Archive for May, 2010

2010 Indy 500 Odds, Preview, Odds, and Free Picks

May 26th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in Nascar / Auto Racing   Comments Off on 2010 Indy 500 Odds, Preview, Odds, and Free Picks
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Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner, and that means that racing fans are getting all revved up for one of the biggest races of the year! Indy 500 betting action is on the way, and here at Bankroll Sports, we’re starting our engines and getting you ready for the 94th Indianapolis 500!  In this article you will find all the 2010 Indy 500 Odds and other free Indy 500 picks along with a informative preview for the race. 

Where else could we possibly start than with defending champion and pole sitter Helio Castroneves (+250 at Brobury Sports)? Castroneves has won this event three times in his career (2001, 2002, and 2009), and he is the favored choice of the oddsmakers to pull off the feat for a fourth time. If he can pull off the feat, he will become the fourth person in the history of the race to have won it four times, joining AJ Foyt, Al Unser, and Rick Mears. Castroneves is also one of just three international drivers that can say that they have won this race more than once, joining fellow Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi and the Netherlands’ Arie Luyendyk. Castroneves can also become the first driver to ever win this even back-to-back on two separate occasions. Four other drives have ever pulled off the stunt aside from Castroneves (Wilbur Shaw, Mauri Rose, Bill Vukovich, and Al Unser). No one had accomplished this feat since 1970-1971 with Unser capturing back-to-back checkered flags at the Brickyard before Castroneves did it in 2001 and 2002.

The man that led the most laps last year was New Zealand’s Scott Dixon (+350 at Brobury Sports). The 2003 and 2008 Indy Car champion hasn’t had the greatest history in this race, as he has retired twice, and has three other finishes outside of the Top 5 in his career. He did win this race in 2008 and could become one of those non-American drives to win the running of the Indy 500 multiple times Dixon is coming off of a huge win at Kansas Motor Speedway for Chip Ganassi Racing, and he’d love nothing more than to bring the team a second consecutive win in the 500.

Keep a close eye on Ryan Briscoe (+400 at Brobury Sports) as well. In spite of the fact that Briscoe has qualified well at the Brickyard in his career (starting second in 2009, third in 2008, and seventh in 2007), he has only cracked the Top 5 once when the race was said and done, that coming in 2007. Team Penske has yet to field a winner in the biggest Indy Car race of the season. Briscoe led a few laps early on in the race last year, but a 15th place finish was considered a huge setback.

She may have some long odds to capture the checkered flag in this race, but Danica Patrick (+3000 at Brobury Sports) could really make some history if she can find a way to make it to Victory Lane for the second time in her career. Patrick finished third in this race a year ago. She was the fourth woman ever to get behind the wheel of a car in the Indy 500. Patrick hasn’t had a good run of it this year for Andretti Autosport Racing, as she only has one Top 10 finish and has largely criticized her team for the product that she is racing in on a weekly basis. Patrick enters this week in 16th place in the IRL standings with just 86 points.

Current 2010 Indianapolis 500 Odds @ Brobury Sportsbook (as of 5/26):
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Alex Tagliani +2000
Dan Wheldon +2500
Danica Patrick +3000
Dario Franchitti +400
Ed Carpenter +5000
Helio Castroneves +250
Hideki Mutoh +3000
Justin Wilson +10000
Marco Andretti +2000
Mike Conway +10000
Raphael Matos +5000
Ryan Briscoe +400
Ryan Hunter-Reay +3000
Scott Dixon +350
Takuma Sato +10000
Tony Kanaan +2500
Vitor Meira +4000
Will Power +600
Field +2500

NASCAR Betting: All-Star Challenge Preview, Odds, and Free Picks

May 20th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in Nascar / Auto Racing   Comments Off on NASCAR Betting: All-Star Challenge Preview, Odds, and Free Picks
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The good ol’ boys of NASCAR take a week off from competitive races this weekend for their annual All-Star festivities at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday. The unpredictability of this weekend’s race on Tobacco Road could open up some fantastic opportunities for bettors to cash in with big prices, and here at Bankroll Sports, we’re analyzing the NASCAR betting lines to try to find some winners for the event!

This race dates back to 1985, and several past champions litter this field that will take the green flag at Charlotte on Saturday.

Last year’s champion, Tony Stewart (+1200 at BetUS Sportsbook) is struggling a tad in the standings in 14th place, two slots outside of the Chase for the Championship. He doesn’t have a fantastic history here at Charlotte Motor Speedway either, as he only has a win in last year’s All-Star Challenge to go with his 2003 triumph in the UAW-GM Quality 500 when he was with Joe Gibbs racing. Stewart became the first owner/driver to win this event since its inception, and he’ll look to become just the second man to ever win back-to-back All-Star races (Bobby Allison 1991-92).

