WEDNESDAY SERVICE PLAYS
Re: WEDNESDAY SERVICE PLAYS
My 5* MLB Package Play #1 is the Seattle Mariners over the Boston Red Sox. Last game of a 3 game set here with the Red Sox having won the first two. After this series the Sox will return home to face the Yankees and Angels in what will be two exciting series’. Before that however this afternoon they have to face off against King Felix. Hernandez is having a very solid year thus far posting a 2.95 ERA overall including 109 K’s in 119 innings of work. Over his career he has had good success against the Red Sox posting a 3-1 record in 5 starts with a 3.06 ERA. He should be helped by a Red Sox squad today that just flat out has not been that great on the road this year posting 23-32 overall road record including a 2-10 run their last 12 ball games on the road versus a right-handed starter. On the other side Clay Buchholz will get the start and he has really struggled this year. He has not made a quality start since April 26th and has given up at least 4 runs in four straight starts. His road woes have been the big problem posting a 0-4 mark with an 8.49 ERA in 29.2 innings of work. He has allowed 43 hits and 13 walks during that span and the Red Sox as a team are 0-6 in his 6 road starts on the season. I expect the Mariners to grab the win here this afternoon as the Sox get set to finally travel back home. It is noteworthy that the Mariners are 6-2 in Hernandez’s last 8 starts versus a team with a winning record. I currently have this line at -130. My 5* MLB Package Play #1 is the Seattle Mariners.
My 5* MLB Package Play #2 is the Baltimore Orioles over the Toronto Blue Jays. 3rd game of a 4 game set here with A.J. Burnett taking the hill for the Blue Jays and Jeremy Guthrie for the Orioles. Burnett probably woke up this morning and said to himself no not the Orioles again! He has faced the birds twice this year and gotten absolutely smashed in both outings combining to pitch 9.2 innings and he has given up 16 hits and 15 ER. Burnett overall on the year has been very inconsistent as he just has not been able to put together consistent stretches where he pitches well. I don’t expect that to change against a team that has really smashed the ball against him this season. Even though Burnett has been a bit better on the road this year his team win loss record is actually worse at 4-7. This is due to the Blue Jays inability to score behind him on the road only putting up 3.36 runs per game. Toronto overall on the year have had their road struggles posting a 22-31 mark while on the other side Baltimore has been a very consistent solid home squad posting a 28-19 mark. Guthrie will start for the Orioles and he has been very serviceable this season. He has posted a 3.6 ERA and 1.24 WHIP and has alternated quality starts for now 8 straight appearances, if following the trend today he should be expected to throw a quality start. He has terrific career numbers versus the Jays in 36 innings of work he has posted a2.65 ERA and 0.88 WHIP. That includes two very quality starts this season in which he has combined to pitch 14 innings, 2 ER’s and 8 K’s. Blue Jays should help with their anemic road offense, especially after last night’s outpour of offense. The Jays only hit .255 on the road and only score 3.97 that much lower than their home numbers and much lower than the Orioles at home who hit .278 and score 5.49 runs per game. I expect a solid effort from Guthrie tonight and for the Orioles to once again rough up Burnett. I currently have this line at -110. My 5* MLB Package Play #2 is the Baltimore Orioles.
Re: WEDNESDAY SERVICE PLAYS
The Braves were held to just one hit by Rick VandenHurk and three Florida relievers in last night's 4-0 loss in Miami. The game points out just how far the Braves have fallen since being an 'automatic' playoff team for seemingly forever. However, the Braves fell to 47-53 with last night's loss and the team is well on its way to missing the postseason for the third consecutive year. Meanwhile, the Marlins have bounced back from a 71-91 season in '07. They are 53-47 through 100 games this year and tied with the Mets, just one game behind the first-place Phillies. Even more impressively, the Marlins are plus-$1,519 vs the moneyline, making them MLB's second-biggest "money-makers" Y-T-D! Speaking of the moneyline, the Braves own one of MLB's worst road records (16-33) and no team has lost more money way from home, with the Braves checking in at minus-$1,872 in away games this year. Tim Hudson gets the start for Atlanta and Hudson has not come close to matching the success he had in Oakland with the A's, since coming to the Braves in 2005. Hudson was a star beginning with his rookie year of 1999 in Oakland (went 11-2 that season), going 92-39 (.702) through 2004. However, since coming to Atlanta prior to the 2005 season (including his 10-7 mark this year), he's gone just 53-38 with the Braves, for a winning percentage of only .582. He, like his teammates, has struggled on the road in '08, as he'll take a 2-6 mark in 11 road games into this contest (team is 2-9!) with a 4.15 ERA. Matching up against Hudson will be Florida's Ricky Nolasco. Nolasco has been hit hard in two starts this year by the Braves (10.1 IP / 21 hits / 13 ERs / 11.32 ERA) but prior to that he had gone 1-1 with a 1.99 ERA in his first four starts vs Atlanta. Nolasco lost his last time out to Moyer and the Phils (Moyer is 10-0 in 10 career starts vs the Marlins) but prior to that had gone 8-1 (team was 10-1) in his previous 11 starts. Heading into last Friday's night start vs the Phillies (Nolasco allowed four ERs in seven inngs), he had been 5-0 with a 2.61 ERA in his previous seven starts (Marlins had won all seven!). Given all that and considering Hudson's and the Braves' road struggles in '08, there is NO reason for Atlanta to be favored in this one.
Oddsmaker's Error on the Fla Marlins.
Re: WEDNESDAY SERVICE PLAYS
10* NL GAME of the WEEK: ATLANTA BRAVES
I like the Braves to bounce back here tonight. We told you two nights ago that the Braves would be able to knock off the Marlins in the first game of the series. Tonight we are telling you they will take care of business again after getting 1-hit last night.
It is a nice pitching match-up in Florida, but call us crazy we will still take our chances with Tim Hudson. Tim Hudson has been great this season. His name has gone under the radar all season. A lot has to do with the fact that the Braves have under-achieved for the most part and all the attention has been on Chipper Jones.
Tim Hudson is 10-7 this season with an ERA of 3.31. He just doesn't allow base-runners or runners to run when they do reach base. Only three out of every ten batters even get on base against him. We'll back the BRAVOS in this one tonight.