Friday Service Plays

Friday Service Plays

SPORTS ADVISORS

NBA PLAYOFFS

EASTERN CONFERENCE

(4) Atlanta (3-2 SU and ATS) at (5) Miami (2-3 SU and ATS)

The Hawks will look to put away the Southeast Division rival Heat when they travel to American Airlines Arena for Game 6 of this best-of-7, first-round series.

In Game 5 Wednesday night, Atlanta rolled to a 106-91 victory as a six-point home chalk, winning and cashing for the second straight game. Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 25 points, six assists and six rebounds, and Ronald Murray added 23 points off the bench as Atlanta put five players in double figures and outrebounded Miami 37-29. Wednesday’s outcome continued a series-long trend that has seen all five games decided by double digits.

Dwyane Wade led Miami with 29 points in a physical Game 5, and rookie Michael Beasley scored 18. The Heat were only negligibly outshot (48.6 percent to 47.7 percent) and committed seven turnovers to Atlanta’s five, but they sent the Hawks to the free-throw line 41 times, and Atlanta converted 33 from the stripe. Miami, meanwhile, went 25 of 32 from the foul line.

The Hawks hold a 6-3 SU edge (5-4 ATS) against Miami for the season. However, going back further, Miami is still 23-11 ATS in its last 34 battles with Atlanta, including 13-4 ATS in the last 17 in South Beach.

Miami is 29-14 SU (21-21-1 ATS) at home this season, while Atlanta is just 17-26 SU (22-21 ATS) on the highway, though the Hawks won Game 4 on Monday 81-71 as a five-point road pup.

The Hawks are on ATS upticks of 12-4-1 after a spread-cover, 10-4-1 playing on one day of rest and 15-5 as a ‘dog of five to 10½ points, but they still carry negative ATS streaks of 1-4 after a SU win, 1-5 as a an underdog, 1-4 as a road ‘dog and 3-6 against winning teams.

The Heat are 2-6 ATS in their last eight first-round playoff games, and they are on further pointspread declines of 1-5 as a playoff chalk, 11-23 laying five to 10½ points and 17-35-1 as a home favorite. However, they are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 home starts and 6-2 ATS in their last eight following a SU loss.

For Atlanta, the under is on tears of 5-2 overall, 7-2 against winning teams, 4-1 with the Hawks favored on the road and 12-4 with the Hawks catching five to 10½ points on the highway. Likewise, the under for Miami is on rolls of 8-2 against winning teams, 6-2 with the Heat favored and 5-1 with the Heat as a home chalk. However, the over for Miami is on runs of 14-6-1 at home, 22-6-1 after a SU loss and 20-6-1 after a non-cover.

Finally, these rivals have stayed low in seven of nine meetings this year – though Wednesday’s contest soared over the 180-point posted price – and the under is also 4-0 in the last four battles in Miami.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


NATIONAL LEAGUE

San Diego (11-11) at L.A. Dodgers (15-8)

The top two teams in the N.L. West continue their four-game weekend series at Dodger Stadium, where Padres ace Jake Peavy (2-3, 5.74 ERA) is slated to toe the slab against Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw (0-2, 7.29) as

The Dodgers opened an 11-game homestand by rallying for an 8-5 victory Thursday to close out April with a 7-0 home record, the first time that’s happened since 1947 when the franchise was in Brooklyn. Los Angeles has won its seven home games by the combined tally of 72-22. Also, Joe Torre’s club is on positive runs of 13-5 overall, 37-16 at home, 26-10 as a favorite and 12-3 against N.L. West rivals.

San Diego has now dropped eight of its last 10 after beginning the season 9-3, and during the slump, the Padres have lost six of seven on the road. Additionally, the Friars are in funks of 20-49 as a road underdog, 28-59 versus winning teams and 1-5 against the N.L. West. On the bright side, San Diego has won seven of its last 10 against lefty starters and four of its past five on Friday.

