MLB News and Notes June 2

MLB News and Notes June 2

Monday's Tip Sheet
By Brian Edwards

**Marlins at Braves**

--Atlanta (29-28, -428) continues to be the most predictable team in baseball for gamblers. On the road, the Braves are atrocious with a 7-21 record. On the flip side, they are sensational at home with a 22-7 ledger.

--Atlanta returns home after another disastrous road trip. The Braves lost two of three at Milwaukee before getting swept in three games at Cincinnati. The Reds won a 6-2 decision Sunday as plus 120 underdogs. Not only did the Braves take broom treatment, but Tim Hudson had to leave the game in the seventh inning with a strained left hamstring. Six batters after Hudson’s departure, reliever Blaine Boyer left the game with an undisclosed injury.

--Florida (31-24, +1,275) fell out of first place Sunday, losing a 7-5 decision against the Phillies. The Marlins failed to take the money as plus 130 road underdogs. They are one-half game behind the Phillies, while Atlanta is in third place in the NL East, 3 1/2 games back of the division leaders.

--Florida LHP Scott Olsen (4-2, 3.65 ERA) is 2-4 with a 7.03 ERA in eight career starts against Atlanta. However, the southpaw threw seven scoreless innings in a 4-0 home win over the Braves on April 15. Olsen is 1-0 with a 3.81 ERA in four road assignments this year.

--Olsen has had control problems in his last three starts (0-1, 7.83), walking 10 batters in just 14 1/3 innings of work.

--Chipper Jones has feasted on Olsen with 10 hits in 16 at-bats for a .625 average. Jones has two doubles, one triple and two homers off Olsen. Brian McCann is 5-for-16 (.313) against the lefty with a pair of homers.

--Jones went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts in Sunday’s loss. Nevertheless, he still leads the majors with a .405 batting average.

--Jo-Jo Reyes (2-3, 4.83) is coming off one of the best outings of his career, working seven strong innings in a 1-0 loss at Milwaukee. Even though Reyes took the loss in the low-scoring affair, he fanned a career-high nine batters.

--Reyes is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in one career start against Florida. This season, the southpaw is 2-1 with a 5.50 ERA in four home outings.

--The Braves are just 10-11 against southpaws this season. As for the Marlins, they are 7-8 versus lefties. The Fish are 13-12 on the road.

--Bobby Cox’s club has seen the ‘under’ cash at an MLB-best 36-22 clip. However, the ‘under’ hasn’t been quite as prevalent in Atlanta home games (17-15).

--Florida is the second-best ‘over’ team in baseball, seeing it hit a 36-21 overall pace. The ‘over’ is 16-9 for the Marlins in their road games. They have seen the ‘over’ hit in each of their last four games.

--John Smoltz threw one scoreless inning for the Rome Braves on Saturday night in a minor-league rehab assignment. Smoltz is expected to be activated today and return to the bullpen rather than the starting rotation.

--Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened Atlanta as a minus 130 ‘chalk’ with a total of 9½ ‘under’ (minus 120). Gamblers can pick up a huge payout by backing the Braves on the run line (minus 1½ runs) at plus 160.

**Red Sox at Orioles**

--LVSC opened Boston (35-24, +841) as a minus 125 favorite with a total of nine flat (minus 110 either way). The Red Sox are plus 135 on the run line (risk $100 to win $135).

--Terry Francona’s club has won three in a row, including Sunday’s 9-4 triumph at Baltimore. The Red Sox go for the sweep of the four-game series in this spot. They are in second place in the AL East, one game back of the surprising Rays.

--Baltimore (26-29, +105) is 16-11 at home, while Boston is just 14-19 on the road.

--Tim Wakefield (3-4, 4.70) will take the bump for the Red Sox. The veteran knuckleballer has a 14-13 record and 4.24 career ERA against the O’s.

--Baltimore’s Kevin Millar has enjoyed plenty of success against Wakefield, a former teammate. Millar is 10-for-21 (.476) off Wakefield with three doubles and three homers. On the flip side, O’s slugger Nick Markakis is just 3-for-14 (.214) against Wakefield with a pair of doubles.

--Jeremy Guthrie (2-6, 3.64) will toe the rubber for Baltimore. The right-hander is 1-0 with a 2.70 lifetime ERA against Boston.

--The ‘over’ is 29-27 overall for Boston, 16-14 in its road games.

