Thursday, September 16, 2010

I Heart Chief Wahoo

Recap: To answer the question you haven't yet asked, "Yes, my neighbors DO think I'm weird when I go dancing up and down the halls after a winner." And last night, we did it again! The Cleveland Indians blew a golden opportunity to put the Angels away in the 10th inning, but caught a break, and won it on an error in the 11th. Considering how many unbearable extra-inning losses we had to take earlier this year, it was nice to put one back in the win column, and while the Padres freebie was a loser, we're still a perfect 8-0 on Paid Plays this week! 4-0 on Sunday, and 1-0 every day since! Sadly, freebies are 1-2 this week, so for those that desperately want to see a capper mention something that lost, there it is. I'll do better next time (wink).

Today: I've said it time and again - know your limitations. For me, I tend to bet with my heart on Cal games, and sure enough, my Bears play in the ESPN2 nightcap of tonight's CFB double-header. So, again, while it might mean that no one gets my play, I'm headed BACK TO THE BASES! And why not? We got that GOW yesterday, and Paid Plays on the bases on both Tuesday and Wednesday. We're rolling in both MLB and NFL, and whether the World wants to join me, well, that's the World's prerogative! By the way, if you do, head to my Pro Page, here, at


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Sports Wagering: MLB

National League

D'backs (-155) @ Pirates with a total of 8; I. Kennedy vs. B. Burres;
The D'backs are playing solid baseball, and in the right spots, this is a great team to back. As a -155 road favorite is not one of those spots. I wouldn't pay over -135 for this team in any venue, even with them playing as well as they are, but the Pirates can surprise a few teams, at home, and the zero-crowd atmosphere can make for some strange, strange baseball games.

Nationals @ Phillies (-290) with a total of 8; J. Marquis vs. R. Oswalt;
Just toss a quarter unit on the dog RL and thank me later.

Braves (-155) @ Mets with a total of 7; T. Hanson vs. J. Niese;
I want to try to find a way to back someone in this game, but the more I look at it, the less I want to bet on it. Hanson is 2-1 with an 0.73 ERA against the Mets lifetime, but his starts in New York have been short. He was amazing against them, at home, but life is rarely that simple. Niese, meanwhile, got spanked by the Braves in Atlanta the last time he faced them, and there's sort of a pitching and hitting revenge double-angle for the Mets tonight. Dog, or nothing.

Cubs @ Marlins (-115) with a total of 8; R. Dempster vs. A. Sanabia;
This is another tough one, in my opinion. The Cubs have won 3 straight and the Marlins have lost 3 straight, and with baseball, riding streaks can be profitable. At the same time, the Cubs come off that sweep of the Cardinals, so they're in position for a tiny letdown, and the Marlins got waxed here at home by the Phillies. I expect them to play better, and I expect the Cubs to play a tad worse, making this coin-flip line pretty accurate. Slight lean to the dog, just because Chicago seems to be playing better now with no pressure.

Reds (-115) @ Astros with a total of 7.5; J. Cueto vs. W. Rodriguez;
Johnny Cueto has faced the Astros just once this year, and went 8 shutout innings in a win. He's just 1-4 with a 4.34 lifetime ERA against Houston, though, and the Reds are in a little bit of a hitting slump right now, coming off a rather ugly home series with the D'backs. Houston continues to find ways to win series, and they took 2 of 3 from Milwaukee earlier this week. Wandy Rodriguez is really starting to get a ton of respect, and the fact that this line is as low as it is is a strong indicator of that. He got worked by the Reds early in the year, but came back and threw 7 innings of 1-hit ball in late July against them, so we know he can do it. If the Astros score 4, I think they win.

Padres (-166) @ Cardinals with a total of 7.5; M. Latos vs. K. Lohse;
There is some serious value on the home team, though this line might be this high for a reason. We'll wait and see how the public interprets the number, but considering Latos's streak of 15 straight starts of 2 runs or less was snapped by the Giants a few days back, this is prime letdown-City for a young fireballer like Latos. Lohse, meanwhile, is significantly better than his numbers indicate, and the Cards got a nice snide-snapping win last night.

Rockies (-135) @ Dodgers with a total of 6.5; U. Jimenez vs. H. Kuroda;
Just 6.5? Wow, the Dodgers anemic offense and Jimenez's name can really drive a line down, can't they? I'm even seeing movement to 6. If that's the case, then I'm a little scared to take the Over, which I rather liked when I first looked at this. Jimenez is 5-5 with a 5.23 ERA against the Dodgers lifetime, and Kuroda is 0-3 with a 6.55 ERA against Colorado. He's been worse at Coors, not surprisingly, but not great at any venue. How can this game stay Under? Simple, the Dodgers score 2, and the Rockies score 2, and someone wins late.

