Friday Service Plays

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Tony Karpinski

New York Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Play: Philadelphia Phillies
   
The Mets at home beat last place Washington 1-0 in 14 innings last night and played deep into the night plus had to travel. Philadelphia is 4-2 on the current home stand off beating Houston 10-2 Thursday. The Phillies bats are finally starting to come alive led by Utley and Howard. The Phillies are also 15-5 last 20 Hamel's home starts and 9-2 last 11 meetings.

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Re: Friday Service Plays

Drew Gordon

1. 300,000* Indians

2. 50,000* Chi. White Sox

3. 50,000* Nationals

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Re: Friday Service Plays

Karl Garrett

30 DIMES
METS-PHILS UNDER

10 DIMES
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
KANSAS CITY ROYALS

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Re: Friday Service Plays

Jeff Money

(NHL) DAL -125 (POD)
(MLB) CARDS -110
(MLB) INDIANS -115
(MLB) WHITESOX EV

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Larry Ness' 15* Pitching Mismatch of the Week (8-2 run with GOW plays!)

15* LA Angels


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Ben Burns MLB PERSONAL FAVORITE (7-1 L8 PFs!)

TORONTO BLUE JAYS

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Re: Friday Service Plays

Michael Cannon

20 Dime

DIAMONDBACKS (With Maddux and Haren as listed pitchers)

Take the Diamondbacks for the home win tonight over the Padres.

This is a tough spot for the Padres. They just played a 22-inning game against the Rockies that lasted 6-hours, 16-minutes. Their bullpen is taxed, not to mention the team after having to travel to Arizona following that loss.

San Diego could use a long outing from starting pitcher Greg Maddux, but he’s hasn’t had much success against Arizona in his Hall of Fame career.

Maddux is just 2-10 with a 4.88 ERA in 18 career starts against the Diamondbacks. He’s been even worse at Chase Field, going 1-6 with a 5.37 ERA in 11 starts.

Arizona will start Dan Haren, who is off to a 2-0 start with his new team. The right-hander has received 20 runs of support in his three starts, which if that trend continues tonight will be more than enough for him to get the win here.

Take the Diamondbacks as the home chalk for the win.


10 Dime

PHILLIES (With Hamels as listed pitcher)

Take the Phillies as the small home chalk for the win over the Mets.

We are getting one of the league’s hottest pitchers at a near pick em because New York is starting Johan Santana.

Cole Hamels has been fantastic for Philadelphia so far this year. The left-hander is 2-1 with a 0.82 ERA in three starts.

The Mets have a tired bullpen after using six relievers in Thursday’s 3-2, 14-inning win over the Nationals. New York hasn’t had much success at Citizens Bank Park recently, losing five in a row.

Take the Phillies as the small home chalk for the win.

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JB's Computer Plays

Blue Jays - 105

Milwaukee Brewers - 120

Los Angeles Dodgers - 135

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KingTSports Minnesota Twins

Toutmaster Arizona D-backs

seeyouinthewinnerscircle Cincinnati Reds

USA Sports Consulting Houston Astros

GAMETIMEDECISION Philadelphia Phillie

Lucky Leprechaun Sports Chicago Cubs

WildBill Washington Nationals   

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GamblersWorld

TIP OF THE DAY Sport: Dallas Stars vs. Anaheim Ducks

Prediction: Anaheim Ducks Current Line: -150

Over/Under: 4.5 Reason: The fans at Honda Center will be treated to a playoff game between the Dallas Stars and the Anaheim Ducks when they take their seats on Friday. Oddsmakers currently have the Ducks listed as 150-moneyline favorites versus the Stars, while the game's total is sitting at 4½. The Stars took a commanding 3-1 lead in their Western Conference first-round series with Anaheim Thursday, as they defeated the Ducks 3-1. The Stars won the game as -130 favorites, while the four goals fell UNDER the posted over/under (5). Joel Lundqvist, Stu Barnes and Steve Ott scored for the Stars. Marty Turco stopped 27 shots in the win. Mathieu Schneider tallied for the Ducks, who were listed as +110 underdogs in Game 4. Team records: Dallas: 45-30-7 Anaheim: 47-27-8 Dallas most recently: When playing on Friday are 7-3 Before playing Los Angeles are 5-5 After playing Anaheim are 7-3 After a win are 5-5 Anaheim most recently: When playing on Friday are 6-4 After playing Dallas are 4-6 After a loss are 7-3 A few trends to consider: Dallas is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road Dallas is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games Dallas is 9-4 SU in its last 13 games when playing Anaheim Dallas is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Anaheim Anaheim is 12-3 SU in its last 15 games at home Anaheim is 16-8 SU in its last 24 games Anaheim is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Dallas Anaheim is 4-9 SU in its last 13 games when playing Dallas

