MLB News and Notes June 25

MLB News and Notes June 25

Wednesday's Tip Sheet
By Josh Jacobs

What a difference one week can make. Minnesota is 8-2 in its last 10, Milwaukee is beginning to turn its season around by looking to improve on a 25-13 home record and Philadelphia is in the midst of a five-game slide.

These are just some of the headlines dotting the sports section in newspapers across the country. Here’s what we can expect from mid-week action.

Milwaukee (Suppan) at Atlanta (Campillo) – 1:05 p.m. EDT

The Brewers (42-34, +542) may have left the starting gate at a snails pace but snatching up seven wins in the last eight outings is good reason to argue that the club is turning things around.

Milwaukee has upped the offensive ante. In the last seven games, the Brew Crew has produced a .275 BA (up 22 points from its .253 BA on the season). Milwaukee has brought in 5.6 runs per game and rocking the ball for 17 homers during the same seven-game stretch has paid out a profit of 4.31 units. The total has been unpredictable with the ‘over/under’ going 4-4 in the last eight.

June hasn’t been the greatest of months for the Braves (38-40, -787). A .253 BA with a .337 on base percentage has complimented a weak 4.19 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. Scoring 4.1 runs per game with opponents generating 4.2 runs per game, total players have prospered with the ‘under’ going 6-3 in the last nine.

Backers shouldn’t be surprised at Atlanta’s last five defeats as the team has gone on to whiff through the ball for a .186 BA. That’s a huge disparity compared to the Brave’s .303 BA in their last five victories.

The Brewers will send out Jeff Suppan (4-5, 3.92 ERA) to the mound with the hopes that the 13-year vet can rebound after being shellacked by Baltimore in only 1.2 innings of work (Suppan was responsible for giving up seven hits and six runs). The Braves will counter with Jorge Campillo (2-2, 2.54).

Arizona (Johnson) at Boston (Wakefield) – 7:05 p.m. EDT

Boston’s (47-32, +872) knuckleball slinger, Tim Wakefield (4-5, 4.17) has been the barer of bad news. His record of one win and three losses in the last six starts hasn’t been what the Red Sox clubhouse and backers have been looking for. With the ‘over’ going 5-1-1 in his last seven, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that opponents are picking up the knuckleball more times then not. In-fact, opposing teams have worked for 4.5 runs per game in the last 10. Books haven’t supported Wakefield either, installing him as an underdog in four of the last five starts.

Even worse off is Diamondback (40-37, -503) starter Randy Johnson (4-5, 5.09). His four defeats in a row have brought with it a total of 24 runs sacrificed with eight walks issued in only 5.9 innings of work per start. Books have continued to give Johnson the benefit of the doubt by listing him as a favorite eight times in the last 10, but there’s no doubt that the seasoned veteran is ice cold.

The ‘under’ is 5-2 in Johnson’s last seven starts, while Arizona is 7-17 in its last 24 road games.

St. Louis (Lohse) at Detroit (Galarraga) – 7:05 p.m. EDT

Could the wait be over for Detroit (36-39, -956) to recover from one slow beginning to the season? A 12-3 outing in the last 15 is certainly a good start and the club has to be confident when starter Armando Galarraga (7-2, 3.03) takes the hill on Wednesday.

Galarraga is 3-0 in his last three starts, has constructed a 5-1 performance in the last seven and is holding opponents to 1.8 runs per game in the last five. Right-handed hitters are swinging toothpicks for an unbelievable .127 BA, while a .161 BAA on the road has been greatness in the making.

Detroit has been pounding the ball in June with a .273 BA accompanied with 99 RBIs in 20 games (that’s a little under five runs per game).

While the Cardinals (44-33, +1096) are 6-2 in their last eight road games, four losses in the last six combined with a damaging 7.20 ERA in the bullpen in the last 10 is counterproductive. Starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (9-2, 3.63) will hit the mound on Wednesday. Lohse is riding a six-game winning streak in which the right-hander has given up an average of 1.5 runs per game with only five hits per contest sacrificed.

