SPORTS ARTICLES FROM OUR HANDICAPPERS
Seattle Mariners vs.Texas Rangers MLB Friday Player Prop
Author: Jeff Hochman
Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers MLB Friday Player Prop
Let's talk about the young Rangers phenom, Josh Jung, who's been turning heads in the MLB world. Josh has been on a tear lately, and his recent stats make him a prime candidate to go over 1.5 hits + runs + RBI in the Rangers' upcoming game against the Seattle Mariners on Friday night. The best part is that the line is plus money (+125).
Firstly, let's look at Jung's overall performance this season. He's averaging 1.48 HRR per game, and that number jumps to 1.62 when playing at home. These numbers might not seem too far off from the 1.5 line, but there's more to the story.
Jung has gone over 1.5 HRR in 18 games this season, while staying under in 34 games. But, if we dig a little deeper and look at his recent performance, we can see a trend emerging. In his last 20 games, Jung has averaged 1.45 HRR, with 6 games over the 1.5 mark. However, if we narrow it down further to his last 10 games, that average shoots up to 2.2, with 5 games over 1.5 at mostly plus odds.
So, what's the point of all these numbers? They show that Jung is trending upwards, especially in his last 10 games. He's gone Over 1.5 hits + runs + RBI in 8 of those 10 games. That's an 80% success rate!
Now, it's true that Jung hasn't performed exceptionally well against Seattle this season, averaging only 0.33 HRR in 3 games. But, let's not forget that he's a top prospect who's finally healthy and starting to realize his potential. With an average exit velocity of 92.2 mph and a 12.4% barrel rate, Jung is no joke at the plate. Josh is batting .295 with 12 HR, 37 RBI, and a robust .872 OPS in 52 games this season.
Another factor to consider is the Texas Rangers' team performance. They currently have the No. 1 run differential (131) in the league and are 13-6 after a loss this season. The Rangers' offense is no slouch, and Jung is a crucial part of that machine. Luis Castillo is a stud for Seattle, but has an ERA of 5.06 on the road this season.
The bottom line is that Josh Jung has been on fire lately, and there's a solid chance he'll continue his hot streak against the Seattle Mariners. His recent performance and the Rangers' impressive run differential make the Over 1.5 hits + runs + RBI at +125 odds quite attractive. Don't accept anything other than +120 or better!
My Selection: Josh Jung Over 1.5 hits + runs + RBI (+125)
Saturday's NHL Stanley Cup Finals Betting Preview
Author: Jeff Hochman
Saturday's NHL Stanley Cup Finals Betting Preview
As the 2022-23 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs reach their climax, the stage is set for an epic battle between the Florida Panthers and the Vegas Golden Knights. With Game 1 scheduled for Saturday, June 3, hockey fans and betting enthusiasts alike are in for a treat. It's an intriguing matchup as both teams enter with a negative shot differential in the postseason. Normally, you would want to fade those teams big time.
First off, the Panthers have been defying expectations during these playoffs. Entering as a wild-card team, they've fought tooth and nail to make it to the Stanley Cup Final. Their recent form is impressive, boasting a 9-1 record in their last 10 games, even with a 1-8-1 stat line. The Golden Knights, on the other hand, finished the regular season atop the Western Conference. They have a respectable 7-3 record in their last 10 games, but their 3-7 stat line suggests they haven't been playing their best hockey.
The Over 5.5 goals for Game 1 seems like a solid bet, considering the recent history of high-scoring opening games in the Stanley Cup Final. Since 2017, the Over has hit in five out of six Game 1's. With both teams sporting negative shot differentials in the playoffs (Florida at -90 and Vegas at -40), the stage is set for a high-octane showdown on the ice. In 2018, Vegas and Washington combined for 10 goals in Vegas.
When it comes to postseason special teams, the Panthers own the advantage. Their power play percentage stands at 27.9%, while their penalty kill percentage is at 71.2%. The Golden Knights lag behind with an 18.5% power play percentage and a 63% penalty kill percentage. The Panthers' special teams could be the X-factor in this series, giving them an edge in crucial moments.
Florida has also been dominant on the road, with a 16-5 record in their last 21 road games. No easy feat in the NHL, where home-ice advantage can often be the difference-maker. Vegas, however, has a strong 18-6 home record in their last 24 games, which means the Panthers will have to dig deep to overcome the rowdy T-Mobile Arena crowd.
While the Golden Knights have had the Panthers' number in recent meetings in Sin City, outscoring them 24-15 in five consecutive victories, the Panthers' resilience this postseason cannot be overlooked. Keep in mind, the Panthers eliminated the #1 overall seeded Boston Bruins, who set an NHL record of 135 regular season points. With their special teams prowess and road game dominance, Florida has the tools to turn the tide and hoist the Stanley Cup.
Florida went 1-1 against Vegas this season, out-shooting Vegas in both meetings, 73-56. Don't forget the Panthers owned a +416 shot differential in the regular season. On the flip side, the Golden Knights finished at +54. With 10 days off, it would not shock me if the Panthers lost game one. Vegas will be playing on a more normal four days rest. Make no mistake, this is truly a coin-flip series. I will lean to the Florida Panthers at +110 to win the Stanley Cup.
Game one selection: Florida vs. Vegas Over 5.5 (-115)
Colorado Rockies vs. Arizona D-Backs MLB Wednesday Player Prop
Author: Jeff Hochman
Colorado Rockies vs. Arizona D-Backs MLB Wednesday Player Prop
If you've been paying attention to the world of MLB, you've probably noticed that Arizona Diamondbacks' Corbin Carroll has been on fire lately. The rookie outfielder is proving he's a force to be reckoned with, and is a strong favorite to win NL Rookie of the Year. Let's dive into the stats and see why Corbin Carroll is my player to watch (bet) against the Colorado Rockies. I like his Over 1.5 hits + runs + RBI at -145 odds in Wednesday night's game.
