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Tip of the Day

Baltimore Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Prediction: Toronto Blue Jays

The Baltimore Orioles will be fighting to snap a losing streak on Thursday when they take on the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.The Orioles will give the ball to ace starter Jeremy Guthrie in this one. Righthander Guthrie is 5-7 this season with a 3.61 ERA.Starting this game for the Blue Jays will be John Parrish. The righthander has a 1.50 ERA to go along with a 1-0 record this season. Oddsmakers currently have the Blue Jays listed as 175-moneyline favorites versus the Orioles, while the game's total is sitting at 7.5 The Blue Jays scored seven runs in the fourth inning on, Wednesday as they held off the Orioles for a 9-8 victory. The Blue Jays won that game as -155 favorites, and the 17 runs sailed OVER the posted over/under (8.5).David Eckstein and Alex Rios drove in two runs apiece for the Blue Jays. A.J. Burnett improved to 9-8 with the win, and B.J. Ryan closed out the ninth for his 17th save.Adam Jones belted a three-run home run for the Orioles. Garrett Olson allowed seven runs over 3 2-3 innings in the loss.

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PRICELESS PICKS

1 Unit on Blue Jays -128

The O's have lost 4 straight and their chances of getting a win on the road behind Guthrie are slim to none.  The Orioles are just 4-10 in Guthrie's last 14 road starts, 5-13 in Guthrie's last 18 starts as an underdog, and 3-13 in Guthrie's last 16 starts during game 3 of a series.  The O's are also just 6-14 in the last 20 meetings in Toronto .  The Blue Jays are 4-0 in their last 4 home games and are in a good spot tonight.  Bet the Jays.

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Info Plays

3* on Cleveland Indians -109

Cleveland’s losing streak ends tonight.  Aaron Laffey (4-5, 3.49 ERA) will try to stop the bleeding as he faces the American League East leaders.  Play Against - Any team (TAMPA BAY) - average offensive team (4.7 to 5.2 runs/game) against a very good starter (ERA<=3.50) (AL), with a starting pitcher whose winning percentage is better than 70%.  This is a 35-15 ML System hitting 70% since 1997.  Tampa Bay is 4-21 vs. AL teams allowing 4.7 or less runs/game in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons.  Bet the Indians at home.

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Black Magic Sports

1 Unit on Philadelphia Phillies -128

In four career starts against the Cardinals, Jamie Moyer has been virtually un-hittable.  Moyer is 2-0 with a miniscule 0.78 ERA against the Cardinals.  Moyer allowed just 1 earned run in 12 innings pitched against St. Louis last year.  Moyer is 47-19 at home when the total is 10 or higher since 1997.  The Phillies are 35-15 at home when the total is 10 to 10.5 over the last 2 seasons.  With Moyer’s success against the Cardinals throughout his career, it would be idiotic to bet against this veteran lefty tonight.  Cash in with Moyer and the Phillies as the favorite.

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Black Widow Sports

1* on Yankees/Pirates Over 9

This is a very low run total for two potent lineups Thursday.  Pittsburgh is 26-11 OVER (+14.9 Units) vs. an overused bullpen that pitches more than 3.2 innings per game this season.  The Yankees are 16-6 OVER (+9.5 Units) vs. teams outscored by opponents by 0.5 or more runs/game in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons.  Pittsburgh is 39-20 OVER (+18.2 Units) as an underdog of +100 or higher this season.  Both teams are scoring more than 5.0 runs/game over their last seven contests.  Take the OVER 9 runs here.

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Matt Fargo

Chicago White Sox vs. Kansas City Royals
Play: Chicago White Sox 

The White Sox have taken the first two games of this series and have now won four straight. They have been on a roll since the end of June, going 11-2 over their last 13 games to remain in first place in the American League Central. Chicago has won four of its last five games on the road to move to a respectable three games under .500 away from home. It has owned this series, winning 46 of the last 66 meetings including all five this season and seven straight dating back to last season.

