Friday Service Plays

Friday Service Plays

SPORTS ADVISORS

NBA PLAYOFFS

WESTERN CONFERENCE

(1) L.A. Lakers (11-6 SU, 9-8 ATS) at (2) Denver (10-5 SU, 13-2 ATS)

The Lakers, on the brink of their second straight trip to the NBA Finals, travel to the Pepsi Center for Game 6 of their best-of-7 series against the Nuggets, who must hold home court to stay alive.

Los Angeles scored the first 11 points of the fourth quarter in Game 5 Wednesday, breaking a 76-76 tie en route to a 103-94 win as a six-point chalk and taking a 3-2 series lead in the process. Kobe Bryant had 22 points and eight assists, Lamar Odom (19 points, 14 rebounds) and Pau Gasol (14 points, 10 rebounds) notched double-doubles, and the Lakers outshot the Nuggets by 10 percentage points (48.7-38.6).

Carmelo Anthony paced the Nuggets with 31 points, but no other Denver play scored more than 12, and streaky guard J.R. Smith (seven points) went just 3 of 13 from the floor, including 1 of 10 from three-point range, after scoring 24 points in a Game 4 victory at home Monday.

Los Angeles, which swept the Nuggets out of the playoffs in the first round last year, is 13-2 SU in its last 15 postseason games against Denver. The Lakers are also now 6-3 SU (5-4 ATS) against the Nuggets this season, and going back further, Los Angeles is 12-5 ATS in the last 17 clashes in this rivalry.

Denver is 40-9 SU (30-18-1 ATS) on the year at home, including a 7-1 SU and ATS mark in the playoffs, the only blemish being a six-point loss to the Lakers in Game 3. Los Angeles is 32-16 SU (26-22 ATS) on the highway this season, but just 3-4 SU and ATS in the playoffs.

The Lakers have cashed in eight of their last 11 as an underdog and sport additional positive ATS streaks of 21-8-2 as a road pup and 6-1-1 when catching five to 10½ points. However, they are on pointspread plunges of 0-4 after a spread-cover and 0-5 coming off a SU win.

The Nuggets are on a 24-8 SU tear dating to the regular season, and along with their 13-2 ATS playoff mark, they carry positive pointspread streaks of 21-6 overall, 7-0 after a SU loss, 5-1 after a non-cover, 7-1 as a playoff chalk and 11-4 against the Pacific Division.

The under has hit in four of five games in this series and is 10-2 in the last 12 clashes between these squads, including 6-1 in the last seven meetings in Denver.

Los Angeles has stayed low in eight of its last nine contests and the “under” is on additional surges for the Lakers of 12-3 overall, 9-1 in the conference finals and 11-4 on the highway. Finally, the under is 5-1 in Denver’s last six against Pacific Division teams, but the over is 11-5 in its last 16 home games (all as a favorite).

ATS ADVANTAGE: DENVER and UNDER


NATIONAL LEAGUE

Cincinnati (26-20) at Milwaukee (27-20)

Two of the top three teams in the N.L. Central begin a weekend series at Miller Park, with the Reds’ Johnny Cueto (4-2, 2.37 ERA) scheduled to take the ball in the opener against the Brewers’ Braden Looper (4-3, 4.47).

Cincinnati brings a four-game winning streak into Milwaukee, including a three-game home sweep of the Astros that ended with Wednesday’s 6-1 victory. The Reds, who trail the Brewers by a half-game and the Cardinals by one full game in the N.L. Central standings, are also 6-1 in their last seven divisional contests, but they’ve lost 14 of their last 19 after a day off.

The Brewers have lost two in a row and five out of six – all against right-handed starters – and the big problem has been a struggling offense that’s produced three runs or fewer in all six contests (a total of 12 runs in all). In fact, Milwaukee has gone nine straight games without scoring more than four runs. Despite their recent funk – which comes on the heels of a 22-6 roll – the Brewers are still on hot streaks of 12-5 at home, 17-6 against the N.L. Central, 16-5 against teams with a winning record and 10-1 in series openers.

The Reds have taken three of the first five in the season series, and they’re 8-3 in their last 11 games at Miller Park.