First of all, Carroll's season averages are already impressive. He's currently hitting .285, with a 1.04 average for hits + runs + RBI per game. His OPS (on base + slugging) ranks No. 9 in the NL at .894 so far this season. But it's not just his overall performance that's turning heads; it's his recent surge that really has me excited. Corbin Carroll has exceeded 1.5 hits + runs + RBI in 7 of his last 10 games.
Furthermore, Carroll's performance against the Rockies specifically is another reason to feel confident about the over. In the four games played against Colorado this season, he's averaged 1.5 hits + runs + RBI. With the Rockies' struggling pitching staff, it's reasonable to expect Carroll to continue his success against this team. Colorado is ranked No. 23 in bullpen ERA, while the D-Backs are ranked No. 6 in runs scored.
But wait, there's more! Arizona's ballpark, Chase Field, is widely considered a hitter's haven. The hitters love the backdrop and see the ball really well. With Carroll's already stellar performance, the favorable conditions of Chase Field only add fuel to the fire, making it even more likely for him to hit the over 1.5 on Wednesday night. Chase Field ranks No. 10 in ESPN Park factors (runs scored) this season.
In addition to the statistical support for Carroll's over 1.5 hits, runs, and RBI, it's essential to consider the context of the game itself. The Arizona Diamondbacks are currently sitting in second place in the NL West, with a 32-23 record, while the Colorado Rockies are struggling in fifth place with a 24-32 record. Arizona owns a +17 run differential, while Colorado is at -55 this season.
Taking all these factors into account, it's clear that Corbin Carroll is primed for a big game against the Colorado Rockies. His recent surge in performance, proven success at home, and previous domination of the Rockies all point towards a strong likelihood of hitting the over 1.5 hits + runs + RBI in this matchup. Add in the hitter-friendly environment of Chase Field, and you've got a recipe for a betting opportunity that's too enticing to pass up. Trust the numbers, trust the trends, and most importantly, trust in the undeniable talent of Corbin Carroll.
My Selection: Corbin Carroll Over 1.5 Hits + Runs + RBI (-145)
Jeff's 2023 NBA Finals Betting Preview
Author: Jeff Hochman
Jeff's 2023 NBA Finals Preview
Miami Heat vs. Denver Nuggets
Denver Nuggets -340
Miami Heat +265
Ladies and gentlemen, it's time for the much-awaited Denver Nuggets vs. Miami Heat NBA Finals of 2023! Both teams have put up a fierce fight throughout the playoffs, leaving no stone unturned to make it to this very moment. On one hand, we have the Nuggets, led by their dynamic duo of Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic. They have proved their mettle time and again and are in no mood to let go of their spot as one of the best teams in the league. On the other hand, we have the Miami Heat, who have bounced back from their disappointing run last season with renewed energy.
Both teams have enjoyed relatively easy trips to the Finals. The Nuggets had to navigate a difficult Western Conference, beating the likes of the Minnesota T-Wolves in just five games, the Phoenix Suns in six games, and sweeping the LA Lakers to earn their spot. The Heat, meanwhile, had to overcome injuries to key players throughout the season and a tough Eastern Conference, knocking off the Chicago Bulls in a must-win after losing their first play-in game against Atlanta. From there, the Heat defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in just five games, the New York Knicks in six games and No. 1 seeded Boston Celtics in an epic 7-game dogfight. Speaking of dogs, Miami was the underdog in all three series, so this is familiar territory for the underdog Miami Heat.
The Heat have an incredibly versatile roster (injuries notwithstanding), with players like Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo who can wreak havoc on any given night. Both teams have their work cut out for them. The Nuggets have an explosive offense that can take on anyone, while the Heat have a formidable defense that can shut down even the best of teams. It's anyone's game, and both teams are hungry for the title. The Denver Nuggets will be making their NBA Finals debut in franchise history, while the Miami Heat have won three Championships (2006, 2012, & 2013).
The Denver Nuggets are led by superstar center Nikola Jokic, who is widely considered one of the best players in the league. Jokic's incredible passing ability and shooting touch make him a matchup nightmare for any opposing team. Surrounding Jokic are a number of talented players, including Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr., and Aaron Gordon. The Nuggets have an explosive offense that is capable of putting up points in a hurry, making them a difficult team to defend. This squad is young, hungry, and on a mission. Denver was ranked No. 3 in point differential (+4.1), increasing to +10.1 at home which is tied with Memphis for No. 1 this season.
The Miami Heat, on the other hand, are known for their tough defense and gritty play. Led by veteran guard Jimmy Butler, the Heat have a physical, hard-nosed style of play that can wear down opponents over the course of a game. Alongside Butler are a number of hard-nose players, including Bam Adebayo, Duncan Robinson and Max Strus. The Heat could really use Tyler Herro, who still hasn't been medically cleared to resume basketball activities. However, he remains in-play if this series goes deep as June 5th would mark the sixth week of his estimated return. The Heat have an efficient offense that relies on ball movement and taking advantage of mismatches. Miami has an elite head coach in Erik Spoelstra, and the players run his system to perfection. Miami is ranked No. 16 (+0.6) in point differential and that number improves at home to +2.7. It's interesting to note that both teams have a negative point differential on the road.
This series is likely to be a long one, with both teams having strengths that can be exploited. If the Nuggets can continue to rely on Jokic and their high-scoring offense, they will have a good chance of coming out on top. They have a huge home-court advantage at high-altitude. But if the Heat can impose their physicality and defense, they could frustrate Denver and come out on top. Either way, fans are in for a treat as two talented teams battle it out for the championship. The Nuggets went 2-0 against Miami in the regular season. These were close games decided by 4 and 5 points respectively. Miami played short-handed in a four-point loss in February. Miami will be playing with a similar roster for at least the first two games in Denver.
