FRIDAY SERVICE PLAYS

FRIDAY SERVICE PLAYS

SPORTS ADVISORS

NBA PLAYOFFS

WESTERN CONFERENCE

(1) L.A. Lakers (6-0 SU and ATS) at (4) Utah (4-4, 3-5 ATS)

The Lakers, who held court at home in Games 1 and 2 and who have yet to drop a playoff game, head to EnergySolutions Arena for Game 3 against the Jazz, who had the league’s best regular-season home-court record (37-4) and are essentially in a must-win situation.

On Wednesday, Los Angeles built an early lead and kept Utah at arm’s length most of the night in a 120-110 home victory as a 6½-point chalk. Newly minted league MVP Kobe Bryant led the way with 34 points for L.A., which has scored at least 102 points in 16 straight games and 22 of the last 23. The Lakers are on a 10-0 SU and 9-1 ATS run overall, cashing in each of the last eight games (including all six playoff contests.

Utah, which needed six games to get past Houston in the first round, is just 1-5 ATS in its last six starts (2-4 SU), with the one victory being a 113-91 rout of the Rockets as a 7½-point home favorite in the clinching Game 6 a week ago tonight. The Jazz have lost two straight games for the first time since late December, a stretch of 58 outings. They haven’t dropped three in a row since a six-game losing skid that stretched from Dec. 4-Dec. 14 – the only time all season that Jerry Sloan’s squad lost more than two straight contests.

Los Angeles is now 5-1 SU and ATS against Utah this year, including a current 4-0 SU and ATS run in which L.A. has won by double digits each time. The home team is on a 5-1 ATS run in this rivalry and is 9-3 SU and ATS in the last 12 battles overall, with the winning team cashing in each of those 12 contests. Finally, the favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings, with the one exception coming in the Lakers’ last visit to Salt Lake City on March 20, when they beat Utah 106-95 as a six-point road ‘dog.

The Lakers, who have won by double digits in five of six so far in the playoffs, are on positive pointspread runs of 6-0 in conference semifinal games, 6-0 against the Northwest Division (all in the playoffs), 8-0 against the Western Conference, 8-0 after a SU win, 24-9 after a spread-cover, 4-0 on one day of rest, 7-1 as a road underdog, 21-8-1 overall catching points and 35-16-1 in their last 52 on the highway. The lone negative note: Los Angeles is 1-4 ATS in its last five Friday outings.

The Jazz still carry several positive ATS trends, including 14-3-1 as a home chalk of less than five points, 6-0-1 as a playoff favorite of less than five, 6-2 overall giving points, 38-15-1 at home and 11-5 on one day of rest.

The over is 11-5 in the last 16 meetings in this rivalry, with Game 2 soaring over the posted price of 210. Furthermore, the over is on streaks of 21-7 for Utah against the Pacific Division, 8-3 for as an underdog and 10-3 for L.A. on 13 Fridays. On the flip side, the under for Los Angeles is on runs of 4-1 overall, 4-1 on the highway, 4-1 after a SU win and 4-1 after an ATS win, and the under for Utah is 6-2 when going on one day of rest, 4-1 as a favorite of less than five points and 17-7 following a SU loss.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UTAH


AMERICAN LEAGUE

Toronto (17-19) at Cleveland (16-18)

The Blue Jays trot out right-hander Roy Halladay (3-4, 3.00 ERA) to open a four-game series at Progressive Field against the Indians, who will start struggling left-hander C.C. Sabathia (1-5, 7.51) in a battle of aces.

Toronto is coming off a three-game home series against Tampa Bay in which the Jays dropped the opener 5-4, won the second game 6-2, then gave up five runs in the 13th inning to suffer an 8-3 loss Thursday night in the finale. The Blue Jays are still on a 6-2 tear in their last eight games.

Cleveland is returning home after a three-game set at Yankee Stadium, in which it took the the first two games by scores of 5-3 and 3-0, then finished out the series with Thursday’s 6-3 loss. Despite taking two of three from New York, the Indians are only 4-6 in their last 10 games overall.

Cleveland is on a 12-1 run against Toronto at home and is 17-6 in the last 23 matchups overall, including taking four of six games from the Blue Jays each of the last three seasons. One positive for Toronto: It is 5-1 in Halladay’s last six starts against Cleveland.

