Friday Service Plays

Friday Service Plays

Sports Advisors

Connecticut (4-0, 1-2 ATS) at Louisville (2-1, 1-1 ATS)

Connecticut will try to stay perfect on the season when it visits Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville to take on the Cardinals in the Big East opener for both squads.

The Huskies needed a late score to get past Baylor last Friday 31-28, but failed to cover as a 13-point home favorite. UConn’s only road game so far came at Temple three weeks ago, a 12-9 overtime win as a seven-point road chalk. RB Donald Brown has carried the Huskies’ offense, rushing for 716 yards and 10 TDs, while QB Tyler Lorenzen has struggled with just one TD pass against six INTs.

The Cardinals suffered an ugly 27-2 loss to instate rival Kentucky in their opener, but their confidence has grown in the last two games, a 51-10 rout of Division I-AA Tennessee Tech followed by last week’s 38-29 win over Kansas State as 5½-point home ‘dogs. Louisville RB Victor Anderson, a redshirt freshman, rushed for 176 yards and three TDs against Kansas State, while QB Hunter Cantwell passed for 274 yards and two TDs with no INTs.

UConn rallied from a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Cardinals 21-17 last season, getting the cash as a three-point home ‘dog. While Louisville is 3-1 SU in four matchups with the Huskies since 2000, UConn is 3-1 ATS and has been an underdog in all four clashes.

The Huskies are just 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall and 0-4 ATS in their last four on the highway, but they are on positive pointspread runs of 5-2 in Big East contests and 6-1 following a non-cover.

Louisville is 2-5 ATS in its last seven at home and 1-4 ATS in its last five Friday night contests, but 7-3 ATS in its last 10 against teams with a winning record.

The under is 5-1 in UConn’s last five road games and 4-1 in its last five Friday contests, but the over is 4-1 in its last five September kickoffs. For the Cardinals, the under is 18-8 in their last 26 September games, but otherwise the over is on runs of 4-1 overall, 5-2 at home, 8-3 following a straight-up win and 4-0 against teams with a winning record.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE


NATIONAL LEAGUE

Florida (82-76) at N.Y. Mets (88-71)

A day after rallying for their biggest victory of the season, the Mets and Michael Pelfrey (13-10, 3.70 ERA) host Florida and starter Chris Volstad (5-4, 3.10) in the opener of a season-ending, three-game series at Shea Stadium.

New York scored four runs in the final three innings to come from behind and beat the Cubs 7-6 and stay just a game behind the Phillies in the N.L. East race and stay in a deadlock with the Brewers atop the wild-card standings. The Mets are just 2-4 in their last six games, but they have gone 9-6 against Florida this season, including 4-2 at Shea. Also, New York is on runs of 17-7 at home against teams with a losing record and 5-1 on Fridays.

The Marlins have lost four of their last five and had Thursday’s game in Washington rained out. Florida is 10-3 in its last 13 games against right-handed pitching and 7-3 in its last 10 against division rivals.

The Mets are 9-2 in Pelfrey’s last 11 home starts and 6-1 when he pitches a series opener, but they are just 2-11 in his last 13 against N.L. East rivals and 1-4 in his last five overall. He’s got a 2.94 ERA in 17 home outings in 2008, but was shaky in his last two at Shea, giving up a combined eight runs (seven earned) in a 3-0 loss to the Phillies and 13-10 win over the Nationals.

Pelfrey is 1-4 with a 6.38 ERA in seven career starts against the Marlins, and the Mets have lost his last six starts against Florida, including all four this season.

Volstad is 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA in his last three outings, and the rookie has gone 3-1 on the road with a 2.32 ERA. The Marlins have won three of his last four starts, the one defeat coming in his most recent outing as he gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits in five innings of a 5-2 home setback to the Phillies. In his lone career start against the Mets back on Aug. 29, Volstad allowed one run on five hits in 6 1/3 innings, but Florida fell, 5-4.

