MLB Playoffs News and Notes October 13

MLB Playoffs News and Notes October 13

Monday’s mound matchup
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Matt Garza (Tampa Bay Rays) vs. Jon Lester (Boston Red Sox)

Matt Garza RHP (11-9, 3.70 ERA)


Garza has to put his dreadful postseason debut behind him before taking the mound Monday. The right-handed pitcher was knocked around for five earned runs on seven hit in a six-inning effort in Game 3 of the ALDS.

Garza let a shoddy mound and hostile Chicago crowd get to him in the third inning of that last weekend. He won’t get off easy in Fenway, where the October crowds will be breathing down his neck. He was 1-1 in four starts against the Red Sox this season. His lone start in Boston was a horrific 5 1/3-inning beating in which he allowed five earned runs, two home runs on six hits June 3.

Garza was 4-6 with a 4.53 ERA in 15 road starts. He served up 14 of his 19 home runs when pitching in opposing parks.

Jon Lester LHP (16-6, 3.21 ERA)

Jon Lester has picked up where the injured Josh Beckett left off. The young southpaw pitcher is invisible to batters, after blanking the Angels in two seven-inning starts in the ALDS. He has more strikeouts than allowed hits over those two games.

Those wins improved Lester’s limited but impressive postseason numbers. He is now 2-0 with an eye-popping 0.77 ERA in just over 23 innings of October baseball. He made two appearances in the 2008 ALCS, pitching almost four innings and allowing two earned runs.

Lester collected an 11-1 record in 17 home starts this season. He has a 2.49 ERA at Fenway. Against the Rays, he was 3-0 with an ERA under 1.00 in three starts. His most recent showing was a 3-0 BoSox win in which he shutout the Rays through 7 2/3 innings Sept. 8.

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Re: MLB Playoffs News and Notes October 13

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox

Righthander Matt Garza will take the mound for the Rays to start this game. Garza is 11-10 this season with a 3.82 ERA.

It'll be Jon Lester toeing the rubber for the Red Sox in this contest. Lefthander Lester is 17-6 with a 3.01 ERA so far this season.

Oddsmakers currently have the Red Sox listed as 188-moneyline favorites versus the Rays, while the game's total is sitting at 8½.

B.J. Upton drove in the winning run in the 11th inning on Saturday night as the Rays topped the Red Sox 9-8 in Game 2 of this series.

The Rays pulled out the win as -114 home favorites in that contest, while the combined score went well OVER the night's posted total (8).

Team records:
Tampa Bay: 97-65 SU
Boston: 95-67 SU

Tampa Bay most recently:
When playing on Monday are 6-4
Before playing Boston are 5-5
After playing Boston are 9-1
After a win are 6-4

Boston most recently:
When playing on Monday are 5-5
Before playing Tampa Bay are 6-4
After playing Tampa Bay are 3-7
After a loss are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Tampa Bay's last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Tampa Bay's last 5 games when playing on the road against Boston
Tampa Bay is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games when playing Boston
Tampa Bay is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
Boston is 9-2 SU in its last 11 games when playing at home against Tampa Bay
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Boston's last 5 games when playing at home against Tampa Bay
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Boston's last 7 games at home
Boston is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games

Next up:
Boston home to Tampa Bay, Tuesday, October 14


Philadelphia Phillies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

The Phillies will pin their hopes on the pitching of righthander Joe Blanton in this game. Blanton has a 10-12 record and a 4.60 ERA this season.

Starting this game for the Dodgers will be Derek Lowe. The righthander has a 3.24 ERA to go along with a 15-12 record this season.

Odds aren't yet posted for this game, so check back later for the opening line and total.

The Dodgers struck back in Game 3 on Sunday night with a 7-2 victory over the Phillies as a -160 favorite. The nine runs scored went OVER the posted over/under total (8).

Blake DeWitt had three RBI for the Dodgers, while Rafael Furcal was 2-4 with a solo home run and two runs scored. Hiroki Kuroda earned the win after allowing only two runs on five hits in six innings.

Ryan Howard was 2-4 with a run scored for Philadelphia, while Jamie Moyer was roughed up for six runs on six hits in only 1 1-3 innings.

