A Gold Cup, a Royal streak, an Archer that makes opponents quiver…today we go medieval on your pass through VSiN City!
Gold Cup Final: It’s an “empuje oro,” a golden push as USA (-1) beats Jamaica 2-1
Jordan Morris of the United States drilled home the game-winner in minute #89 to lead the Stars and Stripes to the championship of the 2017 Gold Cup Wednesday night at Levi Stadium in San Jose.
United States 2, Jamaica 1
- Time of Possession: United States 73%, Jamaica 27%
- Total Shots: United States 13, Jamaica 6
- Shots on Goal: United States 8, Jamaica 3
The U.S. was as dominant as expected in flow of play. But the game was just a couple of minutes away from extra time until Morris found the back of the net to thrill the crowd.
No surprises in market terms. The U.S. was favored by a goal, and the stats show a team that should have won by at least that much. The game did go Over the regulation total of two.
Don’t forget that the World Cup is less than a year away, set to begin in Mid-June of 2018 in Russia. The U.S. still has these games left in CONCACAF qualifying…
- Sept. 1: Costa Rica at the USA
- Sept. 5: USA at Honduras
- Oct. 6: Panama at the USA
- Oct. 10: USA at Trinidad and Tobago
MLB: Royals win eighth straight, now 27-13 their last 40 games
The once-again resurgent Kansas City Royals beat the Detroit Tigers 16-4 Wednesday night for their eighth straight victory. That was exactly six days after the Royals beat these same Tigers 16-2! Kansas City stayed within 1.5 games of the Cleveland Indians (who have won six straight themselves) in the race for the AL Central crown. The Royals have Thursday off before beginning a huge series Friday in Boston.
This KC win streak has come entirely against the fading Tigers and Royals. They’ll be much more believable as a true postseason threat if they can impress at Fenway. Though, the TEN head-to-head meetings still ahead between the Royals and Indians could loom largest in the divisional race.
Other important pennant race results Wednesday:
- Arizona (-200) beat Atlanta 10-3 to take two of three and continue locking down a Wildcard spot.
- Pittsburgh (plus 130) lost at San Francisco 2-1, which was also their disappointing series mark against the lowly Giants. Pittsburgh is now four games behind first place Chicago in the NL Central, and 7.5 games out of a Wildcard spot.
- Washington (-125) exploded for a seven-run eighth inning to beat Milwaukee 8-5. That evens the series at one-win apiece with the rubber game Thursday afternoon. Milwaukee is now a half-game behind the Cubs.
- St. Louis (-185) stayed hot with a 10-5 win over Colorado. That’s a series sweep for the Cards, as they try to hang on in the crowded NL Central. They’re 3.5 behind the Cubs, and seven games out of a Wildcard spot.
- Tampa Bay (-150) beat Baltimore 5-1 to take two of three against its divisional rival. More on the Rays in a moment.
- Boston (-210) avoided a sweep in Seattle behind Chris Sale in a 5-1 victory.
- Cleveland (-225) continued to pound LA Angels pitching in a 10-4 blowout.
A lot of happy chalk players Wednesday. Will that continue Thursday?
MLB: Thursday matinees in the majors feature conclusions of Brewers/Nats, Angels/Indians
It’s great to have afternoon baseball to make your weekday work go by a little quicker. Here’s a quick look at the pitching matchups in Thursday afternoon’s most important meetings. Here in VSiN City, we focus on the classic “three true outcomes” from pitching analytics, as well as xFIP, which is a “fielding independent” measure that follows the same scale as ERA.
Milwaukee (54-49) at Washington (60-39)
- Early Line…Washington -225, total of 8 Over -120)
- Michael Blazek: 13.6% K’s, 0.0% walks, 0.0 HR/9, 3.89 xFIP
- Max Scherzer: 35.8% K’s, 6.2% walks, 1.0 HR/9, 3.06 xFIP
Blazek is being thrown to the wolves in what would normally be Matt Garza’s spot in the rotation. Garza is out with an injury. Blazek has only pitched 6.1 innings this season, so those stats are pretty meaningless. His “real world” xFIP might be closer to 4.5 or 5.00 in extended time as a MLB starting pitcher. The main reason we ran the stat lines was so you could see that massive K-Rate for Scherzer! Max could win the Cy Young by default if Clayton Kershaw has to miss extended time with his back issues.
