Wednesday, April 23, 2014

MLB betting: April 23 National League probable pitching matchups

Cole Hamels will make his season debut on Wednesday in Los Angeles, and if Hamels is as good as he was in 2012 the Phillies might actually contend in the NL East. Bet on Phillies-Dodgers and every game at WagerWeb.
Marlins RHP Nathan Eovaldi at Braves RHP Aaron Harang: Eovaldi has worked at least six innings in each of his four starts. He gave up three runs (one earned) in six innings in his last outing, vs. Seattle. The right-hander is 1-1 (2.79 ERA) in five career starts at Turner Field. … Harang was lifted from Friday’s start against the Mets after throwing 121 pitches over seven hitless innings. The 35-year-old veteran has carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning during two of his first four starts of this season.
Diamondbacks LHP Wade Miley at Cubs RHP Jeff Samardzija: Miley was outstanding in his last start against the Dodgers, allowing just one run on two hits in six innings. He wound up with a no-decision after Scott Van Slyke homered to tie the game in the seventh. … Samardzija has four quality starts, an impressive 1.29 ERA, yet can’t get a win. The Cubs have scored four runs in his four starts. There will be plenty of hoopla pregame as the Cubs celebrate Wrigley Field’s 100th anniversary.
Giants RHP Matt Cain at Rockies RHP Tyler Chatwood: Cain has nothing to show for his last two games despite allowing one earned run over 14 innings in that span. He also walked five and struck out 16 in those games. Cain has a 3.50 ERA in three road starts. … In his last outing, Chatwood forced the Phillies into 14 ground ball outs and held them to two hits and one unearned run in seven innings of a home win. Chatwood also pitched well against the Giants in an earlier start.
Reds RHP Alfredo Simon at Pirates RHP Charlie Morton: Simon has pitched brilliantly as a fill-in for the injured Mat Latos. He tossed six innings and gave up just one unearned run against the Cubs in his last outing, lowering his ERA to 0.86 over three starts spanning 21 innings. … Morton had a rough outing in a 5-3 loss to the Brewers on Friday night. He surrendered five runs on eight hits in six innings of work. He struggled with his delivery, which led to some control issues.
Angels RHP Jered Weaver at Nationals LHP Gio Gonzalez (inter-league): Weaver finally regained his vintage form vs. the Tigers on Friday, pitching six innings of one-run ball while giving up three hits, walking three, striking out three and recording 12 of his 18 outs in the air. It was his first win in four starts. … Gonzalez pitched a season-high seven innings, allowed one run on four hits and struck out seven batters against the Cardinals last Friday. He retired the last 11 batters he faced.
Cardinals RHP Michael Wacha at Mets LHP Jon Niese: Wacha took the loss Friday, in part due to sloppy defense. He allowed one earned run in seven efficient innings (93 pitches) despite three errors behind him. His cutter continues to emerge as a weapon alongside his changeup, fastball and curveball. … Niese struck out a season-high seven in his last outing against the Braves, allowing one run in six innings. More importantly for the Mets, he felt no lingering effects from the left elbow and shoulder soreness that sidelined him earlier this year.
Padres RHP Tyson Ross at Brewers RHP Kyle Lohse: Ross made an adjustment in his delivery before his last start, vs. the Giants, using his legs more. The result? Eight scoreless innings with four hits allowed and nine strikeouts. His slider, a plus pitch, was exceptional all game. … Lohse became the first Brewer to reach three wins, thanks to back-to-back victories over the Pirates, against whom he’s 11-2 lifetime. He also has a winning record against the Padres, going 5-4 with a 4.31 ERA in 11 starts.
Phillies LHP Cole Hamels at Dodgers RHP Zack Greinke: Hamels is expected to make his 2014 debut against the Dodgers. He opened the season on the disabled list as he recovered from inflammation in his left shoulder. … He’s giving up more solo homers than last year, but Greinke also is on a run of 16 straight starts of at least five innings allowing no more than two runs. He’s 10-1 during the roll.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

