MLB Betting News and Notes Sunday, May 4

MLB Betting News and Notes Sunday, May 4

Cubs look to sweep Cards
By Sportsbook.ag

St. Louis (15-16) at Chicago Cubs (11-17)

Sportsbook.ag Line: St. Louis -130, Chicago +110, Total: NA

An NL Central rivalry heats up on Sunday night as the Cardinals and Chicago wrap up a three-game series at Wrigley Field. The Cubs will be looking for a three-game home sweep after earning a 6-5 win on Friday and a 3-0 victory on Saturday against the Cardinals. Chicago hasn't swept anybody all season at home or on the road.

St. Louis has been one of the premier franchises in baseball for over a decade now, but has started out this season with underwhelming performances so far. The club enters the series with a 4-7 record in its past 11 games, including a home series loss to the NL Central-leading Brewers. Milwaukee took both of the first two games in extra innings while the Cardinals avoided the sweep on Wednesday with a decisive 9-3 win. They finally got their offense going in that victory, cranking out eight extra-base hits (2 HR) while getting a big performance from OF Allen Craig (4-for-5, 1 HR, 2 doubles, 3 RBI).

Overall in the series, Craig was 7-for-13 with two homers and 5 RBI, but is still hitting only .220 on the season. Chicago has continued its losing ways and is once again at the bottom of the division, but after losing four in a row, the club did win two of its final three games of April.

The Cubs offense came alive late against the Reds bullpen on Wednesday, scoring six runs over five innings against their relievers in a 9-4 victory. SS Starlin Castro (.308 BA) continued his hot season with a 3-for-4 game and leads the team with 14 RBI while tying 1B Anthony Rizzo, C Wellington Castillo and 3B Mike Olt with four homers. Sunday night should be a good pitching matchup, as St. Louis sends out RHP Lance Lynn (4-1, 3.60 ERA) and RHP Jason Hammel (4-1, 2.08 ERA) gets the call for Chicago. Coming into this series, St. Louis is 8-9 when playing on the road, but the Cubs are only 5-8 at Wrigley Field this year.

This has been a one-sided matchup since the start of 2012, with the Cardinals holding a 24-15 edge coming into this series, but are just 9-9 when playing on the road. In the first series of this year when these teams played each other, St. Louis took 2-of-3 at home.

Lance Lynn has been one of the more consistent starters in the league so far, lasting at least five innings in each of his six starts while having an impressive 40:11 K/BB ratio in 35 innings of work. He has not earned a win in his past two starts, but has pitched effectively, combining for 11.1 IP while allowing nine hits and six runs (5 ER). Over his career, Lynn has 10 appearances (9 starts) against the Cubs, going 6-3 with a 3.20 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and impressive 8.3 K/9 rate. He shut them out in his most recent outing last year, going six innings while allowing just four hits with zero walks and striking out nine Chicago hitters.

SS Starlin Castro has been in top form so far this year, and may be in line for another big game as he is 10-for-27 (.370) against Lynn in his career with three doubles, a triple and 3 RBI. C Wellington Castillo has also performed well in limited at-bats, going 4-for-6 against him with a solo homer. On the other hand, 1B Anthony Rizzo (4-for-19, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4 K’s) and OF Nate Schierholtz (1-for-11, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 K’s) have had some power in the matchup, but have hit poorly otherwise.

The Cardinals’ bullpen enters this series winless (0-5), but has a respectable 3.73 ERA and an excellent 1.11 WHIP while converting 9-of-11 save chances. Closer Trevor Rosenthal (4.73 ERA, 7 saves) has been perfect in his seven save chances this season, but already has seven walks in 13.1 innings on the bump.

Jason Hammel has had better than a 4.30 ERA in just one of his previous eight seasons, but has been one of the league's biggest surprises in his first year with the Cubs, as he leads the majors in WHIP (0.69). He has thrown quality starts in all five of his outings in 2014, and has not allowed more than five hits in a game despite throwing at least 6.2 innings in each start. His control has been outstanding as well, allowing just seven free passes in 34.2 innings. Hammel’s last outing was his best so far, as he went seven scoreless innings last Sunday while allowing just three hits and two walks while striking out seven against a hot Brewers club. He’s started just two times against the Cardinals in his long career, putting together a 1-1 record with a 5.79 ERA and 1.71 WHIP, and has more walks (3) than strikeouts (2) in these poor 9.1 innings.

