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HOT LOCK SPORTS

Pittsburgh Pirates vs Cincinnati Reds
Pittsburgh Pirates +140

The Reds are 4-10 L 14 overall and 2-5 L 7 as a home favorite.  Pitt is 5-1 L 6 of Maholms starts and Pittsburgh is 4-1 L5 when Maholm faces Harang.  The Reds are hitting .218 vs leftys their L 10 games while Pitt is hitting .273 L 10 vs rightys.  The Pirates lead the season series 4-2.  Bullpen favors Cincy but we like the bats on the Pirates better right now. Over priced here, we will take the undervalued road dog. Pirates for 2 units!

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Matty O'Shea

BOS +125 vs TAM

Analysis: The defending World Series champion Red Sox have not lost three straight games in more than a month and face the pitcher who ignited a bench-clearing brawl the last time these teams met back on June 5th.  That would be Tampa Bay's James Shields, who is just 1-4 lifetime vs. Boston with a 5.66 ERA.  While Shields has been dominant at home, he will be facing a very motivated Sox squad that has taken back the AL East lead from the Rays both times they have had the opportunity this season.  Boston has won the last six meetings with Tampa Bay and sends Justin Masterson to the mound.  The Sox have won five of the last six times Masterson has gone to the mound, including a win over the Rays back on June 3rd.  I definitely expect Boston to regain focus in this series, so take this team as my MLB Underdog Play O' the Day.

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VEGAS EXPERTS

Washington Nationals at Florida Marlins

An early line move in favor of the Fish suggests the public is unaware of Nats starter Tim Redding's incredible 12-1 team start record in the underdog role. Furthermore, his TSR is a perfect 10-0 if priced below +150 and he's 6 for 6 as a road underdog. Washington has won the last nine games he has started and will be looking for revenge against their division rivals, who have taken 8 of the first 9 meetings this season between the teams.

Play on: Washington

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MATT FARGO

New York Mets vs. St Louis Cardinals     
Play: St Louis Cardinals 

The Cardinals were able to take the final two games in Kansas City and come home with a successful 5-4 record during the recent roadtrip. St. Louis is the only team in baseball with at least 23 wins at both home and on the road. It was swept by the Royals in its last home series so it comes in with some momentum this time around. The Cardinals offense is leading the charge, hitting .292 over the last 10 games while averaging 5.4 rpg over that span. St. Louis is also hitting .280 at home against right-handed pitching.

The Mets were not swept by the Yankees over the weekend but they were swept at home sop they come in on a big downer and a three-game losing skid. New York is five games under .500 on the road and the offense can be to blame as has been the case recently. The Mets are hitting .254 on the road this season and over the last 10 games they are hitting only .248. They have scored three runs or fewer in seven of those games and have averaged just 4.1 rpg over that 10-game stretch and that includes a 15-run game.

Kyle Lohse has had a very solid recent stretch. Lohse had tossed three straight quality starts prior to his last outing and has done so in six of his last eight games, posting a 3.07 ERA over that span. One non-quality start was due to lack of innings as he allowed just one run in five innings. He has been solid at home, going 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA in nine starts at Busch Stadium. Add to that, Lohse is 5-0 with a 2.84 ERA in eight nighttime starts.

John Maine has put together two straight quality outings but he has not had three straight since mid-May. Through May 13th, his ERA was at 2.81 and it has gone up nearly a full run since then as his ERA over his last eight starts is a very below average 4.70. He has had better success on the road than at home but the Mets are just 4-4 in his eight away starts. He has only pitched more than 6.2 innings once all season yet has gone over 100 pitches in seven straight starts. Walks are a problem as proven by his 1.43 road WHIP. Play St. Louis Cardinals 1.5 Units

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TONY MATHEWS 

Kansas City Royals vs. Baltimore Orioles
Selection: Kansas City Royals -120

The Kansas City Royals will use starting pitcher Zack Greinke. Zack Greinke has been pitching very well as of late. In fact, Zack Greinke has a 1.80 ERA in his last 3 starts. We see Zack Greinke pitching another great game today.

The Baltimore Orioles will use starting pitcher Brian Burres. Brian Burres has been struggling as of late. In fact, Brian Burres has a 6.75 ERA in his last 3 starts. We see Brian Burres pitching another bad game today.

The bottom line, the Kansas City Royals should be able to beat the Baltimore Orioles tonight!

Take the Kansas City Royals!

