Posts Tagged ‘MLB’

Cincinnati Reds starter Homer Bailey joined several lists of exclusive clubs with last night’s no-hitter, including those active with multiple no-no’s and those who have thrown MLB’s back-to-back silencers.

But the one that stood out for me was that of no-hitting a defending World Series champion.

Dating back to April 24, 1917 – the first time it happened, when Yankees southpaw George Mogridge no-hit the Boston Red Sox – the feat has happened only 10 times.

Oddly enough, as hard as it’s been to accomplish, Bailey made it two straight years the defending champ was no-hit, as Johan Santana did it to the St. Louis Cardinals on June 12 last season.

Prior to Santana, the previous World Series champ to go down via no-hitter was in 1990, when Texas’ Nolan Ryan shut down the Oakland Athletics.

The A’s, coincidentally, have been no-hit three times when they’ve been defending champs, on July 30, 1973, by Texas’ Jim Bibby, the following season by Cleveland’s Dick Bosman, on July 19, 1974.

The most notorious no-hitter of a defending World Series champ has to be the one Don Larsen threw for the New York Yankees on Oct. 8, 1956, against the Brooklyn Dodgers in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series. The right-hander pitched the sixth perfect game in MLB history. It is currently the only perfect game in World Series history and is one of only two no hitters in MLB postseason history.

The following is the list of no-hitters over defending World Series champs:

  • April 24, 1917 … George Mogridge (Yankees) vs. Red Sox
  • August 30, 1941 … Lon Warneke (Cardinals) vs. Reds
  • August 25, 1952 … Virgil Trucks (Tigers) vs. Yankees
  • October 8, 1956 … Don Larsen (Yankees) vs. Dodgers
  • September 17, 1968 … Gaylord Perry (Giants) vs. Cardinals
  • July 30, 1973 … Jim Bibby (Rangers) vs. Athletics
  • July 19, 1974 … Dick Bosman (Indians) vs. Athletics
  • June 11, 1990 … Nolan Ryan (Rangers) vs. Athletics
  • June 1, 2012 … Johan Santana (Mets) vs. Cardinals
  • July 3, 2013 … Homer Bailey (Reds) vs. Giants

Here we are just a couple weeks into the season, and many of the age-old MLB betting systems have had several plays, including one of my favorites – the Major League debut. The idea behind playing a Major League pitcher in his debut start is the oddsmakers are throwing a line out on a young hurler who has never been tested in an official big-league game.

There have been five Major League pitching debuts thus far this season, and after the Pittsburgh Pirates won 10-7 yesterday over the Cincinnati Reds, the system is now 2-3 on the year, showing a small loss of .70 cents on the dollar.

  • April 2 – Hyun-Jin Ryu (Dodgers) -110 vs. Giants – LOSS, 0-3
  • April 4 – Brandon Maurer (Mariners) +155 vs. A’s – LOSS, 2-8
  • April 7 – Jose Fernandez (Marlins) +120 vs. Mets – LOSS, 3-4
  • April 9 – Nick Tepesch (Rangers) -125 vs. Rays – WON, 6-1
  • April 14 – Phil Irwin (Pirates) +140 vs. Reds – WON 10-7

Most first-timers won’t get their first start until after May 1, as there’s been an appropriate amount of time for managers to sort out their lineups and rotations, while also getting their minor-league reports and know who is ready to call up in spot situations.

Personally, I like to think the managers know what they’re doing, much more than the oddsmakers, when it comes to relying on a youngster to win his debut. After all, it’s the big-league skipper who is in constant contact with the pitching coaches and knows the right time for promotion.

The oddsmakers are generally making the rookies a small favorite to an underdog of any size on any given day, but what the smart bettor has to take into consideration is the rookie hurler is embarking on the biggest day of his life and I can tell you the first timers generally do very well over the course of the season.

So while the public bettors are driving the price up on the opposing pitcher, I’m looking for the value with the rookie right up until first pitch. What I really enjoy is seeing one of these first-timers go up against a seasoned veteran, as the big-name hurler usually drenches himself with overconfidence, thinking the game is an easy win. You mix that with the youngster having an extra dose of adrenaline to win his debut, and most times it’s the right ingredients for an underdog win.

The hidden intangibles one might not take into consideration come into play with this system, and we’re generally getting some of the best value we’ll ever get in any of the systems generally played year after year.

