Monday Service Plays
Re: Monday Service Plays
Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers
Seattle has the worst scoring offense in the A.L. with 405 runs scored. Starting for Seattle is right-hander Hernandez who is 3-3 on the road this season with a 2.24 ERA. Over his last three starts he is 1-1 with a 3.71 ERA. He faced the Ranger's twice this season going 0-2 , pitching 18.0 inning's with an ERA of just 3.00. In his 19 overall starts he has 5 OVER's,13 UNDER's,and 1 PUSH . Texas has right-hander Feldman pitching today. He is 1-0 at home with a 4.44 ERA. In his only outing against Seattle this year he is 0-0 in 7.0 innings pitched with an ERA of 1.29.In his 15 starts ,he has 3 OVER's and 12 UNDER's.
Re: Monday Service Plays
2-Unit Play. Take Boston (-160) over Los Angeles Angels
The Angels pulled out the broom on the Left Coast last week but something tells me that won't be happening in Fenway. The Red Sox are the favorites on the books, but in their hearts and in the view of that city they will be entering this game as underdogs. That's a dangerous spot for L.A. to be in. The Angels will get one in this series. I just don't think it's this one. Boston is 20-6 in Dice K's last 26 starts and 19-5 in his last 24 home outings.
1-Unit Play. Take Texas (-105) over Seattle
King Felix is 2-4 with an ERA around 6.00 in his starts at Texas and Seattle is 4-9 when he starts against the Rangers. Texas is 13-6 in their last 19 divisional games and 36-16 against a right-handed starter so I can see them keeping it rolling today. Overall, Seattle is 16-39 in the last 55 meetings.
1-Unit Play. Take New York Mets (-115) over Florida
The Mets have won 12 of 14 in Florida, have had their way with Ricky Nolasco, and John Maine has won four straight starts against the Fish. I think Florida could have used a day off after their grinding series with the Cubs, so I look for the red-hot Mets to steal Game 1.
1-Unit Play. Take Los Angeles Dodgers (-1.5, +110) over San Francisco
This is a rivalry series and there is no question who is playing the better ball here. Every year it seems like the Dodgers are one of those teams that makes a 13 of 15 run. I think they could be in the early stages of such a run right here.
1-Unit Play. Take Houston (-135) over Cincinnati
Welcome back Roy Oswalt. Ho3pefully he can be as sharp as Jake Peavy was after some time off. Have to play Oswalt here considering he is 19-1 in his career against the Reds. Oh, and for good measure he's 48-18 in his last 66 home starts.
I have leans on Toronto (-105), Oakland (-120), Arizona (+105), Milwaukee (-165), Pittsburgh (+110) and Minnesota (-110). I have some really good systems on the Toronto, Pittsburgh, and Milwaukee series, but I don't want to expose ourselves that much no Monday.
Re: Monday Service Plays
Players of America
Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees
The Play: New York Yankees -150.0
Star Value: 1* (10 Units)
Ba-da-bing! A routine 2-0 night with ease last night as the BoSox put it to the Yanks all night long in a convincing 3* victory and the Angels and Orioles kept things low scoring to cash in our 1* under selection. As for Monday, Vegas has thrown a lot of fishy lines our way along with a ton of "coin flip" type games. We've got a few to key in on for the night...
Our first event takes place in New York tonight on a team we bet against last night for a big winner. The Yankees head back home to host the visiting Orioles. We gave credit where credit was due last night with this whole New York joyride, and now is the perfect time to capitalize on them at a decent price. After a big loss, these guys are going to bounce back knowing they have got to keep winning games to even think about playing in October. The O's on the other handed just handed a convincing loss to the division leading Angels and are flying sort of high for the time being.
Mr. Mike Mussina is the scheduled starter for New York Monday night. Mike comes in with some very solid figures at 13-6 overall with a WHIP of 1.21 and an ERA of 3.25. In his last three appearances, Mussina has racked up a 2-0 record going 20 strong innings and boasting an ERA of less than 1.35. A-Rod seemed healthy and ready go to last night despite putting on a poor offensive performance. New York is looking to even up the season series with Baltimore tonight at 5-5 and it's the perfect spot for it. The last time Mussina faced this Orioles squad he got a little ruffed up in a 12-2 loss, so redemption is the key word here. Anyone who follows sports knows how solid the Yankees have been playing as of late, and they need to continue to do so and put the hype out of their head and start thinking about their post season chances. In their last three games, the Yankee's bullpen has an averaged ERA of 1.90 and a WHIP 1.10. At 8-2 in their last 11, the Yankees are looking solid all around. We knew it was going to be a dog fight sweeping the rival Red Sox and that is exactly why we took advantage of the situation yesterday. Looking to do the same Monday.
