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Blue Jays vs. Braves Betting Odds & Prediction from Stephen Nover: May 18th 2017

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Atlanta Braves
MLB Betting Prediction: Blue Jays -115 odds (May 18th 2017)

Freddie Freeman is one such player. He was hit in the left wrist by a pitch yesterday and won’t play today. It’s not just Freeman putting up MVP numbers: an NL-best 14 homers, .341 batting average, .457 on-base percentage and an OPS of 1.211. The Braves have no one who can come close to adequately replacing Freeman. He is by far their best player. Light-hitting middle infielder Jace Peterson had just moved to third with Adonis Garcia on the DL. Now Peterson is likely to temporarily play first like he on Wednesday after Freeman was hurt. That was Peterson’s first time playing first base in his career. So the Braves suffer a double whammy – losing their best hitter and taking a hit defensively.

This is going to be a tough game for the Braves to be mentally focused. Not only is their concentration going to be off wondering about the status of Freeman, who had played every inning in every game until getting hurt, but the team is foaming at the mouth. The Braves are seething not only about Freeman getting hit by a pitch, but what they perceive as the hot dog antics of Jose Bautista, who is one of the more despised players in baseball.  Toronto, by contrast, is in stop-the-pain mode. The Blue Jays appeared to be turning their season around winning five in a row – until facing the Braves. Toronto is 0-3 in this series having lost the first two games at home to the Braves while falling, 8-4, in Atlanta last night. This is the Blue Jays’ last chance to salvage a game in the series.  The Blue Jays aren’t just favored, though, because Freeman is out. They have a pitching edge with a matchup of Marcus Stroman versus Julio Teheran.  Stroman has turned in six quality starts in his eight outings. He has a 2.87 ERA in his last five starts holding opponents to two runs or fewer in four of those starts. The Braves have never faced Stroman, giving him an element of surprise. Stroman has a proven track record during interleague going 5-1 with a 2.11 ERA in 11 games versus NL foes, including eight starts. Atlanta is 15-20 versus right-handed starters.  Teheran threw six shutout innings in a 3-1 victory during his last outing this past Saturday.

That was against the light-hitting Marlins at pitcher-friendly Marlins Park. The buy sign is not there yet on Teheran. He still hasn’t proven he can pitch well at Atlanta’s new SunTrust Park. Teheran is 1-3 with a hideous 8.14 ERA in four home starts this season.  Early returns of SunTrust Park are that it is far more of a hitter’s park than Turner Field because of the way the ball carries. Teheran hasn’t solved his new park. The Braves haven’t been a good play when Teheran pitches at home in quite a while going 5-17 during his past 22 home starts.  Teheran has been less than stellar in interleague games, too, going 3-8 with a 4.87 in 14 contests versus the AL. He has a 6.60 ERA in three games against Toronto. The Blue Jays raked him for five homers in 15 innings.   Toronto has been disappointing up to this point. Not having Josh Donaldson hasn’t helped. But the Blue Jays still have more wins that Atlanta. The Braves are in rebuilt mode. Minus Freeman they are near expansion bad.

(Editor’s note: Stephen Nover has won 21 of his last 25 premium/free plays! Don’t miss a single winner courtesy of sizzling Stephen.)   

White Sox vs. Angels MLB Odds & Pick from Scott Rickenbach: May 17th 2017

Chicago White Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels
MLB Pick: White Sox +158 odds (May 17th 2017)

MLB Run is a long-term 151-132 +$16,450 with star rated picks and just 2 losing days with MLB star rated picks the last 9 days! Consider joining him for a HUGE Wednesday! Scott “The Bulldog” Rickenbach MLB Wednesday Late Free Pick Chicago White Sox Money Line (+) @ Los Angeles Angels @ 10:05 ET – If the handicapper you follow is just giving you the biggest favorites on the board every day you have to start to wonder, don’t you? That’s not hard, right? Just go pick up a big money line favorite and then brag about winning percentage even though the units eat you up when those big faves go down and they always eventually do. You can get hot for a while on money line favorites because they are supposed to win, of course, as that’s why they’re favored in the first place. However, long-term, you will rarely (if ever) see a capper make a sizable profit in a money line sport by playing big favorites over the course of a full season. In any event, that is why plays like this are the ones that are worth an investment. Here is a big dog that we can grab and fade a very over-priced favorite. Yes, the Angels have won the first two games of this series but let’s not forget they previously lost 8 of 12 games heading into this ChiSox series. Getting the start for the Halos tonight is Matt Shoemaker. Though he’s off of a good home start, he previously was hit hard in ALL 3 home starts this season! He’ll be opposed by the White Sox Miguel Gonzalez and he is off of a rough outing but previously allowed 2 earned runs or less in 3 of his last 4 starts. Those 3 outings saw Gonzalez allow a combined 3 earned runs on just 12 hits over 23 very sharp innings! In other words Gonzalez is fully capable of a dominating outing and I like my chances here against an Angels lineup that, more often than not, has struggled at the plate this season. Look for an upset here as the ChiSox avoid the sweep! Free Pick on Chicago White Sox as a big dog on the money line in late night action Wednesday. Best of luck, Scott “The Bulldog” Rickenbach

Boston Red Sox vs. St. Louis Cardinals Odds & Pick from Larry Ness: May 17th 2017

Boston Red Sox vs. St. Louis Cardinals
MLB Betting Pick: Boston -110 odds (May 17th 2017)

Mookie Betts was the AL Player of the Week last week and opened the new week by homering and driving in two runs in Boston’s 6-3 victory on Tuesday at St. Louis. Betts batted .375 with three HRs and 11 RBI in six games last week and looks to lead the Red Sox to a two-sweep of their IL series with the Cardinals on Wednesday. Boston is just 20-18 on the season overall (four games back in the AL East), while the Cards fell to 2-2 on their eight-game homestand, leaving them at 21-16 but a half-game ahead of the Brewers for the top spot in the NL Central.

Tonight’s pitching matchup features Rick Porcello (2-5, 4.01 ERA) for Boston and Mike Leake (4-2, 1.94 ERA) for St Louis. Porcello has lost five of his last six starts, including an outing against Tampa Bay on Friday in which he yielded five runs (three earned) on nine hits over six innings. The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner is surely not having the kind of seson Boston had expected but I’ll note that he has given up three earned runs or less in four of his five losses this season. Porcello has made only two career starts against St Louis, going 1-1 with a solid 2.13 ERA.

Leake suffered his first loss in five decisions on Friday, despite allowing only two runs in six innings, although he matched a season high with three walks. Leake has only faced  Boston twice in his career and is 0-1 with a 5.25 ERA (teams are 0-2).

Bottom line is, Leake is no more than a journeyman pitcher who has so far in 2017, pitched over his head. Porcello is less than one-year removed from winning the Cy Young award and has pitched better in 2017 than his record shows. Ill back the Red Sox.

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