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Pirates Fan

MLB Sports Betting and the Prospects For Pittsburgh Pirates posted by Pirates Fan

The MLB is one of the most exiting areas that analysts are paying attention to this season. Like most people you probably love betting on favorites, however this is hardly ever a good strategy as statistics show they lose quite often in the major leagues. You could also toss a coin and bet based purely based on chance, this is also not a very good option.

The best thing is to take time to learn about the team and look for patterns that you can use to make intelligence guesses and decide if the odds are worth betting on. The MLB should keep you busy this year. There have been a number of transfers from major teams and a few more changes expected which could prove to be tricky for bookers.

Pittsburgh Pirates prospects throughout 2012 have been modest without any major changes that excited the fans. They still have odds worth considering even for those who are not fans. Some sportsbooks have quoted odds of about 50/1 for them to win the World Series. They started the year with the signing of Jason Grill who is their new closer and they then took in Mark Melacon after selling Hanrahan.

There are still acquisitions expected to be made in January 2013. With Gerrit Cole being quoted one of the new prospects for 2013, a lot of things could happen this season. The Pirates have taken some bold chances and the odds may change dramatically as the season progresses. 

If sports betting is something that you wish to develop your interest in then it is essential to actually understand how bookmakers work and how odds are calculated. There is always an element of luck involved, but as with all forms of gambling - bookmakers or casino, the odds are never usually in your favour.

Continue reading "MLB Sports Betting and the Prospects ..."


Richard Kagan

The Cubs Are Not Good posted by Richard Kagan

Yippee, The Chicago Cubs beat the Minnesota Twins 8-2 behind the solid right arm of Ryan Dempster (2-3), who may be on the trading block.  Dempster bolstered his status with an excellent outing, his second win in a row.  I have been a long-time cubs fans.  I was there for Don Cardwell's no-hitter in the second game of a DH.  I fell asleep and missed most of the game, as a child.  I was more alert for Kenny Holtzman's gem vs. the Atlanta Braves in 1969, when the Cubs looked so good.  I was sure they were going to win the pennant.  But....stuff happens, if you're a Cubs fan.

What still surprises me is that 32,000 fans come of the park every home game if the weather is decent.  The Cubs draw well over 2.5 million.  In a good season, it could be 2.8 million.  In this tiny ballpark in Wrigleyville...The fans still come out and root for the Cubbies.  Who are as lovable as ever, even if they are on pace to lose 100 games this season.  And, that is not a laughing matter.  How do you get paid, and get up in the morning and come to the park?

The Cubs were picked by most baseball experts to finish 4th or 5th in the division.  Unfortunately, they make the Pittsburgh Pirates look good.  Manager Dale Sveum looks like he is on an out of control train in that Denzel Washington thriller.  That train threatened to cause disruption all over the landscape.  It's a stretch to say this team could win 4 or 5 games in a row.  They don't have the players to do that.  And, coming from a fan, that is a sad thing to say.

Continue reading "The Cubs Are Not Good"


David

Will Chipper hang 'em up? posted by David

Chipper Jones is out for the year with a torn ACL, but let’s hope this isn’t it for the man who has played his entire major league career for manager Bobby Cox.  Chipper has made it known since last season that retirement could be around the corner, but like Baseball Tonight’s Eduardo Perez, I don’t see Chipper calling it quits now that his season has ended unexpectedly.  He wants to go out on his own terms, and these aren’t them.  At 38, his career is nearing the end, but I find it hard to believe that he will be able to say good-bye after watching from the bench as his team battles for the National League crown.

If he’s truly done, Chipper’s numbers speak for themselves: a .306 career batting average and .405 On-Base Percentage, 436 home runs, 147 stolen bases, 2,490 hits, two Silver Sluggers and an MVP award.  The six-time All-Star won a batting title at the age of 36, hitting a staggering .364 to edge Albert Pujols, who hit .357.  He is also tied for the most home runs in a season by a switch-hitter (45 in 1999; Lance Berkman accomplished the feat in 2006).  A little known fact about Chipper is that he and Paul Waner hold the Major League record for most consecutive games with an extra-base hit (14).  Chipper will join Waner in Cooperstown as soon as he is eligible.

How ‘bout that?

