Archive for June, 2010

Top 10 Players in the 2010 World Cup

June 26th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in Soccer   Comments Off on Top 10 Players in the 2010 World Cup
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With one round of play in the books at the World Cup, here at Bankroll Sports, we’re ranking the ten best players that are still in this field that you should be keeping an eye on in the knockout rounds of this tournament.

1: David Villa, Spain -Villa is going to be looked upon as the man that really needs to step it up for the Spanish once again to continue on the path towards the first World Cup that the country has ever won. He scored twice against the Hondurans in the opening match and followed that up with a strike against Chile that helped secure qualification into the second round after a rough loss in the opener against Switzerland.

2: Gonzalo Higuain, Argentina – All of Higuain’s damage in this tournament came in the match against South Korea, but my, what a match it was! The Argentine striker netted a trio of goals, notching what will probably be the only hat trick that this tournament sees. Higuain is a prime candidate for the Golden Boot Award, especially if Argentina can survive a quadrant of teams that includes England or Germany awaiting in the quarterfinals.

3: Landon Donovan, United States -The chosen boy of American soccer right now is really evolving into a national hero. Donovan scored the goal that set up the USA’s comeback against Slovenia to salvage a 2-2 draw, and he followed that up with the most important strike in American soccer history, a blast into the Algerian net that took the Stars and Stripes into the Round of 16 for the first time since 2002. If the USA is advancing anywhere in this tournament, Donovan is going to be the man to keep a very, very close eye on.

4: Diego Forlan, Uruguay – Uruguay was absolutely dominant in the first round of this tournament, and a lot of that was because of the play of Forlan. He struck twice in the group stages and was the biggest reason that the Uruguayans ended up outscoring their opponents 4-0 in the first three matches. Before this tournament, there was an outside chance of Forlan coming up big in Group A and being a candidate for the Golden Boot. Now that Uruguay is probably a favorite amongst itself, South Korea, the United States, and Ghana to reach the semifinals of this tournament, Forlan could be a prime suspect.

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5: Robert Vittek, Slovakia – If we really believed that Slovakia would be hanging around deep into this tournament, we would have Vittek ranked higher in our World Cup Power Rankings. There’s no doubt that he is a hero right now though, as he scored twice in the shocking upset of Italy in the final match in Group E to put the Slovakians through.

6: Lionel Messi, Argentina – Yes, Lionel Messi still doesn’t have a goal under his belt but he has been the biggest offensive threat arguably in the entire tournament. He set up all four goals in a 4-1 romp over South Korea. It only seems to be a matter of time until Messi ends up getting onto the score sheet, especially if the Argentines can make a bit of run. Manager Diego Maradona knows that Messi is going to be the one to carry this squad to the World Cup if it is going to happen.

7: Elano, Brazil – The Brazilians look like a finally tuned offensive unit right now, and Elano is one of the two men to thank on the squad. Perhaps Elano wasn’t the more aggressive of he and his fellow offensive teammate, but he has lit up the scoreboard twice in this competition and should be considered a real threat for to a number of lesser teams that are about to feel the wrath of one of the best teams in the entire world.

8: Luis Fabiano, Brazil – Perhaps Elano and Luis Fabiano should be 7A and 7B, because without them both, the Brazilians wouldn’t have ended up getting seven points in the first round of matches. Fabiano will be the aggressor of the bunch, as he ended up setting up a number of the five goals that the team put forth against Portugal, Ivory Coast, and North Korea.

9: Asamoah Gyan, Ghana – The Ghana soccer team wouldn’t be anywhere near the second round of the World Cup without the efforts of Gyan. Not only did he end up taking over half of the shots and half of the shots on target for his team, but he also buried both of the team’s goals as well. Unfortunately, both ended up coming from the spot area, and the Black Stars have yet to figure out how to score from anywhere aside from a penalty kick. Gyan is going to be the man that is going to have to score against the Americans in all likelihood, or the last African team standing will be eliminated fairly quickly.

10: Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal – The chosen boy of Portuguese soccer is going to have to step it up a lot more than he did in the first round of this tournament. He only scored one goal against North Korea in that 7-0 romp. However, Portugal didn’t score a goal against either the Ivory Coast or Brazil, which is setting up what could be a disaster against its neighbors from Spain in the first match of the Round of 16.

2010 MLB Baseball Power Ratings (After 6/14)

June 15th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in MLB Baseball   Comments Off on 2010 MLB Baseball Power Ratings (After 6/14)

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*Baseball Records & Team Rankings are as of 6/12/2010
(Our Next Major League Baseball Power Ratings Update: 6
/28/2010)

1. Tampa Bay Rays (40-22) – The Rays continue to lead the American League East but by a slim margin. Tampa Bay comes into Sunday’s action just one game ahead of the New York Yankees at the top of the division. The Rays ranks fourth in all of baseball with an earned run average of 3.42, along with the second best WHIP – 1.23. Offensively Carlos Pena has blasted 15 homeruns over the fence, while Evan Longoria has drove in 48 runs, and Carl Crawford has scored 46 times. Tampa Bay will look to win two out of three over the Marlins on Sunday – then take Monday off, before heading to Atlanta and Miami for three game series against NL East teams.

2. New York Yankees (39-23) – The Yankees will look for a three game sweep over the lowly Houston Astros on Sunday. New York has seen an emerging star in Robinson Cano just carry the entire load offensively. Cano is batting .371, while hitting 12 homeruns, driving in 46 runs, and also scoring 47 runs. New York comes into Sunday’s action just one game behind the Rays at the top of the AL East. The Yankees offense is second in all of baseball with a .280 batting average, and also second in runs batted in; 329. New York’s pitching has also been solid – 9th in earned run average (3.80) and 4th in WHIP (1.25). The Yankees, after sending Houston out of town will take Monday off, before hosting the Phillies for three and Mets for three during next week.

3. Minnesota Twins (36-26) – The Minnesota Twins continue to sit in cruise control atop the American League Central division. The Twins are three games ahead of the Tigers for the top spot. Minnesota has out scored opponents 292 – 238 on the season. The offense has been keyed by first base men Justin Morneau. Morneau leads the team in batting average (.357), homeruns (13), runs batted in (43) and runs scored (40). Minnesota, as a team is 7th in all of baseball with a .270 batting average, and sixth with a 3.68 earned run average. The Twins will look to win two of three over Atlanta on Sunday, and then spend Monday awaiting the arrival of the Colorado Rockies. The Twins and Rockies will play Tuesday – Thursday, and then Minnesota will head to Philadelphia for a weekend series.

