Saturday Service Plays

Re: Saturday Service Plays

Jimmy Boyd

1 Unit on Tampa Bay Rays -126

The Twins are just 5-15 on the road this season and they send the struggling Liriano to the hill this afternoon. The Twins are only 3-7 in his starts in 2009, and 0-3 in his last 3, in which he has posted an ERA of 8.36. I expect a much better start from the Rays David Price this time out as he has now got the first start jitters out of his system. The Twins are 6-20 in their last 26 road games vs. a team with a winning home record and 0-5 in Liriano's last 5 road starts vs. a team with a losing record. The Rays are 5-0 in their last 5 games as a home favorite of -110 to -150 and 29-8 in home day games over the last 2 seasons. Take Tampa.

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

Gina

Cleveland Cavaliers at Orlando Magic

Go with the Magic at home. I believe this game can go either way, but Orlando at home has the advantage. The Cavaliers haven't won Amway Arena all season and are 0-5 ATS in the last five in Orlando. Cleveland is just 2-14 ATS versus Orlando in the last 16 meetings.

Orlando Magic -2


Detroit Tigers at Baltimore Orioles

Go with the Tigers with Verlander on the hill. The right-hander is 5-0 with a 0.85 ERA over his last six starts and is 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA in four starts against the Orioles. Detrot has won six of Verlander’s last 7 starts, while Baltimore has dropped six of right-hander Jeremy Guthrie last 8.

Detroit Tigers -145

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

Mr A

Orlando Magic -2

Boston Red Sox +105

St. Louis Cardinals -150


MLB Computer Picks

New York Mets -105

Philadelphia Phillies -240

New York Yankees -170

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

Johnny Guild

Cleveland Cavaliers at Orlando Magic

The hungry Magic will try to end LeBron James and squad season tonight. Expect another hard fought physical battle. “Where’s the money” Orlando is 14-2 ATS in the last 16 clashes versus Cleveland, 9-1 ATS in its last 10 and has won and covered the spread in their last 5 games against the Cavaliers at Amway Arena.

Orlando Magic -2

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Drew Gordon

Detroit -130 at BALTIMORE 

3 straight Freebies with the Reds Wednesday, the Orioles Thursday, and the White Sox last night! We keep it rolling on the Diamond with another FREE winner Saturday...

Quickest way to end a winning streak? Well, I can think of a couple ways, but facing a red-hot Justin Verlander will do just fine! The Orioles have been playing rock-solid baseball of late, winners of 5 straight, led by Luke Scott and their surging offense. O's have thumped the Tigers in two straight, but the bleeding stops tonight, as one of the Majors hottest pitchers takes the mound in this one.

He may have started the season a bit slow, but is there any doubt how good Verlander is pitching right now? The Tigers righty is 5-0 with a mind-boggling 0.85 ERA over his last 6 starts, including tossing 7 scoreless at the Royals in his last one! He's clearly shaken off the road woes that plagued him to begin the year, so you can throw out his 5.17 ERA away, as his last 3 road starts have all been impressive (allowed 2 runs over his last 22 1/3 innings away)! Also, his numbers against the O's are excellent, going 3-0 with a miniscule 1.29 ERA in 4 career starts!

He'll be opposed by Baltimore's Jeremy Guthrie, who's also coming off an great effort, allowing 1 run over 7 innings against the Blue Jays. HOWEVER, unlike Verlander, Guthrie has been anything but consistent, going 1-4 with a 6.26 ERA in his last 7 starts. And worse yet, he's held only 2 of his 10 opponents this year to 3 runs or less. In other words, counting on Guthrie to repeat his effort we saw against the Jays in this one, is a stretch at best. He's also 1-0 with a very average 4.85 ERA in 4 career games (1 start) against the Tigers.

Finally, look for the Tigers to come out swinging here, as they've been beaten pretty badly over their last 2 games, and will be targetting the bounce back behind their red-hot ace tonight. Detroit averages a hearty 5.2 runs per game against righties this season, and Baltimore will be hard-pressed to get anything near that against Verlander tonight. In the end, the bleeding stops for Detroit, as they ride their surging righty to victory Saturday night.

