gfoss59's Blog

Posted Tuesday, June 30, 2009 05:35 PM

Baker-Minn -- 5 inning line

   Baker-Minn first 5 -- 6hl(Tor) - 6al(Bos) - 4hl(TB) - 0(++)hw(KC) - 0hw(Sea) - 0(++)hp(Det) - 4al(CHW) - 1hw(Milw) - 1al(TB) - 0hw(Cleve) - 0aw(Oak) - 2al(CHC) -  1hw(Hou) - 0aw(Milw) -
   wlp:  7-6-1.  team wlp over 9 innings:  6-8.

   Key: runs allowed in first 5(+ if shelled in 6th)...  home or away...  win loss or push ... (Opponent.)  So:  "5hl(NYM)" means, 5 runs allowed, at home, losing proposition, against the New York Mets.

Posted Tuesday, June 30, 2009 05:06 PM

5-inning picks for Tuesday

Here's my stuff today with a brief comment -- stats to back this up are on my blog.

All of these are 5 inning selections unless otherwise indicated.

two-star picks: 

none.  at 42-18, and 7 of last 8, we save these for high confidence.  starting to like beckett, billingsley, burrnett, and some other reliables every time they pitch. 

one-star picks:

Billingsley, Dodgers F5 -- tough rivalry game but you have to love those numbers.  Ergo, one star, but not two.  Good 9i runline bet for the aggressive....  Dodgers stopped Philly win streak, now Colorado:  slump stoppers.

Haren, Diamondbacks F5 -- I can't figure this team out, but as long as he and Arroyo are to form, should win.  But if someone can explain D'backs to me, I'll buy you a beer.  Then we can take some of Haren's games with confidence.

Lee, Indians F5 -- not a money-winner generally, but better than Richard.  Like Haren, he's about .500 first five, but this should be one of the games he wins.

guys we normally like but are leaving off:

Feldman F5 -- had him last time.  don't like betting against a hot Angels team on the road. 

Baker F5 -- Twins stink it up against Kansas City. 

Blanton F5 -- ehhh...

... [More]

Posted Tuesday, June 30, 2009 04:45 PM

Billingsley-LAD vs. Marquis-Colo

One-star pick:

   Billingsley LAD first 5 -- 2ap(SD) - 1hw(SF) - 0hw(Colo) - 0aw(Hou) - 2ap(SF) - h1w(SD) - 0hp(SF) - 1ap(Phil) - 3hl(NYM) - 2hw(LAA) - 0ap(CHC) - 0hp(Ariz) - 3hw(SD) - 3aw(Tex) - 1(+)aw(LAA) - 2(+)aw(CHW) -
   first five wlp: 10-1-5.  road: 4-0-4.  team 9-inning wlp:  11-5. 
   (Note: of the 11 wins, 10 covered the runline.  Similar pattern in 2008.  Those doing 9 are justified in taking the RL.)

   Billingsley vs. Rockies:  Beat Colorado on April 18 -- not a masterpiece, with 3 runs in 6 innings, but a 5-inning shutout.  Of course, that was a different Colorado team than the one he faces tonight.  Overall, Dodgers are 3-4 when Billingsley starts against Rockies.  Most of the losses were in 2007 when they were the year's version of Tampa Bay 2008.  
   Note:  His career ERA vs. Colorado is an unimpressive 5.18. 

   Marquis vs. Dodgers:  Has won six of ten and five of last six.  61 2/3 IP,  15 BB, career ERA 2.19.  Of course, most of today's Dodgers weren't on the team over many of these starts, but at the least, it shows he isn't spooked by Dodger stadium or the uniform. 

   Billingsley is thus up the hottest team in baseball, with one of the best money-making pitchers in the game.  (As a proposition.)  Hard to make a game this competitive betw... [More]

Posted Tuesday, June 30, 2009 05:48 AM

Haren-Ariz vs.Arroyo-Cinn - 5 inning stat line

It's always worth considering Haren, especially against a high ERA guy like Arroyo.  A quick first glance, before a full cap, makes this proposition look interesting...

Haren AZ -136

   Haren-AZ -- first 5 -- 1hl(Colo) - 1hp(LAD) - 1al(SF) - 0hp(Colo) - 1hw(CHC) - 0aw(Milw) - 2ap(SD) - 2hl(Cinn) - 4al(Oak) - 1hw(Atl) - 1aw(LAD) - 1(+)aw(SD) - 1hw(Hou) - 2aw(KC) - 2hl(Tex)
   wlp over 5 innings:  7-5-3.  last five:  4-1. 
   Arroyo-Cinn -- first 5 -- 4hw(NYM) - 1aw(Milw) - 1(+)aw(Hou) - 6hl(Atl) - 0ap(Pitts) - 9(10)hl(Milw) - 4aw(Ariz) - 2al(SD) - 1hp(Cleve) - 1hw(Hou) - 2(+)ap(St.L.) - 3hl(CHC) - 5al(KC) - 2hl(CHW) - 7al(Tor).
  wlp over 5 innings:  5-7-3.  last five: 0-4-1.

   Haren's been solid, and consistent, a 1 or a 2 pretty steadily in the first 5.  Arizona's a fruitcake team that seems to score 10 runs or more, or 2 runs or less.  (Don't know if that's true statistically; but when we pick them one way or another, that's what happens.  The Orlando Magic of baseball,  they spend very little time in the happy medium.)
   Arroyo hasn't dominated Arizona, but he has beaten them 3 of 5 times, including a 13-5 blowout on May 11 of this year.  His stat line reminds us of Garland for (ironically) Arizona, who will toss a 0, then a 6, then a 2, then a 5, and so on. 

   Lots to look at -- injuries, rece... [More]

Posted Tuesday, June 30, 2009 05:22 AM

Lee-Cleve vs. Richard-CHW -- 5 innings

Five-inning stat line:

   Lee Clev LHP first 5 -- 7al(Tex) - 4hl(Tor) - 1aw(NYY) - 1hl(KC) - 0hp(Bos) - 1ap(Det) - 0hp(Det)- 0hw(CHW)- 1aw(KC)- 2al(Cinn)- 3hl(NYY) - 1aw(Minn) - 2hl(KC) - 0hw(St.L.) - 1aw(CHC) - 0aw(Pitts) -
   Lee first 5 wlp: 7-6-3;  home 3-4-2;  team wlp over nine innings, 5-11.
   Richard-CHW LHP first 5 --
   Richard first 5 wlp:  4aw(Cleve) - 2al(Tor) - 0hw(Pitts) - 0aw(KC) - 5hl(Oak) - 3hp(Det) - 0(+)aw(Milw) - 5ap(Cinn) - 4hl(LAD) -
   wlp:  4-3-2;  team wlp over nine innings: 5-4.

   Pitching notes:  From this there's not much to do except take some hope, perhaps, from Clayton Richard's recent decline as a starter. 
   Cliff Lee, despite his skills, is one of the biggest money-losing pitchers in baseball this year.  (Click here for the list -- sorry, 9 innings only.  He's better in 5, of course.)

   The day-night splits give a little sunlight -- or lamplight, I guess.  Richard is less effective at night (4.6 ERA) than day (3.7), a little something there.  Lee's the opposite, much better at nighttime (2.0 ERA) than day (4.4). 

   Lee against the White Sox offers also offers some reason to consider the proposition.  He's won four of the last six outings against them, including a 4-0 gem on May 13, and a 5-0 game last September 1. ... [More]

Posted Monday, June 29, 2009 11:13 PM

5-inning discussion thread for Tuesday

Sometime tomorrow, GoallineBob, and-or KeyElement, will start their 5-inning discussion thread....   these are always excellent, and we encourage you to visit.  But: 

In the meantime, here's what we're looking at for Tuesday.  These are not picks -- we believe in careful, extensive, game-by-game handicapping -- but they are things that look good on the shelf, at the stated price, and thus, have our attention:

Feldman-Texas -- Might also be an under.  Couple weeks ago, Feldman was the #2  money-winner over 5 innings that we could find over 5 innings (he was undefeated, and on much better money lines than Doc Halladay.)  Trouble is, both he and Saunders for the Angels have been inconsistent.  As it's a division matchup, we'll check it out -- there should be numerous matchup stats for both pitchers. 

Haren-Diamondbacks -- best 5-inning side proposition of the day at first glance.  We are something like 1-147 on Diamondback picks this year -- seriously -- nearly always get this team wrong.  For, against, 5 innings, 9 innings, we are always wrong.  We will carefully analyze this game and post a pick if for no other reason than you may wish to go the other way.

Lee-Indians -- 5 innings (early caveat:  Lee's one of the biggest money-losing pitchers in baseball this year as an investment proposition, over 9 innings.  Click here for the 9-innin... [More]

Posted Monday, June 29, 2009 04:59 PM

Doc Halladay vs. Tampa

One-star pick:

HALLADAY-TOR -- first 5 innnigs

   HALLADAY TOR first 5 -- 1hw(Det) - 1aw(Clev) - 1aw(Minn) - 3(+)hp(Tex) - 3ap(CHW) - 2hw(Bal) - 0aw(LAA) - 0hw(NYY) - 2hw(CHW) - 0ap(Atl) - 3aw(Bal) - 0(+)hw(LAA) - 0hw(KC) - 1hw(Fla) -

   HALLADAY 5i wlp: 11-0-3 *

Halladay's become automatic for us, especially at home, but it's always good to question assumptions.  So here are some potential flies in the ointment:

1. Toronto sticks weak, now burdened by a couple of injuries including Barajas -- a decent stick, and Halladay's comfortable catcher.

True but they've been good enough to win for him to win consistently.

2. Halladay just back. 

I don't place too much emphasis on this.   Toronto sat him out to be extra careful -- the right move.  He wouldn't be pitching if he weren't fine.  There's just no reason to push him in just ahead of the All-Star break unless he's 100 percent.  Nor do we worry much, as some do, about pitch counts, &tc.  They're pitching him because he's got no pain and they want to beat Tampa. 

3. Halladay lost 3 of 5 to Tampa in 2008.

Now this we take the most seriously.  Tampa, now healthy, sticking, and rising in the standings, comes in with the eye of the tiger.

The good news is Nieman's 6.4 ERA in his last three starts.  Surely Toronto can get a run or two off him.  That's normally all ... [More]

Posted Monday, June 29, 2009 07:20 AM

Duke-PItts vs. Harden-CHC -- first 5 stats

We thought about picking Zach Duke today at home against the Cubs -- but are leaning towards, well, not leaning.  The guy's pitched frustratingly well, especially at home (home starts underlined.)  But not that great.  And his recent line bounces up and down -- a 5 here, a 4 there. 

   Zach Duke-Pitts -- first 5 -- 2al(StL) - 0hw(Hou) - 6hl(Atl) - 0aw(SD) - 0hp(Cinn) - 4al(StL) - 1hw(StL) - 4hl(Colo) - 1al(CHW) - 2al(CHC) - 1hp(NYM) - 5al(Atl) - 3hw(Det) - 2hl(Minn) - 1hw(Cleve)
   overall wlp:  5-8-2.  home wlp: 3-3-2.

   Poor career won-loss record vs. Cubs (Pirates 2-8 with Duke pitching), but had a medium start this year, and a very good one last fall.  In prior years, he just wasn't that good against anyone.  furthermore the cubs were arguably better...  certainly in 2008. 
   Duke's career ERA and other stats against the Cubs aren't actually that bad.  His 3.03 ERA is well below his overall career ERA, and 21 walks in 92 innings is solid.  And the 2009 Cubs are quite weak against lefties.

