Bet of the Day – Texas Rangers at New York Yankees, Oct 18, 2010

Texas Rangers (-115) at New York Yankees (+105), Over/Under 7.5

Pushed on yesterday’s bet, Indianapolis Colts at Washington Redskins.  Today’s pick is on the ALCS.  The series is even at 1-1.  Both teams have shown some offense.  The Rangers have shown better starting pitching.  Tonight’s game shouldn’t disappoint, it may be the key game in the series.  The Rangers have to win with Lee; the Yankees know if they beat Lee they will be poised to win the series.

The Rangers bounced back nicely after a late inning collapse in game 1.  Now they head to New York with their ace taking the mound.  In road games, the Rangers have hit .265 with a .322 OBP for 4.4 runs per game.  They have allowed a .313 OBP for 4.2 runs per game.  They hit better at home and tonight play in a similarly hitter friendly park.  Starting pitcher Cliff Lee (14-9, 0.981 WHIP) dominated in two starts against Tampa Bay.  Lee pitched well in one game last year against the Yankees but gave up 5 runs in his 2nd start of last year’s World Series.  I did some extra homework on this game; Lee pitched 7 innings only giving up 2 runs and the Phillies were up by 8, Manuel left him in too long and the Yankees quickly scored 3 in the 8th and Manuel pulled Lee.  It was a better outing than the stat line shows.  I like that Lee got his normal rest for this game.  Lee will pitch well but will need to go deep; as seen on Friday, the Yankees can score quickly when given the opportunity.

The Yankees gave up way too many runs too early in both games.  Good new for the Yankees, they score runs at home.  In the 2010 regular season, they batted .280 with a .355 OBP for 5.8 runs per game at home.  They allowed a .315 OBP for 4.5 runs per game.  Proven playoff pitcher Andy Pettitte (12-3, 1.250 WHIP) takes the mound tonight.  Pettitte pitched well in his start in the division series (7 IP, 5 hits for 2 earned runs).  He pitches well in big games and is coming off a much improved start (on form).  The Yankees will be tough at home tonight.

My baseball model predicts Rangers 4.3 over Yankees 4.0 for 8.3 total runs.  The Yankees get on base more often and score very efficiently at home.  Lee allows fewer walks and hits per inning than Pettitte.  The key variance contributors are the Yankees scoring efficiency and the walks and hits allowed by Cliff Lee.  The Yankees will get at least a few runners on tonight, if they can’t convert runners to runs at a similar rate the game swings to the Rangers.  Lee has to pitch at or better than his average or the Rangers will lose.

Tough game to pick.  I have gone back and forth on this game, but I am taking the Rangers at home.  Here’s why.  A rested Cliff Lee will pitch well.  The Rangers have to win with Lee on the mound.  The Rangers are hitting well and Pettitte will give up a few runs.  Bet on the Texas Rangers on the money line -115.

Feel free to comment 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 – New York Yankees at Texas Rangers, Oct. 15, 2010

New York Yankees (-140) at Texas Rangers (+130), Over/Under 8

Sometimes you are wrong.  On yesterday’s bet, I was completely wrong.  Time to move on and focus on our next win.  Today the ALCS kicks off.  The Yankees have been off for 6 days after a quick series with the Twins. The Rangers finished a 5 game series with the Rays on Tuesday.  Tonight’s game should kickoff an interesting series.  For the Yankees, a Sabathia start is a must win.

The New York Yankees walked through the division series.  As we saw in that series, the Yankees can turn it on when they need to.  They are rested and ready for tonight’s game.  The major question will be do they have enough pitching for the series.  The Yankees hit .268 with a .345 OBP for 5.3 runs per game.  They held teams to a .317 OBP for 4.2 runs per game.  Starting pitcher CC Sabathia (22-7, 1.194 WHIP) pitched decent in the division series.  Sabathia only faced Texas once this year.  He threw 6 innings giving up 3 hits and 1 earned run.  The Yankees need a big outing from Sabathia for a win tonight.

