Kazmir vs Cueto - Game 2 ALDS Odds

Scott Kazmir Astors

The Astros will look to grab a commanding 2-0 lead in their five-game series vs the Royals when they send Scott Kazmir to the mound to take on Johnny Cueto. Kazmir has struggled in eight career playoff games, putting up a 1-2 record with a 5.20 ERA and has the same amount of strikeouts as he does walks, 28.

Cueto hasn’t fared much better in his limited playoff history. In 8.2 innings pitched as a member of the Reds, Cueto has allowed five runs with only three strikeouts. Cueto also hit a major rough patch in September, posting a 1-4 record with a 6.11 ERA.

As bad as Cueto was in September, Kazmir was surprisingly worse. In six September starts he allowed eight home runs and has a 6.52 ERA, allowing batters to hit .328 against him. He’s 1-6 in his last seven starts His first start as a member of the Astros came against the Royals, and it was a success. In seven innings of work he only limited the Royals to three hits, and allowed zero runs.

The Astros have been road warriors as of late, going 5-1 in their last six road games.

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MLB Division Series Opening Prices

New York Mets Yoenis Cespedes watching the ball after he hits a home run.

The Toronto Blue Jays enter their American League Division Series with the Texas Rangers hotter than any other playoff team. The Jays have gone 40-18 in their final two months of the regular season, which has Toronto as a massive -255 favorite to win the series according to 5Dimes.

The Jays will start ace David Price in Game 1 with Marcus Stroman, Marco Estrada and R.A. Dickey following in order. If the series goes to Game 5, you can expect Price to take the mound again.


Game 2 Odds - Blue Jays vs Rangers

Marcus Stroman Blue Jays

Game 1 in their American League Division Series vs the Rangers wasn’t the worst possible outcome for the Blue Jays, but it was close. Their hired gun David Price underperformed on the mound, while their two best hitters, Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista, left the game due to injuries. In a must win game, the Jays will send 24-year-old Marcus Stroman to hill. Stroman has been excellent since returning from a torn ACL on September 12, posting a 1.67 ERA and four wins in 27 innings pitched.

The Rangers will counter with their big trade deadline acquisition, Cole Hamels. Since coming over to the American League, Hamels has gone 7-1 in 12 starts for the Rangers. In 13 career playoff starts, Hamels has a 7-4 record with a 3.09 ERA. He’s been especially sharp in division series starts, allowing seven total runs in five starts while averaging 9.9 strikeouts over nine innings.

The current Rangers lineup doesn’t have a lot of experience vs Stroman, only combining for 21 total at bats. In those 21 at bats, Stroman has been dominant, only allowing two hits and no walks. The Blue Jays have fared much better vs Hamels. In 70 at bats they’ve combined for a .314 batting average.

Hamels is 0-4 in career vs Toronto in four starts, and he’s only been a larger underdog once in his career (+192), which came this summer in his last start as a member of the Phillies.

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Ventura has Been Streaking for Royals

The Kansas City Royals may have surprised some people when they decided to send Yordano Ventura to the mound in Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Houston Astros. The Royals acquired Johnny Cueto to fill the role of staff ace and Edinson Volquez has years of experience in the MLB, but the relatively new Ventura has been great as of late.

Ventura was demoted for only one day earlier this season in July, but was quickly recalled after Jason Vargas was placed on the DL, and has since been great. Since being put back into the rotation, Ventura is 9-1 with a 3.10 ERA across 13 starts.

The Royals looked shaky in September, posting their lone losing month of the season, but enter the postseason on a five-game winning streak.

The Astros were not expected to make the postseason this season, but after a dominating performance against the New York Yankees in the Wild Card game there is no doubt that they belong.

Houston has relied heavily on the long ball this season, finishing second in baseball with 230 home runs in the regular season. That trend did not end in the ALWC when the Astros scored two of their three runs on solo jacks.

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Kershaw Not Himself in 8 Playoff Starts

Clayton Kershaw Dugout

Over the past few seasons Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw has built a reputation as the best pitcher in baseball. Unfortunately that reputation hasn’t carried over to the postseason. He has a career 1-5 record in the playoffs with an ugly 5.12 ERA. He has, however, maintained a strong strikeout rate in the playoffs, averaging 10.2 K’s over nine innings. In his most recent start vs the Mets in late July, Kershaw registered a complete game.

Taking the hill for the Mets is Jacob deGrom, who’s making his first career playoff start. The Mets have responded well when deGrom’s on the mound for road games, winning eight of his last nine road starts. 

The Mets won the season series between the two teams, winning four out of seven games with each team hosting a series. One of those wins included 7.2 innings from deGrom. He only allowed two hits in the game and had eight strikeouts.

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Cardinals Have Had Lester's Number

The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals are no strangers to each other and will square off once again at Friday in Game 1 of their National League Divisional Series at Busch Stadium. The Cubbies, fresh off topping Pittsburgh in the National League Wild Card Game, don’t appear to be intimidated when it comes to playing on the road. Chicago is 10-1 in their last 11 games away from Wrigley Field.

