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BOSTON RED SOX (106-70) at ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (106-71)
2013-10-29

After an unusual ending for the second consecutive game on Sunday, the World Series is tied at 2-2 with the Cardinals playing their final home contest in Monday's Game 5 versus the Red Sox.

After an obstruction call ended Game 3 and gave the Cardinals victory, Game 4 also ended in atypical fashion as Boston closer Koji Uehara picked off St. Louis pinch-runner Kolten Wong at first base to seal the 4-2 victory. LF Jonny Gomes was the key bat for the Red Sox in the win, hitting a three-run homer that would prove to be the deciding factor. Gomes was not originally in Sunday's starting lineup, but took the place of Shane Victorino who was scratched because of tightness in his back. Victorino is considered questionable for Monday. The Red Sox enter Game 5 as slight underdogs with Jon Lester (18-9, 3.52 ERA) taking the mound for the second time this series. In Game 1, he pitched 7.2 scoreless innings as the Red Sox cruised to an 8-1 victory. Hell face the same counterpart he did in that contest in St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright (21-11, 2.87 ERA), who had unusual struggles in that game. With a shaky defense behind him, he gave up five runs (three earned) in only five innings, well below his 7.1 innings-per-start average this season. The Cardinals will need him to pitch more like he has in his career during the playoffs, with a 2.37 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in 17 career outings. Defending home field is huge for the Cardinals in this one with a 60-29 record (.674) at Busch Stadium before the series will conclude at Fenway Park. The Red Sox, after Sundays win, are an outstanding 48-40 on the road (.545, second-best in majors).

Lester (1.27 WHIP) was fantastic in Game 1, striking out eight Cardinals and walking only one while giving up five hits in his 7.2 scoreless frames. That just builds on an already tremendous postseason during which he is 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in four starts. Overall he has a 2.22 ERA and 1.10 WHIP over 12 career postseason appearances. Lester will benefit from having a much better defensive catcher behind the plate in David Ross for Game 5 as opposed to Jarrod Saltalmacchia whose defensive shortcoming loomed large in both Red Sox losses this series. Lester could also be getting a big break with Cardinals slugger Allen Craig questionable to play because of his lingering foot injury. Craig barely made it to first base as a pinch-hitter in Game 4 when his hit reached the right-field wall. His unavailability would only hurt a St. Louis team that is 22-26 this season against lefty starters even more. If the Cardinals have one advantage, it could be Lesters middling splits on the road this year, where he has a 4.18 ERA and 1.40 WHIP. If the lefty does struggle, hes fortunate to have the Boston bullpen behind him that has an absurdly good 1.38 ERA and 1.14 WHIP while limiting opponents to a .221 BA this postseason. Part of that has been manager John Farrells willingness to use everybody, with starters Felix Doubront and John Lackey throwing a combined 3.2 scoreless innings of relief on Sunday night.

Wainwright (1.05 WHIP) has generally been brilliant this season, leading his team to a 25-13 record (.658), which includes a 2.25 ERA and 0.89 WHIP this postseason. He certainly wasn't sharp in Game 1, though he wasnt helped that the St. Louis defense committed multiple errors behind him. The guy to register the biggest hit off him was 1B Mike Napoli, who nailed a three-run triple in the first inning, but he will not start with normal DH David Ortiz shifting over to first base in the National League park. And of the four Red Sox hitters that Wainwright has faced at least five times in his career (OF Shane Victorino, SS Stephen Drew, OF Jonny Gomes and C David Ross), the foursome is a combined 13-for-72 (.181 BA) with 17 K's, but three of those players have homered off the right-hander. Ortiz has been absolutely huge in the World Series, going 3-for-3 with two runs on Sunday and improving his batting average to .727 (8-for-11) in the series with two homers, 5 RBI and five runs. Wainwright will be happy to pitch at home in this one though, where he had a 2.36 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in 19 starts during which the Cardinals went 13-6. Though Wainwright typically doesnt need it as much as he did during his last start, the St. Louis bullpen has been reliable all season with a 3.35 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. Theyve been way better than that this postseason with a 2.30 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and .186 opponents' BA over 43 innings.


