Recap: Game of the Week Winner! That sentence doesn't get old. That makes 3-1 the last 4 Games of the Week, and 1-0 on recent Games of the Month, so a nice little chunk there in just a few plays. It wasn't my finest handicapping, as Toronto needed a late rally to pull through, but they did just enough, and Kevin Gregg didn't choke the lead away. The Free Play on the White Sox is in the 8th inning as I type this recap, they were leading 5-1 a moment ago, and a reliever is trying to blow it, so I'll just keep looking away and hope for the best.
Sports Wagering: MLB
Pirates @ Astros (-205) with a total of 7; R. Ohlendorf vs. R. Oswalt;
Ronny Cedeno is 3-for-8 off Oswalt;
Andy LaRoche 3-for-5 off Oswalt;
Lance Berkman is 6-for-13 with a HR and 5 RBI off Ohlendorf.
This price is just out of control, and while I realize Oswalt is 14-7 with a 2.62 ERA lifetime against the Pirates, and Ohlendorf is 0-5 with a 7.57 ERA against the Astros, I am still not even remotely tempted to play a home RL. Just won't do it.
Giants (-115) @ Brewers with a total of 9; B. Zito vs. M. Parra;
Aaron Rowand is 3-for-7 with 3 RBI off Parra;
Ryan Braun is 4-for-10 with 2 HR and 4 RBI off Zito;
Corey Hart is 4-for-10 with 1 HR and 2 RBI off Zito.
Considering the ass-whoopin' the Giants put on the Brewers, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Milwaukee come storming back in this one. Manny Parra is 2-1 with a 4.37 ERA lifetime against the Giants, though he's coming off a pair of rough outings. Zito is coming off a poor start of his own, and he's just 1-3 with a 6.19 ERA against the Brewers. The Over might be in play, though off yesterday's insane game, not sure there's a ton of value left in that selection.
Leans: Brewers-2, Over-1
Cardinals @ Rockies (-150) with a total of 7.5; C. Carpenter vs. U. Jimenez;
I'm short on the player numbers, but I do know that Carpenter is 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA lifetime against the Rockies. I also know Ubaldo Jimenez is on a run of 3 straight subpar starts, so tough to really back him in this one. On the same note, the Cardinals are blowing leads left and right, so unless Carpenter goes 9, who knows what might happen? Carpenter is coming off a poor start, too getting shelled by Milwaukee, a team that he suddenly can't solve. That history with the Rox, though, makes this a potential live dog despite coming off his worst start of 2010 by a large margin.
Reds (-115) @ Phillies with a total of 9; J. Cueto vs. K. Kendrick;
Brandon Phillips is 4-for-8 off Kendrick;
Shane Victorino is 2-for-4 with a HR and 2 RBI.
REMATCH ALERT! Johnny Cueto is 1-2 with an 8.04 ERA against the Phillies in his career, but it was a heck of a lot worse than that before he went 8 innings of 1-run baseball against them 2 starts back. Meanwhile, Kendrick got spanked in that one, allowing 6 runs, 5 earned in a little over 6 innings. Yes, it's a rematch, but Cueto was just a -125 favorite at home, and now he's -115 on the road? I find it hard to believe that's a fair line. There's definitely some value on the team that got shellacked last time, but with Kendrick's 6.75 ERA against the Reds lifetime, this isn't going to be a big play.
Padres (-150) @ Nationals with a total of 7.5; M. Latos vs. L. Atilano;
Tough to really make a play on the side in this one, considering the way the first couple games in this series have gone, with the Nats squeaking out a couple wins. I'd be very surprised to see the Padres lose 3 straight in Washington to a lesser team, but I suppose the pen could be a getting a little road-weary as we approach the All Star break. Latos is one of the best young pitchers in baseball, and he's likely to go 6-7 strong innings. Atilano is very hit-or-miss, coming off a poor outing, and has never faced the Padres. I suppose this line is probably a tiny bit of value on the Nats, but with the Padres on the brink of a disastrous series, I would think they play a little harder in this one.
Marlins (-130) @ D'backs with a total of 9.5; A. Sanchez vs. R. Lopez;
Jorge Cantu is 7-for-14 with a HR and 4 RBI off Lopez.