The all-time winningest All-Star racer in this field is the Rainbow Warrior, Jeff Gordon (+500 at BetUS Sportsbook). He won this event in 1995, 1997, and 2001, but since that point, he hasn’t been able to capture the elusive million dollar prize. The #24 car has five top five finishes in 12 races this year and currently sits sixth in points, just 163 off of the pace. Hendrick Motor Sports has captured this crown six times, which is two more than Richard Childress Racing for the most by a team in NASCAR history.

Grabbing the points leader, Kevin Harvick (+1200 at BetUS Sportsbook) at this type of a price might be a steal for NASCAR betting fans. Harvick already has found his way to Victory Lane once this year, and his nine Top 10 finishes is easily the most in the business in the 2010 season. Harvick got Richard Childress Racing that aforementioned fourth victory in the All-Star Challenge in 2007.

The leaders on the season in wins are also going to be ones to watch for. It has been seven races since Jimmie Johnson (+450 at BetUS Sportsbook) has tasted victory, but he still has three wins, five Top 5s, and seven Top 10s on the season. Johnson’s first race ever actually came at this track, so it is a bit of a homecoming of sorts. He won this race in 2003 and 2006, but his success at Charlotte stretches well beyond All-Star races. Johnson won the 2009 NASCAR Banking 500, the ’05 UAW-GM Quality 500, the ’05 Coca-Cola 600, the ’04 UAW-GM Quality 500, the 2004 Coca-Cola 600, and the 2003 Coca-Cola 600 as well.

The other man with three wins this year is Denny Hamlin (+800 at BetUS Sportsbook). Hamlin has another thing going for him aside from just his in-car experience, as his pit crew won the Pit Crew Challenge on Wednesday night, changing four tires, filling the car up with gas, and pushing it 40 yards in 23.132 seconds. Hamlin has won three of the L/7 races on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit, and many feel as though he has a chance to not only take down this race, but to win the Chase for the Championship as well in the quest of final stopping Jimmie Johnson’s reign over the racing world.

2010 NASCAR All-Star Race Odds @ BetUS Sportsbook (as of 5/20/10):
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Bobby Labonte +8000
Brad Keselowski +3500
Dale Earnhardt Jr. +2000
David Reutimann +2500
Denny Hamlin +800
Jamie McMurray +2000
Jeff Gordon +500
Jimmie Johnson +450
Joey Logano +2500
Kasey Kahne +1200
Kevin Harvick +1200
Kurt Busch +1000
Kyle Busch +400
Mark Martin +1200
Matt Kenseth +1000
Ryan Newman +2000
Tony Stewart +1200
Field +500

MLB Betting: Top Teams to Watch in Interleague Play

May 18th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in MLB Baseball   Comments Off on MLB Betting: Top Teams to Watch in Interleague Play
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MLB betting action kicks off its first weekend of Interleague play beginning this weekend, and several of the best matchups of the entire year between the American and National Leagues will be underway. Here at Bankroll Sports, we’re taking a look at some of the teams that you need to keep an eye on as the two leagues collide with one another beginning on Friday!

New York Yankees: The Bronx Bombers not only have the second best record in baseball at 25-13 coming into Tuesday, but they also have the best all-time record in Interleague play as well at 133-95. They went just 10-8 in 18 Interleague clashes last season, but their record against their cross town rivals from Flushing was an impeccable 5-1. The Yanks outscored the Mets 18-3 in a three game sweep at the end of June last year, and outscored them by another 26-14 margin over Father’s Day weekend at Yankee Stadium. Who could forget closer Francisco Rodriguez throwing his arms in the air after inducing a pop up to 2B Luis Castillo for what should’ve ended the game? It did. Castillo dropped the ball, two runs scored, and the Yanks won 9-8.

Florida Marlins: It feels like we talk about the Marlins posting solid records every year in Interleague play. They have the best record amongst the National League squads all-time at 120-99 in 219 cross-league battles. Last season, no one in the NL had a better team batting average than the Fish did in Interleague play (.280), and their 78 runs scored was second in the NL. Florida finished a solid 10-8. This weekend, it will face off with the Chicago White Sox, a team that it has faced six times in team history. The Marlins took too out of three games from the Pale Hose both in 2007 at US Cellular Field and in 2004 in South Beach. Florida has won six of its L/10 games overall and is a game over .500 coming into Tuesday’s action, so expect to see the Fish try to make a move during their best time of year.

