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MLB Betting News and Notes Sunday, April 27

MLB Betting News and Notes Sunday, April 27

Sunday's MLB Betting Cheat Sheet

Tanaka loves New York

The New York Yankees have one of the most favorable home lines of the day at -153 thanks to probable starter Masahiro Tanaka. The 25-year-old Japanese sensation is 3-0 with a 2.15 ERA and 35 strikeouts through his first 29 1/3 major-league innings.

CarGo Vroom

The Los Angeles Dodgers (-185) have to be confident with left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu on the mound, but he has yet to solve Carlos Gonzalez. The Colorado Rockies outfielder has faced Ryu three times, and has a solo homer and a pair of walks against him.

Well played, Mauer

Expect the Detroit Tigers (-148) and right-hander Justin Verlander to get creative when facing Joe Mauer. The Minnesota Twins star boasts a .371/.473/.581 slash line against Verlander, with four doubles and three home runs in 62 all-time at-bats.

Pitching notes

* Boston Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester is 15-7 with a 3.55 ERA and two of his 10 career complete games in 28 all-time starts versus the Toronto Blue Jays.

* Kansas City Royals right-hander James Shields has allowed exactly one earned run in each of his last four starts, lowing his ERA from 4.26 to 1.91.

Hitting notes

* Chicago White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko is 10-for-20 with two home runs against Tampa Bay Rays lefty David Price, who gets the call Sunday.

* Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks has gone 3-for-8 with a homer in the first two games of Boston's three-game set in Toronto, and is 3-for-6 with a pair of home runs lifetime versus Sunday starter R.A. Dickey.

Total streaks

Toronto Blue Jays (5-0-1 O/U): The pitching staff has been even shakier than expected of late, allowing an average of 7.5 runs over the past six games.

Injury Watch

* Minnesota Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe (left triceps contusion) left Saturday's game and is considered day-to-day.

* Cincinnati Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco (left hamstring strain) was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday and is out until mid-May.

* Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin (left hamstring strain) has been placed on the 15-day disabled list and will likely be out until mid-May.

Weather watch

* Fans at Turner Field face a 31 percent chance of thunderstorms for Sunday's game between the Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds, with temperatures expected to be in the high-70s.

* Thundershowers are even more likely at Busch Stadium, with a 77 percent chance in the forecast for the St. Louis Cardinals' tilt with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Hot and cold betting trends

* Angels at Yankees: New York is 10-2 in its last 12 games as a favorite between -151 and -200.

* Rockies at Dodgers: Over is 7-1-2 in Colorado hurler Jorge De La Rosa's last 10 starts as an underdog.

* Athletics at Astros: Over is 7-1 in umpire Paul Emmel's last eight games behind home plate involving Oakland.

Stat of the Day

Opposing hitters are batting just .150 the first time through the order against Toronto knuckleballer R.A. Dickey this season - but that number jumps to .237 the second time through and .433 on the third pass.

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Re: MLB Betting News and Notes Sunday, April 27

Yankees, Angels hook up

L.A. Angels (11-12) at N.Y. Yankees (14-10) Line: New York -160; Total: 8

The Angels try to hand Masahiro Tanaka his first career loss when they finish up a three-game set with the Yankees on Sunday night. New York and Los Angeles have split the first two games as the Yankees won Saturday's contest, 4-3.

Los Angeles is coming off a solid series win over Washington to even its record to 3-3 on a nine-game road trip that ends in the Bronx. The Angels plated 15 runs in the three contests against a Nationals’ club that sports one of the better pitching staffs in the game. Albert Pujols (.284 BA) hit his 500th career home run Tuesday and enters Friday with an MLB-leading eight homers. The Yankees come into the series after defeating the Red Sox for the fifth time in seven tries and they outscored their rivals 24-13 in the recent three-game set. Thursday night, New York put up 14 runs on 14 hits against Boston, as OF Jacoby Ellsbury was 3-for-6 with two doubles and 3 RB in the game, and 5-for-15 in the series against his former team. Ellsbury enters this series leading the Yankees in average (.337), runs (13) and stolen bases (8).