For Baltimore, the right hander Jeremy Guthrie is starting on the dirt. The kid comes in with a sub par 6-8 record on the year with an ERA rising towards 4.00. Jeremy is 1-1 his last three starts and has only been averaging about 5-6 innings per contest. That means the O's bullpen is getting busy early...not a thing you want to do against the Yankees. These guys are the hottest team in baseball and mental mistakes and lack of concentration is sure to bite you in the behind this time of year. Baltimore is relatively healthy all the way around with the exception of stud third baseman Melvin Mora. Mora is listed as questionable Monday as he is dealing with a knee injury. Second baseman Alex Cintron joins Mora on the DL with a strained left hamstring. Guthrie faced the Yanks on May 28 and was handed the loss in a 4-2 struggle at Camden Yards.
Returning home to keep the train rolling for New York is vital. These guys know where they stand and they know what they have to do. Choke ups like this one aren't in the forte of an organization like this and that is why their going to get things done. With the line dropping in NY backer's favor, we're biting on this one and laying some more chalk. 10 units for a 1* wager on the Yankees as they take care of Baltimore Monday.
TRENDS OF THE GAME:
- The Yankees are 10-1 in their last 11 home games.
- The Yankees are 8-1 in their last 9 overall.
New York 8, Baltimore 4
Cincinnati Reds vs. Houston Astros
The Play: Cincinnati Reds +130.0
Star Value: 1* (10 Units)
Our next release is set to take place in Houston as the visiting Cincinnati Reds come off a day of rest to visit the Astros. Houston comes into this game 8 games shy of the .500 mark while the Reds 6 games under.
This is going to be a nice little ball game on Monday, one to watch. The Reds rotation swings back to the young right hander Johnny Cueto tonight. Cueto is better than his record shows at 7-9. As a matter of fact, both of these pitchers on Monday are better than their records show. We're looking for Johnny to come in with a head of steam Monday. The kid is a competitor and out there making a name for himself regardless of his record. These two have only met twice this season and Cueto happen to get one of the Reds two losses against the Astros. The Reds aren't getting swept by these guys all season long. They are young and have some firepower. These guys might not be in the hunt for anything this season, but they play together and they play hard...about all you can ask for in late July.
The infamous Roy Oswalt is going to be throwing the balls and strikes for Houston and he too comes in at just 7-9 on the year. His ERA is similar to Cueto's near 4.50. Both have similar statistics all the way around. Here is the thing....Roy is coming off the DL tonight and making his first appearance since his hip injury on July 19. Some may think this is a good game to come off, we don't. When pitchers come off the disabled list they do one of two things...they throw a flat out gem or they get shelled like a peanut. Well, Roy hasn't shined like a gem all season long so we're going with the second option.
Both of these teams have capable offenses, the Reds a bit more. This is going to be a well played ball game on Monday night but the Reds are looking for a win after dropping a few straight. We like the price and the set up for Cin-City here and that's why were laying 10 units for a 1* bet on Dusty Baker and company.
TREND OF THE GAME:
- The Astro's are 2-8 in Oswalt's last 10 starts on grass.
Cincinnati 6, Houston 3
Los Angeles Angels vs. Boston Red Sox
The Play: Under 9.0
Star Value: 1* (10 Units)
Our last one of the night is a star-studded match up between the Angels and the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Anaheim comes in losing their last outing to Baltimore while the Red Sox are coming off a big time victory over the foe's from New York.
This looks like a sucker line from those guys in Nevada tonight, but we think we're all over it. Two very solid pitchers come to battle tonight. Jered Weaver is starting for the Angels and Dice-K for the Red Sox. Weaver has kept games under the total this year 12 times already and Matsuzaka 10. Daisuke comes in with a remarkable ERA of 2.63 but facing the bats of this Anaheim team will be no simple task. Both bullpens ERA are solid all year long and both teams have some hard hitting lumber, but something has to give. This is looking to be a very low scoring, defensive battle more than an all out shootout like most might be thinking. The total between these two teams is split down the middle on the year, three overs and three unders so there is no worthy trend setting or anything like that. Anaheim loves playing a low scoring, defensive battle with any team and Boston can counter that type of game play.
With the above being said, this line seems a bit too high for these two tonight. Boston's bats lit up last night but won't stay that hot tonight. The Angels look to get back on track and we think they do so in a low scoring affair at Fenway Monday night. 1* rating for 10 units on the UNDER in Boston at 7:05PM EST.
TRENDS OF THE GAME:
- The UNDER is 26-11-2 in the Angel's last 39 road games.
- The UNDER is 23-9-3 in the Red Sox last 35 Monday games.
