GAMBLING GUIDE

Bookie Busters: The Astros, NBA, UFC and soccer

Lance McCullers (left) and the Astros should be easy money. Elsa/Getty Images

This weekend is jam-packed with action. Let's cash some tickets!

MLB

Astros vs. Padres
Date: Friday, April 6, 2018
Time: 7:10 PM
Minute Maid Park, Houston Texas
Projected Pitchers: Luis Perdomo vs.Lance McCullers

The DEFENDING, REIGNING, CHAMPIONS of the world Astros, start a three-game series with the Padres with Lance McCullers taking the mound in the opener. The visitors come into this game looking for a change after starting the season an abysmal 1-6. San Diego was hoping for a better start to the 2018 campaign and a seven-game homestand to begin the season was the perfect antidote. Instead, the team only managed to claim one victory, while possessing a -9 run differential. In five of the six Padres losses this year, they were defeated by 2+ runs, leading them to a 2-4 Run line record.

Houston has done the exact opposite this year and started scorching hot and sit 6-1 atop the AL West, and 5-2 on the run line. In all but one of the Astros wins, they have managed to pull away and win by +2 runs. The Astros come into this game averaging 5.8 runs per game, while the Padres are surrendering 5.5 runs a game. Another thing working in favor of the Astros is that although they strike out 9.43 times a game, San Diego's pitchers have been struggling with striking out batters this year (6.83).

The Pick

Friday Night we get a pitching duel, with two pitchers that started the season in different directions. McCullers was able to put together a quality performance fanning 10 batters while allowing two earned runs on four hits. McCullers was able to shake off a ball that hit him on the ankle, giving a scare to the hometown faithful. The pitcher said he was fine, just slightly sore and "lucky" the ball hit the muscle part in between the shin and ankle. His counterpart had a less than stellar first start and got knocked around for five runs on seven hits and four walks. He was taken out after 96 pitches in only four innings of work after struggling all game. A solid start at home and some wins is what San Deigo was hoping for as they are 28-59 in their last 87 games as visitors attached to a  3-10 record in Perdomo's last 13 road starts. McCullers ankle soreness is somewhat of a scare, but I think he will be fine and the Astros offense should be enough to get the win. TGIF because the Champs love playing Friday nights, and are 21-8 in the last 29 games doing so.

Astros-1.5
Astros Total Runs over 5

NBA

Pelicans vs. Suns        Pelicans -10.5 O/U 220

The Pelicans are in the middle of a dogfight for the final playoff spots and will be needing this game like blood. With no room for error, New Orleans will be focused after finally getting a win, following a treacherous four-game skid. With their final three games being vs. the Warriors, Clippers and the Spurs, this is a must win if they want to stay in the race. In both matchups this season, the Pelicans scored 115+ points and won decisively,  going into both fouth quarters with double-digit leads. In those contests, New Orleans lit up the scoreboard in the first halves, and we will look for more of the same in a "must-win" for the Anthony Davis led squad.

Picks:

New Orleans Team Total Over 115
New Orleans 1st half -6
New Orleans  First quarter -3
*Projected Lines

UFC 223

Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk    
Pick: Joanna Jedrzejczyk -112

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Max Holloway
Pick: Under 3.5  -135

Soccer

Sunday 4/8
Manchester Utd vs. Manchester City
Pick: Over 2.5 goals -120

Real Madrid vs  Atletico Madrid
Pick: Under 3 -152


Tuesday 4/10
Champions League
Roma vs. Barcelona
Over 3 -118

For any questions or comments reach me at @JerryBoKnowz on Twitter.









 


 

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Houston dropped two of three

Astros drop series finale to Oakland, A's win series

Jose Urquidy couldn't hold Oakland back on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With Oakland finally ending their drought against the Astros on Friday night to split the first two games of the series, and with the Angels staying in step with them as both teams started the day 6-2, the Astros needed a win to keep momentum in their favor on Saturday.

Instead, Oakland would outslug Houston once again to take the series finale and take the series win. The loss moves Houston to 6-3 and down to second place, at least for now, until the 6-2 Angels complete their game on Saturday evening.

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 6-3, second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1)

Urquidy gives up four over six

Much like the night before, Oakland was able to bring in runs against Houston's starter, this time Jose Urquidy, Saturday afternoon in their second time through the order. Their first time through, Urquidy was cruising, allowing just one baserunner in the first three innings on a single in the top of the third.

Things shifted in the top of the fourth, with the A's getting back-to-back singles to set the stage for a two-run frame with dual RBI-singles to take a 2-0 lead. Oakland doubled that in the fifth, getting a two-out single to set up a two-run homer by Ramon Laureano to make it 4-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings, but with no run support to that point, would leave in line for the loss. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 P.

A's pad their lead before Houston gets on the board

Meanwhile, although getting five hits, the Astros could not get anything on the board against Frankie Montas through six innings. Brandon Bielak took over out of the bullpen for Urquidy in the top of the seventh, but after loading the bases, he would allow a dagger two-RBI single to make it a 6-0 deficit for Houston.

With Montas starting the seventh looking to face a batter or two before Oakland moved to their bullpen, Kyle Tucker would finally get Houston on the board with a leadoff solo home run, cutting the lead to 6-1 and ending Montas' day. Houston would get a two-out rally going, with an RBI-double by Jose Altuve followed by an RBI-triple by Michael Brantley to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Oakland takes the series win

Ryne Stanek tried to keep it a three-run game and give the Astros a chance to stay in it in the top of the eighth but instead would give up a two-out solo home run to push Oakland's lead back to four. That 7-3 score would go final as Houston would go scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off on Sunday before continuing this homestand Monday night by welcoming in Detroit and former manager A.J. Hinch for three games. In the series opener, the Tigers will send young star Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will get another start by Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

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