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Play of the Day for Friday, May 23, 2008

May 23, 2008 8:16 PM

by GT Staff | San Francisco Giants at Florida Marlins (-180, 9): The Giants were eager to start a season without steroid poster boy Barry Bonds but could they have imagined having this much trouble scoring runs? At least MLBs all-time home leader found a way to become a base runner half the time the opposing pitchers chose to pitch to him.

On the road, San Francisco is now 8-14 after winning two straight in Denver against the Rockies. And if it werent for the pathetic Padres (17-31), Los Gigantos (18-29) would have the worst record in all of baseball.

Pitching for SF is Barry Zito (0-8, 6.25 ERA), an overpaid southpaw who was moved to the bullpen for a second before returning to the starting rotation a week later. Zito allowed half of the 28 batters he faced in his last outing (Chisox) to reach base but is 1-0 lifetime against the Marlins with a 4.91 ERA in two starts.

Opposing Zito is Florida lefty Scott Olsen (4-1, 2.82) who has been consistent although he has had trouble getting his velocity past 88 mph according to www.MLB.com. Olsen has been a big part of the reason why the Fish are off to such a surprising start. And with guys like Dan Uggla (14 HRs), Hanley Ramirez, Mike Jacobs and Luis Gonzalez providing the offense, Florida is simply finding ways to win despite having the MLBs worst defense. And if the Marlins can find a way to beat a 9-0 Brandon Webb, beating an 0-8 guy like Barry Zito should be a virtual walk in the (Dolphin Stadium) park.

And want some unique stats? (Check out www.statfox.com) Florida is 5-2 on Fridays this season while Florida is just 1-6 this season on Friday. MARLINS -180.

BONUS PICK:

Detroit Shock (-9, 154 LVH) at Atlanta Dream: The expansion Dream are in over their heads against Bill Laimbeers girls in their home franchise opener tonight. In their regular season opener, Atlanta shot just 39.4% (28-71) from the field, a paltry 23.1% (3-13) from three-point land and just 50% (8-16) from the charity stripe. The Dream turned the ball over 16 times and if you count their two preseason games, has now lost by an average of 17.3 PPG lifetime after getting trounced at Connecticut, 100-67 in the season opener. SHOCK. BEST BET.