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Sports Monitor

Atlanta Braves at Milwaukee Brewers

TRENDS

The Brewers are 6-18 on the road. The Brewers are 13-9 at home.The Brewers have won six of the last eight when hosting Atlanta.

GAME SUMMARY 

Milwaukee will try to finish off a three-game sweep of Atlanta on Thursday when the teams square off at Miller Park.

SPORTS MONITOR PREDICTION:   

Brewers 5  Atlanta 4

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Jeffmoney

Mets -120 (pod)
Cards -105
Twins Ev

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Oscarxena Sports

San Francisco/Arizona Over 8 1/2 -1.18 (3 Unit Play)

The Giants go for the three game sweep of the NL West leading Diamondbacks tonight and have Barry Zito on the mound going for his second straight win. Zito has been a huge disappointment so far this year as the Giants have went only 1-9 in his 10 starts but he pitched well last game. However Zito on the road this year has a 5.40 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP so he is putting runners on base. The Diamondbacks are answering with Randy Johnson but at home so far this year Johnson has struggled posting a 5.86 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP. The Giants have really been hitting the ball well scoring 44 runs over their past 7 games so I think they should be able to get to Johnson this evening. Arizona's bats have really cooled off but with Zito on the mound they should score some runs this evening. The HP umpire for tonight's game is Mike Winters who on the season is 7-4 to the Over and both pitchers have had four starts with Winters behind the plate with Zito going Over in 3 out of 4 and all 4 of Johnson's starts have went Over the total. It all adds up to a Over play for Oscarxena Sports here tonight.

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GamblersWorld

TIP OF THE DAY

San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers

Current Line: -8 Over/Under: 193.5 Reason: The fans at STAPLES Center will be treated to a playoff game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers when they take their seats on Thursday night. Oddsmakers currently have the Lakers listed as 8-point favorites versus the Spurs, while the game's total is sitting at 193½. Kobe Bryant scored 28 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Lakers clipped the Spurs 93-91 to take a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday night. Los Angeles covered as 4.5-point road underdogs as the teams played under the 192-point total listed by sportsbooks. Lamar Odom had 16 points and nine boards for the Lakers, who got 10 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists from Pau Gasol in the win. Tim Duncan went for 29 points and 17 boards for San Antonio, while Tony Parker netted 23 points and dished out nine assists for the Spurs. Team records: San Antonio: 56-26 SU, 38-44 ATS Los Angeles: 57-25 SU, 47-34-1 ATS San Antonio most recently: When playing on Thursday are 5-5 After playing LA Lakers are 6-4 After a loss are 8-2 Los Angeles most recently: When playing on Thursday are 4-6 After playing San Antonio are 5-5 After a win are 8-2 A few trends to consider: The total has gone UNDER in 5 of San Antonio's last 5 games The total has gone UNDER in 6 of San Antonio's last 7 games when playing LA Lakers The total has gone UNDER in 4 of San Antonio's last 5 games on the road The total has gone UNDER in 4 of San Antonio's last 5 games when playing on the road against LA Lakers LA Lakers are 5-0 SU in their last 5 games at home The total has gone UNDER in 6 of the LA Lakers last 7 games when playing San Antonio LA Lakers are 5-1 SU in their last 6 games LA Lakers are 5-1 SU in their last 6 games when playing at home against San Antonio

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Mr East

Chicago White Sox @ Tampa Bay Rays
Pick: Tampa Bay Rays -128

Anyone disregarding the Rays, has not been paying attention. The Rays are positioned 1st in the AL East, and for good reason. They have been the most dominant team at home as they are now 17-2 in their last 19. This once pitching starved team has outscored the opponents 89-52 in the 19 games, and if you take out a 12 run explosion by Texas, just 40 runs allowed in the other 18 home games. The White Sox are atop the AL central, and John Danks has provided quality innings all season long, but at this stage the Rays, who have now won 6 straight series openers at home, just have everything going right, and we'll back them here

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Mr. A's

Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
 
The Chicago White Sox have won seven of the last eight games versus the Tampa Bay Rays and will send John Danks (3-4, 3.00 ERA) to the hill. The lefthander is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two career starts against the Tampa Bay. The Rays counters with Edwin Jackson (3-3, 3.47). The right-hander is 0-1 with an 8.71 ERA in two career starts versus the White Sox. 

