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Thread: Thursday 05/31/18 ... Comps / Free Plays / Trends / Betting Info / Requests Etc.

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  1. #1 Thursday 05/31/18 ... Comps / Free Plays / Trends / Betting Info / Requests Etc. 
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    Cavaliers at Warriors 5/31/18 - NBA Picks & Predictions

    by Eddie


    The fourth installment of the NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors will tip off on Thursday night from Oracle Arena. The Cavaliers have lost two of the previous three Finals matchups with the Warriors and enter this series as the biggest underdogs in the last 16 seasons. On Sunday night, Cleveland advanced to the NBA Finals with an 87-79 road triumph over Boston in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Cavaliers outscored the Celtics by 12 points in the second half and limited them to 34 percent shooting on the night.

    LeBron James willed his team to victory with 35 points to go along with 15 rebounds and nine assists. Jeff Green started in place of injured Kevin Love and finished with 19 points on 7-for-14 from the field.

    The defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors overcame plenty of adversity in the Western Conference Finals to get to this point. The Warriors played without starting F Andre Iguodala in the final four games and became the first team to overcome double-digit second half deficits in two elimination games in the same series. On Monday, Golden State outscored Houston by 18 points during the third quarter of a 101-92 road victory in Game Seven. The Warriors knocked down 16-for-39 from long range and assisted on 25 of their 39 made field goals.

    Kevin Durant poured in a game high 34 points on an 11-for-21 shooting performance. Steph Curry contributed 27 points, 10 assists, and nine rebounds for the Warriors.

    Recent Betting Trends:


    Cavaliers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
    Warriors are 6-17 ATS in their last 23 games following a straight up win.
    Under is 4-0 in Cavaliers last 4 road games.
    Under is 4-0 in Warriors last 4 home games.
    Cavaliers are 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Golden State.


    Free Betting Pick: Golden State Warriors -12


    Cleveland F Kevin Love (concussion) was unable to play in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals and is listed as questionable for this matchup. The Warriors are the top rated defensive squad this postseason and will win this series in five games or less. Take Golden State to crush Cleveland in the series opener. Final Score Prediction, Golden State Warriors win and cover ATS 114-97.








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    Golden State Warriors Are Massive Favorites in NBA Finals

    The Cavaliers Have Their Work Cut Out For Them…

    After a pair of absolutely thrilling Game 7’s, we have the fourth straight rematch of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors that pretty much half of everyone I talk to wanted. Most people are like “Man, I just want something different!” That’s fine, but there’s literally nothing as compelling as LeBron versus Golden State. For now, it’s the best we can get.

    The Warriors have been inserted as insane -1000 favorites to win the 2018 NBA Finals, facing a Cleveland team that is listed at +725. All people want to talk about is “sweep or no sweep” and that’s fine. It’s very difficult to suggest that we’re not looking at another squash compared to what we witness last season.

    Some are attributing Golden State’s fourth appearance in the Finals to luck, and that’s fair given that the Rockets went 0-for-27 from beyond the arc in an historically abysmal shooting performance that came at the worst possible time. I’ll agree that some of that is just pure, bad luck and the Rockets faced quite a bit of that with some iffy foul calls and the loss of CP3.

    But then again, this is the Houston Rockets we’re talking about. They’re not closers and never really have been. That’s why Chris Paul was brought in, and hopefully stays. You can easily make the argument that this series has a different ending if Paul doesn’t rip his hamstring to shreds. However, you can just as easily say that the Warriors were never going to lose or that they had to overcome the loss of Andre Igoudala. “What if” arguments are stupid in that way.

    2018 NBA Finals Schedule
    Game 1 – Cleveland at Golden State -12.0 (Thu, May 31st)
    Game 2 – Cleveland at Golden State (Sun, June 3rd)
    Game 3 – Golden State at Cleveland (Wed, June 6th)
    Game 4 – Golden State at Cleveland (Fri, June 8th)
    Game 5 – Cleveland at Golden State (Mon, June 11th)
    Game 6 – Golden State at Cleveland (Thu, June 14th)
    Game 7 – Cleveland at Golden State (Sun, June 17th)

    The fact remains that Golden State and Cleveland are back at the pinnacle, and no matter how bored you are with these two consistently clashing, it’s a cool moment to enjoy as a fan. Four straight times? That’s never happened before, though the Celtics-Lakers met four times in five years in the 1960’s.

    Wrinkles abound in this series. LeBron has seriously never looked better, but his supporting cast hasn’t looked this bad since 2007. Kevin Love is hurt and still middling his way through the concussion protocol. Outside of sweeping a Toronto Raptors team that was crippled by PSL (post-season LeBron) disorder, the Pacers and Celtics pushed Cleveland to seven games. Both nearly won it.

