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SATURDAY SERVICE PLAYS

Re: SATURDAY SERVICE PLAYS

BOB HARVEY

OAKLAND A's

The A's are among the American League's top teams and should roll tonight against a Giant team that struggles at home. San Francisco has lost 10 of its last 12 at home, where it is a major league-worst 13-20. In addition,Oakland has won six of its last seven games against San Francisco, posting a 1.83 ERA in that span. The Giants have scored just one run in their last 30 innings against the Athletics?all at home?after a 5-1 loss on Friday. Tonight's starter for Oakland is Rich Harden (3-0, 2.85 ERA).The right-hander has been excellent in his starts in this Bay Area rivalry, going 1-0 with a 1.17 ERA in three starts. Matt Cain gets the call for the Giants tonight and his numbers pale in comparison to those of Harden. Cain (3-4, 4.43) will be out to stop a five-game interleague losing streak. He?s 0-5 with a 5.26 ERA in his last six outings against the AL. In all due respect to the Giants, if Benji Molina is your clean-up hitter, your going to have trouble scoring runs. Take the A's to make it two straight over the Giants.

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STEVE JANUS

OAKLAND A's

How can you not keep fading the Giants at home? They are 13-19 at home on the season and seem to be getting worse as they've lost 9 of their last 11 in San Francisco. Oakland is no powerhouse, but they are a solid team. And they've been especially solid behind Saturday's starter, Rich Harden. Harden is 3-0 on the season with a 2.85 ERA for the A's and Oakland as a team is 6-2 in this 8 starts this season. Even when he doesn't get the decision, he puts them in position to win games, which is exactly what the A's should do in Saturday's game.

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  DUSTIN HAWKINS

San Diego Padres vs. Cleveland Indians  UNDER

Both these teams had alot of offense yesterday!! They come into the game felling good. Look for both teams to take there cuts as they try to light up the score board like yesterday. San Diego has been having trouble scoring all year and cleveland is in the same boat. The Padres ave. 3.6 runs a game and the Indians ave 4.4 per game. Look for the total to stay under tonight!!

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Chip Chirimbes

Johnson - again trying for his 289th victory - is 15-7 with a 2.92 ERA while starting 27 of his 28 career games versus the Royals, going 12-1 with a 2.68 ERA in 18 appearances since June 14, 1993. He has also won his last three starts against them, posting a 0.90 ERA. He last faced them Sept. 9, 2006, while with the New York Yankees, limiting the Royals to one hit and two walks in seven scoreless innings of an 8-3 victory

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

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  JIMMY THE MOOSE

Florida Marlins at Tampa Bay Rays
Prediction: Florida Marlins

Reason: Two teams that have surprised almost everybody meetup in Tampa on Saturday evening. The Marlins come into this game with a 36-31 record and sit in second place in the NL East. The Marlins are 7-4 in their last last 11 interleague road games. Hendrickson's on the mound for Florida tonight and although he's recenly struggled the Marlins are 9-4 in his last 13 starts. The Tampa Bay Rays are battling the Red Sox for top spot in the AL East. Tampa has been beating up on AL team's but when it comes to interleague play they have struggled of late. The Rays are 4-7 in their last 11 interleague home games. Tampa is also 9-18 in their last 27 interleague games vs. a team with a winning record. Garza is on the mound and Tampa is 1-5 in his last 6 starts vs. a team with a winning record. Florida is 13-7 in the last 20 meetings between the clubs and 7-4 in their last 11 trips to Tampa. Play on the underdog Florida Marlins.

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  SPORTS GAMBLING HOTLINE

Tonight we will ride the surging Yankees against the slumping Astros.

New York has won 3 of their last 4, and 7 of 10 to move 2 games over .500 for the first time since the first month of the season.

Houston has dropped their last 3, and 7 of their last 9 to dip to 2 games below the .500 mark for the year.

Mike Mussina is looking for win #10 this season, and his last 3 starts have been rock-solid, working 20 innings, while allowing just 5 earned runs to score.

Wandi Rodriguez has not allowed an earned run in either of his last pair of starts, but has not gotten the defensive or offensive support he needs to win.

More of the same tonight, as the Yankees back Mussina to win #10 on the year.
Play on New York.

2* NY YANKEES

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  KARL GARRETT

Sure the Mets won last night's game 7-1, but New York has only won twice over their last 8 games, and Pedro Martinez' return to the rotation hasn't exactly been smooth sailing, as the righty has allowed 7 runs in 11 innings of comeback work.

Texas has some serious mashers in their lineup, and after getting held to a paltry 1 run last night, expect the bats to do some boppin' tonight at Shea.

