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MLB News and Notes August 4

MLB News and Notes August 4

Monday’s streaking and slumping pitchers


Ryan Dempster, Chicago Cubs (12-4, 2.90)

The Cubs are leading the NL and Dempster’s emergence as a dominant starter is a main reason for their success. He is 2-0 with a 0.86 ERA in his last three starts and is 10-1 with a solid 2.72 ERA at Wrigley Field.

Dempster has just two losses in his last 10 starts and is fresh off a solid road triumph against the Milwaukee Brewers in which he registered nine strikeouts and surrendered just one earned run. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 2.50 ERA in three starts this campaign against the Houston Astros.

The Cubs are 12-2 in Dempster’s last 14 home starts and are 8-2 in their last 10 games against Houston at Wrigley Field.

Matt Garza, Tampa Bay Rays (9-6, 3.56)

Don’t be fooled by Garza’s record, the right-hander has been puzzling opponents recently. Garza is 2-1 and has a 1.66 ERA in his past three starts.

Garza has relinquished just five earned runs in his last 21.2 IP and is fresh off a spectacular five-hit shutout win over the Toronto Blue Jays. He is also 6-1 with a 2.10 career-ERA at Tropicana Field.

The Devil Rays are 39-12 in their last 51 home games and are 7-2 in Garza’s last nine home starts.

Gil Meche, Kansas City Royals (9-9, 4.22)

Meche, who has been a solid starter since joining the Royals last season, has been sensational as of late. He is 3-0 in his last three starts with a 1.33 ERA and is 6-1 in his last 10 overall.

In his last start, a road triumph against the Oakland Athletics, Meche lasted seven innings, relinquishing just five hits and striking out eight. He is 4-4 and has 4.68 ERA at home this season and is 4-2 with a 3.69 career-ERA against the Boston Red Sox.

The Royals are 5-0 in Meche’s last five starts and are 6-2 in their last eight home games against Boston.


Greg Smith, Oakland Athletics (5-10, 4.04)

Smith has just two wins in his last 10 starts and is 0-3 in his past three with a lofty 8.10 ERA. He has also surrendered 15 earned runs in his past 16.2 IP.

Smith is 3-6 on the road with a 4.61 ERA and is 0-3 in his last three starts outside McAfee Coliseum. Smith also relinquished 14 earned runs and three home runs in his last five road outings and has a 3.00 career-ERA at the Rogers Centre.

The A’s are 2-14 in their last 16 overall and are 1-4 in Smith’s last five road starts outside Oaktown.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August 4

Monday's best MLB bets

Oakland vs. Toronto (-195, 7½)

A visit to Toronto might be what the Oakland Athletics need to avoid their longest losing streak of the season.

The struggling A's look to do that while trying for an eighth consecutive road victory over the Blue Jays in the opener of a four-game series Monday night.

Oakland (53-57) lost 5-2 at Boston on Sunday to mark the second time in the last month it has dropped six straight games. The A's, who have lost 15 of their last 17 overall, haven't dropped seven in a row since losing nine straight from July 6-17, 2007.

Pick: Oakland

Atlanta Braves vs. San Francisco Giants (-125, 7)

Any chance of making the playoffs seemed to evaporate last week for the Atlanta Braves. That's a couple weeks longer than the San Francisco Giants' postseason aspirations appear to have dissolved.

These two struggling teams open a three-game set Monday in San Francisco.

The Braves' season took a major turn last Monday, when Chipper Jones, who leads the majors with a .369 average, and No. 1 starter Tim Hudson were placed on the disabled list. A day later, Atlanta (51-60) traded first baseman Mark Teixeira, who led the team with 78 RBIs, to the Los Angeles Angels.

The Braves defeated Milwaukee 5-0 on Sunday to avoid being swept in three games, but Atlanta has won only two of its last nine. The Braves are 10 games back of NL East-leading Philadelphia.

