STL vs CIN Free PicksCardinals vs Reds Free Pick
It didn't take long for top prospect Billy Hamilton to make his presence

Hamilton and the Cincinnati Reds go for a fourth consecutive win over the slumping St. Louis Cardinals as these NL Central rivals meet again Wednesday night at Great American Ball Park.

After entering as a pinch runner in the seventh inning, Hamilton stole his
first base and then came around to score on Todd Frazier's double in Tuesday's 1-0 victory. The 22-year-old outfielder, who set a professional baseball single-season record by stealing 155 bases between Class A and Double-A in 2012, was called up the previous day.

"He (manager Dusty Baker) said, 'I need you to get to second base,'" Hamilton
said after his thrilling big league debut. "I was like, 'OK, I got you.'

"That's my job - stealing in important situations. This was a real big
situation - a pennant race."

Hamilton's speed could make a big impact down the stretch. He was hitting
.256 with six homers and 75 stolen bases in 123 games with Triple-A Louisville
before getting called up.

"Watching Billy run - I can watch that every day," Frazier said.

The Reds (78-61) had dropped 10 of 14 to the Cardinals before taking the last
three meetings by an 18-2 margin. Cincinnati is now 1 1/2 games behind St. Louis
(79-59) for the NL's top wild-card spot and second place in the division.

The Cardinals have hit .176 and been outscored 32-10 in losing five of six.
Matt Carpenter singled twice Tuesday, providing both the team's hits.

Infielder Daniel Descalso is mired in a 3-for-32 slump, Jon Jay is 4 for his 
last 26 and Allen Craig is hitless in his last 10 at-bats.

"We've got an offense that's played a lot of games this year and done
extremely well," manager Mike Matheny said. "You can't start trying to reinvent
the wheel."

Matheny's club, though, could bounce back against Bronson Arroyo (13-10, 3.66 ERA).
The right-hander is 8-16 with a 4.65 ERA in 35 starts versus St. Louis, by far his most
losses against any opponent.

Arroyo, 1-8 in his last 13 matchups against the Cardinals, is looking to avoid a fifth
consecutive loss in the series after surrendering a season high-tying seven runs in
3 2-3 innings in a 13-3 defeat Aug. 2.

"As good as they can be and as much as they grind at-bats, it's very difficult to kind
of keep those guys down," he told MLB's official website. "They got a good ball club,
and they just beat me around the ballpark."

Matt Holliday is 14 for his last 40 with four homers and four doubles versus 
Arroyo, and Jay is 14 for 34 with four extra-base hits.

Arroyo was also knocked around Friday, giving up six runs in a season-low 3
1-3 innings in a 9-6 loss at Colorado.

"That's just the way it rolls sometimes," said Arroyo, who saw his season-high
four-start winning streak snapped.

Arroyo could benefit from getting back home, where he is 9-3 with a 3.20 ERA
in 16 outings, 14 of which were quality starts.

The Cardinals counter with Shelby Miller (12-9, 3.13), who is 4-5 with a 4.68
ERA in his last 12 outings. The 22-year-old right-hander labored through 4 1-3
innings in Friday's 5-0 loss at Pittsburgh, surrendering five runs, eight hits
and three walks.

While Miller dropped to 2-5 with a 5.80 ERA in his last nine road starts, one
of those victories came in Cincinnati. He allowed three runs and struck out
eight in five-plus innings opposite Arroyo last month, improving to 1-0 with a
2.45 ERA in two career matchups against the Reds.




The LA Dodgers host the Boston Red Sox in a 3-day series at Dodgers Stadium Friday-Sunday. Phil Vassallo gives you his free pick for Friday's game. Also, we ask what if the Dodgers' brain trust had never pulled off that big trade at the end of August, 2012.

Red Sox Dodgers Big Trade
Let’s make a deal – every time Adrian Gonzalez or Carl Crawford or even Nick
Punto step up to the plate during the Dodgers’ three-game series with the Red
Sox, we think about to about this time a year and wonder: What if?

If the Dodgers’ brain trust wasn’t savvy and wealthy enough to pull off that
waiver-wire deadline deal at the end of August, 2012 and take on all that extra
payroll – including pitcher Josh Beckett – while giving up first baseman James
Loney, infielder Ivan DeJesus Jr., right-handed pitching prospects Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa and outfielder Jerry Sands, where would they be today? 

Maybe the move saved the Red Sox some $270 million in contracts spread out over
2018, but it saved the Dodgers some face. While Beckett has been on the DL most
of this year, Gonzalez, Crawford and Punto have been key ingredients in their
latest surge to the NL West lead. So how’d the Red Sox fare in all this?

