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|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|07-16-11||Boston Red Sox v. Tampa Bay Rays UNDER 8.5||Top||9-5||Loss||-120||6 h 59 m||Show|
I'm playing on Boston and Tampa Bay to finish UNDER the total. Yesterday's series opener finished well above the total. I'm expecting a much lower-scoring contest this afternoon though.
While he often hasn't received much run support, Shields has been superb all season. Last time out, pitching at Yankee Stadium, he allowed just four hits and a single unearned run. Yet, suffered a very tough 1-0 loss. That gives him a 2.33 ERA in 19 starts this season. It also brought the UNDER to a lucrative 13-5-1 in his 19 starts. Before last week's 1-0 game, his previous two starts finished with scores of 3-2 and 4-3.
Shields has been particularly stingy at home. In nine starts here, he's got a 2.05 ERA and 0.981 WHIP. He's averaged a very healthy 7.8 innings per start here and has an extremely impressive 74 K's in 70 1/3 innings, walking just 15. When combining Shields' dominance here with the Rays' tendency to struggle at the plate here this year, we find the UNDER at a highly profitable 8-1 in Shields' nine starts here.
Admittedly, Lackey's overall numbers are pretty bad. However, he's shown real signs of turning the corner. Last time out, he limited Baltimore to three hits through 6 2/3 shutout innings, earning a 4-0 victory. Also, in his last road start, Lackey held the big-hitting Phillies to two runs through 7 2/3 innings. That one finished with a score of 2-1.
Shields dominated the Red Sox (4-0 win) earlier this season and has seen the UNDER go 12-6-1 against them for his career. Lackey has been mostly solid vs. the Rays for his career. His most recent start against them came last season, also against Shields. That one stayed below the total.
While the Red Sox have been a profitable 'over' team at Fenway this season, the UNDER is a respectable 24-18-4 (57%) when they play on the road. The UNDER is also a solid 19-14-2 (58%) when they're off a loss.
Meanwhile, even with yesterday's outburst, the UNDER remains an outstanding 30-12-1 here. That includes a 14-4-1 UNDER mark when the Rays have been listed as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range. With Shields "doing his thing," I expect those stats to improve this afternoon. *10
|07-15-11||Boston Red Sox v. Tampa Bay Rays -145||Top||6-9||Win||100||15 h 32 m||Show|
I'm playing on TAMPA BAY. These same two pitchers squared off against each other back in 2009. Price got the better of Miller in that 6/28/09 game, leading the Rays to a 5-2 victory. I expect him to get the better of Miller again, in this evening's all southpaw affair.
At first glance, Miller's 2011 stats may appear better than Price's stats. Miller is 3-0 with a 3.57 ERA. Price is 8-7 with a 3.70 ERA. However, that doesn't tell the entire story. For starters, Price has made 19 starts while Miller has made only four. So, Miller's sample size is quite small.
Note that Miller's four starts came against San Diego, Pittsburgh, Houston and Baltimore. All four of those teams went into the All Star Break averaging four or fewer runs per game. While the Rays aren't hitting as well as they'd like, they still enter tonight's game averaging 4.2 runs per game (more than any of those four teams) and that number climbs to 4.6 against southpaw starters. Note that
Miller's teams are still just 5-7 his last 12 starts. Worse, Miller's teams are an awful 5-13 his last 18 road starts. On the other hand, the Rays are 12-8 in Price's last 20 home starts.
Looking further at this season's numbers shows that Price's WHIP is much better than Miller's and that Price also tends to go deeper into games. Miller is averaging just 5.7 innings per start. Price is averaging a much healthier 6.8 innings per start. Price has a stingy WHIP of 1.085. Miller, on the other hand, has a 1.588 WHIP.
Additionally, Price's K/W ratio is FAR superior. Price has an impressive 125 K's in 129 innings, walking a mere 26. At home, he has an outstanding 72 K's in 60 2/3 innings. Conversely, Miller has only 13 K's on the season, walking 11. In his last start - his only one against an AL opponent - he walked four batters and struck out zero. (In Price's last home start, he had 12 K's with only 1 walk.)
It should also be noted that Price will be supported by a Tampa bullpen which has a combined 7-1 record with a terrific 2.80 ERA at home. On the other hand, the Boston bullpen is 3-5 with a 3.87 ERA on the road.
Despite dropping two of three against the Sox here last month, the Rays are still 6-3 the last nine times that they were a host in this series. If motivation counts for anything, the Rays could potentially be "hungrier" here. Not only did they drop two of three here earlier but they lost two in a row before the break and are chasing Boston in the standings.
The Rays are a profitable 35-20 (+7.2) the past few seasons, when listed as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range. That includes a lucrative 13-6 mark (+4.7) this season. With Price outpitching and outlasting Miller, I look for the Rays to improve on those stats here. *10
|07-15-11||St. Louis Cardinals v. Cincinnati Reds -156||Top||5-6||Win||100||14 h 27 m||Show|
I'm playing on CINCINNATI. I successfully played against the Reds when Cueto faced the Cardinals 10 days ago. However, that was at St. Louis and Cueto was opposed by Chris Carpenter, who I expected to pitch well. Cueto was great but Carpenter was better and I was able to cash my ticked on the Cards. Tonight's matchup, however, is far more favorable for Cueto, as he's likely to get much better run support than he saw on on Independence Day.
Not only are the Reds a much better hitting team at home but they're now matched up against Westbrook instead of Carpenter. Note that they just rocked Westbrook for seven runs (3 HRs!) in 4 1/3 innings eight days ago. For the season, Westbrook has an ugly 5.35 ERA and 1.608 WHIP.
Cueto's numbers are simply outstanding. He's 5-3 on the season but could easily be better as he's got a terrific 1.96 ERA and 1.004 WHIP. At home, he's 2-1 with a 2.02 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. Note that Cueto did beat the Cards here back in May. He allowed 0 earned runs through 7 2/3 innings and earned a 7-3 victory.
While Westbrook averages 5.4 innings per start, Cueto is averaging a much better 6.9 innings per start.
The Cards are a money-burning 103-87 (-21.9) their last 200 divisional games. On the other hand, during the same stretch, the Reds are a highly profitable 121-83 (+38.1) in divisional games. The Reds swept the Cards here in May. With Cueto outpitching and outlasting Westbrook, I look for them to start this series with another important victory. *10
|07-14-11||Milwaukee Brewers v. Colorado Rockies -130||Top||3-12||Win||100||25 h 3 m||Show|
I'm playing on COLORADO. The Brewers have a better overall record than the Rockies. However, the Rockies' 22-22 home mark is actually much stronger than the Brewers' 16-29 mark on the road. Note that the Rockies have won two of their three July home games thus far and that they're a solid 7-4 here since mid June. They're also a commanding 14-4 the last 18 times that they hosted the Brewers. I expect them to improve on those numbers this evening.
At this time last year, Jimenez was coming off a win in the All Star game. This year, with a record of only 4-8, he didn't make the All Star team. That poor record has worked in our favor by keeping the line reasonable here. A closer look shows that Jimenez has been MUCH better recently than his overall record indicates.
Last time out, Jimenez allowed just one run through eight outstanding innings. He gave up just five hits and had 8 K's with only one walk. Jimenez had this to say about his last start before the break: "It's really good when you finish on a high note. Especially with the kind of beginning I had, I struggled a lot, and to finish in this way is going to help me a lot for the second half. Not only me, but the whole team."
Todd Helton said this of Jimenez: "He was dirty, no doubt about it. That was the old Ubaldo."
Manager Jim Tracy added: "I think it's safe to say that tonight we won with pitching, and that was the Jimenez of a year ago. He was in complete control from the outset."
Going back further shows that Jimenez has allowed three or fewer runs in eight straight starts. He allowed two or less in six of those. The Rockies are 7-3 his last 10 July home starts and Jimenez is 25-17 with a 3.67 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in his career after the All-Star break.
Admittedly, Gallardo can also be tough. Also, like Jimenez, he was pitching well before the break. However, like many Brewers, he's typically a lot better at his home park and that's where his recent success has come. When pitching at Milwaukee, Gallardo has gone 7-1 with a 3.23 ERA. On the other hand, when pitching on the road, he's just 3-4 with a 4.39 ERA. That includes an 0-2 mark his last two road starts.
In 64 home innings, Gallardo has only allowed four home runs, while issuing 20 walks. However, in 53 1/3 road innings, he's given up nine home runs and walked 24.
That's not just a one year deal for Gallardo either. For his career, he's got a very solid 3.30 ERA and 1.23 WHIP at home but a mediocre 4.12 ERA and 1.44 WHIP on the road. For his career, opposing hitters have hit .230 against him at home and 2.56 on the road.
Jimenez has also been more successful in this series. While Gallardo is 0-3 with a terrible 5.85 ERA vs. Colorado, Jimenez is 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA vs. Milwaukee. I expect Jimenez to continue his recent strong pitching and for the Rockies to start the series by continuing their recent homefield dominance in this series. *10
|07-10-11||New York Mets v. San Francisco Giants -158||Top||2-4||Win||100||10 h 45 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN FRANCISCO. The Giants got a gem from Tim Lincecum and earned an important victory last night. With Matt Cain on the mound, I fully expect them to follow it up by heading into the break with another victory.
Lincecum is still considered by most to be the team ace. However, Cain has arguably been the team's best starter this season. For the season, he's 7-5 with a 3.22 ERA. In eight home starts, those numbers dip to a 2.81 ERA and 1.006 WHIP. The Giants were a profitable 6-2 (+3.2) in those games.
While Cain suffered a rare loss last time out, he'd been 4-0 with a 1.65 ERA in his previous six starts. This is his chance to prove to the national audience that he's every bit as capable as any pitcher they'll see on Tuesday.
Pelfrey is off a a rare road win last time out. Before reading too much into that, keep in mind that he's still 2-7 with an awful 6.05 ERA and 1.603 WHIP in his 11 road starts. The Mets were an awful 2-9 (-6.4) in those games.
Pelfrey has had some success vs. the Giants. However, a closer look shows that he's perfect against the Giants at New York but that he lost his lone start here at San Francisco. Coincidentally, that (5/17/09) start came against Matt Cain. Cain outdueled Pelfrey in that one, en route to a 2-0 Giants' victory.
Including that outing, the Giants are 3-0 in Cain's last three starts vs. the Mets. Cain is 2-0 with a stellar 2.21 ERA in those three games. The Giants have been outstanding as home favorites in this range. I expect Cain to outpitch Pelfrey once again, leading to another victory for the home team. *10
|07-10-11||Colorado Rockies v. Washington Nationals -131||Top||0-2||Win||100||3 h 20 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. The Nationals have lost the first two games of this series and three straight overall. They've still had a solid first half though as a win here will get them to .500, heading into the break. Even with the losses in the first two games, they're also still a terrific 27-18 at home, far better than Colorado's 21-25 mark on the road. I expect them to have the edge this afternoon and look for them to bounce back and avoid the sweep.
Zimmerman is in much better current form that Chacin. Even off a rare mediocre start (4 runs in 6 innings) he's still got a superb 1.71 ERA and 1.00 WHIP his last three starts.
In nine daytime starts, Zimmerman has a 2.53 ERA.
On the other hand, Chacin has a 4.89 ERA in six daytime starts. He's also got an ugly 5.94 ERA and 1.80 WHIP his last three starts.
Control has been a major issue of late for Chacin. In addition to allowing four home runs, over those three games, a span of 16 2/3 innings, Chacin has walked 15 batters, while striking out only 16. That's practically a walk an inning. Obviously, that's asking for trouble.
Last time out, he's reportedly been dealing with tightness in his forearm. Perhaps that explains why he walked six in five innings!
Speaking of struggling, Chacin also got destroyed in his only start vs. Washington. In that outing, he gave up six runs in five innings, en route to taking a 14-6 loss.
I expect Zimmerman to get the better of Chacin as the Nats head into the break with a victory. *10
|07-09-11||Chicago Cubs v. Pittsburgh Pirates UNDER 8||Top||6-3||Loss||-123||9 h 55 m||Show|
I'm playing on Chicago and Pittsburgh to finish UNDER the total. How about those Pirates. With another win yesterday, they're now 46-42 on the season and a serious contender in the NL Central. No matter what happens the rest of this series, they'll have a winning record at the break. Personally, I don't know (or care) whether or not they'll win again this afternoon. However, I do feel confident that I can expect to see a well-pitched affair.
Correia has quietly been getting done all season and has been a big part of Pittsburgh's success. Indeed, he's already got 11 wins on the season. Last time out, he allowed two runs through six solid innings, striking out six and walking only one.
The Cubs know how tough Correia can be. Indeed, Correia is 3-0 with a stingy 3.31 ERA in six career starts against Chicago. He's been particularly tough his last few starts against the Cubs, allowing just two earned runs in 19 1/3 combined innings. He last faced Chicago in late May and allowed just four hits through 7 1/3 shutout innings in that one. Correia earned the "W" as the Pirates won by a score of 4-2.
Later in that same late May series, Dempster got some payback for the Cubs. In that 5/29 game, which was his last start vs. the Pirates, Dempster allowed only four hits and two runs, through six complete innings. The Cubs won 3-2.
Dempster's overall numbers still aren't that good but he comes in with plenty of confidence. Last time out, he went toe-to-toe against Tim Lincecum and allowed just three hits and one run through eight superb innings. That one finished with a score of 2-1.
While we saw some late fireworks last night, the bullpens have been a strength for both teams through the first half. Chicago relievers entered the series with a combined 3.26 ERA on the road this season, one of the few bright spots in an otherwise disappointing first half. Pittsburgh relievers entered the series with a combined 2.74 ERA at home.
Even with yesterday's opener finishing above the total, the UNDER remains a profitable 24-12 the past few seasons, when these teams have faced each other. Games here have been fairly low-scoring all year and I look for that to be the case again here. *10 Main Event (WGN)
|07-09-11||Minnesota Twins v. Chicago White Sox -149||Top||3-4||Win||100||6 h 56 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. With five runs in the bottom of the first yesterday, it appeared the White Sox were in good shape to finally beat the Twins. Unfortunately, that didn't happen, as the Twins rallied for another victory. The Sox aren't about to roll over though and I expect the veteran Mark Buehrle to lead them to a much-needed win.
Buehrle hasn't been getting the "W's" his last few outings. He continues to pitch well though and the White Sox continue to win when he starts. They're 3-0 his last three starts and a profitable 11-6 (+5.6) on the season.
While Buehrle has been solid at practically every venue, he's been particularly tough here at home. In eight home starts, he's gone 4-1 with an outstanding 2.83 ERA, averaging nearly seven innings per start. The Sox are 6-2 (+3.8) in his starts here.
While Duensing has also pitched well lately, the Twins are still just 3-5 in his road starts. Duensing is 2-4 with a 3.91 ERA in those games. Overall, he's 6-7 with a 4.25 ERA and 1.459 WHIP, which is nothing special.
Buehrle suffered a very tough loss in his lone start against the Twins this season. In that 6/16 game, he gave up only three hits and one run through seven innings - but lost by a score of 1-0.
For all their recent struggles in the series, the Sox are still 8-4 the last 12 times that Buehrle pitched at home vs. the Twins. Buehrle allowed one earned run or less in seven of those 12 games. I expect the veteran to "do his thing" again this afternoon and for the Sox to finally provide him with the necessary run support to return to the "W" column. *10
|07-08-11||San Diego Padres v. Los Angeles Dodgers -120||Top||0-1||Win||100||12 h 33 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA DODGERS. The Dodgers snapped their skid in convincing fashion last night, closing out their series against the Mets with a 6-0 win. That was a much-needed victory and with an edge on the mound, I look for them to carry the positive momentum into tonight's contest.
Billingsley is in superb form. He's 2-1 with an outstanding 1.86 ERA and 0.983 WHIP his last three starts. He's almost always tough at home. In eight starts here, he's got an impressive 2.81 ERA and 1.227 WHIP, allowing just three home runs. In 51 innings here, he's got 52 K's with only 19 walks.
While Billingsley is currently pitching well, the same cannot be said of Latos. Over his last three starts, he's got a very poor 5.09 ERA and 1.698 WHIP. Latos is a pitcher who benefits from pitching at Petco Park and who struggles on the road. He's 2-4 with a 5.09 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in seven road starts.
Note that Latos also prefers pitching in the day. He's 3-3 with a solid 3.09 ERA in the afternoon but 2-6 with an ugly 4.97 ERA at night. He's given up one home run in the day but eight in the evening.
Billingsley hasn't gotten any run support in his recent games against the Padres. That should change tonight though. Last night was a "breakout game" for the offense and opposing hitters are batting better than .270 against Latos on the road.
The Dodgers are still an impressive 99-73 (+15.5) in divisional play the past few seasons and I look for them to get things started with a victory here. *10 (Feast)
|07-08-11||Minnesota Twins v. Chicago White Sox -159||Top||8-5||Loss||-159||10 h 52 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. I lost with the White Sox yesterday. That won't stop me from coming right back with them today. Let's check out tonight's matchup.
These two starters have very similar ERAs. However, a closer look at some of the 'other' stats shows that Floyd has (arguably) been better. Floyd has an WHIP of 1.196 as a starter. Blackburn has a 1.396 WHIP. Blackburn has averaged 6.2 innings per start. Floyd has averaged 6.7 innings per start. Floyd has 77 K's to 28 walks. Blackburn has 54 K's to 29 walks.
While those stats are all "close," there's no debating the fact that Floyd has been much better than Blackburn the last couple of outings and therefore enters tonight's contest in much better current form.
Last start, Floyd allowed three runs through seven complete innings. He had eight K's and one walk. In his previous start, Floyd allowed just two runs, also going seven complete innings.
On the other hand, Blackburn gave up six earned runs in just four innings last time out. He was even worse in his previous start. In that one, Blackburn allowed eight runs (seven earned) in just 4 1/3 innings, giving up a whopping 13 hits. That translates to an 0-2 record with a 9.42 ERA, over those two starts.
True, Blackburn has pitched well in the series and the Twins have dominated the Sox. Blackburn's confidence level figures to be pretty low here right now though and the Twins' "dominance" should only provide further motivation for Chicago here. The Sox simply can't afford to keep losing to this team.
As Chicago's Juan Pierre noted: "They can be beat..."
The last time that the Sox had lost three straight games (6/18) they responded with a shutout victory. Floyd may not blank the Twins tonight but I expect him to do enough (and receive enough support) to help the Sox snap their current 3-game slide. *10
|07-07-11||New York Mets v. Los Angeles Dodgers -149||Top||0-6||Win||100||12 h 0 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA DODGERS. I expect the Dodgers to have a significant advantage in the pitching department for Thursday's finale.
After a sensational start, Dillon Gee has cooled off. He's 1-2 with a poor 5.82 ERA and terrible 1.706 WHIP his last three starts. He was recently quoted as saying that he's been battling through a "patch of dead arm." Not exactly a ringing endorsement or vote of confidence.
On the other hand, Kershaw is 2-1 with a solid 3.00 ERA and excellent 0.792 WHIP his last three starts. For the season, he's got an extremely impressive 138 K's in 122 innings, walking only 33. In his last three starts, he has 32 K's with only two walks!
Kershaw has been especially tough at home. In fact, in 10 starts here, he's gone 6-1 with a 2.09 ERA and 0.873 WHIP. He tossed complete games in each of his last two starts here, earning 3-2 and 4-0 victories.
Kershaw has also dominated the Mets. In four starts against them, he's 3-0 with an outstanding 1.35 ERA.
The Mets are an ugly 15-31 (-10.7) the past few seasons, when listed as road underdogs in the +125 to +150 range. During the same stretch, the Dodgers enter Wednesday's action with a solid 43-28 (+5) mark as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range. With Kershaw getting the better of Gee, I expect them to improve on those stats here. *10
|07-07-11||Minnesota Twins v. Chicago White Sox -150||Top||6-2||Loss||-150||10 h 44 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. Its true that the Twins have dominated the White Sox recently, even here at Chicago. That should only provide the Sox with added motivation here though. With Humber on the mound, I expect them to have the advantage and look for them to start the series with a victory.
Pitching coach Don Cooper had this to say of Humber: "He's an All-Star for us."
No kidding! Humber has gone 8-4 with a 2.69 ERA and 0.98 WHIP on the season. At home those numbers are even better. He's got a 2.52 ERA and 0.928 WHIP in seven starts here. Lately, he's been superb. Last time out, he tossed seven shutout innings. Including that gem, he's got a 1.69 ERA his last three starts.
Humber did face the Twins once in relief, but they're not familiar with him, as this will be his first start in the series.
While Humber will have the advantage of starting against Minnesota for the first time, the Sox are very familiar with Pavano. Admittedly, Pavano was very sharp against them a few weeks ago. That was at Minnesota though and he's really struggled on the road. In fact, in 10 road starts he's just 2-5 with an ugly 5.34 ERA. Note that Pavano gave up five runs in five innings, including three home runs, in his last start here at Chicago. He got the win but with a 9.00 ERA and 2.00 WHIP in that game, certainly didn't deserve it.
The Twins got rocked by a 12-5 score yesterday. They're just 2-7 (-5.2) the last nine times that they allowed double-digits in runs. The Twins are also just 15-31 (-13.4) when coming off a loss, overall. Facing Humber and a highly motivated White Sox team and given Pavano's struggles on the road, I expect those numbers to get even worse. *10
|07-06-11||Philadelphia Phillies v. Florida Marlins -130||Top||6-7||Win||100||9 h 7 m||Show|
I'm playing on FLORIDA. After a narrow 1-0 win on Monday, the Phillies hammered Florida by a score of 14-1 yesterday. Today, however, I expect the Marlins to have the advantage and for them to step up and avoid the series sweep.
The Phillies aren't one dimensional, as they are strong in a number of areas. That said, with the likes of Halladay, Lee and Hamels in the rotation, it all starts for them in the starting pitching department. They usually have an advantage in that area. When they don't, they become beatable.
Note that the Phillies are "only" 23-18 (+0.8) on the road (solid numbers but not nearly as good as their home numbers) and that they'll still be without starting center-fielder Shane Victorino.