So the next time you get antsy looking at a game, and think it looks easy playing against a rookie cause it’s his major-league debut, you might want to take advantage of the value you’re getting with that youngster and take the chance with the kid who has no official major-league scouting report against major-league hitters and that nobody knows about.

Why? Cause more times than not he’s going to shock you.

BETTING BASEBALL – Every year, during the first month of the season, my Customer Service Department is inundated with questions about BETTING BASEBALL. I can tell you personally – and have been the past decade – it is one of the best ways to make money, and one of the simplest forms of handicapping.

I am actually shocked there aren’t more baseball bettors out there. For instance, of the $3.17 billion wagered on sports in Nevada in 2011, a mere 18 percent was on baseball, compared to the 42 percent placed on football. And yet in baseball there is so much more value, epecially knowing you’re dealing with day-to-day situations, a pitcher vs. batter scenario, travel schedules, pitching rotations and some of the most valuable momentum you could ask for in any sport.

Perhaps it’s the popularity – or lack thereof – since so many people would rather wager on a fast-paced game, such as football and basketball. But guys, money is money, and just like in the stock market, you’re either investing long-term mutual, or on the aggressive risk play. The same applies here.

Now, with the regular season officially underway, let’s go over some important points you’ll need to consider, or phrases you’ll hear throughout the season, and defined here:

LISTING PITCHERS – I take into account the pitchers in every game in some way shape or form, and generally surround my handicapping around the starters. There are going to be times – not every – I will tell you to list the pitchers in a baseball game, which basically means you’re making a wager on a game and stating specified hurlers in the event.

If Cliff Lee is facing Justin Verlander, I might tell you to list Lee and Verlander, which means both must start in order for you to have action on the game. If one, or both pitchers don’t start, you have no action and your money will be returned. You can also play a team and list its pitcher, or only choose to list the pitcher your team is opposing.

Bottom line, when listing one or both pitchers, whomever is on your ticket must start the game (throw one pitch), in order for you ticket to be valid.

You can also make an ACTION bet, which means regardless of the pitchers who start or play, you’ll have action on the team you’re betting on.

MONEY LINE – Instead of a point spread, we have the Money Line; and this is what you’ll be playing daily – UNLESS IT’S NOTED to play the Run Line. Money Lines are expressed in terms of a dollar. If we’re making a play on the favorite, we’ll be laying more than a dollar in order to win a dollar – the same we lay $1.10 to win a $1 in football and basketball. If we’re playing an underdog, we’re investing one dollar to win a dollar plus the juice. For instance, if a favorite is -1.35, we’ll lay $1.35 to win $1. If we’re betting the underdog in that game, we’d likely be catching +1.25; so we’d lay $1 to win $1.25. Most bettors might not realize over the course of an entire baseball season, the house edge – the vigorish, or juice – is only about 35 percent of what it is betting on sports such as football and basketball.

Why? Because your investment is on which team will win. You’re dealing with that pitcher, you’re dealing with a lineup and you’re counting on a skipper that will do anything to manage his team to a win. And by playing these prices over the course of a season, you have such a bigger advantage. Think about it, you have the opportunity to invest in any number of 2,430 games. In pro football you’re offered just 256 regular-season games.

Now, this is very important, as we must discuss Sports Books. I will never tell you where to play, and don’t offer any recommendations on any, but I will tell you this is the most important time of the season to find a quality one, or use multiple ones to shop the prices effectively, as we’re looking for ones offering “Dime Lines.” Here in Vegas, I can get a nickel line at times, but that’s irrelevant.

Notice my example above – a favorite laying $1.35 and the comeback at $1.25. There are some books that will offer a .20-cent line, and you’d only be getting $1.15 for that underdog. You lose value by not knowing these things, so take in consideration your book when signing up. Understandably, at most books, as the price reaches $1.80 or $2.00 with favorites, the come-back price is now a 20-cent line and that can’t be avoided.

RUN LINE – Now, a run line play will be used throughout the week and here is where a “point spread” comes in. If the Tigers are a big favorite with an ace laying $2.10 to No. 4 guy in the rotation, I would be inclined to laying 1-1/2 runs, and reduce the price to +1.05. Quite a difference, right?

The catch is, my team must win by two or more runs. Rarely would we play an underdog +1-1/2, so we won’t get much into that, but the thought process remains the same, as we’d be getting a run and a half, lose by one and still win our bet. There are have been sharps and handicappers known to do this, thinking a pitching duel will end up in a one-run game, but it is not something I am a fan of.

When making a Run Line wager, it will always be based on the pitchers listed at the time the wager is made. If one, or both, of the listed pitchers do not start, there is no action and your money will be returned.

