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Fri, 08 Apr 2011 23:09:34 +0000
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Lee, Hudson matchup in early N.L. East matchup
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Steven - MLB Handicapper http://www.bestbetbaseball.com/?p=1031 Strict Standards: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/12/d238020232/htdocs/wp-includes/link-template.php on line 110

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Fans eager to see how the Braves stack up with the four-time defending NL East champion Phillies are getting a marquee matchup for Atlanta’s home opener. In a pairing of two of the NL’s top starting pitchers, Philadelphia’s Cliff Lee will face Atlanta’s Tim Hudson on Friday night in an early showdown between teams favored to [...]

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Lee, Hudson matchup in early N.L. East matchup

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Fans eager to see how the Braves stack up with the four-time defending NL East champion Phillies are getting a marquee matchup for Atlanta’s home opener.

In a pairing of two of the NL’s top starting pitchers, Philadelphia’s Cliff Lee will face Atlanta’s Tim Hudson on Friday night in an early showdown between teams favored to win the division.

Both teams reached the playoffs last season - the Braves as the wild card after finishing six games behind the Phillies. Philadelphia and Atlanta were eliminated from the postseason by eventual World Series champion San Francisco.

Lee’s offseason return after stints with Seattle and AL champion Texas has helped give Philadelphia a rotation regarded as one of baseball’s best since the Braves featured Cy Young Award winners Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz from 1993-2002.

Lee (1-0, 3.86 ERA) gave up three runs over seven innings in a 9-4 home win over Houston on Saturday.

The Phillies are leaning on a starting staff that also includes Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton to help overcome injuries to second baseman Chase Utley, right fielder Domonic Brown and closer Brad Lidge.

The timing of the visit, though, isn’t exactly the best for the Braves as their bats have suffered a slow start. Atlanta (3-4) lost the final three games of a four-game set with Milwaukee including 4-2 on Thursday.

“We’ll get some home cooking,” said new manager Fredi Gonzalez, who’s taken over for longtime skipper Bobby Cox. “I think we’ve got three series at home, so maybe we’ll get our bats going.”

Catcher Brian McCann said the Braves’ start “ain’t bad.”

“That’s the way you’ve got to look at it,” said McCann, currently batting .423. “We were in every ballgame we played and we just weren’t able to get the big knock.”

Philadelphia (5-1) lost five of nine at Turner Field last season, but come in on a roll that included an 11-0 rout of the Mets on Thursday. Halladay pitched seven sharp innings and Wilson Valdez(notes)—Utley’s replacement—had a career-high four hits.

The Phillies lead the majors with a .353 team batting average. They are also averaging 7.2 runs and 12.7 hits per game despite the injuries and loss to Jayson Werth as a free agent to Washington.

“It’s better than I expected,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “But at the same time, we played six games. I don’t want to talk about it. It’s best not to talk about it and let it happen.”

Hudson (1-0, 1.29) opened his season by allowing only one run in seven innings in an 11-2 win at Washington on Sunday.

The right-hander made a successful return from elbow surgery last year, going 17-9 with a 2.83 ERA. He was 2-1 with a 3.79 ERA in three starts against Philadelphia last season, all in Atlanta.

First baseman Ryan Howard could make it a long night for Hudson. He’s hitting .341 with six homers and 12 RBIs in 41 career at-bats against him, and .480 overall this season.

Shortstop Jimmy Rollins has had four two-hit games in 2011, and is batting .375.

It’s hard to go against Hudson and the Braves, but right now we are taking Lee and the Phiilies (-115) offense over the Braves. Good luck!

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Lee, Hudson matchup in early N.L. East matchup

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Penny, Tigers try to tame Orioles
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http://www.bestbetbaseball.com/american-league-central/tigers/penny-tigers-tame-orioles/
Strict Standards: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/12/d238020232/htdocs/wp-includes/link-template.php on line 110

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Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/12/d238020232/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/12/d238020232/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

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Fri, 08 Apr 2011 00:53:55 +0000
Steven - MLB Handicapper http://www.bestbetbaseball.com/?p=1029 Strict Standards: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/12/d238020232/htdocs/wp-includes/link-template.php on line 110

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Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/12/d238020232/htdocs/wp-includes/link-template.php on line 135
Sorry no article. But we like the Tigers (+110) vs. the Orioles. good luck! Post from: Best Bet Baseball Penny, Tigers try to tame Orioles

Post from: Best Bet Baseball

Penny, Tigers try to tame Orioles

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Sorry no article. But we like the Tigers (+110) vs. the Orioles. good luck!

