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TOP MLB WEEKEND POWER TRENDS 9/3-9/5
Fri, 03 Sep 2010 07:49 PM EDT

With the NFL still a week away, Major League Baseball has this one last weekend as the nation’s top professional sport, especially amongst bettors. Below are the two key series to watch this holiday weekend, one in each league.

Colorado at San Diego (Friday-Sunday)

The Padres have the pitching matchup advantage this weekend to distance themselves from the never-say-die Rockies. San Diego has lost seven straight games, but still leads the West by three games over San Francisco and 7.5 games over Colorado. Vegas Odds

On Friday, the Padres send Cory Luebke to the mound for his major-league debut. Despite his lack of big-league experience, oddsmakers set the line at -149 for the former first-round draft pick. Luebke, a 6-foot-4 southpaw, finished his stint at Triple-A Portland with a 14-inning scoreless streak and posted a 2.97 ERA, 44 K and 17 BB in nine starts with Portland. The line is also indicative of Luebke’s opponent Aaron Cook (4-8, 5.34 ERA) and his outrageous 13.98 ERA and 3.00 WHIP in his last three starts.

FoxSheets shows two 4*-rated bullpen trends to give bettors confidence that San Diego’s losing streak will end on Friday.

Play Against – Road teams (COLORADO) – after a game where the bullpen was rocked for 6 or more earned runs against opponent with a hot bullpen whose ERA is under 3.00 the last 15 games. (70-23 over the last 5 seasons.) (75.3%, +43.8 units. Rating = 4*).

Play Against – Road underdogs with a money line of +100 to +150 (COLORADO) – with a bad bullpen that blows 38% or more of their save opportunities, with a cold starting pitcher- WHIP >= 2.250 over his last 3 starts. (37-8 over the last 5 seasons.) (82.2%, +26.9 units. Rating = 4*).

Texas at Minnesota (Friday-Sunday)

The big series in the American League pits division leaders Texas and Minnesota. The Twins swept the Rangers the last time these clubs met at Target Field (May 28-30), outscoring them 16-7 in the three games. But the Rangers also get a huge boost this weekend as both Josh Hamilton (.361 BA, 31 HR, 97 RBI) and Ian Kinsler (.298 BA, .387 OBP) are expected to return to the lineup from injuries.

Oddsmakers were thrown a curve ball for Friday’s series opener as Twins’ probable Nick Blackburn was forced to pitch in relief and took the loss in Thursday’s 13-inning defeat to Detroit. As we went to press, Matt Fox was expected to make his major-league debut for Minnesota on Friday. Blackburn will likely start Sunday.

With Friday and Sunday unclear, let’s shift our focus to Saturday’s matchup. The Rangers send Colby Lewis (9-11, 3.56 ERA) to the mound to face Carl Pavano (15-10, 3.52 ERA). The Rangers are 1-7 in the last eight games started by Lewis, but don’t blame the pitcher. Over this span, Lewis has a respectable 3.86 ERA and 51 K in 51.1 IP. The one win came two weeks ago against Minnesota where Lewis was victorious with 6.1 quality innings of work (seven hits, three runs).

Despite being winless in his past three starts, Pavano has already set a career high in wins this season. He has not fared well against Texas though. In five career starts (all since 2009), Pavano is 1-3 with a 7.62 ERA and allowing the Rangers a .321 batting average.

Look for this FoxSheets trend to factor in Saturday when the Rangers will be slight underdogs. Play On – All underdogs with a money line of +100 to +150 (TEXAS) – with a winning record on the season, in September games. (223-175 over the last 5 seasons.) (56%, +88.7 units. Rating = 3*).

This same stat may hold true on Sunday when the Twins will be the underdog against Texas ace C.J. Wilson (14-5, 2.88 ERA). It’s unclear at this point if Minnesota will be more than +150 on the money line. It is rare for a larger spread to be placed on a division leader in September playing so well at home recently (13-3 in last 16 games at Target Field).

There are many interesting trends to play on (and against) this weekend. Here’s a look at the highly-rated StatFox Power Trends that will impact the action. Betting Lines

NEW YORK METS at CHICAGO CUBS

  • CHICAGO CUBS are 14-26 (-23.6 Units) against the money line vs. NL teams scoring 4.3 or less runs/game on the season this season. The average score was CHICAGO CUBS 3.8, OPPONENT 4.5 – (Rating = 4*).HOUSTON at ARIZONA
  • HOUSTON is 3-23 (-20.3 Units) against the money line in road games when playing against a team with a losing record in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons. The average score was HOUSTON 3.4, OPPONENT 6.7 – (Rating = 4*). TAMPA BAY at BALTIMORE
  • BALTIMORE is 13-7 (+16.6 Units) against the money line vs. teams outscoring opp by 0.5 or more runs/game in the second half of the season this season. The average score was BALTIMORE 4.3, OPPONENT 3.6 – (Rating = 3*).DETROIT at KANSAS CITY
  • DETROIT is 0-7 (-10.5 Units) against the money line in road games vs. AL teams scoring 4.2 or less runs/game in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons. The average score was DETROIT 2.6, OPPONENT 5.7 – (Rating = 3*).

    CINCINNATI at ST. LOUIS

  • CINCINNATI is 77-52 (+22.2 Units) against the money line vs. teams averaging 2.75 or less extra base hits per game this season. The average score was CINCINNATI 5.1, OPPONENT 4.3 – (Rating = 2*).CHICAGO WHITE SOX at BOSTON
  • BOSTON is 8-26 (-19.6 Units) against the money line when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 54% to 62%) in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons. The average score was BOSTON 3.5, OPPONENT 5.0 – (Rating = 2*).

    TORONTO at NEW YORK YANKEES

  • NY YANKEES are 70-29 (+31.7 Units) against the money line vs. AL teams allowing 4.7 or less runs/game in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons. The average score was NY YANKEES 5.8, OPPONENT 4.0 – (Rating = 2*). ATLANTA at FLORIDA
  • ATLANTA is 12-24 (-14.4 Units) against the money line in road games vs. a decent bullpen whose WHIP is 1.350 to 1.450 this season. The average score was ATLANTA 3.4, OPPONENT 4.4 – (Rating = 2*).MILWAUKEE at PHILADELPHIA
  • PHILADELPHIA is 27-10 (+15.7 Units) against the money line vs. teams whose hitters strike out 7 or more times/game in the second half of the season this season. The average score was PHILADELPHIA 5.1, OPPONENT 4.1 – (Rating = 2*).LOS ANGELES ANGELS at OAKLAND
  • LA ANGELS are 8-18 (-14.8 Units) against the money line vs. an AL team with a batting average of .265 or worse in the second half of the season this season. The average score was LA ANGELS 3.4, OPPONENT 4.6 – (Rating = 2*). Football Odds

    CLEVELAND at SEATTLE

  • CLEVELAND is 9-30 (-16.4 Units) against the money line vs. a bullpen that averages less than 2.75 innings per game this season. The average score was CLEVELAND 3.7, OPPONENT 5.7 – (Rating = 2*). WASHINGTON at PITTSBURGH
  • PITTSBURGH is 9-28 (-18.8 Units) against the money line when playing against a bad team (Win Pct. 38% to 46%) in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons. The average score was PITTSBURGH 4.4, OPPONENT 5.6 – (Rating = 2*).SAN FRANCISCO at LOS ANGELES DODGERS
  • LA DODGERS are 63-40 (+18.4 Units) against the money line vs. a good bullpen whose ERA is 3.75 or better over the last 2 seasons. The average score was LA DODGERS 4.3, OPPONENT 3.7 – (Rating = 1*).

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