SATURDAY SERVICE PLAYS

SATURDAY SERVICE PLAYS

Nelly
         
Kansas City + over Tampa Bay

Scott Kazmir has very average numbers away from home with a 4.10 ERA and a losing record. He pitched extremely well in his last start but that game came at home and against a struggling Oakland lineup. Even with seven shutout innings in that game Kazmir has a 4.54 ERA over his last six starts and Tampa Bay has not proven that it can consistently win on the road with a 19-26 record away from Tropicana Field. Kansas City is 18-14 against left-handed starters this season and the Royals play solid ball at home. The Royals have won three straight against the Rays at home going back to last season and Tampa Bay is 4-10 in the last 14 games overall as they have not been playing at the level of their place in the standings. The Rays are hitting just .222 in the last ten games and Kansas City is a better team than most give credit. Luke Hochevar is also a capable starter and he should bounce back from his last outing.

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James Patrick

New York vs. Boston

Yankees have won seven in a row and are 7-2 in Andy Pettite’s road starts. Tim Wakefield is 0-5 against the Pinstripes and our Saturday selection in American League action is New York Yankees.

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Marc Lawrence

Play On: Arizona w/Webb

The Diamondbacks take on the Giants in San Francisco this evening when they send Brandon Webb to the hill against Tim Lincecum in a battle of staff aces. Webb has pitched well away this season as evidenced by his 2.71 ERA this season. In addition, his 46/9 KW ratio in his last eight road efforts is exceptional. He's also 8-3 at night with a 3.14 ERA this season. With Webb 12-2 in his last 14 team starts on Saturdays, look for the Giants to dip to 7-14 on Saturdays here tonight.

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Terron Chapman

Florida Marlins vs. Chicago Cubs   
Play: Florida Marlins   

Rich Harden has shown his value since being traded to the Cubs from the Oakland Athletics. Too bad for the Cubs it has not translated into wins. Harden will once again try for his first win in a Cubs uniform as he and the Cubs continue their four game series with the Marlins Saturday afternoon.

Harden was outstanding in his last start against the D-Backs allowing only a solo home run, but got hit with the loss in the 2-0 defeat. He has allowed just one run in 10 1/3 innings since joining the Cubbies. It will be interesting to see how long he can pitch at such a high level. The Marlins are more than capable of scoring off Harden as this will be the second time they have seen him this season. He allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings in the A's 7-6 win over the Marlins on June 20.

We backed Christopher Volstad in his last start which was a 4-0 home loss to the Atlanta Braves. That was the 21 year-old's first home start and it showed. But we expect him to rebound this afternoon against a Cubs team who is struggling going just 3-5 since the all-star break. The offense has not been there as they have scored just six runs in those losses. They have never faced the right hander who has electric stuff and held the Dodgers to just 5 hits and 1 earned run in 8 2/3 innings in his only road start.

The Marlins are not your typical 2:1 underdog. They have won 11 of the last 12 meetings with the Cubs including five of the last six in Wrigley. They have an offense that leads the majors in home runs and keeps them in the game. The Cubs had major issues in the bullpen with Kerry Wood healthy and with him now on the DL, the pen situation looks even more confusing.Play on the Florida Marlins for 1 unit.

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Jorge Gonzalez

Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies    
Play: Philadelphia Phillies -1.5

ATLANTA (48 - 53) at PHILADELPHIA (54 - 48) Saturday, 7/26/2008 3:55 PM MIKE HAMPTON (L) vs. COLE HAMELS (L) The Phillies will be sending their ace to the mound in Cole Hamels (9-6, 3.11). The Braves are as fortunate as they send a struggling Jo Jo Reyes (3-9, 4.95) to start against the powerful bats of Philadelphia. Reyes has been battered in his last three starts with a record of 0-3 and an ERA 10.12. The Braves have struggled a bit against lefties with a record of 14-20 and are scoring just 3.9 runs per game. The road hasn’t been nice to the Braves either with a record of 17-33 and again is scoring an anemic 3.9 runs per game. The Phillies offense has exploited lefties for an average of 5.2 runs per game. Take the Phillies -1½ Runs.

