MLB News and Notes July 29

MLB News and Notes July 29

Diamond Preview
By Matt Fargo

Tuesday, July 29th

Los Angeles Angels at Boston Red Sox 7:05 PM ET


The Angels and Red Sox continue their series on Tuesday in what could be a possible playoff preview for a second straight season. Boston comes into this series with the best home record in baseball while Los Angeles comes in with the best overall record in baseball so something will have to give. John Lackey takes the hill for the Angels and he tamed Boston in his first meeting this season but that was at home. In seven starts at Fenway Park, he is 1-4 with a 7.46 ERA and 2.03 WHIP. Don’t expect a change.

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Young could miss a week with hand injury

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -Rangers All-Star shortstop Michael Young could miss up to a week after suffering a small fracture in his right ring finger Monday night against the Seattle Mariners.
   
The team said Young is expected to be out of the lineup five to seven days. He will be re-evaluated by doctors later in the week.

The five-time All-Star apparently suffered the injury diving back to first base on a pickoff attempt in the first inning.

Young, who had an RBI single, was shaking out his hand running the bases after that pickoff attempt. He handled a groundout in the second and left the game before the Rangers took the field in the third.

Young was selected to his fifth straight All-Star game two weeks ago at Yankee Stadium. He is hitting .298 with eight home runs and 58 RBIs.

Before the game started Monday, Rangers third baseman Hank Blalock was a late scratch with an upset stomach.

Ramon Vazquez, who replaced Blalock in the lineup, moved to shortstop. Chris Davis, who started at first, moved to third and Frank Catalanotto took over at first base.

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MLB money arms: Week of July 28
By DAVID CHAN

This column has produced a 19-7 record over the past six weeks, proving that a little homework can go a long way when it comes to building baseball bankrolls.

It’s the start of another busy week on the diamond and here are five starters that could earn you some extra loot over the next four days.

A.J. Burnett, Toronto Blue Jays, Monday vs. Tampa Bay

Burnett is doing his best to impress possible suitors as the trade deadline approaches. His last three starts have been three of his best of the season, giving up only four earned runs over 20 1/3 innings.

The Jays are 5-2 over his last seven starts and despite recording an ERA above 5.00, he owns a 7-3 record in 10 home starts. In his lone start against Tampa Bay, Burnett was sharp, giving up just five hits and two runs over seven innings. He wasn’t given any help by the Jays offense on that night and was saddled with a 2-1 loss. He’ll face the same opponent on Monday in James Shields, but this time look for Burnett to come out on top.


Ben Sheets, Milwaukee Brewers, Tuesday vs. Chicago

Ben Sheets made the cut in last week’s column and while he didn’t factor into the victory, he gave up only four hits and two earned runs over seven innings. The Brewers are 9-3 over his last 12 starts, dating all the way back to May 21.

What impresses most about Sheets is his outstanding command. In 135 innings pitched this season, he has struck out 115 while walking only 31. In 48 2/3 innings pitched at Miller Park, he has recorded 46 strikeouts compared to only 11 walks.

The fact that he’s matching up against Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano should serve to give us a good deal of line value Tuesday night.


Mike Pelfrey, New York Mets, Wednesday at Florida

Would it be wrong to say that Mike Pelfrey is the new John Maine? He’s stepped in and done an excellent job in the Mets rotation this season about a year ahead of schedule, like Maine last year.

The Mets are a perfect 9-0 in his last nine starts and he’s allowed a run or less in six of those outings. You have to like the way he bounced back after getting rocked two starts back in Cincinnati. He held a tough Cardinals lineup to one run over seven innings in a 7-2 Mets victory on Friday night. I don’t believe he’ll have any trouble taking his show on the road on Wednesday.


Dan Haren, Arizona Diamondbacks, Wednesday at San Diego

This looks like another favorable spot for the D-backs All-Star. He has been hampered by a lack of run support at times this year, but that shouldn’t be an issue this time around. We saw the Snakes’ bats come to life over the weekend in San Francisco and that should carry over into this series.

Haren has given up two runs or fewer in eight consecutive starts and has lasted at least seven innings in nine of his last 10 trips. In 30 career innings against the Padres, he owns a magnificent 1.50 ERA. We may have to deal with a little juice, but I’m confident Arizona will get it done behind Haren on Wednesday.


