marksmoneymakers Posts:19661 Followers:140
04/04/2013 10:03 AM

FREDDY WILLS

Angels +113 (1* FREE PLAY)

The time off yesterday was definitely needed. We will start with a value play early with the Angels as under dogs. On paper it appears the Reds have the advantage of playing the early game on the east coast with the better pitcher in Arroyo. However, I’m going off raw stats and value here and not public’s or the media’s perception. First of all you have to know the Reds were 23rd vs. RHP in OPS a year ago while the Angels were 5th. The Reds lost Ryan Ludwick, one of their best hitters on day 1 which impacted their line up significantly while the Angels added Josh Hamilton who will only improve their OPS vs. RHP this year.

Bronson Arroyo will take the mound for the Reds and he’s a durable pitcher and will be sure to make 33 starts, but in my opinion he pitched over his head quite a bit last year despite his 3.74 ERA he seemed quite a bit lucky only allowing 20 HR, 46 previous year. Arroyo had a 4.19 xFIP which is more indicative of his true ERA and he has struggled big time in interleague play of late and Albert Pujols is quite familiar with him and has 4 HR and a .900 OPS.

Joe Blanton on the other side has a ton of value not only in this season but moving forward. He’s got the 4th best K/BB ratio at 5.7 last year and his Xfip is 3.39. His biggest issue is giving up HR, but the ball is not going to be carrying early in the season with the cold weather. I’m not suggesting he won’t give up a lot of HR’s again this year, but in opportunities when home runs are not the norm (early season cold weather) we have to take full advantage of Blanton’s abilities which is throwing Angels +113 (1* FREE PLAY)
The time off yesterday was definitely needed. We will start with a value play early with the Angels as under dogs. On paper it appears the Reds have the advantage of playing the early game on the east coast with the better pitcher in Arroyo. However, I’m going off raw stats and value here and not public’s or the media’s perception. First of all you have to know the Reds were 23rd vs. RHP in OPS a year ago while the Angels were 5th. The Reds lost Ryan Ludwick, one of their best hitters on day 1 which impacted their line up significantly while the Angels added Josh Hamilton who will only improve their OPS vs. RHP this year.

Bronson Arroyo will take the mound for the Reds and he’s a durable pitcher and will be sure to make 33 starts, but in my opinion he pitched over his head quite a bit last year despite his 3.74 ERA he seemed quite a bit lucky only allowing 20 HR, 46 previous year. Arroyo had a 4.19 xFIP which is more indicative of his true ERA and he has struggled big time in interleague play of late and Albert Pujols is quite familiar with him and has 4 HR and a .900 OPS.

Joe Blanton on the other side has a ton of value not only in this season but moving forward. He’s got the 4th best K/BB ratio at 5.7 last year and his Xfip is 3.39. His biggest issue is giving up HR, but the ball is not going to be carrying early in the season with the cold weather. I’m not suggesting he won’t give up a lot of HR’s again this year, but in opportunities when home runs are not the norm (early season cold weather) we have to take full advantage of Blanton’s abilities which is throwing strikes and getting batters to miss.

Both pitchers will rely on not giving up HR’s and I think they will both be successful today so that turns the game into small ball and Blanton ranked 22nd best in contract rate while Arroyo was 8th worst allowing 85% of his pitches to be hit. He gave up 30 hits and a .333 average in sprint training and now he goes up against a talented line up. I expect him to have runners on base all day long. Can he win? Absolutely, but I’ll fade a pitcher as a favorite that will put more guys on base than his opponent.

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marksmoneymakers Posts:19661 Followers:140
04/04/2013 10:04 AM

CHRIS JORDAN

I had the Nationals yesterday as a 100♦ release - my first Run Line Punisher of the season - and I can't be happier to see the team I've bet to win the World Series looking strong on both ends of the spectrum.

And pardon me while I gloat with Vegas pride over the fact Bryce Harper stole the headlines on Opening Day. And got another hit last night in the Nationals' 3-0 win.

