Friday, July 23, 2010

Some Enchanted Evening Blog

Recap: I'm teetering on the brink of a rant, but I'll save my hatred for batters like Mark Reynolds for a podcast. At least Adam Dunn is batting in the high .200's and walks all the time - Reynolds strikes out so often it's disgusting. Those who enjoy Bebe rants, get ready for a good one early next week. But the news from yesterday was quite the mixed bag: the D'backs completely bungled another one, giving up 2 runs on throwing errors, and another run on a misplayed fly ball; the Marlins had a 5-4 lead going into the 9th inning, blew the lead in the top half to trail 6-5, then scored twice off Billy Wagner to win, 7-6; and the Tigers game was postponed.

Today: A few people got jobbed out of the Tigers play, yesterday, and I'm trying to figure out how to account for it. If yesterday was just one Top Play, the solution would be simple, but folks still got a play in the Top Play Package from yesterday. I think a fair move would be for me to email Pregame support, and ask for everyone that bought yesterday's package to get something like 9 Pregame bucks in their account, since the Package was $18, and half got canceled by rain. So, I'll do that right now, and hopefully you'll see the $9 in your account within the next 24 hours to be spent however you like. Fair?

Also, due to time constraints, I'm going to break down just the games with relatively short lines and start times in the evening. Let's rock!

Sports Wagering: MLB

National League

Reds (-120) @ Astros with a total of 7; J. Cueto vs. R. Oswalt;
We'll get this blog kicked off with a 7pm ET start time down in Houston between two quality starting pitchers. Johnny Cueto is 9-2 this year with an impressive 3.39 ERA. Roy Oswalt is a rather malodorous 6-11 on the season, but his ERA is just 3.12, and scouts are saying his fastball is as good as it's ever been. Roy is 23-2 in his career against the Reds, and I wonder how much play that stat gets with the public. It's a pretty obvious stat, but at the same time, the Reds are a significantly stronger public play due to their record and all the attention they're getting. Cueto, too, is 0-4 against the 'Stros, so he's never beaten them. This game is, in my opinion, a not-so-rare occurrence in handicapping where the line move and bet percentage numbers might actually mean more than the player stats.

Nationals @ Brewers (-124) with a total of 10; J. Martin vs. M. Parra;
This line is rather low, but then, Manny Parra isn't very good. He's 1-1 with an ERA approaching 7 against the Nats, so not much is expected of him. On the other side, J.D. Martin, who has been more or less "okay" this year, is 0-2 with a 6.39 ERA against the Brewers, is getting a fair amount of credit, and I have to admit, I'm surprised. Both of these guys are coming off absolutely hideous starts, so the question is whether you believe either guy can bounce back. The total suggests they won't. I'd rather let this one pass us by.

Braves @ Marlins (-110) with a total of 8.5; K. Medlen vs. A. Sanchez;
This line is rather cheap, as well, but this one is probably more justified than yesterday's eerily Marlins-heavy line with Sanabia on the hill. Today, Anibal Sanchez is certainly a bigger name, and Kris Medlen is a lesser name, and somehow, this line is exactly the same as yesterday's, maybe even lower on the opening line. I can't help but think that this one is fair, as a result. So, who do you like? Medlen shut down the Marlins at home shortly before the Break, and Sanchez hasn't really put up spectacular numbers against the Braves, but as we saw last night, Atlanta is just a little shakier on the road. Here's the bottom line - Atlanta finds ways to win games that Medlen starts, and he's 6-2 this year, as a result. I like how Florida is playing with guts right now, but I'm not certain guts is enough.

Giants (-119) @ D'backs with a total of 9; M. Bumgarner vs. I. Kennedy;
This is a fun little match-up of quality young pitchers, though Bumgarner is certainly the more heralded of the two. Kennedy is coming off a nice first start of the post-Break run, but still isn't going too deep in games, and I wonder if his arm is just getting a little tuckered out. Bumgarner's arm is fine. He gave up 4 runs in each of his first 2 starts, but hasn't allowed more than 1 earned run in any of his last 3. Arizona's bats did a slightly better job last night of getting runners on base, but just couldn't get the big hit, and strikeouts, as usual, were the kiss of death. Bumgarner is not a strikeout guy, so I do worry just a tad that Arizona putting the ball in play could be bad for Bumgarner. Kennedy has pitched well against the Giants twice this year, already, so even if the D'backs only get 5 strong innings, that'll still keep them in the game.

American League

Twins (-134) @ Orioles with a total of 9; S. Baker vs. B. Matusz;
So, which struggling pitcher do you like more, or less, I guess? Well, amazingly, Scott Baker actually likes facing the Orioles. This should be a nice test for him, though. He's been in steady decline this year, the ERA up to 5.15 now, but he did go 8 innings of stellar 1-run ball against Baltimore back home in May. In that same series, Matusz got spanked by the Twins, and he's coming off an ugly start against the Jays 6 days ago. While Guthrie had a decent history with Minnesota, Matusz most certainly does not, and if ever there were a time that we could get a a struggling Baker at a cheap price and it might actually pan out, this could be that square play.

Angels @ Rangers (-124) with a total of 10.5; E. Santana vs. S. Feldman;
I'll be frank, I was hoping to see a slightly lower total, and it might come down a tiny bit considering the shortage of runs in last night's game. Still, Santana is 6-8 with a 6.06 ERA against Texas in his career, and Michael Young has just murdered him, and Feldman is 4-5 with a 5.54 ERA against the Halos, and Mike Napoli has pushed him around something fierce. This one has high-scoring written all over it, and as a result, that total is all kinds of inflated. The side is definitely tipped towards the Rangers thanks to how they've been beating on teams, but Feldman remains one of my favorite spot-fades. You know he's going to give up a few runs, and if you can get a better-than-average performance from the other starter, you're in great shape. Sadly, Santana hasn't faced the Rangers this year, and the Angels are falling farther and farther behind.

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