Posts Tagged ‘Kansas City Royals’

MLB Betting: Top 10 Money Making Pitchers (through 5/8)

May 9th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in MLB Baseball   Comments Off on MLB Betting: Top 10 Money Making Pitchers (through 5/8)

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As we enter another Sunday of MLB betting action, we’re taking a look at some of the best pitchers that baseball has to offer that have made us money over the course of the season. Be sure to keep your eye on these hurlers as the MLB wagering season continues!

1: Andy Pettitte, New York Yankees (6-0, +$630) – No one wants to mess with the Yankees with anyone on the mound right now, but Pettitte has been particularly lethal. The Bronx Bombers have won nine straight times that they’re southpaw has taken the hill dating back to the playoffs last year. Keep an eye on Pettitte though, as he is already scheduled to miss his next start with some elbow inflammation.

2: Ubaldo Jimenez, Colorado Rockies (6-0, +$600) – Mr. No Hitter has been a hefty chalk every time that he has taken the baseball for Manager Jim Tracy, but so far, he is passing every test with flying colors. The righty has just been sick this year, giving up just four earned runs over 41.1 innings and striking out 44. Jimenez could be the best pitcher in baseball.

3: Scott Olsen, Washington Nationals (4-1, +$577) – It’s not often that you see a pitcher for the Nats on this list, but Olsen is one of the two that is very deserving of his spot as a top money maker. Not many expect to see Olsen as a favorite when he pitches, as he hasn’t be a chalk since 2008 when he was with the Florida Marlins (and ironically, was pitching against these Washington Nationals that day). However, after three straight great starts in which he allowed just one earned run in total, many are going to start considering Olsen as a threat to make some real money.

4: Livan Hernandez, Washington Nationals (4-1, +$533) – The ageless wonder that is Livan Hernandez continues to find ways to win games in spite of the fact that he has more walks (13) than strikeouts (11) on the season. However, with only one loss to his credit, and that coming to Jimenez and the Rockies, it’s hard to ignore than Hernandez has been a great option for MLB bettors this year. You have to go back to last September to find the last time that he allowed more than three earned runs in a game.

5: Kyle Davies, Kansas City Royals (4-2, +$523) – It’s not often that you see a pitcher go 4-2 and be on a list like this, especially after allowing nine earned runs in a start, but the oddsmakers have already made Davies a +150 or higher pup in four starts this year. The Royals’ righty was really clobbered at Texas this week, and his descent back to earth may be just beginning.

6: Mike Pelfrey, New York Mets (5-1, +$488) – Speaking of guys that are bound to come back to earth at some point, what about Mike Pelfrey? New York’s best right-handed starter is nothing more than a career 5.00 ERA type of guy, but he did toss 24 straight spotless frames this year and picked up three wins (and a save!) to show for it. Since then, though? Nine earned runs in 11.1 innings. Buyer beware.

7: Barry Zito, San Francisco Giants (5-1, +$465) – The very, very rich left arm of Barry Zito’s may finally be paying dividends for the Giants. The southpaw is 5-0 with a 1.49 ERA this year, and he hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in a game. Remember when Zito was the laughing stock of baseball and pitching out of the bullpen? That’s not the case anymore, and MLB betting fans would be wise to hop on this bandwagon before it either careens into a ditch or the oddsmakers catch on.

8: Chris Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals (6-1, +$463) – Save a start against Milwaukee back on April 11th, Carpenter looks just as unhittable now as he was last season when he was a candidate for the Cy Young Award. There’s nothing not to like here from one of the top righties in baseball, as he is 4-0 with a 2.80 ERA and has 47 strikeouts against 13 walks in 45.0 innings. Oh, and if anyone thinks that opposing batters are hitting .276 against him for the year, they’re crazy. Carpenter may just be getting revved up.

9: Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies (6-1, +$455) – The problem with betting on Halladay is that the oddsmakers are just going to punish you to no end if he loses. That’s if he loses. At 6-1 with a 1.45 ERA, no one is touching Halladay this year, as he has to be the front-runner for the NL Cy Young Award this year through seven starts. Here’s something to watch, though. Halladay has thrown at least 100 pitches in all of his starts this year, including 118 and 119 respectively in his L/2 starts.

