THURSDAY SERVICE PLAYS

THURSDAY SERVICE PLAYS

SPORTS ADVISORS

NBA PLAYOFFS

EASTERN CONFERENCE

(2) Detroit (8-4, 7-5 ATS) at (1) Boston (9-6, 6-9 ATS)

The Celtics, who despite short rest managed to pull away and win Game 1, look to maintain their playoff home winning streak at the TD BankNorth Garden in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Pistons.

Boston led by just one at the half of Tuesday’s series opener, then outscored Detroit 28-17 in the third quarter and held on from there for an 88-79 win as a 4½-point chalk. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce combined for 48 points for Boston, which outshot the Pistons 52.2 percent to 42.4 percent and finished with a  44-22 point edge in the paint. Four of Detroit’s five starters scored in double figures, but none had more than Tayshaun Prince’s team-high 16 points.

Boston is now 9-0 SU at home in the playoffs (6-3 ATS), and the Game 1 win snapped the team’s 0-5 ATS slide going back to the conference semifinal series versus Cleveland. In fact, the home team has won all 15 of Boston’s postseason games, going 12-3 ATS. Detroit, meanwhile, has followed up a 5-0 ATS run by failing to cover in three of its last four, including two in a row.

The Celtics are now 3-1 SU and ATS against Detroit this season, having won and cashed in the last three clashes, and the straight-up winner is on a 5-0 ATS run in this rivalry. Despite Tuesday’s outcome, the road team is still 7-2 ATS in the last nine head-to-head clashes and the underdog is 10-4 ATS in the last 14 meetings.

The Pistons are still 12-4 SU and 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games going back to the regular season, and they are on additional ATS runs of 4-0 after a SU loss, 5-1 on one day of rest and 4-1 after a non-cover. But Detroit has failed to cash in six consecutive road playoff games as an underdog of less than five points. Also, Flip Saunders’ squad is in ATS slumps of 1-7 as a road ‘dog of any price, 2-8 catching less than five points in the playoffs and 4-9 in roadies against teams with a winning home record.

Finally, the Pistons are 5-16 ATS in their past 21 conference finals games, including a current 0-7 ATS freefall that dates to last year’s series against Cleveland, in which they failed to cash in all six games (2-4 SU).

The Celtics are on positive pointspread rolls of 12-3 at the Garden, 7-0 at home against teams with a winning road mark, 6-1 on Thursday and 5-2 laying less than five points. On the negative side, though, Boston is on ATS slides of 2-11 as a home chalk of less than five, 1-5 on one day of rest, 1-4 in the conference finals, 2-5 following a SU win and 0-4 after a spread-cover. In fact, Doc Rivers’ squad hasn’t covered in two straight games since blowing out Atlanta in Games 1 and 2 in the first round of the playoffs.

Game 1 came up short of the 173½-point posted price, making the under 5-0 in the last five meetings overall (4-0 this year) and 6-0 in the last six battles at the Garden (3-0 this year).

Additionally, for Detroit, the under is on tears of 17-7 overall (8-4 in the playoffs)), 11-2 on the highway (5-1 in the playoffs), 15-3-1 as a playoff ‘dog of less than five points, 18-5-1 as a playoff pup of any price, 19-7 against the East and 19-7-1 in the conference finals. Finally, for Boston, the under is 4-0 as a playoff chalk of less than five, 5-1 in the conference finals, 9-4 at the Garden and 17-7 against the Central Division.

ATS ADVANTAGE: BOSTON and UNDER


NATIONAL LEAGUE

N.Y. Mets (22-22) at Atlanta (25-21)

Looking to avoid an ugly four-game sweep in Atlanta, the Mets turn to left-hander Johan Santana (5-2, 3.30 ERA), while the Braves will counter with Tim Hudson (6-3, 3.06) in a clash of aces.

Atlanta opened this series by breezing to 6-1 and 6-2 victories in Tuesday’s doubleheader, then came back Wednesday and rolled 11-4. The Braves are 7-3 in their last 10 outings and are on a 24-6 spree at home, including an MLB-best 19-5 home record this season. The inconsistent Mets, meanwhile, have dropped 11 of their last 19 games (5-6 on the road), going 2-5 in their last seven starts.

The Braves are now 6-2 this season against New York, winning all five games played in Atlanta, and Bobby Cox’s club is now 40-18 in the last 58 head-to-head clashes at Turner Field.

