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MLB Picks: Kansas City Royals vs. Atlanta Braves Odds: June 18th 2010

Kansas City Royals vs. Atlanta Braves
MLB Pick: Atlanta Braves -172 odds
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With the way Royals starter Brian Bannister has pitched of late and with his struggles on the road, this is an easy choice backing the Atlanta Braves Friday night. Bannister has posted an 8.05 ERA and 1.660 WHIP in his last 3 starts. In 6 road starts this season, Bannister has gone 1-3 with an 8.22 ERA and 1.729 WHIP. The righty has allowed 28 earned runs and 53 base runners in 30.2 innings away from home.

Derek Lowe sports a solid 5-2 record with a 3.74 ERA and 1.177 WHIP in 7 home starts this season. Lowe has given up just 51 base runners in 43.1 innings at home, also allowing only 3 home runs. Bannister has served up 8 long balls on the road this year, including 3 in his last start at Cincinnati where he gave up 11 runs (9 earned) in 3 innings of a 5-11 loss. Knowing that Atlanta is 20-4 against the money line as a home favorite of -110 or higher this season, I’m willing to lay the juice as we fade Bannister tonight. Roll with the Braves Friday.

5 MLB Baseball Picks To Consider Betting On June 17th 2010

Below are MLB baseball picks for June 17th 2010 from Touthouse.com handicappers. If you are looking for free MLB baseball picks on a daily basis or premium picks from our MLB baseball betting experts visit Touthouse.com each day.

Pick: Kansas City Royals -115 (Big Al McMordie)
At 8:10 pm, our complimentary selection is on the Kansas City Royals over the Houston Astros. There’s nothing like an inter-league game against a really bad National League team and a really bad National League pitcher to help a really bad American League team break out of its funk in a big way. To be fair to the Royals, they actually had already beaten a really good National League team in two out of three games over the weekend before really breaking out on Tuesday night against the really bad Houston Astros and scoring 15 runs on 20 hits, most of it against Felipe Paulino. Now they face a decidedly better starter in righthander Brett Myers. Through 13 starts, Myers has a very nice ERA of just 3.18, but his problem is that he no longer pitches for a team like the Phillies, so he’s only won four of those 13 starts thanks to his anemic offense. Myers has faced 12 AL teams in his career, but he’s never faced the Royals, although his inter-league record leaves a lot to be desired. In 22 inter-league games (20 starts) he’s just 6-6 with an ugly ERA of 5.66. Take the Royals. As always, good luck…Al McMordie.

Pick: New York Mets +100 (Jimmy Boyd)
The Mets are on fire, having won 17 of their last 22 games, and I expect them to find the win column again tonight when you consider the trouble teams have had with R.A. Dickey’s knuckleball. Dickey is 4-0 with an ERA of 2.78 on the season, and if teams like the Phillies and Brewers haven’t been able to figure him out, it’s hard to think the Tribe will. Cleveland is hitting just .235 and scoring only 4.0 runs per game against righty starters this season. In addition, the Mets are 7-0 in their last 7 interleague games. The Indians have struggled in interleague play, dropping 20 of their last 28, including 10 of their last 14 at home. And with Westbrook on the hill, they have lost 5 of their last 6 in interleague play. Bet the Mets.

Pick: Atlanta Braves -120 (Craig Trapp)
Just a few weeks ago TB was one of the best teams in the league but don’t look now they have lost 4 of 6 and have not looked great in many of the games. Worse news for TB is that pitching has not been great for them. Including struggles with today’s starter Shields. 0-4 last 4 starts as Shields has given up 22 runs in 23 innings. On the other side we have one of the most underrated pitchers in the NL as Hudson goes for ATL. Hudson has been dominating with a ton of ground ball outs and he has not allowed over 3 runs this season. ATL is not the best at the plate but at home they are much better and combine that with Shields struggles think ATL will win very easily. ENJOY!