Today, I expect the Marlins to be the team with the edge in the starting pitching department. Determined to avoid the sweep and motivated to avenge yesterday's embarrassing loss, I also believe the Marlins may prove to be a little "hungrier." Lets check it out.
Anibal Sanchez gets the call for the home team. Sanchez checks in with a 6-2 record and 3.30 ERA overall. In 109 innings, he's got an extremely impressive 111 Ks and only 33 walks. At home, Sanchez's numbers are even better. In eight home starts, Sanchez is 3-0 with a stellar 2.75 ERA and WHIP. He's allowed one run in each of his last two starts here, striking out 14 and walking one. Note that he also has a stingy 2.77 ERA in two starts vs. the Phillies this season.
On the other hand, Kendrick has a 4.80 ERA in four starts, including a horrid 7.50 ERA in two road starts. He was fortunate to get a no-decision last time out, as he allowed six runs. After that start, Charlie Manuel was quoted as saying: "He pitched a Kyle Kendrick game..." If allowing six runs is "pitching a Kyle Kendrick game," one wonders how long Kendrick will stick around in the rotation. Either way, I don't expect him to be able to match what Sanchez will be bringing to the table.
The Marlins have fared well as home favorites in this range in recent seasons. They're also a lucrative 15-10 (+8) the last 25 times that they allowed double-digits in runs in their previous game. With Sanchez getting the better of Kendrick, I expect them to improve on those stats this evening. *10
|07-06-11||Arizona Diamondbacks v. Milwaukee Brewers -150||Top||1-3||Win||100||5 h 32 m||Show|
I'm playing on MILWAUKEE. The Diamondbacks have taken the first two meetings of this series. The Brewers are still an outstanding 29-13 at home though. With Gallardo on the mound for this afternoon's finale, I expect them to bounce back and avoid the sweep.
Gallardo has made nine home starts. He's gone 6-1 with a 3.47 ERA in those games. The Brewers were a profitable 7-2 (+3.8) with Gallardo allowing just three home runs in those nine games. Gallardo's last home start resulted in an 11-1 victory. He allowed one run through seven complete innings. Going back further finds the Brewers at 9-2 in Gallardo's last 11 home stats, 14-6 his last 20.
Gallardo should be thrilled to see today's opponent. In three starts against Arizona, he's gone 3-0 with an excellent 1.06 ERA and 1.059 WHIP. His lone home start vs. the Diamondbacks resulted in a 10-1 victory.
Collmenter has also proven capable and I believe he's better than his recent numbers suggest. That said, he's 0-3 with a 7.13 ERA and 1.528 WHIP his last three starts, which doesn't compare favorably to what Gallardo brings to the table.
The Diamondbacks are 43-73 (-28.9) in day games the past few seasons and they entered Tuesday's action hitting only .245 on the road.
The Brewers are 9-4 (+3.8) when listed as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range. Given Gallardo's success at home and dominance of the Diamondbacks, I feel the price is fair and expect them to improve on those stats this afternoon. *10
|07-05-11||Cincinnati Reds v. St. Louis Cardinals -146||Top||1-8||Win||100||9 h 51 m||Show|
I'm playing on ST. LOUIS. I went 3-0 in Cardinal games over the long weekend. After successfully playing "against" the Cards on both Saturday and Sunday, I came back and played "on" them in yesterday's victory. Today's matchup is even more favorable and I'm backing the Cards again.
As of this writing, there's a chance that Albert Pujols could be back in the lineup. (He'll be evaluated this morning, before a final decision is made.) On Monday, Pujols had this to say: "I can't wait to get back on the field. Hopefully, it can be tomorrow. If it's not, whenever the time comes will be the right time to play."
Naturally, I'd welcome Pujols' return. However, that's certainly not what I'm basing my selection on. My position is that I'm expecting him to not play and if he does, it'll be a welcome bonus. (Pujols, one of the best hitters of all-time, was batting .343 with nine homers in his last 19 games, prior to the injury. He's also got great numbers vs. Volquez)
Rather, my selection is based on a number of other reasons, primarily the starting pitching matchup and the venue.
Garcia has been lights out at home. In seven starts here, he's 4-1 with a tremendous 0.88 ERA and 0.838 WHIP. Not surprisingly, the Cards were a profitable 6-1 (+4.6) in those games. Garcia has also won all four of his starts against the Reds, posting a 3.70 ERA.
While Garcia wasn't at his very best against AL opponents (4.08 ERA last three starts) he's still been much better than Volquez recently. Indeed, Volquez has a horrible 6.32 ERA and 1.788 WHIP his last three starts. For the season, the Reds are 3-6 (-2.6) when he's started on the road with Volquez posting an awful 5.85 ERA and 1.775 WHIP. Note that Volquez is averaging only 4.4 innings in those starts, too.
While the Cards have seen Volquez once this season, the Reds haven't seen Garcia since last year. Note that Volquez has a poor 4.94 ERA in six starts vs. the Cards; St. Louis won four of those games.
The Cards are 20-12 (+5.1) off a shutout win the past few seasons. With or without Pujols in the lineup, I expect them to improve on those stats here. *10
|07-04-11||Chicago Cubs v. Washington Nationals -140||Top||4-5||Win||100||3 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. The Nationals lost badly yesterday. However, with Jordan Zimmerman on the mound, I expect them to bounce back in a big way this afternoon. With a 0.84 ERA his last three starts, Zimmerman is among the hottest pitchers in the league. Over that 21+ inning span, he's only allowed two earned runs. Going back further finds Zimmerman with a 0.85 ERA his last six starts. The Cubs haven't seen him since 2009, either.
For the season, Zimmerman has a stellar 2.63 ERA and 1.072 WHIP. He averages better than six innings per start and has only allowed four home runs in 16 games.
He's recorded a club-record 11 straight "quality" starts and he's allowed two runs or less in eight straight. Indeed, he's much better than his w/l record indicates.
Zimmerman was quoted as saying: "I'm throwing the ball pretty well right now and I just want to keep it going."
The Nats catch a break as Ryan Dempster got scratched - *although I'd still like the Nats w/ Zimmerman even if Dempster was pitching.
That means that Casey Coleman is expected to get the start for the Cubs. The last time Coleman started was back on May 25 and he got rocked for six runs in 1 1/3 innings. He subsequently got sent down to Triple-A (Iowa) where he proceeded to compile a 4.91 ERA in three starts. Not exactly impressive.
While the Cubs are 15-24 on the road, the Nats are 24-15 at home. With a significant edge in the pitching department and highly motivated to beat a team that has long given them trouble, I expect the Nats to finally provide Zimmerman with some support and to celebrate the holiday in style. *10 Main Event
|07-03-11||Los Angeles Dodgers v. Los Angeles Angels UNDER 7.5||Top||1-3||Win||100||10 h 51 m||Show|
I'm playing on LA and LA to finish UNDER the total. The first game of this series finished below the total, a 5-0 victory for the Dodgers. Yesterday's game was a little higher-scoring, as the Angels returned the favor with a 7-1 victory. Tonight's game figures to be a "pitchers' duel."
Billingsley's overall numbers aren't that great but he's been very sharp his last two outings. He allowed one run and six hits in 5 1/3 innings to beat Detroit 6-1 on 6/21. He followed tht up with even better numbers Monday against Minnesota. In that outing, he gave up just four hits, through six shutout innings. (That's one run in his last 11 1/3 innings, which translates to a 0.79 ERA!)
Billingsley's career numbers vs. the Angels aren't great either. However, he did deliver a quality start (3 earned runs in 6 innings) in his last start here at Anaheim and this Angel team doesn't hit nearly as well as past versions, particularly here at home. Indeed, the Angels enter today's action averaging only 3.3 runs here at home, while hitting just .243 as a team.
Santana has quite a poor (3-8!) overall record. However, he's pitched much better than that record indicates. He's allowed two runs in each of his last three starts, going eight complete innings last time out. During that 3-game stretch, he has 18 K's and only five walks. All three of those games finished with seven or fewer combined runs, averaging six. The UNDER was 2-0-1 in those games and is now 10-6-1 in his 17 starts overall, 6-2-1 here at home.
In his nine home starts, Santana has a 3.60 ERA and 1.169 WHIP, averaging better than seven innings per outing. In those nine home starts, Santana has 50 K's with only 18 walks.
Looking at the bullpens shows that Dodger relievers have been respectable (3.76 ERA and 1.331 WHIP) on the road while the Angel relievers have been downright dominant (2.20 ERA and 1.148 WHIP) here at Anaheim.
The Angels, who earned their 43rd victory of the season yesterday, have seen the UNDER go a profitable 25-15-2 after their first 42 wins. With both starting pitchers out to "prove a point" in front of the national TV audience, I look for those stats to improve tonight. *10
|07-02-11||St. Louis Cardinals v. Tampa Bay Rays -133||Top||1-5||Win||100||9 h 42 m||Show|
I'm playing on TAMPA BAY. The Cardinals grabbed yesterday's series opener. I expect the Rays to have the advantage this evening though.
Manager Joe Maddon, who was ejected from yesterday's game, wasn't happy with the way his team came out of the gate yesterday. He was quoted as saying: "I thought we were kind of flat at the beginning of the game. I was kind of annoyed with that. We just had a day off Thursday and we didn't have a day off listed for Friday, so I was a little upset with that." I expect Maddon to have his team "fired up" and ready to play here.
Nieman has made two starts since returning from the disabled list, one good and one bad. The Rays won both those games. With a couple of games under his belt and now making his first start at home, since his return, I feel he'll be ready for a better effort. Perhaps more importantly, I expect him to receive some solid run support, just as he has in both previous games. (The Rays have totaled 22 runs in his last two starts.)
McClellan is 0-2 (team is 0-3) with a poor 4.67 ERA and 1.558 WHIP his last three starts. He's issued more walks (7) than he's recorded strikeouts (6) in his last two starts. Last time out, he allowed eight hits and walked three batters in just 5 1/3 innings, giving up all five runs of a 5-0 loss.
Even with yesterday's loss and this season's struggles here overall, the Rays are still a healthy 33-20 the past few seasons, when listed as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range. That includes an 11-6 mark this season.
Desperate to avoid falling further behind Boston and NY and motivated by yesterday's loss, I expect the Rays to bounce back and improve on those stats today. *10 (Personal Favorite)
|07-02-11||Pittsburgh: J McDonald v. Washington: L Hernadez -150||Top||5-3||Loss||-150||5 h 37 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. The Nationals got a much needed victory last night, earning new manager Davey Johnson his first victory with the team. I expect them to carry the positive momentum into the first game of this afternoon's double-header.
Lannan is expected to get the call in the opener. Although he still only allowed three runs, Lannan wasn't his best last time out. However, we can cut him some slack. Not only was that start on the road, but he'd been 3-0 with an outstanding 1.18 ERA in his previous six outings.
Now, Lannan gets to pitch at home, where he's almost always tough. In eight starts here, he's 3-2 (team is 6-2, +4.6!) with an extremely stingy 1.81 ERA and 1.148 WHIP. Note that he's only allowed two home runs in 49 2/3 innings here.
Lannan should be anxious to impress his new manager. After Gorzellany tossed a gem yesterday, Johnson was quoted as saying: "I told all the other starters they're going to be on a longer leash with me. I'm expecting more out of them."
McDonald was decent last time out. That was at home though. In eight road starts, he's got a terrible 6.25 ERA and 1.735 WHIP. He's averaged only five innings per start on the road and has allowed seven home runs in 40 1/3 road innings. Opposing hitters are batting .309 against him on the road.
Over the past few seasons, it should be noted that the Pirates are a money-burning 46-83, (-23.2) when playing during the day. During that stretch, they're an equally costly 17-46 (-23) when listed as road underdogs in the +125 to +150 range.
Lannan last five the Pirates on 5/16. While he didn't get a decision in that one, he still only allowed two runs through 6 1/3 innings, keeping his team in the game. The Nats would eventually win 4-2.
Just as Lannan likes his "home cooking," the Nats are an entirely different team here. They're only 18-28 on the road but are an impressive 23-13 at home. I expect them to improve on those stats here. *10
|07-01-11||Pittsburgh Pirates v. Washington Nationals -131||Top||1-2||Win||100||17 h 19 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. I really like how this one sets up for the home team. While the Pirates are off a win at Toronto, the Nationals had yesterday off. On a 3-game skid, the Nats should be extremely motivated to bounce back with a win, particularly given the recent coaching change.
I successfully played against the Nats in Gorzellany's last start. While I won that play (3-0 win on Chicago on 6/25) it wasn't because Gorzellany pitched poorly. In fact, Gorzellany actually tossed a gem - he just got outpitched by a red hot John Danks. In that outing, Gorzellany allowed just one run through seven complete innings. He recorded an impressive eight K's and walked only one batter.
Gorzellany should receive significantly better run support this afternoon. Morton lasted just two innings in his last start, giving up seven runs, six of them earned. Over his last three starts, he's got a terrible 12.27 ERA and 2.636 WHIP.
Note that Morton is 0-2 with an ugly 5.58 ERA and 1.861 WHIP in two starts vs. Washington. The Nats won those games by a combined score of 16-5. On the other hand, Gorzellany is 1-0 with a solid 3.06 ERA in four starts vs. Pittsburgh.
While the Pirates have admittedly been much better on the road this season, they're still a money-burning 16-46 (-24.4) the past few seasons, when listed as road underdogs in the +125 to +150 range. During that stretch, the Nats were a respectable 18-12 (+1.7) when listed as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range.
The Nats, who lost 1-0 on Wednesday, are a lucrative 7-3 (+6.4) the last 10 times that they were off a shutout loss. During that stretch, they're also a profitable 7-2 (+6.8) the last nine times that they were off three or more consecutive losses. With Gorzellany getting the better of Morton, I expect them to improve on those stats this evening. *10
|07-01-11||Philadelphia Phillies v. Toronto Blue Jays -149||Top||7-6||Loss||-149||12 h 35 m||Show|
I'm playing on TORONTO. Both these teams lost yesterday. With Ricky Romero on the mound and this game being played at Toronto, I look for the Jays to be the team that bounces back this afternoon.
Romero is in superb form. Last time out, he tossed a complete game shutout. Over his last three starts, he's averaged eight innings per outing, while recording a superb 1.12 ERA and 0.875 WHIP. Going back further shows that Romero has pitched a minimum of seven innings in each of his last nine starts. During that stretch, he's gone 5-3 with an outstanding 1.95 ERA.
For the season, Romero is 4-2 with a stellar 2.74 ERA and 1.00 WHIP at home. In 46 innings here, he's posted an impressive 47 K's, walking only 13.
Manager John Farrell said this of Romero: "He's on a very good run in terms of total innings pitched but yet you look at total number of pitches thrown he's been very efficient for the better part of two months."
Its also worth noting that Romero has dominated the Phillies. In two starts against Philadelphia, he's gone 1-0 (team is 2-0) with a commanding 1.93 ERA and 0.786 WHIP. His lone home start against Philadelphia saw Romero toss seven shutout innings, allowing only two hits, while recording seven K's and only walking one batter. The Jays won those games by a combined score of 14-3.
Kendrick also pitched very well in his last start. However, that was more than two weeks ago and he got rocked (7.20 ERA and 1.60 WHIP) in his lone road start. He's only back in the rotation due to Oswalt's injury. For his career, Kendrick has a poor 4.56 ERA.
I expect Romero to outpitch and outlast Kendrick and for the Jays to celebrate "Canada Day" by starting the series off with a victory. *10
|06-30-11||Texas Rangers v. Houston Astros UNDER 8||Top||0-7||Win||100||10 h 18 m||Show|
I'm playing on Texas and Houston to finish UNDER the total. The first game of this series had an O/U line of eight and produced 10 combined runs. That brought the 'over' to 3-0 for both the Rangers and the Astros. Yesterday's game resulted in a "pitcher's duel" though, as the teams combined for only half as many runs, a 3-2 victory for the Rangers. I expect another relatively low-scoring affair in this evening's finale.
Harrison gets the call for the visitors and he's currently in superb form. Indeed, he's got a terrific 1.43 ERA over his last six starts. That includes a 1.40 ERA (1.035 WHIP) his last three. Last time out, he allowed one run through seven complete innings. For the season, he's got an outstanding 2.23 ERA and 1.083 WHIP on the road.
After Harrison's last start, Rangers manager Ron Washington noted: He
|06-29-11||Los Angeles Dodgers v. Minnesota Twins -136||Top||0-1||Win||100||3 h 52 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. After getting absolutely embarrassed (15-0!) the previous day, the Twins bounced back and snapped their 6-game losing streak yesterday. I expect them to carry the positive momentum into this afternoon's contest. Of course, having a decided edge on the mound should make things easier.
Baker gets the call for the home team. He's quietly been very solid all season and he's currently in top form. For the year, he's 5-5 with a 3.39 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. Not bad at all, considering the problems the Twins have had overall.
Baker's numbers at home are even better. In five home starts, he's gone 2-1 with a stellar 2.70 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. He's got 34 K's here in 33 innings, walking only eight. In his last start here, he won 1-0. He tossed eight shutout innings and allowed just four hits. Along the way, he had 10 K's and only one walk. In his previous start here, he tossed a complete game 5-hitter, allowing just one run. He had seven K's and didn't walk a batter. Add it up and that's one run in 17 innings in his last two starts here, with only nine hits and with 17 K's and one walk.
Note that Baker was 8-3 here in 2010, so this season's success at home isn't all that surprising. Opposing batters are hitting .224 against Baker here at Minnesota, .232 when playing during the afternoon.
While Baker hasn't served up a home run in weeks, De La Rosa gave up two in his last start alone. Overall, he was fortunate to allow "only" five runs, as he gave up nine hits and issued four free passes. He's 0-2 his last two starts and the Dodgers have lost those games by a combined score of 15-3. In four starts overall, he's got an ugly 6.10 ERA and 1.79 WHIP.
De La Rosa does have "good stuff" and he may well develop into a quality pitcher. However, he's still only 22 and is currently dealing with some control issues. As he noted after his last start: "...the balls I was throwing weren't going into the strike zone." He's allowed 10 earned runs in his last 10 2/3 innings pitched.
The Dodgers did respond to the bankruptcy ruling with a 15-0 win. However, that still figures to be at least a partial distraction. Also, this is a very early game for a "West Coast" based team to be playing, particularly when they travel back to the Coast (to Anaheim) to face their crosstown rivals on July 1st.
While it may seem "funny" to lay this kind of price with a struggling team, note that the Twins are an extremely profitable 47-16 (+25.4) the past few seasons, when listed as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range. With Baker continuing his success here, I expect them to build off yesterday's win and improve on those stats here. *10
|06-28-11||Boston Red Sox v. Philadelphia Phillies -121||Top||0-5||Win||100||9 h 56 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. This is a real "clash of the titans" here and could potentially be a World Series preview. The Phillies have the best record in baseball and the Red Sox are currently only a half game behind the Yankees, for the best mark in the American League. Additionally, both send red hot pitchers to the mound for tonight's series opener. As hot as the Red Sox starter (Beckett) is, the Phillies' starter (Lee) is currently in even better form. With this game being played at Philadelphia, I expect the Phillies to have the advantage.
Beckett is having an outstanding season. However, he hasn't pitched since June 15th, due to having the flu. That could potentially affect his rhythm a little here.
Even if Beckett is 100%, he's unlikely to get much run support. In fact, the way that Lee is currently pitching, Beckett will be fortunate to see any runs at all. Indeed, Lee has thrown consecutive shutouts and he hasn't allowed a single run in his last 23 innings. He's got a 0.35 ERA his last three starts, to go along with a 0.654 WHIP.
Lee has faced the Red Sox twice the past two seasons and he allowed just two runs in 17 innings, striking out 11 and walking only one. That translates to a 1.06 ERA and 0.706 WHIP.
Lee won't have to face Carl Crawford (injury) and he also won't have to see David Ortiz in the starting lineup, due to the game being played in an NL ballpark.
Speaking of the Phillies' ballpark, they're now an impressive 30-13 here on the season. The Red Sox, who have dropped four of five overall, are 23-16 on the road.
The Phillies have had some trouble beating the Red Sox in recent years and that makes this game and series even bigger for them. As Manager Charlie Manuel noted: "Anytime the Red Sox come in, it's big for us. It's big for our fans. I think we've had a hard time beating them in the past, the last five or six years I've been here. It would be nice to win a series. We need to come out Tuesday and make sure we play good against them."
I expect Manuel's team to do just that, as Lee does his thing and the Phillies start the series with another victory. *10
|06-27-11||Atlanta Braves v. Seattle Mariners UNDER 6.5||Top||3-1||Win||100||18 h 27 m||Show|
I'm playing on Seattle and Atlanta to finish UNDER the total. Four of six meetings beteween these teams, dating back to 2003 have fallen below the total. With both starters in excellent current form, I expect another low-scoring affair in this evening's series opener.
Bedard took a loss last time out. However, that was hardly his fault. In six complete innings, he didn't give up a single earned run and allowed only three hits. He had an impressive 10 K's with only two walks. That makes it two straight starts that he hasn't given up an earned run and gives him a 1.00 ERA his last three starts. Bedard has a stellar 2.93 ERA with 80 K's and just 25 walks.
Note that in nine evening starts, Bedard has a 2.25 ERA and opposing batters are hitting just .180.
Bedard will face an Atlanta team which managed a mere two hits at Petco Park yesterday.
Beachy made his first start in six weeks last time out. He certainly didn't show any ill effects from the layoff. Indeed, he gave up just one run through six complete innings. The fact that he had 11 K's (and only 2 walks) shows how dominant he was. He's now 2-1 with a 3.22 ERA through nine starts. In 50 innings, he has 57 K's against only 14 walks.
Beachy has been particularly tough away from Atlanta. In three road starts, he's 1-0 with an extremely stingy 1.50 ERA. Opposing batters are hitting a mere .145 against him in those games.
The UNDER is 3-1 in Beachy's last four starts. Even better, the UNDER is 6-1 in Bedard's last seven starts. I expect "more of the same' here. *10
|06-26-11||Chicago Cubs v. Kansas City Royals -132||Top||3-6||Win||100||10 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on KANSAS CITY. The Royals earned a much needed 3-2 victory yesterday. They scored the winning run in the bottom of the 8th inning, snapping a season-high 6-game losing streak. That should give them some positive momentum here. Knowing they take to the road for an extended trip after today's game, the Royals should be highly motivated to close out the homestand with another win. I expect them to do just that.
