Friday Service Plays

Re: Friday Service Plays

JACK JONES

Pittsburgh Pirates -131 over Houston Astros

Houston has lost seven straight games so laying this small number at home doesn't look like a problem to me.  Brian Moehler has made three starts on the road this year and has given up 10 runs in 12.3 innings.  Ross Ohlendorf has given up just 8 runs on 18 hits in 24 innings at home this year, good for a 3.00 ERA and 0.92 WHIP.  Houston's offense is horrible with only 3 runs per game over the last seven and 3.9 runs per game against right-handers.  Lay the small number here.

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Re: Friday Service Plays

TEDDY COVERS

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

San Francisco’s Matt Cain has finally turned the corner into a consistent dominator. Cain has even outpitched teammate Tim Lincecum through the first two months of the season, the Giants best starter. He’s thrown seven quality outings in his nine previous starts in ’09.

Most importantly, the Giants spotty offense has finally started to produce for him after two years that Cain spent as arguably the most hard luck pitcher in baseball. San Francisco has scored four runs or more in seven of Cain’s nine previous starts, and they are 6-1 in those games. Coming off their first series sweep of the season against Atlanta earlier in the week, in which the offense pounded out 18 runs, the Giants are a team on the uptick right now.

This line is very short because the Cardinals are expected to get a pair of key bats back into the lineup this evening. Ryan Ludwick is coming off the DL, expected to get the start, and Rick Ankiel, who’s played only once since May 4th could be back in action as well.

Even with either or both of those guys back in the lineup, St Louis isn’t likely to score runs in bunches here. The Cards attack has been anemic for weeks, scoring just 84 runs in 24 games this month (3.5 per contest), held to three runs or less in 13 of those 24 games.

Cardinals starter Joel Piniero is pitching a day ahead of schedule after Kyle Lohse was scratched with a bruise on his forearm. Piniero has been lit up in both previous career starts against the Giants: 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA. He’s allowed four runs or more and taken the loss in each of his last three road starts, a trend that we can expect to continue this evening. 2* Take San Francisco.

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Re: Friday Service Plays

Jrtips

MINNESOTA TWINS vs. TAMPA BAY RAYS

The Twins scored 23 runs in a three-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers before totaling 15 in a four-game split with the Boston Red Sox, but were held to four runs in the last two games, including a 3-1 loss Thursday. Minnesota had fewer than six hits for the first time since May 6th. The Twins should get back on track as they have scored at least three runs in each of their five games against Tampa's Shields (3-4, 3.63 ERA), including a 4-3 home win April 28th. The Tampa Bay right-hander gave up five earned runs in his last start at home against Minnesota and is allowing at least 10 hits in three of his last four starts. He yielded a season-high 12 hits and four runs Sunday at Florida. The Rays (23-27) are trying to snap a season-high five-game skid that ended with a four-game sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Indians. Tampa Bay, will look to get their our mojo back at home where they have won five of their last seven at Tropicana Field and are 4-2 in their last six there against the Twins. Minnesota, which has won six of its last eight overall and will start Scott Baker (2-5, 6.32), who will try to win back-to-back starts for the first time this season. The right-hander threw a season-high 8 1/3 innings Sunday to earn the victory in a 6-3 win over Milwaukee. Baker was reached for four runs over six innings in a home loss April 27th to the Rays and is 0-2 with a 9.31 ERA on the road. The twins have scored at least 3-5 runs against Sheilds and the Rays hitters had batting practice against Baker when they last faced him. Look for Tampa to get bats back on track finally playing at home after a long road trip.

TAKE OVER 9 runs

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Re: Friday Service Plays

Yankee Capper

Kansas City Royals -120

Houston/Pittsburgh Over 9.5

Philadelphia Phillies -160

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