MLB News and Notes June 28

MLB News and Notes June 28

Saturday's streaking and slumping starting pitchers
By COVERS.com

Streaking

Andy Pettitte, New York Yankees (8-5, 4.04)


Pettitte puts his three-game winning streak on the line Saturday when his Yankees take the train to Shea Stadium for a showdown with the cross-town rival New York Mets. The Bronx Bombers need not worry; their veteran left-hander has been virtually unhittable in his last three outings, posting a stunning 0.43 ERA.

Pettitte has struck out 19 batters in his last three starts, including an impressive nine-strikeout performance against the San Diego Padres on June 12.

The Yanks are 4-1 in Pettittes last five starts at Shea. Pettitte is also 7-4 with a 3.48 ERA all-time against the Mets.

Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox (6-3, 3.13)

Lester is having a strong third season with the Red Sox, especially as of late. The left-hander is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in his last three starts, including a seven-inning shutout against the Philadelphia Phillies on June 17.

The 24-year-old has not relinquished more than four runs in a contest and has pitched four shutouts – two outside Boston, dating back to April. Boston is 7-0 in Lester’s last seven interleague starts and are 22-8 in his last 30 starts overall.

Slumping

Paul Byrd, Cleveland Indians (3-8, 5.21)


Paul Byrd has been throwing junk all season and is 0-3 in his last three starts with a lofty 9.00 ERA in 14 IP. In 15 starts, Byrd has just 31 strikeouts and has led the Tribe to a dismal 4-11 mark.

Byrd has conceded four runs or more in four of his last five outings, including a three-inning, five earned run home loss to the Minnesota Twins on June 11.

Cleveland is just 1-6 in Byrd’s last seven starts, while the Reds are an impressive 4-0 in their last four tilts versus the Tribe.

John Van Benschoten, Pittsburgh Pirates (0-2, 9.39)

Van Benschoten has opened his MLB career with a thud. The third-year pitcher has just one win in his first three seasons with the Pirates and is just 1-5 with a miserable 8.84 career ERA at PNC Park.

The right-hander continues to struggle, posting a 0-1 mark with an 8.59 ERA in his last two starts. Van Benschoten is 0-9 dating back to last season and 1-13 going back to 2004.

Pittsburgh is 19-47 in its last 66 interleague tilts and is an equally disappointing 5-13 in its last 18 against the AL East.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June 28

Wild West: How to bet on NL West clubs
By JAKE BELL

With the midpoint of the season approaching, everyone is talking about Tampa Bay's mind blowing turnaround, the Marlins' unexpected success, the Yankees' chances of bouncing back, the Mariners' total collapse, the Cubs' opportunity to reverse a 100-year-old trend, and the Red Sox's odds of a repeat.

What no one seems to be talking about are the five teams in the National League West. Blame it on the East Coast bias and the fact most of the country's sportswriters are in bed by the time most Padres games come to an end... though it seems more likely no one's talking about them because if you're betting on NL West teams, you are losing.

And who wants to talk about their losses?

Only Arizona boasts an above-.500 record (and that's only by one game) but even the Diamondbacks have cost bettors seven units (minus $700 if you bet $100 on every game) through the season.

Last year's photo finish between San Diego, Arizona, and eventual surprise World Series participant Colorado, the dawning of the Torre Era in L.A., and the end of the Barry Era in San Francisco all seemed to promise an exciting 2008 for the NL West, but none of the teams have lived up to the hype.

Is there any hope to salvage any of these teams seasons, or should bettors just fade these five for the next 80-plus games?  Let's take a look at why each team is where it is and what strategies we can use to turn things around in the second half.

Arizona Diamondbacks (40-39, -7 units)

Arizona shouldn't have done as well as they did last season. Sabermetricians will tell you the Snakes won about a dozen more games than they should have, either by virtue of luck or great managing or a little of both.  When the D-Backs finished April with the best start in team history, neck-and-neck with the Cubs for the National League lead, even the most die hard Arizona fans wondered if their team was really that good.