These teams split a four-game series in San Diego to open the season, but Los Angeles is still 10-4 in the last 14 clashes, including taking six of the last seven at Dodger Stadium.

Peavy started the season with consecutive quality starts at home against the Dodgers and Giants but in his last three trips to the mound, he’s given up a total of 14 runs (all earned) in just 16 innings (7.88 ERA), including consecutive 8-3 losses in his last two starts to the Giants (road) and Pirates (home). The hard-throwing right-hander is 1-1 with a 7.36 ERA in two road outings, and San Diego is 1-4 in his last five starts as an underdog (all on the road).

The Padres had won nine straight games against the Dodgers with Peavy on the mound prior to a 4-1 Opening Day home loss in which their ace yielded all four runs (three earned) in seven innings. Despite that setback, San Diego is still 16-5 in Peavy’s last 21 starts against the Dodgers, with Peavy going 13-2 with a 2.39 ERA in 23 career appearances against L.A. (6-1, 3.46 ERA in 11 starts at Dodger Stadium).

Like Peavy, Kershaw has gotten hammered in his last two starts, giving up a combined 15 runs (all earned) in just nine total innings, losing 8-5 at Houston and 10-4 in Colorado. However, in his lone home start this year, Kershaw allowed just one hit (a solo home run) and struck out 13 in seven innings, getting a no-decision in the Dodgers’ 5-4 victory. L.A. is unbeaten in the southpaw’s last six starts at home.

Kershaw yielded just a run on two hits in five innings in San Diego in his 2009 debut, but the Padres rallied for a 4-3 victory. Kershaw has made four starts against San Diego, going 2-0 with a 3.52 ERA. Los Angeles is 3-1 when the 21-year-old faces the Padres (2-0 at home).

The over is 5-1 in Peavy’s last six starts overall, 14-5-1 in his last 20 on the highway and 8-3 in his last 11 against the Dodgers, while Los Angeles has hurdled the total in four of Kershaw’s last five starts overall and four of his last five at home.

All four meetings in San Diego this month stayed under the total, but Thursday’s game cleared the posted price, making the “over” 21-8 in the last 29 Padres-Dodgers clashes in Los Angeles. Additionally, the Dodgers are on “over” stretches of 8-1-3 overall, 5-1-1 at home this season, 9-1-1 as a home favorite, 11-1-1 against right-handed starters and 6-0-3 versus the N.L. West. Similarly, San Diego carries “over” trends of 5-1 overall, 10-3-1 on the road, 6-2 in N.L. West contests and 5-1 on Friday.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER


AMERICAN LEAGUE

Boston (14-8) at Tampa Bay (9-14)

The Red Sox will attempt to bounce back from an embarrassing loss to the Rays in Thursday’s series opener when they send young Justin Masterson (2-0, 2.70) to the mound against Andy Sonnanstine (0-3, 7.78) as this four-game set continues at Tropicana Field.

Matt Garza took a perfect game into the sixth inning and Evan Longoria homered and drove in four runs as Tampa Bay blasted the Red Sox 13-0 last night. The Rays, who had dropped four of five coming into Thursday’s contest, are on positive stretches of 61-25 at home (only 3-5 this year), 9-3 as a home ‘dog and 20-7 on Friday.

Despite last night’s debacle, Boston is still 12-2 in its last 14 games, and during this run of success the team is 11-1 as a favorite, 7-1 against the A.L. East and 8-2 versus right-handed starters. Additionally, the Red Sox are on streaks of 9-2 on Friday, 7-3 with Masterson starting and 6-0 when Masterson is favored. However, Terry Francona’s squad has now lost 23 of its last 32 games on artificial turf.

These rivals opened the season with a three-game series at Fenway Park, with the Red Sox winning the first contest but Tampa Bay has come back to win the last three in a row. After struggling for years against Boston, the Rays have had the upper-hand in this rivalry of late, winning 14 of the last 20 meetings overall and 12 of the 15 in Tampa Bay.