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Bob Balfe

Major League Baseball
Phillies/Mets Under 8 Runs -120
Santana/Hamels


Savannah Sports

2 Units on Milwaukee -125

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SPORTS MEMO


TEDDY COVERS
Chicago at Tampa Bay

Recommendation: Rays

We’ll begin our support of Rays rookie starter Jeff Niemann right here, in his second MLB start. The 6-9, 280 pound Niemann was the fourth overall pick in the 2004 draft. He quickly rose through the minors and enjoyed a tremendous spring with Tampa Bay: 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in four starts. Manager Joe Maddon didn’t have a roster spot for the promising youngster, but injuries to Scott Kazmir and Matt Garza have paved the way for Niemann to get his first shot last weekend against the Orioles. The results were stellar: six innings of one run, six hit baseball, striking out five while walking only one. From all accounts, he should be successful right from the get-go. Meanwhile, the Rays’ offense has started to come around (25 runs scored in their last four games), despite the early season struggles of big bats Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena. Hyped rookie third baseman Evan Longoria is finally in the lineup, living up to expectations. Another top prospect, center fielder BJ Upton, has settled in nicely at the cleanup spot. Perhaps most importantly of all, the Rays have gotten solid work out of their bullpen in early season play, a unit that was nothing short of an unmitigated disaster last year. Maddon’s squad is a young team with a strong recent history of playing much better at home than they do on the road. We should get a very reasonableprice here to support an ascending team with a young phenom starter on the hill. Play on Niemann no matter who tosses for Chicago


FAIRWAY JAY
Detroit at Toronto

THE OVER

Troubled Tigers have struggled mightily to start the season (2-10), and travel to Toronto for a four-game series. After facing Cleveland’s top two pitchers C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona on Wednesday and Thursday, Detroit will take on Toronto right-hander A.J. Burnett. Burnett has been far from his sharp self through three starts (1-0, 6.61 ERA), and will face a tamed Tigers lineup that has been shutout four times this season while scoring the fewest runs-to-date in MLB through Sunday. Detroit’s middle-of-the-order sluggers Sheffield and Cabrera are each hitting under .180, and the Tigers are batting just .240 as a team with a league-worst slugging percentage. But those team struggles won’t continue long-term for a talented Tigers lineup, and they’ll have to swing the bats with force to support struggling lefty Kenny Rogers (0-3, 6.75 ERA). Toronto leads the AL in hitting (.268) and can send eight right-handed bats to the plate with Alex Rios, Vernon Wells and Frank Thomas providing middle-of-the-order strength. Don’t expect a sudden turnaround for Rogers, who has allowed batters to hit over .320 this early season. Along with a poor bullpen, Detroit has the AL’s worst ERA at over 5.40 entering the week. Detroit pitchers have walked a league high 56 batters, which has contributed to a league-worst 1.60 WHIP. I anticipate plenty of base runners and scoring opportunities, which makes over the total the play.