Pick: Chicago White Sox -130 (Rob Vinciletti)
On Thursday the free play is on the Chicago WhiteSox. Game 959 at 7:05 eastern. Chicago fits a nice system here tonight that plays on certain road favorites off a road favored win by 5 or more runs,if they left 5 or more men on base and they are taking on an opponent off a 5 or more run home dog loss that scored 2 or less runs and left 4 or less men on base. These road favorites cash 84% of the time over the past few years. The Pirates are on a long losing streak and have been playing lousy fundamental baseball, as evidence by all their errors last night. Chicago will look to get their first road sweep tonight. On Thursday I have a the NBA Finals side that will cash and is backed with a Solid system and 3 big never before seen Power angles. In MLB we cashed the top play on Wednesday and have a Big Totals system that averages 12.5 runs per game. For the free play take the Chicago Whitesox to deal the struggling Pirates another loss. RV

Pick: Colorado Rockies vs. Minnesota Twins Under 6.5 (Wunderdog)
We’ve got quite a pitching matchup in Minnesota this afternoon, with this year’s top pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez squaring of with a resurgent Francisco Liriano. Jimenez has allowed zero runs in almost half of his starts, which certainly puts a lot of attention on the UNDER here. Not far behind is Francisco Liriano who has allowed zero runs in three starts, and just 1 in 42% of his starts. Needless to say, runs will be at a premium in this one. There is also more pointing in this direction with the Rockies at 7-1 to the UNDER in interleague play vs. a lefthander in their last eight. The Twins enter at 33-16-2 to the UNDER as an interleague dog. I’ll ride the UNDER here.

MLB Odds: Boston Red Sox vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Pick: June 17th 2010

Boston Red Sox vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Pick: Arizona Diamondbacks +133 MLB odds
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Dan Haren has finally turned the corner for the Diamondbacks, pitching very well of late after his usual slow start to the season. Haren is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA and 1.108 WHIP in his last 3 starts for Arizona. He is mowing down hitters this season, striking out 97 batters in 95.2 innings. His control has been much better of late, and he is no longer serving up the long ball. Haren gave up just 2 walks and 1 home run in his last 3 outings.

John Lackey has not pitched well this season though his record would not indicate it. Lackey is 7-3 despite posting a 4.54 ERA and 1.574 WHIP this year. He is 5-1 at home despite a 5.10 ERA and 1.465 WHIP in his seven home outings. This just means that Lackey has been getting tremendous run support, but that ends tonight against Haren. The Diamondbacks Ace has posted a 2.65 ERA and 1.044 WHIP in six career starts vs. Boston. This is notoriously one of Haren’s best months, as the righty has gone 25-9 against the money line in June games since 1997. He is also 25-9 against the Money Line vs. AL East opponents in his career. So Haren has owned what is known as the best division in basebal throughout his career. Boston could be disinterested tonight after winning the first 2 games of this series and with the Dodgers up next. The Red Sox are 0-4 in their last 4 during game 3 of a series. Take Arizona Thursday showing solid value.

MLB Predictions: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Cincinnati Reds Odds: June 17th 2010

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Cincinnati Reds
MLB Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers -105 odds
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We used the Dodgers in this spot last night and we will go back with them this afternoon in the series finale. Just like last night, there is tremendous value on the Dodgers here after they have taken the first two games of this series with relative ease. That now makes it 14 wins in the last 17 meetings in this series and for Los Angeles overall, it is now 27-11 over its last 38 games including an 11-3 record on the road. Cincinnati is just 3-6 on its current homestand and it has now fallen into a first place tie with the Cardinals in the National League Central. The pitching is turning into a problem as the ERA from the starters over the last 10 games is a gaudy 5.58 while the bullpen ERA over that span is 5.68. After tossing six straight quality starts, rookie John Ely has struggled over his last two games, allowing four runs in five innings on both occasions. This is a great spot to bounce back as he was hurt by the long ball in those games, giving up three dingers, his first three of the entire season. On the season he has a 3.38 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in nine starts with the Dodgers going 6-3 in those games. The Reds counter with Bronson Arroyo who has been extremely inconsistent all season. In his 13 starts, he has thrown only six quality outings and only three of his six starts at home have been quality performances as well. In his career, Arroyo is just 22-31 with a 4.54 ERA in day games, as opposed to 69-55 with a 4.15 ERA at night and facing the Dodgers will not help matters. In nine starts against Los Angeles, he is 1-4 with a 4.58 ERA with his teams going just 1-8 in those games. This includes a 0-4 record since 2008. The Dodgers are 8-2 in their last 10 games when their opponent scores two runs or less in their previous game while the Reds are 1-7 in their last eight games when their opponent scores five runs or more in their previous game so momentum has played a big role of late. 3* Los Angeles Dodgers

MLB Picks: Colorado Rockies vs. Minnesota Twins Betting Odds: June 17th 2010

Colorado Rockies vs. Minnesota Twins
Free Pick: Minnesota Twins +110 odds
Visit Touthouse.com for more MLB baseball picks from Steve Merril

