January 27th MLB news ... Make us a regular visit during the Baseball Lines season and watch your winning percentage and bankroll take off.
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March Madness Bracket
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MLB National League Central Predictions
The National League Central is Golf Betting Online Bingo Online NFL Betting usually a wild and unpredictable division. With no powerhouse favorite in the division this season, it looks to be even wilder than in past years. Despite the play the division may feature this season, here is the way I see things panning out, baseball betting needs to pay attention.
- The St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals have the best top of the rotation combo in the division hands down. They also feature the top free agent signing of the offseason and that Albert Pujols guy. With the emergence of Ryan Franklin as a more the solid option at the end of the game, look for the Cardinals to edge out the competition with their veteran leadership and strong starting pitching.
- The Cincinnati Reds: The Reds have surprised a great deal of people with their slight lead over the Cardinals so far this season. With a solid late inning combo of Author Rhodes and Francisco Cordero and a surprising amount of pop in the lineup, look for the Reds win a great deal more games than expected this season.
- The Milwaukee Brewers: Despite being ten games under .500 at the moment, the Brewers will win enough game to keep them in contention on offensive firepower alone. This, however, will not help their dismal starting pitching and uncertainty Trevor Hoffman has shown them this season. Look for the Brewers to have another season hovering around the .500 mark.
- The Chicago Cubs: The Cubs have a great deal of bloated contracts and old players that fill their roster. When Carlos Silva turns out to be your ace, you know you are in trouble. With little bang for their buck in the lineup and an out of whack starting rotation, look for Lou Piniella to blow more than a few gaskets this year.
- The Pittsburgh Pirates: The good news is that Pirates have a great shot at not finishing last in the division. The bad news is that they look to be making little to no progress as a franchise. Look for the Pirates futility to continue this season and for them to collect another top draft pick for 2011.
- The Houston Astros: The sheer awfulness of the Astros offense has been shocking to say the least this year. When Roy Oswalt wants to leave town, you know things have gotten out of hand. Look for the Astros the scrape the bottom of the division the entire season.
That is how I see the division shaping up. If the Cards can stay healthy, I really do not see anyone challenging them for the division crown, and those of you into baseball betting need to take notice. The NL Central is a wild one to say the least, though. The one thing we do know is that the NL Central is sure to be one of the most exciting divisions in baseball this year.
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MLB: Tampa Bay not a good bet
As September begins, the defending American League champions are backed into a corner. The Rays earned a road split with Detroit yesterday with 11-7 win, yet still trail Boston by five games for the wild card, with Texas a game ahead of them. This is not to say Tampa Bay isn’t capable of making a run over their next 32 games, since they still have six important encounters with the Red Sox over the next 13 days. If it were only that easy. In Tuesday’s series opener, it is the Red Sox that are heavy -155 favorites. Players at Sportsbook are about evenly split on their loyalties. Check the BETTING TRENDS page for the latest breakdown.
This is crunch time and Rays know it, opening up a three-game series with the Red Sox. “I don’t know if it gets any bigger,” Evan Longoria said of the upcoming series. “…. It should be fun.” Even when Tampa Bay was the American League doormat they gave Boston trouble and it has continued into this season. The Rays have won eight of 12 against Boston and are 18-10 at Tropicana Field versus the BoSox.
Many wondered how the Tampa Bay front office could have moved the team’s all-time wins leader is Scott Kazmir, while still in the thick of chasing post-season berth. Tampa Bay has had an unusual situation and has tricky economic picture to consider.
After years of being one of the sickest and poorly run franchises in baseball, Tampa Rays invested in farm system. They have assembled some of the best young talent in the game; unfortunately, baseball isn’t just played on the field.
Last year’s World Series run has not led to a huge bump in attendance, ranking 22nd at 24,168 per game, which is behind Baltimore, San Diego and Arizona, whose seasons were over long ago. In fact they draw 4,000 more per game on the road than at home. The Rays lack a substantial season ticket base, strong corporate presence and potential for substantial ballpark revenues. The end result is Tampa Bay has to win to try and draw while always keeping an eye on the money matters.
With Kazmir gone, Andy Sonnanstine (6-7, 6.61 ERA) has been recalled from Triple-A. The right-hander gets the call since he is 2-0 with 0.96 ERA in last three starts against Boston. Sportsbook.com oddsmakers are not impressed with Sonnanstine or the fact the Rays are 57-23 at home playing against a team with a winning record over the last two seasons. They have made the Red Sox -155 money line road favorites, with the total Un9.
Jon Lester (10-7, 3.60) will be charge of stopping Joe Maddon’s club. The Red Sox are 14-3 in road games vs. an AL starting pitcher like Sonnanstine, whose WHIP is 1.500 to 1.600 and is 12-2 with a day off. The rub is Lester is 0-2 with an 8.22 ERA in three starts in 2009 vs. the former Devil Rays, with Boston losing all of them. While it is true the Red Sox are 11-0 after seven or more consecutive home games this season, you can’t overlook the fact they are 1-11 when playing against a team with a win percentage between 54 to 62 percent in the second half of this year.
Longoria and teammates are 15-3 UNDER as a home underdog of +100 or higher over the last two seasons, while Boston is 14-3 UNDER in road games vs. good power teams, averaging 1.25 or more home runs a game in the second half of the season.
While manager Terry Francona laments about trip to -The Trop-, “Those cowbells stay with you for about a week.” at least his club is still in better position and doesn’t have the Rays upcoming schedule.
Tampa Bay plays host to Boston and division leading Detroit this week before heading on the road next for trips the Yankees and Boston.
First pitch tonight is set for 7:08 Eastern on NESN and Sun networks.
StatFox Power Line – Boston -154