Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My Boys in Blue

Recap: Had to wait until pretty darn late to finish the recap, as the Dodgers and Giants just ran this one until almost 1:30am ET! But, it was worth it, as the Dodgers captured another win against the NL West, and that netted us a Paid Winner as a nice underdog (+125)! We dropped our other Paid Play, the Over in Kansas City, but still a profitable split on Paid Plays augmented by a Winner on our Freebie on Minnesota. Three plays, 2-0 on the sides, 0-1 on the total, and a definite winning day, overall. I like it.


I'm going to be out almost all day, so please feel free to use this blog as a discussion platform, but I will NOT be around to answer questions. Enjoy!

Sports Wagering: MLB

National League

Phillies (-160) @ Reds with a total of 8; R. Halladay vs. A. Harang;
Greg Dobbs is 4-for-9 off Harang with an RBI since '05;
Jimmy Rollins is 9-for-27 off Harang since '05;
Jonny Gomes is batting .292 off Halladay with a HR and 2 RBI since '05.
This is yet another example of "ace inflation." Of course, that doesn't mean he's going to lose, but already this year, despite Halladay being 9-6 with a 2.29 ERA on the season, if you backed him in every star to this one, you'd be down 4 units. How about that, eh? Harang is 2-2 with a 5.33 ERA lifetime against the Phils, is on a run of 2 straight quality starts against decidedly non-quality opponents, and now tries to get that ERA under 5 against a good club. I wouldn't back Halladay, but I wouldn't back Harang, either.
Leans: None

Astros @ Brewers (-165) with a total of 9; W. Rodriguez vs. D. Bush;
Lance Berkman is batting .324 with 4 RBI off Bush since '05;
Michael Bourn is 4-for-8 off Bush before 2010;
Hunter Pence was 7-for-14 with a HR and 2 RBI off Bush before 2010;
Ryan Braun is 6-for-16 off Wandy with 3 HR and 5 RBI;
Corey Hart is batting .407 off Wandy in 27 AB with 3 RBI;
Casey McGehee is 3-for-8 off Wandy;
Rickie Weeks is 5-for-16 off Wandy.
Believe it or not, Dave Bush has some of his best career numbers against any team when going head-to-head with the Houston Astros. Of course, every time I've ever backed Bush, he's laid an egg, and every time I've faded Bush he goes 6 shutout innings. I wouldn't touch this game. Wandy is coming off one of his better starts of 2010, but every time seems to be a flash in the pan, and his 4-10 record and 5.64 ERA look as ugly as ever. Bush isn't very good, but he doesn't know it against this opponent, and while the price is high, it's probably close to accurate.
Leans: None

D'backs @ Cardinals (-134) with a total of 9.5; B. Enright vs. J. Suppan;
Adam LaRoche is 8-for-24 with 2 HR and 5 RBI off Suppan since '05;
Chris Snyder is 4-for-9 off Suppan with a HR and 2 RBI;
Chris Young is 4-for-12 with a HR off Suppan.
This is extremely exciting for me, as I actually watched Barry Enright make his first start in professional baseball. He pitched briefly in relief in South Bend before finishing up the '07 season in Visalia, then worked the entire '08 season in the Central Valley, getting better with every start. He was widely praised for being one of the most "teachable" pitchers in the D'backs farm system, but I wonder how his stuff holds up at the big league level. Enright is extremely durable, but making the leap from double-A can be tough for some guys, and if you look at his work in the Minors, he is a "steady improver" that starts slow at each level, and gets better. Seems like he's just about figured out double-A, but the D'backs are so screwed up, they had to jump him to the Show. Your Sac Lawson-style scouting report - Enright throws (or threw, his arsenal might have changed in the last 2 years) two types of fastballs, two types of change-ups and a curve. He's a smart pitcher and a battler. Kudos to him on the call-up!
Leans: D'backs-1

Pirates @ Cubs (-210) with a total of N/A; B. Lincoln vs. T. Gorzelanny;
Tom Gorzelanny hasn't started in a month, and he's a -210 favorite? This is almost "let's just put a 1/4-unit on the dog" territory, but I'd rather not even have money on this game. I know that sometimes the best values on the board are in the ugliest games, but that is not the case, here.
Leans: None