Cueto got a no-decision in Cincinnati’s 4-3 11-inning victory over Cleveland on Sunday, giving up all three runs (two earned) in seven innings. The right-hander has pitched at least seven innings in seven straight starts, giving up three earned runs or fewer in six of those contests, and he’s posted a 1.98 ERA during this stretch. With Cueto on the bump, the Reds are on streaks of 4-1 overall, 4-1 against the N.L. Central and 4-1 on Friday, and they’ve won all four of his road starts this year, with the right-hander going 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA.

Looper surrendered five runs (four earned) on nine hits over six innings in Saturday’s 6-2 loss at Minnesota, and he’s got a 5.67 ERA in his last six starts. On the bright side, the Brewers are 4-1 in the right-hander’s five home outings this season, with Looper going 2-1 with a 4.66 ERA.

As a rookie last season, Cueto went 1-0 with a 2.79 ERA in three starts against the Brewers, giving up two runs in all three games, but Cincinnati lost two of those contests. Meanwhile, Looper is 5-3 with a 3.86 ERA and eight saves in 38 career games (eight starts) against the Reds, including a 1-1 with a 7.71 ERA in two starts this season.

The over is 4-0 in Looper’s last four divisional starts, but with Cueto pitching, the “under” is on runs of 6-2 overall, 11-2-1 on the road and 4-1 versus the N.L. Central.

The over is 4-1 in the five series meetings this year and 8-3 in the last 11 clashes in Milwaukee. Additionally, the Reds have topped the total in seven of their last eight games against the N.L. Central. However, the under is on streaks of 12-5-1 for Cincinnati on the road, 10-2-2 for Cincy after a day off, 4-1-1 for Cincy on Friday, 4-1 for Milwaukee overall, 10-4 for Milwaukee at home and 20-6-2 for Milwaukee after a defeat.

ATS ADVANTAGE: CINCINNATI


AMERICAN LEAGUE

Boston (28-20) at Toronto (27-23)

The freefalling Blue Jays look to snap a nine-game losing skid when they hand the ball to young right-hander Casey Janssen (0-1, 4.50) to begin a three-game series against the Red Sox and Tim Wakefield (6-2, 3.99) at the Rogers Centre.

Toronto capped a winless nine-game road trip – the first time that’s happened in franchise history – with a disastrous 12-10 loss at Baltimore in 11 innings on Wednesday, blowing an 8-3 eighth-inning lead and a 10-8 11th-inning lead. The Blue Jays have hit just one home run – Aaron Hill’s two-run shot in the 11th at Baltimore on Wednesday – in its last eight games and only two long balls during its losing streak which started with three losses in Boston on May 19-21.

On a positive note, Toronto has won four in a row and 13 of its last 17 at home, and it is 43-21 at home dating to last year. However, the Jays have lost eight straight games to A.L. East foes, and they’ve dropped seven of eight (and four in a row) to Boston since last season.

The Red Sox are coming off a four-game series at Minnesota, and they salvaged a split with Thursday’s 3-1 victory. Still, Boston is a middling 3-4 in its last seven games and 7-8 in its last 15 (3-6 on the road). The Red Sox are also 3-6 in their last nine games versus right-handed starters, but they’re on positive stretches of 14-4 against winning teams, 4-0 against the A.L. East and 22-8 in series openers.

Boston improved to 7-1 in Wakefield’s last eight starts with Sunday’s 12-5 rout of the Mets. The veteran knuckleballer did give up five runs on seven hits and four walks in six innings, but still picked up his sixth win of the season. Wakefield started the year with four consecutive quality starts, but he’s turned in just two such efforts in his last five trips to the mound, with his ERA jumping from 1.86 to 3.99 during this stretch.

Wakefield is 2-2 with a 4.83 ERA in five road efforts this season and 17-11 with a 3.68 ERA in 49 career appearances (39 starts) against the Blue Jays. One of those victories came on May 19, when he allowed five hits and a run in eight strong innings and picked up the 2-1 home win. The right-hander has gone at least six innings in 10 straight starts against the Jays, giving up three earned runs or fewer in seven of the last nine.

