With the trade deadline having now passed, many teams are retooled for a run at their respective pennants. Among the busiest teams was the Los Angeles Dodgers, who added a couple of new bats and a starting pitcher, despite being in fourth place, eight games back in the N.L. West. Another team that has slipped to fourth in it division, the Mets, wasn’t quite as active. However, the teams do share one common trait as the Dodgers host the Padres and the Mets start a set in Atlanta on Monday…it’s getting late and series wins are a must this week if they are to stay in contention. Key StatFox betting systems suggest otherwise though.
New York (53-51) at Atlanta (59-44), 7:10 p.m. EDT
Sports.com Line: Atlanta -145, Total: 7
While the Braves are hoping to maintain control of the division, the Mets may be eying the next two series as a way to get back in the race. They’re fourth in the East, 6 1/2 back of the Braves, but have a three-game set at Philadelphia following this series. New York, though, will need to show major improvement after dropping 15 of 21 with Sunday’s 14-1 loss to last-place Arizona.
The Mets will turn to their ace, Johan Santana (8-5, 3.11), who hopes to rebound from one of his worst performances of the season. The left-hander was tagged for seven runs and 13 hits in 5 2-3 innings of an 8-7, 13-inning loss to St. Louis on Wednesday. That effort came after he put together a four-start stretch that saw him go 3-0 with a 0.58 ERA.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner owns a 1.79 ERA in eight games against Atlanta since joining the Mets in 2008, but only a 2-4 record due to a severe lack of run support. New York has provided him with two runs or fewer in each of those contests.
The Mets have lost 15 of 20 away from home overall, and own the same record in the last 20 road matchups with the Braves.
The Braves’ Tim Hudson (11-5, 2.40 ERA) will try to help his team re-establish some footing, as the just concluded 3-6 road trip finds their lead over Philadelphia shrunk to 2-1/2 games. They began the road trip with a season-high seven-game advantage. NFL Spreads
A seven-game homestand could help Atlanta rebuild that lead, as they are a major league-best 34-13 at home, and Hudson has won six of nine starts there behind a 2.31 ERA. The right-hander is 3-1 with a 2.22 ERA in his last four overall games, and has a 0.61 ERA in winning the last two. Baseball Odds
A key bullpen StatFox betting system finds Atlanta with a 75% of winning the series opener:
• Play Against – Road teams (NY METS) – after a game where the bullpen was rocked for 6 or more earned runs against opponent with a hot bullpen whose WHIP is under 1.000 the last 5 games. (55-18 over the last 5 seasons.) (75.3%, +33.3 units. Rating = 3*) Sports Scores
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.
San Diego (60-42) at Los Angeles (54-50), 10:10 p.m. EDT
Sports.com Line: Los Angeles -135, Total: 7
The reeling Los Angeles Dodgers have spent much of the last week losing ground to two of their NL West rivals – a trend that will continue if they can’t snap their five-game losing streak Monday night. The first-place San Diego Padres bring their outstanding pitching to Dodger Stadium for a four-game series in hopes of extending Los Angeles’ slump and further burying the Dodgers in the division race.
The Padres (61-42) began Los Angeles’ skid with two wins at Petco Park last week, and the fourth-place Dodgers were unable to reverse their fortunes against San Francisco during the weekend, getting swept to fall eight games behind San Diego. Los Angeles (54-51) is averaging 2.1 runs and batting .199 while losing 12 of 17 since the All-Star break.
The sweep has led to a highly profitable StatFox betting system indicating to fade the hosts:
Play Against – Home teams with a money line of -100 to -150 (LA DODGERS) – after being swept on the road in a 3 game series by a division rival, with a winning percentage of between 45-55% on the season. (31-14 since 1997.) (68.9%, +22.9 units. Rating = 3*)
A pair of recent offensive additions haven’t immediately helped. The Dodgers acquired outfielder Scott Podsednik and infielder Ryan Theriot before Saturday’s trade deadline, but the duo went 1 for 8 batting atop the order Sunday.
San Diego’s staff, which leads the majors with a 3.25 ERA, doesn’t figure to make scoring runs any easier.
Clayton Richard (8-5, 3.48 ERA) starts the series for the Padres after limiting Los Angeles to one run and four hits in six innings of a 6-1 victory Wednesday.
The Padres also got an offensive boost at the trade deadline, adding Ryan Ludwick from St. Louis and Miguel Tejada from Baltimore.
San Diego will be looking to beat Hiroki Kuroda (8-9, 3.53) for the second time in a week. The right-hander was outpitched by Richard on Wednesday, allowing three runs in six-plus innings.
Get your wagers in before 10:10 PM ET, the scheduled first pitch.