THURSDAY SERVICE PLAYS

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ANTHONY CAPONE 

Cubs -148

Cubs send recent acquisition Rich Harden to the Hill tonight to face David Bush for the Milwaukee Brewers .Both have pitched well this season , but I think the talent differential is obvious when you watch them pitch .Harden was (5-1) with the A's and a 2.34 ERA .Since he has been a Cub he is (0-1) with an even skimpier ERA of 1.04 .Bush has been good as stated but he did lose to the Cubs twice last season. The Cubbies have a mini run going here winning 3 straight , and although I usually don't play teams to sweep in this case I don't mind laying the number on the road as the Cubs get the W and make it 4 straight

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Yankee Capper

3 Units - Cleveland Indians +125

3 Units - Angels/Yankees Under 9.5

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Scott Spreitzer

St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves

I'm playing the Over between the Cards and Braves on Thursday. Mike Hampton's return to the hill did not go too well. Hampton allowed six earned runs and 10 base runners (just one K) in just four innings of work. I don't expect the results to be much better tonight. The Redbirds rock lefthanders in road night games this season, scoring a hefty, 5.5 runs per game, and they've piled up 27 runs over the last three days against Brave pitching. But I believe Atlanta will match the Cardinals run-for-run tonight. The Braves are also in one of their better offensive situations tonight, averaging 5.1 runs per game in home night tilts against righties. They should have little trouble against Joel Pineiro. The Redbird righty has had his troubles in limited action against Atlanta and he's had a poor season in road starts, sporting a 5.43 ERA. Pineiro has allowed 14 earned runs and 35 base runners (including 30 hits) in his last three outings, covering 15 2/3 innings. That's a hefty, 8.03 ERA & 2.23 WHIP. I suspect both bullpens will be busy early in this one. I'm playing the Over in tonight's Cards/Braves clash.

Play on: Over

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Vegas Experts

Chicago White Sox at Minnesota Twins

With yesterday's win, the White Sox ensured that the stranglehold they've had on first place in the AL Central since May 17th would continue. However, after tonight's contest expect the race between them and the Twins to get tighter. Yes, John Danks has a 8-2 TSR in the dog role, but his ERA over his L3 starts is over 7.00 as his lifetime ERA vs. Minnesota. The Twins' Scott Baker has won five of six starts.

Play on: Minnesota

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PlusLineSports Daily Baseball Pick

Chicago Cubs vs Milwaukee

Chicago Cubs -1.5 +120

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Investment Playmakers

20* Texas Rangers

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EZWINNERS EARLY

1 STAR: (961) DETROIT (-$133) over Cleveland
(Listing Verlander only) (Risking $133 to win $100)

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DAVE COKIN SOLID GOLD: 10* GUARANTEED WINNER!

CHW White Sox vs MIN Twins
Take MIN Twins

Good matchup of talented young pitchers as John Danks duels Scott Baker. The edge in recent form goes to Baker, though, as Danks has had a little trouble keeping the ball down in the zone his last few starts. Danks hasn't shown any diminishing K rate, so I think he's still strong, but until he gets his location back, he's susceptible to the long ball. I'm going with Baker and the Twins to wrap up this crucial series with the win.

