Wednesday Service Plays

Wednesday Service Plays

SPORTS ADVISORS

NBA PLAYOFFS

EASTERN CONFERENCE

(5) Miami (2-2 SU and ATS) at (4) Atlanta (2-2 SU and ATS)

The Hawks, who pulled out a split of two games in Miami to reclaim home-court advantage in their best-of-7 first-round series, return to Philips Arena for Game 5 looking to take a 3-2 lead over the Heat.

After getting hammered 107-78 Saturday in Game 3 as a four-point road pup, Atlanta rebounded with a solid defensive effort Monday for an 81-71 Game 4 victory as a five-point underdog to tie the series. Mike Bibby led five Hawks in double figures with 15 points, and reserve Zaza Pachula posted a double-double with 12 points and 18 rebounds. Atlanta is still just 5-10 ATS in its last 15 games, but Monday’s outcome continued a series-long trend, as all four games have been decided by double digits.

Miami got 22 points, seven assists and six rebounds from a hobbled Dwyane Wade, but only two other players reached double figures for the Heat, who were outshot 42.4 percent to 37.7 percent, hitting just 4 of 16 from three-point range (25 percent). Miami is still 4-3 SU and 5-2 ATS in its last seven outings going back to the regular season.

The Hawks hold a 5-3 SU edge against Miami for the season, with the teams splitting the cash in those eight contests. However, going back further, Miami is 23-10 ATS in its last 33 battles with Atlanta, including 8-3 ATS in the last 11 meetings at Philips Arena.

Atlanta is 32-11 (23-19-1 ATS) at home this season, and Miami is 16-27 (21-21-1 ATS) on the road.

The Hawks are on ATS upticks of 11-4-1 after a spread-cover and 9-4-1 playing on one day of rest, but they still carry negative ATS streaks of 2-5 overall, 1-4 at home, 0-4 after a SU win, 2-6 against winning teams and 2-5 inside the Southeast Division.

The Heat are 2-5 ATS in their last seven first-round playoff games, but they are otherwise on positive ATS runs of 6-1 after a SU loss, 4-1 after an ATS setback, 4-1 after a day off and 5-2 against divisional rivals.

For Atlanta, the under is on tears of 5-1 overall, 7-1 against winning teams, 7-2 in the Southeast Division and 4-1 in first-round playoff games. Likewise, the under for Miami is on rolls of 8-1 against winning teams, 4-1 inside the Southeast Division and 4-1 in conference quarterfinal contests.

Finally, these rivals have stayed low in seven of eight meetings this year – with Monday’s contest falling way short of the 186-point posted price – and the under is also 4-1 in the last five battles in Atlanta.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


WESTERN CONFERENCE

(7) New Orleans (1-3 SU, 0-4 ATS) at (2) Denver (3-1 SU, 4-0 ATS)

The streaking Nuggets return home to the Pepsi Center aiming to finish off the Hornets and advance to the second round for the first time since 1994.

Denver, coming off a hard-fought 95-93 road loss in Game 3, posted a record-tying Game 4 victory, manhandling New Orleans 121-63 as a two-point road underdog. The 58-point margin of victory matched the NBA playoff record set in 1956, when the Minneapolis Lakers rolled the St. Louis Hawks 133-75, but the Lakers were the home team in that one. The Nuggets had seven players reach double digits, led by Carmelo Anthony’s 26 points, while Chauncey Billups added 17 points and eight assists. Denver is on a 17-4 SU run (13-8 ATS) and has cashed in all four games in this series.

All-Star point guard Chris Paul, coming off a 36-point effort in Game 3, finished Monday’s contest with a dismal four points, six assists and six turnovers for New Orleans, which was led by David West’s 14-point effort. The Hornets were down 61-39 at halftime, and it got markedly worse from there as they were outshot 56.6 percent to 31.5 percent and made just 2 of 15 three-pointers (13.3 percent). New Orleans is on a 3-9 SU and 4-8 ATS slide in its last 12 games.