Take Detroit behind Verlander over Baltimore and Guthrie in this MLB match up.

3♦ DETROIT

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

Chris Jordan

St. Louis -150 at SAN FRANCISCO 

Last night my premium selection was on the San Francisco Giants. Today we bring it down a notch - to a complimentary selection - and nail the visiting Cardinals with Chris Carpenter toeing the slab. We'll list both pitchers, siding against Barry Zito, and aim for a huge win here.

You can't tell Carpenter has missed most of the last two seasons, that's for sure. He's 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA. And in 23 innings that span four starts, Carpenter has given up a mere one unearned run while he is limiting hitters to a .127 batting average. That's not all, as the right-hander has recorded 23 strikeouts versus just four walks.

He comes in after dominating the Brewers, retiring the first 18 batters he faced and allowed two hits while fanning 10 and walking nobody over eight innings of a 1-0, 10-inning loss for the Redbirds.

The veteran hurler is 2-0 with a 3.03 ERA in four career starts versus San Francisco, albeit he hasn't faced this team since late in the 2006 season.

And while I told you the return of Ryan Ludwick was irrelevant last night, I think the St. Louis bats come together tonight against Zito, who is a dismal 1-5 this season, and continues to be a bust since arriving from Oakland. Making matters worse, he's 0-2 in three games against St. Louis. Last season, which was his most recent start against it, he allowed four runs - three unearned - and seven hits of an 8-2 setback.

All things point to a solid winner with the Cardinals and Carpenter!

1♦ CARDINALS

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

JrTips

SEATTLE MARINERS vs. LA ANGELS

The Seattle Mariners and starting pitcher Felix Hernandez have struggled after beginning the season strong. Hernandez (5-3, 3.76 ERA) went 4-0 with a 2.38 ERA over his first five starts and then Seattle lost its next four games started by Hernandez, who was 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA in that stretch. He finally snapped out of his slump with a 5-4 victory over San Francisco giving up four runs, one earned while striking out a season-high 10 in eight innings. Hernandez and the Mariners are showing signs of improvement now winning consecutive games for the first time since recording three straight victories from April 23-25.Seattle scored three runs in the third inning and never trailed in a 5-2 win over Los Angeles (24-23) in the series opener last night.The Angels have already hit Hernandez hard in a 6-5 win May 19th. Hernandez gave up six runs and 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings, falling to 3-5 with a 5.13 ERA in 13 career starts against the Angels. Angels designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero is 13 for 34 (.382) with two homers and seven strikeouts lifetime against Hernandez. Matt Palmer (5-0, 4.82) will take the mound for the Angels, who hope to remain undefeated in games started by the rookie right-hander. Palmer won his first five starts and pitched one inning of relief in the Angels' 4-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday.Palmer took advantage of the Angels' success against Hernandez to win his first start against them last week. He gave up five runs and seven hits in five innings. The Angeles have had a history of success against Hernandez which should continue tonight and get them back in the win column after losing to Seattle last night.

TAKE LA ANGELES-110

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

Big Al McMordie

Seattle Mariners vs. LAA Angels    
Play: LAA Angels   

At 9:05pm our complimentary selection is on the Los Angeles Angels over the Seattle Mariners. Which version of "King" Felix Hernandez will show up tonight for the Mariners? Will it be the one who shut down the Giants in his last start over eight innings, which incidentally seems like the same Felix who two starts before that shut down the Rangers in Arlington over seven innings? Or will it be the one who got blasted in the Metrodome on May 9th, which seems to be the same Felix who this same Angels team teed off against at Safeco Field on May 19? In that start, the Angels took advantage of Hernandez not just at the plate, but also on the basepaths, stealing five bases against him. The Los Angeles starter in that game is also the starter for them tonight, righthander Matt Palmer, and Palmer has been getting some of the best run support in the league as evidenced by his 5-0 record to go along with his 4.82 ERA. Palmer got those five wins in his first five starts of the season and although he didn't win his last start against the Dodgers, he didn't lose it either. Palmer and the rest of this Angels team should get a boost from the return of their All-Star outfielder Vladimir Guerrero, just back from an injury that had kept him out since the middle of April. He's come out of the gate slowly so far, but expect Guerrero to contribute some serious offense soon. Hernandez always seems to struggle against the Angels. In 2007, despite going 14-7 with an ERA of 3.92, Felix was 0-2 with a 7.30 ERA in four starts against them and last season he was only slightly better, recording only one win in four starts against them while logging a 5.06 ERA. Take the Angels.

