Make sure right pitchers are in play

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There are several keys to betting baseball. Here in Gaming Today, I have frequently touched on the importance of value and being selective.

As a professional gambler, it has been my experience that it is essential to list pitchers when betting MLB. Anyone that gives advice and does not list pitchers is doing themselves and their followers an injustice.

In last week’s column, I put out a game that changed pitchers just hours before the first pitch. Because I advise to always list pitchers, there was no action on the game.

Think about it. Would you play an NFL game without knowing for sure if Tom Brady was at the helm or an NBA game with Steph Curry’s status unknown? Don’t kid yourself. In order to win in baseball, knowing both starters is vital. Always list pitchers.

Sunday, was announced that the Yankees’ Domingo German (9-2, 3.86) had been placed on the 10-day injured list due to a hip flexor strain. He is the 19th player New York has put on the 10-day list. While losing a pitcher the caliber of German should affect any team’s rotation, the Yankees are still winning. It’s scary to think what they will be like when they get healthy.

I also had a reader contact me and ask my opinion about Bryce Harper. Being a Las Vegan, I have watched him since his teens, while at Las Vegas High School. There is no doubting his talent. But he gets thrown out of more games than just about anyone in the sport, and he certainly leads the League every year in arguments with umpires.

I went to see him play twice as a youngster and both times, he got into it with umps. I have sources in baseball that tell me there is unrest in the Phillies’ locker room. If the team wasn’t in first place, you would hear a lot more about it.

By the way, Harper is batting .251 with 44 RBI’s, 11 HR’s and a whopping, 83 K’s in 243 AB’s. Can you imagine the outcome if fellow Las Vegan and great mental pitcher, Greg Maddux would have faced Harper? He would have made a meal out of him.

How about if Harper charged the mound after Nolan Ryan? The outcome would have been worse than it was for Robin Ventura.

As a baseball fan and a Las Vegan, I wish him well. But the money spent on him I feel would have been better served picking up a few guys that maybe don’t talk so much. 

Here are this week’s best bets (all records, stats, and trends are as of print and may change as can starting pitchers):

Wednesday

Rangers at Red Sox: Winning nine of their last 13 outings, Texas is playing some very solid baseball. The team’s only crime is being in the same division as Houston.

The Rangers, who are in second place in the AL West, began the week trailing the Astros by 9.5 games. This is a team that despite a road record of 10-18, average over 5.50 RPG as a visitor in 2019.

A season ago, I would have looked at this matchup quite differently. Boston, which went on to win the World Series, took six of seven meetings with Texas in 2018. The Red Sox are currently sitting in third place in the AL East, 7.0 GB, at 34-32. They are just 15-15 at Fenway Park this season. Outside of sweeping one of the Majors’ worst teams, the Royals, this team has lost four straight series.

One of my favorite pitchers to back takes the mound for Texas as Lance Lynn gets the nod here. The veteran right-hander is 7-4 with a 4.39 ERA and 85 K’s in 80.0 IP. He has the savvy to handle the Boston lineup.

Rick Porcello gets the home start. The righty is 4-6 with a 4.86 mark, fanning just 60 batters in 74.0 IP. The 30-year old, although owns a respectable, lifetime ERA of 4.28, has never been a hurler that doesn’t need run support. The Red Sox are 4-11 the last 15 vs. teams with a winning record and 1-5 the last six at home. RANGERS

Mariners at Twins: Minnesota has widened the gap to 10.5 games between themselves and the rest of the Al Central. They sport the AL’s best record (tied with Houston, 45-22) at 43-21. They, along with the Astros and Dodgers, are the only teams in baseball that have just single-digit losses at home (19-9). The offense ranks 1st in RPG (5.97) and Team BA (.274), and 2nd in HR’s (125).

The key to their success is that they are the healthiest squad in the Majors. The Twins don’t have a single position player or starting pitcher on the injured list. They have taken three of four meetings over the Mariners this season, by a combined score of 36-11, in the three victories.

Jose Berrios takes the hill here. The right-hander is 8-2 with a 3.14 ERA on the campaign and hasn’t suffered a loss in a month. Seattle dwells in the AL West cellar, 18.0 GB, at 28-41. The big question is how can a team that ranks ninth in scoring (5.14 RPG) be doing this poorly?

The answer is pitching. They rank 29th with a Team ERA of 5.29. It also doesn’t help their case that they are leading the Majors with 71 errors. If you do the math, that’s just over one boner per game.

They send Tommy Milone to the bump. The left-hander is making just his fourth start of the season and is 1-1 with a 3.10 ERA. Milone, who made his Major League debut in 2011, is in his first season with the Mariners, which are his seventh team (twice with the Nationals), hasn’t had an ERA under 5.71 for a season since 2015.

Seattle is 4-18 the last 22 on the road, 2-8 the last 10 vs. the AL Central, and 15-39 the last 54 overall. Minnesota is 49-21 the last 70 at home, 8-1 the last nine vs. the AL West, and 49-21 the last 70 overall. The Twins will likely be heavy favorites here so we’ll look to lay 1.5 runs at home. TWINS RUN LINE

Last week: 1-3

Season: 15-12

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