WELCOME to your Monday’s Free Edition of National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball Stat/Sheets. Each day right here we will list the Top - Angles, Stats, and both Match-up and Situational Power Trends for up-coming games, including all the Key - ATS, Over/Unders, Money-Line, First Half ATS Top Trends including Over/Unders, Coaches ATS & Over/Unders and Teaser Line Trends, along with all your high percentage Super Situational Systems. “And don’t forget to checkout our Featured Models (updated) each week along with our NBA and MLB pages every day, as we will preview all of your daily matchups. Enjoy, and as always the very best of luck from all of us here at Stat/Systems Sports."

Every day we scour our huge database and offer to you matchups that are rated highest by our proprietary algorithms. One of the *FOUR-STAR Systems that appeared in Sunday's (4/15/12) NBA and MLB Stat/Systems Report applied to the PITTSBURGH/SAN FRANCISCO matchup. PLAY AGAINST - All favorites against a 1.5 run line. (Money Line =+115 to +160) (SAN FRANCISCO) - NL team with a low on-base percentage (<=.350) against a team with a good bullpen (WHIP <=1.350), with a poor bullpen whose WHIP is 1.550 or worse on the season. W-L Record 159-53 (75.0%, +77.1 units) since 1997.

•RESULT: Kevin Correia tossed six strong innings as the Pittsburgh Pirates avoided a sweep with a 4-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants in the finale of a three-game set at AT&T Park. Correia (1-0) gave up just one run on three hits and one walk while striking out two. Joel Hanrahan struggled with his control in the ninth, but managed to turn away the Giants and record his first save of the season. Alex Presley finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and Garrett Jones crushed a solo home run, while Neil Walker had two hits and Josh Harrison added an RBI for the Bucs, who snapped a five-game skid.

Ryan Vogelsong (0-1) took the loss in his first start of the season after recovering from back pain that caused him to miss time during spring training. Vogelsong gave up just two runs on four hits and three walks while fanning seven in 6 1/3 innings. Emmanuel Burriss knocked in the only run of the game for the Giants, who had a three-game winning streak halted. To make matters worse for San Francisco, the team placed star closer Brian Wilson on the 15-day DL with a right elbow sprain. Giants manager Bruce Bochy announced on Saturday that the hard-throwing righty likely has structural damage in the elbow and would consult orthopedist Dr. James Andrews, but he will likely require season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Another one of our Top Super Situational Systems also covered in yesterday's Report- As LeBron James had 29 points and 10 rebounds, while Dwyane Wade added 28 points, nine rebounds and four assists as the Heat used an elongated run in the fourth quarter to snap the New York Knicks' nine-game home winning streak with a 93-85 victory on Sunday, clinching the Southeast Division title in the process. Chris Bosh scored 16 points and snatched 14 rebounds for Miami, which lost eight of its prior nine road games to teams with a winning mark coming in.

The Heat outrebounded the Knicks 47-33 and swept the season series. Miami is 3 1/2 games behind Chicago for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Carmelo Anthony's 42 points weren't enough for New York, which had won four of its last five contests. J.R. Smith, who was the only other double-digit scorer for the Knicks, had 16. With the loss, New York moved a half-game behind idle Philadelphia for the East's No. 7 seed. This was New York's longest home winning streak since a 10-game run from Nov. 4-Dec. 22, 1997. Miami moved to 17-13 away from home this season. Anthony was 14-of-27 from the field and 12-of-15 from the foul line.

•BETTING SYSTEM: PLAY UNDER - Any team where the total is between 180 and 189.5 points (NEW YORK) - an average offensive team (92-98 PPG) against an average defensive team (92-98 PPG), after a huge blowout win by 30 or more against opponent after leading in their previous game by 15 or more points at the half. This Stat/Systems Sports (HIGHLY-RATED *FOUR-STAR) Situational Analysis now stands 37-8 (82.2%) with 27.7 units of profit to its credit since 1996, including a 15-3 ledger over the last 5 seasons. (8-2 the last 3 seasons, 2-0 this season).

NOTE: Situational Analysis (Betting Systems) uncovers conditions and patterns where teams have consistently outperformed or underperformed their normal levels. These systems are not team specific—the principle is that teams fall into patterns regardless of personnel (i.e. good passing teams, teams seeking revenge, cold teams on a losing streak, etc.). Selected Super Situational Systems along with all the Highest-Rated (Match-Up & Situational) Power Trends are in these pages every day, but only subscribers of the Stat/Systems Sports Reports get all of them.

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Dirk Nowitzki is confident the Dallas Mavericks will make the playoffs. And he's confident their experience will prove valuable once the postseason begins. But Nowitzki also understands the reality facing his team. Repeating as NBA champions isn't going to be easy for the Mavs, who have dug themselves quite the hole this season. "It's tough," Nowitzki said. "If you are bottom four, you are basically starting out on the road right away. Last year, we at least had home court through the first round. So, basically, if we want to go to the Western Conference finals, we have to win a lot of road games – and we haven't won a lot of games on the road. "Hey, but it is what it is.... Rested, I still like our chances."

The Mavericks (34-26) sit in sixth place in the West with a 2˝-game lead over the ninth-place Phoenix Suns. Their season has been filled with challenges from the start. Dallas officials didn't re-sign starting center Tyson Chandler, starting guard DeShawn *******on and reserve guard J.J. Barea in the offseason, allowing the franchise to maintain financial flexibility for this summer when New Jersey Nets All-Star Deron Williams, a Dallas native, can become a free agent. All-Star center Dwight Howard also looked like he would be available until he opted at the trade deadline to stay another season with the Orlando Magic.

Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Delonte West, Kelenna Azubuike, Vince Carter, Brandan Wright, Yi Jianlian, Brian Cardinal and Ian Mahinmi could all become free agents for the Mavericks this summer. Terry said the uncertain future has weighed on the players. "I go out there every day with that on my mind," Terry said. "It's reality. I could possibly not be in this uniform next year. It affects a lot of us. "Over 50 percent of our team will be [free agents] next year. It's tough."

