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MLB Series Betting- L.A. Angels at L.A. Dodgers
In Southern California, it is simply known as the I-5 Freeway Series when the Angels and Dodgers meet annually in interleague action. The interstate is known for its sprawling expanse and both teams play has resembled this roadway. Early in the season both Los Angeles’ teams played like they were stuck in neutral playing very ordinary baseball. However recently, both are like a car that just cleared an accident area, where the road opens up and you can punch the accelerator and take out off. It makes for what should be an interesting 3-game set in Dodger-ville. The hosts are -180 series favorites according to Sporsbook.com.
The Dodgers (36-24, +5.8 units) have been the best team in baseball since May 9, posting a 23-7 record to storm back and recapture first place in the NL West. The offense has been relatively steady most of the season and ranks fifth in the National League; however it has been its pitching that has been the difference-maker. They have held opposing teams to three runs or less in 18 of last 30 games and moved from 14th to 8th in ERA in the senior circuit, now at 3.95. Joe Torre’s club doesn’t exactly have a collection of Golden Glover’s; nevertheless they are 15-3 after two straight games where they committed zero errors this season.
The Angels (33-30, +2.3) lost key members in the offseason via free agency and were expected to contend, not control the AL West in 2010. They met the lower expectations set for them playing below .500 since the third game of the season and even their most thrilling moment of the campaign turned into calamity, when their best hitter Kendry Morales fractured his fibula jumping on home plate after smacking walk-off grand slam home run. Baseball experts on ESPN and MLB immediately wrote off the Halos, but they forgot about the manager, Mike Scioscia. Instead of folding, the Angels have persevered; winning 10 of last 13, to move into second place, 1.5 games behind Texas. They will start this series 15-3 in road games after six consecutive starts versus division rivals.
The Blue Crew will have a decided pitching edge in the opener, with Chad Billingsley (6-3, 3.80 ERA) meeting Joel Pineiro (4-6, 5.23). Billingsley is 4-1 with a 2.77 ERA in his last six starts and versus the Angels disharmonious bullpen (4.88, 1.664 WHIP), the home team is 10-1 against a horrible pen whose WHIP is 1.650 or worse over the last two seasons.
Pineiro snapped a personal three-game losing streak, but was far from impressive in permitting nine hits and four runs over six innings at Seattle in 9-4 triumph and is a disheveled 0-8 in interleague action the last two years. (Team's Record) It stands to reason for the Dodgers to be -164 money line favorite at Sportsbook.com in the opener.
Game 1 Edge: Dodgers
If the term “opposites attract”, these teams are a perfect match. Like all cities that support two baseball organizations, when one team is home the other is on the road. That is the case here as the Dodgers are 8-2 on their longest homestand of the season with three games left. This in turn has the Angels away from the Big A for 14 road contests and they’ve held up well with 8-3 record thus far.
Interleague baseball seems to bring out the best and worst of each squad, as the team from Anaheim has one of the best records since 2007 with 39-18 (+17.6) mark. The team playing in Chavez Ravine is among the weakest in baseball at 21-30 (-11.75).
Scott Kazmir (5-5, 5.40) will take the ball for the Halos, having won three of his last four starts. He’s spotted his pitches better of late, but command is his worst enemy. After having a better than 2-to-1 ratio of strikes and walks for his career, he has 39 punch-outs and handed out 27 free passes this year. He’ll be relying on his club’s history that shows 19-7 interleague road record coming into the series.
John Ely (3-2, 3.00) might not throw in the high 90’s, however has displayed pitching acumen by throwing strikes and staying out of trouble. His pinpoint location has kept his team in games and the Dodgers are 6-2 when Ely starts.
Game 2 Edge: Dodgers
Jered Weaver (5-3, 3.20) seldom has two poor outings in a row and he was rocked for 12 hits and six runs his last time out in Oakland. Weaver is tied for the AL lead in K’s with 89 and is 3-2 with a 2.94 ERA in six career starts against the Dodgers. He’s been especially fond of Dodger Stadium with a 0.55 ERA in three outings and the Angels are 14-9 in day games this season.
