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WEDNESDAY SERVICE PLAYS
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New York Liberty @ Indiana Fever
Pick: 3 units (Play of the Day) TOTAL: Over 138.5
I actually leaned on the Liberty to possing win this game outright, but I decided to go with the over for several particular reasons. For one, Indiana is coming off a home loss, so I expect better play for them and each time they come off such a home loss where they score a poor showing in the total points such as 60 at home against San Antonio, they come back to score 70, now add that to the fact the Liberty have won 4 of 5 and have revenge from last year and are playing great basketball, I think what you can expect is a total around the mid 140's to high 140's and see this game go over the posted total. Do I think the Liberty will show up today, absolutely, heck they are 7-1 in their last 8 ballgames as underdogs, but Indiana is coming off a bad loss themselves at home so they too will show up, I will take a higher scoring Indiana team on the bounce-back today because of their previous loss and New York as an active dog for this over today. The over is 8-2-2 between these 2 teams in the last 12 contests in Indiana.
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Gregg Price Interleague ***GAME OF THE YEAR***
Kansas City Royals vs. St Louis Cardinals
Pick: Money Line: 116 Kansas City Royals
10* K.C. - I really like this match up tonight. K.C. seems to be playing very well the last 5 days. This is a big rivalry, and winning means more to K.C. than the cards. The Cardinals are just not the same teams without Pujols. Bannister threw 7 shutout innings against the Cards last year. I expect another good outing from him tonight.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Pick: 4* Toronto
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San Diego Padres at New York Yankees
He is just too good to pass up at this line folks. Of course I am talking about Jake Peavy. This is a pitcher that can single-handed shut down any line-up at any time. Remember that old baseball adage… “Good pitching beats good hitting”. Well that is what I am going with tonight.
The Padres were without Jake Peavy for almost a month. They sure missed him and that time, but luckily he came back just in time. In a weak NL West believe or not the Padres are contenders.
Jake came off the DL in his last start and what did he do you ask? How about six innings, four strikeouts, three hits, no walks and no runs! Sure the Yankees have been clicking but they haven’t seen this type of arm in a few weeks.
San Diego Padres (+)
Houston Astros at Baltimore Orioles
The Orioles have a little bit of magic at Camden yards this year folks. They just do not get down and have the ability to come back. Last night they were down five to three to the Astros and proceeded to score one run in the seventh and two in the eight. Then their closer George Sherrill closed it out.
How many of you out there have not heard of George Sherrill, I am sure many of you. Who would believe that he leads all of baseball in saves and actually has already saved 23 ball games, yes he has 23 games in 25 tries and has been the quiet force behind the Orioles .500 record.
Baltimore Orioles (-)
Chicago Cubs at Tampa Bay Rays
I just can not buy into this line. I can not buy into a line that has the wrong team favored. I don’t care if Sandy Koufax was on the mound for the Cubs tonight there is no reason they should be favored. These are not the Tampa Bay Rays from 2000 or 2001 or 2002 and the list goes on.
This is a team that leads the AL wild-card and has one of the best records in baseball. They are outstanding at home. How about a 26-11 at home. Yes they are 26 and 11 at home. You want to know about the Cubs on the road? How about under .500. I know Zambrano is good but the team has lost five games in which he has started, tonight will be there sixth.
Tampa Bay Rays (+)
Atlanta Braves at Texas Rangers
I am going to look for the Braves to bounce back tonight. I know they haven’t been great on the road, but that is going to change. They just won a road series against a very good baseball team. They went to Anaheim and beat the Angles 5-2, 9-4 and actually were one hit away in the ninth inning from sweeping the series. That was a game that they lost 2-0.
Jo-Jo Reyes is a quality starter. He throws from the left-side and has some legit stuff. He has allowed just a hit per inning and the team is over .500 in his starts. Chipper is back in the line-up and with the Rangers sending out a rookie, they will be in trouble.
Atlanta Braves (+)
Washington Nationals at Minnesota Twins
The Twins won a very tough and pivotal game last night. See everyone counts the Twins out of things, but I don’t understand why. This is a team that always proves they can play great baseball in the second halves of seasons. Sure there is no Johan Santana and Tori Hunter but they have players.
Justin Morneau is a league MVP. Joe Mauer is a batting champion and Joe Nathan is in the top three of any closer list you will ever see. They have incredible speed at the top of the line-up with Carlos Gomez. Put those two big boppers in the lineup and than add Delmon Young and Michael Cuddyer. You have a very good baseball team.
Twins won the ball-game 2-1 last night and tonight will be even easier.
Minnesota Twins (-)
Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago White Sox
The White Sox poured it on last night in the late innings folks. They are going to build off that victory and win again tonight. I don’t care how high the line is, lay it. Mark Buehrle versus Tom Gorzelanny is not even a contest.
Mark is a pitcher that always knows how to win. I want you to ignore his record on the season. I want you to see how he has been pitching as of late. How about a 2.05 ERA with less than a hit per inning.
The Sox have really turned it on, since their early season struggles. This is a team that is now 39-31 on the season and are starting to pull away in a very weak AL Central. Look for the Sox to win this game and this series.
Chicago White Sox (-)
New York Mets at LA Angels
Is there any other pitcher in baseball less trustworthy than Oliver Perez? This is a guy that has lights out stuff. I am telling you this guy has Randy Johnson like stuff. Sure he doesn’t crank it up to 95 MPH but he is just unhittable against left-handers and can strikeout a ton of batters. The problem is he has no heart and no gut.