Rockies @ Padres (-128) with a total of 6.5; J. Francis vs. C. Richard;
Jerry Hairston Jr. is 3-for-6 off Francis.
Right off the bay, I'm trying to pick a side, but then a little light bulb goes off - that total is damn low! Folks have gotten so used to nobody scoring in Petco, that the totals are set remarkably low, and they're going over a little more often than earlier this year. Jeff Francis has a poor history with San Diego, going 5-10 with a 5.15 ERA, though he hasn't faced the Padres in quite some time. Clayton Richard has given up 3 runs in both starts he's made against the Rockies this year, so even if the Padres pen tosses 3 shutout innings, we still only need 4 off Francis to get the job done. It's not a lock, but it's on the table.
Leans: Over-3

Dodgers @ Giants (-125) with a total of 8; V. Padilla vs. J. Sanchez;
Matt Kemp was 8-for-17 with 5 RBI off Sanchez;
Russ Martin is 6-for-15 with a HR and 6 RBI off Sanchez;
Manny Ramirez is 6-for-10 with 2 HR and 4 RBI off Sanchez;
Aubrey Huff is 8-for-12 with a HR and 7 RBI off Padilla;
Edgar Renteria is 5-for-10 with a HR and 2 RBI off Padilla since '05.
I wish I could have leaned Giants in even 1 game of this 3-game series, but the Dodgers just keep lining up properly with my methods. Padilla is pitching very well, had a nice start against the top-level Yankees offense, and as the weather heats up, Padilla generally gets better. He beat the Giants way back in April before getting hurt, and he's 5-3 with a 3.09 ERA in his career against SF. On the other side, Sanchez has a great ERA of 3.03, but he's 0-4 with a 5.95 lifetime mark against the Dodgers, LA's righthanders hit him very hard, and he's been struggling with control and longevity within the game.
Leans: Dodgers-3

Mets (-120) @ Marlins with a total of 9; M. Pelfrey vs. C. Volstad;
Jeff Francoeur is 5-for-9 with a HR and 3 RBI off Volstad;
Jorge Cantu is 7-for-20 with 2 RBI off Pelfrey;
Cody Ross is 6-for-17 with 5 RBI off Pelfrey;
Dan Uggla is 9-for-23 with 8 RBI off Pelfrey.
Mike Pelfrey has a pretty ugly history with the Marlins, though he hasn't taken aim at them yet, this season. That, to me, is the unknown. I would have loved to see a 6-inning, 3-run effort against the Marlins this year just to know that Florida can still hit him, even if not quite as hard as in years past. Instead, neither starter has faced the other team this season, and while Pelfrey is 1-6 with a 5.63 ERA lifetime against Florida, he's 10-2 with a 2.71 ERA this year, and just a different guy. Volstad is a predictably mediocre starter who will almost undoubtedly give up 2-3 runs in 5-6 innings, but that might be enough given the "fishy" line.
Leans: Marlins-3

Nationals @ Braves (-168) with a total of 9; J. Martin vs. J. Jurrjens;
Willie Harris is 6-for-12 with 2 RBI off Jurrjens;
Ryan Zimmerman is 6-for-19 off Jurrjens.
Jurrjens returns, but which Jurrjens will it be? The great one from last year, or the inconsistent one from this season before he went down? He's 2-1 with a 2.98 ERA against the Nats in his short Major League career, so I don't necessarily think this is a good fade spot, even if he's only out there for 5 innings, as J.D. Martin just can't get any luck going his way, and a good team like Atlanta isn't the spot to break through.
Leans: None

American League

Tigers @ Twins (-150) with a total of 9.5; A. Oliver vs. K. Slowey;
Johnny Damon is 4-for-10 off Slowey before 2010;
Carlos Guillen is 3-for-7 off Slowey.
Kevin Slowey is 4-0 against the Tigers, but his ERA against them is 5.93, so he's been decidedly lucky. He gave up 3 runs in 5.2 innings this season, and, not surprisingly, that was enough. So, what about tonight? Andrew Oliver is a solid young prospect for Detroit, but the scary lefthanded bats on the Twins roster can strike fear into anyone, righty or lefty. The fact that he's a southpaw does help a bit, but this line is probably where it should be, especially given the Tigers' misery away from home.
Leans: None

Athletics (-118) @ Orioles with a total of N/A; B. Sheets vs. K. Millwood;
Mark Ellis is hitting .379 off Millwood since '05;
Ryan Sweeney is 5-for-12 with a HR off Millwood before 2010.
This will be the second time each has faced the other team this year, and the results were fairly different. Sheets went 6 shutout innings in a 6-2 win back on April 15, at home, and Millwood pitched the following night and allowed 4 runs (3 earned) in 6 innings of a 4-2 loss. Millwood did strike out 9 in that game, so his stuff was decent, but as evidenced by his 2-8 record and 5.22 season ERA, he's not only not making the key pitches, he's not getting the breaks, either. Baltimore has won his last 2 starts, neither of which has been all that impressive, so it's tough to say he's trending up. More like his luck is improving a tad, but his pitches still kind of stink. Sheets has been pitching about the same way, giving up 3-4 runs every time out.
Leans: None