How about Jered Weaver?  The 27-year-old righty leads the majors with 182 strikeouts and is having his best season (11-7, 2.87 Earned Run Average) since his rookie year (2006), when he went 11-2 with a 2.56 ERA.  Since the All-Star break, Weaver has been even better, posting a 1.93 ERA, limiting opponents to a .204 batting average, and averaging seven innings per outing over six starts.  With the Rangers playing so well in the AL West, the Angels are unlikely to win the division for the fourth straight year and may even finish under .500 for the first time since 2003, but they have to be pleased with how their ace has pitched this season.

Continue reading "Will Chipper hang 'em up?"


Michael McGauley

"Tim Lincecum Captures Second Cy Young" posted by Michael McGauley


 Just sheer domination that didn't necessarily show up in the win column! Fifteen victories equals a Cy Young?  Let's look at ALL of the numbers to really appreciate how great Tim Lincecum has been through his first two-full seasons with the Giants (he did throw 146-plus innings in 24 starts in 2007). Back-to-back Cy Young Awards do not come around very often (see: N.L. stand-outs RJ and Maddux, each with four straight, and Sandy Koufax with three of four; Clemens, Palmer, McClain, and Pedro each went back-to-back in the A.L. ([Clemens did it twice; ten years apart]). The difference? Lincecum has done it twice in two full years by the age of 25! So how do you follow up a CY YOUNG AWARD WINNING SEASON??? You work even harder to improve (by perfecting a third pitch), and that's exactly what Lincecum did after winning his first CY in 2008 with an 18-and-5 record, and 265 strikeouts in 227 innings. Lincecum worked 225 and one-third innings this year, and went 15-and-7 with 261 strikeouts. No, that doesn't sound any better until we delve deeper. Check this out - in roughly the same number of innings pitched, Lincecum allowed fourteen fewer hits (182 down to 168); sixteen fewer walks (84 to 68); four fewer earned runs (66 to 62), and an opponent's batting average of .206, down from .221 in '08. He also doubled his complete games (up to four); doubled his shutouts (two); lowered his ERA (2.48 from 2.62), and his WHIP (1.05 from 1.17). That is thirty fewer base runners which is certainly reflected in his walks- and hits-to-innings-pitched. Among his many double-digit strikeout performances this season, I was fortunate enough to see Lincecum dust 15 Pirates in a complete game victory on a Monday night in late July. Just unbelievable, even if it Continue reading ""Tim Lincecum Captures Second Cy Young""


Michael McGauley

"Freddy Sanchez will be the Giants' Second Baseman in 2010" posted by Michael McGauley

As expected, Freddy Sanchez has re-signed with the Giants for two years and 12-million-dollars. That's certainly one mystery solved, and for a discounted rate too! Sanchez has something to prove to the organization, and the fans, after a disappointing end to last season. A three-time all-star, and 2006 N.L. batting champion, Sanchez was hobbled by knee and shoulder injuries that limited him to just 111 games between the Pirates and Giants. He did hit a respectable .293 with seven home runs and 41 RBI's. 

Now, that certainly doesn't sound very impressive, but consider the "up-side" of his potential. When Sanchez won the batting title in '06, check out some of these numbers: 157 games played, 200 hits, 53 doubles, 85 RBI's, and a .344 batting average (.378 on-base). In 2007, Sanchez played in 147 games and collected 602 at-bats! He had 77 runs scored, 183 hits, 42 doubles, eleven homers, and 81 RBI's. All of that to go with a .304 batting average; however, ZERO stolen bases. Freddy doesn't run much - how about 10 bags over his entire career. Well, you can't have it all.

No, he's certainly not a power guy like Jeff Kent at second, but Sanchez will make an ideal number two hitter. He should easily score 90-to-100 runs hitting in front of guys like Pablo Sandoval -- assuming of course that Sanchez collects at least 550 at-bats, and the team adds another slugger to the middle of their batting order.

After making the contract official today, Sanchez called it,"a frustrating end to last season," following the July 29th trade from Pittsburgh in exchange for pitching prospect Tim Alderson. Sanchez defined the end of last season as, "the toughest thing he's had to go through in his career." He's been a pretty durable player until last year's nagging knee and shoulder problems, both of which he's rehabilitating, and says, barring any setbacks, he should be ready for spring training. Sanchez says, "he usually doesn't begin regular baseball activities until December or January," so he hopes to be right on schedule with his rehabilitation and strengthening program.

Continue reading ""Freddy Sanchez will be the Giants' ..."


