Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Christmas in June

Recap: Last night officially made up for one of our bad beats, because we absolutely stole one. I highly recommend checking out the Angels or Dodgers home pages and watching the video, but for those that prefer the written word, here's what happened: with runners on 1st and 2nd and 2 outs in the top of the 9th, the Dodgers sent pinch hitter Jamey Carroll to the plate. Carroll pinged one off the end of his bat that fell in front of Angels' leftfielder Juan Rivera (who foolishly broke back on the ball). With the tying run headed home, the Angels threw behind Russ Martin, who took too wide a turn at 2nd base. Russ was tagged out (maybe) before pinch-runner Reed Johnson touched home, and the tying run failed to score. It was a cosmic blunder that has really defined the Dodgers' losing streak, and I say we take that unit and run like hell.

Today (and this is an important one): I AM THE $1 CAPPER! Truly, if there's ever a day where I am more than willing to throw myself at you all with zero regard for my dignity, this is that day. I would never tell anyone to get a Paid Play if they can't afford it, and that's part of the reason that I put this blog out every day, but I think we ALL can think of a way to come up with a BUCK. Don't buy that 20 oz. Coke Zero; drive 65mph on the highway instead of 75mph for 10 minutes; get your coffee at the office instead of Starbucks...whatever! Just get the One Dollar Play, and let's all win this one together! I'll even make life easy for you by making this paragraph a link to my Pro Page.

Shorter card, but plenty of nice, tight lines - let's exploit a good one!

Sports Wagering: MLB

National League

Giants (-155) @ Astros with a total of 7; M. Cain vs. W. Rodriguez;
My goodness, how bad is Wandy Rodriguez this year? Maybe one of the hugest disappointments of the season, and only fails to get mocked because he's pitching for a team that's just as disappointing as he is. Wandy is 3-10 with a 6.09 ERA this year, and 0-2 with an 8.38 ERA lifetime against the Giants. Matt Cain finally gave up more than 1 run in his last start up in Toronto, but the Jays have that longball power that can create runs even when they're not getting many on base. Dare we explore the road run line on this afternoon tilt?
Leans: Giants RL-2

Interleague Play

Padres @ Rays (-185) with a total of 8.5; W. LeBlanc vs. M. Garza;
This is awfully pricey, considering how poorly Garza's been throwing. The Rays, for all intents and purposes, are slumping pretty hard. Garza and Shields have been doing their part on the mound to ensure that those struggles continue. Matt hasn't had a legitimately strong start since May 21, and has seen his ERA rise up over 4 runs for the first time all season. LeBlanc, quietly, is still posting an ERA in the 2's, and has rebounded extremely well off his own little mini-slump that started with a road outing in Seattle a month back. San Diego plus 1.5 runs almost seems too easy, here, and that's truly the one thing keeping me off Padres - how on Earth this line could come out this high.
Leans: Padres RL-2

Indians @ Phillies (-155) with a total of 9.5; F. Carmona vs. J. Blanton;
Jhonny Peralta is 9-for-23 with 2 HR and 2 RBI off Blanton;
Mike Redmond is 3-for-6 off Blanton since '05.
This line is where it is because the Phillies are a huge public team; that's it. Joe Blanton's numbers this year are unbelievably bad, though, to his credit, he's coming off 6 innings of 3-run ball against the Twins. Is he turning a corner? Maybe, but he still hasn't allowed fewer than 3 runs in any start this year. Carmona, on the other hand, has been extremely consistent. I heard on some local LA radio two show-hosts that were talking about the Dodgers' interest in Carmona, and they didn't seem to care. That, to me, shows they're not paying attention. Carmona has movement on his pitches that won't go away over the next couple years, and he could dominate the NL. He'll have a chance today, though the Phils are really starting to hit, so this one is far from a lock.
Leans: Indians-2

Braves @ White Sox (-110) with a total of 9; D. Lowe vs. G. Floyd;
Melky Cabrera is 3-for-7 with a HR and 2 RBI off Floyd.
Derek Lowe is just 1-2 against the White Sox in his career, but has an ERA of 3.75. Not bad. Floyd is 1-1 against Atlanta, but posted an ERA of 9.95. Yikes. Yet, this line opens at basically a Pick. Floyd has been destroying in June, as has been his nature, giving up just 1 earned run in each of his last 3 starts, spanning 22 innings. Somehow, the White Sox only won 1 of those 3 games, even more odd considering they've been hot, as a team. Lowe's been pitching well lately, too, and the Braves tend to give him decent run support. So, we have some competing forces, here. Hot offensive clubs against solid, veteran pitchers. This line is just fishy enough to make me back the Sox, maybe...
Leans: Under-3, White Sox-1

Twins @ Brewers (-180) with a total of 8.5; N. Blackburn vs. Y. Gallardo;
Interestingly, this isn't the first time these pitchers have seen this opponent from the other League. First time around, Blackburn went 7.1 innings and gave up 3 runs in a furious 15-3 Twins winner against Dave Bush. For Gallardo, he gave up 4 runs in 6 innings, though the damage was largely done early before he settled in. The Twins ended up giving up a huge lead in that game before winning in extras, but this time around I don't think they'll be so lucky. This line is high for a reason, and that reason is Blackburn's road issues. In his last 3 road starts, Blackburn has given up 18 runs in just 8 innings. You guys know I don't touch home run lines, but...
Leans: Brewers-1