The Mets have been on a tear with Santana on the hill, winning his last six starts, as the lefty has gone 4-0 with two no-decisions. In an interleague contest Saturday at Yankee Stadium, Santana got touched up a little bit, giving up four runs on seven hits in 7 2/3 innings (his longest outing of the season), but he still earned a 7-4 win.

With Saturday’s win at Yankee Stadium, Santana improved to 4-1 with a 2.81 ERA on the highway this season. However, Santana is 0-2 in three career starts against the Braves, despite a sterling 2.41 ERA. On April 6 at Atlanta, he allowed just one run on seven hits in seven innings, but he got no offensive support, and the bullpen gave up a pair of runs in a 3-1 loss.

Hudson had a three-game win streak come to an end in Saturday’s 5-4 interleague loss to Oakland at home, as he allowed all five runs on five hits (two homers) in five innings. Prior to that, he had given up just three runs (two earned) in 23 innings over three games, including a three-hit complete-game 2-0 home win over Cincinnati.

Despite Saturday’s results against the A’s, Hudson is 4-1 with a 2.94 ERA at Turner Field this season, and he’s 8-5 with a 3.96 ERA in 14 career starts against the Mets. That includes an 11-5 home win on April 5, when Hudson held New York to three runs on six hits in six innings.

The Mets are in slumps of 2-8 on Thursdays, 1-5 on the road against winning teams and 0-5 against National League East rivals. But they’re perfect in Santana’s last four road starts.

The Braves are 1-5 in Hudson’s last six starts against winning teams, but the team’s trends are all positive from there, including 4-0 against left-handed starters, 12-2 at home against winning teams, 36-16 overall at Turner Field, 4-1 when Hudson starts at home, 4-1 with Hudson going on Thursday and 19-9 in Hudson’s last 28 starts overall.

The over is 6-1 in Santana’s last seven starts, but the under is 9-4-1 in Hudson’s last 14 outings.

Even though last night’s game soared over the posted total, the under is still 10-4 in the last 14 series meetings between these rivals and is 10-2 in the last 12 clashes in Atlanta. Finally, the under is on runs of 40-16-2 for Atlanta overall, 7-2 for Atlanta at home, 20-9-2 for New York against winning teams, 4-1 for New York on Thursdays and 4-1 for New York in divisional play.

ATS ADVANTAGE: ATLANTA and UNDER


AMERICAN LEAGUE

L.A. Angels (28-20) at Toronto (23-25)

The Angels hand the ball to the red-hot Joe Saunders (7-1, 2.48 ERA) as they look to complete a three-game sweep of the Blue Jays, who will send A.J. Burnett (4-4, 4.71) to the hill.

Los Angeles opened the series with a 3-1 victory Tuesday night, then came back Wednesday and held on for a 4-3 win. Following a 2-4 slide, the Angels have bounced back to win four of their last five games. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays have come back down to earth after a 6-1 run, and they’re now just 1-4 in their last five home contests.

Despite dropping the first two games of this series, Toronto is still 8-4 in its last 12 meetings with the Angels in Canada and 17-10 in the last 27 clashes overall.

The Angels are 8-1 in Saunders’ nine starts this season, including a 4-2 home win over the Dodgers on Friday in interleague play. Saunders allowed both runs on just five hits in 7 1/3 innings to bounce back from his first loss of the season – in which he allowed just one run on four hits in six innings but got no offensive support in a 2-0 loss at Tampa Bay on May 10.

Saunders is 3-1 with a stellar 2.13 ERA in four road starts this season, but he is 1-2 with a 3.62 ERA in four career outings against Toronto.

Burnett snapped a two-game slide in his last outing Saturday, yielding two runs on four hits in 6 1/3 innings in a 6-3 interleague win at Philadelphia. Burnett is 1-2 with an inflated 8.64 ERA in three starts (four appearances) at Rogers Centre this season, and he’s 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in his only start against the Angels, which came two seasons ago.

The Angels are still just 2-4 in their last six on the highway and 2-5 in their last seven as an underdog, but they are 10-4 in their last 14 Thursday matchups. In addition, with Saunders pitching, L.A. is on streaks of 22-8 overall, 10-4 on the road, 7-3 against the A.L. East and 12-2 when he goes on five days’ rest.

The Blue Jays are 2-6 in their last eight Thursday games, but they are 35-16 their last 51 at home against lefties. Also, with Burnett starting, Toronto is on streaks of 6-1 against winning teams, 6-2 on Thursday and 8-3 at home against winning clubs.

