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Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB Previews and Odds - 06/29/2022

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2022

The Wednesday sports card features MLB action.Major League Baseball has 15 games on its schedule. The Milwaukee Brewers travel to Tampa Bay to play the Rays at 12:10 PM ET. Eric Lauer takes the ball for the Brewers against Jalen Beeks of the Rays. Two MLB games throw out the first pitch at 1:05 PM ET. New York hosts Oakland with the Yankees pitching Jameson Taillon against the A’s Cole Irvin. New York is a -275 money line favorite with the total set at 8.5 (all odds from DraftKings). Washington plays Pittsburgh with Paolo Espino pitching for the Nationals against Mitch Keller of the Pirates. Washington is a -130 money line favorite with an over/under of 9. The Houston Astros visit New York to play the Mets at 1:10 PM ET. The Astros turn to Justin Verlander in their starting rotation against the Mets Taijuan Walker. Houston is a -125 money line road favorite with a total of 9. The Texas Rangers play at Kansas City against the Royals at 2:10 PM ET. Dane Dunning gets the ball for the Rangers against Zack Greinke of the Royals. Texas is a -125 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9. The San Diego Padres are at Arizona against the Diamondbacks on FS1 at 3:40 PM ET. The Padres pitch Mike Clevinger against the Diamondbacks' Madison Bumgarner. San Diego is a -140 money line road favorite with a total of 8.5. The San Francisco Giants host the Detroit Tigers at 3:45 PM ET. Alex Wood takes the mound for the Giants against Rony Garcia of the Tigers. San Francisco is a -200 money line favorite with an over/under of 8. The Seattle Mariners are at home against the Baltimore Orioles at 4:10 PM ET. The Mariners turn to Chris Flexen to pitch against the Orioles Austin Voth. Seattle is a -145 money line favorite with a total of 8.The Atlanta Braves travel to Philadelphia to play the Phillies at 7:05 PM ET. Kyle Wright gets the start for the Braves against Ranger Suarez of the Phillies. Atlanta is a -140 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Toronto Blue Jays are at home against Boston Red Sox at 7:07 PM ET. The Blue Jays turn to Alek Manoah to pitch against the Red Sox’s Nick Pivetta. Toronto is a -165 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. The Cleveland Guardians host the Minnesota Twins at 7:10 PM ET. Cal Quantrill takes the hill for the Guardians against Dylan Bundy for the Twins. Cleveland is a -115 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Miami Marlins play at St. Louis against the Cardinals at 7:45 PM ET. The Marlins have Sandy Alcantara taking the hill to pitch against the Cardinals Andre Pallante. Miami is a -130 money line road favorite with a total of 7.5. The Chicago Cubs are at home against the Cincinnati Reds at 8:05 PM ET. Justin Steele pitches for the Cubs against Hunter Greene of the Reds. Chicago is a -135 money line favorite. The Los Angeles Dodgers visit Colorado to play the Rockies at 8:40 PM ET. Julio Urias pitches for the Dodgers against German Marquez of the Rockies. Los Angeles is a -190 money line road favorite with an over/under of 11. The MLB card concludes at 9:38 PM ET with the Los Angeles Angeles Angels playing at home against the Chicago White Sox. The Angels give the ball to Shohei Ohtani against the White Sox’s Michael Kopech. Los Angeles is a -180 money line favorite with a total of 7.5.

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Using Run Differential To Predict The American League

