Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Growing Warmer

Recap: Despite the Braves starter Kris Medlen leaving the game with a ligament injury in the 5th inning, Atlanta got more than enough offense, and pounded the Mets, 8-3, for our second straight Paid winner, and after Tuesday's 3-0 mega-sweep, a quiet 1-0 Wednesday has started a nice little run, and that makes the bankroll look a bit better!

Today: It's a short card, but there are probably more tasty lines in just a handful of evening games today than there were yesterday, and hell, if yesterday was a 1-0 day, why not today? I'm firing a Two-Star (2*), and I'm once again tempted to log it into the system the night before to get that best line, though I do have a little more studying to do, first. I'd love to see you guys on board for this game, or the long term Football package, and you can accomplish either, or both, by clicking anywhere in this paragraph!

Sports Wagering: MLB

National League

Rockies (-171) @ Pirates with a total of 9; J. Francis vs. J. McDonald;
Well, this one is basically out of our price range, but I wouldn't want it, anyway. Francis has a lifetime 3-2, 6.67 ERA against the Pirates, and a few of the names that hit him hard are, amazingly, still on Pittsburgh's roster. He hasn't faced them this year, but has been mostly consistent in his return to the Rockies. On the Pirates side, James McDonald, fresh from the Dodgers system, gets the starting nod against a team he's actually seen plenty. He's 2-1 with a 4.63 ERA against the Rockies, and if the Pirates give him some run support, he should give the Pirates at least a puncher's chance. We know how bad the Rockies are on the road, but I'm not sure this is the best time to fade them, since McDonald has been downright awful this year, in the Bigs.

Phillies (-125) @ Marlins with a total of 8; R. Oswalt vs. C. Volstad;
Oswalt's Phillies tenure got off to a bit of a troublesome start with a clunker in Washington, and this should be another test for the new guy. He's had mixed reviews in his starts against the Marlins, as Hanley Ramirez has teed off on Roy, but he's been able to completely neutralize Dan Uggla and Ronny Paulino. So, his 5-4, 3.72 career mark is probably pretty accurate. Chris Volstad, as you guys know, is a prime fade candidate for me, though he's been marginal against the Phillies, which is a step up from his usual failures. He's been bad in one start against Philly this year, and better in the other, but the Marlins have found a way to win each of his last 2 starts, so maybe now isn't the best time to fade Volstad. I certainly wouldn't back Oswalt as he looks for some consistency in a new uniform, that's for sure.

Giants (-120) @ Braves with a total of 7; T. Lincecum vs. J. Jurrjens;
I feel like, to some degree, this battle of aces might not live up to expectations. Lincecum has been good lately, though not completely dominant, and Jurrjens, after bursting back into the Bigs off the DL, has cooled off just a tad with 2 mediocre starts, though I suppose not brutally horrible. That being said, both pitchers have done quite well against the other team in the past. Lincecum is 6-1 with a 2.70 ERA against the Braves, including 7 innings of 2-run ball way back in April in a home win. Jurrjens is 1-2 against San Francisco, but has an ERA of just 2.61. So, which will we get? The incredible historical numbers, or the more up-and-down numbers of 2010? The Giants look like a nice price on a Cy Young candidate, but their play on the road is a little suspect, and the Braves are pretty solid at home.

Nationals @ D'backs (-141) with a total of 9.5; R. Detwiler vs. B. Enright;
This is a pretty decent price on the rookie, who still hasn't really had his ass handed to him in the Bigs. His team hasn't scored any runs for him, but you can't really put the losses on Barry. Detwiler's been surprisingly serviceable since hopping into the Nationals rotation, though I still don't trust him. The D'backs can really make a pitcher work, and Detwiler isn't a big strikeout guy, which means Arizona is going to have their chances. If Enright can turn in another 6 strong innings, I give Arizona a pretty sizable edge in this starter matchup. The pen is always scary, so they're going to need to keep scoring until the final out is recorded.

Padres @ Dodgers (-155) with a total of 7; K. Correia vs. C. Billingsley;
This is a pretty steep price tag for a team that hasn't scored any runs, isn't it? I realize that Billingsley is on a pretty impressive run, not having allowed a run in any of his last 3 starts, but the Dodgers still found a way to lose his last effort, as the bullpen blew the late 1-0 lead. Yeah, that's the kind of support that the Dodgers starters are dealing with, lately. Now, all that said, if ever the Padres were going to give the ball to a pitcher that the Dodgers might be able to "get to", it's Correia. They've scored 4 runs off him twice already this year, winning both of those games, 4-1 (not surprisingly, they didn't score off the Padres pen). This one has 4-1 written all over it, again, though I don't think I can advocate laying over a buck-fifty on a team averaging about 2 runs/game since the Break.

American League

Twins @ Rays (-155) with a total of 9; K. Slowey vs. W. Davis;
Right off the bat, I'm looking at the total. Slowey is 0-1 with a 10.38 ERA against the Rays, and Davis is 0-0 with an 8.31 ERA against the Twins, courtesy of an ugly start in Minnesota back in early July. I do like how Davis has been pitching since the Break, though, and has taken hold of a spot in that vaunted Rays rotation. The Twins, or really, the AL Central is being exposed as pretty weak, since they just creamed some bad teams, and then came into Tampa, got worked in the first two, and are locked in a dogfight in game 3 of that series. This one is an early game, and the lineups are sure to be weird ones, so either play the total, or disregard it. That's my take.

White Sox @ Tigers (-135) with a total of 8.5; F. Garcia vs. M. Scherzer;
Each of these starters is solid. Scherzer, the young gun with the tremendous potential, just starting to figure things out a bit at the Major League level, and Garcia, who just keeps finding ways to record outs, though he seemingly gives up 2-3 runs in 7 innings every time out (for better or worse, depending on his run support). On a good team, that's enough to get a ton of wins and, not surprisingly, he has 10. Scherzer has the better season ERA, and it has been in decline, and after Edwin Jackson's dominant return to the AL (and Comerica) last night, the Tigers should be happy to see just about anyone else. Another afternoon game poses the same issues we mentioned above, but I'd have to give the slight early nod to the Tigers.

Angels (-170) @ Orioles with a total of 9; D. Haren vs. J. Arrieta;
I wouldn't touch this line with a 10-foot pole. Haren, who could very well dominate, at this price, is just not a good play, at all. Especially when you consider the Angels haven't hit at all in Baltimore to this point, and the Orioles have been teeing off on the Angels lackluster pitching staff. I know it's trendy to assume that a good team won't get swept by a bad team, but that's exactly what the oddsmakers are banking on with this sort of line. It's pre-adjusted into the line that folks are going to play on one team just because they're "better" and "shouldn't" get swept. The Orioles on the run line are probably a smart play.

Indians @ Red Sox (-210) with a total of 9; J. Tomlin vs. D. Matsuzaka;
Trademark "out of our price range" game. No analysis necessary to understand this one.

Rangers @ Mariners (-114) with a total of 6.5; T. Hunter vs. F. Hernandez;
King Felix gets a strong opening number against a tough, tough opponent. Hunter is coming off a supremely ugly game in Anaheim, though, so that might have something to do with it. With a veteran, I'd look for a bounceback, but with a young guy, that's just the type of start that can send a kid on a 2 or 3-start slide. He also didn't pitch all that incredibly in his one start against Seattle. Sure, it was a "quality" start, but really, any pitcher that doesn't go 6 innings against that anemic offense should be ashamed. Felix, by the way, has been good against Texas once, and terrible twice, so it's tough to know which King we'll see. Based on the strong opening line, though, I can't help but think that he's got something good in the tank. His strikeouts are down a tiny bit his last couple starts, but he's still not giving up any homers, and Texas appears to be in a letdown spot in this series.

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