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Wednesday Service Plays

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The Hammer Guaranteed Selections

PRIVATE INVESTORS CLUB BASEBALL WINNER
Philadelphia w/Myers -110

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MONEYLOCKOFTHEDAY

DIGGER'S PICK

COLORADO +125


JUNIOR'S PICK

ATLANTA -140

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David Malinsky 4*

Toronto Blue Jays @ New York Yankees
PICK: Toronto Blue Jays

Last night we took advantage of the marketplace being way off in their perceptions between these teams - getting Roy Halladay and the surging Blue Jays as underdogs against a sub-.500 team with bullpen issues was too much to pass up. Those same perceptions are in play again tonight, so off we are to the Bronx again.

Toronto has gone 21-11 since May 1st, including 11-7 on the road, and in that span the Bue Jays have won at five different stadiums of teams that currently sport winning records. Last night’s win would have made it six, except of course that the Yankees are 28-30 and in last place in the A.L. East. Jesse Litsch has been a big part of that run, with his 7-1/3.18 an indication of the kind of savvy he has at such a young age, with only nine walks through 65 innings. He has already picked up four road wins this season, and from a confidence standpoint remember that his final road start of 2007 was a 4-1 here in Yankee Stadium, when he worked into the 8th inning without issuing a walk against a team that was playing with their playoff lives on the line. Now Litsch enters this one off of back-to-back shutouts, and brings the right frame of mind to perform well once again, while a bullpen that has been as good as any in the game this season has plenty of rested and ready arms for late support.

So is Mike Mussina bringing enough to be this kind of favorite? Not at all. At this stage he can be an average pitcher on his good days, and less than that on the others. In 2007 his ERA ballooned to a career-high 5.15, and the peripherals showed why - he allowed a career high of Hits-Per-9, and posted a career low of Strikeouts-Per-9. Naturally that also meant that his ratio of hits per strikeout was an additional career low, reaching over 2:1 in that category. So in reducing his ERA to the current 4.26, has he reached back and found anything? No. His strikeout rate has fallen off even more, from 5.38 to 4.84, and his hits-per-strikeout have climbed from 2.07 to 2.12. The drop in ERA can largely be explained by the fact that nine unearned runs do not show against his ledger - remember that lovely start against Baltimore in which seven of the 10 batters he faced either got a hit or received a walk, but only one run was charged. His best weapon at this stage of his career is his guile, with fooling hitters that are not accustomed to his stuff an occasional plus factor. That is not in play tonight, with every projected Toronto starter having at least 10 career at-bats against him.

As we wrote yesterday, moving Joba Chamberlain to the starting rotation leaves a major hole in the Yankee middle relief corps. There are issues of quality and consistency, and with Mussina managing just 34 innings over his last seven starts, only making it into the 7th once, that bullpen will have to be a big part of tonight’s proceedings. It means that for the second night in a row the underdog may have been better pitcher on the mound every inning. The only exception would be Marino Rivera working the 9th, but if this flows the way that we anticipate, there will not be a New York save situation available.

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Tony Karpinski

Cincinnati Reds vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Play: Cincinnati Reds 
   
Cincinnati at Philadelphia (MLB Baseball Action) 7pm ET This is a game with two pitchers vying, one Brett Myers (Phila) the veteran who leads the majors in home runs allowed at 15. He has struggled this year at 3-6, 5.52 ERA, a bulbous WHIP 1.58, and opponents have been whacking him to the tune of almost .300. His opponent Volquez is 7-2, 1.46 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and holds the opposition to .197 batting average. Cincy has been a good road team this year, and in them you have a good small road warrior dog. Take the small dog CINCY and win on Wednesday! Play the REDS 

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LT Profits

Philadelphia Phillies -115

Edinson Volquez of the Cincinnati Reds has probably been the best pitcher in the National League this season, but it is hard to pass up on the Philadelphia Phillies at this cheap price at home.

After all, the Phillies are the hottest team in the league having won eight of the last nine games overall, and they have also won seven of their last eight home games to improve to 20-12 in this stadium. Conversely, the Reds are still under .500 overall at 28-31 and they are a woeful 9-21 on the road.

Philadelphia starter Brett Myers has burned a lot of money in the early going as the Phils have tried to transform him back into a starter after he served as their closer last season. However, he looks to have finally turned the corner with two quality starts in his last three outings, and he has season highs in innings (8) and strikeouts (11) in his last start. Remember that Myers had a fine rookie season as a starter, and he was projected to be the Phillies’ number two starter this season after Cole Hamels, so he should only get better as the season goes on.