Masterson, a middle reliever who is taking the rotation spot of the injured Daisuke Matsuzaka, has been outstanding in his first two starts. Facing the Orioles and Yankees – both at home – the right-hander gave up just one run in 5 1/3 innings in each start, walking a total of three and striking out seven. However, Masterson has developed a significant home-road split in his young career, going 7-0 with a 2.80 ERA in 24 games (seven starts) at Fenway Park, but just 1-5 with a 3.48 ERA in 18 games (four starts) as a visitor.

Masterson is 1-2 with a 5.28 ERA in six appearances (two starts) against the Rays. The two starts came last year, and he allowed four runs over six innings in each contest.

Sonnanstine is coming off a 7-1 loss at Oakland in which he yielded all seven runs on 10 hits in just four innings of work. The Rays are winless in Sonnanstine’s last five starts going back to last year’s World Series, but they have won 11 of his last 15 at home and seven of his last 10 against A.L. East rivals. In his only home outing so far in 2009, the right-hander held the Yankees to two runs on four hits in five innings, getting a no-decision in Tampa Bay’s 4-3 loss.

Sonnanstine was masterful in three starts against the Red Sox last year (one in the playoffs), giving up six runs (three earned) in 20 1/3 innings (1.33 ERA), walking three and striking out 14. It was in sharp contrast to 2007, when Sonnanstine went 1-1 with an 8.85 ERA in four starts against Boston, three of which the Rays lost.

The under is 4-2 in the last five Red Sox-Rays battles. Otherwise, though, the over for Boston is on streaks of 14-4 overall, 8-1 on the road, 12-3 as a favorite and 2-0 in Masterson’s two starts against the Rays. Similarly, the over for Tampa is on stretches of 6-2 at home, 7-3 on Friday, 36-16 against right-handed starters, 5-2 with Sonnanstine facing Boston and 19-9 when Sonnanstine takes the hill as an underdog.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER

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Marc Lawrence

LA Angels at NY Yankees

The Angels meet the Yankees in the House that George built when they send Jered Weaver to the mound against Andy Pettite in Game Two of this series here this evening. Aside from Weaver owning a 3-1 career team start mark against the Pinstripes, he is also 9-4 in his career team starts during the month of May. With Pettite 0-3 with a 7/98 ERA his his last three starts against the Halos, look for the Bombers to blowup in the Bronx once again here tonight.

Play on: LA Angels

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Cajun Sports

San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers    
Play: Over 8

Dodger Stadium will be the site of tonight’s National League battle between the host Los Angeles Dodgers and the visiting San Diego Padres. These two have already met once this season in a four-game set in San Diego with all four games going ‘under’ the posted total. One might think that the same will be true in the City of Angels but history tells a different story, this series has seen the ‘over’ cash at a rate of 20-8 the last twenty-eight meetings in Los Angeles and 13-5 ‘over’ the last three seasons in Dodger Stadium. The Padres are 12-8 ‘over’ on the season, 7-3 ‘over’ on the road and 9-4 ‘over’ when playing under the lights. San Diego will send Jake Peavy to the bump with his 7.87 ERA and WHIP of 1.875 over his last three outings. Peavy is 4-1 ‘over’ on the season and a perfect 3-0 ‘over’ in his last three. LA is 11-7 ‘over’ this season, 4-1 ‘over’ at home, 8-4 ‘over’ under the lights and 10-5 ‘over’ when facing a right-handed starter. The Dodgers will send left-handed starter Clayton Kershaw to the hill with his 9.00 ERA and WHIP of 1.50 in his last three times to post. He is 3-1 ‘over’ in all starts this season and a perfect 3-0 ‘over’ his last three trips to the bump. We also have two key angles for the starters in this game, Peavy is 7-0 ‘over’ in road games in the first half of the season the last 2 seasons and Kershaw is 10-2 ‘over’ in night games the last 2 seasons. With solid technical and fundamental support we will play the ‘over’ here as the Padres and Dodgers sail over the posted total in the City of Angels on Friday night.

