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Report: Cubs the clear front-runner for Russell Martin
Martin is the prize of this off-seasons class of free agent catchers after batting .290/.402/.430 with 11 home runs and 67 RBI for the Pirates. He continues to draw praise for his defense, pitch framing, and handling a pitching staff as well.
In the event the Cubs do land Martin, they will likely make 27-year-old catcher Welington Castillo available.
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World Series Game 2 Betting Guide 2010-10-28
San Francisco leads series 1-0
Thursday, 7:55 p.m. EDT
Sportsbook.com Betting Lines: San Francisco Giants -117, Texas Rangers +107 Total: 7
After a surprising offensive output in Game 1, the Giants look to take a 2-0 series lead when they send Matt Cain (13-11, 3.14 ERA) to the mound Thursday. Left-hander C.J. Wilson (15-8, 3.35 ERA) will try to restore order for Texas.
Cain picked up his first win of the postseason last time out, throwing seven shutout innings and allowing just two hits in Game 3 of the NLCS. In two playoff starts, Cain has yet to give up an earned run through 13.2 innings of work. Including those games, the right-hander has been quite impressive at home this year, going 9-4 with a 2.60 ERA. Cain’s one career start against Texas came last year. He earned a win after throwing eight innings of three-hit, one-run ball en route to a 2-1 San Francisco win. With the win in Game 1, the Giants have now won four consecutive games against Texas dating back to 2009.
It’s been a bit of a bumpy ride for Wilson since dominating Tampa Bay in his postseason debut. He took the loss in Game 5 of the ALCS against New York, lasting just five innings and giving up six runs (five earned) on six hits and four walks. His postseason record now stands at 1-1 with a 3.93 ERA. Including the playoffs, the southpaw has had decent success on the road this year, posting a 5-6 record with a 3.03 ERA. Thursday marks the first time in his career that Wilson will face San Francisco.
A couple MLB betting trends at Sportsbook.com indicate that the Giants represent the better value for World Series betting fans.
Play On - Home teams when the money line is +125 to -125 (SAN FRANCISCO) - with a starting pitcher whose strikes out 5 or more batters per start, with a hot starting pitcher- ERA less than 2.50 over his last 5 starts. (82-38 over the last 5 seasons.) (68.3%, +42 units. Rating = 3*).
Play Against - Road teams (TEXAS) - with a starting pitcher whose WHIP is 1.300 or better on the season-AL, starting a over rested pitcher who is working on 7 or more days rest. (72-34 over the last 5 seasons.) (67.9%, +37.2 units. Rating = 3*).
For additionally World Series statistics and betting odds head over to Sportsbook.com. Then after crunching the numbers be sure and take advantage of the most generous MLB dime lines in the industry.
MLB: Monday Night Baseball Betting Preview2010-06-07
The Philadelphia Phillies offense seems to be coming around, but it still has a long way to go to get back to its normal prolific clip. The Phillies try to bounce back from a tough loss and take three of four from the San Diego Padres in Monday night’s series finale at Citizens Bank Park. It is ESPN’s Monday Night Game of the Week and the host Phillies are priced at -180 according to Sportsbook.com.
Philadelphia (30-25, -4.7 units) entered this set with the Padres having lost nine of 11 with its offense in shambles, plating a mere 14 runs over that stretch. The Phillies scored nine runs in winning the first two games against San Diego, but the team’s formidable lineup is still not producing as expected.
In Saturday’s 6-5, 10-inning loss, Philadelphia squandered several scoring chances, leaving 15 men on base and going 3 for 15 with runners in scoring position.
Although Philadelphia’s seven-game winning streak over San Diego ended Sunday, the Phillies seem to have a good chance of bouncing back with Cole Hamels (5-4, 4.20 ERA, 1.461 WHIP) set to pitch in the finale.
Hamels, 3-0 with a 3.49 ERA in four starts against the Padres since 2008, is taking the ball in his normal spot in the rotation despite having an abbreviated start last time out and he and the Phillies are 20-7 when he starts after his team scored five or more runs in the previous contest.
San Diego (33-23, +12.6 units) won for the ninth time in 14 games Sunday, and can avoid losing its first series since being swept in a three-game set by the Los Angeles Dodgers from May 14-15 with a victory in the finale. The Padres are 11-4 after three or more consecutive road games this season.
The top of the Padres’ lineup led the way Sunday with the 2-3-4 hitters - Jerry Hairston Jr., Adrian Gonzalez and Chase Headley - going a combined 10 for 15 with four runs. Gonzalez homered and drove in three, and is 9 for 19 with two homers and eight RBIs in his last four games. What is especially impressive is the Friars’ 12-4 (+10.4 Units) record against the money line playing against a good team (Win Pct. 54% to 62%) this season.
Wade LeBlanc (2-4, 3.67, 1.551) hopes San Diego’s offense can replicate that effort in the series finale as the left-hander tries to snap a four-start losing streak. LeBlanc, who has a 2.35 ERA in eight starts against NL opponents this season, hasn’t pitched badly in three games during the losing skid - recording a 3.50 ERA - but hasn’t received a single run of support in those outings. Against the New York Mets on Tuesday, LeBlanc allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings of a 4-2 loss.
