MLB News and Notes Sunday 5/10

MLB News and Notes Sunday 5/10

Sunday's Tip Sheet
By Brad Young

**Cubs (Marshall) at Brewers (Suppan)**

-Las Vegas Sports Consultants installed Milwaukee as a $1.23 home ‘chalk’ over Chicago, with the total set at nine ‘over’ (minus $1.30). This National League Central contest is scheduled to begin at 2:05 p.m. ET.
   
-Chicago southpaw Sean Marshall (0-2, 4.32 ERA) was roughed up by San Francisco Tuesday as a home ‘pick,’ 6-2. The Virginia Commonwealth product was reached for five runs on eight hits (one home run) with a walk and a strikeout over seven innings.

-The combined eight runs slithered ‘over’ the 7 ½-run closing total. The Cubs are 0-4 this season when Marshall is on the hill, with the ‘over’ cashing each time.

-The four-year veteran has not started against the Brewers the previous few years.

-Milwaukee veteran Jeff Suppan (2-2, 5.68 ERA) knocked off Pittsburgh Tuesday as a road ‘pick,’ 8-5. The 34-year-old tossed 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits (one home run) with three walks and three strikeouts.

-The combined 13 runs eclipsed the nine-run closing total, helping the ‘over’ improve to 4-2 his six starts.

-Suppan fell to the Cubs April 12 as a $1.30 road favorite, 8-5, lasting just 3 2/3 innings while surrendering five runs on two hits (one home run) with six walks and a strikeout. The combined 13 runs toppled the 8 ½-run closing total.

**Giants (Lincecum) at Dodgers (Weaver)**

-LVSC opened San Francisco as a $1.28 road favorite over Los Angeles, with the total listed at eight ‘under’ (minus $1.20). This NL West contest is slated to start at 4:10 p.m. ET.

-San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum (3-1, 3.05 ERA) recorded his third consecutive victory after beating the Cubs Tuesday, 6-2. The 2008 Cy Young recipient went seven innings, yielding two runs on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.

-The ‘over’ has cashed in his last two starts.

-Lincecum beat the Dodgers April 29 as a $1.48 home ‘chalk,’ 9-4, pitching seven innings while allowing three runs on six hits with three walks and eight strikeouts. The combined 13 runs went ‘over’ the 7 ½-run closing total.

-Los Angeles pitcher Jeff Weaver (1-0, 1.80 ERA) dumped Arizona Tuesday as a $1.20 home favorite, 3-1. The Fresno State product was reached for the lone run on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts over five innings.

-The combined four runs failed to topple the nine-run closing total, enabling the ‘under’ to improve to 4-1 his last five starts.

-Weaver has not started against the Giants the past few years.

**Blue Jays (Cecil) at Athletics (Braden)**

-LVSC lists Oakland as a $1.30 home ‘chalk’ over Toronto, with the total set at nine ‘under’ (minus $1.30). This American League game is scheduled to begin at 4:05 p.m. ET.

-Toronto left-hander Brett Cecil (0-0, 1.50 ERA) is still searching for his first major league victory after Tuesday’s no-decision against Cleveland. The rookie went six innings, yielding two runs (one earned) on six hits with no walks and six strikeouts.

-The Blue Jays eventually prevailed as a $1.10 home favorite, 10-6, while the combined 16 runs soared ‘over’ the 10-run closing total.

-Oakland counters with lefty Dallas Braden, who is 3-3 with a 2.50 ERA in six starts. The former Texas Tech hurler fell to Los Angeles Tuesday as a $1.37 home ‘chalk,’ 5-3, tossing six innings while surrendering five runs (three earned) on eight hits with a walk and six strikeouts.

-The combined eight runs went ‘under’ the nine-run closing total, helping the ‘under’ improve to 5-1 his six starts.

-Braden fell to the Blue Jays April 19 as a $1.15 road underdog, 1-0, going a solid 7 1/3 innings while yielding the lone run on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts. The lone run never seriously threatened the nine-run closing total.

