White Sox Big Favorites Against Cleveland, Masterson

Cleveland Indians (+145) at Chicago White Sox (-157, 7.5 O/U )

The last place Indians, 24-28 on the year, will take on second place Chicago in a battle between AL Central rivals. Right-hander Justin Masterson, 2-3 with a 5.32 earned run average in 2014, will be the starting pitcher for the Cleveland Indians in their road matchup with the Chicago White Sox. When Josh Tomlin was needed out of the ‘pen in the Indians’ 13-inning win vs. the Tigers on Wednesday, it meant he wouldn’t be able to start the next day vs. the O’s. Instead, Masterson went on three days’ rest and allowed five runs in 5 2/3 frames. The Indians have gone over the total in 70% of his starts. Masterson has gone 0-2 with a 9.98 ERA in his last three outings after he surrendered five runs over 5 2-3 innings in Thursday’s 8-7, 13-inning win at Baltimore.

However, the right-hander is 5-0 with a 1.65 ERA in six starts against Chicago since the start of last season. He’s made 10 starts against the White Sox since his last loss to them, April 11, 2012. He gave up six runs over 4 2-3 innings in a 12-6 road win April 12, before allowing four hits over 7 1-3 innings in a 2-0 home victory May 3.

Left-hander Chris Sale will take the mound for the home team. Sale dominated in his first start off the disabled list against the Yankees, striking out 10 in six one-hit innings. He was on a pitch count as he rebuilds his arm strength following a strained left flexor muscle but will likely be less restricted vs. Cleveland. The White Sox are 4-1 in games started by him, and have gone over 40% of those games. Sale, though, hasn’t been nearly as dominant against the Indians, going 1-4 with an 8.04 ERA in five matchups since the start of last season. He’s gone 14-10 with a 2.25 ERA against everyone else over that span. His worst outing of this season came against the Indians on April 11, when he allowed three runs and six hits in five innings of a 9-6 win.

Temperatures are expected to be around 61°F at game time tonight. Humidity will be at 78%, with the wind blowing at 8 mph.

Cleveland Indians versus Sale: 24 years old left-hander, 6’6” 180 pounds. Throws: fastball, changeup, slider,

Power Pitcher : 2013 velocity, 93.1: 2014 velocity, 93.2: velocity over the last two weeks, 93.2

Runs per game (league ranking), 13 (4.11 per game) : Home Runs, 17 (38 HRs)

    Bat Ave, 19 (.247) : OB%, 8 (.326) : Slugging, 15 (.386)

      Walks, 4 (3.8 per game) : Strikeouts, 25 (6.8) : Stolen Bases, 12 (27 SBs)

      Last seven games, 6 (.752 OPS) : Last 14 games, 2 (.802 OPS) : Last 28 games, 5 (.767 OPS)

        Versus Righties, 4 (.766 OPS) : Versus lefties, 29 (.640 OPS)

          Home, 7 (.754 OPS) : Away, 15 (.693 OPS)

            1st Inning Production, 26 (.635 OPS)

              Facing a Power Pitcher, 8 (.736 OPS) : Facing a Finesse Pitcher, 14 (.731 OPS)

                Facing a fly ball pitcher, 2 (.798 OPS) : Facing a ground ball pitcher, 27 (.615 OPS)

                  Run Production at Night, 15 (.717 OPS) : Run Production During Day, 11 (.730 OPS)

                    First five innings, 12 (.728 OPS) : 6th to 9th Innings, 11 (.709 OPS)

                      Chicago White Sox versus Masterson: 28 years old right-hander, 6’6” 250 pounds. Throws: fastball, slider, ,

                      Ground Ball, Power Pitcher : 2013 velocity, 91.6: 2014 velocity, 88.9: velocity over the last two weeks, 89

                      Runs per game (league ranking), 3 (4.91 per game) : Home Runs, 4 (50 HRs)

                        Bat Ave, 5 (.261) : OB%, 11 (.325) : Slugging, 9 (.415)

                          Walks, 11 (3.1 per game) : Strikeouts, 1 (9.1) : Stolen Bases, 17 (25 SBs)

                          Last seven games, 19 (.652 OPS) : Last 14 games, 14 (.718 OPS) : Last 28 games, 21 (.687 OPS)

