Saturday Daytime MLB Betting Preview

We picked out 4 games to preview for todays daytime card.  Hopefully this insight will give you an edge in any baseball bets you will make today.  Be back later with a couple preivews for 2 night games.

Minnesota at New York Yankees
#919 Minnesota +121
#920 New York -129
Current Total 9

Minnesota has garnered a 10-6 record on the road so far in 2010, as they are set to play the second game of an eight-game road trip against the AL East.  The Twins enter the trip with a 4-3 overall record against the East this season.

Twins SP Francisco Liriano is a perfect 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA in three road starts this season, with the Twins picking up victories in all three games by outscoring opponents, 14-6.  The talented left-hander has yet to pick up a victory against the Bronx Bombers, producing a 0-1 mark and 2.77 ERA in three games (2 starts).

New York will be playing the second game of a seven-game home stand in which they will play opponents with a .621 combined winning percentage (64-39).  The team has dropped four of its last five games coming into the series against Minnesota, but has won seven of their last 11 overall.  The Yankees share the second-best record in baseball behind the Tampa Bay Rays.  With the game slated to start at 1:05 PM EST, the Yankees will look to improve upon their 9-6 daytime mark.

Yankees SP Andy Pettitte will be making his second start in the month of May, after enjoying the best first month of his career, when he posted a 3-0 record and 2.12 ERA in six April starts.  The veteran is a perfect 4-0 with dynamite 1.33 ERA in four daytime starts, as he’s fanned 20 and walked just eight in 27 innings of work.

It’s important to note that Minnesota has played 16 road games this year, but just four outside of its division.  The Twins opened up the season on the road against the Los Angeles Angels, picking up three victories out of the four-game series (+269).

In backing the Yankees this season, bettors should take comfort that heading into this series, New York has covered the run-line in all 10 victories this season.

Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs
#901 Pittsburgh +212
#902 Chicago -227
Current Total – NA

Pittsburgh has produced an even 8-8 record over its last 16 games after losing a season-high seven straight.  With Friday afternoon 10-6 victory, the Pirates are a perfect 4-0 against the Cubs this season.  Dating back to last season, Pittsburgh has won five straight games in the series.  The bullpen leads the National League with 120 strikeouts, with closer Octavio Dotel posting 18 K’s in 13 1/3 innings.  The starting rotation has improved over the last nine games, producing a 3.08 ERA, lowering its season ERA from 7.42 to 6.16.

Pirates SP Paul Maholm is set to make his 8th start of the season and is coming off an 11-4 loss to the Cardinals at PNC Park.  The left-hander is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in one start this year against Chicago, beating Ryan Dempster on 5/4.  Overall, he has gone 5-1 with a 6.663 ERA in 10 career starts against the Cubbies, with the team posting an 8-2 record in those meetings.

Chicago gets ready to play its fifth game of an eight-game home stand against the Marlins (1-2), Pirates (0-1) and Rockies.  The Cubs are set to face a left-handed pitcher for the second-straight games, as they’ve accumulated a 4-7 record against southpaws in 2010.  The outfield leads the majors with a .588 slugging percentage and is second with a .380 on-base percentage.  Overall, Chicago’s .282 May batting average ranks third in the NL.

Cubs SP Ryan Dempster is ready to make his fourth home start of the season, as he’s gone 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA in his previous three starts at Wrigley.  Chicago has lost his last three starts, managing to produce just seven runs of support over that span.  The right-hander has been victimized of late by surrendering the long ball, as opponents have hit five home runs off of him in that time.

Take note that the Cubs are an even 2-2 (-211) over the last two seasons with Dempster being a -200+ favorite.  Chicago hasn’t lost four or more games with him on the hill since a five-game stretch from 6/6 – 6/27/09.

An interesting betting trend has formed in Pirates’ games in the month of May, as the team has failed to deliver back-to-back over’s the entire month.  In games following an over, the total has fallen under the number by an average of 3.3 runs.