   In short, there must be better stuff out there on a day when Halladay, Lincecum, Blackburn, and others are pitching;  when the Marlins are at home against the Nationals with a revived Nolasco on the mound;  &tc. 

... [More]

Posted Monday, June 29, 2009 04:20 AM

Lincecum-SFG vs. Thompson-St.L. - 5 inning stats

One-star pick:

( Note:  Sometimes we upgrade or downgrade picks during the day.  We like to get this information out for discussion.  "All of us are smarter than any of us." Cheers. )

Lincecum-SFG -- first 5 innings

   Lincecum-SFG first 5 -- 3(5)hw(Milw) - 3al(SD) - 0hp(Ariz) - 1aw(Ariz) - 0hw(LAD) - 2aw(CHC) - 4al(LAD) - 1hw(NYM) - 1al(SD) - 0hw(Atl) - 2aw(Wash) - 0aw(Fla) - 0hw(Oak) - 1hw(LAA) - 1aw(Oak)
   5-inning wlp:  11-3-1, including 6 straight.  wlp away:  5-3-0 including three straight.  team wlp over 9 innings: 9-6. 
   ( Comment:  Wow.  All zeroes and ones, with a couple twos, since late April -- last start with more than 2 RA was against the mighty Dodgers May 10 -- a Giant win, btw, in which Lincecum gave up only 6 hits and was victimized by an error.  Much better over 5 innings than 9 innings, despite the Giants' quality bullpen. Click here for a list of top money-makers for 9 innings -- Lincecum, Greinke, Halladay good, but not that great -- not even top 20.  They're all much better propositions over 5. )

   Thompson-St.L. first 5 -- 2hp(Cinn) - 3hl(Colo) - 1ap(Cleve) - 2aw(KC) - 4al(NYM-)
   5-inning wlp:  .
   ( Comment:  Only solid starts against Cleveland on a day when several lineup players missed, and the hapless KC Royals.  Rocked by the Mets 6/14. )

&... [More]

Posted Sunday, June 28, 2009 11:23 PM

MONDAY FIRST 5 INNINGS 06/29/09,,,,,

Note to five-inning enthusiasts:

I'm starting this thread with the intention of moving the material over to aGoallineBob or KeyElement's thread if/when they do one...   I just don't want to wait until right before the games to start the discussion. 

I recommend someone in the group start a given day's thread the day before -- even 2-3 days ahead.  I don't know about you, but I like to look ahead, and do my homework.

Anyway, here's what I'm looking at for Monday -- not picks yet, just shopping and considering:

lincecum -- only 5.  (nervous at st. louis vs. righty -- but i hear he's got a solid record vs. cards and pujolz)

halladay -- 5 and maybe some 9 runline.  (i'm not that nervous about his injury.  i think they were just being very, very cautious -- and right to do so, but he'll be fine.  i'm worried about tampa...)

nolasco -- improving, florida at home, 5 and 9 innings

blackburn -- twins, 5 innings only.  (howbowd my twins lately?  figuring out how to win on the road....  at the very least, something to think about when betting against them.  see my liriano warning of yesterday... )

floyd -- first 5 -- partly an anti-pavano bet.  plus, the sox have faced him couple times now...  they do much better facing a guy time 2, 3, 4...  e.g., their win against Greinke some weeks ago. 

zach duke -- first 5 -- very solid at home.... [More]

Posted Sunday, June 28, 2009 04:50 AM

What's up with Zach Greinke? -- KC vs. Pirates

One-star pick:

As Zach Greinke prepares to take the mound against the Pirates Sunday, baseball fans are naturally asking, what's been going on with him?

Following this stat-line analysis, we provide a little historical perspective, and a theory or two. 

Greinke-KC -- first 5 innings

   Greinke-KC -- first 5 -- 0aw(CHW)-0hw(Clev)-0ap(Tex)-1hw(Det)- 2hw(Tor)- 0hw(CHW) - 1al(LAA) - 1hw(Bal) - 2hw(Clev) - 1hl(Det) - 4hp(CHW) - 7al(Tor) - 1aw(Cleve) - 4hl(Ariz) - 1aw(Hou) -
   first 5 w-l-p 9-4-2, away 3-1-1.
   Morton-Pitts -- first 5 -- 0aw(Atl) - 2(+)ap(Colo) -
   first 5 w-l-p: 1-0-1.

   Hard to tell much about Morton from this thin line -- but this game, to me, is more about Greinke. 

   What's up with Zach?  It's important to remember that last year on May 20, he had a sparkling ERA of 2.18 -- not quite at the Bob-Gibson-like levels we saw in 2009, but close.  He closed the season with an ERA of 3.4, and that was after a reasonably hot month of September.
   What happened?  From May 18 (a win over Florida) until September 1 of last year, the Royals when Greinke pitched were 5-9.  The team lost 5 straight Greinke starts from May 19 to June 17, and four straight Greinke starts in August. 
   ( Background:  Click here for a report from earlier this year ... [More]

Posted Sunday, June 28, 2009 03:55 AM

Jackson-Det vs. Ortiz-Hou -- first 5 statline

Not sure if this is a side, or an under -- but many of us have liked Jackson all year, and now, Ortiz seems effective too.

Let's start with the numbers.

   Jackson-Det. -- first 5 -- 0aw(Tor) - 4hl(Tex) - 0ap(Sea) - 3al(LAA) - 0hp(NYY) - 1hl(Minn) - 0ap(Clev) - 1hw(oak) - 1hw(Tex) - 0(+)aw(KC) - 0aw(Balt) - 1hw(LAA) - 2al(CHW) - 3al(St.L.) - ... 1hp(CHC) -
   Jackson first 5 wlp: 6-5-4. at home: 3-2-2. road:  3-3-2.  Tigers over 9 when Jackson starts: 8-7.
   Ortiz-Hou. -- first 5 -- 3ap(Pitts) - 3hw(LAD) - 2hw(Milw) - 4hl(CHC) -- (then in relief from May 7 to June 11) -- 0hw(CHC) - 4al(Tex) - 2hl(KC).
   first five wlp:  3-3-1.

   Pitching notes:  Awfully good numbers for Jackson -- all those zeroes and ones with an occasional 3 or more only three times out of 15 starts.  And yet, he's 6-5-4 overall as a side proposition in the first five, and 3-3-2 on the road.  His daytime ERA is 3.0, not much worse than night; last 3, 3.5 RA, 18 IP, 10 BB -- more worrisome.  But the big fly in the ointment was St. Louis, which suddenly is murdering right-handed pitchers. 

   Ortiz, after a rocky start as a starter in April, looking more solid after returning from the bullpen June 11.  He likes the day (1.8 ERA) and home (3.2 ERA) and is solid in his last 3 outings (2.45 ERA).  But these include a "2" at home against Kansas ... [More]

Posted Sunday, June 28, 2009 02:13 AM

Hernandez-Mets vs. Wang-NYY -- 5 innings

One-star pick:

Hernandez-Mets vs. Wang-NYY -- first five

   It's as much about "vs. Wang" as "Hernandez-Mets" -- but one can make a decent case for each side of it....  Anyway, here goes:

   Hernandez-Mets -- first five -- 0aw(Fla) - 1(+)hw(Milw) - 7al(St.L.) - 2hw(Fla) - 0aw(Atl) - 2hw(Pitts) - 5al(SF) - 1ap(LAD) - 0hw(Wash) - 3aw(Pitts) - 0aw(Wash) - 4aw(NYY) - 2al(Balt) - 1hl(St.L.)
   first five wlp: 9-4-1.  team 9-inning wlp: 7-7.

   Wang-NYY -- first five -- 7al(Balt) - 8(10)al(TB) - 8(20)hl(Cleve) - 5hl(Phil) - 0aw(Tex) - 4al(Cleve) - 5hw(Tex) - 6al(Bost) - 3hl(Wash) - 3al(Atl) -
   first five wlp: 2-8.  team 9-inning wlp:  2-8. 

   Pitching notes:  Wang unimpressive against Yankees last time, in the House Ruth Didn't Build, but did get the win (over 5 innings.  Yankees won the game).  Wang hasn't faced Mets this year, but
   Hernandex likes the night (3.9 ERA vs. 4.7 day), so should benefit from the switch of this game to evening.  Better at home (3.34 ERA), another plus, though weak over his last 3 games. 

   Bats:  Mets a little weaker against righties, as are Yanks, about half a run a game -- no huge advantage.  Both teams should struggle to score a bit more out of the homerdome.  In the last ... [More]

Posted Saturday, June 27, 2009 09:19 PM

5-inning discussion notes -- SUNDAY

Some notes for Sunday discussion --

I'll paste these over to GoallineBob or KeyElement if either of them launches a Sunday thread later....

-- Jackson-Det -- usually an automatic for me, though some tough recent losses.

-- Greinke-KC -- ditto; worth considering despite recent team mojo.

-- Lannan-Wash -- not thrilled with any Nationals risk, but Lannan as a dog, first five, also worth a handicap.

-- Zambrano-Cubs -- Z. ever better on the road...

-- Hernandez-Mets.  Wang pitching for Yankees.  Probably two stars. 

-- Maybe Liriano-Twins -- 3 of 4 starts quality; he's a leftie -- Kardinal Kryptonite.

Posted Saturday, June 27, 2009 09:00 PM

Hernandez-Sea vs. Milton-LAD -- first 5 pick

One-star pick:

Hernandez-Sea -- first 5 innings

   Hernandez-Sea -- first five -- 5al(Oak) - 3hw(Det) - 0hw(TB) - 0aw(CHW) - 4hp(Tex) - 6(+)al(Minn) - 0aw(Tex) - 5hl(LAA) - 3hw(SFG) - 0ap(LAA) - 1hp(Minn) - 1aw(Balt) - 0aw(SD) - 0hw(Ariz)
   first five wlp: 8-3-3; away: 4-2-2; team 9-inning wlp: 10-5.
   Milton-LAD -- LHP -- first five -- 4al(Fla) - 1aw(Colo) - 2aw(CHC) - 3hl (Phil) -
   first five wlp: 2-2-0; home: 0-1-1; team 9-inning wlp: 3-1.

   Pitching notes:  In sum, Hernandez has navigated between 0 RA and 1 RA in his last five starts, three of them on the road.  Milton's had only one start (albeit out of just four) that was one RA or below, along with a 2, a 3, and a 4.
   Hernandez growing every more brilliant since some early stumbles:  last 3 starts, 1.1 ERA.  Better away (2.0 ERA) than at home (3.6), a plus, but also better in the day (2.1) than at night (3.1), a minus.
   Milton has a poor career record against Seattle, but most of the games came in the 2000-2002 era, better days for the Mariners, and were on the road. 

   The bats:  Solid Dodger lineup effective from both sides, but a little better against lefties (6.0 RPG) than righties (4.7) like Hernandez.  Anemic Mariners score only 4 runs a game against lefties (Milton) but that's better than the 3.7 against righties.  In the las... [More]

Posted Saturday, June 27, 2009 06:21 PM

Marlins-Devil Rays - over - evaluation

We've been discussing Marlins-Rays over with some of our 5 inning friends today, here's some related info:

Starters:  Volstad ERA season 4.7, last 3, 10.0.  Kazmir ERA season 7.7, last 3, 12.0.  Wow.  

