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Striking OUT: Three Star Hitters off to Poor Starts
After looking at three starting pitchers who are struggling at the beginning of the season,we highlight three star position players who are struggling at the plate and how their teams are doing without the production.
B.J. Upton, Atlanta Braves
While little brother Justin is tied for the most home runs in baseball with six, big brother B.J. Upton has struggled since arriving from Tampa Bay.
In 29 at-bats, B.J. has just three hits, with only one being an extra base hit, for a .103 average. All three hits have come in the three games since moving up to the top of the lineup.
Andrelton Simmons returned to the lineup on Monday after missing two games with a thumb injury. But B.J. Upton stayed at the top of the batting order. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said that with first baseman Freddie Freeman injured, he decided to leave Upton in the leadoff spot, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In the four games with Upton batting first, the Braves are 4-0 and the under is 3-1.
Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers added a lot of big names in the offseason, but it's most established star has struggled. Matt Kemp has only three hits in 25 at-bats with no home runs, for a .120 BA.
"I've probably hit into a double play damn near every game," Kemp told to the Los Angeles Times after Tuesday's 9-3 loss to the Padres in which he went 1-for-5.
"It's just frustrating because I know I've missed some pitches that I normally hit," Kemp continued, "I've got to think about hitting the ball to right-center, not trying to pull that ball, letting that ball get deep, trusting my hands. That's it. We'll be good. I'll be dangerous.
The Dodgers are 4-3 without production from Kemp early this season. The under is 4-3 in Dodgers games this year.
Josh Hamilton, Los Angeles Angels
Angels owner Arte Moreno was hoping for a bigger bang for his buck when he signed Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million contract in the offseason.
Hamilton is struggling in his first days with the Halos. He had only one hit in his first five games with Los Angeles, before getting three hits against his former team, Texas, Sunday. He has only four hits in 29 at-bats through seven games for a .138 BA with no home runs.
"We're only five games into the season. Let the guy settle down," teammate Albert Pujols said on Saturday, who struggled at the beginning of last season. "Let's see where we are a month from now. You guys said that last year about me and I proved a lot of people wrong."
The Angels are 2-5 in 2013. Despite Hamilton's struggles, the over is 5-2 in Angels games.
-- Vogelsong is 5-1, 2.11 in his last eight starts.
-- Greinke is 6-0, 1.84 in his last nine starts.
-- Axelrod is 1-0, 1.37 in his last three starts.
-- Fister is 1-1, 2.22 in his last four starts.
-- Griffin is 1-0, 3.27 in his last couple starts. Vargas is 0-1, 2.41 in his last three outings.
-- Feldman is 0-1, 9.53 in his last three starts.
-- Marquis is 0-2, 7.88 in his last three starts.
-- Haren is 0-3, 8.22 in his last three starts.
-- JJohnson is 0-3, 4.68 in his last four starts.
-- McAllister is 1-2, 5.09 in his last four starts. Hughes, who was sick Wednesday, is 1-3, 5.70 in his last six starts.
-- Tillman is 0-1, 8.31 in his last couple starts. Aceves has made only nine starts since 2008, none since '11.
-- FHernandez is 1-5, 5.84 in his last eight starts. Grimm is 1-1, 11.57 in his two major league starts.
-- Four of last five San Francisco games went over the total.
-- Under is 4-1-1 in last six San Diego games.
-- Four of last five Washington games went over the total.
-- Four of last five Toronto games went over the total.
-- Over is 6-1-1 in first eight Bronx games.
-- Six of first eight Baltimore games went over the total.
-- Last eight Oakland games went over the total.
-- Under is 5-2-1 in last eight Texas games.
-- Giants won six of their last eight games.
-- Dodgers won four of their last five games.
-- Washington won its last four home games, allowing eight runs.
-- Bronx won its last three games, scoring 32 runs.
-- Boston won five of its first eight games.
-- Rangers won six of their last eight games.
-- Oakland won its last seven games; they're 5-0 on road.
-- Padres lost six of their first eight games.
-- Cubs lost four of their last six games.
-- White Sox lost four of their last six games.
-- Blue Jays lost five of their first eight games.
-- Indians lost five of their last six games.
-- Orioles lost three of their last four games.
-- Angels lost six of their last seven games.
