THURSDAY SERVICE PLAYS

THURSDAY SERVICE PLAYS

SPORTS ADVISORS

Philadelphia (43-36) at Oakland (42-35)

The A’s look to bounce back after last night’s 4-0 loss when they hand the ball to Rich Harden (4-0, 2.44 ERA) in the finale of this three game series against Philadelphia. Wednesday’s setback aside, Oakland is still also on positive streaks of 21-9 as a favorite and 62-24 when hosting N.L. teams at McAfee Coliseum.

The Phillies snapped a six-game losing skid with last night’s victory, but they’re still just 2-8 in their last 10 games after going 14-4 in their previous 18. Also, Philadelphia, which starts Adam Eaton (2-5, 4.94) today, is 5-14 in its last 19 interleague games and 1-6 in its last seven versus the A.L. West.

The home team is 5-2 in the last seven head-to-head meetings between these teams.

The A’s are 39-14 in Harden’s last 53 starts, including 8-2 in his 10 outings this season (4-0 in the last four). They’re also 41-12 in the right-hander’s last 53 starts as a favorite. Harden got a no-decision in his team’s 7-6 home victory over Florida on Friday, allowing a run on five hits in 5 2/3 innings. That ended a string of six straight quality starts – three earned runs or fewer allowed in at least six innings pitched – for the right-hander.

Eaton had a streak of five straight quality starts end in Friday’s 7-1 home loss to the Angels, as he gave up six runs on 12 hits in five innings. Eaton has given up a home run in four straight starts and nine of his last 11, and Philly is 3-6 in his last nine trips to the hill.

Harden is 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA at home, and Oakland is 5-2 in his seven starts at McAfee Coliseum. Meanwhile, Eaton is 0-3 with a 5.09 ERA on the road, with the Phillies losing six of his eight games on the highway.

Eaton has faced the A’s four times in his career, posting a 4.91 ERA with Oakland winning three of the four games.

The under is 13-1-1 in Eaton’s 15 starts this season (8-0 in the last eight), 6-1-1 on the road this year and 3-0-1 in his four career starts against the A’s. The under is also on runs of 17-5 for Philadelphia overall and 9-2 for Philadelphia on the road. Finally, the first two games of this series have stayed under the total.

ATS ADVANTAGE:  OAKLAND and UNDER


Cincinnati (36-43) at Toronto (37-42)

Edinson Volquez (10-2, 1.71) takes the hill for the Reds, who snapped a two-game slide with last night’s 6-5, 10-inning victory and now look to take this rubber match north of the border. Despite Wednesday’s win, Cincinnati is still just 3-7 in its last 10 overall, 9-19 in its last 28 on the road, 17-35 in its last 52 games in American League cities and 9-24 in its last 33 against losing teams.

Jesse Litsch (7-4, 4.06) is set to start this finale for the Blue Jays, who have now dropped eight of their last 10, all against the National League. Going back further, Toronto is mired in a 6-16 slump (4-7 at home). On the bright side, the Jays are on hot streaks of 6-0 as a home underdog and 9-4 at home against right-handed starters.

Cincinnati is 12-3 when Volquez starts, including 8-1 in the last nine overall and 4-0 in his last four on the road. Volquez has recorded a quality start in each of his 15 starts, giving up one earned run or fewer in 10 of those contests.

Toronto went 7-3 in Litsch’s first 10 starts, but it has lost the last four, with the right-hander posting a 6.47 ERA during this stretch. Litsch, who gave up six runs in six innings in Saturday’s 6-3 loss in Pittsburgh, has surrendered 10 home runs in his last nine outings, while Volquez hasn’t allowed a long ball in six straight starts.

Both of Volquez’s losses have come on the road, where he is 5-2 with a 1.62 ERA. Meanwhile, Litsch is 3-1 with a 3.55 ERA in seven home starts.