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VEGAS SPORTS PICS

St Louis +105*

Houston/Dodgers UNDER 8.5*

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SportsKingz

ANGELS -130

TORONTO -155

CUBS -145

YANKEES -185

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Nick Parsons

While the Yankees money line is too expensive to release as a pay play to my clients, there is value with the Yankees on Monday and that is why youre seeing them here! The Yanks were 16-7 in their last 23 games before yesterdays 3-1 loss to the Mets. Note that they send Mike Mussina to the mound tonight and that is a big problem for the Rangers. Not only is Mussina 10-5 with a 3.93 ERA this season, he has also dominated Texas in his recent meetings with them. The Yankees right-hander is 6-0 with a 2.72 ERA in his last nine starts against the Rangers and there is no reason that his dominance should be halted on Monday! Keep in mind that Mussina has won 9 of his last 11 decisions and his last start was halted by rain in the third inning so he is very well rested for tonights start! The Rangers have lost 20 of their last 26 games versus New York and, especially with this pitching match-up tonight, the struggles against the Yankees should continue for Texas. The Rangers send Scott Feldman to the mound and he has not fared well at all on the road in his career. He is 0-7 with a 6.72 ERA in 43 career road games. Overall, Feldman hasnt won a game since May 9th and hes 0-2 with a 4.88 ERA since then. Feldman needed 99 pitches just to get through four innings against Houston in his last start and he wont find Yankee Stadium to be any kinder than Minute Maid Park! Feldman has never made a start at Yankee Stadium before and it can be a tough place for a young hurler. Feldman is only 25 years old and has only made 11 starts in his brief MLB career. Yankees win this one in a rout!

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Alex Smart

Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago White Sox
Prediction: Chicago White Sox

The White Sox (46-35) are playing some impressive baseball at the moment, and are off beating their cross town rivals the Chicago Cubs 5-1 yesterday, completing a three-game sweep of that series for their fourth straight win overall. The Pale Hose now expect to continue that run vs last place Cleveland Indians team that they have beaten in six of their last seven confrontations , including a three-game home sweep back in late May. .With the inconsistent Jeremy Sowers (0-3, 5.97 ERA) going to the hill for the slumping Tribe tonight,I doubt very much their will be very much positive momentum behind their efforts to turn things around. Note: Sowers has no wins in 6 starts during his current campaign, and after tonight im betting that count will increase to 7 starts, 0 wins . Look for and expect White Sox hurler Gavin Floyd (8-4, 3.39), to bounce back off a less than stellar effort last time out, when he gave up five runs in 5 1-3 innings in a 5-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The righty thrower previous to that had gone 4-0 with a 3.66 ERA in five starts. Final notes & Key Trends: Indians are 0-7 in Sowers L7 starts as a road underdog. Indians are 1-6 in the last 7 meetings. Play on the White Sox

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B!G AL

MONDAY NIGHT NL BASEBALL MASSACRE.

At 9:05pm our selection is on the Colorado Rockies over the San Diego Padres.  How bad have things gotten for San Diego?  How about getting swept in their last interleague series of the season at the hands of the absolute worst team in the American League?  Seattle didn't just beat the Padres over the past three days, they embarrassed them in front of their home crowd at Petco.  The final tally for the three-game series was Seatte 18 runs vs. San Diego 6.  I'd like to say that the problems for the Pads recently is that interleague play simply doesn't agree with them, and that certainly is true when you look at the fact that this team only won three of eighteen games vs. the AL, the worst IL record in the Majors.  But it's more than that as San Diego simply has one of the most anemic offenses in recent memory.  Even during their successful run against NL teams in early June prior to the Interleague schedule, there was a stretch where the Padres scored only 2 runs per game in five of six contests (although they actually won four of those games).  Part of this lackluster performance is due to injuries (San Diego has had plenty) and part is just a plain old lack of talent.  This is the type of offense that is tailor-made for a young, hard-throwing lefty like Colorado's Jorge De La Rosa.  De La Rosa has 22 K's in his last three games, including a ten strikeout performance on June 19 against the Indians.  The Padres' hitters are even worse against southpaws this season, batting a pathetic .238 against them.  Take the Rockies. 


AMERICAN LEAGUE MONDAY NITE ANNIHILATION.

At 8:10pm our selection is on the Detroit Tigers over the Minnesota Twins.  What a way to begin the next phase of American League play just before the All-Star break with two of the AL's hottest teams in a key division series.  The Tigers emerge from play vs. the National League almost looking like a completely different team, having won seventeen of their last twenty-two overall, while the Twins just had their ten-game winning streak snapped on Saturday, but came back Sunday with an Interleague-finale shutout against the Brewers and have now won thirteen of their last fifteen games.  You could never tell from the record of Tigers righthanded starter Armando Galarraga that Detroit did so poorly in much of the first half of the season.  Not only is Galarraga 7-2 with an ERA of 3.32 and only 55 hits allowed in his 76 innings, but perhaps most impressive is the fact that his team is now 10-2, 83%, in games which he's started.  Regardless of what happens from here out, if the Tigers end up making the playoffs, nobody deserves more credit than this 26-year-old Venezuelan for the job he did up to this point to keep Detroit in the hunt.  The Tigers have also recently gotten a big boost on offense from the return of veteran DH Gary Sheffield.  The Twins will send 25-year-old lefty Glen Perkins to the mound, and although he has won his last two starts, they have come against the absolute worst offenses in baseball in San Diego and Washington.  Look for the Tiger batters to feast against this inexperienced southpaw as they are hitting a scorching .297 vs. lefties this season.  Take Detroit. 