Rich Harden, Chicago Cubs, Thursday at Milwaukee

Harden has gone winless in his first two starts as a Cub, but that streak should come to a halt on Thursday afternoon. This is certainly a favorable mound matchup for Chicago as they’ll be facing David Bush.

In two starts since coming over to the NL, Harden has given up a grand total of three hits and two earned runs (both solo home runs) in 12 innings. Oh yeah, he’s also struck out 20. The Brewers possess one of the best lineups in the National League, but I look for Harden to rise to the occasion here.

Again, we’ll probably have to pay a little more here, but it’s worth it to back what should be the better team on Thursday afternoon.

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Tuesday's MLB Tip Sheet
By Brad Young

**Mets (Perez) at Marlins (Olsen)**

-Caesars Palace opened New York as a $1.25 road ‘chalk’ over Florida, with the total set at nine. This National League East contest is scheduled to start at 7:10 p.m. ET.
   
-New York’s Oliver Perez (6-6, 4.15 ERA) is searching for his first victory in a month after going 0-1 his last four starts. The 6-foot-3 southpaw is off Thursday’s no-decision against Philadelphia, tossing 7 1/3 innings while allowing one run on six hits (one home run) with a walk and 12 strikeouts.

-The Mets eventually prevailed as a $1.40 home favorite, 3-1, while the combined four runs never seriously threatened the nine-run closing total. The ‘under’ has cashed his last five starts.

-Perez is 1-0 against the Marlins this season in two starts, going a combined 12 innings while surrendering five runs on nine hits (three home runs) with five walks and 15 strikeouts. The Mets prevailed as a $1.45 road ‘chalk,’ 13-0, and as a $1.45 home favorite, 7-6. The ‘over’ prevailed both times.

-Florida lefty Scott Olsen (6-5, 4.07 ERA) had won back-to-back starts before Thursday’s setback to Chicago as a $1.90 road underdog, 6-3. The four-year veteran was reached for six runs on seven hits (two home runs) with three walks and three strikeouts over six innings.

-The combined nine runs slithered ‘over’ the 8½-run closing total, helping the ‘over’ improve to 3-1 his last four starts.

-The 24-year-old received a no-decision against the Mets earlier this year, tossing five innings while yielding four runs on six hits (two home runs) with two walks and three strikeouts. The Marlins eventually dropped that contest to Perez and the Mets May 28 as a $1.35 road underdog, 7-6.

**Cubs (Zambrano) at Brewers (Sheets)**


-Caesars Palace installed Milwaukee as a $1.20 home favorite over Chicago, with the total listed at seven ‘over’ (minus $1.20). This NL Central affair is slated to start at 8:05 p.m. ET.

-Chicago hurler Carlos Zambrano (11-4, 2.96 ERA) is off Thursday’s victory over Florida as a $2.10 home ‘chalk,’ 6-3. The Venezuela native lasted seven innings while being tagged for two runs on six hits (one home run) with no walks and six strikeouts.

-The combined nine runs slithered ‘over’ the 8 ½-run closing total, ending a string of three straight ‘under’ outings for the right-hander.

-The 27-year-old has a pair of no decisions against the Brewers this year, going a combined 13 innings while allowing just one run on 10 hits (one home run) with three walks and eight strikeouts. The Cubs ended up dropping both games, 4-3, as a $1.35 and $1.40 home favorite. The ‘under’ prevailed both times.

**Angels (Lackey) at Red Sox (Buchholz)**

-Caesars Palace lists Los Angeles as a $1.20 road ‘chalk’ over Boston, with the total set at nine ‘over’ (minus $1.20). First pitch for this American League contest is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.

-Los Angeles pitcher John Lackey (8-2, 3.02 ERA) has won his last two starts after upending Cleveland Wednesday as a $1.68 home favorite, 14-11. The Texas native was reached for six runs on eight hits (one home run) with two walks and five strikeouts over five innings.

-The combined 25 runs soared ‘over’ the 7½-run closing total, helping the ‘over’ occur his fourth consecutive contest.

-Lackey beat the Red Sox July 18 as a $1.45 home ‘chalk,’ 11-3, tossing seven innings while yielding three runs on five hits (two home runs) with two walks and six strikeouts. The combined 14 runs soared ‘over’ the 7½-run closing total.

-Boston right-hander Clay Buchholz (2-5, 5.81 ERA) had dropped three straight starts before picking up a no-decision Wednesday against Seattle. The two-year veteran went 5 1/3 innings, surrendering three runs on seven hits (two home runs) with two walks and seven strikeouts.