--Baltimore has seen the ‘under’ go 33-25 overall, 15-12 in its home games.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--The ‘over’ is an MLB-best 38-18 for the Pirates.

--After wrapping up a series against the Dodgers at Shea Stadium on Sunday night, the Mets head west to San Francisco. They will give the starting nod to Oliver Perez in the series opener against the Giants. Perez has an 0-4 record and 5.83 ERA in eight lifetime starts against San Francisco.

--Detroit LHP Kenny Rogers owns a 21-7 record and 4.33 career ERA against Oakland.

--Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano will take the mound Monday night at San Diego. The righty has a 5-1 record and 2.19 career ERA against the Padres.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June 2

June Pitchers Report
By Marc Lawrence

June's Good Month And Bad Month Pitchers

Previous Months - April - May


In keeping with our game plan of acknowledging good pitchers and avoiding bad pitchers during their GOOD and BAD months of the seasonbelow is the list of arms to watch throughout the month of June. Note that the W-L records are those of the team in which the listed pitcher started over the previous three seasons.

Thanks to my good friend Tom Freese, handicapper par excellence, I present a list of the BEST and WORST pitcher performance records during the month of June over the past three years. And, oh yeah hey peanut man, toss over a bag my way, wouldya. Enjoy...

JUNE GOOD PITCHERS

Jeremy Bonderman - Detroit: 11-5
Roy Halladay - Toronto: 13-5
Danny Haren - Arizona: 14-3
Felix Hernandez - Seattle: 8-2
Cliff Lee - Cleveland: 11-5
Matt Morris - Retired 12-5
Scott Olsen - Florida: 9-3
Kenny Rogers - Detroit: 9-3
Johan Santana - N.Y. Mets: 13-4
Claudio Vargas - N.Y. Mets: 9-4
Justin Verlander - Detroit: 9-2
Chris Young - San Diego: 11-5
David Wells - No Team: 7-3

JUNE BAD PITCHERS

Daniel Cabrera - Baltimore: 5-12
Aaron Cook - Colorado: 2-8
Kyle Davies - Atlanta: 3-8
Tim Hudson - Atlanta: 4-10
Jon Lieber - Chicago Cubs: 3-7
Kip Wells - Colorado: 2-11


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NATIONAL LEAGUE

Arizona (32-25) at Milwaukee (29-28)


The Brewers try to continue their winning homestand when they send veteran righty Jeff Suppan (3-4, 3.93 ERA) to the mound at Miller Park to take on the N.L. West-leading Diamondbacks and former Brewer Doug Davis (2-2, 4.57).

Milwaukee has won five of six games on this homestand, including Sunday’s 10-1 victory that capped a three-game weekend sweep of the Astros. Meanwhile, Arizona snapped a five-game losing streak with back-to-back wins Saturday (4-0) and Sunday (5-0) at home against the Nationals.

The Brewers took five of seven from Arizona last season and have won 10 of the last 14 series clashes in Milwaukee.

Davis is 1-1 with a 2.53 ERA on the road this season but got drilled in his last start, giving up six runs on nine hits in five innings of an 11-3 home loss to the Giants. Davis has only seen his former team twice in his career, both last season, and went 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA. He allowed a combined eight runs in eight innings of work. He got a no-decision in Arizona’s 5-2 road win in July, then took the loss in a 9-0 loss at home a month later.

Suppan has been brilliant at Miller Park, going 2-0 with a 0.93 ERA in four starts, including Wednesday’s eight-inning gem against Atlanta, as shutout the Braves on four hits in a 1-0 victory. In fact, Suppan has not allowed more than one earned run in any of his four home outings, with Milwaukee winning three of those contests.

For his career, Suppan is 2-3 with a 3.86 ERA in six starts covering 32 2/3 innings of work against Arizona. He faced the Diamondbacks back on Aug. 22 and gave up three runs in seven innings, but lost 3-2 in the desert. Arizona is 4-2 all-time in games in which Suppan has started.

Arizona is 15-6 in Davis’ last 21 starts and 4-1 in his last five Monday outings. As a team, the DBacks are just 9-20 in their last 29 on the road against right-handed pitching, 2-8 in their last 10 on the road overall and 1-4 in their last five against the N.L. Central.

