Friday Service Plays

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BIG AL's BASEBALL DIVISION GAME OF THE YEAR

GIANTS

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JB"s COMPUTER PICKS

Tampa Bay Rays -185

Minnesota Twins -160

Arizona Diamondbacks -110

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GINA

Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs

Chicago Cubs have won 12 of the last 15 games versus Pittsburgh Pirates and eight of its last 9 at home. Go with the Cubs this afternoon at Wrigley Field to continue their dominance over the Pirates. Pittsburgh's right-hander Jason Marquis has won five of his last 7 starts versus the Pirates and the Cubs have won his last for starts at Wrigley against  Pittsburgh. The Pirates have struggle away from home, dropping seven of their last 10 road games.

Chicago Cubs -230

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Mr A

Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins

Minnesota has won ten of their last 12 games at home and the last five contests against Cleveland at the Metrodome. The Indians have lost 12 of their last 15 games on the road.

Cleveland's Jeremy Sowers (1-5, 5.86) is 1-0 with a 4.00 ERA in his last three starts, but is 1-5 with a 6.44 ERA in his last 10. The Indians have lost six of Sowers' last 7 starts on the road..

Minnesota's Nick Blackburn (7-6, 3.69 ERA) is 0-2 with a 3.45 ERA in his last three starts, but 5-2 with a 2.70 ERA in nine starts at the Metrodome. TheTwins are 4-0 in Blackburns last 4  starts at home.

The Twins are tough to beat at home, 37-20 thus far this season. Meanwhile, the Indians have been a dreadful road team, just 18-34 this season. Take the Twins at home. Minnesota's Nick Blackburn is 2-0 with a 1.31 ERA in three starts versus the Indians this season.

Minnesota Twins -155

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Dwayne Bryant

Oakland A's +130

I rarely ever go against Boston, especially at Fenway. But this game has a different feel to it, at least for me. The Red Sox have lost five of their last six games, all of which were at Fenway. Oakland is coming off getting swept at home by KC, but at least the A's get to get away from the pressure of playing in front of the home crowd.

Justin Duchscherer faced these Red Sox in Oakland back on May 24th. He went eight shutout innings and allowed just one hit. Consider these career numbers against Duchscherer: David Ortiz is 3-for-15 (.200, all singles); Coco Crisp is 1-for-6 (.167, single); J.D. Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia are all 0-for-3; Mike Lowell and Kevin Youkilis are both 0-for-5; newly-acquired Jason Bay has never faced Duchscherer, which gives the advantage to the pitcher.

Tim Wakefield has been roughed up since the All-Star break, allowing 10 earned runs and 14 hits in 12.1 innings. He also got rocked for eight runs and 8 hits in just 5 innings at Oakland on May 23rd. And consider these career numbers against Wakefield: Frank Thomas, who could be in the lineup, is 15-for-53 (.283, 7 homers, 2 doubles); Jack Cust is 4-for-9 (.444, 2 doubles); Mark Ellis is 7-for-17 (.412, 1 homer, 1 double); Bobby Crosby is 2-for-8 (.250, 1 double); Kurt Suzuki is 1-for-2 (.500, 1 double); Ryan Sweeney is 1-for-3 (.333).

The Red Sox are 1-10 in their last 11 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15. Boston is also 0-5 in Wakefield's last 5 starts during game 1 of a series.

Take Oakland

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LT Profits

Toronto Blue Jays -105

This price on the Toronto Blue Jays is held down by the fact that Shaun Marcum has not pitched that well in two starts since coming off of the Disabled List, but we look for an improved effort vs. the Texas Rangers tonight.

You see, we are actually not surprised that Marcum has been off with his location since returning, as he is not overpowering and relies on his precision to be successful. Thus, he was more affected by his long layoff than a power pitcher would be. However, he did improve a bit in his second start back although he still allowed four runs in 5.2 innings, and we expect him to improve further tonight to the point where he could at least match he last start against the Rangers, when he allowed just two runs in six innings.

Texas counters with Tommy Hunter, who is making his major league debut. While it is true that first-time starters are often dangerous, it is not as if Hunter is a blue chip prospect, so as long as Marcum can keep the Rangers in check early, we do expect the Jays to get to Hunter by their second time through the batting order at the latest.

Finally, the road team is a perfect 5-0 in all the head-to-head meetings between these clubs this year, and we look for Toronto to extend that streak tonight.

Pick: Blue Jays -105


San Francisco Giants -125

It is not too often that we would recommend the San Francisco Giants as favorites, but Tim Lincecum has put up Cy Young numbers this season and he should dominate the weak-hitting San Diego Padres in this spot.