-The Red Sox eventually prevailed as a $1.20 road underdog, 6-3, while the combined nine runs toppled the eight-run closing total. The ‘over’ is 7-1-1 his last nine starts.

-Buchholz fell to the Angels and Lackey in that July 18 matchup, lasting just 4 2/3 innings while getting tagged for eight runs (four earned) on eight hits (one home run) with two walks and two strikeouts.

**White Sox (Richard) at Twins (Perkins)**


-Caesars Palace installed Minnesota as a $1.25 home favorite over Chicago, with the total set at 9½. This AL Central contest is slated to start at 8:10 p.m. ET.

-Chicago rookie left-hander Clayton Richard (0-0, 9.00 ERA) is making just his second major league start after picking up Wednesday’s no-decision against Texas. The 24-year-old went four innings, surrendering five runs (four earned) on seven hits (one home run) with a walk and seven strikeouts.

-The White Sox eventually prevailed as a $1.20 home ‘chalk,’ 10-8, while the combined 18 runs soared ‘over’ the 10½-run closing total.

-Minnesota counters with Glen Perkins, hoping the southpaw can improve his 7-3 record and 4.08 ERA in 15 starts. The three-year veteran had strung together three consecutive victories before dropping Wednesday’s matchup with New York as a $1.55 road underdog, 5-1. In six innings, he was reached for five runs on eight hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

-The combined six runs failed to eclipse the nine-run closing total, helping the ‘under’ cash his fifth start in a row.

-Perkins picked up a no-decision against the White Sox June 9, going 5 1/3 innings while yielding three runs on five hits (one home run) with three walks and three strikeouts. The Twins eventually dropped that contest as a $1.80 road underdog, 7-5, while the combined 12 runs eclipsed the 9½-run closing total.

vegasinsider.com.

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Tuesday's streaking starting pitchers
COVERS.com

Streaking

Roy Halladay, Toronto Blue Jays (12-7, 2.82 ERA)


The Blue Jays ace has pitched 33 complete games since the 2003 season, an incredible stat when you consider there are only eight other active major-league pitchers who have pitched that many in their careers.

No wonder the guy is getting frustrated with his Toronto teammates while his club hovers around the .500 mark yet again this year. Halladay continues to be his incredible self with a 6-2 record over his last 10 starts and he’s managed to strike out at least two innings worth of batters in eight of those outings.

Tampa Bay has managed to win two games with Halladay on the mound this season, so you know the Doc will be looking for some payback on Tuesday.


Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants (6-8, 3.82 ERA)


Pitching well for the Giants is a frustrating experience this season. Cain can tell you all about it after pitching four great games in his last five starts with only a pair of wins to show for it.

The right-hander carries a 1.23 ERA over his last three starts, but in order to get a win during that stretch, he had to pitch nine innings of shutout ball – and San Fran still only beat the Nationals 1-0 in that game last Thursday.

Cain has given up zero earned runs in three of his past five starts while tossing at least seven innings in each of those. Unfortunately, he’s only received one lowly run of support in his three most recent trips to the bump.


Slumping

Brett Myers, Philadelphia Phillies (3-9, 5.82 ERA)


Few pitchers have lost as much money as Myers recently. Philly has dropped 12 of his last 13 starts including a stretch of six straight losses heading into Tuesday.

As if t hat’s not bad enough, Myers is on the road against the Nats on Tuesday. He is far worse on the road (0-6, 7.91 ERA) than at home this season (3-3, 3.81 ERA).

Look for a possible play on the over in this matchup with Washington sending a struggling pitcher of its own, Colin Balester, to the hill.

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Baseball Today

Chicago at Milwaukee (10:05 p.m. EDT). Carlos Zambrano (11-4, 2.96 ERA) matches up with Ben Sheets (10-3, 2.87) in the second game of a four-game series between teams battling for the NL Central lead.

STARS

- Adam Jones, Orioles, hit a grand slam and an RBI triple in a 13-4 victory over New York that ended the Yankees' 10-game home winning streak.

- A.J. Burnett, Blue Jays, struck out 10 and allowed an unearned run in seven innings in a 3-1 win over Tampa Bay.

- Joe Mather, Cardinals, went 3-for-5 with a homer and a double to help St. Louis rout Atlanta 12-3.

- Adrian Beltre, Mariners, hit two home runs and drove in four runs in a 7-5 win over Texas.