LOS ANGELES DODGERS (9-10) at NEW YORK METS (9-9) Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: New York -153 & 7 under -125
2013-04-27

The Dodgers took the series opener 7-2 on Tuesday night, though they shouldnt expect to get that much offense in game two. The 24-year-old Harvey (4-0, 0.93 ERA) has shown why was so highly regarded as a prospect in the early going of this season. Veteran left-hander Ted Lilly takes the mound for the Dodgers, making his season debut after dealing with a shoulder injury that ended his 2012 season prematurely. Although the Mets own a slight 8-7 advantage against the Dodgers over the past three years, the Dodgers are now 5-2 at Citi Field over that span.

Lilly is 2-2 (team 3-3) with a 3.72 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in six career starts against the Mets. Last season, he pitched in just eight games, compiling a strong 3.14 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 5-1 record. Hes been called up quickly after injuries forced a need as he was struggling in the minors. But in three minor-league starts this year, he went 0-3 with a 6.88 ERA. If he struggles and cant go deep, the Dodgers bullpen that has a 3.40 ERA and 1.28 WHIP this year will be forced to play a big role. An encouraging stat for Lillys chances: the Mets are 2-5 against lefty starters this year.

Harvey has been nearly unhittable this season, even taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning a couple of starts ago. Hes given up just 10 hits and nine walks in 29 innings (0.66 WHIP), while racking up 32 K's and holding opponents to a mere .108 BA against him. In each of his four starts, hes gone at least seven innings. Thats good news for a Mets bullpen that has a 5.46 ERA this season and gave up six runs on Tuesday. New York relievers had to pitch 6.2 innings Tuesday, filling in after starter Jon Niese got injured. Harvey has never started against the Dodgers in his young career, but he has been masterful in six career starts at Citi Field, posting a 1.42 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 46 K's in 38 innings.

The Mets are fourth in the majors with 101 runs this season, ranking eighth in slugging (.423) and ninth in on-base percentage (.328). Leading that effort has been catcher John Buck, who is mashing with seven home runs and 22 RBI already. The Mets player with the best track record against Lilly is Marlon Byrd, who has a .471 BA in 17 career at-bats against the southpaw with a home run and 8 RBI. The Los Angeles offense has the second-fewest runs in MLB with just 61, despite posting a .344 OBP, which ranks fourth in the majors. Leading all departments of their offense is first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who is hitting .377 with two home runs and 14 RBI.


MLB: Line flips a sign of MLB things to come Tuesday?
2010-08-25

According to our friends over at Sportsbook.com, three of the games on Tuesday night’s Major League Betting board have seen their lines flip today, meaning one team opened as the favorite but is now the underdog. In each case, the road club was favored but has since ceded that role to the host. Let’s take a look at those three games and their corresponding line moves to see if we can’t benefit from our fellow bettors’ wisdom.

(911) ATLANTA (LOWE) at (912) COLORADO (DE LA ROSA) 8:40 PM

Sportsbook opening line: Atlanta -110, Currently: Colorado -109

Colorado’s 5-4 victory in the series opener on Monday gave the Rockies their first consecutive wins since a four-game streak July 29-Aug. 1.

Colorado pulled within six games of the Phillies in the wild-card race, but it wasn't the only team happy to see Philadelphia fall. The Braves (73-52) remained 2 1/2 games ahead in the NL East race thanks to the Phillies' defeat.

The Rockies had scored five runs in their previous four games.

Derek Lowe (11-11, 4.32 ERA) goes for the Braves. He is 4-1 with a 2.14 ERA in his last five starts against the Rockies, but 1-3 in his five most recent starts, and the Braves are 2-8 in his 10 second-half starts.

Lowe will be opposed by Jorge De La Rosa (4-4, 4.74), who was a hard-luck loser Thursday despite one of his best performances of the season. The left-hander held the Dodgers to two runs and five hits over seven innings, but Colorado mustered only two hits in a 2-0 defeat.

