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King Creole

Los Angeles Dodgers @ Houston Astros
Play: UNDER

Tonight's home plate Umpire in Houston is FIELDIN CULBRETH, who has a pretty solid 'UNDER" resume in the last 1.5 years. 2008 record stands at 5-9-2 O/U with 8.1 RPG. His recent numbers however, are much STRONGER. He's gone 0-3-1 O/U in his last 4 games (only 5.8 RPG)... and 1-7-1 O/U in his last 8 games dating back to early May (6.7 RPG). Tonight's starter for the host Astros is Wandy Rodriguez, and his numbers at home are impeccable. ERA is only 1.89 at home this year with a record of 1-3 O/U. Since coming off the DL, he's gone 1-3-1 O/U in 5 starts.

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Nelly

San Diego + over Colorado

Josh Banks has pitched well for the Padres with a 2.33 ERA on the season and excellent numbers both home and away. Aaron Cook delivered a great start to the season but has been shaky since, allowing three or more runs in seven of his last nine starts. San Diego used a big ninth inning to deliver a win last night and now that the losing streak is snapped San Diego can get some confidence back at the plate. Meanwhile Colorado has dropped eight in a row and the Rockies are hitting just .247 in the last ten games against right-handed pitching. This is still a series with some emotion for the Padres considering the way last season ended and even though 2008 has been a nightmare for both teams this is a game that San Diego wants to win. Look for a solid pitching match-up and we catch great underdog value going against a team that has not been winning.

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NSA

20* Detroit +120
10* Boston +110
10* St. Louis -140
10* Chi. White Sox. -125
10* Florida -135
10* Cubs +105

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WUNDERDOG

Washington at Florida
Pick: 3 units on Florida -137

The Nats have never been a good road team and this season is no different. Washington have posted an 8-18 mark on the road against .500+ teams, and are just 11-22 overall in their last 33 games. Collin Balester will make his Major League debut tonight for the Nats, but his numbers at AAA Columbus aren't outstanding. He has pitched to a 4 ERA and allowed 14 HR'S in just 78 innings. Like the Marlins at home here.

Game: Boston at Tampa Bay
Pick: 3 units on Boston +108

It's not very often when you get a pitcher that has completely dominated an opponent over his career at plus money and backed by a excellent team as well. Tim Wakefield has amassed a 19-3 record against the D-Rays over his career. It is difficult to neglect the value in a very good Sox team backed by those kind of numbers. Matt Garza has pitched well of late, but his numbers against the Sox aren't very appealing this year, with just two starts and a 6.97 ERA. This is still a sub .500 pitcher for his career. The value lies with the Sox here.

Game: Detroit at Minnesota
Pick: 4 units on Detroit +125

This is hot vs. hot, or is it? The Twins hot has them playing over their heads while the Tigers' hot has them playing as everyone knew they could and then some. The Tigers have won six straight games and stand at 18-4 over their last 22. After making some noise with their 12-1 run, the Twins appear to be settling down into the average team they are, losing two of their last three and game one to the Tigers last night. The perception here is where the value lies. The Twins aren't as good as they have played, and have already stepped down from that level while the Tigers are a very good team and playing at their best right now. The value is evident as the Tigers take the field as a dog is just to hard to pass up at this point.

Game: Cleveland at Chicago
Pick: 3 units on Cleveland -128

The White Sox aren't just a hot team right now winning five straight, they are becoming a very good team as indicated by a long run at 28-15 over their last 43 games. The Sox have won all four home games against Cleveland this season. The Indians have become a horrible team as they have mirrored what the Sox have done, but in a losing way. Cleveland has gone gone 15-28 over their last 43 and just 7-18 over their last 25 road games. Cliff Lee vs. John Danks is basically a tossup, but the White Sox are finding ways to win while the Indians, ways to lose. We will back the Sox for their fifth straight at home over The Tribe.

Game: San Diego at Colorado
Pick: 3 units on Colorado -1.5 runs +121

Aaron Cook goes for Colorado today and San Diego can't be glad to see him. Cook is 7-1 with a 1.72 ERA in his last ten vs. the Pads. He's never lost at home to San Diego. Overall he's 10-5 on the season and owns a 3.25 ERA at home. San Diego averages just 3.7 runs per game (3.6 in night games) while Colorado scores 4.8 per game at home. San Diego is just 37-47 this season to the run line. Cook is 28-15 to the run line the past two seasons. He's also 20-7 the past decade to the run line vs. teams that average 7+ strikeouts per game. We like the Rockies to win by 2+ runs here.

