Tuesday Service Plays

Re: Tuesday Service Plays

Steve Janus

New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Play: Toronto Blue Jays

Tuesday we look at an AL East match up that won't have any playoff implications, but one that should provide us with a solid winner against the sliding Yankees.

New York isn't yet statistically out of the playoff race, but it would take more than one miracle for them to earn a post-season spot. Not to mention, they just aren't playing very good baseball. The Yankees have now lost 4 of their last 5 against teams with a winning record. Injuries and/or poor performance from their starting pitching would be the first place I would point to blame for the Yankees' struggles. One case of this would be tonight's starter, Darrell Rasner, who the Yankees have not played well behind. New York is just 4-9 in Rasner's last 13 starts including a 1-6 record when he starts on the road and a 1-5 record if he is starting against a team with a winning record. It's not that Ranser is a bad pitcher. I think he will eventually mature into a pretty good starter someday, but he's very inconsistent and, as the numbers indicate, doesn't exactly inspire production from the Yankee offense.

The other half of this game, the Toronto Blue Jays, don't really have much to play for either, they are 2 games behind the Yankees in the standings, but they are at least playing well coming into tonight's game. Toronto has won 5 of their last 6 overall and 4 of 5 against right-handed starters. What I really like about the Blue Jays tonight, however, is their starting pitching. AJ Burnett isn't exactly having a Cy Young season, but he's managed 15 wins for an average team, and he's stayed pretty healthy this year, something that has plagued him in the past. Burnett has been as solid as any pitcher around when he pitches on his home turf, in fact, the Blue Jays are 7-0 in his last 7 starts in Toronto. What's not to like about that?

The bottom line here is that neither team has a lot of motivation right now, other than trying to finish a little closer to the top of the standings. When we strip away that motivation factor I think you have to then look at starting pitching to be the most important aspect of this game, in which case I will take AJ Burnett over Darrell Rasner 10 times out of 10, at least at these two stages of their careers.

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BEN BURNS

Kansas City Royals @ Cleveland Indians
PICK: Cleveland Indians

These teams have similar records. The Indians are playing much better baseball right now though and are arguably the much better overall team. Sunday's 4-3 win brought them to 7-3 their last 10 games. The Royals lost their last game, also on Sunday, by a score of 15-6, dropping them to 2-9 their last 11. Note that the Royals are just 15-31 the past few seasons after allowing double-digits in runs in their previous game. The Royals send Luke Hochevar to the mound and that's been a losing proposition, particularly on the road. In 10 road starts, Hochevar has gone 2-6 with an ugly 6.17 ERA and 1.526 WHIP. Overall, Hochever is 0-4 with a 6.59 ERA in five starts since the All-Star break.

Reyes goes for the Indians and he's been very sharp since joining the team. He's gone six or more innings in each of his two AL starts and has allowed just three combined runs. Despite underachieving this year, the Indians are still a profitable 35-18 (+6.3) as home favorites in the -150 to -175 range the past three seasons. They should be able to start the series off with a victory. Consider Cleveland

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LT Profits

Los Angeles Angels @ Tampa Bay Rays Under 8.0 

Ervin Santana of the Los Angeles Angels has been great on the road this year while James Shields of the Tampa Bay Rays has been almost unhittable at home, so do not expect much scoring here tonight.

Santana had been much better at home than on the road throughout his career, but he has overcome that road hump this season. He is 9-2 away from home this year with a nice 3.45 ERA, and the Under is 8-4 in his road starts. The last time he pitched outside of Anaheim, he tossed eight scoreless innings while allowing just five hits in a 1-0 win over the New York Yankees.

Meanwhile, Shields is 7-1 at home with an excellent 2.21 ERA and a microscopic 0.93 WHIP in 93.1 home innings. He has faced the Angels at home four times in the last two years, and he allowed a grand total of four runs in 28.1 innings, including a Complete Game one-hit shutout earlier this season.

