Listing pitchers aren't really necessary here as the starters only go an inning or two in the All Star Game but also by the same token, it's highly unlikely that either starter is scratched as they could be during the regular season. Nevertheless, the starters are slated to be Max Scherzer for the NL and Chris Sale for the AL and despite playing in a National League Ballpark (Nationals Park), the American League will be the hosts and bat 2nd and the game will be played with American League rules, meaning the use of the DH. The reason for this relates to the short-lived and terrible experiment of awarding the winner of the league in this game home field advantage in the World Series, which was thankfully ended last season. But without dwelling too much on that minor detail, we believe the game has returned to what it was meant to be, an exhibition game. Of course that's not to say that neither side cares about winning as all players and coaches are highly competitive but the focus has returned to getting every player and pitcher into the game. Without going into too much detail about every single player on both rosters, what we can tell you is that the American League is the better hitting team by far, as they have 6 of the top 9 hitters in baseball as measured by wRC+. The AL also has the more right handed heavy lineup and roster which should benefit them in Nationals Park which is much more favoured toward them. By that same token, the Nationals start 4 left handed hitters in their starting 9 which should be at a disadvantage against one of the premier southpaws in the game, Chris Sale. Home field advantage is virtually nonexistent in an exhibition game such as this which is why the AL is favoured comfortably here. However, we believe there are too many unpredictable matchups late in the game and quite frankly, we're not too fond of some of the relievers selected to this game that will all likely make an appearance at some point. Home runs being hit in record numbers in recent years can't be ignored either as rumours swirl of a juiced ball. There is some rain in the forecast but aside from that slight concern, we're of the belief that this number is a half run too low!
Not much to get our teeth into today - Nevertheless, we have three and here is one for free ——— KAJAKI needs further than this, while SEA YOUMZAIN won’t find it easy from a mark of 85. MUTADAFFEQ is consistent, but we can’t have him has favourite. In fact, despite running a bit below par last time out, we believe Iain Jardine’s runner ATKINSON GRIMSHAW should fill that position. The four year old ran an excellent race at Ayr on his debut for the yard, and he gives the impression their is more to come. This is easier than the race he contested last time, and stepping up in trip ticks the right box.
We have five bets for day one in Gstaad and here in Bucharest. Since the Swiss tournament is starting early, we thought it a good idea to start with this match ——— Head to heads have the Columbian leading 3-1, and their only meeting on clay ended 6-1 6-0. To be fair that was five years back, albeit both players are at a similar level to then. The Dutch girl comes into this on the back of a QF at last weeks Contrexeville, she’s also a positive 26/21 on the year, and her record on clay suggests this is her favoured surface. However, Mariana Duque Marino shouldn’t be underestimated. Afterall, she’s a solid 29-17 YTD, and 27 of those wins came on clay (8 defeats). We should also add she’s 67.4% (281/136) on this surface down the years and she recently won an ITF in Hungary. We should also point out she beat Sevastova at this years French open, and their was another tournament win in Charlottesville. While Duque Marino struggled was defeated by Dalma Galfi in her most recent match in Budapest, maybe she just used that ITF to prep for here. In any case, she should do much better today and a match like this looks winnable.
To be honest we don’t know which one of five to give for free today, because their are several at shortish odds like this. Betting racing is playing the numbers game, and if you are getting 2/1 on a coin flip you should always take it - That’s the case with this selection!————— PREVIEW: That’s a bollocks of a handicap mark given to MELODY OF SCOTLAND. In fact, it’s something new to us seeing an ex French horse going up in the ratings following his English debut. Suffice to say, i’ll be on Betfair laying the under priced Geraghty runner. RED TORNADO is a very solid alternative, because Dan Skelton’s six year old knows how to win and he’s on a very fair mark. Furthermore, he will like this track and the dead two miles will suit him more than most!
Starting pitchers are Miles Mikolas for the hosts and Anthony DeSclafani for the visitors. Despite a sparkling 2.65 ERA, we've never been too convinced by the recent Japanese transplant and we have doubts he can sustain even his 3.68 xFIP throughout the rest of the season. Mikolas has benefited from a low BABIP and HR/FB ratio and he gets a tough assignment against a Reds team that's been one of the best hitting clubs the past month and a half and can stack their lineup with left handed bats that Mikolas struggles against. Mikolas' poor splits are actually more pronounced at home as his xFIP against lefties at Busch Stadium sits at 4.13 compared to 2.61 against righties. On the other side, Anthony DeSclafani has been battered by the long ball but otherwise has shown promise since returning from a sprained UCL. DeSclafani gets a good hitting Cardinals team but one that's predominantly right handed that should suit DeSclafani and one that just recently fired their manager Mike Matheny after an underwhelming 47-45 record through 92 games. We'd begun to see some rifts in the locker room and lackadaisacal attitudes on the field and we're of the opinion that it gets worse before it gets better after the firing. The Cardinals bullpen has been in shambles lately and again cost the hosts the win last night while the Reds' relievers have been fantastic of late. With 2 teams going in opposite directions, these odds are too good to pass up on the visitors!