Kason Gabbard will counter, making his first start since late May. Chances are, Gabbard will give up a few runs, but the belief here is that this price is way too high not to give this Rangers team a try plus the take-back.

Texas can rake with the best of them, and tonight Pedro finds that out.

Take the Rangers.

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TONY MATHEWS

Colorado Rockies vs. Chicago White Sox
Selection: Chicago White Sox -1.5 Runs

Explanation: We will side with the Chicago White Sox -1.5 Runs as they face-off against the Colorado Rockies in Saturday's MLB contest.

The Colorado Rockies will use starting pitcher Jorge De La Rosa. Jorge De La Rosa is having a bad season. In fact, Jorge De La Rosa has a 8.13 ERA on the season. We see Jorge De La Rosa giving up many runs today.

The Chicago White Sox will use starting pitcher John Danks. John Danks has been pitching well this season. In fact, John Danks has a 3.13 ERA on the season. We see John Danks giving up very few hits and runs today.

The Colorado Rockies are known to struggle when playing interleague games. In fact, the Colorado Rockies are 2-9 in their last 11 interleague games.

Take the Chicago White Sox -1.5 Runs!

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BRAD DIAMOND
   
Play on: Philadelphia over St. Louis

Always difficult for Philly hurler Adam Eaton (1-4, 6.82 LT) when throwing into the Cardinals lineup, but the veteran catches a huge break with first basemen Pujols on the disabled list. Realize the Cards are 5-0 L5 times out with opposing hurler Lohse taking the hill. But, the Phillies are 5-1 with Eaton off a quality start which indicates his consistent stretch of outings has been rewarded. Further, the Phillies have won 9 of 12 against the Cardinals and, more important 9 of 11 at St. Louis. Tough call, but like the Phillies overall abilities in this huge road outing.

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VEGAS SPORTS PICS

Boston +125*

Pittsburgh +115**

New York Yankees -115*

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JOHN FINA

Selection: Cincinnati Reds -135

Today the Boston Red Sox will be on the road as they take on the Cincinnati Reds (the Cincinnati Reds are 14-3 in their last 17 home games. We will side with the Cincinnati Reds! One reason why we will side with the Cincinnati Reds is because they will be sending to the mound the much better starting pitcher. This says it all... The Boston Red Sox Starting Pitcher (Tim Wakefield) has a 4.33 ERA in his last 3 starts, while Cincinnati Reds Starting Pitcher (Edinson Volquez) has a 1.56 ERA in his last 3 starts. As you can see, the Cincinnati Reds will have the much better starting pitcher on the mound. In addition, the Cincinnati Reds have played great baseball when playing the role of the favorite. In fact, the Cincinnati Reds are 14-5 in their last 19 games as a favorite. We see the Cincinnati Reds getting another win today! Take the Cincinnati Reds!

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MATT RIVERS

For Saturday take the Tigers at home.

At some point Brad Penny probably will regain his old All-Star form but until he does I will gladly go against him today!

Penny has lasted more than six innings just once since April and has not been right. His last two starts were not dreadful but the guy has lacked a ton of confidence and for the six starts in May had an ERA of literally 9.

I am not exactly thrilled backing a guy making his major league debut which Eddie Bonnie is but the guy did go 9-2 in AAA Toledo and with the clear stronger offense is the way I am going to go.

The Tigers had a dismal start to the season and finally over the past week or so have shown signs of life. It has never been a lack of talent as Granderson, Cabrera, Ordonez and others can bash with the best of them but Jim Leyland's squad was lacking something. If that "something" has finally been found then we are getting a steal here as the Tigers at home should beat the fairly punch and judy Dodgers.

I do admit that Detroit's bullpen is a horror shopw right now and clearly inferior to Saito, Broxton and the blue but LA does not scare me at all with the bats and without knowing much about Bonnie I can see this kid do just fine leading Detroit to another win!

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JEFF BENTON

Play the Mariners on the run-line (-1½ runs) against the Nationals.

I know it may seem crazy to play the worst team in the baseball to win by at least two runs. However, its not like the Nationals are world-beaters they have the second-worst record in the game. More importantly, the Nationals dont have nearly the caliber of starting pitcher going tonight (rookie Tyler Clippard) as Seattle does (Erik Bedard).

Granted, Bedard has hardly lived up to lofty expectations this year hes just 4-4 with a 4.26 ERA in 11 starts, with the M?s going 5-6 in those contests. But he has shown signs of life lately, posting a 2.93 ERA over his last three starts, including giving up a single earned run on four hits in 12 innings in two starts (one home, one road) against the mighty Red Sox.

