Saturday's MLB Tip Sheet

Saturday's MLB Tip Sheet

NATIONAL LEAGUE

San Diego (8-9) at Arizona (11-5)


Chris Young (1-1, 5.17 ERA) returns to the mound for the first time in a week as he leads the weary Padres against Edgar Gonzalez (0-1, 4.50 ERA) and the red-hot DBacks in the middle game of a weekend series between division rivals.

Hours after scoring just one run in a 22-inning, 2-1 loss to the Rockies at home, San Diego got shutout Friday in Arizona, falling 9-0. The Padres, who have scored a total of three runs in the last three games and have tallied two runs or fewer in six of their last eight contests, have dropped three in a row and seven of their last 11. Also, they’ve alternated wins and losses in their last road contests.

The DBacks have won 11 of their last 13, including three in a row, since starting the season 1-2, and three of their four losses have come by a single run. Arizona, which leads the majors in runs scored (102) and team ERA (2.85), is off to a 6-1 start at home and is 17-5 in its last 22 at Chase Field dating to last season. Finally, Bob Melvin’s squad has won 11 of its last 13 regular-season contests against N.L. West rivals.

Arizona continues to be a house of horrors for the Padres, as they’ve now lost 55 of their last 80 games at Chase Field.

Young got hammered a week ago tonight in Los Angeles, giving up seven runs (six earned) on seven hits and four walks over just three innings, losing 11-1. That continues a noticeable home-road split for Young, who went 5-6 with a 4.52 ERA on the highway last year (4-2, 1.69 ERA at home). Also, San Diego is 0-7 in Young’s last seven starts on foreign turf.

Young faced the DBacks four times last year, going 0-3 with a 7.32 ERA, including 0-2 with a 6.46 ERA at Chase Field. The 6-foot-10 right-hander gave up exactly five runs in all three of his losses, and San Diego also dropped his one no-decision, losing 5-4 at home even though Young allowed just a run on two hits in eight innings of work.

Gonzalez’s last three starts have come against the Rockies, including the first two this season as he lasted a total of just eight innings, allowing four runs and 11 hits. He got a no-decision in Arizona’s 5-2 win in Colorado on Aug. 6 and took the loss in Sunday’s 13-5 setback at home. Last year at Chase Field, the right-hander went 5-2 despite a 5.63 ERA in six starts and 12 relief appearances.

Gonzalez is 2-1 with a 4.08 ERA in five lifetime games (two starts) against the Padres. In his lone start against them last year, he gave up just a single run on six hits in seven innings, winning 8-2 in San Diego.

The over is 4-0-1 in Young’s last five outings against the DBacks (3-0-1 in Arizona). Also, the over is on streaks of 23-8-2 for the Padres on the road, 5-1-1 for the DBacks overall, 4-0-1 overall in this rivalry and 5-0-2 when these teams face off at Chase Field.

ATS ADVANTAGE: ARIZONA and OVER


AMERICAN LEAGUE

Seattle (9-9) at L.A. Angels (11-7)


The top two teams in the A.L. West continue their weekend series at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., where former Angels lefty Jarrod Washburn (1-2, 3.50) is set to oppose Ervin Santana (2-0, 3.32).

Los Angeles took Friday’s opener 5-4, improving to 5-1 in its last six while halting the Mariners’ three-game winning streak. Meanwhile, since starting off 2008 by losing five of its first seven games, has still won seven of its past 11.

These teams met last weekend in Seattle, with the Mariners winning the first two games 8-5 and 8-3 before losing Sunday’s finale 10-5. Going back to 2006, Los Angeles has won 23 of the last 33 head-to-head clashes, going 12-3 in the last 15 at home.

Seattle is just 4-10 in Washburn’s last 14 trips to the hill, including dropping two of three starts this season while averaging just four runs per contest. In Monday’s home game against the Royals, Washburn allowed just three runs in six innings, but lost 5-1. In two road outings this year, the southpaw is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA, defeating Tampa Bay (7-1) but losing to the Orioles (7-4).

Washburn, who pitched for the Angels from 1998-2005, is 4-2 with a 4.26 ERA in seven career starts against his former mates. He’s also 30-34 with a 4.57 ERA in his career at Angel Stadium, including a gem back in September when he yielded just five hits and no walks in seven scoreless innings en route to a 6-0 shutout win.

Santana has strung together three consecutive quality starts to begin the season, including giving up three runs on seven hits in Monday’s 7-4 victory at Texas. In his lone home start of ’08, the right-hander allowed two runs on six hits in six innings against Cleveland, but got a no-decision as Los Angeles lost 4-3.

Santana has been a markedly better pitcher at home in his young career (25-9, 3.14 ERA) than on the road (12-21, 6.92). And the same holds true for his career numbers against the Mariners, as he has a 3.00 ERA in four home starts versus Seattle and a 9.88 ERA in three road outings. Finally, the Angels are 5-0 in Santana’s last five starts against the Mariners and 26-10 in his last 36 home starts overall.

The Angels are 9-4-2 “over” the total in Santana’s last 15 starts overall (0-1-2 this year), and the over is 5-2 in Washburn’s seven starts against the Angels. However, the under is 4-1 in Washburn’s last five outings overall and 3-0 in Santana’s last three home games against the Mariners.

The Angels have followed a 5-0-1 “over” streak by going 2-0-1 “under” in the last three. Also, the under is 5-1-2 in Seattle’s last eight road games. However, the over is still 7-2-1 in the last 10 series meetings (3-0-1 this year).

ATS ADVANTAGE: L.A. ANGELS

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Re: Saturday's MLB Tip Sheet

Saturday's best MLB bets
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Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay -105, 9½

It’s only one win, but the White Sox got a little momentum from their victory last night. Jim Thome got his bat working with a 418-foot home run and only three members of the starting lineup failed to get a hit in yesterday's 9-2 win.

"This is special," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We have a special thing going on. I think the way we lost last night, and the way we traveled here, getting here late at night, it's a good sign. It's a great sign."

The Rays are having major problems on defense. They had two errors in the game yesterday, including the fourth in the last six games by short stop Jason Bartlett. Carlos Pena did not play in the game after tweaking his hamstring. He’s expected to play at designated hitter tonight, but Eric Hinske will play first base again.

Pick: White Sox

Colorado at Houston -115, 9

Wandy Rodriguez has been lights-out so far this year, so you might as well take advantage of this guy while he’s at home. He has a history of inconsistency and bad performances on the road, but in Houston, he’s a different pitcher.

The last time he faced Colorado at home, he pitched seven shutout innings and helped the Astros to a 12-0 victory. He has a 2.33 ERA so far this year and considering the Rockies are hitting just .204 against left-handers, the Astros have a good chance to get retribution for yesterday’s 11-5 loss.

Pick: Astros

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