Take the White Sox to continue their success over the Rays. The White Sox have played well away from home, going 7-1 in their last 8 road games and have taken six of last 7 meetings at Tropicana Field, including two of three earlier this season.

Chicago White Sox +115


NBA

Los Angeles Lakers - 8
Under - 193½

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Doc's Sports

Pick: Take San Francisco (+1½ RL) -120 over Arizona

The Giants have taken the first two games of this series in impressive blowout fashion and expect them to pound the baseball against Randy Johnson. The Snakes are really struggling swinging the bats and the off speed stuff of Barry Zito should keep them frustrated. We all know that Zito has struggled this season but he did record a victory in his last start and has pitched better since being demoted to the bullpen. Johnson is just a 7-8 lifetime pitcher against the Giants and will give up a couple of long balls on Thursday as this is a high scoring game that will only be decided by one run giving us the victory with whomever comes out on top

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Sports Gambling Hotline

San Antonio at LA Lakers 

We are not sure if the Lakers are going to be able to close out the Spurs in this Game Five tonight in the City of Angels, but we feel sure that regardless of the side outcome, the total stands a damn good chance of once againt staying below the posted price!

Thus far, ALL 4 games played in this series have stayed UNDER the posted total, and 8 of the last 10 meetings in this rivalry have also held UNDER the posted price.

The Spurs are on a playoff UNDER run of 8 straight games dating back to Game Three of their series with New Orleans, and if any one of their "Big Three" - Duncan, Parker, or Ginobili - has a bad game, there simply aren't enough points out there for the remainder of the team to put this game in the OVER column.

The totals in this series have all held in the low-190's, and we get the feeling the only reason they have been holding there is because of the Lakers offensive prowess.

We will gladly take advantage of the public's stubborness to come down off this high total, and play another UNDER in Game Five tonight.

Play the LOW!

3* UNDER

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Locksmith Sports

1 Unit on Kansas City Royals -110

After dropping the first two games of this series by 1 run at home, I like the Royals to salvage a win in game 3.  The Twins are 4-11 in their last 15 during game 3 of a series,  0-6 in their last 6 Thursday games, and just 3-8 in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400.  The Royals are still 5-2 in their last 7 vs. the American League Central and 15-7 in their last 22 games as a home favorite of -110 to -150.  KC is long overdue for a win and I like them to get off their snide at home tonight.

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BETTORSWORLD

NATIONALS +111

TWINS -105



2-Minute Warning

San Antonio Spurs

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PAUL LEINER

50* NBA Over 193 SA/LAL

50* A's -125

20* Cubs -145

10* Braves -110

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LT Profits

Los Angeles Dodgers +105

Manager Joe Torre makes his first return to New York since leaving the Yankees when his Los Angeles Dodgers visit the New York Mets tonight.

Now Dodgers starter Bred Penny has not pitched well in his last four starts, and this skid started with his started vs. these Mets in Los Angeles where he was charged with allowing 10 earned runs in 4.2 innings! He subsequently allowed five, five and four earned runs in his next three starts, but Penny is simply not this bad, and he did post three consecutive Quality Starts vs. the Mets prior to that last shellacking. Besides, should Penny struggle again, at least the Dodgers have the second lowest bullpen ERA in the National League at 3.00, making them a Bullpen System play here.

Now Claudio Vargas of the Mets has been the antithesis of Penny, in that he has actually pitched better than he really is in recent starts. Vargas has allowed exactly two runs in each of his two starts since being recalled by the Mets, but we feel a return to reality is in order here, and Vargas did not pitch particularly well in his last three starts vs. the Dodgers, allowing 11 earned runs in 15 innings.

Besides, would you have expected Penny to be a small underdog to Vargas if this game had taken place a month ago?

Pick: Dodgers +105

Minnesota Twins +100

The Minnesota Twins have taken the first two games of this series at rather gift prices considering that the Kansas City Royal have now lost 10 straight games, and we look for the Twins to complete the sweep at another cheap price here.

Minnesota starter Kevin Slowey has yet to allow more than three runs in any of his five starts since being recalled from the minors, and his last outing was his best yet as he tossed six scoreless innings while allowing just four hits vs. the potent Detroit Tigers lineup. He should be tough on a Kansas City lineup that is hitting only .232 during the losing streak and has never faced Slowey before.