Also, at home, Bedard has taken to Safeco Field like a fish to water, posting a 2.19 ERA in six home starts, four of them Seattle wins. Three of those four wins ? over the Rangers, As and Padres were by multiple runs, while the other was a 1-0 victory over Boston.

As for Clippard, he made his first big-league start in 51 weeks on Monday against lowly San Francisco, and he gave up three runs on five hits and four walks, lasting just 4 1/3 innings in a 3-2 home loss. Meanwhile, take a look at what Bedard did in his only career start against Washington, which came last year when the lefty was with the Orioles: 7 innings pitched, one run, three hits, three walks and 12 strikeouts!

Bottom line: Bedard and the Mariners are due for an easy win, and they get it here.

5* MARINERS -1½

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JAKE TIMLIN

Saturday selection is the Chicago Cubs.

After going with the South Siders last night time to go back with the Cubs today North of the border plus a great return of money. Yep in a battle that looks lopsided due to the pitching of Halladay I look for the Cubs to rough up the righty for a huge underdog win. After all the Cubs still with the best MLB record you can?t count out Chicago as they will be getting strong pitching today with Marquis who is 3-0 with an ERA of 3.54 over his last 5 starts with the Cubbies winning 4 of 5 games the lefty has started. Meanwhile for Toronto with them having lost 8 of their last 12 games with Halladay showing weakness in his record of 8-5 overall the Bluejays should not be this big of an underdog today. Flat out I see the Cubs having a shot of still winning this series and if they do it will be at a great return.

Take the Cubs today!

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TONY WESTON

Despite losing 7-1 in Game 1 of this series, the Rangers will come back tonight and get an easy win. Lately the Rangers have been fairly decent on the road, going 10-7 their last 17 away from home.

The Mets, on the other hand, are only 2-6 their last eight games overall and will look to Pedro Martinez, who has been getting drilled this season. In his three starts this year Martinez has given up 11 earned runs in 14 1/3 innings of work as the Mets have gone 1-2 in those three starts.

Scheduled to start for the Rangers is Kason Gabbard, who has had no luck with racking up wins this season. Hes started nine times this year and only has three decisions, as hes 1-2. However, in those nine starts the Rangers are 6-3, including a 4-2 mark in his six starts on the road. In those six games hes allowed 12 earned runs in 25 2/3 innings of work.

Gabbard will shut down the Mets and lead the Rangers to a strong win.

Take the Rangers on the road tonight.

3* RANGERS

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Vegas Experts

Pittsbugh Pirates at Baltimore Orioles
Play on Baltimore

As this line move indicates, the Pirates are such a bad road team. Specifically, Zach Duke gets the most 'homesick' of all considering his abysmal 5-24 team start record away from home. Baltimore counters with rookie Radhames Liz (1-0, 3.48 ERA), who has been solid in his two starts since being recalled from Class AAA Norfolk on June 2. The 25-year-old righthander has given up two runs and four hits in both of his outings, earning a win against Minnesota.

Play on: Baltimore

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Sammy Jankus, The Reverse Barometer!  ;D

Always play the OTHER SIDE of my game writeup.

Los Angeles at Detroit
4* LA DODGERS +106

Do you think if the Dodgers and Yankees were to trade managers, they could both start scoring runs again? I know one thing: after being SHUT OUT in consecutive games, Los Angeles doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of stopping the streaking Tigers here! Once considered the Dodgers' ace, Brad Penny has gone straight into the crapper and won't be able to slow a Detroit lineup that looks more and more like a Hispanic All-Star team. Throw in the ultra-cheap price on the hosts today (currently -116) and the DEAL IS SEALED. I look for the Tigers to make ROAD KILL out of the hapless Dodgers again – so your play (and I feel lower than dirt for doing this to you) is on the LA DODGERS.

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Brian Hansen

Colorado Rockies at Chicago White Sox
Prediction: Chicago White Sox

The White Sox are a little pricey Saturday but that is why I am using them as the Member Pick rather than a Guaranteed Pick. I do see some value with laying the big price on the ChiSox here. They snuck by the Rockies 5-4 yesterday and this continued the long-term road struggles for Colorado. The Rockies are now a deplorable 10-25 on the road while the White Sox are a solid 21-9 at home. The home/road disparity here is simply too strong to ignore and the White Sox also have a huge pitching edge tonight. It?s John Danks over Jorge De La Rosa and it has mismatch written all over it! Danks has produced a solid 3.13 ERA in his 13 starts this season while De La Rosa has an 8.13 ERA with the Rockies so far this season. It hasn?t just been because of pitching home games at Coors Field either! De La Rosa has a 9.26 ERA in his road outings this season. This one will get ugly as the White Sox win it in a rout!