TOTALS – Baseball totals are the same across the board, just as in any sport, as there is a number listed for the game itself, and it applies to the number of runs both teams score in the game. This includes extra innings, when applicable.

Both pitchers are automatically listed at the time a total-bet is made and both must start for a total wager to have action. If one, or both, of the listed pitchers do not start, there is no action and your money will be returned. I will have action on totals, not a lot, but more often in baseball than in any other sport will I find value in MLB totals.

Many bettors will take into consideration the umpires in handicapping baseball, particularly the totals. I’m not that big on it, though at times I will refer to the home-plate assignment to solidify a big play.

SYSTEMS – No handicapper might like admit it, but when it comes to baseball, there are some age-old betting systems the late-great Mike Lee used to follow religiously. I love three of them in particular, none of which I’m ready to reveal though, as I work them into my daily lineups quite often.

The key to these systems, is they’re profitable from the start of each season, and basically to the end of the campaign. It’s not something you can jump in and out of, as there could be losing streaks with them. Fact is, there’s always losing streaks in sports betting, but you cannot lose focus on the task at hand, and must play accordingly, following the rules of your money management, the sport you’re playing and the system(s) you’re following.

This is the main reason I always insist on playing with me for one of two packages – one that’ll take you through the All-Star Break, or one that’ll get you through the World Series.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Good luck this season, and remember, it’s a very long campaign that can be grueling at times. The ups, the downs, the highs, the lows … it’s an investment, not a hunt-and-peck kind of sport you want to jump in and out of.

The prices give us an advantage at times, and that’s where we make our mark.

I follow strict money management guidelines in baseball, so if you’re on board long-term, stick by everything I tell you and follow the ratings.

See ya at the ball field, and don’t forget your Peanuts and Cracker Jacks, I don’t care if we ever get back!

With the World Series beginning Wednesday night, much of the debate surrounding who will in Most Valuable Player award doesn’t necessarily have to surround the team the oddsmakers think will win the Fall Classic.

Oddsmakers have put four Detroit Tigers in the top 5 of potential MVPs, led by ace pitcher Justin Verlander, who is a 2-to-1 choice. Behind him is Triple Crown-winner Miguel Cabrera, at 5-1. Then comes San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Poser (6-1), and Detroit’s Prince Fielder (8-1) and Austin Jackson (12-1).

Interestingly, while oddsmakers have made the Tigers’ ace the favorite, not one member of the Giants’ rotation is in the list of names I found, including a resurgent Barry Zito, who has won his last five starts and seven straight decisions.

Zito and Verlander are the starters for Game 1.

Venezuelan Marco Scutaro, who was named MVP of the National League Championship Series, is listed as a 12-1 shot to win the title in the World Series. He tied the league championship series record with 14 hits. He capped his NL Playoff run with three singles and a walk in the Giants’ 9-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night in Game 7 of the NLCS.

Delmon Young, who was selected MVP of the ALCS after batting .353 with two home runs and six RBI for the Detroit Tigers in a four-game sweep of the New York Yankees, is also listed as 12-1 to win World Series MVP honors. Young holds the franchise record with seven postseason homers, all in the past two years.

Here are the current odds from

  • Justin Verlander (Tigers) 2-1
  • Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) 5-1
  • Buster Posey (Giants) 6-1
  • Prince Fielder (Tigers) 8-1
  • Austin Jackson  (Tigers) 12-1
  • Angel Pagan (Giants) 12-1
  • Hunter Pence (Giants) 12-1
  • Pablo Sandoval (Giants) 12-1
  • Marco Scutaro (Giants) 12-1
  • Delmon Young (Tigers) 12-1
  • Alex Avila (Tigers) 15-1
  • Brandon Belt (Giants) 15-1
  • Brandon Crawford (Giants) 15-1
  • Avisail Garcia (Tigers) 15-1
  • Omar Infante (Tigers) 15-1
  • Jhonny Peralta (Tigers) 15-1
  • Field 8-1

For my FREE World Series selection, and value choices for the World Series MVP, be sure to visit the Baseball Free Pick page at Chris Jordan Sports.

Breaking down the best-of-seven National League Championship Series between St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants:

Schedule: (All times PDT)

Game 1, Sunday, at San Francisco (5:15 p.m.)

Game 2, Monday, at San Francisco (5:07 p.m.)

Game 3, Wednesday, at St. Louis (1:07 p.m.)