That answer came back in the months that followed: no.

The Diamondbacks's streaky nature means that just when you decide to fade them, they're certain to blow up and win six in a row. Then when you decide to back them, you can be all but certain they'll drop eight of nine.

Strategy 1: Chase the “over”

The Diamondbacks wins and losses come in long, ugly streaks, but one thing remains the same: Chase Field is a great place for hitters. Whether it’s the Diamondbacks or the visitors, someone is going to get comfortable enough with the large outfield and that inviting pool in right field to push the final over 8 ½ or 9.

Strategy 2: Best in the West

Arizona sits atop the division for one reason only: they are 20-8 against the four teams listed below. In West Division matchups, put your money on the D-Backs.  It's not that they're that good... just that everyone else is that bad.

Los Angeles Dodgers (36-42, -10 units)

Joe Torre could blame injuries for his team's lackluster record, but the fact is they weren't doing much better with Nomar Garciaparra, Rafael Furcal, and Andruw Jones in the lineup.

On one hand, that's forced some of the Dodgers’ promising up-and-comers into the starting lineup, an opportunity they didn't get under Grady Little and likely wouldn't have gotten under the veteran-friendly Torre. On the other, the high-dollar Dodgers wind up resembling a five-times-as-expensive version of the Royals.

Strategy: Hollywood and Nine

Inexperienced (and just plain bad – I'm looking at you Juan Pierre and Andruw Jones) hitting combined with a decent pitching staff in a pitcher's park is a formula for low scoring games. Take the under any time the bookmakers are willing to hang 9 or more on a Dodgers game.

San Francisco Giants (34-45, -5 units)

San Francisco has the only team on this list able to say it's exceeding expectations, though that's only by virtue of the fact that expectations for the Giants were so low that just having the players take the field without their shoelaces tied together is cause for celebration.  The most notable discrepancy in the Giants' record is their home/away split.  At AT&T Park, San Francisco is 10 games under .500 (-10 units), but on the road, its just one game under and up five units on the season.  Even Barry Zito is a not-quite-as-embarrassing 3-4 on the road.

Strategy: Two for the Road

Jonathan Sanchez spent part of his 2007 season in Double-A and part in the majors, starting and relieving in both places. In short, he had no idea what his job was. Now the 25-year-old is finally settled in as a starter and bettors are reaping the rewards.  The Giants have been underdogs in his last eight starts, but have won six of those games (+7.8 units).

San Francisco also has wins in Zito's last four road starts (+5.8 units), giving hope that the $119 million albatross might have finally turned the corner – as long as that corner's not in the Bay Area.

Obviously, Tim Lincecum is the Giants' ace, but odds are set accordingly, making it harder to take advantage of San Francisco's wins when he's on the mound.

Colorado Rockies (32-47, -16 units)

Colorado's poor record (which is on pace to be the worst in team history) is compounded at the sportsbook by their surprise success last year. As defending National League champs, the Rockies were made favorites by the bookmakers for much of the early season, so even on the rare occasion that they won, the payout was regularly outweighed by the previous night's losses.

Strategy: Fight Perception

The general public knows two things about the Rockies: 1) they play in a stadium where the air is so thin everyone scores in the double digits, which is how 2) the Rockies made it to the World Series last year and since they kept guys like Matt Holliday and Todd Helton around, they have a good chance of making it back. Fade the Rockies as favorites and jump on the under whenever it gets above 8.

San Diego Padres (32-48, -19 units)

Greg Maddux and Jake Peavy have five Cy Young Awards between them. But those recognize past success – you are betting in the present on the future outcome of games.  On the off chance the Padres manage to get a lead, the ball eventually goes to once-automatic Trevor Hoffman who now lingers in the bullpen like that friend who doesn't seem to catch on that everyone else has called it a night and gone home. Even when Hoffman manages to notch a save this season, you still have the creeping feeling in your gut that the next morning you're going to wake up, check the box score, and find out the Padres actually lost.

Strategy: Don't Bet on Padres Games!

