Edmonton Oilers vs. Anaheim Ducks
NHL Betting Pick: Oilers +119 odds (April 26th 2017)
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Scott “The Bulldog” Rickenbach Wednesday NHL Free Pick Edmonton Oilers Money Line (+) @ Anaheim Ducks @ 10:30 ET: Layoffs can be tough on a hockey team and we saw that this season with the mandatory bye week causing all sorts of issues when teams came back from the bye and got clobbered. Certainly playoff time is not exactly the same situation as the way the new bye week worked in regular season action but, the point is, Anaheim may not be as sharp as they would like to be tonight as they have not played since last Wednesday! After a full week off, even though the Ducks were able to get a little healthier, the trouble is that they could be a little “off” in terms of their timing tonight after sweeping the Flames in Week 1. The Oilers were ultra impressive in the first round too as they got by the Sharks.
The benefit for Edmonton as they have had some time off but certainly not too much as they enter this game off of 3 days of rest. That said, don’t be surprised if the Oilers prove to be the sharper team tonight. Edmonton was 4-2 when playing with 3 or more days of rest this season and 19-8 when off of a win by a multiple-goal margin. The Ducks went just 10-14 this season when off of a win by 2 goals or more and, again, the full week off is likely to prove to be too much. Grab the underdog value here. Free Pick on EDMONTON OILERS money line late Wednesday night. Best of luck, Scott “The Bulldog” Rickenbach
Oakland Athletics vs. Los Angeles Angels
MLB Betting Pick: Angels -135 odds (April 26th 2017)
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The set-up: The Angels salvaged a split of their four game series against Toronto with a 2-1 win on Monday. They then opened this three-games series with the A’s with a second straight 2-1 victory. After nine scoreless innings last night, each team led off its half of the 10th with a home run but LA won on a walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th. Oakland’s five-game winning streak was snapped in an 11-1 home loss to Seattle on Sunday and now for teh second straight game, the team’s offense has produced just one run. The two teams play the middle game of this series tonight with Oakland at 10-10 and LA at 10-12.
The pitching matchup: Sean Manaea (1-1 & 4.43 ERA) gets the nod for the A’s and Matt Shoemaker (0-1 & 4.98 ERA) will get the ball for the Angels. Manaea picked up his first win of 2017 in his last outing, a 3-1 Friday win over Seattle in which hse pitched six innings, allowing one run on five hits. He escaped with a no-decision against Los Angeles in his season debut back on April 4, after surrendering four runs and five hits in six innings. He’s 0-1 with a 4.34 ERA in three starts against the Angels (A’s are 0-3). Shoemaker has just two runs in three of his four starts this season but has yet to record a win. One of those two-run outings came opposite Manaea earlier this month, when he allowed four hits and walked three in a no-decision at Oakland. Shoemaker owns a 4-2 record and 3.51 ERA in 10 career starts against the Athletics (Angels are 7-3).
The pick: Shoemaker has pitched well enough to have a win or two so far in 2017 and is overdue for some good fortune. He’s done well against the A’s in his short career (see above) and I say he gets his first win of 2017, right here. Take the Angels.
Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Clippers
NBA Point Spread Pick: Jazz +3.5 (April 25th 2017)
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Scott “The Bulldog” Rickenbach NBA Tuesday Free Pick Utah Jazz (+) @ Los Angeles Clippers @ 10:35 ET – It looks easy to take the home team minus the short number to bounce back off of a loss. Of course we all know what generally happens when something looks a little too easy. The fact is that nothing is easy and, in this particular case, I like the value with the points being offered as the Clippers certainly aren’t the same team without Blake Griffin. The road team and home team have alternated wins and losses so far in this series and I look for that pattern to continue here.
The Clippers are on a 2-5 ATS run the last 3 seasons when tied up in a playoff series and all the pressure is on them to win here at home and take this crucial Game 5. As has been evidenced in prior playoff series, the Clips don’t often handle pressure very well. As for the Jazz, they are shooting the ball very well right now and also are off of their best game on the boards in Game 4. Certainly Griffin’s absence in Game 4 helped sway the battle of the boards to be a little more in favor of the Jazz and I look for that trend to continue tonight. The Jazz are loose, confident, and healthier than the Clippers. That is the perfect recipe for a dangerous dog. Free Pick on the UTAH JAZZ in late night Tuesday NBA action. Best of luck, Scott “The Bulldog” Rickenbach
Los Angeles Angels vs. Toronto Blue Jays
MLB Prediction: Toronto +115 odds (April 24th 2017)
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The set-up: The Blue Jays and Angels wrap up their four-game series in Anaheim tonight. The teams split a pair of one-run decisions Friday and Saturday, before the Blue Jays won 6-2 on Sunday, scoring all their runs in the 8th and 9th innings. The 5-13 Blue Jays will now look to capture their first series win of the season in Monday’s game against the 8-12 Angels.
The pitching matchup: Francisco Liriano (1-1 & 5.11 ERA ERA) gets the nod for Toronto up against the Angels’ Jesse Chavez (1-3 & 5.00 ERA). Liriano’s 2017 debut was a disaster, as he retired just one batter at Tampa Bay, while surrendering five runs on three hits and four walks. Somehow, he escaped with a no-decision in that outing. He then allowed two runs and struck out 10 over 6 2/3 innings in a hard-luck loss to Baltimore on April 13, before scattering four hits over 5 1/3 scoreless innings of a victory over Boston on Wednesday. While he’s bounced back from that awful debut with two solid starts, he’s struggled against the Angels in his career, going 2-6 with a 6.20 ERA in 10 starts (teams are 4-6) and a relief appearance. Chavez was originally slated to face Toronto on Sunday but he pitched one inning of relief in Friday’s game (a 13-inning contest), allowing three runs on four hits and suffered his third consecutive loss. He had allowed just one earned run in two of his first three starts but went just 1-1 in those outings. Chavez, who had a pair of brief stints with the Blue Jays, seeks his first career win over them after going 0-4 with an 8.53 ERA in four appearances (two starts / 0-2).
Check out Larry Ness’ Blue Jays vs. Angels pick here
The pick: The Blue Jays have reached the last two AL championship series, so they can’t be as bad as their 2017 start. Meanwhile, the Angels have lost 10 of their last 12, after opening 6-2. How can one trust Chavez as a starter plus the team’s bullpen running on empty. The relief corps allowed the bulk of the runs Friday in an 8-7, 13-inning loss, was touched for three late runs in a 5-4 win Saturday, then gave up six runs in the last two Toronto at-bats in a 6-2 loss Sunday. Toronto gets that first series win of 2017.
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