WEDNESDAY SERVICE PLAYS

WEDNESDAY SERVICE PLAYS

SPORTS ADVISORS

Tampa Bay (45-31) at Florida (40-36)

The battle of Florida continues at Dolphin Stadium, with the Rays’ James Shields (4-5, 3.94) set to oppose Marlins youngster Ryan Tucker (2-1, 4.50) in the middle game of this three-game set.

Tampa held on for a 6-4 win in Tuesday’s series-opener, improving to 7-3 in its last 10 games, including 3-1 against Florida. The Marlins, meanwhile, are now mired in a 4-7 funk.

Going back to last June, the Rays are on a 5-1 run against Florida, but prior to this stretch, the Marlins had won 11 of 15 in this rivalry. Finally, the Marlins are 7-4 in the last 11 clashes at Dolphin Stadium, but the visitor is 7-3 in the last 10 dating to last season.

Despite last night’s defeat, Florida is on a 14-7 roll at home, but is now just 1-5 in its last six interleague home contests. Meanwhile, the Rays have dominated at home this season (30-13), but they’re still under .500 on the highway (15-18).

Shields returned from an eight-day suspension and beat the Cubs 8-3 at home on Thursday, giving up all three runs on seven hits with two walks and nine strikeouts over 9 1/3 innings. However, now the right-hander goes out on the highway, where he has struggled this year (1-4, 6.99 ERA in seven starts). In fact, the Rays have lost 21 of Shields’ last 29 starts as a visitor.

Shields got rocked in his first-ever start against the Marlins in 2006 (seven runs and 10 hits allowed in five innings of an 8-5 road loss). However, he dominated the Fish in two starts last year (one home, one road), surrendering a combined three runs on 11 hits over 14 innings, walking three and striking out 17. Tampa Bay lost 4-3 at home, but won 7-2 in Miami.

Tucker is coming off the best outing of his brief career, holding the Mariners to two runs on seven hits in six innings en route to an 8-3 road win a week ago tonight. Prior to that effort, he pitched at Tampa Bay, getting tagged for five runs on seven hits in five innings, losing 7-3.

The right-hander’s only start at home came in his major-league debut June 8, and he allowed a run on just two hits over five innings, walking five and striking out six in a 9-2 victory.

The over is 2-0-1 in Tucker’s three starts, but the under is 3-1 in Shields’ last four outings (2-0 on the road).

The over is 5-1-1 in the last five series meetings (2-1-1 this year) and 7-1 in the last eight battles in Miami. Also, for the Marlins, the over is on streaks of 21-6-4 overall and 14-3-4 in interleague play. Conversely, for the Rays, the under trends include 16-7-1 overall, 4-2 on the road and 4-0 on the road versus right-handed starters, but the over is 23-5-1 in the team’s last 29 interleague road games.

ATS ADVANTAGE: TAMPA BAY and OVER


Philadelphia (42-36) at Oakland (42-34)

A’s rookie Greg Smith (4-5, 3.51) looks to even his season record when he opposes Kyle Kendrick (6-3, 5.06) and the Phillies as this three-game interleague series continues at McAfee Coliseum.

Oakland topped Philadelphia 5-2 on Tuesday, sending the Phillies to their sixth straight defeat. The A’s are 13-7 in their last 20 contests, having alternated wins and losses in their last nine home games. Oakland is also on positive streaks of 21-8 as a favorite and 62-23 when hosting N.L. teams at McAfee Coliseum.

Not only has Philadelphia dropped six in a row, but the team’s potent offense has been limited to two runs or fewer in five of the six defeats. Also, Charlie Manuel’s club has followed up a 14-4 hot streak by losing eight of nine, and the Phillies are now 4-14 in their last 18 interleague contests on the highway.

These teams last met in 2005 in Oakland, with the A’s taking two of three. The host is 5-1 in the last six head-to-head battles.

