cnotes Posts:33167 Followers:38
On 09/29/2011 10:42 PM in MLB

Cnotes NLDS & ALCS Best Bets !

Playoff Notebook - ALDS

September 29, 2011

National League Notebook
New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers
Team Record Home Away O/U
97-65 52-29 45-36 71-78
95-67 50-31 45-36 84-66

Series Price: New York -150 Detroit +130
Series Format: New York 2-2-1

Game 1 - Friday, Sept. 30
Game 2 - Saturday, Oct. 1
Game 3 - Monday, Oct. 3
*Game 4 - Tuesday, Oct. 4
*Game 5 - Thursday, Oct. 6

2011 Head-to-Head History
Date Result Total
May 5 Detroit (-105) 6 vs. New York 3 PUSH 9
May 4 Detroit (-110) 4 vs. New York 0 UNDER 8.5
May 3 Detroit (+150) 4 vs. New York 2 UNDER 8.5
May 2 New York (+125) 5 at Detroit 2 PUSH 8
Apr. 3 Detroit (+150) 10 at New York 7 OVER 9.5
Apr. 2 New York (-180) 10 vs. Detroit 6 OVER 9.5
Mar. 31 New York (-145) 6 vs. Detroit 3 OVER 8


Detroit and New York kicked off the season back in late March in the Bronx with Justin Verlander facing CC Sabathia. The two aces meet again on Friday night as the Bombers look to get back to the World Series after getting knocked out in the ALCS by Texas last season. The Tigers have been on cruise control for a few weeks after clinching the AL Central title, as Detroit's explosive offense tries to keep up with New York's stacked lineup.

The last time these teams saw each other was early May when the Tigers took three of four meetings at Comerica Park. However, the Yankees figured out Verlander by beating the Cy Young frontrunner twice this season, including the opening day win with Sabathia on the mound. All three matchups in the Bronx to start the season finished 'over' the total, as the Yankees plated six runs or more in all three games.

Betcha Didn't Know

Detroit 6-0 L6 Fridays on road
Detroit 11-6 home vs. AL East
New York 3-7 at home on Fridays
New York 10-2 L12 vs. AL Central
Prediction: Yankees in 4

Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Team Record Home Away O/U
96-66 52-29 44-37 85-68
91-71 47-34 44-37 65-88

Series Price: Texas -165 Tampa Bay +145
Series Format: Texas 2-2-1

Game 1 - Friday, Sept. 30
Game 2 - Saturday, Oct. 1
Game 3 - Monday, Oct. 3
*Game 4 - Tuesday, Oct. 4
*Game 5 - Thursday, Oct. 6

2011 Head-to-Head History
Date Result Total
Sept. 7 Tampa Bay (-135) 5 vs. Texas 4 OVER 7.5
Sept. 6 Texas (-130) 8 at Tampa Bay PUSH 8
Sept. 5 Tampa Bay (-150) 5 vs. Texas 1 UNDER 7.5
Sept. 1 Texas (-145) 7 vs. Tampa Bay OVER 8.5
Aug. 31 Tampa Bay (+110) 4 at Texas 1 UNDER 8.5
Aug. 30 Texas (-115) 2 vs. Tampa Bay UNDER 9.5
June 1 Texas (+135) 3 at Tampa Bay 0 UNDER 7.5
May 31 Tampa Bay (+120) 5 vs. Texas 4 OVER 8
May 30 Texas (+105) 11 at Tampa Bay 5 OVER 8.5


These two clubs met up in this round last October as Tampa Bay held home-field advantage. That meant very little as Cliff Lee beat the Rays twice, including the series-clincher in Game 5 at Tropicana Field to advance to the ALCS. The Rangers host the first two games of this series, while owning a 52-29 record in Arlington. Tampa Bay forced its way into the postseason with a three-game sweep of New York, as the Rays took advantage of Boston's September meltdown to make the playoffs for the third time in four seasons.

These two teams played a competitive season series with the Rangers grabbing five of the nine matchups, including two of three in Arlington. Game 1 starter C.J. Wilson beat the Rays in two of three starts, while Jeff Niemann takes the ball in the opener for the Rays looking for his first win over Texas in three outings. Tampa Bay is just 6-9 the last 15 road games, but the Rays have compiled a 12-2 mark the previous 14 contests at Tropicana Field.