There are only six players on the Cardinals roster who have faced Hammel before, and they have combined to go 15-for-34 (.441) against him with two home runs, four doubles and 9 RBI, while striking out just three times. C Yadier Molina has been the best of the bunch with seven hits in 15 at-bats while going deep twice and amassing 8 RBI.

Chicago’s bullpen has been mediocre this year, as coming into their series the unit is 1-5 with a 3.62 ERA and 1.34 WHIP, while saving just 2-of-6 games. They are much worse at home though, with a 5.60 ERA and 1.64 WHIP, and have allowed seven home runs in just 35.3 frames. Hector Rondon (0.68 ERA, 1 save) looks to be the closer of choice for the Cubs now and has 15 strikeouts in his first 13.1 innings through Thursday.


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Re: MLB Betting News and Notes Sunday, May 4

MLB: Streaks, Tips, Notes
Sportspic.com

Oakland A's at Boston Red Sox

The closing matchup of a three game series between A's and Red Sox has all the markings of a pitchers duel and low scoring affair. Sonny Gray (4-1, 1.76 ERA) hurling six straight quality starts including a recent nine inning shutout toes the rubber for Oakland. Gray 2-0 on the road with a miniscule 0.56 ERA keeps Boston batters honest. On the other mound, John Lackey (4-2, 3.82 ERA) off back-2-back eight inning gems giving up 3 runs keeps A's hitters off the base-path. Adds up to runs being at a premium. Consider 'Under' knowing the series is on a 5-0 'Under' stretch, Boston is 2-9 'Under' in day games with Lackey, 1-4-1 'Under' in the hurlers last six May starts while A's enter 6-2 'Under' last eight with Gray, 4-9 'Under' off a loss handing the ball to Gray.

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Re: MLB Betting News and Notes Sunday, May 4

Sunday's MLB Betting Cheat Sheet
Covers.com

Over and Then Some

The Colorado Rockies and New York Mets combined for 21 runs in a wild Saturday night showdown; that doubled the 10.5-point total while ending a streak of three straight "unders" in Coors Field games featuring a total in double digits. Colorado (-144, 10) hosts the Mets in Sunday's series finale.

Padres Spoil the Under

San Diego may be the best "under" play in the majors to date at 7-22-2, but a late rally Saturday ruined the party for "under" bettors. The Padres scored three runs in the ninth inning against visiting Arizona, falling short in a 4-3 defeat but pushing the total over 6.5.

Jose a Safe Bet at Home

No pitcher has been more of a sure bet at home over the past season-plus than Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez. The 21-year-old is a perfect 12-0 in 19 career starts at Marlins Park, while Miami has gone 17-2 against the moneyline in those outings. Miami is -170 Sunday against the visiting Dodgers.

Pitching Notes

* The Washington Nationals are an amazing 18-4 in left-hander Gio Gonzalez's last 22 starts as a road favorite, including his last three outings in Philadelphia. Gonzalez and the Nationals are a -112 fave for Sunday's game against the host Phillies.

* Texas Rangers fireballer Yu Darvish is 4-0 in his last four starts as a favorite of -120 or less. Darvish and the Rangers have a slight -114 edge for Sunday's showdown with the host Los Angeles Angels.

Hitting Notes

* Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has multi-hit efforts in five of his last six games, raising his average to .400 for the season; the Rockies are 5-1 against the moneyline and 6-0 O/U over that stretch, and are -144 favorites with the total set at 10 for Sunday's game against visiting Arizona.

* The New York Yankees lead the majors with a .289 batting average against left-handed pitching, and will look to improve that mark as a -153 home favorite in Sunday's matchup with southpaw Erik Bedard and the Tampa Bay Rays.