NBA basketball odds: Washington Wizards at Chicago Bulls, Game 1

The Washington Wizards were the beneficiaries of the tanking job by the Brooklyn Nets at the end of the regular season as the Wizards moved up to the No. 5 seed in the East on the final night of the season. Their reward: the pesky Bulls, whom Washington beat two out of three times this year. However, Chicago is a 5-point favorite at WagerWeb for Sunday’s Game 1.
The Wizards were caught between playing the Bulls and the Heat in Round 1. They chose wisely in jumping up to the No. 5 seed. There are some interesting matchups going on here: John Wall vs. D.J. Augustin and Nene vs. Carlos Boozer. The Bulls can’t shoot, the Wizards are inconsistent all over. They haven’t won a playoff series since beating the Bulls in the first round in 2005.
Chicago allows 91.8 points per game, which ranks best in the NBA. The defensive-minded Bulls also rank second in opponents’ field-goal percentage, allowing a clip of just 43 percent. The Bulls score 93.7 points game, which ranks last in the NBA. Chicago shoots a league-worst 43.2 percent from the field. The Bulls, however, have eclipsed the 100-point mark in six of their last 10 games. Chicago allowed 92 points on average to the Wizards in their three meetings. The number is well below Washington’s season average of 100.4 but just 0.3 points less than the 92.3 points that Chicago averaged in those games.
The Bulls went 23-2 this season when scoring at least 100 points, something they did six times in their last 10 games. Augustin arrived in Chicago in December and surprisingly sparked the offense after being waived by Toronto. Power forward Taj Gibson has also expanded his game while taking more minutes from Boozer, and Joakim Noah averaged career highs in points (12.6), rebounds (11.3) and assists (5.4).
The Wizards fulfilled their goal of ending a five-year playoff drought, putting Wall, the first pick in 2010, in the postseason for the first time. The front office has eyed the playoffs all season, making calculated moves to fortify the roster for a potential clash with a team like the Bulls. The Wizards traded for Marcin Gortat during the preseason, adding a veteran center capable of making an impact on both ends. They traded for Andre Miller at the deadline, getting the backup point guard they desperately needed, and signed veterans such as forwards Al Harrington and Drew Gooden to give them a splash of experience and grit.
Gortat and Nene have given the Bulls trouble in the past, and it’s worth noting the one game the Bulls beat the Wizards in this season was when Nene didn’t play because of an injury. In order to win this series, the Bulls must find a way to control the battle between the big men. It will be up to Noah and Gibson to hold down the fort. In going 2-1 against the Bulls this season, Wall averaged 20 points (shooting 50 percent from the field) and eight assists.
WagerWeb trends: Wizards are 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings in Chicago. Under is 21-5 in the last 26 meetings. Wizards are 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings. Under is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings in Chicago. Underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings. Road team is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings.

NBA basketball odds: Portland Trail Blazers at Houston Rockets, Game 1

Expect points aplenty in this series between two of the NBA’s highest-scoring teams when Portland and Houston face off in the final series-opening game of the weekend on Sunday night. Houston, the fourth seed in the West, is a 5.5-point favorite for Game 1 against the No. 5 Blazers.
If you like 3-point shooting, this is the series for you. The Rockets and Blazers are one and three, respectively, in 3-point attempts per game and both try to bombard you with outside attempts. The Rockets shooting the most threes in the NBA but they make 35.6 percent of them, which is good for 17th in the NBA. The Blazers’ attempts are much more efficient, making the league’s ninth best percentage at 37.2 percent.
Both teams won 54 games, and their point differentials are separated by a smaller margin (Houston edges Portland +4.7 to +4) than those of the other seven series. Both teams also have two All-Stars (the Rockets’ James Harden and Dwight Howard vs. the Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard), top-five offenses, top-10 paces of play and top-three units in three-pointers attempted. The average score of their four regular-season games was 116-110 Houston, with the Rockets taking the series 3-1 thanks to a dramatic overtime victory in March.
After sitting out for two weeks and missing eight games with a strained left ankle, Howard says he’s fully recovered and ready to re-establish himself in the middle at both ends of the floor. If that’s true, Howard is the one who tips the scales. Wesley Matthews will have his hands full trying to stop Harden from scoring by the dozens. The bearded one dropped 41 and 33 on Portland already this season. Harden also led the NBA this season with 6.9 fast-break points per game. Houston is one of two teams (the other was Minnesota) with wins over the top two seeds in each conference (Indiana, Miami, Oklahoma City and San Antonio).
The Rockets turned the ball over 16.3 times per 100 possessions, the second highest rate in the league and the highest among playoff teams. The Blazers rank No. 3 in turnover percentage and No. 30 in opponent turnover percentage, meaning they protect the ball well on offense and play very conservatively on defense. The Rockets, on the other hand, rank No. 29 in turnover percentage and No. 28 in opponent turnover percentage, meaning they can be quite careless on offense while not really generating many free possessions on the other end.
Portland allowed 105.7 points per 100 possessions before the All-Star break (23rd in the league) and 103.0 after it (10th). No team improved more defensively after the break. Only 20.9 percent of their opponents shots were 3-pointers, the lowest opponent rate in the league.
Howard averaged 25.5 points per game against the Blazers, his highest mark against Western Conference opponents. Terrence Jones was a minus-45 in 49 minutes. No other Rocket had a negative plus-minus against the Blazers. The Blazers’ starting lineup was a plus-36 in 72 minutes against the Rockets. All other Portland lineups were a minus-62 in 125 minutes.
WagerWeb trends: Rockets are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. loss. Rockets are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. Rockets are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. Western Conference. Rockets are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game. Over is 7-0 in the last 7 meetings. Over is 7-1 in the last 8 meetings in Houston. Underdog is 11-5-1 ATS in the last 17 meetings. Trail Blazers are 3-8-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Links from around the rink: April 18