Minnesota Twins

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Jack Clayton

Angels


Templer's Sports Picks    

Cleveland +1.5    


DutchMaster

Chi Cubs    


JIM'S HOT PICKS

Florida    


lasvegassportsadvisors

St. Louis


Mighty Quinn

Yankees


Armvin Sports

Marlins -117
Indians +118


ARTHUR RALPH

Nationals


COMPUTER SPORTS

PHILLIES-125


NEVADA SHARPSHOOTER

WHITE SOX +115


TV HOTLINE

FLORIDA -110


Brandon Banks

Angels/Yankees Under 9.5


Insider Sports Report

L.A. Dodgers -110


SOUTHSIDE SPORTS

LA ANGELS


CAPPERS ACCESS

Brewers
Twins


BIG TIME SPORTS

ANGELS/YANKEES OVER 9.5


RAZOR SHARP

ST LOUIS/ATLANTA UNDER


TOTALS 4 U

SEATTLE/TEXAS OVER


HUDDLE UP

Texas -135


DARK HORSE

Cleveland +130


VEGAS STEAMLINE

PHILADELPHIA/WASHINGTON UNDER


THE  SCOUT

Detroit -125


#1 SPORTS

CARDINALS - 110


MIKE WYNN

St Louis -120


PLATINUM PLAYS

PHILLIES - 125


floridabookybusters        

Milwaukee


Glen Mcgrew

Phillies


Joe Wiz

Brewers
Marlins


Scott Spreitzer

Twins


Donald Tran

Diamondbacks -110


Jennifer Barry

Cardinals -120


Chad Jordan

Cubs +105


Paul Leiner

10* Tigers -130


Rocco Spacamuro

50* Cleve

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JB's Computer Picks

New York Yankees -160

Texas Rangers -150

Arizona Diamondbacks -110

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Winners Edge

Cubs / Brewers over 7 - 120 , 2 units

Colorado Rockies even , 2 units

LA Dodgers - 110 , 1 unit

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Drew Gordon

St. Louis -120 at ATLANTA

Redbirds know full well the importance of this series with the Cubs and Brewers battling it out in Milwaukee... And its safe to say they've responded accordingly, crushing the Braves in 3 straight. Look St. Louis to break out the brooms tonight, as their offense gets a crack at the hardly impressive Mike Hampton in this one.

Rewind to the year 2003 and Mike Hampton was a key part of the Braves pitching staff, but let's not get caught living in the past. Fast forward to 2008, and its painfully clear he's got a ways to go before getting anywhere near that level (if ever again). In his first start back, he got rocked for 6 runs on 8 hits over just 4 innings, and most of that came with a comfortable 9-3 lead. Look guys, if he thought the Phillies offense was tough, wait until he gets a load of the hot-hitting Cardinals in this one. Note, St. Louis averages a hearty .273 against lefties on the road.

Opposing Hampton is the Cards Joel Piniero, who's admittingly been shaky over his last 3 stars, posting an 8.04 ERA. However, before you go jumping off the Cards bandwagon, note two things: A. St. Louis won 2 of those 3 starts. And B. Piniero has the advantage of facing a short-handed Braves batting order, with Chipper Jones on the DL, and Teixeira now an Angel, this is a perfect chance for him to get back on track.

As a final note, have you seen the Braves bullpen pitch lately? Because if you have, then there's no question who gets the edge, as Atlanta's 'pen has posted a ridiculous 9.68 ERA over thier last 10 games! For comparisons sake, the Cards bullpen has posted a 3.72 ERA over the same span. Needless to say, while Piniero and Hampton may be a close match up, right now the Braves 'pen is struggling mightily. In the end, look for the Cards to complete the sweep tonight at Turner!

Take St. Louis behind Piniero over Atlanta and Hampton in this MLB match up.

2♦ ST. LOUIS

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Scott Delaney

Chicago Cubs

Why not take a shot with them? We certainly could be pushing the button too late, taking them on the last day of the series, after they've won the first three games, but the fact is the Cubs have won four straight and look to be back on track right now.

They went into Milwaukee and absolutely stunned the 1-2-3 pitching combination of CC Sabathia, Ben Sheets and Manny Parra for a total of 20 runs the past three nights. And now they get a crack at Dave Bush, who might be 4-2 with a 2.85 ERA at home, but he's also 0-4 in his last four starts against Chicago, which has battered him for 20 earned runs over the last 23 innings of service.

Not exactly the best looking formula, is it? Give me the Cubbies, and I'll even take Rich Harden to earn his first win for the Cubs, as he's 0-1 in his first three starts for them. He's pitched well enough to win in all of them; he just hasn't gotten the prize.

Today he does, as the Cubs exude domination in the N.L. Central.

