Thursady Service Plays

Thursady Service Plays

SPORTS ADVISORS

NBA PLAYOFFS

EASTERN CONFERENCE

(4) Atlanta (4-4 SU and ATS) at (1) Cleveland (5-0 SU and ATS)

The Cavaliers, who quickly found their form in Game 1 after an eight-day break between the first and second rounds, aim to take a 2-0 lead over the Hawks when this best-of-7 conference semifinal series resumes at Quicken Loans Arena.

Cleveland hammered Atlanta 99-72 Tuesday night as a heavy 11½-point home chalk, using stifling defense in allowing just 28 second-half points, including 11 in the fourth quarter. LeBron James was on fire from the outset, scoring 22 of his 34 points in the first half, and he added 10 rebounds, four steals and three assists. Mo Williams chipped in 21 points, and the Cavs forced 17 turnovers while committing just seven.

Josh Smith had 22 points and Mike Bibby 19 for Atlanta, but nobody else really got going, and the Hawks made just 9 of 18 free throws, while Cleveland went 17 of 24 from the line. Atlanta also had a 41-33 deficit on the boards, allowing the Cavs to snatch 15 offensive rebounds.

Cleveland, allowing a suffocating 76.8 ppg in the playoffs while scoring 94.6, is now 4-1 SU (2-3 ATS) in the season series with Atlanta, and Tuesday’s cover snapped the Hawks’ three-game spread-covering run in this rivalry. The favorite has cashed in 17 of the last 25 meetings, and the home team is on a 4-1 ATS uptick.

Cleveland is an NBA-best 42-2 SU (31-13 ATS) at home this season, while Atlanta is just 17-28 SU (22-23 ATS) on the highway.

The Cavaliers, who went a league-leading 50-32 ATS in the regular season, are on pointspread rolls of 9-0 overall, 37-16 at home, 8-0 after a SU win, 6-0 in second-round playoff games and 15-3 as a playoff chalk.

The Hawks are still 12-3 ATS in their last 15 starts against Central Division foes, but they carry negative ATS streaks of 1-7 as an underdog, 5-13 on the road against teams with a winning home record and 0-6 catching more than 10 points.

The under for Cleveland is on a bundle of runs, including 8-2-1 at home, 15-4 in conference semifinal games and 6-1 when favored in the postseason. Likewise, the under for Atlanta is on tears of 8-2 overall, 5-0 on the road, 11-2 against winning teams and 5-0 with the Hawks as a playoff pup.

ATS ADVANTAGE: CLEVELAND and UNDER


NATIONAL LEAGUE

Philadelphia (14-10) at N.Y. Mets (12-13)

The Mets and Phillies conclude a quick two-game series at new Citi Field, with Philadelphia’s Jamie Moyer (3-1, 5.65 ERA) set to oppose Mike Pelfrey (3-0, 6.00).

New York rode another Johan Santana pitching gem to Wednesday’s 1-0 win over the Phillies, giving the Mets their first three-game winning streak of the season. New York has also won four of its last five and is 9-3 in its last 12 Thursday contests, but it’s still 3-7 in its last 10 when facing opponents with a winning record.

The Phillies had their three-game overall and five-game road winning streaks halted with last night’s setback. Still, going back to last season’s run to the world championship, Philadelphia is on runs of 38-17 overall (8-3 in the last 11), 19-8 on the road and 16-6 as an underdog, and Charlie Manuel’s squad is also on upticks of 5-1 against right-handed starters and 6-3 against N.L. East foes.

Moyer gave up five runs in 5 2/3 innings in Saturday’s home start against the Mets, but got bailed out as Philadelphia prevailed 6-5 at home in 10 innings. The 46-year-old southpaw has just one quality outing in his five starts this season, but he’s 2-0 with a 3.75 ERA in two road outings. Also, including Saturday’s outing, Moyer is 7-4 with a 3.15 ERA in 18 career starts against New York.

Pelfrey is coming off Friday’s 7-4 win at Philadelphia, as he surrendered three runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. He’s now 2-2 with a 4.28 ERA in five career starts against Philadelphia, giving up three earned runs or fewer in four of those contests but he’s lasted longer than 5 1/3 innings just once. The right-hander has made two starts at Citi Field this season, going 1-0 with a 5.91 ERA.