Anaheim 3, Boston 2
Re: Monday Service Plays
Nick "BookieKiller" Parsons
BOS (-140) vs ANA
This is a big revenge series for the Red Sox as they were swept by the Angels in Anaheim in their first series right after the All Star Break. Even though Los Angeles has the best road record in baseball, they also are coming off of a loss Sunday and their facing a Boston club that snapped out of their two game funk against the Yankees by blasting them 9-2 on Sunday. Los Angeles also is at a big pitching disadvantage here. Overall, Jered Weaver is a solid hurler and he has some decent numbers this season. However, note that he left his last start with a knot in his throwing shoulder. That is not a good sign of things to come. This is especially true now that Weaver is facing a Red Sox team that he is winless against in five outings and against whom hes compiled a 5.46 ERA. The Boston lineup also has been strengthened by the return of David Ortiz plus Manny Ramirez is back after having to sit out for a couple of games. Ramirez is simply crushing the ball right now as hes hitting .458 in his last 13 games. Also, Ramirez is hitting .455 against Angels pitching this season. Look for Ramirez to lead the way tonight as the Red Sox should hit the Angels pitching much better at Fenway Park than they did at Angels Stadium. Unlike the Sox, the Angels should struggle at the plate tonight. Daisuke Matsuzaka is 11-1 with a 2.63 ERA this season. However, that is not even the most impressive stat right now. Note that Matsuzaka is 3-0 with an 0.88 ERA in his last five starts. Also, this will be the first time the Angels have ever faced him in the regular season. That is a definite advantage to the hurler. Even though he struggled against the Angels last season in a postseason start against them, note that he was worn down and not the same pitcher that he had been during the regular season. That said, Matsuzaka is currently throwing as well as he has ever thrown in his MLB career. He will dominate tonight and the Red Sox lineup will give him plenty of run support against an ailing Weaver. That will lead to a big revenging home win and thats why, coupled with a very fair price on the Red Sox set by the odds maker here, this one gets raised to BookieKiller status! Best of luck Nick The BookieKiller Parsons
HOU / CIN Under 9
The Reds just wrapped up a three game series at home against the Rockies where they were swept and scored just three runs. After that miserable performance they certainly cant be expected to go on the road and enjoy much success at Minute Maid Park against the Astros and Roy Oswalt! Note that since late May Oswalts ERA has dropped by more than run! So, his full season numbers are not all that impressive but Oswalt is truly throwing much better now than he was earlier this season! Note that Oswalts last start before the All Star Break was cut short due to an injury and he only pitched one inning. However, he is absolutely ready to go here and he had allowed three earned runs or less in each of his prior seven starts. Also, Oswalt had struck out 40 in his last 33 innings of work and he is an unbelievable 19-1 against Cincinnati in his career with a 2.46 ERA and the Reds have hit just .227 against him at home! The key to the under here rather than a play on the Astros is that the Reds have a pretty solid starter of their own going tonight. Johnny Cueto has a fairly high 4.90 ERA on the season but note that hes only been hit at a .257 clip on the year. The fact is that the rookie right-hander has had his full season stats impacted by just a few bad outings. Overall, the young hurler has been rock solid this season as hes allowed three earned runs or less in 14 of his 21 starts this season! Also, even though Cueto allowed five earned runs in his only start against the Astros this season, note that he only gave up eight hits in those seven innings of work. As noted above, that was one of the few outings this season where Cueto has been reached for more than three earned runs. This guy is solid and hes facing an Astros club whose bats have not been making a lot of noise lately. Prior to scoring 11 runs in yesterdays game, the Astros had scored just 25 runs in their first eight games after the All Star Break. Indeed this one has all the makings of a pitchers duel
Tigers / Indians Over 10½
This opened up as the highest total on the entire board for Monday and the big number was absolutely justified here. Even though Kenny Rogers of the Tigers and Paul Byrd of the Indians have each proven capable of putting together occasional solid starts there is a reason they have an average ERA of 4.88 between them. The fact is that each of these guys has been way too inconsistent this season and here we get some value by essentially (with the use of this over) going against both of them. Rogers just held Kansas City to one earned run and four hits in six solid innings in his last start. However, prior to this outing Rogers had allowed 19 earned runs on 43 hits in his last 32 innings of work. As you can see, the southpaw certainly hadnt been faring too well in recent starts. Byrd of Cleveland has had similar issues. He allowed just one earned run in 5.3 innings against the Angels (but note the nine hits). Also, prior to this start, the Indians right-hander had given up 27 earned runs on 45 hits in his last 31.3 innings of work. Those are some really horrific numbers and neither one of these starters is likely to get much help from their bullpens tonight. The Tigers bullpen has both injury and performance issues while the Cleveland pen has been a disaster and they no longer have a true closer. Add it all up and there are plenty of reasons to take the over in this one. Its not as if you needed any more ammo for the over but note that the Tigers have averaged 7.5 runs per game in their ten games since the All Star Break. This one has slugfest written all over it!
Re: Monday Service Plays
Cincinnati @ Houston
Play: 1* Houston -135
Cincinnati is scoring only 4.1 runs per game against right handed starters this year. Cueto is 2-6 with a 5.48 ERA on the road this season and 0-1 with a 6.50 ERA his last 3 starts. Oswalt has a 2.57 ERA his last 3 starts. Cueto is 0-1 with a 6.43 ERA overall vs Houston since 1997. Oswalt is an amazing 18-1 with a 2.55 ERA overall vs Cincinnati since 1997. We'll recommend a small play on Houston tonight!