ERIN RYNNING
Kansas City at Oakland

Recommendation: Royals

The upstart Kansas City Royals hit Oakland this weekend where they’ll battle the also surprising A’s. Brian Bannister is expected to take the hill for the Royals, and I can’t honestly say enough positive words for the young hurler. No question, he’s one of if not my favorite pitcher in baseball right now. The scouts don’t like him, while the stat heads feel similar, but the intellectuals can really appreciate his effort on the mound. In fact, when you bet Bannister with your hard earned money you can be assured you’re getting a fair shake. Those around Bannister will call him the smartest guy in the dugout, and he carries his intellect to the rubber. He’s always looking for an edge and as a handicapper always looking for an edge as well, I can appreciate the right-hander. So far this season the results are impressive. He’s pitched 21 innings, while allowing just three runs for a 3-0 record. Note two of those starts were against the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers. Meanwhile, Chad Gaudin is slated to throw for the A’s. Gaudin is trying to overcome off-season hip surgery, while he’s definitely not in mid-season form. He’s notably weaker against the left side, which is favorable for the Royals and many of their hitters. The Royals bullpen has simply been the best in baseball as of this writing, allowing just four runs with a razor sharp 35/8 SO/BB rate. Regardless of who starts for the A’s look to back Bannister and the Royals this weekend


ROB VENO
Kansas City at Oakland

Recommendation: Royals

Until proven otherwise, KC right hander Brian Bannister is a serious consideration every time out. The still undervalued Bannister figures to be in a very reasonable price range here and maybe even an underdog if Oakland continues to play well early this week. This specific starting pitching matchup leaves zero doubt that Bannister has advantages that rate head and shoulders above Chad Gaudin. Thus far on the young season,Bannister is not just 3-0, he’s a spectacular 3-0 with an ERA of 0.86 and a WHIP of 0.71. He has not allowed a home run in his 21 innings of work and he’s faced power hitters from Detroit and the Yankees along with Justin Morneau of Minnesota. With McAfee Coliseum being a venue that is very favorable to pitchers, expect Bannister to tame this weak offensive opponent. Meanwhile, A’s starter Chad Gaudin began a rapid descent that started in the second half of last season and continued into this year (7.20 ERA, 1.70 WHIP). While KC has been worse than Oakland offensively, they have the perfect elixir here in Gaudin to break out of their early season doldrums. Also a major advantage here goes to the Royals bullpen which is statistically ranked No. 1 in the major leagues. The Kansas City relief corps owns a magnificent 1.16 ERA, .193 batting average allowed, a 35/8 strikeout to walk total and only 29 batters have reached base against them. Expect another solid pitching performance in this one as Kansas City records the victory


DONNIE BLACK
Kansas City at Oakland

Recommendation: Royals

Without question one of the smartest pitchers in all of baseball is Brian Bannister. Without overwhelming stuff, he is a true craftsman and a thinker. Embracing sabermetrics, Bannister has gone on record as a pitcher that goes beyond the match-up and looks for answers in statistics. The results have been incredible for the Royals. In three starts he has gone a perfect 3-0 with just 15 base runners reaching in 20 innings of work. Despite pitching to contact, he has allowed just ten hits and no home runs. His ERA is an incredible 0.86 and his WHIP is 0.71. Simply put, he has been the best pitcher in major league baseball so far this season. Against the Oakland A’s we expect nothing different. The A’s like to work the count and swing for the fences, but Bannister is very likely to throw strikes and keep the A’s from swinging dead red. As evidenced by last year’s numbers, Chad Gaudin is mediocre at best. In 199 innings of work, Gaudin allowed 205 hits and 100 walks. This Royals offense this season hasn’t produced huge power numbers but they’ve been able to manufacture runs at a high enough rate to reward a pitching staff that leads the Majors in ERA. Also something to note, the Royals bullpen is one of the best in baseball and with a huge edge in the starting pitching, we’ll back Bannister to get the easy win.

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Re: Friday Service Plays

Ben Burns

MIN / 925 CLE Under 8.5

Analysis: Liriano was a bit rusty in his first start. However, lets give him a break as he was making his first start in 17 months and pitching in awful weather (39 degrees with a 29-degree wind chill)  conditions. Additionally, lets keep in mind that he was 11-3 with a 1.92 ERA in 16 starts as a rookie in 2006. Including those results and this season's earlier game, which also stayed below the number, the UNDER is a profitable 12-4-1 in Liriano's last 17 starts. That includes a 3-1 win over th Cleveland the last time he faced the Indians. Liriano had 10 Ks in five innings in that game.

