gfoss59's Blog

Posted Friday, July 31, 2009 10:05 PM

Runline discussion threat - Saturday 01 August 09

On to Saturday, with a reminder or two:

1. Please focus on runline propositions and why you think a game is a good runline proposition...  why the game will cover -1 1/2, as opposed to why you like the game in general. 

2. The items on the next post are not picks, yet, but plays -- picks I think we should look at -- for the sage participants to discuss.  "All of us are smarter than any of us," but we're a lot smarter still if we bring some analysis to bear.

Posted Friday, July 31, 2009 12:10 AM

Runline discussion thread, Friday 31 July

Great day Thursday gang -- special kudos to MrRusso and Runlines for their contributions and picks --

now on to Friday... 

These are not picks, yet, but plays  for our sage group to discuss.  "All of us are smarter than any of us."

Lannan-Ohlendorft -- this may be an under for 5i, unless there's something bad in the matchup which there may well be.  Ohlendorf is excellent at home -- Lannan has not been as good on the road, but the Pirates have dismantled their lineup, and Lannan may be starting to improve. 

Cubs-Harden first 5i.  Volstad has been bad; Harden's overall record is poor, but he's excellent on the road.  Take a look at his splits.  Again, the next thing (for me) is to see how Cubs have hit against V. and Marlins vs. Harden.  Cubs much (much) better with Aramis Ramirez back -- it changes the whole way someone can pitch through their lineup.

Hanson-Braves first 5i and 9i runline.  This is a pitching mismatch vs. Schmidt and the Dodgers, who will be coming in late relieved to have gotten one game in St. Louis.  As I recall, Hanson is an excellent runline cover bet -- and the Braves are decent starting a homestand.  But again, that's what I'll check next.

Phillies-Lee or Blanton vs. SF -- 5i and possibly 9i runline -- Actually, I'd probably take either starter against Sadowski, but want to see.  Sadowsk... [More]

Posted Thursday, July 30, 2009 09:11 AM

Runline discussion thread, Thursday 30 July 09

Welcome to the daily runline discussion thread.  No "rules," per se, but a simple request that will help maximize the usefulness of this board:

Please use this forum to discuss the merits of taking games for today, on the runline.  The more information you put in, the more others and ultimately you will get out of the discussion. 

Appreciatively, 59

Posted Wednesday, July 29, 2009 05:10 PM

Runline discussion thread, Wednesday 29 July 09

The runline is a valuable tool, the more so because it is mis-used by many:  "I don't want to lay -350, I'll just do the runline." 

There are many games where a huge favorite is a good runline proposition -- but the mere fact they're a huge favorite doesn't make it one.  And the mere fact a favorite is only -110 or -120 doesn't make it a bad idea to increase your yield by turning that narrow favorite into a huge dog.

(See also, "that game is overpriced -- I'll just put it on a parlay." If you think placing a truly overpriced asset on a parlay is a good idea, send me  PM and let me explain why it is the worst thing you can do, not the best.)

The runline can also be used to reduce your risk.  The other night, we liked Beckett and the Red Sox.  After thoughtful consideration and research, we recommended taking them for a smaller amount of units on the runline.  The risk of the Sox losing outright, we decided, was greater than the risk they would win by exactly one run.  So we gave the - 1 1/2, put less capital at risk, and got the same return we would have putting several times that at risk on the game straight up.

So for those who are also interested in increasing returns on carefully handicapped use of the runline, this thread will go up daily.  (And normally the evening before.)  This is a discussion threat, so please, if you're joining in, have something meaningful to say -- "Dodgers will kick... [More]

Posted Sunday, July 26, 2009 04:34 AM

The greatest Yogi Berra-isms

Choose your favorite Yogi-Berra-ism, or nominate one not on the list:

-- "Nobody goes to that restaurant any more; it's too crowded."

-- "You can observe a lot just by watching."

-- "Good pitching always beats good hitting -- and vice-versa."

-- (Leaving the hospital after a collision at home plate, talking to reporters): 
    "It's okay boys -- they x-rayed my head but they didn't find anything.

-- "It gets late early out there."

Posted Saturday, July 25, 2009 02:35 PM

Bedard-Sea vs. Sowers-Clev - 5 inning pick

Two-star picks:
Bedard-Seattle, 9 innings

One-star picks:
Bedard-Seattle, first 5 innings

   Bedard-Sea LHP -- first five -- 3aw(Minn) - 0ap(Oak) - 0hp(Det) - 3aw(LAA) - 1aw(CHW) - 0hp(Tex) -2al(Minn) - 1hl(LAA) - 1ap(Oak) - 0hw(Balt) - 1hw(Minn) - // on DL 6-7 to 7-7 // 2(++)hw - 0hw(Tex) - 3ap(Clev) -
   first 5 wlp:  7-2-5
   team 9-inning wlp: 8-6
   Splits:  ERA home 2.5, away 2.9, day 2.5, night 3.0.

   Sowers-Cleve LHP -- first five -- 1aw(Bost) - 5hl(CHW) - 1hp(NYY) - 2al(CHW) - 2hl(KC) - 3hl(Milw) - 6al(CHC) - 0hw(Cinn) - 1hp(CHW) - ... 1+(++)aw(CHW)
   first 5 wlp: 3-5-2. away: 2-2.
   team 9-inning wlp: 2-8.
   runline loss cover rate: 8-0.
   Splits:  ERA home 4.4, away 8.3, day 7.0, night 5.5.

   The bats:  Tribe scores 5.4 this year against left-handers per 9 innings, but got rid of one of its best bats against LHP in the DeRosa trade.  Cleveland has pounded several lefthanders of late, and won 4 of 5 against them.  But note:  these were some bad lefties, not Bedard.  His last start was against the Tribe -- tough to beat the same team back to back, but now he's in his home stadium. 
   Seattle, a less fecund 4.0 runs a game against LHP, but that's against the league's average lefty, not Sowers. 

   Pitchers vs. bat... [More]

Posted Tuesday, July 21, 2009 04:06 PM

Rodriguez-Hou vs. Wellemeyer-StL. - 5-inning pick

Two star picks:
Rodriguez-Houston, first 5 innings
Rodriguez-Houston, 9 innings

Summary:  No situation is ever perfect, but the apparent flies in the ointment in this game are actually a plus.  When we handicapped this game a couple of days ago, we had it at Houston -210.  We stick with that assessment despite a St. Louis loss last night, despite Rodriguez's occasional inconsistency -- which makes the Astros at -150 one of the biggest bargains we've seen this season.