Team records:
Philadelphia: 92-70 SU
Los Angeles: 84-78 SU

Philadelphia most recently:
When playing on Monday are 7-3
After playing LA Dodgers are 6-4
After a loss are 8-2

Los Angeles most recently:
When playing on Monday are 6-4
After playing Philadelphia are 5-5
After a win are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
Philadelphia is 6-1 SU in their last 7 games when playing LA Dodgers
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Philadelphia's last 5 games on the road
Philadelphia is 8-2 SU in its last 10 games
The total has gone OVER in 9 of Philadelphia's last 12 games when playing on the road against LA Dodgers
LA Dodgers are 5-0 SU in their last 5 games when playing at home against Philadelphia
The total has gone OVER in 4 of LA Dodgers's last 5 games at home
LA Dodgers are 4-1 SU in their last 5 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 9 of LA Dodgers's last 12 games when playing at home against Philadelphia

Next up:
LA Dodgers home to Philadelphia, Wednesday, October 15

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Re: MLB Playoffs News and Notes October 13

ALCS Game 3 Preview
By Josh Jacobs

It may have taken five hours and 27 minutes for the Rays to emerge from a grueling Game 2 ALCS victory but the fact remains; this club is alive and ready to move on. Eleven innings, a total of 37 players used and seven home runs were just some statistical absurdities that defined Saturday’s get together.

But that’s all behind us now and a special double-header on Monday (Philadelphia-Dodgers at 8:22 p.m. EDT) will begin with a 4:37 p.m. EDT throw down between Boston and Tampa for the all important edge in Game 3. Remember, as stated in the ALCS preview piece, that the Rays are coming off a 2-7 showing in nine visits to Fenway Park during the regular season.

Direct correlation with grabbing only two wins in Boston include Tampa’s .198 BA, 2.4 runs scored per game and a toping out at 70 strikeouts (7.8 Ks per game) in the nine played up north. And while not the most effective road number, the Rays .248 BA was considerably higher then Fenway’s mess at the plate.

Tampa Bay continues to foster backers’ insecurities by posting an 11-46 record in the last 57 meetings in Boston.

The Red Sox are looking for big things to come from the mound. Placing fired up starter Jon Lester into the fray is sure to pose a serious problem to the Rays’ bats. This is a southpaw slinger who’s 5-1 in his last seven starts, 1-0 in two postseason games and has allowed just 1.3 runs per game in the last eight trips to the mound. If you want to make a stronger case for Lester to single handedly take control of this game then know that the Washington native is an unconscious 11-1 with a 2.49 ERA at home this season.

To make this pitching analysis fare, what might we expect from Tampa’s right-hander, Matt Garza? He’s coming off a letdown loss in Game 3 of the ALDS against the White Sox (5-3), giving up five runs on seven hits in six innings of ball. And then there’s Garza’s road record of 4-6 with a 4.53 ERA. There’s no selling you on a pick here based on comparative pitching but there’s also no overlooking the obvious.

The Rays are 3-8 in Garza’s last 11 starts on grass.

As far as series stats are concerned, Boston has connected for a sub-par .250 BA, while whiffing 17 times in the ALCS. By far, Red Sox Kevin Youkilis has been on call once again with a .600 BA (6-for-10), while Jason Bay has put the money where his mouth is for a .500 BA with four RBIs.

Boston is 23-8 in its last 31 playoff games.

If you’re keying on specific players to open a can of offense on Lester zero in on Tampa Bay’s Carlos Pena. The first baseman has applied wood on the ball for a .313 BA with six RBIs in 16 total plate appearances versus the Red Sox slinger.

Most books have installed the Red Sox as $1.75 home favorites (bet $175 to make $100), with a total set at 8½-runs.

Seven of the last 20 games have had totals of an exact 8 ½-runs. The ‘under’ has gone 4-3 in those seven. Take into consideration that the Rays have been installed as a $1.65 or more only once this entire season against the Red Sox. Tampa went onto take a 4-2 win in the head-to-head matchup on Sept. 10, collecting a +203 profit as the ‘dog that day.

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Re: MLB Playoffs News and Notes October 13

