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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Grapefruit League Tuesday

Backing the Tribe today. CC will get the ball for Indians against Ramon Ortiz for home team Nationals.
Please check back for updates on this game.
Taking the over night line.

Here we go with Tuesday XMLB. Feel good play with the Indians traveling to Viera to meet the struggling Nationals on their home field.
Tribes will send LHP CC Sabathia with pitchers Guillermo Mota, Steve Karsay and Rafael Betancourt scheduled. This is the 2nd to last game in spring and Indians having won 6 of their last 7 games look to finish strong in the Grapefurit League.
Nats will go with Ramon Ortiz. He has been pitching well, but knowing Ramon I don't want to get too high on the right hander. Speculating about 6 innings of work and maybe Felix will throw or Joey or Gary Majewaski or Travis Hughes...not much of insight, but the fact is Nationals are work in progress, still adjusting where as the Indians are ready to start.

CLE -120 for 2 units(L)

0-1 -2.40 units

Monday, March 27, 2006

Cactus League Monday

XMLB is winding down. Today I will visit the Peoria Sports Complex to check out Kelvin Escobar and the Angels take on the home team San Diego Padres with Woody Williams on the mound. Angels coming off a split squad double win on Sunday and Pads rally in the 8th against SF Giants to tie the game.
Both team with spring winning record are in the final stages of tune up.
I would say Pads have the edge with Angels having played split squad and home field, but this is when the cream rises to the top. I see Pads throwing veteran pitching today and these are the guys players are familiar with.
I expect Angels to go far this season and take this game today.

LAA +108 for 2 units(W)
Got all caught up in this game and missed NBA Jazz for 2nd Half ATS.

1-0 +2.00 units

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Cactus League Friday

Thursday game sure was disappointing. The errors did me in with 2 runs cashing in for the Sox. Games are getting tighter looking like the real thing.

Now the Oakland A's take out the hottest team in Cactus League, the Angels,
and they did it in signature fashion, by one run.
Zito vs Peavy should be a good game. Oakland looking to start the season on winning note. Pads cooling in the spring.

OAK -119 for 1 unit(L)

Cactus League White Sox at Rangers

Texas taking two game slide since reaching .500 on Sunday shut out of the Cubs, now record stands at 8-10-1 in Cactus League. Wednesday game (5-10 MIL) for Texas was a search for 5th starter gone bad and Tuesday game (0-9 LAA) was combination of good Angels pitching and cold Rangers batting.
Texas will send Kevin Milwood. His last game against Diamondbacks, 4 runs allowed in 4 2/3 innings was not that bad as he retired first 7 batters faced, then he walked 2 which turned into a run. Struck out the sides in 4th and gave up two run homer in the 5th.
Chicago South Siders will take the long bus ride to Surprise, they are coming into this contest 5-16 in Cactus League with 2 wins out of last 10 games.
Hideo Nomo will get the ball for this game. Nomo worked 2 innings against KC giving up 3 hits 2 runs earned with 2 strike outs and no walks. I'm thinking the White Sox pitching staff to be thin and Nomo may go longer this outing.
Texas bat has been too quiet and this maybe a good spot to make some noise.

TEX -114 for 2 units(L)

0-1 -2.28 units

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Cactus League

Giants have dropped 5 of their last 6 and fallen below .500 in Cactus league. Angels come in winning 8 out of last 9 games. Angels sporting .667 winning percentage in Cactus League. Today the starters are Kelvin Escobar making his first Cactus League appearance since returning from WBC going 3-2 3.02 ERA. Other Angels slated for today areKevin Gregg, Jason Bulger, Scott Dunn and Chris Bootcheck.
Giants will start Matt Cain the top prospect making his forth appearance with extendedpitching in each outing. Other Giants on schedule are Jack Taschner, Jeff Fasero and Steve Kline. Giants are favored tonight as this game is the first in Cactus League where the 2006 projected starting 8 are all available for play. But I don't know if that's good enough to take out the visiting Angels.
I'll take the value with Angels staying hot.

LAA +100 for 1 unit(W)

1-0 +1.00 unit

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Cactus League

I'll cool it with baseball, maybe pick my spots for now. I have the need to see more players in action and dynamics of spring is changing with return of World Baseball Classic players returning to their teams.

Thinking about going out to Scottsdale or Peoria, but small action on
Angels. Yes, Jeff got knocked around, but Wasdin does not strike fear and Angels line up picks are doing well away from home.

LAA -103 for 1 unit(W)

1-0 +1.00 unit

Monday, March 20, 2006

Grapefuit League

Good things happen with Santana on the mound.