   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) - ... 4hl(Det) - 1aw(SD) - 0hw(Pitts) - 0aw(LAD)
   wlp:  9-9-1, home:  4-4-1. team wlp for 9 innings: 13-6, home 7-2.
   splits:  ERA home 2.2, away 3.4.  Rodriguez did lose to St. Louis earlier this year, outdueled in a 3-0 loss at St. Louis.  Usually matched up against a better starter.  Skip Shumaker hits him well (.333), as does Greene (364.)  Wandy has done very well against Albert Pojulz -- .150, no home runs, no RBIs -- but may not have the luxury of pitching around him with DeRosa back (see below.)

   Wellemeyer-St.L. -- first five -- 5hl(Pitts) - 1ap(Ariz) - 4hp(NYM) - 5hl(CHC) - 0aw(Wash) - 1hw(Pitts) - 4hl(Milw) - 0hw(KC) - 2ap(Milw) - 4hl(Cinn) - 4hl(... [More]

Posted Tuesday, July 21, 2009 02:47 AM

5 Inning Discussion Thread - TUESDAY 7-21-09

For the best 5-inning discussion threads every day, please visit Key Element and Goalline Bob -- (click on links) -- who normally start one up around 8 a.m.

For those of you who are itching to get going and are up at 3 a.m., please feel free to get the ball rolling below. 

This thread is primarly intended for 5-inning discussion, but please feel free to talk about 9-inning (or even 1-inning) propositions too -- especially if there's some reason you think the full game is better than the 5 in a particular case. 

Substantive comments are appreciated, and will receive a substantive reply -- "All of us are smarter than any of us."

Stay thirsty, my friends. 

Posted Saturday, July 18, 2009 05:38 PM

Two-star pick -- Kershaw-LAD over Hampton-Hou

Two-star pick:
Kershaw-LAD -- 9 innings

One-star pick:
Kershaw-LAD -- runline

KERSHAW-LAD -- LHP -- first five -- 1ap(SD) - 1hw(SF) - 6al(Hou) - 9al(Colo) – 0hp(SD) – 1hw(Wash) – 4al(Phil) – 0aw(Fla) – 1hp(LAA) – 3al(Colo) – 1hl(Phil) – 3hl(SD) – 0hp(Oak) – 0aw(LAA) – 1hw(Sea) – 0hp(Colo) – 0aw(NYM) – 0aw(Milw) -

wlp: 7-6-5 (4-0-2 last six games) home: 3-2-4 away: 4-4-1

9-inning wlp: 11-7

Streak:  Dodgers have won six straight when he pitches.

Splits:  ERA home 1.8, away 4.4, night 3.0, day 3.3.  

Hampton-Hou -- LHP -- first five -- last 10 starts -- 4hl(CHC) - 3aw(Colo) - 2p(Milw) - 3hl(Tex) - 1ap(Pitts) - 1hw(Pitts) - 3al(Ariz) - 1aw(SD) - 0hw(Pitts) - 6hl(Wash) - 

Against teams with little power, or little power from the right side of the box, Hampton's done well -- Pittsburgh, San Diego, he's fine, and these teams help keep his ERA respectable.  Against power -- Texas, Arizona, Houston, Colorado, the Cubs, Milwaukee -- he's generally lost, and, indeed, often gotten roughed up.  When he loses, it's generally by more than a run...  and we wouldn't expect Houston to chase a win tonight if the Dodgers come out pounding. 

Matchup: ... [More]

Posted Friday, July 17, 2009 05:52 PM

Hernandez-Sea vs. Huff-Clev. - 5-inning pick

One-star picks:
Hernandez-Seattle, first 5 innings
Hernandez-Seattle, 9 innings

Hernandez-Sea -- first five -- 1aw(Minn) - 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) -1aw(LAD) - 2aw(Bost) - 0hp(Tex)

first five wlp: 11-3-4 home: 4-1-2 away: 6-2-2 team 9-inning wlp: 13-5. runline cover rate: 8-5

HERNANDEZ  notes: ERA day 2.1, night 2.7, home 3.3, away 1.9. Matchup notes to follow. Last updated July 17 by Chris.

Seattle impressive winning games in Boston, NYY, LAD -- seem to have more trouble with crumby teams. Offense has picked up, but still anemic. Pitching matchup seemed to concede Thursday to Cleveland, Friday to Seattle, though "they still play the game."

Career vs. Indians, 5 games, 2-1, 3.94 ERA, 1.5 WHIP. Highly effective in last 4 starts against Tribe going back to summer 2006: In two games Seattle lost when he pitched, he went 13 innings and allowed 4 runs. Key hitter matchups do give him some trouble: Grady Sizemore, 5 for 10. Victor Martinez 2 for 9, one home run, 3 RBI. Shin-Soo Choo 2 for 5. Ryan Garko, 2 for 3. But a lot of these hits came in Felix's first start against them in April, 2006. Note that he's improved his ERA every year in the league since then.

Huff-Cleve -- LHP -- Changed starter.&nb... [More]

Posted Wednesday, July 15, 2009 05:27 PM

5-inning and 9-inning discussion - Thursday, July 16

Guys and gals, here we go into the second half.

We usually start off looking at 5 innings -- but I don't think we should restrict ourselves to that because there are too many teams and pitchers who are much better, or worse, over the 5 innings than the 9 innings --

So this thread is friendly to both.  (Hence, "59")

Here's what jumps off the page to me for Thursday -- substantive comments appreciated, and will receive a substantive reply.  "All of us are smarter than any of us."

Lannan-Nats over Harden-Cubs -- first 5
Harden-Cubs over Lannan-Nats -- 9 innings
(We need to look into manager firings in general and this one in particular.  Betting against the Nats on the road has been a great proposition this year -- but some teams do pick up after a change.  And the Nats have a significant bullpen upgrade courtesy of the Pirates.)

Cook-Rockies over Gaudin-Padres -- first 5, full 9, maybe runline

Braden-A's over Santana-LAA -- first 5
(Angels impressed in dominating Yanks, but they own Yanks. No Guerrero or Hunter for some time.  A's may have Giambi Thursday but may not.)

Bailey-Reds over Looper-Brewers -- first 5
(I dunno.  Bailey only four starts, but decent last 3.  Beware of his home-away split so far, Bailey better on road.  But Looper much worse on road.)