As if that is not enough, the Tampa Bay bullpen now ranks third in the major leagues with a 3.18 ERA while the Angels have climbed up to number 12 after a terrible start with a 3.90 pen ERA. Finally, these are two of the most Under-friendly teams in baseball, with the Under going 71-51-2 in all Rays games and 66-50-7 in all Halos contests.

Pick: Angels, Rays Under 8

Oakland Athletics +180

The Oakland Athletics upset the Minnesota Twins here last night, and we look for the Athletics to repeat that feat at a much better price here tonight.

Now, Sean Gallagher may not have pretty statistics since coming to Oakland, but the bottom line is that he has allowed three earned runs or less in five of his six starts as a member of the Athletics. A repeat performance would do just fine here, considering that the Oakland bullpen ranks fifth in the majors with a 3.47 ERA.

Granted, Kevin Slowey is generally underrated and he has allowed one run or less in three of his last four starts, but we are just not convinced that he deserves to be a -200 favorite over anyone just yet at this point of his career. In fact, the biggest favorite that he has been in any game this season was -164 vs. the Cleveland Indians, and he lost that contest by a 5-1 count.

We will go for the value play here with Oakland at this price.

Pick: Athletics +180

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Matt Foust

Florida Marlins @ San Francisco Giants Over 8.0

The Florida Marlins traveled west Sunday evening to begin a three game set with the Giants in San Francisco tonight. The Marlins are trying to stay in the division race, but they have slipped a bit of late, winning just three of their last ten games. They now sit four games back of the Mets and two and half games back from Philly.

The Marlins do not have to look far to find the reason for their recent lackluster play; the Fish have averaged a miserable 3.3 runs per game over their last 10. This fact is probably not sitting well with a squad that is used to pounding out runs seemingly at will. Luckily for the Marlins they are headed to a place that has been good to their bats in the past as they are anxious to see some crooked numbers on the scoreboard.

Florida will be facing right-hander Kevin Correia in their battle to get the offense going again. Corriea has pitched fairly well as a starter this season after working mostly as a reliever the past couple of years. He started out pretty rough, but has turned in some decent performances in the summer months. However, he still sports a 5.12 ERA, a 1.56 WHIP, and a not so stellar strikeout to walk ratio. At home, he has been anything but a stopper, posting a 4.58 ERA and a .293 opponent batting average. The OVER is 4-1-1 in Correia’s last six home starts and it is 5-2 in his last seven starts at any location. He will have his hands full keeping the run total down against a hungry Marlins team that still has something to play for this season (5.1 runs per game on the road in 2008).

The Marlins will counter Correia with Ricky Nolasco (RHP). Nolasco was on a torrid pace through most of July, but he has slowed some recently. He is still pitching well, but he has allowed an average of three earned runs per game over his last five starts (31.6 innings pitched). In his five prior starts he allowed an average of only two earned runs per game in 36 innings pitched. Despite his solid performances, the total has still gone OVER in eight of the last 10 games that Nolasco has pitched away from home.

However, here is where the real stuff hits the fan: Seven of the last 10 games between these two in San Francisco have gone OVER the total. The average game score in those 10 contests was 12.50. The OVER is 8-3 when the Marlins play an NL West team this season, the OVER is 5-2 when the Marlins faced a right-handed NL West pitcher this season, and the OVER is 8-4 when the Giants have played an NL East team at home this season. Also consider the following: the OVER is 3-0 between these two teams this season, the OVER is 35-19 when the Marlins play on the road, and the OVER is 33-25 when the Giants play at home.Take OVER 8