And that doesn't include Lamar Odom, who is already gone from the team and will likely be traded or bought out this summer. The Mavs had high hopes for Odom after acquiring him from the Los Angeles Lakers for an $8.9 million trade exception and a protected first-round pick. But Odom reported to the Mavericks in poor shape, struggled on the court and never adjusted. He took a leave of absence midway through the season, but his play never improved after he returned to the team. Mavs owner Mark Cuban chided Odom for his listless play at halftime of a game this month, and the two decided it would be best to part ways.

"We tried to make it work, obviously, but sometimes it just doesn't work," said Nowitzki, who said he wouldn't "bash" his former teammate. "He even tried. But, ultimately, we got to move on." The Mavs admit they're still adjusting to each other. Kidd has missed 16 games this season. West and center Brendan Haywood, new additions to the starting lineup, have missed 22 and 11 games, respectively. The Mavs have used 12 different starting lineups but appear to be gaining some traction as the playoffs near.

"We are getting better," Kidd said. "We understand each other. We have a couple new guys in positions where we are asking them to do what J.J., Tyson and D-Steve have done. I think guys are starting to feel a little bit more comfortable and are playing a little bit better." Only two of Dallas' final six regular-season games are at home. But the Mavs will get a chance to rest before the playoffs: They have four days off before their April 26 regular-season finale in Atlanta. And Cuban doesn't think the Mavs are in all that different a position than they were last season.

They also struggled a year ago – and went on to beat the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round, sweep the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round, beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in the West finals and knock off the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. "It was a year ago this week that the coach of the [Denver] Nuggets was saying he wanted to play the Mavs in the playoffs," Cuban said. "At this point last year it wasn't like everyone was saying, 'This is a dominant team,' or, 'They're the team to beat.' It was the exact opposite. "They were saying, 'These guys have no chance.' That's what everyone is saying right now."

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(ALL RESULTS ATS) - Against The Spread - and most recent, unless noted otherwise. Content contained in this report remains exclusive private property of Stat/Systems Sports. Database information may not be reused or disseminated in any form without express written consent of the publisher.

-- Hornets won four of last five games (5-0 vs. spread), all at home.
-- Pacers won their last four games, covered their last three.
-- 76ers covered seven of last ten games as a road favorite.
-- Hawks covered their last four away games. Toronto won its last two games, allowing 79-86 points.
-- Miami won last two games, allowing 82-85 points, but they're 4-8 in their last dozen road games.
-- Bulls covered four of last five home games; they won their last two games in overtime. Washington is 7-5 versus spread in its last 12 road games.
-- Suns won/covered ten of their last twelve home games.
-- Mavericks won three of their last four games.
-- Spurs won five of their last six games.
-- Clippers won five of last six games; they're 5-3 versus spread in last eight home games. Thunder won four of their last five games.

-- Bobcats lost their last 15 games (4-11 vs. spread).
-- Minnesota lost its last nine games (2-7 vs. spread).
-- Magic lost seven of their last ten games.
-- Nets are 1-4-1 versus spread in last six games as a home underdog.
-- Houston lost its last three games, by 12-7-15 points. Nuggets lost last three road games, by 2-15-6 points.
-- Portland lost four of last five games, but covered four of last five on the road.
-- Jazz lost eight of their last eleven games.
-- Golden State lost its last four games (1-3 vs. spread).

-- Four of last five New Orleans games stayed under the total.
-- Over is 8-3 in Indiana's last eleven home games.
-- Four of last five Orlando home games went over the total.
-- Seven of last eight Atlanta games went over the total.
-- Six of last seven Miami games stayed under the total.
-- Four of last five Washington road games went over total.
-- Five of last seven Denver games stayed under the total.
-- Five of last six Portland road games went over the total.
-- Over is 3-0-1 in last four Dallas games.
-- Over is 11-3 in an Antonio's last 14 away games.
-- Under is 6-3 in Oklahoma City's last nine road games.

-- Hornets are 7-4 versus spread on road if they played night before. Bobcats are 6-15 versus spread if they played night before, 2-5 at home.
-- Magic is 1-5 versus spread at home if it played the night before.
-- Hawks are 6-2-1 versus spread on road if they played night before. Raptors are 0-3 versus spread at home if they played on road night before.
-- Heat are 1-4 versus spread when playing second night in row on road.
-- Bulls are 2-4-1 versus spread at home if they played on road night before.
-- Nuggets are 0-4 versus spread on road if they played at home night before. Rockets are 8-0 versus spread at home if they played the night before.
-- Trailblazers are 2-4 versus spread when playing second night in a row on the road.
-- Mavericks are 5-2 versus spread when playing second night in a row on the road.

-- Hornets: 3rd game/4 nights. Bobcats: 10th game/14 nights.
-- Wolves: 4th game/6 nights. Pacers: 3rd game/4 nights.
-- 76ers: Last two nights off. Magic: 3rd game/4 nights.
-- Hawks: 3rd game/4 nights. Raptors: 6th game/9 nights.
-- Heat: 4th game/5 nights. Nets: 3rd game/4 nights.
-- Wizards: 3rd game/4 nights. Bulls: 2nd in row after 2 nights off.
-- Nuggets: 3rd game/4 nights. Rockets: 3rd game/4 nights.
-- Blazers: 3rd game/4 nights. Suns: 3rd game/4 nights.
-- Mavericks: 4th game/5 nights. Jazz: 6th game/9 nights.
-- Spurs: 6th game/9 nights. Warriors: 4th game/6 nights.
-- Thunder: 3rd game/4 nights. Lakers: 4th game/6 nights.
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•NEW JERSEY is 8-21 ATS (27.5%, -14.8 Units) in home games versus good 3 point shooting teams - making >=36% of their attempts over the last 2 seasons. The average score was NEW JERSEY 90.1, OPPONENT 98.2 - (Rating = 3*)

