MLB- (7:10 ET, XM 183) Milwaukee at Cincinnati



2007-07-24

Central division leader Milwaukee lost more ground to second place Chicago, losing a pitcher’s dual 2-1 yesterday in 12 innings. The Brewers are now 19-27 (-8 units) on the road this season and have seen their once substantial lead slip to three games over the Cubs.

With ace Ben Sheets on the shelf, Ned Yost is forced to turn to the youngest member of his pitching staff rookie Yovani Gallardo (2-1, 2.34). The right-hander has given up just six runs in 25.3 innings over four starts since being called up from Triple-A Nashville in the middle of June. He has lasted at least six innings in each start while holding opponents to a .195 batting average. Gallardo has also pitched over nine innings of relief this season. "Yovani's makeup is pretty special,' said Brewers manager Ned Yost. "He doesn't get flustered very easy. The thing I like about it is that you can't tell from his demeanor what is going on. That's a little bit like Tom Glavine and John Smoltz. You couldn't tell if they were down 15 runs or up 15 runs.”

Despite having a memorable season, the Brewers have to seriously be considered a Play Against team on the road. They have now lost nine of 12 scoring a piddling 30 runs in the losses. One would have to be a golem not to see this is team really struggling on the road.

Cincinnati (42-58) is fighting to escape last place in the division and will send often-hittable Matt Belisle (5-6, 5.13) to the mound. Belisle strikeouts to walk ratios are good with 78 K’s compared to 26 free passes. What has plagued him are pitches that are up in the zone and not overpowering enough to get by batters consistently. He has surrendered 137 base hits in only 114 innings. Because he doesn’t walk many hitters, his WHIP is still within the normal range at 1.430. Discounting last evening, the Great American Ballpark is a hitter’s paradise and Belisle has paid the price with 1-5 mark and an ERA just shy of six.

Milwaukee is -133 favorite at Sportsbook.com with a total of U10. The Brew Crew has lost 10 of 18 in Cincy over the last three seasons and is just 6-14 (-13.1 Units) against the money line as a road favorite of -125 or more in that time span. Manager Yost’s club has bumbled and stumbled in July on the road with a 5-16 record over the last two years and is 2-10 in road games vs. NL teams allowing 4.8 or more runs a game on the season in 2007. The potential saving grace is the Reds are 21-38 (-23.0 Units) against the ML in home games off a one run win over a division rival.

This broadcast can be heard on XM radio 183 or viewed on MLB.TV starting at 7:10 Eastern. Use the Betting Trends page for all the latest information on line moves and action.


A.L. Futures – Play’em or Fade’em
As the fourth month of baseball action starts to wind down, places like Sportsbook.com are still taking action for teams to win division crowns, league pennants or World Series. While the odds are different from what they were early in the season, it still provides opportunity to score some additional cash for those in the MLB wagering cycle. Here is a look at what the future might hold for the contending teams.

Boston 9-5 to win AL – Play’em
The Red Sox have the best starting pitching staff in the American League and the bullpen boasts a shutdown 2.77 earned run average. Sure the Yankees and Detroit can hit, but neither is in the class of the Red Sox for pitching. In the playoffs, we see every year, good pitching takes out hot hitters with regularity.

New York 5-1 to win AL East –Fade’em
The Yankees have crawled to within seven games in the loss column of Boston and given the history of Boston collapses in the past, totally disregarding the New York is foolish. The Yankees might move even closer by August 9, feasting on a month of teams under .500 with its prodigious offense. After that date New York and Boston will play more similar schedules and the Yankees will not be able to make up any more ground.

Detroit 9-5 to win AL – Play’em
The Tigers rotation is starting to settle into a nice groove making this team of sluggers really formidable. Manager Jim Leyland’s nonsense approach has seen the bullpen start to become for useful as the starts pitch deeper into games, using a pitcher’s for selective roles. Baseball’s best offense covers up what doesn’t work scoring 5.8 RPG. If Boston is not what you are looking for, then the Tigers, with the imposing 31-17 road record, are a wonderful choice.

Cleveland 9-5 to win AL – Fade’em
C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona are a brilliant 1-2 tandem at the front of the rotation. The Indians have sluggers that can manufacture runs as fast a Harry Potter books are sold. What happens after those two pitchers for the Tribe? Paul Byrd is the #3 man in the rotation at 8-4, but who expects this to hold up into October. “Close but no cigar” for Cleveland here.

Los Angeles Angels 7-2 to win AL – Fade’em
The Angels bats run too hot and cold, especially on the road, to be a quality selection to come out as AL champs. Vlade Guerrero is more dependable than a Ford truck to put up numbers, unfortunately the rest of the line-up has a more yo-yo affect. Ervin Santana and Bartolo Colon are unreliable as starters at this point, thus without the consistent offense, it’s hard to believe they would pass either the Tigers or Red Sox.

Seattle 5-1 to win AL West –Fade’em
Seattle is as big of a surprise as anyone in the junior circuit in 2007. However, cracks are emerging that could spell trouble in the final two months. The Mariners have now scored only four more runs than they have allowed, which is one less than Oakland who is 11 games behind them in the standings. Seattle’s soft starting rotation is hittable and could falter under pennant pressure. Plus, Mariners’ offense is not particularly efficient scoring runs considering the number of runners on base. A nice run comes up emptier than a discarded Starbucks cup.

MLB News

Click here to read latest MLB news