Righty lefty:  Marlins love lefties (like Kazmir -- 5.7 runs per game, last 10 games), Rays love righties (like Volstad -- 5.4 runs per game, last 10 games).  And these are worse than average starters. 

Walks:  Volstad's are low, only about 2 a game for last 10 games, but of coursse, he's gone out early, for a ratio of close to 4 per 9 IP.  Kazmir high, somewhere around 4 per game, 5 per 9 IP.

Day/night:  Both pitchers better day than night, by about 1-1.5 runs per game. 

Bullpens:  Rays a solid bullpen ERA of 3.5; Florida weaker, but respectable 4.3 (lower than their starters or this starters.)  Both pens used a fair amount of late, but not ridiculous.  Suggests 5 inning over better than 9 inning. 

Posted Saturday, June 27, 2009 05:49 PM

Nationals-Orioles over -- evaluation

We like GoallineBob's pick of the Nationals-Orioles over for 5 innings, and are adding some of the factor inputs to consider that -- both for 5 and for 9.  (For more first 5 stats, see his blog.)

1. Starters -- Both inconsistent and weak; both ERAs over 5.0 overall, and higher under current game conditions (night game for both; road game for Martis.)

2. Recent run production -- Excellent for Orioles, okay for Nats.  Orioles last 10 games:  7.9 runs per game against righties.  Nats:  3.9 runs per game against righties.  Over is 5-0 in Nats last five games;  over is 4-1-1 in Orioles last six home games. 

3. Righty/lefty, &tc. -- two teams that do better against right-handers (both starters) by about half a run per game.  So, against an average right-hander, the Nats would score 4.5 runs, the Orioles, 5.0 runs.  And these are below-average starters.

4. Random factors -- Martis is more effective at day and ineffective at night this year (5.5 ERA night, 4.4 day) and even more starkly for his career.  Same with Guthrie (6.1 night vs. 2.8 day.)  Guthrie's a tad better at home, but Martis is over 6.0 ERA on the road this year.

5. Bullpens -- Orioles bullpen ERA over 4.5; Nationals, over 5.5.  Both bullpens used quite a bit last three games.  One may as well take the 9 innings, and get the possibility of extra innings, or an out-of-hand game one way or the other.

Posted Saturday, June 27, 2009 12:21 PM

Saturday first 5 inning thread

Not seeing anything at goallinebob or Key Element... 

So here are some initial things that may make sense to me -- though nothing jumps out as spectacularly as Weaver and Beckett on Friday. 

1. Buehrle-Chisox.  Hasn't been great recently, but he gets home.  Cubs and Demster not the same away from Wrigley. 

2. Wellmeyer-Cardinals.  Cards looked back against a leftie last night, but today it's home-cooking.

3. Vazquez-Braves. 

4. Davis-Arizona. 

5. Hernandez-Seattle. 


Posted Friday, June 26, 2009 05:59 PM

late 5 inning picks -- Weaver, Harang, Milwood

Running out the door folks, but here are some remaining picks:


Weaver-LAA -- first 5 innings / one bad recent start, others lights out.  Angels getting healthy, breathing down the neck of the Rangers.


Milwood-Texas -- first 5 innings.  Only hesitation: the weak Texas bats over last 12 games (sans Hamliton), approximately 3 runs per outing.  But it's San Diego and home cooking tonight.

Harang-Cincy -- first 5 innings.  Cincy owns the series, Sowers has better stats this year but a lot of "l"s if you bet him, especially at home.  Cincy a tad better against lefties.

Posted Friday, June 26, 2009 05:25 PM

Verlander-Det vs. Rodriguez-Hou.

One-star pick:

    - and -

   Verlander-Det - first 5 -- 9al(Tor) - 3hp(Tex) - 5al(Sea) - 7al(LAA) - 0hw(NYY)- 1hw(Clev) - 1ap(Clev) - 0ap(Minn) - 0ap(Tex) - 1hp(KC) - 0aw(Bal) - 0hp(LAA) - 0ap(CHW) - 5(9)al(StL) - 2hl(Milw) -
   ( Verlander -- first 5 w-l-p -- 4-5-5 but that includes rocky season start. last 10 -- 4-2-4. Considering team is 10-5 when he starts, might be worth some 9 inning action -- 5-4 away, 4-1 home btw. Six of nine wins were runline covers, not enough to be highly attractive. )
   Rodriguez-Hou -- LHP -- first five -- 1hp(CHC) - 3al(St.L.) - 0hw(Cinn) - 1hl(LAD) - 1aw(Cinn) - 3al(Atl) - 0hw(SD) - 3aw(Colo) - 1hw(Milw) - 6(8)al(Cinn) - 5al(Pitt) - 7hl(Colo) - 1hl(CHC) - 6al(Tex) - 1aw(Minn) -
   wlp:  6-8-1.  team wlp for 9 innings:  9-6.

   Pitching notes:  Verlander's been less effective at night than in day games:  4.2 ERA vs. 1.6.  Same with home vs. road:  4.9 vs. 1.1.  Rodriquez, by contrast, is 2.2 at home vs. 4.4 away.  Likes day a tad better, but a narrower split:  2.8 vs. 3.4.
   Detroit's balanced lineup hitting well on both sides, but likes lefties a bit more:  .272 BA vs. .259 vs. righties; Astros by contrast less effective against right-handers:  3.9 runs per game vs. 4.8 runs per game.

&nb... [More]

Posted Friday, June 26, 2009 04:39 PM

Beckett-Bos vs. Jurjens-Atl -- 5 inning pick

Two-star pick:

Beckett-Bosox -- first 5 innings
     - and -
Beckett-Bosox -- 9 innings

   Beckett-Bosox -- first five -- 1hw(TB) - 3al(LAA) - 4hw(Bal) - 6hw(NYY) - 7al(TB) - 3aw(NYY) - 2hw(TB) - 3aw(Sea) - 1hw(NYM) - 1ap(Minn) - 0aw(Det) - 0hw(NYY) - 5al (Phil) - 0hw(Atl) -
   Beckett team wlp 5 inning: 10-3-1, away: 3-3-1, home: 7-0, last nine: 7-1-1.  team 9-inning wlp: 10-4.
   Jurjens-Braves -- first five -- 0aw(Phil) - 3hw(Wash) - 1al(Pitt) - 0ap(Wash) - 2hl(St.L.) - 3hl(Hou) - 1aw(Fla) - 0aw(NYM) - 1hw(Colo) - 1hw(Tor) - 5aw(Ariz) - 2hl(Milw) - 2hl(Pitt) - 3al(Cinn) - 4al(Bost) -
   5-inning wlp: 7-7-1.  last five: 1-4.  team 9-inning wlp: 7-8.  last 5: 1-4.

   Piching notes:  Beckett is 5-5 career against Braves, but five of last six going back to 2005.  In his last 40 innings pitched against Atlanta, he's allowed two (2) runs -- both earned.  Beckett ERA shows a preference for the 7 p.m. start:  his ERA 2.7 at night, 5.8 daytime.
   ( Some matchups:  Chipper Jones, career vs. Beckett:  28 AB, 2 HR, 5 RBI, .179 avg.  Brian McCann, carreer vs. Beckett:  14 AB, 0HR, O RBI, .214 avg. )
   Jurjens actually better on the road than at home (2.4 vs. 3.4 ERA) but also better night than day (2.7 vs. 3.4).  After a fast start to the season, he's gotten less effective: ... [More]

Posted Friday, June 26, 2009 01:12 PM

Wells-CHC vs. Contreras-CHW - 5 innings

We started looking at this game with an eye towards picking Wells, who's done well in first fives when we pick him, now are thinking more of the under. 

Contreras's career vs. Cubs, and fact that Sox haven't seen him, is a factor in Wells's favor -- but the day-night splits work the other way.

In the meantime, here are the first five pitching stats for the two starters -- always something worth paying attention to.

   Wells-CHC -- first five -- 0aw(mil) - 0hp(hou) - 2al(sd) - 2hl(LAD) - 0aw(atl) - 1aw(cinn) - 4 hl(minn) - 0hw(clev) --
   wlp: 4-3-1.  wlp 9-innings:  3-5.
   ( Eight starts, and over first five: four zeros, one one, two twos. 7 of 8, darn good. one four in the other start, vs. twins... a contact team. )
   Contreras-CHW -- first five --  3hp(Minn) - 2al(Det) - 4al(Balt) - 3hp(Tor) - 7(9)al(Tex) - 5hl(Tex) - 0hw(Det) - 0aw(Milw) - 1aw(Cinn) -
   wlp: 3-4-3.  wlp 9-innings:  2-7.
   ( Won his last three in first five after a very rocky start. ) 

   Pitching notes:  Sox 2-4 vs. Cubs when contreras starts, 1-1 in 08 -- contreras 37 IP vs. Cubs for career, 25 RA, all earned.  Sox haven't seen Wells -- a factor in his favor as the White Sox, for whatever reason, have been terrible this year against pitchers they haven't seen before.  Maybe their aging sticks need that mental notebook to get... [More]

Posted Thursday, June 25, 2009 04:36 PM

Washburn-Sea vs. LeBlanc-SD -- 5 inning pick

Normally we like to do a longer, fuller pre-cap...  but here as time presses in and the dogs bark is a quick-pick with some updated stats:

One-star pick:

Washburn-Seattle -- first 5 innings

   Washburn-Sea -- LHP -- first five line -- 0aw(Minn) - 2hw(LAA) - 2hw(TB) - 5al(LAA) - 0hw(Oak) - 2al(KC) - 3ap(Tex) - 6hl(LAA) - 0aw(Oak) - 0hp(Balt) - 1hp(Minn) - 3(+)aw(Colo) - 3hl(Ariz)
   wlp first five:  6-4-3. team wlp full game: 5-8. 
   Especially like what we see at home.  The Angels seem to own him, but no one else does -- especially in Seattle.  Home ERA, 3.0.  Daytime ERA, 2.7.
   Both teams anemic with the sticks, but Seattle a tad better against lefties, San Diego, even worse.  And we are talking Padres on the road.

   WLCS:  Seattle 8-2, SD 2-7. 

Posted Thursday, June 25, 2009 11:10 AM

5-inning parlays for Thursday

For the reasoning on the early games here, please see previous separate blogs.  Stats, handicapping on the later games will appear...  well... later.

All picks are 5-innings unless indicated.  A further advantage, one can hedge the later games, or reposition if an early loss knocks off the ticket. 

One-star parlay:

1. Lilly-Cubs first 5
2. Billingsley-LAD first 5
3. Washburn-Seattle first 5
4. Lee-Indians first 5

(Smaller b-version: above ticket plus Feldman-Texas late game, 5 innings)

One-star parlay:

1. Carpenter-St.L. first 5
2. Billingsley-LAD first 5
3. Washburn-Seattle first 5
4. Lee-Indians first 5

(Smaller b-version: above ticket plus Red Sox late game, 9 innings)

GL to all.