4. San Diego Padres (37-25) – The Padres have won two straight games, and six out of their last ten overall. San Diego is looking for a three game sweep over Seattle on Sunday afternoon. The Padres, despite their .248 batting average, sit in first place in the National League West, and have the best record in all of the NL. The Padres have been winning games with their pitching. The pitching staff for the Padres has a 2.95 earned run average, which is best in all of baseball. On the offensive side, despite the struggles, Adrian Gonzalez continues to mash the baseball, leading the team in batting average, homeruns and runs batted in. The Padres will welcome the American League East’s Toronto Blue Jays on Monday through Wednesday, and then take Thursday off. On Friday, the Padres and Baltimore Orioles will start a weekend series at Petco Park.

5. Los Angeles Dodgers (36-26) – The Dodgers, following their three game home sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals, have lost their last two to city rivals – Angels. The Dodgers will look to avoid the sweep on Sunday afternoon to the Angels. Los Angeles ranks 9th in baseball with their .265 batting average, led by Andre Ethier’s .351 mark. Either also leads the team in homeruns (11) and runs batted in (40). The Dodgers are just one game out of first place in the NL West, and a game and ½ ahead of third place San Francisco. The Dodgers will travel to Cincinnati for a three game road series through Thursday. Over the weekend, Los Angeles will play at Fenway Park in Boston, against the Red Sox.

6. Boston Red Sox (37-27) – The Red Sox have moved to within four games of the Rays at the top of the American League East. Boston has been successful with their high powered offense; leading first in baseball in runs batted in (336) and runs scored (619). The Red Sox have hit the second most homeruns, trailing only Toronto, with 83. Boston’s Adrian Beltre leads the team in offense with a .336 batting average, while Kevin Youkilis has hit 12 homeruns and scored 54 runs. The Red Sox will seek to sweep the Phillies on Sunday, and then take Monday off. Following the off day, Boston will head home to host the Diamondbacks and Dodgers for three game series’.

7. Atlanta Braves (36-27) – The Braves, with their 19-6 home record have a lead at the top of the National League East. Atlanta has split their last ten games, including a split with the Minnesota Twins over the weekend. The Braves will look to finish the series with the Twins on a high note on Sunday. Atlanta has seen Martin Prado bat .326 to lead the team, while Troy Glaus has hit 11 homeruns and drove in 46 runs. The Braves, after leaving Minneapolis, will host the Rays for three, and then the Royals over the weekend.

8. Cincinnati Reds (36-27) – Cincinnati holds a slim 1.5 game lead over St. Louis at the top of the National League Central. The Reds have been winning games due to their major league leading best .281 batting average, along with 77 homeruns and 314 runs batted in. The Reds have seen resurgence from third base men Scott Rolen, as he is batting .313 with 14 homeruns. Cincinnati will look to win the second of three from Kansas City on Sunday, and then use the off day Monday to prepare for the three game series at home with the Dodgers. When Los Angeles leaves town on Thursday, the Reds will head to Seattle for a three game weekend series.

9. St. Louis Cardinals (34-28) – The Cardinals have shown signs of concern with their team offense. St. Louis ranks 19th in all of baseball with a .258 batting average. Even top offensively player Albert Pujols has slipped below .300, at .296. Pujols does lead the team in homeruns, with 14, and runs batted in (44). St. Louis has seen excellent pitching, ranking second with a 3.17 earned run average. Adam Wainwright leads the pitching staff with 8 wins, while rookie Jaime Garcia has an ERA of 1.49. The Cardinals will look to take two of three from Arizona on Sunday, then come home and host the Seattle Mariners Monday through Wednesday, before welcoming the Oakland Athletics for a weekend series.

10. San Francisco Giants (33-27) – The Giants have moved to just 2.5 games behind the Padres in the National League West. San Francisco has won two straight, over Oakland, and seven of ten overall.  The Giants boast the third best earned run average in all of baseball; 3.36. San Francisco’s offense ranks 8th in batting average (.266), 20th in homeruns (50) and 26th in runs batted in (241). San Francisco, after playing Oakland on Sunday will welcome the lowly Baltimore Orioles to town on Monday, and then head north of the border to take on the Blue Jays over the weekend.

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11. Toronto Blue Jays (34-29) – The Blue Jays have struggled a bit of recent, to fall to fourth place in the American League East. Toronto will look to avoid a three game sweep in Denver on Sunday afternoon against the Rockies. Jose Bautista has provided the power for Toronto, hitting 18 homeruns and driving in 45 runs, and scored 41 runs. The Blue Jays are in fourth place in the AL East; 6.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays. Toronto ranks first in baseball with 99 homeruns hit. After the Blue Jays and Rockies finish their series, the Blue Jays will play in San Diego Monday – Wednesday, and host the Giants over the weekend.

12. Texas Rangers (34-28) – The Rangers have won six of their last ten games overall and re-gained a slim ½ game lead of the Angels at the top of the American League West. Texas has been led offensively by Vladimir Guerrero and his .338 batting average, along with 14 homeruns and 54 runs batted in. The Rangers have out scored opponents 314 – 280 on the season. After playing the final game of a three game series in Milwaukee, the Rangers will take Monday off, before playing in Miami against the Marlins and then in Houston, against the Astros.

13. New York Mets (34-28) – The Mets have won three straight games, and seven of their last ten overall. New York has been treated to David Wright’s solid season, batting .286, along with 12 homeruns and 47 runs batted in. The Mets are just 1.5 games behind the Braves at the top of the National League East. The pitching for the Mets ranks 7th in baseball with a 3.70 earned run average. New York will look to complete a three game sweep over Baltimore on Sunday, before taking Monday off. On Tuesday the Mets and Indians will play a three series in Cleveland, and then play a city rivalry series with the Yankees over the weekend.