Toronto at Seattle
3 units on Toronto -129

No other way to put it than the Mariners are a bad baseball team. They were shutout last night and ran their season total scoring two runs or less to 25 games. It has even been hard to win games when they get good pitching either home or away, as their home mark has been even worse then their away record. Toronto has been up and down all year, but right now they are definately up, winning six of eight, and Jesse Litsch has shown signs of coming out of a few-start funk. This is still a pitcher with an AL ERA for his career of under four, so against a punchless Mariners' lineup we look for a top-notch performance from him and a Jays win.

Chicago at San Francisco
3 units on San Francisco -120

While the Cubs have been extraordinary at home posting a 33-10 mark, they certainly have been less than ordinary on the road at 17-23. Recently, they are just 5-8 in their last 13 overall and not playing well at the moment. Jason Marquis got out quickly, posting an ERA in the mid 3's over his first four starts and has since pitched to a 5.5 ERA. Matt Cain has deserved a better fate pitching 11 games allowing three runs or less, but just four wins to show for it. Cubs look ripe to be had on the road, and Marquis might be the kind of pitcher the Giants make some noise against

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GamblersWorld

Texas Rangers vs. New York Yankees
Prediction: New York Yankees

The Texas Rangers will be trying to extend a winning streak on Tuesday when they take on the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. The Rangers will trot ace Kevin Millwood out to the mound in this one. Righthander Millwood has a 5-4 record and a 5.08 ERA this season. Meanwhile, it'll be Joba Chamberlain who starts for the Yankees. Righthander Chamberlain is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA so far this season. Oddsmakers currently have the Yankees listed as 210-moneyline favorites versus the Rangers, while the game's total is sitting at 9½. The Rangers defeated the Yankees 2-1 as a +165 underdog on Monday. The three runs scored fell UNDER the posted over/under total (10). Scott Feldman allowed one run in five 2-3 strong innings for Texas, while Josh Hamilton had an RBI in the win. Alex Rodriguez hit a solo home run for the Yankees and Mike Mussina took the loss despite allowing only two runs on five hits, with eight strikeouts in six innings. Current streak: Texas has won 2 straight games. New York has lost 2 straight games. Team records: Texas: 43-41 SU New York: 44-39 SU Texas most recently: When playing on Tuesday are 6-4 Before playing NY Yankees are 2-8 After playing NY Yankees are 2-8 After a win are 3-7 New York most recently: When playing on Tuesday are 6-4 Before playing Texas are 6-4 After playing Texas are 6-4 After a loss are 7-3 A few trends to consider: The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Texas's last 5 games on the road Texas is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games on the road The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Texas's last 12 games Texas is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games The total has gone UNDER in 5 of NY Yankees's last 6 games at home NY Yankees are 18-4 SU in their last 22 games when playing Texas The total has gone UNDER in 4 of NY Yankees's last 5 games NY Yankees are 9-4 SU in their last 13 games when playing at home against Texas

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Erin Renning/ER Sports

MLB Playmaker: San Francisco -110 

MLB Boston / Tampa Bay Under 8.5 

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Larry Ness Weekly Wipeout Winner

Rockies

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Oscarxena Sports

LA Dodgers +1.22 (3 Unit Play)

These two pitchers going today have been having trouble going deep into games but I just feel that Clayton Kershaw has been having some bad luck lately and that the Dodgers will get to Wandy Rodriguez tonight. Kershaw so far this year has a 4.15 ERA on the road in only 13 innings of work and a rather high WHIP of 1.77 but if this kid is able to get his control down he is going to be very tough to hit. The Astros have never faced him and I look for Kershaw to throw well tonight. The Astros are countering with Wandy Rodriguez who usually pitches very well at home and that is evidenced by his 1.89 ERA in 38 innings of work but he has been having trouble going deep into games lately although he did pitch well in his last outing. Today's HP umpire is Fieldin Culbreth and he has favored the away team all year as those teams are 10-5 so far this year and also Rodriguez has pitched two games with Culbreth behind home plate and lost both. This line appears fishy to me and I look for the Dodgers to win this evening.


