THURSDAY SERVICE PLAYS

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Ben Burns

4* Arizona Diamondbacks

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PRICELESS PICKS

1 Unit on San Francisco Giants -132

The Giants have played the Cubs tough in this and I like them to come out on top tonight to earn their split.  The Giants are a dominant 82-44 against the money line in home games vs. NL teams scoring 5.3 or more runs/game on the season since 1997 and 60-30 against the money line in home games vs. an NL team with an on base percentage of .350 or better since 1997.  The Cubs are just 4-15 against the money line as an underdog of +100 to +150 this season and 7-17 against the money line in road games after 5 or more consecutive road games over the last 2 seasons.  Lincecum has been on his game all year and the Giants have won 6 of his last 8 starts.  Bet San Fran tonight.

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LARRY NESS

Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees
PICK: New York Yankees

The Red Sox came to Tampa on Monday just a half-game back of the surprising Rays in the AL East but after last night's "bullpen collapse" (Rays had a six--run 7th), find themselves 3 1/2-games back of the Rays. Wednesday's loss was Boston's fifth straight, matching the team's longest losing streak of the season. Things don't exactly get any easier tonight for the defending champs, as they open a four-game series in The Bronx with the hated-Yankees. The Yankees had gotten back on track in the AL East by winning 11 of 15 games from June 12 through June 28 but entered last night's game with the Rangers on a three-game losing streak in which they had scored just four runs. However, the Yanks won 18-7 on Wednesday, getting 16 hits. While I'm typically a little hesitant in playing on a team off such an offensive 'explosion,' this seems likes an excellent spot to back the Yanks. The Red Sox are in a funk and while Jon Lester has had a solid season, he's off his worst start of the season, going just five innings while allowing nine hits and six ERs at Houston last Saturday, in a game the Red Sox lost 11-10. He's been very good in Fenway this year (2.54 ERA) but his road ERA is more than two runs higher, at 4.66. It's also not a good sign that the Red Sox bullpen was just horrid in the recently completed series at Tropicana Field. Starting for the Yanks is veteran Andy Pettitte, who comes in on a four-game winning streak in which he's posted a 1.00 ERA and has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 23-7. Pettite is 15-6 with a 3.53 ERA in 27 career starts against the Red Sox and I expect Boston's slide to continue tonight. Go with the Yankees.

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Players of America

Washington Nationals vs. Cincinnati Reds
The Play: Cincinnati Reds -145.0
Star Value: 1* (10 Units)

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves
The Play: Atlanta Braves +110.0
Star Value: 1* (10 Units)

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The Hitman Guaranteed Selections

5000 LARGE BASEBALL BLOWOUT WINNER
San Francisco w/Lincecum -135 

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The Hammer Guaranteed Selections

PRIVATE INVESTORS CLUB BASEBALL WINNER
Arizona w/Webb -165 

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Oscarxena Sports

Milwaukee/Arizona Under 8 -1.05 (4 Unit Play)

Milwaukee has won two out of three games in this series and will look to earn the victory in this series with a big win today against Brandon Webb and the Diamondbacks. The Brewers will have Manny Parra on the hill and he has been outstanding lately going 6-0 in 10 starts with a sterling 2.41 ERA and although his numbers look bad on the road it was a couple of early starts that inflated that ERA. Parra has already defeated the D-Backs once this year compiling a 1.29 ERA and a 0.857 WHIP but the game went Over because Milwaukee scored 10 runs. Webb has been a little down lately but he still carries into this game a 2-1 record against Milwaukee and has recorded a 2.66 ERA in those seven starts so Milwaukee isn't hitting him that well either. The Brewers sat Ryan Braun yesterday because he was slumping and Prince Fielder the day before so although they are hitting they are still having their problems at the plate. HP umpire Adrian Johnson has not worked with either pitcher but is Under prone as he has umpired 20 games this year and 13 have went Under so far. I like the Under here today.

Washington +1.47 (3 Unit Play)

The Nationals will have John Lannan on the mound tonight when they take on the Reds in the first game of a four game series. Lannan has been a victim of lack of run support all year and he is coming off a very poor start against the Baltimore Orioles but still it is hard to overlook his remarkable 2.33 ERA on the road this year in 58 innings of work and his sterling 1.19 ERA. He has had one career start against the Reds and he won the game with a 3.17 ERA and a 1.235 WHIP. The Reds will counter with Johnny Cueto who has also been pitching well lately but Cueto is a pitcher that sometimes fights with lots of pitches thrown and usually goes no more than 6 innings in any outing. Lannan has only allowed 4 home runs this year in his road starts while Cueto has allowed 11 at home so far this year and I just think the price is too high here to overlook although the Nationals are not a very good baseball team. I will take a chance on Washington here tonight.

Oakland +1.13 (3 Unit Play)

This is another play that most people will scratch their head off as the White Sox have won 7 games straight and 9 in a row at home but the pitching discrepancy in this game makes the A's a must play. Justin Duchscherer has turned from a solid reliever into one of the toughest starting pitchers in the league and will be in the All-Star game this year. Duchscherer has a 1.91 ERA on the year which leads the major leagues and although he has never started in his career against the White Sox he has went 3-1 with a 2.76 ERA in relief appearances. The White Sox will counter with Javier Vazquez who is struggling right now as he was 2-2 with a 7.48 ERA in his five June starts and in fact has started five games in his career against Oakland and has went 1-2 in those starts with a 6.60 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. I think the bullpens in this game are relatively equal and although the White Sox are much healthier than Oakland is I can't believe we are getting a plus price with Duchscherer here tonight. Take Oakland to the bank here.

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ROBERT FERRINGO

2.5-Unit Play. Take Arizona (-165) over Milwaukee

2-Unit Play. Take San Francisco (-135) over Chicago Cubs

1.5-Unit Play. Take ‘Over’ 10.5 Florida at Colorado

1.5-Unit Play. Take #919 Oakland (+115) over Chicago White Sox

1-Unit Play. Take Houston (+120) over Los Angeles Dodgers

1-Unit Play. Take Atlanta (+110) over Philadelphia

1-Unit Play. Take  Baltimore (-145) over Kansas City

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David Malinsky

6* NY YANKEES over BOSTON

In turning a 4* ticket against Boston last night there were obviously some Tampa Bay play-on aspects, but much of it still had to do with the current Red Sox state of affairs. We can buck a struggled and troubled team again here. When you have lost five in a row on the road, the last thing that you need is to play a series like this one with no down time, particularly when your bullpen badly needs it.

As noted yesterday, Jonathan Papelbon has not worked since last Friday, largely because they have not been able to get a game to him. It has not been the fault of the starters, with Josh Beckett, Justin Masterson, Tim Wakefield and Daisuke Matsuzaka all pitching well enough to win in the last four games. But the middle relief corps is just a mess right now, and that group becomes magnified because the one starter that did fail in the 0-5 run, Jon Lester, goes front and center tonight. How bad has the bullpen been - how about a 12.60 ERA and a 2.50 WHIP in those five games? With Hideki Okajima in a major funk (dead last in the Major League?s in allowing inherited runners to score), and the absence of Mike Timlin?s poise shaking the middle corps, they are ripe to be exploited by the kind of hitters that they will face here.

As for Lester, there is a major home/away gap in his numbers, both in terms of quality and quantity, and it is something that will bring that bullpen into play. At Fenway it is a solid 2.54 ERA, and 6.2 innings per start. On the road those numbers go to 4.66 and 5.1. He lasted only five innings in his last outing at Houston, where he was knocked around for six runs on nine hits, including a pair of home runs, and that does not have his confidence where it needs to be for his first ever outing at Yankee Stadium. His inability to bridge this game to Papelbon opens up all of those Boston bullpen issues, and is a prime reason why we believe that this one breaks wide open.

The other key to making this one easy is the form of Andy Pettitte. It was not too long ago that he might have suffered the most humbling moment of his long career, an afternoon in which he allowed 10 runs vs. the punchless Royals, capped by a Jose Guillen grand slam in the 7th inning, But Pettitte showed his true professionalism off of that embarrassment - it has been a 4-0/1.00 run since then, with 23 strikeouts vs. only 19 hits allowed over those 27 innings. He is more than capable of being the bridge to Mariano Rivera, and the rest of the Yankee relief corps is also well-set off of last night?s blowout. Their task is made much easier here by the current slumps of Manny Ramirez (10-68) and Jacob Ellsbury (11-59), which have created major holes at the two most important offensive sports in the Boston lineup.

The oddsmakers have set a short price here on a game in which the Yankees bring significant edges over a flawed side. And the price is just low enough for us to be able to go to the 6* level.

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Jeffersonsports

Detroit-133
Cincinatti-151
St. Louis-108
Boston+130

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John Ryan

Washington Nationals vs. Cincinnati Reds
Play: Washington Nationals   

Ai Simulator 3* graded play on Washington - Supporting this graded play is a system that has produced a record of 68-58 making 48 units since 2002. Play against home favorites with a money line of -110 or higher that are off a loss to a division rival as a favorite of -150 or higher, starting a pitcher who gave up 1 or less earned runs last outing. Reds starter Cueto is coming off an impressive start yielding 0 ER in 6.3 IP against Cleveland. He has lost 3 of 4 starts mostly attributed to poor run support. As the system shows above and the AiS grading confirms, Cueto will have a difficult time tonight. AiS shows an 80% probability that he will not complete 6 innings of work and should that occur Washington has a 73% probability of winning the game. Washington is 20-9 (+12.5 Units) against the money line when playing against a team with a losing record in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons; 15-4 (+11.9 Units) against the money line vs. teams outscored by opp by 0.5 or more runs/game in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons. Reds are in several poor roles for this game. Reds are 2-10 (-9.7 Units) against the money line versus a NL starting pitcher whose ERA is 3.50 to 4.20 this season; 5-17 (-13.3 Units) against the money line versus terrible power teams averaging 0.75 or less HR's/game this season. 

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ROOT

Chairman- A's
Millionaire- O's

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Chris James Sports

Oakland A's

Our Free Play today is on the Oakland A's. The A's send Justin Duchscherer who is 8-5 on the year with a 1.91 ERA. He is even better in his last 3 starts posting a 1.14 ERA. He averages only 6.1 hits and walks combined per nine innings. He is 3-1 in his career vs the White Sox. The White Sox counter with Javier Vazquez who is 7-6 on the year with a 4.49 ERA. He has really struggled his last 3 starts though with an ERA of 7.71 and he is allowing an average of 16 hits/walks per nine innings. Compare those numbers to Duchscherer and we should have an easy win on our hands tonight! Let's ride the A's tonight

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Teddy JuneTeddy June's MLB Game of the Day

Pick: 5* St. Louis Cardinals

Analysis: My 5* MLB Game of the Day is the St. Louis Cardinals over the New York Mets. I have always been a big proponent of betting on teams off emotional wins and in the same sense betting against teams off emotional losses in baseball. It plays such a key role in baseball with streaks being so important in the everyday grind of a baseball season. I talked about this with the Mariners yesterday when we cashed with them as they were off a late inning comeback win a game they were down 6-3 heading into the 7th and they managed to rally and win on their home field. Tonight, the Cardinals are off a walk off home run by Troy Glaus to grab an 8-7 win over the Mets last night and I like the momentum they will take into ball game tonight. Mitchell Boggs will take the hill for the Cardinals and Mike Pelfrey for the Mets. Boggs has been serviceable for the Cardinals this year and that is all we really need tonight from him. He is 3-0 with a 4.37 ERA and the team is 4-0 in his 4 starts this season. He has actually faced some pretty solid offenses with KC, Boston, Philadelphia and Cincinnati and pitched fairly well in his games. I really liked what I saw out of him in the KC game he has begun to look more confident and is best pitch a hard sinker has looked strong in his last few outings. On the other side Mike Pelfrey gets the start for the Mets and he will be attempting to turn around his road troubles something I expect him to have a very difficult time doing against a potent lineup. Pelfrey in 7 road starts has a 6.38 ERA, 2.10 WHIP and hitters are pounding the ball against him hitting an astounding .353 against him on the road. The Cardinals with Pujols who has been red hot since coming back have a very potent lineup and have been smashing righties at home hitting .281 and scoring almost 5 runs per game; in their last 10 ball games they are hitting .306 overall and scoring 5.3 runs per game. Cardinals are a solid 25-18 at home while the Mets are 19-25 on the road this year and with both Beltran and Castillo not expected to play for the Mets tonight I expect them to really struggle. Expect Cardinals to grab the win and take this series 3-1. I currently have this line at -110. My 5* MLB Game of the Day is the St. Louis Cardinals. As always, Good Luck, Let’s make some money.

