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|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|04-26-14||Texas Rangers v. Seattle Mariners -165||Top||6-3||Loss||-165||12 h 27 m||Show|
I’m playing on SEATTLE. A couple of days ago, on the verge of getting swept by Houston, after having previously been swept at Miami, I said the Mariners were in a “must win” spot. Its amazing what a little positive momentum can do. They won that one for me - albeit in dramatic 9th inning fashion. Now, they followed it up with a 6-5 win in yesterday’s opener against Texas. Suddenly, this team and its fans are feeling good again. With their ace on the mound, I expect them to make it three in a row.
While he hasn’t gotten any run support of late, King Felix is still the man in the Pacific Northwest. He enters today’s game with a 3-1 record, a 2.04 ERA and a 0.821 WHIP. Averaging better than seven innings per start, he’s got an impressive 43 K’s against just four walks, in 35 1/3 innings. Dominating numbers indeed.
On the other hand, Lewis checks in with a 4.22 ERA and 1.407 WHIP. While that’s just two starts, remember, he missed all of last season with elbow and hip surgery. Now, he’s up against one of the best in the game.
Hernandez didn’t fare well against the Rangers last season. However, he pitched great at Texas recently. In seven innings on 4/16, he gave up only one run on four hits, striking out nine and walking one. However, he was up against Darvish, so got no support.
The M’s are swinging the bats better the past couple of days though and Lewis is a whole lot more hittable than Darvish. In fact, the M’s just beat Lewis on 4/14, knocking him around for eight hits and four runs in just 5 1/3 innings. In his last start at Seattle, Lewis got a “W” but gave up six runs in 5 2/3 innings.
Remember, Felix was 2-0 with a 0.53 WHIP in two home starts against the Rangers in 2012 - so, its not like he hasn’t beaten them here before. While the Rangers have been tough off a loss this season, I don’t like their chances tonight. 10* personal favorite
|04-26-14||Detroit Tigers v. Minnesota Twins UNDER 8.5||Top||3-5||Win||100||5 h 56 m||Show|
I’m playing on Detroit and Minnesota to finish UNDER the total. Both teams enter the weekend on extended “over” streaks. With both starters off a quality outing, I expect those streaks to finally come to an end this afternoon.
Sanchez has a dominant 1.47 ERA in his last three games at Minnesota, a 1.72 ERA in his six games against the Twins overall. In his last start against the Twins, he allowed one run through 6 2/3 innings.
Last time out, Sanchez gave up three runs in 6 1/3 innings. He had five K’s against just one walk and only allowed five hits. That’s a pretty solid outing. However, a closer look shows that it could have actually been a lot better - he actually had a 1-hit shutout going through the first six innings, before running into some trouble in the seventh.
Catcher Alex Avila said this of Sanchez: "He was pitching really well .. “
Sanchez’s last two starts have had scores of 3-1 and 3-2.
Admittedly, Hughes’ numbers aren’t too impressive. However, I believe that he’s been making steps in the right direction. He’s off a quality start at KC, giving up three runs in six innings. With 10 K’s against only two walks his last two starts, he’s not hurting himself.
I look for this one to prove lower-scoring than most will be expecting, the UNDER improving to 12-9 the past few seasons when the Twins had allowed 10 or more runs in their previous game. 10* blue chip
|04-25-14||Philadelphia Phillies v. Arizona Diamondbacks -135||Top||4-5||Win||100||22 h 28 m||Show|
I’m playing on ARIZONA. The Diamondbacks have certainly gotten off to a disappointing start, particularly here at Chase Field. However, they closed out their road trip with a pair of victories and I believe this will be a good spot for them to break through with a win here at home.
Collmenter’s numbers don’t look all that impressive. However, he’s now got a couple of starts under his belt (after starting season as a reliever) so should be getting into a rhythm, while also building up stamina. While the boxscore just shows that he allowed four runs in six innings, Collmenter actually tossed five shutout innings, before running into trouble in the sixth. I believe the five shutout innings were a positive sign, something he can build off here.
Its harder to make that case for Hernandez, as he got rocked last time out. All he did was allow six runs on nine hits, lasting just four innings. He’s got a 7.72 ERA in two road starts.
The Diamondbacks come in with a bit of momentum, as they won two in a row. While they played at Chicago yesterday, it was an afternoon game. On the other hand, the Phillies are off a late game at LA. I look for the Dbax to finally give the home fans a win. 10* personal favorite
|04-23-14||Houston Astros v. Seattle Mariners -148||Top||3-5||Win||100||7 h 15 m||Show|
I’m playing on SEATTLE. It may still be only be April but this is practically a must win game for the Mariners. While maybe that’s exaggerating a little - but if they want any chance of staying competitive, they can’t afford to get swept at home by the Astros. Not after they just got swept at Miami in their last series. Those are the type of teams they need to beat.
Young didn’t fare too well last time out. However, that was on the road. While he didn’t get any support, Young was very sharp in his lone home start. He tossed six shutout innings, allowing only four hits.
On the other hand, Kosart is 0-1 with a 12.28 ERA and 2.046 WHIP in his two road starts.
Young hasn’t faced the Astros for quite a few years - which should work to his advantage. (He’s 3-0 in three starts against them, but the last was in 2008.)
The M’s got a look at Kosart last September. While they didn’t hit him well, he did issue six walks in just five innings. Note that Kosart walked four batters (and gave up two HR’s!) while recording only one out in his last start.
Houston manager Bo Porter said this of Kosart’s last outing: "It's not something that we want to relive. It makes it tough on your bullpen when the starter doesn't make it out of the first inning.”
While he’s always been mediocre (37-36, 4.16 ERA) at night, Young has always been very good in the afternoon. In fact, he’s 16-7 with a 2.88 ERA and 1.06 ERA in 47 daytime appearances, 46 starts. Opposing batters have hit only .199 against him in those games. I like Young’s chances of bouncing back better than Kosart’s and I like the M’s to bounce back with a much needed win. 10* personal favorite
|04-17-14||Cleveland Indians v. Detroit Tigers -149||Top||5-7||Win||100||4 h 24 m||Show|
I’m playing on DETROIT. After Tuesday’s game got rained out, the Indians grabbed yesterday’s contest. With Verlander on the mound for a game with an early start time, I expect the Tigers to salvage the series split.
Verlander is off to a very solid start to the season and he won for us last time out. Through three starts, he’s got a 2.57 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. In his two daytime starts, that WHIP dips to 1.14, opposing teams batting .208 in those games.
The strong daytime stats come as no surprise. Looking back to last season and we find that Verlander had a 4.64 ERA and 1.46 WHIP at night but a 2.49 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in the day. There was a similar difference in 2012 too. While Verlander had a solid 3.09 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in the evening, he had spectacular 1.94 ERA and 0.82 WHIP in the day. The previous season? A 1.78 ERA and 0.78 WHIP in the day, as compared to a 2.67 ERA and 0.98 WHIP at night.
While Salazar’s strikeout/inning ratio is impressive, his ERA and WHIP are not. He’s got a 6.75 ERA and 1.93 WHIP, opposing batters hitting .351. On the road, his ERA climbs to 12.27. While he’s got good stuff, I don’t believe he’s ready to go toe-to-toe against Verlander. Not this afternoon.
Overall, the Tigers are 79-59 in day games in recent seasons, as compared to Cleveland’s 59-59 mark. Behind another quality effort from Verlander, I expect them to improve on those stats this afternoon. 10* personal favorite
|04-14-14||Pittsburgh Pirates v. Cincinnati Reds -120||Top||7-7||Push||0||17 h 41 m||Show|
I’m playing on CINCINNATI. I backed the Reds yesterday afternoon and I’m coming right back with them again this evening. While both scheduled starters have struggled out of the gate, I like Cincinnati’s starter’s (H. Bailey) chances of getting back on track better than I do of Houston’s starter.
True, Bailey has gotten off to a poor start. However, before writing him off consider that the former first round pick was 5-3 with a solid 3.35 ERA and 1.03 WHIP here last season, holding opponents to a .213 batting average. He also had a 2.86 ERA when pitching under the lights last season, to go along with a 0.99 WHIP. Additionally, he had a 2.81 ERA and 1.06 WHIP last April. For his career, despite a few losses against them last season, Bailey is 8-5 with a .291 ERA and 1.14 WHIP vs. the Pirates.
Like Bailey, Rodriguez has gotten off to a shaky start to the season. He’s pitching through some elbow problems though, so I’m not as confident that he’ll be able to bounce back anytime too soon. While his 7.20 road ERA this season is still too small a sample size to worry too much about, it should be noted that Rodriguez also had a 6.26 ERA and 1.65 WHIP on the road last season, opposing batters hitting .317 against him in those games. For his career, he’s 39-53 on the road (compared to 52-41 at home) with a 4.73 ERA, more than a run higher than his 3.40 mark at home. He’s also 8-12 with a 4.26 ERA vs. the Reds.
The Reds haven’t forgotten that the Pirates swept them here late last September and then proceeded to beat them in the Wild Card game at Pittsburgh. I like the Reds to gain a small measure of revenge here. 10* personal favorite
|04-13-14||New York Mets v. Los Angeles Angels UNDER 7.5||Top||2-14||Loss||-105||14 h 46 m||Show|
I’m playing on LA and NY to finish UNDER the total. The first two games of this series have both gone into extra innings, both finishing above the total. However, with both today’s starters coming off a dominating performance, I’m expecting a much lower-scoring affair this afternoon.
Wilson, who had 17 wins last season, was outstanding last time out. Over eight innings, he allowed just four hits and one run, striking out nine.
Wilson was quoted saying: "Just told myself I'm going to pick my spot and stay with my spot and not try to overdo it. I was able to throw curveballs for strikes and changeups for strikes, which was big. I only threw a couple sliders because I didn't really need to.”
It should be noted that Wilson is 2-0 his last two Interleague starts, allowing only three earned runs in 13 innings. Going back a little further finds him at 5-0 with a 3.19 ERA his last nine IL starts. He’ll have the advantage of starting against the Mets for the first time this afternoon. (He did record a save against them the 2008 season.)
Colon, who used to pitch for the Angels (won a CY Young for them) should be happy to see his former team. He’s 3-0 with a dominating 0.82 ERA his last three against the Angels, 6-1 with a superb 1.75 ERA in nine starts since leaving there.
Like Wilson, Colon was dominant last time out. All he did was toss seven shutout innings. Colon’s catcher Travis d’Arnaud said this of the veteran: "He commands all his pitches. What else could you ask for from a pitcher?”
In Colon’s most recent start here, he threw a complete game shutout, winning 6-0. While I don’t expect him to get that much run support here, I do expect another relatively low-scoring affair. 10* blue chip
|04-13-14||Tampa Bay Rays v. Cincinnati Reds -142||Top||4-12||Win||100||11 h 26 m||Show|
I’m playing on CINCINNATI. The Rays have gotten off to a much better start than the Reds and they’ve won the first two games of this series. However, I expect the Reds to have the advantage this afternoon.
Cingrani gets the call for the home team and he was dominant in this season’s lone start here. All he did was toss seven shutout innings, allowing only two hits while striking out nine Cardinals. While he wasn’t nearly as sharp in his next start - it should be noted that he was on the road, while facing the same team twice in five days. The Cardinal hitters had seen him less than a week before. That won’t be the case here, as he’ll have the advantage of starting against the Rays for the first time.
True, that’s also the case for Ramos. However, he hasn’t started against anyone since 2012, when he threw 2 2/3 innings in a start against the Phillies. His previous start, prior to that, came way back in 2009, when he allowed nine hits and three runs in 4 1/3 innings against LA.
Normally a long reliever, Ramos is only in the starter’s role here due to the injury to Matt Moore. He’s unlikely to go too deep in the game. Tampa manager Joe Maddon noted: "I still believe he's able to throw at least 75 pitches in a game.”
Keep in mind that Cingrani made 23 appearances last season, including 18 starts. He had a very solid 2.92 ERA and 1.10 WHIP, opposing batters hitting only .196 against hime. In his six daytime appearances (4 starts) he had a superb 2.19 ERA and 0.77 WHIP, opposing batters hitting a mere .151.
Even with yesterday’s win, the Rays are still a modest 60-53 (-5.9) in day games the past 2+ seasons. Meanwhile, even with yesterday’s loss, the Reds are still a profitable 75-53 (+7.6) in day games, during the same stretch. During that time, the Reds are also still 100-70 at home, compared to the Rays’ 89-82 mark away from Tampa.
While the Rays are a money-burning 19-29 (-8.2) the past couple of seasons as road underdogs in the +100 to +125 range, the Reds are a respectable 34-24 (+1.3) as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range. I expect them to bounce back and avoid the sweep. 10* breakfast club
|04-12-14||Detroit Tigers -143 v. San Diego Padres||Top||6-2||Win||100||14 h 30 m||Show|
I’m playing on DETROIT. While the Padres took yesterday’s opener, I expect the Tigers to have the advantage this evening.
Cashner tossed a gem yesterday. However, the Tigers, who hope to have Hunter back, are still a much better hitting club than the Padres - and I expect them to have considerably more success against Kennedy.
Note that Kennedy is an 3-8 with an ugly 5.84 ERA in 12 career inter league starts. He lost his lone home start this season, giving up three runs over just five innings.
Of course, the Tigers aren’t likely to need much offense with Verlander on the mound. While he’s 0-1, Verlander has been sharp. He’s averaging seven innings per start and has a stellar 2.57 ERA.
Of course, it should be noted that Verlander hasn’t lost against a National League team in nearly four years. He's won 10 consecutive decisions against NL opponents, while posting a superb 1.72 ERA in his last 12 starts. Overall, he’s a dominating 21-2 with a 2.56 ERA in 28 interleague outings. You can’t get much better than that.
Before getting too excited about yesterday’s offensive outburst, keep in mind that the Padres entered that game hitting just .185 here at Petco. I expect Verlander to do his thing, the Tigers bouncing back with a much-needed win. 10* personal favorite
|04-12-14||Kansas City Royals v. Minnesota Twins UNDER 7.5||Top||1-7||Loss||-113||5 h 47 m||Show|
I’m playing on KC and Minnesota to finish UNDER the total. The Twins have only seen one game stay below the total this season. I happened to play the “under” in that one - and I believe this afternoon’s game will prove to be another good spot to do so.
Shields has been sharp. He’s got a 2.70 ERA to go along with a stellar 0.825 WHIP. In his last start, he allowed one run through seven complete innings. He gave up only five hits and didn’t walk a batter. Both his starts have produced seven of fewer combined runs.
Shields has also had plenty of success vs. the Twins. In his last start here, he gave up one run, on only four hits, through 7 1/3 innings. In his previous start here, he gave up two runs in six innings.
Admittedly, Nolasco hasn’t gotten off to a great start. He’ll have the advantage of facing the Royals for the first time though. Before writing him off, keep in mind that he was a solid 13-11 with a respectable 3.70 ERA last season and that ERA dipped to 3.03 (with a 1.01 WHIP) in his 10 daytime starts.
Dating back to last season, Shields has seen six straight starts produced eight or fewer combined runs. Going back a little further finds the UNDER at 10-5-1 the last 16 times he took the mound. I expect those stats to improve this afternoon. 10* blue chip
|04-12-14||Boston Red Sox v. New York Yankees -109||Top||4-7||Win||100||11 h 33 m||Show|
I’m playing on NEW YORK. These teams have split the first two meetings of the series. The Yankees won Thursday’s opener, 4-1. The Red Sox returned the favor with a 4-2 win yesterday. I look for NY to have the advantage this afternoon.
While he doesn’t always get much in terms of run support, Kuroda is tough to beat here at home. He also tends to fare very well when pitching in the afternoon. Combine those two things (pitching in the day and at home) and he’s generally extremely good.
Through two starts Kuroda has a 2.92 ERA and 0.973 WHIP, striking out nine while walking only one. He won his lone home start (which also happened to be in the day) by a score of 4-2.
Last season, Kuroda was 6-12 with a 3.84 ERA at night but 5-1 with a 2.26 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in the afternoon. He was 4-10 with a 4.05 ERA on the road but 7-3 with a 2.35 ERA (1.02 WHIP) at home.
Those aren’t 1-year stats either. In 2012, Kuroda has a 1.99 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in eight daytime starts, compared to a 3.76 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 25 at night. He was also 11-6 with a 2.72 ERA and 1.01 WHIP at home in 2012, as compared to a 5-5 with a 4.23 ERA and 1.41 WHIP on the road.
Lackey has also pitched well to start the season and I won with the Sox in his last start. However, he hasn’t had much recent success against the Yankees here. In fact, in his last three road starts against the Yankees, he’s allowed 15 earned runs in 17 2/3 innings. While he was fortunate to get a lot of run support (Boston scored 20 runs in his last two starts here) in those games, I feel he’s unlikely to get too much here.
Lets not forget that Lackey, who will be making his first afternoon start of this season, was 4-10 with a 4.48 ERA on the road last season and that his daytime ERA and WHIP were worse than his evening stats.
Kuroda has allowed four earned runs or less in 19 of his last 20 home starts, allowing five in the other. He allowed two earned runs or less in 14 of those 20 starts. Not surprisingly, the Yankees are 11-3 the last 14 times he took the mound here.
While he’s had some trouble at Fenway, Kuroda has allowed three or fewer earned runs in ALL six of his home starts vs. Boston, two or less in five of those. I expect another solid effort, en route to a win for the home team. 10* breakfast club
|04-10-14||Oakland A's v. Minnesota Twins UNDER 8.5||Top||6-1||Win||100||10 h 23 m||Show|
I’m playing on Oakland and Minnesota to finish UNDER the total. The Twins have been an “over machine” thus far. That looked like it might change yesterday, as the score was 4-1 entering the ninth. However, a few ninth inning runs led to extra innings and ultimately a 7-4 final. I expect things to change this afternoon though.
Unlike the Twins, the A’s have been involved in fairly low-scoring games. Prior to yesterday, their games were averaging only 6.9 goals. The A’s were hitting .236 while their opponents were batting only .202.
While both today’s starters lost their first start, they had WHIPS of 1.126 and 1.167 respectively. In other words, they weren’t giving up too many baserunners.
Straily took the loss his first time out. However, that wasn’t his fault, as he delivered a quality start. While he allowed three runs, he went six solid innings, recording seven K’s against just one walk. Note that he was rolling along nicely until the fifth inning, when the M’s scored all their runs against him.
