cnotes Posts:27520 Followers:33
On 06/01/2012 04:07 PM in MLB

Cnotes Friday's MLB Best Bets !

Dodgers, Orioles Get The Latest Fade Treatment

The Dodgers were just swept at home for the first time in the 2012 season.

Look out below!

Teams are falling!

Not that we should be the least bit surprised.

As usual, the first two months of the MLB campaign featured several surprise packages showing good early foot. But, for as long as we can remember, many teams off to unexpected quick breaks from the gate are apt to lose steam once the summer months approach. After all, the term “dog days” had to begin somewhere, didn’t it?

And for a few of the teams on our “fade alert” for this week, 2012 looks to be turning into a re-run of past disappointments.

Such as the Baltimore Orioles.

Many long-suffering O’s backers still haven’t gotten over what happened in 2005, when Lee Mazzilli’s Orioles got off to a flying start, leading the AL East for the first two-and-a-half months of the season, hitting an apex with a 41-27 record in mid-June. By early August, however, the pitching staff had collapsed, and Mazzilli was forced to walk the plank, replaced by Sam Perlozzo after the O’s lost 28 of their next 38 games to fall out of contention en route to another dismal 74-88 mark.

Fast-forward to 2012, and some of the same things seemed to be going right for the Orioles in the first two months of the campaign. Surprising effectiveness from an underrated pitching staff and a hot-hitting lineup fueled the early charge. But, as in 2005, cracks have begun to form at the base of the foundation, mostly pitching-related.

Indeed, Baltimore enters this weekend’s series in St. Pete against the Rays in the throes of a five-game slump that included being swept aside in and have lost eight of 10 entering June. A once comfy lead atop the AL East has disappeared in short order.

As in 2005, the O’s are beginning to have pitching problems, although the cracks began to form early in May. Manager Buck Showalter has been forced to use his bullpen earlier and earlier in games as the month progressed. Showalter’s rotation is wobbling, with the likes of Jake Arrieta (8.00 ERA last five starts), Jason Hammel (allowed four runs in three of last four starts), Brian Matusz (4.97 ERA last five starts after encouraging work previously) and Taiwanese rookie Wei-Yin Chen rarely working beyond the sixth inning. The bullpen, which held up remarkably well in the first six weeks, is starting to spring leaks, and closer Matt Lindstrom remains on the DL.

And injuries are starting to pile up for the everyday lineup. The latest malady involves OF Nick Markakis, likely out for all of June after suffering a broken hamate bone in his wrist. Second baseman Brian Roberts, battling back from a concussion suffered in spring training, has just begun his rehab assignment and is a few weeks from being activated. Outfielder Nolan Reimold, sidelined since May 1 with a bulging disc in his neck, remains out.

In other words, we’re looking against the O’s until further notice.

As we might be with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

We acknowledge the fast start by the Blue Crew and their 110-or-better win pace from the first seven weeks of the season. But most observers knew the Dodgers were playing over their heads, and the schedule couldn’t have worked better for most of April and May.

But, as in Baltimore, cracks are beginning to form at the Dodger foundation, too, and the Vin Scullys enter Colorado this weekend in the throes of their first real slump of the season, dropping four in a row to the visiting Brewers in a midweek series at Chavez Ravine.

Concerns now revolve around the offense, which managed just eight runs total in the recent four-game sweep administered by the Brewers, and L.A. now faces the prospect of again being without do-everything CF Matt Kemp for the next month, if not until the All-Star break, after he reaggravated a hamstring injury that had caused an earlier stint on the DL in May. The Dodgers survived Kemp’s earlier absence but asking Don Mattingly’s crew to go for another month or longer minus arguably the league’s best hitter could be asking for trouble.

Keep in mind that June and early July were rough times for the Dodgers last year, as they slumped to an 11-21 mark between June 1-July 6. The offense went on the blink during that period, and efforts vs. the Brewers, and Kemp’s absence, suggest another similar slump could be forthcoming.

The home sweep administered by Milwaukee also removed that veneer of invincibility the Dodgers had developed at home, where they had won 21 of their first 26 games. On the road, the Blue has barely been above .500, and having played 30 of their first 51 at Chavez Ravine, now embark upon a road-heavy stretch of their schedule.

The Dodgers have some other injury issues, too, including 2B Mark Ellis, a very pleasant surprise in the first six weeks but on the DL until at least the All-Star break after undergoing leg surgery. Juan Rivera and Juan Uribe are also currently on the DL, as is lefty starter Ted Lilly, who had been a pleasant surprise in the first six weeks of he season but now is sidelined with shoulder inflammation. Dodger starting pitching depth was a concern entering the season and could soon become an issue if more injuries hit the rotation.

Meanwhile, although 2011 Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw is off to a good start, the staff has not been as dominant as hoped. Even Kershaw has looked mortal of late, losing two starts in a row, and Chad Billingsley has been struggling since late April, with an ERA of 5.44 over his last eight starts. How long Mattingly and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt continue to coax better-than-expected efforts from Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano, and how long each can avoid injury, remains to be seen.

