SATURDAY SERVICE PLAYS

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JOHN RYAN

Los Angeles Angels at New York Yankees
Prediction: Los Angeles Angels

Reason: Ai Simulator 3* graded play on Anaheim ? Let?s face it Anaheim is by far the more complete team and arguably the best in baseball. Their road record is by far the best in MLB. Supporting this graded play is a system that has gone 44-31 making 33 units since 2002. Play against home teams with a hot starting pitcher posting an ERA less than 3.00 over his last 10 games and with a struggling bullpen whose ERA is over 7.00 the last 5 games. Weaver has not given up 3 or more earned runs in his past 7 starts. AiS shows an 85% probability that he will complete 6 IP or more and should that occur the Angels have an 82% probability of winning the game. Angels are also 18-5 (+13.7 Units) against the money line versus good fielding teams averaging <=0.6 errors/game in the second half of the season this season. Take the Angels.

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Gold Medal Club

Arizona @ Los Angeles
PLAY OVER 7.5

The last 2 games in this series of 2-1 scores look more like hockey scores, but that changes tonight and for good reason. We get into the weaker part of both teams rotations. Petit has yet to start a game on the road, and is only good for 5 innings. Kuroda who goes for the Dodgers has hit the wall. In his last 3 starts he has failed to make it into the 4th inning and has a 13.11 era..ouch! The bats will rule tonight!

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TONY KARPINSKI

Cleveland Indians vs. Minnesota Twins
Play: Minnesota Twins   

This is a play against Byrd. The Indians are 2-10 in Byrd's last 12 road starts, 3-15 in Byrd's last 18 starts as a road underdog of +110 to +150, and 0-6 in Byrd's last 6 starts during game 2 of a series. The Indians are awful on the road and are just 10-28 in their last 38 road games and 6-20 in their last 26 road games vs. a team with a winning record. The Twins are 7-1 in Slowey's last 8 starts and we are backing the Twinkies on Saturday Night. Play on the TWINS 

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MIKE ANTHONY

Cincinnati Reds vs. Washington Nationals
Play: Washington Nationals   

This is a good spot to take the Nats against a struggling Reds club. Washington is an impressive 28-13 against the money line in home games when playing against a team with a losing record in the second half of the season over the last 3 seasons and 32-19 against the money line in home games vs. NL teams allowing 4.8 or more runs/game in the second half of the season over the last 3 seasons. Cincy is a pathetic 18-43 against the money line vs. terrible power teams - averaging 0.75 or less HR's/game over the last 2 seasons and 6-16 against the money line vs. an NL starting pitcher whose ERA is 3.50 to 4.20 this season. Bergmann has been much better than his numbers might indicate and I like him here against a weakened Reds lineup. 

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TOM FREESE

New York at Houston

Houston is 24-8-1 UNDER their last 33 games when playing Game 2 of a series and they are 11-5 UNDER on Saturday. The Astros are 6-2-1 UNDER in the last 9 starts made by Roy Oswalt and they are 7-3 UNDER their last 10 games with the Mets. New York is 11-2-2 UNDER their last 15 games as favorites of -110 to -150 and they are 4-1-1 UNDER their last 6 games when playing Game 2 of a series. The Mets are 6-2 UNDER their last 8 Saturday games and they are 5-2 UNDER when Johan Santana is off a quality start. PLAY ON 'UNDER'

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FRANK ROSENTHAL

955 NYM-130 SB
958 FISH-155 SB
UNDER 9.5 SB
960 NATS-110 SB
963 GIANTS UNDER 7 SB+
965 DBACKS OVER 7.5 SB
970 RAYS-125 SB
973 TRIBE UNDER 9 SB+
975 CWS-145 SB
977 JAYS-115 SB

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Mr A

Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins

Minnesota has won eleven of their last 13 games at home and the last six contests against Cleveland at the Metrodome, including yesterday's 4-1 opener. The Indians have lost 12 of their last 15 games on the road.

Cleveland's Paul Byrd (5-10, 4.93), is 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA in his last three starts. The right-hander is 10-5 with a 4.06 ERA. in his 19 career appearances the Twins.

