How West is being won? Just ask Arizona

Apr 29, 2008 7:00 PM

On The Mark by Mark Mayer | Arizona hasnít climbed to the top of the National League West by accident. Just ask the other four division teams.

The Diamondbacks are 17-5 against the Dodgers, Giants, Rockies and Padres. The individual breakdown is: 5-1 vs Colorado, 4-1 vs Los Angeles, 4-1 vs San Francisco, 4-2 vs San Diego. Keep this in mind for the next Arizona vs NL West matchup May 13-15 against the Rockies at Chase Field.

If youíve been watching ESPN, itís been suggested that the Class of 2005 may be baseballís best-ever draft. The list supports the claim with already six of the top 10 picks not only starting in the majors but playing prominent roles.

1: Justin Upton, of, Díbacks

2: Alex Gordon, 3b, Royals

4: Ryan Zimmerman, 3b, Nats

5: Ryan Braun, 3b, Brewers

7: Troy Tulowitzki, ss, Rockies

9: Mike Pelfrey, p, Mets

23: Jacoby Ellsbury, of. Red Sox

25: Matt Garza, p, Rays

42: Clay Buchholz, p, Red Sox

75: Yunel Escobar, ss, Braves

83: Micah Owings, p, Díbacks

The 12th overall pick in the Class of 1995 was Matt Morris, once the ace of the St. Louis Cardinals and toiling with Pittsburgh until he was released Sunday. When Morris pitched, the Bucs lost. Pittsburgh was 0-5 with the former Seton Hall product and the over was 4-1. His losses were 5-4, 7-3, 11-2, 10-4 and 8-4. We made money betting against Matt and hope he quickly finds his way back on a team.

Morris isnít the only cat weíre scratching our head over. Consider lefty Mark Redman, once a find with Minnesota. In Redmanís five starts (v Arizona, Atlanta, San Diego, Philadelphia, Los Angeles) the combined run total is 57! Hello: If you see Redman with a total of 10 or less, jump it. The Dodgers covered that in the first inning!

Granted itís only April but if the San Diego Padres are going to win the NL West, it seems most of the winning results are going to have to be under the total. Of the 11 over results for SD, seven have been losses.

 With Jake Peavy, Chris Young, Greg Maddux and perhaps Mark Prior in the future, itís likely unders will come more often. But, San Diego isnít alone. Kansas City is 2-7 in overs. At one point the Royals were 8-5 overall and 11-2 to the under. Since then, 3-9 and 7-5 to the over.

The Florida Marlins are 14-10 and leading the NL East. No, Iím not on acid. Give it up for lefty Scott Olsen, whose last outing was a shutout no-decision at Milwaukee. The Marlins went on to win 3-0 in 10 innings, the fifth consecutive "W" when Olsen has pitched.

Olsen has been especially tough in his division, with wins against Washington (twice) and Atlanta. The other Florida victory came against our good buddy Morris. Olsenís next projected start is Thursday against the Dodgers at home. Other bet-on pitchers: Ian Snell (Pirates 4-1), Tim Lincecum (Giants 5-0) and Joe Saunders (Angels 5-0).

 The sublime: The Díbacks are 6-0 when Brandon Webb goes. The ridiculous: San Francisco is 0-6 when Barry Zito pitches. With Morris out of a job for the moment, Zito has become the No. 1 bet-against pitcher in baseball.

FYI: For all the hype on Cincy phenom Johnny Cueto, the Reds have lost his last four starts...The Cubs are 4-0 in extra inning games on the road...The Webb-Jeff Peavy matchup we billed last week did not disappoint. It was the third 6Ĺ total of the season, each time with Peavy. All three went under. Arizona won on Sunday, 2-1...The Pirates are 17-8 to the over.