Sunday's MLB Tip Sheet

Sunday's MLB Tip Sheet

NATIONAL LEAGUE

San Diego (8-10) at Arizona (13-4)


Randy Johnson (0-0, 0.00 ERA) toes the rubber for the second time this season as he and the Diamondbacks try for a three-game sweep of the Padres, who will hand the ball to Randy Wolf (1-0, 1.42).

Arizona has pounded San Diego in the first two games of this set, winning 9-0 Friday and 10-3 Saturday to extend its winning streak to four. Also, since starting the season 1-2, the DBacks have won 12 of their last 14, and three of their four losses have come by a single run. Arizona, which leads the majors in runs scored (112) and team ERA (2.80), is 21-8 in its last 29 at Chase Field (7-1 this year) and 12-2 in its last 14 against N.L. West rivals dating to last season.

The Padres have scored a total of six runs in the last four games and have tallied two runs or fewer in six of their last nine contests. They’ve now dropped four in a row and eight of their last 12. Finally, Chase Field continues to be a house of horrors for the Padres, as they’ve now lost 56 of their last 81 games in Arizona.

Johnson, making his first big-league start since late June, lasted five innings on Monday in San Francisco, giving up three unearned runs on three hits and four walks with seven strikeouts. He got a no-decision as Arizona went on to lose 5-4. The 6-foot-10 lefty made seven home starts last year before suffering a season-ending arm injury, going 1-3 with a 5.08 ERA.

The Big Unit faced the Padres once last year and got bombed, allowing six runs on six hits in five innings, losing 10-5 at home. For his career, Johnson is 14-4 with a 2.34 ERA in 23 games (22 starts)

Wolf has been outstanding in his first season with the Padres, allowing just three runs and 10 hits with 18 strikeouts over 19 innings of work. On Tuesday at home against Colorado, he allowed just a single hit and four walks over seven scoreless innings, striking out nine in a 6-0 victory. In his one road outing this year, the southpaw gave up just two runs on five hits in six innings in San Francisco, getting a no-decision in San Diego’s 3-2 loss.

Wolf faced Arizona twice last year when with the Dodgers and went 1-1 with a 6.94 ERA, running his career numbers against the DBacks to 5-2 with a 4.11 ERA in 10 starts, including 3-1 with a 3.46 ERA at Chase Field.

The under is 3-0 in Wolf’s three starts this season, but the over is 3-0 in his last three outings against the DBacks. Meanwhile, the under is 20-6-1 in Johnson’s last 27 starts overall, including 12-5-2 in his last 19 outings at home.

The over is on streaks of 24-8-2 for the Padres on the road, 7-2-1 for the Padres against a left-handed starter, 6-1-1 for the DBacks overall, 5-0-1 overall in this rivalry and 6-0-2 when these teams face off at Chase Field.

ATS ADVANTAGE: ARIZONA and OVER


N.Y. Mets (10-6) at Philadelphia (9-9)

After three home starts, Mike Pelfrey (2-0, 1.50) hits the road for the first time this season when he starts for the Mets, who try to sweep a weekend set at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies are set to go with Adam Eaton (0-0, 4.12).

New York held on for a 4-2 victory Saturday for its fifth straight win and eighth in the last 10 games. Meanwhile, the Phillies dropped to 4-4 on their current homestand, including losing four of the last six. On the bright side, Philadelphia is 38-18 in its last 56 Sunday outings.

Philadelphia won the first meeting of the season between these rivals, capping a nine-game winning streak against the Mets. Since then, however, New York has won the last four in a row, scoring 22 runs in the process.

Pelfrey is coming off a gem against Washington, as he scattered five hits and two walks over seven scoreless innings en route to a 6-0 home victory. Going back to last season, New York is on a 5-1 run in Pelfrey’s starts (2-0 on the road).

Pelfrey beat the Phillies 8-2 on April 9 in New York, yielding two runs on five hits in five innings. That evened his career mark against Philadelphia at 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA, as he’s given up two earned runs in exactly five innings in each outing.

