cnotes Posts:34892 Followers:38
On 07/12/2012 11:52 PM in MLB

Cnotes Friday's MLB Best Bets !

Cardinals And Reds Start Exciting Second Half

Major League Baseball comes flying out of the All-Star break with five of the six division races closely contested.

Play resumes on Friday with all 30 teams in action and St. Louis at Cincinnati one of the marquee matchups. The current NL Central standings have the surprising Pittsburgh Pirates leading Cincinnati by one game and St. Louis 2.5 behind.

The pitching matchup for the weekend series opener is Adam Wainwright (7-8, 4.56 ERA) against Mat Latos (7-2, 4.13 ERA). Don Best will release the odds shortly for this 7:10 p.m. (ET) contest.

St. Louis is 4-2 against the Reds this season, 2-1 in Cincinnati. Both series came back in April with the ‘under’ going 4-2.

Wainwright’s numbers overall are disappointing, but he has allowed three runs or less in five of his last six outings. He could be rounding back into form after missing all of last year with an elbow injury and he’s 3-5 with a 4.25 ERA lifetime against the Reds.

Latos has had an up-and-down first season in Cincinnati after coming over from San Diego. However, he’s been great his last three starts at 2-0 with a miniscule .72 ERA. He also has 28 strikeouts and just four walks over those 25 innings of work.

The 24-year-old right-hander has struggled badly against the Cardinals in his relatively short career, 1-3 with an 11.37 ERA.

St. Louis has relied on offense this year at first in runs scored (4.95 per game) in the NL and fourth in MLB overall. Matt Holliday is having an MVP-type year with a .317 batting average, 14 homers and 56 RBIs. He can’t be pitched around with Carlos Beltran, David Freese and Yadier Molina also hitting well.

Note Molina (personal) is questionable for this contest, which would be a big loss both batting and behind home plate.

The Reds are having trouble at the plate with Joey Votto (.348) the only regular hitting over .300. They are weak at lead-off and the second hole, and Votto would have more than 48 RBIs with better hitters ahead of him.

Cincy has gotten it done with pitching, an ERA of 3.39 which is third in MLB. The team does have its own injury concern with third baseman Scott Rolen (back) questionable.

Weather could be an issue on Friday with an 80 percent chance of rain. There should be humid conditions, which means the ball could be traveling well.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34892 Followers:38
07/12/2012 11:55 PM

Yankees And Nationals Lead Updated MLB Odds

Mark Trumbo has been a big part of the Angels’ rebound from a slow start.

Now is as good a time as any to bet the Houston Astros or Chicago Cubs to win the World Series. Each team is 200/1 to take the 2012 Fall Classic, making for a nice little payday if and when either squad pulls it off.

Now is also as good a time as any to look out your window and see a drift of pigs fly by.

Pennant races will begin to seriously heat up when play resumes Friday following the all-star break. Five of the six divisions currently have leaders with 4-game advantages or less, the lone exception being the AL East which was a free-for-all the first 10 weeks before the New York Yankees surged to a 7-game edge when play halted this past Sunday.

Here is a quick rundown of each division with updated odds. Note the numbers represent consensus futures and are listed to win Division/to win League/to win World Series.

The division might have the largest gap from first to second, but it is the only one of the six groups to hit the break with every team sporting .500 records or better, leaving it wide open. The Yankees (-400/+200/+400) closed the first half with a 26-10 mark and will start the second half on a key 6-game homestand that begins Friday against the Los Angeles Angels, who have also come on strong following a sluggish start to the '12 campaign.

The Baltimore Orioles (+1600/+2500/+6000) might be closest to the Yanks in the standings, but along with the Toronto Blue Jays (+1600/+2000/+3500) who are 9.5-games out, they are seen as having the longest odds to take the division.

Expected to give New York its toughest challenge are the Tampa Bay Rays (+600/+1200/+1600) and Boston Red Sox (+600/+1200/+1800). Neither team hit the midseason vacation in good form; Tampa dropped nine of its last 14 before the All-Star Game while Boston lost eight of 11. Those two clubs begin the second half against each other at Tropicana Field, and the Red Sox face a very rough schedule the rest of the month with the White Sox, Blue Jays, Rangers, Yankees and Tigers on tap.

Chicago has been a nice surprise under first-year manager Robin Ventura, and the White Sox (-105/+700/+1000) have even established themselves as the division favorites after starting the year as 9/1 dark horses, odds that even trailed the Kansas City Royals in late-March, early-April.

Cleveland (+300/+2000/+4000) has also exceeded preseason expectations, but the Tribe is not expected to keep it going. Pressure is squarely on the top three of the Indians' rotation (Ubaldo Jimenez, Derek Lowe and Justin Masterson), and Cleveland faces a tough test coming out of the second-half chute with a 7-game road trip to Toronto and Tampa Bay.

Detroit (+120/+800/+1600) started the season as prohibitive -650 chalk to win ALC, easily the biggest favorite of any division. The Tigers shook off poor showings in April and May by winning 16 of their last 27, including the last five before the all-star break. If they are to complete the turnaround and eventually take the division, the Tigers will have earned it. Detroit has a very tough schedule that won't see them catch anything close to a break until mid-August as the first nine series are against teams that begin play Friday at .500 or better.

Kansas City fans should have their own team to boo once the schedule ends in early October, especially if the Minnesota Twins continue their recent play and push the Royals down into the division cellar for the sixth time in 10 seasons.

Texas has the second-best record in the majors plus the largest run differential, and the Rangers (-500/+200/+450) are more than capable of winning a third consecutive AL flag. They have also done well weathering injuries to the pitching staff with Derek Holland (shoulder) already back in the fold plus Neftali Feliz (elbow), Colby Lewis (forearm) and Alexi Ogando (groin) all close to returning.

The Rangers will start the second half on an 8-game West Coast tour, the last three of which are in Anaheim. It doesn't get any easier when Texas returns home from the trip as the Red Sox, White Sox and Halos come to Arlington.

The general belief is the Angels (+300/+700/+1000) are the most dangerous club not presently leading a division, and might present the best value for midseason futures bettors. The offense has been the biggest story in the rebound, thanks in part to megabuck free agent Albert Pujols but mostly because of what Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo have provided.

Oakland is at .500 to begin the second half, but the A's won't keep that up. Seattle is simply in a dogfight with the Royals and Twins for the AL's worst record, and the Mariners have to be considered the favorites.