- Kevin Slowey, Twins, pitched a six-hitter, his second shutout of the season, in a 7-0 win over Chicago that pulled Minnesota within 1 1/2 games of the White Sox.

SPLASH!

Pittsburgh's Nate McLouth hit a 448-foot home run off Colorado reliever Luis Vizcaino that bounced into the Allegheny River in the Pirates' 8-4 win over the Rockies. McLouth's home run was the 23rd to land in the river in PNC Park's eight-year history.

SAVIOR

Francisco Rodriguez of the Angels got his major league best 44th save in 47 chances in Los Angeles' 7-5 win over Boston despite allowing a home run to Manny Ramirez. With more than two months left in the season, Rodriguez is just 13 saves shy of Bobby Thigpen's record of 57 with the White Sox in 1990. No other player this season has more than 30 saves.

MAD DOG MILESTONE

Greg Maddux moved past Hall of Famer Phil Niekro and took sole possession of 10th place on baseball's career strikeout list in San Diego's 8-5 win over Arizona. The Padres' right-hander struck out Arizona's Mark Reynolds in the second inning to tie Niekro with 3,342, then moved past him in the third when he struck out Conor Jackson. The 42-year-old Maddux also snapped a career-high, 14-start winless streak.

KINGS OF PAIN

Tim Hudson has ligament damage in his pitching elbow, the latest in a series of devastating injuries to the Atlanta Braves's pitching staff. The right-handed Hudson went on the disabled list after an MRI found the damage. The Braves also placed slugger Chipper Jones on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring injury, yet another blow for a team that just a few days ago had still hoped to contend in the NL East.

AILING

Mets pitcher John Maine left the game Monday night at Florida after 4 1-3 innings because of stiffness in his right shoulder, and he'll return to New York for tests. The right-hander took a 2-0 lead into the fifth inning, but when he fell behind leadoff batter John Baker 2-0, the trainer and manager Jerry Manuel went to the mound. Maine stayed in the game, and Baker homered on the next pitch. After Maine retired the next batter, Manuel removed him. Maine allowed four hits, struck out six and walked one. It's uncertain whether he'll miss any starts.

SUSPENDED

Chicago Cubs first base coach Matt Sinatro was suspended for two games after making contact with an umpire during a weekend dispute. Cubs manager Lou Piniella said Monday night that special assistant Ivan DeJesus would take over for Sinatro at first. The suspension took effect Monday night when the Cubs started a series at Milwaukee for the NL Central lead. Sinatro and Piniella were fined undisclosed amounts by Major League Baseball vice president Bob Watson. After the Cubs' Mark DeRosa was called out at first base in the ninth inning Saturday at Wrigley Field, Sinatro argued and made contact with umpire Rob Drake. Sinatro was ejected, as was Piniella.

SEASON OVER

Yankees catcher Jorge Posada will have season-ending surgery on his right shoulder, ending his attempt to return to the lineup for New York's postseason push. The five-time All-Star has struggled with shoulder pain most of the season, weakening his throws and limiting his playing time behind the plate. On the disabled list for the second time this year, Posada was trying to rehabilitate his shoulder enough to come back as a DH or first baseman this season. But after the Yankees acquired outfielder Xavier Nady in a trade with Pittsburgh on Saturday, they determined it was best for Posada to have surgery now, general manager Brian Cashman said Monday. Posada is expected to be sidelined at least six months.

SPEAKING

``The reality of the way things have gone recently and the number of injuries we're battling, I think it paints a pretty clear picture of what we should do and what we need to do. We're in a position of great strength because we have the best player. We have some of the best assets out there that people want.'' - Braves GM Frank Wren about the team possibly trading 1B Mark Teixeira after the team put Tim Hudson and Chipper Jones on the disabled list.

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Tuesday's best MLB bets
COVERS.com
   
Angels vs. Red Sox (-110, 9)

According to a story in the Daily News today, Angels pitchers John Lackey is going through a “dead arm” phase of the season.

It happens to a lot of players, in a lot of positions and it usually means a slump of some kind. For Lackey – who says the phase usually happens to him after about 100 innings of work – the slump means a 2-1 record and bloated 7.61 ERA over his past four starts.

That comes after a 6-1, 1.44-ERA start to the season in his first nine outings. That was almost an impossible pace, but Lackey hopes to get back to those numbers with a few adjustments tonight, but he isn't telling reporters what those adjustments are. Getting back to form might be difficult against the Red Sox and their 37-14 home record, though.