                            Versus Righties, 8 (.739 OPS) : Versus lefties, 18 (.715 OPS)

                              Home, 8 (.753 OPS) : Away, 10 (.714 OPS)

                                1st Inning Production, 28 (.568 OPS)

                                  Facing a Power Pitcher, 10 (.715 OPS) : Facing a Finesse Pitcher, 12 (.751 OPS)

                                    Facing a fly ball pitcher, 13 (.759 OPS) : Facing a ground ball pitcher, 27 (.615 OPS)

                                      Run Production at Night, 9 (.737 OPS) : Run Production During Day, 12 (.726 OPS)

                                        First five innings, 17 (.711 OPS) : 6th to 9th Innings, 2 (.770 OPS)

                                          Another Awful Night for the Pregame.com Pros

                                          Day One of the Pregame Project turns out about as well as expected. The handicapping geniuses at Pregame.com had another horrible night; no suprise to the informed, considering the vast majority of the cappers have lost money betting over the past nine months.

                                          Ah, who am I kidding? The Pregame group probably haven’t lost much over the past nine months because they likely stopped betting real money a long time ago. Touts don’t gamble. They sell.

                                          So onto last night’s wreckage. 20 Pregame pros sold picks last night. Six turned a profit. 14 lost money. Let’s take a look at those 14 losers.

                                          Dr. Ed Meyer, 0-5 $-720
                                          Joe Gavazzi, 0-2 $-660
                                          Spartan, 1-2 $-290
                                          Marco D’Angelo, 1-2 $-258
                                          Denver Money, 0-1 $-230
                                          Tony George, 0-2 $-220
                                          Fezzik, 0-1 $-220
                                          King Creole, 0-1 $-220
                                          Stephen Nover, 1-1 $-200
                                          Vegas-Runner, 3-4 $-170
                                          Bryan Leonard, 1-2 $-150
                                          Dave Essler, 1-1 $-145
                                          Scott Spreitzer, 1-1 $-120
                                          Chuck Edel, 1-1 $-14

                                          The aftermath is always part of fun. Nothing is more entertaining than seeing a tout sell his wares after losing the previous night. Vegas Runner, God bless him, hops on Twitter this morning to say this:

                                          Cashed back-2-back #NFAC 3* MLB 1st 5 INN Bets to make it 31-8 (79%) in 2014 on 1st 5/1st Half Premiums.. $100 Bettor has WON +$6,190 !!

                                          Vegas Runner doesn’t mention his losing night last night. He also didn’t mention his overall losing record. He just picked out one of the subsets that won and promoted that.

                                          That’s how touts work. #DoDamage indeed!

                                          One Born Every Minute: The Pregame.com Racket

                                          When one wants to learn the techniques of baking a cake, he does not go to his mechanic for advice. When one wants to learn how to heal a sick dog, he doesn’t ask his butcher. And when one wants to make a winning bet, he doesn’t pay a failed gambler for advice on a play.

                                          But that’s not what the fine folk at Pregame.com are hoping to hear. Pregame.com is one of the top tout sites in the United States today. Its handicappers are heard all over the radio, from ESPN’s Colin Cowherd to Jim Rome. When journalists want to show off their hipster gambling side, owner RJ Bell and his stable of handicappers are the ones they call.

                                          But do these handicappers know what they are talking about? Do they win? Are they good enough to allow bettors to make money, taking into account the price of the picks and the vig taken from the bets?

                                          Pregame.com says yes. However, an exhaustive study of over 14,000 picks from Pregame.com handicappers show that this is not the case. A $100 per unit bettor, wagering on each of those 14,000 plays, would have lost over $27,000 over the course of his gambling journey.

                                          That’s not a surprise to most people who actively handicap. “The only reason a gambler sells picks is because he can’t make money on his own,” said one Las Vegas veteran. “Betting for a living is a tough game, and most can’t do it. The ones that can, do. They certainly don’t sell picks.”

                                          But what about the individual pro’s at Pregame.com, one might ask. We tracked those players as well. 20 of the 26 handicappers were net losers over the course of the study. Handicapping star Fezzik lost his backers over $2,200 with his 95-95 record. Vegas Runner made nearly 1,000 plays and lost $4,100, all the while claiming wise-guy syndicates were giving him their top-secret plays. The list goes on:

                                          Stephen Nover, whose expertise involves years of experience and an instructer teaching college courses at UNLV on handicapping, was 197-247 for $-12000.