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John Ryan

LAA Angels vs. Tampa Bay Rays 
Play: Tampa Bay Rays   

Ai Simulator 3* graded play on Tampa Bay – Can anyone truly believe that TB is leading the AL East in mid-August? What is more amazing is the fact that if they win tonight they overtake Anaheim for the BEST record in baseball. All of this accomplished with numerous injuries to starters and key personnel. Hank Steinbrenner was crying that his team could not have done any better given their MASH list. Well, Hank you better take a look at how TEAM plays and how every member of that TEAM does their job. These teams are actually nearly the same, but the one most dominating difference is the TB bullpen. Over the past 7 games they have posted a 1.66 ERA and a 1.384 WHIP. Their entire pitching staff has done very well of late too allowing opponents a 243 BA in all games, 222 in home games, and 205 over the past 7 games. They allowed opponents to score 4.0 RPG on the season, 3.5 RPG in home games, and 3.0 RPG over the past 7 games. Supporting this graded play is a system that has gone 131-82 making 39.7 units since 2002. Play on home teams starting a pitcher who walked 5 or more hitters last outing and is now facing an opponent starting a well rested pitcher who is working on 5 or 6 days rest. TB starter Shields is 7-1 with a 2.21 ERA and 0.929 WHIP in home starts this season; 13-1 (+12.3 Units) against the money line in home games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons; 11-1 (+10.2 Units) against the money line in home games versus teams who strand 6.9 or less runners on base per game over the last 3 seasons. Take TB 

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BIG AL

Colorado / LA Dodgers Over

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Dwayne Bryant

Oakland Athletics at Minnesota Twins
Play: Minnesota Twins -186

The Twins will rebound tonight after losing the opener last night, 3-2. The Twins have not suffered back-to-back home losses since May. On the other hand, Oakland is 6-23 since the All-Star break. The A's haven't won a road series since sweeping San Francisco in June.

Sean Gallagher takes the mound for Oakland. Gallagher is winless in his last five starts - all of which the A's have lost. He owns a 6.75 ERA, 2.38 WHIP and .467 OOBP in his two road starts since joining the A's. As if that's not bad enough, Gallagher has gotten just 2 runs per game in support. He is also struggling recently, posting a 7.50 ERA, 2.00 WHIP and .433 OOBP in his last three starts (11 K, 10 BB).

Kevin Slowey counters for Minnesota, looking to win his third straight start. In the right-hander's only start against the A's (June 1, 2007), he allowed one run and five hits over six innings of a 3-2, 10-inning win. Slowey owns a 3.47 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and .249 OOBP in home starts this season. He is in great current form with 10 K's and just 1 walk in his last three outings.

The Athletics are 3-13 in their last 16 after allowing 2 runs or less in their previous game, 1-8 in their last 9 road games vs. a right-handed starter, and 0-6 in their last 6 games following a win. The Twins are 11-2 in their last 13 home games vs. a team with a losing record, 7-0 in Slowey's last 7 starts with 5 days of rest, and 6-1 in their last 7 games following a loss.

Take Minnesota

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Re: Tuesday Service Plays

Winners Inc. Guaranteed Selections

5000* RUN LINE BASEBALL GAME OF THE MONTH
Philadelphia w/Blanton -1.5

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The Hitman Guaranteed Selections

5000 LARGE INSIDERS MAJOR MOVE
LA Dodgers w/Kuroda -146

5000 LARGE DIAMOND DOMINATOR
Florida w/Nolasco -144

5000 LARGE DIAMOND RUN LINE DOMINATOR
Minnesota w/Slowey -1.5 -105

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Re: Tuesday Service Plays

David Malinsky

New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays 
PICK: Toronto Blue Jays 4*

We have been letting the trickle down effect work in the marketplace on this one, with the Yankees drawing the usual money in an underdog role to get the price into the low 120's. Now it is time to step in once again vs. the most over-rated team in the game, and a most vulnerable starter.

While the injuries to the pitching staff have generated much of the tabloid fodder for a disappointing Yankee season, the bottom line is that without Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui, the offense has been strictly middle of the pack in the American League, where they rate 7th in runs scored. And while Matsui may finally return tonight, there is little reason to expect him to get right back into form, particularly against A. J. Burnett. And it is the pitching mismatch that really keys this one.

