Starting pitchers are Kyle Gibson for the hosts and Blake Snell for the visitors. Kyle Gibson appeared to right the ship on Saturday as he picked up the win against the Orioles, throwing 7 strong innings allowing 3 runs on just 4 hits with 9 strikeouts to 4 walks. While we aren't completely convinced in Gibson's best season of his career, he does get a relatively easy matchup against a gutted Rays team that we believe is punching above their weight a bit. On the other side, Blake Snell IS someone we believe in and despite a large disparity between his ERA (2.09) and xFIP (3.48), he gets a favourable matchup against the left handed heavy lineup of the Twins. The Rays bullpen is lacking a bit but we believe Snell will handle most of the work tonight and the Twins' relievers have been nothing short of excellent in the past month and may have a top 3 bullpen in the AL behind the Astros and Yankees. We made this total 7.5!
One for free——go with this ————LA ISLA BONITA shouldn’t be favourite, because she was well beaten off this mark last time out and before winning a weak race she had appeared exposed. CHETAN ran a bit awkwardly at Windsor, but that could have been down to the track. One this is certain here, and that’s Joshua Bryan will be keen to lead on the six year old. If they do let him go then he’s going to be hard to peg back on a track which suits front runners.
Starting pitchers are Dylan Bundy for the hosts and Sonny Gray for the visitors. Sonny Gray has been an enigma for the Yankees since he was acquired midseason last year and surely the organization as well as the fans' patience is wearing thin by now but one indisputable fact is that he is much more comfortable away from Yankees Stadium, even in hitter friendly environments such as Camden Yards. Perhaps it's purely psychological with Gray but in any case, his groundball heavy style in addition to his deep arsenal or pitches should suit him well against a largely undisciplined Orioles lineup that's one of the worst in the league hitting-wise, in addition to poor walk rates and strikeout rates. On the other side, Dylan Bundy has been terribly inconsistent and isn't in the best of form but we believe he hasn't been as bad as his last 2 starts would indicate and his tinkering with his pitch selection is a move in the right direction. The Yankees are always a dangerous lineup but we believe we see Bundy at his best here against their division rival. Bullpens weren't as sharp yesterday but the Yankees relievers are still among the best in the league while the Orioles' have shown improvement of late with some new faces. In any case, this total is a tick too high in our opinion!
Want our thoughts on this match ——— Their is a good argument to suggest France have similar attributes to England. By that we mean they are a young and talented side. And, they have been improving game to game. We must admit Les Bleues didn’t impress us at all in the early rounds, and they have been a little fortunate in some matches. With that said, while Didier Deschamps side were given the goals against Uruguay, their is no doubt they were the better team. We could also apply the same argument to the 4-3 win over Argentina, although if anything the one goal difference could have been bigger. On a positive note, France haven’t needed to go over the distance, meaning energy levels shouldn’t be an issue. Furthermore, they have a solid combination of youth and experience, plus a decent bench. The question now is can they improve again, and can they outscore a big hitting Belgium. Roberto Martinez’s side won all five matches in normal time, so like with France they have no excuse tonight. In the last round, The Red Devils sent tournament favourites Brazil packing. Our match notes say they were great in the first half but left clinging on at the end. In fact, their opponents had many opportunities to score goals, and Belgium rode heavily on their luck. Prior to that Martinez’s men needed a 94th minute winner against Japan, and winning their group matches wasn’t a big thing! CONCLUSION We can understand why France are the slight favourites for this match, but they are up against one of the highest scoring teams in the tournament. Player for player Belgium are at least the equals of Les Bleues, and you would certainly trust them to score. To be straight, we are on the fence about which team will progress, but we do imagine plenty of goals. Ask us for a score at the end of 90 minutes, and we would take 2-2. More certain than that in our opinion is over 2.5 goals!
Here is a WTA premium bet on the house ———— It’s amazing to believe that these two girls are in the last eight. Afterall, neither had a positive record on grass going into this tournament. We are finding it hard to believe that Kiki Bertens is playing so well on a surface that shouldn’t suit. However, they say the proof is in the pudding, and beating Pliskova in the last round suggests she’s got this match on her racket. The other thing is the courts are slowing down (getting worn), so in theory Bertens should have a bigger chance than in previous rounds. Julia Goerges is a player we like a lot, and she literally steamrolled yesterdays opponent Vekic. With that said, the German trails her opponent on head to heads (2-0), and from watching these two we would have to go with the Dutch player!
Starting pitchers are Dylan Covey for the hosts and Miles Mikolas for the visitors. After a brief period where Covey appeared to prove he belongs in the major leagues, things came crashing back down to Earth as he's now in the midst of a brutal 4 game stretch where he's allowed 24 runs (22 earned) over 15 innings with a horrendous K/BB ratio of 5/13. Nevertheless, we do have to give Covey some credit as he's faced some tough left handed heavy lineups in the Reds, Rangers and Indians during that span along with the A's, another team that hits extremely well overall. In the Cardinals, Covey at least gets a team that's predominantly right handed and it's worth noting that Covey has been more than respectable both pitching at home and against right handed bats. On the other side, Miles Mikolas enters this game with a 2.63 ERA but we're still not convinced the Japan transplant has what it takes to put these numbers up throughout a full season. with a more realistic xFIP of 3.70, we only give him a marginal advantage over Covey in this situation and furthermore, he should have more than a few left handed bats to contend with in the White Sox lineup. Bullpens aren't reliable for either side but we would rate the hosts' relievers a notch better. All things considered, we only see one way to bet this!
