FRIDAY SERVICE PLAYS

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TONY WESTON

Tonight, Im going with the Pirates to beat the Chicago Cubs. Now, the teams have played eight times so far this season and the Cubs are 7-1.

However, that one win by the Pirates came Saturday when Pittsburgh beat Carlos Zambrano, who is scheduled to get the start tonight. In all the eight meetings so far this year, Saturdays game was the only one in which Zambrano has started against Pittsburgh.

In that game Zambrano gave up four earned runs and seven hits in four innings of work as the Pirates beat Chicago 7-6.

The Cubs come into this game having lost their last two games on the road and are 9-11 away from home this season.

The Pirates will light up Zambrano and get an easy win over Chicago.

Take the Pirates at home tonight.

3* PIRATES

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Sports Gambling Hotline

It would be very easy to play the percentages and call for another UNDER in this game, but the fact the linemakers didn't really come down much from their Game One total tells us that they feel we have high-scoring potential on our hands in this Friday night battle, and we agree!

11 of the Lakers last 15 Friday night games have eclipsed the posted price, and we believe this game is going to feature a few more points than we saw in Game One on Wednesday.

The Lakers paltry 89-points was a playoff-low through their first 11 postseason games. Los Angeles has hit the century mark or better in 9 of their 11 playoff battles, and we think this game is going to see LA come close to cracking the 100-point plateau for sure in front of the home crowd.

We will be going against the grain in this game, and playing the OVER in Game Two of this best of seven series.

Play the HIGH!

1* OVER

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Tony Mathews

Cincinnati Reds vs. San Diego Padres

Cincinnati/San Diego Under 7.5

Explanation: We expect a low-scoring game as the Cincinnati Reds face-off against the San Diego Padres in Friday's MLB contest.

The Cincinnati Reds will use starting pitcher Edinson Volquez. Edinson Volquez has pitched very well this season. In fact, Edinson Volquez has a 1.33 ERA on the season. We see Edinson Volquez pitching another great game today.

The San Diego Padres will use starting pitcher Shawn Estes. Shawn Estes has also pitched well so far this season. In fact, Shawn Estes has a 2.02 ERA on the season. We see Shawn Estes also pitching another great game today.

The Under has been a smart investment in San Diego Padres home games. In fact, the Under is 12-5 in the San Diego Padres last 17 home games.

Take the Cincinnati Reds/San Diego Padres Under 7.5

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Robert Ross

Cincinnati Reds at San Diego Padres
Prediction: Cincinnati Reds

Reason: Going to fade the Padres and their anemic offense here. Padres starter Estes has a good lifetime mark vs. the Reds but hasn't started against them since 2004. Reds'starter Volquez has a 1.33 ERA and SAN DIEGO is 1-10 against the money line vs. an NL starting pitcher whose ERA is 3.50 or better this season and 23-46 against the money line vs. a starting pitcher whose strikes out 5 or more batters per start over the last 3 seasons. Take Cincinnati

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WISEGUY

NBA

SPURS vs LAKERS
2 units under 193

MLB

2 units Chicago White Sox -106

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Strike Point

San Francisco/Florida Under 9

Barry Zito is still in search of his first win of the year. I don't know if he can best the Marlins fresh off a sweep of the D-Backs, but I think he'll be good for a strong outing. And just the same I see Scott Olsen coming with his top stuff, keeping this one under the posted total. You won't confuse the Giants with any of the NL's top scoring line-ups, and I don't see the winner with more than five runs here. The under is the way to go in this series opener.

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John Fina

Selection: Cleveland Indians -150

Today the Texas Rangers will be on the road as they take on the Cleveland Indians. We will side with the Cleveland Indians. One reason why we will side with the Cleveland Indians is because they will be sending to the mound the starting pitcher who has been pitching a lot better as of late. This says it all... The Texas Rangers Starting Pitcher (Kason Gabbard) has a 4.50 ERA in his last 3 starts, while Cleveland Indians Starting Pitcher (Fausto Carmona) has a 1.69 ERA in his last 3 starts. As you can see, the Cleveland Indians will be sending to the mound the much better starting pitcher. The Cleveland Indians are 8-3 in their last 11 meetings against the Texas Rangers, and should be able to get another win tonight!

Take the Cleveland Indians

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HUDDLE UP

Philadelphia +105


MIGHTY QUINN

Lakers


COMPUTER SPORTS

INDIANS -160


THE POWER INDEX

L.A. Lakers 5*


TRACE ADAMS

NY METS


DUSTIN HAWKINS

CARDINALS


Sharp Sports Advisors

RED SOX   


ARMVIN SPORTS

DIAMONDBACKS   



Play By Play Inc.

