THURSDAY SERVICE PLAYS

THURSDAY SERVICE PLAYS

Alex Smart

San Diego Padres @ St. Louis Cardinals Under 7.5

The 'Under' has held a distinct advantage in the first game back after the All-Star break, managing a highly profitable 57-33-5 record since the 2000 season. Breakdown per year 8-6-1 Under in 2000 9-6 Under in 2001 7-5-1 Under in 2002 8-6 Under in 2003 11-0-1 Under in 2004 8-4-1 Under in 2005 3-4 Under in 2006 3-2-1 Under in 2007 That's seven winning seasons out of eight. Coincidence? ...... Maybe and maybe not. When I notice an obvious trend, such as the Under going 57-33-5 the day after the All-Star Break from 2000-2007, I always try and determine it's cause. Is there a logical reason for the trend? Or, could it be random coincidence or an anomaly. Don't forget that if you flip a coin enough times, you'll inevitably get some runs of 54-31 for both heads and tails. In this case, I felt that that I was looking at more than just pure coincidence. When searching for why this may be the case, my first initial thought was that the Under probably had done so well due to the fact that teams were often able to shuffle their starting rotation for the best match-ups or going with their #1 starter, unless he had just pitched in the All-Star Game. However, I quickly dismissed these lines of thought as the linemakers would have already factored the starting pitchers into their lines and adjusted them lower accordingly, especially with the aces on the mound. Instead, I concluded that the Under probably had been so profitable due to the fact that the hitters must become somewhat rusty after having a few days off. Starting pitchers are used to having numerous days off in between starts. Batters, on the other hand, rarely have consecutive days off. Some, of course, aren't affected by the layoff but others clearly are. The same 'Under' tendencies appear for teams that play their first game a day later than other's after the All-Star break. I have the numbers for these, tilts and will possibly release a big play if the all the factors look right. With those under tendencies on our side, I have isolated a situation that sets up nicely to stay on the low side of the number.

The light hitting San Diego Padres visit the St.Louis Cardinals in pitcher friendly Busch Stadium this Thursday night. Kyle Lohse(11-2,3.39 ERA) the Cards starting hurler is in red hot form , and in his L/5 starts ,has garnered a 3-0 record along with a tight 2.32 ERA, 1.35 WHIP . He has been particularly tough on opposing offenses this season at home , where in 11 starts he is 5-1, along with a stingy 2.75 ERA, 1.01 WHIP. Meanwhile the visiting San Diego Padres , will send the ace of their staff Jake Peavy ( 7-5,2.47 ERA) to the hill in response. In his L6 starts he has allowed a total of 7 ER's , and Im expecting another stingy performance in this spot against a Cards team that has only averaged 4.1 RPG at home this season. Final notes & Key Trends: Under is 10-1-1 in Padres last 12 games vs. a right-handed starter. Under is 9-2 in Padres last 11 games with the total set at 7.0-8.5 . Under is 10-4-1 in the last 15 meetings in this series. Play Under

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James Patrick

Pirates vs. Rockies

The Bucs are just 2-8 in Maholm’s road starts while the Rockies have feasted on lefties winning 5 of 6. Colorado also has won 5 of 6 home games and the Colorado Rockies get our Thursday Major League Baseball selection call.

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Robert Ross

New York Mets at Cincinnati Reds
Prediction: Cincinnati Reds

Mets have won nine straight but winning in Cincinnati versus the Reds (winner of 7-of-10) is a bit more difficult than beating San Francisco and Colorado at home. Reds lost their last before the break, setting up a situational play that says to Play On - Home teams (CINCINNATI) - after a loss against opponent after 8 or more consecutive wins (30-12 over the last 5 seasons, 71.4%). Take Cincinnati!

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Jimmy The Moose

Detroit Tigers at Baltimore Orioles
Prediction: Detroit Tigers

With a 21-10 record over their last 31 games the Tigers have clawed their way back to the 500 mark. Detroit is 22-6 in their last 28 games as a favorite. In their last 10 games as a road favorite they are 9-1. Detroit is 44-20 in their last 64 games vs. a left-handed starter. The Tigers have won 4 of Rogers last 5 starts vs. a team with a losing record. Baltimore has lost 7 of their last 8 games. The are 1-5 in their last 6 games as a home dog. The Orioles are 5-14 in their last 19 home games vs. a left-handed starter. The Tigers have won the last 5 meetings between the clubs. Play on the Detroit Tigers -.

