Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Recap: Humbug! We got the 4 runs we expected out of the Brewers (I predicted 5, so it was close), but the Dodgers got that one key 2-run single from James Loney that I really didn't expect. LA had been pretty darn bad in critical hitting spots, but Randy Wolf just couldn't get his fastball down in the zone, and we paid for it. Minor setback on an otherwise tremendous week-plus stretch.

Sports Wagering: MLB

National League

Astros @ Phillies (-165) with a total of 8; W. Rodriguez vs. K. Kendrick;
Honestly, the "cool" kids are probably going to jump on the Astros, but with the getaway game, and with the Phillies likely a little shaken and peeved after the first two games of the series (and yesterday's result, when it comes in), I happen to think this is not a particularly good spot for the Astros. I can't quite put my finger on why, and I know that's not particularly helpful for all of you, but something is just telling me that the red-hot Wandy would not be this huge of a dog to the very pedestrian Kyle Kendrick unless the Phillies were going to break out the lumber.

Dodgers @ Brewers (-171) with a total of 8; C. Monasterios vs. Y. Gallardo;
This line is probably out of our price range for backing a favorite, considering the Brewers simply aren't a good team. Add to that LA has knocked Gallardo around a bit, and suddenly you actually have yourselves a live dog. Gallardo (and this surprised me, too) is 0-2 with a 12.19 ERA against the Dodgers. He hasn't faced them in 2010, however, and this eerily punchless Dodgers iteration probably won't punish Gallardo for more than a couple runs, if that. He's also coming off an ugly start (that resulted in a win, somehow) against the Padres, and I'd argue Gallardo's last 3 starts have all been a little lacking in focus. Monasterios is a reliever. You're going to get 5 innings, maybe a little more, and he'll probably get through the order twice before needing a bailout. This game, to me, is closer to a coin-flip than the line indicates, but backing the Dodgers right now takes some stones.

D'backs @ Padres (-165) with a total of 7; I. Kennedy vs. K. Correia;
The D'backs, like the Dodgers, are another interesting dog, to me. Ian Kennedy has pitched a little better his last 3 starts, though certainly not great. He does hold a 2.70 ERA against the Padres, though, and actually led the D'backs to a win over Correia way back in early April. Does that mean he can do so, again? My take is that Kennedy gives up 2-3 runs in 6 innings, and Correia will probably do the same. So, it comes down to the chance the pens give up 2 runs to get us to an Over, and which pen, since Arizona could potentially be a profitable dog.

Cardinals (-210) @ Nationals with a total of 8; C. Carpenter vs. J. Zimmerman;
Ah, the return of Washington's "other" Zimmerman. For too long, kept in the shadows behind Ryan, Jordan gets a chance to face...oh, crap, a former Cy Young winner. Carpenter is 5-1 with a 3.56 ERA against the Nats, but the Cardinals just haven't been that convincing on the road this year. No play in this one for me.

Marlins @ Mets (-110) with a total of 7.5; A. Sanchez vs. J. Niese;
I will admit, this is one of the few games on the board that really caught my eye, largely because it's one of the few games with a line under 170. In any case, Jon Niese brings his 1-2, 3.60 lifetime mark against the Marlins to the table, along with what has been, I'd call a breakout season for the young lefty. How many years in a row did we keep hearing that this Mets' youngster has all this talent, and now finally we're seeing it bear itself out. Interestingly, Niese has allowed just 1 run in each of his last 4 starts. Sanchez, for the Marlins, is sporting a solid 3.16 ERA, and has had one very good and one mediocre start against the Mets, this year. He's 3-4 against them, lifetime, but he, too, is coming off a strong start, and 3 straight quality outings. Good pitchers, slight edge to the Mets because of the home field, but can they score more than 2-3 runs?

Athletics (-125) @ Indians with a total of 8.5; V. Mazzaro vs. J. Masterson;
Masterson's wacky up-and-down season continued his last time out with an ugly bit of work in Detroit. And we've hit that point where backing him is probably out of the question. The Indians aren't hitting, and the only time they win games is when they're putting up 5-6 runs/game. Masterson is also 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA against the Athletics, so it's not like history is going to make him any more confident. Mazzaro is, somehow, already 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA against the Indians in his career, including a tremendous start earlier this year right here at Progressive. I know it's the public side, given the teams and the starters, but I'm looking at the A's or pass.

Tigers @ Blue Jays (-140) with a total of 8; M. Scherzer vs. R. Romero;
Max Scherzer has been outstanding since his return from Triple-A; I mean, just dominant. If the Tigers could give him any kind of consistent run support, he'd be rolling through the League. Of course, that's why there's both an offensive and a defensive side to the game, and Detroit, on the road, rarely takes part in the offensive half. Romero hasn't been that outstanding against the Tigers in his short, but solid career (1-2, 4.26), and Toronto is going to be coming off an emotional series with the Yanks, but how much stock can we truly put into the Tigers recent run of better play, at home? I'm not sure I can fade Scherzer because of how good he's been, but I think I need just a tiny bit more value to jump on the dog.

Twins @ Rangers (-160) with a total of 8; F. Liriano vs. C. Lee;
We're seeing Texas start to put the pieces back together, and that's scary. They had taken their collective foot off the gas when they got up about 10 games on the Angels and A's, and after a little scuffling, it seems like Texas has pulled out of the nosedive, and they're back to winning. Of course, this line is wildly inflated, and getting Liriano at this type of dog price is something you at least have to give a little thought. Still, without getting into the numbers too much, with Texas playing better (and we know how good they can be, at home), and the Twins due for a little lull (after the beastly start to the second half), I'm not sure I want to put anything on this line, unless someone wanted to subsidize me and let me go max volume for a day.

Orioles @ White Sox (-210) with a total of 9; J. Arrieta vs. E. Jackson;
I think some of the luster on the Orioles is coming off. Once the public catches up, it usually does. This team is still a value, but not nearly the insane value they were 2 weeks ago, or even 3 weeks ago. I'm not betting this game, as I see very little reason to take either side or total, but just heed my warning -- the Orioles are going to be very close to a break-even proposition the rest of the way, as the market is starting to catch up, and lines are inching towards getting tighter. As I also said a few days ago, I'd rather back them against bad teams, since the Sox really need wins right now, and aren't going to take the O's lightly like they might have back in July.

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