Cardinals vs Reds Free Pick
It didn't take long for top prospect Billy Hamilton to make his presence
Hamilton and the Cincinnati Reds go for a fourth consecutive win over the slumping St. Louis Cardinals as these NL Central rivals meet again Wednesday night at Great American Ball Park.
After entering as a pinch runner in the seventh inning, Hamilton stole his
first base and then came around to score on Todd Frazier's double in Tuesday's 1-0 victory. The 22-year-old outfielder, who set a professional baseball single-season record by stealing 155 bases between Class A and Double-A in 2012, was called up the previous day.
"He (manager Dusty Baker) said, 'I need you to get to second base,'" Hamilton
said after his thrilling big league debut. "I was like, 'OK, I got you.'
"That's my job - stealing in important situations. This was a real big
situation - a pennant race."
Hamilton's speed could make a big impact down the stretch. He was hitting
.256 with six homers and 75 stolen bases in 123 games with Triple-A Louisville
before getting called up.
"Watching Billy run - I can watch that every day," Frazier said.
The Reds (78-61) had dropped 10 of 14 to the Cardinals before taking the last
three meetings by an 18-2 margin. Cincinnati is now 1 1/2 games behind St. Louis
(79-59) for the NL's top wild-card spot and second place in the division.
The Cardinals have hit .176 and been outscored 32-10 in losing five of six.
Matt Carpenter singled twice Tuesday, providing both the team's hits.
Infielder Daniel Descalso is mired in a 3-for-32 slump, Jon Jay is 4 for his
last 26 and Allen Craig is hitless in his last 10 at-bats.
"We've got an offense that's played a lot of games this year and done
extremely well," manager Mike Matheny said. "You can't start trying to reinvent
Matheny's club, though, could bounce back against Bronson Arroyo (13-10, 3.66 ERA).
The right-hander is 8-16 with a 4.65 ERA in 35 starts versus St. Louis, by far his most
losses against any opponent.
Arroyo, 1-8 in his last 13 matchups against the Cardinals, is looking to avoid a fifth
consecutive loss in the series after surrendering a season high-tying seven runs in
3 2-3 innings in a 13-3 defeat Aug. 2.
"As good as they can be and as much as they grind at-bats, it's very difficult to kind
of keep those guys down," he told MLB's official website. "They got a good ball club,
and they just beat me around the ballpark."
Matt Holliday is 14 for his last 40 with four homers and four doubles versus
Arroyo, and Jay is 14 for 34 with four extra-base hits.
Arroyo was also knocked around Friday, giving up six runs in a season-low 3
1-3 innings in a 9-6 loss at Colorado.
"That's just the way it rolls sometimes," said Arroyo, who saw his season-high
four-start winning streak snapped.
Arroyo could benefit from getting back home, where he is 9-3 with a 3.20 ERA
in 16 outings, 14 of which were quality starts.
The Cardinals counter with Shelby Miller (12-9, 3.13), who is 4-5 with a 4.68
ERA in his last 12 outings. The 22-year-old right-hander labored through 4 1-3
innings in Friday's 5-0 loss at Pittsburgh, surrendering five runs, eight hits
and three walks.
While Miller dropped to 2-5 with a 5.80 ERA in his last nine road starts, one
of those victories came in Cincinnati. He allowed three runs and struck out
eight in five-plus innings opposite Arroyo last month, improving to 1-0 with a
2.45 ERA in two career matchups against the Reds.
By: NOEY KUPCHAN
Let’s make a deal – every time Adrian Gonzalez or Carl Crawford or even Nick
Punto step up to the plate during the Dodgers’ three-game series with the Red
Sox, we think about to about this time a year and wonder: What if?
If the Dodgers’ brain trust wasn’t savvy and wealthy enough to pull off that
waiver-wire deadline deal at the end of August, 2012 and take on all that extra
payroll – including pitcher Josh Beckett – while giving up first baseman James
Loney, infielder Ivan DeJesus Jr., right-handed pitching prospects Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa and outfielder Jerry Sands, where would they be today?
