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And So It Goes....

Overall: 7-1-0 (0.875)
Basis Function: Daubechies4

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

April 23rd, 2009 Picks

An ugly 1-3-0 day, and if I hadn’t gotten all 3 morning picks right I’m sure it would have been 0-4-0. My first pick was the PIttsburgh Pirates. Neither Maholm or Nolasco had spectacular outings with a 6.00 ERA for the former and a 7.50 ERA for the latter in 6 innings pitched each. Pittsburgh took an early 1-0 lead on an Adam LaRouche ground rule double in the 1st. McLouth batted in another run and a sacrifice fly by Andy LaRouche made it 3-0 after three. A Helms double RBI in the fourth got a run back for the Marlins and Nolasco himself hit a single RBI in the 5th to make it 3-2. Andy LaRouche got that run back in the next inning but the Marlins leveled things at 4-4 with RBI’s by Paulino and Ross. Morgan batted in a run at the top of the 6th, and crossed home on a throwing error by Paulino. The bullpens came in to play after that and another run by the Pirates made the final score 7-4. Grabow did a terrific job for the Pirates with a 3 K hold in the 8th.

My second pick of the day was the San Diego Padres. Barry Zito had a terrific outing for the Giants with 5 strikeouts, and zero earned runs in 7 innings. Chris Young also had a nice outing, giving up 2 hits and 0 runs in 7 innings. Howry relieved Zito but was pulled after two batters when Hairston advanced to third on a sacrifice fly. Affeldt caught Giles and Gonzalez looking to retire the inning with 2 strikeouts. The game went into extra innings tied 0-0 and in the bottom of the 10th Moreno gave up a single, and a ground rule double to Molina to earn the loss. The Padres kept Bell out for a potential save, but it never materialized and the Giants won 1-0.

My third pick was the Baltimore Orioles. This was one that was just a bad pick. The White Sox immediately went to work with Quentin, Getz, and Fields batting in three runs in the first two innings. A lead off home run by Thome in the 3rd made it 4-0 White Sox. Guthrie and Danks dueled for a few innings before Scott hit a solo home run to make it 4-1. Guthrie was relieved by Sarfate in the top of the 7th with one man on and Sarfate immediately yielded a two run shot by Fields to put it at 6-2. Danks did a great job retiring batters without throwing too many pitches and did not walk a single batter. In the end it was 8-2 Chicago.

My final pick was the Los Angeles Angels. It was a back and forth battle with Verlander and Saunders giving up hits and runs left and right. Verlander had a 12.40 ERA and 2.20 WHIP in 5 innings pitched while Saunders stood with a 9.00 ERA and 1.8 ERA after 5. It was tied up 4-4 after three innings and the Angels led 8-6 after 6 innings. Scot Shields came in for the Angels in the 7th and immediately gave up two singles and walked a batter to load the bases. He then walked in a run before being relieved by Arredondo. He did not fare well and four singles and an error later the Tigers were up 11-8. The Angels gave up another run in the 9th and a 2 RBI double with 2 outs by Rivera was too little, too late. Detroit won on the road 12-10. So on to the picks…..

1) Rich Beem vs. Steve Marino – Marino cards a lower front 9 score
2) Kansas City Royals @ Cleveland Indians – Cleveland
3) Mike Weir vs. Kenny Perry – Perry cards a lower first round score
4) Sampdoria @ Inter Milan – Inter Milan wins by 1 goal, ties, or loses
5) Tampa Bay Rays @ Seattle Mariners – Seattle
6) Penguins (v. Flyers) vs. Red Wings (v. Blue Jackets) – Red Wings win margin
7) Texas Rangers @ Toronto Blue Jays – Toronto
8) Boston Celtics @ Chicago Bulls – Chicago
9) New York Red Bulls @ Kansas City Wizards – Kansas City win
10) Los Angeles Dodgers @ Houston Astros – Los Angeles
11) Los Angeles Lakers @ Utah Jazz – Utah

