MLB News and Notes August 11

MLB News and Notes August 11

Monday's MLB Tip Sheet
By Brian Edwards

There are nine games on Monday’s MLB card, including a pair of afternoon games in the National League. Gamblers should take note of the early starts, as the Mets host Pittsburgh at 1:00 p.m. Eastern, while the Brewers take on Washington at Miller Park at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Let’s take a look at the most intriguing games to be played under the lights before exploring some Bonus Nuggets.

**Yankees at Twins**

--As of early this morning, most books were listing Minnesota (65-52, +1,812) as a minus 125 favorite with a total of 9½ flat (minus 110 either way). Gamblers can collect a monster payout by backing the Twins on the run line (minus 1½ runs) at plus 165.

--New York (63-55, -1,073) has lost five of the first seven games in this 10-game road trip. Joe Girardi’s team split a four-game set at Texas before getting swept by the Angels over the weekend. The broom treatment dropped the Yankees to 8 1/2 games back of the Rays in the AL East and four games behind the Red Sox in the AL wild-card race.

--Ron Gardenhire’s club is in second place in the AL Central, just one-half game behind the division-leading White Sox. The Twins are 1½ games back of the Red Sox for the wild-card slot.

--Minnesota will give the starting nod to LHP Glen Baker, who is 8-3 with a 4.38 ERA in 17 starts this season. Baker is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in a pair of career starts against the Yankees that covered 10 innings. The southpaw is 5-2 with a 4.22 ERA in 10 home assignments this year.

--New York will counter Baker with Sidney Ponson (7-2, 4.23 ERA), who has dominated Minnesota through the years. The veteran right-hander is 11-2 with a 2.55 ERA in 15 lifetime starts against the Twins.

--The ‘under’ is 65-55 overall for the Yankees, 32-27 in their road games. However, the ‘over’ is on a 12-4 run in the Yanks’ last 16 games.

--Minnesota has seen the ‘over’ go 69-53 overall, but it has only cashed at a 31-31 clip in its home games.

--The Yankees are 17-17 in 34 games against left-handed starting pitchers.

**Phillies at Dodgers**

--Most spots are listing the Dodgers as minus 135 ‘chalk’ with a total of eight flat (-110 either way). Bettors can take Joe Torre’s squad on the run line for a plus 160 return (risk $100 to win $160).

--Los Angeles (58-59, -875) is one game under .500, but the team has received a huge jolt from the acquisition of Manny Ramirez at the trade deadline. Most importantly, the Dodgers’ mediocre record is good enough to be right in the thick of the race in baseball’s worst division, the NL West. Despite dropping a 5-4 decision Sunday at San Francisco, L.A. is just 1½ games back of the loop-leading Diamondbacks.

--Philadelphia (64-53, -71) hits the road for a seven-game trip this week, facing the Dodgers four times before a weekend series in San Diego. The Phillies, who are 32-26 on the road, lead the NL East by two games over the Mets and 2½ over the Marlins.

--Derek Lowe (8-10, 4.10) owns a 3-1 record and 2.84 career ERA against Philadelphia. The veteran righty is 6-5 with a 2.72 ERA in 12 home starts this season.

--Kyle Kendrick (10-5, 4.37) is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in a pair of lifetime starts against the Dodgers. The right-hander is 6-2 with a 4.79 ERA in 12 road assignments in 2008. Kendrick has been particularly effective in his last three starts, posting a 2-1 record with a miniscule 1.45 ERA.

--The ‘under’ is 63-53 overall for the Dodgers, 35-26 in their home games.

--The Phillies have watched the ‘under’ go 60-59 overall, 29-27 in their road outings. The ‘under’ has cashed in five consecutive Philadelphia games, including Sunday’s 6-3 home win over Pittsburgh that had a total of 9½.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--Tampa Bay has won 10 of its last 12 games to take a comfortable 4 ½-game lead over the Red Sox in the AL East. However, the Rays got bad news over the weekend when slugger Carl Crawford suffered a strained tendon in his finger that will keep him out at least 2-3 weeks, possibly longer. Crawford is a .293 career hitter who has eight homers, 55 RBIs and 25 stolen bases this year. On the bright side, Rocco Baldelli returned to the lineup Sunday for the first time since May 15 of 2007. He had an RBI single and a diving catch.

--The Crawford injury isn’t the only one sustained this past week. The White Sox lost RHP Jose Contreras for the season, while the D-backs lost second baseman Orlando Hudson for the year. Hudson was hitting .305 with eight homers and 41 RBIs. Boston RHP Tim Wakefield was also placed on the 15-day DL.