A pair of aces will be on display Thursday afternoon in Minnesota as Francisco Liriano takes on Colorado’s Ubaldo Jimenez. The Rockies righty is 12-1 with a 1.16 ERA on the year. There have been a couple of chinks in his armor as he’s given up five runs and 11 hits in his last 13 innings pitched. Minnesota faced Jimenez in 2008 beating him 4-2 in Colorado. He gave up three runs and eight hits in seven innings of work in that game. Justin Morneau (1-3), Joe Mauer (1-4), and Delmon Young (3-3) all have hits off him. Minnesota is 23-12 at home and 26-18 against right-handed pitching, and the Twins have also feasted on N.L. pitching as they are hitting over .290 as a team.

Francisco Liriano is rounding into the ace the Twins expected him to be. He’s 6-3 with a 2.90 ERA in 12 starts. The lefty is 2-0 with a 2.14 ERA in his last three starts striking out 28 while walking only two. Miguel Olivo (4-13) and Melvin Mora (0-3) are the only two Rockies who have faced Liriano. Colorado is just 10-9 against left-handed starters averaging 4.4 runs per game. They are also 14-20 on the road where they are hitting .235 as a squad. In what projects to be a low-scoring game, we like Liriano to out-duel Jimenez this afternoon.

4 MLB Baseball Picks To Consider Betting On June 16th 2010

Below are MLB baseball picks for June 16th 2010 from Touthouse.com handicappers. If you are looking for free MLB baseball picks on a daily basis or premium picks from our MLB baseball betting experts visit Touthouse.com each day.

Pick: Philadelphia Phillies +1.5 +100 (Jimmy Boyd)
I know the Yanks roughed up Halladay on their way to a comfortable win yesterday, but that only fuels Philly’s fire. Philly is ready to pay back the team that defeated them in last year’s World Series, and it will have an excellent opportunity to do so against Burnett, who is just 6-9 in his career against the Phillies with an ERA of 5.04. Burnett faced the Phillies 3 times last season and lost 2 of the 3, giving up 11 runs in just 8 innings of work in the two defeats. Moyer gets the ball for the Phillies, and he figures to give them a great chance to win when you consider how much trouble the Yankees have had with lefties this season. They are hitting just .256 and scoring only 4.9 runs per game against them. That’s a big drop in production considering they are hitting .280 and scoring 5.7 runs per game on the season. We’ll take the Phillies showing good value on the run line tonight.

Pick: New York Mets -113 (Tony George)
Cheap number for a red hot Mets team (5-0 run) who I rode like a horse last week for free plays. They beat the Reds last night and have a very similar pitcher on the hill tonight against a team just hitting .245 at home on the season. The bullpen recent stats leads you to think that the Tribe can win it late, I do not feel that way, NY is red hot at the plate and Niese who toes the rubber for the Mets tonight has a 1.50 ERA his last 3 outings. NY has won 16 out of their last 21 ballgames and I like them tonight in a tight one again to have their offense pull it out for them.

Pick: Atlanta Braves -131 (Tom Freese)
Atlanta starter Tommy Hanson has allowed just 7 runs in his last 4 starts all of which the Braves won. Atlanta is 19-7 their last 26 games overall and they are 44-19 their last 63 games as favorites. Tampa Bay starter Wade Davis has allowed 19 runs in his last 20 innings of work. The Rays are 62 -161 their last 223 road games vs. a team with a home win percentage of over 60%. The Rays are 0-4 in Wade Davis’s starts with 5 days of rest. PLAY ON ATLANTA (Hanson vs. Davis)

Pick: Florida Marlins -113 (Wunderdog)
Anibel Sanchez is a top pitcher that has never been able to get enough starts to find consistency, until now. He sat out the entire 2007 season, made just ten starts in 2008 and 16 a year ago. He is now healthy, and it shows. He has allowed two runs or less in eight of his last ten starts and no more than four in any of them. He has a very nifty 2.82 ERA at home on the season. Tommy Hunter is pitching in just his third game this season and this will be his first on the road. Last season he finished his last five road starts with a composite 8.06 ERA. Hard to put much faith in those numbers vs a healthy Sanchez dealing aces at home. I’ll go with Florida here.