Lee has been great for the Indians, allowing just one run over 14 2/3 innings in his last two starts, recording 12 Ks while allowing just six hits and one walk. Not surprisingly, both games stayed below the number. Note that Lee has allowed two runs or less in three straight starts vs. the Twins. Overall, the under is 11-4 the last 15 times that these teams faced each other. Consider a play on the UNDER.

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Re: Friday Service Plays

Larry Ness

STL -140 vs SFG

The Cards lost their first home game of '08 but then ripped off seven consecutive wins at the "new" Busch. St Louis was well on its way to an eighth straight home win yesterday afternoon but the bullpen blew a 3-0 eighth-inning lead. San Francisco's Matt Cain can relate to that, as despite posting a solid 3.65 ERA in 2007, he went just 7-16 last season, as the San Francisco bullpen blew five of his leads. The Giants also finished the '07 season 9-23 in Cain's 23 starts (minus-$1,803), making him MLB's biggest "moneyburner" among last year's starters. Unfortunately, Cain seems "headed down the same path" in 2008. He owns a 3.24 ERA through three starts this year but his 0-1 with the Giants losing all three (minus-$314). In his last outing (this past Saturday at home vs the Cards), Cain took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and while he gave up only two runs in his 6.2 innings of work, the Giants once again wasted another solid start, losing 8-7 in 10 innings. Todd Wellemeyer was Cain's counterpart last weekend and is so again tonight. Wellemeyer is 1-0 with a 4.00 ERA in three starts this year (team is 2-1), after a very good 2007 season in which he made 20 appearances, including 11 starts. While Wellemeyer had only a 3-2 record on the '07 season, he posted a very solid 3.11 ERA and the Cards went 9-2 in his 11 starts (plus-$995). The Giants are coming off a 5-5 homestand but now go back out on the road where they were only 32-49 last season and are 1-5 to open '08. Good game or poor game from Cain, expect the result to be the same, a loss for San Francisco. Take the Cardinals

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Re: Friday Service Plays

2-Minute Warning

ARIZONA (HAREN) over San Diego (Maddux)

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Re: Friday Service Plays

Ferringo

4-Unit Play.Take Arizona (-140) over San Diego
2-Unit Play. Take Arizona (-1.5, +150) over San Diego
Note: This is our Game of the Week. Play the side at 3.5 Units if you are getting -150 or worse. Play the Runline at 1.5 if you are getting +140 or worse. This is a play no matter who is pitching for San Diego. Listed as Maddux vs. Haren.

The Padres are coming of an absolutely grueling 22-inning loss last night at PetCo Park. As I post this, I’m not certain if the teams flew out to Phoenix last night at around 3 a.m. PST or if they stayed in San Diego and are flying out the day of the game. Regardless, they have to be exhausted and now they get to run into Dan Haren. Not good. Arizona, ironically enough, had an off day on Thursday and is well rested. They are the best team in the National League right now. The Padres are 25-54 in their last 79 at Arizona and 1-8 in divisional games. Arizona has been playing great. And if Greg Maddux can’t come out and throw seven or eight innings the Padres bullpen is decimated. Given the extenuating circumstances of a 22-inning game the night before and the awkward travel schedule this game is a must play.

1-Unit Play. Take Houston (-120) over Colorado
The Astros are 50-23 in their last 73 at home against a left-handed starter. Also, Colorado falls under the same situation as the Padres.

1-Unit Play. Take Milwaukee (-120) over Cincinnati
Ben Sheets is 5-0 in his career at Cincinnati. I’m looking for a lot of runs in this one (I actually like ‘over’ 8.5, but I don’t know the umps so I’m not going to gamble) and I’m looking for the Brewers to have some momentum carry over.

1-Unit Play. Take Cleveland (-110) over Minnesota
I think we need to fade Frank Liriano until he proves that he is back to anywhere near his former self. He certainly didn’t look it in his first start. The Indians are 49-24 in divisional games and 7-0 in their last seven against the Twins.

