To start I would just like to wish everyone, all my friends and family a Happy Cinco De Mayo.
Our free play tonight takes us to the diamond at Camden Yards as the Baltimore Orioles take on the New York Yankees. In tonight’s match up we have C.C.Sabathia (1-2 5.06) taking on Tyler Wilson (1-0 4.65). Sabathia has had another bad start to his season this yr and the 35 yr old is obviously winding down his excellent 16 yr major league career. The Orioles lineup is going to punish Sabathia tonight. Adam Jones .311 and 4HR Mark Trumbo .313 1HR and look for Nolen Reimold to get the start in left field as he is .375 and 2HR against Sabathia. Also Sabathia’s last 2 games at Camden Yards he has allowed 8 runs and 3HR to the Orioles. Tyler Wilson started in the bullpen this year for the Orioles and now is making his 3rd start of the year. He hasn’t been able to get past the 5th inning in the previous two starts and the belief here is that he will not do it tonight either. Most of the Yankee batters have not seen Wilson but that might be a good thing for a change as the Yankees look to get the bats going and be the run producing team of last year. Our system has this on the edge of being a slugfest and with 4 of the last 5 games played at Camden Yards going over the total and the Orioles 5-1 O/U against left handed starters this year.
Our free play tonight takes us to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania as the Pittsburgh Penguins take on the Washington Capitals in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference second round game. All i am going to say is one name Kris Letang. The Penguins will be without their superstar defenseman tonight which will be huge in deciding the outcome of this game. The Capitals although they got a split out of the 2 games in Washington, they really didn’t play to their potential. It looked like they put it all together in Game 3 and even though they lost the game you can see that they got their confidence back and they were the much better team out-shooting Pittsburgh 49-23. Washington’s special teams have been excellent for most of the year although in this series they are only 1 for 10 on the Power Play. We are looking for that to change tonight. Their Penalty killing however has been excellent in the playoffs allowing only 1 goal in 33 attempts. With Letang and his big shot at the point of the Penguins Power play sitting on the sidelines tonight that stat is only going to get better for the Capitals. Washington is a small favorite of minus 110. Our system, with the Penguins being beat up on defense (Schultz is taking Letang’s spot and hasn’t played since Game 1 of the NYR series and Maatta has an upper body injury and might not even play) has Washington as a 135/130 favorite so we see value on the Capitals tonight.
For our free play tonight we go to the Oracle arena where the defending champion Golden State Warriors host the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2nd game of the Western conference semifinals. In game 1 Golden State came out and kicked Portland right in the teeth taking a first quarter 37-17 lead and coasted to a 118-106 victory which wasn’t as close as the final suggested. Klay Thompson or better known by his teammates as Big Smokey had a team high and career playoff high of 37 points as the Trailblazers had no answer for Thompson. The coaching staff had better do a better job and maybe consider putting someone a little bigger to guard Thompson. Thompson was shooting over CJ McCollum all night and unless the Trail Blazers come up with a better defensive strategy it could be another long night for them. As for Portland the back court of Lillard and McCollum have to be better than a combined 13 for 43 which just wont cut it against the champion Warriors. Now with all this being said i find that if Portland has any chance of making this a series they need to win tonight while Stephen Curry sits out another game. It has been reported that Curry should be back for game 3 and this means Portland needs to take advantage tonight. They are quite aware of this as well which should serve as that extra motivation that we need. The oddsmaker has Portland as a 10 point underdog up a point from game 1. Although Portland has a terrible history at Oracle the feeling here is that Lillard and McCollum will come to play tonight and shake off the nerves from Game 1. Also coach Stotts will have a better game plan offensively to get Lillard and McCollum better looks at the basket and defensively to keep Thompson from having another huge game. Most of all, his team will be even more motivated knowing that this will be the best chance they have to beat the Warriors at home without the reigning MVP on the floor. We also will look to a stat that states the Trail Blazers are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight up loss of more than 10 points. Although i think it is going to be tough for Portland to get the outright win.
For our free play tonight we go to the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri where the St. Louis Blues host the Dallas Stars in Game 3 of their Western Conference round 2 series. It was important for St.Louis to at least get a split in the first two games in Dallas and that happened on Sunday with a 4-3 OT win. St. Louis like they have done all playoffs blew a multi-goal lead but where able to come back for the win in OT and now have all the momentum in their favor for Game 3. Tonight St.louis is already aware that Patrick Eaves as well as Dallas’ best player in my view Tyler Seguin will again be sidelined for the game. They didnt even make the trip to St. Louis with the rest of the team. With Seguin out of the lineup again, Dallas still has lots of firepower but you can see that they just are not the same team especially on the power-play where they have struggled without him. Only the Nashville Predators have a worse power-play from the remaining teams left in the playoffs. That’s not good for the Stars moving forward as special teams are so vital in playoff hockey as these teams are so closely balanced. Another variable that might come into play tonight to hurt the stars is that defenceman Alex Goligoski has got to be still feeling the shot off the knee he took from Tarasenko. Although he is not listed as injured by any means i know he is carrying a huge bruise or maybe even worse but will play through it tonight. Also all year Dallas is just a mess with goalies the two stiffs they call net minders Niemi and Lehtonen have been as inconsistent as you get for NHL goalies. Although both of these guys have had their day in the sun and can be outstanding at times we feel that they cant be trusted. You can see that Dallas coach Lindy Ruff feels the same way in the eight playoff games they have had this year Lehtonen has been in 6 and Niemi 3 which each being pulled out of a game. All these problems add up to disaster tonight for Dallas. We get St. Louis at a very short price tonight of 130 my system has them being close to a 170/165 favorite. I also recommend put a small portion of your bankroll on the Blues at plus 225 on the minus 1and half line so there is value there as well.