NY Mets +1.24 (3 Unit Play)

How low can the Mets go? They have to resort to Tony Armas Jr. for a start here tonight in St. Louis but that may not be such a horrible thing as Armas has been solid so far down in Triple A New Orleans. He is only 5-7 so far this year but he has a 2.54 ERA in 102 2/3 innings of work and has a 1.02 WHIP with 88 SO's compared to only 20 walks this year. Armas has also had some history against the Cardinals going 5-2 in games started for his team with a 4.19 ERA. The Cardinals will have Todd Wellemeyer on the mound who has been battling some elbow problems lately and although he threw well against the Tigers last game he was removed rather early after only 5 innings and still might have some lingering effects that the Cardinals are not mentioning. The Mets have went 6-2 with HP umpire Tom Hallion lately while the Cardinals are only 4-6 and Armas has actually worked one game with him so although the play is risky I like the Mets as underdogs here tonight.


Chicago Cubs/San Francisco Under 7 1/2 -1.03 (3 Unit Play)

The Cubs are missing big bats in their lineups and have a tough task tonight in taking on Matt Cain who has been notorious for having very good second halfs and he gets the start tonight for the Giants. Cain's numbers are not outstanding as he has a 4.47 ERA at home this year in 50 1/3 innings of work but he has pitched fairly well against Chicago in his career going 3-2 with a 1.091 WHIP. The Cubs are countering with Jason Marquis who had a horrendous outing last time but on the road so far this year he has recorded a 3.51 ERA in 41 innings of work and has a 1.46 WHIP. These two teams are weak hitting teams right now and may have problems scoring runs tonight with an Under umpire like Bill Miller who has umpired 9 Unders this year compared to only 6 Overs. Marquis has worked with Miller five times already in his career and is 4-1 with 3 games going Under with a push while Cain worked one game which was an exhibition game with no total set. Look for not a lot of baserunners this evening and an Under game tonight.

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Keith Martin Computer Plays

Top plays
none

Medium plays
Chicago Cubs    Over 7.5    3
Minnesota Twins (M: -137.0)    3

Regular plays
New York Yankees (M: -205.0)     
Cincinnati Reds (M: -180.0)   
Philadelphia Phillie (M: -106.0)   
Tampa Bay Rays (M: -125.0)       
Los Angeles Dodgers (M: 119.0)       
Milwaukee Brewers (M: 108.0)       
Oakland Athletics (M: -106.0)       
Texas Rangers    Under 9.0       
Boston Red Sox    Under 8.5       
Milwaukee Brewers    Over 9.0   
Chicago White Sox (M: -124.0)

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Jeff Benton

15 Dime: ASTROS 

10 Dime: A's-Angels UNDER

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Robert Ferringo

2.5-Unit Play. Take St. Louis (-135) over New York Mets
Taylor Wellenmeyer just wins. He's won four of six starts and has given up more than three earned runs just once since April. And if Tony Armas Jr. was throwing for any team in the MLB I would be playing against them - hard. The Cardinals are just better a much, much better team here. They are familiar with Armas' work from when he's with the Pirates. The Cards are 16-6 against the Mets in St. Louis and Armas is not going to fool anyone. The Cardinals are going to take Game 2 in this series.

2.5-Unit Play. Take Philadelphia (+100) over Atlanta
Note: If you haven't already played this game knock it down to a 2-Unit play.

Atlanta just doesn't have the horses right now. Chipper Jones is on the disabled list and the Braves are 3-10 when he isn't in the lineup. Several other players - Yunel Escobar, Mark Kotsay, Omar Infante - are either hurt, playing through pain, or coming off the D.L. Philadelphia plays well in Atlanta, having won four of five in the Chop Shop. I'm bucking a very successful system that I work with this one, but it's because I feel like Philly is just going to put a better team on the field tonight.

2-Unit Play. Take Houston (-125) over Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers just cannot score, and we have Wandy Rodriquez at home. The Dodgers are 1-9 against a left-handed starter and 5-13 in their last 18 road games. The Astros are 14-6 in Wandy's last 20 home starts and they are 5-1 in their last six against the Dodgers. The Astros are playing at a higher level right now, and even if they lose this game we will go BIG on them tomorrow because I just don't see the Dodgers winning this series.

1.5-Unit Play. Take  Florida (-135) over Washington
The Marlins are 11-1 in their last 12 against the Nationals and are facing a rookie starter today. That's significant because the ump behind the dish has kind of a tight zone. I could see the kid getting rattled. The Nats don't hit lefties and they don't hit on the road. The Marlins have played four of six series against first-place teams and a fifth series against the second-place A's in Oakland. They are on the outside of that rough patch and could be ready to roll.

