May 4th, 2013
1. Southampton (Low Streak): Odds- Southampton +1.5 (-135) Tottenham -1.5 (+126)
This match has big implications for Tottenham as they try to ease their way into the top 4 of the EPL table. They will have to face a Southampton team that is in very good form. Southampton has once in their last 7 EPL matches, which does include a 3-0 home loss to WBA. Over that span they beat the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea. They have lost just 2 of their last 10 road matches, including a 4-2 loss to Newcastle and a 2-1 loss to Man U. Tottenham is glad to have Gareth Bale back in the lineup as he has been the star of the EPL this season. Tottenham has won by 2+ goals just once over their last 13 EPL matches. I think Southampton is playing well enough to keep this to a one goal loss against a Tottenham team desperate for a positive result.
2. Arsenal 2+ (Low Streak): Odds- Arsenal -1.5: +138 QPR +1.5 (-152)
Arsenal is in the same boat at Tottenham, only they are 2 points ahead of them in the standings and just 1 point behind Chelsea for the 3rd spot. QPR is one of the worst teams in the EPL and will be relegated. They just lost to Stoke City 2-0 at home. Arsenal will be pushing hard for 3 points and should be able to win handily, despite what the odds say.
3. Borussia Dortmund (Low Streak): Odds- Borussia Dortmund Win/Draw: -143 Bayern (+120)
This is a nice preview of what will be an exciting Champions League final, which begins on May 25th. Bayern has been ridiculously good on the road in league play with a 14-1-0 record and a 37-3 goal differential. Dortmund has already drawn at Bayern 1-1 this season and beat them 1-0 in this fixture a year ago at home. There is no doubt that Bayern is better than Dortmund, but the gap isn’t that great with Dortmund as the home squad. I’m anticipating a draw here.
4. Capitals (Low Streak): The Capitals took game 1 by a score of 3-1. This has the makings of a long series that I think will go 6 or 7 games. I’d avoid this pick at all costs because I really could see the Rangers taking this one and evening the series. This Rangers team is one that I think would have been a much higher seed if the season wasn’t shortened.
5. Either Team Leads (Low Streak): Logically this pick makes sense to me. There will most likely be at least 1 goal in the period. 0-0 or 1-1 is possible, but I’d lean with this pick. 1-0 or 2-0 could easily happen.
6. Yankees (Low Streak): Phil Hughes has put together 3 straight quality starts, allowing 2 runs in each. Colon is coming off a rocky start against the Orioles in which he allowed 5 runs in 6 innings. He has a lifetime era of 6.23 against the Yankees.
7. Reds (Low Streak): The Reds are -124 on the road against Samardzija (Shark). Cingrani looks like the real deal as he is 2-0 in his first 3 career starts with an impressive 28 strikeouts in 18 innings. He faces a quality pitcher in Jeff Samardzija who has a 3.35 era this season. Fact of the matter is the Reds lineup is better, the Cubs bullpen is trash, and the Reds pitcher is hot right now.
8. Twins (Low Streak): Remember when Scott Kazmir was supposed to be some sort of phenom? He had a few solid years a long time ago, but he is nowhere near what he used to be. Kevin Correia is having great success this season with a 2.23 era in 5 starts.
9. Mariners (Low Streak): I like the Mariners here at +112 mainly because of Iwakuma. He is putting together a really strong season so far with a 1.67 era in 6 starts. He has not allowed more than 3 runs in a game and has a quality start in all of his outings. RA Dickey is not having the success that he had last year with the Mets, which honestly isn’t surprising at all to me. He has a 4.50 era and has been pretty inconsistent so far this season. Felix Hernandez stifled the Blue Jays bats last night for a 4-0 win and I think Iwakuma can do something similar, but just not quite as flashy as Felix.
10. 69/Fewer (Low Streak): Mickelson has shot a 68 and 67 in the first 2 rounds of this tournament. You know he is on his game when he doesn’t have many bogeys. He has just 2 bogeys and 11 birdies through 2 rounds.
11. Nationals (Low Streak): There was concern all week about weather Strasburg’s arm was going to be healthy enough to pitch in his next start, but he’s going to be on the mound today against the Pirates. Locke hasn’t allowed a run in his last 13 innings pitched, so he’s obviously feeling pretty good right now. However, he faces a tough opponent in the Nationals with one of the best pitchers in baseball on the mound. The Nats are -141 in this game.
12. Angels (Low Streak): Well apparently Freddy Garcia is still pitching somehow. He is making his first appearance of 2013 against Tommy Hanson and the Angels. I don’t like Tommy Hanson at all, but Freddy Garcia facing the potent Angels lineup in his first start of the season probably isn’t going to turn out well.
13. Cardinals (Low Streak): The Cardinals are -116 with Wainwright on the hill against Gallardo and the Brewers. This is a rematch of their April 13th game where the Cards won 8-0. Wainwright threw a complete game shutout in that game, which was one of his 6 quality starts in as many chances this season. He has a 2.03 era and .99 WHIP so far this season. Gallardo allowed 5 runs in that April 13th game and has a 4.25 on the season. It looks like Wainwright has regained his Cy Young form and is poised for a big season if he can stay healthy.