Hochevar wasn't his best last time out and his overall stats aren't impressive. That said, he'd been quite sharp in his previous two starts and still has a respectable 3.86 ERA and 1.19 WHIP his last three starts.
That puts him in much better current form that Chicago starter Randy Wells. Indeed, Wells has an ugly 5.65 ERA and an awful 1.745 WHIP his last three starts.
Over his last three outings, Hochever is averaging seven innings per start. On the other hand, Wells is averaging just 4.8 innings over his last three starts.
With this being an afternoon game, note that Hochevar is a dismal 1-7 with a 5.23 ERA at night but 3-1 with a 4.35 ERA during the day. That was also the case last season, when he went 1-4 at night but 5-2 during the day.
Wells, on the other hand, has been equally brutal during the day or night this season. Last year, however, he was much worse when pitching during the day.
The Royals may be only 22-24 at home but that's far better than the Cubs' 15-23 mark on the road. With Hochevar getting the better of Wells, I expect KC to build off yesterday's win and close out the series with another important victory. *10
|06-25-11||Los Angeles Angels v. Los Angeles Dodgers UNDER 7.5||Top||6-1||Win||100||12 h 53 m||Show|
I'm playing on the Dodgers and Angels to finish UNDER the total. Yesterday's series opener finished above the total. I expect a much lower-scoring affair this afternoon though.
Kuroda checks in with a 5-8 record. However, he's been much better than that record indicates. In 96+ innings, he has an extremely solid 3.07 ERA with 75 K's to just 27 walks. In his last start, Kuroda allowed a mere three hits through seven shutout innings, striking out six along the way.
Despite the fact that he hasn't been picking up wins, Kuroda now has an exceptional 1.45 ERA his last three starts, recording 19 K's in
18 2/3 innings. For the season, he has a 2.79 ERA, when pitching during the afternoon. Not surprisingly, two of Kuroda's last three starts have fallen below the total. His last start finished with a score of 1-0.
Kuroda's lone start vs. the Angels came in 2008. He allowed three runs through 6 1/3 innings. The game stayed below the total with a score of 4-2.
Meanwhile, Chatwood is coming off a gem of his own. In that game, he allowed only four hits through seven shutout innings. Chatwood is 2-1 with a respectable 3.74 ERA.
Chatwood will face a Dodger lineup which entered the series averaging a mere 3.0 runs per game at home, hitting just .239 here. He'll also have the advantage of starting against the Dodgers for the first time. Look for a well-pitched affair with the UNDER improving to 13-9-4 when the Angels played during the afternoon. *10
|06-25-11||Washington Nationals v. Chicago White Sox -150||Top||0-3||Win||100||11 h 18 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. I lost a tough one with the White Sox yesterday. The Sox would eventually lose in the bottom of the 14th inning. I'm fully willing to give them another shot in this afternoon's all southpaw affair though.
Danks is just 3-8 with a 4.29 ERA and 1.376 WHIP on the season. However, that only tells part of the story. A closer look shows that
Danks' three victories have come in his last three starts and that he's currently in excellent form. Indeed, Danks is 3-0 with an excellent 1.23 ERA and 0.955 WHIP his last three starts. During that stretch, he has averaged 7 1/3 innings per start and had 17 K's to just three walks. He also didn't allow any home runs in any of those games.
While Danks is currently in top form, the same cannot be said for Gorzelanny. Over his last three starts, Gorzelanny is 0-3 with an awful 7.63 ERA and 2.151 WHIP. He's given up four home runs in those three games. Last time out, Gorzelanny gave up 10 hits in just 4 2/3 innings and didn't strike out a single batter. Clearly, he hasn't been fooling too many batters.
For the season, Gorzelanny is 1-4 with a 5.79 ERA and 1.429 WHIP on the road. Danks is 2-2 with a 3.10 ERA and 1.257 WHIP at home.
While Gorzelanny got rocked here (8-2 loss) in June of 2008, Danks will have the advantage of starting against Washington for the first time.
The Sox are only batting a mediocre .250 against left-handed starters, scoring 4.1 runs in those games. However, that's a lot better than Washington's .220 average (3.4 runs per game) against southpaw starters. I expect Danks to be the better southpaw as the Sox bounce back and even up the series. *10
|06-24-11||Washington Nationals v. Chicago White Sox -118||Top||9-5||Loss||-118||10 h 4 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. I won with the Nationals in Zimmerman's last start (4-2 win over Baltimore on 6/18) so I'm well aware that Zimmerman is currently pitching well. On the same night, I also won by playing against Chicago, in Jackson's last start. That resulted in a 4-1 victory with Arizona. That said, I still have plenty of respect for Jackson and I look for his team to rally around him here.
Yes, Zimmerman has been tough - both at home and on the road. However, Jackson's home ERA (2.89) is nearly identical Zimmerman's road ERA of 2.82.
Jackson has allowed four or fewer earned runs in 10 straight home starts. He's allowed three or fewer runs in eight of his last nine starts here, including each of the last three.
While the win/loss record remains a bit dicey, clearly, Jackson can get it done. In fact, it should be noted that his no-hitter came almost exactly one year ago, to the day. That was on June 25th, 2010 - and here we are on June 24th, 2011.
Facing a Washington team which averages only 3.7 runs per game on the road, while hitting a mere .222 in those games, figures to help Jackson.
Chicago's offensive stats here (4.1 runs per game, .253 avg) aren't great - but are still much better than Washington's road numbers.
What is 'great' is Chicago's Interleague record. Indeed, the Sox are now 33-12 (+22.1) in IL play the past few seasons. The Nats, on the other hand, are still only 18-27 (-9.6) in IL play, during the same stretch.
Off a win yesterday and playing some of the best baseball since the team moved to Washington, the Nats should be on top of the world. That's not the case though - as their manager resigned after yesterday's win. General manager Mike Rizzo noted: "We should be celebrating going to Chicago. I'm disappointed that this is a distraction."
With the potentially "distracted" Nats at a money-burning 13-29 (-14.2) the past 42 times that they were listed as road underdogs in the +100 to +125 range, I look for the Sox to start things off with a victory. *10
|06-24-11||Arizona Diamondbacks v. Detroit Tigers UNDER 9.5||Top||7-6||Loss||-120||9 h 51 m||Show|
I'm playing on Arizona and Detroit to finish UNDER the total. These two starting pitchers have a combined W/L record of just 2-9. Given that record, some might expect the bats to come alive here. I feel that both starters are considerably more capable than their records indicate though and I feel that this game will prove lower-scoring than expected.
Duke had one rough outing since he came back from the disabled list and joined Arizona. However, three of his five starts have been of the quality variety and two were absolute gems. Three of his last four starts have fallen below the total.
Duke started against Detroit once, back in 2009, and pitched well. In that outing, he allowed three runs through eight complete innings, giving up only seven (6 hits, 1 walk) base-runners. That translates to a 3.38 ERA and 0.875 WHIP.
Coke has been far better than his 1-7 record shows as he's got a solid 3.82 ERA as a starter. He did have some control issues last time out. That was at Colorado though, which can still be a tough place to pitch. In his previous start, which was his most recent here at home, Coke was dominant. In fact, he limited Tampa to a mere four hits through seven shutout innings - and he didn't walk a batter. He didn't receive a decision but the final score was just 2-1.
Coke will have the advantage of starting against Arizona for the first time - although it should be noted that he did get two outs in relief against the Dbax to earn a 7-5 win last June.
It should also be noted that the Diamondbacks typically don't hit as well on the road OR against southpaws. In fact, they're hitting only .235 vs. southpaw starters, averaging 4.1 run in those games. Those stats are down considerably from their overall averages.
While the Detroit bullpen has very solid at home, the Arizona bullpen has been stingy on the road.
The Diamondbacks have been getting it done with pitching lately. With last night's game staying below the total, they've now seen the UNDER go 6-1-1 (or 7-1) their last eight games. I look for those stats to improve this evening. *10
|06-23-11||Philadelphia Phillies v. St. Louis Cardinals -112||Top||2-12||Win||100||10 h 34 m||Show|
I'm playing on ST LOUIS. Playing without Pujols and in danger of being swept, the Cardinals badly need a victory. They've had to face Halladay and Lee in the first two games of this series, so its not all that surprising that they're 0-2. However, I expect them to have the advantage for this evening's finale.
Carpenter gets the call for the Cards. He certainly doesn't have Cy Young stats at the moment. That said, he's pitched far better than his record indicates, particularly here at St. Louis. In seven starts here, he's got a solid 3.26 ERA and 1.255 WHIP. He's only given up two home runs in his seven home starts (none in his last 2) and is averaging a healthy 6 2/3 innings per start here. In 47 home innings, he's got 41 K's with just 13 walks.
While Carpenter's home numbers might not fare too well against what Cliff Lee is currently bringing to the table (Lee is now 4-0 with a 0.27 ERA this month!) they do match up well against Oswalt's current stats.
I successfully played against the Phillies in Oswalt's last start. At the time, they were red hot. However, I noted that Oswalt wasn't nearly as dominant as the Phillies' top three starters and that I expected Seattle, who had Pineda pitching, to have an advantage on the mound. Sure enough, priced in the "pick'em range," just as the Cards are here, the M's did have a pitching advantage - as Pineda was much better than Oswalt.
Oswalt would allow four runs on eight hits (and two walks) in 6 1/3 innings. Not terrible. But not good either. He's now 1-2 with a poor 5.12 ERA his last three starts. Note that he's averaging only 5 1/3 innings on the road this season and that he's just 1-4 his last seven starts.
While the Cards have already beaten Oswalt once this season, Carpenter will have the advantage of facing Philadelphia for the first time since last July and only second time since 2006. Note that he was dominant in last season's lone start against the Phillies. In that outing, Carpenter allowed just one run on five hits, pitching eight complete innings. The Cards, who were laying -175 for that one, won by a score of 7-1.
Including that result, Carpenter's teams are 6-1 in his last seven starts against Philadelphia. I expect him to outduel Oswalt here, as the Cards avoid being swept at home for the first time in nearly five years. *10
|06-23-11||Oakland A's v. New York Mets -132||Top||1-4||Win||100||3 h 37 m||Show|
I'm playing on NEW YORK. After the A's grabbed Tuesday's opener, the Mets responded with a 3-2 victory, in 13 innings yesterday. Those are the type of wins that can build positive momentum for the winning team and be deflating for the losing team.
The "deflating factor" could be particularly true for the A's today, as they'd previously been on a 6-game winning streak. Additionally, they're a team from the West Coast playing an early game in the East today. (They've also got a trip to Philadelphia on deck - the top team in the NL.)
Naturally, when handicapping baseball, starting pitching is always extremely important. With yesterday's game going to extra innings, the starters arguably take on even more significance. I expect that to also favor the Mets.
Capuano doesn't have a very impressive IL record and he hasn't gotten much run support here lately. That said, he's currently in red hot form. Even after a tough loss last time out (he still delivered a quality start) he's still 2-1 with a superb 1.42 ERA in his last three starts.
Capuano should finally get a few runs here. Not only should his team be 'inspired' by last night's thriller but they'll also be facing a pitcher making just his third start. Godfrey was solid last time out - but got rocked in his debut, so the jury is still out on him - and some "growing pains" would not surprising.
Note that Godfrey's lone road start was the one he got rocked in. While its obviously a very small "sample size," he's got a terrible 10.39 ERA and 2.54 WHIP on the road.
Overall, even with a win in the series opener, the A's are still a terrible 5-16 their last 21 on the road - as their recent win streak came primarily at Oakland.
While the A's average 3.9 runs per game during the afternoon, the Mets average 4.5 runs in their afternoon games. I expect them to outscore the A's here, building off yesterday's victory and finishing off the series with a more "convincing" win. *10
|06-22-11||Minnesota Twins v. San Francisco Giants -138||Top||1-5||Win||100||11 h 29 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN FRANCISCO. The Twins won big in yesterday's opener. I expect the champs to bounce back and even up the series tonight.
Vogelsong has been outstanding. He's 4-1 with a 2.07 ERA and 1.164 WHIP on the season. He's been particularly dominant at home. Indeed, in five starts here, he's got an awesome 1.05 ERA and 0.961 WHIP. Averaging 6.9 innings, he only allowed one home run in those five games. Not surprisingly, the Giants were a profitable 4-1 (+3.4) in those games.
Blackburn has also been very tough at home, but fairly mediocre (3.83 ERA, 1.389 WHIP) on the road. While Vogelsong has given up just one home run at home, Blackburn has given up seven on the road.
Note that the Minnesota bullpen entered the series with a 4.22 ERA and 1.531 WHIP on the road. That doesn't compare favorably to the stats (2.36 ERA and 1.188 WHIP) which the SF bullpen entered the series with, here at home.
The Giants are 78-54 the past few seasons, when playing a game with an O/U line of seven or less. That includes a highly profitable 52-26 (+17.3) mark, when playing a home game with an O/U line of seven or less. With Vogelsong continuing his home excellence, I expect the Giants to improve on those stats. *10 (Personal Fav)
|06-22-11||Philadelphia Phillies v. St. Louis Cardinals UNDER 7.5||Top||4-0||Win||100||10 h 43 m||Show|
I'm playing on St. Louis an Philadelphia to finish UNDER the total. Yesterday's series opener finished above the total. In fact, the Phillies eclipsed the number by themselves, in a single inning. I expect a much lower-scoring game here though.
One of the very best in the world, when he's on his game, Lee is currently in superb form. In fact, over his last three starts, he's gone 3-0 with a microscopic 0.37 ERA and 0.75 WHIP. During that stretch, he gave up just one run in 24 innings! Not surprisingly, those three games averaged only five combined runs each, most recently a 3-0 victory. For the season, Lee has now seen the UNDER go a profitable 9-6.
As you're probably aware, Lee will not have to contend with Albert Pujols. Still, even if the Cardinals had their slugger in the lineup, it would have been tough to score against Lee. Lee has made two starts against St. Louis, since 2009. Those games both stayed well below the total (scores of 3-0 and 3-1) with Lee allowing just three earned runs in 15 1/3 innings.
Overall, the Cards have seen the UNDER go 65-51-9 the past few seasons, when facing a southpaw starter.
Admittedly, Lohse isn't currently exhibiting the same type of dominant form that Lee is. He's still having an excellent season though - and he knows his team could badly use a big performance from him today. Indeed, he's 7-3 with a 2.88 ERA and 1.041 WHIP. Note that he's averaging 7 1/3 innings per home start and that four of his six starts here have fallen below the number.
Yes, the Phillies offense is certainly capable of being "explosive" - we saw that yesterday. However, keep in mind that Philadelphia entered this series hitting only .237 on the road and averaging a mere 3.6 runs. So, yesterday's result wasn't exactly "normal."
Even including yesterday's result, the UNDER is till a healthy 12-7-1 the last 20 meetings between these teams, including 4-1 the last five. I expect those stats to improve as this well-pitched affair proves lower-scoring than many will be expecting. *10
|06-21-11||Arizona Diamondbacks v. Kansas City Royals UNDER 9.5||Top||7-2||Win||100||10 h 3 m||Show|
I'm playing on Arizona and KC to finish UNDER the total. Arizona has scored five or fewer runs in six straight games. During that stretch, the Diamondbacks are averaging only three runs per game. Meanwhile, KC has scored five or fewer runs in five straight games. During that stretch, the Royals are averaging just 3.6 runs per game. With both offenses struggling, I expect a relatively low-scoring affair in this evening's opener.
Hochevar's numbers admittedly aren't that great. However, he's quietly been pitching very well lately. Two starts ago, he held the Jays to two runs through seven complete innings. Last time out, he limited Oakland to two runs through seven innings. Those games finished with scores of 3-2 and 2-1, both staying comfortably below the total. Hochevar has now seen six of his last eight, including three straight, finish with nine or fewer combined runs. He's been helped by the fact that he hasn't allowed any home runs in his last few games.
Saunders has also quietly been pitching quiet well recently. He took the loss last time out but still allowed just three runs through seven innings. He's got a solid 3.60 ERA his last three starts. Two of those three games stayed below the total and they averaged only 5.67 combined runs.
Saunders has now pitched a minimum of six complete innings in nine straight starts. He allowed three or fewer earned runs in six of those. Note that seven of those nine games finished with nine or fewer combined runs.
Saunders should be happy to see KC. He's 3-0 with a superb 2.57 ERA in five starts vs. the Royals. Four of those games stayed below the total, including a 2-1 game in last season's lone meeting vs. the Royals. Saunders allowed one run in eight innings in that one.
The Diamondbacks have seen the UNDER go 34-22-2 the past few seasons, when playing a road game with an O/U line of eight nine or 9.5. That includes a profitable 5-1 UNDER mark their last six in that situation. I expect those stats to improve here. *10
|06-20-11||New York Yankees v. Cincinnati Reds -125||Top||5-3||Loss||-125||18 h 35 m||Show|
I'm playing on CINCINNATI. The Reds got back on track yesterday, earning a 2-1 victory in the finale of their series vs. Toronto. That win helped them avoid being swept and was their first of Interleague play this season. I expect them to make it two in a row here.
Cueto was supposed to get the call but has been swapped for Wood. I liked the Reds with Cueto and I also like them with Wood. While Wood has admittedly been rather inconsistent on the season, he's currently on a major role. Indeed, he's 2-0 with a superb 0.86 ERA his last three starts. He should get some run support tonight.
I won with the Yankees in Nova's last start. That resulted in an easy 12-4 winner. However, they didn't win that game because of Nova.
Nova pitched only 5 2/3 innings and allowed four runs, giving up seven hits and walking three. Nothing special about that. For the season, he's got a 4.46 ERA and 1.554 WHIP.
Despite his mediocre stats, Nova does have a 6-4 record. That's largely because the Yankees generally are a better hitting team than the team that they are facing. That's not necessarily the case against the Reds - not at Cincinnati, at least. The Reds entered Sunday's action averaging 5.3 runs per game and hitting .273 at home. The Yankees entered Sunday averaging an equal 5.3 runs per game on the road but hitting only .255.
In addition to having an advantage on the mound, Cincinnati also has the schedule in its favor. While the Reds played here yesterday afternoon, the Yankees are off a night game at Chicago. With Wood getting the better of Nova, I look for them to pad those stats here. *10
*Note if you bet this play listed pitchers with Cueto, you will have to re-bet.
|06-19-11||New York Yankees v. Chicago Cubs OVER 8.5||Top||10-4||Win||100||9 h 48 m||Show|
I'm playing on Chicago and NY to finish OVER the total. The first two games of this series have been low-scoring. I look for the bats to come alive in tonight's finale though.
Wells goes for the Cubs. He's got an ugly 5.62 ERA and 1.583 WHIP in his five starts. He's averaged less than five innings per start and has allowed four home runs in 24 innings. He has more walks than K's his last three outings, posting a 5.79 ERA during that stretch. Three of his last four starts have finished above the total.
Naturally, Sabathia has been better than Wells. However, he's still been a profitable 'over' pitcher. In fact, 11 of his 15 starts have finished above the total. Each of his last two starts have finished with double-digits in runs.
It should also be noted that Sabathia has a poor 5.76 ERA in four starts vs. the Cubs, although he hasn't faced them for a few seasons.
Yankee road games are averaging 8.8 runs while Cub home games are averaging nine.
Note that the Cubs have hit better against southpaw starters than they have vs. right-handers. Their games vs. left-handed starters are averaging 9.9 runs.
The Cubs have seen the OVER go 24-16 when coming off a loss. I expect those stats to improve tonight. *10
|06-19-11||Kansas City Royals v. St. Louis Cardinals -196||Top||4-5||Win||100||11 h 56 m||Show|
I'm playing on ST. LOUIS. The Cardinals got a big 2-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning yesterday, leading to a much-needed
5-4 victory. That should give them some positive momentum here. Combine that with what should be a significant advantage on the mound and I look for the Cards to grab this afternoon's rubber match in convincing fashion.
Both Garcia and Duffy pitched six complete innings last time out. Both allowed two earned runs. However, Garcia was arguably more impressive. He had 7 K's with only one walk. Duffy, on the other hand, walked four batters and walked only two.
While the bottom line (runs) was the same for Duffy and Garcia last time out, there's no arguing the fact that Garcia has been the better pitcher overall.
Garcia is 6-2 with a 3.18 ERA on the season. In 14 starts, he's only allowed four home runs. He's got an impressive 79 K's to just 21 walks.
Duffy, on the other hand, is 1-2 with a 5.04 ERA. He's only made six starts and has allowed five home runs. He also has more walks (21) than strikeouts (20.)
A closer look reveals that Garcia has been absolutely dominant here at St. Louis. In fact, he's 4-0 with a 0.46 ERA in five starts here. He hasn't given up a home run here all season and opposing batters are hitting a mere .145 against him here. He averages greater than seven innings per start here.
Garcia will face a Royals team which is an awful 38-71 (-29.6) against left-handed starters, the past few seasons. I expect him to be the better southpaw and for the Cards to build off yesterday's win and to close out the series with a convincing victory. *10
|06-18-11||Philadelphia Phillies v. Seattle Mariners -140||Top||5-1||Loss||-140||12 h 34 m||Show|
I'm playing on SEATTLE. I won with the Mariners yesterday. At the time, in my writeup for that game, I stated that the Phillies often have an edge on the mound, but that I expected Seattle to have the edge last night and for the "youngster to outpitch the veteran." That proved to be the case, as Seattle's Michael Pineda allowed only two hits and one run while Philadelphia's Roy Oswalt allowed four runs on eight hits. I expect the M's to have an even more significant edge on the mound this evening and for them to hand the Phillies their second straight loss.
Hernandez is simply one of the best in the game and nearly always gives his team a chance to win. Last time out, pitching at Detroit, he tossed eight solid innings. While it wasn't his most dominant effort, he still limited the Tigers to only three runs, en route to earning a 7-3 victory.
