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And So It Goes....

Overall: 7-1-0 (0.875)
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

May 21st, 2009 Picks

Ahhh, 1-0-0 again today after Florida and Arizona combined for 3 runs in the first four innings of their game. Dough Davis had a real hard time with the first 5 or 6 batters in the Marlins' order, but was able to retire 7 through 9 easily. The result was Davis giving up 2 runs in the first and 1 run in the third. Fortunately, after walking in the run in the 3rd Davis was able to retire Paulino to end the inning. Volstad did his job just fine, putting only 1 Diamondback on base in the first 4 innings. So it's an insane stunt prop day with 25 offerings on the board. I'll try to offer up some quality previews starting with overviews of the pertinent holes at TPC Four Seasons. Enjoy, good luck, and on to the picks!

1) Bo Van Pelt’s Score On #1: Par vs. Any Other Score – Par
2) Who Scores The First Runs: Bangalore Royal Challengers vs. Hyderabad – Bangalore
3) David Toms’ Score On #7: Birdie vs. Any Other Score – Any other score
4) SV Josko Ried @ F.C. Kärnten – 1st goal of 2nd half scored in 65th minute or earlier
5) A. Kim’s Score On #17: Ace, Birdie, or Par vs. Any Other Score – Ace, Birdie, or Par
6) Ryuji Imada’s Score On #10: Bogey vs. Any Other Score – Any other score
7) Charles Howell III’s Score On #13: Par vs. Any Other Score – Any other score
8) Phillies @ Reds – Combine for 4 or more total bases in 1st inning
9) Texas Rangers @ Detroit Tigers – No runs scored in 1st inning
10) Vijay Singh’s Score On #1: Birdie or Par vs. Any Other Score – Birdie or Par
11) J. Mauer’s 1st Plate Appearance: Walk, Hit, Strikeout vs. Any Other Result – Walk, Hit, Strikeout

12) Will Z. Greinke Record A Strikeout In The First Inning: Yes or No – Yes
13) Philadelphia Phillies @ Cincinnati Reds – Score a run in the 7th inning
14) Fred Couples’ Score On #16: Eagle or Birdie vs. Any Other Score – Eagle or Birdie
15) Oakland Athletics @ Tampa Bay Rays – No A's hits in the 1st inning
16) E. Longoria’s 1st Plate Appearance: Walk, Hit, Strikeout vs. Any Other Result – Any Other Result

17) Minnesota Twins @ Chicago White Sox – 0 or 1 hit in the 8th inning
18) Cleveland Indians @ Kansas City Royals – No extra base hits after 7th inning
19) Oakland Athletics @ Tampa Bay Rays – At least 1 run scored in the 4th inning
20) Oakland Athletics @ Tampa Bay Rays - 2 or more batters strikeout in the 8th inning
21) Washington @ Long Island – 9 goals or more scored in the 1st quarter
22) Baltimore Orioles @ New York Yankees - Yes, a home run hit in the first 2 innings
23) Carolina Hurricanes @ Pittsburgh Penguins – 2 goals or fewer scored in 1st period
24) Toronto Blue Jays @ Boston Red Sox - 2 hits or fewer in 3rd inning
25) Ohio State vs. Georgia – 0 runs scored in the 5th inning
26) A. Pujols' 1st Plate Appearance: Hit or Walk vs. Any Other Result - Any other result
27) Hurricanes @ Penguins – Carolina has more shots on goal in the 3rd period
28) Carmelo Anthony vs. Kobe Bryant – Bryant 1st quarter pts.
29) Arizona vs. Stanford – Stanford lead after 3 innings
30) Los Angeles Angels @ Seattle Mariners - 0 extra-base hits in first 2 innings

Hole No. 1 at TPC Four Seasons1) The EDS Byron Nelson Championship is being played this year at the TPC Four Seasons golf course for all four rounds of the tournament for the second year in a row. Prior to 2008 participants would play the Cottonwood Valley Course for one of the first two rounds, and the TPC course for the final two rounds. Last year Bo Van Pelt hit par on the first hole in three rounds and had a birdie in the other round. This year the hole has been lengthened and the green moved to increase it's difficulty. Van Pelt will likely hit par without any serious hazards to negotiate, but a poorly placed approach could still lead to bogey here.

3) David Toms is having a good year on the Tour, having made over $1 million in his first 11 events.Hole No. 7 at TPC Four Seasons He's doing well statistically also, with a 3.88 birdie average and his 69.69 scoring average being good enough for 2nd on the Tour. Still, it's beeen a while since Toms has played in the Byron Nelson Championship, 2004 being most recent.
David Toms' Scores On #7 (Par 5)
Althought #7 has been the easiest hole on the course in terms of average score to par over the years one can see that a birdie has been elusive for Toms.