And value in taking the Phillies on the money line when Lohse starts has been more then generous. Books have installed Lohse as a ‘dog in the last three contests. In his last win over Boston (5-4), backers cashed tickets at the window for a $1.63 return on every $1.00 invested.

Nine runs is the average total that books have installed in the last 10 with Lohse on the hill. The ‘under’ is 4-0-2 in Lohse’s last six starts and is 4-0-1 in his last five starts following a quality start in his last appearance.

The Cardinals are 0-4 in the last four meetings in Detroit.

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Wednesday’s MLB streaking and slumping starters
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Streaking

Armando Galarraga, Detroit Tigers (7-2, 3.03)


Rookie Armando Galarraga threw just 8 2/3 innings for the Texas Rangers last season before he was designated for assignment and eventually traded to the Detroit Tigers for a minor leaguer.

This year he looks like a completely different pitcher for the Tigers, who have needed all the help they can get on the bump. Galarraga has allowed just two earned runs over his last three outings and is currently riding a four-game winning streak.

So what’s the big difference from last year to this year? Specifically, his breaking ball. The 26-year-old has better control of his slider and has more movement on all of his pitches this season.

Ted Lilly, Chicago Cubs (7-5, 4.71)

Ted Lilly’s numbers are still stinging from a tough start to the season. He was chased before the sixth inning while allowing more than four runs in three of his first four starts, but hasn’t allowed more than four runs in a start since then.

As always, Lilly’s success depends on his location. At the beginning of the year he was falling behind hitters early in the count, then trying to sneak pitches by. Now he’s getting ahead in the count and sitting batters down when he has the opportunity.

Lilly recently held the Blue Jays to just a single hit over six innings and then allowed just three earned runs to the hated White Sox to help the Cubs to their seventh in over the last nine times he has taken the ball. The veteran lefty has 91 strikeouts compared to 31 walks on the year.

Slumping

Randy Johnson, Arizona Diamondbacks (4-5, 5.09)


Over a three-start stint running in mid-to-late May, the 44-year-old Randy Johnson turned back the clock by allowing just three earned runs while striking out 24 batters. Now, only about a month later, it looks as though time is finally catching up with him.

The Big Unit has allowed seven runs in each of his last two outings, managing just four strikeouts while giving up 21 hits combined and Arizona has lost each of his last six starts.

Johnson’s velocity obviously isn’t what it used to be, but he’s still tough when his slider’s biting. Right now he isn’t getting the movement he needs without a 98 mph heater to lean on and can’t be counted on for more than five or six innings per start.

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Chan's MLB money arms: Week of June 23rd
By DAVID CHAN

Josh Banks, San Diego Padres, Wednesday vs. Minnesota

Banks got a taste of the major leagues with the Blue Jays last summer, and he’s making the most of his second opportunity with the Padres. Ever since he worked six innings in relief of a marathon 12-9 18-inning win over the Reds, Banks has been in top form. Over his last 31 1/3 innings, Banks has given up 25 hits and six earned runs. He should be brimming with confidence after keeping his team in the game at Yankee Stadium in his last start. Now he gets the chance to silence a Twins lineup that hasn’t exactly lit it up on the road this season.

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Diamond Preview
By Matt Fargo

Wednesday, June 25th

Cincinnati Reds at Toronto Blue Jays 7:05 PM ET


The best pitching matchup of the night takes place north of the border as Aaron Harang looks to turn things around while Roy Halladay is just happy to be on the mound. Harang is one of the better pitchers but is struggling with a 3-10 record to go along with a 4.33 ERA. Cincinnati has dropped six of his last seven starts. Halladay meanwhile is thankful after taking a line drive to the right temple, forcing him to leave his last start. Everything checked out and he will look to improve upon his 2.90 ERA which is 6th in the A.L.