Wolf-Dodgers over Rodriguez-Astros -- first 5, full 9, 9 runline
(When you have the better team, ... [More]

Posted Tuesday, July 14, 2009 01:07 AM

All-star 5-inning pick -- National League

Someone has to make a pick, so we will:    "59" and the other most interesting handicappers in the world hereby proclaims the National League will win the first five innings of Tuesday's All-Star game...    While GoallineBob, the Dean of 5-inning forecasters, boldly takes the junior circuit -- thus giving us the winning ticket, and poor Bob, only a stub and the dream of what might have been.   The stakes couldn't be higher:    $ 5 -- that's right --   five American dollars --    is the size of our wager.  (Actually, we'd prefer Canadian dollars, but we heard won't ship there, baduhm-tssssii.)   Five big ones.  Get it?  Five.  Yep.   Five.    As with the All-Star game itself, this means mainly pride is engaged -- and in the case of Bob and me, it's a pride wonderfully unenhanced by performance-enhancing drugs of any sort.  Well, no steroids anyway.   Here are the reasons I'm confident Bob will be forking over a big five spot by 5 a.m. Wednesday -- or Thursday, in the event Bud Selig sends Monday's home run derby into video review and an extra-inning session with an asterisk attached:   1. I've got Tim Lincecum -- Number Fifty-Five.  (Hmmm.... sounds like "first five" to me.  One could rest on that alone, but wait, there's more.)    And Bob? He's got the groinistically challenged Ray Halladay, whose ... [More]

Posted Sunday, July 12, 2009 12:07 PM

Betting on all-star break day

Major league baseball has a notoriously long season fraught with days off, double-headers, rainouts -- and, of course, the day before the all-star game.

Some managers rest their star veterans early -- or alter their pitching rotations or bullpen patterns with an eye on the game:  Sometimes to enable a young star to be able to play, and sometimes to try to make it difficult for them to make it unlikely they will, and so, save them for their team and the second half.

And, the games are often day games, a different animal in and of itself, as anyone who's followed Josh Beckett and C.C. Sabathia this year knows.

You would think -- certainly we did -- that this messy hodgepodge of plans and travel schedules and Cancun getaways would throw a monkey-wrench in the best laid plains of handicappers and oddsmakers.

But a quick glance at results from 2005-2008 suggests it's not as crazy as one might think. 

For example, over that period, better than 80 percent of the favorites of -180 or higher won....  more than enough to justify their odds in most caes.

In 2008, in fact, favorites of +180 or better went four four four.  The Brewers, behind C.C. Sabathia, nipped the Reds 3-2 at home at -230.  The Dodgers won at home easily, 7-1, a gem by Billingsley at -180.  The Mets took care of the Rockies at home, 7-0, behind Pelfrey, at -210.  And the Red Sox took care of the Orioles 2-1, at -185.

On the othe... [More]

Posted Saturday, July 11, 2009 09:22 AM

Lilly-Cubs - Thompson-St.L. - 5-inning pick

Two-star picks:

Lilly-Cubs -- first five innings

Lilly-Cubs -- 9 innings

One-star pick:

Lilly-Cubs -- 9 innings -- runline

   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) - 6al(Det) - 2al(Pitts) - 1hw(Milw)

   FIVE INNING team 5-inning wlp: 9-6-2.  home: 5-1-2.   

   NINE INNING wlp: 11-6.  home: 7-1. 

   RUNLINE COVER RATE: Only 4 of 7 home wins have covered the runline...  a questionable proposition.  But note:  For St. Louis, facing a left-hander, it's a possibility.   Nine of their last 10 losses to left-handers -- and they usually lose to lefthanders -- were by more than one run.  The only excecption was a 3-2 defeat by the relatively anemic Mets.

   Thompson-St.L. -- first five -- 2hp(Cinn) - 3hl(Colo) - 1ap(Cleve) - 2aw(KC) - 4al(NYM) - 4hl(SF) - 5al(Cinn) -

   FIVE INNING wlp: 1-4-2.  road: 1-2-1. 

   Pitching notes:  Lilly's 5-1 at home in the first five -- his only loss a solid outing against Cincinnati back in April.  Thompson's a little better at day (4.4 ERA) than at night (5.2), a plus for him.  Lilly's virtually identical (3.3 and 3.3) n th... [More]

Posted Friday, July 10, 2009 05:32 PM

Lester-Bosox - Bannister-KC - 5-inning pick

Two-star picks:

Lester-Red Sox -- 9 innings -- runline

One-star picks:

Lester-Bosox -- first 5 innings
Lester-Bosox -- 9 innings

   Lester-Bosox -- LHP -- first 5 -- 5hl(TB) - 6al(Oak) - 0hw(Balt) - 2hl(NYY) - 5al(Cleve) - 3aw(NYY) - 8hl(TB) - 1aw(Sea) - 0hw(Tor) - 5al(Minn) - 1aw(Tor) - 0hw(Tex) - 1aw(Phil) - 2hl(Fla) - 1aw(Wash) - 0aw(Balt) - 4hl(Sea)-
   first 5 wlp: 9-8.  home:  3-5.  last 10: 7-3.  team 9-inning wlp: 11-6.
   Runline record 2009:  8-2 overall;  8-0 last eight;  home: 3-2, including last 3 straight. 

   Bannister-KC -- first 5 -- last 10 -- 2(+)hl(Cleve) - 0aw(St.L.) 5hl(CHW) - 8(9)al(TB) - 0(++)aw(Cleve) - 1hw(Cinn) - 1hl(St.L.) - 3aw(Hou) - 1hp(Minn) - 2hw(CHW) -
   wlp (last 10): 5-4-1. team 9i wlp: 8-7.

   Pitching notes:  Lester and Bannister both seem to have found it lately -- Lester after a May 26 start at Minnesota...  though his last outing was a 5-inning loss to Seattle (Boston won the game easily, 8-4.)  He's the only pitcher we've seen without a single push in the first 5.  He's murder on certain teams -- Baltimore, Toronto -- but you don't want him against Tampa Bay. 

   By contrast, Bannister has found Fenway before -- and may wish to get Mapquest directions to a different stadium tonight.

 ... [More]

Posted Friday, July 10, 2009 04:12 PM

Betting on bad weather

Rain up and down the east coast today, raising the question, how should one bet on ball games where rain is likely or expected?

Different approaches may work for different people -- but one thing we don't recommend is betting on the weather one way or another, if it's foremost in your mind for making the pick.

If you're that good at meteorology, there are plenty of TV journalists you could probably replace.

Some of the better handicappers around won't even bet a baseball game if there's a significant chance weather will play a role.

This is especially true for favorites -- bad weather seems to be an equalizer, as it is in most sports.  If you really like a pitching matchup, for example, why would you want to take the chance that your starter has to sit around for a couple hours before the game starts -- or, worse still, to get cold during a 3-hour rain delay?

A number of people who had the Red Sox against the Orioles several days ago may have been hurt by a rain delay in their June 30 game, which the Orioles won after a long rain delay.

"No one would have ever dreamed it would play out the way it did," pitcher John Smotz said after the Red Sox blew a 9-run lead to lose 11-10.  "It's one of those games where you shake your head...."

(Unless you had the underdog Orioles.)