Colorado Rockies: The Rocks rolled to an 11-4 record in Interleague play last season as a part of their most improbable comeback from the depths of the NL West to the make the postseason. They’ve got a fantastic draw at the start of Interleague play this season, getting to travel to a Kansas City team that is a mess at this point after the firing of manager Trey Hillman. Colorado had won four of its previous five games before losing the first game of a series at Wrigley Field on Monday night, but it is still just four games back in the tightly contested NL West race. The only concern about the Rockies in this one is that they have actually never won a game at Kauffman Stadium, going 0-3 all-time there from a series sweep in 2008. The team may be five games under .500 all-time in cross-league play, but Colorado is still a team to watch to make a move over this summer.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Manager Mike Scioscia had better hope that his team can come back from the depths of obscurity in the AL West race with a strong Interleague season! The Halos are just 18-22 through 40 games and are in dire need of a winning streak to get back in contention in the divisional race. No one posted a better Interleague mark in the bigs last year than did the Angels, who went a whopping 14-4. This will be the third trip to Busch Stadium for Anaheim in team history (ironically, the Cardinals have never traveled to the Big A). The Halos have captured three of the L/4 meetings and are an even 3-3 in six games against the Redbirds all-time. With a .557 winning percentage all-time in Interleague play, Scoscia’s boys aren’t ones to mess around with.

Updated Odds and Analysis 2010 NBA Championship (5/15/10)

May 15th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NBA Basketball   Comments Off on Updated Odds and Analysis 2010 NBA Championship (5/15/10)
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Only four teams left in the quest to become the champs of the basketball world heading into the Eastern and Western Conference Championship series which begin on Sunday.

With the dismissal of the Cleveland Cavaliers from the postseason, the Orlando Magic (+120 at Diamond Sportsbook) are now the favorite to win it all. And why not? HC Stan Van Gundy’s team has won all eight of its playoff games and just ditched the Hawks by a combined 101 points. The Magic are now 14-0 SU and 12-2 ATS in their L/14 games overall dating back to the regular season, and they haven’t been beaten since the beginning of April. If Boston thinks it is winning this series, it is going to have to buck a very telling trend that is on the side of the men from the Sunshine State. Orlando hasn’t lost back-to-back games since January 18th. That’s 49 straight games without two losses in a row.

As you can plainly see, the Boston Celtics (+600 at Diamond Sportsbook) are deservedly one of the two longest shots on the board to win it all. It’s going to be hard to see how the C’s can get the job done against the Magic. However, Boston did win four out of five games against the team that was easily the favorite to take it all in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. G Rajon Rondo has made a name for himself in these playoffs, especially with his triple-double in Game 4 against Cleveland. The Kentucky product has averaged 18.0 points, 11.1 assists, and 6.3 rebounds per game in the playoffs, and no one is questioning the fact that he has been the MVP of the team to date.

In the Western Conference, both teams are coming off of impressive clean sweeps of their foes.

The Phoenix Suns (+625 at Diamond Sportsbook) are the decided underdog to reach the NBA Finals. The Suns swept away the San Antonio Spurs in a series that many thought they were going to lose. HC Alvin Gentry has really gotten his squad together, as he is getting great contributions off of the bench and his starters are continuing to carry the load. F Amare Stoudemire has passed his biggest test to date, as he dominated the paint against F Tim Duncan and the Spurs. Now, he’ll need to take on the team that has arguably had the best inside presences in these playoffs.

In all likelihood, the Los Angeles Lakers (+130 at Diamond Sportsbook) are going to be short underdogs to win the NBA Championship if they run into the Magic in the Finals, which isn’t something that many saw as possible just a few weeks ago. LA rebounded from its iffy series with the Thunder by completely annihilating Utah in four games. G Kobe Bryant has been the subject of a lot of criticism, but he has fired back with five straight fantastic games. Kobe has scored at least 30 in all five and has averaged 32.0 points per game in that stretch. If Bryant can continue his assault on the basket, things are going to be very, very difficult for a Phoenix team that knows that it must shut him down to succeed.

Odds to win 2010 NBA Championship @ Diamond Sportsbook (as of 5/15/10):
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Orlando Magic +120
Los Angeles Lakers +130
Boston Celtics +600
Phoenix Suns +625

MLB Baseball Power Ratings (After 5/10/10)

May 12th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in MLB Baseball   Comments Off on MLB Baseball Power Ratings (After 5/10/10)

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*Baseball Records & Team Rankings are as of 5/10/2010
(Our Next Major League Baseball Power Ratings Update: 5

1. Tampa Bay Rays (22-9) – Despite being no hit on Sunday, Tampa Bay still holds the best record in baseball. At 22-9, Tampa Bay leads the American League East, just slightly ahead of the Yankees. Tampa Bay has scored 174 runs, which ranks second in the AL. Their pitching has been solid as well, anchored by Matt Garza and his 5 wins, and David Price’s sub 2.00 earned run average. Evan Longoria is leading the team in batting average (.325), homeruns (7), runs batted in (23) and runs scored (28). The west coast trip will continue Monday for the Rays. The third city will be Los Angeles, where the Angels await the Rays. After taking Thursday, Tampa Bay will host the Seattle Mariners for a three game series.