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Willingham back in Florida lineup, was out 8 weeks
June 24, 2008

MIAMI (AP) -Josh Willingham was standing at his locker Tuesday afternoon when someone walked by and asked what it was like for him to miss the past six weeks.

``Eight weeks,'' Willingham quickly corrected.

Not like the Florida Marlins' left fielder was counting.

After missing 50 games with a herniated disk in his back, Willingham made his long-awaited return to the Marlins' lineup Tuesday night for the start of a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Willingham, who was in his customary cleanup spot, was hitting .341 with six home runs and 16 RBIs when the oft-problematic back flared up on April 28. He hadn't played for the Marlins since.

``It's been a long process,'' Willingham said. ``Been frustrating, but I'm back in the lineup and hopefully I can do something to help the team win.''

Also Tuesday, the Marlins recalled catcher Paul Hoover from Albuquerque and sent catcher Mike Rabelo to Triple-A. Hoover, like Willingham, was in Tuesday's starting lineup.

Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said Willingham - barring any setbacks - would also be the starting left fielder on Wednesday. Luis Gonzalez, who's hitting .298 as a left fielder this season and was the everyday starter in Willingham's absence, will likely start on Thursday when the Marlins and Rays finish their series with a scheduled 12:10 p.m. matchup.

After that, Florida hopes Willingham can be in left field to stay.

``He's ready,'' Fredi Gonzalez said.

Willingham said the herniated disk was putting so much pressure on a nerve in his back that all the muscles in the affected area would ``lock up,'' making just about anything painful and swinging a bat impossible.

But after weeks of rehab and a quick trip to the minors to see some live pitching, Willingham finally deemed himself ready to go.

``It's all about managing the symptoms and keeping the back strong where that doesn't happen,'' Willingham said. ``That's kind of where I'm at now and I'm ready to try to play again.''

In his absence, the Marlins went 25-25 and only lost 2 1/2 games in the NL East standings. They entered play Tuesday alone in second, one game off Philadelphia's pace.

``The team's been doing great,'' Willingham said. ``I'm not trying to come in and change anything. I just kind of want to chime in and do what I can to help us win. It's been fun to watch them and it's been frustrating not to be able to play.''

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Tigers activate DH Gary Sheffield from DL
June 24, 2008

DETROIT (AP) -The Detroit Tigers activated Gary Sheffield from the disabled list Tuesday and put the designated hitter in the lineup against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Sheffield was sidelined with an oblique strain on his left side after he was slowed early in the season by a surgically repaired shoulder.

``I felt like my shoulder benefited the most from this,'' he said.

Sheffield hit just .213 with three homers and 12 RBIs in his first 39 games this season.

To make room on the roster, Detroit sent first baseman Jeff Larish to Triple-A Toledo.

Sheffield hit .154 with two homers and two RBIs in five games at Single-A Lakeland during a rehab assignment.

``If he gets rolling, that's a big impact and our lineup is very deep,'' Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. ``That would be a big boost.

``Hopefully, we're getting our slugger back.''

The nine-time All-Star is a career .294 hitter with 483 homers and 1588 RBIs. The 39-year-old Sheffield had surgery on his right shoulder during the offseason.

Shortly after losing to St. Louis in 2006 World Series, Detroit made a bold trade, sending right-handed prospects Humberto Sanchez, Kevin Whelan and Anthony Claggett to the New York Yankees for Sheffield. The Tigers gave a $28 million contract extension through 2009, and promised him he wouldn't play first base.

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Baseball Today

Colorado at Kansas City (8:10 p.m. EDT). Surprising right-hander Aaron Cook (10-4, 3.57 ERA) leads the Rockies against former No. 1 overall draft pick Luke Hochevar (4-5, 4.86) and the Royals. Cook is coming off his first loss in six starts.

STARS


- Jason Varitek, Red Sox, hit a go-ahead single to cap a four-run eighth inning for Boston in a 5-4 victory over Arizona.