Texas Rangers at Toronto Blue Jays
#917 Texas +130
#918 Toronto -138
Current Total 8.5

Texas is 7-8 overall on the road this season despite posting the AL’s 2nd-lowest road ERA (3.39) and 3rd-lowest opponents’ average (.229).  Heading into this series, the Rangers had a .232 batting average on the road, which is the lowest in the American League and 50 points lower than in Arlington.   The Rangers have dropped seven of their last 10 games at the Rogers Centre, but has gone 5-1-2 in the last eight season series against the Blue Jays.

Rangers SP Scott Feldman will be making his eighth start of the year and pitching on five days’ rest due to Monday’s off day.  He will be making his sixth daytime start, going 1-1 with a 4.44 ERA in five previous outings under the sun.  The right-hander is 0-2 with a 4.81 ERA in four career starts against the Blue Jays and picked up a no-decision on Opening Day against them in Arlington.

Toronto has won 10 of their last 14 games and won season-high six-straight games from May 2-7.  The Jays are 7-10 at the Rogers Centre this season, winning three of their last four contests.  Surprisingly enough, the team enters the series leading the Majors with 52 round trippers and 154 extra base hits.  OF Fred Lewis has caught fire on the top of the batting order, collecting multi-hit games in seven of his last nine games and hitting .381 over that span.

Blue Jays SP Ricky Romero is hoping to pick up his first career victory against the Rangers, posting a 0-1 mark and 1.35 ERA in two career starts against them.  The talented left-hander is a solid 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA at home this year, allowing opposing batters to hit just .135 against him.  Toronto has picked up three straight victories with him on the mound, providing him 23 runs of support in the process.

The Rangers have won four of their last five games against left-handed starters (+344), beating the likes of Oakland’s Dallas Braden, Seattle’s Cliff Lee and Chicago White Sox ace Mark Buehrle.  

Bettors will be interested to know that Toronto has lost both games this season after scoring 10+ runs, with both games occurring at the Rogers Centre.  Dating back to last year, the Jays have lost four straight in this situation.

Houston Astros at San Francisco Giants
#903 Houston +199
#904 San Fran -214
Current Total 6.5

Houston was swept at home in its first season series with the San Francisco Giants this year.  The Astros are 11-18 overall against right-handed starters this season.  They also bring in an even 6-6 mark during the day in comparison to a lowly 7-15 record at night.  With a home run possibly being hard to come by against the Giants ace, the Astros will be hard-pressed to win with a 3-18 record when failing to hit the long ball.  Houston has played just 13 road games this year, which is tied for the fewest amount in the Majors (Boston).

Astros SP Roy Oswalt matches up with Giants SP Tim Lincecum for the second time this year.  The Giants edged the Astros, 5-2, on Opening Day.  Oswalt is 1-2 with a 3.33 ERA in the four games he’s faced the two-time Cy Young Award winner in his career.  The right-hander has made just one start away from Minute Maid Park this season, picking up a 4-3 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field.  He threw seven shutout victories and didn’t issue a single walk while striking out six.

San Francisco came into this three-game set against Houston, having lost four straight home games.  They hope to get back on track by having 12 of their next 19 games played at AT&T Park.  Offensively the team has struggled to obtain a hit with runners in scoring position, posting a .182 batting average (8-for-44) over their last six games.  The Giants are currently third in the National League in ERA, trailing only San Diego and St. Louis.  The team also has one of the best marks in baseball when scoring first in a game (14-2), trailing only the Milwaukee Brewers (12-1)

Giants SP Tim Lincecum is a spotless 4-0 with a 1.86 ERA during his first seven starts of the 2010 campaign.  The talented right-hander is also a perfect 3-0 with a 1.37 ERA and .147 opponent’s batting average in six career starts against the Astros.  He could easily be a perfect 7-0 this season, as he’s earned no decisions in each of his last three outings due to the bullpen.

Value may be on the underdog in this matchup, as the Astros cashed all three games in St. Louis as an underdog heading into this series (+682).  Total bettors will be interested to know that the Under is 6-0-1 in Houston’s games with Oswalt on the mound this season.

Today’s game marks the first time this season that Lincecum has been placed as a -200+ favorite.  The Giants have gone 6-1 in the last seven instances, producing a decent profit (+290).

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