The bullpen has also taken some hits, with Javy Guerra in and out of the closer role after already blowing three save opportunities.

With the Giants indicating that they might be ready to give chase, and Arizona one hot streak away from getting back into the race, the Dodgers could be looking at another difficult June, as was the case a year ago.

Meanwhile, this week’s “shade tracker” notes the recent upswings by the Chicago White Sox (eight wins in a row entering June) and the aforementioned Milwaukee Brewers, who could use their 4-game sweep of the Dodgers and five-game win streak entering June to catapult them back into the NL Central race.

We wonder, however, if the horse is already out of the barn regarding those two sides. But there’s another team we have warned about earlier and might continue to shade as we enter June.

Look out for the Pittsburgh Pirates!

Clint Hurdle’s Bucs have climbed back to .500 entering the month and sit just three games out of first place in up-for-grabs NL Central. Taking two of three from the recently-hot Reds has not only cooled Cincy but revived talk around the Golden Triangle that the Pirates might be prepared to stick in this race longer than a year ago, when things began to go pear-shaped after the All-Star break.

Last summer’s fade coincided with a meltdown of the pitching staff, but coach Ray Searage’s arms are showing no signs of similar fatigue. The Bucs’ 3.25 team ERA ranks third in the bigs, and the offseason addition of ex-Yankee and Blue Jay A.J. Burnett is beginning to pay dividends. Burnett, who missed the start of the season after a freak spring training batting injury, has been lights-out in recent starts, winning three in a row, with the Bucs prevailing in his last five starts. Moreover, Burnett hasn’t allowed a run in his last two outings against the Cubs and Reds, and has allowed two runs or fewer in seven of his eight starts. He looks like the new ace of this staff.

But a bigger story at PNC Park is the recent revival of a sluggish offense that has finally begun to put some hits and runs together. Do-everything CF Andrew McCutchen continues as an effective catalyst and looks a cinch for the All-Star team considering his .331 BA, .389 OBA, eight homers, 25 RBIs and 10 steals.

The Bucs have also begun to make PNC Park a nice fortress, now standing 16-11 at home, and can begin to look like a real contender if they can start to win on the road. Keep an eye on this weekend’s series at Milwaukee, long a mine field for the Pirates, who have lost 43 of their last 49 at Miller Park. Taking this weekend’s series from the Brew Crew would be yet another indicator that Pittsburgh means business.

Best of all, they continue to be undervalued by the oddsmakers, providing fertile wagering opportunities.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27520 Followers:33
06/01/2012 04:10 PM

Mets & Cardinals In Key Series At Citi Field

Saturday’s mound duel pits Lance Lynn for the Cards against RA Dickey.

If I told you the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals weekend series would begin with one team 1.5-games out of first in its division, you'd immediately think it was the Redbirds, right?

You'd be correct.

But if I told you both teams were just 1.5-games behind their respective division leaders, you'd be surprised, right? That's the case as the Cardinals head to Citi Field for a key weekend set with the Mets. New York is a game-&-a-half out of first in the middle of a tightly-packed NL East while the Cards are equal distance in second behind the Cincinnati Reds in the Central Division.

The battle begins Friday night (7:10 p.m. ET) and the first two games of the 4-game wrap-around series at Citi Field offer up marquee mound matchups. Game 1 finds Adam Wainwright clashing with Johan Santana with Saturday's matinee (4:10 p.m. ET) pairing Lance Lynn with RA Dickey.

The Wainwright-Santana matchup is intriguing from the standpoint that both pitchers are returning from injury this season, as well as from a betting standpoint with the Don Best odds screen listing this game as a pick 'em at many outlets. A few shops have the Cardinals slight favorites, and the 7-run total is priced a bit more to the 'over.'

Wainwright has been outstanding his last two starts, with wins in four of his last six, as he slowly but surely comes around from elbow surgery that knocked him out of the 2011 campaign. He faced the Mets twice in 2010, tossing a complete game victory in St. Louis and getting roughed up in a loss at Citi Field.

With the exception of one ugly outing in mid-April at Atlanta, Santana has been on the top of his game since the 2012 schedule got underway. The veteran lefty tossed a 4-hit shutout vs. the Padres in his last trip to the hill, and New York is 4-2 in his six home assignments where Santana has crafted a 1.60 ERA in close to 40 innings.

Saturday's mound duel might not have the same name recognition as the series opener, but it holds the promise of being as good a matchup as Santana and Wainwright. Expect Lynn and the Cardinals to be slight favorites (-115) and for a 7½-8 run total.

