Articles by Tom Vara

A listing of all the articles written by Tom Vara for the RotoWire Blog.

Going with the Run Line today

Record 36-42

Bank Account +24

Yankees at Tigers – Phil Hughes vs Justin Verlander……here we go! I am a huge Yanks fan so I have said before I shy away from betting against them, but this opportunity is too good. Verlander is 3-0 with a 2.28 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 27 2-3 innings over his last four starts versus the Bronx Bombers at home. Verlander on the year is pitching much better at home as his 1.37 ERA indicates (2.55 overall). Hughes is coming off his worst start of the year in which he gave up seven runs to the Angels. Plus, on the road this year Hughes is 1-3 with a 6.57 ERA while allowing opponents to hit .318 in five starts. Hughes has pitched well at Detroit, but that was previous years. Also, Miguel Cabrera owns Hughes going 7 for 14 with three homers and a double.

TV’s Take: Tigers -1.5 +120/Bet $200 to win $240

This was the only game that stuck out for me. Good luck!

Riding Strasburg Again

Record 32-40

Bank Account -626

Braves at Nats – Mike Minor vs Stephen Strasburg. The money line is ONLY -155 which is way too low considering the Braves can’t hit, Minor has been brutal, the Nats are at home, and Strasburg is on the hill. This should be around -185. The Nats on their recent sweep of the Braves outscored the Braves 22-10. The Nats have actually held the Braves to 11 runs in their last five meetings. So I ask the question do you really think Mike Minor and the Braves could end the Braves skid vs Strasburg and Bryce Harper at Washington? Strasburg is 1-2 with a 5.28 ERA in his three career starts vs the Braves. Normally I would be nervous, but I have faith in the big guy. Minor is 0-3 with a 9.08 ERA over his last three starts and has given up a league high 13 bombs. Minor gave up four runs in five innings vs Strasburg last week.

TV’s Take: Nats -155; -1.5 +135/Bet $310 to win $200 and $100 -1.5 to win $135

Pirates at Brewers – I usually stay away from Randy Wolf, but given Kevin Correia in on the mound riding a seven game win less streak and his career ERA is 6.86 vs the Brewers in four career starts I can’t pass this up. Correia was 0-2 with a 5.91 ERA last season at Miller Park. The Pirates have dropped 14 in a row at Miller Park and Andrew McCutchen is 6-50 vs the Brewers with 10K’s. So if we take out the only dangerous player the Pirates have I like our chances even more. Wolf was 1-2 with a 2.92 ERA vs the Pirates last season. Finally, the Pirates of 2012 hit .210 in May.

TV’s Take: Brewers -143/Bet $143 to win $100

Twins at Indians – Carl Pavano vs Derek Lowe looks good on paper for the Tribe regardless of Lowe’s recent struggles (8ER in 2 1/3IP). Pavano is battling a sore shoulder and has struggled all year as his 2-4 5.46 ERA clearly point out. Like Lowe, Pavano had his worst start of the year also his last time out (6ER 4 1/3IP). The Twins are coming off a three game sweep of the pathetic A’s so I do not put much value in that as the Indians have defeated the Twins 10 of their last 11 games and a two-game sweep earlier this year.

TV’s Take: Indians -134/ Bet $134 to win $100

Backing the Red Sox BIG!

Record 32-38

Bank Account -21

Tigers at Red Sox – Rule one when Max Scherzer is on the hill facing a excellent hitting team with a good pitcher bet BIG against the Tigers! Max got rocked the last time he faced Boston this year giving up seven earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. He is a career 0-4 with a 11.81 ERA vs the Red Sox in four starts. Do I really need to tell you anything else? Okay, if you insist. The Red Sox Josh Beckett since his regrettable "golf" performance is 2-0 with a 1.25 ERA in three starts going seven innings at least in each start. There are some players that simple need a reason to get pissed and Josh is one of them. I hate the Red Sox as a Yankees fan, but I do appreciate Beckett’s talent. I am going big, big, big on Boston boys!

