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Arlington Has Not Been Kind to the Astros

Rangers Astros

The Lone Star Series adds another chapter Tuesday when the Houston Astros travel to Arlington for a three-game series with the Texas Rangers. The ‘Stros have not beaten the Rangers at Globe Life Park in the past seven attempts while being outscored 53-28.

Derek Holland will get the start for the Rangers and he will look to get some revenge against an Astros team he struggled against last season. In three starts against Houston last year, one in which he exited following shoulder tightness after just one inning, Holland had a 7.71 ERA while giving up 19 hits and 10 earned runs through 11.2 innings.

The Astros will counter with Scott Feldman, who has struggled against his former team. Feldman, who was with the Rangers from 2005 to 2012, is 3-4 with a 4.14 ERA in his nine career against Texas.

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Ducks in Must Win Situation Tonight

After dropping the first two games of their first round series to the Predators by identical 3-2 scores at home, the Anaheim Ducks can pretty much call it a season if they can’t get the job done tonight. A loss would mean needing to win four straight games, which would include two on the road in Nashville.

The Ducks are no stranger to adversity, and it’s rare to see them lose three games in a row as they’ve gone7-1 in their last eight games after consecutive losses. The Preds, meanwhile, haven’t been successful at nailing down three straight wins lately as they’re 1-5 in their last six games after consecutive wins.

Despite the 0-2 series hole and being on the road, Anaheim opened as a -110 favorite. This is a spot that they’ve responded well to over the course of the season, as they’ve gone 15-5 in their last 20 games as road favorites. Looking at a historical trend, the Ducks are 6-1 in their last seven playoff games as road favorites. As home underdogs, Nashville is just 2-8 in their last 10 games.

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Twins Have Suddenly Become Red-Hot

The Minnesota Twins started the season a woeful 0-9, but have since become competent and will have a four-game winning streak entering Game 2 of their series with the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday. After scoring just 14 runs in their first nine games, the Twins have plated 21 runs in their past four.

There is a chance that Wily Peralta, who gets the start for the Brewers Tuesday, may be the worst starter in the MLB so far. Peralta has posted a 10.13 ERA through his first three starts while giving up 15 earned runs in 13.1 innings. The OVER is 2-1 in Peralta’s starts this season, but the one under was thanks to the Brewers complete inability to score runs in a 7-0 loss on April 14.

Ervin Santana will take the mound for the streaking Twins, as the right-hander looks to continue his solid start. Santana has posted a solid 3.00 ERA while averaging more than a strikeout per inning.

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Visitor Struggles in DET-TB Meetings

Ben Bishop Tampa Bay Lightning Brad Richards Detroit Red Wings NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

After slumping out of the gate in their opening round series, the Detroit Red can even things up with the Tampa Bay Lightning at two games apiece in Motown Tuesday night. A change in the crease seemed to inspire the Wings in Game 3 and they’ll took to keep that momentum going in Game 4.

Shark Bites
  • The favorite is 5-0 SU in the previous five meetings.
  • The Red Wings are 4-0 SU in their last four home games.
  • The Lightning are 0-6 SU in their last six games as underdogs.

At online book Bovada, the Wings are -130 in moneyline markets while the Lightning are +110. As for the total, OVER 5 goals is EVEN while UNDER 5 goals is presently -120.

Jimmy Howard was between the pipes for the losses in games one and two and the switch to Petr Mrazek seemed to light a fire under Detroit for Game 3. Mrazek only had to stop 16 shots en route to a shutout in Detroit’s 2-0 win in Game 3 as the Wings took a much tighter defensive approach on the ice.

Considering the lack of offensive punch, the Wings will have to lean heavily on its goaltending. They Wings managed just six goals through the first three games and they’ve been scored by six different players. Tomas Tatar leads the team in scoring with three assists and only he and Mike Green (two points) have recorded more than a single point thus far.

Speaking of offensive punch, Tampa's trio of Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn had recorded a combined 15 points in the opening two games but were held scoreless by the Wings in Game 3.

One thing to note is how awful the visitor has been in meetings between these two Eastern Conference clubs. In the previous eight meetings between the two the visitor is 0-8 SU (regular season and postseason).

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Spurs Face Historically Big Playoff Spread

Danny Green San Antonio Spurs

Everyone knows the San Antonio Spurs’ first-round playoff series with the Memphis Grizzlies is extremely uneven, but it’s reached historic levels of imparity.

The Spurs - currently 18-point favorites for Game 2 on Tuesday - are the biggest faves in the history of NBA playoffs, according to our database. The second-largest spread was in Game 1 when San Antonio closed as 16.5-point chalk.


Avery-less Celtics Could be in Trouble

Marcus Smart Jeff Teague

The Boston Celtics feature a plethora of solid role players, but the loss of Avery Bradley in Game 1 of their first-round series with the Atlanta Hawks is a painful one. Down 1-0 in the series, the C’s will have to find other ways to slow down the Hawks when Game 2 gets underway Tuesday night. Home sides continue to cash in this matchup, as visiting clubs are a measly 1-5 SU in the last six meetings between the Eastern Conference foes.

Shark Bites
  • The total has gone UNDER in 17 of the Celtics' last 24 games as an underdog of 6.5 or more.
  • The Hawks are 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS in their last four games with two days off between games.
  • The Celtics are 1-8 SU and 2-7 ATS in their last nine games as road underdogs.