Eaton has record three consecutive quality starts to begin 2008, allowing exactly three runs in each contest while pitching a combined 19 2/3 innings. However, he has three no-decisions to show for it, with Philadelphia going 1-2, the one victory being Tuesday’s 4-3 home triumph over the Astros.

One of Eaton’s no-decisions came on April 10 in New York, as he surrendered three runs on five hits in six innings in a 4-3 Phillies loss. For his career, the righthander is 5-0 with a 2.80 ERA in eight starts against the Mets, giving up two earned runs or fewer in six of those eight games.

The under is 4-0 in Eaton’s last four starts since the end of 2007 and 4-1 in his last five outings against the Mets. Conversely, the over is 4-1 in Pelfrey’s last five starts overall, while the under is 4-1 in his five career road starts.

The over is on runs of 20-10-1 for the Mets overall, 23-10-2 for the Mets on the road, 9-5-2 for the Mets as an underdog and 7-2 for the Phillies on Sundays.

ATS ADVANTAGE: N.Y. METS

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Re: Sunday's MLB Tip Sheet

Sunday MLB Gameday

Randy Johnson will make his second start of the year when his Arizona Diamondbacks  play host to the San Diego Padres on Sunday afternoon. Here is your MLB Gameday ?

New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles, 1:35pm ET
Andy Pettitte (2-1, 3.38 ERA) vs. Steve Trachsel (1-2, 5.65 ERA)

Lefthander Pettitte will be gunning for his third straight victory when he takes the mound at Camden Yards on Sunday afternoon. Pettitte is coming off back-to-back road wins over the Royals and Rays, and he's dropped his ERA down to 3.38 on the season. Against Tampa Bay last time out Pettitte allowed three earned runs over seven innings.

Trachsel, on the other hand, has picked up a loss in each of his past two starts and he'll be trying to get back into the win column by taming the Yankees' bats. The righthander won his first start against Seattle, but has since lost to Texas and Toronto. Against the Jays last time out Trachsel was knocked around for five earned runs over 2 1-3 innings.


Texas Rangers at Boston Red Sox, 1:35pm ET
Kevin Millwood (1-2, 2.42 ERA) vs. Tim Wakefield (1-0, 3.18 ERA)

Millwood had a promising start to the 2008 campaign, but he's coming off his worst outing of the year. The righthander allowed just three earned runs over his first three starts of the season, but against the Angels last time out he surrendered four earned runs on nine hits over just five innings. Millwood's ERA remains at 2.42 over 26 innings.

Wakefield keeps cruising along for the Red Sox, as the veteran knuckleballer has turned in a solid start in each of his three outings of 2008. The righthander has allowed just six earned runs over 17 innings pitched versus Toronto, Detroit, and Cleveland. Against the Tribe last time out Wakefield gave up two earned runs in six innings pitched.


Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs, 2:20pm ET
Zach Duke (0-0, 2.89 ERA) vs. Ryan Dempster (2-0, 2.37 ERA)

Duke has been stuck with a no-decision in each of his three starts so far this season, but he's pitched well enough to be 3-0 right now. The lefthander has allowed just six earned runs over 18 2-3 innings pitched, which has kept his ERA down at 2.89. Duke surrendered three earned runs over six innings against Los Angeles in his last outing.

Dempster was Chicago's closer last season, but he's looked comfortable making the transition back to the starting rotation. The righthander is 2-0 with a no-decision over his first three starts. Dempster allowed just one earned run over his first two outings, but he surrendered four earned runs on five hits over six innings versus the Reds last time out.


San Diego Padres at Arizona Diamondbacks, 4:10pm ET
Randy Wolf (1-0, 1.42 ERA) vs. Randy Johnson (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Wolf finally secured his first victory of the season earlier this week by tossing seven scoreless innings and allowing just one hit versus the Rockies. The lefthander, however, pitched well enough to win his first two starts of the season as well - in those two games Wolf surrendered just three earned runs on nine hits over his 12 innings of work.

Johnson probably won't ever return to his old dominant form, but the veteran lefthander showed he could still be an effective major league pitcher in his season debut versus the Giants on Monday. The Big Unit gave up three runs - all unearned - on just three hits over five innings of work in that contest, walking four batters and striking out seven.

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