Okay, if for some unholy reason a book sets them up as a favorite, go ahead and take the underdog, but do it cheap because any team bad enough to be considered a dog to the Padres probably isn't a team you want to bank on.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June 28

The Fantastic Five
Scott Rickenbach

All the action this weekend involves three-game series. The Marlins are hosting the Diamondbacks in National League action and then all 14 of the other series are in Interleague action.
   
I'll examine five of these weekend sets in a quick rundown and point out the particular value as to why I consider these to be the Fantastic Five to keep an eye on this weekend.

Colorado Rockies at Detroit Tigers

The Tigers have been red hot as they've won 14 of their last 18 games. They've also averaged about 5.5 runs per game during this strong run. Having Gary Sheffield back has provided a big boost to the offense but it's not just the lineup that is the talk in Detroit. Their bullpen is also getting healthier with the return of Fernando Rodney and Joel Zumaya. The Tigers are a solid 22-17 at home while the Rockies continue to languish on the road. Colorado is now 12-28 away from home and they continue to struggle when not at Coors Field. This is in spite of the fact that they've also received a number of key players back from injury in recent weeks. Note that on Friday the Tigers will face Jimenez and the Rockies are winless in his eight road starts this season. Then the Tigers have Verlander going Saturday and he's been rock solid recently while Rogers, solid up until his last start, is also capable of a very strong outing on Sunday! The Tigers should dominate in this series and yet there should be some favorable pricing for Detroit.

Milwakee Brewers at Minnesota Twins

This is another series with favorable pricing and yet what could be some solid home domination. The Twins come into this series red hot as they've won nine straight games. They also took two of three from the Brewers when they matched up with them at Miller Park earlier this month. Now the Twins can take advantage of facing Milwaukee at the Metrodome where Minnesota is 25-16 this season. Keep in mind the Brewers are four games below .500 on the road this season and their offense has not been near as potent on the road as they've been at home. Give credit to the Twins young starting pitching staff and their rotation will send Blackburn, Hernandez, and Slowey to the mound in this series. Blackburn and Slowey have really come on strong for the Twins while the veteran Hernandez has been very strong in his home starts for Minnesota this season. While Hernandez might be the weak link in this group this weekend, there is no reason the Twins shouldn't take at least two out of three against the Brewers.

Seattle Mariners at San Diego Padres


Seattle is simply dreadful on the road this season and while San Diego's overall record this season is poor we feel that will actually serve to give some good value with them at home this weekend. The Mariners are now a miserable 13-26 on the road this season and the Padres were actually a respectable 21-18 at home before they ran into trouble and lost five straight games at Petco Park. However, keep in mind that much of that had to do with facing red hot Detroit and Minnesota in back to back series. Now, with a major step down in level of competition, look for the Padres to get right back on track at home with a solid series victory in this three game set.

Philadelphia Phillies at Texas Rangers


The Phillies simply can't wait for Interleague action to come to a close. It has been an absolute nightmare for them and a visit to hitter-friendly Texas may not even help matters for the Phils. That's because, right now, the Phillies bats just aren't getting the job done and they will have to score a lot of runs to stay competitive with Texas at Rangers Ballpark! Texas has one of the most dangerous offenses in the league and the Phillies are just in a slump they can't seem to snap out of. Until the Phillies prove they can get back on track one should be looking for value on the other side of  Philadelphia. The Phillies have lost nine of their last eleven and are a tough team to back right now!

San Francisco Giants at Oakland Athletics


Oakland has held the upper hand in this series and it's hard to imagine that changing right now. The Giants, after a fairly impressive run at the plate and in the standings, have again fallen on hard times. Things aren't likely to improve now as they face an A's team that has dominated them in recent meetings. The Giants have lost six straight games against the A's and San Francisco also comes into this series having lost ten of their last fifteen games. Oakland has won 8 of their last 12 games and they are a confident club at home where many of their pitchers flourish. Additionally, the A's offense is becoming more consistent as they've averaged about 5.5 runs per game this month. Some good pitching match-ups in this series but home field will make all the difference! Best of luck always - Scott Rickenbach

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Re: MLB News and Notes June 28

Saturday's best MLB bets
By COVERS.com

Milwaukee at Minnesota -110, 9

Would you believe Livan Hernandez is No. 4 on the Covers.com Top Money Starters list?