With Moyer pitching, Philadelphia is on stretches of 4-0 overall, 8-2 on the highway, 27-8 against the N.L. East, 6-2 on Thursday and 7-3 against New York, including 4-1 on the road. Meanwhile, the Mets are 17-8 in Pelfrey’s last 25 starts overall and 10-4 in his last 14 at home.

The Phillies carry “over” trends of 14-7-2 overall, 8-2-1 on the road, 6-2 as an underdog, 7-3-2 against the N.L. East and 4-0 with Moyer on the mound. However, the under is 11-5 in Moyer’s last 16 road starts, 13-4-1 in Moyer’s last 18 as an underdog, 8-3 in his last 11 starts against the Mets and 6-0 in his last six in New York. For New York, the under is on runs of 8-1-1 at home, 9-1-1 as a favorite and 11-4-2 against the N.L. East, but the over is 21-7-1 in their last 29 Thursday games and 6-2-1 in Pelfrey’s last nine home outings.

Finally, with last night’s one-run game, the under is now 12-5-1 in the last 18 head-to-head clashes in New York.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


AMERICAN LEAGUE

Tampa Bay (13-16) at N.Y. Yankees (13-14)

Andy Pettitte (2-1, 3.82) is scheduled to take the ball for the Yankees as they wrap up a two-game series against the Rays, who will counter with rookie Jeff Niemann (2-3, 1.66).

Tampa Bay got a 10th-inning home run from Carlos Pena to knock off New York 4-3 on Wednesday. The Rays have followed up a 4-11 slump by going 5-2 in their last seven, but they’re still in funks of 5-8 on the road, 5-17 against lefty starters and 35-74 on the road versus southpaws.

New York has lost four in a row (all at home) and eight of its last 12, scoring four runs or fewer in seven of those eight defeats. On the bright side, the Yanks are on hot streaks of 14-7 at home, 5-2 against losing teams and 17-9 as a favorite.

Going back to last year, New York is on an 8-4 roll in this rivalry. Also, Tampa Bay remains just 22-53 in its last 75 games in the Bronx.

New York is 5-1 in Pettitte’s last six starts overall, 5-0 in his last five as a favorite, 70-32 in his last 102 at home, 37-18 in his last 55 outings versus the A.L. East. Also, they’ve won 15 of his last 20 starts against the Rays, including seven of his last 10 in New York.

Pettitte’s string of four consecutive quality starts to being 2009 ended Friday against the Angels when he got tagged for five runs on nine hits and four walks in a season-low 5 2/3 innings. However, the Yankees rallied for a 10-9 victory, improving to 4-1 in Pettitte’s five outings this season, including 2-0 at home where the veteran lefty has a 4.97 ERA.

Pettitte is 15-4 with a 3.63 ERA in 26 career appearances (25 starts) versus the Rays, including a no-decision on April 15 in Tampa Bay when he allowed three runs in 7 1/3 innings, with New York eking out a 4-3 victory.

With Pettitte pitching, the under is on stretches of 37-14-1 overall, 17-7-1 at home, 19-7-1 against A.L. East foes, 6-0 when he faces the Rays and 8-2 when pitching against Tampa Bay in the Bronx.

Neiman gave up six runs (five earned) and lasted a season-low three innings in Saturday’s home effort against the Red Sox, losing 10-6. Prior to that, the rookie had posted two solid road starts, beating the Mariners 9-3 and the Twins 7-1 while yielding a combined three earned runs and six hits in 11 innings. The right-hander, who will face the Yankees for the first time tonight, is 2-1 with a 4.96 ERA in three starts on the highway.

The Rays are on “under” streaks of 5-1 on the road, 11-3 as an underdog, 8-3 when playing on grass and 18-6-1 on the highway against lefty starters. Conversely, the over for the Yankees is on streaks of 6-1-1 overall, 5-1-1 at home, 7-4-1 against divisional rivals, 6-0 on Thursday and 5-1 as a favorite. Finally, seven of the nine Rays-Yankees meetings in the Bronx have stayed low.

