The two offenses have combined for 8 runs in the first 2 games of the series, and i don't foresee things getting any easier tonight. Cliff Lee has been solid as usual, with a 40:7 K:BB and 5 QS in 7 appearances. Trevor Cahill has been a bit more surprising, going 7+ IP in 4 of his last 5 starts, sporting a 2.80 ERA, while the DBacks have gone 6-1 U in his starts. Perhaps he's out-pitching his skills, but I'm going to ride the train til it crashes.
Two pretty weak offenses (Miami easily last in NL in OPS, LA has scored <= 3 runs in 7 of their last 10) and two pretty solid SP's. Kevin Slowey has 5 QS in his last 6 outings, has a 36:8 K:BB, and the Marlins are 6-1 U in his starts. Meanwhile Ryu has rung up a 48:12 K:BB in only 43 IP while holding opponents to a <.300 OBP. We have a favorable ump (Kulpa 46-25 U the past 3 seasons) and a night game on the West Coast.
Also have to look at Miami +182...I'm certainly not laying -190+ with an LAD team that is 1-9 in their L10 and is already down 14 units on the season.
This is the role you look to 'play on' the Wizards--as a dog, stepping up in class. Washington owns SU/ATS wins over the likes of Denver, Houston, Brooklyn, NYK and LAC in the past month. Their short term ATS skid (3-5 L8G) has largely come as a favorite, a role that they've struggled with. But I think it's created some value here. Their previous 2 matchups with Brooklyn this season were a 115-113 OT loss and an 89-74 win. The Wizards are a solid defensive team and are 17-10-1 ATS in road games, 22-6-1 vs >.500 opponents, and 7-3 at NJ/Brk. The Nets have a meeting @ Atl tomorrow night, who is a half game behind them in the conference standings...so there's the possibility of a 'look ahead' here.
LA's biggest problem in their latest run has been stepping up in class (blowout losses to the likes of OKC, Miami, LAC, Boston). The Hornets certainly don't qualify as that type of team, and they have had their own issues vs quality teams as they are 5-12 at home vs >.500 opponents. The Lakers should be focused coming off of last nite's butt-kicking, and should have Kobe, MWP and D12 in the line-up.
Sure it's square, but I still think there's value with the Nuggets. They've won the previous 2 matchups this season by 28 and 25 points. Denver owns the NBA's best transition offense while Sacto is among the league's worst in transition defense. The Nuggets also hit the offensive glass better than any other team, while the Kings are among the worst in terms of defensive rebounding (Denver with 51-40 and 52-42 rebounding edges in 1st 2 matchups). The Kings are also awful protecting the paint, another spot where the Denver offense is successful. I don't worry about Denver in the 2nd night of B2B's, as they are one of the NBA's deepest teams and have won 11 of their last 16 in that role.
Philly/Wash U 186
Two of the NBA's least efficient offenses, and both teams do a good job of limiting easy transition buckets. Philly has played 9 of their last 13 games Under the total, while Washington is 18-7-1 to the Under in their last 26. The Wizards quietly play very solid defense, and should be able to shut down the Sixers, even if Nene is a no-go.