Thursday, September 30, 2010

Baseball Ends Weekend, Day 1

Recap: We had a Game of the Week washed out in Baltimore, but buyers of the Package received a Bonus play on the Oakland Athletics, who are currently looking to snap out of a skid, and win us some money. They're up 4-0 as I type, but there's a long, long way to go. Stay tuned. We'd love to get that one and make Thursday a winning day!

Today: BASEBALL! Let's be clear - my College plays are largely going to be situational, or involving teams from the Big-10 or Pac-10, and to me, this Friday game is out of my wheelhouse. So instead, let's just keep hammering the BREAD AND BUTTER. Do you guys want another Baseball Winner? Of course you do! ADD MLB Top Play to CART!

Sports Wagering: MLB

Rockies @ Cardinals (-126) with a total of 8.5; J. De La Rosa vs. J. Westbrook;
This is a classic case of a team that is d-o-n-e for the year. The Rockies made their run, and since that series in Arizona where the D'backs basically ended Colorado's season (or pushed them to the brink), Colorado has fallen apart. They were swept at home by the Dodgers, and got pummeled in the opener of this series last night. Fact is, the Cards have had time to deal with the reality that their season is over, and I believe having such a strong home crowd, such an appreciative fan base, is going to make St. Louis want to end the season with a little pride. Beating the Rockies is also a bit of a revenge spot, since Colorado hung some of the most ridiculous comebacks I've ever seen on the Cardinals when these teams faced off in the altitude. We're seeing a pretty cheap line on this game because folks still haven't caught on to the Rockies' complete collapse, and because of Westbrook, but don't overthink the low-ish line. This is a fair number on a team that has whatever small amounts of motivation are left to have.

Padres @ Giants (-166) with a total of 6.5; C. Richard vs. M. Cain;
I assume just about everyone wants some thoughts on this game, the only one left that actually matters, aside from whoever the Braves get to tackle to try to push the Padres out of the Wild Card race. Truth be told, I want no part of this game, but if I had to make a play, I'd take a shot on the Padres. The problem? The Padres have not responded well, at all, to the pressure of the Playoff chase. They can't score, and the Giants have been pitching as well as any team in baseball. I know Cain has run into pitch count issues with the Padres in the past, but the crowd at AT&T is going to be going ballistic, and even though the Padres are the presumed value, I don't believe in that team. We all kept wondering when the Padres would fall apart, and they really did wait until the very last moment, but it happened. The lack of true offensive firepower caught up with them, and they're finding ways to lose games even though they're only allowing 1-2 runs per game...hence, the total of 6.5. This one could feature 3 runs, and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised.

Angels @ Rangers (-111) with a total of 8.5; J. Weaver vs. T. Hunter;
Weaver scares me in Texas. This has not been his favorite place to pitch, and against the Rangers, maybe more than most other opponents, he's been a tale of two cities. We know Weaver can pitch at home, but he has also featured a 7-run outing in Texas this year, as well as the "bare minimum quality" - 6 innings, 3 runs. The Angels are playing decent ball down the stretch, but lost last night, and it seems like Texas is looking to take a little momentum into the Postseason. And honestly, I'd like to see more teams play out the stretch like that. The concern with backing Texas, here? Hunter. He hasn't been all that sure of himself against the Halos, and his innings have been pretty darn short. Texas could be limiting him at the tail end of a long Big League season, but if that means we're going to see some middle relief, that means the Angels will have some chances to score. Texas isn't going to take any risks with the top bullpen arms, either, so I wouldn't be surprised to see some severe hesitation before going to the true cannons, even if Texas is trying to preserve a short lead. Be careful with this game - I happen to believe the better values out there involve home teams trying to give their fans a show, or bad-to-middling teams trying to climb a rank spot in their division to take some positive momentum into the offseason.

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