14. Los Angeles Angels (35-30) – The Angels are just ½ game behind the Texas Rangers at the top of the American League West. Anaheim has beaten the Dodgers in the first two games of the series. The Angels have the 18th best batting average (.259), along with the 21st best earned run average (4.39). Los Angeles will finish the series with the Angels on Sunday, and then welcome the Milwaukee Brewers to town on Monday. Over the weekend, the Angels will play three games at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

15. Detroit Tigers (32-29) – Despite winning three straight games, the Tigers are still three games out of first place in the American League Central. Detroit is led by Miguel Cabrera and his .330 batting average, along with 19 homeruns and 56 runs batted in. The Tigers rank sixth in baseball with a .270 batting average. Detroit’s pitching has struggled through most of the season, with a 4.18 earned run average which is 18th in baseball. The Tigers seek a three game sweep over the Pirates on Sunday, and then welcome the Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks to town for the next six games.

16. Philadelphia Phillies (31-29) – The Phillies’ struggles have continues, as they have dropped to just two games above .500. Philadelphia will look to avoid a sweep on Sunday, at the hands of the Boston Red Sox. The Phillies are in third place in the National League East, 4 games behind the Atlanta Braves. The Phillies offense has slowed down, dropping to 20th in baseball, with a .258 batting average. Placido Polanco, the leading vote getting for the National League All Star game, at third base, leads the team with a .319 batting average. After the Phillies leave Boston, they will take Monday off, and then play three at Yankee Stadium, against the red-hot Yankees. On Friday, Philadelphia will host the American League Central leading Minnesota Twins.

17. Colorado Rockies (32-30) – Colorado continues to use the right arm of Ubaldo Jimenez to lead them to a 32-30 record. The Rockies come into Sunday’s action with the Blue Jays in fourth place in the National League West, but just four games behind the front running San Diego Padres. Colorado ranks 5th in all of baseball with a 3.62 earned run average, as Jimenez remains under 1.00. The Rockies will take Monday off, then head to Minnesota for a three game series against the Twins during the mid-week. On Friday, the Rockies and Brewers will start a three game series in Milwaukee.

18. Oakland Athletics (32-31) – Oakland is looking to avoid a three game sweep at the hands of cross town rival – San Francisco Giants on Sunday. The Athletics have dropped to 32-31 overall, and 3.5 games out of first place in the American League West. Oakland’s top offensive player has been Ryan Sweeney, as he is hitting .314. The Athletics pitching ranks 11th with a 3.97 earned run average, led by Gio Gonzalez and his 6 wins and 3.79 earned run average. After the Athletics leave San Francisco, they will take Monday off, then head to Wrigley Field, to take on the Chicago Cubs in a three game series. On Friday, the Athletics will head to Busch Stadium in St. Louis to take on the Cardinals.

19. Florida Marlins (30-32) – The Marlins are in the mix when it comes to the National League East division. Despite being in fourth place, the Marlins are just six games out of first place. Florida is led offensively by a slew of players, with Cody Ross hitting .291, and Dan Uggla blasting 14 homeruns. The Marlins are 10th in baseball, with a .263 batting average, and 14th in earned run average (4.07). Florida will host the Texas Rangers for a three game series starting Tuesday, then once again play the Tampa Bay Rays, this time in Miami.

20. Washington Nationals (30-33) – Washington will look to avoid a three game sweep in Cleveland, with their young pnenom Stephen Strasburg taking the mound. The Nationals have fallen to three games under .500, and six games out of first place in the National League East. Washington is 18-12 when playing at home, and 12-21 on the road. Ryan Zimmerman leads the team with a .306 batting average, while Adam Dunn has blasted a team high 14 homeruns. Washington ranks 14th in baseball with a .261 batting average. Washington will head to Detroit on Tuesday to take on the Tigers, and then host the Chicago White Sox for a three game series over the weekend.

21. Chicago White Sox (28-33) – The White Sox have moved their season high winning streak to four, after beating their cross town rival – the Cubs two straight. The White Sox are led offensively by Alex Rios and Paul Konerko. Rios is batting .321, while Konerko has blasted 17 homeruns and 46 runs batted in. Chicago ranks sixth in all of baseball with 74 homeruns. After finishing the series with the Cubs, the White Sox will take Tuesday off, then head to Pittsburgh for a three game series with the Pirates. The White Sox will then head to Washington to take on the Nationals over the weekend.

22. Chicago Cubs (27-35) – After another Lou Pinella blowup, the Cubs have lost the first two games to city rival – the Chicago White Sox. The Cubs are eight games under .500, and 8 games behind first place in the National League Central. Marlon Byrd leads the Cubs in batting, with a .336 batting average. Alfonso Soriano and Derrek Lowe both hit their 300th career homeruns this week; Soriano now leads the team with 10. The Cubs and Sox will play the Sunday night game of the week, and then wait for the Athletics and Angels to come to town for three game series during the week.

23. Milwaukee Brewers (26-36) – After taking the first of a three game series against the Texas Rangers, the Brewers fell on Saturday behind Manny Parra. Milwaukee, who has been one of the most disappointing teams in baseball, comes into Sunday’s action 9.5 games out of first place in the National League Central. Ryan Braun, the Brewers left fielder leads the team in batting average (.297) and runs (41), while Corey Hart has popped 17 homeruns. Milwaukee, after Sunday’s action will head out west to take on the Angels Monday through Wednesday, and then on Friday play in Denver against the Rockies.

24. Kansas City Royals (26-37) – Kansas City will look to take two of three on Sunday afternoon against the Cincinnati Reds. The Royals will send Zack Greinke to the mound in the afternoon affair. Kansas City ranks 5th in baseball with a .275 batting average, as well as 27th in earned run average (4.89). The Royals started the game on Sunday 10 games behind the Twins at the top of the AL Central. The Royals will host the Houston Astros for three games Tuesday through Thursday, and then play three games in Atlanta over the weekend, against the Braves.

25. Cleveland Indians (25-36) – The Cleveland Indians will look to sweep the weekend series against the Nationals in a Sunday afternoon affair in Cleveland. The task could be tough, as the Indians will face Stephen Strasburg, the young phenom from Washington. Cleveland is led offensively by Shin-Soo Choo. Choo leads the team with 8 homeruns, along with 32 runs batted in, and 36 runs scored. Cleveland ranks 24th in all of baseball with a .247 batting average as well as 28th in homeruns with 43. The Indians come into the affair with Washington 11 games out of first place in the American League Central. Cleveland will host the New York Mets for a three game series Tuesday through Thursday, and then play three games in Pittsburgh, against the Pirates over the weekend.