This doesn't mean bad weather makes the underdogs likely to win.  But in general, it seems to lessen the advantage of the better team.... [More]

Posted Friday, July 10, 2009 12:31 PM

Carpenter-St.L. vs. Harden-CHC - 5 inning stat line

    Carpenter-St.L. -- first 5 -- 1hl(Pitts)- 2aw(Ariz)- 0hw(CHC)- 0hp(Milw)- 2al(SF)- 0hw(Cinn) - 3al(Fla) - 3al(Cleve) - 0aw(KC) ... 3al(NYM) - 6hl(SF) - 0aw(Cinn) -

   first 5 w-l-p: 5-6-1.  road: 2-4-0.  team 9-inning wlp: 6-6.

   Harden-CHC -- first 5 -- last 5 outings -- 2hl(Minn) - 7hl(Cleve) - 2al(Det) - 1aw(Pitt) - 7(9)hl(Milw)

   From Harden's line it seems highly likely he'll give up either 7 runs, or 1-2 runs -- a coin toss.  Against the weak-sticking Cardinals, who knows?

   Carpenter against the Cubs:  Lee (.325), Ramirez (2.84), and Soriano (.387) all hit well against him, though not for much power:  Those three have a combined 3 HR in 110 at bats against him.  
Chris Carpenter (R) Previous Starts vs. Chi. Cubs Date Opposition Scr Line W/L IP H R ER SO BB HR

05/20/09 CHC 2-1 -108/8 W/U 5.0 3 0 ... [More]

Posted Thursday, July 09, 2009 06:02 AM

Halladay-Tor -Price-TB - 5-inning statline


   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) - 2hl(TB) - 3al(NYY) - 

   5i wlp: 11-2-3.  road:  5-1-2.  team 9i wlp: 10-6

   PRICE-TB LHP first 5 -- 2aw(Clev) - 1hw(Minn) - 3al(NYY) - 1hw(LAA) - 5al(Colo) - 10hl(Phil) - 1hw(Fla) - 6(9)al(Tex) -

   5i wlp: 4-4.  home: 3-1.

   Pitching notes:  Price shelled in 3 of last 4 outings; Halladay not Halladayesque since returning from a brief stint on the DL.  Is there a doctor in the house?

   Tampa has won four of six meetings with Halladay in 2008-2009, including their 6/29 game in Toronto.  In 41 innings pitched against the Rays over that period, he allowed 20 runs -- not his best matchup.   Price has been awful on average, but then again, in 3 of his eight starts, he allowed only 1 run in the first five innings, and in another, only 2 runs.  And he's 3-1 at home in the F5.

   The bats:  Toronto scoring a respectable 4.5 runs per 9 innings against lefties in its last 10 games (for the year, 5.4); the Devil Rays, an anemic 2.8 RP9i against right-handers (for the season, 5.5). 

   Team mojo:  Definitely in favor of Tampa, winners of 6 of 10 despite being swept i... [More]

Posted Wednesday, July 08, 2009 06:37 AM

5 inning Discussion Thread - WEDNESDAY 7-8-09

Normally in a few hours, Key Element or Goalline Bob or both will start a discussion thread, and as soon as they do, that's always a terrific place to carry on the discussions.  (Link to their pages by clicking on their name, respectively). 

Generally, they start up between 9 and 11 a.m. Eastern time. 

In the meantime, here is a basket to put your ideas in for now --  for Wednesday 8 July -- and some early thoughts to follow below:

Posted Tuesday, July 07, 2009 11:41 AM

Beckett-Red Sox - 5-inning pick

One-star picks:

Beckett-Boston -- first 5 innings
Beckett-Boston -- 9 innings

Why did we stay off Josh Beckett, and the under proposition, during Beckett's off-kilter start last week against the Baltimore Orioles -- just after making him a two-star pick to defeat the Atlanta Braves on June 26?

It wasn't a crystal ball.  Just hard work and diligent handicapping.  The same process that leads us to make him a one-star pick for the first five, and for nine innings, today at home against the Oakland A's.  (Possible upgrade depends on Pedroia, Hairston, other team lineup moves and other factors.)

Here's Beckett's first 5 line heading into the game this Tuesday night at Fenway -- emphasize "night," and "at Fenway":

  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) - 5al(Balt) -

   wlp 5 inning: 10-4-1.
   home: 7-0.
   last ten: 7-2-1.
   team 9-inning wlp: 10-5.

( Key: Our unique first five line tracks runs (whether earned or unearned) allowed in the first five innings, away or home game, result of proposition win-loss-push, and the opponent in parenthesis.  So "3ap(KC)" means 3 runs allowed, on the road, result a push, opponent (Kansas City.)  Just for C.C., we're adding a "d" to the right of the te... [More]

Posted Tuesday, July 07, 2009 10:15 AM

Contemptible MLB owners - pin the tail on the jack-----

Which MLB ownership group is the most contemptible?

It's not an easy question to answer -- surely, the Cleveland Indians and Pittsburgh Pirates merit mention... 

And although they've at least tried to make acquisitions and develope some young pitchers, for sheer stinking it up on the field, the Washington Nationals must be saluted.

Plus there's the New York Mets, who, on the field, have shown a lot of grit to stay in contention despite missing something like 37 players on their 25-man roster.... but even so, are a management disaster, still studying the Jerry Jones-style Management for Dummies handbook.

( And then there are all those teams who may just be a 25-home-run guy away from a division championship or even a pennant, and won't even give Barry Bonds a 1-week tryout at the league minimum. )

If someone at the aloof Covers bureaucracy, or anyone on these boards, can tell me how, I'll even be happy to post a poll on this question. (You know, like people do at a couple of zillion other blogs... including some that don't even have their own Youtube channel.)

But in the meantime, you're welcome to submit your comments, criticisms, and harrrumphs below --

Cheers and BOL.

Posted Tuesday, July 07, 2009 09:55 AM

Buehrle-CHW - 5-inning pick

One star picks:
Buehrle-CHW -- first 5 innings
Buehrle-CHW -- 9 inning runline

Two-star pick:
Buehrle-CHW -- 9 innings

   Buehrle-CHW LHP -- first five -- 2hw(KC)- 1hw(Minn)- 2aw(TB)- 2hw(Tor)- 3al(Tex)- 1hl(Oak)- 0hw(Det)- 4al(Clev)- 0hw(Minn)- 1hw(Pitt)- 2al(KC)- 1hl(Oak) - 3hp(Det) - 3aw(Milw) - 0aw(Cinn) - 3hw(CHC) - 0aw(KC)
   first 5 wlp: 11-5-1.  home: 6-2-1. 
   9 inning team wlp: 12-4, runline cover rate: 9-3. 
   home runline cover rate: 5-1.