10: Carlos Silva, Chicago Cubs (5-1, +$423) – Not a bad consolation prize for getting rid of CF Milton Bradley, huh? Silva hasn’t been lights out this year, but his offense has produced just a slew of runs for him (7.5 per game). No one is going to complain about a 3.50 ERA from a guy who really is no better than a fifth starter on a regular basis. The price tags remain reasonable on Silva as well in spite of the fact that he is pitching for the Cubs, who are normally shaded by the oddsmakers.

Kansas City Royals Look Like ’08 Tampa Bay Rays

April 10th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in MLB Baseball   Comments Off on Kansas City Royals Look Like ’08 Tampa Bay Rays

Say hello to the new Tampa Bay Rays.

For the better part of the last 20 years, Ewing Kauffman, the man responsible for bringing the Royals to Kansas City, must’ve been turning over in his grave. He built a proud franchise that won six divisional championships, two AL pennants, and the 1985 World Series, and he did it through youth and solid spending manners. He passed away in 1993.

At that point, the Royals were without an owner and began dumping salaries left and right. In fact, in 1995, the team only spent $18.5M on salaries, which was easily the lowest in baseball. It was only $16.5M, less than contracts that some individual players were signing, by 1999.

Under Manager Tony Pena, the Royals won 83 games in 2003, marking their first winning season since 1994 when things began to fall apart. Since then though, Kansas City has been nothing more than a loveable loser. 2004, 2005, and 2006 were all 100+ loss seasons, and since that point, they haven’t won more than 75 games.

If the end of this story sounds familiar, you’re probably reading some article on the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays as well, who were a god awful franchise before putting all the pieces together for one of the more memorable runs in baseball history that took them all the way to the World Series.

The difference for the Royals this year? They don’t have to contend with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.

We’ll start right there. It’s pretty clear that the Minnesota Twins aren’t the same team that they normally are without closer Joe Nathan for the entire season. The Chicago White Sox feel like they’re one Ozzie Guillen moment in front of the media away from the entire franchise just imploding from the inside, out. The Detroit Tigers only had a prospective win total by the oddsmakers of just 80.5 this year.

What do you want, Cleveland to challenge for the AL Central crown?

Someone has to win this division this year, and if there’s a season in which the Royals can really get it done, this is it.

On Friday night, the newly acquired OF Rick Ankiel (and yes, I said “outfielder,” and not, “excuse for a starting pitcher) went 4/4 and drove in three runs, including the two that won the game in the 8th inning against the mighty Red Sox.

Some may say, “Ok, it’s one game.” And that’s true. Until October, baseball generally isn’t made off of one game or even one series.

But let’s go back to the Rays again. The moment that changed that team’s entire season in 2008 had nothing to do with even a regular season game! Tampa Bay picked a fight with these same Red Sox in a Spring Training game that brought the team together. It came out of the blocks on fire and just never looked back, essentially going wire-to-wire in the AL East.

Things looks gloomy for the Royals on Friday night, as they couldn’t figure out how to hit that tricky knuckleball of Tim Wakefield’s. Normally, the Kansas City team that we all remember would’ve just folded up shop, someone would’ve given up a three-run homer, and the team would’ve lost 6-1 or something of the sorts.

Not on this night. SP Kyle Davies became the fourth straight starter for the Royals to allow three runs or less to start the season. They might be a combined 0-0, but they’ve done their job. Thank C Jason Kendall for that, who has come to Kansas City and brought a veteran presence behind the dish, something that this city hasn’t had in years.

The bullpen threw three spotless frames after allowing 18 hits and six walks, to go with three blown saves in as many games to start this season.

Today, AL Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke is taking the mound against Boston’s Josh Beckett. Not only is it a chance for the Royals to get back above .500, but it’s also a chance to say, “Hey, we beat the Sox in this series.”

Baseball may not just be a game or a series, but the lowly Royals… the team that we’ve just love to beat up on in years’ past… can take a major step in the right direction if it can just reverse that losing mentality.

If that the case, wouldn’t it be just awesome to see the AL East winning Tampa Bay Rays playing the AL Central winning Kansas City Royals in the playoffs?

You can still get Kansas City at +2100 to win the AL Central, +5000 to win the American League, and +13500 to win the World Series at 5Dimes Sportsbook.