The Royals are back to their losing ways as they have not only lost the first two games in this set but have now lost nine of 12. This came after a string of 11 wins in 12 games so it shows how streaky of a season it has been for Kansas City. The offense has been hit or miss during this recent stretch and the one consistent has been the pitching which has been dreadful. The Royals have allowed an average of 6.7 rpg during this 12-game skid and the season ERA has jumped to 4.61.

Mark Buehrle will try to regroup after his first poor outing in quite sometime. He allowed four runs in 5.2 innings against Oakland and even though it was not a good outing, it was not horrible. Prior to that, he had pitched six straight quality outings, posting a 1.60 ERA over that stretch. 12 of his 18 season starts, including six of 10 on the road, have been quality performances. This is his first start against the Royals this season and since 2006, he is 4-0 with a 3.35 ERA in eight starts with Chicago going 8-0 in those games.

Zack Greinke has been very up and down of late and the majority of his starts have been on the down side. After going 3-0 with a 1.25 ERA in five April starts, he is 4-5 with a 4.67 ERA in 13 starts since then. Most of the damage has been done on the road as he has been very solid at home, going 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA in six starts, five of those resulting in Kansas City wins. However, the offset to that has been his career struggles against the White Sox as he is 2-7 with a 4.71 ERA in 11 starts with the Royals going 3-8 in those. Play Chicago White Sox 1.5 Units

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Alex Smart

Chicago Cubs -160

The Chicago Cubs(55-36 ) seem to love playing at home in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field where they have won 35 of their 45 games in 2008. Their opponents this Thursday afternoon, the Cincinnati Reds( 43-39) are at the opposite end of the proverbial performance spectrum, as their inconsistent 17-30 road record would indicate.

With the Cubs sending Ted Lilly (9-5,4.47 ERA), to the hill, they once again look like a good bet to bring home the dough, in front of their home town fans. The Chicago southpaw after a slow start to his season is currently on a 9-2 run along with a 3.54 ERA in his last 15 performances.

Meanwhile, the Reds will return fire with the inconsistent Bronson Arroyo (6-7, 5.82 ERA). He has had some decent performances of late, but is a candidate for a beat down at any time as was the case , back on June 24 when he was crushed by the Blue Jays for 10 runs on 11 hits. The right hander was 0-3 with a 3.58 ERA in five starts against the Cubs last season , and Im expecting that negative run to continue here in this spot.

The Cubs are always a good team to back at home, where they pound out an average of 6.4 RPG on a powerful .310 BA, while the Reds are almost always a bad proposition on the road where they hit a lowly .243 as a team while producing just 4.1 RPG.

Final notes & Key Trends: Cincinnati has lost 18 of their 25 against left handed starters like Lilly. Reds are 7-23 in Arroyos L/30 away starts. Play on the Cubs

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LT Profits

Arizona Diamondbacks @ Washington Nationals Under 7.5 

There are so many factors pointing to the Under in this contest between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Washington Nationals that we are not quite sure where to begin.

Well, let us start with the offenses. The Nationals are batting just .231 as a team overall and .227 vs. right-handers here at home this season. They are averaging only 3.40 runs per game over the last 10 games. The Diamondbacks are actually averaging less runs over this same span at 3.20, and Arizona has scored three runs or less in five straight games and two runs or less in four of those contests.

As for the starting pitchers, Danny Haren has pitched brilliantly in his first year in the desert, and he would be much better than 8-5 with any run support. He has a 2.83 ERA and an outstanding 0.98 WHIP in 117.2 innings. Likewise, Jason Bergmann has pitched much better than his 1-6 record would indicate, and he has a 1/80 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in his last three starts.

Looking at how each starter has done against their opponents tonight, Haren tossed seven scoreless innings at the Nationals while allowing just four hits in his only other start against them this year. Bergmann was not quite that good in his only start vs. Arizona, but he was not terrible either allowing four total runs in a Complete Game 4-0 loss.

Looking at the home/away team tendencies for each team, the Under is 27-18 in Washington home games with the Nationals averaging 3.35 runs in this stadium. Similarly, the Under is 24-17 in Arizona road games, with the D-Backs averaging 3.64 runs in those contests.

