Saturday, August 18, 2012

SFTC 8/18/12
Sunderland Win/Draw Or Lose By 1 @ Arsenal Wins By 2+
Finally, we have some EPL soccer to pick. Last season Arsenal finished 3rd in the league behind only Manchester United and Manchester City. They had a goal differential of +25. Meanwhile, Sunderland finished in the middle of the pack but towards the bottom of the table in 13th place. Their goal differential wasn't too bad for a team that finished that low, as it was at -1. This offseason Arsenal made a move that probably changed their entire team by selling Robert Van Persie, probably their best player, to Manchester United.

My Pick: Sunderland Win, Draw, Lose by 1
Why: I believe Arsenal will take a match to get their team in shape and to develop some chemistry with their new striker. Therefore, Sunderland should stay within a goal and finish in a 1-0 or 2-1 Arsenal win.

Tottenham Hotspur Win or Draw @ Newcastle United Win
Last season, Tottenham finished in 4th place in the league and had a very good goal differential of +25. On the other hand, Newcastle finished 5th but had a goal differential that was very bad for such a high finish at only +5.

My Pick: Tottenham Hotspur Win or Draw
Why: I think Tottenham is a little better than Newcastle, and if they were at home would easily win the game. However, I expect Newcastle to play hard at home and have the game finish in a 1-1 draw.

Novak Djokovic Wins 2-0 vs Any Other Result
Djokovic, the #2 seed in the world, will meet Juan Martin Del Potro, the #9 ranked player in the world. In the head to head series, Djokovic leads 4-2. However, the last two matches have been won by Del Potro, in the Olympics and in the Davis Cup. Also, in the 2011 French Open, Del Potro took Djokovic to 4 sets before losing the match. The odds in this one favor Djokovic to win 2-0, as the odds are at -163. For Del Potro to win a set and lose the match, the odds are at 300.

My Pick: Any Other Result
Why: History tells us Del Potro has done very well against "The Joker".  I believe he should win a set but lose the match.

Jimmy Walker or Tie vs Webb Simpson
Here we have an 18 hole golf prop which I advise you to stay away from, but if you do want to pick it I'll tell you what I think. Jimmy Walker enters day 3 leading the tournament at -12, while Webb Simpson is in 2nd place at -11. He is ranked 55th in the Fedex Cup and came into this tournament following an even score at the PGA championship. Meanwhile Webb Simpson is no underdog, as he is ranked 13th in the Fedex Cup, and won the US Open earlier in the year.

My Pick: Webb Simpson
Why: Usually I like to pick the person with the tie or the hotter golfer. Jimmy Walker seems to lack the experience of winning a tournament going into day 3 or 4. However, Webb has experienced this and should play his usual golf. I believe Jimmy will fade a little bit and Webb will take advantage.

Yes Federer Gets Broken In The 1st Set vs No Federer Does Not Get Broken In The First Set
Here we have a match between Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka. Federer has owned Wawrinka in the past, winning 10 out of their 11 meetings. The one loss came in 2009 in Monte Carlo, and even then the set was very close. They have not played since 2011 where Federer won in 3 sets. Also in 2011 in Roland Garros, Federer displayed his very good serve and was able to hold serve and break Wawrinka.

My Pick: No Federer Does Not Get Broken In The First Set
Why: I believe Federer's serve will just be too much for Wawrinka. Federer played last night against Mardy
Fish, where he was not broken the whole match.

Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees
Pitching Matchup
David Phelps: 3-3, 2.53 ERA. Last Start: 5 IP, 2 ER. Post All Star: 2-0, 1.15. Home Stats: 1-1, 1.86 ERA.
Jon Lester: 6-10, 5.20 ERA. Last Start: 6 IP, ER. Post All Star: 1-4, 7.53. Away Stats: 4-2, 3.17 ERA.

My Pick: New York Yankees
Why: Keep in mind David Phelps' stats came mostly as a reliever, but I believe he can be effective as a starter. I think the Yankees offense should be good enough to put some runs up on Lester and help Phelps to get a win.

Pittsburgh Pirates @ St.Louis Cardinals
Pitching Matchup
Lance Lynn: 13-5, 3.65 ERA. Last Start: 5 IP, 4 ER. Post All Star: 2-1, 4.37 ERA. Home Stats: 6-3, 3.15 ERA.
Erik Bedard: 7-12, 4.56 ERA. Last Start: 5 IP, 3 ER. Post All Star: 3-2,  3.90 ERA. Away Stats: 3-8, 6.75 ERA.

Cardinals: -165
Pirates: +150

My Pick: St. Louis Cardinals LOCK OF THE DAY

Vancouver Whitecaps Win or Draw @ Seattle Sounders Win
Here we have an MLS matchup. We saw the Whitecaps play Dallas FC earlier this week and lose at home on SFTC. Both teams enter this matchup with 37 points and are tied for 3rd. However, Seattle has a goal differential of 8 compared to Vancouver's -3. At home this season, Seattle is 7-1-3. Vancouver is not the team they are at home on the road this season as they have had major defensive issues and have compiled a 3-3-6 record. In Vancouver's last 5 matches, they have been okay and compiled a 2-1-2 record. In Seattle's last 5 matches they have been red hot and compiled a 3-1-1 record. These teams met in Vancouver earlier in the year and Seattle drew 2-2.