**Rays (Garza) at Red Sox (Beckett)**

-LVSC opened Boston as a $1.35 home favorite over Tampa Bay, with the total set at nine ‘over’ (minus $1.25). This AL East affair is scheduled to begin at 5:05 p.m. ET, with ESPN providing coverage.

-Tampa Bay hurler Matt Garza (3-2, 3.51 ERA) recorded his second consecutive victory after upending Baltimore Tuesday as a $1.90 home ‘chalk,’ 6-3. The 6-foot-4 hurler went eight innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits (two home runs) with two walks and two strikeouts.

-The combined nine runs landed on the closing total, ending a 3-1 ‘over’ streak for the right-hander.

-Garza is 2-0 this season against the Red Sox in two outings, going a combined 14 2/3 innings while yielding just one run on five hits with four walks and 15 strikeouts. The Rays prevailed as a $1.35 road underdog, 4-3, and as a $1.00 home selection, 13-0.

-Boston right-hander Josh Beckett (3-2, 6.75 ERA) is coming off of Tuesday’s victory over New York as a $1.15 road underdog, 7-3. The 28-year-old went six innings, surrendering three runs on 10 hits (one home run) with a walk and five strikeouts.

-The combined 10 runs slithered ‘over’ the 9 ½-run closing total, enabling the ‘over’ to improve cash his last four starts.

-Beckett is 1-1 versus the Rays this season in two starts, going a combined 11 2/3 innings while being reached for eight runs on 12 hits (one home run) with six walks and 18 strikeouts. The Red Sox prevailed as a $1.53 home favorite, 5-3, while losing as a $1.10 road selection, 13-0.

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Re: MLB News and Notes Sunday 5/10

Sunday Night Baseball: Rays at Red Sox
By Marc Lawrence

Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox (-130, 9.5)

Meeting for a third time this season, the Rays and Red Sox put the wraps on this series at Fenway Park.

Prior to capturing last weekend’s series with the Red Sox at Tropicana Park, Tampa Bay had dropped six consecutive series since taking two of three from Boston when the teams met at Fenway Park the opening week of the season. 

The Red Sox took Friday's series opener 7-3 but dropped Saturday's game 14-5, giving up 17 hits and committing two errors. Rays third baseman Evan Longoria picked up two hits including a home run and had five RBI in the win.

There goes Carl

Rays outfielder Carl Crawford tied a major league record when he swiped six bases against the Red Sox in a 5-3 win last Sunday.

Everybody in the ballpark knew what had happened, except Crawford, who was aware of how many steals he had but had no clue that just three other players had accomplished the same feat since 1900.

"I found that out late. I wish I had known during the game," Crawford told reporters. "I probably would have broken it if I knew. I'd have definitely tried," he added. "I didn't even try. I don't know if that will ever happen again."

Crawford was 4-for-4 with an RBI and joined Eddie Collins, Otis Nixon and Eric Young as the only players to steal six bases in a game.

"We don't really talk stats during the game. Everybody's focused on the game, so nobody said nothing," Crawford said.

Rest assured Boston catcher Jason Varitek will be on the lookout and out for revenge Sunday. Crawford has just one stolen base in the first two games of this series.

The long and short of it

A pair of all-star arms will be featured under the ESPN lights when Matt Garza (3-2 3.51 ERA) matches serves with Josh Beckett (3-2 6.75 ERA).

Garza earned the victory over the Orioles in his most recent start, going eight strong innings and allowing just two earned runs on four hits. Garza has now won back-to-back decisions for the Rays. He's allowed two earned runs and five hits over his last 15 2/3 innings with 12 strikeouts.

Beckett rebounded by limiting the Yankees to only three runs, issuing one walk and five strikeouts when he recorded his third victory of the season in a 7-3 win at New York Tuesday. He had allowed a combined 15 earned runs in his previous two starts.