Post from: Best Bet Baseball

Penny, Tigers try to tame Orioles

]]>

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Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/12/d238020232/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/12/d238020232/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

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Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/12/d238020232/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
Twins end jinx with Yankees
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http://www.bestbetbaseball.com/american-league-central/twins/twins-jinx-yankees/
Strict Standards: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/12/d238020232/htdocs/wp-includes/link-template.php on line 110

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http://www.bestbetbaseball.com/american-league-central/twins/twins-jinx-yankees/#comments

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/12/d238020232/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/12/d238020232/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/12/d238020232/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/12/d238020232/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/12/d238020232/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/12/d238020232/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41
Wed, 06 Apr 2011 22:47:48 +0000
Steven - MLB Handicapper http://www.bestbetbaseball.com/?p=1027 Strict Standards: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/12/d238020232/htdocs/wp-includes/link-template.php on line 110

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Carl Pavano enters Yankee Stadium tonight a Twin, after dancing with the thought of returning for a second stint with the Yankees. But after a tumultuous 1st stint where he spent a majority of the time injured all the while collecting on a huge contract, he decided to resign with the Twins in the [...]

Post from: Best Bet Baseball

Twins end jinx with Yankees

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Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/12/d238020232/htdocs/wp-includes/link-template.php on line 135

Carl Pavano enters Yankee Stadium tonight a Twin, after dancing with the thought of returning for a second stint with the Yankees. But after a tumultuous 1st stint where he spent a majority of the time injured all the while collecting on a huge contract, he decided to resign with the Twins in the off season.

The Yankees will counter with fellow veteran Freddy Garcia on Wednesday, setting up an interesting collision of pitchers with sturdy track records in the league. Pavano is 97-90 with a 4.37 ERA for his career, while Garcia is 133-87 with a 4.13 ERA. Pavano got hit hard in his season debut, giving up three home runs and seven earned runs in a 13-3 loss to Toronto.

Now, though, the Yankees are concerned that Pavano will rebound and show them his dead-level best.

“I knew he could pitch,” said Girardi. “I wasn’t really here much during his years of being hurt, but he had back [problems], he had elbow [problems], he had a cracked rib. His elbow injury was real — he had Tommy John [surgery]. Fortunately for him, he’s been healthy. Unfortunately for the Yankees, we got him when he was unhealthy. That happens sometimes when you sign [pitchers]. But he can pitch.”

The Twins kept first baseman Justin Morneau out of the starting lineup for some planned rest on Tuesday night, but he’s expected back on Wednesday. Morneau, who entered Tuesday’s 6-5 victory as a pinch-hitter, batted .152 in Spring Training, as the Twins slowly brought him back to full-time action. Morneau is batting just .188 through his first five games of the year. Getting the rest tonight will be Joe Mauer.

Tsuyoshi Nisihioka, Minnesota’s Japanese second baseman, has endured an interesting transition to the stateside game. Nishioka, a five-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove Award winner in his homeland, had one hit in Tuesday night’s victory and is currently batting .250 with seven strikeouts in the first 20 at-bats of his burgeoning big league career.

Garcia, 35 years old, was limited to just 23 starts and five victories between 2007 and ‘09 due to right shoulder woes. He resurfaced with the White Sox last year, healthy, and pitched to a 12-6 record and a 4.64 ERA. Garcia narrowly outpitched fellow veteran Bartolo Colon to earn the fifth starter’s role in Spring Training and is looking forward to his season debut.

“I feel good — I’d love to pitch every five days, but that’s not the case this time,” said Garcia. “They’ve got a pretty good lineup, man. You’ve got to go out there and execute your pitches and make it happen. That’s all you can do.”

