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MLB News

Report: Cubs the clear front-runner for Russell Martin

Martin is the prize of this off-seasons class of free agent catchers after batting .290/.402/.430 with 11 home runs and 67 RBI for the Pirates. He continues to draw praise for his defense, pitch framing, and handling a pitching staff as well.

In the event the Cubs do land Martin, they will likely make 27-year-old catcher Welington Castillo available.

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MLB: Competitive Wednesday Baseball Board

Wednesdayís full slate of 15 games in Major League Baseball stacks up as a competitive one, with only three games showing lines of minus-160 or higher according to, and only three games with starting pitcher WHIP differences of .200 or more. That said, it might take a bit more work to successfully handicap todayís action, looking specifically for more subtle edges. Letís break down the schedule and see if we canít uncover some value.
Line: Chicago -155, Total: 8
Starting pitcher WHIP edge: Chicago
Bullpen WHIP edge: Chicago
Offense Edge: Chicago (LARGE)
Recent Play Edge: Chicago
Overall Analysis: The Cubs bats have come alive lately, but as StatFox readers know from yesterdayís feature piece, they have struggled horribly against bad teams this season. Both pitchers have fared well in their careers versus todayís opponent, but Myers is the hotter pitcher of late. Tough laying this price today.
Line: Milwaukee -125, Total: 8.5
SP WHIP Edge: Milwaukee
BP WHIP Edge: Pittsburgh
Offense Edge: Milwaukee (LARGE)
Recent Play Edge: Milwaukee
Overall Analysis: Milwaukeeís overall dominance of the Pirates in recent years (32-10 L3 years) has to be given consideration here, and the Brewers are producing a lot of runs via the long ball of late. The Piratesí Duke has been rocked by Milwaukee in recent starts while Wolf has enjoyed a ton of success against Pittsburgh.
Line: Atlanta -155, Total: 8
SP WHIP Edge: San Diego
BP WHIP Edge: San Diego
Offense Edge: Atlanta
Recent Play Edge: None
Overall Analysis: One of the best games on todayís board, Atlanta and Hanson are being shown quite a bit of respect by oddsmakers. The Braves are 3-1 this season against San Diego. GARLAND is 0-2 when starting against ATLANTA with an ERA of 14.03 and a WHIP of 2.998 in his career. While the line and home field seem to give the overall edge to Atlanta, you can discount the Padres, particularly as the dogs.
Line: Florida -115, Total: 8.5
SP WHIP Edge: Florida
BP WHIP Edge: Colorado (LARGE)
Offense Edge: Colorado
Recent Play Edge: None
Overall Analysis: The Rockies pounded the Marlins 10-0 on Tuesday to even up the current 4-game set at two games apiece. They are just 1-7 this season coming off a win by 6 runs or more. Though the Marlins are 4-3 in their L7 games, they have only batted .194 while producing 2.6 RPG during that span. Nolasco holds a significant edge historically versus opponent, with a 4-0 career won-lost mark and a WHIP of 0.967 against Colorado.
Line: Washington -115, Total: 7
SP WHIP Edge: Washington
BP WHIP Edge: Washington
Offense Edge: Cincinnati (LARGE)
Recent Play Edge: Cincinnati
Overall Analysis: To show how much oddsmakers are favoring Strasburg these days, the Nationals are 15-33 on the road this season but still favored over the Reds, who are 31-20 at home. WASHINGTON is 1-10 (-10.2 Units) against the money line on the road with a money line of -100 to -150 over the last 3 seasons. Cincy seems to be finding a groove again since returning from their recent lengthy road trip. They are 4-1 on the current homestand. Worthy underdog look.
Line: St. Louis -145, Total: 8.5
SP WHIP Edge: St. Louis
BP WHIP Edge: St. Louis (LARGE)
Offense Edge: St. Louis
Recent Play Edge: St. Louis (LARGE)
Overall Analysis: As you can see from the edges, there isnít a whole lot going for the Phillies in this third of a four game series versus the red-hot Cardinals. St. Louis has won seven straight games and is now 33-15 at home in 2010. Garcia has been stellar for the Cards as well, while Blanton owns an ugly 7.06 ERA on the road. With trade rumors also dogging the franchise, bet Philly at your own peril.
(913) NY METS (NIESE) at (914) ARIZONA (HAREN) 9:40 PM
Line: Arizona -120, Total: 8.5
SP WHIP Edge: Arizona
Offense Edge: None
Recent Play Edge: None
Overall Analysis: Arizona has taken the first two games of the 3-game series versus New York, who continues to struggle on the road. The Mets are just 19-29 this season away from Citi Field, allowing opponents to bat .290. Niese has been a good stopper for them though and has put together four solid starts in a row. After losing last night as -125 favorites, an interesting trend finds MANUEL is 23-9 (+14.7 Units) against the money line revenging a loss vs opponent as a road favorite as the manager of NY METS. Donít be surprised to see New York salvage this one.