Minnesota's Kevin Slowey (7-7, 4.00 ERA), is 1-1 with a 5.00 ERA in his last three starts. The right-hander is 1-0 with a 4.91 ERA in two starts versus the Indians.

The Twins continue to be a tough team to beat at home, 38-20 thus far this season. Meanwhile, the Indians continue to be a horrible road team, just 18-35 this season. Let's ride the Twins again tonight . Minnesota has won six of the last seven contests versus the Indians this season at the Metrodome. To boot, the Twins are 7-1 in Kevin Slowey last 8 starts, 4-0 in his last four at home. Whereas, the Indians have dropped ten of Byrd's last 12 starts on the road.

Minnesota Twins -165

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Larry Ness

15* TV Game of the Week

Can anyone slow down the Angels? The Angels began the season struggling at the plate but continued to own one of the top records in MLB, led by a deep starting rotation and closer K-Rod, who remains on a record pace for saves in one season. One could only imagine how good the team would be when/if it began to hit? We know longer need to wonder. The Angels went a ML-best 19-6 in July, averaging 6.4 RPG. The Angels own MLB's best record (69-40) and easily own its best road record (38-19). They are blowing away the competition in the AL West (12 1/2 game lead over 2nd-place Texas) and are 28-15 against AL clubs that currently have winning records. They've greatly improved on that mark this week, sweeping a three-game series in Fenway from Monday through Wednesday (6-4, 6-2 and 9-2) and then opening a four-games series with the Yanks in The Bronx by winning 12-6 on Thursday (hit three, three-run HRs) and 1-0 last night. Friday's win was their 14th in the last 16 games. Should we just hand them a spot in the World Series now? As for the Yankees, they shot out of the gate after the All Star break by winning eight straight games but after losing last Sunday night at Fenway, dropped two of three to the Orioles and then the first two games of this series to the Angels. That's FIVE losses in their last six games, as the New Yorkers have fallen 5 1/2 games behind the first-place Rays and 2 1/2 games behind the Red Sox. Jered Weaver (9-8 with a 4.11 ERA) will get the start for the Angels and as I've pointed out many times, he's never quite matched 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 but to his credit, has turned things around. Over his last six starts, he's 3-1 (team is 4-2) with a 2.43 ERA. Still he only checks in with that 9-8 mark (ERA is now up to 4.11) and the Angels are just 11-10 (.524) in his 21 starts. Remember, this is a team which owns MLB's best mark at 69-40, meaning that with ANY other pitcher on the mound, the Angels have gone 58-30 in '08, a winning percentage of .659! The Yanks will counter with Mike Mussina, who has NEVER been one of my favorites. However, he's pitched very well this year. He started poorly with a 1-3 mark and a 5.75 ERA but has been excellent since, save his last start. Mussina had his worst outing of the season this past Monday, allowing eight hits and six ERs in five innings, as the Yankees saw their 10-game home winning streak end with a 13-4 loss to the Orioles. However, I will not ignore that in Mussina's previous 17 starts, he had allowed more than three ERs just TWICE (both times it was four ERs) and in his four most recent starts (before Monday), was 3-0 with a 1.04 ERA. The Yanks are 15-5 at home vs right-handers in day games and after back-to-back losses to L. say "enough is enough!"

TV Game of the Week 15* NY Yankees.