For the embattled coaches of the NHL, there was no real "Black Monday" mass firing, as many expected. Despite horribly disappointing seasons for a number of teams -- including the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals and New York Islanders -- only Barry Trotz, the long-tenured coach of the Nashville Predators was shown the door. While the axe still could fall on Randy Carlyle (Maple Leafs), John Tortorella (Canucks) and Adam Oates (Capitals), Jack Capuano can rest easy on the Isle.
ESPN's Katie Strang reported Monday that Islanders GM Garth Snow has "no intentions" of making a coaching change before the start of the 2014-15 season despite finishing with a record of 34-37-11. That mark will leave the Islanders with the No. 5 pick in the upcoming draft, and leaves Snow with a tough decision: whether to send the No. 5 pick to Buffalo to complete the disastrous Thomas Vanek-Matt Moulson trade or defer a year and pass along the Isles' 2015 first-rounder. It's probably safe to say that if the Islanders' 2015 pick ends up in the top 5 as well, neither Capuano nor Snow will be resting easy after the season's final Sunday.
• The first domino has yet to fall in what will certainly be a summer of change for the Capitals. As of Friday morning, both Oates and GM George McPhee, who is in the final year of his contract, remain on the job, with decisions looming -- which should be made within the next week or two -- from team president Dick Patrick and owner Ted Leonsis. The summer speculation trickles down throughout a roster that many believe will be significantly altered.
[+] EnlargeMikhail Grabovski
G Fiume/Getty ImagesThe Washington Capitals have a decision to make on center Mikhail Grabovski ... and vice versa.
One important decision to make: What to do with their second-line center. Mikhail Grabovski served as a steal on a one-year, $3 million contract this season. He notched 35 points in 58 games despite missing significant time due to a late-season ankle injury. As he enters free agency, Grabovski says he would be happy to stay in Washington, reports the Washington Post's Katie Carrera, but he wants the team to settle its coaching and GM decisions first. In an offseason that lacks a strong crop of free-agent centers, retaining Grabovski likely will be a high priority. Should the Caps fail to do so, Paul Stastny of the Colorado Avalanche is the most palatable option on the free-agent market -- and likely will command inflated offers as a result -- while one internal option would be to move heralded prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov from the wing to the pivot.
Meanwhile, regarding a few teams still skating this spring:
• For those holding their breath in hopes of seeing Ben Bishop return to the crease for Game 2 of the Lightning's playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens, you'd best resume breathing normally. Bolts bench boss Jon Cooper said Thursday that he doesn't expect to see Bishop return "anytime soon." Cooper went on to add that the series would have to go long for there to be any chance for Tampa's regular season starter to suit up in Round 1. Additionally, Tampa rookie forward Ondrej Palat will be a game-time decision for the Bolts after leaving Game 1 in the third period with an upper-body injury. Palat posted 23 goals and 59 points in his first full season with the Lightning.
• In Anaheim, the crease situation seems to be settled, at least for now. We think. Anaheim Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau said Thursday there was a "good chance" Frederik Andersen would get the nod for Game 2 after helping Anaheim to a 4-3 win in Game 1 of their series against the Dallas Stars. Both Jonas Hiller -- the starter for most of the regular season who struggled down the stretch -- and rookie John Gibson could be options if Andersen slips up in the days ahead.