•SAN ANTONIO is 18-4 OVER (81.8%, +13.6 Units) versus poor defensive teams - allowing 99+ points/game - 2nd half of the season over the last 2 seasons. The average score was SAN ANTONIO 111.6, OPPONENT 101.7 - (Rating = 3*)

•SAN ANTONIO is 19-1 (95.0%, +18 Units) against the money line versus teams who are called for 2+ more fouls/game than their opponents over the last 2 seasons. The average score was SAN ANTONIO 105.1, OPPONENT 93.6 - (Rating = 6*)

•NEW ORLEANS is 29-11 against the 1rst half line (72.5%, +16.9 Units) versus teams who average 7 or less steals/game on the season over the last 2 seasons. The average score was NEW ORLEANS 48.5, OPPONENT 45.9 - (Rating = 3*)

•UTAH is 32-7 UNDER (82.0%, +24.3 Units) the 1rst half total versus horrible foul drawing teams - attempting <=21 free throws/game - 2nd half of the season since 1996. The average score was UTAH 45.8, OPPONENT 44.8 - (Rating = 4*)

•ALVIN GENTRY is 39-13 ATS (+24.7 Units) when playing against a team with a losing record - 2nd half of the season as the coach of PHOENIX. The average score was GENTRY 115.3, OPPONENT 103.3 - (Rating = 3*)

•PLAY ON - Home underdogs of 10 or more points (GOLDEN STATE) - poor 3PT defense (>=36.5%) against a good 3PT shooting team (>=36.5%), revenging a loss where opponent scored 100 or more points, off a cover where the team lost the game straight up as an underdog.
(28-6 since 1996.) (82.4%, +21.4 units. Rating = 3*)

The straight up record of the team this system pertains to is : (8-28)
The average line posted in these games was: Opponent favored by 11.4
The average score in these games was: Team 93.2, Opponent 98.8 (Average point differential = -5.6)
The number of games in which this system covered the spread by 7 or more points was 17 (47.2% of all games.)

The situation's record this season is: (0-0).
Over the last 3 seasons the situation's record is: (6-0).
Over the last 5 seasons the situation's record is: (12-2).

Stan the Man Szumera a Professional Handicapper since 1977 offers you 35 years of experience! Stan is known for his strong work ethic and his commitment to delivering you the best analysis available. With regards to style, The Man likes to use the perfect blend of three decades of experience as well as emotional, statistical, and technical support to back up his selections.

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•INJURY THAT SHOULDN'T BE OVERLOOKED: Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash, who said his hip was "killing" him before Saturday's game against the Spurs, hopes that treatment and medicine will enable him to play Monday night when Phoenix hosts Portland. Nash (12.7 ppg, 10.9 apg) is officially questionable.

•Lakers star Kobe Bryant missed his fifth straight game Sunday with inflammation in his left shin. The team is in no hurry to rush the 16-year veteran back into the lineup, as coach Mike Brown wants Bryant healthy for the playoffs. L.A. hosts San Antonio on Tuesday night, with Bryant’s status yet to be clarified.

•Amar'e Stoudemire: Nears Return - Barring a setback in practice Monday, Stoudemire (back) will likely return Tuesday against Boston or Wednesday against New Jersey, New York Newsday reports. Stoudemire reportedly tested his back in a full-court four-on-four game Saturday. He missed his 11th consecutive game Sunday, but his return appears to be imminent.

•NOTABLE QUOTABLE: "Are you kidding me? It's going to be tough without him the next couple weeks. A herniated disk? That's crazy. Dwight isn't playing, everybody has to step up. Everybody." – Orlando Magic C Glen Davis, reacting to the Orlando Sentinel about Dwight Howard’s anticipated two-week absence. Howard is trying to treat his back injury with rest and rehabilitation, and will be evaluated in 10 days. The Magic, 2-4 without Howard, hosts Philly on Monday.


#713 DENVER @ #714 HOUSTON
TV: FxHo 8:00 PM EST, April 16, 2012
LINE: Rockets -4, TOTAL: 208.5
Ty Lawson thinks the Denver Nuggets can easily sweep their home-and-home set with the Houston Rockets. Coach George Karl just wants his team to show maturity. The Nuggets can move two games ahead of the Rockets in the Western Conference standings when these teams conclude their home-and-home Monday night in Houston. Denver (33-27) won 101-86 at home over Houston on Sunday, moving one game ahead of the Rockets for the West's seventh seed. The eighth-place Rockets (32-28) are one game in front of Phoenix for the conference's last postseason spot.

Lawson and Arron Afflalo each scored 20 points and helped push the pace along with Andre Miller (11 assists) to give Denver a 29-10 advantage in fast-break points. Lawson figures it won't be hard to duplicate that performance. "I don't think it's that tough," he said. "And if we just stay focused and stay in the game plan, it will be easy for us." Karl offered a more measured assessment with his club in position to clinch the tiebreaker by beating the Rockets for the third time in four tries. Denver has lost three straight on the road.

"They're going to play with an anger and an urgency that their season is in trouble if they lose (Monday)," Karl said. "For us, it's our chance to continue to figure out how to play big-time basketball games and be mature about it and we'll be able to probably adjust some things ourselves." The second half proved decisive Sunday as Denver rallied from a six-point deficit at the break. The Nuggets shot 54 percent after halftime, had a 17-3 edge in fast-break points and limited the Rockets to 32 percent from the field.

"They `fastbroke' on us off our missed shots. Long rebounds, turnovers and they ran out in that third quarter," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "It's the same kind of bugaboo, and you just have to get over it." Losers of three straight overall, the Rockets are also seeking to avoid losing four in a row at home for the first time since Jan. 5-14, 2011. "We've got to go out and play better (Monday) night," McHale said. "They had 26 points off our turnovers, but it's more than that. When the clock ran down, they turned their defense up a little bit."