Graded Selection: 2* San Diego / Los Angeles OVER 8

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Brad Diamond Sports

Play on: New York Mets over Philadelphia

The Phillies are 3-0 when RHP Chan Ho Park (7.16) starts this season. However, the Mets have solid support this evening with RHP Pelfrey (2-0) coming off a decent outing against the Nationals. After all the Mets are 5-1 in Pelfrey's last six starts when their opponent scores 2 runs or less in their last outing. New York is 4-1 last five tries in Philly, while securing a 7-3 mark in games played on Friday. Pelfrey catches an additional day off with the Mets not playing on Thursday, so the restructuring hurler should be in potentially his best mental and physical condition of the season.

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Dave Cokin

Rockies @ Giants
Play: Giants

There's not much left in Randy Johnson's tank from what I can see. The Big Unit's big efforts will still occur, but there are going to be lots of bad games as well. That said, Johnson has a good shot to pick up a win tonight. Ubaldo Jimenez has loads of talent and dynamite stuff, but his control right now is simply not there. Once Jimenez gets straightened out, he'll be tough to beat, but until that time, he's worth fading. I'll lean the Giants way tonight.

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Jimmy The Moose

New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies
Prediction: Over

These two team's have strong offensive lineups and the starting pitchers tonight, haven't been very good. The Mets send Pelfrey, 2-1 with and ERA of 6.32, to the mound tonight. The over is 2-0-1 in his 3 starts this season. The over is 12-5-1 for the Phillies in their last 18 games. Tonight they send Chan Ho Park to the mound and his ERA on the season is 7.16. The Phillies have played over the total in 2 of his 3 starts. With Pelfrey and Park on the mound look for a high-scoring game. Play the over.

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Red Dog Sports

New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies over 11 runs

The Mets have gone over 21-8-4 their last 33 as an underdog and the Phils have gone over 12-5-1 in their last 18 games. Chan Ho Park has an ERA of 7.16 while Pelfrey's ERA is 6.32 and these two have combined for 4 overs and 1 under. Look for an over on Friday night.

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JIM FEIST

OAKLAND ATHLETICS / SEATTLE MARINERS
Take SEATTLE MARINERS

In a span of 24-plus hours, Mariners starters accounted for 21 innings and allowed only five runs. This staff has been terrific. Carlos Silva comes off his first win and the right-hander has pitched well against Oakland in career, going 4-3 with a 3.08 ERA. Dana Eveland (1-1, 5.95 ERA) has struggled, walking 12 in 19 innings. Seattle's offense could get a boost Friday when catcher Kenji Johjima is expected to be activated from the disabled list. A great spot for the home team. Play the Mariners.

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Matt Fargo

Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays     
Play: Tampa Bay Rays 
 
It just seems like Tampa Bay has Boston’s number and the Red Sox can do nothing about it. Tonight we get a good price with a home underdog and this number is due to the starting pitching which I will get to further down. With last night’s blowout victory, the Rays are 12-3 in the last 15 meetings at home in this series and they will be riding that into tonight. Tampa Bay has not gotten off to a great start and that has brought up the question about whether or not last season was just a fluke. I certainly do not think it was a fluke at all as this team is extremely talented but this year, the offense has been slow out of the gate. The Rays have scored three runs or fewer in 13 of their first 23 games but last night’s 13-run outburst could very well be the start of something big. Boston has dropped two of three games after winning 11 straight to move into a tie with Toronto in the American League East. The Red Sox are not over the top in either offense or pitching and the streak was solidified with either one of those stepping up at the right time. Tonight they send Justin Masterson to the mound and he has been solid in his first two starts this season. Both were quality starts and both were at home and yon know what that means. This is the perfect spot to play against. The main reason being is to always go against a non-top class pitcher after back-to-back quality outings. The other reason is the change in venue. Masterson is 5-0 in seven starts at home but on the road, he is 1-3 in four starts. He is also 1-2 with a 5.28 ERA and 1.57 WHIP in two starts and four relief appearances against the Rays. Tampa Bay counters with Andy Sonnanstine who has gotten off to a very rough start. Most of his damage has been in two of his four starts however and his one lone start at home was good enough for a win but resulted in a one-run loss against the Yankees. He faced the Red Sox three times last season, going 1-0 with a 1.33 ERA covering 20.1 innings with all three of those outings being quality efforts. The Rays take another one tonight. 3* Tampa Bay Rays

