Wednesday Service Plays

Re: Wednesday Service Plays

Tom Freese B

Chicago at St. Louis

Chicago is 8-3 their last 11 games vs. a team with a home win percentage of over 60% and they are 5-2 their last 7 games as righty starters. The Cubs are 4-1 vs. an opponent who allowed 2 or less runs in their last game and starter Ryan Dempster has gone at least 6 innings in all 8 of his starts this year. St. Louis is 3-8 their last 11 games vs. righty starters and they are 2-7 their last 9 games vs. winning teams. Starting pitcher Chris Carpenter is making his first start this year and will be on a pitch count. PLAY ON CHICAGO - (Dempster vs. Carpenter)

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Re: Wednesday Service Plays

Jimmy Boyd

1 Unit on Houston Astros +100

The Brewers have won 7 in a row, but I have the winning streak ending tonight in Houston. The Astros are playing pretty good ball themselves, winners of 6 of their last 9, and they send one of the best home pitchers in baseball to the hill tonight. Rodriguez has an ERA of 1.90 on the season and an even smaller ERA of 0.67 at home. The Astros are 4-0 in Rodriguez's last 4 starts and the Brewers are only 5-16 in their last 21 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15. History is on Houston's side tonight also, as plays against road teams when the money line is +125 to -125 after 4 or more consecutive wins, with a winning record on the season playing a losing team are 77-32 the last 5 seasons. Plus, Milwaukee is just 9-28 against the money line in road games vs. a starting pitcher who gives up 5.5 or less hits/start over the last 3 seasons. If Houston gives Rodriguez just a little run support tonight they should win this one. Bet the 'stros.

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Re: Wednesday Service Plays

Jeff Benton

Pittsburgh +120 at WASHINGTON 

We finally got back on track with the free plays Tuesday, nailing the Brewers over the Astros. For Wednesday’s free play, we’ll back the Pirates at a nice plus price in the nation’s capital.

To put it bluntly, the Nationals are a mess. Not only have they lost the first two games of this series against the Pirates, but they’ve dropped six in a row and nine of their last 10, and each of those nine defeats have been multiple-run losses. What’s more, look at the run totals Washington has given up in its nine losses: 10, 11, 9, 10, 8, 7, 8, 12 and 8. The Nationals’ team ERA over the last 10 games is a minor-league-like 8.11, including a 10.06 bullpen ERA!

Meanwhile, the Pirates have won four in a row and six of their last eight, and they’ve been busting out the bats during this stretch, tallying a total of 50 runs during those six wins, including 20 runs the last two nights in Washington. As a team, Pittsburgh is batting .293 over its last 10 contests.

Tonight, the Pirates have lefty Paul Maholm on the hill, and Maholm is 3-1 with a 3.51 ERA on the season. In his most recent outing, Maholm threw seven shutout innings but didn’t factor in the decision as Pittsburgh couldn’t produce any offense in a 3-1 loss. Uh, I doubt the Bucs will have trouble pushing across runs in this game. Yes, they’re facing arguably the Nats’ best pitcher in southpaw John Lannan, but Lannan hasn’t made it past six innings in any of his last four starts … meaning Washington’s pathetic bullpen is going to come into play tonight, likely for four innings.

The Nats have lost 23 of Lannan’s last 30 starts overall and four of his last five at home, and Lannan is 0-2 with a 7.00 ERA in two career starts against the Pirates. Play the road team in this one.

2♦ PITTSBURGH

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Re: Wednesday Service Plays

Sports Gambling Hotline

Pittsburgh +125 at WASHINGTON 

Another comp play winner last night with the Nuggets-Lakers UNDER the total.

That makes it 5 straight comp play winners!

For Wednesday, go with Pittsburgh to dump Washington once again.

The Pirates are rolling hot right now, winners of 6 of their last 8, including 4 in a row after last night's 8-5 extra-inning victory over the Nats.

Washington's losing streak is at 6 in a row, and they have also dropped 9 of their last 10.

Paul Maholm just threw 7 scoreless innings at Colorado in a no-decsion, so he should be plenty confident when he is on the hill tonight, as he looks to build upon his last start.

John Lannan went 0-2 in his 2 starts against Pittsburgh last season, and we will play against him again tonight, as the Bucs continue their winning ways, while the Nationals absorb another setback.

Play on Pittsburgh.

1♦ PITTSBURGH

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Re: Wednesday Service Plays

Michael Cannon

Milwaukee at HOUSTON

Take the under tonight in the Brewers-Astros game at Minute Maid Park.

Great pitching matchup tonight that should keep the score low.