Miami's tough defense will have to find a way to shut down the Nuggets' scoring attack. Denver is filled with offensive weapons, with Jokic being the primary focus of their attack. He averaged 29.9 points per game during the playoffs and has been a triple-double machine. Miami's older roster could be a major factor in this series. Only the Bucks and Clippers have an average age higher than the Heat on their roster. Additionally, the Nuggets have Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr., and Aaron Gordon, who are all more than capable of pouring in points when needed. Bruce Brown Jr. has been a major uplift as well. Miami's experience and solid coaching may give them a slight edge if they were completely healthy, but the Nuggets' scoring potential and determination cannot be underestimated. I like the Denver Nuggets to win the series as the matchups and home-court advantage will be too much for the Heat to overcome.
My Selection to win Series: Denver Nuggets (-340)
Nationals vs. Dodgers Tuesday Night Player Prop
Author: Jeff Hochman
Washington Nationals vs. LA Dodgers (Tuesday, May 30th)
The upcoming MLB game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Washington Nationals is bound to be a showdown to remember, with many eyes on J.D. Martinez, the Dodgers' power designated hitter. Martinez has been putting up some impressive numbers this month, and if you're looking for a solid bet, the Over 1.5 hits + runs + RBI at -155 seems like a solid choice.
Let's delve into the details and see why Martinez is a force to be reckoned with in this game. First, let's take a look at his overall batting stats. Martinez is averaging 1.54 hits + runs + RBI this season. While that might not seem like earth-shattering numbers, it's essential to consider the context. At home, he's averaging 1.33 HRR, while on the road he's been raking in a slightly better 1.71 HRR average per game.
The last 10 games have seen Martinez heat up even more, averaging 2.5 hits + runs + RBI per game, and he's cashed the over 1.5 in nine of his last 10 games. Books have been getting pounded on HRR player props this season. The lines are way off and my model has done a great job of identifying where the value is using a plethora of algorithms.
When it comes to trends, J.D. Martinez is undoubtedly on the rise. Over the last 10 games, he's trending up, and over the last 5 games, he's still trending up. That's some serious consistency right there, folks. My model seems to like Martinez and the rest of the Dodgers probability of success on Tuesday night. The Dodgers' lineup is stacked and owns a + 55 run differential, which ranks No. 4 in all of baseball.
Now, let's take a look at his performance against the Washington Nationals. J.D. Martinez hit a 3-run HR in last night's victory and now has a .309 average with 7 HR, 21 RBI, and 11 runs scored this month. His 1.000 OPS (on base + slugging) is eye-catching! It's also worth noting, the Nationals rank No. 26 in defensive runs saved (-13), which could give the Dodgers even more opportunities to rack up offensive stats.
My Selection: J.D. Martinez Over 1.5 (-155) Hits + Runs + RBI
Texas Rangers vs. Baltimore Orioles Friday Player Prop
Author: Jeff Hochman
Texas Rangers vs. Baltimore Orioles Friday Player Prop
Texas Rangers' star shortstop Corey Seager has been on an absolute tear this season, returning from a month-long injury and continuing to crush the ball like it's nobody's business. His red-hot start makes him the perfect pick for the Over 1.5 hits, runs, and RBIs in the upcoming game against the Baltimore Orioles. The opposing pitcher, Grayson Rodriguez, has been struggling on the mound, allowing a sky-high 52% hard-hit rate and a .295 batting average against.
Seager's early 2023 performance has been nothing short of electric. Prior to hitting the injured list in April, he boasted a .359 average with an OPS of 1.007. Since his return on May 17th, he's picked up right where he left off, showing no signs of slowing down. Seager's wRC+ of 178 in his 74 plate appearances this year is a testament to his offensive prowess and ability to make an impact at the plate.
The 29-year-old shortstop's peripheral stats are equally impressive. His average exit velocity sits at a blazing 95 miles per hour, with a fantastic hard-hit rate of 52.9%. Out of his 51 batted balls in 2023, 10 have been barrels, giving him an outstanding barrel rate of just under 20%. These numbers indicate that Seager is locked in and ready to keep raking. He hits near the top (2nd) of the lineup which is key when playing this type of prop.
On the other hand, Baltimore's Grayson Rodriguez has had a rough go on the mound this season. Opposing batters are hitting .295 against him, and he's allowing a ginormous 52.0% hard-hit rate. The league average is around 35%, so that number is exponentially high. This matchup is shaping up to be a field day for Seager, who's already proven himself to be a force at the plate.
The Rangers' offense as a whole has been a juggernaut this season, averaging a league-best 6.33 runs per game. They've managed to put up these numbers without Seager for a large portion of the year, so his return to the lineup only adds more firepower. With players like Nathaniel Lowe, Adolis Garcia, Josh Jung, and Jonah Heim contributing significantly, Seager's presence in the lineup only elevates their offensive capabilities. The Rangers own a +112 run differential, which ranks No. 2 right behind the Tampa Bay Rays.
It's also worth noting that second baseman Marcus Semien, who signed a $175 million contract with the Rangers two offseasons ago, has been putting up solid numbers this year. His strong start adds another layer of depth to the Rangers' lineup, making it even more challenging for opposing pitchers like Rodriguez. Semien has eight hits in the last five games, raising his season OPS (on base + slugging) to .870!
The Texas Rangers' red-hot offense, combined with Corey Seager's impressive performance and Grayson Rodriguez's struggles on the mound, creates an ideal situation for Seager to eclipse the Over 1.5 (-140) hits, runs, and RBI.
My Selection: Corey Seager Over 1.5 (-140) Hits + Runs + RBI
Phillies vs. Braves MLB Player Prop Selection
Author: Jeff Hochman
Phillies vs. Braves MLB Player Prop Selection
Baseball fanatics and betting enthusiasts, prepare for an exciting showdown as the Atlanta Brave8s take on the Philadelphia Phillies. While there are plenty of intriguing storylines in this matchup, our focus today is on one of the game's brightest young stars, Ronald Acuna Jr., and whether he can surpass hits + runs and RBI (Over 1.5 -150).
Now, before you jump to conclusions, let's break down the data and see why Acuna Jr. is a solid pick going over 1.5 H+R+R at -150. The 25-year-old phenom has been lighting up the league with an impressive .330/.419/.576 slash line, 11 homers, 27 RBI, and 46 runs scored in just 49 games this season. What's even more remarkable is that he's been doing it all from the leadoff spot. The 3x All-star also has 20 stolen bases to go with a lofty .995 OPS.
