After a great two weeks I've simply been getting my ass handed to me the last two days. Although we still maintain in increased bankroll this year, I still hate losing. But we'll persevere like we always do. It does (a losing stretch) seem to coincide with a few other planetary things, so perhaps I can learn yet another lesson, which is stop trying to do too much in these transition months.
Atlanta at Philadelphia: Minor should be fresh after only throwing 55 pitches against the Fish (rain delay) but what might concern me a bit is that he shut down the Phillies two starts ago on four hits over eight innings. I don't like that fact that he gives up the long ball, and just not sure that the last outing against the Phillies, which was his only one, wasn't enough to give the veteran hitters something to adjust to. However, the Phillies without Ruiz might be a tough sell.
Hamels has got to be frustrated by the Phillies season and the personal W/L record, but he might have something to prove since Atlanta got him pretty good last time around. I don't think, given the obvious bullpen edge, I could trust Philadelphia, but I cannot trsu Minor either. This is a process of elimination game for me. There is no chance I can lay -140 on the Phillies, so it's Braves or nothing.
Arizona at Pittsburgh: I don't know how much we can read into Corbin's recent success, but the Pirates do tend to be a potential fade against a left handed starter. However, we'd surely need to be backing the D-bacls bullpen because it's not likely Corbin will pitch terribly deep. The D-backs pen has been a strength most of the season, but we'd have to see what the status of David Hernandez is, or at least I would, before backing Arizona. Bedard had a nice little run going, but before getting lit up by the Cubs he had BEATEN the Cubs (there's that adjustment thing) and the Giants as well as Colorado, so basically teams that can't (or haven't been) hit. The early money was certainly on Arizona, and I cannot say that I disagree, but is that really enough value for me to take a road team? Maybe. Lean over here to some extent.
Miami at NY Mets: With the way LeBlanc has been pitching there may be some merit in taking the Fish, although I swore I would never do that again. But, you do have to wonder just how deep he could pitch, meaning trust the Miami bullpen. However, they've been "Cincinnati-like" lately so that may be viable option. Yes, that would indeed mean fading Niese, who has thrown over 100 pitches the last two starts and the last time he tossed a few high-pitch-count games before the break he was subsequently crushed at home by the Cubs. With Byrdak out, I really think the best play(s) here are the Fish and the under.
Washington at Houston: I'm a little surprised that Detwiler and the Nats are ONLY -170, which means this could be the one game of the series you might think about backing Houston. Then again, why is this Lyles and not someone like Harrell that might merit serious consideration? Given that it seems they think Houston might score or the Nats might be higher priced, I'd have to seriously consider the over, but really wish it was 8 and not 8.5. We'll see what happens, but I do lean that way pretty hard.
Reds at Brewers: Well then, how often is Cueto a -110 pitcher? That would raise a red flag for sure that perhaps it's time to take the Brewers? He (Cueto) has had a couple of marginal outings against a couple of marginal teams in San Diego and Colorado, and it's certainly not like the Brewers don't know what he's got. Fiers hasn't given up more than two earned runs in a game in almost two months, but it just really bothers me to have to think about backing the Brewers bullpen. The obligatory 7.5 for a total which is where NL games go to die. This ones' either a 3-1 game or both these pitchers get hit, and that will entirely depend, for me, on what happens Monday. Just gotta wonder if the Reds with Cueto are THAT easy, or not.
San Francisco at St. Louis: There is just zero chance of my backing Zito, a LHP, against the Cardinals, even though it looks like Lynn may have, or be coming, back to earth. However, Lynn at home has been almost unhittable, holding opposing hitters to a .206 batting average. This may be one game where I could see laying the chalk, which doesn't happen often.
Colorado at LA Dodgers: Wow. If the Rockies were crushed so badly at home by the Giants, they must be almost not backable on Chavez Ravine with Alex White on the mound. However, Harang is far from my favorite pitcher to put money on. He's been victimized by the long ball off and on, and that IS something Colorado CAN do. Not sure I could lay that chalk with the Dodgers simply because Colorado IS capable of going off, and even in LA at night I'd be tempted to look hard at that over, which is at that same 7.5 that NL totals go to die.
NFL Thursday Thoughts:
Buffalo-Washington: The Bills opened as two point favorites and within the hour were two point dogs. How much of that is Shanahan's 46-22 preseason record and how much is simply RGIII remains to be seen, but I will tell you that Buffalo is going to be an improved team. I'm not a Thigpen or a Vince Young fan, but Buffalo's offensive depth, especially at RB, might make me think about taking the Bills at home with the free four points. The Bills defense is plenty deep, so I certainly don't see Washington's QB's NOT making a mistake or two. Lean Buffalo and under, especially at the key number of 35. If you can play NFLX teasers, Buffalo won't lose by more than a TD at home.
