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Looking to stay on top a little while longer, the Oakland A’s take on the Toronto Blue Jays this weekend. The A’s have their work cut out for them considering the Angels are playing the White Sox, likely adding to their win column. Finding the big game to bet on each weekend is easy at www.sportsbook.com where everybody bets.
The Jays, fresh off their disappointing series against Boston, are probably seeking a little redemption. Eveland, who was riding high, came crashing down giving up seven earned runs in a mere three innings. This dropped his ERA from 1.93 to 4.57 in just one night, I am sure he would like to see some recovery in that number. Early season stats are much easier to manipulate, not to mention the game is against his former team.
On the other side you have Gonzalez is looking to continue his current hot streak. Pitching a seven-inning shutout puts spark in his fastball. His last matchup against the Blue Jays was in 2008 and ended in a loss, so I am sure he would like to even out the stats there.
While no one seems to be sure who will be on for Sunday’s game from the A’s bullpen, Shaun Marcum is likely to take the field. Having not won a game since 2008 despite extremely strong starts all season, Marcum will be out for blood. No matter what he says, he would like to see a few more W’s under his name, but he is right, it takes the team showing up.
At the beginning of the season, strength in batting order is just being assessed, unless you have a tried and true lineup. The move of Jose Bautista from the lead off spot in favor of Fred Lewis might just up his RBI numbers, and he’s already second on the team.
Eric Chavez, having just broken his slump, is looking to make it a streak. With a batting order in seeming constant rotation, there has been no real consistency with Oakland. Chavez is looking to turn his two-run double into a regular occurrence. Now that Davis has been underperforming the season, Patterson is getting a chance to show his stuff. Denied regular play last season, Patterson is looking to leave an impression. He’s already clocked a homer, sure to be looking for more.
This early in the season standings are kind of mute. With tons of games to go, it is difficult to predict what slumps, injuries, or team shake-ups might cause huge shifts in the rankings. For now, this is a time for Oakland to enjoy beating out Los Angeles. Oakland has many hurdles to overcome given the weakness in their lineup and early season injuries, but at least their bullpen remains pretty intact.
Toronto needs to take an opportunity to put themselves back on track if they want to keep pace with Boston. Tampa Bay seems to still be ruling the roost, so keeping ahead of the Sox should be of paramount importance to the Jays. They did not make the best of their series against them, so they need to log a few more wins where they can.
MLB Series Betting- N.Y. Yankees at Boston
With two World Series championship rings in the past five years, the Boston Red Sox don’t play baseball games hoping to make the postseason; they play for division titles and settle for the wild card if that is last option. With roughly a quarter of the season to be played, Boston knows this is their best chance to close the six game differential in the loss column with New York, with just three games remaining between these two rivals. "There's [42 games] of our season left," Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek said. "We have too many good characters on this team. We won't quit." (Don’t neglect to review the latest info for all MLB contests by visiting the LIVE ODDS, BETTING TRENDS, and TEAM STATISTICS pages.)
Boston (69-51, +3.3 units) feels they are gathering momentum, having won seven of last 10, including sweeping Toronto on the road. The Red Sox return home where they are 38-18 and could tie the Yankees for the best home record in baseball with a sweep. Terry Francona’s club is third in baseball in runs scored on home turf at 5.7 per contest and hopes to improve on that figure tonight. Besides all the obvious aspects that are in front of the BoSox, being bludgeoned 25-8 at Yankees Stadium two weeks ago in a four-game sweep adds incentive.
How good have the Yankees (76-45, +6.9 units) been since the All-Star break? The Bronx Bombers are 25-8 and have won nine of 10 series, including the last five in a row. "The one thing that I've been really proud about [with] this club is that there's a sense of urgency every night," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "This club knows how to continue to push, and that's a good feeling.”
In the opener, Brad Penny (7-7, 5.22 ERA) will take the ball and he been awful of late with 0-3 record and a 7.54 ERA over his last four starts. New York will counter with Andy Pettitte (9-6, 4.09), whose been particularly sharp in allowing two or fewer runs in his last four starts. Only a lack of run support has kept him at 1-0 mark in these assignments. Sportsbook.com has New York as -110 money road favorites, with total Ov10.5. The Yankees are 4-15 on the road when the total is 10 to 10.5, while Boston is 37-10 at home when the total is 10 or higher over the last two seasons.
Game 1 Edge: Boston
As expected, Saturday’s contest will be a Fox Sports afternoon affair and New York will be a decided favorite. The pitching mismatch is the top reason; with A. J. Burnett (10-6, 3.69) facing Junichi Tazawa (1-2, 5.40). The Japanese right-hander came to this country noted for low-90’s fastball, splitter and change, but right-hand hitters are batting .542 in his 11.2 innings of work. The Yanks entered this series without a win in Bean-Town in 2009, nevertheless are 16-2 after six or more consecutive road games this year. Conversely, the Red Sox have really floundered against the better teams and are 4-12 playing against a club with a winning record in the second half of this season.
Game 2 Edge: Yankees
The final contest is night-time conflict on ESPN and should be a beauty. Two big time pitchers will be paired in C.C. Sabathia (14-7, 3.58) versus Josh Beckett (14-4, 3.58). The Yankees came into the weekend with a stellar 50-27 record in night games. The New York front office paid Sabathia a Hudson River barge of money and with crunch time now here, the big lefty is 4-0 this month, with 2.35 ERA and opposing batters hitting a feeble .185 against him. Boston also plays a decent brand of baseball under the lights at 50-34. Beckett has allowed three or fewer runs in 15 of his last 18 starts, with the Red Sox 14-4. He’s been especially effective at Fenway Park with 8-0 mark and the team winning 10 of 11 starts. Beckett and the BoSox are 17-5 as favorites.
Game 3 Edge: Boston
The Yankees are the better team and have the more favorable pitching matchups in two of the three games with the last contest arguably a push. Nonetheless, the Red Sox will want to flush the unsavory taste of being swept in the Bronx and have the confidence of winning seven straight at Fenway over New York. Thus, I’ll make a slightly wavering choice of Boston for this weekend.
Sportsbook.com series odds: N.Y. Yankees -135, Boston +105
StatFox Edge Pick: Boston
2009 Record – 7-9 (4 straight wins)