Posted Thursday, June 25, 2009 11:01 AM

Billingsley-LAD vs. Richard-CHW - first 5 innings

Two-star pick:


   Billingsley LAD first 5 -- 2ap - 1hw - 0hw - 0aw - 2ap - h1w - 0hp - 1ap - 3hl - 2hw - 0ap(CHC) - 0hp(Ariz) -- ... 3hw(SD) - 3aw(Tex) - 1(+)aw(LAA) -
   first five wlp: 8-1-5.  road: 3-0-4.  team 9-inning wlp:  11-4. 
   (Note: of the 11 wins, 10 covered the runline.  Similar pattern in 2008.  Those doing 9 are justified in taking the RL.)
   Richard-CHW LHP first 5 -- ( just listing last five starts...  ) -- 0aw(KC) - 5hl(Oak) - 3hp(Det) - 0(+)aw(Milw) - 5ap(Cinn) -
   team wlp for 9 innings: 4-4.
   Pitching notes:  Billingsley's ERA over home, road, day, night, all remarkably consistent in the 2.3 to 3.2 range.  Best on the road where he's 2.3 for season.  Richard at home, 4.6 ERA; on road, but for all day games (15 IP), 2.4 ERA. 
   Billingsley's had two of his worst starts in the last three games, at home against Padres and road against Texas.   And gave up a number of runs at the Angels, just not until the 6th inning. 

   Bats:  Dodgers scoring RPG in last 10 games.  They like lefties -- 5.9 runs per game.  Sox like righties lesss -- 4.2 runs per game.  White Sox have never faced Billingsley -- a distinct advantage for him as the team has been awful this year against pitchers th... [More]

Posted Thursday, June 25, 2009 05:40 AM

Carpenter-St.L. vs. Santana-NYM - first 5 innings

Parlay-starter pick:


   ( Largely a trend pick here -- Carpenter had a couple 3's in his last few starts; but Santana's been weak in 5 of last 7.  But also based on sloppy play, poor management of the NYers -- the Mets being the Mets.  A good game to parlay into Billingsley-Dodgers, Mariners, and Lee-Indians later in the day -- as first fives and, considering Billingsley and Lee over 9, for game as well. )

   CARPENTER-St.L first 5 -- 1hl(Pitts)- 2aw(Ariz)- 0hw(CHC)- 0hp(Milw)- 2al(SF)- 0hw(Cinn) - 3al(Fla) - 3al(Cleve) - 0aw(KC) ...
   first 5 w-l-p: 4-4-1.  road: 1-3-0.  team 9-inning wlp: 5-4. 
   SANTANA-NYM LHP first 5 -- 0aw(Cinn) - 2al(Fla) - 0hp(Milw) - 0hw(Wash) - 2hp(Fla) - 0hp(Phil) - 1(+)hp(Atl) - 3aw(SF) - 3aw(Bost) - 3hp(Wash) - 1ap(Pitt) - 2(+)hw(Phil) - 9(13)al(NYY) - 1hp(TB) -
   first 5 w-l-p:  5-2-7.  team 9-inning wlp: 8-6.
   Pitcher notes:  Santana 8.3 ERA in last three outings.  Carpenter stumbled a little, but is just above 3, and tossed a goose-egg at KC. 
   Carpenter, 5 career starts vs. Mets, but none since 07.  Santana, one career start vs. St. Louis, held 'em to 1 run last fall in Mets 9-1 win.

   WLCS:  Mets , Cards .

   Matchup:  Mets took 5 of 7 in 2007;  4 of 7 in 2008;  so fa... [More]

Posted Thursday, June 25, 2009 03:36 AM

Lilly-CHC vs. Galarraga-Det - 5 inning pick

One-star pick:

   Lilly CHC LHP first five -- 5aw(Hou) - 0hw(Colo) - 1hl(Cinn) - 5al(Ariz) - 1hw(Fla) - 2aw(Hou) - 2hw(SD) - 3al(St.L.) - 3al(SD) - 0hp(LAD) - 0(+)aw(Atl) - 0aw(Hou) - 1hw(Minn) - 2hp(Cleve)  
   team 5-inning wlp: 8-4-2.  away:  4-3.  team 9-inning wlp: 10-4.
   Solid last 5 starts, 3-0-2, and the two pushes were both on only two runs allowed. 
   Galarraga-Det -- first five -- 0hw(Tex) - 0hw(CHW) - 3ap(LAA) - 1aw(KC) - 5hl(Cleve) - 6al(CHW) - 4al(Minn) - 5(7)hw(Oak) - 3hp(Colo) - 2al(Balt) - 4hl(Bost) - 3ap(CHW) - 4(8)al(Pitts) - 4hw(Milw) -
   team 5-inning wlp: 5-6-3.  last 10: 2-6-2.  home:  4-2-0.  team 9-inning wlp: 6-8.

   Pitching notes:  After starting 3-0-1 in first fives, Galarraga's been a dismal 2-6-2 (underlined.)  Lilly by contrast has improved -- the Cubs won his last 6 starts (for the game) -- and in Lilly's last 25 innings pitched first five, he's allowed
   Galarraga better at day (3.4) than night (6.9).  So is Lilly at 2.4 day vs. 3.6 night.  And both are better at home than road (advantage Galarraga, in Detroit) -- though G's ERA of 5.4 at home is far from sparkling.

   Injuries, lineup:  Cubs still missing Ramirez, possibly Reed Johnson; Guillen out for Tigers and Ordonez still being given some nights off, but has his average up t... [More]

Posted Thursday, June 25, 2009 02:48 AM

5 inning discussion thread - Thursday

Can't find a threat for Thursday at Key Element, and the games start early -- so I'm kicking off this thread. 

I'm just starting my handicap...  but given the sequencing of these games, I think one could construct some parlays that run through the day and can be hedged as the day rolls on:

-- all first 5s unless indicated --

carpenter-st.l. (10 am west coast time)

lilly-cubs (10... only a tad, as a parlay starter... it's "dah cubs" -- and dah tigers are hot, as the cubs play for their 25th day in a row with no rest.)

billingsley-lad (11)

washburn-seattle (145)

lee-cleve (4)

feldman-texas (only a a little after last two starts.  late game; good way to end some tickets as one can always hedge.)

Posted Wednesday, June 24, 2009 05:41 PM

Boston-Washington -- 9 innings

One-star pick:

Boston -- 9 innings

You know, we just did a thoroughly-researched handicap pick of Boston...  and lost it from the system before saving.  A rare (for us) 9-inning pick (because why not have bullpen and whole-team exposure in this matchup?)

Here's a thumbnail:

-- Boston bats hot: 59 runs last 10 games.  Washington slightly less effective against lefties (Lester.)

-- Lester improving after rough season start -- Sox winning 4 of his last 6 including a tough 2-1 loss to Florida and shutdown wins over Texas, Philadelphia; 2.17 ERA last three starts. 

-- Stammen little less effective at night than day, and at home (6.7 ERA) than on road (though the sample size is small, six starts.) 

-- WLCS: Boston 10-7, Washington 9-15.

-- Lineup note:  Ortiz will play first tonight and bat fifth, Youkilis to third base, Lowell will rest. 

Posted Wednesday, June 24, 2009 04:07 PM

Haren-Ariz vs. Padilla-Tex. - 5 inning pick

One-star pick:

HAREN -- ARIZONA -- first 5

   Haren-AZ -- first 5 -- 1hl(Colo) - 1hp(LAD) - 1al(SF) - 0hp(Colo) - 1hw(CHC) - 0aw(Milw) - 2ap(SD) - 2hl(Cinn) - 4al(Oak) - 1hw(Atl) - 1aw(LAD) - 1(+)aw(SD) - 1hw(Hou) - 2aw(KC) -
   wlp over 5:  7-4-3.  wlp last 10 games:  7-2-1.  wlp last 5 games:  5-0-0.  team wlp over 9:  8-6. 
   Padilla-Tex -- first 5 -- 1hw(Clev) - 7hl(Balt) - 5hl(KC) - 4al(Balt) - 0hp(Oak) - 0ap(Sea) - 1aw(CHW) - 3hw(LAA) - 7(9)al(NYY) - 3aw(Bost) - 0hw(LAA) - 1hw(Hou)
   wlp over 5:  6-4-2.  team wlp over 9:  8-4. 
   Padilla's overall ERA (4.8) understates the trouble he may have as his ERA at night is 7.1 verus 3.1 in day games.  P. is, however, a little better on the road, ERA 3.9.  Haren's about the same, day-night, and a tad better at home. 

Some other factors against Texas tonight: 

-- Texas has scored a lot of runs this year, but not lately.  37 runs in its last 13 games.  Even tho Hamilton wasn't having a monster year, the lineup seems to miss him. 

-- Zona, though, still missing Snyder, Tracy, and Young -- none of them that good, but their hurt list is long.
-- Mojo:  Both teams struggling.  Arizona has won 4 of 10, Texas 3 of 10, and Rangers have lost five straight (a streak that began with Padilla pitching again... [More]

Posted Tuesday, June 23, 2009 05:14 PM

Lincecum-SFG vs. Mazzaro-Oak - first 5 picks

Two-star pick:

Lincecum-SFG -- first 5 innings

  Lincecum-SFG first 5 -- 3(5)hw(Milw) - 3al(SD) - 0hp(Ariz) - 1aw(Ariz) - 0hw(LAD) - 2aw(CHC) - 4al(LAD) - 1hw(NYM) - 1al(SD) - 0hw(Atl) - 2aw(Wash) - 0aw(Fla) - 0hw(Oak) - 1hw(LAA) -
   5-inning wlp:  10-3-1.  team wlp over 9 innings: 8-6.  (Much better over 5 innings than 9 innings, despite the Giants' quality bullpen -- the reverse of the Lee-Cleveland paradox.)
   Mazarro-Oak first 5 -- 0aw(CHW) - 0hw(Balt) - 3al(SFG) - 2al(LAD) -- wlp: 2-2-0.  Like the home win over Baltimore.  Discount the win over Chisox a tad -- they're 2-11 against pitchers not faced before.   Lost but pitched well vs. Didgers, Giants on the road. 

  Matchup: Lincecum has a solid record agains the A's:  20 1/3 IP, 3 RA.  Mazzaro lost his start against SFG (and Lincecum) on 6/12, but as his early ERA indicates, he may be yet another quality A's starter.

  Lincecum's about the same home-vs.-road, and a little better at night than day (2.1 vs. 3.4 ERA). 

  Injuries:  Nothing recent save for platooner Uribe (SFG) who may play tonight, may miss. Ellis, Chavez still out for A's but have been since late April. 

  Mojo:  A's not bad at home, we like them for the future, but we like the Giants more, improving on road.  Neither team scores a lot but SFG seem to scratch out ru... [More]

Posted Tuesday, June 23, 2009 04:22 PM

Jackson-Det vs. Zambrano-CHC - 5 inning stats

We may pick Detroit and the under, for five innings, in this game -- not sure yet. 

In the meantime, just wanted to save and share the stats for those interested.

   Jackson -- DET -- first five -- 0aw(Tor) - 4hl(Tex) - 0ap(Sea) - 3al(LAA) - 0hp(NYY) - 1hl(Minn) - 0ap(Clev) - 1hw(oak) - 1hw(Tex) - 0(+)aw(KC) - 0aw(Balt) - 1hw(LAA) - 2al(CHW) - 3al(St.L.)

   Jackson first 5 wlp: 6-5-3. at home: 3-2-1. Tigers over 9 when Jackson starts: 7-7.

   Zambrano -- CHC -- first five -- 0aw(Hou) - 3al(Milw) - 5hp(St.L.) - 1hl(Cinn) - 2aw(Ariz) - 2hw(Fla) - 3al(SD) - 1hw(Pitts) - 0aw(Cinn) - 0aw(Hou) - 0hp(CHW)

   Zambrano first 5 wlp: 6-3-2. on road: 4-2-0. Cubs over 9 when Zambrano starts:  8-3. 