    Nothing that Cleveland has dealt with in the playoffs is on the level of the Golden State Warriors, but this particular defending champion looks…tired. They’re most certainly the better team in the 2018 NBA Finals. But they don’t have that killer instinct that they rampaged the playoffs with last year while going 16-1 SU in 17 games. Everybody’s stolen at least a game from them.

    Trying to convince yourself that Cleveland can win this series feels like a losing battle. Even the Rockets were being pegged as +7.5 road dogs in the Western Conference Finals, and that was with Chris Paul in the fold. Cleveland is already a +12 point dog in Game 1 and even that feels sort of generous.

    Igoudala being injured and the Warriors not really having any semblance of low-post defence seems inconsequential given how much shooting they have. I mean, even Nick Young helped contribute in a minute, momentum changing way that had a tangible impact. The only thing that could really pave the way for Cleveland being competitive in this series is an injury and that seems immensely implausible.

    The distance between Cleveland and Golden State, even with all the little things that seem to ding up the Warriors, is negated simply by the lack of Kyrie Irving on the Cavaliers. If the Cavs couldn’t even touch the Warriors last year when they had him, why would you believe that they could this year with a team that is older, slower, less dynamic and just struggled against a categorically awful Eastern Conference side of the bracket.

    The oddsmakers don’t. You probably shouldn’t either.

    That doesn’t means you shouldn’t watch it. At the very least, the lines on this series are intriguing, and the Warriors have been softer on the “crushing opponents” side of things than years past. If Cleveland has any value in this series, it’s as a road dog because we all already know how this series is going to end.
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    Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors Preview and Predictions 05-31-2018

    30th May 2018 by Gracenote
    the cleveland cavaliers and golden state warriors are in the nba finals for the fourth straight season and the series begins thursday night in oakland, calif. the warriors won two of the first three meetings and the latest matchup will likely begin with cavaliers forward kevin love (concussion) sitting out.

    cleveland star lebron james doesn't understand why there is complaining that the two teams are once again sharing the finals' stage. "teams have had their opportunities to beat the cavs over the last four years, and teams have had the opportunities to beat the warriors over the last four years," james told reporters at his wednesday press conference. "if you want to see somebody else in the postseason, then you got to beat them." there also has been a lot of chatter about how james lacks a supporting case - an odd notion for a team that is in the nba finals and one warriors coach steve kerr doesn't prescribe to in the least. "you don't get to the finals with one man, no matter how good that one man is," kerr said at his press conference. "so we have great respect for the cavs, their resiliency. the fact that they're here four years in a row - we know exactly how hard that is. so we're preparing for a lot more than just lebron, that's for sure."
    tv: 9 p.m. et, abc
    about the cavaliers: love suffered a concussion in friday's game 6 of the eastern conference finals against the boston celtics and has yet to pass the protocol, and coach tyronn lue doesn't know if he will be available. love, a five-time all-star, was seen on the practice floor wednesday and lue did indicate that he will start the contest if he is cleared to play. love's presence would alleviate some pressure off james, who is averaging 34 points, 9.2 rebounds and 8.8 assists in a stellar postseason.

    about the warriors: veteran defensive stopper andre iguodala (left leg) will miss his fifth consecutive contest, leaving golden state without a player who typically shadows james. "well, he was mvp of the series in 2015, largely because he took that role on of guarding lebron, but also because of what he did offensively," kerr told reporters in reference to iguodala's importance. "he's doing a little bit better. some encouraging signs, but we have ruled him out for game 1." kerr said the duty of guarding james will be spread among at least four players - forwards kevin durant and draymond green and guards klay thompson and shaun livingston.
    buzzer beaters
    1. warriors pg stephen curry made 25 3-pointers over the final five games of the western conference finals against the houston rockets and averaged 28.2 points during the stretch.
    2. james has topped 40 points seven times this postseason, one shy of jerry west's postseason record set in 1965.