Cubs @ Mariners (-150) with a total of 6.5; T. Lilly vs. F. Hernandez;
Ted Lilly is just 2-6, and that is a damn travesty. I hope the Cubs unload Ted to a team with a shot to compete, because he is just pitching his butt off and has almost nothing to show for it. The 3.42 ERA is definitely reflective of how good he's been, but this line is accurate since Chicago just can't score reliably. Lilly is, however, coming off a rough start against the Angels, who always hit those 88mph fastballs hard. The Mariners can't score, either, but as long as they just keep throwing shutouts, it's going to be tough for someone to beat them. King Felix has looked like his old self in his last 2 starts, and I can't believe -150 is a value, but I lean Mariners.
Leans: Mariners-3

Marlins (-120) @ Orioles with a total of 9.5; N. Robertson vs. K. Millwood;
Jorge Cantu is 3-for-6 with 2 HR and 4 RBI off Millwood since '05;
Mike Lamb is 4-for-11 off Millwood since '05;
Julio Lugo is 5-for-11 with a HR off Robertson since '05;
Miguel Tejada is 8-for-19 with 2 HR and 3 RBI off Robertson since '05;
Luke Scott is 3-for-3 off Robertson.
I'm tempted to just write "See: every other O's game." Baltimore has shown signs that they might win 1 game every week or so, and do we want to bother trying to predict when that happens? Robertson never goes deep in games, so that means Florida is going to need to score 4-5 runs to win this one (that pen isn't going to pitch a shutout), and Millwood did finally get a win in his last start. Floodgates time? I wouldn't back Florida here, but few things are more nauseating than an Orioles bet.
Leans: Orioles-2

Cardinals (-135) @ Blue Jays with a total of 7.5; A. Wainwright vs. B. Morrow;
Jose Bautista is 5-for-16 off Wainwright;
Fred Lewis is 4-for-8 off Wainwright.
Brandon Morrow has really turned his season around. He's still not going 7 or 8 innings, which brings that shaky Toronto pen into the picture, but getting 6 innings of 1-run baseball will generally put you in position to win on a nightly basis. We could potentially get a pretty nice home dog sale price on the Jays in this one, but do we really want to fade Adam Wainwright? The Cards big righthander is 10-4 on the season with a 2.23 ERA, but isn't making a ton of noise because people just expect him to dominate. There isn't really any value on Wainwright's side, and the total is probably accurate, so it's Jays or nothing for me.
Leans: Blue Jays-3

Tigers @ Mets (-120) with a total of 8; A. Galarraga vs. H. Takahashi;
I'm honestly a little surprised this line is as cheap as it is. I know the Tigers are teetering on "public team" status, thanks in large part to their strong home play, but the Mets are one of the hottest teams in baseball, and Takahashi is still sporting a nice 3.13 ERA. Galarraga's season numbers are still decent, but he's coming off an ugly start against the D'backs, and that "wall" is right around the corner. Fact of the matter is that Galarraga is just not a guy that should have come close to throwing a perfect game. It shows just how lucky pitchers have to get in baseball to really succeed. He has a nice slider that works well on righthanders, but look at his career numbers, and you'll see why this lean is the way it is.
Leans: Mets-4

Pirates @ Rangers (-250) with a total of 10.5; J. Karstens vs. S. Feldman;
Woah, -250 on Scott Feldman? I know our rule is generally to only put a 1/4-unit on the dog when it's over -300, but Scott Feldman probably shouldn't be a -250 guy against any team in the Majors. He probably shouldn't be -250 over most of Triple-A. I know the Pirates might be the worst team in the Majors (again), and Karstens' ugly mug isn't inspiring confidence, but Feldman gives up 3 runs, invariably, in about 90% of his starts, so that means that every opponent has a shot. Of course, Texas has been hitting the daylights out of that baseball, so they'll probably win 7-4, knowing the hotness of that team right now.
Leans: None

Red Sox @ Rockies (-115) with a total of 9; D. Matsuzaka vs. J. Hammel;
Mike Lowell is 3-for-7 off Hammel with an RBI;
David Ortiz is 5-for-8 with a HR and 3 RBI off Hammel.
Remember, Boston has seen Hammel before. I know he's been lights out (Hammel hasn't allowed a run in any of his last 3 starts, spanning almost 23 scoreless innings), but if anyone can find a way to throw a man off his game, it's Boston. Daisuke is coming off 8 shutout innings of his own, though there does seem to be some slight stamina issues that Matsuzaka needs to sort through. He hasn't put together 3 straight strong outings all year, and it's tough to see him finally performing that feat in Coors Field. In fact, any time he's gone 7 innings this year, he's come back with a dud the next time out.
Leans: Rockies-3

Dodgers @ Angels (-150) with a total of 9.5; C. Haeger vs. S. Kazmir;
A contrarian would certainly say that the Dodgers are going to win this one, but not sure that the numbers really bear that out. Kazmir has a 5.08 ERA on the season, but he's on a run of 4 straight solid outings, the Angels have won all 4 of those, and maybe the most important note of all, Manny Ramirez is batting under .200 lifetime against Kazmir. We don't know a ton about how the Angels are going to handle a knuckleballer, but Haeger was not good at all earlier this year, and I just don't know how you can make a legitimate argument that he's going to pitch well against a hot-hitting team like the Angels. Plus, the Dodgers are the ultimate Interleague victim, just getting trounced by everyone not from Motown. If this line was a little cheaper, I'd be on board with reckless abandon, but at 150, it does require a little more thought.
Leans: Angels-2

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