Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Oh, That's What a Win Is

Recap: Coming soon!

Today: Coming soon!

Sports Wagering: MLB

National League

Nationals @ Braves (-200) with a total of 8; J. Lannan vs. D. Lowe;
This price is just too high, and with props to VegasRunner, this is a time of year (the start of football) when some of the favorites are going to be extra-inflated due to the influx of more public money on all sports. Derek Lowe has not been terribly impressive against the Nationals, this year in particular, giving up 4 runs in each of his starts, and neither was terribly long. He has, however, been good in August, and he's very streaky, so fading him is a little dicey. Lannan, meanwhile, is 3-4 with a 3.44 ERA against the Braves in his career, but hasn't seen them this year. He, too, has been pitching well, and I think that has a large impact on the low total. Come to think of it, that total is scary-low for a game without a true ace. Watch the money on the total, and the side is probably a pass.

Padres (-160) @ Cubs with a total of N/A; M. Latos vs. C. Zambrano;
The newest Padres are probably the biggest reason that I'm hesitant to fade them in this day-game series finale. Latos is 0-1 with a 12.27 ERA against the Cubbies, but in limited action, and he's pitching far too well to implode like that, again. Zambrano, interestingly, is 6-2 with a 2.71 ERA against the Padres, but Ludwick and Tejada, the new guys, have each demolished "Z" in the past, and could play a large role in keeping Carlos from getting win number 7 over San Diego. This price is way too high for a road favorite, even with Latos's success this year, but those new Padres are making the home dog too much of a crapshoot for me, too.

Marlins @ Pirates (-110) with a total of 9; S. West vs. P. Maholm;
It always catches our eye when the Pirates are the listed favorite, and honestly, this line came out almost exactly where I expected. Sean West is not very good, and we've seen him pitch a few times over the last year. He doesn't have overwhelming stuff, so while the Pirates stink, offensively, it's still somewhat likely that they'll at least scratch across a few runs against a lesser starter. Maholm has been extremely up-and-down, and the Marlins have had some success against him, so I am hesitant to back Pittsburgh just based on the line. Cody Ross and Hanley Ramirez, in particular, have hit him hard, but then Florida has slowed a bit after coming out of the Break with a head of steam. I do lean to Pittsburgh, and slightly to the Over (which looks too easy), but I'm far from convinced.

Giants @ Phillies (-175) with a total of 8.5; J. Sanchez vs. C. Hamels;
These pitchers have actually faced the other team this year, but I'm not sure we can learn a ton. The first meeting between the Giants and Phils was back in April, and while Sanchez went 5 innings of 1-run ball, he's been worse lately than early in the year, and he's better at home than on the road. Hamels, on the other hand, gave up 4 runs in 6 innings of a marginal start (in a game the Phils won), but he's gotten steadily better this year, and is a career 4-1 pitcher against the Giants. Certainly, if Sanchez has any kind of control, this isn't a particularly bad spot, and at this price, the underdog is the way to go. That being said, how do we know what days Sanchez will walk 6 and which days he'll only walk 1? He makes me very nervous.

Mets @ Astros (-110) with a total of 8; P. Misch vs. B. Norris;
Norris is coming off one of his best start, as he struck out 12 over 7 strong innings. He has not faced the Mets before, which is definitely a slight edge to Bus. Misch, meanwhile, is making his 2nd start for the Mets this year, and is coming off an effort where his defense let him down a bit. He allowed 4 runs, but only 1 earned, and he's likely to still have some of that adrenaline from getting a shot at starting coursing through his veins. I can't help but think that the Mets pathetic road offense isn't going to do much, and the question mark is really how the Astros can get guys on base against Misch and the spiraling Mets bullpen.

Reds (-130) @ D'backs with a total of 9; T. Wood vs. J. Saunders;
I'm still struggling to understand why Travis Wood continues to be one of the most high-valued Reds starters. This will be the most expensive (or basically tied with) game for the Reds in the series, and we've already seen Arroyo and Volquez. And Joe Saunders hasn't been terrible for Arizona, either. He was good in a few starts, has been a little less solid in his last 2, but Cincinnati hasn't seen Saunders before, and Arizona hasn't seen Wood before. That has all the makings of a sneaky Under, though both teams can really hit, so it won't be easy no matter what you play on the total. As far as the side goes, the Reds are looking to win series on this road trip, and they certainly have the starter and bullpen edge, but the price is a little high for a guy that can't really dominate teams, but can class his way through with great control and nice movement.