Halladay halted a three-game losing streak in his last start Sunday, allowing three runs on three hits with no walks and seven strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings en route to a 4-3 home win over the Chicago White Sox. Halladay has gotten a decision in all seven of his starts this year, and he’s gone no less than seven innings each time out, including four complete games, going just 1-3 in those contests.

Halladay is 5-0 with a 3.77 ERA in 10 appearances (nine starts) against Cleveland, including two complete games. In his only start against the Tribe last year, he allowed five runs on nine hits in just 5 2/3 innings, but he got the win as Toronto took an 8-6 home victory.

Sabathia, also making his eighth start of the year, has lost his last two, most recently giving up four runs on 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings as Cleveland fell 4-2 to Kansas City at home on Saturday. That loss came on the heels of a 1-0 home setback to New York in which Sabathia went eight strong innings, allowing the one run on four hits. Sabathia is 6-3 with a 3.71 ERA lifetime against Toronto, including allowing three runs on four hits (three of them homers) in six innings in a 12-4 win over the Jays the only time he faced them last year.

Halladay is 1-3 despite a solid 2.76 ERA in four road starts this year, while Sabathia is 0-4 with a beefy 9.33 ERA in five home outings.

The Blue Jays are riding slumps of 2-7 on the highway, 1-7 in series openers, 3-7 against left-handed starters, 1-4 as a road ‘dog, 1-5 with Halladay as a road ‘dog and 3-11 in Halladay’s last 14 starts overall on the road. On the positive side, though, Toronto is on runs of 5-0 against the A.L. Central, 10-4 on Friday, 21-7 with Halladay starting a series opener, 50-15 with Halladay facing a losing team and a stellar 62-29 in Halladay’s last 91 starts overall.

The Indians are 25-11 in Sabathia’s last 36 Friday starts, but 4-11 in their last 15 as a home chalk. In fact, they’re just 8-11 at Progressive Field this season.

For Toronto, the under is on streaks of 20-8 overall, 5-0 in Halladay’s last five startsl, 4-0 against lefties and 36-15-2 on the road. For Cleveland, the under is on runs of 5-0 overall, 7-0 against the A.L. East, 6-1 at home against righties, 7-2 at Progressive Field overall and 6-2 as a favorite.

Conversely, the over is 12-5-3 in Halladay’s last 20 series-opening starts, 10-4 in Cleveland’s last 14 series openers and 6-1 in Sabathia’s last seven Game 1 starts, and the total has gone high in five of the last six meetings in this rivalry.

ATS ADVANTAGE: CLEVELAND


N.Y. Yankees (18-18) at Detroit (15-21)

Kei Igawa makes his first big-league start of the season when he leads the Yankees into Comerica Park for a three-game weekend series against the slumping Tigers, who are set to hand the ball to veteran left-hander Kenny Rogers (2-3, 6.27 ERA).

After dropping the first two games of a home series against the Indians, New York came back on Thursday afternoon and avoided the sweep with a 6-3 victory. The up-and-down Yankees are just 4-5 in their last nine games, including being on the wrong end of three-game sweep against the Tigers at Yankee Stadium on April 29-May 1.

Detroit comes into this series having dropped six of its last seven, including losing three of four to Boston to begin this week. Despite having one of the most feared lineups in the major leagues, the Tigers have been held to three runs or less five times during their 1-6 slump, and that includes Thursday’s 5-1 loss to the Red Sox.

The Tigers’ three-game sweep of New York 10 days ago was historic in that it was the first time since 1966 that Detroit swept a three-game set in the Bronx. Rogers pitched the opener on April 29, yielding two runs on six hits in six innings as Detroit won 6-4. The Tigers have won the last five clashes in this rivalry and are 6-1 in the last seven meetings in Detroit.

Igawa, who was just recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, went 2-3 with a 6.25 ERA in 14 games (12 starts) for the Yanks in his rookie season last year, including 0-2 with a 5.76 ERA in five starts on the highway. The 28-year-old southpaw from Japan did not face the Tigers last year.

