Sunday, June 06, 2010

Well On Its Way to Seven Games

A nice multi-sport Sunday led to yet another winning day!

We got things kicked off right with an EASY underdog winner, as the Royals pummeled Jeremy Bonderman and the Tigers and picked up yet another series win against Detroit. The Royals just have a ton of confidence when playing against the Tigers, and yesterday's starting pitcher match-up worked out perfectly for a +115, 7-2 victory.

The evening play on the Lakers-Celtics Under...

Sports Wagering: MLB

National League

Cubs (-155) @ Pirates with a total of 8.5; C. Silva vs. D. Eveland;
With the way the Cubs keep shifting starters around, this one probably won't even be Silva by the early morning. But, assuming it is, you have to think Chicago has its best chance to finally put together a couple wins against the Pirates. Dana Eveland has been just incredibly bad, and after all we heard about his new mindset, Eveland's stuff is still the same. Carlos Silva is 7-0 on the season, and 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA against Pittsburgh, but we've all seen how the Cubs play against Pittsburgh this season. I'd love to fade Eveland, especially with the consistency we've seen from Silva, but until the Cubs look like they have any prayer of figuring out the Pirates, that isn't going to happen.
Leans: None

Padres @ Phillies (-180) with a total of 9; W. LeBlanc vs. C. Hamels;
David Eckstein is 3-for-6 with an RBI off Hamels;
Scott Hairston is 4-for-10 with 2 HR and 3 RBI off Hamels;
Chase Headley is 3-for-9 with 2 RBI off Hamels.
Hamels is 3-1 with a 3.35 ERA against the Padres, and while Scott Hairston continues to mash lefties, this series has been decidedly Phils-friendly. The Padres finally got themselves a close one yesterday, and managed to squeak it out in extra-innings, but it's really taking some powerhouse efforts for them to keep up. And that's just the thing for San Diego - they are going to win close games, and they can keep games close with about 85% of the teams in the MLB, but when they go head-to-head with the better offensive teams, even one in a slump, they have some issues. Hamels is having a better 2010, though his last rain-shortened start didn't help his ERA. LeBlanc hasn't looked that great lately, and while he pitched well enough against the Mets, it seems like teams are starting to figure out his new delivery and new pitch selection.
Leans: None

Giants @ Reds (-130) with a total of 8; B. Zito vs. J. Cueto;
Freddy Sanchez is 4-for-12 off Cueto;
Brandon Phillips is 4-for-10 off Zito with an RBI.
I desperately want to find a way to fade Barry Zito, since I still feel like he's overvalued, and the Giants remain a huge question mark on the road, but recent trends make me a tad nervous. Zito is coming off a very strong start against the Rockies. Yes, he always pitches well against Colorado, and his lifetime 3-2 record and 7.13 ERA against the Reds makes me think that the Colorado start didn't mean a great deal, but he should, at least, have some confidence. Cueto, on the other hand, has never started against the Giants, and is coming off an outing where he gave up 8 runs to the Cardinals. Cueto's having a solid year, and the Reds are getting the job done day in and day out. This one is a tougher call than it should be.
Leans: Reds-2

Astros @ Rockies (-170) with a total of 9; W. Rodriguez vs. J. Hammel;
Michael Bourn is 4-for-7 off Hammel with 1 RBI;
Todd Helton is 11-for-22 with 5 RBI off Rodriguez;
Ryan Spilborghs is 5-for-13 with a HR and 2 RBI off Rodriguez.
Hammel is 1-1 with a 2.19 ERA against the Astros, and Wandy Rodriguez continues to struggle through 2010, going 3-7 so far, and a terribly 5.07 ERA on top of that. Rodriguez is coming off one of his better starts, going 5 innings and allowing 1 run to the Nationals, but can we really call that a turning point? Wandy's been just fine at Coors in his career, posting an ERA in the 3's, but I just can't quite trust him enough, especially with Hammel trending up.
Leans: None