Finally, looking at the head-to-head history, the Under is 4-1 in all meetings this season including a perfect 4-0 in the last four encounters, and the Under is also 7-1 in the last eight meetings in Washington. The last four meetings this season have averaged a lowly 4.00 combined runs per game, all of them ending in shutouts for one of the teams!

Pick: Diamondbacks, Nationals Under 7.5


Florida Marlins @ Los Angeles Dodgers Under 8.5 

This game between the Florida Marlins and the Los Angeles Dodgers marks the return of Josh Johnson to the Florida rotation.

Remember that Johnson was a very highly regarded prospect, and he certainly looked the part in his rookie year in 2006, going 11-5 with an excellent 3.03 ERA in 24 starts. However, some nerve irritation in his right arm led him to have Tommy John surgery, killing the 2007 season. Now there have been many stories of pitchers coming back stronger after this surgery lately, so Johnson could be a staple in the rotation for years to come.

The Dodgers counter with veteran Chan Ho Park, who has been surprisingly effective this season with a 2.36 ERA in 61 innings. Park has yet to allow more than one earned run in any of his four starts, and he has allowed a grand total of one run and seven hits in 12 innings over his last two outings.

Throw in the fact that Dodger home games are averaging a combined 7.20 runs per game this year and the ball does not carry well at night here, and runs should be hard to come by tonight.

Pick: Marlins, Dodgers Under 8.5 

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Larry Ness

Florida Marlins @ Los Angeles Dodgers
PICK: Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers are just 45-46 on the season but that's good enough for a first-place tie in the sad-sack NL West. As for the Marlins, they are not much better (47-44) but their record is good enough for a second-place tie with the Mets, 1 1/2 games behind first-place Phillies in the NL East. The teams open a four-game series tonight in Dodger Stadium and the Dodgers should be full of confidence, having swept a three-game series in Miami from the Marlins (April 29-May 1). Chan Ho Park (4-2 with a 2.36 ERA in 24 appearances) will get the start for LA. Park, who spent the first eight years of his career with the Dodgers (1994-20001) and won 75 games his last five seasons with the club, will be making just his fifth start in '08. However, despite LA going just 2-2 in his four starts, Park has been terrific in his starting assignments. He's pitched 21 innings, allowing 13 hits and just three ERs (1.29 ERA) with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 26-7. Opposing him will be Josh Johnson. Many will remember Johnson's excellent rookie year of '06 with Florida, when he went 12-7 with a 3.10 ERA. However, Johnson opened last season on the DL with nerve irritation in his right arm. He was activated in mid-June but was never really healthy, making four starts (26 hits / 13 ERs / 15.2 IP / 7.47 ERA) with an 0-3 record (team was 0-4). He was placed back on the DL on July 5, complaining of forearm stiffness in his pitching arm. Johnson then underwent Tommy John surgery on August 3, 2007. Johnson has yet to pitch this season and tonight's start will be his first big league action since July 4th of last year. Go with the Dodgers.

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Frank Rosenthal

953 GIANTS UNDER 8.5
957 REDS+160
960 NATS+135
961 FISH+135
972 RANGERS+130
UNDER 9.5
974 KC+105
976 PIRATES+120

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Chris James Sports

Brewers/Rockies Over 9.5

Today is the final game of a 4 game set between the Brewers and Rockies. The Brewers lost last night with their ace on the mound and have only put up 3 runs twice out of the first three games so far. Look for all that to change today. The Rockies send Jorge De La Rosa to the mound. He is 3-4 with a 6.58 ERA. Over his last three games he is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA. He is giving up 17.2 hits/walks per nine innings pitched recently. Milwaukee counters with David Bush who is 4-8 on the year with a 4.74 ERA. He is pitched pretty well over the last 3 games but really struggle in his only start against Colorado this year. He is 0-1 with a 12.00 ERA in his last start against the Rockies. The over is 6-1 in the Rockies last 7 games. The over is also 4-1 in the Rockies last 5 games where the total is set between 9-10.5. Also the Brewers have brought in alot of overs recently as the over is 6-1 in their last 7 games vs a left-handed starter. The over is 6-1 in Bush's last 7 starts as a home favorite and 5-2 in their Brewer's 7 overall. Let's cash this over early today on the Brewers/Rockies.