No division is more upside down based on preseason prognostications than this one. Philadelphia was the +170 favorite to win the NL, but now sits at 12/1 to just take the NL East. Miami, meanwhile, was seen as the Phils' stiffest competition, but the Marlins have been very inconsistent and will now be without Giancarlo Stanton's big bat for the next 4-6 weeks following knee surgery. Both the Phillies and Marlins are under .500 and will need to finish July strong just to get back into the conversation.

Washington is at the top of the ranks and a co-favorite in the National League. The Nationals (-175/+400/+900) have four key series to begin the second half starting with a trip to Miami this weekend. That is followed by a homestand vs. the Mets and Braves, their closest division challengers presently, and then a return series in Flushing against the Mets. Looming for the Nats is GM Mike Rizzo's insistence that the club will limit ace Stephen Strasburg to around 160 innings. Strasburg has worked 99 frames so far, leaving roughly nine more starts.

The Mets (+600/+1200/+2500) have been a scrappy bunch and could shock us by pulling off the division title. New York's biggest shortcoming has been the bullpen, and without addressing that in the trade market, I just don't see much of a shock factor here.

Atlanta's biggest downfall has been the inability to win at home where the Braves (+250/+600/+1400) are 20-22. That will be tested right off the bat with the Mets and Giants in town to begin the second half.

We were expecting this to be a 3-team race, with Cincinnati and St. Louis part of the trio. What we didn't see coming was seeing the Pittsburgh Pirates (+350/+1000/+3000) as the third wheel. Unlike the Braves, the Bucs have been getting it done at home with the top mark in the majors (29-14). They could really use another starter and a stick, so it will be interesting to see just how serious the Pirates are as buyers in this year's July swap meet.

Cincinnati (-120/+400/+1000) is a game south of Pittsburgh, yet the favorites to take the NLC and NL co-favorites alongside Washington. Quite possibly the biggest series to start the second half will be at Great American Ball Park this weekend when the Reds host the St. Louis Cardinals (+200/+1000/+1600), who are seen as Cincy's chief competitors according to the latest odds. The ability of both the Cards and Reds to stay healthy might very well decide it in the end.

About the nicest thing you can say about Milwaukee is of all six division winners in 2011, the Brewers probably had the least expectations to repeat this year. As for the Cubs and Astros, let me know when you see those pigs float by.

Arizona and San Francisco were supposed to duke it out, but both are chasing the Los Angeles Dodgers, and in the case of the Diamondbacks, chasing .500.

San Francisco (-125/+500/+1400) starts the second half with a favorable slate that finds home games vs. Houston and San Diego sandwiched around a road trip to Atlanta and Philly. In fact, the Giants have a fairly soft road schedule the rest of the way with only three away series (Braves, Cardinals, Dodgers) against clubs above .500 at this point.

Los Angeles (+135/+650/+1600) has a tenuous half-game lead over San Fran, and the Dodgers are reportedly trying to shore up their rotation by talking to the Cubs about deals for either Ryan Dempster or Matt Garza. Arizona (+400/+1200/+3000) certainly has its work cut out just to defend the 2011 division title, but the D-Backs did at least build a little momentum with a 3-game win streak entering the all-star break.

Colorado and San Diego fall into the flying swine column with the Cubs and Astros. It could be a very tight, 4-team race to see who gets the No. 1 pick in the June 2013 first-year players draft.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34892 Followers:38
07/12/2012 11:57 PM

Total Recap - 1st Half

July 9, 2012

With the 2012 MLB season put on hold to see which league will ridiculously hold home field advantage in the upcoming World Series, we thought it would be a great idea to dig into the season long stats and determine which teams have been kind to both ‘over’ and ‘under’ bettors throughout the first three months of the campaign. Here’s a look at the Top 3 in both categories.

“3 Up”

Philadelphia Phillies (53-31-3): It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to see the struggling Phillies as the best ‘over’ bet in the league heading into the All-Star break. Philly currently sits in last place within the NL East and does so on the back of an offense that’s middle of the pack in terms of runs scored (4.2 RPG), batting average (.262), and home runs (84), but it’s the pitching staff that’s seen all games played go ‘over’ the closing number at a 61 percent frequency. While the Phillies starters rank 8th with 51 overall quality starts, Cole Hamels is the only starter that’s earned double-digit wins and that has everything to do with a bullpen that checks in second to last in the league with a collective 4.76 ERA. Jonathan Papelbon’s only blown two saves through 20 tries, but the bridge to get to him has been blown up numerous times due to the Phillies wretched middle and late relief. Until a trade is made to help bolster this unit, look for Philadelphia to continue partaking in high scoring games.

New York Mets (49-33-4): Like their hated division rivals up above, the Mets have a better than average offense paired with a starting staff that gets the job done more times than not. Manager Terry Collins’s squad doesn’t hit for the power the Phillies do evidenced by their 74 overall home runs launched, but David Wright and his mates have scored an average of 4.6 runs per game and hit for a .259 batting average. Again, the main reason the Mets have been one of the best ‘over’ investments in the league is because of a bullpen that can’t seem to get out of its own way. It checks in as the worst overall unit with a collective 4.94 ERA and has allowed the opposition to light them up for a .267 batting average against. Though Frank Francisco has converted 18 of his 21 overall save opportunities, he normally made the close out inning very interesting before going on the DL. It also hasn’t helped matters that the defense has committed 64 errors which have allowed for the opposition to get multiple extra chances at pushing runs across the plate.

Milwaukee Brewers (48-34-3): Led by Ryan Braun’s big bat (24 home runs), the Brew Crew’s offense has proven to be one of the most potent the league has to offer. It wrapped up the first-half of the season scoring an average of 4.5 runs per game, launched 101 bombs out of the park, and swiped a total of 63 bases. While the consistency hasn’t been there evidenced by the team’s .245 batting average, Milwaukee has shown a penchant for getting back into games with big strikes making it easier for ‘over’ bettors to cash tickets more times than not. That quick strike attack paired with yet another bullpen that has underperformed finds the Brewers checking in as the third best ‘over’ bet to date. John Axford has struggled mightily blowing five of his 20 overall save opportunities, and the rest of his bullpen mates haven’t been up to task of shutting the opposition down evidenced by their 4.60 collective ERA and .277 BAA; the latter tally being the worst mark in the league!