Moreover, Acuna Jr.'s home and away splits this season reveal an interesting trend. He's averaging 1.08 hits + runs + RBI at home, while on the road, that number jumps to 1.92. With the Braves set to play at home, it's worth considering whether Acuna Jr. can flip the script and perform closer to his road numbers. Now, let's dive into the juicy matchup details that could make all the difference in this bet. Ronald Acuna Jr. is set to face off against Phillies' ace Aaron Nola, a pitcher he's historically had success against. In 36 career at-bats against Nola, Acuna Jr. boasts a .361 batting average with four home runs and nine RBI. Those numbers are nothing to scoff at and suggest that Acuna Jr. sees the ball really well out of Nola's hand.
However, it's essential to consider Acuna Jr.'s recent performance as well. Over the last 20 tilts, he's been averaging 1.6 hits + runs + RBI per game. In his last 10 games, he's bumped up that average to 1.7, and in his last five games, it has dipped slightly to 1.0. So, while he's trending down in the short term, it's crucial to remember that baseball is a game of ebbs and flows, and even the best hitters have their slumps. Ronald should be hungry at the plate after going 0-for-7 in his last two games combined.
It's also essential to recognize that Ronald Acuna Jr. is an incredibly talented and versatile player, one who can contribute in various ways on the field. As previosly mentioned, he's already 20-for-22 on the base paths this season, putting him on pace to shatter his previous career-high of 37 steals set in 2019. His ability to wreak havoc on the base paths only adds to his potential for going Over 1.5 hits + runs + RBI, making Acuna Jr. an even more logical choice on his H+R+R prop.
Don't sleep on Ronald Acuna Jr. and his potential to put up big numbers in this upcoming matchup. Sometimes, you need to look beyond recent trends and trust the data, and in this case, Acuna Jr. is poised to go Over 1.5 hits + runs + RBI in Thursday's night game. My model has this line closer to -165.
My Selection: Ronald Acuna Jr. Over 1.5 (-150) Hits + Runs + RBI
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Dallas Stars Game 3 Preview
Author: Jeff Hochman
The Vegas Golden Knights may have taken the first two games of the series, but don't count the D8allas Stars out just yet. As the series shifts to Dallas, the Stars are ready to shine in front of their home crowd and claw their way back into the NHL Western Conference Finals. With a 19-3-3 record following a loss with one day of rest, the Stars have shown their resilience, making Dallas a logical pick in this must win game.
In the first two games, the Golden Knights were able to squeak out OT victories getting out-shot just 64-61. While Vegas has been riding a hot streak, going 4-1 in their last five games, they have been out-shot in four of their past five, 173-140. That’s a red flag!
The Golden Knights may have taken the first two games in Vegas, but the friendly confines of the American Airlines Center have not been kind to them in recent history. Vegas has struggled in Big D, going just 1-4 in their last five meetings in Dallas. With the Stars desperate to avoid falling into a 3-0 hole, the home crowd will undoubtedly be a factor, giving Dallas an extra boost of energy and motivation.
One major key for the Stars in Game 3 will be the play of goaltender Jake Oettinger. Although his 2.83 GAA and .902 SV% in the playoffs might not be eye-popping, Oettinger has shown a knack for bouncing back after a loss, making him a potential game-changer for the Stars. If he can put together a stellar performance in net, Dallas has a great chance of turning the tide in this series.
Another aspect to consider is the special teams battle. The Stars have been faring exceptionally well in the power play during the postseason, with their success rate being the 5th-best among all teams. On the other hand, Golden Knights have had a relatively lower success rate of 17.1%, which ranks second last. Being on the road, Vegas is more likely to commit silly penalties.
The Stars own the third-best penalty kill unit (83.8%), while the GK are ranked second last at just 62.2% this postseason. Dallas already showed they can exploit the Vegas penalty kill in their series win against the Edmonton Oilers, who were scoring power play goals left and right. If the Stars can capitalize on their man-advantage opportunities, they'll have a serious edge in Game 3.
The Stars' offensive pressure, special teams edge, home-ice advantage, and Jake Oettinger's bounce-back ability make them a solid pick to get back into this series. It's a must-win game for Dallas, and history has shown they're a tough team to beat when the chips are down. The odds-makers agree, installing Dallas Stars -140 in this game even though they are down 0-2.
My Selection: Dallas Stars -140
Dodgers vs. Braves Monday Player Prop (Freddie Freeman)
Author: Jeff Hochman
As the Atlanta Braves and LA Dodgers prepare to face off in their upcoming MLB game, all eyes are on Freddie Freeman, the powerhouse first baseman who's been making waves with his impressive batting stats this season and throughout his career. Although Freeman's numbers have been fluctuating, there's one aspect that's remained consistent: his ability to perform exceptionally well against Charlie Morton, the starting pitcher for Atlanta.
In 15 at-bats against Morton, Freeman has a whopping .533 batting average, with two home runs under his belt. This is the kind of performance that has gamblers and sports enthusiasts alike buzzing with excitement. With a line of -135 for Freeman's Over 1.5 Hits, Runs and RBI combined, it's hard to resist the value. Charlie Morton had an ERA of 6.45 against the LA Dodgers last season. My Model continues to see value on this prop for Freddie Freeman, so lets ride with it. The true line should be closer to -150!
Freeman's overall batting stats have been impressive this season, with an average of 1.36 Hits, Runs and RBI, and a higher average of 1.48 on the road. Although his home game average is slightly lower at 1.23, it's clear that Freeman is a force to be reckoned with, regardless of the field. In the six games he's played against Atlanta, Freeman has averaged exactly 1.5 Hits, Runs, and RBI per game, further solidifying his position as a hitting machine. Extra motivation for Freddie playing against his former team.
Over the last 20 games, Freeman's average has dropped slightly, but it's important to note that he's still had more than 1.35 Hits, Runs, and RBI in all 20 games.
