Team news is a bit unclear with Marseille are reporting Rolando has doubtful. While, the visitors are suggesting Haidara and Leitgeb would need to pass a fitness test. Confirmed absentee’s for the host includes Mandanda (first choice GK), Kamara and Sakai. The latter was injured during the weekends 5-1 win over Lille. Olympique have been in really good form of late, and with four league matches remaining they are just one point behind second placed Monaco plus they share 69 points with Lyon. Suffice to say, next seasons Champions league is a possibility and they have two chances of making that competition. Firstly a top three finish in the French league would work, and so would winning this competition! With five league matches remaining Salzburg are eleven points clear of the pack in the Austrian Bundesliga. We can also say they are guaranteed Champions league football for next year, so they can fully concentrate on this competition for now. The visitors turned around a first leg deficit (4-2) to send Lazio (4-1) packing in the last round. Prior to that they had beaten Dortmund (1-2) over two legs and Real Sociedad in the previous round. Even more interestingly they topped Group I of this competition during the group stage, and todays opponent finished 4 points behind in second. When the pair met in this stadium the match ended 0-0, and Marco Rose’s team won the reverse leg 1-0. Salzburg defied the odds in two earlier matches against Marseille, and it’s has though the bookmakers . Nevertheless, the bookmakers are not taking the chance seriously, but we will be doing.
PREMIUMBET - Take this one for free - If you want our 11/1, 5/1 and 7/2 shot get in touch email@example.com - POSH TOTTY is the winner of 14/35 of her point to point races. Jack Barber’s eleven year old has beaten the likes of serial winner Master Baker, and todays jockey was 2 from 3 on her when she was an amateur. While the selection hasn’t been particularly effective over hurdles, she wouldn’t really be cut out for that game. Another factor is her trainer has his string in much better form now, and she’s receiving a whopping 29 pounds from the favourite ROLL THE DOUGH. Last but not least the selection won most of her races at this time of the year (April), so she could be about to peak!
FREE PREMIUM BET - We have seven PREMIUM BETS today + a rare MAX bet for premium subscribers. We might add another for FREE if we get plenty of clicks ————— We have to recognise that in yesterdays match Anett Kontaveit was brave enough to fend off two match points on her way to beating Kristina Mladenovic. However, while the match itself was very tight we were ultimately disappointed with her opponent. We are of the opinion it will be difficult for Kontaveit to follow such a tough match with a win against Angelique Kerber. It’s fair to point out that the 2016 winner was beaten at last years Rome by her opponent. However, Kerber wasn’t in the best of form at the time. What we can certainly say is she looked really good in the first round in beating Petra Kvitova. In theory, Kerber should be suited by her opponent has she likes playing big hitters. By that we mean Kerber is a defensive player who likes to use her opponents power to generate her shots. We are going with Kerber to win in straight sets.
Starting pitchers are Jake Junis for the hosts and Lucas Giolito for the visitors. Junis and Giolito have trended in opposite directions for their respective teams as Junis enters with a 3-1 record and a 2.03 ERA while Giolito sits at 0-3 with an ugly 9.00 ERA. Still, we don't see the gap as too far between the two young prospects and we're having a hard time justifying the hosts as such sizable favourites when both teams should end the season with similar records at the bottom of the AL Central. Giolito's really had the one bad outing against one of the best hitting teams in the league in the Astros and in fact put up a quality start against this same Royals team in the 2nd game of the season. Both bullpens are as bad as it gets so we'll just call it honors even there and while Jose Abreu is questionable for the visitors, we still believe there's enough firepower in the White Sox lineup to make this close to a 50/50 game in our opinion! Attractive odds for the visitors!
Starting pitchers are Dylan Bundy for the hosts and Chris Archer for the visitors. Bundy looks primed for a breakout season as the young prospect is now 5 starts deep into the season and enters tonight with a 1.42 ERA and hasn't allowed more than 2 ER in any of his starts this year. Bundy's kept the walks to a minimum and keeps pounding out strikeouts and perhaps his best stat is the single home run he's allowed in 31.2 innings of work. Against a weak and undisciplined Rays team, we don't see the young right hander having too much trouble here and the Baltimore bullpen has had its ups and downs but we still believe the Orioles' strength lies in their pitching this year. On the other side, we've been extremely critical of Archer this year and taken him on on more than one occasion this year and he has been as we expected as he enters tonight's matchup with a 6.59 ERA. Still, we have very little faith in the Orioles' hitters right now and a 4 run "outburst" last night doesn't change any of that. 7.5 is a low total for Camden Yards but we can't resist at these odds!
Starting pitchers are Carlos Martinez for the hosts and Noah Syndergaard for the visitors. The rubber game of a 3 game series as the Mets won Game 1 in extra innings 6-5 and the Cardinals took Game 2 rather handily 9-1 last night. The Cardinals have been one of the hottest teams in baseball as they've now won 9 of their last 11 games and Martinez enters this matchup with a sparkling 1.42 ERA and didn't allow a run in his last 2 starts over 13 innings of work. Syndergaard hasn't been as efficient with a 3.29 ERA and is coming off a no decision against the Braves where he allowed 3 runs in 6 IP. These pitchers faced off in the 2nd game of the season and neither fared too well though it was Syndergaard that came away with the win. Still, this time around, the Cards' bats are much more alive and we rate Martinez the better pitcher as he looks to have shaken off the early season jitters. Our only concern is the St Louis bullpen but we believe Martinez will be up to the task here and pitch deep into the game minimizing the relievers' role! Hosts should be the clear favourite here in our opinion!