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Baseball Today

San Diego at St. Louis (8:15 p.m. EDT). Kyle Lohse (11-2, 3.39 ERA) looks to extend his unbeaten streak to 13 starts when the Cardinals return from the All-Star break and face the Padres. Lohse, 8-0 with 2.52 ERA in his last 12 outings, will be opposed by Jake Peavy (7-5, 2.47).

STAR

- No games played because of the All-Star break.

Flash: http://A BIG HIT

The All-Star game's television ratings increased from last year. The first nine innings of Tuesday night's 15-inning marathon on Fox drew a 9.3 fast national rating and 16 share, the network said Wednesday. That's up 11 percent from the 8.4/15 in 2007. Nielsen issued separate ratings for the regulation portion of the game and the extra innings. Innings 10 through 15 earned a 7.5/18.

YANKEE STADIUM

Yankee Stadium's regular-season finale will be a night game. The Yankees' Sept. 21 game against the Baltimore Orioles has been scheduled for 8:05 p.m. and will be televised nationally by ESPN or ESPN2 as part of the Sunday night package. If New York fails to qualify for the postseason, it will be the last game at the Yankees' longtime home.

HURTING

The Los Angeles Dodgers will be without closer Takashi Saito for at least six weeks. Saito was diagnosed with a sprained ligament in his pitching elbow Tuesday by a team doctor. The 38-year-old right-hander will be placed on the 15-day disabled list when the Dodgers return from the All-Star break Friday night in Arizona. Manager Joe Torre said Sunday that Jonathan Broxton would be the team's closer.

SPEAKING

``Anyone who needed proof that Yankee Stadium is the grandest stage in baseball got it last night. The 2008 All-Star game was one of the greatest experiences in my life and in franchise history.'' - Yankees owner George Steinbrenner on the American League's 4-3, 15-inning victory that lasted 4 hours, 50 minutes.

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Matt Fargo

San Diego Padres vs. St Louis Cardinals    
Play: St Louis Cardinals   

St. Louis didn’t exactly leave the first half on a solid run but it remains in position to hang around with the Cubs in the National League Central. The Cardinals trail Chicago by 4.5 games and the goal right now is to take care of business at home where they are 26-21 on the season. The offense put up two 11-run games before the break and it is hitting .283 over the last 10 games. St. Louis has won 27 of the last 36 meetings against the Padres at home.

San Diego started the season slow and has never recovered, going 7-20 over its last 27 games. The Padres have been bad at both home and the road but away games have really taken their toll as they are 14-28 on the season. The offense is to blame as the bats are hitting only .246 on the season and their 3.7 rpg is the second worst average in all of baseball. San Diego is just 15-39 in its last 54 games against a team with a winning record including a horrid 8-23 mark on the road.

You take a look at this number and see Jake Peavy next to it and it looks like easy money. While that may have been the case over the last couple season, it is not the case this year. While he has put together a 1.45 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in nine home starts, in six road outings, he has a 4.41 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. The Padres have won three of those games, mostly due to generous run support. At this stage however, don’t expect that. He has a 6.18 ERA over his last five starts against the Cardinals.

I’m not exactly sure what happened to Kyle Lohse this season, but whatever he did in the offseason should be kept secret. He has been outstanding following disastrous seasons the last two years. After posting a 2.36 ERA in six April starts, it looked as though he came back to reality, allowing 19 runs in his first three May starts. But he went right back at it, posting a 2.25 ERA over his last 11 starts with nine of those being quality outings and one falling short due to lack of innings. He now faces the anemic Padres offense. Play St. Louis Cardinals 1.5 Units

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Tony George

Detroit Tigers vs. Baltimore Orioles     
Play: Detroit Tigers   

Tony George says take the Tigers on the road in this one. Detroit is a very bankable favorite, cashing in a winning ticket for their backers 22 out of the last 28 games when laying chalk. Considering the line here, which is chaep for a "better team", and the fact that Baltimore is 1-7 in their last 8 games, the oddsmakers left some room here for a cheap favorite. Dertoit is no juggernaut, but they are worth the stretch here.