Weekend Wipeout Winner

Everyone remembers Colorado's second-half run last year, which took the Rockies all the way to the World Series. Can they repeat it this year, in a very mediocre NL West? The Rockies are trying, as they've gone since the All Star break, However, this is NOT 2007 but 2008. The Rockies were MLB's biggest "money-makers' last year (plus-$2,466) but at 50-61 in '08, rank 25th against the moneyline at minus-$1,186. The team that hit .280 last year and averaged 5.3 RPG, is batting .270 this year, while averaging 4. 7 RPG. The Rockies are a dreadful 19-39 (minus-$1,582) on the road (getting outscored by an average of 3.76-to-5.26 RPG) and will face a Florida team which just "refuses to go away." Coming off a 71-91 season in '07, the Marlins take a 58-52 mark into this game, featuring a moneyline mark (plus-$1,699) which ranks them 3rd in the majors. The Marlins took Thursday's game 12-2 but behind the red-hot Ubaldo Jimenez, Colorado won last night, 5-2. Tonight, the pitching matchup of Valerio De Los Santos for Colorado and Ricky Nolasco of Florida, gives the Marlins a HUGE edge. De Los Santos started for the Rockies this past Monday at Pittsburgh, in a game the Rockies lost 8-4. He allowed two hits and two ERs in only four innings, while also allowing SIX walks. Maybe that's not so bad for a guy making his first major league appearance since 2005 and his first start since 2000 (I'm NOT making this up!). Now he's a lefty and the Marlins are just 14-16 this year vs lefties but that sure didn't seem to bother them Thursday night, when they rocked lefty Jorge De La Rosa for five hits (four walks) and seven runs in just 1.2 innings. If the Marlins were facing Johan Santana, I might be worried but I'm not concerned with their ability to get to De Los Santos. As for Florida, Ricky Nolasco will toe the rubber. He followed an 11-11 rookie season ('06) with a injury-shortened '07, in which he made just five appearances (four starts). However, it's been an excellent "bounce-back" year for him in '08. He began the year in the bullpen but after two relief appearances, has made 21 consecutive starts. He entered the All Star break in excellent form, going 9-1 with a 2.84 ERA in his last 13 starts (team won 10 of his last 11). He struggled in his first two starts after the break (12 IP / 15 hits / 9 ERs / 6.75 ERA) but was sharp in his last outing, going six innings while allowing seven hits and two ERs, as the Marlins beat the Mets, 7-3 (he didn't get a decision). Let's not forget that the Marlins are 14-7 in this right-handers' starts this year and unlike last year, when the Rockies just 'killed' righties (70-49, plus-$3,070), '08 has been a season-long struggle for the Rockies vs right-handers. The Rockies are only 33-48 vs righties this year, including 15-31 on the road, where they are averaging just under four runs per game. This game has blowout written all over it!

Weekend Wipeout Winner on the Fla Marlins.


Las Vegas Insider

The Twins had another chance to catch the White Sox in the AL Central last night (began Friday a half-game back) but despite a 4-1 win over the Indians, Minnesota remains a half-game behind the White Six, who won at KC, 4-2. The Twins will give it another shot tonight and the Indians don't figure to offer much of a challenge. Cleveland has now lost 13 of its last 16 road games to fall to an AL-worst 18-35 on the road this year, as well as a ML-worst minus-$1,714 against the moneyline in away games. Paul Byrd gets the starts for Cleveland and the veteran has allowed only one run over 13 innings in winning his last two starts but after going 15-8 in '07, he enters this game 5-10 with a 4.93 ERA this season. The Indians are just 6-14 in his starts this year, including 2-10 in his 12 road starts, with Byrd allowing 87 hits in only 65 innings, while posting a 6.51 ERA. He does own a solid career mark vs the Twins, going 10-5 with a 4.06 ERA in 19 starts but his teams are just 11-8 in those games, after the Indians have failed to win any of his three starts vs the Twins this year. Byrd pitched well in an early April start vs Minnesota but in his two most recent outings against them, he's been ripped for 14 hits and 11 ERs over 8.1 inngs (11.88 ERA). Considering his poor road efforts all season and the team's terrible road play, there is NO reason to back Cleveland with Byrd on the mound in ANY road game. Much less against a team like the Twins, who own a ML-best 19-4 mark at home since June 17. Last night's win ups their home mark to 38-20 on the season and at plus-$1,792 vs the moneyline, only the Tampa Bay Rays have made more money for their backers in home games in '08! Kevin Slowey takes the mound for the Twins, who have outscored opponents at home this year, 5.21 RPG to 3.78. Slowey has become a solid contributor in Minnesota's rotation, after getting off to an 0-4 start. He's 7-3 with a 3.49 ERA over his last 12 starts (team is 9-3), including a 5-1 run over his last eight starts (team is 7-1). Just this past Monday, Slowey threw his first career shutout, beating the White Sox, 7-0.