It’s true. The Twins are 12-5 when Hernandez gets the ball and his backers are up more than 10 units at this point. Of course, with a 5.23 ERA and a bunch of ugly outings on his resume, that record has a lot more to do with his teammates than anything Hernandez has done on the mound.

And the way his teammates are currently playing, Hernandez and his backers don’t have much to worry about. The Twins are hitting .309 during their current 10-game winning streak and the bullpen has an amazing 0.66 ERA. At a price like this, it’s hard to turn down a team as hot as Minnesota.

Pick: Twins

Cincinnati at Cleveland -116, 9

The Reds are having serious problems making contact at the plate, but a meeting with Paul Byrd should help. The Cleveland starter has been giving up dingers (eight in his last five starts) like he’s throwing BP. Longball hitters like Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn and Joey Votto will feast on Byrd if he pitches the way he has been in recent games and this game could get away from him early.

Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto, on the other hand, seems to have gotten back on track. He hasn’t gotten a win in a while but in his most recent start he shook off the pressure of pitching at Yankee Stadium and struck out seven, didn’t walk a single batter and gave up just one run.

Pick: Reds

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Re: MLB News and Notes June 28

Baseball Today

Los Angeles Angels at Los Angeles Dodgers (10:10 p.m. EDT). Right-hander Jered Weaver is 3-1 with a 4.21 ERA in four starts for the Angels this month. Chad Billingsley, who has won his last two starts, is scheduled to pitch for the Dodgers.

STARS

- Nick Swisher, White Sox, homered and drove in four runs in a 10-3 rout of the Cubs.

- Evan Longoria, Rays, went 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs, and also scored three times, in a 10-5 victory over the Pirates.

- C.C. Sabathia, Indians, struck out 11 over eight innings, with just four hits and two walks in a 6-0 win over the Reds.

- Curtis Granderson, Tigers, had a pair of triples as part of his four hits, scored three times and drove in a run in a 7-1 victory over the sagging Rockies.

- Jair Jurrjens, Braves, gave up three hits - all singles - and walk over eight innings, helping Atlanta to a 4-0 win over the Blue Jays.

- Ricky Nolasco, Marlins, gave up a run and six hits over eight innings, striking out nine in a 3-1 win over the Diamondbacks.

- Alex Gordon, Royals, homered, doubled and drove in four runs as Kansas City beat the Cardinals 7-2 for its 11th win in 12 games.

- Carlos Delgado, Mets, homered twice, including a grand slam, and set a franchise record with nine RBIs in a 15-6 rout of the Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the opener of the teams' two-ballpark doubleheader.

C.C. WRINGING UP Ks

C.C. Sabathia struck out 11 in eight innings of a 6-0 win over the Reds, becoming the first Indians pitcher since Chuck Finley in 2000 to fan 10 or more in three consecutive starters. Sabathia and Cliff Lee, who struck out 11 against the San Francisco Giants on Thursday night, became the first two Indians to strike out 10 or more in consecutive games since Gaylord Perry and Dick Tidrow each struck out 10 Chicago White Sox on July 10-11, 1972.

HOME AWAY FROM HOME

Sidney Ponson pitched a gem in his return to the Yankees, silencing the Mets in a 9-0 victory at Shea Stadium that assured a split of a two-ballpark doubleheader. Carlos Delgado was the headliner in the opening act, setting a Mets record with nine RBIs and hitting a grand slam for one of his two homers in a 15-6 rout of the Yankees that last 3 hours, 54 minutes.

INTERLEAGUE ROYALTY

The Royals have won six straight and 11 of 12 after beating St. Louis 7-2, their longest win streak since opening the 2003 season 9-0. Kansas City also has the best record in interleague play at 13-3, an impressive and unexpected mark for a team that lost 12 straight last month.