ATS ADVANTAGE: N.Y. YANKEES and UNDER

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DUNKEL

Atlanta at Cleveland     
The Hawks are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 games as a road underdog of 11 points or more, while the Cavs are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall.  Cleveland is the pick (-13) according to Dunkel, which has the Cavaliers favored by 15 1/2.  Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (-13). 

Game 715-716: Atlanta at Cleveland
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta 117.485; Cleveland 132.847
Dunkel Line & Total: Cleveland by 15 1/2; 174
Vegas Line & Total: Cleveland by 13; 177 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (-13); Under


MLB

Arizona at San Diego
The Padres look to bounce back from yesterday's defeat against an Arizona team that is just 2-9 in its last 11 games following a win.  San Diego is the underdog pick (+115) according to Dunkel, which has the Padres favored by 1/2 a run.  Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+115). 

Game 951-952: Atlanta at Florida
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta (Jurrjens) 13.746; Florida (Sanchez) 14.505
Dunkel Line: Florida by 1; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-125); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Florida (+115); Over

Game 953-954: Pittsburgh at St. Louis
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh (Ohlendorf) 14.967; St. Louis (Wellemeyer) 13.766
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1; 9
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-190); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-190); Under

Game 955-956: San Francisco at Colorado
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco (Cain) 15.650; Colorado (Marquis) 14.659
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 1; 10 1/2
Vegas Line: Colorado (-140); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (+130); Over

Game 957-958: Arizona at San Diego
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona (Haren) 13.737; San Diego (Young) 14.335
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1/2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line: Arizona (-125); 7
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+115); Under

Game 959-960: Milwaukee at Cincinnati
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee (Looper) 15.581; Cincinnati (Owings) 15.966
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 1/2; 10 1/2
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-120); 9
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (+110); Over

Game 961-962: Philadelphia at NY Mets
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia (Moyer) 14.495; NY Mets (Pelfrey) 16.132
Dunkel Line: NY Mets by 1 1/2; 11
Vegas Line: NY Mets (-140); 10
Dunkel Pick: NY Mets (-140); Over

Game 963-964: Chicago Cubs at Houston
Dunkel Ratings: Cubs (Lilly) 16.094; Houston (Ortiz) 14.648
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 1 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Chicago Cubs (-145); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (-145); Over

Game 965-966: Washington at LA Dodgers
Dunkel Ratings: Washington (Zimmerman) 15.968; LA Dodgers (Wolf) 15.169
Dunkel Line: Washington by 1; 8
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-165); 9
Dunkel Pick: Washington (+155); Under

Game 967-968: Seattle at Kansas City
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Washburn) 15.942; Kansas City (Bannister) 15.579
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 1/2; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Kansas City (-120); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (+110); Over

Game 969-970: Texas at Oakland
Dunkel Ratings: Texas (McCarthy) 15.001; Oakland (Cahill) 16.059
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1; 10
Vegas Line: Oakland (-115); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (-115); Over

Game 971-972: Tampa Bay at NY Yankees
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Niemann) 14.190; NY Yankees (Pettitte) 15.865
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees by 1 1/2; 11
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-165); 10 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (-165); Over

Game 973-974: Minnesota at Baltimore
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota (Perkins) 15.105; Baltimore (Bergeson) 16.287
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 1; 11
Vegas Line: Minnesota (-115); 10
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (+105); Over

Game 975-976: Cleveland at Boston
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland (Sowers) 14.793; Boston (Wakefield) 16.383
Dunkel Line: Boston by 1 1/2; 11
Vegas Line: Boston (-170); 10 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-170); Over

Game 977-978: Detroit at Chicago White Sox
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit (Galarraga) 14.464; White Sox (Buehrle) 15.553
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Chicago White Sox (-110); 9
Dunkel Pick: Chicago White Sox (-110); Under

Game 979-980: Toronto at LA Angels
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto (Ray) 15.693; LA Angels (Weaver) 16.447
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1; 9
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-160); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (-160); Under


NHL

Detroit at Anaheim
The Ducks come off a 2-1 win in Game Three and look to build on their 8-1 record in their last 9 games after allowing 2 goals or less in the previous game.  Anaheim is the pick (+130) according to Dunkel, which has the Ducks favored by 1/2 a goal.  Dunkel Pick: Anaheim (+130). 

