THE SHOW (3-2 yesterday and 12-13 so far for the week)
We got back in the game a little bit last night with the late decision to move on the Angels. There's still a hill to climb though.
BUTTA (2-1 yesterday and 5-6 so far for the week)
1. PIRATES (COLE -200) over Phillies (Hernandez) - Cole was awful in what turned out to be his worst start ever in the big leagues his last time out. I expect much more from him late this afternoon. The bottom line is that he's got the stuff, and the Phils are the Phils.
2. BRAVES (SANTANA -165) over D-Backs (Collmenter) - I don't move on the Bravos much. That's because they're such a hit and miss team on offense, but this is a good spot for them. It's incredibly tough to beat them at home, and the Snakes are only 3-13 in their last 16 games in Atlanta. Arizona is also only 1-7 in their next game following a win this season.
ON THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR
1. Cubs (Hammel +140) over NATIONALS (ROARK) - I'm not about to step in front of that Nats train right now, but it should be noted that Hammel is 7-0 lifetime against the Nats and 11-4 over the last 3 seasons in road day games. Still, it would be unpatriotic to go against the Nationals in Washington D.C. on the 4th of July.
2. TWINS (GIBSON -115) over Yankees (Whitley) - The Twinks have a terrible time with the Yanks, but Whitley has gotten bombed his last 2 times out, and Gibson is a good complement to what Phil Hughes has done for Minnesota.
3. WHITE SOX (SALE -165) over Mariners (Elias) - I know a lot of you are going to want to jump the Sox because Sale takes the bump today. I'm right there with you, but I'm going to exercise caution here even knowing that the Mariners are only 15-41 in their last 56 games at U.S. Cellular Field. Simply put, Seattle is the better team. The M's have been real road warriors, they are on a roll and even with a lineup dominated by left handed hitters, they're 20-11 so far this season against southpaw starters. I've got no choice but to pass this one.
RUN LINES (5-4 ATS/6-3 SU/3-6 TOTALS yesterday and 30-34/36-26/32-32 so far for the week)
|AMERICAN LEAGUE||NATIONAL LEAGUE|
|Orioles (+1 1/2, U8 1/2)||Cubs (+1 1/2, U7)|
|TIGERS (-1 1/2, U8)||PIRATES (-1 1/2, U7 1/2)|
|Yankees (+1 1/2, O8 1/2)||Giants|
|TWINS||PADRES (+1 1/2, U6 1/2)|
|Royals (+1 1/2, U7 1/2)||Brewers|
|INDIANS||REDS (-1 1/2, O7 1/2)|
|Mariners (+1 1/2, O7 1/2)||Marlins (+1 1/2, U7 1/2)|
|Blue Jays||D-Backs (+1 1/2, U7 1/2)|
|A'S (-1 1/2, U8)||BRAVES|
|Astros||Dodgers (-1 1/2, U9)|
|ANGELS (-1 1/2, U7 1/2)||ROCKIES|
|METS (-1 1/2, U7 1/2)|
---A good indication of just how far the Giants have fallen would be the fact that they go against the Padres this afternoon, and I'm showing a tie for the game.
---Sweet matchup in Cincinnati this weekend as the Reds try to pull closer to the division leading Brew Crew. First out of the chute: Lohse vs, Simon. Should be a terrific series.
---Kershaw goes for the Dodgers tonight. He's 12-5 lifetime against the Rox, but I just don't like getting involved in games in Denver.
---In another example of "how far have they fallen?", I've got the Mets 5 runs better than the Rangers tonight. YIKES!
One of the trends over the last few years in the league has been that the Western Conference is much stronger than the East, and when and Eastern team goes on the road to play a Western squad, they usually don't fare too well. That happened 3 times in the opening week, Eastern Conference teams were blown out in every game. That situation arises again tonight when the Hamilton Tiger-Cats travel to Edmonton to take on the Eskimos. Edmonton is (-5) right now. This is their home opener for the campaign, while it's Hamilton's 2nd straight road tilt to open the season. I'm not going to play it...yet...but I'm also not going to completely close the door on a possibility to at least grab a money line play if the payout isn't too sparse. Stay tuned.
And speaking of staying tuned, I don't know if you caught the news, but it was announced last Friday that the league now has a contract for this season to telecast games in the States. ESPN has the contract and will carry weekly games on either ESPN2 or ESPNNEWS all the way through the regular season and through to the Grey Cup. It's only natural that this should happen since every CFL game has been available on ESPN3 for the last several years. Next game up for the masses will be tomorrow afternoon's game between Saskatchewan and Toronto on ESPN2. If you've never seen the CFL, you should do yourself a favor and take a couple of minutes to check it "oot", eh? It really is a very entertaining game.
Everyone have a great time in celebration of this great nation today, but please be careful out there. I will see you tomorrow.