Lynn's performance for the Cards has helped the club forget about losing ace Chris Carpenter to injury before the season began. The former first-round pick out of Ole Miss ranks 11th among NL hurlers with a 2.54 ERA, 11th in WHIP (1.07) and in the top 20 with 60 strikeouts. Lynn hit a small bump in mid-May when St. Louis dropped consecutive starts he made, but he's since bounced back with two straight wins.

With all due respect to Santana's season, it's Dickey who has become the ace of Terry Collins' staff in New York. Like Santana, the former Tennessee Volunteer had one forgettable outing in Atlanta, but the other nine starts on his ledger have each been quality efforts. The Mets have won his last five assignments and the knuckleballer has recorded 21 strikeouts the last two times out against a single walk.

The weekend peaks as far as ESPN is concerned with an evening broadcast on Sunday (8:00 p.m. ET). Jake Westbrook is slated for the Cards against NY lefty Jonathon Niese, with neither pitcher in particularly good form the past couple of weeks.

Westbrook tossed seven shutout innings at Arizona for the victory on May 8, lowering his ERA to 1.76 in the process, but has since looked lost on the mound. St. Louis has fallen in each of his last four starts while Westbrook was charged with 18 earned runs in the 20-inning span. He was solid in two appearances vs. the Mets in 2011 (14 IP, 3 ER), including a 6-2 win at Citi Field last July when he limited New York to four hits and two runs over eight frames.

Niese did have a nice effort in Pittsburgh on May 23 (7-2/3 IP, 1 ER), but that effort is sandwiched by a couple of poor trips to the mound at Toronto and vs. Philadelphia, both New York losses and Niese charged with 12 earnies in eight innings combined. He was the losing pitcher in Westbrook's triumph last July, working six innings and allowing five runs (three earned).

The clubs will get at it one last time Monday afternoon (1:10 p.m. ET) when Kyle Lohse collides with Mets rookie Jeremy Hefner. Lohse has failed to decision in his last four starts with St. Louis losing the last three. The Cardinals are 7-4 in Lohse's assignments this season, good enough for +3.0 units at the MLB betting window. Hefner will be making just the third start of both the season and his career, with New York splitting the previous two which both came at Citi Field.

Despite the Mets' downturn the past four seasons, they have competed very well against the Cardinals with this series level at 14-14 since the 2008 campaign got underway. It's been a matchup dominated by the home teams; New York is 10-5 vs. St. Louis at Citi Field while the Redbirds are 9-4 at Busch.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27520 Followers:33
06/01/2012 04:12 PM

Red Sox Visit Toronto Blue Jays For Weekend

Anyone else getting a good chuckle or two from the federal trial involving Roger Clemens? Most amusing is that of all the folks to accuse anybody of lying, the US Congress would seem the least justified to do so. What's that old saying about who gets to throw the first rock?

Ah, but I drift. The subject at hand is the baseball betting slate to begin the month of June. Clemens' trial came to mind when noticing a couple of his former teams meet Friday night to open a crucial AL East series. The Boston Red Sox, one of only six teams not to have Thursday off, will make an international stop to begin a short 3-game road trip at the Toronto Blue Jays.

Clay Buchholz opens the set for Boston with the first pitch (7:07 p.m. ET) being thrown by Toronto's Henderson Alvarez. The Blue Jays opened as $1.25 favorites with a 10-run total ('under' -115).

Boston will still be engaged in their series finale at Fenway against the Detroit Tigers when we go to press. The Red Sox take aim at a 4-game sweep of the Tigers with Josh Beckett on the mound, and oddsmakers like their chances as 135 favorites. Max Scherzer will oppose Beckett and the game carried a 9-run total.

Toronto was a half-game ahead of Boston at the bottom of the AL East standings that found all five teams within 2.5 games of first when play began Thursday. Friday will mark the start of the second series between the Jays and Sox this year after the two met at Rogers Centre in early April. Toronto took two of the three games in that set, with the 'under' also going 2-1.

Buchholz didn't pitch in that series and has had success against the Blue Jays during his career. Eleven career starts vs. Toronto have netted Boston a 7-4 record while Buchholz has fashioned a 2.49 ERA (68-2/3 IP). He's struggled this season, as a 7.19 ERA suggests, but is coming off his best start of 2012 last Sunday at home against Tampa Bay. Buchholz worked seven frames and allowed just two runs before the Rays rallied for a 4-3 win.

Alvarez faced the Red Sox in April and pitched well, though he was not part of the decision in the only game Toronto lost that series. The Blue Jays are 3-7 in his 10 assignments so far this campaign, and have dropped his last three starts with Alvarez posting a 6.23 ERA in that span.

Keep a close eye on the Don Best injury report for Friday and this entire series. Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia is expected to miss Friday's series opener with a jammed right thumb, and his availability beyond that is unknown presently.

Rangers Visit Anaheim For AL West Showdown
A few weeks ago, we wondered if any series this season between the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels would be significant. But after the Angels closed the month of May with a strong push, their series with the Rangers this weekend, and all subsequent meetings, appear to be as crucial as was predicted before the 2012 schedule got underway.