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Jimmy The Moose

Los Angeles Angels at Baltimore Orioles
Prediction: Los Angeles Angels

The Angels has won 8 of their last 9 games. The Angels are 14-6 in their last 20 road games vs. a team with a losing record. LAA is 13-5 in their last 18 games as a road favorite. The Angels are 16-7 in their last 23 road games. The Angels are 4-0 in Garland's last 4 starts vs. AL East opponents. The Orioles have lost 5 of their last 6 games. In their last 9 as a home dog they are 1-8. Baltimore is 4-13 in the last 17 meetings between the clubs. Play on the Los Angeles Angels -.

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Scott Ferrall

PETTITTE and the YANKEES +105 over Red Sox--Andy's been on fire of late and has been pitching brilliantly.  I say NY gets another one and beats Wakefield in the process

Seattle +135 over Toronto--RA Dickey throws knucklers all day in T-Town and stuns the Jays

Derek Lowe -200 and Dodgers over Nationals--I just think the Nats blow ass and Lowe will make it look easy !

Lincecum and Giants (even odds) over Webb and the Diamondbacks--this is the game of the night and I'm going with the kid at home

Milwaukee -170 over Houston--The Brewers aren't slowing down any time soon !  Bush over Backe here

San Diego (even odds) over Pittsburgh--Banks isn't that bad and has a decent ERA of 3.51--Padres steal one at PNC

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SPORTS ADVISORS

NATIONAL LEAGUE

St. Louis (57-48) at N.Y. Mets (56-47)

The first-place Mets try to stay red hot when they send rookie Brandon Michael Knight (0-0, 0.00 ERA) to the hill for his first big-league start against the Cardinals and veteran Joel Pineiro (3-4, 4.52) at Shea Stadium in New York.

New York has won three straight and 15 of its last 18 to open a two-game lead over the Phillies in the A.L. East race. The Mets scored a 7-2 win Friday in the series opener against the Cardinals and have won eight of the last 12 against St. Louis dating back to last season. They’ve won 10 of their last 11 games at Shea and 10 of their last 13 against right-handed starters.

Since winning four straight after the All-Star break, the Cardinals have now lost five in a row and their last seven against teams with a winning record.

Knight is coming up from Triple-A New Orleans where he was 5-1 in 11 games with a 1.60 ERA. He did have an impressive strikeout-to-walks ratio, fanning 49 while allowing just 10 walks in 39 1/3 innings.

Pineiro has allowed nine runs on 20 hits in his last 11 2/3 innings, including three runs on 10 hits in a 6-3 loss to the Brewers on Monday. The Cardinals have lost seven of his last 10 outings and back on July 2 he gave up four runs on 11 hits in five innings but his offense bailed him out for an 8-7 victory over the Mets.

The under is 19-7-4 in the Cardinals last 30 games against teams with a winning record and 7-0-1 when they are an underdog. The under is also on runs of 11-3-3 in New York’s last 17 games as a favorite and 9-2-2 in its last 13 at home.

The under is 9-4-2 in the last 15 series meetings and 6-0-1 in the last seven matchups at Shea Stadium. 

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


AMERICAN LEAGUE

N.Y. Yankees (54-45) at Boston

The Yankees try to make it eight in a row since the All Star break when they send veteran southpaw Andy Pettitte (11-7, 3.86) to the mound at Fenway Park to face Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (6-7, 3.69).

New York won its seventh in a row Friday behind the pitching of young Joba Chamberlain who blanked Boston 1-0. The Yankees have climbed to within two games of the Red Sox in the A.L. East standings and trail first-place Tampa Bay by three games. New York is 21-8 in its last 29 games against teams with a winning record and 21-8 in its last 29 Saturday games.

DeSpite Friday’s setback, Boston has been dominant at home, going 40-12 dating back to last season and 10-2 in its last 12 against southpaws at Fenway. These two rivals have split 10 meetings this season with the Yankees winning three straight and their last two in Boston.