Betcha Didn't Know

Tampa Bay 8-3 OVER L11 away vs. AL West
Tampa Bay 7-3 L10 vs. LHP on road
Texas 11-2 home on Fridays
Texas 6-11 L17 away vs. AL East
Prediction: Rangers in 5

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33167 Followers:38
09/29/2011 10:46 PM

Playoff Notebook - NLDS

September 29, 2011

American League Notebook
Philadelphia Phillies vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Team Record Home Away O/U
Philly 102-60 52-29 50-31 74-78
St. Louis 90-72 45-36 45-36 86-71

Series Price: Philadelphia -290 St. Louis +245
Series Format: Philadelphia 2-2-1

Game 1 - Saturday, Oct. 1
Game 2 - Sunday, Oct. 2
Game 3 - Tuesday, Oct. 4
*Game 4 - Wednesday, Oct. 5
*Game 5 - Friday, Oct. 7

2011 Head-to-Head History
Date Result Total
Sept. 19 St. Louis (+185) 4 at Philadelphia 3 UNDER 7.5
Sept. 18 St. Louis (+115) 5 at Philadelphia 0 UNDER 7
Sept. 17 Philadelphia (-140) 9 vs. St. Louis 2 OVER 8.5
Sept. 16 St. Louis (+115) 4 at Philadelphia 2 UNDER 8
June 23 St. Louis (-115) 12 vs. Philadelphia 2 OVER 7.5
June 22 Philadelphia (-145) 4 at St. Louis 0 UNDER 7.5
June 21 Philadelphia (-165) 10 at St. Louis 2 OVER 7.5
May 17 St. Louis (-155) 2 vs. Philadelphia 1 UNDER 7
May 16 St. Louis (+130) 3 vs. Philadelphia 1 UNDER 7


Philadelphia had no idea who it would face in the opening round heading into the final night of the season, but the Phillies drew the one team that had their number in 2011. The Cardinals won six of nine matchups against the NL East champions, including taking three of four at Citizens Bank Park two weeks ago. After getting swept at home by the Dodgers, the Redbirds bucked up and won 23 of their final 32 games to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

It was pretty much a formality that the Phillies would be back in the postseason again after falling short against the Giants in the NLCS last October. Philadelphia overcame a late eight-game losing skid to crack the 100-win mark, while a late three-game sweep of division rival Atlanta allowed St. Louis to get into the playoffs. The Phillies and Cardinals played low-scoring contests more often than not with the 'over' hitting in six of the nine regular season meetings.

Betcha Didn't Know

Philadelphia 15-6 OVER home vs. NL Central
Philadelphia 25-12 L37 away vs. RHP
St. Louis 9-2 L11 away vs. RHP
St. Louis 12-5 home vs. NL East
Prediction: Phillies in 4

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Team Record Home Away O/U
Milwaukee 96-66 57-24 39-42 76-77
Arizona 94-68 51-30 43-38 75-82

Series Price: Milwaukee -160 Arizona +140
Series Format: Milwaukee 2-2-1

Game 1 - Saturday, Oct. 1
Game 2 - Sunday, Oct. 2
Game 3 - Tuesday, Oct. 4
*Game 4 - Wednesday, Oct. 5
*Game 5 - Friday, Oct. 7

2011 Head-to-Head History
Date Result Total
July 21 Arizona (-105) 4 vs. Milwaukee 0 UNDER 8.5
July 20 Milwaukee (+110) 5 at Arizona 2 UNDER 9
July 19 Milwaukee (-118) 11 at Arizona 3 OVER 9
July 18 Arizona (-125) 3 vs. Milwaukee 0 UNDER 9
July 6 Milwaukee (-145) 3 vs. Arizona 1 UNDER 8
July 5 Arizona (+140) 7 at Milwaukee 3 OVER 9
July 4 Arizona (+110) 8 at Milwaukee OVER 7


The two playoff darlings meet in a potentially entertaining series that begins at Miller Park. Milwaukee owns the best home record in baseball at 57-24, but the Brewers went 1-6 at home down the stretch against the Phillies and Cardinals. Arizona was not expected to do much in the NL West, but Kirk Gibson's team received terrific pitching to capture the division title at 12/1 odds from spring training. The D-Backs finished 25-9 the last 34 games of the season, even though none of those games came against teams currently in the playoffs.

Arizona won four of seven matchups against Milwaukee, including a 2-1 record at Miller Park. The Brewers managed a split of a four-game series at Arizona, as Game 1 starter Yovani Gallardo owns a 5-0 career record against the D-Backs. 21-game winner Ian Kennedy is riding a 13-1 run since early July, but eight of those victories have come against NL West opponents.

Betcha Didn't Know:

Arizona 11-6 L17 away vs. NL Central
Arizona 16-1 L17 vs. RHP at home
Milwaukee 46-16 vs. RHP at home
Milwaukee 11-4 UNDER away vs. NL West
Prediction: Diamondbacks in 4

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33167 Followers:38
09/29/2011 10:49 PM

Texas Rangers Begin AL Pennant Defense Vs Rays

To quote the great philosopher David Byrne, "Well, how did I get here?"