Chase Budinger and Luis Scola each scored 19 points to lead the Rockets, who feel the solution to solving the Nuggets isn't complex. "We just need to get back," Budinger said. "This was a good learning lesson for us just because they got so many fastbreak points on us. Coming into (Monday), we're going to play them again, just knowing how fast they like to play how quick they get the ball up, our ones, twos and threes have to get back and stop their transition because that's where they really killed us (Sunday)." Corey Brewer scored 14 points off the bench Sunday for Denver. He had 15 points in the Nuggets' 117-105 win in Houston on March 2. "It's kind of my job on this team -- energy. Basically when I come in games, it's pick up the pace and start picking up the ball," Brewer said.

--HOUSTON is 29-27 against the spread versus DENVER since 1996.
--HOUSTON is 37-22 straight up against DENVER since 1996.
--30 of 57 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL since 1996.

--DENVER is 32-24 versus the first half line when playing against HOUSTON since 1996.
--34 of 56 games in this series have gone UNDER THE FIRST HALF TOTAL since 1996.

--OVER is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings in Houston.
--UNDERDOG is 6-2-1 ATS in the last 9 meetings.

--DENVER is 10-0 UNDER (+10.0 Units) the 1rst half total in road games versus horrible foul drawing teams - attempting <=21 free throws/game - 2nd half of the season since 1996. The average score was DENVER 43.0, OPPONENT 50.0 - (Rating = 2*)

--HOUSTON is 17-5 UNDER (77.2%, +11.4 Units) the 1rst half total versus good rebounding teams - outrebounding opponents by 3+ per game over the last 2 seasons. The average score was HOUSTON 50.0, OPPONENT 50.2 - (Rating = 2*)

•BETTING SYSTEM: Play Under - Road teams where the first half total is 100.5 to 105 (DENVER) - good rebounding team (+3 to +5.5 Reb/G) vs. an average rebounding team (+/-3 Reb/G), after failing to cover 4 or 5 of their last 6 against the spread, well rested team - playing only their 2nd game in 5 days. (66-31 over the last 5 seasons.) (68.0%, +31.9 units. Rating = 2*)

TV: NBA Network 10:30 PM EST, April 16, 2012
LINE: Thunder -2.5, TOTAL: 198
The Los Angeles Clippers are rolling toward their first playoff berth in six seasons, but they're seeking a loftier goal. The surging Clippers, in contention for the first division title in franchise history, will try for their second win over the Western Conference-leading Oklahoma City Thunder in less than week Monday night.

Los Angeles (37-23) has won 11 of 13, including a 100-98 victory at Oklahoma City on Wednesday. The Clippers kept rolling Saturday, beating Golden State 112-104 for their third straight win. Chris Paul scored 12 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter and had 13 assists against the Warriors. "It's all about locking up a playoff spot. You got to get in," Paul said. "Anything can happen when you get to the playoffs. The sky's the limit. When we play the way we're capable of playing, we've already beaten some of the best teams in the league."

The Clippers point guard secured one of those victories by making a go-ahead layup with 8.8 seconds left and scoring 31 points against the Thunder (44-16) on Wednesday. That win started Los Angeles' current streak as the club looks to overtake the Lakers in the Pacific Division. "We would love to win the division," Paul said. "In order to do that, we would need to win out." In the first of its final two home games, the Clippers will try to clinch a playoff berth by taking the season series with Oklahoma City. Los Angeles can also wrap up its first trip to the postseason since 2005-06 if Phoenix loses to Portland on Monday.

Paul will try to help with another strong performance against the Thunder. He had a team-best 26 points and 14 assists in a 112-100 victory at Staples Center on Jan. 30, though he struggled in a 114-91 loss at Oklahoma City on March 21, going 3 for 12 from the field and scoring 13 points. Blake Griffin and Caron Butler chipped in 22 points apiece in that game, and Griffin's nine baskets included a much-replayed dunk over Kendrick Perkins.

Thunder star Kevin Durant scored 36 points in the contest and Russell Westbrook had 31, but Daequan Cook was the only other Oklahoma City player in double figures with 12 points. The high-scoring duo of Durant and Westbrook didn't need much help Saturday during a 115-110 victory in Minnesota, the Thunder's fourth in five games. Durant had 43 points and Westbrook added 35, with Nick Collison as their only teammate in double figures with 10 points. The victory kept the Thunder one game ahead of San Antonio in the West.

"We want to win as much games as we can going down to the stretch of the season," Durant said. "Hopefully we get (the No. 1 seed). If not, we've just got to keep playing. We can't worry about that. We've just got to worry about how we can get better every single game." Durant went 7 of 21 and scored 22 points against the Clippers on Wednesday while Westbrook was 3 of 14. Durant had topped 30 points in each of his last two games against Los Angeles. Griffin was held to a career-low seven points in that game and has totaled 23 in the past two matchups with Oklahoma City. The All-Star forward, however, has scored 48 points over the past two home meetings.

--LA CLIPPERS is 31-27 against the spread versus OKLAHOMA CITY since 1996.
--OKLAHOMA CITY is 38-21 straight up against LA CLIPPERS since 1996.
--32 of 58 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL since 1996.

--LA CLIPPERS is 30-29 versus the first half line when playing against OKLAHOMA CITY since 1996.
--28 of 56 games in this series have gone OVER THE FIRST HALF TOTAL since 1996.

--OVER is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings.
--HOME TEAM is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings.
--THUNDER are 8-20 ATS in the last 28 meetings.
--UNDERDOG is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.

