MLB News and Notes Monday 4/6

MLB News and Notes Monday 4/6

Early Opener Tip Sheet
By Judd Hall

While opening day of the MLB season is a great time for fans of the America’s Pastime, it doesn’t make thing easy on bettors. Let’s face it; there isn’t a lot for us to go on in the first week outside of assumptions to which early games offer us the best values.

Here’s a quick look at the first two televised games on opening day.

New York Mets (-160, 7 ½) at Cincinnati Reds – 1:10 p.m. EDT on ESPN

Johan Santana gets the nod for the Mets to start the season, which shouldn’t come as a surprise since he’s the staff ace. It also doesn’t hurt when he’s posted a 3-1 mark and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 24:7 in his last five opening day starts. Santana has been prone to giving up a lot of runs in his inaugural start of the season, as evidenced by an earned run average of 5.29. That gives the gambling public something to chew on as the ‘over’ is on a 5-0 run in Santana’s opening starts. Although, the weather reports of snow showers tomorrow in Cincy could inspire some to expect a low scoring contest.

Adding a little fuel to that ‘over’ fire is the fact that Cincinnati fared reasonably well against southpaws, hitting .257 last season. Also, last year the Reds ranked fourth in the National League with 234 runs scored against left-handers.
   
The Reds’ starter, Aaron Harang, has whiplash in his four career starts against New York. The right-hander is 2-1 with an ERA of 5.85. He’s struck out 21 and walked just eight Mets in that time.

New York won the head-to-head series last year with a 4-3 mark. Cincy has won five straight regular season matches and is 9-2 in its last 11 tilts against southpaws.

Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox (-150, 9) – 2:05 p.m. EDT on ESPN2


This game is extremely important for both the Red Sox and starting pitcher Josh Beckett. Boston’s ace is looking to bounce back from an injury-plagued 2008 campaign. Luckily for him and the BoSox, Beckett is 3-1 with a 2.46 ERA over his last five opening starts to a season.

The Sox will be just happy to start the year on a positive as they’ve won just two season openers since 2001. The ‘over’ is 5-3 in that time.

Tampa Bay enters this season as the team with a target on its back after reaching the World Series last fall. The Rays will open their defense with James Shields toeing the slab in Game 1 of 2009. While you’d expect Scott Kazmir to start this tilt, Joe Maddon tapped Shields for the honor after going 14-8 with a 3.56 ERA last year. He also opened last season up by allowing two runs on five hits in seven innings of work to beat Baltimore, 6-2.

While you might want to take Shields in this spot, remember that he is 0-2 with an inflated ERA of 21.21 in two career starts at Fenway Park.

The ‘over’ is 4-1 in the last five games these two franchises have played in Boston. However, the ‘under’ is 4-1 in Beckett’s previous five starts against Tampa Bay.

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Re: MLB News and Notes Monday 4/6

Monday Evening MLB Preview
By Josh Jacobs

So the 2009 Major League Baseball season is finally underway after painstakingly breaking down various angles from the offseason to Spring Training. We’ve attempted to bring the gambler expectations from certain hurlers to which teams will hit their season win totals.

Leaving off from Monday’s afternoon action is a sum of five games gearing up for the first pitch. A pair of those contests will headline on ESPN and ESPN2. And now without further ado, here’s a preview of the tail end of today’s card.

Chicago Cubs at Houston – 7:00 p.m. EST on ESPN2

The National League is a land best described by defense and pitching. What better way to highlight this defensive oriented play then to breakdown a matchup involving the Cubs’ ace, Carlos Zambrano going up against the Astros’ No. 1 starter, Roy Oswalt?

Zambrano’s numbers might be on the rise since registering a 2.75 ERA during the 2004 season but that’s not to say that his work horse mentality has slipped between the cracks. This is slinger who’s started 30 or more games from 2002 to 2008. During the last six seasons, Zambrano has averaged 179.2 strikeouts per year. In two of those campaigns the righty has produced 200-plus whiffs. Yes, his numbers have been on the decline but what club wouldn’t want their top notch starter to accumulate a 48-26 record, giving up a .227 BAA.