In his last home start, "King Felix" held Tampa Bay to only one run on just five hits. He had an impressive 11 K's (with only two walks) and earned the "W" in a 7-1 Seattle victory.
With that victory, the M's are now a profitable 5-1 (+3.2) in his six home starts.
Most starters would be thrilled with Hernandez's numbers (7-5, 3.30 ERA). But as he's the reigning Cy Young Award Winner, people expect more. They should - and, if recent history is any indication, they should get more the rest of the way.
In fact, you may recall that on this date last year, Hernandez was only 4-5 with a 3.61 ERA. Hardly the type of numbers one would expect from an eventual Cy Young winner. I successfully played on Seattle in Hernandez's next start (6/19/2010) vs. Cincinnati though. Felix dominated the Reds, tossing a complete game with 9 K's and one walk. Seattle won 5-1.
That was a sign of things to come. Including that victory, Hernandez would go on to close out the season with a 1.45 ERA the rest of the way.
The fact that Felix dominated the Reds was no surprise, as that's what he's done to virtually all NL opponents in recent seasons. Indeed, he's 7-1 with an interleague-best 1.66 ERA, in 12 games against "Senior Circuit" opponents, since 2008.
Note that Hernandez will have the advantage of starting against the Phillies for the first time. Surely, he'll be "pumped" to prove he can beat the NL's best.
Also, note that the M's are 10-2 all-time in Hernandez's June home starts, 16-4 his last 20 June starts overall.
This could have been quite the pitching matchup, if the Phillies had of been able to go with of their top three starters. That's not the case though, as they'll be sending inexperienced Vance Worley to the mound.
Worley had pitched well in his first couple of starts for the Phillies and has had some success in the minors. However, he got rocked (12 hits, 8 runs in just 3 innings, 5 of them earned) in his last big league start - his only road start - which caused him to be sent back down to the minors - and may well affect his confidence here. While Worley should improve from his previous road outing, against King Felix, I expect him to be "in over his head."
As noted yesterday, the Phillies have struggled on the road recently (now 4-10 L14 road games) and they've also struggled here at Seattle, going 1-6 all-time. With all due respect to the Phillies, given the pitching matchup and Hernandez's dominance in IL play, I feel the price on Seattle is more than fair. *10
|06-18-11||Detroit Tigers v. Colorado Rockies UNDER 9||Top||4-5||Push||0||9 h 17 m||Show|
I'm playing on Colorado and Detroit UNDER the total. Yesterday's series opener was high-scoring. The teams combined for 19 runs. I don't expect them to get even half that many this evening though.
If you take a look at the combined record (2-13!) of these two starters, you'd think they were two of the worst pitchers around. That's far from accurate though.
Jimenez may be 1-7 but he's still capable of being one of the best pitchers around. Lets not forget that he was 19-8 with a superb 2.88 ERA and 1.15 WHIP last season. The previous year, he had 15 wins with a solid 3.47 ERA.
Jimenez got roughed up (most of the runs were unearned) last time out but still has a super 1.69 ERA and 1.031 WHIP his last three starts. During that stretch, he has 17 K's and only one walk, averaging better than seven innings per start. Two of his last three starts have finished with three or fewer combined runs.
Coke may be 1-6 but he's still got a very respectable 3.69 ERA. His last start finished with a score of 2-1. He allowed just four hits in 6 2/3 shutout innings.
Note that Coke, who is making his first start against an NL opponent, is 2-0 with a terrific 0.55 ERA in 17 career interleague relief appearances.
Each of Jimenez's previous starts vs. the Tigers stayed below the total. They finished with seven and eight combined runs. I look for this one to do the same. *10
|06-18-11||Kansas City Royals v. St. Louis Cardinals -158||Top||4-5||Win||100||8 h 29 m||Show|
I'm playing on ST LOUIS. I haven't played on the Cardinals in quite some time. Good thing, as they've lost seven in a row. While they're fairly heavy favorites, I feel that tonight will prove to be the time to jump in and back the Cards.
Looking to avoid their longest losing streak since 2007, and having fallen out of first place in the Central, the Cards should be highly motivated. As Chris Carpenter noted: "Losing stinks. Nobody wants to lose. But if you sit there and drop your heads and put your tail between your legs, you're not going to be ready for tomorrow."
Carpenter won't be on the mound here, but I do expect the Cards to enjoy quality pitching on the mound.
Westbrook has won his last two meetings with the Royals, allowing only one run and nine hits in 14 innings. That's a 0.64 ERA. Note that he's also held Alcides Escobar (currently on a red hot hitting run for the Royals) hitless. Escobar is hitless in six AB's vs. Westbrook, striking out twice. For his career, Westbrook is 7-3 with a very solid 2.49 ERA in 16 starts vs. the Royals.
On the other hand, Mazzaro got rocked in his lone start vs. St. Louis. In that outing, he gave up four runs in just five innings. That translated to a 7.20 ERA and 1.80 WHIP. This season, while he did pitch well last time out, Mazzaro has an awful 10.80 ERA and 2.35 WHIP, walking 13 batters and only striking out seven.
As for the high price tag, note that the Cards are 40-21 (+6.1) the past few seasons, when listed as home favorites in the -150 to -175 range. That includes a profitable 11-5 (+3) record in that role this season. In fact, that's been one of their best roles. Desperate for a victory, I expect the Cards to bounce back with an important win here. *10
|06-18-11||Texas Rangers v. Atlanta Braves -110||Top||5-4||Loss||-110||6 h 48 m||Show|
I'm playing on ATLANTA. Had Hanson not been scratched, I was all set to play on the Braves in the opener. I wasn't about to back the Braves with Delgado on the mound though. Good thing, too. As Texas would win that game by a score of 6-2. Today's matchup is far more favorable though and I look for the Braves to bounce back with a big win.
Harrison was drafted by the Braves, so will surely want to pitch well. He's been fairly solid but has dealt with various issues, most recently getting hit by a line drive in the left arm Sunday. The Rangers are only 5-7 in his starts and his 19 K's (vs. 16 walks) in 38 road innings is far from impressive.
Admittedly, Lowe has been rather inconsistent. Last time out, he struggled at Houston. He's capable of dominating though, as we saw in his previous start. In that outing, he limited the Marlins to only two his through 6 2/3 shutout innings. Including a 3-2 victory in that game, the Braves are 7-2 his last nine starts.
While he likely won't have Chipper Jone's bat supporting him offensively, Lowe should be happy that this is an afternoon game. In fact, a closer look shows that he's actually been very consistent when pitching during the day. In five daytime starts, he's got a stellar 2.93 ERA and 1.14 WHIP - much better numbers than he has in the evening.
Lowe isn't the only Brave that enjoys playing during the afternoon. The Braves are 69-54 the past few seasons (14-9, +2.6 this season) when playing during the day. During that span, the Rangers were just 58-60 in their day games.
The Braves are 5-1 (+3.9) in Lowe's six home starts and I expect them to bounce back with a victory here. *10 (Afternoon Best Bet)
|06-17-11||Philadelphia Phillies v. Seattle Mariners -105||Top||2-4||Win||100||12 h 32 m||Show|
I'm playing on SEATTLE. The Phillies are red hot and have the best record in baseball. With guys like Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Oswalt in the rotation, they usually have an advantage on the mound. With one of those "Big 4" going tonight (Oswalt) many recreational bettors will be quick to grab the Phillies at such a "cheap" price. I expect the Mariners to "surprise" quite a few people tonight though and for them to actually be the team which enjoys the edge in the pitching department. Lets take a closer look.
Pineda gets the call for the Mariners. He's still kind of "flying under the radar" but has been among the best pitchers around. He struggled last time out. That was on the road (at Detroit) though. Even with that sub-par outing, he's still 6-4 with an excellent 2.72 ERA and 1.04 WHIP on the season.
Pineda, who will have the advantage of starting against the Phillies for the first time, should be happy to return home. In his last start here, he allowed one run through seven complete innings. For the season, he's 3-1 with a superb 2.06 ERA and 0.992 WHIP, here at Seattle. He's averaging 6.6 innings per start here and has an impressive 40 K's (with only 10 walks) in 39.3 innings pitched here.
While Pineda has been victimized by poor run support in recent games, he doesn't usually need much to work with and I expect the M's to provide him with at least a few runs tonight.
Oswalt has had a very solid career. He's still very capable and deserves respect. That said, he's not as dominant as Halladay or Lee (or Hamels) and he's been relatively mediocre of late. Over his last three starts, Oswalt is just 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA and 1.389 WHIP. For the season, due in part to lack of run support, Oswalt is only 4-4 and the Phillies are a money-burning 5-6 (-3.4) in his starts.
While he gave up only two runs, note that Oswalt lasted just five innings in his last road start. That's been a disturbing pattern, as he's averaging only 5.2 innings in his six road starts.
Scheduling doesn't play as big a role in handicapping baseball games, as it does in more physical sports like football, basketball or hockey. However, I don't think it should be ignored.
After beating the Angels by a score of 3-1 on Wednesday, here at Seattle, the Mariners had yesterday off. Note that the Mariners are a profitable 25-19 (+7.9) the last 44 times that they played with a day off - which is outstanding compared to their record with no rest, during that time period.
On the other hand, the Phillies played at Philadelphia yesterday, after playing a double-header the previous day, and then had to fly all the way across the country to Seattle. Not a huge deal, perhaps - but still worth mentioning.
As hot as they've been at home, the Phillies are just 4-9 their last 13 on the road.
The Mariners are 13-5 their last 18 home games against NL teams and they're also 5-1 all-time against the Phillies - although the teams haven't met for several years. The M's are already 3-0 in IL play this season. With the youngster outpitching and outlasting the veteran, I expect them to improve on those stats tonight. *10
|06-17-11||Chicago White Sox v. Arizona Diamondbacks -132||Top||1-4||Win||100||11 h 10 m||Show|
I'm playing on ARIZONA. The Diamondbacks earned an important win last night. Facing the rival Giants, the team they are fighting with in the NL West, they squandered a 1-run lead in the 9th inning. However, they dug deep and rallied to win 3-2 in the bottom of the 10th. BJ Upton hit the first game-ending home run of his career. Not only did the victory pull them closer in the division race, it should give them some added confidence and positive momentum, heading into Inter-league play. After all, they'd previously had real trouble with the Giants - and beating them.
Upton had this to say of last night's heroics and the positive momentum they should bring to the team: "It's awesome, the fact that we'd just dropped two games and to be able to win in that fashion. It's hopefully a little bit of a boost for the team."
There's no question that the Diamondbacks are capable of hitting, particularly here at home. Arizona entered last night's game leading the National League (second in the majors, behind Boston) in extra-base hits. The Dbax entered last night's game averaging 5.1 runs per game at home. Even after having scored only three last night, they're still averaging six runs per game, over their last six.
Tonight, with Daniel Hudson on the mound, the Dbax should also be able to expect high quality pitching. Note that Hudson will face a Chicago team which hasn't hit that well on the road all season and which has scored only one run its last two games (both losses) combined.
Hudson should be fired up for this one, as the White Sox are the team that traded him to Arizona last season. Hudson is off a gem at Florida last time out. He tossed six innings and allowed just one run. He earned the "W," in a 5-1 Arizona victory. He's 1-0 (Arizona is 2-1) in his last three starts with a 2.70 ERA. During that stretch, he has 17 K's and only four walks. The Diamondbacks are 5-2 in his home starts, with Hudson recording 44 K's to only nine walks. Note that Hudson hasn't allowed a home run in either of his last two games and that he's only allowed four for the entire season.
Going back further finds Hudson at 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA in his last 10 games.
Jackson, who was the pitcher traded for Hudson, was also solid in his last start, allowing two runs through six innings. That was at home though, where he's generally much tougher. (Also, Chicago still lost that game, with Jackson recording only one strikeout.) On the road, Jackson is 2-3 (team is 2-4) with a terrible 6.19 ERA and 1.706 WHIP.
Jackson is certainly capable, as he's thrown a no-hitter before. Naturally, he'll want to pitch well here. However, he's not in the type of form that Hudson is and Hudson has definitely been better since the two were dealt for each other. Since the trade, Hudson has gone 14-6 with a 2.83 ERA. Arizona was 16-9 in his starts. Jackson has gone 8-7 record with a 3.83 ERA. Chicago has gone 12-12 in his starts.
While they do have a strong IL record over the years, the lack of a designated hitter may potentially hurt Chicago defensively. The Sox will want to get Adam Dunn's bat in the lineup, by having him play either first base or left field. This prompted Ozzie Guillen to acknowledge: "Obviously he's not a Gold Glover..."
All things considered, with the Diamondbacks currently playing better baseball, given the pitching matchup and with this game being played at Arizona, I feel the price on the home team is more than fair. *10
|06-16-11||St. Louis Cardinals v. Washington Nationals UNDER 8.5||Top||4-7||Loss||-100||8 h 3 m||Show|
I'm playing on Washington and St. Louis to finish UNDER the total. The first two games of this series have both produced "double-digits" in runs. Tuesday's opener finished with a score of 8-6. Yesterday's game resulted in a score of 10-0. Washington won both games. I'm not sure whether or not the Nationals will be able to complete the sweep. However, I do feel that we can expect a lower-scoring finale.
Lannan gets the call for the home team and he's been superb lately. Indeed, he's gone 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA his last three starts, allowing just two earned runs in 18 2/3 innings. Lannan's last start finished with a score of 2-1. That was on the road (at San Diego) but his last home start (vs. Philadelphia) also finished with a score of 2-1.
A closer look reveals that Lannan has been outstanding at home all season. In fact, in six home starts, he's got a 1.70 ERA. In 37 innings here (average of 6.2 per start) he's allowed only one home run. Not surprisingly, five of his six home starts have fallen below the total.
Note that Lannan also has a 2.52 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in six starts vs. St. Louis. Five of those six games also fell below the total. His last home start vs. the Cards came late last August. He allowed one run through 7 2/3 innings, outpitching Wainwright, en route to a 4-2 victory.
Lohse hasn't been as sharp as Lannan lately, but he's still having a terrific first half. He checks in at 7-3 with a 2.67 ERA. He's averaging seven innings per start and has seen the UNDER go 7-5-1 in his 13 starts.
A poor recent outing at Milwaukee notwithstanding, Lohse has been particularly sharp on the road. In seven road starts, he's gone 5-1 with an excellent 2.28 ERA and 0.993 WHIP.
Note that Lohse dominated the Nats in his lone start against them this season. In that 4/21 outing, he tossed a complete game 2-hit shutout, earning a 5-0 victory.
I expect a well-pitched affair and with the O/U line having climbed from eight to 8.5, I feel we're also being offered terrific value. *10
|06-16-11||Kansas City Royals v. Oakland A's -145||Top||4-8||Win||100||5 h 9 m||Show|
I'm playing on OAKLAND. The A's got back on track yesterday, earning a much needed victory. With Gonzalez on the mound for this afternoon's series finale, I expect them to follow it up with another win.
Gonzalez has made back to back road starts and before that his last home start came against the Yankees. He should be very happy to return home to face the Royals.
In 13 starts this season, Gonzalez has a stellar 2.67 ERA. That number dips all the way down to 2.45 here at Oakland. He's got 44 K's in 44 innings here. Note that Gonzalez's career numbers are much better both at home and during the afternoon.
Gonzalez has faced the Royals once so far this season. He got the "W" in that 5/6 outing, allowing just two runs on four hits, through seven innings. The A's are 3-1 in his last four starts vs. the Royals and 1-0 all-time in his home starts vs. KC.
Francis lost his lone start vs. Oakland this season. While he is off a quality outing at LA, he's still 1-3 (Royals were 1-5) with a terrible 6.03 ERA and 1.631 WHIP on the road. For his career, Francis has a horrible 5.05 ERA on the road.
While Francis' teams (KC and Colorado) are now 7-13 his last 20 road starts, the A's are now 14-6 in Gonzalez's last 20 home starts.
With yesterday's victory, the A's are now 11-6 the last 17 times that they were a host in this series. With Gonzalez getting the better of Francis, I expect them to improve on those stats here. *10
|06-16-11||Cleveland Indians v. Detroit Tigers UNDER 8.5||Top||2-6||Win||111||3 h 47 m||Show|
I'm playing on Cleveland and Detroit to finish UNDER the total. After a low-scoring (4-0) opener, yesterday's game produced 10 runs. With both teams hitting an identical .248 in 'day' games and a pair of capable starters on the mound, I expect the final score of this afternoon's important finale to more closely resemble the score from Tuesday's opener.
Scherzer shook off a couple of poor outings by tossing a game last time out. He allowed only four hits and one run through seven complete innings. With that result, he's now 4-1 with a very solid 3.20 ERA and 1.263 WHIP in eight home starts. He's averaging 6 1/3 innings in his starts here and has allowed just three home runs in 50 2/3 home innings. At home, he has an impressive 40 K's with only 15 walks. Not surprisingly, five of his eight starts here have fallen below the total.
After his last start, Scherzer noted: "I really just executed better pitches. I was able to keep my slider down in the zone, my fastball down in the zone and a couple balls they hit hard found gloves."
Scherzer's certainly capable of stringing together strong starts. Keep in mind that he began the season by going 6-0 with a 2.81 ERA.
While he struggled at Cleveland, note that Scherzer pitched a gem in his lone career home start vs. Cleveland. In that outing, which came last August, he allowed two runs (only one was earned) on just four hits, through seven complete innings. He had 8K's and the Tigers won 5-2.
The Tigers are well aware that Talbot is also capable. In his last two starts against the Tigers (both last season) Talbot allowed only one run through 12 complete innings. He had 9K's and just two walks in those games, which finished with scores of 4-0 and 2-1.
Speaking of low-scoring games, Talbot has pitched well recently but has got no run support. Literally. The Indians have provided him with ZERO runs his last two starts. Talbot allowed just two runs in each start but went 0-2, suffering 4-0 and 2-0 losses. Those starts came against New York and Texas, so to allow just two runs in each was impressive. Talbot's 1.33 ERA in his three road starts is even more impressive.
Even with yesterday's result, the UNDER remains a healthy 12-6 the last 18 times that the Tigers were a host in this series. I expect those stats to improve here. *10
|06-15-11||Baltimore Orioles v. Toronto Blue Jays UNDER 8.5||Top||1-4||Win||102||8 h 45 m||Show|
I'm playing on Baltimore and Toronto to finish UNDER the total. Yesterday's series opener was high-scoring. We should see some much better pitching here though.
Romero has seen the UNDER go 7-5-1 in his 13 starts. He's got a very solid 3.08 ERA and 1.027 at home for the season. Last time out, at KC, he allowed three runs in eight complete innings. He took the loss - but it wasn't his fault; the final score finished at 3-2.
Note that Romero has seen the UNDER go 5-3-1 in nine starts vs. Baltimore.
Arrieta goes for the Orioles and he's been excellent in his two starts vs. the Jays. He's 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 1.167 WHIP in those two games, allowing just three runs through 12 innings.
Last time out, Arrieta allowed only two hits through seven shutout innings. The UNDER is 1-0-2 his last three starts, each of them finishing with eight runs or less.
I mentioned that all three of Arrieta's recent starts finished with eight or fewer lines as this O/U line has climbed above the eight mark, which is what it opened at.
The UNDER is a profitable 75-55-4 when the O's have faced a southpaw starter the past few seasons. I look for those stats to improve here and feel that the line move has provided us with outstanding value. *10
|06-15-11||Cincinnati Reds v. Los Angeles Dodgers -121||Top||7-2||Loss||-121||5 h 2 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA DODGERS. The Reds have taken the first two games of this series. The Dodgers haven't been swept here by the Reds in more than seven years though. I look for them to avoid that 'feat' this afternoon.
These same two pitchers, Billingsley and Wood, squared off against each other at Cincinnati, on June 5th. Not only did Billingsley outpitch Wood (Billingsley wasn't great, but Wood was terrible) in that game, but he even had three RBIs, courtesy of a home run and a bases loaded walk. I expect him to also get the better of Wood here at LA.
While he's had some trouble on the road and struggled at Colorado last time out, in six home starts, Billingsley has an outstanding 1.71 ERA. He's averaged seven complete innings per start in those games and has an impressive 43 K's (only 13 walks) in 42 innings here. For the season, he's allowed only six home runs in 14 starts. In his last home start, he limited the Rockies to one run through seven complete innings, earning a 7-1 victory.
It should also be noted that Billingsley has been significantly better when pitching during the day. Opposing batters are hitting a mere .219 against him during the afternoon, as compared to .304 during the evening.
Wood is off a quality start last time out, as he allowed only two runs through eight innings. A closer look reveals that he was "playing with fire" in that game, as he gave up 11 hits and walked three batters. Normally, 14 baserunners would translate to more than two runs. Either way, he's now given up 19 hits and walked eight batters. For the season, he's got a 5.38 ERA and 1.506 WHIP.
Opposing batters are hitting .300 during the afternoon against Wood, who threw a season-high number of pitches last time out.
After facing right-handed starters in six straight games, the Dodgers should be happy to see a southpaw. Including the earlier win over Wood, they're 11-7 against left-handed starters.
The Dodgers are 3-0 in Billingsley's three career home starts vs. the Reds. Billingsley allowed just five combined runs in 18 2/3 innings, striking out 21 and walking only four. LA won by scores of 8-5, 6-2 and 4-1. More of the same this afternoon. *10
|06-12-11||Cincinnati Reds v. San Francisco Giants -111||Top||2-4||Win||100||10 h 50 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN FRANCISCO. The Giants got embarrassed (10-2) in yesterday's game. The fact that they were blown out with Lincecum on the mound may have made the loss sting even more. Either way, I expect them to bounce back and salvage the series split.
Sanchez gets the call and he's got a solid 3.51 ERA on the season. At home, his ERA dips to 3.27. In 33 innings here, he's got an impressive 39 K's. The Giants are a profitable 4-2 (+1.6) in his home starts this season and they're 7-2 his last nine starts here, dating back to last September. Since last May of last season, the Giants are 12-6 in Sanchez's last 18 home starts.
While he's admittedly had some control issues of late, Sanchez has still managed to allow three earned runs or less in each of his last three starts. In fact, looking back further and we find that Sanchez has allowed three or fewer earned runs in 10 straight home starts, allowing two or less in eight of those.
