Charlie Morton, Marlon Byrd lead Pirates past Brewers 7-1

Byrd

Marlon Byrd made quite the impression in his first career game in a Pirates’ uniform as the right fielder blasted a three-run home run in the seventh inning during Wednesday night’s 7-1 beating of the Brewers. Similar to Kora the right fielder made this presence known early to set the tone for the rest of the game.

Byrd struck out twice, but delivered the big home run which made up for it all.

Charlie Morton pitched well once again, allowing one earned run in six and two-thirds innings pitched.

 

ESPN is pretty spot-on in terms of specifications.

Betting Favorites For The World Series

baseball

It may feel like we only just got through with All Star Weekend, but the reality is that MLB pennant races are beginning to take shape. In the NL East, the Atlanta Braves appear to be running away with the race, but a quick look at the MLB website will show you that outside of this one division, there are no teams who can safely be called playoff guarantees (with the possible exception of the Detroit Tigers, who boast a 7-game lead over the 2nd place Cleveland Indians in the AL Central).

However, tight races don’t mean that we can’t start to look at who seems poised to contend for a World Series. Here’s a look at the five teams that the Betfair sports betting site has listed with the best odds to win the title in November.

5. Pittsburgh Pirates (Between 9/1 and 10/1 odds)
In actuality, this 5th spot is a tie, in terms of odds, between the Pirates, Red Sox, Cardinals and Rangers, but because the Pirates have the best record of that bunch we’ve given the nod to them, and why not? The Pirates boast arguably the best starting pitching in the MLB (with two starters posting sub-3.00 ERA and not a single starter above 4.00), and have amassed a 90+ win pace in one of baseball’s toughest divisions. This team could well be in the mix.

4. Cleveland Indians (9/1 odds)
The Indians are hiding under the radar a bit by virtue of trailing Detroit by seven games in the AL Central. Nonetheless, the Indians seem poised to contend for a Wild Card position, and have the talent to win a few playoff series. The team is 5th in runs scored, but will needs its pitching – both starters and relief – to pick it up a bit if it’s to seriously contend.

3. Atlanta Braves (7/1 odds)
The Braves have the best winning percentage in the MLB, and have flat out dominated the NL East. 8th in the league in runs scored and 1st in ERA qualify them for best-team-in-baseball status.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers (6/1 odds)
The Dodgers may not have as commanding a lead as the Braves, but they’re unquestionably the hottest team in baseball, with a scintillating 25-4 record since the All Star break. Credit rookie phenom Yasiel Puig, ace starter Clayton Kershaw, or whomever else you want – this team seems unlikely to lose games these days, let alone entire series.

1. Detroit Tigers (6/1 odds)
ESPN lists Detroit as being 1st in the league in both quality starts and batting average. Miguel Cabrera is without a doubt the deadliest hitter in the league (and it’s not close), and Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez have pitched every bit as well as Justin Verlander. This team is simply loaded, and justifiably atop the betting odds charts.

How can the Pirates improve against lefties? – Bucs Dugout

How can the Pirates improve against lefties? – Bucs Dugout.

Pirates second half primer – Bucs Dugout

Pirates second half primer – Bucs Dugout.

Pedro Alvarez hits 6 home runs in Home Run Derby

Pedro Alvarez may not have advanced out of the opening round of the 2013 Home Run Derby, but he did make a little bit of history. Alvarez hit six home runs, the most of any Pirates’ player in history.

Alvarez was one home run away from possibly advancing in the Home Run Derby, but fell short. He did, however, hit more home runs than Prince Fielder and Robinson Cano. Not too shabby.

Pirates sweep Angeles; win 10-9 in series finale

Pedro

Pittsburgh scored three in the ninth to tie the score and dropped four in the 10th to seal the deal against the Angels, winning 10-9 on Sunday afternoon.

Pedro Alvarez once again launched a bomb early in the contest to give the Pirates the early 1-0 lead and he came through in the 10th with a double as well.

Mark Melancon picked up the victory in relief.

Pittsburgh heads to Seattle for a pair.

Tips for betting on baseball

Do you like to dabble in sports betting? A lot do, and money can certainly be made with the process, but for those who are looking to just get into the act, there is one sport that may be easier to win money: baseball.

Baseball is America’s pastime and it’s also America’s pastime for sports gambling. But you have to know what and when to place your bet. Here are a couple pointers:

Know who’s hot

Sometimes betters go on history. For example, the Yankees have most the most MLB championships in the league and they have been good since Derek Jeter came into the league so they should easily slide by the Kansas City Royals.

Not so fast.

That misconception causes a lot of mistakes and loses money as a result. Know who’s hot this year, not just what team is historically better than the other.

