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MLB: Top MLB Holiday Weekend Power Trends 7/2-7/42010-07-02
The 4th of July holiday weekend is upon us and so is another full schedule of baseball action as we cruise towards the all-star break in just a week-and-a-half. Many experts believe this is a key point in the baseball season, as teams hope to set the tone for the unofficial second half of the season by making a push before the break. Some teams like the Reds, Brewers, White Sox, and Rangers are surging now, while others like the Jays and Giants are skidding. This weekend’s action will continue the pre-break patterns. Let’s take a look at what’s on tap for this weekend and reveal our list of Top StatFox Power Trends that you’ll want to consider in your weekend wagering.
The interesting thing about the National League slate for this weekend is that only two teams with winning records are paired up, meaning the chasers have a chance to gain key ground but they need to play well. In Chicago, the Cubs may be reaching a point of desperation, and nothing shy of taking the final three games of a 4-game set with the Central-leading Reds will suffice. Cincinnati already won the series opener on Thursday in extra innings, putting the Cubs 10-1/2 games out. In that same division, the Brewers have a chance to make up some ground too, but unlike the Cubs, they got off to a good start in their own 4-game set with the Cardinals by winning 4-1 on Thursday. Milwaukee is playing some of its best baseball of the year, 8-3 in its L11 games, outscoring opponents 55-37 in that span. The Brewers have actually played very well in St. Louis too, going 15-7 over the last three seasons.
In the N.L. East, division leading Atlanta is at home against the Marlins. That is certainly good news for the Braves, who own the league’s best home mark at 28-9. They are currently two games up on New York who is in Washington this weekend and four games ahead of Philadelphia, who visits Pittsburgh. Both the Mets and Phillies got off to slow starts in their 4-game sets, losing the series openers. Out West, reeling San Francisco will be in Colorado hoping to snap a skid of 1-8 in its L9 games. Both teams are looking up at San Diego (home vs. Houston this weekend) and Los Angeles (at Arizona) in the standings.
In the American League, there are two key series’ to keep an eye on, both matching teams right in the thick of the playoff hunt. In Texas, the surging Sox come to town, although since winning 15 of 16 games entering Monday’s play, they have since lost three of four. The Rangers have also played very well of late, going 21-7 since the beginning of June to take over the West Division. In Minnesota, two teams that are struggling to recapture some earlier season magic are going head-to-head, as the Twins host the Rays. Tampa Bay won the series opener on Thursday night but is just 7-12 since June 10th, having slipped into third place in the East. The Twins have won just three of their last 10 games and have allowed both the Tigers and White Sox to creep to within a couple games of the Central lead.
The other current division leader in the Junior Circuit is New York, and the Yankees will host the sliding Jays this weekend. Toronto has lost nine of its L11 games and could be close to becoming a “seller” by the July 31 trade deadline. The Yankees have struggled with their pitching a bit of late, having allowed 5.6 runs per game in their L9. Boston is just 1-1/2 games back of New York right now and has what figures to be the easiest series on paper this weekend, hosting the Orioles, owners of the league’s worst record at 24-54. Baltimore has only won eight of 37 games on the road this season.
Now, let’s get to those Top StatFox Power Trends we promised earlier….
CINCINNATI at CHICAGO CUBS
CHICAGO CUBS are 15-31 (-15.5 Units) against the money line when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 54% to 62%) over the last 2 seasons. The average score was CHICAGO CUBS 3.4, OPPONENT 4.8 - (Rating = 1*)
PHILADELPHIA at PITTSBURGH
PITTSBURGH is 21-55 (-31.9 Units) against the money line vs. an NL team with an on base percentage .325 or worse over the last 2 seasons. The average score was PITTSBURGH 2.9, OPPONENT 5.1 - (Rating = 3*)
NY METS at WASHINGTON
WASHINGTON is 45-25 UNDER (+16.6 Units) vs. teams averaging 2.75 or less extra base hits per game this season. The average score was WASHINGTON 4.0, OPPONENT 4.3 - (Rating = 2*)
FLORIDA at ATLANTA
FLORIDA is 38-22 (+18.4 Units) against the money line vs. teams who strand 7.5 or more runners on base per game over the last 2 seasons. The average score was FLORIDA 4.9, OPPONENT 4.3 - (Rating = 1*)
SAN FRANCISCO at COLORADO
SAN FRANCISCO is 9-16 (-10.4 Units) against the money line vs. a good bullpen whose WHIP is 1.350 or better this season. The average score was SAN FRANCISCO 3.0, OPPONENT 3.6 - (Rating = 1*)
MILWAUKEE at ST LOUIS
ST LOUIS is 47-25 UNDER (+18.7 Units) vs. a poor bullpen whose ERA is 4.50 or worse over the last 2 seasons. The average score was ST LOUIS 4.4, OPPONENT 3.7 - (Rating = 1*)
LA DODGERS at ARIZONA
LA DODGERS are 22-11 OVER (+10.8 Units) vs. teams outscored by opp by 1 or more runs/game on the season over the last 2 seasons. The average score was LA DODGERS 5.7, OPPONENT 4.3 - (Rating = 1*)
HOUSTON at SAN DIEGO
HOUSTON is 9-2 (+13.8 Units) against the money line in road games vs. an excellent bullpen whose ERA is 3.00 or better over the last 3 seasons. The average score was HOUSTON 5.5, OPPONENT 3.3 - (Rating = 3*)
TORONTO at NY YANKEES