The Twins are just 3-18 in their last 21 regular-season games against the Yankees and have won just seven of 38 games in New York under manager Ron Gardenhire. But they hoped that their luck changed on Tuesday night with a 3 run bloop double in the 8th inning and winning in extra innings. We feel that they will ride on that, with Pavano & the Twins (+145) outdueling the Yankees. Good luck!

Post from: Best Bet Baseball

Twins end jinx with Yankees

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Red Sox, Beckett look to rebound
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http://www.bestbetbaseball.com/american-league-central/indians/red-sox-beckett-rebound/
Strict Standards: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/12/d238020232/htdocs/wp-includes/link-template.php on line 110

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/12/d238020232/htdocs/wp-includes/link-template.php on line 135
http://www.bestbetbaseball.com/american-league-central/indians/red-sox-beckett-rebound/#comments

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Tue, 05 Apr 2011 22:24:08 +0000
Steven - MLB Handicapper http://www.bestbetbaseball.com/?p=1025 Strict Standards: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/12/d238020232/htdocs/wp-includes/link-template.php on line 110

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A year ago, Josh Beckett was the ace of the Boston Red Sox, but the worst season of his career has dropped him to the No. 4 spot in the rotation to open 2011. As luck would have it, the Red Sox badly need Beckett to serve as a stopper. Beckett will try to help Boston and [...]

Post from: Best Bet Baseball

Red Sox, Beckett look to rebound

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A year ago, Josh Beckett was the ace of the Boston Red Sox, but the worst season of his career has dropped him to the No. 4 spot in the rotation to open 2011.

As luck would have it, the Red Sox badly need Beckett to serve as a stopper.

Beckett will try to help Boston and its rotation recover from a dreadful opening series Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game set at the Cleveland Indians.

The opening-day starter for the Red Sox in each of the last two seasons, Beckett’s fortunes plummeted in 2010. The right-hander, who won all four of his postseason starts - two against the Indians - to help lead the Red Sox to the 2007 World Series title, didn’t display close to that form last season, posting a career-worst 5.78 ERA and a 6-6 record while being limited to 21 starts due to back problems.

As a result, the man who was once the rock of Boston’s rotation now stands as perhaps its biggest question mark.

“I think his pride took a beating last year,” manager Terry Francona told the Red Sox’s official website. “I definitely agree with that. I think he feels like he has a lot to prove.”

Those sentiments could apply to the entire Red Sox team after the beating they took in Texas over the weekend. Starters Jon Lester(notes), John Lackey(notes) and Clay Buchholz(notes) gave up 18 runs over 15 1-3 innings as Boston got outscored 26-11 and allowed 11 home runs in a three-game sweep.

The Red Sox are now 0-3 for the first time since 1996, when they also dropped their first three games at the Rangers en route to an 0-5 start.

“We got outplayed all the way around,” Francona said. “They hit better than us, they pitched better than us. Now we’ve got to regroup and get us a win so we can feel better about ourselves.”

The Indians (1-2) know what it’s like to open a season in horrid fashion in Texas. They got outscored 29-14 while dropping their first three games in Arlington two years ago.

Cleveland was in danger of another season-opening sweep, but salvaged the finale of a three-game home set with the Chicago White Sox by winning 7-1 on Sunday.

Former Red Sox right-hander Justin Masterson(notes) pitched seven solid innings to stem the tide for a staff that had given up 23 runs and 29 hits in its first two games. The highlight of the win came in the fourth inning when the Indians turned a triple play, started by regular catcher Carlos Santana(notes) in his first career game at first base.

“You don’t win or lose a division in the first week or even the first month,” said second baseman Orlando Cabrera(notes), who assisted on the triple play. “But getting that first win is always huge. The triple play got us going.”

Cabrera went 3 for 4 with a two-run homer Sunday while Santana had a pair of singles to complete a 6-for-13 opening series.

The Indians will send Josh Tomlin to the mound for the series opener. Cleveland summoned the right-hander to make his major league debut last July, and he wound up going 6-4 with a 4.56 ERA in 12 starts.

Tomlin’s first loss came at Boston on Aug. 5, when he allowed four runs in seven innings of a 6-2 defeat.

Tonight, we look for the Red Sox bats and Beckett to step up against the Indians. We will take Red Sox on the run line at -1.5 (-105). Good luck!

