Bet of the Day – New York Yankees at Minnesota Twins, Oct. 06, 2010

New York Yankees (-145) at Minnesota Twins (+135), Over/Under 7.5

Yesterday’s bet, Troy Trojans at Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, was a winner.  Back to the diamond today for the Yankees and Twins opener.  Tonight’s game is the key to this short series.  With the Yankees pitching woes and Sabathia on the mound, this is a must win.  The Twins have revenge on their minds.  Expect a fun game tonight.

The Yankees have dominated the Twins in recent playoff years.  This year might be more of a challenge.  The Yankees have questions in their rotation and will be heavily reliant on their bullpen and scoring runs.  The Yankees batted .256 with a .336 OBP for 4.8 runs per game in road games this season.  The Yankees have held home opponents to a .320 OBP for 4.0 runs per game.  Staff ace CC Sabathia (21-7, 1.191 WHIP) starts tonight.  Sabathia is 14-8 in starts against Minnesota with a 2.99 ERA and 1.225 WHIP.  Sabathia hasn’t faced the Twins in 2010.  I expect Sabathia will pitch well tonight.  The Yankees need to start strong tonight or it could be a short post-season.

The Twins have been a great home team in 2010.  The Twins batted .282 with a .353 OBP for 4.9 runs per game in home games while allowing a .309 OBP for 3.9 runs per game.  Starting pitcher Francisco Liriano (14-10, 1.262 WHIP) had a good year but slumped in the closing weeks of the season.  He rebounded sharply in the past off of rest, can he do it again?  One concern with Liriano is lack of playoff experience.  Manager Ron Gardenhire has his team motivated and will pull out all the stops tonight.

Using home/away statistics, my baseball model predicts Minnesota 4.6 over New York 3.9 for 8.5 total runs.  The Twins get on base more often and score runs more efficiently.  The Yankees bullpen is more effective.  The key variance contributor is Sabathia’s walks and hits allowed.  Sabathia needs to allow fewer men on-base than he averages for the Yankees to win tonight.

I flipped on this game about 3 times now but tonight I am going to take the home team.  Here’s why.  Minnesota is a revenge-minded home underdog.  Minnesota has played good at home all year.  The betting value is with Minnesota.  Bet on the Minnesota Twins on the money line +135.

Feel free to comment or ask questions below or email me at derekbets@gmail.com.  Follow me on Twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck!

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Bet of the Day – Texas Rangers at Minnesota Twins, Sept 5, 2010

Texas Ranger (-125) at Minnesota Twins (+115), Over/Under 8.5  2:10 ET

Yesterday’s bet of the day was winner.  Today’s we head back to the baseball diamond for a small market playoff preview.  The Texas Rangers (75-60) have lost 2 straight but still hold a comfortable 8-game lead in the AL West.  The Minnesota Twins (79-57) have won the first 2 in this series.  The Twins hold a 3.5 game lead in the AL Central.  Every win is critical to holding off the surging Chicago White Sox.

The Rangers took 3 of 4 from the Twins just 10 days ago.  Since then they have dropped 5 of  8.  The Rangers have only hit .270 with a .302 OBP for 3.6 runs in the last 7 games.  The last game in a 3-games series after 2 losses is a tough spot to turn things around.  Starting pitcher C.J. Wilson ( 14-5, 1.188 WHIP) has been solid this year.  Wilson doesn’t allow many hits and even fewer home runs.  Wilson’s had some minor control issues in road games, but you can expect another good outing today.  Probably AL MVP Josh Hamilton won’t be in the lineup today.  Will the Rangers have enough life in their bats today?

The Twins have won 5 of their last 7 on the backs of good pitching and defense.  Over that stretch, they have only batted .257 with a .306 OBP for 4.7 runs per game.  Nick Blackburn (8-9, 1.558 WHIP) makes his 3 start after being called back up from the minor leagues.  Blackburn was excellent in his last start, going 8.7 innings with 2 hits and no runs.  Joe Mauer returns to the lineup after a day off.

My game simulation projected a score of Texas 4.89 to Minnesota 4.16 for a total of 9.05 runs.  This was based on all games.  Texas’ scoring efficiency is the main variance contributor.  In reviewing the stat lines, there is a clear difference in both teams home and road play.  Texas is under .500 in road games, while Minnesota is .657 in home games.  Because of this discrepancy, I ran the model using home and road starts.  The model projected Minnesota 4.49 to Texas 4.05 for a total 8.54 runs.  Though the stats are similarly distributed for both teams, Minnesota is much more effective at advancing runners and scoring at home.  This is a clear advantage going into the finale.

Both teams are probable playoff teams and look very similar on paper.  But today, I am siding with the Twins.  Here’s why.  The Twins have won the first 2 games in the series and are a home underdog in the finale.  Also, the Twins are much better home team than the Rangers are a road team.  The betting value is definitely with Minnesota.  Bet on the Minnesota Twins on the Money Line +115.  Follow me on twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck!

Minnesota Twins at Texas Rangers – August 23, 2010 8:05 ET

After being swept in Tampa and splitting a series in Baltimore, the Texas Rangers (69-54) return home with the AL Central leading Minnesota Twins (72-52) visiting for a four game series.  The Twins are 8-2 over their last 10 games hitting with a .365 OBP over the last 7.  Nick Blackburn (7-7, 1.683 WHIP) takes the mound.   Blackburn hasn’t been very good lately having given up 19 runs on 25 hits in his last 3 starts.  He will need an improved start tonight to give the Twins a shot.

The Rangers have slumped a bit of late.  They were 2-5 in their last 7 with a .326 OBP and only 3.6 runs per game.   Rangers starting pitcher Rich Harden (4-4, 1.655 WHIP) returns to the rotation from a short disabled list stint (shoulder).  Harden hasn’t been great this year and only averages 5 innings per start.  Will Harden be crisp coming off the DL?

These teams are very similar on paper.  The game simulation projects a slight edge with Texas 5.2 to Minnesota 5.06.  Texas holds a slight edge in scoring efficiency while Minnesota has a slight edge in pitching.  Texas is the money line favorite at -150.  This indicates the betting value is with Minnesota.

Based on the close model results, concern over Harden’s return from the DL, and the away side betting value today’s bet is on Minnesota.  Bet Minnesota Twins on the +140 money line.  Good  luck!

Chicago White Sox at Minnesota Twins – August 17, 2010 8:10 ET

Today’s game is the opener in a tight division race between the Chicago White Sox and the Minnesota Twins.  The White Sox are 3-7 in their last 1o games and have dropped their last 3 series.  John Danks returns to the mound for the Sox following a strong 8 inning 6 hit and 1 run outing against these Twins.  Chicago needs a big series or they could find themselves out of the division.

The Twins have won 4 straight and now have a 3 game lead on the White Sox in the AL Central Division.  Scott Baker gave up 5 runs in his last start but had plenty of run support for the win.  Baker has won 3 of his last 4 starts.  Minnesota has been playing well lately and has a .363 OBP at home.

I simulated the game 10,000 times and it predicts a clear winner, Minnesota with 4.65 runs over the White Sox with  3.o9 runs (with a two standard deviation cushion).  These results are driven by Minnesota’s ability to get on base  and Chicago’s slight tendency to walk runners.

Scott Baker is susceptible to giving up home runs.  Unfortunately, Chicago doesn’t draw many walks and their hitting falls off on the road (.308 OBP and .256 BA in road games).  Based on the model results and the Home/Away play for both teams, today’s play is bet the Minnesota Twins on the Money Line (-120).

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