MLB Betting Free Picks: Baseball Season Win Totals

April 3rd, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in MLB Baseball   1 Comment »
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New York Yankees Over 95.5 Wins: Let’s just analyze the Yankees in a really quick nutshell, because no one wants to admit outside of the Bronx that they’re betting on the Yankees to do well. But this was a team that won 103 games last season and is just better this year than it was a year ago. Yes, both DHs Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui have moved on, but new DH Nick Johnson can really tear the cover off the baseball, and replacement OF Curtis Granderson could go 30/30 by taking potshots at those short porches in left and right field at New Yankee Stadium. Add RHP Javier Vazquez into the mix, and the recipe is just far too ripe to pass on the boys in pinstripes.

Kansas City Royals Over 72 Wins: Now here’s a team that we like and like quite a bit. Before we even look at anything that the Royals did in the offseason, just take a look at the rest of the division. The Twins certainly are not a better team than they were a year ago, as SS Orlando Cabrera and closer Joe Nathan are both gone. Detroit lost both SP Edwin Jackson and OF Curtis Granderson and only got back SP Max Scherzer of any note in return. Chicago is still a time bomb waiting to happen. Just from that standpoint alone, Kansas City should find a few more wins in divisional play. That being said, this is clearly a better team than the one that won 65 games last year. C Jason Kendall will bring some stability to a pitching staff that really hasn’t had a competent defensive catcher ever, and OFs Scott Podsednik and Rick Ankiel should be notable upgrades on what was playing in the outfield last year for this team. We tend to think that KC can compete, though we’d just be happy to see it reach 73 ‘W’s.

Pittsburgh Pirates Under 69.5 Wins: Newsflash: The Pirates aren’t very good. They’re not going to get any better this year either. The Bucs are almost certainly the worst team in baseball. Their pitching staff isn’t anything to write home about, and their lineup is basically 2B Akinori Iwamura and a ton of guys that are barely old enough to drink a beer, let alone rent a car. Everyone in Steeltown knows that another 100-loss season could very well be on the horizon, and there’s nothing stopping us from saying that they won’t touch a 70-win barrier that they haven’t reached since 2004.

Houston Astros Under 73.5 Wins: This is almost a bit of a prospective futures bet than anything else. What we’re hoping for out of the ‘Stros this year is that 1B Lance Berkman and OF Carlos Lee both get traded. If that’s the case, this is a team that will almost certainly rival Pittsburgh for the gutter in the NL Central. Let’s also realize that Milwaukee and Cincinnati are both going to be competing with the Cubs and Cardinals for divisional supremacy, so it is very possible to see two teams finish with at least 100 losses in the same division, particularly in one with six teams. Houston’s pitching staff is just woeful beyond SPs Wandy Rodriguez and Roy Oswalt, and taking SS Miguel Tejada out of this lineup is only going to make things that much worse for a team that didn’t have much of an offense last season either.

Washington Nationals Over 72 Wins: Are we insane for backing the Nats after they lost 103 games last season? It’s possible that we’ve gone a tad bit crazy, but we think that the boys from DC are in for a much better year this year than they had in ’09. Adding SP Jason Marquis to the front end of the rotation will help out John Lannan quite a bit, as will the inevitably moment that SP Stephen Strasburg comes up from the minor leagues. The lineup hasn’t been the issue with this team. 1B Adam Dunn and 3B Ryan Zimmerman can mash, no doubt, and OF Nyjer Morgan is expected to produce big things at the top of the order. But the staff ranked 28th in the majors last year with a 5.02 team ERA and absolutely must get better.

2009 American League Central Preview

March 6th, 2009 by Rodney James (Bankroll Sports Contributor) | Posted in MLB Baseball   Comments Off on 2009 American League Central Preview

In what some might consider the most competitive division, from top to bottom, the American League Central does not appear to have the strength and star power that other divisions have. Look for a narrow gap between the top and the bottom of this league, with the order going in any order. While the AL Central did not appear to lose any of their star power from 2008, they also did not seem to gain any via the off-season.