--LA CLIPPERS are 49-26 UNDER (65.3%+20.6 Units) the 1rst half total in home games versus good shooting teams - making >=46% of their shots - 2nd half of the season since 1996. The average score was LA CLIPPERS 47.7, OPPONENT 50.5 - (Rating = 2*)

--LA CLIPPERS are 12-2 UNDER (+9.8 Units) the 1rst half total in home games versus good free throw shooting teams - making >=76% of their attempts - 2nd half of the season over the last 2 seasons. The average score was LA CLIPPERS 47.2, OPPONENT 46.6 - (Rating = 2*)

•BETTING SYSTEM: Play Under - All teams where the first half total is between 95.5 and 100.5 points (LA CLIPPERS) - average shooting team (43.5% - 45.5%) against an good defensive team (41.5% - 43.5%), a good team (60% to 75%) playing a team with a winning record, in April games. (194-92 since 1996.) (67.8%, +92.8 units. Rating = 4*)

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Ten games make up Monday's schedule, and 11 pitchers who earned opening day starts coming out of spring training are part of them. Two of the contests pit No. 1 starters, both of them late games in Anaheim and San Francisco. The Los Angeles Angels are collectively off to a slow start. That's because the biggest bat in their lineup, Albert Pujols, is enduring the least-powerful start of his career. Pujols will try once again to recapture his home run stroke when the Angels send ace Jered Weaver to the mound Monday to open a four-game home set against Oakland Athletics.

Los Angeles (3-6) is beginning a seven-game homestand after capping a 2-4 road trip by dropping two of three in the Bronx, including an 11-5 loss to the New York Yankees on Sunday night. "It's only nine games in," second baseman Howie Kendrick said. "I guess if we were playing a 10-game season, we'd be in trouble." While it's very early, Pujols is trying to shake out of his slump and live up to the 10-year, $254 million free-agent contract he signed in the offseason. He's hitting .243 with four RBIs and no homers -- the longest long-ball drought of his career to open a season.

Average-wise, Pujols endured an even worse start with St. Louis in 2011, batting .229 with one homer and six RBIs through the first 12 games. He finished the season batting .299 with 37 homers and 99 driven in -- the average and RBIs were career lows, but still excellent marks. Oakland (4-6) thinks the Angels are better than their record. "You see the lineup -- they're deep in the rotation, got some speed at the top and bottom and some power in the middle," A's manager Bob Melvin told his team's official website. "They haven't played great to this point, but I don't think there's any doubt about the fact that they're probably one of the better teams in the American League. We're going to have to play well."

Weaver (1-0, 3.21 ERA) looks to rebound from a rough outing in Wednesday's 6-5 loss at Minnesota. The right-hander didn't get a decision after surrendering five runs and seven hits in six innings. That was a dramatic change from his performance in the season opener April 6, when he struck out 10 in eight innings of a 5-0 victory over Kansas City. Weaver has a 1.63 ERA in eight career home starts against Oakland, but just a 2/3 record to show for it due to a 2.9 run-support average.

The A's are off to a slow start of their own at the plate, hitting .201 overall and .148 with runners in scoring position. Searching for the right combination, Melvin used his eighth different lineup in Sunday's 5-3 loss at Seattle. "I always feel like everyone's on the verge of swinging well," Melvin said. "And I really do think it's something where we get a nice game early on, string some hits together, you can gain some momentum from that. That'll be the key for us, to relax a bit.... Everyone wants to be that guy right now to get us out of the little funk we're in."

Oakland second baseman Jemile Weeks has one hit in each of his last four games. He's 3 for 7 with a homer off Weaver, and is batting .385 lifetime against the Angels. The A's will give the ball to Brandon McCarthy (0-1, 2.50), who gets a fourth chance at his first win of 2012. The right-hander allowed two runs in six innings of Oakland's 5-4, 12-inning win over Kansas City on Wednesday. McCarthy has had little success in Anaheim, going 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in five games -- four starts. He got tagged for seven runs and 14 hits in 5 1/3 innings of an 8-3 defeat in his most recent appearance there last April 26. Oakland won the season series 11-8 last year, when the teams split 10 meetings in Anaheim.

The final game on Monday's schedule is at AT&T Park 10:15 PM (EST) where Roy Halladay and the Philadelphia Phillies open a 3-game series against Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants. Halladay and Lincecum have combined to win four Cy Young awards, but only one has pitched like an ace so far this season. Halladay looks to continue his solid start while Lincecum hopes to bounce back from a pair of rough outings. The right-handers have faced each other twice, with Lincecum winning Game 1 and Halladay taking Game 5 of the 2010 NL championship series.

Halladay's win marked his only victory against the Giants, improving to 1/3 with a 5.97 ERA in five career starts. Lincecum won both of his outings against the Phillies in 2011 and is 5-2 with a 2.71 ERA in 12 games versus Philadelphia including the postseason. Halladay (2-0, 0.60 ERA), who won a Cy Young with Toronto in 2003 and another with the Phillies in 2010 after Lincecum won the previous two NL awards, is coming off consecutive stellar outings. He beat Pittsburgh 1-0 on April 5 after allowing two hits over eight innings, then gave up one run in seven innings of a 7-1 win over Miami on Wednesday.

Lincecum (0-1, 12.91 ERA) hasn't been nearly as good. He allowed five runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings of a 5-4 loss to Arizona in the Giants' opener April 6, then was chased after giving up six runs in 2 1/3 innings of Wednesday's 17-8 loss to Colorado. The Phillies (4-5) will hope for another off day from Lincecum to build off their offensive outburst in an 8-2 win over the New York Mets on Sunday, salvaging the finale of a three-game series.

Philadelphia scored two runs in the first two games combined and have scored three or fewer six times this season. Some offseason acquisitions keyed Sunday's victory as Juan Pierre, 6 for 12 with two triples and a double lifetime off Lincecum, went 3 for 4 while Ty Wigginton drove in four runs and Laynce Nix had an RBI double. "They're new on our team and it definitely takes them a while to get the feeling they belong," manager Charlie Manuel said. "I know how much they want to impress you. It takes them a while to get used to our team and feeling good about themselves."