2♦ CUBS

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Ben Burns

Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians
Prediction: Under

Last night's game was an extremely high-scoring one. I expect a completely different result this afternoon though. For starters, neither team has hit well at all when playing during the afternoon. Even before scoring double-digits in runs yesterday evening, the Tigers were averaging 5.7 runs (.290 average) when playing underneath the lights. However, they enter this afternoon's game averaging just 3.9 runs when playing during the day, hitting only .254. Meanwhile, the Indians entered yesterday's game averaging 4.9 runs when playing during the evening. However, they enter this afternoon's game managing a mere 3.8 (.242 average) when playing during the day. Not surprisingly, the UNDER has been very profitable for both teams when playing during the afternoon. The Indians have seen the UNDER go 20-10-1 when playing during the day. The Tigers have seen the UNDER go 24-12-4 when they have done so. That's a combined mark of 44-22-5! This afternoon's pitchers are both excellent, too. Its true that Verlander got roughed up in his last start. However, it should also be noted that he had previously gone eight straight starts without allowing more than two earned runs. In his previous start, he allowed just three hits and a single run through 8 2/3 innings. He's seen the UNDER go 10-6-1 dating back to late April. Note that Verlander has been better during the day than he has been at night, too. In fact, opposing hitters are batting a mere .189 against him in this season's seven daytime starts. Carmona didn't look great last time out. However, that was his first start since May and I expect him to be better now that he's got a game under his belt. Note that he had a 3.10 ERA before getting hurt and that he was 19-8 last season. It's also important to note that Carmona has been excellent when pitching during the day the last couple of years. He only made one daytime start this season and he allowed just a single run through 7 1/3 innings. He struck out four without walking a single batter, allowing only four hits. That's a 1.23 ERA with opposing hitters batting only .143. Of course, that's a very small sample size. However, if we look back to last season for a larger sample size, we find that Carmona was 9-1 with a 2.14 ERA in his daytime starts! Verlander has faced the Indians twice this summer and he was solid in both outings. Last month, he held the Indians to three runs through seven complete innings, a game that finished with a final score of 4-2. Earlier this month, he was even better against them, allowing just two runs through seven complete innings. Meanwhile, we find that Carmona has allowed just four runs through 22 2/3 innings in his last three starts against the Tigers, two of which stayed below the total. Look for a pitcher's duel that stays below the number. *Blue Chip


COMP

Cubs (RL) @ Brewers (RL)
PICK: Brewers (RL)

I've got a lot of respect for Rich Harden. In fact, when he's healthy, I believe that he's among the best in the game. That being said, I also believe that the Brewers offer plenty of value here. This is particularly true when considering that we can get them on the run-line (+1.5 runs) for a very fair price.

Let's start off by looking at Harden's last five starts, the most recent three of them coming while in a Cubs uniform. Harden pitched very well in all five of those starts, allowing two earned runs or less in each of them. However, his teams were just 1-4 in those games. Additionally, the lone win during that stretch came by a single run. It should also be noted that Harden only pitched more than five complete innings in two of those five starts. His most recent two starts resulted in losses of 2-0 (at Arizona) and 3-2 vs. Florida. He isn't likely to get all that much run support today either.

Like Harden, Bush has also been pitching very well recently. In fact, he has an excellent 2.14 ERA his last three starts with an outstanding 0.762 WHIP during that stretch. Actually, Bush has been terrific at home all season. In 10 home starts, he's gone 4-2 with a 2.85 ERA and 0.995 WHIP. The Brewers were 8-2 in those games. That includes a 4-0 mark his last four home starts and an 8-1 mark his last nine. Looking back to last season and we find the Brewers at 11-2 in Bush's last 13 home starts and 14-4 his last 18 here!

With this afternoon's game featuring a very low over/under line (some shops currently have 7, others have 7.5) runs are expected to again be at a premium. Naturally, getting an extra +1.5 runs to work with is even more valuable than it would be in a game which is/was expected to reach double-digits in runs. In danger of being swept at home in a 4-game series, by the Cubs, for the first time in five years, the Brewers come in as a desperate squad. Consider backing them on the run line.

