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TUESDAY SERVICE PLAYS
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Larry Ness' 15* Pitching Mismatch of the Week (9-2 MLB the last three days!)
My 15* play is on the SF Giants at 7:10 ET. The Mets led the Phillies 10-1 in the 6th last night and gave back all but one run of their lead, holding on for a 10-9 win. It was their third straight win over the Phils, after losing the opening game of the four-game series on Friday. The win gets the Mets back over .500 (45-44) and brings them within 2 1/2 games of the first-place Phillies. They open a three-game home series tonight with the Giants and send Mike Pelfrey to the mound. Pelfrey was about to be dropped from the rotation in June, after going 10 starts without a win (he was 0-6 and the team 2-8) but he'll take a four-game winning streak into tonight's game, even though he pitched poorly in two of the four outings. In starts at the Angels (6/16) and at the Yankees (6/27), he allowed 16 hits and 10 ERs over 11 innings (8.18 ERA) but was bailed out by his offense, which totaled 24 runs in those two games. However, Pelfrey hasn't won a start here in Shea since April 15 and the Mets are just 29-33 (minus-$1,030) vs right-handed pitchers in '08. Tonight, they will be facing one of MLB's best young right-handers, Tim Lincecum (10-1witha 2.49 ERA). Lincecum opened the '08 season with a four-inning relief appearance at Dodger Stadium on April 2, picking up a win. He's since made 17 starts, allowing three ERs or less 15 times, including allowing two ERs or less 10 times. He hasn't lost a game since his lone loss of the season back on April 29 and takes a 6-0 road record with a 1.84 ERA over nine starts (team is 6-3) into his start tonight at Shea. The Mets had a season-high 17 hits on Monday but something tells me that by game's end tonight, they'll be wishing they had saved some of those hits (and runs!) to use against Lincecum in this one. The Giants own MLB's worst home record at 17-28 but they are 22-22 (plus-$658) on the road, which includes a respectable 16-13 (plus-$645) mark vs right-handers. In a 'battle' of right-handers tonight, Lincecum and the Giants prevail. Pitching Mismatch of the Week 15* SF Giants.
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Scott Spreitzer's MLB DOUBLE-DOG **DOUBLE-SHOT!** (11-5, 69%)
I'm taking the price with the underdog Nationals on Tuesday. Yes, I'm playing AGAINST all-star hurler, Brandon Webb...and for good reason. We're getting a big home price with a pitcher/team that has enjoyed plenty of success in tonight's spot. Not only does Odalis Perez own a strong, 3.78 ERA in 15 appearances this season, but in home night tilts, he's been simply sensational, sporting a 2.27 ERA. In fact, he's led Washington to a 5-2 mark in tonight's spot. Perez owns a career, 3.45 ERA & 1.17 WHIP in 20 appearances (18 starts) against the D'backs, and I expect more success tonight. Arizona has played 19 road games since June 1. They have scored a grand total of 58 runs in those games, or 3.05 runs per game. The "Snakes" are 5-11 in their last 16 games overall, scoring just 49 runs in the process...or just 3.06 runs per game! You get the picture. After a sensational start to the season, Arizona has hit the skids. They'll send Brandon Webb to the bump tonight, and he's not "delivering the goods" the way they need him to, with the offense struggling so badly. Webb has been popped for 18 earned runs and 42 base runners (including 31 hits) in his last four starts, covering 22 1/3 IP! That adds up to an un-Webb-like, 7.26 ERA and 1.88 WHIP. With numbers like those, along with Arizona's poor numbers at the plate, and Odalis Perez' strong numbers in this spot, there's no way the D'backs should be laying this high of a price away from home. I'm taking advantage with a play on the Nationals on Tuesday.