Line: LA Dodgers -140, Total: 7.5
SP WHIP Edge: San Francisco
BP WHIP Edge: Los Angeles
Offense Edge: None
Recent Play Edge: San Francisco (HUGE)
Overall Analysis: San Francisco is among the hottest teams in baseball right now, having won 11 of 13 games. The Dodgers have lost six straight. Despite this and the fact that Zito is enjoying the better season over Billingsley, who has been rocked in his last two starts, the Dodgers are still somewhat heavy favorites. Strangely, the money seems to be moving towards Los Angeles. Value here is clearly on the confident Giants.
Line: Tampa Bay -200, Total: 9.5
SP WHIP Edge: Tampa Bay (LARGE)
BP WHIP Edge: Tampa Bay (LARGE)
Offense Edge: Tampa Bay
Recent Play Edge: None
Overall Analysis: One trend is very interesting to me in this game, BALTIMORE is 6-1 (+11.9 Units) against the money line vs. teams outscoring opp by 0.5 or more runs/game in the second half of the season this season. After last nightís huge come from behind, extra-inning win, it figures to be tough to lay the -220 against the Oís tonight, especially with a mediocre-of-late Shields getting the ball. Better plays on the board.
Line: NY Yankees -175, Total: 9.0
SP WHIP Edge: NY Yankees
BP WHIP Edge: NY Yankees (LARGE)
Offense Edge: NY Yankees (LARGE)
Recent Play Edge: None
Overall Analysis: The Angels pounded Phil Hughes last night en route to a 10-2 upset as +220 dogs. Todayís revenge spot shows a strong FoxSheets system: Play Against - Home teams (NY YANKEES) - revenging a loss where opponent scored 10 or more runs, with a hot starting pitcher- ERA less than 3.00 over his last 10 games. (33-16 over the last 5 seasons.) (67.3%, +31 units. Rating = 4*). Early money seems to be landing with New York, but everything else I look at indicates a slight over-pricing here.
Line: Minnesota -220, Total: 8
SP WHIP Edge: Minnesota
BP WHIP Edge: Minnesota (LARGE)
Offense Edge: Minnesota (LARGE)
Recent Play Edge: Cleveland
Overall Analysis: Minnesota hasnít been this large of a favorite since May 8th. The difference here and then is that the Twins were playing far better baseball at that point in the season. They are just 9-16 in their L25 games now including back-to-back losses in this series in which they have yielded 30 hits to the Indians. Cleveland has won six games in a row and is playing as good as it has all year. Liriano and the hosts simply arenít worthy of this price today.
Line: Kansas City -155, Total: 8.5
SP WHIP Edge: Kansas City (LARGE)
BP WHIP Edge: Toronto
Offense Edge: None
Recent Play Edge: Toronto (LARGE)
Overall Analysis: Greinke opened as an exorbitant -170 favorite only to be bet down to -155 since. While he has pitched well of late, he certainly hasnít commanded this type of price. Considering that the Jays have been getting it going of late with a 7-3 mark in their L10 games, including a 13-1 win last night, Iíd be leery of laying the chalk here with the Royals. Good underdog spot.
Line: Boston -115, Total: 8
SP WHIP Edge: Boston
BP WHIP Edge: Boston
Offense Edge: None at this point
Recent Play Edge: Oakland
Overall Analysis: Boston and Oakland have split the first two games of their 3-game set, with each contest being decided by a run. Tonightís pitching matchup is a good one, with Buchholz getting the slight edge if only for his recent prowess. At -120, the StatFox Game Estimator and Power Ratings indicate that this game is underpriced for Boston by at least 25 cents, but savvy bettors have to give consideration to the bats missing from the Red Sox lineup.
(927) TEXAS (LEWIS) at (928) DETROIT (SCHERZER) 7:05 PM
Line: Detroit -105, Total: 9
SP WHIP Edge: Texas (LARGE)
BP WHIP Edge: Texas
Offense Edge: Texas
Recent Play Edge: Texas
Overall Analysis: What in the world is going on with the Tigers? Seven straight losses coming off a lengthy stretch in which they had gone 18-8. Pitching has been a huge problem in this current skid, as they have allowed opponents to score 6.1 RPG while hitting .294. Making matters worse today is that Detroit will be facing the Rangersí Colby Lewis, who boasts an impressive 1.115 WHIP on the season and has had incredible command, striking out 112 hitters in just shy of 116 innings. Despite the fact that the two wins this week broke a 9-game losing streak in Detroit, you have to like the Rangersí chances at a sweep.
Line: Seattle -135, Total: 6.5
SP WHIP Edge: Seattle
BP WHIP Edge: Chicago
Offense Edge: Chicago (LARGE)
Recent Play Edge: Chicago (HUGE)
Overall Analysis: Seattle is on an extended stretch of awful play, with just a 3-14 mark in its L17 games. I can NEVER advocate backing a team like that in the role of favorite, even if its ace starting pitcher is on the hill. The White Sox have surged to the top of the Central Division and wins over the last two nights have them in the position to sweep here. Iíd honestly be surprised if they donít.