Texas was 11 games above .500 to begin May and held a 9-game lead over the Angels who were wallowing in last place of the AL West at 8-15. The Halos have climbed back to .500 following an 8-1 stretch to finish May, and now sit in second just 5.5-games south of the Rangers.

The division rivals will be meeting for the second time this year when they begin a weekend set at 10:05 p.m. (ET) on Friday. Texas right-hander Colby Lewis is headed to the mound against LA's Jerome Williams, and the Rangers are priced at -125 with the 8½-run total leaning 'over.'

Texas is starting this 7-game road trip off a couple of losses at home to the Mariners, including an embarrassing 21-8 defeat on Wednesday, the most runs scored against the Rangers at their own park in franchise history. The light-hitting Seattle club entered that series averaging just 3.66 runs per game, but outscored Texas 31-11 in the Tuesday and Wednesday contests.

Lewis struggled during May with the Rangers winning only two of his five starts. He exited April with a 1.93 ERA that ballooned with a 5.23 mark during his May assignments.

He didn't see the Angels when the clubs met mid-May in Texas, and has been a victim of bad luck and/or poor support in previous starts against them. Lewis limited Anaheim sticks to a .192 batting average in his last six assignments vs. the Halos, but the Rangers have managed to win just two of the games.

Williams was called upon for a long, 6-2/3 inning relief stint due to rain in Arlington during the previous series, and Texas hitters popped three homers among their 11 hits while scoring six times. His last seven starts have all been quality efforts, however, and the Angels were 4-1 in Williams' May assignments.

Nelson Cruz and Adrian Beltre have given Williams trouble in the past, combining for a .625 average and three homers in 17 plate appearances.

The Rangers swept the Angels the last time they were in Anaheim, and have won eight of the last 11 games played at the Big A. Texas is 16-9 away from home in 2012 while the Halos begin this series with a 13-11 home record.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27520 Followers:33
06/01/2012 04:14 PM

Friday's Tip Sheet

June 1, 2012


Gamblers have a stacked card Friday night after just three games were on docket Thursday. Let’s take a look at one game from each league and then touch on a few other topics.

**Marlins at Phillies**

--As of early this morning, most betting shops had this game as a pick ‘em (minus-110 either way). The total is 8 ½ ‘under’ (minus-115). Gamblers can back the Phillies on the run line (minus 1 ½ runs) for a monster plus-190 payout (risk $100 to win $190).

--Miami (29-22, +187) went 21-8 in the month of May to leap into second place in the National League East, one-half game back of division-leading Washington. Ozzie Guillen’s team just completed a three-game sweep of the Nationals, including Wednesday’s 5-3 win as a minus-155 home ‘chalk.’ Josh Johnson went six innings and picked up the win to up his record to 3-3. Heath Bell collected his 10th save. Hanley Ramirez went 3-for-4, while Giancarlo Stanton blasted his 13th homer.

--Philadelphia (27-25, -518) has won six of its last eight games and returns home in this spot after a successful 5-2 road trip. Charlie Manuel’s club is in the NL East cellar but is just three games back of the Nats.

--Manuel will give the starting nod to Kyle Kendrick, who is 1-4 with a 4.10 ERA. But those stats don’t indicate the way the right-hander is throwing right now. Kendrick is coming off his first career shutout at St. Louis and he hasn’t given up more than two runs in five straight outings.

--Guillen will counter Kendrick with veteran LHP Mark Buehrle (5-4, 3.26), who went 4-0 with a 3.19 ERA in five starts in the month of May. The Fish prevailed in each of those five contests.

--Philadelphia is 5-9 against lefties.

--The Phillies are 11-13 at home, while the Marlins are 13-12 on the road.

--The ‘over’ is 30-21 overall for the Phils, going 6-1 in their last seven contests.

--The ‘over’ is 26-23 overall for the Marlins, cashing at an 8-2-1 clip in their last 11 games.

--The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Eastern.

**Rangers at Angels**

--Texas (31-20, -1) comes to California with a 5 ½-game lead on the second-place Angels in the American League West. The Rangers are coming off back-to-back defeats in which their pitching staff gave up an astounding 31 combined runs against Seattle in 10-3 and 21-8 losses.

--Los Angeles (26-26, -919) saw its eight-game winning streak snapped in Wednesday’s 6-5 home loss to the Yankees. Mark Trumbo, who is now batting .348, went 3-for-4 in the losing effort. He uncorked his 10th homer of the season and had three RBIs.

--Jerome Williams (5-2, 3.81) will get the nod for L.A., which is 5-3 in his eight starts. The ‘under’ is 5-3 in his eight assignments.

--Colby Lewis (4-3, 3.58) will take the ball for the Rangers, who are 6-4 in his 10 starts. Totals have been an overall wash (5-5) when Lewis toes the rubber.