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EZ WINNERS 

3 STAR: (952) ST. LOUIS (-$103) over NY Mets
(Listing Lohse and Maine) (Risking $309 to win $300)

1 STAR: (964) SAN FRANCISCO (+$124) over Chicago
(Listing Zito only) (Risking $100 to win $124)

1 STAR: (972) MINNESOTA (+$105) over Detroit
(Action) (Risking $100 to win $105)

1 STAR: (961) MILWAUKEE (+$108) over Arizona
(Listing Bush and Davis) (Risking $100 to win $108)

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Players of America

San Diego Padres vs. Colorado Rockies
The Play: San Diego Padres +110.0
Star Value: 3* (30 Units)


Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago White Sox
The Play: Cleveland Indians +145.0
Star Value: 1* (10 Units)


Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants
The Play: Chicago Cubs -125.0
Star Value: 1* (10 Units)

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SAPKOWSKI    8-2 premium picks run

Premium
WAS Nationals
CHI White Sox

Free picks
COL Rockies
DET Tigers

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SCOTT FERRALL

YANKEES -180 over Texas--Mike Mussina is 6-0 in his last 9 starts against the Rangers.  NY has won 16 of 24 since opening June with 3 losses in a row.  They've always owned Texas.  Feldman is 0-7 on the road for the Rangers.  He's never won on the road in 43 appearances as both a starter and reliever.

Tampa -145 over Boston--Shields over Masterson as the Red Sox lose their third straight for the first time since May 23-25.  Tampa just finished a 5-1 trip and are in first place over Boston in the AL EAST

DETROIT -125 over Minnesota--The Tigers have won 5 straight and are finally over .500 at 41-40.  Det's won 15 of 18.  They've gone 17-4 since June 7th.  Gallaraga is 4-0 since May 23rd

CHISOX -155  over Cleveland--The White Sox have won 4 straight overall.  They've won 6 of 7, including a three game home sweep against the Tribe this yr.  Gavin Floyd is the take and he's won 4 of his last 5 starts.

Angels -130 over A's--Garland has been tough (4-1 through 10 starts in may & June).  The Angles have won 4 of 7 from A's this yr.

Seattle +135 over Toronto--The Mariners upset Halladay and the Jays.  Seattle just swept lowly San Diego and the Jays have lost the last 3 Halladay starts.  The Mariners have won 5 of 6 and that's hot for them !   Beltre is hitting .432 over the last 9 games and Ichiro went 8 of 14 against the Padres during their sweep this weekend.

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LT Profits

Kansas City Royals @ Baltimore Orioles Under 9.0

The home-away splits for the Kansas City Royals and the Baltimore Orioles suggest that this should be a relatively low scoring game tonight, and we concur.

The Under is 23-18, 56.1 percent in all Kansas City road games this season with a rather low average combined total score in those games of 8.72 runs per game. Their starter Zack Greinke has become the new ace of the staff this year, with a 3.40 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 106 innings. He has been light out lately with a 1.80 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP his last three starts.

Now Brian Burres has tailed off lately, but he was scratched in his last start and seemed fine while pitching one inning in relief on Thursday, so we feel he is ready to return to his fine early-season form. Also, the Under is 17-14 in Baltimore home games this season, and the Orioles are batting significantly lower vs. right-handers (.252) than they are vs. left-handers (.272).

Burres lost 4-0 to the Royals earlier this season, and we look for the pitchers to dominate again tonight.

Pick: Royals, Orioles Under 9


Seattle Mariners +140

The Seattle Mariners have caught fire since their front office and managerial shake-ups, and even though they are facing one of the best tonight in Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays, this is still a nice price for the Mariners at home in their current form.

Seattle just finished off a sweep of the San Diego Padres, making them 5-1 in their last six games, all on the road. Sure the Mariners are a disappointing 15-24 at home, but they are playing their best baseball of the season right now, so we see them returning home at this time as a positive, as that home mark only figures to improve from here on out.

Now there starter tonight R.A. Dickey struggled badly in his first three starts this season, but then he suddenly tossed seven scoreless innings while allowing only six hits vs. the New York Mets in his last start.

No, he is not quite that good, but he is better than he looked in his first three outings, so look for another nice start tonight vs. a Toronto offense that scored one run and no runs respectively in two of their games vs. the Atlanta Braves this past weekend. It also helps that the Seattle bullpen has improved lately, and now has a commendable 3.85 collective ERA for the year.