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ROBERT ROSS

St Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves
Prediction: St Louis Cardinals

Cards go for the 4-game sweep. Braves fielding a depleted lineup and starting oft-injured Mike Hampton on the mound. The Braves are 1-9 against the money line in home games when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 54% to 62%) in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons. Take St. Louis!

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Craig Trapp

Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Play: Chicago Cubs     

Really like the Cubs today! Harden since coming over from Oakland has pitched wonderfully unfortunately he has not got the results to show for it. Harden (0-1, 1.04 ERA) has allowed two earned runs and eight hits in 17 1-3 innings over three starts since being traded to Chicago from Oakland on July 8. He's struck out 10 in each contest, and gave up a run and two hits in five innings of a 3-2, 12-inning loss to Florida on Saturday. The Cubs have dominated MIL at there own place going back for year now. In this series the Cubs have outscored the Brewers 20-7 and look for their first four-game sweep in Milwaukee since May 12-15, 2003. Look for them to give Harden his first win as a CUB take CHI.

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Sammy Jankus

The Reverse Barometer

I rate my plays 3, 4 & 5 stars. Always play the OTHER SIDE of my game writeup.

LA Angels at NY Yankees
4* 'UNDER'

I think the linemaker really blew it here... he should have slapped at least a '12' on this slugfest for an O/U line! BOTH TEAMS come into this game on a major offensive roll: the Angels just put up 22 runs in a 3-game sweep of Boston while the Bronx Bombers posted 23 runs in their early-week series with Baltimore. If that pace continues (and why shouldn't it?) we can look for something in the neighborhood of 14-15 runs lighting up the board at Yankee Stadium this evening. To paraphrase that old song, "I'll take the HIGH ROAD and you take the low road and I'll get to the cashier's window before ya" ? which means your play is on UNDER THE TOTAL.

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Matty O'Shea AL Underdog Play O' the Day

ANA (+145) vs NYY

I simply love the value on the hottest team in baseball going up against arguably the most overvalued team as a big road underdog. The Angels are 12-2 in their last 14 games overall and 13-3 in their last 16 as a dog. They are also the best road team in baseball and have gone 20-8 in their last 28 away from home. Meanwhile, the Yankees avoided getting swept in three games at home by the Orioles with a big victory on Wednesday, but they have lost four of the last six home meetings with LA. New York is also 1-3 the last four times after scoring 10 runs or more in the previous game. The Angels are hitting .352 against lefties in their last 10 games, which makes Andy Pettitte a nice target for the Yanks. Bet LA to pull off the upset as my Single Dime AL Underdog Play O' the Day.

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Big Al

At 7:10pm ET our selection is on the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals 'under' the total. On Wednesday night, the Nats "exploded" for five runs against this Philadelphia team. Right now, with the way Washington's offense has been performing, this team scoring five runs in a game is like the Texas Rangers scoring 25. Until their Wednesday night loss by a score of 8-5, the Nats had a streak of five straight games in which they scored two runs once, a single run once, and were shut out in the other three. That adds up to a total of three runs in a five game stretch. And more often than not, the Nats seem to pull their opposition into the same type of scoring drought in these games. Washington is headed toward a 100-loss season, and with the recent trade of their most effective relief pitcher (Jon Rauch) to the Diamondbacks for a second baseman prospect, you can pretty much pencil in those triple digit losses right now. Moreover, the Nats' best offensive player (and only All Star in 2008), shortstop Christian Guzman is listed as day-to-day with a thumb injury. Even counting the 13-run onslaught on Wednesday between these two teams, the under is still 9-4 in the last thirteen meetings between the division rivals. Finally, Washington has gone 'under' in 58 of its last 97 games as a home dog, and 42 of its last 67 games vs. right-handed starters. Take the 'under'.

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Larry Ness

Oddsmaker Error

Florida Marlins

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