Janssen returned to the big leagues for the first time in 2009 on Saturday and lost 4-3 at Atlanta, yielding three runs on eight hits in six innings. Dating to last season, Toronto has lost eight of Janssen’s last nine starts, including the last five in a row, going 1-4 at home during this period. In his brief career, Janssen is 4-6 with a 3.36 ERA and two saves in 44 games (nine starts) at the Rogers Centre. Also, in eight career relief appearances against the Red Sox, he has pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings.

The over is 9-2-1 in Wakefield’s last 12 starts overall, 7-1-1 in his last nine on the road and 6-2 in his last eight against divisional opponents, but the under is 5-1-3 in his last nine Friday starts, 18-6-2 in his last 26 outings versus the Blue Jays and 7-0-1 in his last eight starts in Toronto. Meanwhile, with Janssen pitching, the “under” is on runs of 5-2 overall, 5-0-1 at home and 4-1 on Friday.

The Blue Jays carry “under” trends of 5-2 overall, 8-3 against the A.L. East, 5-1 in series openers and 4-1 against righty starters. Boston is on “under” stretches of 10-3-1 overall, 6-1-1 on the road, 4-1-3 on Friday and 6-1-1 against right-handed hurlers. Finally, the under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings in this rivalry, but six of the last eight battles north of the border have topped the total.

ATS ADVANTAGE: BOSTON and UNDER

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DUNKEL INDEX

LA Lakers at Denver   

Facing elimination, the Nuggets return home and look to build on their 7-0 ATS record in their last 7 playoff games as a favorite between 5 and 10 1/2 points.  Denver is the pick (-5) according to Dunkel, which has the Nuggets favored by 8.  Dunkel Pick: Denver (-5).   

Game 521-522: LA Lakers at Denver
Dunkel Ratings: LA Lakers 125.617; Denver 133.388
Dunkel Line & Total: Denver by 8; 212
Vegas Line & Total: Denver by 5; 209
Dunkel Pick: Denver (-5); Over


MLB

Houston at Pittsburgh

The Pirates return home after a 10-game road trip and look to build on their 5-1 record in their last 6 home games following a road trip of 7 or more days.  Pittsburgh is the pick (-125) according to Dunkel, which has the Pirates favored by 1.  Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-125). 

Game 951-952: LA Dodgers at Chicago Cubs
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Billingsley) 15.496; Cubs (Lilly) 15.626
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-120); No Run Line
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (+110); N/A

Game 953-954: Washington at Philadelphia
Dunkel Ratings: Washington (Detwiler) 14.629; Philadelphia (Happ) 14.042
Dunkel Line: Washington by 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-160); 10
Dunkel Pick: Washington (+150); Under

Game 955-956: Houston at Pittsburgh
Dunkel Ratings: Houston (Moehler) 13.151; Pittsburgh (Ohlendorf) 14.296
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1; 10 1/2
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh (-125); 10
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-125); Over

Game 957-958: Florida at NY Mets
Dunkel Ratings: Florida (West) 15.566; NY Mets (Pelfrey) 16.952
Dunkel Line: NY Mets by 1 1/2; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: NY Mets (-175); 9
Dunkel Pick: NY Mets (-175); Over

Game 959-960: Cincinnati at Milwaukee
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati (Cueto) 14.929; Milwaukee (Looper) 15.423
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 1/2; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-120); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (+110); Under

Game 961-962: San Diego at Colorado
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Young) 15.722; Colorado (Marquis) 14.475
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Colorado (-145); 10
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+135); Under

Game 963-964: Atlanta at Arizona
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta (Jurrjens) 13.733; Arizona (Garland) 14.784
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 1; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-145); 9
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (+135); Under

Game 965-966: St. Louis at San Francisco
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Pineiro) 15.884; San Francisco (Cain) 17.003
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 1; 6 1/2
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-130); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-130); Under

Game 967-968: Detroit at Baltimore
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit (Willis) 15.149; Baltimore (Bergesen) 16.253
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 1; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Baltimore (-110); 10 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (-110); Under

Game 969-970: Boston at Toronto
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Wakefield) 15.010; Toronto (Janssen) 15.115
Dunkel Line: Toronto by 1/2; 11
Vegas Line: Boston (-130); 10
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (+120); Over