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Big Al McMordie

Selection: Phillies

At 7:05pm our complimentary selection is on the Philadelphia Phillies over the New York Mets. 16-year Major League veteran Chan Ho Park must be thrilled to be part of the World Champion Phillies rotation this season. After toiling with four different Major League teams over the last four years, Park is now contributing as the fourth or fifth starter on a team that has plenty of firepower. Speaking of firepower, in his last start, Park helped his own cause by hitting a home run and although he took a no-decision in that game on April 25th in south Florida, the Phillies beat the Marlins, marking the third straight start for Park in which his team got the win. Also encouraging is the fact that Park has gotten noticeably better and better in each of his three starts this season. This is seemingly another great opportunity for Park and the Phillies, as the Mets will send Mike Pelfrey to the mound and although the big (6 foot, 7 inch) righthander is 2-0, he has been anything but impressive this season with a 6.32 ERA and a very troubling nine walks with only six strikeouts in less than 16 innings. Pelfrey faced the Phillies three times in 2008, with the Mets losing two of the three games and in this game they will have to deal with the probable loss of two of their offensive starters in first baseman Carlos Delgado and second baseman Luis Castillo. There is a chance that Delgado will play despite his sore hip, but he will likely not be close to 100%. Take the Phils.

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Rocketman

San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers
Prediction: San Diego Padres

Clayton Kershaw is 0-2 with a 7.29 ERA overall this year and 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA his last 3 starts. Jake Peavy is 13-2 with a 2.39 ERA overall vs the LA Dodgers since 1997. Padres are 4-1 in their last 5 Friday games. Padres are 6-2 in their last 8 road games with the total set at 7.0-8.5. Padres are 5-2 in their last 7 games with the total set at 7.0-8.5. Padres are 7-3 in their last 10 games vs. a left-handed starter. Dodgers are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning record. Padres are 5-0 in Peavys last 5 road starts vs. Dodgers. Padres are 16-5 in Peavys last 21 starts vs. Dodgers. We'll recommend a small play on San Diego tonight!

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Bob Harvey

Atlanta Hawks vs. Miami Heat    
Play: Atlanta Hawks+5

The only consistent thing about the series has been its inconsistency. Both teams have been guilty of one Jekyll and Hyde performance after another. Compared to the excitement and drama of the Chicago and Boston series, this is like kissing your grandmother after a night out with Selma Hayek! Atlanta and Miami have provided us with clunker after clunker in this series.

For the first time in the series a team has finally established itself (we think) with back-to-back wins. Atlanta took Games 4 and 5 turning a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead and both were double-digit victories.

And where the Hawks have several scoring options: Joe Johnson, Mike Bibby and Josh Smith, the Heat have just one, Dwayne Wade. However he’s not enough and IF Atlanta’s coaching staff was paying attention to how Denver shut down CP-3 they could make Wade work even harder for his points tonight.

I said going in that Miami was the better team in large part because of Wade. And while I think Wade’s the best player on the court, the Hawks have more depth and are the better team right now.

One final note:

Teams facing elimination are 0-4 SU and 1-3 ATS in this years post-season.

Atlanta is a slightly better ATS road team (22-21) than Miami is as a home team against the number (21-21-1).

Even though the average margin of victory in this series has been 19 points per game, I’m looking for the two teams to buck that trend tonight. We’re finally going to have a close game and that should translate into a cover and perhaps an outright win for the Hawks.

Take Atlanta and the points tonight against the Heat.