The Tampa Bay Rays find themselves in the American League playoffs following one of the most improbable September runs in MLB history. Their comeback – coupled with an equally amazing collapse by the Boston Red Sox – was completed with an incredible 12-inning win over the New York Yankees on the final day of the season to push the Rays into an ALDS rematch from a year ago with the Texas Rangers.

Game 1 is set for a 5:07 p.m. (ET) first pitch Friday evening at Rangers Ballpark with TBS covering the contest. CJ Wilson has been tabbed by Texas manager Ron Washington to begin the Rangers' defense of the 2010 AL Pennant. Rays skipper Joe Maddon will go with Jeff Niemann in hopes of continuing the team's improbable run.

Opening numbers at MLB betting windows made the Rangers solid 175 favorites with an 8-run total.

Even watching it all unfold the past few weeks, and especially Wednesday night, it's still hard to believe. Tampa Bay was nine games behind the Red Sox for the fourth and final playoff slot in the AL when play ended Sept. 2 before reeling off a 17-8 mark the rest of the way. Six of those 17 wins came at the expense of Boston, the heavy 4/1 favorites to win the Junior Circuit after another offseason spending spree by Sox GM Theo Epstein.

Tampa Bay was by no means a huge long shot to get this far. Even with the salary/roster purge the Rays went through last winter, they opened spring training as a 20/1 pick to win the 2011 World Series, right there with the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox who, like Boston, have been cleared to begin getting their golf games back in tune.

Leaving Tampa for greener pastures were Carl Crawford, Carlos Peña, Matt Garza, Rafael Soriano, Joaquin Benoit and Grant Balfour. In their place trotted in Kyle Farnsworth, Jake McGee, the ageless Johnny Damon and, yes, Manny Ramirez. Remember him?

Third place in the AL East was deemed the best the Rays could hope for, but Maddon and his troops ignored that talk.

The run to get here has left Maddon's rotation out of whack for this series, though I'm sure he's not panicking. After all, his starters finished fourth in the majors with a 3.53 ERA, just a tad better than Texas' 3.65 mark.

Ideally, Maddon would give the ball to James Shields, but he would be pitching on short rest after taking the mound this past Monday in the series opener against the Yankees. With rookie Jeremy Hellickson and southpaw David Price also out of the picture, it left Maddon with a decision between Jeff Niemann, Wade Davis and rookie Matt Moore who has made all of one career start in the majors.

Niemann (14-9, 4.06) was the logical choice despite losing twice to the Rangers in September. All told, the big righty worked 9 2/3 innings against Texas this season while allowing 12 runs.

The rotation is in much better shape for Washington and the Rangers despite Texas going hard to the end trying to gain the 2-seed in the American League bracket. Like the Rays, it's a staff without a really big name but has proven tough to beat.

That's been especially true of Wilson (21-13, 2.94) the past two seasons. Texas is 45-25 since the beginning of 2010 when the lefty takes the hill, including the postseason. Four of those 45 wins came facing the Rays.

Wilson beat Tampa Bay twice in early September, both wins coming at the expense of Niemann. He no-decisioned against the Rays in a Texas loss on May 31, and finished the season with a 2.07 ERA in 21 2/3 innings facing Tampa's lineup.

Texas was even hotter in the final month than Tampa Bay, winning 19 of 25 games and closing on a 14-2 run with a 6-game win streak to enter the postseason.

The ALDS last year between these two clubs went the full five games with the visitors earning the dubya in each matchup. The Rangers held a 5-4 advantage in the 2011 season series, going 2-1 at home and 3-3 on the road. Two of the three clashes in Texas stayed 'under' the total.

Believe it or not, the weather forecast for Friday in Arlington does not call for scorching heat. A cool front is pushing through the state today leaving what should be clear skies and a game-time temp in the low 80s with very little humidity. A north wind in the 12-18 mph range is also part of the equation (from 3B out to RF corner).

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33167 Followers:38
09/29/2011 10:51 PM

CC Sabathia, Justin Verlander Clash In ALDS Opener

There's something vaguely familiar about it all.

The Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees open their ALDS exactly where they began the 2011 season when action gets underway Friday night. March 31 saw a crowd of more than 48,000 pay their way into Yankee Stadium on a chilly, damp afternoon when the Tigers and Yankees started not only their 2011 campaigns, but the MLB season.

New York scored three runs in the seventh and eighth innings that day to come away with a 6-3 win.

The weather promises to be much better for Game 1 of the ALDS. There is a 20 percent chance of rain, but all signs point to a nice evening in the Bronx with the thermometer in the mid-60s for the 8:37 p.m. (ET) first pitch on TBS.

Throwing that first pitch will be the same guy who hurled pitch No. 1 in the March 31 game, New York's CC Sabathia (22-11, 3.00). He'll be opposed by the same pitcher from the season opener, Justin Verlander (25-9, 2.40).

