The Indians historically are a phenomenal bounce-back team after a loss. Last year, they were among the league leaders in this category and, after getting blown out Tuesday, I look for manager Terry Francona to continue this trend. Lance Barksdale is umping this contest, and he has a 250-164 money-line record on home teams. This is reasonable price with Trevor Bauer (2.67 ERA) on the mound for the Indians. He has given up a modest five runs in his past three starts against the Cubs.
15-4 IN LAST 19 MLB PICKS | +1234
The Thunder are fortunate they dodged a suspension for Russell Westbrook following his altercation with Jazz center Rudy Gobert late in Game 4. The Jazz have taken control of the series with three straight dominant performances. Oklahoma City played a solid first half in Game 4, but wilted amid Utah's physicality and execution on the second half. Even so, I expect an inspired Westbrook and friends to play their best game of the series Wednesday and find a way to send it back to Utah.
8-1 IN LAST 9 NBA PICKS | +699
One thing the Cavaliers haven't yet proved is that they are capable of creating separation against the Pacers. Cleveland's two wins are by seven points combined and it was fortunate to escape Indiana with a 104-100 victory in Game 4. The Pacers had a chance to win despite shooting 43 percent and facing another double-figure halftime deficit. Kyle Korver helped the Cavaliers with some huge 3s down the stretch, but finding a consistent second source of production to augment LeBron James remains an issue. The value is still on the underdog Wednesday even with an adjusted number.
The White Sox were the worst-rated offense in the game before blowing up for 10 runs on the Mariners on Monday. But they came back down to earth on Tuesday, getting shut out. They've scored 74 runs in 20 games, but 35 of those came in three huge outbursts. The Sox have scored two or fewer in eight of their last 10 games. Expect another low number against veteran ace Felix Hernandez, who's settling down after a rough start. Only one player on the Sox roster has faced King Felix more than five times -- Jose Abreu, and he's 2-for-14 lifetime. With James Shields yet to find his form for Chicago, go with Seattle on the road.
26-15 IN LAST 41 MLB PICKS | +836
The Angels have beaten the Astros the last two days, but this is pitching matchup couldn't favor Houston any more than it does. Justin Verlander's career resurgence has been remarkable -- since joining Houston, he's 8-0 with a 1.08 ERA. That's crazy to bet against at any stage, but consider how successful he's been against this Angels lineup: L.A.'s batters are a lifetime .096 against him; Albert Pujols and Mike Trout are a combined 3-for-35. Ian Kinsler is the only Angles batter with a career average higher than .111 -- he's 1-for-4. Against Nick Tropeano, who allowed five runs over 5.1 innings in his last start, take the Astros even at the steep price.
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