This is a pitcher that just can not win on the road. Oliver Perez is just 1-5 on the road in his last six starts. There have been two occasions where he didn’t make it out of the SECOND inning.
The Angels know how to work pitchers better than any other team. They are aggressive on the paths, they run, they string together hits and give pitches fits. They were able to work Johan Santana last night, they will be able to do even more damage against Oliver Perez.
LA Angels (-)
Los Angels Dodgers at Cincinnati Reds
It was a very tough stretch for the Reds the past few series. They played a four game set on the road against a very good Marlins team and got a split. They then went on to play the NL Wild Card leaders in the St. Louis Cardinals and played a tough series winning one game. Then if it wasn’t enough they went on and played the defending champs and the best team in baseball the Boston Red Sox. They lost a heartbreaker in extra innings one game and split the other two games.
Tonight the Reds are removed from those tough games and can settle the score and win this second game of the series. Bronson Arroyo is coming off the best start of his season. How about a six inning masterpiece against the Cardinals. Six innings, two hits and no runs. Overall his last seven starts, he has had six good ones and five great ones (Five quality starts). The Reds will hit enough against Derek Lowe. Take the home team here tonight in game two.
Cincinnati Reds (-)
Boston Red Sox at Philadelphia Phillies
This is about building off of last nights win. We have been all over this series. Tonight we hit game three of this series. Kyle Kendrick has been getting un-real run support folks. This is a pitcher that doesn’t deserve his record. He is 6-2 on the season.
This is a starting pitcher that is 6-2 with an ERA over 4.50. In 75 innings he has allowed 87 hits and he doesn’t have pinpoint control (20 walks on the season). I know he pitches in a tough ball-park but let’s get series for a second.
Justin Masterson is a very good young arm. This is a pitcher that is allowing almost HALF a hit an inning. Yes, folks he has thrown 31 innings pitched and allowed just 18 hits. If anyone can keep the Phils down, it is the Red Sox.
Boston Red Sox (+)
Detroit Tigers at San Francisco Giants
I just will not trust the Tigers on the road. I know that Barry Zito has been bad but I am going to look past that. I am going to look past the starting pitching match-up. There are some games where you have to go by the pitching match-up, tonight is not that night.
I was all over the Giants Monday night as I told you they would be a red hot Tigers team and I am telling you they will win this third game as well. The Tigers are pathetic on the road. In fact they have the third worst road record in the league. How does a 12-22 record sound to you? Believe it or not Zito has been better than his first few starts. It is the smart play and the right price, to get the Giants at home as the dog.
San Fran Giants (+)
Toronto Blue Jays at Milwaukee Brewers
Sometimes we have a tendency to over look things and over look match-ups in baseball. There is no reason to do that today. We have the better team. We have the better starting pitcher. We have the home-field advantage. There is absolutely no reason that the Brewers should lose this game tonight.
The Blue Jays got hot for a little while but they have really come back down to earth. This is a team that has lost seven of their last ten games and has lost four straight series. The Blue Jays just do not have the depth to get over the hump. They actually play worse with their best player (Vernon Wells). They are a very strange team.
Ben Sheets will able to take care of a line-up that is led by right-handed hitters up and down the line-up. Lay the small number and take the Brew Crew.
Milwaukee Brewers (-)
Kansas City Royals at St. Louis Cardinals
I just like this number here for the road team. The Royals are playing much better baseball of late. This is a team that split a four game set with the Yankees, should have won the series against Texas but won one of three, then they went to the west coast and took care of the first place Diamondbacks. Not only did they beat them, they beat them up pretty good. They beat the Diamondbacks 8-3, 12-3 and they lost a tough game 1-0.
Brian Bannister is a solid pitcher. Everyone thinks he is very hittable but I don’t see it. I see him as a very crafty right-hander that knows how to get people out. In 85 innings he has allowed just 90 hits. He doesn’t walk very many batters either. With the Cards missing their best player, they will not be able to hit enough. Do not let their overall record fool you, they have played much better recently.
Kansas City Royals (+)
Cleveland Indians at Colorado Rockies
I just can’t see Aaron Laffey staying on this roll. He has great stats this season. This is a guy that has a 2.83 ERA on the season with just a 1.15 WHIP. Let’s look a little further though. In his last three starts sure he is 1-0 but he has been getting hit hard. 17 innings pitched he has allowed 22 hits and has started to walk more batters.
Jeff Francis on the other hand is moving the positive direction. His last three starts have been the best of the season which is a really good sign. He has allowed just 15 hits in his last 19 innings with a 3.32 ERA. On top of that the Rockies have been playing much better. They took a series against Giants, they took a series against the White Sox. They will take this series against the Indians.
Colorado Rockies (-)
Oakland Athletics at Arizona Diamondbacks
I still feel this line is too low. Dan Haren is just a pitcher that does not get the same respect as others that aren’t even as good as him. This line should be -155 plus. This is a pitcher that has a 1.03 whip. For any of you out there that don’t know what “whip” stands for, here goes… It is walks plus hits divided by innings pitched. It is the absolute truest and best stat for a pitcher and especially a starter.
Dan Haren has been even better the last month. How about a 2.25 ERA with a .90 WHIP? Even though he is just 6-4 on the season the Diamondbacks win games (8) when he is on the mound. Oh yes he has some extra incentive tonight. He is going against one of his former teams. Letting Dan go is something that even Billy Beane can’t talk his way out of.
Ignore the number, in fact be happy the number isn’t 155 or 160. Arizona with their second “ace” is the right play.
Arizona Diamondbacks (-)