Pettitte is 2-1 in his last three games with a 2.05 ERA and 6-3 with a 3.69 ERA on the road. He pitched eight strong innings on Sunday, limiting the A’s to one run on four hits of a 2-1 victory, the Yankees’ seventh in his last nine starts. Last time he saw the Red Sox, Pettitte gave up six runs (five earned) on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings of a 7-0 loss. For his career, the lefty is 15-7 with a 3.61 ERA in 30 appearances against Boston.

Wakefield lost to the Angels on Sunday, allowing four runs on six hits in seven innings of a 5-3 loss. It was the first time in 10 outings he allowed more than three earned runs in a start. Back on July 6 he allowed three runs on four hits in 6 1/3 innings of a 5-4 loss to the Yankees and he is just 9-16 with a 5.01 ERA in 46 career outings against New York.

The Yankees are 45-21 when Pettitte pitches against A.L. East rivals and 42-20 when he gets five days of rest, but they are just 3-7 when the veteran is a road ‘dog. On the opposite side, Boston is 41-19 when Wakefield is a favorite and 37-17 when he pitches at Fenway, but just 1-11 in his last 12 against teams with a winning record and 1-8 when he faces A.L. East foes.

With Pettitte on the hill, the under is on runs of 35-16-2 overall, 19-7 when he pitches on the road and 17-5 against the A.L. East. When Wakefield pitches, the over is 13-3-1 in his last 17 as a home favorite and 22-7-1 in his last 30 Saturday starts.

Overall for the Yankees, the under is on streaks of 21-7-2 overall, 7-1 on the highway and 28-11-1 against the A.L. East. For Boston, the under is 8-3-2 in its last 13 home games against teams with a winning record and 5-1 overall.

In this rivalry, the over is on runs of 22-7 at Fenway Park, 4-0 when Pettitte starts in Boston and 6-2 when he faces them anywhere. However the teams have stayed under the total in 11 of 18 Wakefield starts.

ATS ADVANTAGE: N.Y. YANKEES


Chicago White Sox (58-43) at Detroit (52-50)

The White Sox snapped Detroit’s four-game winning streak on Friday and now try to make it two in a row in Detroit when they send lefty John Danks (7-4, 3.03) to the mound at U.S. Cellular Field in Detroit to take on the Tigers’ Justin Verlander (8-9, 3.95).

Chicago got a homer from Jermaine Dye in the ninth inning to come back and beat the Tigers 6-5 Friday and snap a three-game losing streak to Detroit. The White Sox have now won three straight but they are just 4-3 since the All-Star break, 5-11 as an underdog and 2-8 in their last 10 against teams with a winning record.

Even with the loss, Detroit is 20-9 in its last 29 at home and 36-18 as a favorite. The Tigers are 5-3 since the break, 36-18 when they are favored and 46-20 when they face left-handed pitching.

Danks is 2-0 in his last three starts and the lefty is 4-1 on the road with a 1.92 ERA. He got drilled by the Royals on Sunday, allowing six runs on nine hits in four innings of an 8-7 loss, snapping a streak of four straight wins by the White Sox with Danks on the hill. He faced the Tigers three times last season, allowing 11 runs in 17 1/3 innings as Chicago went 2-1.

Verlander seems to have found his form lately, going 3-0 with a 1.99 ERA in his last three starts. He held the Orioles to one run on three hits in 8 2/3 innings of Sunday’s 5-1 victory, the Tigers’ sixth straight with him on the mound. He’s already seen the White Sox three times this season and pitched a gem back on June 11, throwing a complete-game four-hitter as the Tigers won 5-1. But for his career, Verlander is just 2-6 with a 5.45 ERA in 11 starts against Chicago.

Chicago is just 4-9 when Danks gets five days of rest but it is 4-1 when he faces A.L. Central competition. The Tigers are 7-0 with Verlander favored but just 4-12 when he faces A.L. Central rivals.