For his career, Zambrano is 13-8 with an unsteady 3.97 ERA for play during March and April. And there’s been significant success when toeing the slab against Monday’s opponent, 'The 'Stros'. Zambrano is a career, 12-7 accompanied by an effective, 2.70 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. But the most impressive numbers were created in a no-hitter outing in Houston on Sept. 14 of last year. This was a spot that witnessed the right-hander going a full nine innings, allowing just one base on balls and striking out 10 batters on 110 pitches.

Since were on the subject of pitching, obviously one of the most important aspects of handicapping baseball games, starter Roy Oswalt finished off the last 21 games of 2008 by generating a knockout, 13-6 record, 2.51 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. This was in wake of tanking his first 11 starts which witnessed his ERA ballooning to a 5.61 ERA on the heels of a 4-4 record. So does Oswalt begin the new season sluggish or will he exit the starting gate running?

Indication from previous years indicates that Oswalt is relatively slow to progress from the onset of the season. The 31-year-old right-hander is a career, 19-13 with a 3.44 ERA during March and April games as compared to a 26-6 record and a 2.59 ERA during the month of August. So while these stats remain rudimentary at best, it’s still safe to say that Oswalt does take time to get comfortable on the mound.

And then there’s also a 12-11 record with a 3.88 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP during Oswalt’s career versus the Cubs. It’s tough to gauge his numbers from last season however as a pedestrian, 1-1 split in two starts against Chicago doesn’t do us justice.

Taking a look at some batting splits reveals that the Cubbies did have some trouble making contact against Houston pitching. In the 17 games played last season, Chicago found themselves in the stat sheet batting .267 with an on base percentage of .311. That trickled down to crossing the plate for 4.6 runs per game. Individually, Derek Lee was the bread winner by producing a .394 BA and 14 RBIs when tangling against the Astros.

It wasn’t a pretty sight for Houston in head-to-head action. In the same 17 games, the Astros were embarrassed in the batters box, sinking to low depths with a .218 BA. This equated to scoring 3.5 runs per game thanks to a bottom feeding .280 on base percentage. There’s no need to investigate this further as Houston severely struggled against the Cubs, even though it owned the edge in the win column at 9-8 for the season.

Most books have opened Game 1 in favor of Chicago, attaching anywhere from a $1.05 price to $1.15. The over/under currently stands at eight runs.

Oakland at L.A. Angels – 9:00 p.m. EST on ESPN

Attention switches over to the American League where Oakland will look to take advantage of the Angels who are dealing with an injury-riddled pitching staff. We’re talking about a group that includes health problems to John Lackey (elbow), Kelvim Escobar (shoulder surgery) and Ervin Sanatana (elbow). But despite the injuries, L.A. is still the pick of the litter in the AL West (1/2 favorites to take the division).

Earlier last week problems relating to a dead arm for starting pitcher Joe Saunders quickly subsided and a fresh of breathe of air has since worked it’s away around the club house. Saunders is expected to toss out the first pitch on Monday. Last year’s 17-7 record accompanied by a 3.41 ERA served as smoke screen for only 4.7 strikeouts per nine and a relatively high, .267 average when it came to balls in play. Naturally some are predicting that Saunders will have a tough problem backing up last year’s 17 wins.

The Athletics have always been known to raise fresh pitching talent and placing 25-year-old Dallas Braden on the mound seems apropos. There’s no way around it, Oakland has an inexperienced starting rotation to say the least. Braden is a left-hander that was tagged for a .284 BAA last season. His two-year career have seen righty bats attack for a .300 average for 73 RBIs and 12 homers in a total of 446 at bats. His career as a starter include a 5-12 record with an inflated, 5.74 ERA.

On an offensive note, 2008 had the Halos hitting lefties for an AL fifth best, .276 and an eighth best, 85 doubles. The problem was that only 173 RBIs were scored (12th ranked) and 35 homers belted out of the park. For all the positive work crafted at the plate, the bottom line is that L.A. had problems scoring those runners in.

As for Oakland, a .269 BA, 4.8 runs scored per game and 15 homers helped translate to a 9-10 record against and Angels last year. And a team, 3.36 ERA with a 1.19 WHIP seems to stress that the A’s played L.A. very tightly. However only six holds and two saves is indication that Oakland struggled to gain or hold onto the lead during the 10 defeats.

Overall, the Athletics weren’t the strongest of offensive teams last season. In the 81 games played on the road, Oakland had a dismal time at the plate with a .241 BA, 299 RBIS while striking out a cumbersome, 629 times.

