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MLB Postseason Line Drive: October 12 free picks, betting odds and analysis

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The Nationals stole Game 1 of the NLCS thanks to an outstanding performance from Anibal Sanchez. And now the Cardinals have to deal with Max Scherzer, while Masahiro Tanaka toes the rubber against Zack Greinke in Game 1 of the ALCS. We break down the odds for both of these contests with in-depth analysis, betting notes and predictions in our MLB postseason Line Drive.

DOUBLE-PLAY PICKS

WASHINGTON NATIONALS AT ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (+125, 7 @ BETAMERICA)

Nationals lead series 1-0

The Nationals will send ace Max Scherzer to the mound for Game 2. Scherzer went 11-7 with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.03 ERA during the regular season. In the postseason he’s pitched to a 2.77 ERA with 16 strikeouts through 13 innings.

Adam Wainwright gets the start for St. Louis. The 38-year-old went 14-10 with a 4.19 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP during the season but he had some of the most extreme home/road splits in the majors. At home he was terrific with a 9-4 record and a 2.56 ERA.

Wainwright pitched against the Nationals twice during the regular season. He allowed two runs through 6 1-3 innings in a 3-2 victory on the road back in April, and threw seven innings of shutout ball at home against the Nats last month.

With two strong pitchers on the hill, the Under looks like the smart play. But Washington’s bullpen, which had a 5.66 ERA during the regular season and has a 6.63 ERA during the postseason, gives me pause for concern. Especially against a St. Louis lineup that isn’t consistent but can go off in an inning. Don’t forget that 14 of the 26 runs they scored in their five-game NL Division Series came in two innings.

We’re much more confident in taking the Under on the first five innings.

Pick: Under 3.5 First Five Innings

NEW YORK YANKEES AT HOUSTON ASTROS (-160, 9 @ BETAMERICA)

Series tied 0-0

The American League’s best do battle for the Pennant as Game1 of the ALCS sees the 107-win Houston Astros host the 106-win New York Yankees.

The Yankees made an interesting decision by handing the ball to Masahiro Tanaka for Game 1. With all the rest between series for the Yanks, they essentially could have gone with any starter, but chose the Japanese right-hander despite his struggles on the road.

Tanaka had a 6.05 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP away from Yankee Stadium, but New York is trusting in his recent track record against the Astros and his postseason excellence. Tanaka has a 2.32 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP in his last five starts against the Astros, which includes three games at Minute Maid Park.

But its his postseason stats that are truly outstanding. Tanaka owns a 1.54 ERA, a 0.80 WHIP and is limiting opponents to a .164 batting average in six playoff starts.

Meanwhile, the Astros counter with ace No. 3 in Zack Greinke. The cerebral right-hander has been a little more inconsistent than we’re used to since getting traded to the Astros, but he’s still capable of throwing a gem at any time. Greinke actually faced the Yankees twice this season as a member of the Diamondbacks, allowing just three runs on seven hits over 12.2 inning pitched.

Despite the fact this is a matchup of the two best lineups in baseball, we’re going with Game 1 being a pitcher’s duel.

Pick: Under 9

POSTSEASON STARTER STAT OF THE DAY

Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals (14-10, 4.19 ERA, $486): Wainwright is obviously the elder statesman of the Cardinals rotation and they’re banking on his postseason experience giving them an edge in Game 2. The right-hander has a career 2.79 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP in 25 postseason appearances. While in the NLCS he owns a 2.51 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. He can keep the Nats Under their team total in this one.

3 STRIKES

SCHERZER VS A PAIR OF STREAKING SLUGGERS

The Cardinals top two sluggers both had an incredible series against the Braves in the NLDS. Paul Goldschmidt and Marcell Ozuna went a combined 18 for 42 at the plate, with seven doubles and four homers.

Over his career though, Goldschmidt has been absolutely owned by Scherzer. The six-time All-Star has just two hits (both singles) and one walk in 25 at bats against Scherzer. Ozuna has more success against Scherzer; racking up 10 hits, including two homers and five doubles in 36 plate appearances versus the Nationals flame-thrower.

BLUSTERY AT BUSCH?

It will be a little warmer for Game 2 of the NLCS after a bit of a chilly night in St. Louis for Game 1. Temperatures are forecast in the high 50’s for game time, but bettors should take note that hitters could be given a hand by mother nature in this one. There is expected to be a 10 mile per hour wind gusting straight out to center field. The total is currently 7.

BUCKING THE CS TRENDS

Both the Yankees and Astros don’t have pleasant experiences in the Championship Series. The Astros are 0-4 in their last four League Championship games after dropping four straight to Boston last season, while the Yankees are just 2-12 in their last 14 ALCS road games. With the home team claiming six of the seven meetings between these two juggernauts, we’re leaning towards the Astros in Game 1.

Canucks vs Golden Knights picks and predictions for Game 1

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Perhaps no team has been more fun to follow during the NHL playoffs than the Vancouver Canucks, and hockey bettors can still get the Canucks at +1,300 to hoist Lord Stanley’s cup. Vancouver is coming off a thrilling series win against the defending champion St. Louis Blues, but now a much more difficult challenge awaits. The Vegas Golden Knights are +350 favorites to win it all, and they’ve certainly looked the part while dropping only one playoff contest.

