Thursday, July 01, 2010

Man, the Giants Stink

Recap: Well, I suppose an 0-1 day had to happen eventually, and I didn't do the Bebe crew any favors by taking a shot on a decent sized dog, but it is what it is. In retrospect, the Giants just weren't playing well enough to make that cut, but given Aaron Cook's horrid history against San Francisco, especially at Coors, I really felt we'd get a better offensive performance, and we just simply did not. The Giants are a complete mess right now, and should not be backed until they show some kind of fire. I don't apologize when a team loses (as evidenced by the Marlins ridiculous loss earlier this week), but I will apologize for this one. I gave the Giants more credit than they deserved, and that just wasn't my best call.

Today: Let's get right back to winning! We had 3 straight winning days before going 0-1 yesterday, so why not start a new 3-day winning streak (or more!) today? That's right, there's no reason "why not." And perhaps I should remind everyone, June started with a losing day, too, and turned into our best baseball month of the season by many, many units. So, with that in mind, Friday Best Bet will be up and loaded no later than about 3:30pm ET (probably earlier), and we'll see if anything makes the cut for a Freebie or two!

Sports Wagering: MLB

National League

Reds @ Cubs (-130) with a total of N/A; B. Arroyo vs. R. Dempster;
Orlando Cabrera is 4-for-6 off Dempster between '05 and '09;
Ramon Hernandez was 3-for-6 with a HR and 3 RBI between '05 and '09;
Scott Rolen was 3-for-8 with 2 RBI between '05 and '09;
Marlon Byrd is 3-for-8 with a HR and 3 RBI off Arroyo;
Mike Fontenot is 3-for-6 with a HR and 2 RBI off Arroyo;
Xavier Nady is 6-for-19 with a HR and 4 RBI off Arroyo.
Just a ton of player matchup data, and even a tiny bit more coming from Dempster's one start against Cincinnati earlier this year, in which he allowed 5 runs in 7 innings. Arroyo hasn't faced Chicago in 2010, but he is a solid 7-6 with a 3.06 ERA against the Cubbies prior to this year. Dempster is just 4-5 with a 4.18 ERA against the Reds, though his start this year did raise that number just a tad from its pre-2010 number. The Reds are a live dog, but not necessarily a winning one.
Leans: Reds-2

Mets (-120) @ Nationals with a total of 9; J. Niese vs. L. Atilano;
This line is a little on the low side, and it's our job to determine if it's low because the Nats are poised to snatch one from the Mets, or if it's low because the world still doesn't know about Jon Niese. I happen to think it's a little of both. If the world truly knew Jon Niese, even a "fishy" line would still be a little more chalky than this, since we're really one large bet away from getting this thing down near standard juice. Niese has a 12.46 ERA against the Nats in his brief career, but then, Luis Atilano has a 5.59 ERA against the Mets. I believe this line is heavily relying on the Nats winning some games at home, and Atilano continuing his recent upward trend, off 2 good starts in a row. The Mets look a bit too easy, to me.
Leans: Nationals-2

Phillies (-170) @ Pirates with a total of 9; J. Moyer vs. R. Ohlendorf;
Ohlendorf has been serviceable, but honestly, I just don't feel like there's truly enough reason to enjoy this one from a betting standpoint. Jamie Moyer is on a run of 3 straight strong outings, though he's just 2-1 with a 4.30 ERA lifetime against the Pirates. Very few decisions against this club, all things considered. Too expensive to back the Phils, and not enough reason to back the Pirates when they're not playing a team named the Cubs.
Leans: None

Marlins (-135) @ Braves with a total of 7; J. Johnson vs. K. Medlen;
Josh Johnson is just scary-good, posting, now, a 1.83 ERA on the season. Wow. Kris Medlen is having a nice season of his own, 5-1 with a 3.15 ERA, and the Braves just seem to win when he's on the mound. The Marlins haven't seen much of Medlen, outside of relief work, so tough to go on any data, there, and on the other side, the Braves have seen plenty of Johnson, but no one on the team has had consistent success. Johnson is 4-2 with a 2.74 ERA against the Braves. This total looks low, but I think it's about right, and I just wonder if the Marlins can keep hitting outside of Puerto Rico. If they do, this could be an easy win. If not, chalk on the road, with a poor team is a little dicey.
Leans: Marlins-2