Re: Monday Service Plays
Wizard of Odds Guaranteed Selections
TOP RATED BASEBALL PLAY OF THE DAY
LA Dodgers w/Kuroda -185
William Kidd Guaranteed Selections
QUADRUPLE DIME BASEBALL CRUSHER
NY YANKEES with Mussina -158
Rocco Vincintore Guaranteed Selections
10,000* BASEBALL GAME OF THE YEAR
NY YANKEES with Mussina -156
Insiders Sports Network Guaranteed Selections
INSIDERS NETWORK NL GAME OF THE MONTH
Houston w/Oswalt -135
Jimmy Thompson Guaranteed Selections
Total of the Week!!!
Baltimore/New York over 8.5 at 7:05 est
Re: Monday Service Plays
LAA Angels vs. Boston Red Sox Premium Play
Ai Simulator 5* graded play on Anaheim – Best road team in baseball comes to beantown, where the situation is quite precarious indeed. Many is not happy and despite their win last night against the Yankees they have severe chemistry problems on this team. For example, Manny ran right through a sop sign issued by the 3B coach – was fortunate enough to score – and HC Fraconia did not even issue a statement to him regarding that lack of discipline when entering the dug out. Instead he received a high five. That is just not a good thing to have on any team at any level. Supporting this graded play is a system that has produced a record of 77-59 making 46.6 units since 2002. Play against all favorites with a money line of -125 to -175 with a starting pitcher whose winning percentage is better than 70% and is also a hot starting pitcher sporting an ERA less than 2.50 over his last 3 starts. Boston is 0-8 (-8.8 Units) against the money line versus AL teams allowing 4.2 or less runs/game in the second half of the season this season. Take Anaheim.
Detroit Tigers vs. Cleveland Indians Premium Play
Ai Simulator 5* graded play on Cleveland. Supporting this graded play is a system that has produced a record of 96-53 making 45.2 units since 2002 for 65%. Play on AL home teams that are below average hitting teams hitting <=.265 and are now facing a decent starting pitcher sporting an ERA=4.20 to 4.70 in the second half of the season. Here is a second system that has gone 36-23 making 23.3 units since 2002 with the average play a +128.5 DOG. Play against AL road favorites with a money line of -110 or higher with a starting pitcher whose ERA is 4.20 to 4.70 on the season and has a good defensive catcher allowing 0.5 or less SB's/game on the season. Cleveland may not have a winning record, but it is certainly not because of their fielding performance. Note that Detroit is just 10-20 (-11.0 Units) against the money line in road games versus excellent fielding teams averaging <=0.5 errors/game this season. Cleveland in a highly profitable role noting that they are 21-11 making 12.5 units in profits over the past 3 seasons when installed as a home dog of +100 to +125. Take the Indians.
Colorado Rockies vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Premium Play
Ai Simulator 5* graded play on Pittsburgh Pirates. Supporting this graded play is a system that has produced a record of 70-21 for 77% making 47.9 units since 1997. Play against NL road teams when the money line is +125 to -125 with a bad bullpen that blows 38% or more of their save opportunities and is now facing an opponent with a starting pitcher whose WHIP is 1.750 or worse on the season. Here is a second system that has gone 58-31 for 65% making 28.4 units since 1997. Play on home teams when the money line is +125 to -125 with a starting pitcher with poor control allowing more than 2.75 BB's/start and is cold sporting an ERA >= 6.50 over his last 10 starts. Colorado is in a terrible role to continue their winning ways noting that they are 1-15 (-14.0 Units) against the money line in road games versus NL teams scoring 4.8 or more runs/game on the season this season. Jason Hirsh will make his MLN debut tonight, but based on published reports is he truly ready for this assignment or does it reflect the desperate condition fo the Rockies and their starting rotation. I thin the latter, and I fully expect Hirsh to get hit around. Hirsh, who suffered a rotator cuff strain during Spring Training, pitched seven innings and gave up five runs in his last Triple-A start. Most alarming is that he has been working on command and arm strength. I am not in the least concerned that the pirates have not determined who their closer will be – it won’t be necessary based on the AiS projections. Take the Pirates.
Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Play: Milwaukee Brewers
Ai Simulator 3* graded play on Milwaukee. Milwaukee , at the present time, has the better hitting offense and the better bullpen. The Brewers are on a mission and it being led by a power offense that has 137 HR on the season and also has a bullpen that has posted a 1.89 ERA over their last 7 games. By the way, the hottest pitcher in the majors, CC Sabathia, is on the hill for them tonight. He has recorded three straight complete games and recorded 26 K’s. Cubs are not good at all against power pitchers noting that they are just 3-12 (-8.9 Units) against the money line in road games versus a starting pitcher whose strikes out 5 or more batters per start this season. Milwaukee in a strong role posting a 16-7 (+9.3 Units) against the money line vs. NL teams scoring 4.8 or more runs/game on the season this season.
