Odds On Most Any Matchup: 5dimesSkyBetBetFairBetUS

And So It Goes....

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

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

July 8th, 2009 Picks

(skip to picks)Damn, 3-0-0 today and it seemed like I was never going to get off of that losing streak. Started off with a dominating Astana team riding together for a strong 4th stage at the Tour de France, then went with the low scoring efforts of Saints Athletic and Cork City, and finished off with Justin Verlander, the AL strikeouts king. Oh and also, there's a nice blog by TheThoroughbred, he's got the odds and usually the reason behind "Why should this huge underdog even have a chance?" which is really nice. Not every pick, every day, but hell c'mon man. So on to the picks.

Team Astana Takes Stage 4 But Armstrong Just Misses Out On Yellow Jersey
Astana 46:29; Garmin-Slipstream 46:47; Saxo Bank 47:09
Team Astana was the fastest on this short stage in the outlying areas to the west of Montpellier riding together as a unit and avoiding the crashes which plagued so many other teams.
``Astana won the 39km lap of Montpellier but ended two tenths of a second shy of wiping out Fabian Cancellara's lead and putting Armstrong top of the podium. The Texan's outfit needed to beat Cancellara's Saxo Bank team by more than 40 seconds to put him in yellow. Astana beat Garmin-Slipstream into second with Saxo Bank in third. Several teams suffered crashes because of the difficulty of the course, but seven Astana riders stayed together until near the end before five raced clear to beat the Garmin team of Millar and Wiggins by 18 seconds. Astana's early pace had suggested they would be fast enough to put Armstrong in yellow but an earlier strong finish by his Swiss rival's Saxo Bank outfit proved crucial. There was a dramatic wait when Astana finished before Tour officials confirmed Cancellara had kept the overall lead and afterward he laughed: `That is Swiss timing!'"
Read more....Astana Stand AloneMap & Commentary

Ryan Guy Nets All Three Points For Saints At Turner's Cross
St. Patricks 1 - 0 Cork City
These two sides have played three times this season and the road team has won all three times.
``A late goal from St Patricks Ahtletic's American striker Ryan Guy gave Jeff Kenna's side three vital points in front of 2158 fans at Turner's Cross tonight. Partridge almost cost his side an early goal when his weak back pass to his goalkeeper was too short, leaving Cork striker Denis Behan in the clear. The forward should have scored but his shot from eight yards struck the legs of Gary Rogers and rolled behind for a corner kick after 16 minutes. The late winner came when Guntar Siligailis lost the ball to O'Connor, and he fed Guy with a great pass. The striker then thumped the ball past Dan Connor from 20 yards, much to the delight of the travelling Dublin fans."
Read more....

Verlander Picks Up Ninth Win With A Little Help From Thames, Polanco, And Cabrera
Detroit Tigers 8 - 5 Kansas City Royals (Justin Verlander 11 K, 7 H)
After struggling to keep up with Kansas City's hits Verlander must have thought "Who do these guys think they are? I'm Justin Verlander!" because he struck out five in the next two innings without giving up a hit.
``Verlander (9-4) struck out 11 on Tuesday night to run his AL-best total to 141, the most by a Detroit pitcher before the All-Star Game in 37 years. He gave up five runs and seven hits over six innings. The last Tiger to have as many strikeouts as Verlander before the break was Mickey Lolich, who had 152 before the 1972 All-Star Game. Detroit's Brandon Lyon, Bobby Seay and Joel Zumaya combined to pitch two innings of scoreless relief and Rodney pitched the ninth for his 21st save in a row dating to last season."
Read more....Box Score

1) Who Will Win Stage 5 Of The Tour de France: Mark Cavendish vs. Any Other Rider - Cavendish
2) Which Game Will Record More Runs: Pirates @ Astros vs. Braves @ Cubs - Braves/Cubs
3) Rosario Central @ Belgrano de Córdoba - Rosario Central win or draw
4) Kansas City Royals @ Detroit Tigers - Kansas City
5) Manny Ramirez's Total Bases: 0 or 1 vs. 2 or more - 2 or more
6) Los Angeles Dodgers @ New York Mets - Los Angeles
7) St. Louis Cardinals @ Milwaukee Brewers - Milwaukee
8) Cleveland Indians @ Chicago White Sox - Chicago
9) Honduras @ United States - Honduras win, tie, or lose by 1 goal
10) Texas Rangers @ Los Angeles Angels - Texas
11) What Will Be The Result Of Josh Hamilton's 3rd At Bat: Hit or Walk vs. Any Other Result - Any other result