Rogers got his second no-decision of the season on Sunday at Minnesota, giving up five runs on six hits over 6 2/3 innings, with Detroit blowing a 6-0 first-inning lead and losing 7-6. Rogers is 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA in two home starts this year and 6-7 with a 6.25 ERA in 36 career regular-season games (15 starts) against the Yankees. Prior to his April 29 victory over New York, Rogers hadn’t faced the Yankees since the 2006 A.L. Divisional playoffs when he pitched 7 2/3 shutout innings in a 6-0 win in Detroit.

The Yankees are on a 14-6 run against teams with a losing home record and are 4-0 in their last four as an underdog and 5-2 in their last seven as a road pup, but they carry losing trends of 8-19 against left-handed starters, 2-6 on Friday and 1-5 against the A.L. Central. New York also went 1-4 in Igawa’s five road starts in 2007.

The Tigers are on a 4-0 tear against lefties and are further runs of 4-1 at home against left-handers, 7-3 as a home chalk, 35-17 in Rogers’ last 52 starts overall, 20-7 in his last 27 home starts, 14-6 with Rogers going on four days’ rest and 4-1 with Rogers facing an A.L. East opponent. On the downside, Detroit is 1-5 in its last six as a favorite.

The under is 25-10-1 for the Yankees this season, including 13-5 on the road (4-0 last four on the road). The under is on further runs for New York of 12-1-1 against losing teams, 5-0 on the road against left-handed starters, 8-1-1 against the A.L. Central. Conversely, for Detroit, the over is on streaks of 11-2-2 at Comerica against left-handed starters, 4-0-1 overall in Rogers’ starts, 6-0-1 when Rogers goes on four days’ rest and 7-2 with Rogers a favorite. However, the under is 17-8-2 in Rogers’ last 27 home starts.

ATS ADVANTAGE: DETROIT

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James Patrick Sports

Flyers vs. Penguins
The Keystone State representative in this year’s Stanley Cup Finals will be decided in this series that begins tonight in the Steel City’s Igloo. These rivals don’t like each other and with so much at stake we’ll take Game One of this Eastern Conference Final between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia to go Under the Total as our Friday NHL selection.


Marc Lawrence

Play On: Philadelphia w/Hamels

Note: Phillies wrap up the final leg in their West Coast swing with a three game visit to San Francisco behind staff ace Cole Hamels tonight. The Giants, on the other hand, return home off a week long East Coast road trip knowing they've drop 13 of the last 19 games in this series. With Hamels in solid current for and 3-0 with a 3.69 ERA in his career team starts against the Giants, we'll back the Phillies behind the ace here tonight.


Dave Cokin

Red Sox @ Twins
Play: Red Sox -120

The Red Sox continue their road trip Friday as they head to Minnesota to face the Twins. Jon Lester gets the call for Boston, and he's on a roll. Lester still walks a few too many, but off back to back stellar outings and with the team off a terrific set at Detroit, the Red Sox are go with material here. Boof Bonser has been adequate for the Twins, but he's struggled against the better lineups he's seen this season, and I expect him to get knocked around some tonight. I'll side with the Red Sox as small road chalk.


BRAD DIAMOND SPORTS

Play on: Arizona (Haren) over Chicago Cubs (Lilly)

By the way, since my notes of last week talking about retread Sidney Ponson of Texas, a few other hurlers have taken up the cause of restructuring their pitching careers. They include Livan Hernandez (5-1) of Minnesota, Vicente Padilla (5-2) of Texas and Scott Olsen (4-1) of Florida who retooled their makeup to secure a nice start for their brethren. However, former A’s ace Danny Haren (4.91) who has lost velocity and location still is not up to his prior self. The right hander gets the call Friday afternoon against tough competition (Cubs) on the road. As a chalk with Haren, the Snakes have won 4 straight. Overall, the series has been controlled by Arizona who sets up with a 44-21 mark L63 times in battle. At Chicago, the Snakes have won 7 of the last 10, while Chicago is 0-6 with lefty Lilly as a chalk. A small
play on the traveling Snakes.


