While a couple of NFL teams begin training camp, the baseball beat continues and we have four line moves worth noting today. Like we say every day, understanding line moves can build your bankroll and playing our free picks is a great idea also. (51-32 L21D)
MLB – (901) SAN FRANCISCO at (902) PHILADELPHIA 7:05 E CSN-BA, CSN-P
Cliff Lee (4-4, 3.18 ERA) is ready to get back on the hill following a two-month absence. “I’m ready to go. … I feel as good as I’ve felt the whole time,” he told MLB’s official website. Those betting baseball are not in total agreement with the left-hander and sent Lee and the Phillies down 10 cents to -130 on the money line. After a five-game winning streak, Philadelphia has returned to normal in losing four of five, while San Francisco has apparently weathered the storm, having won three of four series. Oddly enough Ryan Vogelsong (5-7, 3.86) has not faced the Phils since 2004, but he and the Giants are 6-0 in road games vs. a NL team with an on-base percentage .325 or worse this season. SWM Take – San Francisco wins
MLB – (913) BOSTON at (914) TORONTO 7:05 E NESN, SNET
Last week during the break, more than one eyebrow was raised when Boston GM Ben Cherington stated “…we (Boston) are not giving up; we can get right back in the race (for the AL East)”. Count me among the doubters, but here come the Red Sox, winners of seven of eight and they are within five games of the wild card. Baseball bettors are impressed and have taken Boston from +110 to -113 road favorites, despite their 20-26 (-7 units) away mark. John Lackey (10-6, 3.79) has pitched better than his mound counterpart Drew Hutchison (6-8, 4.16); however, Lackey is 5-8 with a 5.43 ERA in 20 starts against Toronto. With the BoSox 12-30 in road games after allowing one run or less in consecutive outings, we will back the sportsbooks original choice. SWM Take – Toronto wins
MLB – (919) BALTIMORE at (920) LA.A. ANGELS 10:05 E MASN2, FSW
The Orioles are in the midst of an unforgiving road trip which takes them to the top three clubs in the AL West. After losing the series to Oakland, no breather for Baltimore with a trip south to Anaheim. Bud Norris (7-6, 3.96) throws for the O’s and in spite of being a notoriously poor pitcher on the road; his team has tumbled from +130 to +120. Most baseball bettors are not sold on Matt Shoemaker (7-2, 4.38) despite his fine record. It is impossible to ignore the Angels own the best home record in baseball at 34-16 and they are 13-1 in home games vs. a starting pitcher who gives up 5.5 or less hits a start. SWM Take – Los Angeles wins
MLB – (921) DETROIT at (922) ARIZONA 9:40 E FSD, FSAZ (side and total)
For baseball saber-types, Justin Verlander (8-8, 4.88) makes their point about what a loss in velocity means. Verlander used to blow batters away with an upper 90’s fastball, but that pitch has disappeared and hitters are sitting on this pitch, which by scout’s accounts is down three-four MPH and with less movement. This has a twofold affect on tonight’s interleague affair with the Detroit sinking from -145 to -131 and the total on the uptick from 8.5 to 9. Verlander and Tigers are just 2-11 vs. teams outscored by 0.5 or more runs a game and Kate Upton’s boyfriend is 13-5 OVER this season. What makes this a thought provoking pick is Verlander is 12-0 with a 2.12 ERA in 14 starts since his last regular season loss to an NL opponent four years ago and his club is a baseball-best 28-16 away from home. SWM Take – Lean Detroit and Over
Sports Watch Monitor Weighty Trends
MLB Money Line Trend
Colorado is 2-13 with an on-base percentage of .300 or worse over their last 15 games this season.
MLB Totals Trend
The Mets are 9-0 OVER vs. an AL team with a team batting average of .265 or worse this season.
MLB Run Line Trend
Texas is 2-14 in July games this season.