Sunday, August 01, 2010

Sizzling Skillet Sensation

Recap: In an effort to keep getting things up earlier and earlier (for everyone's convenience), we can do recaps in the comments section, if need be. As of this very moment, the Paid Play on Dodgers is trailing 2-0, and the Free Play on the Rockies was a winner Sunday afternoon.

Today: SUMMER SIZZLER! Time is running out on these Sizzlers, so get the coupon code from Marco's Daily Video (which I'll try to get, and paste here, later), and get on board for just SIX BUCKS.

Also, LONG TERM football subscriptions are up for just TWO WEEKS, and these are absolutely the cheapest rate available for the entire football season. It's normally $999 for the entire combined College and Pro Football seasons, but for these two weeks it's just $499, half freaking off, people. Half!

Alright, that's enough promo - it's time to sizzle, and I have some great news on today's podcast to reveal, then likely even more good news next week. Splendid times!

Sports Wagering: MLB

National League

Reds (-170) @ Pirates with a total of 8.5; T. Wood vs. R. Ohlendorf;
This card is so short, I think I can break down every game, even if I feel the price is a little out of range for a premium selection. I happen to believe that the Reds are posting pretty inflated numbers against the lesser and middle tiered opponents, so I wouldn't dare play Cincinnati in this one. I don't think I have the gall to back the Pirates, either, not with how consistently bad they are, with those 1-2 games of looking like they care every few weeks. The total is pretty solid, I believe.

Mets @ Braves (-141) with a total of 7.5; J. Santana vs. T. Hudson;
It's pretty darn surprising to see Johan Santana at this cheap of a price, but at the same time, I suppose a large portion of this line is set due to the Mets complete inability to win on the road, and the Braves extremely strong play at home. Still, it's definitely a question as to how these teams handle changes of venue. The Mets are going to be happy to be playing anyone besides the D'backs, amazingly, and the Braves really played poorly on their own road trip. There's definitely an opportunity here, for the Mets, if they can jump up and take it, since, as we've discussed many times, it often takes a team a night or two to really adjust to being back home off a long road trip. But, wow, Johan catching this kind of money line is awfully frightening.

Brewers (-121) @ Cubs with a total of N/A; Y. Gallardo vs. R. Wells;
Which Gallardo do we see, that's the overarching question in this one. The one that came off the DL with a flourish, or the one that had no movement on his stuff, and just got molested by the Reds in his second effort off injury. Whatever you decide, that will obviously help in handicapping this one. For what it's worth, Gallardo did go 7 shutout innings against the Cubs in his 1 start against them this year. Wells, meanwhile, is coming off a mediocre, though not terrible start against the Astros that snapped a nice run, for him. He has faced the Brewers twice, the Cubs won both, though he was markedly better in his road start. This one is back at Wrigley, but it's tough to say that either guy is coming into this one feeling great about himself.

Astros @ Cardinals (-161) with a total of 7.5; B. Myers vs. J. Westbrook;
This game caught my eye because Westbrook is making his first start in the NL, and because this is about the cheapest I could ever envision the Cardinals, at home, against a team that traded away its leader, in Lance Berkman. I have to think that Myers is getting some love, and he's been more than solid in all 3 starts he's made against the Cardinals, this year. Normally, as we've noted previously, backing a long-time AL starter in his move to the NL is a pretty good one, but Westbrook is such a finesse guy, that I'm not sure he doesn't carry a little less zest than some other, younger guys, might. He's also 0-1 with an 8.31 ERA against the Astros, though only Carlos Lee has seen him from this crop. Truthfully, this is actually a cheap price on St. Louis, but it's scary-cheap.

Nationals @ D'backs (-120) with a total of 9.5; L. Hernandez vs. R. Lopez;
This won't really be an easy spot for either team, with the D'backs returning to Arizona off a very up-and-down road trip, while the Nats head a long way West off a fairly successful homestand, certainly for them. Livan Hernandez is 10-6 with a 3.43 ERA lifetime against the D'backs, though he hasn't seen them this year. He would seem to be a nice fit, too, considering he throws so much garbage, and the D'backs can't tell, at all, what's going on at the dish about 75% of the time. Rodrigo Lopez doesn't have much of a history with the Nats, and truthfully, neither pitcher is coming off a particularly strong outing, but each guy has the potential to put together at least a decent showing, and the Nationals are one of the worst road teams in baseball.

Padres @ Dodgers (-130) with a total of 6.5; C. Richard vs. H. Kuroda;
Rematch Alert! I'm honestly a bit scared of taking the Dodgers when they're not overly motivated, and for some reason, despite picking up a starter, a very strong reliever, and trading roughly the same second baseman, they still aren't looking much like they care. Of course, that can change quickly, and the obvious edge here in LA is that the back end of the pen seems significantly more comfortable. The Padres, though, have shown they have zero issue with winning on the road, and have been able to get to Kuroda in the past. On top of that, Richard has defeated the Dodgers twice, and LA looked foolish both times. It's tough to beat the same team two times in a row, especially at rotating venues, and this line seems pretty fair, given what we know about the pitchers, the teams, and how the world should bet this matchup.

American League

Blue Jays @ Yankees (-186) with a total of 9.5; B. Morrow vs. A. Burnett;
This game is officially out of our price range, for either side, really, but I will comment briefly. A.J. Burnett appears to be back in business after that unbearably rough spell. Brandon Morrow has seemed to even out to roughly where he's going to be, and I'd say the Yankees do win this game a decent percentage of the time. This often? Maybe, maybe not. I'm not willing to venture out there, not with Burnett pitching this well, and not with Morrow having pitched against the hapless Orioles in each of his last 2 starts.

Indians @ Red Sox (-211) with a total of 9; F. Carmona vs. J. Lackey;
Okay, I lied. I don't like anything about this game.

Twins (-111) @ Rays with a total of 8.5; C. Pavano vs. J. Hellickson;
This should be a fun one, and not just because the line is so close to a pick. It also features one of the true "horses" in the Ameican League, in Carl Pavano, against a kid making his Major League debut. So, there are a few competing angles, here, too. It's always fun to back a kid in his debut, since the opposing team generally doesn't know much about him, and he's often pretty pumped. If he doesn't walk 6 guys, that's usually a good thing. Pavano pitched to a no-decision against the Rays the one time he faced them, this year, and really, he hasn't been "bad" more than once or twice all year, so finding a team he struggles with is going to be tough. Carl Crawford and B.J. Upton have given him some problems, but overall, Pavano looks strong against the Rays.

Royals @ Athletics (-210) with a total of 7.5; B. Bannister vs. T. Cahill;
This one is a bit out of our price range, too, though the total is of some interest. Both starters have a career ERA over 5 against the other team, and if we think the Royals have any shot, at all, of putting together some runs even without DeJesus (injury) and Podsednik (trade), the A's should be able to get to 4, I would imagine. Only problem is that the A's did recently see Bannister, and already tagged him for 5 runs in 6.1 innings. So, seeing a line this low is a little disconcerting. Cahill's been a monster in 2010, but he, too, gave up 5 runs to this team already once this year. The Over, based on those stats, almost looks too easy.
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