Friday, August 20, 2010

Running in Place

Recap: 'Twas a big card, and when all was said and done, we won the two plays on favorites, lost the two plays on dogs, and broke completely even. The Indians got worked by Armando Galarraga (again, somehow), the Marlins dominated the Astros, the D'backs used a late rally to overcome the Rockies, and the Orioles mostly got ejected by a home plate umpire with the world's largest strike zone. Crazy times!

Today: I know people would rather get football plays, but that's not how I roll, not when the football card is so thin. So, we're headed back to the bases! Things definitely seem to be making a slight turn for the better, and I see no reason to make some big alterations when the current model is working after that long cold spell. Click anywhere in this paragraph to hop aboard the 2* Top Play at my Pro Page!

Sports Wagering: MLB

National League

Mets (-121) @ Pirates with a total of 8; J. Niese vs. J. McDonald;
Considering how awful the Pirates are, it's a wonder this line is so low. The number is so damn strong in favor of Pittsburgh, I just don't know if I can touch this one. One of the fishiest lines on the board already, and it's coming down off the opening number. I would back the Mets, but something weird is going on.

Nationals (-110) @ Phillies with a total of 8; S. Strasburg vs. K. Kendrick;
I happen to actually believe that, despite Washington's issues with the road and Strasburg's crummy first start off the DL, that Washington isn't a bad price here. Kendrick has been awful against the Nats in his career, and Strasburg hasn't faced the Phils. Admittedly, Philly can hit, and they'll test the young phenom, but I think he bounces back from that last start with a little better showing today.

Astros @ Marlins (-130) with a total of 8.5; W. Rodriguez vs. C. Volstad;
Volstad is still a guy I look to fade right off the bat. Yes, when he faces the Nationals, he finds ways to get wins, but the Astros aren't from the Nation's capital. In fact, while Volstad is 1-0 against Houston, his ERA is near 5. Wandy, meanwhile, has a very strong 3-1, 2.76 lifetime mark against the Marlins, and he's been pitching his butt off in the season's second half. Off yesterday's drubbing, the Astros should be looking to punch back, even if it's an open-handed slap. They're a live dog, if nothing else.

Padres (-125) @ Brewers with a total of 9; K. Correia vs. C. Narveson;
I'm not sure this game should have made the cut for interesting match-up to do a writeup for on the weekend, but hey, whatever. Correia is coming off a decent start, and he's usually good to at least keep the Padres in the game. Narveson, to me, is one of the worst starters in the NL, and while, perhaps, the future isn't all that dim, the present has been. Padres or nothing, here.

Giants @ Cardinals (-156) with a total of 7; T. Lincecum vs. C. Carpenter;
Tim Lincecum is getting an absolute ton of bad publicity lately. What does that mean? That's right, back him. This is when his value has peaked. He's 5-0 with a microscopic 1.54 ERA lifetime against the Cardinals, and even though he's struggled a tad, this is the perfect time to jump back on, before the rest of the globe does. It's a little scary with Carpenter on the other side, and such a tempting line on Lincecum, so I might, in fact, just watch, but mark my words, his value is not going to get much higher.

Reds @ Dodgers (-118) with a total of 7.5; J. Cueto vs. C. Billingsley;
There's very little reason to think the Dodgers score more than 2 runs in this one. Do the Reds score 3? Billingsley has had a very nice second half, and he's from Ohio, so there might be a little extra motivation to pitch well against one of the teams he knew growing up. Still, Cincinnati is a team on a mission, and the Dodgers are a team that's looking to go on vacation.

American League

Blue Jays @ Red Sox (-133) with a total of 8.5; R. Romero vs. D. Matsuzaka;
It almost feels too easy to back the Red Sox, doesn't it? I wonder, though, if Ricky Romero is truly that good, that he can draw money at this price despite his struggles against the Red Sox. Matsuzaka isn't necessarily a beast against the Jays, and we should definitely see some runs here. Hell, if Toronto winning 16-2 in yesterday's series opener wasn't an indicator of the fun to come, I don't know what is.

Rays (-125) @ Athletics with a total of 6.5; D. Price vs. B. Anderson;
This is a hell of a pitchers' duel, and to the A's credit, they're playing good ball, at home. I can't help but think that with yesterday's game getting to 9 runs, and this total so low, we might sneak to 7 runs in this one. I don't much care for the side, since both pitchers could be amazing, and a bloop and a blast could potentially decide the game, but those same bloop/blast combos should push this thing to 7 runs.

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