Maybe the move saved the Red Sox some $270 million in contracts spread out over
2018, but it saved the Dodgers some face. While Beckett has been on the DL most
of this year, Gonzalez, Crawford and Punto have been key ingredients in their
latest surge to the NL West lead. So how’d the Red Sox fare in all this?
The 24-year-old hot shot De La Rosa has finally worked his way onto the roster
recently, but not into the starting rotation – a place the Dodgers were comfortable
in placing him during the 2010 season before he blew out his arm. He remains on
a pitch count as they’re handling him with care two years removed from Tommy
John surgery. Webster remains at Triple-A Pawtucket (5-4, 4.13 ERA after a brief
callup in April, going 1-2 with a 9.57 ERA). Sands and DeJesus were traded to the
Pirates for ineffective reliever Joel Hanrahan, and are still wallowing away at Triple-A
Indianapolis. And, of course, Looney left to join Tampa Bay as a free agent.
Surely, all of this will give the national broadcast teams something to talk on
and on about as the series progresses. If only Manny Ramirez was still part of the
conversation. (You know, he is now available to either team).
Where to watch the series:
Friday 7:10 p.m., Prime
Saturday, 1:10 p.m., Channel FOX 11
Sunday, 5:05 p.m., ESPN
New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez will receive the harshest penalty and be
suspended through the end of the 2014 season. Reports indicate A-Rod will
appeal the suspension which will make him eligible to play during the process.
According to Steve Mikkelson, oddsmaker at the Atlantis Reno, Nelson Cruz,
the All-Star outfielder of the Texas Rangers, is the only player with any real
value to moneylines and totals.
"I think that without question, the Rangers are impacted the most,"
"That's a big bat in the middle of that Ranger lineup that is worth about three
or four cents to the moneyline. You'll also see totals come down a little bit as
Cruz was batting .269 with 27 homers and 76 RBIs prior to the suspension.
As for Rodriguez, the oddsmaker doesn't see much impact.
"ARod is done," Mikkelson states. "I don't think it will have a big effect on the
Yankees. It will be more of a media circus on the ball club than anything."
Also suspended was Detroit Tigers SS Jhonny Peralta.
"I don't think Peralta is a real factor," Mikkelson stated.
"They went out and got Jose Iglesias who is a much better fielder and that will
certainly aid Cabrera defensively. Cabrera can't cover anything out there and
Iglesias is a better defensive option than Peralta. Detroit will hit with or
without Peralta in the lineup."
Young San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera was also given a 50-game
suspension by MLB.
"I'm not convinced by Cabrera yet," Mikkelson added. "He's a table setter, he
gets on base and he's got a really good glove, but he's not a game changer."
Other players that have agreed to suspensions are:
Antonio Bastardo, Philadelphia Phillies reliever
Jordany Valdespin, New York Mets outfielder
Francisco Cervelli, Yankees catcher
Jesus Montero, Seattle Mariners catcher
Cesar Puello, New York Mets outfield prospect
Fautino De Los Santos, San Diego Padres pitching prospect
Sergio Escalona, Houston Astros pitching prospect
Fernando Martinez, New York Yankees outfield prospect
Jordan Norberto, free-agent pitcher
Yankees preparing for life without A-rod
The Detroit Tigers already acquired Jose Iglesias from the Red Sox to fill in during Jhonny Peralta's upcoming suspension. The Rangers are preparing for life without Nelson Cruz based on their targets. The Yankees are in the same boat with Alex Rodriguez. And according to Jeff Passan, there are several major league players the public doesn't know about that will soon be suspended, and those teams will be forced to react accordingly if it could jeopardize their playoff chances.
It seems like all baseball news has been overshadowed by the looming Biogenesis suspensions and the circus that is Alex Rodriguez‘s, Major League Baseball’s and the New York Yankees’ public feud. Indeed, as this week began it appeared as though today’s trade deadline would be a mere afterthought. Or, if not an afterthought, that it would be subservient to the Biogenesis drama, with teams looking to desperately cover for players they will lose to suspension.
Things have calmed down considerably in the past 24, hours, however.
For one thing, one of the teams that stood to be most adversely affected by
Biogenesis suspensions — the Tigers, who will almost certainly lose Jhonny
Peralta — filled their imminent shortstop hole with Jose Iglesias from the Red Sox.