While Sanchez has been consistently solid at home, Volquez has consistently struggled on the road. Indeed, in six road starts he's got a terrible 6.56 ERA and 1.885 WHIP. He averaged a mere 3.9 innings in those six games and the Reds were 2-4 (-2).
While he was sharp in his last start, that was at home. Note that Volquez has a terrible 8.31 ERA and 2.077 WHIP in three starts vs. the Giants.
The Giants are 2-0 in Sanchez's two home starts vs. the Reds. They won those games by a combined score of 19-6. I expect them to get it done again here. *10
|06-12-11||Kansas City Royals v. Los Angeles Angels -145||Top||9-0||Loss||-145||5 h 0 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA ANGELS. I won with the Angels yesterday, as they earned a much-needed 7-5 win. That victory snapped a losing streak and now I look for the Angels to build some positive momentum from it.
Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia had a "closed door pregame meeting" with a few of his stars. Torii Hunter said this: "Man, he cursed us out. It was pretty bad. The words he used in there really hurt our feelings, but it actually pumped us up to keep going. He really cursed me out. It wasn't fun. But I appreciate that meeting. Today we had a lot of fight. We got better swings from everybody and played the game the right way. It was a lot of fun. That's what we have to continue doing."
Chatwood is 3-3 with a 3.79 ERA in 12 starts. At home, he's 2-2 with a very solid 3.22 ERA.
Chatwood figures to have a "score to settle" with the Royals. That's because he just dominated them on 6/1, (at KC) tossing 7 2/3 shutout innings but had to settle for a no-decision. He has a 0.00 ERA and 0.913 WHIP from that outing.
Chatwood figures to get better run support here. Mazzaro has a 5.92 ERA and 1.685 WHIP in three starts vs. the Angels, most recently a 7-4 loss last September. This season, he's got an awful 8.00 ERA and 2.111 WHIP in two starts. Overall, including a relief appearance, Mazzaro has a brutal 17.47 ERA, having given up 22 runs in 11 1/3 innings.
The Royals are 54-71 (-5.6) their last 125 "day" games. During that stretch, the Angels are an outstanding 77-45 (+33.5) when playing during the afternoon. They should pad those stats here. *10 (Personal Favorite)
|06-11-11||Kansas City Royals v. Los Angeles Angels -138||Top||5-7||Win||100||11 h 49 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA ANGELS. Many bettors tend to stay off teams that are on extended losing streaks. However, its always been my opinion that winning and losing streaks need to be considered but that each game also needs to be looked at individually. Often, the team on a losing streak will have an advantage and can be had a far more reasonable price than we might find, if not for the skid. Yesterday, I won with the Marlins, a team which was on an 8-game losing streak. Today, I expect the Angels to be the team which snaps their current 6-game slide.
If motivation counts for anything, the Angels figure to be extremely hungry. Not only are they desperate for a victory but they've also already lost the season series vs. the Royals (first time since 2007) and they can't afford to keep losing to this team.
The Angels were beaten by Paulino on June 1st but are now seeing him for the second time in 11 days. Paulino has pitched well so far for the Royals but keep in mind that he's still only made two starts here. He was 0-4 with a 7.36 ERA and 2.05 WHIP in 18 relief appearances this season, while with the Rockies.
Admittedly, Pineiro has cooled off a bit from his blazing start. However, he's still giving his team a chance to win every time that he takes the mound. In fact, he's allowed four earned runs or less in 11 straight starts and 19 of 20. Additionally, he's gone at least six complete innings in six straight starts, going more than six innings in five of those. Looking back further finds that Pineiro has gone at least six complete innings in 19 of his last 20 starts. (The only one that he didn't saw him go 5 2/3 shutout innings, en route to an 11-0 win over Boston on 5/5.)
Speaking of 11-0 victories, Pineiro's last home start vs. the Royals (and only home start as an Angel vs. KC) resulted in an 11-0 victory. Pineiro tossed seven shutout innings. Overall, his teams (LA, STL and Seattle) are 5-2 in his seven career home starts vs. KC. Pineiro went at least six complete innings in all seven of those and at least seven complete innings in each of the last six. He also allowed three or fewer earned runs in ALL seven games. In fact, he allowed just eight total earned runs in those seven games, a span of 50 innings. That translates to a 1.44 ERA!
I expect Pineiro to outlast Paulino in this one and for the Angels to bounce back, improving to 9-3 the last 12 times that they were a host in this series. *10
|06-11-11||Oakland A's v. Chicago White Sox UNDER 8||Top||2-3||Win||100||9 h 36 m||Show|
I'm playing on Oakland and Chicago to finish UNDER the total. Yesterday's series opener was high-scoring. However, I expect a very well-pitched affair this evening.
Gonzalez is only 5-4 on the season but has a very stingy 2.62 ERA. He's made five road starts and has a 2.84 ERA in those games. He hasn't gotten much run support in those games though and that's led to the UNDER going 4-1. Note that Gonzalez has only allowed one home run on the road all season, a span of more than 31 innings.
Gonzalez's last two starts have both fallen below the total. Also, while he hasn't faced Chicago this season, both his 2010 starts vs. the White Sox stayed below the number. His most recent start vs. the White Sox saw him allow just four hits through six shutout innings. He didn't receive a decision but the A's won 3-0.
Danks is a terrible 1-8 on the season. However, that victory came in his last start and he's pitched far better than his record indicates, particularly here at home. In fact, he's got a solid 3.24 ERA in six home starts this season.
Last time out, Danks allowed just one unearned run through 7 1/3 innings. He ended up earning the 3-1 win. Having "gotten the monkey off his back," I look for Danks to follow it up with another strong effort here. The fact that the A's hit only .229 on the road (and average only 3.3 runs on the road) should make things easier.
Danks is 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA vs. Oakland. He faced the A's once earlier this season and allowed just five hits and one run through eight complete innings. I expect a relatively low-scoring affair, with the UNDER improving to 35-24-1 the last 60 times that the A's played on the road with a line ranging in the +100 to +125 range. *10
|06-10-11||Arizona Diamondbacks v. Florida Marlins -152||Top||4-6||Win||100||14 h 29 m||Show|
I'm playing on FLORIDA. The Marlins desperately need a victory and I feel that today's pitching matchup will provide them with the perfect opportunity to get one.
Sanchez checks in with a 5-1 record and a superb 2.97 ERA and 1.157 WHIP.
While he is coming off a strong outing (home game vs. Washington) last time out, Saunders is still 3-5 and still has a 4.31 ERA and 1.438 WHIP on the season.
Saunders made one start vs. Florida this season and he gave up four runs and allowed nine Marlins to reach base (7 hits, 2 walks) in six innings.
Sanchez was much better in this season's lone start vs. the Diamondbacks. He allowed two runs through eight innings, earning a 5-2 victory. Note that he had 8 K's and walked only one.
Over the past few seasons, the Marlins have gone 24-13 (+3.2) when listed as home favorites in the -150 to -175 range. During that stretch, they're also 70-47 (+22.6) against southpaw starters. I expect them to bounce back and improve on those stats here. *10
|06-09-11||Washington Nationals v. San Diego Padres -125||Top||3-7||Win||100||11 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO. The Padres have dominated this series here at San Diego. In fact, their 15-5 the last 20 series meetings here, including 13-5 since the Nationals (Expos) moved from Montreal to Washington. That includes a 6-1 mark the last seven meetings here and a 9-2 mark the last 11. I expect them to continue that domination tonight, starting the series with a victory.
The Padres are a highly profitable 9-3 (+7) when Harang starts. Harang has a 3.48 ERA at home for the season and a 2.75 ERA (1.271 WHIP) his last three starts overall. Note that Harang has a 1.93 ERA in his last three starts vs. Washington.
On the other hand, Hernandez is 0-5 with a poor 5.10 ERA and 1.677 WHIP on the road. The Nats are a money-burning 0-7 in those games. Note that Hernandez is 0-2 with a 5.47 ERA in his last four starts against the Padres and 0-5 with a 5.44 ERA at Petco Park.
While neither team typically hits that well (Padres are hitting .231, Nats are hitting .230) the Padres figure to have an edge in the bullpen department. Even after a rare blown save by their closer yesterday, San Diego relievers still have a combined 2.38 ERA and 1.123 WHIP. Washington's bullpen numbers are also solid (3.30 ERA, 1.283 WHIP) but not as good. Note that San Diego's bullpen numbers aren't just a product of pitching at Petco either, as the stats are very similar on the road as to what they are at home.
Overall, the Padres have won 22 of 28 home starts in this series. I expect them to improve on those stats here. *10
|06-09-11||St. Louis Cardinals v. Houston Astros UNDER 8.5||Top||9-2||Loss||-107||9 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on St. Louis and Houston to finish UNDER the total. After a high-scoring (7-4) opener, yesterday's game finished with a score of 4-1. I expect another relatively low-scoring affair this evening.
Happ is on an extended losing streak. That hasn't been entirely his fault though. Since his last victory (3-0 win over the Mets on 5/14) Happ has posted a very solid 3.13 ERA. However, the Astros are 0-3 in those games.
Over his last three starts, Happ has a superb 2.65 ERA and 1.118 WHIP. The Astros scored just seven combined runs in those games though. Happ's last two starts both stayed below the total. They had scores of 4-2 and 3-1. For the season, Happ has a 2.70 ERA and 1.173 WHIP at home, averaging greater than six innings per start.
Note that four of Happ's six starts vs. the Cardinals have also fallen below the total.
Lance Lynn goes for the Cards. His ERA from his first start admittedly weren't too good. However, a closer look shows that he retired the first 10 batters which he faced, which is quite impressive. Also, he still only allowed four hits and didn't walk a batter.
Lynn was quoted as saying: "I felt good and it's good to get it under my belt. I need to keep pushing and fighting to get deeper into games."
Lynn, who has solid minor league numbers, knows this is his shot. If he tosses a gem, he may get to stay up. The Astros aren't a great hitting club and he'll have the advantage of seeing them for the first time. I expect him to deliver a decent effort.
The UNDER is 45-27-1 the past few seasons, when the Astros played a home game with an O/U line of 8 or 8.5. I expect those stats to improve here. *10
|06-08-11||Boston Red Sox v. New York Yankees -124||Top||11-6||Loss||-124||8 h 24 m||Show|
I'm playing on the NEW YORK YANKEES. The Red Sox put up three in the top of the first inning yesterday and never looked back, eventually earning a 6-4 victory. Today, I expect the Yankees to bounce back with and even up the series.
Burnett had been really struggling on the road for some time. In fact, before his last start, he was 0-5 with a 5.64 ERA in his previous 11 road starts. He changed that last time out though, "getting the monkey off his back" with a solid victory at Oakland. Now, he returns home, where he's been pitching well all season. I look for him to keep the positive momentum going for another start.
Burnett is 5-1 with a very solid 3.63 ERA and 1.142 WHIP at home. He's averaging greater than six innings per start here. His teams are also 5-1 his last six home starts in the month of June.
Burnett has only made one home start vs. the Red Sox, as a member of the Yankees. He tossed 7 2/3 shutout innings in that 8/7/2009 game, leading the Yankees to a 2-0 victory.
The Red Sox won Wakefield's last road start. However, they're still 3-7 his last 10 away from Fenway. They're also 2-5 in his last seven road starts vs. the Yankees, dating back to 2005. Overall, the Red Sox are an ugly 5-11 in Wakefield's last 16 starts vs. the Yankees.
The Red Sox check in with at 5-9 (-5.4) the last 14 times that they played a road game with an O/U line of 10 or 10.5. During that stretch, the Yankees have gone 37-18 when playing a home game with an O/U line of 10 or 10.5. With Burnett getting the better of Wakefield, I expect them to pad those stats here. *10
|06-07-11||Arizona Diamondbacks v. Pittsburgh Pirates UNDER 7.5||Top||5-8||Loss||-105||9 h 38 m||Show|
I'm playing on Pittsburgh and Arizona to finish UNDER the total. Nine of the Diamondbacks' last 12 visits to Pittsburgh have fallen below the total. With a pair of capable starters, both backed by solid bullpens, and facing a pair of weak-hitting lineups, I'm expecting another relatively low-scoring affair in this evening's series opener.
Correia is currently in excellent form. Indeed, he's 3-0 with a terrific 1.80 ERA his last three starts. He's 8-4 with a very solid 3.45 ERA and 1.216 WHIP on the season. Not bad for a guy pitching on the Pirates.
Correia hasn't been beating himself. In his last three starts, he's only walked four batters and he hasn't allowed a single home run.
While he hasn't been all the dominant his last couple of times out, Hudson remains an outstanding 6-1 with a very solid 3.46 ERA in his last eight starts. He's also got a 1.42 ERA and 0.79 WHIP in his lone start vs. the Pirates, a game which stayed below the total.
The Pirates are hitting an awful .219 at home, averaging a mere 3.2 runs per game here. Not surprisingly, the UNDER is 15-10-1 here.
The Dbax haven't hit much better on the road than the Pirates have at home. They're hitting only .239 away from Arizona, averaging just 3.9 runs. They've seen the UNDER go 15-11-1 on the road.
Both teams had yesterday off, so both bullpens come in with a little rest. Note that the Pirates' relievers have a combined 2.93 ERA at home while the Arizona relievers have a combined 2.78 ERA on the road. (Both those ERA's are excellent.)
Speaking of yesterday's "off day," note that the UNDER is a combined 11-3 (5-1 and 6-2) when these teams had the previous day off. I expect more of the same here. *10
|06-06-11||Seattle Mariners v. Chicago White Sox -105||Top||1-3||Win||100||10 h 46 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. I'm well aware that Danks is winless in the season. Part of that's been his fault. However, he does deserve to have at least a couple of victories, particularly here at home, where he's still got a respectable 3.93 ERA in five starts, averaging 6.9 innings per outing. Danks' recent starts have come at Toronto and at Texas - a pair of venues which can be difficult on starters. In his most recent home outing, he held the Rangers to four hits and two earned runs, through 6 1/3 innings. Danks didn't factor in the decision but the White Sox won 4-3.
Danks figures to be "licking his chops" about the chance to face the Mariners. True, Seattle has been better lately. However, this is still a team which really struggles vs. southpaw starters. Indeed, the M's are just 5-11 (-7) vs. left-handed starters. In those games, they're hitting a mere .215 while averaging only 3.2 runs - an on-base-percentage of only .269. Going back further finds Seattle at an awful 47-77 (-29.2) vs. southpaw starters.
Admittedly, Pineda has been excellent for the Mariners. There's not much he can do when his team doesn't hit though - and he can't be thrilled that his team is taking on another southpaw. In his last start, he Pineda was opposed by a southpaw starter (Matusz) and the M's didn't help him out at all. Pineda pitched well but Seattle still lost 2-1.
The White Sox didn't have to travel yesterday, as they played right here at Chicago. On the other hand, the M's had to travel from the Pacific-Northwest across the country to get here.
Like Danks, Chicago should be happy to see Seattle. The White Sox are 11-2 the last 13 meetings in this series and they're a commanding 12-1 the last 13 times that they hosted the M's. They're also 4-1 in Danks' last five starts against Seattle. Danks went AT LEAST 7 2/3 innings in ALL five of those starts and allowed just five combined earned runs, a span of 39 2/3 innings. That's a 1.13 ERA! I expect Danks to be at his best and for the Sox to bounce back and continue their dominance in this series. *10
|06-05-11||Minnesota Twins v. Kansas City Royals -149||Top||6-0||Loss||-149||4 h 36 m||Show|
I'm playing on KC. The Twins have grabbed the first three games of this 4-game series. This afternoon, I fully expect the Royals to bounce back and avoid the sweep.
Three straight wins will certainly fix a lot of problems. That said, the Twins are still a mess. Prior to this series, they'd dropped 10 of their previous 12 games and were already 0-3 on their 10-game road trip. They're dealing with major injury issues.
The Twins have held the Royals to two runs in each of the first three games. With Brian Duensing on the mound, KC should get significantly more than that here.
Duensing hasn't won since April. He's 0-5 with a terrible 7.39 ERA his last seven starts, all seven of them resulted in Minnesota losses. Last time out, he gave up 11 baserunners (9 hits, 2 walks) and six runs in just 4 2/3 innings.
Surely, Duensing desperately wants to bounce back with a better outing. Confidence is important in pitching though (as it is in everything) and Duensing's confidence level currently isn't very high.
He was quoted as saying: "It's getting to the point where it's not very fun, I'll tell you that much. It feels like every time you come to the ballpark, it's a new day, but with the way things are going, for me personally, it's tough. You used to come to the ballpark and be excited to be here, but now it's really hard."
While Duensing has enjoyed success against KC in the past, the Royals will be seeing him for the third time already this season (they had 10 baserunners in each of the first two games) and the fourth time since last September. In other words, they're very familiar with him.
On the other hand, the Twins aren't nearly so familiar with Francis. Francis opposed Duensing at Minnesota on 4/12 (Royals have since seen Duensing, Twins have not seen Francis since) and was arguably better - neither got the decision. Before that, the Twins hadn't seen him since 2008. Note that both Francis' career starts vs. Minnesota were of the quality variety.
Not surprisingly, Francis is currently in much better form than Duensing. He's 2-0 with a 3.48 ERA his last three starts. In seven home starts, he's got a very solid 3.09 ERA and 1.243 WHIP, averaging 6 2/3 innings per starts.
For the season, the Royals' bullpen stats are far superior than the Twin's bullpen stats.
This will be the first "all southpaw" matchup of the 4-game series, as the Twins have sent right-handers to the mound for each of the first three games. That figures to also favor KC. The Royals are averaging 5.8 runs and hitting .279 vs. lefty starters. On the other hand, the Twins are hitting .251 and averaging 3.3 runs vs. southpaw starters.
The Royals are 13-7 (+3.6) the last 20 times that they were listed as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range and I look for them to bounce back with a convincing victory to avoid the sweep here. *10 (Personal Fav)
|06-04-11||Atlanta Braves v. New York Mets +1.5||Top||0-5||Win||100||9 h 54 m||Show|
I'm playing the NEW YORK METS on the run-line (+1.5 runs). I've won with the Braves numerous times when Jurrjens has pitched and I'm
well aware that he's been enjoying an excellent season. However, nearly everyone else knows about Jurrjens' success now too, particularly with him having just been named the "NL Pitcher of the Month" for May. That's caused the Braves to be favored on the road, despite going up a Mets team which is undefeated on the season with Dillon Gee in the mound. More importantly, that's given us a relatively reasonable price on the home underdog at +1.5 runs, which is what I'll be playing on.
There really aren't too many bad things one can say about Jurrjens right now. Not only is he in excellent current forum, but he's also enjoyed success vs. the Mets. That said, athletes can often be a bit superstitious and Jurrjens' comments about returning to Citi Field leave the impression that he may be a little "nervous" about pitching here.
You may recall that Jurrjens suffered a torn meniscus during a side session last September and that injury stopped him from being able to play in the playoffs.
Jurrjens was quoted as saying: "It's going to be awkward going out there to warm up. Things happen for a reason."
Thoughts like that could potentially throw off a pitcher...
While I won't count on that, I will count on another strong performance from Dillon Gee. He hasn't gotten the publicity of Jurrjens but he's certainly been getting it done. Last time out, he allowed three runs through seven innings, striking out eight and walking only one. The Mets won 7-3. With that result, New York is now a perfect 7-0 (+7.8) in games started by Gee this season.
Gee has been at his best at home, too. In four starts here, Gee is 3-0 with a 2.42 ERA. Not quite as dominating as Jurrjens' numbers - but not that far off either. Note that Gee's got an outstanding 0.774 WHIP his last three starts, meaning he's not allowing many baserunners at all.
Note that Gee is already 1-0 against the Braves this season, beating Hanson at Atlanta. Also, before getting hurt in the warm-up here last September, Jurrjens' previous start here saw him suffer a 3-1 loss. Jurrjens walked four batters in that game, while only striking out three. That gives him 11 walks his last three starts vs. NY.
I do think the Mets have an excellent shot at the outright win. After all, they're 7-0 with Gee on the mound. However, in a game where runs will likely be at a premium, getting an extra run to work with could make the difference, particularly given that the Braves entered this series having played five consecutive one run games. *10 Personal Favorite on NY +1.5
|06-04-11||Toronto Blue Jays v. Baltimore Orioles UNDER 8.5||Top||3-5||Win||100||9 h 40 m||Show|
I'm playing on the Jays and Orioles to finish UNDER the total. Yesterday's series opener finished above the total, which continued a streak of "overs" in Toronto games. The Orioles entered the series having seen five of their previous six games finish with eight or fewer runs though, with those games averaging just 6.5 runs. I expect today's game to be of the low-scoring variety.
Romero has been very solid this season and he's currently in excellent form. Over his last three starts, he's got an outstanding 1.71 ERA, averaging a healthy seven innings per start. In his last road start, he went to Yankee Stadium and held the Yankees to one run through seven innings. Including that gem, he's got a 2.65 ERA in five road starts, three of which stayed below the number.
Note that the UNDER is a perfect 4-0 in Romero's four starts here at Baltimore. Last season's lone start here saw Romero allow two runs, but both were unearned. Even still, the final score (4-2) stayed comfortably below the total.
Admittedly, Arrieta's overall numbers aren't nearly as good as Romero's numbers. I expect him to pitch well today though. Arrieta was solid in his last home start. In that one, he allowed just two runs through six complete innings. He gave up only five hits and had seven K's with three walks.
Arrieta was even better in his lone start vs. the Jays. That came last September and saw him limit Toronto to just four hits through six shutout innings. He had 5 K's with only one walk.
The Orioles are hitting just 0.233 against southpaw starter, averaging a mere 3.3 runs in those games. Not surprisingly, the UNDER is 73-53-3 the past few seasons, when they've taken on a left-handed starter. I expect those stats to improve here, as the Jays run of 'overs' comes to an end. *10
|06-03-11||New York Yankees v. Los Angeles Angels -150||Top||2-3||Win||100||12 h 48 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA ANGELS. The Yankees enter tonight's game on a 4-game winning streak. That winning streak has been due in large part to some dominating starting pitching. However, its the Angels who should have a significant advantage in that department tonight.
