SATURDAY SERVICE PLAYS

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Rocco Spacamuro

100* Netherlands -150

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Lenny Del Genio Major Mismatch

MIN -110 vs ARI
Play on Minnesota

This line would be so much higher if Micah Owings were not pitching. Remember, when everyone was talking about what a great pitcher AND hitter this guy is? Notice that talk has died down significantly. In his last three starts, Owings has an ERA over 10.00 as he's been shelled for four runs or more in every start while failing to make it past the sixth inning. His lone interleague start saw him get crushed by Kansas City. Honestly, there is a lot of value in going against the D'backs right now, as the NL West leaders have dropped four of six with all the losses coming by five runs or more. Minnesota, meanwhile, is hot having won four in a row following Friday's 7-2 win in the series opener and the Twins remain one of the best teams in Interleague Play as they are now 34-12 vs. the National League over the last 2+ seasons. Starter Nick Blackburn will have little trouble against an Arizona lineup that is just 9-15 on the road vs. righties this season. Minnesota has outscored the opposition 50-18 during its current win streak and the starting rotation has an ERA of 2.00 during that same span. Minnesota is our MLB Major Mismatch.

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GREG SHAKER

Arizona Diamondbacks at Minnesota Twins - Twins -113 2 units

Note: This Twins Pitching staff loves to throw at home with the starters possessing an ERA of 3.44 and the Pen, an amazing ERA of 2.04. Nick Blackburn is no exception with an ERA himself here in the dome of 2.37. He has allowed just 2 earned runs the last 2 starts here verses good hitting teams of Texas and the Yankees. His ratios are some of the best in the league when throwing at home. Owings has been just the opposite as he has struggled on the road. Owings allowed a season-high seven earned runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings of an 8-3 loss to Kansas City on Sunday. After winning his first four starts, the righthander is 2-5, and has allowed 21 earned runs in 19 innings over his last four starts. The Twins are playing very well right now and they have thrived on NL Teams for a very long time. The last 7 games for this American League squad has seen them outscore their opponents to the tune of 50-18. One of the more interesting things we have for this action is the hitting of Owings and it will be noteworthy to wonder if he will be allowed to with the Designated Hitter Rule in effect. That is one of the advantages that AZ has over their competition when he is on the Hill but that advantage is wiped out tonight. Arinona's bats have been somewhat lifeless recently and they will be in their worst hitting posture for this contest. Away from the desert, they are batting just .219 this year and that goes to a mere .209 when they face a right handed thrower. Perhaps that is why they have managed only a 6-15 Road Mark over their last 21 played. The Twins love to hit righties and have done so at over .300 their last 10 and a lofty .286 here at this park this year. We have a nice combination of things working for us for this one and so we will make the right play and lay the very small odds.


Seattle Mariners at Atlanta Braves - Under 9.5 -115 2 units

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Mike Rose

MLB
3* Toronto Blue Jays (-1.5 / +155) vs Pittsburgh Pirates
3* Detroit Tigers (-120) vs San Diego Padres

AFL
2* Columbus Destroyers vs Cleveland Gladiators UNDER 111.5
2* Grand Rapids Rampage vs New Orleans Voodoo UNDER 112.5

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VEGAS RUNNER

Sat, 06/21/08 - 7:05 PMvegas-runner | MLB Money Line Single-Dime Bet
918 MIL (-120) SportBet vs 917 BAL
Analysis: * 1* ML WAGER *

Sat, 06/21/08 - 8:05 PMvegas-runner | MLB Money Line Double-Dime Bet
902 COL (-117) Bodog vs 901 NYM
Analysis: ** 2* ML WAGER **

Sat, 06/21/08 - 7:05 PMvegas-runner | MLB Money Line Double-Dime Bet
914 PIT (-103) SportBet vs 913 TOR
Analysis: ** 2* ML WAGER **

Sat, 06/21/08 - 7:10 PMvegas-runner | MLB Money Line Double-Dime Bet
919 ARI (+115) Bodog vs 920 MIN
Analysis: ** 2* ML WAGER **

Sat, 06/21/08 - 7:05 PMvegas-runner | MLB Money Line Triple-Dime Bet
916 PHI (-112) Bodog vs 915 ANA
Analysis: *** 3* INTERLEAGUE BEST BET of the MONTH ***

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Ted Sevransky (T. Covers)

4* Mariners (+155) vs Braves
3* Twins (-110) vs Diamondbacks

AFL

4* Cleveland Gladiators (-14.0 / -110) vs Columbus Destroyers

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Sebass

20* TB
50* KC
200* LAA
300* TEXAS WASH OVER

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Teddy Covers / Big Ticket -Seattle

Rob Veno /20* - Over Oakland

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Bob Akmens

WNBA

3* Houston Comets (8.0 / -110) vs Minnesota Lynx

MLB

4* Orioles vs Brewers UNDER 9.0 (-105)
10*Top Braves (-180) vs Mariners GOM
4* Padres (+120) vs Tigers