14. Red Bulls (Low Streak/Confident): Odds- Red Bulls Win/Draw: -175 Crew: +140
The Crew haven’t beaten the Red Bulls since 2010, which spans 4 matches. The Red Bulls have won 3 out of 4 games and 2 straight on the road. I think the Red Bulls can win this match outright, so I’ll definitely take them with the draw option.
15. Wise Dan (Low Streak): It looks like this is a race between Wise Dan and Point of Entry with Wise Dan as the favorite. This horse is on fire, winning 5 straight races and I think will get a 6th straight. I saw someone post Wise Dan as a -160 favorite.
16. Any Other Horse (Low Streak): The 2 listed favorites are both 4/1 to win this race. There are simply far too many other horses in this race to make the odds easily favoring AOH. There really isn’t a clear cut “this horse is gonna blow away the field” horse in this race. Many experts have picked horses other than these 2 to win the race. A lot can happen in a race of this magnitude and with so many horses competing.
17. Red Wings (Low Streak): The Red Wings are -132 to win in this pivotal game 3. The series is tied at 1-1 after the Red Wings were able to steal game 2 in Anaheim. They were able to withstand a late Ducks comeback and win early in the overtime period. This is looking like it’s going to be a long series that could go 7. I give the edge to the Red Wings here because they are home, but it should be a great game.
18. Rangers (Low Streak/Confident): The Rangers are -154 at home against the Red Sox, who are throwing John Lackey on the mound. If this was 7 years ago maybe I would consider giving Lackey some respect, but not today. He has been fine in his 2 starts this year, allowing 3 runs in 10.1 innings pitched. However, he is far from what he used to be. Ogando on the other hand has a quality start in 5 of his 6 outings this year and is poised to have a solid year for Texas. Lackey should get shelled here.
19. Rays (Low Streak): The Rays are -128 on the road at Colorado. It’s safe to say that David Price is off to a rocky start this season with a 5.21 era in 6 starts. It’s only a matter of time before he turns it around though as he is one of the best lefties in baseball. Jon Garland surprisingly has 4 quality starts in 5 outings for the Rockies this season. I doubt that lasts though, since he is an average pitcher at best these days. I don’t love this pick at all, but I’m going to say Price will have a solid outing here.
20. Nets (Confident): The Nets are 6.5 (-270) point favorites at home against the Bulls in game 7. The reason this spread is so high is because the Bulls simply are not healthy. Kirk Hinrich is a game-time decision and Deng is in the emergency room with an illness. Hinrich is a huge piece of this team because he can actually guard Deron Williams to an extent. Nate Robinson is too short and not strong enough to keep Deron in check. Williams has proven this in the last couple of games. Deng is obviously an enormous part of this Bulls team on both ends of the floor. He is a great defender, a double digit scorer, and led the entire NBA in minutes this season. Without these guys in the lineup, it’s going to be tough to win game 7 on the road against a healthy Nets team. If Hinrich plays, this confidence level will likely be reduced.
21. 14/Fewer (Low Streak): With Deng likely out, the Bulls don’t really have a ton of scoring threats. Boozer will get his points, but 15 is a bit high for him. Deron Williams probably has the best chance to reach 15 IF Hinrich doesn’t play. There are only a few players that really have chances at reaching this number, but it can obviously easily happen.
22. Diamondbacks (Low Streak/Confident): Patrick Corbin has been on fire this season with a 1.91 era in 5 starts. He has yet to allow more than 2 runs in a game this season. He faces a very weak Padres lineup and a pitcher that has a 7.94 era this season.
23. BYU (Low Streak): BYU is -167 to win this match. I don’t know how much of an impact home court advantage plays in college volleyball, but this match is being played in Los Angeles, California. UC Irvine is obviously in California. I’ll simply go with the odds here.
24. 93/More (Low Streak): The over/under for the game is 181.5, which is an average of 45.375 per quarter. However, the 2nd half is likely to be higher scoring than the second half. Part of the reason is because this game will probably be tight and fouls could come into play towards the end of the game. Wait until halftime to decide, but this will probably be the pick.
25. Kings (Low Streak): The Blues lead the series 2-0 after narrowly winning games 1 and 2 by a score of 2-1. It’s no surprise that this series has been one of little offense. Both teams have top notch goaltenders in Quick for the Kings and Elliot for the Blues. I think home ice is going to continue to play a big role in this series. The Blues were my preseason Western Conference representative for the Stanley Cup and I do think they win the series. However, the Kings are the defending champions and they won’t go down easy.
26. Mayweather By Decision (Low Streak/Confident): The odds for Mayweather to win by decision is -162. He is a very heavy favorite to win this match and a KO of some sort is possible, but the odds and logic show that he will likely end up winning the fight after 12 rounds are complete.