   Walks per 9 innings:  Jackson, 0.26; Zambrano, 0.46.

   Cubs runs in last 10 games:  35.  Tigers runs in last 10 games:  45.

   Injuries:  Polanco questionable for Tigers, Ordonez being rested due to the league-wide bout of "fatigue" (c.f. Ortiz, ARod, &tc.); Cubs still missing Ramirez and Johnson -- and missing the bats of Bradley, Soriano.

   Interleague:  Neither team has faced the opposing pitcher before.  Cubs won recent interleague series but that was at home against Cleveland; they also lost 2 of 3 at home to Minnesota.

   Under... [More]

Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 05:42 PM

Giants-A's -- the Steroids Bowl

As the A's and Giants prepare for the latest Battle of the Bay, a baseball handicapper has come up with an interesting old-timer's concept:

Bring back Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and other former Oakland and San Francisco greats for a sentimental rematch --

What might be called the first "Steroids Bowl."

Fans in attendance could be given a free vitamin B injection -- and of course, the infield seats would be discounted as ticket-buyers lined up for outfield seats where the balls would be flying.

Snobby media types could cover the game and sniffle that it has ruined baseball -- conveniently neglecting the fact that they scoffed at or ignored mounting evidence of steroid use for years.

Bud Selig could be run out of town on a rail, then receive an asterisk tattoo on his posterior, indicating that his years as commissioner will themselves receive the same punctuation mark he proposes to give to certain players (but not others.)

And at the 7th inning stretch, Canseco -- whom I hereby nominate for the Hall of Fame -- could shout "I told you so" to all assembled. 

This concept originated with Colonel Jim at Covers -- click here to visit his page.  Thanks to the Colonel -- and GL to all...


Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 05:24 PM

Cahill-A's vs. Sanchez-SFG - first 5 pick

One-star pick:

Cahill-A's -- first 5 innings

   Cahill-A's -- first 5 -- 3ap(LAA) - 0hp(Sea) - 1ap(Tor) - 7hl(TB) - 1al(Sea) - 1hw(Tex) - 1hw(KC) - 7(11)al(Det) - 2hl(Ariz) - 1(+)hp(Sea) - 2ap(CHW) - 0hw(Balt) - 3hl(Minn) - 1aw(LAD) -
   Cahill wlp:  4-5-5.  home:  3-3-2.  A's over 9 innings when Cahill pitches:  7.7  home:  4-4.
   Sanchez-SFG -- LHP -- first 5 -- 5al(SD) - 0hw(Ariz) - 3aw(Ariz) - 2hp(LAD) - 4al(CHC) - 5al(LAD) - 4hl(NYM) - 2al(SD) - 0(+)hw(Atl) - 3hp(St.L.) - 5al(Fla) - 1al(Ariz) - 7hl(LAD) -
   Sanchez wlp:  3-8-2.  road:  1-6-0.  Giants over 9 innings when Sanchez pitches:  4-9.  road:  1-6.

   Pitching notes:  Sanchez has faced the A's once (6/29/09), shutting them down in an 11-1 blowout win in SF.  Cahill hasn't faced the SFG. 
   Sanchez, better overall (5.4 ERA) than on the road (6.4) -- and weak in his last 3, an ERA of 7.7.  Cahill, a tad better at home (3.7 ERA) than overall (3.9). 
   Sanchez, a tad worse at night (5.8 ERA) than during the day (4.7).  Cahill, a tad better at night (3.7) than during the day (4.2).  (Yes, we do advocate attention to this particular split, which is why we were so unenthusiastic about C.C. Sabathia yesterday, his adipose body wilting under the hot Florida sun.)
   The A's are e... [More]

Posted Sunday, June 21, 2009 05:38 PM

Kershaw-LAD vs. Lackey-LAA

One-star pick

Kershaw-LAD -- first 5 innings.

Will post the stats and a fuller handicap below.  It's partly a pick against Lackey, to be sure. 

Caveat:  the Angels have owned this series for many years.  Hence prefer the five. 

Though the way the Dodgers are playing, this could be the year they get some payback against their neighbors in Orange Cou---  er, their neighbors in "Los Angeles." 

Posted Sunday, June 21, 2009 05:35 PM

Zito-SFG vs. Milwood-Tex - first 5 innings

One-star pick:

Zito-SFG -- first 5 innings

We actually like Zito as our dog of the day:

-- Better in recent outings.  (See statline on previous blogs).

-- Texas bats have cooled without Hamilton.  30 runs in last 10 games -- count 'em. 

-- Zito's very good during the day.

Kind of like the under, as well -- say 1/2 a unit. 

Posted Sunday, June 21, 2009 11:58 AM

Sabathia-Yanks vs. -Fla -- first 5 innings

One-star pick:

Sabathia-Yankees -- first 5 innings

   Only like this a bit until C.C. shows some consistency -- particularly under the hot Florida sun.  His daytime ERA of 5.5 is unimpressive, though he's 3.4 away from Yankee Stadium. 

   Hasn't held an opponent to less than 3 runs in his last five starts -- and this is the time of year he's supposed to be getting into shape.

   Yankees are 7-7 when he pitches this year, making C.C., at the huge negative lines he usually gets, one of the biggest money-losing propositions in baseball. 

   But Volstad's been weak for Florida, and you have to figure the Yankee bats pick up here again sometime.  Yanks 12-3 in last 15 coming off a loss.

   If one really likes the ARod-fatigued Yanks today, of course, one may as well take the runline for 9 (see previous statline.)  But we're left with a low-conviction, striaght up 5-inning pick.

Posted Sunday, June 21, 2009 11:28 AM

Martis-Wash. vs. -Tor -- first 5 innings

One-star picks:

   Martis-Nationals -- first 5 innings

   No time for a full handicap, but Martis first came to our attention some time ago as a very solid pitcher during the day -- 2.8 ERA under the sun vs. 5.5 at night. 
   Since then he's picked up his game even a bit more, and is 5-1. 
   At +108, looks like a decent dog pick. 

   Nationals-Jays -- under, first 5 innings

   Both teams playing under in recent games, with two decent (of late) pitchers who like the daytime fine. 

Posted Sunday, June 21, 2009 10:49 AM

Wells-Cubs vs. Sowers-Cleve - first 5 pick

Two-star pick:

   Wells-CHC -- first 5 innings
   (Wells - Cubs - first 5 -- 0aw(mil) - 0hp(hou) - 2al(sd) - 2hl(LAD) - 0aw(atl) - 1aw(cinn) - 4 hl(minn) -- 3-3-1.
   ( SOWERS Cleve -- 1(++)aw(Bost) - 5hl(CHW) - 1(+)hp(NYY) - 2al(CHW) - 2hl(KC) - 3hl(Milw) -- 1-4-1.
   Pitching notes: Bad recent start for Wells, but otherwise very solid.  Don't take him for nine:  Cubs are 2-5 when he pitches, despite low ERA.  Wells ERA a tad better at night than day, but the gap isn't that big (3.3 vs 2.1).
   Sowers better day (3.0) than night (5.6), worse away (7.4) than home (4.1). 

Posted Sunday, June 21, 2009 10:20 AM

Verlander-Det vs. Gallardo-Milw. - 5-inning pick

One-star pick:

   Verlander-Tigers -- 5 innings; total: under, 5 innings (split)

   Verlander - Det - updated first 5 -- 9al(Tor) - 3hp(Tex) - 5al(Sea) - 7al(LAA) - 0hw(NYY)- 1hw(Clev) - 1ap(Clev) - 0ap(Minn) - 0ap(Tex) - 1hp(KC) - 0aw(Bal) - 0hp(LAA) - 0ap(CHW) - 5(9)al(StL) - )
   ( Verlander -- first 5 w-l-p -- 4-4-5 but that includes rocky season start. last 10 -- 4-1-5. Considering team is 9-5 when he starts, might be worth some 9 inning action -- 5-4 away, 4-1 home btw. Six of nine wins were runline covers, not enough to be highly attractive. )
   Gallardo - Milw - first five -- 1aw(SF) - 7hl(Cinn) - 0ap(NYM) - 2aw(Hou) - 0hp(Pitts) - 3al(Pitts) - 2hw(CHC) - 4al(Hou) - 0hp(St.L.) - 2hw(Cinn) - 0aw(Atl) - 2hl(Colo) - 2aw(Clev) - wlp: 6-4-3.
   Pitching notes:  Both hurlers have been even tougher during the day 1.42 ERA for Verlander, 0.8 for Gallardo.  Verlander's 0.8 at home, Gallardo 2.9 on the road.  Both have allowed an identical 6 runs in their last 5 first 5 (25 innings total) -- Verlander's mostly packed into ont bad start at St. Louis.  Each team has one 8 of the last 10 starts for Verlander / Gallardo.
   Injuries: Detroit still missing Guillen, and Ordonez being held out "for a few games" at the discretion of the manager, the ARod "fatigue flu" apparently spreading throughout MLB.  Brewers without Rickie Weeks for the season. 
... [More]

Posted Saturday, June 20, 2009 06:30 PM

Cain-SFG vs. Holland-Tex. - 5 innings

Two-star pick:

CAIN -- SFG -- first 5 innings

( Cain-Giants -- 5 innings -- 0hw- 2al- 2hw- 1ap(Ariz)- 4hl- 0aw- 1hw- 0hw- 1al- 0hw- 1aw(Wash) - 4aw(Ariz) - 1hw(Oak) -
   ( Cain SFG first 5 w-l-p -- 9-3-1 home: 5-1 )
   ( Holland -- Texas -- sorry, we're on deadline -- but his ERA is higher than 6.5, and we don't like Texas (at all) in its recent games...  Josh Hamilton wasn't having an all-star season, but since he left the lineup, the bats have chilled.

Cheers and GL.

Posted Saturday, June 20, 2009 06:13 PM

Cueto-Reds vs. Richard-CHW - 5 innings

Two-star pick:

   Cueto-Reds, 5 innings

   Cueto-Reds -- first 5 line -- 4hl - 1al - 0aw - 0hp - 0aw - 0hw - 1aw - 4hl - 1hw - 2ap - 0aw(StL) - 1aw(Wash) - 5al(KC) -
   ( Cueto first 5 w-l-p: 7-4-2 home: 2-2-1. Hasn't pitched at home since May 24 (5-inning win vs. Indians). )
   Richard CHW LHP -- sorry, "no time for a summer friend."  Here's the last 5 though:  0hw(Pitts) - 0aw(KC) - 5hl(Oak) - 3hp(Det) - 0(++)aw(Milw).  Worse at night (4.3 ERA) than day (2.5).  Better road (3.2) than home (4.6).  Last 3 era:  4.8. 
   WLCS: Reds 12-8, Chisox 7-11.
   Injuries:  Thome, Dye doubtful for Sox ("rest" -- not good, but sounds better than ARod's "fatigue.")  Encarnacion still out for Reds. 