Pick: Giants

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Re: MLB News and Notes August 4

Baseball Today

Pittsburgh at Arizona (9:40 p.m. EDT). Brandon Webb (15-4) tries to build on his major league-leading win total when the Diamondbacks take on Zach Duke (4-9) and the Pirates.


- Manny Ramirez, Dodgers, went 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs in a 9-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

- Xavier Nady, Yankees, went 4-for-5 with a homer and a career-high six RBIs, helping rally New York to a 14-9 victory over the Angels.

- Francisco Liriano, Twins, returned from the minors to pitch six scoreless innings, striking out five in a 6-2 victory over the Indians.

- Mike Aviles, Royals, went 4-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs in a 14-3 rout of the White Sox.

- B.J. Upton, Rays, homered and drove in two runs, helping rally Tampa Bay to a 6-5 victory in 10 innings over the Tigers.

- Daiuske Matsuzaka, Red Sox, gave up four hits and two runs in six innings, striking out eight in a 5-2 win over the Athletics.

- Jorge Campanillo, Braves, gave up six hits over seven innings before turning it over to the Atlanta bullpen, which kept Milwaukee off the board in a 5-0 victory.

- Greg Maddux, Padres, drove in a run and pitched six strong innings for his 352nd career victory, leading San Diego to a 4-1 win over the San Francisco.

- Gerald Laird, Rangers, hit a pair of homers and drove in four runs in an 8-4 win over the Blue Jays.


Three players and both managers were ejected in a pair of incidents during the Royals' 14-3 win over the White Sox. Miguel Olivo charged the mound after being hit by a pitch from Chicago reliever D.J. Carrasco in the fifth inning, touching off a benches-clearing brawl that led to both players and White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen getting ejected. Two innings later, Royals starter Zack Greinke was ejected when he hit Nick Swisher with a pitch. Royals manager Trey Hillman also was tossed.


Manny Ramirez continued to swing a productive bat in his first series with the Dodgers, going 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs in a 9-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ramirez is 8-for-13 with two homers and five RBIs in three games since he was acquired by Los Angeles in Thursday's three-way trade with Boston and Pittsburgh.


Francisco Liriano threw six scoreless innings in his return to the Minnesota rotation, helping the Twins move into first in the AL Central with a 6-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians. Liriano missed all of last season after Tommy John surgery and went 0-3 with an 11.32 ERA in three starts before being sent down in April. He dominated at Triple-A Rochester, going 10-0 with a 2.67 ERA in his last 11 starts, and was openly frustrated as the Twins waited until Friday to call him up.


Greg Maddux drove in a run and pitched six strong innings for his 352nd career victory, leading the San Diego Padres to a 4-1 win over the San Francisco Giants. Maddux (5-8) won his second straight start after going through a career-worst 14-game winless streak. The 42-year-old Maddux allowed one run and two hits.


The Cincinnati Reds lost for the eighth time in nine games and fell a season-worst 10 games under .500, having failed to gain any noticeable edge from a 20-minute players-only meeting before Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Washington Nationals. Cincinnati committed three errors and failed to hold a four-run lead in Saturday night's 10-6 loss, and another error by left fielder Adam Dunn led to an unearned run in Washington's four-run first Sunday.


``I'm not going to bring a guy in that throws 85 miles an hour to hit somebody. I guarantee it. I'll bring (Octavio) Dotel, I'll bring (Matt) Thornton. Then I will tell them to throw at them. That's the way I do business.'' - White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen after Royals catcher Miguel Olivo was hit on the wrist by a pitch from D.J. Carrasco and charged the mound, starting a brawl.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August 4