Yovani Gallardo will get the nod for the Brewers and all he’s had is success against Houston in his career.  The right-hander is 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA in three career starts against the Astros, including two on the road.

Houston will counter with Wandy Rodriguez, who is just plain nasty when he pitches at home.  The left-hander is 2-1 with a 0.67 ERA in four home starts and 4-2 with a 0.87 ERA in his last eight starts at Minute Maid Park.

With pitching numbers like those it could be a case of the first team to plate a run will win.

Take the under as your Wednesday free winner.

3♦ UNDER

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Re: Wednesday Service Plays

Chris Jordan

Detroit at TEXAS +150 

Yesterday the Tigers got it done with one MLB betting system; today we take the Rangers with another.

I know it seems ludicrous to side against Justin Verlander, who is 2-0 at home with a paltry 0.95 ERA this season, but I like the way Matt Harrison has been pitching this month. Quite honestly, he could vie for AL Pitcher of the Month if he keeps going on the same path he’s been on. He rolls in off two straight complete game wins, and is 3-0 in May with a 0.78 ERA.

Dating back to last month, the second-year southpaw has posted a 1.80 ERA while winning four consecutive starts. His 22-inning scoreless streak ended when he allowed two runs in the fourth inning of a 3-2 victory over Seattle last Thursday.

Though Detroit won last night, the Rangers have still won seven of eight.

1♦ RANGERS

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Re: Wednesday Service Plays

Red Dog Sports

Los Angeles at Seattle
Play: Over 9

Ervin Santana has an ERA of 5.40 and Jakabaukus has an ERA of 9.83 in his last 3 starts. There has been 12 overs and 4 unders in the last 16 meetings in Seattle. Play the over!

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Re: Wednesday Service Plays

Matt Rivers

For Wednesday take whatever coin you can get with the Blue Jays at Fenway.

Let me begin by saying that I do not believe Cito Gaston's boys will keep up this first place pace when all is said and done but the way Toronto has been playing and the way this kid Brett Cecil has been pitching I can't help but believe the roll will at least continue for one more day.

The Red Sox are the superior overall team but Brad Penny has had some issues over the last year and a half and with the injuries to the Sox including the likes of Dustin Pedroia and the DL'd Kevin Youkilis and the horrible play of David Ortiz Boston should not exactly just bash the ball all over the park today against the lefty.

I do wish that I was getting a bigger takeback as Terry Francona's boys are still very good and therefore this game is far from a mortal lock or anything such as that but why not roll with the good thing here.

Vernon Wells, Alex Rios and Aaron Hill are real quality ballplayers and will take their hacks for sure against the scuffling Penny. Long gone are the All-Star starting days for the former Marlin and Dodger righthander and right now it's a struggle for Penny to do anything right at all. Just surviving five innings is a challenge for him.

I definitely expect Cecil's ERA to go up a bit today as he can't be this good and this is a tough spot but in the end the Jays plus a little money tonight is worth the risk!

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Re: Wednesday Service Plays

Jake Timlin

Bonus action on the diamond I love for Milwaukee to make it 8 straight wins tonight.

Build on their road win against the Astros last night I look for Milwaukee behind Gallardo to continue their amazing run the standing thanks to an easy win in Houston.  You see for Milwaukee not only are the good right now, but they have been good on the road this season going 13-7 all thanks in part to Gallardo who is 4-1 overall in 7 starts this season and only getting better due to his 2.25 ERA in his last three starts.

Meanwhile, for Houston despite Rodriguez’s solid start to the season there is no looking past the fact that Houston has lost 7 of his last 8 starts against the Brewers.   Even worst news for the Astros is they have struggled at home turning in a losing record of 8-11 so far this season.

Well given how well Milwaukee is playing right now mixed in with their recent success this year against Houston I expect for the Brewers to have no problems winning their 8th straight game. 

PICK: Milwaukee Brewers

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Re: Wednesday Service Plays

Karl Garrett

Orlando at CLEVELAND -9 

In the NBA tonight, the G-Man will go UNDER the total in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Orlando comes into the Quicken Loans Arena having played UNDER the total in the last 4 games of the Boston series, and the Magic has also been LOW in 6 of their last 8 road games, and 7 of their 9 games when installed as an UNDERDOG.

Cleveland also comes into this game with some serious UNDER trends on their side, as their last pair of postseason games, and 6 of their last 7 in the playoffs have ALL stayed UNDER the total.

At the Quicken Loans Arena, the Cavs are on a 14-5-1 UNDER run their last 20 games.

Finally, 4 of the last 5 series meetings have played LOW between the teams.

Take the UNDER in Orlando-Cleveland tonight.