Pick: Red Sox 

Cincinnati vs. Houston (-110, 9½)

A quick look at the matchup page for this game shows you that the Phillies have lost seven straight games to the Astros dating back to last year.

Nobody likes to lose seven in a row to anybody, but it looks like it could be eight tonight because of an emotionally lifted Houston team. The ‘Stros got their ace back last night, Roy Oswalt, and the clubhouse was all smiles after a 5-4 win over Cincy.

Houston jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. But Adam Dunn pounded a grand slam in the third to take the lead and the win looked in doubt. Fortunately, Houston fought back for the win and the psychological lift of Oswalt became obvious.

Look for the Astros to go on a winning stretch in their coming games following a four-game losing streak last week.

Pick: Astros   


Colorado vs. Pittsburgh (+115, 10)

The Rockies are scoring lots of runs lately. The Pirates are also scoring a lot of runs lately.

Add a pair of pitchers with a combined ERA of more than 15.00 and you have yourself a play.

Pick: Over

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ChiSox highlight Tuesday slate

The ChiSox started the week with a slim lead in the AL Central. They could add to that lead, or lose it completely, in this week's four-game series in Minnesota.

For Tuesday's game the White Sox will send rookie Clayton Richard to the mound for only the second time, while Minnesota will turn to Glen Perkins. Richard made his Major League debut last week against Texas and lasted four innings, allowing four runs on seven hits while striking out seven. Perkins was charged with his first loss since May in his last start after the Yankees tagged him for five runs over six innings. In his lone game against the White Sox this season Perkins earned a no-decision after allowing three runs in 5 1-3 innings.

Chicago's other team continues a big divisional series on Tuesday as well. The Cubs and Brewers began a four-game series on Monday, and Tuesday's game looks like it could be quite a pitcher's duel. Chicago will be starting Carlos Zambrano on Tuesday night, and the Brewers will go with Ben Sheets. Zambrano looked good in his last start when he held Florida to two runs over seven innings to pick up the win. In two starts against Milwaukee this year the Big Z is 0-0 with a tiny 0.69 ERA. Sheets went seven innings against St. Louis in his last start, allowing two runs in a no-decision. In his two starts against the Cubs this season Sheets is 1-0 with a 2.38 ERA.

Also worth a look on Tuesday is another divisional matchup between the Mets and the Marlins. Florida sends Scott Olsen to the mound on Tuesday night, while the Mets will give the ball to lefty Oliver Perez. Olsen was ripped for six runs in six innings in his last start versus the Cubs. In his only start against the Mets this season Olsen surrendered four runs over five innings. Perez was dominating in his last outing against the Phillies when he allowed only one run in 7 2-3 innings with 12 strikeouts. Against the Marlins this season Perez is 1-0 with a 3.75 ERA in two starts.

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Four hot clubs to watch after MLB trade deadline
By BetJamaica.com

The trade deadline. It’s the time of the year when every team within a whiff of the postseason tries to do something to address a perceived need.

While we probably end up overanalyzing each and every move (and non-move), what happens at the deadline directly affects a team’s profitability for the rest of the season – and for the playoffs.

Here’s a look at the biggest deadline buyers and the effect that deals (and potential deals) will have on your wallet.

1. New York Yankees

No surprise here. The Bronx Bombers have spent the last month climbing back into the AL playoff scene despite injuries to Hideki Matsui, Jorge Posada, and Chien-Ming Wang. Listed at +250 to win the AL outright and +600 to win the World Series, there’s an unusually high level of value in the Yanks.

The Yankees added Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte from Pittsburgh on Saturday, and are in the mix for Jarrod Washburn, Bronson Arroyo, Vicente Padilla, Brian Bannister, and even slugger Adam Dunn. Nady torches lefties, and Marte shuts them down (read: David Ortiz). This is, in addition to the arrival of Richie Sexson, another notorious lefty killer.

Combine these moves with the possibility that Manny Ramirez could be shipped out of Beantown and you have to handicap New York as the best bet in the AL East.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers

The acquisition of Casey Blake is a smart one, but that’s not why the Dodgers are high on the list.

Los Angeles has the best chance of landing Atlanta’s Mark Teixeira, which would immediately make the Dodgers the frontrunner in the pedestrian NL West. With Blake and Teixeira on board, L.A. would have the offense necessary to be a sharp NL outright play at +750.