This will be LeBlanc’s first career appearance against the Phillies.
Sportsbook.com has Philadelphia as -180 ML favorite with total of 9, yet they are just 5-10 (-13.3 Units) vs. the money line as a home favorite of -175 to -200 over the last two seasons and 29-11 UNDER with an on-base percentage of .310 or worse over their last 20 games. San Diego’s bullpen held the Phillies in check yesterday and are 19-12 (+9.0 Units) against the ML after the pen gave up no runs and 10-2 UNDER on the road when the total is 8.5 to 10 this season.
This is the ESPN Monday Night matchup which starts at 7:00 Eastern with the Phils a shocking 1-8 at home against left-hand opposing starters.
StatFox Power Line – Philadelphia -132
MLB: Questions for World Series Game 6 2009-11-04
Tonight either the New York Yankees win a 27th World Series or are pushed to a deciding Game 7. The beauty of a series is it evolves and takes on a life of its own, which is particularly true in baseball since every game involves two new starting pitchers that alter the dynamics from game to game. For the baseball bettor that means breaking the contest down into components in order to pick the right side or total. Here are Game 6’s most pressing questions. After reviewing these, decide whether or not the Yankees are worth the price of -200 at Sportsbook.com.
Can Andy Pettitte pitch effectively on three days’ rest?
This is the leading mystery coming into this confrontation and even Pettitte admits he has no idea how his arm will react. When asked what it’s like to throw on short rest, Pettitte responded, “Man, I don't even remember the last time I went on three days' rest,"
In fact, it was September 30, 2006, when still a member of the Houston Astros. The left-hander is not an excitable type and will likely focus his attention on breaking pitches and off-speed stuff if the fastball isn’t up to typical standards. Pettitte is 4-6 with a 4.15 ERA in 14 career starts on three days' rest. With more adrenaline pumping in the playoffs, he is 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA on short rest. Sportsbook.com has New York as -200 money line favorites. With Pettitte on the mound, his record is 36-8 as a home favorite of -175 to -200 since 1997. (Team's Record)
Manager Joe Girardi better hope this works tonight, otherwise he will be facing the critics before tomorrow’s Game 7 with Burnett and Pettitte both failing in using this pitching strategy.
What’s that cool breeze?
Every year different player’s end up having struggles in the playoffs or World Series and right now two guys are in the heart of each team’s lineup. Mark Teixeira is batting below .200 in the Fall Classic and has been fanned 16 times since postseason action commenced. His body language suggests he’s pressing, swinging harder after each strike. New York could use his normally potent bat to wrap up this series, since he contributed to Yankees 60-23 record as a home favorite of -110 or higher this season.
Ryan Howard’s timing couldn’t be more off. His swing mechanics are a mess and he’s tied the World Series record for strikeouts with 13, with at least one more game to go. What makes hitting so intriguing is Howard could come up in the first inning and hit a soft liner the other way, just over Derek Jeter’s head and suddenly start sending rockets all around Yankee Stadium. Given Philadelphia is such a large underdog; his big bat could take the Phillies to 12-3 in road games after three or more consecutive home games this season.
How does manager Charley Manuel use Pedro Martinez?
Give Martinez credit, in two playoff starts he’s allowed three runs in 13 innings, striking out 11 and walking just two. Though the radar gun seldom sees 90 anymore, Pedro still struts around the mound like a peacock, acting like he owns the place. Look for Yankees hitters to be more patient this time and not be as inclined to swing at off-speed pitches out of the strike zone. It would be in Manuel’s best interest to start getting a pitcher ready once Martinez goes thru the batting order once, since he doesn’t have enough heat to keep New York batters honest and not sitting on off-speed tosses.
How cool is it right now to be Alex Rodriguez or Chase Utley?
For both these hitters, they are as ESPN’s Stewart Scott would say, “cool as the other side of the pillow”. They are working pitchers until they make the slightest mistake and rocketing shots like they are seeing batting practice speed beach balls. Each is capable of winning a game single-handily with the way they are swinging. Will Utley raise the Phillies playoff record to 21-8 the last two years and force a Game 7 or does A-Rod drop an “A-Bomb” (Yankees radio announcer John Sterling call) and New York is champion yet again and finishes the year 39-11 as a favorite of -175 to -250 this season.
What was learned from Game 5 that could determine winner for tonight?
The most important factor for the sports bettor is the OVER could well hit a fourth straight game. The first two contests of the World Series saw rested starting pitchers going deep in games, for a pair of Under’s. Since then, the two most power-laden team in the big leagues have hit homers in smallish parks against relief pitchers who have resembled an interleague matchup of the Orioles and Nationals.
If you take Mariano Rivera out of the equation, if either team trails buy almost any margin, they have to feel they can comeback against two bullpens short on getting outs quickly.