Burnett has over-powered the Yankees to the tune of 3-0/1.24 in his last four starts against them, including a gem from this mound right before the All Star break, when he carried a shutout into the 9th inning of an eventual 4-1 win, posting more strikeouts than hits + walks combined. That was part of an explosive current 7-0/2.89 run that he has here in the Rogers Centre, and in a game that both he and the Blue Jays behind him will bring a special focus (they only trail New York by two games in the standings), we can expect that form to continue.

And then there is Darrell Rasner. We cashed a 6* ticket against him in his last outing, and the fact that he is even taking the mound as the starter tonight tells you all you need to know about the current Yankee state of affairs. Rasner is merely a journeyman with mediocre stuff, and all it took was some time for the SCOUT ing reports to get around before he become easy fodder for A. L. hitters. He has worked to an ugly 1-5/6.80 over his last nine appearances, with 63 hits allowed vs. only 27 strikeouts, the kind of ratio that relegates you to mop-up middle relief, if you can even keep a job at all. But Joe Girardi has no other viable options, so he must send him out there again. And a guy whose stuff is easy to read on a second look now faces an offense that got to him for four runs (three earned) over five innings from this mound on July 12th, despite being without Alex Rios and Vernon Wells. They are both back now, keying a current 5-2 surge over the Tigers and Red Sox that builds plenty of confidence for this setting.

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Re: Tuesday Service Plays

FRANK ROSENTHAL

901 Nats Over 9 Sb
907 Reds Over 7 Sb+
914dodgers-145 Sb+
915 Fish-140 Sb
923 Angels+105 Sb
925 Tigers-105 Sb
928 Twins-220 Sb

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Re: Tuesday Service Plays

Michael Cannon

Pittsburgh +180 at ST. LOUIS

We’re going to take a chance with the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight as a huge underdog.

Ian Snell will get the start for Pittsburgh and he’s been a big disappointment after back-to-back solid seasons for the Bucs.  But the right-hander may have started to turn the corner here as he has posted two quality starts in his last two games, but suffered the loss in each as the Pirates didn’t provide him with any run support.

Braden Looper will get the start for the Cards and I look for him to have a shaky outing tonight.  The right-hander has allowed two runs or less in five consecutive starts, so it’s time for him to give up a few tonight.

Take the Pirates at the big plus return for the win.

2♦ PITTSBURGH

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Re: Tuesday Service Plays

Karl Garrett

NY Yankees at TORONTO -125

No issue in laying a little wood with Toronto, and AJ Burnett tonight, as the Yankees have proved they cannot handle Burnett's stuff in recent meetings.

Burnett is 3-0 the last 4 times he has started against the Yanks, and he has only allowed 4 earned runs to score in nearly 30 innings of work. His most recent start saw him nearly go the route, allowing 1 run to cross in 8 full frames back on July 13th.

The New York bats haven't exactly been reliable down the stretch, and if they get behind tonight, that will be all she wrote!

Darrell Rasner will counter, and I can't remember the last time this guy won a game!?!?!? Rasner is just 2-6 on the road this year with an ERA that is near 6.

The Blue Jays are right on the Yankees heels in the wild card chase, and Toronto has won their last pair, and 5 of their last 6 games overall.

G-Man is on Toronto to take this one tonight!

2♦ TORONTO

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Drew Gordon

NY Yankees at TORONTO -130

After a highly succesful road trip that saw the Jays go 5-1, including destroying the Red Sox and Josh Beckett 15-4 Sunday, Toronto returns home for a series with the A.L. East rival Yankees. Several reasons to like the Blue Jays tonight at home, but let's start with the pitching match up...

