MLB Playoffs News and Notes October 14

MLB Playoffs News and Notes October 14

Tuesday’s mound matchup
COVERS.com

Andy Sonnanstine (Tampa Bay Rays) vs. Tim Wakefield (Boston Red Sox)

Andy Sonnanstine RHP (13-9, 4.38 ERA)


Tampa Bay’s fourth starter performed like the team’s ace in his first playoff appearance. Sonnanstine closed out the ChiSox on the road with a steady 5 2/3-inning performance in which he gave up two runs on three hits. However, two of those three were home runs.

Sonnanstine was 7-5 with a 4.29 ERA on the road this season. He made two starts against the Red Sox, both equaling no decisions. In his only trip to Fenway Park, the right hander was tagged for an unearned run and four hits in seven innings of work.

He has made six career starts versus Boston and has a 1-1 record and 5.40 ERA to show for it. He’s allowed three home runs, walked seven and struck out 24 in 33 1/3 innings over those games.

Tim Wakefield RHP (10-11, 4.13 ERA)

Wakefield is no stranger is postseason baseball. Ole’ knucklehead has appeared in 17 playoff games, 10 of those as a starter. He has a career record of 5-6 with a 6.36 ERA in October and has recorded all five of those wins in the ALCS.

Wakefield didn’t throw in the ALDS and hasn’t had game action since throwing five shutout innings against the Yankees September 28. He is 7-4 with a 3.10 ERA in 16 starts at Fenway Park this season.

The veteran righty has owned Tampa Bay throughout his career, posting a 19-5 mark with a 3.32 ERA in 41 showings. But, as most people know, this is not the Rays of the past. Tampa Bay got revenge this year, leaving Wakefield with a 0-2 record and 5.87 ERA in his three starts.

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Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox

The Rays will pin their hopes on the pitching of righthander Andy Sonnanstine in this game. Sonnanstine has a 14-9 record and a 4.34 ERA this season.

The Red Sox will counter Sonnanstine with Tim Wakefield. Righthander Wakefield has a 4.13 ERA to go along with a 10-11 record this season.

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

B.J. Upton went 2-for-5 with a three-run homer as the Rays walked past the Red Sox 9-1 to take a 2-1 lead in the ALCS on Monday.

Tampa Bay cashed as +170 road underdogs as the game played over the 8.5-run total listed by oddsmakers.

Rocco Baldelli also had a three-run jack for the Rays, while winning pitcher Matt Garza allowed one run over six innings for Tampa Bay.

Jacoby Ellsbury drove in the lone run for Boston, as Jon Lester gave up four earned runs over 5 2-3 innings to take the loss for the Red Sox.

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

Tampa Bay most recently:
When playing on Tuesday are 2-8
Before playing Boston are 5-5
After playing Boston are 9-1
After a win are 6-4

Boston most recently:
When playing on Tuesday are 7-3
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:
Tampa Bay is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Boston
Tampa Bay is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Tampa Bay's last 6 games when playing Boston
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Tampa Bay's last 9 games on the road
Boston is 19-6 SU in its last 25 games when playing at home against Tampa Bay
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Boston's last 6 games when playing Tampa Bay
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Boston's last 6 games when playing at home against Tampa Bay
Boston is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games at home

Next up:
Boston home to Tampa Bay, Thursday, October 16

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Tampa Bay (5-2) at Boston (4-3)

The Red Sox will try to bounce back from Monday’s stunning home loss to the Rays when they send veteran knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (10-11, 4.13 ERA) to the mound for his first start of this postseason as the ALCS resumes with Game 4 at Fenway Park. Tampa Bay is set to hand the ball to Andy Sonnanstine (14-9, 4.34).

Tampa Bay roughed up the previously untouchable Jon Lester for five early runs in Game 3 Monday and rolled to a 9-1 victory to take a 2-1 lead in this best-of-7 series. The Rays are now 11-9 against the Red Sox this season, including 9-3 in the last 12 meetings. Also, after losing their first six games at Fenway Park in 2008, they’ve won three of the last four.