Bradley is widely regarded as Boston’s best perimeter defender and its second-leading scorer, as the guard averaged 15.2 points this season. He hasn’t been officially ruled out for the remainder of the series, but his return is unlikely at this point. Boston went 3-3 SU without Bradley in the fold this season.

Watch out for Hawks’ power forward Paul Millsap tonight. Millsap was limited to 14 points and seven rebounds in Game 1, however he managed to average 25.3 points, 11 boards and 2 blocks in the final three games between the Hawks and Celtics in the regular season.

Atlanta has won 11 of 13 at home, while the Celtics have lost five straight at Philips Arena.

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Spurs Aim to Continue Dominance of Grizz

Zach Randolph Tim Duncan

The Walking Dead’s season may have ended for fans of the highly regarded TV show, but the Memphis Grizzlies have epitomized that meaning on the hardwood. The banged up Grizz fell flat on their faces in a Game 1 106-74 rout to the San Antonio Spurs and will be seeking a better effort tonight when Game 2 gets underway in the Lone Star State.

Shark Bites
  • The Spurs are 1-5 ATS in their last six games as home favorites.
  • The Grizzlies are 0-7 SU in their last seven games on the road.
  • The total has gone OVER in five of the Grizzlies' last seven games on the road.

In light of the loss, Memphis is now 0-6 SU and 1-5 ATS in the last six meetings between the squads. The UNDER is also 5-2 in their previous seven matchups.

Newly-crowned Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard paved the way for the Spurs on Sunday, finishing with four of San Antonio’s 13 steals and three of its nine blocks. The All-Star forward held Matt Barnes to two points on 1-of-7 shooting.

Vince Carter (16 points) and Lance Stephenson (14 points) did their part for the Grizzlies, but no other player scored more than seven. The setback was Memphis’ worst-ever playoff defeat.

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Can Stroman Slow Orioles’ Huge Bats?

Toronto Blue Jays’ ace Marcus Stroman will face his toughest task of the season when he takes to the mound against the powerhouse Baltimore Orioles Tuesday. Stroman, who has not registered a loss since returning late last season from a torn ACL, will need to slow down an O’s offense that is averaging 2.1 home runs per game.

Stroman excels at keeping the ball in the dirt with a groundball percentage of 62.2 this season, something he will need to try and continue against the O's. Since returning from his ACL surgery last season, Stroman is 7-0 with a 2.82 ERA in eight starts while only surrendering four home runs.

Baltimore will counter Stroman with right-hander Mike Wright who will be making just his second start of the season. Wright has only faced the Jays twice in his young career, but has struggled to a 9.45 ERA while walking seven batters across 6.2 innings.

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Pens Have Been Perfect After a Loss

Crosby Malkin Penguins

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away then perhaps a visit to the big apple will be the cure the Pittsburgh Penguins need to get back on track after getting beaten up by the Rangers on Saturday. The Pens lost the game 4-2 and were out-hit 57 to 25, but they’ve shown tremendous bounce back ability over the past few months, going a perfect 12-0 following a loss.

Taking a bite out of the Rangers at Madison Square Garden is something Pittsburgh has grown accustomed to lately, as they’ve won two straight at MSG with wins on March 13 and 27. The Pens are also hot on the road, as they’ve gone 8-1 in their last nine game outside of the Steel City.

The Rangers enter the home game as a slight underdog, opening the day at EVEN money with Pittsburgh at -110. This is a spot the Rangers have performed well in, as they’re 8-3 in their last 11 games as home dogs.

The game opened with a total of 5.5, and the trends point to an OVER. When facing a closing total of 5.5 or more, the Rangers have gone OVER in four straight, while the Pens have gone OVER in four of their last five in that spot.

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CHI’s Struggles Versus Central Continues

Brian Elliott St. Louis Blues Jonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

The St. Louis Blues can further tighten their grip on the opening round series with a win over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4 Tuesday. The Blues, led by the stellar goaltending of Brian Elliott can take a 3-1 series lead in Chicago and considering how lackluster the Hawks have played versus Central Division teams, there’s a good chance of that happening.

Shark Bites
  • The Blues have gone 5-15 SU in their last 21 visits to Chicago.
  • The Blackhawks are 5-2 SU in their last seven games as favorites.
  • The Blues are 9-1 SU in their last 10 games versus the Western Conference.

The Hawks are currently -165 in moneyline markets at online book Bovada while the Blues come in at +145. As far as the total is concerned, OVER 5 goals is presently EVEN odds while UNDER 5 goals comes in at -120.

The Hawks have struggled versus teams from the Central all season long and have been especially cold of late. In their last 14 meetings against teams from within the division, they have gone just 3-11 SU including the 1-2 series deficit they take into Tuesday’s meeting.

Elliott has stopped 105 of the 109 shots he’s faced, good enough for a sparkling .963 save percentage and 1.28 goals against average. His opposite, Corey Crawford, has been pretty good himself, posting a 1.92 goals against average and .929 save percentage in the three games.

Patrick Kane, the NHL's leading scorer during the regular season, has been held in check (as best a team can) through three games as he’s recorded three points thus far.

The Blues have actually handled the Blackhawks really well dating back to recent regular season meetings. They have gone 4-1 SU in the previous five meetings overall and have held them to just eight goals in those five games.

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