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Washington (-150) vs. Miami (+120)

Washington projected starters: Stephen Strasburg, Dan Haren, Taylor Jordan
Miami projected starters: Nathan Eovaldi, Jose Fernandez, Kevin Slowey

The Washington Nationals are six games behind Atlanta for 1st in the NL East, and with this series against the Marlins before the All-Star break the Nationals can ill-afford to drop even further behind the Braves.
Washington has played two series’ against the Marlins this year although both were finished by mid-April. The Nats are 5-1 SU in those six contests; including a 2-1 SU mark here in southern Florida. Of the six projected starters for these three games only Strasburg, Haren and Slowey have seen action against these opponents this year and Strasburg is the only one with a victory.

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The Nationals ace pitched very well on opening day to earn a 2-0 shutout victory at home against the Marlins and Washington followed that game up with a 3-0 victory the next time out against Slowey. Washington does have a disadvantage in facing two pitchers (Eovaldi and Fernandez) that they haven’t seen before and that’s part of the reason why the line seems a little low for this series. Although Haren’s poor pitching this year (lost 8-2 to Miami in his start) and young Taylor Jordan failing to win a game so far this season has something to do with the price too.

That being said, I think there is too much value on Washington at -150 to pass up here. They are clearly the better team and after losing three of four in Philly this week they need to go into the break on a good note. The 5-1 SU record against Miami speaks for itself and with their ace Strasburg on the hill to kick things off (Washington is -190 tonight) the only way you can go here is with the road team.

Take Washington to win the series.

Boston (+140) vs. Oakland (-170)

Boston projected starters: John Lackey, Jon Lester, N/A
Oakland projected starters: Jarrod Parker, A.J. Griffin, Bartolo Colon

Boston wraps up a long West Coast trip with this series in Oakland before the break and they are hoping that their bats stay hot after a strong performance in Seattle. The Red Sox scored 34 runs against the Mariners in four games (winning three) and they will need that offense against an Oakland team that’s fighting for 1st in the AL West.

Despite having similar records on the year, Oakland is laying some heavy chalk in this series against the Red Sox. The fact that Oakland was 6-0 SU at home last year and 24-8 SU at home vs. the Red Sox in their last 32 meetings has a lot to do with it but this is a much better Boston team than in year’s past.

The Red Sox are such a patient offensive team that they force opposing pitchers to throw a lot of pitches and come into the heart of the strikezone and when they do Boston makes them pay. Those 34 runs in four games vs. Seattle isn’t exactly an anomaly as the Sox are scoring 5.23 runs per game this season and that number actually goes up to 5.28 on the road. The Sox took two of three from the A’s back in Beantown in late April and all three games went well over the posted total. Boston knocked Griffin (Game 2 projected starter) out after four innings in a 9-6 victory and Jon Lester escaped with a 6-5 win in the series finale. If those two results hold in this series Boston will come away with another series victory.

The past record in Oakland is a bit worrisome but the Red Sox have shown their resiliency on the road all season (26-21 SU) and at +140 they are priced very well in this spot.

Take the Red Sox.

  
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