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10/12/2005 Wednesday's MLB Picks (2)
Switching gears from backing roadies to backing both home favorites.
Chicago White Sox over Los Angeles Angels (1.0 Units)
Just as we expected, these White Sox were rusty. You could easily count over a dozen mistakes they made. From getting caught stealing to missing hit and run attempts to failed bunts to poor fielding, these White Sox lost the game themselves. Because of the profitable +180 spread, I was not worried about investing a 0.5 unit on that over in the case that these White Sox come out prepared. I actually believe that if not for the wind, we would have won the over but lost the Angels. Of course we prefer the outcome we saw.
Who cares. That was game 1. I am picking these White Sox now. As we mentioned the Angels are 20-8 in the first game of a road series and the White Sox are only 14-13 in game 1 of a home series. Now it reverses the rest of the series. The Angels are only 28-28 in non Game 1's on the road. The White Sox are 34-22. The Angels are only about .500 against lefties. They are a superb 71-44 against righties. Remember, these Angels struggled against Contreras. They should struggle more against Buehrle, a lefty especially because they are tired and play worse on the road past Game 1.
We do not see this game to be as strong as it could be. If the White Sox had won in Game 1, this would have been a 1.5 unit play. The White Sox are 12-2 at home in Game 2 after a Game 1 home win. Also, teams playing their second game off a huge layoff are actually much better if their first game was a win. The other problem is that the Angels are slated to start a lefty Washburn. If they change and pitch someone else, its okay. We would rather see these White Sox against a right hander. The Sox are 54% against lefties and 64% against righties.
St. Louis Cardinals -160 over Houston Astros (1.0 Units)
I am crazy. For two days, I thought I would be taking the Astros +150 or nothing in this game. The road dogs can't always win, can they? I like the Cardinals. The Cardinals are something like 32-17 at home in the postseason, second to the Angels. Anyways, home teams in division rivalry games in the postseason are 22-10 +9.5 units. This is not something that has ever happened until the advent of the Wild Card. If you remember last year's NLCS between these two teams, you will remember that the home team won EVERY game of the series. Backing home teams in the NLCS alone was 7-0. Our contention is that division rivals know each other so well that by the time you go to the playoffs, all you have is home field advantage. You are going to see one of the craziest home crowds in St. Louis tomorrow not only because its Game 1 of the NLCS but because they are going against a division rivalry. The rustiness the White Sox faced yesterday should not be so with these Cardinals. At least it will not be as bad. The Cardinals are 21-6 for the first game of a home series. They are prepared and will get the necessary win. Only thing keeping this from being a 1.5 unit play is that these Cardinals are only about .500 at home versus lefties even though they are still an overall 60% against lefties.
October 12, 2005 Free Picks