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MLB News and Notes June 8

MLB News and Notes June 8

Sunday's Tip Sheet
By Josh Jacobs

Not to rush the weekend, but it’s Sunday and that means the little R&R we’re enjoying is winding down. With another 15-game card ready to wet our gaming appetite, let’s see where the cash trail begins and hopefully ends on the positive side of the account.

Cincinnati (A Harang) at Florida (B. Badenhop) – 1:10 p.m. EDT

Right-handed starter Aaron Harang probably wasn’t banking on starting out the ’08 season with a 2-8 record. Coming off a 16-6 performance in 2007, Haranag finds himself struggling to make ends meet, especially when his offense has only supplied him with a team low 3.1 runs of support per start.

For the Marlins, 16 wins in May has now funneled down to 1-5 start in June. Florida has lost four of its games this month by no more then two runs, and if numbers don’t lie then a 7.06 ERA with a 1.84 WHIP from the rotation and pen aren’t helping out those batting statistics.

In four contests versus the Reds this year, the ‘Fish have struggled in the defensive department. Starting pitchers have logged in a bloated 6.59 ERA, resulting in an 0-4 slide. A total of 21 base on balls surrendered has supplied Cincinnati with plenty of scoring opportunities and 29 earned runs produced against Florida’s arms has netted 7.3 runs per game.

L.A. Angels (E. Santana) at Oakland (R. Harden) – 4:05 p.m. EDT

It was only in mid-May that Ervin Santana (8-2, 3.02) raked up two straight losses, giving up eight runs on 14 hits. Since then the top notch performing starter for the Angels has gone on to acquire a 2-0 record in his last two outings, while averaging 111 pitches per start. Backers of L.A. with Santana on the mound should be aware of his 5-2 record on the road versus three wins with two losses at home. As added insurance, the third-year slinger has been spot on with a 0.98 WHIP this season.

The Athletics finished up the work week by taking three straight from Detroit. The club’s breakout game came on Wednesday when the batting order combined for 14 hits with nine RBIs to catapult the squad in a 10-2 victory.

In this AL West feud, Oakland is currently sitting 4 ½-games in back of the Angels for first place honors. The Halos aren’t slowing their momentum down by any means with a six-game winning streak and an 8-2 track record in their last 10 testament to another year of divisional dominance.

L.A. has been a success story for gamblers playing the total. The club is a blistering 20-10-1 on the ‘under’ at home, but for the purpose of Sunday’s contest a 17-11-3 record on the ‘under’ should cause total players to look deep into this wager.

St. Louis (K. Lohse) at Houston (W. Ledezma) – 4:05 p.m. EDT

The Astros were a wrecking ball through much of May, but have since gone belly up with seven defeats in their last nine. By the looks of it, bettors who collected some serious doe on the run line (+954) should hold off for the time being (or at least until the team finishes its series with St. Louis). The bats have struggled in the last six games with a .253 BA, 30 strikeouts and only 11 RBIs (1.8 runs per game), especially when compared to May’s production of a .281 BA with 4.7 runs per game.

Even with starters Todd Wellemeyer (7-1, 2.93) and Kyle Lohse (6-2, 3.87) combining for 13 wins, the pitching game overall has been a non-entity in St. Louis’ game plan. Now with Wellemeyer receiving extra rest for what an MRI called “no structural damage to ligaments in the right elbow” you can bet that the Cardinals will be working overtime for pitching helping.

If Houston has enough to take a lead in this contest, look for the club’s bullpen to drop anchor. Relievers on the Astros have logged in a low 2.22 ERA this season. Houston has been hot at home with a 13-4 record in the last 17.

Chicago Cubs (J. Marquis) at L.A. Dodgers (B. Penny) – ESPN at 8:05 p.m. EDT


On ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, the Cubs will look to add space between themselves and St. Louis for first place positioning in the NL Central Division. It can’t be stressed enough that Cubs’ left fielder, Alfonso Soriano has been doing a bang up job in the leadoff spot. His 40 RBIs have been monstrous.

And Chicago’s Soriano will be needed because starting pitcher Jason Marquis (3-3, 5.02) has been unable to seal the deal even with the batting order giving him a team high 6.2 runs of support per start.

Chicago has been on a tear with a 20-8 record in its last 28 overall games. A +1032 money line profit combined with a solid +868 payoff on the run line have been well worth the gamble.

Manager Joe Torres’ Dodgers have worked for a skimp three wins in their last 10 and are 4-11 in their last 15. The ‘under’ continues to see love with a 15-6 performance in the last 21 (at one point going ‘under’ in eight straight games from May 20 to May 28.