Denver is 5-3 SU and 6-2 ATS against New Orleans this season, cashing in six of the last seven meetings, including the last five in a row. Despite the Nuggets covering the spread in Games 4 and 5 from the underdog role, the chalk is still 6-3 ATS in the last nine meetings in this rivalry. That includes a pair of blowout victories and easy spread-covers by Denver in Games 1 and 2 at the Pepsi Center.

The Nuggets are 35-8 SU (25-17-1 ATS) at home this year, and New Orleans is 21-22 SU (16-26-1 ATS) as a visitor.

The Nuggets have cashed in five of their last six contests dating to the regular season and are on further positive ATS streaks of 12-4 overall, 12-3 against the Western Conference, 11-3 against winning teams, 5-1 after a day off, 8-3 after a spread-cover, 6-1 as a favorite and 6-0 against the Southwest Division.

On the flip side, the Hornets are on a boatload of negative pointspread streaks, including 2-7 overall, 1-4 on the road, 0-7 against the Northwest Division, 1-5 against winning teams, 2-9 against the Western Conference, 6-15 after a SU loss and 7-19 as an underdog.

The under for Denver is 21-7 in its last 28 first-round playoff games, and the under for New Orleans is on stretches of 16-7 overall, 11-4 after a day off and 7-3-1 as a playoff dog. However, the over is 5-1 in the Nuggets’ last six home games (2-0 in this series) and is 9-3 roll in Denver’s last 12 games as a favorite. Finally, in this rivalry, these squads have topped the total in each of their last four meetings at the Pepsi Center.

ATS ADVANTAGE: DENVER


NATIONAL LEAGUE

St. Louis (14-7) at Atlanta (10-10)

The Cardinals look to bounce back from last night’s difficult loss at Turner Field when they give the ball to Adam Wainwright (2-0, 2.70 ERA), who is set to oppose the Braves’ Javier Vazquez (2-1, 2.62) in the rubber match of this three-game series.

After falling to St. Louis 3-2 on Monday, Atlanta trailed 1-0 going into the bottom of the eighth inning Tuesday, but scored two runs with two outs to pull out a 2-1 victory. Despite the comeback win, the Braves have still dropped nine of their last 14 overall, and they’re averaging just 3.1 runs per game during this stretch. Atlanta is in additional ruts of 12-31 against the N.L. Central and 3-7 versus right-handed starters.

The Cardinals on Tuesday lost for just the second time in their last eight games. Going back to last season, they remain on streaks of 20-7 overall, 6-1 against the N.L. East and 11-2 against teams with a losing record. However, they’re still just 7-17 in their past 24 road games.

St. Louis is still 8-3 in the last 11 meetings with the Braves, going 5-2 in its last six contests in Atlanta.

Wainwright gave up three runs (one earned) in seven innings during Friday’s home outing against the Cubs, getting a no-decision in the Cards’ 4-3 home win. St. Louis is 3-0 in the right-hander’s last three starts after losing his debut 6-4 to the Pirates. In his only other road outing this season, Wainwright beat the Cubs 7-4 at Wrigley Field, giving up four runs in six innings.

Vazquez, who signed with Atlanta in the offseason, has been outstanding so far, pitching exactly six innings in all four starts and allowing a total of just seven earned runs. In his last two efforts, the veteran right-hander has given up just two runs (one earned) on 12 hits in 12 innings, beating the Pirates 11-1 and the Reds 4-3, both on the road.

Vazquez has made one start at Turner Field this season, losing 5-1 to the Marlins despite giving up just three runs and striking out 12 in six innings. He has a 29-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his last three trips to the mound.

Wainwright has owned the Braves in his brief career, going 3-0 with a 1.13 ERA in six games (three starts). Conversely, Vazquez is 2-6 with a 4.01 ERA in nine lifetime outings against St. Louis.