Monday's MLB Research
By Indiancowboy

Oakland vs. Toronto

Greg Smith goes for Oakland today as they come off a terrible series at Boston losing 2-5 yet again as their young hurlers were not much of a match for Boston's new lineup, of course, the Angels had their way with Boston's lineup for the most part, Toronto comes off a 4-8 loss to the hands of the Rangers yesterday and now return home, Smith has pitched 4 of 5 non-quality starts of late and given up 15 runs in less than 17 innings of work, Smith has given up just 2 runs in 13 innings to Toronto this year as he has had a 3 era and a 0 era, Halladay rarely has back to back losses and he is in for a bounce-back today as he lost last time out with a 3.38 era, he did give up 8 hits in 8 inns against Oakland last time but had a 1.13 era and defeating Harden 2-1. If anything a lean on the Bluejays run-line as I think it will be hard for Smith to defeat the Bluejays for the 3rd time, remember what happened to Cabrera when he tried to beat a team for the third time against Seattle, he got shelled early and often. Heck, I should have been on Seattle in hindsight after having talked about it and could have gone 2-0-1. Do note of course, I hate playing RL's.

Cleveland vs. Tampa Bay

TB won 6-5 yesterday and Cleveland lost 2-6 at Minny, Cliff Lee had a 10.8 era last time out and that is his worst performance of the year, despite that performance his era is still 2.69 and he is 8-2 on the road and 14-2 with a 2.58 era for the season, he went 6 inns and didn't yield a run to TB last time at home, Garza had a great performance his last time out but struggles to put back to back quality starts together, Cle had roughed him up before 12.6 era on the road, so, Ginter looks to bounce-back here against the Indians, at the same time so does Lee, but Ginter has trouble with back to back starts, regardless, the point of taking Lee on a bounce-back is nice and one gets him at a dog price here. I might just close my eyes and do it simply because it is Lee and the Indians did hit Garza for 11 hits in 5 innings, not to mention, I don't think Garza has back to back quality performances in him and the Indians off a loss.

Yankees vs. Texas

Chamberlain has given up 2 runs in his last 19 innings, and he had a 4.5 era last time against Texas losing 2-3, he has been rock solid and he faces Padilla who has been giving up a lot of hits, not necessarily runs though and has a 3.98 era at home, he has yet to face the Yankees this year, the first thing I look at in all Texas home ballgames is the over, as it seems to hit over and over and over again and I think this is one of the points now that you just blindly play the Texas over the next 10 ballgames and you will hit it at least 6 times. After all, if you would have done it the last 12 games, you would have gone 9-2-1.

Boston vs. KC

Boston is desperately hoping that Bucc bounces-back as he is 0-4 with a 7.98 era on the road, he has not won a game since May 2nd, he has had 6 straight non-quality starts, Meche is 3-0 over his last 5 starts, his team has won the last 6 of 7 of his starts, he had a 2.57 era against Boston last time losing 1-2 which was on the road and last year he had a 1.23 era as his team won 7-1 and that was at home. More than 60% favor Boston here and Meche has been pitching awfully well while Bucc continues to struggle, I'll take the better pitcher at home at this point, besides the KC offense put up 14 runs yesterday and began to show some life so it shows they can clearly hit lack of quality pitches when need be. It does seem that Bucc is getting more and more of his endurance back but I think he is 1 game away still from being back full strength.

Baltimore vs. Angels

Dennis Sarfate had a 6.75 era in his first start on the road at New York lasting 4 inns, tough back to back games for the young kid facing the Yankees on the road followed by the Angels on the road, Saunders has pitched 7 straight quality starts, as he is 2-0 over his last 3 starts, and he has defeated Baltimore both times this year 6-5, I favor the run-line here, but remember it will be tough for any pitcher to beat a team 3 times in a row and Baltimore has gotten close twice now, I wouldn't be surprised to see this game go over though as Baltimore is likely to be an active dog.

Minny vs. Seattle

Seattle got it done at home avoiding Cabrera defeating them 3 times in a row, Perkins has had back to back non-quality starts, although he did win his last start despite a 6 era, Batista is 0-1 over his last 4 starts, he has had only 1 home start this year and it was regrettable with over a 30era against Cleveland at home, he looks to bounce-back and has been pithcing better, he faced Minny last year with a 36 era, I understand that Batista's era is high overall, but he had a 3.38 and a 3 era in his last 2 starts which shows that he is improving and why is just a small dog today with Perkins and Minny in town, just seems a bit odd, I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see Seattle win this game.

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