Yes, there's quite the excitement stirring in a town starving for a sports-success story. Lord knows our nation's capital dying for something positive knowing it has four more years of a Democrat in office.

Today I fully expect the Nationals to finish up the series with another win, and roll to huge win with Jordan Zimmerman on the slab, facing Miami's Wade LeBlanc. Harper, Jayson Werth and the rest of the boys will take care of the offensive end of things, it's Zimmerman I'm most intrigued about.

Washington's northpaw comes in after his best season, going 12-8 with a 2.94 ERA in 32 starts. And reports out of spring are that he is out to improve his numbers and contribute in the No. 3 slot. His strength is his durability, and there's no doubt with the lineup he has behind him, he'll reach his goal of 200 innings.

LeBlanc, meanwhile, is the lone southpaw in the Miami rotation, and made only nine starts last season. He might have been effective out of the bullpen, and yes he threw four relief appearances and tossed five shutout innings against these Nationals, but this is a whole new year. And with Miami's winter clearance sale, I don't think it's fair to expect him to do anything special in his first start of the season. Especially against the National League favorites to win the pennant.

Lay the run line in this one, as the Nationals will roll.

3* WASHINGTON RUN LINE

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marksmoneymakers Posts:19661 Followers:140
04/04/2013 10:04 AM

BRETT ATKINS

Alright, so I'm taking the Seattle Mariners tonight over the Oakland Athletics, and I want you listing one pitcher only in this game, and that is Brandon Maurer, who makes his Major League debut.

The towering, right-handed, 22-year-old etched his way into the Mariners rotation after an excellent spring. The Orange County, California-native was the Southern League Pitcher of the Year for Double-A Jackson last season. In 24 AA starts last season, Maurer posted a respectable 3.20 ERA, striking out 117 while walking 48.

As an aggressive pitcher who's shown a good ability to throw his 94 mile-per-hour heater to either side of the plate, I don't think he'll be showing any signs of tentativeness in this one, and will be eager to go after a shaky Athletics lineup that was cold the first two games of the season, until coming alive last night for a 6-2 win. Maurer will mix in a plus-slider and a good curve as needed to neutrazlize the A's.

But all that stuff is the same thing the A's know. Now it's a matter of seeing him live for the first time on a baseball field - something no team has done.

That's what makes this play sexy.

3* SEATTLE (List Maurer)

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marksmoneymakers Posts:19661 Followers:140
04/04/2013 10:04 AM

JEFF BENTON

Freebie for Thursday is the Boston Red Sox to get the broom out versus the New York Yankees in the finale of this opening series in the Bronx.

Last night Hiroki Kuroda last just over an inning before leaving with the contusion on his pitching hand. Just add him to the growing list of injured pinstripers, as Kuroda joins Hughes from the pitching staff as the "walking wounded". Throw in Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Curtis Granderson, and this Yankees lineup is just not the same one that can slug its way onto the scoreboard.

That being the case, going to have to back the BoSox as they go for the sweep behind Ryan Dempster. Maybe Dempster doesn't work a shutout, but I just don't see the Yanks getting more than 2 or 3 runs off of him.

On the other hand, not sure what we are going to get from the aged Andy Pettitte? How many innings can he possibly last at his advanced age, 5, 6?

Too many question marks surrounding the Yankees, have to go with the Red Sox to leave the Bronx at 3-0.

2* BOSTON

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marksmoneymakers Posts:19661 Followers:140
04/04/2013 10:05 AM

Jim Feist's FREE Play for Thursday, April 4, 2013

(955) MIAMI MARLINS VS (956) WASHINGTON NATIONALS

Take: UNDER THE TOTAL.

