Monday, June 28, 2010

2-Fer Tuesday Time

Recap: The Kansas City Royals pitched a dandy of a game, and despite some suspect defense, cashed yesterday's SUMMER SIZZLER Top Play at a slight underdog price of +116. That win improved the current Paid Run to 26-13, a mark that makes me very happy. The small Freebie is still in action.

Today: Two-for-Tuesday Time! The Paid Plays continue to rock right along, so why not have two of' 'em? They're both Top Plays off a superbly loaded betting card, and as is always the case, what should normally be 30 bucks (for two plays) is discounted to just $20. I'd love to see a few of you fellas on board, but either way, here's the blog!

Sports Wagering: MLB

National League

Mets (-125) @ Marlins with a total of 9.5; H. Takahashi vs. N. Robertson;
No lack of familiarity, here. Nate Robertson is set to make his 4th start against the Mets this season, already, and he's trending down, down, down against this club, in particular. Back on April 8, he allowed a run in 5 innings; on May 15, he allowed 3 runs (2 earned) in 5.2 innings; and on June 5, he allowed 5 runs in 4.2 frames. Which Robertson do we see in this one? Well, he's not very good, so any time he has success, it's usually a bit of a tight-rope act. He doesn't give up many homers, a lefthanded sinkerballer, but he puts a lot of guys on base, and doesn't go deep in games. Takahashi, on the other side, makes his 2nd start against the Fish, and they cleaned his clock, predominantly with the longball. The total is where I looked first, wanting to take an Over, but at 9.5, no real value, there. On the side, it's ugly all around - enjoy, Puerto Ricans, I won't be watching this one.
Leans: Over-1

Phillies @ Reds (-130) with a total of 9.5; J. Blanton vs. M. Leake;
Ramon Hernandez is 3-for-8 off Blanton with 2 RBI since '05.
When Mike Leake doesn't walk a ton of batters, he's very, very tough. This will be a test for him, though, given the Phils star power, and those power-hitting lefties. Leake is coming off a nice start against the A's, and really has been near perfect this year, aside from 3 poor starts, 2 of which came against the Dodgers. Blanton, who has some ugly numbers on the season, is indeed trending up a tad, though he's still giving up homers, and that doesn't bode well for a game with the Reds. Power lefty bats on both sides, in this one, with Joey Votto and Jay Bruce definite threats on the Cincinnati side. I wonder if the Under doesn't have some legs, if indeed Blanton is putting the pieces together.
Leans: Reds-2, Under-2

Nationals @ Braves (-185) with a total of 9; C. Stammen vs. D. Lowe;
Christian Guzman was 8-for-13 off Lowe with an RBI;
Nyjer Morgan is 7-for-13 off Lowe.
I'm basically disregarding those player numbers, since this is a total mis-match. Craig Stammen is below average, and the odds of him putting together a great start against a solid team like Atlanta seems somewhat slim. Lowe's been pitching well, including 7 shutout innings against the White Sox in a game Atlanta would eventually lose. Still, he's getting guys out, and he's doing it without a ton of damage behind him. That being said, he's too expensive for me.
Leans: None

Pirates @ Cubs (-245) with a total of N/A; J. Karstens vs. T. Lilly;
REMATCH ALERT! Another game we'll forgo the player matchups in favor of the data from this year. Ted Lilly makes his 4th start against the Pirates. He allowed 4 runs in 6 innings of a 4-2 loss in early May, 3 runs in 7 innings of a 4-3 win 2 weeks later, and finally 3 runs in 7.2 innings of a 3-2 loss on June 1st. So, Lilly has been decent, if unspectacular in all 3 of his starts, but those Cubbies just kept finding ways to lose. Unfortunately for us, the Cubs probably couldn't play any worse than they did in those series against Pittsburgh, and while Jeff Karstens beat Lilly in the 3-2 game in June, and has been relatively serviceable, considering the lines we see, the Pirates just can't win games.
Leans: None

Astros @ Brewers (-255) with a total of 7.5; B. Myers vs. Y. Gallardo;
Michael Bourn is 5-for-14 off Gallardo;
Hunter Pence is 5-for-16 off Gallardo.
This total of 7.5 might not be low enough, believe it or not. Brett Myers is 4-1 with a 1.94 ERA lifetime against the Brewers, including 6 innings of 2-run ball earlier this year. That game ended with 7 combined runs, and that was with Dave Bush pitching for the Brewers. Consider, then, that Gallardo is rolling, has struck out 31 in his last 3 starts, and walked just 5. He's 5-2 with a 2.30 ERA lifetime against the 'Stros, who come into this series as cold as ever. The concern, obviously, is that Milwaukee hits a homer with a few guys on base, but I'm confident that Myers can keep things within reason.
Leans: Under-3