A huge problem has been the 1.5 runs per game scored in L.A.’s last 13 losses. The Dodgers have struggled during the day with a 7-12 record and are an awful 0-12 when trailing from the seventh inning onward.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June 8

Sunday Night Baseball (bets): Cubs at Dodgers
By LEE KOSTROSKI

Chicago at Los Angeles

The scorching hot Chicago Cubs travel cross-country to take on the not so red hot Los Angeles Dodgers in this week’s Sunday Night ESPN Game of the Week.

These two teams were headed in opposite directions coming into this series, which started on Thursday. Chicago had won 10 of their previous 11 games while L.A. had lost 11 of 14 entering Friday’s second game of the series.

The Dodgers should have a measure of revenge fresh in their minds as they were recently swept in a three-game series at Wrigley Field (May 26th – May 28th). Despite scoring only eight runs in the entire series, the Cubs won every game. That’s because Los Angeles was only able to muster three total runs in the series.

The Dodgers had plenty of opportunities to put runs on the board but they were extremely inefficient at the plate. In fact, they had a total of 37 base runners during the three-game stand and were only able to plate three of them.

Despite the fact they won all three games, the Cubs had two fewer base runners during the series (35) and still pulled off the sweep. Because of both team’s struggles with runners in scoring position during the series, all three games fell under the total. However, it wasn’t due to lack of base runners.

The two pitchers slated to take the mound Sunday night have both had their ups, but more there have been many more downs 2008.

Jason Marquis takes the hill for the visiting Cubs sporting an ERA of 5.02. That’s actually common ground for Marquis, whose ERA has been above 4.00 in six of his last eight seasons and his career ERA is 4.58. He has been a bit more efficient on the road this year where his ERA is 4.88.

One of the main problems with Marquis is he eats up the arms in the bullpen because he does not go deep into games. He’s only made it past the sixth inning once in his 11 starts. He almost never gets his pitch count above 100 (just once this year at 102) so in games he starts, the Cubs rely heavily on their bullpen.

Keep an eye on the Chicago bullpen situation in the games leading up to Sunday night as it could affect this game more than most.

The Dodgers send Brad Penny out in hopes his “bleeding” stopped during his last start which was one of his best of the season. Big things were expected of Penny in 2008 after winning a combined 32 games his last two seasons with the Dodgers.

Things have not gone as planned, however as Penny has been a big disappointment thus far. If the season ended today, his 5.45 ERA would be the highest of his career. After a pretty good start to the season, Penny had a disastrous month of May. His ERA last month was a whopping 8.82 and he allowed an alarming 60 base runners in only 32.2 innings pitched.

A potential positive note was his last start where he allowed two earned runs in six innings and got the win over Colorado. However, Penny did allow 10 Rockies players to reach base in those six innings so that might still be a concern.

Can Chicago continue their onslaught and build a bigger lead in the NL Central or will the Dodgers get their season headed in the direction they fell it should be?

The Sunday Night Game of the Week might give us some answers

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Re: MLB News and Notes June 8

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Chicago Cubs (39-24) at L.A. Dodgers (30-32)


The Dodgers will try to make it three in a row over the Cubs when they send ace Brad Penny (5-7, 5.45 ERA) to the mound to take on Chicago’s Jason Marquis (3-3, 5.02) at Dodger Stadium.

After dropping Thursday’s opener 5-4, Los Angeles has won the last two, winning 3-0 Friday night and following it up with an 7-3 win Saturday afternoon thanks to a five-run seventh inning against Chicago ace Carlos Zambrano.

The Cubs won the first four games this season against the Dodgers and they’ve gone 20-9 in their last 29 overall, 7-3 in their last 10 against teams with a losing record, 17-5 against the N.L. West and 7-3 against right-handed starters.

Joe Torre’s Dodgers are just 4-9 in their last 13 overall, 1-4 on Sundays, 4-7 against right-handed starters and 2-4 against teams from the N.L. Central.

The Cubs have won three of Marquis’ last four starts and he’s allowed exactly three runs in each of those four, including three runs on four hits in five innings of a 9-6 win in San Diego Tuesday. Marquis faced the Dodgers last season and gave up two runs on four hits in seven innings but the Dodgers got the win 7-4.

For his career, Marquis is 2-1 in seven starts against the Dodgers with a 2.25 ERA in 48 innings of work. Chicago is just 1-4 in his last five starts as a ‘dog and 3-7 when he starts on the road against a team with a losing record.