Hole No. 17 at TPC Four Seasons

5) Anthony Kim is also having a nice year on the Tour with $800,000 in his pocket from 9 events. Hole #17 is considered one of the top 5 most difficult holes on the course, but Kim is averaging over 4 birdies per round, so a par seems well within his reach. Last year he hit par three times and birdied once on #17.

6) Ryuji Imada has played in this event for the past 4 years and has done quite well. The table to below shows his scores on TPC Four Seasons in those years. Hole #10 was one of the easiest last year so a par or better seems very likely.
Ryuji Imada's Scores On #10 (Par 4)
7) This par 3 has a difficult looking green, so I can see Charles Howell III either placing his tee shot close enough for a birdie, or being forced to three putt for a bogey, assuming he hits onto the green in the first place, though he did hit par on the hole in all 5 rounds he played at TPC Four Seasons from 2005 to 2007.

8) The Detroit Tigers host the Texas Rangers in a rematch of a game they played April 12th where Kevin Millwood pitched against Edwin Jackson. In that game Jackson gave up a 2 run Josh Hamilton home run in the first inning and the Tigers went on to win 6-4. Jackson has given up only 4 home runs in 52 innings while Millwood has given up 7 homers in 581/3 innings. Texas are batting .165 and slugging .286 in their last three games, the previous two being against Detroit. They have not scored in the 1st inning in any of those games and have scored in the 1st in 2 of their last 10 games. In their last 3 games the Tigers are batting .330 and slugging .580 but have still only scored in the 1st inning in one of those games and in only 2 of their last 10. With the pitchers being as good as they are no scoring seems safest, but with Detroit and Texas each having powerful offenses it would be no surprise for one team, or both even, to score.

11) Joe Mauer started off the season on the disabled list but has made a fine comeback in the 18 games he's played since then with a .397 batting average and a .284 KWAP (strikeouts + walks per plate appearance). Together that means 61.7% of his plate appearances end with a hit, a strikeout, or a walk.
Results of Joe Mauer's 1st Plate Apperance
Opposing pitcherResult
Burnettground out
Chamberlainground out
Hughesground out
Willisfielder's choice
Galarragaflied out
Jakubauskasground out
Ponsonhome run
From this table one can see Mauer has not walked in his first at bat so far this season and has struck out or hit in 12 of 18 games. Mauer has 3 at bats against Bartolo Colon and hit twice and struck out once. Colon has a 1.00 ground ball to fly ball ratio, however, so Mauer grounding out seems likely enough to make this a risky proposition.

12) Zach Greinke has been the best pitcher in the major leagues this season, allowing 4 earned runs off of 40 hits in 60 innings pitched this season. He averages 9.75 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched, or a little over one per inning. The top of the Cleveland Indians' batting order is expected to be Sizemore, Martinez, and Cabrera again. In their careers against Greinke they have been KAPped (K per plate appearance) at a rate of .124, which is obviously very low. The three Indians have a combined batting average of .338, however, which means if they are walked or get a hit it will bring up batters lower in the order. I think the career numbers for the Indians against Greinke are a bit misleading as well, with Greinke never pitching this well in the past. Barring a base hit followed by a double play I think there is a very good chance Greinke records at least one strikeout in the first inning.

14) Fred Couples is having a decent year so far, with $600,000 netted from 9 events played. He does not have much recent experience on the TPC course at Four Rivers, having played one round in this event in 2006 and three rounds in 2001. In those four rounds he birdied #16 twice and hit par twice. The par 5 has been the easiest hole, in terms of average score to par, on the course over the past 23 years, and Couples' 4.11 birdie average is 9th best on the Tour this year. So far 8 of 17 players through 16 have hit birdie or eagle on #16, and that includes the players destined to miss the cut. As of right now Couples has not teed off, so it might be best to check out his progress before selecting this prop.

15) Matt Garza is having a pretty good year with Tampa Bay, posting a 4-2 record in 8 starts to go along with his 3.50 ERA and 1.09 WHIP.
Garza's hits against and Oakland's hits in the 1st
Garza's Hits AgainstOpponentOakland's HitsOpposing Pitcher
2N.Y. Yankees0Bannister
0Chicago White Sox2Jackson
Most recent results are at the bottom
Only 61% of that low WHIP comes from hits with 36 hits in 54 innings pitched, which averages to two hits given up for every three innings pitched. Oakland's batting order has a lifetime batting average of .171, so they hit off of Garza less often than the average opponent Garza faces. From the table one sees Garza limited Oakland to zero hits in a game earlier this season and that Oakland has been hitting well in the first in their past 4 games. I think Oakland is due to have a tough first inning and Garza will do well to limit their hits.