                                          Chuck Edel, claiming to be a Las Vegas professional sports bettor since 1992 and 2011 LV Review Journal college football contest champion, 215-234 for $-9468.

                                          Andy Iskoe, a long-time Vegas gambler claiming two Top 10 finishes in the Hilton NFL SuperContest, was 192-197 for $-7773.

                                          Scott Spreitzer, featured handicapper for over a decade on national TV: 375-328, $-6579

                                          Joe Gavazzi, claiming an“unmatched career net profit (winning high volume since 1979)”, 343-311: $-6485

                                          JR O’Donnell, former PGA caddy and “Five Factor” handicapper, 504-473: $-4239

                                          Dwayne Bryant, self-described “low volume bettor; extremely selective “, 112-110: $-3801

                                          Tony George, claiming “22 Years Experience – respected brand name, 48 time top 10 award”, 142-150: $-3569.

                                          Rocky Atkinson, “ relentless, hard-working grinder “, 117-113: $-2745

                                          Marco D’Angelo, declaring himself to be “Known as the “Country’s Big Play Expert”, and a three time World Champion in something, 269-254 for $-1922

                                          Denver Money, NHL-only specialist, 161-160: $-1740

                                          Johnny Detroit, bragging that he has been “Banned or had limits lowered by 9 sportsbooks and counting”, 67-72: $-1655

                                          Ed Meyer, Physics PhD who parlayed that knowledge into selling sports picks, 328-331: $-1200

                                          Ken Thomson, 25 Years announcing sports, announced for multiple colleges – connections at over 50, he claims, 192-171: $-828

                                          Bryan Leonard, featured by ESPN, CNN, and MSNBC, pro bettor since 1984, 226-215: $-328

                                          Brady Kannon, “won The Las Vegas Hilton NFL SuperContest in 2011”, doesn’t mention he was one of four on the ‘team’ making one pick each week. 92-84: $-190

                                          It is quite remarkable to have such a crowd of losing gamblers, especially when you take into account the creative accounting done by Pregame.com. The handicappers can do their own line-shopping at Pregame, allowing them to get the best number that most clients are unable to bet. Vegas Runner likes Bodog, despite the fact that Bodog will quickly boot anyone who bets the off-market lines that are generated by the unsophisticated customer base at Bodog. Johnny Detroit, thinking it is a badge of honor to be banned at nine separate books, can still bet overnight lines at 5Dimes.com. Most sharp bettors get booted or limited from 5Dimes. Apparently Johnny Detroit doesn’t fall into that category.

                                          Pregame.com also brags about the wealth of free information given out by the site. They don’t, however, explain the usefulness of said free information. Does it matter what the pros think is important in handicapping a game when they have clearly shown they have no skills in handicapping?

                                          Which brings us to free plays put out by the Pregame Pros. Those, like many free things given out in this world, aren’t so free after all. Free plays from Pregame.com handicappers, over 250 plays, are hitting at a 43% rate. Quite a remarkable achievement. It isn’t easy picking 43% losers; coin-flipping donkeys should hit around 48-52%. The Pros at Pregame.com, however, can’t even do that. Bravo.

                                          We will keep an eye on Pregame.com in this space. Specifically, we’ll release the previous night’s record each day, and do the dirty work an honest sports-handicapping business should do for themselves. Best of luck, Pregame.com

                                          Richard Nichols
                                          RNichols@rouletters.com

                                          Tigers Take On Cleveland in AL Central Showdown

                                          Detroit Tigers (-134) at Cleveland Indians (+124, 7.5 O/U )

                                          The worn-out Tigers, arriving in Cleveland just three hours before game time due to travel problems in Boston, were pushed even harder last night, losing in 10 innings to the Indians. Detroit had dominated the Indians in Cleveland the previous two seasons, winning twelve of their last fourteen games at Cleveland. A walk-off homer by Michael Brantley last night ended that streak, and stopped a four game losing streak for Cleveland as well. The Tigers saw their eleven game road winning streak snapped with the loss.