Tampa Bay enters this contest on runs of 6-2 overall, 8-1 against A.L. East foes, 35-16 versus right-handed starters and 4-0 on Tuesdays. Meanwhile, the Red Sox are still 23-9 in their last 32 postseason games and 12-4 in their last 16 home playoff games, and they sport additional positive streaks of 64-28 at Fenway, 19-7 on Tuesdays, 17-5 following a defeat and 36-16 when Wakefield pitches in Beantown.

Prior to their recent 3-1 run at Fenway, Tampa had lost 45 of its previous 54 games in Boston. Also, the home team won the first 12 meetings between these clubs this season, but the visitor is now 5-3 in the last eight.

Wakefield has not pitched in a game since Sept. 28, when he held the Yankees scoreless over five innings, allowing two hits and no walks as he got a no-decision in his team’s 4-3 home win. Prior to that outing, the veteran right-hander had gotten rocked in consecutive starts against Tampa Bay and Cleveland, allowing a combined 10 runs (all earned) on 12 hits in 8 1/3 innings. That includes a 10-3 road loss to the Rays on Sept. 17, allowing six runs in 2 1/3 innings.

Boston is 0-4 in Wakefield’s last four starts against Tampa Bay dating to last September, with the pitcher going 0-2 with a 5.87 ERA in three outings this year. For his career, Wakefield is 19-5 with a 3.32 ERA and three saves in 41 appearances (31 starts) against the Rays. On the bright side, he went 7-4 in 14 home starts in 2008, with Boston winning 10 of those contests.

Sonnanstine was very impressive in his first-ever playoff outing eight days go, yielding just two runs on three hits in 5 2/3 innings, getting the victory as the Rays beat the White Sox 6-2 to clinch their A.L. Divisional Series. The right-hander has given up two earned runs or fewer in four of his last five trips to the hill, but he’s still only 7-5 with a 4.29 ERA in 12 road starts this year.

Sonnanstine was brilliant in two starts against Boston this year, even though he failed to get a decision in either game, both of which Tampa Bay won by scores of 2-1 at home and 4-2 at Fenway Park six days apart in mid-September. Sonnanstine allowed a single unearned run in each contest, scattering seven hits and two walks with 12 strikeouts in 13 innings. Last year as a rookie, he faced Boston four times, going 1-1 with an 8.85 ERA.

While this is just the second career postseason start for Sonnanstine, Wakefield is October-tested, having appeared in 17 games (10 starts). But he’s just 5-6 with a 6.36 ERA over 69 1/3 postseason innings (5-2 with a 4.50 ERA in League Championship Series action).

The under is 4-1 in Sonnanstine’s last five starts overall and both of his starts against the Red Sox this season stayed low, however, the over is 7-1 in his last eight on Tuesday. Meanwhile, four of Wakefield’s last five starts at home have stayed low, and the under is 6-2 in his last eight outings against Tampa Bay.

For Boston, the over is on streaks of 6-2-1 at home in the playoffs, 6-2-2 in League Championship Series games, 5-0 in LCS home games and 6-1-1 on Tuesdays. Also, Tampa has topped the total in 20 of its last 27 games against right-handed starters.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE

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Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox

Rays: Andy Sonnanstine lost his last two starts of the regular season but he bounced back to get a win in the Divisional Series against the White Sox. In that game Sonnanstine allowed two runs in 5.2 innings of work. Sonnanstine had a winning record on the road this season (6-5) but in six career starts against Boston, he’s just 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA.

Rays are 8-1 in their last 9 vs. AL East.
Rays are 9-3 in the last 12 meetings.

Key Injuries - NONE

PROJECTED SCORE: 3

Red Sox (-142, O/U 9): The Red Sox have the right guy on the mound tonight. Tim Wakefield is 19-5 with a 3.32 ERA in his career against the Rays. Wakefield has been solid at Fenway Park this season, going 7-4 with a strong 3.10 ERA. While Wakefield has good career numbers against Tampa, the Rays got to him for six runs in just 2.1 innings the last time they faced the veteran.

