Tuesday's MLB Tip Sheet

Tuesday's MLB Tip Sheet

Tuesday's MLB Tip Sheet
By Brad Young

The baseball season is past the Opening Week festivities and is now settling into a steady regular campaign that will take us through early October. Starting pitchers have already been through the rotation once, giving handicappers a better feel for what to expect.

Let’s break down four games on Tuesday’s schedule, with two games featured in both the American and National League.

**Reds (Cueto) at Brewers (Suppan)**

-Caesars Palace installed Cincinnati as a $1.15 road ‘chalk’ over Milwaukee, with the total set at 8½ ‘under’ (minus $1.20). This National League Central contest is scheduled to start at 8:05 p.m. ET.

-Cincinnati rookie right-hander Johnny Cueto gets his second major-league start after beating Arizona Thursday as a $1.25 home favorite, 3-2. The Dominican Republic native went seven innings, allowing just one run on one hit (a home run) with no walks and 10 strikeouts.

-The combined five runs never seriously threatened the 9 ½-run closing total. The total has alternated in all seven of Cincinnati’s games this season after going ‘under’ Monday against Philadelphia.

-The Reds begin a lengthy nine-game road trip with this contest. Cincinnati has a three-game set against Milwaukee before traveling to Pittsburgh and ending up at Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

-Milwaukee pitcher Jeff Suppan started the 2008 campaign with Wednesday’s road victory over Chicago as a $1.50 underdog, 8-2. The combined 10 runs slithered ‘over’ the 9½-point closing total.

-The veteran right-hander was reached for two runs on six hits (two home runs) with two walks and two strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings.

-Suppan went 1-2 versus Cincinnati last year in four starts, going a combined 23 innings while yielding 15 earned runs on 28 hits (two home runs) with seven walks and 11 strikeouts. The Brewers prevailed as a $1.65 home ‘chalk, 5-3, and as a $1.50 road underdog, 4-3, while losing as a $1.25 home favorite, 8-3, and as a $1.10 road ‘dog, 7-3.

**Dodgers (Billingsley) at Diamondbacks (Davis)**

-Caesars Palace opened Los Angeles as a $1.40 road favorite over Arizona, with the total set at nine ‘over’ (minus $1.20). This NL West affair is slated to start at 9:40 p.m. ET.

-Los Angeles pitcher Chad Billingsley has already appeared in two games this young season, but the right-hander is making his first start. The three-year veteran tossed 1/3 of an inning against San Francisco Wednesday, surrendering one run on two hits.

-The 23-year-old tossed two innings against San Diego Friday, allowing just one hit with a walk and two strikeouts.

-Billingsley was 1-1 versus Arizona last year in three starts, going a combined 17 2/3 innings while yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits (four home runs) with nine walks and 16 strikeouts. The Dodgers triumphed as a road ‘pick,’ 6-5 and 7-1, while losing as a $1.45 home ‘chalk,’ 1-0.

-Arizona southpaw Doug Davis dropped his opening start against Cincinnati Thursday as a $1.10 road underdog, 3-2. The combined five runs never seriously threatened the 9½-point closing total.

-The 6-foot-4 hurler lasted just 3 2/3 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits (one home run) with six walks and four strikeouts.

-Davis was 1-2 versus Los Angeles last year in three starts, yielding a combined seven runs (four earned) on 17 hits (one home run) with seven walks and 16 strikeouts over 19 2/3 innings. The Diamondbacks prevailed as a $1.35 road underdog, 1-0, while falling as a $1.23 road ‘dog, 2-1, and as a $1.50 road ‘dog, 7-4.

**Yankees (Hughes) at Royals (Bannister)**

-Caesars Palace lists New York as a $1.40 road ‘chalk’ over Kansas City, with the total set at nine ‘over’ (minus $1.15). This American League contest is scheduled to begin at 4:10 p.m. ET.