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Nick "BookieKiller" Parsons

CLE (-114) vs TAM

CLEVELAND Yes, the Indians have lost ten straight games but what are the odds of that streak reaching eleven? Not too good! Cleveland hasnt had a losing streak of more than ten games in the last 77 years! The Indians just wrapped up a winless road trip by blowing a late 6-1 lead at Detroit last night and that means its bounce back time tonight at home for the Tribe. Cleveland is a respectable .500 club at home as most of their trouble has come on the road. As for the Rays, as strong as theyve been this season they still have not proven to be a great road club. In fact, Tampa Bay is currently two games under .500 when away from home so far this season. Note that the Rays dont exactly come into this series hot. Tampa Bay has actually lost three straight games as they suffered an extra inning loss at Yankee Stadium yesterday to wrap up their visit to the Bronx. Now its potential letdown time for the Rays as, after dealing with the division rival Yanks, they now face a last place club from the AL Central. The Rays are just 2 for 28 with men in scoring position during their three game losing streak and they wont be helped by facing Aaron Laffey of the Indians tonight. Thats because the Rays have never faced the Cleveland southpaw and Tampa Bay also hits 14 points less versus lefties than they do against righties. Also, the Rays hit 16 points less on the road in comparison with at home. Laffey is just 4-5 on the season but note that all four of those wins have come at home where he has a 2.15 ERA. Opponents are hitting just .223 against Laffey at Progressive Field this season! Unlike Laffey, Andy Sonnanstine of the Rays has been quite hittable this season. In spite of a 10-3 record and a respectable 4.31 ERA, note that Sonnanstine has been hit at a .293 clip this season! Keep in mind that Sonnanstine was also hit at a .293 clip last season, in his rookie year, and that netted him a 6-10 mark. So, as you can see, the Rays right-hander has easily been one of the more fortunate pitchers in the league this season. His stuff is not necessarily worthy of being a ten win pitcher at this point in the 2008 season. Note that Sonnanstine did lose his only career start against the Indians and that came last season. The Indians offense has scored at least five runs in three of their last six games and, with Laffey on the mound, it shouldnt take much to notch this home win. Being back at Progressive Field makes all the difference in the world for the Indians and that is why this one earns rare BookieKiller status! Best of luck Nick The BookieKiller Parsons

Nick Parsons MLB Forum Pick for Thursday!

Dodgers Josh Johnson of the Marlins simply cant be trusted here. The Florida right-hander is coming off of Tommy John surgery and this will be his first MLB action in over a year. Johnson did get the win in his only career start at Dodger Stadium but he was somewhat fortunate as he had more walks than strikeouts and he allowed four earned runs in six innings of work. His other career start against Los Angeles was even worse as he allowed five earned runs on eight hits in just three innings of work! Johnson took the loss in that game and another defeat at the hands of the Dodgers is what should be expected tonight! The Dodgers have been rolling as they have won seven of their last nine games. Los Angeles has averaged over five runs per game in the seven wins and their offense should stay hot here against Johnson. The other key to a Dodgers victory tonight will be the continued fantastic work of Chan Ho Park. The Los Angeles right-hander has been stellar in his recent outings. Park has allowed just two earned runs in his last four outings and three of those were starts! Overall, in all four outings Park has given up just 12 hits while striking out 23 in 18.3 innings of stellar work. The Dodgers hurler is simply on top of his game right now and the Marlins have scored an average of just three runs per game in their last three games. With the Dodgers offense kicking into a higher gear, and with Chan Ho Park throwing another solid game, Los Angeles rolls tonight and this line is very reasonable considering the Dodgers edges!