The Brewers are 7-1 in Suppan’s last eight at home but just 2-5 in his last seven overall and 1-6 the last seven times he’s pitched in a series opener. As a team, Milwaukee is on streaks of 50-21 against left-handed pitching, 5-1 on Mondays, 6-2 against the N.L. West and 5-2 in series openers.

The over is 10-2 in Davis’ last 12 starts overall, 5-1 in his last six on the road and 7-0 in his last seven when going on four days’ rest, but the under is 4-0-1 in Davis’ last five on Mondays. Meanwhile, Suppan sports nothing but “under” runs, including 6-0 in series openers, 4-0 against teams with a winning record, 4-0 at home and 5-0 overall.

For the Brewers as a team, the under is on runs of 6-1 overall, 5-1 at home, 8-1-1 against left-handed starters, 13-3-1 in series openers and 8-3-1 on Mondays. However, for Arizona, the over is 6-2 in its last eight on Mondays and 7-3 in its last 10 on the road against right-handed starters. Finally, the under is 4-1 in the last five head-to-head meetings between these clubs in Milwaukee.

ATS ADVANTAGE:               NONE


AMERICAN LEAGUE

N.Y. Yankees (28-28) at Minnesota (29-27)


The Twins send Livan Hernandez (6-2, 4.60 ERA) to the hill in the finale of a four-game set with the Yankees, who are set to hand the ball to Andy Pettitte (5-5, 4.11) inside the Metrodome.

Minnesota took Sunday’s game 5-1 after dropping one-run decisions Friday (6-5) and Saturday (7-6 in 12 innings). The Twins are 5-2 in their last seven overall, but they snapped a four-game home losing skid with yesterday’s win. Also, Minnesota is just 3-8 in its last 11 at home against southpaw starters, but 6-2 in its last eight on Mondays.

Despite Sunday’s setback, which halted a three-game winning streak, New York has won eight of its last 11 overall and five of six against teams with a winning record. The Yankees are also 5-2 in their last seven games in Minnesota and 37-15 in the last 52 matchups against the Twins regardless of venue.

The Twins are 9-3 in Hernandez’s 12 starts this season, and he’s 4-0 with a 4.23 ERA in six games at home. The veteran right-hander has been knocked around lately, giving up 14 runs (11 earned) in his last 11 1/3 innings over two starts, a 9-8 Minnesota win at Kansas City and an 8-7 home loss to Texas. Prior to that two-game stretch, Hernandez had allowed three earned runs or less in four straight starts.

For his career, Hernandez is 0-2 with a 6.08 ERA in three starts against the Yankees. Last year while with the Diamondbacks, he surrendered seven runs on nine hits in four innings of a 7-2 loss at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees have won Pettitte’s last two starts as he’s allowed an identical two runs on eight hits over a combined 12 2/3 innings in wins over the Mariners (13-2 at home) and Orioles (4-2 on the road). On the road this season, Pettitte is 4-2 with a 3.72 ERA.

Pettitte is 8-5 with a 3.52 ERA in 17 lifetime starts against the Twins, and the Yankees have won eight of his last 10 starts against them, including four in a row overall and four of his last five in the Metrodome. The last time the veteran southpaw faced Minnesota was April 2007 when he scattered four hits and a walk over six shutout innings of a 10-1 road victory.

Prior to winning Pettitte’s last two starts, New York had lost five straight games behind Pettitte, But otherwise Joe Girardi’s squad sports positive trends of 14-4 with Pettitte pitching on Monday, 10-3 with him on the road, and 19-7 when he goes up against A.L. Central squads.

For Pettitte, the under is 20-7 in his last 27 starts overall, 13-3 in his last 16 when he goes on four days’ rest, 7-1 in his last eight versus teams with a winning record and 7-0 in his last seven on the highway. On the flip side, the over is 8-1 in Hernandez’s last nine starts overall and 5-0 in his last five outings inside the Metrodome.

The over is 6-3 in the Yankees’ last nine overall, but otherwise the under is on streaks for the team of 10-4-1 against A.L. Central squads, 5-1-1 on Mondays and 7-1 on the road against right-handed starters. For the Twins, the over is 9-4 in their last 13 overall, 5-2-1 in their last seven against A.L. East foes and 6-1 in their last seven at home.

ATS ADVANTAGE: N.Y. YANKEES

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Chan's money arms: Best and worst pitchers for this week
By DAVID CHAN

It’s time for another weekly installment of Money Arms, a look at who’s hot and who’s not.