Early MLB odds set Sabathia and the Yankees at -130, close to the -145 line New York closed at March 31. A 7-run total has been set for Friday, a run lower than Opening Day.

Verlander should be adorned with the AL Cy Young when the awards are announced after the end of the playoffs. He won the pitching Triple Crown in the Junior Circuit with 24 wins, a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts, and cemented his place at the top of the list of AL pitchers with 12 consecutive wins during the second half. Verlander will also receive consideration for the league's MVP.

All that hardware will look nice on his mantle at home, but it won't help him one bit in this game.

Verlander's 12-game win streak came to a halt in his final assignment of the regular season Sept. 24 at home against the Orioles. The big righty took a no-decision in Detroit's 6-5 loss on a -255 betting line, working seven frames and allowing five of Baltimore's runs.

Two no-decisions also were the results in his two starts vs. the Yanks in 2011. Verlander worked six innings and allowed three runs in each outing, both of which ultimately went into the loss column for the Tigers.

This will also be the third go against Detroit in 2011 for Sabathia. The Yankees split those two games, Sabathia getting a no-decision in the Opening Day victory and suffering the loss in a May 3 start in Detroit. Combined, the southpaw worked 13 innings and surrendered seven runs to Detroit, six of them earned.

Sabathia has a long history against the Tigers dating back to his days with the Cleveland Indians. He's seen them six times since joining the Yankees, New York winning three of those contests.

The two hitters in Detroit's lineup that have consistently given Sabathia the most trouble over the years have been Miguel Cabrera (9-for-16, 2 HR) and Magglio Ordoñez (19-for-71, 3 HR).

Joe Girardi was whining earlier this week about only having one day off before Game 1 of the playoffs, but the New York skipper should be fine as far as his bullpen goes for this one. Mariano Rivera, David Robertson and Rafael Soriano will have each had two days off.

AJ Burnett, who appears to be out of the rotation for at least the ALDS, only threw five pitches in Wednesday's regular season finale with Friday his normal day to start, meaning he could be used for multiple innings if Girardi needed it.

Alex Rodriguez missed Wednesday's game with a sore knee, but should be in the starting lineup Friday night.

Jim Leyland did use his closer Jose Valverde in Wednesday's win to close the season, as the Tigers were still battling for the 2-seed in the American League. But the MLB leader in saves should be dialed up and ready to go if Detroit has the lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.

Leyland and the Tigers are expected to be without second baseman Carlos Guillen for the entire ALDS. Guillen has been missing in action since mid-September with a calf injury.

Though Detroit lost the two starts Verlander made vs. the Yankees this year, the Tigers won the season series from New York, 4-3. All three games played in the Bronx went 'over' the totals.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33167 Followers:38
09/29/2011 10:53 PM

ALDS Preview: Tigers vs. Yankees


vs. NEW YORK YANKEES (97-65) Series Line: New York -150, Detroit +130

Series Schedule (Best of 5):
Game 1 at NYY: Friday, 8:37 p.m. EDT
Justin Verlander (24-5, 2.40 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia (19-8, 3.00 ERA)

Game 2 at NYY: Saturday, 8:37 p.m. EDT
Doug Fister (11-13, 2.83 ERA) vs. Ivan Nova (16-4, 3.70 ERA)

Game 3 at DET: Monday, 8:37 p.m. EDT
Freddy Garcia (12-8, 3.62 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (15-9, 4.43 ERA)

Game 4 at DET: Tuesday, Time TBD (if necessary)
TBA vs. Rick Porcello (14-9, 4.75 ERA)

Game 5 at NYY: Thursday, Oct. 6, Time TBD (if necessary)
TBA vs. Justin Verlander (24-5, 2.40 ERA)

The Yankees enter the playoffs as the American League front-runners again, but they’ll have to go through baseball’s best pitcher first.

New York has had it on cruise control for the past week, finishing the regular season with four straight losses as it frequently mixed in reserves and September call-ups. It’s been a while since these teams saw each other, the last of their season series played on May 5 (Detroit won four of the seven, including the last three). And the Tigers and Yankees are more similar than you might think: Both have great offenses (Yankees were second in MLB with 5.35 runs per game, Tigers were fourth with 4.86), a true ace (New York’s CC Sabathia, Detroit’s Justin Verlander) and a dominant closer (New York’s Mariano Rivera, Detroit’s Jose Valverde), but have serious question marks deeper in the rotation. The performances of Verlander and Sabathia will be key considering the crapshoot nature of the rest of the pitching staffs, and Verlander has an edge over Sabathia, especially considering Sabathia’s shaky performance in the 2010 playoffs. While the Yankees are deservingly favored in this series, the Tigers have the pieces to pull off the upset. At that money line, the pick here is DETROIT to win the series.

