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YESTERDAY'S PLAYS
Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 26, 2017
Rangers vs Blue Jays
Blue Jays
-144 at betonline
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Toronto (7:05 ET): The Blue Jays have surprisingly handled the Rangers each of the previous two seasons, winning 14 of 21 head to head matchups and eliminating them from the postseason both times. This will be their first time meeting since last year's LDS, which ended up being a three-game sweep. Given the way that this season started, the playoffs had to be the furthest thing from Toronto's mind. But a seven-game road trip that took them through three cities, two of them National League, just ended w/ a three-game win streak. Texas, back at .500 despite recently winning 10 in a row, is heading in the other direction after being swept at Boston. I like the Jays in this series opener. 

Don't be fooled by Rangers' starter AJ Griffin having a 6-1 team start record as his ERA is 5.02 and his WHIP is 1.195. He suffered his first loss last time out when he got shelled for nine runs in 3 1/3 innings (allowed 4 HR's!) by Detroit. He only has three quality starts to his credit and so far he's gotten to face a pretty weak slate of teams (including Oakland three times!). Toronto saw its bats come alive a bit as they averaged 5.1 runs per game on the recently completed road trip. Now they need to focus on producing at home. Increasing the likelihood that will occur is the fact that both members of the right side of the team's starting infield - third baseman Josh Donaldson and SS Troy Tulowitzki - are expected back in the lineup for the 1st time since April. That duo being back will also aid the team in the field obviously. 

Meanwhile, Texas has some problems at the plate right now. They struck out 20 times yday in Boston and are batting a collective .218 on the road this season. That's good news for Blue Jays' starter Mike Bolsinger, who has yet to win any of his previous three trips to the mound. None of the three have been particularly good either, but I see him performing better than Griffin here. Griffin has allowed a total of seven home runs his last two starts and behind him is a Rangers' pen which has an unsightly 6.94 ERA and 1.910 WHIP on the road. 8* Toronto

Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 26, 2017
Rays vs Twins
Rays
-133 at 5Dimes
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Tampa Bay (8:10 ET): The surprising Twins (in first place in the AL Central!) had the day off Thursday after an impressive sweep of Baltimore, in Camden Yards no less. But upon their return home, they'll have to deal w/ Chris Archer in this series opener w/ the Rays. Tampa Bay has been a bit streak of late, going WWWWLLLWW over its previous nine games. The last two wins, including a shutout yday, came at the Angels' expense as they were able to salvage a split of a four-game series at home. The Twins, surprisingly, have a losing record at Target Field and I see a somewhat massive pitching mismatch here. Considering I'm not a believer in Minnesota, I say go w/ Archer and the Rays in this one. 

No starter lost more units at the betting window in '16 than did Archer. But many, myself included, tabbed him for a bounce back season here in '17. Things certainly started out well for him as the team won each of his first four starts this season. But since then, they've dropped five of six w/ him on the mound. There was one bad outing (at Cleveland), but in his other three May starts his KW ratio is a sick 34-3! I expect him to pitch well here considering a 5-1 record & 1.73 ERA in six career starts vs. Minnesota. That's his second lowest ERA against any opponent that he's faced at least five times. Here at Target Field, he's been really good w/ a 3-0 record and 0.98 ERA, which is the second lowest ERA for any pitcher w/ at least three starts in the park's history. 

I don't see Twins starter Hector Santiago matching up well here. He has a 6.90 ERA and 1.813 WHIP his L3 starts, including his own terrible outing against Cleveland. Santiago's strikeout numbers can't even compare to those of Archer as the former has just TWO total in his last two starts! Over his L4 starts, he has a NEGATIVE KW ratio of 10-11. That's terrible. Something I find interesting is that despite the Rays being "only" .500 and the Twins being seven games over, it is TB w/ the better overall run differential (+23 vs. +4). That indicates to me that Minnesota is a little lucky to be where they're at right now. They've actually been outscored by 0.7 runs per game at home so far. 10* Tampa Bay

Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 26, 2017
Mariners vs Red Sox
Red Sox
-172 at betonline
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Boston (7:05 ET): Both of these teams treated me well on Thursday as I had the Mariners Under + the Red Sox, both easy winners. Seattle winning 4-2 at Washington was certainly a surprise though, given what had happened to them not just the first two games of that series, but the previous four games overall. A five-game losing skid had seen the M's get outscored by a stunning 41-5 margin by the White Sox and Nats. Therefore Boston, fresh off a sweep of Texas, has to be licking its chops here. The Red Sox offense seems to have rediscovered 2016 form w/ 38 runs scored during a four-game win streak. You have to like their chances then going up against the embattled Yovani Gallardo, whose continued presence only serves to reinforce how injured this Mariners rotation is. Seattle isn't a good road team either (8-18 away from Safeco Field).

