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Baseball Betting: number’s don’t lie!

When betting major league baseball it is very wise to pay attention to the numbers, as teams and players seem to own certain pitchers or clubs, but also struggled mightily against others.

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When betting major league baseball it is very wise to pay attention to the numbers, as teams and players seem to own certain pitchers or clubs, but also struggled mightily against others. We warned you at the start of the year about Johnson for the Yankees.

Randy Johnson is 5-2 through seven starts. But that's not as good as it looks.

Facing a Tampa lineup missing Jorge Cantu, Aubrey Huff and Julio Lugo, Johnson gave up five runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings Thursday night, letting the Devil Rays stay in the game until the Yankees finally broke it open for a 10-5 victory.

Such games have become routine. In his previous start, against Toronto on Saturday, Johnson allowed six runs on six hits in five innings. The Yankees bailed him out by scoring 17 runs.

That method may work now. It won't in October.

"Right now he's not as good as he's going to be," manager Joe Torre said of Johnson, 42. "Let's put it this way: We don't have any concerns. ... This is just normal pitching stuff."

Johnson has allowed 19 earned runs in his last 23 innings, bumping his ERA to 5.02. But he is 5-2 because the Yankees have averaged just over nine runs over his seven starts.

The divorce of long time mates Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox and former pitching coach Lee Mazzone, has made life miserable for both of their teams. The Braves avoided dropping to 10 games behind in the National League East when they broke a four-game losing streak Sunday by beating the New York Mets 13-3. Still, the nine-game deficit beginning the day was the Braves' largest since Aug. 11, 1993.

That was the third year of their unprecedented string of 14 division crowns (there was no champion in the strike-shortened 1994 season). The streak remains alive but appears in jeopardy with the Mets' emergence.

Baltimore starter Bruce Chen gave homers to Kevin Mench and Mark Teixeira in his last start against Texas and Chen was battered for 11 hits and eight runs (seven earned) in four innings as he fell to 0-4. RHP Jim Brower, who ended the week ahead of all relievers with the most earned runs allowed at 14, the most walks with 11 and most hits allowed with 17. Their new pitching coach is Mazzone.

The Boston Red Sox team slugging percentage of .409 entering April 28, is ranked 22nd in baseball. The Red Sox finished in the top two in slugging each of the past three seasons. Few teams succeed while digging themselves holes, and the 2006 Red Sox have proved no exception to that trend. For that reason, the fact that Boston had been outscored by its opponents by a 25-13 margin in first innings prior to Wednesday raised something of a red flag.

The Sox own just a 5-9 mark when their opponents score first, something that has now happened in exactly half of the team's games. It is a pattern that the team is eager to reverse.

With Thursday's 7-4 win, the Sox now have an 11-3 record when they score first. If the recent awakening of the Boston bats (20 runs during the first three games of a homestand) points to more such nights, then the team might be able to breathe a bit easier.

RHP Bobby Jenks of the Chicago White Sox continued silencing the critics who jumped on him in spring training, saving his ninth game in nine opportunities Thursday. His velocity on his fastball is still on the rise, but the impressive thing with Jenks has been his other pitches, especially his curveball. The Sox swept the two-game series against the Mariners and in doing so won their 10th consecutive home game, tying a franchise record. They have won 19 of 23 overall, becoming the first team in the majors to reach 20 wins.

Since getting swept in the 2000 American League Division Series against the Mariners, the Sox are now 8-17 at Safeco Field.

The Indians' inconsistent pitching staff cost the team another game Thursday, as Cleveland lost 12-4 at Oakland. Starter Jason Johnson (2-2) lasted just two innings and gave up seven runs.

Johnson had a 1.83 ERA after his first three starts, but his ERA in the last three starts is 9.64. That's the kind of inconsistency that has plagued the Indians in the
first five weeks of the season.

Equally distressing to the Indians is that Johnson has averaged less than five innings per start in his last three starts. Not pitching deep into games has been a problem for Indians starting pitchers since the beginning of the season, and the two innings Johnson pitched Thursday was a reminder of that shortcoming. Because of the starters' inability to consistently pitch six or seven innings, the bullpen has been overworked. The result has been that the pitching overall has been wildly inconsistent.