As the Chicago White Sox convene in Glendale Arizona, they come in as the divisional winner from one season ago. The White Sox ended the season 89-74, but fell in the ALDS. Chicago unloaded Nick Swisher and Javy Vazquez during the off-season for seven players including six that appear to be minor leaguers. Wilson Betemit appears to be the key name sent to the Windy City in that deal. Others involved with Brent Lillibridge and Jeff Marquez. Marquez looks to possibly be thrown in the 5th starter role for Ozzie Guillen’s Sox. Chicago also added Jayson Nix who played second base for Colorado last season. He looks to be the front runner for the position, just ahead of prospects Chris Getz (from Chicago) and Brent Lillibridge. Whoever gets the nod will play alongside Alexei Ramirez in the middle infield. Ramirez finished second in the AL MVP voting last season behind Tampa’s Evan Longoria. Josh Fields looks to fill Joe Crede’s position at third base. Crede was let go via free agency. Gone from last season’s outfield are Ken Griffey Jr. and Nick Swisher. Carlos Quentin and Jermaine Dye look to be mainstays in the outfield, with Paul Konerko and Jim Thome sliding in at first base and DH respectively. The last question for Chicago is who will fill centerfield. Jerry Owens, DeWayne Wise and Brian Anderson will all three fight for the position this spring. Owens only played 12 games in 2008 with a groin injury, while Anderson and Wise have had problems getting on base. The White Sox pitching will be anchored by Mark Buehrle. The lefthander will lead a rotation with Gavin Floyd, John Danks and a mixture of Bartolo Colon, Lance Broadway, Clayton Richard, Jeff Marquez and Aaron Poreda fighting for the fourth and fifth positions. Poreda appears to be an excellent choice, as he is just 22 years old. The 6’6, 240lbs. sinkerball pitcher pitched in 12 games in high A ball last season, and then 15 in Class AA. If Ozzie elects to not throw him into the rotation, he will certainly figure into the bullpen, alongside guys such as Bobby Jenks, Matt Thornton and Scott Linebrink.

In Goodyear, Arizona the Cleveland Indians feel they have as good of shot at winning the division as anyone. After their 81-81 mark in 2008, Cleveland only made minimal splash in the free agency pool, but appear to have improved. The signing of Kerry Wood should be an upgrade from Joe Borowski, who closed games in 2008. Wood saved 34 games in 2008 only making one trip to the disabled list. If Wood stays healthy, this could prove to be an excellent signing. Cleveland also added another former Chicago Cub in Mark DeRosa. DeRosa appears to be a good fit for third base in Cleveland after his time spent in Chicago was merely as a utility player. Joe Smith was also added to the bullpen to add some much needed depth. The improved play of Shin-Soo Choo made letting Franklin Gutierrez expendable. Starting pitching will surely be a question mark for Cleveland. The first question will be, can Cliff Lee continue his sharp pitching of 2008? Lee finished 22-3 with a 2.54 era in 2008 after having just a horrible 2007 season. Behind Lee in the rotation will be Carl Pavano, who never could shake his struggles as a Yankee. Fausto Carmona will be Cleveland’s third starting pitcher, and if those three are on, there will be no better 1-3 rotation in the AL Central than Cleveland. But, consistency has been an issue for all three. The bats should not be an issue for the Indians. Travis Hafner should continue to hold the designated hitter position, despite only playing in 57 games last season. Hafner received MVP votes in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Kelly Shoppach has allowed the Indians to move Victor Martinez to other positions, such as first base or designated hitter. If none of the above options work, Ryan Garko has showed he can hit the ball as well. Look for youngster Matt LaPorta to possibly get a shot directly out of spring training. His best position is left field, and he could develop into of the games most powerful hitters. LaPorta was the main cog in the trade that sent C.C. Sabathia to Milwaukee. If he doesn’t make the opening day roster, his stay in AAA Columbus will probably not be long.

In Lakeland, Florida where the Detroit Tigers are conducting their 2009 spring training, the Tigers are looking for answers. Answers as to what went array during the 2008 season, as Detroit finished 74-88, last place in the AL Central. Detroit allowed 857 runs in 2008 and are counting on guys such as Jeremy Bonderman, Justin Verlander, Fernando Rodney and Joel Zumaya will all return to 2006 form. All four of those guys had a great deal of struggles during 2008. Detroit grabbed Gerald Laid from Texas, along with Edwin Jackson, Adam Everett and Brandon Lyon. When Detroit won the pennant three years ago, Bonderman and Verlander went 31-17 and pitched over 400 innings. In 2008 they combined for a dismal 14-21 record with a near 5.00 era. Also, in the Tigers dream season of 06, Rodney and Zumaya combined for a 2.67 era, while in 08, they did not win a game, going 0-8 with a 4.38 era. Both suffered injuries throughout most of the season. Offensively Gary Sheffield, added with Miguel Cabrera, Placido Polanco and Brandon Inge should be a solid combination. Adam Everett should help Detroit defensively in the middle of the infield. Behind the plate, the Tigers will not see a mainstay in Pudge Rodriguez, as this season the job looks to go to either Gerald Laird or rookie Matt Treanor. If Laird gets the nod as the starting catcher, look for Treanor to be one of the best back-up catchers in the league.