Washington is a prohibitive favorite and will be a popular public choice in day night parlays across Las Vegas and offshore.
LA Angels (49-53) at Cleveland (54-45)
- (Early Line…Cleveland -150, total of 9 Over -120)
- J.C. Ramirez: 19.0% K’s, 7.0% walks, 1.4 HR/9, 4.25 xFIP
- Trevor Bauer: 25.7% K’s, 9.5% walks, 1.3 HR/9, 3.78 xFIP
The Angels are in danger of losing touch with the Wildcard race. The ultimate survivors are likely to be at least eight to ten games over .500 (if not more). And, multiple teams with better current records than the Halos have better shots to get there. Clear edge to Bauer in the stats analytical minded handicappers focus on. The market is clearly aware of that in the pricing. Both pitchers are home run prone…so check weather conditions before first pitch.
MLB: Rays and Yankees begin huge four-game series Thursday night in the Bronx
We wanted to give Tampa Bay at the NY Yankees special attention because these are currently two of the top three teams in the AL Wildcard race.
AL Wildcard Race (games over .500)
- NY Yankees plus 7
- Kansas City plus 6
- Tampa Bay plus 4
- Nobody else over .500 (but five teams within 5.5 games of the final WC spot)
Of course, both the Yanks and Rays are also trying to chase down Boston at the top of the AL East. The Red Sox only lead the Yanks by one game entering the day.
Tampa Bay (53-49) at NY Yankees (53-46)
- (Early Thursday Line…pick-em, total of 8.5 Over -115)
- Chris Archer: 29.3% K’s, 7.7% walks, 0.9 HR/9, 3.42 xFIP
- C.C. Sabathia: 18.9% K’s, 9.3% walks, 0.9 HR/9, 4.49 xFIP
You can see why Archer is considered one of the elite pitchers in the game by statheads. He has a clear edge over Sabathia in everything but HR’s allowed per nine innings (which is a push). The Yanks get credit in the betting line for home field and the more dynamic offense. That all adds up to pick-em in the Thursday tone-setter.
- Undecided: (Jake Odorizzi’s on the DL with back trouble)
- Masahiro Tanaka: 23.6% K’s, 5.4% walks, 2.0 HR/9, 3.73 xFIP
No word at deadline as to who the Rays will throw in Game 2 of the series. Horrible time for Odorizzi to get hurt! It’s his spot in the rotation. Tanaka has a great K/BB ratio, but home-run problems continue to drag down the stats the public pays the most attention to. He’s better than his reputation right now. Will he be good enough to beat a spot starter?
- Blake Snell: 19.7% K’s, 13.6% walks, 1.3 HR/9, 5.22 xFIP
- Caleb Smith: 22.6% K’s, 6.5% walks, 0.0 HR/9, 3.55 xFIP
Casual followers of the sport are going to have trouble with this pitching matchup. Snell has made 12 starts this season, but the Rays aren’t on TV much unless they’re playing the Yankees or Red sox. Smith has only pitched 6.1 innings in the Majors this season for the Yanks. As we saw with Blazek of the Brewers, toss those numbers out. Likely a high scoring game unless wind conditions are hurting hitters.
- Jacob Faria: 21.6% K’s, 7.3% walks, 0.8 HR/9, 4.52 xFIP
- Jordan Montgomery: 22.0% K’s, 7.3% walks, 1.3 HR/9, 4.53 xFIP
Very similar pitchers except Montgomery has been more HR-prone thanks to playing in a home park that sees more dingers than normal. Can either be trusted in a huge game or in October playoff action? Good tests for some young arms in this vital four-game set.
CFL: Week 6 previews
A new week of Canadian football begins Thursday night. Let’s take a quick look at the four games on tap this weekend…
Thursday: Montreal at Winnipeg (-3.5, total of 51.5)
Important game for both. Montreal is in the weaker East division where its 2-3 record has the Alouettes just a game out of first place. Winnipeg is 2-2 in the tougher West, which already has the Blue Bombers looking up at league powers Calgary, Edmonton, and British Columbia. We mentioned the other day (and “The Green Zone” co-host Jonathon Von Tobel won’t let us forget) that underdogs are 15-6 so far in the CFL. Bettors have to decide if they want to take the inferior team on the East/West road trip. Montreal couldn’t cover plus 3.5 last week at Ottawa in a 24-19 loss. And the offense has thrown five interceptions over the last three weeks. Winnipeg’s offense has been less impressive than the scoreboard suggested the past three weeks, posting YPP of just 5.2, 5.7, and 6.4. Toughie.