With Volstad on the hill, the under is on runs of 10-2-1 overall and 4-1 on the road, but as a team, the Marlins are on over runs of 6-2 overall, 6-0 on the road and 6-1 against right-handed starters. With Pelfrey pitching, the over is on runs of 7-3 for the Mets against N.L. East squads, 5-1 at Shea and 9-2-2 against teams with a winning record. As a team, New York is on over streaks of 5-0 overall, 20-7-1 at home and 25-9-3 against right-handed starters.

Finally, the over is 16-5-3 in the last 24 meetings in this rivalry, including 8-1-2 in the last 11 clashes at Shea and 5-2 when Pelfrey takes the mound.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER


Chicago Cubs (96-62) at Milwaukee (88-71)

The Brewers are gunning for their fifth straight win and hoping to keep pace in the N.L. wild-card race as they send veteran Jeff Suppan (10-10, 5.06) to the mound at home against the Cubs’ Ryan Dempster (17-6, 2.99) in the opener of a season-ending three-game set at Miller Park.

Milwaukee got a dramatic 10th-inning grand slam from Ryan Braun on Thursday to finish a sweep of the Pirates with a 5-1 victory. The win keeps the Brewers in a deadlock with the Mets in the N.L. wild-card race with three games remaining for each club.

The Cubs punched their playoff ticket by clinching the N.L. Central almost a week ago, and they’ve also wrapped up home-field advantage through the N.L. playoffs. They come into this series after splitting a four-game set in New York, including Thursday’s 7-6 loss. Lou Pineilla’s club has dominated the Brewers lately, winning six of seven, including four straight in Milwaukee in late July when the Cubs outscored the Brewers 31-11.

Chicago is 11-5 in Dempster’s last 16 starts against N.L. Central foes and is on additional runs of 36-18 overall, 20-7 on the road and 12-5 on the road against right-handers. The Brewers are 21-8 in Suppan’s last 29 starts against division rivals, but just 2-5 in his last seven at home. As a team, Milwaukee is just 6-11 in its last 17 overall and 1-6 in its last seven series openers.

Dempster has won two of his last three starts, including holding the Cardinals to one run in five innings in Sunday’s 5-1 home win. The Cubs are 6-2 in his last eight overall and they are 4-0 in his four outings against the Brewers this season. Dempster is 8-2 with a 2.48 ERA and 10 saves in his 34 career appearances against Milwaukee.

Suppan got roughed up in is last two outings, giving up a combined 11 runs in just 5 2/3 innings in road losses at Philadelphia and Cincinnati. Milwaukee has lost his last four outings as the veteran hurler has allowed 20 runs, and the last time he saw the Cubs he got rocked for 11 runs (eight earned) in 3 2/3 innings of a 19-5 loss at Wrigley Field. In 18 lifetime starts against Chicago, Suppan is 6-6 with a 3.68 ERA.

For the Cubs, the over is on runs of 7-2-1 overall, 19-8 on the road and 7-3 in series openers, but the under is 8-3-1 in their last 12 against N.L. Central rivals. Milwaukee is on over runs of 8-3-5 overall, 5-0 in series openers and 7-2-4 against right-handed starters, but the under is 13-6 in Suppan’s last 19 outings versus teams with a winning record.

The over is 22-8-4 in the last 34 Cubs-Brewers clashes and 11-1-2 in the last 14 meetings in Milwaukee.

ATS ADVANTAGE: CHICAGO CUBS and OVER

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Scott Ferrall

LACKEY -140 and the Angels over the Rangers and Padilla

Oakland EVEN ODDS at Seattle--Gallagher over Morrow in the Pacific Northwest

LIRIANO -240 and the TWINS over the Royals and Davies

St.Louis -120 and the Cards over the Reds--Looper handles Arroyo at Busch

NO EARLY LINES ON THESE TWO BUT POUNCE ON THEM ANYWAY:

DICE K will beat the Yankees at Fenway

Tampa over Detroit--Sonnanstine beats Verlander in Motown

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WILD BILL

Washington Nationals +220 (5 units)
Blue Jays Even (5 units)
New York Mets -160 (5 units)
Chicago Cubs +105 (5 units)
Cleveland Indians +155 (5 units)
Kansas City Royals +210 (5 units)
Pittsburgh Pirates +125 (5 units)
Texas Rangers +160 (5 units)
Athletics Even (5 units)
Twins-Royals Over 8 (5 units)
Angels-Rangers Over 8 1/2 (5 units)