26. Houston Astros (25-38) – Houston is having all sorts of problems offensively, ranking last in batting average, and 29th in homeruns and hits. Jeff Keppinger has been the leading offensively player for the Astros, hitting .292 as a team. The Astros come into Sunday’s action 10.5 games out of first place, behind the Cincinnati Reds. Houston will look to avoid the sweep game sweep on Sunday, at the hands of the Yankees. After Houston leaves the Bronx, they will take Monday off, and then play three in Kansas City from Tuesday through Thursday. Over the weekend, Houston will then host the Texas Rangers for a three game series.

27. Pittsburgh Pirates (23-39) – The Pirates come into Sunday’s affair with the Tigers, losers of seven straight games. Pittsburgh will look to end the streak on Sunday. The team batting has struggled big time, ranking 29th with a .237 batting average. Pittsburgh also ranks just 25th in homeruns with 44 on the season. The Pirates offense is also 29th in all of baseball, with a 5.24 earned run average, and 1.56 WHIP. Pittsburgh after finishing the series against the Tigers will take Monday off, and then head home to host the Chicago White Sox Tuesday –  Thursday, and then the Cleveland Indians Friday – Sunday.

28. Arizona Diamondbacks (25-38) – Arizona hit a season high four homeruns in a 7-2 win over the Cardinals on Saturday night. The Diamondbacks will look to win their second straight on Sunday behind Edwin Jackson. The Diamondbacks rank dead last in all of baseball with a 5.45 earned run average. The offense has struggled most of the season, leading baseball in strikeouts, all while batting just .250 as a team. Stephen Drew leads the team with a .279 batting average, while Mark Reynolds has pumped 15 homeruns and driven in 45. The Diamondbacks will take Monday off to travel to Boston, where they start a three game series on Tuesday against the Red Sox. On Friday, Arizona will play in Detroit against the Tigers.

29. Seattle Mariners (23-39) – Seattle is 23-39, and losers of five straight games. The Mariners have fallen to 11 games out of first place in the American League West. The Mariners offense ranks 27th in baseball average (.243), and last in homeruns (33). The Mariners pitching has also struggled, with a 4.14 earned run average, which is 16th in all of baseball. Ichiro Suzuki has been one of the lone bright spots for the Mariners, with his .343 batting average. Seattle will look to take the final game of the series in San Diego, before traveling to St. Louis for a three game series starting on Monday with the Cardinals. Seattle then will head back home to host the Cincinnati Reds.

30. Baltimore Orioles (17-45) – With the worst record in all of baseball, the Baltimore Orioles are trying everything they can to garner some success. Baltimore ranks last in all of baseball with 192 runs batted in. Their top RBI guy is Ty Wigginton with 35, along with 13 homeruns. Baltimore is trying to avoid another sweep on Sunday, at the hands of the New York Mets. After the Mets leave town, Baltimore will head out west and take on the San Francisco Giants on Monday through Wednesday. Following an off day Thursday, the Orioles will play in San Diego for a three game series.

Stephen Strasburg May Be Next Big MLB Killer

June 7th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in MLB Baseball   Comments Off on Stephen Strasburg May Be Next Big MLB Killer

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After a third of the MLB betting campaign has been complete, RHP Stephen Strasburg is finally ready to make his much anticipated debut at the MLB level on Tuesday night as the Washington Nationals play host to the Pittsburgh Pirates. As the #1 pick in last year’s MLB Draft, Strasburg blew through Spring Training and had even some of the best hitters in the game baffled by his precision and power on the bump.

In the minor league level, no one was really able to touch this right hander. He went 7-2 with a 1.30 ERA at the Double-A and Triple-A levels. His K/9 of 10.57 in 55.1 innings of work has almost been comical. Many believe that the quality of players that he is about to be facing in the Pirates on Tuesday night is worse than what he was taking on in Double and Triple-A.

Though they’re probably right, a few things must be considered before immediately jumping on the Strasburg bandwagon.

Yes, Stephen Strasburg has had all sorts of success at both the collegiate and the minor league levels, but this will be the first time that he has had 50,000 peering eyes, national television cameras, and hundreds of media members hungry to see how he performs. The Pirates do have some scouting tape on him from minor league appearances against their affiliate teams, and unlike at the minor league level, where scouting tape isn’t handed out all over the place, at the MLB level, the second that Strasburg takes the mound, there is going to be a scout for every single team dissecting every last little thing that he does.

Strasburg Mania could only be worse if he were a Yankee. After all, the oddsmakers have lined the rookie as a -200 favorite in his first MLB betting outing this week. Granted, this is a home game, it will inevitably have a playoff type of atmosphere to it, and many expect to see Strasburg mow down a miserable lineup, but regardless of the situation, laying -200 is something that the oddsmakers consistently want you to do in baseball.

One must also remember that this is a Washington team with a bullpen that really hasn’t looked pristine 100% of the time. Closer Matt Capps looks like a human being on the mound again, and the wins have dried up just a tad for RHP Tyler Clippard as well. Manager Jim Riggleman’s main goal in this first start of Strasburg’s, and in all of his outings, isn’t necessarily to win games. Riggleman needs to take care of Strasburg’s right arm and assure that he doesn’t get worn out by throwing too many pitches or taking on too many innings of work.

That being said, five shutout innings would still only take up half of the game. Someone for the Nats is going to have to close the door. Plus, if the offense can’t get on course (and why should we feel comfortable with the 20th ranked offense in the bigs?), are you really going to want to be laying -200 with this team against anyone in baseball in any situation?

Strasburg might be the next big thing, and he might come out and totally dazzle us all on Tuesday night, but the bottom line is that he isn’t an arm that is worth backing at these types of prices that we are going to see on him on the MLB betting lines. Buyer beware, as the market on this kid simply isn’t going to be much more ridiculous than it is right now.

2010 Belmont Stakes Odds, Entries, Picks

June 3rd, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in Horse Racing   1 Comment »

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2010 Belmont Stakes betting action goes to post on Saturday at 6:32 (EST) in Elmont, New York, (Race 11).  Here at Bankroll Sports, we’re going over the Belmont Stakes odds with our Belmont Stakes preview.

Complete List of 2010 Belmont Stakes Entries Can Be Found Below

Even though neither the winner of the Kentucky Derby (Super Saver) nor the Preakness Stakes (Lookin At Lucky) are running in this race, the runners up of both are in this field, and they are the top two favorites on the board. Ice Box (+300 at BetUS Sportsbook) is the slight favorite of the two. He won the Florida Derby as a 20-1 longshot and came back with a great second place showing in the Kentucky Derby. In his L/2 races, Ice Box has run speed rankings of 99 and 100 respectively.

