Thursday Service Plays

Re: Thursday Service Plays

Jeff Benton

I scored a huge 30 Dime winner with Milwaukee on the run-line last night, as the Brewers ran their winning streak to eight in a row behind a stellar outing from CC Sabathia. Today, they send co-ace Ben Sheets to the mound, and while he's opposed by stud Jake Peavy, I just don't see how you can pass up Milwaukee here.

For one thing, as good as Peavy is he's tied for the N.L. lead in ERA his team gives him no offensive support. That's why he's only 8-8 despite a 2.68 ERA, including 4-4 at home despite a 1.43 ERA. In fact, even though Peavy has allowed just 11 runs in 69 innings at Petco Park, San Diego is just 4-6 in his 10 home starts!

On the other hand, Sheets is 6-2 with a 2.83 ERA on the road, with Milwaukee winning 10 of his 14 road starts. Throw in the fact that the Padres are now a pathetic 4-18 in their last 22 home games, and I?m jumping on Sheets and the scorching Brewers in what figures to be a low-scoring affair.

3♦ MILWAUKEE BREWERS

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Tony Weston

Tonight, as Week 2 of the preseason gets under way we're going with the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Buffalo Bills in Toronto at the Rogers Centre.

A couple things you need to know about tonight. First, after Steelers backup quarterback Charlie Batch went down last week with a broken collarbone the team went out and signed proven starting QB Byron Leftwich to serve as Ben Roethlisberger's primary backup. So, in the first quarter you're going to have Roethlisberger then in the second quarter you're going to have Leftwich. As if things weren't bad enough for the Bills defense, the Steelers will then turn to former Oregon freak of nature Dennis Dixon to take over.

Also, the Steelers have been pretty solid in the preseason under head coach Mike Tomlin. Since he took over last year the Steelers are 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS. The team is also 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS on the road in the preseason dating back to last season.

Pittsburgh will dominate the Bills and get over easily on a Buffalo team that will see its starting offense play limited action.

Go with the Steelers in Toronto tonight.

3♦ STEELERS

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

EZWINNERS

2 STAR: OVER 9.5 (+$105) San Francisco @ Houston
(Listing Correia and Moehler)
(Risking $200 to win $210)

2 STAR: (954) COLORADO (+$129) over Arizona
(Action)
(Risking $200 to win $258)

2 STAR: (962) FLORIDA (-$112) over St. Louis
(Action)
(Risking $224 to win $200)

2 STAR: (966) LA DODGERS (-$131) over Philadelphia
(Listing Kuroda and Myers)
(Risking $262 to win $200)


CFL

1 STAR: (434) WINNIPEG (-3) over Hamilton
(Risking $110 to win $100)

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Wild Bill

Giants +150 (5 units)
Arizona -135 (5 units)
Brewers +100 (5 units)
Reds +115 (5 units)
Cubs -125 (5 units)
St Louis +110 (5 units)
Phillies +120 (5 units)
Rays -140 (5 units)
Orioles -110 (5 units)
Texas +250 (5 units)
Texas-Boston Over 10½ (5 units)

Carolina-Philly Over 35½ (5 units)
Eagles -3 (5 units)

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Tom Freese

43-16-1 MLB 10* Day Game Side BURIAL!

Tampa Bay

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Jimmy the Moose

AL "GAME OF THE WEEK" 4-0 MLB RUN

Tampa Bay

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AntonWins

3 units San Francisco +159

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Investment Playmakers

20* Detroit Tigers -155
20* Milwaukee Brewers -120
10* Florida Marlins -110
10* Colorado Rockies +140
10* Baltimore Orioles -110

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Rocketman

Carolina @ Philadelphia 
Play On: 1* Carolina

Carolina is 12-3 ATS against conference opponents since 1993.  Carolina is 17-10 ATS as underdogs in preseason since 1990.  Carolina is 7-1 ATS as dogs last 8.  Carolina is 14-3 ATS their last 17 against NFC opponents including 10-1 ATS as an underdog.  We'll recommend a small play on Carolina.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Locksmith Sports