TV’s Take: Red Sox -135; -1.5 +145/Bet $405 to win $300 and Bet $200 -1.5 to win $290

Remember, my bets only have to do with my confidence level. So instead of me saying this Red Sox game is a 5-Star game I say bet $405 or even if I said $270. I just try to make it as if you are at the betting window at the MGM for instance. This way you have an idea of how much I would bet instead of having to guess the value of a "star" game. Props to Max if he pulls it off, but I just do not see it. This guy is junk in my book and only useful for K’s in roto leagues.

Backing the Big Favorite Rangers

Record 30 – 36

Bank Account +174

Padres at Cubs – Why bet on a game with these two pathetic teams? Good question, but now that the Cubs are hitting I will take my chances with Ryan Dempster who is win less in his last 17 starts, but has an ERA of 3.61 while the Cubs have averaged only 2.2 runs a game for Dempster. Anthony Bass who will duel with Dempster today is coming off a beating by the Mets in which he gave up six runs in 5 1/3 innings. However, Bass has been pretty solid this year in total with a 3.55 ERA. This is more of a gut play than a numbers play I will admit as the Cubs look for the sweep.

TV’s Take: Cubs -130/Bet $130 to win $100

Nats at Marlins – Another gut play says the Nats avoid the sweep as they face a struggling Josh Johnson today. I am a huge Johnson fan, but something is not right. This guy is a legit Top 5 pitcher when healthy. Johnson enters the game with a 4.87 ERA which is so not Johnson like. He will face Chien-Ming Wang who will be making his first start of the year. Wang was effective in his first appearance of the year coming out of the pen on Friday to get the win vs the Braves. I am betting on Bryce Harper to remain hot and the Nats to avoid the sweep.

TV’s Take: Nats +155/Bet $100 to win $155

Orioles at Blue Jays – Another game that is more of a gut feeling. I like Brandon Morrow a lot to bounce back from his worst start of his career and considering Toronto has won six of their last seven home games. Is Brett Lawrie ready to go nuts? Morrow allowed 4 ER in 7 innings back in April vs the Orioles. Toronto has scored 14 runs in the first two games of this series. The Orioles will counter with Jason Hammel who already who is 4-0 with a 2.93 ERA in four career starts vs the Blue Jays. Here is the kicker…Morrow is awesome during day games as he has a 0.32 ERA in four starts during the day compared with a 6.03 ERA in six night starts. I’m backing Morrow to bounce back and a Toronto sweep. Note just noticed this is a 6:05 start, but I am going to stick with Morrow.

TV’s Take: Blue Jays -140/Bet $140 to win $100

Mariners at Rangers – The pesky Mariners are going down hard today! Both Derek Holland (6-1, 3.07 ERA) and Blake Beaven (1-2, 1.71 ERA) have solid track records against each opponent, but the Rangers coming off a 10-3 loss sounds like a perfect spot to wager. Holland has been excellent in May with a 2.70 ERA and just 8 walks in 26 2/3 innings. When Holland is not walking a bunch of hitters he is excellent. This is my play of the day using the Run Line at -1.5 -120 as the Money Line is an insane -240.

TV’s Take: Rangers -1.5 -120/Bet $240 to win $200

Backing the Blue Jays

Record 28-31

Bank Account +492

Diamonbacks vs Giants – Ryan Vogelsong (3-2 , 2.50 ERA) hopes to improve his career mark to 5-0 vs the Diamondbacks today. Vogelsong is 3-0 with a 1.63 ERA in his last four starts which does not bold well vs the Diamondbacks who have night phobia with a 12-20 mark with the lights on. Joe Saunders and his wounded pride takes the mound for the Diamonbacks. Saunders was pounded for six runs in five innings on May 13th the last time he faced the Giants. Saunders is in fact is 0-4 with a 5.23 ERA in five starts vs the Giants. However, it should be noted Saunders is much better on the road this year. Regardless, I’ll the Giants.

