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MLB teams to watch after the break

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

The annual Mid-Summer Classic has major league clubs on hiatus until Friday. The All-Star break is not only a window for players and managers to get some much-needed down time but also a perfect opportunity for clubs to plan ahead for the second half of the schedule.

Here are a couple clubs and their mlb baseball lines who pushed hard before the break and can continue to ride that momentum when action on the diamond picks up again this weekend:

Pittsburgh Pirates (53-35, +10.90 units)

The Pirates were left in the Cardinals’ dust earlier in the year but came on strong with a 10-2 record so far in July, including heading into the break on a massive win over St. Louis on Sunday Night Baseball. The Bucs offense was lacking for the first half of the schedule but the bats stepped up this month, scoring 17 total runs in the three wins over the Cardinals last week.

Pitching is Pittsburgh’s strength but the staff has some aging arms on the roster. Could age catch up with the likes of A.J. Burnett and Francisco Liriano after the break? Baseball bettors could get their answer with the Pirates opening a six-game road trip in Milwaukee and Kansas City after the break.

Oakland Athletics (41-50, -17.15 units)

The A’s have been one of the worst bets in baseball entering the break, thanks in large part to their hot-and-cold offense and a bullpen that has blown 12 saves and boasts an ugly 4.32 ERA. But we’ve seen this club make second-half pushes year after year. Oakland is 120-90 after the break over the last three seasons, even after going just 29-38 in 2014.

The A’s starting pitching has been solid so far, posting a collective 3.01 ERA – second lowest in the majors. All they need is some stability from the bullpen and a couple extra runs here and there to turn the page. Oakland actually has a plus-44 run differential – seventh best in the bigs – but still sits below .500. The Athletics started to show some life before the break, winning two in a row, and play 17 of their next 22 games at home after the break.

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Best MLB interleague bets

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Interleague action used to be a special time of the season when baseball bettors got a break from the norm. Now, the American and National Leagues are clashing on a weekly basis. If you’re doing some sportsbook online betting when the AL meets the NL, here are three teams that have dominated interleague play so far this season:

Kansas City Royals (5-2 vs. NL)

The reigning American League champs have rep’d the Junior Circuit when clashing with the NL this season – perhaps getting revenge for a loss to the Giants in last year’s World Series. The Royals have met the Reds, Cardinals and Cubs in interleague play so far, outscoring those NL foes 28-15. Kansas City is picking up where it left off against the NL last season, when the Royals finished 15-5 versus the National League. Following its current series with Minnesota, KC opens a seven-game interleague span at St. Louis and Milwaukee.

Houston Astros (4-1 vs. NL)

It would make sense that the Astros would do well against the Senior Circuit, having played in the National League before joining the AL West in 2013. Houston swept a three-game series in San Diego then split a two-game set with the Giants last month, outscoring those NL opponents 35-20 and going 4-1 Over/Under in those interleague tilts. The Astros have three home games with Colorado coming up next week then won’t see another NL team until Arizona in late July.

San Francisco Giants (4-1 vs. AL)

The Giants have proven they can handle the very best in the American League with three World Series wins in the past five seasons. If you’re doing some sportsbook online betting, you may have to pay a premium for San Francisco in these interleague matchups, having been priced as a favorite in each game of their three-game sweep of the Angels to start May. The Giants were, however, slight dogs splitting against Houston. San Francisco hasn’t always been great against the AL in the regular season, with a 16-24 record the past two years. Its next interleague action comes via a home-and-home four-game set with Seattle next week.

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MLB Surprise Money Starters

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

The MLB season is nearly a month old and already baseball bettors have been treated to some very profitable surprise starting pitchers.

Here’s a look at a sportsbook review of three of these money-making arms and whether they’ll continue to cash in as the baseball season goes on:

Nick Martinez, Texas Rangers:

The Rangers’ right hander has jumped to the top of the money standings with a 2-0 record and slim 0.35 ERA through four starts this season – all of which ended in wins for Texas as a plus-money underdog. But buyer
beware of Martinez’s stellar start to the year.

He’s climbed near 100 pitches in those four starts despite not going more than seven innings and has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 1.38, well off the pace of the top pitchers in baseball. This second-year starter could wear
himself thin before the calendar gets to June at this pace.

Bartolo Colon, New York Mets:

The veteran hurler is proving he has plenty left in the tank with a strong debut to 2015. Colon is a perfect 4-0 with a 2.77 ERA through four starts, striking out a combined 23 batters and walking just one in that span. The
Mets were moneyline underdogs in his first two starts but the market has quickly corrected and betting New York with the right hander on the mound now comes at a price. Colon is usually a slow starter, which is why his strong April is puzzling.

The hefty hurler peaked around June and July last year and then again toward the end of the season. His heavy frame is made for those long hot days in August but as long as he keeps his pitch count down, he should
continue to surprise.

Archie Bradley, Arizona Diamondbacks:

Bradley entered the season with his top prospect mantle tarnished, battling back from injuries that took some velocity off his fastball and break off his curve. The 23-year-old righty has proven those doubters
wrong with a strong start to his rookie campaign.

Bradley is 2-0 (Arizona 3-0) with a 1.45 ERA through three starts. Those efforts have come against the Dodgers, Giants (on the road) and Rangers, so there’s still plenty to prove. However, the youngster did overcome some early control issues against Texas and battled back with a few double-play setups. The price is always going to be right for Arizona if Bradley continues this hot streak.

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GO: Songs of Shame

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Tell us the songs on your iPod you’re embarrassed to like. C’mon, we’ve all got some!

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Cubs Claim Adrian Cardenas off waivers and Designate Blake DeWitt for Assignment

Monday, February 6th, 2012

The Cubs media department sent out the following release on a transaction processed today:

CHICAGO The Chicago Cubs today claimed infielder Adrian Cardenas off waivers from the Oakland Athletics.  In a corresponding 40-man roster move, infielder Blake DeWitt was designated for assignment.

Cardenas, 24, batted .314 (154-for-491) with 28 doubles, four triples, five home runs, 70 runs scored, 51 RBI and a .374 on-base percentage in 127 games with Triple-A Sacramento last year.  The left-handed batter and right-handed thrower ranked eighth in the Pacific Coast League with 154 hits and posted his highest batting average in his five full professional campaigns.

In 2011, Cardenas saw action at second base (35 games), shortstop (three games), third base (13 games) and left field (44 games), his first professional experience in the outfield.  He has primarily played second base (361 games) in his professional career.

Cardenas was originally selected by Philadelphia in the supplemental round (37th overall) of the 2006 Draft and acquired by Oakland as part of the trade that sent Joe Blanton to the Phillies on July 17, 2008.  In 643 minor league games, Cardenas is a career .303 hitter (749-for-2,475) with 143 doubles, 21 triples, 29 home runs, 77 stolen bases and a .368 on-base percentage.

DeWitt, 26, batted .265 (61-for-230) with 11 doubles, five home runs and 26 RBI in 121 games with the Cubs last year, his first full season with the club after being acquired from the Dodgers on July 31, 2010.  He is a career .260 hitter (283-for-1,087) in 404 major league games with the Dodgers (2008-10) and the Cubs (2010-present).

We’ll try to track down our A’s blogger for his thoughts on Cardenas and have that report ASAP. In the meantime, discuss the move which should have a lot of you excited because of the loss of DeWitt.

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