Michael McGauley

"Carney Lansford the Scape Goat for Giants' Offensive Struggles" posted by Michael McGauley

  

  Do we really blame Carney Lansford for a bunch of over-anxious, free-swinging hitters?  The stats certainly don't lie.  Only the Padres, Pirates, and Astros scored fewer runs than the Giants' 657 runs in 2009.  San Francisco's 122 home runs was second-to-last in the N.L., behind only the Mets, who stroked just 95 homers with a half-injured team in their brand-new, spacious Citi Field. Walks: 392 for the Giants was dead last in the league (the Rockies had 660 walks to lead the league). And that leads us to on-base percentage; where the Giants ranked last at .309!  That is just dismal, anemic, pitiful....any other good adjectives to throw in there?

  Bottom line, this has been a consistent problem for the Giants for several years now. They never really replaced Bonds and Kent - the last time they had a legitimate three-four combination in the batting order.  Yes, they've built up the pitching big time. Yes, Pablo Sandoval can rake. But that's not enough -- we need two or three more hitters like Pablo. Hey, you've got to give up something to get something, and the time is now to part with a starting pitcher, and acquire a bat. It's not the most desirable scenario, but consider the lack of available sticks in free agency. In addition, they will have to invest some money to keep the young guys happy (Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson are due for BIG raises, and I say, give them whatever they want!).

  Back to Lansford, I don't blame him. He won a batting title (1981 with Boston), and knows how to hit. That doesn't always translate into being able to teach others how to do the same however. Just to use a brief basketball analogy -- how good of a coach was Magic Johnson with the Lakers? Same idea, but on a smaller scale. Lansford is bright and knowledgeable, but without a couple of big thumpers, this line-up loaded with number two and number six hitters (besides Sandoval) is not going to get the job done. We all know this. The Giants know this. But for some reason, they felt like they had to make a statement with this firing. The rest of the staff was retained by the way, when it was officially announced that Bruce Bochy would be returning for two more years with a club option for a third year. Same goes for GM Brian Sabean.

Continue reading ""Carney Lansford the Scape Goat for ..."


David

Nobody’s perfect posted by David

Last week I saw Andy Pettitte throw six and two-thirds innings of perfect baseball at against the Orioles at Camden Yards.  With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Adam Jones hit a ground ball to third.  Alex Rodriguez was getting the night off, and his replacement at the hot corner, Jerry Hairston, booted it.  Having grown up an Orioles fan and somewhere along the way developing into a Yankee-hater, one might think I would have been rooting for the Birds to end Pettitte’s bid for perfection; however, this was not so.  As a fan of the game, I wanted to witness history.  Sure; I would have preferred seeing an Oriole pitcher throw a perfecto (though even a shutout by one of this year’s starters would have been historic), but I can’t expect miracles.




How ‘bout that?


How about Jonny Gomes?  Called up by the Reds on May 22nd after not making the team out of spring training, Gomes has crushed the ball to a tune of a .563 slugging percentage and 19 home runs in just 240 at-bats.  His former team, the Rays, could sure use his bat right about now; they’ve lost eight games in a row and have all but eliminated themselves from the Wild Card race.


How about Chris Carpenter?  The Cardinals’ righty has put together a strong case for the National League Cy Young Award: mainly a 16-3 record and a major league-leading 2.16 E.R.A.  Additionally, he’s allowed less than one baserunner per inning pitched (0.97 WHIP), he’s surrendered only seven home runs in 24 games started, and he’s thrown three complete games – which may not seem terribly impressive but he’s tied for third in the N.L.  If all goes well for him and Adam Wainwright (18-7), the duo could become the first pair of teammates to each win 20 games since 2002, when the feat was accomplished in both leagues: Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling did it for the Diamondbacks, and Derek Lowe and Pedro Martinez did it for the Red Sox.

Continue reading "Nobody’s perfect"


David

Cliff Lee: Philly Fave posted by David

Cliff Lee was meant to pitch for the Phillies.  How else do you explain his ridiculous string of starts since joining the team last month?  In five games, Lee has a 5-0 record, a 0.75 WHIP, and a 0.68 E.R.A.  In 40 innings, he has struck out 39 batters and walked just six, surrendered a grand total of zero home runs, and looked like a true ace while averaging eight innings per start.  As if he weren’t contributing enough already, Lee is hitting .313, which, if it were over enough at-bats to qualify, would lead the team.  The southpaw has truly made the most of his time in the City of Brotherly Love.

