Monday, September 30, 2013

AL Wild Card One-Game Tiebreaker: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Texas Rangers Preview

The Rays visit the Rangers in Game 163, a must-win scenario for both teams if they wish to advance to a second must-win situation. The Rays and the Rangers tied for the second American League Wild Card spot and will break the tie for the right to meet the Indians in Wednesday's Wild Card game. The Rangers have won seven straight games and the Rays have won eight of their last 10 contests.

David Price will start against rookie Martin Perez and the Rangers announced that outfielder Nelson Cruz will be activated for this game. Cruz's 50-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs ended yesterday and he has fared well against Price, going 6-for-12 with two home runs against him.

The Rangers earned the right to host this game because they won the regular season series 4-3. The teams split a four-game series in mid-September.

According to the oddsmakers at America's Bookie, the Rays are at -117, the Rangers are at +107 and the total is set at 7½. Here you can check the daily MLB Baseball Betting Lines at America's Bookie.

Pitching Matchup:

David Price (9-8, 3.39 ERA) vs. Martin Perez (10-5, 3.55 ERA)

David Price didn't face the Rangers this season but he has traditionally struggled against them, going 1-4 with a 5.98 ERA in eight career outings. After outstanding performances in July and August, Price was 1-2 with a 3.78 ERA in five September starts. The left-hander has pitched at least seven innings in four of his last six starts. Alex Rios is batting .435 with two home runs and seven RBIs in 23 career at-bats against Price.

Martin Perez won seven of his last nine decisions as one of the Rangers' most reliable starters over the second half of the season. Perez didn't face the Rays this season and in his lone career outing against them last season he threw five innings and gave up two runs and seven hits. The left-hander has allowed three or fewer runs in nine of his last 11 starts.

Game information:

8:07 PM ET, September 30

Rangers Ballpark in Arlington

Coverage: TBS

81° F/ 27° C

AL Wild Card One-Game Tiebreaker: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Texas Rangers Preview

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Texas Rangers (83-70) vs. Kansas City Royals (81-72) Preview


The Rangers visit the Royals in the second contest of a three-game series. The Royals' 2-1 win in the opener put them 2½ games behind the Indians for the second Wild Card, while the Rangers slipped one-half game off the pace. The Rangers have now lost 12 of their last 15 games while the Royals have won eight of their last 12.

The Royals have won 81 games to assure a string of nine consecutive losing seasons will end. Closer Greg Holland is one of reason why the Royals will have a winning season. Holland converted his 44th save in the series opener to move one shy of the franchise record shared by Dan Quisenberry (1983) and Jeff Montgomery (1993).

According to the oddsmakers at BetAnySports, the Rangers are at -108, the Royals are at -102 and the total is set at 7½.

Pitching Matchup:

Matt Garza (3-5, 4.94 ERA) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (14-11, 4.08 ERA)

Matt Garza is 0-4 over his last five starts and hasn't been the type of pitcher the Rangers hoped when they acquired him from the Cubs. Garza has allowed four or more earned runs in seven of his last nine outings and gave up six runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings against the Rays in his last start. The right-hander is 0-3 with an 8.22 ERA in three September starts. Billy Butler is 8-for-20 against him.

Jeremy Guthrie lost to the Tigers in his last outing, when he gave up three runs and a season high-tying 13 hits in eight innings. It was his fourth loss in sixth decisions since tossing a four-hit shutout against the Twins on Auguts 5. Guthrie, who is 9-4 at home, has allowed just nine home runs in 15 starts at Kauffman Stadium but 19 in 16 road outings. Elvis Andrus is batting .471 in 17 at-bats against him while A.J. Pierzynski is hitting .361 in 36 at-bats.

