Dallas Mavericks vs. Houston Rockets
NBA Playoffs Pick: Dallas +5 (April 18th 2015)
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When it comes to preparing and putting together a game plan for an opponent in a playoff series, Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle is one of the very best. Last year the Mavericks gave No. 1 seed San Antonio arguably their toughest series in the first round. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Dallas ended up knocking off Houston and I certainly like them getting 5-points in Game 1.
Houston won the season series 3-1, but all three of those wins came by 7-points or less and their two wins at home came by a combined 8 points. One of the advantages the Mavericks have had is that they have been essentially locked into the No. 7 seed for quite some time and as a result have been able to get healthy and rested.
If you go back over the last 3 seasons, Dallas is an impressive 14-3 ATS in road games during the month of April. They are also a respectable 19-9 ATS in their last 28 road games over the last two years against strong offensive teams scoring 103+ ppg and 18-6-2 in their last 26 playoff games in the first round. These trends combine to form a 74% (51-18) system in favor of the Mavericks. Take Dallas!
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Texas Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners
MLB Pick: Seattle -1.5 -105 odds (April 18th 2015)
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The Mariners are off to a terrible start to the season, and even the addition of slugger Nelson Cruz hasn’t been enough to turn around this sputtering offense. You can’t really fault Cruz though, as he leads the majors with six home runs, all of those coming over his last six games.
He might get a chance to tee off against Colby Lewis tonight, as the veteran right-hander has been hit hard at Safeco in the past. Lewis was tagged for seven runs on 12 hits over 14 innings at Safeco last year, and he was taken yard four times in those two starts.
Robinson Cano is hitting .417 lifetime versus Lewis, while Kyle Seager is batting .381 with a pair of home runs and seven RBIs off the right-hander. Mike Zunino is just 2-for-8 versus Lewis, but both of those hits left the ballpark.
The Mariners will hand the ball to their ace, and Felix Hernandez has been as sharp as ever so far this season. Hernandez (1-0, 3.00 ERA) surrendered one run on two hits, striking out 10 in a win over the Angels at Safeco on Opening Day. He was 10-3 with a 2.07 ERA at home last year.
The Mariners failed to capitalize on their opportunities last night, out-hitting Texas 8-7, yet only managing to score one run. I expect them to play a little better with the big horse on the hill tonight.
MLB Pick: Seattle Mariners -152
play the Mariners on Friday and grab it early. While they are off to a very slow start this team might be the team to beat in the AL West and I feel strongly that we have the right play late on Friday. Texas is struggling vs. LHP early in the season with a .189 average and 2.90 runs per 9 which they will face in J.A. Happ. Texas batters have limited experience vs. Happ, just 36 AB and a .623 OPS. The Mariners bullpen is full of arms and should be just as good this year as they were last year. In 3 home games they have yet given up a run.
Texas counters with Yovani Gallardo who has always struggled in April. Posting a 4.10 ERA over the last 3 years he’s allowed a .280 average during April over that period. He’s still adjusting to the American League, and he’s never pitched in this ballpark before. The Rangers bullpen has struggled on the road early with a 4.97 ERA. I expect this to be the reason they lose this game on Friday night. -Freddy Wills
MLB Pick: Toronto Bue Jays -140
The Free MLB Interleague play is on the Toronto Blue Jays. Game980 at 7:05 eastern. The Jays have won 6 of the last 7 at home N.L. East team like Atlanta and the Braves are 0-6 on the road vs American League teams and have dropped 5 of the last 6 away vs A.L. East teams. The Jays fit a nice system here tonight that plays on home favorites off a home loss that scored 2 or less runs vs an opponent off a home loss that also scored 2 or less runs and lost by 2 or more runs. Toronto has Hutchison on the mound and he has won his last 3 home starts. The Braves counter with Teheran and he has a 8.51 era vs Toronto. Look for thee Jays to take the opener. On Friday in MLB Action the American League game of the Month is up and has a 100% system and 3 Perfect Angles. There is also a Perfect totals system. In the NHL its 2 more Powerful Historical Database system sides. NHL Cashed big again last night. Jump on now and start the weekend big with the Most Powerful data in the Industry. For the free play. Take Toronto. -Rob Vinciletti
Chicago White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers
Betting Prediction: Detroit -172 odds (April 17th 2015)
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The Detroit Tigers have certainly lived up to all expectations so far this season, but the same can not be said for the White Sox. These teams will play Game 1 of a three game set at Comerica Park on Friday afternoon. Both teams send their respective aces to the mound, in what might just be a pitcher’s duel.
Here are my keys to the game:
1. Pitching – David Price will be on the hill for the home team, looking to continue his perfect start to the season. Price (1-0, 0.00 ERA) was the victim of some poor defensive play in his last start, surrendering three runs (all unearned) over 5.2 innings in a 9-6 win at Cleveland. He was very sharp at home in Detroit on Opening Day, tossing 8.2 scoreless innings. The White Sox will counter with Jeff Sarmardzija, who signed a big contract with Chicago in the off-season.
2. Batter vs Pitcher – Jose Abreu, Tyler Flowers and Adam LaRoche are a combined 1-for-20 lifetime versus Price.
3. X-Factor – The White Sox have lost six of their last seven road games when playing the role of the underdog.
Selection: This is a play on the Detroit Tigers
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Betting Prediction: Tampa Bay +103 odds (April 16th 2015)
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Tampa Bay is showing some strong value here. The Rays will be sending out Chris Archer, who has been at his best away from home. Archer has allowed 3 earned runs or less in 14 straight road starts. He’s 5-1 with a 1.68 ERA over his last 10 road starts and 1-0 with a .184 ERA in his last 5 starts in Toronto. It’s also worth noting that Archer has had great success against Toronto sluggers Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.
While Tampa Bay has a proven commodity on the mound, the Blue Jays will be turning to Aaron Sanchez for just his second career start. Sanchez didn’t exactly thrive in his first outing, giving up 3 runs on 7 hits (2 HRs) and 2 walks over just 3 1/3 innings of work. Though it came in a losing effort, the Rays got their bats going yesterday with 7 runs on 11 hits, bringing their average up to 5.2 runs/game on the road this season.
Toronto is just 4-14 against the money line in their last 18 games after a contest where 17 or more runs were scored and are just 1-5 in their last 6 during Game 4 of a series. Tampa Bay on the other hand is 37-18 in their last 55 when playing Game 4 of a series, 7-3 in their last 10 after allowing 5+ runs in their previous game and 8-0 in Archer’s last 8 road starts with a total set at 7-8.5 runs. Take Tampa Bay!
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