The 24-year-old hot shot De La Rosa has finally worked his way onto the roster
recently, but not into the starting rotation – a place the Dodgers were comfortable
in placing him during the 2010 season before he blew out his arm. He remains on
a pitch count as they’re handling him with care two years removed from Tommy
John surgery. Webster remains at Triple-A Pawtucket (5-4, 4.13 ERA after a brief
callup in April, going 1-2 with a 9.57 ERA). Sands and DeJesus were traded to the
Pirates for ineffective reliever Joel Hanrahan, and are still wallowing away at Triple-A
Indianapolis. And, of course, Looney left to join Tampa Bay as a free agent.

Surely, all of this will give the national broadcast teams something to talk on
and on about as the series progresses. If only Manny Ramirez was still part of the
conversation. (You know, he is now available to either team).

Where to watch the series:
Friday 7:10 p.m., Prime
Saturday, 1:10 p.m., Channel FOX 11
Sunday, 5:05 p.m., ESPN


Steve Mikkelson, oddsmaker at the Atlantis Reno, gives his take on the impact of the MLB suspensions. Alex Rodriguez can only impact the Yankees with the constant media circus around him. Nelson Cruz is the only player suspended with real value to moneylines and totals.

New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez will receive the harshest penalty and be
suspended through the end of the 2014 season. Reports indicate A-Rod will
appeal the suspension which will make him eligible to play during the process.

According to Steve Mikkelson, oddsmaker at the Atlantis Reno, Nelson Cruz,
the All-Star outfielder of the Texas Rangers, is the only player with any real
value to moneylines and totals.

"I think that without question, the Rangers are impacted the most,"
"That's a big bat in the middle of that Ranger lineup that is worth about three
or four cents to the moneyline. You'll also see totals come down a little bit as

Cruz was batting .269 with 27 homers and 76 RBIs prior to the suspension.

As for Rodriguez, the oddsmaker doesn't see much impact.

"ARod is done," Mikkelson states. "I don't think it will have a big effect on the
Yankees. It will be more of a media circus on the ball club than anything."

Also suspended was Detroit Tigers SS Jhonny Peralta.

"I don't think Peralta is a real factor," Mikkelson stated.
"They went out and got Jose Iglesias who is a much better fielder and that will
certainly aid Cabrera defensively. Cabrera can't cover anything out there and
Iglesias is a better defensive option than Peralta. Detroit will hit with or
without Peralta in the lineup."

Young San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera was also given a 50-game
suspension by MLB.

"I'm not convinced by Cabrera yet," Mikkelson added. "He's a table setter, he
gets on base and he's got a really good glove, but he's not a game changer."

Other players that have agreed to suspensions are:

Antonio Bastardo, Philadelphia Phillies reliever
Jordany Valdespin, New York Mets outfielder
Francisco Cervelli, Yankees catcher
Jesus Montero, Seattle Mariners catcher
Cesar Puello, New York Mets outfield prospect
Fautino De Los Santos, San Diego Padres pitching prospect
Sergio Escalona, Houston Astros pitching prospect
Fernando Martinez, New York Yankees outfield prospect
Jordan Norberto, free-agent pitcher

PictureYankees preparing for life without A-rod
The Detroit Tigers already acquired Jose Iglesias from the Red Sox to fill in during Jhonny Peralta's upcoming suspension. The Rangers are preparing for life without Nelson Cruz based on their targets. The Yankees are in the same boat with Alex Rodriguez. And according to Jeff Passan, there are several major league players the public doesn't know about that will soon be suspended, and those teams will be forced to react accordingly if it could jeopardize their playoff chances.

It seems like all baseball news has been overshadowed by the looming Biogenesis suspensions and the circus that is Alex Rodriguez‘s, Major League Baseball’s and the New York Yankees’ public feud. Indeed, as this week began it appeared as though today’s trade deadline would be a mere afterthought. Or, if not an afterthought, that it would be subservient to the Biogenesis drama, with teams looking to desperately cover for players they will lose to suspension.

Things have calmed down considerably in the past 24, hours, however.

For one thing, one of the teams that stood to be most adversely affected by
Biogenesis suspensions — the Tigers, who will almost certainly lose Jhonny
— filled their imminent shortstop hole with Jose Iglesias from the Red Sox.
That, combined with the news that baseball is not likely to suspend Bartolo Colon
due to him already having been punished for taking the substances he received
from Biogenesis means that only one team currently in the playoff hunt stands to
lose a significant player. That being the Texas Rangers and Nelson Cruz, according
to multiple reports. Other players named in multiple reports include the Padres’
Everth Cabrera, whose team is not in contention, and Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli,
who is on the 60-day DL with a broken hand. Ryan Braun was suspended for the
remainder of the season, but with his team far from contention, it’s unlikely the Brewers
were going to do anything but sell anyways.