HIGH AND DRY

Jarrod Washburn won for the first time in eight starts when he led the Mariners to a 5-2 victory over the Padres. What's more astounding, though, is that Seattle won despite stranding a franchise-record 18 baserunners. The Mariners won for the third time in four games while the Padres have lost six straight and 11 of 13.

ROCKY ROAD

The defending NL champion Rockies were stymied by unheralded Eddie Bonine, who limited them to just five hits over eight innings in the Tigers' 7-1 win. Colorado was swept on the road by Kansas City this week, and after losing to Detroit, has dropped five straight and six of seven.

RAYS STILL WINNING


Evan Longoria and Eric Hinske hit three-run homers to help surging Tampa Bay beat woeful Pittsburgh, 10-5, moving the Rays a franchise-best 17 games over .500 at 48-31. They've scored 37 runs while winning their last four, and altogether have won 10 of 13.

PHILLIES FALLING

NL East-leading Philadelphia watched its division lead shrink to one game over Florida after an 8-7 loss to the Rangers. The Phillies have lost eight of nine, and starter Brett Myers has been in just as deep a slump as anybody else. He got battered again in this one, and the Phillies are 1-11 in the last 12 games he has started. Myers is 1-8 over that stretch.

COMING...

Rays first baseman Carlos Pena was activated off the 15-day disabled list following a 3 1/2-week layoff with a broken left index finger and immediately went back into the lineup. ... Mark Mulder, limited by a shoulder injury to just three major league appearances since the 2006 season, was activated by the Cardinals and sent to their bullpen.

...AND GOING

Hideki Matsui was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sore left knee, leaving the Yankees without one of their key sluggers. ... Orioles right-hander Matt Albers is likely done for the season after an MRI exam on his ailing shoulder revealed a torn labrum. ... Pirates reliever Denny Bautista was struck on the right forearm near his elbow by Rays second baseman Akinori Iwamura's line drive, although X-rays showed no breaks.

SPEAKING

``It's wonderful for fans. Two games in one day, and one at each stadium, you know it's very enjoyable for them.'' - Yankees manager Joe Girardi, before his team split a rare two-ballpark doubleheader with the Mets, with each club winning on the ``road.''

``He's got stupid pop, opposite-field pop. He got that pitch tonight, and he hit it out like it was nothing. Hopefully, it's a sign of things to come.'' - Rangers slugger Milton Bradley, on 22-year-old Chris Davis, who hit a two-run homer in his first major league start during an 8-7 victory over the Phillies.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June 28

N.Y. Mets (39-40) vs. N.Y. Yankees (43-37)

The Mets hand the ball to ace Johan Santana (7-6, 2.93 ERA) as their four-game series against the Yankees continues at Shea Stadium. The teams split Friday’s doubleheader, with the Mets winning 15-6 at Yankee Stadium and the Yankees returning the favor with a 9-0 rout at Shea. The Mets have won 11 of their last 16 interleague games. Also, they’re 3-1 against the Yanks this season, with the three victories coming by a combined score of 33-12.

Andy Pettitte (8-5, 4.04) gets the nod today for the Yankees, who have followed a seven-game winning streak by losing four of their last seven. Despite the recent inconsistency, Joe Girardi’s club is still on a 23-12 overall run, going 10-6 on the road during this run. Also, the Bronx Bombers have won nine of their last 12 interleague games.

The Mets are 0-4 in Santana’s last four trips to the mound, including Monday’s 5-2 home loss to Seattle. In that one, the southpaw gave up five runs (only one earned) on seven hits in seven innings. Santana has pitched at least six innings and allowed three earned runs or fewer in six of his last seven outings, but his team is just 2-5 during this stretch.

The Yankees are 6-1 in Pettitte’s last seven starts, with the veteran lefty giving up just a single run in his last three outings spanning 21 innings. In fact, Pettitte comes into this contest with a 19-inning scoreless streak.

