Monday, May 31, 2010

Bebe's Birthday Blog!

June 1st, a glorious day, indeed. Haha!

If anyone is wondering what I wished for when the fiance took me out to dinner last night (we dined a night early, since she was off work), well, I'm a tad ashamed. I probably should have wished for something philanthropic, but that just wasn't the first thing that popped into my head. Nope, your buddy Dan Bebe is a true degenerate. That's as far as I can go, since, if you tell people your wish, it won't come true. Let's just say that, for now, the wish is working.

I SHOULD NOTE - I SPOKE TO RJ LAST NIGHT, AND HE AND I DECIDED IT WOULD BE FUN TO DROP A FATTY 40% DISCOUNT ON TODAY'S PACKAGE! SO, FOR THOSE THAT WANT SOME $12 BIRTHDAY WINNER ACTION, THIS IS A ONE TIME THING!

After picking up the narrow win on Sunday with the Giants, we came right back yesterday with 2 more winners, riding Ubaldo Jimenez's golden arm to a 4-0 win in the afternoon, and then collecting on one of the easiest wins we've had all season, with the Padres pounding the Mets 18-6. So, after a rough Saturday, we've rattled off 3 straight winners, and mosey on into Tuesday feeling confident, and feeling like maybe those birthday candles are working some magic!

Sports Wagering: MLB

National League

Cubs (-165) @ Pirates with a total of 8.5; T. Lilly vs. J. Karstens;
No sense getting bogged down with player numbers in this one. Lilly has faced Pittsburgh twice already this season, and he really hasn't been that impressive, allowing 4 runs in 6 innings, then 3 over 7 frames. And, he's coming off a lights-out start against the Dodgers that drew ire from normally quiet Casey Blake, who claims that Lilly was setting up a few inches in front of the pitching rubber. The eyes are going to be on Lilly's feet, and to me, that's like asking a golfer if he breathes in or out on his backswing - it messes with a guy's focus, and I'm tempted to say that Lilly doesn't pitch that well. Karstens is an ugly son of a gun, and he's alternated good and bad starts this year, so he's due for a poor one. Probably a pass here, though it's Pittsburgh or nothing if you feel you must play it.

Brewers @ Marlins (-155) with a total of 9; D. Bush vs. R. Nolasco;
Rickie Weeks is 4-for-5 with a HR and 2 RBI off Nolasco;
Dan Uggla is 5-for-13 with a HR and an RBI off Bush.
The career numbers for the pitchers don't really match the career numbers of the batters against these pitchers. Bush is 2-3 with a 5.70 ERA against the Fish lifetime, and Nolasco is 0-1 with a 11.81 ERA against Milwaukee, but truthfully, the two batters listed above (Weeks, Uggla) are the only guys with any true success in this match-up. It's a bit of a head-scratcher. I like Nolasco as a starter, and Bush is a chump, but I can't in good conscience lay -155 on a guy with a career ERA near 12 against this opponent. It's almost like sacrilege for me, a player-matchup guy.

Phillies @ Braves (-144) with a total of 7.5; C. Hamels vs. T. Hudson;
Ryan Howard was 12-for-34 with 5 HR and 10 RBI off Hudson since '05, before this year;
Shane Victorino was 8-for-25 with 2 HR and 6 RBI off Hudson before 2010;
Jayson Werth was 4-for-12 with 3 RBI off Hudson before 2010;
Gregor Blanco is 4-for-11 off Hamels;
Melky Cabrera was 3-for-6 off Hamels prior to 2010;
Chipper Jones was 9-for-22 with 2 HR and 6 RBI off Hamels before this year;
Brian McCann was 11-for-30 with a HR and 10 RBI off Hamels before 2010.
This isn't a rematch, but both guys have made a start against this opponent. Hudson gave up 2 runs in 6 innings of a 2-0 loss to Halladay, and Hamels allowed 3 runs in 5 innings of a 5-3 win. That being said, Hudson pitched much better than Hamels, and not just in runs and innings. Hudson allowed 6 hits and 2 walks, while Hamels allowed 8 hits and 4 walks, and somehow only gave up 3 runs. Hamels has been better since that very start, so he's trending up, but Hudson's been a wonder this year, and I happen to think this line is pretty fair. The Phils offensive issues make me think I'd take Braves before Phils, but it's not even really on the radar.

Nationals @ Astros (-135) with a total of 8.5; C. Stammen vs. B. Myers;
Christian Guzman is 10-for-25 off Myers;
Josh Willingham is 7-for-20 wih 2 HR and 5 RBI off Myers;
Ryan Zimmerman is 13-for-36 with 2 HR and 14 RBI off Myers.
Believe me when I say that I'd love to back the resurgent Brett Myers in this one, given his solid 3.22 season ERA. I'd also love to fade Craig Stammen, given his 5.60 season mark, but player numbers just don't add up. In fact, they point us the other way. Ryan Zimmerman has pummeled Myers over the years, though Myers has completely neutralized Adam Dunn, so it's a give and take. Stammen is 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA against Houston lifetime, and Washington is coming off yesterday's 14-4 throttling of the Astros, so we know they're hitting alright. Very small lean to Washington.