The first two games in this series have stayed well under the total, which follows a four-game “over” stretch in this rivalry at Turner Field. Still, the over is 19-8-3 in the last 30 meetings overall. Also, for the Cardinals, the over is on runs of 8-4-1 overall, 5-2 on the road, 10-4 against right-handed starters and 28-13-2 against losing teams. However, the Braves have stayed low in six of their last eight overall.

ATS ADVANTAGE: ST. LOUIS


AMERICAN LEAGUE

Boston (13-7) at Cleveland (8-13)

One day after snapping Boston’s 11-game winning streak in dramatic fashion, the Indians now look to take this three-game series when they send Fausto Carmona (1-3, 7.36) to the mound at Progressive Field against Red Sox lefty Jon Lester (1-2, 4.88).

The Indians rallied from an early 7-3 hole on Tuesday and pulled out a 9-8 victory, scoring the winning run on a Boston error in the bottom of the ninth. Despite the come-from-behind win, Cleveland is still just 5-6 in its last 11 games and 5-7 at home this season, and it has won consecutive games just once all season. Additionally, the Indians are mired in funks of 4-8 against the A.L. East, 2-7 as an underdog and 5-13 on Wednesday, but the Tribe have won four of their last five against southpaw starters.

Boston on Tuesday suffered its first loss since April 14 in Oakland, but Terry Francona’s squad remains on positive runs of 3-1 on the road, 7-1 against right-handed starters, 43-17 versus the A.L. Central and 5-1 on Wednesday. Also, during their 11-1 run, the Red Sox have tallied 91 runs.

The Red Sox had a four-game winning streak against the Indians snapped last night. However, going back to Game 5 of the 2007 A.L. Championship Series, Boston is 9-2 against the Indians (4-2 in Cleveland).

Lester started the season with two ugly outings (11 earned runs allowed in 11 innings in losses to the Rays and A’s), but he’s bounced back with two solid performances at home, holding the Orioles and Yankees to a total of two runs on 11 hits with 16 strikeouts in 13 innings. He got a 2-1 win over the Orioles and a no-decision in Boston’s 5-4, 11-inning victory over the Yankees on Friday.

The Red Sox have lost five of Lester’s last six road outings. Otherwise, though, with the southpaw on the bump, Boston is on streaks of 37-17 overall, 27-10 as a favorite and 4-0 all-time against the Indians, with Lester going 2-0 with a 4.03 ERA in those four outings.

In his first home start of the season Friday, Carmona yielded five runs (four earned) in six innings, losing 5-1 to the Twins. The right-hander gave up six runs in his first start of 2009 at Texas (8-5 loss), and he’s allowed exactly four earned runs in each of his ensuing three outings while pitching just 17 innings. Carmona has gone 10 consecutive starts without a quality outing (at least six innings pitched while giving up three earned runs or fewer). The Indians are 1-4 in his last five starts overall, but 21-10 in his last 31 at home.

Carmona’s first career start against the Red Sox was a complete-game 1-0, four-hit home victory in July 2007. Since then, though, he’s faced Boston three times (all at Fenway Park, and including two playoff outings) and allowed 15 runs (all earned) in just seven innings of work.

The Red Sox carry “over” streaks of 12-4 overall, 10-3 as a chalk, 6-1 on the road and 4-0 on Wednesday. Conversely, the under is 6-1 in Cleveland’s last seven games overall (all at home), but with Carmona pitching, the Tribe are on “over” runs of 21-7 overall, 11-3 at home and 4-1 versus the A.L. East. Finally, the under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings between these clubs and 6-3-2 in the last 11 clashes in Cleveland (1-1 in this series).

ATS ADVANTAGE: BOSTON

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  DUNKEL

New Orleans at Denver     
The Nuggets look to close out the series and build on their 23-5-1 ATS record in their last 29 games as a home favorite from 5 to 10 1/2 points, while the Hornets are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 playoff games as an underdog by the same margin.  Denver is the pick (-10 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Nuggets favored by 13.  Dunkel Pick: Denver (-10 1/2).   