For another — and maybe I’m just imagining this — Major League Baseball
appears to be settling on Friday as D-Day in the Biogenesis mess. Last night
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! reported that the timeframe would be “within the next
72 hours”
— a report that was later confirmed by multiple sources — as opposed
to dropping their bomb at or around today’s 4 p.m. ET trade deadline. Maybe this
is a matter of MLB still having work to do before issuing suspensions. Maybe it’s
a matter of the league wanting to bury bad news on a Friday afternoon like politicians
so often do. But maybe — just maybe — it’s a matter of MLB appreciating that the trade
deadline chatter and commentary is pretty good for its brand and deciding to let
that stuff have the limelight today.

The addition of a second wild card in each league also could be depressing
trade activity, because teams are hesitant to sell while they still are in
contention. Teams still need to sell tickets for the stretch run, and
surrendering before August is no way to do that. Besides, there’s always the
chance that a club goes on a late-season run.

MLB commended Braun for taking responsibility for his actions and said it
wanted to resolve this issue, but otherwise has been publicly silent about the
Biogenesis suspensions. Rodriguez’s attorney, David Cornwell, said in a
radio interview this week that his client planned to fight the suspension.

“When the time comes and baseball does whatever it is going to do, then I
will sit down with Alex and talk to him about the process of the appeal, filing
the appeal and going in and presenting our best evidence that we have — and we
think we have good evidence — to defend his interest, to protect him. That’s
what I expect to be doing,” Cornwell told Stephen A. Smith, who was hosting the
Michael Kay Show.

Rodriguez will always dominate the news, especially in New York. A-Rod would
lead New York sports news for years even if he joined a religious sect that had
him swear off sports, public appearances and money. He’s always the story in
Gotham. But outside of that crazy media environment trades and playoff races
seem to have been thrust to the fore last night and today.

Maybe Major League Baseball will fall back on old bad-P.R. habits and drop
it’s bad news bombs after lunch today. But for now it seems pretty darn
refreshing that we can focus on what’s truly good about baseball than what is,
quite frankly, a major, major drag.

Biogenesis is the dark cloud hanging ominously over baseball that simply won't
go away, but with clarity will also come complications for many contenders. We may
get a good look at how those contenders plan on dealing with their complications in
the next 24 hours.


To be a smart and successful sports gambler you have to stay ahead of news cycle that will drastically impact your wagers. So which player/team will be impacted next? Read on...

We are all now hearing about Ryan Braun and his 65 game suspension. This suspension will undoubtedly effect Milwaukee Brewers' team batting average and their overall odds for the rest of the year. To be a smart and successful sports gambler you have to stay ahead of news cycle that will drastically impact your wagers.

With that said, all eyes turn to next at bat in the Tony Bosch Biogenesis scandal, Alex Rodriguez. So what are the odds that A-Rod will get sucked into this black hole? Well lets examine what we know.

Major League Baseball reeled in a pretty good sized catch Monday with the suspension of Ryan Braun for performance enhancing drug use. It also put the bigger fish, Alex Rodriguez on the hook as baseball considers
what to do about his PED use.

According to ESPN’s Outside the Lines, sources have told the show that the evidence Anthony Bosch gave MLB about A-Rod is “far beyond” what baseball had on Braun. Bosch ran the Biogenesis clinic in Coral Gables that reportedly provided PEDs to several baseball players.

MLB confronted Braun with a lot of evidence documenting his PED usage and Braun’s admission and acceptance of his suspension gives the claims made by Bosch much more credibility.

According to ESPN, Braun had an “ongoing pattern of significant PED use.” also reported that MLB had receipts and many other documents to back up their allegations against Braun. ESPN also reported A-Rod may have interfered with the investigation.

A-Rod hasn’t played in a game this year while rehabbing from hip surgery and he also suffered another injury last week while playing in minor league rehabilitation games.

If MLB comes down hard on A-Rod, which it will, the question is will Rodriguez ever play in the majors again?


Home Run Derby Highlights of the night

Prince Fielder hits a home run in slow motion:

Mike Trout and Justin Verlander react:

Yoenis Cespedes steals the show in the first round:

Pedro Alvarez nearly hit it out of the stadium:

David Wright channels his inner Michael Jordan:

Cespedes teaches someone that they shouldn't park their truck in centerfield:


We are excited to launch the Prime Wagers Forums. A Sports Betting Forum where subscribers from all over the world can discuss all Sports, Betting Systems and Hot Female Athletes

Today, Prime Wagers has launched our own Sports Betting Forum where our subscribers can now discuss sports betting topics and sports tips.

