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Thursday's betting tips: Dempster makes Rangers' debut
Weather to watch
St. Louis Cardinals at Colorado Rockies: A 40 percent chance of thunderstorms with winds expected to blow out to right field at 9 mph.
Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers: A balmy temperature of 103 F expected at game time. Winds will be blowing in from right field at 12 mph.
Michael Phelps – The American swimmer cruised through the anchor leg of the 4x200-meter freestyle relay to earn his record 19th career medal and 15th gold on Tuesday night. Phelps has three events to go at the London Games– the 200 individual medley, the 100 butterfly and the 4x100 medley relay.
New York Yankees – The Bronx Bombers snapped a four-game losing skid Wednesday and have dropped nine of their last 13.
By narrowly avoiding being no-hit by A.J. Burnett and the Pirates on Tuesday night, the Chicago Cubs extended their MLB-leading active streak of consecutive games with at least one hit to 7,441.
Game of the day
Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers- Ryan Dempster makes his Rangers debut.
Injury that shouldn’t be overlooked
Texas Rangers pitcher Neftali Feliz underwent Tommy John surgery Wednesday to repair a tear in his right elbow and will likely be sidelined until next summer. Feliz was 3-1, with a 3.16 ERA in eight games. He has been on the disabled list since May.
“We'll see. There's no right or wrong decision. There's just journeys in life that we end up taking. We try to make the most out of those.”- Rangers pitcher Ryan Dempster on how he will fare against AL opponents.
- Manager Don Mattingly said newly acquired pitcher Brandon League will join Ronald Belisario as the Dodgers' primary eighth-inning relievers, with Kenley Jansen remaining as the team’s closer.
- Tigers 3B Miguel Cabrera batted .344 with nine homers and 23 RBIs in July, his best monthly totals in all three categories this season.
- New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson elected to stand pat at the trading deadline - neither acquiring nor trading any talent. Alderson admitted while the team's struggles over the last three weeks were disconcerting, "it's not the end of the season," he said.
- The Reds, who already are without 1B Joey Votto, could miss second baseman Brandon Phillips for an extended period of time. He has left consecutive games with a strained left calf and told MLB.com, "I'm not going to be playing for a while."
Thursday's streaking and slumping starting pitchers
Mike Minor, Atlanta Braves (6-7, 5.18 ERA)
Minor allowed one run over eight innings and was the winning pitcher Saturday against the Phillies. He has strung together four great starts in a row and has allowed just six earned runs over 27 1/3 innings. Minor's ERA has plummeted from 6.20 to 5.18 during that span. He takes the hill against Miami in his next start.
Samuel Deduno, Minnesota Twins (2-0, 2.13 ERA)
Deduno allowed one run over seven innings and was the winner Saturday against the Indians. In his four starts this season, the rookie has pitched a total of 23 innings and surrendered eight earned runs during that stretch.
"Some will cut, some will sink," Twins catcher Joe Mauer said after Saturday’s win. "But if it's not easy to catch, it's probably tougher to hit, too."
The righty looks for a third straight win in his next outing at Fenway Park against the Red Sox.
Christian Friedrich, Colorado Rockies (5-8, 6.17 ERA)
Friedrich allowed seven runs (all earned) over 4 1/3 innings and was the losing pitcher Saturday against the Reds. He was hammered for three homers in the defeat and saw his season ERA balloon to 6.17. The lefty has taken the loss in seven of his last 10 starts and will square off against the Cardinals at Coors Field on Thursday.
Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox (5-8, 5.49 ERA)
Lester gave up four runs over six innings and did not factor in the decision Saturday against the Yankees. The lefty was also roughed up in his previous two outings, allowing 17 earned runs over eight innings. His 9.36 ERA in July is a major reason why the Red Sox find themselves well behind in the AL playoff race. He draws the Twins in his next start.
-- Cueto is 4-0, 2.92 in his last four starts.
-- Detwiler is 1-1, 2.89 in his last three starts.
-- Eovaldi is 2-1, 2.62 in his last four starts. Minor is 3-1, 3.06 in his last five.