Over his past four starts, Ivan Nova has lasted a total of just 18 2/3 innings. (That's an average of just 4 2/3 innings per outing.)
During that stretch, he's allowed a whopping 16 runs (12 of them earned) and 30 hits, walking eight. That translates to an ugly 5.79 ERA and an awful 2.04 WHIP! Those kind of numbers aren't going to cut it, when matched up against LA's Jered Weaver.
Weaver wasn't all that dominant in May overall. However, he closed the month in high style, as he tossed nine innings of shutout baseball last time out, allowing just two hits.
While he hasn't earned a "W" in some time, Weaver is still 6-4 with a superb 2.10 ERA on the season. He's been at his best at home, too.
In four starts here, he's gone 2-1 (Angels are 3-1) with an outstanding 1.82 ERA.
Weaver has an excellent K/W ratio (47 K's and 10 walks here at home) and opposing batters are hitting a mere .197 against him.
The fact that Weaver closed out May with an exceptional performance comes as no big surprise, given his numbers at this time of the year. Indeed, he's 15-5 with a stellar 2.84 ERA in June.
The Angels are 13-7 in Weaver's last 20 home starts. While Nova's been averaging less than five innings per outing recently, Weaver went at least six complete innings in ALL 20 of those starts, going at least seven complete innings in 13 of his last 16 here.
The Angels are 14-6 the last 20 and 20-8 the last 28 times that they hosted the Yankees, including 3-0 in Weaver's home starts against them. All things considered, I feel the price is more than fair. *10 Personal Favorite
|06-03-11||Minnesota Twins v. Kansas City Royals -143||Top||5-2||Loss||-143||9 h 14 m||Show|
I'm playing on KANSAS CITY. Minnesota won big in yesterday's series opener, earning an 8-2 victory. Things still aren't well for the Twins and their fans though. Even with yesterday's result, the Twins are still an ugly 18-37 overall. Injuries have played a significant role. On the other hand, the Royals remain a respectable 19-15 here at Kansas City. I expect them to bounce back with a victory to even up the series here.
Already without Joe Mauer, Francisco Liriano, Joe Nathan, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Glen Perkins and Kevin Slowey, the injury-riddled Twins have now added Jim Thome and Jason Kubel to the DL.
Manager Ron Gardenhire noted: There's not much we can do about it. Other guys will have to step up. It's not the same team we thought we had in spring training. We'll just have to find ways to win with the guys we've got."
Pavano goes for Minnesota and he's been a big part of the team's problems. Last time out, he gave up 10 hits and five runs, four of them earned. He took the loss as the Twins went down 6-5. That brought him to 2-5 with a poor 5.19 ERA in 11 road starts. The Twins were 3-8 (-4.4) in those games. Pavano has been particularly brutal on the road. Indeed, he's 0-4 with a 7.41 ERA and 1.588 WHIP in six road starts, with Minnesota going 1-5.
Duffy goes for the Royals and he's been getting progressively better in each of his three starts. Last time out, he delivered a quality performance at Texas, cutting down his walks to one in the process.
Manager Ned Yost said this of Duffy: "His last two starts have been excellent. And his last start was by far his best. In his third start against Texas, he was focused, he was determined, he was confident."
While Duffy will have the advantage of facing Minnesota for the first time, the Royals have already rocked Pavano this season. In that "May Day Massacre" they hammered Pavano for 12 hits and 7 runs (6 earned) in 5 1/3 innings. KC won 10-3. With that result, Pavano has a terrible 6.37 ERA in 13 starts vs. the Royals.
The Royals are a solid 13-7 (+3.6) the last 20 times that they were listed as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range. I expect them to build on those stats here. *10
|06-02-11||Tampa Bay Rays v. Seattle Mariners -115||Top||2-8||Win||100||12 h 49 m||Show|
I'm playing on SEATTLE. These are both excellent pitchers and both have been very sharp this season. Shields allowed one less run than Hernandez last time out. He gave up three runs in seven innings. Hernandez also went seven innings, while giving up four runs. Those results may cause some bettors to favor Tampa. However, keep in mind that Hernandez was up against the Yankees, while Shields was up against Cleveland. Also, note that the Rays lost (7-3) Shields' start while the M's won (5-4) Hernandez's start vs. the Yankees. (Both pitchers were dominant in their previous start.)
Basically, while I have great respect for Shields is doing, I feel Hernandez is every bit as capable. Hernandez, the reigning AL Cy Young Award Winner, knows how well Shields has been pitching. He also knows this is his "home turf" and I expect him to be fully fired up to "defend" it and to show that he's still among the best pitchers in the game.
The fact that the M's provided Hernandez with more help (in the last game) than the Rays provided Shields isn't all that surprising, given how hot Seattle has been. Even with a tough 2-1 loss yesterday, the M's are still an impressive 11-3 their last 14.
In fact, many might be surprised to know that, as of today, the M's are actually closer to a playoff spot than the Rays. Seattle is 1.5 games back off Texas in the West. Tampa is 2.5 back of the Yanks in the East, while also trailing Boston.
The Rays were blanked yesterday (3-0) and are 4-8 their last 12 games. Unlike the M's, who played here at Seattle yesterday, the Rays finished yesterday's game and then had to travel across the entire country to get here.
While the Rays haven't seen Hernandez since 2009, the M's got to see Shields a few times in 2010, which could provide them with a slight advantage. The last time they saw him (9/26/2010) the M's scored five earned runs against Shields and won 6-2.
Hernandez also gave up five runs the last time that the faced TB, which was on 8/7/2009. However, a closer look shows that only three of those runs were earned and that the M's still won. His only other 2009 start vs. TB saw Hernandez toss seven shutout innings en route to earning a 1-0 victory for Seattle - that came right here and it was against Shields. Including that result, the M's are a profitable 6-1 (+4.4) in Hernandez's seven starts against the Rays. Hernandez had a superb 2.42 ERA and 1.077 WHIP in those games. Behind another big game from their ace, I expect the M's to be the team which bounces back with an important win. *10
|06-02-11||Pittsburgh Pirates v. New York Mets UNDER 7.5||Top||8-9||Loss||-115||3 h 56 m||Show|
I'm playing on Pittsburgh and New York to finish UNDER the total. With the teams combining for a dozen runs yesterday, two of the first three games of this series have finished above the number. Given the starting pitching matchup, I expect a much lower-scoring affair this afternoon though.
Its not easy to find pitchers with a 2-7 record which have pitched as well as Maholm. Through 11 starts, a span of 70 2/3 innings, he's got a stellar 3.18 ERA and 1.174 WHIP. Averaging better than six innings per outing, he's only given up four home runs. Last time out, pitching at Wrigley, he tossed a complete game 3-hit shutout - and didn't walk a batter. He was so dominant that he needed only 91 pitches for the entire game. That gives him a 2.18 ERA and 0.823 WHIP his last three starts.
Naturally, with those kind of numbers and a 2-7 W/L record, its clear that Maholm has not gotten much run support. The Pirates' offense came through for him last game, a 10-0 victory. However, that was the exception, rather than than norm. In fact, the UNDER is still a highly profitable 9-1-1 in his 11 starts.
While he's got a better W/L record, Pelfrey's overall numbers aren't as good as Maholm's. That's because Pelfrey has struggled away from New York though. At home, he's been excellent. In fact, in five starts here, he's gone 2-0 with a terrific 2.08 ERA and 1.067 WHIP. Last time out, he held a tough Philadelphia team to just four hits, through 7 2/3 innings. He allowed two runs, striking out six and walking only two. In his previous home start, he allowed on run through seven innings, a 2-1 game vs. Josh Johnson and the Marlins. Note that Pelfrey was also very good in both his starts vs. Pittsburgh last season.
Even including yesterday's result, the UNDER is still a solid 30-21-3 in Pittsburgh games. The Pirates have now gone 13 straight games where their starter has allowed two or fewer runs and I expect another well-pitched affair. *10
|06-01-11||San Diego Padres v. Atlanta Braves -185||Top||3-4||Win||100||9 h 30 m||Show|
I'm playing on ATLANTA. The Braves are heavy favorites here. However, given the situation, venue and starting pitching matchup, I feel that the price could easily be higher. Lets take a closer look.
The Braves figure to be extremely motivated for a victory. They've already lost the first two games of the series and they hit the road for a stretch of divisional games after this one. (Note that they don't have to travel all that far, as tomorrow's game is at New York.) The last thing that they need is to get swept by a "mediocre" San Diego team. I'm probably being generous by even calling the Padres mediocre. While they've managed to be successful on the road and so far in this series, they're still currently last in the NL West with a 24-31 record. Either way, the Padres know they play on the West Coast tomorrow. Having already "won the series," they may have the long trip home on the back of their minds.
Note that the Padres are still just 9-24 when playing in the evening.
The pitching matchup of Richard vs. Hanson figures to strongly favor the Braves. Richard is 2-5 with a 4.42 ERA and 1.424 WHIP. The Padres are a money-burning 3-8 (-5.3) in his starts. Take him away from pitcher-friendly Petco Park and his ERA jumps all the way up to 6.00 with a WHIP of 1.545. He's averaging just 5.5 innings in his six road starts and has only 18 K's with 15 walks. Five of his six home runs allowed have come on the road.
On the other hand, Hanson checks in with a 2.80 ERA and 1.072 WHIP. Clearly, he's been much better than his 5-4 record indicates. At home, his numbers dip to an ERA of 2.29 and a WHIIP of 1.019. In six starts here, he's allowed only two home runs and has an impressive 38 K's (only 12 walks) in 35 1/3 innings.
In addition to being the much better pitcher so far this season, Hanson has also had far more success against today's opponent than Richard. Hanson is 3-0 with a superb 1.78 ERA in four starts vs.
San Diego. In his last start against the Padres, he allowed just four hits through seven shutout innings, striking out 10 and walking one. The Braves won 7-0.
On the other hand, Richard is 0-3 with a terrible 7.91 ERA and 2.193 WHIP in three starts vs. Atlanta. The Braves won those three games by a combined score of 23-2, including a 6-1 blowout win when
Hanson and Richard went head-to-head last season. I expect Hanson to again get the better or Richard and for the Braves to bounce back and avoid the sweep. *10
|06-01-11||Cleveland Indians v. Toronto Blue Jays -114||Top||13-9||Loss||-114||8 h 53 m||Show|
I'm playing on TORONTO. The Indians won yesterday's game. The Jays still closed out May as the "hotter" team though, as they won four of their last five. Even with a win yesterday, the Indians have still dropped five of seven. I expect the Jays to bounce back and close out the homestand with a victory.
Drabek is again in excellent forum and he's typically very tough against teams which haven't faced him before, which is the case here. Drabek has a 2.75 ERA his last three starts, all of them of the "quality" variety. Last time out, he limited the White Sox to three hits through 8 2/3 innings. The Jays are a profitable 8-3 in his starts overall.
Admittedly, Tomlin has been very good overall this season. I successfully played against the Indians in his last start though, stating the following: "...Note that Tomlin doesn't strike out that many batters and that he had a 4.56 ERA last season. Like the Indians, I expect him to start to come back down to earth...." Tomlin proceeded to give up 10 hits, two of them home runs, in six innings. The Indians didn't give him any run support (lost 5-0) in that game and I don't expect him to get much here either.
The Indians' bullpen has been good. The Jays bullpen has been even better. The Indians offense averages 4.2 (.250 avg) runs per game on the road. The Jays average 5.1 (.271 avg) runs per game at home.
The Indians are 20-28 (-5.7) as road underdogs in the +100 to +125 range the past few seasons. During that stretch, the Jays are 35-21 (+11.7) as home favorites of -125 or less. Behind another quality start from Drabek, I expect the Jays to improve on those stats here. *10
|05-31-11||New York Yankees v. Oakland A's -125||Top||10-3||Loss||-125||19 h 48 m||Show|
I'm playing on OAKLAND. Its true that the Yankees have dominated the A's in recent seasons. Its also true that they won yesterday's series opener. That said, I feel that the A's will have an advantage on the mound tonight and I look for them to bounce back and snap a long skid vs. New York.
The A's are well aware of their recent history with New York and are extremely motivated to beat the Yankees. When asked of yesterday's loss and the A's overall futility vs. New York, Oakland second baseman Mark Ellis responded: "All I can say is we have two more games in this series..
Anderson delivered an absolute gem last time out. He held the Angels to three hits through eight shutout innings. The A's won 4-3. That gives him an outstanding 1.83 ERA and 1.068 WHIP his last three starts. The A's were 2-1 (+1) in those games.
Anderson has only made one home start vs the Yankees. The A's lost that one 3-2 but Anderson was solid, delivering a quality start. I expect him to get better run support here.
Garcia, 6-7 with a 5.30 ERA in 21 starts against the A's, is up in place of the injured Phil Hughes. He's been solid, arguably more so than his 3-4 record indicates. That said, he hasn't been quite as good as Anderson of late. He's 1-2 with a 4.34 ERA his last three starts.
While the Yankees won yesterday afternoon's game, they're just 16-20 (-11.8) when playing at night. The A's have still won five of their last seven. Behind another solid effort from Anderson, I look for them to bounce back and close the month with a victory. *10
|05-31-11||Cleveland Indians v. Toronto Blue Jays -172||Top||6-3||Loss||-172||9 h 53 m||Show|
I'm playing on TORONTO. Not too long ago, with a tough stretch against teams from the AL East coming up, I suggested that Cleveland was ready to "come back to earth." That's proven accurate, thus far. In fact, with yesterday's 11-1 "blowout" loss, the Indians have now lost five of their last six. They've been outscored by an 18-1 mark their past two games and by a 41-5 margin over the five losses. On the other hand, the Jays are rolling. With yesterday's big win, Toronto has now won four straight. Over that 4-game stretch, the Jays have outscored opponents by a whopping 37-15 margin. I feel that the much "hotter" home team will have the advantage again this evening.
Morrow gets the call for the Jays. Last time out, he put it all together, holding the White Sox to one run on four hits, through seven innings. The fact that Morrow has 48 K's in 39 innings shows what kind of dominating stuff he possesses.
While Morrow is coming off a gem, Talbot got rocked last time out, contributing to one of Cleveland's recent blowout losses. Indeed, he gave up 12 hits, while walking two and striking out only one, and eight runs, in only three innings.
While Talbot isn't probably as bad as that start suggests, keep in mind that this is still his second appearance since missing more than a month with an elbow strain. Also, keep in mind that he's below .500 for his career with a 4.88 ERA and 1.59 WHIP. Not very impressive.
In his lone start vs. the Jays, he gave up three home runs, to go along with four walks. Considering that Morrow has only given up one home run all season, Talbot could well be outclassed again here.
The Indians are just 12-23 (-9.2) the past few seasons, when having given up double-digits in runs in their previous game. During that stretch, the Jays are 15-6 (+5.2) when listed as home favorites in the -150 to -175 range. With Morrow getting the better of Talbot, I expect them to improve on those stats here. *3
|05-30-11||Pittsburgh Pirates v. New York Mets -119||Top||3-7||Win||100||9 h 43 m||Show|
I'm playing on the NY METS. I like how this one sets up for the home team. The Mets snapped a losing streak yesterday, closing out their series with the Phillies with a convincing 9-5 victory, banging out 17 hits in the process. Now, they can carry some positive momentum into this series. Of course, "stepping down in class" to face Pittsburgh, which they have dominated, shouldn't hurt either.
After yesterday's game, New York manager Terry Collins had this to say: "It was certainly a bust-out game for us offensively that we needed desperately. I just saw a more relaxed atmosphere."
The Pirates saw a small 2-game winning streak come to an end yesterday, as they failed to sweep the Cubs. They scored two runs in the 1st inning but didn't score another one the rest of the way, and lost 3-2. They only managed five hits the entire way. Even though the distance between Chicago and New York isn't great, the fact that yesterday's game at Wrigley was delayed by more than 2 1/2 hours, made for an extra long and frustrating afternoon, for the Pirates. It also dropped them to 54-135 (-48.3) on the road, the past few seasons!
Admittedly, Morton has been pitching very well. He's not quite as good away from Pittsburgh. For the season, he's got a solid 3.15 ERA and 1.369 on the road. Pretty impressive for a guy who was 2-12 with a 7.57 ERA last season. However, a closer look reveals that he's got 17 K's and 17 walks in those games (not very impressive) and that his road numbers aren't nearly as good as Dillon Gee's home stats.
Indeed, in three starts here, Gee has gone 2-0 with a super 1.89 ERA and 1.105 WHIP.
Also, note that Gee will have the advantage of starting against Pittsburgh for the first time, while the Mets have seen Morton last season. In that start, Morton lasted just five innings and gave up five hits and walked four, striking out only one. He was fortunate to only allow two runs, as evidenced by the high 1.80 WHIP. Still, the Mets won 6-2.
Overall, the Mets are a perfect 6-0 in Gee's six starts. Speaking of "perfect," they're also a perfect 7-0 the last seven times that they hosted the Pirates, winning by a combined score of 49-18. I expect the Mets to continue that dominance for another day. *10
|05-30-11||Cleveland Indians v. Toronto Blue Jays UNDER 8.5||Top||1-11||Loss||-109||8 h 8 m||Show|
I'm playing on Cleveland and Toronto to finish UNDER the total. After a hot start, the Indians bats have cooled off recently. Indeed, they're hitting less than .230 as a team the last six games, scoring only 14 combined runs. That's an average of only 2.33 runs per game. Yesterday, they were blanked completely, losing 7-0 to Tampa Bay. That's significant as we find the UNDER at 61-35-10 the last 106 times that the Indians were off a shutout loss. That includes a profitable 17-6-5 UNDER mark their last 28 in that situation.
Reyes doesn't have great overall numbers. However, he was very tough in his last start here at Toronto. Facing a struggling Cleveland offense, I feel he'll perform capably again today. In that outing, Reyes allowed just five hits through seven shutout innings, striking out seven while walking only one. In four starts here, he's got 17 K's with only four walks, allowing just one home run in those games.
Reyes, who will have the advantage of facing Cleveland for the first time and who should be highly motivated to finally earn a victory, has the support of a Toronto bullpen which has a stellar 2.65 combined ERA and 1.145 WHIP home.
Carmona allowed four runs last time out, losing 4-2. That's more runs than he would have liked to allowed. However, a closer look at the numbers show some really positive signs. Not only did he pitch eight complete innings, but he held the Red Sox to just five hits. He also had 7 K's with only one walk.
Carmona should be happy to see the Jays. He's 3-0 with a 3.21 ERA in five starts against Toronto. He rarely receives much run support though, as the Indians are providing him with just 3.21 runs per game this season.
The UNDER is 10-6 when the Jays have played a game with an O/U line of eight or 8.5 this season. That includes a 6-4 mark here at Toronto. I expect those stats to improve here, as this one proves lower-scoring than many will be expecting. *10
|05-29-11||Cincinnati Reds v. Atlanta Braves -136||Top||1-2||Win||100||9 h 15 m||Show|
I'm playing on ATLANTA. After the Reds grabbed Friday's series opener, the Braves bounced back with a 7-6 victory, in 12 innings, yesterday. I feel that result will favor the Braves and I look for them to follow it up with another win tonight.
The Braves jumped out to a 5-0 lead yesterday, only to see the Reds tie the game with five runs in the top of the 4th. Both teams scored one in the 5th and the game stayed tied 6-6 the rest of the way, right up until the bottom of the 12th.
Having blown the lead, a loss in that game could well have had a negative effect on the Braves. However, the fact that they managed the win should allow them to carry the positive momentum/energy into tonight's contest.
On the other hand, that loss figures to be rather deflating for the Reds, as they battled all the way back only to lose.
From a scheduling perspective, the 12 inning game also figures to hurt the Reds more. Prior to this series, the Braves had a day off. On the other hand, the Reds haven't had a day off in ages and played a 19-inning marathon vs. the Phillies, less than a week ago.
Even Dusty Baker acknowledged: "We're beat up right now. That 19-inning game, you're still seeing the effects of that."
While the Reds are now 2-9 their last 11, the Braves have now won 11 of their last 15 at home.
Cueto has admittedly been pretty good. That said, he's only made four starts and 15 K's with 8 walks isn't particularly impressive.
Jurrjens has made twice as many starts (8) and has even better numbers. In fact, he's 6-1 with a superb 1.56 ERA. While he has yet to beat the Reds, he did deliver a "quality start" (3 runs in 7 innings) in his lone home start against them.
Since that time, the Braves are 13-3 in Jurrjens' 16 home starts. He allowed three earned runs or less in all but two of those starts. That includes a 3-0 mark here this season. All things considered, I feel that the price is more than fair. *10
|05-29-11||Pittsburgh Pirates v. Chicago Cubs -140||Top||2-3||Win||100||4 h 59 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. After a 4-2 loss in Friday's series opener, the Cubs were embarrassed by a score of 10-0 yesterday. Off that humbling setback, today, I expect them to bounce back and avoid the sweep.
The Cubs are a profitable 19-13 the past few seasons, when off a double-digit loss in their previous game. Most recently, after losing 15-5 on 5/20, they bounced back with a 9-3 "upset" victory at Fenway, on 5/21. Including that result, the Cubs are a perfect 4-0 the last four times that they were off a loss of 10 or more runs.
Both starters have poor overall stats but both pitched well last time out. Pitching at home, Dempster limited the Mets to one run through seven complete innings. The Cubs won 11-1. Meanwhile, also pitching at home, Karstens held the Tigers to one run through six complete innings, en route to a 10-1 Pirates' victory.
Unfortunately, for Karstens, today's game isn't at Pittsburgh. He's made three road starts so far this season and has gone 0-1 with a terrible 6.75 ERA and 1.725 WHIP. Lasting just 13 1/3 combined innings in those three road starts, Karstens allowed a whopping six home runs! (Dempster has allowed 6 HRs at home, but has pitched 39 1/3 innings and made 6 starts)
The Cubs are 3-0 in Dempster's last three starts, winning by a combined score of 29-10. They're also 6-1 (+4.8) the last seven times that they were listed as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range. Having been embarrassed yesterday, I expect them to bounce back with a big effort and for them to improve on those stats this afternoon. *10
|05-29-11||Cleveland Indians v. Tampa Bay Rays -139||Top||0-7||Win||100||3 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on TAMPA. After the Rays won Friday's opener, the Indians bounced back with a victory yesterday. This afternoon, I expect it to be the Rays which bounce back and close out the series with a victory.
