I've made some decent coin with the Reds this season, but lately, things just haven't been right with this team. I watch them play, and it's almost like they're just going through the motions---like they have some feeling of entitilement that they should be in the playoffs, and no matter what they do doing the regular season, they're going to be able to turn it on like a light switch and blow through to a championship. We all know it doesn't work that way. Yes, they're pitching is stellar, but so is every other team's in the N.L. fray this season. So, what this is all going to come down to is how teams produce in the clutch and scratch those runs out.
That's where the Reds are in trouble. Once again this season, they don't have a lead off man. Choo, Phillips, Votto and Bruce make up their run producers, but this is a group of hitters, all bunched together in the middle of the lineup, who don't hit "together". Frazier has had an awful season. Ludwick was no help when he came back from injury, and every now and again, they might get something from Mesoraco or Cozart. There's just too many holes in the Cincinnati lineup for them to be considered as a serious contender for the crown, even with their great pitching.
THE SHOW (4-2 yesterday and 12-7 so far for the week)
BUTTA (2-2 yesterday and 4-6 so far for the week)
BRAVES (HALE -185) over Phillies (Cloyd) - The Bravos have basically been sleepwalking through most of this last month. It's been way to easy for them in their division this season, but now there's a reason for motivation for this team. They've actually fallen out of the top spot and lost home field throughout after a poor showing against the Crew the last 3 days. Many will say that home field is not that big a deal in baseball, and generally speaking, I would agree during the regular season, but when it comes to the postseason, it's a different beast. So, I think we see a highly motivated and focused bunch of Braves tonight. It also doesn't hurt the cause that they'll be facing Tyler Cloyd. The Phils might be better off just letting the Bravos hit off a tee.
ON THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR
1. YANKEES (NOVA +110) over Rays (Cobb) - There's nothing to back this play up except feeling. It's the Yanks final home game at the season, and after getting brutalized in the first 2 games of this series and eliminated from the playoffs, I just think they put up a strong effort tonight.
2. WHITE SOX (RIENZO +105) over Royals (Guthrie) - They kept us excited and interested all season long, but it's officially over for my Royals for this season. And just like I think the Yankees put up a strong effort tonight, I feel like the Royals won't have much in the tank tonight. They've been in a pressure cooker for much of the last 3 weeks, and now that the pressure is off and on the road, I just think they show up flat in Chicago tonight.
3. GIANTS (LINCECUM -135) over Dodgers (Volquez) - This game doesn't mean a doggone thing to the Dodgers, but I think it does to the Giants. It's been a very weak defense of their championship this season, and this game will have no bearing whatsoever on the Dodgers fate when it comes to seeding in the playoffs. But the Giants and Giant fans take this rivalry very seriously, even when there's nothing on the line.
BROOMOLOGY (1-2 ATS & SU yesterday and 6-6 & 5-7 so far for the week)
Home Dog (2-0 ATS & SU so far for the week)
YANKEES (+1 1/2) vs. Rays
RUN-(NING) LINES (6-9 ATS/9-6 SU/8-7 TOTALS yesterday and 25-33/26-28/34-24 so far for the week)
1. Blue Jays (+1 1/2, U8) at ORIOLES
2. Rays (-1 1/2, U7 1/2) over YANKEES
3. Angels (+1 1/2, U9) at RANGERS
4. Indians (-1 1/2, U8) over TWINS
5. WHITE SOX (+1 1/2, U8) vs. Royals
6. PADRES (-1 1/2, U7) over D-Backs
7. Brewers (+1 1/2, U7 1/2) at METS
8. Phillies (+1 1/2, U7 1/2) at BRAVES
9. Dodgers (+1 1/2, U7) at GIANTS
THE NFL (6-9 so far for the week)
49ers (-3) over RAMS - Coach Harbaugh had a shiny new toy last year, and he couldn't wait to break it out of the box and play with it. The Niners came close last year, but NFL D-Coordinators are a smart bunch, and it didn't take them long to figure out how to defend the read option QB. So, I expect Harbaugh to get back to basics for this game and ground and pound on the Rams as it looks like St. Louis is vulnerable in the front 7. The Niners have been getting pushed off the ball on the defensive side too, but the Rams don't have the same kind of hammer that San Fran does with Gore and Hunter.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL (25-19 last week and 73-58 so far for the month)
BUTTA (2-0 last week and 4-1 so far for the month)
GEORGIA TECH (-7) over Virginia Tech - The 'Jackets look like a real beast in the early going, and it's just not their offense. Their defense has been stellar and have held much better offenses than the one they'll see tonight to very little. They have the home game on the short week, which is always a plus, but the Hokies had to play 3OT's last week at home to finally dispatch Marshall. The history of teams coming off 3 overtimes or more is not very good for their next game as it is, but the fact that this is a short week with travel for the Gobblers, doesn't bode well for them tonight.
ALL THE REST
TULSA (-2 1/2) over Iowa St. - It's been a rough start to the season for both squads, but Tulsa is at home, and they haven't lost to a I-AA school, so I'll lean to them without even having to flip a coin or toss a dart at the wall.
The taxi service has been revived! Back and forth. Here and there. I've been so many places today, that I might have a hard time listing them all. But I'm back in the Command Center safe and sound, so I guess that's all that matters. Have a great night. I'll see you tomorrow.