3♦ UNDER

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Re: Wednesday Service Plays

Scott Rickenbach

Kansas City vs Cleveland
Play Under 9.5

We cashed in right here yesterday on an under where everyone was looking for an over and it doesn't get much easier than that under in Detroit yesterday as Dontrelle Willis threw a one-hitter. Today's it's the same concept. Everyone is looking for an over in Kansas City and this line has gone from a 9 to a 9.5 which means even more value for a play on the under in this spot. Yesterday's game got under the total thanks to a bullpen collapse from the Indians which has truly not been that uncommon for them. However, the key today is that we expect both starters to perform so well that the pens here (K.C. has a decent one by the way) are not going to have much impact on this one!

Fausto Carmona gets the ball for the Indians and he's showing bettors a 5.70 ERA but note his .255 BAA. If he controls his walks (he's actually had better command on the road than at home) he can absolutely contain this Royals offense. He's allowed just 21 hits in 25.1 innings spanning his last four starts and he's 4-2 with a respectable 4.58 ERA against the Royals in his career. Also, in his career, May has been Carmona's best month as he's posted a 6-2 mark with a 3.12 ERA! He will be opposed by the Royals Gil Meche tonight and we are also expecting a solid start from him in this one! In his last start against Cleveland he gave up three earned runs but note that Meche allowed just five hits in 7.1 innings of work and he struck out 7 while issuing no walks! Also, his 4.98 ERA against the Indians last season was somewhat deceiving as he held them to a .262 batting average while compiling a solid 1.19 WHIP! Don't be surprised when this one turns into a pitchers duel! Consider a small play on UNDER the total in Kansas City on Wednesday.

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Re: Wednesday Service Plays

Rocketman

San Francisco @ San Diego
Play: San Francisco

San Francisco is 19-19 on the season while San Diego comes in with a 17-22 record this year. San Diego is 0-6 this year when playing on Wednesday. San Diego is scoring only 3.8 runs per game overall, 3.7 runs per game at home and 3.3 runs per game against left handed starters this year. San Diego has a poor .218 team batting average at home and against left handed starters this season. Chad Gaudin is 0-3 with a 4.91 ERA overall this year and is 0-3 with a 6.35 ERA his last 3 starts. We'll recommend a small play on San Francisco tonight!

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Re: Wednesday Service Plays

MTI Sports

Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees
Prediction: New York Yankees

The Yankees are 20-4 at home vs a team that has lost at least their last two games and it is not the first game of a series and 15-1 at home after a 5+ run win and it is not the first game of a series. Baltimore is 6-24 as a road dog after a loss in which they were shut out in the last 6 innings. Why aren?t the Yankees -180 here. Take NY.

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Re: Wednesday Service Plays

Larry Ness

Minnesota Twins @ Chicago White Sox
PICK: Chicago White Sox

I rode Mark Buehrle and the White Sox to a fairly easy win last night, as the White Sox snapped a five-game losing streak, while extending the Twins' losing streak to five games. The Twins have now lost eight in a row away from home for the first time since a nine-game slide back in 2003 and at 4-13, own the majors worst road record. Chicago's John Danks was a big surprise in 2008, his second major league season. He went 12-9 with a 3.32 ERA, with the White Sox going 19-15 in all of his starts (including the postseason). While Danks is 3-3 with a 5.61 ERA in eight career starts against the Twins, there is one outing in particular in which few White Sox fans will ever forget. Danks started and won last year's tie-breaker against the Twins, which decided the AL Central champion on Sept 30. He allowed two hits in eight innings of a 1-0 win over Minnesota, which sent Chicago to the postseason for the first time since winning the World Series in 2005. Things have not gone as smoothly this year for Danks, as he's 2-3 with a 4.82 ERA in seven starts (team is 3-4). However, the good news is that the Twins are in a funk plus are in a terrible situation. Minnesota was an 'ugly' 5-15 vs left-handed starters in road night games last year and so far in 2009, are 0-5 vs lefties on the road in all situations (0-3 at night), averaging a mere 2.4 RPG. Minnesota will start a lefty as well, in Francisco Liriano (2-4, 5.21 ERA). After an 0-4 start to the 2009 season, Liriano will be looking for a third straight win. He's 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA over his last four starts (team is 3-1) but he's 0-2 with a 7.59 ERA in his only two career starts vs Minnesota. That includes an April 11 start this year (at Chicago), in which he allowed six hits and five ERs in just 4.2 innings of an 8-0 loss. Take Chicago.