How ‘bout that?

How about Carlos Pe ña?  Leading the American League in home runs but batting just .222, the Rays’ slugger actually has more homers (37) than singles (35).  If he finishes the season with that dubious achievement, he’d become the third such player to do so, following Barry Bonds (2001) and Mark McGwire (1995, 1998, 1999, 2000).

How about Jim Tracy?  Under his leadership since May 29, the Rockies have gone 54-28 – which translates to a winning percentage of .659 – and have nearly caught the first-place Dodgers, a team Tracy managed for five years during the first half of the decade.  Considering that each of the last three teams Tracy managed (the 2005 Dodgers, 2006 and 2007 Pirates) lost more than 90 games, the Colorado skipper has to be feeling good about his job security right now.

How about the Blue Jays?  After starting the season 27-14 and leading the favored Red Sox, Yankees and Rays in the American League East in mid-May, the Jays have tumbled to their current record of 58-67, an even 20 games back of the Yankees.  There’s no joy in Toronto; the mighty Blue Jays have fallen to their usual fourth place.

Continue reading "Cliff Lee: Philly Fave"


David

While I was out… posted by David

Since I last posted before my trip to Spain, there have been a number of noteworthy occurrences in Major League Baseball.


The American League won yet another All-Star Game – by a single run for the fourth year in a row.  Manny Ramirez returned from his 50-game suspension.  The Nationals fired manager Manny Acta.  Jonathan Sanchez threw the season’s first no-hitter.  The Braves gave up on underachieving hometown boy Jeff Francouer, and traded him to the Mets for Ryan Church, who hit the foul ball I caught at RFK in 2007.  The most exciting news, however, took place the day I returned from my voyage: Mark Buerhle of the White Sox threw a perfect game.  The following day, the A’s traded slugger Matt Holliday to the Cardinals, who now have protection for Albert Pujols.



How ‘bout that?


How about the Giants?  After beating the Pirates 1-0 in 10 innings on Wednesday night, San Francisco has shut out the opponent 14 times this season.  They have kept up the pace with Los Angeles and even picked up half a game over the last eight weeks, closing the gap between themselves and the Dodgers to seven games.  Thanks to a 34-15 record at home, the Giants are leading the National League Wild Card race.


How about Adam Dunn’s defense?  Dunn is having perhaps his best offensive season ever but has been awful both in the outfield and at first base, making 12 errors in the season’s first four months.  His fielding percentage stands at a horrendous .953 at first base, where he has made four errors in just 11 games (10 starts) and an atrocious .947 in the outfield, where he has committed eight errors in 83 games (82 starts).  Maybe it’s time for Dunn to realize he’s better off on an American League team where he can DH on a regular basis.

Continue reading "While I was out…"


Michael McGauley

"One More Thing About The Freddy Sanchez Trade" posted by Michael McGauley

  I knew I forgot something.  The Giants had to give up something to get something, and Wednesday they parted with minor-league pitching prospect Tim Alderson in order to acquire Freddy Sanchez.  Alderson was considered a top-five prospect in the San Francisco Farm System, and its number two pitching prospect behind Madison Bumgarner.  Will Alderson become another Cain or Lincecum, or will he become another Jason Grilli.  We'll just have to wait and see.  For the Pirates' sake, I hope the kid materializes into a solid starting pitcher down the road.

Continue reading ""One More Thing About The Freddy Sanchez Trade""

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Baseball-Highlights of Sunday's MLB games (Reuters)

(Adds late games) April 20 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Sunday's Major League Baseball games. - - - Twins 8, Royals 3 Phil Hughes pitched a solid six-plus innings and helped the Minnesota Twins salvage the final game of a three-game series with an 8-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals. Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe had two doubles, a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored to lead the offense as Minnesota (9-9) avoided being swept and snapped a five-game Kansas City (9-8) winning streak. - - - Brewers 3, Pirates 2 (14 innings) Khris Davis' first home run of the season, leading off the top of the 14th inning, lifted the Milwaukee Brewers to victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Brewers 3, Pirates 2 (14 innings) (The SportsXchange)

PITTSBURGH -- Left fielder Khris Davis' first home run of the season, leading off the top of the 14th inning, lifted the Milwaukee Brewers to a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday. Davis' third hit of the game came off Jeanmar Gomez (0-1) and carried deep into the left-field bleachers. The Brewers got all their runs on solo homers as left fielder Ryan Braun and first baseman Mark Reynolds also connected. They were two outs from losing in the top of the ninth inning when Braun hit his sixth home run, a drive to left field off closer Jason Grilli that tied the score at 2-2. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Pirates beat Reds 8-7 in suspended game (The Associated Press)