- Brian Roberts, Orioles, had three hits to reach 1,000 for his career and lead Baltimore to a 7-5 win over the Chicago Cubs.

- Zack Greinke, Royals, matched a career high with 10 strikeouts in Kansas City's 7-3 win over Colorado.

- Emil Brown, Athletics, hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the seventh inning of a 5-2 win over Philadelphia.

TERRIBLE TENS

After allowing 10 runs in an inning-plus in Cincinnati's 14-1 loss to Toronto, Bronson Arroyo became the sixth starting pitcher in major league history to give up at least 10 earned runs while getting no more than three outs, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Jason Jennings did it last July 29 with Houston against San Diego.

FEISTY FRESNO

Fresno State has reached the brink of pulling off what once was unimaginable for a team in its situation: winning a national championship. One of the most amazing postseason runs in college baseball history continued Tuesday night thanks to an offensive performance that was nothing short of, well, amazing. After spotting Georgia a five-run lead in the third inning, Fresno State struck for 15 runs over the next three innings for a 19-10 victory in Game 2 of the College World Series finals.

BATTY PROBLEM

Baseball will start testing bats following a meeting Tuesday of a player-management safety committee but made no decision on the contentious issue of banning maple models. Along with conducting field and laboratory tests, the panel will consult manufacturers and experts, and also survey what protective devices are in place for fans and players at the 30 big league ballparks. ... Plate umpire Brian O'Nora was hit in the head by a shattered piece of Miguel Olivo's broken bat, forcing him out of Tuesday night's game between the Colorado Rockies and Kansas City Royals. O'Nora was injured in the bottom of the second inning when Olivo's bat broke on a groundout to shortstop. The Royals later announced that O'Nora had a small cut on his forehead and was taken to a hospital for further evaluation.

BACK HOME

Omar Vizquel's heart-tugging return began with a touching video tribute of some of his greatest plays. He ended it with two more, dropping down a suicide-squeeze bunt to drive in a run in the ninth inning and preserving San Francisco's lead with a backhanded play in the hole during a 3-2 win over the Indians on Tuesday night in the shortstop's first game in Cleveland in four years. ... In Toronto, Scott Rolen hit one of his team's three home runs, A.J. Burnett pitched eight strong innings and the Blue Jays routed Cincinnati 14-1 in Cito Gaston's first game in Toronto since being rehired as manager.

E STREET


The Washington Nationals made four errors in their 8-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night. Two of them came in the Angels' six-run first inning.

AND THAT'S 30

The Pirates had been the only team in the majors to not beat the Yankees in a regular-season game, losing six in a row in New York in 2005 and 2007 before a 12-5 win at home Tuesday night.

IT'S A SNAP

The Chicago White Sox snapped a nine-game road losing streak with a 6-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.

THEIR KIND OF TOWN

In their first appearance at Wrigley Field, the Baltimore Orioles ended Chicago's 14-game home winning streak with a 7-5 victory.

STREAKING, SLIPPING

Brendan Harris and Brian Buscher hit solo home runs on consecutive pitches against Trevor Hoffman in the ninth inning, and Minnesota beat San Diego 3-1 for its seventh straight victory. Hoffman, baseball's career saves leader, has given up five homers in 26 innings this year. Last season, he allowed two in 57 1-3 innings.

SPEAKING

``I probably could have told them what was coming and fared better.'' - Reds starter Bronson Arroyo after allowing 10 runs in an inning-plus during Toronto's 14-1 win Tuesday night.

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Tampa Bay (45-31) at Florida (40-36)

The battle of Florida continues at Dolphin Stadium, with the Rays’ James Shields (4-5, 3.94) set to oppose Marlins youngster Ryan Tucker (2-1, 4.50) in the middle game of this three-game set.

Tampa held on for a 6-4 win in Tuesday’s series-opener, improving to 7-3 in its last 10 games, including 3-1 against Florida. The Marlins, meanwhile, are now mired in a 4-7 funk.

