Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ice Freaking Cold

Recap: Chronologically, the afternoon Free Play on Angels was "No Action" when Pineiro got scratched, the early evening GOW on Mets is a freaking disaster, and the late evening Free Play on Dodgers hasn't even started, but goodness, after watching Gallardo implode on Tuesday, and Johan Santana have his worst 1st inning in his entire Major League career, well, I just don't feel like waiting around. Good grief.

Today: Short Thursday card, and not a single line currently under -140. No Paid Play today -- if I play anything, it will be posted Free with a unit designation.

Sports Wagering: MLB

Cardinals @ Mets (-140) with a total of 8; B. Hawksworth vs. R. Dickey;
This matchup of starting pitchers looks wildly lopsided, and with the way the Mets play at home, and Dickey's continued success in the face of all naysayers, I find it hard to find good reasons to play the Cards. Hawksworth has walked at least 3 batters in every start he's made except 1, he has just 1 quality start in 7 tries, and he's coming off a 4.1 inning stinker against the Cubbies. Dickey just keeps rolling along. The Cards lineup has enough pop where a knuckler might be just what they need to wake up, but at the same time, Dickey has made, really, just one bad start all year, and it came in Puerto Rico. He seems pretty comfortable in the states. Truthfully, if this game weren't at noon, I'd be more inclined to claim a lean on the Mets. As it stands, these day games can be a real pain.

Braves (-135) @ Nationals with a total of 8.5; D. Lowe vs. S. Olsen;
I'd say there's a pretty darn good reason this line is pretty reasonable. Or maybe a couple reasons, come to think of it. Lowe didn't look good in his one start against Washington, this year, and though his career numbers against them aren't bad (6-5, 3.86 ERA), Christian Guzman and Nyjer Morgan have given him a hard time, and Lowe hasn't had a quality start in any of his last 3 appearances, so he's not really on his game. On top of that, the Braves are struggling to get it done on the road. Olsen, meanwhile, hasn't pitched in months, but was actually off and running on a solid early part to his season. And based on what we've seen from guys coming off the DL, they have one good start on adrenaline, then drop off. I happen to think Washington is a live dog. I'm not sold on betting them, but I wouldn't take the Braves.

Pirates @ Rockies (-290) with a total of 8.5; P. Maholm vs. U. Jimenez;
Out of price, out of mind. Ubaldo has been struggling, but he bounces back here, and I wouldn't touch it.

Marlins @ Giants (-150) with a total of 8; A. Sanchez vs. M. Bumgarner;
There's probably a little line inflation, here, since Bumgarner is definitely good, and he'll have a nice Major League career, but probably not 2.43 ERA good. This game is interesting, if only because Bumgarner has made 5 straight starts on the road. He's keeping hits pretty low, and though he's not a big-time strikeout guy, AT&T Park is a nice place to pitch your home games. I will note, this total seems a little high, considering Alex Sanabia and Jonathan Sanchez sported a total of 8 in yesterday's game, and the first two contests had totals of 6 and 7, and I might argue both starters in this game are better than both, yesterday. Time to see how the money comes in, but with the side this high, that total grabs my attention, for sure.

Dodgers @ Padres (-140) with a total of 6.5; V. Padilla vs. M. Latos;
I guess the question in this one, a late afternoon game on the West coast, is whether either team will ever score a run? I can't believe that 6.5 actually looks high to me on the total, but with the way these guys have thrown on the year, for Latos, or lately, for Padilla, if this game has more than 4 runs in the 7th inning I'll be blown away. The Dodgers have been winning a ton of low-scoring games, or at the very least, playing a ton of them, and Petco is notorious for those. Obviously, I wish this line was at 7, but goodness. Padilla is 2-1 with a 3.23 ERA against the Padres, and is on a run of 6 straight quality starts. Latos is 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA against the Dodgers, but hasn't faced them this year. The Padres are trying to go easy on their young gun, so he probably won't go more than 6-7 innings, if that, but that Padres pen isn't a dropoff, at all. Considering the number of runs, too, you have to think that a big dog is at least a value play.

D'backs @ Phillies (-170) with a total of 9.5; J. Saunders vs. K. Kendrick;
I was all set to drop the "out of price" line, but then I was struck with the idea of an AL pitcher heading to the National League, and facing a bunch of guys, not necessarily for the first time, but maybe the 2nd time, and first in a while. Raul Ibanez has hit Saunders hard, and Placido Polanco has a few ABs, but otherwise, Saunders has the edge, and is 1-0 against the Phillies over his career. Kendrick has no record against Arizona, but does sport an ERA of 6.23. I know the Phils are streaking, so you'd have to have some significant stones to back the D'backs (and yes, that was a terrible, short-lived Diamondbacks "theme song" a couple years back; I kid you not, check it out, it was awful), but I wouldn't dare touch the Phils against a cat making his first NL start.

Tigers @ Rays (-245) with a total of 8; R. Porcello vs. D. Price;
Out of price, out of mind.

Yankees (-150) @ Indians with a total of 8; D. Moseley vs. M. Talbot;
I'm getting tired of being disappointed with Talbot. I thought we had a sweet underdog the last time he pitched, he struck out 5 in the first 2 innings, sailed right along, and then all of a sudden, the wheels came off, and that's plagued him a bit. Talbot has had so many solid outings that are 1 terrible inning away from being gems, and the Yankees are definitely a team that can put up a crooked number if a pitcher lets his guard down. I know this looks like a short line, but the Indians are getting some credit, and Moseley is one of the few guys the Yankees could put on the hill that won't drive a ton of money. The Yankees, believe it or not, are not a bad deal.

Athletics @ Rangers (-200) with a total of 8.5; V. Mazzaro vs. C. Wilson;
Out of price, out of mind. Yeah, this one I went through with - Mazzaro has been solid, but Texas is just a tad strong to consider this big dog.

Orioles @ Royals (-140) with a total of 9.5; B. Matusz vs. K. Davies;
I still find it interesting that Davies is one of the biggest money makers in the entire League, at +9 units. Remarkable, really. That being said, he's 2-1 with a 6.65 ERA against the Orioles in his career, even though the current crop hasn't seen much of him or really hit him too hard. Davies went 6 innings of 2-run ball against Baltimore in a road win back on May 17, so he's taken care of them once already, this year. Matusz has had a wildly inconsistent first full year, and his 3-11 record are both indicative of pitching for an awful team, and also having some downright ugly performances. I'm horrified of backing Matusz, especially with the way the Royals can collect base hits against lefties, but at the same time, should Davies ever be a -140 favorite?

Mariners @ White Sox (-165) with a total of 8.5; D. Pauley vs. F. Garcia;
I wrote down the names and line, and was all set to talk about how the Mariners are a nice value at this price, and then I looked at the numbers. Garcia is coming off an horrid start, and I love fading a pitcher trending down, but I generally don't like fading a pitcher coming off one of his worst starts of the year, especially a veteran. Garcia is in a trademark bounceback spot, as his arm is fully rested, and on top of that, the Mariners can't hit to save their lives. David Pauley has gotten off to a decent run as a starter, but to no one's surprise, he doesn't have a win to show for it. Seattle has been a huge disappointment, and I'm going to go ahead and put a large portion of the blame on Chone Figgins. Did anyone really think this guy was going to move from Anaheim and completely forget how to play baseball? His speed seems to be down, his excitement is gone, he can't hit, and the Mariners should just sell low and get rid of his bad attitude. And this is a roster with Milton Bradley on it! Heck, while you're at it, dump Jose Lopez, too. Just blow things up, keep Ichiro and Franklin Gutierrez, and call up your triple-A team for the rest of the roster spots.

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