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DUNKEL

Atlanta at Miami   

The Hawks look to build on their 4-0 ATS record in their last 4 playoff games as an underdog between 5 and 10 1/2 points.  Atlanta is the pick (+5) according to Dunkel, which has the Heat favored by only 3 1/2.  Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (+5).

Game 565-566: Atlanta at Miami
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta 119.186; Miami 122.581
Dunkel Line & Total: Miami by 3 1/2; 185
Vegas Line & Total: Miami by 5; 182
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (+5); Over


MLB

Boston at Tampa Bay
The Red Sox look to build on their 6-0 record in Justin Masterson's last 6 starts as a favorite, while the Rays are 0-5 in Andy Sonnanstine's last 5 starts.  Boston is the pick (-125) according to Dunkel, which has the Red Sox favored by 1.  Dunkel Pick: Boston (-125).   

Game 951-952: Florida at Chicago Cubs
Dunkel Ratings: Florida (Taylor) 15.386; Cubs (Harden) 14.245
Dunkel Line: Florida by 1; 7
Vegas Line: Chicago Cubs (-240); No Run Line
Dunkel Pick: Florida (+220); N/A

Game 953-954: NY Mets at Philadelphia
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Pelfrey) 14.812; Philadelphia (Park) 14.215
Dunkel Line: NY Mets by 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-120); 11
Dunkel Pick: NY Mets (+110); Under

Game 955-956: St. Louis at Washington
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Wellemeyer) 15.159; Washington (Zimmerman) 15.532
Dunkel Line: Washington by 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-115); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (+105); Over

Game 957-958: Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati (Arroyo) 15.976; Pittsburgh (Duke) 14.441
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 1 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh (-130); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (+120); Under

Game 959-960: Houston at Atlanta
Dunkel Ratings: Houston (Hampton) 14.478; Atlanta (Lowe) 16.157
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-185); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-185); Over

Game 961-962: Arizona at Milwaukee
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona (Garland) 15.289; Milwaukee (Parra) 15.510
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-140); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (-140); Over

Game 963-964: San Diego at LA Dodgers
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Peavy) 14.495; LA Dodgers (Kershaw) 13.524
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1; 7
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-130); 8
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+120); Under

Game 965-966: Colorado at San Francisco
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (Jimenez) 15.862; San Francisco (Johnson) 14.183
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-125); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (+115); Over

Game 967-968: LA Angels at NY Yankees
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Weaver) 16.095; NY Yankees (Pettitte) 15.477
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1/2; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-155); 10 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (+145); Under

Game 969-970: Baltimore at Toronto
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Hendrickson) 14.693; Toronto (Halladay) 16.365
Dunkel Line: Toronto by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Toronto (-250); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (-250); Under

Game 971-972: Cleveland at Detroit
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland (Pavano) 14.616; Detroit (Galarraga) 15.946
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1 1/2; 11
Vegas Line: Detroit (-160); 10
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-160); Over

Game 973-974: Boston at Tampa Bay
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Masterson) 16.021; Tampa Bay (Sonnastine) 15.112
Dunkel Line: Boston by 1; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Boston (-125); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-125); Under

Game 975-976: Chicago White Sox at Texas
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Buehrle) 15.235; Texas (Feldman) 16.257
Dunkel Line: Texas by 1; 11 1/2
Vegas Line: Chicago White Sox (-125); 11
Dunkel Pick: Texas (+115); Over

Game 977-978: Kansas City at Minnesota
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Ponson) 14.983; Minnesota (Slowey) 16.648
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Minnesota (-140); 9
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-140); Under

Game 979-980: Oakland at Seattle
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Eveland) 14.704; Seattle (Silva) 16.213
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Seattle (-120); 9
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (-120); Under


NHL

Carolina at Boston
The Bruins open up the series with a 17-5 record in their last 22 games as a home favorite of -200 or greater.  Boston is the pick (-210) according to Dunkel, which has the Bruins favored by 1 1/2.  Dunkel Pick: Boston (-210).   

