Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies 04/12

The Phillies and Nationals are meeting for their second series of 2010 on Monday. In the first three game series, Washington was able to escape with one win. This series should go the Phillies way, despite a recent hot streak for the Nationals. Aside from beating the Phillies, the Nationals were able to take two from the struggling Mets. For the most part, the Nationals have either gotten crushed or won by a few runs. This is why the Phillies shouldn’t be taken on the moneyline when you can bet the run line. What sense is there in betting the money line at -270? That is a massive number. Since the Phillies usually dominate when they win, it makes a lot more sense to go after the run line.

The Nationals are starting Jason Marquis, definitely a volatile pitcher. Marquis could shut down the Phillies, it certainly isn’t impossible, but it is much more likely that Hamels will shut down the Nationals. As previously mentioned, the Nationals have been on fire, but they aren’t a powerful offensive team. Once they face Hamels, they should drop back down to earth. The starting pitching edge goes to Hamels, who looked sharp in his debut, and the offensive advantage is not even in question.

The Phillies are a great pick at -130 on the -1.5 run line. Not the best line in the world, but all things considered, they should be able to lock up a 2+ run win quite often. The Nationals will need to beat up on Hamels early if they want to hang around.

Kansas City Royals vs. Detroit Tigers 04/12

The Detroit Tigers are off to a hot start in 2010, while the Royals are the same old Royals. The records of these teams, however, are not truly indicative of their play or potential. Kansas City won a game against Boston, and could have very easily won a few more. Detroit, on the other hand, just barely won on Sunday, overcoming a major deficit. Detroit seems to be one of the most overvalued teams in baseball. They have some offensive firepower, with Miguel Cabrera and Johnny Damon, but they aren’t as strong as they might seem. The team is lacking in a lot of areas.

Kansas City is far from a major offensive threat, but they have a lot of role players that are capable of putting together some good games. Beyond this, their pitching can keep them in a lot of games. On Monday, the Royals are starting Luke Hochevar. Hochevar could be a big problem for the Tigers, a team who had to play through a lot of adversity to lock up a win on Sunday. Max Scherzer will be taking the mound for Detroit on Monday. Detroit is, without a doubt, in great shape whenever Scherzer is pitching. With that said, their bullpen has to be pretty shot after Sunday. Their bats are tired, and it was just a long day overall for Detroit.

Is Kansas City going to win this game “most” of the time? No, probably not, even when you consider some of the variables in play. That said, they are going to win enough to justify a +165 pick on the moneyline. The Tigers might catch fire early, but there is a legitimate chance that they will struggle after Sunday’s game.

Cincinnati Reds vs. Florida Marlins 04/12

The Reds and the Marlins start a new series on Monday, with the Reds making the trip down to Miami. On Sunday, Florida was able to stage a comeback in the late stages of their afternoon match against the Dodgers. The Reds beat the Cubs in two of the last three games that they played, with their only loss coming against Carlos Zambrano. Even though they lost to Zambrano, they could have easily swept the series, having blown a 3-0 lead in their only loss. Cincinnati’s offense remains undervalued, with Jay Bruce underperforming in 2010. Joey Votto and and Brandon Phillips can produce plenty of runs on any given day. They don’t have any true superstars, but the Reds are capable of beating almost any team in baseball. Aside from theirĀ  opener, Cincinnati has managed to keep every game close.

Johnny Cueto starts for the Reds on Monday. Cueto has big game potential, but he is also prone to some really bad games. He should be able to shut down the Marlins, but it wouldn’t be a great surprise if the Marlins exploded for a big inning or two. This is the risk with Johnny Cueto. He might pitch a shutout, or he could give up six in three innings. With that said, he is a much better pitcher than Ricky Nolasco, the Marlins starter. Nolasco had a very mediocre 2009, and his first start of 2010 yielded a 4+ ERA. This is pretty much what you can expect from Nolasco, a 4-5 ERA.

The Marlins are very comparable to the Reds on offense. Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla are the perennial powers on Florida, but Jorge Cantu can punish opponents when he is hot. Considering that both teams are pretty even on offense, the Reds are a good pick on the moneyline at +135. The Reds need Cueto to perform, or for their bats to light up Nolasco. If either, or both, of those things happen, it should be an easy win for the Reds. This is one of the best picks in MLB Betting for Monday.

Chicago Bulls vs. Toronto Raptors 04/11

Toronto and Chicago are fighting for the last spot in the playoffs, and they have been for weeks. Toronto had to overcome a deficit in the standings, and have finally locked up the 8th and final spot. With that said, Chicago has the same record as Toronto, and is far from out of it. Today’s game in Toronto should be a hard fought battle, as it is very possible that the game will decide who makes the playoffs and who doesn’t.

Toronto hasn’t given up the past few weeks, and even the games they lost were very close. They have been the definition of resiliency. Everyone thinks of Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich, and Luol Deng when it comes to the Bulls, but the Raptors are nothing to laugh at. With Jose Calderon and Hedo Turkoglu, Toronto gives Chicago a run for their money. Chris Bosh is out, but you know they aren’t giving up. All things considered, you have to figure that the Raptors want this win more. They had to fight so hard to land a playoff spot, and it would be a shame to see them lose it now.

At +2 on the spread, the Toronto Raptors were a relatively easy pick. Toronto is one of those cities were you have to consider the home crowd. Toronto will surely have the stands packed and the fans screaming, giving them that extra boost to beat Chicago. Toronto wants this win, they’ve worked hard to get to this spot, and now they can win at home.

Minnesota Twins vs. Chicago White Sox 04/11

There is no doubt about it, the White Sox are off to an awful start, having posted just one victory in the young season. Sunday’s game is just what they need to get backon track, with Mark Buehrle starting for Chicago. The White Sox desperately needed to send their ace to the mound. With Buehrle getting the start, the White Sox have an instant edge over almost anyone that they face. The Twins are responding with Nick Blackburn. Blackburn is someone who can give the White Sox some trouble, but he isn’t somone who Chicago should typically have a tough time beating. The pitching match up is not even close in this one, Buehrle had an extremely impressive first start in 2010, while Blackburn could be an easy target for Chicago.

The offense is where things get a bit murky for the White Sox. On paper, Chicago looks like a dominant offensive team. They don’t have any mega superstars, but they have a solid group of All Star caliber starters. Perennial All Stars? No, but guys like Gordon Beckham, Carlos Quentin, Alex Rios, and Alexei Ramirez are capable of exposing any weaknesses a pitching staff might have. When you look at the Twins, everyone knows who to be afraid of. Joe Mauer is of course a threat each time he takes the field, but Justin Morneau, Jason Kubel, and even Delmon Young have big game potential. On the offensive side of things, Minnesota might have the slight edge, but it isn’t by much. When you consider that Buehrle is starting, it makes the White Sox an easy pick.

The moneyline is around -125 for the White Sox. All things considered, the White Sox should be a much heavier favorite. They should be gunning for a much needed win, Buehrle is starting, and their offense has a chance to breakout against Blackburn. The White Sox need to produce some offense if they want to win, but Buehrle’s pitching should do wonders for their chances on Sunday.

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