My Pick: Seattle Sounders Win

Baltimore Orioles @ Detroit Tigers
Pitching Matchup
Rick Porcello: 9-7, 4.68 ERA. Post All Star: 3-2, 5.21 ERA. Home Stats: 4-3, 4.63 ERA.
Zach Britton: 1-1, 8.10 ERA. Post All Star: 1-1, 8.10 ERA. Away Stats: 1-1, 7.82 ERA.

Baltimore Orioles: +180
Detroit Tigers: -200

My Pick: Detroit Tigers

New York Giants @ New York Jets
Here we have the New York rivalry, as the Giants will meet the Jets. The Super Bowl Champs lost their first preseason game in a shootout against the Jags, 32-31. Meanwhile, the Jets lost to the Bengals in a defensive game, 17-6. I was impressed with David Carr against the Jags but wasn't impressed at all with the Jets offense. The Jets enter as a 1 point favorite. Keep in mind this game is in the stadium these two teams share, so there really isn't a home team here.

My Pick: New York Giants

Philadelphia Phillies @ Milwaukee Brewers
Pitching Matchup
Cole Hamels: 13-6, 2.91 ERA. Post All Star: 3-2, 2.17 ERA. Away Stats: 7-3, 3.07 ERA.
Mike Feirs: 6-5, 2.63 ERA. Post All Star: 3-2, 3.06 ERA. Home Stats: 4-3, 2.22  ERA.

Brewers: +100
Phillies: -110

My Pick: Philadelphia Phillies

Los Angeles Dodgers @ Atlanta Braves
Aaron Harang: 8-7, 3.76 ERA. Post All Star: 2-2, 4.46 ERA. Away Stats: 6-3, 3.68 ERA.
Ben Sheets: 4-2, 2.13 ERA. Post All Star: 4-2, 2.13 ERA. Home Stats: 2-1, 1.93 ERA.

Series This Season: 3-1 Atlanta
Braves: -150
Dodgers: +135

My Pick: Atlanta Braves

Chicago White Sox @ Kansas City Royals
Pitching Matchup:
Jake Peavy: 9-8, 3.04 ERA. Post All Star: 2-3, 3.59 ERA. Away Stats: 4-5, 2.90 ERA.
Bruce Chen: 8-10, 5.56 ERA. Post All Star: 1-2, 6.50 ERA. Home Stats: 4-3, 4.62 ERA.

White Sox: -136
Royals: +126

My Pick: Chicago White Sox

Li Na vs Venus Williams
Here we have two very good tennis players. Na enters ranked 9th and Williams enters ranked 64th, however she was hurt and used to be a top 10 ranked player. In the head to head series, Na leads 2-0 by defeating Venus in 2010 and 2008. To get here, Venus had some impressive wins, defeating 3rd ranked Stosur, 12th ranked Kirilenko, and 7th seeded Errani and Scheepers. Na is ranked, so she cruised through her first two matches (had a first round bye) and then defeated #1 ranked Radwanksa.

My Pick: Li Na
Why: I just think Williams seems like she is due for a loss after upsetting all those people. I think Na should win in 3 sets, especially coming off the defeat of #1 seeded Radwanksa.

San Francisco Giants @ San Diego Padres
Barry Zito: 9-8, 4.29 ERA. Post All Star: 2-2, 5.05 ERA. Away Record: 5-2, 4.22 ERA
Eric Stults: 3-2, 2.49 ERA. Post All Star: 2-0, 1.37 ERA. Home Record: 1-1, 2.37 ERA

Odds: Line is even

My Pick: San Francisco Giants
Why: I know that Stults looks like the better pitcher on paper, but he hasn't had enough starts for me to think he is good. I think Zito will hold the Padres to a few runs and the Giants offense even without Melky Cabrera will be good enough to score more runs than the Padres.

FC Dallas Win or Draw @ Real Salt Lake Win
Here we have a matchup of MLS teams. Dallas enters with 29 points and a goal differential of -3, and Real Salt Lake enters with 42 points (good for 2nd place in the Western Conference) and a goal differential of 6. At home, Salt Lake is 9-1-3 while FC Dallas is a dreadful 2-2-8 on the road. Salt Lake enters the game coming off 2 road defeats while FC Dallas is coming off a road win. Real Salt Lake to win is -143 and FC Dallas or draw or +110.

My Pick: Real Salt Lake Win

Los Angeles Sparks @ Seattle Storm
Seattle Storm Stats:
Record: 10-10
Home Record: 6-2
PPG: 70.4
PAPG: 71.4
Last 10: 7-3 (2 game winning streak)

Los Angeles Sparks Stats:
Record: 15-6
Away Record: 6-5
PPG: 82.5
PAPG: 79
Last 10: 7-3 (5 game winning streak)

The Sparks are a 5 point favorite

My Pick: Los Angeles Sparks

Streak It Up Parlay Of The Day: Los Angeles Angels and Philadelphia Phillies

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