Monday, September 06, 2010

Big Bada-Broom

Recap: Tremendous bounceback after a rare losing Sunday! We SWEPT all 3 MLB plays, including the 2* Top Play on Toronto, and the Freebies on Washington and the underdog Cardinals. Big time profit, 3-0 baseball goodness.

In CFB, we have the Under...

Today: I was tempted to fire a Big Play on the bases, but the play JUST BARELY missed the cut to be a Big Bopper. Still, it's a better-than-average 2* Best Bet, and that's available at my Pro Page for the lowest price I can list without getting in trouble, 15 bucks. Join me, and let's follow up that 3-0 MLB Monday with some more CASH. As always, this paragraph is a giant link to my Pro Page, which contains more info on the Top Play, podcasts, blogs, and so forth!

Sports Wagering: MLB

National League

Braves (-250) @ Pirates with a total of 7.5; T. Hudson vs. J. McDonald;
With so much going on, the hour I can save by not typing up some of these ridiculously inflated games is extremely important, so unless I see a great reason to back the dog or play the total in these games with giant lines, the writeups are going to be saved for the better games.

Marlins @ Phillies (-170) with a total of 9.5; C. Volstad vs. J. Blanton;
If I'm going to fade Joe Blanton, I sure as hell don't want to have to back Chris Volstad. Pass!

Mets @ Nationals (-125) with a total of 8.5; D. Gee vs. Y. Maya;
A battle of guys making their Major League Debuts, so you have to immediately give the slight edge to the home pitcher, who will have the added adrenaline boost of a crowd (albeit, a small one) on his side. On top of that, the Nationals have scored a team record 85 runs over the last 11 games (or so, I added it quickly). They're hitting everything in sight, so really, I see no good reason to fade the Nationals. Obviously, they haven't seen Dillon Gee, but his numbers in the Minors this year would only qualify as "okay," though he does have strikeout stuff. Sort of a jumbled writeup on this game, I know, but so it goes when you hit September, and half your browser windows are to Baseball-Reference's Minor League pages.

Astros @ Cubs (-130) with a total of N/A; N. Figueroa vs. C. Silva;
This game is a decent value on the Astros, in my opinion. Yesterday, there were a lot of folks that backed Wandy Rodriguez because of how popular he's become, and today, it's the exact opposite. Carlos Silva is the more recognizable name, and most people can see his 10-5 record and assume he's set to roll. Fact is, before getting hurt and missing a month of action, Silva had been pretty inconsistent for a month. Nelson Figueroa is a lefty, which scares me, since the Cubs actually do hit lefties well, but he's also sporting a 2.83 ERA and the Astros have won 4 of his 5 starts this year.

Cardinals @ Brewers (-120) with a total of 9.5; K. Lohse vs. C. Narveson;
Kyle Lohse has been complete garbage since coming off the DL, so while I'd love to back St. Louis again and go back to the well on a team that looks poised to make one final push at the Reds, I just can't put my money on a guy with a 7.12 ERA. Narveson has allowed 4 runs in each of his starts against the Cardinals, so he's not exactly the world-beater we'd like to back if we're fading Lohse. Still, the Brewers have actually done a decent job of scoring runs for Narveson and finding ways to win his starts. This game is either a play on Milwaukee to tag Lohse, or a play on both teams to tag the other.

Reds @ Rockies (-130) with a total of 9; J. Cueto vs. J. Chacin;
These pitchers have very, very little experience against the other team, which leads us down the path that the teams should struggle to score early, then adjust late. That is, if things go according to the standard plan, which things have a way of avoiding from time to time. Cueto is coming off 2 strong starts after a clunker in LA, so he's confident, and he has the fastball to be mildly effective at Coors. Chacin has quietly put together a tidy little 3.69 ERA, and he, too, has put together a few decent starts in a row. The line is pretty strong for Colorado, considering the Reds are in the thick of the pennant race, but not so strong that it's outrageously fishy, only a tiny bit. This one might come down to the bullpens, and I think the team with the homefield knowledge should score last.

Giants (-135) @ D'backs with a total of 8; T. Lincecum vs. B. Enright;
This game is a rematch of one we saw pretty recently in San Francisco, a game the Giants lost 6-0. Lincecum did finally have himself a good start his last time on the hill, shutting the Rockies down on just 1 run over 8 innings. Was it an aberration against a Rockies team that can't hit on the road, or is Lincecum finally back and the lines are super-low as a gift? Can Enright continue to dominate through to the end of the 2010 campaign? We saw the Giants just wanted it more yesterday in an extra-inning Labor Day win, and I feel like motivation is going to be key in this entire series. I might consider another Under if Lincecum is actually ready to roll. I might also consider the public side because of the bullpen edge.