Game 551-552: Miami at Atlanta
Dunkel Ratings: Miami 118.976; Atlanta 122.790
Dunkel Line & Total: Atlanta by 4; 178
Vegas Line & Total: Atlanta by 5 1/2; 180
Dunkel Pick: Miami (+5 1/2); Under

Game 553-554: New Orleans at Denver
Dunkel Ratings: New Orleans 113.142; Denver 126.153
Dunkel Line & Total: Denver by 13; 195
Vegas Line & Total: Denver by 10 1/2; 197 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Denver (-10 1/2); Under


MLB

Chicago Cubs at Arizona
The Diamondbacks are 4-1 in Doug Davis' last 5 starts as an underdog, while the Cubs are just 1-6 in Ryan Dempster's last 7 road starts with the total between 9 and 10 1/2.  Arizona is the underdog pick (+120) according to Dunkel, which has the Diamondbacks favored by 1/2 a run.  Dunkel Pick: Arizona (+120). 

Game 951-952: Pittsburgh at Milwaukee
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh (Snell) 16.445; Milwaukee (Gallardo) 15.409
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-200); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (+180); Under

Game 953-954: Florida at NY Mets
Dunkel Ratings: Florida (Johnson) 15.079; NY Mets (Santana) 13.904
Dunkel Line: Florida by 1; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: NY Mets (-185); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Florida (+175); Over

Game 955-956: San Diego at Colorado
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Correia) 13.851; Colorado (Cook) 14.752
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 1; 11
Vegas Line: Colorado (-165); 10 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (-165); Over

Game 957-958: Chicago Cubs at Arizona
Dunkel Ratings: Chicago Cubs (Dempster) 14.200; Arizona (Davis) 14.646
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 1/2; 10 1/2
Vegas Line: Chicago Cubs (-130); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (+120); Over

Game 959-960: Washington at Philadelphia
Dunkel Ratings: Washington (Olsen) 15.214; Philadelphia (Myers) 15.015
Dunkel Line: Washington by 1/2; 11
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-185); 10 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (+175); Over

Game 961-962: St. Louis at Atlanta
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Wainwright) 16.465; Atlanta (Vazquez) 15.368
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 1; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-125); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (+115); Under

Game 963-964: Houston at Cincinnati
Dunkel Ratings: Houston (Paulino) 15.115; Cincinnati (Volquez) 15.339
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-150); 9
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (-150); Under

Game 965-966: LA Dodgers at San Francisco
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Stults) 14.022; San Francisco (Lincecum) 15.438
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-155); 8
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-155); Over

Game 967-968: LA Angels at Baltimore
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Loux) 14.241; Baltimore (Uehara) 15.750
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 1 1/2; 11 1/2
Vegas Line: Baltimore (-120); 10 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (-120); Over

Game 969-970: Seattle at Chicago White Sox
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Bedard) 14.754; White Sox (Floyd) 15.693
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Seattle (-115); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago White Sox (+105); Over

Game 971-972: Boston at Cleveland
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Lester) 16.746; Cleveland (Carmona) 15.602
Dunkel Line: Boston by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Boston (-135); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-135); Under

Game 973-974: NY Yankees at Detroit
Dunkel Ratings: NY Yankees (Chamberlain) 15.179; Detroit (Porcello) 16.042
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1; 10 1/2
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-150); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (+140); Over

Game 975-976: Oakland at Texas
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Outman) 16.482; Texas (Padilla) 15.479
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1; 12
Vegas Line: Texas (-130); 11
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (+120); Over

Game 977-978: Toronto at Kansas City
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto (Tallet) 15.215; Kansas City (Greinke) 16.133
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Kansas City (-170); 8
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (-170); Over

Game 979-980: Tampa Bay at Minnesota
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Kazmir) 16.084; Minnesota (Blackburn) 14.966
Dunkel Line: Tampa Bay by 1; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-125); 8
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (-125); Under

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Robert Ferringo

Take 'Over' 8.5 Boston at Cleveland

This line is projected but I think that it will be close. However, I think this one is going to sail the total. Jon Lester and Fausto Carmona are nice names, but neither one of them has been anything close to consistent. We have a very tight ump behind the plate and I think that the Cleveland bullpen will help this one get 'over'. The 'over' is 11-4 in Boston's last 15 games and is 5-1 in their last six road games.