1 Unit on NY Mets -152 

The Mets have dominated the Nats on the road like no other team in the league winning 22 of the last 27 meetings in Washington .  The Nationals are just 17-38 in their last 55 vs. a team with a winning record and 17-41 in their last 58 games as an underdog.  Going up against the lefty Perez will do in the Nats tonight.  The Nationals are only 1-11 in their last 12 home games vs. a left-handed starter and 8-22 in their last 30 games vs. a left-handed starter period.  The Mets are 5-0 in Perez's last 5 starts vs. the National League East.  Take NY.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Tommy Rider

PHI -3.0 vs CAR

For some reason, Andy Reid likes to measure his team up against the Panthers in the preseason. Last year in this same matchup, Reid played his starters an entire half, leading to an easy 27-10 win for the Eagles. It looks like more of the same tonight as both offensive and defensive starters for Philly will play the entire first half. Compare that to the Panthers whose starters won't get significant playing time until next week and you have nice mismatch on your hands. We also have a huge advantage in the second half. Backup quarterback Kevin Kolb will play close to the entire half, while the Panthers will be down to stiffs Brett Basanez and Lester Ricard once Matt Moore departs. There are a few times during the preseason when you get a huge mismatch in regards to first and second teamers seeing the field. This is one of those times. Buy the half point down to 3 if need be but make sure and jump on the Eagles, as they soar at home  over the Panthers tonight.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

LT Profits

Toronto Blue Jays @ Detroit Tigers Under 9.5

Given the unexpected struggles of Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers this season, a strong case can be made that young Armando Galarraga has been the ace of the staff. Meanwhile, Jesse Litsch of the Toronto Blue Jays is very capable of recapturing his good early season form after a stint in the minors.

Galarraga has been a godsend, going 10-4 with a 3.23 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 125.1 innings, with the Tigers as a team going 14-6 in his starts. He has allowed three runs or less in eight of his last 10 starts and he allowed just four earned runs in each of the two non-quality efforts. Galarraga also tossed 5.1 scoreless innings while allowing just three hits in his only other start vs. Toronto.

Now Litsch got off to a great start this season, but he went into a swoon posting a disgusting 10.66 ERA and 2.05 WHIP in his last three starts, prompting the Jays to send him to the minors. To his credit, Litsch did not complain outwardly at the demotion despite having had some success in the majors, and perhaps this was just the jolt he needed.

Remember that he did pitch well in the majors last season with a 3.81 ERA in 20 starts, and he was off to a 7-1 start this year. Also, the added benefit of the Tigers having never faced him before could help him regain his form here.

Finally, the Toronto Under is on a 12-4-1 run, and if we are right about Litsch being straightened out, that streak should improve this afternoon.

Pick: Blue Jays, Tigers Under 9.5

Cincinnati Reds +110

Not too much separates Johnny Cueto of the Cincinnati Reds and Ian Snell of the Pittsburgh Pirates statistically this year, but we feel that young Cueto has more upside and the Pirates are generally a poor play as favorites anyway.

Besides, Cueto has allowed three runs in three of his last four starts, and he may at worst duplicate that vs. a Pittsburgh offense here that is bating a horrific .218 vs. right-handed pitching the last 10 games. Despite his 5.01 ERA, Cueto has looked dominant at times this year, especially vs. the weaker clubs in the league, and the Pirates certainly fall into that category.

On the other hand, Snell has been a huge disappointment after showing so much promise last season, and he really has shown no signs of coming out of his funk. Even worse, he has been awful against the Reds, allowing 23 earned runs and 35 hits in only 21.2 innings over his last four starts against them.

Finally, both of these teams have basically called it a year and traded some key players lately, which automatically gives value to the underdog.

Pick: Reds +110

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Ben Burns

Game: Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates
Prediction: Pittsburgh Pirates

The Reds grabbed the series opener but the Pirates returned the favor yesterday. The Pirates should have the advantage again for this evening's finale. Snell gets the call and he is 3-2 (Pirates are 6-4) with a mediocre 4.02 ERA in 10 home starts. On the other hand, Cueto is 2-8 (Reds are 2-9) with an ugly 5.58 ERA in his 11 road starts. Cueto beat Snell back in May. That was at Cincy though. Pitching in his homepark, look for Snell to get the best of him here. Consider Pittsburgh