    3. golden state sf kevin durant is averaging 29 points in the postseason and has topped 20 in all 17 games.

    prediction: warriors 118, cavaliers 111


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    Los Angeles Angels vs. Detroit Tigers Preview and Predictions 05-31-2018

    31st May 2018 by Gracenote
    nicholas castellanos has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games to finish the month of may with a flourish. castellanos bids to follow up his three-hit performance with another stellar outing on thursday afternoon as the detroit tigers (25-30) look for their third win versus the visiting los angeles angels (30-26) in the finale of the four-game series.

    castellanos had an rbi single to cap a five-run sixth inning in wednesday's 6-1 romp over los angeles to improve to 17-for-44 with six runs scored and five rbis in his last 10 games. fellow outfielder leonys martin had a pair of hits with an rbi and a run scored to improve to 4-for-13 in the series for detroit, which has won five of its last seven. los angeles' albert pujols recorded his fifth hit of the set with an rbi single and has 11 hits and seven rbis in his last nine games overall. mike trout has hit safely in each game of the series and owns 14 hits - including six homers - to go along with 10 rbis and 13 runs scored in his last 12 contests for the angels, who have dropped four of six to fall to 4-5 on their season-high 10-game road trip.
    tv: 1:10 p.m. et, mlb network, fs west (los angeles), fs detroit
    pitching matchup: angels lh andrew heaney (2-3, 3.09 era) vs. tigers lh ryan carpenter (0-1, 8.31)

    heaney allowed just one run for the third time in his last five outings on friday but was left with a no-decision against the new york yankees. the 26-year-old has pitched well in five of his last six trips to the mound, sporting a 2-2 mark with a slim 1.45 era in that span. heaney will make his 40th career appearance and first versus detroit on thursday.
    carpenter was summoned from triple-a toledo to get the nod in place of left-hander francisco liriano, who landed on the 10-day disabled list on wednesday with a hamstring injury. the 27-year-old has struggled mightily with the mud hens by posting a 1-5 mark with a 5.72 era in nine starts, although he fared well by permitting just one unearned run in six innings on saturday. carpenter sputtered in his last start with detroit on may 16, yielding six runs on seven hits in five innings of a 6-0 setback versus cleveland.
    walk-offs

    1. los angeles 3b luis valbuena is 5-for-9 with two homers, three rbis and three runs scored in his last two games after going 0-for-19 in his previous eight contests.

    2. detroit 3b jeimer candelario has reached base in 24 consecutive contests, accounting for the longest active streak in the majors.

    3. angels 2b ian kinsler is 6-for-10 with one homer, three rbis and three runs scored in the series against his former team.

    prediction: angels 7, tigers 4
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    Tampa Bay Rays vs. Oakland Athletics Preview and Predictions 05-31-2018

    31st May 2018 by Gracenote
    the tampa bay rays look to complete a four-game sweep and extend their winning streak to six contests when they visit the oakland athletics on thursday afternoon. tampa bay posted its second shutout of the series on wednesday as nathan eovaldi combined with two relievers on a one-hitter in the 6-0 triumph.

    eovaldi returned from tommy john surgery and an elbow procedure in impressive fashion, issuing one walk and registering four strikeouts over six hitless innings during his first major-league appearance since aug. 10, 2016 with the new york yankees. wilson ramos went 2-for-4 to stretch his hitting streak to 10 games while rob refsnyder and johnny field homered for the rays, who have outscored oakland 11-3 in the series. jed lowrie registered the athletics' lone hit on wednesday and is 5-for-13 over the first three games of the set. oakland, which has been blanked in three of its last eight contests, hopes to receive some offensive help thursday as slugger khris davis (groin) is expected to be activated from the disabled list.
    tv: 3:35 p.m. et, mlb network, fs sun (tampa bay)
    pitching matchup: rays rh ryne stanek (1-0, 3.24 era) vs. athletics rh daniel mengden (5-4, 2.85)

    stanek will make his second major-league start after notching the win in the series-opening 1-0 triumph in 13 innings at oakland by working 1 2/3 scoreless frames of relief. the 26-year-old native of st. louis struck out three while retiring all five batters he faced against baltimore on saturday as he became the 10th pitcher to start a game for tampa bay this season. stanek has been scored upon in only two of his eight appearances this year but has yet to work two innings and did so only twice in 21 relief outings as a rookie in 2017.
    mengden is seeking his third home win of the season - and in 19 career starts at oakland coliseum - as he comes off a masterpiece against arizona on saturday. the 25-year-old texan struck out five while tossing a two-hit shutout in his second complete game in the majors - both of which have been shutouts. mengden, who will be facing tampa bay for the first time, has posted a 1.07 era in five turns this month.
    walk-offs

    1. athletics rhp liam hendriks (groin/hip) was sent to triple-a nashville on wednesday to begin a rehab assignment.

    2. in addition to activating eovaldi (elbow), tampa bay optioned jaime schultz to triple-a durham and transferred fellow rhp jake faria (oblique) from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day dl.