Now there is no doubt that Volquez has been dominant, with a league leading 1.46 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP with an amazing 83 strikeouts in 68 innings. The problem here is that he does not figure to get much run support if Myers’ last start was not a mirage, so we see a tight low-scoring game until the late innings here. Then, we feel that the pendulum will swing strongly in favor of the Phillies one the bullpens get involved, as Philadelphia now leads the Major Leagues with a 2.68 pen ERA.

This makes the Phillies one of our Bullpen System plays today, and they system went 6-2 last night and averaged +97 units the last three seasons.

Pick: Phillies -115

Toronto Blue Jays +120

Jesse Litsch of the Toronto Blue Jays has been surprisingly effective in this starter’s role this season, while Mike Mussina of the New York Yankees has reverted back to his bad habits lately.

Litsch is a shocking 7-1 with a nice 3.18 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 65 innings overall, and he has been downright unhittable over his last three starts, with a 0.83 ERA and 0.92 WHIP! He is working on a nice streak of 16 scoreless innings over his last two appearances, and he has allowed three runs or less in six straight starts. He also pitched very well in his only career outing at Yankee Stadium last season, allowing just one run and five hits in 7.2 innings.

Mussina appeared to have gotten himself straightened out for the Yankees, but he suddenly imploded in a start vs. the Baltimore Orioles two weeks ago, and the Moose now has a 5.40 ERA with a very high 1.89 WHIP over his last three starts. Also, Toronto has now has a huge edge in the bullpen, as the Jays lead the American League with a 2.85 pen ERA while we feel that the Yankees bullpen has been severely weakened with the move of Joba Chamberlain to the starting rotation.

Finally, the Blue Jays are 9-3 in their last 12 games overall and 10-4 in their last 14 road games, and we look for them to build on both of those streaks tonight.

Pick: Blue Jays +120

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Computer Crushers Guaranteed Selections

5000 UNIT BASEBALL CRUSHER WINNER
LA Dodgers w/Kershaw -130

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Louie Mayo

MLB
(5*) Phillies -120
(3*) Angels -123
(1*) Detroit +120

WNBA
(50*) Detroit -4

NHL
(40*) Detroit -130
(20*) Over 5 Detroit -120

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Josh Dean

Cle/Tex UNDER 10.5

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Andrew Powers

NATIONAL LEAGUE BASEBALL POWER PLAY OF THE MONTH

GOM is ATLANTA w/ Glavin.

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The Experts Guaranteed Selections

ULTIMATE EXPERTS BASEBALL CRUSHER
St Louis w/Wellemeyer -115 

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Steam On-Line Guaranteed Selections

5000* BASEBALL LATE STEAMER
Chicago White Sox w/Danks -168

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Larry Ness

Cincinnati Reds @ Philadelphia Phillies
PICK: Cincinnati Reds

REASON FOR PICK: Junior is still waiting for his 600th HR but in the meantime, the Reds have dropped the first two games of this four-game series with the Phils, both by one run (5-4 and 3-2). The two losses have dropped the Reds to 9-21 on the road (14th loss in 17 road games!), while the Phils have now won 11 of their last 14 overall, extending their lead in the NL East to 2 1/2 games. The good news for the Reds tonight is they will have a huge pitching advantage. Edinson Volquez has come out of nowhere to be one of '08's best pitchers. He spent the last three seasons in Texas, making only 20 appearances (17 starts), going 3-11 with a 7.20 ERA. So who could have predicted this? Maybe the Reds, who insisted he be included in the Josh Hamilton deal. Volquez will enter tonight's game 7-2 with a 1.46 ERA in 12 appearances (11 starts) this year, as the Reds are 9-2 (plus-$740) in his starts (ranks him 7th-best among starters). The Phillies will send Brett Myers to the mound. Myers began his career as a starter but was the team's closer last year. He opened this year in the starting rotation and not much has gone right. He's 3-6 with a 5.52 ERA, as the Phils are 4-8 (minus-$694) in his starts, which ranks him 214th out of 218 starting pitchers this year against the moneyline. I'll give Volquez a shot here, taking a price.

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Black Widow Sports

1*on Tigers/A’s U 8.5

This game won’t see more than 8 runs cross the plate Wednesday when two of the worst-hitting offenses in the league square off.  The Tigers are scoring just 3.7 runs per game on the road with a .237 average to boot.  The A’s are scoring a mere 3.2 runs per game against left-handed starters this season, so look for Nate Robertson to have his way with this lineup.  Justin Duchscherer has some of the best numbers in the American League.  Duchscherer is 3-0 with a miniscule 1.35 ERA in 3 home starts this season.  Oakland is 18-4 UNDER (+13.5 Units) after one or more consecutive overs this season.  Oakland is 17-4 UNDER (+12.5 Units) in home games vs. a poor bullpen whose ERA is 4.50 or worse over the last 2 seasons.  Take the UNDER 8.5 runs here.

