Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hung Out to Dry

Recap: Well, what can I say? We ran into a game where we wanted the win more than the team involved. Why? Well, how about Takahashi literally been thrown to the wolves despite never really having his "stuff." It is what it is. I really wanted that $1 Capper play to come through for all you good guys on board, but we got stuck on one of those games that just doesn't play out at all how you expect. A tip of the cap to the Tigers for taking advantage of a pitcher that must have slept funny, and a stern glare at Jerry Manuel for not going to his pen early.

Today: Those of you who came aboard the Happy Meal, THANK YOU! You guys should have a coupon to take today's package down about 50% (approximately, Marco decides on the final number), and heck, if there are folks out there that didn't get the BuckPlay that want the coupon, I'm sure you can find a way to get it from someone who did. We're all friends, here. I know your first inclination isn't going to be to jump right back on with me after a loser, but I assure you that we'll have a tremendous play today to get things back on track!

Sports Wagering: MLB

National League

Padres @ Marlins (-120) with a total of 8.5; C. Richard vs. C. Volstad;
Not a ton of historical data, but you guys know how I feel about Chris Volstad. I happen to believe he's one of the more overrated starters in the NL, and after one blazing hot stretch a while back, seems to actually draw some money. I can't completely explain it; it's almost like bettors hear that a tall righthander is starting for Florida, and they just bet it without making sure it's Josh Johnson. Volstad does not go deep in games, so with the Florida pen, he's always going to have trouble racking up wins, and he's 1-1 with a 7.27 ERA lifetime against the Padres. I would be all over San Diego if Clayton Richard wasn't coming off, perhaps, his worst start of 2010 - he did go 6 innings, but got lit up by a weak Baltimore club. Does he bounce back? If you like the Padres, you sure hope so.
Leans: Padres-3

Interleague Play

Cubs @ White Sox (-150) with a total of 9; C. Zambrano vs. J. Peavy;
Alfonso Soriano is 5-for-14 with 2 HR and 5 RBI off Peavy before 2010;
Alexei Ramirez is 3-for-7 with 2 HR and 4 RBI off Zambrano before 2010.
Jake Peavy is rolling, and so are the White Sox, winners of 9 in a row, now. Peavy went 7 innings against these Cubs about 10 days ago and allowed 2 runs in a game the Sox would win 10-5. Peavy tossed a complete game shutout against the Nats in his last start. So, this is a no-brainer to bet the Sox, right? Well, I wouldn't be so quick. This is a pricier mark for them, and Zambrano is actually coming off a strong start. If Big Z gets hot, this one could get closer to a coin-flip. I know the White Sox look like the easy choice, but the value isn't there in this one.
Leans: None

Phillies (-255) @ Blue Jays with a total of 9; R. Halladay vs. J. Litsch;
Raul Ibanez is 4-for-9 off Litsch;
Alex Gonzalez is 3-for-10 with 3 RBI off Halladay.
Not surprisingly, the Jays haven't seen a ton of Halladay from the batter's box, but this game poses an intriguing spot. You have to think that either the Jays get completely shellacked, since Litsch isn't too impressive, or they win. A lack of middle ground jumps out to me, considering the level of emotion that should surge through Halladay's veins as he returns to the site of so many of his dominant starts. I would think the fans should be pretty receptive, but I guess we don't know. Halladay was pretty loyal to Toronto while they piddled around the AL East cellar for so long.
Leans: None

Nationals (-115) @ Orioles with a total of 9; J. Martin vs. J. Arrieta;
Zero historical data in this one, and that's a shame, considering it's a nice short line to try to exploit. J.D. Martin, 0-3 but sporting a decent 3.55 ERA, has been a bit unlucky in a few of his starts. He really only had one bad outing in his 4 starts for Washington, so I think we can rightly expect he'll go 5-6 innings and give up 1-3 runs. Arrieta, probably something similar. You have to give the nod to the superior pen, which isn't a runaway, but Washington's back end has certainly been more reliable.
Leans: Nationals-2

D'backs @ Rays (-200) with a total of 9; E. Jackson vs. J. Niemann;
Hank Blalock is 4-for-12 with 2 RBI off Jackson.
Here's a little reunion of sorts, as Jackson heads back to pitch against the Rays, against whom he is 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA. Still, we got another glimpse at what that D'backs pen can do to a potential winner when they imploded again in the finale against the Yanks. I would love to back Arizona, believe me, and Niemann hasn't been quite as sure-handed as he was earlier this year, but this is a longshot for a reason.
Leans: None

Indians @ Reds (-180) with a total of 9.5; A. Laffey vs. A. Harang;
Jhonny Peralta is 6-for-20 with a HR and 2 RBI off Harang;
Orlando Cabrera is 6-for-17 off Laffey.
Aaron Laffey, somehow, is 0-3 with an 11.05 ERA against the Reds. You wouldn't even think he's had a chance to post numbers that awful, but here we are. Harang, conversely, is 3-2 with a 2.84 ERA against Cleveland, lifetime. This line is too high to back the Reds, there's no real edge here in the total, and Laffey could either get 3 double play grounders or give up 2 multi-run jacks. No thanks.
Leans: None

