Saturday, August 28, 2010

Booya

Recap: Coming soon!

Today: I think this might be my first ever TWO-for-ONE Sunday! Don't quote me on that, but I think that's the case. Even if it isn't, we're rockin' along, 1.5 weeks into what I like to call the Bebe Winning Stretch Run, with the end goal being to post a winning mark every week from that point forward. So far, so good. Let's nab some big money plays with this special TWO PLAYS for ONE PRICE (just 18 bucks) Sunday package!

Due to my travel situation, this blog will include a breakdown of some key games, but not the entire betting card.

Sports Wagering: MLB

National League

Marlins (-115) @ Braves with a total of 7.5; J. Johnson vs. D. Lowe;
This line feels low, and I'm digging away, trying to figure out why, exactly, Johnson is available at such a cheap price. The best reason I can think of is that, over his last few starts, Johnson has been fairly hittable. Sure, he put together a strong effort against the Pirates, but that team can't hit double-A pitching. Outside of that game, Johnson had a decent start against the Cardinals, and fared poorly against the Padres, Reds, and Mets. The Braves, a good home team that's struggling a bit, are certainly capable. The slump, though, makes Johnson viable once again. On top of that, Johnson is 4-2 with a 2.64 ERA against Atlanta, and Lowe, while 6-3, has a 4.98 ERA against the Marlins (including a rather ugly effort this year).

Dodgers @ Rockies (-115) with a total of 8.5; T. Lilly vs. J. Hammel;
Both of these guys pitched extremely well against the other team when they faced off about 10 days ago. Lilly had his best start of the season, throwing a complete game 2-hit shutout, while fanning 11 Rockies. He's 4-1 with a 3.90 ERA against Colorado in his career, but perhaps more importantly, he's a perfect 5-0 with the Dodgers. Hammel got a no-decision in his game against LA, but did go 6 innings of 2-run baseball in a game the Rockies would eventually win in extra innings after blowing a narrow lead. The Rockies have won his last couple starts, and Hammel has nice career numbers against LA, if rather low on data (0-1, 2.42). I honestly can't see Lilly doing the same damage against this team he did in LA. This will be just his 3rd career start at Coors, and he's 1-1 with an ERA over 7 there, but that doesn't really tell us too much.

Phillies @ Padres (-110) with a total of 7; C. Hamels vs. C. Richard;
Sometimes it's better to be lucky, than good. These two big lefties have been having almost equivalent months of August, but somehow Richard has won 3 straight starts and is 4-1 on the month, while Hamels is 0-3 this month. Hamels has really been racking up the strikeouts, as well, posting at least 8 in 4 of 5 games this month. So, that being said, do you back the starter that's been a tad luckier or the one on the team that's won the first 2 games of the series? For my money, the fact that the Phillies took the first 2 with a combined 6 runs only goes to show that they're not dominating, but doing just enough, and the Padres have only been outscored 6-3 in two games. San Diego has been amazing at bouncing back, too, so they have that going for them, and I feel like Hamels is the bigger name pitcher, so the line is actually a decent deal on the Padres. Just a few thoughts, is all.

American League

Tigers @ Blue Jays (-110) with a total of 9.5; R. Porcello vs. M. Rzepczynski;
Outside of 1 good start in Anaheim, Rzepczynski has been a disaster in 2010. I'm not positive if he's just out of sorts, overmatched, too young, or needs seasoning (or all of the above), but there has been zero consistency, unless you count getting hit hard consistent. Porcello, and the main reason I included this game in the blog, has been a bit better since his return from the Minors. He's still nowhere near his performance in his rookie season, but he's coming off a dominant effort against the Royals, and though he has a tendency to get shelled one out of every 4 starts, or so, when he's got his sinker working, he's almost a lock for a quality start. Detroit's looking like they want to end the year on a positive note, and though the Jays have taken each of the last 2 games, they were both narrow 1-run wins, and the Jays top relievers probably aren't going to be pitching in this one.

Yankees @ White Sox (-125) with a total of 9; I. Nova vs. G. Floyd;
With apologies to anyone that faded Nova in his first start, they may have caught a little break. The kid was rolling through the Minors, and had a solid first effort, if a tad short. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a similar effort here. Roughly 5-6 innings of good baseball, since the Sox haven't seen him, and that can be a huge edge for a young pitcher. That being said, Floyd has been one of the best in the business against everyone other than the Twins over the last 3 months. I expect him to pitch well, though the red flag for Floyd is that, after about 11 starts without allowing a home run, he's given up 5 in his last 4 starts. If those flyballs start to leave the yard again, that makes Floyd just a little less dominant. Tough game, but should be a good one.

Red Sox @ Rays (-150) with a total of 9; J. Lackey vs. J. Shields;
Can't do a blog without cracking open the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball showdown in Tampa! And, I will admit, my end take on this game is going to depend largely on how the Saturday game plays out. Boston took the opener, and Clay Buchholz is trying to help them get the second, and if Boston takes the first two, there's almost no chance I could bet on Boston to complete a sweep. If Tampa nabs the Saturday game, then I happen to believe Boston is a decent dog in this finale. Lackey, after getting clubbed by the Rays the first time he faced them this year, has bounced back with 2 strong starts against Tampa, and he's starting to put on that game-face we're accustomed to seeing out of Lackey down the stretch. He certainly hasn't been lights out, but he's been a horse, and Boston has enjoyed his aggressive attitude. He's also 11-3 lifetime against the Rays. Shields, meanwhile, has started to put some of the pieces back together after a miserable middle portion of his season. He is just 4-9 with a 5.25 ERA against the Red Sox, though, and while his numbers at Fenway do a lot of damage to his total record, backing him against a team that has hit him hard at this price feels dangerous.

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