Lefty Kenny Rogers takes the hill for the visiting Tigers, with a 6-6 record and not much to brag about with a 4.63 ERA, but I cannot back the O's at home with a 2-8 record their last 10 overall, and Olsen who takes the mound for the O's has posted a whopping 8.36 ERA and a WHIP of 2.14 in his last 3 starts. The KEY here is the fact the bullpen is better for Detroit.

Play on the Tigers

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Tom Freese

New York at Cincinnati

New York is 10-1 their last 11 games and they are 7-0 their last 7 games vs. losing teams. The Mets are 20-7 vs. a pitcher with a WHIP of over 1.30 and they are 46-21 off a day off. Johann Santana is 6-2 in Game 1 of a series. Cincinnati is 26-58 their last 84 home games as dogs of $110 to $150. The Reds are 2-6 in the last 8 starts made by Johnny Cueto has an underdog and they are 2-6 their last 8 games vs. the Mets. PLAY ON NY METS

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Big Al Mcmordie

San Diego Padres at St Louis Cardinals
Prediction: St Louis Cardinals

At 8:15pm our member selection is on the St. Louis Cardinals over the San Diego Padres. Less than a year after San Diego ace Jake Peavy won the pitching triple crown for being the National League leader in ERA, wins, and strikeouts, Peavy not only isn't atop the leader board in any of those categories, but he was not even on Tuesday's NL All Star roster. It's not just the fact that Peavy was hurt for almost a month of the first half of the season, but more importantly, it's his team that has dragged Peavy down. The 2008 version of the San Diego Padres is a much worse ballclub than the 2007 version. Last year, the Padres had 49 wins at the break. This year, they are twelve wins behind that pace and their record is almost a complete reversal of last season's pre-break tally. Anyway you slice it, the first half has been a disaster for San Diego. They have a losing record at home and an even worse one on the road, where they have only won fourteen times. They have numerous injuries and their normally reliable relief pitching has been suspect at best and is really starting to show it's age. San Diego has a dismal 9-27 record in their lst 36 games in St. Louis and they are 20-50 in their last 70 meetings overall. Cardinal righthander Kyle Lohse may be no Jake Peavy but he has an incredible 11-2 record for the Cards this year and is opening up the second half pitching at home (in next year's All Star Game venue) against one of the worst teams in the league. Take the Cards.

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Scott Ferrall

ORIOLES (even odds) over Detroit--Balitmore gets it done at Camden.  Olson over Kenny Rogers to start the second half.  The O's have been good at home and the Tigers stink on the road (8 games under .500)   OVER 8.5 RUNS

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MATT RIVERS

For Thursday take the Mets in Cincinnati.

This is a total bottom of the barrel play, let me make that perfectly clear. With such a small slate and using two quality games as pay plays that leaves me with either the game from Busch or here from Great American. I could not really rationalize going against Jake Peavy or backing his gutless Padres so here we are.

The Reds have issues against lefthanding pitching and today they are up against one of the best in the game in Johan Santana. Don't let the wins and losses fool you as the former Twin hurler is still as good as they come and with the Mets playing some red hot ball of late I will make a tiny play on them here.

Cincinnati certainly is a capable team at home and closed out the first half fairly well. But they feature a ton of lefthanded power which seems to get neutralized by Southpaws and with the confidence the Mets have been exuding why not ride the wave

Johnny Cueto should be tough as the young righty is not that bad at all but I'll take my chances with the visitors led by Reyes, Wright, Beltran, Delgado and others

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MICHAEL CANNON

Take the Mets for the road win tonight over the Reds.

The Mets were the hottest team in baseball before the All-Star break, having won nine straight games.

I dont see them cooling off tonight behind their ace, Johan Santana.

Santana is 8-7 on the year with a 2.84 ERA.  His won-loss record doesnt reflect how well hes pitched lately, however.  The left-hander was 0-4 with a 2.48 ERA in six starts before he won his last outing, a 5-0 win over San Francisco on July 9.

The Reds will counter with rookie Johnny Cueto, who is 7-9 with a 4.67 ERA on the year.  The right-hander was pounded for six runs on eight hits in 4 2-3 innings against the Mets on May 11, an 8-3 loss.

Take the Mets as they stretch their winning streak to 10 games.