Twins @ Mets (-145) with a total of 8.5; K. Slowey vs. M. Pelfrey;
Orlando Hudson is 4-for-7 with 2 RBI off Pelfrey;
Jeff Francoeur and Jason Bay each have a HR in just 3 AB off Slowey.
Both of these pitchers are actually coming off subpar starts, though Slowey's was certainly uglier. The Twins righty went just 1.2 innings against the Phils, giving up 7 runs. Pelfrey allowed 5 runs to the Yankees, but went 7 innings, so it was more the quick-strike sort of runs for the Bombers. Pelfrey should bounce back, and the Twins are struggling right now, and I just wonder if this isn't still a deal even though the line is a little more expensive than we're used to. Pelfrey's numbers, especially at home, have been pretty ridiculous.
Leans: Mets-3

Tigers @ Braves (-165) with a total of 9; A. Oliver vs. K. Medlen;
There's a very good reason this line is as high as it is - the Tigers are sending a kid making his ML debut to the mound on the road. It's always nice to try to back rookies making their debut at home, since they have the crowd support and pitch above themselves, but the road is a different story, especially for a clunker of a road team. Medlen hasn't been that great lately, after a nice start, and this price is way too high for him. It's rookie going nuts on adrenaline, or nothing.
Leans: Tigers-1

Astros @ Rangers (-320) with a total of 9.5; B. Moehler vs. C. Lewis;
Nelson Cruz is 2-for-4 with 2 HR and 4 RBI off Moehler.
You know the rule, when it gets up over 300, put a quarter unit on the dog and hope for a miracle.
Leans: None

Mariners @ Brewers (-165) with a total of 9.5; R. Smith vs. D. Bush;
Um, what? Dave Bush as a -165 favorite against a team that just had a 6-game win streak snapped? This is the ultimate in "who am I hitting against" Interleague games, though Bush has seen the Mariners just a couple times. Still, I have to think that oddsmakers know what they're doing just a tad with this line, and that the expectation of Rowland-Smith getting hammered is going to play itself out. It is intriguing, though, to take anyone as that large a dog against Dave Bush.
Leans: Mariners-2

Cardinals @ Royals (-155) with a total of 9; J. Suppan vs. Z. Greinke;
Jose Guillen is 3-for-8 off Suppan;
Aaron Miles is 3-for-5 off Greinke.
Jeff Suppan is getting zero betting love, and that's unfortunate. I would have enjoyed fading him, given his poor arm strength (low pitch count) and the Royals ability to hit, but at this price? I doubt it. Greinke is 2-2 with a 5.24 ERA against the Cardinals in his career, so it's by no means guaranteed that he'll shut them down, and I'd think the Over is probably a better price than either side.
Leans: Over-1

Rockies @ Angels (-160) with a total of 8; J. Francis vs. J. Weaver;
Jason Giambi is 4-for-10 with an RBI off Weaver;
Melvin Mora is 5-for-11 with 3 RBI off Weaver.
This should actually be a fun one. The Rockies continue to play very well at home, but not quite as well on the road, and the Angels are hot as heck right now. Of course, they got a little lucky in one of the wins over the Dodgers, and we'll know more about their momentum after the late game ends from last night, but I'd say there's a decent shot that Weaver pitches a strong game. He leads the AL in strikeouts, I learned this week, so there's an interesting stat.
Leans: Angels-1

Pirates @ Athletics (-180) with a total of 8; B. Lincoln vs. B. Sheets;
Ryan Doumit is 4-for-11 with 2 HR off Sheets.
Ben Sheets has been a fairly reliable starter for Oakland, but this is just a silly line. The Pirates are fighting hard with Baltimore for "worst in the Bigs" honors, and they've now moved into radioactive-land with the O's. So, let's not worry too much about the side, here. The total of 8 is largely based on the Pirates pathetic offense, and largely on the dimensions of the ballpark, but both guys could easily give up 3 runs, and then we're hovering awfully close to that total.
Leans: None

Yankees (-185) @ Dodgers with a total of 8.5; C. Sabathia vs. V. Padilla;
Robinson Cano is 4-for-11 with a HR and 2 RBI off Padilla;
Derek Jeter is 4-for-10 off Padilla since '05;
Manny Ramirez is 6-for-10 with a HR and 4 RBI off Sabathia since '05.
Oh dear. The Dodgers, slumping about as deep as they can, host the Yankees in what's billed as an epic series from days of yore. Of course, the Dodgers had a series with Boston, and got swept, but they are indeed better at home than on the road. Still, Interleague is not kind to LA, and Padilla, at 1-2 with a 7.65 lifetime ERA against New York doesn't really feel like the guy to turn things around. C.C. has a career 1.29 ERA against LA, and he's been making a habit, lately, of winning "bigger" games.
Leans: None

Red Sox @ Giants (-125) with a total of 8.5; T. Wakefield vs. J. Sanchez;
Aubrey Huff is 5-for-16 with a HR and 2 RBI off Wakefield;
Aaron Rowand is 5-for-9 with 2 HR and 2 RBI off Wakefield;
Nate Schierholtz is 3-for-3 off Wakefield.
Tim Wakefield, and this surprised me, is 1-0 against the Giants with a ridiculous 10.24 ERA. What? Sanchez is 0-0 with a 9.00 ERA against Boston, so it's not a particularly pretty matchup. Of course, Sanchez has been quite good at home, and Wakefield has been much better on the road. I would have to think that the thick air and winds in San Francisco are going to make that knuckler do all kinds of insane things. Still, I think there's a pretty good reason the Giants are favored against one of the best teams in the Bigs.
Leans: Giants-3

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