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Tuesday MLB Gameday

Tuesday MLB Gameday


San Francisco (0-1) at L.A. Dodgers (1-0)

Matt Cain (7-16, 3.65 ERA in 2007) looks to put a frustrating 2007 season behind him when he takes the mound for the Giants against the Dodgers’ Derek Lowe (12-14, 3.88) in the middle game of a three-game series.

L.A., which closed out a disappointing 2007 season by losing 11 of its last 14 games, opened the Joe Torre era with Monday’s 5-0 whitewash of the Giants. San Francisco, meanwhile, has lost five of its last six going back to last year and is 3-11 in its last 14 road outings.

The Dodgers have won 20 of the last 29 meetings in this rivalry. Also, the home team has taken four of the last five clashes after the visitor had been on an amazing 14-2 run.

Cain allowed three earned runs or fewer in 23 of his 32 starts last year, including holding opponents to one earned run or fewer 11 times. But he was a victim of poor run support, as the Giants went 9-23 with Cain on the mound, including 3-12 on the road.

Cain went 3-8 with a 3.84 in his 15 starts on the highway last year, and 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA against the Dodgers. In his brief career, the hard-throwing righthander is 0-3 with a 5.96 ERA in five starts versus Los Angeles, including 0-1 with a 10.13 ERA at Dodger Stadium.

Lowe really struggled in the second half of last season, going 4-6 with a 5.23 ERA in 13 post-All Star break starts, as opposed to 8-8 with a 3.12 ERA prior to the break. At home, the veteran righthander went just 6-6 in 15 games (14 starts) despite a respectable 3.51 ERA.

Lowe hasn’t enjoyed much success against the Giants, going 3-5 with a 3.41 ERA in 10 starts, including 0-3 with a 6.17 ERA in games played in L.A. Despite those struggles, the Dodgers are 3-1 in Lowe’s last four outings against San Francisco, with Lowe recording a 1.93 ERA during this stretch.

The under is 6-2-1 in Lowe’s nine starts against San Francisco, while the Giants stayed under the total in 11 of Cain’s last 13 outings in 2007, including four of his final five on the road.



Boston (1-1) at Oakland (1-1)

Boston righthander Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-0, 3.60) opposes Joe Blanton (0-0, 4.76) for the second time in a week, this time on U.S. soil as the Red Sox and A’s resume their four-game, cross-continent series at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland.

These teams opened the 2008 season in Tokyo last week, splitting a pair of games at the Tokyo Dome. Boston rallied for a 6-5, 10-inning victory last Tuesday, with the A’s bouncing back for a 5-1 victory the next night. Despite those results, Oakland is just 3-11 in its last 14 games going back to last year (2-7 at home), while Boston has won eight of its last nine dating to the 2007 ALCS.

These teams split their eight meetings last year, with the host going 6-2. In fact, the home club is 10-2 in the last 12 meetings, and the Red Sox are 2-6 in their last eight games in Oakland.

In the opener in his native Japan last week, Matsuzaka struggled with his control, walking five and giving up two hits and two runs in five innings, though he did strike out six. Meanwhile, Blanton went 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and one walk with three Ks.

Going back to last year’s playoffs, Boston is 6-1 in Matsuzaka’s last seven starts, but he has failed to go longer than 5 1/3 innings in any of his last five outings. Also, including last week’s game in Japan, Matsuzaka is now 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts against the A’s, walking seven and striking out 14. Finally, in his first big-league season in 2007, Dice-K went just 7-8 with a 4.02 ERA on the road.

Blanton went 7-5 both at home and on the road last year, but his ERA was markedly better at McAfee Coliseum (2.69) than it was on the highway (5.11). The burly righthander faced the Red Sox twice last year, giving up a run on four hits in 7 1/3 innings in a 1-0 home loss, while allowing a combined nine runs on 17 hits in 12 innings in a pair of no-decisions at Fenway Park, with Oakland losing both of those contests. For his career, Blanton is 2-1 with a 3.76 ERA versus Boston.

The under is 20-7 in Blanton’s last 28 home starts and 6-2 in the last eight Boston-Oakland battles at McAfee Coliseum. But the over is 7-2-1 in Matsuzaka’s last 10 outings overall and 4-1 in his last five on the road. Also, the over is 8-3-2 in Boston’s last 13 against the A.L. West and 8-1-2 in Oakland’s last 11 versus the A.L. East.


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