Posted Saturday, June 20, 2009 05:42 PM

Baker-Minn vs. Moehler-Hou -- 5 innings

Two-star pick:

Baker-Minnesota -- 5 innings

   Baker-Minn 5 inning line -- 6hl(Tor) - 6al(Bos) - 4hl(TB) - 0hw(KC) - 0hw(Sea) - 0(++)hp(Det) - 4al(CHW) - 1hw(Milw) - 1(+)al(TB) - 0hw(Clev) - 0aw(Oak) - 2al(CHC) -
   team 5-inning wlp: 5-6-1; home: 4-2-1; last home loss: April 27 (!) vs. Tampa.  9 innings team wlp:  .  Last 5 home games, runs allowed, first five:  0-0-0-1-0.
   Moehler-Houston -- 5 innings -- 7(10)hl - 5al - 2(++)aw - 0hp - 3aw - 4hl - 0aw(Pitts) - 3hp(Colo) - 5hl(CHC) - 3aw(Ariz)
   team wlp:  4-4-2.  9 innings:  5-5. 
   Pitching notes:  Don't let Baker's season ERA spook you too much.  His last eight starts, he's given up more than 2 runs in the first five only once, more than 1 run only twice...  with six starts out of eight in the 0-1 runs-allowed range.  And solid at home, as are the Twins.
   Moehler's actually been a tad better on the road (4.6 ERA) than overall (6.66 ERA... hmmm) -- but weak in hias last 3 starts, last 5 starts. 
   Interleague:  Twins are the third best team in baseball in interleague play, last 5 years.  Better at home, of course.  Houston, not good. 
   Injuries:  Twins missing Span, otherwise, the recent story revolves around players returning (Cuddyer, Crede, and of course Mauer.)  Platoon 3B Bloom still out ... [More]

Posted Saturday, June 20, 2009 04:52 PM

Carpenter-StL vs. Bannister-KC -- 5 innings under

One-star pick:

St. Louis-KC under -- 5 innings

  Only time for quick notes: 

   See previous posts for 5-inning performance line on both pitchers (Carpenter and Bannister.) 

  Bannister good at home, good daytime.  Pitched well against St.L. at St.L. in May. 

  Carpenter, one bad start in last five, solid daytime.

  KC can't score, St.L. hasn't scored a lot...  though they're a tad better on the road in inter-league games.

  It all adds up to under 4 runs in 5 innings.

Posted Saturday, June 20, 2009 12:05 PM

Carpenter-St.L. vs. Bannister-KC -- 5 inning total

One-star pick:

Cardinals-Royals under, 5 innings. 

Take a look at both pitchers during day games.  Little hesitant that St.L. has some scording, and KC, weakening defense -- but Bannister was solid vs. Cards in St. Louis, and Carpenter's been lights out against everyone. 

Posted Saturday, June 20, 2009 11:57 AM

Lilly-Cubs vs. Ohka-Clev -- 5 innings

One-star pick:

Lilly-Cubs -- 5 innings

   Lilly CHC LHP 5 inning line -- 5aw(Hou) - 0hw(Colo) - 1hl(Cinn) - 5al(Ariz) - 1hw(Fla) - 2aw(Hou) - 2hw(SD) - 3al(St.L.) - 3al(SD) - 0hp(LAD) - 0(+)aw(Atl) - 0aw(Hou) - 1hw(Minn).  team 5-inning wlp: 8-4-1, home 4-1-1
   Solid last 4 starts, pretty solid all year at home.  Three walks in his last 21 IP at Wrigley. 
   Ohka-Cleve -- Pitched well his only start, a home loss to St. Louis, giving up 1 run over 5 (a push) and 2 runs in 7 for the game, a 3-1 Cards win. 
   Pitching notes:  Cleveland does like lefties, 5.9 runs per game vs. 5.1.  Lilly solid in the day (2.3 ERA) vs. night (3.4).  Looking at his home starts, and last 5 starts, it's enough for us.  Both teams wildly inconsistent; Cleveland hurt and untalented on top of it.
   Injuries -- Indians still missing Sizemore, Cabrera -- and Garko, Hafner may not go.  Cubs still light by two third basemen, and Soriano, others, playing but not hitting. 

Posted Friday, June 19, 2009 10:32 PM

Beckett-Sox vs. Lowe-Braves -- 5 innings Saturday

Two-star pick:

Beckett-Red Sox -- first 5 innings

   Beckett-Bosox -- 1hw(TB) - 3al(LAA) - 4hw(Bal) - 6hw(NYY) - 7al(TB) - 3aw(NYY) - 2hw(TB) - 3aw(Sea) - 1hw(NYM) - 1ap(Minn) - 0aw(Det) - 0hw(NYY) - 5al (Phil) -
   Beckett team wlp 5 inning: 9-3-1, home: 6-0. team wlp 9 inning: 9-4

   Lowe-Braves -- 0aw(Phil) - 1(+)hw(Wash) - 4hp(Fla) - 2ap(Wash) - 2aw(Cinn) - 2hw(Hou) - 6aw(Fla) - 1ap(NYM) - 1hp(Colo) - 2hw(Tor) - 5al(Ariz) - 2hl(CHC) - 3hl(Pitts) - 7(11)al(Balt) -
   Lowe team wlp 5 inning: 5-5-4; road: 3-2-2.

   Pitching notes:  Don't like Beckett's last start, but it was against the mighty Phillies in Philly.  Perfect home record of 6-0 first five, vs. Lowe who's been shelled in three of four recent road starts and who last won a 5 inning start on May 6 (note the date) -- when he gave up 6 runs at Florida but benefited from an unusual spurt of Braves offense.  
   Lowe better at night (3.5 ERA) than daytime (8.7) but not so hot on the road (4.7 ERA) as at home (3.2 ERA).  Beckett likes night too (3.2 vs. 5.8 ERA), and home (3.6) vs. road (4.7).
   Lowe's never faced Boston, but of course Beckett has pitched against Atlanta a number of times.  The Braves pounded him in his first five starts against them, but from 05-07 Beckett turned the tables, pitching 31 innings, allowing 15 hits, 13 walks, and 2 (count 'em, two)... [More]

Posted Friday, June 19, 2009 07:02 PM

5-inning picks for Friday 19 June

No time for the stat line, but anyone who likes can follow it on most of the blogs. 

Two-star picks:

Feldman-Texas -- 5 innings
  (Still only one loss over 5, and once again, at very reasonable odds.)

Lee-Indians -- 5 innings
  (Generally better over 9 than 5, w-l...  see previous blog.  You could take your action either way.)

One-star picks:

Slowey-Twins -- 9 innings
   (Taking the Twins at home, 9 is better.)

Billingsley-Dodgers -- 5 innings

Posted Monday, June 15, 2009 08:26 PM

5-inning picks for early June

Fellas (and ladies) -- A thousand pardons, but posting of our regular 5-inning picks and stats will be an irregular thing until late June --

Some personal business has intruded, and I won't have time to do a full handicap.  We will post some updates and picks, but not by the daily rigors we followed in recent weeks.


Posted Thursday, June 11, 2009 01:46 AM

5-inning picks -- Thursday

Not clear if we'll have time to update all the stats for these and do a full handicap -- if so, they'll be posted.  In the meantime, however, we have three picks, with a little thumbnail comment.  (If you'd like to see the 5-inning stats for our favored pitchers, they're on previous blogs). 

Two-star picks:

Sabathia-Yankees -- 5 innings

Actually like C.C. better on the road...  and in a night game.  And he has solid career against the Red Sox. 

Jackson-Tigers -- 5 innings

It's daunting to pick Detroit to win another road game.  But there you have it:  Jackson's been a terrific 5-inning performer.  And the White Sox seem to be in even more than the usual disarray. 

Greinke-Royals -- 5 innings

After consecutive bad starts, and coming off a night when the KC bats suddenly came to life, it's hard to have full enthusiasm.  But he's a bargain at -130, and pitching against Sowers, who for whatever reason is especially weak at home. 

Posted Wednesday, June 10, 2009 04:19 PM

Pavano-Cleve vs. Meche-KC - 5 inning pick

One-star picks:

Pavano-Indians -- 5 innings and 9 innings

   ( Pavano - Cleve - first 5 -- 9(11)al(Tex)- 4al(KC)- 1aw(NYY)- 4hl(Minn)- 0aw(Det)- 2aw(Bost)- 2hw(CHW)- 3al(TB)- 3al(KC)- 0hw(TB)- 0(+)hw(NYY)- 0aw(CHW)- -- wlp: 7-5, 3-0 last three. )
   (  Career vs. KC: 1-2, but won over 9 in his last outing against them, 5-21, in KC. Both starts this year were 5 inning losses for him. Pavano, like the Indians as a team, seems to be something of a Giant-killer... look at some of those results against the Yankees, Red Sox, and Tigers, three contenders, vs. rest of league. Better at night games than in the day. )
   ( Mehe KC first 5 -- 1aw(CHW)- 1hw(NYY)- 0aw(Tex)- 2aw(Clev)- 5hl(Tor)- 2al(Minn)- 2al(LAA)- 5hl(Balt)- 2hw(Clev)- 7hl(Det)- 1hw(CHW)- 0aw(TB).
   ( Meche had a decent start to the season, stumbled more recently. Career vs. Cleveland -- lost two starts in 09, pitched decently but not particularly well. He often throws up a decent five -- but yet KC has lost for 9 innings in his last six straight starts, and in 8 of 9. )
   ( Intangibles -- KC plunging like a rock; Cleveland out of last place.  We'll see how the latter can handle a tiny soupcon of prosperity. )

Posted Wednesday, June 10, 2009 04:00 AM

Verlander Det vs. Danks CHW -- 5 inning pick

Two-star pick:

Verlander-Det -- first 5 innings

   ( Verlander -- first 5 -- 9al- 3hp- 5al- 7al(LAA)- 0hw(NYY)- 1hw(Clev)- 1ap(Clev) 0ap(Minn)- 0ap(Tex)- 1hp(KC)- 0aw(Bal)- 1aw- 0hp(LAA) )
   ( Verlander -- first 5 w-l-p -- 3-3-5 but that includes rocky season start. last 8 -- 3-0-5. Considering team is 8-4 when he starts, might be worth some 9 inning action -- 4-3 away, 4-1 home btw. Six of eight wins were runline covers.)
   ( Danks-CHW - LHP - first 5 -- 0hp(KC) - 0aw(TB) - 1aw(Bal) - 5hl(Sea) - 4al(Tex) - 1hp(Tex) - 7al(Tor) - 2hw(Minn) - 3aw(LAA) - 4ap(KC) - 3hl(Clev)
   ( Danks first 5 wlp: 4-4-3, home: 1-2-2. Sox 7-5 over 91 when he pitches; 2-3 at home. Better day than night -- 3.2 vs. 5.6. Better at home, 4.3 ERA vs. 5.1 Sox 5-1 vs. Detroit in 07-08 when he pitches. In 08 vs. Tigers, 18.1 IP, 6 RA, 5 ER. Tigers like lefties a bit -- .023 better BA, 5.3 RPG vs. 5.1. )
   ( Intangibles -- wish Sox had won last night, but oh well.  Ozzie Guillen has been bashing the Sox in the press, which usually works in the past, but not necessarily instantly.  And they're already setting up an over-under for his firing -- not a great sign. )
   ( Simply put, though, Verlander's allowed three runs in his last 9 starts times first 5 -- that is, 3 runs in 45 innings.  Danks has only one sub-3-run outing first five in his last five starts.  Not a bad propos... [More]

Posted Tuesday, June 09, 2009 05:23 PM

Lee - Cleveland -- 5 innings

one-star pick:

-- 5 innings -120
   ( Lee Clev LHP first 5 -- 7al- 4hl- 1aw(NYY)- 1hl- 0hp- 1ap- 0hp- 0hw- 1aw- 2al- 3hl(NYY) -1aw(Minn) )
   ( Lee first 5 w-l-p: 4-5-3)
   ( vs. Bannister KC -- shelled in 4 of last 5 and 5 of last 7 starts. Good against Cleveland career, split this year. Good against KC since start of 2008, split this year. )

   A friend and I were discussing Lee yesterday -- he pointed out all the low numbers for first fives, saying, "the Indians can hit; those should be wins; it's not his fault if they're not." 
   I agreed, but noted that bets don't win because they "should," they win because your team scores more runs over the 5 innings. 
   Can't make Lee or Cleveland a two-star pick when he's 4-5-3, even if he "should be" 9-2-1.  Just can't.  