Reds @ Cardinals (-110) with a total of 7.5; J. Cueto vs. P. Walters;
Once again we'll forgo the player numbers in this one, since we have nothing for Walters against the Reds, and Cueto's already faced the Cards twice this year, so any historical numbers can basically be dumped in favor of this year's matchups. Cueto has gone 5 innings and 6 innings against the Cards, allowing 2 runs in each, so it's tough to say whether he's been good or not. He's been decent enough, I suppose, but not really a huge factor in the game. Walters went 5 shutout innings against the Padres in his only start, so we know he can pitch, and everyone that the Cards bring up usually throws well, at least until teams get a better scouting report. This one is a tough one, though it seems like the Cards are starting to hit better over the last 3-4 games, so I might be inclined to take the cheap price on the home team and bank on Cueto giving up at least 2-3 runs.

Mets (-125) @ Padres with a total of 6.5; M. Pelfrey vs. W. LeBlanc;
Pelfrey continues to be scary-good this year, really only having one true blemish on his 2010 resume, though I suppose you could argue his start against the Nats wasn't too great, either. In any case, he's 7-1 on the year with a 2.54 ERA, and is coming off 7 shutout innings against the Phils. Pelfrey has always been better at home, but Petco is a monster park, much like Citi Field, so there might not be any real difference here. LeBlanc is coming off 2 bad starts, and we've talked before about how young guys usually bounce back after a second rough start, but with LeBlanc, his new approach might be getting a scouting report, and I'm not 100% sure if it's just a rough patch or if teams are just starting to figure out LeBlanc. I'd be careful in this one.

Diamondbacks @ Dodgers (-120) with a total of 8; D. Haren vs. J. Ely;
REMATCH ALERT! Ely and Haren faced off in Arizona just a couple weeks ago, and the Dodgers laid waste to, well, mostly the D'backs pen, but either way, Haren took the loss, and has now faced the Dodgers twice this year, and Arizona has lost both of his starts. Ely continues to do just what the Dodgers need, and that's throw strikes, keep the ball in the yard, and generally go 6+ innings. And with the way the Dodgers pen is throwing right now, it's awfully tough to go my usual route and take the loser of the previous showdown. That would be Haren, here, but Arizona's bats have been lying dormant on their current road trip, and Ely, a guy with outstanding control, can use Arizona's free-wheeling approach against them, shooting for the corners of the plate. Oh, and Andre Ethier destroys Haren, and he's coming back for this series. Lean to Dodgers, despite the rematch angle.

Rockies @ Giants (-145) with a total of 8; J. Hammel vs. B. Zito;
Bengie Molina is 3-for-6 with a HR and 2 RBI off Hammel.
When I saw Barry Zito opposing Colorado, I almost made it an automatic play. Barry has absolutely baffled the Rockies throughout his career, now 5-2 with a 2.00 ERA against the Rockies lifetime. This year, Barry went 8 innings and allowed 2 runs the one time he faced them. Hammel is coming off his best start of 2010, holding the D'backs to just 2 runs, but for the same reason we backed the Rox yesterday, teams beating up on Arizona really doesn't say much. Hammel is still not the same guy he was last year, and while his ERA against SF of 3.52 is decent, I wouldn't be surprised to see him give up 4 runs in 5 or 6 innings, here. My concern with this one is Zito's rough month of May. He started the month with a strong outing against the Marlins, but things just haven't been the same since he stunk it up against the Padres. Still, I don't really see how a player match-up guy can legitimately fade Barry against the Rockies, and the Giants are going to hit much better against anyone not named Ubaldo. Lean to SF.

American League

Orioles @ Yankees (-245) with a total of 10; B. Matusz vs. J. Vazquez;
Corey Patterson is 4-for-12 with 2 RBI off Vazquez;
Ty Wigginton is 6-for-13 with 2 HR and 4 RBI off Vazquez.
Matusz has already faced the Yankees twice this year, allowing 3 runs in 6 inning in one effort and 3 runs (only 1 earned) in another 6 frames the next time. Just so happens I was AT that second start on my trip around the Eastern US. Completely unrelated, but figured I'd toss that out there for folks that read the entire blog. In any case, the Orioles are garbage. Matusz has pitched well against the Yankees, but the O's can't hit, the pen isn't reliable, they've lost Matusz's last 7 straight starts, and I just don't know if I can ever feel comfortable backing this team no matter how much value they might grab.