-New York’s Philip Hughes picked up a no-decision in Thursday’s six-inning effort against Toronto. The Yankees eventually won that contest as a $1.70 road favorite, 3-2, while the combined five runs went ‘under’ the nine-run closing total. The ‘under’ is 6-1 for the Bronx Bombers after their Monday victory over Tampa Bay, 6-1.

-Hughes surrendered two runs on four hits versus the Blue Jays, with a walk and four strikeouts.

-The two-year veteran escaped with a no-decision in his lone start against the Royals last year, yielding six runs on seven hits (one home run) with two walks and five strikeouts over just 4 2/3 innings. New York eventually rallied to prevail as a $2.70 home favorite, 16-8.

-Kansas City pitcher Brian Bannister beat Detroit Wednesday as a $1.60 road underdog, 4-0. The four runs never seriously threatened the 9 ½-point closing total.

-The University of Southern Cal product tossed seven scoreless innings on two hits with no walks and four strikeouts.

-Bannister dropped his only start against the Yankees last year as a $1.48 home underdog, 11-5. The righty was reached for seven runs on seven hits (three home runs) with three walks and a strikeout over just five innings. The combined 16 runs soared ‘over’ the 9 ½-point closing total.

**Indians (Westbrook) at Angels (Santana)**


-Caesars Palace installed Los Angeles as a $1.25 home favorite over Cleveland, with the total listed at 8½ ‘over’ (minus $1.20). This contest is slated to start at 10:05 p.m. ET.

-Cleveland right-hander Jake Westbrook fell to Chicago Thursday as a $1.80 home ‘chalk,’ 2-1, while the combined three runs went ‘under’ the 9 ½-run closing total.

-The eight-year veteran went 7 1/3 innings, allowing both runs on six hits (two home runs) with a walk and three strikeouts.

-Westbrook went 0-1 against the Angels last year in two starts, going a combined 13 2/3 innings while surrendering five runs (four earned) on 10 hits with nine walks and six strikeouts. The Indians fell as a $1.25 home favorite, 4-1, and as a $1.30 road ‘dog, 3-2. The ‘under’ cashed in both contests.

-Los Angeles pitcher Ervin Santana upended Minnesota Thursday as a road ‘pick,’ 5-4, while the combined nine runs slithered ‘under’ the 9½-run closing total.

-The 25-year-old right hander was reached for two runs on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts over six innings.

-Santana dropped all three starts against Cleveland last year, falling as a $1.25 road ‘dog, 7-6, as a $1.23 home favorite, 5-1, and as a $1.20 home ‘dog, 6-1. The 6-foot-2 hurler went a combined 17 innings, allowing 12 runs on 20 hits (three home runs) with nine walks and 13 strikeouts. The ‘under’ went 2-1 during those games.

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Re: Tuesday's MLB Tip Sheet

NATIONAL LEAGUE

L.A. Dodgers (4-3) at Arizona (5-2)


The two favorites in the N.L. West continue their three-game series at Chase Field, with the Dodgers’ Chad Billingsley (0-0, 3.86 ERA) finally set to make his first start of 2008 when he opposes veteran Arizona lefty Doug Davis (0-1, 4.91).

The DBacks pounded out a 9-3 victory on Monday, their fourth straight win. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles has alternated wins and losses in its last six contests. Despite last night’s setback, the Dodgers are still 8-4 in their last 12 games in the desert.

Billingsley was scratched from his scheduled start against the Giants on Wednesday because of pending rain, but he did come into the game in relief and gave up two hits and a run in 1/3 of an inning, with L.A. eventually losing 2-1. The righthander also appeared in relief in Friday’s 7-1 win in San Diego, allowing just a hit in two scoreless innings.

Billingsley began 2007 in the Dodgers’ bullpen before entering the rotation in mid-June, and he went 8-5 in 20 starts, giving up three earned runs or fewer in eight of his final nine outings, with Los Angeles winning six of his last eight starts.

