MLB News and Notes April 8
MLB News and Notes April 8
Thursday's AL Tip Sheet
By Brad Young
There are just six games on Thursday’s American League schedule, but those outings stretch out the entire travel day. Cleveland and New York conclude their three-game series with an afternoon affair, while first pitch in the Texas-Seattle American League West tilt occurs nine hours later.
Plenty of chances to cash tickets on a limited slate, so let’s break down four of Thursday’s key contests.
**Indians (Byrd) at Yankees (Mussina)**
-Caesars Palace lists New York as a $1.35 home ‘chalk’ over Cleveland, with the total set at 9½. This contest is scheduled to start at 1:05 p.m. ET.
-Cleveland’s Paul Byrd (1-2, 3.74 ERA) is off last Thursday’s no-decision against Seattle despite tossing 7 2/3 innings of scoreless ball. The veteran right-hander surrendered four hits with a walk and four strikeouts.
-The Indians eventually won that contest as a $1.45 home favorite, 3-2, while the combined five runs failed to topple the 10-run closing total. The ‘under’ is 3-1 his last four starts.
-The Louisiana State product beat New York April 25 as a $1.20 home underdog, 6-4, while the combined 10 runs slithered ‘over’ the 9½-run closing total. Byrd went 5 2/3 innings, yielding four runs on six hits (three home runs) with no walks or strikeouts.
-New York counters with Mike Mussina (4-3, 4.23 ERA) who enters this contest riding a personal three-game winning streak. The former Stanford pitcher knocked off Seattle Saturday as a home ‘pick,’ 6-1, tossing six innings while allowing the lone run on seven hits with no walks and five strikeouts.
-The combined seven runs failed to eclipse the 8 ½-run closing total, helping the ‘under’ improve to 5-2 during his seven starts.
-Mussina upended the Indians April 28 as a $1.00 road selection, 5-2, lasting five innings while being reached for two runs on seven hits with a walk and two strikeouts. The combined seven runs went ‘under’ the 9½-run closing total.
**Red Sox (Beckett) at Tigers (Verlander)**
-Caesars Palace installed Boston as a $1.35 road favorite over Detroit, with the total listed at 8½. First pitch is scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m. ET.
-Boston pitcher Josh Beckett (3-2, 4.19 ERA) is off Saturday’s victory over Tampa Bay as a $1.55 home ‘chalk,’ 12-4. The 6-foot-5 right-hander went eight innings, surrendering four runs on seven hits (two home runs) with a walk and five strikeouts.
-The combined 16 runs soared ‘over’ the eight-run closing total, helping the ‘over’ improve to 3-2 his five starts.
-Beckett, an eight-year veteran, has not started against the Tigers the last few years.
-Detroit right-hander Justin Verlander (1-5, 6.28 ERA) has suffered back-to-back losses after Saturday’s setback to Minnesota as a road ‘pick,’ 4-1. The 25-year-old went seven innings, yielding four runs on seven hits (one home run) with two walks and five strikeouts.
-The combined five runs failed to topple the nine-run closing total, helping the ‘under’ cash his second straight outing.
-Verlander beat the Red Sox last season as a $1.20 road underdog, 7-2, tossing 7 2/3 innings while being reached for two runs on six hits (one home run) with no walks and seven strikeouts. The combined nine runs slithered ‘under’ the 9 ½-run closing total.
**Orioles (Cabrera) at Royals (Hochevar)**
-Caesars Palace opened Baltimore as a $1.10 road ‘chalk’ over Kansas City, with the total set at 8½. This matchup is scheduled to begin at 8:10 p.m. ET.
-Baltimore hurler Daniel Cabrera (2-1, 4.06 ERA) heads to the hill fresh off his first setback after falling to Los Angeles Saturday as a $1.15 road underdog, 3-1. The Dominican Republic native was reached for three runs on six hits with two walks and six strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings.
-The combined four runs never seriously threatened the 9½-run closing total, enabling the ‘under’ to improve to 5-0-1 his last six starts.
-The 6-foot-9 righty picked up two no decisions against the Royals last year in two starts, going a combined 12 innings while surrendering five runs on 13 hits with four walks and 10 strikeouts. The Orioles ended up winning as a $1.75 home ‘chalk,’ 6-4, and as a $1.00 home underdog, 3-2.
-Kansas City right-hander Luke Hochevar (2-1, 4.86 ERA) has won consecutive starts after beating Cleveland Saturday as a decided $2.70 road underdog, 4-2. The two-year veteran went six innings, allowing both runs on three hits (one home run) with four walks and six strikeouts.
