Los Angeles Angels (3-5, -$479 in L/8) –
When are the oddsmakers going to learn? Yes, the Angels had home field advantage in their three-game set against the Pirates over the weekend, but the Bucs are the best money team in the league for a reason. The three-game Pittsburgh sweep was further proof of how underrated it is, but more importantly, how overrated the Halos are.

On Deck: The worst money team in baseball is probably only going to see matters get worse over the course of these next two weeks. Series against the Tigers, Astros, Cardinals, and Red Sox are probably yielding more losses than wins.

New York Yankees (4-8, -$434 in L/12) – The offense has to come together in the Bronx at some point, and that has been the problem all season long in the Big Apple. Can you imagine the Yanks generating less than four runs a game? Believe it. That's what the case is thus far this year.

On Deck:
The hot Rangers are coming to the Bronx this week, but the boys in pinstripes might have bigger problems. Six of the next 10 after that are against the Orioles, who are right there on New York's backside.

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MLB Law Of Averages: Hot And Cold Steaks                      
By Jim Feist

Baseball is a game of stats and streaks. The Orioles started 7-7 and 23-21 before getting it together, now battling Boston for first place. Cleveland got off to a 5-10 start before playing some impressive baseball, while the Dodgers started 7-4 with their "super payroll team" before falling apart and settling into last place.

Last year the Yankees started 0-3 and 21-21 with all kinds of problems with pitching, before turning things around and winning the division. Five years ago the Tigers started the season losing 7 straight games, despite being favored in the first five. The Angels went 14-1 under the total that May when their offense was banged up. In 2009 the Florida Marlins started 11-1 before going in a massive funk, not even coming close to the postseason.

There will be all kinds of streaks over the course of a 162-game season: Consecutive shutout innings thrown by pitchers, a batter hitting safely in X number of games, or consecutive saves by a closer. Last year at this time R.A. Dickey of the Mets was dazzling NL hitters with his 37-year old knuckler, including back-to-back one-hitters. This year? Let's just say things haven't been the same in the AL East for him.

You will see 10-game win streaks, 10-game losing streaks, pitchers ripping off 7-straight wins, teams losing 4-straight one-run games. All these add to the excitement and interest in the game.

From a betting perspective, streaks need to be approached with a careful eye and a cautious head. Playing against "the law of averages" is no way to wager. For example, some bettors think, "This team has won nine in a row, therefore it is time to bet against them, as they are due for a losing streak." This doesn't work in the world of eleven-to-ten.

A little perspective: one year ago the Giants were 46-40, losing7 of 9 heading into the All-Star break. Do you need to be reminded how they did in October? Two years ago this week the Cardinals were 41-38 after dropping their third in a row. They won the whole thing in October. Three years ago at this time the Giants lost 7 straight games and 13 of 18. They didn't look like postseason material while sitting at 40-39, but put it all together down the stretch for a World Series title.

In 2004, the Boston Red Sox played close to .500 baseball much of the season from May through mid-August. Starting on August 16, the Sox won six in a row. If you supported the law of averages, you might conclude that the Sox would be due for several losses and bet against them. In fact, they did lose, 3-0 to Toronto ending that streak - only to then go on a ten-game win streak. When that streak ended, they won nine of the next 12 games. The "anticipated" losing streak never arrived. Simply put, the law of averages can't predict what is going to happen the next game, or the next ten games.

This year's LA Angels have talent, but have been huge underachievers. Some teams can slip out of a funk that had gone on for months, as the 2004 Red Sox did, and begin to play very well, while others do not. In fact, that is the point -- there are almost always tangible reasons why a team goes on hot or cold streaks, more so than the law of averages.

The Angels have had pitching problems and note that the over is 25-10-2 when they face the AL West. Washington has offensive problems, though the Nationals are 14-6 over the total as a favorite. Chicago has also had offensive troubles and the White Sox are 19-39 in their last 58 road games, 36-16-1 under the total against a right-handed starter.

Sometimes injuries can play a role, especially if an ace pitcher is out, and other times teams go into a collective hitting or pitching slump, like the 2011 Red Sox in September.

Think about the talented 2007 NY Mets. They ended the year 5-12, blowing the division lead to the Phillies. If you had bet on them the last week with the reasoning, "They're too good to keep playing this bad," you would have lost your shirt when they went 1-6 against the Nationals and Marlins, two of the worst teams in baseball.

Remember the start of the 1988 season when the Baltimore Orioles lost their first 21 games? Sports bettors playing the law of averages hoping the Orioles "were due to win" blew out their betting bankrolls before May 1st. Overall, it is better to ride a hot team or continue to bet against a cold team, than to rely on the law of averages and bet the other way.

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Three good teams with bad bullpens burning MLB bettors
By Jason Logan

No matter how good a ball team is, a bad bullpen can spoil the party quicker than your parents catching the early flight home from Florida.

Those late-inning collapses especially sting when you're wagering on a good team priced as lofty favorites on the MLB moneylines. Here are three contending teams having their solid efforts - and backers’ bankrolls - wiped out by unreliable relievers:

Detroit Tigers (42-32, -5.89 units)

Starter ERA: 3.58 (sixth in MLB)
Bullpen ERA: 3.99 (21st in MLB)

The Tigers glaring weakness is their bullpen. That statement was punctuated when the club dropped closer Jose Valverde last week after three blown saves and 5.59 ERA out of the pen. Detroit is leaning on Joaquin Benoit to become the new closer while potential pen additions iron out issues in Triple-A Toledo. Lefty Phil Coke has his days but is 0-4 with an ERA north of 6.00.

Cincinnati Reds (45-32, +3.77 units)

Starter ERA: 3.23 (second in MLB)
Bullpen ERA: 3.95 (19th in MLB)

Cincinnati’s relievers came through for bettors as -145 favorites at Arizona Monday night which was almost enough to erase a 5-3 loss to the Pirates last Thursday, in which reliever Alfredo Simon coughed up three runs in the seventh. The Reds have watched leads dissolve in the final innings over the past two weeks, with the bullpen tallying 10 blown saves on the year. Injuries to key relievers and the downfall of closer Aroldis Chapman, who has blown three of those saves, are the main culprits.

Boston Red Sox (45-33, +5.05)

Starter ERA: 3.80 (10th in MLB)
Bullpen ERA: 4.12 (24th in MLB)

The chess match between the Red Sox and Yankees in the American League East could come down to bullpens. New York’s relievers have blown an MLB-low three saves so far while Boston’s bullpen has given 11 wins away in the final inning. The BoSox took recent losses to Detroit and Tampa Bay after their backups crumbled, forcing manager John Farrell, notorious for over-managing his bullpen, to strip Andrew Bailey of the closer role in place of southpaw Andrew Miller, who promptly blew a save in his first outing as closer.

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