That lack of consistency has sabotaged a terrific start to the season offensively. The Indians are at or near the top of the league in most offensive categories, but yet they are just one game over .500 (15-14).

The Indians failed to hit a double Thursday, snapping a streak in which they had at least one double in 43 consecutive games, dating to last year.

RHP Jason Johnson's career record against Oakland fell to 1-8 after he was roughed up Thursday.

RHP Jake Westbrook, who will start Friday night in Seattle, has a 9.17 career ERA in eight appearances, six starts, against the Mariners.
C Victor Martinez has reached base in 43 consecutive games, dating to last year. That's the longest such streak in the majors since Jim Edmonds reached in 47 straight games from June to August 2004.

DH Travis Hafner has homered in his last four games. In his last four games, Hafner is hitting .389 (7-for-18) with four home runs and 13 RBIs.

When RHP Carlos Silva surrendered a two-out, fourth-inning walk to former teammate 1B Doug Mientkiewicz on Thursday night, it snapped a streak by Twins pitchers of more than 3 1/2 games without allowing a walk. The first walk of the homestand (four games in) ended a 33-inning streak that spanned 133 plate appearances.

The Twins' 1-0 loss to the Royals on Thursday night was their first 1-0 loss since the same team handed them one at Kansas City last Aug. 31 — beating the Twins with a run in the bottom of the ninth inning after the Twins failed to score despite
13 hits and a walk.

The Twins have been shut out four times already this season, including three times in their past seven games. This after they thought they improved the lowest-scoring lineup in the AL in 2005 — which didn't get shut out until May 9 last year and was shut out only four times until Aug. 26. The 2005 Twins were shut out 10 times all season.

CF Tori Hunter's infield single in the fifth inning Thursday was the 34th of the season for the Twins, who entered the day tied with Baltimore for the major league lead.

Bob Acton

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Baseball betting numbers that matter!

The good news for the LA Angels is that they are only four game back in the loss column in the wacky AL West. The bad news is that 2005 CY Young award winner Bartolo Colon is returning and has looked brutal in 2006.

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The good news for the LA Angels is that they are only four game back in the loss column in the wacky AL West. The bad news is that 2005 CY Young award winner Bartolo Colon is returning and has looked brutal in 2006.

In his third minor league rehabilitation start, Colon gave up six earned runs and nine hits against the Fresno Grizzlies. In three starts for the Angels this season, Colon is 0-2 with a 7.07 ERA and they are going to send down their best pitcher to accommodate him.

Jered Weaver, the Angels' first-round draft pick in June 2004, reduced his ERA to 1.37 and became the second pitcher in franchise history to win his first four major league starts on Tuesday night. The other was Bo Belinsky, who won his first five starts in 1962 and finished his rookie season 10-11. Whether that's enough to keep Weaver up in the bigs is another story. He has allowed just four earned runs, 16 hits and four walks in his 26 1-3 innings of work -- and has received a total of 30 runs of support from his teammates.

The player who should be sent down is Weaver’s brother Jeff Weaver who is 3-9 with an embarrassing ERA of 6.15, but is earning $8.3 million.

The Angels are lucky to have Orlando Cabrera in the lineup as this guy has been incredible. Cabrera has reached base in 43 consecutive games without the benefit of a fielder's choice, the longest current streak in baseball and longest in club history. He has hit safely in 27 of his last 31 contests and is 25-for-54 over his last 14 games, raising his average from .271 to .313.

When the LA Dodgers acquired Brad Penny a couple of years ago, much was expected of the hard throwing righthander, but some arm ailments affected him and he was just 7-9 in 2005. Already in 2006 he has equaled his 2005 total. Penny (7-1, 2.34 ERA) is 5-0 with a 2.03 ERA over seven starts since his lone loss of the season at Arizona on May 1. He also hasn't allowed a home run in 10 outings since April 14.

The right-hander enters tonight’s start with a scoreless streak of 14 1-3 innings after a victory at Colorado on Friday. He surrendered five hits over 8 1-3 innings in a 3-0 win.

Padres catcher Mike Piazza, a former Dodger who is hitless in his last nine at-bats, is hitting .400 (12-for-30) with three homers and 12 RBIs in his career against Penny. Piazza is hitting just .188 at home this season.