Giants (-125) @ Rockies with a total of 8; T. Lincecum vs. J. Chacin;
Todd Helton is 9-for-19 off Lincecum with a HR and 2 RBI;
Chris Iannetta was 6-for-12 with a HR and 4 RBI off Lincecum.
I'll tell ya, on paper, this looks like a no-brainer, doesn't it? Tim Lincecum as just a -125 price tag? And honestly, it might just be, given that the Giants were cold as ice coming into Colorado, and the series-opener is far from over when this line came out. So, this line is based largely on Lincecum, but also largely on the Giants' struggles. On top of that, Chacin made his first start of 2010 against the Giants, and shut them out for 7 innings. Lincecum also got hit hard by the Rockies when he faced them earlier this year. This one is, to me, much more complicated that folks are going to say. I'd leave it alone.
Leans: None

Brewers @ Cardinals (-185) with a total of 8.5; C. Narveson vs. J. Garcia;
This game is only intriguing because you have Narveson, a bad pitcher coming off a tremendous start, and Garcia, a pitcher that had been nearly unhittable, coming off an awful start. Does that trend continue? It might be worth a very small play based on that alone. Of course, the Cards are pretty tough at home, so that's a point of concern, but the Brewers have been better on the road than at home this year, so perhaps that nullifies things a tad.
Leans: Brewers-1

Dodgers @ D'backs (-110) with a total of 9.5; H. Kuroda vs. E. Jackson;
REMATCH ALERT! This one is sort of a modified rematch, since they did square off on May 12, but have faced the other TEAM one other time, if that makes sense. First, Kuroda went 7 innings and gave up 3 runs (2 earned) in a 6-5 win over Dan Haren back on April 15. Next, the two did battle, Kuroda gave up 3 runs (again, 2 earned) in 7.1 innings of a 6-3 win over Jackson, who allowed all 6 runs in 6.2 innings. Finally, Jackson faced Carlos Monasterios in one of the crazy low-scoring games in LA in early June, and his 9 shutout innings weren't enough, as the Dodgers won 1-0 in extras. Jackson, as we know, is coming off the most ridiculous no-hitter in recent memory, walking the house, and throwing almost 400 pitches in the process. He was given 2 extra days to rest his arm, but with the Dodgers record against the NL West, Kuroda's success against the D'backs, and Jackson's "bonus" credibility with the public, this seems like our last chance to get a good price on the Dodgers.
Leans: Dodgers-3

Astros @ Padres (-175) with a total of 6; R. Oswalt vs. M. Latos;
Adrian Gonzalez is 6-for-15 off Oswalt with 2 HR and 6 RBI since '05.
How many people thought Roy Oswalt would be a huge dog to Mat Latos in July of this year? Oswalt, mind you, is 10-2 with a 2.74 lifetime ERA against the Padres, and Latos has made one start against the Astros in his career. Oswalt actually beat San Diego earlier this season with 8 innings of 3-run ball, but that might not be enough this time, in Petco. Mat Latos went 8 shutout innings against the Astros when these teams faced off, allowing just 2 hits in that one, and his stuff is just frightening. Latos, as a result, has one of the best WHIPs in baseball, and that's why we're not going against him, even at this inflated number.
Leans: None

American League

Blue Jays @ Yankees (-150) with a total of 10; B. Cecil vs. A. Burnett;
REMATCH ALERT! This one is a fun one, since Brett Cecil actually dominated the Yankees, and Burnett, when these guys faced off back on June 4. Cecil went 8 innings and allowed a single run, while Burnett, who has to be just pleased as punch that June is over, allowed 6 runs in 6 innings. I just wonder if we missed our chance to fade Burnett. This line is low, but it's low because of everything going on with A.J. Brett Cecil, by the way, is on a run of 3 straight terrible starts, and that's why we're seeing a total of 10 here, a full run higher than the last time these guys met in a game that ended with 7 total runs, and went under. How about that, huh?
Leans: Blue Jays-2, Over-1