Kendrick is coming off one of his worst efforts of the season, as he got lit up for six runs on just six hits (two home runs) over three innings last Wednesday against the Red Sox, losing 7-4 at home. Prior to that outing, the Phillies had won five straight Kendrick starts, and even though the right-hander has an ERA north of 5.00, Philadelphia is 11-4 in his 15 starts in 2008, including 7-1 on the road.

Kendrick’s road ERA matches his overall ERA (5.06), and he’s allowed a total of 75 baserunners (57 hits, 18 walks) in 42 2/3 innings on the highway, which equates to a 1.76 WHIP. He has yet to face Oakland in his brief career.

Smith produced near-identical numbers in his last two outings, both on the road at San Francisco and Arizona. In each start, the southpaw gave up one run and three hits, striking out four in five innings. He beat the Giants 5-1 and got a no-decision in Thursday’s 2-1 loss to the DBacks.

Smith, who is making his first career start against Philadelphia, has been sharp at home (2-2, 2.84 ERA in six starts). He’s allowed three earned runs or fewer in five of those six contests.

Philadelphia continues to sport a bunch of under streaks, including 5-1 overall, 14-3 against the A.L. West, 7-3 on the road and 5-0 in interleague road games. Meanwhile, the over is 4-2-1 in Oakland’s last seven overall and 6-1-2 in its last nine as a home chalk.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OAKLAND

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Black Magic Sports

1 Unit on N.Y. Mets -1.5 +105

The New York Mets have been crushed by the Mariners in the Games 1 and 2 of their home series.  The Mets are clearly the better squad here and it will show tonight with a multiple-run victory over Seattle.  That’s why I have decided to take the Mets on the -1.5 Run Line as my free play.  Starter Miguel Batista is 3-9 with a 6.26 ERA for Seattle.  Mets’ starter John Maine is 7-5 with a 3.78 ERA.  By the time John Maine leaves this ball game, the Mets will already have the game locked up.  Seattle is 7-23 against the money line when the total is 9 to 9.5 this season.  Seattle is 8-25 against the money line when playing against a team with a losing record this season.  The Mariners’ run ends tonight.  Cash in with the Mets on the -1.5 Run Line.

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Black Widow Sports

1* on St. Louis Cardinals +159

St. Louis pitches their best starter in Kyle Lohse tonight as a huge underdog to the Detroit Tigers.  The Cardinals, and Lohse, have proven they are not intimidated by these AL teams.  The Cards took 2 out of 3 in Boston last series and they took Game 1 with the Tigers in this series on the road.  Lohse will keep it rolling tonight.  He’s 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA over his last 3 starts.  St. Louis is 11-4 (+9.2 Units) against the money line vs. a starting pitcher who gives up 5.5 or less hits/start this season.  The Cardinals are 13-6 (+9.1 Units) against the money line vs. a starting pitcher whose gives up 0.5 or less HR's/start this season.  This team is great at manufacturing runs as indicated by their 8 runs scored last night due to just one home run.  Take the Cardinals on the Money Line.

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Info Plays

3* on Chicago White Sox -108

The White Sox send their young right-hander in Gavin Floyd to the hill to take down the Dodgers tonight. Floyd is 8-3 with a stellar 3.19 ERA on the season. Eric Stults makes just his second start of the season for the Dodgers and it’s not going to be a very enjoyable one for this young gun. The Dodgers are just 12-27 in all interleague games over the last 3 seasons. The White Sox are 23-12 against the money line in an inter-league game over the last 3 seasons. The Dodgers are only 1-9 vs teams who strand 6.9 or less runners on base per game this season. Bet the White Sox on the road behind Gavin Floyd.

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Steve Janus

Minnesota Twins vs. San Diego Padres    
Play: Minnesota Twins

The Twins don't get much hype because they don't score a lot of runs, but they've played their brand of baseball well this year and converted it ino a winning 40-36 record to this point in the season. Wednesday they are up against Greg Maddux, a legend, but one on the downside of his career. Maddux has only managed a 3-5 record on the year, and it's not that he's pitched poorly, he just hasn't had much support and he doesn't quite have the stuff or endurance to pitch deep enough into games for the Padres. Run support has been a problem for San Diego all season, a big reason for their 32-45 record. The Padres have been beaten up by the AL all season, just look at their 3-10 record in their last 13 interleague games.