Game 1 of this series gets underway Sunday, so we’re here to bring you our NHL picks and predictions in this Western Conference semifinal showdown.

Vancouver Canucks vs Vegas Golden Knights betting preview

Starting Goalies

Canucks: Jacob Markstrom – playoffs – 7-3, 2.44 GAA, .929 SV% (season – 23-16, 2.75 GAA, .918 SV%)

Golden Knights: Robin Lehner – playoffs – 5-1, 2.44 GAA, .904 SV% (season – 19-10, 2.89, .920 SV%)

If this game was actually played in Las Vegas, then Markstrom could easily spend a few hours performing with Cirque du Soleil. The 30-year-old dazzled against Blues with an eye-opening array of acrobatic saves and an impressive 7-3 record. He’ll need to provide more of the same against a dangerous Vegas squad.

The Knights will likely roll with Robin Lehner, who has taken over the spot as Vegas’s starter in the crease—and rightfully so. Still, the Knights have the luxury of having Marc-Andre Fleury as their “backup.” The five-time All-Star matched an NHL record this season with his 14th consecutive playoff appearance.

Injuries

Vancouver: Tyler Myers D (out), Tyler Toffoli RW (out), Micheal Ferland LW (out), Josh Leivo LW (out)

Vegas: Tomas Nosek LW (out)

Betting Trend to Know

Canucks are 0-6 in their last six Sunday games. Find the latest NHL betting trends for Canucks vs. Golden Knights.

MONEYLINE PICK

The Canucks have been a force with the extra man during the postseason, converting 26.2% of their power plays. While the Knights are known for their offensive firepower, it’s their stingy defense that allows them to suffocate opponents—as evidenced by an 86.4% penalty kill during their playoff run. Vancouver is the only team in the league to never beat Vegas in regulation, going 0-11 all time. That’s something I just can’t ignore.

PREDICTION: Vegas ML (-175)

OVER/UNDER PICK

Each team is filled with loads of offensive talent. Vancouver’s Bo Horvat and J.T. Miller have combined for 11 goals thus far. Elias Pettersson has racked up 13 points, tied with Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon for the playoff lead.

The Knights can match Vancouver’s scorers, but they’re more balanced—Shea Theodore, Alex Tuch and Mark Stone have each lit the lamp four times during the postseason. The difference is on defense, where Vancouver has allowed the most high-danger chances of all remaining playoff teams.

PREDICTION: Over 5.5 (-110)

PROP PICK

Though I like Vegas to win, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Canucks kept it close and continued their offensive success. I’ll take a flyer on Vancouver scoring at least three goals.

PREDICTION: Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)

Canucks vs Golden Knights Betting Card

  • Vegas ML (-175)
  • Over 5.5 (-110)
  • Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)
NHL Parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s NHL Canucks vs Golden Knights picks, you could win $104.93 on a $10 bet?

Use our NHL parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Verlander injury shuffles Astros’ MLB futures odds

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MLB betting got a shake-up Sunday afternoon, specifically on World Series odds and AL pennant odds, with news that Astros star pitcher Justin Verlander could miss the rest of the season – or at least a significant chunk of it – with an arm injury.

Initial reports suggested Verlander had an elbow ailment, but both he and manager Dusty Baker quickly denied that. Baker called it a forearm strain and said that Verlander would be re-evaluated in “a couple of weeks.” The reigning AL Cy Young winner pitched a solid six innings in an 8-2 Opening Day rout of the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

Verlander’s injury led oddsmakers to shuffle futures book odds on the defending AL champions. Covers checked in on the MLB odds moves with a couple of Las Vegas sportsbooks.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ World Series odds?

At CG Technology books, risk analyst Rich Zanco said the Astros quickly moved from +1,200 to +1,800 in World Series futures. The SuperBook at Westgate also had Houston pegged +1,200 prior to Sunday’s news and initially went to +1,600, then dialed it a little further to +1,800.

However, there were apparently buyers on the Astros at that point, prompting the SuperBook to reel the price in to +1,400.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ American League odds?

In AL pennant futures, the Astros initially moved from +600 to +800 at The SuperBook, then ticked back to +700.

World Series odds

Team Odds to win
Los Angeles Dodgers +350
New York Yankees +350
Houston Astros +600
Atlanta Braves +1,600
Minnesota Twins +1,600
Tampa Bay Rays +1,800
Washington Nationals +2,000
Cleveland Indians +2,000
New York Mets +2,000
Chicago Cubs +2,000
Oakland Athletics +2,000
St. Louis Cardinals +2,500
Cincinnati Reds +2,500
San Diego Padres +2,500
Philadelphia Phillies +3,000
Chicago White Sox +3,000
Los Angeles Angels +3,000
Milwaukee Brewers +4,000
Boston Red Sox +5,000
Arizona Diamondbacks +6,000
Colorado Rockies +8,000
Toronto Blue Jays +10,000
Texas Rangers +10,000
Pittsburgh Pirates +20,000
Detroit Tigers +20,000
San Francisco Giants +30,000
Seattle Mariners +30,000
Miami Marlins +30,000
Baltimore Orioles +30,000
Kansas City Royals +30,000

Odds courtesy The SuperBook