--Detroit RHP Justin Verlander will toe the rubber Monday against Toronto. Verlander is the worst money pitcher in baseball this season. The Tigers are 9-15 in his 24 starts, costing their backers $1,119 (assuming $100 bets in each spot). Verlander is 0-3 with a 9.35 ERA in his last three outings.

vegasinsider.com.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August 11

Brewers look dangerous
By Joe Nelson

The Brewers have rebounded from the ugly four-game series in Milwaukee against the Cubs to deliver five straight wins heading into Monday’s series finale with Washington. Although the Cubs are still heavy favorites in the National League and still hold the lead in the NL Central, the Brewers may have a team that is better suited for a World Series run, as odd as that sounds.

Much is made of the disappointing history for the Cubs, without a World Series title in 100 years, but the Brewers have delivered arguably more frustrating results in their short history. Since the Brewers last made the postseason in 1982, the Cubs have made the playoffs five times.
   
Although it has been a long while, the Cubs do have two World Series titles to their name. Until last season the Brewers had not had a winning record since 1992 and the history of poor management and players that went to have great success after leaving Milwaukee is considerable.

This year feels much different for the Brewers. Although the team faded in September last year, the pennant-chase experience should pay dividends this season. The schedule also sets up well for Milwaukee to finish in playoff position. Only 15 of the remaining 44 games are against winning teams and half of the remaining games will be played at Miller Park. 16 of the final 26 games in September will be at home and the Brewers have a more favorable finish than the Cubs.

Chicago must play 16 of the final 22 on the road and they must play quality teams in the final two weeks with the Brewers, Cardinals, Mets, and a second series with the Brewers lined up for the final 13 games. The Brewers are in good shape currently holding the Wild Card lead by three games and still within reach for the division title so they will control their fate for making a historic playoff appearance.

The Cardinals, Mets, and Marlins will all be aiming at the Brewers so nothing is assured but should Milwaukee make the playoffs they have to be considered serious threats with high quality starting pitching. Taking a chance adding C.C. Sabathia has proved to be one of the great mid-season deals as the lefthander has produced incredible results. Sabathia is 6-0 with a 1.58 ERA and he has four complete games and two shutouts. Should Brandon Webb or some of the other Cy Young candidates falter we could see serious arguments for Sabathia for the award should continue at this clip, as absurd as that sounds given his limited time in the league.

Ben Sheets no longer has to face the pressure of being the #1 starter and he has pitched remarkably well and stayed healthy this season giving Milwaukee arguably the best 1-2 combination in baseball. Manny Parra has dropped off a bit in the last few weeks but he still provides a very solid #3 option and gives the Brewers two lefties in the rotation. Jeff Suppan came up big for the Cardinals in the postseason and although he has been inconsistent he could prove to be a great veteran to have in big games.

Chicago and Arizona would also both have quality starting pitching options in a playoff series among NL contenders but the 1-2 for the Brewers looks much stronger and the Brewers may have the edge in rotation depth as well. Milwaukee’s bullpen has endured some trouble spots this season but no team that will be in the NL playoffs can feel perfectly comfortable with relief pitching. Philadelphia has the best overall numbers but Brad Lidge has had a few recent shaky outings. The Mets, Dodgers, and Cubs all have primary closers on the DL, and Arizona and St. Louis have had bullpen problems just as bad as Milwaukee has dealt with. Expect Milwaukee’s bullpen numbers to improve in the next few weeks with the extra rest that adding Sabathia has brought the relievers.

There is little argument that the Cubs have the superior lineup with a .280 team average but the numbers are not good away from Wrigley Field. The Cubs are hitting just .259 on the road and no regular has a batting average above .300 on the road while several key hitters have terrible road numbers including Aramis Ramirez hitting .217 and Kosuke Fukodome hitting .229. Milwaukee does not experience such dramatic drops in batting average on the road and several key players including Corey Hart and J.J. Hardy have posted better numbers away from home giving Milwaukee better balance.

Only four teams in baseball have winning road records on the season and the Brewers are one of those teams. Milwaukee has also completed four more road games than Chicago and the Cubs will face a road heavy finish down the stretch as the pressure and national attention build. Based on the four game series in Milwaukee that Chicago swept, the Cubs remain the team to beat in the NL but Chicago was a post-season flop last season being swept in three games. Chicago will likely be the favorites heading into the playoffs but should Milwaukee make the postseason they could be the more dangerous team.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August 11

Monday’s streaking and slumping pitchers
By JUSTIN BANKS

Streaking

Kyle Kendrick, Philadelphia Phillies (10-5, 4.37)


In just his second MLB season, Kendrick is leading the Phillies in wins (10). He is 2-1 in his last three starts with a solid 1.45 ERA.

