The Houston Astros advanced to the AL Championship Series for the second straight year. They completed a division-round sweep of Cleveland on Monday with an 11-3 win in Game 3. They were helped by two late in the game throwing errors from Indians reliever Trevor Bauer and a 'swing-for-the-fences' line-up devoid of contact hitters.
More importantly (and sadly), this game marked the last time Chief Wahoo will be worn on the Indians uniform. MLB, more conscious of its image than it's boring game, had pushed Cleveland for several years to remove the Chief. Weak-kneed ownership has complied.
The Gringo has his Famous Pick Of The Week ruined as Eastern Michigan scores a TD with 20 seconds to play. Western Michigan wins the game but he loses by the 'hook'.
Kent St. takes the opening kick-off 75 yards for a TD. Ohio goes 3 and out and the Golden Flashes on the very next possession throw a 65 yard bomb for another TD. All of a sudden Ohio is down 14 points and laying 12 ! They recover to win the game but not the bet.
The Shocker of Shockers Day was complete with Miami OH burying Akron 41-17 and Akron was laying 4.5 points at HOME! Akron rallied from a 14-0 deficit to take a 17-14 lead early in the third quarter before giving up the game’s final 27 points. The Zips were beaten 422-259 in total offense, gave up 20 first downs to their 16 and were edged 31:44 to 28:16 in time of possession. Akron committed five turnovers. Another difference: senior Gus Ragland (Miami OH) was 24 of 33 for 200+ yards passing. QB Kato Nelson (Akron) also threw for 200 yards but had three interceptions. The visitors had 200+ yards rushing and Akron had a putrid 58.
Penn State had Ohio State reeling midway through the fourth quarter. The record-breaking crowd of 110,000+ was delirious in their joy and was capping their glorious night by singing along to ''Sweet Caroline'' and ''Livin' on a Prayer.''
And then just like that, everything changed, and for the second year in a row the Buckeyes swiped victory away from the Nittany Lions in another wild game between the Big Ten powerhouses.
Dwayne Haskins threw two touchdown passes in the final seven minutes as No. 4 Ohio State wiped out a 12-point deficit to beat No. 9 Penn State 27-26 Saturday night.
LMAO. The Penn St fans have joined the club of JSTFU, morons.
There were a total of 15 pitchers used last night in a 9 inning game. There had to be 300+ pitches thrown and, yes, a 2 run HR in the 9th won it for the home team Rays. MLB has a problem: to many called 3rd strikes, too many hitters who cannot put the ball in play, too many guys who cannot bunt, too many guys 1-9 in the line-up always swinging for the fences, too many OF's who RARELY hit the cut-off man AND WAAAAY to many managers who always want a L-R, R-L match-up and all those idiotic match-ups take time. That equals long games and MLB - wisely - does not publish the game length any more. The game is BORING and has become a snooze fest
Hmmm ….. the 2 time Cy Young award winner has a 5 hit, 2 walk shutout working into the 8th inning, has only thrown 102 pitches and his team is only up 3-0 vs. the Athletics; one of the better A.L. teams IN FRONT OF A RARE SELL OUT in Cleveland. But Tito Francona - desperate to insert himself into the game and possibly negate a win - chooses to replace Kluber with relief pitchers who have ERA's of 5.66 and 6.59 because THE BOOK says he has to. WTF? Oakland hits 2 home runs in the 8th and wins it in the 11th, 6 - 3. Honest, folks if I was not making money betting these games I would never follow MLB due to this unproven and idiotic 'by-the-book' crap.
Francisco Lindor's second home run of the game for Cleveland snapped an eighth-inning tie after Minnesota erased an eight-run deficit, and the Indians held on to top the Twins 9-8 on Thursday night.
Lindor also hit two doubles and drove in four runs for the Indians, who stretched their winning streak to a season-best six straight games despite another wobbly performance by their bullpen until Cody Allen finished by getting the final four outs - his ninth save in 10 opportunities.
Indians starter Shane Bieber, the first player in franchise history to make his major league debut on his birthday, took an 8-0 lead into the fifth inning but couldn't complete the sixth. Robbie Grossman and Ryan LaMarre had RBI singles in the fifth, and Logan Morrison and Eduardo Escobar hit consecutive homers in the sixth.
