MLB Betting News and Notes Sunday, April 21

MLB Betting News and Notes Sunday, April 21

MLB Weather Watch
By Covers.com

Relatively favorable conditions are expected throughout the bigs on Sunday.

Here is a look at the notable weather:

Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox (-145, 8.5)
Forecasts call for mostly cloudy skies with temperatures in the low-50s at first pitch. Winds will blow in from right field at 17 mph. The under was 5-2 in 2012 when winds blew in from right field at U.S. Cellular.

Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers (-162, 10)
Mostly sunny skies with temperatures in the high-60s. Winds will blow in from right field at 10 mph.

MLB Baseball Weather Analyzer

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Sunday's Streaking and Slumping Starting Pitchers
By Covers.com

Streaking

Doug Fister, Detroit Tigers (3-0, 2.70 ERA)

Fister tossed seven strong innings last time out against the Seattle Mariners to pick up his third win in as many starts. But bettors beware: The righty is 0-2 with a 6.94 ERA and 1.80 WHIP in 11 2/3 career innings at Angel Stadium.

Kris Medlen, Atlanta Braves (1-1, 1.42 ERA)

Medlen is picking up right where he left off last season. The right-hander threw 73 of his 98 pitches for strikes in his last start against the Kansas City Royals and is commanding both sides of the plate. Medlen is the owner of a sparkling 1.94 ERA in 21 career appearances in April.

Slumping


Ubaldo Jimenez, Cleveland Indians (0-2, 11.25 ERA)


Jimenez has been rocked in back-to-back starts for seven earned runs. The righty has struggled with his control early on, walking eight batters in his last six innings pitched. Jimenez owns a career 1.88 ERA against the Astros – his best mark against any major league club.

Dillon Gee, New York Mets (0-3, 8.36 ERA)


Gee has traditionally pitched poor in cold weather because his “fingertips get numb in cold weather.” Temperatures are expected to be in the high-40s for first pitch at Citi Field and he has been rocked in his two previous starts at cold April venues (Philadelphia, Colorado).

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Sunday Night Baseball: Cardinals at Phillies
By Steve Merril 
Covers.com

St. Louis Cardinals at Philadelphia Phillies (+104, 8.5)

GO WEST YOUNG MAN


Jake Westbrook's pristine start to the season was saved by the weather after his last outing against the Pirates was rained out; the righty gave up four early runs to Pittsburgh. Westbrook has not allowed an "official" earned run this season. He is just 1-1, though, as the unearned run he allowed against the Giants ultimately led to a loss. The Cardinals' starter faced the Phillies twice last season, getting rocked at home as he gave up six runs on May 24.  He bounced back on August 11 against Philadelphia, allowing only a single run on four hits in just over seven innings of work.

CAN KENDRICK GET IT DONE?

Kyle Kendrick has been solid this season aside from his first start where he allowed five runs and eight hits in just over five innings pitched against the Royals. He followed that up with two solid outings against the Mets and Reds where he allowed two runs and 10 hits total. One of Kendrick's best starts last season came in St. Louis on May 26. He tossed a complete-game shutout, yielding seven hits.

INJURY REPORT

The Cardinals and Phillies are both almost at full strength. St. Louis is without Rafael Furcal who underwent Tommy John surgery back in March. The Cardinals are also without pitchers Chris Carpenter and Jason Motte. Carpenter is dealing with a nerve condition in his throwing hand, arm, and shoulder. Motte's status is unknown as he deals with a torn ligament.

On the Philadelphia side, Ryan Howard is day-to-day with a tight right groin injury. Catcher Carlos Ruiz is almost done with his 25-game suspension, which will help a lineup that has struggled scoring at times. John Lannan is on the DL with a knee injury while Delmon Young is close to recovering from microfracture surgery on his ankle.

TRENDS

* The over is 5-2 in the Cardinals’ last seven Sunday games.
* Cardinals are 5-0 in Westbrook's last five road starts vs. a team with a losing record

* Phillies are 5-2 in Kendrick’s last seven home starts
* The under is 9-3-1 in Kendrick’s last 13 starts on grass.