-- Lynn is 3-0, 2.55 in his last four starts.
-- Deduno is 3-0, 3.06 in his last three starts.
-- Dempster was 5-2, 1.40 in his last seven starts for the Cubs.
-- Colon is 1-1, 2.91 in his last five starts.
-- Ohlendorf is 1-1, 5.00 in five starts for San Diego.
-- Young is 0-4, 6.00 in his last five starts. Zito is 0-1, 5.11 in his last two.
-- Hamels is 1-2, 4.67 in his last five starts.
-- Colorado lost White's last four starts (0-3, 9.37).
-- Lester is 0-3, 12.76 in his last four starts.
-- Wilson is 0-3, 4.86 in his last five starts.
-- BChen is 0-3, 8.31 in his last six starts. Kluber is making his first big league start here; he is 11-7, 3.59 in 21 AAA starts this year. He allowed four runs in 4.1 IP in three big league relief stints LY.
-- Alvarez has a 5.93 RA in his last seven starts.
-- Reds won 12 of their last 13 games.
-- Mets won three of their last four games.
-- Washington won eight of its last eleven games. Phillies won six of nine.
-- Braves won ten of their last thirteen home games.
-- Cardinals won nine of their last twelve games.
-- Red Sox won four of their last five games. Minnesota won four of six.
-- Padres lost four of their last five games.
-- Giants lost six of their last seven games.
-- Marlins lost ten of their last fourteen games.
-- Rockies lost nine of their last ten games.
-- Rangers lost eight of their last 13 games. Angels are 4-8 in last 12 on road.
-- Kansas City lost five of its last seven games. Indians lost last five games, outscored 41-11
-- Toronto lost nine of its last 15 games. Oakland lost three of four.
-- 13 of last 18 San Diego games went over the total.
-- Over is 15-9-2 in Mets' last 26 games
-- Eight of last twelve Philly games went over the total.
-- Ten of last fourteen Miami games stayed under.
-- Three of last four Colorado games went over the total.
-- Eight of last eleven Minnesota games went over the total.
-- 19 of last 26 Texas games stayed under the total.
-- Under is 7-3-1 in last eleven Cleveland games.
-- Over is 6-3-1 in last ten Toronto games.
The Rangers look to take advantage of an LA team that is 0-4 in C.J. Wilson's last 4 starts versus a team with a winning record. Texas is the pick (-115) according to Dunkel, which has the Rangers favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (-115). Here are all of today's picks.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 2
Time Posted: 6:00 a.m. EST
Game 951-952: San Diego at Cincinnati (12:35 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Ohlendorf) 16.386; Cincinnati (Cueto) 14.970
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-200); 8
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+170); Over
Game 953-954: NY Mets at San Francisco (3:45 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Young) 14.425; San Francisco (Zito) 15.428
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 1; 7
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-130); 8
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-130); Under
Game 955-956: Philadelphia at Washington (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia (Hamels) 14.311; Washington (Detwiler) 16.036
Dunkel Line: Washington by 1 1/2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-115); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-105); Under
Game 957-958: Miami at Atlanta (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Eovaldi) 14.511; Atlanta (Minor) 15.841
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 1 1/2; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-165); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-165); Over
Game 959-960: St. Louis at Colorado (8:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Lynn) 16.680; Colorado (White) 13.722
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 3; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A Over
Game 961-962: Minnesota at Boston (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota (Deduno) 15.893; Boston (Lester) 14.579
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 1 1/2; 11
Vegas Line: Boston (-200); 10
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+170); Over
Game 963-964: LA Angels at Texas (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Wilson) 14.636; Texas (Dempster) 15.449
Dunkel Line: Texas by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Texas (-115); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Texas (-115); Under
Game 965-966: Cleveland at Kansas City (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland (Kluber) 13.868; Kansas City (Chen) 13.510
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 1/2; 11
Vegas Line: Kansas City (-110); 10
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (-110); Over
Game 967-968: Toronto at Oakland (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto (Alvarez) 15.093; Oakland (Colon) 15.607
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Oakland (-140); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (-140); Under