Connecticut +3 1/2 (5 units)

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Jim Feist

TOR Blue Jays / BAL Orioles
Take Under

Toronto's offense has been a disappointment, ranked 11th in the AL. They come down the stretch on a 7-2 run under the total. Blue Jays starter Scott Richmond has a 17-2 strikeout to walk ratio, and has fanned 17 in 21 innings. The Baltimore offense has never faced him, either. The Orioles are limping down the stretch, with a long losing streak while going 8-3 under the total. During a recent 6-game skid, the offense scored 3 or more runs just twice! Baltimore starter Chris Waters just faced these Blue Jays last week and fired a 2-0 shutout, a 4-hitter with just 2 walks. Don't look for many runs in this one. Play the Blue Jays/Orioles under the total.

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Pointwise

LOUISVILLE 31 - Connecticut 27 - (8:00 - ESPN2) -- Only one way to go when UConn travels. Huskies are 0-4 ATS away of late by 59½ pts. Brown now at 716 yds & 10 TDs, but 'Ville woke up the ghosts with 38-pt, 578-yd effort vs KanSt,led by Cantwell & Anderson (176 RYs, 3 TDs). And no TOs after 7 in previous 2.


Statfox Platinum

CONNECTICUT at  LOUISVILLE
Well, it seems that Louisville in as bad of shape as oddsmakers would have led you to believe prior to the Kansas State game. With QB Hunter Cantwell getting the passing game going in the last two outings, the Cardinals are now one of the more balanced teams in the Big East, both offensively and defensively. The same can’t be said for Connecticut, who relies extensively on the running game. The Huskies’ inability to throw the ball on Baylor last Friday night was eye opening. Though they still won that game, the problem for them in this Friday night clash is that they’re going to have problems running the ball on Louisville. HC Steve Kragthorpe’s team has shut down each of their first three opponents’ ground attacks. With the running game, UConn will have trouble staying in this one. They are 4-0 having played NOBODY. This game will be a wake up call. Take the hosts. Play: Louisville -3


THE GOLD SHEET

LOUISVILLE 31 - Connecticut 17—UConn brings nation’s leading rusher in jr. D. Brown (179 ypg & 10 TDs), as well as sound, veteran defense. However, Louisville’s own stop unit much improved, allowing only 4 meaningful TDs in first 3 games. Emergence of RS frosh RB V. Anderson (176 YR & 3 TDs last week) opening airways for rifle-armed Card sr. QB Cantwell, who’s a much more highly-regarded pro prospect than Husky counterpart Lorenzen. Cards avenge LY’s upset loss. TV—ESPN2 (07-CONN. 21-Lvl. 17...L.20-16 C.39/175 L.31/93 L.29/43/3/228 C.9/18/0/130 C.2 L.0) (07-CONN. +3 21-17 06-LVL. -28' 48-17 05-Lvl. -15 30-20...SR: Louisville 3-1)


WINNING POINTS

Louisville* over Connecticut by 1
Huskies have only one road win since becoming a full-fledged member of the Big East, and until we see some indication that their passing game has any rhythm, those wins may continue to be elusive, especially with the Cardinals bringing bitter memories of the officiating in last year’s loss. LOUISVILLE 24-23.


Marc Lawrence Playbook

LOUISVILLE over UConn by 6
Both of these Big Easters were showcased against Big 12 foes last week in primetime and both emerged with SU wins, just what was needed from a conference that’s endured some withering criticism so far in 2008. For the home-lovin’ Cardinals, this game marks the fi rst of four league paybacks from last year. However, there are a few more ‘fours’ that need to be considered here: conference home favorites in Game Four of a season-opening four-game homestand are a lukewarm 7-16-1 ATS. Duly noted but we’ll also point out that the invading Huskies don’t really live up to their name on the conference road, mushing along to a feeble 2-9 ATS mark when getting points. With the series visitor currently 0-3 ATS, it’s possible these sled dogs could lose their way on a chilly Kentucky night.

