MLB News and Notes July 17

MLB News and Notes July 17

Thursday's Tip Sheet
By Josh Jacobs 

The mid-season festivities have come and gone and this writer will be the first to admit that it was a heck of a bash.

Between the frail Yankees’ owner George “The Boss” Steinbrenner wheeling around the stadium in an emotional state, pinstripe greats Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Reggie Jackson and Rich “Goose” Gossage throwing out the first pitches in tandem and the B-2 stealth bomber electrifying an already rabid capacity crowd, the 2008 All-Star game conjured up goose bumps on even the most apathetic of individuals.

If you missed out on the 15 innings of defensive oriented baseball, then you should know the American League wrapped up its 11th win in the last 12 All-Star meetings. With the final score record at 4-3, the last 10 mid-season classics have now averaged 9.2 total runs scored per game.

But the “big night” is now another baseball story filed in the memory banks to tell the grandkids. Moving right along, here’s what Thursday has lined up for the first games played in the second-half of the season.

Detroit (Rogers) at Baltimore (Olson) – 7:05 p.m. EDT

The Tigers enter the second-half of the season looking for answers on how they can sustain a consistent drive in the win column. Detroit entered the midway point with a 1-3 record in its last four and batting a damaging .224 average. More importantly is the Tigers 19-27 record with a .239 BA with a 4.41 ERA on the road.

With Detroit slinger Kenny Rogers (6-6, 4.63 ERA) taking the mound, focus on the club’s rotation averaging only 6.5 innings per start in the last 10. Rogers himself is logging in an average of 6.6 innings per start in his last 10, but is surrendering an effective 2.6 runs per game (2.4 of them earned).

The ‘under’ is 6-4 in Rogers’ last 10 starts.

Baltimore is in lone possession of the last place spot in the AL East. One of only four teams scoring less runs then their giving up in the American League (scoring difference of -10), the Orioles have seen some day light at home with a 25-16 record bringing in +954 units.

Left starter Garrett Olson (6-4, 5.65) will take the hill for Baltimore and only one win in his last six starts should give backers an unsettling feeling. At least a streak of five ‘over’ games in his last five starts give credence to a strong total play.

Most books have installed the Orioles as slight $1.08 home favorites, with an initial total sitting at 10 runs.

N.Y. Mets (Santana) at Cincinnati (Cueto) – 7:10 p.m. EDT

Where teams like Tampa Bay and Colorado entered the break on damaging losing streaks, the New York Mets wanted to continue the season with out interruption after stringing together nine straight victories.

The Metropolitans plan on designating Johan Santana (8-7, 2.84) as starter for Thursday’s return to the ballpark. The eight-year, southpaw ace has skunked opponents for 1.8 runs allowed in his last 10, while averaging 5.7 strikeouts per game. In 16 total starts this season, Santana has seen the ‘over’ go 8-5-3.

There’s no one area that New York has exclusively excelled in, instead opting to produce a .304 BA on offense, complimented by a bat silencing 2.04 ERA. While the bullpen has been solid with a 2.81 ERA, the starting rotation has worked for a 1.63 ERA. Minus pitcher John Maine (8-6, 3.99), the top four starters have manufactured an eye popping 0.38 ERA in the last seven days of play.

For Cincinnati not much has changed since the beginning of the season. The Reds have been consistently inconsistent by batting a 14th ranked .248 BA with an OPS of .729 (ranked 12th in the league). July has been an improved month (not by much) with the Reds thickening the lumber for a .260 BA, while averaging close to five runs per game.

Cincinnati is 7-3 in its last 10 but the starting pitching has only logged an average of 5.8 innings per start. has installed the Mets as a chalky $1.50 visiting favorite, with a total set at a low eight runs. The Mets’ are 5-1 on the ‘under’ in July.

San Diego (Peavy) at St. Louis (Lohse) – 8:15 p.m. EDT

Padres’ ace Jake Peavy (7-5, 2.47) has thrown back-to-back games of seven inning ball, giving up no runs and striking out a combined 13. With Peavy’s 1.9 runs per game allowed and getting 4.2 runs per game of support per start by the offense would indicate that the six-year right-hander, but this is not the case. Peavy is only 4-5 in his last 10 starts.

Then there’s St. Louis knockout artist Kyle Lohse (11-2, 3.39). His last loss came on May 8 and protecting leads by allowing 1.7 runs per game in the last 10 speaks volumes. At home this season, Lohse is 5-1 with a 2.75 ERA, has given up a .219 BAA and has fell victim to only five long balls.

