Instead of keeping the fan favorites like Hunter Pence and Lance Berkman during the rebuilding years, they decided to make difficult moves and trade them away or let them walk in free agency. For a team that used to not worry much about their budget, it was those difficult moves that freed up a lot of their budget to allow them to be in a position to make some moves now.
Houston has probably one of the best problems that you can have as a major league franchise. They have too much talent in the minors and the only reason why they aren’t up at the major league level yet is because the current squad is doing just fine. They have the second best winning percentage in the majors and have won more games than any team entering the final week of May.
Top prospects like Jon Singleton and Carlos Correa are anxiously awaiting their opportunity to make the move to the majors. Both players are expected to get called up at some point this season, but the timing is the question. The current Astros players may not have the best batting average and they strike out a lot, but they are still effective. Look no further than Evan Gattis and Chris Carter, who have solid power numbers, but that’s about it. They’ve just been clutch all season.
The Astros front office has some difficult decisions to make concerning the problem they face. Some guys in the minors know they have major league talent, so Houston may soon be fielding trade offers for them. If the Astros are still in first place by the trade deadline, they may be intrigued by acquiring some veteran pitchers or bats just to shore up their lineup for a postseason run.
They have to avoid doing what set them back in the first place. Trading to get a guy like Cole Hamels might be good for this season, but you can’t trade away your future in order to get him. Depending on how things shake out over the next couple of months, the front office may or may not have to deal with these tough issues. Our MLB betting predictions have the Astros in the playoff hunt at the All-Star Break, though, so there’s a good chance that they could make some moves.
Hamilton’s up-and-down career has been more of a drama feature rather than a Major League Baseball career. There’s no doubt the talent that he has and he has proven that at times throughout his career. In his previous stint with Texas, he was doing well with his drug addiction and appeared to have turned his life around. Then things went south when he left to play for the Los Angeles Angels after the 2012 season.
Hamilton had reportedly had a relapse of his drug problems recently when he was in Los Angeles. He struggled on the field toward the end of last season with the Angels, so it’s uncertain what may have caused his relapse. One thing that was evident was that it wasn’t going to work out in Los Angeles anymore for Hamilton.
MLB expert picks insiders report that when it looked like his career might be coming to an end, the Rangers came calling. Now he is expected to be a regular contributor in the lineup after spending a couple of weeks in the minors. With all of his personal issues put to the side, Hamilton could be just what the Rangers need to help them compete in the AL West, which hasn’t been very strong this season so far.
The Rangers have been on the rise and their record currently sits just below .500. Having Hamilton in the lineup will provide some good protection for Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre. Assuming Hamilton will find his spot in the lineup behind those two in the fifth spot, the Rangers could have one of the most dangerous middle of the lineups in the league.
There’s still the uncertainty as to where Hamilton’s mindset is. The Rangers are giving him another opportunity with the hopes that being back in Texas
Pitching was supposed to be the main reason why the Nationals were going to be good this season. That was also the main reason why they didn’t live up to expectations in April. The rotation that features Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzales, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Jordan Zimmermann was supposed to dominate the National League. At least three or four of those guys could be ace pitchers on some other clubs in the majors.
Scherzer has really been the only consistent pitcher for the Nationals, even when they were struggling. He has continued to dominate in May. His 5-3 record isn’t indicative of how well he has performed, considering he has a 1.67 ERA. The rest of the rotation has started to pick up their slack, with the exception of Strasburg. We feel like it’s only a matter of time before Strasburg gets back to being relevant again and contributing in the rotation.
Bryce Harper has also seen a rise in his production from April to May. He is beginning to put up MVP numbers and has elevated his game to a level where he is single handily impacting the outcome of games at times. He has a .333 batting average with 16 home runs and 41 RBI’s through 44 games. With three of Washington’s top four hitters in the lineup having a batting average greater than .300, we could see the Nationals get even better.
So the big question is whether the Nationals will maintain this level of play or if they will fall back to mediocrity. Our bet is that they will continue to get better and spend most of the season at the top of the division. The main reason for that is because they had the talent to be considered a preseason favorite to win the division, and they haven’t lost any of that talent.