Santana is 3-2 with a 2.68 ERA in seven home starts and 4-0 with a 2.98 ERA in nine career games (six starts) against the Yankees. Meanwhile, Pettitte is 5-2 with a 3.51 ERA on the highway this season and 7-4 with a 3.48 ERA in 17 career starts versus the Mets. These two faced off on May 17 at Yankee Stadium, and Santana and the Mets prevailed, 7-4. Despite that result, the Yanks are still 7-2 in Pettitte’s past nine starts against the Mets. They’re also 11-4 in his last 15 on the road and 14-5 in his last 19 against the N.L. East.

The over is 5-1 in the last six series meetings overall and 4-1 in the last five clashes at Shea Stadium. Also, the over is on runs of 4-0-1 when Santana faces the Yankees, 5-2-3 for the Mets in interleague play, 10-3-1 for the Mets against lefty starters, 5-1 for the Yankees on Saturdays and 4-1 for the Yankees on the road.

ATS ADVANTAGE: N.Y. YANKEES and OVER


Chicago Cubs (49-31) at Chicago White Sox (44-35)

Javier Vazquez (7-6, 4.24) looks to continue his dominance at home and avenge Sunday’s loss to the Cubs when he leads the White Sox in the middle game of this three-game set at U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox pounded out a 10-3 victory on Friday to snap a six-game losing streak to their rivals from the north. Ozzie Guillen’s club has won three of four since getting swept at Wrigley Field last weekend, and the Pale Hose are now 25-11 at home this season, including 21-6 in the last 27. They’re also 14-6 in Vazquez’s last 20 starts overall.

The Cubs, who send rookie Sean Gallagher (3-3, 3.97) to the mound in this one, have lost three of four since sweeping the White Sox last week. And, Lou Piniella’s squad is 16-21 on the road this year, compared with 33-10 at home.

Going back to last season’s six interleague matchups, the Cubs are still on an 8-2 roll against the White Sox, including sweeping all three games at U.S. Cellular a year ago.

Vazquez is 5-1 with a 4.14 ERA in six home starts, including three straight blowout wins in the last three against the Pirates (16-5), Twins (10-6) and Indians (7-2). Also, the Sox are 13-3 in his last 16 at U.S. Cellular dating to last year. However, the veteran right-hander was on the wrong end of Sunday’s 7-1 loss at Wrigley Field, where he gave up five runs (four earned) in six innings.

The Sox are 0-3 in Vazquez’s last three starts against the Cubs dating to last season. For his career, Vazquez is 3-4 with a 4.92 ERA against the North Siders.

Gallagher hasn’t started since June 19 at Tampa Bay, and he gave up just one unearned run on four hits in six innings, but the Cubs fell, 8-3. The Cubs are 0-3 in Gallagher’s last three starts, all on the road, where the 22-year-old is 0-3 with a 4.38 ERA in six appearances (four starts).

Although Friday’s game easily cleared the total, the under is 7-2 in the last nine head-to-head meetings at U.S. Cellular Field, 5-2 in the last seven clashes overall, 5-1 in Gallagher’s last six starts overall and 2-0 in Vazquez’s last two outings versus the Cubs. Also the under is on runs of 4-1 for the White Sox overall, 10-4 for the White Sox on Saturdays, 9-5-1 for the Cubs in interleague road games, 5-2 for the Cubs against the A.L. Central and 36-18-5 for the Cubs against right-handed starters.


ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


L.A. Angels (48-32) at L.A. Dodgers (37-42)

Jered Weaver (7-7, 4.56) tries to even this Freeway Series against the Dodgers when the rivals meet for Game 2 of this weekend set at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers scored an easy 6-0 upset win on Friday, evening the season series at 2-2. Despite that setback, the Halos still own baseball’s best road record at 26-14, going 10-3 in the last 13 as a visitor, including 5-2 on this current nine-game interleague road trip. Mike Scioscia’s club is also on hot streaks of 9-3 against the N.L. West, 25-11 in interleague play and 7-2 in interleague road games.

