By: Al Walsh – Follow him on Twitter @14AdotWalsh
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NBA Finals – Game 4: Toronto Raptors at Golden State Warriors (-4.5, -110/ML: -196)
Here we go! The Golden State Warriors find themselves in a familiar 1-2 hole, a place they have climbed out of before three times en route to a title in previous years. I do think the safer route to go is with the Warriors on the moneyline, but it also means we’re going to have to put up a lot in order to do so.
Golden State will have Klay Thompson back in the lineup, albeit not at 100 percent. We can even make the argument that Steve Kerr knew exactly what he was doing, resting Klay in Game 3 and sacrificing the battle for the war. Regardless, his presence will force Toronto to focus on him, and give the Warriors’ role players more room to operate on the offensive end. Look for DeMarcus Cousins to be more focused and take a vengeful approach to this contest after Marc Gasol thoroughly outplayed him in Game 3.
The Raptors have plenty of firepower that has shown up as the playoffs have gone along, but let’s pump the breaks a bit. Danny Green had an outstanding Game 3, and you have to think the Warriors get all up in his grill. Kawhi Leonard will always be the focal point of the Raptors’ offense but look for Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala to turn up the defensive intensity a bit.
Speaking of Dray, we know he always turns it up a bit when the Warriors’ backs are against the wall. FanDuel Sportsbook has his odds to get a triple-double at +220 tonight. Essentially, they’re saying it’s going to happen – the next closest player is Stephen Curry at +2600. If that’s the case, and Dray gets the trip-dub, the Warriors are probably going to win this game.
How many times have we seen the Warriors look like they were dead in the water, and then pop up right back up with the good stuff? I’d love to take the Warriors at -4.5, but Klay’s status is one that could ultimately determine how close the game is. Let’s play it safe…
* Final Score Prediction: Golden State Warriors: 110 – Toronto Raptors: 107 *
* 2019 MLB Record: 96-78-4 (55.2%) *
[7:10 p.m. EST] Colorado Rockies at New York Mets (1.5-run line: +116)
COL: Antonio Senzatela – R (4-4, 5.33 ERA/1.59 WHIP)
NYM: Jacob deGrom – R (3-5, 3.49 ERA/1.15 WHIP)
Jacob deGrom certainly hasn’t been at his best this season, but tonight’s opponent will certainly be a welcome sight. The right-handed ace has absolutely dominated the Rockies over the course of his career, as the current roster owns a putrid .167 batting average and .189 on-base percentage in 111 plate appearances. I think the most amazing takeaway from this is that deGrom has allowed only one earned run in 30 innings when pitching against the Rockies at Citi Field.
Antonio Senzatela got away with facing a downtrodden Blue Jays offense in his last start, but he did allow nine hits in each of the two outings before that. Not to mention, this guy can’t stop walking people – in the month of May, Senzatela issued 15 free passes over 29 2/3 innings.
deGrom is going to dominate the Rockies once again, as evidenced by the zaftig moneyline given by Vegas. I do think we can steal some money here, going with the 1.5-run line (at +114) as opposed to the massive moneyline which is at -210.
* Final Score Prediction: New York Mets: 5 – Colorado Rockies: 2 *
[7:10 p.m. EST] Over 7.5 (-106) – Atlanta Braves at Miami Marlins
ATL: Mike Soroka – R (6-1, 1.41 ERA/0.91 WHIP)
MIA: Jose Urena – R (4-6, 4.14 ERA/1.34 WHIP)
Jose Urena has actually pitched very well of late, with a quality start in each of his last five outings. However, the last time he failed to do so came against the same Braves’ team he’ll see tonight – Urena allowed five runs over six innings in that game. In fact, Atlanta has performed quite well against the righty in recent history, with at least four runs against him in each of the last three meetings — five runs against him in each of the last two meetings.
Before scoring one run in Pittsburgh on get-away day yesterday, Atlanta scored 33 runs in the previous four games.
Mike Soroka finally showed signs that he’s human in that last start against the Tigers, allowing four runs (three earned) over 6 2/3 innings. The Marlins also had a one-run get-away day yesterday, but they too went bananas in the previous four games, scoring 42 runs over that span. I’m not saying Soroka is going to get beat over the head, but I do think Miami can put up at least three runs here and add to the total.
All in all, I feel like the 7.5 total is certainly a level that could be reached tonight. Both of these teams have been hot offensively, and Atlanta’s history of success against Urena is well-documented.
* Final Score Prediction: Atlanta Braves: 6 – Miami Marlins: 3 *
[10:15 p.m. EST] Under 7.5 – Los Angeles Dodgers (1.5-run line: -144) at San Francisco Giants
LAD: Clayton Kershaw – L (5-0, 3.20 ERA/1.05 WHIP)
SF: Drew Pomeranz – L (1-6, 8.08 ERA/1.87 WHIP)
Clayton Kershaw takes his unbeaten record into Oracle Park tonight against a Giants team that ranks dead-last in wOBA (.268) against left-handed pitching. Yes, this is the same Giants team that allowed Jason Vargas to throw a complete-game shutout against them earlier this week. That, right there, is really all the evidence I need, and I reeeeeally should just end it there.
But I won’t. I’m an elite-level sports betting journalist… or so it says on my Hinge profile.
Kershaw has owned San Francisco over the course of his career, going 22-10 with a 1.70 ERA, six complete games and five shutouts in 44 starts. Not to mention, the current Giants’ lineup has a putrid .198 batting average and .231 on-base percentage against Kershaw in 360 plate appearances. It’s no surprise that the Giants’ 3.0 IRT is the lowest on tonight’s slate.
Drew Pomeranz takes the mound for the Giants and he’s glad the calendar has flipped to June – not that it’ll do him any good. The month of May was an absolute disaster as he wound up with a 19.16 ERA (yes, that is correct), 22 runs allowed in 10 1/3 innings.
The Dodgers haven’t been outstanding against left-handed pitching of late, but seeing Pomeranz should increase their metrics quite a bit. After all, the Dodgers are ninth in wOBA (.332) against lefties this season, but their .307 mark over the last 14 days in that split is just more of a testament to the pitchers they’ve faced.
* Final Score Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers: 6 – San Francisco Giants: 1 *