In the seventh, reliever Dan Otero left two runners on with one out. Eddie Rosario hit an RBI single off Jeff Believeau. Then Miguel Sano smashed a three-run home run into the right-field flower box against Zach McAllister to tie it.
Dansby Swanson's two-run single capped a six-run ninth inning, and the NL-leading Atlanta Braves rallied to stun the Miami Marlins 10-9 on Sunday.
Ronald Acuna Jr. drove in two runs in the seventh and another in the ninth as the Braves moved 11 games over .500 for the first time since July 5, 2014. Atlanta has won nine of its last 12.
Miami led 6-0 after four innings and 9-4 to begin the ninth. Lewis Brinson's first career grand slam highlighted a six-run fourth, and Miguel Rojas homered twice and drove in four runs for the last-place Marlins, who have lost three of four.
Atlanta started the ninth with three runs off closer Brad Ziegler on Acuna's single, a throwing error by first baseman Justin Bour and a single by Nick Markakis.
Taylor Guererro (0-2) came on with two outs and allowed four straight batters to reach base. He walked Tyler Flowers, gave up an RBI single to Kurt Suzuki and walked Johan Camargo before Swanson laced a single down the left-field line to touch off a celebration in the outfield. Camargo became Atlanta's everyday third baseman earlier Sunday when the Braves released Jose Bautista.
May 18, 2017
Houston Astros -1.5 +125 Won 4 -1
The visiting Cleveland Indians (21-21) are 2-6 in their last eight road games, 1-4 in their last five road games against teams with winning records and 2-7 in their last nine road games against teams with winning home records. Their SP RH Mile Clevinger has been outstanding in 2018 (3-0, 2.87 ERA), but Captain Hook Francona will pull him (for basically no good reason) and use a stiff from the BP (most of these stiffs have an ERA around 6.00 and the road ERA is not much better at 4.98) and THAT is a key to the wager.
The Astros (28-17) are 4-1 in their last five, 31-13 in their last 44 home games and 8-3 in RH SP Charlie Morton’s last 11 home starts. Morton has allowed two or fewer runs in six of his eight starts this season. Houston also has a huge edge when it comes to the BP (2.94 ERA) and so far in 2018 are better than the Rudderless-Big Swinging-Play Only For The Big Inning Indians in every department. That is also why we do not mind laying the 1.5 runs on the Astros.
Six basic stats that will make you a smarter MLB bettor
Diving deep into that statistical jungle can be a bit overwhelming to the casual baseball fan looking to wager a couple bucks on today’s MLB schedule, so here are some high-level MLB stats that hold a lot of value when it comes to wagering on baseball moneylines and totals - and won't make your head hurt trying to understand how they work.
Walks can quickly turn into runs when a pitcher is struggling with his command. And runs can be bad, depending on which side of the scoreboard they end up on. Strikeout-to-Walk ratio gives you a good idea of how a starter is performing, even more so if you shrink it down to their last three appearances.
BA versus left-handed pitchers
Oddsmakers will usually tag an extra couple cents on the moneyline when a lefty takes the mound. Finding value on the other side of those odds can pay off. Since starters are priced so accurately these days – thanks in large part to those advanced stats mentioned above – bettors can find hidden value in the batting order, especially if those hitters have excelled versus Southpaws.
Baseball bettors want the best bang for their buck when handicapping starters. Getting six good innings from the starter puts you in a solid position to win most bets. Quality Starts is a cause-and-effect stat: pitcher that can go deep into games don’t eat up arms in the bullpen, leaving relievers fresh and ready when called to action. Quality Starts are also an important figure when playing 5-inning odds, which put even more value in the starting pitchers.
Winning a baseball bet isn’t always easy and bettors will go through a few tough sweats over the course of 162 games. Teams with the ability to come through in crunch time make for smart wagers. This stats not only reveals which teams crack under pressure, but how their hitters respond to close contests as well as their bullpen depth and closer capabilities.