-The combined six runs went ‘under’ the 8½-run closing total, helping the ‘under’ cash in all three of his starts.
-Hochevar has never started against the Orioles in his brief major-league career.
**Rangers (Gabbard) at Mariners (Hernandez)**
-Caesars Palace has Seattle listed as a $1.65 home favorite over Texas, with the total set at 8½. First pitch is scheduled for 10:10 p.m. ET.
-Texas pitcher Kason Gabbard (1-0, 2.18 ERA) has been involved in three consecutive no decisions, and hasn’t pitched since April 21 when he went on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained muscle in his back.
-The three-year veteran has seen the ‘over’ go 3-1 his four starts.
-The left-hander escaped with a no-decision against the Mariners last year despite allowing four runs on six hits (one home run) with six walks and two strikeouts over just 3 1/3 innings. The Rangers ended up dropping that contest as a $1.20 road underdog, 8-7, while the combined 15 runs soared ‘over’ the nine-run closing total.
-Seattle’s Felix Hernandez (2-2, 3.04 ERA) enters this contest mired in a personal two-game losing skid after Saturday’s setback to New York as a road ‘pick,’ 6-1. The Venezuela native lasted 5 2/3 innings, yielding six runs on 12 hits (one home run) with three walks and three strikeouts.
-The combined seven runs failed to topple the 8½-run closing total, enabling the ‘under’ to cash his fourth consecutive start.
-Hernandez received a no-decision in an April 1 matchup with the Rangers, surrendering an unearned run on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts over seven innings. The Mariners eventually dropped that affair as a $1.90 home ‘chalk,’ 5-4, while the combined nine runs slithered ‘over’ the 8½-run closing total.
Re: MLB News and Notes April 8
Thursday's NL Tip Sheet
By Brian Edwards
**Padres at Braves**
--Most books have installed Bobby Cox’s team as a minus 165 ‘chalk’ with a total of 9½ ‘under’ (minus 115). The Braves are plus 120 on the run line (minus 1½ runs).
--Atlanta (17-15, -161) has won five in a row, including Wednesday’s 5-2 win over San Diego as a minus 165 favorite. The Braves hooked up run-line backers with a plus 125 payout (risking $100 paid $125). Tim Hudson worked seven strong innings for his fifth win of the season.
--Chipper Jones went 2-for-4 to improve his majors-best batting average to .429. Atlanta plated three runs in the seventh inning to break open a tie game. The win kept the Braves in a third-place tie with the Mets, 1 ½ games back of the NL East co-leaders, Florida and Philadelphia.
--San Diego (12-22, -1278) has been the team to fade (bet against) all year long, costing its backers nearly 13 units. The Padres have the worst record in baseball and are buried in the NL West cellar, trailing Arizona by double digits in the standings.
--The Braves are 13-4 at home, while the Padres are an abysmal 6-13 on the road.
--Jo-Jo Reyes (1-0, 1.69 ERA) will get his second start of the season since taking the place of John Smoltz in the rotation. With Mike Hampton still nowhere near returning and Smoltz destined for a return to the bullpen when he’s ready to come off the disabled list, Reyes has a chance to solidify a spot in the Braves rotation.
Wil Ledezma (0-0, 1.96) has made seven appearances this year, all in relief. This is the first time he’s faced Atlanta in his career.
San Diego has lost eight of its 10 games against left-handed starters.
--The ‘over’ is 12-7 for the Padres on the road.
--Get your bets in early on get-away day, as the first pitch at Turner Field will go at 1:10 p.m. Eastern.
**Brewers at Marlins**
--Most spots are listing Florida (19-14, +863) as the minus 110 favorite with the total at 9½ ‘under’ (minus 115). Gamblers can earn a huge return by backing the Marlins on the run line at plus 180).
--Fredi Gonzalez’s squad won its third straight game with last night’s 6-2 home win at an even-money price. Dan Uggla and Jorge Contu both homered, while Hanley Ramirez had a pair of hits, two runs scored and two walks. Burke Badenhop, who was a part of the trade with Detroit for Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera, picked up his first win as a Marlin.
--Milwaukee (16-17, +1) has lost five consecutive games. The Brewers fell to five games games back of division-leading St. Louis. They are sitting in fourth place in the NL Central.
--Mark Hendrickson (5-1, 3.71) has been one of the NL’s biggest surprises, emerging as Florida’s ace despite entering the 2008 campaign with a 43-55 career record.
