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Sunday's Betting Notes

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Matchup of the Day - Boston at L.A. Angeles (ESPN, 8:05 p.m.)

Skinny: John Lackey (6-5, 2.81 ERA) will face his former team on Sunday as the Red Sox visit Anaheim. The Angels will counter with Jered Weaver (2-4, 3.79 ERA).

Friday – Red Sox 6 Angels 2
Saturday – Angels 9 Red Sox 7 (11 innings)

Expert’s Take – Stephen Nover: Despite blowing a 7-3 lead to the Angels on Saturday, Boston still has won nine of its last 11. The Red Sox are better than the Angels and they don't take a backseat to them either in this starting pitching matchup.

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Often it takes up to 1 1/2 years to effectively come back from Tommy John surgery. That's been the case with Lackey, who missed all of last season recovering from the surgery. He's been outstanding in his last four starts with a 2.17 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 29 innings. Lackey certainly won't lack for motivation having pitched for the Angels from 2002-2009. The Angels clobbered him, 11-0, back in May but prior to that Lackey had won his previous four starts against the Angels while sporting a 2.45 ERA.
 
Jered Weaver missed more than seven weeks with a broken left elbow. He's pitched well during his last two starts, but his velocity is down and I don't consider him an elite pitcher anymore. Weaver has a 4.04 night ERA and a 1-3 record with a 4.78 ERA in his last five outings against the Red Sox.
 
Sunday Sweeps

Four teams will be looking to break out the broom on Sunday.

N.Y. Yankees vs. Baltimore

Skinny: The Yankees beat the Orioles 3-2 and 5-4 this weekend. Ironically, the Orioles swept New York at home last weekend (4-3, 11-3, 4-2).

Washington vs. San Diego

Skinny: Nationals have won three straight, two coming against the Padres (8-5, 5-4). San Diego has dropped eight straight, all on the road, six of the setbacks coming by two or more runs.

St. Louis vs. Miami

Skinny: The Cardinals captured 4-1 and 4-5 victories over the Marlins, who had won eight of their last 10 games prior to this series.

Tampa Bay vs. Chicago White Sox

Skinny: The Rays beat Chicago 8-3 and 3-0 in the first two games of this three-game set. Tampa Bay has won three in a row and seven of its last eight. The White Sox are 6-16 in their last 22 games.

Total Notes

-- The Mets have seen the OVER hit in seven consecutive games

-- The Phillies have seen the OVER hit four straight

-- Milwaukee is the second- best OVER (28-16) team at home

-- Arizona has watched the UNDER hit at a 65% (24-13) clip at home

-- Texas is the best UNDER bet (50-33) in the majors but the OVER has cashed in the last three

Free Total Play

Expert - Matt Zylbert

UNDER 9 Mets-Brewers

Seemingly out of nowhere, Jeremy Hefner has become one of the hottest pitchers in all of baseball. I said last year, his rookie campaign, how I thought Hefner would develop into an acceptable mid-or-bottom-of-the-rotation option, but over the past couple of months, Hefner has actually looked like a lot more than that. In fact, the 27-year old has an impressive run going on at the moment, having not allowed more than three runs in eight straight starts. Furthermore, his numbers have shaped up very nicely, having a 3.54 ERA and 1.26 WHIP, even after an inauspicious start to the year. Hefner has earned the trust of a bettor and I think he can keep up with what he’s been doing. He’s certainly in a great place mentally right now.

Unfortunately, while we do have a pretty good idea what we’re going to get from the Mets’ right-hander this afternoon, we have very little clue what we’re going to get out of Tom Gorzelanny, Milwaukee’s long reliever who is making a rare spot start here. On the contrary, Gorzelanny is someone who has lots of experience starting games, as he has previously done so often throughout his extensive Major League career. He actually started one game this year, too, which turned out to be a pleasant four-inning effort against the Phillies almost one month ago, when he limited them to one run on five hits, while striking out three and walking none. Gorzelanny always has had the potential to be a fine starting pitcher, and when he’s starting in small doses, I think that’s when the best of him can come out. He’ll certainly be pitching with a chip on his shoulder, perhaps wanting to re-enter a big-league rotation (Johnny Hellweg certainly might not last much longer and will probably need a replacement) so this is like his audition. Given his experience, and the Mets’ inability to hit left-handed pitching (Third to last in average against southpaws at .232), Gorzelanny just may step up here. At least we have room for error as well, with the line being as high as 9.

  
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