Kendrick has just three setbacks in his last 10 overall and is 4-1 in his last five road outings. In his last road start, a win over the Washington Nationals, he surrendered just two earned runs and seven hits in 6.2 IP.

The Phillies are 5-1 in their last six road games and are 5-1 in their last six against the NL West.


Slumping

Jonathan Sanchez, San Francisco Giants (8-8, 4.64)


Sanchez is winless in his last six starts and has conceded 23 earned runs and 32 hits in his last 11.2 IP. He is 0-3 in his last three with a lofty 10.03 ERA.

Sanchez is 6-4 with a 5.07 ERA on the road and is 0-1 and has a 27.00 career-ERA against the Houston Astros. In one relief appearance at Minute Maid Park, he surrendered one ER and one hit in just 0.1 IP.

The Giants are 1-5 in their last six against the NL Central and are are 2-7 in their last nine road games against a team with a winning home record.


Fausto Carmona, Cleveland Indians (5-4, 4.46)

Carmona hasn’t impressed many Tribe fans since coming off the DL. In his last three, he is 1-2 with a shaky 11.25 ERA and 1.89 WHIP.

Carmona is 0-3 in his last three at home, including a loss to the Minnesota Twins in which he surrendered nine earned runs in just 2.1 IP. He is also 2-2 and has a 3.52 career- ERA against the Baltimore Orioles.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August 11

Wakefield headed to DL with shoulder stiffness
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHICAGO (AP) -Boston Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield will miss at least two starts and go on the disabled list because of a stiff right shoulder, manager Terry Francona said Sunday.

Wakefield returned to Boston on Sunday for a cortisone shot after cutting short a throwing session the previous day. The 42-year-old right-hander experienced some stiffness while holding Kansas City to four hits over six innings in an 8-2 win on Wednesday.

''We took him out a little early the other night,'' Francona said. ''He was getting stiffer and stiffer as the game progressed. It was getting hard to get loose. He was still throwing great.''

The Red Sox are taking a cautious approach with Wakefield, who missed the AL Division Series and World Series last year with a similar injury.

''We're trying to not have this thing get to the point where it did last year,'' Francona said.

Wakefield, 7-8 with a 3.67 ERA, was scheduled to start Tuesday, but the Red Sox will call up a minor leaguer instead. Francona said Bartolo Colon, on the disabled list since June 17 with a stiff lower back, is not ready to return yet.

Also on Sunday, the Red Sox scratched first baseman Kevin Youkilis from the lineup because of a sore left shoulder.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August 11

August good month and bad month pitchers
By MARC LAWRENCE

The game plan is acknowledging good pitchers and avoiding bad pitchers during their good and bad months of the season. Below is the list of arms to watch throughout the month of August. Note that the win-loss records are those of the team in which the listed pitcher started over the previous three seasons.

Herein I present a list of the best and worst pitcher performance records during the month of August over the past three years. And, hey beer man, pour me another one for the road, whadda ya say?

AUGUST GOOD PITCHERS

A.J. Burnett 11-5, Noah Lowry 11-4, Greg Maddux 12-5, John Maine 9-4, Brett Myers 9-3, Roy Oswalt 11-4, Andy Pettitte 14-5, Johan Santana 13-5, Tim Wakefield 9-2, Chien-Ming Wang 9-3, Jeff Weaver 13-4, Jake Westbrook 13-3.

AUGUST BAD PITCHERS

Jeremy Bonderman 5-12, Boof Bonser 3-8, Chris Capuano 4-10, Josh Fogg 5-11, Dustin McGowan 3-7, Gil Meche 2-12, Oliver Perez 3-7, Nate Robertson 4-13

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Re: MLB News and Notes August 11

Baseball Today

SCOREBOARD

Monday, Aug. 11

Boston at Chicago (7:05 p.m. EDT). Josh Beckett (10-8, 4.08 ERA) tries to build on his solid outing in his last start, when he allowed two runs and four hits in 6 2-3 innings against Kansas City for his first win since July 9. He'll face John Danks (9-4, 3.21), who has won six straight decisions.