Braves @ Diamondbacks (-123) with a total of 9; D. Lowe vs. D. Haren;
Melky Cabrera is 4-for-10 off Haren;
Omar Infante is 4-for-9 off Haren;
Brian McCann is 3-for-8 with a HR and 3 RBI off Haren;
Nate McLouth is 3-for-6 with a HR and 2 RBI off Haren;
Stephen Drew is 15-for-31 with a HR off Lowe;
Mark Reynolds is 7-for-22 with 4 RBI off Lowe;
Justin Upton is 5-for-8 off Lowe.
This is an odd match-up, as the D'backs tend to play the Braves relatively tough, and Arizona appears to have regained some sort of offensive stroke since returning home off a miserable roadie. The Braves come to town, still pretty hot, though not quite as blindingly hot as when they left home, themselves. Atlanta is coming off a pretty tough series with the Dodgers, so I wonder if they're in any kind of letdown spot. Still, Derek Lowe has a career 3.68 ERA against the D'backs, and Haren has an ugly career 6.44 ERA against the Braves, and that makes Atlanta look a little tempting.
Leans: Braves-3

Cardinals @ Dodgers with a total of N/A; P. Walters vs. C. Monasterios;
No data, here, but we can assume the Dodgers are going to be reasonable favorites with St. Louis sending a no-name to the hill. Walters is coming off an ugly outing, and the Dodgers can really hit, so the question lies with how these teams handle the head-to-head battle. The Cardinals have had the Dodgers number in the regular season for quite some time, though LA has been able to take care of the Cards in the Playoffs, so who has the edge? I guess every year is a new year, but I'm not sure I feel comfortable backing the Dodgers against a team that just rolls into LA and always plays extra hard. Let's wait on some lines, here, and then reassess, but I have a feeling the value of backing a middle reliever-turned-starter for LA is just not going to be all that great.
Leans: Dodgers-1

American League

Red Sox (-155) @ Indians with a total of 9; D. Matsuzaka vs. F. Carmona;
David Ortiz is 4-for-8 with a HR and 4 RBI off Carmona;
Marco Scutaro is 7-for-18 off Carmona;
Jason Varitek is 3-for-6 off Carmona;
Travis Hafner is 3-for-8 off Matsuzaka.
This is a rather short line for the Red Sox on the road, but I suppose Daisuke is the reason. Matsuzaka seems to be alternating decent starts and bad ones, and if we go on that trend, today would be a bad one. I offered the thought that perhaps Daisuke's arm is just not strong enough to start every 5 days and go deep in the game. I don't know if it's still arm fatigue, but that would point us to Carmona. There are plenty of notes pointing us away from Carmona, though, including his 1-2 record against Boston, 5.94 ERA against Boston, and his usual inability to go deep in the ballgame. Still, laying -155 on the road with a guy on pace for a bad start is obviously the worse of the two evils.
Leans: Indians-1

Mariners (-130) @ Rangers with a total of 8.5; C. Lee vs. S. Feldman;
Franklin Gutierrez is 4-for-10 with 3 RBI off Feldman;
Josh Hamilton is 4-for-10 off Lee;
Ian Kinsley is 7-for-13 with 5 RBI off Lee;
Michael Young is 6-for-20 with 2 RBI off Lee.
Prior to going 7 shutout innings against Texas earlier this season, the Rangers had been a team that had given Cliff Lee all kinds of issues in his career. He has a career 9.19 ERA at Rangers Ballpark at Arlington, and given his lifetime 6.15 ERA against Texas, it's easy to see that he's been significantly worse down in Texas than he was against the Rangers elsewhere. So, this is a fade spot for an ace. But what about the other cat? Scott Feldman has been a disaster this year, but he did pitch well against Seattle back in April, and I wonder if he can't harness some of that again here, with the Rangers really hitting well on this homestand so far. He's 3-1 with a 2.67 ERA against the Mariners.
Leans: Rangers-3

Angels @ Athletics (-125) with a total of 8.5; S. Kazmir vs. B. Sheets;
Jack Cust is 4-for-12 off Kazmir.
Alright, this is a tough one. Any time you're handicapping a pitcher with a ceiling as high as Kazmir, but whose performances have been nothing short of unbearable, there's always the possibility he comes out and throws a gem. Kazmir is, in fact, coming off a pretty decent start against the Royals. His leash is shorter than most Angels starters, considering how much he's stunk, but with an upward trend and a lifetime 8-3, 2.96 mark against Oakland, this is certainly a team that he COULD potentially have success against. Sheets made his first start of 2010 against the Angels, and gave a quality outing, nothing more. He's been relatively consistent, lately, good enough to beat a bad Kazmir, but not good enough to beat a lights out version of Kazmir.
Leans: Angels-1

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