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TAMPA BAY RAYS (43-41) at KANSAS CITY ROYALS (46-33)
In the second game of a double header, the AL Central leading Kansas City Royals will take on the Tampa Bay Rays at Kauffman Stadium.
The Rays have played much of this season in first place of the AL East, but a recent stretch of 11 losses in their last 14 games has knocked them down to third in the division; two games behind the Yankees. They have lost each of their last four series, three of which were against AL East opponents while also being swept over four games against the Cleveland Indians. They nearly took a sweep at the hands of the division leading Yankees in their last time out, but were able to pull out a nice 8-1 win on Sunday behind nine hits and help from New Yorks three errors. Going into Tuesday, 3B Evan Longoria (.277) was riding a four-game hitting streak and has multiple knocks in four of his last 10 outings. The Royals are once again the pacesetters for the central division, but have struggled recently with a 2-5 record since June 29th. After being swept by the Astros, they went back home and split four games with their divisional foes; the Twins. Each of their victories came by way of a 3-2 score and they did so on Sunday when they had just four hits and won on a walk-off double from 1B Eric Hosmer (.278). With another hitless night, 3B Mike Moustakas (.301) has seen his numbers drop recently and is a meager 4-for-36 (.111) with one extra-base hit in the past 10 contests. Tampa Bay seems to get solid pitchers out of nowhere and one of them will be starting this game in the form of RHP Matt Andriese (3-2, 3.24 ERA) as he goes against RHP Edinson Volquez (8-4, 3.48 ERA) of the host team. Before Tuesdays early game, the Rays had compiled a 23-16 road record, but it could prove difficult to improve on that mark against a Kansas City team which is 24-15 at home. The two clubs have seen each other 13 times since the start of the 2013 campaign with the Royals dominating to the tune of a 10-3 record while going 5-1 at home during the stretch. Trends show that Tampa Bay is 11-3 (.786) in July road games over the past two seasons while the Royals are 85-22 (.794) when the money line is +125 to -125 in the same timeframe. The trio of 2B Tim Beckham (Hamstring), OF Desmond Jennings (Knee) and C John Jaso (Wrist) are currently riding the DL as the situations of 3B Mike Moustakas (Personal) and OF Lorenzo Cain (Hamstring) are something to watch leading up to first pitch.
Andriese had a solid yet unspectacular minor league career leading up to the 2015 season, but injuries and a solid performance at triple-A (2.88 ERA in six games) earned him a trip to Tampa Bay. Hes made the most of his time with the team, showing great control (1.5 BB/9) in his 41.2 frames, but has yet to pitch more than six innings in any of his outings. Things could move in the other direction as the season progresses with batters currently hitting a measly .267 BABIP as he shows limited strikeout ability (5.8 K/9) and the propensity to give up the long ball (1.30 HR/9). Andriese should feel great after his last start in which he threw six innings of shutout baseball, giving up just one hit with five strikeouts (0 walks) against Boston. He has not seen the Royals in his short career and could benefit from both Moustakas (.301) and Cain (.305) missing the game as they lead the team in average and have 51 combined extra-base hits and a collective 5.2 WAR. On the other side of things, 2B Omar Infante (.231) is having his worst year since 2007 with his lowest ISO (.076) since his sophomore campaign and his highest strikeout rate (15.8percent) since 2007. The Rays bullpen has gone 14-17 with a 3.88 ERA (1.31 WHIP) and are 34-for-42 (81percent) in save chances. Brad Boxberger (2.48 ERA, 20 saves) is currently manning the ninth inning and is 20-for-22 (91percent) in his save opportunities while striking out 45 batters in 32.2 innings.