2. New York Yankees (21-9) – The Yankees, after winning the first two over the Red Sox, fell on Sunday. New York, with a win, would have taken over the top spot in the American League East. New York leads in almost all offensive categories; batting average (.283), runs scored (175), OBS (.375), SLG (.468) and OPS (.840). They have also seen solid pitching, as the team has a combined ERA of 3.42. New York will continue their seven game road trip on Monday, for a four game series in Detroit against the Tigers. On Friday, the Yankees will come back home and host the Minnesota Twins. Robinson Cano is putting up MVP like numbers, with a .333 bating average, along with 9 homeruns and 22 runs batted in.

3. Minnesota Twins (21-11) – The Minnesota Twins continue their red-hot play, winning seven of their last ten games. After sweeping Detroit, the Twins beat the Baltimore Orioles two out of three over the weekend. Minnesota has enjoyed the third best pitching in the American League, anchored by Francisco Liriano and his 4 wins and 2.36 earned run average. Offensively, Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer are leading the team. Morneau leads with 7 homeruns, while Cuddyer has drove him 23 runners. The Twins will host the White Sox Tuesday and Wednesday, then play three in the Bronx against the Yankees over the weekend.

4. Philadelphia Phillies (19-12) – The Philadelphia Phillies won the battle of the “two best teams in the NL” when they took three of four from the St. Louis Cardinals earlier this week. Philadelphia holds a two game lead over the Mets and Nationals atop the NL East. The Phillies have the largest run differential in the NL, with +45. Their 160 runs scored is third best in the league, while they are hitting .271 as a team. Jayson Werth is batting .349 for the Phillies, while Chase Utley continues his power surge, with 8 homeruns. The Phillies will start a three game series in Colorado on Monday. After taking Thursday off, the Phillies will play three in Milwaukee over the weekend.

5. San Diego Padres (18-11) – The Padres hold a slim ½ game lead at the top of the NL West. San Diego and San Francisco will battle it out for first place this week, starting Tuesday in San Francisco. Following that trip, the Padres will host the Dodgers for three over the weekend. The Padres have enjoyed quality starting pitching, with the second best earned run average in the NL, 2.70. The San Diego bats need to find some awakening, as they are batting just .244, for 12th place in the NL. Adrian Gonzalez leads the team with 6 homeruns and 17 runs batted. Chase Headley leads the team in batting average (.325) and runs scored (20).

6. St. Louis Cardinals (20-12) – After losing three of four in Philadelphia, the Cardinals were able to bounce back and win two of three in Pittsburgh, including scoring 11 runs on Sunday. St. Louis still sits with the best record in the National League, and the largest divisional lead; of 3.5. Adam Wainwright picked up his fifth win of the season, and his earned run average is just slightly over 2.00. The Cardinals pitching has been outstanding, leading the NL in ERA, with a 2.71. The offense has been inconsistent, but rookie third baseman David Freese has been sharp, hitting .320. The Cardinals are taking Monday off, then hosting divisional rival Houston for three games starting on Tuesday. On Friday, the Cardinals will play in Cincinnati, a team they have beat four out of six times so far this season.

7. San Francisco Giants (18-12) – At 18-12, the San Francisco Giants are in second place in the National Leagues West. The Giants trail San Diego by just ½ game. The Giants were able to manage one win away from the three game series in New York, by winning 6-5 on Sunday. The Giants have seen spectacular pitching, with a 2.97 earned run average. That mark ranks them third in the NL. The Giants have scored 134 runs on the season, which ranks 9th. Barry Zito has had a fantastic season, leading the team with 5 wins, and sub 2.00 earned run average. The Giants will host the Padres for a three game series starting Tuesday, and then welcome Houston to town over the weekend.

8. Toronto Blue Jays (19-14) – Toronto continues to hold on near the top of the American League East. At 19-14, the Blue Jays are four games behind the Rays for the top spot. The Blue Jays have won eight of their last ten, including Sunday’s 9-7 win over the Chicago White Sox. The Blue Jays are led offensively by Alex Gonzalez and his 10 homeruns and 27 runs batted in. The Blue Jays will travel to divisional rival Boston for a three game series starting on Monday. After taking Thursday off, Toronto will host the Texas Rangers for a three game series.

9. Detroit Tigers (17-14) – The Tigers, at 17-14 have fallen 3.5 games back of the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central. Detroit, after getting swept by the Twins, split two in Cleveland over the weekend. The Tigers have seen great offensive production from Miguel Cabrera, who has hit 7 homeruns and drove home 33 runs this season. The Tigers are sixth in the AL with 149 runs scored, while they have given up 146. Detroit will start a rough week, hosting the Yankees for four on Monday and Red Sox for three on Friday.

10. Oakland Athletics (17-15) – Dallas Braden made history on Sunday, throwing a perfect game against the top hitting team in the Major Leagues. The win for the A’s was their second straight over the Rays. Oakland is just one game back of Texas at the top of the American League West. Braden leads the team with four wins and an earned run average of 3.33. Oakland has seen solid pitching, with a team ERA of 3.90 and opponents batting just .245 against them. Offensively, Oakland has struggled, with a .251 batting average. The Athletics will take Monday off, before head out for a six game road trip. The road trip will include stops in Texas and Los Angeles (Angels).