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Marc Lawrence

Toronto Blue Jays at Kansas City Royals

The Blue Jays are 15-7 on the year and will look to win another series with a win tonight. Toronto is 8-4 on the road. The Jays send lefty Brian Tallet to the mound tonight. On the year he's 2-0 with an ER of 2.95. The Royals send their ace Greinke to the mound armed with his 4-0 record and 0.00 ERA. Tonight Greinke faces a Blue Jays team that is hitting .289 on the season and an even better .315 on the road. Greinke has made 5 career starts vs. the Jays and the Royals have lost 3 of those games. Play on the Toronto Blue Jays +.

Play on: Toronto

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Craig Trapp

Boston Red Sox vs. Cleveland Indians    
Play: Boston Red Sox   

Yesterdays Free MLB Free Play was a tough loss as STL gave up a lead they had the whole game in the 8th inning. But good news is handicapper Craig Trapp has a really nice winner in the Boston and Cleveland Game.

Lets take a look at the records, trends and breakdown:

Records

Boston Red Sox 13-7 Lester 1-2 (4.88 ERA)

Cleveland Indians 8-13 Carmona 1-3 (7.36 ERA)

Betting Trends

Red Sox are 11-0 in their last 11 overall.

Red Sox are 23-7 in Lesters last 30 starts vs. a team with a losing record.

Indians are 3-8 in their last 11 vs. American League East.

Indians are 1-4 in Carmonas last 5 starts.

The hottest team in MLB right now is the Red Sox who have won 11 in a row. Cleveland has lost the last 4 games in a row vs Boston. Lester finally got back into form the last two games after a very poor start to the season. Lester has dominated Cleveland the last four games he has face them he has won. Even worse for CLE is going for them today is Carmona who has given up more than 6 runs every game so far this season. Not good facing the hottest batters in the AL. BLOWOUT BY BOSTON. SCORE BOS 10 - CLE 2

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Jimmy The Moose

Toronto Blue Jays at Kansas City Royals
Prediction: Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays are 15-7 on the year and will look to win another series with a win tonight. Toronto is 8-4 on the road. The Jays send lefty Brian Tallet to the mound tonight. On the year he's 2-0 with an ER of 2.95. The Royals send their ace Greinke to the mound armed with his 4-0 record and 0.00 ERA. Tonight Greinke faces a Blue Jays team that is hitting .289 on the season and an even better .315 on the road. Greinke has made 5 career starts vs. the Jays and the Royals have lost 3 of those games. Play on the Toronto Blue Jays +.

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Red Dog Sports

Washington at Philadelphia
Play Over 10.5

Olsen has an ERA of 7.29 with 3 overs and 1 under this year while Brett Myers has an ERA of 4.91 with 3 overs and an under. The Phillies have 8 overs, 3 unders and a push in their last 12 as a favorite. The Phils have been hitting the ball well so look for it to continue Wednesday.

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Cajun Sports

Game: Oakland A's @ Texas Rangers
Selection: Over 10.5

Rangers Ballpark in Arlington will be the site of tonights American League clash between the host Texas Rangers and the visiting Oakland Athletics. Oakland will send Trevor Cahill to the bump on Wednesday night with an ERA of 6.0 over his last three outings and 5.40 overall on the year. The A's have gone over at a rate of 10-7 on the season including 5-2 over versus right-handers and 7-2 over when playing at night. Oakland is 6-1 over their last seven when facing a pitcher who has a WHIP of 1.30 or higher. Texas will counter by sending Vicente Padilla to the hill with his 9.60 ERA over his last three trips to the bump and an ERA of 8.27 on the season. When Padilla takes the hill they have gone over versus the A's at a rate of 7-3 over their last ten games. Padilla is 13-3 over vs. AL teams scoring 4.7 or less runs per game on the season over the last 2 seasons and 21-8 over vs. an AL team with a team batting average of .260 or worse since 1997. Texas is 12-6 over so far this season, 7-1 over when playing at home and 10-5 over when facing a right-handed starter. The Rangers are averaging 7.9 runs per game at home and they are 7-0 over when the total is 10 or higher at home this season. With both teams showing strong tendencies to the over in this situation we will recommend playing the over tonight in Arlington.