--The Angels are 13-11 at home, 19-16 against righties and 17-17 in night games.

--Texas is 16-9 on the road, 22-13 versus right-handers and 22-15 in games played under the lights.

--The ‘over’ is on a 6-1 run for the Rangers to improve to 24-24 overall.

--The ‘under’ is a lucrative 33-18 overall for the Angels.

--When these squads met in Arlington May 11-13, Texas won two of three with the ‘over’ cashing twice.

--Most books opened the Rangers as minus-125 favorites with a total of 8 ½ ‘over’ (minus-120). They are plus-130 on the run line (risk $100 to win $130).

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--Detroit avoided broom treatment Thursday night at Fenway Park when it captured a 7-3 win over Boston as a plus-120 underdog. Max Scherzer won his third straight game to improve to 5-3 for the season. Delmon Young went 3-for-5 with a homer. The Tigers remain five games back of the White Sox in the AL Central.

--Speaking of the White Sox, they will try to extend their win streak to nine games tonight vs. Seattle in a great pitching matchup between Chicago’s Jake Peavy and the M’s Felix Hernandez.

--The ‘under’ is an MLB-best 33-14 overall in Pittsburgh games.

--The ‘over’ is on an incredible 11-0-1 run in Colorado’s last 12 games. The Rockies completed a four-game sweep of the slumping Astros with Thursday’s 11-5 home win as to hook up run-line backers with a plus-160 return (risk $100 to win $160).

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27520 Followers:33
06/01/2012 04:17 PM

Diamond Trends - Friday

June 1, 2012

SU TREND OF THE DAY:

The Giants are 12-0 since June 26, 2011 when Madison Bumgarner starts as a home favorite for a net profit of $1200.

OU TREND OF THE DAY:

The Brewers are 0-9 OU since May 17, 2011 when Randy Wolf starts after the team won their last two games for a net profit of $900 when playing the under.


STARTER TREND OF THE DAY:

The Mariners are 0-9-1 OU since June 06, 2006 when Felix Hernandez starts as a dog in June for a net profit of $900 when playing the under.


MLB BIBLE TREND OF THE DAY:

Felix Hernandez has proudced a team record of 9-0 (3.2 rpg) in his career vs a team that has won at least their last three games and it is the first game of the series.


TODAY’S TRENDS:

The Twins are 0-6 since May 08, 2011 when Carl Pavano starts after he had a WHIP of at least 2 his last start for a net profit of $605 when playing against.

The Giants are 0-8-1 OU since April 22, 2011 when Madison Bumgarner starts at home after his team lost the last time he started for a net profit of $800 when playing the under.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27520 Followers:33
06/01/2012 04:19 PM

Pitchers Report - June

June 1, 2012

If it’s June, school is out. And so too will be the NBA, sometime soon - we think. It’s also the time of the season when MLB pitchers look to ace exams in hopes of keeping their teams in the pennant chase. To get a better feel on what to expect, let’s examine their results from exams in the past.

Listed below are hurlers that have enjoyed a two-to-one or better success ratio in team starts the last three seasons during the month of June. On the flip side, we’ve also listed pitchers that struggle in June team starts, winning 33% percent or less of their efforts. To qualify pitchers must have made a minimum of 10 starts, with at least one start each June over the last three years.

I’ll be back next month with July’s Good Month Pitchers. Until then, enjoy…

GOOD MONTH PITCHERS

Buehrle, Mark - 11-5
Notes - Never a household name, Buehrle has long been one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball. In his first season in the National League, the veteran left-hander has his lowest ERA (3.26) and WHIP (1.12) since the 2005 season with the White Sox and will be one of the main cogs if Miami is to be a playoff team.

Hanson, Tommy - 12-2
Notes - Typically, Hanson warms up like the Georgia weather in June. Like all the Atlanta pitchers in late May, Hanson has not been nearly as effective with his location, which is why his hits per innings pitched and walks are up. If the 25-year old is going to turn it around, it would seem to be this month. Amazingly, Hanson has an ERA well over six at Turner Field.

Lee, Cliff - 13-4
Notes - Lee went on the DL with a strained left oblique in the latter stages of April and has shown signs of returning to prior form. His strikeouts-to walk ratios are running at 5 to 1, giving the impression if he isn’t quite at peak performance, he will be soon. With Roy Halladay gone for six to eight weeks, Lee will have to be the man along with Cole Hamels if Philadelphia is going to be a true contender in the NL East and just not a team in total decline.

Lester, Jon - 10-5
Notes - The Boston lefty is on these pages month after month, but has not been the same this season. Normally, Lester averages 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings, but this year he’s down alarmingly to 6.0. Scouts have noticed a great dependency on the fastball, using fewer cutters and curves. In the ultra-competitive AL East, the Red Sox need a steady Lester if they are to be more than a .500 club.