1.5-Unit Play. Take Colorado (-155) over San Diego
1-Unit Play. Take Colorado (-1.5, +125) over San Diego
You think that the Rockies have to get their head out of their ass here pretty quick. They are a mess, but it's kind of inexplicable. I don't think that they have given up just yet so I think that there is still hope of them showing up. I do expect another high-scoring game, but I don't see the Padres being able to match their output. Josh Banks has been exceptional, but he's never thrown in Colorado before. I think the Rockies get to him early and match San Diego's blowout from last night.

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The Experts Guaranteed Selections

ULTIMATE EXPERTS BASEBALL DIAMOND WINNER
St Louis w/Wellemeyer -133

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Root

Chairman- Cards
Millionaire- Brewers
No Limit- A's

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mvbski wrote:


Nostradamus

Phil/Atl OVER 9.5
Milwaukee +120
Oak/LA OVER 7

ADDING 

System Plays

MLB-Pitt/Cincy OVER 8.5 +100
MLB-Mets/Cards OVER 9 +100
MLB-Baltimore -125
MLB-Minnesota -140
MLb-Yanks/Rockies (parlay) $100/$129

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Rocketman Sports 

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Houston Astros
Play: Houston Astros     

LA Dodgers are scoring only 4.0 runs per game overall this year. Kershaw is 0-2 overall this year. Rodriguez has a 2.58 ERA overall this year and a 1.89 ERA at home this season. Houston is 4-0 overall vs LA Dodgers this year. Rodriguez is 2-1 with a 2.41 ERA overall vs LA Dodgers since 1997. We'll recommend a small play on Houston tonight! 

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Winners Inc. Guaranteed Selections

5000* BASEBALL WINNER
Florida w/Hendrikson -140 

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WINNERS EDGE

Minnesota Twins -135 , 2 units

Cincinnati Reds -1.5 +125 , 1 unit

Cleveland Indians + 115 , 1 unit

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KELSO

High Rollers Baseball

15 unit - Astros


Best Bets Baseball Club

10 unit - Oakland
4 unit - Toronto
3 unit - Cards

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The Prez

Los Angeles Dodgers at Houston Astros
PICK: Houston Astros  Prez' 6* BIG GAME PICK PAC - 14-4 MLB RUN

LA Dodgers at Houston Astros
Pitchers: Clayton Kershaw vs. Wandy Rodriguez
Umpire: Fieldin Culbreth
Conditions: 94 degrees at first pitch with winds blowing in from center field at 5-10 mph

Clayton Kershaw (0-2, 4.36 ERA) has yet to win a major league start, and tonight's task against the Astros will take a near perfect effort to record that first win. The 20-year-old left-hander struggled in his last outing, allowing two runs, six hits and four walks in four-plus innings Thursday in a 2-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Kershaw is winless in 16 professional starts dating to Aug. 20, 2007, with Double-A Jacksonville. The rookie hasn't received much run support - getting only eight runs in his seven starts -- and isn't likely to get much tonight against the Houston left-hander (Wandy Rodriguez) who is stellar when pitching at home.

Kershaw has an advantage with a generous strike zone from home plate umpire Culbreth tonight, and no Houston hitter has any first hand experience against the Dodgers rookie. (advantage Kershaw the first 2-to-3 times through the batting order).

Wandy Rodriguez (3-3, 2.58) looks to win consecutive starts for the first time this season. The left-hander matched a career high with nine strikeouts and limited Texas to one run and five hits over a season-best eight innings Thursday in a 7-2 victory. Rodriguez is 2-2 with a 1.89 ERA pitching in Minute Maid Park. He has yielded one earned run or none in five of six starts at home.

Rodriguez versus the LAD hitters:
Angel M. Berroa is 0-for-3
Andre Ethier is 0-for-2
Matt Kemp is 1-for-2
James Loney is 0-for-3
Russell Martin is 0-for-3
Jason Repko is 1-for-3

The only bat in the Dodgers lineup that has had any success against Wandy is Jeff Kent who is 3-for-5 with two doubles and a home run. Expect Rodriguez to pitch carefully to the ex-Astro.

Both teams have been more productive against left-handed starters, however, tonight's umpire and conditions should keep both offenses honest.

Fieldin Culbreth has always been pitcher-friendly, but fair. The hitters in the Bigs know he has a wide zone and go to the plate with the understanding they have to swing the bat. Culbreth gives both starters room to work tonight, but he is especially a good fit with the veteran Rodriguez.