Dodgers @ Padres with a total of 6.5; C. Kershaw vs. M. Latos;
I had typed the following when I thought we were getting Kershaw and Correia, but now my desire to take the Padres has dwindled to a fleeting sense of doom about both sides and both totals in this one: "This line feels a tad inflated on the Dodgers side, and it seems like people were awfully quick to bound off the Padres bandwagon. I mean, I know a 10-game losing streak (these teams haven't yet played on Monday while I type this) is a pretty good reason to stop betting on a team, but considering how bad the Dodgers have been the 2nd half of the year, getting this type of road number is a little goofy. Kershaw is good - we know what we're going to get from him, and he's been able to shut the Padres down twice this year. Correia has been awful in his last 3 starts, but if ever the Padres have a shot to grab a win, especially now being an underdog again, it would be against an opposing ace, and better yet, my pathetic Dodgers."

American League

Orioles @ Yankees (-360) with a total of 8.5; J. Arrieta vs. C. Sabathia;
Quarter unit on the dog, 'nuff said.

White Sox @ Tigers (-160) with a total of 8; F. Garcia vs. J. Verlander;
I have no idea how the stars haven't aligned yet, but this is Verlander's first start against the White Sox this year. Crazy, I know. He's seen plenty of them over the years, though, enough to accrue a rather ugly 5-9, 4.87 lifetime mark against them. To Verlander's credit, he's shut down Konerko, Kotsay, and Mark Teahen, of the current Sox, but A.J. Pierzynski has been a thorn in Verlander's side, as has Carlos Quentin. Verlander is the Tigers' ace, but he'll give up a couple runs, there's little doubt in my mind. On the other side is "The Garbageman." I heard the incredible metaphor that Freddy Garcia lobs crumpled up pieces of paper at home plate for a living and I had to repeat it here because it made me laugh...but it's true! The guy throws all off-speed stuff, but he's been dynamite against the Tigers. The red-hot Sox are a live dog.

Rangers @ Blue Jays (-166) with a total of 9; S. Feldman vs. S. Marcum;
Scott Feldman is back in the rotation for the Rangers, so you know I'm looking for a way to fade, but maybe the easier play is to just go with the Over. Feldman is 0-3 with a 5.94 ERA against the Jays, and while Marcum is 1-0 against Texas (the Jays have owned the Rangers this year), his 5.33 ERA isn't too inspiring, and neither is the -166 price tag. This one is a small play on the Jays or the Over for me, since Texas is just spiraling right now, banged up and unable to get key hits, and not getting very good pitching on the road, either.

Rays (-130) @ Red Sox with a total of 8.5; D. Price vs. D. Matsuzaka;
Interestingly, neither of these guys has been all that impressive against the other team. Price is 2-2 with a 3.81 ERA against the Red Sox, and Daisuke is 2-5 with a 4.34 ERA against the Rays, including 1 marginal start and 1 rather mediocre effort this year. Price has pitched well enough to win against Boston this season, but not well enough to guarantee a win, if that makes sense. He's going 7 innings, but he's giving up 2-3 runs, which does leave a little window in these intense affairs. Let's see how Monday's game plays out before making any final judgments here, but the Rays were struggling a tad going into this series, and Boston was looking downright terrible coming into this series, so someone's gotta play worse than the other, right?

Royals @ Twins (-305) with a total of 8; B. Bannister vs. F. Liriano;
Line inflation, thy name is September. Quarter unit on the Royales, with Cheese.

Indians @ Angels (-130) with a total of 8.5; J. Masterson vs. T. Bell;
Is it funny to anyone else that Trevor Bell's name is "teabell?" I'm going to work the word "steeped" into every writeup of his from here on out, and that's a promise I can keep. In any case, Bell is coming off back-to-back solid starts, and I am inclined to believe he goes 6 strong innings in this one against an Indians team that isn't doing much to impress down the stretch. I know the Angels are awful, but their home run cuts might be just what the doctor ordered against the erratic Justin Masterson, who has a great sinker but gives up a ton of homers when he starts letting that 2-seamer get above the thighs. It's a cheap price on the Angels, too, because of how bad they've looked the last 3 weeks.

Mariners @ Athletics (-175) with a total of 7; D. Fister vs. D. Braden;
I'm not paying that price to back a junkballer. Plus, Doug Fister is 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA against the Athletics, 2 of those wins coming this year. And considering he's 4-11 on the year, 50% of his wins have come against the A's. This is not a play I'd make a Top level selection, but if you want to lose some hair and have some games on your computer until 1am, the Mariners might be worth a small play, simply because they're going to keep this one relatively close, and getting +165 on a coin-flip is definitely a long term winner.
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