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Marc Lawrence

Game: Chicago Cubs at Atlanta Braves
Prediction: Chicago Cubs

The Braves and Cubs close out their three-games series in Atlanta when Ted Lilly takes on Tom Glavine in this matchup of left handers. It's only too obvious that Glavine's better days are in the rear view mirror. That's confirmed by the fact he's dropped 9 of his 12 team starts this season, thanks in no part to his 5.69 ERA at home. Lilly, on the other hand, owns a 3.89 road ERA and has cashed 17 of his 25 team starts this season. Stay with the better team and the better arm here this evening.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

David Malinsky

Toronto Blue Jays @ Detroit Tigers 
PICK: Toronto Blue Jays  3*

They are just getting silly with this one. We now see the Tigers reaching past -190 in some key precincts, and that creates the kind value that is hard to pass up when bucking a fading side.

How often do teams that are under .500, fighting a multi-game losing streak, and having key injury issues reach this plateau? Not very. But a Detroit team that came into the season carrying high hopes built a market reputation that will not go away. Now the playoffs are a pipe dream, courtesy of an over-rated offense and pitching injuries, and night-to-day turnarounds can be the toughest of situations for such a team. And while Armando Galarraga’s 10-4/3.23 does command some genuine respect, note that his recent form is buoyed by having faced some weak competition - four of his five starts since the All Star break have come against opponents that are at least five games under .500. A guy that was not even expected to be in the Major League’s this season is now up to 125.1 innings, and this is the right time to get ahead of the value curve as he begins to hit the wall. The signs are already there - twice in the last three starts his Pitches-Per-Inning counts have gone over 18.0, after he had only crossed that numbers twice in his first 17 starts, and he got away with a win vs. Oakland in his last outing despite having nothing (eight hits and two walks allowed over 5.2 innings, at 104 pitches).

We also get value here because of the mediocre 8-7/4.46 of Jesse Litsch, but he had three starts in the Minor’s to get his confidence back, and with a sterling ratio of 18 strikeouts vs. only four walks in those games it is a sign that the mission was accomplished. All we need is for him to match Galarraga through the first game cycle, and then the far superior bullpen can take care of the rest.

The Blue Jays are 26-20 under Cito Gaston, and 9-5 on the road since the All Star break. With their playoff hopes not crushed yet (eight games out of the Wild Card), they bring much more life to the field this afternoon.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

The Bookie Pays You:

================================================== =====

The Angels bullpen blows a 6-4 lead in the top of the ninth and costs us another easy win. The bullpen is one thing that you simply can't handicap, and last night it bit us in the ***, just as it did in the Mets game just a few days ago. That's why we're giving the Mets a chance to redeem themselves today. Get on the Mets as they face the Nationals today. The Mets are now 22-5 in their last 27 trips to Washington, and 5-0 in Perezs' last 5 starts versus the N.L East. While the Nationals are just 3-7 in their last 10 home games, and 8-22 in their last 30 games versus a lefty. METS ALL THE WAY!! **** Thanks.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Indiancowboy Comp

Bills +2

It's so tough to even talk about betting preseason when anything can happen and the only time worth betting one could argue is near the last 2 weeks of it where the starters finally take the field, Pitt won at home beating the Eagles 16-10 last preseason game, covering, Dixon looked fairly decent and Big Ben looked good, Buffalo fell short 14-17 at Washington but covered, this is a game that I think Buffalo could very well win at home as they sit at a +1 dog and they are typically an under team at home and were last year as well, I lean on Buffalo and the under here. Couple things that I like in addition to the usual research here, it includes the fact that the line movement is favoring it, but more importantly, **** J. will want a good showing for the fans after the Pitt loss, Pitt struggled on the road a bit as they did last year and Dixon will be facing a road crowd, not one at home, and a low scoring game is what Buffalo usually likes at home. I think they are a sound home dog today that probably wins outright.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Larry Ness

Larry Ness' 20* Getaway Total of the Month (6-3 w/20 GOM plays since June 1)