New York Yankees vs. Philadelphia Phillies Odds & Pick: June 16th 2010

New York Yankees vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Free Pick: New York Yankees -1.5 -108 odds
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Jamie Moyer has really struggled in his career against the Yankees. The veteran lefty has an 8.77 ERA in his last five starts against New York. The reason is very simple as the Yankees are a very patient team who doesn’t get flustered by Moyer’s junk ball mentality. They have scored at least four earned runs in every game as they simply wait for a good count and pound his mediocre offerings. Moyer faced a similarly patient Red Sox team last time out and allowed nine earned runs in a single inning of work.
AJ Burnett has been a much better pitcher at home than on the road. At Yankee Stadium he owns a 2.27 ERA as opposed to a 5.03 ERA on the road. Overall 4 of his 5 home starts have been quality ones.
The Phillie offense continues to struggle and we can’t see them righting the ship in this situation. The line is high so we will play the run line with the Yankees. With Moyer on the mound five of the Phillies six losses have been by three runs or more.
PLAY NEW YORK RUN LINE

NBA Finals Game 7 Betting Preview & Prediction: Celtics vs. Lakers: June 17th 2010

CELTICS VS. LAKERS GAME 7 PREDICTIONBoston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers Game 7: June 17th 2010
NBA Finals Basketball Betting Preview and Predictions Courtesy of Matt Fargo, a Featured Sports Handicapper on Touthouse.com

The Numbers
The Lakers are -7 for Game Seven of the NBA Finals over the Celtics. Game Six saw the closing line of Los Angeles -6 and this game opened at -6.5 so the number is being shaded toward the favorite. The total is at 187 which is the lowest number in this series thus far but for good reason as the ‘Under’ is 5-1-1 and in some cases 6-1 with four straight coming in.

Another Blowout?
For a series that has gone the distance, it hasn’t been very entertaining.

The smallest margin of victory has been six points, a Boston win in Game Five, while the average margin of victory has been 10.7 ppg. You would think that the Finals would produce more close finishes and important last second possessions but that has not been the case.

What does this mean for Game Seven? It means we are overdue for a fantastic finish as the whole 2010 playoffs owe us as from the start, as it has been pretty much a dud. Who knows if we will actually get it but if you like playing the odds of it happening, you have to like the Celtics to bounce back from a dreadful Game Six.

Looking purely at probabilities, Boston has a 75 percent chance of covering based on the four different outcomes that can take place. If we do see a blowout, the Lakers or Celtics can be on the winning side, therefore a split cover. Should we see a close game, the Lakers or Celtics can again be on the winning side outright but the Celtics would cover in both instances.

Rebounding
When it comes to winning basketball games, any number of factors comes into play such as shooting, turnovers and free throws. In this series, the biggest factor has been rebounding and it has not really been close.

The winning team has had the edge on the glass in all six games thus far. The average margin of the boards per game is 7.1 so it is safe to say who wins the battle of the boards in Game Seven will be the eventual NBA Champion.

If only it were that easy. The issue now is injuries. The Lakers have had a hobbled Andrew Bynum throughout the series so the inside advantage they were thought to have heading in ended up being negated. The Celtics have their own problems how as Kendrick Perkins sprained his knee in Game Six and is doubtful for the season finale.

“He’s a guy that cleans the paint up, let’s say, and not having him there made the Lakers awful long,” Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said. “He’s one of our guys that I think gives us great spirit, gives us a lot of toughness and size. You know, I hope he can play. It would be tough if he can’t.”

Game Seven History Lesson
Only 16 previous NBA Finals have gone to a decisive Game Seven and it has happened only three times since the Lakers and Celtics went the distance in 1984 and the second since the Knicks and Rockets went seven games in 1994.

Home court advantage is obviously big now when it comes to the decisive game and history definitely proves that. Overall, the home team has won 13 of 16 Game Sevens in the NBA Finals. Tightening that up, since the 2-3-2 playoff format of the NBA Finals was instituted in 1985, there have been three Game Sevens and the home team has won all three.

Those three wins were by an average of only 5.3 ppg.

While players and coaches will be treating this game like all others, it is not the same and there are some big names that have never experienced this. This is the first NBA Finals Game Seven for Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher, who have played in 393 combined playoff games. Maybe most surprising, neither has Phil Jackson, who has coached in 322 postseason games and won 10 championships.

The 2010 Finals will be the fifth Lakers-Celtics series to go seven games and in the previous four instances, the Celtics have beaten the Lakers by an average of just 4.0 ppg.

Kobe’s Legacy
Kobe Bryant is a future Hall of Famer and one of the greatest players to ever step on an NBA floor. This Game Seven could go a long way in determining exactly where he ranks however.