Re: Monday Service Plays
The Rays owned MLB's best record, as well as a five-game lead over the Red Sox in the AL East as the team began the final week before the All Star break. However, the Rays lost all seven games from July 7-13. They returned from the break to go 6-4 since and open this three-game series at Toronto with a one game lead over Boston and just a three-game lead over the hard-charging NY Yankees. The Tampa bats have gone 'quiet' during the team's 6-11 slide (since July 7), scoring a total of just 43 runs (that's 2.5 RPG!). Tampa is just 2-8 on the road during its recent slump, averaging a pathetic 2.2 RPG. James Shields will get the start tonight and he's beaten Toronto twice already this year and is 4-0 with a 2.41 in five career starts vs them (team is 5-0). Shields comes in with a 9-6 mark and a 3.66 ERA on the season, after going 5-1 with a 3.02 ERA in his last six starts. However, one still must be concerned with his overall record on the road this year. Shields has allowed just 63 hits over 87.1 innings at home (with a 2.16 ERA) with the Rays going 11-1. Contrast that to Tampa's 3-6 mark his in nine road starts, with Shields allowing 66 hits in 50.1 innings with a 6.26 ERA. The Blue Jays will send AJ Burnett to the mound. Burnett has a 'live' arm but all in all remains an underachiever in his career. However, he certainly is pitching well lately. On the Sunday before the All Star break (July 13), he faced the Yankees on just three days rest for the first time in his career. He went 8.1 innings in that game, allowing six hits and just one ER (eight Ks) in a 4-1 win. In his two starts since the break, he's allowed just three ERs over 12 innings with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 13-3. Doing the math of his last three outings reveal that Burnett's allowed just four ERs in 20.1 innings (1.77 ERA), with 21 Ks and only four walks. Despite a home ERA of 5.43 on the year, the Blue Jays are 7-3 in Burnett's home starts this season and in keeping with his excellent current form, Burnett has won five straight home starts, allowing two runs or less in four of them! With Tampa's recent struggles to score (especially on the road), Shields' season-long road woes and Burnett's strong current form, the Blue Jays are VASTLY under-priced in this game.
Oddsmaker's Error on the Tor Blue Jays.
15* Pitching Mismatch GOW
The Red Sox avoided getting swept at home by the Yankees last night, winning 9-2. The win moved the defending champs to one game behind the Rays in the AL East, two games ahead of the third-place Yanks. Boston welcomes the Angels to town tonight for the first game of a three-game series. Boston will well-remember losing all three games in Anaheim coming back from the recent All Star break (July 18-20), when the team was able to score just nine runs. The Angels come to town with the best record in MLB ((64-40), its best road record (33-19) and the biggest division lead (by far!) of any team (lead the Rangers by 10 1/2 games in the AL West). While the Angels own a 33-19 road mark, winning at Fenway never comes easy. Despite losing two of three to the Yanks over the past weekend, the Red Sox are a dominating 37-13 at home in '08, outscoring opponents by an average of 5.72-to-3.76 RPG! Jered Weaver (8-8 with a 4.08 ERA) will get the start for the Angels and as I've pointed out many times, he's been in a decline since his terrific rookie season. Weaver was 11-2 with a 2.56 ERA in '06, allowing just 94 hits in 123 innings. He followed that season by going 13-7 with a 3.91 ERA (that's almost 1 1/2 runs higher!) last year, while allowing more hits (178) than IP (161). He got off to a poor start this year and despite better recent outings, still checks in with that 8-8 mark (ERA is now up to 4.08), allowing 116 hits in 119 innings. Weaver left his last start (July 22 at home vs Cleveland) after just three innings (three hits / two ERs) with a knot in his throwing shoulder but is said to OK here (who really knows?). When completely healthy, he's had NO luck vs Boston in his short career, going 0-2 with a 5.46 ERA against them in five career starts. In his lone start against him this year (at Fenway on April 22), he got a no decision in a 7-6 Boston win, allowing 10 hits and five ERs over just five innings. That does not bode well vs a Boston team which is 28-10 at home vs right-handers this season. Opposing Weaver will be Daisuke Matsuzaka. What a difference a year makes. Matsuzaka was 15-12 last year with a 4.40 ERA in 32 starts. Boston was just 17-15 in those starts (minus-$661). He'll enter this game 11-1 with a 2.63 ERA in 17 starts, with Boston going 14-3 (plus-$829). He's allowed only 70 hits in 95.2 innings and the Red Sox are 8-1 in his nine home starts in '08. Dice K was on the DL for about a month this year and returned to face the Cardinals June 21. He only got three outs in that game (allowed six hits, three walks and seven ERs) but in his five starts since, has allowed only 19 hits and just three ERs over 30.2 innings (0.88 ERA)!
Pitching Mismatch of the Week 15* Bos Red Sox.