   Sowers-Cleve LHP -- first five -- 1aw(Bost) - 5hl(CHW) - 1hp(NYY) - 2al(CHW) - 2hl(KC) - 3hl(Milw) - 6al(CHC) - 0hw(Cinn) - 1hp(CHW)
   first 5 wlp: 2-5-2. away: 1-2.
   team 9-inning wlp: 2-7.
   runline loss cover rate: 7-0.

   A bet on Buehrle is semi-automatic for us, as is a bet against Sowers.  Combine them and you've got a proposition we really like.
   But for 5 innings or 9 innings? 

   A glance behind Sowers's pitching log suggests he often gets through 5 innings just fine -- then gets shelled.  (A bet against Cleveland over 5 innings, during his nine starts, won only five times, with two pushes.  A bet against Cleveland for 9 innings won 7 times.)  This is reminiscent, e.g., of Garland for Arizona, liable to put up a 0 first five effort, then get clobbered.[More]

Posted Tuesday, July 07, 2009 08:21 AM

Sabathia-NYY - Baker-Min -- 5 inning pick

One-star picks:

C.C. Sabathia-NYY -- 5 innings (1/3)
C.C. Sabathia-NYY -- 9 innings (1/3)
Yankees-Twins under -- 5 innings (1/3)

On May 19, we blogged about C.C. Sabathia's Yankee Stadium Gap -- noting that even in the old House that Ruth Built, his record had been both mediocre, and sparse.  (The Indians wouldn't even pitch him there for a gap of three years...  and he had only five starts from 2001 through 2008.) 

The gist of it was, C.C. appears to be uniquely unsuited to the dimensions and wind of the New Yankee Stadium -- an observation that's been borne out this year, as his home-away ERA split (home 4.5, away 3.2) suggests.

We followed up this C.C. Critique with a further observation a couple weeks ago -- that he doesn't seem to like day games, either.  Certainly not early in the season before he's lost some of that winter buffet-line padding on the waistline.  (Day ERA 5.5 this year; night 2.9). 

Now, though, it appears it may be safe to go in the water -- or, specifically, the Metrodome.  CC's pitching at night.  On the road.  And, for once, at a reasonable price:  -130. 

Wait, it gets better.  As ill-suited as C.C. is at his new home, or against teams with most of their power from the right side...  he's quite comfortable against the Minnesota Twins (power from the left) -- and with the dimensions of Minnesota's ballpark.  ... [More]

Posted Tuesday, July 07, 2009 04:48 AM

C.C. Sabathia vs. Minnesota -- skinny odds for the fat man

Perhaps it's from our habit of avoiding C.C. Sabathia so much recently when the price is high, or it's April, or the sun is hot, that we're now willing to toy with taking him at only -130...  thin odds compared to the normal fat money-line on C.C.
Not only will Sabathia be in an air-conditioned stadium, with a ready supply of snacks from Hormel, General Mills, and other food companies located nearby....
But...  he's up against a team he's done quite well against in recent years.  Lots more to consider, but meantime, there's at least a baseline case for one of baseball's biggest money-losers.  To wit:

CC Sabathia (L) Previous Starts vs. Minnesota Date Opposition Scr Line W/L IP H R ER SO BB HR PIT P/IP G/F 06/10/08 (CLE) MIN 1-0 -168/8 W/U 9.0 5 0 0 5 0 ... [More]

Posted Monday, July 06, 2009 05:58 PM

Bergesen-Orioles -- 5-inning pick

One-star pick:

Bergeson-Orioles -- first 5 innings

   Bergeson -- Here's his first 5 line for the last 10 games: 2hp(TB) - 2al(NYY) - 2aw(Wash) - 0hw(Det) - 2al(Sea) - 0hw(Sea) - 0hw(Atl) - 0aw(Phil) - 1hw(Wash) - 1hw(Bost) -

   We like the low numbers and the quality opponents.  Orioles have lost most of his starts in the bullpen, resembling Wells and Cubs earlier this year.  So what?  We're talking 5 innings.  And take note of the quality opposition he's faced:  Rays, Yankees, Tigers, Phillies, Red Sox, and, considering their recent mojo improvement, the Mariners too.

   Washburn -- Also solid; but here's his 2007-2009 record against Baltimore:
Jarrod Washburn (R) Previous Starts vs. Baltimore Date Opposition Scr Line W/L IP H R ER SO BB HR

06/01/09 BAL 0-1 -120/8.5 L/U 7.0 6 1 1 ... [More]

Posted Monday, July 06, 2009 05:29 PM

Wells-CHC vs. Jurjens-Atl.

One-star picks:

Wells-CHC -- first five
Braves-Cubs under -- first five

   Wells-CHC -- first five -- 0aw(mil) - 0hp(hou) - 2al(sd) - 2hl(LAD) - 0aw(atl) - 1aw(cinn) - 4 hl(minn) - 0hw(clev) -- 2ap(CHW) - 1aw(Pitts)
   wlp: 5-3-2.  last five starts: 3-1-1. team wlp 9-innings:  5-5.

   Jurjens-Atl -- first five -- last 5 outings only:  2hl(Pitts) - 3al(Cinn) - 4al(Bost) - 1hl(Bost) - 1hw(Phil)
   wlp last five starts: 1-4.  team wlp 9-innings: 8-9. 

   Jurjens has a solid ERA, usw.  But we look at all those zeros and ones for Wells, including a 5-inning win against Atlanta, and are impressed.  One bad outing out of 12, against the Twins several weeks ago. 
   Some action on 9 warranted as Cubs are at home, bullpen improving, and Jurjens a solid starter too. 

   Pitching notes:  Both better at night, a wash.  Jurjens has lost 3 of his last 4 road starts, the lone road win coming at Arizona where he gave up 5 runs first 5, but the Braves bats suddenly came alive with 10 runs. 

   The bats:  Last 10 games, Braves 3.4 RP9i against righties -- and those numbers take in a series against the woeful Nationals bullpen.  Cubs, 4.5 RP9i over same period. 

   Trends:  A clash.  Cubs 7 of last 8 at home; Braves 4 of 5 ag... [More]

Posted Monday, July 06, 2009 03:54 PM

Tuesday 5-inning discussion thread

Trying to see, frankly, if I can get a thread going as opposed to a blog entry --

Looking at Tuesday's games, the following look interesting.  That means we're looking, n.n. picking, for 5 innings:

BECKETT at home against Oakland.  Unless there's some matchup difficulty or injury I'm not aware of, I'll be all over this if the odds are reasonable...  as they may be after Beckett's last start.  Before you're scared off by that bad start, by the way -- a day game -- take a look at Beckett's splits.  His other bad start in the last 10?  Against the Phillies.  Time of game?  140 p.m.

VERLANDER at home vs. Chen for KC.