1) To start off it might help to view each golfers stats in 2009. Click here for Rich Beem’s stats and click here for Steve Marino’s. In 2008 and 2009 Marino has entered 40 stroke play events, been cut 9 times and finished in the top 10 six times. Beem has entered 35 such events, been cut 14 times and finished in the top 10 twice. The Zurich Open has been played at TPC Louisiana in 2005 and 2007-present. In 2006 and prior to 2005 it was played at the English Turn Golf Club. At the current course Beem has carded four front 9 scores, at +1, +3, -1, and even par. Marino has carded four scores as well, -1, -2, +1, and even par. That makes Beem’s average and median scores just above par and Marino’s a stroke better at just below par. Marino has a worse sand save percentage than Beem and this course is filled with enormous bunkers. On the front 9, however, the bunkers are placed such that that only a poor hook or slice will place a player in the sand. This is in contrast to the back 9 where the bunkers are placed such that an aggressive player trying to give themselves a short approach shot to the green would be penalized. The front 9 should play well to a big driver like Marino and I like his chances to win the front 9. Click here for the group’s shot tracker and click on one of the colored boxes with the players photos inside to get a hole-by-hole view of the course to see what I mean about the placement of the bunkers.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

2) Both starting pitchers have had a good start to their seasons. Gil Meche has a 2.25 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP in 20 innings of work and Anthony Reyes has a 5.73 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP in 11 innings. Reyes has had great success against the Royals posting a 2.25 ERA in 8 innings against them last season. The Indians’ batting order has a career batting average of .278 and slugging average of .432 against Meche, so Kansas City’s ace may not be enough for them here tonight. What does favor the Royals is the Indians’ relatively cold bats since their 22 run victory at the new Yankee Stadium. They’ve batted .198 with a .330 slugging average since that game, going 1-2. The Royals have been on the other side of that equation with a .310 batting average and .450 slugging average in their last 3 games. I can see Meche and Reyes each struggling a bit today in a cold early game and can see Cleveland getting back on track with their hitting.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

3) Not much to go on here. Perry has played 8 rounds at TPC Louisiana and carded an average and median score of 71.5 ranging from a 69 to a 74. Weir has played two rounds, a 71 and a 75. You can see how Weir has performed this year compared to Kenny Perry. I think Perry wins with a 71 to a 73 for Weir today.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

5) Felix Hernandez and James Shields are starting for Seattle and Tampa Bay, respectively. Both had terrific seasons last year although Hernandez’ stats suffered a bit through injury. Historically the Mariners have performed better against Shields than the Rays against Hernandez. Last season Shields had a 4.05 ERA against the Mariners and a 1.35 WHIP, while Hernandez had a 1.13 ERA against the Rays and a 0.88 WHIP. The Rays’ lineup has a career batting average of .132 and slugging average of .176 against Hernandez. The Mariners’ lineup has a career batting average of .239 and slugging average of .403 against Shields. In their last 3 games the Rays are batting .243 while the Mariners are batting .219, though they are slugging .354 compared to .320 for the Rays. I think it should be a great pitchers duel, but if Hernandez’ ankle is bothering him at all the Rays will be able to take a lead. Unfortunately I don’t see their bullpen doing well to hold on to that lead.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

7) Kevin Millwood has had a great start to the season with a 1.17 ERA and 0.78 WHIP in three starts. Last season he had a 5.07 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP so it is likely he will be giving up some walks, hits, and runs soon enough. Scott Richmond is a minor league surprise who has done well enough in the majors. In 27 innings last season he had 20 strikeouts and walked two batters. This season his ERA is 3.48 and his WHIP is 1.35 in 101/3 innings. Texas has one of the best batting orders in the league, but have slumped a tiny bit recently. Toronto’s bats are hot and their bullpen has performed much better than Texas’. Texas will need another terrific 6 or 7 innings from Millwood to have a good chance here.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

10) Wandy Rodriguez is an all-star but Chad Billingsley is no slouch. Against Rodriguez the Dodgers have a career batting average of .298 and slugging average of .553. Against Billingsley the Astros have a career batting average of .214 and slugging average of .300. Both teams are hitting great recently and both pitchers are due to give up some runs but the Dodgers’ bullpen has performed a bit better this season with Broxton especially being nearly unhittable.
Confidence: W2 streak or less

11) The Utah Jazz were within three points with three minutes to go and the result was a roaring Staples Center, some clutch play by Kobe Bryant, and some brick wall physical defense by the Lakers to end up with a 10 point victory. Mehmet Okur will be missing again for the Utah Jazz and that’s a big injury since Okur can pull Gasol or Bynum out from the paint with his three point shooting and that opens things up down there offensively for the Jazz who rely quite a bit on open lanes to the basket leading to easy shots. As long as Kobe and Gasol lead the Lakers with a killer instinct they should win this game, but I wouldn’t be too surprised to see them come out a bit lackluster and fold if Utah applies the pressure early and throughout.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

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