Sunday's MLB Tip Sheet

Sunday's MLB Tip Sheet

Sunday's Tip Sheet
By Brian Edwards

Let’s take a look at the prime-time matchup between the White Sox and Tigers on ESPN2 before exploring some Bonus Nuggets...

**White Sox at Tigers**

--Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened Detroit (0-5, -852) as a minus 190 favorite with a total of nine ‘under’ (minus 115). However, most books chiming in on Saturday night had the Tigers at minus 175. For gamblers looking to back Jim Leyland’s team at a more reasonable price, they can go with the Tigers on the run line (minus 1 ½ runs) for a small “plus” (105 was LVSC’s opening number).

--Detroit seemingly had the best off-season of any team in baseball, acquiring the likes of Miguel Cabrera, Dontrelle Willis and Edgar Renteria. But the Tigers are still searching for their first win of the season.

--Chicago (3-2, +231) is in a first-place tie with Kansas City in the American League Central thanks to Saturday’s 5-3 win at Detroit. The White Sox could only muster one hit against Willis, but it came in the form of an RBI double from Jim Thome that sparked a four-run sixth inning to chase the former Marlin. Bobby Jenks pitched a scoreless ninth for his third save of the season.

--Mark Buehrle (0-0, 37.80 ERA) will toe the rubber for the White Sox. The southpaw owns a 12-8 record and 3.14 ERA in 23 career starts against Detroit. Buehrle got shelled in his first outing, giving up seven earned runs in just 1 2/3 innings of work. Fortunately for the lefty, he only took a no-decision in the 10-8 loss at Cleveland.

--Leyland will give the ball to his ace Justin Verlander (0-0, 6.00), who has a 35-17 career record. However, the hard-throwing righty hasn’t fared well against the White Sox, posting a 1-4 record and 5.96 ERA in eight lifetime assignments.

--White Sox sluggers Jermaine Dye and Thome and have been particularly tough on Verlander. Dye is 9-for-20 (.450) with three homers off the right-hander, while Thome is 7-for-18 (.389) with five bombs.

--Magglio Ordonez has been Buehrle’s nemesis, going 13-for-22 (.591) off the lefty with a pair of doubles and two homers.

--Totals have been a wash for the White Sox with the ‘over/under’ going 2-2-1. As for the Tigers, they have seen the ‘under’ go 3-2.

--ESPN2 will provide television coverage at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--The biggest ‘chalk’ on Sunday’s card is Milwaukee, which is minus 240 at home against San Francisco with Ben Sheets taking the slab.

--The best pitching matchup on today’s card will take place at Turner Field at 1:35 p.m. ET. Atlanta will go with veteran John Smoltz, while the Mets will counter with their new ace, Johan Santana. The total is 8 ½ ‘under’ (minus 115), while the Mets are healthy minus 155 ‘chalk.’

--Factoid of the Day: The Rays are at the top of the AL East standings and the Yankees are at the bottom.

--Seattle LHP Erik Bedard returns to his old stomping grounds today when gets the ball for the M’s at Baltimore. Most books are listing Seattle as a minus 135 favorite.

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Re: Sunday's MLB Tip Sheet

NATIONAL LEAGUE

L.A. Dodgers (3-2) at San Diego (4-2)


After splitting the first two games of this series, the Padres send righty Chris Young (1-0, 1.59 ERA) to the mound today to face off with the Dodgers’ Derek Lowe (0-0, 3.00) at Petco Park.

The Dodgers pounded out a 7-1 win on Friday night thanks to a six-run seventh inning, but behind another masterful performance from ace Jake Peavy, San Diego evened the weekend series with Saturday’s 4-1 win. L.A. had won three straight meetings in this rivalry before yesterday after the Padres had won eight of the previous 10. Finally, San Diego has won seven of the last 10 head-to-head clashes at Petco.

The 6-foot-10 Young held opponents to a .194 batting average in 2007 and had a major-league leading 1.69 ERA in 13 starts in Petco Park. And in his first outing at home this season, he held the Astros to one run on five hits over 5 2/3 innings of a 2-1 victory on Tuesday.

In eight career starts against the Dodgers, Young is 1-2 with a 2.98 ERA. Tonight, he gets to face a lineup that was completely frustrated yesterday by Peavy, who held Los Angeles to just two fourth-inning hits and struck out eight in a complete-game effort.

Lowe gave up two runs and nine hits in six innings of work in his debut Tuesday, but wasn’t around for the decision in the Dodgers’ 3-2 win over the Giants. This is his first road start after going 6-8 with a 4.19 ERA in 18 outings on the highway last season.

Lowe is 0-3 with a 3.41 ERA in six career starts at Petco Park, but his offense is partly to blame, getting just 15 runs in those six outings. Last year, the veteran righthander went 1-1 with a 5.30 ERA in three starts against the Padres, including lasting just 4 1/3 innings back on Sept. 1 when San Diego and Peavy blanked the Dodgers 7-0.

The over is 5-3 in the last eight series meetings overall and 5-2 in Young’s last seven starts against Los Angeles. However the under is 4-1 in Lowe’s last five overall and 4-1-1 in his last six with the Dodgers’ as a road underdog.

ATS ADVANTAGE: SAN DIEGO


AMERICAN LEAGUE

Boston (3-3) at Toronto (3-2)


The Red Sox send 20-game winner Josh Beckett (20-7, 3.27 ERA in 2007) to the mound for the first time this season at the Rogers Centre north of the border as they try to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Blue Jays and ace Roy Halladay (0-1, 3.86 ERA).

The Blue Jays have won six straight against the Red Sox, including five in a row inside the Rogers Centre. In the first two clashes of this series, Toronto has outscored Boston 16-5, including Saturday’s 10-2 blowout win.

Beckett returns from the disabled list as back spasms forced him to miss his scheduled opening-day start against the A’s in Japan on March 25. When last he pitched in meaningful action, the righthander was dominating hitters in the 2007 postseason, going 4-0 with a 1.20 ERA in helping Boston to another World Series title.

The runner-up in the AL Cy Young voting was 2-1 with a 2.35 ERA in three starts against the Blue Jays last season, including a showdown with Halladay on Sept. 4 when Beckett allowed three runs on five hits in eight innings of a 5-3 win. However, Boston is just 2-5 in Beckett’s last seven outings against Toronto, while the Jays are just 1-5 in Halladay’s last six against the Sox.

Halladay opened the season in New York on Tuesday, giving up three runs on seven hits in seven innings and was saddled with the 3-2 loss. Today, he returns home, where he was phenomenal last season, going 11-1 with a 3.12 ERA – although Toronto did lose both of Halladay’s home starts against the Red Sox last year by scores of 5-3 and 8-0.

Despite throwing an eight-inning complete game in his Sept. 4 matchup against Beckett – giving up five runs on nine hits – Halladay only went 1-3 with a 5.94 ERA in five starts against the Red Sox last season.

The under is 4-1-1 in the last six series meetings in Toronto, 5-2-1 in Halladay’s last eight home starts against Boston and 12-5-1 in Beckett’s last 18 road outings.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER

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