That, combined with the news that baseball is not likely to suspend Bartolo Colon
due to him already having been punished for taking the substances he received
from Biogenesis means that only one team currently in the playoff hunt stands to
lose a significant player. That being the Texas Rangers and Nelson Cruz, according
to multiple reports. Other players named in multiple reports include the Padres’
Everth Cabrera, whose team is not in contention, and Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli,
who is on the 60-day DL with a broken hand. Ryan Braun was suspended for the
remainder of the season, but with his team far from contention, it’s unlikely the Brewers
were going to do anything but sell anyways.
For another — and maybe I’m just imagining this — Major League Baseball
appears to be settling on Friday as D-Day in the Biogenesis mess. Last night
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! reported that the timeframe would be “within the next
72 hours” — a report that was later confirmed by multiple sources — as opposed
to dropping their bomb at or around today’s 4 p.m. ET trade deadline. Maybe this
is a matter of MLB still having work to do before issuing suspensions. Maybe it’s
a matter of the league wanting to bury bad news on a Friday afternoon like politicians
so often do. But maybe — just maybe — it’s a matter of MLB appreciating that the trade
deadline chatter and commentary is pretty good for its brand and deciding to let
that stuff have the limelight today.
The addition of a second wild card in each league also could be depressing
trade activity, because teams are hesitant to sell while they still are in
contention. Teams still need to sell tickets for the stretch run, and
surrendering before August is no way to do that. Besides, there’s always the
chance that a club goes on a late-season run.
MLB commended Braun for taking responsibility for his actions and said it
wanted to resolve this issue, but otherwise has been publicly silent about the
Biogenesis suspensions. Rodriguez’s attorney, David Cornwell, said in a
radio interview this week that his client planned to fight the suspension.
“When the time comes and baseball does whatever it is going to do, then I
will sit down with Alex and talk to him about the process of the appeal, filing
the appeal and going in and presenting our best evidence that we have — and we
think we have good evidence — to defend his interest, to protect him. That’s
what I expect to be doing,” Cornwell told Stephen A. Smith, who was hosting the
Michael Kay Show.
Rodriguez will always dominate the news, especially in New York. A-Rod would
lead New York sports news for years even if he joined a religious sect that had
him swear off sports, public appearances and money. He’s always the story in
Gotham. But outside of that crazy media environment trades and playoff races
seem to have been thrust to the fore last night and today.
Maybe Major League Baseball will fall back on old bad-P.R. habits and drop
it’s bad news bombs after lunch today. But for now it seems pretty darn
refreshing that we can focus on what’s truly good about baseball than what is,
quite frankly, a major, major drag.
Biogenesis is the dark cloud hanging ominously over baseball that simply won't
go away, but with clarity will also come complications for many contenders. We may
get a good look at how those contenders plan on dealing with their complications in
the next 24 hours.
We are all now hearing about Ryan Braun and his 65 game suspension. This suspension will undoubtedly effect Milwaukee Brewers' team batting average and their overall odds for the rest of the year. To be a smart and successful sports gambler you have to stay ahead of news cycle that will drastically impact your wagers.
With that said, all eyes turn to next at bat in the Tony Bosch Biogenesis scandal, Alex Rodriguez. So what are the odds that A-Rod will get sucked into this black hole? Well lets examine what we know.
Major League Baseball reeled in a pretty good sized catch Monday with the suspension of Ryan Braun for performance enhancing drug use. It also put the bigger fish, Alex Rodriguez on the hook as baseball considers
what to do about his PED use.
According to ESPN’s Outside the Lines, sources have told the show that the evidence Anthony Bosch gave MLB about A-Rod is “far beyond” what baseball had on Braun. Bosch ran the Biogenesis clinic in Coral Gables that reportedly provided PEDs to several baseball players.
MLB confronted Braun with a lot of evidence documenting his PED usage and Braun’s admission and acceptance of his suspension gives the claims made by Bosch much more credibility.
According to ESPN, Braun had an “ongoing pattern of significant PED use.” CBSSports.com also reported that MLB had receipts and many other documents to back up their allegations against Braun. ESPN also reported A-Rod may have interfered with the investigation.