    3. oakland placed ss marcus semien on the paternity list and recalled rhp josh lucas from nashville.

    prediction: athletics 7, rays 3
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    New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles Preview and Predictions 05-31-2018

    30th May 2018 by Gracenote
    the new york yankees are riding high with victories in 10 of their last 11 completed series to remain right in the thick of the race for first place in the american league east. the yankees (35-17) will take their show on the road thursday as they begin a season-high 11-game trek with the opener a four-game series against the baltimore orioles (17-39), who won three of four from new york last month.

    aaron judge collected two hits and a run scored in back-to-back outings for the yankees, who exacted a small measure of revenge against houston following the 2017 al championship series by taking five of seven meetings this season. the 26-year-old slugger is 1-for-5 with a homer against thursday starter andrew cashner after collecting five hits - including a blast - to go along with four rbis and three runs scored against baltimore from april 5-8. the orioles' beleaguered offense continues to be stymied, as the club saw its losing skid extend to five games after being shut out for the second time in three contests following wednesday's 2-0 loss to washington. manny machado had a double off max scherzer to push his hitting streak to five games heading into a tilt with the yankees, against whom he went 7-for-19 with two homers, five rbis and three runs scored in last month's series
    tv: 7:05 p.m. et, yes (new york), masn (baltimore)
    pitching matchup: yankees rh sonny gray (3-4, 5.98 era) vs. orioles rh andrew cashner (2-6, 5.07)

    gray answered a sterling performance with a less-than-desirable one, as he followed a one-run effort over eight innings in a 10-1 romp at kansas city on may 20 by allowing five runs in 3 2/3 frames six days later in an 11-4 setback versus the los angeles angels. the 28-year-old issued at least three free passes for the fifth time in his last seven starts to give him a staggering 28 walks in 10 starts (49 2/3 innings). gray improved to 3-4 in his career against baltimore after recording a quality start in an 8-3 win on april 7.
    like gray, cashner surrendered five runs in his last outing on saturday as he was blitzed by tampa bay to fall to 1-5 in his last eight starts. the 31-year-old permitted season highs in hits (11) and walks (four) against the rays while limping through five innings. cashner pitched significantly better in his last appearance against the yankees on april 5, improving to 2-1 with a 1.73 era in four career appearances after yielding one run on two hits in six frames of a 5-2 win.
    walk-offs

    1. baltimore cf adam jones is 11-for-26 with a homer and two rbis in his last six games.
    2. new york is just 11-9 versus al east foes and 24-8 against the rest of the major league teams.

    3. orioles 2b jonathan schoop has struck out at least once in each of the last 13 games, including three times on wednesday.

    prediction: yankees 6, orioles 2
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    Chicago Cubs vs. New York Mets Preview and Predictions 05-31-2018

    31st May 2018 by Gracenote
    The revolving door that is the New York Mets' bullpen came through last time out, but it will be tested again during a four-game series against the visiting Chicago Cubs that begins Thursday. The Cubs have averaged nearly six runs over their last 21 contests and have won five of their last seven on the road.

    The Mets won for just the third time in 10 games Wednesday, posting a 4-1 victory in Atlanta as four relievers combined for four innings of one-run ball. New York made several roster moves before the contest to reinforce its beleaguered bullpen, which could be taxed again with Seth Lugo stepping out of his relief role to start on short rest in the series opener against the Cubs. After an inconsistent start to the season, Chicago's offense has come to life in May, though it squandered plenty of opportunities in Wednesday's 2-1 loss at Pittsburgh. Anthony Rizzo has heated up to contribute largely to the resurgence, hitting .299 with seven homers and 28 RBIs this month after batting .149 with only blast and nine RBIs in March and April combined.
    TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, NBCS Chicago, SNY (New York)
    PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs LH Jose Quintana (5-4, 4.78 ERA) vs. Mets RH Seth Lugo (1-1, 2.48)

    Quintana has failed to get through five innings in three of his last five starts, issuing 15 walks over 26 innings in that span. The 29-year-old was pulled after 4 1/3 frames last time out, allowing four runs and five hits in a loss to San Francisco. Quintana is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA in two career starts against New York.
    Lugo has been a valuable member of the Mets' bullpen but will make a spot start after 20 appearances in relief. The 28-year-old worked 17 consecutive scoreless innings before allowing three runs in his last outing Monday at Atlanta. Lugo is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in three career games (one start) against the Cubs.

    WALK-OFFS

    1. Cubs RF Jason Heyward is 6-for-8 over his last two games, raising his batting average from .222 to .256.

    2. Mets CF Brandon Nimmo has recorded eight extra-base hits and six RBIs over his last nine contests.
    3. The Cubs on Wednesday placed Carl Edwards Jr. (shoulder) on the 10-day disabled list and recalled fellow RHP Cory Mazzoni from Triple-A Iowa.