Graded Selection: 2* Oakland A's / Texas Rangers OVER 10.5

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Bobby Maxwell

Boston at CLEVELAND +115 

Scored a FREE winner on the diamond Tuesday night with the Astros over Cincinnati and tonight we'll give you another comp winner as we go with the Indians at home to take care of the Red Sox.

The Indians ended the Red Sox 11-game winning streak on Tuesday night, getting the win with a ninth-inning run. Today we like them to make it two in a row.

What usually happens in these cases is the team that had the winning streak snapped, takes a couple days to adjust to the loss and they don't come out with the same type of focus.

Cleveland's Fausto Carmona (1-3, 7.36 ERA) goes tonight against Boston lefty Jon Lester (1-2, 4.88 ERA). Carmona has struggled this season, giving up four earned runs in each of his last three outings as the Twins have dropped three of his four outings this year. This guy has electric stuff but he's coming back from injury. He knows he's playing an elite team today and can make great strides if he has a good outing agaisnt the Sox.

Lester started the season in a funk but has come back to help Boston win his last two starts, including a Friday win over the Yankees, 5-4. The Red Sox are just 1-5 in Lester's last six road outings and 1-4 when he's been installed as a road chalk.

Cleveland is 21-10 in Carmona's last 31 home starts and the Indians are 23-9 in their alst 32 at home against lefties and 6-2 in their last eight as a home 'dog. Grab the plus-money and play the Indians at home in this one.

3♦ CLEVELAND

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Matt Rivers

For Wednesday take the Hawks at Philips Arena.

I really see a whoopass coming today in Hotlanta. I am not going to get carried away about that last win down south in Miami in game four as that was just one game but the Heat are reeling into this thing a bit too much to not get pounded.

Mike Woodson's crew came up huge to say the least in that outright on Monday and now feel ridiculously great about themselves. They had that wakeup call in game two after the blowout in the opener so cannot get too caught up with their success in that last game. Plus it's not even like the Atlanta best players did all that much as Flip Murray and Zaza Pachulia stole the show meaning that guys like Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, AL Horford and Mike Bibby should be flying high today.

We all saw Dwyane Wade go down with that bad back on Monday and I do not think that the superstar is going to be right today. He is a stud and will gut it out for sure but without a top flight effort from Wade Erik Spoelstra's squad is going to be in a lot of trouble today against a Hawks' group that has fared great at Philips all season long. I love the fact that Miami won game two on the road as that means to me how a letdown is not going to happen today by the home boys as they already know it is possible and can't get too high thinking their you know what doesn't stink right now.

I'm not totally saying that Wade and the Heat have run out of bullets but this game today is just too hard for them to be successful in as the Hawks win this thing going away.

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JIM FEIST

OAKLAND ATHLETICS / TEXAS RANGERS
Take OAKLAND ATHLETICS

The over/under on the number of outs these starters will be able to get? Perhaps 18. Texas is a terrific offensive park, very tough on pitchers. For this game, Oakland goes with Trevor Cahill (0-2, 5.40 ERA), who has walked 15 batters in 20 innings, a horrible ratio. You can't walk batters in this park or you will be in the showers early. Texas righty Vicente Padilla is far past his prime, with an 8.27 ERA, allowing 38 base runners in 20 innings. Look for loads of men on base -- and runs. Play the A's/Rangers over the total.