Before closing up this preview be astute to the fact that the A’s bullpen is another possible liability this season. Minus 40-year-old veteran, Russ Spinger in the pen, Oakland is averaging 27 in age from its relief core. Last year was solid for the pen which brought in a league, second best 3.50 ERA but a total of 33 saves places them just above Cleveland as the worst in the AL. Putting in 506.2 innings of work was a lot to ask from the bullpen.

Bodog.com opened the Angels as $1.65 home favorites but have since adjusted the price to $1.50 in favor of Los Angeles. A total of 8 ½-runs has been installed.

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Re: MLB News and Notes Monday 4/6

NY METS (89 - 73) at CINCINNATI (74 - 88)
JOHAN SANTANA (L) vs. AARON HARANG (R)
Top Trends for this game.
NY METS are 5-12 (-10.6 Units) against the money line when playing on Monday over the last 2 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

JOHAN SANTANA vs. CINCINNATI since 1997
SANTANA is 1-0 when starting against CINCINNATI with an ERA of 7.05 and a WHIP of 1.892.
His team's record is 3-0 (+3.0 units) in these starts. The OVER is 2-1. (+0.9 units)

AARON HARANG vs. NY METS since 1997
HARANG is 2-1 when starting against NY METS with an ERA of 5.85 and a WHIP of 1.500.
His team's record is 3-1 (+2.0 units) in these starts. The OVER is 3-1. (+1.8 units)


COLORADO (74 - 88) at ARIZONA (82 - 80)
AARON COOK (R) vs. BRANDON WEBB (R)
Top Trends for this game.
COLORADO is 73-89 (-23.7 Units) against the money line in all games over the last 2 seasons.
COLORADO is 17-30 (-19.8 Units) against the money line in day games over the last 2 seasons.
COLORADO is 73-89 (-23.7 Units) against the money line in games played on a grass field over the last 2 seasons.
COLORADO is 46-68 (-24.3 Units) against the money line against right-handed starters over the last 2 seasons.
WEBB is 22-7 (+14.6 Units) against the money line in April games since 1997. (Team's Record)
ARIZONA is 83-80 (-14.3 Units) against the money line in all games over the last 2 seasons.
ARIZONA is 55-61 (-20.5 Units) against the money line against right-handed starters over the last 2 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

AARON COOK vs. ARIZONA since 1997
COOK is 5-4 when starting against ARIZONA with an ERA of 4.85 and a WHIP of 1.500.
His team's record is 6-10 (-4.1 units) in these starts. The OVER is 9-6. (+2.6 units)

BRANDON WEBB vs. COLORADO since 1997
WEBB is 11-8 when starting against COLORADO with an ERA of 3.83 and a WHIP of 1.287.
His team's record is 15-11 (-0.4 units) in these starts. The OVER is 15-10. (+4.4 units)


WASHINGTON (59 - 102) at FLORIDA (84 - 77)
JOHN LANNAN (L) vs. RICKY NOLASCO (R)
Top Trends for this game.
WASHINGTON is 28-76 (-35.4 Units) against the money line when the total is 8 to 8.5 over the last 3 seasons.
WASHINGTON is 13-40 (-17.7 Units) against the money line in road games against right-handed starters over the last 2 seasons.
FLORIDA is 84-77 (+19.6 Units) against the money line in all games over the last 2 seasons.
FLORIDA is 40-31 (+16.9 Units) against the money line against division opponents over the last 2 seasons.
FLORIDA is 83-75 (+20.3 Units) against the money line in games played on a grass field over the last 2 seasons.
NOLASCO is 21-11 (+13.9 Units) against the money line in all games over the last 2 seasons. (Team's Record)
NOLASCO is 20-11 (+12.6 Units) against the money line in games played on a grass field over the last 2 seasons. (Team's Record)

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

JOHN LANNAN vs. FLORIDA since 1997
No recent starts.