First Dude (+350 at BetUS Sportsbook) put on a clinical run at the Preakness Stakes and will need a significantly different run in order to be as successful at the Belmont Stakes. First Dude, who started at Pimlico in the same 11th position that he will run out of on Saturday, will try his best to once again reach the front of the pack by the first turn, and he’ll attempt to become a wire-to-wire winner that is rarely seen at this race. The question about running the full 1 1/2 mile race is still up in the air with this horse, but it certainly looked like he had enough in the tank down the stretch at the Preakness.

The Grade II Dwyer was run here at Belmont Stakes in the middle of May, and while other horses were worried about the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, Drosselmeyer (+1200 at BetUS Sportsbook) and Fly Down (+450 at BetUS Sportsbook) were busy tuning up on this racetrack. Fly Down won the Dwyer by six lengths and appeared to be running away. However, Drosselmeyer was the horse that was the odds on favorite to win that race, and perhaps if he didn’t slip a tad out of the gates and have a very sloppy run, he might have won the Dwyer, and had he done that, he could possibly have been the favorite in this race.

There are a rash of new contenders in the Belmont Stakes, but the bottom line is that most of them are incredible longshot colts at best. Particularly weak are the two inside horses, Dave in Dixie (+2000 at BetUS Sportsbook) and Spangled Star (+2000 at BetUS Sportsbook). Neither one has any sort of a history that suggests that they should be running in this race, and the owner for Spangled Star already knows that he is defeat, suggesting that it is very possible that his horse could finish dead last in this race and not be surprised. Be sure to look very hard at the past performances before choosing which horses to back in Belmont Stakes betting action. Yes, Da’Tara pulled a heck of an upset at over 70-1 in 2008 here at Belmont Racetrack, but the likelihood of someone else pulling off that type of a feat just seems highly unlikely at best.

Belmont Stakes Odds @ BetUS Sportsbook (as of 6/3/10):
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#1 Dave in Dixie +2000
#2 Spangled Star +3000
#3 Uptowncharlybrown +1000
#4 Make Music For Me +900
#5 Fly Down +450
#6 Ice Box +300
#7 Drosselmeyer +1200
#8 Game On Dude +900
#9 Stately Victor +1400
#10 Stay Put +2000
#11 First Dude +350
#12 Interactif +1200

Give us your 2010 Belmont Stakes picks in the poll below:
(Feel Free To Comment With Your Belmont Picks & Tips As Well)

Who is your pick to win the Belmont Stakes?

  • #5 Fly Down - 9/2 (26%, 6 Votes)
  • #7 Drosselmeyer - 12/1 (22%, 5 Votes)
  • #11 First Dude - 7/1 (17%, 4 Votes)
  • #6 Ice Box - 3/1 (17%, 4 Votes)
  • #3 Uptowncharlybrown - 10/1 (9%, 2 Votes)
  • #1 Dave in Dixie - 20/1 (4%, 1 Votes)
  • #12 Interactif - 12/1 (4%, 1 Votes)
  • #4 Make Music for Me - 10/1 (0%, 0 Votes)
  • #8 Game On Dude - 10/1 (0%, 0 Votes)
  • #9 Stately Victor - 15/1 (0%, 0 Votes)
  • #10 Stay Put - 20/1 (0%, 0 Votes)
  • #2 Spangled Star - 30/1 (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 23

Lakers, Celtics Set to Square Off in 2010 NBA Finals Betting Action

June 2nd, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NBA Basketball   Comments Off on Lakers, Celtics Set to Square Off in 2010 NBA Finals Betting Action
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The 2010 NBA Finals lines are out, and here at Bankroll Sports, we’re offering up our opinions on the odds to win the NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics.

Complete List Of Current Odds To Win The 2010 NBA Finals Can Be Found Below

All season long, the Celtics were the team that underachieved. They only finished the regular season at 24-17 SU at home and just 12-28-1 ATS. They only averaged 99.2 points per game in spite of the fact that they probably had one of the most talented offensive lineups in the game. Heck, only finishing fifth in the league in total defense probably wasn’t anything to write home about either.

However, the C’s talked all about how they just needed to flip the switch and that things would be different in the playoffs. My, how they were right.

The only time that Boston has lost two straight games in the playoffs came in Games 4 and 5 against the Orlando Magic. They have already stolen five wins as the visitors in the postseason, and they are an amazing 12-5 ATS to show for 17 playoff efforts.

The “Big Four” are combining to average scoring 67.5 points per game.

“The Truth,” F Paul Pierce is up to 19.1 points per game after scoring 30+ points in two of the final three games of the Orlando series. His counterpart, G Rajon Rondo has made a real name for himself, as he almost averaged a triple-double in the series against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

First it was D-Wade. Then it was King James. Finally, it was Superman. They all fell. The Celtics were right. The proverbial switch has been flipped.

However, it’s Showtime in Tinseltown now for the Celtics, which means that the Lakers are going to be rockin’ and rollin’ in an effort to win their second consecutive NBA Finals.

Even though Los Angeles was the #1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs, this wasn’t exactly a dominant squad either. The Lakers limped down the stretch of the season and had to sweat just a bit about whether or not they were going to take home court advantage on the road to the NBA Finals or not.

Just like Boston, this was a team that was supposed to limp into the playoffs. G Kobe Bryant looked old. The youthful Oklahoma City Thunder were supposed to take all of the energy out of them. F Pau Gasol was supposed to be too soft. The bench wasn’t supposed to be deep enough.

Durant, Boozer, Williams, Nash, and Stoudemire… All names that are now watching as those Lakers that were “finished” are playing to complete the successful defense of their crown.

Bryant has turned the corner in a huge way, as he has been absolutely lights out, particularly since early in that series against the Thunder. He has a streak of four straight 30+ point performances under his belt coming into this series, and his statistics are simply off of the charts. Kobe is averaging 29.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game in the playoffs, shooting 48.3 percent from the field and 40.5 percent from beyond the arc.

F Pau Gasol has done plenty of damage as well, scoring right at 20.0 points per game to go with his 10.9 rebounds.

The bench might be under some scrutiny, but F Lamar Odom has done his share. In just under 30 minutes per game of action, Odom has compiled 10.6 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, which should set up a great clash between he and the secondary big men for the Celtics in the paint.

