Pitchers' duel goes Over in Cleveland

By Jeff Fogle  (VSiN City newsletter) 

July 13, 2018 12:07 AM

Another win for the Yanks with Luis Severino on the mound (18-2)…another Over at Progressive Field in Cleveland (29-7)…plus market updates from Wimbledon and the World Cup to close out a huge week in VSiN City.

MLB Thursday: It wasn’t a pitchers’ duel…as Severino and the Yanks stay dominant over Cleveland and Kluber

Interesting challenge for Over/Under handicappers Thursday night. Two fantastic pitchers…Luis Severino of the New York Yankees and Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians…were squaring off in one of the most appealing matchups of the whole season. You would “expect” a pitchers’ duel. But as Sam Panayotovich and Greg Peterson were reporting on twitter during the day, games in Cleveland had gone 28-7 to the Over the last 35 games (80%!). 

Make it 29-7.

NY Yankees (-125) 7, Cleveland 4 

Total Bases Plus Walks: New York 23, Cleveland 18

Starting Pitchers: Severino 5 IP, 4 ER, Kluber 7.1 IP, 6 ER

Bullpen: New York 4 IP, 0 ER, Cleveland 1.2 IP, 1 ER

Severino did not have his best stuff, helping the game fly Over early. Kluber stayed in a few pitches too long. Throwing 114 pitches into the eighth inning led to a walk and a run-scoring double that put the Yankees ahead for good. 

Yanks won homers 3-2.

The incredibly consistent run scoring in Cleveland this year is hard to believe. The Indians are actually 18-26-1 to the Under on the road. Progressive Field’s park factor has been grading out off the charts since early on. Here were the numbers entering Thursday action…

Best 2018 Hitters Parks so far

1…Colorado increasing offense 40%

2…Cleveland increasing offense 35%

3…Texas increasing offense 30%

Remember that this stat compares a team’s home games to its road games to best estimate a stadium’s impact. Needless to say, the market has been slow to adjust to this development. 

The market has been trying to adjust to Luis Severino, as we’ve discussed often. Another win for the Yankees in one of his starts. They’re now 18-2 this season in his 20 outings. That’s the same as -900 on the money line. If he pitches well, great relief help in the last three innings and normal run support makes him a virtual lock. Tonight, he struggled, and it was still a decisive Yankees win. 

One last point on this game…let’s update our notes today from the New York Post about Cleveland’s struggles vs. AL quality. 

Cleveland Head-to-Head with AL Elite

Cleveland 0-4 vs. the NY Yankees

Cleveland 3-4 vs. Houston

Cleveland 0-0 vs. Boston

Cleveland 2-5 vs. Seattle

Winless against the Yanks, 5-13 vs. teams likely headed to the playoffs (with no games yet against awesome Boston). Cleveland doesn’t look like a playoff caliber team when it has to face other playoff caliber teams. Three more games this weekend against the Yanks to change people’s minds about that. 

MLB Thursday: Surging A’s win again in Houston 

Two developing stories happening simultaneously in Houston Thursday afternoon. Oakland proved its bona fides with a 3-1 series win over the defending World Series champion Astros. And Houston is at least temporarily imploding because of bullpen issues. 

Oakland (plus 190) 6, Houston 4 

Total Bases Plus Walks: Oakland 18, Houston 14

Starting Pitchers: Cahill 3.2 IP, 3 ER, Morton 4.1 IP, 3 ER

Bullpen: Oakland 5.1 IP, 1 ER, Houston 4.2 IP, 3 ER

Houston led 4-0 after four innings, and carried a 4-3 lead into the top of the eighth. Repeated collapses are not supposed to happen to World Champions! But, late relievers have lost their confidence (or their jobs), and what used to be sure wins are turning into adventures. 

Oakland is now 19-5 its last 24 games, with impressive results against teams bound for October. Oakland will have to chase down Seattle from behind for the A’s to play in October. At the very least, they’re a “playoff caliber” team as we speak. (And, they just pounded Cleveland the prior two weeks, adding context to the prior section.)

Maybe Houston got a bit too fat and happy bullying bad teams for so long. This 1-3 home disaster vs. Oakland isn’t too far from a 1-3 lost weekend at Tampa Bay. What should be an easy home series vs. Detroit will lead the Astros into the All-Star break. Oakland visits the San Francisco Giants to renew that local rivalry. 

Also Thursday afternoon…

Colorado (-110) 5, Arizona 1

Total Bases Plus Walks: Arizona 13, Colorado 18

Starting Pitchers: Ray 5.1 IP, 2 ER, Freeland 5.1 IP, 1 ER

Bullpen: Arizona 2.2 IP, 3 ER, Colorado 3.2 IP, 0 ER

Arizona won the series opener back on Tuesday, then went dormant. Colorado won the rest of the series 24-3 on the scoreboard. Rockies take two of three to move within 2.5 games of the Diamondbacks. Arizona is now 51-43, the Rockies 48-45. 

Would be something of those two, San Francisco, and the Los Angeles Dodgers put together a four-team divisional race. All will be within arm’s reach of each other at the break. 

In other Thursday action…

*Philadelphia (pick-em) beat Baltimore 5-4, basically “Philadelphia won again, Baltimore lost again.” The market’s been missing the boat on those two tendencies all season. Phillies are now plus 13 betting units on a won-lost record of 52-40. Baltimore is down a stunning 38 betting units (before the All-Star break!) on a record of 26-68. 