Mariners @ Yankees (-145) with a total of 8.5; F. Hernandez vs. J. Vazquez;
Franklin Gutierrez is 4-for-12 with a HR and 2 RBI off Vazquez;
Robinson Cano is 5-for-13 with a HR and 3 RBI off Hernandez;
Curtis Granderson is 9-for-25 with a HR off Hernandez;
Derek Jeter is 5-for-15 off Hernandez;
Mark Teixeira is batting .306 off Hernandez since '05 with 3 HR and 6 RBI.
I guess if we thought yesterday's line was fishy, then today's rewrites that manuscript. Consider Javier Vazquez has seemingly turned a corner and has been pitching at least relatively well throughout the month of June means that the Yankees are always going to get some inflated lines. Today, Felix Hernandez is bringing that number way, way down. He's been dominant this month, going 9 innings in each of his last 2 starts, and has his ERA back down to just 3.28. Neither guy has a strikingly good history against the other team, but at this eerily low number, you have to consider Seattle, don't you?
Leans: Mariners-1

Blue Jays (-120) @ Indians with a total of 9.5; J. Litsch vs. A. Laffey;
This could be ugly, but then again, who knows? Jesse Litsch has been terrible in 2 of his 3 starts, but was brilliant in the other. Aaron Laffey, a lefty sinkerballer, could potentially get lit up by this homer-happy opponent, but if he keeps that pitch down, who knows? It strikes me that there's almost no way this line isn't inflated, so while I would love to take an Over, it's just not that easy, and I'd probably just pass on this one. I know there's a good play wedged in there, but it's not jumping out at me, and there are plenty of other games on the board.
Leans: None

Rays @ Red Sox (-119) with a total of 9.5; M. Garza vs. D. Matsuzaka;
Evan Longoria is 4-for-5 with a HR and 3 RBI off Matsuzaka;
Carlos Pena is 6-for-18 with a HR and 4 RBI off Matsuzaka;
Adrian Beltre was 3-for-10 off Garza before this year, and that's only gotten better.
This game has a huge question mark hanging over it, and that is the performance of Garza. He has solid lifetime numbers against the Red Sox (6-3, 3.36 ERA), but has been both outstanding and bad against them this year. He threw 8 shutout innings here at Fenway back in April, but then struggled in a loss to them at home a month later. He's coming off a decent start against the Padres, but he really hasn't had that electric shut-down effort since April, and that scares me since it could very well surface, here. Daisuke has been getting stronger and stronger, and while he only went 5 innings in Coors, he's clearly getting his confidence back.
Leans: Red Sox-2

White Sox @ Royals (-120) with a total of 7.5; J. Peavy vs. Z. Greinke;
A.J. Pierzynski is 16-for-40 with 2 HR and 4 RBI off Greinke;
Alex Rios is batting .364 with a HR and 4 RBI off Greinke.
We'll obviously see how last night's game turns out shortly, but I'm struck by Peavy's success against the Royals, and similarly, that Greinke really hasn't been that effective against the White Sox. Interestingly, Greinke hasn't faced them this year, despite the teams having played quite a few games to this point. Peavy has seen plenty of KC this year, though, and that definitely gives some confidence that he can perform adequately, again. I know beating a team 3 times is sort of the "magic number," but a great deal of that depends on the situation.
Leans: White Sox-3

Rangers @ Angels (-120) with a total of 9.5; O. Beltre vs. S. Kazmir;
Vlad Guerrero was 4-for-11 off Kazmir wit 2 RBI since '05.
Scott Kazmir stunk his last time out, not able to go 4 innings against the Dodgers in a losing effort. He is, however, quite adept against the Rangers, one of the reasons the Angels keep running his sorry butt out there. He's 6-2 with a 2.37 lifetime mark against Texas, and pitched well enough to win in his one chance this year, giving up 4 runs in 7 innings. Not great, not terrible. This might be a sit-and-watch game, though, with Texas running a rookie out to the hill by the name of Omar Beltre. It's always tough to get a great grip on how a youngster is going to perform in his first start. He has nice numbers in AAA this year, striking out 44 in 38.1 innings, and allowing just a single home run. I'm a little scared to pick a side, I will admit.
Leans: Angels-1
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