Volquez has bounced around a bunch since the past five seasons as a member of five different teams with ineffective results until last year. He had an ERA greater than 4.10 in each campaign from 2009-2013 as he struggled immensely from control, but he has dropped his walks down to a career low mark in each of the last two seasons, posting better than a 3.50 ERA each time. His strikeouts have taken a hit (6.9 K/9) compared to his career average of 8.0 K/9, but he has allowed very few homers (0.66 HR/9) as his HR/FBpercent is at a career-low mark of 7.4percent. In his career against Tampa Bay, Volquez has gone 2-0 (2-1 team record) with a 2.66 ERA (1.03 WHIP) and was great (8 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 K) in a victory over them last year. SS Asdrubel Cabrera (3-for-8, 1 HR, 2 RBI), 3B Evan Longoria (3-for-9, 3 RBI) and OF Grady Sizemore (2-for-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI) have had success in limited at-bats against the righty while 1B James Loney (2-for-15, 3 K) has had his issues in the matchup. Kansas City owns the best bullpen in baseball right now and they are 14-5 with a 2.03 ERA (1.03 WHIP), successfully saving 25-of-34 (74percent) games. Greg Holland (2.74 ERA, 16 saves) has one blown save on the year while giving up a mere 12 hits in his 23 innings on the mound.
Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays Game 5 Preview2010-10-12
Sportsbook.com Betting Odds: Tampa Bay Bet on NFL nfl football betting Online Bingo Online Bingo Rooms Sportsbook NFL Betting Lines
-113, Texas +103 Total: 6.5
You couldn’t ask for a better pitching match-up for tonight’s ALDS elimination game as the Texas Rangers visit the Tampa Bay Rays. The loser goes home while the winner advance to take on the New York Yankees.
It’s a rematch of Game 1 starters with Cliff Lee (13-9, 3.12 ERA including postseason) going up against David Price (19-7, 2.81 ERA including postseason). The baseball betting public thinks Tampa Bay will advance as 79% of the money is backing the Rays.
Lee was brilliant in Game 1, working around a first-inning, bases-loaded jam to throw seven innings of one-run, five-hit ball while striking out 10. The only blemish was a seventh-inning solo home run by Ben Zobrist. The performance was no surprise given Lee’s career postseason numbers – 5-0 with a 1.52 ERA and 0.80 WHIP in six career starts. He’s had success against the Rays over the years too, going 7-5 with a 2.56 ERA and a WHIP of just under 1.00 in 14 career starts against Tampa Bay.
David Price hopes to deliver a Game 5 win after a shaky outing in the series opener. The young left-hander was touched for five runs (four earned) on nine hits over 6.2 innings. He surrendered two home runs and struck out eight. It was another poor start against Texas, a glaring trend that the Rays hope to turn around on Tuesday. In five lifetime starts against the Rangers (including postseason), Price is 0-3 with a 6.92 ERA and 1.58 WHIP. However, he should enjoy the return trip home. Price was dominant inside the Trop this year, going 9-2 with a 1.96 ERA and .206 opponents’ batting average in the regular season.
The Rays were against the ropes down 2-0 in the series, but these betting trends discovered at Sportsbook.com think Tampa Bay will pull off the comeback and win its third straight game:
Play On - Home teams (TAMPA BAY) - cold hitting team - batting .240 or worse over their last 10 games against opponent starting a pitcher who gave up <=1 earned runs in his last 2 outings. (133-67 over the last 5 seasons.) (66.5%, +72 units. Rating = 4*).
Play On - Home teams when the money line is +125 to -125 (TAMPA BAY) - with a hot starting pitcher- ERA less than 3.00 over his last 10 games, with a hot bullpen whose ERA is under 3.00 the last 15 games. (39-16 over the last 5 seasons.) (70.9%, +23.4 units. Rating = 3*).
With the most generous dime lines in the business make Sportsbook.com the place for all of your MLB betting.
MLB: Twins and Tigers tangle for two2009-09-29
The next three days could determine the AL Central champion, and the most pivotal hours will come Tuesday. After rain washed out the scheduled opener of a four-game series, the division-leading Detroit Tigers and second-place Minnesota Twins will play a day-night doubleheader at Comerica Park. Detroit is favored in both games, but with the way the Twins have been playing, one would have to think that a sweep by the Tigers is unlikely. Therefore, the underdog bettor should bring home at least a small profit. Get the latest prices on the LIVE ODDS page at Sportsbook.com.