While he got burned by a couple of long-balls in his first start, Pelfrey only gave up three hits through 5 2/3 innings. Like Straily, he cruised through the first five innings, giving up all his runs in the sixth.
While Pelfrey admittedly didn’t fare too well in his lone start against Oakland, Straily has a 3.17 ERA and 1.058 WHIP from his lone start vs. the Twins.
Straily’s first start, which finished with a score of 3-1, had an O/U line of seven. Meanwhile, Pelfrey’s first start had an O/U line of 7.5. We’re getting a far more generous line to work with here and I feel that’s providing us with plenty of value. 10*
|04-05-14||St. Louis Cardinals v. Pittsburgh Pirates -140||Top||6-1||Loss||-140||10 h 34 m||Show|
I’m playing on PITTSBURGH. I believe that the price on the Pirates could easily be higher here.
Liriano is 9-1 with a superb 1.46 ERA in 14 starts at PNC Park, in a Pirates uniform.
He was dominant in this season’s first start, giving up just four hits, while striking out 10, in six shutout innings. He didn’t get the “W” but the Pirates won by a score of 1-0.
Liriano was a perfect 3-0 with a commanding 0.75 ERA against the Cardinals in three regular-season starts. He then proceeded to limit them to two runs over six innings in Game 3 of the NL division series, the Pirates winning 5-3.
While Kelly may have pitched well against Pittsburgh last season, he got roughed up in the spring - and was very “fortunate" to win a starting spot, over Carlos Martinez. While Martinez, who has better stuff, was great (1.76 ERA) in the spring, Kelly was terrible. He’d finish the exhibition campaign with an ugly 6.28 ERA, walking eight in 14 1/3 innings. It won’t be surprising if Martinez replaces him in the rotation before the season is over.
Off a 12-2 loss in yesterday’s opener, note that the Cards are only 4-7 (-4.3) the last 11 times that they gave up double-digits in their previous game. During that stretch, they’re also a money-burning 5-11 (-4.4) as road underdogs in the 125 to 150 range.
The Pirates have been excellent as home favorites in this range the past couple of seasons, going 35-18 (+10.6) here when the line ranged from -125 to -150. Behind another big game from their ace, I expect them to improve on those stats today. 10* personal favorite
|04-03-14||Seattle Mariners v. Oakland A's -131||Top||2-3||Win||100||14 h 58 m||Show|
I’m playing on OAKLAND. The Mariners have gotten off to a great (3-0) start, much better than Oakland. I expect the A’s to cool them off tonight though.
Jesse Chavez gets the call for the home team. While he’s only made a couple of starts over his career, he should be very happy to see the Mariners.
Chavez has pitched 11 innings against Seattle, all in relief. During that stretch, he’s permitted just one run - and that was unearned. He also struck out an impressive 13, more than one per inning.
Additionally, it should be noted that Chavez was dominant in his final spring start. In fact, he didn’t give up a single hit, through 5 1/3 innings, eventually allowing one hit in the 6th inning. That should give him plenty of confidence heading into his first start since 2012.
Chavez, who was 5-1 with a stellar 2.22 ERA for the spring overall, had this to say: "It wasn't too bad. A good one to finish the spring off and go into the season and build off."
Seattle will counter with Roenis Elias. While the 25-year old Cuban defector had a tidy 2.38 ERA in the spring, he also walked 10 (while striking out 13) in just 22 2/3 innings. More importantly, he’s never pitched above the Double-A level.
The A’s will be facing a southpaw for the first time this year. They’re 65-51 (+12.9) against left-handed starters the past couple of seasons.
During that stretch, even factoring in last night’s loss, the A’s are also a dominant 124-84 (+40.6) when playing under the lights.
While the M’s are 65-82 (-11.4) off a win the past couple of seasons, the A’s are 78-62 (+19.2) off a loss.
This is the opportunity that the 30-year old Chavez has been waiting for. He noted: "I'm happy that they had the confidence in me to put me in the rotation and I don’t want them to look bad with the wrong decision.” I expect him to make the most of the opportunity and for the A’s to hand the M’s their first loss. 10* personal favorite
|10-28-13||Boston Red Sox v. St. Louis Cardinals -125||Top||3-1||Loss||-125||13 h 38 m||Show|
I'm playing on ST. LOUIS. If you like baseball, you should probably tune in to tonight's game. In case anyone hasn't been following, the series is tied 2-2 and there's an excellent pitching matchup for Game 5, a rematch of Game 1. While home teams are only 1-1 thus far, I expect homefield, playing in a National League park, to favor the Cardinals.
Keep in mind that the Cards were 10 games better at home during the regular season than the Red Sox were on the road. They were 54-27 here. The Sox were 44-37 away from Fenway.
Admittedly, Lester has been excellent this postseason. Its a new day though and he's now on the road, pitching at a park where he's never before pitched. Note that three of his four playoff starts have been at home. His lone road start saw him last only 5 1/3 innings, giving up two runs.
Lester is 7-1 with a very solid 3.09 ERA and 1.16 WHIP at home, on the season. However, this season's road numbers were only mediocre. Indeed, he's only 8-7 with a 4.23 ERA and 1.39 WHIP. Opposing batters hit .237 against him at Fenway but .263 everywhere else.
With there being some talk of him using vaseline on his glove in Game 1, its possible that Lester could be slightly distracted.
While I won't count on that, I am counting on a much better effort from Wainwright. This guy has been a leader all season long and he figures to be happy to be back home. In 121 home innings, Wainwright has a 2.53 ERA with 144 Ks vs only 20 walks. Opposing batters hit .217 against him here, as compared to .276 on the road.
Keep in mind that Wainwright, a former Gold Glove winner and recently named one of the finalists for this year's award, didn't get much help from his defense in Game 1. While he didn't start well, he did settle down after the first two innings, retiring seven straight batters.
The Cards know they can ill afford another loss and I believe the price on them is very fair. Including their win in Game 2, the Cards are a commanding 50-21 off a loss, a situation that has long been profitable for them. With their well-rested ace on the mound, I look for them to bounce back, finding a way to come away with the victory. 10*
|10-27-13||Boston Red Sox v. St. Louis Cardinals UNDER 7||Top||4-2||Win||100||12 h 29 m||Show|
I'm playing on St. Louis and Boston to finish UNDER the total. Thus far, the World Series has alternated between relatively high-scoring games and relatively low-scoring ones. After Game 1 produced nine runs, Game 2 had only six. After nine more runs were scored in Game 3, I expect the "pattern" to continue and for Game 4 to be of the lower-scoring variety.
While he may be at a little less than 100% health and likely won't be "going the distance," Buchholz is still 6-0 with a 1.76 ERA in eight road starts, including the playoffs. Note that the well-rested Buchholz won each of his three starts while recording a dominant 0.53 ERA, when pitching on at least six days rest during the regular season.
Meanwhile, Lynn was 9-3 with a 2.82 ERA at Busch Stadium in the regular season. (Those numbers were MUCH better than his road numbers.) Note that he was also better in the evening than during the day, a fact which has been the case throughout his career.
While he hasn't dominated during the postseason, keep in mind that Lynn has won 33 games the past two seasons.
The Sox have seen the UNDER go 38-23-3 the past couple of seasons, when playing a road game where their line ranged from +100 to -125.
The Sox have still seen six of their last 10 games finish with seven or fewer combined runs. Meanwhile, the Cards have seen six of their last 10 finish at seven or less. I'm expecting another well-pitched affair. 10*
|10-17-13||Boston Red Sox v. Detroit Tigers -115||Top||4-3||Loss||-115||9 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. I successfully backed the Tigers when Sanchez was last on the mound. All Sanchez did was toss six innings of NO-HIT ball, striking out 12. Despite that dominant performance, despite the fact that the Tigers have the momentum and are playing at home, we're still getting Detroit at roughly a pick 'em price. I believe that's providing us with excellent value.
Sanchez had this to say of his last start: "My pitches were moving really good that day. I was ahead in some counts, that helped me striking them out. That was the key. That helped me that day."
Having previously pitched for the small market Marlins and now on a staff with Verlander and Scherzer, Sanchez doesn't get much notice. However, make no mistake, he's dominant.
Catcher Alex Avila said this of Sanchez: "His stuff, at times, is probably some of the nastiest stuff we have on the team
|10-15-13||Boston Red Sox v. Detroit Tigers UNDER 7.5||Top||1-0||Win||100||27 h 20 m||Show|
I'm playing on Boston and Detroit to finish UNDER the total. After a pitcher's duel in Game 1, the bats came to life in Game 2. In case you missed it, Boston erased a 5-0 deficit, winning 6-5. With a red hot former Cy Young Award winner taking the mound for the home team, I expect Game 3 to be more like Game 1, the pitching taking center state.
While it wasn't the best season of his career, Verlander is currently in phenomenal form. In 15 playoff innings, he's allowed ZERO runs and SIX hits. During that time, he's struck out 21, walking just two.
Verlander's streak goes back further than that though. He also allowed ZERO runs in his final two regular season starts, striking out 22 in 12 innings.
That's ZERO runs in four starts with 43 Ks in 27 innings. Dominant.
Not surprisingly, each of Verlander's last four starts have all fallen below the total. They averaged just three combined runs.
As for Lackey, he's been an excellent "under" pitcher all season long. In fact, the UNDER is 22-7-1 when he takes the mound, 12-4 away from Fenway.
With his being an afternoon start, note that Verlander was 6-8 with a 4.64 ERA and 1.46 ERA at night but 7-4 with a 2.49 ERA and 1.19 WHIP during the day.
On the season, the UNDER is 28-15-1 when the Sox played a day game. Don't be surprised if this one proves to again be relatively low-scoring. 10*
|10-13-13||Detroit Tigers v. Boston Red Sox -120||Top||5-6||Win||100||10 h 15 m||Show|
I'm playing on BOSTON. I've won with the Tigers each of their last three games. Needless to say, I respect them and believe they're a great team. With their backs to the wall, I like the Red Sox to bounce back tonight though.
The Sox know they can ill afford to drop the first two games of this series, at home. Not with the series shifting to Detroit for Game 3 and a red hot Justin Verlander waiting for them when they get there.
Scherzer has obviously been superb. However, as great as he's been, Buchholz has arguably been better. Scherzer is 22-3 with a 2.89 ERA. However, Buchholz is 12-1 with a 1.89 ERA. OK. Call it a wash.
One area that Buchholz figures to have an advantage is that the Tigers haven't faced him this season. The Red Sox just saw Scherzer last month. Scherzer is 2-4 with an ugly 7.02 ERA and 1.63 WHIP in eight starts vs. Boston. Buchholz is 2-1 with a 3.76 ERA and 1.252 WHIP in eight starts vs. Detroit, 2-0 with a 3.20 ERA his last six against them.
Cabrera, Fielder, Hunter and Martinez are a combined 9 for 54 against him.
Note that the Tigers tend to rely on the long ball and that in nine home starts, Buchholz hasn't allowed a single home run.
The Sox are a profitable 20-8 (+12.1) their last 28 after a shutout loss. It may not be easy, but I expect them to find a way to bounce back. *10
|10-10-13||Detroit Tigers -114 v. Oakland A's||Top||3-0||Win||100||32 h 59 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. While the A's have home field advantage, in a winner-take-all situation at a pick 'em price, my money's on Verlander and the Tigers.
You may recall that these teams were in this same spot last year. Playing a Game 5 to see who would advance. Verlander dominated. The Tigers won.
Here we are again. This time, Verlander's up against a rookie, as Oakland has elected to start Sonny Gray over Bartolo Colon. While Gray was very good against Verlander in Game 2, seeing him for the second time in less than a week, I look for the Tigers to get to him a little more this time.
While Verlander may not have had a Cy Young season, the A's know how tough he can be, particularly in October. Indeed, Verlander is riding a 22-inning playoff scoreless streak against Oakland. He has 33 K's over his past three playoff matchups with the A's, 11 in each outing.
He's also quietly in CY Young type form, currently pitching as well as he has all year. Indeed, Verlander has a 0.00 ERA his last three starts, to go along with a 0.947 WHIP. In 19 innings, he's allowed 0 runs on 13 hits, to go along with a dominating 33 Ks.
Down 2-1 in games and 3-0 on the scoreboard, the Tigers season was already over. They're living on borrowed time. As a result, I believe that they'll be feeling a little less pressure here. With the bats having finally woken up and with one of the best pitchers of the modern era on the mound in a situation he's thrived in, I look for them to get it done. 10*
|10-05-13||Tampa Bay Rays v. Boston Red Sox UNDER 7.5||Top||4-7||Loss||-110||10 h 32 m||Show|
I'm playing on Tampa and Boston to finish UNDER the total. The Red Sox scored a dozen runs in the opener, batting around in back-to-back innings. Don't expect that to happen again.
Price is 6-1 with a dominating 1.88 ERA in 10 starts at Fenway, 2-0 in three starts (3 runs in 22+ innings!) here this season. Overall, he's 10-6 with a 2.93 ERA in 20 starts vs. the Red Sox overall. He's been considerably better on the road this season than he has been at home.
When his team needed him, Price went the distance last time out, allowing two runs. It marked the fifth straight start that he's allowed less than three runs, he went more than six innings in four of those too.
Lackey's record isn't that impressive but he still had a very solid 3.52 ERA and 1.16 WHIP on the season, striking out 161 against only 40 walks. In his most recent home start, Lackey allowed a single run in nine innings, earning a 3-1 victory. He had eight K's vs. two walks.
Including that gem, Lackey has quietly seen the UNDER go 15-4 his last 19 starts, 10-2-1 his last 13 here in Boston.
The UNDER is 5-0 in Price's last five starts here and 7-2 since 2011. This season's three starts here had final scores of 2-1, 5-1 and 2-1. I expect another well-pitched affair. *10
|09-25-13||Arizona Diamondbacks v. San Diego Padres -114||Top||2-12||Win||100||13 h 44 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO. After Arizona took yesterday's game, these teams have split the first two games of the current series. The Padres have dominated the Dbax here on the season though and I expect them to have the edge here.
Kennedy goes up against his former team here, making what figures to be his last start of the season. He didn't pitch well in his previous start against his former teammates and I expect a much better effort here.
Kennedy has struggled on the road but he loves pitching here at San Diego. The Padres are 4-1 since he came over, when Kennedy has started here. That includes a 3-0 mark his last three starts here, Kennedy allowing 0, 1 and 0 earned runs.
For his career, Kennedy is 6-2 with a 2.39 ERA in 11 starts at Petco.
Delgado, who has a 5.93 ERA his last three overall, is 0-2 with a 6.86 ERA in his last four road starts.
The Padres have been excellent at home in this price range. I look for them to rally around Kennedy, en route to the win. 10*
|09-22-13||Texas Rangers v. Kansas City Royals -125||Top||0-4||Win||100||5 h 57 m||Show|
I'm playing on KC. Although one could make that case, I won't argue that the Royals need a win more than the Rangers. KC does indeed desperately need to keep its flickering playoff hopes alive. However, the Rangers have a more realistic chance of making it and they too desperately need a victory.
I do like how things set up for the Royals though. Shields is in excellent current form and he' going for his 100th career win here. Last time out, he won by a score of 7-1, striking out 10 in six innings. In his previous start, Shields allowed only four hits through eight innings, winning 6-2.
KC Manager Nost noted this of Shields: "He knows what's at stake and he's getting after it. He's into it."
While he did have a couple of rough starts against them in the playoffs, Shields is 7-3 with a 2.66 ERA in 12 regular starts against the Rangers. That includes a 5-1 record with a commanding 1.36 ERA his last seven reg ssn starts against them.
Ogando also has some good things going for him. That said, with this being just his second start since coming off the DL with shoulder inflammation, its hard to expect him to be at his very best.
The Royals are playing their home finale. They've fought hard this year and at the very least, I expect them to send the fans home happy with one last win. 10* A.L. Personal Favorite
|09-21-13||Seattle Mariners v. Los Angeles Angels OVER 8.5||Top||5-6||Win||100||11 h 12 m||Show|
I'm playing on LA and Seattle to finish OVER the total. Last night's series opener was a well-pitched affair. I expect to see some more scoring this evening.
While they only managed three runs yesterday, the Angels had been averaging six runs a game through their previous nine contests, tallying 54 during that span. Note that the OVER is 4-0 the last couple of weeks, after the Angels had scored three or fewer runs in their previous game. Facing a struggling pitcher, albeit one who has has some success against them this year, the Angels' bats should be able to again bounce back.
Saunders is 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA and 2.099 WHIP his last three starts and 2-7 with a 7.07 ERA his last 11.
Williams was sharp last time out and I believe that he's better than his numbers indicate. Still, one can't completely ignore that he's got a 5.69 ERA and 1.532 WHIP in 12 home starts, seven of which finished above the total.
While the bullpens pitched well last night, they also used up some innings. (A total of 13 pitchers saw action.) Yesterday notwithstanding, the Angels bullpen has been mediocre (at best) at home this season, while the M's bullpen has been awful on the road.
The previous meeting between these two starters saw the teams combine for 11 runs. I won't be surprised to see double-digits again tonight. 10*
|09-20-13||Arizona Diamondbacks v. Colorado Rockies -131||Top||4-9||Win||100||12 h 59 m||Show|
I'm playing on COLORADO. These same two pitchers just opposed each other on 9/15, at Arizona. Delgado and the Diamondbacks came out on top. With the venue for tonight's rematch shifting to Coors Field, I look for Chacin and co. to get some payback.
For starters, note that the Rockies are 43-33 at home compared to Arizona's 33-41 mark on the road. The Rockies have taken four of six here against the Dbax this season. The Dbax are 11-15 (-2.6) as road underdogs in the 100 to 125 range. The Rockies are 14-8 (+3.2) as home favorites in the 125 to 150 range.
One could argue that the Dbax have more to play for. After all, they're the team which is still mathematically alive in the Wild Card standings. However, "mathematically alive" is a lot different than actually being alive and the Dbax all know that.
Yesterday, the Dbax lost the series finale against LA, the Dodgers clinching the division in the process. That figures to be a deflating loss. Keep in mind that Arizona thought it was the team which was going to win the division this year, up until the Dodgers went on their incredible run.
Manager Kirk Gibson's comments reflected the disappointment : "You just take it in and reflect on some things. We still have to play hard the rest of the way out. It is disappointing."
