Monday's MLB Tip Sheet

Monday's MLB Tip Sheet

Monday's Tip Sheet
By Brian Edwards

There are only nine games on Monday’s MLB card. Each contest – seven in the AL, just two in the NL -- will be under the lights. Let’s take a look at a few of the highlights.

**Twins at Tigers**

--Bettors have been making a fortune by fading Detroit in the first two weeks of the regular season. The Tigers, who many saw as serious contenders to win the 2008 World Series, are off to an atrocious start, costing their backers more than 12 units.

--Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened Detroit (2-10, -1229) as a minus 170 favorite with a total of nine ‘over’ (minus 115). Gamblers can dodge the expensive money-line price and back the Tigers on the run line (minus 1 ½ runs) for a plus 120 payout.

--Minnesota (6-6, +23) has won three of its five road games. The Twins are off a 5-1 loss at Kansas City as plus 110 underdogs. They are 1 ½ games behind the AL Central-leaders, the White Sox.

--Detroit RHP Jeremy Bonderman (1-1, 3.97 ERA) has a 3-6 record and 5.31 ERA in 13 lifetime starts against the Twins.

--Minnesota RHP Nick Blackburn (0-1, 2.25) worked two innings in relief against Detroit last year and got shelled, giving up seven hits and four earned runs.

--Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer is hitting .364 (8-for-22) with a pair of doubles and one homer off Bonderman.

--The ‘under’ has cashed in three straight and is 8-4 overall for the Twins. The ‘under’ is 7-5 overall for the Tigers.

--Although Jim Leyland’s squad has played abysmal (at best) to date, it is just 5 ½ games off the pace in the AL Central.

**Pirates at Dodgers**

--Pittsburgh (6-6, +85) brings a three-game winning streak to Tinseltown after sweeping the Reds out of the Steel City. The Pirates pounded Cincinnati by a 9-1 count Sunday, hooking up their backers as plus 117 underdogs. Ryan Doumit, Xavier Nady and Jason Bay homered for Pittsburgh, while Tom Gonzelanny worked more than six innings en route to his first win of the season.

--Los Angeles (5-7, -281) has lost five of its last six games, including Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to San Diego as a minus 140 home ‘chalk.’ Joe Torre’s team produced just five hits against Greg Maddux, Trevor Hoffman and Co.

--Zach Duke (0-0, 2.13) will get the starting nod for Pittsburgh. The lefty was outstanding in his last start, although he took a no-decision in the 6-4 loss to the Cubs. Duke allowed just one earned run in seven innings and struck out six.

--Duke has struggled against the Dodgers, compiling a 1-3 record and 7.99 ERA in four lifetime starts.

--L.A. will give the ball to Hiroki Kuroda (1-1, 2.13), who is making his third career start since coming over from Japan, where he won 58 games from 2002-2006.

--The ‘over’ is 8-4 overall for the Pirates, 4-2 in their road games.

--The ‘under’ is 4-2 for the Dodgers at home, 7-4-1 overall.

--LVSC opened the Dodgers as minus 180 favorites with a total of eight ‘over’ (minus 125). As of Sunday night, most books had L.A. listed at minus 160 with the total still at eight (-115). Gamblers can take Torre’s troops on the run line for a plus 130 return.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--San Diego RHP Greg Maddux worked five scoreless innings and gave up just two hits Sunday en route to his 349th career victory, a 1-0 triumph over the Dodgers. Meanwhile, Trevor Hoffman picked up his fourth save of the season and 528th of his career.

--White Sox LHP Mark Buehrle has had tough luck against the A’s through the years. In 17 career assignments against Oakland, the southpaw has a better-than-decent 3.86 ERA but an abysmal 3-9 record.

--Atlanta catcher Brian McCann went 37 plate appearances before striking out for the first time in Friday’s win over Washington.

--When the Power Hours was out in Las Vegas at Sunset Station for the Sweet 16, Andy Iskoe, James Manos and I discussed a little baseball during Thursday’s telecast. When the conversation turned toward the NL East, I stated that the “Mets and Braves are kidding themselves if they think Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Mike Hampton, Pedro Martinez and Johan Santana are going to be healthy all season.” Well, we’re only 10 games deep into the schedule and Martinez is already on the DL. Glavine might be headed there after leaving Sunday’s game with a strained right hamstring after facing just four batters. Smoltz has been sensational in a pair of starts, but he has reported some shoulder soreness. As for Santana, he’s healthy but has lost two of his first three assignments. Finally, Hampton has yet to make his first start after a two-years-and-change absence from the Braves’ rotation.