Our first Prime Wagers Hot Topic is a forum about the Hottest Female Athletes. Click on Prime Wagers Hot Topics on the forums page and you will see it. Feel free to post who you think is the absolute hottest female in the world of sports.

Some of the latest additions to the "Hot Female Athletes" topic are Beach Volleyball star Sara Hughes, Race Car Driver Danica Driver, WWE star Stacy Keibler and Tiger Woods' Skiing Hottie Lindsey Vonn. Who else should be there?


Friday night’s slate of MLB games are highlighted by the home teams having very good starting pitching as they open up the weekend series.

There could be a somewhat surprising pitching duel Friday night when Bruce Chen and the Kansas City Royals (43-46, 21-24 away) pay a visit to Corey Kluber and the Cleveland Indians (48-44, 27-19 home) in the first game of a weekend three-game series from Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH at 7:05 ET, a series that leads right into the All-Star Break.

The posted total at Prime Wagers is 8½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -105.

The Indians simple refuse to go away in the American League Central race, as they
are in second place and only 2½ games behind the Detroit Tigers, who were expected to run
away with things
before the season, after taking two out of three from the Toronto Blue Jays,
beating R.A. Dickey 4-2 in the series finale on Thursday afternoon.

Winning that series from the Blue Jays was important because it showed that the Indians
did not get down on themselves after losing three out of four games to those Tigers here at home
last weekend when the Tribe had a chance to make a statement. One encouraging sign to come
out of that Tiger series was the performance of tonight’s starter Kluber, who got back on track after
two sub-par performances.

Kluber may not be a household name nationally, but he had allowed three earned runs or less
in 11 of his first 13 games this season before getting touched up for seven runs
(six earned) on 11 hits in 4.2 innings by the Baltimore Orioles on June 27th
and then
following that up by allowing four earned runs, albeit on only four hits, in 5.1 innings
vs. these Royals on July 2nd.

Kluber managed to right the ship vs. probably the best offense in the American League though,
limiting the potent Tigers to two runs on five hits with an impressive 10 strikeouts in 6.1 innings
on Sunday in the only Cleveland victory of that series.

That leaves Kluber 6-5 with a 4.23 ERA overall, but he has an excellent ratio of 86 strikeouts vs.
19 walks in 87.1 innings, and believe it or not he is actually ninth in the Major Leagues
among pitchers with at least 80 innings pitched with an xFIP of 3.04! He also
pitched well the first time he faced the Royals this year allowing two runs in
seven innings with six strikeouts and not a single walk, so we will forgive his
July 2nd outing against them in lieu of Sunday’s nice start.

The Royals are coming off of a four-game split vs. the New York Yankees, although they are
probably disappointed as they lost on Wednesday and Thursday after
winning the first two games of the series
. Kansas City is now turning to the southpaw veteran
Chen, who was considered the ace of the Royals’ staff a couple of years ago but is now making
his first start of the year after 19 relief appearances, taking the rotation spot of an ineffective Luis Mendoza.

Then again Chen seems like a logical choice to fill that rotation spot.
After all, he is a veteran of 203 Major League starts and he earned this
opportunity by pitching well out of the pen this year, going 3-0 with a 2.41 ERA
over 33.2 innings. It was Chen that took over for the struggling Mendoza on
Sunday vs. the Oakland Athletics, tossing 3.1 effective innings, and his first
start comes vs. a Cleveland offense batting just .237 vs. left-handed pitchers
at home this season.

Look for Chen to prove serviceable in his first start of 2013 and for Kluber to return to
the fine form he had early in the year following his very good outing vs. the Tigers, resulting
in an ‘under’ on Friday.


Some useful steps for someone looking to learn about the exciting practice of betting on Baseball. Follow the 3 steps below to get started and watch the money start rolling in.

With baseball season now in full swing, it's interesting to see how many 
people are trying to get in on the sports betting action that is available to 
the general public. The average fan might not know how to bet on baseball, but 
with a little bit of pre-planning, anyone can start making money with the game. 
Before we get into some easy steps to get started, it's important to understand 
that all gambling has risks. Some are greater risks than others, which is why 
it's important to take a few moments to understand when to walk away. Once 
you've established that you are in control, and are an existing baseball fan, 
look at the following 3 steps to get you started.