“3 Down”

Oakland A’s (31-52-3): This should come as no surprise whatsoever since the Athletics have been one of the best ‘under’ bets available for MLB bettors over the course of Billy Beane’s reign as the franchise’s general manager. Oakland has failed to put a feared offense on the field ever since Jason Giambi and Miguel Tejada manned their positions as future cornerstones. While this year’s squad has gotten a standout performance from Josh Reddick, the lack of power is still there with the team hitting just 83 overall home runs collectively. The offense also finds itself in the bottom third of the league in runs scored (3.7 RPG), batting average (.225), OPS (.667), and OBP (.301). When you pair those unintimidating hitting stats with a starting staff that’s churned out 50 quality starts and owns a 3.67 ERA along with a bullpen ranked in the Top 5 of the league in both ERA (2.81) & BAA (.204), it hardly comes as a surprise to find the Athletics finishing up the first half of the season as the best overall ‘under’ wager on the betting board.

Los Angeles Angels (35-49-2): With a lineup boasting names like Pujols, Trumbo, Hunter, and Morales, the Angels were hardly a team pegged by many to be one of the more lucrative ‘under’ bets at the outset of the season. When you add Mike Trout’s unbelievable effort since getting called up to the “Bigs”, the likelihood of the Halos still being a money maker for ‘under’ bettors seems even less likely. Regardless, Los Angeles checks in as the second best ‘under’ investment at the halfway point of the season largely in part to its overall pitching staff’s efforts. Jered Weaver has been exceptional atop the Angels starting staff lending a hand in leading the unit to a 3.81 ERA & .241 BAA; Manager Mike Scioscia has received a total of 51 quality starts from his starting staff! The Halos have also been lights out in the back end of the bullpen with Scott Downs and Ernesto Frieri converting 19 of their 21 overall save opportunities. The latter is yet to give up an earned run since coming over from San Diego in early May!

Cincinnati Reds (34-48-3): The only National League representative on this list comes in the form of manager Dusty Baker’s Reds, who entered the break trailing the Pittsburgh Pirates by just one game in the NL Central and led the Atlanta Braves by a single game in the NL Wild Card race. Aiding ‘under’ bettors has been what’s proven to be a station-to-station offense evidenced by Cincy’s 43 overall stolen bases; a mark that finds them 36 swipes in back of the #1 ranked Miami Marlins. That, along with a Joey Votto led offense only hitting at a .248 clip has turned the Reds into a below average team in terms of run production (4.2 RPG). With the starting staff holding up their end of the bargain dishing out 53 quality starts to go with a unit ERA of 3.65, it’s made the bullpen’s job that much easier. Having said that, the pen has been flat out nasty with the likes of Logan Ondrusek, Sean Marshall, Jose Arredondo, Alfredo Simon and Aroldis Chapman more than holding up their ends of the bargain. The unit’s 2.77 ERA & .215 BAA are both ranked in the league’s overall Top 3!

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34892 Followers:38
07/12/2012 11:59 PM

Projected Win Totals

July 8, 2012

The first half of the baseball season saw plenty of surprise teams making headlines, while a handful of playoff clubs from last October are slowly falling out of contention. We'll take a look at the four squads that are set to exceed their projected win totals posted in March. The first team on the list is by far is the biggest shocker not only from a victories standpoint, but from an excitement perspective.


Last season, Pittsburgh finished the first half at 47-43, while even getting to six games above .500 on July 25, 2011. The Bucs didn't win three consecutive contests after that night, as Clint Hurdle's team concluded the season at 72-90. The Pirates hope to avoid another second half collapse after 47 games through the first 84.

Pittsburgh's number to begin the season sat at 73 ½, but tremendous pitching from James McDonald (9-3) and A.J. Burnett (10-2) has anchored the Bucs' ship to the top of the NL Central at the All-Star break. Andrew McCutchen is putting up MVP-type numbers (.362 BA, 18 HR, 60 RBI), but the key to Pittsburgh's success is taking care of business at PNC Park (29-14).

White Sox

The AL Central seemed like Detroit's to lose after the Tigers ran away with the division title last season. Following Ozzie Guillen's exit to Miami, the Sox hired former third baseman Robin Ventura for his first managerial position at any level. Ventura is pushing the right buttons with the Sox sliding into the break in first place of the AL Central.

The key to the pitching staff is southpaw Chris Sale, who posted a 10-2 record in his first season inside the Chicago rotation. The Sox received an offensive jolt from Adam Dunn (25 HR), while Kevin Youkilis is making a strong impact since getting picked up from Boston. There weren't high expectations for Chicago coming out of Spring Training, as the win total came out at 74 ½. The Sox are on pace to win 91 games, while looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 2008.


Washington made tremendous strides last season with 80 victories, but things are coming full-circle in 2012. The duo of former top picks Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper has infused life into baseball inside the Nation's Capital, owning a 49-34 record at the break. The Nationals were expected to finish above .500 in Spring Training with a listed win total of 83 ½, but this club is on a torrid pace to end the campaign with 97 victories.

Davey Johnson's is taking care of business inside the division with a 16-9 record, as the Nats begin the second half with 14 consecutive games against NL East opponents (including six against the Braves). Washington is profiting as a home favorite this season by compiling a 21-11 record, including an 8-4 mark down the stretch.


The Beltway's other team started out of the gate on fire with a 27-17 ledger, but that kind of run only lasts so long in the competitive AL East. However, Baltimore's expected slide came at the end of May with a 2-9 stretch to fall backwards in the division. The Orioles are on pace to eclipse the 69 ½ win total posted in March thanks to the fast start, but the schedule will not ease up for Buck Showalter's club.

Baltimore has 40 games remaining against its division counterparts, including the final 12 contests of the season. The O's are set to finish with 87 wins, but a crucial stretch for Baltimore 'over' backers comes in early August with seven home games against the Mariners and Royals. If Baltimore can come out of that span with five victories, there may not be a need to sweat things out over the final two weeks of the season.

All 30 teams are listed in the table below with their win total to start the season and what they are projected to finish at.