16) American League Rookie of the Year, Evan Longoria, is looking to make a regular appearance at the All-Star game during his career.
Longoria's Most Recent 1st Plate Apperances
Opposing pitcherResult
Beckettpopped out
Hendricksonlined out
Bergesenground out
Outmanground out
Most recent results are at the bottom
He's started off this season with a .331 batting average and .650 slugging average. He has a KWAP of .323 meaning he's walked, hit, or struck out in 62.4% of his plate appearances this season. From the table on the right one can see Longoria has gotten out with the ball in play 4 times in his last 10 games. Longoria has 5 plate appearances against Dallas Braden, failing to hit, walk, or strikeout in 2 of them. Braden has walked, struck out, or been hit by 102 of the 210 batter's he's faced. Longoria flied out in his first plate appearance in a game earlier against Oakland with Braden pitching so I can see something like that happening again. I think Braden is too skilled to walk Longoria, he's walked only 14 batters this year, and Longoria is too skilled to be struck out by Braden. That leaves Longoria to get a hit, and batting .200 against Braden in 5 at bats I have to favor any other result.

17) This game is in the bottom of the 7th inning and the Twins currently have 20 hits to 4 hits for the White Sox. The table to the left shows the White Sox's and Indians' reliever's hits per inning pitched (HIP). Only relievers with 10 or more innings pitched, i.e.in the regular rotation, are included. Keep in mind that Nick Blackburn may well pitch through the 8th inning with 65 pitches getting him through 5.
Bullpen HIP for CWS and CLE
White SoxHIPClevelandHIP
Broadway (CWS) out, Crain (CLE): 0.92
One can see that Dotel and Guerrier lead their teams with the lowest HIP. There probably won't be a chance to see which reliever will be pitching before the prop locks, but at least one can get a good idea of their chances. With the way Minnesota has been hitting the ball Chicago will need Dotel to limit them to 0 or 1 hit, while Cleveland could probably get away with anyone against the White Sox today. It looks like it will be the bottom 3 batters of the order that will be up in the 8th for the White Sox, but the top of the order will be up for Minnesota though with a 20 run lead they may pinch hit. I favor 0 or 1 hit in the inning but only because I see Chicago playing Dotel.

22) Adam Eaton and the Baltimore Orioles take on Joba Chamberlain and the New York Yankees at the new Yankee Stadium. Most anyone who has followed baseball this season is aware of the penchants the ballpark has for home runs, especially out towards right field. Eaton and Chamberlain are both right handed pitchers, a favorable situation for left handed batters already predisposed to hitting out to right field.
Home Run Stats For Eaton and Chamberlain
Home Runs per 2IP ('09)0.390.25
Batters Faced per HR ('09)3624
BF/HR vs. Opponent (Career)1169
If both pitchers do their job they would only face 6 batters, and by definition would not have given up a home run. Chamberlain doesn't seem likely to give up a home run to the Orioles in any case. If Eaton puts men on base, however, he could see 11 batters in 2 innings. I would favor either pitcher giving up a home run early at Yankee Stadium here with the Orioles having 5 players who can bat left handed in the lineup today and the Yankees with 6.


2 of Pittsburgh's 14 playoff games and 2 of Carolina's 15 have had 3 or more goals scored in the 1st period.
27) During these playoffs the Carolina Hurricanes have taken an average of 10.6 shots on goal per period and allowed an 10.5 per period. The Pittsburgh Penguins have taken 11.6 shots on goal and allowed 9.5 on average. Generally, when a team is behind they will take more shots on goal to make up for that so the best pick here would be to take whoever is behind going into the 3rd period. If the game is tied then I would take Pittsburgh, but I have a feeling Carolina will be trailing after 2.

30) Erik Bedard and Joe Saunders face off at Safeco Field and we look to see if either team can be expected to make an extra base hit in the first two innings. Saunders already has one game under his belt allowing zero extra base hits in 2 innings at Safeco Field. Bedard did the same to the Angels at Angel Stadium. Obviously one hit could end this but I think Bedard and Saunders can retire 6 to 9 batters without giving up anything more than a single.
Pitcher vs. Batter Stats
Total Bases/Hit1.381.40
Bats Faced/Hit1615

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