Friday Service Plays

Re: Friday Service Plays

Drew Gordon

Kansas City +115 at ST. LOUIS

Despite their issues on the highway, one Royals pitcher I'll happily back on the road is Kyle Davies, who boasts a stellar 1.89 ERA away. True, he's winless on the road thus far this season, but if you saw him pitch at the Angels (1 run over 6 innings), at the Rangers (3 runs over 6 innings), and at the White Sox (7 scoreless) before that, then you know he's pitched well enough to win. Look for him to continue his success in hostile territory tonight at Busch, where he won his only start there back in June, allowing 1 run over 7 strong innings!

Opposing Davies is the Cardinals struggling righty Todd Wellemeyer, who started the month of May well, but had tail-spun in his last starts, allowing 11 runs over his last 10 innings, losing at Pittsburgh and then against Milwaukee in his last one. Like Davies, his ERA at home (1-3, 6.51 ERA) is much worse than his ERA on the road (2-1, 4.91 ERA), so to say Wellemeyer should pitch well at Busch tonight goes against everything we've seen this season!

Finally, while we give the edge to the Cardinals offense overall, of late its been the Royals who've been hitting righties well, batting a solid .275 over their L10 games in that spot. Compare that to the Redbirds, who are batting just .226 vs righties over the same 10-game span, and all of a sudden the plus money is looking mighty good in this one. In the end, I know the Cardinals are tough at home, but remember Kansas City has played well in St. Louis, going 7-3 in their last 10 meetings there! In the end, Royals are the play here, as Davies delivers another solid road start!

Take Kansas City behind Davies over St. Louis and Wellemeyer in this MLB match up.

3♦ KANSAS CITY

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Re: Friday Service Plays

Tony Karpinski

Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Yankees   
Play: New York Yankees     

Nine straight wins and the Bronx Bombers are hosting the defending champion Phillies. Sounds like a winner to me. After all, what better time to make even more of a statement, like when you're winning as much as New York is, and step right into Interleague play to take on the defending champs. The Yankees have won seven straight at home during their winning streak, and are on additional runs of 8-0 as a chalk, 5-0 against right-handed starters, 37-18 at home, 7-1 on Friday and 54-20 when hosting N.L. opponents.I like A.J. Burnett since the Yanks are 3-1 in his first four home starts in the Bronx and he is getting used to this stadium.

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Re: Friday Service Plays

LARRY NESS

Arizona Diamondbacks @ Oakland Athletics
PICK: Oakland Athletics

Think things don't change quickly in the world of sports? Bob Melvin, the 2007 NL Manager of the Year, was fired by the D'backs on May 8. He was replaced by AJ Hinch, the director of the team's farm system, but someone with no managerial experience. Go figure? The D'backs initially went into a 1-6 slide under Hinch but enter this game having won four of five. However, one can't be too confident in playing on the D'backs in this one, with little-used Billy Buckner on the mound. Buckner made seven appearances (five starts) for the Royals back in 2007, posting a 5.29 ERA (he was 1-2 with a 6.49 ERA in his five starts). He made 10 appearances with the D'backs last season, all in relief, pitching only 14 innings. Buckner opened the season with the big club but made three relief appearances early on, allowing seven hits and seven ERs in just four innings (15.75 ERA), so off he went to Reno. He's done OK there, going 2-2 with a 3.81 ERA in seven appearances (five starts) and has been recalled today, to open this three-game series with the A's. The A's will counter with Tom Cahill, who will be making his ninth start of 2009, which is his rookie season. He's had two awful outings, including his last one at Detroit (2.1 IP / 7 hits / 7 ERs). He also allowed seven ERs at home to Tampa Bay on April in just 2.1 innings but one can't ignore the fact that in his other six starts, he has allowed just nine ERs over 36.1 innings (2.23 ERA). Neither team hits much, with the D'backs batting .234 (29th) and the A's, .241 (28th). However, most of Oakland's woes have come vs lefties in 2009, as the A's are 4-11 vs southpaws, while going 11-12 vs right-handers. Cahill has won his last two home starts (2.08 ERA) and he should be just fine here, vs the light-hitting D'backs. The A's are worth a small play.

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Re: Friday Service Plays

BEN BURNS

Chicago Cubs @ San Diego Padres
PICK: San Diego Padres

The Padres were swept at Wrigley earlier this month. They come in as the much hotter team for this weekend's series though. In fact, they've won six straight. Conversely, the Cubs have lost four in a row. For the season, the Cubs are a money-burning 9-11 (-3) on the road while the Padres are a profitable 14-6 (+7.2) here at Petco Park.