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Athlon Sports

Connecticut (+3.5) at Louisville

Louisville has bounced back from a dreadful performance in an opening-day loss to Kentucky to post consecutive wins over Tennessee Tech (51–10) and Kansas State (38–29). We don’t know quite yet how good (or bad) Kansas State is (the hunch is more bad than good), but the Cards played very well in the Thursday night win over the Wildcats. Victor Anderson posted his second straight 100-yard rushing game and Hunter Cantwell looked far more comfortable in the pocket. The challenge will be more difficult this week. UConn once again is winning games without much fanfare, doing so with a potent rushing attack and a very solid defense. Donald Brown leads the nation in rushing with 179.0 yards per game, but he is far from a one-man show. The Huskies boast several big-time running backs — some young, some old — to complement Tyler Lorenzen and the pedestrian passing game. In my opinion, the wrong team is favored in this game.

Connecticut 27, Louisville 21

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Marc Lawrence

Play On: Tampa Bay

When the Rays send Andy Sonnanstine up against Justin Verlander and the Tigers in Detroit tonight they'll do so knowing he is in sharp current form with Verlander in rocky current form. To top it off, Sonnanstine has been super sharp in his last five road starts with 3 walks and 21 strikeouts. With Tampa 16-3 in its last 19 games on Fridays, look for Sonnanstine to remain unbeaten against Detroit this evening.

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Jimmy The Moose

Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners
Prediction: Oakland Athletics

Two team's that can't for the season to end meet up in Seattle tonight. The A's have been the better team of late. Oakland has won 8 of their last 11 games. In their last 14 games opening a series the A's are 11-3. Oakland has won 8 of their last 9 games vs. a right-handed starter. The Mariners are 20-42 in their last 62 games. They are 22-46 in their last 68 games vs. a team with a losing record. In their last 38 divisional games (not including last night's game) the Mariners are 10-28. Oakland has won 4 of the last 5 meetings and will take another one tonight. Play on the Oakland A's -.

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Big Al McMordie

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. San Diego Padres    
Play: San Diego Padres   

At 10:05pm our complimentary selection is on the San Diego Padres over the Pittsburgh Pirates. If someone had told you at the beginning of the season that the Pirates would finish 2008 with less than 70 wins, you certainly would not have been surprised. If that same person told you however that the Padres would be even worse than that, then you might have done a double-take. After their 89-win season in 2007, many people expected the 2008 version of the San Diego club to battle for the division title and instead they are going to wind up with their first losing campaign and worst overall record since the 2003 season. One of the few bright spots for this team has been the performances of some of their young pitchers, including tonight's starter, 25-year-old righthander Josh Geer, who is 2-1 with an ERA of only 2.86 after four starts. Geer may not be an overpowering pitcher with a lot of strikeout potential, but he has shown that he possesses decent control and plenty of poise in his brief Major League career. Pirates veteran starter Ian Snell would probably prefer to just forget about his 2008 season. No matter how you measure it, this year has been a disaster for the 26-year-old. And it's been a disaster that pretty much comes with no explanation. Snell was coming off a season in which all his stats, except for his wins, were outstanding and he has been healthy all season and has not switched teams, yet he's seen his ERA go up by almost two runs, his innings go down by about 50, his strikeouts go from 177 to 130, and his walks to up from 68 to 88. Snell has been at his worst on the road this season, with only three wins and an ERA close to six-and-a-half runs. Take the Padres.

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Karl Garrett

Connecticut at LOUISVILLE

Tonight, I don't see how the Huskies-Cardinals game stays UNDER the posted total.

I know last year's game featured a 21-17 final score, but thus far this season, both schools have been able to generate offense rather handily.

UConn comes into Papa John's having scored 31 points or better in 3 of their 4 wins, while the 'Ville has rung up 89 points in their last pair of home wins.

The Huskies can also boast the nation's leading rusher in Donald Brown who just ran for 176 yards, and 3 scores in Connecticut's win over Baylor.

The Huskies did surrender 28 points in their win over the Bears, while Louisville allowed 29 in their win over Kansas State last time out.

Have to believe this game slips OVER the posted price late in the contest, as there is just too much offense on the field for me to look UNDER.

Take the OVER!