Interestingly, while Garza’s numbers are equal or superior to Beckett’s, he’ll earn $433,000 for his efforts this season. Compared to the $11,166.666 Beckett will haul down in 2009, Garza is a bargain by anyone’s standard. 

Check the lineups

Red Sox manager Terry Francona had to tinker his lineup with OF Jacoby Ellsbury and IF Kevin Youkilis missing games due to injuries this week. Ellsbury was back in the lineup for the start of this series Friday.  Youkilis was not.

"We're just looking for a little bit of balance and healthy bodies," Francona told the press. "Some nights, there's not a lot of guys available. Pedey (MVP Dustin Pedroia) in my opinion would be great in the leadoff spot, but then all of a sudden you're moving everybody, and who's going to hit second?

"One thing leads to the other. When you start moving people, the word 'balance' is what we're always trying to come to."

The history book says…

Entering this weekend the Rays had the upper hand in this series, winning 15 of the previous 22 encounters, including six of the last eight at Fenway Park.

Garza has owned the Sox, going 9-1 with a 2.54 ERA in his 10 career team starts, including 2-0 this season. Beckett stands 7-7 with a 4.21 ERA in his lifetime starts, including 1-1 in 2009, against the Rays.

Boston is 2-3 on Sundays this year, but 14-4 in its last 18 games at Fenway on Sunday.  On the flip side, Tampa is 2-2 on Sundays this season, but just 5-12 in its last 17 games away from home on Sundays.

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Re: MLB News and Notes Sunday 5/10

Sunday's streaking and slumping starting pitchers
By COVERS.com

Streaking

Edinson Volquez, Cincinnati Reds


Edinson Volquez is back in a groove and the Cincinnati Reds are certainly taking advantage.

After getting a strong effort from starting pitcher Aaron Harang in the middle game of this series, the Reds hope Volquez (4-2, 3.47) can follow up with a third straight dominant performance.

Volquez has rebounded nicely from a poor start with outstanding efforts in his last two outings, allowing no runs and winning each contest. He has not surrendered a run in his last 16 1-3 innings.

"He's not overthrowing as much," Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said. "His velocity is down a couple of miles an hour, but his location is better, and he still has good velocity. When you're throwing strikes, you're going to get some swings on some bad pitches."

The right-hander gave up three hits and walked four while striking out seven in eight innings to lead Cincinnati to a 7-0 victory over Florida on Tuesday night.

Volquez is 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA in two career starts versus the Cardinals.

Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants

If the San Francisco Giants were worried about reigning NL Cy Young award-winner Tim Lincecum after his first two starts, they aren't anymore.

Despite his small frame and limited major league experience, Lincecum dazzled hitters in his first full season last year, going 18-5 with a 2.62 ERA. But he struggled through his first two starts of 2009, allowing seven runs and walking six in 8 1-3 innings.

Since then, he has recaptured his dominating form, going 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA and striking out 40 in 30 innings over his last four starts. Lincecum (3-1, 3.05 ERA) beat the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Tuesday, allowing two runs and four hits in seven innings of a 6-2 victory.

Lincecum's previous outing was a win over the Dodgers on April 29, as he moved to 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his career against Los Angeles. The right-hander allowed three runs in the eighth after seven shutout innings, but the Giants still cruised to a 9-4 victory.

"You always think the Dodgers are going to be a little bigger, because of the rivalry," Lincecum said. "But you always want to try to do the same things. ... Everything felt fine. Pitches were moving the way they were supposed to."

Slumping

Kyle Davies, Kansas City Royals


Kyle Davies (2-1, 5.88) looks to rebound from his shortest start of the season. After pitching at least five innings in each of his first five starts, the right-hander allowed six runs and eight hits through four innings Tuesday in Kansas City's 8-7, 11-inning win over the Chicago White Sox.

Davies has been hit hard in two of his past three starts, striking out four during that span after fanning 21 in his first three outings.