For Toronto, the over is on streaks of 6-1 overall, 8-2-1 in interleague home games, 5-0 against right-handed starters and 6-1 as an underdog in interleague play. Also, the over is 7-2-1 in the Reds’ last nine against losing teams and 6-2 in their last eight as a road chalk. Finally, the first two games of this series have easily soared over the posted price.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER

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Black Magic Sports

1 Unit on  New York Yankees -137

I love the Yankees’ chances to win tonight with Mike Mussina over Paul Maholm.  The Yankees have now won 7 of their last 8 meetings with the Pirates, including last night’s 10-0 statement victory.  Don’t look for New York to just call off the dogs tonight.  Mike Mussina has been a pleasant surprise for the Yankees this year, going 10-5 with a 3.93 ERA in 2008.  He’s 5-1 with a solid 3.50 ERA on the road this season as well.  The last time Mussina faced the Pirates it resulted in a complete-game-shutout where he allowed just 5 hits in a 9-0 Yankees’ victory.  Look for Mussina to bring back some of those memories tonight as he shuts down the Pirates on the road.  Cash in with the Yankees as the favorite.

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Info Plays

3* on Chicago Cubs -154

It’s tough to bet against the Cubs considering they have won 15 of their last 16 home games.  We aren’t about to bet against them today.  Radhames Liz is winless in his last 3 starts with a terrible 7.43 ERA for Baltimore.  Jason Marquis has been brilliant, going 3-0 with a 2.66 ERA over his last 3 starts for Chicago.  Marquis is 18-6 in all home games over the last 2 seasons.  It would be idiotic to bet against the Cubs here.  So bet Chicago at home.

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Alex Smart

Houston Comets +3.5

The San Antonio Silver Stars had a 5 game winning streak snapped by the Houston Comets at home last time out in OT,by a score of 82-81, and will be primed and motivated to get revenge in the rematch here this Thursday evening. But you do not always get , what you want. With that said, I expect the Comets to be very competitive as they continue a run,that has seen them win 4 of their L5 overall. Final notes & Key Trends: Houston is 15-3 ATS L18 against an above.500 team. Comets have covered 5 straight in this series. Play on the Comets

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Jimmy The Moose

Game: New York Yankees at Pittsburgh Pirates
Prediction: New York Yankees

The Yankees are 9-3 in their last 12 games. New York has won 5 of their last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. New York is 13-5 in their last 18 interleague games vs. a team with a losing record. The Yankees are 8-3 in their last 11 interleague games. New York has won Mussina's last 5 road starts. NY is 9-3 in his last 12 starts overall. NY is 16-7 in his last 23 interleague starts. Pittsburgh is 17-42 in their last 49 interleague games vs. a team with a winning record. The Pirates are 19-47 in their last 66 interleague games overall. The Pirates are 4-7 in their last 11 games overall. Play on the Yankees -.

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Big Al Mcmordie

St Louis Cardinals at Detroit Tigers Jun 26 2008 1:05PM
Prediction: Detroit Tigers

At 1:05pm our member selection is on the Detroit Tigers over the St. Louis Cardinals. It's not too late for the Detroit Tigers. Despite a first half of the season that has been so far below expectations that it's almost impossible to measure, the Tigers find themselves closing in on a .500 record and only five games behind the front running Chicago White Sox in the American League Central Division. Detroit has won 11 of their last 14 games, and has gotten surprising performances from some unlikely sources, one of which is tonight's starter, lefthanded veteran Nate Robertson. Robertson started the season like the team did: very poorly and a major disappointment. Two months into the season, Robertson found himself with a 3-6 record and an ERA of over six runs. He's not going to make the All-Star squad or give John Lackey a run for his money, but Robertson has now won his last three starts in a row and has lowered his ERA by about 1/2 of a run. Cardinal righthander Todd Wellemeyer is going to test his sore pitching arm tonight in his first start since having to leave the game on June 13th with elbow soreness in what turned out to be his worst start of the season. It's a tough spot in which for Wellemeyer to make his comeback as the Detroit bats have really been heating up lately, and the St. Louis bullpen, which will be called on if Wellemeyer can't stay in the game very long, has been atrocious lately. Injuries have absolutely decimated the Cardinal pitching staff this season. Take the Tigers.

