It is time for the weekend edition of line moves and we have three hot games for Friday, plus a look at series wagering in a trio of matchups. Take a minute to review all the betting trends and our free picks (160-127, 55.7% of late, including 9-3 run) to see what we are thinking. See you back here Monday.
MLB – (951) ST. LOUIS at (952) MIAMI 7:10 ET FSMW, FSFL
St. Louis has crawled to within 6.5 games of the Cubs in the NL Central by winning eight of last 11 and got a huge confidence-builder in taking down Jose Fernandez on the road yesterday and have to like their chances the rest of the series. Those betting baseball have similar feelings, adjusting the Cardinals from +110 to -110 favorites behind Mike Leake (7-8, 4.24 ERA). Leake is 5-1 with a 1.33 ERA against Miami and is sensational 3-0 with tiny 0.44 ERA in south Florida. With the Cards 15-6 in road games when playing against a team with a winning record this season, like their chances.
Betting Trend – 80% backing St. Louis
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean St. Louis
MLB – (971) HOUSTON at (972) DETROIT 7:10 ET RTSW, FSD
Despite Houston having lost home series to New York and Detroit sweeping Boston on the road, the Astros have shot up from -107 away favorites to -130. Houston has crawled to within three games of Texas for first in the AL West, with the Tigers now six behind Cleveland in their division and three games out of last wild card slot. Both starting pitchers Collin McHugh (7-6, 4.18) and Matt Boyd (1-2, 4.63) have been throwing well of late, nevertheless, McHugh is safer commodity and is backed by better bullpen. McHugh and Astros are 12-1 after a game where he did not walk a batter the last two seasons.
Betting Trend – 93% backing Houston
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Houston
MLB – (975) CHIC. WHITE SOX at (976) MINNESOTA 8:05 ET CSN-C, FSNO
Chicago used to hate coming to the Twin Cites because invariably they would lose series and were often swept, sometimes in bizarre fashion. However, Minnesota is not the same club and the White Sox are enjoying more success not only at Target Field, but against the Twins in general with an 8-1 mark this campaign. In spite what appears to be a pitching mismatch between Jose Quintana 8-8, 2.97) and Ricky Nolasco (4-8, 5.40), the Pale Hose have fallen from -140 to -120. For whatever reason, Quintana has never gotten much run support from his teammates, but Minny is only 14-35 when the money line is +125 to -125 this season.
Betting Trend – 83% backing Chicago
Doug’s VPID Take - Lean Chicago
Public Consensus Record – 51% to 79% – 138-133-1
Public Consensus Record – 80% or Higher – 122-101-1
Line Movement Direction Record – 258-237-2
MLB – BALTIMORE (+150) at TORONTO (-170) – Series Betting
Toronto can reclaim first place in the AL East with a sweep and looking at the starting pitcher hookups, they should be favored in each contest, which is why they are this large a favorite. If Baltimore can snag one of the first two, they would have shot on Sunday, with Chris Tillman a noted underdog winner. Still prefer the Blue Jays to take this battle of birds.
Doug’s VPID Take – Play Toronto at -170
MLB – HOUSTON (-125) at DETROIT (+105) – Series Betting
With us having a lean with Houston as noted above, if Detroit can pull the upset, they could win the series on Saturday with their ace Justin Verlander. The Astros will again be favored in the series finale with Dallas Keuchel over Mike Pelfrey, but the ‘Stros lefty is never quite as good on the road as at home. Heart says Tigers but betting instincts favor Houston.
Doug’s VPID Take - Play Houston at -125
MLB – CINCINNATI (-110) at SAN DIEGO (-110) – Series Betting
Sure, it is a crummy series to bet on, but at least it supposed to be competitive. I’m going to back Cincinnati who has won seven of 10, is playing solid baseball and has better starting staff than Padres, who just traded 40 percent of it to Miami in deal. Reds might be moving Jay Bruce, but that has been in the works for two seasons and will not have adverse effect this weekend.
Doug’s VPID Take – Play Cincinnati at -110