Friday, May 14, 2010

I Love L.A.

Another day without basketball, but yet, we somehow survive! Just one more day, and we can get back to some Playoff action. In the meantime, baseball is finally starting to treat us well!

We went 1-1 on the bases yesterday, but nailed the 2* Paid Play on the Angels with a nice, quick 4-0 win in a game that seemingly took about 90 minutes to complete. Joe Saunders was terrific, and the Angels got just enough in one important inning to deal Dallas Braden a loss following his perfect game. So, combined with the 1* loss on the underdog Cincinnati Reds, we picked up one more unit of profit, and continue to claw our way back into contention on the diamond.

A lot of afternoon games, so let's get right to it and find a few more winners!

Sports Wagering: MLB

National League

Pirates @ Cubs (-215) with a total of N/A; P. Maholm vs. R. Dempster;
Jason Jaramillo is 3-for-6 off Dempster;
Andy LaRoche is 3-for-9 with an RBI off Dempster;
Derrek Lee is 7-for-21 off Maholm;
Aramis Ramirez is 8-for-20 with 2 HR and 6 RBI off Maholm;
Alfonso Soriano is 6-for-18 with 3 HR and 5 RBI off Maholm;
Ryan Theriot is 6-for-18 with 5 RBI off Maholm.
Neither of these pitchers has a strong track record against this particular opponent. Maholm is 5-1 against Chicago but has an ERA of 6.63. Dempster is 6-7 with a 5.15 ERA. So, yes, Maholm is lucky in this series, but that sort of thing rarely lasts forever. We also know this game is a "B" play, so there should be a goodly public rush for Chicago, more than usual. Scary game, but if we wait on the wind, we might get some value with the Over.

Astros @ Giants (-230) with a total of 6.5; R. Oswalt vs. T. Lincecum;
Lance Berkman is 3-for-10 with 2 RBI off Lincecum;
Mark DeRosa is 12-for-23 with a HR and 3 RBI off Oswalt since '05.
Well, you certainly don't want to play an over between these two guys. Oswalt is sporting a 2.63 ERA, and Lincecum 1.86. Of course, that number of 6.5 is awfully low, so the under is probably out of the question, as well. Lincecum is 3-0, 1.37 ERA lifetime against Houston, so not sure I'm comfortable fading him, either. Pass.

Phillies @ Brewers (-115) with a total of 9.5; J. Blanton vs. C. Narveson;
Ryan Braun is 3-for-8 off Blanton;
Corey Hart is 5-for-9 off Blanton.
This is a weird line, I feel. The Phillies are vastly superior to the Brewers from a talent perspective, and I know Narveson is a perfect 3-0, but his 5.06 ERA makes this line even more odd. Blanton has the potential to be a horse, though he's clearly not at full strength right now, and he's just 1-1 against Milwaukee lifetime. At this absurd price, I feel like the Phils are awfully tempting, but I can't help but think this line on Narveson has to be set for a reason. Perhaps it's Blanton's lingering injury or the fact that he's trying to get up to full speed; perhaps it's Narveson's seemingly lucky ability to get run support. We'll dig deeper on this one.

D'backs @ Braves (-215) with a total of 8.5; R. Lopez vs. T. Hanson;
Stephen Drew is 2-for-3 with a HR off Hanson;
Melky Cabrera is 4-for-11 with a HR and 2 RBI off Lopez.
Tommy Hanson is one tough cookie, and Rodrigo Lopez has been decent, maybe decent enough where this game is a value on Arizona, but with the bullpen struggles of the D'backs, and with their offensive slump, this game could be tough to watch no matter which side you're betting on. Pass.

Mets @ Marlins (-120) with a total of 9.5; J. Maine vs. N. Robertson;
Luis Castillo is 7-for-17 off Robertson;
Jorge Cantu is 6-for-15 with 3 RBI off Maine.
John Maine has been oddly good against Florida, going 5-2 with a 3.45 ERA in his career. Robertson is 1-0 against the Mets, but that sample size just isn't sufficient. I admit, Robertson has been better this year than I expected, and Maine is just finally starting to throw a little better, and while I feel like perhaps the under might have some value (if Maine and Robertson are decent), either guy (or both) could implode and stink it up. Tough call, here, though the Mets don't appear comfortable on the road, so I'd have to say tiny, tiny lean to Marlins, but barely a blip on my radar.

Cardinals (-155) @ Reds with a total of 7.5; A. Wainwright vs. M. Leake;
The current Reds are 6-for-28 with 1 HR and 3 RBI, not impressive.
Wainwright's career numbers against Cincinnati actually aren't great, 2-2, 4.46, but the current Reds, who, for what it's worth, are playing good baseball, but haven't done much of anything against Wainwright. Leake has been solid since making the leap from College, though I'm still not sold, and I feel like the Reds solid play and Leake's early-season success are driving this line down. Believe it or not, despite momentum telling otherwise, I would look at the Cards here. Wainwright is an ace and a bonafide stopper.

Nationals @ Rockies (-150) with a total of 10.5; L. Atilano vs. J. Hammel;
Nyjer Morgan is 3-for-8 off Hammel;
Ivan Rodriguez is 3-for-10 off Hammel;
Josh Willingham is 3-for-7 with a HR off Hammel.
Not surprisingly, no one on the Rockies has seen Atilano. Maybe more surprising is that Hammel is still sporting an ERA over 9 in 2010. He should be able to get things turned around eventually, but for whatever reason, he's getting a ton of credit in this one. Atilano will likely have a rough go of things in his first career start in the altitude of Coors, so backing the dog isn't easy, but backing a starter who gives up a run every inning at -150 is even tougher. Pass.