Post from: Best Bet Baseball

Red Sox, Beckett look to rebound

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http://www.bestbetbaseball.com/feature/1023/
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http://www.bestbetbaseball.com/feature/1023/#comments

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Sat, 02 Apr 2011 22:14:30 +0000
Steven - MLB Handicapper http://www.bestbetbaseball.com/?p=1023 Strict Standards: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/12/d238020232/htdocs/wp-includes/link-template.php on line 110

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When Cincinnati and Milwaukee resume their season-opening series Saturday night in Great American Ball Park, both clubs will be looking for carryovers from Thursday afternoon’s opener. Shaun Marcum will oppose lefty Travis Wood. We like Marcum and the Brewers (-105) over the Reds, with the key being the Brewers bullpen being able to overcome their hiccups [...]

Post from: Best Bet Baseball

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When Cincinnati and Milwaukee resume their season-opening series Saturday night in Great American Ball Park, both clubs will be looking for carryovers from Thursday afternoon’s opener.
Shaun Marcum will oppose lefty Travis Wood.
We like Marcum and the Brewers (-105) over the Reds, with the key being the Brewers bullpen being able to overcome their hiccups from opening day. Good luck!

Post from: Best Bet Baseball

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Young Guns go in Oakland
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http://www.bestbetbaseball.com/american-league-west/young-guns-oakland/
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Sat, 02 Apr 2011 00:03:11 +0000
Steven - MLB Handicapper http://www.bestbetbaseball.com/?p=1021 Strict Standards: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/12/d238020232/htdocs/wp-includes/link-template.php on line 110

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From the first inning, and from the very first pitch, the Opening Day matchup between the A’s and the Mariners will put some very special talent on display. Trevor Cahill, a 23-year-old right-hander who burst out to a stellar season in 2010, will throw the first pitch of the 2011 season to Ichiro Suzuki, coming off [...]

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Young Guns go in Oakland

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From the first inning, and from the very first pitch, the Opening Day matchup between the A’s and the Mariners will put some very special talent on display.

Trevor Cahill, a 23-year-old right-hander who burst out to a stellar season in 2010, will throw the first pitch of the 2011 season to Ichiro Suzuki, coming off his record 10th consecutive 200-hit season. And if that’s not enough star power, the A’s will be facing the defending American League Cy Young Award winner, Felix Hernandez, in the bottom of the first.

The A’s, coming off a second-place finish in the AL West a year ago, go in hoping to challenge the defending champion Rangers and the Angels for this year’s division title. Oakland’s offense was bolstered by the arrivals of Hideki Matsui, David DeJesus and Josh Willingham and the return of much of the staff that ranked second in the Majors last year behind its Bay Area neighbors, the Giants.

The Mariners, meanwhile, might be more challenged to hope for the same, with Ichiro’s supporting cast on offense among the issues facing them coming off a 101-loss season.

What the Mariners definitely do have is an ace among aces in Hernandez, who at age 24 was dominant enough to win the Cy Young in a runaway despite a 13-12 record, thanks to a Majors-low 2.27 ERA, an AL-high 249 2/3 innings and 232 strikeouts, one off the Majors high by the Angels’ Jered Weaver.

In his final spring tuneup, Hernandez pitched seven innings against Mariners Minor Leaguers for a second time. In his three official Cactus League starts, he went 1-1 with a 4.63 ERA, giving up 17 hits in 11 2 /3 innings. But Hernandez said he got his work in just fine.

“All of my pitches were there, right on the corners,” he said. “Everything is good. Now I have to prepare for Opening Day. It’ll be good.”

Cahill, who posted a 2.97 ERA and 18-8 record in 30 starts last year, will be making his first Opening Day start, becoming the sixth different starter to get the assignment in the last six years. He follows, in reverse order, Ben Sheets, Dallas Braden, Joe Blanton, Dan Haren and Barry Zito.

At 23 years, 31 days, he is the seventh-youngest pitcher to start Opening Day for the A’s, the youngest since Vida Blue in 1971 (21 years, 151 days). But at any age, he was a no-brainer for this assignment, even within a deep and talented rotation.