Posted Tuesday, June 09, 2009 05:09 PM

Cain SFG vs. Buckner AZ -- 5 innings

one-star pick

-- 5 innings
   ( Cain first 5 -- 0hw- 2al- 2hw- 1ap(Ariz)- 4hl- 0aw- 1hw- 0hw- 1al- 0hw- 1aw(Wash) )
   ( Cain SFG first 5 w-l-p -- 7-3-1 road: 2-2-1 )
   ( Buckner-AZ first 5 -- 1aw(Oak)- 2(+)hl(SD)- 0aw(SD) )
   ( WLCS: SFG 5-12, Ariz 6-11)
   ( Cain's one of our favorites, but up against a pitcher who's done credibly in his first 3 starts over 5 innings. Cain excellent against Arizona:  For all of 2007-2009, 34.1 IP, 8 RA, 7 ER, though we don't like the 17 BB. One run push against Arizona in April; Giants lost the game for 9. )

Posted Tuesday, June 09, 2009 04:52 PM

Carpenter StL - Johnson FLA - under 5 innings

two-star pick:

St.L. - Florida -- Under 4 R, 5 innings

   ( CARPENTER St.L first 5 -- 1hl(Pitts)- 2aw(Ariz)- 0hw(CHC)- 0hp(Milw)- 2al(SF)- 0hw(Cinn) ... first 5 w-l-p: 3-2-1 )
   ( JOHNSON FLA first 5 -- 0hw- 0hw- 6al(wash)- 0hw- 2ap- 0hw- 0aw- 4al(milw)- 0(+)hp(Ariz)- 2hw(TB)- 2aw(NYM)- 1hw(Milw) ... first 5 w-l-p: 8-2-2 )
   ( Pitcher vs. team:  Carpenter was lights out against Florida over his career, but hasn't started against them since 2005.  Johnson had one start vs. St. Louis in 2008 -- lost, but pitched decently, 6 IP, 3 runs. )
   ( Neither team scoring much in last 10 -- St.L. 3 RPG vs. righties, last 10; Florida, 4.2 RPG vs. righties, last 10.  And these are quality starters. )

Posted Tuesday, June 09, 2009 04:29 PM

Cueto CIN vs. Zimm WAS - 5 innings

Cueto-Reds -- 5 innings + 115
   ( Cueto first 5 -- 4hl- 1al- 0aw- 0hp- 0aw- 0hw- 1aw- 4hl- 1hw- 2ap- 0aw(StL) )
   ( Cueto first 5 w-l-p: 6-3-2 on road: 4-1-1.
   ( Cueto 1-1 vs. Nats in 2008, pitched decently in both -- 13 IP, 7 RA, 6 ER, 2 BB. And we're talking a much-improved Cueto this year, his ERA essentially cut in half.)
   ( Detwiler or Zimmerman for Nats. Detwiler's not faced Cincy, nor has Zimmerman. )
   ( WLCS: Reds 12-11, Nats 7-13 )
   ( Series:  Home team swept in 2008 -- three Nats wins in Washington, four Reds wins in Cincy. )

Posted Tuesday, June 09, 2009 04:11 PM

Billingsley LAD vs. Young SD - 5 innings

two-star pick:

BILLINGSLEY LAD -- 5 innings

   ( Billingsley LAD first 5 -- 2ap-1hw-0hw-0aw-2ap-h1w-0hp-1ap-3hl-2hw-0ap(CHC) - 0hp(Ariz) -- wlp: 5-1-5...  four of the pushes on the road.)
   ( Young SD first 5 -- 2hl(LAD) - 1hw(SF) - 7al(Phil) - 0hp(SF) - 8(10)al(Colo) - 1ap(LAD) - 2hp(Ariz) - 6al(CHC) - 0hw(SF) - 0hw(CHC) - 1(+)al(Colo) - 3hl(Phil) - wlp: 3-6-3, road wlp:  0-4-2. )
   ( Dodgers 6-2 against SD in Billingsley's last 8 starts against them, dating to early 2007.  The two losses were solid pitching performances. Padres 1-4 vs. Dodgers when Young starts since start of 2008. )
   ( Young had a good start in his last outing against the Dodgers, allowing just 1 run for the game in a 2-1 extra inning loss. )
   ( Young good in his last 3, a 2.8 ERA including a start against the mighty Phillies.  But he's worse on road (6.75 ERA and 0-4-2 wlp over 5 innings) than at home.  Also much better day (1.7 ERA) than night (6.3). )
   ( Injuries, Hairston, Rodriguez, Cabrera still out for Padres; May, Paul for Dodgers. )
   ( WLCS: Dodgers 16-5, Padres 6-13. )

one-star pick:


   (As good as he is over 5, Billingsley's been solid as a won-loss proposition over 9....  though 1-2 last 4. The Dodgers have been good on the runline when he pitches, and decent overall:  25 of 39 team wins cov... [More]

Posted Tuesday, June 09, 2009 03:20 PM

Buerle (Chw) vs. Willis (Det) -- 5 innings

one-star pick --

Buehrle-Chisox -- first 5 innings

    ( Buehrle CHW LHP first 5 -- 2hw(KC)- 1hw(Minn)- 2aw(TB)- 2hw(Tor)- 3al(Tex)- 1hl(Oak)- 0hw(Det)- 4al(Clev)- 0hw(Minn)- 1hw(Pitt)- 2al(KC)- 1hl(Oak) -- first 5 wlp: 7-5-0, home: 6-2-0 )

   ( Willis Det LHP first 5 -- 4al(Minn) - 0hw(Tex) - 1hp(Colo) - 7al(Balt) - 6hl(Bost) -- wlp: 1-4, only solid performances were at home. 4.7 ERA home, 10.4 on the road, over limited action. )

   ( Buehrle's been a lights-out 1.4 ERA at home over the first 5. Caveat: The White Sox still stink, and Buehrle's last start, against Oakland, was a loser. Sox much more effective against pitchers their veteran club has faced before...  1-9, by my unofficial count, against pitchers they haven't faced.)

   ( B. against Tigers -- slow start in 04-06, but last 5 starts agains them look like this:  38 IP, 7 RA, 6 ER, 8 BB. )

   ( Willis against the Sox, pretty good, three career starts, all quality. But of course, a different Willis then than what we've seen, in general so far. ) 

   ( Injuries:  Carlos Quentin still out for Sox, Carlos Guillen for Tigers. A push or even slight edge for Chicago in the tradeoff, though the Sox seem to be missing Guillen a lot from their still-anemic offense, whereas Detroit's been sticking. ) 

   ( Lefties:  Sox hit a little better ag... [More]

Posted Monday, June 08, 2009 05:42 AM

5-inning picks for Monday

Two-star picks:

Feldman-Texas -- 5 innings -146
   ( Feldman TEX first 5 -- 1aw(+)-0hw-2aw-0hw-0hp-1aw-2hw-1aw(NYY) )
   ( Feldman first 5 w-l-p: 7-0-1 )
   ( Janssen TOR first 5 -- 3al(Atl)- 2hw(Bost)- 5hl(LAA) )
   ( Feldman's not quite as good in day games, but he's been the best money-maker over 5 innings in baseball -- Doc Halladay also undefeated, but at much higher negative odds. Team matchup split in 2008; Toronto took 2 of 3 in Toronto in April, though Texas managed to win against Doc Halladay in g1 of the series.
   ( Janssen lost two previous starts vs. Texas, but both were in 2006. Feldman lost to Toronto twice in 2008, April and August. Feldman a little more effective night than day -- 3.6 ERA vs. 4.2. )
   ( Texas still missing Josh Hamilton, but managed to put together a decent road trip without him. )
   ( WLCS: Texas 11-6, Toronto 3-11. )

One-star picks:

Outman-A's -- 5 innings - 134
   ( Oakland's only loss in Outman's last six starts was against Texas. And of course, he's at home against the Twins on the road. The two teams split their 2008 series, 5-5. )
   ( WLCS: Oakland 8-7, Twins 5-8. )

Probably staying off:

Peavy-Padres -- 5 innings -170
   ( vs. Garland, Arizona.  Peavy has been so-so against the D'backs over the last several years, and s... [More]

Posted Sunday, June 07, 2009 03:53 AM

5-inning picks for Sunday

We're posting these early to enable discussion -- if anyone out there is so disposed. 

It's been a rough weekend for favored pitchers, from Greinke to Maine, from Buehrle to C.C. Sabathia -- but 5-inning betters at least got a "w" from C.C. before he (along with Mariano Rivera) took his lumps in the later innings.

On the other hand, LAD's Billingsley was a push in 5 but a winner in 9 -- following our study of the game which led to a recommendation to bet him that way.  (See June 3 blog).

Two-star picks:

Halladay-Toronto -- 5 innings -250
   ( HALLADAY TOR first 5 -- 1hw(Det) - 1aw(Clev) - 1aw(Minn) - 3(+)hp(Tex) - 3ap(CHW) - 2hw(Bal) - 0aw(LAA) - 0hw(NYY) - 2hw(CHW) - 0ap(Atl) - 3aw(Bal) - 0(+)hw(LAA)
   ( HALLADAY 5i wlp: 8-0-3 )
   ( DAVIES KC first 5 -- 0ap(CHW) - 2hw(Clev) - 3aw(Tex) - 4(+)hl(Det) - 2(+)hw(Tor) - 6(7)hl(CHW) - 1aw(LAA) - 3hl(Bal) - 2al(StL) - 5hl(Det) - 2(+)ap(TB) ---
   (DAVIES 5i wlp: 4-5-2, away: 2-1-2 )
   (General notes:  Baseball's second-best 5-inning money-maker goes for Toronto. (The Doc trails only Feldman of Texas, who's 7-0-1, and of course, sometimes pitches as an underdog, as against Yankees last week, or if not, as a much smaller favorite).  Halladay will be jazzed up to out-perform Greinke, and his team, to help him...  although a lot of good that did Greinke on Friday.
   ( Davie... [More]

Posted Saturday, June 06, 2009 10:14 PM

5-inning picks for Saturday

These are filed ex post facto, as it were; but just to keep the record straight (and considering we were 3-2 on some huge negative moneylines such as Sabathia... meaning a losing day) --

Two star picks:

Jackson-Tigers -- 5 innings (W) - 152
   (see previous stat line)

One star picks:

Sabathia-Yanks -- 5 innings (W) - 191
   (see previous stat line.  Nervous about C.C. at home; C.C. during the day; C.C. after two straight unexpected days off. but he eked out a win over 5 innings.)

Maine-Mets -- 5 innings (L) - 112
   (see previous stat line. Crazy how low the lines are on Washington -- the Nats favored in 8 of 12 recent games. "Buh.")

Oswalt-Astros -- 5 innings (L) - 154
   ( ohwell.)
Floyd-Chisox -- 5 innings (W) -125
   (A pick against Sowers more than for the Sox and .)