National League Win Totals
Team Win Total On Pace Projected Result
Arizona 86 ½ 78
Atlanta 86 ½ 87
Chicago Cubs 74 ½ 62
Cincinnati 87 ½ 88
Colorado 81 ½ 62
Houston 64 63
L.A. Dodgers 81 ½ 89
Miami 84 ½ 79
Milwaukee 84 ½ 78
N.Y. Mets 72 88
Philadelphia 93 ½ 70
Pittsburgh 73 ½ 91
San Diego 73 ½ 65
San Francisco 87 ½ 88
St. Louis 84 ½ 86
Washington 83 ½ 97
Projected Result Key: Over Under Even

American League Win Totals
Team Win Total On Pace Projected
Baltimore 69 ½ 87
Boston 90 82
Chicago White Sox 74 ½ 91
Cleveland 78 ½ 85
Detroit 92 ½ 82
Kansas City 80 72
LA Angels 92 ½ 89
Minnesota 73 ½ 69
NY Yankees 93 ½ 98
Oakland 71 ½ 81
Seattle 72 67
Tampa Bay 86 ½ 84
Texas 91 ½ 100
Toronto 80 ½ 80
Projected Result Key: Over Under Even

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34892 Followers:38
07/13/2012 12:02 AM

Hot & Not - 1st Half Recap

July 8, 2012

The first half of the 2012 MLB betting campaign is now complete with all 30 teams set to go on break for this week's All-Star festivities. Here's a look at how the five best and worst teams stack up from a bottom line standpoint heading into the second half of the regular season.


Pittsburgh Pirates (48-37, $1887): The Buccos were here a year ago; well within the NL Central race at the midway point and buyers at the trade deadline. Unfortunately, a sickening extra innings marathon loss in Atlanta late in July took all the wind out of Manager Clint Hurdle's squad's sails. Because of it, the Pirates were relegated to a fourth place finish within the division. Now in first place heading into the ASB for the first time since 1997, the talk in Pittsburgh is that it's interested in acquiring some established outfielders with big sticks - Justin Upton and Carlos Quentin - to play alongside potential NL MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen. This money train is expected to continue rolling throughout the second half, especially with Pittsburgh's remaining opponents owning a .459 winning percentage and 42 of its remaining 81 games to be played within the comfy confines of PNC Park where the Buccos have won 29 of 43 games to date ($1503).

Baltimore Orioles (45-39, $1337): Raise your hand if you pegged the O's to be in second place within the AL East at this point in the second year of the Buck Showalter experiment. If it's up, you're a bold faced liar! Regardless, the Orioles have parlayed an offense that can hit the long ball with a pitching staff that has some nice pieces in the rotation and is anchored by the best bullpen the AL has to offer. Line-up sparkplug Nick Markakis is set to return after the All-Star break which is great news for Adam Jones who was at his best with him hitting in front of him the first two months of the season. Unfortunately, Baltimore possesses one of the toughest second half slates, so the franchise's 15-year playoff drought could possibly remain intact.

Washington Nationals (49-34, $1066): The Nats hit the ground running in April and haven't looked back, as Manager Davey Johnson's squad has the look and feel of a major player with the first half coming to a close. While the offense leaves a bit to be desired, Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse look to be coming into their own, but the Nationals have buttered their bread with a pitching staff that possesses some of the best throwing talent in both the starting rotation and bullpen. The team's 3.21 ERA and 1.20 WHIP are the best overall marks in the league, while the combined efforts of Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Edwin Jackson, and Jordan Zimmerman have been good for 54 quality starts through 67 overall starts - SICK! The Nats have already tallied victories in five of their seven July games with more MLB betting wins certainly on the horizon down the road.

New York Mets (46-40, $1005): Though the Mets closed out the first half of their 2012 campaign dropping yet another series to the Chicago Cubs, Metropolitan fans have to be tickled pink with their club just 4.5-games in back of the Nats heading into the Midsummer Classic. For a team that finished up 2011eight-games under the breakeven point and only ahead of the Marlins in the NL East standings, things look to be headed in the right direction in Flushing. That said, David Wright and his teammates have a long uphill climb to battle in the second half with their scheduled opponents possessing a .498 winning percentage; the highest such mark for any NL playoff contender.

Chicago White Sox (47-38, $778): A tip of the cap must go out to Robin Ventura and his coaching staff for turning what was an underachieving ball club in 2011 into a bona fide World Series contender the following season. Though Adam Dunn is still striking out at an embarrassing frequency, he looks to be on track for another monster home run and RBI season, and the changing of sox from red to white has seemed to revitalize Kevin Youkilis's playing career. Two factors will have MLB bettors clamoring to continue backing Chicago in the second half: The first is their tremendous road record that's seen them win 23 of 39 games for a whopping $1104 return on investment, while the second is that their second half opponents carry a .497 winning percentage into the second half; that mark equates to the worst such mark in the American League.


Philadelphia Phillies (37-50, -$2462): The Phillies were up against it even before the regular season started with both Ryan Howard and Chase Utley figured to be on the DL for at the very least the first two months of the campaign. Though both of those former All-Stars have recently returned to the everyday line-up, what transpired over the course until they arrived is what has Manager Charlie Manuel's squad in a deep hole. With the defending NL East champs in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in six years, it's of the belief that Philadelphia will be sellers come the trade deadline with a number of players that helped lead it to success these last handful of years on the block.

Colorado Rockies (33-52, -$1560): In picking apart the Rockies from a statistical point of view, you can't help but fall in love with what you see; offensively that is! Manager Jim Tracy's outfit has mashed the ball all season long even though stud SS Troy Tulowitzki has missed a bulk of playing time with a myriad of injuries. Carlos Gonzalez is one of three Rockies sluggers that have amassed double-digit home run tallies, but when you give runs up at a faster pace than you score them, a W/L total reminiscent of what the Rox bring to the table is what you get. It got so bad for this pitching staff that it was shrunk to a four-man rotation, but that's hardly helped with Colorado still possessing the league's absolute worst ERA (5.26) and WHIP (1.58).

Milwaukee Brewers (40-45, -$1297): Wins have been too far and few between for the Brew Crew in the post Prince Fielder era with injuries to the key cogs picked up by upper management to fill the void left by his absence making it that much harder to stockpile wins. As it is, Milwaukee sits in fourth place within the NL Central a hefty eight-games off the pace, and though it sits a game over .500 at home, it's still cost its betting backers nearly $500 as a host. The story hasn't been much better on the road either with Ryan Braun and company coming out victorious in just 18 of their 42 overall games played (-$817).

Houston Astros (33-53, -$1147): You can't help but feel for this Astros franchise that's won a total of just 89 games dating back to the beginning of 2011, and with a switch in leagues scheduled for next season, it's going to get a whole heck of a lot worse for this young squad before it gets better. Having said that, Houston already possesses some nice pieces to the puzzle in Jose Altuve and J.D. Martinez, and it also has a number of viable trade bait to help this club get better in the long run. Still, it's going to continue being a struggle for this squad throughout the remainder of this season as long as it continues ranking out in the bottom third of the league in both the pitching and hitting categories.

Chicago Cubs (33-52, -$1145): The Cubs might check in as one of the worst first half bets in the league, but the "Loveable Losers" have started playing with a chip on their shoulder ever since stud 1B Anthony Rizzo was called up from Triple-AAA. Manager Dale Sveum's squad will enter the All-Star break having alternated wins in each of their seven games, and have captured series wins in three of their L/4. Playing away from Wrigley Field is what's really killed this club in 2012 with Starlin Castro and his mates having captured just 14 wins in 46 overall tries ultimately costing MLB bettors upwards of $1090 which equates to 95 percent of their overall money lost! They did however rattle off road wins in four of their L/7, so if Chicago can continue excelling in the visitors role, it should continue eating off more of its overall MLB betting deficit throughout the second half of the season.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34892 Followers:38
07/13/2012 12:05 AM

MLB Betting Notes

July 9, 2012

The first-half of the 2012 baseball season has been amazing, perhaps one of the best in recent memory. Between pitchers taking control of the plate for the first time in two decades, five no-hitters which included two perfect games, improbable contenders and a couple of rookies playing the game the way it’s supposed to be played, 2012 has been marvelous.
Here’s a look at some of the first half award winners:

National League MVP: Andrew McCutchen, Pirates (.362, 18 HR, 60 RBI) - The vote may have been close a month ago, but with the Pirates recent revival of the Lumber Company, McCutchen has had a lot more ducks on the pond to bring home and his numbers have soared. Right now, the vote isn’t even close. McCutchen has his team in first-place and is in line to win Pittsburgh‘s first MVP since Barry Bonds in 1992, the last season they had a winning record and made the playoffs.

NL Cy Young: R.A Dickey, Mets (12-1, 2.40 ERA, 123 K) - Dickey’s performance this season might be the story of the year and it’s not just because he uses a gimmick pitch like the knuckleball to get people out. He’s actually dominating games like no other knuckleball ever with his hard delivery and somehow manages to have remarkable control over it like never seen before. However, the knuckleball does give him an edge because it’s unique. Gio Gonzalez would get far more consideration for his first-half contributions (12-2, 2.92 ERA) to the Nationals if he threw a knuckleball rather than his knee-bending curveball.

American League MVP: Josh Hamilton, Rangers (.308, 27 HR, 75 RBI) - This was actually a tougher call than statistics might suggest. Hamilton leads the league in several major categories, but it’s hard to ignore a player like the Yankees’ Robinson Cano, who has taken his team to new heights because of his hitting or the dynamics of Mike Trout‘s game and what he‘s meant to the Angels rise. The difference between them all is that Hamilton has been doing it all season. Even though he’s tailed off somewhat as he attempts to quit chewing/dipping, his numbers still dwarf everyone else and his team is first place of the AL West. If the question was ’who is the player I want on my team’ it would be Trout all day long.

AL Cy Young: Jered Weaver, Angels (10-1, 1.96 ERA, 73 K) - He doesn’t have the strikeout numbers like we’ve seen in the past and he spent some time on the disabled list, but he’s evolved into one of the most complete pitchers in the game. Batters are hitting .188 against him this season, the lowest figure in baseball among all pitchers.

Most Money Won: Pirates +1,899 - The Bucs are 11 games over .500 and have the best home record in baseball. Most of the money won on the season came at big plus-money odds, but lately they have been winning as large favorites. They come into the All-Star break having won 10 of their last 12 games and continue to gain the support of bettors who can now trust them. The Orioles (+1,221) and Nationals (+1,019) are right behind the Bucs.

Most Money Lost: Phillies -2,510 - Most of the Phillies big losses came early when we still respected Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee as -200 favorites, but the cat’s out of the bag: the Phillies are the most overrated team of 2012. Things were supposed to get better when Chase Utley returned to the lineup, but they’ve lost 10 of their past 11 games since he came back. Ryan Howard also made a return to the lineup, but the Phillies lost their next three. It’s not exactly the kind of endorsement Philly was looking for to make them either buyers instead of sellers at the end of the month, but it’s safe to say their season is finished, something bettors have known since May.

Most Interesting Records: The Braves are seven games over .500, four games out of first-place in the NL East, but on Monday’s they are the worst team in baseball. For some reason, when the first game of a series starts after the weekend, the Braves are 0-11. Just think, if they could just manage to be 5-6 on Monday’s they’d be in first-place.

On the same note, the Pirates are 12-2 on Saturday’s having won five Saturday’s in a row. In both the Pirates and Braves cases, these are all random type of occurrences, but it does shed light on things because of their timing. In the Braves case, they aren’t ready for a series to begin and in the Pirates case, they avoid long losing streaks. Winning the second game of a series is essential to all teams overall success.

Pitchers to watch in the second half: Tim Lincecum, Clayton Kershaw and Stephen Strasburg

Just when we thought Tim Lincecum was really back after a couple of good outings, he implodes in his last two starts. The Giants are now 4-14 in all games that Lincecum started, which makes it even more amazing that their record is a good as it is, only a half-game out of first-place in the NL West.

We’ve become a bit spoiled by the play of Clayton Kershaw over the last two seasons which is why his last month of starts comes as somewhat of a shock. The Dodgers have lost three of his past four starts and he’s been battling a case of plantar fasciitis for two months, a painful foot ailment that lingers for up to a year. For the Dodgers to have any chance at winning the NL West, Kershaw will have to be at his best.

At the beginning of the season the Nationals had mentioned that Stephen Strasburg would be closely monitored on a pitch count because of coming off of Tommy John surgery. The number was set at 160 innings, but at the All-Star break, Strasburg already has 99 innings. How will the Nationals be able to make a serious run to make the playoffs when Strasburg only has 61 innings left to work with? They'll tackle that question when it comes and you can bet the innings limit will be expanded. The bigger question right now with Starsburg is what’s wrong as he‘s lost his past three starts

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34892 Followers:38
07/13/2012 12:06 AM

Around the Horn - Friday

July 12, 2012


Arizona at Chicago - 2:20 PM EST (Game 1/3)
Teams Pitcher Notes Team Record Betcha Didn't Know
Kennedy (6-7, 4.26 ERA) 42-43 5-2 away on Fridays
Maholm (6-6, 4.57 ERA) 33-52 6-3 L9 home off win

