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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.


Hot pitchers mean hot betting system in K.C.
2010-06-30

In yesterday’s feature baseball game, March Madness Challenge we spotted a run line system that we coined a “sure-fire” winner, and Cliff Lee and the Mariners delivered with a 7-4 win in New York. For tonight, there’s another very strong run line system AND trend that figure to impact the game between the White Sox and Royals from Kansas City. The teams’ aces will collide as Jake Peavy matches up with Zack Greinke, with the latter installed as a -115 money line favorite according to Sportsbook.com, with a run line of -1.5, +170.

Chicago right-hander Jake Peavy is starting to show the stuff that earned him a Cy Young Award. So is Kansas City's Zack Greinke. Peavy will look to extend his 21-inning scoreless stretch Wednesday when the visiting White Sox try to snap Greinke's recent stretch of solid outings.

The 2007 NL Cy Young winner while with San Diego, Peavy got off to a poor start in his first full season with the White Sox, going 4-5 with a 5.90 ERA in 12 starts.

Peavy (7-5, 4.71 ERA), though, thrived against NL opponents in his last three starts, winning each outing while posting a 0.78 ERA. He struck out a season high-tying nine and gave up three hits in Friday's 6-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs. The right-hander is now two innings of shy of matching his career-best scoreless stretch.

Peavy, 4-1 with a 3.77 lifetime ERA versus the Royals, will look to win his fifth straight start against Kansas City (33-45).

Greinke (3-8, 3.72) is 5-10 with a 4.46 ERA in 19 starts against Chicago. He'll make his first start versus Chicago this season after going 2-2 with a 2.31 ERA in five starts against them during his 2009 Cy Young season.

Greinke was far from last season's form in his first 13 starts - going 1-8 with a 4.05 ERA. The right-hander, however, is 2-0 with a 2.63 ERA in his last three outings, striking out 23 while walking just two during that stretch.

The fact that both pitchers have been at their best of late leads to a highly profitable run line system from FoxSheets, backing Greinke and the Royals:

Play On - Home teams against a run line. (+1.5, -130) to (-1.5, +160) (KANSAS CITY) - with a hot starting pitcher- WHIP <= 1.000 over his last 3 starts against opponent with a hot starting pitcher- WHIP <= 1.000 over his last 5 starts. (31-11 over the last 5 seasons.) (73.8%, +21.5 units. Rating = 3*)

The straight up record of the team this system pertains to is : (30-12 over the last 5 seasons.)

The average run line posted in these games was: Opponent favored by 0.6, money line price: +105

The average score in these games was: Team 4.5, Opponent 3.6 (Average run differential = +0.8)

The number of games in which this system covered the run line by 1 or more runs was 23 (54.8% of all games.)

The situation's record this season is: (2-1, +0.5 units).

Over the last 3 seasons the situation's record is: (17-7, +9.6 units).

Since 1997 the situation's record is: (59-52, +2.2 units).

If that weren’t enough, there is also a noteworthy trend to consider based upon Kansas City’s recent bullpen success.

• KANSAS CITY is 10-0 against the run line (+12.3 Units) in home games with a hot bullpen whose ERA is under 2.00 the last 5 games over the last 2 seasons. The average score was KANSAS CITY 5.7, OPPONENT 2.6 - (Rating = 4*)

Visit the GAME MATCHUP page on Sportsbook.com for more key betting info on this contest.