                                          “We were hoping to go back and get some sleep with a win, but it wasn’t to be,” Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said.

                                          Right-hander Justin Verlander takes the mound tonight for the Tigers. He is 5-2 on the year with a 3.15 ERA. The Indians worked Verlander for 113 pitches over five innings April 17 in Detroit, scoring three unearned runs, but he still picked up his fifth straight win over them. He has lost once to the Tribe since the start of last year. The Tigers are 7-2 in games started by him.

                                          The Cleveland Indians will send prospect right-hander Trevor Bauer out as their starter. Bauer will be promoted from Triple-A for the first time since April 9, when he allowed two runs and struck out eight in six innings vs. San Diego. The righty has a 2.15 ERA in seven Minor League starts.

                                          “Hopefully it’s not just a one-start thing,” Francona told the Indians’ official website. “This guy is a big part of what we want to do going forward. And to see him growing and understanding, it’s exciting.”

                                          The third overall selection by Arizona in the 2011 draft, Bauer is 2-5 with a 5.03 ERA in nine career starts. Forecasts are calling for 68°F temperatures with winds blowing at 10 mph. The humidity will be around 63%. There is a 20% chance of precipitation.

                                          Detroit Tigers versus Bauer: 22 years old right-hander, 6’1” 175 pounds. Throws: fastball, curve, slider, changeup

                                          Fly Ball, Finesse Pitcher : 2013 velocity, 92.8: 2014 velocity, 94.1:

                                          Runs per game (league ranking), 8 (4.83 per game) : Home Runs, 18 (39 HRs)

                                            Bat Ave, 34 (.278) : OB%, 38 (.328) : Slugging, 35 (.430)

                                              Walks, 63 (2.6 per game) : Strikeouts, 63 (6.6) : Stolen Bases, 3 (37 SBs)

                                              Last seven games, 9 (.786 OPS) : Last 14 games, 15 (.718 OPS) : Last 28 games, 6 (.770 OPS)

                                                Versus Righties, 6 (.755 OPS) : Versus lefties, 5 (.770 OPS)

                                                  Home, 4 (.775 OPS) : Away, 4 (.741 OPS)

                                                    1st Inning Production, 27 (.553 OPS)

                                                      Facing a Power Pitcher, 1 (.842 OPS) : Facing a Finesse Pitcher, 5 (.793 OPS)

                                                        Facing a fly ball pitcher, 8 (.775 OPS) : Facing a ground ball pitcher, 24 (.626 OPS)

                                                          Run Production at Night, 6 (.753 OPS) : Run Production During Day, 7 (.766 OPS)

                                                            First five innings, 5 (.767 OPS) : 6th to 9th Innings, 5 (.741 OPS)

                                                              Cleveland Indians versus Verlander: 30 years old right-hander, 6’5” 225 pounds. Throws: fastball, curve, changeup, slider : 2013 velocity, 93.3: 2014 velocity, 92.2: velocity over the last two weeks, 92.2

                                                              Runs per game (league ranking), 33 (4.11 per game) : Home Runs, 19 (38 HRs)

                                                                Bat Ave, 53 (.247) : OB%, 40 (.326) : Slugging, 49 (.386)

                                                                  Walks, 37 (3.8 per game) : Strikeouts, 59 (6.8) : Stolen Bases, 13 (27 SBs)

                                                                  Last seven games, 5 (.826 OPS) : Last 14 games, 3 (.829 OPS) : Last 28 games, 13 (.721 OPS)

                                                                    Versus Righties, 5 (.757 OPS) : Versus lefties, 30 (.624 OPS)

                                                                      Home, 14 (.729 OPS) : Away, 16 (.694 OPS)

                                                                        1st Inning Production, 25 (.619 OPS)

                                                                          Facing a Power Pitcher, 20 (.672 OPS) : Facing a Finesse Pitcher, 10 (.765 OPS)

                                                                            Facing a fly ball pitcher, 5 (.791 OPS) : Facing a ground ball pitcher, 24 (.626 OPS)

                                                                              Run Production at Night, 18 (.705 OPS) : Run Production During Day, 11 (.723 OPS)

                                                                                First five innings, 19 (.707 OPS) : 6th to 9th Innings, 9 (.713 OPS)

                                                                                  With the World Cup Comes World Cup Contests

                                                                                  The biggest wagering event of the year is less than a month away, and sportsbooks are gearing up for the massive increase in wagering volume.