Luke Hochevar has had a couple of good starts for the Royals, but he has tailed off recently, recording just one Quality Start in his last four outings. He has a high 1.56 WHIP in his last three appearances, which is bad news vs. a Minnesota lineup that is showing signs of life lately, hit,ing .287 vs. right-handed pitching the last 10 games.

Look for Minnesota to score enough run here to extend the Kansas City losing streak.

Pick: Twins +100

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Ben Burns

Minnesota Twins @ Kansas City Royals
PICK: Kansas City Royals

Reason: After an extremely painful loss which saw them blow an 8-3 ninth inning lead the Royals have lost now lost 10 straight. I had the Royals in that game - needless to say, I wasn't too pleased! All the same, every game needs to be analyzed individually and I always make sure not to let any 'personal feelings' affect my handicapping process.

While it's hard to find a "silver lining" within a 10-game losing streak, it's worth noting that the first eight losses came on the road. At home, heading into this series with Minnesota, the Royals had actually won four straight games and outscored the opposition 17 to 6. Kansas City is simply much more competitive at home and both losses the last two days have come in extra innings. The Royals have received a healthy dose of good pitching this season and Luke Hochevar has played a role in that. The 24-year old righthander has struggled on the road this season, which isn't uncommon with young pitchers. However, he's also excelled at home. Hochevar has a 2-1 mark at home with a 2.37 ERA. Opposing batters have only managed to hit .211 against him here at Kauffman Stadium.

I expect Hochevar to get the better of Kevin Slowey tonight. The Twins righthander has made only one appearance at Kauffman Stadium in his career and it did NOT go well, as he gave up three earned runs on six hits (including two home runs) in an outing where he only recorded ten outs. Slowey has been weaker on the road (5.14 ERA) in comparison with at home (3.95 ERA) throughout his career. Slowey also has had trouble with giving up the long ball again this season. After yesterday's success against Livan Hernandez, the Royals could again take advantage of a rather mediocre hurler. Despite a solid effort at Detroit last week, Slowey is still 1-4 in five starts, averaging just 5.1 innings per outing.

Note that Kansas City, despite their overall struggles on offense, has a better team batting average (.268) at home than Minnesota (.263) does on the road. It's also worth mentioning that even after yesterday's debacle, the Royals' relief corps still has a respectable 3.82 ERA and 1.259 WHIP here at home. Conversely, the Twins' relievers have a combined 5.78 ERA and 1.647 WHIP on the road. Let's back the Royals to bounce back and avoid the sweep, earning their first win in nearly two weeks.

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Larry Ness

Colorado Rockies @ Chicago Cubs
PICK: Chicago Cubs

REASON FOR PICK: The Cubs have built theri 22-8 home mark mostly bty averaging 6.33 RPG in "teh friendly confines." Hoiwever, in sweeping the Dodgers in a three-game series, the Cubs score a total of just eight runs but the team's pitching staff held the Dodgers to just one run in each game. The Cubs will likely have to score more runs tonight if they want to win because Jason Marquis has won just one of his last six starts and will take a 2-3 mark with a 4.97 ERA into this game. However, he is 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA in his last four starts against Colorado and the Rockies are nowhere near last year's offensive powerhouse. The Rockies led the NL with a 2.80 team BA in '07, avergaing 5.28 RPG. Those numbers a=re down to .255 and 4.15 RPG this year as Brad Hawpe, Matt Holliday, and Troy Tulowitzki remain out of the lineup. The Rockies have lost eight straight on the road and 14 of their last 16 away from Coors Field. They are 8-19 on the road this season, averaing 3.67 RPG. After 'killing' right-handed pitching in 2007 (70-49 while averaging 5.4 RPG), the Rockies are only 15-26 vs righties this year, averaing just 4.2 RPG. Marquis may be shaky but so is the Cplorado lineup he will face. As for Colordao's starter tonight, Jeff Francis is a afr cry from the pitcher he was in 2007. Colorado went 22-12 with Francis on the mound last year, as his plus-$1,095 moneyline mark made him MLB's second-biggest "money-maker." He enters this game 1-5 with a 6.18 ERA, as Colorado is 3-7 (minus-$420) in his 10 starts. It won;t give Francis any confidence tio reminf dhinm that he's made three previous starts in Wrigley Field, posting a Francis hasn't had much luck at Wrigley Field, posting a 9.37 ERA! Tlke the Cubs.