MLB: Monday Night Baseball Betting Preview

The Philadelphia Phillies offense seems to be coming around, but it still has a long way to go to get back to its normal prolific clip. The Phillies try to bounce back from a tough loss and take three of four from the San Diego Padres in Monday nightís series finale at Citizens Bank Park. It is ESPNís Monday Night Game of the Week and the host Phillies are priced at -180 according to
Philadelphia (30-25, -4.7 units) entered this set with the Padres having lost nine of 11 with its offense in shambles, plating a mere 14 runs over that stretch. The Phillies scored nine runs in winning the first two games against San Diego, but the teamís formidable lineup is still not producing as expected.
In Saturdayís 6-5, 10-inning loss, Philadelphia squandered several scoring chances, leaving 15 men on base and going 3 for 15 with runners in scoring position.
Although Philadelphiaís seven-game winning streak over San Diego ended Sunday, the Phillies seem to have a good chance of bouncing back with Cole Hamels (5-4, 4.20 ERA, 1.461 WHIP) set to pitch in the finale.
Hamels, 3-0 with a 3.49 ERA in four starts against the Padres since 2008, is taking the ball in his normal spot in the rotation despite having an abbreviated start last time out and he and the Phillies are 20-7 when he starts after his team scored five or more runs in the previous contest.
San Diego (33-23, +12.6 units) won for the ninth time in 14 games Sunday, and can avoid losing its first series since being swept in a three-game set by the Los Angeles Dodgers from May 14-15 with a victory in the finale. The Padres are 11-4 after three or more consecutive road games this season.
The top of the Padresí lineup led the way Sunday with the 2-3-4 hitters - Jerry Hairston Jr., Adrian Gonzalez and Chase Headley - going a combined 10 for 15 with four runs. Gonzalez homered and drove in three, and is 9 for 19 with two homers and eight RBIs in his last four games. What is especially impressive is the Friarsí 12-4 (+10.4 Units) record against the money line playing against a good team (Win Pct. 54% to 62%) this season.
Wade LeBlanc (2-4, 3.67, 1.551) hopes San Diegoís offense can replicate that effort in the series finale as the left-hander tries to snap a four-start losing streak. LeBlanc, who has a 2.35 ERA in eight starts against NL opponents this season, hasnít pitched badly in three games during the losing skid - recording a 3.50 ERA - but hasnít received a single run of support in those outings. Against the New York Mets on Tuesday, LeBlanc allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings of a 4-2 loss.
This will be LeBlancís first career appearance against the Phillies. has Philadelphia as -180 ML favorite with total of 9, yet they are just 5-10 (-13.3 Units) vs. the money line as a home favorite of -175 to -200 over the last two seasons and 29-11 UNDER with an on-base percentage of .310 or worse over their last 20 games. San Diegoís bullpen held the Phillies in check yesterday and are 19-12 (+9.0 Units) against the ML after the pen gave up no runs and 10-2 UNDER on the road when the total is 8.5 to 10 this season.
This is the ESPN Monday Night matchup which starts at 7:00 Eastern with the Phils a shocking 1-8 at home against left-hand opposing starters.
StatFox Power Line Ė Philadelphia -132