    PREDICTION: Cubs 6, Mets 4
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    Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals Preview and Predictions 05-31-2018

    30th May 2018 by Gracenote
    after failing to cut into first-place milwaukee's lead in the national league central, the st. louis cardinals square off with division rival pittsburgh as they host the pirates on thursday night in the opener of a four-game series. st. louis won two of three at pittsburgh last weekend before dropping two of three to the brewers to close out a road trip.

    wednesday's 3-2 loss to milwaukee dropped the cardinals five games behind the brewers but they are hitting a favorable portion of the schedule with 13 of the next 16 at home. dexter fowler collected three hits in his return from a three-game injury absence while center fielder harrison bader homered for the second time in as many days in milwaukee to run his hitting streak to five games. the pirates dropped the final two to the cardinals last week and saw their losing streak stretch to four games before averting a sweep with a 2-1 victory over the chicago cubs on wednesday for their third win in 12 games. "there's a lot of people who want to win," pittsburgh manager clint hurdle told reporters. "you've got to play to win. you've got to figure out how to win."
    tv: 7:15 p.m. et, at&t sportsnet pittsburgh, fs midwest (st. louis)
    pitching matchup: pirates rh trevor williams (5-3, 3.43 era) vs. cardinals rh jack flaherty (2-1, 2.15)

    williams suffered the loss versus the cardinals last saturday after giving up four runs and seven hits over a season-low four innings. it marked the third time in four starts that he permitted four runs, although the 26-year-old beat the cardinals on april 28 with six innings of two-run ball. williams has had trouble against both jose martinez (5-for-8) and matt carpenter, who is 4-for-10 with two homers.
    flaherty got the best of pittsburgh last weekend, winning his second straight start by limiting the pirates to one run and four hits over six innings. the 2014 first-round draft pick had the best performance of his brief major-league career in his previous turn, striking out 13 and allowing one run on two hits over 7 2/3 innings to beat philadelphia. starling marte is 3-for-5 with a home run against flaherty.
    walk-offs

    1. carpenter was 5-for-13 last weekend against pittsburgh and has hit safely in six in a row.

    2. pirates rf gregory polanco returned to the lineup wednesday but is 0-for-19 in his last six games.

    3. cardinals c yadier molina, who had surgery (traumatic hematoma) earlier this month, has been cleared to resume baseball activities.

    prediction: cardinals 4, pirates 3
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    Philadelphia Phillies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Preview and Predictions 05-31-2018

    31st May 2018 by Gracenote
    clayton kershaw is slated to make his first start since may 1 when the los angeles dodgers host the philadelphia phillies on thursday for the finale of their four-game series. the three-time national league cy young award winner has been sidelined with left biceps tendinitis but will look to pitch los angeles to its 11th win in 14 games in his return.

    dodgers manager dave roberts said there isn't a definitive pitch limit for kershaw, saying, "i think he's fine to go deep, depending on how he's throwing." los angeles has won two of the first three games of the series, including an 8-2 triumph on wednesday in which matt kemp (nl-best .345 average) homered and recorded a season-high four rbis. philadelphia's nick williams has gone deep in back-to-back games and three of his last five contests. philadelphia learned wednesday that slugging left fielder rhys hoskins fractured his jaw in monday's game and is expected to be examined thursday in philadelphia to see whether or not he will need surgery.
    tv: 7:35 p.m. et, mlb network, nbcs philadelphia, sportsnet la (los angeles)
    pitching matchup: phillies rh aaron nola (6-2, 2.27 era) vs. dodgers lh clayton kershaw (1-4, 2.86)

    nola has been superb through 11 starts as he is holding opposing batters to a .212 average while sporting a 0.98 whip. the 24-year-old settled for a no-decision in his last turn against toronto despite registering 10 strikeouts while allowing just one run and one hit over 6 2/3 innings. nola beat the dodgers in his lone career start against them as he allowed two runs and five hits over seven frames on sept. 19.
    kershaw served up seven homers in seven starts before going on the disabled list and is allowing opponents to bat .234. the average is a bit of a stunner after the 30-year-old held opponents below .200 in four straight seasons (2013-16) and has a .206 career mark. kershaw is 3-5 with a 3.16 era in 12 career starts versus the phillies.

    walk-offs

    1. dodgers 1b cody bellinger went 2-for-4 on wednesday after going 3-for-41 over his previous 12 contests.
    2. los angeles placed rhp kenta maeda (hip) and 2b chase utley (thumb) on the 10-day disabled list while recalling ambidextrous pitcher pat venditte and rhp dennis santana from triple-a oklahoma city.