Nelly

LA Angels (Garland) + over Tampa Bay (Shields)

This is a great price on the Angels as a substantial underdog against a young Rays squad that has proven little. The Angels are 9-3 in the last 12 road games and 12-6 away from home on the season and while Tampa is improved they are still just two games above .500 and have never held a significant home field edge. Jon Garland has had two bad starts this season at home that have hurt his numbers but he has had decent results on the road and his last start was his best of the season. James Shields is coming off his worst start of the season he has not been consistent enough to take the next step. The Angels continue as one of the top hitting teams in baseball and Tampa Bay appears to be fading with losses in four of the last six games. In a fairly even pitching match-up the Angels will deliver with rare underdog value as the Los Angeles offense has big advantages.

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Jimmy The Moose

Game: Colorado Rockies at San Diego Padres
Prediction: Colorado Rockies

Reason: The Rockies are off to a slow start and it seems the only time they are in a game is when Cook's on the mound. Cook is 5-1 with an ERA of 2.40. Over his last 3 starts, all win his ERA is 1.59. The Rockies have won 6 of his 7 starts this season. The Padres have lost 8 of their last 10 games. San Diego has a 6-9 home record this season. The Padres have dropped 2 of Peavy's last 3 starts. In the last 7 meetings between the team's the Padres are 1-7. Play on the Rockies +.

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Big Al Mcmordie

Game: Boston Red Sox at Minnesota Twins
Prediction: Boston Red Sox

Reason: At 8:10pm ET our member selection is on the Boston Red Sox over the Minnesota Twins. It took a few weeks, but it now looks like the Boston offense is in full swing. The same team that scored only 17 runs in the eight games between April 23 and May 1 (and only scored more than four runs once during that stretch), has now scored 51 runs in the seven games since then. Certainly, the return of third baseman and last season's MVP Mike Lowell has something to do with this, but it's really been the play of firstbaseman Kevin Youkilis that has made the biggest difference. Youkilis is in a zone right now, and could be on his way to succeeding his teammate with MVP hardware of his own this season. Youkilis leads the team in batting average and just tied David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez for the team lead in homers with seven. It's been quite a different story for the Twins this season as Youkilis, Ramirez, and Ortiz combined have more homers than the entire Minnesota team so far. Clearly the Twins miss the offensive production of All-Star outfielder Torii Hunter, and it's a shame as their pitching for the most part has been stellar. It would be quite a story in itself if Boston's lefty Jon Lester was just on the Major League Roster after his recovery from cancer last season, but the fact that he has been dominant in his last three starts with a 2.37 ERA and only 14 hits in 19 innings pitched really makes his comeback accomplishment something special. He could have another productive night tonight against a Twins lineup that has only managed to hit .254 against southpaws so far in '08. Take the Red Sox.

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LAS VEGAS SPORTS PICS

Utah Jazz - 4 over Los Angeles Lakers
   
Jazz return home where they went NBA best 37-4 this season down 0-2 due in part to Laker's home cooking. Utah, while winning the rebounding battle both games, attempted 46 free throws, the Lakers attempted 89. Jazz are 15-3 ATS last 18 home games when favored by less than 5 points.

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STEPHEN NOVER

Atlanta Braves @ Pittsburgh Pirates
PICK: Over

REASON FOR PICK: Tom Glavine finally is showing his age. Ian Snell has yet to round into form. Both Atlanta and Pittsburgh are underrated hitting teams. All this should result in a double-digit scoring game between the two clubs today.

Glavine was shelled in his last start coming off a hamstring injury, allowing six runs, seven hits and five walks in 4 2/3 innings. The Pirates rank No. 3 in runs scored versus left-handers. Foes are batting above .300 against Glavine this season.

The Braves are first in scoring runs against right-handers, and fourth overall in runs scored. They also rank second in batting average. Snell has a 5.09 ERA. Opponents are batting .313 against him. Snell has a 5.28 career ERA in five starts versus Atlanta. The Braves are hitting .333 in their last six games.

The Braves and Pirates have gone 'over' the total during six of their past eight meetings.

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Terron Chapman

Oakland Athletics vs. Texas Rangers
Play: Oakland Athletics   

The Oakland Athletics are tied for first place in the AL west and they've done so mainly because of their success on the road. The A's are 10-5 on the road to start the season and friday night we'll back them as they hit the road to face the surging Texas Rangers.

The Rangers may be in a letdown spot after returning home from a road trip of their own which saw them take five of seven against two division rivals. That can take a toll on a team and things won't get any easier with the A's waiting back in Arlington for their arrival. The A's are coming off an off day after a three game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles.