The over is 5-2 in Saunders’ last seven starts on the road and 4-1 in his last five against the A.L. East. Conversely, the under is 9-4 in Burnett’s last 13 at home, 5-1 in his last six against winning teams, 4-1 in his last five on Thursdays and 12-3-1 in his last 16 when pitching on four days’ rest.

Additionally, for Los Angeles, the under is on streaks of 7-1 overall, 8-2-1 on the highway and 9-1-1 against losing teams. For Toronto, the under is on rolls of 22-8-1 overall, 10-2 at home, 6-1 on Thursday, 7-2 against lefties and 12-1-2 at home against winning road teams. Finally, with both games in this series staying low, the under is now 38-14-5 in the last 57 meetings between these two teams, including 21-6-3 in the last 30 clashes in Toronto.

ATS ADVANTAGE: L.A. ANGELS and UNDER

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Marc Lawrence

Game: Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox
Prediction: Cleveland Indians

The Indians wrap up a three game visit to Chicago against the White Sox this evening behind Aaron Laffey who has not allowed an earned run in 21 innings of work over his last three starts. He's also 6-1 in his seven career road team starts. With Mark Buerhle in struggling current form and just 3-6 in his last nine starts on Thursdays, we'll back Laffey and the Tribe here tonight.

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Jimmy The Moose

Game: Seattle Mariners at Detroit Tigers
Prediction: over

Seattle has played the over in 5 of their last 6 games vs. a right-handed starter. The over is 40-18-4 in their last 62 games vs. AL Central opponents. Batista is on the mound tonight and his ERA over his last 3 starts is 10.38 and all 3 games played over the toatl. The over is 28-6-5 in Detroit's last 39 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400. The over is 28-13-5 in the Tigers last 46 games vs. AL West opponents. The over is 7-0-2 in Bonderman's last 9 starts vs. AL West team's. The over is 8-1 in the Mariners last 9 trips to Detroit. The team's have played the over in 6 of the last 7 meetings. Play the over.

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Gator Report


NBA (Playoffs 3-4 -1.40) Thursday

Play Over NBA teams where the total is between 170 and 179.5 points off a road loss, a well rested team playing 3 or less games in 10 days.31-8 Over since 1996 (79.5%) PLAY: Detroit / Boston OVER 172


MLB (13-5 +745) Thursday

Play On MLB home favorites with a money line of -125 to -175 with a bullpen whose ERA is 3.75 or better on the season, with a starting pitcher whose ERA >= 7.00 over his last 5 starts.42-10 the last 5 seasons (80.8%) PLAY: New York Yankees -145*

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James Patrick Sports

Diamondbacks vs. Marlins

Dan Haren gets the ball for the series final and he gets our nod for our Major League Baseball complimentary selection on Thursday. Our Thursday selection is Arizona Diamondbacks.

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Ross Benjamin

Texas @ Minnesota
Pick: Texas -105
   
The Rangers starting pitcher Vincente Padilla enters the game in great form off his last 5 starts posting a 1.63 ERA. Padilla is 5-1 in his team starts on the road this season with a very good 3.28 ERA and in 2 starts during the day in 2008 posts an excellent 1.69 ERA. The Minnesota starter Livan Hernandez has started 1 game versus Texas this season and was shellacked. He lasted just 2.2 innings giving up 9 hits and 7 earned runs. Texas is 8-3 in the last 11 as an underdog. The Rangers are hitting a red-hot .300 as a team over the last 10 games versus right-handed pitching. Play on the Texas Rangers.

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Scott Spreitzer

Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh has a great set-up tonight, to help them snap their mini-skid. Gorzelanny has pithced well in evening starts this season and he's smoked the Brewers in his career. It's a Brewers' squad that's 0-2 in road night games against southpaws, scoring a grand total of two runs. Combined with Bush's struggles, Milwaukee should be in trouble tonight at PNC. Bush has fared poorly away from home and in night outings this season, and he's been ripped by the Pirates in his career, especially at this venue. Look for Pittsburgh to snap their skid with a big win on Thursday evening. The Pirates get the money.