Even if they don’t land Teixeira, Blake’s .398 average with runners in scoring position will help the Dodgers pass Arizona for good by September. Don’t be surprised to see George Sherrill, David Weathers, or Alan Embree in blue in white, either.

3. Milwaukee Brewers

The Brew Crew are set after nabbing CC Sabathia and Ray Durham, but it would be misleading to keep Milwaukee off the list just because they got their Christmas shopping done before the rush.

The Brewers are the big winners at the deadline. They’ve added an ace in Sabathia to go along with Ben Sheets, and a huge upgrade on Rickie Weeks (at least for this season) at second base.

What makes Milwaukee attractive is that the public has sucked the value out of NL Central rival Chicago. The Brewers are priced at +300 to win the NL, while bettors have pushed the Cubs to +140.

4. New York Mets

There’s not much of a difference on paper between New York and Philadelphia, but this week could deliver an edge to the Mets. Both teams are listed at +350 to cash the NL Pennant, so bettors are waiting to see what happens at the deadline before declaring their choice in the NL East.

Thing is, the players the Mets are looking at would be easier to move than the talent the Phillies are attempting to bring in. It’s the difference between Raul Ibanez, Randy Winn, and Huston Street, and Brian Fuentes and Manny Ramirez. My bet is that at least one of Ibanez, Winn, and Street will be in the Big Apple, while Fuentes and Ramirez will stay put.

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MLB DIAMOND NOTES

Los Angeles Angels SP John Lackey is having another superb season (8-2 with a 3.02 ERA) although he has struggled some in July. Lackey has been shutting left-handed batters down all season (theyre hitting .192 against him). Watch for the Angels ace to locate his curve inside to Bostons left-handers Tuesday. Left-handed batters are 0-for-27 against Lackeys curveball when he locates it on the inner third of the plate this year.

Atlanta SP Jair Jurrjens must locate his fastball in certain zones to be effective. Opposing batters are hitting a measly .167 (17-for-102) when Jair throws his heater at or below the knees and they are hitting the ball on the ground 66.2 percent of the time (league average is 44.7 percent). However, when he leaves his fastball above the knees, opposing hitters are batting .301 (58-for-193) against Jurrjens and their groundball percentage drops to 43.6 percent.

Colorado OF Matt Holliday is 17-for-44 with four homers and 11 RBIs since the All-Star break.

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitchers have posted a 7.07 ERA since the All-Star break.  The Pirates are 12-17 when facing a left-handed starter this season.

Baltimore SP Daniel Cabrera is 1-5 with a 6.15 ERA in 12 starts since May 20, but is 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA in two starts against the Yankees this season.

Toronto SP Roy Halladay is 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA against the Rays this season and 12-5 with a 2.48 ERA against the rest of the Majors

The Washington Nationals hit .133 during the last four games of their road trip and were outscored 24-9.  The Nationals haven't been held without a run in three consecutive games since getting swept by Florida at home from April 13-15, 2004.

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Tuesday's MLB Research
By IndianCowboy

Angels vs. Boston

I had the under in this game yesterday and the Angels decided to put up a 6 spot in the 6th inning, considering that 3 runs were scored going into the 6th inning that is a bit irritating. But, it seems that Weaver got his revenge against the Red sox pitching well on the road at Boston where he suffered a terrible defeat last time. Lackey got shelled at home last time out against Cleveland but still managed to win the game with a 10.80 era. His performance on the road has been stellar at 4-1 with a 2.44 era, and he beat Boston earlier this year at home with a 3.86 era as he defeated Buccholz. Of course, Boston comes off getting spanked yesterday so they look to bounce-back here and get their revenge, and although Bucc is 2-1 at home with a 2.42 era, his last 5 starts have been atrocious and he had a 7.73 era back on July 18th against the Angels. Lean on the Angels here yet again, note that nearly 60% favor Boston in this matchup.

Detroit vs. Cleveland

Galaraga is on the road facing Cleveland as the Indians come off a comfortable 5-0 win as Byrd gets it done at home against Rogers as Byrd was coming off a bounce-back, Ginter starts and he too is on a semi-bounceback as he had a 4.5 era at the Angels last time out and this was coming off a 5 inning shutout performance against Tampa Bay at home, Ginter now returns home but Gallaraga at the same token is 6-2 with a 2.39 era on the road, he is 8-4 with a 3.11, Galaraga has won back to back starts against the Indians this year with a 2.70 era and a 3.18 era at home, Galaraga has had some trouble putting together back to back quality starts and I understand that the Tigers are coming off a loss yesterday, but this is a decent spot for the Indians to pick up another win here. Note that 65% of the public favors Detroit on the road.