I’m going to shift gears this week and talk about some of the best and worst bullpen arms in the bigs. For the purposes of this column, I’ll leave closers out of the picture.

On most nights, the middle relievers are the guys who will make or break your bets, not the starters. I know I’m not alone in cringing when certain faces come trotting out of the bullpen, but by the same token, there are others that are as close to a sure thing as anyone else in baseball.

I’m sure everyone has their own opinion on relievers who can be trusted and those you wouldn’t hand the ball to with a 10-run lead. Here’s my take.

The cream of the crop

Carlos Marmol, Chicago Cubs


Is there a more dominant relief pitcher with less fanfare than Carlos Marmol? Opponents are hitting just .121 against the Cubs' fireballer and he’s already recorded 16 successful holds. His strikeout to walk ratio stands at an incredible 4.33/1 and he averages over 13 Ks per nine innings. This is the same guy who turned in a 1.43 ERA in 69 1/3 innings last season. There’s no question, he’s the unsung hero on the Chicago Cubs so far in 2008.

Ryan Franklin, St. Louis Cardinals

Franklin has made a nice transition from starter to reliever, and after a couple of shaky years in Cincinnati and Philadelphia, has found a home in St. Louis. He really came into his own last year, recording 25 holds as the Cardinals' setup man. He did so while also compiling a stellar 1.01 WHIP, almost an unheard of number for a relief pitcher. Franklin is already well on his way to improving on last year’s numbers, posting a 2.13 ERA to go along with 12 holds through 26 appearances.

Heath Bell, San Diego Padres

While he’s going to have a tough time matching last year’s incredible numbers, Heath Bell is still one of the most reliable late-innings pitchers in the game today. Through 31 1/3 innings pitched this season, Bell has given up only eight earned runs, good for a 2.30 ERA. After posting a 0.96 WHIP a year ago, he’s right around that number again, currently sitting at 1.05. It’s scary to think how ugly the Padres' record could be were it not for Bell’s late game heroics.

The bottom of the barrel

Jason Grilli, Detroit Tigers


There’s a reason why Grilli was run out of Detroit. Actually there are several. His overall 2008 numbers aren’t all that bad, but give him some time. Moving over to the National League has helped, but it’s only a short-term fix. Opponents are reaching base at almost a .400 clip and it’s no fluke that his teams are 6-14 in the 20 games he has appeared in. It’s a rare occurrence when Grilli keeps inherited runners from crossing home plate. At some point, someone is going to have to realize that this guy is a AAA pitcher at best.

David Weathers, Cincinnati Reds

Here’s a guy that is well past his prime but is still considered a reliable option in crunch time. I’m not sure why. Here’s the tale of the tape this season: Weathers is 2-3 with a 4.67 ERA and 1.90 WHIP. He has struck out 13 batters while walking 12 and has already given up three home runs in only 17 1/3 innings pitched. Something tells me that he won’t last the season with the Reds. This could be the 38-year old’s last ride at the big league level.

Juan Rincon, Minnesota Twins

Rincon was once a reliable arm in the Twins bullpen, but not anymore. After turning in a 5.13 ERA in 63 appearances last season, Rincon has shown little improvement in 2008. He has already given up 20 hits and 14 walks in just 23 innings of relief duty. Rarely does Rincon get through an inning without getting himself into a jam. His 4.30 ERA is actually flattering in that regard. The Twins bullpen isn’t as steady as it used to be, and Rincon is a big reason why.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June 2

Baseball Today

Chicago Cubs at San Diego (10:05 p.m. EDT). The Cubs try to keep their momentum going when they send Carlos Zambrano (7-1, 2.33 ERA) to the mound against the Padres.

STARS

- Gabe Gross, Rays, hit a tying two-run triple in the fifth inning, and then homered leading off the bottom of the 10th to lift Tampa Bay to a 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

- Pat Burrell and Chase Utley, Phillies. Burrell had a tiebreaking two-run double in the seventh inning and Utley hit his major league-best 20th homer in a 7-5 victory over Florida.

- Braden Looper, Cardinals, gave up three runs in 5 2-3 innings and had two singles, scored a run and added an RBI in a 7-4 victory over Pittsburgh.

- Johan Santana, Mets, gave up six hits and struck out six in 7 2-3 innings to earn his 100th win as New York beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-1.

- Ryan Braun and Russell Branyan, Brewers, each hit two-run homers in a 10-1 victory over Houston.

- Jack Cust and Mark Ellis, Athletics, homered in a nine-run seventh inning to rally Oakland to a 13-8 victory over Texas.

- Dan Haren and Orlando Hudson, Diamondbacks. Haren pitched seven sharp innings and Hudson hit a three-run homer in a 5-0 victory over Washington.

- Fred Lewis, Giants, hit a tying two-run triple in the 10th inning and scored the winning run on an infield single to rally San Francisco to a 4-3 win over San Diego.

ANOTHER FINAL AT-BAT WIN

The Angels' Howie Kendrick was hit by a pitch from Blue Jays closer B.J. Ryan with the bases loaded in the ninth inning to force home the tying run, and Maicer Izturis singled in the game-winner one pitch later to lift Los Angeles to a 4-3 win on Sunday. All four of the Angels' victories in their six-game homestand were walk-off wins.

STREAKS

Houston's 10-1 loss to Milwaukee on Sunday was the Astros' season-high fifth straight. ... The Cubs beat the reeling Rockies 5-3 on to complete a perfect seven-game homestand and send Colorado to its seventh straight loss. ... Kansas City's 6-1 victory over Cleveland on Sunday its second straight victory after a 12-game skid. ... Texas' Michael Young singled in the first inning of a 13-8 loss to Oakland, extending his hitting streak to 17 games. Rangers teammate Ian Kinsler stretched his career-best hitting streak to 16 games with a sixth-inning single.

SCARY

Minnesota pitcher Nick Blackburn escaped with just a bruised nose and upper lip after getting hit in the face by a line drive off the bat of the Yankees' Bobby Abreu in the fifth inning of the Twins' 5-1 win Sunday. Blackburn flung his arms out and flopped on the turf in front of the mound, but quickly rose to his feet and walked off the field on his own with a towel pressed to his face to keep the blood from spurting out of his nose. The impact was lessened because Blackburn bent backward to try to dodge the ball. It grazed off his glove before hitting the right side of his nose, which was bruised and swollen afterward. X-rays showed no broken bones.

BEATING SEATTLE

Placido Polanco hit a tiebreaking single and Detroit scored four times in the ninth inning off struggling J.J. Putz to lift Detroit to a 7-5 win over Seattle on Sunday. Magglio Ordonez and Miguel Cabrera each drove in two runs as the Tigers won for the fifth time in six meetings with the Mariners. Detroit has also fared well against the Yankees - winning four of five - but is 15-30 against everyone else.

BIG PAPI AILING

Red Sox slugger David Ortiz wasn't in the starting lineup for the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, and the designated hitter could only hope his injury was a minor setback. Ortiz sprained his left wrist in the ninth inning Saturday night while swinging at a pitch in Boston's 6-3 win over Baltimore. He left for a pinch hitter with the count full. Ortiz had missed only four games before Sunday. He is batting .252 and leads the Red Sox with 13 homers and 43 RBIs.

COMEBACK DELAYED

Padres pitcher Mark Prior will undergo season-ending surgery on his injured right shoulder, the latest medical setback to a once-promising career. Prior, one of the top young pitchers in the game for the Chicago Cubs just a few years ago, has not pitched in the majors since Aug. 10, 2006. He had been trying to make a comeback with his hometown Padres this season, but his rehab process was shut down at extended spring training about two weeks ago when he had more soreness in the shoulder. Prior, 27, had surgery on the same shoulder in April 2007 while with the Cubs.

CALLING IT A CAREER!

Former catcher Mike Lieberthal signed a one-day minor league contract Sunday and officially retired as a member of the Phillies. The 36-year-old Lieberthal spent 13 of his 14 years in the majors with the Phillies. He signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers last winter and played in only 38 games as a backup to Russell Martin, hitting .234 in 77 at-bats. Lieberthal threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Phillies' 7-5 win over the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park and received a warm ovation from the fans. He hit .274 with 257 doubles, 150 home runs, 610 RBIs while playing in 1,212 career games.

