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April 6, 2011
For Amusement Only 4/6
Now that each team has a few games under its belt and trends are starting to develop, there are a whole bunch of plays I like on Wednesday's slate of the games—eight, to be exact.
In the afternoon, despite big early odds, I'll take the Cardinals and Chris Carpenter -215 over the Pirates and Kevin Correia. Carpenter has overwhelmed the Pirates throughout his career, going 11-1 with a 2.12 ERA in 15 starts. The Cardinals have also won each of Carpenter's last 13 starts against the Pirates.
I'll go with the White Sox and Mark Buehrle -120 over the Royals and Jeff Francis. The White Sox have won 21 of Buehrle's last 28 starts at Kaufman Stadium and he is 21-11 with a 3.57 ERA against the Royals in 47 games, 45 starts.
Let's lay some more big odds with another National League Central pitcher and take the Cubs and Ryan Dempster -180 over the Diamondbacks and Armando Galarraga. The Cubs have won their last eight games against and the Diamondbacks. Also, lost in all the hype about his perfect game that wasn't last season is the fact that Galarraga just isn't a very good pitcher.
The Padres and Tim Stuaffer +130 over the Giants and Tim Lincecum looks like a good underdog play. The Giants have had problems at Petco Park in recent years, losing 13 of their last 19 there.
At night, I'll go with the Yankees and Freddy Garcia -160 over the Twins and Carl Pavano, though the line seems high at first blush. Though the Twins beat the Yankees on Tuesday night, it does not hide the fact that they have lost 58 of their last 77 games against the Bronx Bombers, including 37 of their last 51 in New York.
Finally, I'll take the Blue Jays and Jesse Litsch -110 over the Athletics and Dallas Braden. The Blue Jays have won 17 of their last 23 meetings against the Athletics and seem to have some good karma going during the first few days of the season.
I'll stick with the Cardinals all the way to -260, the Rangers to -165, the White Sox to -130, the Padres to -115, the Yankees to -170, the Orioles to -180 and the Blue Jays -115. I would not go any higher than the aforementioned -180 over the Cubs.
Other possible plays depending on line movement are the Angels and Dan Haren over the Rays and Jeremy Hellickson at -115 or less, the Marlins and Chris Volstad over the Nationals and Livan Hernandez at -135 or less, and the Braves and Mike Minor over the Brewers and Sergio Mitre at -110 or less.
Tuesday was a winning day at 3-1 and +214 units. The winners were the Padres +113 over the Giants, the Blue Jays +100 over the Athletics, and the Royals +101 over the White Sox while the loser was the Braves +105 over the Brewers.
Season record: 10-10 (.500)