The key to Freeman's prop bet appeal lies in his head-to-head matchups against Charlie Morton. With a .533 batting average and a history of crushing the ball in Atlanta, there's no denying that Freeman has a unique edge when facing off against Morton. This, combined with his already impressive stats and recent performance uptick, makes the Over 1.5 combined on Freeman's Hits, Runs, and RBI an enticing option for those looking to make a calculated risk with their bets.
It's worth noting that while Freeman's performance is impressive, he's not the only player on the field. Other factors, like team dynamics, injuries, and individual matchups, can all play a role in determining the outcome of a game. That being said, Freeman's track record against Morton is hard to ignore, and it's a factor that could very well tip the scales in favor of the Over. The Dodgers have a run differential of +54, which ranks No. 4 in all of baseball.
As we approach the game between Atlanta and LA Dodgers, Freddie Freeman's combined Hits, Runs and RBI line of Over 1.5 -135 is a tempting choice, especially when considering his history against Charlie Morton. With his impressive batting stats, recent performance trends, and undeniable edge when facing Morton, it's hard not to get excited about the potential payoff of choosing the over. Don't forget, betting on teams, totals, and props, is all about finding an edge with value to support it. With Freddie Freeman's prop tonight, I believe we have it all! I like the Over 1.5 (-135) on his combined hits, runs, and RBI in tonight's (Monday) game.
Dodgers vs. Cardinals MLB Sunday Player Prop
Author: Jeff Hochman
Baseball fans and bettors alike, brace yourselves for an exciting matchup between the St. Louis Cardinals and the LA Dodgers as Freddie Freeman takes center stage. The first baseman has been on fire lately, and there's plenty of data to back up our confidence in him smashing the over for hits, runs, and RBIs where the line is set at Over 1.5 (-145).
Let's take a closer look at Freeman's recent performance. Over the last five games, he's been averaging 1.4 hits, runs, and RBIs, with more than 1.5 in three of those games. This upward trend is no fluke, as Freeman has been racking up the numbers on the road, averaging 1.48 hits, runs and RBIs this season. With the Dodgers visiting St. Louis, Freeman's road game prowess plays a crucial role in supporting our prediction.
Although Freeman's performance over the last 10 games shows a slight dip, with an average of 1.1 hits, runs, and RBIs per game, and more than 1.5 in only four games, it's essential to consider the bigger picture. Over the last 20 games, Freeman has been consistently delivering, with an average of 1.15 hits, runs and RBIs per game and more than 1.5 in eight games. This consistency is a testament to Freeman's ability to step up when it matters most. In four games against the Cardinals, Freeman has been a force to be reckoned with, averaging a whopping 1.75 hits, runs, and RBIs per game. The guy is a hitting machine and his teammates should have a field day against today's starter for the Cardinals (Jack Flaherty).
Freeman's recent form is further bolstered by his impressive 10-game hitting streak, during which he has maintained an average of 1.36 hits, runs, and RBIs per game this season. In addition, his performance on the road has been solid, with an average of 1.23 hits, runs, and RBIs per game. This all-around consistency is a significant factor in Freeman's ability to deliver when it counts.
The icing on the cake is Freeman's performance in the game against St. Louis on May 20th, where he contributed to the Dodgers' rally with a one-out double in the fourth inning. This effort extended his hitting streak to 10 games, proving that Freeman is a force to be reckoned with, even in high-pressure situations.
Looking at the Dodgers' overall performance in the May 20th game, it's clear that they have the potential to bounce back from their 6-5 loss to the Cardinals. With Noah Syndergaard settling in after a shaky start and Mike Mikolas retiring 10 batters before Freeman's double, the stage is set for a thrilling rematch.
Freddie Freeman's recent form, road game performance, and history against St. Louis makes a compelling case for him to crush the Over 1.5 hits, runs, and RBI combined at -140 odds.
Jeff's 2023 Grade 1 Preakness Stakes Full Preview
Author: Jeff Hochman
Every year, the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland plays host to the Preakness Stakes - one of the most prestigious events in thoroughbred racing. This event is part of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing which includes The Kentucky Derby and The Belmont Stakes. It is a Grade I American stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbred horses, run over a distance of nine furlongs on a dirt track. It has been held annually since 1873 and offers some of the largest purses in horse racing. Lets take a look at the field which will be run on Saturday, May 20th, 2023. The Preakness will go off as Race 13 on the card, with a post time of approximately 4:01 ET.
#1 National Treasure (4/1)
Despite being ineligible to enter the Kentucky Derby, Bob Baffert is back for the prestigious Preakness Stakes with his horse National Treasure. This just goes to show how well-regarded he is in the sporting world, as National Treasure has not had a great showing in recent events.Treasure's performance in its last three races against top-tier three-year-olds has been less than ideal. But this has not ruled out its prospects of winning. National Treasure is currently 4/1 on the morning line and the 3-year colt by Quality Road has been working steadily at Santa Anita before shipping to Pimlico. Trainer Baffert and Jockey Velazquez are winning 28% together. National Treasure has career earnings of $345,000, despite winning just one race and will be racing with blinkers. Baffert wins just 14% with first-time blinkers. National Treasure has never raced from post #1. In The Mix!
#2 Chase the Chaos (50/1)
Not sure why the connections are dipping their toes while trying to find a softer spot for this horse who’s class and speed ratings are well-below the rest of the field. Trained by Ed Moger Jr. and ridden by Sheldon Russell, this 3-year gelding by Astern has 3 wins, 2 seconds, and 1 third-place finish with career earnings of $123,950. Owns the second-worst speed and second-worst class figures in the field. Has never run at Pimlico and hasn’t been out of California since running at Canterbury Park last September. With all due respect to his connections, this horse has no chance of winning. Toss!