Game 4, Thursday, at St. Louis (5:07 p.m.)

x-Game 5, Friday, at St. Louis (5:07 p.m.)

x-Game 6, Sunday, at San Francisco (1:45 p.m.)

x-Game 7, Monday, at San Francisco (5:07 p.m.)

x-if necessary.

Projected Lineups (regular season statistics):

St. Louis Cardinals

CF Jon Jay (.305, 4 HRs, 40 RBIs, 18 SBs, .373 OBP)

RF Carlos Beltran (.269, 32, 97)

LF Matt Holliday (.295, 27, 102)

1B Allen Craig (.307, 22, 92)

C Yadier Molina (.315, 22, 76)

3B David Freese (.293, 20, 79)

2B Daniel Descalso (.227, 4, 26)

SS Pete Kozma (.333, 2, 14).

San Francisco Giants:

CF Angel Pagan (.288, 8, 56, 29 SBs, 15 3Bs)

2B Marco Scutaro (.306, 7, 74 for Giants and Rockies)

3B Pablo Sandoval (.283, 12, 63)

C Buster Posey (.336, 24, 103, 39 2Bs)

RF Hunter Pence (.253, 24, 104 for Giants and Phillies)

1B Brandon Belt (.275, 7, 56)

LF Gregor Blanco (.244, 5, 34, 26 SBs) or Xavier Nady (.184, 4, 13 for Giants and Nationals)

SS Brandon Crawford (.248, 4, 45).

Starting Pitchers (in projected rotation order):

St. Louis Cardinals:

RHP Lance Lynn (18-7, 3.78 ERA)

RHP Chris Carpenter (0-2, 3.71 in 3 starts after shoulder surgery)

RHP Kyle Lohse (16-3, 2.86)

RHP Adam Wainwright (14-13, 3.94).

San Francisco Giants:

LHP Madison Bumgarner (16-11, 3.37, 191 Ks)

RHP Ryan Vogelsong (14-9, 3.37 in 31 starts)

RHP Matt Cain (16-5, 2.79, 193 Ks, 219 1-3 IP, first perfect game in franchise history June 13 vs. Astros)

RHP Tim Lincecum (10-15, 5.18, 186 IP, 190 Ks, matched career high with 17 wild pitches) or LHP Barry Zito (15-8, 4.15, 184 1-3 IP; won final 5 starts and 7 straight decisions).

Season Nuggets:

This is a showdown between the past two World Series champions, for the right to play for this year’s title

The season series was deadlocked at 3 wins apiece

The Under has cashed in 6 of the last 8 meetings in San Francisco

The road team has covered five of the last eight meetings, dating back to 2011

St. Louis Nuggets:

The Cardinals rallied for four runs in the ninth inning to beat Washington 9-7 in the deciding Game 5 of the NLDS.

Carlos Beltran had three hits and was on base five times in the crucial win for the Cardinals.

The defending World Series champs won two games less than they did last season.

The Redbirds still won 12 of their final 16 games, then beat Atlanta in the first-ever one-game wild card contest.

St. Louis is in the NLCS for the seventh time since the start of the 2000 season

Ace hurler Chris Carpenter is 10-2 lifetime in the postseason and has won five straight decisions.

NL MVP candidate Yadier Molina had a career season anf finished fourth in the league in hitting

The Cardinals have become road warriors of late, having won seven of their last nine with a suitcase in hand.

San Francisco Nuggets:

The NL West champs overcame a 2-0 deficit by winning the final three games of the NLDS on the road to rally past Cincinnati.

Amazingly, Cincinnati outscored the Giants 22-18 in the series, outhit them .261-.194 and recorded a 3.13 ERA, compared to Frisco’s 4.11.

San Francisco is the first team since the 1987 Cardinals to make playoffs with fewest home runs in the majors, with just 103.

Game 1 starter Madison Bumgarner gave up seven runs over 13-1/3 innings in his two matchups with the defending World Series champs this past regular season.

The Giants hit just 31 homers during the regular season at AT&T Park

Two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum looked good as a reliever in the NLDS, allowing one run, three hits and no walks in 6-1/3 innings, and getting the win in Game 4.

Lincecum might move back into the rotation for this series, as Barry Zito lasted just 2-2/3 innings in his one start.

National League MVP candidate Buster Posey, hit only .211 in the NLDS, but was the leading hitter on the senior circuit at .336 with 24 home runs and 103 RBI during the regular season.

The Giants are on an 8-3 run in the playoffs.