Philadelphia Phillies vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Pick: Over 7.5 +100 odds (October 5th 2011)
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Oswalt and Jackson are capable of spinning gems, but I don’t expect them to do so in this spot. The Cards have nothing to lose as they face elimination and are going to get their cuts in. The Phillies have the security of playing Game 5 at home, if necessary, so there’s no reason for them to tense up here. Consider that the over is 10-1 in Jackson’s last 11 starts versus teams that are outscoring their opponents by .5 or more runs per game on the season. We have seen an average of 10.6 runs scored in these contests. Also, the over is 2-0 in Oswalt’s last 2 starts versus the Cards. The over is 5-1 in the Cardinals’ last 6 overall, 16-7-2 in the Phillies’ last 25 playoff games and 11-5-2 in their last 18 playoff games as a favorite. Bet the Over.
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Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Pick: Chicago Cubs +126 odds (July 29th 2011)
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Cubs +125 (1* FREE PLAY) Garza is on fire right now and it’s about time. He’s got a 1.14 WHIP along with a 1.29 ERA over his last 3 starts. In the beginning of the year he battled some unlucky play as batters were get on base via errors and just by luck as his batting average on balls in play were just outrageous. That has started to come back down to normal and his xFIP is at 3.04 while his ERA at 3.74. We feel he’ll finish the year somewhere in between that. He goes up against the Cardinals and newly acquired Edwin Jackson. Jackson has pitched in the National League before, but has struggled vs. the Cubs. Oh before we get to Jackson the heart of the Cardinals line up of Berkman, Holliday, and Pujols are just 5-30 vs. Garza.
Edwin Jackson traded again. He’s been unlucky with a .333 BABIP, but we don’t think it’s a good spot for him in his first start with his new team especially vs. the Cubs who have really killed him over his career. He’s got 3 starts since last season and he’s pitched 15 innings giving up 17 ER with a 1.87 WHIP. He’s also struggled in 2 starts at Busch Stadium with a 1.50 WHIP. We feel he will be a strong bet down the line but for now I’d stay away and we are backing a hot pitcher in Matt Garza.
Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Indians
MLB Baseball Pick: Chicago White Sox -106 odds (July 23rd 2011)
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I’m siding with the Chicago White Sox Saturday as a small road favorite over the Cleveland Indians. Few starters have owned the Indians quite like Edwin Jackson of the White Sox. Jackson is 8-1 with a 2.80 ERA in 12 career starts against Cleveland. He’ll be up against David Huff, who has posted an 8.05 ERA and 1.852 WHIP in three career starts against Chicago. Huff has allowed 14 earned runs, 4 home runs and 29 base runners over 15 2/3 innings in those three outings.
Jackson is coming off a complete game shutout over the Detroit Tigers and just seems to be getting stronger as the season goes on. Cleveland is 0-7 vs. teams whose hitters strike out 6 or less times/game this season. Jackson is 8-1 in road games after a win over the last 2 seasons. The Indians are 8-19 with double revenge – 2 straight losses against opponent this season. The Indians are 1-6 in Huff’s last 7 starts. The White Sox are 6-0 in their last 6 Saturday games. Chicago is 5-1 against Cleveland this season. Take the White Sox Saturday.
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Detroit Tigers vs. Chicago White Sox
MLB Pick: Detroit Tigers -119 (June 4th 2011)
The White Sox took the opener of this series last night behind another solid pitching performance from Mark Buehrle. Chicago has now won four straight games which included a sweep at Boston and it has now won six of its last seven home games. That is actually good for us as it is keeping this number down in what is a pitching mismatch going for Saturday. The victory on Friday snapped a three-game skid against Detroit this season and a nine-game skid going back to last season.
Detroit had won four in a row prior to last night and it is still staying within reach of the Indians in the American League Central, trailing by 4.5 games. The offense has come to life after a horrible stretch where the Tigers scored three runs or fewer in 12 of 14 games, averaging 2.8 rpg, as they have averaged 5.5 rpg over their last four games. The pitching kept them afloat during that long stretch and that should remain the case tonight. The White Sox have averaged just 2.6 rpg against Detroit pitching over that 10-game stretch.
Detroit sends Justin Verlander to the hill and he is having a sensational season once again. After starting the season with 10 straight quality starts, Verlander had his first bad outing of the year as he allowed six runs in six innings against Tampa Bay two starts back. He bounced back by tossing 7.2 shutout innings against the Red Sox last Sunday. He faced the White Sox for the second time this season and since the start of 2009 he is 6-0 with a 1.85 ERA in six starts including three complete games.
Chicago has gotten a very inconsistent season from Edwin Jackson and he is coming off another poor outing where he allowed six runs in 6.2 innings against the Blue Jays. To his credit he has been much stronger at home than on the road but he is just not in good form right now. It is actually being talked about that he will be headed to the bullpen soon. Facing his former team has not been a good thing as he has a 6.98 ERA over his last three starts against the Tigers. The White Sox are 2-6 in Jackson’s last eight starts. 3* (973) Detroit Tigers -Matt Fargo (Touthouse.com MLB Picks)