    3. philadelphia 3b mitch walding struck out in all four at-bats wednesday in his major-league debut.

    prediction: phillies 4, dodgers 3
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    Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves Preview and Predictions 05-31-2018

    30th May 2018 by Gracenote
    may heads into june this weekend and the top two teams in the national league east square off in a four-game series beginning thursday, when the perennial division champion washington nationals head to atlanta to face the braves, who have looked every bit the contender through the season's first two months. the fact that atlanta's rebuild appears to have accelerated comes by surprise, but here are the braves, sitting one-half game behind the nationals in the division.

    atlanta fell 4-1 to the new york mets on wednesday, the lone run coming on a johan camargo homer in the seventh - giving the braves their nl-leading 101st run of the season scored in the seventh inning or later. the braves authored two walk-off victories against new york in splitting the four-game series, and have won eight games this season in their final at-bat. the nationals struggled out of the gate, going 11-16 in april while allowing more runs (115) than they scored (111), but washington has turned things around in may and comes to atlanta on a six-game winning streak after wednesday's 2-0 triumph at baltimore. washington is 19-6 this month and has allowed just 2.7 runs per game, while bryce harper is hitting just .238 on the season but clubbed his nl-leading 18th homer wednesday.
    tv: 7:35 p.m. et, masn2 (washington), fs southeast (atlanta)
    pitching matchup: nationals rh tanner roark (2-4, 3.17 era) vs. braves lh sean newcomb (5-1, 2.75)

    roark beat the braves on april 2 in his season debut, holding them to just one run on four hits with six strikeouts in seven innings to improve to 7-3 with a 2.77 era lifetime against atlanta. but despite posting a 3.39 era and limiting opponents to a .202 average in his next nine starts, roark is just 1-4 in that stretch. roark has surrendered only one run in two of his past three starts, giving up five runs on 14 hits with 17 strikeouts and three walks in 21 innings during that span.
    newcomb struggled in his last start saturday at boston, giving up three runs with four walks while throwing 88 pitches in just three innings in his first major league appearance near his hometown. the 24-year-old has been outstanding for the braves this month otherwise, winning his first four starts while posting a 0.36 era and a .110 opponents batting average. newcomb opened his season april 2 with a home loss to the nationals, allowing five earned runs in 4 1/3 innings.
    walk-offs

    1. atlanta and washington have split their first six meetings of the season, the braves outscoring the nationals 27-24.
    2. braves 1b freddie freeman extended his hitting streak to 12 games with two hits wednesday, and is batting .388 during his streak.

    3. washington expects rhp ryan madson (chest muscle strain) to return from the disabled list this weekend, while of adam eaton (left ankle surgery) plans to start a minor-league rehab assignment friday.

    prediction: braves 4, nationals 3
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    Cleveland Indians vs. Minnesota Twins Preview and Predictions 05-31-2018

    31st May 2018 by Gracenote
    the cleveland indians are beginning to pull away in the american league central and look to give themselves even more cushion on one of the top challengers when they visit the minnesota twins on thursday to open a four-game set. the indians (29-25) have won five straight contests, combining for 43 runs in the process, after rolling past the chicago white sox 9-1 on wednesday.

    cleveland's michael brantley looks to extend his hitting streak to a major league season-high 20 games after recording a single and scoring twice wednesday while edwin encarnacion is 11-for-24 during a six-game hitting streak with three homers and eight rbis in that stretch. shane bieber makes his major league debut for the indians on his 23rd birthday after tossing a rain-shortened, seven-inning no-hitter in his last minor league start and will face fellow right-hander jake odorizzi in the series opener. the twins open an 11-game homestand after losing five of six on a road trip, capped by an 11-8 loss at kansas city on wednesday night in which they allowed nine runs in the first two innings. left fielder eddie rosario recorded two hits in the latest loss and has led the way for minnesota (22-29) in may with a .366 batting average, 11 doubles, six homers, 19 runs and 20 rbis - including 10-for-23 during a current five-game hitting streak.
    tv: 8:10 p.m. et, mlb network, sto (cleveland), fs north (minnesota)
    pitching matchup: indians rh shane bieber (nr) vs. twins rh jake odorizzi (3-2, 3.34 era)

    bieber has shined in the minor leagues this season and is making a quick rise through the organization after getting selected in the fourth round of the 2016 draft. the uc santa barbara product is 5-1 with a 1.10 era in 10 starts combined at double-a akron and triple-a columbus in 2018. bieber, who boasts 61 strikeouts over 65 1/3 innings this year, is 15-6 with a 2.60 era in parts of three seasons in the minors.
    odorizzi recorded his third straight no-decision last time out at seattle while allowing three runs on seven hits (two homers) over 5 1/3 innings with three strikeouts. the 28-year-old illinois native gave up one run on nine hits with 17 strikeouts in his previous two outings spanning 11 2/3 innings. brantley is 4-for-12 with a homer versus odorizzi, who is 1-2 with a 4.63 era in five career games against the indians
    walk-offs

    1. minnesota inf eduardo escobar had a pair of hits and an rbi on wednesday after going 2-for-29 in the previous seven games.