D'backs @ Cardinals (-290) with a total of 8; D. Willis vs. A. Wainwright;
Albert Pujols is 4-for-10 with an RBI off Willis since '05.
I could go into more depth on the player numbers, but is anyone really going to take a side in this one? Too expensive for the Cards, even the run line, and Dontrelle is a total mess. He's walked, and this is almost unbelievable, 17 men in his last 3 starts, spanning 11.1 innings. I love the D-Train, but he can't be a starter. He can't. This total is intriguingly low, to the point where I almost feel like the D'backs get shut out, but I'm not willing to take any chances in a game with Dontrelle.
Leans: None

Rockies @ Padres (-120) with a total of 6.5; J. Hammel vs. W. LeBlanc;
David Eckstein was 3-for-8 off Hammel before 2010;
Tony Gwynn Jr was 3-for-8 off Hammel with an RBI before 2010;
Nick Hundley was 4-for-7 off Hammel with a HR before 2010.
For some reason, I really want to make a play on this game, but one isn't jumping out right away. Hammel gave up 4 runs to the Padres back at the start of the season, but he's a much hotter pitcher now than he was, then. He struggled with the Red Sox, but everyone's been doing their fair share of that, lately. How does Hammel bounce back? Does Wade LeBlanc find a way to bounce back, himself, off a start against the Rays where he allowed 11 hits? That total is scary-low, especially since both guys are coming off less-than-stellar starts.
Leans: Over-1

Dodgers @ Giants (-145) with a total of 7.5; J. Ely vs. M. Cain;
Blake Dewitt was 4-for-10 off Cain with a HR and 2 RBI before 2010;
Andre Ethier was batting .545 in 33 AB off Cain before 2010;
Rafael Furcal was 9-for-25 off Cain between '05 and '10.
Matt Cain is a career 0-7 pitcher against LA. He hasn't been awful, by any stretch, but just hasn't gotten it done on the right nights. He hasn't faced the Dodgers this season, but I can't imagine things are all that different. He's still putting up great stats, but still can't get any run support, and he's coming off his worst start of the year, in Houston. John Ely, on the other side is trending back up, as he pitched very, very well against the Angels in a narrow loss, but he looked like he was going to the change-up more often, and I wonder if he doesn't utilize it quite a bit in this one.
Leans: Dodgers-3

American League

Mariners @ Yankees (-160) with a total of 7.5; C. Lee vs. P. Hughes;
Derek Jeter is 4-for-11 with a HR and 3 RBI off Lee since '05;
Nick Swisher is 6-for-18 off Lee since '05;
Mark Teixeira is 6-for-19 with 3 RBI off Lee since '05.
This is one of the absolute cheapest prices you will ever see for the Yankees at home, when you're not looking at Vazquez on the hill. Phil Hughes is 10-1, people! This line, to me, qualifies as a tad fishy. I know Cliff Lee is among the best pitchers in baseball, but the Mariners' offense is an embarrassment (as evidenced by their work against Narveson in Milwaukee), and while Hughes has been more human lately, these are still the Yankees at home. What's going on here, I have to wonder.
Leans: Mariners-2

Athletics (-120) @ Orioles with a total of 8.5; D. Braden vs. B. Matusz;
This is sort of interesting -- Dallas Braden, somehow, is 5-1 with a 1.41 ERA in his career against the Orioles. You almost wouldn't think a guy this young would have 6 decisions against a team from another Division, but here we are. Braden went just 4 innings against Baltimore earlier this year, allowing just an unearned run in a game the A's would eventually lose, 5-1. Braden had a sore ankle in that contest, so he should be pretty excited to face this team that he's just dominated. Brian Matusz is 1-1 with a 7.15 ERA against Oakland, and this is his 3rd start against them this year. He allowed 3 runs in 6.1 frames of a win in mid-April, then gave up 6 runs in 5 innings of a loss in late May, at home. He's been pretty inconsistent, typical for a young guy, and I'd be jumping at the A's if they hadn't lost Braden's last 8 starts, and if the O's weren't suddenly "warm."
Leans: A's-2

