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Thursday's Streaking and Slumping Starting Pitchers
Scott Diamond (5-1, 1.61 ERA)
There isn’t a lot to like about this year’s Twins if you’re a Minnesota baseball fan. But the Twinkies might have stumbled into a gem in Scott Diamond. The former Rule 5 pick is a soft-tosser who keeps the ball low in the zone and induces a lot of ground balls.
Minnesota, which is 10 games under .500, is 6-1 in Diamond’s seven starts this season. And because the Twins are so bad, you’re going to get a good price with the young lefty on the mound.
Shaun Marcum (5-3, 3.50 ERA)
Marcum isn’t making any Brewers fans forget about that kid Brett Lawrie in Toronto. That said, the former Blue Jay pitcher is on a nice little streak right now. Marcum is 3-0 with a 2.29 ERA over his last three starts and 23 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings.
Joe Blanton (5-6, 5.40 ERA)
Remember when Blanton was no ordinary Joe for the Phillies at the beginning of the season? He carried a 2.81 ERA over his seven starts. That seems like a loooong time ago.
Blanton has given up five or more earned runs in each of his last five trips to the bump.
Gavin Floyd (4-6, 5.38 ERA)
You’ve got to think Floyd would have lost his spot in the rotation by now if the White Sox had an arm ready to step up. He hasn’t had a good outing since the second week of May and owes a 10.52 ERA over his last five starts.
Thursday's betting tips: Rays SP Hellickson cashing in on under
Rain is in the forecast for both Poznan and Gdansk, the host cities for Thursday’s Euro 2012 action. Italy and Croatia play at Stadion Miejski in Poznan, where there is a 90 percent chance of rain. Spain and Ireland meet at PGE Arena in Gdansk, where there is a 70 percent chance of rain.
NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder – The Thunder have won five in a row SU and ATS, including a 105-94 victory over the Miami Heat as 5-point home favorites in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Oklahoma City is set as a 5.5-point favorite for Game 2.
MLB: Washington Nationals: The Nats have won six in a row heading into Friday’s series opener with the New York Yankees, who have won five straight as of Wednesday’s clash with the Atlanta Braves. Washington swept both the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays in three-game road sets.
MLB: Colorado Rockies – The Rockies have lost six straight heading into Wednesday’s game with the Oakland A’s. Colorado has allowed 52 runs in that span, an average of 8.7 a night. Needless to say, the Rockies have played over in four of those six outings.
EURO: Ireland – The Irish haven’t had much luck versus Spain in international competition. They’re 4-13-7 all-time against the defending Euro and World Cup champs and are +1,200 long shots in Group C play Thursday.
0-7-2 – The Tampa Bay Rays are 0-7-2 over/under in Jeremy Hellickson’s last nine starts. The Rays host the New York Mets in interleague action Thursday.
Injury that should not be overlooked
Kyle Drabek, Toronto Blue Jays – Drabek told reporters he felt popping in his right elbow before leaving Wednesday’s game against Washington after 4 1-3 innings. Drabek isn’t a big-name pitcher but he is the second Jays starter to leave a game with an injury in the past two days. Fellow starter Brandon Morrow hit the 15-day DL with a strained left oblique Wednesday, leaving Toronto to dig extra deep into their minor league reserves.
Game of the Day
Miami Heat at Oklahoma City Thunder (-5.5, 195.5)
“We’re going to have to have more guys in there to give me and D-Wade a rest” – Heat forward LeBron James. The Heat had six played log all but 12:13 of floor time in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, getting worn down by the Thunder in the fourth quarter.
Notes and tips
-- Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque is expected to roll out his striker-less 4-6-0 setup against Ireland Thursday. The unorthodox formation has left star Fernando Torres to come off the bench for the defending champs.
-- Teams that win Game 1 of the NBA Finals go on to win the series – and the championship – 72.3 percent of the time (47-18). Oklahoma City is a -280 series favorite over Miami, which is priced at +240. Only three teams in NBA history have come back from a 2-0 hole in the finals.
-- The Phillies have struggled against the American League, going just 1-5 in their last six interleague games heading into Wednesday’s game with Minnesota. The Twins, on the other hand, welcome National League opposition. They’re a solid 9-3 in their last 11 interleague matchups and 43-15 in their last 58 interleague home games.