Red Sox are 5-2 in their last 7 ALCS home games.
The UNDER is 6-2 in Wakefield's last 8 starts against Tampa Bay.

Key Injuries - 3B Mike Lowell (back) is OUT.

PROJECTED SCORE: 6 (Side Play of the Day)

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American League Championship Series

Best of Seven
Game Four
Tampa Bay Leads, 2-1
TV: TBS
Tampa Bay at Boston, 8:05 ET
Andy Sonnanstine (R) vs. Tim Wakefield (R)

Sonnanstine:
TB 1-13 Away after scoring 7+ runs BB games
TB 6-16 Away off BB wins

Wakefield:
14-2 TSR at home off a loss
Bos 31-12 after scoring 1 run or less


Sonnanstine is 1-2, 5.21 in his last eight starts, 0-0, 1.38 in two starts vs Boston last month; four of his last five outings stayed under the total. Wakefield is 2-1, 2.01 in his last five Fenway starts, and is 0-2, 7.05 in three starts vs Tampa Bay this season (after years of dominating Rays). Red Sox won four of his last five home starts. Huge game for Red Sox, after getting crushed 9-1 yesterday.

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INDIANCOWBOY MLB RESEARCH

Tampa Bay vs. Boston

How about the Rays laying the law down on the road yesterday as Lester gets roughed up at home despite being 11-1 at home. Over 54% of the public are on the favorite here, but that is from a small sample that I have. Anything below a 1000 I think is a small sample to take from. This is the only game going on in the country currently that is of betting interest considering college football, nfl and nba are not in the mix today. Of course, you could bet NHL but that is not my cup of team and WNBA is over. In fact, there has been many days like this this fall with the early part of the weak a bit barren with action. Of course, this changes when college basketball starts which I'm looking forward to a great deal. After losing the first game, Tampa Bay has stormed back the last 2 games. Sonnanstine and Wakefield take the hill for both of these respective teams today. Note, the line originally opened up at Boston -155 and has gone down to -145 while the value on the Rays opened up at +145 and has gone down to +135. This indicates money coming in on the Rays to a decent amount to drop the value on them by a dime. The total has remained steady at 9. The last time Sonnanstine was at Boston, he went 7 innings and gave up just 4 hits and 1 run in a game the Rays won 2-1. Sonnanstine picked up a no-decision in that ballgame. Andy then pitched against Boston at home and once again picked up a no decision as he went 6 innings and gave up 3 hits and 1 run. The Rays won that game 2-1 as Sonnanstine cashed as a +203 dog and a +134 dog both times. He now sits as a road dog of +135 now. Why is this significnat? Well, Sonnanstine was seen as a +203 dog on the road last time in Boston and how fortunes have changed as the price he was given as a home dog at _135 a few weeks ago is the price he is given now as the road dog. This just goes to show how far the Rays have come. Of course, Boston looks to come back fired up for this game and to bounce-back from yesterday's humiliating and frustrating loss. Yet, Sonnanstine continues to have success against this team. Wakefield didn't give up a run to the Yankees at home in 5 inns last time, but note that he has not pitched back to back quality starts in quite some time. He has continued to struggle with this ERA and the Rays shelled him for 6 runs in just over 2 inns in Tampa last time. Frankly, if you are looking for vaule the Rays are not bad here, but given that this is the only game on the board to bet today, it is a crap shoot. I can easily seen this game as a 4-5 type of ballgame. I can also see the Rays winning and given the value they are solid here as they have the better pitcher. In the same token, Boston knows this is a must win and of course, Wake is on a bounce-back from his previous rough loss on the road at Tampa Bay. Those are the facts and the write-ups I have in this game. No play for me, but hope you find this helpful as best of luck on what you decide.

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