Going back to last June, the Rays are on a 5-1 run against Florida, but prior to this stretch, the Marlins had won 11 of 15 in this rivalry. Finally, the Marlins are 7-4 in the last 11 clashes at Dolphin Stadium, but the visitor is 7-3 in the last 10 dating to last season.

Despite last night’s defeat, Florida is on a 14-7 roll at home, but is now just 1-5 in its last six interleague home contests. Meanwhile, the Rays have dominated at home this season (30-13), but they’re still under .500 on the highway (15-18).

Shields returned from an eight-day suspension and beat the Cubs 8-3 at home on Thursday, giving up all three runs on seven hits with two walks and nine strikeouts over 9 1/3 innings. However, now the right-hander goes out on the highway, where he has struggled this year (1-4, 6.99 ERA in seven starts). In fact, the Rays have lost 21 of Shields’ last 29 starts as a visitor.

Shields got rocked in his first-ever start against the Marlins in 2006 (seven runs and 10 hits allowed in five innings of an 8-5 road loss). However, he dominated the Fish in two starts last year (one home, one road), surrendering a combined three runs on 11 hits over 14 innings, walking three and striking out 17. Tampa Bay lost 4-3 at home, but won 7-2 in Miami.

Tucker is coming off the best outing of his brief career, holding the Mariners to two runs on seven hits in six innings en route to an 8-3 road win a week ago tonight. Prior to that effort, he pitched at Tampa Bay, getting tagged for five runs on seven hits in five innings, losing 7-3.

The right-hander’s only start at home came in his major-league debut June 8, and he allowed a run on just two hits over five innings, walking five and striking out six in a 9-2 victory.

The over is 2-0-1 in Tucker’s three starts, but the under is 3-1 in Shields’ last four outings (2-0 on the road).

The over is 5-1-1 in the last five series meetings (2-1-1 this year) and 7-1 in the last eight battles in Miami. Also, for the Marlins, the over is on streaks of 21-6-4 overall and 14-3-4 in interleague play. Conversely, for the Rays, the under trends include 16-7-1 overall, 4-2 on the road and 4-0 on the road versus right-handed starters, but the over is 23-5-1 in the team’s last 29 interleague road games.

ATS ADVANTAGE: TAMPA BAY and OVER


Philadelphia (42-36) at Oakland (42-34)

A’s rookie Greg Smith (4-5, 3.51) looks to even his season record when he opposes Kyle Kendrick (6-3, 5.06) and the Phillies as this three-game interleague series continues at McAfee Coliseum.

Oakland topped Philadelphia 5-2 on Tuesday, sending the Phillies to their sixth straight defeat. The A’s are 13-7 in their last 20 contests, having alternated wins and losses in their last nine home games. Oakland is also on positive streaks of 21-8 as a favorite and 62-23 when hosting N.L. teams at McAfee Coliseum.

Not only has Philadelphia dropped six in a row, but the team’s potent offense has been limited to two runs or fewer in five of the six defeats. Also, Charlie Manuel’s club has followed up a 14-4 hot streak by losing eight of nine, and the Phillies are now 4-14 in their last 18 interleague contests on the highway.

These teams last met in 2005 in Oakland, with the A’s taking two of three. The host is 5-1 in the last six head-to-head battles.

Kendrick is coming off one of his worst efforts of the season, as he got lit up for six runs on just six hits (two home runs) over three innings last Wednesday against the Red Sox, losing 7-4 at home. Prior to that outing, the Phillies had won five straight Kendrick starts, and even though the right-hander has an ERA north of 5.00, Philadelphia is 11-4 in his 15 starts in 2008, including 7-1 on the road.

Kendrick’s road ERA matches his overall ERA (5.06), and he’s allowed a total of 75 baserunners (57 hits, 18 walks) in 42 2/3 innings on the highway, which equates to a 1.76 WHIP. He has yet to face Oakland in his brief career.