TV’s Take: Giants -120/Bet $120 to win $100

Royals at Indians – Here is the rule folks. When Justin Masterson is at home take him as he outdueled Justin Verlander last time out and when he is on the road avoid him and consider the Over. Masterson had a 2.84 ERA vs the Royals last season at home in five starts. Masterson’s weakness is he simply walks a ton of batters. Good news the Royals are second too last in baseball taking the free pass. Will Smith takes the mound for the Royals in his second start. The kid had the pleasure of making his debut in Yankee Stadium and as expected the Yankees pounded him in the 3 1/3 innings he lasted. Masterson is holding batters to a .240 average at home as well. I am taking both the Money Line and Run Line as the Run Line +145 is too good. By the way it has to get old having the name Will Smith doesn’t it? Reminds me of the Michael Jordan commercial which is awesome.

TV’s Take: Indians -150/Bet $150 to win $100 and Bet $100 -1.5 to win $145

Orioles at Blue Jays – It is time for Ricky Romero to show he is the man we all know he is! Romero is 5-1 with a 3.86 ERA which is solid, but those of you who have Romero in roto may know his WHIP is the issue as evidenced by his last outing in which he walked seven batters! Romero beat the Orioles on April 7th in which he did not allow a walk in a 6-1 victory. The AL East leading Orioles (makes me puke as a Yanks fan) send Jake Arrieta to the hill along with his 0-3, 7.15 ERA in his last four starts. I love the Blue Jays in this one as Arrieta is simply ice cold and Romero seems like money each time out.

TV’s Take: Blue Jays -130/Bet $260 to win $200.

White Sox at Rays – I hate to go against the hot White Sox who have been good to me for or against this year, but I simply can’t shake what I saw of Philip Humber vs the Twins last time out. As you may recall I bet big on the White Sox and they came through only because Humber was pulled and the Twins stink. Regardless, I was telling my brother I have never seen a pitcher so wild who somehow threw a perfect game. It just doesn’t make sense. Humber gave up five earned runs in 4 1/3 vs the Twins. Yes, the Twins. We all know his overall numbers stink as well at 1-2 with a 5.80 ERA which includes the perfect game! James Shields is a pitcher I have called overrated for years and I think for the most part in big games this is not a guy I want on the hill. Regardless, he is 4-2 with a 4.66 ERA in ten starts vs the White Sox who have had pretty much the same team for years. Adam Dunn is 1-7 with 4K’s vs Shields which always helps. This bet is strictly based on Humber. If he shines than so be it, but I expect another terrible performance. I remind you of one of my big theories on baseball betting that has worked all year is catching the pitcher before he gets cut or demoted to the pen. Humber is close as was Moyer this past weekend.

TV’s Take: Rays -160/Bet $160 to win $100 and Bet $100 -1.5 to win $125

A’s at Twins – What the heck? The Money Line is basically even with A’s -108. Um, these teams both stink. The A’s can’t hit and the Twins can’t pitch. Well, as I survived yesterday I forgot that bad hitting trumps bad pitching. My god the A’s are sending out Jarrod Parker who looks great vs Cole De Vries who is making his second start and looked terrible in his first. Parker is 1-2 with a 3.28 making his first start vs the Twins so we also have that going for us. De Vries has never faced the A’s, but he does not even come close to the hype Parker brings into the game. Parker is a highly touted prospect who was close to making the rotation out of spring training. De Vries was not dominant at AAA and is only in the big leagues because of bad pitching and injuries. Did you know the Twins now have four starters in their rotation who started the year at AAA? Boy, I kick myself everyday for not jumping on the Josh Reddick bandwagon fantasy wise. He is tearing it up for the A’s with 14 homers and speed. He homered and had a triple yesterday. I would bet more on the A’s, but can I really trust the A’s?

TV’s Take: A’s -108/Bet $108 to win $100