This is a rematch of the 2008 NBA Finals, won by the Celtics in six games. It was the official renewal of a team that had fallen from the days of Larry Bird, Bob Cousy, and all of the other fantastic names that are sitting in the rafters at TD Banknorth Garden. 2009 was the year of the Lakers, as Bryant helped further solidify his name amongst Lakers greats like Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

NBA Finals betting action starts Thursday night at Staples Center and will continue with Game 2 on Sunday before the series shifts back to Beantown for Games 3, 4, and 5 (if necessary) starting on Tuesday.

Odds to Win 2010 NBA Finals: Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers

 

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2010 MLB Baseball Power Ratings (After 5/31)

June 1st, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in MLB Baseball   Comments Off on 2010 MLB Baseball Power Ratings (After 5/31)

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*Baseball Records & Team Rankings are as of 5/29/2010
(Our Next Major League Baseball Power Ratings Update: 6
/14/2010)

1. Tampa Bay Rays (34-16) – The Rays still hold the best record in baseball despite just winning five of their last ten games. Tampa Bay has a +92 run differential on the season, scoring 259 runs, which is the most in the American League. Tampa Bay is led offensively by Evan Longoria, with his .328 batting average, along with 10 homeruns and 41 runs batted in. David Price has been the staff ace with 7 wins, and also a robust earned run average of 2.57. The Rays will finish the series with the White Sox on Sunday, then head to Toronto to take on the Blue Jays for a three game series finishing up Wednesday. On Friday, the Tampa Bay Rays will start a series in Texas, against the Rangers.

2. Cincinnati Reds (30-20) – The hottest team in all of baseball has been the Cincinnati Reds. Cincinnati has won four straight games to take a two game lead in the NL Central. The Reds have hit a homerun in 17 straight games, which is a franchise record. The Reds lead the NL, and all of baseball with 264 runs scored. Cincinnati has made hay at home on the year, winning 19 of 29 games. Joey Votto has heated up to a .312 batting average and 33 runs batted in, as well as Scott Rolen – with 11 homeruns. Cincinnati will look to sweep the Astros on Sunday afternoon, then head to St. Louis for a three game series with the Cardinals. After taking Thursday off, Cincinnati will head to Washington, to take on the Nationals.

3. New York Yankees (29-20) – The Yankees, despite being 4.5 games out of first place have the second best record in the American League. New York has split the first two of a four game series with Cleveland over the weekend. The Yankees will send A.J. Burnett to the mound Sunday. New York has been pushed offensively by Robinson Cano and his .359 batting average, along with 10 homeruns and 37 runs batted in. The Yankees lead the American League with a .281 batting average. New York will finish their series with Cleveland Monday, then welcome Baltimore for three and start a three game series at Toronto on Friday.

4. Minnesota Twins (29-20) – The Twins hold a 3.5 game lead in the American League Central over the Detroit Tigers. Minnesota has won three straight, after losing the first two to the Yankees. The Twins will send Scott Baker to the mound on Sunday in an attempt to sweep the series over Texas. Minnesota has been led offensively by Justin Morneau. Morneau is batting .371, along with 11 homeruns and 36 runs batted in. As a team, the Twins are third in the AL with a .274 batting average. The Twins will finish their home series with Texas on Sunday, then head to Seattle for four and Oakland for three this week.

5. San Diego Padres (29-20) – The Padres, with the best earned run average in the National League hold a two game lead over the Dodgers. San Diego has split the first two games of a three game series at home with Washington. The Padres have a 2.98 earned run average,  but their offense, batting .242 are the 3rd worst in the NL. John Garland leads the starting staff with 6 wins and an ERA of just over 2.00. The Padres will finish their series with Washington on Sunday, and then welcome the Mets to town for three. On Thursday the Padres will take a day off, before playing in Philadelphia over the weekend.

6. Philadelphia Phillies (28-20) – Coming off the perfect game from staff ace Roy Halladay, the Phillies enjoy a 1.5 game lead on the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. Philadelphia has struggled to score, scoring just 4 runs in their last 5 games, including none in a three game sweep to the Mets. The Phillies, as a team have scored 231 runs, which ranks 7th in the NL. Left hander Jamie Moyer will look to help the Phillies sweep Florida on Sunday in Miami. Following that, the Phillies will head to Atlanta for three starting Monday. Philadelphia will take Thursday off, and then welcome the San Diego Padres for a four game series that extends until Monday.

7. Toronto Blue Jays (29-22) – The Toronto Blue Jays are hanging tough within the American League East. Trailing Tampa Bay and New York, Toronto holds a record of 7 game above .500. The Blue Jays have won two straight games, both over Baltimore. The Blue Jays will send J.C. Romero to the mound on Sunday, in an attempt to sweep the Orioles. Toronto is led offensively by Vernon Wells, and his .302 batting average, along with Jose Bautista and his 15 homeruns and 40 runs batted in. The Blue Jays, after Baltimore leaves town, will welcome the divisional leading Tampa Bay Rays for three games. The Blue Jays trail Tampa Bay by 5.5 games. After taking Thursday off, the Blue Jays will host second place New York Yankees.

8. St. Louis Cardinals (28-22) – The St. Louis Cardinals have some problems within their personnel. The Cardinals have two starting pitchers on the disabled list, and now have a rotation with three rookies in it. St. Louis also has fallen on hard times offensively, especially Saturday with the shut-out by Carlos Silva of the Cubs. The Cardinals are in second place in the NL Central, trailing Cincinnati by two games. The Cardinals will send Adam Wainwright, one of the two staff aces on the team to the mound against Ryan Dempster on Sunday in the rubber game of the three game series. St. Louis will welcome Cincinnati to town for three on Monday. Over the weekend, St. Louis will welcome the Milwaukee Brewers.

9. Los Angeles Dodgers (27-22) – The Dodgers, despite missing top offensive player Andre Ethier has moved to second place in the NL West, trailing San Diego by just two games. The Dodgers have the second best batting average in the NL, at .269. The Dodgers and Rockies have split the first two games in Denver, with the rubber match on Sunday afternoon. Los Angeles will send Clayton Kershaw and his 4-3 record to the mound. The Dodgers will start a seven game home stand on Monday, as they play the Arizona Diamondbacks for a three game series, followed by a weekend series for four with the Atlanta Braves.