Starting pitchers are Justin Verlander for the hosts and Sean Manaea for the visitors. It's been an historic run for Justin Verlander since he joined the Astros midway through 2017 but he has clearly shown some cracks in the armor of late as he's lost 2 of his last 3 starts with 11 runs allowed in 18.2 innings during that time. The point is that Verlander has been fairly pedestrian when looking at his xFIP which sits at 3.51, over a full run higher than his 2.15 ERA. While Verlander has found a new gear, striking out over 11 batters per 9 innings, he has been aided tremendously by a low BABIP of .242 and an unsustainably high strand rate of 84.0%. There is certainly more regression coming his way in our opinion and the A's present a good opportunity for this to happen as their hitting philosophy is to put the ball in the air and hit it with power, an area Verlander can be susceptible given his high fly ball percentage. Verlander won his start against the A's earlier this season but it's worth mentioning that he wasn't quite invincible that time out, allowing 3 runs with 2 home runs hit against him. On the other side, Sean Manaea carries a similar story as his xFIP of 4.23 is nearly a full run higher than his ERA of 3.33. After a horrendous May, Manaea did appear to get back on track with a terrific June and carried it over into his first start in July with 7 strong inning against the Padres but he faces a right handed heavy Astros that's also the 2nd best hitting team in the league against southpaws. We see runs for both sides!
NOTE - We won’t be taking new WTA Premium Bet clients beyond the end of the current season. Once the new Database and customisation have been added, we plan on selling the current site ————— TODAYS FREE PREMIUM BET: We have always liked Daria Gavrilova, and we expect to see her winning many more tournaments down the coming years. The 21 year old Russian raised her level in the last round to see off grass player Ashleigh Barty, although it has to be said the latter played a bit of a stinker. One rule of betting is don’t rely too much on recent form. With that said, when you see a player really getting into a tournament it would be wise to take note. This years surprise package is Alison Van Uytvanck, a player who came from a set down to beat last seasons champion Garbine Muguruza. If you thought that was a one-off, then just look at what she did to another good grass player Anett Kontaveit (6-2 6-3) in the next round. If our eyes are not deceiving us the red head is playing at the top of her game, so it’s more a case of trusting her to go forwards.
Announcement - Chances are we won’t be offering our Premium racing service to anyone beyond current contract periods. That means, those who already booked to the end of the year will have that period honoured, and those who book by the month will not be renewed beyond their current subscription. While we don’t have to explain ourselves, lets just say the main reason is it’s economically unviable. In short, we simply make more by betting ourselves, and we can’t give up a couple of hours everyday to write a preview ——— TODAYS BET - We have to give a second chance to CHEF DE TROUPE. While the five year old ran poor on his British/hurdling debut, he was very decent on the flat. In fact, when trained by Alain Couétil in France he was rated 40.5, and for the record that’s equivalent to about 93UK. Suffice to say, if he can translate half of that to hurdles he should be able to beat the likes of BEACH BREAK. Richard Johnson is a good booking and trainer Dr Richard Newland is in fine form.
Starting pitchers are Corey Oswalt for the hosts and Aaron Nola for the visitors. Aaron Nola looks primed for his breakout season as he enters this game at 11-2 with a 2.41 ERA on the season thus far. Nola's xFIP is a bit higher bt still very much elite at 3.28 and his peripherals are fantastic across the board. However, Nola has struggled consistently throughout his career both on the road and against left handed batters and this year has been no different as his xFIP in that situation is a fairly pedestrian 4.44. It's already been a forgettable season for the Mets as they've been plagued by injuries but they hit right handers reasonably well and should be able to stack their lineup with left handers to exploit Nola's weakness. On the other side, young Corey Oswalt has had rough go of it in his rookie season and while he isn't as bad as his 7.94 ERA indicates, the Phillies should present a challenge with their well balanced lineup with speed and power. Bullpens are below league average for both sides so given the circumstances, we feel 7.5 is a tick too low despite the pitcher-friendly ballpark!
Starting pitchers are Eduardo Rodriguez for the hosts and Mike Minor for the visitors. Most of you should know by now our high opinion of Eduardo Rodriguez and he gets a fairly straightforward matchup tonight against a Rangers lineup that can hit for some power but are a bit hamstrung with too many left handed bats. Rodriguez has been death on lefties this year with an xFIP of 3.08 against them and while that number hasn't been as consistent at home, we believe it's simply short term variance as he's only faced 40 batters in that situation. Mike Minor is another southpaw and he has quietly put up 5 consecutive quality starts and faces a Red Sox team that doesn't hit lefties quite as well. The Rangers also have some good lefty options in the bullpen to back Minor up should he struggle and the Red Sox have one of the top bullpens in the league as well. We believe this total is a tick too high!