Blue Jays (-120) @ Indians with a total of 8.5; B. Morrow vs. F. Carmona;
Aaron Hill is 4-for-10 with an RBI off Carmona.
REMATCH ALERT! This one is a surprising rematch, I'd say, given the two pitchers and the two teams. These two faced off on May 5th in a game where Fausto Carmona appeared to out-pitch Morrow, only to lose the game after he departed. Since then, though, Morrow has come on very strong. He's been red hot over his last 5 starts, including 8 shutout innings against the Cards in Toronto. Carmona has been solid against the Jays in his career, 2-0 with a 2.96 ERA, so I wonder if this total of 8.5 isn't a little high. I don't much care for the sides in this one, since it could really go either way on a solo homer.
Leans: Under-3

Rays @ Red Sox (-125) with a total of 9.5; J. Shields vs. J. Lackey;
Hank Blalock is batting .354 with 2 HR and 7 RBI off Lackey since '05;
Carlos Pena is 5-for-15 with 2 HR and 4 RBI off Lackey since '05;
J.D. Drew is batting .417 off Shields with 2 HR and 6 RBI;
David Ortiz is batting .391 off Shields with 2 HR and 7 RBI.
The player numbers look pretty even, but the historical data for the pitchers wouldn't seem to say so. James Shields is 4-8 against the Red Sox with a 5.02 ERA, and Lackey is 10-3 against the Rays with a 3.71 ERA. This is the 3rd start for each starter against the other team, and Shields has given up 6 runs in just about 15 innings (his team went 1-1 in those games), and Lackey has allowed 10 runs in 11 innings, though 8 of those came in the first start. The Red Sox are dealing with a wild slew of injuries, but they're winning. Tampa is mostly healthy, but they're losing.
Leans: Red Sox-3

White Sox (-135) @ Royals with a total of 9; G. Floyd vs. B. Bannister;
A.J. Pierzynski was batting .423 off Bannister with 2 HR and 4 RBI prior to 2010;
Carlos Quentin was 4-for-8 off Bannister with 2 HR and 4 RBI before this year;
Alex Rios was 3-for-6 off Bannister before 2010;
Yuny Betancourt was 5-for-10 with a HR and 6 RBI off Floyd before 2010;
Alberto Callaspo was 3-for-7 with a HR and 2 RBI off Floyd before this season.
This is a battle of futility, if you're going on historical numbers. Gavin Floyd is a career 1-7 with a 5.53 ERA against the Royals, including 2 dismal outings against KC this season, already. Of course, he's in his typical June bloom, so he seems primed to pitch a bit better in this one. Brian Bannister is coming off a superb start against Stephen Strasburg and the Nats, but he's 4-5 with a 7.91 ERA lifetime against the White Sox. After watching both teams flounder yesterday, trying to score (but luckily our Royals held on for the win), I've gotta think someone scores some runs.
Leans: White Sox-2, Over-2

Tigers @ Twins (-120) with a total of 10; A. Galarraga vs. N. Blackburn;
Miguel Cabrera was 6-for-15 with a HR and 6 RBI off Blackburn;
Magglio Ordonez is 4-for-10 off Blackburn;
Joe Mauer is 8-for-17 with 2 HR and 10 RBI off Galarraga;
Denard Span is 6-for-13 with 2 RBI off Galarraga.
I feel like I just want to keep fading Galarraga until he completely blows up, though I realize that's not necessarily the best way to go about hitting a winner. Still, this one feels a little more sound. Galarraga is 1-5 with a 5.48 lifetime ERA against the Twinkies, and Blackburn is 3-3 with a 3.78 ERA against Detroit. Blackburn is significantly better at home than on the road, as well, and his brutal season ERA is giving us a pretty workable line, here.
Leans: Twins-4

Rangers @ Angels (-120) with a total of 9.5; S. Feldman vs. J. Pineiro;
Michael Young is 6-for-18 with a HR and 5 RBI off Pineiro since '05;
Erick Aybar is 5-for-11 off Feldman;
Torii Hunter is 5-for-16 with 5 RBI off Feldman;
Mike Napoli is 10-for-18 with a HR and 5 RBI off Feldman.
Big series in Anaheim, that's for ding dang sure. I think the one true question we need to ask ourselves about this game is, "Can Texas score enough runs to make up for Feldman sucking?" Recent history would seem to indicate that, yes, they can. Feldman is still sporting an ERA over 5 runs, and he's coming off giving up 5 runs on 12 hits to the pathetic Pirates, but Texas is averaging almost 8 runs per game over the last week, Josh Hamilton is the hottest player in the World, and they're suddenly 17 games over .500. The Angels have been no slouches, offensively, either, so they would seem to be ready to tackle Feldman. That total is a tad inflated, though, so I can't advocate an "over" bet, even though I want to.
Leans: Angels-2, Over-1

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