Step 1 - Be A Baseball Fan

If you're not a sports fan, and more specifically a fan of the major leagues,
  you will not go far with betting. You can't learn to bet if you're not
regularly  watching games, or at least have a favorite team. If you're a novice,
or a  casual fan, this is the time to start changing into a diehard. If you have
a  hard time understanding how to do this, simply watch more games, subscribe to
  newsletters and start writing on forums and meet others. The more you engage 
others in conversation, the more you'll learn about the odds and ends of sports 
gambling. The game will also spark further interest for you when you're 
watching, because you'll have money on the line.

Step 2 - Read Betting Odds

The second step to take is to start reading betting odds. Make sure you're 
reading expert commentary from sports handicappers, as well as any experts that 
are involved with the major leagues. The more time you invest to learn about the
  game, the more evident certain storylines will play out. Read odds that are 
placed by sports books, and make sure that your research lines up with what 
others are thinking, and if they are polar opposites, consider rethinking your 
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Step 3 - Place Your Bets

The last step is to find a location where you can place legal bets. You will have
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The above 3 steps are just basic ways to get into sports betting. Learning 
how to bet on baseball is best done when you are a fan; start reading about 
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you'll learn, so get out there and give it a shot.
June 6

— Casey Stengel, after being traded by Brooklyn in the offseason, made his return to Ebbets Field a memorable one. In his first at-bat, Stengel called time, stepped out of the batter's box and doffed his cap. A bird flew out and the fans broke into laughter.

— Myril Hoag hit a major league record six singles in the New York Yankees' 15-3 rout of the Boston Red Sox.

— The New York Giants hit five home runs in the fourth inning in a 17-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds at the Polo Grounds. With two out, Harry Danning, Al Demaree, Burgess Whitehead, Manny Salvo and Joe Moore connected as the Giants scored eight runs in the inning.

— In the first game of a doubleheader, Boston's Boo Ferriss scattered 14 hits to beat Philadelphia 5-2. Ferris, 8-0 on the year, tied the AL mark held by Chicago's John Whitehead for wins at the start of a career.

— Erv Dusak Red Schoendienst Enos Slaughter and Nippy Jones homer in the sixth inning as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Phillies 11-1 in the first of two games. Phillies pitcher Charlie Bicknell gave up 18 total bases in the inning.

— Tom Tresh of the New York Yankees connected for three consecutive home runs in a 12-0 rout of the Chicago White Sox. Tresh hit his first homer right-handed off Juan Pizzaro in the first inning, then went to the other side of the plate and hit two against Bruce Howard in the third and fifth innings.
— Cleveland manager Frank Robinson hit two three-run homers in a 7-5 win over the Texas Rangers.

— California's Nolan Ryan pitched a one-hitter for a 6-0 win over Milwaukee. Ryan's bid for a no-hitter was foiled by Hank Aaron's single in the sixth inning.

— San Diego Padres manager Steve Boros was ejected before the first pitch of the game with the Atlanta Braves when he tried to give umpire Charlie Williams a videotape of a disputed play in the previous night's 4-2 loss to Atlanta.

— Eddie Murray drove in two runs at Pittsburgh to pass Mickey Mantle (1,509) as the all-time RBI leader among switch-hitters.

— J.D. Drew of Florida State hit a record-setting three homers in his final three at-bats in a 16-11 loss to Southern California in the College World Series. Drew finished 3-for-5 with five RBIs and 12 total bases, also a series record.

— For the second time in major league history and first in the AL, a cycle and a triple play took place in the same game. Boston's John Valentin hit for the cycle, while Chicago turned a triple play in the Red Sox's 7-4 victory. In 1931, Philadelphia's Chuck Klein hit for the cycle in the same game that the Phillies turned a triple play against the Chicago Cubs.

— Jason Lane's grand slam capped a five-run ninth inning as Southern California won its first NCAA title in 20 years, beating Pac-10 rival Arizona State 21-14 in the College World Series.

— The New York Mets ended Seattle's 13-game road winning streak with a 3-2 win in the first meeting between the teams. It was the longest streak in the majors since Detroit's 17 straight road wins in 1984.

— Baltimore's Corey Patterson had his run of successive games with a stolen base stopped at nine in a 6-4 loss to Toronto. It was the longest run in the majors since Rickey Henderson had an identical stretch in 1986.

— Trevor Hoffman became the first major leaguer with 500 career saves when he closed out the San Diego Padres' 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Today's birthdays: Junichi Tazawa 27; Matt Belisle 32; Jeremy Affeldt 33; Mark Ellis

Source: Associated Press