AL teams were 8-6 again Wednesday, they're 64-52 against NL teams in interleague play this season.
Remember there are DHs in games in American League parks, no DHs in National League parks. It doesn't seem to affect totals either way.
-- Zito is 2-1, 2.53 in his last three starts.
-- Leake is 2-0, 3.15 in his last four starts.
-- JSantana is 2-1, 2.35 in his last three starts.
-- Parker is 1-1, 2.42 in his last four starts.
-- Bedard is 2-1, 3.78 in his last three starts.
-- Marcum is 3-0, 2.29 in his last three starts.
-- Minnesota is 6-1 when Diamond starts (5-1, 2.82).
-- Rodriguez has an 11.15 RA in his last three starts.
-- Tomlin has a 5.50 RA in his last three starts.
-- Hellickson is 0-2, 3.82 in his last four starts.
-- Verlander is 0-3, 4.79 in his last four starts. Wood is 0-2, 4.71 in five starts this season.
-- White is 2-4, 5.88 in seven starts this season.
-- Hunter is 0-2, 6.75 in his last six starts.
-- Feldman is 0-5, 9.38 in six starts this season. DHudson has a 6.06 RA in six starts this season.
-- Hochevar is 0-4, 6.11 in his last five outings.
-- Blanton is 1-3, 10.25 in his last five starts.
-- Cardinals lost last six Westbrook starts (0-4, 8.13). Floyd is 1-3, 10.52 in his last five starts.
-- Volquez is 0-4, 5.86 in his last five starts. ERamirez is 3-2, 3.11 in seven AAA starts this season; he's allowed three runs in 11 IP in MLB, in relief.
-- Giants won 12 of their last 16 home games.
-- Pittsburgh won 12 of its last 17 games, but lost last two. Orioles won six of their last eight.
-- Reds won 11 of their last 16 home games.
-- Mets won the last two nights, scoring 20 runs.
-- Detroit won four of its last five games.
-- Rangers won four of their last five games. Arizona won seven of its last ten games, but lost last two, scoring one run.
-- Kansas City won three of its last four home games.
-- Minnesota won 11 of its last 14 games.
-- Oakland won the last two nights, scoring 20 runs.
-- White Sox won ten of their last twelve road games.
-- Padres won three of their last four games.
-- Astros lost 12 of their last 16 games.
-- Tampa Bay lost three of its last four home games.
-- Cleveland is 4-7 in its last 11 road games.
-- Cubs lost nine of their last twelve games.
-- Phillies lost ten of their last eleven games.
-- Cardinals lost 13 of their last 19 games.
-- Milwaukee lost three of its last four games.
-- Colorado lost its last seven games, outscored 62-29.
-- Seattle lost seven of its last eight home games.
-- Houston's last nine road games went over the total. Under is 9-2-1 in last twelve San Francisco home games.
-- Five of last seven Pirate road games went over the total.
-- Tampa Bay's last three home games went over the total.
-- Eight of last eleven Cincinnati home games went over.
-- Six of Cubs' last eight games went over the total.
-- Under is 7-1-1 in last nine Arizona road games.
-- Six of Royals' last seven games stayed under.
-- 16 of last 17 Philly road games went over the total.
-- Six of last seven St Louis home games stayed under.
-- 10 of last 12 games at Coors Field went over the total.
-- Over is 8-4-1 in San Diego's last thirteen road games.
-- Hst-SF--- Under is 4-1-1 in last six Muchlinski games.
-- Pitt-Balt-- Under is 7-3-1 in Hoye games this season.
-- Cle-Cin-- Last three Demuth games stayed under the total.
-- NY-TB-- Last five Diaz games went over the total.
-- Az-Tex-- Four of last five Cooper games went over total.
-- Det-Chi-- Four of last six Randazzo games went over total.
-- Mil-KC-- Under is 5-1-1 in last seven Iassogna games.
-- Phil-Min-- Three of last four Gonzalez games went over.
-- Chi-StL-- Home side won 11 of 14 Tschida games.
-- A's-Col-- Under is 8-3 in last eleven Wegner games.
-- SD-Sea-- 10 of 11 Emmel games went over the total.