MLB News and Notes August 13

MLB News and Notes August 13

Wednesday's Tip Sheet
By Josh Jacobs

While U.S. Olympic great, Michael Phelps attempts to shatter the all-time career gold metal count in Beijing, back on American soil baseball continues to trek through August. Between Tampa Bay losing both Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria for an extended period of time to Adam Dunn leaving Cincinnati en route to Arizona, the saga continues to mount in the Majors.

And then there’s what matters most; finding the right teams to wager on in the hopes of building up a bankroll as the season winds down. Here’s what we have for Wednesday’s lineup.

N.Y. Yankees (Rasner) at Minnesota (Slowey) – 1:10 p.m. EDT

Talk about team implosion. The Yankees have all but dropped out of the race to October. Being swept in Anaheim highlighted the weekend debacle and now facing a Minnesota team poised to make the AL Central there’s might just bury the Pinstripes where they stand.

New York might be 39-15 in the last 54 head-to-head meetings with Minnesota but can we really apply this historical trend to Wednesday’s game? More pertinent is the Yanks’ 5-11 record in their last 16, a shaky batting lineup who can hit .324 on one night only to follow up with a .138 BA the next and a pitching crew working for a 6.14 ERA in the last 10.

The Twins have been a monster at home with a 40-21 record. Inside the Metrodome, Minnesota is swinging the lumber for a .283 BA, has crossed the plate for 309 runs (5.2 runs per game) and has amassed a league fifth best, 320 strikeouts. Out of the six teams that play under a roof at home, the Twins are No. 1 with 305 RBIs and are ranked No. 2 with a .341 on base percentage.

Pitcher Kevin Slowey (8-8, 4.07 ERA) will get the start on Wednesday and although a 4-4 record at home hasn’t been a guaranteed win for backers, a .225 BAA coupled with an outstanding 0.98 WHIP has demonstrated effective stuff from the right-hander.

Not much can be made of New York slinger, Darrell Rasner (5-8, 5.28) who’s been a deplorable 2-5 in his last 10 starts. The good news for gamblers is that the ‘over’ has been golden with an 8-1-1 report in Rasner’s last 10.

St. Louis (Looper) at Florida (Nolasco) – 7:10 p.m. EDT

In what looks like a race to the finish, the Marlins haven’t made their lives easy in the NL East. Salvaging one win against the Mets on Sunday (8-2) helped put an end to what could have been a damaging sweep in the borough of Queens.

The Cardinals have had the Fish’s number by racking up seven wins and only one loss when playing in South Florida in the last eight. But it’s not like St. Louis has been setting the world on fire with a 5-5 record in its last 10. However in defense of the team’s performance, three of those five defeats where with the opposing club winning by a margin of only one run.

As for totals, the Cardinals have been effective on the ‘over’ with a 10-2-1 performance in the last 13 road games and 11-4-1 on the ‘over’ in the last 16 overall games. But we have opposing forces on a total’s play (trend wise) as the Marlins have gone 7-3 on the ‘under’ in their last 10, coupled with the ‘under’ going 6-2 in the last eight head-to-head clashes.

St. Louis right-hander Brian Looper (10-9, 4.20) has had extensive experience going up against Florida. In 18 starts against the Marlins over his 10-year career, Looper has worked for a 3-2 record with a high, 5.53 ERA and a BAA of .281. On the road this season Looper has been a success story with a 6-3 record and a 3.89 ERA.

The Marlins will send out 11-game winner Rickey Nolasco (11-7, 3.92). One of the more potent pitchers on the roster, Nolasco has slipped in his last five outings, going 1-3 and surrendering 3.4 runs per game.

Most books have set an early line of -124 in favor of Florida. A total of nine runs has been installed.

Tampa Bay (Sonnanstine) at Oakland (Duchscherer) – 10:05 p.m. EDT

If you haven’t heard by now, Tampa Bay has run into some trouble with the health of its roster. After losing left fielder, Carl Crawford to a torn tendon band on his finger, the Rays were then inundated by placing Evan Longoria on the 15-day DL with a fractured wrist. This hurts Tampa in more then one way as Longoria’s .278 BA with 71 RBIs will be sorely missed (especially on a squad batting a 19th worst .259, while bringing in only 4.6 runs per game).