SPURS/LAKERS Under 193


Insider Sports Report 

San Francisco/Florida UNDER 9


LT's LOCKS

MARINERS


Sportskingz

Spurs/ Lakers Over


Nevada Sharpshooter

Royals


Cash N Sports

Lakers


Vegas Steamline

Red Sox


Big Time Sports

Red Sox/ As Over


Prime Sports Picks

Royals


Vernon Croy

Blue Jays


Nick" Bookie Killer" Parsons

Twins/ Tigers Over

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KELSO

10 unit - Lakers

15 unit - Reds
10 unit - Tigers
3 unit - Mariners

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Yankee Capper

3 Units - St. Louis Cardinals +115

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David Malinsky 3*

Texas Rangers @ Cleveland Indians
PICK: Texas Rangers

Anti-Cleveland plays have become a meal ticket for us ever since the Indian starting rotation put that scoreless streak together, and given tonight’s line it appears as though there is no end in sight - the marketplace continues to over-rate a team that is filled with flaws. Yes, some of those starters are special. But this is a team bereft of offense and with serious holes in the bullpen, and they certainly do not merit this price range.

Let’s talk offense. The Rangers have out-scored the Indians by 67 runs (note that they have played two more games, but it is still a major advantage). They have 130 more hits, 26 more doubles, six more triples and 22 more home runs. They have also drawn 40 more walks, and even have three more stolen bases, at a much higher success rate (83.9 percent vs. 71.9).

So how does a team on a six-game losing streak, the longest current run in the Major’s, earn this level of favoritism, while giving up that much in terms of production? It is the reputation of Fausto Carmona, and his current 4-1/2.25 in the pitching forms, that carries most of the weight. But as we noted in a column about Carmona last week, his numbers have to be taken with a grain of salt. He has an ugly ratio of 35 walks vs. only 22 strikeouts over 56 innings, and a very high strand rate. Now let’s also go back to another recent column, the one that focused on that much-improved patience level from the Texas offense, and you see that matchup advantages this underdog brings. The Rangers are #2 in the A.L. both in walks, and in pitches seen per plate appearance, and that is absolutely the right way to attack Carmona. It is also the right way to attack a bullpen that has been slumping so badly that the return of Joe Borowski is actually considered good news.

Kason Gabbard brings us the ideal counter to Carmona tonight - the Texas left-hander has worked to an effective 3.12 over 34.2 innings, and the Rangers are 5-2 in his starts, with an * next to one of the losses (he left after two innings of a scoreless tie at Fenway because of injury). But since he was only given credit for one of the wins, his performances have been far off of the radar screens. He brings an outstanding ratio of 2.67 ground-ball outs for every fly-out, and now steps way down in class against an offense that has only scored 23 runs over the last 10 games, and may be without Victor Martinez (injured his left index finger last night). Buoyed by that complete game from Sidney Ponson on Wednesday night, the only fatigue rating in the Texas bullpen goes to Joaquin Benoit, off of yesterday’s 33 pitches, so the late innings do not bring any issues.

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Winners Inc. Guaranteed Selections

5000* BASEBALL BLOWOUT WINNER
Atlanta w/Reyes -126

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Re: FRIDAY SERVICE PLAYS

Brandon Lang

10 Dime - Tigers Run Line

5 Dime - Lakers

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Locksmith Sports

1 Unit on Florida Marlins -1.5 +131

The Marlins have been impressive with Olsen on the hill in several different situations.  First off, they are 4-0 in Olsen’s last 4 starts during game 1 of a series.  The Marlins are 8-0 in Olsen’s last 8 starts with the total set at 9.0-10.5, 5-0 in Olsen’s last 5 starts vs. a team with a losing record, and 9-1 in his last 10 starts overall.  The Giants are 0-6 in Zito’s last 6 starts as a road underdog, 3-15 in Zitos last 18 starts following a team loss in their previous game, and 0-4 in his last 4 road starts.  Just how big of a bust has Zito been for the Giants you ask?  They are only 7-23 in Zito’s last 30 starts.  We’ll take the Marlins on the run line here to get some more bang for the buck.

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Evan Altemus

Arizona D-Backs vs. Atlanta Braves
Pick: Under  Play Title: Friday's NL Top Total


St Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Pick: Over  Play Title: NL Total BLOWOUT Winner

This game features two starting pitchers who have really been struggling of late. Adam Wainright has been hit pretty hard in his last two outings. He has given up 12 runs and 20 hits in his last starts. Derek Lowe has also struggled, giving up 27 runs in his last five starts, averaging over five runs per start. Both teams also have hit the ball well lately. Los Angeles is hitting .280 against right handers at home, while St. Louis is averaging over .280 against righties on the road. Los Angeles has also scored four runs or more in seven of their last ten games. St. Louis has been hitting even better, scoring five runs or more in six of their last eight games. They have also been hitting over .300 as a team in almost every game.


