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MLB Betting – Hitters Could Be In For A Long Night In Toronto

May 18, 2011 By: Category: Major League Baseball, Sports

Jeremy Hellickson has now kept the opposition off the scoresheet for 14 straight inningsAs far as Preakness odds go, you still have a few days until the “Run For The Black-Eyed Susans” takes place on Saturday, so warm up this week with some MLB betting action. On Wednesday, two young pitchers will go head-to-head in Toronto as Jeremy Hellickson leads Tampa Bay into the Rogers Center to take on Ricky Romero and the Blue Jays.

Rays Blue Jays Betting – Wednesday, 7:07 PM ET

Hellickson (4-2, 2.98) tossed the first complete game of his career in a 3-0 shutout of Baltimore at home, allowing four hits with three strikeouts and a walk. Hellickson has now kept the opposition off the scoresheet for 14 straight innings, but to be fair, that spans two consecutive starts against the Orioles, who MLB betting players have seen go cold since storming out of the gate. Still, after only 11 starts in the majors, this was a great performance for Hellickson, who has been helped by a Tampa Bay offense that is scoring almost 10 runs per start for him. The 24-year-old righty’s first start against Toronto came four outings ago, and he earned a no-decision in a 6-4 loss on the road by allowing three runs on six hits over seven innings.

Romero (3-4, 3.35) took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and came up one out short of a complete game in a 2-0 win at Minnesota, finishing with four allowed hits, eight strikeouts and three walks. Romero has allowed two runs or less in six of eight starts so far this season, so he has been dependable, but he’s eighth from the bottom of the league in terms of run support, and the Blue Jays have to a better job of putting up some runs for the pitcher that they would probably consider their ace. The 26-year-old southpaw is 2-3 in six starts against the Rays with a 4.12 ERA, but he came out on the wrong end of a 2-0 game in Toronto at the end of April, despite whiffing 10 Rays.

MLB betting odds should have the Blue Jays as a slight favorite in the first of this two-game series, and the two have split their last 10 meetings in Toronto, with six games going over the posted total, along with a push. The Rays took two of three at the Rogers Center about three weeks ago, but both are playing well right now with the Rays winning seven of 10 ahead of Tuesday’s visit from the Yankees, while the Blue Jays carried a six-game winning streak into Detroit. The Blue Jays have to give Romero some support so he doesn’t feel as though he has to toss a no-hitter every time he steps on the hill, and they’ll do so on Wednesday, so lay a sports bet on Toronto.

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Brandon Morrow Hopes For Big Things In Final Start Of Season

September 02, 2010 By: Category: Major League Baseball, Sports

Brandon MorrowMLB Betting – Toronto Blue Jays @ New York Yankees
Brandon Morrow (10-6) vs. Ivan Nova (1-0)

Morrow vs. Yankees Hitting
This will be Morrow’s final start of the season; the Blue Jays know their postseason chances are zilch and are looking to preserve the arm of one of their most promising young pitchers. Morrow has exceeded expectations in 2010, winning in the double-digits and, in limited action, being near the top of the AL in strikeouts. He’s been absolutely spectacular in the month of August, going 2-0 in four starts, not allowing more than two runs in any of them. He has more than 9 K’s in three of those outings. I’m betting he’ll want to finish his season in similar fashion.

However, three of Morrow’s last 10 starts have come against the Yankees, and while he hasn’t lost any of them he hasn’t exactly been throwing gems His most recent start against New York (6 IP, 2 ER, 12 K’s) was fantastic, but he allowed five runs in six innings in each of the two starts preceding it. The Yankee offense is well-known as one of the best of baseball, and they have had success against Morrow.

Nova vs. Blue Jays Hitting
Ivan Nova is making just his third career start in the majors and fifth career appearance. He won his first career game in his most recent outing, allowing just one run in 5 2/3 innings while striking out seven. In limited action Nova has put up some pretty strong numbers, sporting a 1.93 ERA with 11 K’s in 14 IP. Too early to make any real predictions, but his numbers should stay strong with such a good team around him.

Nova’s first career start came against the Blue Jays last week. It was a solid outing, allowing two runs in 5 1/3 innings. Both runs came by the home-run bat of Jose Bautista, the major league leader in four-baggers. Bautista has been Toronto’s best hitter this season, and in hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium, his success against Nova could very well continue. If you’re one who bet on MLB games, assume a good outing by Mr. Bautista.

