By: Al Walsh – Follow him on Twitter @14AdotWalsh
* 2019 MLB Record: 104-85-4 (55%) *
NBA Finals – Game 6:
Under 211.5 (-110) – Toronto Raptors (+2.5, -110/ML: +124) at Golden State Warriors
Game 5 was a cruel twist of everyone’s emotions. The Warriors led nearly the entire game, but that was followed by a Raptors run that gave them a 103-97 advantage with about five minutes to go. Then, just as they’ve done so many times in the past, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson engineered a meticulous 3-point shooting exhibition and took the lead late to come away with the 106-105 victory.
Let’s be honest – Toronto has dominated the majority of the series. Even in the games that Golden State won, they barely hung on for dear life at the end. Sure, the Warriors got a huge jolt of energy from Kevin Durant’s presence in Game 5, but knowing he’s gone has to put them in a different mindset. Unfortunately, that mindset could be detrimental as the Splash Brothers know they need to do literally everything on offense.
Expect Nick Nurse to formulate a gameplan that makes life difficult on Curry and Thompson all night. In my opinion, you HAVE TO make anyone but these two guys beat you.
We know this will be the final game at Oracle Arena and the crowd will be the loudest it has ever been. However, I don’t think that’ll be enough to help the worn-down and beat-up Warriors tonight. Kawhi Leonard has the perfect mentality, in that a riled-up crowd isn’t something that will get to him. Expect the rest of his teammates to follow suit and hoist the trophy at the end of the night.
Lastly, the SK Trend Confidence rating likes the total to go under in this game, as three of the last four games in this series have suffered the same fate.
* Final Score Prediction: Toronto Raptors: 103 – Golden State Warriors: 99 *
[7:10 p.m. EST] Under 8.5 (-104) – Texas Rangers at Boston Red Sox
TEX: Adrian Sampson – R (5-3, 3.72 ERA/1.33 WHIP)
BOS: David Price – L (4-2, 2.70 ERA/1.05 WHIP)
Vegas has already declared this as a low-scoring game, dropping the IRTs for both teams – Rangers: -0.6, Red Sox: -0.3. The Rangers’ IRT actually comes in as the largest drop for any team on today’s entire schedule.
David Price has been simply magnificent, and you know this because he actually pitched well at Yankee Stadium two starts ago, a place that’s been an absolute nightmare for him. Not including the one start where Price came out in the first inning at Houston (due to sickness), the veteran lefty has allowed two runs or fewer in seven of his last eight starts – the one misnomer, he allowed three. In addition, Price has a microscopic 1.08 ERA in four starts at Fenway Park this season.
The Rangers’ offense has not been great against left-handed pitching over the last 21 days, with a .302 xwOBA and .127 ISO.
After an absolutely brutal start to the season, Adrian Sampson has allowed exactly one run in four of his last five starts – the one misnomer, he allowed three. Not to mention, Sampson has struck out 18 batters in his last 16 innings of work. It also helps matters for the under that Boston’s offense has only produced an average of three runs per game over the last seven contests.
All in all, both starting pitchers are at the top of their respective games and Vegas has made the proper adjustments on the run total. 10 of the Rangers’ last 14 games have gone under the total, while Red Sox games have suffered the same fate in four of the last five.
* Final Score Prediction: Boston Red Sox: 4 – Texas Rangers: 1 *
[7:10 p.m. EST] Over 9 (-110) – Los Angeles Angels at Tampa Bay Rays
LAA: Tyler Skaggs – L (4-6, 4.97 ERA/1.36 WHIP)
TB: Ryan Yarbrough – L (5-2, 5.31 ERA/1.09 WHIP)
Both of these teams have been doing a great job against left-handed pitching and also have a great history against each of these pitchers.
Let’s start with the Angels, who smashed Ryan Yarbrough for six runs (two homers) in 5 1/3 innings at Tropicana Field last season. Los Angeles has been great against lefties all season, but even more recently owns a robust .400 wOBA and .269 ISO over the last 21 days.
Yarbrough is scheduled to come in after the “opener” that Tampa Bay occasionally rolls out for an inning or two. Good news for the total going over tonight, as Yarbrough owns a 7.25 ERA at Tropicana Field – 3.15 ERA on the road.
The Rays don’t necessarily have the power numbers against lefties, but they are getting on base a great deal, registering a .347 wOBA over the last 21 days. In that same start where Yarbrough got ripped last season, Tyler Skaggs did even worse, allowing 10 runs over 3 1/3 innings. Much like Yarbrough’s splits working in our favor, Skaggs has a much worse 6.23 ERA on the road, compared to his 3.58 ERA at home.
Vegas adjusted the run total from 8.5 to 9.0, with each team getting a slight increase on the IRT, so that is good news that things are trending in that direction. Look for history to repeat itself and plenty of cleats to touch home plate tonight.
* Final Score Prediction: Los Angeles Angels: 7 – Tampa Bay Rays: 6 *
[8:10 p.m. EST] Detroit Tigers (ML: -126) at Kansas City Royals
DET: Matthew Boyd – L (5-4, 3.08 ERA/1.04 WHIP)
KC: Homer Bailey – R (4-6, 5.90 ERA/1.51 WHIP)
Matthew Boyd had a few tough matchups of late but still managed to hold his own against some of the league’s best. In fact, he’s notched at least seven strikeouts in each of five outings, and that includes going against teams like the Twins, Braves and A’s. That’s bad news for a Royals team that is striking out 27.8% of the time against lefties over the last 21 days. Not to mention, their offense against lefties has sucked all year, owning the third-worst wOBA (.281) in baseball this season.
Boyd did skill this KC team a month ago, striking out nine Royals over seven innings en route to a win.
On the other side, Homer Bailey gets ripped with great regularity. Bailey has some of the worst advanced metrics of any pitcher on tonight’s slate, setting up a huge night for the Tigers’ offense. While they haven’t scored a ton of runs lately, the heart of the order has been making solid contact against right-handed pitching over the last 21 days and that bad luck is bound to turn around, especially against a pitcher like Bailey.
Look for Detroit to get back on the good foot and Boyd to lead the way with a dominant performance tonight. The Tigers are 6-2 against the Royals this season and Bailey’s teams are a dreadful 6-27 in games that he’s started over the last two seasons.
* Final Score Prediction: Detroit Tigers: 6 – Kansas City Royals: 2 *