BA with RISP and two outs
And speaking of clutch hitting, it’s often the difference between winning and losing a bet. Putting a play on a team that doesn’t crumble when the chips are down can keep you in the black over the course of a summer. “Batting average with runners in scoring position” is a great stat to contrast against “runners left on base” and “runners in scoring position left on base”. The top offenses in the majors cash in those runs and don’t waste the opportunity – or your money.
Ground ball/Fly ball ratio
An important stat when it comes to starting pitchers is ground ball/fly ball ratio, which tells you whether the majority of balls hit off a pitcher are ground balls or fly balls. Pitchers that rely on downward movement, like sinker balls, often generate more ground balls while most power pitchers rely on batters popping up as they chase fastballs.
Measuring Ground ball/Fly ball ratio is important when handicapping MLB totals, especially when factoring in strong winds – like those at Wrigley Field in Chicago. On a day when the wind is blowing toward the outfield fences, a fly ball pitcher could get in trouble as those routine fly outs get pushed over the wall. A ground ball pitcher, however, is less susceptible to the wind.
First day of college football bowl games: 6 games. 4 OVERS and 4 DOGS.
"The principal factor from this point forward may be endurance. Both teams are approaching the edge of what the body, specifically the throwing arms of their pitchers, can tolerate, and in some cases may have breached it. Two groups of pitchers who, almost uniformly, are reaching the point of diminishing returns, if not full-system failure.Consider Brandon Morrow. On Sunday night, the right-handed reliever was supposed to have been off-limits for the Dodgers, having already gone beyond his established limitations by pitching in four straight games, bisected by one off-day, and in 11 of the Dodgers' 12 total postseason games to that point.
But he was also one of the Dodgers' two or three best – responsible for nearly a quarter of the 28 consecutive scoreless innings the Dodgers' bullpen had amassed at one point this postseason -- and he thought he had an inning in his arm Sunday night. He phoned the dugout and told Manager Dave Roberts he wanted to pitch the seventh, with the Dodgers up by a run – a decision Morrow would later characterize as "selfish."
"In the seventh inning," Roberts said, "you can't turn him down."
Morrow would last just six awful, lifeless pitches, two of which left the park, propelled by the bats of Astros stars George Springer and Carlos Correa, two others of which produced hits and still another of which bounced away from the catcher for a wild pitch. By the time the Dodgers could get another reliever ready, Morrow had given up four runs and coughed up the lead. Roberts was only taking the word of one of his most trusted men, but with the benefit of hindsight it looks like a borderline case of medical malpractice.
The ranks of the overcooked and the flat-out burnt is long. It likely includes Astros closer (in name only) Ken Giles, a stalwart all season but someone the Astros studiously avoided Sunday night – even as they blew leads of 11-8 and 12-9 -- and probably can't put into another high-leverage situation the rest of the series.
There is no telling what the Dodgers can expect any more from Kenta Maeda or Kenley Jansen -- the latter widely regarded as the best closer on the planet, but who appeared a shell of himself, his velocity down, in giving up the winning run on Bregman's single Sunday night – or the Astros from top relievers Will Harris, Chris Devenski or Joe Musgrove. Now, at the end, the Dodgers are almost surely paying dearly – in dead arms – for the decision to pull Hill after four mostly effective innings in Game 2, and Darvish's subsequent, 1 2/3-inning dud in Game 3. Both exits, one forced and one unforced, necessitated long, grueling nights for the Dodgers bullpen, the toll of which has brought them to this point of danger.
And now, Roberts must stitch together enough outs out of the tattered shreds of his pitching staff to beat these Astros. He must do it with some key pieces diminished, and others completely useless. He must do it without getting anybody hurt. And if he manages to do it Tuesday, he has to come back on Wednesday and do it again."
………. Dave Sheinam Washington Post
Game #1. 9 innings. 3 -1 Dodgers win. 4 relief pitchers. 2 hours 28 minutes. Both SP's allowed to go 6+ innings.
Game #2. 11 innings. 7 - 6 Houston win . 14 pitchers used, 4 hours 19 minutes. Rich Hill for LA. has 4 IP, allows 3 hits 1 ER and is yanked. 8 relief pitchers follow in the loss. Insane managing.