Smith produced near-identical numbers in his last two outings, both on the road at San Francisco and Arizona. In each start, the southpaw gave up one run and three hits, striking out four in five innings. He beat the Giants 5-1 and got a no-decision in Thursday’s 2-1 loss to the DBacks.

Smith, who is making his first career start against Philadelphia, has been sharp at home (2-2, 2.84 ERA in six starts). He’s allowed three earned runs or fewer in five of those six contests.

Philadelphia continues to sport a bunch of under streaks, including 5-1 overall, 14-3 against the A.L. West, 7-3 on the road and 5-0 in interleague road games. Meanwhile, the over is 4-2-1 in Oakland’s last seven overall and 6-1-2 in its last nine as a home chalk.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OAKLAND

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Re: MLB News and Notes June 25

Seven Pitchers
Stephen Nover

The late, great George Carlin had his seven words you could never say on television. In Carlin’s memory, I present the seven pitchers you can never bet on – or against.

These pitchers are just way too unpredictable. They are either great, or horrendous. Get involved in one of their games and chances are you’ll be repeating some of Carlin’s seven words.

Maybe Carlin could appreciate the humor and wickedness of Oliver Perez, Tim Wakefield, Kyle Kendrick, Kyle Davies, Brian Moehler, Seth McClung and Jorge De La Rosa. Thanks to these miscreants, my baseball bankroll is considerably shorter this season.

Oliver Perez (Mets) – The king of all or nothing. He’s capable of throwing a no-hitter. He’s just as capable of not retiring a batter.

Tim Wakefield (Red Sox) – This guy has been bedeviling me since he was with the Pirates. I paid $16 for him at my 1996 fantasy baseball auction and was rewarded with a 5.15 ERA in 211 2/3 innings. Not only did he destroy my team ERA, but he killed my WHIP by surrendering 328 combined hits and walks.

I haven’t touched Wakefield since. So guess what? The guy has gotten good. He’s still a 41-year-old knuckelballer, though, which means randomness. He gave up eight earned runs at Oakland on May 23. Following that he’s yielded only 10 earned runs in his last five starts.

Kyle Kendrick (Phillies) – I’ve never liked him. He may be the luckiest pitcher in the Majors given the great run support Philadelphia has given him. Naturally he loses for only the second time in his last 12 starts when I finally decide to play on him.

Kendrick has a 5.06 ERA and 1.51 WHIP. Yet, the Phillies are 11-4 in his starts. The Phillies have averaged 6.7 runs in Kendrick’s last 23 starts going back to last year.

Kyle Davies (Royals) – Remind me to NEVER EVER bet a Davies’ game to go ‘under’ the total like I did this past Sunday, even if it’s against the Giants. There only were 21 runs scored. I considered Davies one of the worst pitchers and was surprised to see him resurface in the big leagues late last month.

But until that Giants game, where he gave up five runs on six hits and two walks while failing to reach the second inning, Davies had allowed just one earned run in each of his previous four starts. A lot of pitchers can get lucky once, but Davies did it four straight times.

Brian Moehler (Astros) – My God the stiff won again on Tuesday with another well-pitched effort. The guy came into this season with a 20-37 record during the past seven years, having pitched for four different clubs. Some of his ERA’s during this span were 7.90, 6.51 and 6.02.

This year Moehler has held foes to three earned runs or fewer in eight of his nine starts. Fading Moehler while playing the ‘over’ has been a disastrous approach. The ‘under’ is 7-1-1 during Moehler’s past nine appearances.

Seth McClung (Brewers) - Here’s another journeyman type that has risen from the discard pail to actually solidify a starting spot by pitching well. When the Brewers brought him up last month, Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said something like we’ll give him a shot and see what happens. It wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement.

Not that McClung was worthy of inspiring much confidence. He had two of the worst years ever in 2005 and 2006 pitching for Tampa Bay. McClung pitched 109 1/3 innings in 2005. He gave up 106 hits, 62 walks and 20 homers. His ERA was 6.59.

