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Weekend Series Prices

With the 2012-13 NBA season officially in the books now, it’s time for bettors to shift the majority of their attention to baseball for the next two months or so before NFL football returns. It starts with looking at some series prices for this weekend’s matchups and here are two that I have on the card:

Baltimore (+125) vs. Toronto (-155)

Baltimore’s projected starters: Jason Hammel, Miguel Gonzalez, N/A
Toronto’s projected starters: R.A Dickey, Chien-Ming Wang, Josh Johnson

It shouldn’t be too surprising that the Jays are laying this type of chalk in a series they get to start with their ace. They are the hottest team in baseball at the moment having won eight straight and starting pitching has a lot to do with it.

During those eight games, Toronto has only allowed more than two runs against twice and have posted two shutouts in that span. Starters have gone seven innings or more in five of those eight wins and when called upon the bullpen has been light’s out. Offensively they’ve come alive too, scoring five or more in six of those eight wins and doing it without the heavy reliance on the long ball that we saw earlier this season.  Yet, I’m backing the Orioles this weekend.

Toronto’s climb back to .500 has been great but eventually this winning streak will end and it’s likely that the hard-slugging Orioles will have a big part in that. Baltimore is 4-3 SU against the Jays this season, including splitting a four-game set late last month in the Rogers Centre. That four-game set saw Baltimore get one of their two victories over Dickey (6-5), and with Wang and Johnson’s velocity and control still big question marks at times, the Orioles won’t hesitate to send mistakes over the wall.

Baltimore is actually 2-0 SU against Dickey this season and the first of those wins came with Miguel Gonzalez duelling him. Gonzalez held Toronto to only six hits that day and one mistake in his final inning (a three-run homer to Encarnacion) made the game closer than it needed to be.

Take Baltimore at +135

Oakland (-135) vs. Seattle (+105)

Oakland projected starters: Bartolo Colon, Daniel Straily, Jarrod Parker
Seattle projected starters: Hisashi Iwakuma, Aaron Harang, Jeremy Bonderman

The Seattle Mariners are reeling right now after blowing a 7-0 lead to the Angels last night with Felix Hernandez on the mound. The 10-9 loss meant that Seattle lost three of four to the Angels and allowed more 10 or more runs twice. Seattle now gets to host an angry Oakland team that lost three of four in Texas themselves and is hungry for revenge.

Last weekend these two teams met in Oakland and it was the Mariners who came away with the series victory. But the two Mariners pitchers that got wins (Joe Saunders and Felix Hernandez) won’t be facing Oakland this time around and the A’s are ready to pounce.

Oakland managed to salvage Game 3 last week with a 10-2 victory over Hisashi Iwakuma as he got lit up early and often. Bartolo Colon was on the hill that day for the A’s and he should be able to outduel Iwakuma again tonight. Remember, before yesterday’s offensive explosion Seattle couldn’t hit a darn thing and Colon should be able to take advantage of that. He has been getting 6.3 runs/game in support all year so it’s no surprise that Oakland is 11-5 SU in his starts.

On Saturday and Sunday the A’s get to face Harang and Bonderman. Harange has been nothing but awful for the Mariners all year when up against good teams and Bonderman is still trying to gain traction being back in the majors for the first time in three seasons. The A’s know that if they are going to repeat as AL West champs these are the types of series they need to win and I believe they’ll get the job done.

Take Oakland -115.

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