“Trevor was, in my mind, going to start Opening Day — if everything went well physically — for the entire offseason,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “I liked what he did last year. I liked his demeanor on the mound — the mental side of the game that he takes out there each time makes him ideal to start any game of the year. If there’s a little extra hoopla and flyovers and fireworks on Opening Night, he’s the perfect guy to handle that.”

Said Cahill: “There are a bunch of guys to choose from. Everyone had a good year, so I think it’s about lining things up. I know [Geren] feels confident in winning with whoever he puts out there, so I don’t think it’s a huge deal — just an honor, more than anything.”

In this matchup, I feel again you have to go with the The King, King Felix, and the Mariners (-105) over the Athletics. Good luck!

Post from: Best Bet Baseball

Young Guns go in Oakland

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OPENING DAY BRINGS NEW SEASON, NEW HOPE
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http://www.bestbetbaseball.com/national-league-west/opening-day-brings-season-hope/
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Thu, 31 Mar 2011 18:10:36 +0000
Steven - MLB Handicapper http://www.bestbetbaseball.com/?p=1018 Strict Standards: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/12/d238020232/htdocs/wp-includes/link-template.php on line 110

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Since the Giants are scheduled to start the 2011 regular season on the road, perhaps there is no more fitting place than Dodger Stadium for them to set foot on the baseball field for the first time since being crowned World Series champions. After all, the meeting of the two rivals dates back to their days [...]

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OPENING DAY BRINGS NEW SEASON, NEW HOPE

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Since the Giants are scheduled to start the 2011 regular season on the road, perhaps there is no more fitting place than Dodger Stadium for them to set foot on the baseball field for the first time since being crowned World Series champions.

After all, the meeting of the two rivals dates back to their days in New York. So does the Giants’ previous World Series title in 1954, before the two teams made the voyage to the West Coast. The Dodgers, meanwhile, have five World Series titles since the move west, the last one in 1988.

But Opening Day means that sort of history is just that — history. What matters now is the fact that two storied rivals will be hitting the field together to start the 2011 season.

For the Giants, it’s time to get the feeling that everybody is coming after them, because they are.

“We probably do have a target on our back, but that’s a good thing,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “Let’s go out and defend this championship.”

On the mound, two of the game’s most exciting twentysomethings will square off, with two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum going for the Giants in his third consecutive Opening Day start, and 23-year-old left-hander Clayton Kershaw taking the ball for the Dodgers in his first assignment in an opener.

Lincecum is entering his fifth season in the Majors, having debuted in 2007 and followed with his two Cy Young-winning seasons. Although 2010 didn’t match up in the award category, Lincecum fought through a horrible August to dominate in September and throughout his first postseason.

Kershaw, meanwhile, enters the 2011 season having fully established himself in the Majors, where he debuted in May 2008 at the age of 20. Last year, Kershaw set career bests with 13 wins, a 2.91 ERA and 212 strikeouts.

The matchup of pitching will give an early glimpse at a key element of the National League West race, which the Giants won by a nose over the Padres a year ago — with the teams boasting the two best ERAs in the NL taking the division down to the season’s final day. The Dodgers focused on solidifying a rotation that is much deeper than Kershaw this offseason, from sewing up Ted Lilly for three years to homegrown Chad Billingsley’s contract extension late in spring.

They also managed to snag Juan Uribe from the Giants, taking one of their catalysts in 2010. The Giants countered by signing shortstop Miguel Tejada, hoping he fills voids left by the departures of Uribe and Edgar Renteria.

For the Giants, this begins a tough stretch to kick off the season. San Francisco will play 22 of its first 31 games on the road, including visits to each of its NL West opponents the first three weeks.

Though the Giants know they have the bullseye on their backs, they will look to get out to a fast start with the strength of their pitching.
We definitely like Tim Lincecum & the Giants (-105) over the Dodgers tonight.

Let’s start the new season off right!! Don’t forget you can open up an account with the link below and make wagers for as low as $1!!!