    2. cleveland 1b yonder alonso is 13-for-28 with two homers and nine rbi during his seven-game hitting streak.
    3. the teams split a pair of games in puerto rico to start the season series and the indians won 12 of 19 in 2017.

    prediction: twins 5, indians 4
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    Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros Preview and Predictions 05-31-2018

    30th May 2018 by Gracenote
    j.d. martinez was the big-ticket offseason signing for the boston red sox, who are assured of entering the month of june with the best record in the majors. the surging red sox have won three in a row and 11 of 14 as they prepare to open a four-game series at the houston astros on thursday night in a rematch of last year's american league division series.

    despite the absence of star outfield mookie betts, who has missed the past four games but is expected to play in houston, boston completed a three-game sweep of toronto as martinez homered twice and had five rbis in the series. "j.d., what he's doing now, what he's done this month is pretty awesome," red sox manager alex cora told reporters. "working his craft, working his swing. it's fun to see what he's doing." the astros lost the final two of a three-game series at yankee stadium to wrap up a 3-4 road trip, blowing a two-run lead in the ninth on tuesday before dropping a 5-3 decision wednesday. reigning al mvp jose altuve was hitless in five at-bats in the opener of the road trip before going 15-for-27 with two homers and seven rbis in the next six games.
    tv: 8:10 p.m. et, mlb network, nesn (boston), at&t sportsnet southwest (houston)
    pitching matchup: red sox lh drew pomeranz (1-2, 6.75 era) vs. astros rh lance mccullers jr. (6-3, 3.98)

    pomeranz looks nothing like the pitcher who won 17 games a year ago, lasting only 3 1/3 innings and allowing five runs on six hits in a no-decision against atlanta on saturday. it marked the third straight start that he failed to pitch beyond four innings - a span in which he has walked 11 batters in 11 1/3 innings. altuve is 7-for-17 against pomeranz, who was 1-0 with a 1.46 era in two starts versus houston in 2017.
    mccullers is coming off a rare dud when he was hammered for seven runs and served up three homers over 4 1/3 innings at cleveland. that came six days after he blanked the indians on one hit over seven innings - the eighth time in 11 starts he has permitted two earned runs or fewer. betts and xander bogaerts are 4-for-9 and 4-for-12, respectively, against mccullers, who is 0-1 with a 6.16 era in four appearances against boston.
    walk-offs

    1. martinez has 13 homers in may, one shy of the franchise record for a month set by david ortiz (july 2006).

    2. astros c max stassi, playing in place of brian mccann (knee), homered, doubled and had three rbis wednesday.

    3. cora, who was a bench coach with houston last season, will receive his world series ring before thursday's game.

    prediction: astros 6, red sox 4
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    Miami Marlins vs. San Diego Padres Preview and Predictions 05-31-2018

    31st May 2018 by Gracenote
    one day after the san diego padres pulled out a late victory to extend their opponent's woes, they vie for the series win when they host the miami marlins on thursday for the finale of their four-game set. the padres scored twice with one out in the ninth inning on wednesday to post a 3-2 victory and hand miami its fifth loss in six contests.

    pinch-hitter hunter renfroe plated the tying run with an infield single and freddy galvis scored on marlins third baseman miguel rojas' throwing error, giving san diego back-to-back wins after losing the set opener. eric hosmer recorded two of the padres' six hits on wednesday, making him 6-for-11 in the series. starlin castro accounted for both of miami's runs with a homer in the fourth inning, giving him three rbis in his last two games. the marlins managed only three other hits in the loss - all singles - and finished 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.
    tv: 9:10 p.m. et, fs florida (miami), fs san diego

    pitching matchup: marlins lh wei-yin chen (1-2, 5.22 era) vs. padres rh jordan lyles (1-1, 3.83)
    chen is coming off a strong outing against washington on saturday in which he settled for a no-decision despite allowing just one run and three hits over a season-high 7 1/3 innings. the 32-year-old native of taiwan has yielded three runs over 17 frames in three turns after being tagged for nine in three innings of a road loss to the chicago cubs on may 9. chen won his only career start against the padres on june 13, 2016 even though he surrendered four runs in six innings at san diego.
    lyles has struggled since registering 10 strikeouts while allowing just one hit in 7 1/3 scoreless innings of a victory over colorado on may 15, yielding nine runs over 10 1/3 frames in his last two turns. the 27-year-old from south carolina escaped with no-decisions in both outings, however, despite giving up 14 hits and six walks. lyles owns a 1-1 record and a ghastly 7.00 era in three starts and two relief appearances against miami in his career.
    walk-offs

    1. padres of franmil reyes has homered in three straight games, putting him one away from tying the franchise rookie record set in 2016 by alex dickerson.