While the Rockies had to go 15 innings yesterday, they did so here at Colorado and they did so during the afternoon. So, they've had no travel and plenty of time in between games. More importantly, they won (7-6) and banged out 21 hits in the process. Losing those type of games can be hard on a team - but winning them can often provide some positive momentum. The Rockies will be looking to win two in a row for the first time in awhile (since late August) and I expect them to be hungry to do so.
As the Rockies found out, Delgado can be tough at home. In 10 home starts, he's got a respectable 3.32 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. However, in eight road games (seven starts) he's got a a poor 5.01 ERA. He lasted just 2 2/3 innings in his last road start, giving up four home runs. Including that rough outing, he's given up 14 home runs in his last nine starts. (Chacin has only allowed four at home all year long, a span of 106+ innings.)
Admittedly, Chacin wasn't at his best in last week's game. Even with the rough effort, he still sports a very solid 3.27 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 123/54 K/W ratio through 187 1/3 innings.
When Chacin has started against the Dbax, here at Coors, the Rockies are 2-0 this year and 5-2 for his career. He allowed three earned runs or less in six of those seven starts, including each of the last four. I like his chances of bouncing back here. 10* NL GOY
|09-18-13||Texas Rangers v. Tampa Bay Rays -126||Top||3-4||Win||100||8 h 34 m||Show|
I'm playing on TAMPA. The Rangers finally won yesterday. They've really been struggling though and Holland's pitching has played a big part. He got rocked again last time out and has a 8.77 ERA and 2.099 WHIP his last three starts. On the other hand, Archer tossed six shutout innings last time out He allowed just three hits and didn't walk a single batter. He had seven K's. While that was on the road, he's 5-3 with a stellar 2.67 ERA and 0.984 WHIP in 10 home starts. The Rays are 7-3 (+2.6) in those games. The Rays have hit better against southpaws and are 87-67 (+12.2) against them the past couple of seasons. I expect Archer to get the better of Holland, en route to a win for the home team. 9*
|09-15-13||Cleveland Indians v. Chicago White Sox -118||Top||7-1||Loss||-118||3 h 29 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. The Indians have taken the first three games of the series and come in as the much hotter team. However, with Sale on the mound, I look for the Sox to bounce back and avoid the sweep.
I backed the Sox the last time Sale was on the mound. All he did was outpitch Scherzer and beat the Tigers 5-1. He allowed just four hits and one run through eight innings, striking out eight and walking one. Over his last three starts, he's 2-0 with a 1.54 ERA and 0.729 WHIP, striking out 26 while walking four. Dominant numbers.
Sale has been getting it done all year though. He's got a 2.94 ERA and 1.038 WHIP in 27 starts, striking out 207 in 195 2/3 innings. The Sox are 9-5 (+2.8) in his 14 home starts. Sale has averaged 7.9 innings in those starts, recording a 2.53 ERA and 0.915 WHIP.
While he admittedly struggled at Cleveland this season, Sale was tough against the Indians here at Chicago. In eight innings, he allowed three runs, while striking out 10. I say he leads his team to a badly needed win this afternoon. 10* personal favorite
|09-10-13||Boston Red Sox v. Tampa Bay Rays -128||Top||2-0||Loss||-128||13 h 41 m||Show|
I'm playing on TAMPA. Needless to say, this is a big game. While some will surely disagree, I believe that the matchup favors the home team.
Buchholz does indeed have some pretty spectacular numbers. He's also pitched very well historically against Tampa. However, lets keep in mind that this is his first big league start since early June and that he'll be on a pitch count here. (Reportedly no more than 75-80 pitches.)
True, Price won't be winning the Cy Young this season. That said, he's still got Cy Young type stuff, capable of dominating any/every time that he takes the mound.
While Price has had some trouble on the road recently, he was stingy in his last home start, a 4-2 win over the Yankees.
Price has also been excellent his last two starts vs. the Red Sox. He faced them twice in July, winning both games. In 16 1/3 innings, he allowed only two runs and just seven hits. He didn't walk a single batter, while striking out 12. Dominant numbers. He's 10-5 with a 2.98 ERA and 1.124 WHIP in 19 starts vs. Boston.
With Buchholz on a pitch count, note that the Boston bullpen hasn't been as good on the road as the Tampa bullpen has been at home. While the Sox relievers have a solid 3.53 ERA and 1.276 WHIP on the road, the Rays' relievers have a 2.94 ERA and 1.022 WHIP at home.
While the Red Sox have the superior overall record, the Rays' home record (44-26) is considerably better than Boston's 40-33 mark on the road. They need this game more and with their ace on the mound, I look for them to get it. 10* Personal Favorite
|09-02-13||San Francisco Giants v. San Diego Padres -143||Top||1-4||Win||100||6 h 11 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO. This figures to be a favorable matchup for the home team. Not only are the Padres much better at home, they're also better during the afternoon AND much better against left-handed starters. Additionally, they'll be facing a pitcher who they've had success against and who is considered to be one of the biggest busts in free agent history.
Zito is 5-10 with a 5.65 ERA vs. the Padres. The Giants are 0-3 in his last three starts against SD, most recently a 10-1 loss here on 7/14. Zito lasted only two innings, giving up three home runs.
Zito has so bad he moved to the bullpen for a few weeks at the beginning of August. He's been every bit as bad since returning though. In two starts since coming back, he's given up 11 runs in 7 2/3 innings, losing by a combined score of 18-2. That gives him a 12.27 ERA (2.364 WHIP!) his last three starts and a 0-4 mar with an 11.21 ERA his last five. Going back further finds him at 0-8 with a 9.61 ERA and 2.32 WHIP on the road. Opposing hitters are batting .411 against him away from SF. You won't find numbers much worse than those.
Admittedly, Kennedy isn't going to win any Cy Young awards this season either. However, he did toss seven shutout innings his last start here. Additionally, he's 6-3 with a 2.54 ERA and 1.067 WHIP in 16 starts vs. SF.
The Padres, who have hit much better vs. southpaws, have been a profitable team (+17.7 vs. the moneyline) the past couple of seasons, when playing during the day. I expect them to improve on those starts. 9* personal favorite
|09-01-13||New York Mets v. Washington Nationals -138||Top||5-6||Win||100||14 h 36 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. The Mets have taken the first two games of this series and are going for the sweep this evening. They haven't swept the Nats since 2009 though and I don't see it happening here.
Ohlendorf goes for the Nats and he's been very solid, albeit in limited action. Through four starts, he's gone 3-0 with a 2.82 ERA. (Overall, he has a 2.49 ERA.) Arguably his best outing came vs. these same Mets, who he limited to one run in seven innings, striking out eight. In two home starts, Ohlendorf has a 1.50 ERA.
Note that Ohlendorf won't be facing some of the Mets' big bats. Already without David Wright, Mets' first baseman Ike Davis went down yesterday. Mets manager Terry Collins said this: "I doubt we see him. 2013 is going to go down as a real frustrating year for Ike Davis."
Admittedly, Niese has had some recent success vs. the Nats and has also been pitching well of late. Still, one can't just ignore the fact that he's got an ugly 5.74 ERA (1.673 WHIP) in seven road starts.
It should also be mentioned that the Nats typically hit better vs. southpaws than they do against right-handers. In fact, they're 4-0 their last four vs. left-handers and 7-1 their last eight. Going back further finds them at a profitable 70-53 (+14.1) vs. southpaws the past couple of years. Desperately in need of a win, I expect the Nats to bounce back and improve on those stats here. 9* main event
|08-30-13||Baltimore Orioles v. New York Yankees -130||Top||5-8||Win||100||11 h 43 m||Show|
I'm playing on NEW YORK. Over their next 17 games, the Yankees will face these same Orioles seven times, while facing the Red Sox seven more times. Obviously, its a pivotal stretch. I like their chances here at home tonight, where they've quietly won eight of their last nine and 10 of their last 12.
Sabathia took the loss at Tampa last time out. However, he still delivered a quality start - he just happened to be up against Price and so got very little support. I expect him to fare better in the run support department here. I also feel that his last outing will help provide him with some confidence and momentum, despite the end result.
Of course, Sabathia can probably feel pretty good about the fact that he's 6-1 with a 2.58 ERA in seven starts, including playoffs, against the Orioles here in the Bronx.
Gonzalez gave up eight hits in 5 2/3 innings last time out, walking four. That's more than two baserunners per inning. He's also walked five batters in each of his last two start at New York.
While he probably deserves better, the O's are 0-3 the last three times that Gonzalez started here and 4-8 in his 12 road starts overall this season.
The O's did beat a southpaw (Lester) yesterday. However, that wasn't thanks to the offense, as they only won 3-2. They're still only 19-23 (-7.2) vs. left-handers, hitting .254 and averaging 4.2 runs. (Those numbers are all down considerably from what they've done vs. right-handers.)
Needless to say, this is a very big series for both teams. Playing at home and sending a veteran southpaw to the mound, I expect the Yankees to be the team which starts it off with a win. 10* personal favorite
|08-28-13||Kansas City Royals v. Minnesota Twins +106||Top||8-1||Loss||-100||10 h 39 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. While the Royals have kicked them around all season, I like the Twins to bounce back and exact a little revenge. Albers goes for the Twins and he'll be matched up against Duffy for the Royals, who has replaced Chen. Duffy still has potential and he's had some success, in very limited action, this season. However, keep in mind that he's been bouncing back and forth in and out of the rotation and that he had Tommy John surgery last year. Keep in mind that his career ERA is still above five (5.05) and that he's got a 5.19 ERA and 2.08 WHIP vs. the Twins. He faced them a couple of weeks ago and needed 93 pitches to get through 3 2/3 innings. Albers also has a very small 2013 sample size. He's been stingy though, including 8 1/3 shutout innings vs. these same Royals. Many might be surprised to learn that the Twins record vs. southpaws is actually better than the Royals record vs. southpaws. That's not that Minnesota's 13-16 mark is all that good, its just that KC is a poor 16-22 (-8.6) vs. lefties, an ugly 55-76 against them the past couple of seasons. The Twins hit a "relatively" respectable .257 vs. southpaws, averaging 4.1 runs per game against them. On the other hand, the Royals average just 3.4 rpg vs. southpaws, averaging a mere 3.4 runs. I believe Albers will have some confidence and like that he's got a regular rhythm going, while Duffy does not. (Duffy's last MLB start was 8/16 and before that was 8/7 while Albers went 8/12, 8.17 and 8/22). I like that Albers has been better against KC than Duffy has against Minnesota. Add it all up and I like the Twins to score the upset. 10*
|08-28-13||Oakland A's v. Detroit Tigers -168||Top||14-4||Loss||-168||13 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. The Tigers can't have been too happy with the weather yesterday; I know I sure wasn't. Trailing 6-3, the rain killed any chances of a comeback - their game was called in the 6th inning. With an offense like the Tigers, a comeback certainly wasn't out of the question. Its a new day though and the Tigers suddenly find themselves down a couple of games against a team which they could see in the playoffs. I expect them to respond with their best effort.
Fister checks in off back-to-back quality starts. Last time out, pitching on the road against the Mets, he allowed one run through 6 1/3 innings. For the season, he's 7-3 with a solid 3.11 ERA and 1.21 WHIP here. Here at home, he's got 56 Ks vs. just 12 walks, averages 6 2/3 innings per start and has only allowed four home runs in 81 innings.
On the other hand, Straily allowed six runs in 3 1/3 innings last time out, giving up a pair of home runs and walking four batters. He's got a 4.71 ERA in 12 road starts, where he averages 5.6 innings per start.
Bottom line, Straily has shown that he can be vulnerable on the road and the stacked Tigers' lineup makes this one of the toughest venues around.
Fister has an excellent 2.47 ERA in a dozen starts vs. the A's. Despite not getting a win, he was very sharp against them again last season. He should get some support here and I expect him to lead his team to a win. 9* personal favorite
|08-26-13||Houston Astros v. Chicago White Sox -147||Top||10-8||Loss||-147||27 h 11 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. The Astros have had the edge in the season series. However, I like the momentum that that home team brings to the table here.
The surging Sox finished on top again yesterday and have now won eight of their last nine. On the other hand, the Astros appeared poised to sweep the Jays yesterday but ended up suffering a deflating loss in the 9th inning. That figures to be a tough pill to swallow.
Rienzo is off back to back gems and has limited opposing hitters to a .228 average over his his five starts.
Adam Dunn said this of Rienzo: "He has pitched great. Everything is quick and he's fun to play behind."
Admittedly, Oberholtzer has also pitched very well. That said, he's supported by a Houston bullpen with an ERA above five, while Rienzo is supported by a Chicago bullpen with an ERA below four.
The Sox are currently doing everything right, playing their best ball of the season. I do believe that "momemtum" and "morale" can be, and is, a factor, particularly with a pair of teams playing out the string. Facing the team with the worst record in the league, I expect the Sox to keep on rolling for another day. 9* personal favorite
|08-25-13||Chicago Cubs v. San Diego Padres -150||Top||2-3||Win||100||8 h 54 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO. These teams have split the first two games of the series. After the Padres rallied for an 8-6 victory on Friday, the Cubs responded by winning 3-2 yesterday. I expect the home team to have the advantage in this afternoon's rubber game. Having personally witnessed the Padres on Sunday afternoon at Petco, I've often noticed they seem to be at their best at that time. They entered the weekend with a 75-73 (+16.5) record in day games the past couple of seasons. (The Cubs were 91-125/-27.7 in day games, during the same stretch.) Note that the Padres are already 2-0 in Sunday afternoon home games this month. They beat the Yankees 6-3 here on 8/4 here and last week they beat Harvey and the Mets. Overall, the Padres remain a respectable 35-32 here at Petco on the season. Cashner, who has a better ERA and WHIP in the day than he does at night, is 5-3 with a stellar 2.38 ERA in nine home starts this season. He took the loss last time out but only gave up one earned run in seven innings, on just five hits. While Rusin's overall numbers remain very solid, he's still had a limited sample size - and he came back to earth a little last time out. In 5 2/3 innings, he allowed 10 hits and walked two batters. Yesterday notwithstanding, the Padres have dominated the Cubs here. I expect them to bounce back, their afternoon success here continuing for another Sunday. 9* personal favorite
|08-24-13||Los Angeles Angels v. Seattle Mariners -125||Top||5-1||Loss||-125||12 h 56 m||Show|
I'm playing on SEATTLE. The Angels won yesterday's opener, beating King Felix in the process. They haven't won two in a row for two weeks though and I don't expect it to happen here.
Yesterday notwithstanding, the Mariners have been playing pretty well of late. They've still won six of their last 11. On the other hand, the Angels remain just 3-9 their last 12.
Vargas did beat the Mariners on 6.17 and has pitched well against his former club. That was his last start until 8/13 though, as he's only made two starts since returning from surgery. He hasn't been very good either. In 9 2/3 innings, he's allowed 15 hits (3 HRs) and four walks while giving up seven runs. That's roughly two baserunners per innings, which obviously isn't very good.
For the season, Vargas is 1-4 with a 4.83 ERA and 1.634 WHIP in seven road starts.
Ramirez has been facing some tough teams of late - his last three starts have come against the likes of Texas, Tampa and Baltimore, all teams competing for a playoff spot. All three of those came on the road, too. Yet, he's gone 2-0 with a 0.927 WHIP, the Mariners winning all three. Last time out, he held Texas to two runs, only one of them earned, and just four hits through seven complete innings. He's got 15 K's vs. just two walks his last three starts.
I believe Ramirez is in better current form and I like the M's to bounce back and even the series. 10* personal favorite
|08-23-13||Pittsburgh Pirates v. San Francisco Giants -143||Top||3-1||Loss||-143||20 h 59 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN FRANCISCO. The Pirates beat up on the Giants last night. I expect them to find things far more difficult this evening.
While the Giants have been a big disappointment, Bumgarner has not. He's 11-7 with a 2.87 ERA and 1.018 WHIP. At home, where he averages 6.8 innings per start, those numbers drop to 2.40 and 0.987. He's got 157 Ks vs. 50 walks, 79/24 at home.
Morton's stats are respectable but they aren't as good as Bumgarner's. Averaging 5.7 innings per start, he's got a 3.67 ERA and 1.325 WHIP. On the road, those numbers climb to 3.89 and 1.356.
Morton made one start against the Giants this season and he lost 10-0. His teams are 2-6 (-3.3) in his eight career starts vs. SF.
On the other hand, Bumgarner's lone home start vs. the Pirates resulted in a 7-0 victory. He recorded 10 K's in seven shutout innings. He's got a 0.69 ERA and 0.846 WHIP in two starts vs. Pittsburgh (both in 2011) striking out 17 with only two walks.
Behind another quality effort from Bumgarner, I expect the Giants to bounce back. 9* personal favorite
|08-20-13||Cleveland Indians v. Los Angeles Angels -111||Top||4-1||Loss||-111||10 h 37 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA ANGELS. I was 3-1 yesterday, the Angels were the lone loser. I originally thought I was going against Salazar in that game. However, he got moved back until today. Unfortunately, I elected to keep my play - as I still liked the matchup. That setback won't prevent me from backing the Angels again today though.
Wilson limited the Yankees to one run through 6 2/3 innings last time out. In 11 home starts this season, he's 5-3 with a 2.34 ERA and 1.122 WHIP. He faced the Indians (at Cleveland) two starts ago and limited them to two runs, winning 7-2.
As noted yesterday, Salazar has only made one road start- and he's got a 6.75 ERA to show for that 4-inning effort, one which saw him serve up two home runs.
While the Indians badly need wins, this isn't one of their better roles. They're only 7-15 (-7) when playing on the road with a line in the +100 to +125 range, going an ugly 28-47 (-15.7) their last 75 in that situation. I expect a win for Wilson and the Angels. 10* personal favorite
|08-20-13||Arizona Diamondbacks v. Cincinnati Reds UNDER 7.5||Top||5-2||Win||100||9 h 10 m||Show|
I'm playing on Cincinnati and Arizona to finish UNDER the total. Yesterday's series opener, which pitted a pair of right-handers against each other, finished with eight combined runs. I expect this evening's "all southpaw affair" to prove lower-scoring.
Cingrani has been excellent. In 15 starts, he's 6-2 with a 2.60 ERA and 1.004 WHIP. Last time out, he struck out nine in 6 1/3 innings, giving up just four hits and one run. He won 2-1. In his previous start, he gave up two runs - but both were unearned - losing 3-1. In 86 2/3 innings as a starter, Cingrani has 100 K's, walking 31.
