Saturday, July 03, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

Recap: Game of the Week WINNER! I was out most of the day, so I didn't get to see how it unfolded, but the Texas Rangers took care of business, bringing home a nice 2* to move July back in the right direction! We gave a tiny bit back on a small Free totals play (Phi/Pit Under), but a decidedly positive day, landing our big fish, and rolling into July 4th with a pocket full of momentum.

Today: It's a day for celebration, and a day that we're not going to just keep building on the winning June, and of course, yesterday's Game of the Week cashing spree. That being said, we're going with a pretty standard day of wagering - Top Play coming over at the Pro Page, and we'll see about digging up a Freebie! Also, due to time constraints, and holiday celebration, this blog will include write-ups only on games with "short" sides.

Sports Wagering: MLB

National League

Mets (-115) @ Nationals with a total of 8.5; H. Takahashi vs. C. Stammen;
This line has already made an initial move towards the Nationals, rare for that to happen this early, but so it goes, and I'd say there's some interesting reasons why. They are not so much in the historical numbers, as Takahashi has no record and a 0.00 ERA against the Nats, while Stammen is 1-2 with a 5.24 ERA against the Mets, but instead, in the recent play. Takahashi has allowed 6 runs in each of his last 2 starts, a classic downward trend, while Stammen has pitched very, very well over his last 2 starts. Stammen didn't pitch well against the Mets earlier this year, which makes this a tough one for me to back, but it's Nats or nothin', that's for sure.
Leans: Nationals-2

Phillies (-130) @ Pirates with a total of 8.5; J. Blanton vs. J. Karstens;
This line is strikingly low, given the two teams involved, and given that the Phillies just blasted the Pirates yesterday behind a solid outing from Kyle Kendrick and some offensive fireworks. Blanton is rounding into form, of late, and he's 1-0 with a 1.77 ERA against the Pirates. Looks like the no-brainer of the century, doesn't it? I'm not convinced. Karstens has been surprisingly reliable over the last month or so, and his 1.50 ERA against the Phillies could potentially bear itself out off yesterday's Maholm disaster.
Leans: None

Brewers @ Cardinals (-156) with a total of 7; Y. Gallardo vs. A. Wainwright.
Leans: Cardinals-1

Reds @ Cubs (-130) with a total of N/A; M. Leake vs. T. Lilly;
I will admit, this line feels a little high, given the way that Leake has pitched against the Cubbies so far this year, 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA in two starts. Lilly is just 2-6 lifetime against the Reds, posting a 4.06 ERA in the process. Of course, on the flip side, Leake has been trending down over his last 4 starts, aside from one good outing against the punchless A's, and Lilly, after getting rocked by the Halos, has bounced back with 2 strong starts against the weak-hitting Mariners and Pirates. Tough to say how these guys perform in a July 4 day game.
Leans: None

Giants @ Rockies (-120) with a total of 8; M. Cain vs. J. Hammel;
Cain has been an absolute beast against the Rockies this season, giving up just a single earned run in 16 innings of work over 2 starts. He's 10-6 lifetime against Colorado with a 2.96 ERA, and Ryan Spilborghs is really the only Rockie with significant success against him. Just about everyone else has been completely dominated. Hammel continues his resurgence, though his last couple starts are a little less impressive. I will note, though, that both of these guys are trending down a tad, and I wonder if the Giants offensive explosion was a flash in the pan or a sign of things to come in that game yesterday.
Leans: Giants-1

Astros @ Padres (-165) with a total of 7; B. Myers vs. W. LeBlanc.;
Leans: None

Dodgers @ D'backs (-115) with a total of 9.5; C. Billingsley vs. D. Haren;
We'll keep this write-up short and sweet. Haren has faced the Dodgers 3 times this year, and the D'backs have lost all 3 of those games. I just cannot imagine a great pitcher like Haren getting beat 4 times by the same team, before the All Star Break. Billingsley has looked very human against the D'backs, and there's no way they can play as poorly as they did yesterday, again, today. 6 errors? Come on. This one has a shot of going over the total, I believe, and Manny Ramirez is a key cog in the Dodgers wheel of success against the D'backs ace.
Leans: D'backs-3

Marlins @ Braves (-185) with a total of 8; R. Nolasco vs. T. Hudson.
Leans: None

American League

Mariners (-125) @ Tigers with a total of 7; C. Lee vs. J. Bonderman;
The Tigers have actually enjoyed some success against Lee throughout the years, and they've certainly seen him enough, courtesy of his time with the Indians. Lee is 5-9 with a 4.76 ERA against Detroit, and I wonder if Bonderman doesn't just follow up the work of Scherzer and Verlander with a more finesse outing in this one. Bonderman has faced Seattle twice this year, getting absolutely crushed in April, then coming back with a splendid outing in May. Weird, I'd say, to face the same team 3 times, from another division, but hey, it is what it is. Lee is coming off 3 straight complete games, so you have to wonder how much he's got in that tank, don't you?
Leans: Tigers-3

Athletics @ Indians (-140) with a total of 8.5; V. Mazzaro vs. F. Carmona;
I think this game could end up being closer than folks might think. At first glance, Carmona would appear to be the huge superior in this one but Mazzaro seems to be ramping up, finding a groove, and is coming off a very nice start against the Orioles. The Indians can hit a bit better than Baltimore, but Mazzaro has that ERA down to 4.25 on the season, and there's no reason to think a quality start is out of the question. Carmona is only 3-3 with a 5.87 lifetime ERA against Oakland, though he did blast them earlier this season with 7+ innings of solid stuff.
Leans: None

Blue Jays @ Yankees (-210) with a total of 9; B. Morrow vs. P. Hughes.
Leans: None

Orioles @ Red Sox (-210) with a total of 9.5; B. Matusz vs. J. Lackey.
Leans: None

Rays (-120) @ Twins with a total of 9.5; J. Shields vs. N. Blackburn;
This has been a wild series, and I'm glad I haven't had money on any of these teams so far. Of course, maybe today's the day? Shields continues to struggle like crazy, and the Rays have lost his last 7 consecutive starts dating back to May. He's 2-1 against Minnesota, but has a 5.15 ERA against the Twins, and the usual suspects have hit him awfully hard (Cuddyer, Kubel, Mauer...not as much, Morneau, but a little). Blackburn is a total mess on the road, and only a partial mess at home. I think there's some value in the tiny dog as the Twins look for the split.
Leans: Twins-3

White Sox @ Rangers (-150) with a total of 10.5; M. Buerhle vs. S. Feldman.
Leans: White Sox-1

Royals @ Angels (-177) with a total of 9; A. Lerew vs. J. Pineiro.
Leans: None

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