I'm taking the big underdog Mariners on Tuesday night. While Carlos Silva hasn't had a lot to brag about this season, he has fared well in road night action. The M's have cashed three of his five tickets and he owns a decent, 4.22 ERA. Something that has held to his career-form this summer has been his dominance of Oakland. Silva dismantled the A's in his only start against them this season, leading the M's to an 8-1 win. The Seattle righty owns a stellar, 2.92 ERA & 0.97 WHIP in 10 lifetime appearances against the A's. His ERA at McAfee is an even lower 2.33 in four starts. And, although he doesn't need the help against this squad, the A's are truly struggling at the plate. Oakland has scored 4, 1, 0, 4, 5, 0, & 5 runs in their last seven home games, for an average of just 2.71 runs per game. They're plating just 3.57 runs per game in seven July outings, overall. Seattle is actually averaging five runs per game in tonight's spot, almost 1 1/2 runs more per game than Oakland's seasonal mark in home night games against righthanders. In fact, the heavily favored A's are just 8-14 in tonight's situation, scoring just 3.6 runs per game. Seattle is a decent 9-5 over their last 14 games and grab the big underdog win tonight. My TKO Shocker is a play on the Mariners on Tuesday.
Scott Spreitzer's LINE ERROR MAJOR MISMATCH GOW! *11-5, 69%!
Look out NL East! The NY Mets are getting their act together and that spells trouble for the rest of the division. Whether Willie Randolph was to blame or not, the soap-opera-like atmosphere surrounding his eventual firing was a serious distraction since opening day. New York is now all about the business of winning baseball games. They've won three straight, and they're 5-2 in July, overall. The bats have come to life, scoring 50 runs, or 7.14 runs per game this month. This is all great news for starter Mike Pelfrey. The 24-year old righty owns great home numbers, but due to a serious lack of support, they have not translated into a lot of wins. In fact, in his last four home starts, Pelfrey has allowed just eight earned runs and 30 base runners in 26 2/3 IP, for a 2.69 ERA & 1.12 WHIP. But the Mets scored a grand total of just 11 runs in those starts. Including his last home start (June 11) and four outings away from Shea, the Mets have won five straight Pelfrey starts. They have won six of his last seven altogether, led by his 3.02 ERA, allowing just 15 earned runs in his last 44 2/3 innings of work. The reason his numbers are now translating into wins? Well, a perfect example...the Mets have scored 43 runs in his last five starts! I believe this will be a very tough spot for Tim Lincecum, especially with his lineup scoring less than four runs per game in road night starts against righthanders. Look for New York to continue their run with a big win on Tuesday night.
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Lenny Del Genio's Major Mismatch of the Month **9-2 GOM Run**
Play on Chicago White Sox at 8:10 ET. The Sox are red-hot right now having won nine of their last 11 and this is an opportunity for them to beat up on a weak opponent that they already swept once this season. Don�t expect a letdown from Guillen�s team either as Minnesota remains hot on their heels in the Central standings. Jose Contreras has been sharp throughout the first half, with the exception of one poor outing at Wrigley, but since then the team has won BB starts of his. He also boasts a 3.04 ERA in night games. The White Sox are killing righties this season, averaging 5.1 runs/game, and will have little difficulty with KC�s Kyle Davies, who allowed two home runs in his last outing and has an ERA of 11.58 in his last three. The Royals have managed just an 8-14 mark vs. righties at home (night games only), averaging just 3.7 runs per game. White Sox have cleaned up against the division this year (24-11) and are also 34-17 if coming off a win. Davies lasted 4 1-3 innings in his only career appearance against the White Sox, giving up six runs and seven hits in an 11-3 loss in Chicago on Sept. 17. Contreras is 5-2 with a 3.04 ERA in eight games at Kauffman Stadium. Chicago White Sox are our Mismatch of the Month.