--Carlos Villanueva (1-3, 5.56) will get the ball for the Brewers, who are 9-11 on the road this year. Villanueva is 1-0 with a 1.74 ERA in 10 1/3 lifetime innings against the Marlins.
--Ramirez is 2-for-5 (.400) of Villanueva with one homer.
--The ‘over’ is 15-8 for the Marlins in their home games. On the other hand, the ‘under’ is 11-10 in Milwaukee’s road games.
--The Brewers have an excellent 7-3 record against southpaws.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
--The Dodgers blew a chance to gain ground on NL West-leading Arizona yesterday. They lost at home to the Mets by 12-1 count, while the D-backs dropped a 5-4 decision to Philadelphia. Bob Melvin’s team remains three game in front of Joe Torre’s club.
--Arizona RHP Brandon Webb is 2-3 with a 3.99 ERA in eight lifetime starts against the Phillies. Chase Utley is 5-for-11 (.455) off Webb with one double and one homer. Ryan Howard is 3-for-8 (.385) off the righty with one double and one dinger.
--The ‘over’ is an MLB-best 26-12 for the Pirates, who play host to San Francisco in a business man’s special at 12:35 p.m. ET. today. The total is 7 ½ at most betting shops.
--The ‘under’ is an NL-best 19-15 overall for Atlanta.
Re: MLB News and Notes April 8
Philadelphia (20-15) at Arizona (22-12)
The Phillies send right-hander Brett Myers (2-2, 4.70 ERA) to the mound to close out a four-game series at Chase Field against the Diamondbacks, who will trot out unbeaten ace right-hander Brandon Webb (7-0 record, 2.49 ERA).
The clubs have alternated wins and losses in the first three games of this set, with Philadelphia rallying for a 5-4 victory on Wednesday night. The Phillies have won five of their last six games and are 5-2 in their last seven road starts. The first-place Diamondbacks, meanwhile, have dropped four of their last six and are a middling 5-6 in their last 11 games overall.
These two teams met six times in 2007, with Arizona going 5-1 (2-1 at home), after Philly went 5-1 in the series in 2006. The Diamondbacks are 6-3 in the last nine meetings.
Myers has made seven starts this season, getting three no-decisions, and the Phillies are just 3-4 in games he’s started. He was solid in his most recent outing Saturday against San Francisco, allowing two runs on six hits in seven innings, with 10 strikeouts, but the Giants went on to a 3-2 road win in 10 innings.
Myers is 0-2 with a whopping 7.41 ERA in three road starts this season, but he is 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA in four career starts (five appearances) against Arizona.
Webb, the 2006 National League Cy Young winner, appears to be on track for that award again. He’s won all seven of his starts, with his worst outing coming on Saturday, when he gave up four runs on five hits in six innings of a 10-4 home victory over the New York Mets. In five of Webb’s seven starts, the D-backs have allowed two runs or less.
Webb is 3-0 with a 4.05 ERA at Chase Field this season, and he’s 2-3 with a 3.99 ERA in eight lifetime starts against Philly.
The Phillies are on runs of 11-5 overall, 8-2 in Thursday games, 6-2 against right-handed starters, 8-3 against the N.L. West, 9-2 in Myers’ last 11 road starts against winning teams and 20-6 in Myers’ last 26 outings against the N.L. West. On the downside, Philly is just 3-9 in Myers’ last 12 starts overall and 1-5 with Myers on the highway.
Despite losing two of the first three games of this series, the Diamondbacks continue to sport several winning trends, including 21-10 overall, 24-11 in their last 35 home games, 7-3 at home against righties, 5-0 with Webb going on four days’ rest, 5-0 with Webb facing an N.L. East opponent, 20-8 with Webb pitching at home and a sterling 18-4 in Webb’s last 22 starts overall.
The over is 6-3-1 in Philadelphia’s last 10 games, 7-3 in its last 10 on Thursday, 4-1 with Myers going on Thursday and 4-1 with Myers facing winning teams. For Arizona, the over is on runs of 9-5-3 at home and 5-2-2 against winning teams, but the under is 15-7-1 in Webb’s last 23 starts overall, 5-1 for Webb against the N.L. East and 11-4-1 in Webb’s last 16 starts at home.
ATS ADVANTAGE: ARIZONA and UNDER
Boston (22-14) at Detroit (15-20)
Josh Beckett (3-2, 4.19 ERA) is set to toe the slab when the Red Sox wrap up their four-game road set at Comerica Park against the Tigers, who will hand the ball to struggling righty Justin Verlander (1-5, 6.28).