3 UNIT Play on Houston and Rodriguez


Los Angeles Dodgers at Houston Astros
PICK: Under Prez' 6* BIG GAME PICK PAC - 14-4 MLB RUN

LA Dodgers at Houston Astros
Pitchers: Clayton Kershaw vs. Wandy Rodriguez
Umpire: Fieldin Culbreth

Conditions: 94 degrees at first pitch with winds blowing in from center field at 5-10 mph

Clayton Kershaw (0-2, 4.36 ERA) has yet to win a major league start, and tonight's task against the Astros will take a near perfect effort to record that first win. The 20-year-old left-hander struggled in his last outing, allowing two runs, six hits and four walks in four-plus innings Thursday in a 2-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Kershaw is winless in 16 professional starts dating to Aug. 20, 2007, with Double-A Jacksonville. The rookie hasn't received much run support - getting only eight runs in his seven starts -- and isn't likely to get much tonight against the Houston left-hander (Wandy Rodriguez) who is stellar when pitching at home.

Kershaw has an advantage with a generous strike zone from home plate umpire Culbreth tonight, and no Houston hitter has any first hand experience against the Dodgers rookie. (advantage Kershaw the first 2-to-3 times through the batting order).

Wandy Rodriguez (3-3, 2.58) looks to win consecutive starts for the first time this season. The left-hander matched a career high with nine strikeouts and limited Texas to one run and five hits over a season-best eight innings Thursday in a 7-2 victory. Rodriguez is 2-2 with a 1.89 ERA pitching in Minute Maid Park. He has yielded one earned run or none in five of six starts at home.

Rodriguez versus the LAD hitters:
Angel M. Berroa is 0-for-3
Andre Ethier is 0-for-2
Matt Kemp is 1-for-2
James Loney is 0-for-3
Russell Martin is 0-for-3
Jason Repko is 1-for-3

The only bat in the Dodgers lineup that has had any success against Wandy is Jeff Kent who is 3-for-5 with two doubles and a home run. Expect Rodriguez to pitch carefully to the ex-Astro.

Both teams have been more productive against left-handed starters, however, tonight's umpire and conditions should keep both offenses honest.

Fieldin Culbreth has always been pitcher-friendly, but fair. The hitters in the Bigs know he has a wide zone and go to the plate with the understanding they have to swing the bat. Culbreth gives both starters room to work tonight, but he is especially a good fit with the veteran Rodriguez.

5 UNIT Play on UNDER in Minute Maid Park


Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox
PICK: Under  6* BIG GAME PICK PAC - 14-4 MLB RUN

Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox
Pitchers: Cliff Lee vs. John Danks
Umpire: Marty Foster
Conditions: 81 degrees at first pitch with winds blowing at 10 mph towards the left field corner

Cliff Lee (11-1, 2.34 ERA) allowing a run, four hits and struck out a career-high 11 in eight innings of a 4-1 victory over San Francisco on Thursday. Lee struggled against Chicago in one start last season, allowing seven runs in 5 1-3 innings of an 11-10 home loss on July 16, but it obvious three months into the season that Lee is a different pitcher than he was a year ago. The southpaw is shooting for his 11th victory of the season tonight.

John Danks (5-4, 2.62) looks for a second straight victory for the White Sox after allowing four hits in six innings of a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday. The southpaw is 1-2 with a 4.44 ERA in five starts against the Indians. He allowed a run and two hits in 6.2 innings of a 2-1 loss at Cleveland on April 3.

Danks got a win and a quality start against the Dodgers on Thursday afternoon with six solid innings of shutout ball. At that time he handed the responsibility to one of the best bullpens in baseball. Danks has only given up one earned run and struck out 14 in the last three starts covering 18 innings. Danks has 11 quality starts in 16 games. He has a pretty solid K rate and strike out to walk ratio and his BABIP (.299) is on par with his peripherals. However, he has been somewhat fortunate with an 80 percent Strand rate. He is unlikely to strand runners at such a high rate for the duration of the season, but home plate umpire Marty Foster gives him a good chance to keep his Strand rate high tonight. Where the left-hander has made his largest strides in his second season is keeping the ball down in the zone. He has taken a ground ball to fly ball ration that was .76 in his rookie season to a 1.45 this year. The White Sox offense isn't nearly as productive against left-handed starters and that continues tonight.

The home plate umpire, Marty Foster is pitcher-friendly, and the weather conditions in U.S Cingular field favor the pitchers.

