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Wednesday's MLB Tip Sheet

Wednesday's MLB Tip Sheet

Wednesday's AL Tip Sheet
By Brad Young

You know it’s still early in the baseball season when Kansas City isn’t trailing the American Central leader by double digits. In fact, the Royals are still playing above .500 ball and trail the leading White Sox by just a game and a half.
The entire American League East is separated by just 3 ½ games after division-leading Boston won Tuesday while Tampa Bay lost. This division has been dominated by the Red Sox and Yankees, but maybe this is the year that the Orioles and Blue Jays make a run at the postseason.

The biggest surprise in the American League, if not all of baseball, is the Detroit Tigers. This team was a trendy pick to win its division and even appear in the World Series, but they have gotten out of the gates with a 5-10 record. However, Detroit is currently riding a three-game winning streak after upending Minnesota in Tuesday’s matchup.

Now let’s break down some of Wednesday’s key contests.

**Red Sox (Buchholz) at Yankees (Wang)**

-Caesars Palace installed New York as a $1.45 home ‘chalk’ over Boston, with the total set at nine ‘over’ (minus $1.20). This American League East tilt is slated to start at 7:05 p.m. ET.

-Boston hurler Clay Buchholz (0-1, 3.27 ERA) heads to the hill for the first time since Friday’s no-decision against New York. The righty was reached for one run on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts over six innings.

-The Red Sox ended up dropping that affair as a $1.10 home favorite, 4-1, while the combined five runs went ‘under’ the 9½-run closing total. That marked his only career start against the Yankees.

-New York counters with Chien-Ming Wang (3-0, 1.23 ERA), who beat Buchholz and the Red Sox in last week’s meeting. The Taiwan native went the complete-game route, allowing the lone run on just two hits (one home run) with no walks and three strikeouts.

-The ‘under’ has cashed in all three of his starts this season.

-Wang went 3-1 against Boston last season in four starts, going a combined 24 2/3 innings while surrendering 10 runs on 27 hits with 12 walks and 14 strikeouts. The Yankees prevailed as a $1.50 home ‘chalk,’ 6-2, a $1.20 road favorite, 9-5, and as a $1.65 home ‘chalk,’ 5-0, while losing as a road ‘pick,’ 10-1.

**White Sox (Contreras) at Orioles (Loewen)**

-Caesars Palace opened Chicago as a $1.15 road favorite over Baltimore, with the total listed at 9½. This contest is scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m. ET.

-Chicago’s Jose Contreras (0-1, 6.17 ERA) is still searching for his first victory on the year after falling to Detroit Friday as a $1.00 home underdog, 5-2. The Cuba native went 6 2/3 innings, yielding four runs on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts.

-The combined seven runs went ‘under’ the 10½-run closing total. Both of his starts this season occurred against the Tigers.

-Contreras was 0-2 against the Orioles last year in two starts, going a combined 11 innings while allowing 11 runs on 18 hits (three home runs) with four walks and eight strikeouts. The White Sox fell as a $1.35 home favorite, 9-6, and as a road ‘pick,’ 5-3.

-Baltimore southpaw Adam Loewen (0-0, 7.45 ERA) is coming off back-to-back no decisions against Seattle and Texas. The three-year veteran went five innings against the Rangers Thursday, allowing four runs on six hits (one home run) with four walks and four strikeouts.

-The Orioles eventually dropped that affair as a $1.35 road underdog, 5-4. The combined nine runs went ‘under’ the 10-run closing total.

-Loewen has never started against the White Sox in his brief major-league career.

**Rays (Shields) at Twins (Hernandez)**

-Caesars Palace lists Tampa Bay as a $1.20 road ‘chalk’ over Minnesota, with the total set at 8½. This game is scheduled to start at 8:10 p.m. ET.

-Tampa Bay pitcher James Shields (1-1, 3.00 ERA) picked up a no-decision against Baltimore Friday, tossing six innings while surrendering five runs (two earned) on seven hits with a walk and four strikeouts.

-The Rays eventually won that contest as a $1.55 home favorite, 10-5, while the combined 15 runs soared ‘over’ the 8 ½-run closing total. The ‘under’ cashed his first two outings of the season.

-The right-hander beat the Twins in his only start against them last season as a $1.02 home selection, 6-4. In 7 1/3 innings, Shields allowed three runs on nine hits with two walks and eight strikeouts. The combined 10 runs went ‘over’ the nine-run closing total.

-Minnesota’s Livan Hernandez (3-0, 2.57 ERA) continued his winning ways by blanking Kansas City Friday as a $1.25 road underdog, 5-0. The veteran right-hander tossed seven scoreless innings on seven hits with a walk and three strikeouts.

-The five runs failed to topple the 8½-run closing total, helping the ‘under’ improve to 2-1 his three starts.

-Hernandez lost to Tampa Bay last year as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks, yielding six runs on 12 hits (two home runs) with a walk and six strikeouts over six innings. The Rays won that contest as a $1.68 road underdog, 10-2, while the combined 12 runs went ‘over’ the 10 ½-run closing total.

