Heat vs. Nets NBA Preview

Joe Harris #12 high-fives Bruce Brown #1 and Blake Griffin #2 of the Brooklyn Nets on April 16, 2021 in New York City.  Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

Joe Harris #12 high-fives Bruce Brown #1 and Blake Griffin #2 of the Brooklyn Nets on April 16, 2021 in New York City. Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

Brooklyn Nets vs. Miami Heat

Sunday, April 18, 2021 – 3:30 PM EST at AmericanAirlines Arena

 

The Miami Heat have lost three straight games to the Suns, Nuggets, and Timberwolves. They’ll now have to take on one of the best teams in the East in the Brooklyn Nets, at home.

The Heat’s offense has been subpar this season. They’re scoring 109.5 points per 100 possessions and have an effective field goal percentage of 53.7 percent.

The Heat turn the ball over 14.8 percent of the time, which is good for 24th in the league and rarely get offensive rebounds off their misses at just 22.1 percent. They are led by Jimmy Butler who is averaging 21.4 points per game and bringing down 7.2 rebounds along with 7.2 assists per game. Bam Adebayo has contributed 19 points and 9.2 rebounds but outside that, there’s been no consistency.

Tyler Herro averages under 15 points per game after he was supposed to break out as a big offensive weapon. Kendrick Nunn is scoring 13.3 points per game while Duncan Robinson has scored just 13 points per game as well.

Defensively, things are much better. They’re 6th in points per 100 possessions on defense and ninth in effective field goal percentage on defense, allowing teams to have a 53.8 percent effective field goal percentage. The Heat are aggressive and force a heavy dosage of turnovers at 15.9 percent but again, aren’t capable on the glass.

The Nets, on the other hand, will be without James Harden but do have Kevin Durant back in action. The Nets offense hasn’t played at full strength for most of the season but when they do, this team will be hard to stop.

Brooklyn are scoring 119.3 points per 100 possessions and are first in effective field goal percentage at 58.2 percent. They’re limiting turnovers to 13.6 percent per game, and that’s one area they’ll have to focus on doing better in this game.

The Nets have Kyrie Irving who is leading the way with 27.5 points per game and Kevin Durant, who hasn’t played enough games to qualify, but still has 28.1 points per game on the season.

Defensively, Brooklyn have struggled, which is why many Nets games are going over. They are allowing 114 points per possession this season and are allowing an effective field goal percentage of 53.9 percent. They’re also not very good at forcing turnovers at 12.6 percent and don’t do well on the defensive glass, limiting opponents.

However, a match-up against the Heat on the glass should save them from allowing many second chance opportunities.

Both teams are getting to the line at a high rate and both teams are allowing opponents to get to the line at an above average rate compared to the league. So you can likely add some extra points to this game from the line.

 

Prediction

 

The Nets are going to be much better with Harden leading the way but let’s not forget that Kevin Durant is back on the floor. The Nets should have no problems scoring points in this one and with the Nets performing so poorly on defense this year, the Heat should be able to match the Nets and score points themselves as well.

The Heat have shown no consistency on offense this season but that doesn’t mean they won’t score in this one.

 

NBA Pick: Over 222.5 (-110) at Bet365

Reds vs. Giants MLB Preview

Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates.  Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images/AFP

Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates. Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images/AFP

The Reds offense has been red hot to start the year but after scoring just three runs last night, what can we expect from Cincinnati’s offense against the Giants tonight?

Cincinnati Reds vs. San Francisco Giants

Tuesday, April 13, 2020 – 9:45pm EST at Oracle Park

Probable Pitchers

● Reds: Luis Castillo (1-1, 6.97 ERA)

● Giants: Kevin Gausman (0-0, 1.32 ERA)

The Giants offense went missing yesterday even after going up against a lefty in Wade Miley that had struggled against right-handed batters. The Giants offense has not been good lately and now they’ll have another major test going up against Luis Castillo of the Reds.