But the real question pertaining to bettors is can an Oakland team who’s dropped 19 games in the last 22 (since the All-Star break) have a fighting chance against a top contender in the Rays’? In August alone, the A’s have been outscored 58-34 (5.8 versus 3.4 runs per game). In their last 10, Oakland is batting a lone .210 versus righties, while the starting rotation has been tagged for a 4.82 ERA and the pen for a 6.38 ERA.

The A’s are 1-7 in their last eight home games, 5-22 in their last 27 but has broken out the sticks against Tampa with a 25-7 record in the last 32 head-to-head meetings at home.

Oakland will send out Justin Duchscherer (10-7, 2.51) to the hill with the Rays looking to counter with Andy Sonnanstine (11-6, 4.40). The A’s Duchscherer has the statistical edge, rocking the league with a 0.99 WHIP, but as of late has run into trouble with a 3-3 record in his last 10 outings. Duchscherer is responsible for surrendering only 2.1 runs per game in those 10 outings but with the club’s 2.5 runs per game of production during the same stretch, run support is non-existent.

Bodog.com has opened the Rays as a lively +120 underdog with a total set at a rock bottom 7 ½.

The under has gone 7-2 in Tampa’s last nine games on grass and 20-8 in its last 28 road games.The under is 19-7 in Oakland’s last 26 contests played on grass.

vegasinsider.com

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Chan's Money Arms: Week of August 11th
By DAVID CHAN

This column has produced a 23-8 record over the past seven weeks, proving that a little homework can go a long way when it comes to building baseball bankrolls.

Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox, Wednesday vs. Texas

The think I like most about Jon Lester is his consistency. The guy has given the Red Sox at least seven innings in six straight, and nine of his last 10 starts. It seems rare nowadays that you see a pitcher that has given up fewer hits than innings pitched, but that’s the case with Lester. He is 6-1 with a 2.87 ERA at Fenway Park and while the Rangers certainly offer a significant challenge, I believe the left-hander is up to it. Since the beginning of June, Lester is 7-1, and since the All-Star break he is 3-1 with a 2.54 ERA in four starts. In one start against Texas this season, he pitched eight innings of one-hit, shutout ball. Needless to say, he gets my support on Wednesday.

Ricky Nolasco, Florida Marlins, Wednesday vs. St. Louis

I’ve given Nolasco a look on several occasions this season, with mixed results. I do like the way he’s pitched in recent starts, giving up three earned runs or less in each of his last three trips to the mound. He continues to show excellent command. Over his last three starts he has struck out 25 while walking just one. We should get some solid value with the Marlins in this spot due to Nolasco’s poor career numbers against the Cardinals. I’ll point out that he hasn’t faced them this season, and also that the Cards are in a letdown spot after their weekend series against the rival Cubs.

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Wednesday’s streaking starting pitchers
COVERS.com

Streaking

Jorge Campillo, Atlanta Braves (7-4, 2.83 ERA)


Campillo is doing well in his first season as a full-time big league starter and he seems to be getting more comfortable as the season wears on.

He is 4-0 in his last six starts, with two no decisions and he was either an underdog or a slight favorite in all four of those victories. Before allowing five earned runs in his last outing against Arizona, Campillo went five straight games where he allowed two earned runs or fewer.

The Braves are currently coming off a 3-1 series win during a four-game set against the D-backs and should be able to give Campillo a decent shot at the victory against the Cubs on Wednesday.


CC Sabathia, Milwaukee Brewers (6-0, 1.58 ERA)

Sabathia continues to roll with the Brew Crew and his new club has only one loss in his seven starts, although the lefty wasn’t tagged with the defeat.

Sabathia bettors will be happy to know that he pitches against the Padres on Wednesday in San Diego. That’s good news because the Padres are hitting a pitiful .217 against southpaws at home this season.


Slumping

Kevin Slowey, Minnesota Twins (8-8, 4.07 ERA)


Slowey has quietly become a moneymaking pitcher for the Twins recently with seven wins for Minnesota in his last 10 starts.

What makes this right-hander a slumping pitcher for Wednesday, however, is the time of the game – 1:10 p.m. ET. Slowey doesn’t enjoy pitching during the daytime and his numbers slide to 1-4 with a 6.98 ERA when the sun is shining. Compare that to a 7-4 record with a 2.97 ERA under the lights.

Slowey most recently faced the Yankees on July 22 when he was slapped for four earned runs in 5 1/3 innings in an 8-2 loss.