BUEHRLE over Sowers for Cleveland, in Chicago -- Note that Sowers has improved over first 5...  he often gets touched in the 6th or 7th.  Buehrle the opposite, a Pettitte type, selcom lights out, but a big, rugged winner.  So probably better for 9 innings. 

BEDARD Seattle at home against Guthrie for Orioles.

HAMEL for Colorado over Zimmerman, in Colorado.  Maybe for 9 too. Betting against de Nationals on de road been belly belly goood to me, even at - odds (and not always that high.)

DAVIS for Arizona vs. San Diego.  Defintely a better 5er given 'Zona bullpen. 

SABATHIA-BAKER under.  C.C. back out of the hot sun, with a bag of Chitos nearby.  Used some of his recent money to acquire a further ownership interest in the ... [More]

Posted Monday, July 06, 2009 05:40 AM

5-inning discussion thread -- Monday

Later in the day, there's likely to be an excellent 5-inning discussion threat at the Covers page for KeyElement, and another at the page for GoallineBob -- click the links for their pages.

Meantime,though, here's some propositions that intrigue us, and, indeed, which we've already started writing and blogging about.  Mostly stuff we're just starting to study --

Romero-Toronto -- first 5 innings.  (A report, here.  Game thread, here.)
Still debating whether to two-star this.  Yankees a juggernaut right now; Pettite wins ugly, the key word being not "ugly" but "wins."

Wells-Cubs -- first 5 innings.  Well priced at -114.  The under is tempting, with Jurjens for Braves.  Initial take is, the side. 

Cain-SFG -- first 5 innings.  Maybe some 9 too.  "Bullpen risk" is "bullpen opportunity" when your bullpen is better. Also reasonably priced for a hot SFG team at home.

Marquis-Rockies -- probably like 9 innings better on this; but let's do some handicapping. 

Cueto-Reds -- first 5.  Some bad starts, but seems to have recovered.  Much better, for whatever reason, on the road -- 2.1 ERA vs. 3.4 home. 

Reds-Phillies under -- Hamels pretty good against Cincy.

Gallaragga-Tigers -- first 5 over Meche. 

Weaver-Angels -- first 5.

Angels-Texas under -- first 5.

Bergeson-Orioles -- first 5.  Note that Washburn has been pound... [More]

Posted Monday, July 06, 2009 04:52 AM

Romero-Tor vs. Pettitte-NYY - 5-inning pick

One-star pick:
Romero-Tor -- first 5 innings

   Romero-Tor LHP -- first 5 line -- 2hp(Det) - 2al(Minn) - 0hw(Oak) - 3al(Balt) - 5hl(Bost) - 0hw(KC) - 1al(Tex) - 1(+)aw(Phil) - 2aw(Wash) - 0hw(Phil) - 0hw(TB) -
   wlp: 6-4-1. away: 2-3-0. streak: 4-0 last four. team 9i wlp: 7-4.

   Pettitte-NYY LHP -- first 5 line -- 1aw(KC) - 3al(TB) - 2hw(Oak) - 4al(Bost) - 0(+6in6th)hw(LAA) - 4hp(TB) - 2aw(Tor) - 3hw(Minn) - 4hl(Phil) - 0aw(Cleve) - 4hl(Tex) - 3hp(TB) - 5hl(NYM) - 1aw(Fla) - 6al(Atl) - 1hw(Sea)
   wlp: 8-6-2. home: 4-3-2. streak: 1-3 last four home. team 9i wlp: 12-4

   Pitching notes:  Romero's on an awfully daunting run since losing to the Red Sox on May 31 (underlinled portion).  In those six first-five starts, five of them wins, he's allowed more than one run only once (a 2 against the Nationals) and tossed in several 0s.  What makes this run more impressive is the opposition.  He's shut down a number of teams pounding out more than 5 runs per game against left-handers, including Texas, Philadelphia, and Tampa. 
   (For an interesting recent profile of Romero, "Romero's changeup turning hears," click here.)
   Caveat:  Pettitte's first 5 numbers aren't pretty -- but they're often followed by that lovely letter "W" that enables wagerers to cash tickets.  Part of this is the fact that he gets good run support, but... [More]

Posted Sunday, July 05, 2009 10:31 AM

Billingsley-LAD - 5-inning pick

Two-star pick:
Billingsley-LAD -- 9 innings

One-star picks:
Billingsley-LAD -- first 5 innings
Billingsley-LAD -- 9 inning runline

   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:  11-6. 
   (Note: of the 11 wins, 10 covered the runline.  Similar pattern in 2008.  Those doing 9 are justified in taking the RL.)

   Banks SD first 5 -- 3hp(Oak) - 6 al(Sea) - 3hl(Hou) -
   first five wlp: 0-2-1.

   Pitching notes:  Billingsley career ERA vs. San Diego, 2.62.  Here's the log on his most recent 9 starts, 8 of them LAD wins (and all of the wins runline covers): 
Chad Billingsley (R) Previous Starts vs. San Diego Date Opposition Scr Line W/L IP H R ER SO BB HR PIT P/IP G/F 06/09/09 ... [More]

Posted Sunday, July 05, 2009 09:10 AM

Carpenter-St.L. - Arroyo-Cinn - first five stat line

We've been thinking of Carpenter, still like him against Arroyo if we had to make an investment, but we don't.  Carpenter's last three ERA is 4.6; he's had one victory in the first five on the road this year.

Carpenter has been excellent in the day:  1.21 ERA.  That's something.  He's good against the Reds. 

But four of his last five starts (underlined below) are poor.  That's enough to send us looking for better bargains.

    Carpenter-St.L. -- first 5 -- 1hl(Pitts)- 2aw(Ariz)- 0hw(CHC)- 0hp(Milw)- 2al(SF)- 0hw(Cinn) - 3al(Fla) - 3al(Cleve) - 0aw(KC) ... 3al(NYM) - 6hl(SF) -

   first 5 w-l-p: 4-6-1.  road: 1-4-0.  team 9-inning wlp: 5-6

   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. team 9i wlp: 8-8.

Posted Sunday, July 05, 2009 08:25 AM

Nolasco-Fla -- 5 inning staline

One-star pick:

Nolasco-Fla -- 9 innings

   Nolasco-FLA -- first 5 line -- last 5 starts -- June 7: 2hl(SF) - 2al(Tor) - 1aw(Bost) - 0(+)hw(Balt) - 2hp(Wash) --- wlp: 2-2-1.  team wlp 9i: 8-6.
   Ohlendorf-Pitts -- first 5 line -- 1aw(Atl) - 1hw(Det) - 6al(Colo) - 1hl(Cleve) - 0hw(CHC) --- wlp: 3-2-0. team wlp 9i: 9-7.