10. San Francisco Giants (26-22) – The Giants struggles continue at the plate. San Francisco as a team is batting just .261 as a team, with ranks 7th in the NL. Pablo Sandoval has been the top offensive player for the Giants, but is just batting .291. The Giants have won three straight games, and will look to sweep the Diamondbacks on Sunday afternoon. Todd Wellemeyer, will look to even his record to 4-4 in the game. After Arizona leaves town, the Colorado Rockies come in on Monday for a three game series. After taking Thursday off, the Giants will head to Pittsburgh for a weekend series.

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11. Atlanta Braves (27-22) – After a very slow start to the 2010 season, Bobby Cox has his Braves in the mix within the NL East. The Braves have won eight of their last ten games, and are just 1.5 games behind Philadelphia. Atlanta has seen rookie Jason Heyward blast 10 homeruns and also knock in 36 runs to spark the offense. The Braves have scored 234 runs, which ranks sixth in the NL. The pitching for Atlanta has been average, as they have a team ERA of 3.89. The staff ace thus far has been Derek Lowe. He has won seven games, while Tim Hudson has an ERA of 2.24. The Braves will look to sweep the Pirates on Sunday, then welcome divisional leading Philadelphia to Turner Field on Monday. On Thursday, the Braves and Dodgers will start a four game series in Los Angeles.

12. Boston Red Sox (28-23) – Despite winning seven of their last ten games, the Red Sox still linger in fourth place in the AL East. The Red Sox will look to split the four game series with Kansas City on Sunday, after dropping the first two. Boston is led by Adrian Beltre and his .342 batting average, along with 34 runs batted in. The Red Sox as a team are batting .266, which ranks sixth in the American League. The problem for Boston has been their pitching. The Red Sox have a team ERA of 4.50, which ranks 9th in the AL. Boston will take Monday off, after playing Kansas City on Sunday. On Tuesday, the Red Sox and Athletics will start a four game series at Fenway. Over the weekend, Boston will play in Baltimore.

13. Detroit Tigers (25-23) – The Detroit Tigers have lost four straight games to fall to 3.5 games back of the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central. Detroit will look to snap the losing streak and beat Oakland on Sunday, against Dallas Braden. The Tigers are led offensively by Miguel Cabrera and his .339 batting average, along with 13 homeruns and 44 runs batted in. The Tigers, as a team are batting .266, which is fifth in the American League. The Tigers after finishing the series Monday with Oakland, will host Cleveland for a three, then head to Kansas City over the weekend, for a three game set against the Royals.

14. Texas Rangers (26-23) – Texas has lost three straight games to fall a ½ game back of Oakland at the top of the AL West. The Rangers hope to avoid the three game sweep on Sunday in Minneapolis, against the Twins. Texas has seen a solid first season from Vladimir Guerrero, as he is batting .335, along with 12 homeruns and 43 runs batted in. Texas is fourth in the National League in batting average; .267, along with 7th in ERA with a 4.18. The Rangers, after they leave Minnesota will take Monday off, before starting a three game series at US Cellular Field in Chicago, against the White Sox. On Friday, Texas and Tampa Bay will start a three game series in Arlington.

15. Oakland Athletics (27-23) – The Athletics, despite being out scored 201 – 199 on the season have moved to first place in the AL West. The Athletics hold a slim ½ game lead on the Rangers. Oakland won the final two games in Baltimore, and has won the first two in Detroit. The Athletics and Tigers will play Sunday, and again on Monday to complete the four game series. Following that, the Athletics will head to Boston for games, Tuesday – Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday, Oakland will host the Minnesota Twins. Oakland has scored 199 runs this season, which is the fourth worst in the American League.

16. Colorado Rockies (26-23) – Behind Ubaldo Jimenez and his excellent start to the season, the Colorado Rockies are right in the mix within the NL West. Despite being in fourth place, Colorado only trails San Diego by three games. The Rockies have split the first two with the Dodgers, and will send Jhoulys Chacin to the mound on Sunday. Monday, the Rockies and Giants will start a three game series with Jimenez and Tim Lincecum mixing it up for Memorial Day. Colorado will take Thursday off, and stay on the road for a weekend series in Arizona. The Rockies have a team batting average of .263, which is the fifth best in the NL.

17. Washington Nationals (25-25) – Through 50 games, the Washington Nationals sit with a record right at .500. The Nationals are in the mix within the NL East, which may be baseball’s most competitive division. The Nationals trail Philadelphia by just four games in the division. The Nationals are led by Josh Willingham and his 10 homeruns, 34 runs batted in and 29 runs scored. Washington has scored 214 runs, which is 11th in the NL. On the pitching side, Washington has a team ERA of 4.34, which is also 11th in the National League. Livan Hernandez has been a god send for the Nationals rotation, with a 2.08 earned run average. After Washington and San Diego play their rubber game on Sunday, the Nationals will head to Houston for a four game series. Over the weekend, Washington will host the red-hot Cincinnati Reds.

18. New York Mets (25-25) – Also at .500 on the season, the New York Mets. Despite all their injuries, they trail the divisional leading Phillies by just four games. The Mets will look to avoid a three game sweep in Milwaukee on Sunday. In the first two games, the Mets were shut-out, and then allowed 8 runs on Saturday. New York has a .250 batting average, which ranks 13th in the National League. The leading hitter for New York has been Jason Bay, who is batting .299, and leading the team with 33 runs scored. The Mets will head to San Diego on Monday, for a three game series against the Padres. After taking Thursday off, the Mets will host divisional foe Florida on Friday.

19. Florida Marlins (24-26) – The Marlins are scratching their heads, looking for what happened to their bats, after going all game Saturday without a runner on base. The Marlins have fallen to last place in the NL East, after losing four straight games. The Marlins have scored 224 runs, and allowed 211, but still sit with a sub .500 record. The Marlins are led offensively by Cody Ross, and his .301 batting average, along with Dan Uggla’s 12 homeruns and Jorge Cantu’s 36 runs batted in. The Marlins will look to avoid a three game sweep on Sunday against Philadelphia on Sunday, and then host the Milwaukee Brewers for four games starting Monday. On Friday, the Marlins and Mets will start a three game series at Citi Field.