Bullpen Comparison
A solid, if unspectacular, group of relievers make up the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen. Scott Downs and Shawn Camp each sport sub-3.00 ERA while pitching their fair share of innings. Closer Kevin Gregg has 30 saves, but his 3.55 ERA and 1.32 WHIP correctly suggest his outings are rarely lacking in the drama department.
Somehow, Mariano Rivera is having one of his best seasons in 2010. His 1.13 ERA is otherworldly, and his 27 saves are nothing to sneeze at as well. However, it’s the rest of the ‘pen that has issues. Joba Chamberlain, Dustin Moseley and David Robertson have all had their struggles, giving New York a shaky bridge to the rock that is Mariano Rivera.

Outlook
While Morrow may have the recent hot streak and motivation to win in his final start, I’m betting it won’t happen. Both of Morrow’s recent poor outings against the Yankees came in New York, as will this game. In fact, Morrow has been pretty shaky on the road all season. There’s no real reason to believe either trend will be broken in this matchup.

MLB Betting Pick: New York Yankees

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MLB Preview for Aug 20, 2010: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox

August 20, 2010 By: Category: Major League Baseball, Sports

Jon LesterSo much has gone wrong for the Red Sox this season that betting people are left wondering how the Sox season would have looked if they could have stayed healthy. While the sports fans in Boston are starting to turn towards NFL betting and NCAA football betting, Red Sox Nation is caught up in a battle for the AL East pennant or the AL Wild Card berth with the same two teams; the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays.

The Red Sox are five and a half games out of the AL East lead and out of the AL Wild Card spot, chasing the Yankees and Rays for both. At this point, it looks like the Yankees and the Rays have the AL East and AL Wild Card tied up. Whoever does not win the AL East will get the AL Wild Card. All the Red Sox can do is try to keep winning and push themselves into that mix.

The MLB betting lines early in the season for the AL pennant included the Toronto Blue Jays. It looked like the Blue Jays would be able to recover from losing their pitching ace Roy Halladay before the season started, and challenge for the AL East pennant. But as the season wore on, the Blue Jays watched their starting rotation and bullpen give away game after game. The Jays remain one of the best power hitting teams in baseball cranking out more homeruns than any other team in the majors. But the Jays also top the majors in blown saves and are in the lower half of the majors in team ERA. As many had expected, pitching is a problem for the Blue Jays this season.

The Red Sox needed to put together a wining streak to start making a move, and right now the Sox are on a two-game winning streak that started with their series against the Angels. The problem for the Sox is that the Yankees are also on a two-game winning streak and the Rays are nursing a five-game winning streak. In order to keep up and then gain ground, the Sox must continue to win.

For this critical game the Boston Red Sox are putting pitching ace Jon Lester on the mound. Lester has a 13-7 record and a 2.80 ERA. He has been one of the few pitchers that has remained consistent for the Red Sox this season, and he has been able to put up wins when the Sox need them. In his last 25 consecutive starts Lester has gone at least five innings which is a streak that stretches way back to October of 2009.

The Blue Jays will send Brett Cecil to the mound. Cecil has had a fairly successful season with a 9-6 record and a 3.96 ERA. He is a streaky pitcher that goes for long stretches where he has great command of his pitches and lasts seven or eight innings a game. He recently experienced such a stretch not too long ago, but had it snapped in his last start.

The Red Sox need this game, and Jon Lester has the ability to keep the Jays bats at bay. Now that the Red Sox have Dustin Pedroia back in the line-up, they should have the offense they need to beat the Jays.

Pick: Boston Red Sox 4-2

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Inside The Wheelhouse: 2010 AL East Preview

April 12, 2010 By: Category: Major League Baseball, Sports

Derek Jeter New York YankeesIt’s that time of year again where we look at the upcoming 2010 Major League Baseball season. Throughout the next couple of days I will preview every division in Major League Baseball then ending my blog series previewing the 2010 MLB Season by looking at the teams I see entering the playoffs this year and who will be World Champions when it’s all said & done. In this edition of my blog I will preview the AL East division.

AL East:

1. New York Yankees

I know it’s the homer pick to go for the New York Yankees as the top team in the AL East division this year. But how can you not say they are a favorite to win the AL East this season? This is literally the same exact team that won the championship in 2009 (minus Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Melky Cabrera and Phil Coke). The same team that I feel got better with their additions during the offseason.