Pittsburgh Pirates - Ike's role in Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Pirates needed an upgrade at first base and Ike Davis needed a change of scenery. The two sides finally came together Friday night when the Bucs acquired Davis from the New York Mets for or pitcher Zack Thornton and a player to be named.

According to Bill Brink of the Post-Gazette, the addition of the lefty-swinging Davis "provides a complement" to right-hander Gaby Sanchez and adds at least the potential of more power to the roster.

The Bucs experimented with minor leaguer Andrew Lambo at first base during spring training before deciding on non-roster invitee Travis Ishikawa. Ishikawa, hitting just .206 in 15 games, now figures to be the odd man out when Davis is added to the roster.

The big question will be whether manager Clint Hurdle uses a straight platoon or simply plays the hot hand. "The word platoon gets thrown around a lot," GM Neal Huntington told "I think this will be where Clint Hurdle uses his judgment.”

Davis has seen his numbers fall off drastically since hitting 32 homers for the Mets in 2012, but his splits suggest he could fit in well in a straight platoon system. His career slugging percentage is .471 against righthanders compared to a .331 mark against southpaws.

The Marshall Plan in Cincinnati Reds

Another piece of the Cincinnati Reds' injury-plagued bullpen could be back in a day or two.

Sean Marshall, shut down in spring training after experiencing tightness in his shoulder, has rejoined the Reds on their current road trip. While it is unclear when he will be placed on the active roster, the Reds say it will be soon, reports John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Marshall pitched in back-to-back games for Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday and Wednesday. When Jonathan Broxton was working his way back from the disabled list, the Reds gave him two days off after his back-to-back outings and then activated him. If that's the case with Marshall, he'll be activated Saturday.

Long reliever Logan Ondrusek could be the odd man out when Marshall is activated.

There also is good news on Aroldis Chapman, who threw his second bullpen session on Thursday. Chapman, who was hit in the face with a line drive in spring training, has been given the green light to participate in pitcher's fielding practice and pitch in live batting practice.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

NASCAR Betting Odds - Kyle Busch Favored to Win Sunday’s Food City 500 at Bristol

NASCAR Betting Odds: The Food City 500 on Sunday at the Bristol Motor Speedway is the fourth race of the Sprint Cup season. Kyle Busch is listed as the favorite at BetDSI sportsbook with Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth right behind. Also expected to contend are Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Las Vegas winner Kevin Harvick. The new format for the Chase this year has put a premium on winning races so driver are taking more chances and the racing has been exciting.
Here is a look at Sunday’s Food City 500 on Fox and NASCAR predictions.
Odds to Win Food City 500
Kyle Busch 6-1
Kevin Harvick 7-1
Matt Kenseth 7-1
Jimmie Johnson 8-1
Brad Keselowski 8-1
Kasey Kahne 10-1
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 10-1
Jeff Gordon 12-1
Denny Hamlin 12-1
Joey Logano 12-1
Kurt Busch 15-1
Clint Bowyer 18-1
Ryan Newman 20-1
Carl Edwards 20-1
Greg Biffle 20-1
Tony Stewart 20-1
Brian Vickers 20-1
Martin Truex Jr. 30-1
Field 15-1
It is all about winning races this season in the new Chase format so the racing has been exciting. Last week it was Dale Earnhardt Jr. going for the win even though he was short on gas. "Yeah, it gives us freedom, and it's nice to have that freedom to do the things that we did today, even though we knew our odds weren't good.” Jr. said, “We really shouldn't have made it, and we didn't, but we got to try because of the new system.
So yeah, I think it's pretty cool." It has been a great start to the season for Jr. who has been in the mix to win every race. And Jr. has been really good at Bristol in his career with an average finish of 9.4 which leads all active drivers. He finished 6th and 10th in the two races at the track last season.
NASCAR Predictions
The driver that could have the most value in NASCAR betting odds at BetDSI sportsbook could be Kasey Kahne. He won this race a year ago and finished second in the fall race. We get Kahne at odds of 10-1 to win this race. I will also take Denny Hamlin at odds of 12-1.
Join Daily Sports Picks for the latest Kentucky Derby Betting this season and Triple Crown Picks make your picks and check out our Horse Racing Picks Page daily for all the winners.
Top Sports Picks Services offering premium service with Free Sports Picks in all ... NFL & NCAA football picks along with top sports betting news & information.