RICKY NOLASCO vs. WASHINGTON since 1997
NOLASCO is 4-1 when starting against WASHINGTON with an ERA of 3.67 and a WHIP of 0.961.
His team's record is 4-2 (+1.9 units) in these starts. The OVER is 3-3. (-0.2 units)


PITTSBURGH (67 - 95) at ST LOUIS (86 - 76)

PAUL MAHOLM (L) vs. ADAM WAINWRIGHT (R)
Top Trends for this game.
WAINWRIGHT is 34-18 (+13.8 Units) against the money line in all games over the last 3 seasons. (Team's Record)
WAINWRIGHT is 34-18 (+13.8 Units) against the money line in games played on a grass field over the last 3 seasons. (Team's Record)

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

PAUL MAHOLM vs. ST LOUIS since 1997
MAHOLM is 3-3 when starting against ST LOUIS with an ERA of 2.64 and a WHIP of 1.466.
His team's record is 3-4 (-0.8 units) in these starts. The OVER is 3-4. (-1.5 units)

ADAM WAINWRIGHT vs. PITTSBURGH since 1997
WAINWRIGHT is 3-2 when starting against PITTSBURGH with an ERA of 5.02 and a WHIP of 1.581.
His team's record is 4-3 (-0.8 units) in these starts. The UNDER is 1-5. (-4.9 units)


LA DODGERS (88 - 82) at SAN DIEGO (63 - 99)
HIROKI KURODA (R) vs. JAKE PEAVY (R)
Top Trends for this game.
SAN DIEGO is 63-98 (-35.4 Units) against the money line in all games over the last 2 seasons.
SAN DIEGO is 35-45 (-15.7 Units) against the money line in home games over the last 2 seasons.
SAN DIEGO is 63-98 (-35.4 Units) against the money line in games played on a grass field over the last 2 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

HIROKI KURODA vs. SAN DIEGO since 1997
KURODA is 2-1 when starting against SAN DIEGO with an ERA of 5.66 and a WHIP of 1.646.
His team's record is 3-1 (+2.0 units) in these starts. The OVER is 3-0. (+3.1 units)

JAKE PEAVY vs. LA DODGERS since 1997
PEAVY is 13-1 when starting against LA DODGERS with an ERA of 2.32 and a WHIP of 1.012.
His team's record is 16-6 (+11.3 units) in these starts. The OVER is 12-10. (+0.5 units)


CHICAGO CUBS (97 - 67) at HOUSTON (86 - 75)
CARLOS ZAMBRANO (R) vs. ROY OSWALT (R)
Top Trends for this game.
CHICAGO CUBS are 957-1009 (-185.7 Units) against the money line in all games since 1997.
CHICAGO CUBS are 900-925 (-163.4 Units) against the money line in games played on a grass field since 1997.
HOUSTON is 86-75 (+21.7 Units) against the money line in all games over the last 2 seasons.
HOUSTON is 14-6 (+9.5 Units) against the money line as a home underdog of +100 to +125 over the last 2 seasons.
HOUSTON is 43-35 (+13.5 Units) against the money line against division opponents over the last 2 seasons.
HOUSTON is 84-74 (+19.5 Units) against the money line in games played on a grass field over the last 2 seasons.
HOUSTON is 63-54 (+14.4 Units) against the money line in night games over the last 2 seasons.
HOUSTON is 60-55 (+12.1 Units) against the money line against right-handed starters over the last 2 seasons.
ZAMBRANO is 63-42 (+19.6 Units) against the money line in road games since 1997. (Team's Record)
ZAMBRANO is 38-19 (+15.8 Units) against the money line in road games against division opponents since 1997. (Team's Record)
ZAMBRANO is 63-40 (+21.8 Units) against the money line in road games in games played on a grass field since 1997. (Team's Record)

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

CARLOS ZAMBRANO vs. HOUSTON since 1997
ZAMBRANO is 11-7 when starting against HOUSTON with an ERA of 2.72 and a WHIP of 1.119.
His team's record is 15-9 (+4.2 units) in these starts. The OVER is 6-17. (-12.7 units)

ROY OSWALT vs. CHICAGO CUBS since 1997
OSWALT is 11-11 when starting against CHICAGO CUBS with an ERA of 3.94 and a WHIP of 1.307.
His team's record is 11-14 (-8.5 units) in these starts. The UNDER is 11-14. (-4.6 units)