MIN +108 for 1 unit(L)

0-1 -1.00 unit

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Amazing Padres

These guys are pulling off clutch plays. For two of the last three games, the Padres offense has lagged behind while the opposing team seems to have the game in hand. Then, with an inning or two left, the Padres bats get hot and they pull out the win.
Tuesday against the Athletics, the Friars trailed, 5-1, going into the eighth inning, but thanks to a pair of home runs by Ben Johnson and Eric Valent, San Diego scored five in the inning to get the win. Friday's game had a similar look to it, with the Padres trailing early and for most of the game against the Mariners. This time, Justin Leone was the late hero with a grand slam in the ninth to give the Padres a 9-7 win over Seattle, which at the close of the sixth inning had a 6-2 lead. Geoff Blum's two-out, three-run homer brought the Padres within one run of the Mariners at 6-5 in the top of the seventh.
We will not look to trail Saturday as Right-hander Dewon Brazelton (0-0, 2.25 ERA) will get his fourth start of the spring. His opponent will be left-hander Zach Jackson (2-0, 5.63 ERA) of the Brewers, last meeting with the Pads on 3/13 he was rocked for three runs and two homers, but starter David Bush for the Brew crew was sharp for 4 innings, where as San Diego on this day looked at too many pitchers which killed their chances after the 6th innings.
This game will play out different at Peoria as I feel San Diego will take it from the start.

SDP -116 for 2 units(W)

It was not a blow out and Brew was lurking close.
1-0 +2.00 units
Spring 06' +5.30

Spring Training Camp 2006

I'm not 100% for MLB yet, but I'm doing my homework and getting in shape.
WBC was a baseball nightmare for me. I didn't play much, but team USA killed it as far as wagerline goes. Here's what March has brought us so far.

3/17 ARZ -107 2 units (W)
3/16 LAD -124 1 unit (L)
3/16 ARZ -120 1 unit (L)
3/16 SDP -115 1 unit (W)
3/13 SFG -113 3 units (W)
3/13 NYY -128 2 units (L)
NYM -133 1 unit (W)
MIN +115 1 unit (W)
3/05 SDP +106 1 unit (W)
========================
Sub-Total Gain +4.30 units

3/13 WBC Game USA -3.5 +126 for 1 unit (L)
========================
Total Gain +3.30 units

Snakes vs Rox at Hi Corbelt

Take the short trip across town to Hi Corbelt field.
Make a lunch stop at El Charro Cafe, family owned in Tucson since 1922.
Some home made Posole Stew will hit the spot.

Now let's get the game on. Russ Ortiz for D-Backs will face Zack Day.
D-Backs take a rare loss at Electric Park (home), but bats are still hot.
Back on Zona to take care of business against the Rox.

ARZ -107 for 2 units(W)

Yes sir, the Rattlers are swinging the bat very well. They are one hot team in the Cactus League.
1-0 +2.00 units

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Florida Grapefruit League to Arizona Cactus League

Got ya covered.

Florida:
I'm taking the Dodgers at Vero facing the Fish.
My thought is that Marlins are tinkering more than Los Angeles and I like Dodgers pitching options today.

LAD -124 for 1 unit(W)
--------------------------------------------------------

Arizona:
I'm taking the home team in Tucson, Diamond Backs, taking on the Royals.
I'm not considering the pitching, it's nothing to count on, but on the hot
D-Backs bats.

AZD -120 for 1 unit(L) *This is now -126
-----------------------------------------------------------
Late addition with Padres in Peoria. Rockies traveling all the way from Tucson and young Pads are playing well.

SDP -115 for 1 unit(L)

I hope to get this back on track. Having the edge doesn't always win.
1-2 -1.35 units

NBA Plays & Selections

NBA Plays & Selections

Monday, March 13, 2006

World Baseball Classic Korea vs USA

Everyone wants to topple team USA and the opponents will be gunning for the win. Here we have the Koreans backing with +3.5 run line.

I will go the other way
USA -3.5 +126 for 1 unit(L)

Vernon Wells strike out swinging on out of zone pitch.
That was bases loaded top of the 4th. We are down 3-1.

Dan Wheeler replaces shaky D-Train, takes care of the first two batters, gives up a ground rule double than a intentional walk and here comes pinch hitter Hee Seop Choi.....three run home run, are you kidding me 6-1 Korea bottom of 4th.