Luis Castillo started the season allowing 10 runs (eight earned) in 3.1 innings pitched off eight hits and two walks against the Cardinals. In that first start, he didn’t get a single strikeout but was still able to get 11 ground balls to seven fly outs.

After that miserable showing against the Cardinals, Castillo went seven strong against the Pirates, allowing no runs on four hits with five strikeouts and one walk. Castillo produces nearly 58 percent of ground balls and gets 10.53 strikeouts per nine innings. He’s walked just over three batters per nine innings and rarely allows home runs at .67 per nine innings.

Castillo will have his poor moments but he’s a fantastic pitcher who should have success against this Giants lineup that can’t seem to figure out hitting early into the season. There’s not a single Giants batter that currently has a weighted OBA of above .350. While the Giants have been able to work out walks, they’ve struggled getting hits consistently which should be a problem against Castillo.

One thing of note is that the Giants have been able to limit ground balls hit against righties but they haven’t gone up against anyone close to Castillo in terms of ground ball rate. On the other hand, Kevin Gausman will take the hill for the Giants. He didn’t get nearly as much love as he should have in 2020. He had a high strikeout rate and left nearly 75 percent of runners on base. On top of that, he’s been able to limit walks to 2.33 per nine innings and home runs under one per nine innings.

Gausman has gone over six innings in both starts this season and allowed just one run in both starts as well. Strikeouts aren’t as high as they were last year but hits are low and walks are low, giving him two quality starts to begin the season. However, he’ll go up against a Reds offense that has looked incredible against righties this season.

The Reds lineup has seven batters that have a wOBA of .354 or higher and five batters with a wOBA of .380 or higher. Walks are low and strikeouts are also low for this Reds team that has four lefties and a balanced offense that can really work Gausman. Gausman strikes out lefties nearly as much as he does righties. It’ll be up to the lefties to get on base and create havoc to score runs.

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Heat vs. Trail Blazers NBA Preview

Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat celebrates his basket. Mike Stobe/Getty Images/AFP

Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat celebrates his basket. Mike Stobe/Getty Images/AFP

The Miami Heat are just two games above .500 late into the season. Can they pull off a road win against the Blazers on Sunday night?

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Giants vs. Padres MLB Preview

Jurickson Profar #10 of the San Diego Padres pumps his fist as he scores during the second inning.  Denis Poroy/Getty Images/AFP

Jurickson Profar #10 of the San Diego Padres pumps his fist as he scores during the second inning. Denis Poroy/Getty Images/AFP

With Fernando Tatis injured and out, do the Padres have enough offense against the Giants to win behind Darvish?

 

San Francisco Giants vs. San Diego Padres

Tuesday, April 06, 2021 – 10:10 PM EDT at Petco Park

Probable Pitchers:

● Giants: Aaron Sanchez (2020 Stats: N/A)

● Padres: Yu Darvish 0-0, 7.71 ERA

Yu Darvish didn’t have the best debut for the Padres in his first outing after going 4.2 innings and allowing four runs off eight hits. It’s going to be a bit different pitching in San Diego compared to the Windy City so we’ll likely see more home runs off of Darvish this season. He still struck out six against the Diamondbacks and the Padres ended up winning that game, 8-7.

If you combine this year and last year, Darvish has gone 8-3 with a 2.34 ERA along with a 2.51 FIP. That’s ace material. He’s able to get a high amount of strikeouts, limit walks and is really good under pressure, leaving over 83 percent of runners on base. Last year, Darvish had a .45 ERA on the road, away from Chicago, so my theory might be off a bit but being in hotter weather can’t help when it comes to allowing home runs.

Both lefties and righties hit .211 against Darvish last season but the Cubs bats would ultimately let down Darvish at times. The Padres bats should be better although they struggled last night against the Giants. Fernando Tatis injured himself swinging too hard and now the Padres lineup looks a little worse than usual.

Sanchez didn’t pitch in 2020 but did pitch in 2019 where he finished the season allowing five home runs and nine runs in his last 7.2 innings with the Astros. In 2019, both lefties and righties hit over .275 against and he allowed 21 home runs in 521 at bats going 5-14 on the season after starting 27 games.