Meanwhile, all Corbin has done is go 12-3 with a 2.48 ERA and 1.041 WHIP on the season. He's got 140Ks to just 42 walks, averaging nearly seven innings every time he takes the mound.
True, Corbin did give up four runs in seven innings last time out. However, as that was just the fourth time in 24 starts that he's given up more than three earned runs, I think we can cut him a little slack.
Corbin should benefit from facing a Reds' lineup that doesn't hit nearly as well vs. southpaws. Cincinnati entered the series averaging 4.6 runs and hitting .250 vs. right-handers. However, the Reds average only 3.7 runs, hitting .241, in games started by left-handers.
Not surprising, the UNDER is 25-15-2 when the Red have faced a southpaw, those games averaging seven combined runs.
Both bullpens have solid numbers on the season.
While Cingrani will have the advantage of starting against Arizona for the first time, Corbin's lone 2013 start vs. the Reds saw him allow just three hits and one run through eight innings. Including another start last season, he's got a 2.45 ERA and 0.954 WHIP vs. Cncy, the UNDER going 1-0-1. As noted, I expect a well-pitcher affair. 10* blue chip
|08-19-13||Cleveland Indians v. Los Angeles Angels -135||Top||5-2||Loss||-135||20 h 16 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA ANGELS. After successfully backing the Angels in four straight starts (7/19, 7/24, 7/29 and 8/3) made by Weaver, I've avoided them in each of his last two starts. I'm ready to jump back on the Weaver train here though. Weaver's last two starts have come on the road, a big part of the reason that I didn't back the Angels in either. (After getting roughed up last time out, he's 1-4 with a 5.03 ERA on the road.) Now, however, he's back at home where he's 6-2 with a 2.25 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. Keep in mind that Weaver was 11-2 with a 2.44 ERA here last season, too. For his career, he's an extremely impressive 58-22 at home with a 2.63 ERA. The Indians know all about how tough Weaver can be. Including a win at Cleveland two starts ago he's 7-2 with a 2.86 ERA in 15 career starts against them. He's allowed two earned runs or less in 11 of those starts. In his last four starts against the Tribe, he's allowed a total of just three earned runs in 27 innings, a 1.00 ERA. In his last eight starts against them, he's 6-1 with a 1.31 ERA. Salazar was fairly impressive in his first two starts, both of which came at home. However, he made his first start away from Cleveland last time out and gave up three runs in just four innings. It could have been even worse, as he served up two home runs and three walks. As of this writing, Trout's status is uncertain. However, even if he doesn't go and I'm assuming he won't, this team still has plenty of pop. Note that both Hamilton and Trumbo hit HR's yesterday. While Salazar does have good stuff, he doesn't have the savvy of Weaver and he remains largely unproven. The Angels are 6-3 (+1.2) as a host in this series the past couple of seasons and I look for them to start the current series off with a win. *8 annihilator
|08-19-13||Tampa Bay Rays -126 v. Baltimore Orioles||Top||4-3||Win||100||8 h 2 m||Show|
I'm playing on TAMPA BAY. I could see how many might like the Orioles here. After all, they're playing at home - they've got the HR leader in their lineup - and their pitcher has a far superior record than Tampa's starting pitcher. All those factors should of course be considered, however, I still like the visitors.
Before getting into the pitching matchups, note that the O's haven't fared nearly as well vs. left-handed pitching as the Rays have against right-handers.
Baltimore averages only 4.3 runs per game vs. southpaws and hits only .254. In fact, the O's are just 18-21 (-6.6) against left-handers. (The Rays are 46-34/+3.4 vs. right-handers.)
As mentioned, Tillman's record is much better than Price's. I think most would agree that Price, the reigning Cy Young winner in the AL, is still the better pitcher though.
Even with a mediocre outing last time out (TB still won) Price's recent stats are still outstanding. Over his last three starts, he's got a 1.96 ERA and 0.826 WHIP. Going back further finds him at 5-1 with a superb 1.77 ERA since the beginning of July.
Price's last road start saw him hold the Dodgers to a single unearned run through seven innings. He's 5-1 with a 2.78 ERA and 0.968 WHIP on the road overall.
Tillman is off a couple of quality road starts. However, he got roughed up for six runs in 5.3 innings in his last home start. Despite his impressive record, he's got a mediocre 4.36 ERA and 1.336 WHIP here.
Price averages 7 innings per road start while Tillman averages 5.9 per road start.
While they both have a lot of strikeouts. Tillman has more than 3x as many walks as Price. He's also served up 10 more home runs - the Rays have taken him deep 5x already this season.
The Rays have taken five of the last six in the season series, hitting .307 in the process, and are 3 1/2 games ahead of Baltimore. As much as the O's want to gain ground on them, the Rays are every bit as motivated to put some distance between the clubs.
Both teams won yesterday - however, I'd argue that Tampa's victory was more of the "momentum-building" type. Either way, the Rays have owned the O's and with Price on the mound, I look for them to get it done again tonight. 10* personal favorite
|08-18-13||Chicago White Sox v. Minnesota Twins -125||Top||5-2||Loss||-125||5 h 23 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. The Sox have taken two of three in the series, including each of the last two. I like the Twins to bounce back and salvage the split this afternoon though.
The Twins are 4-2 (+2.4) when Deduno starts at home, going 8-7 (+2.8) in his 15 starts overall.
While he admittedly deserves better, the Sox are only 5-12 (-6.2) when Santiago takes the mound, just 2-6 (-3.6) away from Chicago. Last time out, Santiago walked four batters in five innings.
The Sox haven't seen Deduno since last year. On the other hand, the Twins already rocked Santiago earlier this season. While he only gave up three "earned" runs, Santiago gave up six runs in total, taking the "L" in a 10-3 win for Minnesota.
While the Sox average 3.7 rpg vs. right handers, the Twins average 4.3 rpg vs. southpaws.
While Chicago relievers have a respectable 3.90 ERA and 1.351 WHIP on the road, Minnesota relievers have a better 3.09 ERA and 1.08 WHIP at home.
While the Sox are now 20-26 (-.6.6) in day games, the Twins have quietly gone a profitable 25-23 (+10.7) when playing during the afternoon.
Deduno has only made two daytime starts and he's 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA in those games, opposing batters hitting a mere .191.
For this career, Deduno has a 7-3 home record with a 2.99 ERA and .197 opponents batting average. I like him and the Twins to bounce back. 10* personal favorite
|08-18-13||Los Angeles Dodgers v. Philadelphia Phillies +100||Top||2-3||Win||100||5 h 31 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. I know that its hard to go against the Dodgers right now. They're a talented team which has been on a remarkable roll. That said, I expect their current streak to come to a temporary halt this afternoon.
On paper, the Phillies may not have much to play for. However, that doesn't tell the story. This is a team which is looking to avoid being swept, which has been blanked in back-to-back games and which has a new manager, looking for his first victory. I believe that "lack of motivation" will NOT be an issue and that they'll be every bit as "hungry" (if not more) than their red hot guests.
Kershaw was on the mound yesterday and he's arguably as good as anyone in the game. So, getting shut out by him wasn't a complete shock. Greinke pitched before that and he's also extremely capable. Nolasco, although pitching well recently, isn't in nearly the same class though. I don't think he's as good as Hamels either.
You won't find many pitchers with a 5-13 record that are as good as Hamels. While he did start off poorly, Hamels' overall stats have been getting better and better for weeks now. Over his last four starts, he's got a superb 1.45 ERA. That includes a 1.12 ERA his last three starts, most recently a complete game 5-1 win over the Braves.
Note that Hamels is also 6-1 with a 2.39 ERA vs. the Dodgers.
While the Phillies have seen Nolasco a few times (Philly won all 3 games) this season, the Dodgers haven't seen Hamels since last June.
The Dodgers don't hit nearly as well vs. southpaws, averaging only 3.6 rpg against them on the season. I expect them to finally "meet their match" this afternoon. 10* best bet
|08-15-13||New York Mets v. San Diego Padres -143||Top||4-1||Loss||-143||9 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO. The Mets are probably happy to see the last of the red hot Dodgers. They shouldn't get too excited yet though as they're up against a red hot pitcher tonight.
Ross may only be 3-5 but he's got a stellar 2.75 ERA. A closer look reveals that he's actually 3-2 with 2.20 ERA and 1.122 WHIP as a starter. In his seven starts, he's only allowed a single home run.
Looking deeper still and we find that he's got an outstanding 1.29 ERA and 0.857 WHIP his last three starts. Since returning to the starting rotation, he's 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA.
San Diego manager Bud Black had this to say of Ross: "He pitches aggressively with the fastball, and the slider has been outstanding since he's come back and joined our rotation."
Its true that Wheeler has also been good, particularly on the road. His overall numbers as a starter (3.47 ERA and 1.351 WHIP) aren't as good as Ross' numbers as a starter though and he's only one start removed from getting roughed up by the Royals. Note that he's allowed nine home runs in 57 innings, compared to Ross' two HR's in 40 innings as a starter. Also, note that Ross has the superior K/W ratio.
True, the Padres have struggled of late. Those problems came primarily on the road. They're better than .500 (32-29) here at Petco. That includes a 5-3 (+1) mark when playing a home game where the line ranged from -125 to -150. They're now a profitable 27-15 (+6.9) in that role the past few seasons. Behind another quality effort from Ross, I expect them to begin the homestand with a victory. 9* personal favorite
|08-14-13||Seattle Mariners v. Tampa Bay Rays -1.5||Top||4-5||Loss||-125||8 h 26 m||Show|
I'm playing on TAMPA on the run-line. (-1.5 runs.) Its not that often that I'll lay -1.5 runs. However, in this case, I'm comfortable doing so.
Since coming back from the disabled list, Price is 5-1 with a 1.40 ERA in eight starts. During that stretch, he tossed three complete games. That includes a remarkable 0.77 ERA and 0.643 WHP his last three starts.
While he did walk one last time out, Price had previously gone 35+ innings without issuing a free pass. In other words, the 2012 AL Cy Young winner remains one of the best in the business. Poor Seattle has never faced him either.
Some of you may recall that I successfully played on the Mariners in Harang's last start. However, he was pitching at home - and he wasn't matchup up against Price. Furthermore, I was fortunate to win that one - as Harang got rocked. (He gave up seven runs in two innings but the M's bailed him out by scoring nine and providing seven innings of shutout relief!)
Some of may also remember that I also successfully played against the Mariners the last time that Harang pitched on the road. Once again, he gave up seven runs. The M's did again provide him with plenty of support - but it wasn't enough. Harang took the "L" in an 11-8 loss.
Including that debacle, Harang is 1-5 with a 6.93 ERA on the road this season, the M's going 1-6. He's also 0-2 with an 11.25 ERA and 1.833 WHIP his last three starts.
Even with yesterday's loss, their fifth straight, the Rays are still 22-11 (+11.5) the past few seasons, when off three or more consecutive losses. With their ace on the mound, I expect them to bounce back in a big way here, "covering the spread," along the way. 10* personal favorite
|08-14-13||Baltimore Orioles v. Arizona Diamondbacks -124||Top||4-5||Win||100||13 h 33 m||Show|
I'm playing on ARIZONA. After rallying for an important win yesterday, the Diamondbacks are in position for a sweep. I feel that they'll have the advantage again here.
Both starters have outstanding records and both are currently in very good form. However, as good as Tillman has been, Corbin has arguably been better.
Tillman does have a slightly better record, as he's 14-3 while Corbin is 12-3. That said, the Dbax are 19-4 when Corbin takes the mound which is slightly better than Baltimore's 18-5 record when Tillman does. Let's call that part a wash.
A look at the other stats favors Arizona's starter. Tillman has a 3.73 ERA and 1.293 WHIP. On the other hand, Corbin has a 2.36 ERA and 1.023 WHIP. At home, Corbin's numbers dip to a remarkable 1.60 and 0.978. Advantage Dbax.
Tillman averages a solid 6.1 innings per start and has an impressive 118 K's to 51 walks. Corbin has him beat there though too. He averages 6.8 innings and has 133 K's to just 41 walks. Advantage Dbax.
Tillman has given up 24 home runs in 140 innings. Meanwhile, Corbin has permitted only 10 home runs in 156.3 innings. Advantage Dbax.
It should also be mentioned that the Arizona bullpen has been better statistically at home than the Baltimore bullpen has been on the road.
While many may not believe the O's are capable of being "swept," I'm not among them. I like the momentum that the Dbax have and I expect them to close out the homestand with another victory. 8* annihilator
|08-13-13||Cleveland Indians v. Minnesota Twins -113||Top||5-2||Loss||-113||21 h 16 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. The Twins got the series started with a well-pitched victory yesterday. I expect them to have the advantage again this evening.
Deduno is 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA and 1.061 WHIP at home. He's averaging 6.6 innings per start here and the Twins are 4-1 (+3.6) when he takes the mound here. In 33 home innings, he's only allowed a single home run.
On the other hand, McAllister is 1-4 in seven road starts, averaging 5.5 innings. He's got a 4.23 ERA and 1.491 WHIP in those games. Last time out, McAllister gave up six runs in 2.3 innings. Walking four didn't help matters.
True, the Indians did beat Deduno at Cleveland back in June. Deduno wasn't that bad in that start though (4 runs in 6 innings) and he's still 2-1 against them for his career. In his lone home start vs. the Twins, he allowed just two runs through seven innings, outpitching Masterson and winning 7-2.
Conversely, McAllister is 0-3 with an awful 8.00 ERA and 2.556 WHIP vs. the Twins. His team has been outscored 23-7 in losing those three games, each loss coming by multiple runs.
In addition to having an edge in the starting pitching department tonight, the Twins should also enjoy an advantage in terms of the bullpen. Entering the series, the Twins' relievers had a 2.97 ERA and 1.092 WHIP at home. Meanwhile, Cleveland relievers had a 4.00 ERA and 1.354 WHIP on the road.
The Indians are only 4-13 (-8.2) when playing on the road with a line in the +100 to +125 range. Going back further finds them at an awful 25-45 (-17) in that role the past few seasons.
All things considered, I believe the current price is more than fair. 10* best bet
|08-11-13||Minnesota Twins v. Chicago White Sox -132||Top||5-2||Loss||-132||5 h 2 m||Show|
I'm playing on the CHICAGO WHITE SOX. I won with the Sox yesterday and I really like them again this afternoon.
After getting swept in Friday's double-header, the Sox found themselves trailing mid way through yesterday's game. However, they rallied for a win, giving them some positive momentum heading into this afternoon's contest.
Quintana come off another game last time out. In 6 2/3 innings, he limited the Yankees to a single run, en route to an 8-1 victory. Including that effort, he's got a 2.89 ERA his last three starts, striking out 16 while walking just four. Going back a little further finds him at 3-1 with a 2.58 ERA over his last seven starts.
For the seasons, he's 4-3 with a very solid 3.30 ERA and 1.181 WHIP in a dozen home starts.
By comparison, Correia is 2-7 with an awful 6.87 ERA and 1.800 WHIP in 11 road starts. Last time out, he got rocked for six runs in just two innings.
Over his last three starts, Correia now has a brutal 13.03 ERA and 2.896 WHIP.
While Quintana hasn't started against the Twins since last season, the Sox have already seen Correia a couple of times. While he didn't fare well against the Twins last season, I expect Quintana to continue his strong pitching, getting the better of Correia, as the Sox salvage the split. 10*
|08-10-13||Milwaukee Brewers v. Seattle Mariners -165||Top||10-0||Loss||-165||12 h 14 m||Show|
I'm playing on SEATTLE. The Mariners got beat up in last night's opener. With a favorable matchup on the mound, I fully expect them to return the favor this evening.
Iwakuma is quietly having an excellent season. He's 10-5 with a 2.75 ERA and 0.972 WHIP. He averages better than 6.5 innings per start and has 135 Ks vs. just 27 walks. At home, those numbers are even better.
In 13 home starts, Iwakuma has a 5-2 record to go along with a stellar 2.48 ERA and a superb 0.782 WHIP. In 13 games here, a span of 87 innings, he's only walked eight batters.
Despite suffering a hard-luck loss last time out, Iwakuma's has been outstanding of late. In fact, he's got a 0.95 ERA his last three starts. He's 3-1 with a 1.91 ERA his last five.
On the other hand, Gorzellany has a 6.75 ERA his last three starts and his team is only 2-4 when he takes the mound as a starter.
It should also be noted that Gorzellany hasn't pitched in eight days, as he left early in the second inning of his last start, after being hit by a line drive.
Speaking of injuries, the Brewers remain quite banged-up.
Yesterday notwithstanding, the M's have been much better at home than the Brewers have been on the road. They're also still 9-5 their last 14 against teams with a losing record. In fact, Seattle has quietly gone 42-27 (+12.8) the past few seasons, when facing a team with a losing record in the second half of the season. I say its payback time. 10* IL GOY
|08-10-13||Minnesota Twins v. Chicago White Sox -126||Top||4-5||Win||100||16 h 53 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. The Twins swept yesterday's double-header and have dominated the season series. I expect the Sox to get a small measure of revenge this afternoon.
Rienzo has only made two starts. He pitched very well in both (1.38 ERA!) but the Sox failed to provide him with enough run support. That shouldn't be an issue this time.
Pelfrey is 4-9 with a poor 5.23 ERA and 1.568 WHIP. Over his last three starts, that WHIP climbs to 1.733.
While Rienzo has gone at least six innings (avg of 6.5) in each of his starts, Pelfrey has failed to go more than five in either of his last two starts. For the season, he's averaging only five innings per road start.
While Rienzo will have the advantage of facing the Twins for the first time, the Sox have already hammered Rienzo a couple of times this season. Pelfrey has an 8.10 ERA and 2.000 WHIP from those games. In 10 innings against Chicago, he's given up 18 hits and nine runs.
I expect the Sox to finally provide Rienzo with some help, as the Twins fall to 15-30 (-12.4) the last 45 times that they played on the road when the line ranged from +100 to +125. 10* annihilator
|08-09-13||Milwaukee Brewers v. Seattle Mariners -130||Top||10-5||Loss||-130||12 h 60 m||Show|
I'm playing on SEATTLE. After losing on both Monday and Tuesday, the Mariners fell behind out of the gate on Wednesday afternoon. They rallied for a big comeback victory that day though, knocking off the Jays by a 9-7 margin. (That was their biggest comeback win in more than two years.) After an off day yesterday, they now face a Milwaukee team which really struggles against left-handing pitching. I expect them to have the advantage.