2♦ NEW YORK METS

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BOBBY MAXWELL

Today we've got a winner coming on the Mets as they visit Cincinnati to take on the Reds.

The Mets went into the All-Star break on a roll and we expect them to come out of it just as hot. Their bats were on fire and they'd put together a strong nine-game winning streak, including scoring five or more runs in six of the nine wins and giving up three or less in seven of the nine

We'll play them big tonight as Johan Santana (8-7, 2.84 ERA) is on the mound for New York. He's pitched well this season just hasn't always gotten the run support he needs. The Mets are on runs of 6-2 when Santana opens a series, 7-0 agaisnt losing teams and an impressive 46-21 coming back from an off day.

The Reds are starting rookie Johnny Cueto (7-9, 4.67) who lost July 9 against the Cubs, giving up five runs on eight hits in 6.2 innings of a 5-1 loss. He is a mediocre 5-5 in his last 10 starts. Cueto has a 4.08 ERA in 10 home starts and against the Mets on May 11 he allowed six runs on eight hits in 4.2 innings of an 8-3 road loss.

Santana has a 3.01 ERA on the road this season and expect him to come out and get the Mets started off on the right foot for the second half of the season. This is a good team and now that they've got a little success, they'll climb back into the N.L. East race.
Play Santana and New York in this one.

4♦ N.Y. METS

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JIM FEIST

The red hot Mets ended the first half of the season by winning nine straight games and finding themselves just one half game behind Philadelphia for the NL East lead. Johan Santana hasn't pitched like the Mets had hoped he would when they signed him in the off season. He's just 8-7 on the year with a 2.84 era. However, he's been keeping the club in games, evidenced by allowing three earned runs or less in six of his last seven starts. Johnny Cueto starts for the Reds and after a fast start to the season he's cooled off. Cueto has lost four of his last six starts. Can't go against the Mets right now as they are the hottest team in baseball. We expect them to pick up right where they left off the first half of the season.

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DAVE COKIN

The Tigers look poised to make a serious run in the AL Central as they've finally been getting some reasonable pitching. The offense seems healthy enough now, and they get Magglio Ordonez back from the DL tonight as well. Garrett Olson is getting tattooed big time lately, and the punishment should continue here. I'll back Kenny Rogers and the Tigers

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TONY MATHEWS

New York Mets vs. Cincinnati Reds
Selection: New York/Cincinnati Under 8

The New York Mets will use starting pitcher Johan Santana. Johan Santana has pitched well this season. In fact, Johan Santana has a 2.84 ERA on the season. In addition, Johan Santana has a 2.37 ERA in his last 3 starts. We see Johan Santana pitching another great game today.

The Cincinnati Reds will use starting pitcher Johnny Cueto. Johnny Cueto has been pitching well as of late. In fact, Johnny Cueto has a 3.15 ERA in his last 3 starts. We also see Johnny Cueto pitching another great game today.

The bottom line, we see very little scoring happening in today's game.

Take the New York Mets/Cincinnati Reds Under 8

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JOHN FINA

Selection: San Diego/St. Louis Under 7.5

Today we see a low-scoring game as the San Diego Padres do battle with the St. Louis Cardinals. One reason why we see a low-scoring game is because both these teams will be sending to the mound starting pitchers who have been pitching very well as of late. This says it all... The San Diego Padres Starting Pitcher (Jake Peavy) has a 1.35 ERA in his last 3 starts, while St. Louis Cardinals Starting Pitcher (Kyle Lohse) has a 0.86 ERA in his last 3 starts. As you can see, both these teams will be sending to the mound solid starting pitchers. The Under is 10-4-1 in the last 15 meetings between these teams, we expect to see another low-scoring game tonight! Take the San Diego Padres/St. Louis Cardinals Under 7.5

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JB's Computer Picks

Baltimore Orioles -110

St. Louis Cardinals -125

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JEFFERSONSPORTS

EARLY RELEASE FOR THURS

ST. LOUIS+100

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Goodfellasports

CFL
1 BOX- HAMILTION/ CLAGARY UNDER 52

WNBA
1 BOX- NY -7 over WASHINGTON

MLB
2 BOXES- DETRIOT -110 over BALITMORE
1 BOX- NY -150 over CINCY

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