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Alex Smart

St. Louis Cardinals @ Detroit Tigers
Prediction: Under

Kyle Lohse (9-2,3.63 ERA) the St.Louis Cardinals starting hurler tonight against the Detroit Tigers is one of baseballs hottest pitchers, as is evident by a 6-0 run along with a stingy 2.07 ERA in his L7 starts. Meanwhile, his pitching opponent from the Tigers ,Armando Galarraga (7-2, 3.03 ERA) has been equally as hot, and is looking like a good bet to make the AL all star team. The former minor leaguer, has allowed only 1 run in his L13 plus innings of work, and has allowed opposing batting orders to average just .184 against him this season. Bottom line: With two quality hurlers on the hill and two viable bullpens backing them , a low scoring duel looks to be on the agenda. Final notes & Key Trends: Cardinals have gone under in 20 of 28 games this season with a total of 9 to 9.5. Under is 4-0 in Galarragas L4 starts with a total of 9 to 9.5. Lohse has not seen the total eclipsed in any of his L6 starts. Play UNDER

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Matt Fargo

Chicago White Sox vs. Los Angeles Dodgers    
Play: Los Angeles Dodgers 

The Dodgers have had their share of struggles this season but they are still over .500 at home and that is the important factor here. While the offense is middle of the pack, the pitching has been solid yet again at home, posting a 3.35 ERA which is best in the National League. The bullpen has been the main reason for that as that ERA is at 2.61. The bats are hitting at a .272 clip at Dodger Stadium while of late, they have averaged 4.7 rpg over their last eight games after scoring a total of 11 runs in the previous five games.

The White Sox started this series coming off a sweep at the hands of the Cubs, bringing them down to seven games below .500 on the season away from home. They had dropped nine straight games away heading into Game One on Tuesday so they certainly are not getting the job done there. Chicago is hitting .255 on the road which actually isn’t bad but its 160 runs scored is 6th last in the American League while its 4.0 rpg is 21st in all of baseball. The White Sox are hitting only .236 against lefties this season.

Eric Stults makes his second start of the season after a successful debut where he allowed one earned run in six innings in a win at Cincinnati. He has started eight games for the Dodgers in the past two seasons and the results were good for the most part. He has allowed three runs or fewer in seven of those outings including two or fewer five times. He did work out of the bullpen as well and that is what made his overall numbers inflated. He went 5-6 with a 3.59 ERA through 14 starts at Las Vegas this season.

Gavin Floyd had a solid run going with seven quality outings through his first nine starts. However, it has been a struggle since then as he has just two quality starts over his last five games. In four June starts, Floyd has a 3.12 ERA but every one of those starts came at home where his ERA is 2.70 on the season. In six road starts, his ERA is at 4.01 while the WHIP is at 1.37. Showing the disparity, Chicago is 7-1 in his eight home starts and 3-3 in his six road starts. Play Los Angeles Dodgers 1.5 Units

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BRAD DIAMOND SPORTS

Play on: SFG/Cleveland 'Over' the total

You're kidding, we actually catching another opportunity to go against suffering lefty Barry Zito, this time on the total card. In fact, most recently SF is 10-1 OVER in their most recent outing after allowing 2 runs or less. While Cleveland is 7-0 OVER with Sowers the last seven times out as a chalk. Look for a high scoring affair up in Cleveland this evening.

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Jimmy The Moose

Texas Rangers at Houston Astros
Prediction: under

The Rangers have played under the total in 5 of their last 6 games. The under is also 5-1 in their last 6 games vs. a team with a losing record. Feldman is on the mound for Texas tonight and the Rangers have played the under in 8 of his last 10 starts. The undre is 5-2 in his last 7 starts as an underdog. Houston has played under the total in 5 of their last 6 games. The under is 6-2 in their last 8 interleague games vs. a right-handed starter. Houston has played the under in 4 of Oswalt's last 5 starts. The under is 6-0 in Oswalt's last 6 starts vs. Texas. Play the under.