TAMPA BAY (105 - 73) at BOSTON (101 - 72)
JAMES SHIELDS (R) vs. JOSH BECKETT (R)
Top Trends for this game.
BOSTON is 93-54 (+22.5 Units) against the money line in games played on a grass field over the last 2 seasons.
TAMPA BAY is 105-73 (+27.8 Units) against the money line in all games over the last 2 seasons.
TAMPA BAY is 47-32 (+17.7 Units) against the money line against division opponents over the last 2 seasons.
TAMPA BAY is 77-45 (+29.2 Units) against the money line against right-handed starters over the last 2 seasons.
BOSTON is 227-180 (-44.7 Units) against the money line in home games against division opponents since 1997.
BECKETT is 5-12 (-12.2 Units) against the money line when the total is 8 to 8.5 over the last 2 seasons. (Team's Record)

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

JAMES SHIELDS vs. BOSTON since 1997
SHIELDS is 2-6 when starting against BOSTON with an ERA of 4.80 and a WHIP of 1.307.
His team's record is 2-8 (-6.6 units) in these starts. The UNDER is 6-4. (+1.2 units)

JOSH BECKETT vs. TAMPA BAY since 1997
BECKETT is 6-3 when starting against TAMPA BAY with an ERA of 3.91 and a WHIP of 1.145.
His team's record is 6-6 (-3.4 units) in these starts. The OVER is 5-7. (-2.3 units)


CLEVELAND (81 - 81) at TEXAS (79 - 83)
CLIFF LEE (L) vs. KEVIN MILLWOOD (R)
Top Trends for this game.
CLEVELAND is 21-32 (-14.9 Units) against the money line when the total is 9 to 9.5 over the last 2 seasons.
CLEVELAND is 18-28 (-14.5 Units) against the money line in day games over the last 2 seasons.
TEXAS is 145-154 (+14.1 Units) against the money line in games played on a grass field over the last 3 seasons.
CLEVELAND is 26-11 (+16.8 Units) against the money line when playing on Monday over the last 3 seasons.
LEE is 24-7 (+15.4 Units) against the money line in all games over the last 2 seasons. (Team's Record)
LEE is 50-32 (+21.5 Units) against the money line in road games since 1997. (Team's Record)
LEE is 22-11 (+14.3 Units) against the money line on the road when the total is 9 to 9.5 since 1997. (Team's Record)
LEE is 16-4 (+11.9 Units) against the money line in April games since 1997. (Team's Record)
LEE is 21-6 (+13.5 Units) against the money line in games played on a grass field over the last 2 seasons. (Team's Record)

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

CLIFF LEE vs. TEXAS since 1997
LEE is 5-2 when starting against TEXAS with an ERA of 6.42 and a WHIP of 1.549.
His team's record is 5-2 (+2.8 units) in these starts. The OVER is 4-2. (+1.9 units)

KEVIN MILLWOOD vs. CLEVELAND since 1997
MILLWOOD is 3-1 when starting against CLEVELAND with an ERA of 4.56 and a WHIP of 1.247.
His team's record is 3-1 (+1.6 units) in these starts. The OVER is 3-1. (+1.8 units)


KANSAS CITY (75 - 87) at CHI WHITE SOX (90 - 77)
GIL MECHE (R) vs. MARK BUEHRLE (L)
Top Trends for this game.
CHI WHITE SOX are 55-28 (+18.6 Units) against the money line in home games over the last 2 seasons.
CHI WHITE SOX are 29-8 (+18.2 Units) against the money line in home games against division opponents over the last 2 seasons.
CHI WHITE SOX are 20-6 (+12.3 Units) against the money line in home games in day games over the last 2 seasons.
CHI WHITE SOX are 86-58 (+20.6 Units) against the money line in games played on a grass field over the last 2 seasons.
BUEHRLE is 96-47 (+32.8 Units) against the money line in home games since 1997. (Team's Record)
BUEHRLE is 35-13 (+19.7 Units) against the money line at home when the total is 8 to 8.5 since 1997. (Team's Record)
BUEHRLE is 96-47 (+32.8 Units) against the money line in home games in games played on a grass field since 1997. (Team's Record)
KANSAS CITY is 41-30 (+21.4 Units) against the money line when the total is 8 to 8.5 over the last 2 seasons.
KANSAS CITY is 21-10 (+13.9 Units) against the money line as a road underdog of +100 to +125 over the last 3 seasons.
KANSAS CITY is 20-17 (+13.7 Units) against the money line on the road when the total is 8 to 8.5 over the last 2 seasons.
KANSAS CITY is 30-26 (+12.9 Units) against the money line in day games over the last 2 seasons.
KANSAS CITY is 32-32 (+11.8 Units) against the money line in road games in games played on a grass field over the last 2 seasons.
KANSAS CITY is 36-24 (+23.0 Units) against the money line against left-handed starters over the last 2 seasons.
MECHE is 14-6 (+11.9 Units) against the money line when the total is 8 to 8.5 over the last 2 seasons. (Team's Record)
MECHE is 21-14 (+16.6 Units) against the money line on the road when the total is 8 to 8.5 since 1997. (Team's Record)