Game information:

7:10 PM ET, September 21, 2013

Kauffman Stadium

68° F/ 20° C

Texas Rangers (83-70) vs. Kansas City Royals (81-72) Preview

Friday, September 20, 2013

Podcast with Frank Benjamin of OddsOnBetting -- Weekend Action and Talk about ATB


ATB Poster Frank and I had a great podcast today and he just got it edited and posted and wanted me to share it. Frank is very knowledgeable about sports and has a great website. I have known him for 14 years from the old days many of the forum people came from (General, Spooky, pvcpipe, mofome, Bobalou, just to name a few off the top of my head). It was a breeding ground of great posters who moved on to other things. Frank Recently named ATB as one of the top 3 sports forums on the internet. If you haven't read the article you can do so by clicking here.

We had a good informative podcast today and had a lot of fun. I am sure you will enjoy it. We went over some info for this weekends games and gave out some winners. Talked about the future of ATB and what to expect as well.

Let us know how we did. And feel free to discuss here.

Podcast with Frank Benjamin of OddsOnBetting -- Weekend Action and Talk about ATB

Texas Rangers (83-69) vs. Kansas City Royals (80-72) Preview


The Rangers begin a critical three-game series against the Royals. After losing seven straight games to fall into an intense Wild Card race, the Rangers took two of the final three games in Tampa Bay, capped by an 8-2 rout last night that featured four home runs. The win allowed them to tie the Rays atop the Wild Card standings, with the Indians sitting a half-game behind them.

Should any of those teams slip, the Royals are waiting to surpass them. The Royals are coming off a series win over the Indians and sit three games behind the Rangers and Rays as they open their final home series. Billy Butler is 20-for-42 (.476) in his last 11 home games. The Rangers won two of three against the Royals at home earlier this year.

According to the oddsmakers at America's Bookie, the Rangers are at +125, the Royals are -135 and the total is set at 7½. Here you can check the daily MLB Baseball Betting Lines at America's Bookie.

Pitching Matchup:

Martin Perez (9-5, 3.64 ERA) vs. Ervin Santana (9-9, 3.23 ERA)

Martin Perez has lost his last two starts while giving up seven runs and 16 hits in 11 1/3 innings. The left-hander is 7-2 on the road despite having a 4.04 ERA that is nearly a run higher than it is at home (3.07). Perez has never faced the Royals.

Ervin Santana limited the Tigers to just five hits in 6 2/3 scoreless innings Saturday, picking up his first win since August 4 and matching his career high for quality starts with his 22nd. Santana has a chance to reach 10 wins for the sixth time in his career and needs just 2 1/3 innings to amass 200 in a season for the fifth time. The right-hander has a 5.79 ERA in 28 career starts against the Rangers but held them to one unearned run in seven innings on June 2 in his only meeting with them this season. Ian Kinsler is 19-for-54 (.352) with eight extra-base hits in his career against Santana.

Game information:

8:10 PM ET, September 20, 2013

Kauffman Stadium

68° F/ 20° C

Texas Rangers (83-69) vs. Kansas City Royals (80-72) Preview

Baltimore Orioles (81-71) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (83-69) Preview

The Orioles open a crucial four-game series against the Rays, as both teams fight for a Wild Card spot. The Orioles and the Rays lost series finales last night. The Rays are tied with the Rangers atop the Wild Card standings and the Orioles are two games back with 10 games to play. The Indians sit between them, just a half-game behind the Rays and the Rangers.

The Rays have lost seven of their last 11 home games following last night's 8-2 loss to the Rangers; however, they are 7-2 in their last nine games against the Orioles. The Rays are 11-for-81 (.136) with runners in scoring position in their last 12 losses. The Orioles took the first two games in Boston before being shut down by John Lackey last night, managing just two hits in a 3-1 setback.

According to the oddsmakers at BetAnySports, the Orioles are at +164, the Rays are at -174 and the total is set at 7.

Pitching Matchup:

Jason Hammel (7-8, 5.12 ERA) vs. David Price (8-8, 3.42 ERA)

Jason Hammel is winless since May 27, going 0-6 with five no-decisions in 11 starts during that span, which also included over a month in the disabled list with a forearm injury. Hammel has just three quality starts in that stretch, including one at Tampa Bay on June 7 when he allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings during a tough 2-1 loss. The right-hander gave up three runs and three hits in five innings at Toronto last Friday.