#3 Mage (8/5)
Though Mage, a colt trained by Gustavo Delgado and ridden by Javier castellano, wasn't as well-fancied as Tapit Trice or Angel of Empire in the Kentucky Derby, it came with tremendous betting odds of just over 15/1. In the end, it was the horse that showed its championship-level talent by managing to finish first in come-from-behind fashion in the 18-horse field. Improving speed figures in four straight races, from an 88 to a 104 seems encouraging. Although lots of bettors want Mage to win the second leg of the Triple Crown, odds-makers are actually giving him a great chance. They see Mage as a top pick to clinch victory in this prestigious horse race. With just two weeks of rest, it won’t be an easy task. Mage has impressive earnings of $2,107,200 in just four career races. This is a remarkable feat for any horse and showcases the strength and determination that Mage possesses. Will never be 15/1 anytime soon and the value seems to have left the building. Will get heavily bet in this spot. I’m taking a strong stand against him after the short two-week layoff. The One to Beat!
#4 Coffeewithchris (20/1)
This 3-year old gelding by Ride On Curlin is the second-largest long shot in the field. Has hit-the-board in eight of 12 career starts with earnings of $225,600. Coffeewithchris is trained by John Salzman Jr. and ridden by Jaime Rodriguez. This horse has shown a preference for distances of 1 mile or less, and his competition in those races has been less than stellar. As such, Coffeewithchris should be considered a long shot to win this race. Owns the slowest speed figure and lowest class rating of the bunch. It would be a major shock if this horse finishes first. As such, bettors should opt to consider more realistic contenders when looking at potential wagers. Toss!
#5 Red Route One (10/1)
Steven Asmussen, a prominent horse trainer, is collaborating with the internationally-acclaimed jockey Joel Rosario, who has earned nearly $300 million in his illustrious racing career and is on track for the Hall of Fame. They are working together to get Red Route One ready for the 2023 Preakness Stakes. Still in his prime at 38, Rosario is one of my favorite jockeys of all time. Asmussen is a lifelong horseman who has raised, trained, and raced more than 5,000 horses. He is a member of the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Equine Hall of Fame in 2007. The horse is among the most experienced competitors in this event. Gun Runner's (sire) 3-year-old colt has been actively competing in races for the past nine months. He recently secured second-place finishes at the start of this year and went on to clinch a victory at Oaklawn Park's Bath House Row in April. Has career earnings of $633,525 from two wins, two seconds, and one third. Red Route One will be far back early and will try to make one big push with his “sustained” running style. Distance should not be an issue. Has never raced at Pimlico and this race doesn’t seem like a good setup. Toss!
#6 Perform (15/1)
The Federico Tesio stakes winner (by a head) was given a supplement to the Preakness for $150,000 which shows that his connections felt he has potential. At Gulfstream Park in January, he finished just 5 ½ lengths behind Mage in a maiden special weight event. This could mean that his performance has improved since then. The 3-year colt by Good Magic is trained by Shug McGaughey and ridden by Feargal Lynch. He’s hit-the-board in three of seven starts with career earnings of $130,956. After two successful races at Tampa Bay Downs and Laurel Park, Perform seems to be improving right now. The 6th post position at the Preakness Stakes has proven to be quite a lucky spot, as it has led to 16 winning horses in Preakness history. However, he’s similar to Red Route One, a closer that may not be able to get the high-speed splits he requires. Toss!
#7 Blazing Sevens (6/1)
Tough horse to handicap. Has produced three clunkers after winning the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes on a sloppy track at Belmont Park last October. Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Irad Ortiz, you would expect a better effort in this race. Chad Brown will be seeking his second consecutive Preakness victory after winning with Early Voting last year. Irad Ortiz Jr. rode Blazing Sevens for the first time in the Blue Grass, and the reigning Eclipse Award winner keeps the mount in the Preakness. Recent back-to-back bullet workouts at Belmont Park indicate that Blazing Sevens is in fine shape. The horse has competed in 6 races, winning 2 of them and placing third in 2 others, accumulating $565,250 in career earnings. Has never raced at Pimlico and will need to improve his speed figure by at least 10 points to win this race. Lets give this 3-year colt by Good Magic one more try. Another horse who needs a fast pace to run at. In The Mix!
#8 First Mission (5/2)
The 2023 Preakness is anticipated to be a competitive race with Kentucky Derby winner Mage seen as a leading contender. First Mission is also being viewed as one of the top picks for the race. The Brad Cox-trained horse has been on a winning streak lately, claiming victory in its last two races, including the Lexington G3 in April. Luis Saez returns to the irons and has been aboard in two of his three career starts. This 3-year colt by Street Sense has two wins and one second in three starts with career earnings of $276,500. Has done nothing wrong and could be a horse with the most upside down the road. Has the perfect running style to win this type of race. For almost a month, Brad Cox has been rigorously preparing First Mission for the competition, and being a son of Street Sense distance should not be an issue. Luis Saez and Brad Cox win 42% with an ROI of +64% when teaming up of late. My Top Pick!
Jeff Hochman is back to provide his expert picks for the 2023 Preakness Stakes. With 20+ years of experience in handicapping horse racing, Jeff has developed a unique system for analyzing each horse's form and making his selections. From analyzing workout times, past performances, speed/class figures, and other factors, Jeff is ready to share his picks on this year’s Preakness Stakes. Jeff cashed with Early Voting (W+P+S) in the 2022 Preakness. Lets do it again!
Play #8 First Mission (5/2) to Win & Place
Play #7 Blazing Sevens (6/1) to Place & Show
Follow Jeff on Twitter @JHSPORTSLINE
Jeff's 2023 Grade 3 Maryland Sprint Stakes Preview (Race 11)
Author: Jeff Hochman
Race 11 at Pimlico, May 20th, 2023
The Maryland Sprint Stakes is an annual Grade 3 Thoroughbred race for three-year-olds and up held at Pimlico. The race is run at a distance of six furlongs and has a purse of $100,000. The 2023 edition of the Maryland Sprint Stakes is set to feature a competitive field of 10 horses. Lets take a look at three contenders and my selection to win and place.