1♦ OVER

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Bobby Maxwell

Chicago Cubs +110 at MILWAUKEE 

The Brewers got some lucky wins over the Pirates, two walk-off wins, but the same won't come true when they face the Cubs tonight as they're taking on an old nemesis in Chicago starter Ryan Dempster (17-6, 2.99 ERA).

The Cubs are 4-0 in Dempster's four outings against Milwaukee this season and he is 8-2 with 10 saves in his 34 career outings against the Brewers with a 2.48 ERA. Chicago has won six of his last eight starts overall and on Sunday he held the Cardinals to one run in five innings of a 5-1 victory.

Chicago has won six of the last seven meetings with the Brewers and four straight in Milwaukee back in late July when they outscored the Brewers 31-11 in a dominating four-game sweep.

Jeff Suppan (10-10, 5.06) goes for Milwaukee and he has been knocked around in his last two starts, giving up a combined 11 runs in 5.2 innings of work. The Brewers have lost his last four starts and he has given up 20 runs in those four starts. Last time he saw the Cubs he got smacked around for 11 runs in 3.2 innings of a 19-5 loss at Wrigley Field.

Chicago is on a 36-18 run overall and 20-7 on the road, so let's play them to get this one in Milwaukee and hurt the Brewers' chances of reaching the postseason. Play the Cubs with Dempster on the hill.

3♦ CHICAGO CUBS

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Sports Gambling Hotline

Atlanta +105 at HOUSTON 

Both teams enter playing some winning ball of late, as Atlanta had last night off, but have won their last pair, and 4 of 5, while the Astros come in having won their last pair, and 4 of 6.

We will go with the Braves, as Atlanta's wins have come against the Mets, and the Phillies, and we think playing teams vying for a playoff spot will help matters tonight when they take on Brian Moehler who looks like he is about out of gas.

Moehler's last 2 starts show just 6 innings of work, and 10 runs allowed for a pair of losses. Moehler was also hit hard on the 4th of July in a loss at Atlanta, as the Braves got to him for 5 runs in 6 innings of work.

Jorge Campillo looks like a keeper for the Braves, and he is fresh off 6 solid innings of 2 run ball in a win over the Mets his last time out.

Play on the Braves as the slight dog tonight.

3♦ ATLANTA

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Scott Spreitzer

Pittsburgh Pirates at San Diego Padres

I'm playing the Padres on Friday night. Josh Geer is off to a strong start and I believe he's in position to pitch well and be rewarded with a win tonight. Geer has made four starts since August 30. He's allowed just seven earned runs in 22 innings of work for a 2.86 ERA. He'll take the hill against a Pittsburgh team that's just 22-32 in road games against righthanders. Meanwhile, SDG is 35-games below .500. But they're actually right at .500 in home games against righthanders. They'll have a great chance at picking up a win tonight against Ian Snell. The Pirate righty has been horrible away from home this season. He's 3-8 in 16 road starts and he's been tagged for a hefty, 6.48 ERA, 1.87 WHIP, and .321 BAA! The Pirates have dropped four straight, scoring just 10 total runs in the process. Look for Geer and the Friars to hand the Bucs another loss on Friday.

Play on: San Diego

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Drew Gordon

Atlanta at HOUSTON -110 

First things first, I know full well Brian Moehler has struggled in 3 of his last 4 starts. But before you immediately jump ship on this play, consider a couple things: A. 2 of those 4 starts were on the road, and the remaining home loss was against the Cubs powerhouse offense. B. the lone home win was rock-solid, allowing 2 runs over 6 innings against the Pirates. Look guys, I'm not saying Moehler will lockdown the Braves, but I expect he'll rebound nicely at home against an Atlanta team that's 20-35 against righties away!

Second, you can trust Braves Jorge Campillo if you want, but one good start against the Mets doesn't erase a month and half worth of struggles! Prior to his last start, he was 1-3 with a 6.91 ERA in his previous 8! The numbers clearly show that he's fatigued down the stretch, and will continue to do so tonight on the road. Note, he's pitched 155 2/3 innings this season, or 142 1/3 more than he did in limited action last year in Seattle!