Both starting pitchers have excellent numbers. Masterson's overall numbers (2.50 ERA and 1.171 WHIP) are slightly better than Hellickson's 3.14 ERA and 1.238 WHIP. However, Hellickson's 2.14 ERA and 1.00 WHIP his last three starts are superior to Masterson's 3.37 ERA and 1.172 WHIP over his last three.
While the numbers are fairly similar, I expect Hellickson to have one significant advantage - he'll be starting against Cleveland for the first time, so the Indians are unfamiliar with him.
On the the other hand, Masterson is 1-4 (team is 1-5) with an an ugly 6.62 ERA and 1.613 WHIP in six career starts vs. the Rays. He just faced them on 5/12 and got rocked for five runs in 5 2/3 innings. It could have even been worse, as he gave up eight hits and walked four.
While they didn't win yesterday, the Rays saw Longoria go 2 for 4 with a solo homerun. He'd been slumping, so that's good news for the offense.
In his last start here, Hellickson tossed a complete-game 4-hit shutout. Last start notwithstanding, he's typically received a lot of run support. I expect that to be the case again this afternoon as the Rays bounce back and improve to 29-17 (+5.3) the past few seasons, when listed as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range. *10
|05-28-11||New York Yankees v. Seattle Mariners -134||Top||4-5||Win||100||11 h 24 m||Show|
I'm playing on SEATTLE. The Mariners won yesterday's series opener and have quietly put together an impressive run. In fact, they're now 8-1 their last nine games. With the reigning AL Cy Young Award Winner on the mound, I expect them to keep on rolling for at least another night.
Winning builds confidence and the M's are "feeling good" right now. As Seattle reliever David Pauley noted: "The way we've been playing lately we've been getting the breaks, we've been getting the big plays, the big hits. It's just rolling. We're playing well, we're playing together as a team and it's the little things that are making a big difference."
Hernandez checks in with a solid 3.01 ERA and 1.094 WHIP. He's got 77 K's in 77 innings, walking 21. He averages 7 2/3 innings here at home and the M's have gone 3-1 (+1.2) in his four starts here. Last time out, he was in top form. He allowed just one run in eight complete innings, striking out 13 and walking 0. He got the "W," the M's won by a score of 6-1. Note that he hasn't allowed a home run his last three games.
Nova's ERA (4.29) is "respectable." However, his WHIP (1.551) is on the high side. Additionally, his recent numbers have been poor. Over his last three starts, he's got a 4.80 ERA. That could be even worse, as his WHIP over that stretch is an ugly 2.00. (That means he's allowing two baserunners per inning, which won't cut it against "King Felix.")
Of course, the Yankees know all about how much Hernandez can dominate. In fact, Hernandez has a 0.51 ERA his last four starts against them - perhaps auditioning for a future big payday? The Mariners were 4-0 in those four games with Felix recording 34 K's in 35 innings. He allowed just two earned runs and Seattle won those games by a combined score of 20-3!
Due in large part to Hernandez's dominance, the M's are an impressive 18-8 (+10.6) the last 26 times that they played a game with an O/U line of seven or less. Behind another quality effort from their ace, I expect them to improve on those stats tonight. *10
|05-28-11||Arizona Diamondbacks v. Houston Astros -112||Top||11-3||Loss||-112||9 h 31 m||Show|
I'm playing on HOUSTON. The Diamondbacks rallied for a comeback victory (7-6) in yesterday's series opener. Today, however, I expect the Astros to have the advantage.
Having returned from the disabled list, Duke will be making his first start of the season and first start as a member of the Dbax. That's not necessarily good news for Arizona though. Indeed, Duke was just 8-15 with an awful 5.72 ERA for Pittsburgh last season. Going back further finds him at a dismal 27-53 the past four seasons. He hasn't had an ERA below four since 2005. Note that Duke pitched 5 1/3 innings in his final rehab start at Triple-AAA Reno, on Monday. He allowed five runs on seven hits in that game, so wasn't exactly dominant.
Also, note that Duke is 0-2 with a 4.38 ERA in four starts (five total outings) at Minute Maid Park.
Rodriguez was supposed to go for the Astros but he got scratched. That would have likely been "fine" for Houston, as Rodriguez has pitched well recently. However, I also feel that Bud Norris should be able to "take care of business."
Through 10 starts, Norris has a fairly respectable 3.77 ERA. However, that only tells part of the story. A closer look reveals that he's been terrible on the road but excellent here at home. In four road starts, he's 0-3 with a 6.55 ERA. Opposing hitters are batting a whopping .330 in those games. On the other hand, in six home starts, he's gone 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA. Opposing hitters are batting a mere .196 in those games. Norris has struggled vs. the Dbax but he's only ever pitched one inning against them here at Houston, back in 2009 - his last two starts against them came at Arizona. And, we've seen he's pitched very well here this season.
While they've been rolling recently, most of their success has come at home. The Dbax are still below .500 on the road, including a money-burning 2-8 (-5.6) mark as road underdogs in the +100 to +125 range.
While Duke would love to make a "triumphant return," I expect it to be the Astros which bounce back and even up the series. *10 (Personal Favorite)
|05-27-11||Cincinnati Reds v. Atlanta Braves -155||Top||5-1||Loss||-155||9 h 5 m||Show|
I'm playing on ATLANTA. I expect the Braves to have a number of advantages in this one. While they're fairly heavy favorites, I feel that the price could easily be much higher than it currently is. Lets check it out.
For starters, the Reds are 11-14 on the road. The Braves are 14-10 at home. The Braves are also currently playing better baseball. They've won three of four. The Reds have now dropped eight of nine.
In addition to having homefield advantage and being the "hotter" team, the Braves also have the schedule in their favor. While Atlanta had yesterday off, the Reds were busy getting thumped 10-4 by the Phillies. The Reds could have really used the day off too, as they were off a 19-inning marathon the previous day. That game ended at 1:19 am and then they had to play an early game the following day. The effects of those back to back losses still figure to "linger" here. Indeed, the Reds will now be playing their 15th game in 15 days.
After facing the likes of Hamels, Halladay and Lee at Philadelphia, the last thing the Reds needed was to see Tommy Hanson to start this series. Hanson checks in with a 4-0 record and a sparkling 2.09 ERA (44 K's) over his last six outings. In five home starts, Hanson is 3-1 with a superb 2.05 ERA and 0.946 WHIP. In his last game here, he allowed just three hits and one earned run through seven complete innings. He had 10 K's and 1 walk and earned a 3-2 victory.
The Reds have been struggling offensively - no surprise, given some of the pitchers they faced. Bruce has continued to hit well for them though and has helped to carry the load. They may not be able to count on much from him here though. Not only is he hitless vs. Hanson, but he's 1 for 21 with 9 K's, his last six games against Atlanta overall.
Leake, on the other hand, hasn't started in the majors since 5/3. He got rocked for seven runs in 3 2/3 innings in that outing and sent back down to the minors. He's got an ugly 5.77 ERA in six starts this season. Note that Leake allowed eight runs over 7 1/3 innings in two appearances at Louisville. So, he wasn't exactly dominating down there either!
The Braves have been excellent as home favorites of this size. In fact, they're 39-19 (+8.1) the past few seasons, when listed as home favorites in the -150 to -175 range. That includes a 6-1 mark (+4.4) their last seven in that role. With Hanson getting the better of Leake, I expect them to pad those stats, starting the homestand with a solid victory. *10
|05-27-11||Cleveland Indians v. Tampa Bay Rays -149||Top||0-5||Win||100||9 h 50 m||Show|
I'm playing on TAMPA BAY. I played against the Rays in each of their three games at Detroit. I went 2-0 with those three plays. The third was rained out. That postponement wasn't so good for me, as I was already winning 2-0 with the Tigers. It did, however, provide Tampa with a little good fortune though. Additionally, the Rays got to follow it up with a day off yesterday. Now well-rested, back at home and facing a team which they have dominated here, I expect them to get back on track.
Its true that the Indians have gotten off to a very good start. They dropped the final two games of the Boston series by a combined score of 18-4 though. Those losses may well prove to be a sign of what's to come over the next week, as the Indians plays six more consecutive games against teams from the AL East.
Playing here at Tampa has not been kind to the Tribe the past few seasons. Indeed, the Indians are just 2-10 their last 12 visits here. That includes a 1-5 mark last season. Note that the Indians are also a money-burning 12-22 (-8.2) the past 34 times that they allowed double-digits in runs in their previous game.
While the Rays initially may seem "expensive," keep in mind that they were laying a minimum of -195 (and as much as -260) for all six games here last season. Perhaps more importantly, keep in mind that the Rays are an outstanding 71-26 (+28.9) the last 97 times that they were listed as home favorites in the -150 to -175 range.
Admittedly, Tomlin has pitched very well for the Indians. He wasn't particularly "dominant" against the Rays, at Cleveland, a few weeks ago though. That was his first start against Tampa and he gave up six hits and three runs in six innings, which translates to a 4.50 ERA. He didn't factor in the decision. Note that Tomlin doesn't strike out that many batters and that he had a 4.56 ERA last season. Like the Indians, I expect him to start to come back down to earth.
On the other hand, Price "dominated" the Indians at Cleveland this season. In fact, he snapped the Indians' 14-game home winning streak, allowing just two runs on five hits, through eight complete innings. Price had 7 K's and 0 walks in that game. He's now 3-0 with a stellar 2.59 ERA in four starts against Cleveland. Tampa won the 5/11 game by a score of 8-2. The Rays have won Price's last three starts vs. the Indians by a combined score of 20-7.
The Rays are 13-7 in Price's last 20 home starts, including 3-1 his last four here. He threw shutouts of eight or more innings in two of his last four starts here.
The Rays, 6-2 their last eight home games against AL Central teams, can't afford to fall further behind in the ultra-competitive AL East. Behind another strong effort from Price, I expect them to start the series with a victory. *10
|05-26-11||Arizona Diamondbacks v. Colorado Rockies -159||Top||6-3||Loss||-159||10 h 2 m||Show|
I'm playing on COLORADO. The Diamonds are off back to back wins and have taken two of the first three meetings. Today, however, I expect the Rockies to bounce back and salvage the series split.
I successfully played against the Rockies in Mortenson's last start. However, even though Colorado lost (3-2) Mortensen still pitched well. He allowed just five hits and two earned runs through 6 2/3 innings. In six outings this season (3 starts) he now has an excellent 2.17 ERA and 1.034 WHIP.
Manager Jim Tracy said this of Mortensen: "He's been nothing short of terrific."
I played against the Rockies in Mortensen's last start in large part because I didn't expect Mortensen to get much run support. I don't feel that will be much of an issue here though. Not only do the Rockies hit better at home than they do on the road, but they'll be facing a pitcher making just his second start since 2009.
Owings spent all of last season as a reliever for the Reds. He wasn't effective. In 22 appearances, he had an ugly 5.40 ERA and 1.59 WHIP. The previous season, in 2009, he had 26 appearances, 19 of them starts. He was 7-12 with a 5.34 ERA and 1.59 WHIP. In the offseason, he signed a minor-league deal to return to the Diamondbacks organization. He made this season's first appearance with Arizona on 5/21 and proceeded to give up four runs (3 earned) in just 5 1/3 innings. During that stretch, he gave up seven hits, two of them home runs. That was against a Minnesota team which has really struggled, too.
While they did manage a 2-1 victory yesterday, the Dbax entered Wednesday's action hitting only .224 and averaging only 3.4 runs per game on the road. The Rockies, on the other hand, entered yesterday's action averaging 5.0 runs per game at home, hitting .255.
Note that the Dabx are a money-burning 21-36 (-9.3) the past few seasons, when playing a road game with an O/U line of nine or 9.5. During the same stretch, the Rockies are a lucrative 61-30 (+16) when playing a home game with an O/U line of nine or 9.5. With Mortensen getting the better of Owings, I look for the Rockies to improve on those stats here. *10
|05-26-11||Chicago White Sox v. Toronto Blue Jays UNDER 8||Top||3-1||Win||100||8 h 11 m||Show|
I'm playing on Chicago and Toronto to finish UNDER the total. The Jays saw all three of their games against the Yankees finish above the total. They're back home now though where three of their last four have finished below the number. I expect a well pitched affair.
Humber has been quite tough for the White Sox. Indeed, in eight starts, he's got an excellent 2.86 ERA and 0.894 WHIP. He hasn't gotten much run support though and as a result the UNDER has gone a highly profitable 7-1 in his eight starts, including a perfect 4-0 in his four road starts. I feel that lack of run support may well again be an issue for Humber here.
The White Sox are averaging a mere 3.6 runs, when playing during the evening, hitting only .236 in those games. Today, they'll face Brandon Morrow. Morrow's numbers admittedly aren't that great yet. However, he's got excellent stuff and is a very highly capable pitcher. The fact that he's got 43 K's in 32 innings shows how dominant he can be. I like that he's only allowed one home run in his six starts, none in his last three.
While the White Sox relievers have a "respectable" 3.89 ERA on the road, the Jays relievers have an excellent 2.83 ERA at home.
While the Sox have struggled to score during the evening, the Jays are hitting a mere .241 vs. right-handers, averaging only 4.2 runs. Those numbers are down considerably from their stats vs. southpaws.
The Sox have seen the UNDER go 27-17-2 the past few seasons, when listed as road underdogs in the +125 to +150 range. That includes a 3-1-1 UNDER mark their last five in that role. During that stretch, the Jays have seen the UNDER go 3-0 when listed as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range. I expect those numbers to get even better after tonight. *10
|05-25-11||Washington Nationals v. Milwaukee Brewers UNDER 7.5||Top||4-6||Loss||-110||3 h 35 m||Show|
I'm playing on Washington and Milwaukee to finish UNDER the total. The first two games of this series have each finished above the total, averaging 13.5 runs. I expect a much lower-scoring contest this afternoon.
For starters, note that neither team has hit particularly well during the afternoon. The Nationals, who rarely hit well no matter what the time of day, are hitting only .224 and averaging 3.6 runs, when playing during the afternoon. The Brewers are batting a mediocre .256 while averaging 4.2 runs during the day, stats which are down from their overall numbers at home.
Greinke gets the call. His overall numbers aren't admittedly that great yet. However, his K/W ratio is outstanding (In 21 2/3 innings over four starts, he's struck out 29 while walking only two!) and I believe its only a matter of time before he starts to really shine. Last time out, while he did allow four runs, he had 9 K's and 0 walks. Clearly, he's still capable of dominating hitters.
Facing Washington for the first time should provide an excellent opportunity to do just that. Note that Greinke did once face the Expos (back in 2004) and that he tossed seven shutout innings, allowing only three hits and 0 walks.
Marquis wasn't great last time out but had previously been off back to back quality starts. He faced the Brewers once already this season. In that 4/17 game, he allowed just two runs through seven complete innings, outpitching Gallardo.
Note that Marquis has been better during the afternoon than at night, both this season and during his career. Also, note that he's got a stellar 2.23 ERA in five career starts at Miller Park. I expect a well-pitched affair. *10
|05-24-11||Seattle Mariners v. Minnesota Twins UNDER 8||Top||2-4||Win||100||10 h 31 m||Show|
I'm playing on Minnesota and Seattle to finish UNDER the total. Yesterday's series opener was "over" by the bottom of the fourth inning. With both starting pitchers currently in excellent form. I'm expect a much lower-scoring affair this evening. (*I also feel that the O/U, which has now climbed from 7.5 to 8 at some shops, is providing us with very fair value.)
While the bats came alive yesterday, keep in mind that the Mariners entered this series hitting a mere .230 and averaging 3.5 runs per game. Not to be outdone, the Twins entered the series averaging 3.4 runs per game, hitting only .232.
Fister goes for Seattle. He's gone eight innings in each of his last two starts, allowing a total of three earned runs in that span.
Unfortunately, for Fister, the Mariners rarely provide him with any run support. That was the case last season and it has been again fairly regularly this season. He last start finished with a score of 2-1. Note that Fister also has a very respectable 3.66 ERA in three career matchups against Minnesota.
With Blackburn on the mound, Fister likely won't get that much help here tonight either. Blackburn has been very solid for the season and he's got a superb 1.71 ERA his last three starts 2-0 and has an even better 1.63 ERA in four starts this month. Last time out, he gave up just one run and five hits through seven complete innings.
Blackburn is also 2-1 with a 3.13 ERA in six career matchups against the Mariners and he held them to only two hits over 8 2/3 shutout innings in his last start against them. Coincidentally, Fister was the opposing pitcher that day. Fister allowed only one run through seven innings - but got no run support - and the final score finished at 1-0. I expect another well-pitched game. *10
|05-23-11||Cincinnati Reds v. Philadelphia Phillies -162||Top||3-10||Win||100||17 h 35 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. The Phillies are relatively high priced favorites here. However, given how many advantages they should enjoy, I feel that the price could easily be higher. Lets take a closer look.
For starters, the Phillies are currently playing better baseball. Even with a loss yesterday, they've still won two of three and three of five. On the other hand, the Reds have now lost five straight.
Next, the game is being played at Philadelphia. Naturally, that favors the home team. The Reds are 10-11 on the road. The Phillies are 16-9 here at Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies have also owned the Reds here. In fact, they've won eight straight home games in the series. The Phillies have shut out the Reds in four of the last five overall, winning seven straight.
Additionally, the Phillies have a better starting pitcher and also one who is currently in better current form. Hamels allowed one run in eight complete innings last time out, winning 2-1. For the season, he's 5-2 with a 2.92 ERA. Conversely, Arroyo allowed five runs last time out, losing 5-0. For the season, he's 3-4 with a 4.11 ERA.
Over his last three starts, Arroyo has 10 K's and 3 walks. By comparison, Hamels has 24 K's with just 3 walks in his last three starts.
Also, note that Hamels has also been MUCH better against today's opponent. In fact, he's dominated the Reds while Arroyo has been pounded by the Phillies.
Hamels has allowed only one run in 23 2/3 innings in winning all three of his career home starts against the Reds. That's a 0.38 ERA! The Phillies won those three games by a combined score of 28-1! Overall, Hamels is 7-0 (Phillies are 8-0) with a 0.90 ERA and 0.855 WHIP vs. the Reds.
On the other hand, Arroyo is 1-5 with a 5.32 ERA vs. the Phillies. That includes an awful 8.10 ERA in his last four regular-season starts against Philadelphia, Arroyo taking the loss in each.
Not that they should need any more help, given Hamels' dominance of the Reds, but the Phillies are expecting to get Chase Utley back here, which can only help the offense. Even if he doesn't immediately return and go 3 for 4, his presence alone can provide a boost.
As Raul Ibanez noted of Utley's return: "It's not only what he does for you on the field, but what he does in the clubhouse. It's a big boost for us."
I expect Hamels to get the better of Arroyo and for the Phillies to continue their domination in this series - and all things considered, I feel the price is more than reasonable. *10
|05-22-11||Chicago Cubs v. Boston Red Sox -195||Top||1-5||Win||100||9 h 48 m||Show|
I'm playing on BOSTON. The Red Sox entered the series on a big winning streak and they won Friday's opener by a score of 15-5. Yesterday, the Cubs scored eight runs in the eighth inning, en route to earning a 9-3 victory and evening up the series. Tonight, however, I expect the Red Sox to bounce right back and resume their winning ways.
Now 7-1 their last eight, the Red Sox send veteran Tim Wakefield to the mound. Wakefield's numbers (0-1, 5.40 ERA) admittedly aren't very good and he's only made two starts. One was good. The other wasn't.
Wakefield still knows how to pitch though and he typically fares well against National League opponents, who aren't as familiar with his knuckleball. Note that Wakefield is 3-1 with a 3.81 ERA in five career starts against the Cubs and that he's 9-4 against National League opponents over the past five years.
Note that Chicago's Marlon Byrd, who is 4 for 8 lifetime against Wakefield, isn't expected to play, after getting hit by a pitch yesterday. He was replaced by Reed Johnson yesterday - Johnson is 2 for 18 vs. Wakefield.
Wakefield should get some solid run support. For starters, he's backed by a Boston lineup which is averaging 6.28 runs per game, its last seven games.
More importantly, the Cubs' pitching situation is a real mess right now. Already dealing with some injury issues, the Cubs will now be without Garza tonight. That means James Russell is expected to get the "spot start."
Garza was quoted as saying: "I haven't missed a start for anything. This is a first. It stinks. I feel like I let my team down..."
As for Russell, he's 0-4 with a horrific 10.05 ERA in four starts this season. He never lasted through the fifth inning in any of them. Note that the Cubs have lost Russell's two road starts by a combined score of 16-4.
Making matters worse, Russell just pitched three innings out of the bullpen on Friday night!
Even with yesterday's result, the Cubs are still 15-20 in IL play the past few seasons while the Red Sox are still 25-13, during the same stretch. I expect the Sox to bounce right back, improving on those numbers and closing out the series and weekend with a convincing victory. *10
|05-22-11||Minnesota Twins v. Arizona Diamondbacks UNDER 8||Top||2-3||Win||106||5 h 3 m||Show|
I'm playing on Minnesota and Arizona to finish UNDER the total. The first two games of this series have both finished above the total. In fact, each produced 15 combined runs. However, with a pair of red hot pitchers on the mound, I don't even expect half that many runs in this afternoon's finale.
Hudson takes the mound for Arizona. I was 2-0 in his last start, successfully playing on both Arizona and the "under." Hudson rewarded my trust by allowing just one run through seven complete innings. That gives him a 1.74 ERA his last three starts, all of which stayed below the total. They had scores of 6-1, 3-2 and 6-0. That brings the UNDER to a profitable 7-2 in his nine starts this season.
Liriano's overall numbers remain poor. However, that's due to a slow start. Lately, he's been "on fire." Last time out, pitching at Seattle, he outpitched Feliz Hernandez. Liriano had 9 K's and only one walk and allowed a mere three hits and one run, through seven complete innings. The final score was 2-1. In his previous road start, he threw a "no hitter," earning a 1-0 win at Chicago. Including that result, the UNDER is a perfect 5-0 in his road starts.