Needless to say, A.J. Burnett has been on a tear of late, finally putting all that talent together, going 9-2 with a 3.73 ERA over his last 11 starts! What's more is he's won a career-high 7 straight at the Rogers Centre, posting a 2.89 ERA over that span! And if that's not enough, he's 3-0 with a lockdown 1.23 ERA in his last 4 starts against the Yankees, including 2-0 this season, allowing just 3 runs in 14 1/3 innings!

At the opposite end of the spectrum is the Yankees Darrell Rasner, who's just 1-5 with a 6.80 ERA over his last 9 starts! True, he was better in his last start, at the Twins, but not only did he still lose, but he went only 5 innings, putting the pressure on this already struggling New York bullpen (posting a 6.61 ERA over their last 10 games)! Rasner is also just 2-6 with 5.96 ERA on the road this season, and now you want him to face-off with a Blue Jays batting order that just finished shredding Josh Beckett!

Finally, its important to note that in the Blue Jays last home series, they got swept by the Indians in embarrassing fashion (which you could argue prompted their successful road trip). Now in their first game back from that road swing, I expect the Jays to come out especially sharp in this contest, looking to avoid a repeat of their piss-poor effort in the Cleveland series. Jays roll!

Take Toronto behind Burnett over the NY Yankees and Rasner in this MLB match up.

2♦ TORONTO

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Jeff Benton

On paper on paper the Mets are a no-brainer in this game. They're much more talented, they're playing much better baseball and they have the better starting pitcher going. Hence the huge odds here. However, unless you can guarantee me that Oliver Perez is going to pitch a complete game, then I'm taking a shot with a massive underdog. That's because the Mets bullpen, as it showed yesterday in Pittsburgh when it turned a 2-0 lead into a 5-2 defeat, is in complete shambles and cannot be trusted to protect any lead.

Well, if recent history is any indication, we?re going to get about six or seven innings out of Perez, leaving two or three innings for the New York bully (6.11 ERA last 10 games) to come in and pour gasoline over any lead that Perez might hand them.

As for the Braves, they've had a very disappointing season, to be sure. However, they certainly haven't had much trouble with the Mets, winning seven of the nine meetings this year. Also, they come into this game batting .300 against left-handed starters over the past 10 games (Perez is a southpaw).

Again, we probably have no business winning this selection. But as dysfunctional as the Mets bullpen is right now, I wouldn?t be at all surprised to see a late-inning rally by Atlanta.

3♦ ATLANTA BRAVES

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Nite Owl Sports

Boston Red Sox @ Baltimore Orioles
Pick: 5 units: Boston Red Sox -167

At this time of the MLB season we see an increasing number of pitching match-ups like this, where one SP (starting pitcher ) just seems to be in a groove and getting stronger,while the other team's SP is showing signs of wearing down during the latter part of a long season. Such is the case tonite in this match-up of Boston SP Dice K Matsuzaka (14-2, 2.74 ERA) and his Baltimore opponent Daniel Cabrera (8-7 with a 4.8 ERA but erratic in his recent starts and bad in most of them, such as coughing up 7 runs in just 5 IP in recent home starts/losses vs Detroit and Toronto).

Unlike his Boston team, which has struggled when playing away from the "friendly confines" of Fenway Park for much of the season (21-32 through July 20) but now seems to be getting things turned around on the road (8-3 since then), Matsuzaka has been impressive away from Fenway all season, going 6-0 with a 2.04 ERA in nine road starts TY, and 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA in his four starts away from Boston since coming off the disabled list on June 21 with a right rotator cuff strain. In fact, ever since that forgettable "shaking off the cobwebs" poor home day start vs St Louis Cards on June 21, Dice K has been almost unhittable, having gone on to pitch 8 great games out of next 9 (with only the high flying Angels spoiling his streak, plating 6 runs in an "off night" for Dice K at Fenway), with 4 of those 8 great starts being shut out performances, two yielding just one run, and the "worst" two outings being two (yielded) run performances. In addition, Matsuzaka has been "lights out" at night, posting a 9-1 record after dark with a 2.5 ERA (and if you take away that aforementioned off night vs Angels, he is 9-0 at night with an ERA under 2).