Cincinnati Reds vs. San Diego Padres
Pick: Under  Play Title: Late Night Dominator

Cincinnati’s bats have really been slumping. After scoring two runs in the first inning of last night’s game, they failed to score again in the game. They have hit well below .200 as a team in the last three games as well. Edinson Volquez has been playing very well this season in every start. He has been completely dominating, allowing two runs or less in EVERY START THIS SEASON. Shawn Estes meanwhile has shown excellent stuff for the Padres since returning to the team. Look for this game to easily go under the total, as these two pitchers will easily dominate these weak hitting teams.


Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers
Pick: Detroit Tigers  -1.5  Play Title: AL Bookie Destroyer

Detroit responded to Jim Leyland’s criticism on Tuesday by destroying the Mariners in a three game sweep. They scored 30 runs in their last three games. As a team they hit .361, .378, and .436 in their last three games. I feel that the Tigers are going to start surging now, especially as their starting pitching has appeared to have turned things around. Twins starter Kevin Slowey has pitched well since being implemented into the starting rotation, but he hasn’t gone deep into any of his outings. He also hasn’t had shut down stuff either. His short outing will open things up for the questionable Twins bullpen. Their pitching staff has given up 34 runs in their last five games. I expect Detroit to crush Minnesota in this game because of their huge offensive advantage. Minnesota is not a good team on the road, look for Detroit to get an easy win.


Milwaukee Brewers vs. Washington Nationals
Pick: Milwaukee Brewers  Play Title: Surprising NL Top Play

Milwaukee’s bats have been hitting very well lately, despite losing six of their last eight games. They have scored 31 runs in their last six games and almost swept the Pirates in their last series. The Brewers have dominated left handed pitching this season, and now they get to face struggling lefty Odalis Perez. He has really had control problems since his early season success. Jeff Suppan will be able to handle the weak hitting Nationals bats enough for the Brewers to get the win.


Baltimore Orioles vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Pick: Under  Play Title: AL Top Total

This game features two excellent young starting pitchers. Jeremy Guthrie has turned things around since a rough start to the season. Matt Garza has played very well this season, despite a rough outing in his last game. I expect him to bounce back today against an Orioles squad who has struggled to score runs at times this season, especially lately. They are only hitting .228 against righties on the road. Tampa Bay has also struggled to score, scoring three runs or less in six out of their last nine games. Look for both of these pitchers to go deep into the game and shut down each team.


New York Mets vs. Colorado Rockies
Pick: Under  Play Title: NL Hidden Total Gem

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DUNKEL

MLB

Baltimore at Tampa Bay   
The Rays return home after a six-game road swing and look to build on their 9-2 record at Tropicana Field when the total is listed between 8 and 8 1/2.  Tampa Bay is the pick (-125) according to Dunkel, which has the Rays favored by 1 1/2.  Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (-125).   Here are all of today's games.

FRIDAY, MAY 23

Game 951-952: Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh
Dunkel Ratings: Cubs (Zambrano) 16.504; Pittsburgh (Duke) 15.001
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Chicago Cubs (-175); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (-175); Under

Game 953-954: San Francisco at Florida
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco (Zito) 14.445; Florida (Olsen) 17.965
Dunkel Line: Florida by 3 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Florida (-170); 9
Dunkel Pick: Florida (-170); Under

Game 955-956: Arizona at Atlanta
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona (Davis) 15.963; Atlanta (Reyes) 15.242
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-130); 10
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (+120); Under

Game 957-958: Milwaukee at Washington
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee (Suppan) 15.232; Washington (Perez) 15.653
Dunkel Line: Washington by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-120); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (+110); Under

Game 959-960: Philadelphia at Houston
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia (Eaton) 16.104; Houston (Backe) 16.417
Dunkel Line: Houston by 1/2; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Houston (-115); 10 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Houston (-115); Under

Game 961-962: NY Mets at Colorado
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Perez) 15.605; Colorado (Reynolds) 14.725
Dunkel Line: NY Mets by 1; 9
Vegas Line: NY Mets (-105); 10
Dunkel Pick: NY Mets (-105); Under

Game 963-964: Cincinnati at San Diego
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati (Volquez) 16.216; San Diego (Estes) 14.929
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 1 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-140); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (-140); Over

Game 965-966: St. Louis at LA Dodgers
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Wainwright) 16.173; LA Dodgers (Lowe) 15.067
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 1; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-120); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (-120); Over

Game 967-968: Minnesota at Detroit
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota (Slowey) 14.476; Detroit (Galarraga) 16.291
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 2; 10
Vegas Line: Detroit (-155); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-155); Over

Game 969-970: Texas at Cleveland
Dunkel Ratings: Texas (Gabbard) 14.620; Cleveland (Carmona) 16.039
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Cleveland (-160); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (-160); Under