Las Vegas Insider on the Min Twins.


Comp

Philadelphia Phillies @ St. Louis Cardinals
PICK: St. Louis Cardinals

The Phillies opened their three-game series with the Cards in St Louis on a five-game winning streak in which the team had scored 40 runs (eight per), while batting .331 as a team. However, Kyle Lohse held them to five hits and three runs over 5.1 innings, while three relief pitchers held the Phillies both scoreless and hitless, the rest of the way (Cards won 6-3). The Phillies own a one game lead over the Mets in the NL East (are 1 1/2 up on the Marlins), while the Cards are tied with the Brewers, four games back of the Cubs in the NL Central. Joe Blanton will get the start for Philadelphia and he's hardly given the Phillies what they had hoped for when they traded with Oakland for him. Blanton was not having a good season in Oakland, going 5-12 with a 4.96 ERA in 20 starts (A's were 6-14), but he's been a decent pitcher in his career and "a change of scenery" was expected to help. So far, it hasn't! In his two starts for Philly, Blanton has lasted only eight innings, allowing 11 hits and seven ERs (7.88 ERA). However, the Phillies have won both of his starts, 8-6 and 12-10. Braden Looper gets the call for the Cards and the converted reliever continues be solid, if not spectacular. He went 12-12 with a 4.90 ERA in 30 starts (team was 16-14) last year and enters this game 10-8 with a 4.38 ERA in 22 starts (Cards are 12-10) in '08. I'm neutral as to Looper but see no reason to back the struggling Blanton, as the Cards are 41-30 this year vs righties, averaging a solid 5.1 RPG. On top of that, you can't beat the price. Take the Cards.

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Stephen Nover

Toronto Blue Jays @ Texas Rangers
PICK: Toronto Blue Jays

When A.J. Burnett is on, he's one of the toughest pitchers to hit. Lately the Toronto right-hander has been dominant going 3-1 with a 1.32 ERA in his last four starts with a 31-to-eight strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Burnett is worth riding at this short price facing Scott Feldman. The Rangers would like to return Feldman back to the bullpen, but their starting rotation remains short-handed because Kevin Millwood is on the DL with a strained groin.

Feldman has pitched 99 2/3 innings this season. He's allowed 97 hits, while walking 40 with 46 strikeouts. That's a pathetic strikeout-to-walk ratio. He's not going to get any help from a bad bullpen. The Rangers have won only two of Feldman's eight home starts.

The Rangers captured a wild one last night against the Blue Jays, coming from six runs down and pulling it out in the bottom of the ninth. But that victory took a toll. Milton Bradley is doubtful and Josh Hamilton may be given the night off after leaving last night's game because of dehydration.

Following the game, Rangers management fired their pitching coach and bullpen coach. That could have a mental affect on the team for today's matchup.

The combination of Burnett being in one of his hot streaks, Feldman being a low level starter and what shapes up to be a bad situational spot for Texas puts me on Toronto. 

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Bryan Leonard

New York Mets @ Houston Astros
PICK: New York Mets

Johan Santana is in terrific current form allowing just three earned runs covering 17 innings in his last two starts. His strikeout to walk ratio is 9 to 1 in those starts. With the Mets still in a three way dogfight for the division lead and off back to back losses it's up to the ace to shut the door on the Astros. While the Astros have hit left-handed starters well at home this season they haven't faced the likes of Santana. Houston has never faced Johan as a starting pitcher.

Houston counters with Roy Oswalt who has been a go against pitcher for us all season, a good reason for our success. We saw early that the flamethrower wasn't himself this year and we took advantage. In his first start since coming off the DL Oswalt permitted four earned runs in five innings against the Reds. After posting seven straight seasons of ERAs under 3.50 he has a 4.67 ERA this season. This is not the same Roy Oswalt and he shouldn't be priced that way.

