Saturday, May 31, 2008

VBOTD (Value bet of the day)

Under 8 -115

Bergmann hasn't given up an earned run in his last 3 starts and everyone knows how good Webb can be. Neither team has been tearing it up hitting-wise, although I've been kinda worried about Arizona's defense. However, 8 runs is still a good value under bet.

Running total: -65
Record: 6-6

There have been a lot less value under bets so far this season than there were last season. It seems to me that a lot of the lines have come down at least half a run compared to similar scenarios last season. There have been a lot more 7 and 7.5 total lines in the American League, and a lot of lines that would have been 8.5 last year are now 8. This makes it tougher to identify solid value lines, but things should be better as the season goes on I think.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Under 8.5 -120

Lackey was quite a force last season and even with the minor injury setback he's pretty much picked up where he left off. He's entering his prime and should be one of the pitchers that pitches really well but won't become a household name and create great value. Contreras on the other hand is past his prime but has been pitching really well of late. Combine both starters with the fact that these two teams have gone under 5 of their 6 games so far this season and 8.5 looks like tremendous value.

Running total: -165
Record: 5-6

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Under 7.5

The two league ERA leaders facing off in a national league park is very good value at 7.5. This is a great matchup for baseball fans with a couple great stories for the season. Lee, who's been unhittable with an ERA of 0.67, a WHIP of .67 and a SO/BB ratio of 44/4 goes up against Volquez, who hasn't given up more than 1 earned run in any of his outings. Volquez was acquired in a preseason trade for Josh Hamilton, who is leading the majors in RBIs.

Running total: -65
Record: 5-5

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Where are the big name jockeys?

Another expected romp delivered by Big Brown will set up a very intriguing Belmont Stakes, as there is a lot of hype over the Japanese horse Casino Drive, who put in a fantastic win in the Peter Pan Stakes. And no matter which horse comes out ahead in that last race of the Triple Crown, there should be even more amazing races to come when they tackle older horses and most notably Curlin later in the year. So there are still many big name horses. But where are the big name jockeys?

On the Preakness card, I recognized Desormeaux, Prado, Mike Smith, a couple others, but where are the big race Hall of Fame jockeys? I'm not talking about Corey Nakatani, I'm talking about jockeys of the caliber of Jerry Bailey, Chris McCarron, and Gary Stevens. Even guys whose names weren't as well known like Pat Day and Eddie Delahoussaye. It just seems to me that the old guard isn't dominating while at the same time none of the younger jockeys have really stood out. I must say that I don't follow American racing that extensively so I could be missing someone.

So let's look at world turf racing then. Here's an entirely different story. Besides the whirlwind that has been Christophe Soumillon, it seems to me that every big race and every leaderboard is filled with jockeys whose names I've recognized from a lot of years of watching horseracing. Most of these guys range from 38 (Frankie Dettori) to 49! (Michael Kinane). This leads me to one question that I haven't been able to find an answer for on the web. How strict (if at all) are performance enhancing substance policies for jockeys? I know every jurisdiction takes great care in figuring out what drugs are or are not allowed on the horses, but I wonder about the oversight on jockeys. I mean, to be a world class athlete at those ages is really tough, even in this modern day of medicine. No jockey would really take anything to bulk up, but things like HGH which improve recovery time could change the landscape of racing for these aging jockeys.


Under 8.5 -125

Can't seem to catch a break lately. 7 runs in the last 1.5 innings on my last under pick. Ouch. As for this one, Carmona looked really strong last outing with a complete game shutout, and from how he pitched last season he seems to get better as the season goes on. Harang is still pitching very well, and has been the victim of horrible run support, which looks to continue today.

Running total: -165
Record: 4-5

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Under 8

It's been a tough season for me so far. I say nice things about Bedard and Peavy, and they both get rocked. I say that I'm not sure the old Sabathia is back, and he pitches two stellar games back to back. As for this one, I don't think I really have to explain this pick. Aaron Cook vs. Jake Peavy had a line of 6.5 just last week. I don't know why this line is at 8, but I'm taking it.

Running total: -55
Record: 4-4

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Under 8 -125

Not much needs to be said about Jake Peavy, who I think along with Brandon Webb are the two best pitchers in baseball. Ted Lilly has put together a nice little streak of 4 consecutive quality starts since a horrendous start to the season. San Diego has also played under in 7 of their last 8 games. The line opened at 7.5, and I think I probably would have taken that under too.

Running total: +70
Record: 4-3

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Under 8.5

Edinson Volquez has looked like the real deal so far this season, having given up no more than 1 earned run in any of his starts. Mark Hendrickson has also pitched pretty well since being a starter this season. Except for his first start of the season, he hasn't given up more than 3 earned runs in any of his other starts and sports a 5-1 record. Two starters who aren't household names keep this line from opening lower, whereas yesterday Oswalt vs. Zito was a 7.5 total purely on name alone. Both of those pitchers have not pitched well at all this season and that one easily went over.

Running total: -30
Record: 3-3

Monday, May 12, 2008


Under 9

The line's gone down a little, but I still like the pick.

Under 9

Even though he had a short DL stint, Bedard has pitched well when he's been on the mound, and has shown why Seattle traded 5 players for him over the offseason. Padilla's been solid all season except for one outing, and he's already had 8 starts so it's no fluke.