-- Mariners lost six of their last eight games.
-- LA-SD-- Over is 5-0-1 in last six Holbrook games.
-- CWS-Wsh-- Road team won eight of last nine Hallion games.
-- Tor-Det-- Underdogs are 8-7 in last fifteen Hernandez games.
-- NY-Clev-- Underdogs are 9-6 in last fifteen McClelland games.
-- Balt-Bos-- 19 of last 24 Joyce games went over the total.
-- Oak-LAA-- Favorites won nine of last ten Davis games; five of his last seven games stayed under the total.
The Tigers look to bounce back from yesterday's loss to the Jays and build on their 6-0 record in Doug Fister's last 6 starts as a home favorite. Detroit is the pick (-135) according to Dunkel, which has the Tigers favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-135). Here are all of today's picks.
THURSDAY, APRIL 11
Time Posted: 6:00 a.m. EST
Game 901-902: San Francisco at Chicago Cubs (2:20 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco (Vogelsong) 17.186; Cubs (Feldman) 14.182
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 3; 7
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-140); No Total
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-140); N/A
Game 903-904: LA Dodgers at San Diego (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Greinke) 15.215; San Diego (Marquis) 15.841
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-170); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+150); Over
Game 905-906: Toronto at Detroit (1:08 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto (Johnson) 14.524; Detroit (Fister) 15.550
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1; 7
Vegas Line: Detroit (-135); 8
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-135); Under
Game 907-908: NY Yankees at Cleveland (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Yankees (Hughes) 15.361; Cleveland (McCallister) 15.804
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A
Game 909-910: Baltimore at Boston (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Tillman) 16.074; Boston (Aceves) 15.700
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Boston (-125); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (+105); Over
Game 911-912: Oakland at LA Angels (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Griffin) 15.512; LA Angels (Vargas) 15.834
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-130); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (-130); Under
Game 913-914: Texas at Seattle (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Texas (Grimm) 15.147; Seattle (Hernandez) 15.748
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 1/2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line: Seattle (-150); 7
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (-150); Under
Game 915-916: Chicago White Sox at Washington (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Axelrod) 14.904; Washington (Haren) 16.018
Dunkel Line: Washington by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Washington (-155); 8
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-155); Over
Today's FREE MLB WINNER is Los Angeles over San Diego. LA is 5-3 but after a shaky start, the team has taken 4 of their L5 by playing solid baseball. Crawford, Gonzalez, and Ellis, have combined for 34 hits, 9 BBs, 12 Runs scored, and each are batting .357 or higher. Then throw in the mix, Ethier 's .320 BA and 8 hits, and the meat of this lineup is dangerous. They are starting to sync and as the team meshes, they get better and better. As far as their pitching goes, the Dodgers are #1 in the MLB in Quality Starts and WHIP, and are #2 in ERA at 2.15. Zack Greinke takes the mound here. The RH is 1-0, yielding just 2 hits, 0 BBs, fanning 6, in 6.3 IP over Pittsburgh. In his career, the ace is 1-0with a 3.00 ERA vs. San Diego. He faces a Padres team that is 2-6, averaging 3.25 RPG with just one solid outing. They have been outscored by 9, 4, 3, 3, 8, and 1. Their offense has 49 Ks and just 23 RBIs. They have seven players with 22 or more ABs and only Mike Hundley is hitting anything respectable at .318. The other six top out at .267 and go all the way down to 0.83. The team ranks 24th or worse in every offensive area while their pitching and defensive stats are worse ranking 29th in ERA at 5.64, 29th in WHIP at 1.63, 25th in Ks with 56, and 30th in Quality Starts with only 1. Oh yeah, they are also 23rd in Errors with 6. Jason Marquis gets the nod. The RH is 0-1, giving up 6 hits with an ERA of 3.00 vs. Colorado. In his 3 starts against LA, Marquis allowed 16 hits, walked 9, had 7 ERs and went 1-2. The Dodgers are 22-10 their L32 meetings over the Padres, 6-1 their L7 vs. RH starters, and 8-2 their L10 vs. teams with a winning percentage under .400. The Padres are 1-5 their L6 vs. the NL West, 3-9 their L12 vs. RH starters, and 2-5 their L7 games played at home. Take Los Angeles. Thank you.