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Sexson helmet M's best hit

May 13, 2008 7:00 PM

On The Mark by Mark Mayer | It’s understandable that Richie Sexson would hurl a batting helmet at a pitcher in rage considering he’s playing for the American League’s biggest embarrassment.

Yes, the Seattle Mariners have created a whole new term – home field disadvantage. The Mariners are 0-4-1 in their last five series at home. Maybe their crib should be renamed Un-Safeco Field. Check this offensive explosion over the last 12 games: 3, 2, 1, 1, 2, 7, 1, 0, 0, 2, 4, 6.

We liked Seattle to win the AL West. Instead, the record was a season worst 14-24 ’til Sunday’s win. The M’s are in the hole -$1,230 for bettors silly enough to wager on them. Compare that with Tampa Bay, which has won nine straight home games.

A falling star perhaps back in line is KC’s Brian Bannister. The Royals were 3-0 in his first three starts, then 0-4 before Bannister beat Baltimore 4-0 on Sunday. KC was 7-5 when Bannister was 3-0. Since then, 9-16.

And then there’s the San Diego Padres. Perhaps we should cancel our channel 96 on Cox Cable. That way we wouldn’t have to see the Pads go 4-14 over a recent 18-game stretch. In that span they scored four runs or less 15 times!

Staying with the NL West, which Dodgers team is going to show up? Is it the one that scored 70 runs during a recent eight-game win streak or the group that produced 1, 1, 0 and 5 in a four-game losing streak to start the week.

In closing on this division, we noted previously that Arizona would lose its bite playing teams outside the NL West. And, it seems to be happening. The D’backs are 18-5 against the NL West, 5-10 against the rest. No reason to panic yet with a 23-15 record, especially with three more division games ahead starting Tuesday at home against Colorado.

A small dose of interleague play begins this week. For example, Arizona hosts Detroit for three games starting Friday, then returns to NL play against Florida.

Speaking of the Marlins, let’s hear it for the latest fire sale. We should all hold fire sales that prove this successful. The Fish, with a budget of less than $25 million, have won seven in a row, are a season best 23-14, and lead baseball at +$1,320 for bettors. It’s "Amazin" that first baseman Mike Jacobs, a former Met, has nine homers and 24 RBI and hitting .271, while Carlos Delgado is hitting .236 with 5 HR, 17 RBI for NY.

Fortunately for the Mets, they are 11-3 when either Johan Santana or John Maine pitch.

When keeping track of results on daily basis, you strive to find consistency. Lately that’s playing the under in Toronto games. It’s 12-3 in the last 15 that included a run of nine straight. In that same category, the Chicago White Sox are 11-2-1 to the under in the last 14. In the spirit of equal time, the Pirates are 23-13-1 to the over.

Want for a pitcher to trust from an elite team? Daisuke Matsuzaka is your man. The Red Sox are 8-0 when Dice-K pitches and it began with that opening game win in Tokyo over the Oakland A’s. And who knew then that the A’s would be the third fastest team to 20 wins in the AL after Boston and the LA Angels (of Anaheim)!

Then there’s, Ubaldo Jimenez of the Colorado Rockies. When Ubaldo throws, people run – to the betting window. The Rocks are 1-7 in his starts, scoring just 24 runs. Detroit with Justin Verlander is also 1-7...On the flip side: Florida is 7-1 with Scott Olsen. No joke!