St. Louis at Cincinnati - 7:10 PM EST (Game 1/3)
Teams Pitcher Notes Team Record Betcha Didn't Know
Wainwright (7-8, 4.56 ERA) 46-40 OVER 7-0 L7 away Game 1's
Latos (7-2, 4.13 ERA) 47-38 1-4 home on Fridays

Washington at Miami - 7:10 PM EST (Game 1/4)
Teams Pitcher Notes Team Record Betcha Didn't Know
Zimmermann (5-6, 2.61 ERA) 49-34 OVER 7-3 L10 away Game 1's
Johnson (5-5, 4.06 ERA) 41-44 8-4 at home vs division

N.Y. Mets at Atlanta - 7:35 PM EST (Game 1/3)
Teams Pitcher Notes Team Record Betcha Didn't Know
Young (2-2, 3.41 ERA) 46-40 3-8 L11 away Game 1's
Hudson (7-4, 3.56 ERA) 46-39 4-9 L13 home Game 1's

Pittsburgh at Milwaukee - 8:10 PM EST (Game 1/3)
Teams Pitcher Notes Team Record Betcha Didn't Know
McDonald (9-3, 2.37 ERA) 48-37 OVER 12-1-2 L15 away vs RHP
Greinke (9-3, 3.32 ERA) 40-45 OVER 11-3 home Game 1's

Philadelphia at Colorado - 8:40 PM EST (Game 1/3)
Teams Pitcher Notes Team Record Betcha Didn't Know
Lee (1-5, 3.98 ERA) 37-50 4-8 away vs LHP
Friedrich (4-6, 5.98 ERA) 33-52 OVER 10-2 L12 home vs LHP

San Diego at Los Angeles - 10:05 PM EST (Game 1/3)
Teams Pitcher Notes Team Record Betcha Didn't Know
Richard (6-9, 3.91 ERA) 34-53 OVER 11-3 away Game 1's
Kershaw (6-5, 2.91 ERA) 47-40 1-5 L6 home Game 1's

Houston at San Francisco - 10:10 PM EST (Game 1/3)
Teams Pitcher Notes Team Record Betcha Didn't Know
Lyles (2-5, 5.08 ERA) 33-53 2-9 away vs LHP
Bumgarner (10-5, 3.27 ERA) 46-40 7-1 L8 Game 1's


Los Angeles at N.Y. Yankees - 7:05 PM EST (Game 1/3)
Teams Pitcher Notes Team Record Betcha Didn't Know
Wilson (9-5, 2.43 ERA) 48-38 6-0 L6 away Game 1's
Kuroda (8-7, 3.50 ERA) 52-33 10-3 home Game 1's

Detroit at Baltimore - 7:05 PM EST (Game 1/3)
Teams Pitcher Notes Team Record Betcha Didn't Know
Fister (2-6, 4.75 ERA) 44-42 1-6 away on Fridays
Hammel (8-5, 3.47 ERA) 45-40 1-5 L6 home vs RHP

Cleveland at Toronto - 7:10 PM EST (Game 1/3)
Teams Pitcher Notes Team Record Betcha Didn't Know
Masterson (5-8, 4.40 ERA) 44-41 9-4 away Game 1's
Romero (8-4, 5.22 ERA) 43-43 6-2 L8 home vs RHP

Boston at Tampa Bay - 7:15 PM EST (Game 1/3)
Teams Pitcher Notes Team Record Betcha Didn't Know
Morales (1-2, 3.50 ERA) 43-43 3-8 L11 away vs RHP
Hellickson (4-5, 3.41 ERA) 45-41 2-7 L9 home vs LHP

Chicago at Kansas City - 8:15 PM EST (Game 1/3)
Teams Pitcher Notes Team Record Betcha Didn't Know
Quintana (4-1, 2.04 ERA) 47-38 UNDER 8-2 away vs LHP
Chen (7-8, 5.22 ERA) 37-47 4-8 home Game 1's

Oakland at Minnesota - 8:10 PM EST (Game 1/3)
Teams Pitcher Notes Team Record Betcha Didn't Know
Griffin (0-0, 1.50 ERA) 43-43 1-7 L8 away vs LHP
Liriano (3-7, 5.08 ERA) 36-49 4-10 home Game 1's

Texas at Seattle - 10:05 PM EST (Game 1/3)
Teams Pitcher Notes Team Record Betcha Didn't Know
Holland (5-4, 5.05 ERA) 52-34 9-4 on Fridays
Millwood (3-6, 3.69 ERA) 36-51 UNDER 7-3 L10 home vs LHP

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34892 Followers:38
07/13/2012 12:13 AM

Trade talk should heat up in second half

July 11, 2012

There was a public outcry when R.A. Dickey did not start the All-Star game, a journeyman for the Chicago White Sox threw a perfect game and the Pittsburgh Pirates of all teams were in first place as the first half of the baseball season drew to a close.

What's next, postseason baseball in the nation's capital? It sure looks that way.

An eventful and unexpected first half that included Dickey knuckling his way to stardom with the Mets, Phil Humber's out-of-nowhere perfecto for the White Sox and the Yankees muzzling former slugger Reggie Jackson after some disparaging comments about Alex Rodriguez is only expected to get more intriguing as the season rounds second and heads for third.

The non-waiver trade deadline is looming at the end of the month, and the Baltimore Orioles and White Sox got ahead of the curve by acquiring Jim Thome and Kevin Youkilis, respectively, to bolster their offenses. Milwaukee's Zack Greinke, Philadelphia's Cole Hamels and Arizona's Justin Upton could be headed elsewhere as the contenders and pretenders separate themselves.

``There's several teams involved in races right now,'' said Detroit manager Jim Leyland, whose Tigers joined the Phillies and Red Sox on the list of big-spending underachievers in the first half of the season. ``There's probably going to be a lot of teams that would like to go out and get somebody. But the more teams that want to get something, the tougher it is to get it.''

And there's even more motivation for deals to be made in the first year of baseball's expanded postseason. The Fall Classic will be a little wilder this time around. A new format kicks in this year that adds an extra wild card team to each league. That means 10 teams will have a chance to get in and go for it all.

The Orioles, who trail the Yankees by seven games in the AL East, haven't been to the postseason since 1997, the Pirates haven't been there since 1992 and the nation's capital hasn't hosted a playoff baseball game since 1933, when Mel Ott homered in Game 5 of the World Series to help the New York Giants beat the Senators for the championship.