Now make no mistake, Halladay is one of the best, but he does not appear to be completely on his game right now. In fact, he has a high 1.55 WHIP over his last three starts, and the Blue Jays as a team have lost his last three outings. Also, the fact that he is just 8-6 despite a 3/12 ERA and 1.09 WHIP further underscores the struggles of the Jays offense at times this season.

We will ride the hot team as a nice home underdog vs. the great but slumping starter in this spot.

Pick: Mariners +140

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Tony Karpinski

Kansas City Royals vs. Baltimore Orioles     
Play: Baltimore Orioles   

The Kansas City Royals' quest to get out of last place hit a snag in their final two games of interleague play against their intrastate rivals. Still, the Royals will be looking to win six straight road games for the first time in more than nine years on Monday when they begin an eight-game trip by facing the Baltimore Orioles. Zach Greinke hasn't started against the Orioles since 2004, when he faced them twice, going 0-2 with an 11.88 ERA. David DeJesus could be out of the lineup for Kansas City on Monday after leaving Sunday's game with a bruise in his rib cage he sustained on a collision at home plate. THis could be costly, so we'll back the yardbirds in this one. Play Baltimore

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Tom Freese

Cleveland at Chicago

Chicago is 36-16 their last 52 games as favorites and they are 8-2 their last 10 games when playing Game 1 of a series. The White Sox are 37-17 their last 54 home games and they are 8-0 with Gavin Floyd vs. an opponent that scored scored 5 or more runs in their last game. The Pale Hose are 6-1 their last 7 games vs. the Indians. Cleveland is 5-12 their last 17 games vs. righty starters and they and they are 8-20 their last 28 games as underdogs. The Indians are 0-6 with Jeremy Sowers as road dogs of +110 to +150. PLAY ON CHICAGO

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Nelly

Oakland + over Los Angeles

Oakland is a winning team on the road this season and this will be a big opportunity for the A’s to close the gap in the AL West. Oakland was crushed on Sunday but that could serve as a motivating factor entering this series. The Angels have scored just one run in the past three games as the offense continues to struggle, batting just .256 on the season. Oakland also has low batting numbers but the A’s play in one of the lowest scoring ballparks in baseball and have had a home-heavy early season schedule. The Angels are a great road team but the results at home have been fairly marginal. Greg Smith has solid overall numbers for the A’s this season and he has pitched well in two starts against Los Angeles this season. Jon Garland has significantly worse numbers at home with a losing record and an ERA approaching 5.00. In his last home start against the A’s he allowed seven runs in a 14-2 loss. Look for Oakland to deliver the underdog win here as this is a bad situation for the Angels.

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Ben Burns

Los Angeles Dodgers at Houston Astros
Prediction: Houston Astros

Both teams won two of three in their final Interleague series. The Dodgers lost by a run (1-0!) yesterday though, while the Astros won by one. Playing at home, with their ace on the mound, I look for the Astros to have an advantage on the mound and for them to continue their recent positive momentum. Eric Stults deserves some credit, as he has pitched well since joining the Dodgers rotation. However, let's keep in mind that it's still been only two starts, which is a very small sample size. For his big league career, a span of just 71 innings, he's still got a poor 4.67 ERA, going 4-4. Note that he was just a 15th round draft pick in 2002, so it isn't like he was supposed to be some kind of "can't miss" prospect.

On the other hand, despite a sub-par first half, Oswalt is still an impressive 118-62 with a stellar 3.19 ERA for his outstanding career. He's been pitching much better lately than this year's record/stats show and he's coming off back to back quality starts. Last time out, he held a powerful Texas lineup to three runs through seven complete innings. However, the Astros couldn't provide him with any run support. Two starts ago, he limited the Rays to five hits and two runs through 7 2/3 innings, earning a 4-2 victory. That start came at Tampa, which is worth mentioning as the Rays have been very tough to beat there. Oswalt had 10 K's to just two walks in those two starts. Looking back further and we find that Oswalt has now allowed three earned runs or less in six straight starts, averaging nearly seven innings during that span.

The last time that Oswalt faced the Dodgers, he allowed just one run through eight complete innings, earning the victory in a 4-1 Houston win. The last time that he faced the Dodgers here in Texas, Oswalt allowed two runs through 6 1/3 innings, earning the victory in a 4-2 Houston win. Overall, the Astros are 7-2 the last nine times they were a host in this series. Considering that series success here AND the fact that the Dodgers are a money-burning 11-17 (-7.2) the last 28 times they were coming off a shutout loss, I feel that the current price is reasonable.

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FRANK ROSENTHAL

951 NYM-105
957 DODGERS UNDER 8.5
959 PADRES OVER 9.5
965 KC UNDER 9
970 RAYS-140
977 JAYS-150

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