**Mariners (Hernandez) at Athletics (Blanton)**

-Caesars Palace installed Oakland as a $1.15 home favorite over Seattle, with the total set at eight. This AL West contest is scheduled to begin at 10:05 p.m. ET.

-Seattle’s Felix Hernandez (1-0, 1.66 ERA) picked up his first victory of the year against Los Angeles Friday as a $1.20 home ‘chalk,’ 8-5. The Venezuela native was reached for four runs on nine hits (two home runs) with three walks and seven strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings.

-The combined 13 runs eclipsed the eight-run closing total, enabling the ‘over’ to improve to 2-1 his three starts.

-Hernandez went 4-0 against Oakland last season in four starts, going a combined 28 innings while surrendering just five runs (four earned) on 19 hits (two home runs) with 10 walks and 24 strikeouts. The Mariners won as a $1.25 home favorite, 4-0, as a $1.68 home ‘chalk,’ 7-1, as a $1.15 road underdog, 4-0, and as a $1.55 road favorite, 9-5. The ‘under’ went 3-1 during those four outings.

-Oakland right-hander Joe Blanton (1-2, 4.15 ERA) was 0-2 his first three starts before beating Cleveland Friday as a $1.45 road underdog, 9-7. The 6-foot-3 hurler allowed five runs on eight hits (one home run) with a walk and a strikeout over 7 2/3 innings.

-The combined 16 runs soared ‘over’ the 8 ½-point closing total, ending back-to-back ‘under’ outings.

-The 27-year-old went 1-2 against Seattle last year in four starts, going a combined 28 innings while yielding 14 runs on 31 hits (four home runs) with three walks and 15 strikeouts. The A’s won as a $1.10 road underdog, 9-3, while losing as a $1.10 road ‘dog, 8-4, as a $1.32 home favorite, 2-0, and as a $1.83 home ‘chalk,’ 7-3. The ‘over’ was 3-1 during those four outings.

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Re: Wednesday's MLB Tip Sheet

Wednesday's NL Tip Sheet
By Brian Edwards

**Braves at Marlins**

--Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened Atlanta (5-8, -443) as a minus 165 favorite with a total of 8½ ‘over’ (minus 120). Bettors can dodge the expensive straight price by taking the Braves on the run line (minus 1 ½ runs) at a minus 110 price.

--Florida (8-5, +513) remained in first place in the National League East thanks to Tuesday’s 4-0 win over the Braves in the lid-lifter of a three-game series. Scott Olsen worked seven strong innings for the victory. Josh Willingham provided the offense by going 2-for-3 with an RBI triple, one run scored and two stolen bases.

--Atlanta slugger Chipper Jones went 2-for-4 to improve his NL-leading batting average to .415.

--Tim Hudson (2-0, 2.14 ERA) will get the call for Atlanta tonight. The veteran right-hander has dominated the Fish during his 137-win career, posting a 6-1 record and 2.47 ERA in 11 starts.

--Mark Hendrickson (2-1, 4.15) will get the nod for Florida. The southpaw is 0-2 with a 4.15 ERA in a pair of lifetime appearances against Atlanta.

--Willingham is hitless in 13 career at-bats versus Hudson and Mike Jacobs is 2-for-20 (.100). On the flip side, Dan Uggla is 9-for-25 (.360) with a pair of doubles, while Hanley Ramirez is 7-for-24 (.294).

--The Marlins own a 4-3 record at home, while the Braves have limped to a 2-6 record in their eight road outings.

--The ‘over’ is 8-5 overall for Florida, but the ‘under’ has cashed in three consecutive games. The ‘over’ is 5-2 for the Marlins at home.

--The ‘under’ is 7-5-1 overall for the Braves, 5-2-1 in their road outings.

**Brewers at Cardinals**

--LVSC opened St. Louis (10-4, +546) as a minus 120 ‘chalk’ with a total of 8½ ‘over’ (minus 120). An attractive plus 170 return is available for bettors by taking the Cardinals on the run line.

--Tony Larussa’s team thumped the Brewers 6-1 Tuesday as a minus 120 favorite. Gamblers backing the Cardinals on the run line scored a sweet plus 170 payout (I ignorantly went with St. Louis via the less-lucrative money-line route). Braden Looper shook off five walks en route to his third victory of the year. Adam Kennedy went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored.

--Milwaukee (8-5, +386) will go with Carlos Villanueva (1-1, 4.76), who is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA in three lifetime starts versus the Cardinals.

--Adam Wainright (1-1, 3.60) will toe the rubber for St. Louis, which has won six of its seven home games. The Cardinals are the surprising leaders in the NL Central, extending their lead over the Brewers to 1 ½ games going into this spot.

--Wainright is 1-1 with a 2.14 ERA in a pair of career starts against Milwaukee.