That was long before Natitude, long before ``that's a clown question, bro'' and certainly way before the All-Star game decided home-field advantage in the World Series. It's a new day, and if Bryce Harper and the Nationals or Andrew McCutchen and the Pirates somehow Buc the odds and make it to the Series, they'll be hosting the party after the National League beat the AL 8-0.

With so much on the line from here on out, the game in Kansas City could be one of the last nights of baseball without any juice for quite a while.

``We're playing for a lot more here,'' Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. ``We're playing for a city, the goal being to re-bond the city with its ballclub.''


HOT RACES: The Yankees hold a seven-game lead over Baltimore in the AL East, but it's still early and every division is up for grabs. Here's a few of the races that are expected to remain tight until the final days.

-NL Central: The Pirates are just one game ahead of the Reds and only 2 1/2 games ahead of the defending champs in St. Louis.

-NL West: The Dodgers looked like the class of the league at the start of the season, but injuries to stars Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier have brought them back to the pack. And the Giants, just half a game back, are brimming with confidence after Pablo Sandoval, Melky Cabrera and Matt Cain led the NL to an 8-0 win in the All-Star game.

-AL West: The Rangers may be the best team in baseball, but the Los Angeles Angels have rebounded from a slow start to show that this will be no runaway. The Rangers lead by 4 games in search of their third straight AL crown.


TRADE BAIT: Several big names figure to be trading places by the end of the month as teams look for that extra edge to push them into the postseason.

-Felix Hernandez, RHP, Mariners: Seattle has been adamant that it is not considering moving King Felix. But if they ever would, now may be the time. The 26-year-old is 6-5 with a 3.13 ERA and is signed through 2014. He's already topped 1,500 innings pitched in his young career and the Mariners appear nowhere close to contending.

-Francisco Liriano, LHP, Twins: Got off to a horrendous start to the season and was moved to the bullpen. But it's what have you done for me lately, and the lefty who will be a free agent this winter is 3-2 with a 2.74 ERA and .175 opponents' batting average since rejoining the rotation. Last-place Twins need young assets, and Liriano may be best trade chip.

-Cole Hamels, LHP, and Shane Victorino, OF, Phillies: The Phils already moved Charlie Manuel favorite Jim Thome. Now these two mainstays, who are eligible for free agency at the end of the season, could be available for the right price.

-Carlos Quentin, OF, Padres: Any team looking for some proven power should consider Quentin, who topped 20 homers in each of the past four years for the White Sox. In his first season in spacious Petco Park, Quentin has just seven homers and could benefit from a change of scenery.


KEY INJURIES: These guys better get healthy if their teams expect to have a chance to play into October.

-CC Sabathia, LHP, Yankees: On the disabled list with a strained left groin, the Yankees desperately need their horse back at the top of the rotation. With Andy Pettitte out until late August at the earliest with a fractured left ankle, big No. 52 is more important than ever in New York.

-Evan Longoria, 3B, Rays: Longoria is on the shelf with a torn left hamstring that could keep him out for a while. In the meantime, the Rays will try to stay within shouting distance of the Yankees and the wild card without their leader.

-Kemp, OF, Dodgers: He has emerged as perhaps the best player in the game, a ``five-tool guy'' who has given the Dodgers their swagger. But he's played in just two games since May 14 because of a strained left hamstring, the kind of injury that can linger if it's not taken care of properly.

-Stephen Strasburg, RHP, Nationals: He has shown no ill effects coming off Tommy John surgery, which will make the second half all the more intriguing for the Nationals and their young flamethrower. GM Mike Rizzo has said that the team intends to hold Strasburg to an innings limit and will shut him down once he reaches that point to try to avoid another major arm injury. But if the Nats are in contention for a title, will they be able to hold true to that?


Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34892 Followers:38
07/13/2012 12:39 PM

Friday betting tips: Greinke on a silly home winning tear


MLB: The Detroit Tigers have the longest current winning streak in the majors at five games. Keep in mind they were favorites for all those games against lowly divisional opposition, K.C. and Minnesota.

CFL: The home team won the past six meetings between the Blue Bombers and Eskimoes. Winnipeg covered in five of those games.

MLB: The Brewers are 23-1 in Zack Greinke’s last 24 home starts. Milwaukee is a -150 fave over Pittsburgh Friday.


MLB: The Texas Rangers. Against Seattle lately, anyway. The Rangers surrendered 31 runs in their past two meetings with the Mariners.

WNBA: The Washington Mystics haven’t won on the road this season (0-7). Oddly, they are 3-4 against the spread. They are 6.5-point dogs at New York Friday.


909 – The number of yards Winnipeg’s defense has given up through two CFL games so far, worst in the league. They are 1-pt dogs at Edmonton Friday night with the total set at 45 - a relatively low number for three-down football.


Braves at Mets (-150, 8.5)


Wynn Las Vegas sportsbook director John Avello, who would put the 1992 Dream Team as a 10-point favorite over this year's U.S. Olympic squad: “Everyone likes to throw around the bigger, faster, stronger argument when comparing past and present. All those elements don’t apply to this group (1992). They have the best guards, the best shooters, the best big men. If they played 10 times, (1992) would win eight of them.”


Good sign: In a recent Angus Reid poll, Americans supported the legalization of betting on sports in all states. "In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,017 American adults, three-in-five respondents (59%) support allowing people in any U.S. state to bet on sports. Support for this change is highest among men (68%) and respondents aged 18-to-34 (64%)."

If you're into 3-ball betting or daily match betting for PGA golf, you might want to take a look at who has the best scoring average for Round 2 on tour this year heading into Friday's action. Ricky Barnes, who sits in second at the John Deere Classic after shooting 7-under Thursday, ranks 90th in the second round.

Dodgers star center fielder Matt Kemp is expected to make his return to the lineup Friday. He was hitting .355 with 12 HRs and 28 RBIs before he injured his hamstring on May 30.

Fifteen of the 30 teams in MLB are within five games or fewer of their division leads and 19 are .500 or better.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34892 Followers:38
07/13/2012 12:39 PM

12 mid-- West Virginia @ Gonzaga

2am-- Davidson @ New Mexico

4am-- Houston Baptist @ Hawai'i

6am-- Stony Brook @ Rider

8am-- Northern Illinois @ Valparaiso

10am-- Harvard @ UMass

Noon-- Temple @ Kent State

2pm-- Detroit @ St John's

4pm-- Butler @ Xavier

7pm-- Michigan State vs Kansas, in Atlanta

9:30-- Duke vs Kentucky, also in Atlanta


Armadillo: Friday's List: Mid-season grades for American League teams

Orioles-- 45-40, A-. 29-14 in games decided by 1-2 runs, 16-26 otherwise, as Showalter milks every win he can out of surprising team. Doubt pitching will hold up in second half. Get Markakis back from DL Friday.