Friday: British Columbia at Edmonton (-2.5 total of 54.5)
One of the best games you can have in the CFL, as these two teams are near the top of the Power Ratings just behind Grey Cup favorite Calgary. Sharps are definitely hitting the dog whenever the full three is available. Note this is a revenge game for BC, who lost 30-27 at home in the season opener for both teams. Edmonton had a massive YPP output that game (8.8) that they haven’t matched since (5.5, 6.3, 6.9 vs. helpless Hamilton). Travis Lulay will get his second start at QB for BC in place of the injured Jonathan Jennings (shoulder bruise). Lulay has played almost all of two games already because Jennings was hurt so early against Hamilton. Note that Lulay had a sloppy 28-43-2 passing line when stepping up in class vs. Winnipeg last week.
Saturday: Toronto at Saskatchewan (-2.5, total of 52.5)
Three isn’t quite the same “key” number up north as it is in the US. But, sharps are hitting underdog Toronto at plus 3, while favored Saskatchewan gets respected consideration at -2.5. If you have an opinion on a team here, shop for the best line! We showed you yesterday that Toronto had drifted down the “execution” chart in terms of the percentage of its offensive plays that are incomplete passes. Their sharp opener over Hamilton was part illusion because the Tiger-Cats have been so bad. On a per-game basis, Toronto has thrown 9-15-14-19-15 incomplete passes. That’s why it’s tough to trust them on the road after a long flight if they’re not getting the full field goal. Might be an entertaining game, but not pretty.
Saturday: Hamilton at Calgary (-12.5, total of 55)
Some stores are showing Calgary -13, because it’s very tough math-wise to project anything but a blowout here. Hamilton has lost by 17, 17, 15, and 3…and they needed a blocked punt return TD to hang close with flat Edmonton last week. May come down to Calgary’s mindset with a second half lead, with a back door cover possible for a possibly improving big dog facing an uninspired host.
Look for more CFL chatter on our broadcasts this weekend. Here in VSiN City, we’ll pick up coverage again Monday with boxscore summaries.
NFL: Ravens QB Joe Flacco out 1 or 6 weeks with a minor or major back ailment
Dueling news flashes Wednesday night. Ian Rappaport of the NFL Network
suggested Flacco might not be able to go in the first week of the regular season come September (which would be a BIG story). Adam Schefter of ESPN
said Flacco might be fine next week, meaning he’d ready for the exhibition slate (which would be a relative nothing-burger).
Check for more details Thursday during our broadcast programming. The Ravens are likely to protect Flacco through the preseason slate…which is something bettors need to monitor closely.
Ravens’ Odds and Ends
- Baltimore is plus 275 to win the AFC North (behind Pittsburgh)
- Baltimore is 18/1 to win the AFC
- Baltimore is 35/1 to win the Super Bowl
- Baltimore’s Regular Season Win total is 8.5 (Over -115)
- Baltimore is a 2-point underdog in its regular season opener at Cincinnati
- Baltimore opens its preseason Thursday August 10 vs. Washington
- Baltimore’s QB Depth Chart: Flacco, Ryan Mallett, Dustin Vaughn
You can expect another QB or two to join the roster before the exhibition slate begins. Colin Kaepernick is rumored to be on the list of potential invitees because his only NFL success to date came playing for Jim Harbaugh, brother of Ravens coach John Harbaugh. (If you don’t recall the name Dustin Vaughn from your college football betting experience, that’s because he played for West Texas A&M.)
That’s it for Thursday. If you’re reading this on the website home page, don’t forget that the perks for subscribing (at no charge) to VSiN City are that you receive free daily betting sheets from the South Point (in a PDF file); and that you’re automatically entered to win a free drawing in the Westgate SuperContest (a $1,500 value!). Click here to subscribe.
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