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

GIL MECHE vs. CHI WHITE SOX since 1997
MECHE is 7-3 when starting against CHI WHITE SOX with an ERA of 4.04 and a WHIP of 1.324.
His team's record is 8-6 (+2.7 units) in these starts. The OVER is 6-8. (-3.1 units)

MARK BUEHRLE vs. KANSAS CITY since 1997
BUEHRLE is 19-8 when starting against KANSAS CITY with an ERA of 3.49 and a WHIP of 1.202.
His team's record is 25-11 (+6.0 units) in these starts. The UNDER is 16-19. (-5.0 units)


NY YANKEES (89 - 73) at BALTIMORE (68 - 93)
C.C. SABATHIA (L) vs. JEREMY GUTHRIE (R)
Top Trends for this game.
NY YANKEES are 129-87 (-53.3 Units) against the money line as a road favorite of -175 or more since 1997.
BALTIMORE is 466-510 (-110.6 Units) against the money line in home games since 1997.
BALTIMORE is 22-50 (-21.6 Units) against the money line against division opponents over the last 2 seasons.
BALTIMORE is 12-34 (-21.2 Units) against the money line in day games over the last 2 seasons.
BALTIMORE is 466-510 (-110.6 Units) against the money line in home games in games played on a grass field since 1997.
BALTIMORE is 238-321 (-96.2 Units) against the money line against left-handed starters since 1997.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

C.C. SABATHIA vs. BALTIMORE since 1997
SABATHIA is 5-0 when starting against BALTIMORE with an ERA of 2.38 and a WHIP of 0.964.
His team's record is 7-2 (+4.7 units) in these starts. The OVER is 4-4. (-0.3 units)

JEREMY GUTHRIE vs. NY YANKEES since 1997
GUTHRIE is 2-2 when starting against NY YANKEES with an ERA of 4.62 and a WHIP of 1.270.
His team's record is 3-3 (+0.7 units) in these starts. The OVER is 2-4. (-2.2 units)


DETROIT (74 - 88) at TORONTO (86 - 76)
JUSTIN VERLANDER (R) vs. ROY HALLADAY (R)
Top Trends for this game.
DETROIT is 74-88 (-30.7 Units) against the money line in all games over the last 2 seasons.
DETROIT is 49-55 (-15.6 Units) against the money line in night games over the last 2 seasons.
DETROIT is 48-66 (-29.6 Units) against the money line against right-handed starters over the last 2 seasons.
VERLANDER is 13-20 (-13.7 Units) against the money line in all games over the last 2 seasons. (Team's Record)
HALLADAY is 86-39 (+26.7 Units) against the money line in home games since 1997. (Team's Record)
HALLADAY is 102-45 (+35.7 Units) against the money line in games played on artificial turf since 1997. (Team's Record)

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

JUSTIN VERLANDER vs. TORONTO since 1997
VERLANDER is 0-1 when starting against TORONTO with an ERA of 12.47 and a WHIP of 2.079.
His team's record is 0-1 (-1.7 units) in these starts. The UNDER is 0-1. (-1.1 units)

ROY HALLADAY vs. DETROIT since 1997
HALLADAY is 10-2 when starting against DETROIT with an ERA of 1.96 and a WHIP of 0.918.
His team's record is 11-3 (+5.9 units) in these starts. The UNDER is 9-3. (+5.6 units)