Rockies @ Dodgers (-150) with a total of 7.5; J. De La Rosa vs. T. Lilly;
Jorge does not like the Dodgers. He's 0-5 with a 6.58 ERA against LA in his career, and while we know of his home/road splits from last year, he's been mostly mediocre everywhere this year. I don't know if it's a rust thing, since he hasn't really been able to get into a rhythm all year long, or what, but his ERA near 5 just simply isn't good enough. Lilly, meanwhile, has been the one Dodger that just seems to be on the hill for wins. He's got a 5.40 ERA against the Rockies, which isn't too great, but he's 3-1 against them which makes me think that he does enough to put his team in a decent spot. Here in LA against a Rockies team that struggles with the Dodgers, this isn't that bad of a price for Lilly, amazingly.

American League

Tigers @ Yankees (-260) with a total of 9.5; R. Porcello vs. P. Hughes;
This line is so damn high, we might as well just put a quarter unit on the Tigers and hope for the best. Seriously. I know Porcello hasn't been great this year, but the season numbers and the name on the jerseys have set this line up significantly higher than it would normally be. Porcello, by the way, is coming off a tremendous start in Chicago, so he's got a little confidence going, and the Tigers won a few games in a row before getting shut down completely by Sabathia on Monday. With Tuesday's game pending, of course, this inflated line is a perfect example of books getting the best of their bettors.

Rangers (-180) @ Orioles with a total of 9; C. Lewis vs. B. Matusz;
I know the Orioles are kicking ass and taking names these days, but Brian Matusz has just been completely and thoroughly drilled by the Texas Rangers. Colby Lewis is probably a fade candidate these days, but not today. I'm not paying -180 to go against a hot team, either, so I think you have to look at the Over, or nothing. Probably nothing.

Angels @ Red Sox (-150) with a total of 9.5; E. Santana vs. J. Beckett;
Josh Beckett has been getting absolutely bitch-slapped in his last 2 starts, and I admit, I'm afraid. I know he threw well when he was in Anaheim a few weeks ago in a Boston win, but since then it seems like the wheels are, let's say, getting loose. They haven't come off entirely, but they're wobbly. Ervin Santana is coming off a strong start against the Jays, and he looked good against Boston earlier this year, as well. The price is a little high, I worry. Does that mean Santana is going to get hit hard? The total of 9.5 would seem to indicate that both teams are going to put up some runs. Which team does a high scoring team favor? Probably the Angels, since they're not going to win a pitchers' duel. I lean slightly to the dog and slightly to the Over.

White Sox @ Twins (-160) with a total of 7.5; M. Buerhle vs. C. Pavano;
Carl Pavano has been lights out against the White Sox, but even with that in mind, this line is inflated. There is zero question about that. It's tough to argue with success, though, and Pavano has given up just 2 runs in each of his starts against the Sox this year. Buerhle's been decent against the Twins, too, so therein lies the line inflation. If Chicago was starting some scrub, this would be easy to understand, but it's not as though Buerhle has zero skill. He's 24-17 in his career against Minnesota, including 2 decent starts this year. I don't think you can play the favorite.

Indians @ Royals (-125) with a total of 9; M. Talbot vs. K. Davies;
You know, it's funny -- despite his 6-7 record and 5.22 ERA this year, and 3-4 lifetime record and 5.79 lifetime ERA against the Indians, Kyle Davies actually hasn't been that awful, at least of late. He's not going deep in any games, but he's sort of defined himself this year, and you usually know what to expect. He seems to be comfortable going 5-6 innings, and lately, he's been able to hold opponents to 2 runs, or so. Talbot, meanwhile, has been one of those pitchers that runs into the dreaded disaster-inning, but might throw 6 shutout frames around it. He gave up 6 runs in 6 innings to these very Royals earlier this year, and his most recent few starts would seem to indicate that he's getting fatigued. He wasn't too convincing heading into the All Star Break, had one good start coming out, and then went back to struggling. I know it's an underdog time of year, but the Indians seem ripe for a losing streak.

Rays @ Athletics (-135) with a total of 7; A. Sonnanstine vs. T. Cahill;
Has Trevor Cahill really become an ace? This line would seem to say so. I mean, we're talking about one of the best teams in all of baseball, the Rays, who have also been solid on the road, and can definitely win with strong pitching, going against an overachieving bunch of misfits led by a decent starting staff. With a line this strong, you have to at least give a look to Cahill, who has been nothing short of brilliant. Still, Sonnanstine is a crafty veteran fill-in, and while he might go only 5 innings and give up a run or two, the Rays are more than good enough to compete with Andy getting the ball. Scary line, here, to be sure.

1 comment:

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