Price, David - 11-5
Notes - Tampa Bay’s ace is fulfilling their desires, seldom having an off start and able to work thru games when he doesn’t have his best stuff. Make certain to see if the price is right on Price at home, since he is sporting a Kate Upton-sized bikini ERA of 1.19 at Tropicana Field.

Sabathia, CC - 12-4

Notes - It’s a short list of pitchers who have been as consistently good as the Yankees Sabathia, who is 84 games over .500 for his career. What makes C.C. (Carsten Charles in case you were wondering) so effective is his knowledge of pitching, able to work side to side and up and down to keep hitters off-balance. The big man continues to overwhelm left-handed hitters, who are batting just over the Mendoza Line against him.

Verlander, Justin - 12-4
Notes - Baseball’s most overpowering pitcher does not have as many wins this season compared to last, but this only because of a weaker bullpen and fickle offense. Thru the first two months of the season, Verlander is near or ahead of last year’s Cy Young and MVP numbers in ERA, batting average allowed and WHIP. He’s a possible no-hitter each time out, but not the sure bet of year ago with a weaker overall team performance.

Weaver, Jered - 10-5
Notes - The one player who has been doing his job for Los Angeles is Weaver, who started the season with a 6-1 record, 2.61 ERA and had teams hitting just .195 against him. Weaver is on the DL until at least June 12 after injuring his back in his last outing against the Yankees. He will be sorely missed. (No pun intended)

BAD MONTH PITCHERS

Gonzalez, Gio - 4-10
Notes - At the present rate, Gonzalez will soon be in the upper group of this article. After putting together a 31-21 record in his last two years in Oakland with an earned run average in the low three’s, the Hialeah, Fla. born lefty has found a home in a Nationals uniform. Gonzalez is averaging well over a strikeout per inning with opposing batters hitting a feeble .156 against him. Though he’s only walked 25 batters in 61+ innings, as ESPN’s Orel Hershiser pointed out, Gonzalez is effectively wild, in three zones (high, medium and low) that hitters never feel comfortable at the plate.

Guthrie, Mark - 5-10
Notes - Colorado’s minor league system has to be barren of pitching prospects having Guthrie and Jamie Moyer in the starting rotation. (The latter is a fluid situation) Why the Rockies signed Guthrie is a mystery since it was proven for years, hurlers that pitch to contact will be lit up at Coors Field. The park might also be getting to Guthrie’s nerves since he’s a career almost 2-to-1 K’s to walks pitcher and he is nearly even in this category in 2012, trying to be too fine.

Hamels, Cole - 5-11
Notes - Based on this year’s results, Hamels might not be a good Play Against pitcher in June like in the past. In the final year of his contract on a team that might be descending, the Phillies port-sider has put it all together with his baffling array of pitches. Besides a plus fastball, Hamels off-speed stuff has been unhittable, giving reason why he has a 1.80 ERA in night games. Let’s see if he can overcome what has been his toughest month.

Volstad, Chris - 4-13
Notes - The Chicago Cubs sent Volstad down after beginning 0-6 with a 7.42 ERA. Unless he finds himself, there is little reason for the Cubs to bring him back to the Windy City since he is winless in his past 19 starts.

Blackburn, Nick - 5-11
Notes - The Minnesota right-hander went on the shelf May 17 after a left quad strain. It probably was a blessing since his ERA of 8.38 in eight starts had manager Ron Gardenhire reaching for the TUMS before games, not just during. Blackburn’s frighteningly low strikeouts-to-innings pitched numbers could be hidden when the Twins could hit, but now, not so much. His next rehab assignment is scheduled for June 3, where a further determination of his status will be forecast.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27520 Followers:33
06/01/2012 04:21 PM

Santana faces slumping Cards on Friday

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (27-24)

at NEW YORK METS (28-23)


First pitch: Friday, 7:10 p.m. EDT
Line: St. Louis -110, New York +100, Total: 7

The Cardinals and Mets will begin a four-game series at Citi Field Friday night, with Carlos Beltran getting his first chance to face his former team.

Two aces will take the hill in this game as Johan Santana and Adam Wainwright set to duel. Wainwright brings back terrible memories for Mets fans with his famous strikeout of Beltran in the 2006 NLCS and has reason to put fear into New Yorkers this season. He has a 2.59 ERA on the road this season and has pitched quite well lately with a 1.31 ERA his past three times out, including a four-hit shutout two starts ago against San Diego. He has struggled at points this year, however, with a 4.45 ERA overall. Santana is coming off a four-hit shutout of his own, also versus the Padres, as he walked none in a 9-0 complete game victory. Santana has a brilliant 2.75 ERA on the season that drops to 1.60 at home. While Wainwright broke the hearts of Mets fans as a reliever, he has yet to figure it out against them as a starter with a 5.14 ERA and 1-1 record in two career starts versus New York. Santana, on the other hand, has a 3.44 ERA in five starts versus St. Louis despite getting shelled for seven runs the last time he faced them in 2010. The Mets are 4-2 hosting the Cardinals over the last three seasons and play their best when facing right-handed starters at 21-9 (70%). With essentially even lines that help the Mets a little, take NEW YORK to win the series opener at home.