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OPENING DAY BRINGS NEW SEASON, NEW HOPE

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World Series starts with great matchup of Lee, Lincecum
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Wed, 27 Oct 2010 22:58:44 +0000
Steven - MLB Handicapper http://www.bestbetbaseball.com/?p=1016 Strict Standards: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/12/d238020232/htdocs/wp-includes/link-template.php on line 110

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In the Year of the Pitcher, you must also have the Postseason of the Pitcher. October 2010 has followed the script, right into the World Series. Game 1 of the Fall Classic on Wednesday night at AT&T Park will fittingly offer Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants against Cliff Lee of the Texas Rangers. The [...]

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World Series starts with great matchup of Lee, Lincecum

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In the Year of the Pitcher, you must also have the Postseason of the Pitcher. October 2010 has followed the script, right into the World Series.
Game 1 of the Fall Classic on Wednesday night at AT&T Park will fittingly offer Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants against Cliff Lee of the Texas Rangers. The FOX telecast will begin at 7:30 ET.

For the record, Lincecum is a two-time National League Cy Young Award winner and Lee is currently the dominant postseason pitcher, with a record of 7-0 and a 1.26 ERA over the last two postseasons.

Pitching becomes even more paramount every October, but this postseason has been a festival of superior pitching and splendid pitching matchups. Roy Halladay’s no-hitter for the Phillies in the NL Division Series against the Reds set the appropriate tone.

Halladay lost against Lincecum in Game 1 of the NL Championship Series, but that decision was reversed in a Game 5 matchup. There was no variation in Lee’s postseason results.

Lee was matched against Rays ace David Price in Game 1 of the American League Division Series and won. Lee was matched against Price again in the decisive Game 5 of the ALDS and won again. Then in Game 3 of the ALCS, Lee was matched against Andy Pettitte of the Yankees, the all-time leader in postseason victories with 19. Lee produced a postseason gem — eight shutout innings, two hits, one walk and 13 strikeouts — against baseball’s leading offense. He would have gone in Game 7 of the ALCS, but the Rangers had the good sense to win in six, thus making Lee available for another Game 1 start.

It’s like the three key elements of real estate — location, location, location. Here in this postseason, the three key elements of baseball are pitching, pitching, pitching.

The Giants stopped a very good Phillies offense to get here. The Rangers stopped an even better Yankees offense to get here. San Francisco has a 2.47 ERA in this postseason. Texas has a 2.76 ERA.

So it is no surprise when the Game 1 focus has been primarily on the pitchers. Even Lee, when asked what is dangerous about the Giants, did not do the traditional “every Major Leaguer with a bat in his hands is dangerous,” and instead honestly focused upon San Francisco’s pitchers.

“I think they’re dangerous because they’ve got really good pitching,” Lee said. “I mean, when you’ve got Lincecum and Matt Cain and the way [Jonathan] Sanchez has been pitching and then their bullpen, you’re limited to the runs you can give up, because they’re not going to give up many runs. Because of that, they’ve won a lot of really close games.

“Yeah, you’ve got to give credit to their hitters for scoring those runs and Cody Ross, especially the way he’s been swinging it, but I think you can give more credit … to the pitching. I mean, they’re the ones that are out there pitching in those one run games. That’s tough to do over and over, and they did a lot of that this postseason, and rightfully so. They’ve got some really good arms over there.”

For Lincecum, this is another opportunity to be savored. He is one of the major reasons the Giants find themselves here, part of a tremendous, homegrown Giants rotation.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing,” Linceum said Tuesday. “Prior to this year, I didn’t know if we’d ever get here or what was going to happen or how far we’d get, but we got the right tools and brought the right people in at the right time, and we’re here now.”

What will be different about this World Series Game 1? The climate will be different for the Rangers. Little more than one month ago, they were still playing games during which the heat index exceeded 100 degrees. They will be unaccustomed to the evening chill on the shores of San Francisco Bay, although the early start times will ameliorate that to some extent.

In general, Rangers Ballpark is thought of as distinctly hitter-friendly, while AT&T Park is considered more of a pal to pitchers. There are dramatic differences in the two parks, but Rangers starter C.J. Wilson said this would not be a big deal.

“It’s not like they have a fire pit with a lion that jumps out and eats the outfielders,” Wilson noted with a smile.