Gallardo was absolutely bludgeoned his last time out, giving up 10 runs in 3 2/3 innings. The final result was White Sox 16, Seattle 1 and that's what begat the M's losing skid. Obviously, a performance such as that will negatively skew all numbers, but the bottom line here is that Gallardo simply is not very good. He has a 5.28 career ERA vs. Boston including two poor starts (w/ Baltimore) last season. He probably shouldn't be counting on his offense for much support here either considering yday's four run output matched what they'd done the previous four games - combined. Seattle isn't just losing on the road this season, they are losing badly as is evident by the fact they're being outscored by 1.3 runs per game away from home. 

Boston will send Eduardo Rodriguez to the bump in search of his fourth straight win. Rodriguez has become something of a "stopper" in the Red Sox rotation as all of his previous eight starts have come after a team loss. His team start record is 6-2 and he's coming off six consecutive quality starts. His last one was his longest stint of the season as he went eight full innings at Oakland and allowed just three runs in an easy 12-3 win. That performance dipped his WHIP to an impressive 0.85 his L3 starts overall. If this one were to come down to the respective bullpens, that's a big edge for Boston, especially w/ Craig Kimbrell, who has retired 33 of the past 34 batters he has faced and not allowed a single hit to a right-handed hitter ALL SEASON! 8* Boston

PICKS IN PROGRESS
Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 27, 2017
Royals vs Indians
Indians
-160 at 5Dimes
Lost
$160.0
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Cleveland (4:10 ET): I think its fair to say that the Indians have been a slight disappointment so far in 2017. Coming off their first American League pennant in 20 years, they've started just 24-22 and aren't even in first place of a division that were expected to run away with. Most confounding of all is the team's 8-12 record here at Progressive Field. Despite jumping out to a 4-0 lead last night, the club lost again, to the Royals no less. Allowing a six-run rally to the lowest scoring team in all of MLB certainly is not a "good look" for the Tribe, but nevertheless I anticipate them bouncing back today w/ Danny Salazar on the bump. A rare error by SS Francisco Lindor was the key play in last night's game and something like that is certainly not likely to happen again. 

Back to back offensive outbursts from the Royals have been rare this season. Consider that while last night marked the third time in the past five games they scored six times, they've totaled just two runs off the previous two occurrences. Last time in the situation, they were shutout by the Yankees on Wednesday. Not only does this team rank dead last in MLB in runs scored, but they are also 28th in team batting average, OBP and slugging. While Salazar has struggled a bit here in the month of May, he did have one relatively good outing against the Royals where he struck out seven in 4 2/3 innings and gave up just two runs. This is a talented pitcher that I believe is likely to turn things around sooner rather than later. 

Last night, the Royals got a bullpen performance that was reminiscent of their B2B runs to the World Series. Their relievers held the Indians to just three hits over six scoreless innings. But for the year, the bullpen has a 5.67 ERA and 1.590 WHIP in road games. Cleveland's bullpen has been much better w/ Chad Allen (13.7 K's per nine innings) and Andrew Miller (0.72 ERA) leading the way. It was really too bad that starter Mike Clevinger wasn't able to hold the lead last night. Another factor that has me on the Tribe here is performance in day games. They are 10-5 while the Royals are 4-11. KC will be starting Jason Vargas, who has an 8.10 ERA his L2 starts, both against the Yankees. His career ERA against the Indians is 4.33. 8* Cleveland

Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 27, 2017
Reds vs Phillies
UNDER 9½ -121 Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Under Reds/Phillies (4:05 ET): These two clubs have spent the majority of 2017 going Over the total thus far. Of course, that was to be expected from two bad teams projected to have less than stellar pitching staffs. But, matched up w/ one another last night, they stayed Under the total as the Reds prevailed 5-2 here in the City of Brotherly Love. Credit Cincinnati starter Tim Adelman for that as he held the Phillies to just ONE hit over eight sparkling innings. (Both runs for the home team came in a relatively meaningless rally in the bottom of the ninth). While a similar performance may not be expected today from Bronson Arroyo, note that the Phils simply aren't hitting much or scoring right now, thus Under is the play here.