SEATTLE (61 - 101) at MINNESOTA (88 - 75)
FELIX HERNANDEZ (R) vs. FRANCISCO LIRIANO (L)
Top Trends for this game.
SEATTLE is 61-101 (-37.2 Units) against the money line in all games over the last 2 seasons.
SEATTLE is 26-55 (-22.6 Units) against the money line in road games over the last 2 seasons.
SEATTLE is 40-69 (-28.3 Units) against the money line in night games over the last 2 seasons.
MINNESOTA is 53-28 (+18.6 Units) against the money line in home games over the last 2 seasons.
MINNESOTA is 55-30 (+19.1 Units) against the money line in games played in a dome over the last 2 seasons.
MINNESOTA is 36-18 (+15.5 Units) against the money line in home games in night games over the last 2 seasons.
MINNESOTA is 55-33 (+16.0 Units) against the money line in games played on artificial turf over the last 2 seasons.
SEATTLE is 79-61 (+25.1 Units) against the money line in road games in April games since 1997.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

FELIX HERNANDEZ vs. MINNESOTA since 1997
HERNANDEZ is 2-2 when starting against MINNESOTA with an ERA of 2.48 and a WHIP of 0.963.
His team's record is 4-2 (+0.8 units) in these starts. The OVER is 2-4. (-2.3 units)

FRANCISCO LIRIANO vs. SEATTLE since 1997
LIRIANO is 2-1 when starting against SEATTLE with an ERA of 1.50 and a WHIP of 1.000.
His team's record is 2-2 (-1.1 units) in these starts. The OVER is 1-3. (-2.4 units)


OAKLAND (75 - 86) at LA ANGELS (101 - 65)
DALLAS BRADEN (L) vs. JOE SAUNDERS (L)
Top Trends for this game.
LA ANGELS are 101-65 (+20.6 Units) against the money line in all games over the last 2 seasons.
LA ANGELS are 95-58 (+21.9 Units) against the money line in games played on a grass field over the last 2 seasons.
SAUNDERS is 24-8 (+14.0 Units) against the money line in all games over the last 2 seasons. (Team's Record)
SAUNDERS is 23-7 (+14.0 Units) against the money line in games played on a grass field over the last 2 seasons. (Team's Record)
SAUNDERS is 33-13 (+17.8 Units) against the money line in night games since 1997. (Team's Record)
LA ANGELS are 91-89 (-52.1 Units) against the money line as a home favorite of -150 to -175 since 1997.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

DALLAS BRADEN vs. LA ANGELS since 1997
BRADEN is 1-0 when starting against LA ANGELS with an ERA of 1.80 and a WHIP of 1.100.
His team's record is 1-1 (+1.1 units) in these starts. The OVER is 0-2. (-2.3 units)

JOE SAUNDERS vs. OAKLAND since 1997
SAUNDERS is 5-2 when starting against OAKLAND with an ERA of 4.44 and a WHIP of 1.479.
His team's record is 6-3 (+0.9 units) in these starts. The OVER is 5-4. (+0.8 units)

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Re: MLB News and Notes Monday 4/6

Hot Pitchers
-- Santana is 6-0, 1.63 in his last nine starts; Mets won his last five road outings. Reds won Harang's last three home starts (2-0, 2.74).
-- Webb is 3-0, 2.79 in his last four starts. Colorado won four of Cook's last five road starts.
-- Nolasco is 2-1, 2.86 in his last five starts.
-- Cardinals were 10-1 at home LY when Wainwright started.
-- Kuroda is 3-0, 1.59 in his last five starts. Peavy was 1-2, 2.89 in his last four starts LY.
-- Cubs won Zambrano's last five road starts last season. Oswalt is 5-0, 1.22 in his last five home outings.
-- Rays are 16-7 in last 23 starts by Shields.
-- Indians won 12 of Lee's last 14 starts.
-- Halladay is 4-0, 3.41 in his last four home starts.
-- Braden is 3-1, 2.63 in his last four road starts.

Cold Pitchers
-- Lannan is 1-3, 4.82 in his last five starts.
-- Pirates lost seven of Maholm's last nine road starts.
-- Red Sox lost Beckett's last six home starts.
-- Millwood is 0-3, 7.55 in his last five starts.
-- Guthrie is 0-4, 7.40 in his last four starts. Sabathia is 2-3, 4.18 in his last five starts.
-- Verlander is 1-4, 8.10 in his last six starts.
-- Liriano has a 9.64 RA in his last three starts. Mariners lost last five Hernandez starts, scoring 11 runs (0-3, 4.68).
-- Moseley was 2-3, 6.55 in ten starts LY.