We pretty much know what to expect from the starters and the hitting is relatively equal. Therefore we will back the proven commodity in the Mets.

PLAY NEW YORK

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Ben Burns

Colorado Rockies @ Florida Marlins
PICK: Florida Marlins

This price is a bit steep to qualify as one of my guaranteed plays. All the same, I believe the value lies with the Marlins here. Nolasco gets the call for Florida and the Marlins are 14-7 on the season when he's been on the mound. That includes a 7-2 win over the Mets in his last outing. Nolasco tossed six complete innings in that game, allowing two runs. He didn't walk a single batter and had an impressive eight K's. Nolasco has made one career start vs. the Rockies. That was back in 2006 and the Marlins won by a score of 13-0! Nolasco went eight complete innings in that game, striking out seven while issuing only one free pass. He'll face Valerio De Los Sontos, who made his first start since 2000 last week. It didn't go particularly well as De Los Sontos lasted only four innings while giving up eight baserunners. He managed to escape with a no-decision but the Rockies lost by a score of 8-4. He isn't likely to get much offensive support today, as the Rockies are averaging only 3.8 runs per game away from Coors Field. The Marlins have been tough after a loss all season long. In fact, they haven't lost back-to-back games vs. a National League team since May 1. They should be able to bounce back with an important victory. Consider Florida

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Craig Trapp

New York Mets vs. Houston Astros
Play: New York Mets   

Like the NY mets today vs the HOU Astros. New York has won three of Santana's last four starts with the left-hander posting a 2.77 ERA in those outings. This stretch has come immediately after the Mets lost his previous six outings, despite a 2.48 ERA by their staff ace in those games. NY is one game behing PHI so they can't afford to lose any more games to teams that are under 500. Look for NY Mets to get back to there winning ways!

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Tony Stoffo

LAA Angels vs. New York Yankees
Play: LAA Angels     

Once again we'll jump all over this Angels team that is undefeated this week and have won 14 of their last 16 games. Combine the fact that Mike Mussina did not look sharp in his last start giving up 6 runs, and 8 hits in only 5 innings pitched, and he got pounded in his last start against the Angels where he couldn't make it out of the 2 inning giving up 7 runs and you can see how the Angels at this nice plus price is my solid play for this afternoon. 

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Brian Hansen

Game: Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs
Prediction: Chicago Cubs

The Pirates won yesterday but they won't do so today. The Cubs are still 39-15 at home while the Pirates are still 19-32 on the road. Want more? Pirates are 3-7 in Maholm's road starts. The Cubs are 7-3 in Lilly's home starts. Cubs win. Cubs win. Cubs win!

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Winning Points

TEXAS +105 over TORONTO

The Rangers have moved four games over .500 and into 2nd place in the AL West. They will not catch the Angels, but they can compete for the wildcard with their explosive offense (6.9 runs per game last 10 days). Texas has dominated righthanded pitching this year (+$2195 so far),and they are up against a Toronto team that is only 16-27 in night games away from Rogers Centre (-$1130). We'll take a more motivated team as small home underdogs in this one.

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PlusLineSports Daily Baseball Pick

Oakland A's vs Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox -1.5

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Seabass

Insider 100* Angels

50* STL
50* CWS
50* AZ

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Wunderdog

Milwaukee at Atlanta
Pick: Atlanta +1.5

It isn't too often that you get a team at home with +1.5 runs and even money or better. The Braves have lost 59 games on the season, but they are 6-23 in one-run games, meaning they stay close in their losses. The Braves would be 73-36 if given +1.5 runs a game, turning 23 losses into wins. Atlanta has been a dreadful team on the road, but has been cashing at home with a 32-24 mark. This is also a Brewers' team that has dropped five of their last six games with opponents scoring six or more runs in the five losses. We will ride the value in the runline here.

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RON RAYMOND

5* CFL GAME OF THE WEEK

Calgary Stampeders -6.5

5* MLB GAME OF THE WEEK

Pick # Minnesota Twins (-160

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King Maker

Double-Dime Bet

LOS / ARI Over 7.5

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