MLB News and Notes April 6

MLB News and Notes April 6

Tuesday's Tip Sheet
By Josh Jacobs

Boston looks to be putting an offensive slide behind it. Once upon a time the Red Sox where scoring an average of 2.8 run per game in a losing streak that topped out at six games before going into recovery mode this past week (the losing streak officially ended on Apr. 29 in a 1-0 win over Toronto) .

In five wins out of its last six games, Boston has now produced 5.8 runs per game and is currently in possession of first place honors in the AL East.

But there’s more news and notes circulating around the league. With that said, here’s a breakdown of some top matchups taking place on Tuesday.

Boston (T. Wakefield) at Detroit (N. Robertson) – 7:05 p.m. EDT


The Red Sox (20-13, +660) head into Tuesday with momentum behind them. Boston finished up the weekend outscoring division opponent, Tampa Bay 26-10 (three-game series). Red Sox starting pitching has been untouchable in the last six games, throwing for a 2.14 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. Knuckleball specialist, Tim Wakefield will make his seventh start of the season. Wakefield is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA when coming off five days of rest this season. As for offense, this club has started May off on the right foot. Red Sox bats have combined for a .319 BA with 25 RBIs in four games played this month so far.

The Tigers (14-18, -816) looked to be turning the corner in three straight victories over the Yankees at the end of April until three straight ‘Ls’ versus the Twins derailed any headway made. Posting just eight runs on the board in the last three is evidence that this club is struggling on all fronts. A 5.01 ERA and only eight quality starts lists Detroit at the bottom of the barrel in the pitching department. A 15-17 record on the run line equating to a -249 deficit should be enough reason to stay away from this club until otherwise noted.

Cleveland (F. Carmona) at N.Y. Yankees (A. Pettitte) – 7:05 p.m. EDT

The Indians (14-17, -971) continue to hurt bettors’ wallets (unless you’re into fading this club) with inadequate offense. Cleveland added to its deplorable .242 seasonal batting average and 4.3 runs per game over the weekend when it scored just two runs on Saturday and was skunked on Sunday by the Royals. Only Victor Martinez (.347 BA, 10 RBIs) is hitting above the .300 mark (in 20 or more games), while Travis Hafner (.209, 17 RBIs) leads the Tribe in RBIs. But with Hafner battling to stay above the .200 BA mark, there’s a lot of uncertainty about when this club will finally break loose from the batting slump. Right handed starter Fausto Carmona (3-1, 2.60) will take the mound in this contest. Carmona is 2-0 in his last three starts, surrendering seven runs with only one homer. However, lefties are tagging the two-year vet for a .300 BA.

The Yankees blew past the weekend by outscoring Seattle 19-4 in the three-game series (3-0). While New York low ball slinger, Chien Ming-Wang (6-0, 3.00) picked up his sixth win of the season on Friday, reason to celebrate over starter, Darrell Rasner’s first victory of the season added a tad bit more momentum to the three-game winning streak.

The Yanks have dominated the Tribe at home in the history books, going 21-6 in the last 27. Lefty, Andy Pettitte will climb to the hill bringing with him a .271 BAA with a .316 on base percentage against in the last three years versus right handed hitters. This season, righties have tagged Pettitte for a .324 BA with 19 RBIs and five long balls in 105 at bat appearances.

Milwaukee (J. Suppan) at Florida (S. Olsen) – 7:10 p.m. EDT

Shifting to some National League action, the Brewers (16-15, +115) will look to makeup some ground against the Marlins with a 2-7 record in their last nine meetings in Florida. Even though Milwaukee’s starter, Jeff Suppan (1-1, 5.19) has had a tough time gathering wins this season, the Brew Crew is 9-3 in his last 12 starts. Suppan is 3-2 with a .250 BAA in six starts versus Florida over a three year span. His last win against the Marlins was in June of 2007 (seven innings, six hits and four runs surrendered in an 8-5 victory).