McClung was just as consistently bad in 2006, pitching 103 innings and surrendering 120 hits, 14 homers and having a 59-to-68 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His ERA was 6.29.

This is a pitcher you want to fade, right? All McClung has done in his last three starts is yield five earned runs in 18 innings with a 13-to-one strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Jorge De La Rosa (Rockies) – De La Rosa finally started living up to my opinion of him as the worst starting pitcher in the Majors, by pitching poorly Tuesday in a loss to the Royals. Prior to that game, though, De La Rosa had given up three earned runs in his last two starts versus the Indians and White Sox, with an 18-to-two strikeout-to-walk ratio.

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Wednesday MLB Research
By Indiancowboy

Milwaukee vs. Atlanta

It would be so wonderful to bet the Braves, but given their lack of pitching, it is beyond irritating to bet them as seen over the last few days, heck, even when the get the pitching, they can't hit worth a lick. Suppan beat the Braves and Reyes last time out by not yielding a run to them in a 1-0 ballgame, Braves are off a loss here but Campillo has been geting fortunate in some ballgames while allowing runners on base, but he did pitch well agianst Milwaukee earlier this season and is on a bounce-back. I find it a bit odd the line is so low even if yesterday's game went under, I lean on the over here as I trust neither of these pitchers as both teams have seen these pitchers one time around although Suppan is on a bounce-back, in fact, I lean more on Milwaukee with Suppan on the bounce-back today. Likely staying away.

Yankees vs. Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh did indeed win yesterday as the quality dog as yesterday's game correctly sailed over. The Yankees of course will respond by sending Java to the mound who has yet to pick up a win, but has helped his team go 3-1 on the year. Zach Duke pitched extremely well against Toronto in his last start and has won pitched 4 of 5 quality starts, although yesterday's game went well over, don't be surprised to see this game dip under today as both pitchers show up.

Arizona vs. Boston

Johnson has pitched 3 straight non-quality starts while being roughed up in all 3 of those ballgames while Wakefield has pitched 5 straight quality starts, but by principle, I try to shy away from the run-line, granted I did play Cleveland rl yesterday and as a consequence it lost, no thanks although I do lean on the sox here.

St. Louis vs. Detroit

This is exactly why I stay away from Rogers when he faces interleague play, it seems that when it really counts, Rogers has a way of tanking as he did with the Cardinals yesterday more than 7 straight quality starts and is 6-0 over his last 7 starts gets great value against the Tigers today although Galaragga hasn't given up a run in his last 13 innings - the under seems like a sound possibility here - similar to the Pirates/Yankees game.

San Fran vs. Cleveland

Cleveland can't hit worth a lick, but they do face Zito today which is always an advantage. Zito has pitched 5 straight non-quality starts, while Sowers hasn't been much better pitching 5 straight nonquality starts as well including giving up 10 hits in 6 inns against Colorado in his last start. 10 runs as a total might be generous here but regardless, I lean on the indians run-line, but staying away from run-lines as usual.

Cincy vs. Toronto

Toronto crushes Bronson as a lot of teams are beginning to do it seems but faces Harang who is on a bounce-back as well as Halladay who is not necessarily on a bounce-back but the Bluejays did fail to win that ballgame as the final score was 1-0 as Duke pitched a gem. I would love to take the under here but at 7 it's a bit too steep for me, no thanks.

Tampa Bay vs. Florida

Tampa Bay continues to get it done as they won yet again yesterday as Shields hits the mound to face Tucker. Shields has not faced the Marlins this year although pitched 2 quality starts under a 3 ERA last year, Tucker pitches after doing very well Seattle but struggled against TB his last time out so he does have revenge on that front, I lean on the drays here but the Marlins are off a loss and Tucker does have an incentive to show up this time with some revenge against the Rays, likely staying away yet again here.

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