Detroit (83-72, +0.6) had a comfortable seven-game cushion in the division on Sept. 6, but that lead has dwindled to two as the Tigers have dropped 11 of 19 while the Twins (81-74, -1.9) are 11-2 since Sept. 13. Detroit has been tied or alone atop the division since May 10. No team has ever lost the title in the last week of the season after leading for that long.
“I thought it would go down to the wire and obviously that’s going to be the case,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “I hope my players have some butterflies, but there’s a difference between nervous and scared.”
Minnesota’s surge includes winning two of three home games against Detroit from Sept. 18-20. However, the scene has now shifted to Comerica Park, where the Tigers are 48-26 this season and 21-8 in home games in day games.
They’ll also start one of the AL’s top rookies and their All-Star ace in Tuesday’s doubleheader.
Rick Porcello (14-9, 4.14 ERA) is 4-1 with a 3.28 ERA in his last six starts, boosting his chances to win AL Rookie of the Year. The 20-year-old right-hander is 1-2 with a 3.71 ERA in three starts against the Twins this season, and has lost his last two - both at the Metrodome - while receiving no runs from his teammates.
Porcello beat the Twins at home May 5, giving up four hits over seven innings of a 9-0 victory. The Tigers are 18-11 in his starts this season and they have won the last five at home.
Justin Verlander (17-9, 3.41) will try to give the Tigers another needed victory in the finale and match his career high for wins, set in 2007. He helped Detroit avoid a three-game skid Thursday, striking out 11 over seven innings of a 6-5 victory in Cleveland.
The Twins haven’t been easy to tame for the right-hander, who has a major league-leading 256 strikeouts. Minnesota has scored five runs in successive wins against Verlander over the last two months, including an 11-0 victory in Detroit on Aug. 8. The Tigers ace is just 3-8 (-8.7 Units) against the money line vs. teams averaging 2.75 or less extra base hits per game this season. (Tigers Record)
The Twins will counter with Nick Blackburn (11-11, 4.18) and rookie Brian Duensing (5-1, 3.33), who has been excellent since moving into the rotation Aug. 22.
Blackburn has put a difficult stretch behind him, winning his last two starts by yielding two runs in 13 1/3 innings after going 1-7 with a 7.36 ERA in his previous 11 outings. The right-hander was masterful Monday night as he scattered eight hits and struck out six over seven innings of a 7-0 win in Chicago. Blackburn is 2-2 with a 3.66 ERA in five career starts against Detroit, but both losses have come at Comerica Park. He’s 0-3 with an 8.00 ERA in four career appearances there and he and his teammates are 0-12 in road games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last two seasons.
“This is what we all play for. It’s a blast,” Blackburn said. “Being in a race like this makes it even more exciting. There’s more pressure, but it makes us enjoy the wins even more.”
Duensing is searching for his sixth consecutive victory as a starter and fourth in as many starts. The left-hander earned a victory at Chicago on Wednesday night, giving up four runs and nine hits over 5 2/3 innings. He won his only start against Detroit on Sept. 18, allowing four hits in 6 1/3 innings of a 3-0 home victory.
The Twins start the day 18-5 on Tuesday’s and are an underdog according to Sportsbook.com in both games. In the first contest Minnesota is +120 with total of nine and the nightcap could be adjusted by outcome of first game, but for now the Twinkies at +150 with total lowered to eight. The Twins are 19-10 vs. AL teams allowing 4.7 or less runs a game in the second half of the season.
Detroit has won last 23 of 33 home games against right-handed starters, which is the situation in Game 1 and the Tigers are 11-3 when Verlander is favorite in home park.
Both games are available for viewing in home markets and MLB.TV. The first AL Central battle starts at 12:05 Eastern with the nitecap at 7:05E. StatFox Power Line – Detroit -105 (Game 1), Minnesota -119 (Game 2)