AFL

3* New Orleans Voodoo (-7.0 / -110) vs Grand Rapids Rampage
3* Los Angeles Avengers vs Tampa Bay Storm UNDER 115.0 (-110)
3* Kansas City Brigade (7.5 / -110) vs Colorado Crush
3* San Jose SaberCats (-6.5 / -110) vs Georgia Force

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DAVE MANLINSKY

4* KANSAS CITY over SAN FRANCISCO

The marketplace is helping us out in this one, as the line continues to drop on Gil Meche, which is what can happen when you show a 4-8/5.02 in the pitching forms. We believe that Meche brings much more than that to this setting, and that the timing is right all the way around for the Royals.

It was not a surprise that a young Kansas City team had a letdown on Friday after sweeping the Cardinals in that showdown series, particularly with the Giants not creating any special spark for them. But that loss was a quick slap in the face, which means back to the same form that has made them the biggest money-maker in the Major’s the last two weeks. And as for Meche, take a closer look. A little over a month ago we wrote a column on how he had found the flaws in his delivery that had created such a poor start, but as is so often the case, it takes a long time for a statistical correction to be able to overcome an extreme sequence. So while the market sees the full-season numbers, we instead view a guy that has found his game again, allowing three runs or less in eight of his last 10 starts. He also enters this one on a particular high, with his last outing of the season being his best, a solid win at Arizona in which he had twice as many strikeouts (10) as base-runners allowed (four hits and one walk). That was on the heels of a solid effort vs. Texas from this mound two starts back, when he allowed only one run over six innings, again with only four hits allowed. His stuff is right where we want it, and a pedestrian Giant lineup offers few challenges. With dominant closer Joakim Soria (1.41, 18 saves) rested and ready, the latter innings are in good hands as well.

The Giants are 1-5 in Kevin Correia’s starts this season, which is about right for a weak offense behind a guy throwing at a 5.17 clip. He has not pitched a road game from a Major League mound since April 21st, and after tiring early vs. Oakland in his first game back from the DL has yet to show that he has regained any stamina. On a warm summer night in Kansas City, it would not be a surprise if he wore down early in this one.


4* MINNESOTA over ARIZONA

In cashing an easy ticket with the Twins last night, we noted just how over-rated Arizona is in the marketplace right now. Yet that result has not had any impact on perceptions. Now a slumping side that is an awful 7-17 in non-division road games this season sends the struggling Micah Owings to the mound, and we are looking at little more than a pick’em range. That takes us to the Metrodome with a Twins ticket in hand once again.

Owings was quite a story when he came on the scene LY because of his overall athleticism, and ability to hold his own much more at the plate than most pitchers. But what was obscured is the fact that he is nothing all that special on the mound. His 8-8/4.30 of LY would rate him below average after we factor in the favorable N.L. West ballparks that he was working in (just removing his two starts at Petco Park alone would have taken his ERA well above N.L. average), including a lot of games at Chase Field with the roof closed. Now we are seeing hitters clearly catching up to him, and over his last four starts it has been an abysmal 0-3/9.95, with 32 hits allowed over 19 innings. And we really do mean abysmal - two of those games were home starts against the punchless Royals and Nationals, games that the Diamondbacks lost by a combined eight runs. It is not easy getting blown out by that class on your own field, and now they are instead stepping up in class against a hot Minnesota team that will take the field just 3.5 games out of first place in the A.L. Central. And the particular problem for Owings, getting tagged by left-handers (22 home runs in 471 at-bats), absolutely comes into play vs. this lineup.

Nick Blackburn got skipped for a few days because of elbow problems, but Minnesota sources indicate that he is good to go here. His confidence will be high, off of a solid win at Cleveland the last time that he got a start, and note that his 3-2/2.37 from this mound comes with a seal of approval, since half of those starts were against the Red Sox, Rangers and Yankees. Having received solid outings from every starter in the rotation in this current 4-0 home stand (27 innings), it also means that every bullpen arm is rested and ready behind him, which leaves Ron Gardenhire loaded with late-game options.


4* PITTSBURGH over TORONTO

For all of the reputation that the Toronto Blue Jays once had, they are now looking up at the Pirates in the overall Major League standings. They also carry a six-game losing streak, by far the longest in “The Show”, and are mired in a hideous 3-12 run in which they have been held to two runs or less six times. So why are they still in this price range tonight? Because the markets have not adjusted to the true current state of affairs.

The first night after a coaching change is a chance for some spark to show. So what happened on Friday against the pedestrian Zach Duke and the Pittsburgh relievers? Alex Rios hit a pair of doubles in five at-bats. The rest of the team went 6-36, all singles. That kind of game only makes a bad situation worse, and now the matchup gets tougher, with Paul Maholm working to a 3.42 tune from this mound so far, and the Pirates going 6-2 in his eight starts. That takes Maholm’s long-term run to 3.36 here since the All Star break LY, with the Pirates going 10-3 in those games.