Shark Bites
  • The Over is 7-1-1 in their last nine meetings.
  • Yadier Molina is dealing with a thumb injury but is expected to play in Game 1.
  • Lester is 1-4 against St. Louis this season.

John Lester and John Lackey will take the bump for the Cards and Cubs, respectively. Lester has allowed two or fewer runs in five out of his last six starts to end the season, while Lackey has always historically played well in St. Louis (9-4, 1.93 ERA in 2015). The 36-year-old has faced the Cubs twice at home this season, allowing just three runs in 14 2/3 innings of work.

Despite their close records, both clubs couldn’t be more different when it comes to pitching in the postseason. The Cubs are playing in the playoffs for the first time since 2003, while the Cardinals are making their fifth-straight appearance.

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Gallardo Has Owned Blue Jays in Career

The Toronto Blue Jays will need to buck history when they enter Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Texas Rangers Thursday. The Rangers are starting Yovani Gallardo, who is 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA in three career starts against the Jays.

The Jays will give the ball to David Price in their first playoff game since 1993. Though Price was acquired for just this situation, the leftie has struggled in the postseason with a 1-5 record and a 4.50 ERA in his career.

As of Thursday morning, the Blue Jays were -250 favorites for Game 1 according to Bovada, which would be the fourth biggest chalk in the history of the MLB playoffs. 

The Rangers and Jays have met in two, three-game series this season with the Jays leading the season series 4-2. Toronto outscored the Rangers 34-21 in those six games, but had 24 of those runs coming in two games.

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NYM vs LAD Game 2 Betting Preview

Zack Greinke Los Angeles Dodgers

The New York Mets struck first in Game 1 of their National League Divisional Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers but they’ll have their hands full in Game 2 Saturday evening in the Golden State.

Shark Bites
  • Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes hasn't homered since September 14.
  • Dodgers OF Andre Ethier is 4-for-31 over the last three postseasons.
  • The Over is 16-6-2 in the last 24 meetings between the clubs.

Star Dodgers hurler Zack Greinke will take the bump, while the Mets will counter with young gun Noah Syndergaard. Greinke (19-3, 1.66 ERA) and Syndergaard (9-7, 3.24 ERA) will be looking to follow up a pair of stellar pitching performances by Clayton Kershaw and Jacob deGrom in the series opener. deGrom finished with 13 strikeouts, but Clayton Kershaw’s postseason woes continued once again.

Los Angeles has lost eight straight playoff series after dropping the opening game, a trend that will surely worry Dodgers backers especially if they head to The Big Apple down 2-0.

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Cards Seek Repeat Performance Game 2

The St. Louis Cardinals may have jumped out to a 1-0 series lead in the National League Divisional Series against the Chicago Cubs, but don’t expect the Cubbies to lay down in Game 2 which goes Saturday evening.

Shark Bites
  • Friday's loss marked the end of Chicago's nine game winning streak
  • Chicago rookie Kris Bryant has one RBI since Sept. 30, going 3-for-30 since then.
  • The Under is 10-1-1 in Jaime Garcia's last 12 home starts.

The Cubs’ bats went silent in Game 1, mustering up only three hits in a 4-0 losing effort. St. Louis’s experience clearly showed, while the Cubs (who haven’t been in the dance since 2003) didn’t remotely resemble the team that won 97 games in the regular season.

Kyle Hendricks and Jaime Garcia are slated to get the nod for the Cubs and Cardinals, respectively. Garcia hasn’t made a postseason start since 2012 due to injuries and is 0-2 with a 4.23 ERA in six career playoff appearances. Hendricks Hendricks was dominant to end the 2015 campaign, giving up three hits and striking out 17 in 12 scoreless innings during his last two starts.

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Arrieta Dominant vs Pirates This Season

The Pittsburgh Pirates posted the second-best record in baseball during the regular season and are rewarded by facing perhaps the best pitcher in baseball in Jake Arrieta in a wild card game against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday. 

To make matters worse for the Pirates, Arrieta has completely dominated them this season. In five starts against them, Arrieta went 3-1, allowing just three runs while striking out 33.

The Pirates struggled in their last series against the Cubs at PNC Park going 1-3 while being outscored 18-14 with three of those games decided by just one run. 

The Pirates will send Gerrit Cole to the mound with the hopes that he can continue his career dominance against the Cubs. The Bucs have gone 8-1 in Cole’s nine career starts against the Cubs, which includes the right-hander going 2-1 with a 2.13 ERA in four starts this season.

Arrieta is coming off a historic second half for the Cubs with the TCU-alum posting a 12-1 record with a 0.75 ERA in 15 starts since the All-Star Break. Arrieta has been so dominant that the Cubs are a near perfect 14-1 when the likely Cy Young winner has pitched after the Midsummer Classic.

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