Please note - this is not a premium bet-------------We find it real hard to rate Bayern, because at the end of the day they play in a non competitive league. The runaway Bundesliga champions are rarely tested by teams domestically, albeit this is a different level. What we can say is 72 year old coach Jupp Heynckes has done a wonderful job to get Bayern to the semi final. And, his team clearly start this home fixture in excellent shape. Nevertheless, we should recognise that it’s been like the parting of the Red Sea for the hosts to make it this far. By that we mean beating Sevilla (2-1 agg.) and Besiktas doesn’t add up much, and bare in mind they only finished second to PSG at the group stage! Real Madrid won back to back Champions leagues, and they appear motivated enough to go close again. With that said, Zinedine Zidane’s side are just third in their own league, and it should be noted that they are a whopping 15 points behind Barcelona. The visitors have been indifferent in this seasons CL, and it’s a fact that they could only finish second to Tottenham in the group stage. However, even more concerning is how they played against Juventus in the reverse (quarter final). Afterall, they let a 3-0 advantage slip and they were only saved by a contentious injury time winner! Heynckes is still without Neuer, Coman and Vidal, while Tolisso and Alaba remain doubts. Only Nacho is missing for the visitors. PREDICTION First legs can often be cagey affairs. However, like we saw with yesterdays between Liverpool and Roma teams are compelled to utilise home advantage. With that in mind we can only believe both sides will go for it and gaols will fall!
Three sent out to subscribers - we are giving you this one for free today! - BLOW BY BLOW is the top rated, but we are not buying into that. BALLYWARD has plenty to find with the selection, while JETZ finds winning tough. NEXT DESTINATION comes from a top stable and he’s playing at home. However, we prefer Colin Tizzard’s runner KILBRICKEN STORM. The trainer should have had two second places from his two runners here yesterday, although one was unfortunately carried out by another jockeys mistake. The seven year old is a massive improver, and he comes into this having won the Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham festival. Since the son of Oscar won on a right handed track we don’t have to worry about that, and conditions appear spot on!
Here is a free premium bet - subscribers have 7 today! ———Both girls haven’t really reached the heights expected of them, so in some ways that has to be disappointing. With regards to Carina Witthoeft, she simply fails to close out matches like she should. Maybe it’s a lack of focus on her part that turns matches into ordeals. In any case, it mat was again evident in qualifying. In the second round she dropped the first set to little known Anna Zaja. And, then after winning the first set she was beaten by Marketa Vondrousova. Luckily for her she gets another go has a lucky loser, but our faith in Witthoeft is around zero. Minor injuries could be an excuse for slowing down Zarina Diyas, but on a positive note she’s at least winning again. In fact, she defied the odds to beat good clay courter Kaia Kanepi in the last round of qualification. Diyas is certainly nimble enough to handle this surface, and she clearly likes playing in Stuttgart! Diyas is 11-7 on the year, and more interestingly she leads her opponent 2-0 on head to heads. Since one of those was on clay, she also ticks that box. We don’t see the German has favourite here, so the bet is clear!
Starting pitchers are Michael Wacha for the hosts and Steven Matz for the visitors. Steven Matz should have an advantage by simply setting foot on the mound as the Cardinals have really struggled against southpaws this season, compiling an OPS of .651 which is over 100 points lower than their OPS against right handers at .774. However, Matz has been largely ineffective this year and his average outing has lasted a little over 4 innings of work over 4 starts and he will likely face a lineup consisting of all right handed batters save for Matt Carpenter. Michael Wacha's career trajectory appears to have plateaued after much hype early in his career and despite a brilliant outing against the Mets last season, he struggled mightily in the 2nd game of this season, allowing 4 runs on 5 hits over 4.2 innings of work. Wacha has had control issues as well, allowing 11 walks to just 15 strikeouts and we don't particularly trust the bullpen behind him either. All things considered, we see more runs tonight!
Starting pitchers are Doug Fister for the hosts and Kendall Graveman for the visitors. Fister had a nice 2017 campaign to follow up his underwhelming 2016 season but there is a reason that no one signed him until the Red Sox were desperate for starting pitching. At 33 years of age, there isn't much left for Fister and his limited success in half a season last year was a bit of smoke and mirrors in our opinion. Fister faces an Athletics team that's found it's groove and is hitting the ball well, having won 8 of their last 9 games including taking 2 of 3 from the Red Sox over the weekend. On the other side, Kendall Graveman has been a failure this year with a 10.07 ERA and we're not convinced he's completely back from his injury. As both bullpens are rather underwhelming themselves, we can't see anything but runs here from both sides!
Starting pitchers are Brandon Finnegan for the hosts and Matt Wisler for the visitors. Despite some high expectations for Brandon Finnegan, he has yet to deliver this season as he's been roughed up for 9 runs on 11 hits over 7.1 innings of work in 2 starts this year. While the talent is still there, it appears he's simply not all the way back yet from the myriad of shoulder injuries that have derailed his career thus far. On the other side, Matt Wisler was expected to be stashed in the minor leagues but showed his brilliance in his only start this year against the Mets, allowing just 1 run on 2 hits over 7 innings of work and earned himself at least another start for the Braves. Wisler has an elite arsenal of pitches and should not have too many issues against a toothless Reds lineup, despite the Reds having taken both games in this series thus far and scoring 19 runs in the process. We like the young prospect to quiet the hosts' bats and as both bullpens are in shambles after the first 2 games, we consider it honors even in that regard. Even Raisel Iglesias, the Reds' reliable closer was touched up yesterday and could be vulnerable after working 2 games in a row. Visitors to get one back tonight!