Bettors may be backing the Rockies based upon the following system:

StatFox Super Situation favoring COLORADO against the money line

• Play On - Home teams when the money line is +125 to -125 (COLORADO) - after scoring and allowing 5 runs or less last 4 games. (102-72 over the last 5 seasons.) (58.6%, +30.1 units. Rating = 2*)

(915) CINCINNATI (WOOD) at (916) SAN FRANCISCO (SANCHEZ) 10:15 PM

Sportsbook opening line: Cincinnati -110, Currently: San Francisco -110

Reds rookie Travis Wood hopes to quiet San Francisco's bats and win his fifth consecutive start as Cincinnati continues its road trip on Tuesday night. However, he’ll have his hands full against a Giants lineup that scored 11 runs on 17 hits in the series opener.

The Reds (72-53) remain atop the NL in batting average (.271) and runs (617), and they averaged 5.9 runs while winning eight of nine before Monday's game.

The Giants (70-56), meanwhile, had totaled one run in their previous two games, but they scored five runs in the first inning of the 11-2 win. The victory opened a nine-game and pulled the Giants within one game of Philadelphia in the wild-card race.

San Francisco's hitters are in for a challenge as they face Wood (4-1, 2.51 ERA) for the first time. Opponents are hitting just .176 against the left-hander, but over the last couple of seasons, San Francisco has produced well for bettors against solid pitching:

• SAN FRANCISCO is 19-11 (+12.9 Units) against the money line vs. an NL starting pitcher whose WHIP is 1.150 or better over the last 2 seasons. The average score was SAN FRANCISCO 3.8, OPPONENT 3.8 - (Rating = 1*)

Cincinnati is 14-5 on the road since the All-Star break, with slugger Joey Votto batting .406 with 16 RBIs in that stretch. That has helped the Reds take a 2 1/2-game division lead over St. Louis.

Cincinnati may have to operate with a depleted lineup Tuesday against San Francisco's Jonathan Sanchez (9-8, 3.47). Outfielder Jim Edmonds (strained oblique) and Laynce Nix (sprained ankle) both left Monday's game.

A Giants win would also end the Reds' streak of six consecutive series victories on the road - and San Francisco's string of three straight series losses overall. They have fared well vs. the Reds and their divisional counterparts this season:

SAN FRANCISCO is 24-10 (+13.0 Units) against the money line against NL Central opponents this season.

The average score was SAN FRANCISCO 5.3, OPPONENT 3.5 - (Rating = 1*)

(929) TAMPA BAY (DAVIS) at (930) LA ANGELS (SANTANA) 10:05 PM

Sportsbook opening line: Tampa Bay -110, Currently: LA Angels -107

Tampa Bay has played well on the road against the Los Angeles Angels this year. The Rays, though, did not have to face Ervin Santana until now. The right-hander looks to remain perfect against the Rays in Anaheim while trying to help the Angels avoid a fourth consecutive home loss to the AL East co-leaders Tuesday night.

Tampa Bay (77-48) moved into a first-place tie with New York by winning its third straight, 4-3 over Los Angeles on Monday. It was the Rays' fifth one-run game in a row. That win streak however, leads bettors into a potentially profitable fade system for Tuesday:

• Play Against - All teams with a money line of -100 to -150 (TAMPA BAY) - after 3 or more consecutive wins, a good team (54% to 62%) playing a marginal losing team (46% to 49%). (41-23 over the last 5 seasons.) (64.1%, +23.3 units. Rating = 2*)

Since losing six straight on the road to the Angels, the Rays have won three in a row in Anaheim this season. Three of the teams' four 2010 meetings have been determined by one run.

Santana has posted a 1.21 ERA in winning all three of his home starts against the Rays and has been outstanding of late, posting a 2.66 ERA in winning his last three starts. He has also done very good work against the league’s best:

• SANTANA is 10-2 (+9.2 Units) against the money line when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 54% to 62%) over the last 2 seasons. (Team's Record) The average score was SANTANA 5.5, OPPONENT 2.8 - (Rating = 1*)

Making his debut against Los Angeles, Tampa Bay's Wade Davis (9-9, 4.45) will come off the disabled list for his first start since Aug. 5.



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