The under is on runs of 8-2 with Danks on the road, 7-2 when he’s an underdog and 13-5 in his last 18 overall. For the Tigers, the over is 19-9-1 with Verlander as a home favorite but the under is 6-1 in his last seven against A.L. Central teams. Detroit has topped the total in 16 of 26 home games against southpaws and the over is 18-5 when the White Sox face A.L. Central teams, however the under is 46-22 with Chicago as a ‘dog and 36-16 when they are a road ‘dog.

In this rivalry, the under is 40-18-3 in the last 61 meetings in Detroit and 8-2 when Verlander goes against the White Sox.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER

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Karl Garrett

San Diego at PITTSBURGH 

How can I not like another OVER in the Padres-Pirates game?

Last night the teams once again hit the OVER column, as the Padres are now on a 5-2-1 OVER clip their last 8 games, while the Pirates are on a 4-1-1 OVER run their last 6 games.

Expect the hitters to come through once again, as both starting pitchers don't figure to be around too long in this game.

Banks is just 1-4 for the Padres this year, and his last 3 starts show 11 runs allowed in his last 17 innings of work, while VanBenschoten counters with an 0-1 mark over 3 starts, and an ERA near 10.

Yes, the hitters will have their way tonight for sure.

Play on the OVER.

3♦ OVER

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Bobby Maxwell

N.Y. Yankees +105 at BOSTON 

The hottest team since the All-Star break has been the Yankees as they've won seven in a row and today they'll make it eight in a row as they send Andy Pettitte (11-7, 3.86 ERA) to the hill at Fenway Park.

New York shut out the Red Sox 1-0 on Friday and the Yankees have climbed to within two games Boston and now trail first-place Tampa Bay by three games. New York is 21-8 in its last 29 games against teams with a winning record and 21-8 on Saturdays.

Pettitte is 2-1 in his last three games with a 2.05 ERA and he's 6-3 with a 3.69 ERA on the highway. He went eight innings against the A's on Sunday and beat Oakland 2-1, the seventh New York win in his last nine starts. In his career, Pettitte is 15-7 with a 3.61 ERA in 30 appearances against Boston.

Tim Wakefield (6-7, 3.69) goes for the Red Sox and he is 9-16 with a 5.01 ERA in 46 career outings against the Yankees. On Sunday he gave up four runs in seven innings and lost to the Angels 5-3.

New York is 45-21 when Pettitte faces A.L. East competition and 42-20 when he gets a full five days of rest. Meanwhile the Red Sox are just 1-11 when Wakefield faces a team with a winning record and 1-8 in his last nine against A.L. East rivals.

The Yankees are hammering the ball right now and count of them doing plenty of damage against the knuckleballer today. Play New York to win its eighth straight.

2♦ N.Y. YANKEES

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Sports Gambling Hotline

White Sox at DETROIT

Tonight in Detroit, expect a ton of goose eggs on the Comerica scoreboard, as two of the games hotter hurlers take the mound.

Chicago starter John Danks is coming off a poor effort at home against the Royals, but those poor starts have been few-and-far-between on the road this season, as Danks is a nice 4-1 on the road this year, and sports a road ERA of 1.92 for the season.

His counterpart Justin Verlander has been on fire, allowing 2 runs or less in ALL 5 of his last 5 starts, while throwing an impressive 33-plus innings of work.

Verlander's last start against the Pale Hose was a complete game 4-hitter in which he allowed just 1 run in notching the victory.

13 of Danks' 19 starts this season have played UNDER the total, while 11 of Verlander's 18 starts this season have played LOW.

Just not a lot of offense in the cards this evening.

Play on the UNDER in the Chicago-Detroit divisional battle tonight.

2♦ UNDER

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Steve Merril

Chicago White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers    
Play: Chicago +1½   

The White Sox scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning last night for an impressive 6-5 win and they should carry that momentum into tonight’s game. My pitcher performance ratings also predict a solid outing by Chicago’s John Danks. Danks is coming off a rare bad performance last Sunday when he allowed 6 runs and 9 hits in just 4 innings versus Kansas City. Despite that bad outing, he still has a solid 3.03 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in his 20 starts with a 97-33 strikeout/walk ratio, including an incredible 1.92 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in his 9 road starts with a 6-3 team record and a 47-13 K/BB ratio. Danks has also shown the ability to bounce-back after a bad start. In fact, after his worst start of the season on April 9th when he allowed 7 runs, he then pitched back-to-back games without allowing a single run. The +1½ run-line provides extra value and protection in this game as it should be a fairly low-scoring game as both teams have quality starting pitchers on the mound tonight.