5 UNIT Play on UNDER in Chicago


Kansas City Royals at Baltimore Orioles
PICK: Under Prez' 6* BIG GAME PICK PAC - 14-4 MLB RUN

Kansas City Royal at Baltimore Orioles
Pitchers: Luke Hochevar vs. Radhames Liz
Umpire: Larry Vanover
Conditions: Isolated storms; 80 degrees first pitch with winds blowing from left to right field at 5 mph

Luke Hochevar (5-5, 4.60 ERA) is 2-0 with a 3.51 ERA in his last four starts. The rookies allowed two runs and seven hits in a career-high eight innings of a 4-2 win over Colorado in his last start. Hochevar lost his only game against the Orioles (41-40) on May 8, giving up four runs and five hits in seven innings of the 4-1 defeat. After a disappointing outing against the Giants on June 20, a start when the right-hander couldn't escape the fifth inning and didn't record a strikeout, he bounced back strong with his best work of the season in the 4-2 win over Colorado. His ground ball rate is over-the-top good and the 24 year old is beginning to come of age. The key is for Hochevar to pitch to contact, keep his sinker down in the strike zone and get some help from a home plate umpire that offers the low strike. The Royals defense is their strength and it has taken two months to beat this information into the head of the rookie.

Larry Vanover gives the Royal rookie a chance to baffle the O’s lineup with his low strikezone. Hochevar has turned his minor league K rate of .90, which is very good. into a sinker that induces a large percentage of ground balls. Against Colorado in his last start the righty induced 12 ground ball outs - and three fly ball outs.

Radhames Liz (2-0, 5.70 ERA) allowed two runs on four hits in five innings of an 11-4 road win over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday. The O's right hander has faced some very good hitting clubs. In his last six starts he has faced the Yankees at home, at Minnesota and Toronto, Pittsburgh and his last two starts at Milwaukee and Wrigley Field.

Liz has the advantage for the first two to three times through the batting order. No Royal hitter has any first hand experience against the Baltimore starter (advantage Liz)

Larry Vanover is a solid umpire with a generous K Zone. His career strikeout to walk ratio is above 2.0 and in 2003 he had a historic pitcher friendly season where 21 of this 30 games came in UNDER the total.

The UNDER is 6-1-1 in Royals last 8 road games vs. a right-handed starter; is 38-14-1 in Royals last 53 games as an underdog of +110 to +150; and is 11-3 in Hochevars last 14 starts overall.

6 UNIT Play on UNDER the 9.5 in Baltimore


Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels
PICK: Under  6* BIG GAME PICK PAC - 14-4 MLB RUN 

Oakland Athletics at LA Angels
Pitchers: Rich Harden vs. Ervin Santana
Umpire: Hunter Wendelstedt
Conditions: 81 degrees at first pitch with winds blowing from right to left field at 8 mph

Rich Harden (5-0, 2.15 ERA) is 2-0 while allowing one run and eight hits in 19.2 innings over his last three starts. The right-handed phenom is looking to become the first pitcher for Oakland (45-37) to open a season 6-0 since Dave Stewart accomplished the feat in 1990. The right-hander is coming off a career-high 11 strike outs while allowing only two hits and a walk in eight innings of a 5-0 victory over a hard-hitting Philadelphia lineup.

Harden is 5-3 with a 3.99 ERA in 13 games - 12 starts - against Los Angeles. He gave up three runs and struck out nine in six innings of a 7-3, 12-inning victory over the Angels on June 8.

Ervin Santana (9-3, 3.32) struggled in his last start against Washington, this after dominating the Phillies at Citizen Bank Park. Santana has owned the A's during his career. The right-hander is 8-1 with a 1.38 ERA in 12 games - 11 starts - against Oakland, including 1-0 in two outings this season while allowing two earned runs in 13 innings. He's gone 21 consecutive innings without giving up an earned run to the A's in Anaheim.

However, there is an injury concern with Santana. He allowed four runs and a season-high five walks, including one with the bases loaded, in six innings of a 5-4 loss at Washington on Wednesday. Santana struck out eight and did not get a decision. He is dealing with a cracked middle nail on his throwing hand, that Team Prez insiders blamed for his command issues in Washington.

Hunter Wendelstedt was the home plate umpire in March when the A's were facing the Red Sox in Japan. Harden was on the mound in that game and came out a 5-1 winner.

Neither pitcher needs a large strike zone to dominate lineups and both offenses are struggling to score. The Vegas number of 7 is tiny for an American League game, but is fitting for the two pitchers tonight and their statline against the opposing hitters.

The conditions favor the pitchers and history tells us this will be a low scoring affair. A quick and efficient game just like veteran umpires like.

5 UNIT Play on UNDER in LA

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DAVE MALINSKY

5* TOP OF THE TICKET - Kansas City Royals

TOP OF THE TICKET - CHICAGO WHITE SOX

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