Game 25-26: Vancouver at Chicago
Dunkel Ratings: Vancouver 11.788; Chicago 12.192
Dunkel Line & Total: Chicago by 1/2; 5 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago (-165); 5
Dunkel Pick: Chicago (-165); Over

Game 27-28: Detroit at Anaheim
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 11.451; Anaheim 11.863
Dunkel Line & Total: Anaheim by 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Detroit (-150); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Anaheim (+130); Under

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Matt Fargo

Minnesota Twins vs. Baltimore Orioles    
Play: Minnesota Twins     

The Twins dropped their game in Baltimore last night as the game was called after six innings. The teams endured four rain delays totaling over four hours and Minnesota players and coaches were not pleased with the way things were played out. The umpires were almost forced to make this one official since the Twins would not be traveling to Baltimore at any other time this season. The Twins know they got one taken away last night and will be ready to get it back tonight. The Orioles won for just the second time in nine games and after starting the season 6-2, Baltimore has gone a dreadful 5-15 over its last 20 games. We knew pitching was going to be a problem coming in and it certainly has been problematic over this stretch as it has allowed 6.0 rpg during that 20-game stretch. The offense, which was supposed to be a very improved unit this year, has not come to the rescue however as the Orioles bats are producing just 4.6 rpg over the same span including games of four runs or fewer 12 times. It was the second straight loss and the fourth in five games for Minnesota as it has been held to just one run over the last two games. This is certainly an opportunity to get that offense going once again. Bradley Bergesen gets the call for the Orioles and he will be making his fourth start of the season. He is coming off a quality outing in his last start but it was nothing special. His ERA sits at 5.17 on the season but more unimpressive is his 1.66 WHIP which balloons to 1.76 in his two starts at home. Minnesota counters with Glen Perkins who has put together back-to-back poor outings so this is the time to jump on board. He allowed nine runs in 11 innings over those two games which followed three straight quality outings to begin the season. He has a 3.34 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in the five starts so he is pitching well overall and he will look to break his struggles against Baltimore as he was hit hard last season in two starts against the Orioles. Minnesota has won 12 of the last 16 meetings in this series including eight of the last 10 in Baltimore. 3* Minnesota Twins

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Cajun Sports

Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Mets   
Play: Philadelphia Phillies   

Citi Field will be the site of tonight’s National League East battle between the host New York Mets and the visiting Philadelphia Phillies. The Mets won last night 1 to 0 behind Johan Santana who pitched seven strong innings giving up two hits and striking out ten. They scored the lone run of the game on a throwing error by Pedro Feliz of the Phillies. Phillies starter Chan Ho Park pitched six shutout innings giving up only one hit in the loss. The Phillies will send Jamie Moyer to the bump with his 3-1 record and ERA of 5.65 on the season. The Mets will counter with Mike Pelfrey who has a record of 3-0 and an ERA of 6.00 during the 2009 campaign. We know that the Phillies are 6-0 W/L their last 6 on the highway when installed as an underdog, 4-0 W/L on the road facing a right-handed starter, 16-5 W/L their last 21 as an underdog overall and 19-7 W/L on the road their last 26. The Phillies are 8-2 W/L their last 10 when Moyer starts on the road and 27-8 W/L when Moyer is facing teams from the National League East. The Mets are 3-10 W/L as a favorite of -110 to -150, 2-7 W/L when facing teams with a winning record on the season, 1-4 W/L in Pelfrey’s last five starts versus teams with a winning record and 4-12 W/L in Pelfrey’s last 16 starts versus teams from the National League East. Our “Key Angle” for tonight’s game; Moyer is 11-1 W/L (+10.7) in road games against division opponents the last 2 seasons. Our “Key MLB System” for tonight’s game; Play Against MLB NL teams with a batting average >=.280 against a starting pitcher whose ERA=5.20 to 5.70, starting a well rested pitcher who is working on 5 or 6 days rest, 28-11 W/L (+25.1) since 1997. We expect the Phillies to bounce back tonight, get the win over the Mets and manage a split in this mini two-game series. Take the chalk here as we cash in on a nice live underdog on Thursday night.