Greg Smith will get the call for the A's and he has been impressive so far this season. The young southpaw will enter Fridays game with a 2-1 record and solid 2.54 ERA. He held the Rangers to just three hits and one earned run in a 3-1 Oakland win in his last start. He will be opposed by Scott Feldman who will get his third start of the season. He took the loss in the game five days ago and is 0-1 on the season with a 5.41 ERA. In twelve innings pitched at home this season he's allowed 15 hits and 8 earned runs.

The A's come into this game rested and confident they can get it done on the road. When Smith starts this year the A's are 5-1 and 8-1 the last 9 road games facing a right handed starter. The A's take advantage of the off day and start the series and their road trip off on the right foot. Play the Oakland Athletics for 1 unit .

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Ross Benjamin

Game: White Sox (Contreras) @ Seattle (Silva)
Pick: White Sox +105

The White Sox starting pitcher Jose Contreras has been very good over his last 4 starts posting a 0.93 WHIP and a better than 4:1 strikeout to walk ratio. Contreras is 4-1 in his last 5 team starts as a road underdog. The Seattle starter Carlos Silva enters the game in bad form off his last 3 starts posting a lofty 6.75 ERA. Silva is 2-8 in his 10 team starts versus the White Sox since 2005 posing a healthy 5.80 ERA. The Mariners are 1-6 in the last 7 versus a right-handed starting pitcher. Play on the Chicago White Sox as my free selection of the night.

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Jimmy Moore

Game: Philadelphia @ Pittsburgh
Pick: Pittsburgh -175

The Flyers are very fortunate to be here with the easiest road in the playoffs by far getting the overacheiving Capitals and the Canadiens with a rookie goalie who couldn't handle the playoff pressure. It will be a rude awakening for them against the offensively potent Pens especially since they are now missing a big defensemen to injury.

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JEFFERSONSPORTS

TORONTO UNDER 8
BOSTON-115
ARIZONA+111
PHILADELPHIA-170
LA DODGERS-172

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Jim Feist.

BOS Red Sox and MIN Twins
Take "MIN Twins".

Minnesota is in first place because of a terrific bullpen and an excellent home field edge, starting 11-6 at home. Minnesota pitchers lead the majors in fewest walks allowed, which is essential in a hitter's park like this. Starter Boof Bonser has walked just 9 in 42 innings. He's also 2-0 lifetime against Boston with a 3.75 ERA. Young Red Sox starter Jon Lester still has control troubles, walking 26 in 45 innings. That's even more dangerous in a small park like Minnesota. Play the Twins!

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DUNKEL

Baltimore at Kansas City   
The Orioles have lost five straight with starter Steve Trachsel on the mound and face KC starter Gil Meche, who is coming off his best outing of the season (7 IP, 4 H, 0 R at Cleveland).  The Royals are the pick (-140) according to Dunkel, which has Kansas City favored by 1 1/2.  Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (-140).  Here are all of today's games.

FRIDAY, MAY 9

Game 951-952: Arizona at Chicago Cubs
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona (Haren) 14.352; Cubs (Lilly) 15.370
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 1; 10
Vegas Line: Chicago Cubs (-105); No Run Line
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (-105); N/A

Game 953-954: Atlanta at Pittsburgh
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta (Glavine) 15.514; Pittsburgh (Snell) 15.793
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh (-110); 9
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-110); Under

Game 955-956: Cincinnati at NY Mets
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati (Belisle) 13.609; NY Mets (Pelfrey) 16.160
Dunkel Line: NY Mets by 2 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: NY Mets (-155); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Mets (-155); Over

Game 957-958: Florida at Washington
Dunkel Ratings: Florida (Nolasco) 13.843; Washington (Redding) 16.701
Dunkel Line: Washington by 3; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Washington (-130); 9
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-130); Under

Game 959-960: St. Louis at Milwaukee
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Wellemeyer) 15.206; Milwaukee (Parra) 14.590
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-120); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (+110); Under

Game 961-962: Colorado at San Diego
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (Cook) 15.579; San Diego (Peavy) 14.662
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 1; 5 1/2
Vegas Line: San Diego (-155); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (+145); Under