Rookie Carlos Monasterios (3-0, 2.27) was forced into duty when Vicente Padilla went on disabled list and the Dodgers were really hurting for a fifth starter. Despite almost no experience at this level, Monasterious has thrown better than anyone could have imagined and his .215 batting average allowed is the lowest among first year pitchers with two or more starts in a season full of rookie pitchers making big introductions. The Dodgers began this series 23-10 at home.
Game 3 Edge: Angels
This should be an entertaining series with anything possible. The teams have split 12 encounters the last two seasons with the road club taking the series each time. The Dodgers are playing better baseball, have the better bullpen (Closer Jonathan Broxton has converted 15 straight save opportunities) and have been exceptional at home. If the games are tight, the team in the white uniforms is 15-6 in one run affairs, including 9-1 at home. Give the edge to the team from L.A., the one closer to Hollywood.
Sportsbook.com series odds: Angels +140, Dodgers -180. StatFox Edge Pick: Dodgers
MLB: Yankees open home slate as nearly 2-to-1 favorite
On Tuesday, the 2009 World Series Championship will be celebrated by the New York Yankees to the 2010 home opener against the Los Angeles Angels, the team the Yankees defeated in the AL championship series. Heavy betting action on the hosts has seen the opening line at Sportsbook.com move 40-points to its current price of -195.
New York went on to beat defending champion Philadelphia in only the second World Series that spilled into November.
While four vets,Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte will be filling out a five of a kind more glittery than any in Las Vegas, Alex Rodriguez will be fitting his first finger for a ring, the culmination of a notorious but previously unfulfilled big league career that began with Seattle in 1994.
“I think he’ll have that feeling that he’s walking on air,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I’m really going to enjoy that smile on his face.” A-Rod and his pinstriped teammates are 4-2 to begin what they hope is another championship season and they are 21-5 after six or more road games.
Hideki Matsui, whose six RBIs finished the Phillies in Game 6, will be on hand at the second-year stadium—with the Angels, the team he signed with after the Yankees decided he was too old and too injury prone. Girardi said Matsui will look “funny to us in red.” Matsui has been the only Los Angeles batter to be productive and his new team is 37-16 in day games.
As the title returns to the Bronx for the first time since the flag was raised after the 2000 World Series championship, much is different. Across 161st Street, where old Yankee Stadium stood shrouded in dark screen last fall that resembled a funeral cloak, the old field of dreams mostly has been reduced to rubble. Only the right-field stands remain erect and awaiting demolition, overlooking the land where the first 26 titles were celebrated going back to 1923.
Players and coaches noticed when they arrived from Florida on Sunday night. Girardi said he was shocked. Now he wonders if the new ballpark will still be the launching pad that produced a major league-leading 237 home runs, 22 more than the most hit at the old stadium.
“I thought I knew what to expect until I looked next door and saw there wasn’t much of stadium there,” he said. “And now I don’t know what to expect. I don’t know if that’s going to change anything. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.”
Facing the division rivals, the New York offense looks every bit as dangerous as last year’s scoring six runs per game with an on-base percentage of .365. As per usual the Yankees have made the plays in the field and are 36-9 after three straight games where they committed no errors.
Pettitte is the starting pitcher for New York club that opened as -155 money line favorite and has been bet up to -195 with total of 10 at Sportsbook.com. In the last 12 years the lefty is 37-8 as a home favorite of -175 to -200. (Team's Record) Don’t expect a high scoring game either, since the Pettitte and the Yanks are 11-0 UNDER in April games over the last three years.
The Los Angeles offense has been stammering at 3.4 runs an outing and the bullpen has been horrific with 5.48 ERA, which includes two blown saves and allowing runs the starting pitchers left on base. The Angles will be severely test to improve on 39-22 record against left-handed starters and 11-6 mark as +150 or higher underdogs.
Ervin Santana is 5-2 in his career against New York, but hasn’t exactly fooled their hitters with 5.21 ERA and is 13-3 OVER on the road when the total is 10 or higher. (Angels Record)
First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 Eastern on the YES Network for some very satisfied (at least for today) home fans.
The StatFox Power Line shows Yankees -145, indicating a major overpricing by oddsmakers.