MLB Baseball Live Betting Weekend Preview at Bovada
This is the final weekend of interleague play in Major League Baseball this season, and fans and bettors should enjoy the current format of a few special series of AL vs. NL a year because with the Houston Astros switching from the NL West to the AL West in 2013, teams will play interleague games throughout the year because both leagues will have 15 teams.
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Bovada's live betting offerings for Thursday's interleague early-week series finales will be the L.A. Dodgers at Oakland A's (a matinee game) and Miami Marlins at Boston Red Sox, which is a national TV game on the MLB Network.
The Dodgers start reigning NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw as a big -155 favorite in Oakland but Kershaw has been off of late. He was 4-1 with a 1.90 ERA after a May 19 complete-game shutout vs. St. Louis. But since then, the lefty has won just one of five starts (two no-decisions) and allowed at least three runs in each to see his ERA climb to a still very good 2.86. Kershaw allowed at least three runs only three times after the All-Star Break a year ago. He is apparently battling a case of plantar fasciitis in the foot in which he pushes off the rubber, although Kershaw says it's fine.
The Red Sox, meanwhile, are like a yo-yo, winning a few games here and then losing a few straight there as they remain at the basement of the AL East. Boston can't get healthy, although it appeared to dodge a bullet Tuesday when second baseman Dustin Pedroia left the game after reinjuring a bad right thumb. Pedroia was kept out of Wednesday's game with the Marlins as a precaution but should return Thursday.
Boston starts Daisuke Matsuzaka as Dice-K looks for his first win of 2012. He has allowed seven runs and nine hits in 11 innings in losing his first two starts off Tommy John surgery. Boston is a solid -145 favorite, however, as Marlins starter Carlos Zambrano has allowed 11 runs in 4.1 innings in his past two starts combined. He does have a 2.36 ERA on the road in 2012.
The Yankees and Mets conclude this year's Subway Series with three games starting Friday, and all three will have live betting at the book. All eyes will be on Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey in that series, with Dickey projected to start Sunday night's ESPN game against CC Sabathia.
Dickey put his name in the MLB record books last time out by throwing a second consecutive one-hitter. That has happened only twice in the past nearly 70 years: Toronto's Dave Stieb in 1998 and Cleveland's Sam McDowell in 1966. Dickey is the first pitcher in modern baseball history (since 1900) with back-to-back one-hitters of at least 10 strikeouts.
He throws a knuckler 87 percent of the time and leads the NL in almost every major pitching category including, rather amazingly, strikeouts. Dickey throws his knuckler faster than those who have come before him: At 77 mph, Dickey's knuckleball generates more swings and misses than the common knuckleball. In his past five starts, Dickey is 5-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 52 strikeouts.
He didn't face the Yankees back on June 8-10 when the Yankees swept three games at home. They have owned the Mets all-time in interleague play. The Yankees are 52-35 against the Mets since interleague play began back in 1997. That's the best winning percentage by a team against an in-state opponent. In Friday's opener, Yankees lefty Andy Pettitte will set a record by making his 52nd interleague start; he is currently tied at 51 with Livan Hernandez.
The other live betting options at the book over the weekend are Dodgers at Angels (Friday), Mariners at Padres (Saturday and Sunday) and Giants at A's (Sunday).
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