Miami couldn't muster any runs in the opener, a 2-0 loss, which isn't a huge surprise as Washington is a huge park, great for pitchers. At least the go with a good arm in Wade LeBlanc, a fly ball pitcher who is well suited for a big park like this. LeBlanc posted a 3.67 ERA and 1.31 WHIP over 68.2 innings pitched (nine starts) last season for the Marlins. The under is 3-1-2 in the Marlins last 6 games as a road underdog. Washington goes with Jordan Zimmermann, two years removed from Tommy John surgery, and last season in 19 of his first 21 games it resulted in quality starts with a 2.28 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. He walked only 2 Marlins in 17 innings against them last season. The under is 5-2 in the Nationals last 7 games vs. a right-handed starter. Play the Marlins/Nationals under the total.

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marksmoneymakers Posts:19661 Followers:140
04/04/2013 10:05 AM

DAVE ESSLER

Cliff Notes -Day Baseball

Cubs at Pirates: Wood is always a dicey proposition. He finished last season with a WHIP of only 1.25 but gave up a ton of jacks. Super-tough on lefties. Pitched well as a whole against the Pirates, save Neil Walker. McDonald had his best year, and although his WHIP was down (far less hits/no less walks) he too gives up the long ball. With the chilly temperature and slight breeze in from RF, looks like yet another under is possible here. Not sure McDonald is worth -150 here, so IMO the value lies with Wood and the Cubs.

Padres-Mets: At first glance we like the Mets, if nothing else as a fade of Stults rather than a play on Dillon Gee. Both these starters have had a hard time keeping the ball in the park as well, which is only magnified by the fact that they both play in pitchers' parks. Limited exposure to either teams' lineup, which would also make me lean under. The Mets had been almost an auto fade against lefties last season, and I don't think the Padres pen is quite as bad as the Mets made them look in game one, so I could see taking the Padres here. Gee's Spring wasn't all that great. I might have considered taking the over here, but in these day games often times starters rest (after night games) so we do need to see the lineups first.

Philadelphia at Atlanta: We love Medlen and his post Tommy-John surgery numbers. The kid went from the pen to starting last year, and had a beastly 0.97 WHIP in 12 starts. He does keep the ball in the park, but I did notice that in limited at bats some of the Phillies had had success. With that in mind, I may make a case for Cliff Lee here. His six wins last year perhaps diminish his value early on, coupled with the lower expectations placed on the Phillies. There's little or no doubt who has the better bullpen. There is supposed to be a significant weather front coming through the area on Thursday, but I do think it'll be through by tomorrow night. However, it should be damp and windy in from RF, so in a pitchers' park we've got to think Braves and under.

Detroit at Minnesota: I've always looked to fade an almost always over valued Porcello. This game for sure we need lineups. Not likely Mauer will catch, and perhaps a switch with he and Doumit at DH. I can certainly see taking the Twins here since they have the momentum from Wednesday's comeback and the Tigers pen three relievers, including Villareal and Benoit (again). Of course that would mean taking the Twins pen again, who costs us Monday, but the hard bets to make are more often than not the ones we win. That total is on the high side of 8.5 after opening on the low side, probably in part because the wind may well be blowing straight out. That and the fact that most of the Tigers have lit up Pelfrey.

Kansas City at Chicago: Lost on the Royals today. Sure enough Santana did the one thing he can do, which is give up bombs. The Royals had their chances and have to feel pretty good about a loss, actually. Guthrie may be under valued early since he had a decent year with the Royals until he had to pitch a few months in Coors Field. Floyd was actually better on the road last season, and is much tougher on right handed hitters, so given all the LHH's in the Royals lineup and the fact that at -125 they're begging for White Sox money, I will take the Royals.

Baltimore at Tampa Bay: Even as well as the Orioles are hitting, day games at the Trop are almost automatic under bets, or have been over the years. But, this is still Fausto Carmona no matter how you slice it. Upside is he's fare well against the Orioles over the years. Have to think if Showalter named him the number three starter that he's got the confidence that he can duplicate last season. After Monday's Rays bullpen meltdown, and knowing Carmona won't last forever, I could see taking the Orioles here, especially at plus money.

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marksmoneymakers Posts:19661 Followers:140
04/04/2013 10:06 AM

That is all from me today. Headed to work and will not be home until 8:00

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