Play of the Day for Monday, April 28, 2008

Apr 28, 2008 9:15 PM

Santana has faced Pittsburgh twice in his career, once as a starter and once in relief and has a 1.13 ERA in those two outings. The Amazins’ (14-11) are still chasing Florida in the NL East and need to win games like this – when their best pitcher starts against the worst team in the division. And lay the run-and-a-half if you don’t like the steep price but remember the home team won’t bat in the bottom of the ninth inning if they’re leading. METS -215.

Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals (-142): St. Louis has been impressive to start the season (16-10), especially the young pitching staff still waiting for ace Cris Carpenter to return. Tonight’s starter, Todd Wellmeyer, has held his own while the Reds’ starter, Bronson Arroyo (0-3, 7.56) has been raked, including giving up 10 hits in just 3 2/3 innings of work against the Astros in his last start.

St. Louis is also playing well in the Gateway City (10-5) and is trying to stay on their rival Cubs’ heels in the NL Central. CARDINALS -142.

Houston Astros at Arizona Diamondbacks (-172): Irrational exuberance? The Diamondbacks have the Majors’ best record (17-7) and they have instantly become the darlings of the media but remember, this is a team still finding its way with a blend of young and new players on the roster. Now that we’ve pled for rational thinking on Arizona, let’s bet ‘em.

Dan Haren (3-1) gets the ball for the Snakes and will face the Astros’ Chris Sampson (1-2, 6.38) who allowed just two earned runs in a combined 13 innings against Arizona last season. The folks in Phoenix are really starting to embrace this squad which has a 9-2 record at Chase Field, the best home record in MLB. DIAMONDBACKS -172.

Colorado Rockies at San Francisco Giants (-114): Poor Matt Cain. In his 37 starts for the Boys by the Bay, Los Gigantes have scored no more than one run 17 times now! Talk about lack of run support. But Cain (0-2, 5.27 ERA) has been impressive despite his team’s offense and Rockies southpaw Franklin Morales (1-1, 6.00) is nothing to write home about. Look for SF to be able to get Cain at least four runs tonight – and that might be enough. You’ll hear more about the Giants’ Cain – 7-16 last year – in the future. GIANTS -114, UNDER.