Graded Selection: 2* Philadelphia Phillies 6 New York Mets 5

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Craig Trapp

Washington Nationals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers    
Play: Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5

Craig's Free Play is going to be in the National League between Washington Nationals and LA Dodgers in LA today. Lets look at the records and trends in this series!!

Records

Washington Nationals 7-18, 2-11 away (Zimmermann 2-1, 4.24 ERA)

LA Dodgers 21-8, 13-0 home (Wolf 1-1, 3.93 ERA)

Betting Trends

Nationals are 12-45 in their last 57 road games.

Nationals are 1-4 in their last 5 games vs. a left-handed starter.

Dodgers are 5-0 in their last 5 games vs. a right-handed starter.

Dodgers are 7-2 in Wolfs last 9 starts as a favorite.

Nationals are 4-11 in the last 15 meetings.

LA Dodgers are the best team in all of baseball right now and at home are 13-0 and really not even been close. Yesterday they won 10-3 in a game that has really been the story of recent meeting been the two. Wolf is due for a dominating performace and at home they will definately give him the run support. Zimmerman will keep Washington close early but once LAD gets to the bullpen they will light them up. SCORE LAD 7 - WASH 3

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Marc Lawrence

Play On: Philadelphia w/Moyer vs Pelfrey

The Phillies and Mets conclude a big two-game series in New York when Jamie Moyer takes on Mike Pelfrey at new Cit Bank Field as Philadelphia looks to even up the score tonight. With Pelfrey in horrible KW form with 10 walks and 4 strikeouts in his last three starts and Moyer 12-6 in his career team starts in this series, for the Mets to drop to 2-9 in Pelfrey's team starts in May here this evening.

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Tom Freese

Houston at Chicago

Chicago starter Ted Lilly has a 2.52 ERA in six career starts vs. Houston. The Cubs are 21-7 their last 28 games as road favorites and they are 5-0 vs. a starter that has a WHIP of over 1.30. Houston is 1-5 their last home games with the Cubs. Starting pitcher Russ Ortiz has more walks than strikeouts in his last 3 starts. The Astros are 2-11 their last 13 games as underdogs of +110 to +150. PLAY ON CHICAGO (Lilly vs. Ortiz)

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Jimmy The Moose

Toronto Blue Jays at Los Angeles Angels
Prediction: Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto's the top team in the AL and they are battling the Dodgers for the best record in baseball and you have to take them again tonight. The Blue Jays were batting .315 as a team on the road befor Wednesday's game, a game in which the bats laid a beating on the Angels early and ofter. Toronto sends rookie Robert Ray to the mound and he looked decent in his first start. The Angels counter with Weaver and his 2-1 record. Look for the Jays to get to Weaver and win another one. Play on the Toronto Blue Jays +.

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MTi Sports

Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics
Prediction: Texas Rangers

The Athletics are 0-12 as a favorite after a loss in which they had fewer than five team-left-on-base as a favorite. The Rangers are 10-4 as a road dog after a win in which they allowed 6 or fewer hits and it is not the first game of a series. Take Texas.

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Stephen Nover

Chicago Cubs @ Houston
PICK: Over 9.5

I like over the total. Why? Russ Ortiz. Still need more reasons to play over the total?

OK, just in case you think a washed-up Ortiz still has something left despite a 5.21 ERA and lifetime control problems, consider this:

The Cubs are starting left-hander Ted Lilly. He's a flyball pitcher facing a top-heavy right-handed Astros lineup in a hitter's park.

Lilly's road ERA this season is 9.00. The over has cashed in eight of Lilly's last 10 road outings.

The Cubs' two key relief pitchers - setup man Carlos Marmol and closer Kevin Gregg - have each pitched in three of Chicago's past four games.