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Baseball Today

Seattle at Los Angeles Angels (10:05 p.m. EDT). Felix Hernandez (7-7, 2.94 ERA) tries to slow down an Angels offense that has been scoring at will recently. Los Angeles counters with Ervin Santana (13-5, 3.45), who will try to improve to 3-0 against the Mariners this season.

STARS

- David Ortiz, Red Sox, hit two three-run homers in the first inning and Boston - despite blowing a 10-0 lead - beat Texas 19-17 in a wild game.

- Javier Vazquez, White Sox, pitched eight shutout innings, allowing five hits and striking out 10 in Chicago's 9-0 win over Kansas City.

- Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox, overcame striking out twice in the first inning, hitting two homers including a key three-run shot in the eighth inning to help Boston beat Texas 19-17.

- Adam Lind, Blue Jays, went 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBIs to help Toronto beat Detroit 6-4.

- Marlon Byrd, Rangers, went 5-for-6 with a home run, a double and three RBIs in a losing effort as Texas fell 19-17 to Boston.

- Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox, had five hits and scored five runs in Boston's 19-17 victory over Texas.

HAPPY PAPI

David Ortiz hit two three-run homers in the first inning to help the Red Sox score 10 runs in the frame against the Texas Rangers. Ortiz hit his 15th and 16th homers off Scott Feldman, to become the first player to hit two home runs in the first inning since Aaron Boone of the Cincinnati Reds against the San Diego Padres on Aug. 9, 2002, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Bret Boone and Mike Cameron were the last American Leaguers to do it, and they did it in the same game, according to Elias. On May 2, 2002, the pair hit back-to-back homers twice in the first inning for the Seattle Mariners against the Chicago White Sox.

NO LEAD IS SAFE

The Red Sox took a 10-0 lead after one inning, and gave it away. Fortunately, they rallied to beat the feisty Rangers 19-17 on Kevin Youkilis' two-run homer, his second of the game. The 19 runs were the most scored by the Red Sox this season and they ruined a Rangers comeback that matched the greatest ever against Boston. The Red Sox also squandered a 10-run lead on June 4, 1989, against Toronto when they lost 13-11 in 12 innings after they led 10-0 through six. The combined 36 runs tied in AL record set on June 29, 1950, when the Red Sox beat the Philadelphia Athletics 22-14. The teams totaled 37 hits.

NO LEE, NO PROBLEM

The Astros are playing some of their best baseball of the season, even though slugger Carlos Lee is out. Lance Berkman hit a grand slam in an eight-run seventh inning and the Astros beat the Giants 12-4 for their sixth straight win. Berkman hit his 24th homer this season and his fourth career regular-season grand slam. Berkman has homered in two of his last three games after going 33 games without one.

EASY TARGET

White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin sat out against the Royals after he was struck on the left forearm by a pitch from Josh Beckett on Monday night, the fifth straight game in which he was hit by a pitch. So it was no surprise that he felt soreness and had trouble gripping a bat after taking batting practice before the game against Kansas City. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said Quentin wasn't in pain and expected him to play in Wednesday's game. Quentin became the first player since 1920 with that long of a streak, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He has been hit 19 times overall - most in the majors.

DL'D

The Dodgers placed center fielder Andruw Jones on the 15-day DL, retroactive to Aug. 10. Jones, laboring through the worst season of his 13-year career, has soreness in his left knee. The five-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winner is batting .161 in 74 games with three home runs and 14 RBIs in the first year of a $36.2 million, two-year contract. He underwent surgery May 27 to repair torn cartilage in his right knee.

AILING

All-Star catcher Joe Mauer sat out against the Yankees with a stiff neck. Mauer, fifth in the AL in batting (.316) and third in on-base percentage (.409) coming into the game, said he has had stiffness for the last three days, but didn't think it would become an ongoing issue. He said he expected to be back Wednesday. ... Giants ace Tim Lincecum left in the fifth inning against Houston after he was struck in the right knee by a line drive. Lincecum allowed only one hit and struck out seven through 4 1-3 innings. He left after Brad Ausmus drove a 3-1 pitch straight back to the mound. Lincecum tried to dodge it, but the ball hit him on the side of his knee. ... Detroit 3B Carlos Guillen left the game after seven innings because of lower left back tightness. ... Phillies CF Shane Victorino left after six innings because of lower back stiffness.

REHABBING

Yankees RHP Phil Hughes made a rehab start for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He allowed two runs and three hits with four strikeouts and a walk in 5 1-3 innings against Pawtucket. ... RHP Carl Pavano's rehab start for Double-A Trenton on Tuesday didn't go as well. He gave up seven hits, including two homers, and five runs in 4 1-3 innings. He also hit two batters with pitches.