As I much as I love Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon it was time for the Yankees to get younger in their lineup. So the Yankees went out and traded top prospect Austin Jackson, reliever Phil Coke and other minor leaguers for All-Star outfielder Curtis Granderson. Granderson provides a better arm in the outfield then Damon’s, more power at the plate and is a youngster at 28 years old. It was a good deal incase Damon didn’t resign, which ended up being the case.

Then to fill the other holes the Yankees brought back 1B/DH Nick Johnson to replace the Matsui void in the lineup and to give them a player with a high on base percentage (was 2nd in the NL in 2009 behind Albert Pujols). But the biggest deal the Yankees made this offseason is finally filling the major void in their rotation by trading fan favorite Melky Cabrera away for pitcher Javier Vazquez. Vazquez fills the void the Yankees had in 2009 in the rotation that was absent for most of the year as they dabbled with 4th & 5th starters between Joba Chamberlain, Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre. The Yankees rotation is very deep this season.

The biggest issues the Yankees will see this season will be how good new 5th starter Phil Hughes will end up being and how the age of the “core four” (Jeter, Posada, Pettitte and Rivera) will actually take into effect as the season goes on. Phil Hughes enters this season coming off of a year where he was mostly in the bullpen after June 1st and became the setup man in the 8th. Hughes was valued a couple years ago as the team’s #1 prospect and one of the top pitching prospects in all of Baseball. This could be the swan song for most likely two of the four players (Posada and Pettitte) especially even if they win another a Championship. Both are in or nearing their 40s right now and it will be interesting to see if their age affects their numbers this year.

2. Boston Red Sox

Flip a coin between the Yankees and Red Sox when it comes to who will win the AL East because that’s how good I think these two ball clubs will be in 2010. The Red Sox made the biggest splash in the free agent market this season by signing former Angels ace John Lackey to provide depth in their rotation at the #3 spot behind Josh Beckett and Jon Lester. The Red Sox rotation 1-5 (Beckett, Lester, Lackey, Dice-K & Buchholz) could be the best 1-5 starting rotation in all of Baseball.

The Red Sox also made other splashes in the free agent market this season by bringing Adrian Beltre, Mike Cameron and Marco Scutaro on to the team for the 2010 campaign. Beltre and Cameron provide great on base percentage and decent depth in the lineup while Marco Scutaro brings amazing defense at short & a pesky bat in an already good lineup. For a free agent market that was lacking greatly these three players would consider some of the elite available.

Red Sox brass went in a different route this year when it came to building a 2010 team. They wanted to put together great pitching and great defense on the field. They did that by the signings they did during the offseason. While they were able to successfully do that they created a potential different issue that Red Sox fans are definitely worrying about in 2010.

The Red Sox lineup will be under a microscope this season because the lineup does not have that one player that truly puts fear in the eyes of the opposing pitcher. For years the Red Sox had Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz in the core of their batting order to provide the power that was needed to make the score unreachable for the opposing team. They don’t have that anymore as Ortiz is getting older and the core of the lineup just doesn’t have that “pop” it once head. With that being said I would not be surprised if the Red Sox go out at the trade deadline and try to make another run at San Diego Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, especially if this team is not living up to expectations.

3. Tampa Bay Rays

Everybody is still hoping that this team can live up the team that we saw in 2008 and the expectations that people panned out for them for American League domination in 2009. I just don’t see that happening for the Tampa Bay Rays. This is a team similar to that of the Cleveland Indians (but not to their extent) that may be seeing the players that they thought would carry their franchise for a good portion of the next decade start to break down so early in their career.

Players like BJ Upton, James Shields and Matt Garza did not live up to expectations in 2009. Had they we may be discussing a different situation in 2009 as that Tampa Bay team could be right back in the playoffs. 2010 is a make or break year for those players while getting support from players they didn’t expect to pick up the slack from 2009 (Zobrist and Jason Bartlett). Should all the Rays players improve from 2009 in 2010, then there will be different story for this young and talented franchise.

What the Rays don’t have but what the Yankees and Red Sox do have is an actual ace in their rotation. For years people considered Scott Kazmir as that ace for Tampa but he didn’t live up to expectations and was often injured for them. People may now consider James Shields to be that ace but when you look at 2009 you have to wonder if he is considered ace material. While the Rays have a great young rotation, there is no anchor in that rotation. There is no “go to guy.” There is no ace. That creates a major problem for the Rays.