This is a new year and betting should have a fresh update every year.

Bet on the home team

17 teams have better than .500 home records this year; three teams are .500 and the rest are under .500.

What does this mean? Statistically, betting on the home team is the best option if you are on the fence. It happens more often than not.

Know the starters

Pitching wins games. Pitching wins you money.

Bet on the pitcher who has had a couple good starts in a row. Chances are: he’s going to do it again.

Best place to bet on baseball and other sports

We all have an interest in sports and some of us feel confident about gambling on the sport they love. But where do you do it?

There are many options out there but I would recommend a place that gives you free money after placing one order.

Check out bonus bets for William Hill they reward you for signing up using the promotion code which is perfect for anybody who wants a taste of sports betting.

Good luck!

The Best of the Rest: Who Is Left In MLB Free Agency?

As spring training is just a few weeks away, there are still some high profile free agents that have not signed.  We take a look at the top remaining free agents and take a look at their possible landing spots.

 

Michael Bourn

Bourn is coming off the best season of his career but still has not found himself a club.  Aging outfielders at the age of 30 aren’t normally a hot commodity around the league, but Bourn has proven to be one of the best leadoff men in baseball over the past few seasons.  Posting a .348 on-base percentage last season for the Atlanta Braves, Bourn still has plenty left in the tank.

 

Bourn is represented by Scott Boras and is rumored to be seeking $15 million per year and at least a four year deal.  He has been in contact with the New York Mets, but contract talks are stalling.  Other teams with interest include the Cleveland Indians, Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers.

 

Where we think he’ll end up

Despite Bourn’s impressive past few seasons, he is 30 and is probably in decline.  GMs around the league would be crazy to give him more than four years guaranteed and Boras’ $15 million per year is laughable.  His outrageous salary demands are likely the reason Bourn is still on the market.

 

He’s a nice fit for the Mets, and they appear to be the only team that has heavy interest in signing him.  If I was going to put my money where my mouth is  I’d bet he lands with the Mets on a 3-4 year deal that pays him $10-$12 million per year.

 

Kyle Lohse

 

Surprisingly, one of the best pitchers in the baseball last season Kyle Lohse has still not been signed. Lohse is coming off an impressive 16-3 season with a 2.86 ERA and 1.09 WHIP with the St. Louis Cardinals.  Over the past three seasons, Lohse has produced a line of 30-11 with a 3.11 ERA over 399 innings.

 

Perhaps not so coincidentally, Lohse also is another Scott Boras client without a job.  Another factor hurting Lohse is the draft pick compensation is attached to signing the right-hander.

 

The Cardinals seem to have little interest in Lohse, but with many pitchers in their starting rotation coming off serious injuries, they haven’t ruled out bringing him back.  Garcia and Wainwright are coming off injuries, and Chris Carpenter likely will not pitch in 2013 and his career could be over.

 

Where we think he’ll end up

It’s difficult to say because there is not a lot interest around the league.  The Orioles and Brewers did show some interest but would need the asking price to come down.  Lohse made almost $12 million last season, and saber experts would suggest he is due for regression.  He is also 34 years old.  Ultimately, we see Lohse returning to St. Louis with a slight salary increase on a three year deal.

 

Grady Sizemore

Grady Sizemore has been marred by injuries for the past five seasons and missed 382 of the last 486 regular season games.  He has not been fully healthy since the start of the 2007 season.  Despite his long injury history, he is only 30 years old.

 

He has spent his entire career with the Cleveland Indians, who resigned him last season for $5 million.  He did not step into the batter’s box once and had another knee surgery in September.  He is still not fully healed from surgery but expects to be fully healthy by midseason at the latest.

 

Where we think he’ll end up

It’s hard to think many teams would want to take a chance on Sizemore at this point, despite his considerable upside if he should stay healthy.  We look for him to find a club this year, but probably not until he is at full health.  Sizemore could be a pleasant contributor for a team in need of left handed power.

 

Freddy Sanchez

Despite not playing a game in 19 months, Freddy Sanchez is drawing interest from many teams around the league.  A career .397 hitter with a .335 on-base percentage, Sanchez won the batting title in 2006 hitting .334.  He’s also plus defender at both second and third base.

 

Where we think he’ll end up

Like Sizemore, it is hard to nail down an exact team Sanchez might be headed to, but an in shape Sanchez could be a bargain.  A versatile infielder with a proven glove and a near .300 career average is something many teams across baseball need.  Despite his age (35), we think Sanchez will earn a spot on a major league roster before spring training starts.

UPDATE:

Michael Bourn signed a four-year, 48 million dollar contract with the Cleveland Indians.