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Robert Ross

Cincinnati Reds at Toronto Blue Jays
Prediction: Cincinnati Reds

Reds a good bet to rebound from last night's 13-run loss. Aaron Harang is 14-3 against the money line as an underdog of +100 or higher over the last 2 seasons while Toronto is 19-25 against the money line as a favorite of -110 or higher this season. Take Cincinnati!

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Big Al Mcmordie

Seattle Mariners at New York Mets
Prediction: Under

At 7:10pm our selection is on the Seattle Mariners and New York Mets 'under' the total. New York can be a tough place to make a good impression, and new Mets Manager Jerry Manuel (who recently replaced Willie Randolph) may be having a tougher time than most after going 3-3 in his first six games at the helm and then getting absolutely embarrased at home last night at the hands of the worst team in baseball, these same Seattle Mariners. Manuel tried to spice things up a bit and perhaps tried to inspire his team as well when he got himself ejected in the 4th inning of Tuesday's game after a heated exchange with the home plate umpire over balls and strikes. The Mets need something to shake them up that's for sure as they don't look like a team headed for the postseason, and they can't seem to hit their way out of a paper bag lately, especially against righthanders, and they will face a crafty one tonight in Seattle's veteran Miguel Batista. The Mets will counter with a righthander of their own in John Maine, and he is pretty much on a pace to match last year's breakout season. Now if only Maine could get some run support. Despite an excellent ERA of 3.78, Maine is only 7-5 and has only won two of his last seven starts. The eleven runs scored by Seattle on Tuesday are a bit of an oddity, as Seattle is the lowest scoring team in the American League and third lowest in the majors so far in 2008. Take the 'under'.

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Scott Ferrall

HOUSTON -145 over Texas--Oswalt is getting shopped so he'll have a good outing against the Rangers and Feldman will get torched.  I'm on the UNDER 9.5 RUNS

CUBS -175 over Orioles--Lilly will get the easy win at Wrigley for the Cubbies, who dominate teams that come visiting the Northside.  They are the best home team in the majors

Colorado -120 over Kansas City--Aaron Cook is the Rockies best starter this year and he'll top Hochevar at Kaufmann Stadium.

Oakland -130 over Philly--Smith beats Kendrick at the Coliseum and TAKE THE OVER 8.5 RUNS.  The A's light it up at home and Philly always hits, so I'm feeling some runs

PADRES -125 over Twins--I think Greg Maddux handles his business against Perkins at Petco.  The Padres are over .500 at home and the Twins are 5 games under .500 away

White Sox -105 over Dodgers--Gavin Floyd is a bad ass and he'll knock off Stultz, who's making his second start in the show.  LA is only two games over .500 at the Revine.  What's the problem JOE TORRE ?

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Sports Gambling Hotline

Milwaukee at ATLANTA 

The first two games of this three game set have held UNDER the posted total, and we like today's game to also stay LOW.

First of all, it is going to be going on 100 degrees on the field this afternoon in Atlanta, and you can assume there are going to be some dragging bats before too long in this contest.

Secondly, ALL 5 meetings this year between the teams have stayed UNDER the posted total. In fact, 4 of the last 5 games played at Turner Field dating back to last year between the clubs have also played LOW.

Jeff Suppan, and Jorge Campillo will go at it, and both starters have ERA's in the 3's, with Suppan owning a win over Atlanta ealrier this year, as held held the Bravos scoreless in 8 innings back at the end of May.

We feel the UNDER numbers listed above coupled with the hot weather will keep this one UNDER the posted total today in HOT-Lanta.

Play the LOW.

4* UNDER

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Bobby Maxwell

St. Louis +150 at DETROIT 

Today we're going with the Cardinals to grab a victory in Detroit.