Taking the mound for the visiting Angels in this contest will be RHP Garrett Richards (2-0, 2.52 ERA) who has pitched very well early on this season. Opposing him for the Yanks will be RHP Masahiro Tanaka (3-0, 2.15 ERA) as he looks to continue to dominate the majors in his first year in the league. New York has done very well at home coming into this series with a 6-3 record while the Los Angeles has been one of the better road teams, compiling a 7-5 record coming into the series. From 2011-2013, the Yankees were the better club in this matchup, going 14-11 against the Angels, including an impressive 9-4 at home.

Garrett Richards has mostly been a spot starter and reliever over the past couple of seasons for Los Angeles, and has not posted an ERA better than 4.15. He has improved in each successive year though, and has limited opponents to one or fewer runs in three of his four starts this season. He did really well against a potent Nationals offense on Monday, throwing six innings and giving up just one run on a single hit while getting six strikeouts to combat his four walks. Richards has struggled mightily with his control in 2014, walking 5.0 batters per nine innings over 24 IP but has not allowed a home run. He’s pitched in three games (2 starts) against the Yankees in his career, going 0-2 with a poor 5.14 ERA -- but strong 1.14 WHIP -- while striking out just five hitters in 14 frames of work. He has also given up three home runs in that time, but none of the players who hit them are still on New York’s roster, while utility infielder Kelly Johnson has gone 2-for-3 against him with a double and a triple.

Others on the Yankees have not fared as well, with SS Derek Jeter, OF Carlos Beltran, OF Brett Gardner, OF Jacoby Ellsbury, 1B Mark Teixeira and DH Alfonso Soriano combining to go 1-for-18 with four strikeouts in the matchup. Coming into this series, the Angels bullpen has been very shaky with a 3-4 record and 5.06 ERA (1.53 WHIP) while saving just two games in six opportunities. Current closer Ernesto Frieri (9.35 ERA, 2 saves) allowed four runs in the ninth on Wednesday against the Nationals, blowing his second save of the year, and could soon lose his ninth-inning role as he has allowed five home runs in just 8.2 innings this year.

Masahiro Tanaka has baffled hitters in his debut season with a late-dropping splitter and a fastball that tops out at 95 mph. He’s already struck out 35 batters with just two walks in his first 29.1 innings on the mound while having at least seven K’s in each of his four outings. His one weakness has been giving up home runs as he has now surrendered four taters on the season. Tanaka gave up two of those long-balls in his last start when facing the Red Sox, as David Ortiz and Mike Napoli went back-to-back on him, but that was all he really gave up in his 7.1 innings of work where he allowed only two runs on seven hits with zero walks and seven strikeouts. As a fly-ball pitcher, Tanaka will need to be careful against this Angels club that has seven different players with at least two home runs, including Pujols (8) and OF Mike Trout (6).

Speaking of Trout, the 22-year-old has continued to be one of the top players in the league, entering Friday with a .315 BA, 6 HR and 15 RBI despite an uncharacteristically high 26.5% strikeout rate on the season thus far. On the other hand, two offseason acquisitions, 3B David Freese and OF Raul Ibanez, have combined to go just 19-for-129 (.147) so far this year. A couple of innings have blown up New York's bullpen ERA to 4.28 through Thursday, but the relievers have gone 8-for-10 in save opportunities. Closer David Robertson (0.00 ERA, 2 saves) has only one strikeout in his first four innings on the mound, but is 2-for-2 in save chances and is a welcome sight back on the roster after a short DL stint due to a strained groin.

Check out more MLB Odds and Props at!