TORONTO is 35-23 OVER (+11.0 Units) as an underdog of +125 to +175 over the last 2 seasons. The average score was TORONTO 4.7, OPPONENT 5.6 - (Rating = 0*)
SEATTLE at DETROIT
SEATTLE is 11-20 (-10.9 Units) against the money line vs. AL teams scoring 4.7 or less runs/game on the season this season. The average score was SEATTLE 3.7, OPPONENT 4.9 - (Rating = 1*)
OAKLAND at CLEVELAND
CLEVELAND is 16-32 (-17.9 Units) against the money line vs. poor power teams - averaging 0.9 or less HR's/game over the last 2 seasons. The average score was CLEVELAND 4.1, OPPONENT 5.6 - (Rating = 1*)
BALTIMORE at BOSTON
BALTIMORE is 3-18 (-13.4 Units) against the money line when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 54% to 62%) this season. The average score was BALTIMORE 2.9, OPPONENT 6.7 - (Rating = 1*)
CHI WHITE SOX at TEXAS
TEXAS is 45-23 (+18.8 Units) against the money line vs. teams averaging 2.75 or less extra base hits per game this season. The average score was TEXAS 5.6, OPPONENT 4.0 - (Rating = 2*)
TAMPA BAY at MINNESOTA
MINNESOTA is 40-18 (+17.2 Units) against the money line in home games vs. teams whose hitters strike out 7 or more times/game over the last 3 seasons. The average score was MINNESOTA 5.4, OPPONENT 3.6 - (Rating = 0*)
KANSAS CITY at LA ANGELS
LA ANGELS are 65-35 (+21.5 Units) against the money line when playing against a team with a losing record over the last 2 seasons. The average score was LA ANGELS 5.4, OPPONENT 4.7 - (Rating = 1*)
MLB: Big battle in the Bronx
There’s little doubt that the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees have established themselves as the top teams in the AL East, the division New York reclaimed last year after the Rays won it in 2008. They also appear to be the two best clubs in baseball. Tampa Bay can bolster its early lead on the Yankees and extend its latest winning streak to five on Wednesday night, but to do so the Rays will need to end a string of six straight losses in the Bronx. They’ll also need to overcome an underdog line of +145 according to Sportsbook.com.
New York (25-14, +5.6 units) has begun defense of its World Series title in strong fashion only to be overshadowed by the Rays, who are the only team in the majors with a better record.
Tampa Bay (28-11, +10.4) dropped two of three to the Yankees at home from April 9-11, but manager Joe Maddon’s team - already with a three-game lead - has a chance to make a statement in New York before beginning interleague play. “It’s going to be fun going up there, as it should be,” said Maddon, whose team has gone 15-4 (+10.5) on the road in 2010 but was outscored 31-12 while losing its last six in the Bronx last season.
“You want to be on the top. You want to play the best teams. You want to play in the best division. I think it’s great,” Maddon added. “Our guys will be ready for it. Our game’s a pretty good game right now. We haven’t hit to our potential yet, but we’ve been doing everything else.”
Brilliant pitching has been the foundation of the majors’ best start since Boston was 28-11 in 2002. David Price and four relievers held Cleveland to six hits in a 6-2 win Tuesday, lowering Tampa Bay’s team ERA to 2.69 - the best in the AL and they are 37-16 after allowing two runs or less.
Wade Davis (3-3, 3.38 ERA, 1.325 WHIP) has played a role, although the rookie will be trying to avoid a third straight loss. He has held Oakland and Seattle to three runs each in his last two starts, but has gotten minimal run support in that stretch. For those interested in sports betting, Tampa Bay is just is 5-19 in road games vs. AL teams scoring 5.2 or more runs per contest over the last two seasons.
Davis has yet to pitch at Yankee Stadium, but New York has already beaten him twice in St. Petersburg, with Davis posting a 5.73 ERA in the two outings. “I just want us to play the same kind of game we’ve been playing to this point,” Maddon said. “I don’t like to say: `We’re playing the Yankees, you’ve got to play a better game.’”
The Rays, however, have had major problems figuring out the Yankees’ scheduled starter. A.J. Burnett has won four straight starts against Tampa Bay and is 6-0 with a 1.76 ERA in his last seven. He held the Rays to two runs in seven innings of a 7-3 win April 11. Burnett (4-1, 3.31, 1.355) did not factor in the decision Friday night against Minnesota, although he worked 6 2/3 innings and allowed three runs - two earned - in an 8-4 win.
The banged-up Yankees will try to regroup quickly after squandering a 5-0 lead in Tuesday’s 7-6 home loss to Boston, with Mariano Rivera allowing a go-ahead hit for the second straight outing. New York fell to 13-4 (+6.4) at Yankee Stadium and will now try to avoid its first back-to-back losses at home and is 73-44 vs. an AL starting pitcher whose ERA is 4.00 or better since 2008.
Sportsbook.com has New York as -155 money line favorites with total at Ov9. The Yankees are 38-12 in the Bronx playing against a team with a winning record and 41-11 at home when the total is 9 to 9.5. They are 13-4 OVER when their bullpen is struggling with ERA over 7.00 in the last five games.
Tampa Bay has been terrific in the visitor’s role and is 12-2 away from home after a win this season. The biggest concern is putting together enough hits and they are 6-17 in road outings after batting .250 or worse over a 20-game span. Since last year the Rays are 11-2 UNDER as a road underdog of +125 to +150.
This is the ESPN Wednesday night contest which has a 7:05 Eastern start and New York has won 12 of previous 18 against Tampa Bay in the pinstripes.
The StatFox Power Line shows New York should only be priced at -105.