David Price has lost three straight decisions, tied for the longest losing streak of his career, although it can be attributed to poor run support. The left-hander received a no-decision in a 6-4 loss at Minnesota on Sunday after giving up two runs in 6 1/3 innings. Price is 7-2 in 15 career starts with a 2.65 ERA against the Orioles and is 1-0 in three outings this season. Danny Valencia is 9-for-12 with three walks in 15 plate appearances against him.

Game information:

7:10 PM ET, September 20

Tropicana Field

Coverage: SUN

83° F/ 28° C

Baltimore Orioles (81-71) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (83-69) Preview

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Baltimore Ravens (0-0) vs. Denver Broncos (0-0) Preview

The Broncos have had nearly eight months to overcome their stunning season-ending loss in January, one that extended the Ravens' surprising run to a Super Bowl championship. Now the Broncos have a chance to exact some revenge when they host the Ravens in the NFL season opener. Super Bowl champions usually open the season at home but the Ravens had a scheduling issue with the Orioles, who play Thursday night at Camden Yards. Peyton Manning had won nine straight games against the Ravens, including a 17-point rout a month earlier, before the Ravens' 38-35 double-overtime playoff victory.

Much has changed for both teams since Joe Flacco averted a certain defeat with a 70-yard tying touchdown strike to Jacoby Jones with 31 seconds to play in regulation. The Ravens undergone a dramatic roster overhaul, with future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis retiring, perennial Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed lost to the Texans via free agency and the trade of Super Bowl hero Anquan Boldin to the 49ers. Flacco became the league's highest-paid player while the Broncos added some key pieces to fortify Manning's offense.

Joe Flacco's regular season numbers were ordinary (3,817 yards with 22 touchdowns and 10 interceptions) but he was off the charts in the postseason with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions en route to winning Super Bowl MVP honors.

Torrey Smith heads an inexperienced receiving corps that suffered a jolt when starting tight end Dennis Pitta dislocated his hip, putting his season in jeopardy. Ray Rice has rushed for at least 1,143 yards in four straight seasons and leads all NFL running backs with 278 receptions during that span. The defending champions have question marks on a defense that surrendered nearly five points more per game last year than in the previous season.

Peyton Manning guided the Broncos to the No. 1 seed in the postseason and 11 consecutive wins to close the regular season after sitting out 2011 due to multiple neck surgeries. Manning's 37 touchdown passes and 4.659 yards last season were both the second-highest totals of his storied career.

Wide receivers Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker both went over 1,000 yards and combined for 179 catches and 23 touchdowns and will be joined by Wes Welker, who had at least 111 catches in five of six seasons with the Patriots. Rookie running back Montee Ball set the FBS record for career touchdowns but will open the season as the backup to Ronnie Hillman. The Broncos also have a huge void to plug on defense after Von Miller was suspended six games for violating the league's drug policy.

Game Information:

When: 8:30 PM ET, September 5

Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile Hig

Line: Broncos -7½ at America's Bookie

Total: 48½

Coverage: NBC

Weather: 86° F/ 30° C
Chance of a Thunderstorm

Last meeting: 1/12/13 Ravens 38 Broncos 35


- The Ravens are 4-2 ATS as an underdog of 3½ to 9½ points over the last 3 seasons

- The Ravens are 7-4 ATS as an underdog over the last 3 seasons

- The Ravens are 1-4 ATS when playing on a Thursday since 1993

- The Broncos are 7-1 ATS as a favorite of 3½ to 9½ points over the last 3 seasons

- The Broncos are 11-6 ATS as a favorite over the last 3 seasons

- The Broncos are 15-11 ATS against conference opponents over the last 3 seasons

Baltimore Ravens (0-0) vs. Denver Broncos (0-0) Preview