For the Kansas City Royals, they hope their turn around in 2009 matches the city in which they are training in. Surprise Arizona holds the Royals spring training complex, and that’s exactly what the Royals want to do – surprise the rest of the league. The Royals added a bad in Mike Jacobs to the lineup, along with Coco Crisp. Jacobs hit 32 homeruns last year and drove in 93, while Crisp is a guy that will get on base at the top of the lineup. Kansas City locked up Zack Greinke, their ace for four years, while picking up Kyle Farnsworth and Willie Bloomquist. Kansas City will continue to rely on youngsters such as Alex Gordon, Billy Butler and Luke Hochevar to carry a heavy load. After finishing 75-87 last season, Kansas City finally moved out of the AL Central cellar, passing Detroit. Another step in that direction would please the front office in Kansas City, but with the division being wide open, the Royals will battle hard all 162 games. Offensively, Jacobs and Guillen should pack a punch in the middle of the lineup, but the question will be can Butler and Gordon get themselves on base enough. Gordon hit just .260 last season. Look for prospect Mike Moustakas to get some looks at shortstop for the Royals. The number two pick in the 2007 draft led the Class A Midwest League with 22 homeruns in 2008. With Gordon at third base, and Moustakas manning shortstop, Kansas City could be in for a solid feature. Another move Kansas City made in the off-season was adding another year for the services of Mark Teahen. The Royals will look to start Teahen at second base, but with his versatility, he could get moved around. He will compete with Alberto Callapso and Bloomquist for the job. When it comes to starting pitching, Zach Greinke is at the top of the list for the Royals Gil Meche has turned into a serviceable start, and Joakim Soria had a nice season in 2008. If those three can have solid seasons, and Kansas City finds their niche in the bullpen, they could themselves in a playoff chase come August and September.

The Minnesota Twins payroll has dropped to about $60 million, which is down $14 million from the 2007 season. Fortunately for Minnesota they did not lose anyone from the team that lost the division in 2008 in a play-in game against Chicago. Minnesota recently signed Joe Crede to play third base, so that should help out the Minnesota offense. The buzz in Fort Myers Florida is how good the youngsters are that will take the field for the Twins. The starting rotation is just an average of 25 years old and only average around 40 starts in their career. Scott Baker, Francisco Liriano, Kevin Slowey, Glen Perkins and Nick Blackburn have not turned into household names, but they have shown potential of being very solid. Baker is the oldest of the crew at 27 years old. He has made 76 starts in his young career. If a hiccup occurs out of any of the starting pitchers Kevin Mulvey could fill in quite nicely. Mulvey is a 23 year old right hander who pitched in the Mets’ minor league organization in 2007 finishing the season with a 3.62 ERA in 154 innings. With Joe Nathan at the back end of the bullpen, the Twins look to find patch work to complete the rest of the group. Offensively Minnesota will once again rely on Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. Mauer is arguably the best catcher in baseball, and Justin Morneau has MVP type ability. Along with Mauer and Morneau are guys such as Carlos Gomez and Delmon Young that have great ability, but have yet to show themselves in the major leagues. Both players have great athleticism, but that doesn’t correlate to getting on base. Brian Buscher and Brendan Harris should battle hard behind Crede at third base position. Buscher starting 60 games at third base last season, while Harris took turns at basically every infield position.

Who will win the American League Central in 2009?

  • Minnesota Twins (44%, 26 Votes)
  • Chicago White Sox (29%, 17 Votes)
  • Cleveland Indians (15%, 9 Votes)
  • Kansas City Royals (8%, 5 Votes)
  • Detroit Tigers (3%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 59