Lincecum is 11-3 while pitching for a team that is 19 games under .500, with a sparkling 2.78 ERA and 156 strikeouts in 142.2 innings. He has already faced the Padres three times this season, going a perfect three for three in Quality Starts while allowing a grand total of two runs and 15 hits with 18 strikeouts in 19.1 innings.

Then again, it is not surprising that he has had success vs. the Padres, given that they are averaging just 3.80 runs per game overall, and the Pads have been even worse in their spacious home stadium, where they average 3.59 runs while batting a pathetic .239 as a team.

San Diego starter Josh Banks got off to a nice start this season, but he has tailed off lately with a 6.23 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in his last three starts. In fact, Banks has just one Quality Start in his last seven outings.

Finally, the Padres have not found much salvation here at home either, where they are just 3-14 in their last 17 games, so look for Lincecum to keep them slumping.

Pick: Giants -125

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LEE KOSTROSKI

Arizona Diamondbacks @ Los Angeles Dodgers
PICK: Arizona Diamondbacks

The Dodgers grabbed headlines yesterday with the big deal to bring in Manny Ramirez but an instant impact can not be expected. Arizona is 12-6 in the last 18 meetings between these two teams and the Dodgers scoring woes are greater than Ramirez can solve in his first game. Los Angeles is averaging just over three runs per game over the last nine games and Los Angeles is hitting just .251 in home games.

Arizona is putting together a productive road trip with wins in six of the last seven games while the Diamondbacks are averaging six runs per game over the past nine contests. Veteran Randy Johnson has marginal numbers for the year but Arizona has won his last four starts as he has allowed a total of just five runs in over his last 26 innings. Johnson has cut down on his walks in recent games and overall this season he owns much better numbers on the road with a 3.54 ERA.

Clayton Kershaw is a promising young pitcher for the Dodgers but he has not proven ready as a productive big league starter. Walks and high pitch counts have been a concern as he rarely goes deep into games, a problem that is magnified with the now-thin Los Angeles bullpen. Despite a scoreless outing in his last start Kershaw has a 4.94 ERA in his last five outings and Arizona is hitting .303 in the last ten games against left-handed pitching. Look for Arizona to extend the division lead by another game despite the Dodgers getting more press with the big trade.

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SPORTS ADVISORS

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Arizona (56-52) at L.A. Dodgers (54-54)

One day after acquiring slugging outfielder Manny Ramirez in a blockbuster deadline deal, the Dodgers send 20-year-old Clayton Kershaw (1-3, 4.53 ERA) to the mound to face veteran southpaw Randy Johnson (8-7, 4.58) and the Diamondbacks in the second game of a four-game series. Los Angeles dropped the opener 2-1 Thursday night but has won five of its last seven overall and is on runs of 6-2 at home and 5-1 against left-handers.

Arizona is on a 6-1 run, all on the road, and has won its last four games behind Johnson. However, against winning teams, the DBacks are still mired in slides of 12-24 overall and 6-22 on the road.

The Diamondbacks, who lead the Dodgers by two games in the N.L. West, have won six of nine meetings with L.A. this season, and they are 5-1 in Johnson’s last six road starts against the Dodgers.

Kershaw is coming off his best outing of the season, allowing four hits in six scoreless innings Sunday in a 2-0 home win against Washington. It was the first major league win for the young southpaw, who has six no-decisions, with the Dodgers going 4-2 in those contests.

Johnson has rounded into form lately, going 4-0 with a 1.71 ERA in his last four starts, and he carries a 15-inning scoreless streak into this contest. On Sunday at San Francisco, he scattered nine hits over seven shutout innings in a 7-2 victory. Prior to this 4-0 run, Arizona had lost eight straight games behind the Big Unit.

Kershaw, who made his first start on May 25, is 1-2 with a 3.45 ERA in five home starts this season, and he’s making his first career appearance against Arizona. Johnson is 3-4 with a 3.54 ERA in nine road starts this year, and he’s 7-6 with a 2.83 ERA in 22 career starts against L.A, including 6-0 with a 2.21 ERA in 10 outings at Dodger Stadium.

The over has cashed in four of the last six in this rivalry, and for Arizona, the over is on runs of 9-2 on the road, 13-4 overall and 4-0-1 with Johnson throwing at Dodger Stadium. On the flip side, L.A. sports under streaks of 7-1 overall, 16-5 against winning teams and 4-1 behind Kershaw at home.

