Pirates very quietly take over first place in the NL Central

Pirates very quietly take over first place in the NL Central

May 01, 2018 3:00 AM
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Going 2-0 last week brought my season total up to 7-2 in GamingToday with my baseball releases. That’s great, but making you, our valued readers, happy is paramount to us.

I received an email from a loyal subscriber of our publication. Let’s call him, “Terry.” This resident of Southern Nevada said he wanted to know, if I never lay above -$1.40 on a baseball play, why was one of my winning picks in last week’s column higher than a $1.40 favorite.

In several exchanges with Terry, I told him that in football and basketball, with my years of experience setting numbers, I would never be more than a .5 point off in a forecasted line. However, in baseball, particularly in the first month of the season, a price can be off as much as 20-30 cents on an opening line. Once the public hits a game, it can become even more of a disparity by first pitch.

We are putting out releases several days in advance to accommodate our deadline. Terry was very happy with not only my reasoning, but also our entire conversation. I want all of my readers to know they can contact me right here at Joe­Damico@GamingToday.com and I will reply right away.

Here are this week’s Best Bets (all stats and trends are as of print and may change as can starting pitchers):

Wednesday

Pirates over Nationals: Winners of five straight, the Pittsburgh Pirates have very quietly taken over first place in the NL Central (17-11). Meanwhile, the preseason NL East favorite, Washington Nationals (12-16), have slipped into 4th place in their Division. Ivan Nova takes the hill on the road. The RH has pitched well, donning a 2-1, 3.32 record on the season.

Coming off back-to-back 15-4 campaigns, Stephen Strasburg is off to slow start at 2-3 with a 3.63 ERA. The Nationals just aren’t giving the 27-year-old any run support. At home, the team is averaging a mere, 3.15 RPG and ranks an overall 31st in Home Runs (12). The Pirates are 4-0 in their last four games vs. RH starters and 4-1 in the last five vs. teams with a losing record. The Nationals are 2-6 in their last eight at home and 2-6 overall. PIRATES

Yankees over Astros: In a glimpse of a possible post-season matchup, the defending World Series Champion hosts the current hottest team in baseball. The Houston Astros face a New York Yankees team that is riding a nine-game win streak. Dallas Keuchel gets the home start. The LH is 1-4 with a 4.00 mark on the year. The 30-year-old isn’t known as an aggressive pitcher; as proof, he has just 28 K’s in 36.0 IP. Only a true power pitcher can face the top scoring offense (6.04 RPG) of the Bronx Bombers.

New York also tops the Majors in homer’s (41) and ranks 6th in Team BA (.259). The dangerous lineup will give ample run support to Luis Severino. The RH is 4-1 with an ERA of 2.61 on the season. The Yankees are 5-0 in their last five games played vs. teams with a winning record, 6-2 in the past eight vs. AL West opponents and 13-3 in the last 16 overall. YANKEES.

Good Luck and have a winning day.