Yeah it was a 1 unit homer play, but this game got me upset and I did not watch after the Choi home run.
I've come to realize, I knew this and I didn't grasp it, how global MLB teams really are and Americans are not in the drivers seat.
Hat's off to the Korean team.
And to Team USA, you gotta bring better game than that ! Come hard or stay in bed.

Cactus League Play Ball in Scottsdale

Giants rested just about all their regulars except for Ray Durham and they will have everyone back in the beautiful Scottsdale stadium, home of the giants.
Thin line up for Texas will make the trip making this a set up game.
Don't want to get too excited, but I can just sense the regular season coming.

SFG -113 for 3 units(W)
Love it when they pitch to Barry, going 3-3 and basically won the game.

-------------------------------------------------------------
On the Grapefuit League.
Similar situation at Tampa Legends Field with the Yankees. Full regulars will make this game.

NYY -128 for 2 units(L)
Yanks lost at Legends field. NY did put up a fight, but this was Cards game.

1-1 +0.44 units

Grapefruit League Nighter

The New York Mets will host the Washington Nationals in Port St Lucie.
The starters will feature Pedro Astacio vs Tom Glavine. Nice card, edge to the home team. Mets are bit pricy tonight because following Pedro are two non-roster invitees Kyle Denny and Bill Bray. If Pedro holds his own, his releif will give up the runs.

NYM -133 for 1 unit(W)
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Minny offers value today. The line up is expected thin. Core members attended Kirby's memorial and the charter from Minny returned approximately 2:30 am back to Arizona, but this too is a nighter and you never know who want to get some time in and Twins young talents are dangerous.
Kyle Lohse will face Dave Williams for home team Reds.

MIN +115 for 1 unit(W)

Should of pounded the Baseball games and stayed off NBA.
2-0 +2.00

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Cactus League Coming at you from Peoria

Thunderstorms canceling baseball games in Arizona.
My funds were returned for play on San Diego at home against Jon Garland & White Sox. This game would of featured non-regular Sox line up where as Jon would of taken the meat of hot hitting Pads.

We shall wait for the sun.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Grape Fruit League

Today was a major set up game which I will give some inside tips playing the Spring Exhibition game. These games are passed by many except for the hard seasoned player or specialists and that include insiders, I don't mean the players specifically, but the crew.....The other employees of the organized baseball industry and I will assure you they are not the high paid crowd.
Yanks at Reds, this game with Moose scheduled might hit most squares as a Yankees edge. Why not?, don't need to look further Yanks should crush the reds right? Well, No.
You see Grape Furit & Cactus League is basically minor leagues with majors playing them. They are played in minor league fields and trips are made on buses from town to town and many regulars will not participate in many of them because the team wants to look at their options in action.
Away trips by the Yankees are a Big Red Flag.
George's million dollar babies are not going to be riding around long bus trips
and today's road trip none of the regulars made it.
Yanks tied Reds at top of 9th, that was a huge upset in the making, but error causing RBI in bottom of 9th stopped any chance of a upset.
It's not rocket science, but hard to get info that requires a direct connection.
keep in mind there are more than one squad and many are receiving assignments to their minor league destinations.
Starters don't mean much either they only go 4 innings with lots of hit given up after that. Just remember Majors beats Minors.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Cactus League

No action today. I did not have enough time to study the plays.
It's still a long season so I'll be back on top of baseball.
I'm sure the boys of summer will be back with vengeance.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Cactus League in Phoenix

Taking in the sun and fun in Phoenix. Clearing my mind from the Association and watching some great American past time.
It's almost that time of the year so keep your eyes and ears open to make the moves.

Southpaw Shawn Estes makes his first start on Monday at Surprise against the Royals, followed by lefties Alan Embree and Erick Burke and right-handers Scott Cassidy, Steve Andrade and Jon Adkins. Estes pitched two scoreless innings in a charity game against the Mariners.
Mark Redman was scheduled to start on Monday against the Padres, but instead he will be in Kansas City having his sore left knee checked. The Royals sent Redman back to Kansas City to have team physician Dr. Steve Joyce examine the knee. In Redman's absence, left-hander Jeremy Affeldt will start on Monday.
Emil Brown is out with stiffness in his lower back and is not scheduled to play on Monday. Right-hander Zack Greinke left camp eight days ago to return to his Orlando, Fla., home for undisclosed personal reasons with the club's permission.
It is all quiet there," general manager Allard Baird said on Sunday. "There's nothing new, right now."
Affeldt will make his second spring appearance, starting against the Padres. The Royals will also throw Kyle Snyder and Jimmy Gobble.