SAVING ONE FOR JOHAN


The beleaguered Mets bullpen finally saved one for Johan Santana, preserving a 4-3 victory over the Nationals. The Mets relief corps has struggled badly without injured closer Billy Wagner. But with a 4-3 lead, Joe Smith and Pedro Feliciano each worked a scoreless inning to lock down Santana's elusive 10th win. Feliciano, normally a left-handed specialist, struck out two in a perfect ninth for his third major league save. The other two came last year. Six times this season New York's bullpen has cost Santana a potential win - with five of the collapses coming in the ninth inning. The two-time AL Cy Young Award winner left with a 3-1 lead in his previous outing last Thursday, only to have San Diego tie it in the ninth.

TRADED

The Red Sox acquired pitcher Paul Byrd from Cleveland, hoping to boost a rotation hurt by an injury to Tim Wakefield and the struggles of Clay Buchholz. The Red Sox will send either a player to be named or cash to the Indians. The 37-year-old Byrd is 7-10 with a 4.53 ERA this season. But he has won all four of his starts since the All-Star break with a 1.24 ERA.

STREAKING

Prince Fielder hit a three-run homer and Jeff Suppan pitched eight strong innings to lead the Brewers to their seventh straight victory, 5-2 over the Padres. ... Asdrubal Cabrera hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning to help the Indians beat the Orioles for their fifth straight win. The slick-fielding Cabrera provided a boost last August when he was called up, hit .283 and solidified the defense to help Cleveland to the AL Central title. This season, Cabrera had a .184 average when he was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo on June 9. He was recalled on July 18, and is batting .353 (18-for-51) in his last 15 games.

STAT

When Delmon Young homered off Mariano Rivera in the eighth inning, it was the first time the Yankees' closer had allowed a home run to a Twins player in his career. He had pitched 53 regular season innings against Minnesota without along a homer coming into the game.

SPEAKING

``At some point, you're thinking about going for a field goal.'' - Red Sox manager Terry Francona after watching his team take a 10-0 lead, fall behind 16-14, and finally rally to beat the Rangers 19-17.

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Wednesday’s MLB Research
By Indiancowboy

Toronto vs. Detroit

Purcey starts on the mound for Toronto today, he had a 9 and a 4.5 era in his last 2 starts and faced Detroit earlier this year, something interestin about that game was the fact that he gave up 7 Walks in less than 5 inns, Kenny has lost 3 starts in a row and desperately needs a quality start, he had a 7.95, 18.92 and a 3.86 era in his last 3 starts, so he did come back with a quality start in his last start, but it wasn't enough, he did beat Toronto on the road this year 8-4 with a 5+ era, Purcey has a 14 ERA on the road in his limited starts this year, obviously a lean on the RL given that Detroit also lost yesterday, but likely staying away from RL in general.

Tampa Bay vs. Oakland

Over 55% riding Tampa Bay here despite Oakland being favored around a -135 price, note that it was a pitcher's duel the last ballgame with Oakland coming out on top 2-1 so Tampa Bay looks to avoid losing another one here, Sonnanstine pitched a great ballgame in his last start and had just a 1.23 era last time, he had a 10.5 era and a 3.86 era in his 2 starts against Oakland this year, both games he lost 1-9 and 1-8, but once again, it is very difficult for a team to beat a pitcher 3 times in a row, Duch is 0-2 over his last 5 starts and he is in desperate need of a bounce-back though today meaning he will pitch well, if anything a lean on Oakland here to get it done again, but more importantly, I wouldn't be surprised to see this game dip under yet again today as both pitchers will look for a quality performance to right the ship a bit from their last series of starts. The last 5 of 7 for Duch has gone under.

Baltimore vs. Cleveland

Guthrie has been phenomenal of late, he is 5-1 over his last 7 starts, he is working on his stuff more and more and coming around considerably, he has done it at home and on the road even winning at the Yankees, his ERAs of late have been: 1.42, 1.29 and 1 of late, he lost to Cleveland both times last year, Baltimore lost a tight ballgame 5-7 to Sowers in the first game, so this is a bounce-back game for Baltimore, the public still favors the young kid Reyes and Cleveland more though, regardless, lean on Baltimore here, but not sure if it is enough to pull the trigger but Guthrie has been rock solid of late and they young kid might have a let down here.

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