As mentioned, he has never played in Game Seven in the NBA Finals. Neither did Michael Jordan. Therefore winning a championship in a decisive Game Seven will give Bryant an additional stat that Jordan does not have on his résumé. A win would also give Bryant his fifth NBA Title, tying him with Magic Johnson and trailing Jordan by only one.

Should the Lakers lose, Bryant will have gone down three times compared to Jordan having never lost when going to the NBA Finals. It many not seem like much but it is a pretty big difference and one that Bryant will be compared to forever.

While this game will determine where Bryant currently ranks among the best ever, he isn’t taking it any different. “It’s no different to me,” he said. “I don’t mean to be a buzz kill, but it’s not. I know what’s at stake but I’m not tripping. It’s a game we’ve got to win, simple as that. I’m not going crazy over it.”

Trends
The Celtics are 7-1 ATS in their last seven games following a straight up loss.
The Lakers are 6-14 ATS in their last 20 games following an ATS win.
The ‘Over’ is 13-6 in the Celtics last 19 games following a double-digit loss.
The ‘Over’ is 7-2-2 in the Lakers last 11 games following a straight up win.
The Celtics are 12-5-1 ATS in the last 18 meetings.

MLB Betting: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Cincinnati Reds Odds & Pick: June 16th 2010

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Cincinnati Reds
Free Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers -110 odds
Visit Touthouse.com for more MLB betting picks from Matt Fargo

It is rare for me to play favorites, even small favorites like this, but there is tremendous value on the Dodgers here. Los Angeles blew away the Reds last night 12-0 and that now makes it 13 wins in the last 16 meetings in this series. The Dodgers were slight favorites last night as well and they have the same caliber starter going tonight and the angle that plays against the Reds is even stronger. Cincinnati is just 3-5 on its current homestand and it has now fallen into a first place tie with the Cardinals in the National League Central. The pitching is turning into a problem and while the top starter goes tonight for the Reds, the situation says to go against them. Mike Leake is having a stellar rookie season as he is 5-0 with a 2.68 ERA on the year with 10 of his 12 starts being quality outings. He is coming off his worst start of the year, allowing five runs on 11 hits and four walks against the Giants but was able to walk away with a no-decision and remain undefeated. That unblemished record is where we get the value as well as a play against situation explained later. The Dodgers counter with Clayton Kershaw who has also put together a great season thus far with a 3.13 ERA to go along with his 6-3 record. He has one poor outing on his card when he was hammered for seven runs in 1.1 innings against the Brewers eight starts back. Take that away and his ERA drop to a superb 2.36 in his other 12 starts. The Dodgers are 9-4 in his 13 starts overall and they have won three of his last four away from home. He pitched a gem in his lone career start against Cincinnati last season, allowing just two runs on four hits in seven innings while striking out 11. Play on teams with a moneyline between +125 and -125 with a bullpen whose WHIP is 1.35 or better on the season going up against an opponent with a starting pitcher who is undefeated after five or more starts. This situation is 41-17 (70.7 percent) over the last five seasons. Also, the Dodgers are 8-0 in Kershaw’s last eight starts against teams with a winning record while the Reds are 1-6 in their last seven games when their opponent scores five runs or more in their previous game. 3* Los Angeles Dodgers

MLB Betting: New York Mets vs. Cleveland Indians Odds & Pick: June 16th 2010

New York Mets vs. Cleveland Indians
Free Pick: New York Mets -107 odds
Visit Touthouse.com for more MLB baseball picks from Steve Merril

New York has seemingly conquered their road woes winning four straight away from home and five straight overall. They’ll look for number six against the Indians on Wednesday night behind left hander Jonathan Niese. Since returning from the DL, Niese is 2-0 giving up one run and seven hits in 16 innings of work. He struck out 12 while walking only one in those two outings. Not a single Cleveland hitter has faced the left hander which gives Niese a slight advantage here. As a team, the Indians are 9-12 against southpaws including another losing effort against Johan Santana yesterday. Cleveland is just 12-18 at home where they are hitting only .245 as a team.

Mitch Talbot is 7-4 for the Tribe with a 3.59 ERA in 12 starts this season. He is coming off an outing in which he gave up five runs and six hits in four innings of work to the Red Sox. Talbot has a 4.62 ERA in six games at home which is not good considering the Mets have scored 26 runs over their first four games of their current roadtrip. New York is hitting .288 as a team in seven interleague games as well, and since Talbot is backed by a bullpen that has a 5.20 ERA and a 5-12 record, we’ll recommend a play of the Mets in this game tonight.