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MLB: The over is 8-1 in the last nine games when Rick Porcello starts for Detroit against Kansas City.
MLB: The Los Angeles Dodgers are 18-5 in their last 23 as a favorite.
MLB: The under is 10-4 in James Shields’ last 14 starts overall.
MLB: The under is 4-20-4 in Oakland’s last 28 as an underdog.
MLB: Seattle is 1-7 in Felix Hernandez’s last eight starts against the Angels.
MLB: Colorado is 2-8 in its last 10 games in Arizona.
57 – If you really need any more evidence that the NFL has become a passing league, consider that almost 57 percent of offensive plays in the regular season last year were passing plays. Indianapolis led the league with 288.1 passing yards per game and head into Week 1 as a 3-point underdog at Houston while questions of Peyton Manning’s status continue.
Injury that shouldn’t be overlooked
Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees – X-rays came back negative on A-Rod’s injured thumb on Tuesday, but he also received a cortisone shot later in the day. Now he isn’t expected to play until at least Friday.
Game of the day
Tampa Bay Rays at Texas Rangers (-130, 8.5)
“To be honest, it’s pretty good money for him to just let me go. If they don’t think I’m doing my job and all this s---, they think Ozzie f----- this up, fine, let them think that…Let’s get this straight: I’m the face of the franchise. People can say what they want. There’s a lot of blame going around out there, but I blame myself because I guess I’m the one with the balls around here. It’s not because I’m cocky or an arrogant guy, but I can leave Chicago with my head up. That’s what’s important to me.” – Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie about his most recent verbal brawl with GM Ken Williams. Speculation out of Chicago is that both Guillen and Williams could be canned in the offseason. Despite the spat, the White Sox had won six straight before Tuesday's action and were big -210 favorites Wednesday against Minnesota.
Notes and tips
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew is set to make his preseason debut Thursday against the St. Louis Rams after sitting out following arthroscopic knee surgery. Jones-Drew said that he still has that “burst” and that he’s looking to take a few hits before Week 1. Oddsmakers list the Jags as 3-point favorites in Thursday’s matchup.
St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Lance Berkman is trying to shut down rumors that had him on his way out of town. “I’m not going to get moved,” he told reporters. "I think the ship has sailed. I really do." Maybe, but there is talk that the Texas Rangers are interested following Nelson Cruz’s injury. The Cardinals have until Wednesday to decide on Berkman’s fate. He’s hitting .280 with 30 homers this season.
Bettors are already moving the line for the NFL’s opening regular season game of the year. The Packers opened as high as -5.5 for their date with the Saints on Thursday, Sept. 8, but Saints support has books dropping the line to Green Bay -4 across the board. The total is currently holding around 47 points.
Lee is on another remarkable run, allowing just two earned runs over his last four starts, while piling up 32 strikeouts over that span. He blanked the Mets over seven innings in a 10-0 win the last time he took the hill, allowing just three hits.
Randy Wolf, Milwaukee Brewers (11-8, 3.37 ERA)
The Brewers have won each of Wolf’s last six trips to the hill and he has held his opposition to a single run or less in four of those outings. He gave up a homer on his second pitch of the ball game but settled down to fire 6 2/3 innings of solid work in a 5-2 win over the Cubs last week. Wolf has walked 63 batters this season after issuing 87 last year.
Chris Volstad, Florida Marlins (5-11, 5.61 ERA)
Volstad continues to struggle in the first inning. He allowed two more runs in the opening frame in a 3-2 loss to Cincinnati in his last outing, raising his season total to 18 runs allowed in the first inning. The Marlins have won just two of Volstad’s starts dating back to June 30 and has given up at least three runs in every start since then.
Dontrelle Willis, Cincinnati Reds (0-3, 4.10 ERA)
Even though Willis is still looking for his first win in a Reds uniform, he has pitched pretty well. He has held his opposition to three or fewer runs in all but one of his nine starts with Cincinnati.
"A lot of things dictate wins and losses," said Willis, who is coming off a no-decision in a 4-3 win over Washington. "I like the way I'm throwing the ball. I like the way I'm competing and I like the way the guys are competing for me."