Philadelphia has been held to three runs or fewer in six consecutive contests. Over the last week, they're batting a collective .164. Yesterday marked the fourth time in the last six games that they were held to only three hits. Over the last 14 games, the team is averaging less than 3.0 runs per game (2.9). While one might look at Arroyo's last two starts (11 runs & 17 hits allowed) as cause for concern here, note Adelman came into yday sporting a 6.19 ERA this season. So there's hope for any pitcher against the Phillies right now. At one point, Adelman was able to retire 16 consecutive batters. Of his 24 total outs recorded, 16 were via ground ball.

Phillies starter Jack Eickhoff is all too familiar w/ his team's offensive futility. The team has scored just one run in each of his last two outings. That's too bad because the righty has been relatively sharp. He has 12 K's in his last 12 IP and much of the damage done against him in his last start (vs. Colorado) came on two fluky hits. While still winless over nine starts (1-8 TSR), Eickhoff is certainly better than his record (0-5). The Reds' scoring average drops a full run per game on the road (.317 OBP), so that's good. With Philly not hitting much right now and Eickhoff likely to perform better than expected, I'm expecting runs to be few and far between in this Saturday afternoon matchup. It would obviously be great if we didn't have to play the bottom of the ninth as well. 10* Under Reds/Phillies

Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 27, 2017
Diamondbacks vs Brewers
Diamondbacks
-136 at betonline
Lost
$136.0
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Arizona (4:10 ET): Neither Arizona nor Milwaukee was expected to be a legit contender in 2017, yet both started off the season well. However, of late, they've been trending in opposite directions. The D'backs have won five in a row while the Brew Crew have lost five in a row and that includes a pair of wins by the road team here in Miller Park the last two days. With a significant pitching edge today (Zack Greinke), I see this trend continuing. Arizona is now #2 in all of MLB in run differential (+60!), trailing only the division rival Dodgers. Meanwhile, Milwaukee is a curious 12-15 at home. With a lineup minus Ryan Braun already scuffling, I don't see them having many answers for Greinke today.

Each of the last four times Greinke has taken the mound, the D'backs have won. He has a 0.66 WHIP in May and last time out, he was downright dominant. He came one out shy of a complete game and allowed just one run on four hits while striking out a season-high 12 batters. Miller Park is a place Greinke used to call home (from 2011-13) as a member of the Brewers' roster and during that time he always dominated here. In 26 career starts in this ballpark, he is 16-2 w/ a 3.07 ERA. He's currently working on a 12 2/3 inning scoreless streak against his former team. With this edition of the Brew Crew having scored just nine runs total in the last four games, it seems like an ideal matchup today for Greinke.  Benefiting from betting pitch framing this season, Greinke's strikeout rate is up to a career best 29.9 percent.

Overall, Arizona has won 10 of its last 11. The pitching staff ranks a surprising 2nd in opponents batting average (.232), but the offense has also done its job by scoring the third most runs in all of baseball. So I like their chances today against Chase Anderson, who checks in w/ a 7.71 ERA and 2.071 WHIP his L3 starts. He was hammered his last time out, giving up six runs in just four innings at Chicago. He has fewer strikeouts in his last three starts combined than Grienke did his last time out alone. Unlike Arizona, the Brewers' pitching staff has simply not gotten the job done this year. They are dead last in opponents' batting average (.269) and 29th in quality starts. The offense, now dormant, carried the team early on. But are they fortunate to rank 4th in runs scored? Considering they are just 13th in team batting average and 16th in on base percentage, I'd say yes. 10* Arizona

SERVICE BIO

The time has come for Bryan Power to EXPAND! Having achieved a tremendous amount of success, Power is expanding his reach in 2015 as he proudly announces the formation of Power Sports Picks (that's "PSP" for short). Power Sports Picks promises to deliver the same quality analysis (and same amount of winning) as before, only now with a FULL TEAM assembled, the SKY IS THE LIMIT!