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Sportsbettingstats

Philadelphia Phillies at St. Louis Cardinals

In yesterdays match up between these two teams it was a tad of a blowout, as the Phillies beat the Cardinals 20-2. The Cardinals were thoroughly embarrassed yesterday at home giving up 20 runs to the Phillies. The Phillies are hot right now, how can you not be after tagging a good team for 20 runs, and have gone 7-3 in their last 10 games, have won 2 in a row and now lead the NL East by 4 games. The Cardinals are 6-4 in their last 10 games, have lost 2 in a row, and are now 3.5 games back of the division leading Cubs in the NL Central. Taking the mound for the Phillies is Adam Eaton (2-3 4.62), who in his last outing went 6 innings giving up 3 earned runs in a no decision. In yesterdays romp the Phillies scored 20 runs on 21 hits and left 10 men on base. In the game the Phillies went deep 4 times and Ryan Howard hit a couple of dingers. Taking the mound for the Cardinals is Kyle Lohse (7-2 3.92 ERA), who has been a solid starter for the Red Birds this season and in his last outing went 6 innings giving up 3 earned runs in a win. In yesterdays huge loss the Cardinals scored 2 runs on 10 hits and left 11 men on base.

Staff Pick: The Cardinals look to exact some revenge on the Phillies for crushing them in front of their home crowd. The Cardinals hope the game does not become another scoring fest, as they used 6 pitchers in yesterday's game. The Phillies killed the Cardinals with the long ball yesterday and now have 99 home runs as a team, which ranks 2nd in the Majors. Pat Burrell (17 HR), Ryan Howard 2 (16 HR), and Chase Utley (22 HR) all went yard in the game. The Phillies rank 2nd in runs scored in the NL (353), while the Cardinals rank 6th (322). The pitching match up in this game has to go to the Cardinals, as Lohse has put up better numbers and has also received more run support, but Eaton is 2-0 with a 2.41 ERA in his last 3 starts. This match up has not been a kind one for the Red Birds as the Phillies are averaging 9.4 runs in their last 7 games against them. 1st baseman Albert Pujols will miss the game and may be out a few weeks, which will hurt the Cardinals' offense. Look for the Cardinals to get back a little respect in this game, as Lohse should have a strong outing and get the win.

Cardinals 6 Phillies 5


Boston Red Sox at Cincinnati Reds

The Reds come into the first game if this inter-league series after beating the St. Louis Cardinals 6-2, while the Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 9-2. The Red Sox have the best record in baseball, are in 1st place in the AL East, and are 7-3 in their last 10 games, while the Reds are in last place in the NL Central and are 4-6 in their last 10 games. Taking the mound for the Reds is their Ace Aaron Harang (2-9 4.31 ERA), who has struggled all year and has not won a start since May 12. In his last outing Harang went 5 innings giving up 7 earned runs in a loss. In yesterdays win over the Cardinals the Reds scored 6 runs on 6 hits and left 6 men on base. On defense the Reds gave up 2 runs to the Cardinals on 4 hits. Taking the mound for the Red Sox is rookie Justin Masterson (3-0 2.59 ERA), who has started his career in a stellar fashion and in his last start went 6 innings and only gave up 1 earned run in a win. In yesterdays victory over the Orioles the Red Sox scored 9 runs on 9 hits and left 7 men on base. On defense the Red Sox gave up 2 runs to the Orioles on 7 hits.

Staff Pick: OK, so the Reds do have a good record at home (20-12), but their pitcher for tonight's game is struggling and the Red Sox starter is pitching great and the Red Sox have one of the most dynamic offenses in the Majors and the Reds are favored (-115). What gives? The Reds rank 13th in the Majors in runs scored (301) and the Red Sox rank 4th (346). With how J.D. Drew is swinging the bat recently they barely miss David Ortiz. In the 11 games Ortiz has missed because of an injury, Drew is 18-36 with 6 homers and 15 RBI's. The pitching match up has to go to the Red Sox, as Masterson has 18 strikeouts in 24 1/3 innings, and opponents are batting only .169 off him, while Harang is looking for his first win in almost a month. Even though the Reds are tough at home they have not played many, if any, clubs of the caliber of the Red Sox. Look for Masterson to have another great start and for Harang to continue to struggle, as the Red Sox will win game 1 of this series. If I were a betting man, well actually I am, I would take advantage of the odds against the Red Sox +115 and bet on them.

Red Sox 8 Reds 3

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JB's Computer Picks

Cleveland Indians - 180

Tampa Bay Rays -160

Arizona Diamondbacks -180 * * *

Oakland Athletics -135


Best Bet * * *

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