Baltimore vs. Yankees

Cabrera has gotten rocked in back to back starts with a 10.80 and a 12.60 era against Detroit and Toronto at home, in fact, he has given up 16 hits and 13 runs in the last 10 innings, but note that Cabrera continues to show up against the Yankees in his last 2 starts as he had a 3 and a 2.57 era in his last 2 starts, but the Yankees also come off that double-digit spanking last night at home so they will have some fire in their belly for tonight one would assume, Rasner has pitched 13 innings and given up just 1 run to the Orioles this season, so the Orioles might have had some success against Mussina but Rasner is another story thus far, Rasner also has a 3.44 era and a 3-2 record at home. The question here is which Cabrera shows up? The one that has dominated the Yankees this year, or the one that has a road era of 4.29, albeit, he pitches considerably better on the road than at home, and the Yankees look to bounce-back. Either way, a lean on the under, but likely just staying away.

Tampa Bay vs. Toronto

Garza is on a bounce-back today, note that he had a 7.20 era in his last start against Kansas City on the road, note that Garza has a 1.35 and a 0.00 era in his last 2 starts against Toronto and that was on the road and at home, heck, he has given up just 1 run in more than 14 inns to the Bluejays this year which says a lot, but he does have over a 6 era on the road, of course, given that he has a 3.84 era overall this year, that goes to show how bad his splits are on the road, Halladay has pitched 6 of 7 quality starts, but Tampa Bay has had their success against him hitting him for 17 hits and 10 runs in 14 innings as he has had 5.63 and a 7 era in his last 2 starts, however, both those games were on the road and Halladay at home has a 5-2 record with a 3.07 era. Note that tampa bay lost yesterday so they are on a bounce-back and +141 on this team is not all that bad of a dog value given that Garza is on a bounce-back.

Seattle vs. Texas

Silva and Mendoza face off today here. Note that Seattle won 7-5 on the road with Hernandez yesterday, Silva is on a bounce-back as he had a 12 ERA in his last start against Cleveland at home and typically he bounces-back well: Here are Silva's era's of late:

5.79, 9, 2.57, 9, 2.25, 3 and 12.

When he has faced Texas he had a 1.29 era and a 2.84 era on the road and at home, both games he helped Seattle actually win in this terrible season they have going, Mendoz'as era is a bit humorous in his 4 starts this year:

1.93, 54.14, 1.5 and 13.50.

This obviously denotes that he is on a bounce-back today facing the Mariners at home and Texas looks to avoid losing 3 in a row to Silva at home today. They also come off yesterday's loss and they did have more success against Silva his last time out, do note that Silva himself is on a bounce-back, I hate taking an under with Texas at home, but if anything a lean on the Rangers as well as the under here. Of course, there is never a number high enough for the Rangers at home it seems.

Whitesox vs. Minny

Minny simply hammered the White Sox 7-0 yesterday, Richards makes his debut for the Chisox today while Perkins starts on a bounce-back from his 5.07 era against the Chisox last time on the road and his 7.5 era against the Yankees on the road as well, he was 5-0 over his last 6 starts before that start, Minny is not too much of a favorite today at -122, they are not a bad play here given that the Chisox start the young kid while Perkins is on a bounce-back, the only thing for a bit of worry is the fact that the Chisox were beat 0-7 yesterday so they will come back with a vengeance today.

Kansas City vs. Oakland

KC won 4-2 yesterday on the road, they start Meche who pitched brilliantly against the Devilrays at home shutting them out last time out, he gave up just 5 hits in 7 inns and he has pitched 5 of 7 quality starts and has a 3.82 era on the road, Greg Smith was roughed up in his last 3 out of 4 starts and he gave up a 5.40 era to KC last time out this year back on 4/19, he has lost back to back starts but his home starts have been solid this year with a 2-3 record and a 2.9 era. Once again, I hate that 60% are on Oakland, but it is not as if it is too much of a public play here, Smith has to bounce-back eventually and what better game than here at home against KC off a loss yesterday, Meche has given up just 1 run in 14 inns to Oakland last year so he looks to continue that trend.

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