Texas Rangers vs. Detroit Tigers
MLB Baseball Playoff Prediction: Under 8.5 -110 odds (October 11th 2011)
Both Colby Lewis and Doug Fister have handled the postseason pressure very well so far. Now, these two get to go at it in Game 3 of the ALCS tonight. I like the chances of a low-scoring affair in pitcher-friendly Detroit Tuesday. Lewis is 2-0 with a 2.95 ERA and 0.709 WHIP in his last three starts. He held the Rays to just one earned run in six innings of a 4-3 Texas victory in his lone ALDS start. Fister is 3-0 with a 0.39 ERA and 0.478 WHIP in his last three starts for Detroit. He limited the Yankees to just one run in five innings of a 3-2 victory in Game 5 of the ALDS. Lewis is 10-5 with a 3.33 ERA and 1.117 WHIP in 18 road starts this season, clearly pitching his best away from their hitter-friendly park in Arlington. Fister has been at his best at home, going 6-6 with a 2.45 ERA and 1.050 WHIP in 15 starts this year.
Fister is 20-9 to the UNDER in all games this season, and 12-1 to the UNDER after giving up 1 or less earned runs last outing this season. Texas is 10-1 to the UNDER in road games after 5 straight games where they stranded 7 or less runners on base this season. The Tigers are 13-2 to the UNDER in home games vs. AL teams scoring 5.2 or more runs/game on the season over the last 2 seasons. The UNDER is 35-16 in Lewis’ last 51 road starts. The UNDER is 5-1-2 in the last 8 meetings in Detroit. Bet the UNDER in Game 3 Tuesday.
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Texas Rangers vs. Detroit Tigers
MLB Playoffs Pick: Over 9 -110 odds (October 10th 2011)
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Both starting pitchers in Game 2 tonight will be in their most uncomfortable environments. Max Scherzer has been off his game on the road all season, while Derek Holland has been at his worst at home. I fully expect double-digit combined runs by game’s end tonight. Scherzer has posted a whopping 4.89 ERA and 1.391 WHIP in 16 road starts in 2011. The OVER has gone 9-5-2 in those 16 contests. Holland sports a 4.53 ERA and 1.566 WHIP in 17 home starts this season. The OVER has gone 13-3-1 in those 17 games. In fact, the OVER is 22-9-2 in Holland’s 33 starts in 2011. In his last start at Texas, Scherzer gave up five earned runs and nine base runners in 5 innings of a 13-7 Detroit victory. In his last start against Detroit, Holland yielded four runs and six base runners in 4 innings of a 11-4 Rangers triumph. Texas his hitting .293 and scoring 6.1 runs/game at home this season. Detroit is batting .285 and putting up 5.1 runs/game against left-handed starters this year.
Holland is 10-1 to the OVER as a home favorite of -125 to -175 this season. Detroit is 51-23 to the OVER after a game where the bullpen gave up no runs this season. The OVER is 6-1 in Tigers last 7 games vs. a left-handed starter. The OVER is 33-14-4 in Tigers last 51 games with the total set at 9.0-10.5. The OVER is 7-1-3 in Rangers last 11 games with the total set at 9.0-10.5. The OVER is 8-2-2 in the last 12 meetings in Texas. Bet the OVER in Game 2 Monday.
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St. Louis Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies
MLB Playoffs Prediction: St. Louis Cardinals +1.5 -140 odds (October 7th 2011)
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I’m siding with the St. Louis Cardinals on the Run Line Friday in what should be a low-scoring pitcher’s duel in Game 5. It is very likely that this game will be decided by a single run, just as two of the last three have been. Chris Carpenter did not pitch well in his first start in this series, but the Cardinals found a way to win Game 2 by a final of 5-4. Carpenter will be hungry to make amends and to pick up right where he left off at the end of the regular season. He went 2-0 with a 0.38 ERA in his last three outings, giving up just one earned run in 24 innings. It’s not like Roy Halladay was dominant in his first start, either. He gave up three runs in the first inning before settling down. I expect both starters to be on top of their games tonight. The Cardinals are 6-0 in Carpenter’s last 6 starts against the Phillies. They are also a perfect 5-0 in Carpenter’s last 5 road starts in Philadelphia. Philly is just 1-7 in their last 8 home games, and 0-6 in their last 6 games as a home favorite of -151 to -200. The Cards are 9-2 in their last 11 games as a road underdog, and 4-0 in Carpenter’s last 4 road starts. Bet St. Louis on the Run Line Friday. Get more expert MLB playoffs predictions from Jack Jones at Touthouse.com.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Pick: Under 7.5 -110 odds (October 7th 2011)
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We head back to Milwaukee for Game 5 of the NLDS series between the Diamondbacks and Brewers. It’s a rematch of Game 1 when the Brewers won 4-1. Yovani Gallardo made the start and gave up 1 run and four hits in eight innings striking out eight while walking only one. With the win, he moved to 6-0 all-time against Arizona; he has allowed just 3 earned runs in his last three starts against them. Overall, the righty has struck out 36 batters in his last 28 1/3rd innings while sporting a 1.59 ERA over that span. He is 11-2 with a 2.87 ERA in 17 home starts with 10 of those games going Under the total. Miguel Montero (1-7), Gerardo Parra (1-6), Ryan Roberts (0-3) and Chris Young (2-13) all struggle with the Brewers’ ace. Arizona is hitting .239 on the road while putting up just 4 runs per game. The Brewers’ bullpen is 16-11 with a 2.74 ERA at home blowing just 9 saves in 41 chances.
Ian Kennedy has an outside chance at the N.L. Cy Young award going 21-5 with a 2.95 ERA and 19 Unders in 34 starts. Kennedy’s start in Game 1 wasn’t a horrible one as he allowed 4 runs and eight hits in just under seven innings. He made one other start against the Brewers this season allowing four hits and two walks in seven innings. Kennedy has allowed just 6 runs and 14 hits in his last three starts beating the Giants and Pirates in that span. Prince Fielder (2-8), Corey Hart (1-5), Casey McGehee (0-7) and Rickie Weeks (2-10) struggle with the Diamondbacks’ ace. Kennedy will be backed by a bullpen that is 8-10 with a 3.48 ERA and only 8 blown saves in 41 road chances. We expect this game to be tightly contested and a low- scoring affair. Get more MLB picks from Steve Merril at Touthouse.com.