HITTERS TO WATCH

Michael Young 11-for-27 vs. Westbrook
Jimmy Rollins 6-for-15 vs. Westbrook
Matt Holliday 2-for-18 vs. Kendrick
Carlos Beltran 7-for-26 vs. Kendrick

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MLB: Streaks, Tips, Notes
Sportspic.com

Cleveland Indians at Houston Astros

Cleveland Indians finding the win column Saturday at Minute Maid Park ended it's five-game losing streak with a 19-6 victory over Houston Astros. In this rubber match, the Cleveland Indians hand the ball to Ubaldo Jimenez (0-2, 11.25 ERA). The right hander has twirled back-2-back non quality starts surrendering 14 runs and is now ridding an 0-8 skid his last eleven trips to the mound (2-9 TSR). Astros trying to climb out of the American League basement counter with Erik Bedard (0-1, 7.04 ERA). The southpaw is off a loss at Oakland smacked for six runs lasting just 1/3 of an inning but manager Bo Porter said he expects Bedard to bounce back. Stros' may be a little antsy with their hurler but can take comfort in knowing they should produce runs against the struggling Jimenez. A coin flip at best but were sticking with the home team knowing Indians are on a 1-10 road skid w/Jimemez, 7-17 on the road with the hurler since he joined the team in 2011 and that Tribe are 12-20 away vs a left-handed starter, 0-3 off a win by 10 or more runs.

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MLB Odds and Picks
By: The Linemakers   
Sportingnews.com

The Philadelphia Phillies (7-11) are currently fourth among the five teams in the NL East, one spot better than the low mark for futility – the Miami Marlins. The Phillies thought they were building a dynasty that would last for another decade by signing their core players – built from within the organization – to chunky long-term contracts.

While core players like Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Cole Hamels will be around for many years, the Phillies would probably opt against signing all four if given the chance to do it again. This is a great example of a team being loyal to their players for the fans – and getting burned – whereas the majority of other teams are starting to let their stars leave town for a better contract and showing faith in their minor league system to reload from within.

Chase Utley has been smoking the ball this season and leads the team with three home runs and 14 RBIs. The story hasn’t been as good for Howard (1 HR, 5 RBI) and Rollins (.232). Ben Revere was brought over from Minnesota via trade with hopes of wreaking havoc on the base paths (five stolen bases), but the Phillies didn’t expect a .253 on-base percentage. One of the bright spots on the team, besides Utley, has been Michael Young (.333 batting average) - all the guy does is hit, and hit well.

The Phillies send out Kyle Kendrick (1-1, 3.38 ERA) tonight against the NL Central leading Cardinals and Jake Westbrook (1-1, 0.00 ERA). Kendrick is coming off of his best outing of the season at Cincinnati where he allowed only two hits and no runs in seven innings. The Phillies eventually lost the game 1-0, but it’s a great sign coming into today.

Westbrook looked like he might be in store for a career-year for the Cardinals following his complete game shutout against the Reds on April 10. However, he gave up four runs in the first inning at Pittsburgh in his next outing. He caught a break when rain washed away the game and his stat line though. Which Westbrook will show up tonight?

We’re going to side with Philly and Kendrick (+105) in tonight’s contest to even the series at two games apiece.

Go against Sox streak and Neil Diamond?

Before the weekend started, we had been anticipating the start of the Royals’ Jeremy Guthrie at Boston on Sunday, but a lot has transpired in the city since then that makes the Fenway Park games a little tougher to handicap. In Saturday’s game, the Red Sox had Neil Diamond singing “Sweet Caroline” live, or at least kind of – the sound wasn’t so good for TV viewers. Neil Diamond rarely goes anywhere, but he brought his cool vibe to the park and he inspired.

Those aren’t the type of variables you throw into any price equation, but somewhere along the way, they should be. Had it been widely known that the great Neil Diamond was making an appearance at Fenway, it’s one of those things that you have a feeling great moments will happen afterward, and it did. Daniel Nava hit a game winning three-run homer in the eighth inning while down 2-1.

Guthrie was originally supposed to be facing Felix Doubront, but will instead face right-hander Allen Webster in the second game of Sunday’s double-header. Webster will be making his Major League debut. We still think Guthrie gets the win, and the price is right at +130, but it’s also hard to go against what could be an eight game win streak by Boston. We’ll ride Guthrie in this one, regardless of who pitches for Boston, or even if the Sox have won eight straight.

Sunday plays:

Phillies (Kendrick) +105 vs. Cardinals

Royals (Guthrie) +130 at Red Sox (Game 2)

Season to date record: 33-22 (+1220)

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