Thursday, September 23, 2010

Heading Into the Weekend Strong

Recap: We had but one play yesterday, and it was a small 1* on the Pittsburgh Panthers as the One-Dollar-Capper play!

As far as baseball, yesterday's card turned out to be more value-packed than I initially realized, but that's okay! We had a strong lean to the Nationals that didn't materialize into a play, and they pummeled the Astros, but this brings us to a nice lesson. No regrets in handicapping! Never look back unless you're trying to learn, NEVER to lament a missed play or a bad choice. There are plenty of opportunities on the road ahead...

Today: I happen to like plays in BOTH CFB and MLB, and while 90-95% of the time I'd just make the MLB plays completely Free, because of the relative SIZES of the plays, it just makes sense to make today a very special "Two-Sport, Two-for-One!"

The College game features a solid angle, easily worth a 1* play, and the MLB is riddled with ultra-strong opening lines and so far this September, our line analysis has been nearly flawless! So, to get BOTH (and I believe there was a coupon in my One-Dollar-Play), just click here: ADD TWO-for-ONE PACK to CART!

Sports Wagering: MLB

Giants @ Rockies (-125) with a total of 8; T. Lincecum vs. J. Chacin;
Oddsmakers don't generally make mistakes with lines this late in the season, so you have to immediately take a long, hard look at the Rockies. Colorado's issues on the road continued with a poor series effort in Arizona, but getting back to their confines a mile high generally works out pretty well for them. Let's face it, Colorado isn't going to beat teams with pitching, so it makes sense that they're a very tough team to beat at Coors. Of course, on the road, when those outfielders can cover most of the actual terrain (Coors is quite spacious), the bloopers stop falling in, and the towering fly balls land don't carry out. Lincecum is pitching well again, so that's certainly a point of concern, but the Giants looked pretty human offensively in Chicago (though the ridiculous wind in the finale may indicate otherwise), and if you're not scoring, you're not going to win in Colorado. I'm also intrigued by the idea that when these two pitchers last met here in Colorado, Chacin was a -105 home favorite. Have things really changed so much that Lincecum is now 20 cents more affordable?

Reds @ Padres (-121) with a total of 7; B. Arroyo vs. C. Young;
Oft-injured Chris Young gets the start in the first game of a very, very important series for the Padres, and I must admit, I expected this line to be higher. Maybe I'm not giving the Reds enough credit, but I believed, going into this game, that the Padres are in the "must-win" situation, and would be facing some inflated lines. However, this line is right on the cusp, for me, in terms of determining whether it's a very strong opening number for the "playing 500-ball into the postseason" Reds, or whether it's a fair line, based on the fact that folks don't trust Chris Young, yet. Fact is, I'm probably too cautious to take a chance either way. Considering Young was a -110 play on the road in St. Louis (albeit, that was against Jeff Suppan), I thought it was safe to assume this line would open over -130. Young is in his 2nd game back, which has been a bit of a physical letdown spot for pitchers that miss a ton of time, so I wonder if some arm fatigue might be driving this line down. I'd claim that his pitch limit is the reason, but the Padres pen has been better than the starters most of the year. I think the best advice here is to look at the Reds (with San Diego playing their first game home off a long roadie), or a total.

Rangers @ Athletics (-111) with a total of 7.5; T. Hunter vs. B. Cramer;
What's the deal with the Rangers? Josh Hamilton goes down and the whole team decides they'd prefer to just make diarrhea on the entire season? I suppose "getting healthy for the Playoffs" comes to mind, but these guys should really be trying to ramp their focus up down the stretch. The only road games the Rangers are winning come when the pitching staff shuts the opponent down on only 1-2 runs, and as we've seen, that's simply not going to happen every night. The opening number here seems to indicate that a decent amount is expected of the A's, and with as poorly as the Rangers have been hitting, you have to at least give a look in Oakland's direction. My main concern with making a play on this side is that while the A's are still playing relatively hard, I can't help but wonder how long before the Rangers really decide to lay it on the line. Slight lean to the A's, for sure, especially with how Cramer has gotten things going in the Bigs, but this one could be a 1-run game, and a true coin-flip just isn't worth dabbling with.

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