Game 971-972: NY Yankees at Cleveland
Dunkel Ratings: NY Yankees (Pettitte) 17.363; Cleveland (Lee) 16.221
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees by 1; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Cleveland (-140); 9
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (+130); Over

Game 973-974: Minnesota at Tampa Bay
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota (Baker) 15.449; Tampa Bay (Shields) 15.709
Dunkel Line: Tampa Bay by 1/2; 10 1/2
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-160); 9
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (-160); Over

Game 975-976: Oakland at Texas
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Gonzalez) 15.117; Texas (Feldman) 16.667
Dunkel Line: Texas by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Texas (-165); 10 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Texas (-165); Under

Game 977-978: Chicago White Sox at Kansas City
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Richard) 14.287; Kansas City (Bannister) 14.973
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Kansas City (-145); 9
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (-145); Under

Game 979-980: Seattle at LA Angels
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Vargas) 15.021; LA Angels (Lackey) 16.538
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1 1/2; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-170); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (-170); Over

Game 981-982: Oakland at Texas
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Outman) 15.717; Texas (Hunter) 14.867
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1; 10 1/2
Vegas Line: Texas (-115); 11
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (+105); Under

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Cajun Sports

Cincinnati Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Play: Milwaukee Brewers   

Miller Park will be the site of tonight’s National League battle between the host Milwaukee Brewers and the visiting Cincinnati Reds. The Brewers are coming off a tough nine-game stretch in which they fell out of first place in their division. Thursday was their first day off since May 15th and it was needed as their bats had fallen silent averaging a mere 2 runs per game while losing five of their last six. The loss of second baseman Rickie Weeks for the season due to a wrist injury along with shortstop JJ Hardy missing four games in the past week have led to their offensive struggles. Hardy returned on Wednesday against St. Louis and had three hits in the loss. The combination of his return and the day of rest should help the Brewers overall. Milwaukee is 10-1 W/L their last 11 when playing in the first game of a series. The Reds are 18-36 W/L after a 5+ run win for a profit of $1650 when playing against them in their next contest. The Brewers are active in a MLB system that tells us to Play ON MLB home teams who are coming off a 1 run loss and facing an opponent who is off a 5+ run win in which they had at least ten hits, 31-24 W/L +235. The Reds are 5-14 W/L their last 19 games following a day off. The Brewers are also active in another MLB System that says to Play ON MLB home teams versus a team that has won at least their last three games, 65-30 W/L +2985. The Reds are 1-9 W/L (-7.8) following a win by four or more runs this season. Our TPR (Team Performance Ratings) Index projects a Brewers win by 1.3 runs over the Reds on Friday night. Finally we have a MLB System that tells us to Play ON home teams coming off a one-run loss in which they left five or more runners on base and had at least five hits versus an opponent coming off a win in their last game, 29-13 W/L +660 this season. Lay the short price with the host as the Brewers end the winning streak of the boys from the Queen City.

Graded Selection: 2* Milwaukee Brewers 4 Cincinnati Reds 2

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Craig Trapp

Cincinnati Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers    
Play: Cincinnati Reds   

Slow day in sports yesterday, Craig was 1-1 overall. Usually Craig has one free play and two premium plays but today we are going to have three premium plays so make sure you check them out. Today we go back to MLB for our free play. Take a look at the records, trends, and winning breakdown from Craig.

Records

Cincinnati Reds 26-20, 13-8 away (Cueto 4-2, 2.37 ERA)

Milwaukee Brewers 27-20, 13-9 home (Looper 4-3, 4.47 ERA)

Betting Trends

-Reds are 4-0 in Cuetos last 4 road starts.

-Reds are 4-1 in their last 5 games as an underdog.

-Brewers are 1-5 in their last 6 games vs. a right-handed starter.

-Reds are 8-3 in the last 11 meetings in Milwaukee.