This three-star FoxSheets trend also favors the Mets:

Play Against - Any team (ST. LOUIS) - top level team, outscoring opponents by 1 or more runs/game on the season, playing on Friday. (155-127 over the last 5 seasons.) (55%, +67 units. Rating = 3*).

Nobody expected the Mets to be above .500 at this point in the season, but here they are. They are strong at Citi Field with a 16-11 (.593) record there. But the key in this game might be Santana going deep into the game because the one thing holding New York back this season is its dreadful bullpen that sports a 10-12 record and 5.45 ERA. That ERA drops to 4.18 at home, which is certainly better, but still not impressive. The front office has made some roster moves to try and improve the relief support, with Elvin Ramirez who was dominant in the minor leagues getting added for this series. Hopefully he can do the trick and Terry Collins can shuffle those relievers around to get them going. Play on the Mets to win this game.

The injury bug has hit the Cardinals hard with SP Chris Carpenter, 1B Lance Berkman and OF Allen Craig all on the DL, and Jamie Garcia scratched from Friday’s start with elbow problems. The good news is that Beltran (knee) and 3B David Freese (wrist) are both probable to start this series on Friday. St. Louis enters this game having lost two in a row and five of its past seven contests. Those seven games were against the Braves and Phillies, sending St. Louis to a dreadful 3-8 record against NL East opponents this season. Overall, the offense has not been the problem though, as the Cardinals registered double-digit hits in six of those seven games, hitting a total of 10 homers. So, they’ll need to get some better pitching performances and hope Wainwright continues to pitch more like he has lately and less like he did earlier in the season. Still, avoid this cold team facing a top-notch pitcher like Santana.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27520 Followers:33
06/01/2012 04:22 PM

Friday’s betting tips: Rockies, Dodgers sluggers hit DL

Weather to watch

Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians – 18 mph winds are expected to blow out to right-centerfield.

Who’s hot

NBA: The Celtics are 13-6-1 ATS in their last 20 home games.

MLB: The over is 8-2-1 in the Marlins’ last 11 overall.

MLB: The Washington Nationals are 17-8 in their last 25 home games.

WNBA: The Minnesota Lynx are 39-19 ATS in their last 58 games overall.

Who’s not

WNBA: The Heat are 0-5-1 ATS in their last six games as an underdog.

MLB: The Twins are 1-10 in their last 11 meetings with the Indians.

MLB: The Pirates are 8-46 in the last 54 meetings in Milwaukee.

WNBA: The Washington Mystics are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games overall.

Key stat

13 – Udonis Haslem scored all 13 of his points in the second half to help the Miami Heat overcome a nine-point deficit in the third quarter of Game 2’s 115-111 overtime victory. The Heat failed to cover as 7.5-point favorites, but are still 9-4 against the spread in the postseason.

Injury that shouldn’t be overlooked

Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers - In just his second game back from the disabled list, Kemp aggravated his left hamstring injury while scoring from first base on a first-inning double by Andre Ethier. Kemp was removed from Wednesday’s game and replaced in center field by Tony Gwynn Jr. after just one inning. Kemp is batting .355 with 12 homers. The Dodgers went 9-5 while Kemp was on the DL the last time.

Game of the day

Miami Heat at Boston Celtic (-2, 180)

Notable quotable

"We're like 18-14 since that streak. It's time to forget about the streak. We've played really good baseball from that point on, and we're going to continue to get better. We've got guys coming back that are going to help us." – Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost about how his team has turned its season away since a 12-game losing streak in April.

Notes and tips

England will be without midfielder Frank Lampard in Euro 2012 after he suffered a thigh injury in training. The English side also announced midfielder Gareth Barry is out for the tournament with a stomach strain Wednesday and the team will also be without striker Wayne Rooney for the first two games of the competition as he serves a suspension. England, set a +1000 to win the tournament, faces France in its first game on June 11.

Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday after straining his left groin during Wednesday's 13-5 victory over the Astros. Tulowitzki's groin has been bothering him since the season's opening series against Houston in April. He is hitting .287 with eight home runs and 27 RBIs.

Barack Obama remains a solid favorite to earn a second term in the White House following the 2012 Presidential Election. Sportsbook.ag lists Obama as a -165 favorite with Republican Mitt Romney at +145.

