Thursday Service Plays
Re: Thursday Service Plays
Golden Arm Blowout - 2-0 SWEEP Last Night!
HOUSTON with Oswalt (-134) over Cincinnati
With losses in 10 of their last 12 battles, things won't get any easier for Cincinnati this evening. The Red must face an arm that has given them serious trouble over the years.
Astros ace Roy Oswalt has owned Cincinnati. In 25 appearances versus the Reds, Oswalt owns a jaw-dropping 20-1 overall record and a sensational 2.61 ERA! Roy's last two starts have been solid too. Since coming off the DL, No. 44 has faced the Mets and Reds and been touched for eight earned runs and 13 hits in 11 innings of work. He has fanned 12 in the process.
Cincy will counter with former Florida Gator Josh Fogg. Over his career, Fogg has faced Houston 17 times and produced a dismal 3-6 record with a lofty 6.62 ERA. In his last 11 appearances versus the Reds, Jason has struggled something fierce en route to a nasty 0-5 mark and a ridiculous 8.40 ERA! Home starts have given No. 33 trouble too. In five starts at the Great American Ballpark, Fogg hasn't been able to weather the storm. He's tossed 23.0 frames and been pounded for 21 earned runs and 34 hits!
History favors Houston too. In the last 59 battles the Astros have cashed 40 including 21 of 29 at Cincinnati. Equally impressive, with Oswalt favored on the bump, the 'Stros have connected on 80 of their last 119. That's enough power for this handicapper. Take Houston with listed pitcher Oswalt.
Re: Thursday Service Plays
Las Vegas Insider
DET -3.0 vs NYG
The Giants made a remarkable run in winning last year's Super Bowl but there is little reason to expect much from them in this game in Detroit. Coughlin owns a solid preseason mark as a head coach (29-20 SU / 26-22-1 ATS) but it's hardly of a nature to 'scare' anyone from going against him. Reports are that New York's starters will not go past the first quarter. Eli Manning will start but is not expected to play much. "We'll probably try to play them all, Eli just a little bit and then play the other guys," said Coughlin, who added Anthony Wright will follow Manning. The Giants also feature the "sad-sack" (pun intended) David Carr and Andre Woodson (Kentucky) at QB. However, forget the QB situation for a minute, as who will any of them have to throw to? Burress, Manningham and Tyree are all out, while Steve Smith is bothered by a groin injury, Amani Toomer's leg will allow him to only play briefly and Brandon London sat out Tuesday's practice with a hip flexor. Detroit starters are not expected to get more than 10 plays and QB Jon Kitna will be out early. Dan Orlovsky and Drew Stanton will split the rest of the game. Orlovsky has plenty of preseason drives on his resume and while it's been reported that Stanton has struggled, he a very dangerous QB at Michigan State (passing and running) and I expect he could be "good for a few points" playing against third and fourth-teamers. With Martz gone (good riddance), the Lions will run the ball more this year and they enter the preseason with, as Howard would say, "a plethora of RBs." There's No. 1 pick Kevin Smith, Tatum Bell, Artose Pinner, Aveion Cason and Brian Calhoun. Look for the Lions to win this one by double-digits, as the Giants "look ahead" to their MNF game next in Week 2 (at home vs the Browns). Las Vegas Insider on the Det Lions.
AL Game of the Week
NYY -155 vs TEX
I rode the Yankees to win last night (Oddsmaker's Error) and plan on getting to the "winner's circle" with them again tonight. The Rangers can sure hit (.281 on the year / 5.7 RPG) and prior to being held in check in last night's 5-3 by ex-teammate Sidney Ponson (6.1 IP / 3 runs), had hit .302 and averaged 7.6 runs over their previous 13 games. However, getting to Mike Mussina will NOT be easy. The 39-year-old Mussina opened the '08 season 1-3 with a 5.75 ERA but has gone 13-4 since, with a 3.02 ERA. He's 3-1 since the All Star break and while he pitched poorly in his lone loss to the Orioles, has allowed just two ERs over 21 innings (0.86 ERA) in his three post-break wins. Mussina lost his first road start of '08 in Fenway back on April 12 but in his six road starts since, has gone 5-0 (team is 5-1) with 2.97 ERA. He's 5-1 with a 2.47 ERA. He's been around forever and has gone 17-13 with a 3.74 ERA all-time vs Texas but it's surely noteworthy that he's 5-1 with a 2.47 ERA in his last nine starts against the Rangers. Texas counters with Scott Feldman, who in his first three seasons in the majors (2005-07 / all with Texas), made 73 appearances, all in relief. However, with all the team's pitching woes this year (Rangers own a major league-worst ERA of 5.26), 17 of his 19 appearances have been as a starter. He's 4-4 with a 4.97 ERA overall, going 4-4 with a 4.92 ERA in just his 17 starts (team is 6-11). Breaking his numbers down home and away shows that he has a 5.20 road ERA with the team going 4-4. However, despite a slightly better ERA at home (4.50), the Rangers are only 2-7 in his home starts. These teams met for the first time in '08 back on June 30 in Yankee Stadium. That pitching matchup for that games was Feldman (in his first career start vs the Yanks) and Mussina. Feldman went 5.2 innings while allowing four hits and one ER, while Mussina went six innings (five hits / two ERs) as the Rangers won 2-1. Turnabout is fair play here, as the Yanks salvage a split of this four-game series with a win tonight. AL Game of the Week 15* NY Yankees.
Las Vegas Insider
The Reds stumble into their four-game series with the Astros, having lost 10 of their previous 12 games (1-5 at home during their slide). So who do they face in the opening game? None other then 'Red-killer' Roy Oswalt. Oswalt (8-8 with a 4.74 ERA) is a simply remarkable 20-1 with a 2.61 ERA in 25 career appearances (23 starts) against the Reds. He's won 12 of his last 13 starts against them, including his first start back from the DL on July 28 (5-4). He was hardly dominate in that game (5 IP / 7 hits / 4 ERs) but is was career win No. 20 vs the Reds. Why would his success vs the Reds end here? The Reds are slumping badly and can only counter Oswalt with Josh Fogg. Fogg was just TERRIBLE in his first three April starts (11 IP / 16 hits / 16 ERs / 13.09 ERA) before getting sent to the bullpen. He didn't make his fourth start of '08 until May 31, allowing seven hits and six ERs in 3.1 innings. That gave him a 13.81 ERA in four starts and the Reds couldn't have been sorry to put him on the DL with back spasms. He made his return to the majors on July 5 and in five starts, has gone 1-1 with a 5.13 ERA (team is 3-2). While Oswalt has 'owned' the Reds throughout his career, Fogg is 3-6 with a 6.62 ERA in 17 career appearances (15 starts) vs the Astros. What's more, he's 0-5 with an 8.40 ERA in his last 11 outings against them. Las Vegas Insider on the Hou Astros.