--The ‘under’ is 4-3 for St. Louis at home, 3-3-1 for the Brewers on the road.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--Cubs OF Alfonso Soriano left last night’s game with a calf injury, so bettors should check his status later today. Chicago will host the Reds as a minus 200 favorite. Josh Fogg will oppose Carlos Zambrano in this spot. Fogg is 7-7 with a 5.69 lifetime ERA against the Cubs, while Zambrano is 10-9 with a 3.39 career ERA versus the Reds.

--Cubs slugger Derek Lee is 13-for-32 (.406) against Fogg with four doubles and a pair of homers.

--Arizona RHP Brandon Webb owns a 9-5 record and 3.30 ERA in 19 career starts against San Francisco.

--Houston RHP Roy Oswalt is off to an awful start with an 0-3 record and 9.00 ERA. Will the Phillies be just what the doctor ordered for the hard-throwing righty? Oswalt is 5-1 with a 3.02 ERA in six career starts against Philadelphia.

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Re: Wednesday's MLB Tip Sheet


Milwaukee (8-5) at St. Louis (10-4)

Two teams off to solid starts this season continue a three-game series at Busch Stadium as the Brewers send right-hander Carlos Villanueva (1-1, 4.76 ERA) to the hill against fellow righty Adam Wainwright (1-1, 3.60).

In Tuesday’s opener against Milwaukee, the Cardinals rolled to a 6-1 victory. St. Louis lost its season opener but has gone 10-3 since, with a team ERA under 4.00 in the last 10 games. St. Louis is 15-4 in its last 19 games dating to last season and is on a 6-0 run at Busch. Also, the Redbirds are 5-1 in Wainwright’s last six home starts.

Milwaukee had a modest two-game winning streak snapped with last night’s loss. The Brewers are 4-3 on the road this season, but just 2-6 in their last eight against right-handed starters.

Going back to last season, the Cardinals are on an 8-2 run against Milwaukee (4-0 at home).

Villanueva is coming off a 4-1 home loss to Cincinnati, as he allowed all four runs on seven hits in six innings. That followed his season-opening effort, when he gave up eight hits but just two runs in 5 1/3 innings in a 13-4 victory over San Francisco. Villanueva is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA in eight appearances (three starts) against St. Louis, including 1-1 with a 4.30 ERA last year. This will be his first road start this season.

Wainwright surrendered four runs on eight hits in a 5-1 loss at San Francisco on Thursday, following a solid April 5 start against Washington in which he allowed two runs on eight hits in eight innings in a 5-4 home win. He is 1-1 with a 2.14 ERA in nine appearances (two starts) against the Brewers.

The under for Milwaukee is on runs of 7-2 in Villanueva’s starts, 7-0 on the highway against right-handed starters and 6-1 against the National League Central. For St. Louis, the under is 9-3-1 in Wainwright’s last 13 home starts, but the over is 4-2 in its last six overall, 9-5 in its last 14 against the N.L. Central and 4-1-1 in Wainwright’s last six matchups against N.L. Central rivals.



Boston (9-6) at N.Y. Yankees (8-7)

The Red Sox and Yankees make a quick turnaround in their rivalry, having just met over the weekend at Fenway Park. In a rematch of Friday’s meeting, Boston will send right-hander Clay Buchholz (0-1, 3.27 ERA) against Chien-Ming Wang (3-0, 1.23) in this opener of a brief two-game set at Yankee Stadium.

After taking two of three from the Yanks, Boston got a Manny Ramirez two-run homer to beat Cleveland 6-4 Monday night for its third straight win, then came back Tuesday and made it four in a row with a 5-3 come-from-behind win over the Indians. The Red Sox are 5-1 in their last five overall and 7-2 in their last nine series openers, but they are 2-4 in six games against the American League East this year.

Following Sunday’s 8-5 loss at Boston, the Yankees bolted to Tampa Bay and swept a quick two-game series from the Rays, winning 8-7 on Monday and 5-3 on Tuesday. Now they return to the Bronx, where they are 45-20 in their last 65 games dating to last season, but only 4-3 this year.

Despite dropping two of three last weekend, New York is still 7-3 in the last 10 meetings against Boston, including 4-0 at home. The Yanks are also 4-1 in Wang’s last four starts against the Sox.

Wang hurled a complete-game, two-hit gem with no walks in Friday’s 4-1 victory against Buchholz, who got a no-decision after allowing one run on four hits in six innings. Wang, who went 3-2 with a 4.11 ERA against Boston last year, has allowed just three runs in 22 innings this season. The Yankees are now 37-14 in Wang’s last 51 starts overall, 26-8 in his last 34 at home and 9-1 in his last 10 on Wednesdays

Prior to Friday’s no-decision– his first-ever appearance against the Yankees – Buchholz allowed four runs on six hits in five innings in his season debut, a 10-2 loss at Toronto. Last year, the young hurler went 2-0 with a 1.71 ERA in three road starts.

For New York, the under is on streaks of 9-2 overall, 6-1 at home and 8-3 against divisional rivals. For Boston, the under is on runs of 53-25 on the road against right-handed starters and 4-1 on Wednesdays. Finally, the under was 5-1 in the last six series meetings at Yankee Stadium last year and is 4-1 in Wang’s last four outings against the BoSox.


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