The Betting Corner: Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

alg-cliff-lee-pitches-jpg4-8-13 Recap:

LOSS: 1 Unit – NY Mets at Philadelphia (-112)

LOSS: 1 Unit: Cincinnati at St. Louis (-110)

Season YTD: 11-6 +4.36 Units

MLB Futures Watch:

.5 Units: Pittsburgh Pirates Under 77 (-110) 2-5

1 Unit: Houston Astros Under 59.5 (-110) 1-6

1 Unit: Atlanta Braves Over 87.5 (-110) 6-1

1 Unit: Seattle Mariners Over 77 (-125) 4-4

1.5 Units: Cleveland Indians Over 77 (-110) 3-4

Been slipping back to reality the last couple days after our hot start to begin the season.  Tough 0-2 day having to watch the bullpen implode in St. Louis after taking a lead into the 8th inning.  With Philly, I was optimistic after watching Halladay’s first inning of work, but it was all downhill from there.  Halladay’s gonna have to do some serious soul searching because it’s not just these first two starts; he struggled all last year as well.  It will be interesting to see his next couple starts and whether he’s able to make the necessary adjustment to get back to his old dominant self.


1 Unit – NY Mets at Philadelphia (-1.5) (+125)

Not a big write up for this one.  The Phillies have never, and I repeat, NEVER, lost 3 straight games started by the trio of Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, and Cliff Lee.  Cliff Lee pitched an 8 inning 2 hit shutout against Atlanta last week; expect more of the same this week.  Philly knows they’ve come out of the gate slow this year, and it’s obvious Hamels and Halladay have struggled mightily.  Cliff Lee is exactly who I’d want on the mound in this situation.  I feel bad for Dillon Gee (who has a 6.46 ERA in his career against Philly) in this situation, because he can pitch great like Medlen did last week against Lee and still come out with the loss.


1 Unit: LA Dodgers at San Diego (-140)

Still not sold on San Diego.  In their home opener, runs are going to be even harder to come by now that they’re out of the mountains and beachside in sunny San Diego.  Even though Clayton Richard has faired decent against LA in the past, he didn’t look good against New York in his first outing.  Becket on the other hand threw decent against the defending World Champs.  He’s also 5-2 in 7 career starts with a 2.09 ERA against SD.  I’ll lay the chalk in this one and take the favorite.

Thank you for reading The Cover 4! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook & Twitter.

Oh yeah, tell your friends too!

Jeremy Murray
Sports Activist for The Cover 4 is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site of any kind. We are simply here to provide information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.

All information regarding gambling is intended to be purely educational from an academic perspective, and not to actually encourage gambling.  We are in no way condoning gambling and are not affiliated with any and all casinos/sports books mentioned.

The Betting Corner: Opening Day


Opening day is finally here. It’s always hard to handicap the first week of any baseball
season. What do you pay attention to? Do you just look at team acquisitions? Do you
pay attention to Spring Training? Do you look at specific match-ups? How about a
specific pitchers history vs a specific team?

In my opinion, its a little bit of everything rolled into one. The fewer relevant stats that
are available the more you’ve got to go with your gut and experience. For opening day,
the lines have been up since 8:30 AM PST this morning and they’ve already begun
moving against us (for the most part). Getting the best possible line in baseball is
crucial, but in a very different way than football or basketball. The spread doesn’t
move (with the exception of totals), but your bets can become more expensive or hold
less value with moneyline movements in the wrong direction. Most people don’t realize
that if every one of your bets jump from -110 to -125, it forces you to win an extra 3.18%
of your bets to break even. That may not seem like a lot, but when you’re betting every
day and grinding out an entire season, winning 56 games out of 100 is way different
than winning 53 games out of 100.

For me, I’ve got 3 accounts with 5Dimes, William Hill, and Station Casinos giving me a
greater opportunity to shop around. But enough small talk. To the first plays of the


**1 Unit – Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees (+118)

This line opened up this morning at +125 but has since moved in the wrong direction
(for us anyways). Jon Lester has killed it this spring giving up only 2 earned runs in 24
IP (0.75 ERA) while striking out 20. Even before this spring I was high on Lester for this
season so it only validates where he stands as the Sox ace. His counterpart in CC
Sabathia has been nursing his new surgically repaired elbow (removed bone
fragments) since October and his low 10 IP and 5.40 ERA this spring tells me he can’t
possibly be 100%.

Jump to the two offenses, New York is aging and riddled with injuries. For Monday’s
game; Granderson – OUT, Texeira – OUT, Jeter – Day to Day (unlikely to play), Hafner –
Day to Day (unlikely to play). That leaves us with the likes of Brett Gardner, Jayson Nix,
Eduardo Nunez, and Ben Francisco to respectively take their spots in the lineup. The
Sox are short David Ortiz but have the firepower to fill the void with their new offseason
acquisitions. Seems like a no brainer at + odds. Contemplated a 1.5 unit play but it’s
still Opening Day in New York City and in no way will be a cake walk for the sox.


1 Unit – Detroit Tigers (-1.5) at Minnesota Twins (-125)

There’s 180 million reasons for this play, and I think anyone who’s got a pulse knows
who each of those reasons are pointing to. Justin Verlander is now the highest paid
pitcher in MLB history and rightfully so. He’s a past MVP, CY Young award winner, and
has World Series experience. That last point is another reason why this is a solid play
IMO. The last time Verlander pitched on a competitive stage was game one of the
2012 World Series where he had one of his worst outings of the year. He didn’t make it
past the fourth inning while giving up five earned runs. The Tigers would later get
swept in 4 with Verlander unable to even start a second game. With the new contract
behind him, you know he’s going to want to come out strong not only to make amends
for the last game he pitched; but to prove he’s worth the money as well.

Vance Worley on the other hand is a #3 starter at best had he been on a contending
team and won’t be able to subdue the defending American League champs. Outside
of Morneau, Mauer, and Willingham, the Twins simply don’t have the personal to go
punch for punch with the Tiger’s, regardless Verlander is on the mound or not.


1 Unit – St. Louis Cardinals at Arizona Diamondbacks Under 8.5 (-105)

I Still have yet to bet this game because I think by tomorrow night we might be able to
get it at Under 9. Regardless it does or doesn’t, I still like the play at 8.5. I’m a little
baffled as to why most the other totals on this card are at 7.5 or even less. Wainwright
sports a career 2.54 ERA in 10 games against Arizona who is now without the likes of
Chris Young and Justin Upton via trades.

Ian Kennedy has struggled against St. Louis in the past but this Cardinals team begins
the season with veterans David Freese and Rafael Furcal on the 15 day DL. With both
teams having fresh bullpens, this is the kind of game I see finishing in the 4-2 range.


Good luck, and lets start off Opening Day with a bang.

Thank you for reading The Cover 4! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook & Twitter.

Oh yeah, tell your friends too!

Jeremy Murray
Guest Sports Activist for The Cover 4 is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site of any kind. We are simply here to provide information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.

All information regarding gambling is intended to be purely educational from an academic perspective, and not to actually encourage gambling. We are in no way condoning gambling and are not affiliated with any and all casinos/sports books mentioned.

The Betting Corner: Baseball Season – Easy $



It’s that time of year again. With spring training underway, March Madness right around the corner, and NBA/NHL playoffs in our near future, it’s a great time to be a sports fan.


But with all of this looming, the date I’ve circled on my calendar is April 1. No, not because of April Fools. April 1 marks opening day for the 2013 MLB season (technically Texas plays host to Houston on March 31 but for all intents and purposes, we’re not really counting Houston as a “professional” team this year, but I’ll get to that later).


For the purposes of this blog we’ll be 100 percent focused on baseball games, stats, trends, streaks, match-ups ─ anything and everything related to America’s pastime. Oh yeah, and for all you degenerate gamblers out there, we’ll be doing this from a Vegas perspective. I’ve been able to hold my own in the past few seasons betting MLB sides/totals and I enjoy putting my opinion into words. Put two and two together and that sounds like a solid daily blog to me.


Every pick posted on this blog I will play myself with my own money. I apologize in advance if write-ups or plays are delayed in being posted. I do work full-time as a financial advisor and that’s priority  number one. But enough behind the scenes details, let’s get into the first bets you can make this offseason.


First off, if you’ve got the itch to bet on spring training games, well… don’t. Baseball is different than any other sport when it comes to preseason action. As a general rule (and I realize this doesn’t apply for EVERY player), a large handful of individuals playing after the fifth inning of most games won’t even be on the opening day roster (especially EARLY in spring training). You may as well take your leans to the roulette table for some better odds.


Something a little more reasonable is betting MLB futures and season win totals. I tend to stay away from most futures (i.e. Los Angeles Angels at 7/1 to win the World Series) because trying to single out one team of 30 to hit its year-end goal is difficult. Again, with those odds, I’ll stick to roulette. I do however, see a lot of potential value in season win totals.

Vegas gives us more of a 50-50 split by setting a line for the total wins a team will have at the end of the season.

I’ve been researching the free agent market, trades, acquisitions, manager and division moves for the last few months and I’ve concluded the following five preseason bets hold the most value.


As a side note, one of the most important keys to sports betting is being able to manage a bankroll. A general rule of thumb is one unit equates to 1% of your bankroll. If you’ve set aside $5,000 for this season, your unit would be $50 (seems like a lot to set aside but you need to be able to survive the bad runs, as they WILL come). For me, one unit is $100. Most all of my plays will be one-unit plays. I will occasionally release a 0.5- unit play (for example if there was heavy movement on my play in the wrong direction, I may still bet it, but at less money. You’ll see an example of this as you keep reading.)


Very rarely will I ever bet a 1.5 or two-unit play. You can think of them as a game of the week and game of the month respectively. In no way however, will I upgrade a play to a 1.5 or two-unit play just because I haven’t had one in awhile. But I digress.


The first play I see value in is the Atlanta Braves over 87.5 -110 (Las Vegas Hilton) *1.0 unit*. 

I’ll start by saying this: yes, I agree Chipper Jones is a huge loss from a clubhouse leader standpoint. Chipper did hit .287 last year while sporting a .830 OPS (both above league averages). But that’s about all they lost from last year’s 94-68 club.