After the big comeback win (Michael) Saunders noted: "...we've been swinging the bats really well one through nine."
(Joe) Saunders, a southpaw, held the Orioles to two runs through six innings last time out, earning a 3-2 victory. In 10 home starts, he's 5-4 with a solid 3.62 ERA and 1.274 WHIP.
Saunders should be happy to face a Milwaukee lineup which averages just 3.4 runs per game vs. left-handed starters. Not surprisingly, the Brewers are an ugly 10-24 (-14.9) in games vs. southpaws. They're also 3-9 (-7.7) in interleague action this season, going a money-burning 15-27 (-15.7) the past few seasons.
Admittedly, Lohse has pitched well of late. However, he's still 2-5 on the road, his team going 4-8. While he hasn't pitched here in several years, his last visit here resulted in a 9-1 loss, Loshe giving up eight of those runs and three home runs.
While the M's had yesterday off, the Brewers were busy losing at SF. Milwaukee is now 22-35 on the road while Seattle is 30-30 at home. All things considered, I believe the price is more than fair. 10* personal favorite
|08-07-13||Toronto Blue Jays v. Seattle Mariners -110||Top||7-9||Win||100||7 h 18 m||Show|
I'm playing on SEATTLE. With many Canadian fans coming over from BC to cheer on the Jays, a series at Safeco is a little bit like a home game for the Jays. Those Canadian fans have to be pretty pleased with their team the past couple of days, as they've beaten the Mariners' two best pitchers, Iwakuma and Hernandez. On the surface, a matchup against Aaron Harang figures to be a little easier. I don't expect that to be the case though.
Some of you may recall that I successfully played against the M's the last time that Harang pitched. That was on the road though, against a tough Baltimore team and up against a pitcher that rarely loses and which had owned the M's. This afternoon represents a much different situation.
Now Harang, who is from the West Coast, is at home - where he's pitched very well recently. He's facing a team which hasn't seen him in several years and he's up against an opposing pitcher who hasn't started in the majors for months.
Harang has quietly allowed one run in each of his last two starts here. A closer look reveals that he has allowed three or fewer earned runs in five of his last six starts here. In 11 starts at Safeco, since joining the Mariners, Harang has allowed three earned runs or less eight times. (He's also allowed three or fewer earned runs in five straight home starts before joining the team.)
It should also be noted that Harang has been much better when pitching during the afternoon than at night. In five daytime starts, he has a solid 3.58 ERA to go along with a stingy 0.98 WHIP. Opposing batters are hitting .300 against him at night but a mere .194 during the day.
Happ figures to be happy to be back, as he hasn't pitched since May. Still, this is his first big league start since getting hit in the head with a line drive and its a little hard to know what to expect from him. That said, given the fact that he was 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in three rehab starts at Buffalo AND that he had a 5.40 ERA and 1.637 WHIP in four road starts, prior to the injury, I don't expect any complete-game shutouts. Not even close.
Its bad enough to have all these Toronto fans at their own ballpark. Today, I expect the M's to reward the "home" fans by bouncing back and avoiding the sweep. 10* getaway day gow
|08-05-13||Atlanta Braves v. Washington Nationals -132||Top||3-2||Loss||-132||24 h 14 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. I'm well aware of how hot the Braves are right now, as they beat me just last night. I'm also aware that the Braves have enjoyed success against the Nationals this season. That said, I like the Nats to start the current series off with a very important win.
Even with their recent wins at Philadelphia and current winning streak, keep in mind that the Braves are still below .500 on the road; the Nats are 31-25 at home.
Obviously, the Braves want to keep on rolling. Already up 12.5 games, they know they can pretty much lock up the division if they sweep this series. However, they don't "need" to win the same way that Washington does.
For the Nats, this is essentially a playoff series. If they could somehow sweep the Braves, they'd be within 10 games of them. Granted, that's a big "if" and they'd still be a long ways back.
But as Denard Span noted: "We have to keep battling. Don't quit trying to win the division until you are mathematically out of it."
I expect Stephen Strasburg, who got shut down when the games became important last season, to be particularly motivated for a big performance. Note that Strasburg has a 1.93 ERA in three starts - one of them shortened due to injury - vs. the Braves this season.
Strasburg may only be 4-4 in 11 starts here at Washington. However, he's got a dominating 1.68 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in those games, averaging 6.8 innings per start. In 75 innings here, Strasburg has recorded 81 Ks while walking only 13 and giving up just five home runs.
Admittedly, Minor has also been tough - and he's coming off a great game. Its hard to say too many negative things about him, as he's having a strong season overall. A 4.55 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in six career starts vs. Washington is nothing special though. (His lone start here resulted in a loss.) Lets also not forget that he'd never previously finished a season with an ERA of less than four.
In addition to having homefield advantage, the Nats have a slight scheduling advantage. While the Braves played an evening ESPN game at Philadelphia last night, the Nationals wrapped up their series at Milwaukee by playing an early game yesterday afternoon. Keep in mind that the Braves also played a 12-inning game on Saturday.
I expect Strasburg to come through with a big game and for the "desperate" Nationals, who are 63-51 (+9.3) against southpaws the past couple of seasons, to snap the Braves winning streak. 10* personal favorite
|08-04-13||Atlanta Braves v. Philadelphia Phillies -1.5||Top||4-1||Loss||-100||20 h 24 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. There's no denying that the Braves appear are in great shape to win the division OR that they're the much hotter team. Still, one can't overlook the fact that the Phillies are sending Cliff Lee to the mound to face Alex Wood. Desperate to stop the bleeding and with a proven winner on the mound, I expect them to bounce back and avoid the sweep.
While he hasn't been at his best lately, Lee still has 16 K's vs. just a single walk over his last three starts. So, its not like he's "losing control." For the season, he's still 10-4 with a solid 3.05 ERA and 1.009 WHIP. He's averaging better than seven innings per start and has 55 Ks vs. just six walks in 55 innings here at home.
On the other hand, Wood has made just three starts this season, having primarily worked out of the bullpen. He's got a 5.02 ERA and 1.535 WHIP in those games, averaging less than five innings. His lone road start resulted in a 7-4 loss, Wood compiling a terrible 8.39 ERA and 2.309 WHIP.
Lee is already 2-0 against the Braves this season, striking out 12 without walking a batter. I expect him to outpitch and outlast Wood, as the Phillies, who are still a lucrative 33-17 (+9.6) the last 50 times that they were listed as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range, to finally stop the bleeding. 10* main event
|08-04-13||Seattle Mariners v. Baltimore Orioles UNDER 9.5||Top||3-2||Win||100||14 h 50 m||Show|
I'm playing on Seattle and Baltimore to finish UNDER the number. The first two games of this series both finished above the total. Game 1 pitted two right-handers against each other while yesterday featured a righty vs. lefty matchup. They both produced double-digits in combined runs. I expect this afternoon's "all southpaw affair" to be considerably lower scoring.
Neither team has scored as many runs, or hit as well, in games against left-handed starter. The Orioles entered the series averaging 4.9 runs and hitting .271 vs. right-handed starters. They've since improved on those numbers. Yet, they entered the series hitting only vs. southpaws, averaging just
The Mariners entered the series averaging 4.1 runs vs. right-handed starters, hitting .249. However, they're averaging a mere 3.9 runs while hitting .232 vs. southpaw starters.
Chen takes the mound for Baltimore and he's been red hot. He's been very consistent (when healthy) on the season - both for the Orioles and for "under" bettors. Indeed, 10 of his 12 starts have fallen below the total, Chen going 6-3 with a 2.87 ERA. Since returning from injury, he's 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA.
Chen's home stats are even better. In four starts here, he's 3-0 (O's are 4-0) with a 2.36 ERA and 1.125 WHIP. All four games stayed below the posted total.
Admittedly, Saunders hasn't been as good as Chen. However, it should be noted that he's had success vs. the Orioles, the team he pitched for last season. His lone start against them this season finished above the total but a closer look reveals that the O/U line was only 7.5 and that the game only finished with eight runs, a 6-2 win for the Mariners. Saunders personally tossed a complete game 4-hitter, improving to 6-0 (team is 8-0) in eight career starts vs. the Orioles.
Over the past couple of seasons, the Mariners have seen the UNDER go 71-50 vs. southpaws, excluding pushes. During that stretch, the UNDER is 66-59 when the O's faced a left-hander, 18-14 this season. With the M's hitting only .230 and averaging 3.8 runs when playing during the day, I feel this number is generous. 9* best bet
|08-04-13||St. Louis Cardinals v. Cincinnati Reds -123||Top||15-2||Loss||-123||13 h 20 m||Show|
I'm playing on CINCINNATI. I won with the Reds yesterday and I'm coming right back with them again this afternoon.
Needless to say, yesterday's victory was a big one for the Reds. Now, they've regained some positive momentum. Perhaps more importantly, I expect them to have an edge on the mound.
Leake checks in with a 10-4 record to go along with a stellar 2.59 ERA and 1.172 WHIP. Last time out, he got no run support but tossed seven shutout innings. In his previous start, he allowed just a single run though six innings.
Admittedly, Lynn has also been stingy his past couple of outings. However, one can't completely ignore the fact that he's got a poor 5.20 ERA in 11 road starts. Its also worth mentioning that Lynn has a 4.74 ERA in his few afternoon starts, with opposing batters hitting much better against him during the day than in the evening.
Over the past couple of seasons, as a team, the Cards are 81-73 (-6.6) in afternoon games. The Reds were better, going 91-72 (+4.5), during the same stretch.
The Reds are now 33-18 at home compared to the Cards' 32-28 mark on the road. I believe the price is fair and I believe the Reds have an excellent shot at grabbing this afternoon's rubber game. 9* breakfast club
|08-03-13||St. Louis Cardinals v. Cincinnati Reds -154||Top||3-8||Win||100||12 h 32 m||Show|
I'm playing on CINCINNATI. The Cardinals took yesterday's game with ease, scoring 13 runs for the second consecutive day. I expect them to find things considerably more difficult this evening.
While they beat up on a right-hander yesterday, the Cards have had real trouble vs. southpaws this season. They're 0-3 their last three vs. left-handed starters, going 11-15 (-9.5) overall. They're hitting only .255 vs. southpaws, averaging just 4.1 runs. (Those numbers aren't nearly as good as their stats vs. right-handers.) They'll be up against a tough southpaw here, one who they aren't very familiar with and one who is currently in excellent form.
Since rejoining the rotation last month, Cingrani has been outstanding. In five starts, he's compiled a superb 2.03 ERA. During that stretch, Cingrani has recorded 33 K's in 30 1/3 innings and opposing hitters are batting a mere .163.
Last time out, Cingrani tossed seven shutout innings, striking out 11, while only allowing one hit and one walk. Including that dominating effort, he's 1-0 with a 1.53 ERA and 0.962 WHIP his last three. Note that he didn't give up a home run in any of those games either.
In 12 starts overall, Cingrani is 4-1 with a 2.69 ERA and 0.981 WHIP.
While Cingrani was dominating last time out, Westbrook was getting rocked. He lasted only five innings at Pittsburgh, giving up four runs. He took the "L" in a 9-2 loss.
For the season, he's 2-5 with a poor 4.76 ERA and an ugly 1.706 WHIP.
While Westbrook did pitch well at home vs. the Reds back in April, he lost his last start here at Cincinnati, giving up four runs on nine hits.
Yesterday notwithstanding, the Reds are very tough in this ballpark. I expect them to bounce back in convincing fashion. 10* NL GOY
|08-02-13||Toronto Blue Jays v. Los Angeles Angels UNDER 8.5||Top||5-7||Loss||-105||23 h 29 m||Show|
I'm playing on LA and Toronto to finish UNDER the total. The Angels scored early and often last night, eventually winning 8-2. I'm expecting a considerably lower-scoring affair this evening.
Redmond was excellent last time out. In six innings, he struck out 10 batters, allowing just three hits and one run. The final score was 2-1.
While Redmond will have the advantage of starting against the Angels for the first time, Hanson was very stingy in his lone start vs. the Jays. That came in June of last year, a game which saw him allow only two runs through eight complete innings, en route to a 5-2 win.
While the Jays may only be hitting .242 on the road and averaging 4.1 runs, they've also got a bullpen which has a superb 2.25 ERA on the road. Add it all up and I'm expecting a relatively low-scoring affair. *10 blue chip
|07-30-13||Los Angeles Angels v. Texas Rangers -131||Top||11-14||Win||100||10 h 9 m||Show|
I'm playing on TEXAS. Considering how many games these teams are still going to play against each other, the gap between them isn't insurmountable. However, the "feeling" in the two clubhouses is entirely different. Especially after last night. Throw in the fact that the Rangers have been considerably better against left-handed starters and I expect them to have the advantage this evening.
Last night, the Rangers rallied for a comeback win. Another devastating blow to an Angels team which recently lost Pujols for the season and which, barring a miracle, is now well out of the playoff race. While the Angels are waving the white flag, the same is not true of the Rangers - who still very much believe. Last night's comeback snapped their skid in dramatic fashion and they're now ready to get back to chasing down the A's.
Both starters have been stingy. They've got similar overall number. Holland has a 3.06 ERA and 1.262 WHIP, averaging 6.7 innings. Wilson has a 3.18 ERA and 1.275 WHIP, averaging 6.5 innings. The Angels are 12-9 when Wilson starts while the Rangers are 13-8 when Holland does.
A closer look reveals that Holland's 3.26 home ERA is considerably better than Wilson's 4.21 mark on the road.
Wison, a former Ranger, is 0-2 with a terrible 7.65 ERA against Texas, including an 0-1 mark with a brutal 11.12 ERA in three starts here at Arlington, as an Angel.
The Angels are 10-15 (-8.8) vs. southpaws. They're hitting just .243 against left-handers, averaging 3.7 runs. On the other hand, the Rangers are 19-13 (+1.1) against southpaws, averaging 4.6 runs and hitting .276. Having stopped the bleeding, I expect the Rangers to make it two in a row tonight. 10* personal favorite
|07-26-13||Cincinnati Reds v. Los Angeles Dodgers UNDER 6.5||Top||1-2||Win||100||22 h 21 m||Show|
I'm playing on LA and Cincinnati to finish UNDER the total. I know some "over bettors" who often can't resist a line of 6.5. Regardless of the pitching matchup, a line of 6.5 just seems too low to them. I've never been shy about going the other way on these though and believe that this is the lowest O/U line on today's board for good reason.
Kershaw, of course, is one of the best in the game. He's 9-6 with a 2.01 ERA and 0.88 WHIP on the season, going 4-1 with a 1.85 ERA his last five. Over his last three starts, he's got an outstanding 0.591 WHIP. In 11 home starts this season, seven of which have fallen below the total, Kershaw has a dominating 1.80 ERA.
Note that Kershaw has 19 Ks vs. just a single walk over his last two starts.
Kershaw's last home start vs. the Reds resulted in a 3-2 final score, Kershaw allowing one run on four hits, through seven innings.
Admittedly, Bailey isn't as consistent as Kershaw. However, he's proven that he can be as good as anybody, when he's on his game. With 19 K's vs just two walks his last two starts, facing an LA team which only averages 3.4 runs here, I believe he's poised for a strong effort.
Dusty Baker said this of Bailey's last start: "Homer was dealing. It's kind of rough when you're throwing the ball like that and you can't get any hits.''
Bailey's lone 2012 start at LA saw him allow only two runs and five hits through eight innings, striking out seven and walking one. In his previous start here, he allowed one run on four hits, through seven innings.
The Dodgers have seen the UNDER go 14-8-2 the past couple of seasons, when listed as home favorites in the -175 to -200 range. I'm expecting a well-pitched affair. 10* blue chip
|07-26-13||San Diego Padres v. Arizona Diamondbacks -135||Top||0-10||Win||100||22 h 58 m||Show|
I'm playing on ARIZONA. I successfully backed the Diamondbacks in each of their last couple of wins, most recently last night. I believe this will be another good spot for them and that the price on them is fair.
While the Diamondbacks are a respectable 29-22 at home, the Padres are a poor 19-34 away from San Diego. Not surprisingly, the home team has had the advantage in the season series.
Stults is a pitcher who has fared well at Petco but not so well on the road. In 12 road starts and off a loss last time out, he's 3-7 with a 4.33 ERA and 1.401 WHIP.
The Dbax have seen Stults a couple of times this season. He beat them at Petco but they beat him here at Arizona.
Delgado, who will have the advantage of starting for the first time against the Padres, tossed 5 2/3 shutout innings last time out, en route to a 3-1 win. He's got a respectable 3.16 ERA in seven starts.
While the Padres are 26-61 (-26) the past few seasons, as road underdogs in the 125 to 150 range, the Dbax are 34-20 (+7) as home favorites in the 125 to 150 range. They've been here at home all week while the Padres played at Milwaukee yesterday and are now playing their eighth straight on the road. I expect a win for the home team. 10* personal favorite
|07-25-13||Chicago Cubs v. Arizona Diamondbacks -159||Top||1-3||Win||100||9 h 10 m||Show|
I'm playing on ARIZONA. The Cubs have taken two of the first three meetings. Tonight, I expect the Diamondbacks to salvage the series split.
Miley has been very tough in his recent home starts. In fact, he's allowed three or fewer earned runs in nine straight starts now, compiling an ERA below three during that stretch. The Dbax are 5-2 (+2.8) when he takes the mound at home this season.
On the other hand, the Cubs are 1-3 when Villanueva starts on the road. Last time out, Villanueva gave up seven runs in four innings. In that short amount of time, he gave up nine hits and walked four batters, failing to record a strikeout.
Chicago manager Dale Sveum said this of Villanueva' s last outing: "He got through the first few innings, but there was still no fastball command at all. He's got to be able to start up his fastball a lot more than he is ... "
The Cubs are 23-41 (-9.1) the past few seasons, as road underdogs in the +125 to +150 range, going 16-40 (13.9) when in the +150 to +175 range. Meanwhile, during that time, the Dbax are 37-14 (+14.4) as home favorites in the -150 to -175 range. I expect them to improve on those stats here. 9* personal favorite
|07-25-13||Miami Marlins v. Colorado Rockies OVER 9.5||Top||5-3||Loss||-115||6 h 14 m||Show|
I'm playing on Miami and Colorado to finish OVER the total. Both these teams are currently on profitable "under" streaks and the first three games of this series have all dipped below the total. I expect the bats to come alive this afternoon though.