2) Two games, four teams, four pitching staffs. First we have the Pittsburgh Pirates playing the Houston Astros. Pittsburgh is starting sophomore pitcher Charlie Morton who has done well so far this season with a 2.65 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. His last start was a 6 inning shutout of the Florida Marlins down at Landshark Stadium. His numbers are terrific through four starts this season, but that he accrued a 6.15 ERA and 1.62 WHIP in 15 starts last season would suggest he's due to get lit up for 4 or more runs early on. The Astros are starting Wandy Rodriguez who has had some really rough starts so far this year but has been generally dependable pitching in Houston (except for this game where he gave up 4 home runs to Colorado). There have been 5 and 9 runs scored in the first two games in the series between these teams, and the Pirates are averaging 3.7 runs in the past week while the Astros are averaging 4.0 runs.

The other game involves the Atlanta Braves visiting Wrigley Field to take on the Chicago Cubs. The Braves are starting 34 year old Nippon league transplant Kenshin Kawakami who has been better than his 4.46 ERA and 1.38 WHIP suggest. He did give up 4 earned runs and 1 unearned to the Washington Nationals in his last start as he is trying to ignore the effects of a bruised neck which he sustained off a line drive against the Yankees two weeks ago. The Cubs are starting relief pitcher Kevin Hart who was called back up after being optioned to AAA Iowa to fill a hole in the rotation as Ryan Dempster recovers from a fractured toe he injured while jumping over the dugout railing to celebrate a win. Hart has been a solid reliever in four games this season but he had some major lapses last year and has been in AAA for most of his career. There have been 4 and 6 runs scored in the most recent games between these two teams with pitchers like Javier Vazquez, Jurrjens, Zambrano, and Randy Wells going. The Braves are averaging 5.6 runs per game this past week and the Cubs are averaging 4.3 runs per game.

I like the Cubs and Braves to rack up more runs as they are better offensive teams than Pittsburgh and Houston on paper. Wandy Rodriguez should be able to do well against the Pirates and Charlie Morton, well, he's kind of the wildcard there. At Wrigley Kenshin Kawakami may be dominating, but if the Cubs are continuing to hit well he won't be shutout dominating. The wildcard in that game is Kevin Hart. Is he a starting pitcher prospect stuck in a relievers role for the time, or is he just one of the more durable relievers the Cubs are forced to use in a pinch?

3) Not a whole lot to say here except that Rosario Central are battling to avoid relegation to the Second Division and Belgrano de Córdoba are playing for promotion to the Primera. Sure, Rosario Central finished in 10th place, but that was in the Clausura portion of the season. In the Apertura portion of the season they finished in 19th place. Not only that, but the Argentine league uses an averaging system, so that the teams with the 3rd and 4th worst three season average in the Primera are up for relegation while the 3rd and 4th best 3-year average teams in the Second Division are up for promotion. Odds-wise Belgrano de Córdoba are favored to win at +130, but Rosario Central are not far behind at +165 with the draw at +220. In terms of percent odds that's about 61.5% for the win or draw and 38.5% for Belgrano to win. The Argentine league uses points (3 for a win, 1 for a draw, 0 for a loss) and not aggregate score for these promotion/relegation playoffs so I think Rosario Central will be looking to lock up their safety early by taking a win on the road here.

Proportion of games with 'N' total bases for Manny Ramirez this season and last season.
Click above for larger version.
5) Looking at the chart on the left Manny Ramirez went 0-fer or for one single in 50.3% of his games and he's only done that in 42% of his games this season, a definite indication he's due for a streak of low output games in the future. Even Albert Pujols gets zero or one total bases in about 50% of his games. I'm still thinking Ramirez can get an extra base hit in this game, however, as he'll be going up against Oliver Perez and the New York Mets bullpen.

Perez is coming back from a knee injury after three rehab starts in low A Brooklyn and AAA Buffalo. Prior to that injury he was having major problems, recording a 9.97 ERA and 2.26 WHIP in 5 starts spanning 212/3 innings. He racked up a 2.25 ERA and 1.38 WHIP in 8 innings with Brooklyn, but struggled in his lone AAA start, giving up 5 hits, a home run, and 3 earned runs in 5 innings with Buffalo. Prior to the injury he was having problems with his velocity and with leaving pitches up in the strike zone, and while he has improved in his rehab starts he is still struggling with his control. The plus side is that Ramirez is likely to see some pitches up and in the middle of the zone he could hit for the distance, but the downside is he may be walked two or three times in this game, only getting a couple of chances to actually hit. Overall, I'd say the Dodgers are a terrific pick for extending ones streak and that Ramirez, 2 singles or an extra base hit is a decent pick for those seeking the monthly.

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