The Texas Rangers surprised many of us with 3 road wins over the Rays to win the division series.  The Rangers pitched well and were aggressive on offense against the Rays.  They will need to keep it rolling to beat the Yankees.  In 2010, the Rangers hit .275 with a .335 OBP for 4.8 runs per game.  On defense, they allowed a low .313 OBP for 4.2 runs per game.  Starting pitcher C.J.  Wilson (16-8, 1.228 WHIP) has developed into a top-shelf starting pitcher.  He finished the 2010 regular season in the top 10 in ERA in the American League.  Wilson hasn’t been great against the Yankees this year.  He didn’t go beyond 6 innings in any of his 3 starts and gave up 11 runs in 14.3 innings.  The Rangers feel like a team that can win this series; they are pitching well and scoring very efficiently.

My MLB model predicts Yankees 4.6 over Rangers 4.1 for 8.7 total runs.  On paper, they have similar on-base and bullpen statistics; the Yankees draw more walks while the Rangers get more hits.  The Yankees are a better overall offensive team.  Sabathia gives up fewer walks and hits.  The key variance in the model is the starting pitcher’s walks and hits allowed and each teams ability to convert base runners to runs.  Wilson has to limit walks allowed  for the Rangers to win.

Tonight I am taking the Yankees.  Here’s why.  Sabathia’s starts are a must win game for the Yankees.  The Yankees have more batting depth.  The pressure will be higher for Wilson and he hasn’t pitched great against the Yankees.  Bet on the New York Yankees on the money line -140.

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

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!

Bet of the Day – New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays, Sept. 29, 2010

New York Yankees (-105) at Toronto Blue Jays (-105), Over/Under 8.5

Yesterday’s bet, Boston Red Sox at Chicago White Sox, was a loser.  2-1 yesterday on Twitter picks.  Not too much to pick from today [Thought bubble: I hate betting on the last week of baseball]. The New York Yankees have locked up at least a spot in the playoffs.  The Blue Jays are out but have played well lately.

The Yankees have only won 2 of the last 7 games batting .236 with a .309 OBP for 4.4 runs per game.  They have also allowed 6.4 runs per game over the same stretch.  With manager Joe Girardi resting planned starter Andy Pettitte, you have to wonder if the Yankees are showing up tonight.  Javier Vazquez (10-9, 1.362 WHIP) has disappointed this year.  He had a good stretch in early June, but his last win decision was on July 26.  Vazquez hasn’t pitched since September 10th.

The Blue Jays have won 5 of the last 7 batting .211 with a .276 OBP for 4.0 runs per game.  They aren’t hitting well, but they are winning.  They have held opponents to 3.9 runs per game over the same stretch.  Brett Cecil (14-7, 1.309 WHIP) starts tonight for the Blue Jays.  Cecil hasn’t pitched great lately but has recorded 3 wins in 4 starts.  Cecil doesn’t give up many home runs and walks at home; he improved last time out and should be effective tonight against a ‘resting’ Yankee lineup.

My baseball model projects Toronto 4.55 over New York 4.25 for 8.8 total runs.  The Yankees get on base more effectively, but at home Toronto is much more efficient scoring.  The Yankees have a better bullpen but the Blue Jays have the starting pitcher advantage.  The biggest variance contributor is walks and hits allowed by Javier Vazquez.  They Yankees will need Vazquez to pitch better than his average to win.

Tonight I’m taking the Toronto Blue Jays.  Here’s why.  The Blue Jays score very efficiently at home.  The Yankees clinched last night and the scratch of Pettitte make me question their intent.  Javier Vazquez hasn’t pitched consistently of late.  Bet on the Toronto Blue Jays on the Money Line -105. Follow me on Twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck!

Bet of the Day – New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays, Sept 14, 2010 7:10 ET

New York Yankees (+130) at Tampa Bay Rays (-140), Over/Under 9

Yesterday’s bet was a loser.  It was close, but the Jet’s offense was terrible.  We did win our other two twitter picks on the Braves and Rays.  Hopefully we turn it around today with the New York Yankees visiting the Tampa Bay Rays.  The Rays took the opener in extra innings last night and now lead the Yankees by 0.5 games.  The Yankees have a comfortable 7 game lead in the wild card.  The Yankees have 18 games remaining but 15 of those are against above .500 teams.  The Rays have 19 games remaining but 13 of those are against teams below .500.  Tampa Bay clearly has the easier path and decent play may assure they are the AL East winners.