*Boston (-160) beat Toronto 6-4. That’s 10 straight wins for the Red Sox, 17-3 their last 20. Boston is up about 23.5 betting units despite dealing with high money lines on a won-lost record of 66-29. Its lead over the Yankees in the AL East is still 3.5 games with both teams winning Thursday. 

Wimbledon: Chalk holds in women’s semifinals, men’s final four set Friday 

Little drama Thursday, as Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber won easily as favorites in semifinal action. That sets up about as good a championship match as could be expected with all the earlier upsets. Nobody from the top 10 seeds survived…but Saturday will feature a battle of elite stars.

First, Thursdays results…

Women's Semifinals

Serena Williams (-350) beat Julia Georges 6-2, 6-4

Angelique Kerber (-165) beat Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-3

Both favorites lost just six games. Serena is currently -205 at bookmaker.eu in Saturday’s championship match vs. Kerber (plus 175). Be sure you monitor VSiN programming Friday for market developments. 

Not too much developing in advance of Friday’s men’s semifinals. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal inched closer together at the Betfair exchange overseas. The global market has settled in on John Isner as a slight favorite over Kevin Anderson. First, Thursday night numbers from Betfair (click here for live looks Friday)…

Novak Djokovic: risk $1 to win $1.60, risk $1.62 to win $1 that he won’t win

Rafael Nadal: risk $1 to win $1.62, risk $1.64 to win $1 that he won’t win

John Isner: risk $1 to win $7.20, risk $7.40 to win $1 that he won’t win

Kevin Anderson: risk $1 to win $7.60, risk $7.80 to win $1 that he won’t win

Now, press time odds from bookmaker.eu. 

Friday’s Men’s Semifinals

Novak Djokovic (-115) vs. Rafael Nadal (-105)

John Isner (-120) vs. Kevin Anderson (even)

Based on the Betfair prices, the winner of that first listed match will be a clear favorite over the survivor of the super blasters. 

If you’re a tennis fan, enjoy all that’s left! We’ll provide a brief recap Monday here in VSiN City. 

CFL: Grey Cup favorite Calgary stays undefeated with “Thursday Night Football” rout of Ottawa

Further indications that CFL offenses have just as much trouble getting ready for Thursday Night execution as NFL teams. Third straight Under north of the border on this weeknight feature. Ottawa entered the night 2-1, but could barely walk and chew gum. 

Calgary (-3) 27 Ottawa 3 

Total Yardage: Calgary 383, Ottawa 164

Yards-per-Play: Calgary 5.9, Ottawa 3.8

Rushing Yards: Calgary 133, Ottawa 35

Passing Stats: Calgary 24-35-0-250, Ottawa 17-31-3-134

Turnovers: Calgary 0, Ottawa 6

That’s SIX turnovers and only 164 total yards for a home underdog with revenge! A strike against Calgary that it couldn’t win any bigger. Though, quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell was injured in the second quarter. Backup Nick Arbuckle largely ran clock to sit on the lead after the break. 

Ottawa falls to 2-2, with both losses coming against Calgary. Stampeders are a perfect 4-0, with road wins by a combined 68-6 on Eastern trips to Toronto and Ottawa. 

This weekend’s remaining schedule…

Friday: Toronto (plus 9) at Edmonton

Saturday: Winnipeg at British Columbia (no line yet)

Byes: Hamilton, Montreal, Saskatchewan

Quiet week with a third of the league enjoying a bye. Here’s a quick update of tentative estimated “market” Power Ratings. So many teams dealing with QB issues at the moment. 

86: Calgary

83: Edmonton, Hamilton, Winnipeg (with Nichols)

82: Ottawa, Winnipeg (with Streveler) 

77: Toronto (with Franklin)

76: British Columbia

75: Saskatchewan (backup QBs)

72: Montreal

World Cup Soccer: Championship Weekend!

Let’s check in on Thursday night odds to see if there have been any market developments for the final two games of the 2018 World Cup. Three-way lines are from the Westgate by way of the soccer odds page at our website. Money lines to win third place (Saturday) or win the championship (Sunday), and goal lines for regulation time come from respected offshore site Pinnacle. 

Saturday’s Third Place Attraction: Belgium (-0.3 goals) vs. England

Three-way: Belgium plus 120, England plus 210, draw plus 260

Money line: Belgium -164, England plus 145

Goal Line: Belgium -0.25 goals (Belgium -110, England plus 101)

Slight move toward Belgium on 3-way and “to win third place” money lines. But, not enough to push the favorite to -0.4 goals according to that goal line. 

Over/Under is sitting at three goals amidst a lot of media reports about the high scoring recent history of third place games. Under is actually a slight favorite at the Westgate of -115. 

Sunday’s World Championship: France (-0.5 goals) vs. Croatia

Three-way: France -115, Croatia plus 400, draw plus 220

Money line: France -278, Croatia plus 240

Goal Line: France -0.5 goals (France -108, Croatia plus 101)

Money showing up on the favorite across the board…though not enough yet to push France up to -0.6 goals. Not much interest in betting Croatia to win in regulation (plus 400), considering this year’s Cinderella story couldn’t do that in its knockout survivals vs. Denmark, Russia, or England. 

Worth remembering, as we’ll mention in Saturday’s New York Post quickie on the match…these teams had common opponents in Argentina and Denmark. Croatia got the best of that comparison because of 3-0 rout of Messi’s men. But, sustained fatigue seems to be the issue driving money away from Croatia. Playing three straight 30-minute overtimes (two going to penalty kicks) means Croatia has played the equivalent of one extra high-pressure game in the knockouts.

Our popular World Cup serial “Russia 2018: The Tournament Show” continues through the weekend. Thanks to everyone who’s been watching along the way.

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