                                                                                  Bookmakers expect the 2014 handle to be higher than the 2010 World Cup betting totals, which was a huge success for bookmakers.  It has been estimated that $15 billion was bet on the World Cup held in South America four years ago.

                                                                                  South African bookmakers said their associates in Britain alone handled more than $4.5 billion.

                                                                                  The UK’s three largest bookmakers, Ladbrokes, William Hill and Paddy Power, estimated in 2010 that each had handled more than $1.5 million, with most of the money going on European champions Spain.

                                                                                  Sportsbooks are starting to offer contests in order to get a piece of that action. Anonibet.com, the granddaddy of all Bitcoin sportsbooks, is offering the biggest one so far. Up to 22 bitcoins, worth over $10,000, is up for grabs at Anonibet.

                                                                                   CONTEST RULES

                                                                                  • Bets with a minimum stake of 0.1 BTC qualify for the promotion.
                                                                                  • Promotion will run from the 19th of May 00:00 GMT until 10 minutes before kick off of the opening World Cup match(Brazil vs Croatia).
                                                                                  • The player who has the MOST WINNING ACCUMULATIVE ODDS at the end will win the Grand Prize of 10 BTC (if a betting slip wins, all the odds are put into your points basket).
                                                                                  • Second Prize Receives 5 BTC while 3rd place will get 3 BTC
                                                                                  • There will be a consolation prize for the unlucky loser i.e when your slip misses by 1 game, the remainder of the odds will be put to your losing basket. Unlucky loser receives 2 BTC.
                                                                                  • In order to participate to the promotion, customers should copy and paste their betting slip (with the bet slip number) to the Bitcointalk.org Anonibet.com thread. This will be done so as to show transparency as we are running this promotion FOR the players, we would want the players to observe as well on the forum.
                                                                                  • Customers can participate with an unlimited amount of betting slips.
                                                                                  • Anonibet is doing this to thank OUR players for believing in us and for promoting our beloved BTC therefore prizes from the contest will be deposited into the winning player`s Anonibet account, and they can withdraw the prize immediately without placing any bet.
                                                                                  • Posts made after the expiry of the contest duration will not by any chance be eligible for the contest.
                                                                                  • In the event of tied points, prizes will be split respectively among the participants.
                                                                                  • For the World Cup, our Facebook page will run a World Cup Bitcoin Meme contest where the meme with the most Likes will receive 2 BTC.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Jorge Cantu Apologizes for Tweeting Offensive Korean Photo

                                                                                  Jorge Cantu, former major league now playing in Korea, has gotten himself into hot water after re-tweeting a photo mocking Koreans yesterday. The photo, shown below, asked these questions (translated into English):

                                                                                  cantu

                                                                                  Answer the next 5 questions:
                                                                                  1. Which student is asleep?
                                                                                  2. Try to find the male twins.
                                                                                  3. Try to find the female twins.
                                                                                  4. How many of them are girls?
                                                                                  5. Which one is the teacher?

                                                                                  Cantu tweeted this after the firestorm erupted:

                                                                                  To all korean fans…there was a misunderstanding, i accidentaly gave a RT to a picture that i was trying to delete, my apologies.

                                                                                  think you all know how easy going and happy i am to be here and it shows on and off the field ????

                                                                                  From the bottom of my heart, my sincere apologies of this terrible mistake, im so against racism n discrimination, i lived it myself before.

                                                                                  My family and i, we love it here and been feeling the warmth from the doosan bears organization and everybody in this great country ???? TNK U.

                                                                                  Cantu was a third baseman in the majors and hit 104 home runs with 476 RBIs and batted .271 in 847 games over his major league career. He spent the 2013 season with the Quintana Roo Tigers in the Mexican League and hit 31 home runs along with 71 RBIs in 83 games. Cantu signed a $250,000 contract with a $50,000 signing bonus to play for the Doosan Bears in Korea. He was born in McAllen, Texas, went to Sharyland High School, but was raised and makes his home in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico