SATURDAY SERVICE PLAYS

SATURDAY SERVICE PLAYS

SPORTS ADVISORS

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Chicago Cubs (52-35) at St. Louis (49-39)

This N.L. Central rivalry continues with two veteran pitchers scheduled to square off as the Cubs send southpaw Ted Lilly (9-5, 4.56 ERA) to the mound at Busch Stadium to take on the Cardinals’ Kyle Lohse (10-2, 3.67).

Chicago got a boost from the return of ace Carlos Zambrano on Friday with a 2-1 victory over the Cardinals, moving 3½ games ahead of St. Louis in the N.L. Central. The two teams have split four games this season after the Cubs won 11 of 16 last year. Despite last night’s win, the Cubs are still on slides of 3-8 on the road, 0-7 as a road ‘dog, 2-6 on the highway against right-handed starters and 2-4 against teams from the N.L. Central.

Meanwhile the Cardinals are just 2-6 in their last eight at Busch Stadium,  but they are on positive streaks of 13-3 on Saturdays and 4-2 against N.L. Central Division foes.

Lilly is 2-0 with a 3.74 ERA in his last three outings, and the Cubs have won his last five starts, including Monday when he held the Giants to two runs over eight innings of a 9-2 victory in San Francisco. He beat the Cards back on May 3 when he gave up three runs over seven innings of a 9-3 victory, improving to 4-2 with a 3.06 ERA in seven lifetime starts against St. Louis.

Lohse is 5-1 with a 2.77 ERA at Busch Stadium this season and he allowed just one unearned run over seven innings of a 7-1 home win over the Mets on Monday. The Cardinals have won eight of his last nine starts, and the right-hander has held the opposition to three earned runs or less in eight of those outings. Lohse was on the opposite side of that May 3 start against Lilly and gave up eight runs on nine hits in six innings, falling to 1-2 with a 5.92 ERA in five career starts against Chicago.

The Cubs are on runs of 6-0 when Lilly opposes teams with a winning record, 4-0 when he gets four days of rest and 5-2 when he pitches on Saturday. St. Louis is on streaks of 6-0 when Lohse faces a team with a winning mark, 4-0 when he toils at home and 5-1 when he goes on four days’ rest.

For Chicago, the over is 7-2 in its last nine against right-handed starters, 5-2 against winning teams, 8-3 overall and 7-3 on the highway. For the Cardinals, the over is 11-4-1 as a favorite, 9-3-1 as a home favorite and 5-2-2 at home against southpaws. However, the under is 5-1-1 in the last seven meetings in this rivalry and 5-1-1 in the past seven clashes in St. Louis.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE


AMERICAN LEAGUE

Boston (52-37) at N.Y. Yankees (45-42)

The Red Sox have taken the first two of this four-game weekend set and now send young Justin Masterson (4-2, 3.75 ERA) to the hill to face the Yankees and veteran right-hander Mike Mussina (10-6, 3.87) in the Bronx.

Boston won Friday’s Fourth of July contest 6-4 after taking Thursday’s series opener 7-0. The Red Sox have now won five of the last six meetings between these two and three straight in New York. The two straight wins to start this series come on the heels of Boston’s five-game road losing skid.

New York has lost four of five on this current homestand and five of six overall, and the Yankees are just 1-5 in their last six games as chalk. On a positive note, Joe Girardi’s club is 5-1 in its last six Saturday outings and it is on a 39-12 roll in the third game of a series.

The Red Sox are 5-3 in Masterson’s eight starts this season, but in Tampa Bay on Monday he gave up four runs on five hits in six innings of a 5-4 loss.

The Yankees have lost three of Mussina’s last four starts, and they’re also 0-5 in his last five against the Red Sox as he’s allowed 23 earned runs in 26 1/3 innings. For his career, Mussina is 19-17 with a 3.80 ERA in 54 starts against Boston.

New York is 4-1 with Mussina on the hill on Saturday and 5-0 when he starts the third game of a series. Boston is on skids of 10-21 on the road against winning teams and 5-10 as a ‘dog.

The under is 7-4-1 in Boston’s last 12 overall, 6-2 in the Yankees’ last eight overall, 7-3 in the Yankees’ last 10 at home and 13-5 in their past 18 versus A.L. East foes. With Mussina on the hill, the under is 4-1 in his last five and 10-4-1 when he faces a team with a winning record at Yankee Stadium. Conversely, the over has been the play in five of the last six series battles between these rivals this season.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER


Toronto (41-46) at L.A. Angels (52-34)

The Angels send the hottest pitcher in baseball to the hill today when John Lackey (6-1, 1.44 ERA) takes on the Blue Jays and Roy Halladay (9-6, 2.90) in a battle of aces at Angels Stadium in Anaheim.

Jered Weaver delivered a quality start for the Angels on Friday and the offense carried him to an 8-2 victory. Los Angeles has won six of the last eight meetings with Toronto and five of the last seven when the Blue Jays have sent Halladay to the mound. Overall, the Angels are on hot streaks of 5-1 against the A.L. East and 62-25 in the second game of a series, while the Blue Jays are just 2-10 in their last 12 on the road and 1-4 in their last five on Saturdays.

Lackey is 3-0 with a 0.74 ERA in his last three starts and he’s 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA at home this season. Only twice this year hast the right-hander allowed more than one earned run in a game, and in his most recent effort on Sunday, he shut out the Dodgers over 8 2/3 innings, giving up three hits in a 1-0 Angels’ win. For his career, Lackey is 3-2 with a 2.98 ERA in nine starts against Toronto, and in two starts versus the Jays this season he’s allowed two earned runs in 15 innings with Los Angeles winning both games.

Halladay is coming off a complete-game shutout in Seattle on Monday, limiting the Mariners to four hits in a 2-0 Toronto win, snapping a string of three straight Blue Jays’ losses with Halladay on the hill. He’s 5-5 with a 4.80 ERA in 13 career starts against the Angels, and in his last one he gave up three runs on 12 hits over eight innings of a 3-0 loss last August.

Toronto is 68-33 in Halladay’s last 101 starts and 35-16 when he gets four days of rest, but they are just 2-5 in his past seven on Saturday and 6-13 in his last 19 on grass. The Angels are 36-15 in Lackey’s last 51 outings and 40-18 in his last 58 as a home favorite.

The under is on runs of 16-6 when Halladay is an underdog, 12-4 when he’s a road pup, 13-3-2 when Lackey is a favorite and 5-1-1 when Lackey works in front of the home crowd.

As a team, the Blue Jays have stayed under in 43 of their last 67 against the A.L. West. The under is also 45-21-5 in the Angels’ last 71 overall, 28-14-3 in their last 45 as a home favorite and 35-16-4 in the second game of a series. Finally, even though last night’s game topped the total, the under is still 39-13-5 in the last 57 meetings between these teams, including 19-8-2 in the last 29 when playing in Los Angeles.

ATS ADVANTAGE: L.A. ANGELS and UNDER

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STU FINER

Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees

Have to like the Yankees to bounce back here tonight at home. They have had a tough stretch, but that is not new to this team in 2008. The Yankees have been up and down all season. Today they send their most reliable starter to the hill.

It is hard to imagine that Mike Mussina would be the Yankees best starting pitcher this season but that is the truth. Mike Mussina has earned his ten wins this season. Mike has thrown 95.1 innings this season and has a whip under 1.24. Mike hasn’t bee getting lucky by any stretch of the imagination. In fact he has been very good.

Mike Mussina has allowed more than four runs one time all season. In his last five starts he has allowed either 3, 2 or 1 in four of them. Mike feels rejuvenated. Mike is healthy and Mike knows how to beat the Red Sox.

The Yankees still have a big offense and can put up a big total in any game. Mussina normally gets solid run support.

New York Yankees (-)


Texas Rangers at Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles do not get enough credit. We have told you time and time before that the Orioles are a good play and especially at home. The Orioles are 25-14 at home. That is not a good record that is a great record. Remember that the Orioles play one of the toughest schedules in all of baseball. After all they play the: Yankees, Rays, Blue Jays and Red Sox time after time.

Eric Hurley goes for the Rangers today. He has made just two starts on the road and four all season. Those two road starts were not good though. He has allowed 15 base runners in just 12 innings and allowed six earned runs. He also allowed a home-run in each of his starts.

The Rangers have a big offense but the Orioles put runs on the board as well. Just look at last night’s game, the Orioles pounded out 12 hits and 10 runs. The Orioles will score runs again tonight.

Baltimore Orioles (-)


Oakland Athletics at Chicago White Sox

The Athletics are a good baseball team. In fact they are right there in the AL West and have a shot at another division crown. The White Sox are still red hot though. The White Sox are another team that doesn’t get enough respect. Everyone thought the White Sox were dead after they lost that three game set to the Cubs in Wrigley.

Since then the White Sox have been on a tear. They took two of three games against the Dodgers in LA. After that they went on to sweep the next two series. They swept their rival Chicago Cubs at home, and then swept the Indians at home. A loss or two against the Athletics does not change that this team is a very solid baseball team.

Don’t forget that the White Sox have both offense and pitching. They rank first in pitching and they are sixth in runs scored. Put those two factors together and a great closer and it adds up to a lot of wins. Tonight behind Floyd the Sox will win again.

Chicago White Sox (-)


Kansas City Royals at Tampa Bay Rays

What is there not to love about the Rays right now? How many people thought that they would be the best team in baseball on July 4 weekend? Yes you can all lie and say you did but we will just move past that. Tampa is not doing this with smoke and mirrors folks. They are this good.

The Rays protect their home field. That is so important for a young team looking to get in to the playoffs. Overall they are 34-13 at home. 34-13!!! Twenty games over .500 is no easy accomplishment.

The Rays are a balanced team. That is one of the reasons they haven’t had a long losing streak and why they are a first place team. They are fourth in the league in pitching and they are eighth in the league in runs scored. One last stat, they have 96 stolen bases. Remember that speed doesn’t slump.

Tampa Bay Rays (-)


Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins

How hot are the Twins right now? This is a team that is steam rolling through the American league. Tonight we get the Twins hottest pitcher. Kevin Slowey has been very reliable this season.

Kevin has gone 2-0 in his last three starts. 21 innings pitched in those three starts and he has allowed just 14 hits. Over those 21 innings he has allowed just one earned run. Kevin has actually been great his last four starts. In his last four starts he has allowed a total of three runs. His last two starts he didn’t allow a single run. One road win against the Padres and a complete game shutout at home against the Brewers. Look for Kevin to keep the ball down in the zone and win another ball game at home.

Minnesota Twins (-)


Toronto Blue Jays at LA Angels

Too good of a line to pass up here tonight in Anaheim. John Lackey has been great, but Roy Halladay is still the crème of the crop. Roy has been especially strong as of late. Roy’s last start was his best all-season. Roy and the Blue Jays were on the road but they got the job done.

Roy went the distance for another complete game shutout. Roy threw nine innings, allowed just four hits, had six strikeouts and didn’t walk a batter. How about Roy’s control this season? Would you believe Roy has thrown 130 innings and walked just 19 batters all season. 106 strikeouts to 19 walks. Roy is one of the few pitchers that doesn’t mind being on the road. Roy has five road wins and an ERA of under 2.50 (2.43). He just doesn’t get intimated. He goes out there and wins ball games regardless of run support, regardless on location and regardless against the competition. Look for the Blue Jays to steal one here tonight.

Toronto Blue Jays (+)


Detroit Tigers at Seattle Mariners

Look for the Tigers to bounce back here tonight. They had a tough game yesterday. They scored just one run and looked flat. There is a reason why that was the case though. Yesterday they faced Erik Bedard. Erik has electric stuff. A southpaw that is capable of shutting down any line-up.

Tonight the Tigers are going to have a much easier shot at scoring runs. R.A. Dickey goes the Mariners tonight. R.A. is a converted knuckle-baller that gets hit hard. On top of allowing 54 hits in just 47 innings Dickey struggles with his control. On the season as a starter the Mariners have won just one of his five starts.

Galarraga on the hand has been great for the Tigers. Armando is 7-2 and the Tigers are 11-2 in his thirteen starts. He has pitched 82 innings and allowed just 64 hits. He has electric stuff. He will shut down a weak line-up.

Detroit Tigers (-)

National League   

Houston Astros at Atlanta Braves

Solid match-up here tonight in Atlanta. It is hard to believe but Jo-Jo Reyes is the more reliable pitcher. Roy Oswalt is just 7-8 in 2008. In his 18 starts the Astros are just 8-10. The Braves on the other hand are an even 6-6 in Jo-Jo Reyes starts. Jo-Jo has not gotten the run support he has needed. He will get them tonight though.

Roy is not the same pitcher as the Roy of “old”. Roy has thrown 115 innings this season and he has allowed 132 hits. Those numbers are scary high for Roy. When Roy was dominating he was barely allowing a hit per inning. Roy’s strikeouts are also dramatically down. He has struck out 206, 184, 166 and 154 the last few years. This season he has just 94 in this 115 innings thrown.

On the road Roy has his struggles. Roy is just 3-5 with an ERA in the mid 4’s. The Braves still have that power in their line-up.

Atlanta Braves (-)


Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers have already put their terrible loss behind them. On Thursday the Brewers lost their worst game all season. This was a team that was winning 5-0 in the bottom of the ninth inning in Arizona. It was a terrible loss, there is no denying that. The Brewers did the best thing though, they bounced back.

Yesterday the Brewers pounded out 14 hits. Not only fourteen hits but they scored nine runs and hit two home-runs. The Brewers took advantage of two Pittsburgh Pirates errors.

Paul Maholm is just an average starter for the Pirates. He is 5-5 on the season with a high earned run average. The Brewers bats are heating up and they will knock this guy out of the game early.

Milwaukee Brewers (-)


New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies

The Mets just can’t figure it out right now. Last night they couldn’t win with their ace on the hill. Two nights ago they couldn’t win with their number two on the hill. Tonight they won’t win with there number three on the mound.

John Maine has just been average this season. There was a lot made out of his spring and he could be a 20 game winner. Well John is just 8-6 on the season. The Mets are just 9-8 in his seventeen starts.

On the other hand Jamie Moyer has been pitching and winning. The Phillies are 10-7 in his seventeen starts. Jamie has his best ERA since 2004. This guy just finds ways to win ball games. Jamie has three wins at home already this season. Tonight his record will improve to 8-6 and the Phillies will continue their winning ways against the lowly Mets.

Philadelphia Phillies (-)


Washington Nationals at Cincinnati Reds

You have to look at Tim Redding from a step back. Sure Tim is 6-3 on the season. We are not here to knock him. Tim has been the Nationals best pitcher. He has already thrown 102 innings and he is the Nationals most reliable starter. He hasn’t been great lately though.

Redding’s last start was a tough one. Time threw just five innings and allowed eight hits and four earned runs. Tim walked two batters and let up another long ball. The long ball has been a real problem with Tim this season. Heading to Cincinnati is not the place to help those long balls. Tim has let up 13 home-runs this season.

The Reds took care of business yesterday. They will take care of business again tonight.

Cincinnati Reds (-)


Florida Marlins at Colorado Rockies

Jorge De La Rosa is better than his numbers indicate. This is a guy that has electric stuff. Jorge is a 6”1 left-hander that can flat out deal. He has thrown 48 innings on the season and he has 51 strikeouts. Just a few starts ago at home Jorge pitched against the Indians. Jorge went out there and throws six innings, allowed four hits, one walk and struck out ten batters. The start before that he faced one of the best teams in the league, the White Sox and threw five innings of just one hit ball. That included eight strikeouts.

The Marlins are an ultra-aggressive baseball team folks. They are top three in the league in strikeouts. They will be free swinging here tonight in Colorado, especially after their outburst last night. The Rockies can still score. Just look at last night’s game. The Rockies scored in the first six innings of the ball game, and scored double-digit runs. Look for the Rockies to win again tonight.

Colorado Rockies (-)


San Diego Pares at Arizona Diamondbacks

Big game here tonight for Arizona. The Diamondbacks are a team that has struggled for a long time. Don’t forget that this team was red hot right out of the gate. There was not a better team in baseball during the first two weeks of baseball. With that said the Diamondbacks are still a first place team and they still are a team with a ton of talent.

This pitching match-up is a lot closer than you would think. Sure Jake Peavy goes tonight for the Padres and he is great, but on the season he is just 5-5. The Padres are just 5-8 in his thirteen starts. Doug Davis on the other hand has the same .500 mark and his team is .500 in his starts. The Diamondbacks at home are still a tough beat. They will be able to put a few runs on the board, and will take this Saturday affair.

Arizona Diamondbacks (-)


LA Dodgers at San Francisco Giants

When the Dodgers hit they are almost un-beatable. Would you believe that the Dodgers are within just a few games of first place? With all of their struggles they have managed to stay around and hang in the race. In fact if you ask our staff we like the Dodgers to take the NL West division crown and head to the playoffs. After all they do have the calming influence of Joe Toree on their side.

Last night the Dodgers got the bats going early and they got them going often. LA ended up putting ten runs on the board and thirteen hits. Andre Either has been swinging the bat well and he hit his tenth home run of the season.

Tonight the Dodgers face a soft-throwing left-handed pitcher. LA will be able to knock him around. The Giants are not a great home team, and do not protect their ball park the way they should.

LA Dodgers (-)

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Alex Smart

Minnesota Twins -118

The Minnesota Twins enter into todays mlb action on fire, having won 14 of their 16 overall, and 11 of their L13 at home in the Metrodome. Their opponents the Cleveland Indians are operating at the proverbial opposite end of the performance spectrum , after losing their 7th straight game yesterday to the Twins by a lopsided 12-3 count.

Kevin Slowey the Minnesota Twins starting right hander today against the visiting Cleveland Indians, enters this tilt, mimicking his teams successes, and is off his first career shutout on Sunday against the Brewers, allowing just three hits. It was the 24 year olds fourth consecutive quality start, which extended a 16-inning scoreless streak, that has also seen him, over power and strike out 24 batters over a 29 inning stretch. Slowey has garnered a nifty 3-0 record along with a minuscule 0.93 ERA during that stellar span.

Meanwhile, his pitching opponent from the Tribe, rookie, Aaron Laffey (4-5,3.24 ERA)is currently not in good form, as is evident by a 0-2 record and slightly bloated 4.58 ERA in his last 3 starts. He has shown the ability to pitch out of jams, but I keep getting this feeling, his luck is soon to run out , and hes going to end up on the wrong side of a beat down.

Final notes & Key Trends:Cleveland ha lost 21 of their 28 road games and are 8-23 in their 31 as underdogs. Twins are 8-0 in their last 8 games as a home favorite of -110 to -150.

With both pitchers and both teams obviously moving in different directions, Im suggesting we go with the flow, and back the upward momentum of the red hot Twins in this spot. Play on the Minnesota Twins

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Marc Lawrence

Play On: Milwaukee w/Bush vs Maholm

The Brewers take on the Pirates in Game Two of this three-game set in Milwaukee when Dave Bush battles Pat Maholm in Suds City tonight. Bush has been much stronger at home this season with a 3.18 ERA as opposed to a 7.11 ERA in the road in 2008. On the flip side, Maholm's 5.53 ERA on the road is more than two full runs worse than his 3.47 ERA at home this year. Stay at home with the steadier serves of Bush and the Brewers as Milwaukee improves to 12-4 at home on Saturdays here this evening.

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Greg Daraban

Florida (44-42) at Colorado (36-51)

Thursday Col won 6-5, Friday Col won 18-17 in a slugfest.Rookie Tucker 2-2, De La Rosa 2-4 With the fish in the hunt they will get this 3rd game of this 4 game set. SS Hanley Ramiez continues to impress with the glove and the bat 303.

Take Florida

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Jimmy The Moose

Oakland Athletics at Chicago White Sox
Prediction: under

The A's have played under the total in 8 of their last 11 games. The under is 5-1 in their last 6 games as an underdog. The under is 6-2 in their last 8 vs. NL Central opponents. The under is 10-1-1 in Smith's last 12 starts. The A's have played the under in 7 of his last 8 road starts. The under is 7-1-1 in Smith's last 9 starts vs. a team with a winning record. The under is 15-5 in the White Sox last 20 games vs. a team with a winning record. The under is 5-2 in their last 7 vs. a left-handed starter. The team's have played the under in 7 of their last 8 meetings. The under is 5-0 in the A's last 5 trips to Chicago. Play the under.

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Big Al Mcmordie

Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins
Prediction: Minnesota Twins

At 7:10pm our member selection is on the Minnesota Twins over the Cleveland Indians. As surprisingly good as the Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, and Minnesota Twins have performed in the first half of the season, that's how surprisingly bad the Indians have been. The team that won the AL Central in 2007 by eight games is really stinking it up in 2008. Cleveland is now one of the worst teams in the American League and in the cellar of the Central division trailing first-place Chicago by almost a dozen games. Things won't get any easier for the Tribe in the second half, as their ace, CC Sabathia is probably gone before the trade deadline. The Twins young righthander Kevin Slowey is a soft-thrower who may not have the best overall numbers, but has been close to unhittable recently. In his last four starts, Slowey is 3-0 (the team is 4-0) and has only surrendered three earned runs in 29 innings. Slowey's strikeout ratio is up this season (54 in 72+ innings) and he has kept his walks down (less than 10 free passes so far). Cleveland's Aaron Laffey has been so-so this year, and Minnesota may take advantage of the young lefty tonight. It's incredible to think that the team that lost the best starter (Johan Santana) in the league during the offseason is having a better year AND it is getting it done with -- among other things -- great starting pitching. Take the Twins.

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Robert Ross

Texas Rangers at Baltimore Orioles
Prediction: Texas Rangers

Both clubs have played better than expected, especially Texas. The Rangers are 20-11 against the money line vs. an AL team with an on base percentage .330 or worse this season while BALTIMORE is 45-79 against the money line when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons and 24-38 against the money line in home games vs. poor fielding teams - averaging 0.75+ errors/game in the second half of the season since 1997. Take Texas!

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Terron Chapman

Chicago Cubs vs. St Louis Cardinals    
Play: St Louis Cardinals   

Kyle Lohse will take the ball from manager Tony Larussa Saturday afternoon with hopes he can avenge his worst loss of the season. We'll play on him and his teammates to do so as they try to keep pace with the division leading Chicago Cubs in the second game of their weekend series.

Lohse was tagged for 9 hits and 8 earned runs in 6 innings pitched in the Cardinals 9-3 loss to the Cubbies back on May 3rd. We'll assume it was just one of those days as Lohse has been solid for the Cardinals all season. The right hander who signed as a free agent over the summer is 10-2 on the season with a 3.67 ERA. He has been a pleasant suprise for a Cardinals pitching staff decimated by injuries. That loss is the one blip on his home record this season as he is 5-1 with a 2.77 ERA at Busch stadium this year. The Cardinals are 8-1 in his last 9 starts. We expect him to rebound with a strong perfomance against the Cubbies giving his team a chance at the win.

Ted Lilly was the winnig pitcher that day in May and will oppose Lohse once again as he takes the mound for the Cubs. Lilly is 4-3 on the road this season with a 4.19 ERA to boot. His team is 5-4 in his road starts this year. Lilly might struggle some this afternoon against a Cardinals team hitting .319 agaisnt southpaws the last 10 games.

Even with last night's win the Cubs are still a below average team on the road. They are 18-25 on the road this year and 5-16 in their last 21 road games against a team with a winning record. The Cardinals have rebounded well in this spot all season and are 13-1 in game 2's this year. Expect that trend to hold up this afternoon.Play on the St. Louis Cardinals for 1 unit.

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Golden Contender

Cards and Cubs
Pick: Cubs

ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON THE FREE PLAY FOR SATURDAY IS ON THE CHICAGO CUBS GAME 901 AT 3:55 EASTERN.THE PITCHING MATCHUP IN THIS GAME DOES SLIGHTLY FAVOR THE CARDS. LOHSE HAS BEEN BETTER THIS YEAR THAN LILLY. BUT TEAMS ARE HITTING 27 POINTS LOWER VS LILLY THAN THEY ARE VS LOHSE.THE REASON FOR THE PLAY THOUGH IS THE CUBS ARE A REMARKABLE 13-0 THIS YEAR AFTER 2 OR MORE GAMES SCORING 3 RUNS OR LESS.IN A GAME THAT VIRTUALLY A PICKEM ILL LEAN WITH THE CUBS.

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Ross Benjamin

Oakland (Smith) @ White Sox (Floyd)
Pick: Under 8.5

The White Sox starter Gavin Floyd has been lights out in 9 home starts this season posting a 2.87 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. The Oakland starter Greg Smith has seen just 1 of his last 12 starts go over the total. In his last 3 starts on the road Smith has posted a brilliant 1.42 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. Both of these teams possess two of the better bullpens in baseball. This series has seen 7 of the last 8 games played go under the total. Play on under.

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Scott Ferrall

Texas +110 over Baltimore--I just believe in that Ranger offense.  They always bust out eventually.  UNDER 10 RUNS and Hurley over Burres.  Hurley's ERA is under 4.

CHICAGO WS -130 over Oakland--Smith won't beat Gavin Floyd on the South Side.  The Sox are 30-12 at home.  They are the real deal again and as tough as the Cubs to boot.

Kansas City +125 over Tampa--this takes balls to run with Zach Greinke against this Rays team at the Trop.  Tampa is 34-13 there.  The Royals blow, but I say it looks to easy to jump on Sonnanstine.  UNDER 8.5 RUNS

Cleveland +115 over Minnesota--Risky but worth it if Laffey gets it done over Slowey at the Homerdome.  OVER 8.5 RUNS because both starters have ERA's in the low 3's and everyone will bet the under and they'll all get burned--while your laughing and drinking one in Ferrall's name

ANGELS -125 over Toronto Jays--Lackey was the pitcher of the month in June and he'll go at it with Halladay.  What a pitching  matchup--take the UNDER 7 RUNS

Detroit -135 over Seattle--Galarraga has been unreal and he'll cool off the streaking and suddenly hot Mariners.  Ibanez won the game for them Friday with a HR--they've won 8 of 11, but that ends here

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JB's COMPUTER PICKS


Tampa Bay Rays -140

Chicago White Sox -135

Minnesota Twins -130 * * *

Los Angeles Angels -130


BEST BET ***

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Sports Gambling Hotline

Los Angeles -120 at SAN FRANCISCO 

Tonight we come right back with those very same Dodgers as we like Los Angeles to once again have their way against the Giants.

Barry Zito took yet another loss his last start, and is now 3-12 this year with an ERA of 5.99. Zito has already lost once this season to LA, and his team is just 1-3 this year in the season series.

Los Angeles has won their last 4, and they are just 1/2-game behind the Diamondbacks for the top spot in the NL West. With the Dodgers owning a dominating 15-4 mark at San Francisco since the 2006 season, we have to side with the men in blue to extend their winning streak to 5 in a row this evening.

Play on Los Angeles.

4♦ LOS ANGELES

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obby Maxwell

Boston +120 at N.Y. YANKEES 

The Red Sox have taken the first two of this series and now they get to face Mike Mussina who they have absolutely dominated recently. We'll back Boston in this one as they send youngster Justin Masterson (4-2, 3.75 ERA) to the mound at Yankee Stadium.

Boston won the first game 7-0 on Thursday and then won Friday's contest 6-4. They've won five of the last six meetings this season and three straight in New York.

The Yankees have lost four of five on this homestand and five of six overall. Mussina (10-6, 3.87) has struggled a bit lately and New York has lost three of his last four starts. Against the Red Sox, the Yankees have lost his last five outings as he's given up 23 earned runs in 26.1 innings of work. For his career, Mussina is 19-17 with a 3.80 ERA in 54 starts against Boston.

Masterson gave up four runs on five hits in six innings of work Monday when the Red Sox lost 5-4 in Tampa Bay. But Boston is 5-3 in his eight starts this season and he's kept them in the game in each of his outings.

The Yankees are in one of their modes of struggling offense right now and the Red Sox aren't having any trouble scoring runs. Plus they love to hit off Mussina. Let's play the Sox to win their third straight in this series. Play Boston.

3♦ BOSTON

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Re: SATURDAY SERVICE PLAYS

Karl Garrett

Oakland at WHITE SOX -125

Look for the White Sox to get a win tonight at home against an Oakland team that has won the first two of this holiday weekend four game set.

Keep in mind that even with those two losses, Chicago is still 30-13 at home this season, and a large part of that succes is because of Gavin Floyd.

Floyd takes the mound tonight with a 6-1 mark at US Cellular this season, and his ERA is a slender 2.87. The G-Man expects Floyd to get the Sox on board with another quality home start.

Oakland had been slumping prior to hitting the Windy City, as they had lost 4 of 5 before taking the first two this weekend. The Athletics will go with Greg Smith who is coming off a complete game win at the Angels, but it is questionable whether he can turn the trick again on the road.

The G-Man doesn't think he can!

Roll with the Pale Hose in this one.

2♦ WHITE SOX

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Chris Jordan

Oakland at CHICAGO -130 

Play the White Sox over the visiting Athletics Saturday night, as there shouldn't be any issue with Gavin Floyd toeing the rubber for us in this one.

The crafty right-hander comes in off a solid showing looked Monday against the Indians, much better than he had in either of his previous two starts, as he struck out a career-high 10 batters. Anyone who watched his quality start against the Tribe saw the return of his offspeed command, as he his changeup was hitting the zone with ease.

Also, Chicago comes in on winning runs of 5-0 in Floyd's last five home starts, 6-1 in his last seven starts overall and 7-2 in its last nine overall. On the other hand, the A's are 7-13 in their last 20 as an underdog and 1-4 in Greg Smith's last five starts as the pup.

Take the South Siders in this one, as they'll roll the A's tonight.

3♦ WHITE SOX

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Bob Balfe

Phillies -115 over Mets
Moyer/Maine

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Dave Cokin.

KC Royals and TB Rays
Take TB Rays

Zack Greinke is doing a stellar job for the Royals, and when he's on his game he's tough as nails. But there just doesn't seem to be a way to beat this Rays team at home these days, and they usually garner lots of support when Andy Sonnanstine takes the mound. Considering how dominating this team is at home, I see the number here being too low and I'll look for the Rays to win yet again.

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Jim Feist

TOR Blue Jays and LA Angels
Take Under

A pair of aces on the mound here in Roy Halladay and John Lackey. Both are workhorses and on a roll. Halladay has a 1.99 ERA his last three starts and is leading the league in innings pitched. Lackey has a 0.74 ERA his last three starts and just 1.44 for the season. The Angels have been an under the total machine this season with that weak offense and great pitching, starting 52-29 under. Look for that trend to continue with these two aces throwing goose eggs. Play the Blue Jays/Angels under the total.

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