The Reds have been a surprise to most of the league but these young players just don't know any better they want to win. Reds have been without Phillips and Votto the last 3 games and still won all three of them today they are back so watch out. Also Cueto has been great this year and for his career is great against MIL (1-0 with a 2.79 ERA in three starts against Milwaukee as a rookie). MIL on the other hand has been struggling scoring lately scoring only 2 runs average in the last six losing all but one of those games. Looper will pitch for MIL today and he has struggled lately giving up over 4 runs in last two games. This year against CIN he has not been good either going 1-1 with a 7.71 ERA in two starts versus the Reds this season. The Reds are top two teams in league on the road and today will show why. Pitching and defense win and CIN dominated in this matchup!! SCORE CIN 6 - MIL 1

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Jimmy The Moose

San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies
Prediction: Over

The Padres basts have come alive scoring 7 or more runs in 3 of their last 4 games. The over is 4-0 in their last 4 games. San Diego's last 4 road games have also played the over. In their last 8 games as an underdog the over is 5-2-1. The over is 14-5-1 in the Rockies 20 home games this season. The over is 13-3-1 in their last 17 games as a home favorite. Colorado has played the over in Marquis' last 4 home starts. The over is 6-2 in the Padres last 8 trips to Colorado. The over is 9-4 in the last 13 meetings. Play the over.

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Marc Lawrence

St. Louis Cardinals @ San Francisco Giants
PICK: San Francisco Giants

The Giants entertain the Cardinals when they send surging Matt Cain to to the hill at AT&T Park tonight. Cain has cashed in each of his last four team starts with a 1.61 ERA and is also 4-1 with a 3.38 ERA in his last five starts at home. With the silent St. Louis bats having plated more than 4 runs in only two of its last thirteen games, look for Cain to be ready and able here tonight.

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Dennis Macklin

Houston Astros at Pittsburgh Pirates
Prediction: Pittsburgh Pirates

The Astros are in a seven-game losing streak freefall and Brian "Fuzzy" Moehler doesn't figure to be much help with his 1-3 and 8.31 ERA pitching resume. Pittsburg's Ross Ohlendorf isn't much but he is 3-0 with a 3.00 at home as the Pirate go to guy at PNC Park. The Astos are already 8-20 in division games and that doesn't figure to improve against usually fiesty Bucs. Take Pittsburg.

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Rob Vinciletti

Minnesota Twins vs. Tampa Bay Rays    
Play: Tampa Bay Rays

On Friday evening the comp play in bases is on the Tampa Bay Rays.Game 974 at 7:35 eastern.The Rays look to put an end to there current losing streak and come home to face a Minnesota Twins team that is just 5-14 on the road this year.The Twins have struggled as road dogs in this range.Tampa has won 3 of 4 games this year as a home favorite from -125 to -150.They have a big pitching edge with J.Shields.In his home starts Shields has a solid 2.89 era and has pitched very well over his last 3 starts.The Twins send righty S.Baker to the mound and he has struggled on the road this year with a 9.31 era.Tampa hasn't had problems with the bat lately as they are averaging over 7 runs per game over there last 7 games.

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JIM FEIST

BOSTON RED SOX / TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Take TORONTO BLUE JAYS

Toronto is glad to be home after a miserable road trip, losing 9 in a row. This is not an overrated team falling apart. They lost 3 of those games by one run and another by two runs, 12-10, blowing a huge lead. Most important, the Jays are off a day to rest the bullpen and they are 16-6 at home. Toronto is tops in batting and 4th in runs in the AL. An indoor park on turf is not a good mix for a knuckleballer like Tim Wakefield, who has a 6.27 ERA his last three starts after a red-hot start. A great place for the home dog. Play the Blue Jays.

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DAVE COKIN

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS / SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
Take SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

Joel Pineiro has been pitching solid ball for the Cardinals, but he's not getting a whole lot of run support. That may be the case again tonight as he duels Matt Cain and the Giants in San Francisco. The Giants are playing terrific ball at home while the Redbirds are just a .500 team away from Busch. I'm siding with Cain and the Giants to capture tonight's tilt.

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Sports Gambling Hotline

LA Lakers at DENVER

Now 5 games in the Western Conference Finals in the books, and 4 of them have played UNDER the posted total.

We will use the UNDER once again as our comp play this Friday night.

As we pointed out on Wednesday when we gave out a comp play on the LOW, there are just too many trends supporting another UNDER play for us to ignore.

The Lakers have now played 8 of their last 9 playoff games UNDER the posted price, and they have played 10 of their last 12 games against the Denver Nuggets UNDER the posted total as well.

Game Five fell a dozen points below the posted total, and we feel tonight's Game Six will also stay below the posted price.

Play the LOW in Game Six of the Western Conference Finals.

5♦ UNDER

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Bobby Maxwell

Boston at TORONTO +110 

Today we're handing out a FREE winner with the Blue Jays as they host the Red Sox in a battle of A.L. East foes.

The Blue Jays are back home in Toronto and you can expec their nine-game losing streak to come to an end today. Play them to get the best of the Red Sox and veteran knuckleballer tim Wakefield (6-2, 3.99 ERA).

Toronto is going with Casey Janssen (0-1, 4.50 ERA) today after he pitched Saturday in Atlanta and gave up three runs on eight hits in six innings of a 4-3 defeat. It was his first start of the season and he wasn't too bad. Janssen has made eight relief appearances against Boston in his career and he's pitched 7.1 scoreless innings.

Boston is just 3-6 in its last nine on the road and 3-6 in its last nine against right-handed starters but they have been tough with Wakefield on the mound this season. Although on the road he is just 22 with a 4.83 ERA in five outings this season.

The Blue Jays have won four straight and 13 of 17 at home and they are 43-21 in front of the home fans dating back to last season.

Look for Toronto to get back on the winning side tonight as they are patient and get to Wakefield and the Red Sox. Play the Blue Jays in this one.

3♦ TORONTO

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Karl Garrett

NY Yankees at CLEVELAND

Another comp play winner from the G-Man last night as the Orlando-Cleveland game goes OVER the posted total.

Now 8-2 the last 10 days with my comp plays.

Another total tonight, this time on the diamond, as I am looking at an UNDER between the Yankees and Indians to start their weekend set.

Andy Pettitte has pitched much better away from home this season, as the veteran southpaw is 2-1 in his 4 road starts with an ERA of 2.73.

His counterpart Cliff Lee may be just 2-5 for the year, but he does own a 1.75 ERA at Progressive Field over 5 starts this season.

Lee also owns a win over the Yankees back in the middle of April, as the Cy Young award winner has allowed only 1 run to New York over his last 13 innings of work.

With the Yankees on a 4-1-1 UNDER run their last 6 games, and 5 of the last 7 series meetings played in Cleveland also having stayed UNDER, the G-Man will go UNDER the total tonight.

3♦ UNDER

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Chris Jordan

Seattle at ANAHEIM

Got a feeling we're going to see a blowout here. The Angels will come to bat in this one, and right-handed hurler John Lackey will have his best stuff in just his fourth outing of the season. He's already beaten this team once this season, on May 18, so confidence should prevail when Lackey toes the slab tonight.

He stretched his last start out to seven innings and 101 pitches last Saturday against the Dodgers, and even left his team with the lead. Unfortunately, the bullpen didn't hold and the Angels lost the game. Nevertheless, he looked good in scattering seven hits and striking out five in the outing.

What I like most was his composure when he lost control on the rare occasion. His heater and breaking ball got away a few times, but he handled himself well and pitched with plenty of poise.

I think he'll get the run support he'll need against Jason Vargas, who admittedly has been productive as a part of the Mariners' rotation, but could find some trouble in Anaheim. He's tossed three straight quality starts, and the due theory has to come into play at some point for a youngster like this. He could finally show the tentativeness that he's evaded, as he's pitching near his hometown tonight.

We're not listing the latter, but we're going to take Lackey for sure, as he's 5-0 in his last five starts against the AL West-rival Mariners, and has given up just six earned runs spanning 36 innings in those outings.

Take the Halos tonight and lay the run line.

1♦ ANGELS RUN LINE

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GINA

Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets

Go with Denver back in their house to take this series to 7. The Nuggets have covered the spread in eight of their last 9 home games and are 7-1 both straight-up and against the spread at the Pepsi Center in the playoffs. Meanwhile, Los Angeles is 3-4 both straight-up and against the spread in the playoffs.

Denver Nuggets -5


Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies
   
Go with the Phillies to win their fifth straight over the struggling Nationals. Washington has dropped 12 of their last 14 games overall and seven of nine meetings against the Phillies this season, 1-5 in its last 6 games in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Phillies -165

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Mr A

Denver Nuggets -5

Detroit Tigers +105

San Francisco Giants -125


MLB Computer Picks

Pittsburgh Pirates -125

Philadelphia Phillies -165

Cincinnati Reds +100

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John Ryan

Seattle Mariners vs. LAA Angels    
Play: LAA Angels     

Ai Simulator 3* graded play on Anaheim as they host Seattle. Supporting this graded play is a strong system that has posted a 35-6 making 26.8 units since 1997. Play on home favorites with a money line of -125 to -175 and is an average offensive team scoring 4.7 to 5.2 runs/game facing a good AL starter sporting an ERA<=4.20 and after a combined score of 4 runs or less. Seattle has had to go to the bullpen far too often this season. Angels are a solid 13-6 (+9.6 Units) against the money line versus an overused bullpen that pitches more than 3.2 innings per game this season; 25-12 (+15.3 Units) against the money line versus an AL starting pitcher whose WHIP is 1.200 or better over the last 2 seasons. Seattle is a weak 27-53 (-28.5 Units) against the money line with an on base percentage of .310 or worse over their last 20 games over the last 2 seasons. Like so many starters the key for Seattle’s starter Vargas is getting strike one. After 0-1, hitters are batting just 211 with 10 K’s in 38 AB. After 1-0, hitters have 2 HR and 7 BB with just 5 K’s in 33 AB. Anaheim does have hitters wiling to go after the first pitch as well and being aggressive early in the game against Vargas will pay off. Take Anaheim.

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Re: Friday Service Plays

LT Profits

St. Louis Cardinals @ San Francisco Giants

Joel Pineiro of the St. Louis Cardinals and Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants are both in sparkling form right now, and we do not expect that to change tonight with the spacious dimensions of AT&T park in San Francisco.

Cain has had the label of being the unluckiest pitcher in baseball the last couple of years, as he has always pitched very well but with a pathetic offense behind him. He is finally getting some support this year though, and as a result, he has a fine 5-1 record to go with his customary 2.40 ERA. Cain has allowed one run or less in three of his last four starts, and he is coming off of a Complete Game 5-1 win over the Seattle Mariners.

Meanwhile, Joel Pineiro appears to have regained the amazing form he displayed when he first came up with the Seattle Mariners a few years ago. He dominated the Chicago Cubs two starts back, tossing a Complete Game three-hit shutout, and he followed that up with a Quality Start in a tough luck 3-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Sunday. Most incredibly, he has not walked a single batter in his last four starts (28 innings), and he has issued one walk in his last 41.2 frames.

Finally, neither of these offenses is tearing things up right now, with the Giants averaging just 3.40 runs in their last 10 games and the Cardinals not doing much better in this same span at 3.50, so runs should be at a premium tonight.

Pick: Cardinals/Giants Under 7.5

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Re: Friday Service Plays

Tom Freese

St. Louis at San Francisco

St. Louis starter Joel Pineiro has a 9-0 strikeout to walk ratio in his last 3 starts. The Cardinals are 8-1 UNDER their last 9 games and they are 13-3 UNDER off a win. The Redbirds are 5-0 UNDER in Game 1 off a series. San Francisco starter Matt Cain has allowed 2 or less runs in 7 of his 9 starts this year. The Giants are 12-5-2 UNDER off a win and they are 7-3 UNDER their last 10 games overall. San Francisco is 5-1 UNDER on Friday. PLAY ON 'UNDER' (Cain vs. Pineiro)

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Re: Friday Service Plays

Jimmy Boyd

1 Unit on Pittsburgh Pirates -125

If you haven't heard of Ross Ohlendorf, it's high time you find out. He has been sensational for the Bucs this season, especially at home where he is 3-1 with an ERA of 3.00 and a WHIP of just 0.917. He certainly has the edge against the Astros Brian Moehler, who is 1-3 with an ERA of 8.31 on the season. The Astros have lost 7 in a row and the off day figures to have done them no favors as they are 1-11 in their last 12 games following an off day. The Pirates will be glad to step back on their home turf following a long road trip as they are 5-1 in their last 6 home games following a road trip of 7 or more days. The Pirates have been a better club than the Astros this season so we'll back the better team at home with the better starter on the hill at a nice price.

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