Game 1 at Yankee Stadium will be monumentally important. Verlander (24-5, 2.40 ERA), the shoe-in for AL Cy Young and possible MVP, has gotten stronger as the year has gone on, winning his last 12 decisions. He was a phenomenal 14-2 with a 2.43 ERA on the road. He’s also been solid against the Yankees the past three seasons, posting a 2.63 ERA. He allowed three runs over six innings the two times he faced New York this year, but both starts were before May 2 and historically Verlander is a slow starter.

Sabathia (19-8, 3.00 ERA), on the other hand, was a little shakier down the stretch. Since August 1, he’s 4-3 with a 4.06 ERA, as opponents have hit .316 against him. New York went just 5-5 in those outings. It’s worrisome considering the lefty’s performance last October. While the Yankees won all three of Sabathia’s starts, he had a 5.63 ERA and allowed 30 base runners over 16 innings. Since joining the Bronx Bombers, Sabathia is 2-3 with a 3.95 ERA against Detroit.

After Game 1, the crapshoot begins. Game 2 will pit New York’s Ivan Nova (16-4, 3.70 ERA) versus the Tigers’ Doug Fister (11-13, 2.83 ERA with Seattle and Detroit). Nova was strong after a midseason demotion, going 8-0 with a 3.18 ERA after returning to the bigs in late July. He’s not a dominant power arm though, striking out just 47 in 73.2 innings during that span. Fister was magnificent after coming to Detroit at the trade deadline, going 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA for the Tigers and allowing two earned runs in 34 September innings. Like Nova, Fister is more of a control artist (five walks in 70.1 innings with Detroit) than a power pitcher.

In Game 3, the Yankees will start Freddy Garcia (12-8, 3.62 ERA), who posted a 7.36 ERA in four September starts, against the erratic Max Scherzer (15-9, 4.43 ERA), who allowed four-plus runs in three of his last six starts. Two perennial disappointments, A.J. Burnett (11-11, 5.15 ERA) and Rick Porcello (14-9, 4.75 ERA), are tentatively slated for Game 4, but whoever is trailing in the series is more likely to start their ace on short rest.

Offensively, the Yankees should have at least a slight edge. After some postseason struggles early in his career, 2B Robinson Cano (.302 BA, 28 HR, 118 RBI in 2011) posted a 1.133 OPS during the 2010 playoffs. CF Curtis Granderson (.262, 41, 119), who had a breakout season in 2011, has a career .906 postseason OPS. SS Derek Jeter (.297, 6, 61), who has a career .850 OPS in 679 postseason plate appearances, and 3B Alex Rodriguez (.276, 16, 62), who has a .925 OPS in 276 playoff PA, are coming off disappointing regular seasons, but have loads of postseason experience. The potential trouble spots are 1B Mark Teixiera (.248, 39, 111), who has struggled desperately with a career .650 OPS in the playoffs, and RF Nick Swisher (.260, 23, 85), who has a career .162 postseason batting average.

The Detroit offense is built around 1B Miguel Cabrera (.344 BA, 30 HR, 105 RBI) and a series of solid role players: DH Victor Martinez (.330, 12, 103), SS Jhonny Peralta (.299, 21, 86) and C Alex Avila (.295, 19, 82) among them. The Tigers also have a back of the bullpen that can shorten game effectively, with closer Valverde (49-for-49 on save opportunities) and set-up man Joaquin Benoit (2.95 ERA), who had a 1.33 ERA and held opponents to a .116 batting average after the All-Star break.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33167 Followers:38
09/29/2011 10:55 PM

NLDS Preview: Diamondbacks vs. Brewers


vs. MILWAUKEE BREWERS (96-66) Series Line: Milwaukee -160, Arizona +140

Series Schedule (Best of 5):
Game 1 at MIL: Saturday, 2:07 p.m. EDT
Ian Kennedy (21-4, 2.88 ERA) vs. Yovani Gallardo (17-10, 3.52 ERA)

Game 2 at MIL: Sunday, 4:37 p.m. EDT
Daniel Hudson (16-12, 3.49 ERA) vs. Zack Greinke (16-6, 3.83 ERA)

Game 3 at ARI: Tuesday, Time TBD
Shaun Marcum (13-7, 3.54 ERA) vs. Joe Saunders (12-12, 3.69 ERA)

Game 4 at ARI: Wednesday, Time TBD (if necessary)

Game 5 at MIL: Friday, Oct. 7, Time TBD (if necessary)

The Diamondbacks and Brewers have known they were playoff-bound for quite some time now, and they finally kick off postseason play on Saturday in Milwaukee. This series will be a strong test of whether or not the crafty Diamondbacks pitchers will be able to tame the potent bats of Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks. Game 1 in Milwaukee will go a long way in determining that with ace Ian Kennedy on the hill for Arizona, always a strong candidate to throw a gem.