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Scott Ferrall

CLEVELAND -165 over San Francisco--Cliff Lee's not giving up anything to the Giants in this one against Cain.  TAKE THE UNDER 8 RUNS

Pirates +130 over Yankees--Maholm's pitched well lately and the Yanks have struggled against lefty's.  Mussina gets a taste of Pittsburgh's bats at PNC.  The Bucs are tougher than anyone gives them credit for, especially at home.  I'm on THE OVER 8 RUNS

REDS -120 over Jays--Volquez isn't afraid to pitch anywhere.  This one won't be easy aginst Litsch.  The Reds just play well when Volquez is on the mound-like they did against the Yankees last Friday night when he schooled them in the Bronx

Houston -125 over Texas--Millwodd won't have fun at Minute Maid in this one.  Wandy Rodriguez gets it done at home for the Stros over the Rangers.  Texas isn't the same when Hamilton is injured

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LUCKY LEPRECHAUN SPORTS

DETROIT -131 over St Louis

The Cardinals are 2-8 in their last 10 interleague games as a dog of +110 to +150 and 1-5 in Wellemeyers last 6 starts as an underdog, while the Tigers are 11-1 in their last 12 games as a favorite of -110 to -150 and 5-1 in Robertsons last 6 starts. The Tigers are slowly climbing back into the race for the AL Central as they come in having won 10 of their last 13 games overall and 12 of their last 17 at home. Overall Detroit is 20-17 at home scoring 5.7 rpg and hitting .296 in the process. Nate Robertson gets the ball for the Cats and he is beginning to put it all together. Nate has a 6-6 record with a 5.60 ERA overall, but in his last 3 starts overall he is 3-0 with a 3.93 ERA and in his last 3 home starts he has a 3-0 record with a 2.89 ERA. The Cards have had some problems scoring as they are averaging just 4.1 rpg in their last 12 games, plus they score just 4.5 rpg in day games. Todd Wellemyer has been solid for the cards and would like to shake off his last start which saw him allow 8 ER in just 3.1 inings of work in a 20-2 loss to the Phils, but the Tiger bats are hot right now, while Robertson has been on a roll. Detroit continues it's climb back with a solid win over a solid pitcher. 

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JB's Computer Picks

Chicago Cubs -160

Oakland Athletics -185

Cincinnati Reds -120

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Yankee Capper

3 Units - Yankees/Pirates Over 9

2 Units - Rays/Marlins Over 9

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Karl Garrett

Tampa Bay at FLORIDA

How can I even think about playing this game UNDER the posted total?

Last night marked the 4th time in 5 games that the Rays and Marlins combined to go OVER the total this season.

Dating back to last season, these teams have played 11 times, and 8 of the 11 have sailed OVER the posted price.

In games played at Florida, the pair have combined to go OVER in 7 of the 8 meetings!

Finally, the pitching matchup gives no indication that the hitters are going to be baffled, as Matt Garza is just 1-3 with a 6.25 ERA on the road this year, while Florida hurler Mark Hendrickson has been getting drilled all year long, as his 5.73 ERA indicates.

Based on the numbers I have just listed, can you make a case for the UNDER today?

No, I can't either...Take the OVER between Tampa and Florida.

4♦ OVER

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Bobby Maxwell

Minnesota at SAN DIEGO -105 

The Twins have been rolling lately, winning eight straight, but today we will put our faith in San Diego's youngster Josh Banks (2-1, 1.62 ERA) as he goes up against the Twins' Scott Baker (3-2, 3.47).

Banks has been stellar for the Padres since joining them in late May. And at Petco Park in San Diego, the guy has given up just one run in 14 innings of work as he's 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA. In his lone home start he held the Mets to one run on five hits in six innings of a 2-1 victory.

He last pitched a week ago when he held the Yankees to two runs in 5.1 innings of a 2-1 loss at Yankee Stadium. The big stage didn't seem to faze the youngster as he gave his team a chance to win the game.

Minnesota has lost three of Baker's last four outings, including his last two on the road. For some reason, the Twins don't like Thursdays, going just 2-8 in their last 10 on Thursday and 1-4 when Baker throws on Thursday.