Game 3. 9 innings, 5 - 3 Houston. 8 pitchers used. 3 hours 46 minutes. L.A. uses 5 relief pitchers in loss.
Game 4. 9 innings, 6 - 2 Los Angeles win. 9 pitchers used. 3 hours 6 minutes. Charlie Morten Houston: 6 IP.
3 hits. 1 ER. 7 K's and is yanked. 4 Astro relief pitchers follow in 3 innings and lose the game. Insane managing.
Game 5. 10 innings, 13 - 12 Houston. 12 Relief Pitchers used. 5 hours 17 minutes. Insane managing.
Game 6. Pre-game chatter. Both managers concerned their BP's are fatigued. WTF!! Ya Think?! Grow a pair and allow your very good SP to win the game for you and quit "over-managing"
.... some thoughts on the recently concluded series between the Yankees and Indians.
The Atlanta Braves for a good part of the 90's were a strong team every season, usually finishing first or second in the NL East. This was primarily due to their very strong SP during that span. Some people even credited Bobby Cox with that great run also since they claim he ran a 'loose' clubhouse and the players allegedly loved him. That may be true but here is the purpose of this post. When it came to playoff time the Braves woefully underperformed. They beat the Indians for a World Series title and lost one to the Yankees and that's it. Most years they failed to get past the opening round.
Why? Their great SP wasn't always so great and their pretty good hitters were consistently shut down by their opponents very good SP and BP's. It also appeared the 'relaxed' and 'contented' Braves could not find the next higher gear which is vital in the playoffs and Bobby Cox had no way to make that happen. That scenario may very well play out next season - and seasons to come - in Cleveland. A supposedly much-loved manager, loose clubhouse, great SP (that is not-so-great come playoff time) and a line-up of hitters who choke under the pressure. Braves and Indians; so much similarity.
I find it fascinating that MLB claims they want to speed up the games that now average 3+ hours but at the same time have added Instant Replay ..... to supposedly get umpire calls correct. Not only does this not shorten games but it sometimes has been a complete joke. The latest replay joke was last night in the Nationals and Cubs game pivotable loser-go-home contest.
Here is what took place on the controversial non-call involving the Cubs Javier Baez and the Nationals catcher Matt Wieters. Baez missed a pitch that then got away from Wieters, and two Cubs runs crossed home plate in the process. But here is the problem: Baez hit Wieters in the mask with his swing. At that point, it’s a dead ball and those two runs do not score. That has been a rule for DECADES, all the way from Little League to the Pro's. Amazingly the entire umpiring crew missed what happened but that’s supposedly why there’s replay, so that situations such as this one can be ruled on properly.
Ah, but there lies the problem. MLB in their always questionable wisdom has decided this situation is one of those things that’s NOT reviewable. lmao. Don’t ask me why, as I cannot explain MLB’s stance that says some things can be reviewed and others cannot. This make no sense at all.
There’s a really simple solution to this problem. Make everything reviewable at the discretion of the crew chief. There’s no question had the play been reviewed, the contact with the mask would have been conclusively seen and the two runs don’t score.
I think the current MLB playoff format is a joke and as a result we will no longer be publishing any MLB handicapped picks. Far to often since it's inception the Wild Card team has advanced at the expense of a superior, division winning team. The fans may love the 'ginned up' atmosphere' but to a purist like myself it wreaks of show biz. Probably the all-time worst playoff joke was the 2014 World Series when two wild card winners got hot for a 2 week stretch and ultimately faced each other in the world series. lmao. Or, how about the 2002 wild card winner Anaheim Angels who went on to win the world series? Or the Boston Red Sox in 2004? I could go on and on but I am sure get the point.
I would suggest if MLB really wanted to reward division winners they would reward them with 4 home games
in the 5 game series. If the wild card winner could then win 4 games on the road, good for them
.......... muses about ballgames and life in Las Vegas - particularly the long hours spent in the casino sports book surrounded by sexy cocktail waitresses, degenerate horse players, the Whale Man's entourage ....and the sheer terror of having Under 7 with 5 runs already on the board by the fourth inning".