Las Vegas Insider
Roy Oswalt has been one of MLB's best pitchers since going 14-3 in his rookie year of 2001 and entered this season with a 112-54 (3.07 ERA) career mark. He struggled with mechanical problems in his throwing motion in April but seemed to be coming around. However, after a one-inning start vs Washington on July 11, an MRI on July 19 confirmed that he had a strained left hip and a herniated disk in his back. Houston retroactively placed on him on the 15-day DL (July 12). According to Oswalt, he's ready to make his 20th start of the season on Monday. "I felt no pain," he said after throwing 25 to 30 pitches before Friday night's game between the Astros and the Brewers in Milwaukee. "It went pretty well." Oswalt is just 7-8 in 19 starts this year (team is 8-11) and his 4.56 ERA would be a single-season high. However, prior to that one-inning effort on July 11, Oswalt had found his rhythm, posting a 3.11 ERA over his previous seven starts. Coming back to start vs the Reds, is "just what the doctor ordered" for Oswalt. His career domination over Cincinnati is mind-numbing. Oswalt is 19-1 with a 2.46 ERA in 24 career appearances (22 starts) against the Reds, including a 9-0 mark here in Houston (2.26 ERA) in 12 appearances (11 starts). The Reds 'limp' into Houston after getting swept at home over the weekend by the red-hot Rockies. The Reds weren't just beaten, they were embarrassed by Colorado, losing 7-2, 5-1 and 11-0! The Reds are only 20-31 on the road this year and will send Johnny Cueto (7-9, 4.90 ERA) to the mound to oppose Oswalt. Cueto made a huge 'splash' to open the '08 season, allowing just six hits and three ERs over his first two starts (13.1 innings), while striking out 18 batters without walking a single one. However, he's "come back to earth" quickly and takes a 2-6 road mark (5.48 ERA) over nine starts into tonight's game (Reds are 2-7). Houston showed some 'life' this past weekend by taking two of three in Milwaukee against the red-hot Brewers and with Oswalt back on the mound (vs his favorite opponent!), tonight's play is on the Astros.
Las Vegas Insider on the Hou Astros.
MIN (-112) vs CWS
The White Sox have been in first place since May 16 and after taking two of three at Detroit this weekend, will open this four-game series in Minnesota 2 1/2 games up in the AL Central over the Twins (Tigers are 6 1/2 games back). Mark Buehrle is only 8-8 (3.56 ERA) on the season but after a slow start, the veteran lefty is 6-2 with a 1.76 ERA over his last nine starts (team is 6-3). While Buehrle comes in on a nice roll, it should also be noted that he had not had much success on the road in '08, going just 3-5 in 11 away starts (team is 3-8), despite a respectable 3.97 ERA. Let's also remember that the White Sox are just 24-28 on the road this year, compared to 35-16 at home. Speaking of playing well at home, the Twins are 34-19 in the Metrodome in '08, outscoring opponents by an average of 5.13-to-3.75 RPG. Kevin Slowey may be just 6-7 with a 4.41 ERA on the season but he's 4-1 over his last seven starts, with the Twins going is 6-1. Slowey has won his last three home starts while posting a 2.57 ERA. The White Sox swept a four-game home series against the Twins from July 6-9, outscoring Minnesota, 40-15 in Chicago. Is turnaround fair play? We'll have to wait and see about that but at least in this first game, I'm taking the Twins.
Re: Monday Service Plays
Opposite Action Plays
BOSTON RED SOX
Rockies / Pirates UNDER 9.5
L. A. ANGELS
TAMPA BAY D'RAYS
Re: Monday Service Plays
Scott Spreitzer's 20* MLB BLOCKBUSTER BLOWOUT! *32-14, 70% Run!
I'm laying the price with the BoSox on Monday night. Boston got back on track last night with a 9-2 win over the Yankees. Tonight, they have a great shot to make it two straight wins, facing a pitcher they have absolutely dominated. Jered Weaver has been outstanding against just about everyone else he's faced. But the righthander has had no answer for the Red Sox' bats in five career starts. In fact, he's offered little more than batting practice in his three starts at Fenway. Weaver has been smacked for 14 earned runs and 28 base runners in those Fenway outings, covering just 16 innings. That adds up to a horrible, 7.88 ERA, 1.75 WHIP, and .352 BAA! New season...same results. In his only outing against the Red Sox this season (at Fenway) Weaver was popped again, this time for five earned runs and 10 hits in just five innings of a 7-6 loss. At the same time, Boston will counter with red-hot Daisuke Matsuzaka. The Sox are 4-1 in his last five starts, where he's allowed a grand total of THREE earned runs in 30 2/3 IP. That's a sparkling 0.88 ERA to go along with a 1.24 WHIP. And, while "Dice-K" owns a hefty 1.83 daytime WHIP, his evening WHIP is a strong 1.19 in 12 starts. Matsuzaka does his best work when the lights go on, sporting a 2.33 ERA to go along with that fantastic WHIP, while going 7-0! Look for the Red Sox to knock-off Jered Weaver once again. Boston is my Blockbuster Blowout.
Scott Spreitzer's MLB MONDAY NIGHT KNOCKOUT! *32-14, 70% Run!