Acquiring the Upton brothers to go along with Jason Heyward has given them as good an outfield as any. A solid pitching core lies behind veteran Tim Hudson with young guns Kris Medlen and Mike Minor and is anchored by one of the best closers in MLB in Craig Kimbrel. Don’t quite hand the Washington Nationals the NL East title yet, as I see this Braves team a solid World Series contender come October and a shoe-in to win 90-plus games this year.


Second, we’ll be going with the Cleveland Indians over 77 -110 (LV Hilton) *1.5 units*.

Outside of the Detroit Tigers, who represented the American League in the World Series last year, this division is WIDE OPEN. And in my opinion, Cleveland has done the most this offseason. Nick Swisher, Drew Stubbs and Michael Bourn will all contribute greatly to a team that was in the bottom third in the league in runs scored last year (22nd at 667). Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez are key factors to this teams success and I believe they will both have positive years reflective of their career stats. But the big key for me making this a 1.5 unit play is Terry Francona (yes I am, and will remain a Boston Red Sox fan, regardless of the downward spiral they’ve been on). Tito will be able to rally his fresh and talented team around established Cleveland stars such as Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana. Look for them to be a above-.500 team and make a little more noise than expected in this wide-open division.


Third is the AAA-caliber Houston Astros under 59.5 -110 (LV Hilton) *1.0 unit*.

They’ve BEEN bad. They ARE bad. They will CONTINUE TO BE bad and possibly even GET worse. This team’s biggest and only major acquisition during the offseason was the signing of 1B Carlos Pena. Really? That’s your big signing Houston? In 2012,

Pena had 497 official at-bats. He hit .197, had 19 HRs (his lowest total since 2003; with the exception of his shortened ’05 and ’06 seasons) and a staggering 182 strikeouts. Yeah, no typo,182 strikeouts (third-worst in the league). That’s more than a strikeout per three at-bats (36.6% to be exact). And if that’s your best, I’m not going to even get into the worst. Not only that, but trading ace Wandy Rodriguez around last year’s trade deadline didn’t help a whole lot either. A realistic goal for this team would be to win a third of its games (54- 108). Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention the biggest key of all. They’re leaving the watered down National League to join the stacked AL West (in my opinion, the most top-heavy division in baseball). The Astros will be etching their names into the record books this year with their third consecutive season with (well) over 100 losses.


These last two piggyback off Houston’s atrociousness. The first is the Pittsburgh

Pirates under 77 -110 (LV Hilton) *0.5 Units*.

I lay it at 0.5 units because I liked it at 79, but that line was first released by the Atlantis Casino in Reno, Nev., and ain’t nobody got time (or the desire) to travel to Reno, Nev. and since then it’s dropped to 77. But anyways, oh yeah, the Pirates. They’re noHouston by any means, but they will definitely suffer from not being able to beat up onthe Astros in the NL Central (they went 12-5 against them in 2012). The Pirates haven’t won more than 79 games since they were three outs away from the World Series in 1992 (96 wins). I don’t see that trend changing here. They have a  few solid pitchers and it’s hard not to mention MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen, but when you’re only superior within your division to a team who’s underachieved for over a century (yes, I’m talking to you Cubs fans), that’s not much to brag about. Don’t forget they also lost all-star closer Joel Hanrahan (fifth in the NL last year with 36 saves) to Boston and are relying on journeyman Jason Grilli to fill the void. If you can find this line at at 79 or more, bump it to a unit. 75.5-78.5 take it at 0.5. Anything less than that and it’s a no bet for me.


Last but not least is the Seattle Mariners over 77 -125 (BookMaker) *1 unit*.

I haven’t bet this one yet as I’m still shopping around. I don’t like the -125 vig at BookMaker but the line was “over 78.5 at the Hilton at -110” so I’m thinking that juice may be worth it for the extra game-and-a-half leeway. In a nutshell, all of the AL West is going to benefit from the laughingstock of the league that is the Houston Astros. I personally don’t believe the Oakland Athletics will have as much success as they did last year.

They’re still a third-place finish for me behind division juggernauts L.A. and Texas, but not by much. Seattle was still able to win 75 games last year even though they were in a four-team league and those other three teams won 94, 93 and 89 games apiece. Signing King Felix to a 7–year, $175 million extension will likely lock him in Seattle for his career. Other notable acquisitions this offseason include Michael Morse from Washington and Kendrys Morales from the Angels. Even veteran signings of Jason Bay and Raul Ibanez have a low–risk, high-reward potential to them. Behind a solid pitching staff and rising stars such as Jesus Montero, Seattle will surprise a lot of naysayers this year and be a legitimate threat in the coming years to an already stacked division.


Hope that gives you a little insight to what’s gone on this winter and an idea of what you can expect come this summer. Check back for sporadic updates this spring and expect daily posts once April rolls around . Enjoy this year’s MLB season and good luck to you if you take to the books.



Thank you for reading The Cover 4! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook & Twitter.

Oh yeah, tell your friends too!

Jeremy Murray
Guest Sports Activist for The Cover 4

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