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Sunday's Notebook

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Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox (1:35 p.m. ET): Since sweeping the hated Yankees in their opening series at home, the road has been unkind to Manager Joe Maddon’s Rays as they’ve gone on to drop four of five at Detroit and Boston. Matt Moore was wild walking five through 6.2 innings, but he only gave up four hits and two ER in the no decision effort; this will be his first career start against the Red Sox. Felix Doubront helped lead the BoSox to their first win of the season last Monday in Toronto where he tossed five innings of four hit and two ER ball. He’s allowed just eight hits and three ER to the Rays in 8.2 total innings mainly out of the pen. The ‘over’ is 6-2 in the L/8 meetings and the Rays have won eight of the L/11 divisional battles.

Boston beat Tampa Bay 12-2 on Friday with eight runs coming in the eighth inning. Then yesterday, the Red Sox captured a 13-5 decision with eight more runs coming in the seventh and eighth innings. Both games went ‘over’ the number and today’s ‘over/under’ is listed at 9 ½ runs.

Detroit Tigers vs. Chicago White Sox (2:10 p.m. ET): Chicago won the series opener 5-2 on Friday to snap Detroit’s six-game winning streak in the rivalry dating back to last season. On Saturday, Gavin Floyd helped the White Sox stifle the Tigers (5-1) again. Despite those wins, the Tigers have taken 13 of the last 19 overall meetings with the ‘over’ cashing in 11 of those contests (5-3-1 at US Cellular Field). The Tigers have won 11 of their L/16 trips to the Windy City, but starter Rick Porcello has been beaten up by the Palehose line-up to the tune of a 6.91 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, and .293 BAA in seven career starts; he’s been rocked for 23 hits (3 HR) and 13 ER through just 17 IP at “The Cell.” Chris Sale left White Sox fans wanting more in his first start of the year after striking out five and giving up three hits and one ER through 6.2 innings of Chicago’s 4-2 win over the Tribe. He’s made 10 appearances against the Tigers in a relief role giving up just six hits (2 HR) and four ER while striking out 15 and walking four through 14.2 total innings.

The ‘under’ has cashed in both of the first two games in this series. After putting up 26 and 14 combined runs respectively in their first two series against the Red Sox and Rays at home, the Tigers have been held to three runs by the White Sox.

Los Angeles Angels vs. New York Yankees (ESPN, 8:05 p.m. ET): The Yankees fired back with four straight wins since getting swept in their opening series at Tampa Bay after dominating the Halos in their home opener (5-0) on Friday. The Angels, in particular C.J. Wilson showed some guts on Saturday as the team captured a 7-1 victory. The home team has gone 5-2 in the L/7 overall meetings. Total players saw the ‘under’ cash in five of the nine overall clashes last season, and it’s also cashed in the first two games this season.

Jerome Williams went 4-0 with a 3.68 ERA & .269 BAA through 44 innings last season; 4-0 as a starter in six outings. Ivan Nova got the Yanks in the win column last Monday after hurling seven innings of two ER ball with seven strikeouts; he did give up 10 hits though. The righty went 8-2 with a 4.11 ERA in 14 home starts a year ago, and stands 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, and .271 BAA against the Angels in his career. Peter Bourjos (4/5) and Mark Trumbo (3/6) have hit him hard.

Sunday’s Sweeps

Teams looking to avoid getting swept on Sunday are listed below.

Philadelphia vs. N.Y. Mets: Cole Hamels will look to stop the bleeding for the Phillies. The offense is missing key parts, which has struggled with two runs in the first two games against the Mets.

Minnesota vs. Texas: Considering the Twins had to rally past the Angels for both of their only victories (6-5, 10-9) this season, it’s fair to say Minnesota could be winless. All of their five losses have been by two runs or more. Texas on the run-line?

Tampa Bay at Boston: (See above)

Detroit at Chicago White Sox: (See above)

Toronto vs. Baltimore: The Blue Jays will need their pitching staff to settle down on Sunday if they want to avoid the sweep. Toronto has been outscored 13-9 in the first two losses to the Orioles. The ‘over’ cashed in both games, easily.

Kansas City vs. Cleveland: The Royals are another team with pitching woes lately. Kansas City has given up 19 runs to the Indians over the last two days at home. The Royals are home ‘dogs today, which isn’t a surprise against the Indians’ Ubaldo Jimenez.

Cincinnati at Washington: The Reds will need to put up some runs today against the Nats to avoid the sweep and that won’t be easy. Washington has won five straight and the pitching staff hasn’t allowed more than two runs in a game during this stretch. The ‘under’ has gone 7-2 in the Nats’ first seven.

San Diego at Los Angeles: The Padres are the biggest underdogs on Sunday’s board and it’s not surprising when you’re going up against Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers have won both of his starts this season while San Diego is 0-2 in both appearances by Edinson Volquez. Los Angeles has looked like the most complete team in baseball this season even though it’s early.

Pittsburgh at San Francisco: It’s hard to back the Pirates, who are 0-5 on the road and 2-7 overall this season. And both of their wins (2-1, 5-4) came by one-run against the aforementioned struggling Phillies. San Francisco is starting Ryan Vogelsong and this will be his first appearance in 2012 after dealing with a back injury.

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