Houston's bullpen, though, is in far worse shape. Closer Jose Valverde is out. So is Doug Brocail, one of the Astros' key setup men. With the exception of journeyman LaTroy Hawkins, the Astros' relievers are a bunch of arsonist no-names who have fatigue issues going into this matchup.

The Cubs have scored at least six runs in four of their last six games. They should be able to knock out the wild Ortiz early and get into the Astros' highly vulnerable bullpen.

Topping things off is Andrian Johnson is scheduled to be the home plate umpire. The over is 14-2-4 the last 20 times Johnson has been behind the plate.

This is a one-unit play for me.

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Larry Ness

Detroit Tigers @ Chicago White Sox
PICK: Chicago White Sox

Wednesday's game between the Tigers and White Sox was rained out. I had a play on the White Sox and Buehrle over the Tigers and Galarraga. The pitching matchup remains the same for tonight's game, so little has changed. Here's what I wrote yesterday about this matchup (a no play because of the postponement), for those who missed it.The White Sox won the AL Central last season (although they needed a one-game playoff to clinch it), going 89-74. As for the Tigers, they were one of MLB's biggest disappointments in 2008. Detroit won 95 games in 2006, making it all the way to the World Series but then missed the playoffs in 2007, with an 88-74 mark. However, off-season moves set up Detroit as one of the favorites to take the AL pennant in 2008. Instead, the Tigers flip-flopped their 2007 mark, falling to 74-88. Neither team has done too much in the early going of 2009, with Detroit going 14-12 and the White Sox 12-14. Chicago lost 8-7 in 11 innings at Kansas City on Tuesday to conclude a 1-4 road trip, while Detroit comes in having won three of its last four after a 9-0 victory over Minnesota on Tuesday. In the first game of a two-game set, it's Armando Galarraga (3-1, 3.07 ERA) vs Mark Buerhle (4-0, 3.30 ERA). Galarraga had an impressive rookie season in 2007, going 13-7 with a 3.73 ERA in 30 appearances (28 starts). The Tigers went 18-10 in those starts and he's off to a good start in 2009, although he is coming off his first loss of the season. He allowed five runs and eight hits while walking three in five innings of a 6-5 loss to Cleveland last Friday. Mark Buehrle has opened 2009 at 4-0. He joined the team in 2000, making 28 appearances but just three starts. He became a regular part of the rotation in 2001 and over the next eight seasons went 118-86 with a 3.78 ERA. That's an average of just under 15 wins each year. Buehrle has won at least 10 games in each of his eight previous seasons for the Chicago White Sox but he's never won his first five decisions in any of those years. Expect him to reach 5-0 tonight. He's always been a much better home pitcher than road pitcher, as from 2001-08, the White Sox are 95-47 (.669) in his home starts and 60-67 (.472) in his road starts. That home/away dichotomy was much greater last year, as Chicago was 14-3 (2.65 ERA) in his home starts but just 4-14 (5.14 ERA) in his road starts. The team is 3-0 in his home starts this year (also 2-0 on the road), meaning the White are 17-3 (85% percent) in his home starts since the beginning of last year. Detroit dominated lefties back in 2006 (35-18), then went 27-15 vs lefties in 2007 but last year the team's mark was just 26-22, finishing $0 vs the moneyline. The Tigers are 6-4 so far vs left-handed starters this year and the key point is, that for over a year now, Detroit no longer owns any mastery over left-handed starters. That would surely apply to a crafty veteran lefty like Buehrle, who is a DOMINANT home pitcher. Take the Chi White Sox.

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Frank Jordan

Atlanta Hawks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers    
Play: Cleveland Cavaliers -13   

Atlanta played well in the first half against Cleveland as the Cavaliers were up just 5 at the half. Oh, but the second half was all Cleveland as they out scored Atlanta 50-28. LeBron scored 34 points in game one and after seeing Kobe put in 40 points last night for the Lakers Look for LeBron to go for 40-45 points as the Cavaliers win easily again at home for a 2-0 series lead. Play Cleveland