Play on: Pittsburgh

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Alex Smart

Detroit Tigers -160

The Detroit Tigers have hammered the Seattle Mariners in the first two games of this three game series, smashing out 21 runs on 31 hits . With the Tigers red hot bats in top form, it will be very hard for a Mariners team that allowed an average of 6 RPG in their L/5 away games, to avoid being swept in this early afternoon tilt, no matter who each of these teams send to the pitching mound. Final notes & Key Trends: The Mariners have lost 9 of their L/10 road games. Play on Motown

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Mike Rose

Chicago White Sox -102

Looking to put an end to the Tribe’s five-game skid will be left-hander Aaron Laffey who comes into this start 2-2 with a miniscule 1.35 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. This kids been everything skipper Eric Wedge could have hoped for when they called him up back in late April to take the spot of the injured Jake Westbrook. He'll look to build off an impressive outing at home against the A's, in which he allowed just one unearned run on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts in seven total innings of work. The kid hasn’t allowed an earned run in each of his last three starts. He’ll be making his first road start in this spot, but he had success at US Cellular Field last season in his lone start against Chicago. He threw 5 2/3rd innings of four run ball in Cleveland’s 7-5 road win.

After getting pounded in each of his previous two starts, lefty Mark Buehrle threw a gem his last time out at San Francisco allowing seven hits and one earned run in the White Sox 3-1 road victory. The win improved his record to 2-5 on the year and lowered his ERA to 5.27. Buehrle’s yet to pick up a win at US Cellular this season going 0-2 with a 5.79 ERA and allowing 21 hits and 12 earned runs in a shade under 19 innings of work. Cleveland’s got the best of him throughout his career evidenced by his 7-11 record and 4.97 ERA in 29 total starts. Chicago’s lost his last three starts against Cleveland going back to last season.

Why not roll with the red hot White Sox in this spot who’ve cashed tickets in nine of 13 tries against left-handers this season? The Tribes winless in its L/6 road games, while Chicago’s 6-1 the L/7 times they’ve been installed home underdogs. Ride the Southsider’s winning streak!!!

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BRAD DIAMOND SPORTS

Play on: Houston (Oswalt) over Philadelphia

The Astros dropped 2 of 3 in Philly last time around, but Houston’s lone win came when veteran Roy Oswalt threw a 2-1 victory in game #2 of the series. Here we find Houston 9 of 11 at home and 23-4 at home with Oswalt versus a winning club. The Astros behind their savvy hurler have won 6 in a row at home against this inconsistent Philly group.

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Sportsbettingstats

Detroit Pistons at Boston Celtics

In game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals the Celtics beat the Pistons 88-79. The Celtics are undefeated at home in the 2008 playoffs and played great defense on the Pistons, who looked a step slow. The Pistons will have to step it up, as the Celtics look determined to get to the finals. The main man for the Celtics in game 1 was Kevin Garnett, who scored 26 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. Paul Pierce also had a good game going for 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists. In the game the Celtics shot the ball well going 36/69 for a field goal percentage of 52.2%. Both teams grabbed 37 rebounds in game 1, but the Celtics had more assists, more blocked shots, and less turnovers. The high scorer for the Pistons in game 1 was Tayshaun Prince, who went for 16 points, but only shot 7/16 from the field. In game 1 the Pistons did not shoot well at 28/66 for a field goal percentage of 42.4%.

Staff Pick: The Pistons had a week off to rest, but their lack of play over the last week may have been the reason they were rusty coming out of the gates. Chauncey Billups has to play better in game 2 for the Pistons to have a chance, as he was only 3/6 for 9 points in the loss. Another key for the Pistons is Rasheed Wallace, who played poorly only scoring 11 points on 3/12 shooting. The Celtics, who were just coming off a game 7 against the Cavaliers, played great with Garnett and Pierce having good games. The Pistons offense looked lethargic at times and their passing game was non-existent, as the Celtics held the Pistons to only 15 assists for the game, while they had 27. Game 1 should have knocked off some rust of the Pistons, but they are playing a hot Boston team right now. ESPN ran a story of how Garnett is not a clutch player and he answered his critics with a huge game 1. The Pistons will have to shoot the rock better and open up the passing lanes to be successful in game 2. The game is in Boston, where the Celtics have not lost all post season, and Garnett and Pierce are firing on all cylinders. Look for a better game from the Pistons, but it will not be enough to overcome the home court advantage and Garnett, who is played game 1 like he has something to prove in this series.

Celtics 92 Pistons 87

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JB's Computer PIcks

Boston Red Sox - 230   * * *

Los Angeles Angels + 110

Atlanta Braves + 105


Best Bets * * *

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JEFFERSONSPORTS

MLB EARLY RELEASES FOR THURS

BALTIMORE+147
ATLANTA+112
CINCINATTI-106

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Dave Cokin.