The Twins are still only batting .221 on the road and just .229 vs. right-handers. Meanwhile, Arizona is batting just .238 vs. southpaw starters.
Hudson's lone start (back in 2009) vs. Minnesota stayed below the total while Liriano will have the advantage of starting against Arizona for the first time. I expect a well-pitched affair. *10
|05-21-11||Texas Rangers v. Philadelphia Phillies -152||Top||0-2||Win||100||8 h 6 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. I won with the Phillies yesterday and I'm coming right back with them again today.
Cliff Lee gets the call for the Phillies. As you probably remember, Lee helped the Rangers get all the way to the World Series last year, but then left for Philadelphia in the offseason.
Naturally, the Rangers would like to beat Lee. Even Lee noted: "You want to try to beat everyone, especially the guy who didn't come back to your team."
Lee figures to be highly motivated himself though, too. With the game being played here at Philadelphia, I expect the Phillies to again have the advantage.
Including yesterday's result, the Rangers are 8-13 on the road. The Phillies, on the other hand, are 15-8 at home.
Like Lee, Colby Lewis can be very tough. While he's off a great start, note that Lewis has a 2.34 ERA during the day but just a 4.08 ERA during the evening. Lewis is backed by a Texas offense that's hitting only .238 and averaging only 3.7 runs on the road though. Also, while the Phillies bullpen has a combined 2.78 ERA, the Texas relievers have a combined 4.23 ERA.
Lee has made seven home starts since last September, three with Texas and four with Philadelphia. ALL seven were of the quality variety. Facing his former team, I expect him to rise to the occasion and deliver another quality outing and for that to lead to another Phillies victory. *10
|05-20-11||Cincinnati Reds v. Cleveland Indians UNDER 8.5||Top||4-5||Loss||-103||8 h 16 m||Show|
I'm playing on Cincinnati and Cleveland to finish UNDER the total. Eleven of the last 19 games in this series have fallen below the number. The UNDER is also 10-6 the last 16 times that the Reds played here at Cleveland. I expect this year's first meeting to also result in a well-pitched affair.
The Indians have hit well so far this season and they began the week by scoring a ton of runs vs. the Royals. However, their bats cooled off significantly the past couple of days. In fact, the Indians only managed two total runs in the two games vs. Chicago. Now, in addition to the fact that they're dealing with some injuries to their offense, the Indians will be facing a red hot pitcher - and seeing him for the first time.
Travis Wood gets the call and he's 2-0 with a superb 1.93 ERA in three May starts. In his last road start, Wood tossed 6 2/3 shutout innings at Houston. He had 6 K's and only walked one batter. Wood earned the "W," in a 6-1 Cincinnati victory, a game which stayed below the total. Overall Wood has been very solid on the road, far better than he has been at home. Also, note that he's only allowed one home run in four road starts, a span of 24 2/3 innings.
Alex White goes for Cleveland. He's only made two starts but both have been of the "quality" variety. Those games finished with scores of 4-3 and 3-2. While will face a Reds' lineup which has also struggled the past couple of days. Cincy hit a mere .219 while losing back-to-back games vs. Pittsburgh. The Reds scored just three combined runs in the series.
Now the Reds take to the road, where they're hitting only .244 as a team. The UNDER is already 4-1-1 in their May road games (average of 6.7 runs per game) and I look for those stats to improve here. *10
|05-19-11||San Francisco Giants v. Los Angeles Dodgers UNDER 6.5||Top||3-1||Win||100||11 h 5 m||Show|
I'm playing on LA and San Francisco to finish UNDER the total. Yesterday's series opener saw 13 runs scored, an 8-5 victory for the Giants. Given the current form of the starters, I don't expect to see even half that many this evening.
Billingsley checks in for the Dodgers. His last start resulted in a 1-0 loss. His previous two starts both resulted in 4-1 losses. That certainly hasn't been Billingsley's fault though. Indeed, he's posted a 1.64 ERA and 0.864 WHIP during that stretch. Two of those games came here at LA, which gives him an outstanding 1.24 ERA and 0.655 WHIP here in four starts this season. Those games averaged just four combined runs!
The UNDER is now 6-0-1 in Billingsley's last seven home starts, dating back to the beginning of last September.
Note that Billingsley also has a 5-1 record and 2.56 ERA in eight career starts vs. the Giants here at Dodger Stadium. The UNDER is 4-1-1 the last six of those.
Unfortunately for Billingsley, he's unlikely to get much run support again tonight.
Bumgarner goes for the Giants and he's got a superb 1.80 ERA his last four starts, allowing just five earned runs in 25 innings. He hasn't gotten any run support either though and the UNDER is 4-1 his last five starts, all of which were of the "quality" variety.
Note that Bumgarner's lone start at Dodger Stadium stayed below the total. He allowed one earned run in 5 2/3 innings.
While an O/U line of 6.5 is low, note that the Dodgers entered the series averaging only 2.7 runs per game at home, hitting a mere .235, while the Giants entered the series averaging just 3.7 on the road, hitting .239.
Even with yesterday's result, the Giants have still seen the UNDER go 14-9-2 when playing in the evening. I expect another well-pitched affair. *10
|05-19-11||Tampa Bay Rays v. Toronto Blue Jays -130||Top||2-3||Win||100||8 h 10 m||Show|
I'm playing on TORONTO. The Rays grabbed yesterday's series opener and they've admittedly played very well on the road. I expect the Jays to have the advantage in this evening's series "finale" though. I respect both starting pitchers and both are very capable. However, the Jays' starter was much better last time out.
Romero gets the call and he's off an outstanding start, his best of the season. He had a no-hitter much of the way and finished by allowing just four hits through 8 2/3 shutout innings. He had 8 K's and the Jays won 2-0.
Davis, on the other hand, wasn't so great last time out. He allowed four runs and lasted just 5 2/3 innings. He gave up seven hits (2 HRs) and issued three walks, while only striking out three.
The Jays are a respectable 22-15 (+1.2) the past few seasons, as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range. The Rays were 18-19 as road underdogs in the +100 to +125 range. Going back further finds them at a money-burning 83-117 (-24.6) their last 200 in that role.
The Jays have really struggled during the afternoon but remain a terrific 16-8 (+11) when playing during the evening. They desperately want to "stay in the race" and to avoid falling below .500. Behind another big game from Romero, I look for them to do just that. *10
|05-18-11||Cleveland Indians v. Chicago White Sox UNDER 8.5||Top||0-1||Win||100||10 h 51 m||Show|
I'm playing on Chicago and Cleveland to finish UNDER the total. The Indians have been on quite the "over" roll. However, I expect that streak to come to an end for tonight's opener at Chicago.
Masterson gets the call. He's off a rare rough outing, taking a loss vs. Tampa Bay. I believe that we can cut him a bit of slack though, as he was 5-0 with a 2.11 ERA before that. He's still 2-0 with a very impressive 1.86 ERA in three road starts this season, two of which stayed below the total. Note that he didn't allow a single home run in any of those three games. In fact, he's only allowed one home run in all eight starts combined.
In addition to this season's outstanding stats, Masterson has also dominated the White Sox of late. In his last three starts in this series, he's allowed just three combined runs, one in each start. He was 2-0 with a spectacular 1.33 ERA in those games, the last two of which both stayed below the total.
Note that Masterson is also 1-0 with a stellar 1.84 ERA in three lifetime starts at U.S. Cellular Field.
Peavy gets the call for the White Sox. The one-time Padre ace made his first start last time out. While he gave up four runs, I felt he was solid and believe he can build on that effort. I liked the fact that he didn't walk a batter and didn't allow a home run, over six complete innings.
After that start, Peavy was quoted as saying: "I thought I had pretty good stuff tonight, and plenty of stuff to compete at this level and expect to win. I just didn't catch any breaks, but I'm as excited as I can be to go out there and compete with the boys."
With another low-scoring game here last night, the UNDER is now a lucrative 12-5-1 in games played here this season. Those games averaged less than eight runs (7.7) and I look for another relatively low-scoring affair here. *10
|05-18-11||Colorado Rockies v. Philadelphia Phillies -135||Top||1-2||Win||100||9 h 36 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. The Phillies were beaten by a tough left-handed starter yesterday. However, they're still a profitable 70-43 against southpaw starters the past few seasons. That includes a 9-2 record their last 11 against left-handed starters. They're also 13-4 against the Rockies the past few seasons, including 7-2 as a host. I expect them to have the edge in this evening's 'all southpaw' series opener.
True, Hamels did struggle in his only career start vs. the Rockies. However, that came back in 2009 and it was his very first start of the season - and it was at Coors Field. Since that time, he's continued to prove more than capable. In his last three home starts, all of which were of the "quality" variety, Hamels has allowed just six earned runs in 23 innings. That's a 2.35 ERA. During that stretch, he's got an impressive 22 K's to just four walks.
While the Phillies offense has admittedly struggled recently, I expect them to provide Hamels with some solid run support here.
De La Rosa checks in with a solid 5-1 record and he managed a win in his last start. However, he didn't "deserve" the "W" as he gave up five runs on nine hits in just 5 2/3 innings of work. Afterwards, he was quoted as saying: "I was not so good today..." Now, he faces a
Philadelphia team which crushed him in the past. Indeed, he's 0-3 with an awful 11.34 ERA and 2.04 WHIP in four starts vs. the Phillies. That includes a 12.46 ERA his last three starts against the Phillies.
In fact, in two lifetime starts here at Citizen's Bank Park, De La Rosa has allowed 14 runs in 8 1/3 innings. That translates to a 15.12 ERA! The Phillies won each of those games by a minimum of seven, 7-0 and 20-5!
While the Rockies may initially appear to offer good value at this price, keep in mind that they're an awful 16-28 (-6.4) the last 44 times that they were listed as road underdogs in the +125 to +150 range. Going back further finds them at a money-burning 115-204 (-46.7) their last 300+ in that situation.
I expect Hamels to be the better "southpaw" and for the Phillies to bounce back and start the series with a "statement" win. *10
|05-17-11||Milwaukee Brewers v. Los Angeles Dodgers -127||Top||0-3||Win||100||11 h 6 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA DODGERS. The Brewers took the opener of this 2-game series last night. Tonight, I look for the Dodgers to bounce back and avoid the "sweep."
Tonight' starting pitching matchup features Wolf vs. Kuroda. Both starters have shown flashes of brilliance. However, both have also struggled at times. That said, Kuroda has been a little more "consistent" and is coming off a much better outing, last time out. I expect him to follow it up with another quality effort here.
Two starts ago, Wolf gave up six runs in five innings, suffering a 6-0 loss. Last time out, Wolf was even worse. He gave up 12 hits and five runs in just 3 1/3 innings.
On the other hand, Kuroda was dominant in his last start. He allowed just three hits through seven shutout innings.
That prompted Mattingly to comment: "He can do pretty much what he wants with the baseball, if he's going."
He's had two tough outings. In his other six starts he's gone 4-1 with a superb 1.90 ERA.
Even with yesterday's victory, the Brewers are still just 7-15 on the road.
The Dodgers have enjoyed plenty of success vs. southpaw starters. The price is very reasonable and I look for them to bounce back with a much-needed victory here. *10
|05-16-11||Los Angeles Angels v. Oakland A's -132||Top||4-5||Win||100||12 h 5 m||Show|
I'm playing on OAKLAND. The Angels took two of three from the A's at LA a few weeks ago. Tonight, I look for the A's to start off the series here at Oakland with a victory.
Admittedly, Pineiro has been pitching very well since coming off the disabled list. Its still a limited "sample size" though, as he's made just three starts, two on the road. Going back a bit further finds that he's not always very good away from home. The Angels are 1-1 in his road starts this season, but just 4-7 in his last 11 road starts, dating back to this time last season.
Over that 11-game road stretch, Pineiro has allowed 43 earned runs in 67 innings. That translates to a 5.78 ERA! Note that Pineiro walked four batters in his last road start.
The Angels bullpen has often been a team strength. That hasn't been the case lately though. LA relievers have an awful 7.36 ERA over the last seven games and have blown three saves in their last five chances.
Anderson has struggled in two starts vs. Texas. However, he has a superb 1.65 ERA in six starts against other opponents. In his last game here, Anderson tossed a complete game and allowed just two runs. He didn't walk a batter and didn't allow a home run.
While he doesn't always get much run support, Anderson is very tough here at home. A look at his last 17 starts here shows that he allowed three or fewer earned runs in 15 of them. In fact, he's allowed two or fewer earned runs in 15 of his last 20 starts here. Behind another quality outing from Anderson, I look for the A's to start the series with a victory. *10
|05-16-11||San Diego Padres v. Arizona Diamondbacks -114||Top||8-4||Loss||-114||12 h 43 m||Show|
I'm playing on ARIZONA. I successfully played on the Padres the last time that they faced Galarraga. However, that 5/6 matchup was being played at Petco Park. Also, the Padres had a starting pitcher going (Stauffer) who had a 1.83 ERA and 0.763 WHIP in his previous three starts. Tonight's game sets up much differently. Not only are the Padres now playing on the road, but they've also got a struggling starting pitcher on the mound.
After getting absolutely hammered last time out, Richard is now 0-3 with a terrible 6.43 ERA and 2.071 WHIP, his last three starts. He's got an even worse 7.97 ERA in four road starts.
In addition to the fact that he was on the road and facing a red hot pitcher, one of the reasons that I played against Galarraga in the 5/6 game was that he'd been giving up a lot of home runs. However, he's managed to improve in that area since, as he's allowed just one "long ball" the past two games. While his numbers still aren't great - they're better than Richard's road numbers - and he's showing signs of coming around. In his last home start, Galarraga allowed three runs through seven complete innings.
The Diamondbacks won 6-5 here last August (8/7) when facing Richard. The Padres' starter lasted just 3 2/3 innings and gave up five runs. Including that result, the Diamondbacks are a commanding 15-5 the last 20 times that they were a host in this series. I expect them to improve on those stats here. *10
|05-16-11||Toronto Blue Jays v. Detroit Tigers UNDER 8||Top||4-2||Win||100||9 h 53 m||Show|
I'm playing on Toronto and Detroit to finish UNDER the total. The Tigers saw yesterday's finale against the Royals postponed. That's tough luck for the Jays as it means that they'll have to face Max Scherzer this evening. Not only has Scherzer been excellent vs. Toronto, but he's been practically unhittable at home this season. Scherzer's four home starts this season have averaged a mere 4.75 combined runs and I expect another relatively low-scoring affair this evening.
In four starts here this season, Scherzer is 3-0 with a fantastic 0.96 ERA. He
|05-15-11||Boston Red Sox v. New York Yankees OVER 8.5||Top||7-5||Win||100||10 h 36 m||Show|
I'm playing on Boston and NY to finish OVER the total. The first two games of this series have both finished below the total. While tonight's starting pitchers are also capable, I expect the "bats to come to life" this evening.
Even with yesterday's 6-0 Boston win, the Red Sox and Yankees have still combined for a minimum of nine runs in seven of the last 11 meetings here at the Bronx and eight of the last 11 overall. Those 11 games produced an average of 10.7 runs per game.
Note that the Yankees have seen the OVER go 8-6-3 the past few seasons, after getting blanked in their previous game.
Garcia gets the call for the Yankees. While his overall numbers are very solid, a 1.778 WHIP his last three starts shows that he's been allowing far too many baserunners. That could easily catch up with him here, facing a Boston lineup which has started to find its groove.
Note that six of Garcia's last eight starts vs. Boston have produced a minimum of nine combined runs. Those eight games averaged 10.75 combined runs.
Admittedly, Lester can be tough. Also, he's had some success against the Yankees. That said, he got rocked last time out. In that start, he gave up seven hits, (and issued five walks!) en route to allowing five runs in just 5 1/3 innings, at Toronto. That game finished with a final score of 7-6.
As for Lester's success vs. the Yankees, note that six of his last eight starts against New York, including four of his last five, have still produced a minimum of nine runs.
Even with yesterday's result, the OVER is still a lucrative 4-1 the last five times that the Yankees played a home game with an O/U line of either eight or 8.5. I look for those stats to improve tonight. *10
|05-14-11||Toronto Blue Jays v. Minnesota Twins -113||Top||9-3||Loss||-113||6 h 35 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. The Twins enter this afternoon's game off a tough loss in yesterday's opener and mired in an extended losing streak. While this team appears to be in for a tough year overall, I do expect them to have an advantage here and for them to bounce back with a much needed victory.
Reyes goes for the Jays. We've enjoyed success playing against him in the past. That hasn't really required "picking the best spots," as he's been a great "go-against," almost all the time, these past few years. Indeed, he's 0-12 with a 6.11 ERA in his last 25 starts!
While Reyes will eventually snap that streak, he's hardly an "ace" - and I don't expect him to get much run support here. Not only have the Jays been dreadful when playing the during the afternoon, but Minnesota's Nick Blackburn has really started to pitch well recently.
In fact, Blackburn is 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in his last two outings. Note that Blackburn also has a stellar 2.33 ERA and 0.879 WHIP in three career starts against the Blue Jays. That includes a 1-0 mark this season. He allowed two earned runs or less in all three starts
Blackburn will face a Toronto team which is just 3-13 (-10.4) when playing during the afternoon, hitting a dismal .204 and averaging only 2.5 runs in those games.
Behind another quality outing from Blackburn, I look for the Twins to bounce back and avoid dropping 7-straight home games for the first time since 2007. *10
|05-13-11||Pittsburgh Pirates v. Milwaukee Brewers -162||Top||2-5||Win||100||10 h 29 m||Show|
I'm playing on MILWAUKEE. To say the the Brewers have owned the Pirates would be an understatement. With a pair of "blowout" wins (4-1 and 6-0) at Pittsburgh last month, they've now beaten the Pirates six straight times. Here at Milwaukee, they've beaten the Pirates six straight times and are a remarkable 28-2 the last 30 meetings in the series. With their ace on the mound and catching the Pirates off a 2.5 hour "rain delay" yesterday, I expect the Brewers to continue their dominance in this series, this evening.
Gallardo's stats admittedly aren't too good yet. However, despite a high 5.04 ERA and 1.48 WHIP here, he's still managed to go 2-0 (Brewers are 3-1) in four home starts. Also, his last outing (at St. Louis) showed that he's still more than capable. Indeed, he limited the Cardinals to one hit through eight shutout innings. Keep in mind that Gallardo was 14-7 with a 3.84 ERA last season, recording 200 K's for the second straight season.
Catcher Jonathan Lucroy said this of Gallardo's last start: "He showed what kind of pitcher he is. He was throwing strikes, getting ahead, and his stuff was just nasty. It was Yovani Gallardo. That's who he is. That's what he does."
McDonald has admittedly pitched well his last few starts. However, two of those came at home and the third was at "pitcher-friendly" Petco Park. Even with the quality start at San Diego, his road stats remain horrible. In four road starts, McDonald has an awful 9.00 ERA and 1.889 WHIP. He's averaged less than five innings per outing and has given up a whopping five home runs in 18 road innings. (*By comparison, Gallardo has gone 25 innings in his four home starts and has allowed just one home run.)
Note that McDonald got rocked in his lone start vs. the Brewers. He gave up six runs in 6 1/3 innings, en route to a 7-2 loss. (That translates to an 8.53 ERA.)
On the other hand, given Milwaukee's dominance of the Pirates, its no surprise to learn that Gallardo has owned the Pirates. He's made 10 starts against them and had gone 6-1 with a superb 1.80 ERA. The Brewers were 9-1 in those games, including 4-0 the last four. They've never lost a home game against the Pirates when Gallardo has been on the mound, going a perfect 5-0. (They won those games by a combined score of 33-9, which is an average score of 6.6 to 1.8 per game.
In fact, Gallardo hasn't allowed a single earned run in his last three starts against the Pirates and the Brewers won those games by a combined score of 28-5! All things considered, the price is more than fair and another "blowout" win by Gallardo's Brewers won't surprise. *10
|05-10-11||Chicago White Sox v. Los Angeles Angels UNDER 7.5||Top||2-6||Loss||-115||11 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on Chicago and LA to finish UNDER the total. Last night's series opener finished above the total by half a run, an 8-0
victory for Chicago. While I wouldn't go so far as to call that a "bad beat," that was somewhat of a tough loss for those who bet the
'under' as the score was just 4-0 entering the 7th inning. Either way, I expect a lower-scoring contest this evening.
Pineiro gets the call for the Angels. He's made just two starts but he's been superb in each of them. In fact, he's allowed just one run
in 12 2/3 combined innings. In his first start, he held the Red Sox to one run through seven complete innings. Last time out, he limited
the Rays to 0 runs and just three hits, through 5 2/3 innings. That translates to a 0.71 ERA and 0.947 WHIP!
While this is his first start here this season, note that Pineiro is 6-0 with a superb 1.63 ERA in his last 10 outings at Angel Stadium.
Pineiro's excellent form should come as no surprise to Chicago starter John Danks. Thus far, he seems to run into a hot opposing starter
(or at least the starter gets hot when he faced Danks) practically every time he takes the mound. Indeed, Danks has received a mere 3.26
runs per game, in terms of run support.
After last night's gem from Jackson, Chicago starters now have an outstanding 1.37 ERA during the last seven games. With Danks on the
mound, they should get another quality effort tonight. Not only does he have a solid 3.33 ERA in three road starts this season, but
Danks is also 2-0 with a terrific 1.71 ERA in four career starts in Anaheim. Overall, Danks has a 2.56 ERA in nine starts vs. the Angels, the UNDER going 6-2-1 in those games.
In three road starts this season, Danks has 21 K's to just three walks. Therefore, given those stats combined with the lack of run support which he has received, its no real surprise to learn that the UNDER is 3-0 in his three road starts, most recently a 3-0 loss at Detroit.
Even with last night's result, the UNDER is still 11-4-3 here and also 7-2-1 in Chicago's last 10 visits here. Pineiro's lone start against Chicago the last few seasons came last September and resulted in a 2-1 "pitcher's duel." I expect another low-scoring contest. *10
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