Game 963-964: Philadelphia at San Francisco
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia (Hamels) 17.348; San Francisco (Misch) 14.602
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 2 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-175); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-175); Over

Game 965-966: Houston at LA Dodgers
Dunkel Ratings: Houston (Moehler) 14.994; LA Dodgers (Lowe) 17.453
Dunkel Line: LA Dodgers by 2 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-170); 9
Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (-170); Under

Game 967-968: NY Yankees at Detroit
Dunkel Ratings: NY Yankees (Igawa) 15.663; Detroit (Rogers) 15.916
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Detroit (-125); 10
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-125); Under

Game 969-970: Toronto at Cleveland
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto (Halladay) 15.384; Cleveland (Sabathia) 14.992
Dunkel Line: Toronto by 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: Cleveland (-120); 8
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (+110); Under

Game 971-972: LA Angels at Tampa Bay
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Garland) 15.829; Tampa Bay (Shields) 15.370
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1/2; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-140); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (+130); Under

Game 973-974: Oakland at Texas
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Smith) 16.246; Texas (Feldman) 15.501
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1; 10 1/2
Vegas Line: Oakland (-110); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (-110); Over

Game 975-976: Baltimore at Kansas City
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Trachsel) 15.076; Kansas City (Meche) 16.566
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Kansas City (-140); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (-140); Under

Game 977-978: Boston at Minnesota
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Lester) 16.231; Minnesota (Bonser) 16.026
Dunkel Line: Boston by 1/2; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Boston (-120); 9
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-120); Over

Game 979-980: Chicago White Sox at Seattle
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Contreras) 14.870; Seattle (Silva) 14.571
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Seattle (-115); 9
Dunkel Pick: Chicago White Sox (+105); Under


NBA

LA Lakers at Utah
The Jazz return home in an 0-2 hole, but look to take advantage of a 6-1 ATS record when listed as a home favorite between 3 1/2 and 6 points.  Utah is the pick (-4) according to Dunkel, which has the Jazz favored by 6 1/2.  Dunkel Pick: Utah (-4).  Here are all of today's games.

FRIDAY, MAY 9

Game 505-506: LA Lakers at Utah
Dunkel Ratings: LA Lakers 124.434; Utah 130.748
Dunkel Line & Total: Utah by 6 1/2; 208
Vegas Line & Total: Utah by 4; 215 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Utah (-4); Under


NHL

Philadelphia at Pittsburgh
The Penguins have won all five home games in the postseason and have taken the last three against the Flyers on the home ice by a combined score of 15-6.  Pittsburgh is the pick (-175) according to Dunkel, which has the Penguins favored by 1.  Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-175).  Here are all of today's games.

FRIDAY, MAY 9

Game 51-52: Philadelphia at Pittsburgh
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia 11.784; Pittsburgh 12.950
Dunkel Line & Total: Pittsburgh by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Pittsburgh (-175); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-175); Over

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Alex Smart

Baltimore Orioles +135

I am expecting Steve Trachsel (1-4, 7.43 ERA) the 37 year old veteran starter for the Baltimore Orioles, to break out of an early season funk, against a struggling KC offense, that ranks last in the AL on the season, with 120 runs. The Orioles, have won 10 straight in this series overall,including 6 straight here in Kauffman and Im recommending backing them to turn the trick again, at a value price. Play on the Orioles

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Matt Fargo

New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers
Play: New York Yankees     

The Yankees avoided the sweep on Thursday against the Indians which will provide some much needed momentum heading into this revenge series with the Tigers. Detroit went to Yankee Stadium at the start of last week and took all three games making it five straight wins over the Yankees dating back to last season. New York is 9-9 on the road this season but is 7-5 in its last 12 away from home. Pitching has picked up some of the slack as the unit has allowed three runs or fewer in five of the last six games.

Just when you thought the Tigers were emerging once again following a very slow start, they are once again struggling. After starting the year a miserable 2-10, Detroit reeled off 12 wins in its next 17 games, including that sweep in New York. Since then however, the Tigers have lost six of their last seven games including three of four at home against the Red Sox. Unlike the Yankees, pitching is a real issue as it has allowed five runs or more in five straight games and four runs or more in 12 of the last 13 games.

