It seems like every night in the major leagues, bullpens are blowing up across the country.
From Washington to San Francisco, coast-to-coast, righties, lefties, long-men or short-men, no lead is safe when the manager summons another dreaded arm from beyond the outfield wall.
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The skippers are making so many trips to the mound to replace yet another gas can, they might want to bring back the bullpen cart in order to save another five minutes off these marathons.
In baseball betting, however, we know you don’t have to sit through those marginal hurlers tossing batting practice to those hungry launch-angle bombers.
In fact, you don’t even have to stick around until the game is over.
More and more baseball bettors are sticking by – or moving entirely to – the 5-inning wager.
We know it’s there, but how many of us are using it in situations where we want no part of some manager’s misguided lefty-righty strategy with a bunch of 30-somethings that have never even started a game in the majors?
The bookmakers aren’t giving you any breaks, as many of the top starters actually have a line higher than the full nine-inning game line. And even the aces are subject to fatigue beyond five innings, sometimes even costing themselves a quality start.
But before that happens, you’ve cashed your bet and might be home in plenty of time for your late local news.
MIN (+115, 8.5u20) at DET (Wed., 10:10): The Twins are the surprise on the AL side with their 5-1 start into this week. Tigers’ Michael Fulmer shutout Boston over six innings in his debut, while the Twins’ Kyle Gibson struck out five Royals in five innings in his first start of the season.
OAK (+120, 8o25) at KC (Wed., 5:15): Former Cub Jason Hammel allowed six hits and four walks in his first Royals start, but he’s limited this A’s roster to just a .216 mark over 62 PAs, while Andrew Triggs earned a win in his first start at home against the Angels.
PIT (+125, 8.5) at BOS (Thu., 11:05): The Bucs’ Chad Kuhl had control issues in his season debut, walking six over five innings in a win against the Braves, while Eduardo Rodriguez allowed four runs over five innings in a loss to the Tigers in his first start. Pittsburgh is struggling at the dish early, hitting .173 through Sunday.
BAL (-105, 8.5) at TOR (Thu., 4:07): Kevin Gausman (0-0) has gotten the Orioles through a couple of wins despite a 5.40 ERA so far, while the Jays’ Francisco Liriano couldn’t get out of the first inning of his first start, allowing four walks and five runs at Tampa Bay. Adam Jones has three career homers against Liriano.
ARI (+150, 7u20) at LAD (Fri., 7:10): The Diamondbacks are off to a 6-1 start to the season, equaling the best start in franchise history, thanks to the MLB’s top offense after one week. Aces match up here with Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw. Greinke, who has struck out 10 in two starts so far, has been just as good as Kershaw against these respective lineups over their careers. Kershaw has struck out 14 and walked none in two starts.
PHL (+120, 8) at WAS (Sat. 10:05): The Phillies put up 12 runs in the first inning in a matchup of these two last Saturday night. Jeremy Hellickson allowed the Nats just one hit in five innings and has looked sharp in two starts. Washington’s Tanner Roark has allowed just one HR to this group of Philly bats in 103 PAs. He won his season debut, allowing just two runs in six innings against Miami.
TEX at SEA (Sat., 6:10 PDT): These two teams were bringing up the rear of the AL West after the first week. Hisashi Iwakuma has only a loss to show for a pair of quality starts for the Mariners, while the Rangers’ Dillon Gee is on his third team in three years after signing with the team on April 3.