Play WHITE SOX +1½

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Greg Daraban

Chicago WS at Detroit

The Sox lead the division, because of solid pitching.Danks is 7-4 and is very capable of dropping the hammer on the Tigers hitters.

Take Chicago WS

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Robert Ross

Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers
Prediction: Detroit Tigers

Tigers, at home, ought to rebound off last night's one-run loss. DETROIT is 19-9 against the money line vs. a very good bullpen whose ERA is 3.33 or better over the last 2 seasons and 10-2 against the money line vs. poor defensive catchers - allowing 0.85 + SB's/game this season. Take Detroit!

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Ross Benjamin

Colorado @ Cincinnati
Pick:Over 10.0

These two teams are both capable of putting up a lot of runs in this hitter friendly ballpark. Especially in light of the two starting pitchers. In 3 starts at home this season Homer Bailey has posted a very lofty 9.49 ERA and given up 6 home runs in just 12.1 innings. In 5 road starts this season the Colorado starter DeLarosa has posted a terrible 8.01 ERA. The Rockies entered the weekend hitting a robust .310 as a team over their last 10 games. The Reds entered the weekend hitting .309 as a team over the last 10 games versus left-handed pitcher. Play on Over.

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Pupsnchalk Sports

Florida Marlins vs. Chicago Cubs    
Play: Florida Marlins   

Rich Harden has shown his value since being traded to the Cubs from the Oakland Athletics. Too bad for the Cubs it has not translated into wins. Harden will once again try for his first win in a Cubs uniform as he and the Cubs continue their four game series with the Marlins Saturday afternoon.

Harden was outstanding in his last start against the D-Backs allowing only a solo home run, but got hit with the loss in the 2-0 defeat. He has allowed just one run in 10 1/3 innings since joining the Cubbies. It will be interesting to see how long he can pitch at such a high level. The Marlins are more than capable of scoring off Harden as this will be the second time they have seen him this season. He allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings in the A's 7-6 win over the Marlins on June 20.

We backed Christopher Volstad in his last start which was a 4-0 home loss to the Atlanta Braves. That was the 21 year-old's first home start and it showed. But we expect him to rebound this afternoon against a Cubs team who is struggling going just 3-5 since the all-star break. The offense has not been there as they have scored just six runs in those losses. They have never faced the right hander who has electric stuff and held the Dodgers to just 5 hits and 1 earned run in 8 2/3 innings in his only road start.

The Marlins are not your typical 2:1 underdog. They have won 11 of the last 12 meetings with the Cubs including five of the last six in Wrigley. They have an offense that leads the majors in home runs and keeps them in the game. The Cubs had major issues in the bullpen with Kerry Wood healthy and with him now on the DL, the pen situation looks even more confusing.Play on the Florida Marlins for 1 unit.

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Vegas Wise

Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies     
Play: Philadelphia Phillies -1½

The Phillies will be sending their ace to the mound in Cole Hamels (9-6, 3.11). The Braves are as fortunate as they send a struggling Jo Jo Reyes (3-9, 4.95) to start against the powerful bats of Philadelphia. Reyes has been battered in his last three starts with a record of 0-3 and an ERA 10.12. The Braves have struggled a bit against lefties with a record of 14-20 and are scoring just 3.9 runs per game. The road hasn’t been nice to the Braves either with a record of 17-33 and again is scoring an anemic 3.9 runs per game. The Phillies offense has exploited lefties for an average of 5.2 runs per game. Take the Phillies -1½ Runs.