One of the main contenders appears to be #8 Straight No Chaser (3/1), who comes into the race off a dominating 7 ¼ length win in an Allowance race at Oaklawn Park. He has been happy in the mornings and should be among the favorites of bettors. Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez returns to the irons for trainer Dan Blacker. SNC has natural early speed and owns the fastest late-pace Equibase speed figure (128) of the group. He’s a very talented 4-year colt by Speightster. Look at his debut. He won on the turf sprinting 5f at Del Mar. Improving speed figures in three straight from a 93 to career-high 115. He’s been the post time favorite in five of six career starts. Could be six of seven after this race. Great value at 2/1 or better. Owned by Myself and MyRaceHorse. We are very high on him!
The other contender looks to be #7 Nakatomi (5/2 favorite), who has been training well, but hasn’t won since November 5th, 2022. No early speed could make it tough, although he does own the second-fastest late pace (113) speed figure. Don’t sleep on #10 Wondrwherecraigis, who does own early speed, and is the horse-for-course with two wins and one second in 3 lifetime starts at Pimlico. The 6-year old gelding by Munnings will have to prove he can win off Lasix. There is only one horse to bet in this race! See below!!
My Selection: #8 Straight No Chaser (3/1) to Win & Place!
Betting on horses can be a thrilling and rewarding experience. With careful analysis and research, you can find the winning horse with greater accuracy. Straight No Chaser should be closer to 9/5 on the morning line in my opinion. I think the field came up soft. All we need is a clean start. Straight No Chaser is next level fast and still improving. Book it!
Jeff's NHL Western Conference Finals Betting Preview
Author: Jeff Hochman
Hockey fans everywhere are eagerly awaiting the showdown between the Dallas Stars and the Vegas Golden Knights in game one of the NHL Western Conference Finals. Both teams had an incredible season and are one series away from their ultimate goal. The winner of this series will get to compete for the Stanley Cup Finals, so it's sure to be a thrilling matchup. With both teams having plenty of skill and determination, it's sure to be an exciting series that no hockey fan should miss. Let's do a deep dive and see how these two teams stack up. This should be a good one!
First off, let's talk about one of my favorite handicapping stats in Hockey, shot differential. The Dallas Stars have been crushing it this postseason with a +3 shot differential, while Vegas is struggling behind at -17. In a game where every shot counts, having the edge in this department is a major advantage for the Stars. Dallas also out-shot Vegas 104-90 in their three meetings this season, which is a solid indicator of the Stars' ability to control the game and create scoring opportunities.
But it's not just about the shots – it's about winning those crucial face-offs. The Stars are ranked No. 1 in face-off win percentage among the previous eight playoff teams, while the Golden Knights are languishing at No. 8. With Dallas dominating the face-off circle, they're more likely to maintain puck possession and keep the pressure on Vegas, making it even tougher for the Golden Knights to stage a comeback. Dallas owned the No. 1 Face-off win percentage in the regular season. They have been dominant in controlling the puck all season long.
Now let's take a trip down memory lane and revisit the Stars' track record against the Golden Knights this season. Dallas went 3-0 in those matchups, out-scoring Vegas 9-3. It's clear that the Stars have had the Golden Knights' number, and with that kind of momentum on their side, it's hard not to see them continuing their winning ways in this series. Although, one game was decided in OT and one meeting went to a shootout. It is clear that the Golden Knights should not be taken lightly, as they have shown the ability to go toe-to-toe with some of the best teams in the league. The Golden Knights were the No. 1 seed in the West for a reason and just knocked out the highest scoring team (Edmonton) in all of hockey.
Special teams also play a crucial role in determining the outcome of a game, and the Stars have the edge here as well. They boast the superior power play (No. 5 vs No. 18) and penalty kill (No. 3 vs. No. 19) units by a significant margin. This means that when the game is on the line and penalties are handed out, the Stars are more likely to capitalize on their man-advantage and shut down Vegas' attempts to score. In fact, no team has won the Stanley Cup with a Power-Play and Penalty-Kill units both ranked outside the top 15 with a negative shot differential in the Postseason.
The Dallas Stars should have the upper hand in this much-anticipated NHL showdown against the Vegas Golden Knights. With their superior shot differential, face-off win percentage, special teams, and recent head-to-head record, it's hard to argue against the Stars coming out on top. The Golden Knights have struggled with their power play, while the Stars are ranked in the Top 5 in Power Play and Penalty Kill percentage. Vegas is also one of the worst penalty killing teams and has an abysmal record (2-7) against the Dallas Stars of late.
The Vegas Golden Knights have had a tough time on the power play this season despite solid play from their forwards. Meanwhile, the Dallas Stars have been one of the most successful teams in the NHL when it comes to their power play and penalty kill percentages. The Stars rank in the top 5 in both categories whereas Vegas is near the bottom of the league when it comes to penalty killing. In order to compete, Vegas must improve its special teams play and find a way to capitalize on their opportunities with the extra man advantage. I know it was mentioned before, but I can’t stress this enough. Otherwise, this will be a short series.
The Dallas Stars are by far the most talented defensive team the Golden Knights will play in the postseason. Winnipeg and Edmonton were two of the worst. As a result, it will take the Golden Knights’ best effort to score consistently on Dallas. On the other hand, Winnipeg and Edmonton were two of the weakest teams on the blue-line, making it easier for Vegas to produce shots that led to goals being scored. It is clear that this matchup will be an entirely different challenge for the Golden Knights, and they will need to step up their game if they want to come out on top. According to my Model, this series price should be closer to Dallas +105. I like the underdog Dallas Stars in six or seven games.
My Selection: Dallas Stars +115 to win the Series!
Follow Jeff on Twitter @JHSPORTSLINE
Jeff's NHL Eastern Conference Finals Betting Preview
Author: Jeff Hochman
The NHL Eastern Conference Finals are set to be a thrilling matchup between the Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers. Both teams have been playing at a high level this postseason, with the Hurricanes coming off another dominant regular season performance, and the Panthers making a late-season push to clinch the final wild card playoff spot. It's hard to ignore Florida eliminating the record-setting Boston Bruins in the first round. I do see some warning signs for the Panthers against the Hurricanes in this matchup, no pun intended.