by Power Sports

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

So last week we tackled the National League, using run differential as our guide for how the rest of the Major League Baseball season may go. This week, it’s time for a look at the American League.Unlike the Senior Circuit, where run differential shows a pretty clear dividing line between the top nine and bottom six, there’s a bit of a “grey area” in the AL. But we can start at the bottom and rule four teams out as possible playoff participants: Oakland, Detroit, Kansas City and Baltimore.Now given that run differential is once again the basis of this article, it may seem unfair to be ruling the Orioles (-18) out. But the AL East remains loaded and it would be a shock to just about everyone if the O’s didn’t finish last.The A’s (-112), Royals (-99) and Tigers (-97) are absolutely non-contenders by just about any measure, certainly run differential among them. The A’s and Tigers are also the two worst offensive teams in all of baseball heading into July, by a lot. The A’s and Royals have been the two worst teams to bet on this season as well.The team with the fourth worst run differential in the American League is the White Sox, which is a real surprise. The White Sox were expected to win the AL Central this year. Run differential (-52) says that’s unlikely to happen. The White Sox currently have a record of 34-38, but based on that run differential, they “should” have a record of 30-42. Only one team in baseball has exceeded its “Pythagorean Win Expectation” by a greater margin - the division rival Tigers.I suppose it’s okay to remain somewhat bullish on the White Sox relative to their run differential, but the opposite is true with Seattle (-8). The Mariners were near the top of my regression list heading into 2022 as last year they won 90 games despite a -51 run differential. Even if the M’s run differential continues to suggest they’ll remain competitive, I do not think they’ll make the playoffs. Truthfully, I don’t think there will be a second AL West team to make the playoffs. The Rangers (35-37) and Angels (36-40) are both underperforming relative to their respective run differentials, +9 and +8, but it’s hard for me to see either winning more than 85 games this year.So that leaves us with seven teams fighting for the six playoff spots. The Yankees and Astros would appear to be the two teams most likely to gain first round byes. The Yankees have been on a record-setting pace in the first half of the season and are my #1 ranked team in the power ratings. No surprise there. Entering Wednesday, the Pinstripes have outscored their opponents by 149 runs. The Dodgers (+128) are the only other team with a run differential north of +70.Houston has the AL’s second best run differential at +62. Based on that number, I think it’s smooth sailing to another division pennant.Right now, I’m thinking all three Wild Cards may go to the AL East. Behind the Yankees, you’ve got the Red Sox, Blue Jays and Rays and those teams have the third, fifth and sixth best run differentials in the AL right now. Boston had a great June and has the profile of a second-place finisher as of now. But one problem for the Red Sox (+60 run differential) is they have a pretty horrible 7-16 WL record vs. division foes. Toronto (+29) has the most one-run wins (18) in baseball. Tampa Bay (+19) with the second place finisher in the Central for the last Wild CardSpeaking of the Central, you’ve got two teams right now with positive run differentials: Minnesota (+47) and Cleveland (+11). Both have 34 losses on the year, but the Twins have six more wins and that’s a tough gap for the Guardians to make up. Run differential says they won’t do it, but it’s worth noting Cleveland had the better RD of the two teams about a week ago. 

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2022 Boston College Eagles Preview

by Matt Fargo

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

Boston College Eagles2021-22 Season Record 6-6 (2-6 ACC Atlantic) - 6-6-0 ATS - 3-9-0 O/UReturning StartersOffense - 6Defense - 8OverviewBoston College has been very consistent over the last decade but it has been consistently mediocre. The Eagles have won six or seven games in eight of the last nine seasons, the other being a 3-9 campaign in 2015, so they have been competitive but have been unable to get over the hump. Boston College went to four straight bowl games, although one was cancelled midgame in 2018 due to weather but it has gone two straight years without going to the postseason. Head coach Jeff Hafley has gone 12-11 in his two seasons and this could be the one he gets the Eagles to the postseason. They have been the epitome of the entire ACC, average, and for that to change, they need to get their running game back to its normal standards after a pair of below than typical seasons and they will rely on a strong defense to be even more relevant in the tough ACC Atlantic Division. OffenseThe offense was bad last season as Boston College was ranked No. 104 in overall and No. 93 in points scored which was disappointing as it returned nine starters and a lot of that was based on the injuries to quarterback Phil Jurkovec who played in only six games. He is back and if his spring performance is any indication, he is ready to turn the offense around. He gets three of the top four receivers back including Zay Flowers who can be special and if Jurkovec can stay healthy, the passing game can flourish. Running back Pat Garwo surpassed 1,000 yards last season and will look to become just the 18th 2,000-yard rusher in school history but it will have to be accomplished with basically a brand new offensive line. The Eagles have to replace four starters, all which went to the NFL, and that is not a good sign based on what has taken place in the running game recently. DefenseThis is where the Eagles will dominate, or at least should, and it will come down to the defensive line to get pressure to the quarterback and improve against the run after finishing No. 92 last season, allowing 170.8 ypg. The Eagles had only 20 sacks last season and to put that into perspective, the top sack team in 2021 had 57, so this aspect has to improve which will give the passing defense even more opportunities to shine. Boston College finished No. 3 in the country in passing defense, allowing just 173.5 ypg and if it can increase the 10 interceptions from a year ago, they can lead the ACC once again. The secondary is loaded, led by safely Jaiden Woodbey, as they have four seniors who have a ton of experience and the linebacking corps provides a strong back seven. Staying healthy is key with a lack of depth as the nine backups are either freshmen or sophomores. 2022 Season OutlookIt is pretty simple what needs to come together for Boston College to surpass seven wins for the first time since 2009. The line of scrimmage has to improve on both sides and they have to avoid injuries and while the latter is unpredictable, that is the case for all teams with little depth. Boston College started 4-0 last season but it was a very easy non-conference schedule where they were favored in all four games and that will not be the case this year. The Eagles open with a home game against Rutgers and then two of the next three games are in the ACC and on the road at Florida St. and Virginia Tech, both of which have the same win totals as the Eagles but the road is never easy. The other two ACC road games are rough and they also have Notre Dame in South Bend but should claim a victory at Connecticut. 6.5 wins is the O/U total and the over will take two road upsets. 

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