   Pitching notes:  Nolasco isn't the same pitcher since the Marlins wisely sent him to AAA to focus on locating and trusting his fastball.  After taking part in a 15-2 shelling by Tampa Bay May 22, he returned for a June 7 outing against San Francisco, pitching well but losing, 3-2.  Over his last three games, Nolasco's ERA is 1.35; Ohlendorf, 3.79, thought this mainly reflects Ohlendorf getting shelled at Colorado.  Indeed, a glance at Ohlendorft's first five line shows 4 solid outings and 1 bad one in his last five games.
   Nolasco virtually the same day-night (6.1/5.9), Ohlendorf worse day-night (5.9/5.2). 
   Ohlendorf shut Florida out the only time he faced them, this April.  Nolasco's 1-3 but that's mainly ancient history; he did lose to Pirates earlier this year, during his woeful April and May. 
   The Bats:  Marlins, 5.8 RP9i against right handers, last 10 games; Pirates, 4.0 RP9i.  For the year, both teams close at about 4.6-4.7 per game, but Pirates lineup and mojo hurt at least som... [More]

Posted Sunday, July 05, 2009 07:13 AM

Red Sox home loss streaks -- statgrounder

Are the Red Sox bound to win on Sunday?  Of course not -- but with Boston losing two straight at home to Seattle this weekend, one can say that historically, there's a good chance.  Here are the macro numbers:

Boston in next home game after two straight home losses:

2007-2009 combined: 12-3

2009: 3-0
  (year to date)

2008: 5-1
   (only loss: July, third straight loss to Angels. Red Sox won next six straight home games.)

2007: 4-2
   (only losses: In July, two straight to KC, then one loss to White Sox. Red Sox won next three straight home games.  In April, two losses to Toronto, then road trip, then loss in next home game against A's.  Red Sox won next two home games.)

And then of course there are all the fundamentals to consider, such as the pitching matchup:  Lester vs. Morrow; day-night splits, which mildly favor Morrow; the Red Sox hitting slump against right-handers -- 3.4 RP9i last 10 games; injuries to Lowell for Red Sox and Beltre and Betancourt for Mariners; and the incredible roller-coaster Boston bullpen saga. 

If the Red Sox should lose to the Mariners Sunday, they'll be on a 3-game home losing streak as they face the A's Monday night.   Since 2007, they've been 3-0 in those games, and, indeed, normally followed each of those 3-home-loss streaks with win streaks of 2, 3, and 6 games at Fenway.[More]

Posted Saturday, July 04, 2009 05:05 AM

Manny and "The Slide"

LOS ANGELES, CA -- It may not (or may) be widely reported -- but one of the most important plays of the baseball season took place Friday night in San Diego.

It was a play around second base that not only won a baseball game for the lead-leading Dodgers -- but also, won something bigger for Manny Ramirez in his much-awaited return from a 50-game suspension.

You won't find it in the box score; or anyway, the box score won't capture the essence of the play and its importance.

It's already being called, by intelligent fans like the ones hanging out with me at a nearby sports bar near Pomona, "the slide."

Elway has "the drive."  Clark has "the catch."  Manny, now, has "the slide."

(To be sure, the stakes weren't nearly as high:  This was a regular season baseball game, one of 162.  But don't let's wreck a good drama with cavils.)

Anyway, here's what happened. 

First inning, Manny on first base after a walk, already one out.  Another runner, I think Rafael Furcal, also on base.

Slow roller towards the middle.  Likely double-play ball.  Over to the shortstop, as I recall, for one -- and about to go to first for a double play, when...

Manny arrives at second. 

Enter a good, clean takeout slide by Ramirez.  Clean because he didn't go flying outside the base path -- in fact, he touched the bag.  Good because he took out the back foot of the pivot... [More]

Posted Friday, July 03, 2009 05:05 PM

Kawakami-Atl vs. Detwiler-DC -- 5-inning pick

One-star pick:

Kawakami-Atl -- first 5 innings
Kawakami-Atl -- 9 innings

   Kawakami-Atl -- first 5 line -- 3hw(Wash) - 3hl(Fla) - 1aw(Wash) - 8al(Cinn) - 2hl(NYM) - 1ap(Phil) - 3hl(Ariz) - 0hp(Tor) - 2al(SF) - 2hl(CHC) - 1hw(Pitts) - 2aw(Balt) - 2(+)aw(Bos) - 0(+)hw(NYY) -
   wlp: 6-6-2; road: 3-2-1; streak: won 4 straight; team 9-inning wlp: 6-8.
   Detwiler-DC -- LHP -- first 5 line -- 3(++)hw(Pitts) - 1hp(Balt) - 5al(Phil) - 4hl(SF) - 3hl(Cinn) - 2aw(TB) - 0hw(Tor) - 3(++)al(Balt) -
   wlp: 3-4-1; home 2-2-1; team 9-inning wlp: 1-8.

   Pitching notes:  Many baseball fans were introduced to Kawakami when he faced Toronto and Roy Halladay on May 22 -- and outduelled the Doc (well, the Toronto bullpen) in a 1-0 classic.  Had a terrible outing against Cincinnati April 26 -- but since then (underlined portion above) he's been consistently excellent.  He's beaten the Nationals the only two times he faced them -- this April -- over 5 innings and 9 innings.
   Note:  Kawakami was hit in the neck in his last start and missed a day in the rotation as a precautionary measure -- originally scheduled for Thursday.  He appears to be fine and will now have an extra day's rest.  Click here for a news report.
   Detwiler has yet to win a decision, though the Nationals won one game that he pitched this ye... [More]

Posted Friday, July 03, 2009 03:22 PM

Kawakami-Braves -- 5 inning stat line

Here's the 5-inning stat line for Kawakami of the Braves, a proposition we really like today:


( Courtesy of GoallineBob. )

A full handicap will follow soon, but in the meantime, we wanted to alert K-Mart shoppers to the bargain price of -128 (last time we checked) as the Braves face the Washington Nationals at 6:30.

Posted Friday, July 03, 2009 03:16 PM

Yankees-Toronto series -- Burnett, Halladay...

Yankees -- first 5 -- one star
Yankees -- 9 innings -- one star

This is being reposted from our blog this morning on the Toronto-New York game thread.  Click here to view the original post -- Special thanks to Easypics, Bluephin, and Unit G for their contribution to the conversation.

Tomorrow we'll post an update for the Doc Halladay game -- Toronto celebrates Steinbrenner's birthday with a Yankee loss. 

Probably a two-star pick, given his performance historically against the Yanks...  but its always prudent to wait and see about injuries, weather, and other last-minute vagaries of baseball. 

Cheers, GFoss59.


Posted: 7/3/2009 11:02:50 AM

Seems to me Yankees win game one, Halladay (owns Yankees) game two, and then we'll see what happens in the rubber game....

Focusing on this game, I like Burnett a lot more -- especially lately.  I think he may be under-valued...  but only for a few more games. 