MLB Series Betting- L.A. Dodgers at San Diego
2010-05-15

The San Diego Padres (+12.3 units) have the best record in the National League at 22-12 and also have the fattest lead of any division leader at 3.5 games after sweeping San Francisco this week. The Dodgers have also been playing well of late though, winners of their last four games. That backdrop makes the teams’ meeting in Los Angeles this weekend’s feature series. Let’s take a look at it. Sportsbook.com has San Diego installed as a -130 favorite to take the 3-game set.
Last season a messy divorce between owner John Moores and his wife Becky left the Padres in limbo and the organization was cut to barest of minimums, except for the face of the franchise Adrian Gonzalez. Last year’s rag-a-muffin bunch won 75 games somehow, however most baseball experts considered that a fluke and oddsmakers put a cap of 71 wins on San Diego for 2010 with its new ownership that lacks deep pockets.
What has caused the Pads to be so good this season, tremendous pitching. San Diego leads the NL in ERA at 2.61, as they concede the lowest batting average at .221 and lowest on-base percentage at .291. Those numbers improve at spacious PETCO Park, where the Padres allow a mere 2.4 runs per game, which leads to 11-5 record.
Offensively, San Diego was last in most major categories a season ago and while this group doesn’t remind many of Cincinnati’s “Big Red Machine” of 1970’s, they are at least adequate at 4.3 RPG.
In the series opener, former Dodger John Garland (4-2, 1.71 ERA) will start for the Padres. “Garland has done a heck of a job,” Los Angeles manager Joe Torre told the Dodgers’ official website. “He’s a good guy to settle down a young staff. He’s simple: ‘Just give me the ball.’”
With the L.A. offense scoring 5.3 RPG, San Diego is 9-1 vs. NL teams scoring 5.3 or more runs game on the year and is a -140 money line favorite at Sportsbook.com with total Ov7.5. Garland last pitched on Saturday and is 11-1 UNDER when working on five or six days rest over the last two seasons. (Team's Record)
The Dodgers will give the ball to Ramon Ortiz (1-1, 5.16) who is making his first start since May, 26, 2007 after 14 relief appearances this season having spent 2008 in Japan and 2009 in Triple-A.
“It’s been a long time, almost two years,” Ortiz said. “I’m a very positive guy. I knew I could do this, being back in the big leagues.”
Game 1 Edge: San Diego
While much of the state of California wants to boycott Arizona, don’t count the Dodgers (-5.7) among them, after sweeping the Diamondbacks into downtown Phoenix, giving them four straight wins and six of seven to square up their record at 17-17. Los Angeles ownership is going thru the same thing San Diego did as Frank and Jamie McCourt are involved in bitter divorce proceedings which includes who actually owns the team.
Though the Dodgers are second in the league in runs scored, they have a team ERA of 4.68, which is 12th in the senior circuit, very un-Dodger like. Because of the divorce, GM Ned Colletti is unable to make any moves that might improve their pitching and is scrambling for five reliable starters and an inconsistent bullpen.
One of the more dependable starters has been Clayton Kershaw (2-2, 3.96) who once again followed up with brilliance off a stinker. He threw just 1 1/3 innings against Milwaukee in allowing seven runs and followed that up with eight shutout innings on two hits and nine strikeouts against Colorado his last time out. The Dodgers are 8-2 when the young lefty pitches the second game of a series and are 27-11 on Saturday’s.
Kevin Correia (4-2, 3.97) takes the ball for the Friars, who have averaged 9.2 runs in his six starts. Correia in fact is 20-0 when his team totals four or more runs in his career. San Diego is 5-0 when he the middle game starting pitcher and they are perfect 7-0 against left-handed opposing hurlers since Apr. 20. Correia will pitch with heavy heart, since his brother was tragically killed in hiking accident last week.
Game 2 Edge: Los Angeles
At press time, Wade LeBlanc (2-0, 1.61) is not officially listed as the starting pitcher for the Padres, though it is his turn in the rotation. The easy tossing port-sider finished last season outstanding and has continued into this year. LeBlanc’s fastball seldom hits 90 MPH, but his late-breaking curveball and devastating change-up causes a large number of ugly swings. This will be the only day game in the series and if he starts as presumed, LeBlanc has 0.82 ERA in two daytime contests.
With L.A.’s lack of maneuverability, the one pitcher Torre needed was Chad Billingsley (3-2, 4.82) who has not had command most of the season. Off last year’s second half fade, Torre has a quick hook for Billingsley, who has yet to pitch past six innings this season for a club that needs extended outings to protect what has been mediocre bullpen work. The right-hander is 8-4 with a 2.71 ERA in his career against the Padres, 3-2 with a 2.77 ERA at PETCO Park.
Game 3 Edge: San Diego
This I-5 series will be surrounded by ample excitement with Saturday’s conflict a sell-out and the other two contests either will be or very close to. This will be a good test for both clubs still early in the 2010 campaign as a gauge to where they are in the division. As long as San Diego doesn’t get too excited, their superior pitching should be enough to capture the series.
Sportsbook.com series odds: Los Angeles Even, San Diego -130
StatFox Edge Pick: San Diego