Both teams coming in 2-1-1

But Pads display of power against Mariner was convincing.
I'll take the play with San Diego Padres as the visiting road dog.

SAN DIEGO PADRES +106 for 1 unit(W)

The Pads crush the Royal 8-3! Thank god for Baseball.
1-0 +1.06 units

World Baseball Classic

Group A Pool, Korea vs top conder Japan was a classic underdog come from behind win. They were having as much trouble scoring runs against Team Japan's pitchers as two other teams in the World Baseball Classic had scoring against their own Major League-dominated staff.
And then, like a bolt of lightning delivered from Seoul, two swings in the eighth inning produced two runs and a stunning turn of events that resulted in a 3-2 victory over Japan and top-seed status heading into the second round of the inaugural Classic.
The largest crowd of the series -- 40,553 -- included Crown Prince Naruhito and his wife.
First baseman Seung Yeop Lee, who will be playing his home games inside the Tokyo Dome this season, spoiled the night for his future fans when he sent a 3-and-1 pitch from left-handed reliever Hirotoshi Ishii into the right-field seats, turning a one-run deficit into a one-run lead -- and a noisy crowd into almost complete silence.
Familiarity served Seung Yeop well in the decisive at-bat of the game.
"In that situation (3-and-1 count), Japanese pitchers will throw a breaking ball," he said. "I was lucky because I could use my experience."
Ishii threw a slider that stayed up in the strike zone and rested right in the middle of Seung Yeop's wheelhouse and just as he did twice Saturday night against China, Lee drove it into the seats.
But this one was a whole lot larger than those others.
Japan manager Sadaharu Oh thought he had the final two innings of the game set up perfectly, starting with Ishii. Lefty against lefty usually is a good thing.
"I think the batter was too good for Ishii," Oh said. "It was the eighth inning and the batter came up with a big home run. If I knew he was going to do that, I wouldn't have (put Ishii into the game)."
Ishii struck out the first batter he faced, but Jong Beom Lee lined a single into center field. That set up Seung Yeop's decisive, smooth swing, resulting in a home run probably heard all the way to Seoul.
The Koreans wanted to win the Pool A series finale and gain Far East bragging rights from the inaugural Classic. But they seemed destined for the consolation prize -- a trip to the United States on Monday morning to prepare for the second round of the 16-team tournament, which will be played March 12-16 in Anaheim, as the number two seed from Pool A.
Now, as the top seed, Korea plays three exhibition games in Arizona -- Wednesday night against the Kansas City Royals in Surprise and Friday night against the San Diego Padres in Peoria. A date with the second seed from Pool B (United States, Canada, Mexico or South Africa) awaits Korea in Anaheim on Sunday, followed by two other games -- including a rematch against Japan.
Pool B teams begin play Tuesday afternoon with the U.S. playing Mexico at Chase Field in Phoenix and Canada taking on South Africa later that night in Scottsdale. The top two seeds from Pool B advance to Anaheim.
If pitching is the key to reaching the semifinals in San Diego, then Korea has an excellent shot of getting there.
"Our pitchers pitched so well," Korea manager In Sik Kim said. "(Japan) had good batters, but we had great pitchers who wouldn't let them hit."
A pitching staff that includes six Major Leaguers surrendered just one run in wins over Chinese Taipei (2-0) and China (10-1), but wobbled a bit in the first two innings on Sunday, surrendering a run in each inning.
A terrific, diving catch by right fielder Jin Young Lee that ended the fourth inning deprived Tsuyoshi Nishioka of what could have been a bases-loaded double or triple. It basically saved Korea's bacon.
"I knew he was capable of being a good fielder," In Sik said of his right fielder.
Oh admitted that the huge home run and super defensive play were, "The reasons we could not win. They had two heroes."
Well, maybe three.
Right-hander Chan Ho Park, the most famous pitcher in Korea history, pitched a perfect ninth inning for the save.
"He is a great veteran pitcher and I thought he as the best man for the job," In Sik said.
Oh credited the Korean pitchers for a job well done in shutting down an offense that scored 18 runs in its opening game victory over China and 14 against Chinese Taipei.
But it was a completely different story in the finale.
And Korea gets the honor of being number one in the Far East. For now, that definitely is enough to whet their appetite.

This sets up Japan nicely for Round 2 match up in California.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

World Baseball Classic

Taiwan vs Korea.
Korea should take this with ease. The play is pricy and it's just a 0.5 unit play.

KOREA -171 for 0.5 unit(W)

Korean shuts out Taipei 2-0