I watched him pitch against Minnesota in May -- May 17 -- and thought he started to turn it around there.  He got roughed up a little by the Phillies in his next outing, but then beat Texas in back to back games -- not easy to do, and against a club that can stick.

(I do a lot of pitching lines to evaluate 5 inning propositions.  In ... [More]

Posted Thursday, July 02, 2009 11:13 AM

Buehrle-CHW vs. Chen-KC -- runline

One-star pick:

Buehrle-CHW -- 9 innings, runline

Can you believe it?  We like the White Sox in back to back games -- on the road.  Indeed, this pick might be two stars, if we had a bigger track record for KC's Chen this season. 

Still, there's plenty to justify an investment in the Sox even after last night's 5-inning push on Contreras, the White Sox getting to Sowers, but not until the later innings (something Sowers is working into more and more, by the way.)  

   Buehrle-CHW LHP -- first five innings -- 2hw(KC)- 1hw(Minn)- 2aw(TB)- 2hw(Tor)- 3al(Tex)- 1hl(Oak)- 0hw(Det)- 4al(Clev)- 0hw(Minn)- 1hw(Pitt)- 2al(KC)- 1hl(Oak) - 3hp(Det) - 3aw(Milw) - 0aw(Cinn) - 3hw(CHC)
   first 5 wlp: 10-5-1,  away: 3-3-0, 9 inning team wlp: 11-4, runline cover rate 8-3. 
   (Note:  Last 5 Buehrle wins against Kansas City all covered runline.  Last 11 White Sox wins against Kansas City -- all of 2008-2009 -- covered runline.)
   Chen-KC LHP -- first five innings -- 3al(Pitts) -

   Pitching notes:  Buehrle's notoriously good at home, so-so on road -- but he's also very solid against the Royals.  He's ruled Kansas City with 8 Sox wins in his last 10 appearances against them, despite a so-so 3.5 ERA.  Sox 20-6 vs. Royals when Buehrle starts; he's won 6 of last 8 in KC.
   Chen by con... [More]

Posted Wednesday, July 01, 2009 05:42 PM

Contreras-CHW vs. Sowers-Clev -- 5-inning pick

Two-star pick:

Contreras-CHW -- first 5 innings

We seldom make the White Sox two stars for anything -- highly unpredictable bats, bullpen, starters, you name it. 

But the Sox record against lefties of late -- wow.  .385 BA, more than 12 runs per game.  Ask Cliff Lee.

Sowers has never beaten the Sox, and has won three (3) games at home in the last two seasons.

And Contreras solid against Tribe. 

Late one-star picks:

White Sox -- 9 innings -- Runline

If all of the above works, and comparing the two bullpens, there's no reason not to take the superior overall team for 9 -- and on the runline. 

Cueto-Reds -- first 5 innings

A pick against Garland, too -- and based on Cueto's long statline with only a couple wobbles.  Here's hoping Reds can stick at home.

Cain-SFG -- first 5 innings

Yes, Cards can be beaten again at home.  Ask Brewers, Rockies.

Posted Wednesday, July 01, 2009 02:04 PM

Verlander-Det vs. Braden-Oak -- 5 inning picks

One-star pick:

Verlander-Det -- first 5 innings
   - and -
Detroit-Oakland -- under 4 -- first 5 innings

   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) - 2aw(Hou) -
   Verlander -- first 5 w-l-p -- 5-5-5 but that includes rocky season start. last 11 first fives -- 5-2-4.
   Considering team is 10-6 when he starts, is often worth some 9 inning action against the right team or in Detroit -- 5-5 away, 4-1 home btw. Six of nine wins were runline covers, not enough to be highly attractive.

   Day-night:  Good for Verlander -- 4.2 ERA during night games; 1.6 ERA daytime.  Good for Braden too:  3.9 at night, 2.5 during the day.  Thus good for the under. 

   Home-away:  Bad for Verlander:  1.1 at home, 4.9 ERA on the road.  Good for Braden, if marginally:  3.5 road, 3.0 home. 

   Walks:  A key stat in our mind for the over-under.  Both pitchers have low walks per inning pitched:  Verlander okay -- 103 IP, 34 BB; Braden more solid, 99 IP, 27 BB. 

   The bats:  Detroit scoring 5.3 runs per game in the last 10 against lefties.  Oakland an anemic 3.6 runs per game against righties. 

   ... [More]

Posted Wednesday, July 01, 2009 01:09 PM

5 inning picks -- Wednesday -- continued

From earlier we had

Gallardo-Milw -- first 5 innings  (one star)
Florida 9 innings, Florida RL (one star)

We added last minute

Oakland-Detroit under -- first 5 innings (one star)
Florida-Washington under 4 -- first 5 innings (one star)

And are now adding:

Verlander-Det (one star -- may be upgraded)
Contreras-CHW -- 5 innings (one star -- may be upgraded)

Lots more games and analysis to come -- Cain, Cueto, and other favorites pitching tonight. 

Click here for previous reports. 

Posted Wednesday, July 01, 2009 10:25 AM

Wednesday 5 inning picks - Gallardo, Johnson

Normally we do more of a write-up, but with today's early schedule, here are, well, our early picks -- with a thumbnail.

All are first five unless indicated.

One-star picks:

GALLARDO-MILW -- first 5 innings

   Gallardo-Milw first 5 last 10 starts -- 2al(Pitts) - 2hw(CHC) - 4al(Hou) - 0hp(St.L.) - 2hw(Cinn) - 0aw(Atl) - 2hl(Colo) - 2aw(Cleve) - 0(+)aw(Det) - 1hw(SF)
   wlp last 10:  6-3-1
   Pelfry-NYM first 5 last 10 starts -- 2hw(Phil) - 1hl(Atl) - 2al(SF) - 2al(Bost) - 1hp(Fla) - 9al(Pitts) - 1hw(Phil) - 0aw(Balt) - 4hl(TB) - 4hl(NYY)
   wlp last 10:  3-6-1

   Gallardo -- not spectacular, but a steady stream of twos.  Compares well to Pelfry of Mets in recent games.  Gallardo lost only career start to Mets in April, but allowed only one run.  Pelfry shelled in his only career start vs. Milwaukee in 2007. 
   Pelfry -- not as bad as we thought, actually.  But highly inconsistent.  And many of his 1s and 0s are pushes.  With the way the Mets (and their much-depleted lineup) are hitting, it would not surprise me if, sometime soon, one of their pitchers loses a shutout.  (In his first two losses this year, Santana allowed zero earned runs.)

   Not a big hitting gap -- Mets scoring 4.30 runs per 9 innings against righties in last 10 games; Brewers, 4.57.  But Milwaukee's pitching much better.&n... [More]


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