Even with Florida dropping six of its last 10 games, this club continued to show grit when it defeated San Diego in two of three games this past weekend. The best news for Marlins’ fans and backers is that lefty hurler Scott Olsen (3-1, 2.70) will make his seventh start this year. But with the good comes the bad, and Olsen hasn’t been awarded a win since Apr. 2. The 13-year veteran was shelled by the Cubs in his last appearance, giving up 11 hits and 11 runs in only 3.2 innings. Olsen is 3-1 at home, while receiving 4.8 runs of support throughout the season.

Philadelphia (A. Eaton) at Arizona (R. Johnson) – 9:40 p.m. EDT

The Diamondbacks (21-10, +918) have been rotating between wins and losses in the last five games, going 2-3. Giving up six runs per game in those three defeats has been un-Arizona like, especially with a staff of Brandon Webb and company racking in a third best 3.38 ERA and tops in the league with a 1.19 WHIP. Southpaw veteran Randy Johnson takes the hill on Tuesday. Just when Johnson looked to be settling into his old self (3.23 lifetime ERA), a no decision against Houston on Apr. 30 served more as a setback. In the 8-7 win over the Astros, Johnson was rocked for six earned runs in only four innings of work. Righties have been teeing off for a .286 BA against the 44-year-old this season.

Philadelphia has received a balanced effort from both pitching and hitting. Entering the beginning of May with a 3.76 ERA and knocking the cover off the ball to bring in 144 RBIs, the Phillies have left off from the great production of last season. Philly’s Chase Utley has been unconscious with a .357 BA and 26 RBIs, while Pat Burrell’s .330 BA with 30 RBIs makes up for the lack of statistics coming from Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins. At night, the Phillies are 3-1 versus southpaw pitchers at home and but have struggled overall with a .232 BA a .313 OBP.

N.Y. Mets (O. Perez) at L.A. Dodgers (H. Kuroda) – 10:10 p.m. EDT

Mets’ righty Nelson Figueroa (2-1, 4.08) is coming off a 3.1 inning effort after Oliver Perez imploded in only 1.2 innings, giving up two hit and seven runs (two of them earned). Figueroa must be prepared to face a Dodgers team who’s holding the cards to seven players hitting from the left side. However, versus righties, L.A. is 24th worst in the majors with 189 hits and 84 RBIs. The Dodgers have been able to get into scoring position by stealing on southpaws 23 times this season (sixth best). L.A.’s Matt Kemp is on pace to shatter his 42 RBIs from last season. Kemp is currently registering a blistering .324 BA with 22 RBIs. The Dodgers are coming off an eight-game winning streak which witnessed the club averaging 8.8 runs per game. The ‘over’ is 7-3 in L.A.’s last 10.

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Re: MLB News and Notes April 6

Weekly Diamond Notes
Matt Fargo

Tuesday, May 6th

Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati Reds 7:10 PM ET


One of the best pitching matchups of the week takes place Tuesday with Carlos Zambrano and Aaron Harang squaring off. Zambrano has a 2.11 ERA on the season and has tossed six quality outings in his seven starts on the year. He has 11 wins against the Reds which is tied for the most victories against any team. Harang meanwhile is 1-4 but he has a solid 2.98 ERA through seven starts. Like Zambrano, he is 6-7 in quality starts but poor run production has done him in as the Reds average just 3.1 rpg in his outings.

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Re: MLB News and Notes April 6

NATIONAL LEAGUE

N.Y. Mets (16-14) at L.A. Dodgers (18-14)


Dodgers rookie Hiroki Kuroda (1-2, 3.82 ERA) tries again for his first home win when he opposes Nelson Figueroa (2-1, 4.08) and the Mets in the middle game of a three-game series at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles continued its winning ways with Monday’s 5-1 victory over New York, improving to 9-1 in its last 10 and 11-3 in its last 13, including four straight home wins. The Dodgers’ offense has carried the club during this stretch, scoring five runs or more in 10 of the last 11 wins. In fact, Joe Torre’s squad has tallied eight or more 10 times in its last 14 victories.

New York has alternated wins and losses in its last six games, and they’re now two games under .500 on the highway (7-9), alternating victories and defeat in the last six as a visitor.

These teams split their 10-game series last year, but the Mets did win five of the last seven, including three of four in Los Angeles.