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11. Washington Nationals (17-14) – The Washington Nationals have continued their solid start to the 2010 season. At 17-14, the Nationals are just two games out of first place in the NL East. Washington took two of three over the weekend over the Marlins, and will now go to New York for a three game series. After the series ends, the Nationals will come home for a four game series at home with the Rockies. Washington has been led by Josh Willingham, with 6 homeruns, 20 runs batted in and 18 runs scored. Tyler Clippard, out of the bullpen has pitched in 16 games this season, and won 6, with 7 holds and a 0.76 earned run average.

12. New York Mets (17-14) – The Mets dropped the final game of a three game series with the San Francisco Giants on Sunday. New York, at 17-14 is tied in second place with Washington, two games behind the Philadelphia Phillies. New York has struggled offensive, hitting just .236 as a team, with 132 total runs scored, but the pitching has been solid. The Mets have a team ERA of 3.55, which ranks them fourth in the NL. Mike Pelfrey leads the team with four wins and an ERA of 2.65. New York will host Washington for three starting Monday, then head to Miami to take on the Marlins for four over the weekend.

13. Boston Red Sox (16-16) – The Red Sox were able to salvage the final game of a three game series with the Yankees to climb back to .500 on the season. Boston swept the Angels in four games at the start of the week to move above .500. The Red Sox are seven games behind the Rays in the AL East. Boston’s pitching has been horrid this season, ranking last in the AL with a 5.11 earned run average, along with opponents batting .269 against pitchers. The Red Sox have seen another solid season from second basemen Dustin Pedroia, as he leads the team in homeruns (7) and runs batted in (27). Boston will host the Blue Jays for a three game series, starting Monday. After taking Thursday off, the Red Sox will play three in Detroit, against the Tigers.

14. Texas Rangers (18-14) – Winners of four straight games, the Texas Rangers are atop the American League West. The Rangers are coming off a four game sweep at home, over the Kansas City Royals. Texas ranks fifth in the American League with a 3.74 team earned run average, and 8th with a .253 batting average. The Rangers will welcome leading homerun hitter Nelson Cruz on Thursday, after a stint on the disabled list. Cruz leads Texas with 7 homeruns. The Rangers will take Monday off, and host Oakland for three starting Tuesday, before heading on the road for a weekend series in Toronto.

15. Colorado Rockies (15-16) – Ubaldo Jimenez picked up his first loss of the season on Sunday, as the Rockies offense was shutdown by Dodgers’ starter Clayton Kershaw. Colorado has been led offensively by Carlos Gonzalez and Ian Stewart. Gonzalez leads the team with a .318 batting average, while Stewart has knocked 6 homeruns on the season. The Rockies are in third place in the NL West, four games behind the leader – San Diego Padres. Colorado will start a seven game home stand on Monday, when they welcome the Philadelphia Phillies to town for a three game series. On Thursday, the Rockies will host Washington, for the start of a four game series spanning until Sunday.

16. Milwaukee Brewers (15-16) – The Brewers got healthy over the weekend against the Arizona Diamondbacks pitching. Milwaukee scored 26 runs in a three game sweep. The series moved the Brewers to 15-16 overall and third place in the NL Central. They currently trail St. Louis by 4.5 games. Ryan Braun has put up MVP type numbers; batting .365 with 6 homeruns and 28 runs batted in. The Brewers, with 173 runs have scored the most in the NL. Pitching has been where the Brewers have taken a hit, as they rank 12th in the NL with a 4.88 ERA. Milwaukee will look to keep the win streak alive on Monday against the Atlanta Braves. On Friday, the Philadelphia Phillies will come into Milwaukee for a three game series.

17. Florida Marlins (14-17) – The Marlins won the first game of a three game series in Washington D.C, but then fell in the final two. Those two losses sent the Marlins to 14-17 overall and fourth place in the National League East. Florida trails the Philadelphia Phillies by five games in the division. Hanley Ramirez is leading the team in batting average (.308) and homeruns (7). Florida, as a team is batting .260, and have scored 142 runs. Florida will start a three game series at Wrigley Field in Chicago against the Cubs on Monday. On Thursday, Florida will host divisional rival New York for a four game series spanning until Sunday.

18. Arizona Diamondbacks (14-18) – Arizona, fresh off a three game sweep from the Milwaukee Brewers have fallen to 14-18 overall. The Diamondbacks with the sweep dropped to last place in the NL West, 5.5 games behind the Padres. The Diamondbacks have been horrible in the pitching department, with a 5.49 earned run average. Opponents are hitting .282 against the Arizona pitching, which is second worst in the NL. The Diamondbacks will host divisional foe Dodgers on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Following that series, the Diamondbacks will take Thursday off, and then play in Atlanta over the weekend.