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DAVE COKIN

TORONTO BLUE JAYS / KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Take KANSAS CITY ROYALS

Zack Greinke will eventually give up an earned run, but there's simply not a better pitcher in the game right now. The odds are starting to move up on Greinke with each successive start and he's no longer a bargain. But until he shows he's human, playing against him is just not an option. I'll play on the streak and back Greinke and the Royals to top the Blue Jays tonight.

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LT Profits

Toronto Blue Jays @ Kansas City Royals

Zack Greinke looks like an early Cy Young candidate for the Kansas City Royals this season, while Brian Tallet has looked good in his two starts for the Toronto Blue Jays, so the offenses should struggle at Kauffman Stadium tonight.

Grienke has been perfect in terms of earned runs this season, as he has not allowed one in four starts covering 29 innings. In fact, going back to last season, he has now gone six consecutive starts and 43 consecutive innings. To show just how dominant Greinke has been this season, in addition to his 0.00 ERA, he has allowed only 25 baserunners (0.86 WHIP) while recording 36 strikeouts (1.24 per inning)!

Not to be lost in all the Greinke hype here is the fact that Tallet has pitched well in both of his starts since entering the starting rotation. He has allowed a grand total of one earned run in 11 innings in his two starts, and he now owns a 2.95 ERA and 1.09 WHIP for the season when combined with his work out of the bullpen.

Sure, he is filling the rotation spot of Jesse Litsch, but a few more starts like his first two and it may be hard to remove Tallet from the rotation. Tallet is also left-handed, so he should gave success facing a Royals lineup that is hitting a modest .244 vs. southpaws and has never faced him before.

Combined with the fact that he is facing Greinke and that both bullpens are in the top 10 in the majors in ERA, the Under seems like the obvious call here.

Pick: Blue Jays / Royals Under 7.5

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Jimmy Boyd

1 Unit on Boston Red Sox -130

I expect the Red Sox to bounce back strong tonight behind the left arm of Jon Lester. Lester is a perfect 14-0 against the money line when pitching against a bad team (Win Pct. 38% to 46%) in his career. The Red Sox are winning these games by 3 runs per on average. Also, Boston is 13-1 against the money line vs. AL teams scoring 5.2 or more runs/game on the season over the last 2 seasons, winning by an average score of 8.4 to 5.0 in these spots. Carmona has struggled against Boston with an ERA of 9.00 and a WHIP of 2.067 while the Red Sox are 4-0 in Lester's starts versus the Tribe. Boston has taken 7 of the last 11 in Cleveland and I'll back Bean Town here.

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Lee Kostroski

New York Yankees @ Detroit Tigers
PICK: Detroit Tigers

The Yankees busted out for eleven runs last night, snapping a four-game losing skid but New York could be in for a tough match-up to close out the series in Detroit. Ricky Porcello is an ace in the making for the Tigers he has pitched capably through three starts this season. Porcello will make his first start at home in tonight’s game and the Tigers have been a vastly superior team at Comerica Park, going 5-2. The Tigers are actually 7-3 in the last ten games against the Yankees and they should bounce back from Tuesday’s shutout loss. Joba Chamberlain has not delivered great results this season and he has not been able to last deep into games. Chamberlain has pitched just 16 innings over three games and yet he has allowed ten runs and ten walks. The New York bullpen has an ERA of 6.18 on the season and despite the strong effort from Philip Hughes last night the bullpen needed three innings of work and will not be fully rested. Detroit’s bullpen has big problems with the Yankees yesterday but overall the unit has shown greatly improved numbers versus last season.

Through the same number of games New York has allowed 29 more runs that Detroit has and the offensive production has been nearly identical. The Tigers have not lost consecutive home games all season and New York is playing its sixth straight road game and 15th road game already this season through an exhausting early season schedule.The Yankees are just 6-8 in road games this season and most of New York’s offensive success has come against left-handed pitching. Look for the Tigers to deliver in what could be a break-out name-making game for Porcello.