Kuroda tossed seven solid innings at Florida on Thursday afternoon, allowing three runs on five hits and no walks, but he didn’t factor in the decision as Los Angeles prevailed 5-3. The Japanese phenom has pitched at least six innings in five of his six starts, going 5 2/3 in his other outing.

Kuroda has a 6.00 ERA in two home starts (eight runs allowed in 16 innings), but he didn’t get a decision in either game, with the Dodgers going 1-1.

The Mets are 3-1 in Figueroa’s four starts this season and he hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any outing. His last start came April 27 when he gave up three runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings of a 6-3 home win over the Braves.

Figueroa is 0-1 with a 6.43 ERA in three games (one start) on the highway. Also, he’s 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA in two career starts against the Dodgers, though he hasn’t faced them since 2002 as a member of the Brewers.

The total has alternated in Kuroda’s first six big-league starts, with his last outing at Florida staying low, but the over is 2-0 in his two home games. Meanwhile, the under is 3-1 in Figueroa’s four starts this year.

The under is 5-1-1 the last seven times these teams have met, but the over is 7-3-1 in the last 10 meetings on the West Coast, even though Monday’s game stayed low. The over is also 4-2-1 in the Mets’ last seven overall, 14-8-1 in their last 23 road games and 17-10-2 in their last 29 on the road against right-handed starters. Meanwhile the Dodgers are on over runs of 9-4-1 overall, 7-2 at home and 5-1 at home against teams with a winning mark.

ATS ADVANTAGE: L.A. DODGERS


AMERICAN LEAGUE

Boston (21-13) at Detroit (14-19)


Red Sox veteran Tim Wakefield (2-1, 4.03) faces off against Detroit’s Nate Robertson (1-3, 6.82) for the second time in less than a month, as these A.L. rivals that are heading in opposite directions resume a three-game series at Comerica Park.

Boston survived a shaky start from Daisuke Matsuzaka and beat the Tigers 6-3 on Monday, the team’s fourth straight win and sixth victory in its last seven games. The Red Sox also snapped a three-game road losing skid, but are still just 7-8 on the highway this season.

Detroit has followed up a three-game winning streak with four straight losses, totaling three runs or fewer in three of the four defeats. The Tigers are also just 1-3 against Boston this season, though the home team is still 7-2 in the last nine meetings.

The Red Sox are on streaks of 6-0 on Tuesdays, 8-1 against left-handed starters, 7-1 on the road against lefties, 21-7 against A.L. Central teams, 41-17 versus losing teams and 9-3 in Wakefield’s last 12 starts against Detroit. Meanwhile, the Tigers are in funks of 11-23 in Robertson’s last 34 starts overall, 7-20 in his last 27 when pitching on four days’ rest and 2-6 in his last eight starts against Boston.

Wakefield got the best of Robertson back on April 10 in Boston, giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits and five walks over five innings, winning 12-6. In the loss, Robertson went 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and two walks. Wakefield is now 14-10 with a 4.41 ERA in 33 games (21 starts) against Detroit, including 2-3 with a 5.08 ERA at Comerica Park, while Robertson is 2-4 with a 6.46 ERA against the Red Sox.

Wakefield has pitched well in his last two starts (three earned runs allowed in 13 innings), but Boston lost both games to Toronto (3-0 at home) and Tampa Bay (5-4 on the road). Wakefield has a 4.00 ERA in three quality starts on the road, but didn’t get a decision in any of those contests.

In his last start against the Yankees in New York, Robertson continued a disturbing season-long trend that has seen him give up four or five runs in all six starts, as he surrendered four runs in 5 2/3 innings, but it was good enough for an 8-4 victory. However, the Tigers are 1-2 in Robertson’s three home starts, with the southpaw going 0-1 with a 6.38 ERA.

The under is 3-1 in Wakefield’s last four outings and 7-3 in his last 10 starts against Detroit. Conversely, the over is 5-2 in Robertson’s last seven outings going back to the end of 2007 and 5-1 in his last six starts against Boston.

