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MLB: Pitching mismatch in Orioles-Tigers contest2010-07-06
If you consider nothing more than stats, there are some decisive starting pitching mismatches on the Tuesday night baseball slate, perhaps none bigger than that in Detroit between the Tigers’ Armando Galarraga and the Orioles’ Jake Arrieta. Not only that, but Detroit is in first place in the A.L. Central Division while Baltimore is in last in the A.L. East. Oddsmakers at Sportsbook.com opened the line for Tuesday’s contest at Tigers -170, but it has quickly shot up to -190 and could go much higher by game time, if bettors get a hold of a powerful system in play.
Galarraga (3-2, 4.50 ERA) was the talk of the majors when he essentially retired all 28 batters he faced June 2, the last after umpire Jim Joyce blew what would have been the game's final out at first base. However, he has a lowly 6.00 ERA since his controversial one-hitter, and the Detroit Tigers right-hander will look to bounce back from his shortest outing of the season when he takes the mound against the visiting Orioles.
Though it seemed like that might be an indication that Galarraga was reverting back to his form from his rookie 2008 season (13-7, 3.73 ERA), he has since looked more like the pitcher that went 6-10 with a 5.64 ERA last season.
If there's hope for Galarraga, it's that he's pitched well at home even aside from the one-hitter. He's 2-0 with a 2.22 ERA in five games at Comerica, but just 1-2 with a 7.78 ERA on the road.
Additionally, the Tigers (44-37) have proven difficult to beat at home regardless of who's on the mound. Detroit is an AL-best 28-12 at home.
Going for the Orioles, is Jake Arrieta (2-2, 5.81), who has the potential to be great, and the rookie right-hander won his first two major league starts while posting a 2.77 ERA. Since though, he's 0-2 with an 8.78 ERA in his last three.
Interim manager Juan Samuel certainly wasn't happy after Baltimore's fourth loss in five games Monday, hinting at roster changes - likely in his taxed bullpen - before the series continues.
"We're looking at a lot of things - whether we need an extra pitcher after using the 'pen so much today or whether we need another hitter," he said.
The extensive usage of the bullpen sets up against the Orioles in a very powerful FoxSheets Super Situation, one that has won six of every seven games over the last five seasons:
• Play Against - All underdogs with a money line of +150 or more (BALTIMORE) - with a starting pitcher whose strikes out 3 or less batters per start, after a game where the bullpen threw 6 or more innings. (59-10 over the last 5 seasons.) (85.5%, +41.2 units. Rating = 4*)
Galarraga’s success also draws a huge trend indicating to fade Baltimore:
• BALTIMORE is 1-18 (-16.3 Units) against the money line vs. a starting pitcher whose gives up 5.5 or less hits/start this season. The average score was BALTIMORE 2.7, OPPONENT 6.7 - (Rating = 3*)
Baltimore has done very little well this season, and playing on the road (9-32, -17.0 units) and at night (16-42, -21.8 units) have been two of the worst situational spots. Tonight of course, they combine.
The StatFox Power Rating Line shows Detroit -200, and it’s a good bet that the actual line at Sportsbook.com reaches that level or higher by first pitch, which is scheduled for 7:05 PM ET.
MLB Series Betting- Boston at Philadelphia2010-05-21
It is still a week before Memorial Day holiday weekend but a matchup of the Red Sox and Phillies invokes thoughts of postseason baseball. These two squads have become synonymous when one thinks about baseball in October with their recent history of success and World Series titles. Because of proximity, Major League Baseball has made this an annual meeting and while it won’t carry the media weight of the New York subway series, the baseball itself is arguably better, given the talent of the clubs. For the 3-game set, Sportsbook.com lists Philadelphia as a -220 favorite.
Philadelphia (25-15, +2.6 units) is again perched atop the NL East, leading the league in offense at 5.5 runs per game. If the Phillies have one weakness, it’s the American League. Forget losing to the Yankees in the Fall Classic, Philadelphia has issues in the regular season. The Phils are 10-23 the last two seasons when matched against the AL and have lost five consecutive series to Boston and are 4-14 taking on the Red Sox.
Boston (22-20, -4) is not in panic mode (at least not the front office), however they do have serious concerns. The Red Sox are in fourth place in the highly competitive AL East and are 8.5 games back of front-running Tampa Bay already. Boston has had their share of injuries to players like Mike Cameron and Jacoby Ellsbury, being out of the lineup.
Nevertheless, the BoSox are averaging 5.2 runs per game, which is third in the AL and sixth on the majors, however upon closer inspection they have been held to three runs or less 17 times. Compare that to Philadelphia who has 13 such occurrences and the Rays with 12. Using the other two division leaders as a benchmark, that is four or five potential swing games that could have been victories due to offensive ineffectiveness.
Boston has been one of the best interleague teams with a 38-20 record the last three seasons and sends John Lackey (4-2, 4.86 ERA) to the mound for Game 1. Lackey’s been hit hard, allowing 11 runs in 13 innings his last two starts vs. Detroit and Toronto. He’ll look to get back on track and Lackey is 19-5 UNDER in interleague action (team’s record) with average runs scored against him of 2.8 per contest.
Sportsbook.com has Philadelphia as -141 money line favorites with total Ov9 and gives the ball to Cole Hamels (4-2, 4.29). Hamels has won his previous two starts and looks to make it three in a row for the first time in three years.
The Phillies will look to change ways, since they are 1-8 at home when the American League comes calling, yet are 12-1 at Citizens Bank Park after allowing four runs or less five straight games over the last three seasons.
Game 1 Edge: Boston
This series will also feature hitters that are swinging the bat. The Sox J.D. Drew is batting .333 in his last 24 contests after slow start and has 17 RBI’s in previous 19 games. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia owns a .356 average in interleague play, which is the best all-time among players with at least 150 at-bats.
Placido Polanco has been a great fit for Philadelphia, especially at home, where he is batting .349 on the season. With him on base so frequently this sets up numerous RBI chances for Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. This is important since the Phillies are 20-6 when they score first and 5-9 when they don’t.
The middle game pitching matchup has Daisuke Matsuzaka (2-1, 7.89) facing Kyle Kendrick (2-1, 5.24). Dice-K has made four starts and in three of them has given up the one big inning which has been his demise. He needs to keep his level of concentration up like in the past, where he and his teammates are 8-2 as visitors against clubs with winning records.
Kendrick was on his game is last start, eight innings and two runs permitted against Pittsburgh. The right-hander has 2.57 ERA in his last three starts and his club is 5-1 when he’s on the mound at home.
Game 2 Edge: Philadelphia
The final encounter of the series looks like a complete mismatch. Veteran knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (0-2, 5.31) will step into the starting rotation for Josh Beckett who is on the DL with lower back strain. Wakefield hasn't won a game since July 8, 2009, but don’t blame him entirely, as he left a contest on four separate occasions with the lead, only to see his Sox teammates cough it up. Oddly, Boston is 2-9 in day games this season.
Philly looks for the doctor to make everything better. Roy “Doc” Halladay (6-2, 1.64) hasn’t given up a home run in over 32 innings, but is coming off a complete game in which he made 132 pitches. The Phillies are 9-6 under natural light, however this might not be as easy as it looks since Halladay is 14-14 with a 4.28 ERA vs. Boston in his career.
This is the TBS Sunday afternoon contest at 1:25 Eastern.
Game 3 Edge: Philadelphia
We’ll give a somewhat shaky vote for Philadelphia to end series drought over the Red Sox, however, be aware you will need to lay -220 to collect, as Sportsbook.com’s series odds show: Boston +170, Philadelphia -220