The pitching is already starting to get better, and they are getting more run support. Strasburg’s struggles are a little concerning, especially considering his injury history. We aren’t comfortable betting on the Nationals yet when Strasburg is on the mound. That could change as we get into the summer months, though. We are very high on the Nationals as a whole, though. Teams will go through peaks and valleys through the season, but Washington has a solid foundation that should allow them to stay playing at a high level. Our expert MLB betting predictions have the Nationals remaining at the top of the division and being a solid bet for the foreseeable future.
Oakland will send Scott Kazmir to the mound in this game. The left-handed veteran starter enters the game with a 2-3 record and a 3.09 ERA. He started off the season on fire, but the lack of run support that he was receiving had to be frustrating to him. The month of May hasn’t been very kind, as he has seen his ERA rise a full run. He will look to get back on track against a tough Tigers lineup.
The Tigers will counter with their experienced pitcher Alfredo Simon. Simon has been a pleasant surprise for Detroit so far, as he enters the game with a 5-2 record and a 2.67 ERA. He has only recorded 38 strikeouts in 57 innings of work, but that just means that he has been efficient in getting guys out. He should be able to see more success against a spotty Oakland lineup.
Miguel Cabrera will be a player to watch for the Tigers in this game. For some reason, he has seen a lot of success against Oakland over the years. He will definitely be comfortable in Oakland and could put together a good performance in the final game of the series.
If Oakland wants to have a chance in this game, they will have to find a way to score some runs off of Simon. The Athletics offense has been spotty at best over the last couple of weeks, so they will hope to have a good day at the plate. Kazmir might be able to hold Detroit’s offense down for a few innings. But it would be much easier for him if his offense was able to give him a lead to work with early in the game.
Detroit is always a good bet on a game-by-game basis. You still have to look at the individual match ups and determine whether they have an advantage or a disadvantage. The pitching matchup in this game is pretty equal, so we are going to have to look at other areas. The Tigers have the more consistent offense, and after getting shutout on Monday, they will be ready to break out the bats. We like Detroit to win this game fairly comfortably in Oakland on Wednesday. Pick the Tigers for your MLB picks for today.
Baltimore will send veteran starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez to the mound in this game. Jimenez has settled in nicely this season after struggling with the Orioles last season. He enters the contest with a 3-3 record and a 2.82 ERA. He likely would have at least a couple more wins if the Orioles could score more runs, but that just hasn’t happened much for him.
The Astros will counter with their second best option in the rotation. Collin McHugh has a solid 5-2 record, but he has been trending downward lately. He started off the season at a blistering pace with a 3-0 record, but his ERA has steadily climbed to 4.06, which is where it stands right now. Houston needs McHugh to get back to his early season form in this game.
Despite being below .500, the Orioles are still only a couple of games out of first place in the AL East. The division is weaker this year than it has been in the past, which should leave more opportunities for teams like the Orioles to stay in contention longer. If Jimenez keeps on pitching like he has been, then there’s a chance that Baltimore could win a lot of games this year.
Houston hasn’t had many problems winning games this season. They have had one of the top two or three records in the majors all season long, and look to continue that in the series finale with Baltimore. Striking out has been the biggest issue for Houston this season. They have great power numbers, but they are going to have to put the bat on the ball more often against Jimenez.
The Astros have the better team and they are playing better baseball right now, but we can’t overlook the matchup advantage that Baltimore has in this game. McHugh has been struggling lately, so it’s hard to bet on him as easily as you could earlier in the season. He may only give up three runs or so, but that may be all it takes for the Orioles to win the game. We expect the Astros to be able to score some runs off of Jimenez to make this a fairly high scoring game. With all that said, when placing your action at the top online betting casinos we like the Orioles for our expert MLB predictions for today to win against the Astros.
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The Nationals will send their most consistent pitcher to the mound in Max Scherzer. Scherzer enters the contest with a 5-3 record and a 1.67 ERA for the Nationals. His record should be a lot better than it is, but he just hasn’t gotten much run support. Considering he has only seen his ERA above 2.00 one time this season, his win total should be a lot higher.
The Cubs will counter with the free agent that they brought in to turn around the franchise. Jon Lester has been solid this season, but he hasn’t quite lived up to the lofty expectations that the fan base had for him. He has a 4-2 record with a 3.56 ERA so far this season. However, his ERA is a little inflated due to a slow start to the season. He has seen his ERA decrease in each start he has made since the second start of the season.