Last year on the road, Billingsley went 8-3 with a 2.59 ERA in 24 games (11 starts), including 2-0 with a 4.26 ERA at Chase Field. In his brief career, Billingsley is 4-1 with a 2.36 ERA against the DBacks (4-0, 2.70 ERA In Arizona).

Davis got yanked after just 3 2/3 innings on Thursday in Cincinnati, yielding three runs (two earned) on four hits and six walks, losing 3-2. Still, Arizona is 13-5 in Davis’ last 18 trips to the mound. Also, Davis, who is making his final start before taking time off to undergo surgery for thyroid cancer, went 8-3 at home last year despite a beefy 4.75 ERA.

Davis has flat-out dominated L.A. in five career starts, giving up just four earned runs in 34 2/3 innings (1.04 ERA), but he’s just 3-2. All four earned runs came in a September outing in Dodger Stadium last year, with the DBacks losing 7-4. Prior to that, Davis had surrendered one unearned run in four starts against the Dodgers spanning 30 innings.

The under is 9-3 in Billingsley’s last 12 starts, 3-1-1 in his five career starts against the DBacks and 3-1-1 in Davis’ five career outings against the Dodgers.

Last night’s contest easily topped the total. However, the under is still 4-2 in the last six head-to-head meetings, 12-6 in the D’Backs’ last 18 overall, 5-2 in their last five at home, 5-2 for the Dodgers this season, 4-2 in the Dodgers’ last six on the road and 9-4 in their last 13 against N.L. West competition.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


AMERICAN LEAGUE

Oakland (3-4) at Toronto (4-2)


Rich Harden (1-0, 0.82) seeks his third quality start of the season of the season when he leads the A’s against A.J. Burnett (1-0, 3.00) and the Blue Jays in the opener of a three-game series at the Rogers Centre.

Toronto is coming off a three-game weekend sweep of the defending-champion Red Sox, outscoring Boston 23-9 in winning all three games by at least three runs. Meanwhile, Oakland hits the road after taking two of three from Cleveland over the weekend, holding the Indians’ potent lineup to just six runs.

The road team won seven of the nine series meetings last year, with the A’s sweeping a three-game set in their only trip to Canada. Going back to 2006, Oakland is on a 5-1 run at the Rogers Centre.

The oft-injured Harden has been outstanding through his first two starts, both of which came against the Red Sox, including a game in Tokyo. The hard-throwing righthander has allowed just a run on seven hits with seven walks and 15 strikeouts over 11 innings. However, he failed to register a decision on Wednesday against the Red Sox, pitching five scoreless innings with the A’s eventually losing 5-0.

Harden is 0-3 with a 5.59 ERA in five starts against the Blue Jays, most recently facing them in 2005. In two outings in his native Canada, he’s 0-2 with a 10.61 ERA. On the bright side, the A’s are 37-16 in Harden’s last 53 starts overall and 5-1 in his last six outings on foreign turf.

Burnett was solid in his debut at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, holding New York to two runs on five hits in six innings en route to a 5-2 victory. The Blue Jays are 6-2 in Burnett’s last eight trips to the hill going back to last August, including 3-1 at home, where the righthander went 6-3 with a 3.19 ERA In 12 starts in 2007.

Burnett dominated the A’s in two starts last year, going seven innings and giving up just one earned run and four in each contest. However, he allowed three unearned runs in a 4-1 home loss on August 22, but bounced back in a 6-2 victory at Oakland five days later. For his career, Burnett is 1-1 with a 2.18 ERA in three starts versus the A’s.

The under is 4-2 in Burnett’s last six starts overall, 2-0-1 in his three starts against Oakland, 5-2 in Harden’s last seven overall and 3-1 in his last four outings against Toronto. Conversely, the over was 6-2-1 in the nine series meetings last year, 20-8-1 in the last 29 head-to-head battles at the Rogers Centre and 6-2-1 in Oakland’s last nine on the highway.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE

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