Nicasio has a 4.73 ERA on the season. With his last start finishing with a score of 9-3, the OVER is ow 12-5-1 when he takes the mound. He's made one start vs. the Marlins and it finished with 13 runs. He gave up nine hits and six runs (5 earned) in five innings.
Eovaldi has seen four of his six starts top the total. Last time out, he lasted only four innings, giving up 10 hits and six runs. He's got a 5.16 ERA in four road starts and a 6.48 ERA (1.62 WHIP) his last three overall. Two of his three starts vs. the Rockies have finished above the total.
I'm expect to see double-digits in runs scored and with the number having dipped from 10 to 9.5 at several shops, I feel we're getting excellent value. 10* blue chip
|07-23-13||Pittsburgh: G Cole v. Washington: T Jordan -113||Top||5-1||Loss||-113||9 h 55 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. The Nationals are struggling right now and dropped yesterday's series opener. I believe that they're providing us with excellent value this evening though and I look for them to bounce back with a big win.
Jordan may not have earned a win yet. However, that's not his fault. Washington's rookie has a solid 3.32 ERA and has allowed three earned runs or less every time that he's taken the mound.
Last time out, Jordan allowed two runs through six innings. The Nats won 5-2 but Jordan didn't factor in the decision. The Nats also won his lone home start, Jordan again allowing two runs. Once again, however, he didn't factor in the decision.
Pittsburgh's rookie has also been solid. Through seven starts, Cole is 4-3 with a 3.89 ERA. He wasn't particularly sharp last time out though, allowing three runs in five innings. Manager
Clint Hurdle said this of Cole's last outing: "It's the growing pains of a young pitcher. His command wasn't good and the changeup didn't come into play until the 35th pitch of the game even though it had been a good pitch for him in his previous outing.''
Note that the Pittsburgh bullpen, which has been a strength all season, took a big hit last night, as closer Grilli went down with an injury. While his status is still unclear, its hard to imagine him pitching tonight.
I don't believe that the Nats are ready to quit on this season yet. As manager Davey Johnson noted: "There's a lot of character on this ballclub, there's no quit, there's a lot of fight. By and large everybody swung the bat pretty good.''
The Nats are still 30-22 (+4.6) the past couple of seasons when playing a home game with a line in the +100 to -125 range. During that time, they're also still a profitable 25-18 (+7.8) after three or more consecutive losses. I expect them to stop the bleeding tonight, Jordan picking up his first "W" in the process. 10* best bet
|07-22-13||Minnesota Twins v. Los Angeles Angels -154||Top||4-3||Loss||-154||26 h 27 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA ANGELS. While yesterday didn't go as planned, the Angels still did take two of three against the A's. I was on the Angels for both of those victories (while avoiding them in the loss) and feel that this will be another good spot to back them.
Obviously, Blanton isn't going to be winning any Cy Young awards. Indeed, his numbers are downright ugly - you may have seen him "explode" in the dugout last time out. That said, the second half offers a chance for a bit for a fresh start. Facing a Twins team which is 18-30 away from home and which hits .228 and averages 3.7 runs on the road gives Blanton a real chance to get himself back on track. Knowing that he won't have many more opportunities, if he doesn't make the most of them, I expect Blanton to bounce back with a much better effort.
Keep in mind that before struggling in his final few starts before the break, Blanton had gone through a 3-game stretch where his ERA was 2.14.
I've watched Deduno in person and know that he's got excellent stuff. I also know that he's often inconsistent away from Minnesota and that walks can be a problem for him on the road.
True, he did pitch very well at New York last time out. However, he got rocked at Tampa in his previous start and is still 2-3 (Twins are 2-4) with a 4.59 ERA and 1.585 WHIP in six road starts.
For his career, Deduno is 7-2 with a 2.73 ERA and 1.17 WHIP at home, opposing hitters batting a mere .193. However, on the road, he's 4-7 with a 5.21 ERA and 1.74 WHIP, opposing hitters batting .302. He's also recorded more walks (44) than K's (42) on the road.
Yesterday notwithstanding, the Angels are a very capable offensive team. Needless to say, they're offensive stats are far better than the Twins.
While most teams that are as far back as the Angels don't have much hope, I don't believe the Angels have written off their season yet. They need to take advantage of teams like the Twins, as does Blanton - and I look for them to do just that tonight. 9* A.L. Personal
|07-22-13||Pittsburgh Pirates v. Washington Nationals -126||Top||6-5||Loss||-126||22 h 27 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. I'm well aware that the Nationals haven't won too many of Haren's recent starts. In fact, some of you will likely recall that I successfully played against the Nats the last time that Haren was on the mound. While I did win that game, it certainly wasn't due to a poor pitching performance by Haren. The opposite was true, as he was extremely sharp. Making his first game back from the break, I expect Haren to build off that effort and for his teammates, who badly need a win themselves, to finally provide him with some support.
A closer look at Haren's last outing shows that he only allowed three hits through six shutout innings. He had seven K's and only walked a single batter. That was on the heels of a relatively solid effort at Philadelphia where Haren allowed two runs.
Haren noted: "I kept the ball down. That has been the key for me in the last two starts."
Needless to say, the Pirates should be a welcome sight for any pitcher. They're hitting .225 with runners in scoring position this season, worst in the NL. That's after going 2 for 27 in that situation over the weekend.
Admittedly, Morton has been fairly solid. He's still only seven starts removed from elbow surgery though and is coming off his longest outing of the season. Keep in mind that he's 24-47 with a 4.94 ERA and 1.54 WHIP for his career, opposing hitters batting .288 against him.
While Haren is 3-1 against the Pirates, Morton is 0-2 against the Nats. His teams were 0-3 in those games.
The Nats are 25-17 (+9.1) the past couple of seasons, after losing three or more in a row. That includes a 6-2 (+4.2) mark their last eight in that situation. I believe that the price is fair and I expect them to stop the bleeding. 10* personal favorite
|07-21-13||Baltimore Orioles v. Texas Rangers -127||Top||4-2||Loss||-127||11 h 6 m||Show|
I'm playing on TEXAS. The Orioles have taken the first two games of this series. However, I expect the Rangers to bounce back and avoid the sweep.
There are reports that the Rangers are one of the front-runners in the "Matt Garza sweepstakes," with the most recent deal having apparently fallen through on Friday.
However, the word is that the Rangers aren't willing to part with Perez, who they feel has a lot of upside. I like Perez too and I feel he gives the Rangers a strong chance in today's series finale.
Yes, Perez is coming off a shaky outing. However, in his defense, that was at Detroit, against a potent Tiger lineup which typically hits very well in its home ballpark. He'll face another tough lineup here - however, he'll be doing so in the comforts of his own ballpark. That should make him feel pretty comfortable - in two starts here, he's got a 0.00 ERA!
Note that Perez already beat the O's a couple of weeks ago, at Baltimore. Also, note that Baltimore's offensive stats aren't as good against southpaws as they are against right-handers.
Its true that Tillman has a great (11-3) record. However, his 3.95 ERA and 1.352 WHIP are merely solid - not spectacular. Tillman, who has given up 20 home runs on the season, has a 5.19 ERA and 1.616 WHIP his last three starts. Over his last 10 starts, he's got a 4.34 ERA. He's only pitched past the sixth innings once in his last seven tries. In other words, the fact that he's been fortunate to receive a lot of run support has played a big role in racking up the 11 wins.
The last thing the Rangers wanted/needed was to come back from the break and get swept. I expect them to prevent that from happening, as Tillman's run of good fortune comes to a temporary halt. 10* personal favorite
|07-21-13||Philadelphia Phillies v. New York Mets UNDER 6.5||Top||0-5||Win||100||6 h 32 m||Show|
I'm playing on Philadelphia and NY to finish UNDER the total. The first two games of this series have both topped the total. However, I expect the pitchers to take center stage in this afternoon's finale.
Lee is 10-3 with a 2.86 ERA. That includes a 6-1 mark with a dominant 2.09 ERA and 0.88 WHIP on the road. Opposing batters are hitting just .197 against him away from Philadelphia this season. In those 11 road starts, he's allowed only two home runs. He's got 125 Ks vs just 21 walks on the season.
Note that Lee is 5-1 with a 2.09 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in nine starts vs. the Mets.
Harvey is 7-2 with a superb 2.35 ERA on the season. That ERA dips to 2.21 here at NY, to go along with a 0.88 WHIP. Opposing batters are hitting only .191 against him here.
The Phillies know how tough Harvey can be. In two starts against Philadelphia, Harvey is 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA and 0.62 WHIP, Philadelphia batters hitting a mere .116. In four career starts against the Phillies, he's 3-0 with a 1.37 ERA and 0.76 WHIP.
I'm expecting a well-pitched affair. 10* blue chip
|07-19-13||Oakland A's v. Los Angeles Angels -133||Top||1-4||Win||100||33 h 53 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA ANGELS. The A's come in with the better record and the reigning home run derby champ. I believe the Angels will have the advantage in tonight's series opener though.
The A's average 4.5 runs and hit .245. The Angels are slightly better, averaging 4.6 runs, hitting .267. I believe that gap could easily widen in the second half.
That means that the A's have been beating teams with pitching - and that the Angels have been hurting themselves in that department. I don't expect that to be the case tonight though.
Griffin can be tough. However, the A's are only 4-6 (-2) when he starts on the road. He's given up 12 home runs in those games and has a 3.94 ERA.
On the other hand, the Angels are 4-2 (+1) when Weaver starts at home. He's given up three home runs in those games and has a 2.87 ERA.
Admittedly, Griffin has pitched very well in two career starts vs. the Angels. However, Weaver has long dominated the A's (2.36 ERA in 24 starts) and he didn't allow a single run against them either of the last two times that he faced them. In fact, in 30 1/3 innings against the A's last season, he allowed only a single run!
The A's have had their way with the Angels so far this season. The Angels know they need to change that this series - and with Weaver on the mound, I feel they've got the perfect opportunity. Its payback time. 10* personal favorite
|07-19-13||Baltimore Orioles v. Texas Rangers UNDER 9.5||Top||3-1||Win||100||30 h 15 m||Show|
I'm playing on Texas and Baltimore to finish UNDER the total. With the Rangers' reputation for being a "big hitting club" and Baltimore's Davis coming to town, some might be expecting a fairly high-scoring contest. I'm not among them.
The Rangers "rep" of being a high-scoring team is from the past, certainly not from this season. Through 95 games, they're averaging only 4.3 runs per game while hitting .260. More importantly, they've seen the UNDER go a lucrative 55-35-5.
Holland has contributed to those "under" stats, particularly here at home. In eight starts here at Texas, Holland has seen the UNDER go 7-1. Note that he's got an impressive 52/12 K/W mark here.
Off a very solid first half, Holland is currently in excellent form. Over his last four starts, he's s 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA, striking out 31 in 28 2/3 innings.
Note that Holland is 4-0 with a 2.10 ERA his last four against the Orioles. He's backed be a well-rested Texas bullpen which has a 2.89 ERA here at home.
Chen is also in fine form. After missing some time on the DL, Chen returned and promptly limited these same Rangers to a single run, on only three hits, through seven complete innings. He's now 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA (0.886 WHIP) vs. the Rangers.
Chen has made nine starts overall. He's only allowed three home runs in 54+ innings, compiling a 2.82 ERA. The UNDER is 7-2 when he's taken the mound. I expect those stats to improve this evening. 10* blue chip
|07-14-13||San Francisco Giants v. San Diego Padres -147||Top||1-10||Win||100||8 h 21 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO. I already knew I was going to like the Padres in this matchup, even before last night's 9-0 blowout loss. Off that embarrassing defeat, I like them even more.
While July certainly hasn't gone as planned - its been a disaster - the Padres still enter today's action within "striking distance." While nobody in San Diego is genuinely expecting them to win the NL West - just being in the fight for it would be a big step in the right direction for this club. I expect them to be highly motivated to stop the bleeding and to head into the break on a winning note. The fact that they've lost the first three games by a combined score of 23-3.
Keep in mind that even including the results of this series, the Giants are still only 18-30 on the road, the Padres are still 26-23 at home. Today's starters, Zito and Stults have played a big part in those records.
Zito is 0-3 with a 5.32 ERA his last seven starts. Worse, he's 0-5 with a terrible 9.38 ERA and 2.399 WHIP in seven road starts. Horrific numbers indeed.
Although many pitchers probably look forward to a visit to San Diego, Zito isn't one of them. He's 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA in his last seven starts here at Petco.
Last time out, Zito gave up five runs in six innings. He allowed seven hits and walked four. Not good.
On the other hand, Stults is off a complete-game gem. He limited the Rockies to four hits and allowed one run, earning the "W" in a 2-1 San Diego victory. He's now 4-1 with a 2.56 ERA and 0.852 WHIP in eight starts here. The Padres are a highly profitable 7-1 (+6.2) in those games.
These starters opposed each other twice back in April, once at SF and once here at SD. Not surprisingly, the home team won both games.
While the Giants are averaging 4.2 runs per game vs. southpaw starters, the Padres are averaging 4.4 runs against them - much better than their average vs. right-handers.
I've pointed out a number of times in the past couple of years that the Padres have actually been quite a profitable team when playing during the day. Even with some recent losses, they're still 69-68 (+13.8) in day games the past 2+ seasons. Doesn't sound like much - but when compared to their overall record, they're very good. With Stults getting the better of Zito, I expect them to improve on those stats this afternoon. *10 First Half GOY
|07-13-13||Washington Nationals v. Miami Marlins -120||Top||1-2||Win||100||11 h 55 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. It may look funny to see the Marlins favored. However, given the matchup, I believe that they're favored for good reason. In fact, I feel they could easily be an even heavier favorite.
Keep in mind that the Marlins took yesterday's opener (beating Strasburg) and that their home record is actually a little better than Washington's road record.
Jose Fernandez, who has been named to the NL All Star team, has been one of the best stories of the first half. Certainly for the Marlins, if not the league.
In eight home starts, Fernandez is 3-0 with a superb 1.47 ERA and 0.939 WHIP. In 49 innings here, he's recorded 47 strikeouts while walking only 16 and giving up just three home runs. Opposing batters are hitting a mere .172 against him here.
Fernandez's last home start resulted in a 4-0 victory, Fernandez allowing only two hits against 10Ks.
On the other hand, Haren is 1-7 with a 5.57 ERA in nine road starts, the Nats going 1-8.
While Haren is 0-2 with a 7.54 ERA and 1.884 WHIP his last three starts, Fernandez has a 1.89 ERA and 0.947 WHIP his last three starts.
Note that Haren has an 8.41 ERA in four daytime starts, opposing batters hitting .348 against him in those games. Its also worth mentioning that he's 1-4 in six starts vs. the Marlins (teams are 1-5, -5.8) and that they roughed him up for seven runs (3 earned) in 4 1/3 innings back in the spring.
The Nats are only 3-10 (-6.4) the last 13 times that they were listed as road underdogs in the +100 to +125 range. Facing Miami's all-star rookie for the first time, I expect their struggles in that role to continue. 10* personal favorite
|07-11-13||Cincinnati Reds v. Atlanta Braves UNDER 7.5||Top||5-6||Loss||-109||12 h 15 m||Show|
I'm playing on Atlanta and Cincinnati to finish UNDER the total. This season's earlier three games, which were all played at Cincinnati, all finished above the total. The UNDER is 6-4 the last 10 times that the Reds played here at Atlanta though - and I'm expecting a well-pitched affair this evening.
Latos is 8-2 with a solid 3.18 ERA on the season. In 10 road starts, that ERA dips to 2.91. Averaging 6.5 innings per road start, he's got 62 Ks vs. just 17 walks on the road, serving up just four home runs.
Note that Latos has been stronger in the evening. He's 3-1 with a 2.33 ERA in seven evening appearances.
Latos, who has a career 2.95 ERA in the month of July, has a 2.45 ERA in six starts vs. the Braves.
Hudson got back on track with a gem last time out. He threw 64 of his 92 pitches for strikes, allowing a single run through seven innings.
Hudson figures to be happy to be pitching in his own park. Indeed, he's 2-7 with a 5.19 ERA on the road but 3-0 with a 2.68 ERA and 1.01 WHIP here at Atlanta.
Note that Hudson is 4-1 with a solid 3.10 ERA in seven starts vs. the Reds.
While the Braves have been seeing a number of recent games top the total, the opposite has been true of the Reds recently. In fact, seven of their last eight games have now dipped below the number. I expect more of the same here. 10* blue chip
|07-11-13||Chicago White Sox v. Detroit Tigers UNDER 7.5||Top||6-3||Loss||-114||7 h 36 m||Show|
I'm playing on Chicago and Detroit to finish UNDER the total. The first two games of this series have both been high-scoring. I expect that to change this afternoon.
Sale has been been an "under" machine. For the season, the UNDER is 11-3-2 when Sale has taken the mound. A combination of strong pitching (2.78 ERA, 0.962 WHIP) and lack of run support. Indeed, the Sox have provided him with a mere nine runs over his last six starts, none over the last two.
Note that all three of Sale's career starts vs. the Tigers stayed below the total.
Some of you may recall that I successfully played on the "over" in Sanchez's last start. That was his first game back from an injury though and I knew he was going to be on a pitch count. (He was also matched up against Carrasco instead of Sale!)
Sanchez was actually very solid in his return, as he allowed just one run on only three hits, through five innings. He still isn't likely to throw a complete game, but should be able to go longer this time.
Sanchez noted the following: "I am building my arm. I don't know how many (pitches) I will have next time, but it's going to be better."
Note that Sanchez, who will have the advantage of facing Chicago for the first time, is 5-1 with a dominating 1.64 ERA and 0.795 WHIP at home this season. He hasn't allowed a single home run here this season.
The UNDER is 75-55-12 in Chicago "day" games the past few seasons. I'm expecting a well-pitched affair. 10*
|07-10-13||Colorado: De La Rosa v. San Diego: A Cashner -140||Top||5-4||Loss||-140||13 h 26 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO. I've backed the Padres in both games of this series, losing Game 1 and winning last night. I'm ready to come right back with them in this evening's rubber match.