Andrew McCutchen doubled and came around on Russell Martin's single in the seventh inning on Tuesday, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates an 8-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the completion of a game that spanned two days and 10 home runs. The NL Central rivals put on a record-setting show Monday night before the game was suspended after six innings because of rain. ''You just keep playing,'' Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. Things that are out of our control, you've got to let it go.'' A few hundred fans were bundled in the stands when the game resumed with the temperature at 39 degrees. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Reds lose to Pirates 8-7 in suspended game (The Associated Press)

Andrew McCutchen doubled and came around on Russell Martin's single in the seventh inning on Tuesday, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates an 8-7 victory in the completion of a game that spanned two days and 10 home runs. Once the Pirates got ahead on Tuesday, there was no catching up. ''It was a tale of two completely different games.'' The Pirates had a double, three singles and a walk after play resumed. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


The Grand Slam: Mets survive another clutch Raul Ibanez home run to beat Angels (Big League Stew

Your browser does not support iframes. If every game had a storybook ending, the Los Angeles Angels would have defeated the New York Mets on Saturday night. It all set up so perfectly. 41-year-old Raul Ibanez, who has established a reputation in recent years as one of baseball's great clutch hitters in the late innings, stepped up to the plate in the ninth inning with the Angels down three runs, the tying runs on base and two outs. The ultimate clutch situation, and to add to the drama Ibanez was sitting on 1,999 career hits. Naturally, Ibanez delivered a game-tying home run off Jose Valverde, because he always seems to hold up his end of the bargain. Just ask the 2012 Yankees during the postseason. His 2,000th hit - a game-tying home run in the ninth. The Angels are destined to win that game. Only they didn't. When the dust finally settled in the 13th inning, the Mets were victorious 7-6 on Anthony Recker's solo home run. Former starter John Lannan picked up his first win as a reliever, though starter Jonathan Niese probably deserved it after throwing seven and one-third innings of three run ball. Meanwhile, a struggling Jered Weaver got off the hook after allowing four runs in six and two-thirds innings. He walked four. YANKEES SMACK FIVE BIG FLIES: The New York Yankees are making up for lost time after going without a home run in their first five games. On Saturday, the team muscled up for five round trippers in their 7-4 win over the Boston Red Sox , including the first two of the season from free agent acquisition Brian McCann. McCann's first blast came on a first pitch fastball from John Lackey leading off the fourth. The no doubt moonshot reached the second deck in right field at Yankee Stadium and broke a 2-2 tie. Two innings later, McCann connected for another solo homer that provided an important insurance run for New York. Carlos Beltran, who started the scoring with a two-run homer in the first, Alfonso Soriano and Kelly Johnson also contributed to the breakout game. Interesting to note: The Yankees did it with a lineup that featured only one holdover from April 2013. That player being Brett Gardner. EIGHT IS ENOUGH: The beat rolls on for the Milwaukee Brewers, who topped the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 at Miller Park to secure their eighth consecutive victory. The Brewers improved upon their major league best record, which now sits at 9-2. The Los Angeles Dodgers are the only team with eight wins (to go with four losses), so Milwaukee is guaranteed to carry that mark beyond the weekend. And it's no fluke either. Milwaukee's +25 run differential is also the best in MLB. All-star center fielder Carlos Gomez got the scoring started on Saturday with a leadoff homer in the first, but it wasn't until Jonathan Lucroy's RBI single in the eighth that they were able to put the game away. Starter Yovani Gallardo, who entered with 12 and two-thirds scoreless innings to begin the season, allowed two runs over six innings but ended up with a no-decision. RED-LIGHTED AGAIN: The Cincinnati Reds offense is having all kinds of trouble getting out of the blocks this season, and that continued in Saturday's 1-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays . According to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer , the Reds were involved in four 1-0 games last season at the Great American Ballpark and won three of those. In five home games this season, there have already been three 1-0 games, and the Reds have lost two of those. It's likely a temporary power outage with guys like Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce sure to break out on any given day. But give credit where it's due on Saturday to Rays starter Alex Cobb. In seven innings, he allowed four hits and struck out five. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: - - - - - - - Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813 [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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