Milwaukee finished the season 57-24 (.704) in Miller Park, by far the best home mark in baseball. The Brewers are also filled with a number of scorching-hot players, like Ryan Braun, who despite missing out on the batting title, hit .350 in the second half of the season with a 1.050 OPS. The lineup is too much for the D-Backs to handle. Play on MILWAUKEE to come out of this series victorious with home-field advantage.

Kennedy (21-4, 2.88 ERA) has been nothing short of dominant this season. He closed out the year with the Diamondbacks winning his last seven starts and 14 of his last 15. In his career, Kennedy has made three starts against the Diamondbacks, with a 1-1 record and 2.70 ERA. However, he does have slightly worse road splits this season (3.19 road ERA versus 2.64 home ERA) and isn’t a strong value play.

Yovani Gallardo (17-10, 3.52 ERA) did not finish the season as well as Kennedy with a 4.35 September ERA, but has other numbers that make his case. He has dominated the Diamondbacks in his career, with a 5-0 record in five starts. In those games, he has a 1.20 ERA and .188 opposing batting average – play on him.

Daniel Hudson (16-12, 3.49 ERA) has been a reliable piece of the D-backs rotation all season. But he has struggled in his career against the Brew Crew with a 5.73 ERA in two career starts against them. He’ll need to be at his best form if he wants any hope at beating Greinke on the road.

Zack Greinke (16-6, 3.83 ERA) has not been unhittable the way he has been in the past this season, but provides one main reason why he is the play in this game: his home record. In 11 home starts this season, Greinke has gone unbeaten, a masterful feat. Ignore his 6.12 career ERA against the Diamondbacks for this start – focus on his dominant home splits in 2011.

Whereas Greinke was the perfect pitcher to start at home, Shaun Marcum (13-7, 3.54 ERA) is the ideal call to get Milwaukee’s first road start. Although his home numbers have been pedestrian, he has a 2.21 road ERA this season and an 8-3 record away from Miller Park. He is 1-0 in his career against Arizona in two starts with a 5.73 ERA, but is still the play here.

Joe Saunders (12-12, 3.69 ERA) is an unexciting play. He was 3-5 in Arizona this year and earned a no-decision in his one start against the Brewers this season. The Diamondbacks may ultimately be favored in this game as the home team, but as long as the lines are close, play on Marcum as a dominant road pitcher to win this game.

The starters for a potential fourth game in the series are not set. Randy Wolf will likely go for the Brewers, though it is less clear who the Diamondbacks would send out there. A potential fifth game would probably net a rematch between the team’s aces, Kennedy and Gallardo, a certain treat for baseball fans across the country.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33167 Followers:38
09/29/2011 10:56 PM

NLDS Preview: Cardinals vs. Phillies


vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (102-60) Series Line: Philadelphia -300, St. Louis +240

Series Schedule (Best of 5):
Game 1 at PHI: Saturday, 5:07 p.m. EDT
Jaime Garcia (13-7, 3.56 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay (19-6, 2.35 ERA)

Game 2 at PHI: Sunday, 8:07 p.m. EDT
TBA vs. Cliff Lee (17-8, 2.40 ERA)

Game 3 at STL: Tuesday, Time TBD
Cole Hamels (14-9, 2.79 ERA) vs. TBA

Game 4 at STL: Wednesday, Time TBD (if necessary)
Roy Oswalt (9-10, 3.69 ERA) vs. TBA

Game 5 at PHI: Friday, Oct. 7, Time TBD (if necessary)

The Cardinals completed an epic comeback to overtake the Wild Card from the Braves in September and now get to face the MLB-best Phillies in the NLDS as their reward. The Cardinals finished September with a 17-8 record, and will be no cakewalk for the Phillies as one of the hottest teams in baseball.

The Cardinals do not have the pitching talent to match the four aces from Philadelphia in Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt. Phillies’ starters this season had a combined 2.85 ERA, a full point better than the Cardinals at 3.85. They also have loads more experience in the postseason, as does most of the Phillies lineup. Even as extreme favorites, the play here is PHILADELPHIA to win the series.

Jaime Garcia (13-7, 3.56 ERA) has been strong in his second full season, and has fared quite well in six career outings (four starts) against the Phillies. In those six starts, he has a 2-1 record and 1.20 ERA. Still, for a win he’ll need some help from his bullpen – he’s gone six innings or fewer in seven of his past 10 starts. This will be his first start in the playoffs.

Roy Halladay (19-6, 2.35 ERA) gets the job done by himself and is always a candidate for a complete game. Despite his long career, he has only made four starts against the Cardinals, going 2-1 with a 2.10 ERA. He is undoubtedly the play in this game, especially at home where opponents had a .557 OPS against him this year. Halladay dominated in his first postseason last year, going 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and 20 K to just 3 BB in 22 IP.