STARS

- Ian Kinsler, Rangers, went 5-for-6 with his 15th home run, driving in three runs in a 15-7 rout of Baltimore.

- Brian Giles, Padres, went 4-for-6 with a homer and four RBIs to help San Diego beat Colorado 16-7.

- Willy Aybar, Rays, hit two home runs and drove in four runs in his first multihomer game to help Tampa Bay down Seattle 11-3.

- Cliff Lee, Indians, pitched eight scoreless innings to win his AL-leading 16th game in a 4-0 victory over Toronto.

- Randy Winn, Giants, had three hits and three RBIs and sparked a ninth-inning rally with a leadoff single to help San Francisco beat Los Angeles 5-4.

RAY OF HOPE

What better way for Tampa Bay to celebrate the return of outfielder Rocco Baldelli than to do it on the day the long-suffering franchise set a record with its 71st victory. Baldelli, who missed most of the 2005 and 2006 seasons, played his first game since May 15, 2007, going 1-for-4 in an 11-3 win over Seattle. He slowly worked his way back after earlier this season getting diagnosed with mitochondrial disorder, a condition that slows muscle recovery and causes extreme fatigue. The AL East-leading Rays improved to 71-46, topping their previous highest win total set in 2004 when they finished 70-92.

BORN WINNERS


Indians left-hander Cliff Lee wasn't tied for the major league lead in wins for long. He won his AL-best 16th a few hours before Diamondbacks right-hander Brandon Webb won his 17th, tops in the NL. Lee (16-2) threw eight shutout innings in a 4-0 win over the Blue Jays, lowering his ERA to a majors-best 2.45. Webb (17-4) wasn't quite as sharp, allowing six hits and a run in six innings, but he had a two-run double in a 6-1 win over the Braves.

BREAKING OUT

Lance Berkman of the Astros and Chase Utley of the Phillies ended unusually long home run droughts. Berkman hit his first homer in 113 at-bats, dating to June 30, in Houston's 13-4 win over Cincinnati. It was his 23rd of the season. Utley snapped an 0-for-12 slump with his first home run since July 7 - and 29th of the season - but he's still looking for his first multihit game since July 30. Hitless streaks of 24 and 17 at-bats have helped dropped his average to .287 after he hit .362 with 13 homers in the first 33 games.

OFFENSIVE SURGES

The Texas Rangers emphatically ended an uncharacteristic hitting drought in a 15-7 rout of the Orioles. Held to one run over their previous three games, the Rangers matched their season high with 20 hits. Ian Kinsler had five, topping his total in his last seven starts and added three RBIs. Josh Hamilton hit his 28th homer, a three-run drive that snapped a 3-for-22 skid. Marlon Byrd went 4-for-6 with a homer and four RBIs, one of six Texas starters with at least two hits. ... The San Diego Padres hit four home runs in a 16-7 win over Colorado. Brian Giles had four hits, including a homer, and Jody Gerut, Kevin Kouzmanoff and Luke Carlin also went deep for San Diego, which had 20 hits and set a season-high in runs.

STREAKING

Lastings Milledge's RBI single in the sixth extended his hitting streak to 11 games and ended Washington's scoreless innings streak at 27. He added his 11th homer of the year in the eighth. ... Cincinnati's Jay Bruce went 0-for-4 to snap his hitting streak at 13 games. ... Baltimore's Aubrey Huff went 1-for-5 with a homer run to extend the longest current hitting streak in the majors to 18 games. ... Boston's Clay Buchholz lost his sixth straight decision, the longest current streak in the American League.

SWEPT

Alex Rodgriguez said the Yankees have to treat every game like the playoffs after the Angels beat the Yankees 4-3. Los Angeles moved to 31 games over .500, and New York is now 8 1/2 games behind Tampa Bay and fading fast in the A.L. East race after closer Mariano Rivera again faltered in a non-save situation. It was the Angels' first home sweep of a three-game series over the Yankees since 1995.

FOOLING NO ONE

Welcome back to the National League, Livan Hernandez. The San Diego Padres roughed up Hernandez in his first start for the Rockies after being claimed of waivers from Minnesota. He gave up four runs in the first inning and was yanked after giving up two home runs in the third. Hernandez allowed nine runs and seven hits with four walks in 2 2-3 innings of a 16-7 loss to the Padres.

INJURED

A couple of playoff contenders suffered setbacks Sunday thanks to injuries. The Rays set a franchise record with their 71st win, but could be slowed in the coming weeks now that Carl Crawford is the 15-day disabled list with an injured tendon in the middle finger. Arizona second baseman Orlando Hudson is out for the season after surgery late Saturday night to repair a dislocated bone in his left wrist.