Finally, the Astros offense has come back to life, maybe too little too late, but fact remains they pounded out 8 runs on 16 hits against the Reds yesterday. I expect they'll have somewhat similar success tonight, as they hang on to their ever-so-slim hopes of making the postseason. In the end, look for Moehler to rebound tonight at home, while Campillo gets a taste of a desperate Astros team that's just trying to stay alive.

Take Houston behind Moehler over Atlanta and Campillo in this MLB match up.

3♦ HOUSTON

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Jeff Alexander Sports

1 Unit on St. Louis Cardinals -120

The Reds are just 19-41 in their last 60 meetings in St. Louis and only 10-25 in Arroyo's last 35 road starts.  The Cardinals are 7-2 in their last 9 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400 and 8-3 in Looper's last 11 starts vs. a team with a losing record.  Since being eliminated from playoff contention on Tuesday, the Cards are yet to lose. The Cardinals won their third in a row, and ended Arizona’s playoff hopes with a 12-3 rout on Thursday as Pujols and Ludwick hit back-to-back homers during a five-run seventh inning.  Pujols has four homeruns off Reds pitching this season.  I like St. Louis' big bats to put plenty of runs on the board again tonight.  Take the Red Birds.

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Tom Freese

Game: Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers
Prediction: Chicago Cubs

Chicago starter Ryan Dempster has a 5 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio in his last 3 starts. The Cubs are 20-6 their last 26 road games and they are 6-2 in the last 8 road starts made by Dempster. Milwaukee starter Jeff Suppan has more walks than strikeouts in his last 3 starts. The Brewers are 1-6 their last 7 games when playing Game 1 of a series. The Brew Crew are 0-4 in the last 4 starts made by Jeff Suppan and they are 0-5 their last 5 home games vs. the Cubs.

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Vegas Experts

Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers

Although the Cubs gave the Mets everything they could handle, we don't see them putting forth the same effort against Milwaukee, even though they could ruin their division rival's playoff aspirations. Rumor has it that Piniella will be resting his starters and pitcher Ryan Dempster is nowhere near as effective on the road compared to his home efforts. With this series of the utmost importance to the Brew Crew, expect maximum effort from the home team.

Play on: Milwaukee

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The Herd:



TCU (+18) 17 – OK28

LSU (23.5) 30 – Miss St 0

Bama (+7) 20 – Geo 23

ND (-1.5) 28 – Purdue 21

Penn St (-14) 36 – Ill 14

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Dwayne Bryant

Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles
Play: Toronto Blue Jays -101

The Orioles appear to have packed it in for the season. Baltimore has lost nine straight and 28 of 34 since August 18th. They also have not had a whole lot of success against Toronto this season. The Blue Jays have won 10 of 15 against the Orioles this season, including four of six at Camden Yards.

Baltimore's Chris Waters threw a complete-game, four-hit shutout in Toronto just ten days ago, but pitching at home has proven to be a difficult thing. In five home starts this season (team is 1-4), Waters owns a 7.00 ERA, 1.74 WHIP and .383 OOBP. Waters has allowed five homers in just 27 innings at Camden Yards this season. Waters doesn't figure to get much help from the bullpen, which owns a 5.03 ERA on the season and a 7.93 ERA in each available reliever's last three appearances.

Toronto's Scott Richmond has made four starts this season -- all at home. He allowed exactly three runs in each of those starts, lasting anywhere from 5 to 5.2 innings. Those are not terrible outings, but I think the youngster could pitch even better tonight without the pressure of pitching in front of the home crowd. Richmond also benefits from an outstanding bullpen that owns a 2.79 ERA on the season.

Take Toronto

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Locksmith Sports

1 Unit on Oakland A's +100

The A's have taken 4 of the last 5 in this series and you have to love them in a game 1 situation tonight.  The Athletics are 11-3 in their last 14 during game 1 of a series while the Mariners are 0-5 in their last 5 during game 1 of a series.  The A's have won 8 of their last 11 overall and are stinging the righties, at 8-1 in their last 9 games vs. a right-handed starter.  The Mariners are only 8-22 in their last 30 games following a loss and 10-29 in their last 39 vs. the American League West.  Bet the A's here.

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