Starting pitchers are Francisco Liriano for the hosts and Eric Skoglund for the visitors. The Tigers won rather easily yesterday as they touched up southpaw Danny Duffy for 6 runs over 4.2 IP en route to a 12-4 win. However, it bears mentioning that Duffy was forced to start on just 3 days of rest and the only reason we didn't back the Tigers was that they have really struggled to hit lefties this season. Eric Skoglund has a ways to go to become a viable starter in this league but we believe he can have some success here against a Tigers lineup that have been scoring some runs lately but still shape up to be one of the worst hitting lineups in the league and in fact struggled last season in Skoglund's lone start against them. Liriano has pitched well this season but he can be very hit or miss and the Royals have done much better against southpaws this season than they have against right-handers. The Royals bullpen is a bit of a mess and was overworked yesterday but as the game was already a blowout, their best relievers should be available today with rest. The Tigers' bullpen has outperformed expectations but this was still one of the worst pens in the league last year and we believe their true performance is much closer to that. Visitors worth a flyer at these odds!
Starting pitchers are Hyun-Jin Ryu for the hosts and Stephen Strasburg for the visitors. We're not sure what to expect from Ryu this season but he has yet to slip up thus far and brings a sparkling 2.87 ERA to go with 19 strikeouts to just 6 walks in 3 starts this season. Ryu faces a Nationals team that's struggled mightily against southpaws this year and is a team we expect to regress in many hitting categories as well. Strasburg would be the ace on about 25 pitching staffs in baseball and despite a below average outing against the hard hitting Rockies, he appears as good as ever and shouldn't have too much trouble with a Dodgers team that he's typically pitched well against in the past. 2 solid bullpens back up the starters so we have to bet these positive odds on the under!
Starting pitchers are Tyler Anderson for the hosts and Yu Darvish for the visitors. Darvish hasn't looked well at all this season despite facing relatively soft hitting teams and enters this matchup with a 6.00 ERA. Darvish has also shown to be susceptible to the long ball which does not bode well to pitching at elevation at Coors Field, something he has not yet done in his career. Darvish also did face this Rockies team last season and it did not end well as he allowed 5 runs on 5 hits in just 4.1 IP, taking the loss. Tyler Anderson certainly doesn't have the name recognition of Darvish but like most Rockies pitchers, he does get his share of ground balls though that number did decline last year. The Cubs did explode for 16 runs yesterday but we do still have faith in the Rockies bullpen. This line is based too much on name recognition and we have to take the hosts at these odds!
Starting pitchers are Zack Godley for the hosts and Clayton Richard for the visitors. Richard is a fringe starter for one of the worst teams in the league but he draws a favourable matchup against a team that's really struggled to hit lefties and is in the midst of offensive woes as well as they wer eheld to 3 runs or fewer in their 5th consecutive game in the 4-1 loss to these Padres last night. Godley had a terrific start to the year but ran into some trouble last outing against the Dodgers, allowing 5 ER on 5 hits over 4 IP and uncharacteristically allowed 6 walks. While this alone wouldn't be reason to look to go against Godley but he did have some issues with the Padres last season and Richard actually had the game of his career against these same Diamondbacks last year, throwing a complete game and allowing just 1 run on 5 hits. We believe these odds are well worth it!
Starting pitchers are Bartolo Colon for the hosts and James Paxton for the visitors. Hats off to Bartolo Colon for almost doing the impossible against the Astros in his last start as the 44 year old retired the first 21 batters he faced before allowing a walk and a double and thus losing his perfect game/no-hit bid. We won't pretend to know where that came from but we suspect the Astros simply didn't prepare and of course, they paid dearly as they lost to the Rangers in a game they were 1.3 favorites. We see nothing of the sort with this Mariners team that's fighting and clawing for every win and coming off a brilliant performance, we expect a massive downturn for the aging Colon. We haven't even said much about James Paxton but he's an emerging star and already the ace of the Mariners rotation and looks to be back on track after a horrendous start to open the season. The Rangers are still missing Elvis Andrus, Rougned Odor and Delino DeShields and should provide minimal issues to the southpaw. Not that we believe it will come down to it but Seattle owns a clear advantage with their bullpen as well. Routine win for the visitors!
Prior to last weeks win against Aalborg (2-1), FC Copenhagen were defeated by both league leaders Brondby and Midtjylland. Nevertheless, last years champion have bounced back during the past two months, and seven wins from nine games isn’t a bad return for Stale Solbakken’s side. With six games remaining the hosts will be hoping to make up the four points overtake third placed Nordsjaelland. By doing so they would at least grab a European place for next season, and that in turn would mean more money for new players. Horsens had a great first half to the campaign, but they come into this on the back of nine without a win. Prior to last weeks 2-2 draw with Nordsjaelland the visitors had lost three games on the spin. One of them was a 5-1 in Brondby, thus proving they can easily be exposed! Take FCK to cover the spread!