TAMPA BAY (101 - 67) at BOSTON (99 - 69) - 4:35 PM
MATT GARZA (R) vs. JON LESTER (L)
Top Trends for this game.
BOSTON is 99-69 (+12.8 Units) against the money line in all games this season.
BOSTON is 57-26 (+16.5 Units) against the money line in home games this season.
BOSTON is 37-12 (+17.5 Units) against the money line in home games in day games over the last 2 seasons.
BOSTON is 92-52 (+24.6 Units) against the money line in games played on a grass field this season.
BOSTON is 153-100 (+22.2 Units) against the money line against right-handed starters over the last 2 seasons.
BOSTON is 89-52 (+22.6 Units) against the money line after a loss over the last 2 seasons.
LESTER is 24-11 (+12.6 Units) against the money line in all games this season. (Team's Record)
LESTER is 16-2 (+13.8 Units) against the money line in home games this season. (Team's Record)
LESTER is 17-5 (+11.5 Units) against the money line against division opponents over the last 2 seasons. (Team's Record)
LESTER is 24-8 (+16.4 Units) against the money line in games played on a grass field this season. (Team's Record)
LESTER is 10-2 (+8.3 Units) against the money line after a loss this season. (Team's Record)
TAMPA BAY is 101-67 (+29.4 Units) against the money line in all games this season.
TAMPA BAY is 44-30 (+16.1 Units) against the money line against division opponents this season.
TAMPA BAY is 58-46 (+16.6 Units) against the money line in day games over the last 2 seasons.
TAMPA BAY is 60-40 (+14.5 Units) against the money line after a win this season.
TAMPA BAY is 55-37 (+18.0 Units) against the money line when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
BOSTON is 47-48 (-13.0 Units) against the money line when playing against a team with a winning record this season.

Head-to-Head Series History
TAMPA BAY is 11-9 (+3.3 Units) against BOSTON this season
10 of 20 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL this season . (Over=-0.2 Units, Under=-1.6 Units)

MATT GARZA vs. BOSTON since 1997
GARZA is 3-1 when starting against BOSTON with an ERA of 3.86 and a WHIP of 1.316.
His team's record is 5-1 (+4.1 units) in these starts. The OVER is 2-3. (-1.1 units)

JON LESTER vs. TAMPA BAY since 1997
LESTER is 4-0 when starting against TAMPA BAY with an ERA of 3.37 and a WHIP of 1.266.
His team's record is 7-0 (+7.0 units) in these starts. The OVER is 3-4. (-1.1 units)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PHILADELPHIA (97 - 72) at LA DODGERS (88 - 80) - 8:20 PM
JOE BLANTON (R) vs. DEREK LOWE (R)
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
PHILADELPHIA is 6-5 (+0.9 Units) against LA DODGERS this season
5 of 10 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL this season . (Over=-0.1 Units, Under=-0.8 Units)

JOE BLANTON vs. LA DODGERS since 1997
BLANTON is 1-0 when starting against LA DODGERS with an ERA of 3.32 and a WHIP of 1.632.
His team's record is 2-1 (+0.9 units) in these starts. The OVER is 1-2. (-1.2 units)

DEREK LOWE vs. PHILADELPHIA since 1997
LOWE is 4-2 when starting against PHILADELPHIA with an ERA of 2.90 and a WHIP of 1.148.
His team's record is 4-4 (-0.3 units) in these starts. The OVER is 5-3. (+2.1 units)


National League Championship Series
Best of Seven
Game Four
Phillies Lead, 2-1
TV: FOX
Philadelphia at LA Dodgers, 8:20 ET
Joe Blanton (R) vs. Derek Lowe (R)

Blanton:
1-5 TSR after giving up 1 or less ER last outing
Philadelphia 10-1 Over at Dodgers

Lowe:
10-7 TSR in home games
Dodgers 5-0 at home vs. Philadelphia


American League Championship Series
Best of Seven
Game Three
Series Tied, 1-1
TV: TBS
Tampa Bay at Boston, 4:35 ET
Matt Garza (R) vs. Jon Lester (L)

Garza:
Tampa Bay 7-30 Away off BB home games
Tampa Bay 34-17 Under vs. lefties

Lester:
13-0 TSR as a home favorite of -150 or more
10-2 TSR off a loss


TAMPA BAY vs. BOSTON
Tampa Bay is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games when playing Boston
Tampa Bay is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games on the road
Boston is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Boston's last 7 games at home

PHILADELPHIA vs. LA DODGERS
Philadelphia is 6-1 SU in their last 7 games when playing LA Dodgers
Philadelphia is 6-3 SU in its last 9 games on the road
LA Dodgers are 4-2 SU in their last 6 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of LA Dodgers's last 6 games

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Tampa Bay (4-2) at Boston (4-2)

After splitting the opening two games in Tampa Bay, this best-of-7 series know shifts to Fenway Park in Boston as the Red Sox have southpaw Jon Lester (17-6, 3.01 ERA) on the mound opposite the Rays’ Matt Garza (11-10, 3.82) for a pivotal Game 3.

After being shut down in the opener 2-0 by Daisuke Matsuzaka, Tampa came back and won Saturday’s Game 2 slugfest 9-8 in 11 innings. The Rays’ B.J. Upton hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 11th off Mike Timlin to even the series.