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Big Al McMordie

Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds
Play: Milwaukee Brewers

At 7:10pm our complimentary selection is on the Milwaukee Brewers over the Cincinnati Reds. Don't look now but the Brew Crew is on a roll. They've won eight of 10, and they're finally starting to put up some runs in the process. In those eight wins, the Brewers have scored 55 runs, including 15 last night. And today, perhaps their most consistent starter of the season, Braden Looper, will get the call. (Both Looper and Yovani Gallardo are running neck-and-neck for that honor.) Looper has been incredibly steady in his five starts to date, and he already owns a win against the Reds this season, as he was the pitcher of record in Milwaukee's 9-3 pasting of Cincy back on April 15. Tonight's game is in Cincinnati, a place where Looper should feel comfortable as he went 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA there in two starts at Great America Ballpark last season. The Reds will send former D-Back Micah Owings to the mound tonight, and he has been anything BUT their most consistent starter. Unless of course you define consistent as consistently bad. If there is anything positive to say about Owings, it may be, oddly enough, that he has a great bat for a pitcher. Owings is hitting .286 this year, and in 2007 he actually had four HRs in just 60 at bats. But it will take more than Owings at the plate to help the Reds tonight. He will have to step up and throw a quality start, something that has eluded him in all but one of his appearances so far. Owings was the starter in that earlier 9-3 loss to Milwaukee, and he'll get hit hard again tonight. Take the Brewers.

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Nick Parsons

Detroit Red Wings @ Anaheim Ducks +120

Big value play on the home team in this situation; After building a 2-0 lead on a breakaway goal by Teemu Selanne and a power-play strike by Scott Niedermayer, the Ducks hung on for dear life. Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg struck on the power play at 14:20 of the second period, but the Ducks survived thanks to 45 saves by red-hot goaltender Jonas Hiller, including 18 in the third period. The Ducks also got a huge break with 1:04 left when a quick whistle by referee Brad Watson wiped out what would have been a tying goal by Marian Hossa. Whether you count their 2-1 series lead as 'pure luck' or not, the fact remains that Anaheim has the lead in this series and is a stellar 3-2 (+2.5 units) when leading in a playoff series; I expect this trend to continue; play on ANAHEIM!

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Red Dog Sports

Atlanta at Florida
Play Under 9

Jair Jurrgens has an ERA of 1.84 and allowed just 1, 2, 0 and 1 runs in his last 4 starts. The under is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings and Sanibel for Florida has 20 unders, 8 overs and 2 pushes in his last 30 starts. Together these two pitchers have 1 over and 10 unders. Looks like an under opportunity on Thursday.

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Bobby Maxwell

Philadelphia +130 at N.Y. METS 

We've scored three straight FREE play winners for you, including Wednesday's comp winner on the Lakers as they covered the number against the Rockets. Today we'll get you another one with the Phillies as they visit the Mets.

Great game these two played on Wednesday as the Mets' ace Johan Santana threw a three-hitter and the Mets blanked the Phillies 1-0. But keep in mind that the Phillies allowed just two hits. So it's not like the New York bats are on fire. Tonight they have to face crafty lefty Jamie Moyer (3-1, 5.65 ERA). We'll play the veteran in this one and grab the plus-money with the Phillies.

Philadelphia is 16-5 in its last 21 games as an underdog and they are 7-3 in Moyer's last 10 starts against the Mets. The Phillies have won eight of their last 11 and Moyer just pitched against these Mets on Saturday and his offense rallied to get the 6-5 extra-inning victory.

The Phils have won his last four outings and his last roadie he allowed just one run in six innings of a 13-2 blowout win in Florida. Against New York, the Phillies have won seven of his last 10 outings and his last start in the Big Apple he blanked New York on two hits for seven innings in a 6-2 win last September.

The Mets are going with Michael Pelfrey (3-0, 6.00) who has lost two of his last three outings agaisnt the Phils and gave up three runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings of work in Philly on Friday, but his offense got him a 7-4 victory.

Play the plus-money on Philadelphia tonight as Moyer has a knack of shutting down the Mets.

3♦ PHILADELPHIA

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Jeff Benton

Detroit at CHICAGO -110

I'm still on a 24-15 free-play run after Wednesday's selection on the White over Detroit was rained out. We'll stick with the same play for Thursday, as the pitching matchup is slated to remain the same.