Running total: -20
Record: 2-2

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Under 9.5 -115

Jurrjens has put together a nice little streak of 5 consecutive quality starts while Duke has pitched pretty well all season except for 2 outings. Both games in this series have gone under the 9.5 line and I think this is actually the best pitching matchup of this series.

CHW -110

Seattle has lost 9 of its last 10 and I see no reason why they should begin a turnaround here. Chicago sends out Gavin Floyd who's been excellent except for one outing, while Seattle sends out Miguel Batista who sports a 12.54 home ERA. -110 here seems good value to me.

Running total: +90
Record: 2-1

Friday, May 9, 2008


OAK -110

Oakland has been near the top of the standings for most of the young season while Texas has only begun to get hot lately. Greg Smith has pitched very well in all of his outings this year while Scott Feldman is a reliever turned starter, and I tend to be wary of those pitchers. With all of that, it seems to me getting a vig-adjusted even money line (-110) is a good value.

Running total: +200
Record: 2-0

Usually I bet over/unders, but this seemed like a good value bet. Here is a great article on why betting totals is better than betting on teams straight up in general:

There are two interesting pitching matchups tonight that I usually like to take the under on, but the lines did not seem to reflect any value to me. Cook and Peavy are both pitching very well but I just don't like taking unders at 6.5. The only under I might take at 6.5 nowadays is Webb vs Peavy. The other matchup is Halladay and Sabathia, but 7.5 seems a bit low as both offenses aren't hopeless and Sabathia hasn't proven he's back to last year's form yet.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Over 7.5 -120

Yes both offenses aren't putting up a lot of runs, and yes both starters are pretty good. But 7.5 is usually reserved for something like a top tier pitching matchup in the NL (something like Brad Penny vs Roy Oswalt, not something like Brandon Webb vs Jake Peavy) and this is an AL game with a DH. Unless this is one of those trap lines where Vegas knows something, it just seems too low a line, even to someone like me who loves to bet unders.

Running total: +100
Record: 1-0

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

VBOTD (Value bet of the day)

Under 8

We all knew Zambrano was a great pitcher, but he's finally showing some consistency, as he's only had one outing this year where he's given up more than 2 earned runs. It's probably from cutting down on the coffee and red bull. As for Harang, don't let his 1-4 record fool you. His numbers are just as good as Zambrano's, with 3 of his 4 losses having been quality starts.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

I have moved

I have finally moved. My new home is in LIC. I'm still buying a few things and waiting for them to get here, and I haven't completely finished unpacking and everything, but I like it so far. I haven't yet decided if I want to arrange a get-together for people to visit, but let me know if you want to say hi and bring me gifts. :-)

Also, I'm allowed to have up to two guests in the gym/rec area with me free of charge for now, although that might change soon. And yes, after I've settled down I expect to put up baseball picks. Although it seems to me all you have to do is bet on Brandon Webb.

This one might be it

I forgot it was even on today until I was walking around my new building's rec lounge and heard "My old Kentucky home". I had no idea who any of this year's Kentucky Derby entrants were. I did remember that last year I was extremely bullish on Curlin and he lost, although now he has demolished both the Breeders' Cup Classic and Dubai World Cup fields.

Being the horse racing enthusiast that I am, I sat down and watched. I saw the odds of all the horses, heard the commentary that there was a decently strong headwind, and if I would have had to venture a guess, I would have picked Colonel John. Then the race started and Big Brown came over from the extreme outside draw, sat 5 wide throughout, made his move going around the final turn, and powered to a victory pulling away. The horse was still jumping at the bit after the race, forcing jockey Kent Desormeaux to dismount.

This was an impressive victory both in the way that he achieved it and how he was pulling up after the race. The horse looks lean and long enough that they might be able to stretch the full mile and a half out of him. This one might be it. This might be the next Triple Crown winner. Although the final time wasn't that fast, this is one of the most impressive performances I've seen in a Derby in a while.

Burger at Old Homestead

I don't tend to go to steakhouses often, and when I do, it's usually to order the signature cut. This includes the porterhouse at Peter Luger's, the mutton chop at Keene's, the double eagle at Del Frisco's, etc. I was in the neighborhood and remembered watching something on TV about a Wagyu burger at Old Homestead so I decided to drop in for a try.

On the menu, there's a 20 oz American Wagyu burger for $41, and a 16oz Japanese Kobe burger for $81. I went for the American Wagyu burger and it was quite a disappointment. The burger was lacking in flavor and the middle, cooked medium rare, was more like a tartare without seasonings. There was just no beef flavor that one expects from a burger. Perhaps I should have tried the Kobe burger, but I don't know if it's worth the experiment now after the disappointment of the Wagyu burger. The tater tots were perfectly crisp, but still felt underseasoned to me. Maybe the chef just ran out of salt when I was there.

I also ordered two jumbo shrimp cocktail, which were quite nice, but expensive at $7 per shrimp. The only plus to the whole experience was that I walked 7 blocks North to Billy's Bakery ( and had a wonderful slice of banana cake (my first time there, I asked the cute girl for recommendations and she said the banana cake was their top seller) which helped put some flavor back into my mouth. I also took a cupcake home and that was quite good too.