Posted Saturday, June 06, 2009 01:24 AM

Red Sox sign Barry Bonds

No, not really. But may I say, as a baseball fan, why not?

There are any number of run-deprived A.L. teams that might contend for their division this year, or a spot in the series, who could use 25-35 home runs (doncha think?) from the DH position.  I make the list out to be:

Minnesota Twins
Kansas City Royals
LA Angels
Toronto Blue Jays

Clubhouse distraction?  Puh-leez.  These are pros, who want to win.  Give me the punch in the lineup. 

Got no money?  Double puh-leez.  Most teams could sign Bonds for the league minimum -- a fraction of what they'll probably use in bonus money for some 18-year-old pitcher they draft in the second or third round.

He can't hit any more?  Quadruple puh-leez.  Sign him, give him a rehab assignment and a few at bats, and see what happens. 

If it's not working out for any of the above reasons, cut him.  Your downside is a few weeks minimum pay -- about the cost of one empty luxury box. 

Speaking as a Twins fan, I'd be happy to see him uniform.  And I'm weary of the anti-Bonds racket.

One of the great things about sports and baseball is that if you can perform, you can play, and if you've got a reasonable chance of performing, you get a shot. 

Not so, however, in 2009 with Bonds.

Shame on baseball, and shame on all those teams treating their fans with contempt by refusing to take ... [More]

Posted Friday, June 05, 2009 05:09 PM

Yankees vs. unseen rookies

From another blog:

One theme we harp on a lot is the Yankees’ recent history of laying down against mediocre starters whom they haven’t seen yet. But is it a real trend, or like B-Jobbers are we falling victim to the confirmation bias? Jay at Fack Youk takes a look at a statement by Ken Singleton on last night’s YES broadcast:

In the past two years (since 5/27/07) the Yankees have faced 31 rookie pitchers for the first time. In that span, those pitchers have a combined record 3-18 in those games (after the Yanks beat Derek Holland last night).


Comment:  Not as bad as thought.  Indeed, not bad at all.

Now, alas, someone did all the work of compiling a number, but it is clumsy for two reasons -- they only included rookies, not all previously-unseen starters, and they compiled not the team won-loss record for the 31 games, but the decision record for the starters in those games (3-18 for opposing teams...  total of 21...  we don't know what happened in the other 10 games.)  Still it's something.  Much better than Chisox, who were 1-6 vs. all previously unseen st... [More]

Posted Friday, June 05, 2009 04:05 PM

5-inning picks for Friday

Two-star picks

Greinke-Royals -- first 5
   (Greinke -- first 5 0aw(CHW)-0hw(Clev)-0ap(Tex)-1hw(Det)- 2hw(Tor)- 0hw(CHW) - 1al(LAA) - 1hw(Bal) - 2hw(Clev) ) - 1hl(Det) - 4hp(CHW)
   (Greinke first 5 w-l-p 7-2-2, away 1-1-1. Only 3 road games by G. so far this year, 23 IP, 1 ER. But KC obviously hasn't hit for him in those games, leading to one win, one loss, one push.)
   (Romero -- LHP -- first 5 -- 2al(Minn)-0aw(Oak) ... 3al(Bal)-5hl(Bos) )
   (Romero better at home 3.7 ERA than road 4.7 ERA, better at day 3.7 ERA vs. night 4.7. Royals hit better vs. lefties, but don't score as many runs.) 

Wainright-Cardinals -- first 5
   (Wainright first 5 -- 0hw(Pitt)- 0hw(Hou)- 4al(CHC)- 0hw(CHC)- 3aw(Atl)- 7hl(Phil)- 3aw(Cinn)- 1hl(Milw)- 0hw(CHC) - 1aw(Milw)- 3ap(SFG). )
   (Wainright first 5 w-l-p , 7-3-1, home 4-2-0. Some shaky starts, but better at home. Shelled by the mighty Phillies, nipped by the Brewers; otherwise his home first five line is an impressive 0-0-0-0 (four home starts leaving out 1 RA to Milwaukee and 7 RA to Phillies.)
   (De La Rosa -- LHP -- first 5 -- 5hl(Phil)-0aw(LAD)- 0ap(AZ)- 2hl(SD)- 6al(SD)- 2hl(Fla)- 0ap(Pitts)- 7(12)al(Atl)- 7hl(LAD)- 4al(SD)
   (Wainright career vs. Colorado -- Only two starts, one in 07, one in 08.  13 IP, 2 RA, 1 ER.  De La Rosa vs. St. Louis -- 1... [More]

Posted Thursday, June 04, 2009 11:13 AM

5-inning picks for Thursday

It's an early day, so pardon me for the scrimpy stats and notes, but here are the positions...  numbers will follow.

Two-star picks:

Buehrle-Chisox -- some 5 innings, some 9 innings
   (Buehrle first 5 -- 2-1-2-2-3- ... update later)
   (Anderson first 5 -- 5-2-5-1- ... update later)
   (Buehrle's been a lights-out 1.6 ERA, 4-0 at home. Caveat:  A's Anderson is much better day (3.93 ERA) than night (7.14) -- and, the White Sox have never faced him before, which hasn't been a good situation for them.)

Cain-Giants -- 5 innings
   (Cain first 5 -- 0hw-2al-2hw-1ap-4hl-0aw-1hw-0hw-1al-0hw)
   (first 5 w-l-p -- 6-3-1)
   (vs. Detweiler)
   (Cain, lower ERA road than home, slightly lower ERA day than night.  This'll be about a 4 p.m. start.  A little dicey given they'll be at the end of a twin-bill following Randy Johnson. Cain shut down the Nats for 1 run in 5 innings May 12 at SF, a win, though the bullpen allowed in a flood of runs later.)

Carpenter-St. Louis -- 5 innings
   (Carpenter first 5 -- stats, handicap notes to come.)
   (vs. Harang)

Johnson-Marlins -- first 5
   (Stats and notes to follow in afternoon.)
   (vs. Bush)

One-star picks:

Pelfry-Mets -- 5 innings
   (Pelfry first... [More]

Posted Wednesday, June 03, 2009 05:05 PM

Send LeBron to game 1 of the finals

To: David Stern
Fr: Gfoss59 and the guys at covers
Re: LeBron's

Mr. Commissioner:

Here's an easy way out of the LeBron handshake fuss, which you wisely sidestepped in your recent interview.  It truly was a somewhat un-classy act from one of the league's top assets. 

The best thing to do is this:  Encourage James to attend game 1 of the finals with you on Thursday.

He can congratulate the Magic, and wish them and the Lakers luck.  Photo opportunity.  Smiles.  A clumsy situation made right.

If possible, get him to wear an NBA or "NBA finals" cap -- no Yankees gear, please, if he can go without for just one day.

This would defuse the situation with an act of grace that trumps a gesture of non-sportsmanship with a gesture of good sportsmanship.

And it's a way for you to have to avoid handing out fines or verbal scoldings. 

With respect.

Posted Wednesday, June 03, 2009 04:12 PM

5-inning picks for Wednesday

Had a great day yesterday, and also, one that illustrates the utility of a 5-inning strategy.  Several ideas (Lincecum-Giants, Wells-Cubs, Jays-Angels under) won in five, yet lost in 9 -- or failed to cover the runline (Slowey-Twins). 

Another game that was very popular, Arizona vs. the Dodgers -- we didn't have a pick -- would have won in five, before the 'Zona bullpen had time to mess the game up late.

This said, here are today's positions:

Two-star picks:

Billingsley-Dodgers -- some 5 innings -192, more 9 innings -188
   (Billingsley first 5 -- 2ap-1hw-0hw-0aw-2ap-h1w-0hp-1ap-3hl-2hw-0ap)
   (first 5 w-l-p: 4-1-5 home 3-1-1)
   (Garland first 5 -- 1h-7h-1h-1h-0a-0a-7hl-0ap-0aw(+)-9hl.)
   (Garland's bad, but hasn't been that bad first 5 as a won-loss proposition. Especially on the road, for whatever reason, he's often been able to hold up over 5 innings.  (Road ERA: 2.13).  He beat the Dogers 4/10/09 in his only career start against them.  Billingsley has only lost once in 5, but he has four pushes.  And he's a tad less sharp at home (3.66 ERA vs. 2.80 ERA overall). Having seen the 'Zona bullpen in action in recent weeks, and considering Garland's overall ERA (5.75), this makes more sense to me with some on 5, some more on 9.)

Weaver-Angels -- 5 innings - 125
   (Weaver first 5 -- 1hw-3al-3hp-0hw-4al... [More]

Posted Tuesday, June 02, 2009 03:58 PM

5-inning picks for Tuesday

Two-star picks:

Lincecum-SFG -- first 5
   (Lincecum -- first 5, runs allowed
avg. -- 1.7 RA ff / avg. last 5 -- 1.6
   (Stammen -- first 5, runs allowed
1h-3r /
avg. 2.0 ... not much to go on, but enough to like Lincecum)

Porcello-Det -- first 5
   (Porcello -- first 5
   (Matsuzaka -- first 5

Saunders-Halladay, UNDER 4 -- first 5
   (Saunders -- first 5,
avg -- n.a. / avg. last 5 -- 1.4
   (Note: the one bad recent start -- that "6" -- was at Texas, which hits very well against lefties.)
   (Halladay -- first 5,
avg -- 1.5 / avg. last 5 -- 1.0

Slowey-Twins -- first 5
   (Slowey -- first 5
   (Huff -- first 5
(Note: Slowey is not a fast starter, yet seems to be a reliable 7-inning, 3-run guy. Enough for the Twins bats to win.  So if you like the bullpen vs. bullpen matchup, it may make sense for 9...  and the runline.)

Peavy-Padres -- first 5
   (Peavy -- first 5
   (Bastardo -- LHP -- first 2009 start)
(Notes:  SD is even more dismal than normal ... [More]

Posted Monday, June 01, 2009 02:25 PM

5 inning picks - Monday

Two-star picks:
(13-7-5... +9.1 units... often favorites, so discount appropriately)

Hernandez-Mets, 5 innings only
   (Snell is terrible.  But I actually like the way the Pirates are playing with Wilson -- wouldn't do 9.)

One-star picks:
(8-10-2... +2.7 units... often dogs or runlines, so upgrade appropriately)

Oswalt-Houston, 5 innings only
   (Mostly putting up 1s and 2s in first 5.)
Chamberlain-NYY, 5 innings and NYY, 9 innings, Runline
  (Sowers pitching for the Tribe. Half unit on each NYY position.)
Cahill-A's, 5 innings only
  (He's been good over 5, but not 9, and the White Sox are bad against pitchers they haven't faced before...  1-6 at last check. Floyd, one good start, against Pittsburgh -- other than that, getting shelled.)

May be some more, or some upgrades, to come -- but so far even Oswalt looks iffy to me, given his recent starts. 

Posted Monday, June 01, 2009 01:17 PM

What LeBron should do now...

... after his behavior at the end of game 6, is this:

Show up at Staples for game 1 of Lakers-Magic, sans Yankees gear, shake some hands, wish both teams well --

And congratulate his buddy Dwight Howard and the rest of the Magic for their well-earned victory over a team that won 66 games in the regular season.

No texts, no media statements, no twitter postings -- a gracious gesture in person, for his own good and the league's.

Anyone else?


User: gfoss59
Joined: February 2009
Location: United States

Recent Posts



!--*** Footer scoreboard ************ -->