A-Rod hasn’t played in a game this year while rehabbing from hip surgery and he also suffered another injury last week while playing in minor league rehabilitation games.
If MLB comes down hard on A-Rod, which it will, the question is will Rodriguez ever play in the majors again?
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals 7/20/2013
Looking up at Atlanta and Philadelphia in the National League East, Washington understands that its current 11-game homestand comes at a pivotal
point in the season.
With a 27-19 record at home this year, the Nationals know this is the time to
make up some ground.
The Nats will hope to do just that on Saturday night against the Dodgers at
Nationals Park. Washington took a 3-2 loss on Friday after closer Rafael Soriano
surrendered a solo home run to Andre Ethier in the top of the ninth inning.
"If you're doing the things I know you're capable of doing, it doesn't matter
to me whether we're at home or on the road," Nationals manager Davey Johnson
said. "We need to win ballgames. And that's the challenge we've got in front of
us. We've got 11 games here, so we need to play good here and we need to play
good all the way, not just this coming homestand."
Gio Gonzalez gets the nod for the Nationals, while Zack Greinke takes the
hill for the Dodgers. Both pitchers have been unbeatable in the last month, with
Gonzalez going 4-0 with a 2.00 ERA in his last four starts, and Greinke going
5-0 with a 2.50 ERA in his past five starts.
Resembling the pitcher that won 20 games for Washington last season, Gonzalez
(7-3, 3.03 ERA) has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 11 of his last 13
starts. He also has a 2.18 ERA since May 1.
Meanwhile, Greinke (8-2, 3.49 ERA) is coming off one of his best
performances, tossing his fourth career shutout against the Rockies on Saturday
in a 1-0 win.
"I stayed good all the way through. I haven't done that in a while," Greinke
said after the game. "I felt good out there. It was a fun game."
With just one loss in his last 10 starts, the right-hander has been a huge
reason for the Dodgers' recent surge in the NL West.
"From where we were, I think 12 games under [.500], and the way we were able
to finish up, we kind of bounced together and put ourselves in a position to be
in the race," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "So to get ourselves back in
it coming up to the break, that's a small accomplishment in itself. But I want
to keep that in context -- and we've talked about it as a team -- because we
haven't accomplished anything yet besides getting ourselves back in the race and
putting ourselves in position. Hopefully from here we can continue to play well
and stay healthy and see what we can do."
Dodgers: Kemp eyes Sunday return
• Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp hit against live pitching before Friday's game
against the Nationals, saying he feels ready to return on Sunday, which is the first
day he is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list.
Kemp, who is out with an irritated AC joint in his left shoulder, does not
believe he will need to go on a Minor League rehabilitation assignment.
"He's probably had enough of [rehab assignments]," Mattingly said. "There's a
lot of guys who think they don't necessarily need them. Nobody wants them."
• The Dodgers got three regulars back in their starting lineup for Friday
night's series opener. Left fielder Carl Crawford (stiff lower back), right
fielder Yasiel Puig (sore left hip) and second baseman Mark Ellis (left knee)
all were back in the lineup after missing some time with minor injuries late in
the first half.
Nationals: Detwiler unlikely for next start
• Johnson said on Friday that it is unlikely that Ross Detwiler will be able to come off the
15-day disabled list and make his scheduled start on Tuesday.
"For me, he would have to throw today or tomorrow, and do a side [session]
and then get out and pitch in a game. And I don't think we're going to do it by
[next weekend]," Johnson said. "But I'm going to put that question to our great
medical staff, see if they can't get him ready to go."
Detwiler has been on the disabled list since July 4 with a lingering back
strain. He played catch on flat ground on Thursday, but still had soreness in
his back after throwing.
• Nats outfielder Jayson Werth is hitting .326 (44-for-135) with seven doubles,
six home runs, 23 RBIs, 21 runs and 19 walks in 38 games since returning from the DL.
• Dodgers left-hander Ted Lilly threw a simulated game before Friday's
contest. Dealing with a neck injury, Lilly threw about 20 pitches and used his
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