The Yankees (87-57) have lost 4 straight games; their longest losing streak of the season.  They have been close, losing 4 of the last 5 by 1 run.  They have lost 6 of 7 batting .212 with a .301 OBP for 2.9 runs per game.  That stretch includes 3 games vs. Baltimore and Texas and last night’s matchup in Tampa.  Starting pitcher Ivan Nova (1-0, 1.338 WHIP in 4 starts) has been good for the Yankees this year.  The Ray’s haven’t seen him yet; this may help the Yankees.  Nova will need a solid start and the Yankee bats need to regress to their mean to win this game.

The Rays won last night.  They have won 4 of 7 batting .240 with a .344 OBP for 7.3 runs per game.  The Rays will send Matt Garza (14-8, 1.208 WHIP) to the mound coming off his 1st loss since August 11th.  This was his worst loss of the season.  Garza has been tough at home (7-2, 1.101 WHIP).  Only 66 of his 163 hits allowed and 9 of his 25 HRs allowed have come at home.  The Rays are 44-26 at home and a rebound outing from Garza will make this a tough night for the Yankees.

My baseball simulation predicts Tampa Bay 4.16 over New York 3.8 for 7.96 total runs.  Digging into the data, the Rays are the better pitching team.  The Yankees are clearly superior hitters, but the Rays draw a high number of walks, accumulate stolen bases and score efficiently.  The major variance contributors to the model are the Rays scoring efficiency and the walks and hits allowed by Ivan Nova.  What does this mean?  It means that the Rays rely on a grinding way of scoring runs dependent on base runners.  For Ivan Nova, it means that if he pitches to his average the Rays will likely score the projected runs.  But one deviation up or down in walks and hits allowed and this is a much different game.

This is a very tough game to call and there were definitely easier games out there today, but it is the spirit of this blog to take on the day’s biggest and toughest games.  That’s why I am taking the Tampa Bay Rays.  The Yankees will turn it around, but I don’t think it will be tonight.  After losing 4 straight, it is very hard to win on the road against a division rival.  With 4 starts, teams now have intel on Ivan Nova and he is more vulnerable tonight.  Garza has proven in the past he can rebound from bad games.  The Rays have been scoring runs lately while the Yankees are in a slump.  Bet the Tampa Bay Rays on the money line -140.  Follow me on twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck!

NY Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays, August 24, 2010 7:07 ET

The Yankees and Blue Jays square off tonight in the 2nd game of their series.  With last night’s loss, the Yankees are now tied in the AL East.  Derek Jeter will return to the line up and Dustin Moseley (3-2, 1.449 WHIP) will make his 6th start.  Moseley is a bit home run and walk prone but it helps to have a team like the Yankees (.365 OBP, .573 scoring efficiency in last 7 games) providing run support.  Moseley did win his last start and he may be coming back into form.

The Blue Jays are in their 2nd game back from a 9 game road trip.  Despite their mediocre .309 OBP, the Blue Jays have found ways to score runs all year.  The Blue Jays timely hitting will need to continue tonight as starting pitcher Marc Rzepczynski (1-1, 1.410 WHIP) comes off a poor performance.  The usually reliable Rzepczynski allowed 5 hits and 5 walks in 4.3 innings last time out.

I simulated the game which project Yankees 5.01 to Blue Jays 4.21.  This would indicate the betting value is with the Yankees (doesn’t happen much).  Both teams can score runs but the Yankees appear to have a slight advantage in the pitching match up (combined starting and bullpen).

This is a tough game to call but there are some unknowns to consider.  Will Rzepczynski bounce back?  Are the Blue Jays running on fumes after the long road trip?  Will Jeter’s return add some spark back to the Yankee line up?  Rzepczynski’s last start isn’t encouraging and the Yankees need to win.  Today I am going to side with the betting value.  Bet the Yankees on the money line -115.  Good Luck!

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