ATS ADVANTAGE: ARIZONA


AMERICAN LEAGUE

L.A. Angels (68-40) at N.Y. Yankees (59-49)

The torrid Angels will hand the ball to Ervin Santana (11-5, 3.57 ERA) for the second game of a four-game weekend set in the Bronx against Sidney Ponson (6-2, 4.59) and the Yankees. Los Angeles opened the series Thursday night with a 12-6 thumping, improving to 13-2 in its last 15 games. The Halos are also 43-20 in their last 63 games overall, 15-3 in their last 18 against the A.L. East and they continue to sport the best road record in baseball at 37-19.

New York has dropped four of its last five games, but the Yanks are still on runs of 11-3 at home, 14-4 against the A.L. West and 4-0 behind Ponson at home.

The Angels have won three of the last four meetings in this rivalry dating to last season, and they are 4-1 in Santana’s last five starts against New York.

Santana has hit a little rut lately, giving up eight earned runs over 12 innings in losing his last two starts, including a 5-2 setback Sunday at Baltimore in which he allowed all five runs on seven hits in five innings.

The Yankees had won four straight behind Ponson, but the right-hander got lit up Sunday at Boston, yielding seven runs on 10 hits in just four innings of a 9-2 loss. It marked the second time in Ponson’s last four starts that he’s given up seven earned runs.

Santana is a solid 8-2 with a 3.77 ERA in 13 road starts this year, and he’s 4-1 in five career starts against New York, despite an inflated 6.15 ERA. Ponson, meanwhile, is 1-0 with a 5.94 ERA in three starts at Yankee Stadium this year. He’s also is 7-2 with a 4.67 ERA in 13 career appearances (11 starts) against Los Angeles.

The over has cashed in the last five games in this rivalry and is on runs of 6-0 overall for New York, 5-1-1 at home for the Yanks and 5-2 overall for L.A.

ATS ADVANTAGE:L.A. ANGELS and OVER

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Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAY

Chicago / Pittsburgh Over 9.5

The Over is 38-14-4 in Pirates last 56 road games and  7-1-1 in Pirates last 9 games as an underdog of +201 or greater, while the Over is 10-3 in Cubs last 13 games as a home favorite of -201 or greater and  5-1 in Marquis' last 6 starts as a favorite, plus the Over is 6-1-1 in the last 8 meetings. Here we are once again with the Pirates on the road, wher the Over is 34-13 in Pitt games this year. Pittsburgh is one of the better road scoring teams in the league at 5.2 rpg, while they allow the most rpg on the road at 6.4 rpg. Thats an average of 11.6 rpg in Pitt road games. Jeff Karstens gets the ball for Pitt and he will be making his first start of the year for them, so there isn't much to go on with him. He is 2-3 with a 5.93 ERA in 9 career starts, including 0-2 with a 14.73 ERA in his 3 starts he made last year. In his career, Jeff has averaged just 4.9 innings of work per start and if he only goes 5 here he will turn the ball over to the 26th ranked pen in the league. Jeff will be facing a Cubs offense that hits .303 and scores 6.2 rpg at home. The Cubs also have scored 8 rpg in their last 5 games and they have scored 7.5 rpg vs Pitt pitching overall this year, including 7.7  rpg vs them at home.  The Pirate offense has been hot of late as they have scored 6.4 rpg and hit .309 in their last 10 games, with those last 10 games averaging 11 rpg. Jason Marquis is on the mound for the Cubs and he has really struggled at home this year, with a 5.81 ERa at Wrigley, to go along with his 4.69 ERA overall. Jason's starts have averaged 10.5 rpg overall, 12.5 rpg at home and 10.7 rpg in day games. This series has averaged 11.8 rpg this year, including 11.5 rpg at Wrigley and I see nothing that doesn't make mne think that these teams can put 11+ runs in this one as well.   

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Info Plays

3* on Milwaukee Brewers -124

Milwaukee takes on the Braves tonight following their embarrassing 4-game sweep at the hands of the Chicago Cubs. This is a good team for the Brewers to get back on track against tonight, as the Braves have lost 5 of their last 6 games overall. Milwaukee is 29-13 vs. poor baserunning teams - averaging 0.5 or less SB's/game this season. The Braves are 2-9 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. Atlanta is 5-17 with a struggling bullpen whose ERA is over 6.00 the last 15 games over the last 3 seasons. The Braves are struggling in almost every phase of the game right now. Bet a hungry Milwaukee squad on the road tonight.

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ANTHONY CAPONE

Play: D'Backs -105

This is strictly a value play on the D'Backs .In his current form Randy Johnson looks as good as he ever has .His ERA in his last 3 is 1.80 . He is (3-0) in that stretch and seems unbeatable .I am not sold on Kershaw and while the Dodgers have been playing very good ball going (7-3) their last 10 . Six of those wins were against the Giants and the Padres .Not exactly murderers row .Hey listen the Bottom line is any time I can get Randy Johnson basically at a pick I'm all over it .