STRONG STARTS


Johan Santana gave up six hits and struck out six in 7 2-3 innings to earn his 100th win as New York beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-1 on Sunday. ... Arizona's Dan Haren struck out five and limited Washington to four hits in seven innings of a 5-0 win. ... Brian Bannister yielded one run and five hits in 7 1-3 innings to lead Kansas City to a 6-1 victory over Cleveland. ... Milwaukee's Dave Bush gave up one run and four hits in seven innings of a 10-1 win over Houston. ... A.J. Burnett gave up two runs and three hits in eight innings of the Blue Jays' 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. ... Tim Lincecum allowed one run and four hits in seven innings of San Francisco's 4-3, 10-inning win over San Diego.

HITTING NO. 501

Manny Ramirez hit his 501st home run in Boston's 9-4 victory over Baltimore on Sunday. One day after becoming the 24th major leaguer to hit No. 500, Ramirez drove a 1-0 pitch from Brian Burres into the right-field seats to put Boston up 6-3 in the fourth inning.

STUCK AT 599

One day after hitting his 599th career homer, Ken Griffey Jr. remained stuck one shy of joining Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays and Sammy Sosa in the 600 club. Griffey went 2-for-3 with a double in the Reds' 6-2 win over Atlanta on Sunday in their final home game before an eight-game road trip.

SPEAKING

``It's all about having fun. You have to remember this is a game and you have to have fun.'' - The Mets' Johan Santana, after giving up six hits and striking out six to pick up his 100th career victory in New York's 6-1 win over Los Angeles on Sunday night.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June 2

Weekly Preview
By Matt Fargo

Monday, June 2nd

Arizona Diamondbacks at Milwaukee Brewers

Doug Davis makes his first trip back to Milwaukee this season to face his former club. This will be his third start since returning from cancer surgery and he will no doubt get a rousing welcome from Brewers fans. Davis was shelled last time out against the Giants and was hit hard in his last game in Milwaukee last season. Jeff Suppan counters for the Brewers and brings in a 0.93 ERA in four home starts. He has a 2.19 ERA in his last four encounters with the Diamondbacks.

Tuesday, June 3rd

New York Mets at San Francisco Giants

Pedro Martinez is slated to return from a strained left hamstring to make his second start of the season. The Mets staff has struggled this season for the most part so a healthy and effective Martinez is vital for the remainder of the season. He goes against Barry Zito who was everyone’s punching bag for a while but has shown improvement. Since returning to the rotation following a stint in the bullpen where he saw no action, Zito has posted a 3.49 ERA in five starts and finally got that elusive first victory two starts back.

Wednesday, June 4th

Detroit Tigers at Oakland A’s

The Tigers ends their rugged nine-game west coast trip with a matinee in Oakland. Following a day off on Thursday, Detroit will play seven straight division games against the Indians and White Sox and even though the season is still young, that stretch could decide whether the Tigers remain in the race or not. In this game, they face off against Justin Duchscherer who is flying under the radar with a 2.27 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in eight starts. He is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA and 0.65 WHIP in three home starts.

Thursday, June 5th

Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox

It is moving day for many teams on Thursday and the Rays and Red Sox conclude their three-game set. Tampa Bay has been the surprise of baseball as they entered this week in first place in the American League East. The Rays sport the second best record in baseball but they will be trying to improve upon that in Boston where the Red Sox own the best home record in baseball. Scott Kazmir, who has allowed only two earned runs in his last five starts, gets the call here and has a solid 2.82 ERA in 18 starts against Boston.

Friday, June 6th

Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves

The Phillies and Braves commence their second series of the season in Atlanta. The Braves are the Jekyll and Hyde in baseball in home and road games as the host is 42-14 in their 56 games entering this week. Tim Hudson missed Philadelphia the first time around but he gets the Phillies in the opener. In 13 starts against the Phillies, he is 4-5 with a 4.02 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. The wins are the fewest against all division teams and the ERA and WHIP are the highest against all division opponents.

Saturday, June 7th

Los Angeles Angels at Oakland A’s

One of the best pitching matchups of the week takes place Saturday with Ervin Santana squaring off against Rich Harden. Santana, with seven victories heading into the week, has already matched his win total from all of last year. He has been strong on the road this year and is 3-0 with a 1.57 ERA in four career starts in Oakland. Harden meanwhile has allowed two runs or fewer in five of his six starts this season and in three starts at McAfee Coliseum, he has posted a 1.50 ERA and 1.11 WHIP.

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