This will be his first career appearance against the Angels.

Torii Hunter is 5 for 11 with a home run and a double against Davies.

Josh Beckett, Boston Red Sox

Beckett dominated Tampa Bay on opening day, allowing two hits and one run in seven innings and striking out 10 in Boston's 5-3 win. But since then, he is 2-2 with an 8.13 ERA.

He's hoping Tuesday's start at Yankee Stadium was a good sign, as he allowed 10 hits in six innings but held the Yankees to three runs in a 7-3 win.

"Some laboring times, but I made pitches when I had to," Beckett said.

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Re: MLB News and Notes Sunday 5/10

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Chicago (16-14) at Milwaukee (18-13)


The Brewers look to complete a three-game series sweep of the rival Cubs when they send Jeff Suppan (2-2, 5.68 ERA) to the mound against Chicago’s Sean Marshall (0-2, 4.15) at Miller Park.

After scoring a come-from-behind 3-2 win on Friday, Milwaukee pounded out a 12-6 victory over the Cubs on Saturday. The Brewers have won 10 of their last 13 and 14 of their last 17 overall. Additionally, they’re on runs of 8-2 at home, 8-1 against N.L. Central rivals, 36-17 as a favorite (9-2 last 11 as a chalk) and 4-0 against lefty starters.

Although they’ve dropped the first two games of this series, the Cubs are still 6-3 in their last nine games, a run that comes on the heels of a 2-7 slump. Chicago is also 21-8 in its last 29 Sunday contests, but Lou Pineilla’s club has now lost seven straight contests as an underdog.

These teams have met five times this season – all in Milwaukee – with the Brewers holding a slim 3-2 advantage. Still, the Cubs are 9-6 in the last 15 battles overall and 8-5 in their last 13 at Miller Park.

Marshall followed up consecutive quality starts against the Cardinals and Marlins with a poor effort Tuesday against the Giants, allowing five runs in seven innings of a 6-2 home loss. Chicago is winless in Marshall’s last eight trips to the mound and they’re also 4-17 in his last 21 starts overall, 0-4 in his last four on the road, 1-5 in his last six against N.L. Central foes and 1-5 in his last six on Sunday.

Marshall’s lone road start this season came at St. Luis, and he gave up three runs in six innings, but lost 8-2. He’s also 1-2 with a 9.53 ERA in nine lifetime appearances (two starts) against the Brewers.

Suppan has allowed three earned runs or fewer in each of his last four starts, dropping his ERA from 12.81 to 5.68. He beat the Pirates 8-5 in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, giving up three runs in 5 2/3 innings. With Suppan on the bump, the Brewers are on runs of 4-0 overall, 7-2 when favored and 24-9 against division rivals, but they’ve lost five of his last six Sunday efforts.

Suppan is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in two starts at home, with the loss coming to the Cubs on April 12 when he lasted just 3 2/3 innings, yielding five runs on two hits and six walks in an 8-5 setback. He’s now 6-7 with a 3.87 ERA in 20 career starts against Chicago, including 1-2 with a 10.22 ERA in the last three.

The over is 4-0-1 in Marshall’s last five starts overall, but the under is 8-1-1 in his last 10 on the highway and 6-1-1 in his last eight against the N.L. Central. The under is also 4-1-1 in Suppan’s last six starts at Miller Park.

For Chicago, the “over” is on streaks of 10-3-1 overall, 6-1-1 on the road, 12-5-1 as an underdog, 8-2 against right-handed starters and 9-4-2 against divisional rivals. The over is also 5-1 in Milwaukee’s last six overall and 7-2 in its last nine against N.L. Central foes. Lastly, in this rivalry, the over is on runs of 13-5-2 overall and 15-5-2 at Miller Park

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER


AMERICAN LEAGUE

Tampa Bay (15-17) at Boston (19-12)


Josh Beckett (3-2, 6.75) faces the Rays for the third time this season while Matt Garza (3-2, 3.51) does the same against the Red Sox as these division rivals clash in the rubber match of a three-game series at Fenway Park.

Tampa Bay pounded out a 14-5 victory on Saturday at Fenway after dropping Friday’s series opener 7-3. The Rays have followed up a 4-11 slump by going 7-3 in their last 10. They’ve also won seven of their last 10 against the A.L. East and six of their last seven as an underdog.

Boston had a modest two-game winning streak snapped yesterday, but remains on impressive streaks of 17-6 overall, 76-33 at Fenway Park, 11-4 against division rivals, 12-5 against right-handed starters, 14-4 as a favorite and 16-3 when playing on grass.

The Rays lead the season series 6-3, winning three of the last four in Beantown. However, they’re still just 16-49 in their last 65 games at Fenway Park (playoffs included).

Garza limited Baltimore to three runs (two earned) over eight innings on Tuesday, winning 6-3 at home. Tampa Bay is 6-1 in Garza’s last seven starts against divisional foes and 4-0 in his last four as an underdog, but they’ve lost six of his last eight on the highway and four of his last five Sunday starts.

The Rays are unbeaten in Garza’s last six starts against the Red Sox (playoffs included). That includes a 4-3 win at Boston on April 9 and a 13-0 rout at home on April 30. In those two contests, Garza surrendered a total of one run, five hits and four walks while striking out 15 over 14 2/3 innings. Over his last four starts versus the Red Sox (two in the playoffs), Garza is 4-0 with a 0.98 ERA.

After two straight dreadful outings (15 earned runs allowed in 9 2/3 innings), Beckett settled down on Tuesday at new Yankee Stadium, yielding three runs in six innings of a 7-3 victory. Still, the veteran right-hander has given up 10 hits in each of his last three trips to the hill, going 1-1 with a 10.34 ERA. That includes the 13-0 loss to Garza and the Rays on April 30, when Beckett gave up seven runs in 4 2/3 innings. With that poor performance, the veteran right-hander dropped to 7-5 with a 4.21 ERA in 14 career starters (including playoffs) against Tampa Bay.

At home this year, Beckett is 2-0 with a 6.00 ERA in three starts, with Boston willing all three games, including a 5-3 victory over the Rays on Opening Day this season. In fact, despite Beckett’s recent struggles, the Red Sox have still won five of his last seven starts dating to last year’s playoffs and they’re 5-2 in his last seven starts against Tampa Bay at Fenway.

For Tampa Bay, the “under” is on stretches of 11-5 as an underdog, 4-1-1 when Garza pitches on the highway and 4-1 in Garza works on Sunday, but the over is 35-17-2 in the team’s last 54 contests against right-handed starters. The Red Sox “over” trends of 20-7-3 overall (8-2-2 last 12), 7-2-1 at home, 12-3-2 against losing teams, 7-2-2 against right-handed starters and 5-0 with Becket on the mound. However, the under is 9-1-1 in Boston’s last 11 Sunday contests.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE

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Re: MLB News and Notes Sunday 5/10

Baseball Today

SCOREBOARD

Sunday, May 10

San Diego at Houston (2:05 p.m. EDT). Roy Oswalt of the Astros goes for his first win of the season against the Padres.

STARS

Saturday

-Evan Longoria, Rays, had a two-run homer and two-run double to push his major league-leading RBI total to 44 in a 14-5 win over the Red Sox.

-Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals, extended his hitting streak to 27 games with a home run in the eighth inning and Washington beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-1 for its third straight win.

-Eric Stults, Dodgers, pitched a four-hitter and struck out five in an 8-0 rout of the Giants. Stults also had an RBI single during his second career shutout.

-Lyle Overbay, Blue Jays, doubled, homered and had three RBIs in a 6-4 win over Oakland.

-Jose Reyes, Mets, had three hits, drove in three runs and stole a base in a 10-1 rout of the struggling Pirates.

-Brian McCann, Braves, homered and had three hits in a 6-2 win over the Phillies.

-Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, Twins. They hit back-to-back homers for the second straight night in a 9-6 win over the Mariners. Mauer also had a double and three RBIs.

-Edwin Jackson, Tigers, allowed five hits and struck out seven in seven innings, and combined with two relievers to beat Cleveland 4-0.

-Josh Johnson, Marlins, allowed one run and seven hits in eight innings, striking out five in a 3-1 win over the Rockies.

-Jason Giambi, Athletics, homered twice in Oakland's 6-4 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

PINCH MANAGING

Mets bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. guided New York to a 10-1 rout of Pittsburgh after manager Jerry Manuel received a one-game suspension from Major League Baseball. Manuel made contact with umpire Bill Welke during an argument in the Mets' 7-5 win over Philadelphia on Thursday night. He'll be back in the dugout for the conclusion of the Pirates series on Sunday.

UGLY OFFENSE

Edwin Jackson and two Tigers relievers extended Cleveland's scoreless streak to 19 innings with a 4-0 win over the Indians. Cleveland has not scored since the eighth inning of a 13-3 loss Thursday in Boston and held a players-only meeting after its latest loss. Cleveland got only two hits Friday night off Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander in a 1-0 loss.

BEAUTIFUL PITCHING

Facing the stingiest pitcher in the American League this season, Joe Saunders had the game of his career. The left-hander bested Zack Greinke, tossing a five-hitter to lead the Los Angeles Angels to a 1-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals. Saunders posted his first career shutout and second complete game. Greinke had won his first six starts, while posting a microscopic ERA of less than half a run. He was excellent again versus Los Angeles, allowing one run and four hits in a complete game. His ERA rose to 0.51.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, INDEED

Aaron Harang pitched seven innings and had a bases-loaded single during Cincinnati's decisive rally, a birthday bash that gave the Reds an 8-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. Harang had many good moments on his 31st birthday, none better than the awkward swing that produced his first hit of the season in the sixth. Cincinnati sent nine batters to the plate for five runs off Kyle Lohse in the inning, blowing open a tie game.

I'M PLAYING WHERE?

Omar Vizquel started at third base in the Texas Rangers' 3-2 loss at the Chicago White Sox, subbing for the ailing Michael Young (back). It was the first time that Vizquel, an 11-time Gold Glove winner, had started at a position other than shortstop.

NUMBERS GAME

The Phillies are 0-9 when they score three runs or less after a 6-2 loss to the Braves. ... Rays star Evan Longoria has driven in a run in 11 of his last 13 games. ... The Yankees have yielded 10 runs or more in six games this season, which didn't happen for a second time last year until May 18. ... The Indians are hitting .239 (73 for 305) with runners in scoring position this season. ... The Yankees' Derek Jeter improved to 7 for 7 in stolen-base attempts.

STREAKS

The Mets beat Pittsburgh 10-1 for their sixth straight win, while the Pirates have lost seven in a row. ... Tampa Bay can win its seventh straight series - including last fall's AL championship - against Boston on Sunday night. ... The Reds have won three straight and are four games over .500 (17-13) for the first time since 2006. ... The Yankees have lost six of seven after a 12-5 rout at Baltimore.

AILING

The Cubs placed 3B Aramis Ramirez on the 15-day DL with a dislocated left shoulder and said 1B Derrek Lee will have tests Monday because of neck spasms. ... The Diamondbacks put RHP Yusmeiro Petit on the 15-day DL with a strained right shoulder.

LIGHTS OUT

More than half of the lights at Miller Park went dark during the eighth inning of the Milwaukee Brewers' 12-6 victory over the Chicago Cubs, leading to a 20-minute delay. Plate umpire Jerry Crawford pulled the Brewers off the field after about five minutes with no sign of the lights coming back on. Eventually the problem was fixed and the lights warmed back up. The cause of the power outage wasn't immediately known.