Indians @ Tigers (-155) with a total of 8.5; J. Westbrook vs. J. Bonderman;
Shin-Soo Choo was 3-for-8 off Bonderman with 2 RBI before 2010;
Carlos Guillen is batting .417 in 24 AB off Westbrook with 1 RBI;
Brandon Inge was batting .348 with 2 HR and 6 RBI off Westbrook before 2010;
Magglio Ordonez was batting .364 with 2 HR and 6 RBI off Westbrook before 2010;
Ramon Santiago was 5-for-7 off Westbrook before 2010.
I hate to lay -155 with Bonderman, but the guy is learning how to pitch, and his ERA of just 3.78 is living proof that he's getting it done without his top velocity. He's probably not worth that level of chalk, especially at just 8-9 lifetime against the Indians, and a 5.68 ERA -- he did give up just a run in 5 innings earlier this season, though. Westbrook has been even worse against the Tigers, allowing 3 runs in just under 6 frames this year, and going 4-8 lifetime against Detroit with a 6 ERA.

Rays (-165) @ Blue Jays with a total of 9; J. Niemann vs. B. Tallet;
Carl Crawford is 7-for-15 off Tallet with 6 RBI;
Gabe Kapler is 3-for-7 with 2 RBI off Tallet;
Evan Longoria is 4-for-9 off Tallet with 3 RBI;
Dioner Navarro is 6-for-15 with 3 RBI off Tallet;
B.J. Upton is 4-for-9 with 2 RBI off Tallet;
Ben Zobrist is 5-for-11 with a HR and 3 RBI off Tallet;
Adam Lind is 4-for-8 off Niemann.
Good lord that's some heavy road chalk on Niemann, but damn if his 5-0 record and 2.37 season ERA doesn't look tempting in this player match-up nightmare for Toronto. Niemann has been rock solid all season long, even tossing a quality start against these very same Jays back in late April. Tallet has a career 6.03 ERA against the Rays, including allowing 5, 5, and 8 runs against them the last 3 times he started against Tampa. You guys know how I feel about Run Lines, but damn if this one isn't courting me.

Athletics @ Red Sox (-145) with a total of 9; G. Gonzalez vs. J. Lackey;
Daric Barton is 6-for-17 with an RBI off Lackey;
Jack Cust is 7-for-23 with 3 HR and 5 RBI off Lackey;
Adrian Beltre is 3-for-7 with an RBI off Gonzalez.
This line is creepy-low, considering the level of competition. Gio Gonzalez is having a nice season, and Lackey has been mostly a wet fart, but he's 16-4 lifetime against the A's with a 2.76 ERA, and Gonzalez hasn't exactly dominated the Red Sox. And on top of that, Boston has been hitting the ball well. I honestly can't quite solve this line, so I'm liable to leave this game alone. The A's are coming off a well-played series in Detroit, and while they struggled on the road previously, I just can't help but wonder if oddsmakers know Oakland is surging. Weird game, trying to match the line with the matchups.

Angels @ Royals (-115) with a total of 9.5; J. Pineiro vs. B. Bannister;
David DeJesus is 7-for-21 with 4 RBI off Pineiro;
Jose Guillen is 5-for-13 with 2 RBI off Pineiro since '05;
Scott Podsednik is 3-for-8 off Pineiro.
This game is perfectly set on the line. Both starters have been consistently middle-of-the-road, and neither has really set himself aside as trending up or down. Bannister has been a little more consistent the last couple weeks, but Pineiro has that track record of imploding in a start or two, then regaining his form. The Angels dominated KC in the series opener, but that didn't tell us much. The Royals are still the best hitting team in baseball, average-wise, over the past few weeks, so they can definitely break out at any point. Probably a pass, here.

Rangers @ White Sox (-125) with a total of 9; R. Harden vs. M. Buerhle;
Vlad Guerrero is 7-for-22 with 4 HR and 6 RBI off Buerhle since '05.
Interestingly, this is the second series this year between these two teams, so we do have some notes to work with from this year, as well. Historically, Buerhle has pitched well against Texas, going 11-4 with a 3.07 lifetime ERA against the Rangers, and this year he pitched not amazingly, but probably well enough to win, giving up 4 runs in 7 decent innings. Harden allowed 3 runs in 6 innings, and despite walking 5, led his team to victory. Well, Texas has been very cold of late, losing 4 straight before yesterday's day off, and Chicago has been alternating wins and losses roughly the last 10 days. The key with Buerhle is whether he's on a lucky or unlucky streak, since he's always going to throw strikes, and right now, it seems like balls are finding his defense. I think Mark pitches the Sox past the slumping Rangers.

Twins @ Mariners (-115) with a total of 7.5; N. Blackburn vs. J. Vargas;
Chone Figgins is 9-for-16 with a HR off Blackburn;
Ichiro is 4-for-9 off Blackburn.
This game should, and I repeat, should be a relatively easy game to handicap, as Blackburn goes out, throws strikes, goes 7 innings, gives up 2-3 runs every time out, and his team has a damn fine shot to win. Especially here, against the anemic Seattle offense. Vargas is an up-and-coming young stud that, and I can't really say " has hit a rough patch", since he's still throwing well, but not as incredibly as he was earlier in the season. I happen to think that marking this game, basically, as a Pick, is pretty accurate. The Twins are the hotter of the two teams, but this one ain't far from a coin-flip in either direction.

3 comments:

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