Phil Mickelson withdrew from the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, on Thursday after one round, citing mental fatigue. After shooting a 79 he said he wanted to take some time to prepare properly for the U.S. Open, which is in two weeks. Mickelson had played three consecutive tournaments earlier in May, and, after that, he took his wife, Amy, to Europe to celebrate her 40th birthday. The 79 is his worst score in his 12 appearances at Muirfield Village.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27520 Followers:33
06/01/2012 04:23 PM

Armadillo: Friday's six-pack

Over/unders on gold medals won by country in this summer's Olympics

-- United States 38.5 (under -$120)

-- China 36.5 (over -$135)

-- Soviet Union 25.5

-- Great Britain/Northern Ireland 21.5 (over -$140)

-- Germany 15.5 (under -$135)

-- Australia 14.5 (under -$135)


****************


Armadillo: Friday's List of 13: Random thoughts with the weekend here........

13) MLB Network needs to show us a Japanese League Game of the Week, air it at 3am or something for degenerates like me; I’m curious to see what the games are like. Would be an interesting project, have the baseball guys in the studio analyze the game and give us graphics in English.

After watching Nirichoka Aoki play a couple games for the Brewers (he makes Ichiro seem like Ted Kluszewski), I’m just really curious how the game is played in Japan. Just an idea.

12) I’ve asked this before but still haven’t gotten an answer: Why would any baseball player bat right-handed? What advantage is there to it? Batted left-handed starts you two steps closer to first base.

11) In the age of fantasy baseball, Jonathan Lucroy’s wife is getting hate mail after she dropped a suitcase on her husband’s hand and broke it (the hand, not the suitcase), all of which begs the question, “Why was Lucroy’s wife on a road trip?” Do teams still have one road trip a year where wives/girlfriends tag along?

What do all the groupies do that week, go on vacation?

10) According to espn.com, 14 of David Ortiz’ 18 doubles have been to the left side of the field, with 12 of those 14 coming at Fenway. His 35 hits to the left side of the field are the most of any lefthanded hitter.

9) Orioles have quietly lost eight of their last ten games, and are now tied for first place with Tampa Bay; last-place Boston is only three games out of first place. Both Eastern Divisions are tightly bunched.

8) San Antonio Spurs lost for the first time in 50 days last night, 102-82 in Oklahoma City. Thunder is now 6-0 at home in the playoffs, but they can't win this series without at least one win in the Alamo.

7) Matt Kemp is back on the DL after aggravating his hamstring injury; this will delay the comebacks of every hamstring injury the rest of the year all over the major leagues. Most teams are over-protective of injuries as it is.

6) Golfer Martin Laird has earned $1,836,554 so far this year on the PGA Tour, the most of any player who hasn’t won a tournament.

5) Last year at San Diego State, Kawhi Leonard made 29% of his 3-point shots, not very good; since February 1 in this, his rookie year in the NBA, Leonard has made 45% of his 3-pointers, which are longer than college 3’s. This is a testament to excellent San Antonio coaching and the player working hard to improve his game. It’s a big part of why the Spurs win.

4) There were no coaching changes in either the Big East or Pac-12 this offseason, unless you count SMU hiring nomadic Larry Brown; actually, I’m still not sure if SMU goes to the Big East this year or next.

3) Speaking of college sports, can’t wait until the Phil Steele college football magazines hits the newsstands, it’s the bible of college football. Lot of food for thought in there. Note: I was told tonight its already on newsstands in Florida, so have to get to a bookstore today.......

2) Kentucky and Indiana need to find a way to keep their basketball rivalry alive; as an outsider, my solution would be to play two neutral sites games every four years, with the third/fourth games coming on the two campus sites. Its good for the sport when traditional rivalries like that keep going. Too many big egos involved right now, which is making it tough to come to an agreement.

1) NBA has a problem when team executives openly complain about the Draft Lottery being rigged, after the Hornets won it.

Tom Benson just bought the team from the NBA, paying a hefty price; conspiracy theorists are whining that the lottery was rigged. Anytime a league’s integrity is questioned, it’s not good.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27520 Followers:33
06/01/2012 04:24 PM

Public opinion: Early bettors backing Celtics

Odds and consensus percentages current as of 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

NBA:

Miami Heat at Boston Celtics (-2, 180)

The Celtics held LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in check for the first half of Game 2 and built a 15-point lead over the Heat at one point and it still wasn’t enough to earn them a win. However, Boston bettors cashed in with their club set as 7.5-point underdogs and are hoping home court will help in Game 3.

Consensus: Celtics, 58.4 percent


MLB:

Chicago Cubs at San Francisco Giants (-162, 7)

The Cubs send out lefty Paul Maholm looking to keep the momentum going after sweeping the San Diego Padres. However, the Cubbies have dropped each of Maholm’s last three starts and have just six road wins all year.

Consensus: Giants, 64 percent


WNBA:

Tulsa Shock at Seattle Storm (-8.5, 175)

The two worst teams in the Western Conference square off in this one looking for answers. Seattle averages just 66 points per game and is clearly missing three-time MVP center Lauren Jackson, who is away from the team preparing for the 2012 Olympics. Sue Bird, who has just 12 combined points in her last two games, needs to step up.

Consensus: Storm, 62 percent

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: