WEDNESDAY SERVICE PLAYS

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Tony C's Sports

10 Dimes D'Rays +110

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NSA Early

10* Minny/Bost UNDER 9

10* Tampa Bay +

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Ben Burns

ANA (-135) vs TEX

The Rangers won a close one yesterday but the Angels should have the advantage this evening. Despite losing yesterday, the Angels are still 16-6 against left-handed starters this season. Today, for the second day in a row, they'll face a southpaw, Michael Ballard, making his major league debut. Ballard's minor league numbers were OK, as he had a 3.97 ERA this season. That was at Double-A though. Facing the best team in the AL West is obviously a big step up in class. Even if Ballard can pitch well, he's unlikely to outduel Weaver, as he's been red hot lately. Indeed, Weaver has a 1.45 ERA his last three starts and he has allowed two earned runs or less in four of his last five outings. Additionally, in his last two starts against Texas, Weaver has gone a full 14 inning without allowing a single earned run. During that 2-game stretch, he had 12 Ks to just two walks and allowed a mere seven hits. This season's lone start against the Rangers resulted in a 2-1 victory. Weaver should continue to pitch well and he should get more run support than that this evening. Consider a play on the LA ANGELS

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Dave Malinsky

GAME: Chicago White Sox @ Kansas City Royals
PICK: Over 5*

It took a while last night before the fireworks got started between these two, but when all was said and done there were 15 runs on the board, including a 5-5 after nine innings that was a clear “regulation” Over. Tonight we expect a similar flow, with both teams having a chance to score early against the starters, and then perhaps even better opportunities against the bullpens later in the game. In fact, those bullpens may prove to be the real keys.

We have written a few times in recent weeks about Javier Vazquez, and how the notion that he has solved his home run issues was merely a mirage. He indeed got through his first five starts this season without allowing one over 30.2 innings. But much like the cold April weather was hurting the Chicago offense, it was also making Vazquez look a little too good. Since that opening salvo it has been 15 home runs in 75 innings, and four times in his last eight starts he has allowed multiple blasts. It has been just a 2-4/5.62 overall for him in that span, and Ozzie Guillen did not do him any favors when he left him out there for a 121-pitch complete game in Thursday’s loss to Oakland. He has not thrown more than that in a start since September of 2006. That leaves him vulnerable here both from a quality and quantity standpoint, which begins to bring those bullpen issues into play.

The White Sox finally had to put Bobby Jenks on the DL, and that is particularly awkward for tonight. Boone Logan, Octavio Dotel, Matt Thornton and Nick Masset all worked more than an inning last night, and while current closer Scott Linebrink only worked one, it was a draining 28-pitch failure. He has now been scored on in each of his last four appearances, blowing a pair of saves in the process, and off of those 28 pitches, and a laborious 26 to finish vs. Oakland on Sunday, he brings serious issues to the table.

There are similar issues for the Royals. One of the reasons why we chart statistics like BABIP so much (“Batting Average on Balls in Play”) is that it can point out when some pitchers are as much lucky as they are good. That was the case with Brian Bannister, and the 12-9/3.87 that he put together in 2007. Instead of it being a sign of a promising young talent, it was as much a case of someone holding the dice for a long time - of the 90 pitchers that worked at least 150 innings, only A. J. Burnett and Chris Young were lower in that category. Now Bannister’s ERA has risen to 5.15, as many of those balls now find openings, and despite working 57 fewer innings than in 2007 so far, his home run count has almost equalled LY’s allowance. His last two starts have seen him tagged for 14 runs (13 earned) over 9.2 innings, with 205 pitches needed to merely get that far. That creates some quality and quantity issues for him tonight, which can exacerbate a Kansas City bullpen in even worse shape than their Chicago counterparts.

The Royals have had some solid performers coming out of the pen, but none can be counted on here. All-Star Joakim Soria has worked back-to-back games, throwing 49 pitches, and almost assuredly will be held out. Key lefty set-up man Ron Mahay is off of back-to-back nights and 40 pitches. Key right-handed set-up man Ramon Ramirez is off of back-to-back and 35. And fellow set-up men Horacio Ramirez and Robinson Tejeda both worked multiple innings last night. In other words, there is not a single quality fresh arm available, which is a real problem if Bannister can not eat some innings effectively, and that makes it even easier for us to get this one home.

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ROBERT FERRINGO

7-Unit Play. Take ‘Over’ 9.0 Minnesota at Boston
Note: This is our Total of the Month. If this line moves, it is a play at 9.5 but for 5.5 Units.

There's pretty much no way that Livan Hernandez isn't getting lit up today. The wind is blowing out - severely - in Fenway, and Josh Beckett has been an 'over' pitcher all season. Also, the Twins have been a hardcore 'over' team over the last month and they have been raking against right-handed hurlers. Josh Beckett's ERA is a full run higher at home than on the road and Livan has an ERA of nearly 7.00 in his day starts. We have a nice, tight ump behind the dish and I can see a lot of balls leaving the yard.

1.5-Unit Play. Minnesota (+1.5, +110) over Boston

1.5-Unit Play. Take Detroit (-145) over Cleveland

1.5-Unit Play. Take Florida (+100) over San Diego

1.5-Unit Play. Take Seattle (+150) over Oakland

1.5-Unit Play. Take Kansas City Royals (+115) over Chicago

1.5-Unit Play. Take Cubs (-1.5, -110) over Reds

1.5-Unit Play. ‘Under’ 7.5 Atlanta at Los Angeles Dodgers

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PlayByPlayInc.

CHICAGO CUBS -1.5 +125

NEW YORK YANKEES -116

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BOXER SPORTS

Minnesota Twins @ Boston Red Sox
Twins +220 ( 3* )

Chicago White Sox @ Kansas City Royals
White Sox -125 ( 3* )

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Keith Martin Computer Plays

Top play
Minnesota Twins Over 9.0 5

Medium plays
Detroit Tigers (M: -149.0) 3
San Francisco Giants Over 7.0 3
Seattle Mariners Over 8.5 3

Regular plays
Boston Red Sox (M: -241.0) 1
Los Angeles Dodgers (M: -112.0) 1
Chicago Cubs (M: -174.0) 1
Oakland Athletics (M: -160.0) 1
San Francisco Giants (M: 191.0) 1
Florida Marlins Over 8.5 1
Atlanta Braves Under 7.5 1
Chicago White Sox Under 8.5 1
Arizona D-backs Over 8.5 1
Cleveland Indians Over 10.0 1

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TOM FREESE

Chicago at Kansas City

Chicago starter Javier Vazquez is 7-3 with a 2.74 ERA in 10 career team starts vs. the Royals. The White Sox are 10-2 their last 12 games overall. The Pale Hose are 7-0 with Vazquez when he has 5 days of rest and they are 21-7 their last 28 games vs. vs. losing teams. Kansas City is 2-6 with Brian Bannister on the mound if they are off a loss and they are 9-19 their last 28 games when playing off a loss. The Royals are 8-18 in Game 2 of a series and they are 1-8 their last 9 games vs. righty starters. PLAY ON CHICAGO

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Sammy Jankus The Reverse Barometer!  ;D

Always play the OTHER SIDE of my game writeup.

San Francisco at NY Mets
Play: 3* OVER

The Giants forced New York pitcher Mike Pelfrey to throw about a zillion pitches in yesterday's contest but walked away with ONLY 3 HITS in an ugly 7-0 shutout. Such a dreadful offensive display tells me that San Fran should either (a) fire their hitting coach or (b) put some cash on the 'UNDER' in today's game! Yes, with flame-throwing Johan Santana on the hill for the Mets, it looks like ANOTHER WHITEWASH is in store for the Bay Area Bottom-Feeders! Since I think tonight's final will be something like a 5-0 Mets' win, I'm GOING LOW ? so your play is on OVER THE TOTAL.

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Bob Harvey Sports

Chicago Cubs


KingTSports

Oakland Athletics


GAMETIMEDECISION

Oakland Athletics


rub

Los Angeles Dodgers


DannySports

Los Angeles Dodgers


Fast Eddie Sports

Los Angeles Dodgers


WildBill

Toronto Blue Jays


Texas Sports Syndicate

Philadelphia Phillie


USA Sports Consulting

Los Angeles Dodgers


SportsKingz

Detroit Tigers

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Charlies Sports

500* Braves/Dodgers under 7
30* Royals +110
20* Phillies -140
10* Padres -110
10* Yankees -120 (free play)

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PRICELESS PICKS

1 Unit on Oakland A's -158

The A's just cut loose one of their top pitchers, but with Blanton still on board and going tonight, they should pick up an easy win over their division rivals here.  Blanton has struggled this season, but when the oddsmakers have pegged him as this big of a favorite he has delivered.  The Athletics are 5-1 in Blanton's last 6 starts as a home favorite of -151 to -200.  The Athletics are 63-24 in their last 87 games as a favorite of -151 to -200 and 117-57 in their last 174 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400.  The Mariners are just 1-10 in their last 11 vs. the American League West, 10-21 in their last 31 road games, and 0-4 in Batistas last 4 road starts.  Take the home A's.

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Allen Wong

400 unit Twins +230

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Kiki Sports

3 unit Milwaukee -1.5
1 unit Clev
1 unit Balt

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JAKE TIMLIN

REDS / CUBS UNDER

Thanks to the wind blowing from center and with both teams throwing their best starters look for a low scoring in Wrigley tonight. You see thanks to Zambrano?s season ERA of 2.96 and Cueto?s strong ERA of 1.96 over his last three starts it?s pitching that is going to set the tone tonight. Meanwhile combined both pitchers have pitched to an Under of 22-13 in their 35 starts for the year, including the last four starts from Cueto. Well mark up yet another Under tonight in Wrigley as both starters will help to keep things low.

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CHRIS CHIRIMBES

TORONTO BLUE JAYS

Baltimore has held the lead in each of its last six losses, and its bullpen has compiled a 5.52 ERA in the last eight games overall. A loss Wednesday would saddle the Orioles with their first four-game losing streak since May 28-June 1. If Baltimore hopes to avoid another loss, it may need a big game at the plate with Olson (6-3, 5.04 ERA) struggling. Olson is 1-1 with a 6.30 ERA in his last four starts. In his last outing, the left-hander gave up six runs - five earned - and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings as Baltimore lost 10-7 to Kansas City on Thursday night. Olson was the losing pitcher in his only career start versus the Blue Jays (43-47). He struggled through 2 2-3 innings, giving up five runs and six hits while walking four in a 5-2 loss on Aug. 17. Toronto will counter with A.J. Burnett (8-8, 4.92), who struggled against Baltimore on June 7. He gave up eight runs and 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings in a 9-5 loss. Burnett is 5-1 with a 4.53 ERA in seven career starts against the Orioles.

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Mr East

Baltimore Orioles @ Toronto Blue Jays
Pick: 4 units Baltimore Orioles +147

The Jays at 12-21 over their last 33 games have played their way into the basement of the AL east. One of their biggest problems all season has been facing LHP where they have been just 7-17 in 24 games, including 4 shutouts, and scoring a total of 70 runs. Outside of a 12 run outburst vs Oakland, they have produced just 58 runs in 23 games vs LHP, or 2.5rpg, hard to find the win column for sure. Baltimore has won the majority of games Garrett Olsen has started, and he has allowed 3 runs or less in 8 of his 13 starts, which should be enough to hold down the Jays and get the road win.

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ER Sports

Playmaker: Chicago/Kansas City Under 8.5

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Sports Monitor

Colorado at Milwaukee Brewers

TRENDS: The Brewers are 28-13 at home. The Rockies are 12-31 on theroad. The Rockies have lost 26 of their last 32 road games.

GAME SUMMARY: On the verge of completing the first major trade of the season, the red-hot Brewers look to continue to move upthe standings as they open a four-game series against theColorado Rockies on Monday.

PREDICTION: Brewers 6  Rockies 4

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