20. Chicago Cubs (24-26) – The Chicago Cubs are counting their blessings for right handed starting pitcher Carlos Silva. Silva is 7-0 on the season, with a 3.12 earned run average. Silva struck out 11 Cardinals batters on Saturday in the 5-0 win. Chicago is 6.5 games behind Cincinnati, in third place in the NL Central. Chicago’s offense has been led by Alfonso Soriano, with his 9 homeruns and 27 runs batted in. Marlon Byrd is batting .303 for a team that is batting .262 as a team. The Cubs, after the rubber game against St. Louis will head to Pittsburgh for three games. After taking Thursday off, the Cubs will head to Houston on Friday for a three game series.

21. Los Angeles Angels (24-27) – After coming away with a huge win on Saturday night, the Angels offense took a huge hit. After slugger Kendry Morales hit a walk-off homerun to beat the Mariners on Saturday, he broke his leg jumping onto home plate in a crowd of Angels players. Morales leads the team with 11 homeruns and 39 runs batted in on the season. Los Angeles will also be missing Torii Hunter, who got hit in the hand with a pitch on Saturday. The Angels are in third place in the AL West, trailing Oakland by 3.5 games. Los Angeles will look to take two of three over Seattle on Sunday, and then head to Kansas City on Monday to take on the Royals. On Friday, the Angels and Mariners will mix it up in Seattle.

22. Chicago White Sox (21-28) – The Chicago White Sox, after the Ozzie Guillen/Mark Buehrle melt down, still have yet to find the groove to get them going. The White Sox are 21-28 overall and 8 games behind the Minnesota Twins. Chicago has seen solid offensive contributions from Alex Rios and Paul Konerko, but overall, the White Sox offense has been poor. Rios leads the team with a .304 batting average, while Konerko has blasted 14 homeruns and drove home 33 runs. The White Sox have the worst team batting average in the AL; at .235. After the White Sox and Rays play their final game on Sunday, Chicago will take Monday off, then host Texas and Cleveland for three games each.

23. Milwaukee Brewers (21-28) – One of the most disappointing teams in the National League have been the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers are seven games under .500, and 8.5 games out of first place in the NL Central. The Brewers have scored 248 runs, which ranks 2nd, but also have allowed 272, which is the worst in the NL. The Brewers team earned run average is 5.12. Milwaukee and the Mets will play the final game of a three game series on Sunday. Following that, the Brewers will head to Miami for four games against the Marlins, then to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals in a weekend series.

24. Kansas City Royals (21-29) – The Royals appear to be heading for their seventh straight season below .500. The Royals, at 21-29 are 8.5 games out of first place, in fourth place in the AL Central. Kansas City won the first two in Boston, but fell on Saturday. The Royals and Red Sox will play the final game of the four game series on Sunday. The Royals will send Bruce Chen to the mound to slow down the Red Sox offense. Kansas City as a team is batting .280, which ranks second in the AL. The Royals have scored 223 runs, while allowing 248. The Royals will start another four game series on Monday, when the Los Angeles Angels come to town. On Friday, Kansas City and Detroit will start a three game series at Kaufman Stadium.

25. Cleveland Indians (18-29) – The Cleveland Indians have scored 188 runs on the season, which is the third worst in the American League. Cleveland scored 13 runs in a two run win over the Yankees yesterday. The Indians will send Justin Masterson to the mound for the third of four on Sunday. Cleveland has been led offensively by Shin-Soo Choo, who has hit 7 homeruns and drove home 25 runs. The Indians have the worst earned run average in the American League; at 4.69. Cleveland, after leaving New York Monday will head to Detroit for three games, and Chicago for three games against the White Sox.

26. Seattle Mariners (19-29) – Possibly the most disappointing team in the American League could be the Seattle Mariners. At ten games below .500, Seattle is 7 games out of first place. The Mariners have been real poor on the road, winning just 7 of 23. Seattle and the Angels will play the rubber game of the three game series on Sunday with Ian Snell taking the mound. Ichiro Suzuki is having yet another sensational season for the Mariners, leading the team with a .337 batting average. The Mariners will welcome the Minnesota Twins to town on Monday for a four game series. On Friday, the Mariners will start a three game week-end series with the Angels of Los Angeles.

27. Pittsburgh Pirates (20-30) – The Pirates have given up the second most runs in all of baseball; 291. The also have scored the second fewest, only above Houston in all of baseball as well. Those numbers combined to a season record of ten games below .500 through 50 games. Pittsburgh has lost four straight games, and eight of their last ten overall. The Pirates rank 15th in the NL with a 5.45 earned run average, and opponents are hitting .283 against them. The Pirates will look to avoid a three game sweep on Sunday in Atlanta. Following that game, the Pirates will head back home and welcome the Chicago Cubs to town. After taking Thursday off, the Pirates will host the San Francisco Giants over the weekend.

28. Arizona Diamondbacks (20-30) – The only team with worst statistical pitching numbers than the Pirates – the Pittsburgh Pirates. Arizona has allowed 310 runs on the season, and has a team earned run average of 5.95. After getting swept by the Colorado Rockies in Denver, the Diamondbacks will look to avoid another sweep; this time at the hands of the Giants on Sunday afternoon. Arizona will send Ian Kennedy to the mound. Arizona has scored 248 runs as a team, which ranks third in the National League. The top offensive player for Arizona has been Mark Reynolds, with his 39 runs batted in. Arizona will continue their road trip on Monday in Los Angeles, against the Dodgers. Following a day off Thursday, the Diamondbacks will host the Colorado Rockies for three over the weekend.

29. Houston Astros (16-33) – With the worst record in the National League, the Houston Astros may look to ship several of their top players during the 2010 season. With talks about Roy Oswalt leaving Houston, names like Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee have also emerged. The Astros have lost the first two in a weekend series to Cincinnati, allowing 27 runs in two games. Hunter Pence leads the team in homeruns (8) and runs batted in (23). Houston is last in batting average (.230) and runs scored (149). The Astros will host the Washington Nationals for a four game series starting on Monday. On Friday, Houston will welcome divisional foe Chicago to town.

30. Baltimore Orioles (15-35) – With the worst record in all of baseball, the Baltimore Orioles come in as the 30th ranked team in MLB. Baltimore has won just 6 of 27 games on the road this season, including the last two in Toronto. The Orioles rank 9th in team batting average, with .250, while scoring just 174 runs, second worst in the AL. Baltimore’s Ty Wigginton has hit 13 homeruns, drove home 32 runs, and scored 23 times – all team leading. The Orioles will stat a three game series in New York on Tuesday, and then welcome the Boston Red Sox to town on Friday.