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

John Ryan

New York Yankees vs. Cleveland Indians    
Play: Cleveland Indians 

Ai Simulator 3* graded play on the Cleveland Indians as they face the NY Yankees slated to start at 7:05 EST. Supporting this graded play is a system that has gone 46-26 making 36.5 units since 2003. Play against road favorites with a money line of -125 or more with an overused bullpen that pitches more than 3.2 innings per game and with a hot starting pitcher sporting a WHIP <= 1.000 over his last 3 starts. Here is a 2nd system that has gone 57-25 for 70% winners and has made 32.8 units in profits since 1997. Play against road teams that are excellent power teams hitting >=1.5 HR's/game versus a starting pitcher who gives up 0.5 or less HR's/start and who is working on 5 or 6 days rest. NYY are 6-16 (-13.8 Units) against the money line versus teams whose hitters draw 4 walks or more/game over the last 2 seasons. Cleveland is a very patient team ranking 5th in the Majors in walks with 200. Moreover, they have been intentionally walked just 6 times ranking 24th, which shows that the Indians are earning these bases on balls. Take the Indians and enjoy the upset.

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

Tony Weston

Minnesota at TAMPA BAY -130

Going to back the Tampa Bay Rays at home against the visiting Minnesota Twins.

In Game 1 of this series yesterday, the Rays got over with a solid 5-3 victory and have won 5 of their last 7 games at home against the Twins.

Also, over their last 8 home games the Rays have cashed in 6 times, while the Twins have lost two straight games and 9 of their last 15 overall. On the road, Minnesota is only 1-10 its last 11 and 5-15 so far this season.

Today the Twins' road woes will continue as the Rays get over at home again against Minnesota. Take Tampa at home in this one.

3&#9830; TAMPA BAY

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

Michael Cannon

NY Yankees at CLEVELAND 

Take the Yankees on the run line tonight over the Indians.

Obviously this is a game that C. C. Sabathia will be charged up for.  But it also comes at the right time for him as he’s hitting his groove right now and the Yankee offense is clicking on all cylinders.

Fausto Carmona will get the nod for Cleveland and he’s been getting tattooed this year.  The right-hander is 2-4 with a 6.42 ERA on the year and he’s been pounded over his last three starts, sporting an ERA of 9.24 over that span.

Sabathia has been consistently solid over his last four starts, going 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA.

New York has won 13 of 16, including last night’s 3-1 win in the series opener.

Take the Yankees on the run line as they deliver the big win.

3&#9830; NY YANKEES -1 1/2

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

Craig Davis

I lean towards the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight to extend this series to 7 games, getting back to Cleveland for a chance to give us the series we all wanted to see in the first place... the Lakers and the Cavs. It seems to me as if the Cavs just haven't given full effort for 48 minutes in one single game in this series, yet they've won two games and had huge leads in three of them. I realize they haven't won a game in Orlando yet and have definitely had their struggles vs. the Magic the last few seasons, but this is "do or die" and you have to expect the Cavs realize the importance of this elimination game. For whatever reason, they simply haven't played the type of defense we saw from them all season, and I keep thinking, "this is the game they put it all together"... yet is hasn't happened. Tonight, with the urgency of elimination, I have to think this team will come to play for the full 48 minutes, sending this series back to Cleveland for a pivotal Game 7. Though Cleveland hasn't really had an answer for Dwight Howard, Orlando hasn't had an answer for LeBron James, and he did a FANTASTIC job of getting his teammates involved in Game 5, dishing out 12 assists while grabbing 14 boards en route to a playoff triple-double. The underdog has covered 11 of the last 16 meetings between these two and I expect that trend to continue tonight, with Cleveland winning outright to force Game 7.