I'm laying the price with the Astros on Monday night. Roy Oswalt is back after recovering from a hip injury. He was red-hot before going down, sporting a 2.49 ERA and striking out 19 hitters in three starts. Oswalt has allowed just 16 earned runs and 58 base runners in his last eight starts, covering 47 1/3 innings. That's a strong, 3.04 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. And, of course, there's the well-publicized career dominance Oswalt owns over Cincinnati. He's 19-1 in 24 apperances (22 starts) against the Reds. The veteran righty is an even better 9-0 at home against his NL Central rival, with a 2.26 ERA...and Houston has defeated Cinci six straight times, no matter who's on the hill. It's just the team for Oswalt to make his return against. Besides the strong career numbers, the Reds are averaging just 3.9 runs per game in road night games against righthanders. Finally, Reds' starter Johnny Cueto has been popped for a 5.76 ERA in his last four starts. The Reds are 2-7 in his road outings, thanks to his 5.48 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, and .308 BAA! And, the righty owns horrible evening numbers to boot. It's a complete mismatch and I'll back the Houston Astros, my Monday Night Knockout.
Re: Monday Service Plays
ASA 3* Florida +105 over New York
The Marlins managed a split with the Cubs over the weekend despite falling on Sunday in a back-and-forth game. Catching the Mets facing long travel could be a good situation for Florida in this key NL East series. The Marlins are 8-3 in the last eleven games as an underdog and the Mets are a losing team on the road despite recent improved play. Florida’s offensive numbers have taken a dip lately but they have faced 15 of the last 21 games on the road and should settle in back at home versus a familiar opponent. In his last eight starts Ricky Nolasco owns 53 strikeouts compared with just eight walks and with ten wins on the season he has been the top pitcher on the Florida staff despite not being valued as such. The Marlins have won each of the last five games that Nolasco has started as an underdog and the Fish are 13-9 behind him on the year, with wins in seven of the last nine. Opponents are hitting just .243 against Nolasco on the season and the Florida bullpen has also done an excellent job this season with far better numbers than the counterpart for the Mets. The Mets have a losing record in John Maine’s road starts this season and he owns a 1.47 WHIP away from home. Maine has allowed three or more earned runs in five straight starts and walks have been a recent problem for Maine with twelve free passes in his last three outings. Maine has pitched less than five innings in three of his last five starts and he has averaged just five and two thirds innings per start this season, putting significant pressure on a suspect bullpen. Look for Florida to take game one of this critical NL East series
Re: Monday Service Plays
Nelly's 1-Star ‘OVER’ Colorado at Pittsburgh
The numbers for Ian Snell are simply terrible this season with a 6.10 ERA and 61 walks in only 103 innings. Snell has gone six straight starts allowing a home run and at least three walks and his season WHIP is an insanely high 1.92 as opponents are hitting .306 against him. Jason Hirsh has had moments of big league success the past two seasons but he had very marginal numbers in AAA and walks have been a big problem. Don’t expect either pitcher to go deep into this game and neither team has a shutdown caliber bullpen. Both offenses have been hot with Pittsburgh averaging 5.2 runs per game and the Rockies posting 7.6 runs per game in the last ten contests. Look for more big numbers today as both teams excel against right-handed pitching. Nelly’s rates picks 1-3 units, this selection is rated 1-unit.
Re: Monday Service Plays
Florida +1.01 (3 Unit Play)
A big series starts tonight in Florida as the Marlins take on the Mets. The Marlins will have Ricky Nolasco on the mound and he has pitched very well this year going 10-6 with a 3.99 ERA in 128 2/3 innings of work and compiling a nice 1.23 WHIP. Nolasco has pitched poorly in his last two outings however but has the confidence going in when taking on the Mets as he is 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA in his last three starts against them. The Mets meanwhile will have John Maine on the hill off of a big win against the Phillies but Maine before that game was really struggling as he was 0-2 with a 6.63 ERA in four starts of which three of them were on the road. The Marlins have a 29-23 record at home this year while the Mets are only 25-28 on the road and I will look for the small underdog Marlins to get this game tonight.
Chicago Cubs +1.58 (3 Unit Play)
In a game where you have two evenly matched teams the obvious reason for such a discrepancy in the line is the pitching matchup and I although I would agree that Milwaukee has the advantage here I will take a shot on the Cubs. The Cubbies have Ted Lilly on the hill tonight in what should be a fun series to watch and Lilly has been pitching quite well on the mound this year especially on the road where he has sported a 3.84 ERA in 72 2/3 innings and a 1.35 WHIP. The Cubs are not a great road team by any stretch as they are only 22-30 but they do have Alfonso Soriano back and they could win this game easily tonight. That task will depend on them getting to C.C. Sabathia who has been awesome since his acquisition from the Indians but although he has pitched great lately he does have in the back of his mind the debacle that he had when he took on the Cubs for the only time in his career where he lost the game 9-2 but was really beat up in the loss. I will take a shot with the Cubbies to show up here tonight and win.