Matsuzaka has also been one of the best pitchers in the majors this month, posting a 1.29 ERA in victorious his three August starts, and is already just one victory away from matching his win total from a year ago. On Thursday, the right-hander gave up six hits and five walks with five strikeouts in seven innings of a 10-0 win over Texas. In his only start against the Orioles this season on July 13, Matsuzaka allowed four hits and five walks with seven strikeouts in six shutout innings of a 2-1 victory. Looking at his past history pitching at Camden Yards, he had two dissimilar outings in Baltimore last season. On Aug. 10, 2007, Matsuzaka allowed one run and four hits in seven innings of a game Boston would eventually lose, and on Sept. 8, he was tagged for eight runs and six hits in just 2.2 innings of an 11-5 loss.

The Orioles are a bit hard to figure out lately, as they managed only five hits in last night's loss to Boston after pounding out a season-high 22 in Sunday's 16-8 win over Detroit, and coming off of two very high scoring series at Cleve and Detroit in which they scored bunches of runs. And while Os have had a pretty good overall home record TY, especially at night, they have lost 7 of their last ten home games. In addition, Boston seems to have their "number" TY, having won 8 of the 11 games between them. And it does not help Balt’s cause that they are facing a hard throwing righty tonite after last night facing Lester, a hard throwing lefty, as most MLB teams perform less well on offense in these "transition games" (facing a LHP after a RHP, or vice versa).

Now let’s look at the numbers for Balt SP Cabrera, and how he has done against Red Sox L3Y. While he has decent #s TY at home (4-1 but with a high 5.3 ERA) and at night (7-3 with a 4.35), and he is 2-2 (1-1 at home) with an ERA of 4.65 in four starts TY vs Sox, over last three (prior) years he has a very poor record vs Boston (1-8 with 6.65 ERA in all starts and 1-5 at home with a 5.85). So based on his August starts and overall record vs Boston, we are not expecting a whole lot from Cabrera tonite.

Yet another factor in Boston’s favor is that game two has been their best game of a series TY, with a 26-15 record, including 15-5 after a win in game one.

So as detailed above, we have lots of "support" for a pick on Boston tonite, but what about that high price tag of nearly -170 that often accompanies teams like Boston who have lots of "public betting support?" What do we do about that? Here’s where our unique approach to MLB games, which we call our "betting attack strategy," comes into play, to get maximum value out of these types of games and give our subscribers different alternatives for betting the same team, to either get more action with "non-mainstream bets" at much better prices or spread the exposure of backing that team by betting them in different ways. For example, our betting attack strategy for this game is as follows (note that in order to fully utilize our typical MLB betting attack strategy, you will need to have access to 5 inning run lines and individual team totals lines):

3 units with Boston on full game money line at -167 (limit full game pick to 3 units if you do the other bets suggested below, even though our official pick is for 5 units)

2 units with Boston on five inning (-1/2 run) "run line"at much "friendlier" odds of -120

2 units with Boston over 5 runs (-120 odds) on their individual team totals line

2 units with Balt under 4 runs (-115 odds) on their individual team totals line

2 units with Boston on full game (-1.5 runs) run line at low price of -110 or 115We realize that’s a lot of units (11 to be exact), but as stated above, we are giving you different alternatives for betting the same team, to either get maximum value from this game with more action on the above "non-mainstream bets" at much better prices, or spread the exposure of backing the Red Sox by betting them in 5 different ways. You don’t have to bet all of these recommendations, or bet them for the full 11 units as we suggest. We don’t tell you what you must do, rather ewe give you recommendations and options, and let you decide what best fits w/in your budget and betting style. But once you see the way this multi-bet attack strategy can rack up lots of plus units on one game, or change one lost bet on a team into 3 victories, two losers and plus money by spreading the risk with these different types of bets, we believe you will see the value in the way we approach these games and recommend betting them.