Last night's victory snapped an extended losing streak for San Diego. With the "monkey off their back," I feel that the Padres will be in good shape to build some positive momentum.
Cashner goes for the Padres. Like last night's starter, (Stults) Cashner has been excellent at home. In six starts here at Petco, he's 4-1 with a stingy 2.36 ERA and 0.976 WHIP. He allowed one run through eight innings in his last start here.
Cashner was solid in his lone start against the Rockies this season, allowing three runs through seven innings. The Padres won that 6/6 game, which was played at Coors Field.
On the other hand, De La Rosa gave up 11 hits and four runs, lasting only five innings, in his most recent start vs. San Diego.
The SD bullpen has been excellent here at home and the Padres have hit well vs. southpaws all season. Catching Colorado still missing some key regulars, I expect Casher and the Padres to close out the series with an important win. 10* personal favorite
|07-10-13||Oakland A's v. Pittsburgh Pirates -130||Top||0-5||Win||100||14 h 53 m||Show|
I'm playing on PITTSBURGH. Its fair to say that the A's have owned the Pirates. Indeed, they're 11-0 all-time in the series, the best record in the majors, by one team against another in interleague play. I believe that this evening's all southpaw affair, on ESPN, will be a great spot for the Pirates to snap that skid.
For starters, the A's score more runs per game and hit better vs. right-handers than they do vs. left-handers. The opposite is true of the Pirates. They've got better offensive numbers against southpaws than they do vs. right-handers.
Liriano is pitching about as well as anyone right now. He's 3-0 with a 1.66 ERA his last three starts. For the season, he's 8-3 with a 2.20 ERA. That includes a 4-1 mark in five home starts. He's got a 2.05 ERA and 1.174 WHIP in those games - and hasn't given up a single home run in any of them.
On the other hand, Milone has a poor 4.84 ERA on the road, where he's given up nine home runs.
Milone is backed by an Oakland bullpen which has a respectable 3.46 ERA on the road. However, Liriano is backed by a Pittsburgh bullpen which has a 2.28 ERA here at home.
While those numbers have taken a bit of a hit the last few days, the Pirates remain a profitable 23-12 (+13.8) when off a loss. I expect them to bounce back and stop the bleeding. 10* main event
|07-09-13||Colorado Rockies v. San Diego Padres -125||Top||1-2||Win||100||13 h 24 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO. I lost with the Padres yesterday. However, I'm willing to give them another shot today.
Stults figures to be happy to be back home. In seven starts here this season, he's 3-1 with a superb 2.85 ERA and 0.866 WHIP. The Padres are a profitable 6-1 (+5.2) when he's taken the mound here.
Stults also figures to be pleased to see the Rockies. His teams (SD + LA) are a combined 5-0 when he's started against Colorado. Stults' teams won those five games by a combined score of 48-27.
In this season's lone start against the Rockies, Stults allowed only one run through seven innings. SD won by a score of 4-2.
Granted, Chacin has been pitching very well of late too. In fact, some of you may recall that I won with the Rockies in his last start. That said, Chacin wasn't all that sharp in that game - walking three while allowing nine hits and four runs, in just 5 2/3 innings.
Chacin also hasn't been particularly sharp against the Padres this season. In two starts vs. San Diego, he's allowed seven runs in 10 1/3 innings. He escaped with a no decision against the Padres last month - but the Rockies lost that game by a score of 6-5.
The Padres are still healthier and they still have a much better home record than Colorado does on the road. I feel the price is fair and I look for them to finally bounce back and stop the bleeding. 10* personal favorite
|07-08-13||Boston Red Sox v. Seattle Mariners -109||Top||4-11||Win||100||14 h 12 m||Show|
10* Seattle. Analysis by/before 10am PST.
|07-08-13||Colorado Rockies v. San Diego Padres -125||Top||4-2||Loss||-125||14 h 4 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO. Despite both these sub-500 teams having struggled of late, they're both still very much alive in the NL West division. Off nine straight losses, the Padres are still within 7.5 games of the division lead. Off three straight losses, the Rockies are within 5.5 games. Playing at home, I expect it to be the Padres which "stop the bleeding" tonight.
These teams have similar overall numbers. Colorado is 42-47 while San Diego is 40-49. However, a closer look reveals that the Padres' 25-18 (+8) home record is far superior to the Rockies' 16-26 (-6.8) mark on the road.
While his overall numbers aren't that impressive, Volquez is in excellent current form. He allowed one run in six innings last time out. In his previous start, he allowed two runs in six innings. He didn't allow a home run in either of those games and had 14 Ks vs. just two walks.
Over his last three starts, Volquez has a 2.55 ERA and over his last five starts, he's 2-1 with a 2.73 ERA.
Chatwood came back to earth last time out. In five innings, he gave up six runs - five of them earned. During that 5-inning span, he gave up 11 hits, two of them home runs.
Volquez is backed by a SD bullpen which has a combined 2.76 ERA and 1.117 WHIP here at Petco. On the other hand, Colorado relievers have a 4.42 ERA (1.43 WHIP) on the road.
Colorado All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki remains on the disabled list, as does outfielder Dexter Fowler. Another Rockies All-Star, Carlos Gonzalez, had to leave loss because of a sprained right middle finger. His status is "questionable," at the moment. Even if he does play, he may be less than 100%.
The Padres are a respectable 8-7 (+3.7) the last 15 times that they allowed double-digits in runs in their previous game. During that stretch, they're also 25-13 (+7.6) as a home favorite in the -125 to -150 range. While they've had trouble against the Rockies this season, I expect them to step up and get it done tonight. 10* personal favorite
|07-07-13||Boston Red Sox v. Los Angeles Angels -130||Top||0-3||Win||100||12 h 39 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA ANGELS. After winning Friday's series opener by a score of 6-2, the Red Sox appeared to be in good shape to also take last night's game. However, the Angels stunned them by scoring four runs in the bottom of the 9th to force extra innings. LA would go on to win it in the 11th. That victory figures to be a good momentum-builder for the Angels. While that type of devastating loss may have a deflating effect on the Sox.
Weaver's numbers (2-4, 3.79 ERA) aren't all that impressive yet. However, he's coming around now and when he's healthy, he's a lot better than this season's numbers suggest.
Keep in mind that Weaver was 20-5 with a 2.81 ERA last season, including 11-2 with a 2.44 ERA and 0.82 WHIP here at home.
Last time out, Weaver allowed one run through seven innings. He did exactly the same thing in his previous start.
Weaver noted: "I think the ball's coming out a lot better than it had been, and that's just a sign of the arm strength coming back. I feel strong again ... "
Admittedly, Lackey has been superb at home. However, he's only 2-4 with a 4.17 ERA and 1.368 WHIP in eight road starts. His last start vs. the Angels resulted in an 11-0 loss, Lackey giving up eight runs in four innings.
I expect Weaver, who just became a father, to honor his new son (named after late teammate Nick Adenhart) by getting the better of Lackey, en route to another important win for the home team. 10* main event
|07-07-13||Miami Marlins v. St. Louis Cardinals UNDER 7.5||Top||2-3||Win||100||6 h 16 m||Show|
I'm playing on Miami and St. Louis to finish UNDER the total. After a low-scoring (4-1) series opener, yesterday's game topped the total, a 5-4 final. I expect this afternoon's finale to more closely resemble Friday's game.
I successfully played on the "under" the last time that Fernandez took the mound, a game that finished with a score of 4-0. The Miami rookie sure did his part. Indeed, Fernandez tossed eight shutout innings, giving up just two hits. He recorded 10 Ks while walking only one.
Over his last three starts, Fernandez now has a superb 1.33 ERA and 0.738 WHIP. Not surprisingly, all three games fell below the total. Over his last six starts, he's 3-1 with a 1.34 ERA.
Lynn figures to be pretty happy to be back at St. Louis. Indeed, he's 9-0 with a 2.51 ERA in his last 11 regular-season home appearances - 10 starts. In eight starts here this season, he's only given up a single home run.
Visiting teams rarely hit well (.226 avg, 3.4 rpg entering the weekend) here and the Marlins are among the worst hitting teams in baseball. The worst, in fact.
Lynn has seen three straight starts dip below the total and I'm expecting a well-pitched affair. 10* blue chip
|07-05-13||Detroit Tigers v. Cleveland Indians -147||Top||7-0||Loss||-147||15 h 58 m||Show|
I'm playing on CLEVELAND. The Tigers have the better overall record. However, the Indians' 24-15 mark at home is far superior to Detroit's 20-22 road record. I expect the Indians to have the advantage in this evening's series opener.
It was roughly a month ago that the Tigers swept the Indians. Since then, however, its been Cleveland which has played better baseball. Even with a big series at Toronto, the Tigers are only 11-12 since these teams last met. The Indians, on the other hand, are 15-8.
Masterson is off a complete-game shutout at Chicago last time out. Even better, he's 5-0 with a superb 1.49 ERA in his last six home starts.
On the other hand, Porcello is 0-3 with a terrible 8.82 ERA and 1.898 WHIP his last three starts. For the season, he's 2-4 with a 5.26 ERA in seven road starts.
The Indians have been very strong as home favorites in this range the past couple of seasons. Regardless of whether or not Cabrera plays, I expect the Tribe to have the edge. 10* personal favorite
|07-04-13||Los Angeles: C Capuano v. Colorado: J Chacin -134||Top||5-9||Win||100||21 h 49 m||Show|
I'm playing on COLORADO. The Dodgers have taken the first two games of this series. However, I feel that the Rockies should be in good shape to avoid the sweep.
Chacin is in outstanding form for the Rockies. Indeed, he's 4-0 with a 1.26 ERA his last four starts, a 0.76 ERA his last three.
Chacin hasn't surrendered a home run during that 28+ inning stretch and he hasn't allowed a single run over the last 15 innings. The Rockies have won his last four starts by a combined score of 24-7, each victory coming by a minimum of three runs.
Chacin, who is 6-5 with a 3.50 ERA against the Dodgers noted: "I've just been trying to throw strikes. I've been trying to attack the hitter and make them swing. That's what I've been doing the last three or four starts. Everything has been working out and my fastball has been strong."
I expect the Rockies to provide Chacin with some solid support. Capuano goes for the visitors and he's 1-6 with an awful 6.11 ERA his last eight starts vs. Colorado. His last two starts here saw him give up six runs in six innings and seven runs (4 earned) in 5 1/3 innings.
Last time out, Capuano gave up 10 hits and seven runs (5 earned) in just 3 2/3 innings. He took the "L" in a 16-1 LA loss. He's now 2-5 (team is 3-6/-3.6) in nine starts, sporting a 5.00 ERA.
While the Rockies are still without Tulowitzki, its possible that the Dodgers will be without Yaisel Puig. The NL player and rookie of the month for June left last night's game after running into the wall.
While the Dodgers have struggled as road underdogs in this range, the Rockies are 32-22 the past couple of seasons as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range, going 9-4 (+3.7) their last 13 in that situation. I expect them to improve on those stats, closing out the homestand with a much needed win. 9* personal favorite
|07-03-13||Detroit Tigers v. Toronto Blue Jays UNDER 8.5||Top||6-2||Win||100||19 h 28 m||Show|
I'm playing on Toronto and Detroit to finish UNDER the total. The first two games of this series have both topped the total. However, I'm expecting a well-pitched affair here.
Scherzer has been in terrific form all season long. He's currently delivered eight straight quality starts.
Scherzer has been at his best on the road. In seven road starts, Scherzer has a 2.08 ERA (compared to 4.01 at home) and 0.69 WHIP. Opposing batters have hit .149 against him away from Detroit.
In five career starts vs. the Jays, Scherzer is 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. Each of his last three starts vs. Toronto have fallen below the total.
While Scherzer has been better on the road, Johnson has been much better at home. On the road, he's got a terrible 9.26 ERA. However, at home, that ERA is a far more respectable 3.93.
It should also be noted that both Scherzer and Johnson have much better numbers in the evening than they do in the afternoon. Johnson's ERA is an ugly 8.66 in the day but a much better 3.23 at night. Meanwhile, Scherzer has a 3.96 ERA in the day but a stellar 2.85 mark in the evening. While the offense has stolen the show thus far, I won't be surprised to see a pitcher's duel here. 10* AL TOY
|07-02-13||New York Yankees v. Minnesota Twins UNDER 8.5||Top||7-3||Loss||-117||19 h 32 m||Show|
I'm playing on NY and Minnesota to finish UNDER the total. Yesterday's series opener produced 14 runs. I won't be surprised if we see less than half that many this evening.
Some of you will likely recall that I successfully backed the Twins in Deduno's last start. As tends to be the case when he pitches here, Deduno was very sharp. In seven innings, he allowed just one run on five hits. The Twins won by a score of 3-1.
Through seven starts, Deduno has given up only two home runs on the season. The UNDER is 5-2 when he's taken the mound.
Here's an excerpt of what I said of him prior to his win against the Royals. (You can now add a win to the home stats.)
"...If you followed my baseball program last season, you may recall me pointing out that Deduno was a much better pitcher at home.
Deduno finished last season with a 4-1 record at home, where he posted a 3.08 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. Opposing hitters batted only .163 against him here at Minnesota. However, on the road, he was 2-4 with a 5.71 ER and a 1.85 WHIP, opposing batters hitting .306. (In a similar number of innings, he allowed more than twice as many home runs on the road as he did at home.)
This season has started out the same way. Deduno is 1-2 with a 4.84 ERA on the road. However, he's already 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two home starts. He has yet to give up a home run in 14 innings here.
For his career, Deduno is now 6-1 with a 2.72 ERA in 13 home appearances, nine of them starts. Through 56+ home innings, he's given up only three home runs ... "
Like Deduno, Hughes has been an "under-machine" all season. Through his first 15 starts, the UNDER is 10-4-1.
Last time out, Hughes faced Texas. He allowed only two runs, on just five hits, through eight innings. However, he got no run support and lost 2-0. He's been better on the road too. In seven road starts, he's got a solid 3.73 ERA and stingy 1.220 WHIP.
It should also be noted that Hughes typically pitches well vs. the Twins. In five starts against Minnesota, he's got a 2.84 ERA and 1.105 WHIP, the UNDER going 2-1-2.
Yesterday notwithstanding, Yankee road games have been money all season. I expect things to return to "normal" here. 10* blue chip
|07-02-13||Detroit Tigers -134 v. Toronto Blue Jays||Top||7-6||Win||100||18 h 41 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. The Tigers dropped yesterday's opener and have now lost three straight. I believe this will prove to be an excellent spot for them to bounce back.
While he hasn't always received much run support, Fister has been very solid this season. Last time out, although he didn't ultimately factor in the decision, he limited the Angels to a single run through seven complete innings.
In his last road start, Fister held the Twins to two runs, on only two hits, through 7 2/3 innings. He got the "W" in a 5-2 Tigers win. Including that victory, he's 2-2 with a 3.22 ERA and 1.172 WHIP in eight road starts. He's only given up one home run in those eight games, compiling a 43/9 K/W ratio along the way.
Note that Fister has made two starts against the Jays since last season (one this year and one last) and that the Tigers won those two games by a combined score of 15-2. In this season's game, which was at Detroit, Fister allowed one run through eight innings, winning 11-1. In last season's game, which was here at Toronto, Fister also allowed one run in eight innings, striking out nine and winning by a score of 4-1.
While he'd previously been pitching well, Wang got a dose of reality last time out. He lasted only 1 2/3 innings and gave up seven runs. I feel that he was previously pitching "over his head" a little and that his confidence is going to be a little shaken.
The Jays played without Encarnacion and Lind yesterday. Its possible that could be the case for one or both players again today. Even if they play, its possible that they're less than 100%. Either way, note that Fister hasn't allowed a single Toronto hitter to go deep.
I successfully backed the Tigers in a similar role/spot at Tampa recently. They were off three straight losses and listed as road favorites of a similar size. They won that game by a score of 5-2. With Fister getting the better of Wang, I expect them to bounce back and stop the bleeding once again. 10* personal favorite
|07-01-13||San Diego Padres v. Miami Marlins UNDER 7.5||Top||0-4||Win||100||23 h 2 m||Show|
I'm playing on SD and Miami to finish UNDER the total. The Padres are currently on an extended "over" streak. That streak looked like it was coming to an end yesterday. The O/U line was 7.5 and the score was 2-2 entering the bottom of the 9th inning before the Marlins hit a walk-off grand slam, winning 6-2. While that was a "bad beat" for under bettors, I expect the Padres "streak" to finally come to an end here.
The Marlins are the lowest-scoring team in the major-leagues. The Padres are scoring a little better than in recent years - but they're still not exactly an offensive juggernaut. They'll be up against a tough rookie here.
Fernandez, who will have the advantage of facing the Padres for the first time, has been fantastic at home for the Marlins. In seven starts here, he's 2-0 with a 1.76 ERA and 1.049 WHIP. He's only allowed three home runs total in those seven starts.
Fernandez's last start finished with a score of 4-2. His previous start finished with a score of 3-1. He's got a 2.33 ERA and 1.035 WHIP his last three starts, allowing 0 home runs in those games.
Marquis, who is 3-1 with a solid 3.49 ERA in five road starts, dominated the Marlins in his lone start against them this season. Indeed, he tossed eight shutout innings en route to 1-0 victory.
I expect a well-pitched affair, the final combined score staying beneath the number. 10* blue chip
|06-29-13||Philadelphia Phillies v. Los Angeles Dodgers UNDER 6.5||Top||3-4||Loss||-105||22 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on Philadelphia and LA to finish UNDER the total. The Phillies have been on an extended "over" streak recently. I expect it to come to an end this evening.
While the Phillies did so yesterday, neither team has hit very well vs. southpaws on the season. The hitters will be up against a couple of good ones here.
Lee checks in with a 9-2 record to go along with a 2.51 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. He's got 105 Ks vs. only 18 walks. Last time out, he allowed two runs through eight innings. That was also his stat-line in his previous start.
Lee has done his best work away from Philadelphia too. In 10 road starts, he's 6-1 with a 1.92 ERA and 0.867 WHIP. In 75 road innings, he's only given up a single home run. Not surprisingly, seven of those 10 games stayed below the total.