The Cards are 2-7 in their last nine home games and are on a total role with a 42-16-1 record on the ‘under’ in the last 59 Thursday games.

Most books have installed St. Louis as a -115 betting favorite, with a total sitting at a rock bottom 7½-runs.

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Re: MLB News and Notes July 17

Winners and Losers
By Chris David

Pro baseball is easily the most grueling schedule in the four major professional sports, with 30 teams going head-to-head over a 162-game schedule. The action takes place over a six-month period from April through September and the majority of teams know their destiny by the All-Star break.
At the beginning of the season, oddsmakers posted regular season win totals on each ball club. The wager itself is simple, bet either ‘over’ or ‘under’ the number posted by the bookmakers.

Every season you have overachieving teams and your classic case of underachievers as well. Let’s take a closer look at the early winners and losers of the first half of the regular season.

Sunshine Surprises

Easily the biggest surprise of this year is Tampa Bay, who is on pace to win over 90-plus ball games. Oddsmakers expected the Rays to improve this season, but it’s hard to imagine anybody predicting them to win ‘over’ their win total of 76, especially with an all-time winning percentage of .410.

Things have changed at Tropicana Field this season, with the Rays sitting in first place of the American League East at the midseason point. Entering the final weekend before the All-Star break, Tampa has notched 55 victories, which are just 15 less than its franchise-record of 70 wins (2004).

Going ‘over’ 76 wins seems very likely for the Rays, but it appears this group has higher aspirations.

The Rays have always taken the back seat to its southern neighbor in the Marlins and deservingly so, with Florida owning two world championships in its young history. The Fish haven’t won as many games (48) as the Rays, but the books didn’t expect much from the South Florida club, listing their win total oat 68 ½ games. Currently, the Marlins are on pace to win 84 games.

Windy City Winners

The Cubs and White Sox are both sitting atop their respective divisions. The Cubbies were expected to be solid, projected at a regular season win total of 87 1/2. Right now, Lou Piniella’s team is on pace to hit 96 wins. The White Sox were predicted to win 10 less games (77 ½) by the oddsmakers and Ozzie Guillen’s team appears to be on target for 94 wins.

Heroes to Zeroes

Last year, Colorado and Cleveland both made the playoffs but postseason talk isn’t swirling in those clubhouses this summer. The Rockies and Indians both had high expectations but neither team has been able to duplicate the efforts put forth last season.

Colorado is on pace to win 67 games, far below their opening number of 83 ½. Even worse, Cleveland was forecast for 90 wins after barely missing the World Series last year. Currently, the Tribe are expected to come up 23 games (67) short at this point.

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Re: MLB News and Notes July 17

Thursday's streaking and slumping starters


Kyle Lohse, St. Louis (11-2, 3.39)

Who expected this kind of start from Kyle Lohse? Before this year he had just two winning seasons in seven years and posted a sub-4.50 ERA only once.

Now he has helped the Cards to nine wins in his last 10 starts and has allowed just two earned runs over his last 21 innings.

"This was the one where I was the happiest about because of the way I went out and performed," Lohse told reporters after his last start. "I didn't feel like warming up I had the best stuff, but when you bear down and make pitches the way I was able to, it feels really good that you can go out there with that kind of stuff and do it."

Jake Peavy, Padres (7-5, 2.47)

Lohse will be in tough against a red-hot Jake Peavy. The Padres’ ace is coming off two straight seven-inning shutouts and has piled up at least six strikeouts in all but two of his last 10 starts.

However, San Diego doesn’t give its starters much run support to work with. Peavy has given up four runs only once in his last 10, but has just four wins to show for it.


Garrett Olson, Baltimore (6-4, 5.65)

At least Baltimore’s rookie starter is getting a taste of the big leagues. Olson is having a tough time working deep into games and his last few outings haven’t been pretty. He is coming off a 9-8 loss to the Blue Jays, a start in which he gave up seven runs in less than four innings.

The lefty has allowed at least four runs in five of his last six trips to the hill, with his last five starts playing over the total.

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Re: MLB News and Notes July 17

Thursday's best MLB bets

Detroit at Baltimore (-105, 10)

The Tigers have owned the O’s this season, winning five of their six meetings, but it’s no coincidence that Baltimore’s only win came in the first game of the first series back in April. In one of the oddest trends in baseball betting right now, the Orioles – a team three games below .500 overall – is a stunning 21-10 in Game 1s.