No, there will be no extraneous points of emphasis in this one. Game 1 of the World Series will have the focus right where it ought to be for a game of this significance — on the starting pitchers. Lincecum and Lee, two of the game’s best, are going. The Year of the Pitcher has a maximum of seven games left, and this is exactly how it should conclude.

We here at bestbetbaseball.com will have to go with the cold blooded nerves of the postseason with Cliff Lee and the stronger bats of the Rangers (-145) over the Giants tonight. Good luck!!!!

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World Series starts with great matchup of Lee, Lincecum

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Braves look to even series vs. Giants
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Fri, 08 Oct 2010 22:37:21 +0000
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The Braves have proven to be a resilient team this season. After a pair of losses to the Phillies this past weekend, they secured the National League Wild Card by winning on Sunday. After losing, 1-0, to the Giants on Thursday night in Game 1 of the NL Division Series at AT&T Park, the Braves are [...]

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Braves look to even series vs. Giants

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The Braves have proven to be a resilient team this season. After a pair of losses to the Phillies this past weekend, they secured the National League Wild Card by winning on Sunday.
After losing, 1-0, to the Giants on Thursday night in Game 1 of the NL Division Series at AT&T Park, the Braves are now faced with another bounce-back game Friday night at 9:30 p.m. ET on TBS. Otherwise, they face the possibility of elimination with Game 3 in Atlanta on Sunday.

Game 2 features Atlanta’s Tommy Hanson against San Francisco’s Matt Cain in a battle of right-handers.

“I can’t say enough about the guys in this clubhouse,” Braves catcher Brian McCann said after the game. “We show up every day and play hard. That’s why we’re here right now. This has been a ball. We played great baseball down the stretch.

“It’s been a fun year. We have to just keep playing. We have to win [Friday]. It’s a big game. Every game right now is a big game. We know what we need to do. We have to come out and swing the bats.”

Aside from their 8-7 win on Sunday, the Braves have been shut out twice in their past three games. The Giants, in contrast, have tossed shutouts in consecutive games, including a 3-0 whitewash of the Padres on Sunday that clinched San Francisco’s first NL West title since 2003.

“That’s just the story of our season,” Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff said. “‘You want to slug, we’ll slug, but our pitching’s kept us in it. We get a run here, a run there, and then win it with pitching and defense.” The San Francisco pitching staff has now tossed 18 shutouts this season. Atlanta has been shut out 17 times. On Thursday night, the Braves managed two hits off Tim Lincecum.

“That’s the way we expect this whole series to be,” Braves left fielder Matt Diaz said. “We think we can come out on the winning end of a 1-0, 2-1 ballgame. That’s what we’re banking on. Hopefully we can do that tomorrow, and go home and have some fun at home.”

Expect the low-scoring trend to continue with two teams that have struggled this year to generate offense.

The Braves are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2005 with an entirely different group of players. Their one veteran of the 1990s playoff battles is Chipper Jones, who is recovering from surgery on a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and is not available.

This one has the edge in the bullpen because of Billy Wagner, who will go down in history as one of the all-time great left-handed closers. The old group had Alejandro Pena and later Mark Wohlers.

Hanson, finishing his second season, is filled with youthful enthusiasm and is raring to go for his first postseason start.

“I guess the key word is excited, I want to get out there,” Hanson said. “I really want to get going, get my routine underway, start stretching, get loose and take the mound. I’ll come up with a game plan tomorrow and get going.”

ain is coming off an outing on Friday night when the Padres knocked him out in the fourth inning while taking a 6-0 lead in a game they’d hold on to win, 6-4, to avoid elimination. Heading into his first career postseason start, Cain said he will draw from that experience.

We are looking for the Braves (+120) to be victorious over the Giants and even the series at 1. Good luck!!

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Braves look to even series vs. Giants

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Twins look to take advantage of home field vs. Yankees
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Wed, 06 Oct 2010 23:41:02 +0000
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Game 1 of this American League Division Series will be different than any of the Game 1s the Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees have played. It will be different because it will be played in Minneapolis. The festivities open for this portion of the 2010 postseason on Wednesday night at Target Field, the splendid new [...]