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Black Magic Sports

1 Unit on Florida Marlins -135

Florida will kick it in gear in this series with the lowly San Francisco Giants.  The Marlins are coming off a couple tough series against the Cardinals and Cubs, but they catch a break getting the terrible Giants when they are in desperate need of wins as we near the end of the season.  Ricky Nolasco has been the Marlins’ most consistent starter, posting an 11-7 record and 3.88 ERA on the season.  Kevin Correia has faced the Marlins twice in his career, going 0-1 with a 12.97 ERA.  Correia has allowed 12 earned runs in just over 8 innings against the Marlins.  Nolasco is 9-2 following a team loss this season, showing his ability to lead his team when they need him most.  Florida is 28-11 vs. an NL team with an on base percentage .325 or worse this season.  The Giants are 0-10 vs. poor fielding teams - (turning 0.8 or less DP's/game) in the second half of the season this season.  Cash in with Florida as the favorite.

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Charlies Sports

Angels / Tampa Bay Under 8 (500*)
Detroit -110 (30*)
Dodgers -150(20*)
Royals +165 (20*)
Reds / Cubs Over 7 (10*)
San Francisco +135 (10*) free play

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Stephen Nover

Colorado Rockies @ Los Angeles Dodgers
PICK: Los Angeles Dodgers

Ubaldo Jimenez has now thrown 153 innings for Colorado, nearly double the amount of innings he threw last season for the Rockies. I believe the youngster has hit the wall. He's been shelled for 19 hits and eight walks in his last two starts, giving up 10 runs in 11 innings.

The Dodgers' offense is a lot more dangerous with Manny Ramirez. There's a real buzz going on at Dodger Stadium thanks to Ramirez. It's reflected in Los Angeles winning eight of its last nine home contests. The Dodgers certainly can get to Jimenez, who has a 5.34 career ERA versus Los Angeles in six appearances.

The flip side has a hot Hiroki Kuroda starting for Los Angeles. He's 2-0 with a 1.21 ERA in his last three starts with a 17-to-two strikeout-to-walk ratio. 

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Matt Fargo

Game: Florida Marlins at San Francisco Giants
Prediction: Florida Marlins

Florida heads out west to start a nine-game roadtrip that could be a make or break part of the season. The Marlins have slipped to four games behind the Mets in the National League East and with series against Arizona, New York, St. Louis and Philadelphia lingering, this is a big one to at least remain steady in the division. The Marlins have dropped four of their last five games as the offense has suddenly gone cold but now it is up to the pitching to keep things going.

The Giants had a decent finish to their roadtrip, going 3-1 over the final four games in Atlanta but now it is back home where they have had problems winning all season long. San Francisco is 24-36 at home which is the third worst home record in all of baseball. The offense remains a problem as the Giants averaged only 3.6 rpg during this recent eight-game roadtrip and they have now gone 19 straight games scoring no more than five runs in any game. They have averaged just 2.9 rpg over this stretch.

The Marlins send Ricky Nolasco to the hill and he is in the midst of a very solid run. He has tossed four straight quality outings, compiling a 3.37 ERA. 11 of his last 13 starts have been quality performances as well including five straight on the road. His ERA over those five road games is 2.72 with Florida coming away a winner in four of those. The Marlins are 12-5 in his last 17 starts while going 9-4 in his 13 road starts this season. This will be his first ever start against the Giants, a big edge on his part.

San Francisco is hoping for yet another strong start from Kevin Correia as he has tossed three straight quality outings. This has come on the heels of nine straight non-quality starts so while this recent run has been impressive, I am not sold on the fact that everything is completely turned around. San Francisco had dropped eight consecutive starts of his and for the season it is still a dismal 4-11 in his 15 starts. Even a bigger concern is his 1.56 season WHIP and that should spark the Marlins offense. Play Florida Marlins 1.5 Units

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