The Padres are 5-2 at home against right-handed starters and 4-1 on Thursdays. This team likes daytime games at Petco because they can score some runs. The ball travels better and they'll put some runs on the board. Play Banks and the Padres.

4♦ SAN DIEGO

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Chris Jordan

Cincinnati at TORONTO

Let's play this one high tonight, as I suspect we're destined for double digits in this series finale.

The over is on winning streaks of 6-1 overall, 9-2 in interleague home games, 5-0 against right-handed starters and 6-1 when the Jays are installed as the underdog in interleague play.

In games involving Cincinnati, the high number is 8-2 in the Reds’ last 10 against losing teams, while they're 6-2 in their last eight as the road chalk.

I know the line is virutally a pick, but the aformentioned roles could fit the bill by the time of the first pitch. Hey, the first two games of this series have easily eclipsed the posted price, so there's no reason to believe it won't do the same in this contest.

1♦ OVER

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Sports Gambling Hotline

Cincinnati at TORONTO

Tonight we like another UNDER in baseball, as we see Cincinnati and Toronto finally cooling off with the offensive production.

Both meetings thus far have gone OVER the posted price, and some would say that this one should also go OVER based on Jesse Litsch's last couple of outings, but we know better.

Litsch is 3-1 at home this year with an ERA of 3.55, and his counterpart Edinson Volquez has been "money" ALL season long, as he is now 10-1, and sports an ERA of 1.74.

The bats have been active the last two night's but tonight it will be the pitchers that set the tone in this game.

Play on the UNDER in Cincy-Toronto.

3♦ UNDER

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EZWINNERS

2 STAR: (952) FLORIDA (+$106) over Tampa Bay
(Action) (Risking $200 to win $212)

2 STAR: (960) SAN DIEGO (-$107) over Minnesota
(Action) (Risking $214 to win $200)

2 STAR: (961) PHILADELPHIA (+$170) over Oakland
(Action) (Risking $200 to win $340)

2 STAR: (966) PITTSBURGH (+$126) over NY Yankees
(Action) (Risking $200 to win $252)

2 STAR: HOUSTON (-$127) over Texas
(Listing Rodriguez only) (Risking $254 to win $200)

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Armvin Sports

Texas Rangers +116

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PlusLineSports Daily Baseball Selection

Chicago Cubs Runline -1.5

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VEGAS SPORTS PICS

Chicago Cubs -155**


Cincinnati -110**


Texas +110**

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JEFF BENTON

I backed Barry Zito and San Francisco with a paid selection on Wednesday, and they delivered an easy 4-1 victory. I mentioned in my analysis that there was absolutely no justification for the Indians, whose record is nearly identical to the Giants and who were not starting C.C. Sabathia, to be laying the kind of price they were last night. Well, same premise applies here. Yes, Cleveland is going with Cliff Lee here, and yes, Lee is 10-1 with a 2.45 ERA. But the Tribe are just 3-2 in his five home starts, and Lee has shown cracks recently.

Also, it's not like San Francisco is handing the ball to some scrub; Matt Cain is a quality hurler, and after a rough start to his season, he's turning things around of late, going 2-1, 2.95 ERA in last three starts, with both wins coming on the road. In fact, Cain has had a quality start in four of his last five on the road.

Bottom line: The Indians have now dropped three in a row and six of their last eight, and they're 4-11 in their last 15 interleague games. At the same time, San Francisco has won 11 of its last 15 on the highway, and its road record (20-20) is now identical to Cleveland's home mark (20-20). Ridiculous value on the visitor in this one.

3♦ SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

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TONY WESTON

Over on the Yankees-Pirates game in Pittsburgh

The total for tonight is set at 9 and both teams will blow right past that. Consider that in the first two games of the series the teams have totaled 17 then 10 runs.

Also keep in mind that in the Yankees last four games on the road they've combined to total in the double digits each time out as they?ve averaged 13 runs a game.

The Pirates have also been apt to high-scoring games at home recently as they've totaled, on average, more than 12 runs a game (12.25).

These two will light things up again and go way past that nine runs.
Take the over easy on this one.

3♦ YANKEES-PIRATES OVER

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