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Twins look to take advantage of home field vs. Yankees

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Game 1 of this American League Division Series will be different than any of the Game 1s the Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees have played. It will be different because it will be played in Minneapolis.
The festivities open for this portion of the 2010 postseason on Wednesday night at Target Field, the splendid new home of the Twins.

It is true that the Yankees have dead-ended the Twins in three AL Division series since 2003, including last October. But this will be the first time the Twins have come to this moment with the home-field advantage. Will this make a difference?

There will be a difference before the game even begins. The players will be preparing for the game in a top-shelf Major League facility that contains state-of-the-art creature comforts for both the players and the patrons of the game. The cramped clubhouse quarters and dreary corridors of the Metrodome are no more for the Twins. The Yankees will like the vastly larger and more well-equipped visitors’ clubhouse, too. But mostly, this ballpark is good for the Twins’ self-esteem, just as it is good for the Twins’ financial situation and good for the future of baseball in Minnesota.

So this is a happier locale for baseball in the Twin Cities. Coming up with a happier Minnesota outcome for a postseason series would be up to the Twins. That will start with Francisco Liriano, the Game 1 starter, up against the ace of the Yankees’ staff, CC Sabathia.

It has been a long-awaited comeback season for Liriano, who displayed the potential for greatness in 2006, at age 22. But then he missed the 2007 season and much of 2008 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and he struggled to regain his form. Now here he is, in a matchup of left-handers, against Sabathia, one of the most well-established pitchers in the game.

Sabathia is close to a given night to night for the Yankees, and his performance in the 2009 postseason defeated the notion that he couldn’t excel in October. Liriano had two quality starts against the Yankees this season, although he won neither decision. He struggled in his last three starts of the regular season, but he has the capacity for greatness. Can he match Sabathia in this Game 1?

And in a larger sense, can the Twins play their game against the Yankees? This is a team with six division titles in the past nine seasons, but a 2-9 record against the Yankees in the postseason. The Twins have not been at their best in these meetings, but the Yankees have had something to do with that.

The Twins are confident that this will be the postseason of their breakthrough against the Yankees.

“We’re more experienced; we’re a year older,” said Twins center fielder Denard Span. “I think we’re a year hungrier, too. … We’ve been through this. I think everybody went through the feeling last year of going home after losing to the Yankees. I think nobody wants to go through that. We don’t want the season to end. We’re going to go out there and try to give them our best shot.”

The difference in this Division Series is that the Yankees are not coming here as a typical Bronx Bombers juggernaut. They still have the leading offense in baseball; that is not the issue. Beyond Sabathia, there are serious, unresolved questions in New York’s starting rotation. Andy Pettitte hasn’t found his complete command after coming back from an injury. A.J. Burnett, after a terrific July, had a dreadful August and an inadequate September.

There is obvious pressure on any Game 1 postseason starter, but given the circumstances, the pitcher carrying the largest burden in that category might be Sabathia. If he loses, where will the Yankees get their next ace-like performance?

This is a Twins team with more power than most of its predecessors, a team with enough run production to overcome the loss of first baseman Justin Morneau. Morneau, out since early July after a concussion, may be available if the Twins reach the AL Championship Series. But in the way, as usual, are the Yankees. Even with some unanswered pitching questions, the Yankees, the October gold standard for a long time, are still a formidable postseason obstacle.

The Yankees always believe that they will prevail. And at this level, they usually have done just that.

“The bottom line is that we’re the world champs, and until somebody beats us, we’re the world champs,” Pettitte said. “We’re looking forward to try to defend this thing. It’s going to be tough; nobody said it was going to be easy. You’ve got to embrace it.”

There is no time like Game 1 to make a statement, set a tone and generally convince yourself that you were supposed to win this thing, anyway. The rest of us wonder — can the Twins, in a magnificent new setting, with the benefit of home-field advantage, finally climb Mt. Yankee and move on to the next round? Can the Yankees salvage this situation by pitching like the Yankees are supposed to pitch in October?

We feel the Twins (+140) will give the Yankees a run for their money for the series. A big part of that is their performance tonight. We look for the Twins to come thru with a victory at home vs. the Yankees. Good luck!!

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Twins look to take advantage of home field vs. Yankees

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