Major League Baseball

Blanton Looks To Prove He Can Hang With The Big Boys In Philly

Joe Blanton gets his first season start against the MetsMarch Madness betting players know that the unsung heroes can make or break a Tournament, and there is a similar situation in Philadelphia in Major League Baseball. With all the discussion about their rotation of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels, some may forget about Joe Blanton in the Phillies’ rotation. He’ll be out to show that he deserves a place in the rotation when the Phillies host the rival New York Mets on Wednesday in the second of a three-game series.

Mets Phillies Betting – Wednesday, 7:05 PM ET

The Mets will go with Mike Pelfrey (0-1, 10.38), who struggled on Opening Day in a 6-2 loss in Florida. He lasted just 4.1 innings, allowing five runs on four hits with four walks and a pair of strikeouts, and the Marlins took him deep once. The Mets need Pelfrey to find his form as their rotation isn’t that great, and we’re not sure if Johan Santana will be back anytime soon. The 27-year-old righthander is 6-4 in 13 career starts against the Phillies, but he has an ERA of 4.52, and in five starts at Citizens Bank Park he is 1-2 with an ERA of 8.17, which doesn’t bode well for New York’s MLB betting odds.

Blanton (9-6, 4.82 in 2010) will be making his 2011 debut, and you have to wonder what his mindstate is. He’s obviously the overlooked pitcher in such a stacked rotation, and he was reportedly on the trading block all winter, even after the Phillies picked up Lee off the free-agent market. He could still be available given the right offer, but Blanton probably wants to quiet his critics, so this is a big season for the 30-year-old. Blanton is 3-1 in seven starts against the Mets with a 2.64 ERA, and he was 5-2 at home in 15 starts in 2010 with a 4.26 ERA.

Betting services should see the Phillies as the favorites at home, and heading into Tuesday’s series opener, they had won six of their last 10 at Citizens Bank Park against the Mets with five of those games going over the posted total. Both pitchers have high ERAs for the month of April over their career, but we think the adrenaline of Blanton’s first start and all of the criticism surrounding him over the offseason will be enough motivation for a good performance. Pelfrey was all over the place against the Marlins, and Philadelphia has a much better lineup, even with Chase Utley on the sidelines. You have to be selective with choosing Blanton as he has been inconsistent since coming to Philadelphia, but on Wednesday, go with him and take the Phillies in your sports betting picks.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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