Game 1-2: Anaheim at Detroit
Dunkel Ratings: Anaheim 11.020; Detroit 11.960
Dunkel Line & Total: Detroit by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Detroit (-250); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-250); Over

Game 7-8: Carolina at Boston
Dunkel Ratings: Carolina 11.262; Boston 12.629
Dunkel Line & Total: Boston by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Boston (-210); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-210); Over

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Karl Garrett

Atlanta at MIAMI

The G-Man is leaning to a low-scoring contest tonight in South Beach.

Game Five in Atlanta saw the Hawks scorch the nets for 106-points, but that high-scoring affair has been the exception in this Atlanta-Miami series, and not the norm.

In fact, the UNDER has been the play in 7 of the last 9 series meetings dating back to the regular season, and the UNDER is also a money-turning 6-2 the last 8 times Miami has been installed as the favorite.

With elimination staring them in the face, you have to believe the Heat will summon up a solid defensive effort to limit Atlanta's offense. And speaking of the Hawks offense, you have to also believe that with Al Horford, and Marvin Williams both banged up, the points will be a little harder to find this evening for Mike Woodson's club.

G-Man is taking the UNDER in Game Six of the series.

1♦ UNDER

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Sports Gambling Hotline

St. Louis -115 at WASHINGTON 

The Cardinals were 9-4 winners last night, as they made it 2 in a row, and 8 of their last 10 on the plus side. Compare that to the Nationals who have dropped 6 of their last 8, and are just 5-16 for the year, and you have to wonder why the Redbirds are such small road favorites tonight.

Obviously, the linesmakers think highly of Jordan Zimmerman who is off to a 2-0 start through his first 2 assignments this year. The problem is, Zimmerman has only worked 11 innings thus far, and we all know how putrid the Nationals bullpen is this season.

Todd Wellemeyer's best start of the year came on the road, and he also picked up a road win last year in DC, tossing 6 scoreless at the Nats.

St. Louis is clearly the better team, and to get them at this price is an offer too good to pass on.

Play on the Cardinals.

4♦ ST. LOUIS

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Bobby Maxwell

San Diego +120 at L.A. DODGERS

While the Dodgers won Thursday night's game, rallying from a 5-4 deficit, they won't be able to do much today against the Padres as San Diego sends Jake Peavy (2-3, 5.74 ERA) to the mound against Los Angeles and southpaw Clayton Kershaw (0-2, 7.29).

These two teams split their opening four-game set of the season in San Diego and Peavy has been at his best when he faces the rivals from Los Angeles. Peavy and the Padres have won nine of his last 10 starts agaisnt them, including five straight in Los Angeles. Last season he pitched there twice and gave up three runs in each outing and his offense got him 7-5 wins each time.

San Diego is 16-5 in Peavy's last 21 starts against the Dodgers.

Kershaw has been beaten up lately, giving up 15 runs on 16 hits in his last two starts, covering just 9 total innings in losses at Houston and Colorado.

Look for this one to be a low-scoring affair as the Padres and Peavy get the job done. Play the Padres and look for something in the 4-2 range.

3♦ SAN DIEGO

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Re: Friday Service Plays

Jeff Benton

Colorado at SAN FRANCISCO -115 

A few rare rough days with the free plays, but we’ll get it back on track Friday by backing the Giants at home against the Rockies.

Hard to argue with San Francisco starter Randy Johnson’s career numbers against Colorado: 18-7 with a 2.31 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP. Last year, while with the DBacks, Johnson faced the Rockies three times and Arizona won all three games. What’s more, the Big Unit has given up two earned runs or fewer in five of his last six starts against Colorado, posting a 1.98 ERA along the way.

And while Johnson’s numbers this season don’t exactly blow you away – he’s 1-2 with a 6.16 ERA – they’re certainly better than his counterpart tonight (Colorado’s Ubaldo Jimenez is 1-3 with a 7.58 ERA). Also, Johnson’s last start in San Francisco was a gem, as he allowed one hit and two walks over seven innings in a 2-0 win over his former team, the DBacks.