The Colorado Rockies look to win three straight road games for the first time since April when they continue a four-game series against the Washington Nationals at RFK Stadium on Wednesday.

The Rockies (32-32) opened the season winning 10 of their first 13 road games, but have gone just 6-13 away from Denver since May 1. Still, Colorado is 16-16 on the road this season -- a huge improvement over last season's 27-54 mark.

Garrett Atkins had a double and scored two runs, and is batting .395 (17-for-43) with seven runs, five doubles and nine RBIs during a season-high 12-game hitting streak.

Washington will counter with Tony Armas (6-3, 3.48), who has won six of his last seven decisions. He allowed three runs and six hits in five innings in a 9-8, 12-inning win over Philadelphia on Friday, but did not receive a decision.

The Nationals have won in six of his last seven starts.

Armas is just 1-1 with a 4.80 ERA in six starts at RFK, and has pitched five or fewer innings in three of his last four home starts, posting a 7.13 ERA in those games.

The right-hander is 2-2 with a 7.39 ERA in seven starts against the Rockies, but went 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA in two starts against them last season.

We told you what to expect this year from over the hill Randy Johnson and he has failed to earn his salary in 2006. Johnson (7-5, 5.63 ERA) was hit hard again his last time out, allowing six runs and six hits over four innings of a 6-5 loss to Oakland on Friday. He gave up three more homers, a season high, to bring his total for the year to 15.

The Big Unit has surrendered 10 homers in his last 33 1-3 innings spanning six starts, doing nothing to dispel the notion that his dominance may be fading at age 42. Last year, he gave up a career-high 32 homers in his first season with New York.

Bob Acton

<a href="http://www.sportsbook.com">Online Sports Betting</a>

 

Baseball Betting: the White Sox send the Twins a crystal clear message!

I mentioned in this space recently that I thought Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire could be the first to get the axe in the 2006 MLB season, as his team is grossly underachieving.

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I mentioned in this space recently that I thought Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire could be the first to get the axe in the 2006 MLB season, as his team is grossly underachieving.

There were reports of lack of discipline in the clubhouse and on the field last year and it looks like things have gone from bad to worse this year. On Sunday the Twins scored 7 runs in the first inning, to answer the 3 that the White Sox had posted in the top of the frame.

Then the Twins allowed the defending World Series champions to storm back for a 9-7 win and in the process get nailed on a embarrassing triple play in the 6th inning. With Nick Punto on second and Shannon Stewart on first, the Twins Luis Castillo popped up a bunt and a charging Paul Konerko made a shoestring catch.

How in the world could Konerko right himself and throw to first for a double play and then second baseman Tadahito Iguchi fired to Juan Uribe at second for a triple play. The first rule of thumb that a little league player is taught on a sacrifice bunt, is to make sure the ball hits the ground before taking off.

What is heck were Punto and Stewart thinking and why did Gardenhire not sit their butts down on the bench. Sunday’s game was also the first time in AL history that a starting pitcher (Mark Buehrle) allowed 7 runs in the first inning and won a game.

Scott Baker was the latest Twin to get roughed up for Minnesota, whose starters have a collective 6.51 ERA, the worst in either league! The Twins needed a strong start from Baker, especially with everyone else in the rotation not named Johan Santana still struggling to find their form. Before the game, righty Carlos Silva was sent to the bullpen temporarily to give him more time to straighten himself out.

Budding star lefty Francisco Liriano will fill his spot for now as the starters are an embarrassing 13-21.

In eight starts, Silva is 2-6 with an 8.80 ERA and 74 hits and 15 homers allowed in 46 innings. After going 14-8 with a 4.21 ERA in 2004, his first year as a starter, the righty pitched through an injured right knee and was picked as Minnesota's most improved player in 2005. He went 9-8 with a 3.44 ERA in 188-plus innings and led the majors with the fewest walks, 0.4 -- per nine innings.

The Twins are a horrible 7-14 in their own division and now head to Motown to face the surging Tigers, who are the most improved team in baseball. After that they face the Brewers in Milwaukee and a embarrassing road trip, could spell the end to Gardenhire’s regime in the Twin cities!

Bob Acton

<a href="http://www.sportsbook.com">Online Sports Betting</a>




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