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Info Plays

3* on Chicago Cubs -140

The Chicago Cubs are playing with two very solid systems in their favor tonight.  Play Against - Road underdogs with a money line of +125 to +175 (COLORADO) - below average NL hitting team (AVG <=.255) against a team with a good bullpen (ERA <=3.75), with a starting pitcher whose ERA is 5.70 or worse on the season (NL).  This is a 43-8 ML System hitting 84.3% since 1997.  Jeff Francis has been absolutely terrible with a 1-5 record and a 6.18 ERA on the season for Colorado.  Play On - All teams with a money line of -100 to -150 (CHICAGO CUBS) - where team's hitters draw 4 walks or more/game on the season, after allowing 2 runs or less 3 straight games.  This is a 66-17 ML System hitting 79% since 1997.  The Cubs’ pitching has been brilliant so look for Jason Marquis to continue this trend against the struggling Rockies tonight.  Bet the Cubs at home.

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Marco D´Angelo 

Today's Pick: ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (-1.5 Runs)

Expect the Diamondbacks to be in an angry mood today as they have dropped the first of this series. The Giants send Barry Zito to the hill today who has been blasted most of the year. Look for an Arizona blow out today. TAKE ARIZONA (-1.5 Runs). 

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King Creole 

Today's Pick: MINNESOTA TWINS

Do the Royals really have any business being installed as favorites of any kind these days? With yesterday's Game Two loss to the Twins, that's that makes it TEN games in a row that the hosts have lost going into Thursday night. Team hitting is down to a dismal .232 in their last 10 games.... while starting pitcher ERA is 6.64 in the same time span. The 'no-rest' GRIND is finally getting to the Royals, as tonight's game is their 16th STRAIGHT game with NO rest! They have not had an off-day in over two weeks.

KEVIN SLOWEY is the young stud on the mound for the Twins ans he has not allowed more than 3 earned runs in ANY start so far in the 2008 season. He's also off his SHARPEST start of the season as he threw 6 SHUTOUT innings on the road against powerful Detroit just 6 days ago. With a solid 2-to-1 ratio of K's to BB's in his last three starts, it's "play ON" time for Slowey. His counterpart (Luke Hochevar) has been tagged in his last two starts for an ERA of 6.00. His current form is extremely shaky as he has allowed more WALKS (10) than STRIKEOUTS (8) in those two starts. Take the Twins. 

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CHRIS JORDAN

600* CUBS (LIST Marquis and Francis)

This could be about as ugly as a blowout could be. I would normally be inclined to lay the chalk in this one, but I honestly believe the run line can get us some extra juice on your bookmaker. The Cubs have been terrorizing teams at Wrigley Field with their offense, yet they come into this one after a three-game home sweep in which the pitching staff allowed a mere three runs. Tied with the Braves for the most home wins this season, Chicago is getting it done offensively by bringing 6.3 runs per game. And with Colorado winless in its last eight and 14 of 16 on the road, I don’t see how the Cubs don’t blow this team out tonight.

Honestly, it looks too good to be true, and though that’s never a good thing, in baseball you have to pick your spots, and that’s a fact with this clash tonight. Normally the team ace, Jeff Francis is 1-5 with a 6.18 ERA on the season and comes into this one after allowing six runs – five in the first inning – in a 9-2 loss to the Mets. And he hasn’t had any luck on the North Side, posting a brutal 9.37 ERA in three starts. Conversely, we’re siding with Jason Marquis, who is in a perfect position to make things right for himself. Though he’s won just one of his last six starts, he is 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA in his last four starts against Colorado.


100* SPURS

I honestly don’t believe the Lakers plan on heading back to San Antonio, and likely have their flight plans set for either Motown or Beantown. But I also don’t think Los Angeles is going to blow this team out like everyone thinks. I’ve been saying this the entire postseason – including Game 7 in New Orleans – the Spurs are the defending World Champs, and they’re not going to go quiet into that gentle night. The only way San Antonio has a chance is to do everything possible to shut down Kobe Bryant. Problem is, by doing that, you give Pau Gasol or Lamar Odom the chance to have a big game. Good thing is, if the strategy works, you keep it under double digits, and make a surge at the end of the game. I will bank on the latter taking place, and the Spurs covering this one, while bowing out in the end.

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Ben Burns Getaway Day GOW
 
Oakland A's

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