Red Sox-- 43-43, C-. $32M for Crawford/Lackey, who haven't played and might not all year (Lackey won't). Valentine has alienated everyone east of Worcester, and closer Bailey got hurt and hasn't pitched yet.

White Sox-- 47-38, A+. New manager Ventura is 23-16 on the road, 24-22 at home; Youkilis is hitting .347 with 14 RBI in 13 games since coming over from Boston, providing a spark. Sale has been terrific on mound.

Indians-- 44-41, B. Allowed 29 more runs than they've scored. Detroit is a half-game behind them, despite scoring 6 more runs than they've allowed. 23-14 in games decided by 1-2 runs, but 1-4 in last five.

Tigers-- 44-42. C-. 22-20 at home, 20-20 on road, but did win last five tilts before All-Star break. Hoping to get Victor Martinez back before season is over, which helps offense. Rumored to be after Marco Scutaro for 2B.

Royals-- 37-47, C. Bruce Chen was their Opening Day starting pitcher, so if you expected the Royals to be better, why? Just 14-23 at home. Rumor is they're bringing up big prospect Myers, but he plays RF, doesn't pitch.

Angels-- 48-38, B. Awful start, but once they brought Trout up and traded for reliever Frieri, things clicked in and now they're on roll. If they can get Haren healthy, they have formidable rotation for short playoff series.

Twins-- 36-49, C-. Got their new stadium, paid their stars big money, but team has gotten worse. Like KC, the Opening Day starter was Carl Pavano, not the stuff of championship teams. Liriano has pitched better lately.

Bronx-- 52-33, A. Bullpen has been mostly solid, even with Rivera gone for season. Swisher is knocking in 17.6% of baserunners, which is better %age than any of his much higher-paid teammates. Closer a key in October.

A's-- 43-43, B+. Crisp/Weeks at top of order drives me nuts, since neither one can hit, but Cespedes is a star when healthy and pitching has been very excellent. Inserting Cook at closer took a while, but solidified team.

Mariners-- 36-51, D-. Ichiro is in serious decline, team just can't hit, though they've scored 18 more runs than A's (allowed 49 more runs). Wonder how long before King Felix gets frustrated and asks to be traded?

Rays-- 45-41, B-. Miss Longoria badly; he hasn't played since April 30, so they're 15-8 with him, 30-33 without. It is similar scenario to A's nine years ago; things have to go perfectly for small market team to sustain success.

Rangers-- 52-34, A. Pitchers are banged up, but Hamilton has knocked in an amazing 23.4% of baserunners this year, his walk year. They lead Angels by four games, in race to avoid dreaded one-game Wild Card playoff.

Blue Jays-- 43-43, C. 80% of starting rotation got hurt, but somehow they are still at .500. Who knew Edwin Encanarcion was this good? 5-12 record in one-run games means they could show improvement.

Thursday's List: Mid-season grades for National League teams
D'backs-- 42-43, C+. Score lot of runs at home, but are just 21-19 there. Are 8-13 in 1-run games, so room for improvement there. Injury to Drew hurt, but he is back in lineup now.

Braves-- 46-39, B+. Beachy's injury has exposed fact that Delgado/Teheran aren't quite ready for big leagues yet. Return of Jurrjens is encouraging, and emergence of young SS Simmons has boltstered defense, though he got hurt right before break (pinky).

Cubs-- 33-52, D-. Could be complete fire sale later this month, with LaHair, Dempster, Soriano, Garza likely to hit road. Wee Bears rebuilding around Rizzo/Castro and maybe Samardzija.

Reds-- 47-38, B+. 21-13 in games decided by 3+ runs, a good sign. Batters been walked intentionally 32 times, five more than any other team, sign that Votto could use some protection in lineup.

Rockies-- 33-52, F. Pitching is so horrific they're down to a 4-man rotation, with 75-80-pitch limits; injuries to de la Rosa/Chacin have crippled rotation. Tulowitzki's injury hurts, but not sure what their plan is.

Astros-- 33-53, D. Seem to be holding open tryout for position players, as they prepare for move to AL next year. Their NY-Penn league team is here in Troy; I am told this year's prospects are best they've had in years.

Dodgers-- 47-40, B Everyone said Kemp/Ethier were carrying team, but the degree they fell off map after Kemp's injury was startling. Rumored to be in negotations to buy off some of Cubs' spare parts.

Marlins-- 41-44, D. Where do I start? D is for disaster. Bell has been brutal closing games, starting pitching is shaky, Bonifacio/Stanton are hurt now. Reyes has been healthy but ordinary, same for Ramirez.

Brewers-- 40-45, C-. Departure of Fielder obviously hurt, so dropoff isn't huge surprise, but Axford has been a disappointing closer. Aoki has been a help coming over from Japan, but Weeks is having dismal season.

Mets-- 46-40, B+. 3rd in NL in runs scored. Got way more than expected out of Santana/Dickey in rotation, but now Gee might be done for year, so it becomes a big decision: bring big prospect Harvey up or not?

Phillies-- 37-50, F. Injuries to Utley, Howard, Halladay have contributed to this unmitigated disaster, but they've been awful since Utley came back, so this could be lost season. Will they dump Hamels/Victorino for prospects?

Pirates-- 48-37, A+. Haven't had winning season since '92, so imagine how excited Pirate fans must be, in first place despite an offense with an OB% of .300, lowest in the National League.

Cardinals-- 46-40, B. Tough duty for Matheny, taking over world champs in year Pujols walked away with no big league compensation. Beltran has been a godsend. Cards are 4th in majors, 1st in NL in runs scored.

Padres-- 34-53, D. Still paying for horrendous Adrian Gonzalez trade. Hurt by Cashner's inability to stay healthy, since he seems like a potential ace. Scored 12 less runs than any other teams in baseball.

Giants-- 46-40, C+. Tied with mostly Kemp-less Dodgers with 51 HRs, least in MLB. Contending despite disasterous '12 from Lincecum, who is looking bewildered on mound. Vogelsong has picked up slack.

Nationals-- 49-34, A+. Davey Johnson is enhancing Hall of Fame resume as a manager. Interesting to see if they stick to word and shut Strasburg down when he hits his innings limit. Will they save innings for October?

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