Dodgers (-125) @ Padres with a total of 7.5; C. Kershaw vs. K. Correia;
Andre Ethier is 8-for-15 with 3 RBI off Correia;
Manny Ramirez is 2-for-6 off Correia;
David Eckstein is 4-for-12 off Kershaw;
Scott Hairston is 3-for-9 off Kershaw;
Chase Headley is 5-for-16 with 2 RBI off Kershaw.
I'm still having trouble wrapping my head around how good the Padres are playing. Having a lights out bullpen helps, but that batting order getting it done is boggling my mind. Something tells me the Dodgers might pose a problem, since they can really hit. Kershaw is excellent, and he's been good against the Padres. Correia has a nice track record against LA, but he's coming off an injury, and while he says he's good to go, I'm not sure I always believe starters when they throw themselves in the line of fire like that. Slight lean to LA.

American League

Twins @ Yankees (-130) with a total of 9; F. Liriano vs. A. Pettitte;
Michael Cuddyer is 4-for-9 off Pettitte since '05;
Brendan Harris is 8-for-17 off Pettitte;
Joe Mauer is 4-for-10 with a HR and 2 RBI off Pettitte;
Justin Morneau is 4-for-10 off Pettitte with 1 RBI since '05;
Delmon Young is 9-for-14 with 3 RBI off Pettitte;
Marcus Thames is 4-for-9 with 3 HR off Liriano.
The Yankees continued their dominance of the Twinkies last night with another beatdown, but this one feels different. Pettitte had his spot in the rotation skipped because of some mild inflammation, and all signs are that he's okay, but even a tiny blip for some of these guys and things can change drastically. Pettitte's ERA crept up over 2 in his last start, and he's 7-1 lifetime against the Twins, but Liriano is one of the few guys that could potentially sneak a win against the juggernauts.

Rangers @ Blue Jays (-160) with a total of 8.5; S. Feldman vs. R. Romero;
Vlad Guerrero has a couple hits off Romero in a few ABs, as does David Murphy;
Adam Lind has homered twice off Feldman in brief exposure.
Romero dominated the Rangers earlier this year, but he seems to be regressing a bit over his last few starts, and you guys all know how I feel about rematches. Feldman actually pitched pretty well against the Jays earlier this year, though he's been relatively bad since. This line is accurate. Pass.

Mariners @ Rays (-215) with a total of 8; J. Vargas vs. J. Shields;
Chone Figgins is 6-for-17 with an RBI off Shields;
Franklin Gutierrez is 3-for-9 with a HR off Shields before 2010;
Michael Saunders was a perfect 3-for-3 off Shields before this season.
Sadly, I believe we had the Mariners good situational spot pegged last night, and we might have missed our chance to capitalize (at least with a premium play). Tampa is too expensive, and my guess is that they'll probably come back and win the rest of the games in this series. Pass.

Red Sox (-155) @ Tigers with a total of 9; J. Lester vs. D. Willis;
Adrian Beltre is 3-for-4 with an RBI off Willis;
Victor Martinez is 2-for-3 with a HR off Willis;
Johnny Damon is batting .292 with 2 HR and 5 RBI off Lester.
Again, pretty hefty price on Lester, but I suppose Boston is the better overall team, and he's absolutely the better pitcher. Something tells me the Tigers don't take well to getting put behind early yesterday, and the D-Train comes out with a fire. Not sure I have the gumption to back them, though, as Dontrelle's start was skipped because of a fever of 102. Tigers or nothing for me, here.

Indians @ Orioles (-130) with a total of 8.5; M. Talbot vs. B. Matusz;
Matusz dominated the Indians the only time he saw them, and he's 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA. Talbot, who has been a shining beacon of hope this year (4-2, 3.43) will try to get the Indians some kind of momentum. You certainly have to like the Orioles here, who continue to improve their collective offense, and are coming off, now, back to back wins, including an easy 8-1 winner last night. I know there isn't a ton of value laying this type of price on a young hurler, but I happen to think Matusz could reasonably be a -150 favorite here, so we're getting about 15-20 cents of value.

White Sox (-135) @ Royals with a total of 8.5; J. Peavy vs. L. Hochevar;
Alexei Ramirez was 4-for-8 off Hochevar before 2010.
Peavy was outstanding the last time he faced the Royals, and he's starting to get things pieced together a little bit. Hochevar was excellent the last time he faced the White Sox, and he remains very up and down. Both guys have nice career numbers against the other team, which makes picking a side here awfully tough. I'm inclined to say the home team is the value, but that Royals pen is a disaster waiting to happen. For the same reason, I'm hesitant to back the Under, though that's my favorite play of any in this one. Still, in all likelihood, this isn't a game that I'll be grabbing.

Athletics @ Angels (-125) with a total of 8.5; J. Duchscherer vs. E. Santana;
Daric Barton is 5-for-15 off Santana;
Eric Chavez is 8-for-25 with 2 RBI off Santana since '05;
Ryan Sweeney is 7-for-12 with a HR and 3 RBI off Santana;
Mike Napoli is 2-for-3 with a HR off Duchscherer before 2010.
When Duchscherer is healthy, he's something of a wizard with the baseball. Maybe this isn't the right breakdown, but he has an arsenal of pitches and uses deception a little more like a pitcher from overseas. A few different fastballs, a handful of breaking stuff. Really a fun guy to watch, from a finesse standpoint. And, he's 6-0 with a 1.44 ERA against the Halos in his career. The concern is that he's not fully healthy. On the other side, Ervin Santana continues to improve, and his hard stuff has given the A's all kinds of fits over the years. He's 10-2 with a 1.41 ERA against Oakland. This total of 8.5 seems eerily high, though. If money is bigtime on the Under, we'll be careful. If money is split, this total might get our attention.

1 comment:

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