The offensive display was welcomed as Philadelphia has struggled to score while missing Ryan Howard and Chase Utley due to injuries. "It shows our guys we can score runs and we can knock them in," Manuel said. The Giants (4-5) scored less than four runs for the first time this season in a 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday that snapped a three-game winning streak. They also found out closer Brian Wilson will have season-ending surgery to repair damage to his pitching elbow.

"My spirits aren't down," Wilson said. "I know a lot of people are sad. I know Giants fans are probably going to look at this as like a huge loss. But we have the best bullpen in the league. "I don't think they're going to falter. I think we're going to take the West no matter what." Manager Bruce Bochy said he'll initially try a closer-by-committee with Santiago Casilla, Sergio Romo and Javier Lopez. The Phillies outscored the Giants 15-6 in taking three of four in San Francisco last season.

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Every day during the 2012 Major League Baseball season we will analyze all of your daily baseball action, featuring on hot and cold pitchers, hot and cold teams, over/unders and home plate umpire trends, along with some of our Situational Analysis (Betting Systems) that pertain to some of that days match-ups. Content contained in this report remains exclusive private property of Stat/Systems Sports. Database information may not be reused or disseminated in any form without express written consent of the publisher.

-- Strasburg is 3-0, 0.47 in his last three starts.
-- Halladay is 4-1, 1.22 in his last five starts.

-- Arrieta is 1-0, 2.63 in his first two starts this season.
-- Verlander is 0-1, 2.20 in his first two starts this season. Duffy is 2-0, 4.50 in his last three starts.
-- Weaver is 3-1, 2.80 in his last five starts.

-- KWeiland is 0-4, 8.77 in his six major league starts.
-- Gee is 1-2, 6.12 in his last six starts. Hanson is 1-3, 5.68 in his last five outings.
-- Luebke is 1-4, 5.08 in his last seven starts. Guthrie has a 6.85 RA in his last four starts.
-- Saunders is 0-1, 3.52 in his last four starts. Bedard is 1-2, 4.18 in his last six starts, 0-2, 2.25 this season.
-- Lincecum allowed 11 runs in 7.2 IP in two starts this season.

-- Shields has a 5.49 RA in his last six starts. Bard allowed five runs in five IP in his first major league start, at Toronto.
-- FGarcia is 1-2, 7.31 in his last five starts. Pavano is 1-3, 4.64 in his last six starts.
-- Humber is 0-1, 5.84 in his last four starts.
-- McCarthy is 0-2, 3.55 in his last five starts.

-- Nationals won five of their last six games.
-- Atlanta won its last five games, after an 0-4 start. Mets won six of their first nine games.
-- Colorado is 3-2 in its last five home games.
-- Giants won four of their last six games.

-- Red Sox won their first three home games, scoring 31 runs.
-- Bronx won five of its last six games.
-- White Sox won five of their last seven games.

-- Astros lost four of their last five games.
-- Padres lost eight of their first ten games.
-- Pirates lost six of their last eight games. Arizona lost four of its last six games.
-- Phillies lost five of their last eight games.

-- Tampa Bay lost five of its last six games.
-- Minnesota lost seven of its first nine games.
-- Orioles lost four of their last six games.
-- Tigers lost three of their last five games. Royals lost four of their last five games.
-- Oakland is 3-5 in its last eight games. Angels lost six of nine games.

-- Last six Houston games went over the total.
-- Six of last seven Atlanta games went over the total.
-- Four of last six San Diego games stayed under the total.
-- Under is 7-1-1 in Pirate games this season.
-- Five of last seven Philly games went over the total.

-- Six of last eight Boston games went over the total
-- Five of last seven Bronx games stayed under the total.
-- Seven of eight White Sox games stayed under total.
-- Six of last seven Kansas City games went over the total.
-- Over is 5-3 in Angels' last eight games.

•BOSTON is 11-20 (35.4%, -22.3 Units) against the money line with an on base percentage of .393 or better over their last 3 games over the last 2 seasons. The average score was BOSTON 4.3, OPPONENT 4.5 - (Rating = 3*)

•PITTSBURGH is 14-3 UNDER (82.3%, +10.6 Units) in road games with an on base percentage of .260 or worse over their last 3 games over the last 2 seasons. The average score was PITTSBURGH 3.2, OPPONENT 3.1 - (Rating = 2*)

•BOSTON is 10-1 (90.9%, +11.8 Units) against the run line in home games versus a very bad bullpen whose WHIP is 1.650 or worse over the last 3 seasons. The average score was BOSTON 8.4, OPPONENT 3.9 - (Rating = 3*)

•JEREMY GUTHRIE is 13-30 (-20.9 Units) against the money line versus poor power teams - averaging 0.9 or less HR's/game since 1997. The average score was GUTHRIE 3.4, OPPONENT 4.7 - (Rating = 2*)

•JERED WEAVER is 26-8 UNDER (76.4%, +16.7 Units) in home games versus AL teams scoring 4.7 or less runs/game on the season since 1997. The average score was WEAVER 4.4, OPPONENT 2.4 - (Rating = 2*)

•JAKE ARRIETA is 15-2 (88.2%, +14.5 Units) against the run line versus an AL team with they batting average of .260 or worse over the last 3 seasons. The average score was ARRIETA 7.4, OPPONENT 4.3 - (Rating = 2*)

•PLAY ON - Home favorites against a 1.5 run line (Money Line =-190 to +175) (BOSTON) - off 3 straight wins versus division rivals, good team from last season who won 54% to 62% of their games.
(32-12 since 1997.) (72.7%, +28.9 units. Rating = 4*)

The straight up record of the team this system pertains to is : (35-9)
The average run line posted in these games was: Team favored by 1.5, money line price: +128
The average score in these games was: Team 5.9, Opponent 3.2 (Average run differential = +2.7)
The number of games in which this system covered the run line by 1 or more runs was 27 (61.4% of all games.)