Both teams boast deep rosters, featuring some of the best players in the league, including Sebastian Aho and Martin Necas for Carolina. Matthew Tkachuk and Aleksander Barkov are a strong 1-2 punch for Florida. Both teams have a strong defensive core, with Carolina led by Brent Burns and Jaccob Slavin and Florida led by Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour. Florida made a bunch of roster moves at the end of last season. It took some time for their new pieces to build chemistry.
Carolina is currently -135 for Game 1, with a series price of -140. While the Panthers have been on a hot streak lately, they will be playing its toughest defensive opponent in these playoffs. As we gear up for the ultimate showdown between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Florida Panthers, it's time to break down the stats and dish out some cold, hard facts.
The Hurricanes core roster has been playing together for years, and their chemistry is off the charts. They've got a stellar shot differential of +60 in the postseason, while the Panthers are lagging behind at -43. That's a 103-shot swing, folks. If you're looking to ride the wave of success, it might be time to jump on the Canes' bandwagon. I was wrong picking against Carolina in the last round as the Devils were clearly exhausted after that 7-game series against the physical New York Rangers.
When it comes to goal differential, Carolina is also leaving Florida in the dust. The Hurricanes have an impressive +12 goal differential in the playoffs, compared to Florida's +3. That's a nine-goal advantage for the boys in red and white. It's clear the Canes know how to light the lamp, and they're not slowing down anytime soon even without wingers Teuvo Teravainen and Andrei Svechnikov.
The face-off battle is another key factor in this series. Carolina holds the edge with a better face-off win percentage, giving them more opportunities to control the game and shut down the Panthers' offense. Face-offs are crucial in tight games, and the Canes' prowess in the circle will definitely come in clutch. Carolina was ranked No. 5 in Face-off win percentage, while Florida was ranked No. 21 in the regular season. It's been more of the same in the playoffs. Carolina is winning just under 47%, while the Panthers are winning only 43.5%, which ranks second last of all the Semi-Final playoff teams. Only the Seattle Kraken are ranked lower (43.0%).
But let's not forget about defense. The Hurricanes have been an absolute brick wall in their own end, consistently shutting down their opponents and limiting their chances. Their defensive play has been nothing short of stellar, and they're not afraid to lay out the body to make the big plays when it counts. The Hurricanes have allowed 306 shots-on-goal in 11 Postseason games, while Florida has allowed 423 shots-on-goal in 12 games. Carolina was ranked No. 1 in shots against, while the Panthers were ranked No. 22 in shots against during the regular season. Speaking of the regular season, Carolina went 2-1 vs. Florida, out-shooting the Panthers in all three meetings, 110-80.
On the flip side, the Panthers have been riding a wave of success, but their luck is about to run out. Sure, they've pulled off some major upsets to get to the Eastern Conference Final, but their new roster simply doesn't have the experience or cohesion that the Canes boast. The Panthers may have the momentum, but the Canes have skillful-players, the motivation, and the stats to back it up.
While the Panthers have turned heads with their Cinderella run, the Carolina Hurricanes are the real deal, and they're not about to let a fairy tale get in the way of their championship dreams. They have been down this road before and know what it takes to win the Eastern Conference Title. With their superior shot and goal differentials, face-off prowess, and rock-solid defense, the Carolina Hurricanes are my pick to move on to the Stanley Cup Final.
Selection: Carolina Hurricanes (-140) to win the series!
Pittsburgh Pirates at Baltimore Orioles Friday Free Pick
Author: Jeff Hochman
Friday night's MLB face-off between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Baltimore Orioles is shaping up to be a run-fest, with both teams eager to make a statement after recent stumbles. Despite the Pirates' recent skid, dropping nine of their last 10 games, and the Orioles' roller-coaster performances against division leaders, this matchup has all the makings of a high-scoring affair. The Total is set at 9 Over -105 or 9 Under -115.
The Pirates and Orioles have a history of high-scoring games, with two straight contests reaching nine runs and seven out of their last nine meetings going over. With both pitchers, Johan Oviedo (5.60 ERA, 1.59 WHIP) and Kyle Bradish (5.95 ERA, 1.73 WHIP), struggling to keep batters at bay this season, along with warm temperatures (low 80s), I would expect plenty of runs. Don't forget, Oriole Park at Camden Yards ranks No. 7 in park factor runs scored.
Pittsburgh's recent woes can be attributed to both their hitting and pitching. Their once-effective aggressive base running has been stymied, with the team caught stealing six times during their latest 1-5 homestand. The Pirates also seem to be pressing, as their once potent offense has only scored more than two runs in one of their last 10 games. However, the talent is there, as evidenced by Andrew McCutchen's standout performance on Wednesday, going 3-for-3 with a two-run homer. If the Pirates can shake off their current slump, there's no reason they can't light up the scoreboard against the Orioles.
On the mound, Pirates' right-hander Johan Oviedo (2-3, 5.59 ERA) has been struggling as of late, going 0-2 with a 12.08 ERA in his past three starts. He's allowed 17 earned runs in just 12 2/3 innings, striking out eight and walking seven. Oviedo's performance in his last outing against the Toronto Blue Jays was less than stellar, allowing seven runs (six earned) on 10 hits in five innings. Facing the Orioles for the first time in his career, Oviedo will need to step up his game if he wants to keep Baltimore's bats in check.
The Orioles, on the other hand, are coming off a hard-fought series against the Tampa Bay Rays, where their pitching staff managed to hold the Rays to just six runs across three games. Baltimore's bullpen has been particularly impressive, giving up only two runs in 9 1/3 innings. However, they'll be relying on right-hander Kyle Bradish to start against the Pirates, and his stats don't inspire much confidence. In his last start against the Atlanta Braves, Bradish allowed three runs on five hits over five innings.
Given the recent struggles of both starting pitchers, along with the history of high-scoring games between these two teams and the warmer weather, it's no surprise that Over 9 runs (-105) is my free pick on Friday Night.
Jeff Hochman of JH-Sportsline