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HEAD-TO-HEAD DOMINANCE KEY FACTOR FOR MONDAY
Mon, 26 Jul 2010 05:36 PM EDT

Monday’s Major League Baseball betting board features 10 games and for bettors, besides the usual array of systems, trends, pitching matchups, and strength ratings, the recent head-to-head history between the teams in four of the matchups has to be given top consideration. In fact, with the Phillies, Jays, Twins, and White Sox having thoroughly dominated their current opponent in recent years, series history might prove to be THE most important factor in handicapping tonight’s games. Let’s take a closer look at those four matchups. Basketball Lines

Series history is usually down the list when it comes to handicapping baseball on a day-to-day basis, but the simple fact is that some teams just fare well against other, be it due to talent differences, matchup considerations, or even comfort levels at certain ballparks. Whatever the reason, one of the teams in the upcoming four matchups I am about to detail has dominated the other.

(951) COLORADO (HAMMEL) at (952) PHILADELPHIA (BLANTON) – 1:05 PM
As you can see, this is an early start, so be sure to get to handicapping it early. If you want the short & sweet method, consider the Phillies, who are going for the 4-game sweep of the Rockies. Of course, beating Colorado is nothing new for Philadelphia. Including the first three games of this series, the Phillies have beaten the Rockies in 16 of the last 20 head-to-head meetings. In the games in Philly, the hosts are 9-2 during that span, outscoring their visiting foes by an average margin of 7-3. NFL Lines

Today’s meeting has a very manageable price as well, with Joe Blanton taking on Jason Hammel as the -115 home favorite, according to Sportsbook.com. Blanton will try to extend a strong run of pitching by Phillies hurlers, who’ve allowed just five run in their current 4-game winning streak. Amazingly, this will be Blanton’s first career start versus the Rockies.

If you need more than the head-to-head edge for Philly, consider the Rockies’ awful performance as road dogs in 2010:

  • COLORADO is 3-14 (-10.8 Units) against the money line as a road underdog of +100 to +125 this season. The average score was COLORADO 2.9, OPPONENT 5.4 – (Rating = 2*)(959) BALTIMORE (BERGESEN) at (960) TORONTO (MORROW) – 7:07 PM
    A series with the lowly Baltimore Orioles usually brings out the best in the Toronto Blue Jays, who look to move to 10-0 on the season against the Orioles when they open a three-game series Monday night at Rogers Centre. Last weekend, the Jays swept the O’s in Baltimore, and that dominance was nothing new for Toronto.

    The Blue Jays have outscored the Orioles 48-16 in winning the first nine meetings of the season, including a 16-3 scoring edge in the three in Toronto. The Blue Jays, who haven’t won 10 straight over the Orioles (31-67) in a single season since 1999, have won eight in row over Baltimore at Rogers Centre and 17 of the last 19 there. They are -200 favorites to extend their reign in the head-to-head series.

    Brad Bergesen (3-8, 6.51 ERA) goes for the Orioles and has lost his last four starts and is 0-6 with a 7.20 ERA in nine outings since defeating Seattle on May 12. NFL Betting Lines

    The Blue Jays counter with Brandon Morrow (6-6, 4.71), who hasn’t pitched since giving up two runs and five hits while striking out eight in seven innings in last Saturday’s 3-2 win in Baltimore. It was his first victory in 10 starts away from Toronto this season. The right-hander has fared much better at Rogers Centre, going 5-1 with a 3.27 ERA in nine outings with the Blue Jays winning seven times. This will be Morrow’s first start against the Orioles in Toronto.

    After winning their last four games prior to the All-star break, the Orioles have returned to their losing ways, going 2-8 since. Other than an 11-run outburst in a win over Tampa Bay, the O’s have scored just 19 runs in the other nine games. Overall, they score just 3.6 runs per game, setting Toronto up for what has been a powerful StatFox betting angle:

  • TORONTO is 16-0 (+16.0 Units) against the money line vs. AL teams scoring 3.7 or less runs/game in the second half of the season since 1997. The average score was TORONTO 6.0, OPPONENT 2.0 – (Rating = 2*)Dating back to ’08, Toronto is 17-4 vs. Baltimore, producing +9.7 units of profit.

    (965) MINNESOTA (LIRIANO) at (966) KANSAS CITY (GREINKE) – 8:10 PM
    Minnesota’s production at the plate has paved the way to six consecutive series victories against Kansas City, and it’ll try to beat Royals ace Zack Greinke for a third time this season in Monday night’s opener at Kauffman Stadium.

    Despite holding Twins star Joe Mauer down (.219 average), Greinke hasn’t been able to boast similar success against the rest of the Twins. He’s 2-6 with a 4.31 ERA in 13 starts in the series, including 0-2 with a 7.20 ERA in a pair of outings at Target Field this season.

    The Twins counter with a pitcher capable of matching zeroes with Greinke, butFrancisco Liriano (8-7, 3.54) is just 1-2 with a 7.50 ERA in three starts at Kauffman Stadium, as the Royals are hitting .313 against him. Of course, Kansas City hitters own the best batting average in the major’s this season, at .281.

    Being division rivals, these teams meet often, and Minnesota has beaten the Royals in 30 of the last 45 meetings dating back to ’08. Strangely, the Twins have been more effective at Kaufmann Stadium than at home during that stretch, going 16-5 for +11 units during that stretch.

    The latest line shows a pick em’ for this contest, after Kansas City spent the last four days in New York, capturing one of the four contests as a +200 underdog or more.

    (967) SEATTLE (HERNANDEZ) at (968) CHI WHITE SOX (DANKS) – 8:10 PM
    In their last four games against the White Sox in 2010, the Mariners have mustered a total of five runs. Just last weekend in Seattle, Chicago took two of three games by holding the M’s to three runs in three days in front of their home fans.

    As +115 underdogs on Monday night, the visiting Mariners will have to overcome a hot pitcher, and a team that has played nearly impeccable baseball at home over the last month to break the spell.

    John Danks, who looks to win a fourth straight start overall, is 3-0 with a 1.14 ERA in his last four starts versus Seattle as well. He’ll try to push Chicago’s home winning streak to eight, which would be the club’s longest since a nine-game stretch June 17-July 2, 2008.

    Chicago, which has won 14 of 15 at U.S. Cellular Field since June 9, has won four straight and eight of nine at home against Seattle.

    Looking to win three in a row for the first time since a six-game streak June 16-23, the Mariners give the ball to Felix Hernandez (7-6, 2.75), who hasn’t allowed a run to the White Sox in his last three starts against them – a stretch covering 23 innings.


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