Detroit snapped a five-game losing streak on Wednesday in the most unlikely fashion, scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth against Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon to steal a 10-9 victory. The 10-spot was one more run than the Tigers had scored during their three-game slide.
Boston, which won Monday’s series opener 6-3, saw its five-game winning streak come to an end. Still, Terry Francona’s squad is on an 8-2 roll, which comes on the heels of a five-game slide.
The Red Sox are still 35-18 in the last 53 meetings in this American League rivalry, including 4-2 this year after taking two of three at home in an early April series. The Tigers won the season series last year, 4-3.
Beckett matched the longest outing of his five starts this season in Boston’s 12-4 home win over Tampa on Saturday, going eight innings and allowing four runs on seven hits and four walks. Prior to that, the Rays beat Beckett and the Red Sox 3-0 in Tampa on April 27, with Beckett yielding just two runs on four hits with 13 strikeouts in seven innings but getting no offensive support. Beckett, who is 1-2 with a 4.12 ERA on the highway this season, has only one career start against Detroit: a 7-4 home loss in 2006 in which he gave up five runs on six hits in six innings.
Verlander, who got a no-decision in a season-opening 5-4 loss to Kansas City, has proceeded to lose five of six since then, including his last two starts. On Saturday at Minnesota, he gave up four runs on seven hits in seven innings in a 4-1 defeat. Verlander is 1-2 with a lackluster 5.79 ERA at Comerica this year and 1-1 with a 4.61 ERA in two career starts against Boston – one in each of the past two seasons.
The Red Sox, who really have no negative trends worth noting, are on a 21-6 tear in their last 27 Thursday contests, 5-2 in their last seven road games, 22-8 in their last 30 against the A.L. Central and 42-18 in their last 60 against losing teams. Also, with Beckett on the hill, Boston is on streaks of 28-1 overall, 14-4 on the road, 7-2 against the A.L. Central, 12-3 when he pitches on four days’ rest and 5-0 in his last five road outings against losing teams.
The Tigers, conversely, are in slumps of 2-4 at home, 1-5 against right-handed starters, 1-7 in Verlander’s last eight overall and 0-4 in Verlander’s past four versus a winning team. On the bright side, Detroit is in the midst of streaks of 10-1 when Verlander goes against A.L. East teams, 22-7 with Verlander going on four days’ rest and 23-10 when Verlander works at home.
For Boston, the under is on runs of 7-4-1 overall, 4-1-1 on the highway, 7-3-1 against righties and a lengthy 56-28-6 on the road against right-handers. However, the over is 5-2-1 in Beckett’s last eight starts, and the over is also 17-5-1 in Verlander’s last 23 home starts, 5-1 in his last six Thursday outings and 11-3 in his last 14 against a winning team.
ATS ADVANTAGE: BOSTON
Re: MLB News and Notes April 8
Twins to put Baker on DL, will recall Perkins
May 7, 2008
CHICAGO (AP) -The Minnesota Twins will put right-hander Scott Baker on the 15-day disabled list. and recall left-hander Glen Perkins from Triple-A Rochester to take his place in the rotation.
The Twins announced Wednesday that Baker was going to the DL because of a strained right groin that forced him out of his last start after three innings.
Baker's roster spot will be filled by right-hander Kevin Slowey, who will be activated from the 15-day disabled list to start against the Chicago White Sox on Thursday. Slowey has been recovering from a strained right biceps.
Perkins went 2-1 with a 2.97 ERA for Rochester. He will be recalled in time to start on Saturday at the Metrodome against the Boston Red Sox.
Re: MLB News and Notes April 8
Philadelphia at Arizona (3:40 p.m.). Brandon Webb (7-0, 2.49 ERA) looks to become the majors' first eight-game winner when the Diamondbacks face Brett Myers (2-2, 4.70) and the Phillies.
- Carlos Gomez, Twins, became the first Minnesota player to hit for the cycle since Kirby Puckett 22 years ago in a 13-1 victory.
- Mark Ellis, Athletics, hit the first game-ending home run of his career, lifting Oakland to a 6-5 victory in 10 innings against Baltimore.
- John Maine, Mets, became the first New York starter to pitch more than seven innings this season, allowing one run in 8 1-3 in a 12-1 victory over Los Angeles.
- Joey Votto, Reds, became the 23rd player in franchise history to hit three homers in a game, and the first since Aaron Boone on May 8, 2003, as Cincinnati beat Chicago 9-0.
- Carlos Lee, Astros, singled in the winning run in the ninth inning of Houston's 4-3 victory over Washington. It was the second straight day Lee drove in the go-ahead runs.