19. Cincinnati Reds (16-15) – After losing the opening game of the series, Cincinnati took two of three from divisional rival Chicago. The Reds pushed above .500, and put them just 3.5 games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central. The Reds are led by Joey Votto, with .315 batting average, 7 homeruns and 20 runs batted in. Cincinnati is batting .253 at homes, for 11th in the NL. Reds pitching ranks 14th in the NL with a 5.36 earned run average. Cincinnati will head to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates for three starting Monday. The Reds will take Thursday off, and then host the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend. The Reds have lost four of six from the Cardinals thus far in 2010.

20. Chicago Cubs (14-18) – The Chicago Cubs just lost five of six on a road trip to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. The lone bright spot was the call-up of shortstop Starlin Castro, who blasted a homerun and triple in his rookie debut. The Cubs are in fifth place in the NL Central, six games behind the front running Cardinals. Chicago has hit the ball, with a .275 batting average, which places them third in the NL, but have had problems on the mound, as their team ERA is 4.40 and opponents are hitting .263 against them. Both of those numbers rank the Cubs 10th in the NL. Chicago will host the Florida Marlins, starting on Monday for three, before taking Thursday off. Over the weekend, the Cubs will look to get revenge on divisional for Pittsburgh.

21. Chicago White Sox (13-19) – The White Sox are coming off losing three of four to the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend. That sends the White Sox to 13-19 overall, and in third place in the American League Central. Much of the White Sox problem has been offensively, where they are batting just .226 as team, 13th in the AL. Alex Rios leads the team with a .324 batting average, while Paul Konerko has bombed 13 homeruns and drove in 27 runs. The White Sox also rank 11th in team ERA, with a 4.61. Chicago will play a two game series Tuesday and Wednesday in Minnesota, before taking Thursday off, and play three more in Kansas City over the weekend.

22. Los Angeles Angels (14-17) – The Angels, after their rough series in Boston, beat the Mariners two in a row, before falling on Sunday. The Angels are 14-17 overall, and in third place in the American League West. They trail the Rangers by 4.5 games in the division. Kendry Morales leads the team in batting average (.287), homeruns (7) and runs batted in (22). The Angels have struggled pitching, with a 4.98 earned run average. The Angels are going to host the Tampa Bay Rays Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, before taking Thursday off. On Friday, the Angels will host the Oakland Athletics for a three game series.

23. Los Angeles Dodgers (12-16) – The Dodgers, in fourth place in the National League West picked up a big win Sunday over Colorado, to win two of three in the series. Los Angeles got great pitching from Clayton Kershaw, to give Ubaldo Jimenez his first loss of the season. The Dodgers need the pitching improvement, as they have a combined 5.04 earned run average. Surprisingly, the Dodgers are leading the NL in batting average, at .277. Andre Ethier is the early season MVP as he leads in batting average (.383), homeruns (10) and runs batted in (32). The Dodgers will head to Phoenix on Monday to take on the Diamondbacks in the first of a three game series. After taking Thursday off, Los Angeles will head to San Diego, to play the Padres over the weekend.

24. Pittsburgh Pirates (14-17) – In an effort to get above .500 for the first time in 20 years, the Pittsburgh Pirates have started 14-17. Pittsburgh, after sweeping the Cubs, lost two of three to the first place St. Louis Cardinals. Within the NL Central, Pittsburgh is in fourth place, 5.5 games out of first place. The Pirates have been good in low scoring, close games, as their -82 run differential shows that is proof positive. Youngster Andrew McCutchen is batting .333 with 4 homeruns to lead the Pirates offense, which is hitting just .243 as a team. The Pirates will host the Cincinnati Reds Monday – Wednesday, then take Thursday off and head to Wrigley Field in Chicago over the weekend.

25. Seattle Mariners (12-19) – Losers of eight of their last ten games, the Seattle Mariners have fallen to seven games below .500 through the first 1/6th of the MLB season. The Mariners snapped their nasty losing streak on Sunday, knocking off the Angels 8-1. Seattle is led in hitting by Ichiro Suzuki, as he is batting .326, and has 15 runs scored. The Mariners as a team are hitting just .225, worst in the American League. The Mariners are 5.5 games behind Texas in the American League West.

26. Atlanta Braves (13-18) – Despite being out scored on the season by just 12 runs, the Atlanta Braves are five games below .500 to start 2010. In Bobby Cox’s last season as the manager of the Atlanta Braves, his team is batting just .231, which ranks them 15th in the National League. Rookie Jason Heyward has been one of the lone bright spots offensively, blasting 8 homeruns and driving in 26 runs. Atlanta will start a three game series in Milwaukee on Monday, and then take Thursday off, before host the Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend.