Athletics (-125) @ Indians with a total of 8; G. Gonzalez vs. M. Talbot;
Gio Gonzalez is a rock solid 2-0 with a 1.62 ERA against the Indians in his short Big League career, but let's remember how much better he is at home versus on the road. Mitch Talbot has never faced the A's, but is coming off back-to-back strong starts, on the road, against two good teams in Philadelphia and Cincinnati. With Talbot trending up, and Gio Gonzalez looking positively human on the road (5.44 road ERA versus close to 2 at home), I actually think that the Indians are a very healthy canine in this one. I also like that Oakland's pen has been worse on the road, and Indians offense is super-streaky, and they pitched and hit well against the Blue Jays.
Leans: Indians-3

Mariners @ Tigers (-145) with a total of 8.5; D. Fister vs. M. Scherzer;
Jack Wilson is 2-for-4 off Scherzer;
Johnny Damon is 3-for-7 off Fister.
Well, I suppose this is about as good as it's going to get. Some of the best money out there comes from fading the Tigers on the road, but there's a reason those lines are still so nice, and it's because Detroit wins games at home. Scherzer's been pitching much better since his return from the Minors, and while he doesn't go that deep in games (too many strikeouts and walks), he's keeping the Tigers in almost every start, and while Detroit isn't winning all of them, he's been decent both at home and on the road. Fister looked crummy in his first start off the disabled list, and I fear he may be in for more trouble. Can we afford Detroit at this price, though?
Leans: Tigers-2

Orioles @ Red Sox (-240) with a total of 10.5; B. Bergesen vs. T. Wakefield;
Miguel Tejada is 12-for-27 with a HR and 4 RBI off Wakefield since '05;
Marco Scutaro is 3-for-6 with 2 RBI off Bergesen.
Interestingly, Brad Bergesen is 3-4 with a 6.83 ERA on the season, but he's 1-1 with a 3.79 ERA against the Red Sox in his career. So, he tends to pitch alright against them. Still, these are the Orioles, and even though Wakefield has been a huge disappointment this year, they are the injured Red Sox. This line is way out of our league on a favorite, and I'm not about to start backing the Orioles indiscriminately, not in a game they probably won't win, even if the price is decent.
Leans: None

White Sox @ Rangers (-185) with a total of 9.5; F. Garcia vs. C. Lewis;
REMATCH ALERT! How's this for a surprising rematch? Did you think Freddy Garcia and Colby Lewis had really faced off? I can tell you I forgot about it. In any case, Garcia won the early match, a tight ballgame that ended 4-3 in favor of the Pale Hose. Garcia gave up 3 runs (2 earned) in 7 strong innings. In that same game, Colby Lewis gave up 4 runs in 6.1 innings, so it was all decided by the starters. The White Sox are definitely equilibrating off that long win streak, and while they might look like a nice deal at this price, I'm not sure it's the right time to take a shot on 'em.
Leans: None

Rays (-122) @ Twins with a total of 8; D. Price vs. S. Baker;
Carl Crawford is 3-for-7 with a HR off Baker;
Evan Longoria is 4-for-6 with a HR and 4 RBI off Baker.
David Price is 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA against the Twins, and 11-3 with a 2.44 ERA on the season. I know the Rays haven't exactly been dominant lately after a strong start, but Scott Baker is 1-2 with a 5.30 ERA against Tampa Bay in his career, and as you can see, Evan Longoria has hit him very, very hard. Baker's been struggling and Price has not, and I know it's the public side, given the way the Rays have been playing and the big name of their starting pitcher, but I really think this is a nice Price tag (rim shot time, here). Okay, lame puns aside, this line is low because of the Rays weak recent play, not some sort of trap.
Leans: Rays-3

Royals @ Angels (-165) with a total of 9; K. Davies vs. J. Saunders;
Alberto Callaspo is 3-for-6 off Saunders with an RBI;
Jose Guillen is 5-for-10 off Saunders since '05;
Torii Hunter is 5-for-15 with a HR and 4 RBI off Davies.
This is too expensive to back Saunders, and not enough reason to back Davies. Saunders is 3-0 against Kansas City, and Davies is 1-1 with a 4.80 ERA against the Angels, not to mention 4-6 with a 6.06 ERA on the season. I know the Royals can hit, and they very well much tough Saunders up for some runs. I also know their pen has been tremendous, lately, but it's just not worth venturing into this one, to me.
Leans: None

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