This could be the last season for a couple years where the Rays are considered competitive in the AL East. Franchise player Carl Crawford is in a contract year and there is a great chance he could be heading out because the Rays just can’t afford his services and as the Rays have gotten better over the last three years they don’t have those automatic #1 draft picks to be sitting in waiting to be brought up to the big leagues. Then you have to wonder whether or not BJ Upton will pick his game up and be a playmaker like people thought he was poised to be. This seriously could be it for the Rays for a little while as the team I have down in 4th in the AL East is starting to develop into a great young team similar to the Rays of 2008.

4. Baltimore Orioles

This team has potential for being the 2010 American League version of the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays and be the sleeper team that comes out of no where to surprise everyone. It’s either that or the Orioles are just a couple seasons away from being a top 3 team competing with the Yankees & Red Sox in the AL East. This team is filled with future stars that can finally bring competitive Baseball back to the city of Baltimore.

Anyone who listens to me over on “The Wheelhouse”(www.wheelhouseradio.com) knows I have been a huge fan of Matt Wieters this year in Fantasy when it comes to the Catcher position. I really feel like this kid could be the 2nd coming of Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer and am a great threat for the Orioles as well as my Fantasy Baseball team. The guy can hit for average, hit homeruns and drive in runs. He will be in the middle of a decent Orioles lineup and should see a ton of production in 2010.

This I also feel like will be the breakout year for outfielder Adam Jones. If you remember he was the main cornerstone for the Erik Bedard deal that sent him packing from Baltimore to Seattle some time ago. The kid was considered one of the top prospects in the game at the time has already been to one All-Star game (2009) and is looking like he will be there again for quite sometime. He reminds me a lot of what we were hoping to see from BJ Upton when he first debuted and can continue to be great player for years to come.

While I am excited to see what this Baltimore Orioles team can become with their youth you have to figure that their youth may also be a flaw as well. This Orioles team can be compared to other young teams in Major League Baseball (Reds, Giants and Royals) in what their team may one day achieve if all the prospects pan out to live up to the hype the scouts touted them for. But with that youth comes seasons where they need to learn and grow as a team.

That’s what I see happening for the Orioles in 2010. This team can win up to 80 games this year, while I will take the under on that, it literally could happen. While I don’t like them in 2010, I feel like a good 2010 campaign will make them an easier pick to be a top team in the AL Wild Card run in 2011. This is a team to keep your eye on.

5. Toronto Blue Jays

You trade away the best pitcher in all of Baseball and what do you expect? This is going to be a season filled with headaches for the Toronto Blue Jays as I consider them the worst team in the American League entering 2010. I’m sure this is not the way Cito Gaston thought his career as Blue Jays manager would end.

This is a team that is in a horrible rebuilding stage for its franchise right now. This team doesn’t look like they will be in the playoff hunt for most of this decade. There are really no star players on this team worth noting unless you’re a fan of Vernon Wells. While I did project Vernon Wells to have a bounce back year and capture the AL Comeback Player of the Year; I just don’t see him accomplishing a winning season with this Blue Jays ballclub.

The Blue Jays are lucky they have a good manager in Cito Gaston to at least give this team some guidance in his swan song of a career in 2010. He will do what he can with this team and try to make them at least competitive. If not competitive this team will learn how to become better ball players through their manager. Which Blue Jay fans hope leads them to success in about five years from now.

It’s going to be a long season in Toronto for Blue Jay fans. This team is not poised to do much of anything but hopefully break 60 wins in 2010. The Blue Jays can not even trade away former All-Star outfielder Vernon Wells in hopes of getting more prospects to their team due to his horrible contract in 2010 (he makes $20 million this season). If the Blue Jays decide to take on most of his contract in a deal with a team to get prospects then I can see that happening for this franchise. But for the time being this is the worst American League team ahead of the Oakland Athletics and Cleveland Indians. Good luck this year Toronto.

Jeff Peck is the producer for the “Wheelhouse Radio” program that airs every Sunday – Thursday @ 8pm ET/5pm PT at www.blogtalkradio.com/thewheelhouse and at www.errorfm.com @ 2am ET/11pm PT

Jeff also co-hosts “The Still Real to us show” with Eric Gargiulo which can be available at www.wheelhouseradio.com and can be downloaded in the “Real Guy Radio” section of the site. There you can also download many different shows including “The Wheelhouse”, “24 on 24″ and “Lost: Smoke Monsters and You.”

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You can follow “The Champ Jeff Peck” on Twitter at www.twitter.com/therealjeffpeck you can also follow Wheelhouse Radio on twitter at www.twitter.com/thewheelhouse and you can e-mail them @ [email protected].

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