Part of the market respect here does go to Jesse Litsch and his 7-3/3.70, but it looks like scouting reports are beginning to get around concerning his repertoire. Litsch has outstanding control, but not great stuff, and we are seeing signs that the hitters are catching up to him - he has gone 0-2/5.60 over his last three starts, with the Blue Jays losing all three games, and in that span he has been tagged for 28 hits over just 17.2 innings. He also walked four, and while that does not look awful, note that he has only issued two walks in his previous seven appearances. He is vulnerable right now, and the Pirates bring the kind of momentum at home (17-8 in their last 25 games) to take full advantage.


4* NY METS over COLORADO

Pedro Martinez is an underdog vs. Ubaldo Jimenez, and the Mets overall are priced that way vs. the Rockies. Someone has to explain that to us. If we can get the better team, better starter and a fresh bullpen in this range, absolutely count us in.

Jimenez sits at 1-7/4.85 for the full season, and the Rockies are 3-12 in his starts. Rather uninspiring, isn’t it? But it is actually worse than that. Jimenez has absolutely dominated the weak-hitting Giants, who he has checked on two runs over 19.2 innings over three starts. But against all other opponents Colorado is 2-10 behind his 6.10 ERA. That just does not get you into the favorite’s role here, especially with Jimenez bringing no fresh confidence to the table, having thrown 110 pitches in only five innings of his last outing.

As for Martinez, he sits at 2-0/4.24 since returning to the rotation, which does not seem to excite the marketplace. But take a closer look. We can expect someone coming back off of such a long layoff to need time to find his rhythm, and he allowed six earned runs over his first seven innings. But since then he has allowed only two earned runs over his last 10 frames, with a solid ratio of eight strikeouts vs. only one walk in that span. And it was a tough Texas lineup that he controlled with ease on Sunday, with 15 of the 18 outs that he recorded coming either by a strikeout or a ground-ball. While he will never be the dominating performer that he once was, he should get a little better each time out, and can be trusted with the value that is offered here, especially with all bullpen arms rested and ready behind him.

The Mets are on a high right now. The kind of rally they put together to win at Anaheim on Wednesday was the sort of win that they needed in the worst way. Last night they banged out 15 hits, with every position player either scoring a run or driving one in, and five of them getting multiple hits. They can keep making up for lost time in this one.


4* BOSTON Run Line over ST. LOUIS

The Red Sox on the Run Line have been a meal ticket in Inter-League play, but we finally got burned on Friday night. Note that they were not all that far away, however, and part of the failure came from a most unusual source - Manny Ramirez struck out with the bases loaded and one out in one plate appearance, and the very next time up grounded into a double play with the bases loaded and no outs. Those kind of opportunities will not be wasted often, and against Mitchell Boggs and a worn St. Louis bullpen those chances will be plentiful this afternoon.

Boggs is not in the rotation because the Cardinals want him there; it is a matter of injuries severely curtailing the other options. In his first two starts he was only able to last 9.1 innings, allowing six runs on 10 hits and having more walks (5) than strikeouts (3). Now he faces a patient lineup that will force him to find the better parts of the strike zone before they swing, and we can see him getting worn down early. That forces Tony LaRussa into his bullpen much earlier than he would like, and it becomes particularly problematic in the latter stages, with Ryan Franklin’s 44 pitches on Friday taking him out of play. He has been the best recent option from the St. Louis pen.

The offensive issues are also major here. There are few tougher transitions in the Major’s than going from Tim Wakefield’s knuckler in a night game to Diasuke Matsuzaka in the afternoon, particularly with this starting time also creating some awkward shadows. And with Dice K looking sharp in his rehab start with Pawtucket, we can count on him to take advantage of the setting. That creates a game in which the Red Sox have a chance to break things wide open, and with -120 readily available for the Run Line that is not asking much at all.

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Alex Smart

MLB
2* Astros vs TB Rays UNDER 9.0
2* Brewers (-117) vs Orioles

AFL
2* Utah Blaze (-4.5 ) vs Arizona Rattlers

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Rocco Vincintore Guaranteed Selections

5000* BASEBALL DIAMOND CLUB MONSTER WINNER
Philadelphia w/Myers -120

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Steam On-Line Guaranteed Selections

5000* BASEBALL LATE STEAMER WINNER
Philadelphia w/Myers -115

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Pacific Star

2* Pirates (+100) vs Blue Jays
3* Rangers (-127) vs Nationals
3* Braves (-1.5 / +132) vs Mariners
3* Diamondbacks vs Twins OVER 8.5 (-116)
2* Twins (-110) vs Diamondbacks

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Dr Baseball Guaranteed Selections

GRAND SLAM BASEBALL WINNER
Detroit w/Robertson -124

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