MLB betting cheat sheet: Revenge is the key angle for this week

The revenge angle is something that I’ll point towards often in this column. In the last edition, I had mentioned that the Padres would have some revenge on their minds over the weekend when they visited the Dodgers. Well, they ended up taking two of three in that series and were north of +160 on the money line in both wins.

For this week, two teams will be seeking revenge for a prior series sweep. One is Atlanta, who admittedly seems like a “tough sell” going against the Mets – but note what the Padres were just able to do to the Dodgers.  Also note that there’s no line yet for Monday’s series opener due to a Braves pitching change. The other revenge spot is Seattle at Oakland as the Mariners were swept by the A’s earlier in the year at home. The M’s, who have one of the better run differentials in the league right now, have opened as favorites for Monday’s opener.

Here’s a comprehensive look at betting notes for the mid week major-league schedule:

Who Would Have Guessed This?

The Phillies, yes the Phillies, have won six straight after sweeping the Nationals and Indians. They actually come into Monday’s series opener with St. Louis owning a better record than the Cardinals.  The Redbirds are reeling a bit as they’ve dropped four straight games, including all three at home to the Nats over the weekend.

Despite recent form, expect the Cards to be favored in every one of the games in this series. The respective run differentials of the two teams tell a much different story than their won-loss records. St. Louis, while 12-13 overall, has outscored its opponents by 34 runs this season (#4 in MLB).  Philadelphia might be 15-10, but is -16 in run differential.

Bottom of the Barrel

Two last place teams from the American League face off this week in Houston as Minnesota pays a visit. The Astros being in last place in the AL West is definitely a surprise, but they were at least able to pick up a win Sunday (2-1 at Oakland) and considering they will be sending ace Dallas Keuchel to the hill Monday, I’d be stunned if they didn’t take this series.  The Twins and Astros currently rank 29th and 30th in net units, by the way.

WAG of the Week

Larisa Braun (formerly Larisa Fraser) is a model and also the wife of Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun. I wonder if that picture on the left is an actual wedding picture – somehow I doubt it.

Hitting Notes

* The Marlins have two players batting .500 or higher over the last week. One is Martin Prado, who is 12 for his last 23.  The other is J.T. Realmuto, who is 12 for his last 24 with six runs scored.  Up next for these two hot hitters is a visit to Chase Field where the home team (Arizona) is giving up more than six runs per game. Miami had won seven in a row before Sunday’s 14-5 loss to Milwaukee. The upcoming series might be a good one for their lineup.

* Toronto, who was MLB’s highest scoring lineup by a mile in 2015, just had an interesting series. Never before in MLB’s history had a team done what the Blue Jays “accomplished” this past weekend.  That was to finish a series with only 15 hits, yet eight of them were home runs. Such an overreliance on the long ball will likely not equate to long-term success.

Pitching Notes

* Who has the best ERA on the Cubs staff?  Jake Arrieta, right?  That would be incorrect.  Jason Hammel checks in with a 0.75 ERA, which is slightly better than Arrieta’s 0.78.  (Arrieta has the better WHIP, however, 0.78 to 1.04).  Unfortunately for the Pirates, they will have to see both this week, back to back no less.  It will certainly be interesting to see whether or not the Bucs’ MLB leading .293 team batting average takes a substantial hit.

* Jonathon Niese has a 5-0 team start record (+5.7 units) for the Pirates despite a 5.08 ERA and 1.483 WHIP.  He has to oppose Arrieta on Tuesday. It goes without saying who will be favored in that one and despite the expected high price on Arrieta, going against Niese in that spot, as well as the near future, probably isn’t a bad idea. 

Totals Trend

Last season, the Giants and Reds played seven times. Six of those games went Over and the other pushed.  It will be interesting to see if that trend continues this week as the Giants (who are averaging more than five runs per game) have gone Over in nine of their last 10 games overall.

Injury Notes

* Astros’ outfielder Carlos Gomez is battling a rib injury that cost him a game over the weekend. He is listed as Questionable for Monday’s contest vs. Minnesota.

* Angel Pagan of the Giants left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury and is Questionable to return to the lineup on Monday against the Reds.

Monday’s Weather Report

* There is a slight chance of rain in Pittsburgh tonight for the divisional showdown between the Cubs and Pirates. There will also be a nice little breeze blowing out to right field. The O/U is currently at 7.0.

* It’s going to be overcast with about a 50% chance of rain throughout tonight’s contest between the Braves and Mets in Queens, New York. The wind shouldn’t be a huge factor, but what breeze there will be will be out to center. The O/U is currently OFF.

* There is a 40% chance of showers in the hours leading up to tonight’s game between the Phillies and Cards in St. Louis, but it should clear off by game-time. Tonight’s O/U is currently at 7.5.

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