The situation's record this season is: (1-0, +1.2 units).
Over the last 3 seasons the situation's record is: (32-12, +28.9 units).
Over the last 5 seasons the situation's record is: (32-12, +28.9 units).

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•WEATHER TO WATCH: Fourteen mile-per-hour winds will be blowing out to right-center when the White Sox host the Orioles on Monday night. There will be clear skies, with temperatures in the high 40s.

•Ellsbury On DL; No Timetable For Return: The Red Sox placed Jacoby Ellsbury on the 15-day disabled list Saturday after the 28-year-old center fielder suffered a subluxation of his right shoulder in Friday’s Opening Day romp over the Rays at Fenway Park. The Sox would not say how long Ellsbury would be out, but this kind of an injury typically requires 6-8 weeks. In a statement, the team said only, “We are in the process of gathering further information and determining the treatment plan."

Manager Bobby Valentine said, “We’ll try to get him back as soon as possible with the best possible care known to man. I haven’t heard the word ‘surgery’ mentioned, but like I said, whatever the best possible care is, that’s what he’ll get." Ellsbury, who was examined Friday night at Massachusetts General Hospital and underwent an MRI, met with Valentine before Saturday’s game. “He obviously didn’t sleep much, and he’s obviously disappointed," Valentine said.

•Giants Closer Brian Wilson's Season Likely Over - Brian Wilson has no regrets about how many times he pitched during the San Francisco Giants' improbable 2010 World Series title run. Nor about how he handled his rehabilitation program this winter, and certainly not how he stayed on the mound at Colorado last week despite ligament damage in his arm. "Absolutely not," Wilson said. "That's how I play baseball. Push it to the limits."

Wilson has now reached his limit. San Francisco's bearded and boisterous closer said before Sunday's series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates that he will probably have elbow-reconstruction surgery, ending his season after only 56 pitches, two appearances and one save. He was officially placed on the 15-day disabled list, clearing space for Ryan Vogelsong to come off the DL against Pittsburgh. An MRI showed the structural damage. Wilson plans to seek at least one other opinion and probably two, including from the renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews, who performs Tommy John elbow-reconstruction surgeries. Rehab time is typically a year to 18 months.


#953 NY METS @ #954 ATLANTA, 7:10 PM EST
ODDS: Braves -165, TOTAL: Under 7.5 -110
David Wright is off to a sensational start and played a big role in the New York Mets' season-opening three-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves. His fast start, however, could come to a halt with a trip to Atlanta. Wright hopes to put an end to his struggles at Turner Field on Monday night when the Mets open a three-game set against a Braves team seeking its sixth straight win.

Coming off an injury-plagued 2011 in which he hit a career-low .254, Wright is batting .571 with two home runs and five RBIs in six games for New York (6-3). A broken pinkie forced the All-Star third baseman to miss three games last week and had some wondering how he would play upon returning, but Wright has squelched those concerns by going 5 for 9 with a homer in the last two games. Sunday's 8-2 loss to Philadelphia was the Mets' first defeat with him in the lineup.

Wright drove in a run in each game of the sweep over the Braves (5-4) from April 5-8, including a sixth-inning RBI single off Tommy Hanson -- scheduled to start Monday -- in a 1-0 opening-day victory. Despite getting that big hit, Wright is batting .150 with eight strikeouts in 20 career at-bats against Hanson (1-1, 2.70 ERA). Wright has experienced similar problems hitting in the Braves' ballpark. His .250 batting average at Turner Field is his lowest at any current NL park.

He hit .115 with 19 strikeouts in 15 games there over the past two seasons, though three of his seven hits were homers. Atlanta's star third baseman is also off to a strong start. Chipper Jones hit a three-run homer in Sunday's 7-4 win over Milwaukee, Atlanta's fifth victory in a row after opening 0-4. "We're right back where we need to be," Brian McCann told the Braves' official website. "We just need to keep winning." Atlanta has won all three games Jones has played as he's hit .417 with two home runs and five RBIs.

The 18-year veteran, who has announced this will be his final season, missed the first four games while recovering from knee surgery and was out for the first two contests of the Brewers series. "It's just huge having him out there," said Brandon Beachy, Sunday's winning pitcher. Jones hit .302 with four homers, four doubles and 16 RBIs in 16 games against the Mets last season, but he's 1 for 8 lifetime against scheduled starter Dillon Gee (0-1, 5.06).

Gee gave up four runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings of a 6-2 home loss to Washington on Tuesday in his season debut. Although Gee led the Mets with 13 wins last season, his 5.74 road ERA was the second-worst in the NL among pitchers who threw at least 75 innings. The right-hander went 1-0 with a 3.21 ERA in three starts in Atlanta last season, and New York won them all even though he lasted just 15 innings.

Hanson was the tough-luck loser at Citi Field on April 5, giving up a run and four hits in five innings. It was his third straight defeat to the Mets after going 3-1 with a 1.76 ERA in his first five starts against them. Hanson followed his outing against New York by giving up two runs and six hits while striking out eight in five innings in Tuesday's 6-4 win over Houston. His 2.43 April ERA since 2010 is the seventh-best in baseball.

--NY METS is 19-20 (+3.2 Units) against ATLANTA over the last 3 seasons. (3-0 this season)
--24 of 38 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons. (Under=+8.3 Units).

--GEE is 2-2 when starting against ATLANTA with an ERA of 3.46 and a WHIP of 1.359.
--His team's record is 4-3 (+2.7 units) in these starts. The OVER is 2-5. (-3.5 units).

--HANSON is 3-4 when starting against NY METS with an ERA of 3.48 and a WHIP of 1.205.
--His team's record is 4-4 (-1.3 units) in these starts. The OVER is 2-6. (-4.6 units).