Penny has been beaten up in his last three starts, going 0-3 with a 5.82 ERA as the Dodgers have lost five of his last six outings. He has dominated the Cubs the last two seasons, giving up just one earned run in 14 innings of action as the Dodgers have won both starts, 6-0 and 6-2. For his career, Penny is 3-2 in eight starts against the Cubs with a 2.42 ERA in 52 innings.

The Dodgers are 41-18 in Penny’s last 59 starts as a favorite, 13-3 in his last 16 against the N.L. Central and 21-10 when he’s favored at home, but they are 0-5 in his last five against winning teams.

With Marquis on the hill, the under is 7-3-1 in his last 11 on the road, 4-1 when he pitches on Sunday, 6-2 against the N.L. West and 5-2 when he pitches as a ‘dog. The Dodgers are 28-12 in Penny’s last 40 starts as a home favorite, 20-9 when he faces a team with a winning record, 35-16 in his last 51 home starts and 8-3 in his last 11 overall.

For the Dodgers, the under is 8-3 in their last 11 at home, 13-5 overall, 13-3 on Sundays, 9-2 with them as a favorite and 9-2 against the N.L. Central. For the Cubs, the under is 35-17-4 in their last 55 road games, 10-4 against right-handed starters and 16-7-3 on the road against teams with a winning home record.

In head-to-head matchups, the under is 5-2 in the last seven series clashes.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


AMERICAN LEAGUE

L.A. Angels (39-24) at Oakland (33-29)


The Angels shoot for their eighth straight victory today when they hand the ball to Ervin Santana (8-2, 3.02 ERA) as he battles the A’s and Rich Harden (3-0, 2.61) at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland.

Los Angeles won its seventh straight game with Saturday’s 5-3 victory over Oakland, following Friday’s 3-1 win. The Angels are now 21-11 on the road this year, while the A’s are 20-15 at McAfee, including 8-4 in the last 12.

The Angels have won four of the last five against the A’s and are 4-2 in the six series clashes this season. Oakland was riding a four-game winning streak before the Angels arrived in town. The road team is 7-3 in the last 10 series meetings, and the Angels have won five of the last six in Oakland.

Santana is 5-1 on the highway with a 3.59 ERA and 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA in his last three outings. In Seattle Tuesday he allowed two runs on six hits in 7 2/3 innings of a 4-2 victory. The Angels are 20-6 in Santana’s last 26 starts against the A.L. West, 7-3 in his last 10 outings and 5-2 in his last seven on the road.

The Angels have won seven of his last eight starts against the A’s including back on April 30 when he allowed one run (zero earned) on four hits in 6 2/3 innings of a 6-1 win. For his career, Santana is 8-1 against the A’s in 10 starts with a 1.25 ERA over 72 innings of work.

Harden is 2-0 with a 1.76 ERA at home this season and the A’s are 4-1 in his five starts since returning off the DL in early May. On Tuesday he allowed two runs on five hits in 6 2/3 innings as Oakland beat the Tigers 3-2. With Harden on the hill, the A’s are 25-9 at home, 25-8 as a home favorite, 39-16 overall, 17-5 against the A.L. West, 5-0 on Sundays and 17-8 against winning teams.

The A’s have won five of Harden’s last six starts against the Angels dating back to 2004, but he hasn’t seen them since October 2006 when he allowed six runs in 3 2/3 innings of an 11-10 Oakland win. Harden is 5-3 in 11 career starts against Los Angeles with a 3.95 ERA in 73 innings.

The under is 7-3 in Santana’s last 10 Sunday starts, 4-0 in his last four and 4-1 for him on the road, but the over is 10-3-2 in his last 15 as a road ‘dog, 11-4-2 with as a ‘dog and 6-1-1 in his last eight on the road against a team with a winning record. For Harden, the over is 10-1 in his last 11 against the A.L. West, 4-1 on Sundays and 6-0 when he gets five days of rest, but the under is 5-1 with him as a home favorite and 5-2 with him as a favorite in any venue.

It’s all “unders” for the Angels, including 8-2-1 on the road, 20-6-1 overall, 6-1 as an underdog, 6-1-1 against a right-handed starter, 4-1 as a road ‘dog and 19-7-1 against right-handed starters. For Oakland, the over is 4-1 as a favorite, 7-3 as a home favorite and 5-0 in Game 3 of a series, while the under is 8-3 for the A’s on Sundays and 4-1 in their last five at home against a righty.

In series clashes, the under is 39-16-3 overall, 5-0-2 in the last seven in Oakland, 9-1 the last 10 times Santana has faced the A’s and 4-0 the last four times he’s pitched in Oakland. For Harden, the over is 8-3 the last 11 times he’s faced the Angels.

ATS ADVANTAGE: L.A. ANGELS

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