Then again, San Francisco has been sensational at home so far this ear, winning eight of 11 games at AT&T Park, including taking two of three this week from the Dodgers, who are the best team in the National League. Meanwhile, the Rockies have lost 11 of their last 16 games overall and five of six on the road (all against N.L. West teams).

Throw in the fact that the Giants are batting .270 with a 2.43 ERA at home this year, while Colorado has hit .237 with a 5.58 ERA on the highway, and getting the home team with a pitcher the caliber of Randy Johnson at this near pick-em price is too good to pass up.

3♦ SAN FRANCISCO

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Re: Friday Service Plays

Chris Jordan

Baltimore at TORONTO -260

Love the way Roy Halladay has started the 2009 campaign, looking like the Cy Young Winner he’s been and the Cy Young Winner he’s capable of being once again. This is the perfect matchup for us tonight, as Halladay has owned the Orioles over his illustrious career. The right-hander, who is 4-1 with a 3.75 ERA this season, is 18-4 with a 2.86 ERA in 28 career games against Baltimore.

Now I know Halladay struggled to keep several of his pitches in the lower half of the strike zone his last time out, I continued to be impressed when he recovered to pitch well enough for the road victory over the White Sox. In seven innings on the South Side, Halladay gave up a mere three runs while scattering eight hits and fanning six batters.

On the flipside of that, the Orioles’ Mark Hendrickson had a rough go the first month of the season, with a 1-3 mark and a 5.40 ERA. He comes in after showing signs of trouble with home runs and leadoff hitters last Saturday in a 6-5 loss to the Rangers. The southpaw gave up home runs to the leadoff hitters in each of the first three innings to help put the Orioles in an early five-run deficit. He's shown signs of problems early in his last two starts, both losses to the Bosox and Rangers. He’s now 0-3 in his last three outings, having given up 10 earned runs over 13 innings of work.

The Jays win this one big, so lay the run line and bank on Halladay to out pitch Hendrickson.

1♦ BLUE JAYS RUN LINE

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Re: Friday Service Plays

Tom Freese

Chicago White Sox at Texas Rangers
Prediction: Chicago White Sox

Chicago is 9-2 in the last 11 starts made by Mark Buehrle as road favorites and they are 4-0 in his last 4 starts overall. The White Sox are 9-2 their last 11 games vs. AL West teams and they are 8-1 when the Total is 11 or higher. Texas is 8-22 their last 30 games vs. winning teams and they are 3-8 in Scott Feldman's last 11 starts. The Rangers are 3-8 on Friday and they are 3-10 vs. Mark Buerhle. PLAY ON CHICAGO - (Buehrle vs. Feldman)

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Re: Friday Service Plays

Ben Burns

Cleveland Indians at Detroit Tigers
Prediction: Detroit Tigers

Detroit's Armando Galarraga was good to me last year and he's also been treating me kindly so far this season. I've backed the Tigers in three of Galarraga's four starts and they've won all three of them. They won those three games by a combined score of 27-5. Thankfully, I stayed off the Tigers in Galarraga's other start, a 4-3 loss at LA. He still pitched relatively well in that game though and wasn't the one who took the loss. Overall, Galarraga is 3-0 with an outstanding 1.85 ERA. That includes a 2-0 record with an awesome 0.68 ERA in his two home starts.

The lines on Galarraga's games have started to climb and today's line is a little too "expensive" to qualify as one of my "guaranteed" selections. That said, I still feel that the Tigers have an excellent shot at earning another victory.

Pavano goes for the Tribe and his numbers are basically a mirror image of Galarraga's numbers. Indeed, he's 0-3 (Indians are 0-4) with a terrible 9.50 ERA and 1.889 WHIP. While Galarraga is averaging better than six innings per start, Pavano is averaging less than five.

As a team, the Tigers are off to a 5-3 start at home while the Indians are a poor 2-8 on the road. Consider laying the wood.

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