Friday’s betting tips: Cubs’ losing streak making history

Weather to watch

Toronto Blue Jays at Texas Rangers  - 18 mph winds are expected to blow in from right field.

Who’s hot

MLB: Nationals are 12-5 in their last 17 games as a road underdog.

MLB: Reds are 7-0 in Johnny Cueto's last seven starts as a home favorite.

NHL: Devils are 5-1 in their last six home games.

WNBA: Indiana Fever are 7-2 ATS in their last nine meetings with the Chicago Sky.

Who’s not

MLB: Royals are 27-57 in their last 84 meetings with the Baltimore Orioles.

MLB: Rockies are 7-19 in their last 26 overall.

NHL: Rangers are 3-9 in their last 12 playoff games as an underdog.

WNBA: New York Liberty are 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall.

Key stat

9 - The Chicago Cubs have lost nine straight games, marking their longest losing streak in 10 years. The Cubs are just 15-29 heading into Friday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates and they play 16 of their next 19 games on the road.

Injury that shouldn’t be overlooked

Travis Hafner, Cleveland Indians – The Tribe sat their DH for Thursday’s matinee against the Tigers. Hafner's battling a knee injury and his status for Friday’s game against the White Sox is in question. Hafner is hitting .242 with six homers and 23 RBI.

Game of the day

New York Rangers at New Jersey Devils (-120, 4.5)

Notable quotable

"I can't come to terms with a guy declining or not being what they're supposed to be. I won't do it. I remember us talking about Derek Jeter last year, people just basically destroying him, and I wouldn't accept it. And I'm not going to accept Alex Rodriguez or Mark Teixeira. They're better than this. They're going to work their tails off, and they're going to get it done."  - New York Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long on his team’s early offensive troubles. While Teixeira continues to struggle, A-Rod came alive with two homers in Wednesday’s win over the Royals. The Yanks still rank second in the majors with 65 home runs and sit fifth with a .264 batting average.

Notes and tips


The Chicago White Sox have scratched Friday’s scheduled starter, John Danks, and reportedly called up lefty Jose Quintana to fill his spot as Danks is headed to the DL with a shoulder injury. Danks signed a $65-million contract extension in the offseason, but has struggled early this year with a 5.70 ERA. Quintana came out of the bullpen and threw 5 1/3 innings against the Cleveland Indians earlier in May, giving up just one hit.

Doug O'Neill, the trainer of Triple Crown hopeful I'll Have Another, was suspended 45 days by the California Horse Racing Board on Thursday because one of his horses exceeded the allowable limit for total carbon dioxide. However, the punishment won't begin before July 1, allowing him to saddle I'll Have Another in the June 9 Belmont Stakes. I'll Have Another is favored at 13/10 after winning  the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.

The team that has scored the first goal in the last 13 contests the New York Rangers have played have gone on to win the contest. The Rangers dug themselves a 3-0 hole in Game 5 at home to the New Jersey Devils Wednesday night. After crawling all the way back to tie the game early in the third period, New Jersey’s Ryan Carter scored the game winning goal with less than five minutes remaining in regulation to boost the Devils to a 5-3 victory.

The Boston Celtics aren’t expecting to have shooting guard Avery Bradley in the lineup for Saturday’s Game 7 against the Philadelphia 76ers – or for any other game in the post season should they advance. Bradley’s left shoulder popped out twice during this series and he could be going under the knife.

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