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Re: MLB Betting News and Notes Sunday, April 27

MLB: Streaks, Tips, Notes

Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays host the Boston Red Sox Sunday afternoon in the finale of a 3-game set. The Jays come into the contest 11-13 overall, 4-7 here at the Rogers Center. Red Sox taking the first two in this weekend series are 12-13 with a 7-5 mark away from Fenway. Toronto sends Dickey (1-3, 5.90 ERA) to the mound looking for a repeat performance of his last start in which the knuckler went 6 innings of 3 run ball in a Toronto victory over Baltimore. Red Sox counter with Jon Lester (2-3, 2.67 ERA) hoping the left-hander shakes off his horrid last start that saw the hurler get smacked for 8 runs over 4 2/3 innings in a loss to the Yankees. It's a challenge siding with a team on a four-game slide. However, Jays are on a 7-3 stretch when looking to avoiding a three game series sweep, Red Sox are 0-2 w/Lester this season in day games, on a 1-4 road skid with the hurler vs a team with a losing record and 1-4 skid last five north of the border handing the ball to Lester.

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Re: MLB Betting News and Notes Sunday, April 27

MLB Odds and Picks
By: Micah Roberts

LAS VEGAS -- If you haven't had a chance to see the Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka pitch, tonight's your chance. He'll be at home facing the Angels on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball. Through three starts, he's 3-0 with a 2.15 ERA, and the Yankees' only loss behind him came against Baltimore in his second start. He has 35 strikeouts in 29.1 innings with only two walks. If the same type of control and mastery over hitters occurs again tonight, he'll join Ben Sheets (2006) as the only pitcher dating back to 1914 to average at least nine strikeouts and less than one walk per nine innings in more than five starts.

Over the years we've seen pitchers who have dominated in Japan come over to the majors and fail to reach the lofty expectations brought on by their gaudy numbers in the Japanese leagues. Yu Darvish has been the one exception, and Tanaka may be raising that bar even higher. As he gets more acclimated and comfortable in his new surroundings, he seems to be getting even better. Over his past two games he's allowed only two runs in 15.1 innings with 17 strikeouts and only one walk.

We'll have to see how teams fare in their second go-around with him, but so far it's surprising that the most success against Tanaka has been his opponents' first crack at him. They are hitting .314 (11-for-35) with two homers and only 10 strikeouts in his first run through the lineup. Their average dips to .149 (11-for-74) with two homers with 25 of the 75 batters faced striking out once the lineup flips.

A big test will come for Tanaka tonight against the Angels who lead the majors with 36 home runs thanks to the team finally getting a productive April from Albert Pujols (.299). His nine homers are tied with Jose Abreu for the most in baseball. Last April, Pujols hit four homers and batted .252, which was a major upgrade from 2012, his first season with the Angels, when he didn't have any homers with only four RBIs and hit only .217. In his past 11 games against the Yankees, Pujols is batting .417.

And then Tanaka also has Mike Trout to worry about, arguably the best player in the game. Trout hit his sixth home run of the season yesterday in the first inning of the Yankees' 4-3 win and has now hit safely in 15 of 17 career games against the pinstripes.

When looking at Tanaka and the Yankees as -170 favorites, the first instinct should be to try and find as many good reasons as possible to take the underdog at +155. However, because of how good he's been, the masses in the baseball betting world will likely take the greedy route and lay -1.5 runs with the favorite and get +120. The run-line may work out once in a while, but in the long run it's not a good bet.

The Angels have a fighting chance tonight if they can somehow stay away from Tanaka's split-finger that looks attractive coming in, but dips out of the strike zone. They also should fare well with Garrett Richards (2-0, 2.52 ERA) holding the Yankees' bats down. This season on the road, Richards has been terrific with a 1.00 ERA in three starts.

Sunday selections:

Angels (Richards) +155 at Yankees

Red Sox (Lester) -103 at Blue Jays

Royals (Shields) -119 at Orioles

Marlins/Mets UNDER 7 (-110)

Phillies (Burnett) -102 at Diamondbacks

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