Game 971-972: Seattle at NY Yankees
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Bedard) 14.308; NY Yankees (Pettitte) 13.902
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 1/2; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-115); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (+105); Over

Game 973-974: Kansas City at Toronto
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Greinke) 15.581; Toronto (Halladay) 15.136
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Toronto (-155); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (+145); Under

Game 975-976: Baltimore at Tampa Bay
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Guthrie) 14.447; Tampa Bay (Garza) 15.733
Dunkel Line: Tampa Bay by 1 1/2; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-125); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (-125); Under

Game 977-978: LA Angels at Chicago White Sox
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Saunders) 16.100; White Sox (Floyd) 15.626
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1/2; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Chicago White Sox (-115); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (+105); Under

Game 979-980: Boston at Oakland
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Wakefield) 15.585; Oakland (Harden) 16.501
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Oakland (-115); 8
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (-115); Over


NBA

San Antonio at LA Lakers
The Spurs came close to stealing Game One and look to build on their 4-1 ATS mark when listed as a road underdog between 6 1/2 and 9 points.  San Antonio is the pick (+6 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Lakers favored by just 4 1/2.  Dunkel Pick: San Antonio (+6 1/2).  Here are all of today's games.

FRIDAY, MAY 23

Game 707-708: San Antonio at LA Lakers
Dunkel Ratings: San Antonio 126.150; LA Lakers 130.798
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Lakers by 4 1/2; 190
Vegas Line & Total: LA Lakers by 6 1/2; 192 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Antonio (+6 1/2); Under

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Gavazzi Hoops + Baseball

4% San Ant Spurs

3% Tigers/Twins over 9.5 runs
2% Chicago White Sox

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Re: FRIDAY SERVICE PLAYS

JeffMoney

A's -140 (pod)
Reds -135

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LT Profits

Philadelphia Phillies -105

The two starting pitchers for the Philadelphia Phillies and the Houston Astros tonight will never be confused with Cy Young, but the Phils have the much better bullpen and they must be the more confident team as well after beating Houston ace Roy Oswalt Thursday.

Besides, as bas as Philadelphia’s Adam Eaton has been, he did have one of his better starts this year vs. these Astros when he recorded a Quality Start, allowing three runs in six innings of a 4-3 Phillies win on April 15. Eaton has allowed exactly two runs in two of his last four starts, so it is not as if he is incapable of turning in a solid performance. Still, the key for the Phillies tonight will probably be the bullpen, which currently leads the Major Leagues with a collective 2.86 ERA.

Now Brandon Backe of the Astros has actually been decent lately, but he was terrible in his first start vs. Philadelphia, allowing six runs on 10 hits and two walks while lasting only three innings. Backe has a high 1.58 WHIP overall, and he is catching the Phillies at a bad time as they are just starting to break out of their offensive slump, scoring 19 runs the last two games.

Finally, fragile Phils closer Brad Lidge got a save in his first appearance in Houston as a visiting player last night, so he should be more relaxed if he is called on again tonight.

Pick: Phillies -105


Los Angeles Dodgers -120

This may look like a starting pitching mismatch between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight, but Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright has been way off lately and the Dodgers’ Derek Lowe is simply not as bad as he has looked.

Wainwright allowed 12 hits in just 5.2 innings of a 9-8 Cardinal victory over the Tampa Bay Rays last week, and that came on the heels of another poor outing in Milwaukee where he was lit up for eight runs in six innings. As if that was not bad enough, one of the worst stars or Wainwright’s career came here in Los Angeles, when he was torched for eight earned runs in only 2.2 innings last season.

Now granted, Lowe has been a gas can in his last four starts, but it is hard to believe he can lose his form as quickly as he did after allowing three earned runs or less in each of his first six starts. The good news is that he still has a nice 3.70 ERA and 1.11 ERA when pitching at home this season, so maybe he can finally regain his form tonight. At the very least, if he struggles again, at least he has the support of a Dodger bullpen that ranks second in the National League with a 3.10 ERA.

That makes the Dodgers a Bullpen System play here, and that angle is +4.55 units this year after averaging +97 units the last three years.

Pick: Dodgers -120

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Wunderdog

Seattle at New York Yankees
Pick: New York Yankees -123

The good thing for the Yankees is that they appear to be on the mend and ready to make a turn after winning the series against the Orioles. The better news is it is Seattle coming to the stadium, a team that is helpless on the road at 7-17 and an even worse 3-10 against the AL East. Eric Bedard is not the same pitcher yet, as he was last year as the M's have lost three of his last four starts. His strikeouts are way down and his walks have reached four in 57% of his starts. This is a good place for the Bombers to grab their third straight against a team that is completely down and out and has dropped three in a row.

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