As good as the pitching should be in this game, a lot of eyes will be on the young stars in each lineup. The highlights of each lineup are Kris Bryant for the Cubs and Bryce Harper for the Nationals. Bryant is the new kid on the block, but he has lived up to his hype for the most part. Harper has been here a while, but he continues to impress.
The Nationals got off to a disappointing start, but they’ve recently shown how good they can be. They have been the hottest team in the majors in the month of May and are looking to complete the month that way. With the way their pitching has been performing, we have no reason to believe that they won’t finish strong.
The Cubs and Nationals are both intriguing teams because they are so evenly matched. Washington has the deeper rotation overall, but matchups like these make you see how even they really are. Lester can compete with Scherzer and vice versa. The only issue for either of these pitchers recently has been the lack of run support. It may not take many runs to win this game, so the team that gets the most runs early in the game will likely be victorious. We are going with the upset and taking the Cubs to win for our expert MLB picks for today when betting online baseball. It will be another close game that puts a lot of pressure on the bullpens.
MLB betting predictions:
The first thing you will have to do is study your opponents’ style of play and know how aggressive they are. Similar to an in-person poker game, you need to know the tendencies of the players at your table just in case you get into a head-to-head situation with them. You don’t want to bluff a bluffer. If you see someone that has noticeably been placing some high bets and getting other players to fold, there’s a good chance that he was bluffing a few of those times. If he actually had good hands in each of those occasions, then he would have slow played more so that he could get as many players in the pot as possible.
So when you find yourself betting against someone that you want to fold, make sure he doesn’t have the tendency to bluff as well. Once that’s been identified, you can move into your bluff. If you have a lot of players in the pot, you may wish to raise pre-flop. By doing that, you will likely get some players to fold, which eliminates the chances of bad cards coming out on the flop that other players would have played if it was cheap.
Many times, players will call you if they have decent hands, even if you raise pre-flop. Regardless of what comes out on the flop, you may not want to be too aggressive before the turn. Place a smaller bet that is maybe 1/4 or 1/3 of the pot. Since you were the one that initiated the pre-flop raise, there’s a good chance you can get your opponent to fold after betting after the flop.
The strategy behind making a smaller bet is that you aren’t putting a big investment into your bluff. If your opponent calls your bet after the flop, then you might be better off just folding yourself. If that happens, then you haven’t invested a lot of money into the pot, so you’ve minimized your losses the best you could.
If your opponent is the first to act after the flop and he bets, then you may want to consider raising. This will put you in a pretty good position to get him to fold if he is bluffing himself. Even a minimal raise could get him to fold. But if you raise his bet by a lot and he calls you, then you’re almost too committed to the pot and will have to stay until the end.
It’s important to realize that if a player has in his mind that he is going to call your bet, then it doesn’t matter if you make a big bet or a small bet. When you don’t have a good hand and are trying to get your opponent to fold, then you can still do that without risking the majority of your stack. The worst thing that can happen is that you see the entire hand and only lose a small portion of your chips.
Making an aggressive opponent flop is just as difficult online as it is in person. However, judging tendencies online may be a little easier, because you can only judge them by the quantity and size of their bets. You don’t have to listen to them talk or see their facial expressions, which could be to your advantage when trying to get them to fold.Use this strategy when betting with the top online casinos and you will see you profits soar.
New York’s best chance at winning this game will likely depend on if starting pitcher Michael Pineda gets back to the form that he was in to start the season. Since his 16-strikeout performance three games ago, he has dropped his latest two decisions and given up a lot of runs in the process. As a result, his record has dropped to 5-2 with a 3.59 ERA.
The Royals will be hoping to get some early run support for their starting pitcher, Chris Young. Young began the season as a long reliever, but has since moved to the starting rotation. He is 4-0 overall this season, but he has won three out of the four games that he has started. His 0.78 ERA is impressive, but a lot of the innings he has pitched have come in relief. He is pitching with a lot of confidence, though, so we could see a pretty good pitcher’s duel.
The Yankees offense was carrying them through their hot streak that had them at first place in the AL East division. Once the bats cooled down, the pitching hasn’t been able to compensate. Pineda has been the most consistent option for New York on the mound, with the exception of the last couple of games. If Pineda gets some early run support, then he could lock in and shut down the Royals.
We haven’t had a very large sample size on Young at this point, but he sure looks like he’s pretty comfortable on the mound. With the Yankees struggling to score runs, Young should be able to hold them down long enough for the Royals lineup to get something going against Pineda.