27. Cleveland Indians (11-18) – The Indians are coming off a split of two games with the Detroit Tigers over the weekend. At 11-18, Cleveland is 8.5 games behind the Tigers in the American League Central. The Indians have been carried offensively by Shin-Soo Choo, with a .315 batting average, four homeruns, 19 runs batted in and 16 runs scored. The Indians as a team are batting .241, which ranks them 11th in the AL. The Indians will take Monday off, and then head to Kansas City on Tuesday and Baltimore on Friday.

28. Kansas City Royals (11-21) – The Kansas City Royals have lost five straight games, and seven of their last ten overall. The Royals have dropped to 10 games out of first in the American League Central Division. The Royals have hit the ball effectively, ranking third in the AL with a .274 batting average. The pitching has been horrid, compiling a team earned run average of 5.11, the second worst in the AL. Jose Guillen leads the team in homeruns (8) and runs batted in (21) and runs scored (18). The Royals will host divisional rival Cleveland on Tuesday – Thursday, and then another divisional team; the Chicago White Sox will come in over the weekend.

29. Houston Astros (10-21) – With the worst record in the National League, the Houston Astros are looking for ways to rebuild this season. There have been early talks of Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee and possibly Roy Oswalt leaving town by August. The Astros are in last place in the NL Central, 9.5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals. Houston snapped their three game losing streak on Sunday, downing the San Diego Padres 4-3. The Astros rank last in the NL in batting average, with a .225 and runs scored, with just 81. The Astros will head to St. Louis on Tuesday and play a three game series against the Cardinals, before traveling out to San Francisco for the weekend.

30. Baltimore Orioles (9-23) – With the worst record in baseball,  the Baltimore Orioles are looking for as many positives as they can. Ty Wigginton is one of them, leading the team in homeruns and RBI’s, with 10 and 20 respectively. The Orioles have struggled both on the offensive side and on the mound. The Orioles are batting .246 and have a team ERA of 4.51. Both of those statistics rank the Orioles 10th in the American League. Baltimore is 13.5 games out of first place in the American League East. The Orioles will host the Seattle Mariners Tuesday – Thursday, and then welcome the Cleveland Indians to town over the weekend.

Suns Set to Rise in the Western Conference Finals

May 11th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NBA Basketball   Comments Off on Suns Set to Rise in the Western Conference Finals

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It felt like every season, the Phoenix Suns were being stopped on their quest to reach the NBA Finals at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs. Many thought that this year would be no exception, as Phoenix ran into the #7 Spurs in the second round of the playoffs and was the subject of many upset selections.

Upset, shmupset. Bust out the brooms instead.

The Suns absolutely blasted San Antonio in all four games, winning each by at least six points and averaging winning by 9.3 points per game. They went 4-0 ATS and have now both won and covered every NBA playoff betting line that they have faced since G Brandon Roy limped back onto the court in Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

The time is now for the loveable losers in the NBA. The Suns haven’t been to the NBA Finals since 1993 in the Charles Barkley days, and you have to go back to 1976 to find the only other time in franchise history that they pulled off the feat.

The city of Phoenix has yet to taste a championship in the NBA.

The time is absolutely now for Phoenix.

C Amare Stoudemire, by all accounts, will most likely be playing somewhere else next season unless he accepts his hefty player option for the 2010-11 season with the Suns. G Steve Nash isn’t getting any younger. Who knows if G Jason Richardson will ever catch this much fire again?

This team is significantly different than the ones that just flew up and down the court, played no defense, and ultimately were just muscled out of the playoffs.

Are Steve Nash and the Suns tough enough to beat the Los Angeles Lakers? You’d better believe it!

Stoudemire just did his job in the paint and 20.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game against arguably the best power forward of our generation in F Tim Duncan. Nash was bloody up in Game 4, but came back and ultimately scored 20 points to go with nine assists. Six different players recorded blocked shots in the final game of the series as well.

In fact, Phoenix held San Antonio to 46.7 percent shooting in Game 4, 45.0 percent in Game 3, 50.6 percent in Game 2, and 45.8 percent in Game 1. When you’re the Suns and you shoot nearly 50% from the field in every game and you have eight guys that can shoot three pointers, including several that are at least 6’10”, if you hold opposing teams to those types of percentages, you’re going to win a lot of games.

Enter the Los Angeles Lakers, the defending champs in the NBA. LA was pushed to the brink in what was a very hard fought series against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Round 1, only to dismiss the Utah Jazz in four games in Round 2.

However, many accept the fact that this team isn’t as good as the one that won it all last year. G Kobe Bryant is still producing, but he is most certainly aging and most likely injured. Unlike in the last series when the Lakers absolutely dominated the glass, the Suns have enough big bodies to pound the likes of F Pau Gasol and C Andrew Bynum on the inside.

Depth won’t be an issue either, as HC Alvin Gentry isn’t afraid to call on any number or combination of ten guys to get the job done. Foul trouble won’t be an issue. Neither will fatigue… at least not for Phoenix.