LA Angels and TOR Blue Jays
Take LA Angels

Joe Saunders and AJ Burnett lock up in Toronto as the Angels and Blue Jays close out their series Thursday evening. Burnett is obviously capable of the occasional great game, but the truth is that he's an erratic .500 pitcher who's been overrated his entire career. On the flip side, Joe Saunders is one of those guys who won't ever overwhelm hitters and has mostly been an afterthought, even though he was a first round pick back in 2002. Bottom line is that Saunders doesn't wow anyone, and he'll never have as spectacular stuff as Burnett. But he's the better pitcher. The Angels are also a better team than the Blue Jays, and I expect them to finish off the series sweep with another win tonight.

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Jim Feist

LA Angels and TOR Blue Jays
Take Under

Toronto starter A.J. Burnett is quietly getting his stuff together after a rough April. In his last four starts the team has allowed an average of 3 runs per game. The Blue Jays offense hasn't been healthy and has sputtered all season at 29-15 under the total. The Angels are no offensive powerhouse, either, at 17-7 under the total the last 24 games. Starter Joe Saunders has been terrific at 7-1 with a 2.48 ERA. Play the Angels/Blue Jays under the total

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DUNKEL

MLB

Cleveland at Chicago White Sox   
The Indians look to snap a five-game skid and avoid their first sweep in Chicago since 2003 behind left-hander Aaron Laffey, who has won his last two starts and hasn't allowed an earned run in his last three appearances.  The Chisox counter with Mark Buehrle, who was 0-5 with a 5.26 ERA in his previous six starts before finally picking up a win on Sunday against the struggling Giants. Cleveland is the pick (-105) according to Dunkel, which has the Indians favored by 1 1/2.  Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (-105).   Here are all of today's games.

THURSDAY, MAY 22

Game 901-902: Milwaukee at Pittsburgh
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee (Bush) 13.854; Pittsburgh (Gorzelanny) 14.879
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-110); 9
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (+100); Over

Game 903-904: Arizona at Florida
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona (Haren) 15.803; Florida (Miller) 14.411
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 1 1/2; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Arizona (-115); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (-115); Under

Game 905-906: NY Mets at Atlanta
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Santana) 16.088; Atlanta (Hudson) 15.259
Dunkel Line: NY Mets by 1; 9
Vegas Line: NY Mets (-110); 8
Dunkel Pick: NY Mets (-110); Over

Game 907-908: Philadelphia at Houston
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia (Kendrick) 15.441; Houston (Oswalt) 16.076
Dunkel Line: Houston by 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Houston (-130); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Houston (-130); Under

Game 909-910: Cincinnati at San Diego
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati (Harang) 14.052; San Diego (Wolf) 14.625
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: San Diego (-105); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (-105); Over

Game 911-912: Seattle at Detroit
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Batista) 13.686; Detroit (Bonderman) 14.914
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1 1/2; 11
Vegas Line: Detroit (-160); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-160); Over

Game 913-914: Texas at Minnesota
Dunkel Ratings: Texas (Padilla) 14.638; Minnesota (Hernandez) 15.498
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 1; 10
Vegas Line: Minnesota (-110); 9
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-110); Over

Game 915-916: Kansas City at Boston
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Bannister) 14.576; Boston (Matsuzaka) 17.398
Dunkel Line: Boston by 3; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Boston (-215); 9
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-215); Over

Game 917-918: Baltimore at NY Yankees
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Burres) 14.621; NY Yankees (Kennedy) 15.228
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees by 1; 11 1/2
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-145); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (-145); Over

Game 919-920: LA Angels at Toronto
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Saunders) 14.761; Toronto (Burnett) 15.475
Dunkel Line: Toronto by 1; 7
Vegas Line: Toronto (-125); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (-125); Under

Game 921-922: Cleveland at Chicago White Sox
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland (Laffey) 16.591; White Sox (Buehrle) 15.074
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Cleveland (-105); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (-105); Under


NBA

Detroit at Boston
The Celtics continued to enjoy the home court with a Game One win and ran their record to 3-0 ATS against good defensive teams (allowing less than 91.0 points per game).  Boston is the pick in Game Two (-3 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Celtics favored by 5 1/2.  Dunkel Pick: Boston (-3 1/2).  Here are all of today's games.