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DAVE MALINSKY 3*

Seattle Mariners @ Los Angeles Angels
PICK: Seattle Mariners

We don’t believe that the 2-0/1.27 that the pitching forms show on Joe Saunders is anywhere near his true ability, and that a guy with average stuff can be read well in a “quick look” situation by an opponent. We also do not believe that Francisco Rodriguez is anywhere near his reputation right now. That makes this price far out of line against a hungry Seattle team that is playing with a lot of confidence, and brings a wild card to the mound tonight that could prove to be interesting.

Saunders carried a career 5.19 ERA into this season, and is only in the Major’s because of injuries to John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar, but had the benefit of his first two starts going up against struggling Cleveland and Minnesota offenses that have had particular issues vs. left-handers. As such we do not attach all that much significance to those outings. On Sunday he also managed to get a win at Seattle, but it was as much good fortune as it was good pitching. He had plenty of early offensive support to take take the pressure off, yet of the 91 pitches that he threw that day 44 missed the strike zone, perhaps because he was finally facing a division opponent that recognized his stuff, and could wait him out. He lasted only 5.1 innings, allowing six hits and thee walks while only striking out one batter, and for the season he has only 10 K’s in 21.1 innings. If you are not a ground-ball pitcher, and Saunders is not, that anemic strikeout rate is not going to keep your ERA at his current low level very long. Now not only do the Mariners get another quick read of his mediocre tosses, but note that they have already handled him to a 6.16 tune over his four career starts against them.

There are problems behind Saunders as well for the favorite tonight. While Rodriguez is back in the closer’s role for the Angels, that is not necessarily a good thing. He labored once again last night before finally getting the save against Kansas City, having to throw 27 pitches to get through a single inning. A 6.14 ERA is a clear alert of his problems, and it does not lie - he is averaging 19.5 pitches per inning, and in the four appearances since coming back from that ankle injury he has allowed multiple base-runners three times. His 2.05 WHIP is ominous, as is his 50-50 ratio of walks to strikeouts. He is not K-Rod right now.

With both the Angel starter and closer over-valued here the question becomes one of whether the underdog can be trusted, and that dominating sweep of the A’s leading into this series, plus the 2-1 home showing vs. the Angels last weekend, has the Mariner confidence where it needs to be. Now it falls on Dickey to get this one started, and the prospects are interesting. The former high draft choice is an entirely different pitcher at this stage after working through multiple injuries - he now features two different knuckleballs, with a major gap in velocity between them. Knucklers are always difficult reads from our end, of course, but his first two starts at AAA show a solid command of what he wants to do - he only walked one batter in 15 innings, and had more strikeouts (11) than hits allowed (10). This is off of a 13-6/3.72 at AAA LY, where he literally re-invented himself, and in this price range he brings us enough to step in, particularly with a well-rested bullpen behind him, with the relief corps only needing to works two innings in the Oakland series.

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Re: Friday Service Plays

STEVE MERRIL

San Diego Padres @ Arizona Diamondbacks
PICK: Arizona Diamondbacks

The Padres are in a major letdown spot after losing a heart-breaking 22-inning marathon last night, especially considering they had the bases loaded with no outs in the bottom of the 14th inning with the scored tied 1-1 and could not score the winning run.

San Diego must now travel without rest and play the hottest team in the league as Arizona stands 11-4 SU, including 5-1 SU at home where they are averaging an incredible 7.7 runs per game and batting .327 as a team this season.

Arizona should have continued offensive success against a depleted San Diego pitching staff that used 7 different pitchers last night, and will be without projected starter Chris Young this evening. Young is still recovering from an injury and is expected to miss tonight’s start, which means Greg Maddux will most likely take the mound.

Maddux has pitched well this season, but his pitch count will probably be limited as he has lasted 5 innings or less in five of his past seven starts dating back to last year. This means the Padres’ depleted bullpen will be called into action again tonight.

San Diego’s offense was awful last night, scoring just one run in 22 innings with a miserable .149 team batting average. San Diego also struggled on Wednesday when they scored just two runs and hit a pathetic .107. The Padres are now averaging just 3.1 runs this season and things are unlikely to improve tonight when they face Arizona’s Dan Haren who has a fantastic 1.50 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in his two home starts this season.

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