NOT AGAIN!

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter was forced to leave the game against the Chicago Cubs in the sixth inning with a strained right triceps. After Carpenter delivered a second pitch to Jim Edmonds with one out in the inning, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and a team trainer went to the mound. After a brief conversation, Carpenter was removed and Ron Villone came on to pitch, getting as much time as he needed to warm up. Carpenter was making just his third start since elbow ligament replacement surgery in July 2007.

WALK-OFF WINS

The Giants are out of the playoff race but can take consolation in the fact they dealt a blow to the rival Dodgers' hopes of overtaking Arizona. San Francisco beat Los Angeles 4-3 in 10 innings Sunday for a series sweep after knocking the Dodgers off 3-2 in 10 on Saturday. The Dodgers are now one game under .500 and 1 1/2 games behind the Diamondbacks.

SPEAKING

"Bonds is not a fit for us. If he would come, I would go. I wouldn't want to deal with it.'' - Houston manager Cecil Cooper, responding to Internet reports that the Astros are interested in signing career home run leader Barry Bonds.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August 11

MLB DAILY RESEARCH
BY Indiancowboy

Yankees vs. Minny

Yankees fell short 3-4 yesterday while Minny lost 4-5 in extras to the Royals as well, Ponson goes against Perkins here and do note that Ponson is 4-2 with a 4.10 era on the road and 7-2 overall this year surprisingly, He has pithed 3 of 7 quality starts of late and just 2 of 6 quality starts but the Yankees seem to pull out the offense when he starts, he is 2-0-1 against the Twins this year and that is despite giving up 9 hits in nearly 6 innings in his last start, all 3 games against the Twins have gone over when he has started and of course, do note that the Yankees have helped outscore the Twins 22-5 when he has started in the last 2 ballgames this year. Perkins has gotten shelled by the yankees in both starts against them with a 11.25 era and a 7+ era and his last 3 starts have been non-quality but he typically does not lose back to back ballgames, there is a reason why Minny is favored here as it is very very tough for a team to beat a pitcher 3 times in a row and a pitcher to beat a team 3 times in a row - in this case Ponson beating the Twins 3 in a row and the Yankees looking to beat Perkins 3 times in a row. The Twins are of course tough at home and the majority of the public around 58% are riding the Yankees here, I think the Twins likely get it done.

Boston vs. White Sox

Boston lost 5-6 in a close ballgame yesterday, Beckett had lost 3 in a row and bounce-back with a win in his last start as he defeated the Royals on the road, Danks too bounced back from his last start with at home against Detroit and he is 4-0 over his last 7 starts. He faced Boston last year to an era tune of 6 and 13.51 and Beckett helped beat the White Sox last year 10-3 and 11-3. It would make sense here to take Beckett and the Rsox on the bounce-back (not to mention both pitcher's prior history with the opposing team), but I hate laying that juice and likely will roll with just 1 play today.

Baltimore vs. Cleveland

Sarfate had a horrible 15 ERA in his last start but keep in mind both of his starts have been on the road at the New York Yankees and on the road at the Angels and he has given up 8 runs in 7 innings so he has had a rough go of it lately. Fausto comes off a loss in his last start as he had a 9 ERA so he is looking to bounce-back here himself, Baltimore comes off losing 7-15 in their last ballgame and Cleveland won 4-0 at Toronto as they have been finally playing to their expectations of late, although this year has been undoubtedly a dissappointment for them, but this team is still 12 games below .500 which led to the CC trade, Cleveland RL will make a bit sense here but I just hate doing the RL in general, and frankly, although I think Carmona will bounce-back here at some point Sarfate needs to have a good start so that he can look to stay in this rotation next year. no thanks.

Toronto vs. Detroit

As noted Toronto comes off 0 runs yesterday as this team lost 0-4, Marcum did have a 1.29 era in his last start, and had a 6.36 era against Detroit at home last time out, Verlander has not been himself lately as he has lost 3 straight starts including having a 15.75 era, 9.54 era and 5.87 era as the Whitesox have just pummelled him general, he desperately needs a good start here, Marcum has been a good bet this year at home with a 3.44 era but on the road he has a 4.84 era, frankly, I can see this game going both ways given that Toronto was shutout yesterday and Verlander has not been pitching well, but having said that Marcum has been horrible on the road as well.

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