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Re: Wednesday Service Plays

Tom Freese

Toronto Blue Jays at Kansas City Royals
Prediction: Kansas City Royals

Kansas City starter Zack Greinke has been lights out allowing one run total in his four starts winning all four of them. The Royals are 11-2 their last 13 games as favorites and they are 10-3 off a loss and they are and they are 13-3 with Greinke when they are favored. Toronto starter Brian Tallet has pitched pretty well this year but he is clearly in over his head here against Greinke. PLAY ON KANAS CITY - (Greinke vs. Tallet)

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Re: Wednesday Service Plays

Dennis Macklin

Seattle Mariners at Chicago White Sox
Prediction: Under

Seattle's Erick Bedard has been terrific for the M's and rocks 2-1 and 2.08 numbers with nasty 0.920 whip. He doesn't always get support. In fact, nine runs in three games, eight in one game. Gavin Floyd hasn't been pretty to watch in April but was a home field specialist in last season's breakout year. Teams played twin bill last night so both starters will be expected to take it as long as it can and neither team hitting a lic. Play the under

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Re: Wednesday Service Plays

Nick "BookieKiller" Parsons

TAM (-135) vs MIN

A recap of their last game together: TWINS 4, RAYS 3: 2B Akinori Iwamura couldn't make a clean play on Justin Morneau's bases-loaded groundball in the bottom of the ninth, allowing the winning run to score. Ben Zobrist tied the game in the top of the ninth with a pinch home run off Joe Nathan. Tonight's starting pitcher for the Rays: Tampa Bay SP Scott Kazmir allowed two hits over six innings and the Rays beat the Athletics 8-2 on Friday night. Kazmir (3-1) retired the final 11 batters he faced and did not allow a hit after Jack Cust led off the second with a single. He walked three and struck out two as he improved to 7-2 all-time against the A's, matching his most wins against any team and I expect him to be sharp again tonight. Look for TAMPA BAY to improve to 8-5 (+2.4 units) against right-handed starters!

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Re: Wednesday Service Plays

Jack Jones

Philadelphia Phillies -1.5 +105 over Washington Nationals

The Philadelphia Phillies have torn up left-handed pitching this year, going 4-0 with a .340 batting average and scroing 9.7 runs per game.  That means they should have a hey day today against Scott Olsen, who has given up 16 runs on 23 hits in 14 innings as a vistior this year.  Bretty Myers hasn't given up an ER in his last two starts against Washington, totaling 16 innings and with the Phillies winning five in a row, all by more than a single run, I'll play the run line today.

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Re: Wednesday Service Plays

Jeff Benton

Let’s build on my 21-12 run with free plays on Wednesday as we back the Tigers as a nice-sized home underdog against the Yankees.

Don’t exactly see the justification for this line. Sure, New York wiped out Detroit 11-0 last night – scoring 10 of the runs in the seventh inning – but the Yankees are still just 10-10 on the season and 6-8 on the road, while the Tigers are 11-9 overall and 5-2 at Comerica Park. Plus, Detroit has still taken seven of the last 10 from New York, including Monday’s 4-2 series-opening victory.

As for this pitching matchup, I just don’t see a huge advantage for the Yankees. Joba Chamberlain has an A-plus arm, but he’s really yet to prove himself as a starting pitcher. He’s been inconsistent to begin this season, giving up five runs each (all earned) in two of his starts while surrendering a total of five runs (two earned) in his other two outings. Also, New York is just 1-3 with Chamberlain on the mound this season, with the one victory coming at home and all three defeats coming on the road.

Meanwhile, Tigers rookie right-hander Rick Porcello has been solid if not spectacular so far. His 4.50 ERA is only a notch above Chamberlain’s 3.94 ERA, and Porcello has had to pitch all three of his games on the road. And one important thing I’ve been tracking with the Yankees for three-plus years now is their constant struggles to hit pitchers they’ve never before seen. Finally, while the Tigers’ bullpen has been a mess this season (5.34 ERA), New York’s has been even worse (6.18 ERA).

Add in the fact that Detroit has won six of its last seven games after a defeat and the Tigers absolutely are a live ‘dog here.

4♦ DETROIT TIGERS

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