Rodrigo Lopez has an ERA of 81.00 against the Marlins, somehow, but we'll go ahead and dump that as mostly irrelevant. Sanchez is 1-0 with a 2.35 ERA against the D'backs, who continue to flounder despite bringing on a new Manager. They won the first game under Gibson, and haven't won another since. Sanchez is the Marlins 2nd best starter, and Florida comes to town off a productive series in LA against the Dodgers. I think this line is a little pricey, though I also believe the Marlins win the game. Sort of puts us in a tough little bind.
Cubs @ Dodgers (-200) with a total of 7; R. Wells vs. C. Kershaw;
Don't even need to get into the player numbers or the real thick of the handicapping here in the blog. This isn't a game I would touch with a 10 foot pole. The Cubbies fans come out of the woodwork for this series every year, minimizing the home field edge the Dodgers normally rely on. Kershaw could go 8 dominant innings, or the Cubs could come up with a strong road showing. No thanks.
Angels @ White Sox (-155) with a total of 8.5; E. Santana vs. J. Danks;
Bobby Abreu is 4-for-9 with 2 HR off Danks before 2010;
Andruw Jones is 2-for-4 with 2 HR and 3 RBI off Santana;
Mark Kotsay is a career .391 batter against Santana.
This is too pricey for me on Danks, and I find it tough to believe that the Angels take this severe a beating in Chicago. But man, those Halos are having a very tough time getting hits in key spots. Ervin Santana is 4-2 with a 4.30 ERA against the White Sox, though he went 7 strong innings in a win against them earlier this year. Danks gave up 3 runs 2 earned, in a nice start of his own against the Angels, but lost a low-scoring tough game, and that phenomenon probably explains his 1-3, 3.16 ERA pairing of low-ERA, poor record.
Twins @ Blue Jays (-135) with a total of 9; S. Baker vs. B. Cecil;
Aaron Hill is 5-for-10 with a HR and 2 RBI off Baker;
Vernon Wells is just 3-for-11 off Baker, but 2 homers mixed in.
Scott Baker is 0-3 with a 5.10 ERA against the Blue Jays, and you have to think that if Toronto had some better starting pitching in this series, they'd have easily won the first two games. As it stands, they won a tight one last night (thank goodness, game of the week), and lost a tight one in the opener. Baker has a 6.55 ERA on the road, where he is just a mess, and he's absolutely not a guy I'd back in a road game barring some wild circumstances. Cecil has been almost that bad at home, strangely, though he's 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA against the Twinkies, and I like that the Jays just keep pulling lefties out of the hat.
Leans: Blue Jays-3, Over-1
Indians @ Rays (-210) with a total of 9; J. Westbrook vs. W. Davis;
Carlos Pena is 5-for-11 with 2 HR and 4 RBI off Westbrook.
Nope. In the immortal words of Dana Carvey and his GW Sr. impersonation, "Not gonna do it." We've made back most of our early-season losses sticking to a very simple gameplan of not trying too many fancy plays, grabbing at the value plays that have a very nice shot of not only winning long term, but winning short term, as well, and this game has all the makings of a match-up where a lot of folks are going to reach out and grab the Indians. And if they have the bankroll, I don't blame 'em. Westbrook is 6-2 with a 3.66 ERA lifetime against the Rays, but Tampa is a much better offensive club now than they were 3 years ago, and Westbrook is very likely to give up at least a small chunk of runs. Wade Davis might, too, but that pen is solid, and the Rays are playing better, again.
Orioles @ Rangers (-290) with a total of 9.5; J. Guthrie vs. T. Hunter;
Ian Kinsler is 4-for-11 with an RBI off Guthrie.
Interestingly, Jeremy Guthrie is 3-0 with a 3.18 ERA lifetime against the Rangers, so this might be one of those times where we make a slight exception to our rule of 300, and just drop a quarter unit on the dog, since a line this high is rarely warranted.
Yankees (-165) @ Mariners with a total of 7.5; A. Pettitte vs. J. Vargas;
Robinson Cano is a perfect 3-for-3 off Vargas;
Franklin Gutierrez is 5-for-12 with a HR off Pettitte;
Ichiro is 6-for-17 off Pettitte since '05;
Josh Wilson is 5-for-10 off Pettitte with 3 RBI.
If Vargas weren't pitching like a turd in his last couple starts, and didn't have a 7.50 ERA against the Yankees, and Pettitte wasn't having his best season in a decade, well, I might consider the Mariners. Seattle played well in New York a week ago, but you can attribute a lot of that to the starting pitchers that got the job done. Vargas is not one of them. Probably a pass, but I'd lean to the Yanks, with the way they're playing on this road trip.