Brewers @ Giants (-155) with a total of 7.5; R. Wolf vs. M. Bumgarner;
This line, to me, is much, much lower than what I expected, and I honestly can't figure out why. Yes, the Giants are coming off a somewhat emotional series with the Dodgers, but it's not the same rivalry, and the Giants are staying home in front of mostly packed houses. Wolf, to his credit, has always been good against the Giants, but the Brewers have tons of issues, and the Giants' bullpen edge is going to be enormous. Bumgarner, by the way, hasn't allowed more than 1 earned run in any of his last 3 starts, and went 8 shutout against the Brewers earlier this year (beating Wolf).

American League

Yankees (-165) @ Orioles with a total of 9.5; A. Burnett vs. K. Millwood;
Millwood is a tough cat to back, but I don't know how you can't give a look to the red-hot Orioles. Not only is Baltimore playing tremendous ball, but the Yankees are coming off a wildly emotional series down in Tampa. This is a bit of a lull game for New York, especially with the off-day mixed in there, and if Millwood can improve upon the 6 runs he seems to give up every time he faces the Yankees, there's a nice pot o' gold for the O's. Of course, he's Millwood.

Angels @ Rays (-145) with a total of 8.5; D. Haren vs. W. Davis;
This line is super cheap to get the Rays, but why? The Angels were a slight dog to Fausto Carmona last night with Ervin Santana on the hill. Haren isn't worth that much more than Santana, in my eyes, and the Rays are way better than the Indians. This line is fishy-low to me. The Rays, like the Yanks, are coming off that same emotional series. I like the Angels to catch Tampa napping in the opener, then get crushed in the next few.

Blue Jays @ Red Sox (-125) with a total of 9.5; B. Cecil vs. J. Lackey;
This line also seems pretty low, considering the Jays have been getting beat up the last week, and the Red Sox are on a quiet little 4-game win streak. The Red Sox, though, were in Oakland and Seattle, then had a day off, and that generally leads to a game played with a certain unique level of sluggishness. I would consider the Under, or the Jays, mostly because of scheduling.

Indians @ Royals (-110) with a total of 8.5; C. Carrasco vs. K. Davies;
Kansas City has actually been heating up at the plate a little, beating Oakland in the 2 final games of their series, and putting up some nice offensive numbers in the process. The Indians haven't been hitting at all, but managed to sneak out 2 of 3 from the Angels, at home. Kyle Davies has been pitching well this month, and I like that in combination with the Royals potentially scoring a few. With the way the Indians are hitting, 4 runs is almost certainly enough, and I think Kansas City can scratch across a few against Carrasco and the tired Cleveland pen.

Tigers @ White Sox (-126) with a total of 8; M. Scherzer vs. E. Jackson;
I bet a lot of folks are going to jump on the Tigers because the White Sox season seemingly came to an end with last night's loss, and honestly, I'm going to have a hard time not doing it, myself. However, that strange balance between the pressure of a pennant race and the ease of playing a game with zero meaning can create all kinds of havoc. After Boston got slammed by the Rays, they came back and hit the crap out of the ball. Most recently, the Cardinals just got swept by the Cubs, then came back and beat the Padres. I'd be very careful before playing this game, either way.

Athletics @ Twins (-118) with a total of 8; B. Anderson vs. N. Blackburn;
The Twins are just rolling. Simple as that. Every time we think they're due for a loss or some sort of letdown game, they just win that one, too. I'd love to write how coming home from the sweep in Chicago, they're going to relax, but they want home field in the playoffs, and it's awfully close to within their grasp. The Twins spanked the A's the last time these teams met, and while Blackburn is 0-3 with a 7.24 ERA against Oakland lifetime, he's been pitching better, and the A's have been slumping. I'd take a look at the Under in a "letdown" game before a side, but I also think the squares might get this one right.

Rangers @ Mariners (-110) with a total of 6; C. Wilson vs. F. Hernandez;
King Felix has trouble with very few teams, but the Rangers have given him a hard time to the tune of an 8-12 lifetime record. This is a pretty strong opening number for the Mariners, though, and while Wilson is 6-2 lifetime against the Mariners, his ERA against them is 5.08. You guys know how I feel about backing Seattle though. Watching those games is like going to the dentist.

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