Atlanta Braves vs. Arizona Diamondbacks u9.5 (-115) – Sun May 31 ’09 4:10p
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Young Max Scherzer is in peak form for the Arizona Diamondbacks, while Kris Medlen improved noticeably in his second start for the Atlanta Braves, so look for both youngsters to have success this afternoon.
Scherzer has reeled off three straight Quality Starts, allowing a total of five runs in 19 innings over those outings. Most impressive however is the fact that he had 20 strikeouts in his last two starts (1o strikeouts on each occasion) against only two walks! Scherzer has an electric arm, and if he can maintain this kind of control, he will be a force in the Arizona rotation for many years to come.
Now Medlen was horrible in his Major League debut, but he did improve to allow four runs on only four hits in 5.1 innings in his second start, and he may be in line for a Quality Start today with normal improvement. After all, he really had only one bad inning vs. the Giants on Tuesday, and he know that this may be his last chance to stick in the Atlanta rotation.
Finally, the Arizona offense has been very erratic all year, which is anther reason why the Under is 10-4 in the last 14 starts that Scherzer has made. Add in the fact the Braves are only batting .235 vs. right-handers the last 10 games themselves, and we simply do not see this game hitting double-digits.
MLB Free Pick: Braves, Diamondbacks Under 9.5 (-115)
Kansas City Royals vs. Chicago White Sox
Free Pick: Kansas City (-170) over the Chicago White Sox
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In this instance, the only name you need to say is Zack Greinke. Since the start of the season there has not been any pitcher that has shown more dominance. There has yet to be a team that can hit him. Baseball has not seen a pitcher shut down opponents in forty years! He is the first pitcher to record such numbers since 1966 when Juan Marichal had a sub 1.00 ERA through 10 starts. He has already beaten Chicago twice this year and today should be a third win.
He is tied for the league lead in wins. He is baseball’s ERA leader and complete games and has also not given up a home run this year. Chicago faces their biggest uphill climb today. What makes it even harder for the White Sox is that they are trying to complete the three game sweep which they have yet to be able to accomplish in over 4 years.
The Kansas City Greinkes should be able to halt the White Sox and send them packing without their sweep.
Touthouse.com Sports Handicappers – This year, the 141st running of the Belmont Stakes will take place on Saturday, June 6, 2009 at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. also named the “Test of the Champion,” the Belmont Stakes is the final and toughest race of the Triple Crown and takes place on the first Saturday that occurs on or after June 5. It is also the longest race of the three, at 1 1/2 miles. Though many in the current group of 3-year-old horses show stamina in their pedigree, only a select few will be up to the challenge of such a long race.
Below you will find the current betting odds for the 2009 Belmont Stakes. Bet the third race of this year’s Triple Crown, The Belmont Stakes at 5dimes.com online racebook. Only a few of the best thouroughbred horses have won all three races of the Triple Crown – The Kentucky Derby, The Preakness Stakes, and The Belmont Stakes. Even though no horse can win the Triple Crown this year, Calvin Borel has provided as much excitement as possible this year, as he was victorious in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. Will he ride the winning horse in the Belmont? We’ll just have to wait and find out!!
141st Running of the Belmont Stakes
Current 2009 Belmont Stakes Betting Odds, Horses, Post Positions and Jockeys
All Odds are subject to change
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic -2.0 (-110) – Sat May 30 ’09 8:35p
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The Cavaliers faced elimination for the first time in the 2009 NBA Playoffs in Game 5, but put their fishing poles on hold by defeating the Magic. Cleveland finally found a way to beat Orlando by closing out on their three-point shooters defensively; while getting its role players going offensively. Cavs F LeBron James scored 37 points to mark the second time he has failed to reach 40 in this series; incidentally, Cleveland won both of those contests. If the Cavaliers are to win in Orlando tonight they will need another solid performance from the supporting cast and a bench that scored 15 points in Game 5. The Cavs cover on Thursday was their first against the Magic in the L/10 meetings.
The Magic have the Cavs right where I predicted it before this series began and sure took some heat for being a “homer”. This game is a must-win for Orlando to reach the NBA Finals or they will be in deep trouble if there is a Game 7 in Cleveland. Magic F Rashard Lewis powered his team to a victory at home in Game 4 and turned in another solid performance on Thursday putting up 15 points with eight rebounds. Lewis has made every crucial shot of this series for Orlando and will be a big key to its success tonight in closing out Cleveland. The Magic have covered the L/5 spreads at home against the Cavs and are 4-1 ATS overall in this series.
My pick before the series was the Orlando Magic in six games and that hasn’t changed a bit as Cleveland winning games two and five on their home floor was part of the plan. Orlando has found a way to defeat Cleveland on its home floor for the last two seasons and I don’t expect tonight to be any different. Look for the Magic to take control of this contest early and answer any charge the Cavaliers might mount late in the game.
Florida Marlins vs. New York Mets u8.5 (100) – Sat May 30 ’09 1:10p
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Josh Johnson of the Florida Marlins came back from Tommy John surgery much better than most experts expected, but he now looks better than ever, and we look for Johnson to key an Under vs. Tim Redding and the New York Mets today.
Johnson is 3-1 with a terrific 2.67 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 10 starts covering 67.1 innings, and he has allowed three runs or less in seven straight starts and in nine of his 10 outings this year. He has also been fantastic against the Mets, as he has six Quality Starts in seven career starts against them including allowing four runs in two starts against them this season, and he allowed only four runs in his one non-quality effort against them.
Now Redding did not pitch well in his second start as a Met after posting a Quality Start in his New York debut, but that was almost expected. Remember that he just came off the Disabled List to take that first start on May 18, and the second start off of an injury-induces layoff is usually the toughest due to natural muscle soreness. Now that Redding has gotten that stinker out of the way, he should return to his normal level tonight.
Besides, the Marlins have tailed off considerably after a very hot start, so look for both offenses to struggle this early afternoon.
MLB Free Pick: Marlins, Mets Under 8.5 (+100)