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junkmansports
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Who's Hot and Who's not

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On 08/30/2011 05:42 AM in MLB
Who’s hot

MLB: The Boston Red Sox are 12-2 in their last 14 games against the New York Yankees.

MLB: The over is 10-0-1 in the last 11 meetings between the Nationals and Braves.

WNBA: Minnesota is 7-1 against the spread in its last eight home games.

WNBA: Seven of the last eight meetings between Seattle and Los Angeles have played under the total.

Who’s not

MLB: St. Louis is 2-7 in its last nine meetings with the NL-Central leading Milwaukee Brewers.

MLB: Cleveland is 5-12 in its last 17 games against Oakland.

WNBA: Chicago is 2-7 against the spread in its last nine road games.

WNBA: Indiana is 1-1o against the spread in its last 11 matchups with Atlanta.

Key stat

0 – New York Mets starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey is winless in 15 career starts (0-7) against the Florida Marlins, compiling a 5.23 ERA. The Mets have won just three of those games, while Pelfry has lost all three of his outings against the Marlins this season.

Injury that shouldn’t be overlooked

Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers – Cruz is expected to miss three weeks of action with a Grade 1 hamstring strain, which will be a big loss for the Rangers down the stretch. Cruz is hitting .270 with 28 homers and 94 RBIs. The early word is that Cuban defector Leonys Martin may get the call from Triple-A Round Rock to fill in.

Game of the day

New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox (+135, 9)

Notable quotable

"When people compare him to other players, you can't forget he's a center fielder and he's playing a high quality defense out there. He's scoring a bunch of runs and RBIs, the two most important stats in baseball. In my eyes, he's the MVP." - New York Yankees third baseman on teammate Curtis Granderson, who has 38 homers and 197 RBIs this season.

Notes and tips

The Indianapolis Colts took quarterback Peyton Manning off the PUP list Monday, though he immediately ruled himself out of Thursday’s preseason game and his status for Week 1 is questionable. Oddsmakers currently have the Colts set as 3-point road underdogs in Houston for Week 1.

After jumping out to a 7-1 start to the season both straight up and against the spread, the San Antonio Silver Stars are fighting an uphill battle just to qualify for postseason play. They have dropped six consecutive games straight up (covering just once over that span) and sit 1 ½ games ahead of Los Angeles for the final spot in the Western Conference. The Silver Stars are 3.5-point favorites against Connecticut on Tuesday.
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Pfile Nickname junkmansports
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08/30/2011 05:42 AM
Streaking

Hiroki Kuroda, Los Angeles Dodgers (10-14, 2.92 ERA)

Kuroda has won four of his last five trips to the hill, allowing just eight runs over that span. He has pitched pretty well all year, but is finally getting a little bit of run support. While he does have 14 losses on his record this season, his WHIP is sparkling at 1.10.

"He keeps us in every game, and for a while there we just didn't get him any runs at all," manager Don Mattingly told reporters of Kuroda.

Doug Fister, Detroit Tigers (6-13, 3.35 ERA)

Fister is coming off what was likely his best start of the season, throwing a perfect game over 13 outs against the Rays. He ended up blanking Tampa Bay over seven innings in a 2-0 win, improving to 3-1 since joining the Tigers. Fister was 3-12 with the offensively-challenged Mariners.

"You might see some better stuff," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said of Fister after that start, "but you can’t pitch better than he pitched today. In and out, changing speeds, cutting the ball, sinking the ball, riding the ball. You can’t pitch better than that."

Slumping

Brett Cecil, Toronto Blue Jays (4-7, 4.42 ERA)

The Blue Jays have dropped four of Cecil’s last five starts, including a 9-6 loss against Kansas City in his last trip to the mound. He was smacked for five runs on nine hits over 6 1/3 innings in that one while striking out three and walking one. Cecil’s control has been better this season, but he has just 67 strikeouts in 97 2/1 innings.

Javier Vazquez, Florida Marlins (7-11, 4.63 ERA)

Vazquez still hasn’t won a start since July 27, but he won’t be in the Slumping section this time around if we had any other options. The veteran went seven innings in his last start against Cincinnati, allowing three runs on six hits. He struck out a season-high 11 batters but didn’t factor in the decision.
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