New Orleans at New New England: Obviously a fairly big advantage on one hand because the Saints have played a game, but to play another one in five days against a team you've been scrimmaging against has significant bearing. I do like Hoyer quite a bit, but still unsure how much he'll play versus Mallet, who in limited time last year just didn't quite get "the system". Chandler and Hightower are already penciled in as starters, and I suspect we'll see a bit more of Brees this week. New Orleans knows what Daniel can do, and playing Canfield too long is almost a waste of time. As much as preseason and "over" don't go together, this one might.
Pittsburgh at Philadelphia: Again, the Eagles open as three point favorites and in spite of all the talk of Roethlisberger's shoulder issues the Steelers are now the listed favorites. That's before the death of Andy Reeds' son, which is a huge variable as to how it effects the team. The shift is, again, IMO, to Tomlin's 16-5 preseason record. Fading the Eagles at home in this spot is probably not an option, but that might be for Marco to decide. But, the Steelers have a clear advantage with Batch and Dixon, as opposed to Kafka and Foles, the rookie. As hard as it is to fade home teams in the first preseason game (they win over 60% of the time) I might have to.
Other things that might matter:
Pete Carroll is 2-0 in week one of the preseason. 1-5 in the other three weeks.
Jim Schwartz is 10-2 in his three years at Detroit in the preseason.
Rex Ryan is 0-3 in the first week, and 6-3 in the the next three weeks. Can you say "distracted"......
Bill Belichek is 9-4 in the first week, and a consistent (6-6) in ALL the other weeks.......
Jeff Fisher is 8-6 (or better) in every week EXCEPT week three when it typically matters.....
I think Joe Philbin tries, to some extent, to win. The TEAM and the AREA need a win, whereas I don't think Chiano quite knows what he has to work with in Tampa Bay.
More coming, and no, David Garrard will not last long even though he's the listed starter. I'd be somewhat surprised if he even makes the team unless they keep three quarterbacks. Moore is more than servicable and I do think unless Tanneyhill is totally lost he is the week one starter.
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Great stuff, Dave. Thanks.....following suit on most of your MLB ideas.
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Early morning reading material. OTTMM, I like it! Thanks Dave.
Good stuff Dave. Wishing You continued success into football.
I am a Pregame.com Director of the Boards! 2010-2011 CFB/NFL Combined 60-42
Dave, thinking bout calling my local book and betting an nflx teaserm (if i can tease). like your buff thoughts and wondering what a good second leg would be. haven't bet a preseason game (maybe eva); but itching to get down, tired of re-runs, and a funsy sort of thing. haven't gone into the nfl depth charts to personally know much, as focus has been on college ball.
Seems like getting 6 pts. in these preseason matchups have some value, or at least for a baby wager. Can't tease totals, only sides. If you can think of a good teaser(s) for 2nite, I'll take your wise advice and hopefully thank you later. GL w/ the rawhide toooooooo..........
Anytime you can get an extra 6 points on a low totaled game the better your chances of cashing that ticket. Less points means less variance and that works in our favor. BTW, nice job Dave.
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Great point BL, thx for the tip. Lots of low totals NFLX w/ a marginal side line and getting more than 7 in those games seem luscious. I did just realize that they don't kickoff til' Thursday though, and just NOW realized that it's only Tues. :(
One could like the Pirates +1600 but were did you find it-what book!
If I had a unit to spare I'd throw it on the Rockies. IMO Harang is simply not a -170 pitcher, and White has shown to be capable at times. He'll want to atone for that beating he took at the hands of the Dodgers back in May. Yes, Helton and Cuddyer are out, but neither of them hit Harang worth anything to begin with. The pressure is squarely on LA, and I just don't know if Hanley can handle it, and Victorino is hitting about .190 since coming to the Dodgers. Between that and the fact that the Dodgers haven't got more expensive in spite of the overwhelming majority of tickets on them, for short money I'd do it, the RL at least.
And if I had any MORE units to spare I'd probably throw one on Seattle. Yes, we typically look to fade the Mariners against LHP but this is Zach Britton, who has a WHIP of 2.02 and has allowed left handed hitters to collect 9 hits in 24 at bats. That's enough for me to take the other side.