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Black Magic Sports

1 Unit on San Francisco Giants -123

With two of the worst offenses in the league going head-to-head tonight, I turn to the match-up of starting pitchers to pick my free play winner for Friday.  The Giants score 3.9 runs/game while the Padres score 3.8 runs/game in 2008.  I’ll back All-Star pitcher Tim Lincecum who is 11-3 with a 2.78 ERA this year.  Lincecum has been virtually un-hittable on the road, going 7-1 with a brilliant 2.11 ERA.  Josh Banks is progressively getting worse for the Padres.  Banks is 1-1 with a 6.23 ERA through his last three starts.  Get this, the Giants are 4-1 in Lincecum’s five lifetime starts against the Padres.  In those five stars, Lincecum features a 1.38 ERA.  Lincecum has allowed just 2 earned runs in his last 20 innings pitched against the Padres.   Lincecum is 11-1 after 2 or more consecutive team losses this season.  As you can see, the Giants have a huge edge on the mound that I’m going to exploit.  Cash in with San Francisco as the favorite.

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SAPKOWSKI

Best bet
Gaiants vs. Paders over 3 in 1st 5 IN

Premium
Cubs

Free
Arizona vs. LAD over 3.5 in 1st 5 IN

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FRANK ROSENTHAL

904 FISH-105 SB
UNDER 9 SB
913 GIANTS-125 SB
UNDER 7 SB+
916 DODGERS-110 SB
918 YANKS OVER 10 SB
919 A'S OVER 8.5 SB
921 TIGERS UNDER 8.5 SB+
926 KC OVER 9 SB+
927 TRIBE+140 SB
UNDER 9.5 SB+

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John Ryan

San Francisco Giants vs. San Diego Padres
Play: San Francisco Giants 

Ai Simulator 3* graded play on SF – Lincecum is on the hill for the Giants and he is one heck of a strong role for this game. Lincecum is 11-1 (+10.8 Units) against the money line after 2 or more consecutive losses this season. Talk about stopper. Supporting this graded play is a system that has gone 29-10 making 19.9 units for 74% since 2002. Play against home teams when the money line is +125 to -125 in a game involving two bad teams sporting winning percentages of 38% to 46% in August games. SF is also poised for a strong outing tonight noting they are 9-3 (+10.1 Units) against the money line in road games versus a starting pitcher with good control allowing less than 1.75 BB's/start this season. Take SF 

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Investment Playmakers

20* Brewers

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Brandon Lang

FRIDAY

15 Dime - Rockies

5 Dime - Yankees
5 Dime - Braves

FREE - White Sox

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EZWINNERS MLB

3 STAR: (901) LA DODGERS (-$115) over Arizona
(Listing Kershaw only) (Risking $345 to win $300)

3 STAR: (912) ST. LOUIS (+$128) over Philadelphia
(Action) (Risking $300 to win $384)

2 STAR: (919) OAKLAND (+$127) over Boston
(Listing Duchscherer only) (Risking $200 to win $254)

1 STAR: (901) PITTSBURGH (+$200) over Chicago
(Action) (Risking $100 to win $200)

1 STAR: (921) DETROIT (+$165) over Tampa Bay
(Action) (Risking $100 to win $165)


CFL

1 STAR: (405) WINNIPEG (+3) over Toronto
(Risking $110 to win $100)

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BOB Akmens

TOP 20* WASHINGTON / CINCINNATI UNDER 9.5 (-120)
10* MINNESOTA -153
10* BOSTON -139

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Wunderdog

Milwaukee at Atlanta
Pick: 3 units on Atlanta +1.5 runs

The Brewers let a big opportunity pass them by as they were swept at home by the Cubs in four straight games. We have to believe they head on the road with a damaged psyche. The Brewers didn't just lose; they were hammered by a combined score of 31-11, and lost with both Sheets and Sabathia pitching. It is now five straight losses for the Brewers and six of seven. The Brewers’ staff has allowed 42 runs in the last five games and the pen is tired, overworked, and ineffective. The pen has logged 16.1 innings over these five games and has allowed 10 runs for an ERA of 5.51. Jeff Suppan is not pitching well allowing eight runs in his last start and has a 5+ ERA on the season. Atlanta has been a nightmare on the road, winning less than one of every three games, but powerful at home at 32-23. Chuck James seems to have straightened himself out at AAA Richmond where he pitched to a 2.48 ERA in 13 starts. The Braves get the call on the runline here.

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