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Scott Spreitzer's 25* Pre-All Star GAME OF THE YEAR! *Day Action!

I'm laying the price with the Brewers on Thursday. Colorado slapped around all-star pitcher Ben Sheets a bit...and Mota a tad more last night. But I don't believe they can repeat that feat this afternoon. The Brewers are 6-2 in Bush's home starts this season where he sports a miserly, 2.87 ERA & 1.01 WHIP! That includes a 2-0 mark and even better 1.20 ERA in day action at Miller Park. Today, Bush will take on a Colorado lineup that's 2-7 in away daytime action against righthanders, averaging just 3.9 runs per game. At the same time, the Brewers crush daytime southpaw visitors at home. They're 5-1 in six tries, scoring an average of 8.0 runs per game! They couldn't have asked for a better matchup in today's outing. Milwaukee welcomes back struggling Jorge De La Rosa. The one-time-Brewer has made 30 appearances in this park, getting squashed along the way. The lefty's ERA at this venue is a horrible, 7.86 with a 1.94 WHIP, and .294 BAA! OUCH! The Rockies have dropped all four of De La Rosa's road starts this season...it doesn't help that he owns a 6.11 ERA in those outings. Tough to imagine those numbers could get any better against this lineup. Besides the numbers mentioned above, Milwaukee is 20-8 against southpaws overall, already up over 11-units on the season. And, they're up six-units in day games. Meanwhile, Colorado is a horrible road team coming off a rare road win, and they're just 8-18 in day games this season. I believe Milwaukee will get right back on track with a blowout win over the Rockies. My Pre-All Star GOY is a play on the Brewers on Thursday afternoon.

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RON RAYMOND'S 5* MLB BEST BET WINNER

Diamondbacks / Nationals Under 7.5

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BOXER SPORTS THURSDAY'S PLAYS

Arizona Diamondbacks - D Haren -R @ Washington Nationals - J Bergmann -R
Play D-Backs/Nationals Under 7.5 -110 ( 3* )

Tampa Bay Rays - A Sonnanstine -R @ Cleveland Indians - A Laffey -L
909 Rays -101 ( 3* )

Chicago White Sox - M Buehrle -L @ Kansas City Royals - Z Greinke -R
973 White Sox -105 ( 3* )

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SAPKOWSKI

Premium
BAL Orioles
LA Dodgers

Free picks
CHI Cubs
DET Tigers

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Ben Burns

Chicago White Sox @ Kansas City Royals
PICK: Under

The first two games of this series have been of the high-scoring variety but this evening's finale figures to see significantly fewer runs. Greinke's last start resulted in a 3-0 loss. For the season, he's got an excellent 2.57 ERA and 1.143 WHIP in six home starts. He's faced the White Sox six times in this park and has allowed three earned runs or less in five of those games and one earned run or less in three of them. The last time he faced them here, he tossed eight shutout innings and allowed only two hits, striking out 10 along the way without walking a single batter. That game finished well below the number with a final score of 3-0.

Buehrle wasn't particularly sharp last time out. However, that games still managed to stay below the total. The Under is now 7-3 his last 10 starts including a perfect 3-0 his last three. During that stretch, Buehrle has an excellent 2.18 ERA. The UNDER is also 7-3-1 his last 11 starts vs. the Royals. Even after yesterday's result, the UNDER is still a profitable 13-7 the last 20 times that the White Sox played a road game with an over/under line of either eight or 8.5. Look for this evening's final score to be lower than most are expecting. Consider a play on the UNDER

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Keith Martin Computer Plays

Top play
None

Medium plays
Oakland Athletics (M: -175.0) 3
Laa Angels Under 9.5 3

Regular plays
Chicago White Sox (M: -104.0) 1
New York Yankees (M: -134.0) 1
Arizona D-backs (M: -148.0) 1
Chicago White Sox Under 8.5 1
St Louis Cardinals Under 10.0 1

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Allen Wong

400 unit MLB Giants +200
400 unit MLB Tigers -120

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ANTON WINS

3 units San Francisco +180

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