Total Streaks

Los Angeles Dodgers (8-1-1 O/U): The Dodgers have been hot of late, averaging better than six runs per game while winning four of their last five outings. Los Angeles faces a challenge to keep that stretch alive against Fernandez and the Marlins.

Prop of the Day

Think the Yankees will get the early jump on Bedard? Oddsmakers certainly do, making them a +135 play to lead the Rays after two innings; the Rays are a +200 longshot to own a lead after two frames.

Injury Watch

* The Toronto Blue Jays placed starter Brandon Morrow on the 60-day disabled list with a torn tendon sheath in his pitching hand. The news is a major blow to "over" bettors, as Morrow had gone 6-0 O/U this season and was "over" in 13 consecutive outings.

* Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Bourn is expected to miss time with tightness in his left hamstring. The Indians are 6-7 and have lost 236 units so far this season with Bourn sidelined; they're -150 for Sunday's game against the visiting Chicago White Sox.

Weather Watch

* Expect plenty of offense at Fenway Park between the Boston Red Sox (+100, 8.5) and the Oakland Athletics. Teams averaged nearly 11 combined runs in 15 games last season with the wind out to right field at greater than 10 miles per hour

Umpire Stat of the Day

Under is 8-1-2 in umpire Mark Wegner's last 11 games behind home plate. Wegner will call the balls and strikes for Sunday's series finale between the Blue Jays and the host Pittsburgh Pirates.

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Re: MLB Betting News and Notes Sunday, May 4

MLB Odds and Picks
By: Micah Roberts   
Sportingnews.com

LAS VEGAS -- Check out the Chicago Cubs with a three-game winning streak.

Big deal, right? Well, it kind of is since we haven't been able to say that since July 28 of last season. They've already assured themselves of their first series win since Sept. 11 after taking the first two of three from the Cardinals. If Chicago wins tonight's game, it would be their first sweep over their biggest rival since 2010 and their first at home over the Redbirds since 2006.

So yes, it is kind of a big deal. It's also kind of surprising to see the Cardinals (15-16) under .500 for the first time since April 8 last season. They've lost nine of their last 13 and have dropped four straight on the road. It all stems from not just executing in timely hitting situations, but hitting overall.

The Cardinals the NL in runs scored and were second in batting average (.269) en route to the World Series in 2013. They also set a new standard from the past 40 years by hitting .330 with runners in scoring position. This season, they are 26th in runs scored (3.5), 20th in average (.244) and while losing six of their last seven on the road, they have hit only .186 with runners in scoring position.

There's no need to panic yet for Cardinals because Las Vegas sports books haven't lost faith. The Cardinals are still listed by the LVH Super Book as the co-second choice with the Tigers to win the World Series at 7/1 behind the Dodgers at 5/1.

During the Cubs' win streak, they've been getting timely hitting from Anthony Rizzo, who has homered in each of the Cubs last three wins to double his season output. He's also increased his average up to .296 and has more walks (20) more than strikeouts (18). Best of all for Rizzo -- and the Cubs -- is he's feeling confident and being selective at the plate (six walks during the three-game win streak).

The Cubs (11-17) still have a lot of issues, are still in last-place and have odds at 100/1 to win the World Series, but they do have a some positives such as a team ERA of 3.62 that is 11th best in baseball.

One of the biggest contributors thus far for the Cubs, Jason Hammel (4-1, 2.08 ERA), takes the mound tonight against Lance Lynn (4-1, 3.60). Each of Hammel's five outings this season have been quality starts, and he's allowed only one run in his past two starts, including a 4-0 win over the first-place Brewers last Sunday. Winning four out of five games for a team that has won only 11 games this season makes him stand out even more, which is why taking +110 tonight to complete the sweep looks attractive.

The Cardinals aren't hitting, they've lost their past two games behind Lynn, and the Cubs are tasting their first success of the season, and it has to taste good. Let's roll with the team clicking in this one.

Sunday selections:

Cubs (Hammel) +110 vs. Cardinals

Giants (Bumgarner) +120 at Braves

Giants/Braves UNDER 7 (-120)

Tigers (Verlander) -125 at Royals

Mets/Rockies OVER 10 (-110)

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