Lenny Del Genio's Tuesday Triple Play
Play on San Francisco at 7:05 ET. Rare opportunity to grab Tim Lincecum at a great price. All the Giants ace has done this year is go 6-0 with a 1.84 on the road. His last away start saw him throw seven innings of scoreless, five-hit, baseball against the A�s. How good is this guy? The second-year right-hander is 6-0 with a 2.84 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 79 1-3 innings in 12 starts since his lone loss on April 29. He is the NL leader with 122 K�s. He looks to win a seventh consecutive decision against a Mets team that is finally above .500. However, with all this talk about how �hot� the Mets are recently, take note that they nearly squandered a huge lead against the Phillies last night and the club has a .258 batting average at Shea, and hit .229 in losing four of six games in its most recent stretch there. Starter Mike Pelfrey owns an 0-8 team start record if taking the hill off consecutive Mets wins. He is 0-4 in his last six home starts, getting just 10 runs of support. Lincecum is getting nearly six runs of support per game this season. Take San Francisco.
Play on LA Angels at 8:05 ET. We used the Angels as our AL Game of the Month yesterday and come back with them again today. The Halos are killing lefties this season (16-5) and face Matt Harrison, who makes his major league debut. Joe Saunders is one of three All-Star pitchers on LA�s staff and looks to become the first 13-game winner in baseball tonight. He is 6-2 and has a 2.05 ERA on the road this season. Overall, the Angels have won 13 of his last 17 starts and he has a 16-5 team start record when working on 5 or 6 days rest. Texas struggles against lefties, averaging just 4.5 runs per game and are 0-3 at home vs. their division rivals this season. Look for the Angels to maintain MLB�s best road record. Take LA Angels.
Play on LA Dodgers at 10:05 ET. The Braves� Jair Jurrjens is great at home, but not so much on the road where he�s just 3-3. Atlanta�s offense has been struggling and managed just one hit in yesterday�s loss. It was the third time in five games they scored one run or less. It was also their seventh loss in nine games. Bad news when facing Chad Billingsley, who is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA in his last three starts. He hasn�t given up an earned run in back-to-back outings and his team has won six of seven. Billingsley has fanned 25 hitters in 26.3 IP and looks to win a fifth consecutive decision. Atlanta is a dreadful road team at 12-30 overall, including 10-20 vs. righties, and 6-19 vs. sub.500 competition. The Dodgers can smell it right now as they are tied with Arizona for first place in the NL West. This is only the 3rd time in 18 years that Atlanta will head into the All-Star Break with a losing record. Take LA Dodgers.
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Tony Karpinski 10* 1st Half GAME OF THE YEAR
Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Pick: Money Line: -139 Los Angeles Dodgers
Chad Billingsley has been on another planet the last two months. Each and every start he has been going out there and dominating teams. This is a guy that had an ERA of 5 for a while. His ERA is now down to 3.12. His record is just 8-7 but he has pitched a 100% better than that. Chad has allowed just 90 hits in his 104 innings pitched. Even more impressive than that is the fact that he is one of only a few pitchers to average MORE than a strikeout per inning. 104 innings pitched 107 strikeouts.
You want to gauge how good Chad has been? Just look at his last two starts. 15 total innings, zero runs, nine hits, twelve strikeouts. What else is there to say about Chad? He has four wins in LA and has pitched fantastic. Hitters are only reaching base 32% of the time against Chad. Look for him to hold down this line-up that is hurting to score especially on the road and the Dodgers bats are finally starting to wake up.
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Yankee Capper MLB
4 Units - Astros/Pirates Over 9.5
4 Units - Los Angeles Angels -125
4 Units - Toronto Blue Jays -125
3 Units - Chicago White Sox -125
3 Units - Los Angeles Dodgers -135
2 Units - Oakland Athletics -190
2 Units - San Francisco Giants +105
2 Units - Chicago Cubs -160
2 Units - Tampa Bay Rays +105
2 Units - Milwaukee Brewers -230
2 Units - Boston Red Sox -160
2 Units - Detroit Tigers -195
2 Units - Braves/Dodgers Under 7
2 Units - Twins/Red Sox Under 9.5
2 Units - Mariners/Athletics Over 7.5