weekend’s major-league games:
O’s Reach Value Plateau
The Baltimore Orioles have been far and away the most valuable
bet in baseball, reaching the $3,000 mark in total season value
with Thursday’s 9-7 triumph over the visiting Cincinnati Reds.
It’s the second time in three seasons that Baltimore has
surpassed $3,000 in total value, having gone +$3,683 in 2012.
Strasburg Automatic as a Big Fave
Washington ace Stephen Strasburg is a -225
favorite Friday night as the Nationals entertain the
Philadelphia Phillies. The hard-throwing right-hander is 3-0 as
a fave of -200 or better this season, allowing just three runs
over 22 1/3 innings in those three starts.
Mets Remain Pushy
The New York Mets continue to be the league’s strongest push
bet entering Saturday’s encounter with the host Cincinnati
Reds. Following Wednesday’s 4-3 win over Miami, the Mets lead
the majors with 16 pushes – one shy of Miami’s league-high
total from a season ago.
Hammel on the Rebound?
Oakland right-hander Jason Hammel looks
to continue his late-season rebound Sunday as the Athletics
face off against the visiting Houston Astros. Hammel has
allowed just two runs in his last two starts, but the A’s are
just 2-7 SU and -$769 units in Hammel’s nine starts since being
acquired from the Cubs.
* Left-hander Chris Sale will look to avoid a
fourth straight Over as he leads the Chicago White Sox (-135,
7) into Friday’s encounter with the host Cleveland Indians.
Sale has only had four straight Overs once in his career as a
starter – and never within a single season.
* Righty Phil Hughes looks to take over top
spot in the pitcher value chase Saturday as the Minnesota Twins
entertain the Los Angeles Angels. Hughes has racked up $1,216
in value so far this season, second only to Baltimore Orioles
ace Chris Tillman ($1,320).
* Washington lefty Gio Gonzalez can only
hope for a little more luck Sunday as he faces fellow southpaw
Cole Hamels and the Phillies. Gonzalez has
allowed three runs or fewer in eight of his previous 10 starts,
but has just one victory to show for it.
* Veteran slugger Adam Dunn has settled in
nicely with the Athletics entering Friday’s showdown with the
Astros (+188, 7.5). Dunn has two home runs and four RBIs in
three games since being acquired by Oakland in a trade with the
Chicago White Sox.
* Shortstop Alexei Ramirez could be in for a
long Saturday as he and the White Sox visit Corey
Kluber and the Cleveland Indians. Ramirez has just
four hits, including a pair of doubles, and one RBI in 24
career at-bats versus Kluber, who ranks third in the majors
with 215 strikeouts.
* Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Aramis
Ramirez seems to have St. Louis Cardinals ace
Adam Wainwright figured out as the two meet
again Sunday at Miller Park. Ramirez is batting .415 with three
home runs in 53 at-bats against Wainwright.
San Diego Padres (2-7 O/U): The Padres’ entire
season could be interpreted as a totals streak, with the
offensively anemic club threatening to record 100 unders in a
season; the 2003 Dodgers (54-98-10) are the closest to reach
that mark in the previous 11 years. San Diego is 49-85-5 for
Prop of the Day
Bettors are getting +160 on the Nationals -2.5 – a sound wager
with Strasburg on the hill. Washington has won five of
Strasburg’s last five starts, with four of those victories
coming by three or more runs.
* Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pedro
Alvarez is available to pinch-hit but is still not
ready to return to regular action after suffering a left foot
sprain. The Pirates have scuffled without the veteran slugger,
going 3-4 SU, 2-5 O/U and -133 units during his absence.
* Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh
Hamilton left Thursday’s game against Minnesota
with a sore right shoulder. Hamilton has missed a whopping 49
games this season, during which the Angels have gone 28-21 SU,
24-23-2 O/U and +466 units.
WAG of the Day
Mai Satoda is the wife of New York Yankees
pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.
* Wind at Progressive Field will blow out to right field at 12
mph for Friday’s tilt between the host Indians and the White
Sox. Teams combined to score 7.78 runs over nine games under
similar conditions in 2013 – well below the stadium average of
* Fans at Comerica Park will see wind blowing out to
right-center field at 7 mph for Saturday’s showdown between the
host Tigers and the San Francisco Giants. The Tigers were a
perfect 9-0 last season with the wind blowing out to either
center or right-center field.
Umpire Note of the Day
The road team is 5-0 in umpire Paul Nauert’s last five
games calling balls and strikes involving Texas. Nauert will be
behind home plate Friday night when the Rangers (+166, 8) host
the Texas Rangers.
** Odds, stats, weather forecasts and probable pitchers
as of 11:30 a.m. ET Friday.