Starting pitchers are Lucas Giolito for the hosts and Burch Smith for the visitors. Lucas Giolito has easily been one of the worst starters in baseball this year so it's a bit strange to see him as a moderate favourite here but he does face a Royals team that's almost completely devoid of talent at the moment and on pace for a historically bad season. The Royals enter this game at 27-67 on the year and have a team wRC+ of just 48 since June 1st with the 2nd worst team in that regard, the Tigers, with a wRC+ of 72 for perspective. The Royals as a team have hit under .200 during that span with an OBP under .250 and slugging percentage under .300, all 3 being unique to only them. Giolito should also benefit from facing a mostly right handed lineup of which he's done considerably better against compared to left handers. We won't dwell too much on Burch Smith as he isn't expected to throw more than a few innings in what's been announced as a bullpen day for the Royals. What we will say is that the Royals' bullpen has much like their team in general, been historically bad this season, consistently having the worst SIERA in the league and even more so since trading away their best reliever and closer Kelvin Herrera to the Nationals. Giolito is coming off perhaps his best start of the season last time out as he gave up just 2 runs in 7.1 innings against the powerhouse Astros albeit in a losing effort. Nevertheless, we have to imagine this situation is about as ideal as it could be for Giolito to succeed as one of his major issues this season has been allowing 5.29 walks per 9 innings and the Royals have the 2nd lowest walk rate against right handers! Hosts as modest favourites is the bet!
Its the Wimbledon final, so its for free ——— It’s Interesting that most pundits are picking Serena in straight sets. Afterall, she’s not really beaten much this week, and this is going to be her biggest test yet. With so many grand slam wins to her name Serena is clearly the favourite. However, she has shown nerves, and her win against Giorgi was a close one. What Serena will be relying on more than anything is her serve, albeit it’s not at the same level has a few years back. And, while we have to accept that the American is the best woman’s player of all time, she’s getting older and a mother now. From what we have seen Serena has the class, but like we say this is her biggest test to date. Angelique Kerber has been going from strength to strength, and she saved her best for the last round against Ostapenko. To be honest we have never rated Kerber has a big time player, but we have always said she’s got the toughest mentality out there. What Kerber won’t want to do is let Serena get an early break, because the 36 year old is hard to peg back when getting ahead. However, we believe Kerber has better condition, so chasing the ball and making sure Serena needs to work could be key! We shall take Kerber with a 3 game start.
OK OK - WE hear you —— Here is a free PREMIUM SYNDICATE BET, don’t expect this service everyday!! ————We never really understood the motives of Betting Syndicate owner Matthew Benham acquiring Midtjylland. Afterall, the Danish Superliga isn’t bringing in big crowds or money, thus it’s really hard to understand what can be done with such a club. With that said, maybe Benham believes his Smart odds analysts can identify players to turn a profit. And, while such a method is unlikely to endear the fans, we have noticed that the Wolves tend to sell their most valuable players. On that note, unlike with most Super liga clubs, Midtjylland have been very active in the transfer market. In fact, their is a total of 15 new players, albeit two have returned from loan and another four promoted from the U-19 academy. Players bought in include Dominick Drexler (2.5 million), Joel Andersson (1.3 million), Erik Sviatchenko (1.15 million), Sammy Skytte (500K) and Ayo Simon Okosun (400k). To finance these acquisitions Andreas Poulson was sold to Borussia Monchengladbach for 4.5 Million. No doubt the hosts will again be chasing the championship, and of course they have Champions league football too. A good run in that will bolster the coffers, but for today it’s a moderate Aarhus. At one stage last season, the visitors appeared to be heading to the lower league. History shows they survived that scare, so you would at least expect this former top club to do something about it. However, the fact is zero investment in new players and more leaving the club than coming in. The hosts won 9 from their last 13 meetings with todays rival, and that includes a 1-3 and 4-0 last season. Suffice to say it will be extremely disappointing if Jess Thorups side can’t get off to a good start. Nevertheless, we go with -1 (asian h’cap), because we don’t want to tempt fate.
Both managers are telling us that their teams are fully motivated for this third place play-off. Only time will tell us if that’s true has both are coming into this on the back of big disappointments. Belgium looked like they were going to give France a good match in the semi final, but they appeared to run out of ideas. In fact, after missing several good chances in the first half, it was all Les Bleues in the second period and has such France were deserving winners. What Belgium have in their advantage is a day more to recover, and they didn’t have to play extra time like their opponents in the semi’s. Add to that, the Red Devils have already beaten the Three Lions during the group phase, albeit both managers used their B team that day. To say we were really disappointed with England in losing to Croatia is an understatement. While many have been looking to take the positives out of England’s progress into the last four, we see it has a massive opportunity missed. Afterall, England were all over the Vatreni during the first half of that match, and Harry Kane missed what should have been an easy target to take England into a 2-0 lead. What was even more concerning is that Croatia got dirty and out muscled their opponents in the second half, and this group of softies let them take over the play. Unforgivable what England produced the other night. If this game is played on merit, only Belgium can take the bronze!
Stands out, second free Premium bet ———David Elsworth’s horses have become more consistent than ever, and his DASH OF SPICE is clearly a good one. The favourite is also 4 pounds well in on official figures, and their is no reason to believe he will have stopped improving. Under the circumstances we believe odds of 4/1 are decent enough, especially since several of the other runners look weighted up to the hilt. Next best is THUNDERING BLUE, albeit he’s not exactly thrown in!
Have this one on us - Based on his last run, OCCUPY is the one to be on. Afterall, he didn’t get the best of runs, and he wasn’t given a very positive ride. With that said, he still appeared a bit green and in our opinion he can only get better. Odds of around 5/1 appear very big for a horse that comes from such an in form stable. CROSS COUNTER is very decent and should run his race, it’s just that he’s giving 13 pounds!