Sunday, September 05, 2010

Labor Day

Recap: So, given that we'll be dealing with multiple sports, I think the DAILY thread (this one), which contains the MLB notes, will recap how things went in ALL sports. Take that for what it's worth, and please don't complain when I don't put recaps in the other blogs.

As far as yesterday, specifically, we stunk. Gave back what we won over the previous couple days. It's not a catastrophe, not by a longshot, but I don't care how long you do this, you still don't ever LIKE a losing day. As I said in yesterday's thread, onward and upward.

Sports Wagering: MLB

National League

Marlins @ Phillies Doubleheader;
You guys know how I feel about these. Pass!

Mets (-111) @ Nationals with a total of 8; M. Pelfrey vs. J. Zimmermann;
Fading the Mets would appear to be a decent play down the stretch, assuming they're playing on the road, and playing against a team that hasn't completely given up, for some combination of reasons. The Nats haven't been involved in a "race" in months, but it's clear they still want to put together a few good weeks going into the offseason. Jordan Zimmermann, who has made 2 starts since coming off the DL, is definitely a piece for the future, and I think Washington is high on him. Pelfrey has been, let's say, marginal against the Nats in his career, and hasn't faced them on the road yet. Seems like he'll give up a couple.

Braves (-205) @ Pirates with a total of 8; T. Hanson vs. B. Burres;
I don't see any particular reason to venture into this one. The Pirates have never seen Tommy Hanson, and while the Braves aren't very good on the road, these are the Pirates, and Atlanta's done a fine job of beating on some of the loser teams at any venue.

Cardinals @ Brewers (-130) with a total of 8.5; J. Westbrook vs. Y. Gallardo;
You look at this game, and the first thing that comes to mind is did the Cardinals turn it around? And the answer, somewhat definitively, is yes. They took 2 of 3 from the Reds over the weekend to at least keep from completely falling out of postseason contention. Of course, the last time the Cards whipped on the Reds, they went on to stink it up until the next series with Cincinnati. This time, though, I feel like the letdown won't be quite as severe, and Gallardo, despite being a big-name, is 0-4 with a 6.32 ERA against the Cardinals. St Louis is a live dog, I'd imagine.

Astros (-120) @ Cubs with a total of N/A; W. Rodriguez vs. C. Coleman;
The Astros seem intent on closing the year strong, and Wandy has been a large part of that turnaround. Of course, Wandy's last crummy start, a little over a month ago, was here in Wrigley, so it's no sure bet that he dominates, and the Cubs are one of the best in the League at hitting lefties. I know Coleman is a turd, at least so far, but the Astros as a road favorite in Wrigley just tells you how the public has caught up to Wandy's turnaround.

Reds @ Rockies (-180) with a total of 8.5; A. Harang vs. U. Jimenez;
There is inherent value in this line with the Reds. I know the Rockies are great at home, and the Reds are coming off an emotional series with the Cards, but they shouldn't be this big of a dog to anyone, let alone a guy that has settled into being a very good pitcher, but not the lights out starter he was at the beginning of the year. I'm probably not playing it, but just take that for what it's worth.

Giants (-120) @ D'backs with a total of 9; M. Bumgarner vs. I. Kennedy;
We've seen the Giants and D'backs play a few times this year, and the Giants have been able to hold it together, for the most part. Bumgarner tossed 7 innings of 2-run ball in a game the Giants won 10-5 over Kennedy, so maybe there's a little rematch action going on. In truth, even though the D'backs have been hitting better, the Giants need these games more, and I think that comes out in how the games are managed. This short price might actually be a decent one, and not a trap, despite San Francisco coming off the late game last night.

Dodgers @ Padres (-165) with a total of 6.5; V. Padilla vs. M. Latos;
Surely, if the Padres are going to snap out of their skid, it'll happen against my hometown club, the Dodgers. Something about this series just feels like that's how it's going to happen. Padilla makes his first start in some time, and while he is a solid 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA against the Padres, his opposition, Mat Latos, is 13-5 on the season with a 2.25 ERA against the entire League. Latos is 0-2 against the Dodgers, but that 3.21 ERA says he's been a bit unlucky, and I have trouble believing the Dodgers care as much about this game as the Padres do.

American League

Orioles @ Yankees (-230) with a total of 9.5; B. Matusz vs. A. Burnett;
We've seen what Matusz can do against the best in the League, and how he gets himself amped up. But this line feels high even for an Orioles game. Can Burnett harness any small fraction of his ability? I would prefer to back the O's at home, though there's definitely some value with them at this beefy number.

Rangers @ Blue Jays (-145) with a total of 8.5; T. Hunter vs. R. Romero;
Ricky Romero has been dynamite against the Rangers, and I have to think that fact, combined with the note that Texas hasn't been playing that well, is coming off a terrible series in Minnesota that included a devastating loss in the series finale (on an interference call against the third base coach), well, it's tough to back Texas. Unfortunately, I happen to agree with that rather "square" assessment of this game. The line is inflated by a little bit, and Tommy Hunter's 7.50 ERA against the Jays doesn't do anything to keep it low.

White Sox @ Tigers (-130) with a total of 7.5; E. Jackson vs. M. Scherzer;
Edwin Jackson has been a beast since returning to the American League, and will be trying to shut down his former team for the 3rd time already since his move back to the AL. Scherzer has been among the hottest pitchers in all of baseball over the past couple months, and it seems like lines are just now starting to catch up. We know the Tigers are better at home than on the road, but the White Sox are rolling into town off a monster series in Boston, and they're dangerous right now. If we trust the bullpens, the Under is in play, but I'm not sure I do.

Royals @ Twins (-205) with a total of 9; S. O'Sullivan vs. K. Slowey;
There really isn't much reason to play this series unless you find a total that looks incredibly juicy. Fact is, the Twins are hitting, the Royals aren't really doing much in the way of key hits or power, and the motivation factor is huge on the side of Minnesota, as they fight to stay a few games up on the Chicago White Sox. This total could go up and Over if things play out "normally," but I'd rather take a pass on this one.

Mariners @ Athletics (-185) with a total of 7; J. Vargas vs. B. Anderson;
This one has all the makings of a very quick, maybe a little painless, 2-1 win for someone. Of course, things never go the way they look like they should. Anderson and Vargas have both been struggling, the teams have been losing games started by these cats, and I'd say that Oakland has the slightly superior offense. No thanks to laying that kind of chalk, and no thanks to backing the worthless Mariners.

Rays @ Red Sox (-175) with a total of 8; J. Niemann vs. J. Lester;
I seriously cannot believe how high this line is, considering how poorly the Red Sox have been playing. This is a testament to the idea that the Red Sox are just always going to get huge public money, especially when all the talking heads have been hammering home the idea that this is Boston's "last stand." So, people throw money on Lester, figuring that it's as close to a sure thing as there is, with Niemann coming off some rough work, and Boston saving bullets for this important series. Just don't be too quick to jump on that bandwagon.

Indians @ Angels (-180) with a total of 7.5; C. Carrasco vs. D. Haren;
I've been enjoying trying to find times to back the Indians, but they, to me, look like a bad team that isn't trying that hard to end the year on a strong note. They don't have a good bullpen, they don't have many veterans to help keep the team poised, and they're losing, so the confidence isn't swelling. Carlos Carrasco is supposedly a stud of the future, but the home-run happy Angels are likely to connect on a couple, especially since they found a little bit of a stroke yesterday. The Angels are a fade the rest of the way, don't get me wrong, but we need to pick and choose our spots.

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