SPEAKING

"It's one of those where you can go home and take a lot of positives out of it. Ninety-eight percent of the time, if I throw the ball that well, I'm not going to give up six runs.'' -Phillies starter Joe Blanton, who went eight innings in a 6-2 loss to Atlanta.

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Re: MLB News and Notes Sunday 5/10

American League Research
By Indiancowboy

Detroit vs. Cleveland

Detroit won 4-0 yesterday over Cleveland. Porcello comes off a 7 inning brilliant performance over the Twins as he gave up 0 runs and faces Reyes who gave up 3 runs on 6 inns his last go around. Reyes is 1-0 with a 6+ era this year but for mot the most part has continued to put together quality starts. Porcello has his let down games after a quality start and I would not be suprised to see the Indians win despite paying a bit of juice here. Regardless, I don't trust either of these pitchers, no thanks.

NYY vs. Baltimore

Despite Baltimore being a +141 dog yesterday they crushed the Yankees 12-5. After 2 straight quality starts on the road, Joba gave up 4 runs in 5 innings as he struggled in his last go around against the Sox at home in a game the Redsox won. Uehara has put together 4 straight quality starts and even in his first start against the Yankees he yielded 1 run on 5 innings. I expect Joba to bounce-back and although I expect the Yankees to do better against Uehara, I still expect him to pitch well today. No lean on the side, but a lean on the Under here.

Texas vs. Chicago Wsox

Padilla is a funny character. You never know when he will put up a quality start and surprise the hell of all of us. He has done this for countless years as his era is typically over 5, but whenever his rotation spot is in danger, he puts up a brilliant performance. Such was the case when he pitched 8 scoreless innings in Seattle and he put together a quality start against Oakland as well. He faces Colon today after the Rangers lost 3-4 yesterday. After getting roughed up at Baltimore, Colon has put together back to back quality starts as well. Padilla is 1-2 with a 3.94era against the Sox but I just have a feeling that one of these two pitchers will get shelled today as they are not the type of late to pitch 3 straight quality starts - back to back quality starts sure, but I don't know if they have it within them to pitch 3 straight quality starts.

Seattle vs. Minnesota

Minnesota won 9-6 yesterday as 15 runs were scored between these 2 teams. Bedard gave up 1 run in his last start in 7 innings but his team still fell short 2-7. The lefty has a 2.37 era this year and has put together quality starts in all of his 5 starts this year to his credit. Blackburn had put together quality back to back starts before being roughed up by the Tigers so I expect him to pitch better today. A lean on the Under 8 today but 8 might be a little too rich for my blood so probably will stay away.

Toronto vs. Oakland

Toronto won 6-4 yesterday as these two face off again today. Cecil has made one outing so far this year as he helped the Jays win 10-6 as he gave up 6 hits in 6 inns and 1 run as he is one of the crop of young arms for the Jays. Braden to his credit has put together 5 straight quality starts but he just has not received much run support at all this year. Both teams pretty much get a first time look at the other pitchers today and I would not be surprised to see an Under 8.5 here as well. But again, usually when I play Unders I like at least a 9 if not a 9.5 line or better.

TB vs. Boston

Garza has been solid in many ways for the Rays this year as he is really showing a lot of maturity this year. He pitched brilliantly against the Os in his last start giving up 2 runs in his last 8 innings, as he has pitched back to back quality starts this year. He is 2-0 with a 0.61 era this year against the Redsox. In 8 starts against Boston this year he is 5-1 with a 2.85era and has a 3.52 era and a 3-1 record against the Sox in Fenway. Beckett has had an off-year thus far this year as he is 3-2 with a 6.75era. I actually lean a bit on Garza this year, but whenever these two teams are hooked up anything can happen as the Redsox could decide to hit Garza well this time around, but have continued to fail to have success against him while I still don't trust Beckett at this point in the season as he is struggling a bit.

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