|Having finished "in the black" eight of the past nine months, Burns was well on his way to an equally big September. He's still a tidy 66-56-1 this month, but has definitely hit a rare rough patch. BOUNCE BACK TIME!|
MLB | Sep 30, 2014
Oakland A's vs. Kansas City Royals
Kansas City Royals
-123 at BETONLINE
|Play Type: Top Premium|
I'm playing on KANSAS CITY. I expect emotions to be high at Kauffman Stadium Tuesday night as the Royals host their first playoff game in nearly 30 years. While emotion alone can't carry the home team to victory in the American League Wild Card matchup, I believe James Shields can and will.
Oakland was among the worst teams in baseball over the last month of the season. That's certainly not the way you want to go into the postseason. Lately, they struggled to even beat the bad teams. They lost five of seven games to the last place Rangers in the last two weeks.
The A's are not a great, or even good, road team. They are the only American League team in the playoffs that doesn't have a winning road record. That makes going into a hostile environment even more difficult.
They (Oakland) have also been terrible as underdogs this season. They were 3-18 when not favored on the money line. The Royals are 19-7 as a home favorite of -125 or less.
Kansas City went 5-2 this year against the A's, all of those games coming in the second half of the season. Much will be made of the fact that Jon Lester was the starter in both Oakland wins and will be the starter in this winner take all matchup as well. But it's not like Lester was lights out in either of those outings. He allowed three runs both times, in 12.2 innings, and 15 hits.
Given the lack of hitting for Oakland down the stretch, three runs here might be too much to overcome. In order to get Lester, the team had to give up Yeonis Cespedes. Ever since then, the lineup has suffered. The team has hit only .233 since the All Star Break and has just 48 home runs.
Two years ago, the Royals traded for James Shields so that they could have a front line ace. He hasn't disappointed. He finished 2014 with a 14-8 record in 34 outings. He had a 3.21 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 180 strikeouts in 227 innings. He had a 2-0 team start record vs. Oakland.
Defense and the bullpen are two big advantages for Kansas City. They have a number of Gold Glove-caliber players in the field and catcher Salvador Perez may be the best defensive catcher in baseball. If the Royals have the lead going into the late innings, then its probably over as setup men Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis have each posted scoreless streaks of more than 30 innings. Closer Greg Holland is the reason the team lead the AL in converting 82 percent of all save opportunities.
But if Oakland has the lead going into the late innings, the Royals are not out of it. The A's bullpen blew 21 saves this year. 10* main event.
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Ben Burns burst onto the sports betting scene in the 1990s, first making his selections available to the public in 1998. Now entering his tenth year, Ben has become one of the most successful and well-respected handicappers on the entire Internet.
From 1998 to 2006, Ben had his selections documented by the Big Guy Sports Monitor. During that time, he accumulated numerous seasonal titles in all the major sports. In fact, competing against a field of 150, Ben's NFL selections still rank as #1 of all-time there. With such a commanding lead over the field, it is highly unlikely that his all-time NFL record there will ever be matched.
Like all handicappers, Ben goes through both hot and cold streaks. However, whether winning or losing, he always "tells it like it is." Perhaps more importantly, as his many fans are quick to point out, Ben's winning weeks tend to greatly outnumber his losing ones. Note that Ben followed up an extremely strong 2006 with an even better campaign in 2007!
Ben is known as a "Totals Expert" and his over/under plays are highly sought after in all sports. In addition to his "total" success, Ben's "sides" are also known for their sizzling hot streaks. While he advocates playing all his selections equally, Ben's knack for nailing his "Big" plays is truly remarkable.
Ben capped off a highly successful college football season by winning his Bowl Game of the Year, a 41-10 wire-to-wire destruction on Georgia over Hawaii. Ben's NFL playoffs didn't go as well though and he lost his first ever Super Bowl selection, when the Patriots were upset by the Giants. Despite that rare setback, Ben's Super Bowl record remains at 10-1 for his career. Additionally, his NFL playoff picks remain a powerful 47-22 (68%) ATS the past six years. Ben isn't just a football expert though, as his hockey, baseball AND basketball picks are also highly respected.
Ben logs extremely long hours. His hard work clearly shows itself in his high quality writeups and extraordinary long-term records. If you're looking for an honest, hard-working handicapper with a documented history of success, give Ben Burns a try. We're sure that you'll be impressed!