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John Ryan

Houston Comets vs. Atlanta Dream
Pick: Atlanta Dream Play

Ai Simulator 7* graded play on Atlanta - AiS shows an 80% probability that Atlanta will lose this game by 4 or fewer points and also has a 60% probability of winning the game. This also provide an optional ML wager on Atlanta and I would suggest that this wager not exceed 2* amount. Supporting this graded play is a MONEY LINE system that has produced a record of 28-9 for 76% making 26.5 units since 2002. Play against any team versus the money line after beating the spread by 24 or more points total in their last three games and is now facing an opponent after going over the total by 30 or more points total in their last three games. Take Atlanta

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ASA

ATLANTA BRAVES (Jurrjens)+110 over Philadelphia Phillies (Hamels)

Jair Jurrjens has posted zeroes over three straight starts with no earned runs allowed. Jurrjens has allowed just six hits in his last 14 innings of work and the Braves are 7-1 in his last eight starts. He has been exceptionally tough at home as Atlanta is 8-0 in Jurrjens home starts and he owns a 2.49 ERA. He is also backed up by an offense that has a considerably higher batting average than the Phillies, who normally get more praise and attention for their offense. Cole Hamels is an all-star caliber pitcher but he has average numbers away from home with a 4.21 ERA and in his last seven starts Hamels has an ERA of 4.53 despite having a complete game shutout mixed into that span. Hamels has also allowed ten home runs in his last seven starts as batters appear to be adjusting to his excellent change-up. Hamels brings a high price with his past success but he has not been dominant this season and the Phillies are just 1-8 in the last nine games as a favorite. The Braves have gone 28-15 at home this season while hitting .292. The Phillies meanwhile are struggling against right-handed pitching with a .192 team average over the past ten games and batting just .208 overall in that span. Philadelphia is just 4-11 in the last 15 games and this is a tough finish to a long road trip as Philadelphia is in its third city and third different time zone in the last week. Look for another strong outing from Jurrjens and a Braves win Thursday night to snap a losing streak.


Oakland Athletics (Duchscherer)+115 over CHICAGO WHITE SOX (Vazquez)

3* Oakland (Duchscherer) +115 over Chicago (Vazquez) 7:10 PM With underdog value Justin Duchscherer is a play-on pitcher tonight despite facing a hot White Sox team. Duchscherer has the best ERA in baseball at 1.91 and he has not allowed more than three earned runs in any start this season, and allowing three earned runs happened just once. Duchscherer has allowed only four home runs in 85 innings and he faces a White Sox lineup that is dependent on the long ball for run production. Chicago starter Javier Vazquez had a strong start to the season following an excellent 2007 campaign but his recent starts have indicated some problems. Vazquez has allowed at least four runs in five consecutive starts as he has allowed 38 hits in just over 27 innings pitched in that span. Walks and home runs have been a concern for Vazquez and his ERA is actually worse at home sitting at 4.68. Oakland has won five of the last six meetings with the White Sox and both teams feature outstanding bullpen statistics so the edge for Oakland on the mound tonight will be critical and Duchscherer has been one of the best in baseball. The A’s have won six of the last nine road games and Oakland is one of the few teams in baseball with a winning record away from home. Chicago owns better numbers on offense but given the drastic differences in the home ballparks these teams are closer on offense than most would think as the Sox are batting just .264 on the season. Oakland is one of the most patient teams in baseball and given the command problems for Vazquez in recent starts the A’s look like a great bet tonight

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Winners Inc. Guaranteed Selections

5000* BASEBALL WINNER
Baltimore w/Olson -148

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KBhoops

5* Under Braves, Over Rockies, Cubs
4* Rockies, Cardinals

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Ben Burns

MLB 4* SF Giants

MLB 5* Cincinnati Reds

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Frank Rosenthal

901 DODGERS-130
904 DBACKS-160
905 CUBS UNDER 7.5
906 GIANTS-130
909 PHILLY UNDER 8
912 ROCKIES-120
OVER 10.5
913 NYM OVER 9.5
916 YANKS-135
919 A'S+115
UNDER 8
922 SEATTLE+130

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