    2. miami c j.t. realmuto is riding a seven-game hitting streak during which he has recorded three multi-hit performances and collected five rbis.

    3. san diego c austin hedges (elbow) was cleared to throw and resume baseball activities wednesday after having his rehab assignment shut down last week.

    prediction: padres 5, marlins 4
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    Texas Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners Preview and Predictions 05-31-2018

    31st May 2018 by Gracenote
    The Texas Rangers aim to win the series as well as post their seventh victory in 10 games when they visit the Seattle Mariners on Thursday for the finale of their four-game set. Robinson Chirinos went 3-for-5 with three RBIs in Wednesday's 7-6 triumph as the Rangers beat the Mariners for the second straight night after losing the series opener.

    Texas has rolled up 16 runs and 23 hits in the consecutive victories against a Seattle pitching staff that allowed just 20 runs over the previous 10 games. Shin-Soo Choo has struck out seven times in the series for the Rangers but homered on Tuesday and is 9-for-27 with three blasts and 11 walks during his eight-game hitting streak. Seattle's Nelson Cruz is showing some life by going 6-for-13 in the series after beginning the month in a 12-of-73 funk. Jean Segura is 12-for-21 during a five-game hitting streak and has 14 recorded multi-hit performances while batting .370 this month.

    TV: 10:10 p.m. ET, FS Southwest (Texas), ROOT Northwest (Seattle)

    PITCHING MATCHUP: Rangers LH Mike Minor (4-3, 5.63 ERA) vs. Mariners LH Wade LeBlanc (0-0, 2.70)

    Minor halted a stretch of three straight winless starts on Friday by giving up four runs and seven hits over six innings in a victory over Kansas City. The 30-year-old served up two homers during the triumph and has allowed eight over his last five turns after giving up just two in his first five outings. Minor has posted a 7.27 ERA in two no-decisions against the Mariners this season and is 1-1 with a 4.12 ERA in six career appearances (three starts) versus Seattle.

    LeBlanc has a solid 1.71 ERA as a starter, yielding just five runs over 26 1/3 innings in those five outings. The 33-year-old allowed two runs and four hits over six frames against Minnesota in his last turn. LeBlanc has faced the Rangers just once in his career, surrendering five runs - one earned - and five hits in 2 2/3 innings of relief on August 19, 2013 while with Houston.
    Video: Condensed Game: TEX@SEA - 5/30/18


    WALK-OFFS

    1. Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre (hamstring) has a slight chance of being activated from the 10-day disabled list prior to the series finale, but he will receive more days off and more opportunities to serve as the designated hitter to help keep him from injuring the hamstring a third time this season.

    2. Seattle 2B Dee Gordon (toe) is slated to be activated from the DL prior to Thursday's game.

    3. Texas activated LHP Matt Moore (knee) from the DL to start on Wednesday - a 5 1/3-inning effort - and optioned RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx to Triple-A Round Rock.

    PREDICTION: Mariners 4, Rangers 1
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    Mike Wynn

    Free Play: Free Oakland w/Mengden -135 Over Tampa Bay
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    Jeff Allen Sports

    Thursday's Free Selection is on the NY Yankees
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    Razor Sharp

    YOUR RAZOR SHARP FREE PICK FOR THURSDAY: Take TEXAS/SEATTLE OVER the total of 8 runs
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    Totals4U

    Thursday's Free Selection: Texas Rangers/Seattle Mariners over 8 1/2
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    John Anthony Sports

    Thursday's Free Selection: Seattle Mariners - 165
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    Atlantic Sports

    Thursday's Free Selection from Atlantic Sports: Boston Red Sox + 185
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    #1 Sports

    Thursday's Free Selection: Baltimore Orioles + 175
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    Nevada Sharpshooter

    Your free winner for Thursday: Take BOSTON/HOUSTON UNDER the total of 9 runs
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    Huddle Up Sports

    Free Play: Philadelhia/LA Dodgers over 6.5
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    Hawkeye Sports

    Thursday's Free Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates + 150
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    Golden Dragon Sports

    Free Pick Houston McCullers -205
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