- Chris Iannetta, Rockies, tripled home two runs off St. Louis closer Jason Isringhausen to cap a four-run eighth-inning rally, and Colorado won 4-3.
- Shaun Marcum, Blue Jays, came within an out of his first career shutout, striking out nine in 8 2-3 innings as Toronto beat Tampa Bay 6-2.
Carlos Gomez became the first Twins player since Kirby Puckett 22 years ago to hit for the cycle. Gomez, acquired from the Mets in the Johan Santana trade, homered off Mark Buehrle (1-4) on the game's third pitch. He added an RBI triple in the fifth, doubled in a run in the sixth and completed the cycle with an infield single to lead off a six-run ninth. He's the eighth Twins player to hit for the cycle.
Jon Lieber became only the second pitcher in Cubs history to give up four homers in an inning, during a 9-0 loss at Cincinnati. Joey Votto, who went deep three times, started a four-homer second inning off Lieber, who was making his first start of the season. Adam Dunn and Paul Bako also had solo shots, and Jerry Hairston Jr.'s two-run homer completed the history-matching rally. Phil Norton is the only other Cubs pitchers to allow four homers in an inning.
Zack Greinke gave up five hits and three runs in seven innings, striking out eight and walking two to lead the Royals to a 9-4 victory over the Angels. His ERA, the second-lowest in the league entering the game, rose to 1.80. He fell a bit farther behind Cleveland's Cliff Lee, who pitched seven shutout innings against the Yankees and lowered his major league-leading ERA to 0.81. The Indians won 3-0.
Phillies closer Brad Lidge earned his seventh save in seven chances in a 5-4 victory against Arizona. He has not allowed a run this season in eight innings.
PRETTY IN PINK
White Sox OF Nick Swisher, along with pitcher John Danks and backup catcher Toby Hall, dyed their facial hair hot pink in an effort to raise awareness for breast cancer and pay tribute to Mothers Day. A group of children from Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation, a national support group for those affected by pediatric cancer, watched as Swisher, Hall and Danks took the pink plunge while seated on top of the White Sox's dugout. The players also made a donation on behalf of their teammates.
BETTER, BUT NOT GOOD
Barry Zito returned to the Giants rotation after a brief banishment to the bullpen and had his best start of the season. It still wasn't good enough for a win. In five innings, he allowed three hits, two runs and two walks with five strikeouts. But he fell to 0-7 as the Pirates won 3-1.
Braves closer Rafael Soriano can resume his throwing program after tests on his sore right elbow revealed no major injuries. Soriano had an MRI exam and a bone imaging scan. He was placed on the disabled list with elbow tendinitis on April 9. There is no timetable for his return.
Atlanta manager Bobby Cox was ejected by third-base umpire Wally Bell for arguing about a run-scoring balk on Braves starter Tim Hudson. It was Cox's 137th career ejection, extending his major league record, and his second this season. The Braves beat the Padres 5-2.
Cardinals starter Mark Mulder has a mild rotator cuff strain in his left shoulder, causing St. Louis to stop his rehabilitation assignment. Mulder, coming back from two shoulder operations, plans to rest for a week to 10 days before being reevaluated. Mulder made five starts during his rehab assignment. He was 2-2 with a 6.66 ERA.
Milwaukee starter Dave Bush (0-4) gave up six runs in six innings in the Brewers' 6-2 loss to the Marlins. Ben Sheets remains the only Milwaukee starter to win since April 5.
Adam Wainwright allowed four hits in seven shutout innings, but the Cardinals' bullpen gave up four runs in the eighth inning to Colorado and the Rockies won 4-3.
The Tigers snapped their five-game losing streak, and Boston's five-game winning streak, when they rallied with two runs in the ninth of Jonathan Papelbon for a 10-9 victory. .... Before beating Tampa Bay 6-2, Toronto had gone 20 games without scoring more than five runs. No AL had a streak that long since the 2002 Detroit Tigers went 24 games.
COMFY AT COMERICA
Boston's Kevin Youkilis hit two homers in a 10-9 loss to Detroit. He has seven homers at Comerica Park in his career, five more than he has at any venue as a visitor. The only other time he hit two homers in a game was - naturally - in Detroit on Aug. 8, 2004.
``A win like this is huge for us because it's just one of those friendly reminders that we are a good enough team to come back. It's a nice reminder for us to just see that.'' - Colorado outfielder Ryan Spilborghs after the Rockies' rallied with four runs in the eighth to beat St. Louis 4-3.