Pitcher vs Team
-- Santana was 1-0, 7.20 in two 2008 starts against the Reds.
-- Webb was 3-0, 3.38 in four starts vs Colorado last year. Cook had a 7.26 RA in three starts vs Arizona LY.
-- Nolasco was 2-0, 2.07 against the Nationals LY.
-- Maholm was 2-1, 3.05 against the Cardinals LY. Wainwright was 0-1, 8.25 in two starts against Pittsburgh.
-- Kuroda was 1-1, 8.10 in three starts vs San Diego LY. Peavy was 4-0, 3.12 against the Dodgers last season.
-- Zambrano was 2-1, 2.31 in four starts vs Houston LY; he no-hit the Astros 5-0 last Sept 14, on neutral field in Milwaukee. Oswalt was 1-1, 3.60 against the Cubs last season.
-- Beckett was 3-1, 3.86 in seven starts vs Tampa Bay LY. Shields was 1-4, 7.13 against the Red Sox last year.
-- Lee was 2-0, 6.17 against the Rangers last season. Millwood gave up four runs in six IP in his only '08 start vs Indians, a 9-4 Texas win.
-- Guthrie was 1-2, 4.05 against Bronx last season.
-- Verlander allowed six runs in 4.1 IP in his only '08 start vs Toronto.
-- Liriano was 1-0, 2.07 in two starts against Seattle last year.
-- Moseley allowed two runs in 5.1 IP in his only '08 start vs Oakland. Braden beat Angels 2-1 Aug 25, allowing one run in seven IP.

Hot Teams
-- No hot teams, no cold teams yet.............

Cold Teams
-- ..............everyone's 0-0 on Opening Day.

Totals
-- Five of Harang's last seven starts stayed under the total.
-- Five of last seven Webb starts went over the total.
-- Three of last four Nolasco starts went over the total.
-- Under is 12-3-1 in last sixteen Maholm starts.
-- Over is 5-2-1 in last eight Kuroda starts. Under is 10-2-2 in Peavy's last fourteen starts.
-- Ten of last twelve Zambrano starts went over the total.
-- Under is 5-1-1 in Beckett's last seven starts.
-- Under is 5-1-2 in Lee's last eight road starts.
-- Eight of Sabathia's last nine starts stayed under the total.
-- Four of Verlander's last five road starts stayed under the total.
-- Last five Hernandez road starts stayed under the total.
-- Seven of last nine Braden starts stayed under the total.

Umpire stats will start appearing in a week to 10 days.

For the first week or two of a six-month baseball season, we're mainly in the business of gathering data. Last year was last year, this year is new, so team stats don't translate well. Individual stats for pitchers from last year will be used until we have enough numbers to use properly from this season's games. Remember, these stats are from last season.

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Re: MLB News and Notes Monday 4/6

Tips and Trends

Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels


A's: Dallas Braden gets the call for Oakland against a team he has enjoyed some success against in the past. Braden has made two career starts against the Angels and six appearances overall, going 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA. He has allowed just four runs and 16 hits to LA in 16 innings with one walk and 11 strikeouts. Braden closed out the 2008 season by allowing one earned run or less in three of his last four starts. The A's also re-tooled their offense and defense in the offseason, adding Matt Holliday, Jason Giambi and Orlando Cabrera.

A's are 12-30 in their last 42 road games.
The UNDER is 9-1 in Oakland's last 10 Monday games.

Key Injuries - 3B Eric Chavez (shoulder) is probable.

PROJECTED SCORE: 2 (UNDER - Total Play of the Day)

Angels (-147, O/U 8.5): Los Angeles begins the season with three top pitchers on the disabled list, including John Lackey, Kelvim Escobar and Ervin Santana. That gives the Opening Day start to lefty Joe Saunders, who is 5-2 lifetime vs. Oakland with a 4.44 ERA. Saunders went 7-4 at home last season with a 4.27 ERA. “It means the team has confidence in me to take the job opening day and be the kind of workhorse that Lackey’s been the past six years,” Saunders said. “I’m just hoping to get us off to a good start, battle out there and give us a chance to win, regardless of how I pitch.”

Angels are 25-10 in Saunders' last 35 home starts.
The OVER is 3-1 in the last 4 meetings.

Key Injuries - C Mike Napoli (shoulder) is questionable.

PROJECTED SCORE: 3

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