After refusing to be traded to the White Sox, Peavy should be highly motivated to deliver a strong performance here. Judging by his recent stats, that's a fairly strong possibility. Looking at Peavy's last three starts and we find him with an excellent 2.45 ERA and 0.864 WHIP. In his last game, he tossed a complete-game 4-hitter, allowing just a single run. He had eight K's and just one walk and the Padres won by a score of 3-1.

Of course, when he's on his game, Zambrano is also capable of dominating. While he's had success vs. the Padres in the past, he hasn't been quite as sharp as Peavy in his most "recent" starts and his road WHIP of 1.474 shows that he's allowing a relatively high number of baserunners. Worse, he's been on the disabled list and hasn't made a start since May 3rd. He's expected to be on a limited pitch count.

Note that Zambrano allowed four runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings of a rehab start for single-A Daytona. Peavy, who averages greater than seven innings per start here at home, should be able to outlast him. Consider San Diego

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Re: Friday Service Plays

Dave Malinsky

Cubs (RL) @ Padres (RL)
PICK: Cubs +1.5

We can understand some of the line movement to the Padres in this one, with a team on a W6 facing one on an L4 drawing the usual attention from streak bettors, and the fact that Carlos Zambrano is coming off of a layoff, and facing a pitch count, an added factor. But that has now taken the Run Line into a range in which we can not resist. The numbers behind the punchless Padres in this category are simply staggering.

San Diego is an awful 7-34 as -1.5 so far this season, including a dismal 2-16 vs. teams outside of the N.L. West. The past two seasons they have gone 22-84 laying -1.5 outside of the division. And it is not as though the presence of Jake Peavy as the starter turns that around – they are 2-7 laying -1.5 with him on the mound this season, and 9-24 in that role over his last 33 starts. Even in the current 6-0 run the Padres have only been able to win twice by more than a single run (both of those only being two-run victories), and they only scored 20 runs in the regulation nine innings in those wins.

Close wins come at a cost, and for San Diego that cost is the likely absence of Heath Bell tonight. Bell has recorded saves in each of the last three games, throwing 43 pitches, which will likely force a night off here, leaving some vulnerability for the late innings. The Cubs face no such issues, with all of the key bullpen arms rested and ready, and that makes it even more difficult for the Padres to ever build any kind of margin.

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Re: Friday Service Plays

Mike Rose

Orlando Magic +9

The Magic shocked just about every basketball expert by claiming victory in Game 1 and rewarded loyal Magic bettors everywhere. The magic number for Orlando has been 100, when they reach the century-mark, the Magic are 4-0 SU & ATS in the 2009 NBA Playoffs. Despite the officials ticky-tack foul calls that sent him to the bench early, Magic C Dwight Howard scored 30 points and grabbed 13 boards. Superman scored Orlando's first points of the game when he dunked the ball and broke the shot clock off the goal. If Howard continues to have his way inside in this series, the Cavs can forget about beating the Magic whose outside game feeds off his inside presence. The Magic are 4-0 ATS against the Cavs this season and 5-3 ATS in their eight road playoff contests.

The Cavaliers came out gunning in Game 1 getting out to a 33-19 lead after the first quarter and extending the lead to 63-48 at the break. From there, they were outscored 59-43 the rest of the way which allowed the Magic to reclaim home court advantage. Cavs F LeBron James needed to score more than his 32 PPG average for his team to have any chance in this series. Who knew he'd score 49 points in a loss? King James got his teammates going in the first half and finished with eight assists, but he is going to need a lot more help for the Cavs to compete in this series. Cleveland's bench was outscored 25-5 on Wednesday and must step up tonight. The Cavs are 1-11 ATS against the Magic in the L/12 meetings.

It's hard to believe, but the oddsmakers are still disregarding the overwhelming ATS numbers the Magic have put up against the Cavs in recent meetings. Orlando will once again cover this lofty spread if not win outright once again! The underdog is 9-3 ATS in the L/12 meetings and bettors can expect that hot streak to continue in Game 2.

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Re: Friday Service Plays

Rocketman Sports

NY Mets @ Boston
Play: NY Mets

NY Mets is 8-1 this year when the total is 8 to 8 1/2. NY Mets bullpen has a 2.88 ERA overall and a 3.03 ERA on the road this year. Johan Santana is 5-2 with a 1.36 ERA overall this year, 2-1 with a 2.29 ERA on the road and 2-1 with a 1.77 ERA his last 3 starts. Matsuzaka is 0-1 with a 12.80 ERA overall this year and 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA at home this season. Santana has a 2.47 ERA overall vs Boston since 1997. We'll recommend a small play on the NY Mets tonight!

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