My 20* play is on TB/Oak Over

When the A's traded Rich Harden to the Cubs on July 8, one got the feeling that Oakland was "packing it in for the year." In the team's final series before the break, a three-game series at home against the Angels (7/11-7/13), the A's won the first game 9-2 but lost the final two games, 4-1 and 4-3. The A's then returned from the break and the losing hasn't stopped as the A's are now 4-22 over their last 26 games. At 72-47, the Rays remain three games up on the Red Sox in the AL East but Crawford is now likely going to be out for the rest of the year and rookie sensation Longoria (an All Star) was just placed on the 15-day DL on August 11. The teams conclude their series this afternoon in McAfee Coliseum, with the A's having won on Tuesday (2-1) and the Rays last night, 3-2. James Shields (10-7, 3.65 ERA) goes for Tampa and Sean Gallagher (1-1, 4.26 ERA), who the A's acquired from the Cubs in the Harden deal, for Oakland. Shields has been a dominating pitcher at home, with the Rays going 12-1 in his starts. His numbers are very impressive, as he's allowed just 72 hits and 23 ERs over 93.2 innings for a 2.21 ERA. However, in 11 road starts (team is 4-7), he's allowed 80 hits and 41 ERs in 64.1 innings (5.74 ERA). Gallagher has made 15 starts this year, between the Cubs and A's and like Shields, has been very good at home where he's 4-0 with a 3.35 ERA in seven starts (team is 5-2) but no good on the road, going 0-5 with 5.45 ERA in eight starts (teams are 0-8). Gallagher was excellent in his Oakland debut, a 9-2 home win over the Angels (7 IP / 2 hits / 2 ERs) but over his next four outings (two home and two away), allowed 25 hits, 16 walks and 10 ERs over 18.1 innings (4.91 ERA). I realize the first two games of this series have featured little offense but with Shields 5.74 road ERA and Gallagher's recent struggles, I look for some runs to be scored this afternoon. The Rays have been excellent against right-handers in all settings this year, going 52-30 overall, while averaging 4.9 RPG. I realize the A's are not an offensive power but the one situation in which the team has excelled, is in play today. In home day games vs right-handers, the A's are 9-3 while averaging 4.8 RPG. Getaway Day Total of the Month 20* TB/Oak Over.


Larry Ness' Las Vegas Insider (won 11 of L15 / 37-21 since May 26)

My Las Vegas Insider is on the Pit Pirates

The Reds had an off-day on July 24 and the team stood at just three games under. 500 (50-53). Not much has gone right since, as after last night's 5-2 loss in Pittsburgh, the Reds have dropped 15 of their last 18 games, while in the process, trading away Ken Griffey, Jr. and Adam Dunn. Other than that, everything is just fine. They'll conclude their three-game series with the Pirates tonight, sending Johnny Cueto to the mound. You may remember Cureto was 'ticketed' for Cooperstown after his first two starts of '08. He pitched 13.1 innings, allowing six hits and three ERs (2.03 ERA) but his Hall-of-Fame credentials were 'stamped' by his strikeout-to-walk ratio of 18-0. However, in his 22 starts since, his ERA is 5.33. At 7-11 with a 5.02 ERA in 24 starts this year (Reds are 9-15), Cooperstown just may have to wait. I took the Pirates yesterday, knowing that Paul Maholm was likely to give me a good effort and he did (8 IP / 7 hits/ 2 ERs). While I'm taking the Pirates again here, I don't have that same confidence in Ian Snell. Snell went 14-11 in '06 and despite a 9-12 mark last year, had the lowest ERA of any Pirate starter (3.76), plus added 177 Ks in 208 innings. Big things were expected from Snell in '08 but he hasn't delivered, going 4-9 with a 6.06 ERA (team is 10-13 in his 23 starts). He's really been AWFUL on the road (7.83 ERA / team is 4-9) but he's been dramatically better at home (4.02 ERA / team is 6-4). Yes, Snell has been a disappointment but the Pirates are a respectable 33-27 at home, while the Reds are 22-37 on the road. Let's also NOT forget that the Reds stumble in having lost 15 of their last 18 games and are just 12-22 vs right-handed starters on the road, including averaging just 3.9 RPG in 28 road night games. And in most of those games, the Reds were playing with Jr. and Dunn, which they aren't here! Las Vegas Insider on the Pit Pirates.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Bob Akmen

20* CUBS -137

10* DETROIT -175 

10* CUBS / ATLANTA OVER 9.5

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