Houston Astros vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
MLB Over-Under Pick: Under 9 runs -110 odds (May 31st 2016)
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Pat Corbin is 2-4 with a 4.21 ERA in 10 starts for Arizona. He’s had it a bit rough as of late although traveling to Pittsburgh and St. Louis will do that to a starter. Corbin now faces a Houston team that was hitting .195 against left-handed starters before Monday night’s win over Edwin Escobar. Corbin’s slightly better so he should have more success. Lance McCullers continues to round into form as he continues to build strength after returning from injury. He has allowed just three runs and six hits in his last 11 innings with 17 strikeouts of the Orioles and Rangers. Arizona’s got great offensive numbers, but really, how many consistent weapons do they have. The bullpens do concern me for both sides, but hopefully the starters do their work and we have less influence in relief. I’ll take the under.
San Francisco Giants vs. Atlanta Braves
MLB Betting Prediction: Braves +128 odds (May 31st 2016)
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I’m not nominating the Braves to be a sudden playoff contender. I fully realize they are one of the worst teams in baseball. Adonis Garcia is their current clean-up hitter. That says enough about their 29th-ranked offense.
But a correction is due. The Braves’ pitching is better than a 15-35 team and Atlanta has won three of its last four home games.
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Atlanta beat San Francisco and Jeff Samardzija on Monday. The Braves are in good position to pull another upset today with a stronger pitching matchup going.
It’s Jake Peavy versus Matt Wisler. Peavy turns 35 today. He has been pitching in the big leagues for 15 years. The Braves are starting Matt Wisler, who is beginning to live up to his vast potential.
He has pitched much better than Peavy this season. So this line is inflated based on Peavy’s past reputation and Wisler being below-the-radar.
Peavy is close to the end of his career. He’s 0-4 with a 7.57 ERA in his last six starts. He’s been at his worst on the road where he’s 0-3 with a 10.00 ERA. San Francisco is 1-4 in Peavy’s last five away starts.
Wisler, on the other hand, has a 2.25 ERA in 36 innings this month holding foes to a .212 batting average during this span. Denard Span is the only Giant who has ever faced Wisler. So Wisler has the element of surprise on his side.
The Giants could be down two starters, too. Outfielder Angel Pagan already is out and third baseman Matt Duffy left yesterday’s game after being hit by a pitch.
(Editor’s note: Stephen Nover has cashed 83 percent of his baseball totals this month and has his Total of the Week going today in addition to this free selection.)
Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals
MLB Betting Pick: Brewers +112 odds (May 30th 2016)
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I’m backing the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday. I think the casual fan may be surprised, but thanks to a current 5-1 run, the Brewers are just 2 1/2 games behind the Cardinals for third place in the NL Central standings. Today, they’ll have the advantage of having the starting pitcher in better current form, while also facing potentially, a weary Cardinal pen. First of all, Cardinal righty Carlos Martinez has struggled thanks to physical problems and off-field issues. In fact, he was removed from one game with what was reported to be fatigue issues. The bottom line is that the Redbirds are on a 0-5 slide when he toes the rubber and he owns a hefty 6.84 ERA & 1.60 WHIP. Martinez has not lasted six full innings in any of his last four starts. The Brewers will counter with Junior Guerra, who has settled into the rotation in his last three starts. The right-hander has allowed just three earned runs, 20 base runners, and one home run in his last three starts, spanning 18 innings of work. He’s punched-out 21 batters along the way and has a .209 BAA. His team has won all five of his starts. I expect some offensive support for Guerra with his team ranked in the top-9 at home in batting average, OBP, and OPS. Ryan Braun may sit on Monday, but with the way Jonathan Lucroy, Aaron Hill, and Jonathan Villar are hitting, I doubt they’ll miss him. The bullpens are rather close in ERA, but the Cardinals’ pen has been used quite a bit of late. I’m backing the Brewers on Monday. Thanks & GL! Scott Spreitzer.
Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
NBA 1st half Pick: Oklahoma +4.5 -103 odds (May 30th 2016)
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The Warriors have won back to back games to force a Game 7 at Oracle Arena, but neither of those wins were particularly convincing. They trailed 53-48 at halftime in Game 6, and they have trailed at the half in three of the last four games in this series. The only thing that saved them from elimination in Game 6 was the red hot shooting from Klay Thompson, who hit 11 three-pointers. If the Warriors are counting on Thompson (not Curry) to carry the load here in Game 7, they could be in trouble.
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The Thunder have really turned up the defensive intensity in the playoffs, not just in this series, but also in their semi finals series versus San Antonio. Steven Adams continues to own the boards, and he had three blocks in Game 6. Golden State has made it a habit to start slowly, and I don’t like the Warriors chances of covering the spread as a big favorite in the first half of Game 7.