St. Louis took Tuesday's matchup 8-4 in Detroit and tonight the Cardinals have red-hot Kyle Lohse (9-2, 3.63 ERA) on the hill against the Tigers and Armando Galarraga (7-2, 3.03). We're playing the Cardinals as they've won seven of their last nine on the road and they'll do it again tonight.

Lohse is 5-1 on the road with a 4.46 ERA and in his last three overall he's a perfect 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA. He's held the opposition to three earned runs or less in seven straight starts and the Cardinals have won all seven. Last time out on the road he held the Red Sox to one earned run in six innings of a 5-4 St. Louis win at Fenway.

Galarraga is 2-1 at home with a 3.90 ERA and while the Tigers have won his last four starts and six of his last seven, in two of his last four at home he's allowed five runs in six innings or less.

Detroit is just 10-22 in their last 32 against teams with a winning road record and 2-7 at home against teams with a winning road record.

St. Louis is 4-0 with Lohse on the road and 6-0 when he pitches as an underdog. and they are 6-2 as a road 'dog and for some reason the Cardinals like the second game of a series as they are 20-6 in their last 26 Game 2s.

Let's play the hot team and pitcher in this one as we go with St. Loius.

3* ST. LOUIS

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Karl Garrett

Texas at HOUSTON -145

Tonight I am going to lay some wood, and go with Houston to make it 2 straight over Texas.

Last night the Astros stopped a 5 game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Rangers, and tonight they will give the ball to Roy Oswalt who has won 2 of his last 3 starts, and is coming off a solid 8 inning, 2 run win at Tampa Bay.

Scott Feldman counters with an 0-3 road mark in 4 starts this season with a sky-high 7.33 ERA.

Expect the 'Stros to get a few runs early off of Feldman, and for Oswalt to settle into this start, and continue his upswing.

G-Man on Houston as the home favorite tonight.

2* HOUSTON

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Jeffersonsports

Early Release For Wed

Toronto-160

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Dave Cokin

TB Rays and FLA Marlins
Take FLA Marlins

Nine straight free play winners, and I'll try for the double digit streak with tonight's Rays-Marlins contest. The Fish nearly pulled off the big ninth inning rally last night, but even though they lost they certainly made Troy Percival work. He's likely not available tonight after 31 pitches, and the Rays also used setup men Howell and Wheeler in the win. As for the starters, James Shields has his K-ball working again, so he could be tough. But Shields has really scuffled on the road this year. Ryan Tucker goes for the Marlins, and the rookie's command is shaky. But Tucker is off a confidence building win at Seattle and I believe he can match up with Shields tonight. If it's close late, advantage Florida, so I'm going to back the Marlins as nicely priced home dogs.

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Jim Feist

PHI Phillies and OAK Athletics
Take PHI Phillies

Philadelphia starter Kyle Kendrick is 3-1 on the road, and he will like the friendly confines of the Coliseum, a terrific pitcher's park here in Oakland. The Phillies are 5-1 his last 6 starts. This Philadelphia offense is dynamite, second in the NL in runs scored. Oakland starter Greg Smith has had control problems of late, walking 12 in his last 16 innings. A great spot for the talented road dog. Play the Phillies!

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BRIAN MARSHALL

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Detroit Tigers
Plays On: St. Louis/Detroit Under 9

The St. Louis Cardinals will be lead by starting pitcher Kyle Lohse. Kyle Lohse has been pitching very well this season. In fact, Kyle Lohse is 9-2 with a 3.63 ERA. Kyle Lohse also has a 2.70 ERA in his last 3 starts. We see Kyle Lohse pitching another great game today.

The Detroit Tigers will be lead by starting pitcher Armando Galarraga. Armando Galarraga has also pitched well this season. In fact, Armando Galarraga is 7-2 with a 3.03 ERA. Armando Galarraga also has a 0.96 ERA in his last 3 starts.

Trend: The Under is 9-5-2 in the St. Louis Cardinals last 15 road games.

Take the St. Louis Cardinals/Detroit Tigers Under 9!

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VEGAS SPORTS PICS

Milwaukee +125*

Houston -135** 

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