Slump-busters needed for Phillies and Braves
2009-09-08

An old baseball mythical term which has been around for decades finds a couple of National League teams in need of its magic. The Philadelphia Phillies were just swept at Houston and Atlanta has lost five in a row. As opposed to other teams with losing streaks at present, both these teams are changing opponents, which might be enough to end this dismal spell. However, in other instances, “slump-busters” might include changing batting order, burning bats, wearing hats differently in the dugout or a few other more crude elements that can’t be mentioned here. Can both teams get it going Tuesday on the road? Be sure to visit the LIVE ODDS, BETTING TRENDS, and TEAM STATISTICS pages to help find that answer.

Philadelphia at Washington

The Phillies (77-58, +3.3 units) suffered a lost holiday weekend in Houston in being swept by the Astros in a four game series for the first time in a decade. Philadelphia bats have taken a leave of absence, as Philly as scored almost 1.9 runs per game in last nine tries and hasn’t scored more than four runs in a single game since August 24, covering 13 ballgames. Only twice in their last 13 tries have they managed to get to double digit hits.

The Phillies will open up three games series in Washington (47-90, -32.4 units) and the Nationals have often been the perfect elixir for what ails any team. Washington would have a nine game losing streak except for scoring three runs in the bottom of the ninth to come from behind and surprise Florida 5-4 on Sunday. The Nationals are 15-42 having lost two of their last three games and are woebegone 2-14 with a day off this season.

Philadelphia will face John Lannon (8-10, 4.09 ERA) who is 0-5 with a 5.89 ERA in seven career starts against the Phillies. Ryan Howard and struggling teammates are 27-15 versus left-handed pitchers, scoring 5.3 runs per game in 2009.

Sportsbook.com has the Phils as -140 money line favorites behind Pedro Martinez (3-0, 3.52), with a total at Un9. Lannon and the Nats are 12-29 in night games, while the Phillies are 12-4 with an on-base percentage of .300 or worse over their last 15 games this season.

Atlanta at Houston

The Braves (70-67, -12.9 units) have played themselves out of wild card contention by losing five straight, the last three at home to Cincinnati scoring four runs against a Reds pitching staff ranked middle of the road at eighth in the National League in runs allowed. Atlanta travels to take on a hot Houston (67-70, +2.4 units) club, who just wiped out Philadelphia four in a row. Atlanta has touched home plate 14 times in last five contests (2.8 RPG), while hitting well below the Mendoza-line as a team with a .185 batting average.

We picked a real bad time to all not hit,” Chipper Jones told the Braves official Web site. “It just doesn’t seem like anybody is swinging the bat real well.” Jones is a big part of the offensive misdeeds, batting .121 in his last 20 games.

A change of venue could ignite Atlanta who lost 4-2 Sunday and they are 12-5 in road games after a loss by two runs or less this season. They will turn to Javier Vazquez (11-9, 3.18) who is 22-7 vs. teams averaging 2.75 or less extra base hits per game over the last two seasons. (Team's Record) The Braves are -140 money line favorites with total at Un8.5.

Houston will try to extend their winning streak to five coming off of three consecutive one-run wins over Philadelphia. Felipe Paulino (2-7, 6.62) will be given the pill, attempting to hold the slumping Braves bats in check and Houston is 20-9 at Minute Maid Park in the second half of the season.
StatFox Power Line – Philadelphia -103, Atlanta -187




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