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Re: Wednesday Service Plays

Gregg Price

Orlando Magic vs. Cleveland Cavaliers    
Play: Cleveland Cavaliers -8.5

This team is so focused and on a mission. They have dominated every single game they have played so far. Magic are coming off a huge road win and will not be able to duplicate that effort. Cavs will be too much for the Magic. They will win again by double digits.

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Re: Wednesday Service Plays

Wunderdog

Orlando at Cleveland
Pick: First Half UNDER 93

Orlando games during the regular season averaged 99 first-half points. During the playoffs that has dropped to 92 and during the last five games, it's down to 89! Sense a trend? They now face the best defensive team in the league who has also seen a drop from their already crazy-low regular season averages. Cleveland games have dropped from 94.3 first-half points to 89 during the playoffs. They have held their first two opponents to just 39.9 in the first-half. Orlando is a top offensive team but they are going to struggle mightily vs. the Cavs defense. Heck, Philly and Boston (without Garnett), neither of which are great defensive teams, were able to shave 4 points per game off Orlando's offensive average and make them look like an average offensive team. What will Cleveland be able to do? This is a low first-half total but no worries. The Cavs are 23-14 UNDER in the first-half this season when the total is between 90 and 95. Orlando is 12-4 UNDER this season in the first-half when facing a team at .700 or better. The defensive intensity (and Cleveland's offensive rustiness) will be highest at the beginning of the game. I like this one to play in the 80s in the first-half.

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Re: Wednesday Service Plays

Nite Owl Sports

Orlando Magic @ Cleveland Cavaliers
Pick: 2 units Orlando Magic +9

We sure were impressed with the way Magic got it done in their game 7 at Boston, with clutch performances all around, but especially by Turk, the two guards (Rafer Alston and rookie Courtney Lee, who stuck to dangerous boston 3 point ace Eddie House like glue), and the relatively unknown Mickel Pietrus, who had played his previous pro ball in Europe. And not only does that "hump win" in game 7 give Magic loads of confidence, but they are not "in awe" of this Cavs team, haveing beaten them 2 out of 3 TY and easily covered in their one game TY at the "Q," with a tight late season (March) 4 point loss as +8.5 point dogs. And that is just one of the nine ATS covers that Magic have had against Cavs in last ten of this series, incl 5-0 ATS and 3-2 SU last five in Cleve. And in that covering 4 point loss at Cleve, Magic hung close, thanks to very strong guard play, with 23 points by Rafer Alston on 8-16 shoooting (incl 3-7 treys) and 19 by Lee, on 9-13, which enabled them to "survive" (ATS) Rashard Lewis having one of the worst games of his career (just 6 points on dreadful 3-15 shooting, incl 0-8 treys). And the last time these two played, in orlando in april, Magic absolutely smashed Cavs (by 29), despite Cavs playing with a basically injury-complimentary line-up (missing only point guard Delonte West), with Dwight Howard victorious the "battle of the Bigs" over Cavs' "Iggy" Ilgauskas, with 20 points and 11 boards compared to 10/7 by the big Russian. But we've been handicapping the NBA playoffs long enough not to get too carried away by one team's apparent regular season dominance over the other, especially when the two opponents have played each other only a couple of times (3 in this case) in reg season.

So as we typically do, we looked at both teams' performance in a number of "representative games" (7 Cavs games as home faves of 4-10 points vs playoff teams and 7 Magic games as road dogs, also only vs playoff teams). And based on the results of that survey, Magic appear to have the edge here, getting 8-9 points, as they were 5-2 ATS in their 7 games, with average MOL of just one, while Cavs were a decent 4-3 ATS with average MOV of 10, which combines and averages to a 7-6 ATS edge for Magic (counting Magic ATS cover in Cleve just once, not twice), and a projected Magic ATS cover with a loss of 5.5 points, which we believe is enough support for this two unit pick on Magic at +9>.

But what about Cavs' 7-0-1 ATS record in their first 8 playoff games, incl 4-0 ATS in their four HGs? We believe those numbers, compiled against teams (Detroit and Atlanta) vastly inferior to Magic which didn't match up with Cavs nearly as well as Magic does, not only are basically irrelevant, but also that Cavs not having had a close game against a good team in a long time could hurt them in this one. While we are somewhat concerned about Cavs' strong 7-2 ATS home record LY and year before in East Conf semis and finals, incl 3-0 SU and ATS LY at home vs the defending World Champs (Boston), none of that good home playoff record was compiled against this Magic team.

So we expect a close, competitive game one between these two, close enough for a two unit pick on Magic at +9. We also expect a close, competitive series, and  believe the current series prices of Cavs - 700 and Magic +550 are ridiculously inflated, making it  tempting to take a small "pop" at Magic (to win the series) with those generous odds.

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