Cincinnati +1.29 (3 Unit Play)
The Reds and Astros start a series that doesn't mean much and there may be players getting traded from both teams here but I like the Reds as the underdog here tonight. Johnny Cueto will take the mound for the Reds and lately he has been struggling but before the last couple of games he had found his groove again and he is still striking out batters. Cueto will be opposed by Roy Oswalt who has been battling injury issues pretty much all season and he will be held to 90 pitches in this game tonight and although his career numbers are completely lights out against the Reds he will not be able to stay longer than 5-6 innings in this one tonight. The Astros have been having trouble scoring runs at home and although Cincinnati comes in scuffling to I would rather have my money on Cincinnati in a close game than the Astros.
GAME OF THE MONTH
Boston -1 1/2 Runs +1.29 (5 Unit Play)
I very rarely use a 5* play and I hate to use it on a run line especially on a home team but I really like the Red Sox in this spot tonight and will look for them to win by 4-5 runs here tonight. The Red Sox are off of the ESPN Sunday Night game and were battling losing to the Yankees twice in a row as well as the Manny Ramirez rumors but they came through in flying colors last night. Today they will take on a team that just embarassed them last week in Los Angeles and very well may be meeting them in the playoffs and they have lost five straight games against them since dominating the Angels for years. The Red Sox have their best pitcher on the mound in Daisuke Matsuzaka and he has only faced the Angels once in his career which was last year's playoff game. Matsuzaka has been unbelievable this year posting a 2.63 ERA, 11-1 record and a 1.36 WHIP in 95 2/3 innings of work and I look for him to rise up to the occasion tonight on ESPN. The Angels are responding with perhaps their most disappointing starting pitcher in Jered Weaver who had to leave his last start due to some shoulder issues. I look for the Red Sox to win big this evening.
Re: Monday Service Plays
Brian Graves Guaranteed Selections
San Diego/Arizona over 7.5 runs
I realize this game is in San Diego, but the fact that this total is only 7.5 is like handing money over. You have 2 struggling pitchers who between them have won only 1 game in last since the middle of May. Owings is a mess right now. Everything he throws over gets hammered and he has had problems throwing it over. Maddux will do his usual stuff and try to keep the ball away and hope the D-Backs try to pull everything. Unfortunately this team actually has fared very well against the future hall of famer and there offense has found it's groove again in the 2nd half so far. This is a rare NL game where you could see 2 or 3 hits from the pitchers as neither one of these guys has overpowering stuff and both pitchers can handle the bat. This number is a JOKE and needs to be HAMMERED!!!
Re: Monday Service Plays
O.C. Dooley Guaranteed Selections
TONIGHT'S "3 UNIT" BEST BET Reds +125 at Astros
This is one of those wagers where I feel the posted line actually helps make the pick. Since Cincinnati comes in having lost 5 of the past 7 games and got swept at home over the weekend where they were outscored by a whopping 23-3 combined margin, one would think they would be a much larger underdog especially since the Reds are a disastrous 1-18 when going up against tonight's starting pitcher. Even though Houston ace Roy Oswalt owns the Reds, he checks into this start with a personal below .500 overall record which in part is due to injury problems he has suffered all season. That latest injury (hip) just landed Oswalt on the disabled list, so I have to question just how healthy he really is. Cincinnati's ace all season has been Edinson Volquez who was leading the entire National League in ERA going into the All Star Break. But the grind of a long campaign has caught up with the Reds most effective hurler as Volquez threw way too many pitches for a second consecutive start on Saturday where he was bombed. I bring up Volquez because in my opinion Johnny Cueto's overall repotoire of pitches are just as good. While Volquez got off to a tremendous start, Cueto has only been average at best in his rookie campaign. But I have noticed that Cueto is starting to fool opposing batters by racking up 22 STRIKEOUT victims in the past 18 innings of work. I have found out that Cincinnati has done a very wise thing with one of their talented young hurlers by giving Cueto an extra day of REST. Speaking of rest, the Reds benched outfielder Jay Bruce yesterday as arguably the majors #1 prospect has been struggling along with the rest of the team lately. What excites me about Bruce is that he grew up right near Houston in the state of Texas so tonight is a "homecoming" of sorts where he will have plenty of family and friends in the stands cheering him on. Ken Griffey Jr. enters tonight riding a TEN game hitting streak and his batting average when playing AT Houston (.391) is rather large in his past six visits. Another reason why I like the visting Reds is that they have a "marginal" losing record just like the Astros. Houston this season just happens to be a horrible 5-16 when facing a "marginal" losing opponent who has won between 46-and-49% of their contests. Even though Cincinnati has been struggling at the plate, they are an excellent 11-4 this season following a 3-game stretch where the on-base percentage (.260 or worse) has been poor. Here is a near 70-PERCENT SYSTEM (32-15 past decade) which goes AGAINST home favorites like Houston who are off an upset DIVISIONAL win as an underdog of +130 or more. This system helps explain why Houston is in a classic "letdown" spot after winning 2 of 3 at contending Milwaukee during the weekend. Houston has won a pair of series since the All Star Break and both (Brewers and Cubs) have been against teams with winning records.