Ryu has also been sharp. For the season, he's 6-3 with a 2.85 ERA and 1.224 WHIP. While Lee has thrived on the road, Ryu has been better at home. In eight starts here at LA, he's 4-1 with a 1.81 ERA and 1.134 WHIP. In 54 2/3 road innings, he's served up only three home runs, striking out 43 while walking 14.
While RYU will have the advantage of starting against the Phillies for the first time, Lee is 3-1 with a remarkable 0.78 ERA and 0.739 WHP vs. the Dodgers. I expect a well pitched affair, the final combined score staying beneath the number. 10* Blue Chip
|06-28-13||San Francisco Giants v. Colorado Rockies -146||Top||1-4||Win||100||21 h 48 m||Show|
I'm playing on COLORADO. Both these teams could really use a victory. I expect the Rockies to be the team which breaks through with one.
While he was beaten by the Giants last month, Chacin is currently in excellent form. He's 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA and 1.016 WHIP. Averaging 6.9 innings in those three starts, he didn't give up a home run in any of them. The Rockies won those three games by a combined score of 20-6.
I won with the Giants' in Zito's last start. However, that was at San Francisco - where he's been great - and it was also against the Marlins. Zito hasn't been nearly as good on the road. In fact, he's been terrible. Also, instead of facing the light-hitting Marlins, he'll be facing a Rockies lineup which is hitting .286, while averaging 5.5 runs per game here at Colorado.
In five road starts this season, Zito is 0-4 with an 11.28 ERA and 2.506 WHIP. He's averaged just 4.5 innings in those games, the Giants losing all five of them. He's given up five or more earned runs in four of his five road starts, giving up eight or more in two of them.
Zito commented: "At home, I've caught some breaks and kept stuff done in the zone and I haven't on the road. I've felt pretty good in some of these starts out on the road, but I just haven't been able to get people out."
True, Zito does have strong overall career numbers vs. the Rockies. However, he didn't fare too well his last start here at Coors, surrendering five runs on 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings.
While the Giants have fared well here over the years, the Rockies have beaten them the last three games here. They've been excellent as home favorites in this range and I look for them to start the series with a win. 9* NL Personal Favorite
|06-27-13||Kansas City Royals v. Minnesota Twins -130||Top||1-3||Win||100||11 h 18 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. The Twins had a disappointing road trip. They're back home now though and I feel that they've got an excellent shot at starting off the homestand with a victory.
The Royals have taken five of six meetings so far this season. All six of those games were played at KC though. The Twins have had much better success as a host in the series. They're 13-7 their last 20 when facing the Royals here at Minnesota.
Note that while the Royals average 3.9 runs per game on the season. The Twins average 4.2, including 4.6 at home.
If you followed my baseball program last season, you may recall me pointing out that Deduno was a much better pitcher at home.
Deduno finished last season with a 4-1 record at home, where he posted a 3.08 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. Opposing hitters batted only .163 against him here at Minnesota. However, on the road, he was 2-4 with a 5.71 ER and a 1.85 WHIP, opposing batters hitting .306. (In a similar number of innings, he allowed more than twice as many home runs on the road as he did at home.)
This season has started out the same way. Deduno is 1-2 with a 4.84 ERA on the road. However, he's already 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two home starts. He has yet to give up a home run in 14 innings here.
For his career, Deduno is now 6-1 with a 2.72 ERA in 13 home appearances, nine of them starts. Through 56+ home innings, he's given up only three home runs.
Guthrie is just 2-3 with a 4.50 ERA on the season and he's currently in bad form. After getting rocked last time out, he now has an ugly 6.90 ERA and 1.788 WHIP his last three starts. He's always been "homer-prone" and has already given up 19 home runs, including a whopping 13 in eight road starts, a span of 50 innings.
True, Guthrie has fared well (3.36 career ERA) vs. the Twins. However, Deduno has been even better against the Royals. In two starts against them, he's 2-0 with a 0.73 ERA. I'm backing the Twins. 10* personal favorite
|06-27-13||Los Angeles Angels v. Detroit Tigers -142||Top||3-1||Loss||-142||5 h 42 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. The Angels have taken the first two games of this series. However, I expect the Tigers to avoid the sweep this afternoon.
Neither starter was great last time out. However, Fister had been off some strong starts before that while Weaver has been struggling for some time. (Weaver did look good right after coming off the disabled list but that was short-lived.)
Looking at the season results and Fister is 6-5 with a solid 3.66 ERA and 1.208 WHIP. On the other hand, Weaver is 1-4 with a 4.65 ERA.
Fister has 76 K's against only 15 walks, permitting a mere four home runs. In less than half the innings, Weaver has 30Ks vs. 12 walks, already giving up six home runs.
Fister has pitched well vs. the Angels, much better than Weaver has fared vs. the Tigers.
Weaver is 3-4 in nine starts against the Tigers with a 5.47 ERA - his worst against any American League team. On the other hand, Fister has a 3.05 ERA and 1.143 WHIP in eight starts vs. the Angels. He's got a 0.60 ERA his last two starts against the Angels, including a 7-2 win in his last home start against them. Fister allowed just two hits and one run through eight innings in that game, striking out 10.
The Tigers still average more than a run extra per game here than the Angels do on the road. I expect them to avoid the season series sweep, closing out their homestand with a win. 9* Top Getaway Day
|06-25-13||Texas Rangers v. New York Yankees UNDER 7.5||Top||3-4||Win||100||19 h 10 m||Show|
I'm playing on Texas and NY to finish UNDER the total. I successfully played on the Rangers when Darvish and Kuroda previously squared off against each other. Texas won that 4/24/2012 game by a score of 2-0. I'm expecting another well-pitched affair here.
Both Darvish and Kuroda are enjoying strong seasons. Darvish checks in at 7-3 with a 2.84 ERA. Darvish, who struck out 10 Yankees in last year's shutout win, currently leads the majors in strikeouts. Kuroda has also pitched well. He's 7-5 with a 2.78 ERA.
Kuroda, who has seen the UNDER go 9-4-2 on the season, has been at his best here at home. In seven home starts, he's got a stellar 2.08 ERA and 1.039 WHIP.
Meanwhile, Darvish has been at his best on the road. In six road starts, he's 3-1 with an excellent 2.55 ERA and an outstanding 0.756 WHIP. Averaging over seven innings in those starts, he's allowed only three home runs in 42+ innings, striking out a whopping 62 while walking just nine.
While Darvish has a 0.00 ERA vs. NY, Kuroda has a 2.57 ERA and 0.905 WHIP vs. Texas. All three of his starts vs. the Rangers have fallen below the total. They had scores of 3-0, 2-0 and 6-0.
While the Yanks have seen the UNDER go 12-8-1 in June, the Rangers have seen the UNDER go 15-6-1 on the month, a combined 27-14-1 mark. I expect more of the same this evening. 10* blue chip
|06-24-13||Toronto Blue Jays v. Tampa Bay Rays -110||Top||1-4||Win||100||11 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on TAMPA BAY. Yesterday's big win stretched the Jays' current winning run to 11 games. At a venue where they typically struggle, I expect that impressive streak to come to an end this evening.
While the Rays have endured some tough times the past couple of weeks, they did get back on track with a win at Yankee Stadium yesterday. That gives them some positive momentum.
Winning streak or not, Tampa should be happy to see the Jays come to town.
The Rays are 13-6 their last 19 against Toronto. When hosting the Jays, they're 14-4 the last 18. It doesn't help the Jays that their rotation has an ugly 6.97 ERA in seven games against Tampa this season.
Admittedly, Hellickson's been a bit inconsistent overall. True, he did get roughed up two starts ago. However, its also true that he bounced back with a strong effort last time out, that he's 5-3 on the season and that he tends to pitch well against the Jays.
Hellickson has been sharp in two of his last three starts and has allowed three earned runs or less in four of his last six starts. He hasn't walked a single batter in any of his last four starts and he only gave up a single home run in those four games. (He won three of those games and had a 2.65 ERA in the wins.) In his most recent start against the Jays, he allowed two runs, on just four hits, through eight innings.
Hellickson was quoted as saying he was feeling good, saying: "I'm right where I want to be ... "
Admittedly, Rogers has been pitching well of late. However, before getting too carried away, lets keep in mind that he's been around for several years now and that he has a career 5.47 ERA and 1.59 WHIP, opposing batters hitting .293 against him. He's still only made a couple of road starts so far this season and I won't be surprised if he comes back to earth here.
Toronto may be swinging hot bats at the moment but the Jays still average 4.2 runs per game on the road - the Rays average five at home.
While the Jays are 5-12 (-6.3) when playing a road game with an O/U line of eight or 8.5, the Rays are 10-6 (+2) when playing a home game with an O/U line of eight or 8.5. I have a feeling that the streak ends tonight. 10* best bet
|06-23-13||Pittsburgh Pirates v. Los Angeles Angels -136||Top||10-9||Loss||-136||17 h 31 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA ANGELS. The Pirates have taken the first two games of the series. I expect the Angels to bounce back and avoid the sweep this afternoon.
With a 1-10 record, many will be hesitant to back the Angels with Blanton on the mound. However, a closer look reveals that four of his last five starts have been on the "quality" variety. Plus, the "anti-Blanton sentiment" has worked in our favor by keeping this price down.
Last time out, Blanton allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings, striking out 11. In his previous home start, he allowed two runs in eight innings, also striking out 11. In that game, he gave up just three hits without walking a batter.
Since coming over to the Angels, Blanton has made 12 home starts. Including his last two gems here, he's allowed four earned runs or less in 10 of 12 starts here as an Angel. In seven of those 12, he allowed three or less. In other words, despite this season's poor overall record, he's actually been very consistent at home, ever since coming over here.
While Blanton hasn't gotten much run support of late, I expect him to get some here. Morton has still only made a couple of starts since coming back from Tommy John surgery. Those were his only two starts in the last 12 months and he didn't go more than 5.3 innings in either.
The Angels should be happy that this is a day game. They're 14-7 (+5.6) in day games this season, outscoring opponents by an average score of 5.7 to 3.7.
Prior to this series, the Angels had won six of eight and were starting to feel good about themselves. Knowing they head out on the road after this, beginning with a tough 3-game set at Detroit, makes avoiding the sweep that much more imperative. I expect them to take care of business. 10* IL GOY
|06-22-13||Oakland A's v. Seattle Mariners +1.5||Top||5-7||Win||100||12 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on Seattle on the RUN-LINE ( +1.5 Runs.)
With Oakland favored on the money-line, we're able to get the Mariners at +1.5 runs at what I believe is a very reasonable price. While I do believe that the M's have an excellent shot at winning this game "outright," I don't mind laying the short price to improve my chances by adding an extra 1.5 runs.
After all, with an O/U line of less than eight, every run figures to be important. Also, keep in mind that prior to last night, the M's had seen three straight games decided by a single run. (Note that last night's game was also a 1-run affair until the A's scored two in the 9th.)
Harang figures to be happy to be back home. In his last start here, he tossed a complete game 2-hit shutout. He had 10 K's without walking a batter.
I'm not sold on Straily. He gave up six runs in 4 2/3 innings last time out and has a 5.30 ERA in six road starts.
While the A's haven't seen Harang yet this season, the M's already beat up on Straily here last month. Seattle won 6-3, Straily gave up all six runs, while lasting only five innings.
Add it up and I expect at least a "cover" for the home team. 9* personal favorite
|06-20-13||Boston: J Lackey v. Detroit: J Alvarez -127||Top||3-4||Win||100||26 h 40 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. After back to back losses vs. Baltimore, the Tigers figure to be happy to see the Red Sox come to town. I expect them to bounce back.
Alvarez pitched very well in a 6/9 start vs. Cleveland, striking out seven (1 walk) in six innings while allowing a single run. He'll have the advantage of facing the Red Sox for the first time.
Despite dominating, Alvarez was sent back down to Triple-A Toledo. That was a pre-determined decision though and, while most young pitchers do experience some growing pains, all signs indicate that Alvarez will prove to be the real deal.
When he was called up the last time, Alvarez led the International League with 76 strikeouts and a 2.42 ERA.
Prior to his debut start, Leyland said this of Alvarez: "He's been about the best pitcher in the International League."
Lackey is 2-1 with a stellar 1.04 ERA in four starts at Fenway this season. However, he's 2-4 with a 4.46 ERA in seven road starts.
A closer look shows that Lackey is also 3-1 with a 1.93 ERA when pitching during the day but only 1-4 with a 3.73 ERA in the evening.
Lackey gave up five runs each of the last two times that he faced the Tigers. Detroit won those games by scores of 5-1 and 5-3.
The Tigers swept the Sox here last season and have won four straight as a host in the series overall. I expect more of the same Thursday. 10* personal favorite
|06-17-13||Pittsburgh Pirates v. Cincinnati Reds -117||Top||1-4||Win||100||10 h 27 m||Show|
I'm playing on CINCINNATI. Both these teams bounced back from a Saturday loss with a win yesterday. Both are playing very well, each are hot on the heels of the division-leading Cardinals. The Reds' 24-12 home record is far superior to the Pirates' 16-15 road mark though. With this game being played at Cincinnati, I believe the current price on the Reds is very fair.
While the Pirates average 3.8 runs per game on the road. The Reds average 4.9 here at home.
Good pitching matchup here, a "rematch" from a few weeks ago. Liriano has been stingy for the Pirates. Leake has been every bit as good for the Reds though. Having allowed just five earned runs in his last 40 innings, I believe he's currently in better form.
Liriano allowed four runs in six innings last time out, giving up eight hits and walking three. He struck out just two. While it didn't cost him, note that Liriano walked five batters two starts ago. He's got a stingy 2.60 ERA in three road starts but he's averaging less than six innings in those starts and a 1.43 WHIP shows that he's been allowing some baserunners.
Leake checks in with a 1.89 ERA his last three. Going back further finds him at 4-1 with a 1.13 ERA his last six starts. For the season, he's 6-3 with a 2.75 ERA. Last time out, he allowed one run through eight complete innings. He gave up just three hits and one walk, striking out six. He averages 6.6 innings at home, where he has a 1.119 WHIP.
While they were both good, Leake got the better of Liriano when these teams met at Pittsburgh on 6/1. With this game at Cincy, I expect the Reds to come out on top once again. 10* annihilator
|06-16-13||Toronto Blue Jays v. Texas Rangers -173||Top||7-2||Loss||-173||20 h 2 m||Show|
I'm playing on TEXAS. The Jays have taken the first three games of this series. I fully expect the Rangers to bounce back and avoid the sweep this afternoon though.
Holland doesn't have Cy Young type numbers. However, he is 5-3 with a solid 3.11 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. In 84 innings, he's struck out 80, walking only 22. He's also given up just four home runs on the season and has allowed four earned runs or less in nine straight games.
A closer look reveals that Holland has been harder to hit when pitching during the day than at night. In three daytime starts, Holland has a 2.86 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. Opposing batters are hitting only .203 against him during the day, as compared to .289 at night.
Holland, 3-1 in five career starts vs. the Jays, typically receives good run support when facing Toronto. In his five starts against the Jays, the Rangers have provided him with 42 combined runs, better than eight per game. Not surprisingly, Texas won four of those games.
In Holland's last two starts against the Jays, he allowed just two earned runs in 16 1/3 innings, winning by a combined score of 17-3!
I expect Holland to again receive solid run support. Wang, who has a 5.67 career ERA vs. Texas, hasn't been around for some time for a reason. He made 10 appearances (5 starts) in 2012 and had a terrible 6.68 ERA and 2.01 WHIP to show for it. Opposing batters hit .376 against him last season. He's made one start for the Jays and he gave up 10 hits (2 hrs) and three walks, en route to allowing five runs.
With an edge on the mound, I expect the Rangers to bounce back with a much needed victory. 8* personal favorite
|06-15-13||Kansas City Royals v. Tampa Bay Rays UNDER 8||Top||3-5||Push||0||8 h 59 m||Show|
I'm playing on TB and KC to finish UNDER the number. The first two games of this series have both topped the total. I'm expecting a lower-scoring game this afternoon.
While he wasn't at his best last time out, Cobb is having an excellent season. He's 6-2 with a 2.95 ERA and 1.135 WHIP. At home, where Cobb is 4-0, those numbers dip to 2.91 and 1.058. In 46 1/3 innings here, Cobb has 47 Ks vs. only 12 walks.
Guthrie has also been very solid so far this season. Through 13 starts, he's 7-3 with a 3.60 ERA. He's also been at his best lately. In fact, he's 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA his last three starts, all of which stayed below the number.
Note that Guthrie's ERA dips to 3.15 (1.05 WHIP) during his three daytime starts. He was also much better during the day last season and that's been the case for his entire career. Likewise, Cobb has better career stats during the day than he does at night.
As a team, the Rays are hitting only .236 in day games. The Royals are hitting .266 in their afternoon games but still only averaging 3.7 runs. Their opponents have only scored three against them (while hitting .245) in day games though. That's led to the UNDER going a profitable 17-6 when they've played during the afternoon. In what should be a fairly well-pitched affair, I expect those stats to improve this afternoon. 10* best bet
|06-13-13||Kansas City Royals v. Tampa Bay Rays -135||Top||10-1||Loss||-135||24 h 9 m||Show|
I'm playing on TAMPA BAY. The Royals are off an excellent homestand. They even beat the Tigers when Verlander was on the mound, yesterday afternoon. They're still only 13-17 on the road though, not nearly as good as the Rays are here at Tampa. They've also really struggled here at Tampa. I expect it to be the Rays which have the edge in this evening's series opener.
The Rays are 15-5 the last 20 times that they were a host in this series. That includes a 7-1 mark the last eight meetings here.
They're also 2-0 when Hellickson has faced the Royals here, winning 5-1 in 2012 and 2-1 in 2011. Hellickson allowed just two runs in 14 1/3 innings in those two games, striking out 13 along the way.
Overall, the Rays are 7-1 in Hellickson's last eight home starts. Hellickson allowed 0 earned runs in four of those eight starts, most recently blanking Baltimore through six complete innings. The Rays won 8-0.
Going back further reveals that Hellickson has now allowed three or fewer earned runs in 14 of his last 20 home starts.
The Royals are just 1-6 in Santana's last seven starts and 1-4 in his five road starts overall.
Throw in the fact that Santana is 2-5 (teams are 2-7) with a terrible 6.84 ERA in nine starts at Tropicana - where Tampa hitters have batted .321 against him here - and all signs point to a victory for the home team. 10* personal favorite
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