The Tigers hope to get out of the pitching funk with Kenny Rogers on the hill. Based on his last two outings, things may be on the upswing for Rogers but I am still not sold. Two straight quality outings followed three straight miserable games and I expect one of the latter results here based on the quality start go against theory as well as his struggles with the Yankees. Despite allowing two runs in six innings in New York two starts back, Rogers is 6-7 with a 6.25 ERA and 1.87 WHIP in 15 starts against the Yankees.

New York counters will call-up Kei Igawa who will be making his first start of the season. Last year, he was good at times but was also pretty bad at times and even though he was winless on the road, his overall numbers were much better than at home. He should come into this game with some good confidence as opposed to last season when he was just thrown into the fire. The confidence is based on his minor league success as he was 3-3 with a 3.86 ERA in seven starts. Play New York Yankees 1.5 Units

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JB's COMPUTER PICKS


Arizona Diamondbacks - 105

Toronto Blue Jays + 110

Oakland Athletics - 115

Los Angeles Dodgers - 176 * * *


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VEGAS EXPERTS TIP OF THE DAY

Baltimore Orioles at Kansas City Royals

We look for the Orioles to return to their losing ways tonight behind Steve Trachsel, who owns a terrible 4-20 team start record in the underdog role, including 1-13 on the road. He'll be opposed by the Royals' Gil Meche, who is coming off a seven-inning outing where he allowed no runs and four hits against Cleveland. Baltimore has lost Trachsel's last three starts and his ERA is approaching 10.00.

Play on: Kansas City

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John Fina

Selection: Colorado/San Diego Under 6.5

Today we expect a low-scoring game as the Colorado Rockies do battle with the San Diego Padres. One reason why we expect a low-scoring game is because both these teams will be sending to the mound solid starting pitchers. This says it all... The Colorado Rockies Starting Pitcher (Aaron Cook) has a 2.40 ERA this season, while San Diego Padres Starting Pitcher (Jake Peavy) has a 2.22 ERA this season. In addition, these teams have a history of playing low-scoring games when they meet. In fact, the Under is 6-3 in the last 9 meetings between these teams. We expect to see another low-scoring game today! Take the Colorado Rockies/San Diego Padres Under 6.5

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Karl Garrett

Tonight, staying in the Steel-Town, but going with the visitor in this one, as Atlanta comes in on their best run of the young season having won 6 straight games.

Tom Glavine was hit hard his last time out, but did work 5 innings of 1-run ball against Pittsburgh to start the year in a no decision. Glavine is 2-0 over his last 4 starts against the Pirates, and should get some run support tonight from his mates.

Ian Snell has allowed 12 earned runs over his last 16 innings of work for an 0-1 mark, and Snell's last 5 starts against the Braves show a 1-2 mark with 18 runs allowed in 31 innings of work.

Pittsburgh has won their last 3, but the value tonight lies with the streaking Bravos.
Atlanta to make it 7 straight wins.

2* ATLANTA

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Bobby Maxwell

We get a little plus money and a dominating pitcher in Roy Halladay, there's no way we're not taking the Blue Jays in this matchup.

It doesn't matter how much Toronto has struggled in Cleveland, Halladay (3-4, 3.00 ERA) will get the job done tonight. He's allowed just one earned run in each of his last two starts, suffering a tough 1-0 loss in Boston and then beating the White Sox 4-3.

He's been very tough on the Indians since 1999, and the Blue Jays are 7-2 when he's toed the rubber against the Tribe. Last time he went to Cleveland and pitched he allowed one run on five hits in 7.2 innings of a 5-2 win.

C.C. Sabathia (1-5, 7.51) goes for Cleveland and he has really struggled at home for the Tribe, going 0-4, 9.33 ERA. He got drilled by the Royals on Saturday when he allowed four runs on 10 hits in 6.1 innings of a 4-2 loss.

The Blue Jays have won six of their last eight as they come into Cleveland and with Halladay on the hill, we've got no worries with this one. Play Toronto.

4* TORONTO

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DCI

NBA

Western Conference Semifinals
Game 3, best-of-7
UTAH 109, L.A. Lakers 108

NHL

Eastern Conference Finals
Game 1, best-of-7
PITTSBURGH 3, Philadelphia 2

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