The Royals haven’t really gone on any lengthy winning streaks, but they also haven’t gone on any lengthy losing streaks either. The Yankees are the complete opposite. They were beating everyone in their path over a span of a few weeks, but now they can’t seem to beat anyone over the last couple of weeks. As a result, we have to go with Kansas City for our MLB predictions for today. The Yankees should get a solid outing from Pineda at home, but it won’t be enough. Young will give up some runs, but he will have enough early run support to keep the Royals ahead and give Young his fifth win of the season.
MLB expert predictions:
After being mostly quiet throughout this series, James Harden made some noise in game four. He scored 45 points and willed the Rockets to a victory to extend their season for at least another game. Houston put together an embarrassing performance in game three, so they came out with a vengeance in game four.
Getting out to a hot start at home is a lot different than on the road, though. The Rockets already know that they can’t relax, even if they have a big lead at Golden State. The Warriors have already come back from a large deficit to win the game, so they will have to play with the same high level of intensity for the entire game. The big story for Golden State will be how Curry feels after his injury. He went down hard on his head/neck/back, but he passed all the concussion tests that were given to him during the game to allow him to return. He will likely be a little sore in game five, but there aren’t any indications that he won’t play or be limited at all.
NBA expert picks insiders report that if there’s any chance that Curry will play, everyone knows that he will. Even though it wasn’t his fault, he likely feels responsible for his team losing game four because he wasn’t able to be out on the court for the entire game. Expect him to play with a chip on his shoulder and put together another MVP performance in game five.
The Rockets have already proven that they are resilient and can come back from a huge series deficit. However, now they are playing against the best team in the NBA, so the stakes are a little higher. It is difficult enough to win one game at Golden State, much less win two out of three, which is what the Rockets will have to do to win the series. Houston won’t back down, but too much Curry will doom them. Curry will put together a heroic performance to win the game and send the Warriors to the NBA Finals.
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- Kansas City Royals
The Royals have probably been the most consistent team in the majors so far this season. They haven’t gone on many long winning streaks, but they also haven’t had any major slumps. As a result, they are sitting atop the American League Central division and currently have the best record in baseball. Their pitching has been stellar and the offense has been putting up more than enough runs on a consistent basis. There’s a lot of excitement in Kansas City right now, and we haven’t seen much to believe that there shouldn’t be a lot of excitement.
- Houston Astros
Speaking of excitement, not many fans of the Astros would have ever thought that they would have the second best record in Major League Baseball towards the end of May. Houston is a team that has had ups-and-downs, though. They went on a ten game winning streak and then fell into a slump. But they showed some resiliency by getting back on top. Their weekend series split with Detroit proved that they deserve their high ranking. With a Cy Young Award candidate pitching twice this week, the Astros should be in a good position to improve their record this week.
- Washington Nationals
Something clicked for the Nationals, and when it did, it sent a shockwave throughout the entire locker room. The starting pitching has begun to look like the best in baseball, and the offense is finally giving some run support. Coming into the final full week of May, Washington has a MLB-best 16-5 record in the month. Combine that with the struggles that the Mets have faced, and the Nationals are on top of their division and looking like the contender that many MLB experts predicted at the beginning of the season.
- St. Louis Cardinals
It’s hard to say that the Cardinals have really been sliding in the last couple of weeks. They have only won four of their last ten games, but the main reason for their slide down our power rankings is because other teams have been a little hotter. However, if they don’t get back to their dominant ways pretty soon, then they could get a surprise visitor at the top of the standings from the Chicago Cubs. The Cards will play at home all this week, so they should have some good value when making your expert MLB picks for the week.
- Los Angeles Dodgers
Rounding out our top five is the Los Angeles Dodgers. They are still in the top five mainly because they are still winning games despite the injuries and adversity they’ve faced. Recently, though, their offense has been nonexistent. In their last eight games, they’ve scored a combined nine runs. Even with the lack of offense, they still won three out of those eight games. Once they get healthy, they will likely be closer to the top of the rankings again. But for now, they are just a team that you should keep a cautious eye on.
These are the teams that have the best chances at making you some money this week, due to the streaks that they are on and the competition that they face. There’s no such thing as a guaranteed bet, but these are some safe teams to bet on this week.