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Jeff Scott Sports

2 UNIT PLAY

NY Yanks/ Boston Under 9

The Under is 14-2 in Yankees last 16 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600 and 17-5 in Pettittes last 22 starts vs. American League East, while the Under is 40-19-7 in Wakefields last 66 starts vs. American League East and 17-6-4 in Wakefields last 27 starts vs. a team with a winning record. Andy Pettite has been an Under machine thie year as 17 of his 21 starts have all gone under the total, including 9 out of 10 of his road starts. Andy has a 3.86 ERA overall, with his starts averaging just 8.3, plus he has a 3.69 ERA on the road, with those starts averaging 7.3 rpg. Andy also come in with a 2.05 ERA in his last 3 starts, with those games averaging just 4.3 rpg, while each of his last 8 starts have scored 8 runs or less, with those games averaging just 5.4 rpg. Tim Wakefield has had a nice year with a 3.69 ERA overall including a 3.05 ERA at home. His home games have scored over 10 rpg, but that is due to the fact that the Sox give him 7 rpg at home. They won't do that vs Pettite today. The Boston offense has been sputtering of late, as they come in averaging just 3 rpg in their last 8 games and they score 4.8 rpg within their division. The NY offense has been better, but they really struggle in day games, scoring 4.2 rpg and they only score 4.3 rpg on the road, plus 3.9 rpg in division games. The Under is 25-8 in Yankee day games and 27-12 in their division games and with a solid pitching matchup on the mound, i see both trends continuing here. 


1 UNIT PLAY

CHICAGO RL over Florida

The Marlins stole one from the Cubs today, but they will get their payback today. The Cubs are awesome at home this year, going 38-12 and outscoring opponents by 2.2 rpg. In the Cubs 38 home wins they have won 30 of them by 2 runs or more and have out scored their opponents by 3.9 rpg in the 38 wins. The Cubs are also 6-1 at home vs the NL East and have outscored those opponents by 3.3 rpg. On the year the Cubs score 6.3 rpg at home, plus they score 5.3 rpg in day games. Chris Volstad has had a nice start to his career, going 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 2 starts, but facing the Cubs offense in their ball park is alot different than facing Atlanta's or the Dodgers offenses. The Florida offense has scored just 1.5 rpg for Chris in his 2 starts, plus they limp in with a 3.2 rpg scoring average in their last 9 games. Rich Harden comes in with an 0-1 mark and a 0.73 ERA in his 2 starts with the Cubs, while he is 5-2 with a 2.12 ERA overall. In his overall home starts this year he is 3-0 with a 1.61 ERA. Last time out for Rich at home he left the game in the 6th with a 7-0 lead, but the Cubs bullpen wasn't able to hold the lead as they allowed SF to tie the game at 7, before getting the final run in the 8th. Rich will have another strong home outing, while the offense will turn it up and give him another good lead. This time the pen won't blow it for him. Cubs win easily.

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Jim Feist

ANGELS / ORIOLES UNDER

The first place Angels send Jon Garland to the mound on Saturday and he's had a fine year for the halos. Garland is 8-6 overall with a 4.12 era. Moreover, on the road, Garland is 5-2 with a 4.17 era. Garland is coming off a fine winning performance over the Red Sox, where he went 6 2/3 innings and allowed just two earned runs. Radhames Liz has a nice 4-2 mark on the year and if he can keep the ball in the strike zone, he should be able to keep this game close. We'll take the under here on Saturday and look for Garland and Liz to take a close game to their fine respective pens and keep the game UNDER

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Dave Cokin

ST LOUIS CARDINALS

This is the stuff movies are made from. Brandon Knight is making an emergency start for the Mets, and that in itself is almost incomprehensible. Knight had a couple of cups of coffee with the Yankees back in '01-02. He was out of organized ball from '03-06 except for a very brief and unsuccessful stint in Japan. He pitched for the Somerset Patriots in Indy ball last season. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, he resurfaced at AAA with New Orleans, where he's been lights out of late for the Zephyrs. Knight actually had been named to to the Olympic team, but he'll instead now be getting his chance with the Mets in the heat of a pennant race. Unbelievable story! The sentimentalist in me wants Knight to do a great job here. But the reality is he's never shown anything resembling big league stuff, and I have to think the value play is to take the price with the Cardinals

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