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Lucky Leprechaun Sports

Arz/Mil Under

The Under is 6-1-1 in Owings' last 8 starts after allowing 5 runs or more in their previous game and 25-12-4 in Diamondbacks last 41 vs. National League Central, while the Under is 25-9-1 in Brewers last 35 games with the total set at 9.0-10.5 and 16-5-1 in their last 22 home games vs. a team with a winning record, plus the Under is 6-1 in the last 7 meetings in Milwaukee. The Brewer pitching staff has been supperb in this homestand as they have a 2.25 ERA during it, allowing 1 or less runs in 5 of the 8 games thus far. Overall the Brewers have a 3.35 ERA at home. Manny Parra gets the ball for the Brew Crew and he had a good year at home, posting a 3.24 ERA in 6 home starts. He will be taking on an Arizona offense that comes in scoring just 3.2 rpg over their last 9 games, scoring 3 or less runs in 6 of those games. The D-Backs staff ere away from is very good at 3.08, including a 3.52 ERA from Owings. The Brewers offense hasn't been super lately as they are averging just 4.3 rpg over their last 8 games. for the year they put up just 4.3 rpg at home and are hitting just .246 vs right starters, scoring just 4.5 rpg in the process. Arizona road games average just 7.9 rpg, while Brewer home games average 8 rpg. Even with an Ump that it is 5-1 to the Over in his last 6 behind home plate, I'll look for the Under to hit for the 8th time in the 9 games of the Brewers homestand.

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Priceless Picks

1 unit on NY Mets -120

In this battle of pitchers with rhyming last names, I give the Maine the edge.  First off, the Mets have taken 5 of the last 7 meetings with the Giants and they'll have the momentum after winning last night.  The Mets are 10-2 in Maine 's last 12 Wednesday starts, 23-9 in Maine 's last 32 starts vs. a team with a losing record, and 31-14 in Maine 's last 45 starts as a favorite.  The Giants are 5-21 in Cain's last 26 starts vs. a team with a winning record,  0-4 in Cain's last 4 starts during game 3 of a series, 2-8 in Cain's last 10 starts as an underdog of +110 to +150, and 13-34 in Cain's last 47 starts overall.  Make a small play on the Mets this afternoon.

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Info Plays

3* on Oakland A’s -132

Oakland hands the ball to Justin Duchscherer (4-4, 2.27), who will be making his first career start against the Tigers. The righthander is 2-2 with 3.18 ERA over nine trips out of the bullpen in the all-time series. Duchscherer is 3-0 with a stellar 1.35 ERA this season at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland.  You have to love the odds you are getting here with Duchscherer and the A’s.  Their opponents in Nate Robertson is 3-5 with a 5.92 ERA on the season.  Play On - Home teams with a money line of -100 to -150 (OAKLAND) - a good team (54% to 62%) playing a bad team (38% to 46%), in June games.  This is a 78-29 ML System hitting 72.9% since 1997.  Oakland is the better team with the better starter and better bullpen tonight.  Bet Oakland at home.

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Jeff Alexander Sports

1 Unit on Chicago White Sox -157

I like the White Sox again tonight, but we'll make a much smaller play on them as their price is a little steep.  The Royals are 3-14 in their last 17 overall, 1-10 in their last 11 games as a road underdog, 6-20 in their last 26 after allowing 5 runs or more in their previous game, and 0-6 in their last 6 road games with the total set at 7.0-8.5.  The White Sox are 7-1 in their last 8 vs. the American League Central, 43-17 in their last 60 games as a home favorite of -151 to -200, and a perfect 4-0 in their last 4 when their opponent scores 5 runs or more in their previous game.  The Royals are only 14-40 in the last 54 meetings in Chicago .  Take the Sox.

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Locksmith Sports

1 Unit on NY Yankees -127

I like the Yanks to bounce back strong at home tonight behind the red hot Mike Mussina.  The Yankees are 7-1 in Mussina's last 8 starts, 15-5 in Mussina's last 20 starts as a favorite of -110 to -150, and 10-4 in Mussina's last 14 starts as a favorite period.  The Yankees are a dominant 9-3 in Mussina's last 12 home starts vs. the Blue Jays and 5-2 in his last 7 overall starts against the Jays.  The Blue Jays are just 3-7 in their last 10 vs. the American League East and 2-7 in their last 9 road games vs. a team with a losing record.  I like the Yanks to have their revenge tonight.

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Ben Burns

NHL 4* Pittsburgh Penguins

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