THURSDAY, MAY 22

Game 705-706: Detroit at Boston
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 121.964; Boston 127.591
Dunkel Line & Total: Boston by 5 1/2; 170
Vegas Line & Total: Boston by 3 1/2; 172
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-3 1/2); Under

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EZWINNERS

MLB

5 STAR: (905) NY METS (-$116) over Atlanta
(Listing Santana only)
(Risking $580 to win $500)

3 STAR: (903) ARIZONA (-$114) over Florida
(Listing Haren only)
(Risking $342 to win $300)

3 STAR: (907) PHILADELPHIA (+$120) over Houston
(Action)
(Risking $300 to win $360)

2 STAR: (913) TEXAS (+$100) over Minnesota
(Listing Padilla only)
(Risking $200 to win $200)


NBA

5 STAR: (705) DETROIT (+4) over Boston
(Risking $550 to win $500)

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Matt Fargo

Cleveland Indians @ Chicago White Sox
PICK: Chicago White Sox

REASON FOR PICK: This is a great number for a lot of reasons. The White Sox are the hottest team in baseball right now as they have won seven straight games to take a two and a half game lead in the American League Central. The run started with five straight road victories and after taking the first two games in this series against Cleveland, Chicago has won six of its last seven at home. Everything is clicking as both the offense and the pitching are combining to dominate as the seven wins have been by an average of 4.6 rpg.

While the White Sox are surging, the Indians are swooning. Cleveland has lost five in a row, all of which have come on the road. It had a record of 8-2 in its previous 10 games prior to this so this skid has really taken the wind out of its sails. Even when it was winning, the offense was struggling and the Indians have now scored three runs or fewer in seven of 10 games and have not eclipsed four runs in any of those games. They are averaging only 2.5 rpg while hitting just .199 over this span.

A lot of people will be jumping on Aaron Laffey as he has allowed no earned runs in each of his last three starts and currently has a 21-inning steak going of not allowing an earned run. This is the exact reason why I am going against him here. We get a great price going against a pitcher who is far from the upper echelon of the league. He falls into the play against situation of going on the other side of two or more straight quality starts. This is his first road start of the season as well.

Mark Buehrle will be looking for some redemption and is currently in good form to make that happen. He was lit up on opening night against the Indians, getting tagged for seven runs on seven hits in just 1.2 innings. He has never had great success against Cleveland in his career but he faced the Indians at the right time as the bats are ice cold. Buehrle is also coming off a great outing as he allowed just one run in 6.2 innings against the Giants and in doing so, notched his first win since April 6th. Play Chicago White Sox 1.5 Units

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Big Al Mcmordie

Arizona Diamondbacks at Florida Marlins
Prediction: Arizona Diamondbacks

Reason: At 7:10pm our member selection is on the Arizona Diamondbacks over the Florida Marlins. Two of the National League's three division leaders square off in this all-important series. You wouldn't be surprised at all to hear that one of the teams playing is the Arizona Diamondbacks who seem to have things well in hand in the NL West, especially when you consider that neither Colorado nor San Diego has shown up yet this season to challenge them. You probably would be quite shocked, however, to learn that the other team is the Florida Marlins. Going into Wednesday's games the Marlins were 25-19 and held a 1 1/2 game lead in the National League East. Everyone is expecting them to come down to reality, but so far almost 1/3 of the way through the season it hasn't happened. The trades they've pulled off recently with teams like the Detroit Tigers (who are languishing in last place in their division) could not have worked out better. Tonight's starter, lefthander Andrew Miller was a product of one of those trades. Florida probably wasn't counting on Miller to be one of their starters this season, but injuries to Sergio Mitre and Anibal Sanchez have opened the door for the 23 year-old southpaw. Miller looked like he definitely wasn't ready for this in April, as he went 1-2 with a 9.12 ERA over his first six starts. But he has settled down and is 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 18 innings in his last three starts. That would be impressive, until you consider that those starts were against three VERY light hitting teams in Kansas City, Washington, and San Diego. The D-Backs ace righthander Dan Haren has these kinds of numbers, but it's over the course of an entire season against good teams as well as bad, so we'll go with him at home over the inexperienced Miller, who may find himself back to April form against a very potent Diamondbacks lineup. Take Arizona.

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Re: THURSDAY SERVICE PLAYS

Carlo Campanella

Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox

Prediction: Chicago White Sox

Reason: Both teams send out southpaws to start on the mound, however, Cleveland is just 6-5 against left-handers this season while Chicago is a solid 9-4. That's good news for Chicago's Buehrle as he's a very profitable 18-3 at home during May! On top of those advantages, these White Sox have won 6 straight games and face a slumping Indians squad that's lost 4 in a row.

7* Play On Chicago

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