It has yet to be announced who is starting for the Cardinals past Game 1, but Cliff Lee (17-8, 2.40 ERA) will start Game 2 for Philadelphia. The 2011 All-Star and former Cy Young winner has incredible splits against the Cardinals, making him the pick here regardless of who the birds toss out against him. In four career starts, he has gone 30.1 innings for a 3-1 record and 1.48 ERA. He has also outstanding in his postseason career, going 7-2 with a 2.13 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and 80 K in 76 innings.

The Phils will try Cole Hamels (14-9, 2.75 ERA) in Game 3. The lefty is not in the same class as Halladay or Lee, but is still an elite starter. He did cool down in the second half of this season though, with a 3-5 record and 3.44 ERA after the break. Depending on who he is matched up against, look to play on St. Louis in this game. He is not as dominant as Lee, and the Cardinals have the 6th highest OPS in baseball against southpaws at .768. Hamels has been pretty clutch in the postseason though, winning MVP Awards for both the 2008 NLCS and World Series. In 12 career playoff starts, he is 6-4 with a 3.33 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 69 K in 75.2 innings.

Should a series require a fourth game, Roy Oswalt (9-10, 3.69 ERA) will likely pitch for the Phillies while a fifth game would net a repeat of Halladay.

The Cardinals have a wide variety of options for setting their postseason rotation. After Garcia, Wednesday’s winner Chris Carpenter (10-9, 3.59 ERA) will likely start Game 2 or Game 3, depending on whether or not manager Tony La Russa wants to have him pitch at home or on the road. Edwin Jackson, the midseason acquisition, is also in the mix for those starts and could be a strong play with a 5-2 record in a Cardinals uniform. The fourth person in consideration is Kyle Lohse, who is one of the hottest pitchers in baseball with a 1.37 September ERA.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33167 Followers:38
09/29/2011 10:58 PM

ALDS Preview: Rays vs. Rangers


vs. TEXAS RANGERS (96-66) Series Line: Texas -165, Tampa Bay +145

Series Schedule (Best of 5):
Game 1 at TEX: Friday, 5:07 p.m. EDT
Jeff Niemann (11-7, 4.06 ERA) vs. C.J. Wilson (16-7, 2.94 ERA)

Game 2 at TEX: Saturday, 7:07 p.m. EDT
James Shields (16-12, 2.82 ERA) vs. Derek Holland (16-5, 3.95 ERA)

Game 3 at TB: Monday, Monday, 5:07 p.m. EDT
Colby Lewis (14-10, 4.40 ERA) vs. David Price (12-13, 3.49 ERA)

Game 4 at TB: Tuesday, Time TBD (if necessary)

Game 5 at TEX: Thursday, Oct. 6, Time TBD (if necessary)

After a dramatic run to the AL Wild Card, the Rays open the playoffs against second-seeded and defending AL champion Texas.

These two teams are built similarly, with strong defenses backing up solid starting rotations and question marks in the bullpen. But the Texas offense is what sets the Rangers apart. They were second in the majors in runs (5.35 per game) and first in home runs (222). They didn’t slow down in September, averaging 6.64 runs per game and scoring double-digits twice during a season-ending six-game winning streak. On top of that, they have home-field advantage and were tied for the best home record in the AL this year (52-29). That’s enough to make the choice TEXAS to win the series.

Texas led the 2010 postseason with 4.44 runs per game, and this year’s offense is even better. Along with LF Josh Hamilton (.298 BA, 25 HR, 94 RBI), RF Nelson Cruz (.263, 29, 87), DH Michael Young (.338, 11, 106) and 2B Ian Kinsler (.255, 32, 77), Texas now has 3B Adrian Beltre (.296, 32, 105) and C/1B Mike Napoli (.320, 30, 75) for this year’s playoff run.

The Rays are used to the do-or-die pressure at this point, making up a nine-game deficit in the Wild Card race to make the playoffs. This team has some familiar faces from their run to the 2008 AL pennant and 2010 playoff appearance, but gone are stars like Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena and Matt Garza.

Tampa went 17-10 in September, but that included a 4-0 record against a Yankees team with nothing to play for. 3B Evan Longoria (.244 BA, 31 HR, 99 RBI) caught fire down the stretch, posting a 1.043 OPS in September and hitting two home runs in a must-win, regular-season finale. They could use another postseason surge from CF B.J. Upton (.243, 23, 81), who hit seven home runs during the 2008 postseason, and 1B Casey Kotchman (.306, 10, 48) must prove his resurgent season wasn’t a fluke.

