MLB: Interleague Baseball Returns

MLB: Interleague Baseball Returns

The Interleague baseball portion of the season returns this weekend, and as always, Sportsbook.com will have the game by game lines


2008-06-13

The Interleague baseball portion of the season returns this weekend, and as always, Sportsbook.com will have the game by game lines, plus the series prices if you get on before Friday’s first pitches. An early check of the Betting Trends page shows bettors leaning heavily on several teams.

Many of the matchups part of the rotation of divisions playing one another – AL East vs, NL Central, NL West vs, AL Central and AL West vs. NL East. Because baseball refuses to balance up its leagues with the same number of teams in each, this creates an imbalance of these situations working more uniformly. Nevertheless, this does leave open opportunities for regional rivalry’s to be renewed, which will be the focus for this weekend. Review these three matchups scattered across the country, for wagering prospectus.

Florida at Tampa Bay
What’s all the hoopla about Florida baseball, who didn’t know the Marlins and the Rays would be contending for first place in their respective divisions in the middle of June? Seriously, what dolt couldn’t have seen Florida would have a top five offense in runs scored, with a lineup led by Dan Uggla (huh?) and only a person of lesser intelligence would not have known Tampa Bay was going to have a top eight pitching staff in terms of earned run average and game one starter Andy Sonnanstine (6-3, 4.88) would be tied for the team lead in wins. (Say what?) If you’re reading this and actually had the knowledge of these factors occurring, you have to be sunning yourself in some exotic locale, because you’ve made your fortune on being able to make picks in futures and commodities. The rest of us are enjoying the resurgence of two sleepy franchises.

Tampa Bay has several young pitchers with ability, thought Scott Kazmir is the best of the group, he will not be throwing in this series, but Matt Garza (4-3, 4.38 and Edwin Jackson (4-5, 4.06) will be. Florida won series over division leader Philadelphia to creep closer in the standings and Ryan Tucker (1-0, 1.80), Mark Hendrickson (7-4, 5.76) and Ricky Nolasco (6-4, 4.63) will throw this weekend. Florida holds a 34-21 advantage in the all-time series and is 29-25 the last 3+ years in interleague play. Playing against the National League has never been what the Rays do best, as 22-35 record shows the last few seasons. These Florida professional baseball teams have split the last six games in Tampa, playing Under five of six times.

The Rays are -200 favorites at Sportsbook.com to take at least two of three against the Fish.

Minnesota at Milwaukee
Minnesota makes its final stop on 10-game road trip, visiting an old friend who used to play in the same division, the Milwaukee Brewers. The Twins are seeing double on sojourn, with 1-6 record thus far and are 13-19 on the road this season. Milwaukee returns home off a .500 road trip, which for them is tremendous. The Brew Crew is ecstatic to be back at Miller Park, where they are 19-10 in 2008.

Back in the day, when these teams played regularly, former Brewer players and now coaches, Ted Simmons and Dale Sveum agreed this was their main rival. We got into a couple of brawls with them, especially at their place," Sveum said. "There were a couple of years when they were just killing us, and we had to do something. Guys took it upon themselves to get in some brawls."

Minnesota has played about as expected this season, hanging around the .500 mark, while Milwaukee has disappointed being in third place, playing better lately, and winning seven of 10. The Brewers figure to be favored in all three games, utilizing Dave Bush (2-6, 5.85), Jeff Suppan (4-4, 3.78) and Seth McClung (3-3, 4.07) as starters. The Twinkies will counter with Kevin Slowey (2-6, 5.15), Glen Perkins (2-2, 4.58) and Scott Baker (2-1, 3.60). Milwaukee is 30-30 the last five years in interleague play, which includes being swept at Boston last month. In the same time span, Minnesota is 47-28 versus the senior circuit. The Twins have won eight of last 12 meetings and lead the all-time series 210-201. Minny is a +140 underdog to take the series.

Oakland at San Francisco
The cross-bay rivalry resumes this weekend in San Francisco when Oakland pays a visit. The A’s are in second place in the AL West and have the upper-hand in this battle 34-28, and have won last four games at AT&T Park. Oakland has completely rebuilt its pitching staff with great success, being third in baseball in runs allowed at 3.8 per game. The A’s come into this series 232-128 against the money line after allowing four runs or less three straight games. Their pitching rotation in San Fran is Greg Smith (3-5, 3.74), Rich Hardin (3-0, 2.85) and Dana Eveland (4-4, 3.76).

The Giants figured to sink to the bottom of the NL West, moving towards youth movement. Though they have not been great, San Francisco has exceeded expectations and has won seven of last 11. They have suffered during interleague play, winning only 19 times in last 51 encounters. Barry Zito (2-9, 5.83), who has been a complete bust on the other side of the bay, and will hope seeing green and yellow uniforms, will give him the needed boost to start earning his checks for the Giants in opener. He’ll be followed by Matt Cain (3-4,4.43) and Kevin Correia (1-3, 4.50) to finish out the three game series. San Francisco is 1-11 vs. AL teams allowing 4.2 or less runs a game on the season. This is among the reasons why the Giants are -110 dogs to defeat the A’s for the three game set.

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