3&#9830; CLEVELAND

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

Free Selection from Totals4U
Saturday's free selection:
San Diego/Colorado under 11

===========================================

Free Selection from Arthur Ralph Sports
270 - 175 - long term winning run  60 %
15 wins -5 losses run  = 75% short term
SAT:   LA  DODGERS

==========================================

EZWINNER'S FREE SELECTION
Game: Cleveland Cavaliers @ Orlando Magic
(523) Cleveland Cavaliers +2

I like LeBron and Company to find a way to pullout the
road win and force a game seven back in Cleveland.
Take the points with the Cavs.

2009 Free Selections Record  80-66  (54.8%)

=========================================

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

Nick "BookieKiller" Parsons

OAK (+120) vs TEX

Strictly a value play here: Brandon McCarthy, though, is 0-3 with an 11.57 ERA in five games - three starts - against the A?s. He lost to them again May 7, lasting just four innings after surrendering seven runs and seven hits in a 9-4 loss at Oakland. Brett Anderson (2-4, 4.98) is looking to win a third consecutive start. The 21-year-old left-hander has a 2.25 ERA in his last two outings after going 0-4 with a 6.03 ERA in his six previous starts. That stretch included a solid performance while not getting a decision against the Rangers on April 28, holding them to three runs - one earned - and three hits in five innings of a 5-4 win. Anderson was impressive Monday, yielding one run and six hits in six innings of a 6-1 victory over Seattle.

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

Vernon Croy

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs   
Play: Chicago Cubs   

This pick falls into one of my top MLB systems and the Cubs are 14-3 in Ryan Dempster's (3-3, 4.99 ERA) last 17 starts in game 3 of a series. The Cubs are also 20-6 in Dempster's last 26 home starts and they are 7-1 in Dempster's last 8 starts after they allow 2 runs or less in their previous game. The Dodgers send Eric Stults (4-1, 4.29) to the mound who is just 0-1 with an ERA of 7.94 in his last 4 road starts and he has struggled on the road this season with an ERA of 6.45 over 5 starts while lasting just an average of 4.5 innings per start. Stults has struggled to find the strike zone walking 18 batters over just 22.3 innings on the road and his control will get him in trouble today against this Cubs line-up. Take the Chicago Cubs as my MLB Free Play for Saturday afternoon.

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Rocketman

Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays     
Play: Boston Red Sox   

Boston comes in with a 28-21 record this year while Toronto is now 28-23 on the season. Toronto is now 1-9 their last 10 games after a win last night. Boston bullpen has a 2.88 ERA overall this year and a 2.93 ERA on the road this season. Brad Penny is 5-1 overall this year, 2-1 on the road and 2-0 his last 3 starts. Penny is 3-0 with a 3.23 ERA overall vs Toronto since 1997. We'll recommend a small play on Boston today!

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

DAVE MALINSKY

Minnesota Twins @ Tampa Bay Rays
PICK: Over 9

We have written about Francisco Liriano twice this week, first in cashing a 4* ticket with the Red Sox against him on Monday, and then in a TOTB column a few days later, and at this point the numbers are becoming most striking. First, the 2-6/6.42 is beginning to look like an accurate reflection of just who he is right now. But when we go a step further it looks even worse. Liriano has managed to work to a respectable 4.75 tune in all first meetings against an opponent this season, but in four “second looks” he has been tattooed to an ugly 11.77 count. It shows that once offenses actually get to see what he is throwing, instead of remembering back to the dominant pitcher he was in the past, they find that there is nothing special at all about his offerings. They particularly learn to lay off of that low and inside slider to right-handers, which usually breaks out of the strike zone, and when Liriano can not get hitters to swing at that pitch his arsenal is extremely limited. This will be the second look for the Tampa Bay lineup, which should have them poised to wait him out, and off of Monday’s drubbing by Boston (11 of the 22 batters he faced got hits), and with a 1-3/7.62 road performance so far, his confidence will be at a low ebb.

The Twins at least have a chance to win here, however, because David Price is facing some confidence issues as well. Despite being staked to a 10-0 lead at Cleveland in his first start of the season he could not even hang around long enough to qualify for a “W”, lasting just 3.1 innings and laboring to 100 pitches. We have not seen many mistakes from Joe Maddon the past two seasons but that was one of them – he wanted so badly for his young left-hander to get a win that he left him in beyond the projected pitch count, and considering how badly he was faring he never should have even flirted with getting near 100 pitches. He had not worked beyond the fifth inning in any of his eight AAA starts, which produced an uninspiring 1-4/3.93 over 34.1 innings, with 18 walks. Price has great stuff, and may be special some day, but it is going to take time, and a patient Minnesota lineup will force him to bring more precision to the mound today than he may have at this point.

In a game that could see the middle relief corps in play early for both teams, there is major potential for a big inning or two.

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

LEE KOSTROSKI

Atlanta Braves @ Arizona Diamondbacks
PICK: Atlanta Braves

The Braves snapped their losing streak in a big way last night with ten runs from the offense. Atlanta is 11-6 this season against left-handed starters and the Atlanta lineup has posted significantly better numbers against southpaws this season. Arizona starter Doug Davis is 2-6 on the season and though he owns a respectable 3.77 ERA he has struggled with walks in recent games, walking nine over his past two starts, while allowing ten runs. Arizona has lost five straight Davis starts and the Diamondbacks bullpen has not been of great assistance with a 5.19 ERA. With Jon Garland being removed in the third inning last night the Arizona bullpen was worked heavily last night as well.

Atlanta was a terrible road team last season but that has changed this year with a winning record and Arizona is seven games below .500 in home games on the season. The Braves have been a slightly better team in terms of overall record and the Braves have allowed far fewer runs on the season compared to Arizona. The Braves have been playing strong ball overall in recent weeks, winning five consecutive series in May before losing a few close games in San Francisco. Against a much less stingy Arizona staff the Braves should find plenty of scoring opportunities, particularly in a favorable match-up versus a left-hander. Atlanta beat Davis and the Diamondbacks earlier this season in this same pitching match-up.

Javier Vazquez has delivered an outstanding season so far, posting 78 strikeouts and just 15 walks. Vazquez already has six quality starts and he was dominant against Arizona earlier this year. Vazquez has also pitched well on the road with a 3.16 ERA and a 3-1 record. His season WHIP is just 1.14, one of the best marks in the NL. Arizona has not been producing on offense and the key catalyst in the lineup Felipe Lopez appears to still be banged up so this is a favorable situation for Atlanta as just a slight road favorite.

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

Tom Freese

St Louis Cardinals at San Francisco Giants
Prediction: Under

St. Louis is 20-8-1 UNDER their last 29 games and they are 6-1 UNDER vs. lefty starters. The Cardinals are 12-0-1 UNDER on Saturday with Chris Carpenter on the mound. Carpenter has allowed 1 run total in 23 innings of work this year. San Francisco starter Barry Zito has allowed 13 runs in 7 starts this year. The Giants are 8-0 UNDER with Zito on the mound on Saturday and the are 15-5-2 UNDER off a win. San Francisco are 12-3 UNDER after allowing 2 or less runs in their last game. 10* PLAY ON 'UNDER' (Zito vs. Carpenter)

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

LT Profits

Florida Marlins @ New York Mets

Josh Johnson of the Florida Marlins came back from Tommy John surgery much better than most experts expected, but he now looks better than ever, and we look for Johnson to key an Under vs. Tim Redding and the New York Mets today.

Johnson is 3-1 with a terrific 2.67 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 10 starts covering 67.1 innings, and he has allowed three runs or less in seven straight starts and in nine of his 10 outings this year. He has also been fantastic against the Mets, as he has six Quality Starts in seven career starts against them including allowing four runs in two starts against them this season, and he allowed only four runs in his one non-quality effort against them.

Now Redding did not pitch well in his second start as a Met after posting a Quality Start in his New York debut, but that was almost expected. Remember that he just came off the Disabled List to take that first start on May 18, and the second start off of an injury-induces layoff is usually the toughest due to natural muscle soreness. Now that Redding has gotten that stinker out of the way, he should return to his normal level tonight.

Besides, the Marlins have tailed off considerably after a very hot start, so look for both offenses to struggle this early afternoon.

Pick: Marlins/Mets Under 8.5

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