Righties had an on base percentage of .383 against Sanchez as walks quickly became a problem. More slugging came from lefties against Sanchez. So either way you look at it, the Padres should find ways on the base whether it’s a walk or a base hit.

The Giants lineup has some potential against righties. Tommy LaStella, Mike Yastrzemski, Brandon Belt, Alex Dickerson and Donovan Solano all have weighted OBA of above .340 against righties. But Darvish isn’t just an ordinary righty and pounds the strike zone and makes batters earn everything.

The Padres should have scored a lot more last night with the middle of their lineup but struggled against DeSclafani. Now without Tatis, things can get interesting in a hurry for this team.

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Warriors vs. Hawks NBA Preview

Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks moves the ball past Mikal Bridges #25 of the Phoenix Suns

Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks moves the ball past Mikal Bridges #25 of the Phoenix Suns

Steph Curry is back in the lineup for the Warriors. But does that truly make the Warriors a favorite on the road against the Hawks after losing by 50 to the Raptors last game?

Golden State Warriors vs. Atlanta Hawks

Wednesday, April 4th, 2021 – 7:30pm EST at State Farm Arena

The Golden State Warriors are 23-26 on the season but you wouldn’t have known if you decided to tune into their last game against the Raptors. The Warriors lost 130-77 to the Raptors without Steph Curry who has a tailbone injury.

It’s likely that Curry will be playing in this one against the Hawks, but could be without Draymond Green and Eric Paschall on the bench due to injuries. The Warriors have scored 108.8 points per possession this season, good for 23rd in the league. They’re shooting a 53.8 percent effective field goal percentage and turn the ball over at 14.8 percent.

This is a team that is struggling on the offensive glass and only gets to the line 19.4 times per game. These numbers will get worse with Green and even Paschall on the bench, which is certainly why the Warriors lost by so many points to the Raptors with Curry out as well.

The Warriors had to rely on Andrew Wiggins who averages 18.2 points per game and Kelly Oubre who averages 14.9 points per game. Both of these wings have been solid on the glass but without Green and Curry, assists are hard to come by for this team. Thankfully, Curry’s tailbone is okay and he’s going to play in this game against the Hawks.

The Warriors have been above average on defense this season, holding opponents to 112 points per 100 possessions and a 53.2 percent effective field goal percentage. The Warriors have done well forcing turnovers but have been getting wrecked on the glass and commit a ton of fouls.

The Hawks are a team that dominates on the offensive glass and find a way to get to the line at will. That’s an area where the Warriors struggle defensively. The Hawks get 27.7 percent of offensive rebounds and get to the line 23 times per game, with both being top five numbers in the NBA.

The Hawks will get many second chances on offense in this one and while they shoot about average, getting second chances changes this offensive immensely. The Hawks are led by Trae Young who averages 25.5 points per game along with 9.6 assists and four rebounds per game. The Hawks, despite a losing record, decided to hold onto John Collins at the trade deadline and he’s averaging 18.2 points per game.

They’ve been winning the glass on offense due to Clint Capela, who is averaging 14.9 points and 14.1 rebounds per game. Over four of those rebounds have been offensive. The Hawks haven’t been incredible on defense. They don’t force many turnovers and don’t dominate the defensive glass, but the Warriors are the worst team in the offensive glass and rarely get second opportunities.

Atlanta is allowing 52.8 percent effective field goal percentage and 113.2 points per 100 possessions. If the Hawks are able to limit shooting from the Warriors, the Hawks should be able to finish possessions and keep the Warriors at one-and-done.

Prediction

Steph Curry is back for the Warriors and now they’re favorites on the road. Yeah he’s an MVP. He’s a high-caliber player but he doesn’t get to the line like Young and he certainly can’t rebound like Capela. Give me the Hawks, at home, with the points in this one.

NBA Pick: Hawks +2 (-110) at Bet 365