The Dodgers’ Chad Billingsley (6-7, 3.64) goes for his third straight win in this contest. He takes the mound for a team that’s still in the midst of several negative streaks, including 15-39 in interleague play, 5-22 in interleague games against winning teams, 18-44 as an underdog and 3-9 against the A.L. West.

The Angels still have a 9-3 advantage over the Dodgers in the last 12 series meetings. However, the home team is 17-4 in the past 21 clashes.

Weaver gave up one run in 5 1/3 innings in his most recent outing Sunday at Philadelphia, earning a 3-2 victory. He’s 5-2 in his last seven starts, and the Angels have won six of his last eight outings. However, despite the strong start at Philadelphia, Weaver is just 4-3 with a 5.48 ERA in eight road starts.

Billingsley has won his last two starts at Cincinnati (3-1) and over the Indians at home (4-3), giving up a combined four runs in 11 1/3 innings. Previously, the Dodgers had lost four straight games with Billingsley on the bump. The right-hander is 3-3 with a 4.35 ERA at home.

Weaver is 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA in his three career starts against the Dodgers, including a 10-2 rout on May 18 when he gave up just the two runs in 5 1/3 innings. Meanwhile, Billingsley’s lone career start against the Halos ended in a 4-0 road loss back in 2006.

The under is 8-2 in Billingsley’s last 10 starts, including 3-0 in the last three overall and 4-1 in his last five at home. Furthermore, the under is on streaks of 6-2 in this rivalry, 5-0 for the Dodgers overall, 14-5 for the Dodgers at home, 42-18-5 for the Angels overall, 19-7-2 for the Angels on the road, 12-2-2 for the Angels on Saturdays.

ATS ADVANTAGE: L.A. ANGELS and UNDER

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Re: MLB News and Notes June 28

Saturday MLB Research
By Indiancowboy

Arizona vs. Florida

Webb vs. Miller here - Webb has struggled in his last 3 starts with over a 5 ERA in each of those starts, in fact, in the start before last he had over an 18 ERA, I would lean on Webb to finally show up here except for the fact that he lost to the Marlins in his last start so he has incentive to show up here, Miller did not pitch well in his last start but that came on the heels of 2 solid starts, I actually think Florida is a quality dog here and can pull this game out as Webb is struggling.

Yankees vs. Mets

Pettitte hasn't yielded a run in 21 innings but lost to Santana 4-7 last time around, Santana has pitched 6 of 7 quality starts and the last time the total was set at this range the game went to 11 runs, I wouldn't be surprised to see these 2 offenses go at it and this game go over as well.

Boston vs. Houston

Lester has pitched 4 straight quality starts and is 3-0 over his last 3 starts, although Backe has not been stellar of late he did pitch well at Tampa Bay and does have below a 3.9 ERA at home, I hate putting up -140 on Lester, but I do like the under here as I wouldn't be surprised if Backe shows up big at home against the Sox.

Colorado vs.Detroit

Francis got drilled on the road at Kansas City and in fact embarassed so I do expect him to bounce-back today but Verlander has pitched 6 of 7 quality starts as he has come back strong of late and Detroit is just 2 games off of being .500, Colorado isn't a horrible wager today given their value with Francis on the bounce-back, I expect a competitive game here that could go either way, wouldn't be surprised to see an under.

Tampa bay vs. Pittsburgh

Jackson has pitched 1 quality start in his last 6 starts, but it was his last one, granted I don't bet against Tampa Bay but I don't trust Jackson here nor do I trust the newbie Pirate pitcher, no thanks.

Cincy vs. Cleveland

Cueto has given up just 3 runs in his last 12 innings with back to back quality starts but his team just hasn't come through for him in his last 2 starts, Byrd has pitched horrible in his last 3 starts and last 5 of 7 but at home he has dominated at 2-1 with a 2.97 ERA although he has been struggling with his control and of course Cleveland can't hit worth a lick, I lean on Cueto a bit here as the dog price as I really don't trust Byrd or the indian offense while I trust Cueto more, probably going to just stay away though.

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