At Fenway, the Red Sox have won 12 of their last 15 playoff games and they have beaten the Rays 32 of the last 39 meetings in Boston. After losing seven straight at Fenway this season, Tampa took two of three there in September, getting a 14-inning win and scoring two in the ninth to get the other victory. Overall, the Rays have won eight of the last 11 meetings.

Garza did not perform well in the A.L. Divisional Series against Chicago last Sunday, giving up five runs on seven hits in six innings and losing the game 5-3. The Rays are just 1-5 in his last six outings and they have dropped his last four starts on the highway. On the road this season, Garza was just 4-6 in 15 starts with a 4.53 ERA. In six career starts against Boston, he is 3-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 32 2/3 innings.

On the opposite side, Lester was brilliant in two starts against the Angels in the divisional series, allowing just one unearned run in 14 innings of work as the Red Sox won the opening game 4-1 and won the clincher 3-2. Boston has won six of his last seven starts and allowed either one or no runs in the six victories, including a 3-0 shutout of the Rays back on Sept. 8 when he allowed six hits in 7 2/3 innings. Lester is 4-0 with a 3.38 ERA in seven career starts against Tampa Bay.

The Red Sox are 37-15 in Lester’s last 52 starts, 17-5 in his last 22 against the A.L. East and an amazing 23-4 in his last 27 at Fenway. They are on further runs of 23-8 in playoff games, 64-27 at Fenway and a perfect 5-0 against right-handed starters. The Rays are just 2-6 in their last eight games against a left-handed starter and 33-67 in their last 100 roadies against a southpaw starter, but they are 7-1 in their last eight games against teams from the A.L. East.

For Tampa, the under is on runs of 4-1 in Garza’s last five on the road, 5-0 when they face a left-handed starter, 6-2 on Mondays and 4-1 overall. It’s a plethora of unders for the Red Sox, including 5-1 in Lester’s last six starts, 4-0 when he pitches at Fenway, 5-1 when they face a right-handed starter, 5-1-1 at Fenway and 5-1-1 overall. In this rivalry, the under is 4-1 in the last five meetings in Boston and 4-1 when Lester faces Tampa at Fenway.

ATS ADVANTAGE: BOSTON and UNDER


Philadelphia (5-2) at L.A. Dodgers (4-2)

The Dodgers got themselves back in this series with a win Sunday and now send Derek Lowe (14-11, 3.24) to the mound to face the Phillies’ Joe Blanton (5-0, 3.99) in Game 4 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

The Dodgers scored five runs in the first inning and cruised to a 7-2 win in Game 3 to cut Philadelphia’s lead to 2-1 in the series. Hiroki Kuroda gave up two runs in six innings to get the win and the Los Angeles bullpen pitched three scoreless innings.

The loss snapped a six-game winning streak the Phillies had on Los Angeles and keeps the home team a perfect 11-0 between these two teams this season. Philadelphia is on a 21-8 run in its last 29 games, 6-3 in its last nine on the road and 7-1 in its last eight against the N.L. West. The Dodgers are just 1-9 in their last 10 against the N.L. East, but on runs of 23-10 overall, 26-9 in Hollywood, 9-2 against teams with a winning record and 7-2 in their last nine against right-handed starters.

Blanton pitched a week ago in Milwaukee when the Phillies wrapped up the divisional series, allowing one run on five hits in six innings of a 6-2 win. The Phillies have won his last five outings and he hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in a game since Sept. 8. He faced the Dodgers back on August 24 and allowed one run on six hits in six innings of a 5-2 victory in Philadelphia. His is 1-0 with a 3.32 ERA in 19 career innings of work against Los Angeles.

Lowe was a tough-luck loser in the opening game of this series back on Thursday when he gave up a two-run homer to Chase Utley and a solo shot to Pat Burrell blowing a 2-0 lead and losing 3-2. In his two playoff outings, Lowe is 1-1 and has allowed four runs (five earned) in 11 1/3 innings of work. In his career against the Phillies he is 4-1 with two saves and a 3.02 ERA. At Dodger Stadium this season, Lowe went 9-5 in 17 starts with a 2.30 ERA.

The under is 5-3 in the last eight clashes between these teams, but the over is 9-1-2 in the last 12 battles at Dodger Stadium (3-1-1 this year). Additionally, for Los Angeles, the over is on runs of 8-3-2 at home, 8-3-1 against teams with a winning record and 24-11-1 on Mondays. But the Phillies are on under streaks of 4-1 on the road, 6-2 in the playoffs, 7-2 against winning teams and 7-3 versus right-handed starters.

ATS ADVANTAGE: L.A. DODGERS

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