Chicago is 5-0 in Mark Buehrle’s five starts this season, with the veteran lefty posting a 3.30 ERA. Buehrle has given up three runs or fewer in all five of his starts, and he’s pitched at least six innings in the last four. Also, he’s made three home starts, going 2-0 with a 2.60 ERA, and he’s dominated Detroit recently, giving up just six earned runs in his last four starts against the Tigers covering 30 innings – that’s a 1.80 ERA.

Meanwhile, although the Tigers have a solid young pitcher on the mound tonight in Armando Galarraga, they also bring a ton of negatives into this contest. They’ve lost 15 of their last 22 road games; they’re 1-4 in their last five games against the White Sox and 1-7 in their last eight games in Chicago; they’re 20-41 in their last 61 as an underdog; they’re 7-23 in their last 30 series-openers; and they’ve dropped four straight contests with Galarraga taking the mound as an underdog.

Throw in the fact that, in addition to going 5-0 with Buehrle pitching this season, the White Sox are 43-17 in his last 60 home starts and 47-20 in his last 67 as a chalk, and getting Chicago at this dirt-cheap price is a steal.

3♦ WHITE SOX

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Matt Rivers

For Thursday take a stab with the underdog Nats in LA.

Washington is clearly one of the worst teams in all of baseball but they are not dreadful and do have enough of an upside to win this game.

Jordan Zimmerman is a future stud and can more than hold his own today. The Washington hurler recently won in New York downing a quality Mets squad and is not afraid to pitch on the road against quality competition. This kid is well ahead of his years and even with all of the wins at home the Ddogers still do not frighten me like an elite team should. Sure Manny Ramirez is a killer and there are other quality bats like Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp and Rafael Furcal but in the end Joe Torre's squad is going to lose some ballgames and to get money back like this makes me more than fine in backing the visitors.

Randy Wolf is a decent enough lefty that can hold his own as well tonight as these Nats are not exactly the 1917 Yankees but I don't fully trust the southpaw and will take my chances with Adam Dunn, Ryan Zimmerman and a few other at least capable hitters.

All in all obviously Los Angeles is the clear better team but the blue will lose some games at Chavez Ravine and at this price with a young stud on the bump makes me fine with believing today can be the day.

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Victor Monte

My Afternoon Comp Play is on the Kansas City Royals!

I am backing the Royals this afternoon & releasing this selection FREE. With last nights Victory the Royals have now Won 5 Straight games and 7 of there last 8 overall coming into play today. I am also aware the Royals scored 9 runs in there 9-1 Win over the Mariners last night. Let's make a note that Kansas City has averaged over 7 Runs Per Game during there current 5 game Winning streak. While the Royals are winning the Mariners have lost 3 straight (2 of the 3 losses were with there best pitchers Hernandez & Bedard on the mound) they have scored just 8 runs in those 3 losses! When we look at the pitching match up we see a major mismatch! The Mariners send "Lefty" Jarrod Washburn to the hill. The Royals have torched southpaws hitting .328 over the last 10 games & have Won 5 in a row against "Lefty Starters". Let's also state that Washburn is a "Money Burning" 9-23 in "Daytime" Games since 2003. This Includes 1-1 this year. In that stretch Washburn has allowed 154 Earned Runs in 285 1/3 Innings! Not good at all playing under the sunlight! Royals starter Brian Bannister has made a living during the day going a Profitable 12-4 in his career day game starts ! Want More? The Mariners have lost there last 5 games inside Kauffman Stadium!

Comp Winner on Kansas City Royals -115

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DAVE COKIN

CHICAGO CUBS / HOUSTON ASTROS
Take CHICAGO CUBS

Ted Lilly has been rock solid once again for the Cubs this season, and he's in a pretty good spot to grab a road win this evening. Russ Ortiz is on the hill for Houston, and he just can't keep surviving the constant jams he puts himself in with his lousy control. Ortiz has issued 17 BB in only 19 IP, and he ought to be getting crushed with that ratio. I can't see Ortiz's luck holding out again and I'll look for the Cubs and Lilly to collect another win tonight.

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