The Lakers have been warned. The Suns are set to rise in the Western Conference Finals.

BetUS Sportsbook has opened up the Suns at +280 underdogs to win the Western Conference.

MLB Betting: Top 10 Money Making Pitchers (through 5/8)

May 9th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in MLB Baseball   Comments Off on MLB Betting: Top 10 Money Making Pitchers (through 5/8)

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As we enter another Sunday of MLB betting action, we’re taking a look at some of the best pitchers that baseball has to offer that have made us money over the course of the season. Be sure to keep your eye on these hurlers as the MLB wagering season continues!

1: Andy Pettitte, New York Yankees (6-0, +$630) – No one wants to mess with the Yankees with anyone on the mound right now, but Pettitte has been particularly lethal. The Bronx Bombers have won nine straight times that they’re southpaw has taken the hill dating back to the playoffs last year. Keep an eye on Pettitte though, as he is already scheduled to miss his next start with some elbow inflammation.

2: Ubaldo Jimenez, Colorado Rockies (6-0, +$600) – Mr. No Hitter has been a hefty chalk every time that he has taken the baseball for Manager Jim Tracy, but so far, he is passing every test with flying colors. The righty has just been sick this year, giving up just four earned runs over 41.1 innings and striking out 44. Jimenez could be the best pitcher in baseball.

3: Scott Olsen, Washington Nationals (4-1, +$577) – It’s not often that you see a pitcher for the Nats on this list, but Olsen is one of the two that is very deserving of his spot as a top money maker. Not many expect to see Olsen as a favorite when he pitches, as he hasn’t be a chalk since 2008 when he was with the Florida Marlins (and ironically, was pitching against these Washington Nationals that day). However, after three straight great starts in which he allowed just one earned run in total, many are going to start considering Olsen as a threat to make some real money.

4: Livan Hernandez, Washington Nationals (4-1, +$533) – The ageless wonder that is Livan Hernandez continues to find ways to win games in spite of the fact that he has more walks (13) than strikeouts (11) on the season. However, with only one loss to his credit, and that coming to Jimenez and the Rockies, it’s hard to ignore than Hernandez has been a great option for MLB bettors this year. You have to go back to last September to find the last time that he allowed more than three earned runs in a game.

5: Kyle Davies, Kansas City Royals (4-2, +$523) – It’s not often that you see a pitcher go 4-2 and be on a list like this, especially after allowing nine earned runs in a start, but the oddsmakers have already made Davies a +150 or higher pup in four starts this year. The Royals’ righty was really clobbered at Texas this week, and his descent back to earth may be just beginning.

6: Mike Pelfrey, New York Mets (5-1, +$488) – Speaking of guys that are bound to come back to earth at some point, what about Mike Pelfrey? New York’s best right-handed starter is nothing more than a career 5.00 ERA type of guy, but he did toss 24 straight spotless frames this year and picked up three wins (and a save!) to show for it. Since then, though? Nine earned runs in 11.1 innings. Buyer beware.

7: Barry Zito, San Francisco Giants (5-1, +$465) – The very, very rich left arm of Barry Zito’s may finally be paying dividends for the Giants. The southpaw is 5-0 with a 1.49 ERA this year, and he hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in a game. Remember when Zito was the laughing stock of baseball and pitching out of the bullpen? That’s not the case anymore, and MLB betting fans would be wise to hop on this bandwagon before it either careens into a ditch or the oddsmakers catch on.

8: Chris Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals (6-1, +$463) – Save a start against Milwaukee back on April 11th, Carpenter looks just as unhittable now as he was last season when he was a candidate for the Cy Young Award. There’s nothing not to like here from one of the top righties in baseball, as he is 4-0 with a 2.80 ERA and has 47 strikeouts against 13 walks in 45.0 innings. Oh, and if anyone thinks that opposing batters are hitting .276 against him for the year, they’re crazy. Carpenter may just be getting revved up.

9: Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies (6-1, +$455) – The problem with betting on Halladay is that the oddsmakers are just going to punish you to no end if he loses. That’s if he loses. At 6-1 with a 1.45 ERA, no one is touching Halladay this year, as he has to be the front-runner for the NL Cy Young Award this year through seven starts. Here’s something to watch, though. Halladay has thrown at least 100 pitches in all of his starts this year, including 118 and 119 respectively in his L/2 starts.

10: Carlos Silva, Chicago Cubs (5-1, +$423) – Not a bad consolation prize for getting rid of CF Milton Bradley, huh? Silva hasn’t been lights out this year, but his offense has produced just a slew of runs for him (7.5 per game). No one is going to complain about a 3.50 ERA from a guy who really is no better than a fifth starter on a regular basis. The price tags remain reasonable on Silva as well in spite of the fact that he is pitching for the Cubs, who are normally shaded by the oddsmakers.