Both teams are expecting to be without two regular players. For the host Costa and Borriello remain sidelined, while Roma won’t have Kolarov or Defrel available. With five matches remaining Spal are one place and one point above the relegation zone. However, Leonardo Semplici’s side have only won five from their 33 matches, but they come into this on the back of drawing six in a row. AS Roma have taken nearly twice has many points on the road (33) compared to Spal at home (17). Furthermore, they beat todays opponent 2-0 in the reverse fixture, and they come into this on the back of beating Genoa (2-1). However, better than all of that I Giallorossi reverse a 4-1 deficit against Barcelona to progress into the semi final of the champions league. In recent weeks Spal have stopped Fiorentina on the road, and they even held teams such has Atalanta and Juventus. Even a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Napoli tells us how tight the hosts defence has become, and the fact is they only conceded 3 goals over the last seven games. With champions league football approaching, Roma will have half an eye on that match against Liverpool. Spal on the other hand are looking solid and could be hard to break down! Double chance!
When Mikael Debeve took over at Toulouse he initially managed to get two league wins out of his players. However, since then four draws and four defeats have left Les Pitchouns just one place and point above the relegation zone. On a positive note Les Pitchouns have a game in hand, and they do have an excellent record against todays guest Angers. In fact, they already beat the visitors in the reverse match (0-1), and they are 4-2-1 over the last seven meetings. Angers are unbeaten in three, albeit two of those matches ended in draws. Nevertheless, the visitors appear to be safe with five matches remaining, since they are 8 points above the drop zone. We believe Toulouse will be egged on by the crowd and duly win!
Both of these clubs have had dreadful injury problems all season, and they still have and handful of players missing today. For Watford their will be no Tom Cleverley, Younes Kaboul, Nathaniel Chalobah, Gerald Deulofeu or Tommie Hoban, and Sebastien Prödl is still a doubt. In fact, coach Javi Gracia told the press he had several players with a stomach bug, so he will be hoping that they are all fit for today. Crystal Palace are set to be without Scott Dann, Jason Puncheon, Connor Wickham and Bakary Sako. Jeff Schlupp is another who will need to be passed fit, but things are looking good on that score. Other than that, the Eagles have found a bit of form and have pulled five points clear of the relegation zone. To be analytical the visitors have found more confidence since Zaha returned to the side. While not being a prolific scorer, he’s the one Palace player who can take apart most teams. It will be interesting to see if Hodgson will rely on goal shy Benteke again, because he’s said to have criticised his striker this week. Nevertheless, whoever is chosen can do a good job, and we can be sure the Eagles will be trying their best. The Hornets haven’t won in five, and amongst them was a 5-0 defeat to Liverpool. Last weeks 1-0 defeat to Huddersfield came from a lack of concentration, and confidence is at a low. A win today would put them on the same points has Watford, we believe it will happen in this London derby!
Starting pitchers are Chris Tillman for the hosts and Mike Clevinger for the visitors. We're still not sure what Chris Tillman is doing on a major league roster but the one time highly prized prospect enters this game at 0-3 with an 11.91 ERA with some even uglier peripherals that we won't bother to list. The fact remains that Tillman's all important velocity has continued to decline and with very little movement, he really has no business pitching in the major leagues. With all that said, the Orioles hitting has suffered too as aside from an 8 run outburst against the Tigers on Thursday (a game that they lost), they had been held to 5 runs or fewer in every game dating back to April 8th and 3 runs or fewer in 6 out of those 10 games. Jonathan Schoop remains on the DL and has exposed a lack of depth in their lineup. The Indians should be one of the best teams in the AL when all is said and done and despite their recent good form, they have had their offensive woes as well, being held to 4 runs or fewer in 8 of their last 11 games. Make no mistake, the Indians should get to Tillman early and often but we believe this just might be Tillman's swan song and we don't expect him to last more than a few early runs before the bullpen takes over. The Orioles relievers have underperformed but we still believe they are one of the better bullpens in the league and their middle relief is probably the part of the pen that we have most faith in right now. We haven't said much about Mike Clevinger but he shouldn't have too many issues with an Orioles lineup that's searching for answers as we described above. In any case, the Indians still have one of the best bullpens in the league and combined with Clevinger should comfortably limit the Orioles to no more than a few runs. As long as Tillman isn't made to suffer too long, we believe this bet should land!
Six of the last seven games between these two clubs ended in a draw. However, on this occasion neither side would be happy with a point, so we expect to see an all out assault. Unless something radical happens over the next four games Hamburg are doomed to play next season in the second league. Many would suggest Die Rothosen deserve to be dropped. Afterall, they have been perennial survivalists for several seasons now, and the owners are clearly failing to find the right players. We really can’t imagine the hosts escaping on this occasion, but we do expect them to beat poor traveller Freiburg. The visitors come into this having lost four games in succession, and last weeks 2-0 defeat in Mainz make them favourite for place 16. That in turn would mean a play-off against the third in the second Bundesliga, so at least they would have a chance of escaping the drop.
Second bet for free - We can’t accept new subscribers today (sorry) - We thought QUEST FOR LIFE tried hard last time, so we are not deterred by his five second places and no wins. Nevertheless, this race appears to be more competitive and he would need to improve. BIG ROBIN is a wrong favourite in our book, and he’s easy to take on at these type of odds. Like a lot of Philip Hobbs horses CONTENDED ran poorly following a win. COOLE MIX also under performed last time out, and he doesn’t look altogether reliable. BALLYVIC BORU is bred for testing ground, but all three wins came on going described has good. A couple of runs back and Brian Ellison’s lightly raced six year old was a wide margin winner of a bumper. Despite being very short in the betting for that we thought he was really impressive. In our opinion a mark of 117 appears lenient, so if wind surgery worked he should go very close.