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Re: Monday's MLB Tip Sheet

Boston (7-6) at Cleveland (4-7)

The Red Sox and lefty Jon Lester (1-2, 4.50 ERA) visit the Indians and Jake Westbrook (1-1, 2.76) in a rematch of last season’s American League Championship Series at Progressive Field.

Boston rallied from a 3-1 deficit to beat Cleveland in the ALCS, and then went on to sweep the Rockies and win their second World Series crown in four years.

The Red Sox come into this series after taking two of three against the rival Yankees over the weekend, including Sunday night’s 8-5 victory. After registering just two hits in losing Friday’s series opener 4-1, Boston rallied to win both weekend games, scoring 15 runs in the process.

Cleveland snapped a three-game losing streak with Sunday’s 7-1 home victory over Oakland, the Indians first home win in three tries this season.

Lester got roughed up in his last start, giving up four runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings of a 7-2 home loss to the Tigers. In his two road starts this season he’s allowed four runs on eight hits in 10 2/3 innings against the A’s, first in Japan (5-1 loss) and then in Oakland (5-0 win).

Last July, Lester went to Cleveland and gave up two runs on five hits in six innings as Boston got a 6-2 victory. The Red Sox are 12-4 in Lester’s last 16 starts overall, 8-3 in his last 11 on the highway and 9-2 in his last 11 against a team with a losing record.

Westbrook went the distance Tuesday at the Angels, allowing three runs on seven hits in a 4-3 win in Anaheim. In two starts this season, the veteran right-hander has allowed five runs on 13 his in 16 1/3 innings. The Tribe has struggled with Westbrook as a favorite, though, going just 1-4 in his last five as a chalk.

Westbrook saw the Red Sox twice in the ALCS, including the deciding Game 7. In Boston, he allowed three runs on nine hits in six innings of work but the Red Sox went on to blow out the Indians 11-2. Earlier in the series he held them to two runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings of a 4-2 Cleveland win.

The Red Sox are just 2-9 in their last 11 games as a ‘dog and 1-5 in their last six against right-handed starters. Conversely, Cleveland is on runs of 22-7 at home, 17-6 as a home favorite and 9-2 against a southpaw.

The over is 5-1-2 in the last eight series meetings, however the under is 4-1-2 in the last seven matchups in Cleveland, 4-1 in Westbrook’s last five at home against the Red Sox and 17-4 in Westbrook’s last 21 as a home favorite. The under is also 20-7-1 in Boston’s last 28 games on Monday and 6-2-1 in its last nine when they face a right-handed starter. 


L.A. Angels (7-6) at Texas (5-7)

After taking two of three in Anaheim in the opening week of the season, the Rangers and starter Jason Jennings (0-2, 7.45 ERA) welcome the Angels and Ervin Santana (1-0, 3.00) to the Ballpark at Arlington for a brief two-game set.

Texas got swept at home against the Blue Jays over the weekend, concluding with a 5-4 10-inning loss Sunday. The Rangers are 7-1 in the last eight head-to-head meetings with Los Angeles, including 5-1 in Texas. They’re also 4-1 in their last five matchups against Santana and 4-0 when they Santana in Texas.

The Angels salvaged the final game of a three-game set in Seattle Sunday, cruising to 10-5 win.

Jennings has been beaten up in his first two starts as a Ranger, giving up four runs on five hits in five innings of a 4-1 loss in Seattle on April 2 and then yielding four runs on seven hits in 7 2/3 innings in Tuesday’s 8-1 home loss to the Orioles.

While with the Astros last season, Jennings faced the Angels once and gave up five runs (four earned) in 5 2/3 innings of a 9-5 Houston victory.

Santana has allowed just four runs on 10 hits in 12 innings of work this season as the Angels are 1-1 in his two starts. He faced the Rangers four times last season and got beaten up in the final three, allowing 17 runs (15 earned) in 16 1/3 innings as the Rangers won all three, all in Arlington.

The Angels are 15-5 when Santana pitches against division rivals and 13-5 with him favored, but just 4-11 in his last 15 starts on the road.

The Rangers are 17-7 in their last 24 home games but just 6-16 in their last 22 as an underdog and 1-4 in their last five Monday starts. Meanwhile the Angels are 6-2 in their last eight Monday games, but they’re mired in slumps of 1-4 in the opener of a series and 1-5 against A.L. West foes.

The over is 22-7-3 in Santana’s last 32 road starts, 6-1 in his last seven road outings in Texas, 5-1 in the Angels’ last six overall, 10-4 in the Angels’ last 14 series openers and 8-2-1 the last 11 times these teams have met.

Conversely, the Rangers have stayed under the total in seven of their last eight as a home pup, and the under is 24-7 in their last 31 at home and 24-8-1 in their last 33 against a right-handed starter.


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