--METS are 4-0 in the last 4 meetings.
--UNDER is 6-2 in Hansons last 8 starts vs. Mets.
--METS are 5-2 in the last 7 meetings in Atlanta.
--UNDER is 5-2 in Gees last 7 starts vs. Braves.
--UNDER is 7-3-1 in the last 11 meetings in Atlanta.

--NY METS are 19-4 against the run line (82.6%, +14.8 Units) in road games after scoring 2 runs or less over the last 2 seasons. The average score was NY METS 4.9, OPPONENT 3.9 - (Rating = 2*)

--NY METS are 99-69 against the run line (58.9%, +29.9 Units) in the first half of the season over the last 3 seasons. The average score was NY METS 4.5, OPPONENT 4.2 - (Rating = 2*)

--HANSON is 3-16 against the run line (15.7%, -11.8 Units) in home games versus teams whose hitters strike out 7 or more times/game over the last 3 seasons. (Team's Record) The average score was HANSON 3.3, OPPONENT 4.5 - (Rating = 3*)

•BETTING SYSTEM: Play On - All underdogs against a 1.5 run line. (Money Line =+165 to -135) (NY METS) - with an excellent bullpen whose ERA is 3.00 or better on the season, good fielding team - turning 1.1 or more DP's/game on the season. (55-21 since 1997.) (72.4%, +31 units. Rating = 3*)
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ODDS: Diamondbacks -135, TOTAL: Under 8.5 -110
Chris Young is off to another strong start, and there's good reason to believe he can keep it going against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Young has keyed the Arizona Diamondbacks' best start in four years heading into the opener of a 10-game homestand Monday night against the Pirates. Having a hot bat out of the gate is nothing new for Young. He hit .302 with three homers and 10 RBIs through the first 10 games of 2011, a year after batting .351 with three homers and 14 RBIs after nine games.

He's hit safely in eight of nine this season, batting .364 with six walks, and the Diamondbacks have won all four times he's homered. He has 11 RBIs and has stolen a base in each of the last two games. Young homered and drove in three runs Sunday in a 5-2 win at Colorado. Arizona (6-3), off to its best start since opening 9-2 in 2008, salvaged the series finale after blowing leads in the first two games and losing each by one run.

"We're happy to get out of here with a win," manager Kirk Gibson told the Diamondbacks' official website. "We could have won more than the one game but we didn't." Gibson hopes his team keeps up its winning ways at home, having gone 26-4 there since Aug. 8 -- including two NL division series victories against Milwaukee. Arizona's homestand also includes four games against Atlanta and three with Philadelphia. First up is a three-game set with the Pirates, who have been battered by Young.

He's hit .365 with five homers and 16 RBIs in his last 16 games against them, including 8 for 22 with two home runs last season. His center field counterpart also is off to a good start -- Andrew McCutchen is hitting .333 -- but right fielder Jose Tabata is 4 for 30 and the Pirates are batting .188 as a team. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh (3-6), snapped a five-game losing streak with a 4-1 win in San Francisco on Sunday as Garrett Jones hit his first home run.

"We just wanted to win a game," manager Clint Hurdle said after his team's first victory away from home. "This just happened to come on the road." The Pirates are averaging 2.0 runs, a trend that already has plagued Erik Bedard (0-2, 2.25 ERA) entering his third start as a National Leaguer. The 10-year veteran left-hander lost the first two as Pittsburgh's lineup totaled one run. Bedard allowed three runs over 12 innings, striking out seven and walking two.

"He competes and he never gives in," catcher Rod Barajas said. "He believes in himself and that makes it easier for me to call the game, because I know I can put down whatever signs and he's comfortable throwing it." Bedard, 8-5 with a 1.86 ERA in 20 career starts versus NL clubs, did not get a decision in his only outing versus Arizona in 2007. That's also the only year in which Joe Saunders (0-0, 0.00) pitched against the Pirates heading into his start Monday.

Saunders threw seven scoreless innings in a 2-1 loss at San Diego on Wednesday, his season debut. The lack of offensive help should be familiar to the left-hander, who went 3-6 in 15 regular-season home starts last year while getting no more than two runs of support in 11 of them. These teams split six games last season. The Pirates have lost 14 of 19 in Arizona, last winning a series there in 2005. Miguel Montero, who has homered in his last two games, hit .389 against Pittsburgh in 2011.

--PITTSBURGH is 7-5 (+4.6 Units) against ARIZONA over the last 3 seasons.
6 of 12 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons. (Over=-0.4 Units, Under=-0.7 Units).

--BEDARD is 0-0 when starting against ARIZONA with an ERA of 2.57 and a WHIP of 0.857.
--His team's record is 0-1 (-1.5 units) in these starts. The UNDER is 0-1. (-1.0 units).

--SAUNDERS is 0-0 when starting against PITTSBURGH with an ERA of 6.00 and a WHIP of 1.167.
--His team's record is 1-0 (+1.0 units) in these starts. The UNDER is 1-0. (+1.0 units).

--UNDER is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
--PIRATES are 2-6 in the last 8 meetings in Arizona.

--PITTSBURGH is 20-4 against the run line (83.3%, +13.5 Units) in road games versus an NL team with they batting average of .245 or worse over the last 2 seasons. The average score was PITTSBURGH 3.7, OPPONENT 2.9 - (Rating = 2*)

--BEDARD is 23-6 against the run line (79.3%, +18.0 Units) in road games after giving up <=2 earned runs in his last 2 outings since 1997. (Team's Record) The average score was BEDARD 5.5, OPPONENT 3.4 - (Rating = 2*)

•BETTING SYSTEM: Play On - All teams against a run line. (+1.5, -130) to (-1.5, +160) (PITTSBURGH) - ice cold hitting team - batting .200 or worse over their last 5 games against opponent starting a pitcher who gave up no earned runs last outing. (104-50 since 1997.) (67.5%, +51.3 units. Rating = 3*)

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