The under is 8-3-2 in the last 13 head-to-head matchups, 4-0 in Bonderman’s last four outings against the Sox and 4-1-1 in Bonderman’s six starts this season. The under is also 6-3-1 in Boston’s last 10. However, the over is 5-2-3 in the Tigers’ last 10 at home.

ATS ADVANTAGE: BOSTON

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Re: MLB News and Notes April 6

This week's MLB betting news and notes
By STEVE MERRIL

Boston and Tampa Bay played a home and away series over this past week, and the home team dominated going a perfect 6-0. The Devil Rays won the three games at Tropicana Field by a combined score of 10-5 with every game going Under the total. The Red Sox won the three games at Fenway Park by a combined score of 26-10 with every game going Over the total. Both Clay Buchholz and Josh Beckett avenged their losses for Boston while Tampa’s Matt Garza also split out, winning at home and losing on the road.

Arizona pitcher Micah Owings is not just a thrower; the kid can swing the bat too. Owings was sent to the plate as a pinch hitter by Diamondbacks’ manager Bob Melvin in a game last Wednesday night against the Astros. Down 7-5 in the sixth inning, Owings hit a game-tying two-run homer for Arizona. Houston was well aware of Owings’ prowess at the plate as the Astros actually brought in a right-handed reliever to face Owings. The move didn’t work, and Owings’ homer raised his average to .429 (9-21) this year. Over the last two years, he’s hitting .358 with 8 doubles, a triple, 5 home runs, and 18 RBI.

Oakland pounded out 20 hits last Thursday in a 15-8 win over the Angels. Of those 20 hits, only 2 went for extra bases. And that is typical Oakland baseball as the A’s lineup is built to play small ball. Because Oakland doesn’t have the big names on their roster, they’ve been consistent money-makers so far this year. The A’s are 19-14 on the year and their backers earned 6.96 units of profit over the first month of the season. Despite what they’ve done already, the A’s will still be undervalued in the betting marketplace going forward so don’t be afraid to back them in the underdog role.

What’s going on in the Bronx? The Yankees offense has been MIA this year, and those betting their games Under the total have cleaned house. Going into last week, New York had played 15 of their 24 games Under the total. And they’ve continued that pattern over their last ten games going Under the total in seven of those games. So, for the year, the Yankees are 22-10-1 to the Under and that trend may not reverse itself soon as two of their bats (Posada and Rodriguez) are on the DL.

It’s not uncommon for former starting pitchers to end up in the bullpen, and for young relievers to vault into the starting rotation. Let’s look at a case of each from this past week. Barry Zito was once considered one of the best pitchers in the game while playing in Oakland, but after breaking the bank with a huge contract from the Giants, Zito has been terrible. This year, batters are hitting .336 against him, and in a move to save his career, San Fran moved Zito to the bullpen. Sad news as Zito was an automatic go-against this season. On the flip side, Arizona’s Max Scherzer made his Major League Debut out of the pen last week. Scherzer faced 13 batters in relief, retiring all 13 in his 4.1 innings of work against the Astros. He’ll get his first start on Monday night against the Phillies.

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Re: MLB News and Notes April 6

Red Sox place Moss on DL, recall RHP Hansen
May 5, 2008

DETROIT (AP) -The Boston Red Sox placed outfielder Brandon Moss on the 15-day disabled list Monday and recalled right-hander Craig Hansen from Triple-A Pawtucket.

Moss had an appendectomy Saturday in Boston and was released from Massachusetts General Hospital a day later. The designation is retroactive to Saturday.

He's hitting .286 in six games this season with two home runs and three RBIs.

Hansen is with the club for the second time this season. He was recalled April 23 and lost to Los Angeles after giving up two hits and a run in 1 1-3 relief innings. He was sent down after the game.

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Re: MLB News and Notes April 6

Rockies' Wells to have surgery
May 5, 2008

DENVER (AP) -Colorado Rockies right-hander Kip Wells will have surgery Tuesday for a blood clot in his right hand.

The Rockies said Monday the operation will be performed at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

The 31-year-old Wells was placed on the 15-day disabled list effective April 28. He was 1-1 with a 2.29 ERA in 10 games and one start.

No date has been set for his return.

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