But trends like that should be taken with a grain of salt, especially considering these head-to-head results. It’s hard to trust Garrett Olsen after he’s posted an 8.36 ERA over his last three starts and Kenny Rogers has been inconsistent enough to make him a dangerous road favorite. So the “over” might be the best bet in this spot. These clubs are a combined 12-7-1 O/U through their last 10 games and the way Baltimore has been hitting at home this season, it could be a bad day for pitchers.

Pick: Over

San Diego at St. Louis (-115, 7½)

Forget about Jake Peavy. He might have one of the best ERAs in the National League, but it’s not like his starts are guaranteed wins. In fact, the Padres are a disappointing 7-8 when Peavy gets the ball, largely due to pathetic batting (.246 team average and fewest runs produced).

That makes me think that a team like St. Louis at home is a steal at this price, regardless of who they’re facing. The Cards have struggled in the past against Peavy, but this is a revitalized Redbirds lineup that is hitting .279 against right-handers this year. Peavy hasn’t yet gotten a look at St. Louis’ young sluggers like Jay Bruce and Joey Votto and he might be in for a unwelcome surprise.

Pick: Cardinals

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Re: MLB News and Notes July 17

Thursday MLB Research
By IndianCowboy

Detroit vs. Baltimore

Rogers gave up 9 hits in his last start which lasted 7 innings as the Tigers eventually went on to lose to the Twins 6-7 as they have done so often this year. Rogers is 3-4 on the road with a 4.75 ERA and after some incredible starts at home, he has tapered off a bit in his last few starts, Olson has had 5 of 7 non-quality starts of late and his last 2 have been brutal as he has given up 15 hits and 12 runs in less than 13 innings as his last 5 contests have gone over. Not surprisingly, the total for this game is not set as Vegas seems be having their head up in their *** the last few days in releasing lines very late, but having said that, I think Rogers likely has a very strong start here and hopefully the juice is not too high, but I think Olson likely continues to struggle.

Mets vs. Reds

Santana is actually 8-7 this year but he does have a Sanatana like ERA at a 2.84 for the season. On the road, Santana is 4-4 with a 3.01 ERA, he faced the Reds earlier this year at home and despite giving up 10 hits in 6 innings, he only gave up 3 runs as the Mets went on to win a rout 12-3 as Belisle got rocked in that game back on May 10th. Santana has given up just 2 runs in his last 13 innings and has pitched 5 of 7 quality starts of late, however, he typically struggles to pitch 3 straight quality starts together, plus, the Reds have revenge and they had success against him last time, they couldn't turn hits into runs, Cueto is a good looking kid, he had a rough start against the Mets in his last go giving up 8 hits in less than 5 innings and 6 runs for a 11.59 ERA and picked up the loss against Perez. He comes off 5 straight unders and a non-quality start against the Cubs, so he likely bounces back today. I actually think the Reds have a good shot at beating Santana today, this game is likely to go over as well on the short lay of 7.5, but more importantly, I'm interested in seeing the dog price for the Reds here.

San Diego vs. St. Louis

Normally when a pitcher pitches against a team one day, and then goes immediately his next start against that team, he struggles. Normally when a pitcher goes against the Dbacks, they struggle given that the Dbacks are a great contact hitting team, but Peavy broke both rules as he gave up 0 runs in back to back starts against them in 14 innings, as the Padres won 4-2 and 4-0. In fact, he gave up 3 hits in 1 game and 2 hits in the other, Peavy is just 3-2 with a 4.41 ERA on the road as compared to his 7-5 with a 2.47 ERA overall this season showing that he struggles a bit more on the road, Lohse is 11-2 this year with a 3.39 ERA overall and 5-1 with a 2.75 ERA at home, Peavy has not faced the Cards this year, as Lohse has not faced the Padres, Lohse has pitched 5 of 6 quality starts of late as well, not sure what the lines will be here, but if the Reds are around a pick-em or have dog value, given that they have the better offense, Lohse is at home while Peavy on the road, I think the Cards likely roll here.

Pirates vs. Rockies

Maholm has pitched well in his last 6 of 7 starts which has all been quality, as he has made a big come back the second half of this season, while Jiminez, had a 4.50 era against the Mets in his last start as he nearly outdueled Pedro and lost 0-3 on the road at New York. Neither pitcher has faced the other this year and both ironically had a 1.29 ERA against the other in last years' starts against the opposing teams, Maholm has pitched in 3 straight unders and Jiminez has pitched in 7 straight unders as well, if anything a lean on the under here as the side is a tossup and remember, Jiminez is on a bounce-back and is 3-2 on the year with a 2.67 era at home.

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