Pitching is a question mark for both teams. Jeff Niemann (11-7, 4.06 ERA) will start Game 1 for Tampa after the Rays scrambled to win games down the stretch. The Rangers will be heavy favorites in the opener with ace C.J. Wilson (16-7, 2.94 ERA) taking the mound. The most interesting matchup will be in Game 2, when the Rays throw the reliable James Shields (16-12, 2.82 ERA) against streaky 24-year-old lefty Derek Holland (16-5, 3.95 ERA), who went 5-0 with a 2.06 ERA in his last six starts. Tampa would appear to have an edge in Game 3, but Rangers righty Colby Lewis (14-10, 4.40 ERA) was 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA in four playoff starts last year while Rays ace David Price (12-13, 3.49 ERA) collapsed in his last two starts, both crucial pennant-race games, allowing 11 runs over 10 innings.

The bullpens are issues for both teams, but Rangers closer Neftali Feliz (32-for-38 in save opportunities) seemed to have straightened things out after a midseason slump. He was 11-for-12 on save opps. and posted a 1.90 ERA after August 1. Tampa’s bullpen is anchored by journeyman Kyle Farnsworth. The 35-year-old was 25-for-31 in save chances in his first full season as a closer.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33167 Followers:38
09/29/2011 11:01 PM

WNBA Finals Preview: Atlanta vs. Minnesota

2011 WNBA Finals Preview


Series Schedule (Best of 5):
Game 1 at MIN: Sunday, 8:30 p.m. EDT
Game 2 at MIN: Wednesday, 8:00 p.m. EDT
Game 3 at ATL: Friday, 8:00 p.m. EDT
Game 4 at ATL: Sunday, Oct. 9, 4:00 p.m. EDT (if necessary)
Game 5 at MIN: Wednesday, Oct. 12, 8:00 p.m. EDT (if necessary)

The WNBA Finals tip-off Sunday night, with the Atlanta Dream back as the underdog, this time against the Minnesota Lynx.

The Lynx swept the regular season series from Atlanta, winning handily both times. While those meetings were back in June, Minnesota still clearly has the edge. This is the first trip to the Finals for the Lynx. They have the best record in the WNBA, the right mix of young talent (Seimone Augustus, Maya Moore) and veteran experience (Taj McWilliams-Franklin), not to mention home-court advantage, where the Lynx are 17-3 SU at home this year. Minnesota has won 13 of its past 15 games, and easily disposed of Phoenix in the Western Conference finals. None of their past three games were closer than 17 points. Plus, the Western Conference has won 11 of 14 WNBA titles, and among Eastern Conference teams, only Detroit has won it all. The pick here is MINNESOTA to win the series.

The Dream were swept in the Finals by Seattle a year ago. This year’s team is playing some hard-nosed defense in the postseason, holding opponents to 39% shooting, and the strong play of Angel McCoughtry (18.4 PPG in the playoffs) has led a balanced offensive attack. But the emergence of Izi Castro Marques is what pushed them back into the finals. After coming off the bench in their first three playoff games, the Brazilian swingman moved into the starting lineup after a Game 1 loss to Indiana and went for 30 in Game 2 and 23 in Game 3, shooting 54% from the field and 7-for-12 from three in those games. It was a stunning turnaround, and considering Castro Marques’ regular-season numbers (7.6 PPG, 36% FG, 21% 3-pt FG), it also may have been a fluke.

The teams played a home-and-home on June 17 and 19, with the Lynx winning easily both times, 96-85 at home, then 77-64 in Atlanta. They shot just 6-for-25 from three in those two games, but Augustus was nearly unstoppable in the paint. She averaged 22.0 PPG while shooting 59% from the field and 11-for-12 from the line in the two games. She’s averaging 20.4 PPG on 49% shooting from the field and 14-of-15 from the line through five postseason games. And Moore, who won two national titles at the University of Connecticut, hasn’t shrunk in her first WNBA postseason, averaging 15.2 PPG and shooting 46% from three.

A big part of the reason Minnesota won those two games easily in June was the defensive job point guard Lindsay Whalen did on Lindsey Harding, the Atlanta point guard. Harding, who averaged 10.5 PPG on 46% shooting and 4.8 APG during the regular season, shot 5-for-21 and handed out a total of four assists in those losses. McCoughtry scored 27 in the teams’ first meeting, but was held to 10 in the second, and her 2-for-13 shooting was a big contributor to Atlanta’s 30% shooting from the field.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33167 Followers:38
09/30/2011 06:01 PM

Sorry for the late post but this is what i've got going for today in the ALDS:


Friday, September 30

Game Score Status Pick Amount

Tampa Bay 3 Top 3 Texas -172 500

Texas 0 Over 8 500

Detroit - 8:37 PM ET Detroit +121 500

NY Yankees - Over 7 500

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